meanwhile of the peoples of Spain none who had revolted after the disaster occurred were returning to the Romans, and at the same time no new nations were revolting.1
and at Rome, after the recovery of Capua, senate and people were no longer more concerned about Italy than about Spain.
they favoured an increase of the army and the sending of a commander —in —chief;2
nor were they so well agreed whom to send, as they were on this point, that, where two great commanders had fallen within thirty days, there a successor to both must be chosen with unusual care.
while some were naming one man, others another, finally they had recourse to the holding of an election to name a proconsul3
for Spain; and the consuls announced a date for the [p. 71]
at first people had waited for those who4
thought themselves deserving of so important a command to hand in their names. when that hope was disappointed, grief for the disaster they had suffered was renewed, and regret for the lost generals.
and so the citizens mourned, being almost devoid of any plan; nevertheless on the election day they went down into the Campus.
and turning towards the magistrates they scanned the faces of the leading men, who were looking at one and another of their number, and there were complaints that the situation was so desperate and hope for the
state so given up that no man ventured to accept the command for Spain, when suddenly Publius Cornelius, son of that Publius Cornelius who had fallen in Spain, being about twenty —four years of age,5
declared that he was a candidate, and took his place on higher ground from which he could be
seen. all faces were turned towards him, and then by their shouts of approval they at once predicted a fortunate and auspicious
command. thereupon, bidden to cast their votes, not only all the centuries, but also every single man voted that Publius Scipio should have the command in
Spain. but after the thing was done, now that impulsiveness and enthusiasm had subsided, there came a sudden silence and they thought to themselves, What had they done? had not partiality outweighed reasoning? it was his youth that they especially
regretted. some also shrank from the destiny of the house, and from the name of one who was setting out from two afflicted families6
for [p. 73]
provinces where his campaign must be about the tombs7
of his father and his uncle.