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The consuls and praetors went into office on March 15 and at once balloted for their commands.  Italy fell to L. Lentulus and Macedonia to P. Villius. The praetors were distributed as follows: L. Quinctius received the City jurisdiction; Cn. Baebius, Ariminum; L. Valerius, Sicily; L. Villius, Sardinia.  The consul Lentulus received instructions to raise fresh legions; Villius took over the army from P. Sulpicius and it was left to him to bring it up to whatever strength he thought necessary.  The legions which C. Aurelius had commanded as consul were assigned to Baebius on the understanding that he was to retain them until the consul relieved him with his new army, and on his arrival all the time-expired soldiers were to be sent home.  Out of the allied contingent only 5000 men were kept on active service, a sufficient number, it was thought, to hold the country round Ariminum.  Two of the former praetors had their commands extended-C. Sergius, for the purpose of allotting the land to the soldiers who had been serving for many years in Spain, and Q. Minucius in order that he might complete the investigation of the conspiracies in Bruttium which he had been hitherto conducting so carefully and impartially.  Those who had been convicted of the sacrilege and sent in chains to Rome he was to send to Locri [8??] for execution, and he was also to see that what had been abstracted from Proserpine's shrine was replaced with the due expiatory rites.  In consequence of complaints made by representatives from Ardea that the customary portions of the victims sacrificed on the Alban Mount had not been given to that city, the pontiffs decreed that the Latin Festival should be held afresh. Reports came from Suessa that two of the city gates and the wall between them had been struck by lightning.  Messengers from Formiae announced that the same thing had happened to the temple of Jupiter there, others from Ostia reported that the temple of Jupiter there also had been struck, others again from Velitrae brought word that the temples of Apollo and Sancus had been struck, and that hair had appeared on the statue in the temple of Hercules.  Q. Minucius, the propraetor in Bruttium, wrote to say that a foal had been born with five feet, and three chickens with three feet each.  A despatch was received from P. Sulpicius, the proconsul in Macedonia, in which among other things he stated that laurel leaves had shot forth on the stern of a warship.  In the case of the other portents the senate decided that the consuls should sacrifice full-grown victims to those deities who they thought ought to receive them, but with regard to the last-mentioned portent the haruspices were called into the senate to advise.  In accordance with their directions a day of special intercessions was ordered and prayers and sacrifices were offered at all the shrines.
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