The lustrum was closed this year. The censors were Quintus Fulvius Flaccus and Lucius Postumius Albinus, the latter of whom performed the ceremony.
In this survey were rated two hundred and sixty-nine thousand and fifteen Roman citizens. The number was considerably less, because the consul, Lucius Postumius, gave public orders, in assembly, that none of the Latin allies (who, according to the edict of the consul, Caius Claudius, ought to have gone home) should be surveyed at Rome, but all of them in their respective countries. Their censorship was conducted with perfect harmony and zeal for the public good.
They disfranchised and degraded from their tribes every one whom they expelled the senate, or from whom they took away his horse; nor did either approve a person censured by the other.
Fulvius, at this time, dedicated the temple of Equestrian Fortune, which he had vowed six years before, and when proconsul in Spain, during the battle with the Celtiberians; he also exhibited stage-plays, which lasted four days, in one of which the performance was in the circus. Lucius Cornelius Lentulus, decemvir in religious matters, died this year, and Aulus Postumius Albinus was substituted in his room.
Such great crowds of locusts were suddenly brought by the wind over the sea into Apulia, that they covered the country far and wide with their swarms.
In order to remove this pest, so destructive to the fruits of the earth, Caius Sicinius, praetor elect, was sent in command, with a vast multitude of people assembled, to gather them up, and spent a considerable time in that business.
The beginning of the year in which Caius Popilius and Publius Aelius were consuls, was employed in the disputes which had arisen in the last.
The senators were desirous that the business respecting the Ligurians should be re-considered, and the decree renewed. Aelius, the consul, was willing to propose it, but Popillius warmly interceded for his brother, both with his colleague and the senate;
and by giving notice, that if they would pass any vote on the subject he would enter his protest, he deterred him from proceeding [p. 1968]
in the matter.
The senate being hereby equally incensed against them, persisted the more obstinately in their intention; and when they took into consideration the distribution of the provinces, although Macedon was earnestly sought by the consuls, because a war with Perseus was daily expected, yet the Ligurians were assigned as the province of both.
They declare that they would not vote Macedonia to them, unless the question were put on the affair of Marcus Popilius. The consuls afterwards demanded that they might be authorized to raise either new armies, or recruits to fill up the old; both demands were refused.
To the praetors also, when seeking a reinforcement for Spain, a refusal is given: to Marcus Junius for Hither Spain, and to Spurius Lucretius for the Farther.
Caius Licinius Crassus obtained by lot the city jurisdiction; Cneius Sicinius, the foreign; Caius Memmius, Sicily; and Spurius Cluvius, Sardinia.
The consuls, enraged against the senate on account of this conduct, having proclaimed an early day for the Latin festival, declared openly that they would go away to their province, and would not transact any kind of business, except what belonged to their own government.