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Augury

Augury is the practice from ancient Roman religion of interpreting omens from the observed flight of birds (aves). When the individual, known as the augur, interpreted these signs, it is referred to as "taking the auspices". 'Augur' and 'auspices' are from the Latinauspicium and auspex, literally "one who looks at birds." Depending upon the birds, the auspices from the gods could be favorable or unfavorable (auspicious or inauspicious). Sometimes bribed or politically motivated augures would fabricate unfavorable auspices in order to delay certain state functions, such as elections. Pliny the Elder attributes the invention of auspicy to Tiresias the seer of Thebes, the generic model of a seer in the Greco-Roman literary culture.

This type of omen reading was already a millennium old in the time of Classical Greece: in the fourteenth-century BC diplomatic correspondence preserved in Egypt called the " Amarna correspondence", the practice was familiar to the king of Alasia in Cyprus who needed an 'eagle diviner' to be sent from Egypt. This earlier, indigenous practice of divining by bird signs, familiar in the figure of Calchas, the bird-diviner to Agamemnon, who led the army ( Iliad I.69), was largely replaced by sacrifice-divination through inspection of the sacrificial victim's liver— haruspices—during the Orientalizing period of archaic Greek culture. Plato notes that hepatoscopy held greater prestige than augury by means of birds.

One of the most famous auspices is the one which is connected with the founding of Rome. Once the founders of Rome, Romulus and Remus, arrived at the Palatine Hill, the two argued over where the exact position of the city should be. Romulus was set on building the city upon the Palatine, but Remus wanted to build the city on the strategic and easily fortified Aventine Hill. The two agreed to settle their argument by testing their abilities as augures and by the will of the gods. Each took a seat on the ground apart from one another, and, according to Plutarch, Remus saw six vultures, while Romulus saw twelve.

Augury (band)

Augury is a progressive death metal band from Montreal, Canada who released their debut album, Concealed in September 2004 on Galy Records, and a follow-up, Fragmentary Evidence, in July 2009 on Nuclear Blast Records.

The Collaborative International Dictionary

Augury

Augury \Au"gu*ry\, n.; pl. Auguries. [L. aucurium.]

  1. The art or practice of foretelling events by observing the actions of birds, etc.; divination.

  2. An omen; prediction; prognostication; indication of the future; presage.

    From their flight strange auguries she drew.
    --Drayton.

    He resigned himself . . . with a docility that gave little augury of his future greatness.
    --Prescott.

  3. A rite, ceremony, or observation of an augur.

Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English

augury

noun
EXAMPLES FROM CORPUS
▪ Both records were auguries of things to come.
▪ But suddenly the sheer numbers of people quietly bedding down in doorways strikes me as an augury of Labour defeat.
▪ It is an augury of the politics of fast change in the future.
▪ The auguries for such reforms are not good, and further urban unrest remains in prospect.
▪ They tasted delicious, a happy augury for future meals.
Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

augury

late 14c., "divination from the flight of birds," from Old French augure "divination, soothsaying, sorcery, enchantment," or directly from Latin augurium "divination, the observation and interpretation of omens" (see augur). Figurative sense of "omen, portent, indication" is from 1797 (also often in plural as auguries).

Wiktionary

augury

n. 1 A divination based on the appearance and behaviour of animals. 2 (context by extension English) An omen or prediction; a foreboding; a prophecy. 3 An event that is experienced as indicating important things to come.

WordNet

augury

n. an event that is experienced as indicating important things to come; "he hoped it was an augury"; "it was a sign from God" [syn: sign, foretoken, preindication]

Usage examples of "augury".

Gundrid, but Anomia had already convinced the old priest augury would settle important questions.

We have met, for instance, with several kinds of present-giving, with auguries for the New Year, with processions of carol-singers and well-wishers, with ceremonial feasting that anticipates the Christmas eating and drinking, and with various figures, saintly or monstrous, mimed or merely imagined, which we shall find reappearing at the greatest of winter festivals.

One is via a unique augury puzzle that Feverfew possesses, made for him by Grim Tuesday, like the worldlet itself.

This suggests the augury puzzle was created from the intestines of a Gore-Draken specifically for Feverfew, which could only have been done by a very superior Sorcerer or one of the Morrow Days.

When they were gone, I reflected over what had passed and thought this first scene of no bad augury.

As it was, she would have to cast an horary for him and trust that the auguries would be hopeful.

On the other side of the Witchfires, below the pass of the Leaning Man, the Ironmaster of Thyra cast his own auguries.

But then, one dawn, it seemed the auguries might be deceiving, for the British suddenly unmasked four of their newly made breaching batteries and the great guns crashed back on their trails and the intricate network of trenches and earthworks was shrouded by the giant gusts of smoke that were belched out with every thunderous recoil.

The species of the second kind are Horoscopy, Haruspicy, Augury, Observation of Omens, Cheiromancy and Spatulamancy.

The new cycle in her fortunes had certainly not commenced, but it was manifest, by many a sign, that the course of the old was concluding, and that the whole country felt the assuring auguries of undivulged renovation.

His conduct is a golden augury of the success of his future career--may the unextinguished Spirit of his illustrious friend animate the creations of his pencil, and plead against Oblivion for his name!

He raked his unshelved books into tipsy piles, grabbed bits of string and augury cards to use as stopgap markers, then gave up and left the last covers flopped open, stacked in alcoves and unswept corners.

As they approached the island an eagle sailed out from the rocky shore and hovered over the vessel, and the Duke of Athole pointed it out as a favourable augury to the prince.

The species of the second kind are Horoscopy, Haruspicy, Augury, Observation of Omens, Cheiromancy and Spatulamancy.

The cirrhus clouds of the afternoon before had been a true augury, and all night a gale had howled round the little tent.