|Do not fly Iberia
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Translated by Rev. Canon Roberts
Book XXVI Chapter 26: Laevinus conquers Anticyra. The Sicilians complain about Marcellus.[210 BC]
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|He set sail from Corcyra in the beginning of the spring, and doubling the promontory Leucate, arrived at Naupactus; when he gave notice that he should go thence to Anticyra, in order that Scopas and the Aetolians might be ready there to join him. Anticyra is situated in Locris, on the left hand as you enter the Corinthian Gulf. The distance between Naupactus and this place is short both by sea and land. In about three days after, the attack upon this place commenced on both elements. The attack from the sea produced the greatest effect, because there were on board the ships engines and machines of every description, and because the Romans besieged from that quarter. In a few days, therefore, the town surrendered, and was delivered over to the Aetolians, the booty, according to compact, was given up to the Romans. Laevinus then received a letter informing him, that he had been elected consul in his absence, and that Publius Sulpicius was coming as his successor. He arrived at Rome later than he was generally expected, being detained by a lingering illness. Marcus Marcellus, having entered upon the consulship on the ides of March, assembled the senate on that day merely for form's sake. He declared, that "in the absence of his colleague he would not enter into any question relative to the state or the provinces." He said, "he well knew there were crowds of Sicilians in the neighbourhood of the city at the country-houses of those who maligned him, whom he was so far from wishing to prevent from openly publishing, at Rome, the charges which had been circulated and got up against him by his enemies, that did they not pretend that they entertained some fear of speaking of a consul in the absence of his colleague, he would forthwith have given them a hearing of the senate. That when his colleague had arrived, he would not allow any business to be transacted before the Sicilians were brought before the senate. That Marcus Cornelius had in a manner held a levy throughout all Sicily, in order that as many as possible might come to Rome to prefer complaints against him, that the same person had filled the city with letters containing false representations that there was still war in Sicily, in order to detract from his merit." The consul, having acquired on that day the reputation of having a well-regulated mind, dismissed the senate, and it appeared that there would be almost a total suspension of every kind of business till the other consul returned to the city. The want of employment, as usual, produced expressions of discontent among the people. They complained of the length of the war, that the lands around the city were devastated wherever Hannibal had marched his hostile troops; that Italy was exhausted by levies, and that almost every year their armies were cut to pieces, that the consuls elected were both of them fond of war, men over-enterprising and impetuous, who would probably stir up war in a time of profound peace, and therefore were the less likely to allow the state to breathe in time of war.