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BOOK offerings of silver should be presented to Juno
XXII. and Minerva ; that sacrifices of the greater vicY.R.535. tims should be offered to Juno Regina, on the B.C. 217. Aventine, and to Juno Sospita, at Lanuvium ;
that the matrons, contributing such sums of money as might be convenient to each, should carry an offering to Juno Regina, to the Aventine, and celebrate a lectisternium to her: and that even the descendants of freed women should make a contribution, in proportion to their abilities, out of which an offering should be made to Feronia. When these orders were fulfilled, the decemvirs sacrificed, with the greater victims, in the Forum at Ardea : and, lastly, so late as the month of December, sacrifices were offered at the temple of Saturn, in Rome, and a lectisternium was ordered : on which occasion the couches were laid out by senators, and also a public banquet. Proclamation was likewise made through the city, of a feast of Saturn, to be celebrated during a day and a night, and the people were commanded to keep that day as a festival, and to observe it for ever.
II. While the consul was employed at Rome in endeavouring to procure the favour of the gods, and in levying troops, Hannibal set out from his winter quarters, and hearing that the consul Flaminius had already arrived at Arretium, he chose - notwithstanding that another road, less difficult, but longer, was pointed out to him, — the shorter one through marshes, which, at that time, were overflowed by the river Arnus, to an unusual height. He ordered the Spaniards and Africans, the main strength of his veteran troops, to march in the van, with their baggage between their divisions; that, in case they should be obliged to halt, they might not be at a loss for a supply of necessaries; then the Gauls to follow, so that they should compose the
centre of the line, the cavalry in the rear; and BOOK after them Mago, with the light-armed Numidians, XXII. as a rear guard, to prevent the troops from straggling; particularly to hinder the Gauls, if weary B.C: 217. of the labour, or of the length of the journey, from attempting either to slip away, or to stay behind : for that people, it had been found, want firmness to support fatigue. The troops in the van, though almost swallowed in mud, and frequently plunging entirely under water, yet followed the standards wherever their guides led the way, but the Gauls could neither keep their feet, nor, when they fell, raise themselves out of the gulphs, which were formed by the river from the steepness of its banks. They were destitute of spirits and almost hope; and while some, with difficulty, dragged on their enfeebled limbs, others, exhausted by the length of way, having once fallen, lay there, and died among the cattle, of which great numbers also perished. But what utterly overpowered them, was the want of sleep, which they had now endured for four days and three nights; for no dry spot could be found on which they might stretch their wearied limbs, so that they could only throw their baggage into the water in heaps, on the top of which they laid themselves down. Even the cattle, which lay dead in abundance along the whole course of their march, afforded them a temporary bed, as they looked for no further accommodation for sleeping, than something raised above the water. Hannibal himself, having a complaint in his eyes, occasioned, at first, by the unwholesome air of the spring, when changes are frequent from heat to cold, rode on the only elephant which he had remaining, in order to keep himself as high as possible above the water ; but at length, the want of sleep, the damps of the night, with those of the marshes, so disordered his head, that, as he had nei.
BOO K ther place nor time to make use of remedies, he lost
XXII. one of his eyes.
cattle had perished miserably, he got clear of the
hn effected by the the greatest devastations
the rounds of the watch on the walls of Sulci, BOOK took fire, as was said; many fires were seen blazing XXII. on the shore; two shields sweated blood; several
Y.R.535 soldiers were struck by lightning; and the sun's orb B.C. 217. . appeared to be contracted. At Præneste, red-hot stones fell from the sky. At Arpi, bucklers were seen in the air, and the sun fighting with the moon. At Capena, two moons appeared in the day-time. At Cære, the streams of water were mixed with blood; and even the fountain of Hercules was tinged with bloody spots. In the district of Antium, while people were reaping, bloody years of corn fell into a basket. At Falerii, the sky seemed to be rent asunder with a very wide cleft, and through the opening a strong light burst forth; the divining tickets, without any apparent cause, were diminished in size, and one fell out, which had this inscription, · Mars brandishes his spear.' About the same time, at Rome, the statue of Mars, on the Appian road, and the images of the wolves, 'sweated. At Capua, the sky appeared as if on fire, and the moon as falling amongst rain. Afterwards, prodigies of lesser note were heard of: some asserted that goats were converted into sheep; that a hen was turned into a male, and a cock into a female. The consul, laying before the senate all these matters, as reported, and bringing the authors of the reports into the senate-house, proposed to their consideration the affairs of religion. They decreed, that those prodi. gies should be expiated, some with the greater, some with the lesser victims; and that a supplication for three days should be performed at all the shrines; that, when the decemvirs should have inspected the books, all other particulars should be conducted in such manner as the gods should declare, in their oracles, to be agreeable to them. By the direction of the decemvirs, it was decreed, that, first, a golden thunderbolt, of fifty pounds' weight, should be made as an offering to Jupiter; and that
BOO K ther place nor time to make use of remedies, he lost
XXII. one of his eyes. Y.R.535. B.C.217. III. At length, after great numbers of men and
cattle had perished miserably, he got clear of the marshes; and, on the first dry ground at which he arrived, pitched his camp. Here, from scouts, whom he had sent forward, he learned with certainty, that the Roman army lay round the walls of Arretium. He then employed the utmost diligence in enquiring into the disposition and designs of the consul, the nature of the several parts of the country, the roads, and the sources from which provisions might be procured, with every other circumstance requisite to be known. As to the country, it was one of the most fertile in Italy: the Etrurian plains, which lie between Fæsulæ and Arretium, abounding with corn and cattle, and plenty of every thing useful. The consul was inflated with presumption since his former consulate, and too regardless, not only of the laws and the dignity of the senate, but even of the gods. This head-strong self-sufficiency, natural to his disposition, Fortune had cherished, by the prosperous course of success wliich she had granted him, in his administration of affairs, both civil and military. There was, therefore, sufficient reason to suppose, that without regarding the sentiments of gods or men, he would act on all occasions with presumption and precipitancy; and the Carthaginian, in order the more effectually to dispose him to follow the bias of his natural imperfections, resolved to irritate and exasperate him. With this view, leaving the enemy on his left, and pointing his route towards Fæsulæ, he marched through the heart of Etruria, ravaging the country, and exhibiting to the consul, at, a distance, a view of the greatest devastations that could be effected by