At about the same time the consuls returned to Rome;
when they summoned the senate to meet in the temple of Bellona and demanded a triumph for their successes in the war, Gaius Atinius Labeo and Gaius Afranius, tribunes of the people, insisted that the consuls offer separate motions regarding the triumph: they would not allow a common1
motion to be voted on, lest equal honour be bestowed upon unequal merit.
Quintus Minucius replied that the province of Italy had fallen to the lot of both consuls and that he and his colleague had acted in accordance with a common policy and plan of campaign, and Gaius Cornelius added
that the Boi, who were crossing the Po against him, to aid the Insubres and Cenomani, had been called away to defend their own homes when his colleague laid waste their towns and farms.
To this the tribunes rejoined that they agreed that Gaius Cornelius had accomplished in the war results of such magnitude that there was no more question of his triumph than [p. 339]
there could be of paying honour to the immortal gods; —2
yet neither he nor any other citizen was so powerful in influence and resources that, when he had obtained a well-earned triumph, he could bestow the same unmerited honour upon a colleague who had the effrontery to demand it.
Quintus Minucius, they continued, had fought some unimportant battles in Liguria, hardly worthy of mention, and in Gaul had lost a great number of his men;
they even mentioned by name Titus Iuventius and Gnaeus Ligurius, military tribunes of the fourth legion, who had fallen in the defeat along with many other brave men, citizens and allies. The surrender of small towns and villages had taken place, but this was fictitious, manufactured for the occasion, and without guarantees.3
These debates between the consuls and the tribunes continued for two days, but at last,
overcome by the stubbornness of the tribunes, the consuls offered separate motions.4