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Translated by Rev. Canon Roberts
Book XXIII Chapter 23: After selection he abdicates.[216 BC]
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|He [Note 1] having mounted the rostrum attended by the lictors, declared, that he neither approved of there being two dictators at one time, which had never been done before, nor of his being appointed dictator without a master of the horse; nor of the censorian authority being committed to one person, and to the same person a second time; nor that command should be given to a dictator for six months, unless he was created for active operations. That he would himself restrain within proper bounds those irregularities which chance, the exigencies of the times, and necessity had occasioned. For he would not remove any of those whom the censors Flaminius and Aemilius had elected into the senate; but would merely order that their names should be transcribed and read over, that one man might not exercise the power of deciding and determining on the character and morals of a senator; and would so elect in place of deceased members, that one rank should appear to be preferred to another, and not man to man. The old senate-roll having been read, he chose as successors to the deceased, first those who had filled a curule office since the censorship of Flaminius and Aemilius, but had not yet been elected into the senate, as each had been earliest created. He next chose those who had been aediles, plebeian tribunes, or quaestors; then of those who had never filled the office of magistrate, he selected such as had spoils taken from an enemy fixed up at their homes, or had received a civic crown. Having thus elected one hundred and seventy-seven senators, with the entire approbation of his countrymen, he instantly abdicated his office, and, bidding the lictors depart, he descended from the rostrum as a private citizen, and mingled with the crowd of persons who were engaged in their private affairs, designedly wearing away this time, lest he should draw off the people from the forum for the purpose of escorting him home. Their zeal, however, did not subside by the delay, for they escorted him to his house in great numbers. The consul [Note 2] returned to the army the ensuing night, without acquainting the senate, lest he should be detained in the city on account of the elections.||
Curule:a. 4 horses. B. Curule chair: chair of a consul etc.
Quaestor:There were two sets of officers bearing this title, the commissioners of the treasure, and the "trackers of murder" -- as their title may be literally translated -- whose duty was to search for and bring up for prosecution those who had been guilty of capital crimes.
Corona Civica:A chaplet of oak leaves, awarded to the soldier who had saved a comrade's life in battle.