[German version] Verbal noun of
consecrare, ‘to dedicate, to declare as
sacrum’; a legal act by magistrates -- often together with
pontifices -- in which the consecrated object was withdrawn from worldly/human use. A specifically Roman procedure, since in Roman understanding temples, cult images, altars and cult instruments did not have an ‘autogenous’ sacred quality. A differentiation by content between
dedicatio is occasionally alleged for the Republican period (e.g. [1. 399]), but the two terms were used synonymously since the late Republic (Dig. 24,1,5,12; SHA Hadr. 13,7).
Consecratio is documented in various contexts: 1.
Consecratio of altars, temples, properties, cult images, money, etc. (cf. Festus p. 424) in connection with constituting or expanding public sanctuaries (
sacra publica; cf. Dig. 1,8,6,3; Gai. Inst. 2,2,4). Like numerous other religious institutions, the procedure of
consecratio is attributed by Roman annalists to King Numa (Liv. 1,21,1ff.), who created a (‘well-ordered’)
urbs divided into profane and sacred zones by
consecratio after Romulus had created the first preconditions for the organization of a political community by drawing the boundary of the
pomerium . In the Republican period, with the abolition of the monarchy, the competence of
consecratio was transferred to the highest Roman officials. It could also be transferred by a resolution or a
lex for specific objects to former officials (Cic. De domo 44-52). Up to the Principate the