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 [48??]                                       The death of the praetor Tiberius Minucius and not long after that of the consul C. Calpurnius, followed by those of many distinguished men of all ranks, came to be regarded as a portent.  C. Servilius, the Pontifex Maximus, was instructed to search in the pontifical rolls for the method of appeasing the wrath of the gods, and the Keepers of the Sacred Books were to examine their Sibylline Books.  The consul was ordered to vow and offer gilded statues to Apollo, Aesculapius and Salus. The Keepers of the Sacred Books proclaimed special intercessions for two days in the City, and in all market-towns and places of public resort.  All who were above twelve years of age took part in the intercessions, wearing wreaths of bay and carrying branches of it in their hands. Men began to suspect that this was the work of criminals, and the senate ordered investigations to be made into some cases of alleged poisoning. C. Claudius was charged with this enquiry in the City and within a radius of ten miles from it; C. Maenius was to undertake it in the market-towns and places of public resort outside that limit, before he sailed for his province of Sardinia.  The death of the consul aroused the strongest suspicion.  He is said to have been murdered by his wife, Quarta Hostilia. When her son Q. Fulvius Flaccus was declared consul in place of his step-father, the death of Piso aroused much greater misgivings. Witnesses came forward who asserted that after Albinus and Piso had been declared consuls, Flaccus having been defeated in the election was reproached by his mother for having failed three times in his candidature for the consulship, and she went on to say that she was getting ready to canvass and would manage in less than two months to have him made consul.  Amongst much other evidence bearing on the case this utterance of hers, which was only too truly confirmed by what followed, did most to secure her condemnation.  While the consuls were detained in Rome by the enrolment of fresh troops and matters were still further delayed by the death of one of them, and the holding of an election to choose his successor, P. Cornelius and M. Baebius, who during their consulship [9??] had done nothing of any importance, now, at the beginning of spring, led their armies against the Apuani.
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