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Text #796

Livy. History of Rome. Vol. 8
[Liv. 29.14. Translated by Frank Gardner Moore. Harvard University Press. 1949. (14 Vols.) pp. 257--259]

Although Africa had not been openly assigned as a province, while the senators kept the matter dark, I believe, for fear the Carthaginians might know in advance, nevertheless the people were aroused to hope that the war would be waged that year in Africa, and that the end of the Punic war was at hand. That situation had filled men’s minds with superstitious fears and they were inclined both to report and to believe portents. All the greater was the number of them in circulation : that two suns had been seen, and that at night there had been light for a time ; and that at Setia a meteor had been seen shooting from east to west ; that at Tarracina a city-gate had been struck by lightning, at Anagnia a gate and also the wall at many points ; that in the temple of Juno Sospita at Lanuvium a noise was heard with a dreadful crash. To expiate these there was a single day of prayer, and on account of the shower of stones nine days of rites were observed.

Text #793

Sachs & Hunger. Astronomical Diaries and Related Texts from Babylonia
[pp. 201--203]

204 BC

BM 35424

Lower edge

2 – […last part of the night,] the moon was surrounded by a halo which was not closed.
12 – the 8th and the 9th, the peak flood arrived and was 4 fingers above the (usual) peak flood.”

Text #3386

Stothers. "Cloudy and clear stratospheres before A.D. 1000 inferred from written sources". Journal of Geophysical Research



212-200 B.C.

The Sun seemed to be redder than usual, like the color of blood, in 212, and appeared red throughout the day when skies were clear, in 200, as seen from parts of central Italy (Livy 25.7.8., 31.12.5). Forsyth [1990b] has previously pointed out the Italian report of a halo-corona complex around the Sun in 203 (Livy 30.2.12). Babylonian observers, too, reported a halo around the Sun in 203, but such reports are very common there [Sachs and Hunger, 1989]. For three months during the year 208, stars were invisible from northern China [Pang et al., 1987]. In addition, there was a pronounced cooling at high latitudes during the years 208–204, as indicated by northern tree ring data [Baillie and Munro, 1988; Baillie, 1995]. All of these phenomena can be invoked as evidence for a recurrent or a prolonged volcanic dry fog, just as Hammer et al. [1980] first proposed on the basis of a strong acidity peak in the Camp Century, Green- land ice core, dated at 210 ± 30. However, other Greenland ice cores, although better dated, do not show such a peak, or at least a strong one [Zielinski et al., 1994; Clausen et al., 1997]. Perhaps the eruptions were only of modest size. The historical data seem to suggest that at least two eruptions occurred between 212 and 200.

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