The Ancient Library

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flew away, or declined its food. This clear and simple method of getting omens was generally adopted by armies in the field, the chickens being taken about in charge of a special functionary (pullarius). (4) Signs given by the cries or motion of animals, as reptiles and quadrupeds, in their course over a given piece of ground (signapedestria j or ex quadrupSdibus). (5) Signs given by j phenomena of terror (signaexdlris). These | might consist in disturbances of the act of


(From Zoega's Bassiyilievi, I tav. xvi.)

auspicatio, such as the falling of an object, a noise, a stumble, a slip in the recitation of the formula ; or a disturbance occurring in the course of public business, such as, for instance, an epileptic seizure taking place in the public assembly; an event which broke up the meeting.

The two last-mentioned classes of signs were generally not asked for, because the former were usually, the latter always, un­lucky. If they made their appearance unasked, they could not be passed over, if the observer saw them or wished to see them. Every official was expected to take auspices on entering upon his office, and on every occasion of performing an official act. Thus the words implrium and ampicium were often virtually synonymous. The auspicia were further divided, according to the dignity of the magistrate, into maxima (" greatest ") and minOra (" less "). The greatest auspicia -were those which were taken by the king, dictator, consuls, prpe-tors, and censors; the lesser were taken by aediles and quaestors. If two magistrates, though collcgo! (colleagues) were of unequal

dignity—supposing, for instance, that a con­sul and praetor were in the same camp—the higher officer alone had the right of taking the auspices. If the colleger were equal, the auspices passed from one to the other at stated times. No public act, whether of peace or war (crossing a river, for instance, or fighting a battle), could be undertaken without auspices. They were specially necessary at the election of all officials, the entry upon all offices, at all comitia, and at the departure of a general for war. They had, further, to be taken on the actual day and at the actual place of the given under­taking.

The whole proceeding was so abused that in time it sank into a mere form. This remark applies even to the auspices taken from lightning, the most important sign of all. For the flash of lightning, which was in later times regularly supposed to appear when a magistrate entered upon office, was always (after the necessary formalities) set down as appearing on the left side. More­over, the mere assertion of a magistrate who had the right of auspicium that he had taken observations on a particular day, and seen a flash of lightning, was constitution­ally unassailable; and was consequently often used to put off a meeting of the comitia fixed for the day in question. Augustus, it is true, tried to rehabilitate the auspicia, but their supposed religious foundation had been so thoroughly shaken, that they had lost all serious significance.

Autolycns. Son of Hermes and Chione, or (according to another account) Philonis, father of Anticleia, the mother of Odysseus. In Greek mythology he figured as the prince of thieves. From his father he inherited the gift of making himself and all his stolen goods invisible, or changing them so as to preclude the possibility of recognition. He was an accomplished wrestler, and was said to have given Heracles instruction in the art.

Aut5med6n. Son of Diores; the comrade and charioteer of Achilles.

Auxllla (auxiliary troops). This name was given in the Roman army to the foreign troops serving with the legions, and to the contingents of Italian allies. In some cases, especially that of the slingers and archers, they were raised by free recruiting, in others by a levy in the provinces ; in others they w"ere sent as contingents by kings or com­munities in alliance with Rome. Under the Empire the term auxttia was extended to all the corps stationed in the provinces and not included in the legions; as, for example,

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