The consuls and praetors were detained in Rome by the Latin Festival until the 27th of April.  That day the sacred rites were completed on the Alban Mount, and they all set out for their various provinces. Subsequently the need of fresh religious observances was brought to their notice in consequence of the prophetic utterances of Marcius.  This Marcius was a famous seer and his prophecies had come to light the previous year when by order of the senate an inspection was made of all books of a similar character. They first came into the hands of M. Aemilius who, as City praetor, was in charge of the business, and he at once handed them to the new praetor, Sulla.  One of the two referred to events which had already happened before it saw the light, and the authority thus acquired by its fulfilment gained more credence for the other, which had yet to be fulfilled.  In the first the disaster of Cannae was foretold in words to this effect:
Thou who art sprung from Trojan blood, bewareThose who had fought there recognised the truth of the description-the plains of Argive Diomed and the river Canna and the very picture of the disaster.  Then the second prophecy was read. It was not only more obscure than the first because the future is more uncertain than the past, but it was also more unintelligible owing to its phraseology.  It ran as follows:
The stream by Canna.  Let not aliens born
Force thee to battle on the fatal plain
Of Diomed. But thou wilt give no heed
To this my rede until that all the plain
Be watered by thy blood, and mighty hosts
The stream shall bear into the boundless deep
From off the fruitful earth, and they who till
Its soil shall be for food to birds and beasts
And fishes.  Such is Great Jove's word to me.
If, Romans, ye would drive the foemen forth They spent one day interpreting this prophecy. The day following, the senate passed a resolution that the Ten should inspect the sacred books with reference to the institution of Games to Apollo and the proper form of sacrifice.  After they had made their investigations and reported to the senate, a resolution was passed "that Games be vowed and celebrated in honour of Apollo, and that when they were finished, 12,000 ases were to be given to the praetor for the expenses of the sacrifice and two victims of large size."  A second resolution was passed that "the Ten should sacrifice according to Greek ritual the following victims: to Apollo, an ox with gilded horns and two white she-goats with gilded horns, and to Latona a heifer with gilded horns."  When the praetor was about to celebrate the Games in the Circus Maximus he gave notice that during the Games the people should contribute a gift to Apollo, according to each man's convenience.  Such is the origin of the Apollinarian Games, which were instituted for the cause of victory and not, as is generally thought, in the interests of the public health. The people wore garlands whilst witnessing them, the matrons offered up intercessions; feasting went on in the forecourts of the houses with open doors, and the day was observed with every kind of ceremonious rite.
Who come from far to mar your land, then see
That Games be held as each fourth year comes round
In honour of Apollo and your State
Shall bear its part and all your folk shall share
The holy work, each for himself and his.
 Your praetor, who shall justice do for each
And all, shall have the charge. Then let there be
Ten chosen who shall offer sacrifice
In Grecian fashion. This if ye will do
Then shall ye evermore rejoice and all
Your State shall prosper; yea, the god shall bring
Your foes to nought, who now eat up your land.