As for Minucius, success and the favour of the crowd had already made him well-nigh insufferable.
But now, at all events, he cast away all modesty and moderation and boasted of his triumph not only over Hannibal but over Quintus Fabius as well:
that wonderful leader, to whom his countrymen had turned in their distress as a match for Hannibal, had by vote of the people been reduced to a level —the superior with his subordinate, the dictator with his master of the horse; and this action, to which history could afford no parallel, had been taken in that very state in which masters [p. 293]
of the horse had been used to tremble and shudder1
at the rods and axes of the dictator; so conspicuous had been his own success and courage.
He would therefore follow up his good fortune, if the dictator persisted in that dilatory and inactive course which gods and men had united in condemning.
Accordingly, on the day of his first meeting with Quintus Fabius, he said that the very first thing to be settled was the manner in which they should exercise the joint command:
he himself thought that the best way would be for each to have supreme command and authority either every other day,2
or, if longer periods seemed preferable, for equally apportioned times, to the end that he
might be a match for the enemy not only in strategy but in numbers also, if he should meet with a favourable opportunity for fighting.
This proposal by no means suited Quintus Fabius, for he saw that everything which his rash colleague should have got control of would be controlled by Fortune: he had been made, he said, to share the supreme command with another, not deprived of it;
he would therefore never voluntarily relinquish that share which he possessed of the power to guide the campaign prudently; he would not divide with Minucius the times or days of commanding, but would divide the army, and in accordance with his own plans would save what he could, since he was not permitted to save everything.
In this way he brought about a division of the legions, such as was customary between consuls. The first and fourth fell to Minucius, the second and third to Fabius.
In like manner they divided equally the cavalry and auxiliaries, both allies and Latins. The master of [p. 295]
the horse chose that their camps, too, should be3