Dives, L. Canuleius
was appointed praetor in B. C. 171, and obtained Spain for his province.
But before he went to his post, several Spanish tribes sent embassies to Rome to complain of the avarice and insolence of their Roman governors. Hereupon L. Canuleius Dives was commissioned to appoint five recuperatores of senatorian rank to inquire into each particular case of extortion, and to allow the accused to choose their own pleaders.
In consequence of the investigations which were thus commenced, two men who had been praetors in Spain withdrew into voluntary exile.
The pleaders, probably bribed by the guilty, contrived to suppress the whole inquiry, as men of rank and influence were involved in it. L. Canuleius likewise is not free from the suspicion of having assisted the pleaders, for he joined them in dropping the matter, and forthwith assembled his troops, and proceeded to his province.
After his arrival in Spain, another interesting embassy was sent to Rome. Roman armies had for many years been stationed in Spain, and numbers of the soldiers had married Spanish women.
At the time when Canuleius was in Spain, the number of persons who had sprung from such marriages is said to have amounted to upwards of 4000, and they now petitioned the senate to assign to them a town, where they might settle.
The senate decreed that they should give in their names to Canuleius, and that, if he would manumit them, they were to settle as colonists at Carteia, where they were to form a colonia libertinorum.