Brill’s New Pauly

Get access

(739 words)

[German version]

In the context of Roman divination, the prodigium was the second important category of signs along with the auspicia ( augures ). (Natural) events perceived as extraordinary were considered to be prodigia (or also portenta, ostenta); they were unprovoked signs that were not linked with the actions of magistrates from the point of view of time. The prodigium could concern individuals but during the Republic it was mainly referred to the community through Senate recognition (prodigium publicum, 'state prodigium'). A prodigium had negative import - the word rare…

Cite this page
Distelrath, Götz (Constance), “Prodigium”, in: Brill’s New Pauly, Antiquity volumes edited by: Hubert Cancik and , Helmuth Schneider, English Edition by: Christine F. Salazar, Classical Tradition volumes edited by: Manfred Landfester, English Edition by: Francis G. Gentry. Consulted online on 01 June 2023 <>
First published online: 2006
First print edition: 9789004122598, 20110510

▲   Back to top   ▲