Against him as a candidate on this occasion the nobility, as throughout his life, used their influence; and all the candidates except Lucius Flaccus, who had been his colleague in the consulship, had formed a combination
to keep him from the office,1
not only that they themselves might rather win it nor because they objected to seeing a “new man”2
chosen censor, but also because they anticipated a stern censorship dangerous to the reputation of many, from a man who had both been injured by many and was eager to do injury.
For even then he was canvassing by means of threats, charging that [p. 353]
he was being opposed by men who feared a free and3
At the same time he canvassed for Lucius Valerius also: with him alone as his colleague could he chastise the new vices and revive the ancient character. Aroused by such arguments and against the opposition of the nobility, the citizens not only chose Marcus Porcius as censor, but also gave him Lucius Flaccus as his colleague.
After the election of the censors the consuls and praetors departed for their provinces, with the exception of Quintus Naevius, who was detained for not less than four months before he could set out for Sardinia by the investigation of poisonings, a great part of which he conducted outside the City, in the municipalities and rural communities, because this method seemed more convenient.
If one wishes to trust Valerius Antias, he condemned about two thousand persons. And Lucius Postumius the praetor, to whom the province of Tarentum had fallen, broke up large conspiracies of shepherds4
and diligently prosecuted what was left of the Bacchanalian investigation.
Many who either had not appeared when summoned or had abandoned their sureties, hiding in that part of Italy, he pronounced guilty in some cases, and in others he arrested them and sent them to the senate in Rome. All were thrown into prison by Publius Cornelius.