It happened that preparations were being made at Rome for a repetition of the 1
great games; the cause of repeating them was this: on the morning of the games, the show not yet being commenced, a master of a family, after flogging his slave loaded with a neck-yoke, had driven him through the middle of the circus; after this the games were commenced, as if that circumstance bore no relation to religion.
Not long after Tit. Atinius, a plebeian, had a dream. Jupiter seemed to him to say; “that the person who danced previous to the games had displeased him; unless these games were renewed on a splendid scale, that the city would be in danger; that he should go and announce these things to the consuls.”
Though his mind was not altogether free from superstitious feelings, his respectful awe of the dignity of the magistrates overcame his religious fear, lest he might pass into the mouths of people as a laughing-stock.
This delay cost him dear; for he lost his son within a few days; and lest the cause of this sudden calamity should be doubtful, that same phantom, presenting itself to him sorrowful in mind, seemed to ask him, whether he had received a sufficient requital for his contempt of the deity; that a still heavier one awaited him, unless he went immediately and delivered the message to the consuls.
The matter was now still more pressing. Hesitating, however, and delaying he was at length overtaken by a severe stroke of disease, a sudden paralysis.
Then indeed the anger of the gods aroused him. Wearied out therefore by his past sufferings and by those threatening him, having convened a meeting of his friends, after he had detailed to them all he had seen and heard, and Jupiter's [p. 123]
having so often presented himself to him in his sleep, the threats and anger of heaven realized2
in his own calamities, by the unhesitating assent of all who were present he is conveyed in a litter into the
forum to the consuls; frown thence being conveyed into the senate-house, after he had stated those same particulars to the senators, to the great surprise of
all, behold another miracle: he who had been conveyed into the senate-house deprived of the use of all his limbs, is recorded to have returned home on his own feet after he discharged his duty.