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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 #9198

Appian. Roman History. Vol. 1
[App. Hann. 7.9.56. Translated by Horace White. Harvard University Press. 1912. (4 Vols.) pp. 391--393]


As certain direful prodigies sent by Jupiter had appeared in “Rome, the decemviri who consulted the Sibylline books said that something would soon fall from heaven at Pessinus in Phrygia (where the mother of the Gods is worshipped by the Phrygians), which ought to be brought to Rome. Not long after, the news came that it had fallen, and the image of the Goddess was brought to “Rome, and still to this day they keep holy to the Mother of the Gods the day on which it arrived.

Text #9199

Herodian. History of the Empire. Series: Herodian's History of the Empire. Vol. 1
[Bk. 1 Ch. 11 Verse 1 pp. 66--69]

The story is that the actual statue of the goddess fell from Zeus, but no one knows what it is made of or who the craftsman was and they say it is not of human workmanship at all. The account says that the statue fell from the sky a long time ago and was first found at a place in Phrygia (the name of the place is Pessinous, which gets its name from the fall of the statue out of the sky).

Text #9200

Editorial comment by Laura Knight-Jadczyk

All the places named by Livy in the above text were in the province of Latium near and to the south-east of Rome. It is difficult to determine if the showers of stones were meteorological or geological in origin.

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