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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.

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