• According to Benveniste citation, auctor (which also gives us English "author") is derived from Latin augeó ("to augment"): The auctor is is qui auget, the one who augments the act or the juridical situation of another. (J.B. Greenough disputes this etymology of auctor but not the sense of foundation and augmentation in "Latin Etymologies", Harvard Studies in Classical Philology, Vol. 4, 1893.)
  • Auctor in the sense of "author", comes from auctor as founder or, one might say, "planter-cultivator". Similarly, auctoritas refers to rightful ownership, based on one's having "produced" the article of property in question, more in the sense of "sponsored" or "acquired" than "manufactured". This auctoritas would, for example, persist through an usucapion of ill-gotten property.


  • au·gur

1. one of a group of ancient Roman officials charged with observing and interpreting omens for guidance in public affairs. 2. soothsayer; prophet.

–verb (used with object)
3. to divine or predict, as from omens; prognosticate. 4. to serve as an omen or promise of; foreshadow; betoken: Mounting sales augur a profitable year.

–verb (used without object)
5. to conjecture from signs or omens; predict. 6. to be a sign; bode: The movement of troops augurs ill for the peace of the area.

Origin: 1540–50; < L augur (var. of auger) a diviner, soothsayer, deriv. of augére to augment with orig. implication of “prosper”; cf. august.

(Dictionary.com Unabridged (v 1.1), based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2006.)