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Translated by Rev. Canon Roberts
Book X Chapter 22: Elections in Rome.[295 BC]
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After this speech no one felt the slightest doubt that Quintus Fabius would be unanimously elected. The "prerogative" centuries and all those of the first class were voting for him and Volumnius, when he again addressed the electors very much in the terms he had employed two years before, and as on the former occasion when he yielded to the universal wish, so now he again requested that Publius Decius might be his colleague. He would be a support for his old age to lean upon, they had been together as censors, and twice as consuls, and he had learnt by experience that nothing went further to protect the State than harmony between colleagues. He felt that he could hardly at his time of life get accustomed to a new comrade in office, he could so much more easily share all his counsels with one whose character and disposition he knew. |
Volumnius confirmed what Fabius had said. He bestowed a well-deserved encomium on Decius, and pointed out what an advantage in military operations is gained by harmony between the consuls, and what mischief is wrought when they are at variance. He mentioned as an instance the recent misunderstanding between him and his colleague which almost led to a national disaster, and he solemnly admonished Decius and Fabius that they should live together with one mind and one heart. They were, he continued, born commanders, great in action, unskilled in wordy debate, possessing, in fact, all the qualifications of a consul. Those, on the other hand, who were clever and cunning in law, and practised pleaders, like Appius Claudius, ought to be employed in the City and on the bench; they should be elected praetors to administer justice.
The discussion in the Assembly lasted the whole day. On the morrow the elections were held for both consuls and praetors. The consul's recommendation was acted upon; Quintus Fabius and Publius Decius were elected consuls, and Appius Claudius was returned as praetor; they were all elected in their absence. The senate passed a resolution, which the Assembly confirmed by a plebiscite, that Volumnius' command should be extended for a year.