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[66] 31. "There is nothing remarkable about the so-called portents of the kind just mentioned; but after they have happened they are brought within the field of prophecy by some interpretation. Take, for example, your stories of the grains of wheat heaped into the mouth of Midas when a boy,1 and of the bees which settled on the lips of Plato,2 when he was a child—they are more remarkable as guesses than as real prophecies. Besides, the incidents may have been fictitious; if not, then the fulfilment of the prophecy may have been accidental. As to that incident about Roscius it may, of course, be untrue that a snake coiled itself around him;3 but it is not so surprising that a snake was in his cradle—especially in Solonium where snakes are attracted in large numbers by the heat of the fireplaces. As to your statement that the soothsayers prophesied a career of unrivalled brilliancy for Roscius, it is a strange thing to me that the immortal gods foretold [p. 447] the glory of a future actor and did not foretell that of Africanus!

1 Cf. i. 36. 78.

2 Cf. i. 36. 78.

3 Cf. i. 36. 79.

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load focus Introduction (William Armistead Falconer, 1923)
load focus Latin (William Armistead Falconer, 1923)
load focus Latin (C. F. W. Müller, 1915)
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