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Quote of the day: Their sky is obscured by continual rain
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History of Rome (Ab Urbe Condita) by Livy
Translated by Rev. Canon Roberts
Book V Chapter 55: The People begin to rebuild Rome.[390 BC]
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It is stated that this speech of Camillus made a profound impression, particularly that part of it which appealed to the religious feelings. But whilst the issue was still uncertain, a sentence, opportunely uttered, decided the matter. The senate, shortly afterwards, were discussing the question in the Curia Hostilia, and some cohorts returning from guard happened to be marching through the Forum. They had just entered the Comitium, when the centurion shouted, "Halt, standard-bearer! Plant the standard; it will be best for us to stop here." On hearing these words, the senators rushed out of the Senate-house, exclaiming that they welcomed the omen, and the people crowding round them gave an emphatic approval. The proposed measure for migration was dropped, and they began to rebuild the City in a haphazard way. Tiling was provided at the public expense; every one was given the right to cut stone and timber where he pleased, after giving security that the building should be completed within the year. In their haste, they took no trouble to plan out straight streets; as all distinctions of ownership in the soil were lost, they built on any ground that happened to be vacant. That is the reason why the old sewers, which originally were carried under public ground, now run everywhere under private houses, and why the conformation of the City resembles one casually built upon by settlers rather than one regularly planned out.