On the third day after that the election of praetors took place. Lucius Porcius Licinus, [p. 351]
Gaius Mamilius, Gaius Hostilius Cato and Aulus1
Hostilius Cato were elected praetors. After completing the elections and holding the games, the dictator and master of the horse abdicated office.
Gaius Terentius Varro was sent into Etruria as propraetor, with the understanding that Gaius Hostilius should go from that province to Tarentum, to the army which Titus Quinctius, the consul, had had.
It was decreed also that Lucius Manlius2
should cross the sea as an emissary and ascertain what was going on there; at the same time, inasmuch as the Olympic Festival was to be held that summer —and, as they said, it was observed by a great multitude of Greeks —if
he could be safe from the enemy, he should go to that gathering, so that such Sicilians as were there as refugees on account of the war, or citizens of Tarentum banished by Hannibal, might return and know that the Roman people was restoring to them all the possessions which they had held before the war.
Inasmuch as a very dangerous year seemed impending, and the state had no consuls, everyone turned to the consuls-elect and wished that as soon as possible they should cast lots for their provinces and settle in advance what province and what enemy each of them was to have. Also a reconciliation between them was discussed in the senate, Quintus Fabius Maximus taking the initiative.
Now between them was a well-known enmity, and for Livius his own downfall had embittered that enmity and made it more intolerable, because he believed that in that misfortune he had been treated with contempt.
And so he was the more deaf to entreaty, and kept saying they had no need to be reconciled; that in [p. 353]
every act each would show more spirit and alertness3
for fear an unfriendly colleague might have the opportunity to gain at his expense.
Nevertheless by the authority of the senate they were prevailed upon to lay aside their quarrels and to carry on the government with a common spirit and policy.
The provinces assigned to them were not locally indistinguishable, as in the preceding years, but separated by the whole length of Italy.
To the one was assigned the land of the Bruttii and Lucania facing Hannibal, to the other Gaul facing Hasdrubal, who was reported to be already nearing the Alps. Whichever of them should receive Gaul in the allotment was to choose the army he preferred out of the two that were in Gaul and in Etruria and the one at the city.
The consul to whom the land of the Bruttii should fall as his province was to enrol new legions for the city and take, at his own discretion, the army of one or the other of the consuls of the previous year.
As for the army which was not taken by a consul, Quintus Fulvius, the proconsul, was to
take it, and his command was to be for one year. And for Gaius Hostilius, for whom they had made a change
of provinces, Tarentum in place of Etruria, they made a change of Capua instead of Tarentum. One legion was assigned to him, that which in the previous year Fulvius had commanded.