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Minucius Made Co-Dictator

An exaggerated account of this success reached Rome,
Minucius invested with co-equal powers with Fabius.
and caused excessive exultation: first, because in their gloomy prospects some sort of change for the better had at last shown itself; and, secondly, because the people could now believe that the ill success and want of nerve, which had hitherto attended the legions, had not arisen from the cowardice of the men, but the timidity of their leader. Wherefore everybody began finding fault with and depreciating Fabius, as failing to seize his opportunities with spirit; while they extolled Minucius to such a degree for what had happened, that a thing was done for which there was no precedent. They gave him absolute power as well as Fabius, believing that he would quickly put an end to the campaign; and so there were two Dictators made for carrying on the same war, which had never happened at Rome before. When Minucius was informed of his popularity with the people, and of the office bestowed upon him by the citizens, he felt doubly incited to run all risks and act with daring boldness against the enemy. Fabius rejoined the army with sentiments not in the least changed by what had happened, but rather fixed still more immovably on his original policy. Seeing, however, that Minucius was puffed up with pride, and inclined to offer him a jealous opposition at every turn, and was wholly bent on risking an engagement, he offered him the choice of two alternatives: either to command the whole army on alternate days with him; or that they should separate their two armies, and each command their respective part in their own way. Minucius joyfully accepting the second alternative, they divided the men and encamped separately about twelve stades apart.

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