The senate decreed, the first day they deliberated in the Capitol, that double taxes should be imposed for that year, one moiety of which should be immediately levied, as a fund
from which pay might be given forthwith to all the soldiers, except those who had been at Cannae.
With regard to the armies they decreed, that Tiberius Sempronius the consul should appoint a day for the two city legions to meet at Cales, whence these legions should be conveyed into the Claudian camp above Suenula.
That the legions which were there, and they consisted principally of the troops which had fought at Cannae, Appius Claudius Pulcher, the praetor, should transport into Sicily; and that those in Sicily should be removed to Rome.
Marcus Claudius Marcellus was sent to the army, [p. 873]
which had been ordered to meet at Cales on a certain day, with orders to march the city legions thence to the Claudian camp.
Titus Metilius Croto, lieutenant-general, was sent by Appius Claudius Pulcher to receive the old army and remove it into Sicily.
People at first had expected in silence that the consul would hold an assembly for the election of a colleague, but afterwards perceiving that Marcus Marcellus, whom they wished above all others to be consul this year, on account of his brilliant success during his praetorship, was removed to a distant quarter, as it were on purpose, a murmuring arose in the senate-house, which
the consul perceiving, said, “Conscript fathers, it was conducive to the interest of the state, both that Marcus Marcellus should go into Campania to make the exchange of the armies, and that the assembly should not be proclaimed before he had returned thence after completing the business with which he was charged, in order that you might have him as consul whom the situation of the republic required and yourselves prefer.”
Thus nothing was said about the assembly till Marcellus returned. Meanwhile Quintus Fabius Maximus and Titus Otacilius Crassus were created duumvirs for dedicating temples; Otacilius to Mens, Fabius to Venus Erycina. Both are situated in the Capitol, and separated by one channel.
It was afterwards proposed to the people, to make Roman citizens of the three hundred Campanian horsemen who had returned to Rome after having faithfully served their period, and also that they should be considered to have been citizens of Cumae from the day before that on which the Campanians had revolted from the Roman people.
It had been a principal inducement to this proposition, that they themselves said they knew not to what people they belonged, having left their former country, and being not yet admitted into that to which they had returned. After Marcellus returned from the army, an assembly was proclaimed for electing one consul in the room of Lucius Posthumius.
Marcellus was elected with the greatest unanimity, and was immediately to enter upon his office;
but as it thundered while he entered upon it, the augurs were summoned, who pronounced that they considered the creation informal; and the fathers spread a report that the gods were displeased, because on that occasion, for the first time, two plebeians had been elected consuls. Upon Marcellus's ab- [p. 874]
dicating his office, Fabius Maximus, for the third time, was elected in his room.
This year the sea appeared on fire; at Sinuessa a cow brought forth a horse foal;
the statues in the temple of Juno Sospita Lanuvium flowed down with blood; and a shower of stones fell in the neighbourhood of that temple: on account of which shower the nine days' sacred rite was celebrated, as is usual on such occasions, and the other prodigies were carefully expiated.