Then was read a letter from the consul, Quintus Marcius, informing the senate, that “he had passed the mountains, and penetrated into Macedonia;
that the praetor had collected there, and procured from other places, stores of provisions for the approaching winter; and that he had brought from the Epirots twenty thousand measures of wheat, ten thousand of barley, the price of which he desired might be paid to their ambassadors in Rome:
that clothing for the troops must be sent from Rome; and that he wanted about two hundred horses, above all Numidian horses; where he was, he could procure none.” The senate decreed, that every thing should be done in accordance with the consul's letter.
The praetor, Caius Sulpicius, agreed with contractors for conveying into Macedonia six thousand gowns, thirty thousand tunics, and the horses, all to be left to the approbation of the consul; and he paid the Epirot ambassadors the price of the corn. He then introduced to the senate, Onesimus, son of Pytho, a Macedonian of distinction.
He had always advised the king to peaceable measures, and recommended to him, that, as his father Philip had, to the last day of his life, made it an established rule to read over twice every day the treaty concluded with the Romans, so he should, if not daily, yet frequently, observe the same practice. When he could not dissuade him from war, he at first began to absent himself on various pretences, that he might not be present at proceedings which he could not approve.
But at last, having discovered that suspicions were harboured against him, and that he was tacitly accused of the crime of treason, he went over to the Romans, and was of great service to the consul.
When he was introduced into the senate-house, he mentioned these circumstances, and the senate thereupon decreed that he should be enrolled in the number of their allies; that a house and accommodations should be provided for him; also a grant of two hundred acres of land, in that part of the Tarentine territory which was the public property of the Roman people; [p. 2075]
and a house in Tarentum to be bought for him; the charge of executing all which was committed to Caius Decimius, the praetor.
On the ides of December, the censors performed the general survey with more severity than formerly. A great many were deprived of their horses, among whom was Publius Rutilius, who, when tribune of the people, had carried on a violent prosecution against them; he was, besides, degraded from his tribe, and disfranchised.
In pursuance of a decree of the senate, one-half of the taxes of that year was paid by the quaestors into the hands of the censors, to defray the expenses of public works.
Tiberius Sempronius, out of the money assigned to him, purchased for the public the house of Publius Africanus, behind the old house, near the statue of Vertumnus, with the butchers' stalls and shops adjoining;
where he built the public court-house, afterwards called the Sempronian.