Born in 254 BC, Livius was elected consul of the Roman Republic with Lucius Aemilius Paulus shortly before the Second Illyrian War in 219 BC. After leading a successful campaign against Illyrians, he was charged with malfeasance concerning war spoils during a mission to Carthage and was tried and found guilty upon his return to Rome.
After his removal as consul, he retired from public life for several years, until 210 BC. In 207 BC during the Second Punic War he was again elected consul (supposedly against his wishes) with Gaius Claudius Nero. Arriving in Narni, Livius attempted to block the advance of the Carthaginian army invading the Italian peninsula. Encountering Carthaginians near Fanum in the spring of 207 BC, Livius, reinforced by the army of his colleague Nero, defeated the Carthaginians in the decisive Battle of the Metaurus, killing their commander Hasdrubal, the brother of Hannibal.
Following the Roman victory, Livius returned to Rome where he and Nero were awarded a triumph in 206 BC. Livius remained as proconsul, defending Etruria (modern day Tuscany and Umbria) between 206-205 BC and later Cisalpine Gaul from 204 BC until the end of the war.
Livius was elected censor again with Gaius Claudius Nero in 204 BC. This was marred by constant quarreling with Nero, particularly concerning a salt tax (inspiring his cognomen Salinator, which would be adopted by his descendants, including the Roman admiral Gaius Livius Salinator) as well as his vendetta against those responsible for his trial, continuing until his death several years later.