Augurs

  • Ancient Rome
  • 1 min

By Crusader1307

Religion was a central part of life on Ancient Rome. No religious ceremonies would occur without the participation of a Class of Priests known as The Augurs. As far back as the end of Rome's Kingdom Period until the end of The Imperial Era, Augurs enjoyed a privileged position for close to 1,000 years.

 

Specially trained, Augurs used "Nature Signs" to interpret the "will of The Gods". From animals to astronomical movements, all manner of natural factors were "read" in elaborate ceremonies. The Augurs held their positions for life. Origibally, they only were selected from the wealthy Patrician Class of Roman Citizen (although later, certain Plebeians could be selected). Augurs lived and trained in central Temples. They were used for all Public and Private religious ceremonies. If used in Privaye, a Citizen had to pay for these services.

 

Numbers were originally lie, with only 3 Augurs. In time, their numbers would grow to almost 50. Noted for their White robes, Augurs also carried a Staff of Office, called a Lituus. This was a bronze, radically curved hand Staff, used in their ceremonies. No Augurs went out in Public without one. At one point, some Augurs fell under scrutiny. It became known that they could be bribed for "twisting" their "readings" in favor of a wealthy (and demanding Citizen). The Augurs eventually fell under control of a Priestly Judiciary Group called The Pontifices. This was seen as a type of "quality control" measure.

 

Despite scandal, Augurs were consulted for all things, including important Political decisions  (including War). Even The Emperor would consult The Augurs. Only Men could be Augurs. With the later ruse of Christianity as the dominate religion of Rome, Augurs ceased to be.