Romans, notwithstanding their shrewdness in politics and
wars, consulted no less than three distinct classes of priests
for a prognostication before taking any political or military
action of importance: the augures, the haruspices, and the
quindecimviri. The latter kept and interpreted the sacred
books of Sibylla of Cumae.
Tullius Cicero (106 - 43 B.C.), talented lawyer, professional
politician, and one of the most gifted writers of classical
antiquity, was himself also an augur. One of his works is
entitled De Divinatione, "about divination".
lituus to the left, was the staff which the augur, the Roman
oracle priest used to mark the templum, the sacred space
was crowned with a spiral design like the one shown which
is forged in bronce, dating from around 580 B.C. National