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Salina'tor, Li'vius

1. M. Livius Salinator, M. F. M. N., was consul B. C. 219. with L. Aemilius Paulus. Both consuls were sent against the Illyrians, who had risen in arms under Demetrius of the island of Pharos in the Adriatic. The consuls soon brought the war to an end, subdued the strongholds of Demetrius, and compelled the latter to fly for refuge to Philip, king of Macedonia. Polybius attributes these exploits to Paulus alone, but we learn from other writers that Livius carried on the war together with his colleague, though it is probable that he took only a subordinate part in the campaign. He triumphed, however, with Paulus on his return to Rome; but immediately afterwards both consuls were brought to trial on the charge of having unfairly divided the booty among the soldiers. Paulus escaped with difficulty, but Livius was condemned by all the thirty-five tribes, with the exception of the Maecian. The sentence seems to have been an unjust one, and Livius took his disgrace so much to heart that he left the city and retired to his estate in the country, where he lived some years without taking any part in public affairs. (Plb. 3.19; Zonar. 8.20; Appian, App. Ill. 8; Aurel. Viet. de Vir. Ill. 50; Liv. 22.35, xvxvii. 34, 29.37.) But the disasters which Rome experienced during the next few years would not allow her to dispense with the services of any of her citizens, and accordingly the consuls brought him back to the city in B. C. 210, after he had been absent nearly eight years. He had, however, neither forgotten nor forgiven his unjust sentence; he returned to the city in a manner which showed that his disgrace still rankled in his breast; his garments were mean, and his hair and beard long and uncombed; but the censors compelled him to lay aside his squedor, and resume his seat in the senate. Even then he would not speak, and He remained silent for two years, till the attacks made upon his kinsman, M. Livius Macatus, induced him, in B. C. 208, to open his lips in his defence. In the same year the exigencies of the republic led to his election to the consulship for the following year, B. C. 207, with C. Claudius Nero.

The apprehended invasion of Northern Italy by Hasdrubal, made it more necessary than ever to have generals of experience at the head of the Roman legions. One of the consuls was obliged to be a plebeian; and the deaths of Gracchus, Flaminus, and Marcellus, left Livius almost the only plebeian general to whom the republic dared to commit its fortunes. But at first Livius sternly refused to be chosen. His misanthropy increased rather than diminished. "If they considered him a good man, why had they condemned him as a bad man ? if they had condemned him justly, why did they deem him worthy of a second consulship ? " At length he yielded to the entreaties of the senate, and allowed himself to be elected consul. But a difficulty still remained. Livius was a personal enemy of Nero; and, as it was of the first importance that the two consuls should act with unanimity, the senate endeavoured to reconcile them. "To what purpose ? " said Livius: "we shall act with all the more vigour, if we are each afraid of giving one another an opportunity of obtaining renown by our disasters?" The authority of the senate, however, again prevailed, and Livius consented with difficulty to be reconciled to his colleague. Still he went forth to the war with bitter feelings against his countrymen. When Fabius urged him not to fight till he had become well acquainted within the forces of the enemy, the consul replied, that he should fight as soon as possible, in order that he might gain glory from the victory, or have the satisfaction of seeing the defeat of his countrymen. His conduct, however, was not as rash as his words. The lot decided that he should oppose Hasdrubal in Northern Italy, and that Nero should fight against Hannibal in the south. Hasdrubal made his appearance in Northern Italy sooner than was expected either by friends or foes. His great object was to effect a junction with Hannibal, but some horsemen, whom he had sent to his brother, to carry intelligence of his movements and to propose their meeting in Umbria, were intercepted by Nero. The latter instantly set out with a light detachment of 7000 men, and succeeded in joining Livius in his camp at Sena. The two consuls resolved upon an immediate battle; but Hasdrubal, perceiving the arrival of the other consul with his forces, declined the combat, and retreated towards Ariminum. The Romans pursued him, and compelled him to fight on the Metaurus. The Carthaginian army was completely defeated, and Hasdrubal himself the combat. Further details of this battle, which was decisive of the fate of Italy, are given in the life of Hasdrubal [HASDRUBAL, No. 6]. The consuls entered the city in triumph at the end of the summer, Livius in the triumphal car and Nero riding by his side, the greater distinction being granted to the former, as the battle had been fought in his province and he had had the auspices on the day of the engagement, though the general voice ascribed the honour of the victory to Nero (Liv. xxvii. 34, 35, 40, 46-49, 28.9; Plb. 11.1-3; Zonar. 9.9; Appian, Annib. 52, 53; Oros. 4.18; Eutrop. 3.18 V. Max. 4.2.2, 7.2.6, 7.4.4, 9.3.1). In the battle Livius vowed a temple to Juventas, which was dedicated sixteen years afterwards. (Cic. Brut. 18; Liv. 36.36.)

In the same year, B. C. 207, Livius was appointed dictator for the purpose of holding the consular comitia. Next year, B. C. 206, he was stationed in Etruria, as proconsul, with an army of two legions of volones, and his imperium was prolonged for two successive years. Towards the end of B. C. 205 he advanced from Etruria into Cisalpine Gaul, in order to support the praetor Sp. Lucretius, who had to oppose Mago, who had landed in Liguria. They succeeded in shutting Mago up in Liguria, where he remained for two or three years [MAGO, No. 7]. (Liv. 28.10, 46, 29.5, 13.) In B. C. 204 Livius was censor with his old enemy and former colleague in the consulship, C. Claudius Nero. The long-smothered reseintments of these proud and haughty men burst forth again in their censorship, and occasioned no small scandal in the state. Nero appears, however, to have been the aggressor. It so happened that both censors posessed a public horse (equus publicus); and accordingly, in the muster of the equites, which was one part of the censors' duties, when the herald cane to the Tribus Pollia to which Livius belonged, and hesitated to summon the censor, Nero called out "Summon M. Livius," and thereupon ordered his colleague to sell his horse, because he had been condemned by the people. Livius, in retaliation, deprived Nero likewise of his horse. At the close of the census, when the censors had to take the customary oaths and deposit the records of their office in the aerarium, each left the name of his colleague among the aerarians. and Livius, besides, left as aerarians the citizens of all the tribes, with the exception of the Maccian, because they had condemned him, and had after his condemnation elected him to the consulhip and censorship. The indignation of the people at the proceedings of the censors led Cn. Baebius, the tribune of the plebs, to bring an accusation against them both; but the prosecution was dropt through the influence of the senate, who thought it more advisable to uphold the principle of the irresponsibility of the censorship than to inflict upon the delinquents the punishment they deserved. Livius, in his censorship, imposed a tax upon salt, in consequence of which he received the surname of Salinator, which seems to have been given him in derision, but which became, notwithstanding. hereditary in his family. (Liv. 29.37; Aurel. Vict. de Vir. Ill. 50; V. Max. 2.9.6, 7.2.6.)

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hide References (17 total)
  • Cross-references from this page (17):
    • Appian, Illyrian Wars, 2.8
    • Polybius, Histories, 11.1
    • Polybius, Histories, 11.3
    • Polybius, Histories, 3.19
    • Livy, The History of Rome, Book 28, 46
    • Livy, The History of Rome, Book 22, 35
    • Livy, The History of Rome, Book 28, 10
    • Livy, The History of Rome, Book 29, 13
    • Livy, The History of Rome, Book 29, 37
    • Livy, The History of Rome, Book 29, 5
    • Livy, The History of Rome, Book 36, 36
    • Cicero, Brutus, 18
    • Valerius Maximus, Facta et Dicta Memorabilia, 2.9.6
    • Valerius Maximus, Facta et Dicta Memorabilia, 4.2.2
    • Valerius Maximus, Facta et Dicta Memorabilia, 7.2.6
    • Valerius Maximus, Facta et Dicta Memorabilia, 7.4.4
    • Valerius Maximus, Facta et Dicta Memorabilia, 9.3.1
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