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Fanum

(262 words)

Author(s): Siebert, Anne Viola (Hannover)
[German version] (Etymology: *dhh1s-no-; but Oscan-Umbrian fēsnā < stressed form *dheh1s- [1]). Generic expression for the holy place ( locus sacer, Liv. 10,37,15) consecrated to the deity by the pontifices (Varro, Ling. 6,54; Fest. 78 L.;   pontifex ). Initially designating the location without regard for the form and function of the cult site contained within the sacred precincts (e.g. grove, spring, cave, temple, altar etc.). Later, fanum really comes to mean only the ancient sanctuary as opposed to the temple ( aedis) as an architectural entity. Attempts to differentiate fanum fr…

Sacellum

(117 words)

Author(s): Siebert, Anne Viola (Hannover)
[German version] (“small sanctuary”). Diminutive form of the Latin sacrum. Distinct from it was the sacrarium, the storage room for the sacred gear ( sacra supellex), which did not necessarily have to be consecrated (Consecratio). Sacellum could describe public Roman cult sites consisting of an open altar with an enclosure (Trebatius in Gell. NA 7,12,5; cf. Fest. 422 L.), as well as private sanctuaries. It had the form of a chapel, with the divine image standing in a niche ( aedicula ) in front of which the offering was made (cf. Paul. Fest. 319 L.). In everyday speech, sacellum also referred…

Vitta

(118 words)

Author(s): Siebert, Anne Viola (Hannover)
[German version] Part of the diadem-like binding worn by Roman priests and priestesses, or part of cultic adornment. Vittae are the woollen bands hanging on both sides behind the ears or the tassel-shaped ends or fringes. Vitta is often used as a synonym for the whole woollen binding, the infula (especially in poetry), but the relationship and difference (see above) between infulae and vittae are unambiguously clear [1. 1-3; 2. 292]. Siebert, Anne Viola (Hannover) Bibliography 1 U. Staffhorst, P. Ovidius Naso, Epistulae ex Ponto III 1-3, 1965 2 F. Bömer, O. Ovidius Naso, Metamo…

Inauguratio

(234 words)

Author(s): Siebert, Anne Viola (Hannover)
[German version] In the actual sense ‘the beginning’, cf. also inaugurare: ‘employ auguries’, ‘question divinatory birds’; ‘consecrate’. In Roman religious law, inauguratio is the priestly inauguration into office that has been applied from historically tangible time only for the   flamines maiores ( Dialis: Gai. Inst. 1,130; 3,114; Liv. 27,8,4; 41,28,7; Martialis: Liv. 29,38,6; 45,15,10; Macrob. Sat. 3,13,11), the   rex sacrorum (Labeo at Gell. NA 15,27,1; Liv. 40,42,8) and the   augures (Liv. 27,36,5; 30,26,10; 33,44,3; Cic. Brut. 1; Suet. Calig…

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…

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…

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

Immolatio

(950 words)

Author(s): Siebert, Anne Viola (Hannover)
[German version] is the Latin term for the event of sacrifice, the sacrificial act, in contrast to the sacrificial offering (fruit, bread, wine) or the sacrificial animal ( hostia). Sacrifice was one of the simplest ways to express oneself towards a deity in the private and state cult of Rome. The Latin expression immolatio describes this act; original meaning: sprinkling the sacrificial animal with salted sacrificial spelt ( immolare = sprinkle with sacrificial meal, mola salsa; cf. Fest. 124 L.; Fest. 97 L. s.v. immolare; Serv. Aen. 10,541). Immolatio therefore denotes the act of…

Tubilustrium

(126 words)

Author(s): Siebert, Anne Viola (Hannover)
[German version] Roman civic festival of the 'cleaning of the trumpets' ( tubi or tubae), which was celebrated on 23 March and 23 May. The March date was considered as feriae (holiday) for Mars (InscrIt 13,2,104; 123), the May date as feriae for Volcanus (InscrIt 13,2, 57 and 187). The doubling of the tubilustrium in May is still unclear (but see [1. 219-221]). During these days, the trumpets were cleaned in the Atrium Sutorium and then used for cultic activities ( sacra: Varro, Ling. 6,14; cf. InscrIt 13,2, 123; Fest. 480 et passim) -- according to modern interpretation for summoning…

Suovetaurilia

(272 words)

Author(s): Siebert, Anne Viola (Hannover)
[German version] also Suovitaurilia. The combination, traditional in Roman religion, of three sacrificial animals - pig ( sus), sheep ( ovis) and bull ( taurus) - that were led, as part of ritual purification (Lustratio), round a place (e.g. a piece of land: Cato Agr. 141; [1. 103-125]) or group of people to be lustrated, and subsequently sacrificed. A distinction was made between suovetaurilia lactentia or minora (piglet, lamb and calf: Cato Agr. 141) and adult suovetaurilia maiora (e.g. boar, ram, bull: Varro Rust. 2,1,10; cf. Plin. HN 8,206). The suovetaurilia seem originally to …

Pulvinar

(127 words)

Author(s): Siebert, Anne Viola (Hannover)
[German version] Latin for 'cushion' or 'bed'. The cult image of a god was placed on a pulvinar during the foundation of a sanctuary and also later, on the anniversary of its foundation ( n atalis templi ); according to Serv. Georg. 3,533, the word pulvinar may also refer to the sanctuary itself. The pulvinar played a crucial role  in Roman cult in food offerings to statues or other symbols of the gods, festivals of praying and thanksgiving, and the lectisternium ( pulvinar suscipere: Liv. 5,52,6; cenae ad pulvinaria: Plin. HN 32,20). Pulvinar in a secular sense denotes the emperor's b…

Piaculum

(367 words)

Author(s): Siebert, Anne Viola (Hannover)
[German version] From Latin piare = pium reddere, 'cleanse', 'expiate' (Plaut. Men. 517; Varro, Ling. 6,30), later also 'reconcile' (Plaut. Asin. 506; Verg. Aen. 6,379). Piaculum denotes on the one hand the action leading to violation of the pax deorum and requiring expiation (Plaut. Truc. 223; Varro, Ling. 629) and on the other hand the ritual act of expiation for such an offence or the sacrificial animal used for this purpose (Cato Agr. 139). Since correct observation of instructions, acts and rules was an essential part of the exercise of Roman cults, there was a g…

Strena

(180 words)

Author(s): Siebert, Anne Viola (Hannover)
[German version] Verdant branch(es), dates and figs, which in Rome were given as benedictions at the beginning of the year or arranged in front of the door of the house. A continuation of the Roman custom is the placing or exchanging of spring branches in front of the official residences of the rex sacrorum and the flamines , in front of the Curia and the Temple of Vesta (Ov. Fast. 3,137-143; Macrob. Sat. 1,12,6). In the Republican period strena signifies an omen for the new year ( omen novi anni), in the Imperial period strena means the gifts that were exchanged to celebrate a new year …

Vitulatio

(112 words)

Author(s): Siebert, Anne Viola (Hannover)
[German version] The Vitulatio is described in the Roman calendar as the day of joy (Latin vitulari in ancient Roman poets means 'express joy') and bears a no longer clearly explicable relationship to a festival which had to do with military activities. It was celebrated on 6 July and not, as formerly assumed, on 8/9 July [1; 2. 572]. On that day there were celebrations in honour of the goddess Vitula (Macrob. Sat. 3,2,11-15), the personification of Joy and Victory (Personification), with sacrifices (to Jupiter?) and games. The Vitulatio is probably connected with the Poplifugia…

Lituus

(180 words)

Author(s): Siebert, Anne Viola (Hannover)
[German version] [1] Wooden or metal staff, symbol of office A wooden or metal staff ending in a crook or spiral, of Etruscan-Italic origin. Politically, it was originally a king's symbol of office (Serv. Aen. 7,187), later a symbol of imperial power and an emblem of the princeps. The lituus is more important as a cultic instrument and emblem of the augurs ( augures ), which they used for quartering the heavens, or templum, into regions. Mythologically, the lituus is connected with the founding of Rome because Romulus used it to determine the individual regions when found…

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…

Lectisternium

(460 words)

Author(s): Siebert, Anne Viola (Hannover)
[German version] (Etym.: Lat. lectum sternere, ‘to prepare a couch’). To serve the gods, food for the gods: a very old form of sacrifice in which a meal was laid out on a table for the god who was lying on a feasting couch in the temple (cf. Iovis epulum ). This practice was based on the idea that the gods received their share at every meal, suggesting their actual presence. The term lectisternium is only used in a sacred context. First and foremost, the lectisternium was a part of the Graecus ritus, thus a widely common form of sacrifice in Greek worship. In Rome, on the other hand, i…

Piaculum

(342 words)

Author(s): Siebert, Anne Viola (Hannover)
[English version] Von lat. piare = pium reddere, “reinigen”, “sühnen” (Plaut. Men. 517; Varro ling. 6,30), dann auch “versöhnen” (Plaut. Asin. 506; Verg. Aen. 6,379). P. bezeichnet zum einen die zur Verletzung der pax deorum führende, eine Sühnung erfordernde Handlung (Plaut. Truc. 223; Varro ling. 629), zum anderen den rituellen Akt der Sühnung eines solchen Verstoßes bzw. das zu diesem Zweck verwendete Opfertier (Cato agr. 139). Da die korrekte Einhaltung von Vorschriften, Handlungen und Regeln zum wesentlichen Bestandteil röm. Kultausübung gehörte, war die …

Fanum

(246 words)

Author(s): Siebert, Anne Viola (Hannover)
[English version] (Etym.: *dhh1s-no-; aber osk.-umbr. fēsnā < Vollstufe *dheh1s- [1]). Allg. Ausdruck für den hl., der Gottheit von den pontifices (Varro ling. 6,54; Fest. 78 L.) geweihten Ort ( locus sacer, Liv. 10,37,15). Zunächst Bezeichnung für die Örtlichkeit ohne Rücksicht auf die Form und Funktion der sich im hl. Bezirk befindlichen Kultstätte (z.B. Hain, Quelle, Höhle, Tempel, Altar o.ä.). Später bedeutet f. eigentlich nur noch das altertümliche Heiligtum im Gegensatz zum Tempel ( aedis) im architektonischen Sinne. Versuche einer Abgrenzung zu delubrum

Inauguratio

(228 words)

Author(s): Siebert, Anne Viola (Hannover)
[English version] Im eigentlichen Sinne “der Anfang”, vgl. auch inaugurare: “Augurien anstellen”, “Weissagevögel befragen”; “einweihen”. Im röm. Sakralrecht ist i. die priesterliche Amtseinführung, die seit histor. faßbarer Zeit nur bei den flamines maiores ( Dialis: Gai. inst. 1,130; 3,114; Liv. 27,8,4; 41,28,7; Martialis: Liv. 29,38,6; 45,15,10; Macr. Sat. 3,13,11), dem rex sacrorum (Labeo bei Gell. 15,27,1; Liv. 40,42,8) und den augures (Liv. 27,36,5; 30,26,10; 33,44,3; Cic. Brut. 1; Suet. Cal. 12,1), nicht aber bei den anderen Priesterschaften ( pontifices, Vestales) a…
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