With regard to Pleminius, there are two different accounts. Some relate that, having heard what measures had been adopted at Rome, as he was going into exile to Naples, he accidentally fell in with Quintus Metellus, one of the deputies, by whom he was forcibly conveyed back to Rhegium.
Others say, that Scipio himself sent a lieutenant-general with thirty of the most distinguished of the cavalry to throw Quintus Pleminius into chains, and with him the principal movers of the mutiny. All these, whether by the orders of Scipio before, or of the praetor now, were delivered over to the Rhegians to be kept in custody.
The praetor and the deputies, going to Locri, gave their attention first to the affair relating to religion, agreeably to their instructions;
for, collecting all the sacred money, whether in the possession of Pleminius or the soldiers, they replaced it in the treasury, together with that which they had brought with them, and performed an expiatory sacred rite.
The praetor then, summoning the soldiers to an assembly, ordered them to march out of the city, and pitched a camp in the plain, issuing an edict which threatened severe punishment to any soldier who either had remained behind in the city, or had carried out with him what did not belong to him. He gave permission to the Locrians to seize whatever each of them identified as his property, and demand restitution to be made of any thing which was concealed. Above all, he was resolved that the free persons should be restored to the Locrians without delay.
That the man who did not restore them should be visited with no light punishment.
He then held an assembly of the Locrians, and told them, that “the people and senate of Rome restored to them their liberty and their laws. That if any one was desirous of bringing charges against Pleminius, or any one else, he should follow them to Rhegium.
If they were desirous of complaining, in the name of their state, of Publius Scipio, as having ordered and approved of the nefarious acts which had been committed at Locri against gods and men, that they should send deputies to Messana, where, with the assistance [p. 1261]
of his council, he would hear them.” The Locrians returned thanks to the praetor and deputies, and to the senate and people of Rome, and said that they would go and bring their charge against Pleminius.
That Scipio, though he had evinced too little sympathy in the injuries inflicted on their state, was such a man as they would rather have their friend than their enemy;
that they were convinced that the many and horrid acts which had been committed were done neither by the orders nor with the approval of Publius Scipio; that he had either placed too much confidence in Pleminius, or too little in them;
that the natural disposition of some men was such, that they rather were unwilling that crimes should be committed, than had sufficient resolution to punish them when committed. Both the praetor and his council were relieved from a burden of no ordinary weight in not having to take cognizance of charges against Scipio.
Pleminius, and as many as thirty-two persons with him, they condemned and sent in chains to Rome.
They then proceeded to Scipio, that they might carry to Rome a statement attested by their own observation relative to the facts which had been so generally talked of, concerning the dress and indolent habits of the general, and the relaxation of military discipline.