In the beginning of this year, Publius Licinius Crassus, chief pontiff, died, in whose room was appointed Marcus Sempronius Tuditanus, and Caius Servilius Geminus was raised to the place of chief pontiff.
On occasion of the funeral of Publius Licinius a largess of flesh was distributed to the people, and one hundred and twenty pair of gladiators fought. The funeral games lasted three days; and, after the games, a public feast was given.
During the feast, and while the couches were spread over the forum, a storm came on with violent gusts of wind, and compelled most of the people to pitch tents in that place. The same, on the weather clearing up, in a short time after, were removed.
It was rumoured about, that they had fulfilled a prophecy which soothsayers had pronounced, among the decrees of the fates, that, inevitably, tents would be pitched in the forum.
As soon as [p. 1843]
they were relieved from those religious fears, they were struck with new ones, by showers of blood falling for two days, in the area of Vulcan's temple, and a supplication was ordered by the decemvirs for the sake of expiating the prodigy.
Before the consuls set out for their provinces, they introduced the embassies from the countries beyond the sea to an audience of the senate; and at no time was there in Rome such a number of people from those regions.
For, as soon as a report spread through the nations which border on Macedon, that accusations and complaints against Philip were listened to by the Romans with some degree of attention, and that it had been of advantage to many to complain;
—all these states and nations, and even individuals, on their own accounts, (for he was a troublesome neighbour to every one,) flocked to Rome, with hopes of obtaining either redress of their injuries, or, at least, the consolation of expressing their griefs.
An embassy came also from king Eumenes, with his brother Athenaeus, to complain of the garrisons not being withdrawn by Philip out of Thrace; and, likewise, of his sending succours into Bithynia, to Prusias, who was at war with Eumenes.