And he caused [it] to be proclaimed and published
By a herald or heralds, sent into the several parts of the city: by the decree of the king and his nobles;
with whom he consulted, and whose advice he took; and who were equally concerned at this news, and very probably were present when word was brought to the king concerning it: saying, let neither man nor beast, herd nor flock, taste anything;
a very strict and general fast this: abstinence from all food was enjoined; not only men of every rank and age, but the cattle likewise, horses and camels, they used either for their pleasure or business; their oxen, cows, and calves, of their herd; their sheep, goats, lambs, and kids, of their flocks: let them not feed, nor drink water;
no food were to be put into their mangers or folds: nor were they to be suffered to graze in their pastures, or to be allowed the least quantity of food or drink; this was ordered, to make the mourning the greater; thus Virgil F21 describes the mourning for the death of Caesar by the oxen not coming to the rivers to drink, nor touching the grass of the field; and to afflict their minds the more, and for their greater mortification, since these creatures were for their use and pleasure, Fasting was used by the Heathens; as well as the Jews, in some cases; particularly the Egyptians, as Herodotus F23 observes, from whom the Assyrians might take it.
F21 "Non ulli pastos, illis egere diebus Frigida Daphni boves, ad flumius, nulla neque amnem Libavit quadrupes, nec graminis attigit herbam". Bucolic. Eclog. 5. l. 24
F23 L. 2. c. 4. & l. 4. c. 186.