In the beginning of this year the ambassadors, who had been sent to Aetolia and Macedon, returned, and reported that "they had not been able to obtain an interview with Perseus, as some of his court said that he was abroad, others that he was sick; both of which were false pretences.
Nevertheless, that it was quite evident that war was in preparation, and that he would no longer put off the appeal to arms. That in Aetolia, likewise, the dissensions grew daily more violent; and the leaders of the contending parties were not to be restrained by their authority."
As a war with Macedon was [p. 1960]
daily expected, the senate resolved, that before it broke out, all prodigies should be expiated, and the favour of such gods, as should be found expressed in the books of the Fates, invoked by supplications.
It was said that at Lanuvium the appearance of large fleets was seen in the air; that at Privernum black wool grew out of the ground; that in the territory of Veii, at Remens, a shower of stones fell;
and that the whole Pomptine district was covered with clouds of locusts; also that in the Gallic province, where a plough was at work, fishes sprung up from under the earth as it was turned.
On account of these prodigies the books of the Fates were accordingly consulted, and the decemvirs directed both to what gods, and with what victims, sacrifloes should be offered; likewise that a supplication should be performed, in expiation of the prodigies; and also that another, which had been vowed in the preceding year for the health of the people, should be celebrated, and likewise a solemn festival.
Accordingly, sacrifices were offered in accordance with the written directions of the decemvirs.