Many dreadful prodigies were both observed in Rome that year and reported from elsewhere.
In the precinct of Vulcan and Concord1
there was a shower of blood; and the pontiffs announced that the spears2
had been shaken, and the people of Lanuvium sent word that the image of Juno Sospita had shed tears.
The pestilence was so severe in the country and in the villages and rural communities and in the City that Libitina3
could scarce take care of so many funerals.
Being disturbed by these prodigies and deaths, the Fathers decreed, both that the consuls should sacrifice full-grown victims to whatever gods it seemed proper, and that the decemvirs should consult the Books.4
According to their decree one day of prayer was proclaimed at all the banquet-tables of the gods5
in Rome. On their suggestion also there was both a decree of the senate and an edict of the consuls that for three days [p. 63]
throughout Italy there should be a supplication and6
The violence of the plague was so great that when, on account of a rising of the Corsicans and a revolt begun by the Ilienses in Sardinia, it was decided to enlist eight thousand infantry and three hundred cavalry among the allies of the Latin confederacy, whom Marcus Pinarius the praetor should take with him to Sardinia, the consuls reported that so
many deaths had occurred among the men and so great was the number of sick that this number of troops could not be raised.
The shortage in the number of troops the praetor was directed to make up from the army of Gnaeus Baebius the proconsul, who was wintering at Pisa, and thence to cross to Sardinia.
To Lucius Duronius, the praetor to whom the province of Apulia had been allotted, has also been assigned an investigation to the Bacchanalia, from which some seeds, as it were, left over from the earlier troubles, had already begun to show themselves in the previous year; but the inquiries had been begun before the praetor Lucius Pupius rather than brought to any conclusion.7
The Fathers ordered the new praetor to extirpate the trouble, to prevent it from again secretly spreading furthur.
Also the consuls, with the authority of the senate, brought before the people a law on bribery.8