The provinces and armies were thus distributed: the prosecution of the war with Hannibal was given to the consuls, and of the armies, one which Sempronius himself had commanded, and another which the consul Fabius had commanded, each consisting of two legions.
Marcus Aemilius, the praetor, who had the foreign jurisdiction, was to have Luceria as his province, with the two legions which Quintus Fabius, then consul, had commanded as praetor, his colleague, Marcus Atilius, the city praetor, undertaking the duties of his office.
The province of Ariminum fell to the lot of Publius Sempronius, that of Suessula to Cneius Fulvius, with two legions each likewise; Fulvius taking with him the city legions; [p. 949]
Tuditanus receiving his from Manius Pomponius.
The following generals were continued in command, and their provinces assigned to them thus: to Marcus Claudius, so much of Sicily as lay within the limits of the kingdom of Hiero; to Lentulus, the proprietor, the old province in that island; to Titus Otacilius, the fleet; no additional troops were assigned to them.
Marcus Valerius had Greece and Macedonia, with the legion and the fleet which he had there; Quintus Mucius had Sardinia, with his old army, consisting of two legions; Caius Terentius, Picenum, with one legion which he then commanded.
Besides, orders were given to enlist two legions for the city, and twenty thousand men from the allies. With these leaders and these forces did they fortify the Roman empire against the many wars which had either actually broken out, or were suspected at one and the same time.
After enlisting the city legions and raising troops to make up the numbers of the others, the consuls, before they quitted the city, expiated the prodigies which were reported.
A wall and a gate had been struck by lightning; and at Aricia even the temple of Jupiter had been struck by lightning. Other illusions of the eyes and ears were credited as realities. An appearance as of ships had been seen in the river at Tarracina, when there were none there. A clashing of arms was heard in the temple of Jupiter Vicilinus, in the territory of Compsa; and a river at Amiternum had flowed bloody.
These prodigies having been expiated according to a decree of the pontiffs, the consuls set out, Sempronius for Lucania, Fabius for Apulia. The father of the latter came into the camp at Suessula, as his lieutenant-general; and when the son advanced to meet him, the lictors, out of respect for his dignity, went on in silence.
The old man rode past eleven of the fasces, when the consul ordered the lictor nearest to him to take care, and he called to him to dismount; then at length dismounting, he exclaimed, “I wished to try, my son, whether you were duly sensible that you are a consul.”