UN MOT DE VOUS (HARUSPICIA)
Un mot de vous, mon Prince, est comme une fleur de lis
Qui tendrement embaume ma solitude lettrée,
Un oiseau de neige qui vogue dans clarté
D’un temps indéfini, d’un cri des haruspices !
Athanase Vantchev de Thracy
Aruspice ou Haruspice (n.m.) : du latin haruspex, haruspicis, « devin qui prédisait l’avenir en examinant les entrailles des victimes. Les Romains prêtaient à cette pratique une origine étrusque comme à la majorité de leurs pratiques divinatoires. Les règles de cet art (haruspicia en latin) sont consignées dans un ouvrage connu sous le nom de Libri Tagetici dont l’auteur présumé est Tages lui-même, un jeune dieu de la mythologie étrusque.
ENGLISH (My translation) :
A word of you, my Prince, is as a flower of lily
Which tenderly embalms my well-read solitude,
A bird of snow which soars in the brightness
Of an indefinite time, of a sudden shout of sacred haruspices!
Haruspex : from Latin haruspex, haruspicis. A haruspex was a sort of augur in the Roman religion who practiced divination by inspecting the entrails of sacrificed animals, especially the livers of sacrificed sheep. The plural of haruspex is haruspices.
The practice of haruspicy, the name for this kind of divination, was said to have originated among the ancient Etruscans. A bronze sculpture of a liver, complete with the name of regions marked on it assigned to various gods, has been found at Piacenza (Italy), and has been connected to the practice of haruspicy.
The art of haruspicy was taught in the Libri Tagetici, a collection of texts attributed to Tages, a childlike being who figures in Etruscan mythology, and who was discovered in an open field by Tarchon. Haruspicy continued to be practiced throughout the history of the Roman Empire. The emperor Claudius was a student of Etruscan and opened a college to preserve and improve their art, which lasted until the reign of Theodosius I. In 408, the haruspices offered their services when the Goths under Alaric threatened Rome. Pope Innocent I reluctantly agreed to allow them to help so long as the rituals were kept secret.
Tages in Etruscian mythology was the god of wisdom. He appeared at ploughing-time and taught Etruscans divination. He is either the son or grandson of Jove, or he was born directly from a freshly plowed lot. He was depicted as having two snakes for legs, and some sources claim that he is a daemon.