Much about the same time letters were brought from Sicily and Sardinia. That of Titus Otacilius the proprietor was first read in the senate.
It stated that Lucius Furius the praetor had arrived at Lilybaeum from Africa with his fleet. That he himself, having been severely wounded, was in imminent danger of his life; that neither pay nor corn was [p. 861]
punctually furnished to the soldiers or the marines; nor were there any resources from which they could be furnished.
That he earnestly advised that such supplies should be sent with all possible expedition; and that, if it was thought proper, they should send one of the new praetors to succeed him.
Nearly the same intelligence respecting corn and pay was conveyed in a letter from Aulus Cornelius Mammula, the propraetor, from Sardinia.
The answer to both was, that there were no resources from whence they could be supplied, and orders were given to them that they should themselves provide for their fleets and armies. Titus Otacilius having sent ambassadors to Hiero, the only source of assistance the Romans had, received as much money as was wanting to pay the troops and a supply of corn for six months.
In Sardinia, the allied states contributed liberally to Cornelius. The scarcity of money at Rome also was so great, that on the proposal of Marcus Minucius, plebeian tribune, a financial triumvirate was appointed, consisting of Lucius Aemilius Papus, who had been consul and censor, Marcus Atilius Regulus, who had been twice consul, and Lucius Scribonius Libo, who was then plebeian tribune.
Marcus and Caius Atilius were also created a duumvirate for dedicating the temple of Concord, which Lucius Manlius had vowed when praetor. Three pontiffs were also created, Quintus Caecilius Metellus, Quintus Fabius Maximus, and Quintus Fulvius Flaccus, in the room of Publius Scantinius deceased, and of Lucius Aemilius Paulus the consul, and of Quintus Aelius Paetus, who had fallen in the battle of Cannae.