- Mary Beard
ExtractFratres arvales (arval brothers), a priestly college in Rome. Our detailed knowledge of the brotherhood comes from their inscribed records (now known as the Acta fratrum arvalium), found mostly on the site of their sacred grove 8 km. (5 mi.) outside Rome on the via Campana (mod. La Magliana). The earliest surviving inscription dates from 21–20 bce, while the only republican reference to the arvals is found in Varro (Ling. 5. 85). It is a reasonable conjecture that the brotherhood was an ancient priesthood of the city, which had ceased to function by the end of the republic and was revived under Augustus.The college consisted of twelve members chosen from senatorial families by co-optation; the reigning emperor was always a member. The president (magister) and the other main official (flamen) were elected annually. Their main ritual obligation was the festival of the goddess *Dea Dia, to whom their grove was dedicated.
- Roman Myth and Religion