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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…

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 a…

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 fi…

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, Caeli…

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…

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…

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). …

Consecratio

(544 words)

Author(s): Frateantonio, Christa (Gießen)
[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 consecratio and   dedicatio is occasionally alleged for the Republican period (e.g. [1. 399]), but the two terms were used synonymously…

Bacchanal(ia)

(634 words)

Author(s): Frateantonio, Christa (Gießen)
[German version] In its oldest source, the   senatus consultum de Bacchanalibus from 186 BC, the Latin word bacchanal is used in the singular to designate a place of cult worship (Schuhmacher, Roman Inscription II 11). In the plural, it designates religious groups and cult rituals (Macrob. Sat. 1,18,1-5). The term bacchanal is based on a cult name of  Bacchus, the Greek Dionysus, or rather his offshoot Pacha, epithet of the Etruscan god Fufluns who was identified with Dionysus [1. 127] (detailed history of the term [6. 24f.]). It is controversial what type of cult place a bacchanal could have been (‘an initiation grotto’? a place for ‘mystery cults’?), because the existence of bacchanal in Rome and Italy is taken for granted in the senatus consultum and by Liv…

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 comi…

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) as well as on the Ides of September (Serv. Ecl. 8,82).…

Dedicatio

(171 words)

Author(s): Frateantonio, Christa (Gießen)
[German version] (from dedicare, ‘dedicate/consecrate’). In Latin texts (inscriptions and literature) the most frequent expression for the transfer of objects and property (plots of land, temples, altars, votive offerings) to a divinity. The term was used in connection with private as well as official  dedications (private i.a. Suet. Vit. 7,10,3 and Dig. 24,1,5,12; official i.a. Suet. Tib. 3,40,1 and Dig. 1,8,6,3). The distinction between private and official dedicatio resided in the fact that in the case of official dedication the object or item of property ac…

Miracles, Miracle-workers

(1,676 words)

Author(s): Frateantonio, Christa (Gießen) | Wyrwa, Dietmar
[German version] I. Greco-Roman Attempts were made to reconstruct the ancient type of the ‘holy man’ (ἱερὸς ἄνθρωπος/ hieròs ánthrōpos and θεῖος ἀνήρ/ theîos anḗr) or miracle-worker, primarily on the basis of satirical works by Lucianus of Samosata (especially in his ‘Alexander, ‘Peregrinus, and ‘Philopseudes), as well as Philostratus [5]'s vita of Apollonius [14] of Tyana (most recently [1]). The terms most often used by the aforementioned authors for designating miracle-workers and their deeds are forms derived from τέρας (téras; ‘omen, ‘freak, ‘monst…

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 delubrum refers to the sacred grove of Feronia. In the constitution of Urso from the 1st cent. BC ( magistri ad fana templa delubra [1. 415], l. 6f.) de…

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 rule…

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…

Ktistes

(318 words)

Author(s): Eder, Walter (Berlin) | Frateantonio, Christa (Gießen)
[German version] (κτίστης; ktístēs). Ktistes (from Greek κτίζειν/ ktízein, ‘to make habitable, to settle’ or ‘to found, set up’) is (next to archēgétēs and oikistḗs; Latin conditor) the term used in the Greek language area in pre-Christian times to describe founders of cities. In inscriptions from the Hellenistic period ktistes also often means founder of games or other public institutions (cf. e.g. CIG 2851). Christian authors use ktistes in the sense of Creator (God) (of the earth, flora, fauna etc.). Ktistes in the sense of city founder could be a god (particularly Apoll…

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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