An Augur. Roman official priesthood.

Augur, Roman, ancient, priest, priesthood,
A Roman Augur

An Augur.

Roman Auguries. They have existed since the foundation of Rome and exercise a practice derived from the Greeks and Etruscans, the Etruscans disciplina. According to tradition, the Etruscans received the art of divination from Tarchies, God of Wisdom, son of Tinia.

An augur was a Roman official who had to find out whether a venture planned by the state or by a pater familias (head of the family) was acceptable to the gods. He proclaimed the will of the gods which he read at the augurium from the flight and the cries of the birds and other animals (Auspicium, from Latin auspicium “bird show”). Titus Livy 1) reports that it was well known that in Rome no decision was made in war and peace without first consulting the Augur.

The Augur is in the Roman sense no priest (sacerdos), thus no official with the task to accomplish sacrificial ceremonies. However, the augurat could be taken over by priests in the sense of an office accumulation. The sign of the augurs was a crosier (lituus).

The Augur referred with the crook to a quadrangular area in nature, the so-called templum, which – sometimes oriented to the east – was used for observation. Here the Augur exercised the contemplatio, that is, he paid attention to the different signa (“signs”). Among the signa there were two main classes, the auguria impetrativa (“requested signs”) and the auguria oblativa (“unfavorable signs”). Furthermore, there were five different types of signs, one of which was ex quadripedibus (“from the quadrupeds”), indicating that the restriction to birds was a narrowing of later times.

Note:  Midē Wiwin or The "Grand Medicine Society" of the Ojibwa.

The augurs were organized in a priestly college that had allegedly been founded by Romulus or Numa Pompilius. Originally, the priesthood was there to request an increase in the harvest or an increase in the welfare of the state. Later the Etruscan haruspices, the liver interpreters, took over the function of the augurs.

1) Titus Livy (Latin Titus Livius; Patavium, today Padua, 59 B.C. – Patavium, 17 A.D.) was a Roman historian, author of the Ab Urbe condita, a story of Rome from the foundation to the death of Drusus, the stepson of Augustus, in 9 B.C.

Source: L’antique Rome, ou, Description historique et pittoresque de tout ce qui concerne le peuple romain, dans ses costumes civiles, militaires et religieux, dans ses moeurs publiques et privées depuis Romulus jusqu’à Augustule: ouvrage orné de cinquante tableaux by Jacques Grasset de Saint-Sauveur. Paris: Chez Deroy, libraire, rue du Cimetière-André, no. 15, près la rue Haute-feuille, et chez les principaux libraires de la République 1796.

Roman Clothing and Fashion by Alexandra Croom.

In this richly illustrated survey, Alexandra Croom describes the range and style of clothing worn throughout the Western Empire and shows how fashions changed between the first and the sixth centuries.


Leave a Reply

Auguste Racinet. The Costume History by Françoise Tétart-Vittu.

Racinet's Costume History is an invaluable reference for students, designers, artists, illustrators, and historians; and a rich source of inspiration for anyone with an interest in clothing and style. Originally published in France between 1876 and 1888, Auguste Racinet’s Le Costume historique was in its day the most wide-ranging and incisive study of clothing ever attempted.

Covering the world history of costume, dress, and style from antiquity through to the end of the 19th century, the six volume work remains completely unique in its scope and detail. “Some books just scream out to be bought; this is one of them.” ―

The Fabric of Civilization: How Textiles Made the World Paperback – December 7, 2021
by Virginia Postrel (Author)

From Neanderthal string to 3D knitting, an “expansive” global history that highlights “how textiles truly changed the world” (Wall Street Journal)

Fashionpedia - The Visual Dictionary Of Fashion Design

Fashionpedia - The Visual Dictionary Of Fashion Design

FASHIONPEDIA is a visual fashion dictionary covering all the technical terms from style to material to production with illustrations and infographics. It encompasses rich, extensive information and yet is easy to read. Whether you are an industry insider or a fashion connoisseur, FASHIONPEDIA is all you will ever need to navigate the fashion scene.

Textilepedia. The Complete Fabric Guide.

The Textile Manual is an encyclopaedia of textile information, from material to yarn, from fabric structure to the finishing process. Encompassing practical tips for a range of textiles and detailed visuals, this ultra-accessible manual is the perfect companion for fashion aficionados and aspiring fashion designers.

Church Vestments and Textiles by Margery Roberts

Sewing Church Linens by Elizabeth Morgan.

Vestments for All Seasons by Barbara Dee Baumgarten.