THE consuls, Cneius Fulvius Centumalus and Publius Sulpicius Galba, having entered on their office on the ides of March, assembled the senate in the Capitol, and took the opinion of the fathers on the state of the republic, the manner of conducting the war, and on what related to the provinces and the armies.
Quintus Fulvius and Appius Claudius, the consuls of the former year, were continued in command;
and the armies which they before had were assigned to them, it being added that they should not withdraw from Capua, which they were besieging, till they had taken it.
The Romans were now solicitously intent upon this object, not from resentment so much, which was never juster against any city, as from the consideration that as this city, so celebrated and powerful, had by its defection drawn away several states, so when reduced it would bring back their minds to respect for [p. 1018]
the former supreme government.
Two praetors also of the former year, Marcus Junius and Publius Sempronius, were each continued in command of the two legions which they had under them, the former in Etruria, the latter in Gaul.
Marcus Marcellus also was continued in command, that he might, as proconsul, finish the war in Sicily with the army he had there.
If he wanted recruits he was to take them from the legions which Publius Cornelius, the propraetor, commanded in Sicily, provided he did not choose any soldier who
was of the number of those whom the senate had refused to allow to be discharged, or to return home till the war was put an end to.
To Caius Sulpicius, to whose lot Sicily had fallen, the two legions which Publius Cornelius had commanded were assigned, to be recruited from the army of Cneius Fulvius, which had been shamefully beaten, and had experienced a dreadful loss the year before in Apulia.
To soldiers of this description the senate had assigned the same period of service as to those who fought at Cannae; and as an additional mark of ignominy upon both, they were not allowed to winter in towns, or to build huts for wintering within the distance of ten miles from any town.
To Lucius Cornelius, in Sardinia, the two legions which Quintus Mucius had commanded were assigned; if recruits were wanted, the consuls were ordered to enlist them.
To Titus Otacilius and Marcus Valerius was allotted the protection of the coasts of Sicily and Greece, with the legions and fleets which they had commanded. The Greek coast had fifty ships with one legion; the Sicilian, a hundred ships with two legions.
Twenty-three legions were employed by the Romans in carrying on the war this year by land and sea.