The elections were then held, in which Caius Claudius Pulcher and Tiberius Sempronius Gracchus were chosen consuls. Next day the following persons were elected praetors, Publius Aelius Tubero, a second time, Caius Quintus Flamininus, Caius Numisius, Lucius Mummius, Cneius Cornelius Scipio, and Publius Valerius Laevinus.
The city jurisdiction fell, by lot, to Tubero; the foreign, to Quintus; Sicily, to Numisius; and Sardinia, to Mummius; but this last, on account of the importance of the war there, was made a consular province.
Gracchus obtains it by lot; Claudius, Istria; Scipio and Laevinus received Gaul, which was divided into two provinces. On the ides of March, the day when Sempronius and
Claudius [p. 1928]
assumed the administration, a cursory mention only was made of the provinces of Sardinia and of Istria, and of those who had commenced hostilities there;
but on the day following, the ambassadors of the Sardinians, who had been referred to the new magistrates, were introduced, and Lucius Minucius Thermus, lieutenant-general under the consul Manlius in Istria, attended; and by them the senate was accurately informed how far these provinces were involved in war. Ambassadors from the confederate states of Latium, who, after having ineffectually applied to the former consuls and censors, were at last introduced to an audience, made a powerful impression on the senate.
The amount of their complaints was, that “their citizens, having been rated in the general survey at Rome, had most of them removed thither;
and that if this practice were allowed, it would come to pass, in the course of a very few lustrums, that their deserted towns and country would be unable to furnish any soldiers.”
The Samnites and the Pelignians also represented, that four thousand families had emigrated to Fregellae; and that neither of these places furnished less soldiers on that account.
That there had been practised two species of fraud in individuals changing their citizenship: there was a law, which granted liberty to any of the allies or Latins, who should not leave his offspring at home, to be enrolled a citizen of Rome; yet, by an abuse of this law, some did injury to the allies, others to the Roman people.
For, at first, to evade the leaving offspring at home, they made over their children as slaves to some Roman, under an agreement that they should be again set free, and thus become citizens by emancipation; and then those men, who had now no children to leave, became Roman citizens.
Afterwards, they neglected even these appearances of law; and, without any regard either to the ordinances or to progeny, passed indiscriminately into the Roman state by migration, and getting themselves included in the survey.
To prevent such proceedings in future, the ambassadors requested the senate to order the allies to return to their respective states, and to provide by a law that no one should make any man his property, or alienate such property for the purpose of a change of citizenship; and that if any person should by such means be made a citizen of Rome, he should not enjoy the rights of a citizen." [p. 1929]