I am indeed
astonished that Greek historians should have recorded
the mischievous pranks of the Dodonean ape.1
what is less strange than for this hideous beast to
have turned over the vase and scattered the lots?
And yet the historians declare that no portent more
direful than this ever befell the Spartans!
"You spoke also of the Veientine prophecy2
'if Lake Albanus overflowed and emptied into the
sea, Rome would fall, but if held in check Veii would
fall.' Well, it turned out that the water from the
lake was drawn off—but it was drawn off through
irrigation ditches—not to save the Capitol and the
city, but to improve the farming lands. ' And, not
long after this occurred, a voice was heard,' you say,
'warning the people to take steps to prevent the
capture of Rome by the Gauls. Therefore an altar
was erected on the Nova Via
in honour of Aius the
Speaker.' But why? Did your' Aius the Speaker,'
before anybody knew who he was, both speak and
talk and from that fact receive his name? And
after he had secured a seat, an altar, and a name did
he become mute? Your Juno Moneta3
may likewise be dismissed with a question: What did she
ever admonish us about except the pregnant sow?