I. The Early Career of L. Cornelius Balbusa
L. Cornelius Balbus Maior was born about 100 b.c., of good family, at Gades (Cadiz) in southern Spain, originally a Phoenician city which since 206 b.c. had been bound to Rome by treaty (civitas foederata). In the Hannibalic War, at the close of Scipio Africanus’ victorious campaigns in Spain, Mago, the Carthaginian commander at Gades, was shut out from that city on his return from an unsuccessful attempt to surprise the Romans at Carthago Nova. Gades then surrendered,b probably to a Roman senior centurion, L. Marcius Septimus, who, after the defeats of P. and Cn. Scipio in 211 b.c., had been commanding in southern Spain. That was the end of Carthaginian domination in the peninsula. A treaty with Gades was then negotiated by L. Marciusc; it was informal, but was allowed validity. In 78 b.c. it was formally concluded or confirmed by a resolution of the Senate.d In 49 b.c., after the Pompeian defeat in Spain, Julius Caesar conferred Roman citizenship on the Gaditani,e and, later, Augustus gave the city the status of a municipium civium Romanorum.