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Tiresias: The Ancient Mediterranean Religions Source Database

Cicero, On Divination, 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.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.

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18 results
1. Homer, Iliad, 16.431-16.461 (8th cent. BCE - 7th cent. BCE)

16.431. /even so with cries rushed they one against the other. And the son of crooked-counselling Cronos took pity when he saw them, and spake to Hera, his sister and his wife:Ah, woe is me, for that it is fated that Sarpedon, dearest of men to me, be slain by Patroclus, son of Menoetius! 16.432. /even so with cries rushed they one against the other. And the son of crooked-counselling Cronos took pity when he saw them, and spake to Hera, his sister and his wife:Ah, woe is me, for that it is fated that Sarpedon, dearest of men to me, be slain by Patroclus, son of Menoetius! 16.433. /even so with cries rushed they one against the other. And the son of crooked-counselling Cronos took pity when he saw them, and spake to Hera, his sister and his wife:Ah, woe is me, for that it is fated that Sarpedon, dearest of men to me, be slain by Patroclus, son of Menoetius! 16.434. /even so with cries rushed they one against the other. And the son of crooked-counselling Cronos took pity when he saw them, and spake to Hera, his sister and his wife:Ah, woe is me, for that it is fated that Sarpedon, dearest of men to me, be slain by Patroclus, son of Menoetius! 16.435. /And in twofold wise is my heart divided in counsel as I ponder in my thought whether I shall snatch him up while yet he liveth and set him afar from the tearful war in the rich land of Lycia, or whether I shall slay him now beneath the hands of the son of Menoetius. 16.436. /And in twofold wise is my heart divided in counsel as I ponder in my thought whether I shall snatch him up while yet he liveth and set him afar from the tearful war in the rich land of Lycia, or whether I shall slay him now beneath the hands of the son of Menoetius. 16.437. /And in twofold wise is my heart divided in counsel as I ponder in my thought whether I shall snatch him up while yet he liveth and set him afar from the tearful war in the rich land of Lycia, or whether I shall slay him now beneath the hands of the son of Menoetius. 16.438. /And in twofold wise is my heart divided in counsel as I ponder in my thought whether I shall snatch him up while yet he liveth and set him afar from the tearful war in the rich land of Lycia, or whether I shall slay him now beneath the hands of the son of Menoetius. 16.439. /And in twofold wise is my heart divided in counsel as I ponder in my thought whether I shall snatch him up while yet he liveth and set him afar from the tearful war in the rich land of Lycia, or whether I shall slay him now beneath the hands of the son of Menoetius. Then ox-eyed queenly Hera answered him: 16.440. / Most dread son of Cronos, what a word hast thou said! A man that is mortal, doomed long since by fate, art thou minded to deliver again from dolorous death? Do as thou wilt; but be sure that we other gods assent not all thereto. And another thing will I tell thee, and do thou lay it to heart: 16.441. / Most dread son of Cronos, what a word hast thou said! A man that is mortal, doomed long since by fate, art thou minded to deliver again from dolorous death? Do as thou wilt; but be sure that we other gods assent not all thereto. And another thing will I tell thee, and do thou lay it to heart: 16.442. / Most dread son of Cronos, what a word hast thou said! A man that is mortal, doomed long since by fate, art thou minded to deliver again from dolorous death? Do as thou wilt; but be sure that we other gods assent not all thereto. And another thing will I tell thee, and do thou lay it to heart: 16.443. / Most dread son of Cronos, what a word hast thou said! A man that is mortal, doomed long since by fate, art thou minded to deliver again from dolorous death? Do as thou wilt; but be sure that we other gods assent not all thereto. And another thing will I tell thee, and do thou lay it to heart: 16.444. / Most dread son of Cronos, what a word hast thou said! A man that is mortal, doomed long since by fate, art thou minded to deliver again from dolorous death? Do as thou wilt; but be sure that we other gods assent not all thereto. And another thing will I tell thee, and do thou lay it to heart: 16.445. /if thou send Sarpedon living to his house, bethink thee lest hereafter some other god also be minded to send his own dear son away from the fierce conflict; for many there be fighting around the great city of Priam that are sons of the immortals, and among the gods wilt thou send dread wrath. 16.446. /if thou send Sarpedon living to his house, bethink thee lest hereafter some other god also be minded to send his own dear son away from the fierce conflict; for many there be fighting around the great city of Priam that are sons of the immortals, and among the gods wilt thou send dread wrath. 16.447. /if thou send Sarpedon living to his house, bethink thee lest hereafter some other god also be minded to send his own dear son away from the fierce conflict; for many there be fighting around the great city of Priam that are sons of the immortals, and among the gods wilt thou send dread wrath. 16.448. /if thou send Sarpedon living to his house, bethink thee lest hereafter some other god also be minded to send his own dear son away from the fierce conflict; for many there be fighting around the great city of Priam that are sons of the immortals, and among the gods wilt thou send dread wrath. 16.449. /if thou send Sarpedon living to his house, bethink thee lest hereafter some other god also be minded to send his own dear son away from the fierce conflict; for many there be fighting around the great city of Priam that are sons of the immortals, and among the gods wilt thou send dread wrath. 16.450. /But and if he be dear to thee, and thine heart be grieved, suffer thou him verily to be slain in the fierce conflict beneath the hands of Patroclus, son of Menoetius; but when his soul and life have left him, then send thou Death and sweet Sleep to bear him away 16.451. /But and if he be dear to thee, and thine heart be grieved, suffer thou him verily to be slain in the fierce conflict beneath the hands of Patroclus, son of Menoetius; but when his soul and life have left him, then send thou Death and sweet Sleep to bear him away 16.452. /But and if he be dear to thee, and thine heart be grieved, suffer thou him verily to be slain in the fierce conflict beneath the hands of Patroclus, son of Menoetius; but when his soul and life have left him, then send thou Death and sweet Sleep to bear him away 16.453. /But and if he be dear to thee, and thine heart be grieved, suffer thou him verily to be slain in the fierce conflict beneath the hands of Patroclus, son of Menoetius; but when his soul and life have left him, then send thou Death and sweet Sleep to bear him away 16.454. /But and if he be dear to thee, and thine heart be grieved, suffer thou him verily to be slain in the fierce conflict beneath the hands of Patroclus, son of Menoetius; but when his soul and life have left him, then send thou Death and sweet Sleep to bear him away 16.455. /until they come to the land of wide Lycia; and there shall his brethren and his kinsfolk give him burial with mound and pillar; for this is the due of the dead. So spake she, and the father of men and gods failed to hearken. Howbeit he shed bloody rain-drops on the earth 16.456. /until they come to the land of wide Lycia; and there shall his brethren and his kinsfolk give him burial with mound and pillar; for this is the due of the dead. So spake she, and the father of men and gods failed to hearken. Howbeit he shed bloody rain-drops on the earth 16.457. /until they come to the land of wide Lycia; and there shall his brethren and his kinsfolk give him burial with mound and pillar; for this is the due of the dead. So spake she, and the father of men and gods failed to hearken. Howbeit he shed bloody rain-drops on the earth 16.458. /until they come to the land of wide Lycia; and there shall his brethren and his kinsfolk give him burial with mound and pillar; for this is the due of the dead. So spake she, and the father of men and gods failed to hearken. Howbeit he shed bloody rain-drops on the earth 16.459. /until they come to the land of wide Lycia; and there shall his brethren and his kinsfolk give him burial with mound and pillar; for this is the due of the dead. So spake she, and the father of men and gods failed to hearken. Howbeit he shed bloody rain-drops on the earth 16.460. /shewing honour to his dear son—his own son whom Patroclus was about to slay in the deep-soiled land of Troy, far from his native land.Now when they were come near, as they advanced one against the other, then verily did Patroclus smite glorious Thrasymelus, that was the valiant squire of the prince Sarpedon; 16.461. /shewing honour to his dear son—his own son whom Patroclus was about to slay in the deep-soiled land of Troy, far from his native land.Now when they were come near, as they advanced one against the other, then verily did Patroclus smite glorious Thrasymelus, that was the valiant squire of the prince Sarpedon;
2. Pindar, Pythian Odes, 4.11-4.56 (6th cent. BCE - 5th cent. BCE)

3. Herodotus, Histories, 6.131 (5th cent. BCE - 5th cent. BCE)

6.131. Such is the tale of the choice among the suitors; and thus the fame of the Alcmeonidae resounded throughout Hellas. From this marriage was born that Cleisthenes, named after his mother's father from Sicyon, who gave the Athenians their tribes and their democracy; ,he and Hippocrates were born to Megacles; Hippocrates was father of another Megacles and another Agariste, called after Agariste who was Cleisthenes' daughter. She was married to Xanthippus son of Ariphron, and when she was pregt she saw in her sleep a vision in which she thought she gave birth to a lion. In a few days she bore Xanthippus a son, Pericles.
4. Plato, Republic, None (5th cent. BCE - 4th cent. BCE)

364b. and disregard those who are in any way weak or poor, even while admitting that they are better men than the others. But the strangest of all these speeches are the things they say about the gods and virtue, how so it is that the gods themselves assign to many good men misfortunes and an evil life but to their opposites a contrary lot; and begging priests and soothsayers go to rich men’s doors and make them believe that they by means of sacrifices and incantations have accumulated a treasure of power from the gods that can expiate and cure with pleasurable festival
5. Theophrastus, Characters, 16 (4th cent. BCE - 3rd cent. BCE)

6. Cicero, On Divination, 1.5-1.11, 1.25, 1.38, 1.46, 1.56, 1.58-1.59, 1.65, 1.95, 1.118-1.119, 1.127, 1.131, 2.8-2.9, 2.12-2.35, 2.37-2.102, 2.104-2.106, 2.109-2.110, 2.113-2.150 (2nd cent. BCE - 1st cent. BCE)

1.5. 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. 1.6. 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 dividi, 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. 1.7. Sed haec quidem laus Academiae praestantissumi philosophi iudicio et testimonio conprobata est. Etenim nobismet ipsis quaerentibus, quid sit de divinatione iudicandum, quod a Carneade multa acute et copiose contra Stoicos disputata sint, verentibusque, ne temere vel falsae rei vel non satis cognitae adsentiamur, faciendum videtur, ut diligenter etiam atque etiam argumenta cum argumentis comparemus, ut fecimus in iis tribus libris, quos de natura deorum scripsimus. Nam cum omnibus in rebus temeritas in adsentiendo errorque turpis est, tum in eo loco maxime, in quo iudicandum est, quantum auspiciis rebusque divinis religionique tribuamus; est enim periculum, ne aut neglectis iis impia fraude aut susceptis anili superstitione obligemur. 1.8. Quibus de rebus et alias saepe et paulo accuratius nuper, cum essem cum Q. fratre in Tusculano, disputatum est. Nam cum ambulandi causa in Lyceum venissemus (id enim superiori gymnasio nomen est), Perlegi, ille inquit, tuum paulo ante tertium de natura deorum, in quo disputatio Cottae quamquam labefactavit sententiam meam, non funditus tamen sustulit. Optime vero, inquam; etenim ipse Cotta sic disputat, ut Stoicorum magis argumenta confutet quam hominum deleat religionem. Tum Quintus: Dicitur quidem istuc, inquit, a Cotta, et vero saepius, credo, ne communia iura migrare videatur; sed studio contra Stoicos disserendi deos mihi videtur funditus tollere. 1.9. Eius rationi non sane desidero quid respondeam; satis enim defensa religio est in secundo libro a Lucilio, cuius disputatio tibi ipsi, ut in extremo tertio scribis, ad veritatem est visa propensior. Sed, quod praetermissum est in illis libris (credo, quia commodius arbitratus es separatim id quaeri deque eo disseri), id est de divinatione, quae est earum rerum, quae fortuitae putantur, praedictio atque praesensio, id, si placet, videamus quam habeat vim et quale sit. Ego enim sic existimo, si sint ea genera dividi vera, de quibus accepimus quaeque colimus, esse deos, vicissimque, si di sint, esse qui divinent. 1.10. Arcem tu quidem Stoicorum, inquam, Quinte, defendis, siquidem ista sic reciprocantur, ut et, si divinatio sit, di sint et, si di sint, sit divinatio. Quorum neutrum tam facile, quam tu arbitraris, conceditur. Nam et natura significari futura sine deo possunt et, ut sint di, potest fieri, ut nulla ab iis divinatio generi humano tributa sit. Atque ille: Mihi vero, inquit, satis est argumenti et esse deos et eos consulere rebus humanis, quod esse clara et perspicua divinationis genera iudico. De quibus quid ipse sentiam, si placet, exponam, ita tamen, si vacas animo neque habes aliquid, quod huic sermoni praevertendum putes. 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. 1.25. Ea fallit fortasse non numquam, sed tamen ad veritatem saepissime derigit; est enim ab omni aeternitate repetita, in qua cum paene innumerabiliter res eodem modo evenirent isdem signis antegressis, ars est effecta eadem saepe animadvertendo ac notando. Auspicia vero vestra quam constant! quae quidem nunc a Romanis auguribus ignorantur (bona hoc tua venia dixerim), a Cilicibus, Pamphyliis, Pisidis, Lyciis tenentur. 1.38. Idem iam diu non facit. Ut igitur nunc in minore gloria est, quia minus oraculorum veritas excellit, sic tum nisi summa veritate in tanta gloria non fuisset. Potest autem vis illa terrae, quae mentem Pythiae divino adflatu concitabat, evanuisse vetustate, ut quosdam evanuisse et exaruisse amnes aut in alium cursum contortos et deflexos videmus. Sed, ut vis, acciderit; magna enim quaestio est; modo maneat id, quod negari non potest, nisi omnem historiam perverterimus, multis saeclis verax fuisse id oraculum. 1.46. Matrem Phalaridis scribit Ponticus Heraclides, doctus vir, auditor et discipulus Platonis, visam esse videre in somnis simulacra deorum, quae ipsa domi consecravisset; ex iis Mercurium e patera, quam dextera manu teneret, sanguinem visum esse fundere; qui cum terram attigisset, refervescere videretur sic, ut tota domus sanguine redundaret. Quod matris somnium inmanis filii crudelitas conprobavit. Quid ego, quae magi Cyro illi principi interpretati sint, ex Dinonis Persicis proferam? Nam cum dormienti ei sol ad pedes visus esset, ter eum scribit frustra adpetivisse manibus, cum se convolvens sol elaberetur et abiret; ei magos dixisse, quod genus sapientium et doctorum habebatur in Persis, ex triplici adpetitione solis triginta annos Cyrum regnaturum esse portendi. Quod ita contigit; nam ad septuagesimum pervenit, cum quadraginta natus annos regnare coepisset. 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. 1.59. Audivi equidem ex te ipso, sed mihi saepius noster Sallustius narravit, cum in illa fuga nobis gloriosa, patriae calamitosa in villa quadam campi Atinatis maneres magnamque partem noctis vigilasses, ad lucem denique arte et graviter dormire te coepisse; itaque, quamquam iter instaret, tamen silentium fieri iussisse se neque esse passum te excitari; cum autem experrectus esses hora secunda fere, te sibi somnium narravisse: visum tibi esse, cum in locis solis maestus errares, C. Marium cum fascibus laureatis quaerere ex te, quid tristis esses, cumque tu te patria vi pulsum esse dixisses, prehendisse eum dextram tuam et bono animo te iussisse esse lictorique proxumo tradidisse, ut te in monumentum suum deduceret, et dixisse in eo tibi salutem fore. Tum et se exclamasse Sallustius narrat reditum tibi celerem et gloriosum paratum, et te ipsum visum somnio delectari. Nam illud mihi ipsi celeriter nuntiatum est, ut audivisses in monumento Marii de tuo reditu magnificentissumum illud senatus consultum esse factum referente optumo et clarissumo viro consule, idque frequentissimo theatro incredibili clamore et plausu comprobatum, dixisse te nihil illo Atinati somnio fieri posse divinius. 1.65. Ex quo et illud est Callani, de quo ante dixi, et Homerici Hectoris, qui moriens propinquam Achilli mortem denuntiat. Neque enim illud verbum temere consuetudo adprobavisset, si ea res nulla esset omnino: Praésagibat ánimus frustra me íre, cum exirém domo. Sagire enim sentire acute est; ex quo sagae anus, quia multa scire volunt, et sagaces dicti canes. Is igitur, qui ante sagit, quam oblata res est, dicitur praesagire, id est futura ante sentire. 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. 1.118. Sed distinguendum videtur, quonam modo. Nam non placet Stoicis singulis iecorum fissis aut avium cantibus interesse deum; neque enim decorum est nec dis dignum nec fieri ullo pacto potest; sed ita a principio inchoatum esse mundum, ut certis rebus certa signa praecurrerent, alia in extis, alia in avibus, alia in fulgoribus, alia in ostentis, alia in stellis, alia in somniantium visis, alia in furentium vocibus. Ea quibus bene percepta sunt, ii non saepe falluntur; male coniecta maleque interpretata falsa sunt non rerum vitio, sed interpretum inscientia. Hoc autem posito atque concesso, esse quandam vim divinam hominum vitam continentem, non difficile est, quae fieri certe videmus, ea qua ratione fiant, suspicari. Nam et ad hostiam deligendam potest dux esse vis quaedam sentiens, quae est toto confusa mundo, et tum ipsum, cum immolare velis, extorum fieri mutatio potest, ut aut absit aliquid aut supersit; parvis enim momentis multa natura aut adfingit aut mutat aut detrahit. 1.119. Quod ne dubitare possimus, maximo est argumento, quod paulo ante interitum Caesaris contigit. Qui cum immolaret illo die, quo primum in sella aurea sedit et cum purpurea veste processit, in extis bovis opimi cor non fuit. Num igitur censes ullum animal, quod sanguinem habeat, sine corde esse posse? †Qua ille rei novitate perculsus, cum Spurinna diceret timendum esse, ne et consilium et vita deficeret; earum enim rerum utramque a corde proficisci. Postero die caput in iecore non fuit. Quae quidem illi portendebantur a dis immortalibus, ut videret interitum, non ut caveret. Cum igitur eae partes in extis non reperiuntur, sine quibus victuma illa vivere nequisset, intellegendum est in ipso immolationis tempore eas partes, quae absint, interisse. 1.127. Praeterea cum fato omnia fiant, id quod alio loco ostendetur, si quis mortalis possit esse, qui conligationem causarum omnium perspiciat animo, nihil eum profecto fallat. Qui enim teneat causas rerum futurarum, idem necesse est omnia teneat, quae futura sint. Quod cum nemo facere nisi deus possit, relinquendum est homini, ut signis quibusdam consequentia declarantibus futura praesentiat. Non enim illa, quae futura sunt, subito exsistunt, sed est quasi rudentis explicatio sic traductio temporis nihil novi efficientis et primum quidque replicantis. Quod et ii vident, quibus naturalis divinatio data est, et ii, quibus cursus rerum observando notatus est. Qui etsi causas ipsas non cernunt, signa tamen causarum et notas cernunt; ad quas adhibita memoria et diligentia et monumentis superiorum efficitur ea divinatio, quae artificiosa dicitur, extorum, fulgorum, ostentorum signorumque caelestium. 1.131. Democritus autem censet sapienter instituisse veteres, ut hostiarum immolatarum inspicerentur exta; quorum ex habitu atque ex colore tum salubritatis, tum pestilentiae signa percipi, non numquam etiam, quae sit vel sterilitas agrorum vel fertilitas futura. Quae si a natura profecta observatio atque usus agnovit, multa adferre potuit dies, quae animadvertendo notarentur, ut ille Pacuvianus, qui in Chryse physicus inducitur, minime naturam rerum cognosse videatur: nam isti quí linguam avium intéllegunt Plusque éx alieno iécore sapiunt quam éx suo, Magis aúdiendum quam aúscultandum cénseo. Cur? quaeso, cum ipse paucis interpositis versibus dicas satis luculente: Quídquid est hoc, ómnia animat, fórmat, alit, augét, creat, Sépelit recipitque ín sese omnia ómniumque idémst pater, Índidemque eadem aéque oriuntur de íntegro atque eodem óccidunt. Quid est igitur, cur, cum domus sit omnium una, eaque communis, cumque animi hominum semper fuerint futurique sint, cur ii, quid ex quoque eveniat, et quid quamque rem significet, perspicere non possint? Haec habui, inquit, de divinatione quae dicerem. 2.8. Nam cum de divinatione Quintus frater ea disseruisset, quae superiore libro scripta sunt, satisque ambulatum videretur, tum in bibliotheca, quae in Lycio est, adsedimus. Atque ego: Adcurate tu quidem, inquam, Quinte, et Stoice Stoicorum sententiam defendisti, quodque me maxime delectat, plurimis nostris exemplis usus es, et iis quidem claris et inlustribus. Dicendum est mihi igitur ad ea, quae sunt a te dicta, sed ita, nihil ut adfirmem, quaeram omnia, dubitans plerumque et mihi ipse diffidens. Si enim aliquid certi haberem, quod dicerem, ego ipse divinarem, qui esse divinationem nego. 2.9. Etenim me movet illud, quod in primis Carneades quaerere solebat, quarumnam rerum divinatio esset, earumne, quae sensibus perciperentur. At eas quidem cernimus, audimus, gustamus, olfacimus, tangimus. Num quid ergo in his rebus est, quod provisione aut permotione mentis magis quam natura ipsa sentiamus? aut num nescio qui ille divinus, si oculis captus sit, ut Tiresias fuit, possit, quae alba sint, quae nigra, dicere aut, si surdus sit, varietates vocum aut modos noscere? Ad nullam igitur earum rerum, quae sensu accipiuntur, divinatio adhibetur. Atqui ne in iis quidem rebus, quae arte tractantur, divinatione opus est. Etenim ad aegros non vates aut hariolos, sed medicos solemus adducere, nec vero, qui fidibus aut tibiis uti volunt, ab haruspicibus accipiunt earum tractationem, sed a musicis. 2.12. Quodsi nec earum rerum, quae subiectae sensibus sunt, ulla divinatio est nec earum, quae artibus continentur, nec earum, quae in philosophia disseruntur, nec earum, quae in re publica versantur, quarum rerum sit, nihil prorsus intellego; nam aut omnium debet esse, aut aliqua ei materia danda est, in qua versari possit. Sed nec omnium divinatio est, ut ratio docuit, nec locus nec materia invenitur, cui divinationem praeficere possimus. Vide igitur, ne nulla sit divinatio. Est quidam Graecus vulgaris in hanc sententiam versus: Bene quí coniciet, vátem hunc perhibebo óptumum. Num igitur aut, quae tempestas inpendeat, vates melius coniciet quam gubernator aut morbi naturam acutius quam medicus aut belli administrationem prudentius quam inperator coniectura adsequetur? 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. 2.15. Potestne igitur earum rerum, quae nihil habent rationis, quare futurae sint, esse ulla praesensio? Quid est enim aliud fors, quid fortuna, quid casus, quid eventus, nisi cum sic aliquid cecidit, sic evenit, ut vel aliter cadere atque evenire potuerit? Quo modo ergo id, quod temere fit caeco casu et volubilitate fortunae, praesentiri et praedici potest? 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. 2.18. Qui thesaurum inventum iri aut hereditatem venturam dicunt, quid sequuntur? aut in qua rerum natura inest id futurum? Quodsi haec eaque, quae sunt eiusdem generis, habent aliquam talem necessitatem, quid est tandem, quod casu fieri aut forte fortuna putemus? Nihil enim est tam contrarium rationi et constantiae quam fortuna, ut mihi ne in deum quidem cadere videatur, ut sciat, quid casu et fortuito futurum sit. Si enim scit, certe illud eveniet; sin certe eveniet, nulla fortuna est; est autem fortuna; rerum igitur fortuitarum nulla praesensio est. 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. 2.20. Si omnia fato, quid mihi divinatio prodest? Quod enim is, qui divinat, praedicit, id vero futurum est, ut ne illud quidem sciam quale sit, quod Deiotarum, necessarium nostrum, ex itinere aquila revocavit; qui nisi revertisset, in eo conclavi ei cubandum fuisset, quod proxuma nocte corruit; ruina igitur oppressus esset. At id neque, si fatum fuerat, effugisset nec, si non fuerat, in eum casum incidisset. Quid ergo adiuvat divinatio? aut quid est, quod me moneant aut sortes aut exta aut ulla praedictio? Si enim fatum fuit classes populi Romani bello Punico primo, alteram naufragio, alteram a Poenis depressam, interire, etiamsi tripudium solistumum pulli fecissent L. Iunio et P. Claudio consulibus, classes tamen interissent. Sin, cum auspiciis obtemperatum esset, interiturae classes non fuerunt, non interierunt fato; vultis autem omnia fato; 2.21. nulla igitur est divinatio. Quodsi fatum fuit bello Punico secundo exercitum populi Romani ad lacum Trasumennum interire, num id vitari potuit, si Flaminius consul iis signis iisque auspiciis, quibus pugnare prohibebatur, paruisset? Certe potuit. Aut igitur non fato interiit exercitus, aut, si fato (quod certe vobis ita dicendum est), etiamsi obtemperasset auspiciis, idem eventurum fuisset; mutari enim fata non possunt. Ubi est igitur ista divinatio Stoicorum? quae, si fato omnia fiunt, nihil nos admonere potest, ut cautiores simus; quoquo enim modo nos gesserimus, fiet tamen illud, quod futurum est; sin autem id potest flecti, nullum est fatum; ita ne divinatio quidem, quoniam ea rerum futurarum est. Nihil autem est pro certo futurum, quod potest aliqua procuratione accidere ne fiat. 2.22. Atque ego ne utilem quidem arbitror esse nobis futurarum rerum scientiam. Quae enim vita fuisset Priamo, si ab adulescentia scisset, quos eventus senectutis esset habiturus? Abeamus a fabulis, propiora videamus. Clarissimorum hominum nostrae civitatis gravissimos exitus in Consolatione collegimus. Quid igitur? ut omittamus superiores, Marcone Crasso putas utile fuisse tum, cum maxumis opibus fortunisque florebat, scire sibi interfecto Publio filio exercituque deleto trans Euphratem cum ignominia et dedecore esse pereundum? An Cn. Pompeium censes tribus suis consulatibus, tribus triumphis, maximarum rerum gloria laetaturum fuisse, si sciret se in solitudine Aegyptiorum trucidatum iri amisso exercitu, post mortem vero ea consecutura, quae sine lacrimis non possumus dicere? 2.23. Quid vero Caesarem putamus, si divinasset fore ut in eo senatu, quem maiore ex parte ipse cooptasset, in curia Pompeia ante ipsius Pompeii simulacrum tot centurionibus suis inspectantibus a nobilissumis civibus, partim etiam a se omnibus rebus ornatis, trucidatus ita iaceret, ut ad eius corpus non modo amicorum, sed ne servorum quidem quisquam accederet, quo cruciatu animi vitam acturum fuisse? Certe igitur ignoratio futurorum malorum utilior est quam scientia. 2.24. Nam illud quidem dici, praesertim a Stoicis, nullo modo potest: Non isset ad arma Pompeius, non transisset Crassus Euphratem, non suscepisset bellum civile Caesar. Non igitur fatalis exitus habuerunt; vultis autem evenire omnia fato; nihil ergo illis profuisset divinare; atque etiam omnem fructum vitae superioris perdidissent; quid enim posset iis esse laetum exitus suos cogitantibus? Ita, quoquo sese verterint Stoici, iaceat necesse est omnis eorum sollertia. Si enim id, quod eventurum est, vel hoc vel illo modo potest evenire, fortuna valet plurimum; quae autem fortuita sunt, certa esse non possunt. Sin autem certum est, quid quaque de re quoque tempore futurum sit, quid est, quod me adiuvent haruspices? qui cum res tristissimas portendi dixerunt, addunt ad extremum omnia levius casura rebus divinis procuratis; 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. 2.29. Et certe, si est in extis aliqua vis, quae declaret futura, necesse est eam aut cum rerum natura esse coniunctam aut conformari quodam modo numine deorum vique divina. Cum rerum natura tanta tamque praeclara in omnes partes motusque diffusa quid habere potest commune non dicam gallinaceum fel (sunt enim, qui vel argutissima haec exta esse dicant), sed tauri opimi iecur aut cor aut pulmo quid habet naturale, quod declarare possit, quid futurum sit? 2.30. Democritus tamen non inscite nugatur, ut physicus, quo genere nihil adrogantius: Quód est ante pedes, némo spectat, caéli scrutantúr plagas. Verum is tamen habitu extorum et colore declarari censet haec dumtaxat: pabuli genus et earum rerum, quas terra procreet, vel ubertatem vel tenuitatem; salubritatem etiam aut pestilentiam extis significari putat. O mortalem beatum! cui certo scio ludum numquam defuisse; huncine hominem tantis delectatum esse nugis, ut non videret tum futurum id veri simile, si omnium pecudum exta eodem tempore in eundem habitum se coloremque converterent? Sed si eadem hora aliae pecudis iecur nitidum atque plenum est, aliae horridum et exile, quid est, quod declarari possit habitu extorum et colore? 2.31. an hoc eiusdem modi est, quale Pherecydeum illud, quod est a te dictum? qui cum aquam ex puteo vidisset haustam, terrae motum dixit futurum. Parum, credo, inpudenter, quod, cum factus est motus, dicere audent, quae vis id effecerit; etiamne futurum esse aquae iugis colore praesentiunt? Multa istius modi dicuntur in scholis, sed credere omnia vide ne non sit necesse. 2.32. Verum sint sane ista Democritea vera; quando ea nos extis exquirimus? aut quando aliquid eius modi ab haruspice inspectis extis audivimus? Ab aqua aut ab igni pericula monent; tum hereditates, tum damna denuntiant; fissum familiare et vitale tractant; caput iecoris ex omni parte diligentissime considerant; si vero id non est inventum, nihil putant accidere potuisse tristius. 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. 2.34. Quid de fretis aut de marinis aestibus plura dicam? quorum accessus et recessus lunae motu gubertur. Sescenta licet eiusdem modi proferri, ut distantium rerum cognatio naturalis appareat)—demus hoc; nihil enim huic disputationi adversatur; num etiam, si fissum cuiusdam modi fuerit in iecore, lucrum ostenditur? qua ex coniunctione naturae et quasi concentu atque consensu, quam sumpa/qeian Graeci appellant, convenire potest aut fissum iecoris cum lucello meo aut meus quaesticulus cum caelo, terra rerumque natura? Concedam hoc ipsum, si vis, etsi magnam iacturam causae fecero, si ullam esse convenientiam naturae cum extis concessero; 2.35. sed tamen eo concesso qui evenit, ut is, qui impetrire velit, convenientem hostiam rebus suis immolet? Hoc erat, quod ego non rebar posse dissolvi. At quam festive dissolvitur! pudet me non tui quidem, cuius etiam memoriam admiror, sed Chrysippi, Antipatri, Posidonii, qui idem istuc quidem dicunt, quod est dictum a te, ad hostiam deligendam ducem esse vim quandam sentientem atque divinam, quae toto confusa mundo sit. Illud vero multo etiam melius, quod et a te usurpatum est et dicitur ab illis: cum immolare quispiam velit, tum fieri extorum mutationem, ut aut absit aliquid aut supersit; 2.37. Qui fit, ut alterum intellegas, sine corde non potuisse bovem vivere, alterum non videas, cor subito non potuisse nescio quo avolare? Ego enim possum vel nescire, quae vis sit cordis ad vivendum, vel suspicari contractum aliquo morbo bovis exile et exiguum et vietum cor et dissimile cordis fuisse; tu vero quid habes, quare putes, si paulo ante cor fuerit in tauro opimo, subito id in ipsa immolatione interisse? an quod aspexit vestitu purpureo excordem Caesarem, ipse corde privatus est? Urbem philosophiae, mihi crede, proditis, dum castella defenditis; nam, dum haruspicinam veram esse vultis, physiologiam totam pervertitis. Caput est in iecore, cor in extis; iam abscedet, simul ac molam et vinum insperseris; deus id eripiet, vis aliqua conficiet aut exedet. Non ergo omnium ortus atque obitus natura conficiet, et erit aliquid, quod aut ex nihilo oriatur aut in nihilum subito occidat. Quis hoc physicus dixit umquam? haruspices dicunt; his igitur quam physicis credendum potius existumas? 2.38. Quid? cum pluribus deis immolatur, qui tandem evenit, ut litetur aliis, aliis non litetur? quae autem inconstantia deorum est, ut primis minentur extis, bene promittant secundis? aut tanta inter eos dissensio, saepe etiam inter proxumos, ut Apollinis exta bona sint, Dianae non bona? Quid est tam perspicuum quam, cum fortuito hostiae adducantur, talia cuique exta esse, qualis cuique obtigerit hostia? At enim id ipsum habet aliquid divini, quae cuique hostia obtingat, tamquam in sortibus, quae cui ducatur. Mox de sortibus; quamquam tu quidem non hostiarum causam confirmas sortium similitudine, sed infirmas sortis conlatione hostiarum. 2.39. An, cum in Aequimaelium misimus, qui adferat agnum, quem immolemus, is mihi agnus adfertur, qui habet exta rebus accommodata, et ad eum agnum non casu, sed duce deo servus deducitur? Nam si casum in eo quoque dicis esse quasi sortem quandam cum deorum voluntate coniunctam, doleo tantam Stoicos nostros Epicureis inridendi sui facultatem dedisse; non enim ignoras, quam ista derideant. 2.40. Et quidem illi facilius facere possunt; deos enim ipsos iocandi causa induxit Epicurus perlucidos et perflabilis et habitantis tamquam inter duos lucos sic inter duos mundos propter metum ruinarum, eosque habere putat eadem membra, quae nos, nec usum ullum habere membrorum. Ergo hic circumitione quadam deos tollens recte non dubitat divinationem tollere; sed non, ut hic sibi constat, item Stoici. Illius enim deus nihil habens nec sui nec alieni negotii non potest hominibus divinationem inpertire; vester autem deus potest non inpertire, ut nihilo minus mundum regat et hominibus consulat. 2.41. Cur igitur vos induitis in eas captiones, quas numquam explicetis? Ita enim, cum magis properant, concludere solent: Si di sunt, est divinatio; sunt autem di; est ergo divinatio. Multo est probabilius: non est autem divinatio; non sunt ergo di. Vide, quam temere committant, ut, si nulla sit divinatio, nulli sint di. Divinatio enim perspicue tollitur, deos esse retinendum est. 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; 2.44. nam esset mirabile, quo modo id Iuppiter totiens iaceret, cum unum haberet; nec vero fulminibus homines, quid aut faciendum esset aut cavendum, moneret. Placet enim Stoicis eos anhelitus terrae, qui frigidi sint, cum fluere coeperint, ventos esse; cum autem se in nubem induerint eiusque tenuissimam quamque partem coeperint dividere atque disrumpere idque crebrius facere et vehementius, tum et fulgores et tonitrua existere; si autem nubium conflictu ardor expressus se emiserit, id esse fulmen. Quod igitur vi naturae, nulla constantia, nullo rato tempore videmus effici, ex eo significationem rerum consequentium quaerimus? Scilicet, si ista Iuppiter significaret, tam multa frustra fulmina emitteret! Quid enim proficit, cum in medium mare fulmen iecit? 2.45. quid, cum in altissimos montis, quod plerumque fit? quid, cum in desertas solitudines? quid, cum in earum gentium oras, in quibus haec ne observantur quidem? At inventum est caput in Tiberi. Quasi ego artem aliquam istorum esse negem! divinationem nego. Caeli enim distributio, quam ante dixi, et certarum rerum notatio docet, unde fulmen venerit, quo concesserit; quid significet autem, nulla ratio docet. Sed urges me meis versibus: Nam pater altitos stellanti nixus Olympo Ipse suos quondam tumulos ac templa petivit Et Capitolinis iniecit sedibus ignis. Tum statua Nattae, tum simulacra deorum Romulusque et Remus cum altrice belua vi fulminis icti conciderunt, deque his rebus haruspicum extiterunt responsa verissuma. 2.46. Mirabile autem illud, quod eo ipso tempore, quo fieret indicium coniurationis in senatu, signum Iovis biennio post, quam erat locatum, in Capitolio conlocabatur.—Tu igitur animum induces (sic enim mecum agebas) causam istam et contra facta tua et contra scripta defendere?—Frater es; eo vereor. Verum quid tibi hic tandem nocet? resne, quae talis est, an ego, qui verum explicari volo? Itaque nihil contra dico, a te rationem totius haruspicinae peto. Sed te mirificam in latebram coniecisti; quod enim intellegeres fore ut premerere, cum ex te causas unius cuiusque divinationis exquirerem, multa verba fecisti te, cum res videres, rationem causamque non quaerere; quid fieret, non cur fieret, ad rem pertinere. Quasi ego aut fieri concederem aut esset philosophi causam 2.47. cur quidque fieret, non quaerere! Et eo quidem loco et Prognostica nostra pronuntiabas et genera herbarum, scammoniam aristolochiamque radicem, quarum causam ignorares, vim et effectum videres. Dissimile totum; nam et prognosticorum causas persecuti sunt et Boëthus Stoicus, qui est a te nominatus, et noster etiam Posidonius, et, si causae non reperiantur istarum rerum, res tamen ipsae observari animadvertique potuerunt. Nattae vero statua aut aera legum de caelo tacta quid habent observatum ac vetustum? Pinarii Nattae nobiles; a nobilitate igitur periculum. Hoc tam callide Iuppiter ex cogitavit! Romulus lactens fulmine ictus; urbi igitur periculum ostenditur, ei quam ille condidit. Quam scite per notas nos certiores facit Iuppiter! At eodem tempore signum Iovis conlocabatur, quo coniuratio indicabatur. Et tu scilicet mavis numine deorum id factum quam casu arbitrari, et redemptor, qui columnam illam de Cotta et de Torquato conduxerat faciendam, non inertia aut inopia tardior fuit, sed a deis inmortalibus ad istam horam reservatus est. 2.48. Non equidem plane despero ista esse vera, sed nescio et discere a te volo. Nam cum mihi quaedam casu viderentur sic evenire, ut praedicta essent a divitibus, dixisti multa de casu, ut Venerium iaci posse casu quattuor talis iactis, sed quadringentis centum Venerios non posse casu consistere. Primum nescio, cur non possint, sed non pugno; abundas enim similibus. Habes et respersionem pigmentorum et rostrum suis et alia permulta. Idem Carneadem fingere dicis de capite Panisci; quasi non potuerit id evenire casu et non in omni marmore necesse sit inesse vel Praxitelia capita! Illa enim ipsa efficiuntur detractione, neque quicquam illuc adfertur a Praxitele; sed cum multa sunt detracta et ad liniamenta oris perventum est, tum intellegas illud, quod iam expolitum sit, intus fuisse. 2.49. Potest igitur tale aliquid etiam sua sponte in lapicidinis Chiorum extitisse. Sed sit hoc fictum; quid? in nubibus numquam animadvertisti leonis formam aut hippocentauri? Potest igitur, quod modo negabas, veritatem casus imitari. Sed quoniam de extis et de fulgoribus satis est disputatum, ostenta restant, ut tota haruspicina sit pertractata. Mulae partus prolatus est a te. Res mirabilis, propterea quia non saepe fit; sed si fieri non potuisset, facta non esset. Atque hoc contra omnia ostenta valeat, numquam, quod fieri non potuerit, esse factum; sin potuerit, non esse mirandum. Causarum enim ignoratio in re nova mirationem facit; eadem ignoratio si in rebus usitatis est, non miramur. Nam qui mulam peperisse miratur, is, quo modo equa pariat, aut omnino quae natura partum animantis faciat, ignorat. Sed quod crebro videt, non miratur, etiamsi, cur fiat, nescit; quod ante non vidit, id si evenit, ostentum esse censet. Utrum igitur cum concepit mula an cum peperit, ostentum est? 2.50. conceptio contra naturam fortasse, sed partus prope necessarius. Sed quid plura? ortum videamus haruspicinae; sic facillume, quid habeat auctoritatis, iudicabimus. Tages quidam dicitur in agro Tarquiniensi, cum terra araretur et sulcus altius esset impressus, extitisse repente et eum adfatus esse, qui arabat. Is autem Tages, ut in libris est Etruscorum, puerili specie dicitur visus, sed senili fuisse prudentia. Eius adspectu cum obstipuisset bubulcus clamoremque maiorem cum admiratione edidisset, concursum esse factum, totamque brevi tempore in eum locum Etruriam convenisse; tum illum plura locutum multis audientibus, qui omnia verba eius exceperint litterisque mandarint; omnem autem orationem fuisse eam, qua haruspicinae disciplina contineretur; eam postea crevisse rebus novis cognoscendis et ad eadem illa principia referendis. Haec accepimus ab ipsis, haec scripta conservant, hunc fontem habent disciplinae. 2.51. Num ergo opus est ad haec refellenda Carneade? num Epicuro? estne quisquam ita desipiens, qui credat exaratum esse, deum dicam an hominem? Si deum, cur se contra naturam in terram abdiderat, ut patefactus aratro lucem aspiceret? quid? idem nonne poterat deus hominibus disciplinam superiore e loco tradere? Si autem homo ille Tages fuit, quonam modo potuit terra oppressus vivere? unde porro illa potuit, quae docebat alios, ipse didicisse? Sed ego insipientior quam illi ipsi, qui ista credunt, qui quidem contra eos tam diu disputem. Vetus autem illud Catonis admodum scitum est, qui mirari se aiebat, quod non rideret haruspex, haruspicem cum vidisset. 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? 2.53. Hoc civili bello, di inmortales! quam multa luserunt! quae nobis in Graeciam Roma responsa haruspicum missa sunt! quae dicta Pompeio! etenim ille admodum extis et ostentis movebatur. Non lubet commemorare, nec vero necesse est, tibi praesertim, qui interfuisti; vides tamen omnia fere contra, ac dicta sint, evenisse. Sed haec hactenus; nunc ad ostenta veniamus. 2.54. Multa me consule a me ipso scripta recitasti, multa ante Marsicum bellum a Sisenna collecta attulisti, multa ante Lacedaemoniorum malam pugnam in Leuctricis a Callisthene commemorata dixisti; de quibus dicam equidem singulis, quoad videbitur; sed dicendum etiam est de universis. Quae est enim ista a deis profecta significatio et quasi denuntiatio calamitatum? quid autem volunt di inmortales primum ea significantes, quae sine interpretibus non possimus intellegere, deinde ea, quae cavere nequeamus? At hoc ne homines quidem probi faciunt, ut amicis inpendentis calamitates praedicant, quas illi effugere nullo modo possint, ut medici, quamquam intellegunt saepe, tamen numquam aegris dicunt illo morbo eos esse morituros; omnis enim praedictio mali tum probatur, cum ad praedictionem cautio adiungitur. 2.55. Quid igitur aut ostenta aut eorum interpretes vel Lacedaemonios olim vel nuper nostros adiuverunt? quae si signa deorum putanda sunt, cur tam obscura fuerunt? si enim, ut intellegeremus, quid esset eventurum, aperte declarari oportebat, aut ne occulte quidem, si ea sciri nolebant. Iam vero coniectura omnis, in qua nititur divinatio, ingeniis hominum in multas aut diversas aut etiam contrarias partis saepe diducitur. Ut enim in causis iudicialibus alia coniectura est accusatoris, alia defensoris et tamen utriusque credibilis, sic in omnibus iis rebus, quae coniectura investigari videntur, anceps reperitur oratio. Quas autem res tum natura, tum casus adfert, non numquam etiam errorem creat similitudo, magna stultitia est earum rerum deos facere effectores, causas rerum non quaerere. 2.56. Tu vates Boeotios credis Lebadiae vidisse ex gallorum gallinaceorum cantu victoriam esse Thebanorum, quia galli victi silere solerent, canere victores. Hoc igitur per gallinas Iuppiter tantae civitati signum dabat? An illae aves, nisi cum vicerunt, canere non solent? At tum canebant nec vicerant. Id enim est, inquies, ostentum. Magnum vero! quasi pisces, non galli cecinerint! Quod autem est tempus, quo illi non cantent, vel nocturnum vel diurnum? Quodsi victores alacritate et quasi laetitia ad canendum excitantur, potuit accidisse alia quoque laetitia, qua ad cantum moverentur. 2.57. Democritus quidem optumis verbis causam explicat, cur ante lucem galli cat; depulso enim de pectore et in omne corpus diviso et mitificato cibo cantus edere quiete satiatos; qui quidem silentio noctis, ut ait Ennius, favent faucíbus russis Cantú plausuque premúnt alas. Cum igitur hoc animal tam sit canorum sua sponte, quid in mentem venit Callistheni dicere deos gallis signum dedisse cantandi, cum id vel natura vel casus efficere potuisset? 2.58. Sanguine pluisse senatui nuntiatum est, Atratum etiam fluvium fluxisse sanguine, deorum sudasse simulacra. Num censes his nuntiis Thalen aut Anaxagoran aut quemquam physicum crediturum fuisse? nec enim sanguis nec sudor nisi e corpore. Sed et decoloratio quaedam ex aliqua contagione terrena maxume potest sanguini similis esse, et umor adlapsus extrinsecus, ut in tectoriis videmus austro, sudorem videtur imitari. Atque haec in bello plura et maiora videntur timentibus, eadem non tam animadvertuntur in pace; accedit illud etiam, quod in metu et periculo cum creduntur facilius, tum finguntur inpunius. 2.59. Nos autem ita leves atque inconsiderati sumus, ut, si mures corroserint aliquid, quorum est opus hoc unum, monstrum putemus? Ante vero Marsicum bellum quod clipeos Lanuvii, ut a te dictum est, mures rosissent, maxumum id portentum haruspices esse dixerunt; quasi vero quicquam intersit, mures diem noctem aliquid rodentes scuta an cribra corroserint! Nam si ista sequimur, quod Platonis Politian nuper apud me mures corroserunt, de re publica debui pertimescere, aut, si Epicuri de voluptate liber rosus esset, putarem annonam in macello cariorem fore. 2.60. An vero illa nos terrent, si quando aliqua portentosa aut ex pecude aut ex homine nata dicuntur? quorum omnium, ne sim longior, una ratio est. Quicquid enim oritur, qualecumque est, causam habeat a natura necesse est, ut, etiamsi praeter consuetudinem extiterit, praeter naturam tamen non possit existere. Causam igitur investigato in re nova atque admirabili, si poteris; si nullam reperies, illud tamen exploratum habeto, nihil fieri potuisse sine causa, eumque terrorem, quem tibi rei novitas attulerit, naturae ratione depellito. Ita te nec terrae fremitus nec caeli discessus nec lapideus aut sanguineus imber nec traiectio stellae nec faces visae terrebunt. 2.61. Quorum omnium causas si a Chrysippo quaeram, ipse ille divinationis auctor numquam illa dicet facta fortuito naturalemque rationem omnium reddet; nihil enim fieri sine causa potest; nec quicquam fit, quod fieri non potest; nec, si id factum est, quod potuit fieri, portentum debet videri; nulla igitur portenta sunt. Nam si, quod raro fit, id portentum putandum est, sapientem esse portentum est; saepius enim mulam peperisse arbitror quam sapientem fuisse. Illa igitur ratio concluditur: nec id, quod non potuerit fieri, factum umquam esse, nec, quod potuerit, id portentum esse; 2.62. ita omnino nullum esse portentum. Quod etiam coniector quidam et interpres portentorum non inscite respondisse dicitur ei, qui quondam ad eum rettulisset quasi ostentum, quod anguis domi vectem circumiectus fuisset: Tum esset, inquit, ostentum, si anguem vectis circumplicavisset. Hoc ille responso satis aperte declaravit nihil habendum esse, quod fieri posset, ostentum. C. Gracchus ad M. Pomponium scripsit duobus anguibus domi conprehensis haruspices a patre convocatos. Qui magis anguibus quam lacertis, quam muribus? Quia sunt haec cotidiana, angues non item; quasi vero referat, quod fieri potest, quam id saepe fiat. Ego tamen miror, si emissio feminae anguis mortem adferebat Ti. Graccho, emissio autem maris anguis erat mortifera Corneliae, cur alteram utram emiserit; nihil enim scribit respondisse haruspices, si neuter anguis emissus esset, quid esset futurum. At mors insecuta Gracchum est. Causa quidem, credo, aliqua morbi gravioris, non emissione serpentis; neque enim tanta est infelicitas haruspicum, ut ne casu quidem umquam fiat, quod futurum illi esse dixerint. 2.63. Nam illud mirarer, si crederem, quod apud Homerum Calchantem dixisti ex passerum numero belli Troiani annos auguratum; de cuius coniectura sic apud Homerum, ut nos otiosi convertimus, loquitur Agamemnon: Ferte, viri, et duros animo tolerate labores, Auguris ut nostri Calchantis fata queamus Scire ratosne habeant an vanos pectoris orsus. Namque omnes memori portentum mente retentant, Qui non funestis liquerunt lumina fatis. Argolicis primum ut vestita est classibus Aulis, Quae Priamo cladem et Troiae pestemque ferebant, Nos circum latices gelidos fumantibus aris Aurigeris divom placantes numina tauris Sub platano umbrifera, fons unde emanat aquai+, Vidimus inmani specie tortuque draconem Terribilem, Iovis ut pulsu penetraret ab ara; Qui platani in ramo foliorum tegmine saeptos Corripuit pullos; quos cum consumeret octo, Nona super tremulo genetrix clangore volabat; Cui ferus inmani laniavit viscera morsu. 2.64. Hunc, ubi tam teneros volucris matremque peremit, Qui luci ediderat, genitor Saturnius idem Abdidit et duro formavit tegmine saxi. Nos autem timidi stantes mirabile monstrum Vidimus in mediis divom versarier aris. Tum Calchas haec est fidenti voce locutus: Quidnam torpentes subito obstipuistis, Achivi? Nobis haec portenta deum dedit ipse creator Tarda et sera nimis, sed fama ac laude perenni. Nam quot avis taetro mactatas dente videtis, Tot nos ad Troiam belli exanclabimus annos; Quae decumo cadet et poena satiabit Achivos. Edidit haec Calchas; quae iam matura videtis. Quae tandem ista auguratio est ex passeribus annorum potius quam aut mensuum aut dierum? 2.65. Cur autem de passerculis coniecturam facit, in quibus nullum erat monstrum, de dracone silet, qui, id quod fieri non potuit, lapideus dicitur factus? postremo quid simile habet passer annis? Nam de angue illo, qui Sullae apparuit immolanti, utrumque memini, et Sullam, cum in expeditionem educturus esset, immolavisse, et anguem ab ara extitisse, eoque die rem praeclare esse gestam non haruspicis consilio, sed imperatoris. 2.66. Atque haec ostentorum genera mirabile nihil habent; quae cum facta sunt, tum ad coniecturam aliqua interpretatione revocantur, ut illa tritici grana in os pueri Midae congesta aut apes, quas dixisti in labris Platonis consedisse pueri, non tam mirabilia sint quam coniecta belle; quae tamen vel ipsa falsa esse vel ea, quae praedicta sunt, fortuito cecidisse potuerunt. De ipso Roscio potest illud quidem esse falsum, ut circumligatus fuerit angui, sed ut in cunis fuerit anguis, non tam est mirum, in Solonio praesertim, ubi ad focum angues nundinari solent. Nam quod haruspices responderint nihil illo clarius, nihil nobilius fore, miror deos immortales histrioni futuro claritatem ostendisse, nullam ostendisse Africano. 2.67. Atque etiam a te Flaminiana ostenta collecta sunt: quod ipse et equus eius repente conciderit; non sane mirabile hoc quidem! quod evelli primi hastati signum non potuerit; timide fortasse signifer evellebat, quod fidenter infixerat. Nam Dionysii equus quid attulit admirationis, quod emersit e flumine quodque habuit apes in iuba? Sed quia brevi tempore regnare coepit, quod acciderat casu, vim habuit ostenti. At Lacedaemoniis in Herculis fano arma sonuerunt, eiusdemque dei Thebis valvae clausae subito se aperuerunt, eaque scuta, quae fuerant sublime fixa, sunt humi inventa. Horum cum fieri nihil potuerit sine aliquo motu, quid est, cur divinitus ea potius quam casu facta esse dicamus? 2.68. At in Lysandri statuae capite Delphis extitit corona ex asperis herbis, et quidem subita. Itane? censes ante coronam herbae extitisse, quam conceptum esse semen? herbam autem asperam credo avium congestu, non humano satu; iam, quicquid in capite est, id coronae simile videri potest. Nam quod eodem tempore stellas aureas Castoris et Pollucis Delphis positas decidisse, neque eas usquam repertas esse dixisti, furum id magis factum quam deorum videtur. 2.69. Simiae vero Dodonaeae improbitatem historiis Graecis mandatam esse demiror. Quid minus mirum quam illam monstruosissumam bestiam urnam evertisse, sortes dissupavisse? Et negant historici Lacedaemoniis ullum ostentum hoc tristius accidisse! Nam illa praedicta Veientium, si lacus Albanus redundasset isque in mare fluxisset, Romam perituram; si repressus esset, Veios ita aqua Albana deducta ad utilitatem agri suburbani, non ad arcem urbemque retinendam. At paulo post audita vox est monentis, ut providerent, ne a Gallis Roma caperetur; ex eo Aio Loquenti aram in nova via consecratam. Quid ergo? Aius iste Loquens, cum eum nemo norat, et aiebat et loquebatur et ex eo nomen invenit; posteaquam et sedem et aram et nomen invenit, obmutuit? Quod idem dici de Moneta potest; a qua praeterquam de sue plena quid umquam moniti sumus? 2.70. Satis multa de ostentis; auspicia restant et sortes eae, quae ducuntur, non illae, quae vaticinatione funduntur, quae oracla verius dicimus; de quibus tum dicemus, cum ad naturalem divinationem venerimus. Restat etiam de Chaldaeis; sed primum auspicia videamus. Difficilis auguri locus ad contra dicendum. Marso fortasse, sed Romano facillumus. Non enim sumus ii nos augures, qui avium reliquorumve signorum observatione futura dicamus. Et tamen credo Romulum, qui urbem auspicato condidit, habuisse opinionem esse in providendis rebus augurandi scientiam (errabat enim multis in rebus antiquitas), quam vel usu iam vel doctrina vel vetustate immutatam videmus; retinetur autem et ad opinionem vulgi et ad magnas utilitates rei publicae mos, religio, disciplina, ius augurium, collegii auctoritas. 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. 2.76. Sed de hoc loco plura in aliis, nunc hactenus. Externa enim auguria, quae sunt non tam artificiosa quam superstitiosa, videamus. Omnibus fere avibus utuntur, nos admodum paucis; alia illis sinistra sunt, alia nostris. Solebat ex me Deiotarus percontari nostri augurii disciplinam, ego ex illo sui. Di immortales! quantum differebat! ut quaedam essent etiam contraria. Atque ille iis semper utebatur, nos, nisi dum a populo auspicia accepta habemus, quam multum iis utimur? Bellicam rem administrari maiores nostri nisi auspicato noluerunt; quam multi anni sunt, cum bella a proconsulibus et a propraetoribus administrantur 2.77. qui auspicia non habent! Itaque nec amnis transeunt auspicato nec tripudio auspicantur. Ubi ergo avium divinatio? quae, quoniam ab iis, qui auspicia nulla habent, bella administrantur, ad urbanas res retenta videtur, a bellicis esse sublata. Nam ex acuminibus quidem, quod totum auspicium militare est, iam M. Marcellus ille quinquiens consul totum omisit, idem imperator, idem augur optumus. Et quidem ille dicebat, si quando rem agere vellet, ne impediretur auspiciis, lectica operta facere iter se solere. Huic simile est, quod nos augures praecipimus, ne iuges auspicium obveniat, ut iumenta iubeant diiungere. 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. 2.79. Aves eventus significant aut adversos aut secundos; virtutis auspiciis video esse usum Deiotarum, quae vetat spectare fortunam, dum praestetur fides. Aves vero si prosperos eventus ostenderunt, certe fefellerunt. Fugit e proelio cum Pompeio; grave tempus! Discessit ab eo; luctuosa res! Caesarem eodem tempore hostem et hospitem vidit; quid hoc tristius? Is cum ei Trocmorum tetrarchian eripuisset et adseculae suo Pergameno nescio cui dedisset eidemque detraxisset Armeniam a senatu datam, cumque ab eo magnificentissumo hospitio acceptus esset, spoliatum reliquit et hospitem et regem. Sed labor longius; ad propositum revertar. Si eventa quaerimus, quae exquiruntur avibus, nullo modo prospera Deiotaro; sin officia, a virtute ipsius, non ab auspiciis petita sunt. 2.80. Omitte igitur lituum Romuli, quem in maximo incendio negas potuisse comburi; contemne cotem Atti Navii. Nihil debet esse in philosophia commenticiis fabellis loci; illud erat philosophi potius, totius augurii primum naturam ipsam videre, deinde inventionem, deinde constantiam. Quae est igitur natura, quae volucris huc et illuc passim vagantis efficiat ut significent aliquid et tum vetent agere, tum iubeant aut cantu aut volatu? cur autem aliis a laeva, aliis a dextra datum est avibus ut ratum auspicium facere possint? Quo modo autem haec aut quando aut a quibus inventa dicemus? Etrusci tamen habent exaratum puerum auctorem disciplinae suae; nos quem? Attumne Navium? At aliquot annis antiquior Romulus et Remus, ambo augures, ut accepimus. An Pisidarum aut Cilicum aut Phrygum ista inventa dicemus? Placet igitur humanitatis expertis habere divinitatis auctores? 2.81. At omnes reges, populi, nationes utuntur auspiciis. Quasi vero quicquam sit tam valde quam nihil sapere vulgare, aut quasi tibi ipsi in iudicando placeat multitudo! Quotus quisque est, qui voluptatem neget esse bonum? plerique etiam summum bonum dicunt. Num igitur eorum frequentia Stoici de sententia deterrentur? aut num plerisque in rebus sequitur eorum auctoritatem multitudo? Quid mirum igitur, si in auspiciis et in omni divinatione inbecilli animi superstitiosa ista concipiant, verum dispicere non possint? 2.82. Quae autem est inter augures conveniens et coniuncta constantia? Ad nostri augurii consuetudinem dixit Ennius: Tum tonuit laevum bene tempestate serena. At Homericus Aiax apud Achillem querens de ferocitate Troianorum nescio quid hoc modo nuntiat: Prospera Iuppiter his dextris fulgoribus edit. Ita nobis sinistra videntur, Graiis et barbaris dextra meliora. Quamquam haud ignoro, quae bona sint, sinistra nos dicere, etiamsi dextra sint; sed certe nostri sinistrum nominaverunt externique dextrum, quia plerumque id melius videbatur. 2.83. Haec quanta dissensio est! Quid? quod aliis avibus utuntur, aliis signis, aliter observant, alia respondent, non necesse est fateri partim horum errore susceptum esse, partim superstitione, multa fallendo? Atque his superstitionibus non dubitasti etiam omina adiungere. Aemilia Paulo Persam perisse, quod pater omen accepit; Caecilia se sororis filiae sedes suas tradere. Iam illa: Favete linguis et praerogativam, omen comitiorum. Hoc est ipsum esse contra se copiosum et disertum. Quando enim ista observans quieto et libero animo esse poteris, ut ad rem gerendam non superstitionem habeas, sed rationem ducem? Itane? si quis aliquid ex sua re atque ex suo sermone dixerit et eius verbum aliquod apte ceciderit ad id, quod ages aut cogitabis, ea res tibi aut timorem adferet aut alacritatem? 2.84. Cum M. Crassus exercitum Brundisii inponeret, quidam in portu caricas Cauno advectas vendens Cauneas clamitabat. Dicamus, si placet, monitum ab eo Crassum, caveret ne iret; non fuisse periturum, si omini paruisset. Quae si suscipiamus, pedis offensio nobis et abruptio corrigiae et sternumenta erunt observanda. 2.85. Sortes restant et Chaldaei, ut ad vates veniamus et ad somnia. Dicendum igitur putas de sortibus? Quid enim sors est? Idem prope modum, quod micare, quod talos iacere, quod tesseras, quibus in rebus temeritas et casus, non ratio nec consilium valet. Tota res est inventa fallaciis aut ad quaestum aut ad superstitionem aut ad errorem. Atque ut in haruspicina fecimus, sic videamus, clarissumarum sortium quae tradatur inventio. Numerium Suffustium Praenestinorum monumenta declarant, honestum hominem et nobilem, somniis crebris, ad extremum etiam minacibus cum iuberetur certo in loco silicem caedere, perterritum visis irridentibus suis civibus id agere coepisse; itaque perfracto saxo sortis erupisse in robore insculptas priscarum litterarum notis. Is est hodie locus saeptus religiose propter Iovis pueri, qui lactens cum Iunone Fortunae in gremio sedens mammam adpetens castissime colitur a matribus. 2.86. Eodemque tempore in eo loco, ubi Fortunae nunc est aedes, mel ex olea fluxisse dicunt, haruspicesque dixisse summa nobilitate illas sortis futuras, eorumque iussu ex illa olea arcam esse factam, eoque conditas sortis, quae hodie Fortunae monitu tolluntur. Quid igitur in his potest esse certi, quae Fortunae monitu pueri manu miscentur atque ducuntur? quo modo autem istae positae in illo loco? quis robur illud cecidit, dolavit, inscripsit? Nihil est, inquiunt, quod deus efficere non possit. Utinam sapientis Stoicos effecisset, ne omnia cum superstitiosa sollicitudine et miseria crederent! Sed hoc quidem genus divinationis vita iam communis explosit; fani pulchritudo et vetustas Praenestinarum etiam nunc retinet sortium nomen, atque id in volgus. 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. 2.100. Restant duo dividi genera, quae habere dicimur a natura, non ab arte, vaticidi et somniandi; de quibus, Quinte, inquam, si placet, disseramus. Mihi vero, inquit, placet; his enim, quae adhuc disputasti, prorsus adsentior, et, vere ut loquar, quamquam tua me oratio confirmavit, tamen etiam mea sponte nimis superstitiosam de divinatione Stoicorum sententiam iudicabam; haec me Peripateticorum ratio magis movebat et veteris Dicaearchi et eius, qui nunc floret, Cratippi, qui censent esse in mentibus hominum tamquam oraclum aliquod, ex quo futura praesentiant, si aut furore divino incitatus animus aut somno relaxatus solute moveatur ac libere. His de generibus quid sentias et quibus ea rationibus infirmes, audire sane velim. 2.101. Quae cum ille dixisset, tum ego rursus quasi ab alio principio sum exorsus dicere: Non ignoro, inquam, Quinte, te semper ita sensisse, ut de ceteris dividi generibus dubitares, ista duo, furoris et somnii, quae a libera mente fluere viderentur, probares. Dicam igitur, de istis ipsis duobus generibus mihi quid videatur, si prius, et Stoicorum conclusio rationis et Cratippi nostri quid valeat, videro. Dixisti enim et Chrysippum et Diogenem et Antipatrum concludere hoc modo: Si sunt di neque ante declarant hominibus, quae futura sint, aut non diligunt homines aut, quid eventurum sit, ignorant aut existumant nihil interesse hominum scire, quid sit futurum, aut non censent esse suae maiestatis praesignificare hominibus, quae sunt futura, aut ea ne ipsi quidem di significare possunt; at neque non diligunt nos (sunt enim benefici generique hominum amici) neque ignorant ea, quae ab ipsis constituta et designata sunt; 2.102. neque nostra nihil interest scire ea, quae futura sunt, (erimus enim cautiores, si sciemus) neque hoc alienum ducunt maiestate sua (nihil est enim beneficentia praestantius) neque non possunt futura praenoscere; non igitur di sunt nec significant nobis futura; sunt autem di; significant ergo; et non, si significant futura, nullas dant vias nobis ad significationum scientiam (frustra enim significarent) nec, si dant vias, non est divinatio; est igitur divinatio. 2.104. Videsne, ut ad rem dubiam a concessis rebus pervenerit? Hoc vos dialectici non facitis, nec solum ea non sumitis ad concludendum, quae ab omnibus concedantur, sed ea sumitis, quibus concessis nihilo magis efficiatur, quod velitis. Primum enim hoc sumitis: Si sunt di, benefici in homines sunt. Quis hoc vobis dabit? Epicurusne? qui negat quicquam deos nec alieni curare nec sui; an noster Ennius? qui magno plausu loquitur adsentiente populo: E/go deum genus ésse semper díxi et dicam caélitum, Séd eos non curáre opinor, quíd agat humanúm genus. Et quidem, cur sic opinetur, rationem subicit; sed nihil est necesse dicere, quae sequuntur; tantum sat est intellegi, id sumere istos pro certo, quod dubium controversumque sit. 2.105. Sequitur porro, nihil deos ignorare, quod omnia sint ab iis constituta. Hic vero quanta pugna est doctissumorum hominum negantium esse haec a dis inmortalibus constituta! At nostra interest scire ea, quae eventura sunt. Magnus Dicaearchi liber est nescire ea melius esse quam scire. Negant id esse alienum maiestate deorum. Scilicet casas omnium introspicere, ut videant, quid cuique conducat. 2.106. 'Neque non possunt futura praenoscere.' Negant posse ii, quibus non placet esse certum, quid futurum sit. Videsne igitur, quae dubia sint, ea sumi pro certis atque concessis? Deinde contorquent et ita concludunt: Non igitur et sunt di nec significant futura ; id enim iam perfectum arbitrantur. Deinde adsumunt: Sunt autem di, quod ipsum non ab omnibus conceditur. Significant ergo. Ne id quidem sequitur; possunt enim non significare et tamen esse di. Nec, si significant, non dant vias aliquas ad scientiam significationis. At id quoque potest, ut non dent homini, ipsi habeant; cur enim Tuscis potius quam Romanis darent? Nec, si dant vias, nulla est divinatio. Fac dare deos, quod absurdum est; quid refert, si accipere non possumus? Extremum est : Est igitur divinatio. Sit extremum, effectum tamen non est; ex falsis enim, ut ab ipsis didicimus, verum effici non potest. Iacet igitur tota conclusio. 2.109. Adsumit autem Cratippus hoc modo: Sunt autem innumerabiles praesensiones non fortuitae. At ego dico nullam (vide, quanta sit controversia); iam adsumptione non concessa nulla conclusio est. At impudentes sumus, qui, cum tam perspicuum sit, non concedamus. Quid est perspicuum? Multa vera, inquit evadere. Quid, quod multo plura falsa? Nonne ipsa varietas, quae est propria fortunae, fortunam esse causam, non naturam esse docet? Deinde, si tua ista conclusio, Cratippe, vera est (tecum enim mihi res est), non intellegis eadem uti posse et haruspices et fulguratores et interpretes ostentorum et augures et sortilegos et Chaldaeos? quorum generum nullum est, ex quo non aliquid, sicut praedictum sit, evaserit. Ergo aut ea quoque genera dividi sunt, quae tu rectissume inprobas, aut, si ea non sunt, non intellego, cur haec duo sint, quae relinquis. Qua ergo ratione haec inducis, eadem illa possunt esse, quae tollis. 2.110. Quid vero habet auctoritatis furor iste, quem divinum vocatis, ut, quae sapiens non videat, ea videat insanus, et is, qui humanos sensus amiserit, divinos adsecutus sit? Sibyllae versus observamus, quos illa furens fudisse dicitur. Quorum interpres nuper falsa quadam hominum fama dicturus in senatu putabatur eum, quem re vera regem habebamus, appellandum quoque esse regem, si salvi esse vellemus. Hoc si est in libris, in quem hominem et in quod tempus est? callide enim, qui illa composuit, perfecit, ut, quodcumque accidisset, praedictum videretur hominum et temporum definitione sublata. 2.113. quae delectationis habeant, quantum voles, verbis sententiis, numeris cantibus adiuventur; auctoritatem quidem nullam debemus nec fidem commenticiis rebus adiungere. Eodemque modo nec ego Publicio nescio cui nec Marciis vatibus nec Apollinis opertis credendum existimo; quorum partim ficta aperte, partim effutita temere numquam ne mediocri quidem cuiquam, non modo prudenti probata sunt. 2.114. Quid? inquies, remex ille de classe Coponii nonne ea praedixit, quae facta sunt? Ille vero, et ea quidem, quae omnes eo tempore ne acciderent timebamus. Castra enim in Thessalia castris conlata audiebamus, videbaturque nobis exercitus Caesaris et audaciae plus habere, quippe qui patriae bellum intulisset, et roboris propter vetustatem; casum autem proelii nemo nostrum erat quin timeret, sed, ita ut constantibus hominibus par erat, non aperte. Ille autem Graecus, quid mirum, si magnitudine timoris, ut plerumque fit, a constantia atque a mente atque a se ipse discessit? qua perturbatione animi, quae, sanus cum esset, timebat ne evenirent, ea demens eventura esse dicebat. Utrum tandem, per deos atque homines! magis veri simile est vesanum remigem an aliquem nostrum, qui ibi tum eramus, me, Catonem, Varronem, Coponium ipsum, consilia deorum inmortalium perspicere potuisse? 2.115. Sed iam ad te venio, O/ sancte Apollo, qui úmbilicum cértum terrarum óbsides, U/nde superstitiósa primum saéva evasit vóx fera. Tuis enim oraculis Chrysippus totum volumen inplevit partim falsis, ut ego opinor, partim casu veris, ut fit in omni oratione saepissime, partim flexiloquis et obscuris, ut interpres egeat interprete et sors ipsa ad sortes referenda sit, partim ambiguis, et quae ad dialecticum deferendae sint. Nam cum illa sors edita est opulentissumo regi Asiae: Croesus Halyn penetrans magnam pervertet opum vim, hostium vim se perversurum putavit, pervertit autem suam. 2.116. Utrum igitur eorum accidisset, verum oraclum fuisset. Cur autem hoc credam umquam editum Croeso? aut Herodotum cur veraciorem ducam Ennio? Num minus ille potuit de Croeso quam de Pyrrho fingere Ennius? Quis enim est, qui credat Apollinis ex oraculo Pyrrho esse responsum: Aio te, Aeacida, Romanos vincere posse? Primum Latine Apollo numquam locutus est; deinde ista sors inaudita Graecis est; praeterea Pyrrhi temporibus iam Apollo versus facere desierat; postremo, quamquam semper fuit, ut apud Ennium est, stolidum genus Aeacidarum, Bellipotentes sunt magis quam sapientipotentes, tamen hanc amphiboliam versus intellegere potuisset, vincere te Romanos nihilo magis in se quam in Romanos valere; nam illa amphibolia, quae Croesum decepit, vel Chrysippum potuisset fallere, haec vero ne Epicurum quidem. 2.117. Sed, quod caput est, cur isto modo iam oracla Delphis non eduntur non modo nostra aetate, sed iam diu, iam ut nihil possit esse contemptius? Hoc loco cum urguentur, evanuisse aiunt vetustate vim loci eius, unde anhelitus ille terrae fieret, quo Pythia mente incitata oracla ederet. De vino aut salsamento putes loqui, quae evanescunt vetustate; de vi loci agitur, neque solum naturali, sed etiam divina; quae quo tandem modo evanuit? Vetustate, inquies. Quae vetustas est, quae vim divinam conficere possit? quid tam divinum autem quam adflatus e terra mentem ita movens, ut eam providam rerum futurarum efficiat? ut ea non modo cernat multo ante, sed etiam numero versuque pronuntiet. Quando ista vis autem evanuit? an postquam homines minus creduli esse coeperunt? 2.118. Demosthenes quidem, qui abhinc annos prope trecentos fuit, iam tum filippi/zein Pythiam dicebat, id est quasi cum Philippo facere. Hoc autem eo spectabat, ut eam a Philippo corruptam diceret; ex quo licet existumare in aliis quoque oraculis Delphicis aliquid non sinceri fuisse. Sed nescio quo modo isti philosophi superstitiosi et paene fanatici quidvis malle videntur quam se non ineptos. Evanuisse mavultis et extinctum esse id, quod si umquam fuisset, certe aeternum esset, quam ea, quae non sunt credenda, non credere. 2.119. Similis est error in somniis; quorum quidem defensio repetita quam longe est! Divinos animos censent esse nostros, eosque esse tractos extrinsecus, animorumque consentientium multitudine conpletum esse mundum; hac igitur mentis et ipsius divinitate et coniunctione cum externis mentibus cerni, quae sint futura. Contrahi autem animum Zeno et quasi labi putat atque concidere, id ipsum esse dormire. Iam Pythagoras et Plato, locupletissimi auctores, quo in somnis certiora videamus, praeparatos quodam cultu atque victu proficisci ad dormiendum iubent; faba quidem Pythagorei utique abstinere, quasi vero eo cibo mens, non venter infletur. Sed nescio quo modo nihil tam absurde dici potest, quod non dicatur ab aliquo philosophorum. 2.120. Utrum igitur censemus dormientium animos per sene ipsos in somniando moveri an, ut Democritus censet, externa et adventicia visione pulsari? Sive enim sic est sive illo modo, videri possunt permulta somniantibus falsa pro veris. Nam et navigantibus moveri videntur ea, quae stant, et quodam obtutu oculorum duo pro uno lucernae lumina. Quid dicam, insanis, quid ebriis quam multa falsa videantur? Quodsi eius modi visis credendum non est, cur somniis credatur, nescio. Nam tam licet de his erroribus, si velis, quam de somniis disputare, ut ea, quae stant, si moveri videantur, terrae motum significare dicas aut repentinam aliquam fugam, gemino autem lucernae lumine declarari dissensionem ac seditionem moveri . Iam ex insanorum aut ebriorum visis innumerabilia coniectura trahi possunt 2.121. quae futura videantur Quis est enim, qui totum diem iaculans non aliquando conliniet? Totas noctes somniamus, neque ulla est fere, qua non dormiamus, et miramur aliquando id, quod somniarimus, evadere? Quid est tam incertum quam talorum iactus? tamen nemo est, quin saepe iactans Venerium iaciat aliquando, non numquam etiam iterum ac tertium. Num igitur, ut inepti, Veneris id inpulsu fieri malumus quam casu dicere? Quodsi ceteris temporibus falsis visis credendum non est, non video, quid praecipui somnus habeat, in quo valeant falsa pro veris. 2.122. Quodsi ita natura paratum esset, ut ea dormientes agerent, quae somniarent, alligandi omnes essent, qui cubitum irent; maiores enim quam ulli insani efficerent motus somniantes. Quodsi insanorum visis fides non est habenda, quia falsa sunt, cur credatur somniantium visis, quae multo etiam perturbatiora sunt, non intellego; an quod insani sua visa coniectori non narrant, narrant, qui somniaverunt? Quaero etiam, si velim scribere quid aut legere aut canere vel voce vel fidibus aut geometricum quiddam aut physicum aut dialecticum explicare, somniumne exspectandum sit an ars adhibenda; sine qua nihil earum rerum nec fieri nec expediri potest. Atqui, ne si navigare quidem velim, ita gubernem, ut somniaverim; praesens enim poena sit. 2.123. Qui igitur convenit aegros a coniectore somniorum potius quam a medico petere medicinam? An Aesculapius, an Serapis potest nobis praescribere per somnum curationem valetudinis, Neptunus gubertibus non potest? et si sine medico medicinam dabit Minerva, Musae scribendi, legendi, ceterarum artium scientiam somniantibus non dabunt? At si curatio daretur valetudinis, haec quoque, quae dixi, darentur; quae quoniam non dantur, medicina non datur; qua sublata tollitur omnis auctoritas somniorum. 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. 2.125. Quotus igitur est quisque, qui somniis pareat, qui intellegat, qui meminerit? quam multi vero, qui contemt eamque superstitionem inbecilli animi atque anilis putent! Quid est igitur, cur his hominibus consulens deus somniis moneat eos, qui illa non modo cura, sed ne memoria quidem digna ducant? Nec enim ignorare deus potest, qua mente quisque sit, nec frustra ac sine causa quid facere dignum deo est, quod abhorret etiam ab hominis constantia. Ita, si pleraque somnia aut ignorantur aut negleguntur, aut nescit hoc deus aut frustra somniorum significatione utitur; et horum neutrum in deum cadit; nihil igitur a deo somniis significari fatendum est. 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. 2.127. Iam vero quid opus est circumitione et anfractu, ut sit utendum interpretibus somniorum potius, quam derecto deus, siquidem nobis consulebat, Hoc facito, hoc ne feceris diceret idque visum vigilanti potius quam dormienti daret? Iam vero quis dicere audeat vera omnia esse somnia? Aliquot somnia vera, inquit Ennius, sed omnia noenum necesse est . Quae est tandem ista distinctio? quae vera, quae falsa habet? et, si vera a deo mittuntur, falsa unde nascuntur? nam si ea quoque divina, quid inconstantius deo? quid inscitius autem est quam mentes mortalium falsis et mendacibus visis concitare? sin vera visa divina sunt, falsa autem et iia humana, quae est ista desigdi licentia, ut hoc deus, hoc natura fecerit potius quam aut omnia deus, quod negatis, aut omnia natura? quodquoniam illud negatis, hoc necessario confitendum est. 2.128. Naturam autem eam dico, qua numquam animus insistens agitatione et motu esse vacuus potest. Is cum languore corporis nec membris uti nec sensibus potest, incidit in visa varia et incerta ex reliquiis, ut ait Aristoteles, inhaerentibus earum rerum, quas vigilans gesserit aut cogitaverit; quarum perturbatione mirabiles interdum existunt species somniorum; quae si alia falsa, alia vera, qua nota internoscantur, scire sane velim. Si nulla est, quid istos interpretes audiamus? sin quaepiam est, aveo audire, quae sit; sed haerebunt. 2.129. Venit enim iam in contentionem, utrum sit probabilius, deosne inmortalis, rerum omnium praestantia excellentis, concursare circum omnium mortalium, qui ubique sunt, non modo lectos, verum etiam grabatos et, cum stertentem aliquem viderint, obicere iis visa quaedam tortuosa et obscura, quae illi exterriti somno ad coniectorem mane deferant, an natura fieri, ut mobiliter animus agitatus, quod vigilans viderit, dormiens videre videatur. Utrum philosophia dignius, sagarum superstitione ista interpretari an explicatione naturae? ut, si iam fieri possit vera coniectura somniorum, tamen isti, qui profitentur, eam facere non possint; ex levissimo enim et indoctissimo genere constant. Stoici autem tui negant quemquam nisi sapientem divinum esse posse. 2.130. Chrysippus quidem divinationem definit his verbis: vim cognoscentem et videntem et explicantem signa, quae a dis hominibus portendantur; officium autem esse eius praenoscere, dei erga homines mente qua sint quidque significent, quem ad modumque ea procurentur atque expientur. Idemque somniorum coniectionem definit hoc modo: esse vim cernentem et explatem, quae a dis hominibus significentur in somnis. Quid ergo? ad haec mediocri opus est prudentia an et ingenio praestanti et eruditione perfecta? Talem autem cognovimus neminem. 2.131. Vide igitur, ne, etiamsi divinationem tibi esse concessero, quod numquam faciam, neminem tamen divinum reperire possimus. Qualis autem ista mens est deorum, si neque ea nobis significant in somnis, quae ipsi per nos intellegamus, neque ea, quorum interpretes habere possimus? similes enim sunt dei, si ea nobis obiciunt, quorum nec scientiam neque explanatorem habeamus, tamquam si Poeni aut Hispani in senatu nostro loquerentur sine interprete. 2.132. Iam vero quo pertinent obscuritates et aenigmata somniorum? intellegi enim a nobis di velle debebant ea, quae nostra causa nos monerent. Quid? poe+ta nemo, nemo physicus obscurus? 2.133. Ille vero nimis etiam obscurus Euphorion; at non Homerus. Uter igitur melior? Valde Heraclitus obscurus, minime Democritus. Num igitur conferendi? Mea causa me mones, quod non intellegam? Quid me igitur mones? ut si quis medicus aegroto imperet, ut sumat Terrigenam, herbigradam, domiportam, sanguine cassam, potius quam hominum more cocleam diceret. Nam Pacuvianus Amphio Quadrupés tardigrada, agréstis, humilis, áspera, Capité brevi, cervice ánguina, aspectú truci, Evíscerata, inánima, cum animalí sono cum dixisset obscurius, tum Attici respondent: Non íntellegimus, nísi si aperte díxeris. At ille uno verbo: Testudo. Non potueras hoc igitur a principio, citharista, dicere? 2.134. Defert ad coniectorem quidam somniasse se ovum pendere ex fascea lecti sui cubicularis (est hoc in Chrysippi libro somnium); respondit coniector thensaurum defossum esse sub lecto. Fodit, invenit auri aliquantum, idque circumdatum argento, misit coniectori, quantulum visum est de argento. Tum ille: Nihilne, inquit, de vitello? id enim ei ex ovo videbatur aurum declarasse, reliquum argentum. Nemone igitur umquam alius ovum somniavit? cur ergo hic nescio qui thensaurum solus invenit? quam multi inopes digni praesidio deorum nullo somnio ad thensaurum reperiendum admonentur! Quam autem ob causam tam est obscure admonitus, ut ex ovo nasceretur thensauri similitudo, potius quam aperte thensaurum quaerere iuberetur, sicut aperte Simonides vetitus est navigare? 2.135. Ergo obscura somnia minime consentanea maiestati deorum. Ad aperta et clara veniamus, quale est de illo interfecto a caupone Megaris, quale de Simonide, qui ab eo, quem humarat, vetitus est navigare, quale etiam de Alexandro, quod a te praeteritum esse miror, Quinte. Cum Ptolomaeus, familiaris eius, in proelio telo venenato ictus esset eoque vulnere summo cum dolore moreretur, Alexander adsidens somno est consopitus. Tum secundum quietem visus ei dicitur draco is, quem mater Olympias alebat, radiculam ore ferre et simul dicere, quo illa loci nasceretur (neque is longe aberat ab eo loco), eius autem esse vim tantam, ut Ptolomaeum facile sanaret. Cum Alexander experrectus narrasset amicis somnium, emissi sunt, qui illam radiculam quaererent; qua inventa et Ptolomaeus sanatus dicitur et multi milites, qui erant eodem genere teli vulnerati. 2.136. Multa etiam sunt a te ex historiis prolata somnia, matris Phalaridis, Cyri superioris, matris Dionysii, Poeni Hamilcaris, Hannibalis, P. Decii; pervulgatum iam illud de praesule, C. Gracchi etiam et recens Caeciliae, Baliarici filiae, somnium. Sed haec externa ob eamque causam ignota nobis sunt, non nulla etiam ficta fortasse. Quis enim auctor istorum? De nostris somniis quid habemus dicere? tu de emerso me et equo ad ripam, ego de Mario cum fascibus laureatis me in suum deduci iubente monumentum. Omnium somniorum, Quinte, una ratio est; quae, per deos inmortalis! videamus ne nostra superstitione et depravatione superetur. 2.137. Quem enim tu Marium visum a me putas? Speciem, credo, eius et imaginem, ut Democrito videtur. Unde profectam imaginem? a corporibus enim solidis et a certis figuris vult fluere imagines; quod igitur Marii corpus erat? Ex eo, inquit, quod fuerat. Ista igitur me imago Marii in campum Atinatem persequebatur?—Plena sunt imaginum omnia; nulla enim species cogitari potest nisi pulsu imaginum. 2.138. —Quid ergo? istae imagines ita nobis dicto audientes sunt, ut, simul atque velimus, accurrant? etiamne earum rerum, quae nullae sunt? quae est enim forma tam invisitata, tam nulla, quam non sibi ipse fingere animus possit? ut, quae numquam vidimus, ea tamen informata habeamus, oppidorum situs, hominum figuras. 2.139. Num igitur, cum aut muros Babylonis aut Homeri faciem cogito, imago illorum me aliqua pellit? Omnia igitur, quae volumus, nota nobis esse possunt; nihil est enim, de quo cogitare nequeamus; nullae ergo imagines obrepunt in animos dormientium extrinsecus, nec omnino fluunt ullae, nec cognovi quemquam, qui maiore auctoritate nihil diceret. Animorum est ea vis eaque natura, ut vigeant vigilantes nullo adventicio pulsu, sed suo motu incredibili quadam celeritate. Hi cum sustinentur membris et corpore et sensibus, omnia certiora cernunt, cogitant, sentiunt. Cum autem haec subtracta sunt desertusque animus languore corporis, tum agitatur ipse per sese. Itaque in eo et formae versantur et actiones, et multa audiri, multa dici videntur. 2.140. Haec scilicet in inbecillo remissoque animo multa omnibus modis confusa et variata versantur, maxumeque reliquiae rerum earum moventur in animis et agitantur, de quibus vigilantes aut cogitavimus aut egimus, ut mihi temporibus illis multum in animo Marius versabatur recordanti, quam ille gravem suum casum magno animo, quam constanti tulisset. Hanc credo causam de illo somniandi fuisse. Tibi autem de me cum sollicitudine cogitanti subito sum visus emersus e flumine. Inerant enim in utriusque nostrum animis vigilantium cogitationum vestigia. At quaedam adiuncta sunt, ut mihi de monumento Marii, tibi, quod equus, in quo ego vehebar, mecum una demersus rursus apparuit. 2.141. An tu censes ullam anum tam deliram futuram fuisse, ut somniis crederet, nisi ista casu non numquam forte temere concurrerent? Alexandro draco loqui visus est. Potest omnino hoc esse falsum, potest verum; sed utrum est, non est mirabile; non enim audivit ille draconem loquentem, sed est visus audire, et quidem, quo maius sit, cum radicem ore teneret, locutus est. Sed nihil est magnum somnianti. Quaero autem, cur Alexandro tam inlustre somnium, tam certum, nec huic eidem alias, nec multa ceteris; mihi quidem praeter hoc Marianum nihil sane, quod meminerim. Frustra igitur consumptae tot noctes tam longa in aetate. 2.142. Nunc quidem propter intermissionem forensis operae et lucubrationes detraxi et meridiationes addidi, quibus uti antea non solebam, nec tam multum dormiens ullo somnio sum admonitus, tantis praesertim de rebus, nec mihi magis umquam videor, quam cum aut in foro magistratus aut in curia senatum video, somniare. Etenim (ex divisione hoc secundum est) quae est continuatio coniunctioque naturae, quam, ut dixi, vocant sumpa/qeian, eius modi, ut thensaurus ex ovo intellegi debeat? Nam medici ex quibusdam rebus et advenientis et crescentis morbos intellegunt, non nullas etiam valetudinis significationes, ut hoc ipsum, pleni enectine simus, ex quodam genere somniorum intellegi posse dicunt. Thensaurus vero et hereditas et honos et victoria et multa generis eiusdem qua cum somniis naturali cognatione iunguntur? 2.143. Dicitur quidam, cum in somnis complexu Venerio iungeretur, calculos eiecisse. Video sympathian; visum est enim tale obiectum dormienti, ut id, quod evenit, naturae vis, non opinio erroris effecerit. Quae igitur natura obtulit illam speciem Simonidi, a qua vetaretur navigare? aut quid naturae copulatum habuit Alcibiadis quod scribitur somnium? qui paulo ante interitum visus est in somnis amicae esse amictus amiculo. Is cum esset proiectus inhumatus ab omnibusque desertus iaceret, amica corpus eius texit suo pallio. Ergo hoc inerat in rebus futuris et causas naturalis habebat, an, et ut videretur et ut eveniret, casus effecit? 2.144. Quid? ipsorum interpretum coniecturae nonne magis ingenia declarant eorum quam vim consensumque naturae? Cursor ad Olympia proficisci cogitans visus est in somnis curru quadrigarum vehi. Mane ad coniectorem. At ille: Vinces, inquit; id enim celeritas significat et vis equorum. Post idem ad Antiphontem. Is autem: Vincare, inquit, necesse est; an non intellegis quattuor ante te cucurrisse? Ecce alius cursor (atque horum somniorum et talium plenus est Chrysippi liber, plenus Antipatri) —sed ad cursorem redeo: Ad interpretem detulit aquilam se in somnis visum esse factum. At ille: Vicisti; ista enim avi volat nulla vehementius. Huic eidem Antipho: Baro, inquit, victum te esse non vides? ista enim avis insectans alias avis et agitans semper ipsa postrema est . 2.145. Parere quaedam matrona cupiens dubitans, essetne praegs, visa est in quiete obsignatam habere naturam. Rettulit. Negavit eam, quoniam obsignata fuisset, concipere potuisse. At alter praegtem esse dixit; nam ie obsignari nihil solere. Quae est ars coniectoris eludentis ingenio? an ea, quae dixi, et innumerabilia, quae conlecta habent Stoici, quicquam significant nisi acumen hominum ex similitudine aliqua coniecturam modo huc, modo illuc ducentium? Medici signa quaedam habent ex venis et spiritu aegroti multisque ex aliis futura praesentiunt; gubernatores cum exsultantis lolligines viderunt aut delphinos se in portum conicientes, tempestatem significari putant. Haec ratione explicari et ad naturam revocari facile possunt, ea vero, quae paulo ante dixi, nullo modo. 2.146. At enim observatio diuturna (haec enim pars una restat) notandis rebus fecit artem. Ain tandem? somnia observari possunt? quonam modo? sunt enim innumerabiles varietates. Nihil tam praepostere, tam incondite, tam monstruose cogitari potest, quod non possimus somniare; quo modo igitur haec infinita et semper nova aut memoria conplecti aut observando notare possumus? Astrologi motus errantium stellarum notaverunt; inventus est enim ordo in iis stellis, qui non putabatur. Cedo tandem, qui sit ordo aut quae concursatio somniorum; quo modo autem distingui possunt vera somnia a falsis? cum eadem et aliis aliter evadant et isdem non semper eodem modo; ut mihi mirum videatur, cum mendaci homini ne verum quidem dicenti credere soleamus, quo modo isti, si somnium verum evasit aliquod, non ex multis potius uni fidem derogent quam ex uno innumerabilia confirment. 2.147. Si igitur neque deus est effector somniorum neque naturae societas ulla cum somniis neque observatione inveniri potuit scientia, effectum est, ut nihil prorsus somniis tribuendum sit, praesertim cum illi ipsi, qui ea vident, nihil divinent, ii, qui interpretantur, coniecturam adhibeant, non naturam, casus autem innumerabilibus paene saeculis in omnibus plura mirabilia quam in somniorum visis effecerit, neque coniectura, quae in varias partis duci possit, non numquam etiam in contrarias, quicquam sit incertius. 2.148. Explodatur igitur haec quoque somniorum divinatio pariter cum ceteris. Nam, ut vere loquamur, superstitio fusa per gentis oppressit omnium fere animos atque hominum inbecillitatem occupavit. Quod et in iis libris dictum est, qui sunt de natura deorum, et hac disputatione id maxume egimus. Multum enim et nobismet ipsis et nostris profuturi videbamur, si eam funditus sustulissemus. Nec vero (id enim diligenter intellegi volo) superstitione tollenda religio tollitur. Nam et maiorum instituta tueri sacris caerimoniisque retinendis sapientis est, et esse praestantem aliquam aeternamque naturam, et eam suspiciendam admirandamque hominum generi pulchritudo mundi ordoque rerum caelestium cogit confiteri. 2.149. Quam ob rem, ut religio propaganda etiam est, quae est iuncta cum cognitione naturae, sic superstitionis stirpes omnes eligendae. Instat enim et urget et, quo te cumque verteris, persequitur, sive tu vatem sive tu omen audieris, sive immolaris sive avem aspexeris, si Chaldaeum, si haruspicem videris, si fulserit, si tonuerit, si tactum aliquid erit de caelo, si ostenti simile natum factumve quippiam; quorum necesse est plerumque aliquid eveniat, ut numquam liceat quieta mente consistere. 2.150. Perfugium videtur omnium laborum et sollicitudinum esse somnus. At ex eo ipso plurumae curae metusque nascuntur; qui quidem ipsi per se minus valerent et magis contemnerentur, nisi somniorum patrocinium philosophi suscepissent, nec ii quidem contemptissimi, sed in primis acuti et consequentia et repugtia videntes, qui prope iam absoluti et perfecti putantur. Quorum licentiae nisi Carneades restitisset, haud scio an soli iam philosophi iudicarentur. Cum quibus omnis fere nobis disceptatio contentioque est, non quod eos maxume contemnamus, sed quod videntur acutissime sententias suas prudentissimeque defendere. Cum autem proprium sit Academiae iudicium suum nullum interponere, ea probare, quae simillima veri videantur, conferre causas et, quid in quamque sententiam dici possit, expromere, nulla adhibita sua auctoritate iudicium audientium relinquere integrum ac liberum, tenebimus hanc consuetudinem a Socrate traditam eaque inter nos, si tibi, Quinte frater, placebit, quam saepissime utemur. Mihi vero, inquit ille, nihil potest esse iucundius. Quae cum essent dicta, surreximus. 1.5. 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. 1.5. 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. 1.6. 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? 1.6. 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. 1.7. At any rate, this praiseworthy tendency of the Academy to doubt has been approved by the solemn judgement of a most eminent philosopher. [4] Accordingly, since I, too, am in doubt as to the proper judgement to be rendered in regard to divination because of the many pointed and exhaustive arguments urged by Carneades against the Stoic view, and since I am afraid of giving a too hasty assent to a proposition which may turn out either false or insufficiently established, I have determined carefully and persistently to compare argument with argument just as I did in my three books On the Nature of the Gods. For a hasty acceptance of an erroneous opinion is discreditable in any case, and especially so in an inquiry as to how much weight should be given to auspices, to sacred rites, and to religious observances; for we run the risk of committing a crime against the gods if we disregard them, or of becoming involved in old womens superstition if we approve them. [5] 1.7. As briefly as I could, I have discussed divination by means of dreams and frenzy, which, as I said, are devoid of art. Both depend on the same reasoning, which is that habitually employed by our friend Cratippus: The human soul is in some degree derived and drawn from a source exterior to itself. Hence we understand that outside the human soul there is a divine soul from which the human soul is sprung. Moreover, that portion of the human soul which is endowed with sensation, motion, and carnal desire is inseparable from bodily influence; while that portion which thinks and reasons is most vigorous when it is most distant from the body. 1.8. This subject has been discussed by me frequently on other occasions, but with somewhat more than ordinary care when my brother Quintus and I were together recently at my Tusculan villa. For the sake of a stroll we had gone to the Lyceum which is the name of my upper gymnasium, when Quintus remarked:I have just finished a careful reading of the third book of your treatise, On the Nature of the Gods, containing Cottas discussion, which, though it has shaken my views of religion, has not overthrown them entirely.Very good, said I; for Cottas argument is intended rather to refute the arguments of the Stoics than to destroy mans faith in religion.Quintus then replied: Cotta says the very same thing, and says it repeatedly, in order, as I think, not to appear to violate the commonly accepted canons of belief; yet it seems to me that, in his zeal to confute the Stoics, he utterly demolishes the gods. 1.8. It often happens, too, that the soul is violently stirred by the sight of some object, or by the deep tone of a voice, or by singing. Frequently anxiety or fear will have that effect, as it did in the case of Hesione, whoDid rave like one by Bacchic rites made madAnd mid the tombs her Teucer called aloud.[37] And poetic inspiration also proves that there is a divine power within the human soul. Democritus says that no one can be a great poet without being in a state of frenzy, and Plato says the same thing. Let Plato call it frenzy if he will, provided he praises it as it was praised in his Phaedrus. And what about your own speeches in law suits. Can the delivery of you lawyers be impassioned, weighty, and fluent unless your soul is deeply stirred? Upon my word, many a time have I seen in you such passion of look and gesture that I thought some power was rendering you unconscious of what you did; and, if I may cite a less striking example, I have seen the same in your friend Aesopus. 1.9. However, I am really at no loss for a reply to his reasoning; for in the second book Lucilius has made an adequate defence of religion and his argument, as you yourself state at the end of the third book, seemed to you nearer to the truth than Cottas. But there is a question which you passed over in those books because, no doubt, you thought it more expedient to inquire into it in a separate discussion: I refer to divination, which is the foreseeing and foretelling of events considered as happening by chance. Now let us see, if you will, what efficacy it has and what its nature is. My own opinion is that, if the kinds of divination which we have inherited from our forefathers and now practise are trustworthy, then there are gods and, conversely, if there are gods then there are men who have the power of divination. [6] 1.9. Nor is the practice of divination disregarded even among uncivilized tribes, if indeed there are Druids in Gaul — and there are, for I knew one of them myself, Divitiacus, the Aeduan, your guest and eulogist. He claimed to have that knowledge of nature which the Greeks call physiologia, and he used to make predictions, sometimes by means of augury and sometimes by means of conjecture. Among the Persians the augurs and diviners are the magi, who assemble regularly in a sacred place for practice and consultation, just as formerly you augurs used to do on the Nones. 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. 1.25. It sometimes misleads perhaps, but none the less in most cases it guides us to the truth. For this same conjectural divination is the product of boundless eternity and within that period it has grown into an art through the repeated observation and record of almost countless instances in which the same results have been preceded by the same signs.[15] Indeed how trustworthy were the auspices taken when you were augur! At the present time — pray pardon me for saying so — Roman augurs neglect auspices, although the Cilicians, Pamphylians, Pisidians, and Lycians hold them in high esteem. 1.38. Therefore, as at present its glory has waned because it is no longer noted for the truth of its prophecies, so formerly it would not have enjoyed so exalted a reputation if it had not been trustworthy in the highest degree. Possibly, too, those subterraneous exhalations which used to kindle the soul of the Pythian priestess with divine inspiration have gradually vanished in the long lapse of time; just as within our own knowledge some rivers have dried up and disappeared, while others, by winding and twisting, have changed their course into other channels. But explain the decadence of the oracle as you wish, since it offers a wide field for discussion, provided you grant what cannot be denied without distorting the entire record of history, that the oracle at Delphi made true prophecies for many hundreds of years. [20] 1.46. But come now and let us return to foreign instances. Heraclides Ponticus, a man of learning, and both a pupil and a disciple of Platos, relates a dream of the mother of Phalaris. She fell asleep and dreamed that, while looking at the consecrated images of the gods set up in her house, she saw the statue of Mercury pouring blood from a bowl which it held in its right hand and that the blood, as it touched the ground, welled up and completely filled the house. The truth of the dream was subsequently established by the inhuman cruelty of her son.Why need I bring forth from Dinons Persian annals the dreams of that famous prince, Cyrus, and their interpretations by the magi? But take this instance: Once upon a time Cyrus dreamed that the sun was at his feet. Three times, so Dinon writes, he vainly tried to grasp it and each time it turned away, escaped him, and finally disappeared. He was told by the magi, who are classed as wise and learned men among the Persians, that his grasping for the sun three times portended that he would reign for thirty years. And thus it happened; for he lived to his seventieth year, having begun to reign at forty. 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. 1.59. I come now to your dream. I heard it, of course, from you, but more frequently from our Sallustius. In the course of your banishment, which was glorious for us but disastrous to the State, you stopped for the night at a certain country-house in the plain of Atina. After lying awake most of the night, finally, about daybreak, you fell into a very profound sleep. And though your journey was pressing, yet Sallustius gave instructions to maintain quiet and would not permit you to be disturbed. But you awoke about the second hour and related your dream to him. In it you seemed to be wandering sadly about in solitary places when Gaius Marius, with his fasces wreathed in laurel, asked you why you were sad, and you replied that you had been driven from your country by violence. He then bade you be of good cheer, took you by the right hand, and delivered you to the nearest lictor to be conducted to his memorial temple, saying that there you should find safety. Sallustius thereupon, as he relates, cried out, a speedy and a glorious return awaits you. He further states that you too seemed delighted at the dream. Immediately thereafter it was reported to me that as soon as you heard that it was in Marius temple that the glorious decree of the Senate for your recall had been enacted on motion of the consul, a most worthy and most eminent man, and that the decree had been greeted by unprecedented shouts of approval in a densely crowded theatre, you said that no stronger proof could be given of a divinely inspired dream than this. [29] 1.65. This is illustrated by the story which I related about Callanus and by Homers account of Hector, who, as he was dying, prophesied the early death of Achilles.[31] It is clear that, in our ordinary speech, we should not have made such frequent use of the word praesagire, meaning to sense in advance, or to presage, if the power of presaging had been wholly non-existent. An illustration of its use is seen in the following well-known line from Plautus:My soul presaged as I left home that my leaving was in vain.Now sagire means to have a keen perception. Accordingly certain old women are called sagae, because they are assumed to know a great deal, and dogs are said to be sagacious. And so one who has knowledge of a thing before it happens is said to presage, that is, to perceive the future in advance. 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. 1.118. But it seems necessary to settle the principle on which these signs depend. For, according to the Stoic doctrine, the gods are not directly responsible for every fissure in the liver or for every song of a bird; since, manifestly, that would not be seemly or proper in a god and furthermore is impossible. But, in the beginning, the universe was so created that certain results would be preceded by certain signs, which are given sometimes by entrails and by birds, sometimes by lightnings, by portents, and by stars, sometimes by dreams, and sometimes by utterances of persons in a frenzy. And these signs do not often deceive the persons who observe them properly. If prophecies, based on erroneous deductions and interpretations, turn out to be false, the fault is not chargeable to the signs but to the lack of skill in the interpreters.Assuming the proposition to be conceded that there is a divine power which pervades the lives of men, it is not hard to understand the principle directing those premonitory signs which we see come to pass. For it may be that the choice of a sacrificial victim is guided by an intelligent force, which is diffused throughout the universe; or, it may be that at the moment when the sacrifice is offered, a change in the vitals occurs and something is added or taken away; for many things are added to, changed, or diminished in an instant of time. 1.119. Conclusive proof of this fact, sufficient to put it beyond the possibility of doubt, is afforded by incidents which happened just before Caesars death. While he was offering sacrifices on the day when he sat for the first time on a golden throne and first appeared in public in a purple robe, no heart was found in the vitals of the votive ox. Now do you think it possible for any animal that has blood to exist without a heart? Caesar was unmoved by this occurrence, even though Spurinna warned him to beware lest thought and life should fail him — both of which, he said, proceeded from the heart. On the following day there was no head to the liver of the sacrifice. These portents were sent by the immortal gods to Caesar that he might foresee his death, not that he might prevent it. Therefore, when those organs, without which the victim could not have lived, are found wanting in the vitals, we should understand that the absent organs disappeared at the very moment of immolation. [53] 1.127. Moreover, since, as will be shown elsewhere, all things happen by Fate, if there were a man whose soul could discern the links that join each cause with every other cause, then surely he would never be mistaken in any prediction he might make. For he who knows the causes of future events necessarily knows what every future event will be. But since such knowledge is possible only to a god, it is left to man to presage the future by means of certain signs which indicate what will follow them. Things which are to be do not suddenly spring into existence, but the evolution of time is like the unwinding of a cable: it creates nothing new and only unfolds each event in its order. This connexion between cause and effect is obvious to two classes of diviners: those who are endowed with natural divination and those who know the course of events by the observation of signs. They may not discern the causes themselves, yet they do discern the signs and tokens of those causes. The careful study and recollection of those signs, aided by the records of former times, has evolved that sort of divination, known as artificial, which is divination by means of entrails, lightnings, portents, and celestial phenomena. 1.131. Again, Democritus expresses the opinion that the ancients acted wisely in providing for the inspection of the entrails of sacrifices; because, as he thinks, the colour and general condition of the entrails are prophetic sometimes of health and sometimes of sickness and sometimes also of whether the fields will be barren or productive. Now, if it is known by observation and experience that these means of divination have their source in nature, it must be that the observations made and records kept for a long period of time have added much to our knowledge of this subject. Hence, that natural philosopher introduced by Pacuvius into his play of Chryses, seems to show very scanty apprehension of the laws of nature when he speaks as follows:The men who know the speech of birds and moreDo learn from other livers than their own —Twere best to hear, I think, and not to heed.I do not know why this poet makes such a statement when only a few lines further on he says clearly enough:Whateer the power may be, it animates,Creates, gives form, increase, and nourishmentTo everything: of everything the sire,It takes all things unto itself and hidesWithin its breast; and as from it all thingsArise, likewise to it all things return.Since all things have one and the same and that a common home, and since the human soul has always been and will always be, why, then, should it not be able to understand what effect will follow any cause, and what sign will precede any event?This, said Quintus, is all that I had to say on divination. [58] 2.8. After my brother Quintus had delivered his views on divination, as set out in the preceding volume, and we had walked as much as we wished, we took our seats in the library in my Lyceum, and I remarked:Really, my dear Quintus, you have defended the Stoic doctrine with accuracy and like a Stoic. But the thing that delights me most is the fact that you illustrated your argument with many incidents taken from Roman sources — incidents, too, of a distinguished and noble type. I must now reply to what you said, but I must do so with great diffidence and with many misgivings, and in such a way as to affirm nothing and question everything. For if I should assume anything that I said to be certain I should myself be playing the diviner while saying that no such thing as divination exists! 2.8. Then dismiss Romuluss augural staff, which you say the hottest of fires was powerless to burn, and attach slight importance to the whetstone of Attus Navius. Myths would have no place in philosophy. It would have been more in keeping with your rôle as a philosopher to consider, first, the nature of divination generally, second, its origin, and third, its consistency. What, then, is the nature of an art which makes prophets out of birds that wander aimlessly about — now here, now there — and makes the action or inaction of men depend upon the song or flight of birds? and why was the power granted to some birds to give a favourable omen when on the left side and to others when on the right? Again, however, when, and by whom, shall we say that the system was invented? The Etruscans, it is true, find the author of their system in the boy who was ploughed up out of the ground; but whom have we? Attus Navius? But Romulus and Remus, both of whom, by tradition, were augurs, lived many years earlier. Are we to say that it was invented by the Pisidians, Cilicians, or Phrygians? It is your judgement, then, that those devoid of human learning are the authors of a divine science! [39] 2.9. I am impressed with the force of the questions with which Carneades used to begin his discussions: What are the things within the scope of divination? Are they things that are perceived by the senses? But those are things that we see, hear, taste, smell, and touch. Is there, then, in such objects some quality that we can better perceive with the aid of prophecy and inspiration than we can with the aid of the senses alone? And is there any diviner, anywhere, who, if blind, like Tiresias, could tell the difference between white and black? Or, who, if deaf, could distinguish between different voices and different tones? Now you must admit that divination is not applicable in any case where knowledge is gained through the senses.Nor is there any need of divination even in matters within the domain of science and of art. For, when people are sick, we, as a general rule, do not summon a prophet or a seer, but we call in a physician. Again, persons who want to learn to play on the harp or on the flute take lessons, not from a soothsayer, but from a musician. 2.9. What inconceivable madness! For it is not enough to call an opinion foolishness when it is utterly devoid of reason. However, Diogenes the Stoic makes some concessions to the Chaldeans. He says that they have the power of prophecy to the extent of being able to tell the disposition of any child and the calling for which he is best fitted. All their other claims of prophetic powers he absolutely denies. He says, for example, that twins are alike in appearance, but that they generally unlike in career and in fortune. Procles and Eurysthenes, kings of the Lacedaemonians, were twin brothers. 2.12. But if there is no place for divination in things perceived by the senses, or in those included among the arts, or in those discussed by philosophers, or in those which have to do with government, I see absolutely no need for it anywhere. For either it ought to be of use in every case, or, at least, some department in which it may be employed should be found. But divination is not of use in every case, as my reasoning has shown; nor can any field or subject matter be found over which it may exercise control.[5] Therefore I am inclined to think that there is no such thing as divination. There is a much-quoted Greek verse to this effect:The best diviner I maintain to beThe man who guesses or conjectures best.Now do you think that a prophet will conjecture better whether a storm is at hand than a pilot? or that he will by conjecture make a more accurate diagnosis than a physician, or conduct a war with more skill than a general? 2.12. Then shall we believe that the souls of sleepers while dreaming are spontaneously moved? or, as Democritus thinks, that they are impelled to action by phantoms from without? Whether the one theory or the other be correct, the fact remains that men in sleep assume many false apparitions to be true. Likewise, to men who are sailing, stationary objects on shore seem to be moving; and also, sometimes in looking at a lamp, by some sort of optical illusion we see two flames instead of one. Why need I mention how many non-existent things are seen by men who are drunk or crazy? And if we are to put no trust in such apparitions of the waking man I do not understand why we should put any trust in dreams. of course you may argue, if you will, about these tricks of vision as you would about dreams, and say, for example, that when stationary objects appear to be in motion, it foretells an earthquake or a sudden flight; and when the lamps flame appears to be double it portends that insurrection and rebellion are afoot! [59] 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. 2.15. Can there, then, be any foreknowledge of things for whose happening no reason exists? For we do not apply the words chance, luck, accident, or casualty except to an event which has so occurred or happened that it either might not have occurred at all, or might have occurred in any other way. How, then, is it possible to foresee and to predict an event that happens at random, as the result of blind accident, or of unstable chance? 2.15. Sleep is regarded as a refuge from every toil and care; but it is actually made the fruitful source of worry and fear. In fact dreams would be less regarded on their own account and would be viewed with greater indifference had they not been taken under the guardianship of philosophers — not philosophers of the meaner sort, but those of the keenest wit, competent to see what follows logically and what does not — men who are considered well-nigh perfect and infallible. Indeed, if their arrogance had not been resisted by Carneades, it is probable that by this time they would have adjudged the only philosophers. While most of my war of words has been with these men, it is not because I hold them in especial contempt, but on the contrary, it is because they seem to me to defend their own views with the greatest acuteness and skill. Moreover, it is characteristic of the Academy to put forward no conclusions of its own, but to approve those which seem to approach nearest to the truth; to compare arguments; to draw forth all that may be said in behalf of any opinion; and, without asserting any authority of its own, to leave the judgement of the inquirer wholly free. That same method, which by the way we inherited from Socrates, I shall, if agreeable to you, my dear Quintus, follow as often as possible in our future discussions.Nothing could please me better, Quintus replied.When this was said, we arose. 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] 2.18. But what course of reasoning is followed by men who predict the finding of a treasure or the inheritance of an estate? On what law of nature do such prophecies depend? But, on the other hand, if the prophecies just mentioned and others of the same class are controlled by some natural and immutable law such as regulates the movements of the stars, pray, can we conceive of anything happening by accident, or chance? Surely nothing is so at variance with reason and stability as chance? Hence it seems to me that it is not in the power even of God himself to know what event is going to happen accidentally and by chance. For if He knows, then the event is certain to happen; but if it is certain to happen, chance does not exist. And yet chance does exist, therefore there is no foreknowledge of things that happen by chance. 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] 2.21. Again, if it was the will of Fate that the Roman army should perish at Lake Trasimenus in the Second Punic War, could that result have been avoided if the consul Flaminius had obeyed the signs and the auspices which forbade his joining battle? Assuredly not. Therefore, either the army did not perish by the will of Fate, or, if it did (and you are certainly bound as a Stoic to say that it did), the same result would have happened even if the auspices had been obeyed; for the decrees of Fate are unchangeable. Then what becomes of that vaunted divination of you Stoics? For if all things happen by Fate, it does us no good to be warned to be on our guard, since that which is to happen, will happen regardless of what we do. But if that which is to be can be turned aside, there is no such thing as Fate; so, too, there is no such thing as divination — since divination deals with things that are going to happen. But nothing is certain to happen which there is some means of dealing with so as to prevent its happening. [9] 2.22. And further, for my part, I think that a knowledge of the future would be a disadvantage. Consider, for example, what Priams life would have been if he had known from youth what dire events his old age held in store for him! But let us leave the era of myths and come to events nearer home. In my work On Consolation I have collected instances of very grievous deaths that befell some of the most illustrious men of our commonwealth. Passing by men of earlier day, let us take Marcus Crassus. What advantage, pray, do you think it would have been to him, when he was at the very summit of power and wealth, to know that he was destined to perish beyond the Euphrates in shame and dishonour, after his son had been killed and his own army had been destroyed? Or do you think that Gnaeus Pompey would have found joy in his three consulships, in his three triumphs, and in the fame of his transcendent deeds, if he had known that he would be slain in an Egyptian desert, after he had lost his army, and that following his death those grave events would occur of which I cannot speak without tears? 2.23. Or what do we think of Caesar? Had he foreseen that in the Senate, chosen in most part by himself, in Pompeys hall, aye, before Pompeys very statue, and in the presence of many of his own centurions, he would be put to death by most noble citizens, some of whom owed all that they had to him, and that he would fall to so low an estate that no friend — no, not even a slave — would approach his dead body, in what agony of soul would he have spent his life!of a surety, then, ignorance of future ills is more profitable than the knowledge of them. 2.24. For, assuming that men knew the future it cannot in any wise be said — certainly not by the Stoics — that Pompey would not have taken up arms, that Crassus would not have crossed the Euphrates, or that Caesar would not have embarked upon the civil war. If so, then, the deaths that befell these men were not determined by Fate. But you will have it that everything happens by Fate; consequently, knowledge of the future would have done these men no good. In reality it would have entirely deprived the earlier portion of their lives of enjoyment; for how could they have been happy in reflecting what their ends would be? And so, however the Stoics turn and twist, all their shrewdness must come to naught. For, if a thing that is going to happen, may happen in one way or another, indifferently, chance is predomit; but things that happen by chance cannot be certain. But if it is certain what is going to befall me in reference to any matter and on every occasion, how do the soothsayers help me by saying that the greatest misfortunes await me? [10] 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. 2.29. Surely if entrails have any prophetic force, necessarily that force either is in accord with the laws of nature, or is fashioned in some way by the will and power of the gods. But between that divine system of nature whose great and glorious laws pervade all space and regulate all motion what possible connexion can there be with — I shall not say the gall of a chicken, whose entrails, some men assert, give very clear indications of the future, but — the liver, heart, and lungs of a sacrificial ox? And what natural quality is there in the entrails which enables them to indicate the future? [13] 2.31. Equally amusing is your story about Pherecydes, who, after looking at some water just drawn from a well, foretold an earthquake. It would be presumptuous enough, I think, for natural philosophers to attempt to explain the cause of an earthquake after it had happened; but can they actually tell, from looking at fresh water, that an earthquake is going to happen? Such nonsense is often heard in the schools, but one does not have to believe everything one hears. 2.32. But grant that these absurdities of Democritus are true — when do we ever consult entrails to learn about crops or health, or when have we acquired information on these particulars from a soothsayer after he had made an inspection of entrails? The soothsayers warn us of dangers by fire and flood and sometimes they prophesy the inheritance, sometimes the loss, of money: they discuss the favourable and the unfavourable cleft; they view the head of the liver with the utmost care from every side. If, perchance, the livers head should be wanting they regard it as the most unpropitious sign that could have happened. [14] 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. 2.34. There is no need to go on and mention the seas and straits with their tides, whose ebb and flow are governed by the motion of the moon. Innumerable instances of the same kind may be given to prove that some natural connexion does exist between objects apparently unrelated. Concede that it does exist; it does not contravene the point I make, that no sort of a cleft in a liver is prophetic of ficial gain. What natural tie, or what symphony, so to speak, or association, or what sympathy, as the Greeks term it, can there be between a cleft in a liver and a petty addition to my purse? Or what relationship between my miserable money-getting, on the one hand, and heaven, earth, and the laws of nature on the other?[15] However, I will concede even this if you wish, though it will greatly weaken my case to admit that there is any connexion between nature and the condition of the entrails; 2.35. yet, suppose the concession is made, how is it brought about that the man in search of favourable signs will find a sacrifice suitable to his purpose? I thought the question insoluble. But what a fine solution is offered! I am not ashamed of you — I am actually astonished at your memory; but I am ashamed of Chrysippus, Antipater, and Posidonius who say exactly what you said: The choice of the sacrificial victim is directed by the sentient and divine power which pervades the entire universe.But even more absurd is that other pronouncement of theirs which you adopted: At the moment of sacrifice a change in the entrails takes place; something is added or something taken away; for all things are obedient to the Divine Will. 2.37. How does it happen that you understand the one fact, that the bull could not have lived without a heart and do not realize the other, that the heart could not suddenly have vanished I know not where? As for me, possibly I do not know what vital function the heart performs; if I do I suspect that the bulls heart, as the result of a disease, became much wasted and shrunken and lost its resemblance to a heart. But, assuming that only a little while before the heart was in the sacrificial bull, why do you think it suddenly disappeared at the very moment of immolation? Dont you think, rather, that the bull lost his heart when he saw that Caesar in his purple robe had lost his head?Upon my word you Stoics surrender the very city of philosophy while defending its outworks! For, by your insistence on the truth of soothsaying, you utterly overthrow physiology. There is a head to the liver and a heart in the entrails, presto! they will vanish the very second you have sprinkled them with meal and wine! Aye, some god will snatch them away! Some invisible power will destroy them or eat them up! Then the creation and destruction of all things are not due to nature, and there are some things which spring from nothing or suddenly become nothing. Was any such statement ever made by any natural philosopher? It is made, you say, by soothsayers. Then do you think that soothsayers are worthier of belief than natural philosophers? [17] 2.38. Again, when sacrifices are offered to more than one god at the same time, how does it happen that the auspices are favourable in one case and unfavourable in another? Is it not strange fickleness in the gods to threaten disaster in the first set of entrails and to promise a blessing in the next? Or is there such discord among the gods — often even among those who are nearest of kin — that the entrails of the sacrifice you offer to Apollo, for example, are favourable and of those you offer at the same time to Diana are unfavourable? When victims for the sacrifice are brought up at haphazard it is perfectly clear that the character of entrails that you will receive will depend on the victim chance may bring. Oh! but someone will say, The choice itself is a matter of divine guidance, just as in the case of lots the drawing is directed by the gods! I shall speak of lots presently; although you really do not strengthen the cause of sacrifices by comparing them to lots; but you do weaken the cause of lots by comparing them with sacrifices. 2.39. When I send a slave to Aequimelium to bring me a lamb for a sacrifice and he brings me the lamb which has entrails suited to the exigencies of my particular case, it was not chance, I suppose, but a god that led the slave to that particular lamb! If you say that in this case too chance is, as it were, a sort of lot in accordance with the divine will, then I am sorry that our Stoic friends have given the Epicureans so great an opportunity for laughter, for you know how much fun they make of statements like that. 2.41. Why then do you Stoics involve yourselves in these sophistries, which you can never explain? Members of your school, when they are more hurried than usual, generally give us this syllogism: If there are gods, there is divination; but there are gods, therefore there is divination. A more logical one would be this: There is no divination, therefore there are no gods. Observe how rashly they commit themselves to the proposition, if there is no divination, there are no gods. I say rashly, for it is evident that divination has been destroyed and yet we must hold on to the gods. [18] 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. 2.44. For if he had but one bolt his hurling it so often would be strange. Nor would he be able to give men so many advices by thunderbolts as to what they should or should not do. But the Stoics account for the thunderbolt thus: When the cold exhalations from the earth begin to circulate they become winds; when these winds enter a cloud they begin to break up and scatter its thinnest portions; if they do this very rapidly and with great violence, thunder and lightning are thereby produced. Again, when clouds collide their heat is forcibly driven out and the thunderbolt is the result. Realizing, then, that these phenomena are due to natural causes, and happen without regularity and at no certain time, shall we look to them for signs of future events? It is passing strange, if Jupiter warns us by means of thunderbolts, that he sends so many to no purpose! 2.45. What, for example, is his object in hurling them into the middle of the sea? or, as he so often does, on to the tops of lofty mountains? Why, pray, does he waste them in solitary deserts? And why does he fling them on the shores of peoples who do not take any notice of them?[20] Oh! but you say, the head was found in the Tiber. As if I contended that your soothsayers were devoid of art! My contention is that there is no divination. By dividing the heavens in the manner already indicated and by noting what happened in each division the soothsayers learn whence the thunderbolt comes and whither it goes, but no method can show that the thunderbolt has any prophetic value. However, you array those verses of mine against me:For high-thundering Jove, as he stood on starry Olympus,Hurtled his blows at the temples and monuments raised in his honour,And on the Capitols site unloosed the bolts of his lightning.Then, the poem goes on to say, the statue of Natta, the images of the gods and the piece representing Romulus and Remus, with their wolf-nurse, were struck by a thunderbolt and fell to the ground. The prophecies made by the soothsayers from these events were fulfilled to the letter. 2.46. Besides, you quote me as authority for the remarkable fact that, at the very time when proof of the conspiracy was being presented to the Senate, the statue of Jupiter, which had been contracted for two years before, was being erected on the Capitol.Will you then — for thus you pleaded with me — will you then persuade yourself to take sides against me in this discussion, in the face of your own writings and of your own practice? You are my brother and on that account I shrink from recrimination. But what, pray, is causing you distress in this matter? Is it the nature of the subject? Or is it my insistence on finding out the truth? And so I waive your charge of my inconsistency — I am asking you for an explanation of the entire subject of soothsaying. But you betook yourself to a strange place of refuge. You knew that you would be in straits when I asked your reason for each kind of divination, and, hence, you had much to say to this effect: Since I see what divination does I do not ask the reason or the cause why it does it. The question is, what does it do? not, why does it do it? As if I would grant either that divination accomplished anything, or that it was permissible for a philosopher not to ask why anything happened! 2.47. It was in that same connexion that you brought force my Prognostics and some samples of herbs — the scammony and aristolochia root — saying that you could see their virtue and effect but did not know the cause.[21] But your illustrations are not pertinent at all. For example, the causes of meteorological phenomena have been investigated by Boëthus the Stoic, whom you mentioned, and by our friend Posidonius; and even if the causes are not discovered by them, yet the phenomena themselves are capable of observation and study. But what opportunity was there for long-continued observation in the case where Nattas statue and the brazen tablets of laws were struck by lightning? The Nattas, you say, were of the Pinarian gens and of noble birth, therefore danger was to be expected from the nobility. So clever of Jupiter to devise such a means to warn us of danger! The statue of the infant Romulus, you observe, was struck by a thunderbolt; hence danger was thereby predicted to the city which he founded. How wise of Jupiter to use signs in conveying information to us! Again, you say, Jupiter statue was being set up at the very time the conspiracy was being exposed. You, of course, prefer to attribute this coincidence to a divine decree rather than to chance. The man to whom Cotta and Torquatus let the contract for the statue did not, I presume, delay the completion of his work either from lack of energy or from lack of funds, but his hand was stayed till the appointed hour by the immortal gods! 2.48. I am not a hopeless sceptic on the subject of such warnings really being sent by the gods; however, I do not know that they are and I want to learn the actual facts from you. Again, when certain other events occurred as they had been foretold by diviners and I attributed the coincidence to chance, you talked a long time about chance. You said, for example, For the Venus-throw to result from one cast of the four dice might be due to chance; but if a hundred Venus-throws resulted from one hundred casts this could not be due to chance. In the first place I do not know why it could not; but I do not contest the point, for you are full of the same sort of examples — like that about the scattering of the paints and that one about the hogs snout, and you had very many other examples besides. You also mentioned that myth from Carneades about the head of Pan — as if the likeness could not have been the result of chance! and as if every block of marble did not necessarily have within it heads worthy of Praxiteles! For his masterpieces were made by chipping away the marble, not by adding anything to it; and when, after much chipping, the lineaments of a face were reached, one then realized that the work now polished and complete had always been inside the block. 2.49. Therefore, it is possible that some such figure as Carneades described did spontaneously appear in the Chian quarries. On the other hand, the story may be untrue. Again, you have often noticed clouds take the form of a lion or a hippocentaur. Therefore it is possible for chance to imitate reality, and this you just now denied.[22] But since entrails and lightnings have been sufficiently discussed it remains for us to examine portents, if we are to treat soothsaying in its entirety. You spoke of a mule bearing a colt. Such an event excites wonder because it seldom occurs; but if it had been impossible it would not have occurred. And it may be urged with effect against all portents that the impossible never has happened and that the possible need not excite any wonder. Now, in case of some new occurrence, ignorance of its cause is what excites our wonder; whereas, the same ignorance as to things of frequent occurrence does not. For the man who marvels that a mule has foaled does not understand how a mare foals and is ignorant of animal parturition in general. What he sees frequently causes him no astonishment even though he does not know how it happened. If something happens which he never saw before he considers it a portent. Then, which is the portent — the mules conception or its parturition? 2.51. Now do we need a Carneades or an Epicurus to refute such nonsense? Who in the world is stupid enough to believe that anybody ever ploughed up — which shall I say — a god or a man? If a god, why did he, contrary to his nature, hide himself in the ground to be uncovered and brought to the light of day by a plough? Could not this so‑called god have delivered this art to mankind from a more exalted station? But if this fellow Tages was a man, pray, how could he have lived covered with earth? Finally, where had he himself learned the things he taught others? But really in spending so much time in refuting such stuff I am more absurd than the very people who believe it.[24] But indeed, that was quite a clever remark which Cato made many years ago: I wonder, said he, that a soothsayer doesnt laugh when he sees another soothsayer. 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? 2.53. Ye gods, how many times were they mistaken in the late civil war! What oracular messages the soothsayers sent from Rome to our Pompeian party then in Greece! What assurances they gave to Pompey! For he placed great reliance in divination by means of entrails and portents. I have no wish to call these instances to mind, and indeed it is unnecessary — especially to you, since you had personal knowledge of them. Still, you are aware that the result was nearly always contrary to the prophecy. But enough on this point: let us now come to portents. [25] 2.54. You have cited many instances of portents from the verses which I wrote during my consulship; you adduced many others which occurred prior to the Marsian War and which are included in Sisennas compilation, and you mentioned a great number which are recorded by Callisthenes and which preceded the unfortunate battle of the Spartans at Leuctra. I shall, of course, speak of each of these instances separately, in so far as they require notice; but I must first discuss portents generally. Now, what is the nature of these intimations, or of this advance-information, as it were, sent out by the gods to apprise us of coming disasters? In the first place, why do immortal gods see fit to give us warning which we cant understand without the aid of interpreters? In the next place, why do they warn us of things which we cannot avoid? Why, even a mortal, if he has a proper sense of duty, does not warn his friends of imminent disasters which can in no way be escaped. Physicians, for example, although they know many times that their patients are going to die of a present disease, yet never tell them so; for a forewarning of an evil is justified only when to the warning is joined a means of escape. 2.55. However, then, did portents of their interpreters help the Spartans of long ago, or our Pompeian friends in more recent times? If these signs you speak of are to be considered as sent by the gods, why were they so obscure? For, if we had the right to know what was going to happen, it should have been stated to us clearly: or, if the gods did not wish us to know, they should not have told us — even in riddles.[26] Now every sort of conjecture — and divination depends on conjecture — is often applied by the wit of man to many different and even contradictory uses. As in judicial causes the prosecutor draws one inference and the lawyer for the defendant another from the same set of facts, and yet the inferences of both are plausible; so, in all investigations in which it is customary to employ conjecture, ambiguity is found. Moreover, in the case of things that happen now by chance now in the usual course of nature (sometimes too mistakes are caused by taking appearance for reality), it is the height of folly to hold the gods as the direct agents and not to inquire into the causes of such things. 2.56. You believe that the Boeotian bards at Lebadia foretold victory for the Thebans from the crowing of cocks; for cocks, you say, are wont to be silent when defeated and to crow when victorious. Do you really believe that Jupiter would have employed chickens to convey such a message to so great a state? And is it true that these fowls are not accustomed to crow except when they are victorious? But at that time they did crow and they had not yet been victorious. Oh! that was a portent, you say. A fine portent indeed! you talk as if a fish and not a cock had done the crowing! But come; is there any time, day or night, when they are not liable to crow? And if the pleasant sensation — or joy if you will — which comes from victory causes them to crow, then, possibly, joy springing from some other source may have the same effect. 2.57. By the way, Democritus gives a very good explanation of why cocks crow before day. Their food, he says, after it has been digested, is expelled from the craw and is distributed over the entire body. By the time that process is completed they have had sleep enough and begin to crow. And then, in the silence of the night, as Ennius says, they indulge their russet throats in song and beat their flapping wings. In view, then, of the fact that this creature is prone to crow of its own volition at any time, and may be made to crow either by nature or by chance, how did it ever occur to Callisthenes to say that the gods conveyed prophecies to men by the crowing of cocks? [27] 2.58. Reports, you say, were made to the Senate that there was a shower of blood, that the river Atratus actually flowed with blood and that the statues of the gods dripped with sweat. You do not think for a moment that Thales, Anaxagoras, or any other natural philosopher would have believed such reports? Sweat and blood you may be sure do not come except from animate bodies. An effect strikingly like blood is produced by the admixture of water with certain kinds of soil; and the moisture which forms on the outside of objects, as we see it on our plastered walls when the south wind blows, seems to resemble sweat. Such occurrences, which in time of war appear to the timid to be most frequent and most real, are scarcely noticed in times of peace. Moreover, in periods of fear and of danger stories of portents are not only more readily believed, but they are invented with greater impunity. 2.59. But are we simple and thoughtless enough to think it a portent for mice to gnaw something, when gnawing is their one business in life? But, you say, the fact that just before the Marsian War mice gnawed the shields at Lanuvium was pronounced by the soothsayers to be a very direful portent. As if it mattered a whit whether mice, which are gnawing something day and night, gnawed shields or sieves! Hence, by the same token, the fact that, at my house, mice recently gnawed my Platos Republic should fill me with alarm for the Roman republic; or if they had gnawed my Epicurus On Pleasure I should have expected a rise in the market price of food! [28] 2.61. If I were to ask Chrysippus the causes of all the phenomena just mentioned, that distinguished writer on divination would never say that they happened by chance, but he would find an explanation for each of them in the laws of nature. For he would say: Nothing can happen without a cause; nothing actually happens that cannot happen; if that has happened which could have happened, then it should not be considered a portent; therefore there are no such things as portents. Now if a thing is to be considered a portent because it is seldom seen, then a wise man is a portent; for, as I think, it oftener happens that a mule brings forth a colt than that nature produces a sage. Chrysippus, in this connexion, gives the following syllogism: That which could not have happened never did happen; and that which could have happened is no portent; therefore, in any view, there is no such thing as a portent. 2.62. This is illustrated by the story of a clever response made by a certain diviner and interpreter of portents. A man referred to him for interpretation as a portent the fact that a snake was seen at his house, coiled about a beam. That was not a portent, said the diviner; it would have been if the beam had been wrapped around the snake. By this answer he said plainly enough: Nothing that can happen is to be considered a portent.[29] You refer to a letter, written by Gaius Gracchus to Marcus Pomponius, stating that Tiberius Gracchus, father of Gaius, caught two snakes in his house and called together the soothsayers. And why a conference about snakes rather than about lizards or mice? You answer, Because we see lizards and mice every day; snakes we do not. As if it makes any difference how often a thing happens if it can happen at all! And yet what surprises me is this: If the release of the female snake was to be fatal to Tiberius Gracchus and that of the male was to be the death of Cornelia, why in the world did he let either snake escape? For Gaius in his letter does not state that the soothsayers expressed any opinion as to the result if neither snake had been released. Be that as it may, you reply, death overtook Gracchus. That is granted, but his death was caused by some very serious illness and not by the release of the snake. Besides, soothsayers are not so unlucky that their predictions never come true — even by accident! [30] 2.63. I should, of course, marvel at that famous story you got out of Homer about Calchas predicting the years of the Trojan War from the number of sparrows — if I believed it! In a leisure moment I thus translated what Agamemnon in Homer says about this prophecy:Be patient, men; with fortitude endureYour grievous tasks till we can ascertainIf what our Calchas prophesies be true,Or only idle fancies of his breastFor all who have not left the light of day,In gloomy shades to dwell, retain these signsImprinted on their minds. When Aulis firstWas decked with Grecian fleets, which carried deathFor Priam, ruin for Troy, we stood aboutThe fountains cool and sought to please the godsWith gold-crowned bulls on smoking altars laid.Beneath the plane-trees shade, whence gushed a spring,We saw a frightful dragon, huge of size,With mighty folds, forth from an altar come,By Jove impelled. It seized some sparrows hidWithin the plane-trees leafy boughs and eightDevoured; the ninth — the mother bird — beganTo flutter round and utter plaintive cries:From her the cruel beast her vitals tore. 2.64. Now when the mother and her tender broodWere slain, the son of Saturn who had sentThe dragon forth, took it away; and thenDid change its form into enduring stone.In fear we stood and watched the monster strange,As midst the altars of the gods it moved.Then Calchas, full occurring, thus did speak:Why paralysed with sudden fear, O Greeks?These signs divine were sent by Jove himself.And though these tardy signs were long delayed,Their fame and glory will for ever live.The number of the birds ye saw destroyedBy horrid tooth, portends how many yearsof war we shall endure in front of Troy.The tenth year Troy will fall and then her fateWill satisfy the Greeks. Thus Calchas spokeAnd what he prophesied ye see fulfilled. 2.65. But, pray, by what principle of augury does he deduce years rather than months or days from the number of sparrows? Again, why does he base his prophecy on little sparrows which are not abnormal sights and ignore the alleged fact — which is impossible — that the dragon was turned to stone? Finally, what is there about a sparrow to suggest years? In connexion with your story of the snake which appeared to Sulla when he was offering sacrifices, I recall two facts: first, that when Sulla offered sacrifices, as he was about to begin his march against the enemy, a snake came out from under the altar; and, second, that the glorious victory won by him that day was due not to the soothsayers art, but to the skill of the general. [31] 2.66. There is nothing remarkable about the so‑called portents of the kind just mentioned; but after they have happened they are brought within the field of prophecy by some interpretation Take, for example, your stories of the grains of wheat heaped into the mouth of Midas when a boy, and of the bees which settled on the lips of Plato, when he was a child — they are more remarkable as guesses than as real prophecies. Besides, the incidents may have been fictitious; if not, then the fulfilment of the prophecy may have been accidental. As to that incident about Roscius it may, of course, be untrue that a snake coiled itself around him; but it is not so surprising that a snake was in his cradle — especially in Solonium where snakes are attracted in large numbers by the heat of the fireplaces. As to your statement that the soothsayers prophesied a career of unrivalled brilliancy for Roscius, it is a strange thing to me that the immortal gods foretold the glory of a future actor and did not foretell that of Africanus! 2.67. And you have even collected the portent-stories connected with Flaminius: His horse, you say, stumbled and fell with him. That is very strange, isnt it? And, The standard of the first company could not be pulled up. Perhaps the standard-bearer had planted it stoutly and pulled it up timidly. What is astonishing in the fact that the horse of Dionysius came up out of the river, or that it had bees in its mane? And yet, because Dionysius began to reign a short time later — which was a mere coincidence — the event referred to is considered a portent! The arms sounded, you say, in the temple of Hercules in Sparta; the folding-doors of the same god at Thebes, though securely barred, opened of their own accord, and the shields hanging upon the walls of that temple fell to the ground. Now since none of these things could have happened without some exterior force, why should we say that they were brought about by divine agency rather than by chance? [32] 2.68. You mention the appearance — a sudden appearance it was — of a crown of wild herbs on the head of Lysanders statue at Delphi. Really? And do you think the crown of herbs appeared before their seeds were formed? Besides, the wild herbs, in my opinion, came from seeds brought by birds and were not planted by human agency. Again, imagination can make anything on top of a head look like a crown. At the same time, you say, the golden stars in the temple of Castor and Pollux at Delphi fell down and were nowhere to be found. That appears to me to have been the work of thieves rather than of gods. 2.69. I am indeed astonished that Greek historians should have recorded the mischievous pranks of the Dodonean ape. For what is less strange than for this hideous beast to have turned over the vase and scattered the lots? And yet the historians declare that no portent more direful than this ever befell the Spartans!You spoke also of the Veientine prophecy that if Lake Albanus overflowed and emptied into the sea, Rome would fall, but if held in check Veii would fall. Well, it turned out that the water from the lake was drawn off — but it was drawn off through irrigation ditches — not to save the Capitol and the city, but to improve the farming lands. And, not long after this occurred, a voice was heard, you say, warning the people to take steps to prevent the capture of Rome by the Gauls. Therefore an altar was erected on the Nova Via in honour of Aius the Speaker. But why? Did your Aius the Speaker, before anybody knew who he was, both speak and talk and from that fact receive his name? And after he had secured a seat, an altar, and a name did he become mute? Your Juno Moneta may likewise be dismissed with a question: What did she ever admonish us about except the pregt sow? [33] 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] 2.76. But we shall discuss the latter point at greater length in other discourses; let us dismiss it for the present.Now let us examine augury as practised among foreign nations, whose methods are not so artificial as they are superstitious. They employ almost all kinds of birds, we only a few; they regard some signs as favourable, we, others. Deiotarus used to question me a great deal about our system of augury, and I him about that of his country. Ye gods! how much they differed! So much that in some cases they were directly the reverse of each other. He employed auspices constantly, we never do except when the duty of doing so is imposed by a vote of the people. Our ancestors would not undertake any military enterprise without consulting the auspices; but now, for many years, our wars have been conducted by pro-consuls and pro-praetors, who do not have the right to take auspices. 2.77. Therefore they have no tripudium and they cross rivers without first taking the auspices. What, then, has become of divining by means of birds? It is not used by those who conduct our wars, for they have not the right of auspices. Since it has been withdrawn from use in the field I suppose it is reserved for city use only!As to divination ex acuminibus, which is altogether military, it was wholly ignored by that famous man, Marcus Marcellus, who was consul five times and, besides, was a commander-in‑chief, as well as a very fine augur. In fact, he used to say that, if he wished to execute some manoeuvre which he did not want interfered with by the auspices, he would travel in a closed litter. His method is of a kind with the advice which we augurs give, that the draught cattle be ordered to be unyoked so as to prevent a iuge auspicium. 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. 2.79. Birds indicate that results will be unfavourable or favourable. In my view of the case Deiotarus employed the auspices of virtue, and virtue bids us not to look to fortune until the claims of honour are discharged. However, if the birds indicated that the issue would be favourable to Deiotarus they certainly deceived him. He fled from the battle with Pompey — a serious situation! He separated from Pompey — an occasion of sorrow! He beheld Caesar at once his enemy and his guest — what could have been more distressing than that? Caesar wrested from him the tetrarchy over the Trocmi and conferred it upon some obscure sycophant of his own from Pergamus; deprived him of Armenia, a gift from the Senate; accepted a most lavish hospitality at the hands of his royal host and left him utterly despoiled. But I wander too far: I must return to the point at issue. If we examine this matter from the standpoint of the results — and that was the question submitted to the determination of the birds — the issue was in no sense favourable to Deiotarus; but if we examine it from the standpoint of duty, he sought information on that score not from the auspices, but from his own conscience. [38] 2.81. But, you say, all kings, peoples, and nations employ auspices. As if there were anything so absolutely common as want of sense, or as if you yourself in deciding anything would accept the opinion of the mob! How often will you find a man who will say that pleasure is not a good! Most people actually call it the highest good. Then will the Stoics abandon their views about pleasure because the crowd is against them? or do you think that the multitude follows the lead of the Stoics in very many matters? What wonder, then, if in auspices and in every kind of divination weak minds should adopt the superstitious practices which you have mentioned and should be unable to discern the truth? 2.82. Moreover, there is no uniformity, and no consistent and constant agreement between augurs. Ennius, speaking with reference to the Roman system of augury, said:Then on the left, from out a cloudless sky,Joves thunder rolled its goodly omen forth.But Homers Ajax, in complaining to Achilles of some ferocious deed or other of the Trojans, speaks in this wise:For their success Jove thunders on the right.So we regard signs on the left as best — Greeks and barbarians, those on the right. And yet I am aware that we call favourable signs sinistra, or left-hand signs, even though they may be on the right. Undoubtedly our ancestors in choosing the left side and foreign nations the right were both influenced by what experience had shown them was the more favourable quarter in most cases. 2.83. What a conflict this is! In view, then, of the differences between different nations in the responses, in the manner in which observations are made and in the kinds of birds and signs employed, need I assert that divination is compounded of a little error, a little superstition, and a good deal of fraud?[40] And to these superstitions you have actually joined omens! For example: Aemilia told Paulus that Persa was dead and her father accepted this as an omen. Caecilia said that she surrendered her seat to her sisters daughter. Then you go on and speak of the order of silence, favete linguis and the prerogative, or omen of the elections. This is indeed turning the artillery of ones eloquence and learning against oneself! For while on the watch for these oracles of yours could you be so free and calm of mind that you would have reason and not superstition to guide your course? Now, if a person in the course of his own business or conversation should make some remark, and a word spoken by him happened to apply to what you were doing or thinking, do you really believe that such an accident should cause you either fear or joy? 2.84. When Marcus Crassus was embarking his army at Brundisium a man who was selling Caunian figs at the harbour, repeatedly cried out Cauneas, Cauneas. Let us say, if you will, that this was a warning to Crassus to bid him Beware of going, and that if he had obeyed the omen he would not have perished. But if we are going to accept chance utterances of this kind as omens, we had better look out when we stumble, or break a shoe-string, or sneeze![41] Lots and the Chaldean astrologers remain to be discussed before we come to prophets and to dreams. 2.85. And pray what is the need, do you think, to talk about the casting of lots? It is much like playing at morra, dice, or knuckle-bones, in which recklessness and luck prevail rather than reflection and judgement. The whole scheme of divination by lots was fraudulently contrived from mercenary motives, or as a means of encouraging superstition and error. But let us follow the method used in the discussion of soothsaying and consider the traditional origin of the most famous lots. According to the annals of Praeneste Numerius Suffustius, who was a distinguished man of noble birth, was admonished by dreams, often repeated, and finally even by threats, to split open a flint rock which was lying in a designated place. Frightened by the visions and disregarding the jeers of his fellow-townsmen he set about doing as he had been directed. And so when he had broken open the stone, the lots sprang forth carved on oak, in ancient characters. The site where the stone was found is religiously guarded to this day. It is hard by the statue of the infant Jupiter, who is represented as sitting with Juno in the lap of Fortune and reaching for her breast, and it is held in the highest reverence by mothers. 2.86. There is a tradition that, concurrently with the finding of the lots and in the spot where the temple of Fortune now stands, honey flowed from an olive-tree. Now the soothsayers, who had declared that those lots would enjoy an unrivalled reputation, gave orders that a chest should be made from the tree and lots placed in the chest. At the present time the lots are taken from their receptacle if Fortune directs. What reliance, pray, can you put in these lots, which at Fortunes nod are shuffled and drawn by the hand of a child? And how did they ever get in that rock? Who cut down the oak-tree? and who fashioned and carved the lots? Oh! but somebody says, God can bring anything to pass. If so, then I wish he had made the Stoics wise, so that they would not be so pitiably and distressingly superstitious and so prone to believe everything they hear! This sort of divining, however, has now been discarded by general usage. The beauty and age of the temple still preserve the name of the lots of Praeneste — that is, among the common people 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] 2.101. After this statement had been made by Quintus, I began again, making a new start, so to speak:I am well aware, my dear Quintus, that, while you have always felt a doubt about all other kinds of divination, you approve of the two you just mentioned — divination by frenzy and divination by dreams, both of which, it is thought, flow from a soul set free. Let me, then, state my opinion of these two kinds of divination. But, first, let me examine that syllogism of the Stoics and of our friend Cratippus and see how sound it is. You stated the syllogism of Chrysippus, Diogenes, and Antipater in this way:If there are gods and they do not make clear to man in advance what the future will be, then they do not love man, or they themselves do not know what the future will be; or they think that it is of no advantage to man to know what the future will be; or they think it inconsistent with their dignity to give to man forewarnings of the future; or they, though gods, cannot give signs of human events. 2.102. But it is not true that the gods do not love us (for they are the friends and benefactors of the human race); nor is it true that they do not know what they themselves have determined and planned; nor is it true that it is of no advantage to us to know what is going to happen (for man would be more prudent if he knew); nor is it true that the gods think it inconsistent with their dignity to give forecasts of the future (for there is no more excellent quality than kindness); nor is it true that they have not the power to know the future; therefore, it is not true that there are gods and yet that they do not give us signs of the future; but there are gods; therefore they give us such signs; and it is not true, if they give us such signs, that they give us no means of understanding those signs, otherwise their signs would be useless; nor, if they give us the means, is it true that there is no divination: therefore divination exists. 2.104. You see how Epicurus proceeds from admitted premises to the proposition to be established. But this you Stoic logicians do not do; for you not only do not assume premises which everybody concedes, but you even assume premises which, if granted, do not tend in the least to establish what you wish to prove. For you start with this assumption: If there are gods they are kindly disposed towards men. Now who will grant you that? Epicurus? But he says that the gods do not trouble a whit about themselves or about anybody else. Is it our own Ennius? But he says with general approval and applause:I always said that there were gods on high,And this I never will neglect to say;But my opinion is they do not careWhat destiny befalls the human race.To be sure he proceeds to give the reason for his opinion in succeeding lines, but there is no need to repeat them. Enough has been shown to make it clear that your Stoic friends assume as certain what is the subject of doubt and discussion. [51] 2.105. But the syllogism goes on to say: The gods are not ignorant of anything, for all things were ordained by them. But what a heavy attack is made on this very point by scholars who deny that such and such things were ordained by the immortal gods! But it is to our interest to know what is going to happen. Yet Dicaearchus has written a large volume to prove that it is better not to know than to know the future. They say further: It is not inconsistent with the dignity of gods to give knowledge of the future. But entirely consistent, I presume, for them to peer into every mans house to see what he needs! 2.106. It is not true that the gods cannot know the future. But their ability to know is denied by those who maintain that it is not certain what the future will be. Now dont you see what doubtful premises they assume to be certain and take for granted? Next they hurl this dialectical dart: Therefore it is not true both that there are gods and yet that they do not give signs of the future. And of course you think that the matter is now settled. Then they make another assumption: But there are gods. Even that is not conceded by everybody. Therefore they give signs of the future. Not necessarily so: for they may not give us signs of the future and still be gods. Nor is it true that, if they give such signs, they give no means of interpreting those signs. But it may be that they have the means and yet do not impart them to man; for why would they impart them to the Etruscans rather than to the Romans? Again, the Stoics say: If the gods do impart the means, that is divination. Grant that they do (which is absurd), what is the good if we do not understand? Their conclusion is: Therefore there is divination. Suppose that is their conclusion, still they have not proved it; for, as they themselves have taught us, the truth cannot be proved from false premises. Hence their entire argument falls to the ground. [52] 2.109. Cratippus states his minor premise thus; But there are countless instances of prophecies being fulfilled without the intervention of luck. On the contrary, I say there isnt even one. Observe how keen the controversy grows! Now that the minor premise is denied the conclusion fails. But he retorts: You are unreasonable not to grant it, it is so evident. Why evident? Because many prophecies come true. And what of the fact that many more dont come true? Does not this very uncertainty, which is characteristic of luck, demonstrate that their fulfilment is accounted for by luck and not by any law of nature? Furthermore, my dear Cratippus — for my controversy is with you — if that argument of yours is sound, dont you see that it is equally available in behalf of the means of divination practised by soothsayers, augurs, Chaldeans and by interpreters of lightnings, portents, and lots? For each of these classes will furnish you with at least one instance of a prophecy that came to pass. Therefore either they too are all means of divining — and this you very properly deny — or, if they are not, then, so far as I can see, the two classes which you permit to remain are not means of divining. Hence the same reasoning employed by you to establish the two kinds which you accept may be used to establish the others which you reject. [54] 2.113. Then, I suppose you are going to force me to believe in myths? Let them be as charming as you please and as finished as possible in language, thought, rhythm, and melody, still we ought not to give credence to fictitious incidents or to quote them as authority. On that principle no reliance, in my opinion, should be placed in the prophecies of your Publicius — whoever he may have been — or in those of the Marcian bards or in those of the hazy oracles of Apollo: some were obviously false and others mere senseless chatter and none of them were ever believed in by any man of ordinary sense, much less by any person of wisdom. 2.114. Oh! but what about that oarsman in Coponiuss fleet, you say, didnt he truly foretell what afterwards came to pass? He did indeed, and the very things that all of us at the time feared would happen. For news was coming to us that the armies of Caesar and Pompey were facing each other in Thessaly. We thought that Caesars troops had more reckless courage because they were fighting against their country and greater strength because of their long military training. Besides there was not one of us who did not dread the outcome of the battle, but our apprehension was not openly shown and was such as not to be discreditable to men of strong character. As for that Greek sailor, is it strange if, in the extremity of his fear, he, as most people do in such cases, lost his courage, reason, and self-control? In his mental excitement and aberration, he merely stated that things would occur, which, when he was himself, he feared would come to pass. In heavens name, pray tell me, then, which you think was more likely to have had the power to interpret the decrees of the immortal gods — that crazy sailor, or someone of our party then on the ground — Cato, Varro, Coponius or I? [56] 2.115. But now I come to you,Apollo, sacred guard of earths true core,Whence first came frenzied, wild prophetic words.Chrysippus filled a whole volume with your oracles; of these some, as I think, were false; some came true by chance, as happens very often even in ordinary speech; some were so intricate and obscure that their interpreter needs an interpreter and the oracles themselves must be referred back to the oracle; and some so equivocal that they require a dialectician to construe them. For example, when the following oracular response was made to Asias richest king:When Croesus oer the river Halys goesHe will a mighty kingdom overthrow,Croesus thought that he would overthrow his enemys kingdom, whereas he overthrew his own. 2.116. But in either event the oracle would have been true. Besides, why need I believe that this oracle was ever given to Croesus? or why should I consider Herodotus more truthful than Ennius? and was the former less able to invent stories about Croesus than Ennius was about Pyrrhus? For instance, nobody believes Ennius when he says that Apollos oracle gave the following response to Pyrrhus:O son of Aeacus, my prediction isThat you the Roman army will defeat.In the first place Apollo never spoke in Latin; second, that oracle is unknown to the Greeks; third, in the days of Pyrrhus Apollo had already ceased making verses, and, finally, although the sons of Aeacus have ever been, as Ennius says,a stolid race,And more for valour than for wisdom famed,still Pyrrhus would have had sense enough to see that the equivocal line — You the Roman army will defeat — was no more favourable to him than to the Romans. As for that equivocal response which deceived Croesus, it might have deceived — Chrysippus, for example; but the one made to Pyrrhus wouldnt have fooled — even Epicurus! [57] 2.117. However, the main question is this: Why are Delphic oracles (of which I have just given you examples) not uttered at the present time and have not been for a long time? And why are they regarded with the utmost contempt? When pressed at this point their apologists affirm that the long flight of time has gradually dissipated the virtue of the place whence came those subterranean exhalations which inspired the Pythian priestess to utter oracles. One might think that they are talking about wine or brine which do evaporate. But the question is about the virtue of a place — a virtue which you call not only natural but even divine, — pray how did it evaporate? By length of time, you say. But what length of time could destroy a divine power? And what is as divine as a subterranean exhalation that inspires the soul with power to foresee the future — a power such that it not only sees things a long time before they happen, but actually foretells them in rhythmic verse? When did the virtue disappear? Was it after men began to be less credulous? 2.118. By the way, Demosthenes, who lived nearly three hundred years ago, used to say even then that the Pythian priestess philippized, in other words, that she was Philips ally. By this expression he meant to infer that she had been bribed by Philip. Hence we may conclude that in other instances the Delphic oracles were not entirely free of guile. But, for some inexplicable cause, those superstitious and half-cracked philosophers of yours would rather appear absurd than anything else in the world. You Stoics, instead of rejecting these incredible tales, prefer to believe that a power had gradually faded into nothingness, whereas if it ever had existed it certainly would be eternal. [58] 2.119. There is a like error in regard to dreams. How far-fetched is the argument in their defence! Our souls (according to the view of your school) are divine and are derived from an external source; the universe is filled with a multitude of harmonious souls; therefore, because of its divinity and its contact with other souls, the human soul during sleep foresees what is to come. But Zeno thinks that sleep is nothing more than a contraction — a slipping and a collapse, as it were — of the human soul. Then Pythagoras and Plato, who are most respectable authorities, bid us, if we would have trustworthy dreams, to prepare for sleep by following a prescribed course in conduct and in eating. The Pythagoreans make a point of prohibiting beans, as if thereby the soul and not the belly was filled with wind! Somehow or other no statement is too absurd for some philosophers to make. 2.121. By applying conjecture to the countless delusions of drunk or crazy men we may sometimes deduce what appears to be a real prophecy; for who, if he shoots at a mark all day long, will not occasionally hit it? We sleep every night and there is scarcely ever a night when we do not dream; then do we wonder that our dreams come true sometimes? Nothing is so uncertain as a cast of dice and yet there is no one who plays often who does not sometimes make a Venus-throw and occasionally twice or thrice in succession. Then are we, like fools, to prefer to say that it happened by the direction of Venus rather than by chance? And if we are to put no trust in false visions at other times I do not see what especial virtue there is in sleep to entitle its false visions to be taken as true. 2.122. On the other hand if nature had intended that sleepers should do what they dreamed, persons on going to bed would always have to be tied, otherwise they would commit more follies in their dreams than any madman ever did.And if, because of their unreality, we are to have no faith in the visions of the insane, I do not understand why we place any confidence in dreams, which are far more confused. Is it because the insane do not tell their delusions to interpreters of visions while dreamers do? I ask you this: suppose I wished to read, write, or sing, or to play on the lute, or to solve some problem in geometry, physics, or logic, must I wait for a dream, or must I depend upon the peculiar knowledge which each of these several arts or sciences requires and without which none of them can be utilized or mastered? No; and not even if I wanted to sail a ship, would I pilot it as I might have dreamed I should; for the punishment would be immediate. 2.123. What would be the sense in the sick seeking relief from an interpreter of dreams rather than from a physician? Or do you think that Aesculapius and Serapis have the power to prescribe a cure for our bodily ills through the medium of a dream and that Neptune cannot aid pilots thru the same means? or think you that though Minerva will prescribe physic in a dream without the aid of a physician, yet that the Muses will not employ dreams to impart a knowledge of reading, writing, and of other arts? If knowledge of a remedy for disease were conveyed by means of dreams, knowledge of the arts just mentioned would also be given by dreams. But since knowledge of these arts is not so conveyed neither is the knowledge of medicine. The theory that the medical art was imparted by means of dreams having been disproved, the basis of a belief in dreams is utterly destroyed. [60] 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. 2.125. But how often, pray, do you find anyone who pays any attention to dreams or who understands or remembers them? On the other hand, how many treat them with disdain, and regard a belief in them as the superstition of a weak and effeminate mind! Moreover, why does God, in planning for the good of the human race, convey his warnings by means of dreams which men consider unworthy not only of worrying about, but even of remembering? For it is impossible that God does not know how people generally regard dreams; and to do anything needlessly and without a cause is unworthy of a god and is inconsistent even with the habits of right-thinking men. And hence, if most dreams are unnoticed and disregarded, either God is ignorant of that fact, or he does a vain thing in conveying information by means of dreams; but neither supposition accords with the nature of a god, therefore, it must be admitted that God conveys no information by means of dreams. [61] 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. 2.127. And further, what is the need of a method which, instead of being direct, is so circuitous and roundabout that we have to employ men to interpret our dreams? And if it be true that God consults for our advantage he would say: Do this, Dont do that, and not give us visions when we are awake rather than when we are asleep.[62] And further, would anybody dare to say that all dreams are true? Some dreams are true, says Ennius, but not necessarily all. Pray how do you distinguish between the two? What mark have the false and what the true? And if God sends the true, whence come the false? Surely if God sends the false ones too what is more untrustworthy than God? Besides what is more stupid than to excite the souls of mortals with false and lying visions? But if true visions are divine while the false and meaningless ones are from nature, what sort of caprice decided that God made the one and nature made the other, rather than that God made them all, which your school denies, or that nature made them all? Since you deny that God made them all you must admit that nature made them all. 2.128. By nature, in this connexion, I mean that force because of which the soul can never be stationary and free from motion and activity. And when, because of the weariness of the body, the soul can use neither the limbs nor the senses, it lapses into varied and untrustworthy visions, which emanate from what Aristotle terms the clinging remts of the souls waking acts and thoughts. These remts, when aroused, sometimes produce strange types of dreams. Now if some of these dreams are true and others false, I should like very much to know by what mark they may be distinguished. If there is none, why should we listen to your interpreters? But if there is one, I am eager for them to tell me what it is, but they will grow confused when I ask and will not answer. [63] 2.129. The question now arises as to which is the more probable: do the immortal gods, who are of surpassing excellence in all things, constantly flit about, not only the beds, but even the lowly pallets of mortals, wherever they may be, and when they find someone snoring, throw at him dark and twisted visions, which scare him from his sleep and which he carries in the morning to a dream-expert to unravel? or does nature bring it to pass that the ever-active soul sees in sleep phantoms of what it saw when the body was awake? Which is more consot with philosophy: to explain these apparitions by the superstitious theories of fortune-telling hags, or by an explanation based on natural causes? But even if it were possible to draw trustworthy inferences from dreams, it could not be done by those who profess to have that power; for their fraternity is composed of the most shallow and the most ignorant of men. Yet your Stoics assert that no one can be a diviner unless he is a wise man. 2.131. Therefore, even if I granted your contention as to the existence of divination — and this I will never do — still, you must realize that it would be impossible for us to find a diviner. Then what do the gods mean by sending us in our dreams visions which we cannot understand ourselves and which we cannot find anybody to interpret for us? If the gods send us these unintelligible and inexplicable dream-messages they are acting as Carthaginians and Spaniards would if they were to address our Senate in their own vernacular without the aid of an interpreter. 2.132. Beside, what purpose is served by dark and enigmatic dreams? Surely the gods ought to want us to understand the advice they give us for our good. Oh! but you retort, Are poets and natural philosophers never obscure? Indeed they are: Euphorion is even too obscure; but Homer is not. 2.133. Which of them, pray, is the better poet? Heraclitus is very obscure; Democritus is not so in the least: then are they to be compared? But you give me advice and for my good in words that I cannot understand. Then why do you advise me at all? Thats like a doctor ordering a patient to takeA bloodless, earth-engendered thing that crawlsAnd bears its habitation on its back,instead of saying in common, every-day speech, a snail. Amphion, in a play by Pacuvius, speaks to the Athenians of a creature asFour-footed, of stature short; rough, shy, and slow;Fierce-eyed, with tiny head and serpents neck;When disembowelled and deprived of life,It lives for ever in melodious song.His meaning being too obscure the Athenians replied:Speak plainer, else we cannot understand.Whereupon he described it in a single word — a tortoise. Couldnt you have said so at first, you cithara-player? [65] 2.134. A diviner was consulted by a man who had dreamed that he saw an egg hanging from the bed-cords of the bed in his sleeping-room — the story is from Chrysippus On Dreams — and the diviner answered, A treasure is buried under your bed. The man dug, found a quantity of gold surrounded with silver and sent the diviner as much of the silver as he thought fit. The diviner then inquired, Do I get none of the yolk? For, in his view, the yolk meant gold, the white of the egg, silver. Now, did no one else ever dream of an egg? If so, then why did this fellow, whoever he was, alone find a treasure by dreaming of an egg? What a lot of poor devils there are, deserving of divine assistance, who never were instructed by a dream how to find a treasure! Furthermore, why was this man given so obscure an intimation as that contained in the fancied resemblance between an egg and a treasure, instead of being as plainly directed as Simonides was when he was bidden not to go on board the ship? 2.135. My conclusion is that obscure messages by means of dreams are utterly inconsistent with the dignity of gods.[66] Let us now consider dreams that are clear and direct, like the dream of the man who was killed by the innkeeper at Megara; or like that of Simonides who was warned by the man he had buried not to sail; and also like Alexanders dream, which, to my surprise, my dear Quintus, you passed by without notice: Alexanders intimate friend, Ptolemaeus, had been struck in battle by a poisoned arrow and was at the point of death from his wound and suffering the most excruciating agony. Alexander, while sitting by the bedside of his friend, fell fast asleep. Thereupon, so the story goes, he dreamed that the pet serpent of his mother Olympias appeared to him carrying a root in its mouth and, at the same time, gave him the name of a place close by where it said the root grew. This root, the serpent told him, was of such great virtue that it would effect the speedy cure of Ptolemaeus. As soon as Alexander awoke he related his dream to his friends and men were sent to find the root. It is said that when the root was found it worked the cure not only of Ptolemaeus, but also of many soldiers who had been wounded by the same kind of arrow. 2.136. You, too, have drawn on history for dreams, a number of which you told. You spoke, for example, of the dreams of the mother of Phalaris, of Cyrus the Elder, of the mother of Dionysius, of the Carthaginians Hamilcar and Hannibal, and of Publius Decius. You mentioned that much-spoken-of dream about the slave who opened the votive games, also the dream of Gaius Gracchus and the recent one of Caecilia, the daughter of Balearicus. But these are other peoples dreams and hence we know nothing about them and some of them are fabrications perhaps. For who stands sponsor for them? And what have we to say of our own dreams? of your dream of me and of my horse emerging from the river and appearing on the bank? and of my dream of Marius, attended by his laurelled fasces, ordering me to be conducted to his monument?[67] All dreams, my dear Quintus, have one explanation and, in heavens name, let us see that it is not set at naught by superstition and perversity. 2.137. Now what Marius do you think it was I saw? His likeness or phantom, I suppose — at least that is what Democritus thinks. Whence did the phantom come? He would have it that phantoms emanate from material bodies and from actual forms. Then, it was the body of Marius from which my phantom came? No, says Democritus, but from his body that was. So that phantom of Marius was pursuing me to the plains of Atina? Oh, but the universe is full of phantoms; no picture of anything can be formed in the mind except as the result of the impact of phantoms. 2.138. Then are these phantoms of yours so obedient to our beck and call that they come the instant we summon them? And is this true even of the phantoms of things that do not exist? For what is there so unreal and unheard of that we cannot form a mental picture of it? We even shape things which we have never seen — as the sites of towns and the faces of men. 2.139. Then, by your theory, when I think of the walls of Babylon or of the face of Homer, some phantom of what I have in mind strikes upon my brain! Hence it is possible for us to know everything we wish to know, since there is nothing of which we cannot think. Therefore no phantoms from the outside steal in upon our souls in sleep; nor do phantoms stream forth at all. In fact I never knew anybody who could say nothing with more ponderous gravity than Democritus.The soul is of such a force and nature that, when we are awake, it is active, not because of any extraneous impulse, but because of its own inherent power of self-motion and a certain incredible swiftness. When the soul is supported by the bodily members and by the five senses its powers of perception, thought, and apprehension are more trustworthy. But when these physical aids are removed and the body is inert in sleep, the soul then moves of itself. And so, in that state, visions flit about it, actions occur and it seems to hear and say many things. 2.141. But do you suppose that there ever would have been any old woman crazy enough to believe in dreams, if by some lucky accident or chance they had not come true sometimes? But let us consider Alexanders dream of the talking serpent. The story may be true and it may be wholly false. In either case it is no miracle; for he did not hear the serpent speak, but thought he heard it and, strangest thing of all, he thought it spoke while it held the root in its mouth! But nothing seems strange to a man when he is dreaming. Now, if Alexander ever had such a vivid and trustworthy dream as this, I want to ask why he never had another one like it and why other men have not had many of the same kind? As for me, except for that dream about Marius, I really never had one that I can recall. Think then how many nights in my long life I have spent in vain! 2.142. Moreover, at the present time, owing to the interruption of my public labours, I have ceased my nocturnal studies, and (contrary to my former practice) I have added afternoon naps. Yet despite all this time spent in sleep I have not received a single prophecy in a dream, certainly not one about the great events now going on. Indeed, I never seem to be dreaming more than when I see the magistrates in the forum and the Senate in its chamber.[69] Coming now to the second branch of the present topic, is there some such natural connecting link, which, as I said before, the Greeks call συμπάθεια, that the finding of a treasure must be deduced from dreaming of an egg? of course physicians, from certain symptoms, know the incipiency and progress of a disease; and it is claimed that from some kinds of dreams they even can gather certain indications as to a patients health, as whether the internal humours of the body are excessive or deficient. But what natural bond of union is there between dreams, on the one hand, and treasures, legacies, public office, victory and many other things of the same kind, on the other? 2.143. A person, it is said, while dreaming of coition, ejected gravel. In this case I can see a relation between the dream and the result; for the vision presented to the sleeper was such as to make it clear that what happened was due to natural causes and not to the delusion. But by what law of nature did Simonides receive that vision which forbade him to sail? or what was the connexion between the laws of nature and the dream of Alcibiades in which according to history, shortly before his death, he seemed to be enveloped in the cloak of his mistress? Later, when his body had been cast out and was lying unburied and universally neglected, his mistress covered it with her mantle. Then do you say that this dream was united by some natural tie with the fate that befell Alcibiades, or did chance cause both the apparition and the subsequent event? [70] 2.144. Furthermore, is it not a fact that the conjectures of the interpreters of dreams give evidence of their authors sagacity rather than afford any proof of a relation between dreams and the laws of nature? For example, a runner, who was planning to set out for the Olympic games, dreamed that he was riding in a chariot drawn by four horses. In the morning he went to consult an interpreter, who said to him, You will win, for that is implied in the speed and strength of horses. Later the runner went to Antipho, who said, You are bound to lose, for do you not see that four ran ahead of you? And behold another runner! — for the books of Chrysippus and Antipater are full of such dreams — but to return to the runner: he reported to an interpreter that he had dreamed of having been changed into an eagle. The interpreter said to him, You are the victor, for no bird flies faster than the eagle. This runner also consulted Antipho. Simpleton, said the latter, dont you see that you are beaten? For that bird is always pursuing and driving other birds before it and itself is always last. 2.145. A married woman who was desirous of a child and was in doubt whether she was pregt or not, dreamed that her womb had been sealed. She referred the dream to an interpreter. He told her that since her womb was sealed conception was impossible. But another interpreter said, You are pregt, for it is not customary to seal that which is empty. Then what is the dream-interpreters art other than a means of using ones wits to deceive? And those incidents which I have given and the numberless ones collected by the Stoics prove nothing whatever except the shrewdness of men who employ slight analogies in order to draw now one inference and now another. There are certain indications from the condition of the pulse and breath and from many other symptoms in sickness by means of which physicians foretell the course of a disease. When pilots see cuttle-fish leaping or dolphins betaking themselves to a haven they believe that a storm is at hand. In such cases signs are given which are traceable to natural causes and explicable by reason, but that is far from true of the dreams spoken of a little while ago. [71] 2.146. In our consideration of dreams we come now to the remaining point left for discussion, which is your contention that by long-continued observation of dreams and by recording the results an art has been evolved. Really? Then, it is possible, I suppose, to observe dreams? If so, how? For they are of infinite variety and there is no imaginable thing too absurd, too involved, or too abnormal for us to dream about it. How, then, is it possible for us either to remember this countless and ever-changing mass of visions or to observe and record the subsequent results? Astronomers have recorded the movements of the planets and thereby have discovered an orderly course of the stars, not thought of before. But tell me, if you can, what is the orderly course of dreams and what is the harmonious relation between them and subsequent events? And by what means can the true be distinguished from the false, in view of the fact that the same dreams have certain consequences for one person and different consequences for another and seeing also that even for the same individual the same dream is not always followed by the same result? As a rule we do not believe a liar even when he tells the truth, but, to my surprise, if one dream turns out to be true, your Stoics do not withdraw their belief in the prophetic value of that one though it is only one out of many; rather, from the character of the one true dream, they establish the character of countless others that are false. 2.147. Therefore, if God is not the creator of dreams; if there is no connexion between them and the laws of nature; and finally, if, by means of observation no art of divining can be found in them, it follows that absolutely no reliance can be placed in dreams. This becomes especially evident when we consider that those who have the dreams deduce no prophecies from them; that those who interpret them depend upon conjecture and not upon nature; that in the course of the almost countless ages, chance has worked more miracles through all other agencies than through the agency of dreams; and, finally, that nothing is more uncertain than conjecture, which may be led not only into varying, but sometimes even into contradictory, conclusions. [72] 2.148. Then let dreams, as a means of divination, be rejected along with the rest. Speaking frankly, superstition, which is widespread among the nations, has taken advantage of human weakness to cast its spell over the mind of almost every man. This same view was stated in my treatise On the Nature of the Gods; and to prove the correctness of that view has been the chief aim of the present discussion. For I thought that I should be rendering a great service both to myself and to my countrymen if I could tear this superstition up by the roots. But I want it distinctly understood that the destruction of superstition does not mean the destruction of religion. For I consider it the part of wisdom to preserve the institutions of our forefathers by retaining their sacred rites and ceremonies. Furthermore, the celestial order and the beauty of the universe compel me to confess that there is some excellent and eternal Being, who deserves the respect and homage of men. 2.149. Wherefore, just as it is a duty to extend the influence of true religion, which is closely associated with the knowledge of nature, so it is a duty to weed out every root of superstition. For superstition is ever at your heels to urge you on; it follows you at every turn. It is with you when you listen to a prophet, or an omen; when you offer sacrifices or watch the flight of birds; when you consult an astrologer or a soothsayer; when it thunders or lightens or there is a bolt from on high; or when some so‑called prodigy is born or is made. And since necessarily some of these signs are nearly always being given, no one who believes in them can ever remain in a tranquil state of mind.
7. Cicero, On The Haruspices, 19-20, 18 (2nd cent. BCE - 1st cent. BCE)

8. Cicero, On Laws, 2.29, 2.31-2.33 (2nd cent. BCE - 1st cent. BCE)

9. Cicero, On The Nature of The Gods, 1.55, 1.94, 2.5, 2.70, 2.72, 3.92 (2nd cent. BCE - 1st cent. BCE)

1.55. An outcome of this theology was first of all your doctrine of Necessity or Fate, heimarmenē, as you termed it, the theory that every event is the result of an eternal truth and an unbroken sequence of causation. But what value can be assigned to a philosophy which thinks that everything happens by fate? it is a belief for old women, and ignorant old women at that. And next follows your doctrine of mantikē, or Divination, which would so steep us in superstition, if we consented to listen to you, that we should be the devotees of soothsayers, augurs, oracle-mongers, seers and interpreters of dreams. 1.94. You yourself just now, when reeling off the list of philosophers like the censor calling the roll of the Senate, said that all those eminent men were fools, idiots and madmen. But if none of these discerned the truth about the divine nature, it is to be feared that the divine nature is entirely non‑existent. "For as for your school's account of the matter, it is the merest fairy-story, hardly worthy of old wives at work by lamplight. You don't perceive what a number of things you are let in for, if we consent to admit that men and gods have the same form. You will have to assign to god exactly the same physical exercises and care of the person as are proper to men: he will walk, run, recline, bend, sit, hold things in the hand, and lastly even converse and make speeches. 2.5. how is the latter fact more evident than the former? Nothing but the presence in our minds of a firmly grasped concept of the deity could account for the stability and permanence of our belief in him, a belief which is only strengthened by the passage of the ages and grows more deeply rooted with each successive generation of mankind. In every other case we see that fictitious and unfounded opinions have dwindled away with lapse of time. Who believes that the Hippocentaur or the Chimaera ever existed? Where can you find an old wife senseless enough to be afraid of the monsters of the lower world that were once believed in? The years obliterate the inventions of the imagination, but confirm the judgements of nature. "Hence both in our own nation and among all others reverence for the gods and respect for religion grow continually stronger and more profound. 2.70. Do you see therefore how from a true and valuable philosophy of nature has been evolved this imaginary and fanciful pantheon? The perversion has been a fruitful source of false beliefs, crazy errors and superstitions hardly above the level of old wives' tales. We know what the gods look like and how old they are, their dress and their equipment, and also their genealogies, marriages and relationships, and all about them is distorted into the likeness of human frailty. They are actually represented as liable to passions and emotions — we hear of their being in love, sorrowful, angry; according to the myths they even engage in wars and battles, and that not only when as in Homer two armies and contending and the gods take sides and intervene on their behalf, but they actually fought wars of their own, for instance with the Titans and with the Giants. These stories and these beliefs are utterly foolish; they are stuffed with nonsense and absurdity of all sorts. 2.72. Persons who spent whole days in prayer and sacrifice to ensure that their children should outlive them were termed 'superstitious' (from superstes, a survivor), and the word later acquired a wider application. Those on the other hand who carefully reviewed and so to speak retraced all the lore of ritual were called 'religious' from relegere (to retrace or re‑read), like 'elegant' from eligere (to select), 'diligent' from diligere (to care for), 'intelligent' fromintellegere (to understand); for all these words contain the same sense of 'picking out' (legere) that is present in 'religious.' Hence 'superstitious' and 'religious' came to be terms of censure and approval respectively. I think that I have said enough to prove the existence of the gods and their nature. 3.92. But at all events a god could have come to the aid of those great and splendid cities and have preserved them — for you yourselves are fond of saying that there is nothing that a god cannot accomplish, and that without any toil; as man's limbs are effortlessly moved merely by his mind and will, so, as you say, the god's power can mould and move and alter all things. Nor do you say this as some superstitious fable or old wives' tale, but you give a scientific and systematic account of it: you allege that matter, which constitutes and contains all things, is in its entirety flexible and subject to change, so that there is nothing that cannot be moulded and transmuted out of it however suddenly, but the moulder and manipulator of this universal substance is divine providence, and therefore providence, whithersoever it moves, is able to perform whatever it will. Accordingly either providence does not know its own powers, or it does not regard human affairs, or it lacks power of judgement to discern what is the best.
10. Cicero, On Old Age, 3 (2nd cent. BCE - 1st cent. BCE)

11. Dionysius of Halycarnassus, Roman Antiquities, 2.6, 2.6.2-2.6.4 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. BCE)

2.6. 1.  When Romulus, therefore, upon the occasion mentioned had received the sanction of Heaven also, he called the people together in assembly; and having given them an account of these omens, he was chosen king by them and established it as a custom, to be observed by all his successors, that none of them should accept the office of king or any other magistracy until Heaven, too, had given its sanction. And this custom relating to the auspices long continued to be observed by the Romans, not only while the city was ruled by kings, but also, after the overthrow of the monarchy, in the elections of their consuls, praetors and other legal magistrates;,2.  but it has fallen into disuse in our days except as a certain semblance of it remains merely for form's sake. For those who are about to assume the magistracies pass the night out of doors, and rising at break of day, offer certain prayers under the open sky; whereupon some of the augurs present, who are paid by the State, declare that a flash of lightning coming from the left has given them a sign, although there really has not been any.,3.  And the others, taking their omen from this report, depart in order to take over their magistracies, some of them assuming this alone to be sufficient, that no omens have appeared opposing or forbidding their intended action, others acting even in opposition to the will of the god; indeed, there are times when they resort to violence and rather seize than receive the magistracies.,4.  Because of such men many armies of the Romans have been utterly destroyed on land, many fleets have been lost with all their people at sea, and other great and dreadful reverses have befallen the commonwealth, some in foreign wars and others in civil dissensions. But the most remarkable and the greatest instance happened in my time when Licinius Crassus, a man inferior to no commander of his age, led his army against the Parthian nation contrary to the will of Heaven and in contempt of the innumerable omens that opposed his expedition. But to tell about the contempt of the divine power that prevails among some people in these days would be a long story. 2.6.2.  but it has fallen into disuse in our days except as a certain semblance of it remains merely for form's sake. For those who are about to assume the magistracies pass the night out of doors, and rising at break of day, offer certain prayers under the open sky; whereupon some of the augurs present, who are paid by the State, declare that a flash of lightning coming from the left has given them a sign, although there really has not been any. 2.6.3.  And the others, taking their omen from this report, depart in order to take over their magistracies, some of them assuming this alone to be sufficient, that no omens have appeared opposing or forbidding their intended action, others acting even in opposition to the will of the god; indeed, there are times when they resort to violence and rather seize than receive the magistracies. 2.6.4.  Because of such men many armies of the Romans have been utterly destroyed on land, many fleets have been lost with all their people at sea, and other great and dreadful reverses have befallen the commonwealth, some in foreign wars and others in civil dissensions. But the most remarkable and the greatest instance happened in my time when Licinius Crassus, a man inferior to no commander of his age, led his army against the Parthian nation contrary to the will of Heaven and in contempt of the innumerable omens that opposed his expedition. But to tell about the contempt of the divine power that prevails among some people in these days would be a long story.
12. Epictetus, Discourses, 1.14, 1.14.4-1.14.5, 1.14.14, 1.14.16 (1st cent. CE - 2nd cent. CE)

13. Plutarch, Aemilius Paulus, 17 (1st cent. CE - 2nd cent. CE)

14. Plutarch, Oracles At Delphi No Longer Given In Verse, None (1st cent. CE - 2nd cent. CE)

15. Plutarch, Pericles, 3.3 (1st cent. CE - 2nd cent. CE)

3.3. So the comic poet Cratinus, in his Cheirons, says: Faction and Saturn, that ancient of days, were united in wedlock; their offspring was of all tyrants the greatest, and lo! he is called by the gods the head-compeller. Kock, Com. Att. Frag. i. p. 86. And again in his Nemesis : Come, Zeus! of guests and heads the Lord! Kock, Com. Att. Frag. i. p. 49.
16. Seneca The Younger, Natural Questions, 2.32.3-2.32.4 (1st cent. CE - 1st cent. CE)

17. Porphyry, On Abstinence, 3.5.3 (3rd cent. CE - 4th cent. CE)

18. Augustine, The City of God, 6.9 (4th cent. CE - 5th cent. CE)

6.9. And as to those very offices of the gods, so meanly and so minutely portioned out, so that they say that they ought to be supplicated, each one according to his special function - about which we have spoken much already, though not all that is to be said concerning it - are they not more consistent with mimic buffoonery than divine majesty? If any one should use two nurses for his infant, one of whom should give nothing but food, the other nothing but drink, as these make use of two goddesses for this purpose, Educa and Potina, he should certainly seem to be foolish, and to do in his house a thing worthy of a mimic. They would have Liber to have been named from liberation, because through him males at the time of copulation are liberated by the emission of the seed. They also say that Libera (the same in their opinion as Venus) exercises the same function in the case of women, because they say that they also emit seed; and they also say that on this account the same part of the male and of the female is placed in the temple, that of the male to Liber, and that of the female to Libera. To these things they add the women assigned to Liber, and the wine for exciting lust. Thus the Bacchanalia are celebrated with the utmost insanity, with respect to which Varro himself confesses that such things would not be done by the Bacchanals except their minds were highly excited. These things, however, afterwards displeased a saner senate, and it ordered them to be discontinued. Here, at length, they perhaps perceived how much power unclean spirits, when held to be gods, exercise over the minds of men. These things, certainly, were not to be done in the theatres; for there they play, not rave, although to have gods who are delighted with such plays is very like raving. But what kind of distinction is this which he makes between the religious and the superstitious man, saying that the gods are feared by the superstitious man, but are reverenced as parents by the religious man, not feared as enemies; and that they are all so good that they will more readily spare those who are impious than hurt one who is innocent? And yet he tells us that three gods are assigned as guardians to a woman after she has been delivered, lest the god Silvanus come in and molest her; and that in order to signify the presence of these protectors, three men go round the house during the night, and first strike the threshold with a hatchet, next with a pestle, and the third time sweep it with a brush, in order that these symbols of agriculture having been exhibited, the god Silvanus might be hindered from entering, because neither are trees cut down or pruned without a hatchet, neither is grain ground without a pestle, nor grain heaped up without a besom. Now from these three things three gods have been named: Intercidona, from the cut made by the hatchet; Pilumnus, from the pestle; Diverra, from the besom;- by which guardian gods the woman who has been delivered is preserved against the power of the god Silvanus. Thus the guardianship of kindly-disposed gods would not avail against the malice of a mischievous god, unless they were three to one, and fought against him, as it were, with the opposing emblems of cultivation, who, being an inhabitant of the woods, is rough, horrible, and uncultivated. Is this the innocence of the gods? Is this their concord? Are these the health-giving deities of the cities, more ridiculous than the things which are laughed at in the theatres? When a male and a female are united, the god Jugatinus presides. Well, let this be borne with. But the married woman must be brought home: the god Domiducus also is invoked. That she may be in the house, the god Domitius is introduced. That she may remain with her husband, the goddess Manturn is used. What more is required? Let human modesty be spared. Let the lust of flesh and blood go on with the rest, the secret of shame being respected. Why is the bed-chamber filled with a crowd of deities, when even the groomsmen have departed? And, moreover, it is so filled, not that in consideration of their presence more regard may be paid to chastity, but that by their help the woman, naturally of the weaker sex, and trembling with the novelty of her situation, may the more readily yield her virginity. For there are the goddess Virginiensis, and the god-father Subigus, and the goddess-mother Prema, and the goddess Pertunda, and Venus, and Priapus. What is this? If it was absolutely necessary that a man, laboring at this work, should be helped by the gods, might not some one god or goddess have been sufficient? Was Venus not sufficient alone, who is even said to be named from this, that without her power a woman does not cease to be a virgin? If there is any shame in men, which is not in the deities, is it not the case that, when the married couple believe that so many gods of either sex are present, and busy at this work, they are so much affected with shame, that the man is less moved, and the woman more reluctant? And certainly, if the goddess Virginiensis is present to loose the virgin's zone, if the god Subigus is present that the virgin may be got under the man, if the goddess Prema is present that, having been got under him, she may be kept down, and may not move herself, what has the goddess Pertunda to do there? Let her blush; let her go forth. Let the husband himself do something. It is disgraceful that any one but himself should do that from which she gets her name. But perhaps she is tolerated because she is said to be a goddess, and not a god. For if she were believed to be a male, and were called Pertundus, the husband would demand more help against him for the chastity of his wife than the newly-delivered woman against Silvanus. But why am I saying this, when Priapus, too, is there, a male to excess, upon whose immense and most unsightly member the newly-married bride is commanded to sit, according to the most honorable and most religious custom of matrons? Let them go on, and let them attempt with all the subtlety they can to distinguish the civil theology from the fabulous, the cities from the theatres, the temples from the stages, the sacred things of the priests from the songs of the poets, as honorable things from base things, truthful things from fallacious, grave from light, serious from ludicrous, desirable things from things to be rejected, we understand what they do. They are aware that that theatrical and fabulous theology hangs by the civil, and is reflected back upon it from the songs of the poets as from a mirror; and thus, that theology having been exposed to view which they do not dare to condemn, they more freely assail and censure that picture of it, in order that those who perceive what they mean may detest this very face itself of which that is the picture - which, however, the gods themselves, as though seeing themselves in the same mirror, love so much, that it is better seen in both of them who and what they are. Whence, also, they have compelled their worshippers, with terrible commands, to dedicate to them the uncleanness of the fabulous theology, to put them among their solemnities, and reckon them among divine things; and thus they have both shown themselves more manifestly to be most impure spirits, and have made that rejected and reprobated theatrical theology a member and a part of this, as it were, chosen and approved theology of the city, so that, though the whole is disgraceful and false, and contains in it fictitious gods, one part of it is in the literature of the priests, the other in the songs of the poets. Whether it may have other parts is another question. At present, I think, I have sufficiently shown, on account of the division of Varro, that the theology of the city and that of the theatre belong to one civil theology. Wherefore, because they are both equally disgraceful, absurd, shameful, false, far be it from religious men to hope for eternal life from either the one or the other. In fine, even Varro himself, in his account and enumeration of the gods, starts from the moment of a man's conception. He commences the series of those gods who take charge of man with Janus, carries it on to the death of the man decrepit with age, and terminates it with the goddess N nia, who is sung at the funerals of the aged. After that, he begins to give an account of the other gods, whose province is not man himself, but man's belongings, as food, clothing, and all that is necessary for this life; and, in the case of all these, he explains what is the special office of each, and for what each ought to be supplicated. But with all this scrupulous and comprehensive diligence, he has neither proved the existence, nor so much as mentioned the name, of any god from whom eternal life is to be sought - the one object for which we are Christians. Who, then, is so stupid as not to perceive that this man, by setting forth and opening up so diligently the civil theology, and by exhibiting its likeness to that fabulous, shameful, and disgraceful theology, and also by teaching that that fabulous sort is also a part of this other, was laboring to obtain a place in the minds of men for none but that natural theology, which he says pertains to philosophers, with such subtlety that he censures the fabulous, and, not daring openly to censure the civil, shows its censurable character by simply exhibiting it; and thus, both being reprobated by the judgment of men of right understanding, the natural alone remains to be chosen? But concerning this in its own place, by the help of the true God, we have to discuss more diligently.

Subjects of this text:

subject book bibliographic info
agariste Mowat, Engendering the Future: Divination and the Construction of Gender in the Late Roman Republic (2021) 43
animals as divinatory Johnston, Ancient Greek Divination (2008) 128
apollo, ismenios, oracle of Johnston, Ancient Greek Divination (2008) 128
astrology Santangelo, Roman Frugality: Modes of Moderation from the Archaic Age to the Early Empire and Beyond (2013) 73
atlas Wynne, Horace and the Gift Economy of Patronage (2019) 156
atticus Rosa and Santangelo, Cicero and Roman Religion: Eight Studies (2020) 38
auctoritas Rosa and Santangelo, Cicero and Roman Religion: Eight Studies (2020) 38
augurs, augurate Rosa and Santangelo, Cicero and Roman Religion: Eight Studies (2020) 38
augury, decline of Santangelo, Roman Frugality: Modes of Moderation from the Archaic Age to the Early Empire and Beyond (2013) 73
augury Rosa and Santangelo, Cicero and Roman Religion: Eight Studies (2020) 38
auspicia impetratiua Rosa and Santangelo, Cicero and Roman Religion: Eight Studies (2020) 38
babylon Wynne, Horace and the Gift Economy of Patronage (2019) 156
belief Mowat, Engendering the Future: Divination and the Construction of Gender in the Late Roman Republic (2021) 151
bird interpreters Johnston, Ancient Greek Divination (2008) 128
birds, divination Eidinow and Kindt, The Oxford Handbook of Ancient Greek Religion (2015) 485
caesar (g. iulius caesar) Green, Carthage in Virgil's Aeneid: Staging the Enemy under Augustus (2014) 77
chains, cosmic Johnston, Ancient Greek Divination (2008) 127, 128
chaldaei Santangelo, Roman Frugality: Modes of Moderation from the Archaic Age to the Early Empire and Beyond (2013) 73
cicero Bar Kochba, Pseudo-Hecataeus on the Jews: Legitimizing the Jewish Diaspora (1997) 63; Stanton, Unity and Disunity in Greek and Christian Thought under the Roman Peace (2021) 163
cicero (m. tullius cicero) Green, Carthage in Virgil's Aeneid: Staging the Enemy under Augustus (2014) 77
claudius marcellus, c Rosa and Santangelo, Cicero and Roman Religion: Eight Studies (2020) 38
claudius pulcher, ap Rosa and Santangelo, Cicero and Roman Religion: Eight Studies (2020) 38
cleromancy Santangelo, Roman Frugality: Modes of Moderation from the Archaic Age to the Early Empire and Beyond (2013) 73
clodius pulcher, p Rosa and Santangelo, Cicero and Roman Religion: Eight Studies (2020) 38
cornelius sulla, lucius Mowat, Engendering the Future: Divination and the Construction of Gender in the Late Roman Republic (2021) 44
cosmos, compared to a house Frede and Laks, Traditions of Theology: Studies in Hellenistic Theology, its Background and Aftermath (2001) 110
cultic ritual practice, magic Eidinow and Kindt, The Oxford Handbook of Ancient Greek Religion (2015) 485
cultural memory, oracles and divination Eidinow and Kindt, The Oxford Handbook of Ancient Greek Religion (2015) 485
daimones Johnston, Ancient Greek Divination (2008) 127
de divinatione (cicero), overlap between cicero and marcus in Green, Carthage in Virgil's Aeneid: Staging the Enemy under Augustus (2014) 77
de divinatione (cicero) Green, Carthage in Virgil's Aeneid: Staging the Enemy under Augustus (2014) 77
decline, of augury Santangelo, Roman Frugality: Modes of Moderation from the Archaic Age to the Early Empire and Beyond (2013) 73
decline, religious Santangelo, Roman Frugality: Modes of Moderation from the Archaic Age to the Early Empire and Beyond (2013) 73
deiotarus Mowat, Engendering the Future: Divination and the Construction of Gender in the Late Roman Republic (2021) 44
delphi Santangelo, Roman Frugality: Modes of Moderation from the Archaic Age to the Early Empire and Beyond (2013) 73
demokritos Eidinow and Kindt, The Oxford Handbook of Ancient Greek Religion (2015) 485
disciplina auguralis, greek Bar Kochba, Pseudo-Hecataeus on the Jews: Legitimizing the Jewish Diaspora (1997) 63
disciplina auguralis, pliny on Bar Kochba, Pseudo-Hecataeus on the Jews: Legitimizing the Jewish Diaspora (1997) 63
disciplina auguralis, porphyry on Bar Kochba, Pseudo-Hecataeus on the Jews: Legitimizing the Jewish Diaspora (1997) 63
divination Rosa and Santangelo, Cicero and Roman Religion: Eight Studies (2020) 38
divination and omens. see also mosollamus story, cicero on Bar Kochba, Pseudo-Hecataeus on the Jews: Legitimizing the Jewish Diaspora (1997) 63
dreams Santangelo, Roman Frugality: Modes of Moderation from the Archaic Age to the Early Empire and Beyond (2013) 73
empyromancy, empura (fire divination) Johnston, Ancient Greek Divination (2008) 128
entrails, reading Johnston, Ancient Greek Divination (2008) 127, 128
epiktetos Stanton, Unity and Disunity in Greek and Christian Thought under the Roman Peace (2021) 163
fortuna primigenia Santangelo, Roman Frugality: Modes of Moderation from the Archaic Age to the Early Empire and Beyond (2013) 73
gender, and age Mowat, Engendering the Future: Divination and the Construction of Gender in the Late Roman Republic (2021) 51, 54
gods Frede and Laks, Traditions of Theology: Studies in Hellenistic Theology, its Background and Aftermath (2001) 110
great) Mowat, Engendering the Future: Divination and the Construction of Gender in the Late Roman Republic (2021) 44
hecuba Mowat, Engendering the Future: Divination and the Construction of Gender in the Late Roman Republic (2021) 44
ilia the vestal Mowat, Engendering the Future: Divination and the Construction of Gender in the Late Roman Republic (2021) 44
italy Santangelo, Roman Frugality: Modes of Moderation from the Archaic Age to the Early Empire and Beyond (2013) 73
ius obnuntiandi Rosa and Santangelo, Cicero and Roman Religion: Eight Studies (2020) 38
johnston, sarah iles Eidinow and Kindt, The Oxford Handbook of Ancient Greek Religion (2015) 485
julius caesar, gaius Mowat, Engendering the Future: Divination and the Construction of Gender in the Late Roman Republic (2021) 44, 151
lebadea Santangelo, Roman Frugality: Modes of Moderation from the Archaic Age to the Early Empire and Beyond (2013) 73
licinius crassus, marcus Mowat, Engendering the Future: Divination and the Construction of Gender in the Late Roman Republic (2021) 44
liver Johnston, Ancient Greek Divination (2008) 127
lucilius balbus, quintus Mowat, Engendering the Future: Divination and the Construction of Gender in the Late Roman Republic (2021) 51
mantis Johnston, Ancient Greek Divination (2008) 127, 128
marcus (character of div.), on cleromancy Santangelo, Roman Frugality: Modes of Moderation from the Archaic Age to the Early Empire and Beyond (2013) 73
motherhood Mowat, Engendering the Future: Divination and the Construction of Gender in the Late Roman Republic (2021) 43
myths, numa pompilius Wynne, Horace and the Gift Economy of Patronage (2019) 156
obnuntiatio Rosa and Santangelo, Cicero and Roman Religion: Eight Studies (2020) 38
oneiromancy Mowat, Engendering the Future: Divination and the Construction of Gender in the Late Roman Republic (2021) 43, 44, 151
oracles, cosmic sympatheia Eidinow and Kindt, The Oxford Handbook of Ancient Greek Religion (2015) 485
oracles, divination Eidinow and Kindt, The Oxford Handbook of Ancient Greek Religion (2015) 485
oracles, magic Eidinow and Kindt, The Oxford Handbook of Ancient Greek Religion (2015) 485
oracles, reading of entrails Eidinow and Kindt, The Oxford Handbook of Ancient Greek Religion (2015) 485
oracles, use of birds Eidinow and Kindt, The Oxford Handbook of Ancient Greek Religion (2015) 485
oracles Santangelo, Roman Frugality: Modes of Moderation from the Archaic Age to the Early Empire and Beyond (2013) 73
pericles Mowat, Engendering the Future: Divination and the Construction of Gender in the Late Roman Republic (2021) 43
phalaris Wynne, Horace and the Gift Economy of Patronage (2019) 242
pindar Eidinow and Kindt, The Oxford Handbook of Ancient Greek Religion (2015) 485
plato, republic Eidinow and Kindt, The Oxford Handbook of Ancient Greek Religion (2015) 485
polyaenus Eidinow and Kindt, The Oxford Handbook of Ancient Greek Religion (2015) 485
pompeius magnus, gnaeus (pompey) Mowat, Engendering the Future: Divination and the Construction of Gender in the Late Roman Republic (2021) 44
porcius cato, marcus (cato the elder) Mowat, Engendering the Future: Divination and the Construction of Gender in the Late Roman Republic (2021) 54
praeneste Santangelo, Roman Frugality: Modes of Moderation from the Archaic Age to the Early Empire and Beyond (2013) 73
pregnancy Mowat, Engendering the Future: Divination and the Construction of Gender in the Late Roman Republic (2021) 43, 44
prodigies Wynne, Horace and the Gift Economy of Patronage (2019) 242
prodigy Mowat, Engendering the Future: Divination and the Construction of Gender in the Late Roman Republic (2021) 151
prometheus Wynne, Horace and the Gift Economy of Patronage (2019) 156
providence Frede and Laks, Traditions of Theology: Studies in Hellenistic Theology, its Background and Aftermath (2001) 110
pullarii Rosa and Santangelo, Cicero and Roman Religion: Eight Studies (2020) 38
ratio Rosa and Santangelo, Cicero and Roman Religion: Eight Studies (2020) 38
rome Frede and Laks, Traditions of Theology: Studies in Hellenistic Theology, its Background and Aftermath (2001) 110
sacrifice Mowat, Engendering the Future: Divination and the Construction of Gender in the Late Roman Republic (2021) 54
sarpedon Wynne, Horace and the Gift Economy of Patronage (2019) 242
saturn Wynne, Horace and the Gift Economy of Patronage (2019) 156
sibyls Johnston, Ancient Greek Divination (2008) 128
simonides Mowat, Engendering the Future: Divination and the Construction of Gender in the Late Roman Republic (2021) 44
sors Santangelo, Roman Frugality: Modes of Moderation from the Archaic Age to the Early Empire and Beyond (2013) 73
sortilegus Santangelo, Roman Frugality: Modes of Moderation from the Archaic Age to the Early Empire and Beyond (2013) 73
stoic thought Stanton, Unity and Disunity in Greek and Christian Thought under the Roman Peace (2021) 163
stoicism Mowat, Engendering the Future: Divination and the Construction of Gender in the Late Roman Republic (2021) 43, 44, 51
stoics/stoicism Eidinow and Kindt, The Oxford Handbook of Ancient Greek Religion (2015) 485
stoics Bar Kochba, Pseudo-Hecataeus on the Jews: Legitimizing the Jewish Diaspora (1997) 63
stoics on divination Johnston, Ancient Greek Divination (2008) 127
struck, peter t. Eidinow and Kindt, The Oxford Handbook of Ancient Greek Religion (2015) 485
sumpatheia Stanton, Unity and Disunity in Greek and Christian Thought under the Roman Peace (2021) 163
superstition Mowat, Engendering the Future: Divination and the Construction of Gender in the Late Roman Republic (2021) 51, 54
sympatheia Johnston, Ancient Greek Divination (2008) 127, 128
theology Frede and Laks, Traditions of Theology: Studies in Hellenistic Theology, its Background and Aftermath (2001) 110
tullius cicero, m. Santangelo, Roman Frugality: Modes of Moderation from the Archaic Age to the Early Empire and Beyond (2013) 73
tullius cicero, marcus Mowat, Engendering the Future: Divination and the Construction of Gender in the Late Roman Republic (2021) 43, 44, 51, 54, 151
tullius cicero, quintus Mowat, Engendering the Future: Divination and the Construction of Gender in the Late Roman Republic (2021) 43, 54
universe, harmony of the Stanton, Unity and Disunity in Greek and Christian Thought under the Roman Peace (2021) 163
uranus Wynne, Horace and the Gift Economy of Patronage (2019) 156
varro (m. terentius varro) Green, Carthage in Virgil's Aeneid: Staging the Enemy under Augustus (2014) 77
veii Santangelo, Roman Frugality: Modes of Moderation from the Archaic Age to the Early Empire and Beyond (2013) 73
virtues Frede and Laks, Traditions of Theology: Studies in Hellenistic Theology, its Background and Aftermath (2001) 110
women, female diviners/seers (manteis)' Eidinow and Kindt, The Oxford Handbook of Ancient Greek Religion (2015) 485
zeno of citium Wynne, Horace and the Gift Economy of Patronage (2019) 156
zeus Wynne, Horace and the Gift Economy of Patronage (2019) 156, 242