The augur was a priest and official in the classical world, especially ancient Rome and Etruria. His main role was the practice of augury, interpreting the will of the gods by studying the flight of birds: whether they are flying in groups or alone, what noises they make as they fly, direction of flight and what kind of birds they are. This was known as "taking the auspices." The ceremony and function of the augur was central to any major undertaking in Roman society—public or private—including matters of war, commerce, and religion.
The Roman historian Livy stresses the importance of the augurs: "Who does not know that this city was founded only after taking the auspices, that everything in war and in peace, at home and abroad, was done only after taking the auspices?"〔Livy, VI.41: ''auspiciis hanc urbem conditam esse, auspiciis bello ac pace domi militiaeque omnia geri, quis est qui ignoret?''〕
==Etymology and derivatives==
The derivation of the word ''augur'' is uncertain; ancient authors believed that it contained the words ''avi'' and ''gero''—Latin for "directing the birds"—but historical-linguistic evidence points instead to the root ''aug-'', "to increase, to prosper."
The story is illustrative of the role of the augur: he does not predict ''what'' course of action should be taken, but through his augury he finds signs on whether or not a course ''already decided upon'' meets with divine sanction and should proceed.
抄文引用元・出典: フリー百科事典『 ウィキペディア（Wikipedia）』
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