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Article

Mary Beard

Fratres 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.

Article

Furrina  

Nicholas Purcell

Furrina, Roman goddess whose relatively early importance is reflected in the festival of the Furrinalia (25 July) and the existence of a flamen Furrinalis (see flamines). Her cult at Rome was located in a sacred grove on the slopes of the *Janiculum in Transtiberim: here C. *Sempronius Gracchus died in 121 bce (Plut., C. Gracch. 17, Hellenizing the cult interestingly in calling the place alsos Eumenidōn, ‘the grove of the Furies’, from the analogy Furrina-Furiae: later dedications refer to ‘Furrinian nymphs’ rather than to a single goddess). The site, in a well-watered cleft in the hillside, became an important cult place in the Syrian tradition in the later empire (see syrian deities), and its well-preserved remains offer an interesting case history of the constant process of reinterpretation of the forms of cult in the religious tradition of the city.

Article

genius  

John Scheid

Genius, lit. ‘that which is just born’. The genius, for a long time understood as the deification of the power of generation (Wissowa, RK 175; Latte, RR 103; H. Le Bonniec, Rev. Ét. Lat.1976, 110 ff.), was defined by Dumézil (see bibliog.) following the criticisms of W. Otto (see bibliog.) as ‘the entirety of the traits united in a begotten being’. It is a deified concept, its seat in the forehead (Serv. on Aen. 3. 607), and is not far from the notion of the self. The genius forms the ‘double’ of the male, and is both born and dies with him. (Hor.Epist. 2. 2. 183 ff.). At an unknown date the same idea was developed for the ‘double’ of a woman (the iuno). This divine being, distinct from its human ‘double’, was the object of a cult. Although in common parlance every male, slave or free, seems to have a genius, in family-cult only one genius was honoured in each *household, that of the *paterfamilias, particularly on the occasion of marriage (FestusGloss.

Article

ghosts  

Esther Eidinow

Identifying a ghost in Greek literature and distinguishing it from what we might call a delusion or a supernatural entity can sometimes pose difficulties: *Homer tends to use the term psyche to describe his spirits, but we also find skia. In later writers, eidolon is used (Hdt. 5.92.η and Pl. Leg. 959b of the corpse), which can also mean a phantom of the mind, or even just a likeness. Later still, *daimōn, alone, or combined with other words to evoke particular forms of demon (see below) appears. Other terms (which will appear throughout the entry) evoked the particular ways in which individuals died and became ghosts. This entry will focus on appearances in the mortal realm of spirits connected to a death, indicating where there are any ambiguities of spectral terminology. As the move from psyche to daimōn might suggest, there seems to be a gradual development in the strength, substance and presence of ghosts in the ancient world; while living mortals seem, in turn, to find increasingly sophisticated ways to manipulate their spectral visitors and their needs for their own ends.

Article

J. Linderski

*Etruscan diviners. The term is composed of haru- (hari-, aru-), etymology uncertain, and the suffix -spex, ‘one who inspects’; in the bilingual inscription CIL 11. 6363 from Pisaurum (Pesaro) Etruscan netśvis seems to correspond to Latin haruspex. The Etruscan word for the general concept of ‘priest’ is unknown; the haruspices are represented as wearing the conical cap, similar to the pilleus (apex), in Rome the headgear of flamines. In Roman sources the haruspices appear as interpreters of fulgura (thunderbolts), ostenta (unusual happenings), and above all exta (entrails, especially liver). They were members of the Etruscan aristocracy (to be distinguished from private itinerant diviners, vicani haruspices, Cic. Div. 1. 132). When need arose they were on the senate's orders called from Etruria to explain prodigies and *portents, especially when thunderbolts struck public places; they would give a formal reply, responsum, and propose a remedy (Cic. Leg.

Article

Herbert Jennings Rose and John Scheid

Hercules, from Hercles, Italic pronunciation of the name *Heracles. His is perhaps the earliest foreign cult to be received in Rome (perhaps from *Tibur), the Ara Maxima (Coarelli, Il Foro boario 60 ff. (see bibliog. below)), which was his most ancient place of worship, being within the *pomerium of the *Palatine settlement. It was probably desired to make the *forum Boarium, in which it stood, a market-place under the protection of a god better known than the local deities. The theory of some ancients (as Propertius 4. 9. 71 ff.) that he is identical with *Semo Sancus Dius Fidius, although revived in modern times by Preller (Preller–Jordan, Römische Mythologie3 (1881–3) 2. 272 ff.) is untenable, and seems ultimately to rest on nothing better than the interpretation of Dius Fidius as Iovis filius. His cult had become very popular with merchants, no doubt because of his supposed ability to avert evil of all kinds (see heracles) and the long journeys involved in his Labours and other exploits.

Article

David Potter

The Hellenistic *Hermes, Egyptianized through contact with the Egyptian Thoth. ‘Trismegistos’ derives from the Egyptian superlative obtained through repetition (Hermes appears as ‘Great, Great, Great’ on the Rosetta stone), which is later simplified through the substitution of the prefix tris in the Roman period (Festugière, La Révélation (see below), 1. 73–4). According to *Clement of Alexandria he was the author of 42 ‘fundamental books’ of Egyptian religion, including astrological, cosmological, geographical, medical, and pedagogic books as well as hymns to the gods and instructions on how to worship. The extant corpus of Hermetic writings (in Greek, Latin, and Coptic) includes astrological, alchemical, iatromathematical, and philosophic works. Some elements in some of the philosophical books (especially the Asclepius and Corpus Hermeticum16) are overtly anti-Greek in sentiment, but the basic content of the works is thoroughly Hellenic and offers an insight into ‘popular Platonism’ (see plato(1)) in the Roman world as spread through small groups of literate people who gathered around a teacher for instruction (Fowden, see below).

Article

Hermias (3), otherwise unknown Christian author of the Satire on the Profane Philosophers. This small Greek treatise of uncertain date (perhaps c.200 ce) aims at exposing the contradictions of the teachings of the major philosophical schools as regards the nature of the soul and the universe. The author relies heavily on doxographical sources.

Article

Hilaria  

C. Robert Phillips

Roman festival on 25 March, one of a series of five festivals to the Magna Mater or *Cybele (15–26 March), when she rejoiced in *Attis' resurrection (Macrob.Sat. 1. 21. 7–10). It apparently belongs to the later empire (Julian, Or. 5. 168, 169, 175; cf. G.

Article

Nicholas Purcell

Deities at Rome personifying military courage and its reward; their cult was selected for two major commemorative temples by successful generals: M. *Claudius Marcellus(1) after his conquest of *Syracuse (dedicated after some controversy by his son in 205 bce), and C. *Marius(1) after the Cimbric War. We know little of the latter (though it was large enough to hold the senate-meeting at which *Cicero was recalled from exile, Cic.

Article

Tim Cornell

In one of the most famous of all Roman legends, Horatius and two companions held the Sublician bridge against the invading army of Lars *Porsenna until it could be demolished, whereupon he swam back to safety across the Tiber. An archaic statue of a one-eyed man, which stood in the Volcanal in the *Comitium, was thought by the Romans to represent Horatius (his surname, Cocles, means ‘one-eyed’).

Article

Horus  

Richard Gordon

Horus (Egyptian Ḥrw, ‘he is far off’), one of the most important Egyptian gods, soon equated, like other falcon-headed deities, with the sun-god Re. His main centre was Edfu in upper *Egypt, where the fullest (Ptolemaic) version of the myth is found. Horus was very early a royal god, and, with *Set (‘the two brothers’), played a key role in the mythic establishment of an ideal pharaonic order based on the resolution of their conflict. In the first Edfu myth, Horus as the Winged Disk harpoons his enemies from Upper to Lower Egypt. But in the Osiris-cycle, Horus became *Isis' son, and heir of the dead *Osiris, whom he avenges. In this form, as Harsiësis, he may be contrasted with the older or ‘great’ Horus. A Horus child ‘with the finger in his mouth’ occurs already in the Pyramid Texts, but no official cult can be traced until the late New Kingdom, when, perhaps at *Thebes (2), Harsiësis became, or was ousted by, Harpocrates (Egyptian Ḥr-p-ḥrd, ‘Horus the child’).

Article

Piero Treves

Lucius Icilius, a plebeian hero, though probably of patrician descent, betrothed to *Verginia and leader of the second secession (see secessio), has little claim to historical existence, but the lex Icilia de Aventino publicando (traditionally dated 456 bce), the text of which was still preserved in Augustus' time in the *Aventine temple of *Diana (Dion.

Article

John Scheid

Indigetes or -ites, indigitamenta, ‘invoked deities’. Both words, as well as the corresponding verb indigitare, are fairly common and there is no doubt that they mean respectively a class of Roman gods and a list of gods. The lists of indigitamenta known from the fragments of *Varro, Antiquitates divinae 14 (ed. Cardauns, 1. 64 ff.), for the most part are antiquarian compilations without cultic value (Wissowa, Ges. Abh. 304 ff.), with the exception of the deities invoked during the sacrifice to *Ceres (J. Bayet, Croyances et rites dans la Rome antique (1971), 177 ff.) and during some expiations of the *fratres arvales (Dumézil, ARR35). These lists of minor deities whose name is reduced to their function are subordinated to the major divinities whose activity they second. Nowadays there is agreement that the indigitamenta do not represent a primitive stage in formation of personalized deities.The meaning of indiges has prompted a debate.

Article

J. Linderski

When a religious ceremony was interrupted or wrongly performed (vitium) it had to be repeated from the beginning. We hear particularly of instauratio of games (ludi) and the Latin Festival (feriae Latinae; e.g. Livy 2. 36. 1, 32. 1. 9, 41. 16. 1; Cic. Div.

Article

James Rives

Interpretatio Romana, lit. ‘Latin translation’ (Tac. Germ. 43. 3); a phrase used to describe the Roman habit of replacing the name of a foreign deity with that of a Roman deity considered somehow comparable. At times this process involved extensive identification of the actual deities, while in other cases, the deities, though sharing a name, continued to be sharply distinguished. Different Latin names could sometimes be substituted for the same foreign name, depending on which characteristic of the god was chosen as the basis for comparison. The earliest of these ‘translations’ were from Greek: thus ‘Zeus’ was translated by ‘Iuppiter’ (see zeus; jupiter). The process continued as the Romans came into contact with other cultures, so that the German ‘Wodan’ was called ‘*Mercurius’ by Roman writers. Only in a few cases were foreign divine names adopted directly into Latin, e.g. ‘*Apollo’ and ‘*Isis’.

Article

Iphis  

Herbert Jennings Rose

Iphis, in mythology, (1) father of *Eteoclus, one of the *Seven against Thebes, and of *Evadne(2), wife of *Capaneus. (2) A young Cypriot, who loved Anaxarete, a noblewoman of that island. She would have none of him, and he finally hanged himself at her door; she looked, unmoved, from her window, and was turned by Aphrodite into stone. The resulting image was called Aphrodite prospiciens (ἐκκύπτουσα ?).

Article

Isis  

Richard Gordon

Isis (Egyptian s or st, Gk. ῏Ισις, Εἶσις), ‘mistress of the house of life’, whose creative and nurturing functions made her the most popular divinity of the Late period in the Egyptian *Fayûm and delta. As such she absorbed, or was equated with, many other divinities, acquiring a universal character expressed in Gk. as μυριώνυμος, ‘invoked by innumerable names’ (Plut. De Is. et Os. 53, 372f; cf. Apul. Met. 11. 5, comm. J. G. Griffiths (1975)). The hieroglyphic form of her name, whose meaning is disputed, connects her with the royal throne and with *Osiris: his centre at Busiris was close to hers in the twelfth nome (see nomos(1)). A connected narrative of her myth appears late, doubtless under Greek influence (Diod. Sic. 1. 13–27; Plut. De Is. et Os. 12–19, 355d–358d). In the Egyptian versions, the myth generally begins with Set's murder of her brother and husband, Osiris, whom she and her sister Nephthys revive by mourning. Impregnated by Osiris after his resurrection, Isis gives birth to *Horus, who, after ‘redeeming his father’, ascends his throne, and later attacks and rapes, even beheads, Isis.

Article

Eric Herbert Warmington, Emily Kearns, and Simon J. Keay

Islands of the Blest (Fortunatae insulae) were originally, like the ‘Gardens of the *Hesperides’, the mythical winterless home of the happy dead, far west on Ocean shores or islands (Hom. Od. 4. 563 ff.; Hes. Op. 171; Pind. Ol. 2. 68 ff.). Comparable is *Homer's description of *Elysium (Od. 4. 563–9); in both cases entry is reserved for a privileged few. The islands were later identified with Madeira (Diod. Sic. 5. 19–20; Plut. Sert.8) or more commonly with the Canaries, after their discovery (probably by the Carthaginians). The Canaries were properly explored by King *Juba (2) II (c.25 bcec.23 ce), who described apparently six out of the seven. From the meridian line of this group *Ptolemy(4) (Geog. passim) established his longitudes eastwards.

Article

Herbert Jennings Rose and John Scheid

Roman equivalent of *Dike (1); mostly in poetry, but had a temple from 8 January 13 ce (Ov. Pont. 3. 6. 25; fasti Praenestini under 8 January; see further Wissowa, RK 333; Latte, RR 300 ff.) and was among the virtues celebrated by Augustus' famous clipeus virtutis (the golden shield set up in the Senate-house and inscribed with the emperor's virtues, 27 bce).