It was now the end of the year, and canvassing at the consular election was more spirited than ever before.1
The candidates were many and [p. 27]
influential, patricians and plebeians,2
Scipio, the son of Gnaeus, who had recently returned from Spain after performing great deeds,4
and Lucius Quinctius Flamininus, who had commanded the fleet in Greece,5
and Gnaeus Manlius Volso;6
these were the patricians;
the plebeians now were Gaius Laelius,7
Gaius Livius Salinator,9
and Manius Acilius.10
But the eyes of all men were turned upon Quinctius and Cornelius; for both were patricians, contending for one place, and recently-won military glory lent favour to each. But before all else, the brothers of the candidates11
increased their rivalry, since they were the two most celebrated commanders of their age.
The greater fame was Scipio's, and the greater it was, the more it was exposed to jealousy; that of Quinctius was fresher, inasmuch as he had triumphed that very year.12
There was also the fact that the other had been for about ten years constantly in the public eye, a fact which renders prominent men less venerated from sheer surfeit of seeing them: he had been consul for the second time after the defeat of Hannibal and censor;13
in the case of Quinctius, everything was new and fresh for winning favour;
he had neither asked anything from the people since his triumph nor obtained anything. He said that he was campaigning for a real brother, not a cousin, [p. 29]
for his lieutenant and a sharer in the conduct of the14
he on land, his brother on the sea, had conducted the operations.
By such arguments he brought it to pass that his brother was preferred to the candidate whom his brother, Africanus, favoured, whom the Cornelian gens supported, while a consul Cornelius presided at the election, and who was honoured with so powerful a preliminary recommendation from the senate, which chose him as the best man of the state to receive the Idaean Mother when she came from Pessinus to Rome.15
Lucius Quinctius and Gnaeus Domitius Ahenobarbus were chosen consuls: so little weight did Africanus have even in the selection of the plebeian consul, although he was working for Gaius Laelius.
The next day the praetors were chosen, Lucius Scribonius Libo, Marcus Fulvius Centumalus, Aulus Atilius Serranus, Marcus Baebius Tamphilus, Lucius Valerius Tappo, Quintus Salonius Sarra.
The aedileship of Marcus Aemilius Lepidus and Lucius Aemilius Paulus was notable that year; they condemned many grazers;16
out of the fines they set up gilded shields on the roof of the temple of Jupiter, constructed one portico outside the Porta Trigemina, adding a wharf on the Tiber, and another portico from the Porta Fontinalis to the altar of Mars, where the way led into the Campus Martius.