Compare the similar predictions against Edom, Isa.
These officials, at the command of the senate, consulted the Sibylline books in order to discover, not exact predictions of definite future events, but the religious observances necessary to avert extraordinary calamities (pestilence, earthquake) and to expiate prodigies in cases where the national deities were unable, or unwilling, to help. Only the interpretation of the oracle which was considered suitable to the emergency was made known to the public, not the oracle itself.
According to Felix, Life of St Guthlac, he visited the saint at Crowland, when exiled by Ceolred and pursued by his emissaries before his accession, and was cheered by predictions of his future greatness.
Those were indeed strange times, according to modern ideas, when astrologers were dominant by the terror they inspired, and sometimes by the martydom they endured when their predictions were either too true or too false.
A few salient facts may be added concerning the astrologers and their predictions, remarkable either for their fulfilment or for the ruin and confusion they brought upon their authors.