The consuls and praetors, having entered upon1
their offices on the Ides of March, drew lots for the provinces.
The result gave Italy to Lucius Lentulus, Macedonia to Publius Villius, while of the praetors, the city jurisdiction fell to Lucius Quinctius, Ariminum to Gnaeus Baebius, Sicily to Lucius Valerius, and Sardinia to Lucius Villius.
The consul Lentulus was directed to enlist new legions, Villius to take over the army from Publius Sulpicius; he was allowed, as addition thereto, to enroll whatever number of soldiers he saw fit.
The legions which Gaius Aurelius the consul had had were decreed to the praetor Baebius, with the proviso that he should keep them until the consul with the new army should relieve him;
when he arrived in Gaul, all the soldiers who had served their terms were to be sent home except five thousand of the allies; this number seemed sufficient to hold the province around Ariminum.
The authority of two praetors of the preceding year was extended, that of Gaius Sergius, to permit him to organize the distribution of land to the soldiers who had served for many years in Spain, Sicily, and Sardinia,2
that of Quintus Minucius, to enable him to complete the inquiry3
regarding conspiracies in Bruttium, which he had carried on as praetor with loyalty and energy, to return to
Locri for punishment the men he had sent in chains to Rome after they were [p. 157]
found guilty of sacrilege, and to arrange to replace4
the money stolen from the shrine of Persephone, along with the sin-offerings.
The Latin Festival was repeated by order of the pontiffs, because delegates from Ardea had made complaint in the senate that the flesh of the animals sacrificed on the Alban Mount had not been given to them, as was the custom.5
News came from Suessa that two gates and the adjacent portion of the wall had been struck by lightning; and ambassadors from Formiae reported that the same thing had happened to the temple of Jupiter, from Ostia, to the temple of Jupiter, from Velitrae, to the shrines of Apollo and Sangus;6
and it was said that the hair had grown in the temple of Hercules;7
also, Quintus Minucius the propraetor wrote from Bruttium that a five-legged colt had been born, and three chicks each with three feet.
Letters were brought from Macedonia, from the proconsul Publius Sulpicius, in which, among other things, it was said that a laurel had grown out of the stern of a war-ship.
By reason of the former prodigies, the senate had decreed that the consuls should sacrifice full-grown victims to whatever gods it seemed wise; on account of this last event,8
were called into the senate, and
on their advice a period of prayer was proclaimed to the people for one day, and sacrifices were performed at all the banquet tables of the gods.