The Ancient Library

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xii AUGURY 271

Synesius and Michael Psellus! The revival of augury with the spread of Pythagoreanism drew, as might be expected, from many sources ; besides the Etruscan and Greek systems, exotic disciplines from Arabia and elsewhere con­tributed to the art. Perhaps the most interest­ing historical record of an authentic case of divination from birds is an adventure narrated by Appian of his experiences in the Jewish war, probably that of 115 a.d., with an Arab guide. He was fleeing to a certain river where a boat was waiting to take him to Pelusium. A crow was heard and the guide said, " We have lost our way " ; it croaked a second time, and signified that they were far out of their reckoning ; a third croak restored the good spirits of the Arab, for it indicated that the mistake was to their advantage. And so indeed it proved, for they hit unexpectedly on another river in which they found a trireme which took Appian safely to Pelusium, and he learned afterwards that the boat which he had intended to reach had been captured by the enemy.1

1 " Fragment inedit d'Appian," J?evue Archtologiqut, N.S., 1869, xix. pp. 102-110.

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