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The case was argued before the tribunes in their chairs; M. Popilius and the consul were present with the centurions.  The consul demanded that the matter should be tried before the Assembly, and the Assembly was accordingly convened. M. Popilius, who had been consul two years previously, spoke on behalf of the centurions. He reminded the Assembly that these men had completed their term of military service, and were worn out by age and incessant toil.  Still, they in no way objected to give their services to the State, only they protested against being assigned a position inferior to the one they held when on active service.  The consul P. Licinius ordered the resolutions passed by the senate to be read, first the one in which the senate decided upon war with Perseus, then the one in which it was determined that as many of the veteran centurions as possible should be called up for the war, and that there should be no exemption for any man who was not over fifty years of age.  He strongly deprecated any step being taken which would hamper the military tribunes in their task of raising troops for a fresh war, so close to Italy and against an extremely powerful monarch, or which would prevent the consul from assigning to each man the rank which, in the best interests of the commonwealth, ought to be assigned to him.  If any doubt was still felt in the matter, let it be referred to the senate.
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