Marcus Tullius Cicero - On De Divinatione
Type of Spiritual Experience
This is not a prophecy, it is an observation that shows that even the apparently most materialistic of Romans at one time practised prophecy and even wrote a book about it.
You can take the observation how you want, I could not find observations on how successful or unsuccessful he was.
A description of the experience
The Romans, notwithstanding their shrewdness in politics and wars, consulted no less than three distinct classes of priests for a prognostication before taking any political or military action of importance:
- the augures,
- the haruspices, and the
The latter kept and interpreted the sacred books of Sibylla of Cumae.
Marcus Tullius Cicero (106 - 43 B.C.), talented lawyer, professional politician, and one of the most gifted writers of classical antiquity, was himself also an augur. One of his works is entitled De Divinatione, "about divination".
The lituus, was the staff which the augur, the Roman oracle priest used to mark the templum, the sacred space for divination.
It was crowned with a spiral design like the one shown which is forged in bronze, dating from around 580 B.C. National Museum, Rome