He added that he had precedents for so doing: an old instance, that of Lucius Postumius Megellus, who as interrex
had been elected consul2
with Gaius Iunius Bubulcus at an election which he had himself conducted; and a recent case, that of Quintus Fabius,3
who surely would never have permitted his consulship to be prolonged unless it were done for the public welfare.
After a contest long continued by such speeches, final agreement between the dictator and the tribunes was reached: that they would stand by whatever the senate should decide. To the fathers it seemed a time for the state to have its affairs in the hands of generals mature and experienced and skilled in war; and so they said they did not favour any delaying of the election.
Since the tribunes gave way, the election was held. Quintus Fabius Maximus was declared consul for the fifth time, Quintus Fulvius Flaccus for the fourth. Then as praetors the following were elected: Lucius Veturius Philo, Titus Quinctius Crispinus, Gaius Hostilius [p. 227]
Tubulus, Gaius Aurunculeius. The magistrates4
having been elected for the year, Quintus Fulvius abdicated his dictatorship.
At the end of this summer a Carthaginian fleet of forty ships under command of the prefect Hamilcar crossed over to Sardinia and first laid waste the region of Olbia.
Then after Publius Manlius Volso, the praetor, showed himself there with an army, the fleet coasted around from Olbia to the other side of the island, ravaged the territory of Carales5
and returned with booty of every kind to Africa.
Of the Roman priests a number died that year and successors were appointed. Gaius Servilius was made pontifex in place of Titus Otacilius Crassus; Tiberius Sempronius Longus, son of Tiberius, was made augur in place of Titus Otacilius Crassus.
In like manner Tiberius Sempronius Longus, son of Tiberius, was appointed decemvir for the performance of rites in place of Tiberius Sempronius Longus, son of Gaius. Marcus Marcius, rex sacrorum,
and Marcus Aemilius Papus, the chief curio,6
died; and no priests were appointed that year in their places.
And this year had as censors Lucius Veturius Philo and Publius Licinius Crassus, pontifex maximus. Crassus Licinius had been neither consul nor praetor before he became censor; he made but one step from aedileship to censorship.
But these censors neither revised the senate list nor did any public business. The death of Veturius dissolved their censorship,7
consequently Licinius abdicated [p. 229]
his office. The curule aediles, Lucius Veturius8 9
and Publius Licinius Varus, renewed the Roman Games for one day. The plebeian aediles, Quintus Catius and Lucius Porcius Licinus, out of money paid in fines set up bronze statues at the Temple of Ceres,10
and they celebrated the games with splendid appointments, considering the resources of the time.
VII. At the end of this year11
Gaius Laelius, Scipio's lieutenant, came to Rome on the thirty-fourth day after leaving
Tarraco. And on entering the city with a train of captives12
he occasioned a great concourse of people. Introduced into the senate the next day, he set forth the capture of (New) Carthage, chief city of Spain, in a single day, and the recovery of a number of cities that had revolted, and the admission of new cities into alliance. From the captives they ascertained facts which in general agreed with statements previously made in the letter of Marcus Valerius
What especially stirred the fathers was Hasdrubal's proposed crossing into Italy, which was with difficulty withstanding Hannibal and his arms. On being brought before an assembly also, Laelius discoursed on the same subject. The senate decreed a thanksgiving for [p. 231]
one day on account of Publius Scipio's
ordered Gaius Laelius to return as soon as possible to Spain on the ships15
with which he had come. —The storming of (New) Carthage I have set in this year on the authority of many writers, though not unaware that there are some who have related its capture in the following year.16
I have done so because it has seemed to me less probable that Scipio spent a whole year in Spain doing
Quintus Fabius Maximus being now consul for the17
fifth and Quintus Fulvius Flaccus for the fourth time, on the Ides of March, the day of their entry upon office, Italy was assigned to the two as their province; their military authority, however, was geographically divided. Fabius was to command around Tarentum, Fulvius in Lucania and the land of the
Bruttii. For Marcus Claudius his command was prolonged for one year. The praetors received their assignments by lot, Gaius Hostilius Tubulus the city praetorship, Lucius Veturius Philo the jurisdiction over foreigners, together with Gaul;18
Titus Quinctius Crispinus received Capua, Gaius Aurunculeius
Sardinia. The armies were distributed among the assignments as follows: to Fulvius the two legions which Marcus Valerius Laevinus had in Sicily, to Quintus Fabius those which Gaius Calpurnius had commanded in Etruria; the army at the city was to take the place of that in Etruria; Gaius Calpurnius was to be in command of that province and its army; [p. 233]
Titus Quinctius was to be in charge of Capua and the19
army which Quintus Fulvius had held. Gaius Hostilius20
was to take over from Gaius Laetorius, the propraetor, his province and the army which was then at
Ariminum. To Marcus Marcellus were assigned the legions with which he had carried on operations as consul. To Marcus Valerius and Lucius Cincius —for their command in Sicily was also prolonged —was assigned the army from Cannae, and they were ordered to recruit it from the soldiers who survived from the legions of Gnaeus
These were sought out and sent by the consuls into Sicily. And there was added the same humiliation in the service as that under which the men from Cannae were serving, and those from the army of the praetor Gnaeus Fulvius,22
who had been sent thither by the senate out of anger on account of their similar
flight. To Gaius Aurunculeius in Sardinia were assigned the same legions with which Publius Manlius Volso had held that province.23
Publius Sulpicius was ordered to hold Macedonia with the same legion24
and the same fleet, and his command was prolonged for one year. Thirty quinqueremes were ordered to be sent from Sicily to Quintus Fabius, the consul, at
Tarentum. With the rest of his fleet it was the will of the senate, he was informed, that Marcus Valerius Laevinus should either cross over into Africa himself to plunder the country, or should send at his discretion Lucius Cincius or Marcus Valerius [p. 235]
Messalla. And in regard to Spain no change was25
made, except that the commands of Scipio and Silanus were prolonged, not for one year, but until they should be recalled by the senate.26
Thus were the assignments and army commands apportioned for that year.