Livy XXXII. 9. 1-5: Consulem T. Quinctium

by Tom Gardner

Consulem T. Quinctium ita habito dilectu, ut eos fere legeret, qui in Hispania aut Africa meruissent, spectatae virtutis milites, properantem in provinciam prodigia nuntiata atque eorum procuratio Romae tenuerunt. De caelo tacta erant via publica Veis, forum et aedes Iovis Lanuvi, Herculis aedes Ardeae, Capuae murus et turres et aedes, quae alba dicitur; caelum ardere visum erat Arreti; terra Velitris trium iugerum spatio caverna ingenti desederat; Suessae Auruncae nuntiabant agnum cum duobus capitibus natum et Sinuessae porcum cum humano capite.

Eorum prodigiorum causa supplicatio unum diem habita, et consules rebus divinis operam dederunt placatisque diis in provincias profecti sunt.

Just as the Consul T. Quinctius had selected, for the most part, soldiers of demonstrated courage, those who had proved themselves in Spain or Africa, reports of omens and their expiation for Rome prevented him from departing quickly to his province. Lightning struck a public highway at Veii, the forum and temple of Jupiter at Lanuvium, the temple of Hercules at Ardea, and the temple they call “the white temple”, and its towers and walls. The sky was seen ablaze at Arretium; at Velitrae, the earth sunk into a massive cavern, three iugera large; at Suessa Aurunca, a lamb was born with two heads, and at Sinuessa, a pig with a human head was born.

Due to these portents, one day of prayer was proclaimed, and the consuls completed the sacrifices, and set forth to their provinces, having appeased the gods.