At Rome, people in their conversations anticipated, indeed, Antiochus as an enemy, but they had hitherto prepared nothing for such a war but their expectations.
Italy was decreed the province of both the consuls, who received directions to settle between themselves, or draw lots, which of them should preside at the elections of the year;
and it was ordered, that he who should be disengaged from that business, should hold himself in readiness, in case there should be occasion, to lead the legions any where out of that country.
To the said consul, permission was given to levy two new legions, and twenty thousand foot, and nine hundred horse, among the allies and Latin confederates.
To the other consul were decreed the two legions which had been commanded by Lucius Cornelius, consul of the preceding year; and from the same army, a body of allies and Latins, amounting to fifteen thousand foot and five hundred horse.
Quintus Minucius was continued in command, with the forces which he then had in Liguria; as a supplement to which, four thousand Roman foot and five hundred horse were ordered to be enlisted, and [p. 1573]
five thousand foot and two hundred and fifty horse to be demanded from the allies.
The duty of departing from Italy, whithersoever the senate should order, fell to Cneius Domitius; Gaul, and the holding the elections, to Lucius Quinctius.
The praetors then cast lots for their provinces: to Marcus Fulvius Centumalus fell the city jurisdiction; to Lucius Scribonius Libo, the foreign; Lucius Valerius Tappus obtained Sicily; Quintus Salonius Sarra, Sardinia; Marcus Baebius Tamphilus, Hither Spain; and Marcus Atilius Serranus, Farther Spain. But the provinces of the two last were changed, first by a decree of the senate, which was afterwards confirmed by an order of the people.
The fleet and Macedonia were assigned to Atilius; Bruttium to Baebius.
Flaminius and Fulvius were continued in command in both the Hither and Farther Spain.
To Baebius Tamphilus, for the business of Bruttium, were decreed the two legions which had served in the city the year before; and he was ordered to demand from the allies, for the same service, fifteen thousand foot and five hundred horse.
Atilius was ordered to build thirty ships of five banks of oars: to bring out, from the docks, any old ones that were fit for service, and to raise seamen. An order was also given to the consul, to supply him with two thousand of the allied and Latin footmen, and a thousand Roman.
The destination of these two praetors, and their two armaments, one on land and the other on sea, was declared to be intended against Nabis, who was now carrying on open hostilities against the allies of the Roman people.
But it was thought proper to wait the return of the ambassadors sent to Antiochus, and the senate ordered the consul Cneius Domitius not to leave the city until they arrived.