He was chosen as curule aedile in 213 BC, with his young kinsman Scipio Africanus as his colleague (although Scipio was under-age, being only 22 or 23 compared to the usual mid-thirties). He was appointed Pontifex to replace the Pontifex Maximus Lucius Cornelius Lentulus Caudinus who had died.
In 211 BC, as praetor, he was in charge of Apulia. In 209 BC, before he had been consul, he was elected censor with Publius Sempronius Tuditanus. During their censorship, Cethegus disagreed with his colleague about which senator should be elected Princeps Senatus. Tuditanus had the right of choice and chose Quintus Fabius Maximus Verrucoses Cunctator, while Cethegus wanted the most senior censor Titus Manlius Torquatus to be the Princeps Senatus.
In 204 BC, he was elected consul, possibly to aid his kinsman Scipio, then in Africa. In 203 BC he was proconsul in Italia Superior, where, in conjunction with the praetor Publius Quintilius Varus, he gained a hard-won victory over Mago Barca, Hannibal's brother, at the Battle of Insubria, which forced him to retreat from Italy.
He died in 196 BC during an epidemic in Rome.
- Livy xxv.2
- Livy xxv.41
- Livy xxvii.11
- Livy xxx.18
- Horace Ars Poet. 50; Epistles, ii.2.117
- Livy, The History of Rome
Publius Cornelius Scipio Africanus and Publius Licinius Crassus Dives
| Consul of the Roman Republic
with Publius Sempronius Tuditanus
Gnaeus Servilius Caepio and Gaius Servilius Geminus