Laudabile duodecim fascium religiosum obsequium, laudabilior quattuor et viginti in consimili re oboedientia: a Tiberio enim Graccho ad collegium augurum litteris ex provincia missis, quibus significabat se, cum libros ad sacra populi pertinentes legeret, animadvertisse vitio tabernaculum captum comitiis consularibus, quae ipse fecisset, eaque re ab auguribus ad senatum relata, iussu eius C. Figulus e Gallia, Scipio Nasica e Corsica Romam redierunt et se consulatu abdicaverunt.4
Consimili ratione P. Cloelius <Siculus>7 M. Cornelius Cethegus C. Claudius propter exta parum curiose admota deorum immortalium <aris>8 variis temporibus bellisque diversis flamonio abire iussi sunt coactique etiam.5
At <Q.> Sulpicio inter sacrificandum e capite apex prolapsus idem9 sacerdotium abstulit, occentusque soricis auditus Fabio Maximo dictaturam, C. Flaminio magisterium equitum deponendi causam praebuit.6
Adiciendum his quod P. Licinio pontifici maximo virgo Vestalis, quia quadam nocte parum diligens aeterni ignis custos fuisset, digna visa est quae flagro admoneretur.
Praise is due to the religious obedience of the twelve fasces;13 yet more to the compliance of twenty-four in similar circumstances. Ti. Gracchus sent a letter from his province to the College of Augurs stating that in reading books pertinent to the public rituals he had noticed that in the consular elections which he had himself conducted there had been an irregularity in the siting of the augural tent. The Augurs reported the matter to the senate and by its order C. Figulus returned to Rome from Gaul and Scipio Nasica from Corsica and resigned their Consulships.14
On a similar principle P. Cloelius Siculus,15 M. Cornelius Cethegus,16 and C. Claudius17 in various times and different wars were ordered and even compelled to quit office as Flamens on account of entrails taken to the altars of the immortal gods without proper care.
Furthermore, as Q. Sulpicius was offering sacrifice, the mitre slipped from his head, thus depriving him of the same priestly office.18 And the disturbing sound of a mouse squeaking gave cause to Fabius Maximus to lay down his Dictatorship and C. Flaminius his Mastership of the Horse.19
To the above it has to be added that a Vestal Virgin who one night had been negligent in her guardianship of the eternal fire was adjudged to deserve an admonitory flogging by the Chief Pontiff P. Licinius.20
- 13 I.e. the Consul, who had twelve lictors bearing fasces.
- 14163: Cicero mentions the incident in Nat. deor. 2.10f. and elsewhere.
- 15One of this name became Rex sacrorum in 180. His removal is not mentioned elsewhere.
- 16Between 225 and 222. He may have been a Flamen Dialis, as was Claudius: cf. Plut. Marc. 5, T. R. S. Broughton, The Magistrates of the Roman Republic, I.232.
- 17211: Livy 26.23.8.
- 18About 223: Plut. Marc. 5.
- 19Plut. Marc. 5, where the Dictator is erroneously called Minucius; see Broughton I. 235 n.3, dating to 221.
- 20207/206: Livy 28.11.6.