1. P. Aelius
Paetus, was probably the son of Q. Aelius Paetus, a pontifex, who fell in the battle of Cannae. (Liv. 23.21
.) Publius was plebeian aedile B. C. 204, oraetor B. C. 203 (Liv. 29.38
), magister equitum B. C. 202, and consul with C. Cornelius Lentulus B. C. 201. Paetus held the urbana jurisdictio during his year of office as praetor, in which capacity he published an edict for a supplicatio at Rome to commemorate the defeat of Syphax. (Liv. 30.17
.) On the departure of Hannibal from Italy in the same year, Paetus made the motion for a five days' supplicatio.
The year of the election of Paetus to the consulship was memorable for the defeat of Hannibal by P. Cornelius Scipio at the battle of Zama. (Liv. 30.40
.) Paetus during his consulship had Italy for his province; he had a conflict with the Boii, and made a treaty with the Ingauni Ligures.
He was also in the same year appointed a decemvir for the distribution of lands among the veteran soldiers of Scipio, who had fought in Africa. (Liv. 31.4
He was afterwards appointed a commissioner triumvir
) with his brother Sextus and Cn. Cornelius Lentulus to settle the affairs of Narnia, the people of which place complained that there was not the proper number of colonists (coloni
), and that certain persons, who were not coloni, were passing themselves off as such. (Liv. 32.2
.) In B. C. 199, he was censor with P. Cornelius Scipio Africanus.
He afterwards became an augur, and died B. C. 174, during a pestilence at Rome. (Liv. 41.26
.) Paetus is mentioned by Pomponius (Dig. 1
. tit. 1. s. 2.37) as one of those who professed the law (“maximam scientiam in profitendo habuerunt
”), in the Roman sense of that period.