Laches's friends, however, all regularly consult the
omens when they have any important enterprise on hand—a voyage, a large
business venture, a marriage treaty, etc. There are several ways, not
expensive; the interpreters are not priests, only low-born fellows as a
rule, whose fees are trifling. You can find out about the future by
casting meal upon the altar fire and noticing how it is burned, by
watching how chickens pick up consecrated grain,
by observing how the sacrificial smoke curls upward, etc. The best way,
however, is to examine the entrails of the victim after a sacrifice.
Here everything depends on the shape, size, etc., of the various organs,
especially of the liver, bladder, spleen, and lungs, and really expert
judgment by an experienced and high-priced seer is desirable. The man
who is assured by a reliable seer, "the livers are large and in fine
color," will go on his trading voyage with a confident heart.