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Matthew Lowe
Matthew Lowe

Saturnalia Temple Ep Rar



For theonyms, or the names and epithets of gods, see List of Roman deities. For public religious holidays, see Roman festivals. For temples see the List of Ancient Roman temples. Individual landmarks of religious topography in ancient Rome are not included in this list; see Roman temple.




Saturnalia Temple Ep Rar



The aedes was the dwelling place of a god.[5] It was thus a structure that housed the deity's image, distinguished from the templum or sacred district.[6] Aedes is one of several Latin words that can be translated as "shrine" or "temple"; see also delubrum and fanum. For instance, the Temple of Vesta, as it is called in English, was in Latin an aedes.[7] See also the diminutive aedicula, a small shrine.


The word aedilis (aedile), a public official, is related by etymology; among the duties of the aediles was the overseeing of public works, including the building and maintenance of temples.[10] The temple (aedes) of Flora, for instance, was built in 241 BC by two aediles acting on Sibylline oracles. The plebeian aediles had their headquarters at the aedes of Ceres.[11]


Augurium (plural auguria) is an abstract noun that pertains to the augur. It seems to mean variously: the "sacral investiture" of the augur;[27] the ritual acts and actions of the augurs;[28] augural law (ius augurale);[29] and recorded signs whose meaning had already been established.[30] The word is rooted in the IE stem *aug-, "to increase," and possibly an archaic Latin neuter noun *augus, meaning "that which is full of mystic force." As the sign that manifests the divine will,[31] the augurium for a magistrate was valid for a year; a priest's, for his lifetime; for a temple, it was perpetual.[32]


Clavum figere ("to nail in, to fasten or fix the nail") was an expression that referred to the fixing or "sealing" of fate.[88] A nail was one of the attributes of the goddess Necessitas[89] and of the Etruscan goddess Athrpa (Greek Atropos). According to Livy, every year in the temple of Nortia, the Etruscan counterpart of Fortuna, a nail was driven in to mark the time. In Rome, the senior magistrate[90] on the Ides of September drove a nail called the clavus annalis ("year-nail")[91] into the wall of the Temple of Jupiter Optimus Maximus. The ceremony occurred on the dies natalis ("birthday" or anniversary of dedication) of the temple, when a banquet for Jupiter (Epulum Jovis) was also held. The nail-driving ceremony, however, took place in a templum devoted to Minerva, on the right side of the aedes of Jupiter, because the concept of "number" was invented by Minerva and the ritual predated the common use of written letters.[92]


The commentarii survive only through quotation or references in ancient authors.[119] These records are not readily distinguishable from the libri pontificales; some scholars maintain that the terms commentarii and libri for the pontifical writings are interchangeable. Those who make a distinction hold that the libri were the secret archive containing rules and precepts of the ius sacrum (holy law), texts of spoken formulae, and instructions on how to perform ritual acts, while the commentarii were the responsa (opinions and arguments) and decreta (binding explications of doctrine) that were available for consultation. Whether or not the terms can be used to distinguish two types of material, the priestly documents would have been divided into those reserved for internal use by the priests themselves, and those that served as reference works on matters external to the college.[120] Collectively, these titles would have comprised all matters of pontifical law, ritual, and cult maintenance, along with prayer formularies[121] and temple statutes.[122] See also libri pontificales and libri augurales.


The date when a temple was founded, or when it was rededicated after a major renovation or rebuilding, was also a dies natalis, and might be felt as the "birthday" of the deity it housed as well. The date of such ceremonies was therefore chosen by the pontiffs with regard to its position on the religious calendar. The "birthday" or foundation date of Rome was celebrated April 21, the day of the Parilia, an archaic pastoral festival.[161] As part of a flurry of religious reforms and restorations in the period from 38 BC to 17 AD, no fewer than fourteen temples had their dies natalis moved to another date, sometimes with the clear purpose of aligning them with new Imperial theology after the collapse of the Republic.[162]


The "calling forth" or "summoning away" of a deity was an evocatio, from evoco, evocare, "summon." The ritual was conducted in a military setting either as a threat during a siege or as a result of surrender, and aimed at diverting the favor of a tutelary deity from the opposing city to the Roman side, customarily with a promise of a better-endowed cult or a more lavish temple.[191] As a tactic of psychological warfare, evocatio undermined the enemy's sense of security by threatening the sanctity of its city walls (see pomerium) and other forms of divine protection. In practice, evocatio was a way to mitigate otherwise sacrilegious looting of religious images from shrines.[192]


Recorded examples of evocations include the transferral of Juno Regina ("Juno the Queen", originally Etruscan Uni) from Veii in 396 BC;[193] the ritual performed by Scipio Aemilianus in 146 BC at the defeat of Carthage, involving Tanit (Juno Caelestis);[194] and the dedication of a temple to an unnamed, gender-indeterminate deity at Isaura Vetus in Asia Minor in 75 BC.[195] Some scholars think that Vortumnus (Etruscan Voltumna) was brought by evocation to Rome in 264 BC as a result of M. Fulvius Flaccus's defeat of the Volsinii.[196] In Roman myth, a similar concept motivates the transferral of the Palladium from Troy to Rome, where it served as one of the pignora imperii, sacred tokens of Roman sovereignty.[197] Compare invocatio, the "calling on" of a deity.


A site that had been inaugurated (locus inauguratus), that is, marked out through augural procedure, could not have its purpose changed without a ceremony of reversal.[201] Removing a god from the premises required the correct ceremonial invocations.[202] When Tarquin rebuilt the temple district on the Capitoline, a number of deities were dislodged by exauguratio, though Terminus and Juventas "refused" and were incorporated into the new structure.[203] A distinction between the exauguratio of a deity and an evocatio can be unclear.[204] The procedure was in either case rare, and was required only when a deity had to yield place to another, or when the site was secularized. It was not required when a site was upgraded, for instance, if an open-air altar were to be replaced with a temple building to the same god.[205]


Fanaticus means "belonging to a fanum," a shrine or sacred precinct.[211] Fanatici as applied to people refers to temple attendants or devotees of a cult, usually one of the ecstatic or orgiastic religions such as that of Cybele (in reference to the Galli),[212] Bellona-Ma,[213] or perhaps Silvanus.[214] Inscriptions indicate that a person making a dedication might label himself fanaticus, in the neutral sense of "devotee".[215] Tacitus uses fanaticus to describe the troop of druids who attended on the Icenian queen Boudica.[216] The word was often used disparagingly by ancient Romans in contrasting these more emotive rites to the highly scripted procedures of public religion,[217] and later by early Christians to deprecate religions other than their own; hence the negative connotation of "fanatic" in English.


A fanum is a plot of consecrated ground, a sanctuary,[222] and from that a temple or shrine built there.[223] A fanum may be a traditional sacred space such as the grove (lucus) of Diana Nemorensis, or a sacred space or structure for non-Roman religions, such as an Iseum (temple of Isis) or Mithraeum. Cognates such as Oscan fíísnú,[224] Umbrian fesnaf-e,[225] and Paelignian fesn indicate that the concept is shared by Italic peoples.[226] The Greek temenos was the same concept. By the Augustan period, fanum, aedes, templum, and delubrum are scarcely distinguishable in usage,[227] but fanum was a more inclusive and general term.[228]


The fanum, Romano-Celtic temple, or ambulatory temple of Roman Gaul was often built over an originally Celtic religious site, and its plan was influenced by the ritual architecture of earlier Celtic sanctuaries. The masonry temple building of the Gallo-Roman period had a central space (cella) and a peripheral gallery structure, both square.[229] Romano-Celtic fana of this type are found also in Roman Britain.[230][better source needed]


Even though the word lex underwent the frequent semantic shift in Latin towards the legal area, its original meaning of set, formulaic words was preserved in some instances. Some cult formulae are leges: an augur's request for particular signs that would betoken divine approval in an augural rite (augurium), or in the inauguration of magistrates and some sacerdotes is named legum dictio.[292] The formula quaqua lege volet ("by whatever lex, i.e. wording he wishes") allowed a cult performer discretion in his choice of ritual words.[293] The leges templi regulated cult actions at various temples.[294][295]


The number of confirmed prodigies rose in troubled times. In 207 BC, during one of the worst crises of the Punic Wars, the senate dealt with an unprecedented number, the expiation of which would have involved "at least twenty days" of dedicated rites.[419] Major prodigies that year included the spontaneous combustion of weapons, the apparent shrinking of the sun's disc, two moons in a daylit sky, a cosmic battle between sun and moon, a rain of red-hot stones, a bloody sweat on statues, and blood in fountains and on ears of corn. These were expiated by the sacrifice of "greater victims". The minor prodigies were less warlike but equally unnatural; sheep became goats; a hen become a cock, and vice versa. The minor prodigies were duly expiated with "lesser victims". The discovery of a hermaphroditic four-year-old child was expiated by drowning[420] and a holy procession of 27 virgins to the temple of Juno Regina, singing a hymn to avert disaster; a lightning strike during the hymn rehearsals required further expiation.[421] Religious restitution was proved only by Rome's victory.[422]


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