On coming to Rome the dictator sent Gaius Sempronius Blaesus, his lieutenant, whom he had had at Capua, into Etruria as his province, to be with
the army, taking the place of the
praetor Gaius Calpurnius, whom he had summoned by letter to take command of Capua and his own army.
As for himself, he proclaimed the elections for the earliest possible date.
But owing to the conflict which arose between the tribunes and the
dictator the election could not be completed.
The Galeria century of the younger men, which obtained by lot the right to vote first,1
had voted for Quintus Fulvius and Quintus Fabius as consuls;
and the centuries called in the legal order would have inclined in the same direction, if the tribunes of the plebs, Gaius and Lucius Arrenius, had not intervened.
They repeated that to prolong a magistracy was not consistent with the common
interest, and also that it was a much more dangerous precedent for the man who was
conducting the election to be himself elected.
Accordingly, they said, if the dictator admitted his own2
name, they would veto the election;
if other men than himself were considered, they would not delay the election.
The dictator defended the procedure in the election by the authority of the senate, by the decree of the commons, by precedents.
For, he said, in the consulship of Gnaeus Servilius, when Gaius Flaminius, the other
consul, had fallen at Trasumennus, by authority of the fathers it was proposed to the commons, and the commons had ordained that, so long as the
war remained in Italy, the people should have the right to re-elect as consuls the men they pleased and as often as they
pleased from the number of those who had been consuls.3