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Sacellum

(117 words)

Author(s): Siebert, Anne Viola (Hannover)
[German version] (“small sanctuary”). Diminutive form of the Latin sacrum. Distinct from it was the sacrarium, the storage room for the sacred gear ( sacra supellex), which did not necessarily have to be consecrated (Consecratio). Sacellum could describe public Roman cult sites consisting of an open altar with an enclosure (Trebatius in Gell. NA 7,12,5; cf. Fest. 422 L.), as well as private sanctuaries. It had the form of a chapel, with the divine image standing in a niche ( aedicula

Vitta

(118 words)

Author(s): Siebert, Anne Viola (Hannover)
[German version] Part of the diadem-like binding worn by Roman priests and priestesses, or part of cultic adornment. Vittae are the woollen bands hanging on both sides behind the ears or the tassel-shaped ends or fringes. Vitta is often used as a synonym for the whole woollen binding, the infula (especially in poetry), but the relationship and difference (see above) between infulae and vittae are unambiguously clear [1. 1-3; 2. 292]. Siebert, Anne Viola (Hannover) Bibliography …

Tutulus

(129 words)

Author(s): Siebert, Anne Viola (Hannover)
[German version] (originally 'cap'). Roman head adornment in the form of a rounded cone ( meta). Tutulus was known as the hairstyle of the mater familias and the flaminica, and had, therefore, a function similar to the one of the galerus or the pileus

Stips

(131 words)

Author(s): Siebert, Anne Viola (Hannover)
[German version] Latin 'monetary contribution', 'donation', but also 'minted coin' (Fest. 379; 412). In the cult of the Latin West, a stips is a monetary offering for a deity that was - like food and drink sacrifices (Sacrifice) and offerings of votive gifts - either placed on an altar or thrown into a special 'offertory box' ( Thesaurus

Pulvinar

(127 words)

Author(s): Siebert, Anne Viola (Hannover)
[German version] Latin for 'cushion' or 'bed'. The cult image of a god was placed on a pulvinar during the foundation of a sanctuary and also later, on the anniversary of its foundation ( n atalis templi ); according to Serv. Georg. 3,533, the word pulvinar may also refer to the sanctuary itself. The pulvinar played a crucial role  in Roman cult in food offerings to statues or other symbols of the gods, festivals of praying and thanksgiving, and the

Hasta

(1,030 words)

Author(s): Campbell, J. Brian (Belfast) | Paulus, Christoph Georg (Berlin) | Siebert, Anne Viola (Hannover) | Salomone Gaggero, Eleonora (Genoa) | Barceló, Pedro (Potsdam) | Et al.
[German version] [1] Hasta, hastati In the Roman army of the middle Republic, the hasta served primarily as a thrust lance for close combat although it could also be thrown; it had a wooden shaft and an iron point. The hasta was adapted to the fighting style of the  phalanx, but it remained in use when, in the 4th cent. BC, the Romans adopted a more flexible set-up in maniples (  manipulus ). According to Livy (Liv. 8,8,5-13), whose account, however, is not without its problems, in 340 BC the Roman army consisted of three battle rows, the hastati, the principes and the triarii. The triarii were a…

Sistrum

(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…

Verbena

(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…

Fictores

(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

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

Strues

(121 words)

Infula

(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 fro…

Victimarius

(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. …

Vitulatio

(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 o…

Lituus

(180 words)

Author(s): Siebert, Anne Viola (Hannover)
[German version] [1] Wooden or metal staff, symbol of office A wooden or metal staff ending in a crook or spiral, of Etruscan-Italic origin. Politically, it was originally a king's symbol of office (Serv. Aen. 7,187), later a symbol of imperial power and an emblem of the princeps. The lituus is more important as a cultic instrument and emblem of the augurs ( augures ), which they used for quartering the heavens, or templum, into regions. Mythologically, the lituus is connected with the founding of Ro…

Immolatio

(950 words)

Author(s): Siebert, Anne Viola (Hannover)
[German version] is the Latin term for the event of sacrifice, the sacrificial act, in contrast to the sacrificial offering (fruit, bread, wine) or the sacrificial animal ( hostia). Sacrifice was one of the simplest ways to express oneself towards a deity in the private and state cult of Rome. The Latin expression immolatio describes this act; original meaning: sprinkling the sacrificial animal with salted sacrificial spelt ( immolare = sprinkle with sacrificial meal, mola salsa; cf. Fest. 124 L.; Fest. 97 L. s.v. immolare; Serv. Aen. 10,541). Immolatio therefore denotes the act of…

Piaculum

(367 words)

Author(s): Siebert, Anne Viola (Hannover)
[German version] From Latin piare =

Tensa

(116 words)

Strena

(180 words)

Author(s): Siebert, Anne Viola (Hannover)
[German version] Verdant branch(es), dates and figs, which in Rome were given as benedictions at the beginning of the year or arranged in front of the door of the house. A continuation of the Roman custom is the placing or exchanging of spring branches in front of the official residences of the
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