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Funus imaginarium

(194 words)

Author(s): Kierdorf, Wilhelm (Cologne)
[German version] Funus imaginarium (FI) was the name given in Rome (ILS 7212 II 4-5, dated AD 136; SHA Pert. 15,1) to a special type of  burial: since the dead body was usually visible on the bier during the funeral procession, a replacement body made of  wax ( imago or effigies) was used when the body was not available, for instance in cases of death at sea or after cremation at war or in foreign countries. Tac. Ann. 3,5,2 correctly regards this custom as one of the ‘customs of old time’ ( veterum instituta; taken for granted already in the Lex XII tab. 10,5: [1. 80]).The FI received s…

Tabula pontificum

(239 words)

Author(s): Kierdorf, Wilhelm (Cologne)
[German version] From the 4th cent. BC at the latest (going back too far: Cic. De or. 2,52) to the period of P. Mucius [I 5] Scaevola (from 130 BC), the pontifex maximus published notes about current events - the type and length of which are contested - in front of the regia on a white-washed wooden plate ( album: Cic. De or. 2,52; tabula dealbata: Serv. Auct. Aen. 1,373): along with price increases (due to bad harvests) and solar or lunar eclipses (Cato Orig. fr. 77 P.; cf. Cic. Rep. 1,25) probably prodigies, vota, temple consecrations and other items of re…

Rogus

(215 words)

Author(s): Kierdorf, Wilhelm (Cologne)
[German version] (Latin rogus, also, esp. poetic, the Greek loan-word pyra, e.g. Verg. Aen. 6,215; Ov. Fast. 2,534). At Rome, term for the funeral pyre for the burning of corpses. It was made of pieces of wood and small items piled up at a specially determined site ( ustrina) close to the place of interment. In shape it resembled a square altar (Serv. Aen. 6,177; therefore poetically referred to as ara: Ov. Tr. 3,13,21 et passim). Originally unadorned (the Tabulae duodecim forbade smoothing the logs with an axe, Cic. Leg. 2,59), the rogus was later made more elaborate according to the …

Lucumo

(260 words)

Author(s): Kierdorf, Wilhelm (Cologne)
(Latinized form of the Etruscan lau χ ume and similar [1. 827]). [German version] A. Official title Lucumones were the kings (Serv. Aen. 2,278; 8,475) who, in archaic times, ruled over the twelve Etruscan populi and exercized the highest power as commanders, judges, and priests [4. 296-299]; one of them is said to have acted as chairman in the Etruscan league of towns. With the end of the kingship, the title probably designated the bearer of a high priestly office in the manner of the rex sacrorum [2. 64; 4. 297]; cf. [5. 145f.]. In Mantua, the heads of the twelve curiae are said to have been called L…

Praetor

(1,009 words)

Author(s): Kierdorf, Wilhelm (Cologne)
(older praitor, ILS 3141; the etymological explanation from qui praeiret exercitui 'he who walks before the army' in Varro, Ling. 5,87; cf. Cic. Leg. 3,8 is probably correct; Greek equivalent στρατηγός/ stratēgós). I. Rome [German version] A. Republican period At Rome, praetores were originally the eponymous senior officials (later consul : Liv. 3,55,12; Paul. Fest. s. v. praetoria porta, 249 L.). Contentions that there were already praetores in the monarchical period and that the supreme authority in the early Republic was triple (e.g. [2. 428]) have no secur…

Viatores

(280 words)

Author(s): Kierdorf, Wilhelm (Cologne)
[German version] in Rome served, primarily as assistants ( apparitores ), to all senatorial officials, the princeps and the holders of tribunicia potestas , but also to several collegia of viginti(sex)viri (ILS 1898; 1911; 1929) and many collegia of priests (ILS 1899; 1931; 4978; 4979; Collegium ). Their duties overlapped to some extent with those of the lictores, particularly for officials (e.g. tribunus [7] plebis ) with no assigned lictor . The viatores functioned as messengers, they called senators (Cic. Cato 56) and judges (Cic. Cluent. 74) to sessions, summone…

Ekphora

(199 words)

Author(s): Kierdorf, Wilhelm (Cologne)
[German version] (ἐκφορά; ekphorá) From Aeschylus (Sept. 1024; clearly terminologically in Thuc. 2,34,3), ekphora denotes the funeral procession which takes the body from the place where it was laid out to cremation or burial. Detailed descriptions can be found first in Hom. Il. 23,131-139. As indicated by representations on late geometrical funeral receptacles [1. fig. 53-55], the ekphora was performed by wealthy families in the older Athens with great splendour (deathbed on a wagon, cf. clay model of the hearse from Attica [3. fig. 22]) and a large …

Mos maiorum

(621 words)

Author(s): Kierdorf, Wilhelm (Cologne)
[German version] (‘Custom of the fathers’, sometimes also mos patrius: Cic. Rep. 5,1; Cic. Cato 37; vetus mos: Cic. Rep. 5,1; Tac. Ann. 14,42,2; mos antiquus: Varro Sat. Men. fr. 303; Tac. Dial. 28,2; interpretational paraphrase e.g. Liv. 27,11,10: mos traditus a patribus) is the core concept of Roman traditionalism. As little in Rome was regulated by positive law, in all areas of life people in many respects followed custom ( mos; sometimes connected with disciplina, e.g. Cic. Flacc. 15; with consuetudo, e.g. Gell. 15,11,2; with institutum, Cic. Mur. 1; Cic. Dom. 56) and traditi…

Consolatio as a literary genre

(1,022 words)

Author(s): Kierdorf, Wilhelm (Cologne)
[German version] A. General  Mourning and consolation are basic elements of the human condition. Should anyone encounter misfortune from the death of a friend or family member, banishment, loss of health, of property or of freedom, then friends and relations try to alleviate sorrow or improve morale by offering comfort and encouragement. Therefore, consolatory scenes and motives occur already in older Greek poetry (e.g. Hom. Il. 5,381─402; Archil. fr. 13 W.; Eur. Alc. 416─419). What is specifically meant by consolatio as a literary genre, though, are writings of a philosop…

Scriba

(604 words)

Author(s): Kierdorf, Wilhelm (Cologne)
In Rome, scribae (plural) were professional literates with higher qualifications; they were thus not simple copiers ( librarii) but secretaries and accountants, in the early period even authors (Fest. p. 446). Scribae worked in both private and public spheres. [German version] I. Scribae in private households Slaves who assisted their masters in writing tasks were generally called (servi) librarii (Plin. HN 7,91; ILS 7398; 7401) or amanuenses (Suet. Nero 44,1; ILS 7395). The expression s. librarius is only rarely attested (CIL VI 8881). Secretaries entrusted with more …

Pollinctor

(201 words)

Author(s): Kierdorf, Wilhelm (Cologne)
[German version] (originally also pollictor: Plaut. Poen. 63; Varro Sat. Men. 222,2) is what in the classical Roman period a slave (Dig. 14,3,5,8) or free employee of an undertaker ( L ibitinarii ) was called; he prepared corpses for the wake and burial (Non. 157,21: “pollinctores sunt qui mortuos curant”; similarly, but with erroneous etymology: Fulg. p. 112 Helm) by washing them (Serv. Aen. 9,485), embalming them with substances that prevented decay (esp. salt, cedar oil, myrrh: [1. 484, esp. note 7]), and…

Fenestella

(270 words)

Author(s): Kierdorf, Wilhelm (Cologne)
[German version] Roman historian of the early Imperial period. The exact dates of his life are uncertain: according to Jerome he died at the age of 70 in AD 19 (Chron. p. 172 Helm), according to Pliny only ‘late in the reign of Tiberius’ ( novissimo Tiberii Caesaris principatu; HN 33,146). F. wrote an annalistic history in more than 22 books (Fr. 21 Peter from book 22 [= HRR 2, 85f.] relates to 57 BC) that extended from the early Roman period to the late Republic and perhaps even included the Augustan period (Fr. 24 Peter [= HRR 2, 86]). The …

Prothesis

(231 words)

Author(s): Kierdorf, Wilhelm (Cologne)
[German version] (πρόθεσις/ próthesis, first [1. 22B], 6th century BC; first in literature Pl. Leg. 947b 3; 959e 5). Term for the laying out of a corpse, which was an indispensable part of every burial in Greece from the earliest times. The dead person was laid on a klínē , usually covered by a pall (φᾶρος/ phâros), and was lamented and mourned both by family members and unrelated mourners. Prothesis scenes are described in the Homeric epics (esp. Hom. Il. 18,352-355; 24,719-776). Ritual gestures of grief are often depicted, particularly on Attic pottery (cf. [6…

Conclamatio

(176 words)

Author(s): Kierdorf, Wilhelm (Cologne)
[German version] An old element in Roman mortuary customs: when the eyes of the deceased were closed the attending relatives repeatedly called his name (Serv. Aen. 6,218; Luc. 2,23; Sen. Dial. 9,11,7; with the same meaning Ov. Tr. 3,3,43 clamor supremus ; Ps.-Quint. Decl. mai. 8,10 conclamata suprema). Since this word also describes the ordinary death lament (e.g., Tac. Ann. 3,2,2; Oratio imperatoris Hadriani in CIL 14, 3579, 19; Sen. Ep. 52,13 and passim), a lot of evidence cannot be clearly attributed. This custom, which was obviously no longer understood in the hi…

Tanusius Geminus

(126 words)

Author(s): Kierdorf, Wilhelm (Cologne)
[German version] (the cognomen only in Suet. Iul. 9,2). Roman historian of the Late Republic of whose life nothing is known. It is also unclear whether his work, which (because of Plut. Caesar 22,3) was not finished until after 55 BC and contained accounts hostile to Caesar (especially fr. 1 P. = HRR 2, p. 50: on the 'conspiracy' of 66 BC), was an account of contemporary events only [1. 327] or whether it was organised as an annalistic comprehensive history (as in [2. 265]; annales in Sen. Ep. 93,11). According to Seneca, the work was voluminous and 'ponderous' ( ponderosi); he may have been…

Libitinarii

(196 words)

Author(s): Kierdorf, Wilhelm (Cologne)
[German version] was the name the Romans gave to undertakers because of their seat in the sacred grove of Libitina ( qui libitinam faciunt, ILS 6085,94). On behalf of the affected families (or the state: Sen. Dial. 9,11,10), they organized the burials and supplied the necessary implements as well as the personnel (partly slaves: Ulp. Dig. 14,3,5,8), e.g. pollinctores , bearers, musicians (cf. Petron. Sat. 78,6), specialists for burning the corpses ( ustores). The funeral practices in the Roman cities of Italy were apparently similarly organized (ILS 6726 attests a bu…

Volumnia

(194 words)

Author(s): Müller, Christian (Bochum) | Kierdorf, Wilhelm (Cologne)
[German version] [1] Wife of Marcius Coriolanus According to a much-related story about Marcius Coriolanus (in which V. plays only a subordinate role, however), when he and a Volsci army are outside Rome, the pleas of his wife V. and his mother Veturia cause him to refrain from attacking his home city (the story in e.g. Liv. 2,39,1-2,40,11; Dion. Hal. Ant. Rom. 8,40-54; Val. Max. 5,2,1; 5,4,1; Plut. Coriolanus 33,1-36,6, but there, it is not his wife but his mother who bears the name V.). Müller, Christian (Bochum) [German version] [2] Pantomime actress, 1st cent. BC Freedwoman (and lover:…

Senatus consultum

(910 words)

Author(s): Kierdorf, Wilhelm (Cologne) | Klose, Dietrich (Munich)
[German version] [1] A formal resolution of the Roman Senate (SC; sometimes senatus sententia: ILS 18; 35a; 8208; informally also senatus decretum, e.g. Cic. Mil. 87; Cic. Sest. 32, or in archaic form senati decretum: Sall. Cat. 30,3 and passim). The formal resolution by which the Roman Senate pronounced advice or instructions at the request ( consulere) of magistrates; while not binding legally, it was in practice: in the Imperial Period, to some extent it even acquired force of law (Gai. Inst. 1,4; Pompon. Dig. 1,2,12; cf. [3. 432]). An SC that was…

Burial

(2,525 words)

Author(s): Hauser, Stefan R. (Berlin) | Kierdorf, Wilhelm (Cologne)
[German version] A. General After a person's death the treatment and taking of his body to a particular place called grave ( Funerary architecture), mostly connected with death rituals. Burial customs varied depending on the society's religious concepts and particularly the concepts of  afterlife and the (social) status of the deceased or those organizing the burial. The main types of burial are inhumation or cremation (ash burial). There is also evidence of individual cases from the Neolithic Peri…

Vennonius

(183 words)

Author(s): Kierdorf, Wilhelm (Cologne) | Fündling, Jörg (Bonn)
[German version] [1] Roman historian, 2nd cent. BC Roman historian of the late 2nd cent. BC (in Cic. Leg. 1,6 ordered after C. Fannius [I 1]); nothing is known of him as a person. His presumably annalistic work (Annalists) began with stories of the founding of Rome and the period of the kings (Origo gentis Romanae 20,1; Dion. Hal. Ant. Rom. 4,15,1), but its scope and end point are unknown. Cicero felt the need of it in 46 BC in his literary work in Tusculum (Cic. Att. 12,3,1). Fr. in HRR I2 142 and [1]. Kierdorf, Wilhelm (Cologne) Bibliography 1 M. Chassignet (ed.), L'annalistique romain…
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