Johann Joachim Eschenburg.

Manual of classical literature : from the German of J.J. Eschenburg, with additions online

. (page 49 of 153)
Online LibraryJohann Joachim EschenburgManual of classical literature : from the German of J.J. Eschenburg, with additions → online text (page 49 of 153)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

as sepulchral erections, see Montfaucon, vol. v. and Suppl. vol. v.— Roman altars have repeat-
edly been found in England. Archceologia, as cited P. IV. $ 32. 5. vol. iii. p 119, 324



2. It was common also to adorn altars with filleis or ribins, and garlands of herbs and
flowers. Altars and temples atibrded a place of refuge among the Romans as well as
Greeks (cf. 'S 66), chiefly for slaves from the cruelty of masters, for insolvent debtors
and criminals, wliere it was impious to touch them, although contrivances might be
employed (as e. g. kindhng a fire around them) to force them away, or they might be
confined there until they perished.

§ 206. A great variety of instruments and vessels, vasa sacra, were employed
in the sacrifices offered to the gods.

1 w. The most important were the following : the ax (bipennis, securis, d, d), or
club [malleus, c), with which the victim was first struck; knives for stabbing (cultri,
e, e), and others, long, two-edged, for dividing the flesh and entrails isecespitcs) ; the
censer {thurihulum, 1), and the box containing the substance burnt for incense {acerra
or arcula thuraria, 5) ; a vessel used in dropping the wine upon the sacrifices (guttus) ;
a flat vessel in which the priests and others offering sacrifices tasted the wine {simpti-
lum, b) ; broad dishes or bowls {patercs, i, 2), for wine and the blood of the victims ;
an oblong vase with one or two handles {capedo, capeduncula, capis, o, o) ; vessels to
hold the entrails (oUcb extares) ; plates on which the entrails and flesh were brought to
the altar {lances, dixci, n) ; baskets, particularly to contain the fruit offered {canistra) ;
small tables with three legs (Iripodes) ; an instrument, having a tuft of hair, or the
hke, for sprinkhng the sacred water {aspergillum, f ) ; pans for the sacrificial fire {prcB-
fericula) ; metallic candlesticks {candelabra, h) to which the lamps were attached.

2. The numerals and letters included in the parentheses with the Latin terms in the above
specification, refer to the fijures thus marlted in our Plate XXVII. The figures marked by the
letters are drawn from Jilnntfaiicon, vol. ii. p. 150. Those marked by the numerals are from

Pompeii, p. 130, as cited P. IV. J 2-26. The Plate exhibits other articles of sacrificial apparatus ;

fig. g shows the sacred fillet (_vitta), which was sometimes hung from the neck ; fig. 4 is a ladle
{lio-ula); fig. 3, a pitcher (wrceit.?, cmZw/?ms) used for the libations; these figures are taken from
sculptured representations on an altar standing in the court of a temple found at Pompeii ; fig.
B e.Tliibits a scene from the same aliar ; a magistrate in his robe is offering sacrifice; he holds
in his hand a patera; the victim is led forward by the popa or ci</fraru/s, who is naked to his
waist with a wreath on his head ; beliind the magistrate is a boy holding a vase or pitcher, and
an older servant bearing a platter {discus)', by his side is a musician blowing the flute, followed
by lictors with their fasces; in the back ground appear the pillars of the temple decorated with
garlands. — Fi?. m also re[)resents a sacrifice ; given by Montfaucon from an ancient coin ; the
augur's wand (?j£mj/,s) is seen in the hand of the principal person. The group of articles in-
cluded in fig. D is drawn from Egyptian monuments, and may serve to illustrate also Hebrew
and likewise Greek and Roman sacred utensils. The observer will notice among them the sho-
vel, the fork of several tines, knives, a vessel like the modern teapot, a fire-pan, jars, bowls,
dishes, &c. cf. Exod. xxv. 29.— Fig. a, is the sacred trumpet (tuba) sounded at hecatombs and
other sacrifices. The straight trumpet was also used at sacrifices, as is seen in Plate XXIX, and
likewise the flute or clarionet, as is seen in Plate XXIX, and Plate XLV.— In Plate XLV. is seen,
hanging from the girdle of a priest (the one that holds the head of the victim) the case (vagina)
for the knives ; the same article is given in the Sup. Plate 31. fig. 18. In this Plate also are
various instruments of sacrifice ; 1, 2, the acerra and thurarium ; 3, enclabris ; 4, thiiribulum, as
given by Montfaucon, differing from the form given in Plate XXVII., fig. 1 ; 5, capis ; 6, 7, 10,
forms of the simpulum ; 8. patera or patella ; 9, the vessel given by Montfaucon as the prsferi-
culnm, which he describes not as a pan for holding the fire, but as a vessel for holding the wine
of the libation ; W , \1 , cnltri ; \%tuba; 13, malleus ; \i, Dolabra; 15, securis ; 16, neva, or seces-
pifa ; 19, discus, a broad shallow platter ; 20, oZZa; 21, lituus ; '22, candelabra ; 23, aspergillumj
aspersorium, or lustrica.

§ 207. The priests were very numerous, and vi'ere formed into certain com-
mon orders, or colleges. These were mostly established by the first kings;
Romulus established the Luperci, Curiones, Haruspices ; Numa, the jP/cmznes,
Veslales, Salii, Jugures, and Feciales. During the republic the Rex sacrorum
and the Epulones were introduced ; and under the emperors some others. — The
Roman priests may be ranged in two general classes ,• those common to all the
gods {omnium deorum sace.rdotes) ; and those appropriated to a particular deity
{uni numini addicti). Of the former were the Pontifices, Augures, Quindecem-
viri sacris faciundis, Haruspices, Fratres Arvales, Curiones, Epulones, Feciales,
Sodales Titienses, and Rex Sacrorum. Of the latter class were the Flamines,
Salii, Luperci, Potitii, Pinarii, Galli, and Vestales.

§ 208. The first rank was held by the Pontifices, instituted by Numa, origi-
nally only one, subsequently four, then eight, and finally more even to fifteen.
The chief of these was styled Pontifex Maximus, who held the highest priestly
office, dignity, and power. He was appointed at first by the kings, subse-
quently by the college {Collegium) or whole body of Pontifices, but after 104
B. C. by the people. Sylla restored the right to the college, but it was again
taken from them. All the other priests and the vestals were subject to the
Pontifex Maximus.

1 u. He had the oversight of all religious affairs, the regulation of the festivals and


the solemnities connected therewith, and the keeping of the records of public transac-
tions (aniiales). He was also judge in many questions of right. — His dress was a
toga prcBtexta, and his head-ornament a sort of cap made of the skin of a victim and

called galerus. Augustus assumed this office himself as emperor, which was done

likewise by his successors down to Gratian, who abohshed it.

2. Thoi-e who held the olfice of Fontifex Maximus, are said to have resided in 3
pubhc house called Regia (cf. § 213). — The hierarchy of the church of Rome is thought
to have been established on the model of the Pontifex Maximus and the college of

L. Bimard, Le Fontificat des Empr. Remains, in the Mem. Acad. huar. xii. 355; xv. 38. Cf. ii. 115. Ou the Roman pon-
tiffs, &c cf. Moyh'i Works, vol. i.—Seaufort, Republique Romaine.

§ 209. The Augurs, in ancient times called auspices, derived their name from
consulting the flight of birds, augurtum, avigerium. They were introduced
from Etruria by Romulus, and established as a regular order by Numa. Their
number was originally three, then four, afterwards nine, and finally increased
by Sylla to fifteen. At first they were taken only from the Patricians, but after
E. C. 300, in part from the Plebeians. Their chief was called Magisttr Culkgii,
and Augur Maximus. Their badges of office were a robe striped with purple
(trabea), a crooked staff (lifuus), and a conical cap (sometimes called apex).
Their principal business was to observe the flight and cry of birds (auspicium),
from which they predicted future events. They also explained other omens and
signs, derived from the weather, the lightning, and the observation of certain
animals, particularly of young fowls and the like.

1 u. In the camp auspices were taken ex acuminibvs, i. e. prognostics were drawn
from the ghttering of the points of the spears by night, or from the adhesion of the
lower points of the standard poles in the ground, where they were planted. The
places where auspices were to be taken or holy edifices were to be erected, were con-
secrated by the Augurs. The order of Augurs continued until the time of '^I heodo-
sius the Great. The public Augurs of the Roman people should be distinguished
from the private Augurs of the emperors.

2. The omens, signa, porteiita, prodigia, from which the Augurs conjectured or
pretended to foretell the future, have been classed in five divisions. (1) From
birds; chiefly the flight of some (alifes), such as eagles, vultures, and buzzards; but
also the chattering and singing of others (oscines), such as the owl (bubo), crow (corvus,
comix,) or cock (gall us). (2) From appearances in the heavens; as thunder, light-
ning, meteors, and the hke. — For taking omens of either of these two kinds the augur
stood on some elevated point {arx, templum), which was frequently called augural orium,
with his head covered with the loEna, a gown peculiar to the office; alter sacrificing
and offering prayer, he turned his face to the east, and divided the heavens in four
quarters (called templa) with his lituns, and waited for the omen. A single omen was
not considered significant ; it must be confirmed by another of the same sort. In
whatever position the augur stood, omens on the left were by the Romans reckoned
lucky, contrary to the notions of the Greeks (cf % 75); the explanation given of this
disagreement is, that both Greeks and Romans considered omens in the east as lucky ;
but The Greek augur faced tl>e north, and the lucky omens would be on his right,
while the Roman augtir usually faced the south, and therefore had the lucky oniens
on his left. It is certain, however, that omens on the left were sometimes called un-
lucky among the Romans, and the term sinister to signify unpropit ions, and
dexter to mean propitious. (3) From chickens (pulli) kept in a coop for the purpose,
by the puUarius. The omen was taken early in the morning from their actions when
the augur threw crumbs of corn before them ; if they turned away from it, or ate re-
luctantly, it was an unlucky omen ; if they devoured greedily, very lucky. Taking
this augury was caUed Tripudium, perhaps from the bounding of the corn when
thrown tu the fowls. (4) From quadrupeds, chiefly by observing whether they appear
ed in a strange place, or how they crossed the way, whether to the right or the left
and the like. (5) From various circumstances and events, which may be included
under the term accidents ; among these were sneezing, falling, hearing sounds, see
ing images, spilling salt upon the table, or wine upon one's clothes, and the like.
Omens of this class were usually unlucky, and were called DiroB.

KcnnM, as cited § 197. 2, ch. iv.— Cf. Morin, Leg Augurs; and Simon, Les Presages, in the Mem. de l\icad. del Ittscr. i. 54 ana
129.— Jfaj/o, Mythology, i. 253.

§ 210. The Haruspices wer€ the priests who inspected the entrails of animals
offered in sacrifices, in order to ascertain future occurrences; they were called
extispices. They appeared under Romulus and were established by him; it is
doubtful of what number their college consisted. For some time Etrurians only,
and not Romans, discharged the duties of the office. It was borrowed from the
30 u2


Etrurians directly, but seems to have been primarily of Asiatic origin; the dis-
covery of the art (Haruspicina) was ascribed by fable to Tages, a son of Jupi-
ter. The number of the Haruspices gradually was increased up even to sixty.
Their overseer was styled Magister Fublicus or Su/nmus Haruspex. From the
different modes and objects of their divination, they were divided into three
classes, exfispices, fulguratores, and prudigiatores. For, besides observing the
entrails of victims and the various circumstances of the sacrifice, as the flame,
smoke, &c., they also were consulted in relation to lightning and places or
buildings stricken by it, and they likewise explained prodigies and dreams.

1 u. In examining the entrails, they observed chiefly their color, their motion, and
the condition of the lieart, and when thev could determine nothing from the appear-
ances, they called them exta muta. On the otiier hand, the term L'dare was used to
signify an auspicious sacrifice.

2. The college of Haruspices had their particular registers and records, as also the other reli-
gious orders had; these seem to have been accounts of their observations, memorials of thun-
der and lightning, and ominous occurrences. Their art was at one time considered so impor-
tant that the senate decreed that a number of youth should be regularly instructed in it ; at a later
period it fell into disrepute ; the emperor Claudius attempted to revive it. Cf. Cicero, De Div.
i. 41, 43. ii. 24, 29, 35. Tacitus, Ann. xi. 15. — Most of the ominous circumstances connected with
sacrifices are alluded to by Firgil (Georg. iii. 486).

§211. The Epu!ones were priests, who attended on the feasts (epulac) of
the gods. There were three first appointed, B. C. 197; by Sylla the number
was increased to seven, called Septemviri Epuhmes, and by Csesar at last to ten.
They had the care of what were called the Lectistemia, when couches were
spread for the gods as if about to feast, and their images were taken down, and
placed on the couches around the altars or tables loaded with dishes; the most
important of these was the annual feast in honor of Jupiter in the Capitol. They
w^ere required to be present also at the sacred games to preserve good order.
Very young persons, even those under sixteen, were often taken for this office;
yet it was so respectable, that even Lentulus, Caesar, and Tiberius performed
its duties. Like the Pontifices, they wore a ioga prseiexta. The viri epulares
must not be confounded with the epulones; the former were not the priests, but
the guests at the repasts spoken of.

§ 212. The Feciaks were a class of priests or officers existing long before the
building of Rome, among the Rutulians and other Italian states. The order
was introduced at Rome by Numa. It continued to the beginning of the impe-
rial authority, and consisted of twenty, sometimes of fewer, members. They
may be considered as a body of priests, whose business chiefly related to treaties
and agreements pertaining to peace and war. The highest in rank was called
Faier patraiiis. It devolved upon him, or the Feciales under him, to give the
enemy the warning, which preceded a declaration of war, and to make the
declaration by uttering a solemn form {darigatio^, and hurling a spear (Jiasta
sariguinea), into the enemy's limits. These priests were also the customary
agents in effecting an armistice or cessation of hostilities. Their presence and
aid was still more indispensable in forniing treaties and at the sacrifices there-
with connected. They were charged also with the enforcing of treaties, and
the demanding of amends for their violation, and also with guarding the security
of foreign ambassadors at Rome.

§ 213. The Rex sacrorum, or Bex sacrificulus, held an office, which was insti-
tuted first after the expulsion of the kings, and probably derived its name from
the circumstance, that originally the public sacrifices were offered by the kings
t,hemselves or under their immediate oversight. Perhaps, as Livy suggests,
the office and name both arose from a desire that the royal dignity might not
be wholly forgotten. This priest had a high rank, and at sacrificial feasts oc-
cupied the first place, although the duties were not numerous, and consisted
chiefly in superintending the public and more important sacrifices. He was
also required at the beginning of every month to offer sacrifice jointly with the
Pontifex Maximus, to convoke the people (^populum calare), and make known
the distance of the Nones from the Calends of the month then commencing.
At the Cftmiiia he offered the great public sacrifice, after which, however, he
ruusi withdraw from the forum, and conceal himself. His wife was called Ec-


gina sacrorum ; she was also a priestess, and offered sacrifices to Juno. His
residence, freely granted to him, was also often termed JRegia. The office con-
tinued until the time of Theodosius the Great.

See Aml/rosch, Studien und Andeutungen, p. 41.— Cf. L. Schmitz, in Smith's Diet, of Antiq. p. 823,

§ 214. The name of Flamines was given in general to all such priests as
were devoted to the service of a particular deity. The most eminent of them
was the Flamen Dialis, or chief priest of Jupiter. At the first institution of the
order, there were but two besides this, viz.: the Flamen Martialis and the Fin-
men Quirinalis. Afterwards the number rose to fifteen and still higher. They
were divided into majores, who must be Patricians, and minores, who were
taken also from the Plebeians. Their dress was a long white robe with a purple
border (laena), and a cap of conical form {apex) adorned with a twig of olive.
The Flamen Dialis had a lictor, and also a sella curulis and the toga prastexia ,-
his wife was called Flaminica, and aided him in some parts of the worship on
the festivals of Jupiter. This priest likewise held a seat in the senate, and en-
joyed several other privileges, which were peculiar to the Flamines. Many
duties and services were required of the Flamines, especially of the Flamen
Dialis. They were distinguished by names derived from the god to whose ser-
vice they were devoted, as Flamen Nepiunalis, Floralis, Pomonalis ; so of those
belonging to a deified Ceesar, as F\^men Jugustalis, Flavialis, &c.

§ 215. The Salii were priests of Mars Gradivus, and according to the common
opinion had their name from dancing (salire), because on certain festival days
they passed about the city dancing, and singing songs in honor of Mars. They
were first instituted by Numa. The immediate occasion of their institution, ac-
cording to the tradition, was the famous shield, Ancile, said to have been sent
from heaven ; this shield, and the eleven others made exactly like it in order to
hinder its being stolen, which were all guarded by the Vestals, were carried
by the twelve ^alii Palatini, when they made their circuit around the city.

1 u. Their chief and leader in the procession was styled PrcBsul, whose leaping was
expressed by the verb amtruare, and the leaping of the others after him by redamtniare.
They had their appropriate residence {curia SuUorum) upon the Palatine Hill. Besides
the music which accompanied their dancing, they struck their shields together, and
in that way noted the measure of their songs, which celebrated the praises of the
god of war (cf. P. IV. § 114. 4.) and of Veturius Mamurius, the artist who made the
eleven shields.

2 u. The order was highly respected, and was rendered the more so by the acces-
sion of Scipio Africanus as a member, and some of the emperors, especially M. Au-
relius Antoninus. Their term of service was not for life, but only for a certain period.
— The Salii Collini or Quirinales were distinct from this body, and estabhshed by
TuUius Hostilius.

See Liv. i. 20.— Or. Fast. iii. 259. On the Salii, and other classes of priests, cf. GSttlivg, Geschichte der Rom. Staatsverfass.—

See also especially Harlung, Die Religion der Romer.— 7. Gutberlethi de Saliis Martis sacerdotibus apud Romanos liber singularis.
Franequerae, 1704. 8.— Cf. Seidtl, De Saltat. sacr. vet. Rom. Berl. 1S26.— .4. ^peVs Metrik, Th. 2. p. 647.

§ 216. The Liiperci, priests of Pan, were of Arcadian origin, and established
by Romulus. Their name was derived from that designation, which Pan re-
ceived from his guarding the flocks against the wolf, Lupercus {ah arcendo lupos).
His temple was from the same circumstance called I/upercaU and his most cele-
brated festival at Rome, Lupercalia. This festival began about the middle of
February, and was regarded as a season of expiation for the whole city. The
Luperci, on this occasion, ran up and down the streets, naked excepting a girdle
of goat's skin about the waist; they carried in their hands thongs of the same
material, with which they struck those whom they met; the word to express

tthe action was catnmidiare. A peculiar efficacy was ascribed to these blows,
particularly in rendering married women prolific.
\u. There were three distinct companies {sodalitates) of these priests ; the Fahiajii,
Quiniilia7ii, and Julii. I'he last were of later origin and took their name from Julius
Caesar ; the others were named after individuals, who had been their chief or head
2 u. The Potitii and Pinarii were not companies or sodalities of Luperci, but priests
of Hercules ; thev were not held in important estimation, ahhoueh their pretended


during his residence in Italy with Evander, instructed in the rites of his worship the
tribes or families bearing this name, which was afterwards retained by the priests.

§ 217. The Gain were priests of Cybele the great mother of the gods, so
called fronfi the river Gallus in Phrygia, whose water was regarded as possess-
ing singular virtues, rendering frantic those who drank it. The circumstance
of their being castrated is referred to the fable respecting Atys. At the festival
of their goddess, celebrated in March, and called Hiluria (cf. P. II. § 21), these
priests imitated the phrensy of Atys by strange gestures, violent motions, and
self-scourging and cutting. Their chief priest was termed Archigallus. The
order was not highly respected.

§ 218. The Vestals, Virgines Vesfaks, were an order of Priestesses, of very
early origin, devoted to the goddess Vesta. The constant preservation of the
holy fire and the guarding of the Palladium (P. II. § 43, § 67) were the princi-
pal duties of the Vestals. They were first instituted by Numa, four in number;
two were added by Tarquinius Priscus or Servius Tullius, and the number ever
after remained six. Their leader, the eldest, was called Vestalis or Virgo
Maxima. They were selected {capere) between the age of six and ten, particu-
lar regard being had to their descent and their bodily vigor and perfection.
They were obliged to continue in the office thirty years unmarried. The first
ten years were employed in learning the rites, the second ten in performing
them, and the rest in instructing others. Negligence in any of their duties was
severely punished. If any one violated her vow of chastity, she was buried
alive in a place called Campus sceleratus, near the Porta CoUina. Besides the
two principal duties of these priestesses, they were accustomed to offer certain
sacrifices, whose precise object is unknown. They also had the care of some
preparations and services connected with other sacrifices. They enjoyed great
respect, and many privileges; e. g. entire freedom from parental control; au-
thority to deliver froin punishment a criminal, who accidentally met them ; cer-
tain revenues of lands devoted to them ; the attendance of a lictor, whenever
they went out; a public maintenance, and release from the obligation to take
an oath. Their office was abolished under Theodosius, on account of its ex-

For representations of Vestals, see Plate XXVIII. and explanations given P. 11. § 67.— Cf. Nadal, Dupuy, &c. as there cited.

§ 219 a. A few words must be added respecting the other classes of priests
before named (cf. § 207). The Quindecemviri sacris faciundis had the care of the
Sibylline books (cf. § 226). The Fratres Arvales served especially at the festi-
val called Jimbarvalia (cf. P. II. § 63), when the fields were dedicated and
blessed, these priests passing over them in procession (cf. P. IV. § 114), with
a crowd of attendants. The Sodales Titii or Tatii had their name from the
Sabine king Titus Tatius : each tribe had seven of them. There were also
Sodales Augustales, or priests in honor of Augustus. The Curiones were thirty
priests, who performed the sacred rites common to the several Curia?.

1. Each of the CuricB had a president or priest called Curio ; these thirty priests
formed a college under a chief president termed Curio maximus. Cf. § 2d1 ; also
P. I. §61.

2 u. The priests of all the various classes had their assistants and servants (.mi?iistri).
Among these were the waiting boys and maids, cainilli and camiUce ; the assistants of

Online LibraryJohann Joachim EschenburgManual of classical literature : from the German of J.J. Eschenburg, with additions → online text (page 49 of 153)