Johann Joachim Eschenburg.

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

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the priests who offered sacrifices, fiaminii and jlamincB ; the keepers of the temples,
ceditui or ceditumni ; those who brought the victims to the altars and slew them, popcB,
vidimarii, cultrarii. The tihicines, tuhicines, fdici7ies, &c., who accompanied the
sacrificial rites with music, forined hkewise another fraternity,

3. The mijstagocri were those who initiated others into mysteries ; the name is also given to

those \yho showed to visiters the curiosities of the temples. By some late writers the priests

were divided into three classes} antistites, chief priests ; sacerdo^es, ordinary priests ; and mi-
nistri, meanest priests.

§ 219 b. Respecting the emoluments of the Roman priests httle is known. When
Romulus first divided the Roman territory, he set apart what was sufficient for the
performance of sacred rites, and for the support of temples. Numa is said to have
provided a fund for defraying the expenses of religion, and to have appointed a stipend
Istipendium) for the Vestals; the Augurs also and the Curiones are said to have re-
ceived an annual stipend ; but there is no evidence that the priests received any regu-
lar salary, except as it may seem probable from the instances specified. Yet there



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p. III. RELIGIOUS AFFAIRS. PRAYERS. SACRIFICES. 237

can be no doubt- that, in some way or other, sufficient provision was made for their
support. — Two priests, the Pontifex Maximus and the Flamen Diahs, were by virtue
of their office members of the senate. All the priests held their offices without respon-
sibihty to the civil magistrate ; and with few exceptions were allowed to hold other
offices both civil and military.

Cf. Ci'c De Leg. ii. 9.— Lib. xxxviii. 47 ; mix. -IS.—Dimyt. Hai. iv. 8.— Also, Liv. i. 20.— Dionyt. ii. 6, 7.—Tac. Ann. iv. 16
—See H. Bthdiuj, De Sacerdotiis Rom. in SaUaigrt, vol. m.—BuHsny, Les honneurs accordes aux pretres, *c in the Mtm. Acad.
Inscr. xxxi. 108.

Representations of priests, from ancient monuments, may be seen in Plates XIX., XX.,
XXVII., XXVIII., XXIX., XLV., XLVI. ; also in the Sup. Plates 28, 29, 32.— In Plate XXVIII.,
the two figures marked Priests are taken from a bas-relief found at Autun {.Aus-vstoduiium, cf.
P. I. J 17) ; they represent two Druidce, or priests of the religion of the ancient Gauls and Bri-
tons ; both have an)ple robes, and long beards; one, who is perhaps the .Arch-Druid, wears a
crown of oak leaves and holds a scepter, the other holds a crescent or half-moon.

Respecting the Druids, see Fotbrokt, Encyclop. of Aniiq. p. 768.— G. Biggins, The Celtic Druids. Lond. 1827. 4.— The work
entitled ^'Identity of the Rdigioni called Druidical and Hd/rew.^—Montfaucon, vol. ii. p. 4M.—Mayo, Mythology, vol. ii. p. 209.
—Edinb Encyclop.

§ 220. Of the vast multitude cf religious customs among the Romans, we
will notice first some of those pertaining to their prayers to the gods. They
prayed with the head covered or vailed (capitevelato). They bowed themselves
down to the ground, in this posture moved around completely from right to left,
placed their right hand on the mouth (adorafio), and directed their face towards
the east, where the altars and images of the gods were placed. In a higher
degree of devotion they cast themselves upon their knees, or prostrated the
whole body upon the ground. They were accustomed to lay hold of the altar
and to make offerings of meal and wine with their prayers. The prayer was
not always offered with an audible voice. Public prayers {precaiionts) were
made by a priest or a magistrate. The most solemn prayer of this kind was
that before the Comitia, by the Roman consul. Thanksgivings {suppUcationes)
were also public and general, for the purpose of entreating, appeasino-, and
praising the gods; in which view the people made a solemn procession to the
temples. Public occasions of this sort were called suppUcationes ad pulvinaria
deorum ,• these pulvinaria were a sort of couches or stools with cushions or
pillows (pulvini), on which were placed the statues of the gods. They were
also termed suppMcia, and were appointed in honor of particular deities, or of
all the gods united. The prayers offered on these occasions were called obse-
crationes, which term usually has reference to the averting of danger.

Burigny, Les prieres des Paiennes, in the Mem. Acad. Inscr. vol. xlii. p. 2'.—Morin, Baisemains, &c. {adcnraiio), in the same
Mem. vol. iii. p. 69.

There is no evidence that public religious instruction formed any part of the duty of priests, or was ever connected with public
worship, which consisted wholly in performing such rites as are above specified, and in offerings and sacrifices. Nothing like preach-
ing or sacred oratory was known.

§ 221. The sacrifices of the Romans (sacrificia) were very various. They
were offered either at stated times {stata, solennia), or on particular occasions
(ex aczidente nata). Animal sacrifices were termed hostise or victimae ,• the original
difference between these words, viz. that the former designated a sacrifice offered
on going out againsi a foe, and the latter a sacrifice on returning victorious, is as
little regarded by ihe writers, as another distinction, which makes the former
a smaller and the iattei a greater sacrifice.

1 u. The animals must be without blemish, and were therefore previously selected.
They were brought to the ahar, ornamented, like the person offering them, with gar-
'•ands of flowers; the horns of bullocks and rams were decked with gilt, and white
.dllets were hung over their necks. The wilHng approach of the victim was considered
is a favorable omen; reluctance and resistance on the other hand as unfavorable ; the
act of bringing the victim forward was called admovere. The priests then commanded
all the profane to depart, and another priest ordered silence (Unguis favete). Xhen
followed the prayer to the gods, and after it the offering of the victim. 'J'he knife and
the altar were consecrated for the purpose, by sprinkling them with a mixture of salt
and the meal of new barley or spelt roasted {mola salsa). The head of the victim was
sprinkled with the same, and this is what is properly expressed by the word immolare,
although it is often synonymous with mactare.

2 m. The cuZ<rariMs, whose business was to kill the victim, having asked, Agone?
and the consul, praetor or priest having answered, Hocase, then struck the animal in
the forehead with his ax or mallet ; another, next cut or stabbed him in the throat ;
and a third caught the blood in a sacrificial vase. The entrails were then examined
bv the haruspex, and if they were found favorable, were, after being cleansed, laid on



238 ROMAN ANTIQUITIES.

the altar and burned. Sometimes the whole animal was burned {holocaust urn); but
usually only a part, the rest being assigned to the sacrificial feast, or to the priests.
Upon the burning flesh incense was scattered, and wine was poured out; the latter
constituted the libation, and wa§ accompanied with a formal address to the deity,
accipe lihena. In early times milk was used in the libation instead of wine. After all
came the feast, of which the priests and those who presented the sacrifice partook in
common, and which was usually accompanied with music and dancing, and often fol-
lowed with games.

3. Music also usually accompanied the offering of the sacrifice, as is shown by the monuments
represented in our Plates. Compare Plate XXVII. fig. B, where are seen two long straight
trumpets; Plate XXIX. where, besides the trumpets, the double flute is played by a boy, who is
adorned with a wreath on his head, as are also most of the officiating priests ; Plate XLV.,
where the flute and the tympanum are introduced (cf. P. II. $ 91. 2),

4. There were sacrifices without blood ; made by libations usually of wine, but also
of other fluids; by burning incense or fragrant wood, such as cedar, fig, and myrtle;
and by offering/ryji as a tribute or tithe from the harvest iprimitice) and also sometimes
cakes [liba) made of flour and honey or of wax.

5. Illustrations of the pouring out of libations are given in Plate XXVII. fig. C, and in Plate
XX. ; ill the latter is also seen the off'ering of fruit or cakes, together with a libation ; it is from
a sculpture in ivory, representinir a sacrifice without blood to Mercury ; a female is taking some-
tliing from a cylindrical vase, while a servant {Camilla) holds a discus of fruit or cakes and a
vessel containing the libation. — In the same plate is the representation of a bloodless sacrifice
to Diana, from a bas-relief on the Arch of Constantine (cf. P. IV. J 188. 2). The image of the
goddess, with a crescent on her head and a spear in her right hand, standing on a pedestal, is
seen between two trees; on one of which is fixed the head of a wild boar (aptr) ; the altar is in
front of the image ; three milites hastati are in attendance, while the emperor Trajan, holding in

one hand a volume, with the other hand empties a patera upon the flame. In Plate XLVI. is

a representation of the sacrifice of a bull to Jupiter Capitolinus by the emperor Marcus Aurelius,
drawn from a remarkable anaglyph at Rome. Cf. P. IV. { 188. 3. — In the Sup. Plate 32 is a
beautiful representation of the animal sacrifice performed by priests, and of the sacrifice with
out blood conducted by priestesses, one of whom is pouring a libation from a vessol which is
perhaps the capedo (cf. $ 206).

§ 222. It was very common among' the Romans to make vows {yota), which
generally consisted in promises to render certain actual acknowledgments or
returns, provided the gods should grant the requests of those making the vows.
A person doing this was said vota facere, concipere, suscipere, nuncupare, and
was called voti reus,- to fulfil the promise was voia solvere, reddere ; he who
gained his wish was said to be voti damnatus, voti compos. Sometimes the
thing desired was itself termed voium. Often public vows were made for the
benefit of the whole people; these were considered as the most binding. The
vow was usually written upon a wax-tablet, which was preserved in the temple
of the god to whom it was made.

1 u. Those who had survived shipwreck, especially, were accustomed to hang up in
the temple of some god (Neptune often) pictures representing the circumstances of then
danger and deliverance {tahulxE votivce). Similar pictures were sometimes carried about
by them in order to obtain charitable relief.

2 u. Among the vows of a private nature were those, which a person made to Juno
Lucina or Genius, on a birth-day (i;o/a nataliiia); those made when boys, on passing
from childhood, cut oflf their hair and dedicated it to Apollo {vota capiUitia); the vows
of the sick in case of recovery; the vows of those in shipwreck for escape ; of those
on journeys by land. It also became a custom for subjects to make vows for the wel
fare of their emperors, which were renewed after the fifth, tenth, or twentieth year of
their reign, and therefore called quinquennia, decennalia or vicennalia.

U. Dodwell, de diebus veterum nataUtiis. in his Prslca. Acad. Ox. 1692, S. p. 153.

§ 223. The dedication of the temples, sanctuaries and altars (dicatio), was
one of the religious solemnities of the Romans. This was originally performed
by the kings, afterwards by the consuls, and often also by two magistrates ap-
pointed for the purpose and called duumviri dedicandis templis. The senate
must first decree the service; the Pontifex Maximus must be present at the so-
lemnity and pronounce the form of dedication, which was accompanied with
acclamations from the people. Sacrifices, games, and feasts then followed.

On the ceremoniesat Ihe dedication of a temple, see Tacitus, Hist. iv. 53. — Cf. Hooke's Rom. Hist. vol. x. p. 232, as cited P. V
§299 7

1 u. Similar to this was the ceremony of consecration {consecratio) ; only, the latter
expression was applied to a great variety of particular objects, e. g. statues, sacred
utensils, fields, animals, &.c. Eesecration, on the other hand, was a private trans-
action, in which the people or individuals were freed from theh vows; this was also
called religione solvere.

2. The term inauguratio was sometimes used as synonymous with dedicatio and



p. III. RELIGIOUS AFFAIRS. LUSTRATIONS. OATHS. ORACLES. 239

consecralio; but it'was in general the ceremony by which the Augurs sought the plea-
sure or sanction of the gods in respect to any thing decreed or contemplated by men ;
it was a ceremony therefore used not only in dedication, but in introducing a priest or a
magistrate into office, and in entering upon any important engagement. Cf. S> 209.

3 u. Execration was imprecating evil on an enemy. — Evocation of the gods was a
solemn rite by which {certo cannine) they called upon the gods of a besieged city {evocare)
to take the side of the Romans. It was attended with sacrifices and consultation of the
entrails.

§ 224. Expiation was a solemnity desigrned to appease offended gods, and
the sacrifice or propitiatory offering was called piaculum.. Much more frequent
and various were the lustrations or purifications (Justrationes), both public and
private.

1 u. Public lustrations were occasionally connected with certain festivals ; the private
were annually repeated in the month of February. — It was customary before the march
of an army or the sailing of a fleet to appoint a lustration, not for reviewing the forces,
but to purify them by sacrifices.

2. After the taking of the census, which was done at the end of every five years, a
purifying sacrifice was made, consisting of a sow, a sheep, and a bull, which were
carried round the whole assembly and then slain. The sacrifice was called suovetaurilia,
and he who performed it was said condere lustrum. The name lustrum is said to have
been applied to it, because at that time all the taxes were paid by the farmers-general
to the censors (tVom luere to pay) ; the term is also used to signify a space of five years,
because the ceremony was performed always at the end of that period. The verb
lust rare expressed the act of purifying, and as in doing this the victims were carried
round, the word naturally obtained another meaning, viz. to go around, to survey. The
lustrum was always made in the Campus Martins.

In Plate XXIX. is a fine representation of the Suovetaurilia, or sacrifice to Mars, drawn from
ancient marbles sculptured in bas-relief: the priest, probably Trajan the emperor, with a veil
upon his head, approaches a double altar crowned with laurel; a servant (camillus) stands by,
holding ihe acerra; another plays upon the double tibia ; two soldiers blow the tuba; behind
the emperor is a priest or servant bearing the vessel considered by Montfaucon as the proeferi-
culum ; others are leading forward the three victims ; in attendance are several soldiers and
standard-bearers ; a rich fillet lies upon the back of the bull; all the priests are crowned with
laurel. Cf. Montfaucon, ii. 1S9, and Sup. ii. 73.

3. The expiation made on the appearance of some prodigy, was often very solemn and impos-
ing. '* The senate, after having ordered the Sibylline bioks to be consulted by those who had
the keeping of them, to see what was to be done on those occasions, ordinarily appointed days
oi fasting ; as a\so festivals, especially the Lectisternia ; public prayers; and sacrifices. Then
you might have seen the whole city of Rome, and in imitation of her the other cities of the em-
pire, in mourning and consternation ; the temples adorned ; the Lectisternia prepared in the
public places; expiatory sacrifices repeated over and over again. Ihe senators and patricians,
their wives and their children, with garlands on their heads, every tribe, every order, preceded
by the ligli Priest am] the Duumviri, inarched gravely through the streets ; and this proces.sion
was accompanied by the youth singing hymns, or repeating prayers, while the Priests were
offering sacrifices in the temples and invoking the gods to avert the calamities with which they
imagined themselves to be threatened."

§ 225. The oaths [jusjurandum, jiiramentum) of the Romans, which were
regarded as holy and inviolable, may be divided into public and private. The
first were taken by the magistrates before the Tribunal (cf § 243. 1) often also
by the whole senate, the generals, the whole army, all the citizens at the census,
and every single soldier. To the latter class belonged judicial oaths, and such
as pertained to marriage. They were usually taken before the altars of the
gods, who were thus invoked as witnesses; not unfrequently sacrifices were at
the same time offered. Persons taking an oath in a prescribed form were said
concepiis verbis jurare.

1. Witnesses in civil proceedinsrs sometimes confirmed their testimony by an oath ; and in all
public trials (cf. J 2bl) were required to do it. Perjury was punished, yet, so far as appears, not
more severely than false testimony (falsuvi) without oath. — Swearing seems to have been in-
dulged freely in common life and ordinary conversation ; such e.xpressions as the following
w?ere freq-.ient ; Hercle, or Mehercle; Pol, ^depol, Perpol ; per Jovem ; per superos ; viedius
Jidius ; dii me perdant, or interficeant, &.C.

Britsonius, De Formul. &c.— i. C. ralcheiiaer, De Ritibus in Jurando a veteribus, ia /. Odrick's Collect. Opusculorum. Brem.
1768. 4.

2 u. What was called devotio consisted in a voluntary surrender of one's self (devovere) to
capital danger or to violent death, in order to rescue his country or the life of a person particu-
larly dear. Sometimes the term was applied, when a conqueror assigned {devovehat) a captured
city or army to destruction, or when an individual was punished.

§ 226. The Romans had no oracles themselves ; but in cases of importance,
they resorted to those of Greece, particularly to the Delphic. Roman supersti-
tion, however, found nearer sources of information respecting the will and decla



240 ROMAN ANTIQUITIES.

rations of the gods. Besides the use of their augurium and extispiscium, they
had recourse to the Sibylline Books, or the pretended prophecies of the Sibyl of
Cumae.

1 u. These Books were received from the Sibyl by Tarquinius Superbus (see P. V.
^ 16). They were kept with great care in a stone vanh under ground in the Capitol,
in the custody of the Quindecemviri sacris faciundis (of. § 219). In important emergencies,
in general disasters, when omens were inauspicious, or circumstances were perplexing,
they consulted the Sibylline predictions, and endeavored thence to ascertain how the
offended deities could be appeased.

2 m. The burning of the Capitol, B. C. 84, occasioned the destruction of these books ;
there were attempts to restore some parts of them from fragments and quotations. The
pieces now extant under this name, however, are in all probability not genuine, but of
later origin.

§ 227. The use of lots (sortes), in order to ascertain the result of an affair or
iindertaking, was very common with the Romans. They were small tablets or
blocks [tali) of wood or metal, on which certain words or marks were inscribed,
which were kept in an apartment in the temple of Fortune. The most famous
were those in the temple of this goddess at Praeneste, which in early times were
very frequently employed.

1 u. Those at Antium were also renowned ; those at Caere and Falerium disappeared,
as it was pretended, miraculously. Sometimes lots of this sort were provided and kept
for domestic use. Those who foretold the future by means of lots were called Sortilegi.

Of. Cic. de Divinat. ii. 41.— £t"i). xx'i ?2. xiii. X.—Du Resnel, Rechercbes Histor. sur les Sorts appelees par les Payens, Sortei
VirgilUnse, &c. in Mem. Acad. Inscr. vol. six.

2. Besides the use of lots and the practice of augury (cf ^ 209), other artifices were
employed among the Romans by those who pretended to foretell the future. Some
professed to do it by consulting the stars, and were called AstraJogi,]\Ialhematici, or
Genelhliaci, and sometimes Chald<Bi or Babylonii, as the art was first practiced in Chal-
d.-ea. Others professed to interpret dreams, Conjectores; others to have an internal
afiiatus or inspiration, Harioli, Vaticinatores. Insane persons were supposed to fore-
know the future; in which class were the Ceriti, those rendered insane by Ceres; the
Lymphati, rendered so by the water-nymphs; Lunaiici, by the moon; Fanatici, by
the spirit of the Fauni, or of Faunus, the first builder of a fane {faniim). In short many
of the Grecian arts of divination (cf § 75) were practiced among the Romans.

3. Magical arts, although prohibited, seem to have been employed among the Ro-
mans ; perhaps, however, chiefly by Greeks and other foreigners. Some passages in
Horace clearly indicate that magical pretensions were openly avowed at Rome. Pliny
speaks of magic as a most fraudulent art, that has had sway in all the world. — The
Romans generally admitted the notion that certain persons had the power of fascinating
others {fascinatio), by darting an evil look upon them ; which the Greeks termed
BacKavia (of. § 75. 6). To avert such malignant influences, an amulet of some kind was
sometimes worn on the neck, c-d\\edfasci7iu7n (cf P. II. § 91. 2).

See ArdiSBologia (as ;iled P IV. § 243. 3.) vol. xix. p. 70, on an antique Bas-relief supposed to represent the fascination by the evil
eye — K. Alsarius, De Invidia et Fascino Veteruui, in Grxvius, vol. xu.— Class. Jcurn. vnl. xxxvi. p. 1S5, on the magic of the
Greeks and Romans.— Le Blond, sur Magie, in the Mem.de I'Jnslitut, 01 ass e de Lil. et Beaux Arts, i. 81— Bonamy and Blan-
chard. La Magie, &c. in the Mem. Acad. Inscr. vii. 23. xii. 49. Cf Hor. Epod. 5. and \1.—Plin. Hist. Nat. xxx. \.—Sulvtrte, Des
Sciences Occultes, ou Essaie sur la Magie. Par. 1829. 2 vols. 8.

§ 228. The division of the year was made at Rome a care of the priests, and
therefore falls under the head of religious affairs. Without noticing the various
changes in this, we may remark that Romulus, Numa, and Julius Caesar were
the authors of the principal methods of dividing and computing the year. The
month was divided into three parts by the Calends, Nones, and Ides, and in
computing the days of the month, the Romans reckoned backwards from these
three fixed points.

1 u. The day was reckoned from sunrise to sunset. This space was divided into
twelve hours Qiotcb) which of course were of different length at the different seasons of
the year; hence the phrase /(ora hibernia, equivalent to hora brevissima. The night
was hkewise divided into twelve hours (P. I. ^ 187), and also into four watches {vigiU<s).

The use of sun-dials (soZa no), and of water-glasses {clepsydra:), seems to have been in-
troduced at a comparatively late period.

2. The dial is said to have been invented at Lacediemon in the time of Cyrns the Great. The
first one at Rome was set up B. C. about 260.— The clepsydra (K\erpvSpa) was invented at Alex-
andria, and carried thence to Athens and afierwaids, B. C. about 160, introduced at Ronie. "It
was formed by a vessel of water, having a minute perforation in the bottom, through which the
water issued (stealing out, KXlxptg vcuip) drop by drop, and fell into another vessel, in which a

ight body floated, having attached to it an index or graduated scale. As the water increased



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p.m. RELIGIOUS AFFAIRS. FESTIVALS. 241

in the receiving vessel, the floating body rose, and by its regularly increasing hefght furnished
an approximation to a correct indication of time." (Bigelow's Technology, p. 365.)— It was so
constructed, that the orifice for letting out the water could be accommodated to the varying
length of the Roman hours. A servant was employed, whose business it was from time to time
to examine the water-clock, and report the hour to his master.

See the account of the divisions of time among the Romans, the day, month, and year, given under Chronology ; cf. P. I. 5§ 187,
188, 191-193.— To the references there given we add Dissen, De Partibus Noctis et Diei, &c. in his Kleine Schrijien.

§ 229. The Romans had a multitude of festival days, set apart for the service
of the gods, and celebrated with sacrifices, banquets, and games; these were
called dies festi. The days called dies fasti were those on which no assembly
of the people or senate was held, but the praetor administered justice ; days, on
which he could not do this, were termed nefasti. Days, of which only a part



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