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[69] I am indeed astonished that Greek historians should have recorded the mischievous pranks of the Dodonean ape.1 For 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 that '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?

1 Cf. i. 34. 76.

2 Cf. i. 44. 100.

3 Cf. i. 45. 101.

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load focus Introduction (William Armistead Falconer, 1923)
load focus Latin (William Armistead Falconer, 1923)
load focus Latin (C. F. W. Müller, 1915)
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