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Tiresias: The Ancient Mediterranean Religions Source Database



2289
Cicero, On Divination, 2.90-2.91
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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.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.


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26 results
1. 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.
2. Cicero, On Divination, 1.2-1.4, 1.6, 1.9-1.10, 1.13, 1.17-1.18, 1.29, 1.35-1.36, 1.38, 1.48, 1.58, 1.63-1.64, 1.78, 1.81, 1.91-1.93, 1.109-1.132, 2.8-2.9, 2.12-2.89, 2.91-2.102, 2.104-2.106, 2.109-2.110, 2.113-2.150 (2nd cent. BCE - 1st cent. BCE)

1.2. Gentem quidem nullam video neque tam humanam atque doctam neque tam inmanem tamque barbaram, quae non significari futura et a quibusdam intellegi praedicique posse censeat. Principio Assyrii, ut ab ultumis auctoritatem repetam, propter planitiam magnitudinemque regionum, quas incolebant, cum caelum ex omni parte patens atque apertum intuerentur, traiectiones motusque stellarum observitaverunt, quibus notatis, quid cuique significaretur, memoriae prodiderunt. Qua in natione Chaldaei non ex artis, sed ex gentis vocabulo nominati diuturna observatione siderum scientiam putantur effecisse, ut praedici posset, quid cuique eventurum et quo quisque fato natus esset. Eandem artem etiam Aegyptii longinquitate temporum innumerabilibus paene saeculis consecuti putantur. Cilicum autem et Pisidarum gens et his finituma Pamphylia, quibus nationibus praefuimus ipsi, volatibus avium cantibusque ut certissimis signis declarari res futuras putant. 1.3. Quam vero Graecia coloniam misit in Aeoliam, Ioniam, Asiam, Siciliam, Italiam sine Pythio aut Dodonaeo aut Hammonis oraculo? aut quod bellum susceptum ab ea sine consilio deorum est? Nec unum genus est divinationis publice privatimque celebratum. Nam, ut omittam ceteros populos, noster quam multa genera conplexus est! Principio huius urbis parens Romulus non solum auspicato urbem condidisse, sed ipse etiam optumus augur fuisse traditur. Deinde auguribus et reliqui reges usi, et exactis regibus nihil publice sine auspiciis nec domi nec militiae gerebatur. Cumque magna vis videretur esse et inpetriendis consulendisque rebus et monstris interpretandis ac procurandis in haruspicum disciplina, omnem hanc ex Etruria scientiam adhibebant, ne genus esset ullum divinationis, quod neglectum ab iis videretur. 1.4. Et cum duobus modis animi sine ratione et scientia motu ipsi suo soluto et libero incitarentur, uno furente, altero somniante, furoris divinationem Sibyllinis maxime versibus contineri arbitrati eorum decem interpretes delectos e civitate esse voluerunt. Ex quo genere saepe hariolorum etiam et vatum furibundas praedictiones, ut Octaviano bello Cornelii Culleoli, audiendas putaverunt. Nec vero somnia graviora, si quae ad rem publicam pertinere visa sunt, a summo consilio neglecta sunt. Quin etiam memoria nostra templum Iunonis Sospitae L. Iulius, qui cum P. Rutilio consul fuit, de senatus sententia refecit ex Caeciliae, Baliarici filiae, somnio. 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. 1.9. 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. 1.13. Mirari licet, quae sint animadversa a medicis herbarum genera, quae radicum ad morsus bestiarum, ad oculorum morbos, ad vulnera, quorum vim atque naturam ratio numquam explicavit, utilitate et ars est et inventor probatus. Age ea, quae quamquam ex alio genere sunt, tamen divinationi sunt similiora, videamus: Atque etiam ventos praemonstrat saepe futuros Inflatum mare, cum subito penitusque tumescit, Saxaque cana salis niveo spumata liquore Tristificas certant Neptuno reddere voces, Aut densus stridor cum celso e vertice montis Ortus adaugescit scopulorum saepe repulsus. Atque his rerum praesensionibus Prognostica tua referta sunt. Quis igitur elicere causas praesensionum potest? etsi video Boe+thum Stoicum esse conatum, qui hactenus aliquid egit, ut earum rationem rerum explicaret, quae in mari caelove fierent. 1.17. Sed quo potius utar aut auctore aut teste quam te? cuius edidici etiam versus, et lubenter quidem, quos in secundo de consulatu Urania Musa pronuntiat: Principio aetherio flammatus Iuppiter igni Vertitur et totum conlustrat lumine mundum Menteque divina caelum terrasque petessit, Quae penitus sensus hominum vitasque retentat Aetheris aeterni saepta atque inclusa cavernis. Et, si stellarum motus cursusque vagantis Nosse velis, quae sint signorum in sede locatae, Quae verbo et falsis Graiorum vocibus erant, Re vera certo lapsu spatioque feruntur, Omnia iam cernes divina mente notata. 1.18. Nam primum astrorum volucris te consule motus Concursusque gravis stellarum ardore micantis Tu quoque, cum tumulos Albano in monte nivalis Lustrasti et laeto mactasti lacte Latinas, Vidisti et claro tremulos ardore cometas, Multaque misceri nocturna strage putasti, Quod ferme dirum in tempus cecidere Latinae, Cum claram speciem concreto lumine luna Abdidit et subito stellanti nocte perempta est. Quid vero Phoebi fax, tristis nuntia belli, Quae magnum ad columen flammato ardore volabat, Praecipitis caeli partis obitusque petessens? Aut cum terribili perculsus fulmine civis Luce sereti vitalia lumina liquit? Aut cum se gravido tremefecit corpore tellus? Iam vero variae nocturno tempore visae Terribiles formae bellum motusque monebant, Multaque per terras vates oracla furenti Pectore fundebant tristis minitantia casus 1.29. Ut P. Claudius, Appii Caeci filius, eiusque collega L. Iunius classis maxumas perdiderunt, cum vitio navigassent. Quod eodem modo evenit Agamemnoni; qui, cum Achivi coepissent . inter se strépere aperteque ártem obterere extíspicum, Sólvere imperát secundo rúmore adversáque avi. Sed quid vetera? M. Crasso quid acciderit, videmus, dirarum obnuntiatione neglecta. In quo Appius, collega tuus, bonus augur, ut ex te audire soleo, non satis scienter virum bonum et civem egregium censor C. Ateium notavit, quod ementitum auspicia subscriberet. Esto; fuerit hoc censoris, si iudicabat ementitum; at illud minime auguris, quod adscripsit ob eam causam populum Romanum calamitatem maximam cepisse. Si enim ea causa calamitatis fuit, non in eo est culpa, qui obnuntiavit, sed in eo, qui non paruit. Veram enim fuisse obnuntiationem, ut ait idem augur et censor, exitus adprobavit; quae si falsa fuisset, nullam adferre potuisset causam calamitatis. Etenim dirae, sicut cetera auspicia, ut omina, ut signa, non causas adferunt, cur quid eveniat, sed nuntiant eventura, nisi provideris. 1.35. Quae est igitur ista calliditas res vetustate robustas calumniando velle pervertere? Non reperio causam. Latet fortasse obscuritate involuta naturae; non enim me deus ista scire, sed his tantum modo uti voluit. Utar igitur nec adducar aut in extis totam Etruriam delirare aut eandem gentem in fulgoribus errare aut fallaciter portenta interpretari, cum terrae saepe fremitus, saepe mugitus, saepe motus multa nostrae rei publicae, multa ceteris civitatibus gravia et vera praedixerint. 1.36. Quid? qui inridetur, partus hic mulae nonne, quia fetus extitit in sterilitate naturae, praedictus est ab haruspicibus incredibilis partus malorum? Quid? Ti. Gracchus P. F., qui bis consul et censor fuit, idemque et summus augur et vir sapiens civisque praestans, nonne, ut C. Gracchus, filius eius, scriptum reliquit, duobus anguibus domi conprehensis haruspices convocavit? qui cum respondissent, si marem emisisset, uxori brevi tempore esse moriendum, si feminam, ipsi, aequius esse censuit se maturam oppetere mortem quam P. Africani filiam adulescentem; feminam emisit, ipse paucis post diebus est mortuus. Inrideamus haruspices, vanos, futtiles esse dicamus, quorumque disciplinam et sapientissimus vir et eventus ac res conprobavit, contemnamus, condemnemus etiam Babylonem et eos, qui e Caucaso caeli signa servantes numeris et modis stellarum cursus persequuntur, condemnemus, inquam, hos aut stultitiae aut vanitatis aut inpudentiae, qui quadringenta septuaginta milia annorum, ut ipsi dicunt, monumentis conprehensa continent, et mentiri iudicemus nec, saeculorum reliquorum iudicium quod de ipsis futurum sit, pertimescere. 1.38. 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. 1.48. Redeamus ad somnia. Hannibalem Coelius scribit, cum columnam auream, quae esset in fano Iunonis Laciniae, auferre vellet dubitaretque, utrum ea solida esset an extrinsecus inaurata, perterebravisse, cumque solidam invenisset, statuisse tollere; ei secundum quietem visam esse Iunonem praedicere, ne id faceret, minarique, si fecisset, se curaturam, ut eum quoque oculum, quo bene videret, amitteret, idque ab homine acuto non esse neglectum; itaque ex eo auro, quod exterebratum esset, buculam curasse faciendam et eam in summa columna conlocavisse. 1.58. Quid hoc somnio dici potest divinius? Sed quid aut plura aut vetera quaerimus? Saepe tibi meum narravi, saepe ex te audivi tuum somnium: me, cum Asiae pro cos. praeessem, vidisse in quiete, cum tu equo advectus ad quandam magni fluminis ripam provectus subito atque delapsus in flumen nusquam apparuisses, me contremuisse timore perterritum; tum te repente laetum exstitisse eodemque equo adversam ascendisse ripam, nosque inter nos esse conplexos. Facilis coniectura huius somnii, mihique a peritis in Asia praedictum est fore eos eventus rerum, qui acciderunt. Venio nunc ad tuum. 1.63. Cum ergo est somno sevocatus animus a societate et a contagione corporis, tum meminit praeteritorum, praesentia cernit, futura providet; iacet enim corpus dormientis ut mortui, viget autem et vivit animus. Quod multo magis faciet post mortem, cum omnino corpore excesserit. Itaque adpropinquante morte multo est divinior. Nam et id ipsum vident, qui sunt morbo gravi et mortifero adfecti, instare mortem; itaque iis occurrunt plerumque imagines mortuorum, tumque vel maxume laudi student, eosque, qui secus, quam decuit, vixerunt, peccatorum suorum tum maxume paenitet. 1.64. Divinare autem morientes illo etiam exemplo confirmat Posidonius, quod adfert, Rhodium quendam morientem sex aequales nominasse et dixisse, qui primus eorum, qui secundus, qui deinde deinceps moriturus esset. Sed tribus modis censet deorum adpulsu homines somniare, uno, quod provideat animus ipse per sese, quippe qui deorum cognatione teneatur, altero, quod plenus ae+r sit inmortalium animorum, in quibus tamquam insignitae notae veritatis appareant, tertio, quod ipsi di cum dormientibus conloquantur. Idque, ut modo dixi, facilius evenit adpropinquante morte, ut animi futura augurentur. 1.78. Magnum illud etiam, quod addidit Coelius, eo tempore ipso, cum hoc calamitosum proelium fieret, tantos terrae motus in Liguribus, Gallia compluribusque insulis totaque in Italia factos esse, ut multa oppida conruerint, multis locis labes factae sint terraeque desederint fluminaque in contrarias partes fluxerint atque in amnes mare influxerit. Fiunt certae divinationum coniecturae a peritis. Midae illi Phrygi, cum puer esset, dormienti formicae in os tritici grana congesserunt. Divitissumum fore praedictum est; quod evenit. At Platoni cum in cunis parvulo dormienti apes in labellis consedissent, responsum est singulari illum suavitate orationis fore. Ita futura eloquentia provisa in infante est. 1.81. Obiciuntur etiam saepe formae, quae reapse nullae sunt, speciem autem offerunt; quod contigisse Brenno dicitur eiusque Gallicis copiis, cum fano Apollinis Delphici nefarium bellum intulisset. Tum enim ferunt ex oraclo ecfatam esse Pythiam: Ego próvidebo rem ístam et albae vírgines. Ex quo factum, ut viderentur virgines ferre arma contra et nive Gallorum obrueretur exercitus. Aristoteles quidem eos etiam, qui valetudinis vitio furerent et melancholici dicerentur, censebat habere aliquid in animis praesagiens atque divinum. Ego autem haud scio an nec cardiacis hoc tribuendum sit nec phreneticis; animi enim integri, non vitiosi est corporis divinatio. 1.91. nec quisquam rex Persarum potest esse, qui non ante magorum disciplinam scientiamque perceperit. Licet autem videre et genera quaedam et nationes huic scientiae deditas. Telmessus in Caria est, qua in urbe excellit haruspicum disciplina; itemque Elis in Peloponneso familias duas certas habet, Iamidarum unam, alteram Clutidarum, haruspicinae nobilitate praestantes. In Syria Chaldaei cognitione astrorum sollertiaque ingeniorum antecellunt. 1.92. Etruria autem de caelo tacta scientissume animadvertit eademque interpretatur, quid quibusque ostendatur monstris atque portentis. Quocirca bene apud maiores nostros senatus tum, cum florebat imperium, decrevit, ut de principum filiis x ex singulis Etruriae populis in disciplinam traderentur, ne ars tanta propter tenuitatem hominum a religionis auctoritate abduceretur ad mercedem atque quaestum. Phryges autem et Pisidae et Cilices et Arabum natio avium significationibus plurimum obtemperant, quod idem factitatum in Umbria accepimus. 1.93. Ac mihi quidem videntur e locis quoque ipsis, qui a quibusque incolebantur, divinationum oportunitates esse ductae. Etenim Aegyptii et Babylonii in camporum patentium aequoribus habitantes, cum ex terra nihil emineret, quod contemplationi caeli officere posset, omnem curam in siderum cognitione posuerunt, Etrusci autem, quod religione inbuti studiosius et crebrius hostias immolabant, extorum cognitioni se maxume dediderunt, quodque propter ae+ris crassitudinem de caelo apud eos multa fiebant, et quod ob eandem causam multa invisitata partim e caelo, alia ex terra oriebantur, quaedam etiam ex hominum pecudumve conceptu et satu, ostentorum exercitatissimi interpretes exstiterunt. Quorum quidem vim, ut tu soles dicere, verba ipsa prudenter a maioribus posita declarant. Quia enim ostendunt, portendunt, monstrant, praedicunt, ostenta, portenta, monstra, prodigia dicuntur. 1.109. Sed ut, unde huc digressa est, eodem redeat oratio: si nihil queam disputare, quam ob rem quidque fiat, et tantum modo fieri ea, quae commemoravi, doceam, parumne Epicuro Carneadive respondeam? Quid, si etiam ratio exstat artificiosae praesensionis facilis, divinae autem paulo obscurior? Quae enim extis, quae fulgoribus, quae portentis, quae astris praesentiuntur, haec notata sunt observatione diuturna. Adfert autem vetustas omnibus in rebus longinqua observatione incredibilem scientiam; quae potest esse etiam sine motu atque inpulsu deorum, cum, quid ex quoque eveniat, et quid quamque rem significet, crebra animadversione perspectum est. 1.110. Altera divinatio est naturalis, ut ante dixi; quae physica disputandi subtilitate referenda est ad naturam deorum, a qua, ut doctissimis sapientissimisque placuit, haustos animos et libatos habemus; cumque omnia completa et referta sint aeterno sensu et mente divina, necesse est cognatione divinorum animorum animos humanos commoveri. Sed vigilantes animi vitae necessitatibus serviunt diiunguntque se a societate divina vinclis corporis inpediti. 1.111. Rarum est quoddam genus eorum, qui se a corpore avocent et ad divinarum rerum cognitionem cura omni studioque rapiantur. Horum sunt auguria non divini impetus, sed rationis humanae; nam et natura futura praesentiunt, ut aquarum eluviones et deflagrationem futuram aliquando caeli atque terrarum; alii autem in re publica exercitati, ut de Atheniensi Solone accepimus, orientem tyrannidem multo ante prospiciunt; quos prudentes possumus dicere, id est providentes, divinos nullo modo possumus, non plus quam Milesium Thalem, qui, ut obiurgatores suos convinceret ostenderetque etiam philosophum, si ei commodum esset, pecuniam facere posse, omnem oleam, ante quam florere coepisset, in agro Milesio coe+misse dicitur. 1.112. Animadverterat fortasse quadam scientia olearum ubertatem fore. Et quidem idem primus defectionem solis, quae Astyage regte facta est, praedixisse fertur. Multa medici, multa gubernatores, agricolae etiam multa praesentiunt, sed nullam eorum divinationem voco, ne illam quidem, qua ab Anaximandro physico moniti Lacedaemonii sunt, ut urbem et tecta linquerent armatique in agro excubarent, quod terrae motus instaret, tum cum et urbs tota corruit et e monte Taygeto extrema montis quasi puppis avolsa est. Ne Pherecydes quidem, ille Pythagorae magister, potius divinus habebitur quam physicus, quod, cum vidisset haustam aquam de iugi puteo, terrae motus dixit instare. 1.113. Nec vero umquam animus hominis naturaliter divinat, nisi cum ita solutus est et vacuus, ut ei plane nihil sit cum corpore; quod aut vatibus contingit aut dormientibus. Itaque ea duo genera a Dicaearcho probantur et, ut dixi, a Cratippo nostro; si propterea, quod ea proficiscuntur a natura, sint summa sane, modo ne sola; sin autem nihil esse in observatione putant, multa tollunt, quibus vitae ratio continetur. Sed quoniam dant aliquid, idque non parvum, vaticinationes cum somniis, nihil est, quod cum his magnopere pugnemus, praesertim cum sint, qui omnino nullam divinationem probent. 1.114. Ergo et ii, quorum animi spretis corporibus evolant atque excurrunt foras, ardore aliquo inflammati atque incitati cernunt illa profecto, quae vaticites pronuntiant, multisque rebus inflammantur tales animi, qui corporibus non inhaerent, ut ii, qui sono quodam vocum et Phrygiis cantibus incitantur. Multos nemora silvaeque, multos amnes aut maria commovent, quorum furibunda mens videt ante multo, quae sint futura. Quo de genere illa sunt: Eheú videte! Iúdicabit ínclitum iudícium inter deás tris aliquis, Quó iudicio Lácedaemonia múlier, Furiarum úna, adveniet. Eodem enim modo multa a vaticitibus saepe praedicta sunt, neque solum verbis, sed etiam Versibus, quos olim Fauni vatesque canebant. Similiter Marcius et Publicius vates cecinisse dicuntur; 1.115. quo de genere Apollinis operta prolata sunt. Credo etiam anhelitus quosdam fuisse terrarum, quibus inflatae mentes oracla funderent. Atque haec quidem vatium ratio est, nec dissimilis sane somniorum. Nam quae vigilantibus accidunt vatibus, eadem nobis dormientibus. Viget enim animus in somnis liber ab sensibus omnique inpeditione curarum iacente et mortuo paene corpore. Qui quia vixit ab omni aeternitate versatusque est cum innumerabilibus animis, omnia, quae in natura rerum sunt, videt, si modo temperatis escis modicisque potionibus ita est adfectus, ut sopito corpore ipse vigilet. Haec somniantis est divinatio. 1.116. Hic magna quaedam exoritur, neque ea naturalis, sed artificiosa somniorum Antiphontis interpretatio eodemque modo et oraculorum et vaticinationum sunt enim explanatores, ut grammatici poe+tarum . Nam ut aurum et argentum, aes, ferrum frustra natura divina genuisset, nisi eadem docuisset, quem ad modum ad eorum venas perveniretur, nec fruges terrae bacasve arborum cum utilitate ulla generi humano dedisset, nisi earum cultus et conditiones tradidisset, materiave quicquam iuvaret, nisi consectionis eius fabricam haberemus, sic cum omni utilitate, quam di hominibus dederunt, ars aliqua coniuncta est, per quam illa utilitas percipi possit. Item igitur somniis, vaticinationibus, oraclis, quod erant multa obscura, multa ambigua, explanationes adhibitae sunt interpretum. 1.117. Quo modo autem aut vates aut somniantes ea videant, quae nusquam etiam tunc sint, magna quaestio est. Sed explorata si sint ea, quae ante quaeri debeant, sint haec, quae quaerimus, faciliora. Continet enim totam hanc quaestionem ea ratio, quae est de natura deorum, quae a te secundo libro est explicata dilucide. Quam si obtinemus, stabit illud, quod hunc locum continet, de quo agimus, esse deos, et eorum providentia mundum administrari, eosdemque consulere rebus humanis, nec solum universis, verum etiam singulis. Haec si tenemus, quae mihi quidem non videntur posse convelli, profecto hominibus a dis futura significari necesse est. 1.118. 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. 1.120. Eademque efficit in avibus divina mens, ut tum huc, tum illuc volent alites, tum in hac, tum in illa parte se occultent, tum a dextra, tum a sinistra parte cat oscines. Nam si animal omne, ut vult, ita utitur motu sui corporis, prono, obliquo, supino, membraque, quocumque vult, flectit, contorquet, porrigit, contrahit eaque ante efficit paene, quam cogitat, quanto id deo est facilius, cuius numini parent omnia! Idemque mittit et signa nobis eius generis, qualia permulta historia tradidit, quale scriptum illud videmus: 1.121. si luna paulo ante solis ortum defecisset in signo Leonis, fore ut armis Dareus et Persae ab Alexandro et Macedonibus proelio vincerentur Dareusque moreretur, et, si puella nata biceps esset, seditionem in populo fore, corruptelam et adulterium domi, et, si mulier leonem peperisse visa esset, fore ut ab exteris gentibus vinceretur ea res publica, in qua id contigisset. Eiusdem generis etiam illud est, quod scribit Herodotus, Croesi filium, cum esset infans, locutum; quo ostento regnum patris et domum funditus concidisse. Caput arsisse Servio Tullio dormienti quae historia non prodidit? Ut igitur, qui se tradidit quieti praeparato animo cum bonis cogitationibus, tum rebus ad tranquillitatem adcommodatis, certa et vera cernit in somnis, sic castus animus purusque vigilantis et ad astrorum et ad avium reliquorumque signorum et ad extorum veritatem est paratior. 1.122. Hoc nimirum est illud, quod de Socrate accepimus, quodque ab ipso in libris Socraticorum saepe dicitur, esse divinum quiddam, quod daimo/nion appellat, cui semper ipse paruerit numquam impellenti, saepe revocanti. Et Socrates quidem (quo quem auctorem meliorem quaerimus?) Xenophonti consulenti, sequereturne Cyrum, posteaquam exposuit, quae ipsi videbantur: Et nostrum quidem, inquit, humanum est consilium; sed de rebus et obscuris et incertis ad Apollinem censeo referundum, ad quem etiam Athenienses publice de maioribus rebus semper rettulerunt. 1.123. Scriptum est item, cum Critonis, sui familiaris, oculum alligatum vidisset, quaesivisse, quid esset; cum autem ille respondisset in agro ambulanti ramulum adductum, ut remissus esset, in oculum suum recidisse, tum Socrates: Non enim paruisti mihi revocanti, cum uterer, qua soleo, praesagitione divina. Idem etiam Socrates, cum apud Delium male pugnatum esset Lachete praetore fugeretque cum ipso Lachete, ut ventum est in trivium, eadem, qua ceteri, fugere noluit. Quibus quaerentibus, cur non eadem via pergeret, deterreri se a deo dixit; cum quidem ii, qui alia via fugerant, in hostium equitatum inciderunt. Permulta conlecta sunt ab Antipatro, quae mirabiliter a Socrate divinata sunt; quae praetermittam; tibi enim nota sunt, mihi ad commemorandum non necessaria. 1.124. Illud tamen eius philosophi magnificum ac paene divinum, quod, cum impiis sententiis damnatus esset, aequissimo animo se dixit mori; neque enim domo egredienti neque illud suggestum, in quo causam dixerat, ascendenti signum sibi ullum, quod consuesset, a deo quasi mali alicuius inpendentis datum. Equidem sic arbitror, etiamsi multa fallant eos, qui aut arte aut coniectura divinare videantur, esse tamen divinationem; homines autem, ut in ceteris artibus, sic in hac posse falli. Potest accidere, ut aliquod signum dubie datum pro certo sit acceptum, potest aliquod latuisse aut ipsum, aut quod esset illi contrarium. Mihi autem ad hoc, de quo disputo, probandum satis est non modo plura, sed etiam pauciora divine praesensa et praedicta reperiri. 1.125. Quin etiam hoc non dubitans dixerim, si unum aliquid ita sit praedictum praesensumque, ut, cum evenerit, ita cadat, ut praedictum sit, neque in eo quicquam casu et fortuito factum esse appareat, esse certe divinationem, idque esse omnibus confitendum. Quocirca primum mihi videtur, ut Posidonius facit, a deo, de quo satis dictum est, deinde a fato, deinde a natura vis omnis dividi ratioque repetenda. Fieri igitur omnia fato ratio cogit fateri. Fatum autem id appello, quod Graeci ei(marme/nhn, id est ordinem seriemque causarum, cum causae causa nexa rem ex se gignat. Ea est ex omni aeternitate fluens veritas sempiterna. Quod cum ita sit, nihil est factum, quod non futurum fuerit, eodemque modo nihil est futurum, cuius non causas id ipsum efficientes natura contineat. 1.126. Ex quo intellegitur, ut fatum sit non id, quod superstitiose, sed id, quod physice dicitur, causa aeterna rerum, cur et ea, quae praeterierunt, facta sint et, quae instant, fiant et, quae sequuntur, futura sint. Ita fit, ut et observatione notari possit, quae res quamque causam plerumque consequatur, etiamsi non semper (nam id quidem adfirmare difficile est), easdemque causas veri simile est rerum futurarum cerni ab iis, qui aut per furorem eas aut in quiete videant. 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. 1.128. Non est igitur, ut mirandum sit ea praesentiri a divitibus, quae nusquam sint; sunt enim omnia, sed tempore absunt. Atque ut in seminibus vis inest earum rerum, quae ex iis progignuntur, sic in causis conditae sunt res futurae, quas esse futuras aut concitata mens aut soluta somno cernit aut ratio aut coniectura praesentit. Atque ut ii, qui solis et lunae reliquorumque siderum ortus, obitus motusque cognorunt, quo quidque tempore eorum futurum sit, multo ante praedicunt, sic, qui cursum rerum eventorumque consequentiam diuturnitate pertractata notaverunt, aut semper aut, si id difficile est, plerumque, quodsi ne id quidem conceditur, non numquam certe, quid futurum sit, intellegunt. Atque haec quidem et quaedam eiusdem modi argumenta, cur sit divinatio, ducuntur a fato. 1.129. A natura autem alia quaedam ratio est, quae docet, quanta sit animi vis seiuncta a corporis sensibus, quod maxime contingit aut dormientibus aut mente permotis. Ut enim deorum animi sine oculis, sine auribus, sine lingua sentiunt inter se, quid quisque sentiat, (ex quo fit, ut homines, etiam cum taciti optent quid aut voveant, non dubitent, quin di illud exaudiant) sic animi hominum, cum aut somno soluti vacant corpore aut mente permoti per se ipsi liberi incitati moventur, cernunt ea, quae permixti cum corpore animi videre non possunt. 1.130. Atque hanc quidem rationem naturae difficile est fortasse traducere ad id genus divinationis, quod ex arte profectum dicimus, sed tamen id quoque rimatur, quantum potest, Posidonius. Esse censet in natura signa quaedam rerum futurarum. Etenim Ceos accepimus ortum Caniculae diligenter quotannis solere servare coniecturamque capere, ut scribit Ponticus Heraclides, salubrisne an pestilens annus futurus sit. Nam si obscurior et quasi caliginosa stella extiterit, pingue et concretum esse caelum, ut eius adspiratio gravis et pestilens futura sit; sin inlustris et perlucida stella apparuerit, significari caelum esse tenue purumque et propterea salubre. 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. 1.132. Nunc illa testabor, non me sortilegos neque eos, qui quaestus causa hariolentur, ne psychomantia quidem, quibus Appius, amicus tuus, uti solebat, agnoscere; non habeo denique nauci Marsum augurem, non vicanos haruspices, non de circo astrologos, non Isiacos coniectores, non interpretes somniorum; non enim sunt ii aut scientia aut arte divini, Séd superstitiósi vates ínpudentesque hárioli Aút inertes aút insani aut quíbus egestas ímperat, Quí sibi semitám non sapiunt, álteri monstránt viam; Quíbus divitias póllicentur, áb iis drachumam ipsí petunt. De hís divitiis síbi deducant dráchumam, reddant cétera. Atque haec quidem Ennius, qui paucis ante versibus esse deos censet, sed eos non curare opinatur, quid agat humanum genus. Ego autem, qui et curare arbitror et monere etiam ac multa praedicere, levitate, vanitate, malitia exclusa divinationem probo. Quae cum dixisset Quintus, Praeclare tu quidem, inquam, paratus 2.8. 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; 2.36. deorum enim numini parere omnia. Haec iam, mihi crede, ne aniculae quidem existimant. An censes, eundem vitulum si alius delegerit, sine capite iecur inventurum; si alius, cum capite? Haec decessio capitis aut accessio subitone fieri potest, ut se exta ad immolatoris fortunam accommodent? non perspicitis aleam quandam esse in hostiis deligendis, praesertim cum res ipsa doceat? Cum enim tristissuma exta sine capite fuerunt, quibus nihil videtur esse dirius, proxuma hostia litatur saepe pulcherrime. Ubi igitur illae minae superiorum extorum? aut quae tam subito facta est deorum tanta placatio? Sed adfers in tauri opimi extis immolante Caesare cor non fuisse; id quia non potuerit accidere, ut sine corde victuma illa viveret, iudicandum esse tum interisse cor, cum immolaretur. 2.37. 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. 2.91. 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. 1.2. Now I am aware of no people, however refined and learned or however savage and ignorant, which does not think that signs are given of future events, and that certain persons can recognize those signs and foretell events before they occur. First of all — to seek authority from the most distant sources — the Assyrians, on account of the vast plains inhabited by them, and because of the open and unobstructed view of the heavens presented to them on every side, took observations of the paths and movements of the stars, and, having made note of them, transmitted to posterity what significance they had for each person. And in that same nation the Chaldeans — a name which they derived not from their art but their race — have, it is thought, by means of long-continued observation of the constellations, perfected a science which enables them to foretell what any mans lot will be and for what fate he was born.The same art is believed to have been acquired also by the Egyptians through a remote past extending over almost countless ages. Moreover, the Cilicians, Pisidians, and their neighbours, the Pamphylians — nations which I once governed — think that the future is declared by the songs and flights of birds, which they regard as most infallible signs. 1.2. Here was the Martian beast, the nurse of Roman dominion,Suckling with life-giving dew, that issued from udders distended,Children divinely begotten, who sprang from the loins of the War God;Stricken by lightning she toppled to earth, bearing with her the children;Torn from her station, she left the prints of her feet in descending.Then what diviner, in turning the records and tomes of the augurs,Failed to relate the mournful forecasts the Etruscans had written?Seers all advised to beware the monstrous destruction and slaughter,Plotted by Romans who traced their descent from a noble ancestry;Or they proclaimed the laws overthrow with voices insistent,Bidding rescue the city from flames, and the deities temples;Fearful they bade us become of horrible chaos and carnage;These, by a rigorous Fate, would be certainly fixed and determined,Were not a sacred statue of Jove, one comely of figure,High on a column erected beforehand, with eyes to the eastward;Then would the people and venerable senate be able to fathomHidden designs, when that statue — its face to the sun at its rising —Should behold from its station the seats of the people and Senate. 1.3. And, indeed, what colony did Greece ever send into Aeolia, Ionia, Asia, Sicily, or Italy without consulting the Pythian or Dodonian oracle, or that of Jupiter Hammon? Or what war did she ever undertake without first seeking the counsel of the gods? [2] Nor is it only one single mode of divination that has been employed in public and in private. For, to say nothing of other nations, how many our own people have embraced! In the first place, according to tradition, Romulus, the father of this City, not only founded it in obedience to the auspices, but was himself a most skilful augur. Next, the other Roman kings employed augurs; and, again, after the expulsion of the kings, no public business was ever transacted at home or abroad without first taking the auspices. Furthermore, since our forefathers believed that the soothsayers art had great efficacy in seeking for omens and advice, as well as in cases where prodigies were to be interpreted and their effects averted, they gradually introduced that art in its entirety from Etruria, lest it should appear that any kind of divination had been disregarded by them. 1.3. Therefore Ateius, by his announcement, did not create the cause of the disaster; but having observed the sign he simply advised Crassus what the result would be if the warning was ignored. It follows, then, that the announcement by Ateius of the unfavourable augury had no effect; or if it did, as Appius thinks, then the sin is not in him who gave the warning, but in him who disregarded it.[17] And whence, pray, did you augurs derive that staff, which is the most conspicuous mark of your priestly office? It is the very one, indeed with which Romulus marked out the quarter for taking observations when he founded the city. Now this staffe is a crooked wand, slightly curved at the top, and, because of its resemblance to a trumpet, derives its name from the Latin word meaning the trumpet with which the battle-charge is sounded. It was placed in the temple of the Salii on the Palatine hill and, though the temple was burned, the staff was found uninjured. 1.4. And since they thought that the human mind, when in an irrational and unconscious state, and moving by its own free and untrammelled impulse, was inspired in two ways, the one by frenzy and the other by dreams, and since they believed that the divination of frenzy was contained chiefly in the Sibylline verses, they decreed that ten men should be chosen from the State to interpret those verses. In this same category also were the frenzied prophecies of soothsayers and seers, which our ancestors frequently thought worthy of belief — like the prophecies of Cornelius Culleolus, during the Octavian War. Nor, indeed, were the more significant dreams, if they seemed to concern the administration of public affairs, disregarded by our Supreme Council. Why, even within my own memory, Lucius Julius, who was consul with Publius Rutilius, by a vote of the Senate rebuilt the temple of Juno, the Saviour, in accordance with a dream of Caecilia, daughter of Balearicus. [3] 1.4. May I not recall to your memory some stories to be found in the works of Roman and of Greek poets? For example, the following dream of the Vestal Virgin is from Ennius:The vestal from her sleep in fright awokeAnd to the startled maid, whose trembling handsA lamp did bear, thus spoke in tearful tones:O daughter of Eurydice, though whomOur father loved, from my whole frame departsThe vital force. For in my dreams I sawA man of beauteous form, who bore me offThrough willows sweet, along the fountains brink,To places strange. And then, my sister dear,Alone, with halting step and longing heart,I seemed to wander, seeking thee in vain;There was no path to make my footing sure. 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. 1.9. 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. 1.13. We may wonder at the variety of herbs that have been observed by physicians, of roots that are good for the bites of wild beasts, for eye affections, and for wounds, and though reason has never explained their force and nature, yet through their usefulness you have won approval for the medical art and for their discoverer.But come, let us consider instances, which although outside the category of divination, yet resemble it very closely:The heaving sea oft warns of coming storms,When suddenly its depths begin to swell;And hoary rocks, oerspread with snowy brine,To the sea, in boding tones, attempt reply;Or when from lofty mountain-peak upspringsA shrilly whistling wind, which stronger growsWith each repulse by hedge of circling cliffs.[8] Your book, Prognostics, is full of such warning signs, but who can fathom their causes? And yet I see that the Stoic Boëthus has attempted to do so and has succeeded to the extent of explaining the phenomena of sea and sky. 1.13. And while it is difficult, perhaps, to apply this principle of nature to explain that kind of divination which we call artificial, yet Posidonius, who digs into the question as deep as one can, thinks that nature gives certain signs of future events. Thus Heraclides of Pontus records that it is the custom of the people of Ceos, once each year, to make a careful observation of the rising of the Dog-star and from such observation to conjecture whether the ensuing year will be healthy or pestilential. For if the star rises dim and, as it were enveloped in a fog, this indicates a thick and heavy atmosphere, which will give off very unwholesome vapours; but if the star appears clear and brilliant, this is a sign that the atmosphere is light and pure and, as a consequence, will be conducive to good health. 1.17. But what authority or what witness can I better employ than yourself? I have even learned by heart and with great pleasure the following lines uttered by the Muse, Urania, in the second book of your poem entitled, My Consulship:First of all, Jupiter, glowing with fire from regions celestial,Turns, and the whole of creation is filled with the light of his glory;And, though the vaults of aether eternal begird and confine him,Yet he, with spirit divine, ever searching the earth and the heavens,Sounds to their innermost depths the thoughts and the actions of mortals.When one has learned the motions and variant paths of the planets,Stars that abide in the seat of the signs, in the Zodiacs girdle,(Spoken of falsely as vagrants or rovers in Greek nomenclature,Whereas in truth their distance is fixed and their speed is determined,)Then will he know that all are controlled by an Infinite Wisdom. 1.18. You, being consul, at once did observe the swift constellations,Noting the glare of luminous stars in direful conjunction:Then you beheld the tremulous sheen of the Northern aurora,When, on ascending the mountainous heights of snowy Albanus,You offered joyful libations of milk at the Feast of the Latins;Ominous surely the time wherein fell that Feast of the Latins;Many a warning was given, it seemed, of slaughter nocturnal;Then, of a sudden, the moon at her full was blotted from heaven —Hidden her features resplendent, though night was bejewelled with planets;Then did that dolorous herald of War, the torch of Apollo,Mount all aflame to the dome of the sky, where the sun has its setting;Then did a Roman depart from these radiant abodes of the living,Stricken by terrible lightning from heavens serene and unclouded.Then through the fruit-laden body of earth ran the shock of an earthquake;Spectres at night were observed, appalling and changeful of figure,Giving their warning that war was at hand, and internal commotion;Over all lands there outpoured, from the frenzied bosoms of prophets,Dreadful predictions, gloomy forecasts of impending disaster. 1.29. For example, Publius Claudius, son of Appius Caecus, and his colleague Lucius Junius, lost very large fleets by going to sea when the auguries were adverse. The same fate befell Agamemnon; for, after the Greeks had begun toRaise aloft their frequent clamours, showing scorn of augurs art,Noise prevailed and not the omen: he then bade the ships depart.But why cite such ancient instances? We see what happened to Marcus Crassus when he ignored the announcement of unfavourable omens. It was on the charge of having on this occasion falsified the auspices that Gaius Ateius, an honourable man and a distinguished citizen, was, on insufficient evidence, stigmatized by the then censor Appius, who was your associate in the augural college, and an able one too, as I have often heard you say. I grant you that in pursuing the course he did Appius was within his rights as a censor, if, in his judgement, Ateius had announced a fraudulent augury. But he showed no capacity whatever as an augur in holding Ateius responsible for that awful disaster which befell the Roman people. Had this been the cause then the fault would not have been in Ateius, who made the announcement that the augury was unfavourable, but in Crassus, who disobeyed it; for the issue proved that the announcement was true, as this same augur and censor admits. But even if the augury had been false it could not have been the cause of the disaster; for unfavourable auguries — and the same may be said of auspices, omens, and all other signs — are not the causes of what follows: they merely foretell what will occur unless precautions are taken. 1.35. What sort of cleverness is it, then, that would attempt by sophistry to overthrow facts that antiquity has established? I fail — you tell me — to discover their cause. That, perhaps, is one of Natures hidden secrets. God has not willed me to know the cause, but only that I should use the means which he has given. Therefore, I will use them and I will not allow myself to be persuaded that the whole Etruscan nation has gone stark mad on the subject of entrails, or that these same people are in error about lightnings, or that they are false interpreters of portents; for many a time the rumblings and roarings and quakings of the earth have given to our republic and to other states certain forewarnings of subsequent disaster. 1.36. Why, then, when here recently a mule (which is an animal ordinarily sterile by nature) brought forth a foal, need anyone have scoffed because the soothsayers from that occurrence prophesied a progeny of countless evils to the state?What, pray, do you say of that well-known incident of Tiberius Gracchus, the son of Publius? He was censor and consul twice; beside that he was a most competent augur, a wise man and a pre-eminent citizen. Yet he, according to the account left us by his son Gaius, having caught two snakes in his home, called in the soothsayers to consult them. They advised him that if he let the male snake go his wife must die in a short time; and if he released the female snake his own death must soon occur. Thinking it more fitting that a speedy death should overtake him rather than his young wife, who was the daughter of Publius Africanus, he released the female snake and died within a few days.[19] Let us laugh at the soothsayers, brand them as frauds and impostors and scorn their calling, even though a very wise man, Tiberius Gracchus, and the results and circumstances of his death have given proof of its trustworthiness; let us scorn the Babylonians, too, and those astrologers who, from the top of Mount Caucasus, observe the celestial signs and with the aid of mathematics follow the courses of the stars; let us, I say, convict of folly, falsehood, and shamelessness the men whose records, as they themselves assert, cover a period of four hundred and seventy thousand years; and let us pronounce them liars, utterly indifferent to the opinion of succeeding generations. 1.38. 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] 1.48. Let us go back to dreams. Coelius writes that Hannibal wished to carry off a golden column from Junos temple at Lacinium, but since he was in doubt whether it was solid or plated, he bored into it. Finding it solid he decided to take it away. But at night Juno came to him in a vision and warned him not to do so, threatening that if he did she would cause the loss of his good eye. That clever man did not neglect the warning. Moreover out of the gold filings he ordered an image of a calf to be made and placed on top of the column. 1.58. But why go on seeking illustrations from ancient history? I had a dream which I have often related to you, and you one which you have often told to me. When I was governor of Asia I dreamed that I saw you on horseback riding toward the bank of some large river, when you suddenly plunged forward, fell into the stream, and wholly disappeared from sight. I was greatly alarmed and trembled with fear. But in a moment you reappeared mounted on the same horse, and with a cheerful countece ascended the opposite bank where we met and embraced each other. The meaning of the dream was readily explained to me by experts in Asia who from it predicted those events which subsequent occurred. 1.63. When, therefore, the soul has been withdrawn by sleep from contact with sensual ties, then does it recall the past, comprehend the present, and foresee the future. For though the sleeping body then lies as if it were dead, yet the soul is alive and strong, and will be much more so after death when it is wholly free of the body. Hence its power to divine is much enhanced by the approach of death. For example, those in the grasp of a serious and fatal sickness realize the fact that death impends; and so, visions of dead men generally appear to them and then their desire for fame is strongest; while those who have lived otherwise than as they should, feel, at such a time, the keenest sorrow for their sins. 1.64. Moreover, proof of the power of dying men to prophesy is also given by Posidonius in his well-known account of a certain Rhodian, who, when on his death-bed, named six men of equal age and foretold which of them would die first, which second, and so on. Now Posidonius holds the view that there are three ways in which men dream as the result of divine impulse: first, the soul is clairvoyant of itself because of its kinship with the gods; second, the air is full of immortal souls, already clearly stamped, as it were, with the marks of truth; and third, the gods in person converse with men when they are asleep. And, as I said just now, it is when death is at hand that men most readily discern signs of the future. 1.78. Coelius has added the further notable fact that, at the very time this disastrous battle was going on, earthquakes of such violence occurred in Liguria, in Gaul, on several islands, and in every part of Italy, that a large number of towns were destroyed, landslips took place in many regions, the earth sank, rivers flowed upstream, and the sea invaded their channels.[36] Trustworthy conjectures in divining are made by experts. For instance, when Midas, the famous king of Phrygia, was a child, ants filled his mouth with grains of wheat as he slept. It was predicted that he would be a very wealthy man; and so it turned out. Again, while Plato was an infant, asleep in his cradle, bees settled on his lips and this was interpreted to mean that he would have a rare sweetness of speech. Hence in his infancy his future eloquence was foreseen. 1.81. Frequently, too, apparitions present themselves and, though they have no real substance, they seem to have. This is illustrated by what is said to have happened to Brennus and to his Gallic troops after he had made an impious attack on the temple of Apollo at Delphi. The story is that the Pythian priestess, in speaking from the oracle, said to Brennus:To this the virgins white and I will see.The result was that the virgins were seen fighting against the Gauls, and their army was overwhelmed with snow.[38] Aristotle thought that even the people who rave from the effects of sickness and are called hypochondriacs have within their souls some power of foresight and of prophecy. But, for my part, I am inclined to think that such a power is not to be distributed either to a diseased stomach or to a disordered brain. On the contrary, it is the healthy soul and not the sickly body that has the power of divination. 1.91. Indeed, no one can become king of the Persians until he has learned the theory and the practice of the magi. Moreover, you may see whole families and tribes devoted to this art. For example, Telmessus in Caria is a city noted for its cultivation of the soothsayers art, and there is also Elis in Peloponnesus, which has permanently set aside two families as soothsayers, the Iamidae and the Clutidae, who are distinguished for superior skill in their art. In Syria the Chaldeans are pre-eminent for their knowledge of astronomy and for their quickness of mind. 1.92. Again, the Etruscans are very skilful in observing thunderbolts, in interpreting their meaning and that of every sign and portent. That is why, in the days of our forefathers, it was wisely decreed by the Senate, when its power was in full vigour, that, of the sons of the chief men, six should be handed over to each of the Etruscan tribes for the study of divination, in order that so important a profession should not, on account of the poverty of its members, be withdrawn from the influence of religion, and converted into a means of mercenary gain. On the other hand the Phrygians, Pisidians, Cilicians, and Arabians rely chiefly on the signs conveyed by the flights of birds, and the Umbrians, according to tradition, used to do the same. [42] 1.93. Now, for my part, I believe that the character of the country determined the kind of divination which its inhabitants adopted. For example, the Egeans and Babylonians, who live on the level surface of open plains, with no hills to obstruct a view of the sky, have devoted their attention wholly to astrology. But the Etruscans, being in their nature of a very ardent religious temperament and accustomed to the frequent sacrifice of victims, have given their chief attention to the study of entrails. And as on account of the density of the atmosphere signs from heaven were common among them, and furthermore since that atmospheric condition caused many phenomena both of earth and sky and also certain prodigies that occur in the conception and birth of men and cattle — for these reasons the Etruscans have become very proficient in the interpretation of portents. Indeed, the inherent force of these means of divination, as you like to observe, is clearly shown by the very words so aptly chosen by our ancestors to describe them. Because they make manifest (ostendunt), portend (portendunt), intimate (monstrant), predict (praedicunt), they are called manifestations, portents, intimations, and prodigies. 1.109. But let us bring the discussion back to the point from which it wandered. Assume that I can give no reason for any of the instances of divination which I have mentioned and that I can do no more than show that they did occur, is that not a sufficient answer to Epicurus and to Carneades? And what does it matter if, as between artificial and natural divination, the explanation of the former is easy and of the latter is somewhat hard? For the results of those artificial means of divination, by means of entrails, lightnings, portents, and astrology, have been the subject of observation for a long period of time. But in every field of inquiry great length of time employed in continued observation begets an extraordinary fund of knowledge, which may be acquired even without the intervention or inspiration of the gods, since repeated observation makes it clear what effect follows any given cause, and what sign precedes any given event. 1.111. However, there is a certain class of men, though small in number, who withdraw themselves from carnal influences and are wholly possessed by an ardent concern for the contemplation of things divine. Some of these men make predictions, not as the result of direct heavenly inspiration, but by the use of their own reason. For example, by means of natural law, they foretell certain events, such as a flood, or the future destruction of heaven and earth by fire. Others, who are engaged in public life, like Solon of Athens, as history describes him, discover the rise of tyranny long in advance. Such men we may call foresighted — that is, able to foresee the future; but we can no more apply the term divine to them than we can apply it to Thales of Miletus, who, as the story goes, in order to confound his critics and thereby show that even a philosopher, if he sees fit, can make money, bought up the entire olive crop in the district of Miletus before it had begun to bloom. 1.112. Perhaps he had observed, from some personal knowledge he had on the subject, that the crop would be abundant. And, by the way, he is said to have been the first man to predict the solar eclipse which took place in the reign of Astyages.[50] There are many things foreseen by physicians, pilots, and also by farmers, but I do not call the predictions of any of them divination. I do not even call that a case of divination when Anaximander, the natural philosopher, warned the Spartans to leave the city and their homes and to sleep in the fields under arms, because an earthquake was at hand. Then the whole city fell down in ruins and the extremity of Mount Taygetus was torn away like the stern of a ship in a storm. Not even Pherecydes, the famous teacher of Pythagoras, will be considered a prophet because he predicted an earthquake from the appearance of some water drawn from an unfailing well. 1.113. In fact, the human soul never divines naturally, except when it is so unrestrained and free that it has absolutely no association with the body, as happens in the case of frenzy and of dreams. Hence both these kinds of divination have been sanctioned by Dicaearchus and also, as I said, by our friend Cratippus. Let us grant that these two methods (because they originate in nature) take the highest rank in divination; but we will not concede that they are the only kind. But if, on the other hand, Dicaearchus and Cratippus believe that there is nothing in observation, they hold a doctrine destructive of the foundation on which many things in everyday life depend. However, since these men make us some concession — and that not a small one — in granting us divination by frenzy and dreams, I see no cause for any great war with them, especially in view of the fact that there are some philosophers who do not accept any sort of divination whatever. 1.114. Those then, whose souls, spurning their bodies, take wings and fly abroad — inflamed and aroused by a sort of passion — these men, I say, certainly see the things which they foretell in their prophecies. Such souls do not cling to the body and are kindled by many different influences. For example, some are aroused by certain vocal tones, as by Phrygian songs, many by groves and forests, and many others by rivers and seas. I believe, too, that there were certain subterranean vapours which had the effect of inspiring persons to utter oracles. In all these cases the frenzied soul sees the future long in advance, as Cassandra did in the following instance:Alas! behold! some mortal will decideA famous case between three goddesses:Because of that decision there will comeA Spartan woman, but a Fury too.It is in this state of exaltation that many predictions have been made, not only in prose but alsoIn verse which once the fauns and bards did sing. 1.115. Likewise Marcius and Publicius, according to tradition, made their prophecies in verse, and the cryptic utterances of Apollo were expressed in the same form.[51] Such is the rationale of prophecy by means of frenzy, and that of dreams is not much unlike it. For the revelations made to seers when awake are made to us in sleep. While we sleep and the body lies as if dead, the soul is at its best, because it is then freed from the influence of the physical senses and from the worldly cares that weigh it down. And since the soul has lived from all eternity and has had converse with numberless other souls, it sees everything that exists in nature, provided that moderation and restraint have been used in eating and in drinking, so that the soul is in a condition to watch while the body sleeps. Such is the explanation of divination by dreams. 1.116. At this point it is pertinent to mention Antiphons well-known theory of the interpretation of dreams. His view is that the interpreters of dreams depending upon technical skill and not upon inspiration. He has the same view as to the interpretation of oracles and of frenzied utterances; for they all have their interpreters, just as poets have their commentators. Now it is clear that divine nature would have done a vain thing if she had merely created iron, copper, silver, and gold and had not shown us how to reach the veins in which those metals lie; the gift of field crops and orchard fruits would have been useless to the human race without a knowledge of how to cultivate them and prepare them for food; and building material would be of no service without the carpenters art to convert it into lumber. So it is with everything that the gods have given for the advantage of mankind, there has been joined some art whereby that advantage may be turned to account. The same is true of dreams, prophecies, and oracles: since many of them were obscure and doubtful, resort was had to the skill of professional interpreters. 1.117. Now there is a great problem as to how prophets and dreamers can see things, which, at the time, have no actual existence anywhere. But that question would be solved quite readily if we were to investigate certain other questions which demand consideration first. For the theory in regard to the nature of the gods, so clearly developed in the second book of your work on that subject, includes this whole question. If we maintain that theory we shall establish the very point which I am trying to make: namely, that there are gods; that they rule the universe by their foresight; and that they direct the affairs of men — not merely of men in the mass, but of each individual. If we succeed in holding that position — and for my part I think it impregnable — then surely it must follow that the gods give to men signs of coming events. [52] 1.118. 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] 1.121. The same power sends us signs, of which history has preserved numerous examples. We find the following omens recorded: when just before sunrise the moon was eclipsed in the sign of Leo, this indicated that Darius and the Persians would be overcome in battle by the Macedonians under Alexander, and that Darius would die. Again, when a girl was born with two heads, this foretold sedition among the people and seduction and adultery in the home. When a woman dreamed that she had been delivered of a lion, this signified that the country in which she had the dream would be conquered by foreign nations.Another instance of a similar kind is related by Herodotus: Croesuss son, when an infant, spoke, and this prodigy foretold the utter overthrow of his fathers family and kingdom. What history has failed to record the fact that while Servius Tullius slept his head burst into flame? Therefore, just as a man has clear and trustworthy dreams, provided he goes to sleep, not only with his mind prepared by noble thoughts, but also with every precaution taken to induce repose; so, too, he, when awake, is better prepared to interpret truly the messages of entrails, stars, birds, and all other signs, provided his soul is pure and undefiled. [54] 1.122. It is the purity of soul, no doubt, that explains that famous utterance which history attributes to Socrates and which his disciples in their books often represent him as repeating: There is some divine influence — δαιμόνιον, he called it — which I always obey, though it never urges me on, but often holds me back. And it was the same Socrates — and what better authority can we quote? — who was consulted by Xenophon as to whether he should join Cyrus. Socrates, after stating what seemed to him the best thing to do, remarked: But my opinion is only that of a man. In matters of doubt and perplexity I advise that Apollos oracle be consulted. This oracle was always consulted by the Athenians in regard to the more serious public questions. 1.123. It is also related of Socrates that one day he saw his friend Crito with a bandage on his eye. Whats the matter, Crito? he inquired. As I was walking in the country the branch of a tree, which had been bent, was released and struck me in the eye. of course, said Socrates, for, after I had had divine warning, as usual, and tried to call you back, you did not heed. It is also related of him that after the unfortunate battle was fought at Delium under command of Laches, he was fleeing in company with his commander, when they came to a place where three roads met. Upon his refusal to take the road that the others had chosen he was asked the reason and replied: The god prevents me. Those who fled by the other road fell in with the enemys cavalry. Antipater has gathered a mass of remarkable premonitions received by Socrates, but I shall pass them by, for you know them and it is useless for me to recount them. 1.124. However, the following utterance of that philosopher, made after he had been wickedly condemned to death, is a noble one — I might almost call it divine: I am very content to die, he said; for neither when I left my home nor when I mounted the platform to plead my cause, did the god give any sign, and this he always does when some evil threatens me.[55] And so my opinion is that the power of divination exists, notwithstanding the fact that those who prophesy by means of art and conjecture are oftentimes mistaken. I believe that, just as men may make mistakes in other callings, so they may in this. It may happen that a sign of doubtful meaning is assumed to be certain or, possibly, either a sign was itself unobserved or one that annulled an observed sign may have gone unnoticed. But, in order to establish the proposition for which I contend it is enough for me to find, not many, but even a few instances of divinely inspired prevision and prophecy. 1.125. Nay, if even one such instance is found and the agreement between the prediction and the thing predicted is so close as to exclude every semblance of chance or of accident, I should not hesitate to say in such a case, that divination undoubtedly exists and that everybody should admit its existence.Wherefore, it seems to me that we must do as Posidonius does and trace the vital principle of divination in its entirety to three sources: first, to God, whose connexion with the subject has been sufficiently discussed; secondly to Fate; and lastly, to Nature. Reason compels us to admit that all things happen by Fate. Now by Fate I mean the same that the Greeks call εἱμαρμένη, that is, an orderly succession of causes wherein cause is linked to cause and each cause of itself produces an effect. That is an immortal truth having its source in all eternity. Therefore nothing has happened which was not bound to happen, and, likewise, nothing is going to happen which will not find in nature every efficient cause of its happening. 1.126. Consequently, we know that Fate is that which is called, not ignorantly, but scientifically, the eternal cause of things, the wherefore of things past, of things present, and of things to come. Hence it is that it may be known by observation what effect will in most instances follow any cause, even if it is not known in all; for it would be too much to say that it is known in every case. And it is probable that these causes of coming events are perceived by those who see them during frenzy or in sleep. [56] 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. 1.128. Therefore it is not strange that diviners have a presentiment of things that exist nowhere in the material world: for all things are, though, from the standpoint of time, they are not present. As in seeds there inheres the germ of those things which the seeds produce, so in causes are stored the future events whose coming is foreseen by reason or conjecture, or is discerned by the soul when inspired by frenzy, or when it is set free by sleep. Persons familiar with the rising, setting, and revolutions of the sun, moon, and other celestial bodies, can tell long in advance where any one of these bodies will be at a given time. And the same thing may be said of men who, for a long period of time, have studied and noted the course of facts and the connexion of events, for they always know what the future will be; or, if that is putting it too strongly, they know in a majority of cases; or, if that will not be conceded either, then, surely, they sometimes know what the future will be. These and a few other arguments of the same kind for the existence of divination are derived from Fate. [57] 1.129. Moreover, divination finds another and a positive support in nature, which teaches us how great is the power of the soul when it is divorced from the bodily senses, as it is especially in sleep, and in times of frenzy or inspiration. For, as the souls of the gods, without the intervention of eyes or ears or tongue, understand each other and what each one thinks (hence men, even when they offer silent prayers and vows, have no doubt that the gods understand them), so the souls of men, when released by sleep from bodily chains, or when stirred by inspiration and delivered up to their own impulses, see things that they cannot see when they are mingled with the body. 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] 1.132. I will assert, however, in conclusion, that I do not recognize fortune-tellers, or those who prophesy for money, or necromancers, or mediums, whom your friend Appius makes it a practice to consult.In fine, I say, I do not care a figFor Marsian augurs, village mountebanks,Astrologers who haunt the circus grounds,Or Isis-seers, or dream interpreters:— for they are not diviners either by knowledge or skill, —But superstitious bards, soothsaying quacks,Averse to work, or mad, or ruled by want,Directing others how to go, and yetWhat road to take they do not know themselves;From those to whom they promise wealth they begA coin. From what they promised let them takeTheir coin as toll and pass the balance on.Such are the words of Ennius who only a few lines further back expresses the view that there are gods and yet says that the gods do not care what human beings do. But for my part, believing as I do that the gods do care for man, and that they advise and often forewarn him, I approve of divination which is not trivial and is free from falsehood and trickery.When Quintus had finished I remarked, My dear Quintus, you have come admirably well prepared. 2.8. 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. 2.36. Upon my word, no old woman is credulous enough now to believe such stuff! Do you believe that the same bullock, if chosen by one man, will have a liver without a head, and if chosen by another will have a liver with a head? And is it possible that this sudden going or coming of the livers head occurs so that the entrails may adapt themselves to the situation of the person who offers the sacrifice? Do you Stoics fail to see in choosing the victim it is almost like a throw of the dice, especially as facts prove it? For when the entrails of the first victim have been without a head, which is the most fatal of all signs, it often happens that the sacrifice of the next victim is altogether favourable. Pray what became of the warnings of the first set of entrails? And how was the favour of the gods so completely and so suddenly gained?[16] But, you say, Once, when Caesar was offering a sacrifice, there was no heart in the entrails of the sacrificial bull; and, and, since it would have been impossible for the victim to live without a heart, the heart must have disappeared at the moment of immolation. 2.37. 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.
3. Cicero, On Fate, 11-16, 2, 7-8, 1 (2nd cent. BCE - 1st cent. BCE)

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

5. Cicero, On The Nature of The Gods, 1.55, 1.117 (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. 1.117. On the other hand what reason is there for adoring the gods on the ground of our admiration for the divine nature, if we cannot see that that nature possesses any special excellence? "As for freedom from superstition, which is the favourite boast of your school, that is easy to attain when you have deprived the gods of all power; unless perchance you think that it was possible for Diagoras or Theodorus to be superstitious, who denied the existence of the gods altogether. For my part, I don't see how it was possible even for Protagoras, who was not certain either that the gods exist or that they do not. For the doctrines of all these thinkers abolish not only superstition, which implies a groundless fear of the gods, but also religion, which consists in piously worshipping them.
6. Dionysius of Halycarnassus, Roman Antiquities, 2.6.2-2.6.4 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. BCE)

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.
7. Horace, Sermones, 1.6.113-1.6.114 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. BCE)

8. Livy, History, 39.16.8 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. BCE)

9. Seneca The Elder, Suasoriae, 4.1-4.3 (1st cent. BCE

10. Juvenal, Satires, 6.582-6.591 (1st cent. CE - 2nd cent. CE)

11. New Testament, John, 1.41 (1st cent. CE - 1st cent. CE)

1.41. He first found his own brother, Simon, and said to him, "We have found the Messiah!" (which is, being interpreted, Christ).
12. Pliny The Elder, Natural History, 30.14 (1st cent. CE - 1st cent. CE)

13. 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.
14. Plutarch, Romulus, 12 (1st cent. CE - 2nd cent. CE)

15. Seneca The Younger, De Beneficiis, 7.1.5 (1st cent. CE - 1st cent. CE)

16. Tacitus, Annals, 6.22 (1st cent. CE - 2nd cent. CE)

6.22.  For myself, when I listen to this and similar narratives, my judgement wavers. Is the revolution of human things governed by fate and changeless necessity, or by accident? You will find the wisest of the ancients, and the disciplines attached to their tenets, at complete variance; in many of them a fixed belief that Heaven concerns itself neither with our origins, nor with our ending, nor, in fine, with mankind, and that so adversity continually assails the good, while prosperity dwells among the evil. Others hold, on the contrary, that, though there is certainly a fate in harmony with events, it does not emanate from wandering stars, but must be sought in the principles and processes of natural causation. Still, they leave us free to choose our life: that choice made, however, the order of the future is certain. Nor, they maintain, are evil and good what the crowd imagines: many who appear to be the sport of adverse circumstances are happy; numbers are wholly wretched though in the midst of great possessions — provided only that the former endure the strokes of fortune with firmness, while the latter employ her favours with unwisdom. With most men, however, the faith is ineradicable that the future of an individual is ordained at the moment of his entry into life; but at times a prophecy is falsified by the event, through the dishonesty of the prophet who speaks he knows not what; and thus is debased the credit of an art, of which the most striking evidences have been furnished both in the ancient world and in our own. For the forecast of Nero's reign, made by the son of this very Thrasyllus, shall be related at its fitting place: at present I do not care to stray too far from my theme.
17. Hippolytus, Refutation of All Heresies, 4.5 (2nd cent. CE - 3rd cent. CE)

4.5. In this way, the art practised by the Chaldeans will be shown to be unstable. Should any one, however, allege that, by questions put to him who inquires from the Chaldeans, the birth can be ascertained, not even by this plan is it possible to arrive at the precise period. For if, supposing any such attention on their part in reference to their art to be on record, even these do not attain - as we have proved- unto accuracy either, how, we ask, can an unsophisticated individual comprehend precisely the time of parturition, in order that the Chaldean acquiring the requisite information from this person may set the horoscope correctly? But neither from the appearance of the horizon will the rising star seem the same everywhere; but in one place its declination will be supposed to be the horoscope, and in another the ascension (will be thought) the horoscope, according as the places come into view, being either lower or higher. Wherefore, also, from this quarter an accurate prediction will not appear, since many may be born throughout the entire world at the same hour, each from a different direction observing the stars. But the supposed comprehension (of the period of parturition) by means of clepsydras is likewise futile. For the contents of the jar will not flow out in the same time when it is full as when it is half empty; yet, according to their own account, the pole itself by a single impulse is whiffed along at an equable velocity. If, however, evading the argument, they should affirm that they do not take the time precisely, but as it happens in any particular latitude, they will be refuted almost by the sidereal influences themselves. For those who have been born at the same time do not spend the same life, but some, for example, have been made kings, and others have grown old in fetters. There has been born none equal, at all events to Alexander the Macedonian, though many were brought forth along with him throughout the earth; (and) none equal to the philosopher Plato. Wherefore the Chaldean, examining the time of the birth in any particular latitude, will not be able to say accurately, whether a person born at this time will be prosperous. Many, I take it, born at this time, have been unfortunate, so that the similarity according to dispositions is futile. Having, then, by different reasons and various methods, refuted the ineffectual mode of examination adopted by the Chaldeans, neither shall we omit this, namely, to show that their predictions will eventuate in inexplicable difficulties. For if, as the mathematicians assert, it is necessary that one born under the barb of Sagittarius' arrow should meet with a violent death, how was it that so many myriads of the Barbarians that fought with the Greeks at Marathon or Salamis were simultaneously slaughtered? For unquestionably there was not the same horoscope in the case, at all events, of them all. And again, it is said that one born under the urn of Aquarius will suffer shipwreck: (yet) how is it that so many of the Greeks that returned from Troy were overwhelmed in the deep around the indented shores of Euboea? For it is incredible that all, distant from one another by a long interval of duration, should have been born under the urn of Aquarius. For it is not reasonable to say, that frequently, for one whose fate it was to be destroyed in the sea, all who were with him in the same vessel should perish. For why should the doom of this man subdue the (destinies) of all? Nay, but why, on account of one for whom it was allotted to die on land, should not all be preserved?
18. Origen, Philocalia, 23.17 (3rd cent. CE - 3rd cent. CE)

19. Origen, Philocalia, 23.17 (3rd cent. CE - 3rd cent. CE)

20. Augustine, Confessions, 7.6.9-7.6.10 (4th cent. CE - 5th cent. CE)

21. Augustine, On Christian Doctrine, 2.22.33, 2.23.36 (4th cent. CE - 5th cent. CE)

22. Augustine, The City of God, 5.2-5.6 (4th cent. CE - 5th cent. CE)

5.2. Cicero says that the famous physician Hippocrates has left in writing that he had suspected that a certain pair of brothers were twins, from the fact that they both took ill at once, and their disease advanced to its crisis and subsided in the same time in each of them. Posidonius the Stoic, who was much given to astrology, used to explain the fact by supposing that they had been born and conceived under the same constellation. In this question the conjecture of the physician is by far more worthy to be accepted, and approaches much nearer to credibility, since, according as the parents were affected in body at the time of copulation, so might the first elements of the fœtuses have been affected, so that all that was necessary for their growth and development up till birth having been supplied from the body of the same mother, they might be born with like constitutions. Thereafter, nourished in the same house, on the same kinds of food, where they would have also the same kinds of air, the same locality, the same quality of water - which, according to the testimony of medical science, have a very great influence, good or bad, on the condition of bodily health - and where they would also be accustomed to the same kinds of exercise, they would have bodily constitutions so similar that they would be similarly affected with sickness at the same time and by the same causes. But, to wish to adduce that particular position of the stars which existed at the time when they were born or conceived as the cause of their being simultaneously affected with sickness, manifests the greatest arrogance, when so many beings of most diverse kinds, in the most diverse conditions, and subject to the most diverse events, may have been conceived and born at the same time, and in the same district, lying under the same sky. But we know that twins do not only act differently, and travel to very different places, but that they also suffer from different kinds of sickness; for which Hippocrates would give what is in my opinion the simplest reason, namely, that, through diversity of food and exercise, which arises not from the constitution of the body, but from the inclination of the mind, they may have come to be different from each other in respect of health. Moreover, Posidonius, or any other asserter of the fatal influence of the stars, will have enough to do to find anything to say to this, if he be unwilling to im pose upon the minds of the uninstructed in things of which they are ignorant. But, as to what they attempt to make out from that very small interval of time elapsing between the births of twins, on account of that point in the heavens where the mark of the natal hour is placed, and which they call the horoscope, it is either disproportionately small to the diversity which is found in the dispositions, actions, habits, and fortunes of twins, or it is disproportionately great when compared with the estate of twins, whether low or high, which is the same for both of them, the cause for whose greatest difference they place, in every case, in the hour on which one is born; and, for this reason, if the one is born so immediately after the other that there is no change in the horoscope, I demand an entire similarity in all that respects them both, which can never be found in the case of any twins. But if the slowness of the birth of the second give time for a change in the horoscope, I demand different parents, which twins can never have. 5.3. It is to no purpose, therefore, that that famous fiction about the potter's wheel is brought forward, which tells of the answer which Nigidius is said to have given when he was perplexed with this question, and on account of which he was called Figulus. For, having whirled round the potter's wheel with all his strength he marked it with ink, striking it twice with the utmost rapidity, so that the strokes seemed to fall on the very same part of it. Then, when the rotation had ceased, the marks which he had made were found upon the rim of the wheel at no small distance apart. Thus, said he, considering the great rapidity with which the celestial sphere revolves, even though twins were born with as short an interval between their births as there was between the strokes which I gave this wheel, that brief interval of time is equivalent to a very great distance in the celestial sphere. Hence, said he, come whatever dissimilitudes may be remarked in the habits and fortunes of twins. This argument is more fragile than the vessels which are fashioned by the rotation of that wheel. For if there is so much significance in the heavens which cannot be comprehended by observation of the constellations, that, in the case of twins, an inheritance may fall to the one and not to the other, why, in the case of others who are not twins, do they dare, having examined their constellations, to declare such things as pertain to that secret which no one can comprehend, and to attribute them to the precise moment of the birth of each individual? Now, if such predictions in connection with the natal hours of others who are not twins are to be vindicated on the ground that they are founded on the observation of more extended spaces in the heavens, while those very small moments of time which separated the births of twins, and correspond to minute portions of celestial space, are to be connected with trifling things about which the mathematicians are not wont to be consulted - for who would consult them as to when he is to sit, when to walk abroad, when and on what he is to dine? - how can we be justified in so speaking, when we can point out such manifold diversity both in the habits, doings, and destinies of twins? 5.4. In the time of the ancient fathers, to speak concerning illustrious persons, there were born two twin brothers, the one so immediately after the other, that the first took hold of the heel of the second. So great a difference existed in their lives and manners, so great a dissimilarity in their actions, so great a difference in their parents' love for them respectively, that the very contrast between them produced even a mutual hostile antipathy. Do we mean, when we say that they were so unlike each other, that when the one was walking the other was sitting, when the one was sleeping the other was waking - which differences are such as are attributed to those minute portions of space which cannot be appreciated by those who note down the position of the stars which exists at the moment of one's birth, in order that the mathematicians may be consulted concerning it? One of these twins was for a long time a hired servant; the other never served. One of them was beloved by his mother; the other was not so. One of them lost that honor which was so much valued among their people; the other obtained it. And what shall we say of their wives, their children, and their possessions? How different they were in respect to all these! If, therefore, such things as these are connected with those minute intervals of time which elapse between the births of twins, and are not to be attributed to the constellations, wherefore are they predicted in the case of others from the examination of their constellations? And if, on the other hand, these things are said to be predicted, because they are connected, not with minute and inappreciable moments, but with intervals of time which can be observed and noted down, what purpose is that potter's wheel to serve in this matter, except it be to whirl round men who have hearts of clay, in order that they may be prevented from detecting the emptiness of the talk of the mathematicians? 5.5. Do not those very persons whom the medical sagacity of Hippocrates led him to suspect to be twins, because their disease was observed by him to develop to its crisis and to subside again in the same time in each of them - do not these, I say, serve as a sufficient refutation of those who wish to attribute to the influence of the stars that which was owing to a similarity of bodily constitution? For wherefore were they both sick of the same disease, and at the same time, and not the one after the other in the order of their birth? (for certainly they could not both be born at the same time.) Or, if the fact of their having been born at different times by no means necessarily implies that they must be sick at different times, why do they contend that the difference in the time of their births was the cause of their difference in other things? Why could they travel in foreign parts at different times, marry at different times, beget children at different times, and do many other things at different times, by reason of their having been born at different times, and yet could not, for the same reason, also be sick at different times? For if a difference in the moment of birth changed the horoscope, and occasioned dissimilarity in all other things, why has that simultaneousness which belonged to their conception remained in their attacks of sickness? Or, if the destinies of health are involved in the time of conception, but those of other things be said to be attached to the time of birth, they ought not to predict anything concerning health from examination of the constellations of birth, when the hour of conception is not also given, that its constellations may be inspected. But if they say that they predict attacks of sickness without examining the horoscope of conception, because these are indicated by the moments of birth, how could they inform either of these twins when he would be sick, from the horoscope of his birth, when the other also, who had not the same horoscope of birth, must of necessity fall sick at the same time? Again, I ask, if the distance of time between the births of twins is so great as to occasion a difference of their constellations on account of the difference of their horoscopes, and therefore of all the cardinal points to which so much influence is attributed, that even from such change there comes a difference of destiny, how is it possible that this should be so, since they cannot have been conceived at different times? Or, if two conceived at the same moment of time could have different destinies with respect to their births, why may not also two born at the same moment of time have different destinies for life and for death? For if the one moment in which both were conceived did not hinder that the one should be born before the other, why, if two are born at the same moment, should anything hinder them from dying at the same moment? If a simultaneous conception allows of twins being differently affected in the womb, why should not simultaneousness of birth allow of any two individuals having different fortunes in the world? And thus would all the fictions of this art, or rather delusion, be swept away. What strange circumstance is this, that two children conceived at the same time, nay, at the same moment, under the same position of the stars, have different fates which bring them to different hours of birth, while two children, born of two different mothers, at the same moment of time, under one and the same position of the stars, cannot have different fates which shall conduct them by necessity to diverse manners of life and of death? Are they at conception as yet without destinies, because they can only have them if they be born? What, therefore, do they mean when they say that, if the hour of the conception be found, many things can be predicted by these astrologers? From which also arose that story which is reiterated by some, that a certain sage chose an hour in which to lie with his wife, in order to secure his begetting an illustrious son. From this opinion also came that answer of Posidonius, the great astrologer and also philosopher, concerning those twins who were attacked with sickness at the same time, namely, That this had happened to them because they were conceived at the same time, and born at the same time. For certainly he added conception, lest it should be said to him that they could not both be born at the same time, knowing that at any rate they must both have been conceived at the same time; wishing thus to show that he did not attribute the fact of their being similarly and simultaneously affected with sickness to the similarity of their bodily constitutions as its proximate cause, but that he held that even in respect of the similarity of their health, they were bound together by a sidereal connection. If, therefore, the time of conception has so much to do with the similarity of destinies, these same destinies ought not to be changed by the circumstances of birth; or, if the destinies of twins be said to be changed because they are born at different times, why should we not rather understand that they had been already changed in order that they might be born at different times? Does not, then, the will of men living in the world change the destinies of birth, when the order of birth can change the destinies they had at conception? 5.6. But even in the very conception of twins, which certainly occurs at the same moment in the case of both, it often happens that the one is conceived a male, and the other a female. I know two of different sexes who are twins. Both of them are alive, and in the flower of their age; and though they resemble each other in body, as far as difference of sex will permit, still they are very different in the whole scope and purpose of their lives (consideration being had of those differences which necessarily exist between the lives of males and females) - the one holding the office of a count, and being almost constantly away from home with the army in foreign service, the other never leaving her country's soil, or her native district. Still more - and this is more incredible, if the destinies of the stars are to be believed in, though it is not wonderful if we consider the wills of men, and the free gifts of God - he is married; she is a sacred virgin: he has begotten a numerous offspring; she has never even married. But is not the virtue of the horoscope very great? I think I have said enough to show the absurdity of that. But, say those astrologers, whatever be the virtue of the horoscope in other respects, it is certainly of significance with respect to birth. But why not also with respect to conception, which takes place undoubtedly with one act of copulation? And, indeed, so great is the force of nature, that after a woman has once conceived, she ceases to be liable to conception. Or were they, perhaps, changed at birth, either he into a male, or she into a female, because of the difference in their horoscopes? But, while it is not altogether absurd to say that certain sidereal influences have some power to cause differences in bodies alone - as, for instance, we see that the seasons of the year come round by the approaching and receding of the sun, and that certain kinds of things are increased in size or diminished by the waxings and wanings of the moon, such as sea-urchins, oysters, and the wonderful tides of the ocean - it does not follow that the wills of men are to be made subject to the position of the stars. The astrologers, however, when they wish to bind our actions also to the constellations, only set us on investigating whether, even in these bodies, the changes may not be attributable to some other than a sidereal cause. For what is there which more intimately concerns a body than its sex? And yet, under the same position of the stars, twins of different sexes may be conceived. Wherefore, what greater absurdity can be affirmed or believed than that the position of the stars, which was the same for both of them at the time of conception, could not cause that the one child should not have been of a different sex from her brother, with whom she had a common constellation, while the position of the stars which existed at the hour of their birth could cause that she should be separated from him by the great distance between marriage and holy virginity?
23. Favorinus, In Aulus Gellius Noctes Atticae, 14.1.26

24. Papyri, P.Hercul.:, 1018

25. Papyrip.Hercul., P.Hercul., 1018

26. Papyrip.Hercul., P.Hercul., 1018



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
arellius fuscus Green, Carthage in Virgil's Aeneid: Staging the Enemy under Augustus (2014) 6
astrologers, expulsion from rome of Green, Carthage in Virgil's Aeneid: Staging the Enemy under Augustus (2014) 6
astrologers Green, Carthage in Virgil's Aeneid: Staging the Enemy under Augustus (2014) 82, 83
astrology, after augustus Green, Carthage in Virgil's Aeneid: Staging the Enemy under Augustus (2014) 196
astrology, theorems of Hankinson, Cause and Explanation in Ancient Greek Thought (1998) 288
astrology, weak Hankinson, Cause and Explanation in Ancient Greek Thought (1998) 288
astrology Edelmann-Singer et al., Sceptic and Believer in Ancient Mediterranean Religions (2020) 261; Frede and Laks, Traditions of Theology: Studies in Hellenistic Theology, its Background and Aftermath (2001) 245, 263; Long, From Epicurus to Epictetus Studies in Hellenistic and Roman Philosophy (2006) 131; Santangelo, Roman Frugality: Modes of Moderation from the Archaic Age to the Early Empire and Beyond (2013) 73
astrometeorology, (changing) relationship with roman religion Green, Carthage in Virgil's Aeneid: Staging the Enemy under Augustus (2014) 80, 81, 82, 83, 86, 89
astrometeorology, at rome Green, Carthage in Virgil's Aeneid: Staging the Enemy under Augustus (2014) 196
astrometeorology, hard / strongly deterministic form of Green, Carthage in Virgil's Aeneid: Staging the Enemy under Augustus (2014) 84, 86, 89
astrometeorology, horoscope of rome Green, Carthage in Virgil's Aeneid: Staging the Enemy under Augustus (2014) 85
astrometeorology, horoscopic Green, Carthage in Virgil's Aeneid: Staging the Enemy under Augustus (2014) 81
astrometeorology, philosophical criticism of Green, Carthage in Virgil's Aeneid: Staging the Enemy under Augustus (2014) 6, 83, 84, 85, 86, 196
astrometeorology, soft / non-deterministic form of Green, Carthage in Virgil's Aeneid: Staging the Enemy under Augustus (2014) 88, 89
astronomy/astrology, augustines critique of Ayres Champion and Crawford, The Intellectual World of Late Antique Christianity: Reshaping Classical Traditions (2023) 435
athens Santangelo, Roman Frugality: Modes of Moderation from the Archaic Age to the Early Empire and Beyond (2013) 64
augury, as divination Santangelo, Roman Frugality: Modes of Moderation from the Archaic Age to the Early Empire and Beyond (2013) 64
augury, decline of Santangelo, Roman Frugality: Modes of Moderation from the Archaic Age to the Early Empire and Beyond (2013) 73
augustine of hippo, on pagan divination, astrological divination, critique of Ayres Champion and Crawford, The Intellectual World of Late Antique Christianity: Reshaping Classical Traditions (2023) 435
augustine of hippo, on pagan divination, cicero, influence of Ayres Champion and Crawford, The Intellectual World of Late Antique Christianity: Reshaping Classical Traditions (2023) 435
augustine of hippo, on pagan divination Ayres Champion and Crawford, The Intellectual World of Late Antique Christianity: Reshaping Classical Traditions (2023) 435
babylon Long, From Epicurus to Epictetus Studies in Hellenistic and Roman Philosophy (2006) 131
barton, tamsyn Green, Carthage in Virgil's Aeneid: Staging the Enemy under Augustus (2014) 6
bouch´e-leclercq, a. Long, From Epicurus to Epictetus Studies in Hellenistic and Roman Philosophy (2006) 131
caesar (g. iulius caesar) Green, Carthage in Virgil's Aeneid: Staging the Enemy under Augustus (2014) 85, 86, 88
caesars comet Green, Carthage in Virgil's Aeneid: Staging the Enemy under Augustus (2014) 89
carneades, and divination Hankinson, Cause and Explanation in Ancient Greek Thought (1998) 288
carneades Long, From Epicurus to Epictetus Studies in Hellenistic and Roman Philosophy (2006) 131
causation, on divination Hankinson, Cause and Explanation in Ancient Greek Thought (1998) 288
chaldaei Santangelo, Roman Frugality: Modes of Moderation from the Archaic Age to the Early Empire and Beyond (2013) 73
chaldeans Frede and Laks, Traditions of Theology: Studies in Hellenistic Theology, its Background and Aftermath (2001) 245, 263
chrysippus Long, From Epicurus to Epictetus Studies in Hellenistic and Roman Philosophy (2006) 131
cicero, astrology, critique of Ayres Champion and Crawford, The Intellectual World of Late Antique Christianity: Reshaping Classical Traditions (2023) 435
cicero, augustines critique of astrology and Ayres Champion and Crawford, The Intellectual World of Late Antique Christianity: Reshaping Classical Traditions (2023) 435
cicero, de divinatione Ayres Champion and Crawford, The Intellectual World of Late Antique Christianity: Reshaping Classical Traditions (2023) 435
cicero, on astrology Long, From Epicurus to Epictetus Studies in Hellenistic and Roman Philosophy (2006) 131
cicero, on divination Hankinson, Cause and Explanation in Ancient Greek Thought (1998) 288
cicero Edelmann-Singer et al., Sceptic and Believer in Ancient Mediterranean Religions (2020) 261
cicero (m. tullius cicero) Green, Carthage in Virgil's Aeneid: Staging the Enemy under Augustus (2014) 75, 80, 81, 82, 83, 84, 85, 86, 88, 89
cleromancy Santangelo, Roman Frugality: Modes of Moderation from the Archaic Age to the Early Empire and Beyond (2013) 73
clitomachus ll Frede and Laks, Traditions of Theology: Studies in Hellenistic Theology, its Background and Aftermath (2001) 263
crassus (m. licinius crassus) Green, Carthage in Virgil's Aeneid: Staging the Enemy under Augustus (2014) 85
cratippus Santangelo, Roman Frugality: Modes of Moderation from the Archaic Age to the Early Empire and Beyond (2013) 64
de consulatu suo (cicero) Green, Carthage in Virgil's Aeneid: Staging the Enemy under Augustus (2014) 81
de divinatione (cicero), date and structure of Green, Carthage in Virgil's Aeneid: Staging the Enemy under Augustus (2014) 75
de divinatione (cicero), overlap between cicero and marcus in Green, Carthage in Virgil's Aeneid: Staging the Enemy under Augustus (2014) 80
de divinatione (cicero) Green, Carthage in Virgil's Aeneid: Staging the Enemy under Augustus (2014) 75, 80, 81, 82, 83, 84, 85, 86, 196
de fato (cicero), date of Green, Carthage in Virgil's Aeneid: Staging the Enemy under Augustus (2014) 86
de fato (cicero) Green, Carthage in Virgil's Aeneid: Staging the Enemy under Augustus (2014) 86, 88, 89
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
delphi Santangelo, Roman Frugality: Modes of Moderation from the Archaic Age to the Early Empire and Beyond (2013) 73
diogenes laertius Long, From Epicurus to Epictetus Studies in Hellenistic and Roman Philosophy (2006) 131
diogenes of babylon Frede and Laks, Traditions of Theology: Studies in Hellenistic Theology, its Background and Aftermath (2001) 263
diogenes the cynic Ayres Champion and Crawford, The Intellectual World of Late Antique Christianity: Reshaping Classical Traditions (2023) 435
dionysius the sophist Frede and Laks, Traditions of Theology: Studies in Hellenistic Theology, its Background and Aftermath (2001) 245
diuinatio/divinatio Santangelo, Roman Frugality: Modes of Moderation from the Archaic Age to the Early Empire and Beyond (2013) 64
divination, and fraud Hankinson, Cause and Explanation in Ancient Greek Thought (1998) 288
divination, and instrumentalism Hankinson, Cause and Explanation in Ancient Greek Thought (1998) 288
divination, and the gods Struck, Divination and Human Nature: A Cognitive History of Intuition in Classical Antiquity (2016) 174
divination Hankinson, Cause and Explanation in Ancient Greek Thought (1998) 288; Long, From Epicurus to Epictetus Studies in Hellenistic and Roman Philosophy (2006) 131
dreams Santangelo, Roman Frugality: Modes of Moderation from the Archaic Age to the Early Empire and Beyond (2013) 64, 73; Struck, Divination and Human Nature: A Cognitive History of Intuition in Classical Antiquity (2016) 174
epicureans Frede and Laks, Traditions of Theology: Studies in Hellenistic Theology, its Background and Aftermath (2001) 245
fate, the fates Edelmann-Singer et al., Sceptic and Believer in Ancient Mediterranean Religions (2020) 261
favorinus Green, Carthage in Virgil's Aeneid: Staging the Enemy under Augustus (2014) 196
fortuna primigenia Santangelo, Roman Frugality: Modes of Moderation from the Archaic Age to the Early Empire and Beyond (2013) 73
gellius (aulus gellius) Green, Carthage in Virgil's Aeneid: Staging the Enemy under Augustus (2014) 196
haruspicy Green, Carthage in Virgil's Aeneid: Staging the Enemy under Augustus (2014) 83
herbert-brown, geraldine Green, Carthage in Virgil's Aeneid: Staging the Enemy under Augustus (2014) 6
hirtius (aulus hirtius) Green, Carthage in Virgil's Aeneid: Staging the Enemy under Augustus (2014) 86
horoscope Edelmann-Singer et al., Sceptic and Believer in Ancient Mediterranean Religions (2020) 261
italy Santangelo, Roman Frugality: Modes of Moderation from the Archaic Age to the Early Empire and Beyond (2013) 73
lebadea Santangelo, Roman Frugality: Modes of Moderation from the Archaic Age to the Early Empire and Beyond (2013) 73
magic Edelmann-Singer et al., Sceptic and Believer in Ancient Mediterranean Religions (2020) 261
manilius Edelmann-Singer et al., Sceptic and Believer in Ancient Mediterranean Religions (2020) 261
marcus (character of div.), on cleromancy Santangelo, Roman Frugality: Modes of Moderation from the Archaic Age to the Early Empire and Beyond (2013) 73
marcus (character of div.) Santangelo, Roman Frugality: Modes of Moderation from the Archaic Age to the Early Empire and Beyond (2013) 64
meteorology Santangelo, Roman Frugality: Modes of Moderation from the Archaic Age to the Early Empire and Beyond (2013) 64
miletus Santangelo, Roman Frugality: Modes of Moderation from the Archaic Age to the Early Empire and Beyond (2013) 64
motherhood Mowat, Engendering the Future: Divination and the Construction of Gender in the Late Roman Republic (2021) 43
nigidius figulus (p. nigidius figulus) Green, Carthage in Virgil's Aeneid: Staging the Enemy under Augustus (2014) 81, 84
oneiromancy Mowat, Engendering the Future: Divination and the Construction of Gender in the Late Roman Republic (2021) 43
oracles Santangelo, Roman Frugality: Modes of Moderation from the Archaic Age to the Early Empire and Beyond (2013) 73; Struck, Divination and Human Nature: A Cognitive History of Intuition in Classical Antiquity (2016) 174
panaetius Long, From Epicurus to Epictetus Studies in Hellenistic and Roman Philosophy (2006) 131
pericles Mowat, Engendering the Future: Divination and the Construction of Gender in the Late Roman Republic (2021) 43
philosophy Edelmann-Singer et al., Sceptic and Believer in Ancient Mediterranean Religions (2020) 261
pompey (gn. pompeius magnus) Green, Carthage in Virgil's Aeneid: Staging the Enemy under Augustus (2014) 85
posidonius Frede and Laks, Traditions of Theology: Studies in Hellenistic Theology, its Background and Aftermath (2001) 245; Long, From Epicurus to Epictetus Studies in Hellenistic and Roman Philosophy (2006) 131
praedicere Santangelo, Roman Frugality: Modes of Moderation from the Archaic Age to the Early Empire and Beyond (2013) 64
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
propertius Green, Carthage in Virgil's Aeneid: Staging the Enemy under Augustus (2014) 196
prophecy Struck, Divination and Human Nature: A Cognitive History of Intuition in Classical Antiquity (2016) 174
prudens Santangelo, Roman Frugality: Modes of Moderation from the Archaic Age to the Early Empire and Beyond (2013) 64
prudentia Santangelo, Roman Frugality: Modes of Moderation from the Archaic Age to the Early Empire and Beyond (2013) 64
pyrrho Frede and Laks, Traditions of Theology: Studies in Hellenistic Theology, its Background and Aftermath (2001) 245
quintus (character of div.) Santangelo, Roman Frugality: Modes of Moderation from the Archaic Age to the Early Empire and Beyond (2013) 64
rationality, rationalisation Santangelo, Roman Frugality: Modes of Moderation from the Archaic Age to the Early Empire and Beyond (2013) 64
scepticism, academic Long, From Epicurus to Epictetus Studies in Hellenistic and Roman Philosophy (2006) 131
scepticism Hankinson, Cause and Explanation in Ancient Greek Thought (1998) 288
sceptics Hankinson, Cause and Explanation in Ancient Greek Thought (1998) 288
science, and instrumentalism Hankinson, Cause and Explanation in Ancient Greek Thought (1998) 288
solon Santangelo, Roman Frugality: Modes of Moderation from the Archaic Age to the Early Empire and Beyond (2013) 64
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
stars Long, From Epicurus to Epictetus Studies in Hellenistic and Roman Philosophy (2006) 131
stoicism, stoics, and astrology Long, From Epicurus to Epictetus Studies in Hellenistic and Roman Philosophy (2006) 131
stoicism, stoics, logic of Long, From Epicurus to Epictetus Studies in Hellenistic and Roman Philosophy (2006) 131
stoicism Mowat, Engendering the Future: Divination and the Construction of Gender in the Late Roman Republic (2021) 43
stoics, and divination Hankinson, Cause and Explanation in Ancient Greek Thought (1998) 288
stoics Struck, Divination and Human Nature: A Cognitive History of Intuition in Classical Antiquity (2016) 174
superstition/religio Frede and Laks, Traditions of Theology: Studies in Hellenistic Theology, its Background and Aftermath (2001) 245
tarutius firmanus (l. tarutius firmanus) Green, Carthage in Virgil's Aeneid: Staging the Enemy under Augustus (2014) 85
thales Santangelo, Roman Frugality: Modes of Moderation from the Archaic Age to the Early Empire and Beyond (2013) 64
tullius cicero, m. Santangelo, Roman Frugality: Modes of Moderation from the Archaic Age to the Early Empire and Beyond (2013) 64, 73
tullius cicero, marcus Mowat, Engendering the Future: Divination and the Construction of Gender in the Late Roman Republic (2021) 43
tullius cicero, quintus Mowat, Engendering the Future: Divination and the Construction of Gender in the Late Roman Republic (2021) 43
varro (m. terentius varro) Green, Carthage in Virgil's Aeneid: Staging the Enemy under Augustus (2014) 85
veii Santangelo, Roman Frugality: Modes of Moderation from the Archaic Age to the Early Empire and Beyond (2013) 73