The praetors, Fulvius and Scribonius, whose province was the administration of justice at Rome, were charged to provide a hundred quinqueremes, besides the fleet which Atilius was to command.
Before the consul and praetors set out for their provinces, a supplication was performed on account of some prodigies. A report was brought from Picenum, that a goat had produced six kids at a birth.
It was said that a boy was born at Arretium who had but one hand; that, at Amiternum, a shower of earth fell;
a gate and wall at Formiae were struck by lightning; and, what was more alarming than all, an ox, belonging to the consul, Cneius Domitius, spoke [p. 1574]
these words, —“Rome, take care of thyself.”
To expiate the other prodigies, a supplication was performed; the ox was ordered by the aruspices to be carefully preserved and fed. The Tiber, pouring into the city with more destructive violence than last year, swept away two bridges, and many buildings, particularly about the Flumentan gate.
A huge rock, loosened from its seat, either by the rains, or by an earthquake so slight that no other effect of it was perceived, tumbled down from the Capitol into the Jugarian street, and buried many people under it. In the country, many parts of which were overflowed, much cattle was carried away, and a great destruction of farm houses took place.
Previous to the arrival of the consul, Lucius Quinctius, in his province, Quintus Minucius fought a pitched battle with the Ligurians, in the territory of Pisae, slew nine thousand of the enemy, and putting the rest to flight,
drove them within their works, which were assaulted and defended in an obstinate contest until night came on.
During the night, the Ligurians stole away unobserved; and, at the first dawn, the Romans took possession of their deserted camp, where the quantity of booty found was the less, because the enemy frequently sent home the spoil taken in the country. Minucius, after this, allowed them no respite.
From the territory of Pisae he marched into that of the Ligurians, and, with fire and sword, utterly destroyed their forts and towns, where the Roman soldiers were abundantly enriched with
the spoils of Etruria which the ravagers had sent home.