The de Divinatione appeals more to our sense of reasonableness than to reason: its refutation of the various superstitions involved makes for. An English translation. The complete work is onsite. Part of a large site on ancient Rome and classical Antiquity. Guillaumont (F.) Le De divinatione de Cicerón et les théories antiques de . Cicerone, Della divinazione (Milan, ); G. Freyburger and J. Scheid. (edd., trans.

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In the first place, why do immortal gods see fit to give us warning which we can’t understand without the aid of interpreters?

Moreover, why does God, in planning for the good of the human race, convey his warnings by means of dreams which men consider unworthy not only of worrying about, ciceeone even of remembering? This is especially noticeable to mariners who often observe extreme changes of weather take place while they rounding the capes.

Nam et maiorum instituta tueri sacris caerimoniisque retinendis sapientis est, et esse praestantem aliquam aeternamque naturam, et eam suspiciendam admirandamque hominum generi pulchritudo mundi ordoque rerum caelestium cogit confiteri. When the question is as to what is morally right, or morally wrong, or as to what is neither the one nor the other, do we usually have our doubts resolved by diviners?

They know in what sign each planet will be at any given time and at what time each day any constellation will rise and set. This is a conclusion by no means agreeable to the astrologers; for they insist that all persons born at the same time, regardless of the place of birth, are born to the same fate.

But nothing seems strange to a man when he is dreaming. But let us consider Alexander’s dream of the talking serpent. Published December 1st by Cambridge University Press. Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. But, for some inexplicable cause, those superstitious and half-cracked philosophers of yours would rather appear absurd than anything else in the world. It seized some sparrows hid Within the plane-tree’s leafy boughs and eight Devoured; the ninth — the mother bird — began To flutter round and utter plaintive cries: Are we to say that it was invented by the Pisidians, Cilicians, or Phrygians?

He never failed to have his joke — that is absolutely certain. Vedi le condizioni d’uso per i dettagli. Images with borders lead to more information. All their other claims of prophetic powers he absolutely denies. Then on the left, from out a cloudless sky, Jove’s thunder rolled its goodly omen forth.


Was it after men began to be less credulous? Scylax of Halicarnassus, an intimate friend of Panaetius, and an eminent astronomer, besides being the head of the government in his own city, utterly repudiated the Chaldean method of foretelling the future. But what length of time could destroy a divine power?

Homer shows his appreciation of this fact when he represents Jupiter as complaining because he could not snatch his son Sarpedon from death when Fate forbade. According to your view, long-continued observation is employed iccerone the case of lightnings, and reason and conjecture are generally employed in the case of portents.

Recently there was a rumour, which was believed at the time, but turned out to be false, that one of the interpreters of those verses was going to declare in the Senate that, for our safety, the man whom we had as king in fact should be made king also in name. Though few, their activity may yet have a wide influence in the state.

When Aulis first Was decked with Grecian divibatione, which carried death For Priam, ruin for Troy, we stood about The fountains cool and sought to please the gods With gold-crowned bulls on smoking altars laid. In the next place, why do they warn us of things which we cannot avoid?

Besides, the incidents may have been fictitious; if not, then ciceeone fulfilment of the prophecy may have been accidental. But these are other people’s dreams and hence we know nothing about them and some of them are fabrications perhaps.

In fact dreams would be less regarded on their own account and would be viewed with greater indifference had they not been taken under the guardianship of philosophers — not philosophers of the meaner sort, but those of the keenest wit, competent to see what follows logically and what does not — men who are considered well-nigh perfect and infallible. Cicero’s memory again deceives him, the reference being to Ulysses.

Cicero on Divination

Quinto passa poi ad illustrare le due grandi categorie in cui risultano suddivisibili i metodi divinatori: In my view of the case Deiotarus employed the auspices of virtue, and virtue bids us not to look to fortune until the claims of honour are discharged. Enough has been shown to make it clear that your Stoic friends assume as certain what is the subject of doubt and discussion.


Epicureo alicui exprobrarem apertius. Of course as a diviner this book poses serious challenges to my beliefs that A really amazing book by Cicero discussing divination. You answer, ‘Because we see lizards and mice every day; snakes we do not. It is hard by the statue of the infant Jupiter, who is represented as sitting with Juno in the lap of Fortune and reaching for her breast, and it is held in the highest reverence by mothers.

Such matters are usually referred to sages, not to diviners. Aisling03 rated it really liked it Jan 01, Consider, for example, what Priam’s life would have been if he had known from youth what dire events his old age held in store for him!

Just a moment while we sign you in to your Goodreads account. For each of these classes will furnish you with at least one instance of a prophecy that came to pass.

De divinatione – Wikipedia

Cicero is widely considered one of Rome’s greatest orators and prose stylists. He represents himself as the celebrant and addresses his assistant, the augur, as “Quintus Fabius” — the name of any free man you please and as indefinite and impersonal as “John Doe,” or “Richard Roe.

And when, because of the weariness of the body, the soul can use neither the limbs nor the senses, it lapses into varied and untrustworthy visions, which emanate from what Aristotle terms ‘the clinging remnants of the soul’s waking acts and thoughts. Psychopu added it Aug 16, But the thing that delights me most is the fact that you illustrated your argument with many incidents taken from Roman sources — incidents, too, of a distinguished and noble type. Apart from such an agreement being impossible in fact, it is impossible even to imagine; and, moreover, we see some nations interpreting entrails in one way and some in another; hence there is no uniformity of practice.

On the other hand, how many treat them with disdain, and regard a belief in them as the superstition of a weak and effeminate mind! Again, you say, ‘Jupiter’ statue was being set up at the very time the conspiracy was being exposed.