The senate granted their petitions; and then Sardinia and Istria, the provinces which were in arms, were disposed of.
Two legions were ordered to be enrolled for Sardinia, each containing five thousand two hundred foot and three hundred horse; and of allies and Latins, twelve thousand foot and six hundred horse; and it was decided that the consul should have ten ships, of five banks of oars, if he should think it requisite to take them from the docks.
The same numbers of infantry and cavalry were decreed for Istria as for Sardinia. The consuls were ordered to send into Spain to Marcus Titinius, one legion, with three hundred horse and five thousand foot, and two hundred and fifty horse of the allies.
Before the consuls cast lots for their provinces, several prodigies were reported:
that in the Crustumine territory, a stone fell from the sky into the grove of Mars; that in the Roman territory, a boy was born defective in his limbs; that a serpent with four feet had been seen; that at Capua, many buildings in the forum were struck by lightning; and, that at Puteoli, two ships were burned by lightning.
Amidst these prodigies which were reported from abroad, a wolf also, after entering Rome by the Colline gate, was chased during the day, and, to the great consternation of its pursuers, escaped through the Esquiline gate.
On account of these prodigies, the consuls sacrificed victims of the larger kinds, and there was a supplication, for one day, at all the shrines.
When the sacrifices were duly performed, they cast lots for their provinces; Istria fell to Claudius, Sardinia to Sempronius.
Then Caius Claudius, by direction of the senate, proposed a law and issued a proclamation, that “any of the allies and Latin confederates, who themselves, or whose ancestors, had been surveyed among the associated states of Latium in the censorship of Marcus Claudius and Titus Quintius, or at any time since, should all return, each to his respective state, before the calends of November.”
Inquiry concerning such as did not obey, was intrusted to Lucius Mummius the praetor. To the law and the proclamation of the consul,
was added a decree of the senate, that “the dictator, consul, interrex, censor, or praetor, who then should be in office, before whom any slave should be brought, to receive manumission, should cause the said slave who was about to be made free, to make oath, that the person giving him liberty did not do it for the purpose of his changing his citizenship;” they [p. 1930]
ordered that he, whoever would not swear this oath, should not be manumitted.
The cognizance and jurisdiction in this business was, for the future, assigned to Caius Claudius the consul.