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The consul T. Quinctius, in raising troops, took care to choose mainly those who had done good service in Spain or in Africa and who were men of tried courage. Anxious as he was to go to his province, he was delayed in Rome by the announcement of portents and the necessity of expiating them.  Several places had been struck by lightning-the high road at Veii, the forum and the temple of Jupiter at Lanuvium, the temple of Hercules at Ardea, and at Capua walls and towers and the temple called Alba. At Arretium the sky appeared to be on fire.  At Velitrae the earth subsided over a space of three jugera, leaving a huge chasm. At Suessa it was reported that a lamb had been born with two heads, and at Sinuessa a pig with a human head. In consequence of these portents a day of special intercessions was proclaimed and the consuls arranged for the prayers and sacrifices.  After thus placating the gods the consuls left for their respective provinces. Aelius took the praetor Helvius with him into Gaul and handed over to him the army which he had received from L. Lentulus, to be disbanded, whilst he himself prepared to continue the war with the legions he brought with him.  He did not however do anything worth recording. The other consul, T. Quinctius, left Brundisium earlier than his predecessors had been in the habit of doing and sailed for Corcyra with an army of 8000 infantry and 800 cavalry.  From there he crossed over in a quinquereme to the nearest part of the coast of Epirus, and proceeded by forced marches to the Roman camp.  He sent Villius home and then waited a few days until his troops which were following him from Corcyra joined him. Meanwhile he held a council of war on the question whether he should march straight [8??] to the enemy's lines and force them, or whether, without attempting a task of such difficulty and danger, it would not be better to make a safe circuit through the Dessaretii and the country of Lyncus and enter Macedonia from that side.  The latter proposal would have been adopted had not Quinctius feared that if he moved further from the sea his enemy might slip out of his hands, and seek safety as he had done before in forests and deserts, in which case the summer would be gone without any decisive result being arrived at.  It was decided, therefore, in any case to attack the enemy where he was, in spite of the unfavourable ground over which the attack had to be made.  But it was easier to decide that an attack should be made than to form a clear idea of how it should be made. For forty days they remained inactive in full view of the enemy.
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