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Up to that time the Roman people had no allies amongst the communities in Asia. They had not forgotten however, that when they were suffering from a serious epidemic they had sent to fetch Aesculapius from Greece [2??] though they had no treaty with that country, and now that King Attalus had formed a friendly league with them against their common enemy, Philip, they hoped that he would do what he could in the interest of Rome.  Accordingly, they decided to send a mission to him; those selected for the purpose being M. Valerius Laevinus who had been twice consul and had also been in charge of the operations in Greece, M. Caecilius Metellus an ex-praetor, S. Sulpicius Galba, formerly aedile, and two who had been quaestors, Cnaeus Tremellius Flaccus and M. Valerius Falto.  It was arranged that they should sail with five quinqueremes in order that they might present an appearance worthy of the people of Rome when they visited those states which were to be favourably impressed with the greatness of the Roman name.  On their way to Asia the commissioners landed at Delphi, and at once went to consult the oracle and ascertain what hopes it held out to them and their country of accomplishing their task.  The response which they are said to have received was that they would attain their object through King Attalus and when they had conveyed the goddess to Rome they were to take care that the best and noblest men in Rome should accord her a fitting reception.  They went on to the royal residence in Pergamum, and here the king gave them a friendly welcome and conducted them to Pessinus in Phrygia.  He then handed over to them the sacred stone which the natives declared to be "the Mother of the Gods," and bade them carry it to Rome.  M. Valerius Falto was sent on in advance to announce that the goddess was on her way, and that the best and noblest man in Rome must be sought out to receive her with all due honour.  The consul commanding in Bruttium nominated Q. Caecilius Metellus as Dictator to conduct the elections and his army was disbanded; L. Veturius Philo was Master of the Horse.  The new consuls were M. Cornelius Cethegus and P. Sempronius Tuditanus; the latter was elected in his absence as he was commanding in Greece. Then followed the election of praetors, those elected being Tiberius Claudius Nero, M. Marcius Ralla, L. Scribonius Libo and M. Pomponius Matho.  When the elections were over, the Dictator resigned his office. The Roman Games were celebrated three times, the Plebeian Games, seven times. The curule aediles were the two Cornelii, Cnaeus and Lucius.  Lucius was in charge of the province of Spain; he was elected in his absence, and though absent, discharged the duties of his office. Tiberius Claudius Asellus and M. Junius Pennus were the plebeian aediles. The temple of Virtus near the Porta Capena was dedicated by M. Marcellus this year; it had been vowed by his father at Clastidium in Gaul seventeen years previously.  M. Aemilius Regillus, Flamen of Mars, died this year.
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