The Ancient Library

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but a wise and understanding heart, or at least something of the genius of successful oppor­tunism, ei-irep eyea fiavris elfu ical Kara ryvda/MV iSpi?, sings the Chorus in one of Sophokles' plays.1 The Roman augur of Plutarch's day, it is true, has passed beyond this stage. To the question why it is that an augur can never be deprived of office, Plutarch suggests the answer that just as a musician cannot be deprived of the know­ledge of his art, so it is impossible to rob an augur of the knowledge which he has acquired.2 This represents the last infirmity of the develop­ment of divination and the apotheosis of ritual. The period which recognised the two different kinds, the intuitive and the inductive, represents the transition stage which preceded it. Roughly, the history of the development is as follows. If the bulk of divinatory processes are derived from magic, the mantis is no less the direct descendant of the medicine-man. With the

1 Sophokles, Oidipous Tyrannos, 1088. A familiar figure is the prophet who is ignorant of his own fate, " Aethionque sagax quondam ventura videre, | tune ave deceptus falsa" (Ovid, Met. v. 146). But it is perhaps worth noticing that Homer, and following him Virgil and Apollonios Rhodios, express themselves as though /^avToffiivri was in some way a power. It is not so much that the prophet is ignorant of his fate but that his luanaa'iivrj is not strong enough to avert it. 'AXV owe oluwaiaw tpfaaro Krjpa iif\aivav (Ennomos, Iliad ii. 859); a\\d fitv odre | navTOfftirgiTi iaataaav (Idmon, Ap. Rhod. Arg. ii. 816) ; " sed non augurio potuit depellere pestem " (Rhamnes, Aeneiti\x. 328).

2 Plutarch, Roman Questions, 99.

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