First English edition of the Nuremberg chronicle: being the Liber chronicarum of Dr. Hartmann Schedel…

While Lucius Caecilius Metellus and Gaius Furius Placidus were consuls, Metellus in Sicily defeated Hasdrubal, the general of the Africans, who came against him with 130 elephants and a large host. At Panormus he killed twenty thousand of the enemy and captured twenty-six elephants. And the rest, wandering among the Numidians, whom they were holding in reserve, he gathered together again and brought to Rome with great pomp.[Metellus (L. Caecilius) was consul in 251 BCE, and carried on the war in Sicily against the Carthaginians. In the following year he defeated Hasdrubal, the Carthaginian general. The elephants which he took in this battle were exhibited in his triumph at Rome. He was consul a second time in 249, and was elected pontifex maximus in 243, and held this dignity for 22 years. In 241 he rescued the Palladium when the temple of Vesta was on fire, but lost his sight in consequence. He was dictator in 224, for the purpose of holding the comitia. He died shortly before the commencement of the second Punic War. His colleague, C. Furius, is not mentioned in the text.]

While Manlius (Mallio) Torquatus and Gaius Atilius (Attilo) were consuls, the Sardinians were defeated and peace was made in all regions; and so the Romans were no longer at war—a condition which after the founding of Rome happened but once before, namely during the time Numa Pompilius reigned. And the gate of Janus was closed for one year.

For Numa Pompilius see Folio LVI verso. Janus and Jana were a pair of Latin divinities who were worshipped as the sun and the moon. The names Janus and Jana are only other forms of Dianus and Diana, which words contain the same root as ‘dies,' day. Janus was worshipped by both the Etruscans and Romans, and occupied an important place in the Roman religion. He presided over the beginning of everything, and was therefore always invoked first on every undertaking, even before Jupiter. He opened the year and the seasons, and thus the first month of the year was named after him. On earth he was the guardian deity of the gates, and that is the reason he is commonly represented with two heads, because every door opens two ways. At Rome, Numa is said to have dedicated to Janus the covered passage bearing his name, which was opened in times of war and closed in times of peace. This passage is commonly but erroneously called a temple. It stood close by the forum. It appears to have been left open in war, to symbolize that the god had gone out to help Rome's soldiers, and to have been shut in time of peace that the god, the safeguard of the city, might not escape. On New Year's Day, which was the principal festival of the god, people gave presents to each other—sweetmeats and copper coins, showing on one side the double-headed Janus, on the other a ship. The sacrifices offered to Janus consisted of cakes, barley, incense and wine.

T. Manlius Torquatus (T. Mallius) was consul in 235 BCE, when he conquered the Sardinians, and consul a second time in 224. He possessed the hereditary sternness and severity of his family; and we accordingly find him opposing in the senate the ransom of those Romans who had been taken prisoners at the fatal battle of Cannae. In 217 he was sent into Sardinia, where he carried on the war with success against the Carthaginians and the Sardinians. He was dictator in 210. C. Atilius was his colleague while the Punic Wars raged.

During the consulship of Aemilius (Emilio) a mighty host of Gauls marched over the Alps; but all Italy sided with the Romans, and of the enemy 40,000 were made prisoners and seven thousand were slain. And Aemilius was decreed a triumph. Although the Gauls were of ferocious spirit and their bodies of super-human size, and although their strength at the first onslaught was more than a man's, their strength later was less than a woman's. They had Alpine[The adjective ‘Alpine' probably here means little more than ‘huge.'] bodies, reared under a moisture-laden sky, and were like the snow; but as soon as they experience the heat of battle they sweat, as though the sun heated them and relieved them of their strength. After the lapse of several years the Gauls again fought in Italy; and the war ended during the consulships of M. Claudius Marcellus and Gnaeus Cornelius Scipio. Afterwards that same Marcellus, together with his colleague Cornelius, slew a great horde of Gauls, attacked Milan (Mediolanum), and carried off the spoils of war to Rome. Marcellus, after placing the spoils of the Gauls onto a post, carried it on his shoulders during the celebration of his triumph.

M. Claudius Marcellus was consul five times, and distinguished as the conqueror of Syracuse. In his first consulship in 222 BCE, Marcellus and his colleague conquered the Insubrians in Cisalpine Gaul, and took their capital Mediolanum (Milan). Marcellus distinguished himself by slaying in battle with his own hand Britomartus, or Viridomarus, the king of the enemy, whose spoils he afterward dedicated as spolia opima (literally ‘rich spoils' a technical phrase meaning ‘arms wrested by a general from a general') in the temple of Jupiter Feretrius. This was the third and last instance in Roman history in which such an offering was made. After an extended military career he and his colleague were defeated by Hannibal near Venusia, and Marcellus himself was slain in battle. Marcellus appears to have been a stern soldier, brave and daring to excess, but harsh, unyielding and cruel. Cn. Cornelius Scipio Calvus was his colleague.

This entire paragraph is taken largely from Eutropius' Breviarum Historiae Romanae (‘Abridgment of Roman History') 3.5-6.

In the same year the second Punic or African War was begun against the Romans by Hannibal (Annibalem), the general of the Carthaginians, son of Hamilcar (Amilcaris). And he, when only nine years of age, swore to his father upon the altar that as soon as he was able he would fight against the Romans.[See Hannibal, folio LXXXII recto, and note.]

In the five hundred and fortieth year from the founding of the city, Lucius Aemilius (Emilius) Paulus and Publius Terrentius Varro were sent against Hannibal, but both were defeated.[Terentius Varro was consul in 216 BCE with Lucius Aemilius Paulus. Varro is said to have been the son of a butcher, to have carried on this business himself in his early years, and to have risen to eminence by pleading the causes of the lower classes in opposition to the opinions of the aristocratic elite. Over the opposition of the aristocracy, he was raised to the consulship by the people, who thought that it only required a man of energy at the head of an overwhelming force to bring the war against Hannibal to a close. His colleague belonged to the aristocratic party. The two consuls were defeated by Hannibal at the memorable battle of Cannae. The battle was fought by Varro against the advice of Paulus, and the Roman army was all but annihilated. Paulus and almost all the officers perished. Varro was one of the few who escaped and reached Venusia in safety with about seventy horsemen. His conduct after the battle seems to have been deserving of high praise. He proceeded to Canusium, where the remnant of the Roman army had taken refuge, and there adopted every precaution that the situation required. His conduct was appreciated by the senate and the people, and his defeat was forgotten in the services which he had lately rendered. He continued to be employed in Italy for several years in important military commands until the close of the Punic War.]

At the conclusion of the Punic War the Macedonian War began against King Philip in the five hundred and fiftieth year from the founding of the city. T. Quintius Flamininus was sent against him. And he was successful; and peace was granted Philip on condition that he should not war against the Greek cities that the Romans had defended against him; that he release the prisoners and fugitives; that he should retain only fifty ships and give the remainder to the Romans; and in a course of years pay forty thousand measures of silver. And he was to give up his son Demetrius as a hostage.[As soon as the Romans had brought the second Punic War to and end, they again declared war against Philip (in 200 BCE). This war lasted three or four years and was brought to an end by the defeat of Philip by the consul Flamininus at the battle of Cynoscephalae in the autumn of 197. By the peace finally granted to Phillip (196), the king was compelled to abandon all his conquests, both in Europe and in Asia, surrender his whole fleet to the Romans, and limit his standing army to 5,000 men, besides paying a sum of 1,000 talents. The king here referred to is Philip V, who reigned 220-178.]