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9584
Plutarch, Marius, 42.4


Ὀκτάβιον δὲ Χαλδαῖοι καὶ θύται τινὲς καὶ σιβυλλισταὶ πείσαντες ἐν Ῥώμῃ κατέσχον, ὡς εὖ γενησομένων. ὁ γὰρ ἀνήρ οὗτος δοκεῖ, τἆλλα Ῥωμαίων εὐγνωμονέστατος γενόμενος καὶ μάλιστα δὴ τὸ πρόσχημα τῆς ὑπατείας ἀκολάκευτον ἐπὶ τῶν πατρίων ἐθῶν καὶ νόμων ὥσπερ διαγραμμάτων ἀμεταβόλων διαφυλάξας, ἀρρωστίᾳ τῇ περὶ ταῦτα χρήσασθαι, πλείονα συνὼν χρόνον ἀγύρταις καὶ μάντεσιν ἢ πολιτικοῖς καὶ πολεμικοῖς ἀνδράσιν. But Octavius was persuaded by certain Chaldaeans, sacrificers, and interpreters of the Sibylline books to remain in the city, on the assurance that matters would turn out well. For it would seem that this man, although he was in other ways the most sensible man in Rome, and most careful to maintain the dignity of the consular office free from undue influence in accordance with the customs of the country and its laws, which he regarded as unchangeable ordinances, had a weakness in this direction, since he spent more time with charlatans and seers than with men who were statesmen and soldiers.


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7 results
1. Cicero, On Divination, 1.4, 1.85, 2.88, 2.99, 2.146 (2nd cent. BCE - 1st cent. BCE)

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. 1.85. Nec vero quicquam aliud adfertur, cur ea, quae dico, dividi genera nulla sint, nisi quod difficile dictu videtur, quae cuiusque divinationis ratio, quae causa sit. Quid enim habet haruspex, cur pulmo incisus etiam in bonis extis dirimat tempus et proferat diem? quid augur, cur a dextra corvus, a sinistra cornix faciat ratum? quid astrologus, cur stella Iovis aut Veneris coniuncta cum luna ad ortus puerorum salutaris sit, Saturni Martisve contraria? Cur autem deus dormientes nos moneat, vigilantes neglegat? Quid deinde causae est, cur Cassandra furens futura prospiciat, Priamus sapiens hoc idem facere non queat? 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. 2.99. 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. 2.146. 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. 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. 1.85. The truth is that no other argument of any sort is advanced to show the futility of the various kinds of divination which I have mentioned except the fact that it is difficult to give the cause or reason of every kind of divination. You ask, Why is it that the soothsayer, when he finds a cleft in the lung of the victim, even though the other vitals are sound, stops the execution of an undertaking and defers it to another day? Why does an augur think it a favourable omen when a raven flies to the right, or a crow to the left? Why does an astrologer consider that the moons conjunction with the planets Jupiter and Venus at the birth of children is a favourable omen, and its conjunction with Saturn or Mars unfavourable? Again, Why does God warn us when we are asleep and fail to do so when we are awake? Finally, Why is it that mad Cassandra foresees coming events and wise Priam cannot do the same? 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. 2.99. 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] 2.146. 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. Cicero, On The Nature of The Gods, 2.14 (2nd cent. BCE - 1st cent. BCE)

2.14. third, the awe inspired by lightning, storms, rain, snow, hail, floods, pestilences, earthquakes and occasionally subterranean rumblings, showers of stones and raindrops the colour of blood, also landslips and chasms suddenly opening in the ground, also unnatural monstrosities human and animal, and also the appearance of meteoric lights and what are called by the Greeks 'comets,' and in our language 'long-haired stars,' such as recently during the Octavian War appeared as harbingers of dire disasters, and the doubling of the sun, which my father told me had happened in the consulship of Tuditanus and Aquilius, the year in which the light was quenched of Publius Africanus, that second sun of Rome: all of which alarming portents have suggested to mankind the idea of the existence of some celestial and divine power.
3. Cicero, Republic, 1.21-1.23 (2nd cent. BCE - 1st cent. BCE)

1.21. Tum Philus: Nihil novi vobis adferam, neque quod a me sit cogitatum aut inventum; nam memoria teneo C. Sulpicium Gallum, doctissimum, ut scitis, hominem, cum idem hoc visum diceretur et esset casu apud M. Marcellum, qui cum eo consul fuerat, sphaeram, quam M. Marcelli avus captis Syracusis ex urbe locupletissima atque ornatissima sustulisset, cum aliud nihil ex tanta praeda domum suam deportavisset, iussisse proferri; cuius ego sphaerae cum persaepe propter Archimedi gloriam nomen audissem, speciem ipsam non sum tanto opere admiratus; erat enim illa venustior et nobilior in volgus, quam ab eodem Archimede factam posuerat in templo Virtutis Marcellus idem. 1.22. Sed posteaquam coepit rationem huius operis scientissime Gallus exponere, plus in illo Siculo ingenii, quam videretur natura humana ferre potuisse, iudicavi fuisse. Dicebat enim Gallus sphaerae illius alterius solidae atque plenae vetus esse inventum, et eam a Thalete Milesio primum esse tornatam, post autem ab Eudoxo Cnidio, discipulo, ut ferebat, Platonis, eandem illam astris stellisque, quae caelo inhaererent, esse descriptam; cuius omnem ornatum et descriptionem sumptam ab Eudoxo multis annis post non astrologiae scientia, sed poetica quadam facultate versibus Aratum extulisse. Hoc autem sphaerae genus, in quo solis et lunae motus inessent et earum quinque stellarum, quae errantes et quasi vagae nominarentur, in illa sphaera solida non potuisse finiri, atque in eo admirandum esse inventum Archimedi, quod excogitasset, quem ad modum in dissimillimis motibus inaequabiles et varios cursus servaret una conversio. Hanc sphaeram Gallus cum moveret, fiebat, ut soli luna totidem conversionibus in aere illo, quot diebus in ipso caelo, succederet, ex quo et in caelo sphaera solis fieret eadem illa defectio et incideret luna tum in eam metam, quae esset umbra terrae, cum sol e regione 1.23. fuit, quod et ipse hominem diligebam et in primis patri meo Paulo probatum et carum fuisse cognoveram. Memini me admodum adulescentulo, cum pater in Macedonia consul esset et essemus in castris, perturbari exercitum nostrum religione et metu, quod serena nocte subito candens et plena luna defecisset. Tum ille, cum legatus noster esset anno fere ante, quam consul est declaratus, haud dubitavit postridie palam in castris docere nullum esse prodigium, idque et tum factum esse et certis temporibus esse semper futurum, cum sol ita locatus fuisset, ut lunam suo lumine non posset attingere. Ain tandem? inquit Tubero; docere hoc poterat ille homines paene agrestes et apud imperitos audebat haec dicere? S. Ille vero et magna quidem cum
4. Livy, History, 44.37.5-44.37.9 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. BCE)

5. Pliny The Elder, Natural History, 2.53, 3.16-3.17 (1st cent. CE - 1st cent. CE)

6. Valerius Maximus, Memorable Deeds And Sayings, 1.3.3, 8.11.1 (1st cent. CE - 1st cent. CE)

7. Velleius Paterculus, Roman History, 2.24.3



Subjects of this text:

subject book bibliographic info
aemilius paullus, l. Santangelo, Roman Frugality: Modes of Moderation from the Archaic Age to the Early Empire and Beyond (2013) 255
aratus Santangelo, Roman Frugality: Modes of Moderation from the Archaic Age to the Early Empire and Beyond (2013) 255
archimedes Santangelo, Roman Frugality: Modes of Moderation from the Archaic Age to the Early Empire and Beyond (2013) 255
astrologers, expulsion from rome of Green, Carthage in Virgil's Aeneid: Staging the Enemy under Augustus (2014) 66
astrologers Green, Carthage in Virgil's Aeneid: Staging the Enemy under Augustus (2014) 66
astrology Santangelo, Roman Frugality: Modes of Moderation from the Archaic Age to the Early Empire and Beyond (2013) 255
astrometeorology, at rome Green, Carthage in Virgil's Aeneid: Staging the Enemy under Augustus (2014) 66
athenion Green, Carthage in Virgil's Aeneid: Staging the Enemy under Augustus (2014) 66
augustus Santangelo, Roman Frugality: Modes of Moderation from the Archaic Age to the Early Empire and Beyond (2013) 255
carmina marciana Santangelo, Roman Frugality: Modes of Moderation from the Archaic Age to the Early Empire and Beyond (2013) 169
chaldaei Santangelo, Roman Frugality: Modes of Moderation from the Archaic Age to the Early Empire and Beyond (2013) 169, 255
cilicia Santangelo, Roman Frugality: Modes of Moderation from the Archaic Age to the Early Empire and Beyond (2013) 255
cimbrian war Santangelo, Roman Frugality: Modes of Moderation from the Archaic Age to the Early Empire and Beyond (2013) 169
cornelius cinna, l. Santangelo, Roman Frugality: Modes of Moderation from the Archaic Age to the Early Empire and Beyond (2013) 169, 255
cornelius culleolus, cn. Santangelo, Roman Frugality: Modes of Moderation from the Archaic Age to the Early Empire and Beyond (2013) 169
culleolus, l. Santangelo, Roman Frugality: Modes of Moderation from the Archaic Age to the Early Empire and Beyond (2013) 169
eclipse Santangelo, Roman Frugality: Modes of Moderation from the Archaic Age to the Early Empire and Beyond (2013) 255
eunus Santangelo, Roman Frugality: Modes of Moderation from the Archaic Age to the Early Empire and Beyond (2013) 169
halleys comet Green, Carthage in Virgil's Aeneid: Staging the Enemy under Augustus (2014) 66
haruspicy Santangelo, Roman Frugality: Modes of Moderation from the Archaic Age to the Early Empire and Beyond (2013) 255
hipsalus (cn. cornelius hipsalus) Green, Carthage in Virgil's Aeneid: Staging the Enemy under Augustus (2014) 66
marcius Santangelo, Roman Frugality: Modes of Moderation from the Archaic Age to the Early Empire and Beyond (2013) 169
marius, c. Santangelo, Roman Frugality: Modes of Moderation from the Archaic Age to the Early Empire and Beyond (2013) 169, 255
martha Santangelo, Roman Frugality: Modes of Moderation from the Archaic Age to the Early Empire and Beyond (2013) 169
nigidius figulus, p. Santangelo, Roman Frugality: Modes of Moderation from the Archaic Age to the Early Empire and Beyond (2013) 255
octavius, cn. Santangelo, Roman Frugality: Modes of Moderation from the Archaic Age to the Early Empire and Beyond (2013) 169, 255
octavius (gn. octavius) Green, Carthage in Virgil's Aeneid: Staging the Enemy under Augustus (2014) 66
pompeius strabo, cn. Santangelo, Roman Frugality: Modes of Moderation from the Archaic Age to the Early Empire and Beyond (2013) 169
private divination Santangelo, Roman Frugality: Modes of Moderation from the Archaic Age to the Early Empire and Beyond (2013) 255
quinctius cincinnatus, l., (quin)decemuiri s.f. Santangelo, Roman Frugality: Modes of Moderation from the Archaic Age to the Early Empire and Beyond (2013) 169
scientia Santangelo, Roman Frugality: Modes of Moderation from the Archaic Age to the Early Empire and Beyond (2013) 255
senate Santangelo, Roman Frugality: Modes of Moderation from the Archaic Age to the Early Empire and Beyond (2013) 169
sulla Green, Carthage in Virgil's Aeneid: Staging the Enemy under Augustus (2014) 66
sulpicius galus, c. Santangelo, Roman Frugality: Modes of Moderation from the Archaic Age to the Early Empire and Beyond (2013) 255
terentius varro, m. Santangelo, Roman Frugality: Modes of Moderation from the Archaic Age to the Early Empire and Beyond (2013) 255
translation Santangelo, Roman Frugality: Modes of Moderation from the Archaic Age to the Early Empire and Beyond (2013) 255
tullius cicero, m. Santangelo, Roman Frugality: Modes of Moderation from the Archaic Age to the Early Empire and Beyond (2013) 169, 255
uates' Santangelo, Roman Frugality: Modes of Moderation from the Archaic Age to the Early Empire and Beyond (2013) 169