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[83] It seems, too, that divine Providence foretold to them the results of this war. Sights terrible and unexpected were observed by many, both in public and in private, throughout all Italy. Ancient, awe-inspiring oracles were remembered. Many monstrous things happened. A mule gave birth to a colt. A pregnant woman was delivered of a viper instead of a baby. There was a severe earthquake divinely sent and some of the temples in Rome were thrown down (the Romans gave altogether too much attention to such things). The Capitol, that had been built by the kings 400 years before, burned down, and nobody could discover the cause of the fire. All things seemed to point to a succession of slaughters, to the conquest of Italy and of the Romans themselves, to the capture of the city, and a change in the form of government.

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