Livy, History of Rome 26

LCL 367: 2-3

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1. Cn. Fulvius Centumalus P. Sulpicius Galba consules cum idibus Martiis magistratum inissent, senatu in Capitolium vocato de re publica, de administratione belli, de provinciis exercitibusque patres consuluerunt. 2Q. Fulvio Ap. Claudio prioris anni consulibus prorogatum imperium est atque exercitus quos habebant decreti; adiectumque ne a Capua quam obsidebant abscederent priusquam expugnassent. 3ea tum cura maxime intentos habebat Romanos non ab ira tantum, quae in nullam unquam civitatem iustior fuit, 4quam quod urbs tam nobilis ac potens, sicut defectione sua traxerat aliquot populos, ita recepta inclinatura rursus animos videbatur ad veteris imperii respectum. 5et praetoribus prioris anni M. Iunio in Etruria, P. Sempronio in Gallia cum binis legionibus quas habuerant prorogatum est imperium.




1. When the consuls Gnaeus Fulvius Centumalus and Publius Sulpicius Galba began their terms of office on the Ides of March, they convened the senate on the Capitol1 and sought members’ opinions on matters of state, the management of the war, and the question of provinces and armies. Quintus Fulvius and Appius Claudius, the previous year’s consuls,2 had their imperium3 prorogued and were assigned the armies that they were already commanding, and they were further instructed not to raise their blockade of Capua until they had captured the city.4 That was the matter on which the Romans were then most focused, not so much from the anger they felt—though this was more justified than with any state in the past—as because it seemed likely that, since a city so famous and powerful had drawn several different peoples into defection with it, so recovering it would reestablish respect for the former regime. The previous year’s praetors, Marcus Junius and Publius Sempronius,5 also had their imperium prorogued, Junius in Etruria and Sempronius in Gaul, each retaining the two legions that they had been commanding.

  • 1The first meeting of the senate at this time took place on the Ides of March (15th) in the temple of Capitoline Jupiter. This changed in 153, when the Kalends of January (1st) became the start of the consular and civil year.
  • 2Q. Fulvius Flaccus, also consul in 237, 224, and 212; Ap. Claudius Pulcher had been praetor in Sicily in 215.
  • 3The power to command in peace and in war; its holders could impose the death penalty within the army and had supreme authority over the Roman civilian population.
  • 4It had been under siege since autumn 212 (25.22.7–16).
  • 5M. Junius Silanus; P. Sempronius Tuditanus, praetor in Gaul in 213, with imperium prorogued to 212.
DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.livy-history_rome_26.2020