PUBLIUS CORNELIUS SCIPIO, son of Cneius, and Manius Acilius Glabrio, the consuls, on their assuming the administration, were ordered by
the senate, before they settled any thing respecting their provinces, to perform sacrifices, with victims of the greater kinds, at all the shrines, where the Lectisternium was usually celebrated for the greater part of the year; and to offer prayers, that the business which the state had in contemplation, concerning a new war, might terminate prosperously and happily for the senate and people of Rome.
At every one of those sacrifices, appearances were favourable, and the propitious omens were found in the first victims. Accordingly, the auspices gave this answer: —That, by this war, the boundaries of the Roman empire would be enlarged; and that victory and triumph were portended.
When this answer was reported, the senate, having their minds now freed from superstitious fears, ordered this question to be proposed to the people;
“Was it their will, and did they order, that war should be undertaken against king Antiochus, and all who should join his party?” And that if that [p. 1608]
order passed, then the consuls were, if they thought proper, to lay the business entire before the senate.
Publius Cornelius got the order passed; and then the senate decreed, that the consuls should cast lots for the provinces of Italy and Greece; that he to whose lot Greece fell, should, in addition to the number of soldiers enlisted and raised from the allies by Quinctius for that province, pursuant to a decree of the senate, take under his command that army, which, in the
preceding year, Marcus Baebius, praetor, had, by order of the senate, carried over to Macedonia. Permission was also granted him, to receive succours from the allies, out of Italy, if circumstances should so require, provided their number did not exceed five thousand.
It was resolved, that Lucius Quinctius, consul of the former year, should be commissioned as a lieutenant-general in that war.
The other consul, to whom Italy fell, was ordered to carry on the war with the Boians, with whichever he should choose of the two armies commanded by the consuls of the last year; and to send the other to Rome; and these were ordered to be the city legions, and ready to march to whatever place the senate should direct.