When these proceedings were reported to Cicero, he, being alarmed at the twofold danger, since he could no longer secure the city against treachery by his private efforts, nor could gain satisfactory intelligence of the magnitude or intentions of . the army of Manlius, laid the matter, which was already a subject of discussion among the people, before the senate. The senate, accordingly, as is usual in any perilous emergency, decreed that THE CONSULS SHOULD MAKE IT THEIR CARE THAT THE COMMONWEALTH SHOULD RECEIVE NO INJURY. This is the greatest power which, according to the practice at Rome, is granted1
by the senate to the magistrate, and which authorizes him to raise troops; to make war; to assume unlimited control over the allies and the citizens; to take the chief command and jurisdiction at home and in the field; rights which, without an order of the people, the consul is not permitted to exercise.