The Ancient Library
 

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chap, v MANTEIS 55

of the Life of Homer emphasise the same dis­tinction.1 Bouche Leclerq has made it the basis of his investigation of the character and position of the mantis.

This distinction has, of course, a measure of truth, but it has led to misunderstanding. The corollary that has been drawn from it that the two methods of divining were in origin distinct, and that the one was based on religion and inspiration, the other on a rationally invented pseudo-science, is wholly untrue and belongs to the age which sought the origin of Greek institutions in the invention of an ideal Hellene, who was the slave of reason alone. The dis­tinction rather, as it is drawn by Plato, belongs to a- specific stage of development. The art of divination emerges much in the same way as the art of magic ; in each case the ivy kills the tree. Even in the case of omens we have seen that the duty of the seer is more than mere observation and scientific deduction. His is not simply a craft which any one can learn, or a formal science of a quasi-mathematical kind. Of the mantis is demanded not only knowledge

ab dextra canere iussisset. Observata sunt haec tempore inmenso et (in significatione) eventis animadversa et notata."

1 Pausanias i. 34. 4 ; Plato, Phaidros, 244 ; [Plutarch], Vit. Horn. 212.

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