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Translated by Rev. Canon Roberts
Book I Chapter 31: Last Years and Death of Tullus.
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This victory threw great lustre upon the reign of Tullus, and upon the whole State and added considerably to its strength. At this time it was reported to the king and the senate that there had been a shower of stones on the Alban Mount. As the thing seemed hardly credible, men were sent to inspect the prodigy, and whilst they were watching, a heavy shower of stones fell from the sky, just like hailstones heaped together by the wind. They fancied, too, that they heard a very loud voice from the grove on the summit bidding the Albans celebrate their sacred rites after the manner of their fathers. These solemnities they had consigned to oblivion, as though they had abandoned their gods when they abandoned their country and had either adopted Roman rites or, as sometimes happens, embittered against Fortune, had given up the service of the gods. In consequence of this prodigy, the Romans, too, kept up a public religious observance for nine days, either -- as tradition asserts -- owing to the voice from the Alban Mount, or because of the warning of the soothsayers. In either case, however, it became permanently established whenever the same prodigy was reported; a nine days' solemnity was observed. |
Not long after a pestilence caused great distress, and made men indisposed for the hardships of military service. The warlike king, however, allowed no respite from arms; he thought, too, that it was more healthy for the soldiery in the field than at home. At last he himself was seized with a lingering illness, and that fierce and restless spirit became so broken through bodily weakness, that he who had once thought nothing less fitting for a king than devotion to sacred things, now suddenly became a prey to every sort of religious terror, and filled the City with religious observances. There was a general desire to recall the condition of things which existed under Numa, for men felt that the only help that was left against sickness was to obtain the forgiveness of the gods and be at peace with heaven.
Tradition records that the king, whilst examining the commentaries of Numa, found there a description of certain secret sacrificial rites paid to Jupiter Elicius: he withdrew into privacy whilst occupied with these rites, but their performance was marred by omissions or mistakes. Not only was no sign from heaven vouchsafed to him, but the anger of Jupiter was roused by the false worship rendered to him, and he burnt up the king and his house by a stroke of lightning.
Religious reforms by Numa
Event: Religious reforms by Numa
|Deuictis Sabinis cum in magna gloria magnisque opibus regnum Tulli ac tota res Romana esset, nuntiatum regi patribusque est in monte Albano lapidibus pluvisse. Quod cum credi vix posset, missis ad id visendum prodigium in conspectu haud aliter quam cum grandinem venti glomeratam in terras agunt crebri cecidere caelo lapides. Visi etiam audire vocem ingentem ex summi cacuminis luco ut patrio ritu sacra Albani facerent, quae velut dis quoque simul cum patria relictis obliuioni dederant, et aut Romana sacra susceperant aut fortunae, ut fit, obirati cultum reliquerant deum. Romanis quoque ab eodem prodigio novendiale sacrum publice susceptum est, seu voce caelesti ex Albano monte missa—nam id quoque traditur—seu haruspicum monitu; mansit certe sollemne ut quandoque idem prodigium nuntiaretur feriae per novem dies agerentur. Haud ita multo post pestilentia laboratum est. Vnde cum pigritia militandi oreretur, nulla tamen ab armis quies dabatur a bellicoso rege, salubriora etiam credente militiae quam domi iuvenum corpora esse, donec ipse quoque longinquo morbo est implicitus. Tunc adeo fracti simul cum corpore sunt spiritus illi feroces ut qui nihil ante ratus esset minus regium quam sacris dedere animum, repente omnibus magnis paruisque superstitionibus obnoxius degeret religionibusque etiam populum impleret. Volgo iam homines eum statum rerum qui sub Numa rege fuerat requirentes, unam opem aegris corporibus relictam si pax veniaque ab dis impetrata esset credebant. Ipsum regem tradunt voluentem commentarios Numae, cum ibi quaedam occulta sollemnia sacrificia Iovi Elicio facta invenisset, operatum his sacris se abdidisse; sed non rite initum aut curatum id sacrum esse, nec solum nullam ei oblatam caelestium speciem sed ira Iovis sollicitati praua religione fulmine ictum cum domo conflagrasse. Tullus magna gloria belli regnavit annos duos et triginta.|