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DIVINATIOV

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all 'kinds of natural phenomena, ordinary as 'well i as extraordinary, and dreams. '

The interpretation of signs of the first class (lepo/JLavTeia or jepoer/coTna, haruspicium or ars liaruspicina\ was, according to Aeschylus (Prometh. 492, &c.), the invention of Prometheus. It seems to have been most cultivated by the Etruscans, among whom it was raised into a complete science, and from whom it passed to the Romans. Sacri­fices were either offered for the special purpose of consulting the gods, or in the ordinary way ; but in both cases the signs were observed, and when they were propitious, the sacrifice was said waAAie-p£v. The principal points that were generally ob­served were, 1. The manner in which the victim approached to the altar, whether uttering a sound or not; the former was considered a favourable omen in the sacrifice at the Panionium. (Strab. viii. p. 384 ; compare Paus. iv. 32. § 3.) 2. The nature of the intestines with respect to their colour and smoothness (Aeschyl. Prometh. 493, &c. ; Eurip. Elect. 833) ; the liver and bile were of particular importance. [caput extorum.] 3. The nature of the flame which consumed the sacrifice (see Valckenaer, ad Eurip. Plioen. 1261); hence the words, Trupo/xaj/Teia, e/xjrupa cr^jnaTa, </>A<>7<y7ra (T^juara. That the smoke rising from the altar, the libation, and various other things offered to the gods, were likewise considered as a means through which the will of the gods might be learned, is clear from the names, fca7irojucapT€i'a, AtScwojuai'Teia, KpiQofJLavreia, and others. Especial care was also taken during a sacrifice, that no inauspicious or frivolous words were uttered by any of the bystanders : hence the admonitions of the priests, €V(p7]fJt.eiT€ and €v<prjiJ.la9 or <n-yaT6, (fiuirare^jfhvete linguis, and others ; for improper expressions were not only thought to pol­lute and profane the sacred act, but to be unlucky omens (Sucr^^ta, K.\r}§6vss, (p^pai, (pcoyai or op<t>al, Pind. OL vi. 112 ; Horn, Il.il 41).

The art of interpreting signs of the second class was called ol&VLO'TiK'f], augurium or auspicium. It was, like the former, common to Greeks and Ro­mans, but was never developed into so complete a system by the former as by the latter ; nor did it ever attain the same degree of importance in Greece as it did at Rome* [augur.] The Greeks, when observing the flight of birds, turned their face towards the north, and then a bird appearing to the right (east), especially an eagle, a heron, or a falcon, was a favourable sign (Horn. II. xiv. 274, xxiv. 310, Od. xv. 524) ; while birds ap­pearing to the left (west) were considered as un­lucky signs. (Horn. II. xii. 201, 230 ; Festus, s. v. Sinistrae Aves.) Sometimes the mere appear­ance of a bird was thought sufficient: thus the Athenians always considered the appearance of an owl as a lucky sign ; hence the proverb, y\av£ nrrarai, " the owl is out," i. e. we have good luck. Other animals appearing unexpectedly, especially to travellers on their road (ev6tiia <ri;/*£oAa), were also thought ominous ; and at Athens it was con­sidered a very unlucky omen, when a weasel ap­peared during the assembly of the people. (Aristoph. Eccles. 793.) Superstitions of this kind are still met with in several European countries. Various other means were used to ascertain the will of the gods, such as the tnfojpoftaz'Tefa, or divination by placing straws on red hot iron ; the /uoAt/£8juaj'Tei by observing the figures which melted lead formed;

the j8ota^o/xai>T€ia, or divination by writing ore's own name on herbs and leaves, which were then exposed to the wind, &c.

Of greater importance than the appearance of ani­mals, at least to the Greeks, were the phenomena in the heavens, particularly during any public transaction. They were not only observed and interpreted by private individuals in their own affairs, but by the public magistrates. The Spartan ephors, as we learn from Plutarch (Agesil. 11), made regular observations in the heavens every ' ninth year during the night ; and the family of the Pythaistae, of Athens, made similar observ­ations every year before the theoris set sail for Delos. (Miiller, Dorians, ii. 2. § 14.) Among the unlucky phenomena in the heavens (8io<r^e?a, siyna, or portenta) were thunder and lightning (Aristopb. Eccles. 793 ; Eustath. ad Horn. Od. xx. 104), an eclipse of the sun or moon (Thucyd. vii. 50), earthquakes (Xen. Hellen. iv. 7. § 4), rain of blood, stones,milk, &c. (Horn.//, xi. 53, &c.; Cic. De Divinat. i. 43). Any one of these signs was sufficient at Athens, as well as at Rome, to break up the assembly of the people. (Schomann, De Comit. Aih. p. 146. &c. transl.) In common life, things apparently of no importance, when occurring at a critical moment, were thought by the ancients

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to be signs sent by the gods, from which conclusions might be drawn respecting the future. Among these common occurrences we may mention sneezing (Horn. Od. xvii. 561, with the note of Eustath. ; Xen. Anab. iii. 2. § 9 ; Plut. Themist. 13 ; Ovid, Heroid. 19, 151 ; Propcrt. ii. 2. 33), twinkling of the eyes (Theocrit. iii. 37 ; Plaut. Pseud, i. 2. 105 ; compare Wustemann, ad Theocrit. I. c.\ tinkling of the ears, and numberless other things which we cannot here enumerate. Some of them have retained their significance with the super­stitious multitude down to the present day.

The art of interpreting dreams (bvsipoiroXla), which had probably been introduced into Europe from Asia, where it is still a universal practice, seems in the Homeric age to have been held in high esteem; for dreams were said to be sent by Zeus. (Horn. II. i. 63, ii. init., Od. iv. 841, xix. 457.) In subsequent times, that class of diviners who occupied themselves with the interpretation of dreams, seems to have been very numerous and popular ; but they never enjoyed any protection from the state,, and were only resorted to by pri­vate individuals. Some persons are said to have gained their livelihood by this profession. (Plut. Aristid. 27.) Respecting the oracles which were obtained by passing a night and dreaming in a temple, see oraculum.

For further information concerning the art of divination in general, see Cicero's work, De Dim-natione. The {j.avriK'fi of the Greeks is treated of at some length by Wachsmuth (Hellen. Altertli. ii. 2. p. 259, &c., vol. ii. p. 585, 2d edit.) Com­pare ThirlwalPs Hist, of Greece, i. p. 206, &c.

The word divinatio was used in a particular manner by the Romans as a law-term, which re­quires some explanation. If in any case two or more accusers came forward against one and the same individual, it was, as the phrase ran, decided by divinatio, who should be the chief or real ac­cuser, whom the others then joined as subscrip-tores ; *'. e. by putting their names to the charge brought against the offender. This transaction, by which one of several accusers was selected to con-

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