Portents and Prodigies - Research Article from Encyclopedia of Religion

This encyclopedia article consists of approximately 11 pages of information about Portents and Prodigies.
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Omens

The most universal portent is the word or phrase heard by chance. Although it is not intended for the listener, it is perceived to have some bearing on one's daily life. In antiquity, as today, people imagined that utterances spoken or heard fortuitously could foretell a dark future or a bright and happy one. The listener, of course, might fail to recognize the omen for what it was, and remain deaf to its warning.

The Roman had the right to accept a portent—an omen—by declaring it in a loud and clear voice. This was the meaning of the expression omen accipere ("to accept the omen"). But the Roman could just as easily strip the omen of its value and efficacy by declaring in a loud and clear voice that he or she refused to take it into account: omen exsecrari, abominari ("omen...

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This section contains 3,191 words
(approx. 11 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Portents and Prodigies Encyclopedia Article
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Encyclopedia of Religion
Portents and Prodigies from Encyclopedia of Religion. Copyright © 2001-2006 by Macmillan Reference USA, an imprint of the Gale Group. All rights reserved.
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