When the Romans learned of these things, they decided that they would bid good-bye to the favours and promises of those who wanted to be generals, and themselves summon to the leadership a man of wisdom who understood how to manage great affairs. This man was Paulus Aemilius, now advanced in life and about sixty years of age, but in the prime of bodily vigour, and hedged about with youthful sons and sons-in-law, and with a host of friends and kinsmen of great influence, all of whom urged him to give ear to the people when it summoned him to the consulship.
At first he was for declining the appeals of the multitude, and tried to avert their eager importunities, saying that he did not want office; but when they came daily to his house and called him forth into the forum and pressed him with their clamours, he yielded; and when he presented himself at once among the candidates for the consulship, he did not appear to come into the Campus in order to get office, but as one who brought victory and might in war and offered them to the citizens.
With such eager hopes did all receive him, and they made him consul for the second time,
and did not permit a lot to be cast for the provinces, as was the custom, but at once voted him the conduct of the Macedonian war. And it is said that when he had been appointed general against Perseus, and had been escorted home in splendid fashion by the whole people, he found there his daughter Tertia, who was still a little child, in tears.
He took her in his arms, therefore, and asked her why she grieved. And she, embracing and kissing him, said:
‘Pray dost thou not know, Father, that our Perseus is dead?’ meaning a little pet dog of that name. And Aemilius cried:
‘Good fortune! my daughter, I accept the omen.’ Such, then, is the story which Cicero the orator relates in his work