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date: 17 January 2019

Carmen arvale

Hymn sung during the sacrifice to Dea Dia by the fratres arvales (arval brethren). Although only recorded in an inscriptional copy of ce 218 (A. Gordon, Album of Dated Latin Inscriptions (1958), 44 no. 276) and marred by errors of transcription, this hymn is of great interest, because it dates from the 4th cent. bce at the latest (Lases for Lares). Norden believed that it revealed the influence of Greek poetry. In spite of the problems that it poses, the hymn is understandable. It is addressed to the Lares, Semones (see semo sancus dius fidius), and Mars. The first two groups of deities are invoked three times one after the other, Mars three times thrice. The carmen culminates in a quintuple cry of triumph (triumpe). In the context of the sacrifice to Dea Dia, these divinities are requested to guarantee the integrity of the land and the harvest, so that Dea Dia can exercise her office there.


E. Norden, Aus altrömischen Priesterbüchern (1939).Find this resource:

J. Scheid, Romulus et ses frères: Le collège des frères arvales, modèle du culte publique dans la Rome des empereurs (1990), 616 ff.Find this resource:

C. Guittard, Carmen et prophéties à Rome (2007).Find this resource:

J. Scheid, in Y. Lehmann (ed.), L'hymne antique et son public (2007), 439–50.Find this resource:

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