Volume 1: 1771 Edition of the Encyclopedia Britannica!
Augur, an officer among the Romans appointed to foretel future events, by
the chattering and feeding of birds. There was a college or community of
them, consisting originally of three members with respect to the Luceres,
Rhamnenses, and Tatienses: afterwards the number was increased to nine, four of
whom were patricians and five plebeians. They bore an augural staff or
wand, as the ensign of their authority; and their dignity was so much respected,
that they were never deposed, nor any substituted in their place, though they
should be convicted of the most enormous crimes. See Augury.