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date: 31 January 2023



  • J. Linderski


Roman law (civil and pontifical) distinguished between things belonging to gods and things belonging to humans (res divini and humani iuris); the former were subdivided into res sacrae and res religiosae. A third category was the res sanctae which were quodammodo divini iuris, only in a certain sense governed by divine law (Gai. Inst. 2. 2–10; Aelius Gallus in Festus, Gloss. Lat.382–3; Trebatius in Macrob. Sat. 3. 3). ‘Sacred (sacrae) things’ belonged to a deity; they were transferred from the human into the divine sphere by the twofold act of *dedicatio and consecratio, performed by a magistrate assisted by a pontiff. Things given to gods by private persons the pontifical law did not regard as (technically) sacred (Dig. 1. 8. 6. 3). Furthermore the immobilia (temples, altars) could be consecrated only on ‘Italian soil’ (in agro Italico); in the provinces (in solo provinciali) they were only pro sacro (Plin.


  • Roman Myth and Religion

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