Macatus, M. Li'vius
was appointed by the propraetor M. Valerius, in B. C. 214, commander of the town and citadel of Tarentum, and defended both with success against the attacks of Hannibal in that year.
But two years afterwards (B. C. 212) the town was taken by a surprise, and Livius fled for refuge into the citadel, which he maintained, notwithstanding all the attempts of Hannibal to dislodge him.
In course of time the Roman troops suffered dreadfully, from want of In B. C. 210, D. Quintius was sent with a fleet to convey provisions to the citadel, but was defeated by the Tarentines; this disaster, however, was counterbalanced by a victory which Livius gained at the same time by land. Livius continued in possession of the citadel till the town was retaken by Q. Fabius Maximus in B. C. 209.
In the following year there was a warm debate in the senate respecting Livius Macatus; some maintaining that he ought to be punished for losing the town, others that he deserved to be rewarded for having kept the citadel for five years, and a third party thinking that it was a matter which did not belong to the senate, and that if punishment was deserved, it ought to be inflicted by the censorial nota.
The latter view was the one adopted by the majority of the senate. Macatus was warmly supported on this occasion by his relative M. Livius Salinator; and a saying of Q. Fabius Maximus in the course of the debate is recorded by several writers. When the friends of Macatus were maintaining that Maximus was indebted for his conquest of the town to Macatus, because he had possession of the citadel, Maximus replied, " Certe, nam nisi ille amisisset, ego nunquam recepissem." (Liv. 24.20
; Appian, Annib.
32; Plb. 8.27
, &c., who calls him Caius
Livius; Cic. de Senect.
4, de Orat.
2.67, who erroneously calls him Livius Salinator ;