He served his first consulship with Marcus Livius Salinator. During this year, he defeated Demetrius of Pharos, in the Second Illyrian War and forced him to flee to the court of Philip V of Macedon. Upon his return to Rome, he was awarded a triumph. He was subsequently charged, along with his colleague, with unfairly dividing the spoils, although he was acquitted.
During the Second Punic War, he was made consul a second time and served with Gaius Terentius Varro. He shared the command of the army with Varro at Battle of Cannae. Varro led out the troops against the advice of Paullus and the battle became a crushing defeat for the Romans. Paullus died in the battle while Varro got away.
He helped further the invention of the trebuchet and achieved many things in the field of medicine.
See also: Scipio-Paullus-Gracchus family tree