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Sistrum

(137 words)

Author(s): Siebert, Anne Viola (Hannover)
[German version] (Greek σίστρον/ sístron). Egyptian musical instrument, a bronze rattle, used particularly in the cult of Isis. Two forms are known: 1) stirrup s.: grip or handle with a U-shaped frame; between the arms three moving cross-pieces, on which in an earlier period metal rings were threaded. 2) naos s.: in the form of a temple gate, i.e. between rectangular and slightly trapezoidal. Statue representing Isis with a s. cf. [1. 128, cat. no. 51]. With the spread of the Isis cult in the Greek and Roman worlds the s. also spread, including as a votive gift in Greek sanctuaries [2]. Siebert…

Troiae lusus

(366 words)

Author(s): Siebert, Anne Viola (Hannover)
[German version] (the so-called 'Game of Troy'; also referred to as lusus puerorum equestris, Troicus lusus, Troiae decursio or simply Troia). An Ancient Italian battle game on horseback for boys and adolescents. Etymologically derived from Lat. amptruare or truare ('hopping while dancing', cf. [1] s. v. amtruo). The origin and development of the Troiae lusus (TL) is contested by scholars. The main source for the mythological origin is Verg. Aen. 5,548-603 in connection with the story of the founding of Rome, a version which is not tenable in view…

Verbena

(208 words)

Author(s): Siebert, Anne Viola (Hannover)
[German version] (usually pl. verbenae, original meaning 'sacred branch'). Latin collective term for all fresh branches and herbs used in the Roman religion during ritual practices, the main feature being their evil-resisting and purifying effect. There is no evidence to identify V. with a particular herb; the sources mention different herbs: rosemary (Serv. Aen. 12,120), myrtle (Serv. ibidem; Plin. HN 15,119), laurel (Serv. ibd.) or olive (Serv. Ecl. 8,65); probably, the verbenaca was often meant (both Latin terms cannot be clearly separated). V…

Fictores

(118 words)

Author(s): Siebert, Anne Viola (Hannover)
[German version] (‘moulders of sacrificial cakes’, bakers). They assisted the   pontifices ( fictores pontificum: CIL VI 1074; 10247) and the Vestals ( fictores virginum Vestalium: CIL VI 786; 2134; Varro, Ling. 7,44, Cic. Dom. 139), their office, according to Ennius (Ann. 115), dated back to Numa. The fictores baked the sacrificial cakes ( liba) ─ a task which they may have taken over from the Vestal virgins ─ and sometimes they were also present at the sacrifices themselves. Cf. strufertarii (Fest. 85 L.), who offered   strues and fertum. Siebert, Anne Viola (Hannover) Bibliography M. I…

Os resectum

(142 words)

Author(s): Siebert, Anne Viola (Hannover)
[German version] ('cut-off bone'). Object of a Roman ritual practised after the change from burial to cremation. According to the Roman ius pontificum, going back to Numa Pompilius, which in fact forbade cremation (Plut. Numa 22), a corpse was lawfully buried only when at least one complete body-part had been fully interred (Cic. Leg. 2,55; Varro Ling. 5,23; Paul. Fest. 135 L.). The idea behind this is that a burial is a return of the body to the earth. A finger would be separated from the body to be cremated, and in…

Strues

(121 words)

Author(s): Siebert, Anne Viola (Hannover)
[German version] Roman sacrificial cake (Fest. 408), always mentioned in conjunction with fertum; these two kinds of sacred pastries are not identical, but in their context are hard to distinguish. Only Cato (Agr. 134 and 141) differentiates: strues for Ianus, fertum for Iuppiter. The Flamen Dialis had to have boxes with these two cakes constantly hanging on the bedposts (Gell. NA 10,15,14). Strues were used in sacrifice to expiate lightning-struck trees by means of  so-called strufertarii (Paul. Fest. 75; 377); as a preliminary sacrifice at animal sacrifices; at a lustratio pagi bet…

Infula

(236 words)

Author(s): Siebert, Anne Viola (Hannover)
[German version] (Woollen) band with various uses. Together with garlands, the infulae are the most commonly used items of decoration in Roman worship: on sacrificial animals, sacred buildings, sometimes also altars (Fest. 100 L.). They are also used to decorate houses on the occasion of a wedding (Luc. 2,355; Plin. HN 29,30; Serv. Aen. 4,458). As a component of priestly vestments (head band [1]), the infula is a diadem-like band from the ends of which tassels ( vittae) hang down on both sides, sometimes of red and white threads, sometimes subdivided into individual segments ( astragalos

Victimarius

(270 words)

Author(s): Siebert, Anne Viola (Hannover)
[German version] (older victumarius). 'Sacrificial servant' in the Roman state cult, according to social class a slave or freedman (for the area of the city of Rome cf. CIL VI 2201; 9087; 9088; 33781), derived from Lat. victima, 'sacrificial animal' (CIL XII 533). There is a distinction to be made between the victimarii and the popae (who stunned the animals by striking them with a hammer). The cultrarius [1. 2483] (= 'cutler': CIL X1 3984; [2. Nr. 137; 3. 79]) is not a sacrificial servant; this term has been attested only once in literature in its use as 'sacrificial servant' with the culter
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