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(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…

Transvectio equitum

(365 words)

Author(s): Siebert, Anne Viola (Hannover)
[German version] Parade of the iuventus of Roman equites on 15 July. Its route led from the Temple of Mars to the Porta Capena, the Temple of Castor and Pollux, and up to the Temple of Iuppiter Optimus Maximus on the  Capitolium (sources: Liv. 9,46,15; Vir. ill. 32,2). There are mythical/cultic and constitutional versions of the origins of this institution, whose beginnings can be traced to the 4th cent. BC. The first is connected with the help given by the Dioscuri in the battle between the Romans and …


(188 words)

Author(s): Siebert, Anne Viola (Hannover)
[German version] (‘fortunate sacrifice’). From the Latin litare (based on Greek λιτή/ litḗ, ‘entreaty’) = ‘to sacrifice under favourable auspices’ (intransitive) in contrast to sacrificare (‘to sacrifice’). The distinction between the two verbs litare and sacrificare disappeared in the Augustan period, as they were used synonymously. Litatio was a technical term of Roman pontifical law (cf. Serv. Aen. 2,119) for the favourable course and completion of an act of sacrifice, by which the desired influence upon the deity ( pax deorum, ‘grace of the gods’) was ensured. The party…


(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…


(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…


(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…


(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…


(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


(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


(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…


(115 words)

Author(s): Siebert, Anne Viola (Hannover)
[English version] (“Opferkuchenformer”, Bäcker). Hilfspersonal der pontifices ( f. pontificum: CIL VI 1074; 10247) und Vestalinnen ( f. virginum Vestalium: CIL VI 786; 2134; Varro ling. 7,44, Cic. dom. 139), dessen Einrichtung von Ennius (ann. 115) auf Numa zurückgeführt wird. Die f. stellten das für das Opfer benötigte frische Gebäck ( liba) her - eine Aufgabe, die sie wohl von den Vestalinnen übernommen hatten - und waren z.T. bei den Opfern selbst anwesend. Vgl. strufertarii (Fest. 85 L.), die strues und fertum darbrachten. Siebert, Anne Viola (Hannover) Bibliography M. Ihm, s.v.…


(152 words)

Author(s): Siebert, Anne Viola (Hannover)
[English version] [1] Stab aus Holz oder Metall als Amtsinsignie Gekrümmter oder spiralförmig endender Stab aus Holz oder Metall, etr.-ital. Herkunft. Im polit. Sinne urspr. Amtsinsigne des Königs (Serv. Aen. 7,187), später Symbol imperatorischer Macht, Wahrzeichen des Princeps. Von größerer Bed. ist l. als Kultgerät und Insigne der Auguren ( augures ), die ihn zur Bezeichnung der Himmelsregionen bzw. des templum verwenden. Mythologisch ist l. mit der Gründung Roms verbunden, da Romulus bei der Stadtgründung mit diesem die einzelnen Regionen festlegt (Cic. d…


(249 words)

Author(s): Siebert, Anne Viola (Hannover)
[English version] ( October equus). An den Iden des Oktober wurde alljährlich auf dem Campus Martius in Rom ein Wagenrennen abgehalten (Fest. 190 L.; Plut. qu. R. 97) und das rechte Pferd des siegreichen Zweigespanns (vgl. aber [2]) getötet. Der Kopf des Pferdes wurde (zuvor?) mit Broten ( panibus) oder - folgt man der Konjektur von [5] - mit Tüchern ( pannibus) umwunden. Nach der Tötung des Tiers durch Speerwurf kämpften die Bewohner der röm. Stadtteile von Via Sacra und Subura um den Kopf, der anschließend entweder in die Regia (Via Sacra) gebracht oder an die turris Mamilia (Subura) gehä…


(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 …


(106 words)

Author(s): Siebert, Anne Viola (Hannover)
[English version] Lat. “Kissen” oder “Bett”. Auf dem p. wird bei der Gründung eines Heiligtums und später am Stiftungstag ( natalis templi ) das Götterbild gelagert; nach Serv. georg. 3,533 kann mit p. auch der Tempel selbst gemeint sein. Eine zentrale Rolle spielte das p. bei der Bewirtung der Götterbilder bzw. der Göttersymbole im röm. Kult, bei Bitt- und Dankfesten und dem lectisternium ( p. suscipere: Liv. 5,52,6; cenae ad pulvinaria: Plin. nat. 32,20). In profaner Bed. bezeichnet das p. die Kaiserloge im Circus (Suet. Aug. 45,1; Claud. 4,3; CIL VI 9822). Siebert, Anne Viola (Hanno…


(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


(103 words)

Author(s): Siebert, Anne Viola (Hannover)
[English version] (“kleines Heiligtum”). Diminutiv zu lat. sacrum. Hiervon zu unterscheiden ist das sacrarium, der Aufbewahrungsraum für den sakralen Hausrat ( sacra supellex), das nicht unbedingt konsekriert sein mußte ( consecratio ). S. kann öffentliche röm. Kultstätten, die aus einem offenen Altar mit einer Einfriedung bestanden (Trebatius bei Gell. 7,12,5; vgl. Fest. 422 L.), aber auch private Heiligtümer bezeichnen. Es hat die Form einer Kapelle, das Götterbild stand in einer Nische ( aedicula ), der Opfernde davor (vgl. Paul. Fest. 319 L.). …


(138 words)

Author(s): Siebert, Anne Viola (Hannover)
[English version] (“glückliches Opfern”). Von lat. litare (zu griech. λιτή, “die Bitte”) = “erfolgreich opfern” (ohne Objekt) im Gegensatz zu sacrificare (“opfern”); in augusteischer Zeit schwindet der Unterschied zw. den als Synonymen gebrauchten Verben litare und sacrificare. L. ist ein Fachbegriff des röm. Pontifikalrechts (vgl. Serv. Aen. 2,119) für den günstigen Verlauf und Abschluß einer Opferhandlung, durch welche die Wirkung auf die Gottheit ( pax deorum, “Zustimmung der Götter”) gesichert ist. Der verantwortliche Opfernde (Magistrat, Priester) muß si…
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