At the beginning of the year in which those transactions passed, after Manius Acilius had gone to open the campaign, and while the other consul, Publius
Cornelius, yet remained in Rome, two tame oxen, it is said, climbed up by ladders on the tiles of a house in the Carinae. The aruspices ordered them to be burned alive, and their ashes to be thrown into the Tiber.
It was reported, that several showers of stones had fallen at Tarracina and Amiternum; that, at Minturnae, the temple of Jupiter, and the shops round the forum, were struck by lightning; that, at Vulturnum, in the mouth of the river, two ships were struck by lightning, and burnt to ashes.
On occasion of these prodigies, the decemvirs, being ordered by a decree of the senate to consult the Sibylline books, declared, that “a fast ought to be instituted in honour of Ceres, and the same observed every fifth year; that the nine days' worship ought to be solemnized, and a supplication for one day;
and that they should observe the supplication, with garlands on their heads; also that the consul Publius Cornelius should sacrifice to such deities, and with such victims, as the decemvirs should direct.”
When he had used every means to avert the wrath of the gods, by duly fulfilling vows and expiating prodigies, the consul went to his province; and, ordering the proconsul Cneius Domitius to disband his army, and go home to Rome, he marched his own legions into the territory of the Boians.