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Annals by Tacitus
Translated by Alfred John Church and William Jackson Brodribb
Book XV Chapter 47: Bad omens[AD 64]
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At the close of the year people talked much about prodigies, presaging impending evils. Never were lightning flashes more frequent, and a comet too appeared, for which Nero always made propitiation with noble blood. Human and other births with two heads were exposed to public view, or were discovered in those sacrifices in which it is usual to immolate victims in a pregnant condition. And in the district of Placentia, close to the road, a calf was born with its head attached to its leg. Then followed an explanation of the diviners, that another head was preparing for the world, which however would be neither mighty nor hidden, as its growth had been checked in the womb, and it had been born by the wayside. Fine anni vulgantur prodigia imminentium malorum nuntia: vis fulgurum non alias crebrior, et sidus cometes, sanguine inlustri semper [Neroni] expiatum; bicipites hominum aliorumve animalium partus abiecti in publicum aut in sacrificiis, quibus gravidas hostias immolare mos est, reperti. et in agro Placentino viam propter natus vitulus, cui caput in crure esset; secutaque haruspicum interpretatio, parari rerum humanarum aliud caput, sed non fore validum neque occultum, quin in utero