—and Titus Quinctius Crispinus. Italy was assigned as their province to both consuls, also the two armies of the consuls of the previous year. A third, hitherto commanded by Marcellus, was then at Venusia.
The decree ordered that of the three they should choose two of their own selection, and that the third be given to the general whose assignment should be Tarentum and the Sallentini. The rest of the assignments were distributed as follows: for the praetors, jurisdiction in the city to Publius Licinius Varus, that involving strangers to Publius Licinius Crassus, pontifex maximus, with a command wherever the senate should decide; Sicily to Sextus Iulius Caesar and Tarentum to Quintus Claudius. Continued for one year was the command of Quintus Fulvius Flaccus; [p. 303]
who with one legion was to be in charge of Capua as2
his assignment, formerly held by Titus Quinctius as praetor. Continued also was the command of Gaius Hostilius Tubulus, who was to succeed Gaius Calpurnius as propraetor for Etruria, at the head of two legions.
The command of Lucius Veturius Philo was likewise continued, he to hold Gaul as propraetor —the same assignment with the same two legions with which he had held it as praetor. The measure adopted in the case of Lucius Veturius was likewise decreed by the senate in that of Gaius Aurunculeius, and the bill to continue his command was brought before the people.
As praetor he had had Sardinia for his province with two legions. In addition he was given for the defence of the province the fifty warships which Publius Scipio had sent from Spain. And to Publius Scipio and Marcus Silanus were decreed for one year their own provinces in Spain and their own armies. Scipio was ordered to send over to Sardinia fifty of the eighty3
ships which he had either brought with him from Italy or captured at (New) Carthage. This was owing to the report that at Carthage there were great naval preparations that year, and that with two hundred ships the Carthaginians would cover the whole coast of Italy, also of Sicily and Sardina.
In Sicily, moreover, the apportionment was as follows: the army from Cannae was given to Sextus Caesar; Marcus Valerius Laevinus —for his command also was continued —to have the fleet of seventy vessels then in Sicilian waters. To that he should add thirty ships which had been at Tarentum the previous year. With that fleet of a hundred ships, he was, if he saw fit, to cross over to Africa, to ravage the country. Likewise Publius [p. 305]
Sulpicius' command was continued for one year,4
and he was to have Macedonia and Greece as his province with the same fleet as before.5
In regard to the two legions that had been at the city of Rome no change was made. Permission was given to the consuls to recruit additional numbers, to be assigned to meet any need. It was with twenty-one legions that the Roman empire was defended that year. In addition, Publius Licinius Varus, the city praetor, was given the task of repairing the thirty old warships which were at Ostia and of manning twenty new ships with crews, so that with a fleet of fifty ships he might defend the seacoast near the city of Rome.6
Gaius Calpurnius was forbidden to move his army away from Arretium before the arrival of his successor. The same order was given to Tubulus also, to be particularly on his guard there against the outbreak of any sedition.
XXIII. The praetors set out for their assignments, but the consuls were detained by religious scruples, because, when a number of portents were reported, they did not easily obtain favourable sacrifices. From Campania had come reports that at Capua two temples, those of Fortune and of Mars, and a number of tombs were struck by lightning; that at Cumae mice had gnawed the gold in the temple of Jupiter —so true is it that superstition brings the gods into the smallest circumstances. At Casinum it was said that a great swarm of bees had settled in the forum.7