Semiferos partus metuendaque pignora matri moenibus et mediis auditum nocte luporum murmur et attonito pecudes pastore locutas et lapidum duras hiemes nimboque minacem 5sanguineo rubuisse Iovem puteosque cruore mutatos visasque polo concurrere lunas et geminos soles mirari desinat orbis: omnia cesserunt eunucho consule monstra. heu terrae caelique pudor! trabeata per urbes 10ostentatur anus titulumque effeminat anni. pandite pontifices Cumanae carmina vatis, fulmineos sollers Etruria consulat ignes inmersumque nefas fibris exploret haruspex, quae nova portendant superi. Nilusne meatu 15devius et nostri temptat iam transfuga mundi se Rubro miscere mari? ruptone Niphate rursum barbaricis Oriens vastabitur armis? an morbi ventura lues? an nulla colono responsura seges? quae tantas expiet iras 20victima? quo diras iugulo placabimus aras?
Let the world cease to wonder at the births of creatures half human, half bestial, at monstrous babes that affright their own mothers, at the howling of wolves heard by night in the cities, at beasts that speak to their astonied herds, at stones falling like rain, at the blood-red threatening storm clouds, at wells of water changed to gore, at moons that clash in mid heaven and at twin suns. All portents pale before our eunuch consul. O shame to heaven and earth! Our cities behold an old woman decked in a consul’s robe who gives a woman’s name to the year.1 Open the pages of the Cumaean Sibyl, ye pontifs; let wise Etrurian seers consult the lightning’s flash, and the soothsayer search out the awful portent hidden in the entrails. What new dread warning is this the gods give? Does Nile desert his bed and leaving Roman soil seek to mix his waters with those of the Red Sea? Does cleft Niphates2 once more let through a host of eastern barbarians to ravage our lands? Does a pestilence threaten us? Or shall no harvest repay the farmer? What victim can expiate divine anger such as this? What offering appease the cruel altars? The consul’s