The consuls endeavoured to encourage and console the senate, telling them that “the other colonies would maintain their allegiance, and continue in their former state of dutiful obedience, and that those very colonies who had renounced their allegiance, would be inspired with respect for the empire, if ambassadors were sent round to them to reprove and not entreat them.”
The senate having given them permission to do and to act as they might conceive best for the state; after sounding the intentions of the other colonies, the consuls summoned their ambassadors, and asked them whether they had their soldiers ready according to the roll?
Marcus Sextilius of Fregellae replied, in behalf of the eighteen colonies, that “they both had their soldiers ready according to the roll, and if more were wanting would furnish more, and would perform with all diligence whatever else the Roman people commanded and wished;
that to do this they wanted not means, and of inclination they had more than enough.”
The consuls, having first told them that any praises bestowed by themselves alone seemed too little for their deserts, unless the whole body of the fathers should thank them in the senate-house, led them before the senate.
The senate, having voted an address to them conceived in the most honourable terms, charged the consuls to take them before the assembly of the people; and, among the many other distinguished services rendered to themselves and their ancestors, to make mention also of this recent obligation conferred upon the state.
Nor even at the present day, after the lapse of so many ages, let their names be passed over in silence, nor let them be defrauded of the praise due to them. They were the people of Signia, Norba, Saticulum, Brundusium, Fregellae, Luceria, Venusia, Adria, Firma, Ariminum; on the other sea, Pontia, Paestum, and Cosa; and in the inland parts, Beneventum, Aesernia, Spoletum, Placentia, and Cremona.
By the support of these colonies the empire of the Roman people then stood; and the thanks both of the senate and the people were given to them.
As to the twelve other colonies which refused obedience, the fathers forbade that their names should be mentioned, that their ambassadors should either be dismissed or retained, or be addressed by the consuls.
Such a tacit reproof appeared most consistent with the dignity of the Roman people.
While the consuls were getting in readiness all the other things which were necessary for the war, it was resolved that the vicesimary gold, which was preserved in the most sacred part of the treasury as a resource in cases of extreme exigency, should be drawn out.
There were drawn out as many as four thousand pounds of gold, from which five hundred pounds each were given to the consuls, to Marcus Marcellus and Publius Sulpicius, proconsuls, and Lucius Veturnius, the praetor, who had by lot obtained Gaul as his province; and in addition, one hundred pounds of gold were given to the consul Fabius, as an extraordinary grant to be carried into the citadel of Tarentum.
The rest they employed in contracts, for ready money, for clothing for the army which was carrying on the war in Spain, to their own and their general's glory.