The augurs, the official Roman diviners, had a significant role in the public life of the Roman Republic. However, to recover the facts concerning their rites and doctrine is a difficult task because of the defectiveness and the fragmentary nature of our sources.
This book offers the first thorough examination of the ways in which the augural doctrine has been treated by the Greek historians who have written about Rome.
The main bulk of its material derives from four prominent writers of the Roman period: Dionysius of Halicarnassus, Plutarch, Appian and Cassius Dio. Analysing the Greek sources from the point of view of language, style, bilingualism, and cultural context, the author not only sheds light on disputed matters of augural doctrine and Roman constitution, but also offers a good deal of new material that in various ways clarifies the meeting of the two cultures.
"Vaahtera’s work is a very useful addition to the series of Historia Einzelschriften, providing many a sensitive reading of Greek historiographical texts which had not been investigated systematically for the light they can shed on Roman augural lore." Scholia