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This historic book may have numerous typos and missing text. Purchasers can download a free scanned copy of the original book (without typos) from the publisher. Not indexed. Not illustrated. 1844 Excerpt: ...and to the charms that were suggested to avert the evils which these prodigies were supposed to presage, no less than they did to the most serious affairs of the commonwealth. (They understood the dark languages uttered by these prodigies, and such importance did they attach to the equally dark methods employed to avert the threatened evils, that) " They frequently seemed to impute their distresses more to the neglect of superstitious rites, than to the misconduct of their oflicers, or to the superiority of their enemies." Fabius, to whose good conduct the republic was so much indebted, he mentions as having been remarkable for his careful observation of these preternatural phenomena; and "even Scipio," he adds, "is said to have been influenced by his dreams, and to have pretended to special revelations." This spirit, which seems to have so thoroughly pervaded the Roman character, is traceable to an early period of their history, and owed much of its strength as a national characteristic to the reign and to the religious institutions of N uma. The following account of him is worthy of transcription, with a view to illustrate our present subject. It is taken from Vertot: Révolutions de Rome, liv. i. " Il travailla pendant tout son règne, à la faveur d'une longue paix, à tourner les esprits du côté de la religion, et à inspirer aux Romains une grande crainte des dieux. Il bâtit de nouveaux temples, il institua des fêtes; et comme les reponses des oracles et les prédictions des augures et des aruspices faisoient toute la religion de ce peuple grossier,' il n'eut pas de peine à lui persuader que des divinités, qui prédisoient ce qui devoit arriver d...
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