As several great captains were making merry with
Polynices, an eagle passing by made a stoop, and carried
up into the air the lance of Amphiaraus, who was one of
the company; and then falling down, it stuck in the
ground, and was turned into a laurel. The next day, when
the armies were in action, the earth opened and swallowed
up Amphiaraus with his chariot, in that very place where
at present the city Harma stands, so called from that
chariot.—This is in Trisimachus's Third Book of the
Foundations of Cities.
When the Romans made war upon Pyrrhus, the king
of the Epirots, the oracle promised Aemilius Paulus the
victory in case he should erect an altar in that place where
he should see an eminent man with his chariot swallowed
up into the ground. Some three days after, Valerius Conatus, a man skilled in divining, was commanded in a dream
to take the pontifical habit upon him. He did so, and led
his men into the battle, where, after a prodigious slaughter
of the enemy, the earth opened and swallowed him up.
Aemilius built an altar here, obtained a great victory, and
sent a hundred and sixty castle-bearing elephants to Rome.
This altar delivers oracles about that season of the year in
which Pyrrhus was overcome.—Critolaus has this in his
Third Book of the History of the Epirots.