To these questions, which he had been asked, the lieutenant-general answered, that “neither he nor any other could possibly divine what were the sentiments of the Celtiberians, or what they would be in future;
therefore he could not deny that it would be proper to send an army among a barbarous people, who, though reduced to a state of quiet, were not yet sufficiently inured to subjection;
but whether a new army or a veteran one might be requisite, rested with him to decide who could ascertain with what sincerity the Celtiberians would observe the peace; and who, at the same time, had assurance that the troops would remain quiet, if kept longer in the province.
If a conjecture were to be formed of their intentions, either from their conversations with each other, or from the expressions with which they interrupted the general's harangues, they had openly and loudly declared, that they would either keep their commander in the province, or come home with him to Italy.”
This dis- [p. 1893]
cussion, between the praetor and the lieutenant-general, was suspended by the consuls introducing other matters; for they thought it right, that their own provinces might be adjusted before they deliberated concerning the army of the praetor.
An army entirely new was decreed to the consuls: two Roman legions to each, with their proportion of cavalry; and of the Latin allies, the usual number of fifteen thousand foot and eight hundred horse.
With these forces, they were directed to make war on the Apuan Ligurians. Publius Cornelius and Marcus Baebius were continued in command, and ordered to hold the government of the provinces until the consuls should arrive. They were ordered then to disband their troops, and return to Rome. Then they deliberated concerning the army under Tiberius Sempronius.
The consuls were ordered to enlist for him a new legion of five thousand two hundred foot and four hundred horse; and also a thousand Roman foot and five hundred horse; and to command the allies of Latium to furnish seven thousand foot and three hundred horse.
With this army it was determined that Sempronius should go into Hither Spain.
Permission was granted to Quintus Fulvius, with respect to all those soldiers, whether Romans or allies, who had been transported into Spain previous to the consulate of Spurius Postumius and Quintus Marcius; and likewise to such as, after the junction of the reinforcements, should be found in the two legions, above the number of ten thousand four hundred foot and six hundred horse;
and in the Latin auxiliaries above twelve thousand foot and six hundred horse, who had behaved with courage under Quintus Fulvius in the two battles with the Celtiberians, —these, if he thought proper, he might bring home.
Thanksgivings were also decreed, because he had managed the republic successfully; and the rest of the praetors sent into their provinces.
Quintus Fabius Buteo had his command in Gaul. It was resolved that eight legions should be employed this year, besides the veteran army then in Liguria, which expected to be speedily disbanded;
and that very army was made up with difficulty, in consequence of the pestilence which continued, for the third year, to depopulate the city of Rome and all Italy,