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Q. Fulvius Flaccus and Appius Claudius entered on their consulship, the former for the third time. The praetors drew lots for their provinces; P. Cornelius Sulla had assigned to him both the home and foreign jurisdiction, which had previously been held separately;  Apulia fell to Cn. Fulvius Flaccus; Suessula to C. Claudius Nero; Etruria to M. Junius Silanus.  Two legions were decreed for each of the consuls in the operations against Hannibal; one consul took over the army from Q. Fabius, the consul of the previous year, the other that of Fulvius Centumalus.  With regard to the praetors, Fulvius Flaccus was to have the legions which were at Luceria under Aemilius, Claudius Nero those which were serving in Picenum under C. Terentius, and they were each to raise their force to its full complement. The City legions raised the previous year were assigned to M. Junius to meet any movement from Etruria.  Ti. Sempronius Gracchus and P. Sempronius Tuditanus had their commands extended in their respective provinces of Lucania and Cis-Alpine Gaul, as also had P. Lentulus in the Roman province of Sicily and M. Marcellus in Syracuse and that part of the island over which Hiero had reigned.  The command of the fleet was left in the hands of T. Otacilius, the operations in Greece in those of M. Valerius, the campaign in Sardinia was still to be under the conduct of Q. Mucius Scaevola, whilst the two Scipios were to continue their work in Spain.  In addition to the existing armies two fresh legions were raised in the City by the consuls, thus bringing up the total number to twenty-three legions for the year.  The enrolment was interrupted by the conduct of M. Postumius Pyrgensis which might have endangered the stability of the republic.  This man was a public contractor and for many years had had only one man to match him in dishonesty and greed, and that was T. Pomponius Veientanus, whom the Carthaginians under Hanno got hold of while he was recklessly raiding Lucania.  The State had made itself responsible where supplies intended for the armies were lost through storms at sea, and these men invented stories of shipwrecks, and when they did not invent, the shipwrecks which they reported were due to their dishonesty, not to accident.  They placed small and worthless cargoes on old shattered ships, which they sank when out at sea, the sailors being taken into boats which were kept in readiness, and then they made a false declaration as to the cargo, putting it at many times its real value.  This fraud had been disclosed to M. Aemilius, the praetor, and he laid the matter before the senate, but they had taken no action because they were anxious not to offend the body of public contractors at such a time as that.  The people, however, took a much severer view of the case, and at length two tribunes of the plebs, Spurius Carvilius and L. Carvilius, seeing the public indignation and disgust aroused, demanded that a fine of 200,000 ases should be imposed on them.  When the day came for the question to be decided, the plebs were present in such great numbers that the space on the Capitol hardly held them, and after the case had been gone through, the only hope left to the defence was the chance of C. Servilius Casca, [15??] a tribune of the plebs and a near relative of Postumius, interposing his veto before the tribes proceeded to vote.  When the evidence had been given, the tribunes ordered the people to withdraw and the voting urn was brought in, in order that it might be determined in what tribe the Latins were to vote. While this was being done the contractors urged Casca to stop the proceedings for the day, and the people loudly opposed that step.  Casca happened to be sitting in front at the end of the tribunal seats, and he was labouring under the conflicting emotions of fear and shame.  Seeing that no dependence was to be placed upon him, the contractors determined to create a disturbance and rushed in a compact body into the space left vacant by the withdrawal of the Assembly, loudly abusing both the people and the tribunes.  As there was every prospect of a hand-to-hand fight the consul Fulvius said to the tribunes: "Do you not see that your authority has gone, and that there will certainly be a riot if you do not dismiss the meeting?"
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