At the close of this year, Caius Laelius, the lieutenant-general of Scipio, came to Rome on the thirty-fourth day after he set out from Tarraco, and entering the city accompanied by a train of captives, drew together a great concourse of people.
The next day, on being brought into the senate, he stated that Carthage, the capital of Spain, had been captured in one day, that several cities which had revolted were regained, and that fresh ones had been received into alliance.
From the prisoners, information was gained, corresponding for the most part with what was contained in the letter of Marcus Valerius Messala. What produced the greatest effect upon the fathers, was the march of Hasdrubal into Italy, which was with difficulty resisting Hannibal and his forces.
Laelius also, who was brought before the general assembly, gave a particular statement of the same things. The senate decreed a supplication for one day, on account of the successes of Publius Scipio, and ordered Caius Laelius to return as soon as possible to Spain, with the ships he had brought with him.
I have laid the taking of Carthage in this year, on the authority of many writers, although aware that some have stated that it was
taken the following year, because it appeared to me hardly probable that Scipio should have spent an entire year in Spain in doing nothing.
Quintus Fabius Maximus for the fifth time, and Quintus Fulvius Flaccus for the fourth, [p. 1099]
having entered on their offices of consuls on the ides of March, on the same day, Italy was decreed as the province of both, their command, however, was distributed to separate districts. Fabius was appointed to carry on the war at Tarentum; Fulvius in Lucania and Bruttium.
Marcus Claudius was continued in command for the year. The praetors thin cast lots for their provinces. Caius Hostilius Tubulus obtained the city jurisdiction; Lucius Veturius Philo the foreign, with Gaul; Titus Quinctius Crispinus, Capua; Caius Aurunculeius, Sardinia.
The troops were thus distributed through the provinces: Fulvius received the two legions which Marcus Valerius Laevinus had in Sicily; Quintus Fabius, those which Caius Calpurnius had commanded in Etruria.
The city troops were to succeed those in Etruria; Caius Calpurnius commanding the same province and the army. Titus Quinctius was to take the command of Capua, and the army which had served under Quintus Fulvius there.
Lucius Veturius was to succeed Caius Laetorius, propraetor, in his province and the command of the army, which was then at Ariminum. Marcus Marcellus had the legions with which he had been successful when consul.
To Marcus Valerius together with Lucius Cincius, for these also were continued in command in Sicily, the troops which had fought at Cannae were given, with orders to recruit them out of the surviving soldiers of the legions of Cneius Fulvius.
These were collected and sent by the consuls into Sicily, and the same ignominious condition of service was added, under which the troops which had fought at Cannae served, and to those troops belonging to the army of Cneius Fulvius, the praetor, which had been sent thither by the senate through displeasure occasioned by a similar flight.
Caius Aurunculeius was appointed to command, in Sardinia, the same legions with which Publius Manlius Vulso had occupied that province.
Publius Sulpicius was continued in command for the year, with orders to hold Macedonia with the same legion and fleet. Orders were given to send thirty quinqueremes from Sicily to Tarentum, to the consul Fabius.
With the rest of the ships, orders were given that Marcus Valerius Laevinus should either pass over himself into Africa to ravage the country, or send either Lucius Cincius or Marcus Valerius Messala.
With regard to Spain, no alteration was made, except that Scipio and Silanus were continued in command, not for the year, but until they [p. 1100]
should be recalled by the senate. In such manner were the provinces and the commands of the armies distributed for this year.