THE consuls and praetors, having entered upon office on the ides of March, cast lots for the provinces.
Italy fell to Lucius Cornelius Lentulus, Macedonia to Publius Villius. Of the praetors, the city jurisdiction fell to Lucius Quinctius, Ariminum to Cneius Baebius, Sicily to Lucius Valerius, Sardinia to Lucius Villius.
The consul Lentulus was ordered to levy new legions; Villius, to receive the army from Publius Sulpicius; and, to complete its number, power was given him to raise as many men as he thought proper.
To the praetor Baebius were decreed the legions which Caius Aurelius, late consul, had commanded, with directions that he should keep them in their present situation, until the consul should come with the new army to supply their place;
and that, on his arriving in Gaul, all the soldiers who had served out their time should be sent home, except five thousand of the allies, which would be sufficient to protect the province round Ariminum.
The command was continued to the praetors of the former year; to Cneius Sergius, that he might superintend the distribution of land to the soldiers who had served for many years in Spain, Sicily, and Sardinia; to Quintus Minucius, that he might finish the inquiries concerning the conspiracies in Bruttium, which, while praetor, he had managed with care and fidelity.
That he should also send to Locri, to suffer punishment, those who had been convicted of sacrilege, and who were then in chains at Rome;
and that he should take care, that whatever had been carried away from the temple of Proserpine should be replaced with expiations.
The Latin festival was repeated in pursuance of a decree of the [p. 1396]
pontiffs, because ambassadors from Ardea had complained to the senate, that during the said solemnity they had not been supplied with meat as usual on the Alban mount. From Suessa an account was brought, that two of the gates, and the wall between them, had been struck with lightning.
Messengers from Formiae related, that the temple of Jupiter had also been struck by lightning; from Ostia, likewise, news came of the like accident having happened to the temple of Jupiter there; it was said, too, that the temples of Apollo and Sancus, at Veliternum, were struck in like manner;
and that in the temple of Hercules, hair had grown (on the statue). A letter was received from Quintus Minucius, proprietor, from Bruttium, that a foal had been born with five feet, and three chickens with three feet each.
Afterwards a letter was brought from Macedonia, from Publius Sulpicius, proconsul, in which, among other matters, it was mentioned, that a laurel tree had sprung up on the poop of a ship of war. On occasion of the former prodigies, the senate had voted, that the consuls should offer sacrifices with the greater victims to such gods as they thought proper.
On account of the last prodigy, alone, the aruspices were called
before the senate, and, in pursuance of their answer, the people were ordered by proclamation to perform a supplication for one day, and worship was solemnized at all the shrines.