The conception, it may be, is contrary to the usual course
of nature, but the parturition follows as a necessary
sequel of conception.
"It seems useless to say more about
soothsaying. However, let us examine its origin
and thus we shall very readily determine its value.
The tradition is that, once upon a time, in the district
of Tarquinii, while a field was being ploughed, the
ploughshare went deeper than usual and a certain
Tages suddenly sprang forth and spoke to the
ploughman. Now this Tages, according to the
Etruscan annals, is said to have had the appearance
of a boy, but the wisdom of a seer. Astounded and
much frightened at the sight, the rustic raised a
great cry; a crowd gathered and, indeed, in a short
time, the whole of Etruria assembled at the spot.
then spoke at length to his numerous hearers,
who received with eagerness all that he had to say,
and committed it to writing. His whole address
was devoted to an exposition of the science of soothsaying. Later, as new facts were learned and tested
by reference to the principles imparted by Tages,
they were added to the original fund of knowledge.
"This is the story as we get it from the Etruscans
themselves and as their records preserve it, and
this, in their own opinion, is the origin of their art.