On many of the senators he made a favourable impression, because of the greatness of his achievements and through his personal influence.
The older members were for refusing the triumph, -1
partly because he had fought with an army legally under another's command, partly because he had left
his province as a result of his ardent desire to petition for a triumph when the opportunity offered itself; but this conduct was unprecedented;2
the senators of consular rank especially urged that he should have waited for the consul; for he might, while defending the colony by locating his camp near the city, without committing himself to a decisive engagement, have delayed matters until the consul's arrival;
the senate's proper conduct would be to wait for the consul, as the praetor had not done; when they had heard consul and praetor debating face to face, they would, they said, judge more fairly concerning the issue.
A great part of the senate thought that the senators should consider only his record, and whether he had fought during his term of office and under his own auspices.
When one of the two colonies which had been established as, so to speak, barriers to restrain Gallic uprisings had been sacked and burned, and the flames were about to leap over to the other, so close at hand, as from one building to another in a continuous row, what, pray, was the praetor to do?
For if it was improper to take any action without the consul, either the senate was at fault for entrusting an army to the praetor —for it would have been possible to order by senatorial decree that nothing should be done by the praetor, but only by the consul, if it had been desired that the consul's army and not the praetor's should do the fighting —or
else the consul was at fault, who had not joined the army at Ariminum, when he had ordered it to move from Etruria to Gaul, [p. 143]
to participate in a war which could not be legally3
conducted without him.
The emergencies of war, they argued, do not wait for the delays and postponements of commanders, and sometimes you must fight, not because you wish it, but because the enemy compels it.
The battle itself and its results should be considered. The enemy had been routed and slaughtered, their camp captured and plundered, the siege of the colony raised, the prisoners from the other colony recovered and restored to their friends, the war finished in a single battle.
Not only had men rejoiced at that victory, but also a three-day period of thanksgiving had been decreed to the immortal gods, because Lucius Furius the praetor had conducted affairs, not poorly and rashly, but well and successfully. Finally, Gallic wars were by the will of fate, so to speak, entrusted to the Furii.5