Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.


Augur (Lat. avis, a bird), in ancient Rome a functionary whose duty was to observe and interpret, according to certain rules, the auspices or alleged natural signs of the future - signs in the heavens, in the flight of birds, in the eagerness or disinclination to feed of fowls kept for the purpose of divination, and the like. The college or board of augurs at Rome traced its foundation to Numa, and was eventually increased to 16 by Julius Caesar. Many distinguished men, including Caesar himself and Mark Antony, were members of it. The augurs wore the sacerdotal toga, with a broad purple border, and carried a curved rod (lituus) which was made use of in their ritual. Their function at the assumption of office by the consuls and other magistrates has given rise to the term "inaugurate."