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Translated by Rev. Canon Roberts
Content of Book XVI[264 - 262 BC]
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Contents of Book XVI. 264 - 262 BC|
Origin and progress of the Carthaginian state. After much debate, the senate resolves to succour the Mammertines against the Carthaginians, and against Hiero, king of Syracuse. Roman cavalry, then, for the first time, cross the sea, and engage successfully, in battle with Hiero; who solicits and obtains peace.
[ 263 BC.]
A lustrum: the number of the citizens amounts to two hundred and ninety-two thousand two hundred and twenty-four. Decimus Junius Brutus exhibits the first show of gladiators, in honour of his deceased father.
Lustrum:Lustrum, or expiation. The last act of the censors during their period of office was to offer an expiatory sacrifice for the whole people. On the appointed day the citizens assembled in military formation in the Campus Martius. The victims, a boar, a ram, and a bull -- hence the name of the sacrifice, suovetaurilia" -- were carried thrice round the assembled host, who were then declared "purified," and whilst the animals were being offered on the altar, the censor to whom the lot had fallen of conducting the ceremony recited a traditional form of prayer for the strengthening and extension of the might of the Roman people. As the censor's office was originally fixed for five years, "lustrum" was used to denote that period of time.