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date: 11 December 2018


Roman spirits of the dead; probably a euphemism from old Latin manus (‘good’): P. Kretschmer, Einleitung in die Geschichte der griechischen Sprache (1896), 197 n. 4, Latte, RR 99 n. 3. The singular did not exist: Pompeius in Gramm.Lat. 5. 195. 38 ff. (1) Originally, the dead were undifferentiated, with a collectivity expressed as di manes; Cicero (Leg. 2. 9. 22) quotes the ancient ordinance deorum manium iura sacra sunto (‘let there be holy laws of the dead’). Graves had the formulaic dedication dis manibus sacrum; they were collectively worshipped at three festivals (Feralia, Parentalia, Lemuria), individually on the dead person's birthday (RAC 9. 220, 223). From this come two derivatives: (a) the poets used manes topographically for ‘realm of the dead’: Ov. Fast. 2. 609; Verg. G. 1. 243, Aen. 3. 565, 11. 181). (b) Manes represents all Underworld gods: Verg. Aen. 10. 39. (2) Later in a special, still collective sense, di manes were identified with the di parentes (‘family ancestors’): Ov.Met. 9. 406 ff. with Bömer's note. (3) Manes could represent an individual's soul. The first evidence: Cic. Pis. 16 with Nisbet's note, also ILLRP391; frequently in Augustan writers: Livy 3. 58. 11 (manes Verginiae); Hor. Epod. 5. 92; Verg. Aen. 6. 743 (quisque suos patimur manes) with Norden's note; and H. Rose, Harv. Theol. Rev.1944, 45 ff. In the empire it became customary on inscriptions to add to dis manibus sacrum the name of the dead person in the genitive or dative (Pompeius, above); cf. R. Lattimore, Themes in Greek and Latin Epitaphs (1942), 90 ff.


F. Cumont, Lux Perpetua (1949), 392 ff..Find this resource:

Latte, Römische Religionsgeschichte 99 ff..Find this resource:

S. Weinstock, Divus Julius (1971), 291.Find this resource:

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