Commissaries were sent into Africa, three to Carthage, and a like number to Numidia, to procure corn to be carried into Greece; for which the Roman people were to pay the [p. 1610]
And so attentive was the state to the making of every preparation and provision necessary for the carrying on of this
war, that the consul, Publius Cornelius, published an edict, that “no senator, nor any who had the privilege of giving an opinion in the senate, nor any of the inferior magistrates, should go so far from the city of Rome as that they could not return the same day; and that five senators should not be absent from the city at the same time.”
A dispute which arose with the maritime colonies, for some time retarded Caius Livius, the praetor, when actively engaged in fitting out the fleet.
For, when they were impressed for manning the ships, they appealed to the tribunes of the people, by whom the cause was referred to the senate. The senate, without one dissenting voice, resolved, that those colonies were not entitled to exemption from the sea-service.
The colonies which disputed with the praetor on the subject of exemption were, Ostia, Fregenae, Castrumnovum, Pyrgi, Antium, Tarracina, Minturnae, and Sinuessa.
The consul, Manius Acilius, then, by direction of the senate, consulted the college of heralds, “whether a declaration of war should be made to Antiochus in person, or whether it would be sufficient to declare it at some garrison town; whether they directed a separate declaration against the Aetolians, and whether their alliance and friendship ought not to be renounced before war was declared.”
The heralds answered, that “they had given their judgment before, when they were consulted respecting Philip, that it was of no consequence whether the declaration were made to himself in person, or at one of his garrisons.
That, in their opinion, friendship had been already renounced; because, after their ambassadors had so often demanded restitution, the Aetolians had not thought proper to make either restitution or apology.
That these, by their own act, had made a declaration of war against themselves, when they
seized, by force, Demetrias, a city in alliance with Rome;
when they laid siege to Chalcis by land and sea; and brought king Antiochus into Europe, to make war on the Romans.”
Every preparatory measure being now completed, the consul, Manius Acilius, issued an edict, that the “soldiers enlisted, or raised from among the allies by Titus Quinctius, and who were under orders to go with him to his province; as, likewise, the military tribunes of the first and third legions, should [p. 1611]
assemble at Brundusium, on the ides of May.”1
He himself, on the fifth before the nones of May,2
set out from the city in his military robe of command.
At the same time the praetors, likewise, departed for their respective provinces.