After performing these immortal achievements, while lie was holding an assembly of the people for reviewing his army, in the plain near the lake of Capra, on a sudden a storm having arisen, with great thunder and lightning, enveloped the king in so dense a mist, that it took all sight of him from the assembly. Nor was Romulus after this [p. 23]
seen on earth.
The consternation being at length over, and fine clear weather succeeding so turbulent a day, when the Roman youth saw the royal seat empty, though they readily believed the fathers who had stood nearest him, that he was carried aloft by the storm, yet, struck with the dread as it were of orphanage, they preserved a sorrowful silence for a considerable time.
Then, a commencement having been made by a few, the whole multitude salute Romulus a god, son of a god, the king and parent of the Roman city; they implore his favour with prayers, that he would be pleased always propitiously to preserve his own offspring.
I believe that even then there were some, who silently surmised that the king had been torn in pieces by the hands of the fathers; for this rumour also spread, but was not credited; their admiration of the man, and the consternation felt at the moment, attached importance to the other report.
By the contrivance also of one individual, additional credit is said to have been gained to the matter. For Proculus Julius, whilst the state was still troubled with regret for the king, and felt incensed against the senators, a person of weight, as we are told, in any matter however
important, comes forward to the assembly, “Romans,” he says, “Romulus, the father of this city, suddenly descending from heaven, appeared to me this day at day-break. While I stood covered with awe, and filled with a religious dread, beseeching him to allow me to see him face to face, he said, Go tell the Romans, that the gods so will, that my Rome should become the capitol of the world.
Therefore let them cultivate the art of war, and let them know and hand down to posterity, that no human power shall be able to withstand the Roman arms.
Having said this, he ascended up to heaven.” It is surprising what credit was given to the man on his making this announcement, and how much the regret of the common people and army, for the lids of Romulus, was assuaged upon the assurance of his immortality.