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After despatching the necessary business in Rome the consuls left for their respective provinces.  On his arrival in Macedonia, P. Villius was confronted by a serious mutiny amongst the troops, which had not been checked at the beginning, though they had for some time been seething with irritation.  These were the 2000 who, after Hannibal's final defeat had been transferred from Africa to Sicily and then in less than a year to Macedonia. They were regarded as volunteers but they maintained that they had been taken there without their consent, they had been placed on board by the tribunes in spite of their protests.  But in any case, whether their service was compulsory or voluntary they claimed that they had served their time and that it was only right that they should be discharged.  They had not seen Italy for many years, they had spent the best years of their life under arms in Sicily and Africa and Macedonia, and now they were worn out with their toils and hardships, their many wounds had drained their blood.  The consul told them that if they asked for their release in a proper way there was reasonable ground for granting it, but that did not justify them nor would anything else justify them in breaking out into mutiny.  If therefore they were willing to remain with the standards and obey orders he would write to the senate about disbanding them. They would be much more likely to attain their object by moderation than by contumacy.
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