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CICERO ON DIVINATION by Marcus Tullius Cicero
Loeb Classical Library, 1923. Rekeyed by Bill Thayer.

Book I

Latin English
I 1 Vetus opinio est iam usque ab heroicis ducta temporibus, eaque et populi Romani et omnium gentium firmata consensu, versari quandam inter homines divinationem, quam Graeci μαντική appellant, id est praesensionem et scientiam rerum futurarum. Magnifica quaedam res et salutaris, si modo est ulla, quaque proxime ad deorum vim natura mortalis possit accedere. Itaque ut alia nos melius multa quam Graeci, sic huic praestantissimae rei nomen nostri a divis, Graeci, ut Plato interpretatur, a furore duxerunt. 1 There is an ancient belief, handed down to us even from mythical times and firmly established by the general agreement of the Roman people and of all nations, that divination of some kind exists among men; this the Greeks call μαντική — that is, the foresight and knowledge of future events. A really splendid and helpful thing it is — if only such a faculty exists — since by its means men may approach very near to the power of gods. And, just as we Romans have done many other things better than the Greeks, so have we excelled them in giving to this most extraordinary gift a name, which we have derived from divi, a word meaning "gods," whereas, according to Plato's interpretation, they have derived it from furor, a word meaning "frenzy."1
2 Gentem quidem nullam video neque tam humanam atque doctam neque tam immanem tamque barbaram, quae non significari futura et a quibusdam intellegi praedicique posse censeat. Principio Assyrii, ut ab ultimis auctoritatem repetam, propter planitiam magnitudinemque regionum quas incolebant, cum caelum ex omni parte patens atque apertum intuerentur, traiectiones motusque stellarum observitaverunt, quibus notati, 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. 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 p225side, 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 race2 — have, it is thought, by means of long-continued observation of the constellations, perfected a science which enables them to foretell what any man's lot will be and for what fate he was born.
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 cantibus que certissimis signis declarari res futuras putant. 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.
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? 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?
II Nec unum genus est divinationis publice privatimque celebratum. Nam, ut omittam ceteros populos, noster quam multa genera complexus 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 impetriendis 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. 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 p227believed that the soothsayers'3 art had great efficacy in seeking for omens and advice,4 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.
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 Corneli 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. 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 ten5 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.6 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,7 in accordance with a dream of Caecilia, daughter of Balearicus.8
III 5 Atque haec, ut ego arbitror, veteres rerum magis eventis moniti quam ratione docti probaverunt. Philosophorum vero exquisita quaedam argumenta, cur esset vera divinatio, conlecta sunt; e quibus, ut de antiquissumis loquar, Colophonius Xenophanes unus, qui deos esse diceret, divinationem funditus sustulit; reliqui vero omnes, praeter Epicurum balbutientem de natura deorum, divinationem probaverunt, sed non uno modo. Nam cum Socrates omnesque Socratici Zenoque et ii qui ab eo essent profecti manerent in antiquorum philosophorum sententia vetere Academia et Peripateticis consentientibus, cumque huic rei magnam auctoritatem Pythagoras iam ante tribuisset, qui etiam ipse augur vellet esse, plurumisque locis gravis auctor Democritus praesensionem rerum futurarum comprobaret, Dicaearchus Peripateticus cetera divinationis genera sustulit, somniorum et furoris reliquit, Cratippusque, familiaris noster, quem ego parem summis Peripateticis iudico, isdem rebus fidem tribuit, reliqua divinationis genera reiecit. 3 5 Now my opinion is that, in sanctioning such usages, the ancients were influenced more by actual results than convinced by reason.9 However certain very subtle arguments to prove the trustworthiness of divination have been gathered by philosophers. Of these — to mention the most ancient — Xenophanes of Colophon, while asserting p229 the existence of gods, was the only one who repudiated divination in its entirety; but all the others, with the exception of Epicurus, who babbled about the nature of the gods, approved of divination, though not in the same degree. For example, Socrates and all of the Socratic School, and Zeno and his followers, continued in the faith of the ancient philosophers and in agreement with the Old Academy and with the Peripatetics. Their predecessor, Pythagoras, who even wished to be considered an augur himself, gave the weight of his great name to the same practice; and that eminent author, Democritus, in many passages, strongly affirmed his belief in a presentiment of things to come. Moreover, Dicaearchus, the Peripatetic, though he accepted divination by dreams and frenzy, cast away all other kinds; and my intimate friend, Cratippus, whom I consider the peer of the greatest of the Peripatetics, also gave credence to the same kinds of divination but rejected the rest.
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, Posidoni doctor, discipulus Antipatri, degeneravit Panaetius, nec tamen ausus est negare vim esse divinandi, sed dubitare se dixit. Quod illi in aliqua re invitissumis Stoicis Stoico facere licuit, 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. 7 Sed haec quidem laus Academiae praestantissumi philosophi iudicio et testimonio comprobata est. 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 p231 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? 7 At any rate, this praiseworthy tendency of the Academy to doubt has been approved by the solemn judgement of a most eminent philosopher.10
IV Etenim nobismet ipsis quaerentibus quid sit de divinatione iudicandum, quod a Carneade multa acute et copiose contra Stoicos disputata sint, verentibusque ne temere vel falsae rei vel non satis cognitae adsentiamur, faciendum videtur ut diligenter etiam atque etiam argumenta cum argumentis comparemus, ut fecimus in iis tribus libris quos de natura deorum scripsimus. Nam cum omnibus in rebus temeritas in adsentiendo errorque turpis est, tum in eo loco maxime, in quo iudicandum est quantum auspiciis rebusque divinis religionique tribuamus; est enim periculum, ne aut neglectis iis impia fraude aut susceptis anili superstitione obligemur. 4 Accordingly, since I, too, am in doubt as to the proper judgement to be rendered in regard to divination because of the many pointed and exhaustive arguments urged by Carneades against the Stoic view, and since I am afraid of giving a too hasty assent to a proposition which may turn out either false or insufficiently established, I have determined carefully and persistently to compare argument with argument just as I did in my three books On the Nature of the Gods. For a hasty acceptance of an erroneous opinion is discreditable in any case, and especially so in an inquiry as to how much weight should be given to auspices, to sacred rites, and to religious observances; for we run the risk of committing a crime against the gods if we disregard them, or of becoming involved in old women's superstition if we approve them.
V 8 Quibus de rebus et alias saepe et paulo accuratius nuper, cum essem cum Q. fratre in Tusculano, disputatum est. Nam cum ambulandi causa in Lyceum venissemus (id enim superiori gymnasio nomen est), "Perlegi," ille inquit, "tuum paulo ante tertium de natura deorum, in quo disputatio Cottae quamquam labefactavit sententiam meam, non funditus tamen sustulit." "Optime vero," inquam; "etenim ipse Cotta sic disputata ut Stoicorum magis argumenta confutet quam hominum deleat religionem." Tum Quintus: "Dicitur quidem istuc," inquit, "a Cotta, et vero saepius, credo, ne communia iura migrare videatur; sed studio contra Stoicos disserendi deos mihi videtur funditus tollere. 9 Eius orationi 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 divinandi vera de quibus accepimus quaeque colimus, esse deos, vicissimque, si di sint, esse qui divinent." 5 8 This subject has been discussed by me frequently on other occasions, but with somewhat more than ordinary care when my brother Quintus and I were together recently at my Tusculan villa. For the sake of a stroll we had gone to the Lyceum11 which is the name of my upper gymnasium, when Quintus remarked:
p233 "I have just finished a careful reading of the third book of your treatise, On the Nature of the Gods, containing Cotta's discussion, which, though it has shaken my views of religion, has not overthrown them entirely."
"Very good," said I; "for Cotta's argument is intended rather to refute the arguments of the Stoics than to destroy man's faith in religion." Quintus then replied: "Cotta12 says the very same thing, and says it repeatedly, in order, as I think, not to appear to violate the commonly accepted canons of belief; yet it seems to me that, in his zeal to confute the Stoics, he utterly demolishes the gods. 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,13 seemed to you nearer to the truth than Cotta's. But there is a question14 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."
VI 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 arbitraria conceditur. Nam et natura significari futura sine deo possunt et, ut sint di, potest fieri ut nulla ab iis divinatio generi humano tributa sit." 6 10 "Why, my dear Quintus," said I, "you are defending the very citadel of the Stoics in asserting the interdependence of these two propositions: 'if there is divination there are gods,' and, 'if there are p235gods there is divination.'15 But neither is granted as readily as you think. For it is possible that nature gives signs of future events without the intervention of a god, and it may be that there are gods without their having conferred any power of divination upon men."
Atque ille: "Mihi vero," inquit, "satis est argomenti 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." To this he replied, "I, at any rate, find sufficient proof to satisfy me of the existence of the gods and of their concern in human affairs in my conviction that there are some kinds of divination which are clear and manifest. With your permission I will set forth my views on this subject, provided you are at leisure and have nothing else which you think should be preferred to such a discussion."
11 "Ego vero," inquam, "philosophiae, Quinte, semper vaco; hoc autem tempore, cum sit nihil aliud quod lubenter agere possim, multo magis aveo audire de divinatione quid sentias." 11 "Really, my dear Quintus," said I, "I always have time for philosophy. Moreover, since there is nothing else at this time that I can do with pleasure,16 I am all the more eager to hear what you think about divination."
"Nihil," inquit, "equidem novi, nec quod praeter ceteros ipse sentiam; nam cum antiquissimam sententiam, tum omnium populorum et gentium consensu comprobatam sequor. Duo sunt enim divinandi genera, quorum alterum artis est, alterum naturae. 12 Quae est autem gens aut quae civitas, quae non aut extispicum aut monstra aut fulgora interpretantium aut augurum aut astrologorum aut sortium (ea enim fere artis sunt) aut somniorum aut vatìcinationum (haec enim duo naturale putantur) praedictione moveatur? Quarum quidem rerum eventa magis arbitror quam causas quaeri oportere. Est enim vis et natura quaedam, quae tum observatis longo tempore significationibus, tum aliquo instinctu inflatuque divino futura praenuntiat. "There is, I assure you," said he, "nothing new or original in my views; for those which I adopt are not only very old, but they are endorsed by the consent of all peoples and nations. There are two kinds of divination: the first is dependent on art, the other on nature. 12 Now — to mention those almost entirely dependent on art — what nation or what state disregards the prophecies of soothsayers, or of interpreters of prodigies and lightnings, or of augurs, or of astrologers, or of oracles, or — to mention the two kinds which are classed as natural means of divination — the forewarnings of dreams, or of frenzy?17 Of these methods of divining it behoves us, I think, to examine the results rather than the causes. For p237there is a certain natural power, which now, through long-continued observation of signs and now, through some divine excitement and inspiration, makes prophetic announcement of the future.
VII Quare omittat urguere Carneades, quod faciebat etiam Panaetius, requirens Iuppiterne cornicem a laeva, corvum ab dextera canere iussisset. Observata sunt haec tempore immenso et [in significatione eventus] animadversa et notata. Nihil est autem quod non longinquitas temporum excipiente memoria prodendisque monumentis efficere atque adsequi possit. 13 Mirari licet quae sint animadversa a medicis herbarum genera, quae radicum ad morsus bestiarum, ad oculorum morbos, ad vulnera, quorum vini atque naturam ratio numquam explicavit, utilitate et ars est et inventor probatus. 7 "Therefore let Carneades cease to press the question, which Panaetius also used to urge, whether Jove had ordered the crow to croak on the left side and the raven on the right. Such signs as these have been observed for an unlimited time, and the results have been checked and recorded. Moreover, there is nothing which length of time cannot accomplish and attain when aided by memory to receive and records to preserve. 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.
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."
"But come, let us consider instances, which although outside the category of divination, yet resemble it very closely:18
The heaving sea oft warns of coming storms,
When suddenly its depths begin to swell;
And hoary rocks, o'erspread with snowy brine,
To the sea, in boding tones, attempt reply;
Or when from lofty mountain-peak upsprings
A shrilly whistling wind, which stronger grows
With each repulse by hedge of circling cliffs.
VIII Atque his rerum praesensionibus Prognostica tua referta sunt. Quis igitur elicere causas praesensionum potest? Etsi video Boëthum Stoicum esse conatum, qui hactenus aliquid egit, ut earum rationem rerum explicaret, quae in mari caelove fierent. 14 Illa vero cur eveniant, quis probabiliter dixerit? 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 p239the phenomena of sea and sky. 14 But who can give a satisfactory reason why the following things occur?
"Cana fulix itidem fugiens e gurgite ponti
nuntiat horribilis clamans instare procellas
haud modicos tremulo fundens e guttere cantus.
Saepe etiam pertriste canit de pectore carmen
et matutinis acredula vocibus instat,
vocibus instat et adsiduas iacit ore querellas,
cum primum gelidos rores aurora remittit;
fuscaque non numquam cursans per litora cornix
demersit caput et fluctum cervice recepit."
Blue-grey herons,19 in fleeing the raging abyss of the ocean,
Utter their warnings, discordant and wild, from tremulous gullets,
Shrilly proclaiming that storms are impending and laden with terrors.
Often at dawn, when Aurora releases the frost in the dew-drops,
Does the nightingale20 pour from its breast predictions of evil;
Then does it threaten and hurl from its throat its incessant complaining.
Often the dark-hued crow, while restlessly roaming the seashore,
Plunges its crest in the flood, as its neck encounters the billows.
IX 15 Videmus haec signa numquam fere ementientia nec tamen cur ita fiat videmus. 9 15 "Hardly ever do we see such signs deceive us and yet we do not see why it is so.
"Vos quoque signa videtis, aquai dulcis alumnae,
cum clamore paratis inanis fundere voces
absurdoque sono fontis et stagna cietis."
Quis est, qui ranunculos hoc videre suspicari possit? Sed inest in ranunculis vis et natura quaedam significans aliquid, per se ipsa satis certa, cognitioni autem hominum obscurior.
"Mollipedesque boves, spectantes lumina caeli,
naribus umiferum duxere ex aëre sucum."
Non quaero cur, quoniam quid eveniat intellego.
"lam vero semper viridis semperque gravata
lentiscus, triplici solita grandescere fetu,
ter fruges fundens tria tempora monstrat arandi."
Ye, too, distinguish the signs, ye dwellers in waters delightful,
When, with a clamour, you utter your cries that are empty of meaning,
Stirring the fountains and ponds with absurd and ridiculous croaking.21

Who could suppose that frogs had this foresight? And yet they do have by nature some faculty of premonition, clear enough of itself, but too dark for human comprehension.
Slow, clumsy oxen, their glances upturned to the light of the heavens,
Sniff at the air with their nostrils and know it is freighted with moisture.

I do not ask why, since I know what happens.
p241 Now 'tis a fact that the evergreen mastic, e'er burdened with leafage,
Thrice is expanding and budding and thrice producing its berries;
Triple its signs for the purpose of showing three seasons for ploughing.
16 Ne hoc quidem quaero, cur haec arbor una ter fioreat aut cur arandi maturitatem ad signum floris accommodet; hoc sum contentus, quod, etiamsi cur quidque fiat ignorem, quid fiat intellego. Pro omni igitur divinatione idem quod pro rebus iis quas commemoravi respondebo. 16 Nor do I ever inquire why this tree alone blooms three times, or why it makes the appearance of its blossoms accord with the proper time for ploughing. I am content with my knowledge that it does, although I may not know why. Therefore, as regards all kinds of divination I will give the same answer that I gave in the cases just mentioned.
X Quid scammoneae radix ad purgandum, quid aristolochia ad morsus serpentium possit, quae nomen ex inventore repperit, rem ipsam inventor ex somnio - posse video, quod satis est; cur possit, nescio. Sic ventorum et imbrium signa, quae dixi, rationem quam habeant non satis perspicio; vim et eventum agnosco, scio, adprobo. Similiter, quid fissum in extis, quid fibra valeat, accipio; quae causa sit, nescio. Atque horum quidem plena vita est; extis enim omnes fere utuntur. Quid? de fulgurum vi dubitare num possumus? Nonne cum multa alia mirabilia, tum illud in primis: cum Summanus in fastigio Iovis optumi maxumi, qui tum erat fictilis, e caelo ictus esset nec usquam eius simulacri caput inveniretur, haruspices in Tiberim id depulsum esse dixerunt, idque inventum est eo loco, qui est ab haruspicibus demonstratus. 10 "I see the purgative effect of the scammony root22 and I see an antidote for snake-bite in the aristolochia plant23 — which, by the way, derives its name from its discoverer who learned of it in a dream — I see their power and that is enough; why they have it I do not know. Thus as to the cause of those premonitory signs of winds and rains already mentioned I am not quite clear, but their force and effect I recognize, understand, and vouch for. Likewise as to the cleft or thread in the entrails: I accept their meaning; I do not know their cause. And life is full of individuals in just the same situation that I am in, for nearly everybody employs entrails in divining. Again: is it possible for us to doubt the prophetic value of lightning? Have we not many instances of its marvels? and is not the following one especially remarkable? When the statue of Summanus which stood on the top of the temple of Jupiter Optimus Maximus — his statue was then made of clay — was struck by a thunderbolt and its head could not be found anywhere, the soothsayers declared that it had been hurled into the Tiber; p243and it was discovered in the very spot which they had pointed out.
XI 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: 11 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:
"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 errant,
re vera certo lapsu spatioque feruntur,
omnia iam cernes divina mente notata.
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 Zodiac's 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.
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 laete 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 serenanti 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,
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,24
When, on ascending the mountainous heights of snowy Albanus,
You offered joyful libations of milk at the Feast of the Latins;25
Ominous surely the time wherein fell that Feast of the Latins;
Many a warning was given, it seemed, of slaughter nocturnal;
p245 Then, of a sudden, the moon at her full26 was blotted from heaven —
Hidden her features resplendent, though night was bejewelled with planets;a
Then did that dolorous herald of War, the torch of Apollo,27
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.b
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.
19 atque ea, quae lapsu tandem cecidere, vetusto,
haec fore perpetuis signis clarisque frequentans
ipse deum genitor caelo terrisque canebat.
XII Nunc ea, Torquato quae quondam et consule Cotta
Lydius ediderat Tyrrhenae gentis haruspex,
omnia fixa tuus glomerans determinat annus.
Nam pater altitonans stellanti nixus Olympo
ipse suos quondam tumulos ac templa petivit
et Capitolinis iniecit sedibus ignis.
Tum species ex aere vetus venerataque Nattae
concidit, elapsaeque vetusto numine leges,
et divom simulacra peremit fulminis ardor.
19 And the misfortunes which happened at last and were long in their passing —
These were foretold by the Father of Gods, in earth and in heaven,
Through unmistakable signs that he gave and often repeated.
12 Now, of those prophecies made when Torquatus and Cotta28 were consuls, —
Made by a Lydian diviner,29 by one of Etruscan extraction —
All, in the round of your crowded twelve months, were brought to fulfilment.
For high-thundering Jove, as he stood on starry Olympus,
Hurled forth his blows at the temples and monuments raised in his honour,
And on the Capitol's site he unloosed the bolts of his lightning.
Then fell the brazen image of Natta, ancient and honoured:
Vanished the tablets of laws long ago divinely enacted;
Wholly destroyed were the statues of gods by the heat of the lightning.
20 Hic silvestris erat Romani nominis altrix
Martia, quae parvos Mavortis semine natos
uberibus gravidis vitali rore rigabat;
quae tum cum pueris flammato fulminis ictu
concidit atque avolsa pedum vestigia liquit.
Tum quis non artis scripta ac monumenta volutans
voces tristificas chartis promebat Etruscis?
Omnes civilem generosa stirpe profectam
volvier ingentem cladem pestemque monebant;
tum legum exitium constanti voce ferebant,
templa deumque adeo fiammis urbemque iubebant
eripere et stragem horribilem caedemque vereri;
atque haec fixa gravi fato ac fundata teneri,
ni prius excelsum ad columen formata decore
sancta Iovis species claros spectaret in ortus:
tum fore ut occultos populus sanctusque senatus
cernere conatus posset, si solis ad ortum
conversa inde patrum sedes populique videret.
p247 20 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 law's 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 fathom
Hidden designs, when that statue — its face to the sun at its rising —
Should behold from its station the seats of the people and Senate.
21 Haec tardata diu species multumque morata
consule te tandem celsa est in sede locata
atque una fixi ac signati temporis hora
Iuppiter excelsa clarabat sceptra columna,
et clades patriae flamma ferroque parata
vocibus Allobrogum patribus populoque patebat.
XIII Rite igitur veteres, quorum monumenta tenetis
qui populos urbisque modo ac virtute regebant,
rite etiam vestri, quorum pietasque fidesque
praestitit et longe vicit sapientia cunctos,
praecipue colucre vigeiiti numine divos.
Haec adeo penitus cura videre sagaci,
otia qui studiis laeti tenuere decoris,
21 Long was the statue delayed and much was it hindered in making.
Finally, you being consul, it stood in its lofty position.
Just at the moment of time, which the gods had set and predicted,
When on column exalted the sceptre of Jove was illumined,
Did Allobrogian voices proclaim to Senate and people
What destruction by dagger and torch was prepared for our country.30
p249 13 Rightly, therefore, the ancients whose monuments you have in keeping,
Romans whose rule over peoples and cities was just and courageous,
Rightly your kindred, foremost in honour and pious devotion,
Far surpassing the rest of their fellows in shrewdness and wisdom,
Held it a duty supreme to honour the Infinite Godhead.
Such were the truths they beheld who painfully searching for wisdom
Gladly devoted their leisure to study of all that was noble,
22 inque Academia umbrifera nitidoque Lyceo
fuderunt claras fecundi pectoris artis.
E quibus ereptum primo iam a flore iuventae
te patria in media virtutum mole locavit.
Tu tamen anxiferas curas requiete relaxans,
quod patriae vacat, his studiis nobisque sacrasti."
22 Who, in Academy's shade and Lyceum's31 dazzling effulgence,
Uttered the brilliant reflections of minds abounding in culture.
Torn from these studies, in youth's early dawn, your country recalled you,
Giving you place in the thick of the struggle for public preferment;
Yet, in seeking surcease from the worries and cares that oppress you,
Time, that the State leaves free, you devote to us and to learning.
Tu igitur animum poteris inducere contra ea quae a me disputantur de divinatione, dicere, qui et gesseris ea, quae gessisti, et ea quae pronuntiavi, accuratissume scripseris? "In view, therefore, of your acts, and in view too of your own verses which I have quoted and which were composed with the utmost care, could you be persuaded to controvert the position which I maintain in regard to divination?
23 Quid quaeris, Carneades, cur haec ita fiant aut qua arte perspici possint? Nescire me fateor, evenire autem ipsum dico videre. "Casu," inquis. Itane vero? Quicquam potest casu esse factum, quod omnes habet in se numeros veritatis? Quattuor tali iacti casu Venerium efficiunt; num etiam centum Venerios, si quadringentos talos ieceris, casu futuros putas? Adspersa temere pigmenta in tabula oris liniamenta efficere possunt; num etiam Veneris Coae pulchritudinem effici posse adspersione fortuita putas? Sus rostro si humi A litteram impresserit, num propterea suspicari poteris Andromacham Enni ab ea posse describi? 23 "But what? You ask, Carneades, do you, why these things so happen, or by what rules they may be understood? I confess that I do not know, but that they do so fall out I assert that you yourself see. 'Mere accidents,' you say. Now, really, is that so? Can anything be an 'accident' which bears upon itself every mark of truth? Four dice are cast and a Venus throw32 results — that is chance; p251but do you think it would be chance, too, if in one hundred casts you made one hundred Venus throws? It is possible for paints flung at random on a canvasc to form the outlines of a face; but do you imagine that an accidental scattering of pigments could produce the beautiful portrait of Venus of Cos?33 Suppose that a hog should form the letter 'A' on the ground with its snout; is that a reason for believing that it would write out Ennius's poem The Andromache?d
Fingebat Carneades in Chiorum lapicidinis saxo diffisso caput exstitisse Panisci; credo, aliquam non dissimilem figuram, sed certe non talem, ut eam factam a Scopa diceres. Sic enim se profecto res habet, ut numquam perfecte veritatem casus imitetur. "Carneades used to have a story that once in the Chian quarries when a stone was split open there appeared the head of the infant god Pan; I grant that the figure may have borne some resemblance to the god, but assuredly the resemblance was not such that you could ascribe the work to a Scopas. For it is undeniably true that no perfect imitation of a thing was ever made by chance.
XIV 24 "At non numquam ea, quae praedicta sunt, minus eveniunt." Quae tandem id ars non habet? Earum dico artium, quae coniectura continentur et sunt opinabiles. An medicina ars non putanda est? Quam tamen multa fallunt. Quid? Gubernatores nonne falluntur? An Achivorum exercitus et tot navium rectores non ita profecti sunt ab Ilio, ut "profectione laeti piscium lasciviam intuerentur," ut ait Pacuvius, "nec tuendi satietas capere posset"?
14 24 " 'But,' it is objected, 'sometimes predictions are made which do not come true.' And pray what art — and by art I mean the kind that is dependent on conjecture and deduction — what art, I say, does not have the same fault? Surely the practice of medicine is an art, yet how many mistakes it makes! And pilots — do they not make mistakes at times? For example, when the armies of the Greeks and the captains of their mighty fleet set sail from Troy, they, as Pacuvius says,34
"Interea prope iam occidente sole inhorrescit mare,
tenebrae conduplicantur noctisque et nimbum occaecat nigror."
Glad at leaving Troy behind them, gazed upon the fish at play,
Nor could get their fill of gazing — thus they whiled the time away.
Meantime, as the sun was setting, high uprose the angry main:
Thick and thicker fell the shadows; night grew black with blinding rain.
Num igitur tot clarissimorum ducum regumque naufragium sustulit artem gubernandi? Aut num imperatorum scientia nihil est, quia summus imperator nuper fugit amisso exercitu? Aut num propterea nulla est rei publicae gerendae ratio atque prudente, quia multa Cn. Pompeium, quaedam M. Catonem, non nulla etiam te ipsum fefellerunt? Similis est haruspicum responsio omnisque opinabilis divinatio; coniectura enim nititur, ultra quam progredi non potest. 25 Ea fallit fortasse non numquam, sed tamen ad veritatem saepissime dirigit; est enim ab omni aeternitate repetita, in qua, cum paene innumerabiliter res eodem modo evenirent isdem signis antegressis, ars est effecta eadem saepe animadvertendo ac notando. p253 Then, did the fact that so many illustrious captains and kings suffered shipwreck deprive navigation of its right to be called an art? And is military science of no effect because a general of the highest renown recently lost his army and took to flight?35 Again, is statecraft devoid of method or skill because political mistakes were made many times by Gnaeus Pompey, occasionally by Marcus Cato, and once or twice even by yourself? So it is with the responses of soothsayers, and, indeed, with every sort of divination whose deductions are merely probable; for divination of that kind depends on inference and beyond inference it cannot go. 25 It sometimes misleads perhaps, but none the less in most cases it guides us to the truth. For this same conjectural divination is the product of boundless eternity and within that period it has grown into an art through the repeated observation and record of almost countless instances in which the same results have been preceded by the same signs.
XV Auspicia vero vestra quam constant! Quae quidem nunc a Romanis auguribus ignorantur (bona hoc tua venia dixerim), a Cilicibus, Pamphyliis, Pisidis, Lyciis tenentur. 26 Nam quid ego hospitem nostrum, clarissumum atque optumum virum, Deiotarum regem, commemorem? Qui nihil umquam nisi auspicato gerit. Qui cum ex itinere quodam proposito et constituto revertisset aquilae admonitus volatu, conclave illud, ubi erat mansurus, si ire perrexisset, proxima nocte corruit. 27 Itaque, ut ex ipso audiebam, persaepe revertit ex itinere, cum iam progressus esset multorum dierum viam. Quoius quidem hoc praeclarissimum est, quod, posteaquam a Caesare tetrarchia et regno pecuniaque multatus est, negat se tamen eorum auspiciorum, quac sibi ad Pompeium proficiscenti secunda evenerint, paenitere; senatus enim auctoritatem et populi Romani libertatem atque imperii dignitatem suis armis esse defensam, sibique eas aves, quibus auctoribus officium et fidem secutus esset, bene consuluisse; antiquiorem enim sibi fuisse possessionibus suis gloriari. Ille mihi videtur igitur vere augurari. 15 "Indeed how trustworthy were the auspices taken when you were augur!36 At the present time — pray pardon me for saying so — Roman augurs neglect auspices, although the Cilicians, Pamphylians, Pisidians, and Lycians hold them in high esteem. 26 I need not remind you of that most famous and worthy man, our guest-friend, King Deiotarus, who never undertook any enterprise without first taking the auspices. On one occasion after he had set out on a journey for which he had made careful plans beforehand, he returned home because of the warning given him by the flight of an eagle. The room in which he would have been staying, had he continued on his road, collapsed the very next p255 night. 27 This is why, as he told me himself, he had time and again abandoned a journey even though he might have been travelling for many days. By the way, that was a very noble utterance of his which he made after Caesar had deprived him of his tetrarchy and kingdom,37 and had forced him to pay an indemnity too. 'Notwithstanding what has happened,' said he, 'I do not regret that the auspices favoured my joining Pompey. By so doing I enlisted my military power in defence of senatorial authority, Roman liberty, and the supremacy of the empire. The birds, at whose instance I followed the course of duty and of honour, counselled well, for I value my good name more than riches.' His conception of augury, it seems to me, is the correct one.
Nam nostri quidem magistratus auspiciis utuntur coactis; necesse est enim offa obiecta cadere frustum ex pulli ore, cum pascitur; 28 quod autem scriptum habetis, [aut] tripudium fieri, si ex ea quid in solidum ceciderit, hoc quoque, quod dixi, coactum tripudium solistimum dicitis. Itaque multa auguria, multa auspicia, quod Cato ille sapiens queritur, neglegentia collegii amissa plane et deserta sunt. "For with us magistrates make use of auspices, but they are 'forced auspices,'38 since the sacred chickens in eating the dough pellets thrown must let some fall from their beaks. 28 But, according to the writings of you augurs, a tripudium results if any of the food should fall to the ground, and what I spoke of as a 'forced augur' your fraternity calls as tripudium solistimum.39 And so through the indifference of the college, as Cato the Wise laments, many auguries and auspices have been entirely abandoned and lost.
XVI Nihil fere quondam maioris rei nisi auspicato ne privatim quidem gerebatur, quod etiam nunc nuptiarum auspices declarant, qui re omissa nomen tantum tenent. Nam ut nunc extis (quamquam id ipsum aliquanto minus quam olim), sic tum avibus magnae res impetriri solebant. Itaque, sinistra dum non exquirimus, in dira et in vitiosa incurrimus. 29 Ut P. Claudius, Appi Caeci filius, eiusque collega L. Iunius classis maxumas perdiderunt, cum vitio navigassent. Quod eodem modo evenit Agamemnoni; qui,cum Achivi coepissent
16 "In ancient times scarcely any matter out of the ordinary was undertaken, even in private life, without first consulting the auspices, clear proof of which is given even at the present time by our custom of having 'nuptial auspices,' 40 though they have lost their former religious significance and only p257preserve the name. For just as today on important occasions we make use of entrails in divining — though even they are employed to a less extent than formerly — so in the past resort was usually had to divination by means of birds. And thus it is that by failing to seek out the unpropitious signs we run into awful disasters. 29 For example, Publius Claudius, son of Appius Caecus,41 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 to
"inter sese strepere aperteque artem obterere extispicum
solvere imperat secundo rumore adversaque avi."
Raise aloft their frequent clamours, showing scorn of augur's art,
Noise prevailed and not the omen: he then bade the ships depart.42
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 e civem egregium censor C. Ateium notavit, quod ementitu auspicia subscriberet. Esto; fuerit hoc censoris, si iudicabat ementitum; at illud minime auguris, quod adscripsit ob ea causam populum Romanum calamitatem maxumam 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. 30 Non igitur obnuntiatio Atei causam finxit calamitatis, sed signo obiecto monuit Crassum quid eventurum esset, nisi cavisset. Ita aut illa obnuntiatio nihil valuit aut, si, ut Appius iudicat, valuit, id valuit, ut peccatum haereat non in eo qui monuerit, sed in eo qui non obtemperarit. "But why cite such ancient instances? We see what happened to Marcus Crassus43 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 p259was 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. 30 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.
XVII Quid? Lituus iste vester, quod clarissumum est insigne auguratus, unde vobis est traditus? Nempe eo Romulus regiones direxìt tum, cum urbem condidit. Qui quidem Romuli lituus, id est incurvum et leviter a summo inflexu bacillum, quod ab eius litui, quo canitur, similitudine nomen invenit, cum situs esset in curia Saliorum, quae est in Palatio eaque defiagravisset, inventus est integer. 31 Quid? Multis annis post Romulum, Prisco regnante Tarquinio, quis veterum scriptorum non loquitur quae sit ab Atto Navio per lituum regionum facta discriptio? Qui cum propter paupertatem sues puer pasceret, una ex iis amissa, vovisse dicitur, si recuperasset, uvam se deo daturum, quae maxima esset in vinea; itaque, sue inventa, ad meridiem spectans in vinea media dicitur constitisse, cumque in quattuor partis vineam divisisset trisque partis aves abdixissent, quarta parte, quae erat reliqua, in regiones distributa, mirabili magnitudine uvam, ut scriptum videmus, invenit. Qua re celebrata, cum vicini omnes ad eum de rebus suis referrent, erat in magno nomine et gloria. 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 out44 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.45 31 What ancient chronicler fails to mention the fact that in the reign of Tarquinius Priscus, long after the time of Romulus, a quartering of the heavens was made with this staff by Attus Navius? Because of poverty Attus was a swineherd in his youth. As the story goes, he, having lost one of his hogs, made a vow that if he recovered it he would make an offering to the god p261of the largest bunch of grapes in his vineyard. Accordingly, after he had found the hog, he took his stand, we are told, in the middle of the vineyard, with his face to the south and divided the vineyard into four parts. When the birds had shown three of these parts to be unfavourable, he subdivided the fourth and last part and then found, as we see it recorded, a bunch of grapes of marvellous size.
32 Ex quo factum est, ut eum ad se rex Priscus arcesseret. Cuius cum temptaret scientiam auguratus, dixit ei cogitare se quiddam; id possetne fieri, consuluit. Ille augurio acto posse respondit. Tarquinius autem dixit se cogitasse cotem novacula posse praecidi; tum Attum iussisse experiri. Ita cotem in comitium allatam inspectante et rege et populo novacula esse discissam. Ex eo evenit ut et Tarquinius augure Atto Navio uteretur et populus de suis rebus ad eum referret. 33 Cotem autem illam et novaculam defossam in comitio supraque impositum puteal accepimus. "This occurrence having been noised abroad, all his neighbours began to consult him about their own affairs and thus greatly enhanced his name and fame. 32 The consequence was that King Priscus summoned him to his presence. The king, wishing to make trial of his skill as an augur, said to him: 'I am thinking of something; tell me whether it can be done or not.' Attus, having taken the auspices, replied that it could be done. Thereupon Tarquinius said that what he had been thinking of was the possibility of cutting a whetstone in two with a razor, and ordered the trial to be made. So the stone was brought into the comitium, and, while the king and his people looked on, it was cut in two with a razor. The result was that Tarquin employed him as his augur, and the people consulted him about their private concerns. 33 Moreover, according to tradition, the whetstone and razor were buried in the comitium and a stone curbing placed over them.
Negemus omnia, comburamus annales, fiera haec esse dicamus, quidvis denique potius quam deos res humanas curare fateamur; quid quod scriptum apud te est de Ti. Graccho, nonne et augurum et haruspicum comprobat disciplinam? Qui cum tabernaculum vitio cepisset inprudens, quod inauspicato pomerium transgressus esset, comitia consulibus rogandis habuit. Nota res est et a te ipso mandata monumentis. Sed et ipse augur Ti. Gracchus auspiciorum auctoritatem confessione errati sui comprobavit, et haruspicum disciplinae magna accessit auctoritas, qui recentibus comitiis in senatum introducti negaverunt iustum comitiorum rogatorem fuisse. "Let us declare this story wholly false; let us burn the chronicles that contain it; let us call it a myth and admit almost anything you please rather than the fact that the gods have any concern in human affairs. But look at this: does not the story about Tiberius Gracchus found in your own writings46 acknowledge that augury and soothsaying are arts? p263He, having placed his tabernaculum,47 unwittingly violated augural law by crossing the pomerium before completing the auspices; nevertheless he held the consular election.48 The fact is well known to you since you have recorded it. Besides, Tiberius Gracchus, who was himself an augur, confirmed the authority of auspices by confessing his error; and the soothsayers, too, greatly enhanced the reputation of their calling, when brought into the Senate immediately after the election, by declaring that the election supervisor had acted without authority.
XVIII 34 Iis igitur adsentior, qui duo genera divinationum esse dixerunt, unum, quod particeps esset artis, alterum, quod arte careret. Est enim ars in iis, qui novas res coniectura persequuntur, veteres observatione didicerunt. Carent autem arte ii qui non ratione aut coniectura observatis ac notatis signis, sed concitatione quadam animi aut soluto liberoque motu futura praesentiunt, quod et somniantibus saepe contingit et non numquam vaticinantibus per furorem, ut Bacis Boeotius, ut Epimenides Cres, ut Sibylla Erythrea. Cuius generis oracla etiam habenda sunt, non ea quae aequatis sortibus ducuntur, sed illa quae instinctu divino adflatuque funduntur; etsi ipsa sors contemnenda non est, si et auctoritatem habet vetustatis, ut eae sunt sortes, quas e terra editas accepimus; quae tamen ductae ut in rem apte cadant fieri credo posse divinitus. Quorum omnium interpretes, ut grammatici poetarum, proxime ad eorum, quos interpretantur, divinationem videntur accedere. 18 34 "I agree, therefore, with those who have said that there are two kinds of divination: one, which is allied with art; the other, which is devoid of art. Those diviners employ art, who, having learned the known by observation, seek the unknown by deduction. On the other hand those do without art who, unaided by reason or deduction or by signs which have been observed and recorded, forecast the future while under the influence of mental excitement, or of some free and unrestrained emotion. This condition often occurs to men while dreaming and sometimes to persons who prophesy while in a frenzy — like Bacis of Boeotia, Epimenides of Crete and the Sibyl of Erythraea.49 In this latter class must be placed oracles — not oracles given by means of 'equalized lots'50 — but those uttered under the impulse of divine inspiration; although divination by lot is not in itself to be despised, if it has the sanction of antiquity, as in the case of those lots which, according to tradition, sprang out of the p265earth;51 for in spite of everything, I am inclined to think that they may, under the power of God, be so drawn as to give an appropriate response. Men capable of correctly interpreting all these signs of the future seem to approach very near to the divine spirit of the gods whose wills they interpret, just as scholars52 do when they interpret the poets.
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. 36 Quid? qui inridetur partus hic mulae nonne, quia fetus exstitit in sterilitate naturae, praedictus est ab haruspicibus incredibilis partus malorum? 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 Nature's 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. 36 Why, then, when here recently a mule (which is an animal ordinarily sterile by nature) brought forth a foal,53 need anyone have scoffed because the soothsayers from that occurrence prophesied a progeny of countless evils to the state?
Quid? Ti. Gracchus Publi filius, 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 comprehensis 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 filia adulescentem; feminam emisit, ipse paucis post diebus est mortuus. "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 p267them. 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.
XIX Inrideamus haruspices, vanos, futtiles esse dicamus quorumque disciplinam et sapientissimus vir et eventus ac re comprobavit contemnamus; [condemnemus] etiam Babylonem et eos qui e Caucaso caeli signa servantes numeris motibus stellarum cursus persequuntur; condemnemus, in quam, hos aut stultitiae aut vanitatis aut impudentiae, qui quadringenta septuaginta milia annorum, ut ipsi dicunt, monumentis comprehensa continenti et mentiri iudicemus ne saeculorum reliquorum iudicium, quod de ipsis futurum sit pertimescere. 37 Age, barbari vani atque fallaces; num etiam Graiorum historia mentita est? 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;54 and let us pronounce them liars, utterly indifferent to the opinion of succeeding generations. 37 Come, let us admit that the barbarians are all base deceivers, but are the Greek historians liars too?
quae Croeso Pythius Apollo, ut de naturali divinatione dicam, quae Atheniensibu quae Lacedaemoniis, quae Tegeatis, quae Argivis, quae Corinthiis responderit, quis ignorat? Conlegit innumerabilia oracula Chrysippus nec ullum sine locuplete auctore atque teste; quae, quia nota tibi sunt, relinquo; defendo unum hoc numquam illud oraclum Delphis tam celebre et tam clarum fuisset neque tantis donis refertum omnium populorum atque regum, nisi omnis aetas oraclorum illorum veritatem esse experta. 38 "Idem iam diu non facit." Ut igitur nunc 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. "Speaking now of natural divination, everybody knows the oracular responses which the Pythian Apollo gave to Croesus, to the Athenians, Spartans, Tegeans, Argives, and Corinthians. Chrysippus has collected a vast number of these responses, attested in every instance by abundant proof. But I pass them by as you know them well. I will urge only this much, however, in defence: the oracle at Delphi never would have been so much frequented, so famous, and so crowded with offerings from peoples and kings of every land, if all ages had not tested p269the truth of its prophecies. For a long time now that has not been the case. 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.
XX 39 Sed omittamus oracula, veniamus ad somnia. De quibus disputans Chrysippus, multis et minutis somniis configendis, facit idem quod Antipater, ea conquirens quae, Antiphontis interpretatione esplicata, declarant illa quidem acumen interpretis, sed exemplis grandioribus decuit uti. Dionysi mater, eius qui Syracosiorum tyrannus fuit, ut scriptum apud Philistum est, et doctum hominem et diligentem et aequalem temporum illorum, cum praegnans hunc ipsum Dionysium alvo contineret, somniavit se peperisse Satyriscum. Huic interpretes portentorum, qui Galeotae tum in Sicilia nominabantur, responderunt, ut ait Philistus, eum, quem illa peperisset, clarissimum Graeciae diuturna cum fortuna fore. 20 39 "But let us leave oracles and come to dreams. In his treatise on this subject Chrysippus, just as Antipater does, has assembled a mass of trivial dreams which he explains according to Antiphon's rules of interpretation. The work, I admit, displays the acumen of its author, but it would have been better if he had cited illustrations of a more serious type. Now, Philistus, who was a learned and painstaking man and a contemporary mot times of which he writes, gives us the following story of the mother of Dionysius, the tyrant of Syracuse: while she was with child and was carrying this same Dionysius in her womb, she dreamed that she had been delivered of an infant satyr. When she referred this dream to the interpreters of portents, who in Sicily were called 'Galeotae,' they p271 replied, so Philistus relates, that she should bring forth a son who would be very eminent in Greece and would enjoy a long and prosperous career.
40 Num te ad fabulas revoco vel nostrorum vel Graecorum poetarum? Narrat enim et apud Ennium Vestalis illa: 40 "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 Virgin55 is from Ennius:
"Et cita cum tremulis anus attulit artubus lumen,
talia tum memorat lacrimans, exterrita somno.
Eurydica prognata, pater quam noster amavit,
vires vitaque corpus meum nunc deserit omne.
Nam me visus homo pulcher per amoena salicta
et ripas raptare locosque novos. Ita sola
postilla, germana soror, errare videbar
tardaque vestigare et quaerere te, neque posse
corde capessere: semita nulla pedem stabilitat.
41 Exim compellare pater me voce videtur
his verbis: O gnata, tibi sunt ante gerendae
aerumnae, post ex fluvio fortuna resistet.
Haec ecfatus pater, germana, repente recessit
nec sese dedit in conspectum corde cupitus,
quamquam multa manus ad caeli caerula templa
tendebam lacrumans et blanda voce vocabam.
Vix aegro cum corde meo me somnus reliquit."
The vestal from her sleep in fright awoke
And to the startled maid, whose trembling hands
A lamp did bear, thus spoke in tearful tones:
'O daughter of Eurydice, though whom
Our father loved, from my whole frame departs
The vital force. For in my dreams I saw
A man56 of beauteous form, who bore me off
Through willows sweet, along the fountain's 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.
41 And then I thought my father spoke these words:
"Great sorrows, daughter, thou must first endure
Until thy fortune from the Tiber rise."
When this was said he suddenly withdrew;
Nor did his cherished vision come again,
Though oft I raised my hand to heaven's dome
And called aloud in tearful, pleading voice.
Then sleep departing left me sick at heart.'
XXI 42 Haec, etiamsi ficta sunt a poeta, non absunt tamen a consuetudine somniorum. Sit sane etiam illud commenticium, quo Priamus est conturbatus, quia
21 42 "This dream, I admit, is the fiction of a poet's brain, yet it is not contrary to our experience with real dreams. It may well be that the following story of the dream which greatly disturbed Priam's peace of mind is fiction too:57
"mater gravida parere se ardentem facem
visa est in somnis Hecuba; quo facto pater
rex ipse Priamus somnio, mentis metu
perculsus, curis sumptus suspirantibus,
exsacrificabat hostiis balantibus.
Tum coniecturam postulat pacem petens,
ut se edoceret obsecrans Apollinem
quo sese vertant tantae sortes somnium.
Ibi ex oraclo voce divina edidit
Apollo: puerum, primus Priamo qui foret
postilla natus, temperaret tollere:
eum esse exitium Troiae, pestem Pergamo."
When mother Hecuba was great with child,
She dreamed that she brought forth a flaming torch.
Alarmed at this, with sighing cares possessed,
The king and father, Priam, to the gods
Did make a sacrifice of bleating lambs.
He, seeking peace and answer to the dream,
p273 Implored Apollo's aid to understand
What great events the vision did foretell,
Apollo's oracle, with voice divine,
Then gave this explanation of the dream:
"Thy next-born son forbear to rear, for he
Will be the death of Pergamos and Troy."
43 Sint haec, ut dixi, somnia fabularum, hisque adiungatur etiam Aeneae somnium, quod nimirum in Fabi Pictoris Graecis annalibus eius modi est, ut omnia quae ab Aenea gesta sunt quaeque illi acciderunt, ea fuerint quae ei secundum quietem visa sunt. 43 Grant, I repeat, that these dreams are myths and in the same category put Aeneas's dream, related in the Greek annals of our countryman, Fabius Pictor. According to Pictor everything that Aeneas did or suffered turned out just as it had been predicted to him in a dream.
XXII Sed propiora videamus. Cuiusnam modi est Superbi Tarquini somnium, de quo in Bruto Acci loquitur ipse?
22 "But let us look at examples nearer our own times. Would you dare call that famous dream of Tarquin the Proud a myth? He describes it himself in the following lines from the Brutus of Accius:
44 "Quoniam quieti corpus nocturno impetu
dedi, sopore placans artus languidos,
visust in somnis pastor ad me appellere
pecus lanigerum eximia pulchritudine;
duos consanguineos arietes inde eligi
praeclarioremque alterum immolare me;
deinde eius germanum cornibus conitier,
in me arietare, eoque ictu me ad casum dari;
exim prostratum terra, graviter saucium,
resupinum in caelo contueri maxumum ac
mirificum facinus: dextrorsum orbem flammeum
radiatum solis liquier cursu novo."
44 At night's approach I sought my quiet couch
To soothe my weary limbs with restful sleep.
Then in my dreams a shepherd near me drove
A fleecy herd whose beauty was extreme.
I chose two brother rams from out the flock
And sacrificed the comelier of the twain.
And then, with lowered horns, the other ram
Attacked and bore me headlong to the ground.
While there I lay outstretched and wounded sore,
The sky a wondrous miracle disclosed:
The blazing star of day reversed its course
And glided to the right by pathway new.
45 Eius igitur somnii a coniectoribus quae sit interpretatio facta videamus:
"Rex, quae in vita usurpant homines, cogitant curant vident,
quaeque agunt vigilantes agitantque, ea si cui in somno accidunt,
minus mirandum est; sed in re tanta haud temere visa se offerunt.
Proin vide ne, quem tu esse hebetem deputes aeque ac pecus,
is sapientia munitum pectus egregium gerat
teque regno expellat; nam id, quod de sole ostentum est tibi,
populo commutationem rerum portendit fore
perpropinquam. Haec bene verruncent populo! Nam quod ad dexteram
cepit cursum ab laeva signum praepotens, pulcherrume
auguratum est rem Romanam publicam summam fore."
45 Now observe how the diviners interpreted this dream:
It is not strange, O king, that dreams reflect
The day's desires and thoughts, its sights and deeds,
And everything we say or do awake.
But in so grave a dream as yours we see
A message clearly sent, and thus it warns:
Beware of him you deem bereft of wit
And rate no higher than a stupid ram,
Lest he, with wisdom armed, should rise to fame
And drive you from your throne. The sun's changed course
p275 Unto the state portends immediate change.
And may that prove benignant to the state;
For since the almighty orb from left to right
Revolved, it was the best of auguries
That Rome would be supreme o'er all the earth.
XXIV 46 Age nunc ad externa redeamus. Matrem Phalaridis scribit Ponticus Heraclides, doctus vir, auditor et discipulus Platonis, visam esse videre in somnis simulacra deorum, quae ipsa domi consecravisset; ex iis Mercurium e patera, quam dextera manu teneret, sanguinem visum esse fundere; qui cum terram attigisset, refervescere videretur sic, ut tota domus sanguine redundaret. Quod matris somnium immanis filii crudelitas comprobavit. 23 46 "But come now and let us return to foreign instances. Heraclides Ponticus, a man of learning, and both a pupil and a disciple of Plato's, relates a dream of the mother of Phalaris. She fell asleep and dreamed that, while looking at the consecrated images of the gods set up in her house, she saw the statue of Mercury pouring blood from a bowl which it held in its right hand and that the blood, as it touched the ground, welled up and completely filled the house. The truth of the dream was subsequently established by the inhuman cruelty of her son.
Quid ego, quae magi Cyro illi principi interpretati sint, ex Dinonis Persicis fibris proferam? Nam cum dormienti ei sol ad pedes visus esset, ter eum scribit frustra adpetivisse manibus, cum se convolvens sol elaberetur et abiret; ei magos dixisse, quod genus sapientium et doctorum habebatur in Persis, ex triplici adpetitione solis triginta annos Cyrum regnaturum esse portendi. Quod ita contigit; nam ad septuagesimum pervenit, cum quadraginta natus annos regnare coepisset. "Why need I bring forth from Dinon's Persian annals the dreams of that famous prince, Cyrus, and their interpretations by the magi? But take this instance: Once upon a time Cyrus dreamed that the sun was at his feet. Three times, so Dinon writes, he vainly tried to grasp it and each time it turned away, escaped him, and finally disappeared. He was told by the magi, who are classed as wise and learned men among the Persians, that his grasping for the sun three times portended that he would reign for thirty years.58 And thus it happened; for he lived to his seventieth year, having begun to reign at forty.
47 Est profecto quiddam etiam in barbaris gentibus praesentiens atque divinans, siquidem ad mortem proficiscens Cafianus Indus, cum inscenderet in rogum ardentem, "O praeclarum discessum," inquit, "e vita, cum, ut Herculi contigit, mortali corpore cremato, in lucem animus excesserit! " Cumque Alexander eum rogaret, si quid vellet, ut diceret, " Optume, " inquit; " propediem te videbo. " Quod ita contigit; nam Babylone paucis post diebus Alexander est mortuus. Discedo parumper a somniis, ad quae mox revertar. Qua nocte templum Ephesiae Dianae deflagravit, eadem, constat ex Olympiade natum esse Alexandrum, atque, ubi lucere coepisset, clamitasse magos pestem ac perniciem Asiae proxuma nocte natam. 47 "It certainly must be true that even barbarians have some power of foreknowledge and of prophecy, if the following story of Callanus of India be true: As he was about to die and was ascending the funeral pyre, he said: 'What a glorious death! p277 The fate of Hercules is mine. For when this mortal frame is burned the soul will find the light.' When Alexander directed him to speak if he wished to say anything to him, he answered: 'Thank you, nothing, except that I shall see you very soon.' So it turned out, for Alexander died in Babylon a few days later. I am getting slightly away from dreams, but I shall return to them in a moment. Everybody knows that on the same night in which Olympias was delivered of Alexander the temple of Diana at Ephesus was burned, and that the magi began to cry out as day was breaking: 'Asia's deadly curse was born last night.' But enough of Indians and magi.
XXIV 48 Haec de Indis et magis; 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 esso neglectum; itaque ex eo auro, quod exterebratum esset, buculam curasse faciendam et eam in summa columna conlocavisse. 49 Hoc item in Sileni, quem Coelius sequitur, Graeca historia est (is autem diligentissume res Hannibalis persecutus est): Hannibalem, cum cepisset Saguntum, visum esse in somnis a Iove in deorum concilium vocari; quo cum venisset, Iovem imperavisse, ut Italiae bellum inferret, ducemque ei unum e concilio datum, quo illum utentem cum exercitu progredi coepisse; tum ei ducem illum praecepisse ne respiceret; illum autem id diutius facere non potuisse elatumque cupiditate respexisse; tum visam beluam vastam et immanem circumplicatam serpentibus, quacumque incederet, omnia arbusta, virgulta, tecta pervertere, et eum admiratum quaesisse de deo quodnam illud esset tale monstrum, et deum respondisse vastitatem esse Italiae praecepisseque ut pergeret protinus, quid retro atque a tergo fieret ne laboraret. 24 48 "Let us go back to dreams. Coelius writes that Hannibal wished to carry off a golden column from Juno's 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. 49 Another story of Hannibal is found in the history written in Greek by Silenus, whom Coelius follows, and who, by the way, was a very painstaking student of Hannibal's career. After his capture of Saguntum Hannibal dreamed that Jupiter summoned him to a council of the gods. When he arrived Jupiter ordered him to carry the war into Italy, and gave him one of the divine council as a guide whom he employed when he being the march with his army. p279This guide cautioned Hannibal not to look back. But, carried away by curiosity, he could refrain no longer and looked back. Then he saw a horrible beast of enormous size, enveloped with snakes, and wherever it went it overthrew every tree and shrub and every house. In his amazement Hannibal asked what the monster was. The god replied that it was the desolation of Italy and ordered him to press right on and not to worry about what happened behind him and in the rear.
50 Apud Agathoclem scriptum in historia est Hamilcarem Karthaginiensem, cum oppugnaret Syracusas, visum esse audire vocem se postridie cenaturum Syracusis; cum autem is dies inluxisset, magnam seditionem in castris eius inter Poenos et Siculos milites esse factam; quod cum sensissent Syracusani, improviso eos in castra inrupisse Hamilcaremque ab iis vivum esse sublatum: ita res somnium comprobavit. Plena exemplorum est historia, tum referta vita communis. 50 "We read in a history by Agathocles that Hamilcar, the Carthaginian, during his siege of Syracuse heard a voice in his sleep telling him that he would dine the next day in Syracuse. At daybreak the following day a serious conflict broke out in his camp between the troops of the Carthaginians and their allies, the Siculi. When the Syracusans saw this they made a sudden assault on the camp and carried Hamilcar off alive. Thus the event verified the dream. "History is full of such instances, and so is everyday life.
51 At vero P. Decius ille Quinti filius, qui primus e Deciis consul fuit, cum esset tribunus militum M. Valerio A. Cornelio, consulibus, a Samnitibusque premeretur noster exercitus, cum pericula proeliorum iniret audacius monereturque, ut cautior esset, dixit, quod exstat in annalibus, sibi in somnis visum esse, cum in mediis hostibus versaretur, occidere cum maxuma gloria. Et tum quidem incolumis exercitum obsidione liberavit; post triennium autem, cum consul esset, devovit se et in aciem Latinorum inrupit armatus. Quo eius facto superati sunt et deleti Latini. Cuius mors ita gloriosa fuit, ut eandem concupisceret filius. 51 And yet let me cite another: the famous Publius Decius, son of Quintus, and the first of that family to become consul, was military tribune in the consulship59 of Marcus Valerius and Aulus Cornelius while our army was being hard pressed by the Samnites. When, because of his rushing too boldly into the dangers of battle, he was advised to be more cautious, he replied, according to the annals, 'I dreamed that by dying in the midst of the enemy I should win immortal fame.' And though he was unharmed at that time and extricated the army from its difficulties, yet three years later, when consul, he devoted himself p281 to death60 and rushed full-armed against the battle-line of the Latins. By this act of his the Latins were overcome and destroyed; and so glorious was his death that his son sought the same fate. 52 But let us come now, if you please, to the dreams of philosophers.
XXV 52 Sed, veniamus nunc, si placet, ad somnia philosophorum. Est apud Platonem Socrates, cum esset in custodia publica, dicens Critoni, suo familiari, sibi post tertium die esse moriendum; vidisse se in somnis pulchritudine eximia feminam, quae se nomine appellans diceret Homericum quendam eius modi versum: 25 "We read in Plato that Socrates, while in prison, said in a conversation with his friend Crito: 'I am to die in three days; for in a dream I saw a woman of rare beauty, who called me by name and quoted this verse from Homer:61
"Tertia te Phthiae tempestas laeta locabit." Gladly on Phthia's shore the third day's dawn shall behold thee.'
quod, ut est dictum, sic scribitur contigisse. Xenophon Socraticus (qui vir et quantus!) in ea militia qua cum Cyro minor perfunctus est sua scribit somnia, quorum eventus mirabile exstiterunt. And history informs us that his death occurred as he had foretold. That disciple of Socrates, Xenophon — and what a man he was! — records62 the dreams he had during his campaign with Cyrus the Younger, and their remarkable fulfilment. Shall we say that Xenophon is either a liar or a madman?
53 Mentiri Xenophontem an delirare dicemus? Quid, singolari vir ingenio Aristoteles et paene divino ipsene errat an alios vult errare, cum scribit Eudemum Cyprium familiarem suum, iter in Macedoniam facientem Pheras venis se, quae erat urbs in Thessalia tum admodum nobilis, ab Alexandro autem tyranno crudeli dominatu tenebatur; in igitur oppido ita graviter aegrum Eudemum fuisse, ut omne medici diffiderent; ei visum in quiete egregia facie iuvenem dicere fore ut perbrevi convalesceret, paucisque diebus interiturum Alexandrum tyrannum, ipsum autem Eudemum quinquennio post domum esse rediturum. Atque ita quidem prima statim scribit Aristoteles consecuta: et convaluisse Eudemum et ab uxoris fratribus interfectum tyrannum; quinto autem anno exeunte, cum esset spes ex illo somnio in Cyprum illum ex Sicilia esse rediturum, proeliantem eum ad Syracusas occidisse; ex quo ita illud somnium esse interpretatum, ut, cum animus Eudemi e corpore excesserit, tum domum revertisse videatur. 53 "And Aristotle, who was endowed with a matchless and almost godlike intellect, — is he in error, or is he trying to lead others into error in the following account of his friend, Eudemus63 the Cyprian? Eudemus, while on his way to Macedonia, reached Pherae, then a very famous city of Thessaly, but groaning under the cruel sway of the tyrant, Alexander.64 There he became so violently ill that the physicians despaired of his recovery. While sick he had a dream in which a youth of striking beauty told him that he would speedily get well; that the p283despot Alexander would die in a few days, and that he himself would return home five years later. And so, indeed, the first two prophecies, as Aristotle writes, were immediately fulfilled by the recovery of Eudemus and by the death of the tyrant at the hands of his wife's brothers. But at the end of five years, when, in reliance upon the dream, he hoped to return to Cyprus from Sicily, he was killed in battle before Syracuse. Accordingly the dream was interpreted to mean that when his soul left the body it then had returned home.
54 Adiungamus philosophis doctissimum hominem, poëtam quidem divinum, Sophoclem; qui, cum aede Herculis patera aurea gravis subrepta esset, in somni vidit ipsum deum dicentem qui id fecisset. Quod semel ille iterumque neglexit. Ubi idem saepius, ascendit in Ariu pagum, detulit rem; Areopagitae comprehendi iubent eum, qui a Sophocle erat nominatus; is quaestione adhibita confessus est pateramque rettulit. Quo facto fanum illud Indicis Herculis nominatum est. 54 "To the testimony of philosophers let us add that of a most learned man and truly divine poet, Sophocles. A heavy gold dish having been stolen from the temple of Hercules, the god himself appeared to Sophocles in a dream and told who had committed the theft. But Sophocles ignored the dream a first and second time. When it came again and again, he went up to the Areopagus and laid the matter before the judges who ordered the man named by Sophocles to be arrested. The defendant after examination confessed his crime and brought back the dish. This is the reason why that temple is called 'the temple of Hercules the Informer.'
XXVI 55 Sed quid ego Graecorum? Nescio quo modo me magis nostra delectant. Omnes hoc historici, Fabii, Gellii, se proxume Coelius: cum bello Latino ludi votivi maxumi primum fierent, civitas ad arma repente est excitata, itaque ludis intermissis instaurativi constituti sunt. Qui ante quam fierent, cumque iam populus consedisset, servus per circum cum virgis caederetur, furcam ferens ductus est. Exin cuidam rustico Romano dormienti visus est venire qui diceret praesulem sibi non placuisse ludis, idque ab eodem iussum esse eum senatui nuntiare; illum non esse ausum. Iterum esse idem iussum et monitum, ne vim suam experiri vellet; ne tu quidem esse ausum. Exin filium eius esse mortuum, eandem in somnis admonitionem fuisse tertiam. Tum illum etiam debilem factum rem ad amicos detulisse, quorum de sententia lecticula in curiam esse delatum, cumque senatui somnium enarravisset, pedibus suis salvum domum revertisse. Itaque somnio comprobato a senatu ludos illos iterum instauratos memoriae proditum est. 26 55 "But why am I dwelling on illustrations from Greek sources when — though I can't explain it — those from our own history please me more? Now here is a dream which is mentioned by all our historians, by the Fabii and the Gellii and, most recently, by Coelius: During the Latin War when the Great Votive Games were being celebrated for the first time the city was suddenly called to arms and the games were interrupted. Later it was determined to repeat them, but before they began, p285 and while the people were taking their seats, a slave bearing a yoke was led about the circus and beaten with rods. After that a Roman rustic had a dream in which someone appeared to him and said that he disapproved of the leader65 of the games and ordered this statement to be reported to the Senate. But the rustic dared not do as he was bid. The order was repeated by the spectre with a warning not to put his power to the test. Not even then did the rustic dare obey. After that his son died and the same vision was repeated the third time. Thereupon he became ill and told his friends of his dream. On their advice he was carried to the Senate-house on a litter and, having related his dream to the Senate, his health was restored and he walked home unaided. And so, the tradition is, the Senate gave credence to the dream and had the games repeated.
56 Gaius vero Gracchus multi dixit, ut scriptum apud eundem Coelium est, sibi in somnis quaesturam petenti Tiberium fratrem visum esse dicere, quam vellet cunctaretur, tamen eodem sibi leto, quo ipse interesse esse pereundum. Hoc, ante quam tribunus plebi C. Gracchus factus esset, et se audisse scribit Coelius et dixisse multis. Quo somnio quid inveniri potest certius? 56 "According to this same Coelius, Gaius Gracchus told many persons that his brother Tiberius came to him in a dream when he was a candidate for the quaestorship and said: 'However much you may try to defer your fate, nevertheless you must die the same death that I did.' This happened before Gaius was tribune of the people, and Coelius writes that he himself heard it from Gaius who had repeated it to many others. Can you find anything better authenticated than this dream?
XXVII Quid? illa duo somnia, quae creberrume commemorantur a Stoicis, quis tandem potest contemnere? Unum de Simonide: qui, cum ignotum quendam proiectum mortuum vidisset eumque humavisset haberetque in animo nave conscendere, moneri visus est, ne id faceret, ab eo quem sepultura adfecerat; si navigavisset, eum naufragio esse periturum; itaque Simonidem redisse, perisse ceteros, qui tum navigassent. 27 "And who, pray, can make light of the two following dreams which are so often recounted by Stoic writers? The first one is about Simonides, who once saw the dead body of some unknown man lying exposed and buried it. Later, when he had it in mind to go on board a ship he was warned p287 in a vision by the person to whom he had given burial not to do so and that if he did he would perish in a shipwreck. Therefore he turned back and all the others who sailed were lost.
57 Alterum ita traditum clarum admodum somnium: cum duo quidam Arcades familiares iter una facerent et Megaram venissent, alterum ad cauponem devertisse, ad hospitem alterum. Qui ut cenati quiescerent, concubia nocte visum esse in somnis ei qui erat in hospitio illum alterum orare ut subveniret, quod sibi a caupone interitus pararetur; eum primo, perterritum somnio, surrexisse; dein, cum se conlegisset idque visum pro nihilo habendum esse duxisset, recubuisse; tum ei dormienti eundem illum visum esse rogare, ut, quoniam sibi vivo non subvenisset, mortem suam ne inultam esse pateretur; se interfectum in plaustrum a caupone esse coniectum et supra stercus iniectum; petere, ut mane ad portam adesset, prius quam plaustrum ex oppido exiret. Hoc vero eum somnio commotum mane bubulco praesto ad portam fuisse, quaesisse ex eo, quid esset in plaustro; illum perterritum fugisse, mortuum erutum esse, cauponem re patefacta, poenas dedisse. Quid hoc somnio dici potest divinius? 57 "The second dream is very well known and is to this effect: Two friends from Arcadia who were taking a journey together came to Megara, and one traveller put up at an inn and the second went to the home of a friend. After they had eaten supper and retired, the second traveller, in the dead of the night, dreamed that his companion was imploring him to come to his aid, as the innkeeper was planning to kill him. Greatly frightened at first by the dream he arose, and later, regaining his composure, decided that there was nothing to worry about and went back to bed. When he had gone to sleep the same person appeared to him and said: 'Since you would not help me when I was alive, I beg that you will not allow my dead body to remain unburied. I have been killed by the innkeeper, who has thrown my body into a cart and covered it with dung. I pray you to be at the city gate in the morning before the cart leaves the town,' Thoroughly convinced by the second dream he met the cart-driver at the gate in the morning, and, when he asked what he had in the cart, the driver fled in terror. The Arcadian then removed his friend's dead body from the cart, made complaint of the crime to the authorities, and the innkeeper was punished. 28 What stronger proof of a divinely inspired dream than this can be given?
XXVIII 58 Sed quid aut plura aut vetera quaerimus? Saepe tibi meum narravi, saepe ex te audivi tuum somnium: me, cum Asiae pro consule 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 complexos. Facilis coniectura huius somnii, mihique a peritis in Asia praedictum est fore eos eventus rerum qui acciderunt. 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 p289often told to me. When I was governor of Asia66 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 countenance 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.67
59 Venio nunc ad tuum. Audivi equidem ex te ipso, sed mihi saepius noster Sallustius narravit, cum in illa fuga nobis gloriosa, patriae calamitosa in villa quadam campi Atinatis maneres magnamque partem noctis vigilasses, ad lucem denique arte [te] et graviter dormitare coepisse; itaque, quamquam iter instaret, tamen silentium fieri iussisse [se] neque esse passum te excitari; cum autem experrectus esses hora secunda fere, te sibi somnium narravisse: visum tibi esse, cum in locis solis maestus errares, C. Marium cum fascibus laureatis quaerere ex te quid tristis esses, cumque te tu patria vi pulsum esse dixisses, prehendisse eum dextram tuam et bono animo te iussisse esse lictorique proxumo tradidisse ut te in monumentum suum deduceret, et dixisse in eo tibi salutem fore. Tum et se exclamasse Sallustius narrat reditum tibi celerem et gloriosum paratum, et te ipsum visum somnio delectari. Nam illud mihi ipsi celeriter nuntiatum est, ut audivisses in monumento Mari de tuo reditu magnificentissumum illud senatus consultum esse factum, referente optumo et clarissumo viro consule, idque frequentissimo theatro incredibili clamore et plausu comprobatum, dixisse te nihil illo Atinati somnio fieri posse divinius. 59 "I come now to your dream. I heard it, of course, from you, but more frequently from our Sallustius.68 In the course of your banishment, which was glorious for us but disastrous to the State, you stopped for the night at a certain country-house in the plain of Atina. After lying awake most of the night, finally, about daybreak, you fell into a very profound sleep. And though your journey was pressing, yet Sallustius gave instructions to maintain quiet and would not permit you to be disturbed. But you awoke about the second hour and related your dream to him. In it you seemed to be wandering sadly about in solitary places when Gaius Marius, with his fasces wreathed in laurel,69 asked you why you were sad, and you replied that you had been driven from your country by violence. He then bade you be of good cheer, took you by the right hand, and delivered you to the nearest lictor to be conducted to his memorial temple,70 saying that there you should find safety. Sallustius thereupon, as he p291relates, cried out, 'a speedy and a glorious return awaits you.' He further states that you too seemed delighted at the dream. Immediately thereafter it was reported to me that as soon as you heard that it was in Marius' temple that the glorious decree of the Senate for your recall had been enacted on motion of the consul, a most worthy and most eminent man,71 and that the decree had been greeted by unprecedented shouts of approval in a densely crowded theatre, you said that no stronger proof could be given of a divinely inspired dream than this.
XXIX 60 "At multa falsa," Immo obscura fortasse nobis. Sed sint falsa quaedam; contra vera quid dicimus? Quae quidem multo plura evenirent, si ad quietem integrì iremus. Nunc onusti cibo et vino perturbata et confusa cernimus. Vide quid Socrates in Platonis Politia loquatur. 29 60 " '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 Plato's Republic:72
Dicit enim cum dormientibus ea pars animi quae mentis et rationis sit particeps sopita langueat, illa autem in qua feritas quaedam sit atque agrestis immanitas cum sit immoderato obstupefacta potu atque pastu, exsultare eam in somno immoderateque iactari. "Itaque huic omnia visa obiciuntur a mente ac ratione vacua, ut aut cum matre corpus miscere videatur aut cum quovis alio vel nomine vel deo, saepe belua, atque etiam trucidare aliquem et impie cruentari multaque facere impure atque taetre cum temeritate et impudentia. 61 At qui salubri et moderato cultu atque victu quieti se tradiderit ea parte animi quae mentis et consilii est agitàta et erecta saturataque bonarum cogitationum epulis, eaque parte animi quae voluptate alitur nec inopia eneeta nec satietate adfluenti (quorum utrumque praestringere aciem mentis solet, sive deest naturae quippiam, sive abundat atque adfluit), illa etiam tertia parte animi, in qua irarum exsistit ardor, sedata atque restincta, tum eveniet, duabus animi temerariis partibus compressis, ut illa tertia pars rationis et mentis eluceat et se vegetam ad somniandum acremque praebeat: tum ei visa quietis occurrent tranquilla atque veracia." Haec verba ipsa Platonis expressi. " '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 p293 hideous things recklessly and without shame. 61 But, on the other hand, when the man, whose habits of living and of eating are wholesome and temperate, surrenders himself to sleep, having the thinking and reasoning portion of his soul eager and erect, and satisfied by a feast of noble thoughts, and having that portion which feeds on carnal pleasures neither utterly exhausted by abstinence nor cloyed by over-indulgence — for, as a rule, the edge of thought is dulled whether nature is starved or overfed — and, when such a man, in addition, has that third portion of the soul, in which the fire of anger burns, quieted and subdued — thus having the two irrational portions under complete control — then will the thinking and reasoning portion of his soul shine forth and show itself keen and strong for dreaming and then will his dreams be peaceful and worthy of trust.' I have reproduced Plato's very words.
XXX 62 Epicurum igitur audiemus potius? Namque Carneades concertationis studio modo ait hoc, modo illud; at ille quod sentit: sentit autem nihil umquam elegans, nihil decorum. Hunc ergo antepones Platoni et Socrati? Qui ut rationem non redderent, auctoritate tamen hos minutos philosophos vincerent. Iubet igitur Plato sic ad somnum proficisci corporibus adfectis, ut nihil sit, quod errorem animis perturbationemque adferat. Ex quo etiam Pythagoreis interdictum putatur, ne faba vescerentur, quod habet infiationem magnam is cibus tranquillitati mentis quaerenti vera contrariam. 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. 30 62 "Then shall we listen to Epicurus rather than to Plato? As for Carneades, in his ardour for controversy he asserts this and now that. 'But,' you retort, 'Epicurus says what he thinks.' But he thinks nothing that is ever well reasoned, or worthy of a philosopher.73 Will you, then, put this man before Plato or Socrates, who though they gave no reason, would yet prevail over these petty philosophers by the mere weight of their name? Now Plato's advice to us is to set out for the land of dreams with bodies so prepared that no error or confusion may assail the soul. For this reason, it is thought, the Pythagoreans were forbidden to indulge in beans;74 for that food produces great flatulence and induces a condition at war p295 with a soul in search for truth. 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.
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 aer sit immortalium animorum, in quibus tamquam insignitae notae veritatis appareant; tertio, quod ipsi di cum dormientibus conloquantur. ldque, ut modo dixi, facilius evenit adpropinquante morte, ut animi futura augurentur. 65 Ex quo et illud est Calliani, de quo ante dixi, et Homerici Hectoris, qui moriens propinquam Achilli mortem denuntiat. 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. 65 This is illustrated by the story which I related about Callanus and by Homer's account of Hector, who, as he was dying, prophesied the early death of Achilles.75
XXXI Neque enim illud verbum temere consuetudo adprobavisset, si ea res nulla esset omnino: p297 31 "It is clear that, in our ordinary speech, we should not have made such frequent use of the word praesagire, meaning 'to sense in advance, or to presage,' if the power of presaging had been wholly non-existent. An illustration of its use is seen in the following well-known line from Plautus:76
"praesagibat animus frustra me ire, cum exirem domo." My soul presaged as I left home that my leaving was in vain.
Sagire enim sentire acute est; ex quo sagae anus, quia multa scire volunt, et sagaces dicti canes. Is igitur qui ante sagit quam oblata res est, dicitur praesagire, id est futura ante sentire.
Now sagire means 'to have a keen perception.' Accordingly certain old women are called sagae,77 because they are assumed to know a great deal, and dogs are said to be 'sagacious.' And so one who has knowledge of a thing before it happens is said to 'presage,' that is, to perceive the future in advance.
66Inest igitur in animis praesagatio extrinsecus iniecta atque inclusa divinitus. Ea si exarsit acrius, furor appellatur, cum a corpore animus abstractus divino instinctu concitatur:
66 "Therefore the human soul has an inherent power of presaging or of foreknowing infused into it from without, and made a part of it by the will of God. If that power is abnormally developed, it is called 'frenzy' or 'inspiration,' which occurs when the soul withdraws itself from the body and is violently stimulated by a divine impulse, as in the following instance, where Hecuba says to Cassandra:78
H, "Sed quid oculis rabere visa es derepente ardentibus?
ubi illa paululo ante sapiens virginalis modestia?"
But why those flaming eyes, that sudden rage?
And whither fled that sober modesty,
Till now so maidenly and yet so wise?'
C. "Mater, optumatum multo mulier melior mulierum,
missa sum superstitiosis hariolationibus,
meque Apollo fatis fandis dementem invitam ciet.
Virgines vereor aequalis; patris mei meum factum pudet,
optumi viri; mea mater, tui me miseret; mei piget.
Optumam progeniem Priamo peperisti extra me: hoc dolet: men obesse, illos prodesse, me obstare, illos obsequi!"
and Cassandra answers: O mother, noblest of thy noble sex!
I have been sent to utter prophecies:
Against my will Apollo drives me mad
To revelation make of future ills.
O virgins! comrades of my youthful hours,
My mission shames my father, best of men.
p299 O mother dear! great loathing for myself
And grief for thee I feel. For thou hast borne
To Priam goodly issue — saving me,
'Tis sad that unto thee the rest bring weal,
I woe; that they obey, but I oppose.
O poema tenerum et moratum atque molle! 67 Sed hoc minus ad rem; illud, quod volumus, expressum est, ut vaticinari furor vera soleat:
What a tender and pathetic poem, and how suitable to her character! though it is not altogether relevant, I admit. 67 However, the point which I wish to press, that true prophecies are made during frenzy, has found expression in the following lines:
"Adest, adest fax obvoluta sanguine atque incendio.
multos annos latuit; cives, ferte opem et restinguite!"

Deus inclusus corpore humano iam, non Cassandra loquitur.
"lamque mari magno classis cita
texitur; exitium examen rapit;
adveniet, fera velivolantibus
navibus complebit manus litora."
It comes! it comes! that bloody torch,79 in fire
Enwrapped, though hid from sight these many years!
Bring aid, my countrymen, and quench its flames!

It is not Cassandra who next speaks, but a god in human form:
Already, on the mighty deep is built
A navy swift that hastes with swarms of woe,80º
Its ships are drawing nigh with swelling sails,
And bands of savage men will fill our shores.
XXXII 68 Tragoedias loqui videor et fabulas. At ex te ipso non commenticiam rem, sed factam eiusdem generis audivi: C. Coponium ad te venisse Dyrrachium, cum praetorio imperio classi Rhodiae praeesset, cum primo bominem prudentem atque doctum, eumque dixisse remigem quendam e quinqueremi Rhodiorum vaticinatum madefactum iri minus xxx diebus Graeciam sanguine, rapinas Dyrrachii et conscensionem in naves cum fuga fugientibusque miserabilem respectum incendiorum fore; sed Rhodiorum classi propinquum reditum ac domum itionem dari. Tum neque te ipsum non esse commotum Marcumque Varronem et M. Catonem, qui tum ibi erant, doctos homines, vehementer esse perterritos. Paucis sane post diebus ex Pharsalia fuga venisse Labienum; qui cum interitum exercitus nuntiavisset, reliqua vaticinationis brevi esse confecta. 69 Nam et ex horreis direptum effusumque frumentum vias omnis angiportusque constraverat, et naves subito perterriti metu conscendistis et noctu ad oppidum respicientes flagrantis onerarias, quas incenderant milites quia sequi noluerant, videbatis; postremo a Rhodia classe deserti verum vatem fuisse sensistis. 32 68 "I seem to be relying for illustrations on myths drawn from tragic poets. But you yourself are my authority for an instance of the same nature, and yet it is not fiction but a real occurrence. Gaius Coponius, a man of unusual capacity and learning, came to you at Dyrrachium81 while he, as praetor, was in command of the Rhodian fleet, and told you of a prediction made by a certain oarsman from one of the Rhodian quinqueremes. The prediction was that in less than thirty days Greece would be bathed in blood; Dyrrachium would be pillaged; its defenders would flee to their ships and, as they fled, would see behind them the unhappy spectacle of a great conflagration; but the Rhodian p301 fleet would have a quick passage home. This story gave you some concern, and it caused very great alarm to those cultured men, Marcus Varro and Marcus Cato, who were at Dyrrachium at the time. In fact, a few days later Labienus reached Dyrrachium in flight from Pharsalus, with the news of the loss of the army. The rest of the prophecy was soon fulfilled. 69 For the granaries were pillaged and their contents scattered and strewn all about the streets and alleys. You and your companions, in great alarm, suddenly embarked, and as you looked back at night towards town you saw the flames of the merchant ships, which the soldiers (not wishing to follow) had set on fire. Finally, when your party had been deserted by the Rhodian fleet you realized that the prophecy had been fulfilled.
70 Exposui quam brevissime potui somnii et furoris oracla, quae carere arte dixeram. Quorum amborum generum una ratio est, qua Cratippus noster uti solet, animos hominum quadam ex parte extrinsecus esse tractos et haustos (ex quo intellegitur esse extra divinum animum, humanus unde ducatur), humani autem animi eam partem, quae sensum, quae motum, quae adpetitum habeat, non esse ab actione corporis seiugatam; quae autem pars animi rationis atque intellegentiae sit particeps, eam tum maxume vigere, cum plurimum absit a corpore. 70 "As briefly as I could, I have discussed divination by means of dreams and frenzy, which, as I said,82 are devoid of art. Both depend on the same reasoning, which is that habitually employed by our friend Cratippus: 'The human soul is in some degree derived and drawn from a source exterior to itself. Hence we understand that outside the human soul there is a divine soul from which the human soul is sprung. Moreover, that portion of the human soul which is endowed with sensation, motion, and carnal desire is inseparable from bodily influence; while that portion which thinks and reasons is most vigorous when it is most distant from the body. 71 And so, after giving examples of true prophecies through frenzy and dreams, Cratippus usually concludes his argument in this way:
71 Itaque expositis exemplis verarum vaticinationum et somniorum Cratippus solet rationem concludere hoc modo: "Si sine oculis non potest exstare officium et munus oculorum, possunt autem aliquando oculi non fungi suo munere, qui vel semel ita est usus oculis, ut vera cerneret, is habet sensum oculorum vera cernentium. Item igitur, si sine divinatione non potest et officium et munus divinationis exstare, potest autem quis, cum divinationem habeat, errare aliquando nec vera cernere, satis est ad confirmandam divinationem semel aliquid esse ita divinatum, ut nihil fortuito cecidisse videatur. Sunt autem eius generis innumerabilia; esse igitur divinationem confitendum est." " 'Though without eyes it is impossible to perform the act and function of sight, and though the eyes p303sometimes cannot perform their appointed function, yet when a person has even once so employed his eyes as to see things as they are, he has a realization of what correct vision is. Likewise, therefore, although without the power of divination it is impossible for the act and function of divining to exist, and though one with that power may sometimes be mistaken and may make erroneous prophecies, yet it is enough to establish the existence of divination that a single event has been so clearly foretold as to exclude the hypothesis of chance. But there are many such instances; therefore, the existence of divination must be conceded.'
XXXIII 72 Quae vero aut coniectura explicantur aut eventis animadversa ac notata sunt, ea genera divinandi, ut supra dixi, non naturale, sed artificiosa dicuntur; in quo haruspices, augures coniectoresque numerantur. Haec inprobantur a Peripateticis, a Stoicis defenduntur. Quorum alia sunt posata in monumentis et disciplina, quod Etruscorum declarant, et haruspicini et fulgurales et rituales libri, vestri etiam augurales; alia autem subito ex tempore coniectura explicantur, ut apud Homerum Calchas, qui ex passerum numero belli Troiani annos auguratus est, et ut in Sullae scriptum historia videmus, quod te inspectante factum est, ut, cum ille in agro Nolano immolaret ante praetorium, ab infima ara subito anguis emergeret, cum quidem C. Postumius haruspex oraret illum, ut in expeditionem exercitum educeret; id cum Sulla fecisset, tum ante oppidum Nolam florentissuma Samnitium castra cepit. 33 72 "But those methods of divination which are dependent on conjecture, or on deductions from events previously observed and recorded, are, as I have said before,83 not natural, but artificial, and include the inspection of entrails, augury, and the interpretation of dreams. These are disapproved of by the Peripatetics and defended by the Stoics. Some are based upon records and usage, as is evident from the Etruscan books on divination by means of inspection of entrails and by means of thunder and lightning, and as is also evident from the books of your augural college; while others are dependent on conjecture made suddenly and on the spur of the moment. An instance of the latter kind is that of Calchas in Homer, prophesying the number of years of the Trojan War from the number of sparrows.84 We find another illustration of conjectural divination in the history of Sulla in an occurrence which you witnessed. While he was offering sacrifices in front of his head-quarters in the Nolan district85 a snake suddenly came out from p305beneath the altar. The soothsayer, Gaius Postumius, begged Sulla to proceed with his march at once. Sulla did so and captured the strongly fortified camp of the Samnites which lay in front of the town of Nola.
73 Facta coniectura etiam in Dionysio est, paulo ante quam regnare coepit; qui cum per agrum Leontinum iter faciens equum ipse demisisset in flumen, submersus equus voraginibus non exstitit; quem cum maxima contentione non potuisset extrahere, discessit, ut ait Philistus, aegre ferens. Cum autem aliquantum progressus esset, subito exaudivit hinnitum respexitque et equum alacrem laetus adspexit, cuius in iuba examen apium consederat. Quod ostentum babuit hanc vim, ut Dionysius paucis post diebus regnare coeperit. 73 "Still another instance of conjectural divination occurred in the case of Dionysius, a little while before he began to reign. He was travelling through the Leontine district, and led his horse down into a river. The horse was engulfed in a whirlpool and disappeared. Dionysius did his utmost to extricate him but in vain and, so Philistus writes, went away greatly troubled. When he had gone on a short distance he heard a whinny, looked back and, to his joy, saw his horse eagerly following and with a swarm of bees in its mane. The sequel of this portent was that Dionysius began to reign within a few days.
XXXIV 74 Quid? Lacedaemoniis paulo ante Leuctricam calamitatem quae significatio facta est, cum in Herculis fano arma sonuerunt Herculisque simulacrum multo sudore manavit! At eodem tempore Thebis, ut ait Callisthenes, in templo Herculis valvae clausae repagulis subito se ipsae aperuerunt, armaque, quae fixa in parietibus fuerant, ea sunt humi inventa. Cumque eodem tempore apud Lebadiam Trophonio res divina fieret, gallos gallinaceos in eo loco sic adsidue canere coepisse, ut nihil intermitterent; tum augures dixisse Boeotios Thebanorum esse victoriam, propterea quod avis illa victa siliere soleret, canere, si vicisset. 34 74 "Again: what a warning was given to the Spartans just before the disastrous battle of Leuctra,86 when the armour clanked in the temple of Hercules and his statue dripped with sweat! But at the same time, according to Callisthenes, the folding doors of Hercules' temple at Thebes, though closed with bars, suddenly opened of their own accord, and the armour which had been fastened on the temple walls, was found on the floor. And, at the same time, at Lebadia, in Boeotia, while divine honours were being paid to Trophonius,87 the cocks in the neighbourhood began to crow vigorously and did not leave off. Thereupon the Boeotian augurs declared that the victory belonged to the Thebans, because it was the habit of cocks to keep silence when conquered and to crow when victorious.
75 Eademque tempestate multis signis Lacedaemoniis Leuctricae pugnae calamitas denuntiabatur. Namque et in Lysandri, qui Lacedaemoniorum clarissumus fuerat, statua, quae Delphis stabat, in capite corona subito exstitit ex asperis herbis et agrestibus, stellaeque aureae quae Delphis erant a Lacedaemoniis positae post navalem illam victoriam Lysandri qua Athenienses conciderunt, qua in pugna quia Castor et Pollux cum Lacedaemoniorum classe visi esse dicebantur, - eorum insignia deorum, stellae aureae, quas dixi, Delphis positae, paulo ante Leuctricam pugnam deciderunt neque repertae sunt. 76 Maximum vero illud portentum isdem Spartiatis fuit, quod, cum oraclum ab love Dodonaeo petivissent de victoria sciscitantes legatique [vas] illud in quo inerant sortes collocavissent, simia, quam rex Molossorum in deliciis habebat, et sortes ipsas et cetera quae erant ad sortem parata disturbavit et aliud alio dissupavit, Tum ea, quae praeposita erat oraclo, sacerdos dixisse dicitur de salute Lacedaemoniis esse, non de victoria cogitandum. p307 75 "The Spartans received many warnings given at that time of their impending defeat at Leuctra. For example, a crown of wild, prickly herbs suddenly appeared on the head of the statue erected at Delphi in honour of Lysander, the most eminent of the Spartans. Furthermore, the Spartans had set up some golden stars in the temple of Castor and Pollux at Delphi to commemorate the glorious victory88 of Lysander over the Athenians, because, it was said, those gods were seen accompanying the Spartan fleet in that battle. Now, just before the battle of Leuctra these divine symbols — that is, the golden stars at Delphi, already referred to — fell down and were never seen again. 76 But the most significant warning received by the Spartans was this: they sent to consult the oracle of Jupiter at Dodona as to the chances of victory. After their messengers had duly set up the vessel in which were the lots, an ape, kept by the king of Molossia for his amusement, disarranged the lots and everything else used in consulting the oracle, and scattered them in all directions. Then, so we are told, the priestess who had charge of the oracle said that the Spartans must think of safety and not of victory.
XXXV 77 Quid? Bello Punico secundo nonne C. Flaminius, consul iterum, neglexit signa rerum futurarum magna cum clade rei publicae? Qui exercitu lustrato cum Arretium versus castra movisset et contra Hannibalem legiones duceret, et ipse et equus eius ante signum lovis Statoris sine causa repente concidit nec eam rem habuit religioni, obiecto signo, ut peritis videbatur, ne committeret proelium. Idem, cum tripudio auspicaretur, pullarius diem proelii committendi differebat. Tum Flaminius ex eo quaesivit, si ne postea quidem pulli pascerentur, quid faciendum censeret. Cum ille quiescendum respondisset, Flaminius: "Praeclara vero auspicia, si esurientibus pullis res geri poterit, saturis nihil geretur!" Itaque signa convelli et se sequi iussit. Quo tempore cum signifer primi hastati signum non posset movere loco, nec quicquam proficeretur plures cum accederent, Flaminius re nuntiata suo more neglexit. Itaque tribus iis horis concisus exercitus atque ipse interfectus est. 78 Magnum illud etiam, quod addidit Coelius, eo tempore ipso, cum hoc calamitosum proelium fìeret, tantos terrae motus in Liguribus, Gallia compluribusque insulis totaque in Italia factos esse, ut multa oppida conruerint, multis locis labes factae sint terraeque desiderint fluminaque in contrarias partes fluxerint atque in amnes mare influxerit. 35 77 "Again, did not Gaius Flaminius89 by his neglect of premonitory signs in his second consulship in the Second Punic War cause great disaster to the State? For, after a review of the army, he had moved his camp and was marching towards Arretium to meet Hannibal, when his horse, for no apparent reason, suddenly fell with him just in front of the statue of Jupiter Stator. Although the soothsayers considered this a divine warning not to join battle, he did not so regard it. Again, after the p309auspices by means of the tripudium90 had been taken, the keeper of the sacred chickens advised the postponement of battle. Flaminius then asked, 'Suppose the chickens should never eat, what would you advise in that case?' 'You should remain in camp,' was the reply. 'Fine auspices indeed!' said Flaminius, 'for they counsel action when chickens' crops are empty and inaction when chickens' crops are filled.' So he ordered the standards to be plucked up and the army to follow him. Then, when the standard-bearer of the first company could not loosen his standard, several soldiers came to his assistance, but to no purpose. This fact was reported to Flaminius, and he, with his accustomed obstinacy, ignored it. The consequence was that within three hours his army was cut to pieces and he himself was slain. 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.
XXXVI 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 singolari illum suavitate orationis fore: ita futura eloquente provisa in infante est. 79 Quid? amores ac deliciae tuae, Roscius, num aut ipse aut pro eo Lanuvium totum mentiebatur? Qui cum esset in cunabulis educareturque in Solonio, qui est campus agri Lanuvini, noctu lumine apposito experrecta nutrix animadvertit puerum dormientem circumplicatum serpentis amplexu. Quo aspectu exterrita clamorem sustulit. Pater autem Rosci ad haruspices rettulit, qui responderunt nihil illo pucro clarius, nihil nobilius fore. Atque hanc speciem Pasiteles caelavit argento et noster expressit Archias versibus. 36 "Trustworthy conjectures in divining are made by exerts. 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. 79 And what about your p311beloved and charming friend Roscius?91 Did he lie or did the whole of Lanuvium lie for him in telling the following incident: In his cradle days, while he was being reared in Solonium, a plain in the Lanuvian district, his nurse suddenly awoke during the night and by the light of a lamp observed the child asleep with a snake coiled about him. She was greatly frightened at the sight and gave an alarm. His father referred the occurrence to the soothsayers, who replied that the boy would attain unrivalled eminence and glory. Indeed, Pasiteles has engraved the scene in silver and our friend Archias has described it in verse.
Quid igitur expectamus? An dum in foro nobiscum di immortales, dum in viis versentur, dum domi? Qui quidem ipsi se nobis non offerunt, vim autem suam longe lateque diffundunt, quam tum terrae cavernis includunt, tum hominum naturis implicant. Nam terrae vis Pythiam Delphis incitabat, naturae Sibyllam. Quid enim? Non videmus quam sint varia terrarum genera? Ex quibus et mortifera quaedam pars est, ut et Ampsancti in Hirpinis et in Asia Plutonia quae vidimus, et sunt partes agrorum aliae pestilentes, aliae salubres, aliae quae acuta ingenia gignant, aliae quae retusa: quac omnia fiunt et ex caeli varietate et ex disparili adspiratione terrarum.
80 Fit etiam saepe specie quadam, saepe vocum gravitate et cantibus, ut pellantur animi vehementius, saepe etiam cura et timore, qualis est illa
"Then what do we expect? Do we wait for the immortal gods to converse with us in the forum, on the street, and in our homes? While they do not, of course, present themselves in person, they do diffuse their power far and wide — sometimes enclosing it in caverns of the earth and sometimes imparting it to human beings. The Pythian priestess at Delphi was inspired by the power of the earth92 and the Sibyl by that of nature. Why need you marvel at this? Do we not see how the soils of the earth vary in kind? Some are deadly, like that about Lake Ampsanctus93 in the country of the Hirpini and that of Plutonia in Asia, both of which I have seen. Even in the same neighbourhood, some parts are salubrious and some are not; some produce men of keen wit, others produce fools. These diverse effects are all the result of differences in climate and differences in the earth's exhalations. 80 It often happens, too, that the soul is violently stirred by the sight of some object, or by the deep tone of a voice, or by singing. Frequently anxiety p313or fear will have that effect, as it did in the case of Hesione, who
"flexanima tamquam lymphata aut Bacchi sacris
commota in tumulis Teucrum commemorans suum."
Did rave like one by Bacchic rites made mad
And mid the tombs her Teucer called aloud.94
XXXVII Atque etiam illa concitatio declarat vini in animis esse divinam. Negat enim sine furore Democritus quemquam poetam magnum esse posse, quod idem dicit Plato. Quem, si placet, appellet furorem, dum modo is furor ita laudetur ut in Phaedro [Platonis] laudatus est. Quid? Vestra oratio in causis, quid? ipsa actio potest esse vehemens et gravis et copiosa, nisi est animus ipse commotior? Equidem etiam in te saepe vidi et, ut ad leviora veniamus, in Aesopo, familiari tuo, tantum ardorem vultuum atque motuum, ut eum vis quaedam abstraxisse a sensu mentis videretur. 37 "And poetic inspiration also proves that there is a divine power within the human soul. Democritus says that no one can be a great poet without being in a state of frenzy, and Plato says the same thing. Let Plato call it 'frenzy' if he will, provided he praises it as it was praised in his Phaedrus.95 And what about your own speeches in law suits. Can the delivery of you lawyers be impassioned, weighty, and fluent unless your soul is deeply stirred? Upon my word, many a time have I seen in you such passion of look and gesture that I thought some power was rendering you unconscious of what you did; and, if I may cite a less striking example, I have seen the same in your friend Aesopus.
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:
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 Brennus96 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:
"Ego providebo rem istam et albae virgines." To this the virgins white97 and I will see.
Ex quo factum ut viderentur virgines ferre arma contra et nive Gallorum obrueretur exercitus. The result was that the virgins were seen fighting against the Gauls, and their army was overwhelmed with snow.
XXXVIII 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 tribuendum hoc sit nec phreneticis; animi enim integri, non vitiosi est corporis divinatio. 38 "Aristotle thought98 that even the people who rave from the effects of sickness and are called 'hypochondriacs'99 have within their souls some power p315of 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. 82 The Stoics, for example, establish the existence of divination by the following process of reasoning:
82 Quam quidem esse re vera hac Stoicorum ratione concluditur: '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, neque nostra nihil interest scire ea quae eventura sint (erimus enim cautiores, si sciemus), neque hoc alienum ducunt maiestate sua (nihil est enim beneficentia praestantius), neque non possunt futura praenoscere. 83 Non igitur sunt di nec significant futura. Sunt autem di; significant ergo. Et non, si significant, nullas vias dant nobis ad significationis scientiam (frustra enim significarent); nec, si dant vias, non est divinatio: est igitur divinatio." " '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 it will be; or, they think it inconsistent with their dignity to give man forewarnings of the future; or, finally, they, though gods, cannot give intelligible signs of coming events. 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 their own decrees and their own plans; nor is it true that it is of no advantage to us to know what is going to happen, since we should be more prudent if we knew; nor is it true that the gods think it inconsistent with their dignity to give forecasts, since there is no more excellent quality than kindness; nor is it true that they have not the power to know the future; 83 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 if they give us such signs, it is not true that they give us no means to understand those signs — otherwise their signs would be useless; and if they give us the means, it is not true that there is no divination; therefore there is divination.'
XXXIX 84 Hac ratione et Chrysippus et Diogenes et Antipater utitur. Quid est igitur cur dubitandum sit quin sint ea, quae disputavi, verissuma, si ratio mecum facit, si eventa, si populi, si nationes, si Graeci, si barbari, si maiores etiam nostri, si denique hoc semper ita putatum est, si summi phdosophi, si poëtae, si sapientissumi viri, qui res publicas constituerunt, qui urbes condiderunt? An dum bestiae loquantur exspectamus, hominum consentiente auctoritate contenti non sumus? 85 Nec vero quicquam aliud adfertur cur ea quae dico divinandi 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? p317 39 84 "Chrysippus, Diogenes, and Antipater employ the same reasoning. Then what ground is there to doubt the absolute truth of my position? For I have on my side reason, facts, peoples, and races, both Greek and barbarian, our own ancestors, the unvarying belief of all ages, the greatest philosophers, the poets, the wisest men, the builders of cities, and the founders of republics. Are we not satisfied with the unanimous judgement of men, and do we wait for beasts to give their testimony too? 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 moon's 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?'
86 Cur fiat quidque, quaeris. Recte omnino; sed non nunc id agitur; fiat necne fiat, id quaeritur: ut si magnetem lapidem esse dicam qui ferrum ad se adliciat et adtrahat, rationem cur id fiat adferre nequeam, fieri omnino neges. Quod idem facis in divinatione, quam et cernimus ipsi et audimus et legimus et a patribus accepimus. Neque ante philosophiam patefactam, quae nuper inventa est, hac de re communis vita dubitavit, et, posteaquam philosophia processit, nemo aliter philosophus sensit, in quo modo esset auctoritas. 87 Dixi de Pythagora, de Democrito, de Socrate, excepi de antiquis praeter Xenophanem neminem, adiunxi veterem Academiam, Peripateticos, Stoicos; unus dissentit Epicurus. Quid vero hoc turpius, quam quod idem nullam censet gratuitam esse virtutem? 86 "You ask why everything happens. You have a perfect right to ask, but that is not the point at issue now. The question is, Does it happen, or does it not? For example, if I were to say that the magnet attracted iron and drew it to itself, and I could not p319tell you why, then I suppose you would utterly deny that the magnet had any such power. At least that is the course you pursue in regard to the existence of the power of divination, although it is established by our reading and by the traditions of our forefathers. Why, even before the dawn of philosophy, which is a recent discovery, the average man had no doubt about divination, and, since its development, no philosopher of any sort of reputation has had any different view. 87 I have already cited Pythagoras, Democritus, and Socrates and, of the ancients, I have excluded no one except Xenophanes. To them I have added the Old Academy, the Peripatetics, and the Stoics. The only dissenter is Epicurus. But why wonder at that? for is his opinion of divination any more discreditable than his view that there is no such thing as a disinterested virtue?
XL Quis est autem, quem non moveat clarissumis monumentis testata consignataque antiquitas? Calchantem augurem scribit Homerus longe optumum, eumque ducem classium fuisse ad Ilium, - auspiciorum, credo, scientia, non locorum. 88 Amphilochus et Mopsus Argivorum reges fuerunt, sed iidem augures, iique urbis in ora marituma Ciliciae Graecas condiderunt; atque etiam ante hos Amphiaraus et Tiresias non humiles et obscuri neque eorum similes, ut apud Ennium est, 40 "But is there a man anywhere who is uninfluenced by clear and unimpeachable records signed and sealed by the hand of Time? For example, Homer writes that Calchas was by far the best augur among the Greeks and that he commanded the Greek fleet before Troy. His command of the fleet I suppose was due to his skill as an augur and not to his skill in seamanship. 88 Amphilochus and Mopsus were kings of Argos, but they were augurs too, and they founded Greek cities on the coasts of Cilicia. And even before them were Amphiaraus and Tiresias. They were no lowly and unknown men, nor were they like the person described by Ennius,
"qui sui quaestus causa fictas suscitant sententias" Who, for their own gain, uphold opinions that are false,
sed clari et praestantes viri, qui avibus et signis admoniti futura dicebant; quorum de altero etiam apud inferos Homerus ait solum sapere, ceteros umbrarum vagari modo; Amphiaraum autem sic bonoravit fama Graeciae, deus ut haberetur, atque ut ab eius solo, in quo est humatus, oracla peterentur. p321 but they were eminent men of the noblest type and foretold the future by means of augural signs. In speaking of Tiresias, even when in the infernal regions, Homer says that he alone was wise, that the rest were mere wandering shadows.100 As for Amphiaraus, his reputation in Greece was such that he was honoured as a god, and oracular responses were sought in the place where he was buried.
89 Quid? Asiae rex Priamus nonne et Helenum filium et Cassandram filiam divinantes habebat, alterum auguriis, alteram mentis incitatione et permotione divina? Quo in genere Marcios quosdam fratres, nobili loco natos, apud maiores nostros fuisse scriptum videmus. Quid? Polyidum Corinthium nonne Homerus et aliis multa et filio ad Troiam proficiscenti mortem praedixisse commemorat? Omnino apud veteres, qui rerum potiebantur, iidem auguria tenebant; ut enim sapere sic divinare regale ducebant: [ut] testis est nostra civitas, in qua et reges augures et postea privati eodem sacerdotio praediti rem publicam religionum auctoritate rexerunt. 89 "Furthermore, did not Priam, the Asiatic king, have a son, Helenus, and a daughter, Cassandra, who prophesied, the first by means of auguries and the other when under a heaven-inspired excitement and exaltation of soul? In the same class, as we read in the records of our forefathers, were those famous Marcian brothers,101 men of noble birth. And does not Homer relate that Polyidus of Corinth102 not only made many predictions to others, but that he also foretold the death of his own son, who was setting out for Troy? As a general rule among the ancients the men who ruled the state had control likewise of augury, for they considered divining, as well as wisdom, becoming to a king. Proof of this is afforded by our State wherein the kings were augurs; and, later, private citizens endowed with the same priestly office ruled the republic by the authority of religion.103
XLI 90 Eaque divinationum ratio ne in barbaris quidem gentibus neglecta est, siquidem et in Gallia Druidae sunt, e quibus ipse Divitiacum Haeduum hospitem tuum laudatoremque cognovi, qui et naturae rationem, quam fisiologi/an Graeci appellant, notam esse sibi profitebatur, et partim auguriis, partim coniectura, quae essent futura dicebat, et in Persis augurantur et divinant magi, qui congregantur in fano commentando causa atque inter se conloquendi, quod etiam idem vos quondam facere Nonis solebatis; 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, lamidarum unam, alteram Clutidarum, haruspicinae nobilitate praestantes. In Syria Chaldaei cognitione astrorum sollertiaque ingeniorum antecellunt. 41 90 "Nor is the practice of divination disregarded even among uncivilized tribes, if indeed there are Druids104 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 p323by 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. 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 soothsayer's art, and there is also Elis in Peloponnesus, which has permanently set aside two families as soothsayers, the Iamidae and the Clutidae,105 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.
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. 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 tribes106 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.
XLII 93 Ac mihi quidem videntur e locis quoque ipsis, qui a quibusque incolebantur, divinationum opportunitates 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 imbuti studiosius et crebrius hostias immolabant, extorum cognitioni se maxume dediderunt, quodque propter aeris 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 exercitatissumi 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. 94 Arabes autem et Phryges et Cilices, quod pastu pecudum maxume utuntur, campos et montes hieme et aestate peragrantes, propterea facilius cantus avium et volatus notaverunt; eademque et Pisidiae causa fuit et huic nostrae Umbriae. Tum Caria tota praecipueque Telmesses, quos ante dixi, quod agros uberrumos maximeque fertiles incolunt, in quibus multa propter fecundidatem fingi gignique possunt, in ostentis animadvertendis diligentes fuerunt. 42 93 "Now, for my part, I believe that the character of the country determined the kind of divination which its inhabitants adopted. For p325example, 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,107 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.' 94 But the Arabians, Phrygians, and Cilicians, being chiefly engaged in the rearing of cattle, are constantly wandering over the plains and mountains in winter and summer and, on that account, have found it quite easy to study the songs and flight of birds. The same is true of the Pisidians and of our fellow-countrymen, the Umbrians. While the Carians, and especially the Telmessians, already mentioned, because they live in a country with a very rich and prolific soil, whose fertility produces many abnormal growths, have turned their attention to the study of prodigies.
XLIII 95 Quis vero non videt in optuma quaque re publica plurimum auspicia et reliqua divinandi genera valuisse? Quis rex umquam fuit, quis populus, qui non uteretur praedictione divina? Neque solum in pace, sed in bello multo etiam magis, quo maius erat certamen et discrimen salutis. Omitto nostros, qui nihil in bello sine extis agunt, nihil sine auspiciis domi [habent auspicia]; externa videamus. Namque et Athenienses omnibus semper publicis consiliis divinos quosdam sacerdotes, quos ma/nteij vocant, adhibuerunt, et Lacedaemonii regibus suis augurem adsessorem dederunt, itemque senibus (sic enim consilium publicum appellant) augurem interesse voluerunt, iidemque de rebus maioribus semper aut Delphis oraclum aut ab Hammone aut a Dodona petebant; 96 Lycurgus quidem, qui Lacedaemoniorum rem publicam temperavit, leges suas auctoritate Apollinis Delphici confirma, vit; quas cum vellet Lysander commutare, eadem est prohibitus religione. Atque etiam qui praeerant Lacedaemoniis, non contenti vigilantibus curis, in Pasiphaae fano, quod est in agro propter urbem, somniandi causa excubabant, quia vera quietis oracla ducebant. p327 43 95 "But who fails to observe that auspices and all other kinds of divination flourish best in the best regulated states? And what king or people has there ever been who did not employ divination? I do not mean in time of peace only, but much more even in time of war, when the strife and struggle for safety is hardest. Passing by our own countrymen, who do nothing in war without examining entrails and nothing in peace without taking the auspices, let us look at the practice of foreign nations. The Athenians, for instance, in every public assembly always had present certain priestly diviners, whom they call manteis. The Spartans assigned an augur to their kings as a judicial adviser, and they also enacted that an augur should be present in their Council of Elders, which is the name of their Senate. In matters of grave concern they always consulted the oracle at Delphi, or that of Jupiter Hammon or that of Dodona. 96 Lycurgus himself, who once governed the Spartan state, established his laws by authority of Apollo's Delphic oracle, and Lysander, who wished to repeal them, was prevented from doing so by the religious scruples of the people. Moreover, the Spartan rulers, not content with their deliberations when awake used to sleep in a shrine of Pasiphaë which is situated in a field near the city, in order to dream there, because they believed that oracles received in repose were true.
97 Ad nostra iam redeo. Quotiens senatus decemviros ad libros ire iussit! Quantis in rebus quamque saepe responsis haruspicum paruit! nam et cum duo visi soles essent, et cum tres lunae, et cum faces, et cum sol nocte visus esset, et cum e caelo fremitus auditus, et cum caelum discessisse visum esset atque in eo animadversi globi. Delata etiam ad senatum labes agri Privernatis, cum ad infinitam altitudinem terra desidisset Apuliaque maximis terrae motibus conquassata esset. Quibus portentis magna populo Romano bella perniciosaeque seditiones denuntiabantur, inque his omnibus responsa haruspicum cum Sibyllae versibus congruebant. 97 "I now return to instances at home. How many times the Senate has ordered the decemvirs to consult the Sibylline books! How often in matters of grave concern it has obeyed the responses of the soothsayers! Take the following examples: When p329at one time, two suns and, at another, three moons, were seen; when meteors appeared; when the sun shone at night; when rumblings were heard in the heavens; when the sky seemed to divide, showing balls of fire108 enclosed within; again, on the occasion of the landslip in Privernum, report of which was made to the Senate; and when Apulia was shaken by a most violent earthquake and the land sank to an incredible depth — in all these cases of portents which warned the Roman people of mighty wars and deadly revolutions, the responses of the soothsayers were in agreement with the Sibylline verses.
98 Quid cum Cumis Apollo sudavit, Capuae Victoria? Quid, ortus androgyni nonne fatale quoddam monstrum fuit? Quid cum fluvius Atratus sanguine fluxit? Quid quod saepe lapidum, sanguinis non numquam, terrae interdum, quondam etiam lactis imber effluxit? Quid cum in Capitolio ictus Centaurus - caelo est, in Aventino portae et homines, Tusculi aedes Castoris et Poflucis Romaeque Pietatis? Nonne et haruspices ea responderunt, quae evenerunt, et in Sibyllae libris eaedem repertae praedictiones sunt? 98 "And what of those other instances? As when, for example, the statue of Apollo at Cumae and that of Victory at Capua dripped with sweat; when that unlucky prodigy, the hermaphrodite, was born; when the river Atratus109 ran with blood; when there were showers frequently of stone, sometimes of blood, occasionally of earth and even of milk; and finally, when lightning struck the statue of the Centaur on the Capitoline hill, the gates and some people on the Aventine and the temples of Castor and Pollux at Tusculum and of Piety at Rome — in each of these cases did not the soothsayers give prophetic responses which were afterwards fulfilled? And were not these same prophecies found in the Sibylline books?
XLIV 99 Caeciliae Q. filiae somnio modo Marsico bello templum est a senatu Iunoni Sospitae restitutum. Quod quidem somnium Sisenna cum disputavisset mirifice ad verbum cum re convenisse, tum insolenter, credo ab Epicureo aliquo inductus, disputat somniis credi non oportere. Idem contra ostenta nibil disputat exponitque initio belli Marsici et deorum simulacra sudavisse, et sanguinem fluxisse, et discessisse caelum, et ex occulto auditas esse voces, quae pericula belli nuntiarent, et Lanuvii clipeos, quod haruspicibus tristissumum visum esset, a muribus esse derosos. 44 99 "In recent times, during the Marsian war,110 the temple of Juno Sospita was restored because of a dream of Caecilia, the daughter of Quintus Caecilius Metellus. This is the same dream that Sisenna discussed as marvellous, in that its prophecies were fulfilled to the letter, and yet later p331— influenced no doubt by some petty Epicurean — he goes on inconsistently to maintain that dreams are not worthy of belief. This writer, however, has nothing to say against prodigies; in fact he relates that, at the outbreak of the Marsian War, the statues of the gods dripped with sweat, rivers ran with blood, the heavens opened, voices from unknown sources were heard predicting dangerous wars, and finally — the sign considered by the soothsayers the most ominous of all — the shields at Lanuvium were gnawed by mice.
100 Quid quod in annalibus habemus Veienti bello, cum lacus Albanus praeter modum crevisset, Veientem quendam ad nos hominem nobilem perfugisse, eumque dixisse ex fatis, quae Veientes scripta haberent, Veios capi non posse, dum lacus is redundaret, et, si lacus emissus lapsu et cursu suo ad mare profluxisset, perniciosum populo Romano; sin autem ita esset eductus, ut ad mare pervenire non posset, tum salutare nostris fore? Ex quo illa mirabilis a maioribus Albanae aquae facta deductio est. Cum autem Veientes bello fessi legatos ad senatum misissent, tum ex iis quidam dixisse dicitur non omnia illum transfugam ausum esse senatui dicere: in isdem enim fatis scriptum Veientes habere fore ut brevi a Gallis Roma caperetur, quod quidem sexennio post Veios captos factum esse videmus. 100 "And what do you say of the following story which we find in our annals? During the Veientian War,111 when Lake Albanus had overflowed its banks, a certain nobleman of Veii deserted to us and said that, according to the prophecies of the Veientian books, their city could not be taken while the lake was at flood, and that if its waters were permitted to overflow and take their own course to the sea the result would be disastrous to the Roman people; on the other hand, if the waters were drained off in such a way that they did not reach the sea the result would be to our advantage. In consequence of this announcement our forefathers dug that marvellous canal to drain off the waters from the Alban lake.112 Later when the Veientians had grown weary of war and had sent ambassadors to the Senate to treat for peace, one of them is reported to have said that the deserter had not dared to tell the whole of the prophecy contained in the Veientian books, for those books, he said, also foretold the early capture of Rome by the Gauls. And this, as we know, did occur six years after the fall of Veii.
XLV 101 Saepe etiam et in proeliis Fauni auditi et in rebus turbidis veridicae voces ex occulto missae esse dicuntur; cuius generis duo sint ex multis exempla, sed maxuma. Nam non multo ante urbem captam exaudita vox est a luco Vestae, qui a Palati radice in novam viam devexus est, ut muri et portae reficerentur; futurum esse, nisi provisum esset, ut Roma caperetur. Quod neglectum cum caveri poterat, post acceptam illam maximam cladem expiatum est; ara enim Aio Loquenti, quam saeptam videmus, exadversus eum locum consecrata est. Atque etiam scriptum a multis est, cum terrae motus factus esset ut sue plena procuratio fieret, vocem ab aede Iunonis ex arce exstitisse; quocirca Iunonem iram appellatam Monetam. Haec igitur et a dis significata et a nostris maioribus iudicata contemnimus? p333 45 101 "Again, we are told that fauns have often been heard in battle and that during turbulent times truly prophetic messages have been sent from mysterious places. Out of many instances of this class I shall give only two, but they are very striking. Not long before the capture of the city by the Gauls, a voice, issuing from Vesta's sacred grove, which slopes from the foot of the Palatine Hill to New Road, was heard to say, 'the walls and gates must be repaired; unless this is done the city will be taken.'113 Neglect of this warning, while it was possible to heed it, was atoned for after the supreme disaster had occurred; for, adjoining the grove, an altar, which is now to be seen enclosed with a hedge, was dedicated to Aius the Speaker. The other illustration has been reported by many writers. At the time of the earthquake a voice came from Juno's temple on the citadel commanding that an expiatory sacrifice be made of a pregnant sow. From this fact the goddess was called Juno the Adviser. Are we, then, lightly to regard these warnings which the gods have sent and our forefathers adjudged to be trustworthy?
102 Neque solum deorum voces Pythagorei observitaverunt, sed etiam hominum, quae vocant omina. Quae maiores nostri quia valere censebant, idcirco omnibus rebus agendis "quod bonum, faustum, felix fortunatumque esset" praefabantur, rebusque divinis, quae publice fierent, ut "faverent linguis" imperabatur, inque feriis imperandis ut "litibus et iurgiis se abstinerent". Itemque in lustranda colonia ab eo qui eam deduceret, et cum imperator exercitum, censor populum lustraret, bonis nominibus qui hostias ducerent eligebantur. Quod idem in dilectu consules observant, ut primus miles fiat bono nomine. 103 Quae quidem a te scis et consule et imperatore summa cum religione esse servata. Praerogativam etiam maiores omen iustorum comitiorum esse voluerunt. 102 "Nor is it only to the voices of the gods that the Pythagoreans have paid regard but also to the utterances of men which they term 'omens.' Our ancestors, too, considered such 'omens' worthy of respect, and for that reason, before entering upon any business enterprise, used to say, 'May the issue be prosperous, propitious, lucky, and successful.' At public celebrations of religious rites they gave the command, 'Guard your tongues'; and in issuing the order for the Latin festival the customary injunction was, 'Let the people refrain from strife p335and quarrelling.' So too, when the sacred ceremony of purification was held by one starting on an expedition to found a colony, or when the commander-in-chief was reviewing his army, or the censor was taking his census, it was the rule to choose men with names of good omen to led the victims. Furthermore, the consuls in making a levy of troops take pains to see that the first soldier enlisted is one with a lucky name. 103 You, of course, are aware that you, both as consul at home and later as commander in the field, employed the same precaution with the most scrupulous care. In the case, too, of the prerogative tribe or century, our forefathers determined that it should be the 'omen' of a proper election.114
XLVI Atque ego exempla ominum nota proferam. L. Paulus consul iterum, cum ei bellum ut cum rege Perse gereret obtigisset, ut ea ipsa die domum ad vesperum rediit, filiolam suam Tertiam, quae tum erat admodum parva, osculans animadvertit tristiculam. "Quid est," inquit, "mea Tertia? quid tristis es?" "Mi pater," inquit, "Persa periit." Tum ille artius puellam complexus: 'Accipio," inquit, "mea filia, omen. Erat autem mortuus catellus eo nomine, 104 L. Flaccum, flaminem Martialem, ego audivi, cum diceret Caeciliam Metelli, cum vellet sororis suae filiam in matrimonium conlocare, exisse in quoddam sacellum ominis capiendi causa, quod fieri more veterum solebat. Cum virgo staret et Caecilia in sella sederet, neque diu ulla vox exstitisset, puellam defatigatam petisse a matertera, ut sibi concederet paulisper ut in eius sella requiesceret; illam autem dixisse: "Vero, mea puella, tibi concedo meas sedes." Quod omen res consecuta est; ipsa enim brevi mortua est, virgo autem nupsit, cui Caecilia nupta fuerat. Haec posse contemni vel etiam rideri praeclare intellego, sed id ipsum est deos non putare, quae ab iis significantur contemnere. 46 "Now let me give some well-known examples of omens: When Lucius Paulus was consul the second time, and had been chosen to wage war against King Perses, upon returning home on the evening of the day on which he had been appointed, he noticed, as he kissed his little daughter Tertia (at that time a very small child), that she was rather sad. 'What is the matter, Tertia, my dear? Why are you sad?' 'Oh! father, Persa is dead.' Paulus clasped the child in a closer embrace and said, 'Daughter, I accept that as an omen.' Now 'Persa' was the name of a little dog that had died. 104 I heard Lucius Flaccus,115 the high priest of Mars, relate the following story: Metellus' daughter, Caecilia, who was desirous of arranging a marriage for her sister's daughter, went, according to the ancient custom, to a small chapel to receive an omen. A long time passed while the maiden stood and Caecilia was seated on a chair without p337any word being spoken. Finally, the former grew weary and said to her aunt: 'Let me sit awhile on your chair.' 'Certainly, my child,' said Caecilia, 'you may have my place.' And this was an omen of what came to pass, for in a short time Caecilia died and the girl married her aunt's husband. I realize perfectly well that the foregoing omens may be lightly regarded and even be laughed at, but to make light of signs sent by the gods is nothing less than to disbelieve in the existence of the gods.
XLVII 105 Quid de auguribus loquar? Tuae partes sunt, tuum, inquam, auspiciorum atrocinium debet esse. Tibi App. Claudius augur consuli nuntiavit addubitato salutis augurio bellum domesticum triste ac turbulentum fore; quod paucis post mensibus exortum paucioribus a te est diebus oppressum. Cui quidem auguri vehementer adsentior; solus enim multorum annorum memoria non decantandi augurii, sed divinandi tenuit disciplinam. Quem inridebant collegae tui eumque tum Pisidam, tum Soranum augurem esse dicebant; quibus nulla videbatur in auguriis aut praesensio aut scientia veritatis futurae; sapienter aiebant ad opinione imperitorum esse fictas religiones. Quod longe secus est neque enim in pastoribus illis, quibus Romulus praefuit, ne in ipso Romulo haec calliditas esse potuit, ut ad errorem multitudinis religionis simulacra fingerent. Sed difficultas laborque discendi disertare neglegentiam reddidit; malunt enim disserere nihil esse in auspiciis quam, quid sit, ediscere. 47 105 "Why need I speak of augurs? That is your rôle; the duty to defend auspices, I maintain, is yours. For it was to you, while you were consul, that the augur Appius Claudius declared that because the augury of safety116 was unpropitious a grievous and violent civil war was at hand. That war began few months later, but you brought it to an end in still fewer days. Appius is one augur of whom I heartily approve, for not content merely with the sing-song ritual of augury,117 he, alone, according to the record of many years, has maintained a real system of divination. I know that your colleagues used to laugh at him and call him the one time 'a Pisidian' and at another 'a Soran.'118 They did not concede to augury any power of prevision or real knowledge of the future, and used to say that it was a superstitious practice shrewdly invented to gull the ignorant. But the truth is far otherwise, for neither those herdsmen whom Romulus governed, nor Romulus himself, could have had cunning enough to invent miracles with which to mislead the people. It is the trouble and hard work involved in mastering the art that has induced this p339eloquent contempt; for men prefer to say glibly that there is nothing in auspices rather than to learn what auspices are.
106 Quid est illo auspicio divinius, quod apud te in Mario est? ut utar potissumum auctore te: 106 "Now — to employ you as often as I can as my authority — what could be more clearly of divine origin than the auspice which is thus described in your Marius?119
"Hic Iovis altisoni subito pinnata satelles
arboris e trunco, serpentis saucia morsu,
subrigit ipsa, feris transfigens unguibus anguem
semianimum et varia graviter cervice micantem.
Quem se intorquentem lanians rostroque cruentans
iam satiata animos, iam duros ulta dolores
abicit ecflantem et laceratum adfligit in unda
seque obitu a solis nitidos convertit ad ortus.
Hanc ubi praepetibus pinnis lapsuque volantem
conspexit Marius, divini numinis augur,
faustaque signa suae laudis reditusque notavit,
partibus intonuit caeli pater ipse sinistris.
Sic aquilae clarum firmavit Iuppiter omen."
Behold, from out the tree, on rapid wing,
The eagle that attends high-thundering Jove
A serpent bore, whose fangs had wounded her;
And as she flew her cruel talons pierced
Quite through its flesh. The snake, tho' nearly dead,
Kept darting here and there its spotted head;
And, as it writhed, she tore with bloody beak
Its twisted folds. At last, with sated wrath
And grievous wounds avenged, she dropped her prey,
Which, dead and mangled, fell into the sea;
And from the West she sought the shining East.
When Marius, reader of divine decrees,
Observed the bird's auspicious, gliding course,
He recognized the goodly sign foretold
That he in glory would return to Rome;
Then, on the left, Jove's thunder pealed aloud
And thus declared the eagle's omen true.
XLVIII 107 Atque ille Romuli auguratus pastoralis, non urbanus fuit, nec fictus ad opiniones imperitorum, sed a certis acceptus et posteris traditus. Itaque Romulus augur, ut apud Ennium est, cum fratre item augure 48 107 "As for that augural art of Romulus of which I spoke, it was pastoral and not city-bred, nor was it 'invented to gull the ignorant,' but received by trustworthy men, who handed it on to their descendants. And so we read in Ennius120 the following story of Romulus, who was an augur, and of his brother Remus, who also was an augur:
"Curantes magna cum cura, tum cupientes
regni dant operam simul auspicio augurioque.
*In monte*
Remus auspicio se devovet atque secundam
solus avem servat; at Romulus pulcher in alto
quaerit Aventino, servat genus altivolantum.
Certabant, urbem Romam Remoramne vocarent;
omnibus cura viris uter esset induperator.
Exspectant, veduti consul cum mittere signum
volt, omnes avidi spectant ad carceris oras,
108 quam mox emittat pictis e faucibus currus:
sic exspectabat populus atque ore timebat
rebus, utri magni victoria sit data regni.
Interea sol albus recessit in infera noctis.
Exin candida se radiis dedit icta foras lux,
et simul ex alto longe pulcherruma praepes
laeva volavit avis. Simul aureus exoritur sol,
cedunt ce caelo ter quattuor corpora sancta
avium, praepetibus sese pulchrisque locis dant.
Conspicit inde sibi data Romulus esse priora,
auspicio regni stabilita scamna solumque."
When each would rule they both at once appealed
Their claims, with anxious hearts, to augury.
Then Remus took the auspices alone
And waited for the lucky bird; while on
The lofty Aventine121 fair Romulus
p341 His quest did keep to wait the soaring tribe:
Their contest would decide the city's name
As Rome or Remora. The multitude
Expectant looked to learn who would be king.
As, when the consul is about to give
The sign to start the race, the people sit
With eyes intent on barrier doors from whose
108 Embellished jaws the chariots soon will come;
So now the people, fearful, looked for signs
To know whose prize the mighty realm would be.
Meantime the fading sun into the shades
Of night withdrew and then the shining dawn
Shot forth its rays. 'Twas then an augury,
The best of all, appeared on high — a bird
That on the left did fly. And, as the sun
Its golden orb upraised, twelve sacred birds
Flew down from heaven and betook themselves
To stations set apart for goodly signs.
Then Romulus perceived that he had gained
A throne whose source and proper was augury.
XLIX 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 impulsu deorum, cum quid ex quoque eveniat et quid quamque rem significet crebra animadversione perspectum est. 49 109 "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 p343makes it clear what effect follows any given cause, and what sign precedes any given event.
110 Altera divinatio est naturalis, ut ante dixi; quae physica disputandi subtditate reverenda 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 vigìlantes animi vitae necessitatibus serviunt diiunguntque se a societate divina vinclis corporis impediti. 110 "The second division of divination, as I said before,122 is the natural; and it, according to exact teaching of physics, must be ascribed to divine Nature, from which, as the wisest philosophers maintain, our souls have been drawn and poured forth. And since the universe is wholly filled with the Eternal Intelligence and the Divine Mind, it must be that human souls are influenced by their contact with divine souls. But when men are awake their souls, as a rule, are subject to the demands of everyday life and are withdrawn from divine association because they are hampered by the chains of the flesh.
111 (Rarum est quoddam genus eorum qui se a corpore àvocent 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 esercitati, 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 coemisse dicitur. 112Animadverterat fortasse quadam scientia olearum ubertatem fore. Et quidem idem primus defectionem solis, quae Astyage regnante facta est, praedixisse fertur. 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,123 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 p345before it had begun to bloom.124 112 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.
L 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. 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.125
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 somniisl, nihil est quod cum his magnopere pugnemus, praesertim cum sint, qui omnino nullam divinationem probent. 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 p347life 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.
114 Ergo et ii, quorum animi spretis corporibus evolant atque excurrunt foras, ardore aliquo infiammati atque incitati cernunt illa profecto quae vaticinantes 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 muto quae sint futura. Quo de genere illa sunt: 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.126 In all these cases the frenzied soul sees the future long in advance, as Cassandra did in the following instance:
"eheu videte!
iudicavit inclitum iudicium inter deas tris aliquis,
quo iudicio Lacedaemonia mulier, Furiarum una, adveniet."
Eodem enim modo multa a vaticinantibus saepe praedicta sunt neque solum >solutis< verbis, sed etiam
"versibus quos olim Fauni vatesque canebant."
Alas! behold! some mortal will decide
A famous case between three goddesses:
Because of that decision there will come
A Spartan woman, but a Fury too.127

It is in this state of exaltation that many predictions have been made, not only in prose but also
In verse which once the fauns and bards did sing.128
115 Similiter Marcius et Publicius vates cecinisse dicuntur; quo de genere Apollinis operta prolata sunt. Credo etiam anhelitus quosdam fuisse terrarum, quibus inflatae mentes oracla funderent. 115 Likewise Marcius and Publicius,129 according to tradition, made their prophecies in verse, and the cryptic utterances of Apollo were expressed in the same form.
LI 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 impeditone 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. p349 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.
116 Hic magna quaedam exoritur, neque ea naturalis, sed artificiosa somniorum [Antiphonis] interpretatio eodemque modo et oraculorum et vaticinationum: sunt enim explanatores, ut grammatici poëtarum. 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 bumano dedisset, nisi hearum cultus et conditiones tradidisset, materiave quicquam iuvaret, nisi confectionis 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. 116 "At this point it is pertinent to mention Antiphon's130 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 carpenter's 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 p351of dreams, prophecies, and oracles: since many of them were obscure and doubtful, resort was had to the skill of professional interpreters.
117 Quo modo autem aut vates aut somniantes ea videant, quae nusquam etiam tunc sint, magna quaestio est. Sed esplorata 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 esplicata 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. 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.
LII 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 incohatum 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. 52 118 "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 p353who 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.
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. 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 [non est] 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 irnmortalibus 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. "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. 119 Conclusive proof of this fact, sufficient to put it beyond the possibility of doubt, is afforded by incidents which happened just before Caesar's 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.131 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 Spurinna132 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 p355organs disappeared at the very moment of immolation.
LIII 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 canant oscines. Nam si animal omne, ut vult, ita utitur motu sui corporis, prono, obliquo, supino, membraque quocumque vult flectit, contorquet, porrigit, contrabit eaque ante efficit paene quam cogitat, quanto id deo est facilius, cuius numini parent omnia! 121 Idemque mittit et signa nobis eius generis qualia permulta historia tradidit, quale scriptum illud videmus: 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. 53 120 "The Divine Will accomplishes like results in the case of birds, and causes those known as alites,133 which give omens by their flight, to fly hither and thither and disappear now here and now there, and causes those known as oscines, which give omens by their cries, to sing now on the left and now on the right. For if every animal moves its body forward, sideways, or backward at will, it bends, twists, extends, and contracts its members as it pleases, and performs these various motions almost mechanically; how much easier it is for such results to be accomplished by a god, whose divine will all things obey! 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.f 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.
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. "Another instance of a similar kind is related by Herodotus:134 Croesus's son, when an infant, spoke, and this prodigy foretold the utter overthrow of his father's family and kingdom. What history has failed to record the fact that while Servius Tullius slept his head burst into flame?135 Therefore, just as a man has clear and trustworthy dreams, provided he p357goes 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.
LIV 122 Hoc nimirum est ffiud, 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. 54 122 "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' — da?µ?????, 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 Xenophon136 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 Apollo's oracle be consulted.' This oracle was always consulted by the Athenians in regard to the more serious public questions.
123 Scriptum est item, cum Critonis, sui familiaris, oculum adligatum 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, praesagatione 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; quac praetermittam; tibi enim nota sunt, mihi ad commemorandum non necessaria. 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 impendentis datum. 123 "It is also related of Socrates that one day he saw his friend Crito with a bandage on his eye. 'What's 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 p359to 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 enemy's 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. 124 However, the following utterance137 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.'
LV 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. 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. 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. 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.
Quocirca primum mihi videtur, ut Posidonius facit, a deo, de quo satis dictum est, deinde a fato, deinde a natura vis omnis divinandi ratioque repetenda. Fieri igitur omnia fato ratio cogit fateri. Fatum autem id appello, quod Graeci e)imarme)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. 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. p361 "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 e?µa?µ???, 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. 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.
LVI 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. 56 127 "Moreover, since, as will be shown elsewhere,138 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 p363signs 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.
128 Non est igitur ut mirandum sit ea praesentiri a divinantibus quac 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. 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. p365These and a few other arguments of the same kind for the existence of divination are derived from Fate.
LVII 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. 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 accepirnus ortum Caniculae diligenter quotannis solere servare coniecturamque capere, ut scribit Ponticus Heraclides, salubrisne an pestilens annus futurus sit: nam si obscurior quasi caligit nosa stella exstiterit, 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. 57 129 "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. 130 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.
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: 131 "Again, Democritus expresses the opinion that the ancients acted wisely in providing for the p367inspection 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:
"nam isti qui linguam avium intellegunt
plusque ex alieno iecore sapiunt quam ex suo
magis audiendum quam auscultandum censeo.
The men who know the speech of birds and more
Do learn from other livers139 than their own —
'Twere best to hear, I think, and not to heed.
Cur, quaeso, cum ipse paucis interpositis versibus dicas satis luculente: I do not know why this poet makes such a statement when only a few lines further on he says clearly enough:
"Quidquid est hoc, omnia animat, format, alit, auget creat,
sepelit recipitque in sese omnia omniumque idemst pater,
indidemque eadem aeque oriuntur de integro atque eodem occidunt."
Whate'er the power may be, it animates,
Creates, gives form, increase, and nourishment
To everything: of everything the sire,
It takes all things unto itself and hides
Within its breast; and as from it all things
Arise, likewise to it all things return.140
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? 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?
Haec babui," inquit, "de divinatione quae dicerem. "This," said Quintus, "is all that I had to say on divination."
LVIII 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, sed
P369 58 132 "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 Appius141 makes it a practice to consult. In fine, I say, I do not care a fig
For 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,—142
"superstitiosi vates impudentesque harioli
aut inertes aut insani aut quibus egestas imperat,
qui sibi semitam non sapiunt, alteri monstrant viam;
quibus divitias pollicentur, ab iis dracumam ipsi petunt.
De his divitiis sibi deducant dracumam, reddant cetera."

But superstitious bards, soothsaying quacks,
Averse to work, or mad, or ruled by want,
Directing others how to go, and yet
What road to take they do not know themselves;
From those to whom they promise wealth they beg
A coin. From what they promised let them take
Their coin as toll and pass the balance on.
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". Such are the words of Ennius who only a few lines further back143 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."
Quae cum dixisset Quintus, "Praeclare tu quidem," inquam," paratus. When Quintus had finished I remarked, "My dear Quintus, you have come admirably well prepared."


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