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[12] But if there is no place for divination in things perceived by the senses, or in those included among the arts, or in those discussed by philosophers, or in those which have to do with government, I see absolutely no need for it anywhere. For either it ought to be of use in every case, or, at least, some department in which it may be employed should be found. But divination is not of use in every case, as my reasoning has shown; nor can any field or subject matter be found over which it may exercise control. 5. Therefore I am inclined to think that there is no such thing as divination. There is a much-quoted Greek verse to this effect:
The best diviner I maintain to be
The man who guesses or conjectures best.1
Now do you think that a prophet will 'conjecture' better whether a storm is at hand than a pilot? or that he will by 'conjecture' make a more accurate diagnosis than a physician, or conduct a war with more skill than a general?

[p. 385]

1 From Euripides and quoted in Plutarch, De orac. defect. 432 c μάντις δ᾽ ἄριστος ὅστις εἰκάζει καλῶς.

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load focus Introduction (William Armistead Falconer, 1923)
load focus Latin (William Armistead Falconer, 1923)
load focus Latin (C. F. W. Müller, 1915)
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