In 209 BC, Marcellus was named as a proconsul and retained control of his army. During that year, the [[Roman Army]] under Marcellus faced Hannibal's forces in a series of skirmishes and raids, without being drawn into open battle. Marcellus defended his actions and tactics in front of the senate and he was named a consul for the fifth time for the year 208 BC. After entering his fifth consulship Marcellus, re-entered the field and took command of the army at [[Venusia]]. While on a reconnaissance mission with his colleague, Titus Quinctius Crispinus, and a small band of 220 horsemen, the group was ambushed and nearly completely slaughtered by a much larger Carthaginian force of Numidian horsemen.<ref name=Plutarch/><ref name=Smith/> Marcellus was impaled by a spear and died on the field.<ref name=Smith/> In the following days, Crispinus died of his wounds.
== Historical significance ==