Now—to mention those almost
entirely dependent on art—what nation or what
state disregards the prophecies of soothsayers, or
of interpreters of prodigies and lightnings, or of
augurs, or of astrologers, or of oracles, or—to mention
the two kinds which are classed as natural means of
divination—the forewarnings of dreams, or of frenzy?1
Of these methods of divining it behoves us, I think,
to examine the results rather than the causes. For
there is a certain natural power, which now, through
long-continued observation of signs and now, through
some divine excitement and inspiration, makes prophetic announcement of the future.
"Therefore let Carneades cease to press the
question, which Panaetius also used to urge, whether
Jove had ordered the crow to croak on the left
side and the raven on the right. Such signs as
these have been observed for an unlimited time,
and the results have been checked and recorded.
Moreover, there is nothing which length of time
cannot accomplish and attain when aided by
memory to receive and records to preserve.