In this respect the haruspices ranked lower than the augurs, as is shown by the fact that they received a salary; the augurs were a more ancient and purely Roman institution, and were a most important element in the political organization of the city.
D'Arbois de Jubainville maintains that in Gaul the three classes of druids, vates and gutuatri, corresponded more or less to the pontifices, augurs and flamens of ancient Rome.
He instituted the flamens (sacred priests) of Jupiter, Mars and Quirinus; the virgins of Vesta, to keep the sacred fire burning on the hearth of the city; the Salii, to guard the shield that fell from heaven; the pontifices and augurs, to arrange the rites and interpret the will of the gods; he also divided the handicraftsmen into nine gilds.
AUGURS, in ancient Rome, members of a religious college whose duty it was to observe and interpret the signs (auspices) of approval or disapproval sent by the gods in reference to any proposed undertaking.
The latter, however, was the more difficult of interpretation, and upon it, therefore, mainly hinged the system of divination with which the augurs were occupied.