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Quote of the day: Caecina revelled more freely in plunder
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History of Rome (Ab Urbe Condita) by Livy
Translated by Rev. Canon Roberts
Book XXVII Chapter 7: Appointments; Sardinia attacked.[210 BC]
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At the close of the year Gaius Laelius arrived in Rome, thirty-four days after leaving Tarraco. His entrance into the City with his train of prisoners was watched by a great crowd of spectators. The next day he appeared before the senate and reported that Carthage, the capital city of Spain, had been captured in a single day, whilst several revolted cities had been recovered and new ones received into alliance. The information gained from the prisoners tallied with that conveyed in the despatches of Marcus Valerius Messalla. What produced the greatest impression on the senate was the threatened march of Hasdrubal into Italy, which could hardly hold its ground against Hannibal and his arms. When Laelius was brought before the Assembly he repeated the statements already made in the senate. A day of solemn thanksgiving for Publius Scipio's victories was decreed, and Gaius Laelius was ordered to return as soon as possible to Spain with the ships he had brought over. Following many authorities, I have referred the capture of New Carthage to this year, though I am quite aware that some writers place it in the following year. This, however, appears improbable, as Scipio could hardly have spent a whole year in Spain without doing anything. The new consuls entered office on 15th, March and on the same day the senate assigned them their province. They were both to command in Italy; Tarentum was to be the objective for Fabius; Fulvius was to operate in Lucania and Bruttium. Marcus Claudius Marcellus had his command extended for a year The praetors balloted for their provinces; Gaius Hostilius Tubulus obtained the City jurisdiction; Lucius Venturius Philo the alien jurisdiction together with Gaul; Capua fell to Titus Quinctius Crispinus, and Sardinia to Gaius Aurunculeius. The following was the distribution of the armies. The two legions which Marcus Valerius Laevinus had in Sicily were assigned to Fulvius, those which Gaius Calpurnius had commanded in Etruria were transferred to Quintus Fabius; Gaius Calpurnius was to remain in Etruria and the City force was to form his command; Titus Quinctius was to retain the army which Quintus Fulvius had had; Gaius Hostilius was to take over his province and army from the propraetor Gaius Laetorius who was at the time at Ariminum. The legions who had been serving with the consul were assigned to Marcus Marcellus. Marcus Valerius and Lucius Cincius had their term in Sicily extended, and the army of Cannae was placed under their command; they were required to bring it up to full strength out of any that remained of Gnaeus Fulvius' legions. These were hunted up and sent by the consuls into Sicily, where they were subjected to the same humiliating conditions as the defeated of Cannae and those belonging to Gnaeus Fulvius' army who had already been sent to Sicily as a punishment by the senate. The legions with which Publius Manlius Vulso had held Sardinia were placed under Gaius Aurunculeius and remained in the island. Publius Sulpicius retained his command for another year with instructions to employ the same legion and fleet against Macedonia which he had previously had. Orders were issued for thirty quinqueremes to be despatched from Sicily to the consul at Tarentum, the rest of the fleet was to sail to Africa and ravage the coast, under the command of Marcus Valerius Laevinus, or if he did not go himself he was to send either L or Marcus Valerius Messalla. There were no changes in Spain except that Scipio and Silanus had their commands extended, not for a year but until such time as they should be recalled by the senate. Such were the distribution of the provinces and the military commands for the year.