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[84] When Marcus Crassus was embarking his army at Brundisium 1 a man who was selling Caunian figs at the [p. 467] harbour, repeatedly cried out,' Cauneas, Cauneas.'2 Let us say, if you will, that this was a warning to Crassus to bid him 'Beware of going,' and that if he had obeyed the omen he would not have perished. But if we are going to accept chance utterances of this kind as omens, we had better look out when we stumble, or break a shoe-string, or sneeze!

41. "Lots and the Chaldean astrologers remain to be discussed before we come to prophets and to dreams.

1 When he was starting on his fatal expedition against the Parthians.

2 i.e. “Caunian figs,” but might be heard as cave ne eas. This illustration of the identity of sound between cavneas, i.e. cave ne eas, and cauneas has been the subject of some interesting discussion in Latin phonetics. Cf. Moser, Div., ad loc.

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