|3. Cicero, On Divination, 1.3, 1.11, 1.17, 1.27, 1.29-1.30, 1.77-1.78, 1.89, 1.92, 1.95, 1.105, 1.117, 1.132, 2.14, 2.26, 2.28, 2.33, 2.36, 2.50, 2.71-2.75, 2.78, 2.124, 2.126 (2nd cent. BCE - 1st cent. BCE)
Tagged with subjects: • Augustus, and augury • Divination (Greek and Roman), augury • augurium salutis • augurium, and Ti. Gracchus, vitium of • augurium, augural rulings, falsification of, for political purposes • augurium, auspices, exclusive responsibility for • augurium, decrees and responses of • augurium, interpretes Iovis • augurs and augury • augury • augury, • augury, Augustus and • augury, Cicero on • augury, ancient debate on • augury, as divination • augury, decline of • augury,augural law • decline, of augury
Found in books: Konrad (2022) 39, 42, 164, 284, 288; Luck (2006) 309; Mowat (2021) 18, 19, 46; Renberg (2017) 3, 47; Rosa and Santangelo (2020) 28, 38, 39, 113; Rutledge (2012) 168; Santangelo (2013) 26, 27, 53, 63, 64, 73, 199, 253, 262, 275, 277; Shannon-Henderson (2019) 249, 263; Wynne (2019) 76, 214, 232, 252
1.3. Quam vero Graecia coloniam misit in Aeoliam, Ioniam, Asiam, Siciliam, Italiam sine Pythio aut Dodonaeo aut Hammonis oraculo? aut quod bellum susceptum ab ea sine consilio deorum est? Nec unum genus est divinationis publice privatimque celebratum. Nam, ut omittam ceteros populos, noster quam multa genera conplexus est! Principio huius urbis parens Romulus non solum auspicato urbem condidisse, sed ipse etiam optumus augur fuisse traditur. Deinde auguribus et reliqui reges usi, et exactis regibus nihil publice sine auspiciis nec domi nec militiae gerebatur. Cumque magna vis videretur esse et inpetriendis consulendisque rebus et monstris interpretandis ac procurandis in haruspicum disciplina, omnem hanc ex Etruria scientiam adhibebant, ne genus esset ullum divinationis, quod neglectum ab iis videretur.
1.11. Ego vero, inquam, philosophiae, Quinte, semper vaco; hoc autem tempore, cum sit nihil aliud, quod lubenter agere possim, multo magis aveo audire, de divinatione quid sentias. Nihil, inquit, equidem novi, nec quod praeter ceteros ipse sentiam; nam cum antiquissimam sententiam, tum omnium populorum et gentium consensu conprobatam sequor. Duo sunt enim dividi genera, quorum alterum artis est, alterum naturae.
1.17. Sed quo potius utar aut auctore aut teste quam te? cuius edidici etiam versus, et lubenter quidem, quos in secundo de consulatu Urania Musa pronuntiat: Principio aetherio flammatus Iuppiter igni Vertitur et totum conlustrat lumine mundum Menteque divina caelum terrasque petessit, Quae penitus sensus hominum vitasque retentat Aetheris aeterni saepta atque inclusa cavernis. Et, si stellarum motus cursusque vagantis Nosse velis, quae sint signorum in sede locatae, Quae verbo et falsis Graiorum vocibus erant, Re vera certo lapsu spatioque feruntur, Omnia iam cernes divina mente notata.
1.27. Itaque, ut ex ipso audiebam, persaepe revertit ex itinere, cum iam progressus esset multorum dierum viam. Cuius quidem hoc praeclarissimum est, quod, posteaquam a Caesare tetrarchia et regno pecuniaque multatus est, negat se tamen eorum auspiciorum, quae sibi ad Pompeium proficiscenti secunda evenerint, paenitere; senatus enim auctoritatem et populi Romani libertatem atque imperii dignitatem suis armis esse defensam, sibique eas aves, quibus auctoribus officium et fidem secutus esset, bene consuluisse; antiquiorem enim sibi fuisse possessionibus suis gloriam. Ille mihi videtur igitur vere augurari. Nam nostri quidem magistratus auspiciis utuntur coactis; necesse est enim offa obiecta cadere frustum ex pulli ore, cum pascitur;
1.29. Ut P. Claudius, Appii Caeci filius, eiusque collega L. Iunius classis maxumas perdiderunt, cum vitio navigassent. Quod eodem modo evenit Agamemnoni; qui, cum Achivi coepissent . inter se strépere aperteque ártem obterere extíspicum, Sólvere imperát secundo rúmore adversáque avi. Sed quid vetera? M. Crasso quid acciderit, videmus, dirarum obnuntiatione neglecta. In quo Appius, collega tuus, bonus augur, ut ex te audire soleo, non satis scienter virum bonum et civem egregium censor C. Ateium notavit, quod ementitum auspicia subscriberet. Esto; fuerit hoc censoris, si iudicabat ementitum; at illud minime auguris, quod adscripsit ob eam causam populum Romanum calamitatem maximam cepisse. Si enim ea causa calamitatis fuit, non in eo est culpa, qui obnuntiavit, sed in eo, qui non paruit. Veram enim fuisse obnuntiationem, ut ait idem augur et censor, exitus adprobavit; quae si falsa fuisset, nullam adferre potuisset causam calamitatis. Etenim dirae, sicut cetera auspicia, ut omina, ut signa, non causas adferunt, cur quid eveniat, sed nuntiant eventura, nisi provideris.
1.77. Quid? bello Punico secundo nonne C. Flaminius consul iterum neglexit signa rerum futurarum magna cum clade rei publicae? Qui exercitu lustrato cum Arretium versus castra movisset et contra Hannibalem legiones duceret, et ipse et equus eius ante signum Iovis Statoris sine causa repente concidit nec eam rem habuit religioni obiecto signo, ut peritis videbatur, ne committeret proelium. Idem cum tripudio auspicaretur, pullarius diem proelii committendi differebat. Tum Flaminius ex eo quaesivit, si ne postea quidem pulli pascerentur, quid faciendum censeret. Cum ille quiescendum respondisset, Flaminius: Praeclara vero auspicia, si esurientibus pullis res geri poterit, saturis nihil geretur! itaque signa convelli et se sequi iussit. Quo tempore cum signifer primi hastati signum non posset movere loco nec quicquam proficeretur, plures cum accederent, Flaminius re nuntiata suo more neglexit. Itaque tribus iis horis concisus exercitus atque ipse interfectus est. 1.78. Magnum illud etiam, quod addidit Coelius, eo tempore ipso, cum hoc calamitosum proelium fieret, tantos terrae motus in Liguribus, Gallia compluribusque insulis totaque in Italia factos esse, ut multa oppida conruerint, multis locis labes factae sint terraeque desederint fluminaque in contrarias partes fluxerint atque in amnes mare influxerit. Fiunt certae divinationum coniecturae a peritis. Midae illi Phrygi, cum puer esset, dormienti formicae in os tritici grana congesserunt. Divitissumum fore praedictum est; quod evenit. At Platoni cum in cunis parvulo dormienti apes in labellis consedissent, responsum est singulari illum suavitate orationis fore. Ita futura eloquentia provisa in infante est.
1.89. Quid? Asiae rex Priamus nonne et Helenum filium et Cassandram filiam divites habebat, alterum auguriis, alteram mentis incitatione et permotione divina? Quo in genere Marcios quosdam fratres, nobili loco natos, apud maiores nostros fuisse scriptum videmus. Quid? Polyidum Corinthium nonne Homerus et aliis multa et filio ad Troiam proficiscenti mortem praedixisse commemorat? Omnino apud veteres, qui rerum potiebantur, iidem auguria tenebant; ut enim sapere, sic divinare regale ducebant. Testis est nostra civitas, in qua et reges augures et postea privati eodem sacerdotio praediti rem publicam religionum auctoritate rexerunt.
1.92. Etruria autem de caelo tacta scientissume animadvertit eademque interpretatur, quid quibusque ostendatur monstris atque portentis. Quocirca bene apud maiores nostros senatus tum, cum florebat imperium, decrevit, ut de principum filiis x ex singulis Etruriae populis in disciplinam traderentur, ne ars tanta propter tenuitatem hominum a religionis auctoritate abduceretur ad mercedem atque quaestum. Phryges autem et Pisidae et Cilices et Arabum natio avium significationibus plurimum obtemperant, quod idem factitatum in Umbria accepimus.
1.95. Quis vero non videt in optuma quaque re publica plurimum auspicia et reliqua dividi genera valuisse? Quis rex umquam fuit, quis populus, qui non uteretur praedictione divina? neque solum in pace, sed in bello multo etiam magis, quo maius erat certamen et discrimen salutis. Omitto nostros, qui nihil in bello sine extis agunt, nihil sine auspiciis domi habent auspicia ; externa videamus: Namque et Athenienses omnibus semper publicis consiliis divinos quosdam sacerdotes, quos ma/nteis vocant, adhibuerunt, et Lacedaemonii regibus suis augurem adsessorem dederunt, itemque senibus (sic enim consilium publicum appellant) augurem interesse voluerunt, iidemque de rebus maioribus semper aut Delphis oraclum aut ab Hammone aut a Dodona petebant.
1.105. Quid de auguribus loquar? Tuae partes sunt, tuum inquam, auspiciorum patrocinium debet esse. Tibi App. Claudius augur consuli nuntiavit addubitato Salutis augurio bellum domesticum triste ac turbulentum fore; quod paucis post mensibus exortum paucioribus a te est diebus oppressum. Cui quidem auguri vehementer adsentior; solus enim multorum annorum memoria non decantandi augurii, sed dividi tenuit disciplinam. Quem inridebant collegae tui eumque tum Pisidam, tum Soranum augurem esse dicebant; quibus nulla videbatur in auguriis aut praesensio aut scientia veritatis futurae; sapienter aiebant ad opinionem imperitorum esse fictas religiones. Quod longe secus est; neque enim in pastoribus illis, quibus Romulus praefuit, nec in ipso Romulo haec calliditas esse potuit, ut ad errorem multitudinis religionis simulacra fingerent. Sed difficultas laborque discendi disertam neglegentiam reddidit; malunt enim disserere nihil esse in auspiciis quam, quid sit, ediscere.
1.117. Quo modo autem aut vates aut somniantes ea videant, quae nusquam etiam tunc sint, magna quaestio est. Sed explorata si sint ea, quae ante quaeri debeant, sint haec, quae quaerimus, faciliora. Continet enim totam hanc quaestionem ea ratio, quae est de natura deorum, quae a te secundo libro est explicata dilucide. Quam si obtinemus, stabit illud, quod hunc locum continet, de quo agimus, esse deos, et eorum providentia mundum administrari, eosdemque consulere rebus humanis, nec solum universis, verum etiam singulis. Haec si tenemus, quae mihi quidem non videntur posse convelli, profecto hominibus a dis futura significari necesse est.
1.132. Nunc illa testabor, non me sortilegos neque eos, qui quaestus causa hariolentur, ne psychomantia quidem, quibus Appius, amicus tuus, uti solebat, agnoscere; non habeo denique nauci Marsum augurem, non vicanos haruspices, non de circo astrologos, non Isiacos coniectores, non interpretes somniorum; non enim sunt ii aut scientia aut arte divini, Séd superstitiósi vates ínpudentesque hárioli Aút inertes aút insani aut quíbus egestas ímperat, Quí sibi semitám non sapiunt, álteri monstránt viam; Quíbus divitias póllicentur, áb iis drachumam ipsí petunt. De hís divitiis síbi deducant dráchumam, reddant cétera. Atque haec quidem Ennius, qui paucis ante versibus esse deos censet, sed eos non curare opinatur, quid agat humanum genus. Ego autem, qui et curare arbitror et monere etiam ac multa praedicere, levitate, vanitate, malitia exclusa divinationem probo. Quae cum dixisset Quintus, Praeclare tu quidem, inquam, paratus
2.14. Atqui ne illa quidem divitis esse dicebas, ventos aut imbres inpendentes quibusdam praesentire signis (in quo nostra quaedam Aratea memoriter a te pronuntiata sunt), etsi haec ipsa fortuita sunt; plerumque enim, non semper eveniunt. Quae est igitur aut ubi versatur fortuitarum rerum praesensio, quam divinationem vocas? Quae enim praesentiri aut arte aut ratione aut usu aut coniectura possunt, ea non divinis tribuenda putas, sed peritis. Ita relinquitur, ut ea fortuita divinari possint, quae nulla nec arte nec sapientia provideri possunt; ut, si quis M. Marcellum illum, qui ter consul fuit, multis annis ante dixisset naufragio esse periturum, divinasset profecto; nulla enim arte alia id nec sapientia scire potuisset. Talium ergo rerum, quae in fortuna positae sunt, praesensio divinatio est.
2.26. Sed haec fuerit nobis tamquam levis armaturae prima orationis excursio; nunc comminus agamus experiamurque, si possimus cornua commovere disputationis tuae. Duo enim genera dividi esse dicebas, unum artificiosum, alterum naturale; artificiosum constare partim ex coniectura, partim ex observatione diuturna; naturale, quod animus arriperet aut exciperet extrinsecus ex divinitate, unde omnes animos haustos aut acceptos aut libatos haberemus. Artificiosa divinationis illa fere genera ponebas: extispicum eorumque, qui ex fulgoribus ostentisque praedicerent, tum augurum eorumque, qui signis aut ominibus uterentur, omneque genus coniecturale in hoc fere genere ponebas.
2.28. Ut ordiar ab haruspicina, quam ego rei publicae causa communisque religionis colendam censeo. Sed soli sumus; licet verum exquirere sine invidia, mihi praesertim de plerisque dubitanti. Inspiciamus, si placet, exta primum. Persuaderi igitur cuiquam potest ea, quae significari dicuntur extis, cognita esse ab haruspicibus observatione diuturna? Quam diuturna ista fuit? aut quam longinquo tempore observari potuit? aut quo modo est conlatum inter ipsos, quae pars inimica, quae pars familiaris esset, quod fissum periculum, quod commodum aliquod ostenderet? An haec inter se haruspices Etrusci, Elii, Aegyptii, Poeni contulerunt? At id, praeterquam quod fieri non potuit, ne fingi quidem potest; alios enim alio more videmus exta interpretari, nec esse unam omnium disciplinam.
2.33. Haec observari certe non potuerunt, ut supra docui. Sunt igitur artis inventa, non vetustatis, si est ars ulla rerum incognitarum; cum rerum autem natura quam cognationem habent? quae ut uno consensu iuncta sit et continens, quod video placuisse physicis, eisque maxume, qui omne, quod esset, unum esse dixerunt, quid habere mundus potest cum thesauri inventione coniunctum? Si enim extis pecuniae mihi amplificatio ostenditur idque fit natura, primum exta sunt coniuncta mundo, deinde meum lucrum natura rerum continetur. Nonne pudet physicos haec dicere? Ut enim iam sit aliqua in natura rerum contagio, quam esse concedo (multa enim Stoici colligunt; nam et musculorum iecuscula bruma dicuntur augeri, et puleium aridum florescere brumali ipso die, et inflatas rumpi vesiculas, et semina malorum, quae in iis mediis inclusa sint, in contrarias partis se vertere, iam nervos in fidibus aliis pulsis resonare alios, ostreisque et conchyliis omnibus contingere, ut cum luna pariter crescant pariterque decrescant, arboresque ut hiemali tempore cum luna simul senescente, quia tum exsiccatae sint, tempestive caedi putentur.
2.36. deorum enim numini parere omnia. Haec iam, mihi crede, ne aniculae quidem existimant. An censes, eundem vitulum si alius delegerit, sine capite iecur inventurum; si alius, cum capite? Haec decessio capitis aut accessio subitone fieri potest, ut se exta ad immolatoris fortunam accommodent? non perspicitis aleam quandam esse in hostiis deligendis, praesertim cum res ipsa doceat? Cum enim tristissuma exta sine capite fuerunt, quibus nihil videtur esse dirius, proxuma hostia litatur saepe pulcherrime. Ubi igitur illae minae superiorum extorum? aut quae tam subito facta est deorum tanta placatio? Sed adfers in tauri opimi extis immolante Caesare cor non fuisse; id quia non potuerit accidere, ut sine corde victuma illa viveret, iudicandum esse tum interisse cor, cum immolaretur.
2.71. Nec vero non omni supplicio digni P. Claudius L. Iunius consules, qui contra auspicia navigaverunt; parendum enim religioni fuit nec patrius mos tam contumaciter repudiandus. Iure igitur alter populi iudicio damnatus est, alter mortem sibi ipse conscivit. Flaminius non paruit auspiciis, itaque periit cum exercitu. At anno post Paulus paruit; num minus cecidit in Cannensi pugna cum exercitu? Etenim, ut sint auspicia, quae nulla sunt, haec certe, quibus utimur, sive tripudio sive de caelo, simulacra sunt auspiciorum, auspicia nullo modo. Q. Fabi, te mihi in auspicio esse volo ; respondet: audivi . Hic apud maiores nostros adhibebatur peritus, nunc quilubet. Peritum autem esse necesse est eum, qui, silentium quid sit, intellegat; id enim silentium dicimus in auspiciis, quod omni vitio caret. 2.72. Hoc intellegere perfecti auguris est; illi autem, qui in auspicium adhibetur, cum ita imperavit is, qui auspicatur: dicito, si silentium esse videbitur, nec suspicit nec circumspicit; statim respondet silentium esse videri. Tum ille: dicito, si pascentur .— Pascuntur .— Quae aves? aut ubi? Attulit, inquit, in cavea pullos is, qui ex eo ipso nominatur pullarius. Haec sunt igitur aves internuntiae Iovis! quae pascantur necne, quid refert? Nihil ad auspicia; sed quia, cum pascuntur, necesse est aliquid ex ore cadere et terram pavire (terripavium primo, post terripudium dictum est; hoc quidem iam tripudium dicitur)—cum igitur offa cecidit ex ore pulli, tum auspicanti tripudium solistimum nuntiatur. 2.73. Ergo hoc auspicium divini quicquam habere potest, quod tam sit coactum et expressum? Quo antiquissumos augures non esse usos argumento est, quod decretum collegii vetus habemus omnem avem tripudium facere posse. Tum igitur esset auspicium (si modo esset ei liberum) se ostendisse; tum avis illa videri posset interpres et satelles Iovis; nunc vero inclusa in cavea et fame enecta si in offam pultis invadit, et si aliquid ex eius ore cecidit, hoc tu auspicium aut hoc modo Romulum auspicari solitum putas? 2.74. Iam de caelo servare non ipsos censes solitos, qui auspicabantur? Nunc imperant pullario; ille renuntiat. Fulmen sinistrum auspicium optumum habemus ad omnis res praeterquam ad comitia; quod quidem institutum rei publicae causa est, ut comitiorum vel in iudiciis populi vel in iure legum vel in creandis magistratibus principes civitatis essent interpretes. At Ti. Gracchi litteris Scipio et Figulus consules, cum augures iudicassent eos vitio creatos esse, magistratu se abdicaverunt. Quis negat augurum disciplinam esse? divinationem nego. At haruspices divini; quos cum Ti. Gracchus propter mortem repentinam eius, qui in praerogativa referenda subito concidisset, in senatum introduxisset, non iustum rogatorem fuisse dixerunt. 2.75. Primum vide, ne in eum dixerint, qui rogator centuriae fuisset; is enim erat mortuus; id autem sine divinatione coniectura poterant dicere. Deinde fortasse casu, qui nullo modo est ex hoc genere tollendus. Quid enim scire Etrusci haruspices aut de tabernaculo recte capto aut de pomerii iure potuerunt? Equidem adsentior C. Marcello potius quam App. Claudio, qui ambo mei collegae fuerunt, existimoque ius augurum, etsi divinationis opinione principio constitutum sit, tamen postea rei publicae causa conservatum ac retentum.
2.78. Quid est aliud nolle moneri a Iove nisi efficere, ut aut ne fieri possit auspicium aut, si fiat, videri? Nam illud admodum ridiculum, quod negas Deiotarum auspiciorum, quae sibi ad Pompeium proficiscenti facta sint, paenitere, quod fidem secutus amicitiamque populi Romani functus sit officio; antiquiorem enim sibi fuisse laudem et gloriam quam regnum et possessiones suas. Credo equidem, sed hoc nihil ad auspicia; nec enim ei cornix canere potuit recte eum facere, quod populi Romani libertatem defendere pararet; ipse hoc sentiebat, sicuti sensit.
2.124. Sed haec quoque in promptu fuerint; nunc interiora videamus. Aut enim divina vis quaedam consulens nobis somniorum significationes facit, aut coniectores ex quadam convenientia et coniunctione naturae, quam vocant sumpa/qeian, quid cuique rei conveniat ex somniis, et quid quamque rem sequatur, intellegunt, aut eorum neutrum est, sed quaedam observatio constans atque diuturna est, cum quid visum secundum quietem sit, quid evenire et quid sequi soleat. Primum igitur intellegendum est nullam vim esse divinam effectricem somniorum. Atque illud quidem perspicuum est, nulla visa somniorum proficisci a numine deorum; nostra enim causa di id facerent, ut providere futura possemus.
2.126. Illud etiam requiro, cur, si deus ista visa nobis providendi causa dat, non vigilantibus potius det quam dormientibus. Sive enim externus et adventicius pulsus animos dormientium commovet, sive per se ipsi animi moventur, sive quae causa alia est, cur secundum quietem aliquid videre, audire, agere videamur, eadem causa vigilantibus esse poterat; idque si nostra causa di secundum quietem facerent, vigilantibus idem facerent, praesertim cum Chrysippus Academicos refellens permulto clariora et certiora esse dicat, quae vigilantibus videantur, quam quae somniantibus. Fuit igitur divina beneficentia dignius, cum consulerent nobis, clariora visa dare vigilanti quam obscuriora per somnum. Quod quoniam non fit, somnia divina putanda non sunt.' '. None
|1.3. And, indeed, what colony did Greece ever send into Aeolia, Ionia, Asia, Sicily, or Italy without consulting the Pythian or Dodonian oracle, or that of Jupiter Hammon? Or what war did she ever undertake without first seeking the counsel of the gods? 2 Nor is it only one single mode of divination that has been employed in public and in private. For, to say nothing of other nations, how many our own people have embraced! In the first place, according to tradition, Romulus, the father of this City, not only founded it in obedience to the auspices, but was himself a most skilful augur. Next, the other Roman kings employed augurs; and, again, after the expulsion of the kings, no public business was ever transacted at home or abroad without first taking the auspices. Furthermore, since our forefathers believed that the soothsayers art had great efficacy in seeking for omens and advice, as well as in cases where prodigies were to be interpreted and their effects averted, they gradually introduced that art in its entirety from Etruria, lest it should appear that any kind of divination had been disregarded by them. |
1.3. Therefore Ateius, by his announcement, did not create the cause of the disaster; but having observed the sign he simply advised Crassus what the result would be if the warning was ignored. It follows, then, that the announcement by Ateius of the unfavourable augury had no effect; or if it did, as Appius thinks, then the sin is not in him who gave the warning, but in him who disregarded it.17 And whence, pray, did you augurs derive that staff, which is the most conspicuous mark of your priestly office? It is the very one, indeed with which Romulus marked out the quarter for taking observations when he founded the city. Now this staffe is a crooked wand, slightly curved at the top, and, because of its resemblance to a trumpet, derives its name from the Latin word meaning the trumpet with which the battle-charge is sounded. It was placed in the temple of the Salii on the Palatine hill and, though the temple was burned, the staff was found uninjured.
1.11. Really, my dear Quintus, said I, I always have time for philosophy. Moreover, since there is nothing else at this time that I can do with pleasure, I am all the more eager to hear what you think about divination.There is, I assure you, said he, nothing new or original in my views; for those which I adopt are not only very old, but they are endorsed by the consent of all peoples and nations. There are two kinds of divination: the first is dependent on art, the other on nature.
1.11. The second division of divination, as I said before, is the natural; and it, according to exact teaching of physics, must be ascribed to divine Nature, from which, as the wisest philosophers maintain, our souls have been drawn and poured forth. And since the universe is wholly filled with the Eternal Intelligence and the Divine Mind, it must be that human souls are influenced by their contact with divine souls. But when men are awake their souls, as a rule, are subject to the demands of everyday life and are withdrawn from divine association because they are hampered by the chains of the flesh.
1.17. But what authority or what witness can I better employ than yourself? I have even learned by heart and with great pleasure the following lines uttered by the Muse, Urania, in the second book of your poem entitled, My Consulship:First of all, Jupiter, glowing with fire from regions celestial,Turns, and the whole of creation is filled with the light of his glory;And, though the vaults of aether eternal begird and confine him,Yet he, with spirit divine, ever searching the earth and the heavens,Sounds to their innermost depths the thoughts and the actions of mortals.When one has learned the motions and variant paths of the planets,Stars that abide in the seat of the signs, in the Zodiacs girdle,(Spoken of falsely as vagrants or rovers in Greek nomenclature,Whereas in truth their distance is fixed and their speed is determined,)Then will he know that all are controlled by an Infinite Wisdom.
1.27. This is why, as he told me himself, he had time and again abandoned a journey even though he might have been travelling for many days. By the way, that was a very noble utterance of his which he made after Caesar had deprived him of his tetrarchy and kingdom, and had forced him to pay an indemnity too. Notwithstanding what has happened, said he, I do not regret that the auspices favoured my joining Pompey. By so doing I enlisted my military power in defence of senatorial authority, Roman liberty, and the supremacy of the empire. The birds, at whose instance I followed the course of duty and of honour, counselled well, for I value my good name more than riches. His conception of augury, it seems to me, is the correct one.For with us magistrates make use of auspices, but they are forced auspices, since the sacred chickens in eating the dough pellets thrown must let some fall from their beaks.
1.29. For example, Publius Claudius, son of Appius Caecus, and his colleague Lucius Junius, lost very large fleets by going to sea when the auguries were adverse. The same fate befell Agamemnon; for, after the Greeks had begun toRaise aloft their frequent clamours, showing scorn of augurs art,Noise prevailed and not the omen: he then bade the ships depart.But why cite such ancient instances? We see what happened to Marcus Crassus when he ignored the announcement of unfavourable omens. It was on the charge of having on this occasion falsified the auspices that Gaius Ateius, an honourable man and a distinguished citizen, was, on insufficient evidence, stigmatized by the then censor Appius, who was your associate in the augural college, and an able one too, as I have often heard you say. I grant you that in pursuing the course he did Appius was within his rights as a censor, if, in his judgement, Ateius had announced a fraudulent augury. But he showed no capacity whatever as an augur in holding Ateius responsible for that awful disaster which befell the Roman people. Had this been the cause then the fault would not have been in Ateius, who made the announcement that the augury was unfavourable, but in Crassus, who disobeyed it; for the issue proved that the announcement was true, as this same augur and censor admits. But even if the augury had been false it could not have been the cause of the disaster; for unfavourable auguries — and the same may be said of auspices, omens, and all other signs — are not the causes of what follows: they merely foretell what will occur unless precautions are taken.
1.77. Again, did not Gaius Flaminius by his neglect of premonitory signs in his second consulship in the Second Punic War cause great disaster to the State? For, after a review of the army, he had moved his camp and was marching towards Arretium to meet Hannibal, when his horse, for no apparent reason, suddenly fell with him just in front of the statue of Jupiter Stator. Although the soothsayers considered this a divine warning not to join battle, he did not so regard it. Again, after the auspices by means of the tripudium had been taken, the keeper of the sacred chickens advised the postponement of battle. Flaminius then asked, Suppose the chickens should never eat, what would you advise in that case? You should remain in camp, was the reply. Fine auspices indeed! said Flaminius, for they counsel action when chickens crops are empty and inaction when chickens crops are filled. So he ordered the standards to be plucked up and the army to follow him. Then, when the standard-bearer of the first company could not loosen his standard, several soldiers came to his assistance, but to no purpose. This fact was reported to Flaminius, and he, with his accustomed obstinacy, ignored it. The consequence was that within three hours his army was cut to pieces and he himself was slain. 1.78. Coelius has added the further notable fact that, at the very time this disastrous battle was going on, earthquakes of such violence occurred in Liguria, in Gaul, on several islands, and in every part of Italy, that a large number of towns were destroyed, landslips took place in many regions, the earth sank, rivers flowed upstream, and the sea invaded their channels.36 Trustworthy conjectures in divining are made by experts. For instance, when Midas, the famous king of Phrygia, was a child, ants filled his mouth with grains of wheat as he slept. It was predicted that he would be a very wealthy man; and so it turned out. Again, while Plato was an infant, asleep in his cradle, bees settled on his lips and this was interpreted to mean that he would have a rare sweetness of speech. Hence in his infancy his future eloquence was foreseen.
1.89. Furthermore, did not Priam, the Asiatic king, have a son, Helenus, and a daughter, Cassandra, who prophesied, the first by means of auguries and the other when under a heaven-inspired excitement and exaltation of soul? In the same class, as we read in the records of our forefathers, were those famous Marcian brothers, men of noble birth. And does not Homer relate that Polyidus of Corinth not only made many predictions to others, but that he also foretold the death of his own son, who was setting out for Troy? As a general rule among the ancients the men who ruled the state had control likewise of augury, for they considered divining, as well as wisdom, becoming to a king. Proof of this is afforded by our State wherein the kings were augurs; and, later, private citizens endowed with the same priestly office ruled the republic by the authority of religion. 41
1.92. Again, the Etruscans are very skilful in observing thunderbolts, in interpreting their meaning and that of every sign and portent. That is why, in the days of our forefathers, it was wisely decreed by the Senate, when its power was in full vigour, that, of the sons of the chief men, six should be handed over to each of the Etruscan tribes for the study of divination, in order that so important a profession should not, on account of the poverty of its members, be withdrawn from the influence of religion, and converted into a means of mercenary gain. On the other hand the Phrygians, Pisidians, Cilicians, and Arabians rely chiefly on the signs conveyed by the flights of birds, and the Umbrians, according to tradition, used to do the same. 42
1.95. But who fails to observe that auspices and all other kinds of divination flourish best in the best regulated states? And what king or people has there ever been who did not employ divination? I do not mean in time of peace only, but much more even in time of war, when the strife and struggle for safety is hardest. Passing by our own countrymen, who do nothing in war without examining entrails and nothing in peace without taking the auspices, let us look at the practice of foreign nations. The Athenians, for instance, in every public assembly always had present certain priestly diviners, whom they call manteis. The Spartans assigned an augur to their kings as a judicial adviser, and they also enacted that an augur should be present in their Council of Elders, which is the name of their Senate. In matters of grave concern they always consulted the oracle at Delphi, or that of Jupiter Hammon or that of Dodona.
1.105. Why need I speak of augurs? That is your rôle; the duty to defend auspices, I maintain, is yours. For it was to you, while you were consul, that the augur Appius Claudius declared that because the augury of safety was unpropitious a grievous and violent civil war was at hand. That war began few months later, but you brought it to an end in still fewer days. Appius is one augur of whom I heartily approve, for not content merely with the sing-song ritual of augury, he, alone, according to the record of many years, has maintained a real system of divination. I know that your colleagues used to laugh at him and call him the one time a Pisidian and at another a Soran. They did not concede to augury any power of prevision or real knowledge of the future, and used to say that it was a superstitious practice shrewdly invented to gull the ignorant. But the truth is far otherwise, for neither those herdsmen whom Romulus governed, nor Romulus himself, could have had cunning enough to invent miracles with which to mislead the people. It is the trouble and hard work involved in mastering the art that has induced this eloquent contempt; for men prefer to say glibly that there is nothing in auspices rather than to learn what auspices are.
1.117. Now there is a great problem as to how prophets and dreamers can see things, which, at the time, have no actual existence anywhere. But that question would be solved quite readily if we were to investigate certain other questions which demand consideration first. For the theory in regard to the nature of the gods, so clearly developed in the second book of your work on that subject, includes this whole question. If we maintain that theory we shall establish the very point which I am trying to make: namely, that there are gods; that they rule the universe by their foresight; and that they direct the affairs of men — not merely of men in the mass, but of each individual. If we succeed in holding that position — and for my part I think it impregnable — then surely it must follow that the gods give to men signs of coming events. 52
1.132. I will assert, however, in conclusion, that I do not recognize fortune-tellers, or those who prophesy for money, or necromancers, or mediums, whom your friend Appius makes it a practice to consult.In fine, I say, I do not care a figFor Marsian augurs, village mountebanks,Astrologers who haunt the circus grounds,Or Isis-seers, or dream interpreters:— for they are not diviners either by knowledge or skill, —But superstitious bards, soothsaying quacks,Averse to work, or mad, or ruled by want,Directing others how to go, and yetWhat road to take they do not know themselves;From those to whom they promise wealth they begA coin. From what they promised let them takeTheir coin as toll and pass the balance on.Such are the words of Ennius who only a few lines further back expresses the view that there are gods and yet says that the gods do not care what human beings do. But for my part, believing as I do that the gods do care for man, and that they advise and often forewarn him, I approve of divination which is not trivial and is free from falsehood and trickery.When Quintus had finished I remarked, My dear Quintus, you have come admirably well prepared.
2.14. And you went on to say that even the foreknowledge of impending storms and rains by means of certain signs was not divination, and, in that connexion, you quoted a number of verses from my translation of Aratus. Yet such coincidences happen by chance, for though they happen frequently they do not happen always. What, then, is this thing you call divination — this foreknowledge of things that happen by chance — and where is it employed? You think that whatever can be foreknown by means of science, reason, experience, or conjecture is to be referred, not to diviners, but to experts. It follows, therefore, that divination of things that happen by chance is possible only of things which cannot be foreseen by means of skill or wisdom. Hence, if someone had declared many years in advance that the famous Marcus Marcellus, who was consul three times, would perish in a shipwreck, this, by your definition, undoubtedly would have been a case of divination, since that calamity could not have been foreseen by means of any other skill or by wisdom. That is why you say that divination is the foreknowledge of such things as depend upon chance. 6
2.14. When the soul itself is weakened and relaxed many such sights and sounds, you may be sure, are seen and heard in all manner of confusion and diversity. Then especially do the remts of our waking thoughts and deeds move and stir within the soul. For example, in the time of my banishment Marius was often in my mind as I recalled with what great fortitude and courage he had borne his own heavy misfortunes, and this I think is the reason why I dreamed about him.68 As for your dream, it occurred while you were thinking and worrying about me and then you had the vision of me as I suddenly arose from the river. For in the souls of us both were traces of our waking thoughts, but with some added features, of course: as, for example, my dreaming of Mariuss monument and your dreaming that the horse on which I rode sank with me and then reappeared.
2.26. But this introductory part of my discussion has been mere skirmishing with light infantry; now let me come to close quarters and see if I cannot drive in both wings of your argument.11 You divided divination into two kinds, one artificial and the other natural. The artificial, you said, consists in part of conjecture and in part of long-continued observation; while the natural is that which the soul has seized, or, rather, has obtained, from a source outside itself — that is, from God, whence all human souls have been drawn off, received, or poured out. Under the head of artificial divination you placed predictions made from the inspection of entrails, those made from lightnings and portents, those made by augurs, and by persons who depend entirely upon premonitory signs. Under the same head you included practically every method of prophecy in which conjecture was employed.
2.28. In discussing separately the various methods of divination, I shall begin with soothsaying, which, according to my deliberate judgement, should be cultivated from reasons of political expediency and in order that we may have a state religion. But we are alone and for that reason we may, without causing ill-will, make an earnest inquiry into the truth of soothsaying — certainly I can do so, since in most things my philosophy is that of doubt. In the first place, then, if you please, let us make an inspection of entrails! Now can anybody be induced to believe that the things said to be predicted by means of entrails were learned by the soothsayers through long-continued observation? How long, pray, did the observations last? How could the observations have continued for a long time? How did the soothsayers manage to agree among themselves what part of the entrails was unfavourable, and what part favourable; or what cleft in the liver indicated danger and what promised some advantage? Are the soothsayers of Etruria, Elis, Egypt, and of Carthage in accord on these matters? Apart from such an agreement being impossible in fact, it is impossible even to imagine; and, moreover, we see some nations interpreting entrails in one way and some in another; hence there is no uniformity of practice.
2.33. Such signs, as I have shown before, certainly could not come within your classification of the kinds of divination dependent on observation. Therefore they are not the result of immemorial usage, but they are the inventions of art — if there can be any art in the occult. But what relationship have they with the laws of nature? Assuming that all the works of nature are firmly bound together in a harmonious whole (which, I observe, is the view of the natural philosophers and especially of those men who maintain that the universe is a unit), what connexion can there be between the universe and the finding of a treasure? For instance, if the entrails foretell an increase in my fortune and they do so in accordance with some law of nature, then, in the first place, there is some relationship between them and the universe, and in the second place, my ficial gain is regulated by the laws of nature. Are not the natural philosophers ashamed to utter such nonsense? And yet a certain contact between the different parts of nature may be admitted and I concede it. The Stoics have collected much evidence to prove it. They claim, for example, that the livers of mice become larger in winter; that the dry pennyroyal blooms the very day of the winter solstice, and that its seed-pods become inflated and burst and the seeds enclosed thither are sent in various directions; that at times when certain strings of the lyre are struck others sound; that it is the habit of oysters and of all shell-fish to grow with the growth of the moon and to become smaller as it wanes; and that trees are considered easiest to cut down in winter and in the dark of the moon, because they are then free from sap.
2.36. Upon my word, no old woman is credulous enough now to believe such stuff! Do you believe that the same bullock, if chosen by one man, will have a liver without a head, and if chosen by another will have a liver with a head? And is it possible that this sudden going or coming of the livers head occurs so that the entrails may adapt themselves to the situation of the person who offers the sacrifice? Do you Stoics fail to see in choosing the victim it is almost like a throw of the dice, especially as facts prove it? For when the entrails of the first victim have been without a head, which is the most fatal of all signs, it often happens that the sacrifice of the next victim is altogether favourable. Pray what became of the warnings of the first set of entrails? And how was the favour of the gods so completely and so suddenly gained?16 But, you say, Once, when Caesar was offering a sacrifice, there was no heart in the entrails of the sacrificial bull; and, and, since it would have been impossible for the victim to live without a heart, the heart must have disappeared at the moment of immolation.
2.71. In my opinion the consuls, Publius Claudius and Lucius Junius, who set sail contrary to the auspices, were deserving of capital punishment; for they should have respected the established religion and should not have treated the customs of their forefathers with such shameless disdain. Therefore it was a just retribution that the former was condemned by a vote of the people and that the latter took his own life. Flaminius, you say, did not obey the auspices, therefore he perished with his army. But a year later Paulus did obey them; and did he not lose his army and his life in the battle of Cannae? Granting that there are auspices (as there are not), certainly those which we ordinarily employ — whether by the tripudium or by the observation of the heavens — are not auspices in any sense, but are the mere ghosts of auspices.34 Quintus Fabius, I wish you to assist me at the auspices. He answers, I will. (In our forefathers time the magistrates on such occasions used to call in some expert person to take the auspices — but in these days anyone will do. But one must be an expert to know what constitutes silence, for by that term we mean free of every augural defect. 2.72. To understand that belongs to a perfect augur.) After the celebrant has said to his assistant, Tell me when silence appears to exist, the latter, without looking up or about him, immediately replies, Silence appears to exist. Then the celebrant says, Tell me when the chickens begin to eat. They are eating now, is the answer. But what are these birds they are talking about, and where are they? Someone replies, Its poultry. Its in a cage and the person who brought it is called a poulterer, because of his business. These, then, are the messengers of Jove! What difference does it make whether they eat or not? None, so far as the auspices are concerned. But, because of the fact that, while they eat, some food must necessarily fall from their mouths and strike upon the ground (terram pavire), — this at first was called terripavium, and later, terripudium; now it is called tripudium — therefore, when a crumb of food falls from a chickens mouth a tripudium solistimum is announced to the celebrant. 35 2.73. Then, how can there be anything divine about an auspice so forced and so extorted? That such a practice did not prevail with the augurs of ancient times is proven by an old ruling of our college which says, Any bird may make a tripudium. There might be an auspice if the bird were free to show itself outside its cage. In that case it might be called the interpreter and satellite of Jove. But now, when shut up inside a cage and tortured by hunger, if it seizes greedily upon its morsel of pottage and something falls from its mouth, do you consider that is an auspice? Or do you believe that this was the way in which Romulus used to take the auspices? 2.74. Again, do you not think that formerly it was the habit of the celebrants themselves to make observation of the heavens? Now they order the poulterer, and he gives responses! We regard lightning on the left as a most favourable omen for everything except for an election, and this exception was made, no doubt, from reasons of political expediency so that the rulers of the State would be the judges of the regularity of an election, whether held to pass judgements in criminal cases, or to enact laws, or to elect magistrates.The consuls, Scipio and Figulus, you say, resigned their office when the augurs rendered a decision based on a letter written by Tiberius Gracchus, to the effect that those consuls had not been elected according to augural law. Who denies that augury is an art? What I deny is the existence of divination. But you say: Soothsayers have the power of divination; and you mention the fact that, on account of the unexpected death of the person who had suddenly fallen while bringing in the report of the vote of the prerogative century, Tiberius Gracchus introduced the soothsayers into the Senate and they declared that the president had violated augural law. 2.75. Now, in the first place, do not understand that by the president they meant the president of the prerogative century, for he was dead; and, moreover, they could have told that by conjecture without the use of divination; or, in the second place, perhaps, they said so by accident which is no wise to be left out of account in cases of this kind. For what could the Etruscan soothsayers have known, either as to whether the tabernaculum had been properly placed, or as to whether the regulations pertaining to the pomerium had been observed? For my part, I agree with Gaius Marcellus, rather than with Appius Claudius — both of whom were my colleagues — and I think that, although in the beginning augural law was established from a belief in divination, yet later it was maintained and preserved from considerations of political expediency. 36
2.78. What else does a refusal to be warned by Jove accomplish except either to prevent an auspice from occurring, or, if it occurs, to prevent it from being seen?37 Your story about Deiotarus is utterly absurd: He did not regret the auspices given him as he was setting out to join Pompey. They caused him to continue in the path of loyalty and friendship to the Roman people and to perform his duty; for he valued his reputation and glory more than kingdom and riches. I dare say; but that has nothing to do with auspices. For the crow would not tell Deiotarus that he was doing right in preparing to defend the liberty of the Roman people. He ought to have realized that of himself, and in fact he did.
2.124. But, though the conclusion just stated is obvious, let us now look deeper into the question. Surely you must assume, either that there is a Divine Power which, in planning for our good, gives us information by means of dreams; or that, because of some natural connexion and association — the Greeks call it συμπάθεια — interpreters of dreams know what sort of a dream is required to fit any situation and what sort of a result will follow any dream; or that neither of these suppositions is true, but that the usual result or consequence of every dream is known by a consistent system of rules based on long-continued observation. In the first place, then, it must be understood that there is no divine power which creates dreams. And indeed it is perfectly clear that none of the visions seen in dreams have their origin in the will of the gods; for the gods, for our sakes, would so interpose that we might be able to foresee the future.
2.126. I also ask, if God gives us these visions as forewarnings, why does he not give them to us when we are awake rather than when we are asleep? For, whether our souls in sleep are impelled by some external and foreign force; or whether they are self-moved; or whether there is some other cause why, during sleep, we imagine ourselves seeing or hearing, or doing certain things — whatever the cause, it would apply just as well when we are awake. If the gods did send us warnings in our sleep and for our good they would do the same for us when we are awake, especially since, as Chrysippus says in replying to the Academicians, appearances seen when we are awake are much more distinct and trustworthy than those seen in dreams. It would, therefore, have been more in keeping with the beneficence of gods, in consulting for our good, to send us clear visions in our waking moments rather than unintelligible ones in our dreams. But since that is not the case, dreams ought not to be held divine.' '. None