Then were introduced to the senate ambassadors from the several states of both the Spains;
these, after complaining of the avarice and pride of the Roman magistrates, fell on their knees, and implored the senate not to suffer them, who were their allies, to be more cruelly plundered and ill-treated than their enemies.
When they complained of other unworthy treatment, and it was also evident that money had been extorted from them; a charge was then given to Lucius Canuleius, the praetor, to whom Spain was allotted, to appoint out of the senatorian order five judges delegate, to try each person from whom the Spaniards might demand back their money; and that they should give the latter power to choose whomsoever they pleased as patrons.
The ambassadors being called into the senate-house, the decree of the senate was read aloud, and they were ordered to name their protectors.
They named four, —Marcus Porcius Cato, Publius Cornelius Scipio, son of Cneius, Lucius Aemilius Paullus, son of Lucius, and Caius Sulpicius Gallus. The judges entered on the business with the case of Marcus Titinius first, who had been praetor in Hither Spain, in the consulate of Aulus Manlius and Marcus Junius.
The cause was twice adjourned, and on the third hearing the accused was acquitted.
A dispute took place between the ambassadors of the two provinces; and the states of Hither Spain chose for their patrons Marcus Cato and Scipio; those of Farther Spain, Lucius Paullus and Sulpicius Gallus. Publius Furius Philus and Marcus Matienus were brought before the judges, the former by the states of the Hither province, and the latter by those of the Farther;
the former of whom had been praetor, three years before, in the consulate of Spurius Postumius and Quintus Mucius; and the latter, two years before, when Lucius Postumius and Marcus Popilius were consuls.
Both, being accused of most heinous crimes, were remanded; but when the cause was about to be pleaded anew, it was represented on their behalf that they had quitted the country as voluntary exiles.
Furius had gone to Praeneste, Matienus to Tibur, to live in exile.
There was a report that the plaintiffs were not suffered, by their patrons, to bring charges against people of high birth and power; and Canuleius the praetor increased this suspicion, for having neglected [p. 2031]
that business, he applied himself to the enlisting of soldiers. Then he suddenly went off to his province, lest more might be accused by the Spaniards.
Although past transactions were thus consigned to silence, yet the senate deliberated for the interest of the Spaniards in future, for they passed an order that the Roman magistrates should not have the valuation of the corn; nor should they compel the Spaniards to compound for their twentieths at such prices as they pleased; and that officers should not be placed in command of their towns for the purpose of exacting money.