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Article

Theophilus (3) of *Alexandria (1), patriarch 385–412 ce, was no thinker but a zealous pastor who vigorously suppressed Egyptian paganism (he was instrumental in destroying the great temple of *Sarapis at Alexandria in 391: see serapion(1)) and advanced the power of his see by opposing John Chrysostom of Constantinople. He is presented in hostile spirit in the writings of *Jerome but in a kind light in Synesius' letters.

Article

theos  

H. S. Versnel

Theos Is the common word denoting a god, especially one of the great gods (see olympian gods). Although often referring to an individual deity in his anthropomorphic representation, the term is rarely used to address a god: no vocative exists. The term is often used instead of the proper name of a god, e.g. when the god's name is under certain restrictions or reserved for direct dealings with the deity, as in the mysteries: τὼ θεώ is the normal expression there for *Demeter and Kore (*Persephone), ὁ θεός and ἡ θεά are Pluto (*Hades) and Persephone. It is also employed when identification of an individual god is precarious, for instance in the case of an *epiphany or vision, or as a comprehensive reference to any inarticulate, anonymous divine operator (θεός τις, θεοί: ‘some god’, ‘the gods’); it alternates in Homer with δαίμων (*daimōn) to denote some unidentifiable divine operator.

Article

Trivia  

Herbert Jennings Rose

Trivia, Latin translation of Trioditis, title of *Hecate as goddess of cross-roads. Since the identification of Hecate with *Artemis and *Selene was popular in Hellenistic times and *Diana was identified with Artemis, the epithet is often used of Diana, as Lucr. 1. 84; Catull. 34. 15; Verg. Aen.

Article

C. Robert Phillips

Tubilustrium, Roman festival on 23 March and 23 May, whose ‘trumpet purification’ readied the army for war (fasti Praenestini; FestusGloss. Lat.442). Calendars added Q(uando) R(ex) C(omitiavit) F(as): the *rex sacrorum made a nefastus day into fastus (see fasti). Celebrated in the atrium Sutorium: Platner–Ashby 57, Ov.

Article

Stephen J. Harrison

Turnus (1), Italian hero, in *Virgil son of Daunus and the *nymph Venilia and brother of the nymph Juturna; the Greek tradition calls him ‘Tyrrhenus’, suggesting an *Etruscan link (Dion. Hal. 1. 64. 2). His role as *Aeneas' rival in Italy is well established before Virgil (Cato frs. 9, 11 Peter; Dion. Hal. 1. 64. 2; Livy, 1. 2. 1–5). In the Aeneid he is king of *Ardea and the Rutulians and favoured suitor, not fiancé, of *Latinus' daughter Lavinia; rejected in favour of Aeneas and maddened by Juno's intervention, he rouses the Latins (see latini) against the Trojans (Aen. 7). In the war (Aen. 9–12) he fights bravely as the Latin commander and can elicit sympathy, but is sometimes rash; his high-handed appropriation of the sword-belt of the dead *Pallas(2) leads tragically at the very end of the poem to his own death at the hands of Aeneas.

Article

Radcliffe G. Edmonds III

Depictions of the underworld, in ancient Greek and Roman textual and visual sources, differ significantly from source to source, but they all draw on a common pool of traditional mythic motifs. These motifs, such as the realm of Hades and its denizens, the rivers of the underworld, the paradise of the blessed dead, and the places of punishment for the wicked, are developed and transformed through all their uses throughout the ages, depending upon the aims of the author or artist depicting the underworld. Some sources explore the relation of the world of the living to that of the dead through descriptions of the location of the underworld and the difficulties of entering it. By contrast, discussions of the regions within the underworld and existence therein often relate to ideas of afterlife as a continuation of or compensation for life in the world above. All of these depictions made use of the same basic set of elements, adapting them in their own ways to describe the location of, the entering into, and the regions within the underworld.

Article

Vatican  

Bryan Ward-Perkins

Vatican, an extramural area of the city of Rome, on the right bank of the *Tiber around the mons Vaticanus. In the early empire the Vatican was the site of an imperial park (the horti Agrippinae); and of entertainment structures, the Naumachiae (see naumachia), where mock sea-battles were exhibited, and the Vatican *circus, where *Gaius(1) set up a great obelisk from Heliopolis and which was traditionally the site of the martyrdom of St Peter. There was also an important shrine of *Cybele (or the Magna Mater) attested in inscriptions; and along the two roads that crossed the area, the via Cornelia and the via Triumphalis, were cemeteries. A group of mausolea on the foot-slopes of the mons Vaticanus were excavated under St Peter's in the 1940s, and within this cemetery (directly under the high altar of St Peter's) was found a small 2nd-cent. shrine, marking the probable burial-site of Peter, apostle and first bishop of Rome.

Article

Nicholas Purcell

Ve(d)iovis, Roman god, a form of *Jupiter, with a festival on 21 May, and temples on the *Tiber island and between the two summits of the Capitoline hill (see capitol). Important remains of the latter, including the marble cult-statue, have been explored under the Palazzo Senatorio, revealing several rebuildings. The cult had important links with the gens Iulia (an ancient altar at suburban *Bovillae dedicated by its members, ILLRP270; see gens; iulius, various entries), and was the object of considerable antiquarian speculation in antiquity.

Article

Venus  

John Scheid

The debate over the original nature of this goddess, who does not belong to Rome's oldest pantheon but is attested fairly early at *Lavinium, has been partly resolved (Schilling 1954). It is now accepted that the neuter †venus, ‘charm’, cannot be separated from the terms venia, venerari, venenum (‘gracefulness’, ‘to exercise a persuasive charm’, ‘poison’, against Radke, Götter 311 ff.)). How this neuter was transformed into a feminine, a process attested for the Osco-Umbrian goddess Herentas (cf. oscans; umbrians), is ill-understood in the absence of evidence. Schilling thinks that it took place at the federal sanctuary of Lavinium, a city with old and well-attested links with the Greek world and the legend of *Troy. Whatever the case, from the 3rd cent. bce, Venus was the patron of all persuasive seductions, between gods and mortals, and between men and women (Venus Verticordia). Because of her links with the extraordinary power of *wine, Venus is presented in the rites and myth of the *Vinalia as a powerful mediatrix between *Jupiter and the Romans.

Article

Edward Togo Salmon and T. W. Potter

Vercellae (mod. Vercelli), originated as an *oppidum of the Celtic Libici, near the gold-mines of north-western Cisalpine Gaul (see gaul (cisalpine)). A garrison-town and a *municipium under the early empire, it became an important Christian centre in the 4th and 5th cents. ce.

Article

J. Linderski

Ver sacrum, ‘the sacred spring’, a ritual practised in Italy, particularly by the Sabellic (*Oscan) tribes; see sabelli. In times of distress all produce of the spring (or the whole year) was consecrated to a deity, primarily *Mars. The animals were sacrificed; the humans, when of age, were sent away. This controlled over-population; led by a god or totemic animal the sacrani (the ‘devoted’) founded new communities: so originated the Picentes (from picus, ‘woodpecker’; see picenum), Samnites (see samnium), *Mamertines (Men of Mars). In Rome the only recorded ver sacrum was vowed (to *Jupiter) in 217 bce; human offspring were not included (Strabo, 5. 4. 12; Dion. Hal.Ant. Rom. 1. 16; Festus, Gloss. Lat.276, 414, 467; Livy, 22. 10; 33. 44; 34. 44).

Article

Herbert Jennings Rose and John Scheid

Vertumnus (Vortumnus), supposedly an *Etruscan god: so Varro, Ling. 5. 46 and Prop. 4. 2. 4, who says he came from *Volsinii; but nothing confirms this view (Radke, Götter 317 ff.; G. Dumézil, ARR 339 f.), which may just be speculation based on the resemblance of his name to that of *Voltumna and the fact that his temple on the *Aventine (its anniversary 13 August) displayed a painting of M. Fulvius Flaccus, conqueror of Volsinii in 264 bce. His statue stood in the vicus Tuscus in Rome, and *Propertius (4. 2. 13 ff.) indicates that the shopkeepers there made frequent offerings to him. Nothing is known of his functions, since all ancient interpretations played with the various meanings of the verb vertere, from which they derived the god's name (e.g. Prop. 4. 2. 21 ff.; Ov.Met. 14. 642 ff.). The hypothesis that his name can be connected with the Etruscan family ultimni, Latinized Veldumnius, is not acceptable.

Article

Richard Gordon

Vesta was the Roman goddess of (the hearth-) fire, custos flammae (Ov. Fast. 6. 258, comm. F. Bömer), one of the twelve Di *Consentes. The cult is also known from *Pompeii and *Latium: it was believed to have been introduced into Rome by *Pompilius Numa—or *Romulus—from *Alba Longa (Dion. Hal.Ant. Rom. 2. 64. 5 ff.; Serv. on Aen. 1. 273). An ancient etymology linked Vesta to Greek *Hestia (Cic.Nat. D. 2. 67): her cult expressed and guaranteed Rome's permanence. Vesta's main public shrine, never inaugurated certis verbis and so never a true *templum, was a circular building just south-east of Augustus' arch in the *forum Romanum (the original 7th-cent. bce shape is unknown). In the late republic its form was taken to be that of a primitive house, intimating a connection between public and private cults of the hearth. In the historical period, the state cult (Vestalia, 9 June) effectively displaced private cults. There was no statue of Vesta within the shrine (Ov.

Article

Ian Archibald Richmond and John Patterson

Via Sacra, the ‘sacred way’, street connecting the *forum Romanum with the *Velia, affording access to the *Palatine. According to *Varro and *Pompeius Festus, the stretch of road popularly known as via Sacra lay between the *Regia and the house of the rex sacrorum, which was at a location known as Summa Sacra Via; as properly defined, however, the road led from the Sacellum Streniae (cf. strenae) on the Carinae to the Arx (Varro, Ling. 5. 47; Festus, 372 Lindsay). The position of Summa Sacra Via is, however, disputed by modern scholars, who variously locate it close to the Basilica of *Maxentius or near the arch of *Titus. Following the fire of ce 64, the street became a noble avenue, leading from the forum to the entrance to the *Domus Aurea, which was flanked by shops for jewellers, and other luxury-traders.

Article

Nicholas Purcell

Vicomagistri, officials of a *vicus, which was a miniature body politic, and was entitled to possess property, administer common funds, and appoint officials. These magistri or vicomagistri, who were allowed to wear the *toga praetexta, had a role in representing their community in the res publica. In the late republic the vici offered a chance of finding a sense of community in the chaotic life of the city, and so they and their leaders, like the leaders of the collegia (see collegium), played an important part in the organization of mass politics.Augustus reorganized the vici at the same time as the regiones (see regio). Their centre was a compitum or cross-roads, at which a cult of the *Lares or guardian deities of that locality was maintained, involving in particular a festival of the compitum called ludi compitalicii (see ludi), which had often been a focus for disturbances in the late republic. The cult now came to include Augustan Lares and the *genius of the emperor.

Article

Herbert Jennings Rose and John North

Sacrificial slaughterer; see sacrifice, roman. The magistrate in charge of a sacrifice did not perform the act of killing himself; he performed symbolic acts and pronounced the prayers, but a victimarius took over the killing and butchering from him. In imperial times, we know that they formed a college of their own.

Article

Herbert Jennings Rose and John Scheid

The Roman equivalent of *Nike. There is no evidence that she is anything more; mentions of an early cult of Victory must refer to Vacuna or Vica Pota (Dion. Hal.Ant. Rom. 1. 15. 1; Asc.Pis., p. 13. 15 Clark). She is associated in cult with *Jupiter (Victor), as in the Acta Fratrum Arvalium (99. a. 27 Scheid), oftener with Mars (e.g. 68. col.II. 28 Scheid), also with other deities. She was worshipped by the army, as was natural (A. von Domaszewski, Die Religion des römischen. Heeres (1895), 4 ff.), and hence is given surnames associating her with particular legions and more commonly still with emperors (list in Roscher, 6. 299; cf. J. Gagé, Rev. Arch.1930, 1 ff., Rev. Hist.1933, 1 ff.). Her temple on the clivus Victoriae leading up to the *Palatine dates from 294 bce (see, LTUR, V. 149–50 (P.

Article

Vinalia  

C. Robert Phillips

Roman wine festivals on 23 April (Priora), 19 August (Rustica). The Priora probably offered *Jupiter new wine at the time of sale (Plin.HN 18. 287, fasti Praenestini); Ov.Fast. 4. 863 ff. with Bömer's notes, Plut., Quaest. Rom. 45 with Rose's notes. Varro, Rust. 1. 1. 6 substitutes *Venus (cf. Ling. 6. 16), chronologically difficult since her first temple (Venus Obsequens) was dedicated 295 bce (Livy, 10. 31. 9), understandable from its 19 August dedication. The Rustica propitiated the weather; PlinyHN 18. 284: tria namque tempora fructibus metuebant (‘they feared three times of year for the crops’).

Article

Herbert Jennings Rose and John Scheid

Volcanus (VolkanusVulcanus), an ancient Roman god of destructive, devouring *fire, in both the human environment and in nature: e.g. in volcanoes (see Strabo 5. 246 for his worship at the Solfatare of *Puteoli, and Plin. HN 2. 240 for fire coming out of the ground near *Mutina), which explains why his temple should always stand outside a city (Vitr. 1. 7. 1), on the authority of the *Etruscan*haruspices. He was associated with *Maia(2) (Gell. NA 13. 23. 2 ‘Maiam Volcani’), the goddess of the irrepressible development of the fire, and was worshipped at Rome from the earliest-known times, having a flamen (see flamines) and a festival, the Volcanalia, on 23 August (calendars). His shrine, the Volcanal, stood in the Area Volcani in the *forum Romanum at the foot of the *Capitol; it may therefore go back to a time when the Forum was still outside the city (see F. Coarelli, Il Foro Romano, 1: Periodo arcaico (1983), 164 ff.

Article

John Scheid

Voltumna, an Etruscan goddess, at whose shrine the Etruscan federal council met (Livy, 4. 23. 5; 25. 7; 61. 2; 5. 17. 6; 6. 2. 2; cf. CIL 11. 5265 and J. Gascou, Mélanges d'arch. 1967, for the survival of these meetings.). Nothing more is known of her and the site of the shrine is uncertain (see volsinii).