Text #21

Obsequens. "A Book of Prodigies After the 505th year of Rome"


14. Graccho M’. Iuventio coss. AUC 591/163 BC

At Capua the sun was seen at night1. In the territory of Stellate part of a flock of wethers2 was killed by lightning. At Terracina triplet boys were born. At Formiae two suns were seen during the day. The sky blazed with fire. At †Concia a man was burnt alive by a beam which was generated from a spy glass. At Gabiae it rained milk. On the Palatium many places were shaken by lightning. In the Temple of Victory a swan slipped through the hands of its captors and escaped. At Privernum a girl was born without a hand. In Cephallenia a trumpet seemed to sound in the sky. A tempestuous storm destroyed buildings and created carnage on the land. It thundered frequently. At night at Pisaurum an image of the sun shone forth. At Caere a pig was born with human hands and feet, and boys with four-feet and four-hands. In the forum of Aesum flames which came from its very mouth did not harm a bull.

  1. Was this Halley’s? If so, it was one heck of a display! On the other hand, the statement “the sky blazed with fire” could be a description of the comet. Or “At night at Pisaurum an image of the sun shone forth”. In any case, it was one heck of a passage of Halley’s! [nE]

  2. Castrated male goat.

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