Roman Empire | Roman Religious Practices

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[900] A summary of the relations between Virgil and Augustus may be found in Mr. Glover's Studies in Virgil, p. 144 foll.

[901] Tiberius added to his Augustan inheritance a curious and possibly morbid anxiety about religious matters and details of cult, of which examples may be found in Tac. Ann. iii. 58, vi. 12, among other passages. Perhaps, however, the most interesting is that connected with the famous story of "the Great Pan is dead," told by Plutarch in the de Defectu Oraculorum, ch. xvii. The news of this strange story reached the ears of Tiberius, who at once set the learned men about him to inquire into it; and they came to the no less strange conclusion that "this was the Pan who was born of Hermes and Penelope." S. Reinach has recently offered an explanation of this story, which is at least better than previous ones, in Cultes, mythes, et religions, vol. iii. p. 1 foll.

[902] C.I.L. vi. 1001.

[903] Jul. Capitolinus, 13.

[904] Symmachus, Rel. 3.

[905] Cod. Theod. xvi. 10. 2. On this subject generally consult Dill's Roman Society in the Last Century of the Western Empire, bk. i. chs. i. and iv.

[906] This idea is exactly expressed by Horace in Odes iii. 23, perhaps addressed to the vilica of his own farm. Cp. Cato, R.R. 143, where the vilica is to pray to the Lar familiaris pro copia. Horace mentions only the Kalends for this rite; Cato adds Nones and Ides. Cp. Tibull. i. 3. 34; i. 10. 15 foll.

[907] See above, Lectures iv. and v.

[908] Greatness and Decline of Rome (E.T.), v. 93.

[909] See especially lines 45 foll. and 56 foll.

[910] C.I.L. vi. 32,323, or Dessau, Inscriptiones selectae, vol. ii. part i. p. 284.

[911] For this reason the veiled figure in one of the fine sculptures on the Ara Pacis frieze, which used to be taken as Augustus Pont. Max., cannot be so identified (see Domaszewski, Abhandlungen zur römischen Religion, p. 90 foll.), for the date of the Ara Pacis is 13 B.C., the year before Lepidus died. The figure can be most conveniently seen by English students in Mrs. Strong's Roman Sculpture, plate xi. p. 46. It may be Agrippa acting as Pont. Max. for Lepidus.

[912] Monumentum Ancyranum, ed. Mommsen (Lat.), iv. 17.

[913] See above, p. 129.

[914] Livy iv. 20. 7.

[915] Valerius Maximus, Epit. 3, 4.

[916] Ovid, Fasti, iv. 901 foll.

[917] See Marquardt, 326 foll.

[918] Dio Cassius, l. 4, 5.

[919] Henzen, Acta Fratrum Arvalium, p. xxv. of the exordium.

[920] Henzen, p. 154.

[921] See above, p. 98.

[922] Henzen, pp. 24, 28.

[923] For the hymn, Henzen, p. 26; Dessau, Inscr. select. ii. pt. i. p. 276. See also above, p. 186.

[924] Wissowa, R.K. p. 487, note 5.

[925] Henzen, 142 foll.; Dessau, p. 279; see above, p. 162.

[926] Henzen, p. 105.

[927] Ib. p. 107.

[928] Tac. Ann. iii.

[939] Zosimus, ii. 5 and 6. The oracle and the extract from Zosimus are printed in Dr. Wickham's introduction to the Carmen saeculare, and in Diels, Sibyllinische Blätter, p. 131 foll.

[930] C.I.L. vi. 32,323. Ephemeris epigraphica, viii. 255 foll., contains the text and Mommsen's exposition. Dessau, Inscr. selectae, ii. pt. i. 282, does not give the whole document.

[931] Wissowa, Gesammelte Abhandlungen, p. 192 foll.; Ferrero, vol. v. 85 foll.

[932] The word was first explained by Mommsen, Röm. Chronologie, ed. 2, p. 172.

[933] See, e.g., Golden Bough, ed. 2, vol. ii. p. 70 foll.

[934] The religious or mystical conception of time is the subject of an interesting discussion by Hubert et Mauss, Mélanges d'histoire et de religion, p. 189 foll.; but the saeculum does not seem to have attracted their attention.

[935] The actual words of Varro, from his work de gente Populi Romani, are quoted by St. Augustine, de Civ. Dei, xxii. 28: "Genethliaci quidam scripserunt esse in renascendis hominibus quam appellant [Greek: palingenesian] Graeci; hac scripserunt confici in annis numero quadringentis quadraginta, ut idem corpus et eadem anima, quae fuerint coniuncta in homine aliquando, eadem rursus redeant in coniunctionem." The passage well illustrates the mystical tendency of which I was speaking in the last lecture.

[936] For attempts to explain the difficulty see Wissowa, op. cit. p. 204.

[937] The cakes offered to Eilithyia, and again to Apollo, are nine in number; see the inscription lines 117 and 143. The choirs of boys and girls were each twenty-seven.

[938] The suffimenta are described by Zosimus, l.c. There is a coin of Domitian, who also celebrated Ludi saeculares, in which he appears seated and distributing the suffimenta, as the inscription shows.

[939] So Zosimus, who says they consisted of wheat, barley, and beans.

[940] R.F. p. 148 foll.

[941] See the inscription, line 92 foll. Ferrero assumes that these words were to be taken as representing the families of all worshippers present, who would repeat the words "mihi domo familiae." But this is arbitrary; the prayer follows the old form as we have it, e.g., in Cato, R.R. (see above, p. 182), and as Cato or any landowner would represent the rest of the human beings on the estate, so did Augustus represent the whole community.

[942] So J. B. Carter, Religion of Numa, p. 160.

[943] The matrons, equal in number to the years of the saeculum, first appear on 2nd June in the worship of Juno.

[944] Mon. Ancyr. (Lat.), iv. 21.

[945] Zosimus, l.c., says that "hymns" were sung in Greek as well as Latin; but this is not borne out by any other authority.

[946] Line 31 (et Iovis aurae), where Jupiter simply stands for the heaven and its influence on the earth; and line 73 (haec Iovem sentire, etc.), where he is introduced in the most general way as head of all deities.

[947] Line 147 of the inscription: "Sacrificioque perfecto puer[i X] XVII quibus denuntiatum erat patrimi et matrimi et puellae totidem carmen cecinerunt: eodemque modo in Capitolio. Carmen composuit Q. Horatius Flaccus."

[948] Eph. epigr. viii. 256. Wissowa, Gesamm. Abhandl. p. 206, note, who refers to Vahlen and Christ as differing from Mommsen, in papers which I have not seen. Wissowa says that the threefold division of the hymn "springt in die Augen"; but this has never been my experience.

[949] Apart from the awkwardness for singers of the descent from the Palatine and the steep ascent to the Capitol, we may remember that they would have to pass under the fornix Fabianus, which was not much more than nine feet broad (Lanciani, Ruins and Excavations, p. 217).

[950] See Hülsen-Jordan, Topographie, iii. 72 and note. See also map at the end of the volume, No. 1 of the series. There is, however, some doubt as to whether the site was not on the side of the Palatine looking towards the Tiber over the Circus maximus. See my paper in the Classical Quarterly, 1910, p. 145 foll. If so, my explanation of the performance of the hymn seems rather to be confirmed than weakened.

[951] Ovid, Tristia, iii. 1. 59 foll.

[952] Propertius, iii. 28 (31): "In quo Solis erat supra fastigia currus." No one seems to have noticed the connection between this and Horace's allusion to Sol, which is otherwise not easy to explain.

[953] I will not enter on the insoluble question as to what stanzas or parts of stanzas were sung by the boys and girls respectively. That the hymn was so sung in double chorus is intrinsically probable, and stated in the oracle, lines 20, 21. Some of the schemes which have been propounded are given in Wickham's Horace. I imagine that the stanzas may have been sung alternately except in the case of the first two and the last, but the ninth looks as though it might have been divided between the two choirs. Ferrero has a scheme of his own, p. 91 foll.; and if he had taken a little more pains might have worked out the whole problem satisfactorily.

[954] Of these quasi-deities Fides is the oldest, and was associated with Jupiter on the Capitol; Wissowa, R.K. 103 foll. Thus we may find a callida iunctura between the thirteenth, fourteenth, and fifteenth stanzas, for Fides and Pax would fit in well with the responsa petunt of the fourteenth. Whether Pax was recognised as a deity at this time is not quite certain; but a few years later, in 9 B.C., an altar of Pax Augusta was dedicated. The Ara Pacis was begun in 13 B.C. See Axtell, Deification of Abstract Ideas (Chicago, 1907), p. 37, who may also be consulted for the other deities here mentioned. See also above, p. 285. In Tibull. i. 10. 45 foll., Pax seems to be on the verge of deification, but not to have attained it except in the poet's fancy.

[955] The route may be followed in the map of the Via Sacra in Lanciani's Ruins and Excavations, and in his chapter entitled, "A Walk through the Sacra Via," or more shortly in my Social Life in the Age of Cicero, p. 18 foll.

Note.--The whole question of the singing of the Carmen saeculare in its relation to the two principal sites and to the topography of the festival generally, is fully discussed by the author in Classical Review for 1910, p. 145 foll.

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