These and other unfavourable occurrences in Macedon were learned from Sextus Digitius, a military tribune, who came to Rome to perform a sacrifice.
The senate being apprehensive on account of these advices of some greater disgrace ensuing, deputed Marcus Fulvius Flaccus and Marcus Caninius Rebilus to go to Macedon, and bring certain information of what was going on there;
at the same time ordering that the consul, Aulus Hostilius, should summon the assembly for the election of consuls, and arrange that it might be held in the month of January, and should come home to the city as soon as possible.
In the mean time instructions were given to the praetor, Marcus Recius, to call home to Rome, by proclamation, all the senators from every part of Italy, except such as were absent on public business; and it was resolved that none of those who were in Rome should go further than one mile from the city.
All this was done pursuant to the votes of the senate.
The election of consuls was held on the fifth day before the calends of February. Quintus Marcius Philippus a second time, and Cneius Servilius Caepio, were elected consuls.
Three days after, Caius Decimius, Marcus Claudius Marcellus, Caius Sulpicius Gallus, Caius Marcius Figulus, Servius Cornelius Lentulus, and Publius Fonteius Capito, were chosen praetors. Four other provinces in addition to the two in the city were assigned to the praetors elect; these provinces were Spain, Sardinia, Sicily, and the fleet.
Towards the end of February the deputies returned from Macedon, and gave an
account of the successful enterprises of Perseus during the preceding summer, and of the great fears which had taken possession of the allies of the Roman people, on account of so many cities being reduced under the king's power.
They reported, that “the consul's troops were very thin, in consequence of leave of absence being granted to great numbers, with the view of gaining popularity; the blame of which the consul laid upon the military tribunes, and they, on the other hand, on the consul.”
The senate understood them [p. 2044]
to make little of the disgrace sustained through the rashness of Claudius, since they represented “that very few soldiers of Italian extraction were lost, the greatest part being the soldiers raised in that country by an irregular levy.”
The consuls elect received orders, immediately on entering into office, to propose the affairs of Macedon to the consideration of the senate; and Italy and Macedon were appointed their provinces.
An intercalation was made in the calendar of this year, intercalary calends being reckoned on the third day after the feast of Terminus. There died of the priests during this year, Lucius Flaminius, augur,
and two pontiffs, Lucius Furius Philus, and Caius Livius Salinator. In the room of Furius, the pontiffs chose Titus Manlius Torquatus, and in that of Livius, Marcus Servilius.