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Whilst the citizens were in a state of tense expectancy of a fresh war, the column erected on the Capitol during the Punic war by the colleague of Ser. Fulvius was shattered from top to bottom by a stroke of lightning. This accident was regarded as a portent and reported to the senate.  The Keepers of the Sacred Books announced that the City must undergo a lustration; that intercessions and special prayers must be offered; and that animals of the larger size must be sacrificed both at Rome in the Capitol and in Campania at the Promontory of Minerva.  Games were also, as soon as possible, to be celebrated for ten days in honour of Jupiter Optimus Maximus.  The reply of the augurs was to the effect that the portent would prove to be favourable, for it portended the widening of frontiers and the destruction of enemies; those ships' beaks which the storm had thrown down had been taken as spoils from the enemy. Other incidents increased the religious terrors.  It was reported that showers of blood had been falling for three days at Saturnia; an ass was foaled with three legs, and a bull with five cows had been destroyed by a single flash of lightning at Calatia; at Auximium there had been a shower of earth.  In expiation of these portents, sacrifices were offered and special intercessions for one day, which was observed as a solemn holiday.
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