E. Cobham Brewer 18101897. Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 1898.
Contemplate (3 syl.).
To inspect or watch the temple. The augur among the Romans, having taken his stand on the Capitoline Hill, marked out with his wand the space in the heavens he intended to consult. This space he called the templum. Having divided his templum into two parts from top to bottom, he watched to see what would occur; the watching of the templum was called contemplating.