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date: 28 January 2023



  • H. S. Versnel


Ritual to devote either enemies or oneself (or both) to gods of the Underworld and death. *Macrobius (Sat. 3. 9. 9 ff.) records that in ancient times enemy cities were devoted (devoveri) to gods of the Underworld (Dis pater, *Ve(d)iovis, *manes), after the *evocatio (calling out) of their protective deities. The prayer (carmen devotionis) he quotes on the occasion of the devotio of *Carthage calls the enemies substitutes (vicarios) for the Roman commander and his army, who are thus saved. A better-known variant of this genuine votum is the type of devotio only attested for P. *Decius Mus (1) (and less unequivocally for his son and grandson, around 300 bce). Here, the Roman commander linked the sacrifice of his own life, through an act of self-*consecratio, with the devotio of the enemies. Livy (8.


  • Roman Myth and Religion

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