Text #1898

Dio Cassius. Roman History. Vol. 3
[DioCass. 39.61. Translated by Earnest Cary. Harvard University Press. 1914. (9 Vols.) p. 397]


Meantime the Tiber, either because excessive rains had occurred somewhere up the stream above the city, or because a violent wind from the sea had driven back its outgoing tide, or still more probably, as was surmised, by the act of some divinity, suddenly rose so high as to inundate all the lower levels in the city and to overwhelm many even of the higher portions. 2 The houses, therefore, being constructed of brick, became soaked through and collapsed, while all the animals perished in the flood. And of the people all who did not take refuge in time on the highest points were caught, either in their dwellings, or in the streets, and lost their lives. The remaining houses, too, became weakened, since the mischief lasted for many days, and they caused injuries to many, either at the time or later. 3 The Romans, distressed at these calamities and expecting others yet worse, because, as they thought, Heaven had become angry with them for the restoration of Ptolemy, were in haste to put Gabinius to death even while absent, believing that they would be harmed less if they should destroy him before his return. 4 So insistent were they that although nothing about punishment was found in the Sibylline oracles, still the senate passed a decree that the magistrates and populace should accord him the bitterest and harshest treatment.

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