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came the - practice in later times to employ only chickens (pulli) for the purpose. They were kept in a cage, under care of a person called puilarius; and when the auspices were to be taken, the puilarius opened the cage and threw to the chickens pulse or a kind of soft cake. If they refused to come out or to eat, or uttered a cry (occinerent), or beat their wings, or flew away, the signs were considered unfavourable. (Liv. x. 40; Ya.1. Max. i. 4. § 3.) On the contrary, if they ate greedily, so that something fell from their mouth and struck the earth, it was called tripu-dium solistimum (tripudium quasi terripavium, solistimum, from solum, according to the ancient writers, Cic. de Div. ii. 34), and was held a favourable sign. Two other kinds of tripudia are mentioned by Festus, the tripudium oscinum^ from the cry of birds, and sonivium, from the sound of the pulse falling to the ground: in what respects the latter, differed .from the tripudium solistimum^ we are not informed. (Cic. ad Pain. vi. 6 ; see also Festus, s. vv; puls, tripudium 9 oscinum tripudium.}
4. Ex quadrupedibus. Auguries could also be taken from four-footed animals ; but these formed no part of the original science of the augurs, and were never employed by them in taking auspices on behalf of the state, or in the exercise of their art properly so called. They must be looked upon simply as a mode of private divination, which was naturally brought under the notice of the augurs, and seems by them to have been reduced to a kind of system. Thus, we are told that when a fox, a wolf, a horse, a dog, or any other kind of quadruped ran across a person's path or appeared in an unusual place, it formed an augury. (See e.g. Hor. Carm. iii. 27.) Thejwf/e auspicium belonged to this class of auguries. (Cic. de Div. ii. 36; Fest s.v.juges auspicium ; Serv. ad Virg. Aen. iii. 537.)
5. Ex diris, sc. signis. Under this head was included every kind of augury, which does not fall under any of the four classes mentioned above, such as sneezing, stumbling, and other accidental things. (Comp. Serv.ad Virg. Aen. iv. 453.) There was an important augury of this kind connected with the army, which was called ex acuminibus, that is, the flames appearing at the points of spears or other weapons. (Cic. de Div. ii. 36, de Nat. Deor. ii. 3 ; Dionys. v. 46.)
The ordinary manner of taking the auspices, properly so called (i. e. ex caelo and ex avibus), was as follows : The person who was to take them first marked out with a wand (lituus) a division in the heavens called templum or tescmn^ within which he intended to make his observations. The station where he was to take the auspices was also separated by a solemn formula from the rest of the land, and was likewise called templum or tescum. He then proceeded to pitch a tent in it :(ta?)ernaculum capere), and this tent again was also called templum^ or, more accurately, femplum minus. [templum.] Within the walls of Rome, or, more properly speaking, within the ponioerium, there was no occasion to select a spot and pitch a tent on it, as there was a place on the Arx on the summit of the Capitoline hill, called Auguraculum^ which had been consecrated once for all for this purpose. (Festus, s. v. Auguracidum ; comp. Liv. i, 18, iv. 18 ,• Cic. de Off. iii, 16.) In like manner there was in every Roman camp a place called augurale . (Tac. Ann. ii. . 13,. x v. 30), which, an -
swered the same purpose ; but on all other occasions a place had to be consecrated, and a tent to be pitched, as, for Instance, in the Campus Martins, when the comitia centuriata were to be held. The person who was then taking the auspices waited for the favourable signs to appear ; but it was necessary during this time that there should be no interruption of any kind whatsoever (silen-tiuni)) and hence the word silentium was usscl in a more extended sense to signify the absence of every thing that was faulty. Every thing, on the contrary, that rendered the auspices invalid was called vitium (Cic. de Div. ii. 34 ; Festus, s. v. si-lentio surgere) ; and hence we constantly read in Livy and other writers of vitio magistratus creati, vitio lex lata, &c. The watching for the auspices was called spcctio or servare de coelo, the declaration of what was observed nuntiatio, or, if they were unfavourable, obnuntiatio. In the latter case, the person who took the auspices seems usually to have said olio die, by which the business in hand, whether the holding of the comitia or any thing else, was entirely stopped. (Cic. de Leg. ii. 12.)
Having explained what the auspices were and how they were taken, we have now to determine who had the power of taking them. In the first place it is certain that in ancient times no one but a patrician could take the auspices, and that a plebeian had no power of doing so. The gods of the Roman state were the gods of the patricians alone, and it was consequently regarded as an act of profanation, for any plebeian to attempt to interpret the will of these gods. Hence the possession of the auspices (Jiabere auspicia) is one of the most distinguished prerogatives of the patricians ; they are said to be penes patrum, and are called. auspicia patrum. (Liv. vi. 41, x. 8 *, comp. iv. 6.) It would further appear that every patrician might take the auspices ; but here a distinction is to be observed. It has already been remarked that in the most ancient times no transaction, whether private or public, was performed without consulting the auspices (nisi auspicato, Cic. de Div. i. 16 ; Val, Max. ii. 1. § 1) ; and hence arose the distinction of auspicia privata and auspicia publica. One of the most frequent occasions on which the auspicia privata were taken, was in case of a marriage (Cic., Val. Max. //. cc.) ; and hence after private auspices had become entirely disused, the Romans, in accordance with their usual love of preserving ancient forms, were accustomed in later times to employ auspices in marriages, who, however, acted only a.s friends of the bridegroom, to witness the payment of the dowry and to superintend the various rites of the marriage. (Plant. Cas. prol. 85 ; Suet. Claud. 26 ; Tac. Ann. xi. 27.) The employment of the auspices at marriages was one great argument used by the patricians against connubium between themselves and the plebeians, as it would occasion, they urged, perturbailonem auspiciorum publicorum privatorumque. (Liv. iv. 2.) The possession of these private auspicia is expressed in another passage of Livy by privuiim auspicia habere. (Liv. vi. 41.) In taking these private auspices, it would appear that any patrician
* There can be no reasonable doubt that by patres in these passages the whole body of the patricians is meant, and not the senators, as Rubino asserts. (Comp. Becker, Rom Alterth. vol. ii. part i. p. 3045 &c.)