While this was going on in Spain, the day of the elections was drawing near. And so Lucius Cornelius the consul left Marcus Claudius with the army and returned to Rome.
When he had discoursed in the senate about his achievements and the condition in which his province was, he voiced a complaint
to the Fathers because, after so great a war had been so successfully finished by a single victory, no honour had been paid to the immortal gods. He then demanded that they decree a thanksgiving and a triumph at the same time.
Before, however, the formal motion was put, Quintus Metellus, who had been consul and dictator,1
said that letters had arrived at the same time, addressed both to the senate by Lucius Cornelius and to a great part of the senators by Marcus Marcellus, that these reports contradicted one another, and that a decision had been postponed for the reason that the debate might be held in the presence of the writers of these letters.
He had accordingly assumed that the consul, who knew that something unfavourable to himself had been written by his subordinate, since he had himself to come to Rome, would bring his lieutenant with him to the City, especially as it would have been more correct to entrust
the army [p. 23]
to Tiberius Sempronius, who had the imperium,2 3
than to a
lieutenant: as matters stood, it seemed that he had wilfully kept away a man who, if he made in person the statement which he had made in writing, might both bring his charges openly and, supposing he asserted what was untrue, be himself charged, until the truth was clearly revealed. It was his proposal, therefore, that nothing which the consul demanded should be decreed for the
present. When he pressed his claims with undiminished vigour, that the
thanksgiving be voted and that he be allowed to ride into the City in triumph, Marcus and Gaius Titinius, tribunes of the people, declared that they would veto it if any decree of the senate were passed regarding the question.