...as a result of the wrath of Heaven a fissure opened in the ground round about Rome and would not close. After an oracle had been obtained to the effect that the fissure would close if they should throw into it the mightiest possession of the Romans, one Curtius, a knight of noble birth, when no one else was able to understand the oracle, himself interpreted it to mean a horse and man together. Straightway he mounted his horse and just as he was dashed heroically forward and plunged down that frightful pit. No sooner had he plunged down than the fissure closed; and the rest of the Romans from above scattered flowers. From this event the name of Curtius was applied also to the pit.
Reprinted by permission of the publishers and the Trustees of the Loeb Classical Library from Cassius Dio: Roman History (Volume I. Fragments of Books 1-11), Loeb Classical Library Vol. 32, translated by Earnest Carey, Herbert B. Foster, Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, © 1914, by the President and Fellows of Harvard College. The Loeb Classical Library ® is a registered trademark of the President and Fellows of Harvard College.