Fabius mounted the Rostra with his lictors and said that he did not approve of two dictators at the
same time, an unprecedented thing,1
nor of a dictator without master of the horse, nor of conferring a censor's power upon one man, and in fact to the same man a second time, nor of giving the full military authority for six months to a dictator not appointed for the conduct of affairs. He said that he would set a limit to such possible irregularities as the crisis and necessity had occasioned.
For he would not eject from the senate any of those whom Gaius Flaminius and Lucius Aemilius as censors had chosen into the senate, but would order their names merely
to be copied and read out, that judgment and decision in regard to the reputation and character of a senator might not rest with one man. And in place of the deceased he would make his choice in such a way that rank should obviously have been preferred to rank, not man to man.
After reading the list of the old senate, he chose in place of the deceased first those who since the censorship of Lucius Aemilius [p. 79]
and Gaius Flaminius2
had held a curule office and had3
not yet been chosen into the senate,4
in each case in the order of his election.
Then he chose those who had been aediles,5
tribunes of the people or quaestors; then, from the number of those who had not held offices, the men who had spoils of the enemy affixed to their houses or had received the civic wreath.6
Having thus chosen a hundred and seventy-seven into the senate with great approval, he at once abdicated his office and came down from the Rostra a private citizen, after ordering his lictors to leave him.
And he mingled with the crowd of those engaged in private business, deliberately killing time, in order not to draw the people away from the forum for the purpose of escorting him. Yet men's attention was not relaxed by that delay, and so in large numbers they escorted him home.
The consul returned that night to the army without informing the senate, for fear of being detained in the city to conduct the elections.