Se'ptimus, L. Ma'rcius
), usually called by Livy simply L. Marcius, was a Roman eques, and served for many years under Cn. Scipio in Spain. On the defeat and death of the two Scipios in Spain, in B. C. 211, L. Marcius, who had already gained great distinction by his military abilities, was called by the soldiers to take the command of the surviving troops, and by his prudence and energy preserved them from total destruction.
He appears indeed to have gained some advantage over the Carthaginian army commanded by Hasdrubal, son of Gisco, which the Roman annalists magnified into a brilliant victory.
The details of the history of the Roman war in Spain are not deserving of much credit, as has been already remarked [Vol. III. p. 742, a.]; and on this particular occasion the authorities which Livy followed appear to have indulged in more than their usual mendacity.
A memorial of his victory was preserved in the Capitol, under the name of the Marcian shield, containing a likeness of the Carthaginian general Hasdrubal.
But notwithstanding his services he gave great offence at Rome, by assuming the title of propraetor in his despatch to the senate announcing his victory. (Liv. 25.37
; Plin. Nat. 35.3. s. 4
; Frontin. Strat.
2.6.2, 2.10.2; V. Max. 1.6.2
; Appian, Hisp, 17,
where he is confounded with Marcellus.)
On the arrival of P. Scipio in Spain in B. C. 210, Marcius was treated by the new general with great distinction.
After the capture of New Carthage, Scipio sent him with a third of the army to lay siege to the important town of Castulo, which afterwards surrendered, when Scipio advanced against it in person. Marcius was next despatched against Astapa, which he laid in ruins. During the dangerous illness of Scipio in B. C. 206, the command of the troops devolved upon Marcius.
In the same year he marched against Gades with a land force, while Laelius attacked the town by sea; but it is unnecessary to enter further into a detail of his exploits.
He and the proprietor M. Junius Silanus were the two chief officers of Scipio throughout the whole of the war; and Marcius in particular gained so much of the approbation of his general, that the latter said that Marcius wanted nothing to make him equal to the most celebrated commanders except " nobilitas ac justi honores." (Liv. 28.19
; Plb. 11.23
; Appian, Hisp. 26, 31-34.