The ceremonies which were intended to propitiate the gods being completed, the consuls took the sense of the senate on the state of the nation, the conduct of the war, what troops should be employed, and where they were severally to act.
It was resolved that eighteen legions should be engaged in the war; that the consuls should take two each; that two should be employed in each of the provinces of Gaul, Sicily, and Sardinia;
that Quintus Fabius, the praetor, should have the command of two in Apulia, and Tiberius Gracchus of two legions of volunteer slaves in the neighbourhood of Luceria;
that one each should be left for Caius Terentius, the proconsul, for Picenum, and to Marcus Valerius for the fleet off Brundusium, and two for the protection of the city.
To complete this number of legions six fresh ones were to be enlisted, which the consuls were ordered to raise as soon as possible;
and also to prepare the fleet, so that, together with the ships which were stationed off the coasts of Calabria, it might amount that year to one hundred and fifty men of war. The levy completed, and the hundred new ships launched, Quintus Fabius held the election for the creation of censors, when Marcus Atilius Regulus and Publius Furius Philus were chosen.
A rumour prevailing that war had broken out in Sicily, Titus Otacilius was ordered to proceed thither with his fleet; but as there was a deficiency of sailors, the consuls, in conformity with a decree of the senate, published an order that those persons who themselves or whose fathers had been rated in the censorship of Lucius Aemilius and Caius Flaminius, at from fifty to one hundred thousand asses,
or whose property had since reached that amount, should furnish one sailor and six months' pay;
from one to three hundred thousand, three sailors with a year's pay; from three hundred thousand to a million, five sailors; above one million, seven sailors; that senators should furnish eight sailors with a year's pay.
The sailors furnished according to this proclamation being armed and equipped by their masters, embarked with cooked provisions for thirty days. Then first it [p. 910]
happened that the Roman fleet was manned at the expense of individuals.