The modern Collegium Augurum
The Collegium Augurum reassumes the role as the leading body fot augury within the res publica. It is composed of the Augures of the Roman Republic, recognized priests within the Cultus Deorum.
It has some additional modern duties due to the need to restore and reconstruct the Religio Romana. The modern College plays a key role in conducting academic inquiry and interpritation into all matters pretaining to auguary. Since the founding of the Roman Republic exceptional research has been conducted on this topic. This work has allowed a historically mindful system for modern augury to be developed. This has restored this ancient art for the present day.
Due to the important role auguary plays in many activities within the Res Publica Romana these priests play a vital role in educating and informing curious citizens on auguary and taking auspices. If you are interested in asking the augures of the Res publica a question please feel free to send a message to any of theaugures, or post a public message in the Cultus Deorum message board.
If you are interested in training to be an augur please click here.
History of the ancient Collegium Augurum
Historically, augury was performed by priests of the college of augurs on behalf of senior magistrates. Magistrates were empowered to conduct augury as required for the performance of their official duties. The presiding magistrate at an augural rite held the “right of augury”. The right of nuntiatio – announcing the appearance of signs – was reserved for the officiating augur, which would interrupt the signs observed. In the Regal period there were three augurs by the third century BCE their number was fifteen.
Roman augurs were part of a college of priests who shared the duties and responsibilities of the position. At the foundation of the Republic in 510 BCE, the patricians held sole claim to this office; by 300 BCE, the office was open to plebeian occupation as well. Senior members of the collegium put forth nominations for any vacancies, and members voted on whom to co-opt.
According to Cicero, the fact that the Collegum Augurum had the right to adjourn and overturn the process of law through their interpretation of signs made the augur the most powerful final authority in the Republic. In this way, the Augur relayed the communications of the Gods whose messages for a pious Roman superseded any mortal decision.