This passage illustrates the normal procedure for the allotment of provinces. In 227 b.c., fourteen years after the annexation of Sicily and Sardinia, the number of praetors was raised from two (the urban and foreign praetors, who administered justice in Rome to citizens and foreigners respectively) to four, and in 197 b.c., when the two Spanish provinces had been under Roman occupation for about twenty years, two more praetorships were created. With two consuls and six praetors, there should, in normal times, have been sufficient annual magistrates to cope with the four provinces, but times were rarely normal. The annual procedure was that after the elections the senate decided which “provinces” (which means spheres of activity) should be assigned to the consuls, and which to the praetors of the year. The consuls then drew lots between the two consular “provinces” (or agreed which was to take which), and the praetors between the praetorian “provinces” (which always included the two judicial posts at Rome). If a major war was current or pending, one of the consuls normally took it as his “province,” while the other was retained for home affairs; the four spare praetors normally took the four regular overseas “provinces” (cf. No. 49). In this particular year (195 b.c.), it was thought advisable to send both a consul and a praetor to Hither Spain, and to assign another praetor to assist the other consul on the northern frontier of Italy.


Versus Erres Military Tribune Winter Quarter Dramatic Performance Roman People 
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© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 1968

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  • A. H. M. Jones

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