Roman Republic
 

Dictatorship of Q. Fabius Maximus Verrucosus 

Reaction in Rome to the Defeat at Trasimene (June)

According to Polybius, when the news of the disaster at Trasimene arrived in Rome (probably in early July):

  1. ... the [leading magistrates] were unable to conceal or soften the facts, owing to the magnitude of the calamity, and were obliged to summon a meeting of the people and announce it.  The praetor [therefore] announced from the Rostra that:

  2. ‘We have been defeated in a great battle,"

  3. This produced such consternation that, to those who were present on both occasions, the disaster now seemed much greater now than it had seemed during the actual battle.  ... [However] the Senate ... remained self-possessed, concentrating on the future  the future, considering what should be done ... and how best to do it”, (‘Histories’, 3: 85: 7-10).

Livy, likewise recorded that the arrival of the news of the disaster at Trasimene :

  1. “... brought the citizens into the Forum in a frightened and tumultuous throng ... The crowd, like some vast public assembly, turned to the Comitium and the Senate House and called for the magistrates [until], at last, Marcus Pomponius, the praetor, announced that:

  2. ‘A great battle has been fought, and we were beaten.’

  3. Although they learned nothing more definite from him, they soon they picked up a rumour  ... that [Flaminius] and a great part of his soldiers had been [killed. .... While panic in the city mounted], the praetors kept the Senate in session in the Curia for some days, ... debating which commander ... could oppose the victorious Carthaginians”, (‘History of Rome’, 22: 7: 14).

Corey Brennan (referenced below, at p. 660) suggested that M. Aemilius Regillus, the urban praetor, chaired the senate, assisted by M. Pomponius, praetor inter peregrinos.  It is likely that, at this stage, the Senate was trying to decide whether:

  1. a suffect consul should be appointed to take command of what remained of Flaminius’ army and to reinforce it with new recruits; or

  2. a dictator should be given overall command against Hannibal .

However, when the news of Centenius’ defeat reached Rome, hot on the heels of the news from Trasimene:

  1. “... the civitas (citizens) had recourse to a remedy that had been neither employed nor needed for a long time: the creation of a dictator”, (‘History of Rome’, 22: 8: 5-6).  

Fabius’ Appointment as Dictator (June)

When, shortly afterwards, the Romans learned of Centenius’ defeat, they had to confront the fact that that there was no viable Roman force in place to stop Hannibal from marching on Rome.  According to Polybius, at this point, they:

  1. “... appointed as dictator Quintus Fabius ... [and], at the same time, they appointed Marcus Minucius as master of horse”, (‘Histories’, 3: 87: 6-9).

Livy described the process by which Fabius and Minucius were appointed in more detail:

  1. “... because:

  2. the [surviving consul, Servilius], who alone possessed the power to nominate [a dictator], was [still] absent; and

  3. Italy was beset [by Carthaginian] arms, so that it was no easy matter to get a courier or a letter through to him;

  4. the people did something that they had never been done before: they appointed Q. Fabius Maximus dictator and M. Minucius Rufus as master of horse”, (‘History of Rome’, 22: 8: 5-6).

The

The relevant entry in the Augustan fasti Capitolini can be translated as:

  1. Dictator: Q. Fabius Q.f. Q.n. Maximus Verrucosus; master of horse: M. Minucius C.f. C.n. Rufus - because of an interregnum (interregni caussa).

Mark Wilson (referenced below, 2017, at p. 26) summarised the procedure that is implied by these three sources, taken together, as follows:

  1. “With no consul available [to defend Rome], Q. Fabius was appointed [as dictator] by a meeting of the comitia tributa (assembly of the people), the lex [that permitted this appointment] perhaps being rogated [i.e., put to the assembly] by a presiding interrex, [who would have been appointed by the Senate].”

However, it is important to bear in mind that:

  1. none of our surviving narrative sources records the involvement of  an interrex in Fabius’ appointment; and

  2. the Augustan fasti Capitolini are by no means authoritative particularly in relation to dictatorships (as evidenced, for example, by the fact that they contain the four fictitious  ‘dictator years’).

Furthermore, as Mark Wilson (referenced below, 2021, at p. 290) pointed out, the procedure under which Fabius was elected  on the basis of a law put before the people by an interrex provided the precedent for Sulla’s election as dictator 140 years later.  We cannot rule out the possibility that the intervention of an interrex in Fabius’ ‘election’ in 217 BC was ‘discovered’ only at the time of Sulla’s ‘election’.

Plutarch gave a slightly different account of the procedure by which Fabius was made dictator in 217 BC:

  1. “... as soon as Pomponius, the praetor, heard of [the defeat at Trasimene], he called an assembly of the people, [which he bluntly addressed as follows]:

  2. ‘Men of Rome, we have been beaten in a great battle; our army has been cut to pieces; our consul, Flaminius, is dead.  [In these circumstances you must now provide] for your own salvation and safety.’

  3. This speech ... threw the city into commotion ... However, ... [it was agreed] that the situation demanded a sole and absolute authority, which [the Romans] call a dictatorship, and ... that Fabius Maximus, and he alone, was [qualified for the task] ... This course was adopted, and Fabius was appointed dictator: he himself appointed Marcus Minucius to be his master of horse”, (‘Life of Fabius Maximus’, 3:4 - 4:1).

The most obvious difference between this account and that of Polybius and Livy is that Plutarch (probably incorrectly) conflated:

  1. the occasion on which Pomponius announced the defeat at Trasimene (above) to the people; and

  2. the slightly later occasion (after the defeat of Centenius’ army) at which it was decided to appoint a dictator.

Perhaps more importantly, Plutarch explicitly disagreed with Polybius and Livy when he recorded that, after Fabius had been appointed as dictator:

  1. “He himself appointed Marcus Minucius to be his master of horse”, (‘Life of Fabius Maximus’, 4: 1).

This would have been entirely conventional: indeed, as Mark Wilson (referenced below, 2017, at p. 159) observed, the election of a master of horse by the comitia tributa would have been:

  1. “... as great a deviation [from the established norms] as the election of a dictator, if not a greater.”

Nevertheless, Plutarch’s next remark suggests that, even if Fabius had formally appointed his own master of horse, he had felt the need to underline his right of overall command in the field, since he:

  1. “... at once asked permission of the Senate to use a horse himself when in the field, [although] this ... was forbidden by an ancient law”, (‘Life of Fabius Maximus’, 4: 1). 

Mark Wilson (referenced below, 2017, at p. 159) argued that:

  1. “If the choice [of Minucius had been] imposed on Q. Fabius by the masses [as recorded by Polybius and Livy, then this] might at least explain why [Fabius ended up with a master of horse who was] so out of sympathy with his own strategies and tactics [see below].”


None of the sources considered so far (including Livy, at ‘History of Rome’, 22: 8: 6) expressed any doubts that Fabius had been elected dictator by the comitia tributa.  However, at the end of his account of the events of 217 BC, Livy dissociated himself from this received wisdom:

  1. “Nearly all the annalists state that Fabius was [serving as] dictator in his campaign against Hannibal [in 217 BC]; Coelius even writes that he was the first man to be created dictator by the people.  But, Coelius and the rest forget that only the consul, Servilius, who was then far away [from Rome], had the right of naming a dictator.  It was because the Romans, appalled by their great disaster, could not countenance a long a delay that they had resort to the popular election of a pro dictatore (acting dictator).  Thereafter, Fabius’ successes, his great renown and augentes titulum imaginis posteros (posterity expanding the inscription on his image) led easily to the belief that one who had, in fact, been made only acting dictator had been dictator”, (‘History of Rome’, 22: 31: 8-11).

‘Coelius’, whom Livy identified as the most important of his sources for his earlier passage, was almost certainly L. Coelius Antipater, the author of a history of the Hannibalic War (late 2nd century BC): see, for example, John Briscoe (in T. J. Cornell (editor), referenced below: vol. I, at pp. 256-7; and vol. III, at p. 248).  However, on reflection, he had concluded that it was easier to believe that Fabius had  been appointed as an unprecedented pro dictatore than that he had been appointed as dictator by an unprecedented vote of the people.  John Briscoe argued (at vol. III, p. 249) that Livy was almost certainly incorrect here, and that, on this occasion:

  1. “The Romans ... [had] demonstrated their customary flexibility in a crisis.  All [of our other surviving] sources ... concur that Fabius was dictator [in 217 BC] and either explicitly state or are consistent with the view that Fabius was elected by the comitia.”

Robert Broughton (referenced below, at p. 245, note 2) similarly dismissed Livy’s suggestion that Fabius was elected pro dictatore in 217 BC as “unacceptable”.

To sum up, the consensus of our surviving sources suggests that Fabius and Minucius were appointed as dictator and master of horse respectively in 217 BC under an unprecedented procedure in which:

  1. the Senate elected an interrex;

  2. this interrex convened the comitia tributa and put before it a law in which:

  3. both men were named; and

  4. their designated task was defined as the defence of Rome during the current emergency; and

  5. the comitia tributa duly approved the law that had been put before them.

As we have seen, we can trace the record of Fabius’ unprecedented appointment as dictator by ‘the people’ back to Coelius (late 2nd century BC).  However, the role of an interrex in his appointment is deduced from a single source, the Augustan fasti Capitolini, which describe Fabius (but no other dictator, as far as we know) as dictator interregni caussa.  The bottom line is that, as Gregory Golden (referenced below, at p. 29) pointed out:

  1. “... it really is unimportant whether Fabius was, in legal terms, dictator or only pro dictore.  The strange designation ‘interregni caussa)’ in the [fasti Capitolini - see above] is also immaterial.  [We might reasonably add that the precise procedure by which Minucius became Fabius’ master of horse is of little fundamental significance]. ... [The key fact is that, from the time of his appointment, Fabius ] carried out the duties normal for a dictator named to face an external threat.”

In other words, Fabius acted as a ‘normal’ dictator rei gerundae caussa throughout his dictatorship and, as we shall see, he resigned when he had completed the task for which he had been appointed.  (I address the question of whether this was Fabius’ first or second dictatorship in the postscript at the bottom of this page).

Fabius’ First Acts as Dictator (July)

Livy recorded that Fabius:

  1. “... convened the Senate on the day he entered upon his office.  Taking up first the question of religion, he convinced the Fathers that the consul Flaminius had erred more through his neglect of the ceremonies and the auspices than through his recklessness and ignorance. ... He prevailed on them to do what is rarely done except when dreadful prodigies have been announced, and order the decemvirs to consult the Sibylline books.   When the decemvirs had [done so], they reported to the Fathers that:

  2. the offering that had been made to Mars on account of this war had not been duly performed and must be performed afresh and on a grander scale;

  3. great games must be vowed to Jupiter;

  4. temples must be vowed to Venus Erycina and to Mens;

  5. a supplication and lectisternium must be celebrated in honour of the gods.

  6. a vow should be made to hold Sacred Spring if the war went well and the State remained as it had been before the outbreak of hostilities. 

  7. The Senate, seeing that Fabius would be occupied with the conduct of the war, commanded Marcus Aemilius, the praetor, as the college of pontifices had recommended, to see that all these measures were promptly put into effect”, (‘History of Rome’, 22: 9: 7-11).

All of these measures were put in hand and, before Fabius left Rome:

  1. “The [two] temples were ... vowed:

  2. that to Venus Erycina by Q. Fabius Maximus the dictator, because the Books of Fate had given out that he whose authority in the state was paramount should make the vow; and

  3. that to Mens by the praetor, T. Otacilius Crassus”, (‘History of Rome’, 22: 10: 10).

Livy then recorded that, having attended to his religious duties, Fabius:

  1. “... called on the Senate to decide the number and nature of the legions [that were needed to deal with the emergency].  It was decreed that he should take over Servilius’ army  ... and enrol ... as many horsemen and foot-soldiers as he thought fit. ... Fabius announced that he would add two legions to the army, .... [which would be] enlisted by his master of the horse and ... assembled at Tibur on a given day.   He also ordered that the inhabitants of unfortified towns and hamlets should move to places of safety; and that all those living in districts through which Hannibal was likely to march should abandon their farms after burning their buildings and destroying their crops, so that there might be no supplies for him of any kind”,  (History of Rome’, 22: 11: 1-4).

Fabius then went out to meet Servilius in order to assume command of his army: he left Rome:

  1. “... by the Via Flaminia ... and when, close to the Tiber near Ocriculum (Otricoli), he first ... saw [Servilius] riding towards him at the head of his cavalry ... [He summoned Servilius] to appear before him without lictors.  [Servilius] obeyed ...”,  (History of Rome’, 22: 11: 5-6).

This did not mean that Servilius was deprived of his imperium.  Thus, when:

  1. “... a dispatch arrived from the City, announcing that[the Roman] ships that had been taking supplies from Ostia to the army in Spain fleet had been captured off the port of Cosa. ... Fabius ordered Servilius to leave at once for Ostia and, manning [any ships that he could find] at Rome or Ostia, pursue the enemy's fleet and protect the coasts of Italy”,  (History of Rome’, 22: 11: 6-8).

Fabius and Minucius in Campania (ca. July - October)

Fabius caught up with Hannibal at Arpi in Apulia, which he had reached by marching along the coastal plain.  However, as Livy noted: 

  1. “He refused to stake all on a general engagement.  However, by means of little skirmishes undertaken from a safe position and with a place of refuge close at hand, he at length accustomed his [demoralised] soldiers .. to be less diffident of their own courage and good fortune.  Unfortunately, [Minucius was as frustrated as] Hannibal was ... by these prudent measures: [indeed], he was only prevented from plunging the Roman cause into ruin by [the fact that he enjoyed only] subordinate authority”, (‘History of Rome’, 22: 12: 10-11).

Hannibal then increased the pressure on Fabius by marching across Samnium and into Campania, where he established his camp on the Volturnus and pillaged the Roman ager Falernus, which was an important source of corn.  Fabius refused to prevent these depredations, content to establish a base on Monte Massico, from which he could potentially defend the routes to Rome along either Via Appia or Via Latina.  Livy claimed that Minucius stridently and publicly opposed Fabius’ cautious strategy, and attributed to him a speech in which he asked the assembled soldiers:

  1. “Have we come here as spectators, to enjoy the sight of our allies being butchered and their property burned?  Even if we feel no shame in front of anyone else, do we not feel it before these fellow citizens of ours, men whom our fathers sent to Sinuessa as colonists to make this area secure from the Samnite foe?  Now, it is not s Samnite who is burning this land, but a Carthaginian foreigner, who has made his way here from the very ends of the earth thanks to our cunctatione et socordia (delays and inertia).  Ah, is this how far we fall short of our forefathers?”, (‘History of Rome’, 22: 14: 3-5).

In this passage, Livy’s Minucius levels the charge of cunctatio against all those who had been responsible for handling of the war, although his  target was clear: he was drawing on a now-lost passage by Ennius, which was preserved by Cicero:

  1. “How much better was the behaviour of Quintus Maximus, of whom Ennius says:

  2. ‘One man, and he alone, restored our state by cunctando (delaying).  Not in the least did fame, for him, take precedence over safety.  Therefore, his glory now shines bright and grows ever brighter’”, (‘On Duties’,1: 24, translated by Walter Miller, referenced below, at p. 87).

Of course, in the mouth of Minucius, Fabius’ cunctatio (delay) was meant to earn him a badge of shame, and Livy suggested that this brought the army close to mutiny:

  1. “The soldiers showed unmistakably that, if they had had the right to elect their own leader, they would have preferred Minucius to Fabius”, (‘History of Rome’, 22: 14: 15).

If Hannibal had expected to secure allies in Campania at this time, he was temporarily disappointed.  Furthermore, Fabius almost managed to block his escape route as winter approached.  Interestingly, Livy gave equal credit to Minucius in this endeavour:

  1. “It happened that Minucius had joined Fabius on that day: he had been sent to secure the pass  ... [at Lautulae], above Tarracina, in order to prevent the Carthaginians from taking the Appian Way from Sinuessa into Roman territory.  Combining their forces, [Fabius and Minucius] camped on the road where Hannibal was going to march.   The enemy [camp] was two miles away.  Next day the Carthaginians were on the march, filling the road which lay between the two camps.   The Romans had formed up just under their rampart and clearly occupied the most advantageous position. ... The Carthaginians attacked at one point after another, dashing up and then retreating, but the Roman line stood firm.  The battle was long drawn out but Fabius had the better of the fighting: he last 200 men while Hannibal lost 800.  Hannibal now seemed to be hemmed in, since the road to Casilinum was blocked.  The Romans had Capua and Samnium at their backs and all their wealthy allies to furnish them with provisions; but the Carthaginians faced the prospect of passing the winter and amid tangled forests between the cliffs of Formiae and the sands and marshes of Liternum”, (‘History of Rome’, 22: 15:11 - 16:4).

However, Hannibal managed to escape through the pass beside Mount Callicula  and return to Apulia, where he seized the town of Gerunium.  Livy then recorded that Fabius:

  1. “... established his camp in the country about Larinum [some 20 miles south of Geronium] and, being summoned thence to Rome on religious business, [ordered Minucius] to put more trust in prudence than in fortune... [and thus to continues with his strategy of surveillance, containment and non-engagement].  When he had thus fore-warned Minucius (albeit in vain), Fabius set out for Rome”, (History of Rome’, 22: 18: 8-10).

With both armies now in their winter camps, the campaigning season was almost over, and Fabius probably returned to Rome in order to oversee the appointment of a suffect consul to replace the dead Flaminius (see below).

Fabius’ Return to Rome and Mincius’ ‘Co-Dictatorship’ (Autumn)

It seems that Minucius’ allies had been active in Rome in the aftermath of Hannibal’s escape from Campania, to the extent that, when Fabius arrived in the City, he found them in the ascendant.  Matters came to a head when news arrived that Minucius had engaged with Hannibal’s army outside Gerunium:

  1. “6,000 of the enemy had been slain and fully 5,000 Romans.  Nevertheless, though the losses had been so nearly equal, [the] foolish tale that was carried to Rome [was] of an extraordinary victory, with a letter from the [Minucius himself] that was more foolish still”, (‘History of Rome’, 22: 24: 14).

The response was electric:

  1. “Then M. Metilius, a tribune of the plebs, cried out that this was past all bearing: not only had [Fabius] prevented a successful engagement being fought while he was present, but now he even objected that the victory was won, and persisted in drawing out the war and wasting time, in order that he might stay longer in ... sole possession of authority:

  2. one of the consuls, [Flaminius] had fallen in battle and the other, [Servilius], had been sent away from Italy on the pretext of pursuing the Punic fleet;

  3. the two praetors were employed: in Sicily [T. Otacilius Crassus]; and in Sardinia [A. Cornelis Mamulla], neither of which required a praetor at this time; and

  4. [Minucius] had been kept almost a prisoner so that he might not ... carry out any military operation ...

  5. Thus, it had actually come to pass that, not only Samnium, ... but also Campania and the districts of both Cales and Falerii had been utterly laid waste, while [Fabius] had remained aloof at Casilinum and used the legions of the Roman People to protect his own estate.  The army ... and the [Minucius] had been virtually ... confined within the rampart [at Casilinum] ... At last, when [Fabius] had left, they had come out from behind their works ... routed their enemies and put them to flight”, (‘History of Rome’, 22: 25: 3-9).

Having expressed what was probably the prevailing opinion among the Romans at that moment, Metilius came to the point: 

  1. “For all these reasons, [he claimed that] he would  have proposed the abrogation of Fabius's command if [he had thought that] the Roman plebs [would have agreed]; as it was, he would propose only a moderate measure de aequando magistri equitum et dictatoris iure (that the master of horse should have the same legal status as the dictator)”, (‘History of Rome’, 22: 25: 10).

Fabius speech against this proposal seems to have cut no ice.   He therefore:

  1. “... presided over the election of M. Atilius Regulus [as suffect consul] and then he left by night for the army, so that he avoided taking a personal part in the [debate on [Metilius’] resolution.  When, at break of day, the people assembled for the consilium plebis, ... one man alone was found to urge the passage of the bill.  This was C. Terentius Varro, a praetor of the year before ... ”, (‘History of Rome’, 22: 25: 17-9).   

Livy remarked that:

  1. “Everyone, whether in Rome or with the army, whether friend or foe, looked on the passing of this bill as an insult to [Fabius] ... While still on the way [back to Larinum], he received a dispatch from the Senate de aequato imperio (about the equal division of imperium).  Since he was fairly confident that, though the authority of the commanders had been equalised, their abilities had not, he returned to the army with [his] spirit [unbroken] ...”, (‘History of Rome’, 22: 26: 5-7).

According to Livy, it was Fabius who decided how Metilius’ law would actually be put into effect:

  1. “Although he had been forced to share his  imperium with [Minucius], it had not been taken from him ... He would not agree to [Minucius’ suggestion that each of them would command the shared army on alternate days].  Rather, he would divide the army and, [by continuing] with his own strategy [as commander of his own army], he would save what he could, since he was not permitted to save everything.  He thus achieved the division of the legions between them, as was the normal practice for consuls. ...[Minucius] chose that [the camps of the two armies] should be separated”, (‘History of Rome’, 22: 27: 8-10).

Perhaps inevitably, Minucius marched his army towards an almost certain defeat, until Fabius and his men marched to their rescue.  According to Livy, after this close shave, the contrite Minucius:

  1. “... marched in column to [Fabius’] camp, to the astonishment of Fabius himself and everyone else there.  When they had planted their ensigns before the tribunal, [Minucius] advanced ... and called upon Fabius by the name of ‘Father’, and his entire army saluted Fabius’ soldiers as their patrons. ... Minucius acknowledged that:

  2. ‘[To you, dictator], I owe both my own salvation and that of my men.  And so, I am the first to reject and repeal that decree of the people, [which is] onerous to me rather than an honour,.  I put myself, once more, under your imperium and auspices, and restore to you these standards and legions ... Please forgive us, order me to hold the position of master of horse, and allow these men to retain their various ranks’”, (‘History of Rome’, 22: 30: 1-5).

While the scene above is probably taken from Livy’s imagination, it is entirely possible that Fabius was once more in overall command of all the Roman forces by the time that he and Hannibal retired to their respective winter quarters. 

It is often pointed out that Livy never referred to Minucius as a dictator, despite the fact, in his account, the law that Metilius had drafted and Varro had put before a public assembly had given Minucius the same iure and imperium as Fabius.  Plutarch also avoided referring to Minucius as a dictator:

  1. “[The people] voted that Minucius should:

  2. have an equal share in the command [against Hannibal]; and

  3. conduct the war with the same powers as [Fabius];

  4. a thing which had not happened before in Rome”, (‘Life of Fabius Maximus’, 9: 3).

Furthermore, the elogium of Fabius that was written under his statue in the Augustan Forum (see below) referred to Minucius as Fabius’:

  1. “... master of the horse, whose imperium the people had made equal with the imperium of the dictator ... ”, (CIL XI 1828, translated by Brad Johnson, referenced below, at p. 101).

However, Polybius was flatly contradicted this later evidence:

  1. “[The Romans] took an entirely unprecedented step, investing [Minucius], like [Fabius], with absolute power, in the belief that he would very soon put an end to the war.  So, two dictators were actually appointed for the same field of action, a thing which had never before happened at Rome”, (‘Histories’, 3: 103: 3-4). 

(I return to the question of Minucius’ precise status after the enactment of this law in the postscript at the bottom of this page). 

Servilius’ Naval Command (ca. July - October) 

As we saw above, when Fabius had taken over command of Servilius’ army, he had mandated Servilius to consolidate the Roman’s naval resources at Ostia and to protect the coasts of Italy.  Thereafter, according to Livy, while Fabius had been occupied with his given task of containing Hannibal’s army, Servilius had left Ostia and:   

  1. “... sailed round Sardinia and Corsica with a fleet of 120 ships.  After taking hostages from both [in order to deter them from helping the Carthaginians, he] sailed for ... the coast of Africa and disembarked his troops.  [Some of his men], who went off to pillage the countryside, ...  quickly fell into an ambush ... and were driven back to their ships in a bloody and disgraceful rout.  Fully 1,000 men were lost, including the quaestor, Ti. Sempronius Blaesus.  Moorings were cast off and the fleet ... [hurriedly departed] for Sicily.  At Lilybaeum, it was handed over to the praetor, T. Otacilius, to be  ... [returned] to Rome.  Servilius himself proceeded overland through Sicily to the straits, where he crossed into Italy, in obedience to a dispatch from Fabius ”, (‘History of Rome’, 22: 31: 1-7).

Fabius Resignation and the Election of New Consuls

According to Livy, towards the end of the year:

  1. “...Fabius had sent for both Servilius and [the suffect consul], M. Atilius [see above] ... to take over his armies [i.e., his own army and that of Minucius], since his semestri imperio (six-month command) was drawing to a close”, (‘History of Rome’, 22: 31: 7). 

Since the disaster at Trasimene had occurred in late June (see above), Fabius’ semestri imperio (six-month command) would have ended in late December.  This is often taken to mean that Fabius had been appointed as dictator in June for a fixed period of six months.  However, as Mark Wilson (referenced below, 2021, at p. 254) pointed out, such an inflexible term for his imperium would have been:

  1. “... unthinkable for [a dictator who had been] put at the head of Rome’s capacity for defence in a year-long war that ... was going badly, ... and had recently resulted in unprecedented disasters.”

Wilson acknowledged that Appian had specifically recorded that:

  1. “The six months that limited the terms of dictators among the Romans now expired, and the consuls Servilius and Atilius resumed their offices and came to the camp [at Larinum], while Fabius returned to Rome”, (‘Roman History’, 7: 16);

However, he rejected Appian’s interpretation of the situation, and argued (at p. 255) that what Livy had meant is that:

  1. “... Fabius:

  2. assessing the campaigning season to be over ... ; and

  3. deciding that the task [of monitoring Hannibal in his winter camp] did not require a dictator, and was better performed by consuls;

  4. saw saw his job as done.  [He therefore] provided for his armies and stood down.”

On this basis, the course of events would have been as follows:

  1. At the end of the campaigning season (December 217 BC), Fabius decided that he had accomplished the task for which he had been appointed and duly handed over command to the consuls Servilius and Atilius (‘History of Rome’, 22: 31: 7).  This was the end of Livy’s narrative acount of fabius’ dictatorship: he presumably asumed that, at this point, Fabius and Minucius returned to Rome.

  2. For the remaining part of the consular year (i.e., until the Ides of March, 216 BC), the consuls Servilius and Atilius carried on the war on the lines laid down by Fabius (‘History of Rome’, 22: 32: 1).

  3. Neither Servilius nor Atilius felt able to return to Rome to preside over the election of their successors in March 216 BC, so they appointed a dictator, L. Veturius Philo, to act on their behalf.  However, he had to resign on a technicality (‘History of Rome’, 22: 33: 11-2).

  4. Servilius and Atilius were prorogued as proconsuls, although it is not clear on whose authority.  An interregum was established (‘History of Rome’, 22: 34: 1) for the purpose of holding the consular elections.

  5. After a tumultuous process presided over by the second interrex, L. Aemilius Paullus and C. Terentius Varro were elected. (‘History of Rome’, 22: 35: 4).

However, as Mark Wilson (referenced below, 2021, at p. 256) pointed out, Polybius flatly contradicted this version of events.  In his account, when Fabius had saved his fellow-dictator, Minucius, from defeat:

  1. “The Romans ... had received a practical lesson: [Fabius and Minucius] again fortified a single camp, joined their forces in it and in future, [Minucius ?] paid due attention to Fabius and his orders.  The Carthaginians ... [duly] made their preparations [to winter at Geronium] undisturbed”, (‘Histories’, 3: 105: 11).

However. it is clear that Polybius still regarded Fabius and Minucius as co-dictators in March 216 BC, when:

  1. “The time for the consular elections was  ... approaching, and the Romans elected L, Aemilius Paulus and C.  Terentius Varro.  On their appointment, the dictators laid down their office.  The consuls of the previous year, Cn. Servilius and M. Regulus (who had been appointed after the death of Flaminius) were invested with proconsular authority by Aemilius and, taking command in the field, directed the operations of their forces as they thought fit”, (‘Histories’, 3: 106: 1-2).

On this scenario, Servilius and Regulus either stayed with the army at Larinium over the winter or travelled there in March in order to take over command from the joint dictators, Fabius and Munucius, as proconsuls, at which point Fabius and Minucius presumably returned to Rome.

The scenarios presented by Polybius and by Livy are fundamentally irreconcilable, not least because Polybius believed that Fabius and Minucius held imperium of some sort from June 217 to March 216 BC.  If one accepts the view expressed by Appian (and perhaps adumbrated by Livy) that dictators could not serve for more that six moths, the Polybius must have been mistaken.  However, as Mark Wilson (referenced below, 2021, at p. 250) pointed out, our surviving historical narratives never record that, during a crisis that lasted for more than six months, a dictator either had his imperium extended or was replaced.  Furthermore, in every case for which we have a clear narrative history, dictators were appointed for specific tasks, and in most cases, they retired voluntarily when they judged that task to have been completed.  In other words, if Wilson’s analysis is accepted, then the only difference between the accounts of Livy and Polybius is that:

  1. according to Livy, Fabius judged that his task had been completed by December, six months after his appointment, when the opposing armies had retired to their respective winter quarters; while

  2. according to Polybius, Fabius judged that his task was completed when new consuls were elected in March 216 BC.

On balance, it seems to me that, once Hannibal had retired to his winter quarters at Gerunium, there would have been very little for Servilius and Attilius to do.  Livy was therefore probably correct when he recorded that Fabius summoned both of them to Larinium at this point in order to hand over the armies there:

  1. there is no reason to doubt that the praetor, T. Otacilius assumed Servilius’ naval command at this point since we find himin command of an augmented fleet of 75 ships on Sicily as propraetor in 216 BC (Livy, ‘Roman History’, 22: 37: 13); and

  2. Attilius’ continued presence in Rome would have been unnecessary once the danger that Hannibal would march on the City had disappeared.

Postscript: Dictatorships of Fabius and Minucius

At his point, we might usefully pick up a number of inconsistencies in the surviving sources relating to the dictatorships of Fabius and Minucius that have not been full discussed so far.  The starting point is the elogium of Fabius that was written under his statue in the Augustan Forum, which probably belongs to the period 19 - 2 BC.  Only a small fragment of the original survives, but it can be completed from the copy of it that survives among the so-called elogia Arretina:

  1. “[Quintus Fabius] Maximus, son of Quintus, twice dictator, consul five times, censor, twice interrex, curule aedile, twice quaestor, twice military tribune, pontifex, and augur.  In his first consulship, he subdued the Ligurians and he celebrated a triumph over them.  In his third and fourth consulships, he held in check warlike Hannibal from several victories by following him around.  The dictator came to the aid of Minucius, the master of the horse, whose imperium the people had made equal with the imperium of the dictator, and he came to the aid of the army after they had been conquered, and for that reason he was addressed by the name father by the Minucian army.  As consul a fifth time, he captured Tarentum, he celebrated a triumph.  He was considered the most cautious commander of his own generation and the most experienced in military affairs.  He was appointed as the first man in the Senate for two periods of five year”, (CIL XI 1828, translated by Brad Johnson, referenced below, at p. 101).  

Sources for Dictatorships of Fabius

Although the elogium had Fabius as dictator on two occasions, it only elaborated on his achievements as dictator in 217 BC, which suggests that, if his other dictatorship was genuine, it was either vitiated or relatively unimportant.  We might now compare this with parallel information derived from our other surviving sources:

  1. The broadly contemporary fasti Capitolini record the dictatorship of 217 BC as Fabius’ first and only dictatorship: no record of Fabius as dictator II appears in these fasti, which survive in their entirety for the period between 217  and 203 BC, the year of Fabius’ death.

  2. Two mutually-exclusive records by Livy introduce further complications:

  3. he described Fabius’ dictatorship of 217 BC as his second (‘History of Rome’, 22: 9: 7); but

  4. he subsequently claimed that Fabius was only an acting dictator in 217 BC (‘History of Rome’, 22: 31: 8-11).

  5. If we discount Livy’s self-correction (for the reasons set out above), there remains the fact that he never recorded an earlier dictatorship of Fabius in his narrative: this suggests that, if genuine, it ha beed recorded in  Livy’s now-lost Book 20, which covered the period ca. 240-220 BC. 

  6. Finally, Valerius Maximus (in a passage on Roman religious practices) recorded that:

  7. “... the singing of a sorex (shrew) furnished cause for the setting aside of the dictatorship of Q. Fabius Maximus and [his master of] horse, C. Flaminius”, (‘Memorable Deeds and Sayings’, 1: 5), translated by Mark Wilson, 2017, at p. 436).

  8. There has to be a question mark over this record, since (as we shall see) Plutarch told essentially the same story but identified the vitiated dictator as Minucius.  However, if Valerius Maximus’ identification of this dictator as Fabius is accepted, then this dictatorship must have pre-dated Fabius’ dictatorship of 217 BC (which was had arisen because Flaminius had just been killed).  Since this putative first dictatorship is not recorded in the fasti Capitolini, it must (if genuine) date to the period 221-219 BC, for which the relevant entries no longer survive (in which case, Fabius should have been, but was not, recorded as dictator II in the surviving entry for 217 BC).   

Sources for Dictatorships of Minucius


CIL VI 0284: Hercolei sacrom M(arcus) Minuci(us) C(ai) f(ilius), dictator vovit

From via Tiburtina, in the Campo Verano, now in Musei Capitolini

Image from the website ‘History of Ancient Rome

An inscription illustrated above, which is on a tufa block that served as the base of a statue, indicates that Minucius dedicated a statue to Hercules when he was dictator.  There are two possible years in which this dedication  could have been made:

  1. As noted above, Plutarch recorded an occasion on which:

  2. “... because the squeak of a shrew-mouse (the Romans call it ‘sorex’) was heard just as Minucius, the dictator, appointed C. Flaminius as his master of horse, the people deposed these officials and put others in their places”, (‘Life of Marcellus’, 5: 4).

  3. If  this record reflected a genuine dictatorship of Minucius, then this dictatorship must have pre-dated Minucius’ dictatorship of 217 BC, (which post-dated Flaminius’ death).  Since it is not recorded in either the surviving books by Livy or the surviving entries in the fasti Capitolini, it must (if genuine) date to the period 221-219 BC inclusive.

  4. However, if Plutarch’s record above is simply incorrect, then the inscription must date to the period in 217 BC in which Minucius would probably have considered himself to be Fabius’ co-dictator.

Flaminius as Master of Horse

As we have seen:

  1. Valerius Maximus  recorded that the noise of a sorex led to the vitiation of both Fabius and Flaminius; and

  2. Plutarch recorded that the noise of a sorex that was heard just as Minucius was appointing Flaminius as his master of horse led to the vitiation of both Minucius and Flaminius.

However, even if was accept that the noise of  a sorex was heard on each of these occasions, it is hard to believe that either appointment was consequently vitiated: as Mark Wilson (referenced below, 2017, at p. 550) asked rhetorically in the case of Minucius and Flaminius:

  1. “Why were both deposed, rather than the ritual being reattempted the next day?

Wilson also pointed out (at p. 436, note 36) that Flaminius’ cavalier attitude to the religious requirements of public office was said by his critics to have led to the disaster at Trasimeme , which had included his own death, and this would certainly have made him an attractive candidate for a posthumous story about the gods having obstructed the appointment of a dictator who had once been foolish enough to choose him for his master of horse.  However, this does not allow us to reject the passibility that both Fabius and Minucius served as dictator in the period 221-219 BC and that one or both of them appointed Flaminius as his master of horse.

Since nothing in the surviving sources indicates the need for a dictator for military purposes in 221 - 219 BC, it seems likely that the dictator(s) who appointed Flaminius as master of horse was/were needed comitiorum habendorum caussa (in order to hold [consular] elections), probably because of the absence of the serving consuls in Istria in 221 BC and/or in Illyria in 219 BC.  However, we should note that:

  1. since Flaminus began his term as censor in 220 BC, he is unlikely to have been nominated as master of horse in 219 BC (pace Mark Wilson, referenced below, 2017, at p.550, entry 73) ; and

  2. since Minucius was a serving consul in 221 BC, he was either available in Rome the end of that year in order to hold the elections as consul, or he was still in Istria.

Thus, Plutarch (above) was almost certainly incorrect when he claimed that Minucius had chosen Flaminius as master of horse.  Following this logic, I suggested on the previous page that, assuming that both of these first dictatorships were genuine, then the most likely scenario is that:

  1. Fabius was appointed as dictator comitiorum habendorum caussa in 221 BC, and that he chose Flaminius as his master of horse. 

  2. Minucius was appointed as dictator comitiorum habendorum caussa in 219 BC, and that he chose a now-unknown master of horse.

Dictatorship(s) Minucius: Analysis and Conclusions

We can now return to the subject of Minucius’ putative dictatorships.  If we assume that Plutarch’s muddled version the ‘shrieking sorex’ story nevertheless reflected a real dictatorship of Minucius, then this dictatorship and the dedication to Hercules recorded in inscription illustrated above probably dated to 219 BC. 

However, if we rule out Plutarch’s testimony completely, then:

  1. there is no basis for the assumption that Minucius held a dictatorship at any time before 217 BC; and

  2. we must assume that he made the dedication to Hercules after his imperium was enhanced in 217 BC, at which point he clearly saw himself as a dictator, albeit that there must have been some doubt as to whether, as a matter of law:

  3. he did indeed become Fabius’ co-dictator at that time (as Polybius subsequently recorded); or

  4. he remained Fabius’ master of horse (as subsequently recorded in the fasti Capitolini).

This was the view taken, for example, by Robert Broughton (referenced below, at p. 234), who:

  1. asserted that Plutarch had been mistaken when he gave Minucius rather than Fabius as the dictator who appointed Flaminius; and

  2. attributed only one dictatorship to Minucius: that of 217 BC (see p. 243).

It was also the view of Michele Bellomo (referenced below, t p. 158 and note 34).  On this basis, Minucius would  probably have made this dedication to Hercules shortly after his ‘victory’ over Hannibal at Geronium and the subsequent enhancement of his imperium to equality with that of Fabius.  As we have seen, Polybius is our only surviving source for the claim that he actually was a dictator in the strict legal sense for part of 217 BC: all of our other surviving narrative sources record that he remained master of horse throughout Fabius’ dictatorship, albeit that his imperium was enhanced to equal that of Fabius for period.  This legalistic distinction might explain why the fasti Capitolini recorded Minucius only as master of horse in 217 BC.

Dictatorship(s) of Fabius: Analysis and Conclusions

We should now revisit the subject of Fabius’ putative dictatorships.  If we privilege the mutually consistent accounts of Livy (22: 9: 7) and the elogium under Fabius’ statue in the Forum Augustum, then Fabius was twice dictator, and the most likely scenario is that he was dictator I in 221 BC (possibly with Flaminius as his master of horse) and dictator II in 217 BC.  This was, for example, the opinion of Robert Broughton (referenced below, at p. 234 and p. 243).  This raises the question of why Fabius was not recorded as dictator II in the fasti Capitolini: it seems to me that, since both the elogium and the fasti were produced at about the same time for Augustus, the most likely reason for the inconsistency between them is that the compiler of the latter simply made a mistake of omission.

In the section above, I discounted Livy’s self-correction, in which he argued that Fabius’ election by the people in 217 BC meant that, in law, he can only have been pro dictator.  However, it is worth looking again at his remark that L. Coelius Antipater had been misled when he had claimed that, in 217 BC, Fabius became:

“... the first man to be created dictator by the people”, (‘History of Rome’, 22: 31: 8).; and

that this had arisen because:

  1. “... Fabius’ successes, his great renown and augentes titulum imaginis posteros (posterity expanding the inscription on his image) led easily to the belief that one who had, in fact, been made only pro dictator had been dictator”, (‘History of Rome’, 22: 31: 11).

John Briscoe (in T. J. Cornell (editor), referenced below: vol. III, at p. 248) noted that Livy added this self-correction at the end of his account of 217 BC, and noted five other occasions where he used the same expedient in other surviving books.   The most famous of these variant passages came at the end of his account of the events of 437 BC, when Livy noted that he wanted to amend account of the of the dedication of the spolia opima in the Temple of Jupiter Feretrius: his earlier sources had all claimed that A. Cornelius Cossus had dedicated them as military tribue in 437 BC, but this was:

  1. “... confuted by the actual inscription on the spoils, which ... Augustus Caesar ... read ... with his own eyes, ... [and in which Cossus] described himself ...  as consul, [the post that he held in 428 BC]”, (‘History of Rome’, 4: 20: 6-11).


Michele Bellomo (referenced below, at p. 153) argued that this second passage:

  1. “... shows that deliberately distorting elements had been introduced a posteriori into the [record of the] proceedings that had led to [this] appointment ..., and that, [in Livy’s opinion], an epigraphic document had played a prominent role [in this distortion]”, (my translation).

Events of 216 BC


Adapted from the Digital Atlas of the Roman Empire

Battle of Cannae

In March 216 BC, the new consuls, L. Aemilius Paullus and C. Terentius Varro, began the task of assembling a huge army that would, it was hoped, drive Hannibal from Italy.  Meanwhile,  the commands of M. Atilius Regulus and Cn. Servilius Geminus were prorogued.  According to John Lazenby (referenced below, at p. 76), probably in June 216 BC, Hannibal marched some 95 km to the south and captured the Roman supply depot at the small town of Cannae, which had probably belonged to the nearby city of Canusium.  Servilius and Atilius followed him from Larinum, and met up with the consular armies, which were en route from Rome.  According to Livy (22: 40: 6), Atilius was allowed to return to Rome on account of his age, while Servilius remained with the army.  After a two-day march, the combined Roman armies arrived at Cannae at the end of July.  As John Lazenby observed (at p. 77):

  1. “The scene was set for the greatest land battle yet fought between Rome and Carthage.”

It was also set for the most shattering defeat in Roman history: Lazenby estimated (at p. 84) that some 50,000 Romans(including both Aemilius and Servilius) died and some 20,000 were taken prisoner, both Aemilius and Servilius were killed in action.  Varro, the surviving consul, now had an army of fewer than 15,000 men sheltering in the safety of the colony at Venusia, many of whom had survived because of help from Canusium.  In short, Verrucosus’ decision to avoid direct engagement with Hannibal in 216 BC had been vindicated in the most spectacular fashion.  

Defections after Cannae

John Lazenby (referenced below, at p. 86) argued that, despite his victory at Cannae, Hannibal was not in a position to march on Rome without the help of disaffected allies who might desert Rome:

  1. “Thus, for Hannibal, Cannae must have seemed, not so much the end of the war, ... as the beginning of the end: his ... original strategy [of winning Italian allies whenever possible was to be vindicated when] much of southern Italy now began to come over to him.”

As Livy observed:

  1. “... the extent to which this disaster exceeded all those that had gone before is plain from this: that the loyalty of the allies, who had held firm until the day of Cannae, now began to waver: ... these are the peoples that revolted:

  2. the Campanians, [including] the Atellani, [and] the Calatini;

  3. ... a part of the Apulians;

  4. all of the Samnites, including the Hirpini [although not] the Pentri;

  5. the Bruttii;

  6. the Lucanians;

  7. ... the Uzentini;

  8. almost all the Greeks on the coast:

  9. the Tarentines;

  10. the Metapontines;

  11. the Crotoniates; and

  12. the Locri; and

  13. all the Cisalpine Gauls”, (‘Roman History’, 22: 61: 10-12).

In fact, not all of these defections took place in 216 BC: however, Livy is certainly correct that Hannibal enjoyed the support of most of Campania in the period 216-211 BC, and most of the rest of southern Italy until 203 BC.

Reaction at Rome 

Varro decided to move his base of operations from Venusia to Canusium, a large city that was probably more likely to withstand a direct attack by Hannibal.  He then sent details of the precise military situation to Rome, at which point:

  1. “.. the Senate voted to:

  2. send M.Claudius Marcellus, the praetor commanding the fleet at Ostia, to Canusium; and

  3. write to [Varro], instructing him to turn his army over to Marcellus and return to Rome at the earliest moment compatible with the welfare of the state”, (‘History of Rome’, 22: 57: 6-7).

Having sent reinforcements from Ostia to Rome, Marcellus duly hastened, as ordered, to Canusium.  John Lazenby (referenced below, at p. 91) suggested that Varro had actually been summoned to Rome to appoint Junius as as dictator, following which, he might well have relieved Marcellus at Canusium (see below).

Meanwhile, at Rome:

  1. “The Senate authorised the appointment of  M. Junius Pera as dictator, with Ti. Sempronius Gracchus as master of the horse.  Proclaiming a levy, they enlisted the young men over 17 and some who still wore the purple-bordered dress of boyhood. ...  They also sent men to the allies and the Latins to take over their soldiers, as by treaty provided”, (‘‘History of Rome’’, 22: 57: 8-9).

When Hannibal sent an envoy to Rome:

  1. “... a lictor was sent to intercept him and warn him, in the name of the dictator, to leave Roman territory before nightfall”, (‘‘History of Rome’’, 22: 58: 9).

The Senate also turned its face against paying a ransom to secure the release of Roman prisoners of war.

Manoeuvres in Campania


Campanian cities with civitas sine suffragio (underlined in red)

Red dot = Latin colony of Cales

Adapted from this map on the webpage on Roman Campania by Jeff Matthews

The defections of Capua, Atella and Calatia noted above would have been particularly dangerous, given the fact that the inhabitants here were Roman citizens: Capua was of particular importance, since both the Via Latina and the Via Appia linked it directly to Rome.  Fortunately, Fabius had established a garrison in 216 BC at nearby Casilinum, which occupied a strategic position at the junction of the Via Latina and the Via Appia, on the site of the bridge over the Vollturnus.  Furthermore, the town was still occupied by a small body of Roman troops (consisting principally of Latins from Praeneste, and Etruscans from Perusia), that had been en route for Cannae at the time of the battle there.  Marcellus established a base here, probably after he had been relieved at Canusium on Varro’s return there (see above).

John Lazenby (referenced below, at p. 92) described the manoeuvres in Campania.  Having made his triumphant entry into Capua, Hannibal marched south and attacked the city of Nola, and Marcellus marched to its defence.  Hannibal seems to have offered little resistance, choosing instead to withdraw and try his luck (unsuccessfully, as it turned out) at Neapolis.  He drove the people of Nuceria from their city, which he destroyed and then tried again at Nola, where Marcellus seems to have driven him off.  Livy commented that:

  1. “I would hardly venture to assert (as some authorities do) that 2,800 of the enemy were killed [during the engagement at Nola] while the Romans lost no more than 500.  But, [whatever the scale of the victory], I doubt that a more important battle was fought during the whole war ...”, (‘‘History of Rome’’, 23: 16: 15).

Hannibal then destroyed Acerra and attacked Casalinum, but the garrison there repelled him, so he retired to winter quarters at Capua. 

However, he returned to Casalinum early in the following year and laid siege to the city.  At this time:

  1. the dictator M. Junius Pera, who was camped outside the city, had apparently returned to Rome leaving orders that his master of horse, Ti. Sempronius Gracchus, should not engage with Hannibal in his absence; and

  2. Marcellus, who had established a base at Suessula, was unable to cross the flooded Volturnus in order to raise the siege.

The Roman garrison at Casilinum was thus faced starvation and was forced to surrender.  According to Livy, Hannibal allowed the survivors to be ransomed, and those from Praeneste:

  1. “... returned [there] in safety. ... with their commanding officer, M. Anicius, who had formerly been a notary”, (‘History of Rome’, 23: 19: 17).

It seems that the Romans were extremely appreciative of the efforts of their Praenestine allies: according to Livy:

  1. “The Senate decreed that the Praenestine troops should be granted double pay and an exemption for five years from further service.  They were also offered the full Roman citizenship, but they preferred not to change their status as citizens of Praeneste”, (‘History of  Rome, 23: 20: 2).

Michael Fronda (referenced below, at p. 243) observed that:

  1. “With [Hannibal’s] capture of Casilinum in [early] 215 BC, the battle lines in Campania were drawn: Hannibal controlled Capua and its subordinate allies [Atella, Calatia and now Casilinum]: Rome held the remaining cities in the region, and all of Italy looked on.”


Read more:

M. Wilson, “Dictator: The Evolution of the Roman Dictatorship”, (2021)  Ann Arbor, Michigan

M. Bellomo, “Il Contributo delle Fonti Epigrafiche allo Studio della Seconda Guerra Punica: Alcuni Casi Eccezionali”, in:

  1. M. Bellomo and S. Segenni (editors), “Epigrafia e Politica : il Contributo della Documentazione Epigrafica allo Studio delle Dinamiche Politiche nel Mondo Romano”, (2017) Milan, at pp. 147-70

M. Wilson, "The Needed Man: Evolution, Abandonment and Resurrection of the Roman Dictatorship", (2017) thesis of City University of New York

T. J. Cornell (editor), “The Fragments of the Roman Historians”, (2013) Oxford

G. Golden, “Crisis Management During the Roman Republic: the Role of Political Institutions in Emergencies”, (2013) Cambridge

J. M. Fronda, “Between Rome and Carthage: Southern Italy during the Second Punic War”, (2010) Cambridge

B. Johnson, “The Elogia of the Augustan Forum”, (2001) thesis of McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario

T. C. Brennan, “The Praetorship in the Roman Republic”, (2000) Oxford

T. R. S. Broughton, “Magistrates of the Roman Republic: Volume I”, (1951) New York

W. Miller (translator), “Cicero:On Duties”, (1913), Cambridge, MA


Foreign Wars (3rd century BC)


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Foreign Wars (3rd century BC)

Second Punic War II

From the Appointment of Verrucosus (July 217 BC) to

the Defeat at Cannae and its Aftermath(216 BC)


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