Hannibal made very little account of the rest, but when he learned that Marcellus had fallen, he ran out to the place himself, and after standing by the dead body and surveying for a long time its strength and mien, he uttered no boastful speech, nor did he manifest his joy at the sight, as one might have done who had slain a bitter and troublesome foe;
but after wondering at the unexpectedness of his end, he took off his signet-ring, indeed,1
but ordered the body to be honourably robed, suitably adorned, and burned. Then he collected the remains in a silver urn, placed a golden wreath upon it, and sent it back to his son. But some of the Numidians fell in with those who were carrying the urn and attempted to take it away from them, and when they resisted, fought with them, and in the fierce struggle scattered the bones far and wide.
When Hannibal learned of this, he said to the bystanders:
‘You see that nothing can be done against the will of God.’ Then he punished the Numidians, but took no further care to collect and send back the remains, feeling that it was at some divine behest that Marcellus had died and been deprived of burial in this strange manner.
Such, then, is the account given by Cornelius Nepos and Valerius Maximus; but Livy2
and Augustus Caesar state that the urn was brought to his son and buried with splendid rites.
Besides the dedications which Marcellus made in Rome, there was a gymnasium at Catana in Sicily, and statues and paintings from the treasures of Syracuse both at Samothrace, in the temple of the gods called Cabeiri, and at Lindus in the temple of Athena.
There, too, there was a statue of him, according to Poseidonius, bearing this inscription:
This, O stranger, was the great star of his country, Rome,—Claudius Marcellus of illustrious line, who seven times held the consular power in time of war, and poured much slaughter on his foes.
For the author of the inscription has added his two proconsulates to his five consulates.
And his line maintained its splendour down to Marcellus the nephew of Augustus Caesar, who was a son of Caesar's sister Octavia by Caius Marcellus, and who died during his aedileship at Rome, having recently married a daughter of Caesar. In his honour and to his memory Octavia his mother dedicated the library, and Caesar the theatre, which bear his name.