Valerius Maximus, Memorable Doings and Sayings

LCL 492: 14-15

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Book I

as equal to the star of your father and grandfather,2 through whose peerless radiance much far-famed lustre has accrued to our ceremonies. For other gods we have received, the Caesars we have bestowed.3

And since I intend to begin with the worship of the gods, I shall summarily treat of its nature.

1. Of Religion1

Our ancestors decreed that fixed and customary ceremonies2 be managed through the science of Pontiffs, guidance for the good conduct of affairs through the observations of Augurs, Apollo’s prophecies through books of the seers,3 aversion of portents through Etruscan discipline.4 By ancient ordinance also rituals are performed: in commending, by prayer; in demanding, by vow;5 in discharging, by offer of thanks; in enquiring, whether by entrails or lots, by solicitation of response;6 in performing of customary rite, by sacrifice, wherewith also warnings of prodigies or lightnings are expiated.

DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.valerius_maximus-memorable_doings_sayings.2000