Marcus Valerius Laevinus

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Marcus Valerius Laevinus (fl. 3rd century BC) was a Roman magistrate who was active during both the Second Punic War and the First Macedonian War.

Biography[edit]

A member of the Patrician gens Valeria, Laevinus may have been appointed Curule aedile in 229 BC.[1] In the following year (228 BC), he may have been appointed Praetor in Sardinia.[2] Then in 220 BC, Laevinus may have been elected consul alongside Quintus Mucius Scaevola.[3] It is presumed that both consuls were forced to abdicate at some point early during the year, possibly as a result of internal political pressures; both Laevinus and his colleague were members of the Claudian faction, which was attempting to wrest power from the rival AemilianScipionic faction. The consuls who succeeded Laevinus and his colleague were from this rival faction.[4][5]

Forced to climb the cursus honorum once again, Laevinus was elected praetor for a second time in 216 BC (this time as Praetor peregrinus),[6] when the crisis precipitated by the invasion of Hannibal saw internal political tensions temporarily put aside. Laevinus was assigned to Lucania and Apulia, and was stationed at Brundisium with two legions recently withdrawn from Sicily to protect the Calabrian coast and prevent Philip V of Macedon from giving aid to Hannibal. The next year, his command extended as propraetor with only one legion but a sizeable fleet, he crossed over to Illyria, recaptured Oricum and relieved Apollonia, which was being besieged by Philip.[7] For the next few years, with his command continually extended by the senate, he kept the Macedonians from interfering in Italy by actively cooperating with Philip’s many enemies in the region. In 211 BC, he negotiated a treaty with the Aetolians (one of Philip's main opponents), though this was not ratified by the senate until 209 BC.

In 210 BC, Laevinus was elected consul in his absence, with Marcus Claudius Marcellus as his colleague, and returned to Rome being replaced by the proconsul Publius Sulpicius Galba Maximus.

He was assigned the province of Sicily, which had originally been assigned to Marcellus, later in the same year. He mustered a large army and quickly captured the last major Punic stronghold at Acragas (Agrigentum). It was betrayed to him by Muttines, a cavalry commander who had served in Italy under Hannibal but who had been badly treated by Hanno, the Carthaginian commander in Sicily. In the aftermath of this success, another forty towns and cities voluntarily surrendered to Laevinus, twenty were betrayed to him and only six had to be taken by direct assault.

With Sicily subjugated, Laevinus set about reviving agriculture on the island to restore the flow of grain to Italy. In 208 BC, he sent a fleet to North Africa, which attacked Clupea and defeated a Carthaginian fleet. In 207 BC, his fleet ravaged the North African coast around Utica and Carthage, and defeated another Carthaginian fleet. Laevinus was finally recalled to Rome in 206 BC, being replaced by the praetor C. Servilius Geminus.

Sources[edit]

  • Broughton, T. Robert S., The Magistrates of the Roman Republic, Vol I (1951)
  • Caven, Brian (1980). "The Punic Wars", Weidenfeld & Nicholson.
  • Goldsworthy, Adrian (2000). "The Punic Wars", Cassell.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Broughton, pg. 228
  2. ^ Broughton, pg. 229
  3. ^ Broughton, pg. 235
  4. ^ Johnson, Paula, Fabius, Marcellus and Otacilius: The Alliance That Never Was, pg.3
  5. ^ Dorey, T. A., The Treaty With Saguntum, pg. 8
  6. ^ Broughton, pg. 255
  7. ^ Broughton, pg. 260
Preceded by
Publius Cornelius Scipio Asina and Marcus Minucius Rufus
Consul of the Roman Republic
with Quintus Mucius Scaevola
220 BC
Succeeded by
Quintus Lutatius Catulus (suffect) and Lucius Veturius Philo (suffect)
Preceded by
Publius Sulpicius Galba Maximus and Gnaeus Fulvius Centumalus Maximus
Consul of the Roman Republic
with Marcus Claudius Marcellus
210 BC
Succeeded by
Quintus Fabius Maximus Verrucosus and Quintus Fulvius Flaccus