previous next


What truth there may be in these things I cannot say; they have at least been regarded and believed as true by mankind. Hence prophets received so much honour as to be thought worthy even of thrones, because they were supposed to communicate ordinances and precepts from the gods, both during their lifetime and after their death; as for example Teiresias,

“ to whom alone Proserpine gave wisdom and understanding after death: the others flit about as shadows.

Od. xix. 494.
Such were Amphiaraus, Trophonius, Orpheus, and Musæus: in former times there was Zamolxis, a Pythagorean, who was accounted a god among the Getæ; and in our time, Decæneus, the diviner of Byrebistas. Among the Bosporani, there was Achaicarus; among the Indians, were the Gymnosophists; among the Persians, the Magi and Necyomanteis,1 and besides these the Lecanomanteis2 and Hydromanteis;3 among the Assyrians, were the Chaldæans; and among the Romans, the Tyrrhenian diviners of dreams.4

Such was Moses and his successors; their beginning was good, but they degenerated.

1 Diviners by the dead.

2 Diviners by a dish into which water was poured and little waxen images made to float.

3 Diviners by water.

4 ὡροσκόποι is the reading of the text, which Groskurd supposes to be a corruption of the Latin word Haruspex. I adopt the reading οἰωνοσκόποι, approved by Kramer, although he has not introduced it into the text.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

load focus Greek (1877)
hide References (5 total)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: