4052. Consider for a moment the word, ‘Augury.’ Augury refers to the practice of predicting the future by interpreting the flight of birds. This function was so important in ancient times that a special priest was appointed to carry it out. Individuals or City States undertook no important acts, without the advice of the Augur.
4053. Certainly the activities of many species of plants and animals could have been used instead of the flight of the birds. The ancients might have consulted the crawling of worms or snakes instead. Perhaps they would have found the mooing of cows insightful; or the bleating of the sheep might have given them precious insights into the future.
4054. Upon reflection however, it becomes obvious why it was the birds whose actions were found to contained important information. The most important time for knowing the future in the past was the anxious minutes before the onset of a battle. Now, I ask you, would worms or snakes have any special insight into the outcome of a battle?