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vātes (vātis , Cic. Div. 2, 5, 12 Christ.), is (
I.gen. plur. vatium, id. Leg. 2, 8, 20 al.), comm. perh. kindr. with Sanscr. vad, dicere, loqui; cf.: vas, vadis, and old Irish, fáith, a foreteller, seer, soothsayer, prophet.
II. Transf.
A. A poet; a poetess (the oldest name for a poet; but it fell into contempt, and was discarded for poëta, until restored to honor by Vergil; v. Munro ad Lucr. 1, 102; Müll. de re Metr. p. 65 sq.): versibu' quos olim Fauni vatesque canebant, Enn. ap. Cic. Brut. 19, 76 (Ann. v. 222 Vahl.); Verg. E. 7, 27; 9, 34; Hor. C. 1, 1, 35; 2, 20, 3; 4, 6, 44; 4, 9, 28; Tac. Or. 9; Quint. 10, 1, 48; 12, 10, 24; Plin. 14, 4, 6, § 56; cf. Varr. L. L. 7, § 36 Müll.—Fem.: “sola tuum vates Lesbia vincit opus,” i.e. Sappho, Ov. Tr. 3, 7, 20. —
B. An oracle, i. e. a teacher, master, authority in any art or profession (post-Aug. and rare): “Herophilus medicinae vates mirandā arte,Plin. 11, 37, 88, § 219: “Q. Scaevola legum clarissimus et certissimus vates,Val. Max. 8, 12, 1.
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