When Gaius Cornelius and Quintus -1
Minucius assumed the consulship, the first question to be settled concerned the consular and praetorian provinces.
The case of the praetors was first disposed of, since that could be done by lot. The city jurisdiction fell to Sergius, that between citizens and aliens to Minucius; Atilius obtained Sardinia, Manlius Sicily, Sempronius Nearer Spain and Helvius Farther Spain.
As the consuls were making ready to draw lots for Italy and Macedonia, the tribunes of the people, Lucius Oppius and Quintus Fulvius, intervened, because, as they said, Macedonia was a distant province, and there had been
no greater difficulty up to that time in the conduct of the war than the fact that just when he was undertaking to carry on the war, with the campaign scarce begun, the former consul was recalled.
It was already the fourth year since the declaration of war with Macedonia. Sulpicius had spent the greater part of his [p. 241]
year in searching for the king and his army. Villius, -2
while making contact with the enemy, had been recalled before accomplishing anything.
Quinctius, though detained for the greater part of the year3
in Rome by religious observances, had still so managed things that if either he had arrived earlier or winter had been later, he could have finished the war;
now, it was said, having retired into winter quarters, he was making such preparations that if no successor interfered he seemed in a fair way to end the war that coming summer.
By such arguments they prevailed upon the consuls to say that they would put themselves in the senate's hands if the tribunes of the people would do the same. When both parties agreed to leave full discretion to the senate, the Fathers voted that both consuls should have Italy as province, and prolonged the term of Titus Quinctius until a successor, authorized by decree of the senate, should have arrived.
To the consuls two legions each were assigned, and the task of prosecuting the war with the Cisalpine Gauls who had revolted against the Roman people.
Reinforcements were voted for Quinctius for service in Macedonia, six thousand infantry, three hundred cavalry, and three thousand naval allies. Lucius Quinctius Flamininus was placed in command of the same fleet of which he already had charge.
Each of the praetors sent to Spain received eight thousand infantry of the allies and the Latin confederacy, and four hundred cavalry, with orders to send the veterans home from Spain; they were directed, moreover, to fix the boundaries which should be observed between the nearer and the farther provinces.4
Additional [p. 243]
lieutenants for Macedonia were named, Publius5
Sulpicius and Publius Villius, who had been consuls in that province.