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Article

strenae  

J. Linderski

Strenae, originally the luck-bringing (mostly laurel) twigs (from the grove of the goddess Strenia), also figs, honey-cakes, and dates; later any gifts, lamps, coins, and even gold, exchanged by the Romans (and accompanied by good wishes) on New Year's Day. In the case of the houses of the *rex sacrorum and the major *flamines, the temple of Vesta, and the curiae (see curia (1)), the laurel branches were placed there on 1 March, the old New Year (FestusGloss. Lat. 408; Ov.Fast. 1. 175–226; 3. 137–42; Suet.Aug. 57; Tib. 34; Mart. 8. 33; 13. 27; Macrob.Sat. 1. 12. 6; Symm., Relat. 7, 15; Lydus, Mens. 4. 4; ILS 7214). Hence the meaning of strena as ‘good omen’ (already in Plautus). The custom was (unsuccessfully) combated by the Church (cf. August; Serm. 198. 2).

Article

John Scheid

Summanus, god who sends nocturnal thunderbolts (FestusGloss. Lat. 334). Latte (RR 208) derives the cult from an omen during the war with *Pyrrhus when a temple was founded (?276 bce), located ‘at the Circus Maximus’ (A. Ziolkowski, The Temples of Mid-Republican Rome, 154). Wheel-shaped *cakes called summonalia were offered to him (FestusGloss.

Article

J. Linderski

Suovetaurilia (suovi-), a purificatory sacrifice at the conclusion of lustratio of three (generic) victims: pig, sheep, bull (sus, ovis, taurus). Suovetaurilia lactentia (‘suckling’) consisted of porcus, agnus, vitulus, male pig, lamb, calf (Cato, Agr. 141), and were employed at the *lustration of private fields. At public lustrations (at the census, of the army) the suovetaurilia maiora (‘greater’) were used consisting of full-grown victims, verres, aries, taurus, boar, ram, bull (Varro, Rust. 2. 1. 10; Livy 1. 44. 2; Acta fr. Arv. p. 143 Henzen). The term solitauriliaQuintilian (Inst. 1. 5. 67) regarded as a corruption of suovetaurilia; others (in antiquity and recently) have proposed various etymologies, none fully convincing.

Article

John Scheid

Superstitio, though perhaps originally implying a positive attitude, had become pejorative by the end of the 1st cent. bce. Superstition meant a free citizen's forgetting his dignity by throwing himself into the servitude of deities conceived as tyrants. The civic ideal of piety (see pietas) was envisaged as honouring the gods while preserving one's freedom—that is, with restraint and measure. Thus the superstitious were supposed to submit themselves to exaggerated *rituals, to adhere in credulous fashion to *prophecies, and to allow themselves to be abused by charlatans. The reproach was, particularly but not only, applied to women (Juv.Sat. 6), but also to members of the social and intellectual elite. This conception corresponded to that conveyed by the Greek *deisidaimonia, (see e.g. *PlutarchOn Deisidaeimonia). As a general rule the Romans considered strangers, and especially *barbarians, as superstitious, either because they celebrated monstrous cults, like the Gauls, or because they were terrified by every exceptional happening and attributed it to divine wrath. But one could equally be considered superstitious, like the Jews, in submitting obediently to the prophecies of sacred books (Tac.

Article

J. Linderski

When calamity struck (pestilence, defeat) or danger threatened, the senate, advised by priests, often decreed adoration by all the people, or part of it, especially women (Livy 25. 12. 15) of all or certain gods (often placed on pulvinaria (see pulvinar), with the temples open) to expiate transgressions or to ensure future support. Supplicationes were also decreed to render thanks (gratulatio) for a signal victory. This double character of the rite favours the etymological connection with placo, ‘give satisfaction’, rather than with plico, ‘to bend’ (one's knees). Originally lasting one day, they reached 12 days for *Pompey, 50 for *Caesar, and 55 supplications with the total of 890 days for *Augustus (RG 4. 2; on the supplications under the Empire, see the Feriale Cumanum, ILS 108). Apparently it was an old Roman rite, but it fell under Greek influence: more than half of expiatory supplications were held at the suggestion of decemvirs (and the Sibylline books; see quindecimviri; sibyl); they were occasionally associated with a *lectisternium (Livy 22.

Article

Richard Gordon

Syncretism, originally a (negative) term for the eirenic theologies of Grotius (1583–1645) and Calixtus (1586–1656), was turned into a metaphor in the 1830s, apparently by J. H. Newman. Extended by C. W. King to the *Alexandrian Gnostics (1860s; see gnosticism), its new meaning was summarized by Andrew Lang in relation to Egypt (1887): the word denotes the process whereby ‘various god-names and god-natures are mingled so as to unite the creeds of different nomes (see nomos(1)) and provinces’. But the obscurity of the processes at work has meant that the term's real value lies in its imprecision. Two basic types are to be distinguished in the ancient world, ‘internal’ and ‘contact’. Internal syncretism is typical of ancient Egyptian (and Vedic) religion, as much the result of popular piety as of temple theology. Each god appears in a variety of forms and functions. Forms, names, and epithets diversify and intermingle with boundless energy. Gods, often in triads, co-exist or cohabit within one another, remaining separate at the level of cult.

Article

Janet DeLaine

(1) The record-office at Rome (see archives (Roman)), possibly serving the adjacent *aerarium (treasury) of Saturn and built according to CIL 12. 737 by Q. *Lutatius Catulus(1) in 78 bce, but not mentioned in literary sources. It is traditionally associated with the trapezoidal building lying between the two summits of the *Capitol with its main front towards the Campus Martius. On the opposite side, closing the west end of the *forum Romanum, the elevation consisted of a massive substructure of ashlar masonry with an arcade of eleven arches flanked by Doric half-columns above it. A second storey of Corinthian columns, now disappeared, was probably added in Flavian times. A stairway from the Forum climbed through the ground floor of the substructure to the front hall of the building. The first floor contained a service corridor, leading from the top of the porticus Deorum Consentium to two floors of eastern strong-rooms.

Article

Tages  

J. Linderski

Tages, a figure of *Etruscan mythology, an example of puer senex, ‘aged child’, childlike in appearance but of divine wisdom. He sprang out during ploughing from a furrow near *Tarquinii, and revealed (to *Tarchon or to the twelve lucumones—Etruscan priests) the art of Etruscan disciplina, i.e. *divination, especially haruspicy (the books of Tages, libri Tagetici), and immediately died.

Article

Tarchon  

J. Linderski

Tarchon, companion, son or brother of Tyrrhenus, founder of *Tarquinii, also of Pisa and Mantua (Lycoph. Alex. 1248; Cato, Orig. fr. 45 Peter; Strabo, 5. 219; Serv. Dan. Aen. 10. 198). The scene on a bronze mirror from Tuscania does not refer to him, but rather to his son, Av (e) Tarchunus: with his cap of a haruspex (see haruspices) thrown onto his back, he watches the youthful Pava Tarchies (not to be identified with Tages) examining a liver for omens.

Article

J. Linderski

Tarquitius (RE 7) Priscus, an authority on ‘Etruscan lore’, Etrusca disciplina (see religion, etruscan). He appears to have lived at the end of the republic. *Macrobius (Sat. 3. 7. 2; 20. 3) quotes a passage from his book, translated (transcriptus) from Ostentarium Tuscum (‘Etruscan Prognostications’), on the felicitous omen of the ram with reddish or golden hue (purpureo aureove colore), and another from Ostentarium arborarium (‘Prognostication from Trees’), concerning unfruitful and unlucky trees (arbores infelices). *Pliny(1) (HN1) lists him among his sources for books 2 and 11, and *Ammianus Marcellinus (25. 2. 7) mentions the ‘books of Tarquitius’ (Tarquitiani libri). He is possibly mentioned by Varro, Rust. 1. 2. 27 and [Verg.], Catal. 5. 3; that he was the subject of a mutilated inscription from *Tarquinii (ILS 2924) is now disputed.

Article

Greek-speaking Christian philosopher from Mesopotamia and pupil of *Justin Martyr in Rome. After Justin's death he split from the Roman community (c. ce 172) and returned to the east where he lived as an ascetic (see asceticism). He is the author of the Oration to the Greeks (an attack on pagan philosophy and culture and in praise of the ‘barbarian philosophy’ of the Christians) and of the Diatessaron, an edition of the Gospels in a single narrative.

Article

teletē  

H. S. Versnel

Being related to τελεῖν (accomplish, finish), this word originally means no more than ‘accomplishment’, ‘performance’. However, already at its earliest occurrence (*Pindar), it had a special meaning: the accomplishment of a ceremony of a religious nature or connotation. So Pindar uses it of the *Olympian Games and of Athenian festivals including athletic contests. From its earliest occurrence, the term is characteristically used to denote religious acts of a special kind which deviated in some way or other from the prevailing practices in Greece and hence attracted attention. In *Euripidesτελετή often means a rite, in particular a more or less eccentric or orgiastic rite. *Aristophanes(1) uses it for religious celebrations of any kind (cf. Pax418–20). But from the 5th cent. (Hdt.; Andoc. 1. 111) onwards, it tends to be used especially for *mysteries and mystic cults, sometimes, as for example in *Plato(1), with special reference to the initiatory parts of mysteries or to *initiation in general.

Article

Tellus  

Herbert Jennings Rose and John Scheid

Tellus, the Roman earth-goddess, probably very old, though her temple on the Esquiline dates only from 268 bce. (Ziolkowski, Temples 155 ff.). She should not be confused with *Ceres. According to *Ovid (Fast. 1. 671 ff.), Tellus was patroness of the place of cultivation, Ceres of cultivation's origins; and while Terra describes the element ‘earth’, Tellus is the name of its protecting deity (Serv. on Aen., 1. 171; 12. 778). Terra mater, ‘Mother Earth’, is only attested from the 2nd cent. bce (Pacuvius fr. 93 Ribbeck). For the question of Greek influence on her ritual see F. Altheim, Terra Mater (1931); S. Weinstock, cited below; H. Le Bonniec, Le Culte de Cérès (1958), 111 ff. She is associated in cult with Tellumo (Varro in August. De civ. D. 7. 23); with Altor (‘Feeder’) and Rusor (‘Ploughman’?), ibid.; perhaps with the doubtful Tellurus (Mart. Cap. 1. 49). No festival is named after her and she has no flamen (see flamines); but she is the deity concerned in the feriae sementivae (see festivals, roman) (Ov.

Article

temple  

Richard Allan Tomlinson

The Greek temple was the house of the god, whose image it contained, usually placed so that at the annual festival it could watch through the open door the burning of the sacrifice at the altar which stood outside (see statues, cult of). It was not a congregational building, the worshippers instead gathering round the altar in the open air, where they would be given the meat of the victims to consume (see sacrifice, greek). *Orientation was generally towards the east, and often towards that point on the skyline where (allowing for the vagaries of ancient Greek calendars) the sun rose on the day of the festival. The temple also served as a repository for the property of the god, especially the more valuable possessions of gold and silver *plate (see votive offerings).The core of the temple is the cella, a rectangular room whose side walls are prolonged beyond one end to form a porch, either with columns between them (in antis) or in a row across the front (prostyle). More prestigious temples surround this with an external colonnade (and are described as peripteral). They generally duplicate the porch with a corresponding prolongation of the walls at the rear of the cella, without, however, making another doorway into the cella (the opisthodomus, or false porch).

Article

John North

Greek and Roman temples served as the houses of gods and goddesses, but also as centres of religious activity, meeting-places, storehouses for dedications, and secure locations for the keeping of valuables. They do not seem in general to have played as great a role in the social and economic life of the cities as did the great temples of Egypt and the near east, but all the same they must have required regular control, care, and funding in fulfilling their tasks and maintaining their fabric.In Greece we have a picture of how the temples operated. There were normally *priests or priestesses in charge of each; in any large temple they would be assisted by minor officials. *Aristotle (Pol. 6. 1322b) distinguishes three types of these: first, there were cult officials who assisted in the sacrifices and rituals (hieropoioi), who would have received their share of the sacrificial meat and other perquisites; secondly, there were wardens or caretakers (neōkoroi, naophylakes) who controlled access to the sanctuary, carried out purifications of those entering, and cleaned the sanctuary; thirdly, there were treasurers (hierotamiae), who assisted with financial administration, took care of treasures and votives, and oversaw the raising of revenue.

Article

templum  

J. Linderski

Templum, an augural term denoting (a) the field of vision defined by a ritual formula (templum in aere) to observe the (impetrative) auspices (see auspicium) from the flight of birds; lightning was observed in the semicircular celestial templum; (b) the quadrangular area delimited and inaugurated by the *augures. Many official state functions had to take place in a templum (especially the senatorial meetings and observations of the impetrative auspices); most shrines (aedes sacrae) were templa (but not that of *Vesta), also the *Curia(2) and the *rostra (Varro in Gell. NA 14. 7. 7; Lingua 6. 91, 7. 6–13).

Article

Janet DeLaine

Templum Pacis, later called forum Pacis or Vespasiani, was the precinct of the temple of Peace at Rome, dedicated by *Vespasian in 75 ce. The area (145×100 m.) was surrounded by marble porticoes within an enclosure wall of peperino and laid out as a garden. The temple, a rectangular hall in the centre of the east side set flush with the portico, housed the spoils from *Jerusalem. It was flanked by a library, the bibliotheca Pacis, and various other halls. One of these carried the *Forma urbis and may have housed the office of the urban prefect. After the fire of *Commodus the complex was restored by *Septimius Severus.

Article

Herbert Jennings Rose and John Scheid

Terminus, a boundary-marker; in Roman religion, the god who protected these markers, which were set up with ceremony, sacrifices being made and blood and other offerings, with the ashes of the fire, put into the hole which was to contain the terminus (Siculus Flaccus in B. Campbell, Roman Land Surveyors (2000), 106.28–108.7). Enunciation of the function of both god and markers was repeated by means of a yearly sacrifice and feast (Ov.Fast. 2. 638 ff.) by the neighbours, on 23 February (Terminalia). On the same day a public sacrifice, celebrated on the sixth milestone of the via Laurentina, affirmed the symbolic limit of the ager Romanus antiquus, the earliest territory of Rome. According to myth, the Terminus on the *Capitol had been there before the temple of *Jupiter Optimus Maximus was built, and refused to move; he therefore was left inside the temple, with an opening in the roof above, as he had to be under the open sky (Ov. Fast.

Article

Leofranc Holford-Strevens

The purported will (4th cent. ce) of a piglet before slaughter at the Saturnalia, parodying the informal military will; beloved of schoolboys and deplored by Jerome, it expresses barbed humour in variegated diction.

Article

David Potter

Theodicy is the effort to explain (a) phenomena appearing to demonstrate a divinity's hostility to virtuous people or to people whose actions suggest that they should expect to be recipients of divine favour, or (b), more generally, reasons for divine anger with humanity.Theodical explanations are well attested in Egyptian and Mesopotamian literature, and they form the basis for significant portions of the Hebrew Bible. Theodicy is particularly important in societies that view divine forces as guarantors of good.*Hesiod is the most important early source for Greek theodicies. The story of *Pandora, which explains the existence of evil in the world as a response to *Prometheus' deceit, is one such, another the story that *Zeus decided to destroy the human race as a result of its *hubris (Hes.Op.47–105; Eoiae fr. 204 M–W). Early Greek elegy contains other examples in, for instance, Solon's poem on the subject of Dikē (fr. 13 West). The notion that a good person can be punished for the evil of an ancestor or ancestors is brought out perhaps most clearly in the Delphic explanation (see delphic oracle) of the fall of *Croesus, who is told explicitly that his misfortune is the consequence of the crime of *Gyges (Hdt.