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[11] Indeed, with what vigilance, with what skill he recaptured Tarentum! It was in my own hearing that Salinator,1 who had fled to the citadel after [p. 21] losing the town, remarked to him in a boasting tone: “Through my instrumentality, Q. Fabius, you have recaptured Tarentum.” “Undoubtedly,” said Fabius, laughing, “for if you had not lost it I should never have recaptured it.” But, indeed, he was not more distinguished in war than in civil life. While consul the second time, unaided by his colleague Spurius Carvilius he, as far as he could, opposed the people's tribune Gaius Flaminius who was endeavouring to parcel out the Picene and Gallic lands,2 contrary to the expressed will of the senate. And, although an augur, he dared to say that whatever was done for the safety of the Republic was done under the best auspices, and that whatever was inimical to the Republic was against the auspices.

1 Cicero blunders here, for it was M. Livius Macatus, a relation of Salinator, who held the citadel, Livy xxvii. 34. 7.

2 Gaius Flaminius was popular tribune in 232 B.C. when this law was enacted. It provided for the settlement of citizen farmers on public lands, and resembled somewhat the American homestead laws. Cicero gives the date here as in the second consulship of Q. Fabius Maximus, i.e. 228 B.C.

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