The Ancient Library
 

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CHAPTER XII

AUGURY

Mirum unde, sed olim

Hie honor alitibus, superae seu conditor aulae Sic dedit effusum chaos in nova semina texens, Seu quia mutatae nostraque ab origine versis Corporibus subiere notos, seu purior axis Amotumque nefas et rarum insistere terris Vera decent; tibi, summe sator terraeque deuraque, Scire licet.1

divination from the cries or movements of birds was widely practised in the Mediter­ranean area. Cicero mentions Phrygians, Pisidians, Cilicians. and Arabs,2 and indeed in Arabia in Mahomet's time the art merited the prophet's censure. It is practised also by many savage peoples, and it may as well have originated independently among Greeks and Etruscans as have been learned or borrowed from an alien people. The differences in the

1 Statius, Theb. iii. 482. 2 Cicero, De div. i. 41 (92). 246

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