When reading the work on Roman history by Livy (Titus Livius) I made some notes... ...because it’s completely fascinating to observe how the Romans, circa 200 BC, viewed the world. The Roman view: The world exists in a form of harmony, but only when the gods are happy. Reality is fragile. When the gods are unhappy then the entire fabric or reality begins to fall apart. The gods make apparent to all when they are unhappy by the occurrence of supernatural events. In Livy, these events included: * Monstrous animals being born ie, two heads, or five legs, or no determinate sex * The fall of material from the sky, especially stones, even blood * Mute babies calling out portentious words (either before or after birth) * Statues issuing bodily fluids, namely sweat or blood – or even the statues themselves moving * Anomalies in the sky, such as clouds being on fire, daylight at night, or even two suns being present * People and buildings being struck by lightening * Strange boats traversing the sky and humanoid forms in white walking the lands * The heads of Javelins (made of iron) spontaneously bursting into flames * Wolves overcoming their fear of people, such as entering a city through the main gate, or even stealing a sword from a sentries’ scabbard. * Talking animals Most of the above events make repeated appearances in Livy - except the close encounters with aliens[??!] which I've only seen once so far I find it fascinating that books on Roman mythology have never given myself the impresison that the Romans felt their entire world and existence depended so much on portents and miraculous events to indicate the will of the gods, and how incredibly insecure they were before their concept of the divine – to the extent that when Hannibal invaded Italy by crossing the Alps with elephants, the Roman consuls had to break off their armies from engagements and campaigns and return to make propitious offerings when and where the people of Rome demanded it. Although later writers, such as Plutarch, was quite derisive of common superstition, the state recognised the pacification – and reharmonisation of existence – as a matter of supreme important. Just thought I’d post that.