|3. Cicero, On Divination, 1.3, 1.11-1.12, 1.17, 1.23, 1.27-1.31, 1.34, 1.44-1.45, 1.48-1.49, 1.55-1.56, 1.58, 1.63, 1.72-1.79, 1.89, 1.92, 1.95, 1.105, 1.109-1.110, 1.117, 1.132, 2.13-2.14, 2.16-2.17, 2.19-2.20, 2.25-2.28, 2.33, 2.36, 2.42-2.43, 2.50, 2.52, 2.71-2.75, 2.78, 2.124, 2.126 (2nd cent. BCE - 1st cent. BCE)
Tagged with subjects: • Aemilius Paullus, L., auspicates before moving army • Augur • Augustus, and augury • Cannae, battle of, auspices at • Claudius Pulcher, P., auspices, practice of, attacked by • Coelius Antipater, L., augural inconsistency of account • Coelius Antipater, L., on Flaminius’ neglect of auspices • Dionysios of Halikarnassos, on auspices • Divination (Greek and Roman), augury • Fabius Maximus Verrucosus, Q., auspices, before moving army • Fabius Maximus Verrucosus, Q., auspices, repeated/upheld by • Flaminius, C., auspices, contempt for/neglect of • Flaminius, C., auspices, lacks valid • Iunius Pullus, L., auspices, ignored by • Iuppiter, auspices, grants/withholds permission through • Licinius Crassus, C., fails to auspicate • Livy, and augural language • Livy, on Flaminius’ neglect of auspical warnings • Ostia, augural significance of • Roman religion, auspices of • Servius auctus sive Danielis, on augural character of Ostia and Tiber • Terentius Varro, C., auspices at Cannae, questioned about • Terentius Varro, C., auspices, observed by • Tiber river, augural significance of • Tullius Cicero, M., on Flaminius’ neglect of auspices • augur, Cicero as an • augural books • augural usage • augurium salutis • augurium, and Ti. Gracchus, vitium of • augurium, augural rulings, falsification of, for political purposes • augurium, augural science, manipulation of, for political purposes • augurium, auspices, exclusive responsibility for • augurium, decrees and responses of • augurium, interpretes Iovis • augurs • augurs and augury • augurs, augurate • augurs,augural college • augury • augury, • augury, Augustus and • augury, Cicero on • augury, ancient debate on • augury, as divination • augury, decline of • augury,augural law • auspicatio (auspication) • auspication • auspication, before battle • auspication, before moving of army/sailing of fleet • auspication, initial • auspication, omitted • auspication,and agri • auspication,and historical tradition • auspication,and naval warfare • auspication,and res publica • auspication,and water • auspices • auspicia (auspices) • auspicium ex tripudiis • auspicium, • auspicium/-cia ex tripudio/-iis • auspicium/-cia ex tripudio/-iis, not used for investiture or departure • auspicium/-cia ex tripudio/-iis, originates in oblative signs • decline, of augury • interregnum, auspices, renovation of, through • magistrates, have auspices • privatus, auspices, lack of • prodigium, auspices, distinct from/overlap with • ritual, augural • signs, augural • vitium, at auspices for battle
Found in books: Hickson (1993) 53, 57, 60; Konrad (2022) 39, 42, 45, 59, 64, 155, 156, 158, 159, 160, 162, 163, 164, 239, 244, 245, 246, 247, 259, 260, 263, 264, 284, 288; Luck (2006) 309; Mackey (2022) 345, 350, 353; Maso (2022) 38, 81, 146; Mowat (2021) 18, 19, 46; Mueller (2002) 121; Renberg (2017) 3, 47; Rosa and Santangelo (2020) 28, 38, 39, 113; Rupke (2016) 38; Rutledge (2012) 168; Santangelo (2013) 26, 27, 31, 53, 63, 64, 70, 72, 73, 157, 199, 253, 262, 275, 277; Shannon-Henderson (2019) 249, 253, 263; Wynne (2019) 76, 199, 204, 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. 1.12. Quae est autem gens aut quae civitas, quae non aut extispicum aut monstra aut fulgora interpretantium aut augurum aut astrologorum aut sortium (ea enim fere artis sunt) aut somniorum aut vaticinationum (haec enim duo naturalia putantur) praedictione moveatur? Quarum quidem rerum eventa magis arbitror quam causas quaeri oportere. Est enim vis et natura quaedam, quae tum observatis longo tempore significationibus, tum aliquo instinctu inflatuque divino futura praenuntiat. Quare omittat urguere Carneades, quod faciebat etiam Panaetius requirens, Iuppiterne cornicem a laeva, corvum ab dextera canere iussisset. Observata sunt haec tempore inmenso et in significatione eventis animadversa et notata. Nihil est autem, quod non longinquitas temporum excipiente memoria prodendisque monumentis efficere atque adsequi possit.
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.
1.23. Quid? quaeris, Carneades, cur haec ita fiant aut qua arte perspici possint? Nescire me fateor, evenire autem te ipsum dico videre. Casu, inquis. Itane vero? quicquam potest casu esse factum, quod omnes habet in se numeros veritatis? Quattuor tali iacti casu Venerium efficiunt; num etiam centum Venerios, si quadringentos talos ieceris, casu futuros putas? Aspersa temere pigmenta in tabula oris liniamenta efficere possunt; num etiam Veneris Coae pulchritudinem effici posse aspersione fortuita putas? Sus rostro si humi A litteram inpresserit, num propterea suspicari poteris Andromacham Ennii ab ea posse describi? Fingebat Carneades in Chiorum lapicidinis saxo diffisso caput extitisse Panisci; credo, aliquam non dissimilem figuram, sed certe non talem, ut eam factam a Scopa diceres. Sic enim se profecto res habet, ut numquam perfecte veritatem casus imitetur.
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; 1.28. quod autem scriptum habetis †aut tripudium fieri, si ex ea quid in solidum ceciderit, hoc quoque, quod dixi, coactum tripudium solistimum dicitis. Itaque multa auguria, multa auspicia, quod Cato ille sapiens queritur, neglegentia collegii amissa plane et deserta sunt. Nihil fere quondam maioris rei nisi auspicato ne privatim quidem gerebatur, quod etiam nunc nuptiarum auspices declarant, qui re omissa nomen tantum tenent. Nam ut nunc extis (quamquam id ipsum aliquanto minus quam olim), sic tum avibus magnae res inpetriri solebant. Itaque, sinistra dum non exquirimus, in dira et in vitiosa incurrimus. 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.
1.31. Quid? multis annis post Romulum Prisco regte Tarquinio quis veterum scriptorum non loquitur, quae sit ab Atto Navio per lituum regionum facta discriptio? Qui cum propter paupertatem sues puer pasceret, una ex iis amissa vovisse dicitur, si recuperasset, uvam se deo daturum, quae maxima esset in vinea; itaque sue inventa ad meridiem spectans in vinea media dicitur constitisse, cumque in quattuor partis vineam divisisset trisque partis aves abdixissent, quarta parte, quae erat reliqua, in regiones distributa mirabili magnitudine uvam, ut scriptum videmus, invenit. Qua re celebrata cum vicini omnes ad eum de rebus suis referrent, erat in magno nomine et gloria.
1.34. Iis igitur adsentior, qui duo genera divinationum esse dixerunt, unum, quod particeps esset artis, alterum, quod arte careret. Est enim ars in iis, qui novas res coniectura persequuntur, veteres observatione didicerunt. Carent autem arte ii, qui non ratione aut coniectura observatis ac notatis signis, sed concitatione quadam animi aut soluto liberoque motu futura praesentiunt, quod et somniantibus saepe contingit et non numquam vaticitibus per furorem, ut Bacis Boeotius, ut Epimenides Cres, ut Sibylla Erythraea. Cuius generis oracla etiam habenda sunt, non ea, quae aequatis sortibus ducuntur, sed illa, quae instinctu divino adflatuque funduntur; etsi ipsa sors contemnenda non est, si et auctoritatem habet vetustatis, ut eae sunt sortes, quas e terra editas accepimus; quae tamen ductae ut in rem apte cadant, fieri credo posse divinitus. Quorum omnium interpretes, ut grammatici poe+tarum, proxime ad eorum, quos interpretantur, divinationem videntur accedere.
1.44. Quoniám quieti córpus nocturno ínpetu Dedí sopore plácans artus lánguidos, Visúst in somnis pástor ad me appéllere Pecús lanigerum exímia puchritúdine; Duós consanguineos árietes inde éligi Praeclárioremque álterum immoláre me; Deinde eíus germanum córnibus conítier, In me árietare, eoque íctu me ad casúm dari; Exín prostratum térra, graviter saúcium, Resupínum in caelo cóntueri máximum ac Mirifícum facinus: déxtrorsum orbem flámmeum Radiátum solis líquier cursú novo. Eius igitur somnii a coniectoribus quae sit interpretatio facta, videamus: 1.45. Réx, quae in vita usúrpant homines, cógitant, curánt, vident, Quaéque agunt vigilántes agitantque, éa, cui in somno áccidunt, Mínus mirandum est; dí rem tantam haud témere inproviso ófferunt. Próin vide ne, quém tu esse hebetem députes aeque ác pecus, Ís sapientiá munitum péctus egregié gerat Téque regno expéllat; nam id, quod dé sole ostentúmst tibi, Pópulo commutátionem rérum portendít fore Pérpropinquam. Haec béne verruncent pópulo. Nam quod ad déxteram Cépit cursum ab laéva signum praépotens, pulchérrume Aúguratum est rém Romanam públicam summám fore. Age nunc ad externa redeamus.
1.48. Redeamus ad somnia. Hannibalem Coelius scribit, cum columnam auream, quae esset in fano Iunonis Laciniae, auferre vellet dubitaretque, utrum ea solida esset an extrinsecus inaurata, perterebravisse, cumque solidam invenisset, statuisse tollere; ei secundum quietem visam esse Iunonem praedicere, ne id faceret, minarique, si fecisset, se curaturam, ut eum quoque oculum, quo bene videret, amitteret, idque ab homine acuto non esse neglectum; itaque ex eo auro, quod exterebratum esset, buculam curasse faciendam et eam in summa columna conlocavisse. 1.49. Hoc item in Sileni, quem Coelius sequitur, Graeca historia est (is autem diligentissume res Hannibalis persecutus est): Hannibalem, cum cepisset Saguntum, visum esse in somnis a Iove in deorum concilium vocari; quo cum venisset, Iovem imperavisse, ut Italiae bellum inferret, ducemque ei unum e concilio datum, quo illum utentem cum exercitu progredi coepisse; tum ei ducem illum praecepisse, ne respiceret; illum autem id diutius facere non potuisse elatumque cupiditate respexisse; tum visam beluam vastam et immanem circumplicatam serpentibus, quacumque incederet, omnia arbusta, virgulta, tecta pervertere, et eum admiratum quaesisse de deo, quodnam illud esset tale monstrum; et deum respondisse vastitatem esse Italiae praecepisseque, ut pergeret protinus, quid retro atque a tergo fieret, ne laboraret.
1.55. Sed quid ego Graecorum? nescio quo modo me magis nostra delectant. Omnes hoc historici, Fabii, Gellii, sed proxume Coelius: Cum bello Latino ludi votivi maxumi primum fierent, civitas ad arma repente est excitata, itaque ludis intermissis instaurativi constituti sunt. Qui ante quam fierent, cumque iam populus consedisset, servus per circum, cum virgis caederetur, furcam ferens ductus est. Exin cuidam rustico Romano dormienti visus est venire, qui diceret praesulem sibi non placuisse ludis, idque ab eodem iussum esse eum senatui nuntiare; illum non esse ausum. Iterum esse idem iussum et monitum, ne vim suam experiri vellet; ne tum quidem esse ausum. Exin filium eius esse mortuum, eandem in somnis admonitionem fuisse tertiam. Tum illum etiam debilem factum rem ad amicos detulisse, quorum de sententia lecticula in curiam esse delatum, cumque senatui somnium enarravisset, pedibus suis salvum domum revertisse. Itaque somnio comprobato a senatu ludos illos iterum instauratos memoriae proditum est. 1.56. C. vero Gracchus multis dixit, ut scriptum apud eundem Coelium est, sibi in somnis quaesturam pete re dubita nti Ti. fratrem visum esse dicere, quam vellet cunctaretur, tamen eodem sibi leto, quo ipse interisset, esse pereundum. Hoc, ante quam tribunus plebi C. Gracchus factus esset, et se audisse scribit Coelius et dixisse eum multis. Quo somnio quid inveniri potest certius? Quid? illa duo somnia, quae creberrume commemorantur a Stoicis, quis tandem potest contemnere? unum de Simonide: Qui cum ignotum quendam proiectum mortuum vidisset eumque humavisset haberetque in animo navem conscendere, moneri visus est, ne id faceret, ab eo, quem sepultura adfecerat; si navigavisset, eum naufragio esse periturum; itaque Simonidem redisse, perisse ceteros, qui tum navigassent. Alterum ita traditum clarum admodum somnium:
1.58. Quid hoc somnio dici potest divinius? Sed quid aut plura aut vetera quaerimus? Saepe tibi meum narravi, saepe ex te audivi tuum somnium: me, cum Asiae pro cos. praeessem, vidisse in quiete, cum tu equo advectus ad quandam magni fluminis ripam provectus subito atque delapsus in flumen nusquam apparuisses, me contremuisse timore perterritum; tum te repente laetum exstitisse eodemque equo adversam ascendisse ripam, nosque inter nos esse conplexos. Facilis coniectura huius somnii, mihique a peritis in Asia praedictum est fore eos eventus rerum, qui acciderunt. Venio nunc ad tuum.
1.63. Cum ergo est somno sevocatus animus a societate et a contagione corporis, tum meminit praeteritorum, praesentia cernit, futura providet; iacet enim corpus dormientis ut mortui, viget autem et vivit animus. Quod multo magis faciet post mortem, cum omnino corpore excesserit. Itaque adpropinquante morte multo est divinior. Nam et id ipsum vident, qui sunt morbo gravi et mortifero adfecti, instare mortem; itaque iis occurrunt plerumque imagines mortuorum, tumque vel maxume laudi student, eosque, qui secus, quam decuit, vixerunt, peccatorum suorum tum maxume paenitet.
1.72. in quo haruspices, augures coniectoresque numerantur. Haec inprobantur a Peripateticis, a Stoicis defenduntur. Quorum alia sunt posita in monumentis et disciplina, quod Etruscorum declarant et haruspicini et fulgurales et rituales libri, vestri etiam augurales, alia autem subito ex tempore coniectura explicantur, ut apud Homerum Calchas, qui ex passerum numero belli Troiani annos auguratus est, et ut in Sullae scriptum historia videmus, quod te inspectante factum est, ut, cum ille in agro Nolano inmolaret ante praetorium, ab infima ara subito anguis emergeret, cum quidem C. Postumius haruspex oraret illum, ut in expeditionem exercitum educeret; id cum Sulla fecisset, tum ante oppidum Nolam florentissuma Samnitium castra cepit. 1.73. Facta coniectura etiam in Dionysio est, paulo ante quam regnare coepit; qui cum per agrum Leontinum iter faciens equum ipse demisisset in flumen, submersus equus voraginibus non exstitit; quem cum maxima contentione non potuisset extrahere, discessit, ut ait Philistus, aegre ferens. Cum autem aliquantum progressus esset, subito exaudivit hinnitum respexitque et equum alacrem laetus aspexit, cuius in iuba examen apium consederat. Quod ostentum habuit hanc vim, ut Dionysius paucis post diebus regnare coeperit. 1.74. Quid? Lacedaemoniis paulo ante Leuctricam calamitatem quae significatio facta est, cum in Herculis fano arma sonuerunt Herculisque simulacrum multo sudore manavit! At eodem tempore Thebis, ut ait Callisthenes, in templo Herculis valvae clausae repagulis subito se ipsae aperuerunt, armaque, quae fixa in parietibus fuerant, ea sunt humi inventa. Cumque eodem tempore apud Lebadiam Trophonio res divina fieret, gallos gallinaceos in eo loco sic adsidue canere coepisse, ut nihil intermitterent; tum augures dixisse Boeotios Thebanorum esse victoriam, propterea quod avis illa victa silere soleret, canere, si vicisset. 1.75. Eademque tempestate multis signis Lacedaemoniis Leuctricae pugnae calamitas denuntiabatur. Namque et in Lysandri, qui Lacedaemoniorum clarissimus fuerat, statua, quae Delphis stabat, in capite corona subito exstitit ex asperis herbis et agrestibus, stellaeque aureae, quae Delphis erant a Lacedaemoniis positae post navalem illam victoriam Lysandri, qua Athenienses conciderunt, qua in pugna quia Castor et Pollux cum Lacedaemoniorum classe visi esse dicebantur, eorum insignia deorum, stellae aureae, quas dixi, Delphis positae paulo ante Leuctricam pugnam deciderunt neque repertae sunt. 1.76. Maximum vero illud portentum isdem Spartiatis fuit, quod, cum oraclum ab Iove Dodonaeo petivissent de victoria sciscitantes legatique vas illud, in quo inerant sortes, collocavissent, simia, quam rex Molossorum in deliciis habebat, et sortes ipsas et cetera, quae erant ad sortem parata, disturbavit et aliud alio dissupavit. Tum ea, quae praeposita erat oraclo, sacerdos dixisse dicitur de salute Lacedaemoniis esse, non de victoria cogitandum. 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. 1.79. Quid? amores ac deliciae tuae, Roscius, num aut ipse aut pro eo Lanuvium totum mentiebatur? Qui cum esset in cunabulis educareturque in Solonio, qui est campus agri Lanuvini, noctu lumine apposito experrecta nutrix animadvertit puerum dormientem circumplicatum serpentis amplexu. Quo aspectu exterrita clamorem sustulit. Pater autem Roscii ad haruspices rettulit, qui responderunt nihil illo puero clarius, nihil nobilius fore. Atque hanc speciem Pasiteles caelavit argento et noster expressit Archias versibus. Quid igitur expectamus? an dum in foro nobiscum di immortales, dum in viis versentur, dum domi? qui quidem ipsi se nobis non offerunt, vim autem suam longe lateque diffundunt, quam tum terrae cavernis includunt, tum hominum naturis implicant. Nam terrae vis Pythiam Delphis incitabat, naturae Sibyllam. Quid enim? non videmus, quam sint varia terrarum genera? ex quibus et mortifera quaedam pars est, ut et Ampsancti in Hirpinis et in Asia Plutonia, quae vidimus, et sunt partes agrorum aliae pestilentes, aliae salubres, aliae, quae acuta ingenia gigt, aliae, quae retunsa; quae omnia fiunt et ex caeli varietate et ex disparili adspiratione terrarum.
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.
1.109. Sed ut, unde huc digressa est, eodem redeat oratio: si nihil queam disputare, quam ob rem quidque fiat, et tantum modo fieri ea, quae commemoravi, doceam, parumne Epicuro Carneadive respondeam? Quid, si etiam ratio exstat artificiosae praesensionis facilis, divinae autem paulo obscurior? Quae enim extis, quae fulgoribus, quae portentis, quae astris praesentiuntur, haec notata sunt observatione diuturna. Adfert autem vetustas omnibus in rebus longinqua observatione incredibilem scientiam; quae potest esse etiam sine motu atque inpulsu deorum, cum, quid ex quoque eveniat, et quid quamque rem significet, crebra animadversione perspectum est.
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
2.13. Sed animadverti, Quinte, te caute et ab iis coniecturis, quae haberent artem atque prudentiam, et ab iis rebus, quae sensibus aut artificiis perciperentur, abducere divinationem eamque ita definire: divinationem esse earum rerum praedictionem et praesensionem, quae essent fortuitae. Primum eodem revolveris. Nam et medici et gubernatoris et imperatoris praesensio est rerum fortuitarum. Num igitur aut haruspex aut augur aut vates quis aut somnians melius coniecerit aut e morbo evasurum aegrotum aut e periculo navem aut ex insidiis exercitum quam medicus, quam gubernator, quam imperator? 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.
2.16. Medicus morbum ingravescentem ratione providet, insidias imperator, tempestates gubernator; et tamen ii ipsi saepe falluntur, qui nihil sine certa ratione opitur; ut agricola, cum florem oleae videt, bacam quoque se visurum putat, non sine ratione ille quidem; sed non numquam tamen fallitur. Quodsi falluntur ii, qui nihil sine aliqua probabili coniectura ac ratione dicunt, quid existimandum est de coniectura eorum, qui extis aut avibus aut ostentis aut oraclis aut somniis futura praesentiunt? Nondum dico, quam haec signa nulla sint, fissum iecoris, corvi cantus, volatus aquilae, stellae traiectio, voces furentium, sortes, somnia; de quibus singulis dicam suo loco; nunc de universis. 2.17. Qui potest provideri quicquam futurum esse, quod neque causam habet ullam neque notam, cur futurum sit? Solis defectiones itemque lunae praedicuntur in multos annos ab iis, qui siderum motus numeris persequuntur; ea praedicunt enim, quae naturae necessitas perfectura est. Vident ex constantissimo motu lunae, quando illa e regione solis facta incurrat in umbram terrae, quae est meta noctis, ut eam obscurari necesse sit, quandoque eadem luna subiecta atque opposita soli nostris oculis eius lumen obscuret, quo in signo quaeque errantium stellarum quoque tempore futura sit, qui exortus quoque die signi alicuius aut qui occasus futurus sit. Haec qui ante dicunt, quam rationem sequantur, vides.
2.19. Aut si negas esse fortunam et omnia, quae fiunt quaeque futura sunt, ex omni aeternitate definita dicis esse fataliter, muta definitionem divinationis, quam dicebas praesensionem esse rerum fortuitarum. Si enim nihil fieri potest, nihil accidere, nihil evenire, nisi quod ab omni aeternitate certum fuerit esse futurum rato tempore, quae potest esse fortuna? qua sublata qui locus est divinationi? quae a te fortuitarum rerum est dicta praesensio. Quamquam dicebas omnia, quae fierent futurave essent, fato contineri. Anile sane et plenum superstitionis fati nomen ipsum; sed tamen apud Stoicos de isto fato multa dicuntur; de quo alias; nunc quod necesse est.
2.25. si enim nihil fit extra fatum, nihil levari re divina potest. Hoc sentit Homerus, cum querentem Iovem inducit, quod Sarpedonem filium a morte contra fatum eripere non posset. Hoc idem significat Graecus ille in eam sententiam versus: Quod fóre paratum est, íd summum exsuperát Iovem. Totum omnino fatum etiam Atellanio versu iure mihi esse inrisum videtur; sed in rebus tam severis non est iocandi locus. Concludatur igitur ratio: Si enim provideri nihil potest futurum esse eorum, quae casu fiunt, quia esse certa non possunt, divinatio nulla est; sin autem idcirco possunt provideri, quia certa sunt et fatalia, rursus divinatio nulla est; eam enim tu fortuitarum rerum esse dicebas. 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. 2.27. Illud autem naturale aut concitatione mentis edi et quasi fundi videbatur aut animo per somnum sensibus et curis vacuo provideri. Duxisti autem divinationem omnem a tribus rebus, a deo, a fato, a natura. Sed tamen cum explicare nihil posses, pugnasti commenticiorum exemplorum mirifica copia. De quo primum hoc libet dicere: Hoc ego philosophi non esse arbitror, testibus uti, qui aut casu veri aut malitia falsi fictique esse possunt; argumentis et rationibus oportet, quare quidque ita sit, docere, non eventis, iis praesertim, quibus mihi liceat non credere. 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.
2.42. Atque hac extispicum divinatione sublata omnis haruspicina sublata est. Ostenta enim sequuntur et fulgura. Valet autem in fulguribus observatio diuturna, in ostentis ratio plerumque coniecturaque adhibetur. Quid est igitur, quod observatum sit in fulgure? Caelum in sedecim partis diviserunt Etrusci. Facile id quidem fuit, quattuor, quas nos habemus, duplicare, post idem iterum facere, ut ex eo dicerent, fulmen qua ex parte venisset. Primum id quid interest? deinde quid significat? Nonne perspicuum est ex prima admiratione hominum, quod tonitrua iactusque fulminum extimuissent, credidisse ea efficere rerum omnium praepotentem Iovem? Itaque in nostris commentariis scriptum habemus: Iove tote, fulgurante comitia populi habere nefas. 2.43. Hoc fortasse rei publicae causa constitutum est; comitiorum enim non habendorum causas esse voluerunt. Itaque comitiorum solum vitium est fulmen, quod idem omnibus rebus optumum auspicium habemus, si sinistrum fuit. Sed de auspiciis alio loco, nunc de fulgoribus. Quid igitur minus a physicis dici debet quam quicquam certi significari rebus incertis? Non enim te puto esse eum, qui Iovi fulmen fabricatos esse Cyclopas in Aetna putes;
2.52. Quota enim quaeque res evenit praedicta ab istis? aut, si evenit quippiam, quid adferri potest, cur non casu id evenerit? Rex Prusias, cum Hannibali apud eum exsulanti depugnari placeret, negabat se audere, quod exta prohiberent. Ain tu? inquit, carunculae vitulinae mavis quam imperatori veteri credere? Quid? ipse Caesar cum a summo haruspice moneretur, ne in Africam ante brumam transmitteret, nonne transmisit? quod ni fecisset, uno in loco omnes adversariorum copiae convenissent. Quid ego haruspicum responsa commemorem (possum equidem innumerabilia), quae aut nullos habuerint exitus aut contrarios?
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. 1.12. Now — to mention those almost entirely dependent on art — what nation or what state disregards the prophecies of soothsayers, or of interpreters of prodigies and lightnings, or of augurs, or of astrologers, or of oracles, or — to mention the two kinds which are classed as natural means of divination — the forewarnings of dreams, or of frenzy? of these methods of divining it behoves us, I think, to examine the results rather than the causes. For there is a certain natural power, which now, through long-continued observation of signs and now, through some divine excitement and inspiration, makes prophetic announcement of the future. 7 Therefore let Carneades cease to press the question, which Panaetius also used to urge, whether Jove had ordered the crow to croak on the left side and the raven on the right. Such signs as these have been observed for an unlimited time, and the results have been checked and recorded. Moreover, there is nothing which length of time cannot accomplish and attain when aided by memory to receive and records to preserve. 1.12. The Divine Will accomplishes like results in the case of birds, and causes those known as alites, which give omens by their flight, to fly hither and thither and disappear now here and now there, and causes those known as oscines, which give omens by their cries, to sing now on the left and now on the right. For if every animal moves its body forward, sideways, or backward at will, it bends, twists, extends, and contracts its members as it pleases, and performs these various motions almost mechanically; how much easier it is for such results to be accomplished by a god, whose divine will all things obey!
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.
1.23. But what? You ask, Carneades, do you, why these things so happen, or by what rules they may be understood? I confess that I do not know, but that they do so fall out I assert that you yourself see. Mere accidents, you say. Now, really, is that so? Can anything be an accident which bears upon itself every mark of truth? Four dice are cast and a Venus throw results — that is chance; but do you think it would be chance, too, if in one hundred casts you made one hundred Venus throws? It is possible for paints flung at random on a canvasc to form the outlines of a face; but do you imagine that an accidental scattering of pigments could produce the beautiful portrait of Venus of Cos? Suppose that a hog should form the letter A on the ground with its snout; is that a reason for believing that it would write out Enniuss poem The Andromache?Carneades used to have a story that once in the Chian quarries when a stone was split open there appeared the head of the infant god Pan; I grant that the figure may have borne some resemblance to the god, but assuredly the resemblance was not such that you could ascribe the work to a Scopas. For it is undeniably true that no perfect imitation of a thing was ever made by chance. 14
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. 1.28. But, according to the writings of you augurs, a tripudium results if any of the food should fall to the ground, and what I spoke of as a forced augur your fraternity calls as tripudium solistimum. And so through the indifference of the college, as Cato the Wise laments, many auguries and auspices have been entirely abandoned and lost.16 In ancient times scarcely any matter out of the ordinary was undertaken, even in private life, without first consulting the auspices, clear proof of which is given even at the present time by our custom of having nuptial auspices, though they have lost their former religious significance and only preserve the name. For just as to‑day on important occasions we make use of entrails in divining — though even they are employed to a less extent than formerly — so in the past resort was usually had to divination by means of birds. And thus it is that by failing to seek out the unpropitious signs we run into awful disasters. 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.
1.31. What ancient chronicler fails to mention the fact that in the reign of Tarquinius Priscus, long after the time of Romulus, a quartering of the heavens was made with this staff by Attus Navius? Because of poverty Attus was a swineherd in his youth. As the story goes, he, having lost one of his hogs, made a vow that if he recovered it he would make an offering to the god of the largest bunch of grapes in his vineyard. Accordingly, after he had found the hog, he took his stand, we are told, in the middle of the vineyard, with his face to the south and divided the vineyard into four parts. When the birds had shown three of these parts to be unfavourable, he subdivided the fourth and last part and then found, as we see it recorded, a bunch of grapes of marvellous size.This occurrence having been noised abroad, all his neighbours began to consult him about their own affairs and thus greatly enhanced his name and fame.
1.34. I agree, therefore, with those who have said that there are two kinds of divination: one, which is allied with art; the other, which is devoid of art. Those diviners employ art, who, having learned the known by observation, seek the unknown by deduction. On the other hand those do without art who, unaided by reason or deduction or by signs which have been observed and recorded, forecast the future while under the influence of mental excitement, or of some free and unrestrained emotion. This condition often occurs to men while dreaming and sometimes to persons who prophesy while in a frenzy — like Bacis of Boeotia, Epimenides of Crete and the Sibyl of Erythraea. In this latter class must be placed oracles — not oracles given by means of equalized lots — but those uttered under the impulse of divine inspiration; although divination by lot is not in itself to be despised, if it has the sanction of antiquity, as in the case of those lots which, according to tradition, sprang out of the earth; for in spite of everything, I am inclined to think that they may, under the power of God, be so drawn as to give an appropriate response. Men capable of correctly interpreting all these signs of the future seem to approach very near to the divine spirit of the gods whose wills they interpret, just as scholars do when they interpret the poets.
1.44. At nights approach I sought my quiet couchTo soothe my weary limbs with restful sleep.Then in my dreams a shepherd near me droveA fleecy herd whose beauty was extreme.I chose two brother rams from out the flockAnd sacrificed the comelier of the twain.And then, with lowered horns, the other ramAttacked and bore me headlong to the ground.While there I lay outstretched and wounded sore,The sky a wondrous miracle disclosed:The blazing star of day reversed its courseAnd glided to the right by pathway new. 1.45. Now observe how the diviners interpreted this dream:It is not strange, O king, that dreams reflectThe days desires and thoughts, its sights and deeds,And everything we say or do awake.But in so grave a dream as yours we seeA message clearly sent, and thus it warns:Beware of him you deem bereft of witAnd rate no higher than a stupid ram,Lest he, with wisdom armed, should rise to fameAnd drive you from your throne. The suns changed courseUnto the state portends immediate change.And may that prove benigt to the state;For since the almighty orb from left to rightRevolved, it was the best of auguriesThat Rome would be supreme oer all the earth. 23
1.48. Let us go back to dreams. Coelius writes that Hannibal wished to carry off a golden column from Junos temple at Lacinium, but since he was in doubt whether it was solid or plated, he bored into it. Finding it solid he decided to take it away. But at night Juno came to him in a vision and warned him not to do so, threatening that if he did she would cause the loss of his good eye. That clever man did not neglect the warning. Moreover out of the gold filings he ordered an image of a calf to be made and placed on top of the column. 1.49. Another story of Hannibal is found in the history written in Greek by Silenus, whom Coelius follows, and who, by the way, was a very painstaking student of Hannibals career. After his capture of Saguntum Hannibal dreamed that Jupiter summoned him to a council of the gods. When he arrived Jupiter ordered him to carry the war into Italy, and gave him one of the divine council as a guide whom he employed when he being the march with his army. This guide cautioned Hannibal not to look back. But, carried away by curiosity, he could refrain no longer and looked back. Then he saw a horrible beast of enormous size, enveloped with snakes, and wherever it went it overthrew every tree and shrub and every house. In his amazement Hannibal asked what the monster was. The god replied that it was the desolation of Italy and ordered him to press right on and not to worry about what happened behind him and in the rear.
1.55. But why am I dwelling on illustrations from Greek sources when — though I cant explain it — those from our own history please me more? Now here is a dream which is mentioned by all our historians, by the Fabii and the Gellii and, most recently, by Coelius: During the Latin War when the Great Votive Games were being celebrated for the first time the city was suddenly called to arms and the games were interrupted. Later it was determined to repeat them, but before they began, and while the people were taking their seats, a slave bearing a yoke was led about the circus and beaten with rods. After that a Roman rustic had a dream in which someone appeared to him and said that he disapproved of the leader of the games and ordered this statement to be reported to the Senate. But the rustic dared not do as he was bid. The order was repeated by the spectre with a warning not to put his power to the test. Not even then did the rustic dare obey. After that his son died and the same vision was repeated the third time. Thereupon he became ill and told his friends of his dream. On their advice he was carried to the Senate-house on a litter and, having related his dream to the Senate, his health was restored and he walked home unaided. And so, the tradition is, the Senate gave credence to the dream and had the games repeated. 1.56. According to this same Coelius, Gaius Gracchus told many persons that his brother Tiberius came to him in a dream when he was a candidate for the quaestorship and said: However much you may try to defer your fate, nevertheless you must die the same death that I did. This happened before Gaius was tribune of the people, and Coelius writes that he himself heard it from Gaius who had repeated it to many others. Can you find anything better authenticated than this dream?27 And who, pray, can make light of the two following dreams which are so often recounted by Stoic writers? The first one is about Simonides, who once saw the dead body of some unknown man lying exposed and buried it. Later, when he had it in mind to go on board a ship he was warned in a vision by the person to whom he had given burial not to do so and that if he did he would perish in a shipwreck. Therefore he turned back and all the others who sailed were lost.
1.58. But why go on seeking illustrations from ancient history? I had a dream which I have often related to you, and you one which you have often told to me. When I was governor of Asia I dreamed that I saw you on horseback riding toward the bank of some large river, when you suddenly plunged forward, fell into the stream, and wholly disappeared from sight. I was greatly alarmed and trembled with fear. But in a moment you reappeared mounted on the same horse, and with a cheerful countece ascended the opposite bank where we met and embraced each other. The meaning of the dream was readily explained to me by experts in Asia who from it predicted those events which subsequent occurred.
1.63. When, therefore, the soul has been withdrawn by sleep from contact with sensual ties, then does it recall the past, comprehend the present, and foresee the future. For though the sleeping body then lies as if it were dead, yet the soul is alive and strong, and will be much more so after death when it is wholly free of the body. Hence its power to divine is much enhanced by the approach of death. For example, those in the grasp of a serious and fatal sickness realize the fact that death impends; and so, visions of dead men generally appear to them and then their desire for fame is strongest; while those who have lived otherwise than as they should, feel, at such a time, the keenest sorrow for their sins.
1.72. But those methods of divination which are dependent on conjecture, or on deductions from events previously observed and recorded, are, as I have said before, not natural, but artificial, and include the inspection of entrails, augury, and the interpretation of dreams. These are disapproved of by the Peripatetics and defended by the Stoics. Some are based upon records and usage, as is evident from the Etruscan books on divination by means of inspection of entrails and by means of thunder and lightning, and as is also evident from the books of your augural college; while others are dependent on conjecture made suddenly and on the spur of the moment. An instance of the latter kind is that of Calchas in Homer, prophesying the number of years of the Trojan War from the number of sparrows. We find another illustration of conjectural divination in the history of Sulla in an occurrence which you witnessed. While he was offering sacrifices in front of his head-quarters in the Nolan district a snake suddenly came out from beneath the altar. The soothsayer, Gaius Postumius, begged Sulla to proceed with his march at once. Sulla did so and captured the strongly fortified camp of the Samnites which lay in front of the town of Nola. 1.73. Still another instance of conjectural divination occurred in the case of Dionysius, a little while before he began to reign. He was travelling through the Leontine district, and led his horse down into a river. The horse was engulfed in a whirlpool and disappeared. Dionysius did his utmost to extricate him but in vain and, so Philistus writes, went away greatly troubled. When he had gone on a short distance he heard a whinny, looked back and, to his joy, saw his horse eagerly following and with a swarm of bees in its mane. The sequel of this portent was that Dionysius began to reign within a few days. 34 1.74. Again: what a warning was given to the Spartans just before the disastrous battle of Leuctra, when the armour clanked in the temple of Hercules and his statue dripped with sweat! But at the same time, according to Callisthenes, the folding doors of Hercules temple at Thebes, though closed with bars, suddenly opened of their own accord, and the armour which had been fastened on the temple walls, was found on the floor. And, at the same time, at Lebadia, in Boeotia, while divine honours were being paid to Trophonius, the cocks in the neighbourhood began to crow vigorously and did not leave off. Thereupon the Boeotian augurs declared that the victory belonged to the Thebans, because it was the habit of cocks to keep silence when conquered and to crow when victorious. 1.75. The Spartans received many warnings given at that time of their impending defeat at Leuctra. For example, a crown of wild, prickly herbs suddenly appeared on the head of the statue erected at Delphi in honour of Lysander, the most eminent of the Spartans. Furthermore, the Spartans had set up some golden stars in the temple of Castor and Pollux at Delphi to commemorate the glorious victory of Lysander over the Athenians, because, it was said, those gods were seen accompanying the Spartan fleet in that battle. Now, just before the battle of Leuctra these divine symbols — that is, the golden stars at Delphi, already referred to — fell down and were never seen again. 1.76. But the most significant warning received by the Spartans was this: they sent to consult the oracle of Jupiter at Dodona as to the chances of victory. After their messengers had duly set up the vessel in which were the lots, an ape, kept by the king of Molossia for his amusement, disarranged the lots and everything else used in consulting the oracle, and scattered them in all directions. Then, so we are told, the priestess who had charge of the oracle said that the Spartans must think of safety and not of victory. 35 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. 1.79. And what about your beloved and charming friend Roscius? Did he lie or did the whole of Lanuvium lie for him in telling the following incident: In his cradle days, while he was being reared in Solonium, a plain in the Lanuvian district, his nurse suddenly awoke during the night and by the light of a lamp observed the child asleep with a snake coiled about him. She was greatly frightened at the sight and gave an alarm. His father referred the occurrence to the soothsayers, who replied that the boy would attain unrivalled eminence and glory. Indeed, Pasiteles has engraved the scene in silver and our friend Archias has described it in verse.Then what do we expect? Do we wait for the immortal gods to converse with us in the forum, on the street, and in our homes? While they do not, of course, present themselves in person, they do diffuse their power far and wide — sometimes enclosing it in caverns of the earth and sometimes imparting it to human beings. The Pythian priestess at Delphi was inspired by the power of the earth and the Sibyl by that of nature. Why need you marvel at this? Do we not see how the soils of the earth vary in kind? Some are deadly, like that about Lake Ampsanctus in the country of the Hirpini and that of Plutonia in Asia, both of which I have seen. Even in the same neighbourhood, some parts are salubrious and some are not; some produce men of keen wit, others produce fools. These diverse effects are all the result of differences in climate and differences in the earths exhalations.
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.
1.109. But let us bring the discussion back to the point from which it wandered. Assume that I can give no reason for any of the instances of divination which I have mentioned and that I can do no more than show that they did occur, is that not a sufficient answer to Epicurus and to Carneades? And what does it matter if, as between artificial and natural divination, the explanation of the former is easy and of the latter is somewhat hard? For the results of those artificial means of divination, by means of entrails, lightnings, portents, and astrology, have been the subject of observation for a long period of time. But in every field of inquiry great length of time employed in continued observation begets an extraordinary fund of knowledge, which may be acquired even without the intervention or inspiration of the gods, since repeated observation makes it clear what effect follows any given cause, and what sign precedes any given event.
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.
2.13. But I observed, Quintus, that you prudently withdrew divination from conjectures based upon skill and experience in public affairs, from those drawn from the use of the senses and from those made by persons in their own callings. I observed, also, that you defined divination to be the foreknowledge and foretelling of things which happen by chance. In the first place, that is a contradiction of what you have admitted. For the foreknowledge possessed by a physician, a pilot, and a general is of things which happen by chance. Then can any soothsayer, augur, prophet, or dreamer conjecture better than a physician, a pilot, or a general that an invalid will come safely out of his sickness, or that a ship will escape from danger, or that an army will avoid an ambuscade?
2.13. Chrysippus, indeed, defines divination in these words: The power to see, understand, and explain premonitory signs given to men by the gods. Its duty, he goes on to say, is to know in advance the disposition of the gods towards men, the manner in which that disposition is shown and by what means the gods may be propitiated and their threatened ills averted. And this same philosopher defines the interpretation of dreams thus: It is the power to understand and explain the visions sent by the gods to men in sleep. Then, if that be true, will just ordinary shrewdness meet these requirements, or rather is there not need of surpassing intelligence and absolutely perfect learning? But I have never seen such a man. 64 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.
2.16. By the use of reason the physician foresees the progress of a disease, the general anticipates the enemys plans and the pilot forecasts the approach of bad weather. And yet even those who base their conclusions on accurate reasoning are often mistaken: for example, when the farmer sees his olive-tree in bloom he expects also, and not unreasonably, to see it bear fruit, but occasionally he is disappointed. If then mistakes are made by those who make no forecasts not based upon some reasonable and probable conjecture, what must we think of the conjectures of men who foretell the future by means of entrails, birds, portents, oracles, or dreams? I am not ready yet to take up one by one the various kinds of divination and show that the cleft in the liver, the croak of a raven, the flight of an eagle, the fall of a star, the utterances of persons in a frenzy, lots, and dreams have no prophetic value whatever; I shall discuss each of them in its turn — now I am discussing the subject as a whole. 2.17. How can anything be foreseen that has no cause and no distinguishing mark of its coming? Eclipses of the sun and also of the moon are predicted for many years in advance by men who employ mathematics in studying the courses and movements of the heavenly bodies; and the unvarying laws of nature will bring their predictions to pass. Because of the perfectly regular movements of the moon the astronomers calculate when it will be opposite the sun and in the earths shadow — which is the cone of night — and when, necessarily, it will become invisible. For the same reason they know when the moon will be directly between the earth and the sun and thus will hide the light of the sun from our eyes. They know in what sign each planet will be at any given time and at what time each day any constellation will rise and set. You see the course of reasoning followed in arriving at these predictions. 7
2.19. But if you deny the existence of chance and assert that the course of everything present or future has been inevitably determined from all eternity, then you must change your definition of divination, which you said was the foreknowledge of things that happen by chance. For if nothing can happen, nothing befall, nothing come to pass, except what has been determined from all eternity as bound to happen at a fixed time, how can there be such a thing as chance? And if there is no such thing as chance, what room is there for that divination, which you termed a foreknowledge of things that happen by chance? And you were inconsistent enough, too, to say that everything that is or will be is controlled by Fate! Why, the very word Fate is full of superstition and old womens credulity, and yet the Stoics have much to say of this Fate of yours. A discussion on Fate is reserved for another occasion; at present I shall speak of it only in so far as it is necessary. 8
2.25. To the last point the Stoics make the rejoinder that every evil which is going to befall us is made lighter by means of religious rites. But if nothing happens except in accordance with Fate, no evil can be made lighter by means of religious rites. Homer shows his appreciation of this fact when he represents Jupiter as complaining because he could not snatch his son Sarpedon from death when Fate forbade. The same thought is expressed in the following verses translated from a Greek poet:That which has been decreed by Fate to beAlmighty Jove himself cannot prevent.The whole idea of Fate in every detail is justly, as I think, the subject of derision even in Atellan farces, but in a discussion as serious as ours joking is out of place. So then let us sum up our argument: If it is impossible to foresee things that happen by chance because they are uncertain, there is no such thing as divination; if, on the contrary, they can be foreseen because they are preordained by Fate, still there is no such thing as divination, which, by your definition, deals with things that happen by chance. 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. 2.27. Natural divination, on the other hand, according to your view, is the result — the effusion, as it were — of mental excitement, or it is the prophetic power which the soul has during sleep while free from bodily sensation and worldly cares. Moreover, you derived every form of divination from three sources — God, Fate, and Nature. And although you could not give a reason for any kind of divination, still you carried on the war by marshalling an astonishing array of examples from fiction. of such a course I wish to say emphatically that it is not becoming in a philosopher to introduce testimony which may be either true by accident, or false and fabricated through malice. You ought to have employed arguments and reason to show that all your propositions were true and you ought not to have resorted to so‑called occurrences — certainly not to such occurrences as are unworthy of belief. 12 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.
2.42. In demolishing divination by means of entrails we have utterly demolished the soothsayers art; for the same fate awaits divination by means of lightnings and portents. According to your view, long-continued observation is employed in the case of lightnings, and reason and conjecture are generally employed in the case of portents. But what is it that has been observed in the case of lightnings? The Etruscans divided the sky into sixteen parts. of course it was easy enough for them to double the four parts into which we divide it and then double that total and tell from which one of those divisions a bolt of lightning had come. In the first place, what difference does its location make? and, in the second place, what does it foretell? It is perfectly evident that, out of the wonder and fear excited in primitive man by lightning and thunderbolts, sprang his belief that those phenomena were caused by omnipotent Jove. And so we find it recorded in our augural annals: When Jove thunders or lightens it is impious to hold an election. 2.43. This was ordained, perhaps, from reasons of political expediency; for our ancestors wished to have some excuse for not holding elections sometimes. And so lightning is an unfavourable sign only in case of an election; in all other cases we consider it the best of auspices, if it appears on the left side. But I shall speak of auspices in another connexion — now I am going to discuss lightnings.19 There is, then, no statement less worthy of a natural philosopher than that anything can be foretold with a certainty by uncertain signs. of course I do not think you are credulous enough to believe that Joves thunderbolt was made on Mount Aetna by the Cyclopes.
2.52. For how many things predicted by them really come true? If any do come true, then what reason can be advanced why the agreement of the event with the prophecy was not due to chance? While Hannibal was in exile at the court of King Prusias he advised the king to go to war, but the king replied, I do not dare, because the entrails forbid. And do you, said Hannibal, put more reliance in piece of ox‑meat than you do in a veteran commander? Again, when Caesar himself was warned by a most eminent soothsayer not to cross over to Africa before the winter solstice, did he not cross? If he had not done so all the forces opposed to him would have effected a junction. Why need I give instances — and, in fact, I could give countless ones — where the prophecies of soothsayers either were without result or the issue was directly the reverse of the prophecy?
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