Marcus Claudius Marcellus: Difference between revisions

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Marcus Claudius Marcellus re-emerged onto both the political and military scene during the [[Second Punic War]], in which he took part in important battles. In 216 BC, the third year of the Second Punic War, Marcellus was elected as a [[praetor]]. A praetor served either as an elected magistrate or as the commander of an army, the latter of which duties Marcellus was selected to fulfil in Sicily.<ref name=Smith/> Unfortunately, as Marcellus and his men were preparing to ship to Sicily, his army was recalled to Rome owing to the devastating losses at [[Battle of Cannae|Cannae]], one of the worst defeats in Roman history.<ref name=Lendering>Lendering, Jona. "Marcus Claudius Marcellus", ''Livius: Articles on Ancient History'', 26 Nov. 2008.</ref> By the orders of the Senate, Marcellus was forced to dispatch 1,500 of his men to Rome to protect the city after the terrible defeat by [[Hannibal]] of [[Carthage]]. With his remaining army, along with remnants of the army from Cannae, (who were considered to have been disgraced by the defeat and by surviving it), Marcellus camped near [[Suessula]], a city in the region of [[Campania]] in Southern Italy. At this point, part of the Carthaginian army began to make a move for the city of [[Nola]]. Marcellus repelled the attacks and managed to keep the city from the grasp of Hannibal. Although the battle at Nola was rather unimportant in regards to the Second Punic War as a whole, the victory was “important from its moral effect, as the first check, however slight, that Hannibal had yet received.”<ref name=Smith/>
 
Then, in 215 BC, Marcellus was summoned to Rome buttby the [[Roman Dictator|Dictator]] [[Marcus Junius Pera|M. Junius Pera]], who wanted to consult with him about the future conduct of the war. After this meeting, Marcellus earned the title of [[proconsul]].<ref name=Smith/> In the same year, when the consul [[Lucius Postumius Albinus (consul 234 BC)|L. Postumius Albinus]] was killed in battle, Marcellus was unanimously chosen by the Roman people to be his successor. Livy and Plutarch tell us a bad omen occurred, allegedly because the other consul was also a plebeian. Marcellus stepped aside and Q. [[Fabius Maximus]] Cunctator took his place. Supposedly, the senate (interpreting the gods) disapproved of having two plebeian consuls.<ref name=Smith/> Marcellus was appointed proconsul, whereupon, he defended the city of Nola, once again, from the rear guard of Hannibal’s army. The following year, 214 BC, Marcellus was elected consul yet again, this time with [[Fabius Maximus]]. For a third time, Marcellus defended Nola from Hannibal and even captured the small but significant town of [[Casilinum]].
 
===Sicily and Syracuse===