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Licium

(351 words)

Author(s): Siebert, Anne Viola (Hannover)
[German version] (literally ‘thread’, ‘string’, ‘ribbon’). In Roman cultic and magical use, the functions of the licium are twofold: it connects or binds, and it encircles or closes something or someone. In its connecting or binding function it is used primarily in love spells (cf. Verg. Ecl. 8,73ff.). The licium also serves to enclose the voting area at convocations of the people (Varro, Ling. 6,86-88, 93 and 95; Paul Fest. 100,11 L.). However, it is more common or more important in its encircling or closing function, in which it has an apotr…

Sellisternium

(137 words)

Author(s): Siebert, Anne Viola (Hannover)
[German version] Comparable with the Roman banquet of the gods called the lectisternium. According to ancient table manners (men reclined on beds, women sat), at the sellisternium statuettes of the goddesses were placed on sellae (chairs, stools) and a meal was offered to them. Sellisternia are particularly transmitted as a component of the ludi saeculares (CIL VI 32323; 32329). Likewise they could be performed after ominous portents. Coins struck under Titus and Domitian refer to a sellisternium linked to a lectisternium on the occasion of an epidemic, a fire in Rome, as w…

Supplicatio

(311 words)

Author(s): Siebert, Anne Viola (Hannover)
[German version] ('Ceremony of supplication'or 'propitiation' or 'thanksgiving'). In Roman religion, supplicatio denoted in the wider sense an offering of wine and incense ( ture ac vino supplicare), and in the narrower sense a ceremony of the commonwealth arranged by the authorities. Such supplicationes were recommended in emergencies by the quindecimviri sacris faciundis upon consulting the Sibyllini libri , and by the pontifices or the haruspices , and were approved by the Senate. There was a distinction between supplicationes of supplication and expiation on the one ha…

Tubilustrium

(126 words)

Author(s): Siebert, Anne Viola (Hannover)
[German version] Roman civic festival of the 'cleaning of the trumpets' ( tubi or tubae), which was celebrated on 23 March and 23 May. The March date was considered as feriae (holiday) for Mars (InscrIt 13,2,104; 123), the May date as feriae for Volcanus (InscrIt 13,2, 57 and 187). The doubling of the tubilustrium in May is still unclear (but see [1. 219-221]). During these days, the trumpets were cleaned in the Atrium Sutorium and then used for cultic activities ( sacra: Varro, Ling. 6,14; cf. InscrIt 13,2, 123; Fest. 480 et passim) -- according to modern interpretation for summoning…

Suovetaurilia

(272 words)

Author(s): Siebert, Anne Viola (Hannover)
[German version] also Suovitaurilia. The combination, traditional in Roman religion, of three sacrificial animals - pig ( sus), sheep ( ovis) and bull ( taurus) - that were led, as part of ritual purification (Lustratio), round a place (e.g. a piece of land: Cato Agr. 141; [1. 103-125]) or group of people to be lustrated, and subsequently sacrificed. A distinction was made between suovetaurilia lactentia or minora (piglet, lamb and calf: Cato Agr. 141) and adult suovetaurilia maiora (e.g. boar, ram, bull: Varro Rust. 2,1,10; cf. Plin. HN 8,206). The suovetaurilia seem originally to …

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 ) in front of which the offering was made (cf. Paul. Fest. 319 L.). In everyday speech, sacellum also referred…

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 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…

Strues

(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…

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 from the ends of which tassels ( vittae) hang down on both sides, sometimes of red and white threads, sometimes subdivided into individual segments ( astragalos

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. 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

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 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…

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…
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