1. P. Cornelium Cn. f. Scipionem et M’. Acilium Glabrionem consules, 2inito magistratu, patres priusquam de provinciis agerent res divinas facere maioribus hostiis iusserunt in omnibus fanis in quibus lectisternium maiorem partem anni fieri solet, precarique quod senatus de novo bello in animo haberet, ut ea res senatui populoque Romano bene ac feliciter eveniret. 3ea omnia sacrificia laeta fuerunt, primisque hostiis perlitatum est, et ita haruspices responderunt, eo bello terminos populi Romani propagari, victoriam ac triumphum ostendi, 4haec cum renuntiata
1. The consuls Publius Cornelius Scipio, son of Gnaeus Cornelius, and Manius Acilius Glabrio1 had started their term of office when the senate instructed them to see to offering sacrifices before attending to the question of their provinces. They were to use full-grown victims2 and sacrifice at all the shrines in which the lectisternium3 was normally practiced for most of the year; and they were also to offer prayers asking that the new war that the senate had in mind might have a prosperous and successful outcome for the senate and people of Rome. All the sacrifices proved auspicious, a favorable omen was obtained with the first victims, and the haruspices4 replied that the bounds of the Roman people would be extended by the war and that victory and a triumph were presaged. When
- 1P. Cornelius (30) Scipio Nasica, son of Cn. Cornelius Scipio Calvus (killed in Spain in 212) and cousin of Scipio Africanus. He was especially noted for having been chosen as the best citizen to receive the statue of Cybele (the Magna Mater) in Rome from Pessinus in Asia Minor in 204 (cf. 35.10.9 and note, and 29.14.5–14). He had served in Spain with distinction as praetor in 194. M’. Acilius (35) Glabrio, a novus homo who rose to the consulship, was tribune of the plebs in 201 and praetor in 196. He would distinguish himself in the war with Antiochus. For the election of the two, cf. 35.24.5.
- 2Sacrificial animals were either unweaned (lactantes) or full-grown (maiores). The looming war with Antiochus merited the full-grown animals.
- 3Of Greek origin, and first recorded in 399 BC, the lectisternium was a ritual banquet for the gods put on to secure their favor, at first in periods of disease but later also in time of war. Figures of the gods were set out on couches and meals set before them in front of their temples. These perpetual lectisternia, however (cf. also 42.30.8), seem to be restricted to this period. Cf. OLD s.v. lectisternium.
- 4Priests of divination, originally Etrurian, especially connected with the interpretation of the entrails of sacrificial animals.