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Tiresias: The Ancient Mediterranean Religions Source Database



2289
Cicero, On Divination, 1.4-1.6


Et cum duobus modis animi sine ratione et scientia motu ipsi suo soluto et libero incitarentur, uno furente, altero somniante, furoris divinationem Sibyllinis maxime versibus contineri arbitrati eorum decem interpretes delectos e civitate esse voluerunt. Ex quo genere saepe hariolorum etiam et vatum furibundas praedictiones, ut Octaviano bello Cornelii Culleoli, audiendas putaverunt. Nec vero somnia graviora, si quae ad rem publicam pertinere visa sunt, a summo consilio neglecta sunt. Quin etiam memoria nostra templum Iunonis Sospitae L. Iulius, qui cum P. Rutilio consul fuit, de senatus sententia refecit ex Caeciliae, Baliarici filiae, somnio.And since they thought that the human mind, when in an irrational and unconscious state, and moving by its own free and untrammelled impulse, was inspired in two ways, the one by frenzy and the other by dreams, and since they believed that the divination of frenzy was contained chiefly in the Sibylline verses, they decreed that ten men should be chosen from the State to interpret those verses. In this same category also were the frenzied prophecies of soothsayers and seers, which our ancestors frequently thought worthy of belief — like the prophecies of Cornelius Culleolus, during the Octavian War. Nor, indeed, were the more significant dreams, if they seemed to concern the administration of public affairs, disregarded by our Supreme Council. Why, even within my own memory, Lucius Julius, who was consul with Publius Rutilius, by a vote of the Senate rebuilt the temple of Juno, the Saviour, in accordance with a dream of Caecilia, daughter of Balearicus. [3]


Et cum duobus modis animi sine ratione et scientia motu ipsi suo soluto et libero incitarentur, uno furente, altero somniante, furoris divinationem Sibyllinis maxime versibus contineri arbitrati eorum decem interpretes delectos e civitate esse voluerunt. Ex quo genere saepe hariolorum etiam et vatum furibundas praedictiones, ut Octaviano bello Cornelii Culleoli, audiendas putaverunt. Nec vero somnia graviora, si quae ad rem publicam pertinere visa sunt, a summo consilio neglecta sunt. Quin etiam memoria nostra templum Iunonis Sospitae L. Iulius, qui cum P. Rutilio consul fuit, de senatus sententia refecit ex Caeciliae, Baliarici filiae, somnio.May I not recall to your memory some stories to be found in the works of Roman and of Greek poets? For example, the following dream of the Vestal Virgin is from Ennius:The vestal from her sleep in fright awokeAnd to the startled maid, whose trembling handsA lamp did bear, thus spoke in tearful tones:O daughter of Eurydice, though whomOur father loved, from my whole frame departsThe vital force. For in my dreams I sawA man of beauteous form, who bore me offThrough willows sweet, along the fountains brink,To places strange. And then, my sister dear,Alone, with halting step and longing heart,I seemed to wander, seeking thee in vain;There was no path to make my footing sure.


Atque haec, ut ego arbitror, veteres rerum magis eventis moniti quam ratione docti probaverunt. Philosophorum vero exquisita quaedam argumenta, cur esset vera divinatio, collecta sunt; e quibus, ut de antiquissumis loquar, Colophonius Xenophanes unus, qui deos esse diceret, divinationem funditus sustulit; reliqui vero omnes praeter Epicurum balbutientem de natura deorum divinationem probaverunt, sed non uno modo. Nam cum Socrates omnesque Socratici Zenoque et ii, qui ab eo essent profecti, manerent in antiquorum philosophorum sententia vetere Academia et Peripateticis consentientibus, cumque huic rei magnam auctoritatem Pythagoras iam ante tribuisset, qui etiam ipse augur vellet esse, plurumisque locis gravis auctor Democritus praesensionem rerum futurarum conprobaret, Dicaearchus Peripateticus cetera divinationis genera sustulit, somniorum et furoris reliquit, Cratippusque, familiaris noster, quem ego parem summis Peripateticis iudico, isdem rebus fidem tribuit, reliqua divinationis genera reiecit.Now my opinion is that, in sanctioning such usages, the ancients were influenced more by actual results than convinced by reason. However certain very subtle arguments to prove the trustworthiness of divination have been gathered by philosophers. Of these — to mention the most ancient — Xenophanes of Colophon, while asserting the existence of gods, was the only one who repudiated divination in its entirety; but all the others, with the exception of Epicurus, who babbled about the nature of the gods, approved of divination, though not in the same degree. For example, Socrates and all of the Socratic School, and Zeno and his followers, continued in the faith of the ancient philosophers and in agreement with the Old Academy and with the Peripatetics. Their predecessor, Pythagoras, who even wished to be considered an augur himself, gave the weight of his great name to the same practice; and that eminent author, Democritus, in many passages, strongly affirmed his belief in a presentiment of things to come. Moreover, Dicaearchus, the Peripatetic, though he accepted divination by dreams and frenzy, cast away all other kinds; and my intimate friend, Cratippus, whom I consider the peer of the greatest of the Peripatetics, also gave credence to the same kinds of divination but rejected the rest.


Atque haec, ut ego arbitror, veteres rerum magis eventis moniti quam ratione docti probaverunt. Philosophorum vero exquisita quaedam argumenta, cur esset vera divinatio, collecta sunt; e quibus, ut de antiquissumis loquar, Colophonius Xenophanes unus, qui deos esse diceret, divinationem funditus sustulit; reliqui vero omnes praeter Epicurum balbutientem de natura deorum divinationem probaverunt, sed non uno modo. Nam cum Socrates omnesque Socratici Zenoque et ii, qui ab eo essent profecti, manerent in antiquorum philosophorum sententia vetere Academia et Peripateticis consentientibus, cumque huic rei magnam auctoritatem Pythagoras iam ante tribuisset, qui etiam ipse augur vellet esse, plurumisque locis gravis auctor Democritus praesensionem rerum futurarum conprobaret, Dicaearchus Peripateticus cetera divinationis genera sustulit, somniorum et furoris reliquit, Cratippusque, familiaris noster, quem ego parem summis Peripateticis iudico, isdem rebus fidem tribuit, reliqua divinationis genera reiecit.We read in a history by Agathocles that Hamilcar, the Carthaginian, during his siege of Syracuse heard a voice in his sleep telling him that he would dine the next day in Syracuse. At daybreak the following day a serious conflict broke out in his camp between the troops of the Carthaginians and their allies, the Siculi. When the Syracusans saw this they made a sudden assault on the camp and carried Hamilcar off alive. Thus the event verified the dream.History is full of such instances, and so is everyday life.


Sed cum Stoici omnia fere illa defenderent, quod et Zeno in suis commentariis quasi semina quaedam sparsisset et ea Cleanthes paulo uberiora fecisset, accessit acerrumo vir ingenio, Chrysippus, qui totam de divinatione duobus libris explicavit sententiam, uno praeterea de oraclis, uno de somniis; quem subsequens unum librum Babylonius Diogenes edidit, eius auditor, duo Antipater, quinque noster Posidonius. Sed a Stoicis vel princeps eius disciplinae, Posidonii doctor, discipulus Antipatri, degeneravit, Panaetius, nec tamen ausus est negare vim esse divinandi, sed dubitare se dixit. Quod illi in aliqua re invitissumis Stoicis Stoico facere licuit, id nos ut in reliquis rebus faciamus, a Stoicis non concedetur? praesertim cum id, de quo Panaetio non liquet, reliquis eiusdem disciplinae solis luce videatur clarius.The Stoics, on the other hand (for Zeno in his writings had, as it were, scattered certain seed which Cleanthes had fertilized somewhat), defended nearly every sort of divination. Then came Chrysippus, a man of the keenest intellect, who exhaustively discussed the whole theory of divination in two books, and, besides, wrote one book on oracles and another on dreams. And following him, his pupil, Diogenes of Babylon, published one book, Antipater two, and my friend, Posidonius, five. But Panaetius, the teacher of Posidonius, a pupil, too, of Antipater, and, even a pillar of the Stoic school, wandered off from the Stoics, and, though he dared not say that there was no efficacy in divination, yet he did say that he was in doubt. Then, since the Stoics — much against their will I grant you — permitted this famous Stoic to doubt on one point will they not grant to us Academicians the right to do the same on all other points, especially since that about which Panaetius is not clear is clearer than the light of day to the other members of the Stoic school?


Sed cum Stoici omnia fere illa defenderent, quod et Zeno in suis commentariis quasi semina quaedam sparsisset et ea Cleanthes paulo uberiora fecisset, accessit acerrumo vir ingenio, Chrysippus, qui totam de divinatione duobus libris explicavit sententiam, uno praeterea de oraclis, uno de somniis; quem subsequens unum librum Babylonius Diogenes edidit, eius auditor, duo Antipater, quinque noster Posidonius. Sed a Stoicis vel princeps eius disciplinae, Posidonii doctor, discipulus Antipatri, degeneravit, Panaetius, nec tamen ausus est negare vim esse divinandi, sed dubitare se dixit. Quod illi in aliqua re invitissumis Stoicis Stoico facere licuit, id nos ut in reliquis rebus faciamus, a Stoicis non concedetur? praesertim cum id, de quo Panaetio non liquet, reliquis eiusdem disciplinae solis luce videatur clarius.Ah, it is objected, but many dreams are untrustworthy. Rather, perhaps, their meaning is hidden from us. But grant that some are untrustworthy, why do we declaim against those that trustworthy? The fact is the latter would be much more frequent if we went to our rest in proper condition. But when we are burdened with food and drink our dreams are troubled and confused. Observe what Socrates says in Platos Republic:When a man goes to sleep, having the thinking and reasoning portion of his soul languid and inert, but having that other portion, which has in it a certain brutishness and wild savagery, immoderately gorged with drink and food, then does that latter portion leap up and hurl itself about in sleep without check. In such a case every vision presented to the mind is so devoid of thought and reason that the sleeper dreams that he is committing incest with his mother, or that he is having unlawful commerce indiscriminately with gods and men, and frequently too, with beasts; or even that he is killing someone and staining his hands with impious bloodshed; and that he is doing many vile and hideous things recklessly and without shame.


Intertexts (texts cited often on the same page as the searched text):

11 results
1. Cicero, On Divination, 1.2-1.3, 1.11, 1.17-1.18, 1.34, 1.36, 1.44, 1.55, 1.60, 1.72, 1.91-1.93, 1.99, 1.121, 2.87-2.99 (2nd cent. BCE - 1st cent. BCE)

1.2. Gentem quidem nullam video neque tam humanam atque doctam neque tam inmanem tamque barbaram, quae non significari futura et a quibusdam intellegi praedicique posse censeat. Principio Assyrii, ut ab ultumis auctoritatem repetam, propter planitiam magnitudinemque regionum, quas incolebant, cum caelum ex omni parte patens atque apertum intuerentur, traiectiones motusque stellarum observitaverunt, quibus notatis, quid cuique significaretur, memoriae prodiderunt. Qua in natione Chaldaei non ex artis, sed ex gentis vocabulo nominati diuturna observatione siderum scientiam putantur effecisse, ut praedici posset, quid cuique eventurum et quo quisque fato natus esset. Eandem artem etiam Aegyptii longinquitate temporum innumerabilibus paene saeculis consecuti putantur. Cilicum autem et Pisidarum gens et his finituma Pamphylia, quibus nationibus praefuimus ipsi, volatibus avium cantibusque ut certissimis signis declarari res futuras putant. 1.3. Quam vero Graecia coloniam misit in Aeoliam, Ioniam, Asiam, Siciliam, Italiam sine Pythio aut Dodonaeo aut Hammonis oraculo? aut quod bellum susceptum ab ea sine consilio deorum est? Nec unum genus est divinationis publice privatimque celebratum. Nam, ut omittam ceteros populos, noster quam multa genera conplexus est! Principio huius urbis parens Romulus non solum auspicato urbem condidisse, sed ipse etiam optumus augur fuisse traditur. Deinde auguribus et reliqui reges usi, et exactis regibus nihil publice sine auspiciis nec domi nec militiae gerebatur. Cumque magna vis videretur esse et inpetriendis consulendisque rebus et monstris interpretandis ac procurandis in haruspicum disciplina, omnem hanc ex Etruria scientiam adhibebant, ne genus esset ullum divinationis, quod neglectum ab iis videretur. 1.11. Ego vero, inquam, philosophiae, Quinte, semper vaco; hoc autem tempore, cum sit nihil aliud, quod lubenter agere possim, multo magis aveo audire, de divinatione quid sentias. Nihil, inquit, equidem novi, nec quod praeter ceteros ipse sentiam; nam cum antiquissimam sententiam, tum omnium populorum et gentium consensu conprobatam sequor. Duo sunt enim dividi genera, quorum alterum artis est, alterum naturae. 1.17. Sed quo potius utar aut auctore aut teste quam te? cuius edidici etiam versus, et lubenter quidem, quos in secundo de consulatu Urania Musa pronuntiat: Principio aetherio flammatus Iuppiter igni Vertitur et totum conlustrat lumine mundum Menteque divina caelum terrasque petessit, Quae penitus sensus hominum vitasque retentat Aetheris aeterni saepta atque inclusa cavernis. Et, si stellarum motus cursusque vagantis Nosse velis, quae sint signorum in sede locatae, Quae verbo et falsis Graiorum vocibus erant, Re vera certo lapsu spatioque feruntur, Omnia iam cernes divina mente notata. 1.18. Nam primum astrorum volucris te consule motus Concursusque gravis stellarum ardore micantis Tu quoque, cum tumulos Albano in monte nivalis Lustrasti et laeto mactasti lacte Latinas, Vidisti et claro tremulos ardore cometas, Multaque misceri nocturna strage putasti, Quod ferme dirum in tempus cecidere Latinae, Cum claram speciem concreto lumine luna Abdidit et subito stellanti nocte perempta est. Quid vero Phoebi fax, tristis nuntia belli, Quae magnum ad columen flammato ardore volabat, Praecipitis caeli partis obitusque petessens? Aut cum terribili perculsus fulmine civis Luce sereti vitalia lumina liquit? Aut cum se gravido tremefecit corpore tellus? Iam vero variae nocturno tempore visae Terribiles formae bellum motusque monebant, Multaque per terras vates oracla furenti Pectore fundebant tristis minitantia casus 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. 1.36. Quid? qui inridetur, partus hic mulae nonne, quia fetus extitit in sterilitate naturae, praedictus est ab haruspicibus incredibilis partus malorum? Quid? Ti. Gracchus P. F., qui bis consul et censor fuit, idemque et summus augur et vir sapiens civisque praestans, nonne, ut C. Gracchus, filius eius, scriptum reliquit, duobus anguibus domi conprehensis haruspices convocavit? qui cum respondissent, si marem emisisset, uxori brevi tempore esse moriendum, si feminam, ipsi, aequius esse censuit se maturam oppetere mortem quam P. Africani filiam adulescentem; feminam emisit, ipse paucis post diebus est mortuus. Inrideamus haruspices, vanos, futtiles esse dicamus, quorumque disciplinam et sapientissimus vir et eventus ac res conprobavit, contemnamus, condemnemus etiam Babylonem et eos, qui e Caucaso caeli signa servantes numeris et modis stellarum cursus persequuntur, condemnemus, inquam, hos aut stultitiae aut vanitatis aut inpudentiae, qui quadringenta septuaginta milia annorum, ut ipsi dicunt, monumentis conprehensa continent, et mentiri iudicemus nec, saeculorum reliquorum iudicium quod de ipsis futurum sit, pertimescere. 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: 1.55. 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. 1.60. At multa falsa. Immo obscura fortasse nobis. Sed sint falsa quaedam; contra vera quid dicimus? Quae quidem multo plura evenirent, si ad quietem integri iremus. Nunc onusti cibo et vino perturbata et confusa cernimus. Vide, quid Socrates in Platonis Politia loquatur. Dicit enim: “Cum dormientibus ea pars animi, quae mentis et rationis sit particeps, sopita langueat, illa autem, in qua feritas quaedam sit atque agrestis inmanitas, cum sit inmoderato obstupefacta potu atque pastu, exsultare eam in somno inmoderateque iactari. Itaque huic omnia visa obiciuntur a mente ac ratione vacua, ut aut cum matre corpus miscere videatur aut cum quovis alio vel homine vel deo, saepe belua, atque etiam trucidare aliquem et impie cruentari multaque facere inpure atque taetre cum temeritate et inpudentia. 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. 1.91. nec quisquam rex Persarum potest esse, qui non ante magorum disciplinam scientiamque perceperit. Licet autem videre et genera quaedam et nationes huic scientiae deditas. Telmessus in Caria est, qua in urbe excellit haruspicum disciplina; itemque Elis in Peloponneso familias duas certas habet, Iamidarum unam, alteram Clutidarum, haruspicinae nobilitate praestantes. In Syria Chaldaei cognitione astrorum sollertiaque ingeniorum antecellunt. 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. 1.93. Ac mihi quidem videntur e locis quoque ipsis, qui a quibusque incolebantur, divinationum oportunitates esse ductae. Etenim Aegyptii et Babylonii in camporum patentium aequoribus habitantes, cum ex terra nihil emineret, quod contemplationi caeli officere posset, omnem curam in siderum cognitione posuerunt, Etrusci autem, quod religione inbuti studiosius et crebrius hostias immolabant, extorum cognitioni se maxume dediderunt, quodque propter ae+ris crassitudinem de caelo apud eos multa fiebant, et quod ob eandem causam multa invisitata partim e caelo, alia ex terra oriebantur, quaedam etiam ex hominum pecudumve conceptu et satu, ostentorum exercitatissimi interpretes exstiterunt. Quorum quidem vim, ut tu soles dicere, verba ipsa prudenter a maioribus posita declarant. Quia enim ostendunt, portendunt, monstrant, praedicunt, ostenta, portenta, monstra, prodigia dicuntur. 1.99. Caeciliae Q. filiae somnio modo Marsico bello templum est a senatu Iunoni Sospitae restitutum. Quod quidem somnium Sisenna cum disputavisset mirifice ad verbum cum re convenisse, tum insolenter, credo ab Epicureo aliquo inductus, disputat somniis credi non oportere. Idem contra ostenta nihil disputat exponitque initio belli Marsici et deorum simulacra sudavisse, et sanguinem fluxisse, et discessisse caelum, et ex occulto auditas esse voces, quae pericula belli nuntiarent, et Lanuvii clipeos, quod haruspicibus tristissumum visum esset, a muribus esse derosos. 1.121. si luna paulo ante solis ortum defecisset in signo Leonis, fore ut armis Dareus et Persae ab Alexandro et Macedonibus proelio vincerentur Dareusque moreretur, et, si puella nata biceps esset, seditionem in populo fore, corruptelam et adulterium domi, et, si mulier leonem peperisse visa esset, fore ut ab exteris gentibus vinceretur ea res publica, in qua id contigisset. Eiusdem generis etiam illud est, quod scribit Herodotus, Croesi filium, cum esset infans, locutum; quo ostento regnum patris et domum funditus concidisse. Caput arsisse Servio Tullio dormienti quae historia non prodidit? Ut igitur, qui se tradidit quieti praeparato animo cum bonis cogitationibus, tum rebus ad tranquillitatem adcommodatis, certa et vera cernit in somnis, sic castus animus purusque vigilantis et ad astrorum et ad avium reliquorumque signorum et ad extorum veritatem est paratior. 2.87. Quis enim magistratus aut quis vir inlustrior utitur sortibus? ceteris vero in locis sortes plane refrixerunt. Quod Carneadem Clitomachus scribit dicere solitum, nusquam se fortunatiorem quam Praeneste vidisse Fortunam. Ergo hoc divinationis genus omittamus. Ad Chaldaeorum monstra veniamus; de quibus Eudoxus, Platonis auditor, in astrologia iudicio doctissimorum hominum facile princeps, sic opinatur, id quod scriptum reliquit, Chaldaeis in praedictione et in notatione cuiusque vitae ex natali die minime esse credendum. 2.88. Nominat etiam Panaetius, qui unus e Stoicis astrologorum praedicta reiecit, Anchialum et Cassandrum, summos astrologos illius aetatis, qua erat ipse, cum in ceteris astrologiae partibus excellerent, hoc praedictionis genere non usos. Scylax Halicarnassius, familiaris Panaetii, excellens in astrologia idemque in regenda sua civitate princeps, totum hoc Chaldaicum praedicendi genus repudiavit. 2.89. Sed ut ratione utamur omissis testibus, sic isti disputant, qui haec Chaldaeorum natalicia praedicta defendunt: Vim quandam esse aiunt signifero in orbe, qui Graece zwdiako/s dicitur, talem, ut eius orbis una quaeque pars alia alio modo moveat inmutetque caelum, perinde ut quaeque stellae in his finitumisque partibus sint quoque tempore, eamque vim varie moveri ab iis sideribus, quae vocantur errantia; cum autem in eam ipsam partem orbis venerint, in qua sit ortus eius, qui nascatur, aut in eam, quae coniunctum aliquid habeat aut consentiens, ea triangula illi et quadrata nomit. Etenim cum †tempore anni tempestatumque caeli conversiones commutationesque tantae fiant accessu stellarum et recessu, cumque ea vi solis efficiantur, quae videmus, non veri simile solum, sed etiam verum esse censent perinde, utcumque temperatus sit ae+r, ita pueros orientis animari atque formari, ex eoque ingenia, mores, animum, corpus, actionem vitae, casus cuiusque eventusque fingi. 2.90. O delirationem incredibilem! non enim omnis error stultitia dicenda est. Quibus etiam Diogenes Stoicus concedit aliquid, ut praedicere possint dumtaxat, qualis quisque natura et ad quam quisque maxume rem aptus futurus sit; cetera, quae profiteantur, negat ullo modo posse sciri; etenim geminorum formas esse similis, vitam atque fortunam plerumque disparem. Procles et Eurysthenes, Lacedaemoniorum reges, gemini fratres fuerunt. 2.91. At ii nec totidem annos vixerunt; anno enim Procli vita brevior fuit, multumque is fratri rerum gestarum gloria praestitit. At ego id ipsum, quod vir optumus, Diogenes, Chaldaeis quasi quadam praevaricatione concedit, nego posse intellegi. Etenim cum, ut ipsi dicunt, ortus nascentium luna moderetur, eaque animadvertant et notent sidera natalicia Chaldaei, quaecumque lunae iuncta videantur, oculorum fallacissimo sensu iudicant ea, quae ratione atque animo videre debebant. Docet enim ratio mathematicorum, quam istis notam esse oportebat, quanta humilitate luna feratur terram paene contingens, quantum absit a proxuma Mercurii stella, multo autem longius a Veneris, deinde alio intervallo distet a sole, cuius lumine conlustrari putatur; reliqua vero tria intervalla infinita et inmensa, a sole ad Martis, inde ad Iovis, ab eo ad Saturni stellam, inde ad caelum ipsum, quod extremum atque ultumum mundi est. 2.92. Quae potest igitur contagio ex infinito paene intervallo pertinere ad lunam vel potius ad terram? Quid? cum dicunt, id quod iis dicere necesse est, omnis omnium ortus, quicumque gigtur in omni terra, quae incolatur, eosdem esse, eademque omnibus, qui eodem statu caeli et stellarum nati sint, accidere necesse esse, nonne eius modi sunt, ut ne caeli quidem naturam interpretes istos caeli nosse appareat? Cum enim illi orbes, qui caelum quasi medium dividunt et aspectum nostrum definiunt, qui a Graecis o(ri/zontes nomitur, a nobis finientes rectissume nominari possunt, varietatem maxumam habeant aliique in aliis locis sint, necesse est ortus occasusque siderum non fieri eodem tempore apud omnis. 2.93. Quodsi eorum vi caelum modo hoc, modo illo modo temperatur, qui potest eadem vis esse nascentium, cum caeli tanta sit dissimilitudo? In his locis, quae nos incolimus, post solstitium Canicula exoritur, et quidem aliquot diebus, at apud Troglodytas, ut scribitur, ante solstitium, ut, si iam concedamus aliquid vim caelestem ad eos, qui in terra gignuntur, pertinere, confitendum sit illis eos, qui nascuntur eodem tempore, posse in dissimilis incidere naturas propter caeli dissimilitudinem; quod minime illis placet; volunt enim illi omnis eodem tempore ortos, qui ubique sint nati, eadem condicione nasci. 2.94. Sed quae tanta dementia est, ut in maxumis motibus mutationibusque caeli nihil intersit, qui ventus, qui imber, quae tempestas ubique sit? quarum rerum in proxumis locis tantae dissimilitudines saepe sunt, ut alia Tusculi, alia Romae eveniat saepe tempestas; quod, qui navigant, maxume animadvertunt, cum in flectendis promunturiis ventorum mutationes maxumas saepe sentiunt. Haec igitur cum sit tum serenitas, tum perturbatio caeli, estne sanorum hominum hoc ad nascentium ortus pertinere non dicere quod non certe pertinet, illud nescio quid tenue, quod sentiri nullo modo, intellegi autem vix potest, quae a luna ceterisque sideribus caeli temperatio fiat, dicere ad puerorum ortus pertinere? Quid? quod non intellegunt seminum vim, quae ad gignendum procreandumque plurimum valeat, funditus tolli, mediocris erroris est? Quis enim non videt et formas et mores et plerosque status ac motus effingere a parentibus liberos? quod non contingeret, si haec non vis et natura gignentium efficeret, sed temperatio lunae caelique moderatio. 2.95. Quid? quod uno et eodem temporis puncto nati dissimilis et naturas et vitas et casus habent, parumne declarat nihil ad agendam vitam nascendi tempus pertinere? nisi forte putamus neminem eodem tempore ipso et conceptum et natum, quo Africanum. Num quis igitur talis fuit? 2.96. Quid? illudne dubium est, quin multi, cum ita nati essent, ut quaedam contra naturam depravata haberent, restituerentur et corrigerentur ab natura, cum se ipsa revocasset, aut arte atque medicina? ut, quorum linguae sic inhaererent, ut loqui non possent, eae scalpello resectae liberarentur. Multi etiam naturae vitium meditatione atque exercitatione sustulerunt, ut Demosthenem scribit Phalereus, cum rho dicere nequiret, exercitatione fecisse, ut planissume diceret. Quodsi haec astro ingenerata et tradita essent, nulla res ea mutare posset. Quid? dissimilitudo locorum nonne dissimilis hominum procreationes habet? quas quidem percurrere oratione facile est, quid inter Indos et Persas, Aethiopas et Syros differat corporibus, animis, ut incredibilis varietas dissimilitudoque sit. 2.97. Ex quo intellegitur plus terrarum situs quam lunae tactus ad nascendum valere. Nam quod aiunt quadringenta septuaginta milia annorum in periclitandis experiundisque pueris, quicumque essent nati, Babylonios posuisse, fallunt; si enim esset factitatum, non esset desitum; neminem autem habemus auctorem, qui id aut fieri dicat aut factum sciat. Videsne me non ea dicere, quae Carneades, sed ea, quae princeps Stoicorum Panaetius dixerit? Ego autem etiam haec requiro: omnesne, qui Cannensi pugna ceciderint, uno astro fuerint; exitus quidem omnium unus et idem fuit. Quid? qui ingenio atque animo singulares, num astro quoque uno? quod enim tempus, quo non innumerabiles nascantur? at certe similis nemo Homeri. 2.98. Et, si ad rem pertinet, quo modo caelo adfecto conpositisque sideribus quodque animal oriatur, valeat id necesse est non in hominibus solum, verum in bestiis etiam; quo quid potest dici absurdius? L. quidem Tarutius Firmanus, familiaris noster, in primis Chaldaicis rationibus eruditus, urbis etiam nostrae natalem diem repetebat ab iis Parilibus, quibus eam a Romulo conditam accepimus, Romamque, in iugo cum esset luna, natam esse dicebat nec eius fata canere dubitabat. 2.99. O vim maxumam erroris! Etiamne urbis natalis dies ad vim stellarum et lunae pertinebat? Fac in puero referre, ex qua adfectione caeli primum spiritum duxerit; num hoc in latere aut in caemento, ex quibus urbs effecta est, potuit valere? Sed quid plura? cotidie refelluntur. Quam multa ego Pompeio, quam multa Crasso, quam multa huic ipsi Caesari a Chaldaeis dicta memini, neminem eorum nisi senectute, nisi domi, nisi cum claritate esse moriturum! ut mihi permirum videatur quemquam exstare, qui etiam nunc credat iis, quorum praedicta cotidie videat re et eventis refelli. 1.2. Now I am aware of no people, however refined and learned or however savage and ignorant, which does not think that signs are given of future events, and that certain persons can recognize those signs and foretell events before they occur. First of all — to seek authority from the most distant sources — the Assyrians, on account of the vast plains inhabited by them, and because of the open and unobstructed view of the heavens presented to them on every side, took observations of the paths and movements of the stars, and, having made note of them, transmitted to posterity what significance they had for each person. And in that same nation the Chaldeans — a name which they derived not from their art but their race — have, it is thought, by means of long-continued observation of the constellations, perfected a science which enables them to foretell what any mans lot will be and for what fate he was born.The same art is believed to have been acquired also by the Egyptians through a remote past extending over almost countless ages. Moreover, the Cilicians, Pisidians, and their neighbours, the Pamphylians — nations which I once governed — think that the future is declared by the songs and flights of birds, which they regard as most infallible signs. 1.2. Here was the Martian beast, the nurse of Roman dominion,Suckling with life-giving dew, that issued from udders distended,Children divinely begotten, who sprang from the loins of the War God;Stricken by lightning she toppled to earth, bearing with her the children;Torn from her station, she left the prints of her feet in descending.Then what diviner, in turning the records and tomes of the augurs,Failed to relate the mournful forecasts the Etruscans had written?Seers all advised to beware the monstrous destruction and slaughter,Plotted by Romans who traced their descent from a noble ancestry;Or they proclaimed the laws overthrow with voices insistent,Bidding rescue the city from flames, and the deities temples;Fearful they bade us become of horrible chaos and carnage;These, by a rigorous Fate, would be certainly fixed and determined,Were not a sacred statue of Jove, one comely of figure,High on a column erected beforehand, with eyes to the eastward;Then would the people and venerable senate be able to fathomHidden designs, when that statue — its face to the sun at its rising —Should behold from its station the seats of the people and Senate. 1.3. And, indeed, what colony did Greece ever send into Aeolia, Ionia, Asia, Sicily, or Italy without consulting the Pythian or Dodonian oracle, or that of Jupiter Hammon? Or what war did she ever undertake without first seeking the counsel of the gods? [2] Nor is it only one single mode of divination that has been employed in public and in private. For, to say nothing of other nations, how many our own people have embraced! In the first place, according to tradition, Romulus, the father of this City, not only founded it in obedience to the auspices, but was himself a most skilful augur. Next, the other Roman kings employed augurs; and, again, after the expulsion of the kings, no public business was ever transacted at home or abroad without first taking the auspices. Furthermore, since our forefathers believed that the soothsayers art had great efficacy in seeking for omens and advice, as well as in cases where prodigies were to be interpreted and their effects averted, they gradually introduced that art in its entirety from Etruria, lest it should appear that any kind of divination had been disregarded by them. 1.3. Therefore Ateius, by his announcement, did not create the cause of the disaster; but having observed the sign he simply advised Crassus what the result would be if the warning was ignored. It follows, then, that the announcement by Ateius of the unfavourable augury had no effect; or if it did, as Appius thinks, then the sin is not in him who gave the warning, but in him who disregarded it.[17] And whence, pray, did you augurs derive that staff, which is the most conspicuous mark of your priestly office? It is the very one, indeed with which Romulus marked out the quarter for taking observations when he founded the city. Now this staffe is a crooked wand, slightly curved at the top, and, because of its resemblance to a trumpet, derives its name from the Latin word meaning the trumpet with which the battle-charge is sounded. It was placed in the temple of the Salii on the Palatine hill and, though the temple was burned, the staff was found uninjured. 1.11. Really, my dear Quintus, said I, I always have time for philosophy. Moreover, since there is nothing else at this time that I can do with pleasure, I am all the more eager to hear what you think about divination.There is, I assure you, said he, nothing new or original in my views; for those which I adopt are not only very old, but they are endorsed by the consent of all peoples and nations. There are two kinds of divination: the first is dependent on art, the other on nature. 1.11. The second division of divination, as I said before, is the natural; and it, according to exact teaching of physics, must be ascribed to divine Nature, from which, as the wisest philosophers maintain, our souls have been drawn and poured forth. And since the universe is wholly filled with the Eternal Intelligence and the Divine Mind, it must be that human souls are influenced by their contact with divine souls. But when men are awake their souls, as a rule, are subject to the demands of everyday life and are withdrawn from divine association because they are hampered by the chains of the flesh. 1.17. But what authority or what witness can I better employ than yourself? I have even learned by heart and with great pleasure the following lines uttered by the Muse, Urania, in the second book of your poem entitled, My Consulship:First of all, Jupiter, glowing with fire from regions celestial,Turns, and the whole of creation is filled with the light of his glory;And, though the vaults of aether eternal begird and confine him,Yet he, with spirit divine, ever searching the earth and the heavens,Sounds to their innermost depths the thoughts and the actions of mortals.When one has learned the motions and variant paths of the planets,Stars that abide in the seat of the signs, in the Zodiacs girdle,(Spoken of falsely as vagrants or rovers in Greek nomenclature,Whereas in truth their distance is fixed and their speed is determined,)Then will he know that all are controlled by an Infinite Wisdom. 1.18. You, being consul, at once did observe the swift constellations,Noting the glare of luminous stars in direful conjunction:Then you beheld the tremulous sheen of the Northern aurora,When, on ascending the mountainous heights of snowy Albanus,You offered joyful libations of milk at the Feast of the Latins;Ominous surely the time wherein fell that Feast of the Latins;Many a warning was given, it seemed, of slaughter nocturnal;Then, of a sudden, the moon at her full was blotted from heaven —Hidden her features resplendent, though night was bejewelled with planets;Then did that dolorous herald of War, the torch of Apollo,Mount all aflame to the dome of the sky, where the sun has its setting;Then did a Roman depart from these radiant abodes of the living,Stricken by terrible lightning from heavens serene and unclouded.Then through the fruit-laden body of earth ran the shock of an earthquake;Spectres at night were observed, appalling and changeful of figure,Giving their warning that war was at hand, and internal commotion;Over all lands there outpoured, from the frenzied bosoms of prophets,Dreadful predictions, gloomy forecasts of impending disaster. 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. 1.36. Why, then, when here recently a mule (which is an animal ordinarily sterile by nature) brought forth a foal, need anyone have scoffed because the soothsayers from that occurrence prophesied a progeny of countless evils to the state?What, pray, do you say of that well-known incident of Tiberius Gracchus, the son of Publius? He was censor and consul twice; beside that he was a most competent augur, a wise man and a pre-eminent citizen. Yet he, according to the account left us by his son Gaius, having caught two snakes in his home, called in the soothsayers to consult them. They advised him that if he let the male snake go his wife must die in a short time; and if he released the female snake his own death must soon occur. Thinking it more fitting that a speedy death should overtake him rather than his young wife, who was the daughter of Publius Africanus, he released the female snake and died within a few days.[19] Let us laugh at the soothsayers, brand them as frauds and impostors and scorn their calling, even though a very wise man, Tiberius Gracchus, and the results and circumstances of his death have given proof of its trustworthiness; let us scorn the Babylonians, too, and those astrologers who, from the top of Mount Caucasus, observe the celestial signs and with the aid of mathematics follow the courses of the stars; let us, I say, convict of folly, falsehood, and shamelessness the men whose records, as they themselves assert, cover a period of four hundred and seventy thousand years; and let us pronounce them liars, utterly indifferent to the opinion of succeeding generations. 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. 1.55. 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. 1.72. 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. 1.91. Indeed, no one can become king of the Persians until he has learned the theory and the practice of the magi. Moreover, you may see whole families and tribes devoted to this art. For example, Telmessus in Caria is a city noted for its cultivation of the soothsayers art, and there is also Elis in Peloponnesus, which has permanently set aside two families as soothsayers, the Iamidae and the Clutidae, who are distinguished for superior skill in their art. In Syria the Chaldeans are pre-eminent for their knowledge of astronomy and for their quickness of mind. 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] 1.93. Now, for my part, I believe that the character of the country determined the kind of divination which its inhabitants adopted. For example, the Egeans and Babylonians, who live on the level surface of open plains, with no hills to obstruct a view of the sky, have devoted their attention wholly to astrology. But the Etruscans, being in their nature of a very ardent religious temperament and accustomed to the frequent sacrifice of victims, have given their chief attention to the study of entrails. And as on account of the density of the atmosphere signs from heaven were common among them, and furthermore since that atmospheric condition caused many phenomena both of earth and sky and also certain prodigies that occur in the conception and birth of men and cattle — for these reasons the Etruscans have become very proficient in the interpretation of portents. Indeed, the inherent force of these means of divination, as you like to observe, is clearly shown by the very words so aptly chosen by our ancestors to describe them. Because they make manifest (ostendunt), portend (portendunt), intimate (monstrant), predict (praedicunt), they are called manifestations, portents, intimations, and prodigies. 1.99. In recent times, during the Marsian war, the temple of Juno Sospita was restored because of a dream of Caecilia, the daughter of Quintus Caecilius Metellus. This is the same dream that Sisenna discussed as marvellous, in that its prophecies were fulfilled to the letter, and yet later — influenced no doubt by some petty Epicurean — he goes on inconsistently to maintain that dreams are not worthy of belief. This writer, however, has nothing to say against prodigies; in fact he relates that, at the outbreak of the Marsian War, the statues of the gods dripped with sweat, rivers ran with blood, the heavens opened, voices from unknown sources were heard predicting dangerous wars, and finally — the sign considered by the soothsayers the most ominous of all — the shields at Lanuvium were gnawed by mice. 1.121. The same power sends us signs, of which history has preserved numerous examples. We find the following omens recorded: when just before sunrise the moon was eclipsed in the sign of Leo, this indicated that Darius and the Persians would be overcome in battle by the Macedonians under Alexander, and that Darius would die. Again, when a girl was born with two heads, this foretold sedition among the people and seduction and adultery in the home. When a woman dreamed that she had been delivered of a lion, this signified that the country in which she had the dream would be conquered by foreign nations.Another instance of a similar kind is related by Herodotus: Croesuss son, when an infant, spoke, and this prodigy foretold the utter overthrow of his fathers family and kingdom. What history has failed to record the fact that while Servius Tullius slept his head burst into flame? Therefore, just as a man has clear and trustworthy dreams, provided he goes to sleep, not only with his mind prepared by noble thoughts, but also with every precaution taken to induce repose; so, too, he, when awake, is better prepared to interpret truly the messages of entrails, stars, birds, and all other signs, provided his soul is pure and undefiled. [54] 2.87. for no magistrate and no man of any reputation ever consults them; but in all other places lots have gone entirely out of use. And this explains the remark which, according to Clitomachus, Carneades used to make that he had at no other place seen Fortune more fortunate than at Praeneste. Then let us dismiss this branch of divination.[42] Let us come to Chaldean manifestations. In discussing them Platos pupil, Eudoxus, whom the best scholars consider easily the first in astronomy, has left the following opinion in writing: No reliance whatever is to be placed in Chaldean astrologers when they profess to forecast a mans future from the position of the stars on the day of his birth. 2.88. Panaetius, too, who was the only one of the Stoics to reject the prophecies of astrologers, mentions Anchialus and Cassander as the greatest astronomers of his day and states that they did not employ their art as a means of divining, though they were eminent in all other branches of astronomy. Scylax of Halicarnassus, an intimate friend of Panaetius, and an eminent astronomer, besides being the head of the government in his own city, utterly repudiated the Chaldean method of foretelling the future. 2.89. But let us dismiss our witnesses and employ reasoning. Those men who defend the natal-day prophecies of the Chaldeans, argue in this way: In the starry belt which the Greeks call the Zodiac there is a certain force of such a nature that every part of that belt affects and changes the heavens in a different way, according to the stars that are in this or in an adjoining locality at a given time. This force is variously affected by those stars which are called planets or wandering stars. But when they have come into that sign of the Zodiac under which someone is born, or into a sign having some connexion with or accord with the natal sign, they form what is called a triangle or square. Now since, through the procession and retrogression of the stars, the great variety and change of the seasons and of temperature take place, and since the power of the sun produces such results as are before our eyes, they believe that it is not merely probable, but certain, that just as the temperature of the air is regulated by this celestial force, so also children at their birth are influenced in soul and body and by this force their minds, manners, disposition, physical condition, career in life and destinies are determined. [43] 2.91. But they did not live the same number of years, for the life of Procles was shorter by a year than that of his brother and his deeds were far more glorious. But for my part I say that even this concession which our excellent friend Diogenes makes to the Chaldeans in a sort of collusive way, is in itself unintelligible. For the Chaldeans, according to their own statements, believe that a persons destiny is affected by the condition of the moon at the time of his birth, and hence they make and record their observations of the stars which anything in conjunction with the moon on his birthday. As a result, in forming their judgements, they depend on the sense of sight, which is the least trustworthy of the senses, whereas they should employ reason and intelligence. For the science of mathematics which the Chaldeans ought to know, teaches us how close the moon comes to the earth, which indeed it almost touches; how far it is from Mercury, the nearest star; how much further yet it is from Venus; and what a great interval separates it from the sun, which is supposed to give it light. The three remaining distances are beyond computation: from the Sun to Mars, from Mars to Jupiter, from Jupiter to Saturn. Then there is the distance from Saturn to the limits of heaven — the ultimate bounds of space. 2.92. In view, therefore, of these almost limitless distances, what influence can the planets exercise upon the moon, or rather, upon the earth?[44] Again, when the Chaldeans say, as they are bound to do, that all persons born anywhere in the habitable earth under the same horoscope, are alike and must have the same fate, is it not evident that these would‑be interpreters of the sky are of a class who are utterly ignorant of the nature of the sky? For the earth is, as it were, divided in half and our view limited by those circles which the Greeks call ὁρίζοντες, and which we may in all accuracy term finientes or horizons. Now these horizons vary without limit according to the position of the spectator. Hence, of necessity, the rising and setting of the stars will not occur at the same time for all persons. 2.93. But if this stellar force affects the heavens now in one way and now in another, how is it possible for this force to operate alike on all persons who are born at the same time, in view of the fact that they are born under vastly different skies? In those places in which we live the Dog-star rises after the solstice, in fact, several days later. But among the Troglodytes, we read, it sets before the solstice. Hence if we should now admit that some stellar influence affects persons who are born upon the earth, then it must be conceded that all persons born at the same time may have different natures owing to the differences in their horoscopes. This is a conclusion by no means agreeable to the astrologers; for they insist that all persons born at the same time, regardless of the place of birth, are born to the same fate. [45] 2.94. But what utter madness in these astrologers, in considering the effect of the vast movements and changes in the heavens, to assume that wind and rain and weather anywhere have no effect at birth! In neighbouring places conditions in these respects are so different that frequently, for instance, we have one state of weather at Tusculum and another at Rome. This is especially noticeable to mariners who often observe extreme changes of weather take place while they rounding the capes. Therefore, in view of the fact that the heavens are now serene and now disturbed by storms, is it the part of a reasonable man to say that this fact has no natal influence — and of course it has not — and then assert that a natal influence is exerted by some subtle, imperceptible, well-nigh inconceivable force which is due to the condition of the sky, which condition, in turn, is due to the action of the moon and stars?Again, is it no small error of judgement that the Chaldeans fail to realize the effect of the parental seed which is an essential element of the process of generation? For, surely, no one fails to see that the appearance and habits, and generally, the carriage and gestures of children are derived from their parents. This would not be the case if the characteristics of children were determined, not by the natural power of heredity, but by the phases of the moon and by the condition of the sky. 2.95. And, again, the fact that men who were born at the very same instant, are unlike in character, career, and in destiny, makes it very clear that the time of birth has nothing to do in determining mans course in life. That is, unless perchance we are to believe that nobody else was conceived and born at the very same time that Africanus was. For was there ever anyone like him? [46] 2.96. Furthermore, is it not a well-known and undoubted fact that many persons who were born with certain natural defects have been restored completely by Nature herself, after she had resumed her sway, or by surgery or by medicine? For example, some, who were so tongue-tied that they could not speak, have had their tongues set free by a cut from the surgeons knife. Many more have corrected a natural defect by intelligent exertion. Demosthenes is an instance: according to the account given by Phalereus, he was unable to pronounce the Greek letter rho, but by repeated effort learned to articulate it perfectly. But if such defects had been engendered and implanted by a star nothing could have changed them. Do not unlike places produce unlike men? It would be an easy matter to sketch rapidly in passing the differences in mind and body which distinguish the Indians from the Persians and the Ethiopians from the Syrians — differences so striking and so pronounced as to be incredible. 2.97. Hence it is evident that ones birth is more affected by local environment than by the condition of the moon. of course, the statement quoted by you that the Babylonians for 470, years had taken the horoscope of every child and had tested it by the results, is untrue; for if this had been their habit they would not have abandoned it. Moreover we find no writer who says that the practice exists or who knows that it ever did exist.[47] You observe that I am not repeating the arguments of Carneades, but those of Panaetius, the head of the Stoic school. But now on my own initiative I put the following questions: Did all the Romans who fell at Cannae have the same horoscope? Yet all had one and the same end. Were all the men eminent for intellect and genius born under the same star? Was there ever a day when countless numbers were not born? And yet there never was another Homer. 2.98. Again: if it matters under what aspect of the sky or combination of the stars every animate being is born, then necessarily the same conditions must affect iimate beings also: can any statement be more ridiculous than that? Be that as it may, our good friend Lucius Tarutius of Firmum, who was steeped in Chaldaic lore, made a calculation, based on the assumption that our citys birthday was on the Feast of Pales (at which time tradition says it was founded by Romulus), and from that calculation Tarutius even went so far as to assert that Rome was born when the moon was in the sign of Libra and from that fact unhesitatingly prophesied her destiny. 2.99. What stupendous power delusion has! And was the citys natal day also subject to the influence of the moon and stars? Assume, if you will, that it matters in the case of a child under what arrangement of the heavenly bodies it draws its first breath, does it also follow that the stars could have had any influence over the bricks and cement of which the city was built? But why say more against a theory which every days experience refutes? I recall a multitude of prophecies which the Chaldeans made to Pompey, to Crassus and even to Caesar himself (now lately deceased), to the effect that no one of them would die except in old age, at home and in great glory. Hence it would seem very strange to me should anyone, especially at this time, believe in men whose predictions he sees disproved every day by actual results. [48]
2. Cicero, On The Nature of The Gods, 1.82 (2nd cent. BCE - 1st cent. BCE)

1.82. For we have often seen temples robbed and images of gods carried off from the holiest shrines by our fellow-countrymen, but no one ever even heard of an Egyptian laying profane hands on a crocodile or ibis or cat. What therefore do you infer? that the Egyptians do not believe their sacred bull Apis to be a god? Precisely as much as you believe the Saviour Juno of your native place to be a goddess. You never see her even in your dreams unless equipped with goat-skin, spear, buckler and slippers turned up at the toe. Yet that is not the aspect of the Argive Juno, nor of the Roman. It follows that Juno has one form for the Argives, another for the people of Lanuvium, and another for us. And indeed our Jupiter of the Capitol is not the same as the Africans' Juppiter Ammon.
3. Anon., Sibylline Oracles, 8.217 (1st cent. BCE - 5th cent. CE)

8.217. Thrice blessed was, even four times happy man.
4. Livy, History, 22.1.7 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. BCE)

5. Strabo, Geography, 12.8.16 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. BCE)

12.8.16. Laodiceia, though formerly small, grew large in our time and in that of our fathers, even though it had been damaged by siege in the time of Mithridates Eupator. However, it was the fertility of its territory and the prosperity of certain of its citizens that made it great: at first Hieron, who left to the people an inheritance of more than two thousand talents and adorned the city with many dedicated offerings, and later Zeno the rhetorician and his son Polemon, the latter of whom, because of his bravery and honesty, was thought worthy even of a kingdom, at first by Antony and later by Augustus. The country round Laodiceia produces sheep that are excellent, not only for the softness of their wool, in which they surpass even the Milesian wool, but also for its raven-black color, so that the Laodiceians derive splendid revenue from it, as do also the neighboring Colosseni from the color which bears the same name. And here the Caprus River joins the Maeander, as does also the Lycus, a river of good size, after which the city is called the Laodiceia near Lycus. Above the city lies Mt. Cadmus, whence the Lycus flows, as does also another river of the same name as the mountain. But the Lycus flows under ground for the most part, and then, after emerging to the surface, unites with the other rivers, thus indicating that the country is full of holes and subject to earthquakes; for if any other country is subject to earthquakes, Laodiceia is, and so is Carura in the neighboring country.
6. Appian, The Mithridatic Wars, 20 (1st cent. CE - 2nd cent. CE)

7. Plutarch, Marius, 42.4 (1st cent. CE - 2nd cent. CE)

8. Suetonius, Augustus, 31.1 (1st cent. CE - 2nd cent. CE)

9. Tacitus, Annals, 6.12 (1st cent. CE - 2nd cent. CE)

6.12.  A proposal was now put to the Fathers by the plebeian tribune Quintilianus with regard to a Sibylline book; Caninius Gallus, of the Fifteen, demanding its admission among the other verses of the same prophetess, and a senatorial decree on the point. This had been accorded without discussion, when the emperor forwarded a letter, in which he passed a lenient criticism on the tribune "whose youth accounted for his ignorance of old custom": to Gallus he expressed his displeasure that he, "long familiar with religious theory and ritual, had on dubious authority forestalled the decision of his College, and, before the poem had, as usual, been read and considered by the Masters, had brought up the question in a thinly attended senate." He reminded him at the same time that, because of the many apocryphal works circulated under the famous name, Augustus had fixed a day within which they were to be delivered to the Urban Praetor, private ownership becoming illegal. — A similar decision had been taken even at an earlier period, after the burning of the Capitol during the Social War; when the verses of the Sibyl, or Sibyls, as the case may be, were collected from Samos, Ilium, and Erythrae, and even in Africa, Sicily, and the Graeco-Italian colonies; the priests being entrusted with the task of sifting out the genuine specimens, so far as should have been possible by human means. Hence, in this case also, the book in question was submitted to the examination of the Quindecimvirate.
10. Obsequens, De Prodigiis, 55 (3rd cent. CE - 4th cent. CE)

11. Epigraphy, Igur, 6



Subjects of this text:

subject book bibliographic info
artemidorus of daldis Mowat, Engendering the Future: Divination and the Construction of Gender in the Late Roman Republic (2021) 161
asia, province of Santangelo, Roman Frugality: Modes of Moderation from the Archaic Age to the Early Empire and Beyond (2013) 72
astrometeorology, (changing) relationship with roman religion Green, Carthage in Virgil's Aeneid: Staging the Enemy under Augustus (2014) 81
astrometeorology, horoscopic Green, Carthage in Virgil's Aeneid: Staging the Enemy under Augustus (2014) 81
augurs Santangelo, Roman Frugality: Modes of Moderation from the Archaic Age to the Early Empire and Beyond (2013) 72
bartsch, shadi Pillinger, Cassandra and the Poetics of Prophecy in Greek and Latin Literature (2019) 170
caecilia metella Mowat, Engendering the Future: Divination and the Construction of Gender in the Late Roman Republic (2021) 42, 161
caecilius metellus balearicus, q. Santangelo, Roman Frugality: Modes of Moderation from the Archaic Age to the Early Empire and Beyond (2013) 72
carmina marciana Santangelo, Roman Frugality: Modes of Moderation from the Archaic Age to the Early Empire and Beyond (2013) 169
chaldaei Santangelo, Roman Frugality: Modes of Moderation from the Archaic Age to the Early Empire and Beyond (2013) 169
cicero, on dreams Bowersock, Fiction as History: Nero to Julian (1997) 79
cicero (m. tullius cicero) Green, Carthage in Virgil's Aeneid: Staging the Enemy under Augustus (2014) 81
cimbrian war Santangelo, Roman Frugality: Modes of Moderation from the Archaic Age to the Early Empire and Beyond (2013) 169
clodius pulcher, p. Santangelo, Roman Frugality: Modes of Moderation from the Archaic Age to the Early Empire and Beyond (2013) 72
coniector Santangelo, Roman Frugality: Modes of Moderation from the Archaic Age to the Early Empire and Beyond (2013) 72
cornelius cinna, l. Santangelo, Roman Frugality: Modes of Moderation from the Archaic Age to the Early Empire and Beyond (2013) 169
cornelius culleolus, cn. Santangelo, Roman Frugality: Modes of Moderation from the Archaic Age to the Early Empire and Beyond (2013) 169
culleolus, l. Santangelo, Roman Frugality: Modes of Moderation from the Archaic Age to the Early Empire and Beyond (2013) 169
cumaean sibyl, as state institution Pillinger, Cassandra and the Poetics of Prophecy in Greek and Latin Literature (2019) 170
daimons Lipka, Epiphanies and Dreams in Greek Polytheism: Textual Genres and 'Reality' from Homer to Heliodorus (2021) 224
de consulatu suo (cicero) Green, Carthage in Virgil's Aeneid: Staging the Enemy under Augustus (2014) 81
de divinatione (cicero) Green, Carthage in Virgil's Aeneid: Staging the Enemy under Augustus (2014) 81
demetrius phalereus Lipka, Epiphanies and Dreams in Greek Polytheism: Textual Genres and 'Reality' from Homer to Heliodorus (2021) 224
divination, as technê/skill Struck, Divination and Human Nature: A Cognitive History of Intuition in Classical Antiquity (2016) 17
divination, natu ral Struck, Divination and Human Nature: A Cognitive History of Intuition in Classical Antiquity (2016) 17
divination Lipka, Epiphanies and Dreams in Greek Polytheism: Textual Genres and 'Reality' from Homer to Heliodorus (2021) 224
dreams Santangelo, Roman Frugality: Modes of Moderation from the Archaic Age to the Early Empire and Beyond (2013) 72
epithets, cultic, greek influence on roman use of Jim, Saviour Gods and Soteria in Ancient Greece (2022) 253
eunus Santangelo, Roman Frugality: Modes of Moderation from the Archaic Age to the Early Empire and Beyond (2013) 169
février, caroline Pillinger, Cassandra and the Poetics of Prophecy in Greek and Latin Literature (2019) 170
galen, physician Bowersock, Fiction as History: Nero to Julian (1997) 79
haruspices Santangelo, Roman Frugality: Modes of Moderation from the Archaic Age to the Early Empire and Beyond (2013) 72
herodotus Bowersock, Fiction as History: Nero to Julian (1997) 79
immortality Lipka, Epiphanies and Dreams in Greek Polytheism: Textual Genres and 'Reality' from Homer to Heliodorus (2021) 224
julius caesar, gaius Mowat, Engendering the Future: Divination and the Construction of Gender in the Late Roman Republic (2021) 161
julius caesar, lucius Mowat, Engendering the Future: Divination and the Construction of Gender in the Late Roman Republic (2021) 42
juno, sospita Santangelo, Roman Frugality: Modes of Moderation from the Archaic Age to the Early Empire and Beyond (2013) 72
juno Mowat, Engendering the Future: Divination and the Construction of Gender in the Late Roman Republic (2021) 161
juno at lanuvium Jim, Saviour Gods and Soteria in Ancient Greece (2022) 253
knowledge, non- discursive Struck, Divination and Human Nature: A Cognitive History of Intuition in Classical Antiquity (2016) 17
lanuvium Santangelo, Roman Frugality: Modes of Moderation from the Archaic Age to the Early Empire and Beyond (2013) 72
magistrates Santangelo, Roman Frugality: Modes of Moderation from the Archaic Age to the Early Empire and Beyond (2013) 72
marcius Santangelo, Roman Frugality: Modes of Moderation from the Archaic Age to the Early Empire and Beyond (2013) 169
marius, c. Santangelo, Roman Frugality: Modes of Moderation from the Archaic Age to the Early Empire and Beyond (2013) 169
martha Santangelo, Roman Frugality: Modes of Moderation from the Archaic Age to the Early Empire and Beyond (2013) 169
masculinity Mowat, Engendering the Future: Divination and the Construction of Gender in the Late Roman Republic (2021) 42
motherhood Mowat, Engendering the Future: Divination and the Construction of Gender in the Late Roman Republic (2021) 42
nigidius figulus (p. nigidius figulus) Green, Carthage in Virgil's Aeneid: Staging the Enemy under Augustus (2014) 81
octavius, cn. Santangelo, Roman Frugality: Modes of Moderation from the Archaic Age to the Early Empire and Beyond (2013) 169
oneiromancy Mowat, Engendering the Future: Divination and the Construction of Gender in the Late Roman Republic (2021) 42, 161
oracle (divine message) Lipka, Epiphanies and Dreams in Greek Polytheism: Textual Genres and 'Reality' from Homer to Heliodorus (2021) 224
parke, herbert william Pillinger, Cassandra and the Poetics of Prophecy in Greek and Latin Literature (2019) 170
philosophy Lipka, Epiphanies and Dreams in Greek Polytheism: Textual Genres and 'Reality' from Homer to Heliodorus (2021) 224
platonism Lipka, Epiphanies and Dreams in Greek Polytheism: Textual Genres and 'Reality' from Homer to Heliodorus (2021) 224
plautus Santangelo, Roman Frugality: Modes of Moderation from the Archaic Age to the Early Empire and Beyond (2013) 72
pompeius strabo, cn. Santangelo, Roman Frugality: Modes of Moderation from the Archaic Age to the Early Empire and Beyond (2013) 169
pregnancy Mowat, Engendering the Future: Divination and the Construction of Gender in the Late Roman Republic (2021) 42
private divination Santangelo, Roman Frugality: Modes of Moderation from the Archaic Age to the Early Empire and Beyond (2013) 72
prodigy Mowat, Engendering the Future: Divination and the Construction of Gender in the Late Roman Republic (2021) 42; Santangelo, Roman Frugality: Modes of Moderation from the Archaic Age to the Early Empire and Beyond (2013) 72
prophecy, spontaneous vs. responsorial Pillinger, Cassandra and the Poetics of Prophecy in Greek and Latin Literature (2019) 170
quinctius cincinnatus, l., (quin)decemuiri s.f. Santangelo, Roman Frugality: Modes of Moderation from the Archaic Age to the Early Empire and Beyond (2013) 169
quindecimuiri Pillinger, Cassandra and the Poetics of Prophecy in Greek and Latin Literature (2019) 170
roman libri sibyllini Bacchi, Uncovering Jewish Creativity in Book III of the Sibylline Oracles: Gender, Intertextuality, and Politics (2022) 63
rome Bacchi, Uncovering Jewish Creativity in Book III of the Sibylline Oracles: Gender, Intertextuality, and Politics (2022) 63
salus Jim, Saviour Gods and Soteria in Ancient Greece (2022) 253
scheid, john Pillinger, Cassandra and the Poetics of Prophecy in Greek and Latin Literature (2019) 170
senate Santangelo, Roman Frugality: Modes of Moderation from the Archaic Age to the Early Empire and Beyond (2013) 72, 169
sexuality, sexual intercourse Mowat, Engendering the Future: Divination and the Construction of Gender in the Late Roman Republic (2021) 42
sibylline books Pillinger, Cassandra and the Poetics of Prophecy in Greek and Latin Literature (2019) 170
sisenna Santangelo, Roman Frugality: Modes of Moderation from the Archaic Age to the Early Empire and Beyond (2013) 72
soteira, latin expressions for Jim, Saviour Gods and Soteria in Ancient Greece (2022) 253
soter, and arete (of men) Jim, Saviour Gods and Soteria in Ancient Greece (2022) 253
soter, latin expressions for Jim, Saviour Gods and Soteria in Ancient Greece (2022) 253
soul Lipka, Epiphanies and Dreams in Greek Polytheism: Textual Genres and 'Reality' from Homer to Heliodorus (2021) 224
stoics Struck, Divination and Human Nature: A Cognitive History of Intuition in Classical Antiquity (2016) 17, 176
struck, peter Pillinger, Cassandra and the Poetics of Prophecy in Greek and Latin Literature (2019) 170
tarquinius superbus Mowat, Engendering the Future: Divination and the Construction of Gender in the Late Roman Republic (2021) 42; Santangelo, Roman Frugality: Modes of Moderation from the Archaic Age to the Early Empire and Beyond (2013) 72
translation, of sibylline books Pillinger, Cassandra and the Poetics of Prophecy in Greek and Latin Literature (2019) 170
tullius cicero, m. Santangelo, Roman Frugality: Modes of Moderation from the Archaic Age to the Early Empire and Beyond (2013) 169
tullius cicero, marcus Mowat, Engendering the Future: Divination and the Construction of Gender in the Late Roman Republic (2021) 42, 161
tullius cicero, quintus Mowat, Engendering the Future: Divination and the Construction of Gender in the Late Roman Republic (2021) 42
uates' Santangelo, Roman Frugality: Modes of Moderation from the Archaic Age to the Early Empire and Beyond (2013) 169