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Marcius

(5,160 words)

Author(s): Elvers, Karl-Ludwig (Bochum) | Bendlin, Andreas (Erfurt) | Frateantonio, Christa (Gießen) | Müller, Christian (Bochum) | Kierdorf, Wilhelm (Cologne) | Et al.
Old Roman nomen gentile, derived from the prename Marcus. Tradition knows of a patrician branch with the (mythical) king Ancus M. [I 3] and Cn. M. Coriolanus as its most important members. The younger members of the family (from the 3rd cent.) were plebeian without a link to the patrician Marcii being evident. Important families included the Rutili, later also the Censorini, Tremuli, Reges and Rallae. In the Late Republic the family claimed descent from the kings Ancus M. and Numa Pompilius (therefore the cognomen Rex, see M. [I 5]; RRC 346; 425; Suet. Iul. 6,1; [4. 154]) as wel…

Superstitio

(772 words)

Author(s): Frateantonio, Christa (Gießen)
[German version] A. Introduction The etymology of superstitio cannot be determined with any certainty (from superstes in the extended sense of the 'remains left' after a sacrifice, or from superstitiosus in the sense of 'telling fortunes or prophesying': Cic. Nat. D. 2,28,72). It is of no particular relevance for our understanding of the concept in different contexts [1. 387; 5. 633; 7. 101], as the discourse of ancient commentators is based on various concepts of superstitio. Outside the field of religion, into Late Antiquity (and beyond) superstitio and superstitiosus are used in…

Cave sanctuaries

(283 words)

Author(s): Frateantonio, Christa (Gießen)
[German version] Cave sanctuaries existed in antiquity in two contexts in particular: firstly as ‘sacred caves’ of the Bronze Age and Neolithic cultures, as well as of the Minoan palace period in Crete, and secondly as ‘initiation caves’ in the archaic period and classical Greek periods, later also in the Roman West. The caves of Minoan Crete in particular have been relatively well researched. Fifteen caves are definitely confirmed there (incl. the caves of Skotinó at Knossos, and the caves of Vernapheto and Kamares), whilst it is assumed that ad…

Delubrum

(275 words)

Author(s): Graf, Fritz (Columbus, OH) | Frateantonio, Christa (Gießen)
[German version] One of the Latin terms for sanctuary. Modern and to some extent ancient thinking has the term deriving from the Latin deluere (‘to wash off’, ‘to soak’) (Serv. Aen. 2,225, cf. ThLL, 471 s.v.); the connecting link is to be found in the watering-points at sanctuaries or temple sites where ritual washing took place before performing the sacrifice. The oldest epigraphical evidence is CIL I 1291 (3rd cent. BC ?) from Amiternum, where delubrum refers to the sacred grove of Feronia. In the constitution of Urso from the 1st cent. BC ( magistri ad fana templa delubra [1. 415], l. 6f.) de…

Miracles, Miracle-workers

(1,676 words)

Author(s): Frateantonio, Christa (Gießen) | Wyrwa, Dietmar
[German version] I. Greco-Roman Attempts were made to reconstruct the ancient type of the ‘holy man’ (ἱερὸς ἄνθρωπος/ hieròs ánthrōpos and θεῖος ἀνήρ/ theîos anḗr) or miracle-worker, primarily on the basis of satirical works by Lucianus of Samosata (especially in his ‘Alexander, ‘Peregrinus, and ‘Philopseudes), as well as Philostratus [5]'s vita of Apollonius [14] of Tyana (most recently [1]). The terms most often used by the aforementioned authors for designating miracle-workers and their deeds are forms derived from τέρας (téras; ‘omen, ‘freak, ‘monst…

Promanteia

(156 words)

Author(s): Frateantonio, Christa (Gießen)
[German version] (προμαντεία/ promanteía). Privilege, first awarded in recognition of special merits in the 5th cent. BC by Delphi to cities (Plut. Pericles 21,2), and from the early 4th cent. also to individuals (Syll.3 155; FdD 3,4,9), conveying precedence when questioning the oracle of Apollo (cf. Hdt. 1,54 on the - probably unhistorical - promanteía of Croesus). From the 4th cent. on, the promanteía was often awarded along with other political privileges, esp. the proxenía (inscriptions from the 5th to 1st cents. BC, e.g., in FdD 3,1-6). The promanteía of Delphi attests both to…

Votive offerings

(1,524 words)

Author(s): Renger, Johannes (Berlin) | Frateantonio, Christa (Gießen)
[German version] I. Ancient Near East and Egypt Votive offerings (VO) to a variety of deities played an important role in the religious practices of the Ancient Middle East and Egypt, as documented by inscriptions found on consecrated objects. In Mesopotamia, the oldest clearly identifiable VO date from the 24th cent. BC [14], and in Egypt from the prehistoric and Early Dynastic eras (end of the 4th/early 3rd millennia; e.g. the Narmer Palette). Most of the attested Mesopotamian offerings came from rule…

Grotto

(425 words)

Author(s): Frateantonio, Christa (Gießen)
[German version] The word grotto is borrowed from Greek kryptós (‘concealed, hidden’; Italian grotta, French grotte). Grotto is occasionally used as a synonym for cave but it mostly describes in particular caves with natural or artificially irrigation. In religious history grottos appear in the following contexts: 1. Grotto sanctuaries of the prehistoric period: here it is worth mentioning the cult sites of north-western European peoples that were situated in grottos and often painted with religious and mythol…

Feronia

(460 words)

Author(s): Frateantonio, Christa (Gießen)
[German version] Name of a goddess with several cult-places in central Italy, which were all located outside of municipal centres, as well as a sacred spring in Aquileia. The etymology of her name is as uncertain as the origins of the cult. In line with Varro, Ling. 5,74, modern scholars assume that F. was a Sabine deity. In contrast with earlier assumptions, Etruria is now generally rejected as the cult's place of origin [1. 309; 2. 407]. The archaeological findings in particular support the noti…

Septimontium

(293 words)

Author(s): Frateantonio, Christa (Gießen)
[German version] Roman festival on 'seven hills', celebrated on December 11 (= III ID. DEC.). Already in Antiquity, the S. was associated with the foundation of the city of Rome (Antistius Labeo in Fest. p. 474; Paul. Fest. p. 459 L.; Plut. Quaest. Rom. 69). The hills to which feriae ('holidays') applied (Palatinus, Velia, Fagutal, Cermalus, Caelius, Oppius, Cispius) [2. 203 f.] were not identical to the 'classical' seven hills of the city which subsequently became canonical. The idea of a proto-urban settlement of Rome on t…

Sanctuaries

(1,134 words)

Author(s): Frateantonio, Christa (Gießen) | Egelhaaf-Gaiser, Ulrike (Potsdam)
[German version] I. General The word 'sanctuary' is derived, like the French sanctuaire, Italian santuario, etc., from the Latin sanctus ('set off'). On the other hand, the German collective term for a wide variety of types of cult places, Heiligtum, traces back to the Germanic adjective * heila-, * heilu- ('whole', 'complete') [1. 78]. In 20th-cent. German-language scholarship of religion, the German term eventually came to be used synonymously with the above-mentioned terms derived from sanctus. This is connected with, among other things, the archaeological and lite…

Cult image

(3,473 words)

Author(s): Berlejung, Angelika (Heidelberg) | Niemeyer, Hans Georg (Hamburg) | Frateantonio, Christa (Gießen) | Neudecker, Richard (Rome) | Heimgartner, Martin (Halle)
I. Ancient Orient [German version] A. General comments In the Near East, idols which functioned as cult images (CI) could be found in central temples, peripheral sanctuaries, private houses, and sometimes on open-air sanctuaries and cult alcoves. Their material consistency, appearance, and size varied depending on their origin and the context of their use. Berlejung, Angelika (Heidelberg) [German version] B. Egypt CI of gods already existed in earliest times. They could be anthropomorphic (anthr.), theriomorphous, or of mixed shape, and were created as in…

Bacchanal(ia)

(634 words)

Author(s): Frateantonio, Christa (Gießen)
[German version] In its oldest source, the   senatus consultum de Bacchanalibus from 186 BC, the Latin word bacchanal is used in the singular to designate a place of cult worship (Schuhmacher, Roman Inscription II 11). In the plural, it designates religious groups and cult rituals (Macrob. Sat. 1,18,1-5). The term bacchanal is based on a cult name of  Bacchus, the Greek Dionysus, or rather his offshoot Pacha, epithet of the Etruscan god Fufluns who was identified with Dionysus [1. 127] (detailed history of the term [6. 24f.]). It is controversial what type of cult place a bacchanal could …

Ktistes

(318 words)

Author(s): Eder, Walter (Berlin) | Frateantonio, Christa (Gießen)
[German version] (κτίστης; ktístēs). Ktistes (from Greek κτίζειν/ ktízein, ‘to make habitable, to settle’ or ‘to found, set up’) is (next to archēgétēs and oikistḗs; Latin conditor) the term used in the Greek language area in pre-Christian times to describe founders of cities. In inscriptions from the Hellenistic period ktistes also often means founder of games or other public institutions (cf. e.g. CIG 2851). Christian authors use ktistes in the sense of Creator (God) (of the earth, flora, fauna etc.). Ktistes in the sense of city founder could be a god (particularly Apoll…

Nutrix

(171 words)

Author(s): Frateantonio, Christa (Gießen)
[German version] (plural Nutrices). Latin name of female deities who, as wetnurses, were nurturers and protectors of divine or human children. Three areas can be distinguished: (1) in myth, e.g. as a nurse of Jupiter (Amaltheia [1], Ov. Fast. 5,127), also metonymically as ‘nurturing mother earth’ (Hor. Carm. 1,22); (2) in the cult in and around Poetovio, where two shrines and numerous reliefs and inscriptions consecrated to the Nutrices Augustae were found [1]; the iconography shows seated female deities (individually or as a group) who are nursing children or to…

Cornelius

(14,783 words)

Author(s): Elvers, Karl-Ludwig (Bochum) | Eder, Walter (Berlin) | Frateantonio, Christa (Gießen) | Eck, Werner (Cologne) | Stroh, Wilfried (Munich) | Et al.
Name of one of the oldest and most celebrated Roman patrician families; during the Roman Republic the largest and most extensive gens, giving its name to the tribus Cornelia. Its patrician branches probably stem from the Maluginenses, frequently attested in the 5th cent. BC (C. [I 57-58]); the sequence was probably as follows: in the 5th cent. the Cossi [I 20-22]; in the 4th cent. the Scipiones [I 65-85], Rufini [I 62] and Lentuli [I 31-56]; from the 3rd cent. the Dolabellae [I 23-29], Sullae [I 87-90], Blasiones [I 8-10],…

Harioli

(186 words)

Author(s): Frateantonio, Christa (Gießen)
[German version] The etymology and meaning of the term harioli are not clear: harioli is either a diminutive formation of haruspexHaruspices ) or it is derived from Latin ara (‘altar’) [1. 886]. In ancient Rome, persons were referred to as harioli, who were knowledgeable in the various forms of  divination and who told fortunes for private persons. Since the term is always used in a derogatory sense (e.g. Cato Agr. 5,4; Catull. 90,2; in the comedy amongst others Plaut. Cist. 746; Plaut. Men. 76; Plaut. Mostell. 571 and 791; Plaut. …

Promantis

(136 words)

Author(s): Frateantonio, Christa (Gießen)
[German version] (πρόμαντις/ prómantis). Greek term for women or men who spoke oracles on behalf of gods. At Delphi (cf. Apollo), the word prómantis was often used as a synonym for the Pythia [1] (e.g. Hdt. 7,141; Paus. 3,4,3 ff.). In literary sources, the term is also used for prophetic figures of other oracles, e.g. in Patara/Lycia (Hdt. 1,182) and by Lake Copais/Thebes (Hdt. 8,135). No specific forms of divination can be associated with the term prómantis [1. 224 ff.]; however, on various occasions literary reports refer to trance-like states in which the prómantis utters the oracle,…

Granius

(730 words)

Author(s): Elvers, Karl-Ludwig (Bochum) | Frateantonio, Christa (Gießen) | Eck, Werner (Cologne) | Schmidt, Peter L. (Constance)
Name of a Latin family which belonged to the upper class in Puteoli (Schulze 480). I. Republican Period [German version] [I 1] Duumvir of Puteoli 78 BC As duumvir of Puteoli, he entered into a dispute with Cornelius [I 90]  Sulla in 78 BC, who was so upset that he died (Val.Max. 9,3,8; Plut. Sulla 37,3). Elvers, Karl-Ludwig (Bochum) [German version] [I 2] G., Q. Public crier and auctioneer Public crier and auctioneer ( praeco) in the late Republican period (Cicero claims to have known him, Brut. 172). Many anecdotes about his wit and repartee (Cic. De or. 2,244; 28…

Heiligtum

(994 words)

Author(s): Frateantonio, Christa (Gießen) | Egelhaaf-Gaiser, Ulrike (Potsdam)
[English version] I. Generelles Dt. Sammelbegriff für unterschiedlichste Arten von Kultstätten; nicht sprachverwandt mit den aus dem lat. sanctus (“eingehegt”) hergeleiteten mitteleurop. Begriffen sanctuaire, santuario und sanctuary: der dt. Begriff H. geht auf das german. Adj. * heila-, * heilu- (“heil”, “ganz”) zurück [1. 78]. In der dt.-sprachigen religionswiss. Forsch. des 20. Jh. wird H. mittlerweile synonym zu den o. gen. von sanctus abgeleiteten Termini gebraucht. Dies steht u.a. in Zusammenhang mit den arch. und lit. Belegen für die tatsächliche …
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