augur, ŭris (earlier also auger, Prisc. p. 554 P.), comm. (cf. Prob. p. 1455 P., and Phoc. p. 1695 P.) [avis and Sanscr. gar, to call, to show, make known. Van.], an auqur, diviner, soothsayer; at Rome, a member of a particular college of priests, much reverenced in earlier ages, who made known the future by observing the lightning, the flight or notes of birds, the feeding of the sacred fowls, certain appearances of quadrupeds, and any unusual occurrences (v dirae).
- I. Lit.: Interpretes Jovis optumi maxumi, publici augures, Cic. Leg. 2, 8, 20; Fest. s. v. quinque, p. 26 Müll.; Serv. ad Verg. A. 3, 537; and others cited in Müll. Etrusk. 2, p. 116 sq., and Smith, Dict. Antiq. (diff. from auspex, orig. as a general idea from a particular one, since the auspex observed only the flight of birds; cf. Non. p. 429, 26. Yet as this latter kind of augury was the most common, the two words are frequently interchanged or employed in connection; cf. Enn. ap. Cic. Div 1, 48, 107: dant operam simul auspicio augurioque).
- II. Transf., any soothsayer, diviner, seer, in gen.: augur Apollo, as god of prophecy (v. Apollo), Hor. C. 1, 2, 32; so, augur Phoebus, id. C. S. 61: Argivus, i.e. Amphiaraus, id. C. 3, 16, 11; id. Ep. 1, 20, 9; Prop. 3, 14, 3: veri providus augur Thestorides, i. e. Calchas, Ov. M. 12, 18; 12, 307; 15, 596; 3, 349; 3, 512 al.: nocturnae imaginis augur, interpreter of night-visions, id. Am. 3, 5, 31: pessimus in dubiis augur timor, fear, the basest prophet, Stat. Th. 3, 6.
Fem.: aquae nisi fallit augur Annosa cornix, Hor. C. 3, 17, 12: simque augur cassa futuri! Stat. Th. 9, 629; Vulg. Deut. 18, 14; ib. Isa. 2, 6; ib. Jer. 27, 9: augures caeli, ib. Isa. 47, 13.