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and while he could bring into the field only his own troops and the Tarentines. Laeviims accordingly was despatched early in the spring into Lucania, where, from a strong position he had seized, he watched the movements of the Epeirots. Pyrrhus, to gain time, attempted negotiation, and wrote to Laevinus, offering to arbitrate between Rome, Tarentum, and the Italian allies. Laevinus, however, bluntly bade him leave the Romans to settle their own quarrels, and begone to Epeirus, if he wished them to listen to his overtures. Two of the letters which passed between Pyrrhus and Laevinus are extant, in substance at least, among the fragments of Dionysius. They were probably copied from the history of Hieronymus of Cardia, who consulted Pyrrhus's own memoirs of his Italian campaign. Laevinus and his opponent were encamped on the opposite banks of the Siris ; and, while battle was impending, an Epeirot spy was taken in the Roman lines. Laevinus showed him the legions under arms, and bade him tell his master, if he was curious about the Roman men and tactics, to come and see them himself. Laevinus, whose numbers were superior to the enemy, was driven back over the Siris ; his camp was taken, and night alone enabled the fugitives to reach aii Apulian town, probably Venusia. In the same year, however, he defended Capua, and hung upon the rear of the Epeirot army both in its march to Rome and on its retreat; and he had so effectually restored the courage and discipline of his legions, that Pyrrhus did not venture to attack him. The army of Laevinus, as the penalty of its defeat, remained in camp at the foot of the Samnite highlands throughout the following winter. His name does not again occur in the war with Pyrrhus. (Liv. Epit. xiii.; Dionys. xvii. 15, 16, xviii. 1— 4 ; Dion Cass. Fr. Peiresc. xl.; Appian. Samnit. Fr. x.; Plut. Pyrrli. 16, 17; Zonar. viii. 3 ; Justin. xviii. 1 ; Oros. iv. 1 ; Front. Strat. ii. 4. § 9, iv. 7. § 7 ; Vict. Vir. III. 35 ; Flor. i. 18 ; Eutrop. ii. 11.)
2. M. valerius laevinus, grandson probably of the preceding, was praetor peregrinus in b. c. 215. But at that crisis of the second Punic war— the year following the defeat at Cannae—all the civil magistrates were employed in military commands ; and Laevinus, with the legions lately returned from Sicily, was stationed in Apulia, and a fleet of twenty-five gallies was attached to his land-forces, that he might watch the coast of Italy from Brundisium: to Tarentum. While he lay encamped near Luceria, his outposts brought in the ambassadors of Philip IV. of Macedonia, whom they had intercepted on their way to Hannibal's quarters. Laevinus, however, deceived as to the purpose of their mission by Xenophanes, the chief of the legation, furnished them with guides and an escort to Rome. [xenophanes.] During the autumn of the same year he retook three towns of the Hirpinians, which, after the defeat at Cannae, had revolted to Hannibal. Having placed garrisons in Tarentum and Rhegium, Laevinus with one legion wintered at Brundisium, from whence he watched the eastern coast of Italy, where a Macedonian invasion was expected. Envoys from Oricum, in Epeirus, came to his winter-quarters, announcing the capture of their own city by Philip, and the imminent danger of Apollonia. Laevinus immediately crossed the Adriatic, recovered Oricum, and by a detachment under Q. Naevius
Crista, one of his lieutenants, raised the siege of Apollonia, took Philip's camp, and concluded a league between the Aetolians and Rome. The terms of the league may be gathered from Polybius (ix. 28, &c.). Laevinus was four times re-appointed pro-praetor, b.c. 214, 213, 212, 211. In the first of these years he wintered at Oricum ; in the second, and in 212, 211, he watched the movements of Philip in Aetolia and Achaia. At the comitia in B. c. 211, on account of his services in Northern Greece, he was elected consul without solicitation, in his absence. In the latter part of b. c. 211 he drove the Macedonians from the island of Zacynthus, and from Oeniadae and Nasus in Acarnania. He wintered at Corcyra, and in the following spring took Anticyra, when the news of his election to the consulship reached him. Sickness, however, prevented Laevinus from returning to Rome till the beginning of summer. On landing in Italy, he was met by envoys from Capua, charged with complaints against the pro-consul, Q. Fulvius Flaccus [fulvius flaccus, No. 2] ; and by Sicilians, charged with similar complaints against M. Claudius Marcellus, and he entered Rome with a numerous attendance of these appellants, and of delegates from the Aetolian league. Having reported to the senate his three years' administration in Greece, Laevinus was allotted the province of Italy and the war with Hannibal, which, however, he presently exchanged, by mutual consent, with his colleague Marcellus for Sicily, as the Syracusans deprecated the appointment of Marcellus to the government of that island. The debate on the petition of the Syracusans closed with the senate's recommending their interests to Laevinus. An edict, brought forward by the consuls for raising supplies for the fleet, having excited great alarm and indignation among the Roman commonalty and the Italian allies, already overburdened with taxes for the war in Italy, Laevinus proposed that all who had borne curule magistracies, and all members of the senate, should bring voluntarily to the treasury all their gold, silver, and brass, whether coined, wrought, or bullion, except what was required for family sacrifices, or did not consist of the rings of the equites, the bullae of male children, or certain articles of female ornament. His proposal was cheerfully complied with, and quieted the public discontent, and Laevinus departed for Sicily. By the end of autumn Laevinus reported to the senate the complete expulsion of the Carthaginians from the island. The gates of Agrigentum were opened to him by Mutines, a discontented Numidian chief; and of sixty-six other towns, six were stormed by him, twenty were betrayed, and forty voluntarily surrendered to him. Laevinus encouraged or compelled the Sicilians to resume the pursuit of agriculture, that the island might again become one of the granaries of Rome ; and finding at Agathyrna a mixed multitude of criminals, deserters, and fugitive slaves, whose presence was dangerous to the public peace, he exported them to Rhegium, where they did the republic good service as a predatory force against Hannibal in Bruttium. The senate then ordered Laevinus to return to Rome, to hold the consular comitia for b. c. 209. But presently after his arrival he was remanded to his province, which was threatened with a fresh invasion from Africa. He was directed to nominate a dictator, to preside at the elections. But on this