C. Lutatius Catulus (Catulo) & A. Postumius Albinus (Postumio) were both elected as consuls in 242 --
Catulo fought against the Cathagians in Sicily - he besieged Drepanum, and would have been able to take it had it not been for a 'wound to his thigh' ; nonetheless, he 'made good use of time' in the training of his men for a sea battle against the expected arrival of the Carthagians, a battle they won, and the Carthagians were forced to sue for peace, and leave Sicily - and there was a triumph held for Catulao and his naval victory in 241 --
Postumio was not allowed to join the forces against the Carthagians in Sicily as he was High Priest of Mars, and Flamens were restricted in their movements, although he wanted to go (and give up his position as Flamen) this was denied by Metelo, Pontifex Maximus (the high priest in charge of all priests, a role later taken up by the Pope) --
Livy: Periochae,Book 19
Caecilius Metellus, pontifex maximus, A. Postumium consulem, quoniam idem et flamen Martialis erat, cum is ad bellum gerendum proficisci vellet, in urbe tenuit nec passus est a sacris recedere.
[Pontifex maximus Caecilius Metellus kept consul Aulus Postumius, who was priest of Mars too, in the city when he wanted to set out to wage war. He was not allowed to ignore his religious duties]
Rebus adversus Poenos a pluribus ducibus prospere gestis, summam victoriae C. Lutatius cos. victa ad Aegates insulas classe Poenorum imposuit. Petentibus Carthaginiensibus pax data est.
[ The war against the Carthaginians was conducted successfully by several commanders. The ultimate victory was won by consul Gaius Lutatius (Catulo) near the Aegatian isles, where he defeated the Carthaginian navy. When the Carthaginians sued for peace, it was granted.]
Cum templum Vestae arderet, Caecilius Metellus, pontifex maximus, ex incendio sacra rapuit.
[When the temple of Vesta was burning, Caecilius Metellus, the pontifex maximus, saved the holy objects from the fire]
The detail about the wound to Catulo's thigh is in the Histories of Orosius: :
http://monumenta.ch/latein/text.php?tab ... &inframe=1
Re: The foliot in reference to his 'good use of time" :
"---he constructed works round the city of Drepana and made all preparations for its siege, but while continuing to prosecute this by every means in his power, 11 he foresaw that the Carthaginian fleet would arrive, and was not forgetful of the original motive of the expedition, the belief that it was only by a sea battle that the war could be decisively finished. He did not, then, allow the time to pass uselessly and idly, 12 but every day was spent in exercising and practising the crews properly for this purpose. He also paid unremitting attention to the matter of good food and drink, so that in a very short time he got his sailors into perfect condition for the anticipated battle."
End quote from:
The Histories of Polybius, Loeb Classical
One might also consider the matter of 'good food and drink' for the health and 'perfect condition' of his men, was an exemplar in the practice of temperance ---
The skull on the tomb and the inverted torch in the hand of Postumio are emblems of Thanatos, the Genius of Death -- the flame (of life) on the inverted torch has been extinguished, but in place of the flames the wood of the torch has sprouted shoots and leaves, symbolizing life after death, regeneration, resurrection --
On the shield of Postumio is his name, from which is derived our word 'posthumous', that is, After Death -- there is a palm tree, symbol of rebirth and resurrection (through its greek name 'phoenix' it shared much of the emblematic symbolism of the the mythical bird) - it was also the emblem of Judea, and the Star over Judea in this context maybe an encoded emblematic reference to Christ, and the promise of eternal life through resurrection in Christ --
In reference to the skull we may also note that the son of A. Postumius Albinus, Lucius Postumius Albinus, was killed by the Boli tribe while campaigning in Gallia Cisalpin in 215BC, he was decapitated and, as was the the custom of the celtic Bolti tribe, his skull was gilded with beaten gold and used as a drinking cup by the priests of their temple -- in which context we may also read the inverted torch as a symbol of mourning (the inverted torch was a common funerary emblem to be found on Roman sarcophagi - and has been used as an emblem of mourning right up to modern times)
The emphasis on death might make this trump cognate with the Death card of a standard trump sequence - another possibility is the Angel/Judgment card - a possibility strengthened by the motto of the Phoenix (of which the palm tree is an emblem) 'Post fata resurgo", after death I rise -