The consuls, having finished the levies and the other business which had to be transacted in Rome, led the army against the Ligurians, who constituted their province.
Sempronius, setting out [p. 319]
from Pisa against the Ligurian Apuani, devastating1
their lands and burning the villages and forts, opened up the pass as far as the river Macra and the harbour of Luna.
The enemy retired to a mountain, the ancient seat of their forefathers; even from there, the handicap of unfavourable ground having been overcome, they were dislodged by an attack.
Appius Claudius too equalled the good fortune and valour of his colleague among the Ligurian Ingauni2
in a number of victories. In addition he captured six of their towns; in them he took many thousands of men; forty-three, who had been responsible for the war, he beheaded.
The time for the elections was now approaching. But Claudius arrived in Rome earlier than Sempronius, to whom had fallen by lot the conduct of the elections, because his brother Publius Claudius was seeking the consulship.
He had as patrician competitors Lucius Aemilius, Quintus Fabius, Servius Sulpicius Galba, all perennial candidates, who after defeats were again seeking an office which was due them all the more because it had been at first refused.3
Also, because it was not lawful that more than one from the patricians should be elected, there was a closer race among the four candidates.
Influential plebeians also were contending for the office, Lucius Porcius, Quintus Terentius Culleo, Gnaeus Baebius Tamphilus,4
and these too, having suffered defeat, were put off in the hope that some day they would at last5
win in the election.
Claudius was the only new candidate of them all. In the general [p. 321]
opinion of men Quintus Fabius Labeo and Lucius6
Porcius Licinus were almost certain of success.
But the consul Claudius, without his lictors, flitting with his brother around the
whole Forum, though his adversaries and the greater part of the senate kept crying out that he should remember that he was the consul of the Roman people rather than the brother of Publius Claudius (why should he not take his seat on the tribunal7
and act either as an umpire or else as a silent spectator of the elections?), nevertheless could not be restrained from his zealous canvass.
Great contentions among the tribunes of the people, as well, who took part in the fight either against the consul or on his side, disturbed the elections several times, until Appius succeeded in bringing in his brother, Fabius being defeated.
Publius Claudius Pulcher was elected contrary to his own expectations and those of others. Lucius Porcius Licinus held his place because among the plebeians the contest was conducted with moderate partisanship, not with Claudian violence.8
Then the praetorian elections were held: Gaius Decimius Flavus, Publius Sempronius Longus, Publius Cornelius Cethegus, Quintus Naevius Matho, Gaius Sempronius Blaesus and Aulus Terentius Varro were chosen praetors.
Such were the events, at home and abroad, of the consular year of Appius Claudius and Marcus Sempronius.