Then the elections were held for the creation of censors. Several of the first men in the state, including Caius Valerius Laevinus, Lucius Postumius Albinus, Publius Mucius Scaevola, Marcus Junius Brutus, Caius Claudius Pulcher, and Tiberius Sempronius Gracchus, were candidates for this office. The Roman people appointed the two last censors.
As, on account of the Macedonian war, greater attention was paid to holding the levy than usual, the consuls made a complaint to the senate against the plebeians, that even the younger men did not obey their summons.
But, in opposition to them, Caius Sulpicius and Marcus Claudius, tribunes of the people, pleaded in favour of the plebeians; asserting, that “the levying of soldiers was a difficult task, not to the consuls in general, but to such consuls as affected popularity; that no man was made a soldier by them against his inclination; and that the conscript fathers might be convinced of the truth of this, the praetors, who in their office had less power and authority, would, if it seemed good to the senate, complete the levy.”
That business was accordingly committed to the care of the praetors by an unanimous vote of the senate, not without great murmuring on the part of the consuls.
The censors, in order to forward it, published, in a general assembly, the following notice: that “they would make it a rule in conducting the survey, that, besides the common oath taken by all citizens, the younger part should swear in this manner, when challenged, —You are younger than forty-six years, and you shall attend at the levy, pursuant to the edict of Caius Claudius and Tiberius Sempronius, censors; and you shall attend at the levy, as often as there shall be a levy held by any magistrate during the aforesaid censors' continuance in office, if you shall not have been already enlisted.”
Also as there was [p. 2047]
a report, that many men belonging to the legions in Macedon were absent from the army on furloughs, which did not limit the time, and were granted by the commanders to ingratiate themselves with the soldiers, they issued a proclamation concerning all who had been draughted for Macedon in the consulate of Publius Aelius and Caius Popilius, or since that period;
that “such as were in Italy should, after being first registered by them in the survey, repair within thirty days to the province in which they served; and that, if any were under the power of a father or grandfather, the names of such should be notified to them.
That they would also make inquiry into the cases of the soldiers who had been discharged; and that they would order those, whose discharge should appear to have been obtained through favour, before the regular number of campaigns were served, to be enlisted again.”
In consequence of this proclamation, and letters from the censors being dispersed through the market-towns and villages, such multitudes of young men flocked to Rome, that the extraordinary crowd was even inconvenient to the city.
Besides enrolling those whom it was necessary to send as a reinforcement for the armies, four legions were raised by the praetor, Caius Sulpicius, and the levies were completed within eleven days.