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After the return of the envoys to Scipio the quaestors received instructions to make an inventory from the public registers of all the government property in the transports, and all the private property was to be notified by the owners.  Twenty-five thousand pounds of silver were required to be paid down as an equivalent for the pecuniary value, and a three months' armistice granted to the Carthaginians.  A further stipulation was made that as long as the armistice was in force, they should not send envoys to any place but Rome, and if any envoys came to Carthage they were not to allow them to leave until the Roman commander had been informed of the object of their visit.  The Carthaginians envoys were accompanied to Rome by L. Veturius Philo, M. Marcius Ralla and L. Scipio the commander-in-chief's brother.  During this time the supplies which arrived from Sicily and Sardinia made provisions so cheap that the traders left the corn for the sailors in return for its freight.  The first news of the resumption of hostilities by Carthage created considerable uneasiness in Rome. Tiberius Claudius was ordered to take a fleet without loss of time to Sicily and from there to Africa; the other consul was ordered to remain in the City until the position of affairs in Africa was definitely known. Tib.  Claudius was extremely slow in getting his fleet ready and putting out to sea, for the senate had decided that Scipio rather than he, though consul, should be empowered to fix the terms on which peace should be granted. The general alarm at the tidings from Africa was increased by rumours of various portents.  At Cumae the sun's disk was seen to diminish in size and there was a shower of stones; in the district of Veliternum the ground subsided and immense caverns were formed in which trees were swallowed up; at Aricia the forum and the shops round it were struck by lightning, as were also portions of the walls of Frusino and one of the gates; there was also a shower of stones on the Palatine.  The latter portent was expiated, according to the traditional usage, by continuous prayer and sacrifice for nine days, the others by sacrifice of full-grown victims.  In the middle of all these troubles there was an extraordinarily heavy rainfall which was also regarded as supernatural. The Tiber rose so high that the Circus was flooded and arrangements were made to celebrate the Games of Apollo outside the Colline Gate at the temple of Venus Erucina.  On the actual day, however, the sky suddenly cleared and the procession which had started for the Colline Gate was recalled and conducted to the Circus as it was announced that the water had subsided.  The return of the solemn spectacle to its proper place added to the public joy and also to the number of spectators.
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