4. Q. Fulvius
Nobilior, M. F. M. N., son of No. 2, was consul B. C. 153 with T. Annius Luscus. Livy mentions (39.44) a Q. Fulvius Nobilior who was appointed in B. C. 84 one of the triumviri for founding the colonies of Potentia and Pisaurum; and as Cicero says (Brut.
20) that Q. Nobilior, the son of the conqueror of the Aetolians, was a triumvir coloniae deducendae, though he does not mention the name of the colony, it would seen that the Q. Nobilior mentioned by Livy is the same as the one referred to by Cicero.
But there are two objections to this natural conclusion: in the first place, it is exceedingly unlikely, and quite contrary to Roman practice, that such important duties as were involved in the foundation of a colony should have been entrusted to a person so young as Q. Nobilior must have been at that time, since he did not obtain the consulship for thirtyone years afterwards; and in the second place, the Q. Fulvius M. f. who, says Livy (40.42
), was elected triumvir epulo in B. C. 180, while still a boy (praetexltatus
), can hardly mean any one else than the son of the great M. Fulvius whose name occurs so often in that part of the historian's writings.
A consideration of dates will make it almost certain that this Q. Fulvius M. f. must be the same as the consul of B. C. 153; for supposing him to have been sixteen when he was enrolled in the college of the epulones, he would have been forty-three when he was elected consul, the age at which a citizen could first obtain this honour. We therefore conclude that the Q. Nobilior who was triumvir in B. C. 184 must be a different person from the consul of 153.
The consuls of the year B. C. 153 entered upon their office on the kalends of January, whereas up to this time the ides of March had been the day on which they took possession of their dignity.
The formidable revolt of the Celtiberians is given as the reason of this alteration; but whatever may have been the cause, the kalends of January continued from this time forth to be the first day of the consular year. (Cassiodorus and Marianus, Chron.; Liv. Epit. 47
, refers to this change, but the words are not intelligible as they stand.
See the notes in Drakenborch's edition.)
Since the conquest of the Celtiberians, in B. C. 179, by Gracchus, the father of the celebrated tribunes, this warlike nation had given tne Romans no trouble, which, however, was more owing to the wise regulations of Gracchus, after his victories, than to the victories themselves.
But in consequence of the Romans suspecting the Celtiberian town of Segida or Segeda, they embarked in a war against the whole nation, which was not brought to a conclusion till B. C. 134, by the capture of Numantia by Scipio. Fulvius was sent into Spain in his consulship with an army of nearly 30,000 men, but was very unsuccessful. he was first defeated by the enemy under the command of a native of Segida, called Carus, with aloss of 6000 men, on the day of the Vulcanalia, or the 23d of August; and the misfortune was looked upon as so severe, that no Roman general would afterwards fight on that day unless compelled. Fulvius retrieved, however, to some extent, the disaster, by an attack of the Roman cavalry, who checked the conquerors in their pursuit, and slew Carus and a considerable number of his troops. Shortly afterwards the consul received from Masinissa a reinforcement of Numidian cavalry and some elephants; and the latter caused such terror in the enemy, that they fled before the Romans, and shut themselves up in the town of Numantia.
But under the walls of this place Fulvius experienced a new disaster: a restive elephant, whose example was imitated by his companions, threw the Roman army into confusion; and the Celtiberians, availing themselves of this circumstance, sallied from the town, slew 4000 Romans, and captured their elephants.
After meeting with one or two other repulses, Fulvius closed his inglorious campaign, and retired to winter-quarters, where many of the troops perished of hunger and cold.
He was succeeded in the command by Claudius Marcellus, the consul of the next year. (Appian, App. Hisp. 45
; Plb. 35.4
Fulvius was censor in B. C. 136. (Fasti Capit.) Cicero tells us that he inherited his father's love for literature, and that he presented the poet Ennius with the Roman franchise when he was a triumvir for founding a colony (Cic. Brut. 20