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Prodigies which were now noised abroad from various sources increased men's terror. It was said that in the porch of the Capitol the reins of the chariot, on which stood the goddess of Victory, had dropped from her hand, that from the chapel of Juno there had rushed forth a form greater than the form of man, that the statue of the Divine Julius, which stands on the island in the Tiber, had turned from the West to the East on a calm and tranquil day, that an ox had spoken aloud in Etruria, that strange births of animals had taken place, besides many other things, such as in barbarous ages are observed even during seasons of peace, but are now heard of only in times of terror. But an alarm greater than all, because it connected immediate loss with fears for the future, arose from a sudden inundation of the Tiber. The river became vastly swollen, broke down the wooden bridge, was checked by the heap of ruins across the current, and overflowed not only the low and level districts of the capital, but also much that had been thought safe from such casualties. Many were swept away in the streets, many more were cut off in their shops and chambers. The want of employment and the scarcity of provisions caused a famine among the populace. The poorer class of houses had their foundations sapped by the stagnant waters, and fell when the river returned to its channel. When men's minds were no longer occupied by their fears, the fact, that while Otho was preparing for his campaign, the Campus Martius and the Via Flaminia, his route to the war, were obstructed by causes either fortuitous or natural, was regarded as a prodigy and an omen of impending disasters.