Vaticinatores

soothsayer-resized-600

Vaticinatores, qui se deo plenos adsimulant, idcirco civitate expelli placuit, ne humana credulitate publici mores ad spem alicuius rei corrumperentur, vel certe ex eo populares animi turbarentur. ideoque primum fustibus caesi civitate pelluntur; perseverantes autem in vincula publica coniciuntur aut in insulam deportantur vel certe relegantur. qui novas sectas vel ratione incognitas religiones inducunt, ex quibus animi hominum moveantur, honestiores deportantur, humiliores capite puniuntur. qui de salute principis vel summa rei publicae mathematicos, hariolos, haruspices, vaticinatores consulit, cum eo qui responderit capite punitur. non tantum divinatione quis, sed ipsa scientia eiusque libris melius fecerit abstinere. quod si servi de salute dominorum consuluerint, summo supplicio, id est cruce, adficiuntur; consulti autem si responsa dederint, aut in metallum damnantur aut in insulam relegantur.
(Paulus, Sent. 5.21.1-4)

It has been decided that soothsayers who assume the characteristics of divinity, shall be expelled from the city to prevent public morals from being corrupted through human credulity entertaining faith in anything of this kind, for there is no doubt that the popular mind is disturbed by these things. Therefore, such persons, after having been beaten with rods, are driven from the city; and if they continue to practise their arts, they are either publicly placed in chains, or deported to an island, or relegated. Those who introduce new religious doctrines which are unknown to use or reason, and by which the minds of men are influenced, if they are of higher rank, shall be deported, if of inferior station, they shall be punished with death. Those who consult astrologers, male or female soothsayers, or diviners, with reference to the life of the Emperor or the safety of the State, shall be punished with death, together with the party who answered their questions. Every one should abstain not only from divination but also from the books teaching that science. If slaves consult a soothsayer with reference to the life of their master, they shall be subjected to extreme punishment, that is to say, to crucifixion; and if those who are consulted give any answer, they shall either be sentenced to the mines, or deported to an island. (tr. Samuel Parsons Scott)

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