Matters of Augury

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Re: Matters of Augury

Postby Gaius Claudius Quadratus » Mon Aug 08, 2016 1:53 am

Salvete!

I concur with the opinions expressed above regarding procedure, which also point out the need for the official formation of the Collegium Augurum. I believe that is on track to be done by the end of this year.

To the list provided by Brutus, I would add:

John Scheid, "An Introduction to Roman Religion" (translated by Janet Lloyd), Indiana Univ. Press, 2003. This volume includes a clear statement of the basic concepts of augury and divination as well as a lengthy list of suggested further reading.

Valete!
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Re: Matters of Augury

Postby Publius Iunius Brutus » Mon Aug 08, 2016 3:32 am

Salvete Omnes!

Yes, Scheid's work is the gold standard introduction to the CDR. I recommend it to everyone, a must read on all matters pertaining to the ancient traditions far beyond just augury.

I have another two questions for the group.

I) Who long should auspices be taken? When should one stop looking for signs when taking auspicia impetrativa?

II) Should auspicia impetrativa only be taken for the day when the event occurs, as was the ancient custom? Ancient augural law stated auspices were only valid from sunrise to sunset of the day taken.


Valete,

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Re: Matters of Augury

Postby Lucius Vitellius Triarius » Fri Aug 12, 2016 6:20 am

Here is another good article on Augury with resources:

http://www.societasviaromana.net/Collegium_Religionis/augury.php
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Re: Matters of Augury

Postby Gaius Claudius Quadratus » Fri Aug 12, 2016 5:52 pm

Salve, Triari!

Thank you for posting that informative article by Piscinus and I urge that it be studied. He is an authority on matters of Religio. It would be wonderful if he could be enticed into participating in our Republic.

Vale!
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Re: Matters of Augury

Postby Lucius Curtius Philo » Sun Aug 14, 2016 7:35 am

Publius Iunius Brutus wrote:II) Should auspicia impetrativa only be taken for the day when the event occurs, as was the ancient custom? Ancient augural law stated auspices were only valid from sunrise to sunset of the day taken.



Salvete,

Ancient custom was very clear on this matter. Auspices are only valid between sun rises on the day in question. Except for matters of inauguration, exauguration or cultus protocol a negative auspice can retaken on the next day if the original course of action is deferred to this following day. This is made very clear in Linderski's The Augural Law (http://www.academia.edu/6696039/J._Lind ... ._1986_OCR).

valete.

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Re: Matters of Augury

Postby Lucius Curtius Philo » Sun Aug 14, 2016 7:51 am

Lucius Vitellius Triarius wrote:Here is another good article on Augury with resources:

http://www.societasviaromana.net/Collegium_Religionis/augury.php



Salve!

That article is okay. But we have learned a lot about Roman augury from archaeological discoveries and new analysis since the 1980s. I suggest this article be revised with updated information. I am familiar with some of the sources mentioned earlier by Brute. Many of these contain this up-to-date information.

vale.

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Re: Matters of Augury

Postby Gaius Claudius Quadratus » Mon Aug 15, 2016 5:24 pm

Salvete!

I would like to thank all those who participated in this discussion. I hope it has been beneficial as it has been for me and that such discussions will take place regularly.

Valete!

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Re: Matters of Augury

Postby Marcus Octavius Corvus » Wed Aug 17, 2016 5:49 am

Salvete collega!
I will take a risk to continue this discussion a little further and try to make my input since:
a) 13th day of Sextilis is only a civic or I'd say profane "Ides"
b) this discussion actually lasted untill 14th of August - so in any case it wasn't me who have broken the rule ;)
If for some reason this my message will be considered as made too late - please ignore it or simly delete it from this thread.

While talking about my general approach for restoring the Religio and trying to re-obtain Pax Deorum I want to point out my priorities:
- most of our sources (if not all, especially when we are talking about written texts) we have in scripts made by christian monks. In my humble opinion such sources must be credited only partially, like testimony of a suspect would be creditedin a homicide court case. To have a reliable reconstruction of the Roman tradition we have to make an integral analysis of the different sources, cross-analyse them, discuss, test them experimentally, discuss again and then employ. Not forgetting re-analyse and discuss after each and every rite performed, making corrections that will be discovered during practice of given by the Gods and Goddesses Themselves;
- I don't think "hard to put into practice" argument must be given any consideration at all, of course if we are not going to have another role-playing game for grownup boys and girls;
- the orthopraxy of Roman religion requires CORRECT performance of the rites, but NOT performing it "as close as possible" to well preserved, but more than dubious source. To find this the most CORRECT way we have to find out the inner logic of every single rite, practise and the Religio in general.

Now back to imperative auspices. Naturally, I concur most of the thoughts expressed above, but to be brief I will only point out the issues I have different views of.
- The key role of an augur in auspicia - is inaugurating the auguraculum (or templum), not conducting the rite. So if we accept performing the auspicia with an augur and a preses (magistrate) being in different geographical locations - I think it is a magistrate who has to conduct the rite and watch the birds.
- But! The auspicia must be taken ONLY in an auguraculum - physical ground - defined and inaugurated by an augur. This means an augur must visit this place at least once before any aucpices could be taken there.
- Concerning two issues above my opinion is: to have a liable auspicia (and as a result - valid political decisions and procedures)we have to comply with the ancient tradition and perform auspicia with physical presence of an augur and a preses in the same place. Does it make everything harder? Sure! But here we must decide for ourselves: we want it some sort of nice and easy Pokemon-Go game, or we want it right. It will be much more easy if we will consider this while electing magisrtates and appointing the augurs.

Another extremely important issue, which I propose not to open for general public untill the decision will be made. Technically all and any decision and appointments made in the RR are void because:
a) there is not a single augur in our Republic (I think you agree that there can not be such an office as "provisional augur" in canonic sence);
b) as far as I know there is no auguraculum properly set.
I am the only standing augur here, as far as I know, but even my auspicia taken in the properly defined and inaugurated templum are not valid for our Republic because I am the augur of our community Alba Sarmata, not Respublica Romana...

Please bear in mind that I pose all these awkward questions because I care of the future of our Republic and I hope one day we will become something more than another Roman-themed online club.

Valete bene et vobis gratias!
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Re: Matters of Augury

Postby Publius Iunius Brutus » Tue Oct 11, 2016 9:10 pm

Salve Corve!

These are very valuable comments, and I must apologize for taking so long to reply. The delay does not reflect my opinion of these comments.

I have a few thoughts and ideas.

Marcus Octavius Corvus wrote:Salvete collega!

While talking about my general approach for restoring the Religio and trying to re-obtain Pax Deorum I want to point out my priorities:
- most of our sources (if not all, especially when we are talking about written texts) we have in scripts made by christian monks. In my humble opinion such sources must be credited only partially, like testimony of a suspect would be creditedin a homicide court case. To have a reliable reconstruction of the Roman tradition we have to make an integral analysis of the different sources, cross-analyse them, discuss, test them experimentally, discuss again and then employ. Not forgetting re-analyse and discuss after each and every rite performed, making corrections that will be discovered during practice of given by the Gods and Goddesses Themselves;


All reasonable comments. To go deeper. Many of the earliest texts on the CDR were lost in antiquity, especially after Rome was sacked by the Gauls in the 390s BCE. So restoration of CDR tradition is not a new concept. Such a process was at play in antiquity. I would go so far as to add that bias in sources was present even in the late republic when compared to the early republic. We must be mindful of such bias in our sources and use archaeological evidence and reflection upon the divinities to reconcile the bias that we encounter.


Now back to imperative auspices. Naturally, I concur most of the thoughts expressed above, but to be brief I will only point out the issues I have different views of.
- The key role of an augur in auspicia - is inaugurating the auguraculum (or templum), not conducting the rite. So if we accept performing the auspicia with an augur and a preses (magistrate) being in different geographical locations - I think it is a magistrate who has to conduct the rite and watch the birds.


Traditionally the augur and person taking the auspices were present during the rite. Sadly, because of modern geographic bounds this is difficult to restore. I hope with time we can overcome such obstacles. Technology could help here. I have discussed video conferencing some rites with select sacerdotes, and there is enthusiasm for this idea.

The sources I quoted previously on augural law are clear on who can take public auspices. They are those magistrates with imperium, tribunes (possibly), and the inaugurated pontifices. I think the same law should be followed at the present.

- But! The auspicia must be taken ONLY in an auguraculum - physical ground - defined and inaugurated by an augur. This means an augur must visit this place at least once before any aucpices could be taken there.

- Concerning two issues above my opinion is: to have a liable auspicia (and as a result - valid political decisions and procedures)we have to comply with the ancient tradition and perform auspicia with physical presence of an augur and a preses in the same place. Does it make everything harder? Sure! But here we must decide for ourselves: we want it some sort of nice and easy Pokemon-Go game, or we want it right. It will be much more easy if we will consider this while electing magisrtates and appointing the augurs.

Another extremely important issue, which I propose not to open for general public untill the decision will be made. Technically all and any decision and appointments made in the RR are void because:
a) there is not a single augur in our Republic (I think you agree that there can not be such an office as "provisional augur" in canonic sence);
b) as far as I know there is no auguraculum properly set.
I am the only standing augur here, as far as I know, but even my auspicia taken in the properly defined and inaugurated templum are not valid for our Republic because I am the augur of our community Alba Sarmata, not Respublica Romana...


Agreed. I know both Quadratus and I both have designated templum where auspices are taken. I have written on this in detail here: viewtopic.php?f=7&t=630&p=4134&hilit=templum#p4134

Corve, you hint at a chicken or the egg argument here. If there are no augures who can inaugrate a templum? I agree that templum should in inaugurated by an augur. However, until we have a large group of inaugurated augurs this is difficult. I suggest a compromise in order to facilitate the development of the tradition you mention.

The Comitia Curiata has been acting as a proxy Collegium Augurum. In some ways the Comitia Curiata has been playing the role of the early monarchy in allowing religious institutions to be reformed. The Comitia Curiata has reviewed and selected three people to be augures, yourself, Quardratus, and me. Soon, I hope, the Comitia Curiata will establish a Collegium Augurum. Then we can work together on inaugurating additional templum and augures.

Thoughts?
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