Such were the transactions in Spain under the conduct and auspices of Publius Scipio. Scipio himself, having put Lucius Lentulus and Lucius Manlius Acidinus in charge of the province, returned to Rome with ten ships.
Having obtained an audience of the senate without the city, in the temple of Bellona, he gave an account of the services he had performed in Spain; how often he had fought pitched battles, how many towns he had taken by force from the enemy, and what nations he had brought under the dominion of the Roman people.
He stated that he had gone into Spain against four generals, and four victorious armies, but that he had not left a Carthaginian in that country.
On account of these services he rather tried his prospect of a triumph, than pressed it pertinaciously; for it was quite clear, that no one had triumphed up to that time for services performed, when not invested with a magistracy.
When the senate was dismissed he entered the city, and carried before him into the treasury fourteen thousand three hundred and forty-two pounds of silver, and a great quantity of coined silver.
Lucius Veturius Philo then held the assembly for the election of consuls, when all the centuries, with the strongest marks of attachment, named Publius Scipio as consul. Publius Licinius Crassus, chief pontiff, was joined with him as his colleague.
It is recorded, that this election was attended by a greater number of persons than any other during the war.
People had come together from all quarters, not only to give their votes, but also for the purpose of seeing Publius Scipio. They ran in crowds, not only to his house, but also to the Capitol;
where he was engaged in offering a sacrifice of a hundred oxen to Jupiter, which he had vowed in Spain, impressed with a presentiment, that as Caius Lutatius had terminated the former Punic war, [p. 1214]
so Publius Scipio would terminate the present;
and that as he had driven the Carthaginians out of every part of Spain, so he would drive them out of Italy; and dooming Africa to him as his province, as though the war in Italy were at an end.
The assembly was then held for the election of praetors. Two were elected who were then plebeian aediles, namely, Spurius Lucretius and Cneius Octavius; and of private persons, Cneius Servilius Caepio and Lucius Aemilius Papus.
In the fourteenth year of the Punic war, Publius Cornelius Scipio and Publius Licinius Crassus entered on the consulship, when the provinces assigned to the consuls were, to Scipio, Sicily, without drawing lots, his colleague not opposing it, because the care of the sacred affairs required the presence of the chief pontiff in Italy; to Crassus, Bruttium.
The provinces of the praetors were then put to the determination of lots, when the city jurisdiction fell to Servilius; Ariminum, for so they called Gaul, to Spurius Lucretius; Sicily to Lucius Aemilius; Sardinia to Cneius Octavius.
A senate was held in the Capitol, when, on the motion of Publius Scipio, a decree was made, that he should exhibit the games which he had vowed in Spain during the mutiny of the soldiers, out of the money which he had himself brought into the treasury.