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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

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

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

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 rulers or members of their families. The formula, which was often inscribed on a statue depicting the person praying, was 'X has consecrated (this) to the deity Y', often with the additional words 'for his life (well-being)' [6. 60f., 71-73]; the construction of a temple or other cultic structure was usually marked with the wording 'has built his temple called ... (for the god Y)'. The construction of temples was the province of Ancient Oriental rulers. A Hittite text mentions the precious materials, gathered from all over the world, that were used in erecting a certain temple (Keilschrifttexte aus Boghazköy, vol. 4, no. 1 = ANET 356). In Egypt, temples were usually built on large tracts of land donated by the pharaoh [9. 237]. The offerings found in Mesopotamia are almost exclusively cultic objects, and were usually included in the year names of the rulers of the 3rd Dynasty of Ur and of those of the dynasties of the Ancient Babylonian era (cf. Chronography). VO are mentioned in Hittite texts as well [10]. In Egypt, VO included large numbers of figurines or statues of the gods; inscriptions, if present, bore the names of the respective god and the donor …

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 mythological motifs of the hunt [1; 2], as well as the grotto sanctuaries of the Minoan palace culture on Crete. Here especially the grotto of Psychro has become known because of the rich votive finds [3. 55f.; 4. 54ff.]. 2. Grotto cults in conjunction with the  Nymphs and the reception within Greece of the Arcadian god  Pan: characteristic of the cult sites is their position outside urban civilization that was partly consciously chosen because of the ‘wild’ and ‘anti-civilized’ character of the deities [5. 75ff.], unless these were older (spring) sanctuaries that were situated in the ‘wilderness’ anyway [6.509ff.]. Between the 5th and 3rd cents. BC there is evidence, starting from Athens, of a series of privately used grotto sanctuaries in Attica that were frequented exclusively by (free) women (cf. Men. Dys. 260ff.; 407-418) [5. 233ff.]. 3. Grotto as an ‘imaginary place’ in poetry and architecture: to this belongs, for example, the so-called Grotta di Tiberio near Terracina, an artificially laid out grotto that served as mythological scenery for banquets within the scope of villa architecture (a total of four marble groups, of which three depicted adventures of Odysseus) [7. 32f.] or the so-called Blue Grotto on Capr…

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…

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 …

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…

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…

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,…

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…

Calata comitia

(306 words)

Author(s): Frateantonio, Christa (Gießen)
[German version] Apart from the   comitia curiata the earliest form of the Roman people's Assembly convened by the   pontifices twice yearly [1. 215] (about 6th-4th cents. BC). The calata comitia (CC) take their name from the word calare (‘to call’; cf. Fest. p. 251 s.v. procalare) that was common in priestly language etc. in conjunction with the ‘proclamation’ of the dies fasti ( Calendar) [2. 312]. The sources have passed down to us the occasions for the convening of the CC -- the   inauguratio of the rex (later of the rex sacrorum) and the so-called ‘great Flamines’ of Rome (Gell. …

Mola salsa

(139 words)

Author(s): Frateantonio, Christa (Gießen)
[German version] A mixture of spelt groats and brine that was prepared by the Vestal Virgins (e.g. Varro in Non. 223) and used as a sacrificial offering in Roman cult; in the sacra publica , it was sprinkled on the sacrificial animal by the magistrate or priest as part of the immolatio (cf., for example, Cic. Div. 2,37, Serv. Aen. 2,133 and 4,57). The spelt ears from the new harvest were presented to the Vestal Virgins between the 7th and 14th of May, then dried, pounded and ground. The ground spelt was then made into mola salsa by adding the brine during the Lupercalia and Vestalia (Vesta…

Mountain sanctuaries

(357 words)

Author(s): Frateantonio, Christa (Gießen) | Kunz, Heike (Tübingen)
[German version] MS (= sanctuaries on rises or anticlines) were to be found in various ancient civilizations. Among the oldest monuments known to archeology are the so-called fire sanctuaries of Baal in the Near East [1]. It has been assumed that the numerous sanctuaries of the 2nd millennium on Crete were influenced by this tradition [2. 60f.]. More than 20 MS have been found there, identifiable by excavated clay figures and traces of altars. Another form of MS is represented by Greek cult sites of the Classical period (mainland, islands, Asia Minor) on heights outs…
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