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1. Marcus Claudius, who was five times consul of the Romans, was a son of Marcus, as we are told, and, according to Poseidonius, was the first of his family to be called Marcellus, which means Martial. For he was by experience a man of war, of a sturdy body and a vigorous arm. He was naturally fond of war, and in its conflicts displayed great impetuosity and high temper; [2] but otherwise he was modest, humane, and so far a lover of Greek learning and discipline as to honour and admire those who excelled therein, although he himself was prevented by his occupations from achieving a knowledge and proficiency here which corresponded to his desires. For if ever there were men to whom Heaven, as Homer says,1
From youth and to old age appointed the accomplishment of laborious wars,
they were the chief Romans of that time, [3] who, in their youth, waged war with the Carthaginians for Sicily; in their prime, with the Gauls to save Italy itself; and when they were now grown old, contended again with Hannibal and the Carthaginians, and did not have, like most men, that respite from service in the field which old age brings, but were called by their high birth and valour to undertake leaderships and commands in war.

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