At almost the end of this year the consul Marcus Valerius came from the Ligurians to Rome to hold the elections of magistrates, having done nothing in the province so worthy of note that it could be a plausible reason for delay, to cause him to arrive later
than usual for the elections. The election of consuls took place on the twelfth day before the Kalends of March;
the successful candidates were Marcus Aemilius Lepidus and Gaius Flaminius.
The next day the praetors were chosen, Appius Claudius Pulcher, Servius Sulpicius Galba, Quintus Terentius Culleo, Lucius Terentius Massiliota, Quintus Fulvius Flaccus, Marcus Furius Crassipes.
Having finished the elections, the consul referred to the senate the question as to which provinces they desired to assign to the praetors. They decreed that two should be stationed in Rome to [p. 145]
administer justice, two outside Italy, in Sicily and1
Sardinia, and two in Italy, at Tarentum and in Gaul;2
and they were ordered to cast lots at once, before they were inaugurated.
Servius Sulpicius received the civil jurisdiction, Quintus Terentius that between citizens and aliens, Lucius Terentius Sicily, Quintus Fulvius Sardinia, Appius Claudius Tarentum, Marcus Furius Gaul.
In that year Lucius Minucius Myrtilus and Lucius Manlius, because they were said to have beaten Carthaginian ambassadors, by order of Marcus Claudius, the city praetor, were delivered by the fetials to ambassadors and taken to Carthage.3
There was the rumour of a great war, growing more4
dangerous every day, among the Ligurians.
So, on the day when the new consuls laid before the senate the question of the provinces and the general policy, the senate decreed to both consuls the Ligurians as their province.
To this decree of the senate the consul Lepidus objected, declaring that it was improper that both the consuls should be shut up in the valleys of the Ligurians while Marcus Fulvius and Gnaeus Manlius for two years now, the one in Europe, the other in Asia, were lording it as if they were the successors to Philip and Antiochus.
If it were the senate's pleasure that there should be armies in those lands, consuls rather than private citizens5
should command them. These men were wandering about, carrying the threat of war to nations upon whom no war had been declared, selling peace for a [p. 147]
If it was necessary, he continued, to hold7
these provinces with troops, just as the consul Lucius Scipio had succeeded Manius Acilius and had in turn been superseded by the consuls Marcus Fulvius and Gnaeus Manlius, so Fulvius and Manlius should have been replaced by the consuls Gaius Livius and
Marcus Valerius. Now, at any rate, when the Aetolian war was finished, when Asia was rescued from Antiochus, when the Gauls were conquered, either consuls should be sent to command consular armies or the legions should be recalled from there and at length restored to
the state. After hearing this the senate persisted in its decision that both consuls should have the Ligurians as their province; it was voted that Manlius and Fulvius should retire from their provinces and withdraw their armies from them and return to Rome.