Haruspices were priests who were active long ago. Originally, they appeared in the state of Mari (northern Mesopotamia) and the Hittites. Then the haruspices appeared in Etruria. Etruscans were taken over by the ancient Romans. Haruspices began to appear in Rome during the Punic Wars (mid-3rd century BCE). Haruspices gave advice to both the state and individuals.
The primary task of the haruspices was to interpret the will of the gods based on the shape of the livers of sacrificial animals. Most often, their services were used by chieftains who wanted to assess the favour of the gods for their combat activities. Emperor Claudius (known for his love of history and Etruscan times) established the first official haruspicy college, which consisted of sixty equites – headed by a certain haruspex maximus. It is said that the college operated until the 5th century CE. Later, Alexander Severus was to create the cathedral of haruspices.
The Haruspiks shaped their interpretations based on the prevailing principles and the canon of knowledge. among others 16 regions of the sky and 40 fields corresponding to the influence of the gods were distinguished. Based on the liver and this knowledge, they could judge the will of the gods. Their speciality was disciplina etrusca, which was considered especially sacred and venerable.