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Fordicidia

(304 words)

Author(s): Baudy, Gerhard (Constance)
[German version] Roman festival. On 15 April thirty pregnant cows ( fordae boves) were sacrificed in the  curiae (Varro, Ling. 6,15; Ov. Fast. 4,629ff.; cf. Paul Fest. 74 and 91 L. ─ in this case the dialect form Hordicidia ─ and also Varro, Rust. 2,5,6 ─ Hordicalia ─ and Lydus, Mens. 4,72 Φορδικάλια; Phordikália). According to Ovid's account, a parallel sacrifice took place on the Capitol led by the pontificespontifex ) (cf. Lydus ibid.). When the sacrificial servants had removed the unborn calf from the mother's body they offered up its entrails. Afterwards, the virgo maxima of the Ve…

Iasion

(483 words)

Author(s): Baudy, Gerhard (Constance)
[German version] (Ἰασίων; Iasíōn, also Ἰάσιος; Iásios and Ἴασος; Íasos). An adolescent hero from the realm of agricultural mysteries. According to a tradition from Crete, I. fathers  Plutus (personification of a wealth of grain) with  Demeter on a thrice ploughed fallow field; for this, Zeus kills him with lightning (Hom. Od. 5,125-128; Hes. Theog. 969-974; cf. schol. Theoc. 3,49-51d; Ov. Am. 3,10,25ff.). The myth explains the emergence of agriculture after the flood (schol. Hom. Od. 5,125). Older resear…

Agdistis

(338 words)

Author(s): Baudy, Gerhard (Constance)
[German version] (Ἄγδιστις; Ágdistis). Mythical hermaphrodite from the Phrygian Attis myth, named after the mountain rock Agdus at Pessinus (Timotheus at Arnob. 5,5-7; cf. Paus. 7,17,9-12). According to Paus. 1,4,5 the mountain itself was called A. and was the grave site of  Attis. According to the myth handed down from Timotheus (see above), the rock Agdus, fertilized by Zeus' seed, once gave birth to a being with male as well as female reproductive organs, a being so strong and fierce, that it re…

Lernaea

(707 words)

Author(s): Baudy, Gerhard (Constance)
[German version] (Λερναῖα; Lernaîa). A celebration of the mysteries of Demeter and Dionysus Bugenes in Argive Lerna, where both deities were honoured in a cult community (Paus. 2,36,7; 37,1), documented in literature and inscriptions [2. 290]. The mythical founder of the Lernaea was Philammon (Paus. 2,37,2). At the festival, an epiphany of tauromorphic Dionysus took place from the lake next to the sacred grove; it was triggered by trumpet signals and the drowning sacrifice of a lamb for the god…

Lupercalia

(574 words)

Author(s): Baudy, Gerhard (Constance)
[German version] A social ritual celebrated in Rome on 15 February (InscrIt 13,2, p. 409) ( Lustratio : Varro, Ling. 6,34; Ov. Fast. 2,31f.; Dion. Hal. Ant. Rom. 1,80,1). It began with the sacrifice of a goat at the foot of Mons Palatinus. In honour of the god Faunus (Ov. Fast. 2,267f.), the cult centre was called Lupercal (Varro, Ling. 5,85; Dion. Hal. Ant. Rom. 1,32,3-5). According to Plutarch (Romulus 21,6), two young men were touched on the forehead with the bloody slaughtering knife and the blood was wiped off them again with milk-soaked wool; then they had to laugh. The sacrifice supplie…

Adonis

(867 words)

Author(s): Baudy, Gerhard (Constance)
[German version] (Ἄδωνις; Ádōnis). Mythical shepherd youth, of Phoenician origin, who at the threshold to adulthood loses his life in a boar hunt. Despite his human genealogy he was worshipped in Greek private cultic veneration as a god. Attested for Greece from Sappho onwards (fr. 140; 168 Voigt), for Athens from the 5th cent. BC onwards. From Hellenistic times the cult became especially widespread in the eastern Mediterranean area. In the myth [1. 40 ff.] A. is the incestuously conceived son of a Phoenician King -- either Phoenix (Hes. fr. 139 MW), or Theias (A…

Abaris

(380 words)

Author(s): Baudy, Gerhard (Constance)
[German version] (Ἄβαρις). Mythical figure derived from the cult of Apollo, formed on the model of shamanistic miracle-working priests [1; 2; 3; 4]. Dated by Pindar in the time of Croesus (fr. 270 Maehler), also dated earlier by other authors [5. 16]. According to Hdt. 4,36 A., coming from the imaginary northern land of the  Hyperborei, carried the spear of  Apollo around Greece, without partaking of any food. He prophesied in a state of divine possession (Lycurg. fr. 86 = Orat. Att. p. 271 Baiter…

Malophoros

(168 words)

Author(s): Baudy, Gerhard (Constance)
[German version] (Μαλοφόρος; Malophóros). Doric ‘Apple bearer or ‘Sheep bearer, epithet for Demeter in Megara, where her temple lay in the port district (Paus. 1,44,3). In the Megarian colony of Selinus on Sicily, she had a sanctuary outside the city [1]. According to the foundation myth, Demeter received the name from the first sheep breeders of Megara (Paus. 1,44,3). Scholarship has applied the epithet M. either to sheep [2] or to the mysteries' symbol of the pomegranate [1]. However, the word is…

Kronos

(2,977 words)

Author(s): Baudy, Gerhard (Constance)
(Κρόνος; Krónos). [German version] A. Brief description In Greek theogonic myth, K. acts as leader of the Titans, the pre-Olympian generation of gods who were defeated and overthrown by Zeus and his siblings. He was worshipped only in periods of ritual licence. The reference myths of these carnivalesque festivals connected K.'s rule, on the one hand, with the notion of a pre-Olympian world characterized by patricide and infanticide, but on the other hand, with the idea of paradisical primeval times. …

Attis

(817 words)

Author(s): Baudy, Gerhard (Constance)
[German version] (Ἄττις; Áttis). A young shepherd of Phrygian myth who died through self-castration, worshipped in a cult shared with  Cybele (Magna Mater). From late Hellenism onwards, both cults also spread throughout Italy and various provinces of the Roman empire [1]. According to Phrygian tradition (Timotheus in Arnob. 5,5-7; cf. Paus. 7,17,9-12), the newborn A. was abandoned in the wilderness, nourished by the milk of a goat and then brought up by shepherds (A. as a shepherd: Schol. Nic. Alex. 8; Tert. Apol. 15,2; Hippol. ref. 5,…

Carnea, Carneus, Carnus

(1,177 words)

Author(s): Baudy, Gerhard (Constance)
[German version] (Κάρνεια, Κάρνειος, Κάρνος; Kárneia, Kárneios, Kárnos). The C. was a standard Dorian midsummer festival dedicated to Apollo Carneus (to the ‘ram’-Apollo, cf. Hsch. s.v. κάρνος ... πρόβατον) with musical agons (Hellanicus of Lesbos, FGrH 4 F 85). It was allegedly institutionalized in 676/3 BC (Sosibius, FGrH 595 F 3). Part of the festival was the sacrifice of a ram: in Theocritus (5,82f.) a shepherd raises a choice ram just for the C. The epithet Carneus did not belong solely to  Apollo…

Fornacalia

(224 words)

Author(s): Baudy, Gerhard (Constance)
[German version] The   feriae conceptivae held in February in the   curiae whose date was set by the Curio Maximus (Ov. Fast. 2,527f.). The roasting of religiously symbolic ‘primitive grain’   far (Paul. Fest. 73; 82 L.; Plin. HN 18,7f.) was celebrated. The ‘oven goddess’ (Ov. Fast. 6,313f.) Fornax (Ov. Fast. 2,525; Lact. Inst. 1,20,35) may be interpreted as a projection of the feast. Since the Vestals distributed   mola salsa on the  Lupercalia, for the preparation of which they needed roasted emmer, a date before 15 February may be assumed for the Fornacalia. Those who did not know to which cu…

Parilia

(648 words)

Author(s): Baudy, Gerhard (Constance)
[German version] A shepherds' festival dedicated to the goddess Pales (hence the alternative name Palilia: Varro, Ling. 6,15; Fest. 248 L.), celebrated on 21 April both in the countryside and in the city of Rome (InscrIt 13,2 p. 443-445; main source: Ov. Fast. 4,721-862). Ovid (Fast. 4,725ff.) describes some characteristic elements of the Parilia, closely connecting the urban and the rural ceremonial traditions: The Romans fetched incense ( suffimen) from the Vestals, specifically the ashes of calves burned at the Fordicidia, bean stalks and blood from the Equus…

Natalis templi

(165 words)

Author(s): Baudy, Gerhard (Constance)
[German version] Natalis templi was the day on which a newly erected or restored sanctuary was consecrated to ‘its deity and thereby dedicated to its purpose. A public sacrifice offered each year commemorated this dedicatio and consecratio . The popular ‘temple birthday (Serv. Aen. 8,60) was an official holiday only if it was celebrated on the festival day of the deity involved. Otherwise, it could add a social or political dimension to the traditional celebration days of the gods: craftsmen, for example, congregated at the Roman sanctuary of Minerva on the Aventine on its natalis templi

Floralia

(489 words)

Author(s): Baudy, Gerhard (Constance)
[German version] Celebrated in honour of ‘mother  Flora’, these were the   ludi (Cic. Verr. 2,5,36) which ran from the birth date of the temple on 28 April (Verrius Flaccus, Fasti Praenestini for this date; Ov. Fast. 4,947) to early May (Ov. Fast. 5,183ff.). F. are also attested to for Pisaurum (CIL XI 6357), Alba Fucens (CIL IX 3947) and Cirta (CIL VIII 6958) (see also the Agnone bronze [1]). The peasant calendars (  menologia ) and the Fasti Venusini record for 3 May a sacrifice to Flora that was meant to relate to the F. [2. 1974; 3]. According to myth, the Sabine Titus Tatius had alrea…

Matralia

(433 words)

Author(s): Baudy, Gerhard (Constance)
[German version] Roman festival of Mater Matuta celebrated on 11 June (Paul. Fest. 113,2 L.; InscrIt 13,2 p. 468ff.). The fact that the Fasti Antiates Maiores (InscrIt 13,2, p. 12) have the addition ‘of Mater Matuta and Fortuna ’ is evidently related to the jointly celebrated birthday ( Natalis Templi ) of the Roman double temple to the two goddesses in the Forum Boarium. The festival was widespread in Italy [2. 308]. The most detailed description is found in Ovid (Ov. Fast. 6,473-562) [1. 371-376]. Participants in the festival were exclusively married women. According to Tertul…

Parentalia

(505 words)

Author(s): Baudy, Gerhard (Constance)
[German version] The festive period of the Parentalia (Menologium Colotianum InscrIt 13,2 p. 287; Menologium Vallense InscrIt 13,2 p. 293, cf. p. 408f.), celebrated in February, gave all Romans the opportunity to come together to commemorate their deceased parents and relatives, as was done privately on the anniversary of their deaths (Verg. Aen. 5,46ff.; Ov. Fast. 2,533ff.). A sacrifice to the Vestalis maxima (Vestals) marked the official beginning of the period on the 13th of February (Philocalus, InscrIt 13,2 p. 241: Virgo Vesta(lis) parentat). It concluded with the public …

Lustratio

(581 words)

Author(s): Baudy, Gerhard (Constance)
[German version] A ritual model that comprised a circular procession with the animals to be sacrificed later (often suovetaurilia ) and possibly other cult objects ( piamina), which was used in many circumstances. We owe Cato (Agr. 141) the detailed ritual instructions. His definitive information is confirmed by other authors, for instance Non. 539,25f. or 408,29f. who equates lustrare with circumire or circumferre (‘go’/‘take round’) (cf. among others Varro, Ling. 6,22 re armilustrium). Depending on the occasion, the gods addressed (frequently Mars) and the indivi…

Nudipedalia

(160 words)

Author(s): Baudy, Gerhard (Constance)
[German version] A custom comparable, although not identical, to the aquaelicium , in which, during periods of extended drought, a procession of supplication was held to the Temple of Jupiter at the Capitol (Petron. 44; Tert. Apol. 40,14; Tert. De ieiunio 16,5). The name is derived from the bare feet of the married women ( matrona [1]) who were an essential part of this ritual. The women wore their hair loose, in contrast to their normal custom. The magistrates as well dispensed with their usual signs of status: they did not wear the toga praetexta ; their lictors kept the fasces lowered. Demo…

Tree cult

(395 words)

Author(s): Baudy, Gerhard (Constance)
[German version] In Greece and  Italy, a particular tree was often closely connected with a deity or a hero: examples are the oracular oak of Zeus at Dodona (Hom. Il. 16,233-235), and Athena's sacred olive tree on the Acropolis, on which the fate of the city was supposed to depend (Hdt. 8,55). Others are the monk's pepper tree of Hera on Samos (Paus. 7,4,4), the ficus Ruminalis, which stood on the Forum as a monument to the wolf that fostered Romulus and Remus (Plin. HN. 15,77), and Apollo's bay tree, which was supposed to have been the result of the metamorph…
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