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Richard Gordon

Sarapis (in Latin, Serapis), the Hellenized (Greek) form of Egypt. wsi᾿r ḥp, *Osiris-*Apis (Osorapis, Oser-), the hypostasis of Osiris and of Apis-bulls entombed at Saqqara (Plut. De Is. et Os. 29, 362cd). The cult was performed in the temple complex rebuilt by Nectanebo I and II (380–343 bce) above the ‘great chambers’, later called the *Memphis Serapeum. This rebuilding was probably in recognition of the crowds of pilgrims, including many foreigners, who sought healing by incubation, oracles, and *dream-interpretation. Recent excavation has shown that officials, priests, and poor alike were buried around the Serapeum way. The cult's importance was immediately grasped by the Macedonian occupiers left by *Alexander (3) the Great (JEg. Arch.1974, 239). *Ptolemy (1) I made an extra loan of 50 talents for the burial of the Apis-bull (Diod. Sic. 1. 84. 8) and rebuilt the temple dromos.


Saturnus, Saturnalia  

John Scheid

Saturnus is one of the most puzzling gods in Roman cult. His festival (below) was part of the ‘Calendar of Numa’ (see pompilius, numa), and its position, 17 December, midway between Consualia and Opalia, is intelligible if we suppose, as has commonly been done (e.g. by Wissowa, RK204) that his name (Sāturnus, also Saeturnus) is to be connected with sătus and taken as that of a god of sowing, or of seed-corn. Other historians derive the god from the Etruscan Satre. But neither of these explanations resolves the difficulties raised by the cult of Saturn. The god, whose temple was sited by the NW corner of the *forum Romanum, is now considered as an Italo-Roman deity (his name is mentioned in the *Carmen Saliare) who underwent a Hellenizing i.e. Greek interpretatio (see interpretatio romana) from the end of the 3rd cent. bce.


Satyrus (2), 'Zeta', pupil of Aristarchus (2), 2nd cent. BCE  

Nicknamed Zeta, pupil of *Aristarchus (2), was perhaps the author of a collection of ancient myths (FGrH 20). On the (?) different writers called Satyrus (a hopeless muddle) see Fraser, Ptol. Alex. 2. 656–7, n. 57.


Secular Games  

Susan Bilynskyj Dunning

The Ludi Saeculares were a religious performance held at Rome from the Republic to late Empire that came to be connected with the arrival of a new age or saeculum. The earliest celebrations included sacrifices and theatrical games (ludi scaenici; see ludi) at an altar by the Tiber in the Campus Martius; this location was called the Tarentum. In later centuries, new rituals were added to these older elements as the Ludi Saeculares came to be connected with the creation and legitimization of imperial dynasty and authority.The Republican predecessor of the Ludi Saeculares was a cult associated with the Valerian clan (see gens): a legend concerning their foundation describes how a legendary figure named Valesius instituted the first ludi and sacrifices to chthonic deities, Dis Pater and Proserpina (see Persephone), in thanksgiving for the miraculous cure of his three children at the Tarentum (.



Harold Mattingly and Simon Price

Securitas, often with epithets like ‘publica’, ‘Augusta’ or ‘temporum’ (of the times), associated with the emperor or the state as a ‘virtue’ or ‘desirable state’. Securitas was invoked when some imminent danger had been averted or on an occasion like 10 January ce 69, when the Arval Brothers (*fratres arvales) sacrificed to her among other gods on *Galba's adoption of L.



J. Linderski

A religious banquet at which the goddesses sat on chairs (sellae; Val. Max. 2. 1. 2: *Juno and *Minerva at the epulum Iovis, ‘the banquet for *Jupiter’), whereas at the *lectisternium they reclined (at least originally, Livy 5. 13. 5; 22. 10. 9) together with the gods on couches. Sellisternia were commonly offered by women (for Juno, Tac.


Semo Sancus Dius Fidius  

John Scheid

Semo Sancus Dius Fidius (for the full name see Dion. Hal. Ant. Rom. 4. 58. 4; CIL 6. 30994), a deity of puzzling origin, nature, and name, said to be Sabine, see sabini (e.g. Prop. 4. 9. 74; he is here identified with *Hercules, apparently from the interpretation of Dius Fidius as Iovis filius, ‘son of *Jupiter’). The name of the god is thought to be Sancus (sometimes Sanctus, not necessarily from a copyist's error: see CIL 6. 568 and 30994), from sancire, ‘sanction’. Against Latte (RR 128), Radke (Entwicklung, 116 ff.) accepts the affirmation of *Lydus (Mens. 4. 90 p. 138. 1 ff. Wünsch) that sancus is the Sabine word for ‘sky’. Semo has no clear meaning. Wissowa proposed to see a generic name like *genius, but the view today is that a seed-god is in question, although his relation with Sancus is unexplained. In any case Dius Fidius, whose name locates him in Jupiter's ambit (the *Oscan and Umbrian Fisius Sancios makes this explicit), in the historical period is firmly united with Sermo Sancus (against Latte, RR 126 ff.


septemviri epulones  

Herbert Jennings Rose and John North

Septemviri epulones, the latest addition to the four major colleges of Roman *priests. They were instituted by law in 196 bce (Livy 33. 42) and were then three in number (tresviri), all apparently plebeians and including C. Licinius Lucullus, the tribune who had proposed the bill. Their first responsibility, from which they take their name, was the organization of the epulum Iovis, a great feast at the games (see ludi), attended by the senate and people and presided over by the images of the Capitoline deities (see capitol).


ships of Lake Nemi, the  

Deborah N. Carlson



Arthur Stanley Pease and David Potter

The word Sibylla, of uncertain etymology, appears first in Heraclitus (DK 22 B 92) and was used as a proper name by the 5th cent. bce (e.g. Ar.Pax 1095, 1116). Specific oracles relating to events in the 4th cent. appear to have been attributed to the Sibyl by Ephorus. Originally the Sibyl seems to have been a single prophetic woman, but by the time of *Heraclides (1) Ponticus (fr. 130–41 Wehrli) a number of places claimed to be the birthplace of Sibylla, traditions concerning a number of different Sibyls began to circulate, and the word came to be a generic term rather than a name. There are a number of Sibylline catalogues, of which the most important was that compiled by *Varro for his Res Divinae. It lists ten: (1) Persian;(2) Libyan;(3) Delphic;(4) Cimmerian (in Italy);(5) Erythraean (named Herophile);(6) Samian;(7) Cumaean;(8) Hellespontine;(9) Phrygian;(10) Tiburtine.



Herbert Jennings Rose and Antony Spawforth

Sigillaria, the fair on the last of the seven days of the Saturnalia (see saturnus), when pottery figurines (sigilla) were given as gifts; as well as these, other trifling wares were sold (Auson.Cent. Nupt. 206. 7 Peiper). It was usual to give dependants money for this fair (e.g. Suet.



Frank William Walbank and Ernst Badian

Silenus, probably of Caleacte in Sicily, wrote a history of Sicily. With *Sosylus, he accompanied Hannibal's expedition as an official historian and wrote a history of it, which *Coelius Antipater and *Polybius (1) later used. Hence he is one of the ultimate sources for Livy's third decade. We have too few fragments to judge the work, but the description of two dreams shows Hellenistic ornamentation and probably reminiscence of *Herodotus (1).



James Rives

Roman god of the countryside. Apparently of ancient origin, he is rarely attested before the Augustan period, but during the empire was one of the most popular deities in the western and Danubian provinces, where he appears in over 1,100 inscriptions. He was associated primarily with forests (as reflected in his name) and agriculture, to a lesser extent with hunting and herding. Although in ancient literature he is sometimes linked or confused with *Faunus and *Pan, he lacks their prophetic abilities and wild personalities. Instead, he generally appears in inscriptions and monuments as a benign anthropomorphic deity, accompanied at times by female deities named Silvanae or Nymphae. In some areas (e.g. southern France) he was regularly identified with local gods, while in others (e. g. Romania) he apparently retained his purely Roman character. Silvanus never received any public cult either in Rome or in the provinces, although a number of collegia were organized in his name.



Cyril Bailey

Silvius, son of *Aeneas and Lavinia, father of Silvius Aeneas and ancestor of the Alban royal house of Silvii (Verg.Aen. 6. 760–7; Livy 1. 3). A legend due to the name, but unknown to Virgil, told that Lavinia, fearing the jealousy of *Ascanius, fled to the woods and there gave birth to her son (Dion. Hal. 1. 70).



H. S. Versnel

The modern term has no equivalent in either Greek or Latin. The Christian concept of sin accommodates two basic and coherent senses: offence against moral codes, and action against the laws or the will of God. It presupposes conscious voluntariness, while remorse may be associated with its consequences, interpreted as an expression of estrangement from God. Although some of these characteristics can be found in the archaic and classical religions of Greece and Rome, as a whole this complex is not clearly represented. Various aspects are denoted by different terms such as Greek adikia (wrongdoing, injustice), anomia (lawless conduct), hamartia, hamartēma (failure, fault, error), or Latin vitium (fault, blemish), scelus (evil deed, crime), peccatum (fault, error), etc. The term syneidēsis (Lat. conscientia), originally ‘awareness, consciousness’, developed the sense ‘consciousness of right and wrong, conscience’ (adopted by early Christianity) only in the Hellenistic and more especially imperial period. The Greek term hamartia approximates most closely (but cannot be identified with) our concept ‘sin’ and was adopted in the *Septuagint and early Christian scriptures for rendering and developing the biblical concept of sin (cf.



John North

Either ‘companions, mates’, or else ‘members of a single college or fraternity’. Examples of the latter sense are the secondary religious groups of Rome: these include the *fetiales, who made treaties and declared war; and three sodalitates that were concerned with performing specific annual rites—the *Salii, active in March and perhaps October; the Luperci, whose festival was the *Lupercalia of February; and the best-recorded of them all, the *fratres arvales, whose cult of *Dea Dia was originally agrarian and concerned with boundaries, later with the celebration of the imperial house.Some of these were formed of one (Sodales Titii) or more (Luperci Faviani and Luperci Quintiliani) of the ancient clans (gentes; see gens). It is not, however, clear that sodalitates were always based on gentile links. New ones were formed when a new cult was brought to Rome, for instance those of the Great Mother (Magna Mater, *Cybele) when the cult was introduced from the east in 204 bce (see pessinus; philhellenism); or those of the new Divi under the Empire, the Sodales Augustales after the death of *Augustus, the Sodales Flaviales, Hadrianales, and Antoniniani under later dynasties.



Herbert Jennings Rose and John Scheid

The name of the Sun is given to two utterly different deities in Rome. The older is Sol Indiges, of whom we know that he had a sacrifice on 9 August (Augustan calendars for that date: Soli Indigiti in colle Quirinale), while calendars for 11 December, especially the Fasti Antiates, give A (onium) IN (igetis). Nothing more is known with any certainty; the indication for 11 December is supplemented by Lydus (Mens 4. 155, 172. 22 Wuensch), who says that the festival was in honour of Helios. See Koch, Gestirnverehrung im alten Italien (1933), 63 ff., against Wissowa, RK 317; but some of Koch's combinations are very hazardous. This cult was native, apparently, and is connected by Latte (RR 44) with the agricultural calendar. There existed at the Circus Maximus a temple of Sol and *Luna (Fast. Filoc. on 28 August), which may date from the 3rd cent. bce (cf.



Edward Togo Salmon and T. W. Potter

The isolated mountain 691 m. (2,267 ft.) high to the north of Rome, from which it is sometimes visible. Celebrated by *Horace (Odes 1. 9), there were priests here called Hirpi, resembling Roman Luperci (cf. Lupercalia). They worshipped *Apollo Soranus by walking over hot coals (Plin.



Herbert Jennings Rose and Simon Price

Soter, fem. Soteira, a title of several deities (e.g. *Zeus Soter, *Artemis Soteira), expressing their power to save people from danger. It has no Latin equivalent (Cic.Verr. 2. 2. 154), except perhaps for Juno Sospita. Christian ideas of the Saviour must not be projected onto pre-Christian usage. ‘Soter’ comments on function, and does not by itself imply divine status. But from early times the word was used by analogy for humans who performed extraordinary deeds worthy of divine cult (Aesch.Supp.980–2; cf. Thuc. 5. 11. 1). In the Hellenistic period it was often used of kings: *Antigonus (3) Doson was called Euergetes (Benefactor) in his lifetime, Soter after his death (Polyb. 5. 9. 10); *Ptolemy (1) I Soter is perhaps the most famous holder of the title. It became a commonplace of honours to Roman officials in the east (including Verres, see Cic. ibid.). See ruler-cult.



Nicholas Purcell

Spes, the personification of hope (with particular reference to the safety of the younger generation) worshipped at Rome by the 5th cent. bce (Livy 2. 51. 2) and given a temple in the forum Holitorium (remains survive, built into the church of S. Nicola in Carcere) by A. *Atilius Calatinus (consul 258 bce).