A cornu or cornum was an ancient Roman brass instrument about 3 m long in the shape of a letter'G'. The instrument was braced by a crossbar that stiffened the structure and provided a means of supporting its weight on the player's shoulder; some specimens survive in two from the ruins of Pompeii. The cornu may be difficult to distinguish from the buccina, it was used by the Roman army for communicating orders to troops in battle. In Roman art, the cornu appears among the instruments that accompany games or gladiator combat in the arena, as on the Zliten mosaic; the cornu was carried by the cornicen who coded the general's orders into signals and broadcast them over the field during battles. The Roman army made use of a straight trumpet called a tuba, which bore no resemblance to the modern tuba; the military writer Vegetius described the use of horns to give signals: The music of the legion consists of trumpets and buccinae. The trumpet sounds the retreat; the cornets are used only to regulate the motions of the colors.
The classicum, a particular sound of the buccina or horn, is appropriated to the commander-in-chief and is used in the presence of the general, or at the execution of a soldier, as a mark of its being done by his authority. The ordinary guards and outposts are always mounted and relieved by the sound of trumpet, which directs the motions of the soldiers on working parties and on field days; the cornets sound whenever the colors are to be planted. These rules must be punctually observed in all exercises and reviews so that the soldiers may be ready to obey them in action without hesitation according to the general's orders either to charge or halt, to pursue the enemy or to retire. For reason will convince us that what is necessary to be performed in the heat of action should be practiced in the leisure of peace; the cornu was revived as the "tuba curva" during the French Revolution, along with the buccina. Both were first used in music that François Joseph Gossec composed for the translation of the remains of Voltaire to the Pantheon, on 11 July 1791.
Music of ancient Rome Sousaphone William Smith, D. C. L. LL. D.: A Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities, John Murray, London, 1875. Roman Music
Roman funerary practices
Roman funerary practices include the Ancient Romans' religious rituals concerning funerals and burials. They were part of the unwritten code from which Romans derived their social norms. Roman cemeteries were located outside the sacred boundary of its cities, they were visited with offerings of food and wine, special observances during Roman festivals in honor of the dead. Funeral monuments appear throughout the Roman Empire, their inscriptions are an important source of information for otherwise unknown individuals and history. A Roman sarcophagus could be an elaborately crafted art work, decorated with relief sculpture depicting a scene, allegorical, mythological, or historical, or a scene from everyday life. Although funerals were a concern of the family, of paramount importance in Roman society, those who lacked the support of an extended family belonged to guilds or collegia which provided funeral services for members. In Greco-Roman antiquity, the bodies of the dead were regarded as polluting.
At the same time, loving duty toward one's ancestors was a fundamental part of ancient Roman culture. The care of the dead negotiated these two opposed attitudes; when a person died at home, family members and intimate friends gathered around the death bed. In accordance with a belief that equated the soul with the breath, the closest relative sealed the passing of spirit from the body with a last kiss, closed the eyes; the relatives began lamentations. The body was placed on the ground and anointed; the placing of the body on the ground is a doublet of birth ritual, when the infant was placed on the bare earth. Mourners were expected to wear the dress appropriate to the occasion, to their station. If the deceased was a male citizen, he was dressed in his toga. Wreaths are found in burials of initiates into mystery religions. After the body was prepared, it lay in state in the atrium of the family home, with the feet pointed toward the door. Other circumstances pertained to those who lived, as most Romans did, in apartment buildings, but elite practices are better documented.
Although embalming was unusual and regarded as an Egyptian practice, it is mentioned in Latin literature, with a few instances documented by archaeology in Rome and throughout the Empire where no Egyptian influence can be assumed. Since elite funerals required complex arrangements, the body had to be preserved in the meantime. "Charon's obol" was a coin placed in or on the mouth of the deceased. The custom is recorded in literary sources and attested by archaeology, sometimes occurs in contexts that suggest it may have been imported to Rome as were the mystery religions that promised initiates salvation or special passage in the afterlife; the custom was explained by the myth of Charon, the ferryman who conveyed the souls of the newly dead across the water — a lake, river, or swamp — that separated the world of the living from the underworld. The coin was rationalized as his payment. In Apuleius's tale of "Cupid and Psyche" in his Metamorphoses, framed by Lucius's quest for salvation ending with initiation into the mysteries of Isis, Psyche carries two coins in her journey to the underworld, the second to enable her return or symbolic rebirth.
Evidence of "Charon's obol" appears throughout the Western Roman Empire well into the Christian era, but at no time and place was it practiced and by all. Although inhumation was practiced in archaic Rome, cremation was the most common burial practice in the Mid- to Late Republic and the Empire into the 1st and 2nd centuries. Crematory images appear in Latin poetry on the theme of mourning. In one of the best-known classical Latin poems of mourning, Catullus writes of his long journey to attend to the funeral rites of his brother, who died abroad, expresses his grief at addressing only silent ash; when Propertius describes his dead lover Cynthia visiting him in a dream, the revenant's dress is scorched down the side and the fire of the pyre has corroded the familiar ring she wears. Inhumation would replace cremation; the care and cultivation of the dead did not end with the funeral and formal period of mourning, but was a perpetual obligation. Libations were brought to the grave, some tombs were equipped with "feeding tubes" to facilitate delivery.
The Romans referred to infants. The Romans did not hold funerals for arpagi, their bodies were not cremated, or interred, no monuments or epitaphs were made for them. Infants who had lived 40 or more days and had cut teeth before their deaths were distinguished from the arpagi. Funeral rites took place at home and at the place of burial, located outside the city to avoid the pollution of the living; the funeral procession transited the distance between the two. A professional guild of musicians specialized in funeral music. Horace mentions the cornu, two bronze trumpet-like instruments, at funerals; the eulogy was a formal panegyric in praise of the dead. It was one of two forms of discourse at a Roman funeral, the other being the
Roman art refers to the visual arts made in Ancient Rome and in the territories of the Roman Empire. Roman art includes architecture, painting and mosaic work. Luxury objects in metal-work, gem engraving, ivory carvings, glass are sometimes considered in modern terms to be minor forms of Roman art, although this would not have been the case for contemporaries. Sculpture was considered as the highest form of art by Romans, but figure painting was very regarded; the two forms have had contrasting rates of survival, with a large body of sculpture surviving from about the 1st century BC onward, though little from before, but little painting at all remains, nothing that a contemporary would have considered to be of the highest quality. Ancient Roman pottery was not a luxury product, but a vast production of "fine wares" in terra sigillata were decorated with reliefs that reflected the latest taste, provided a large group in society with stylish objects at what was evidently an affordable price. Roman coins were an important means of propaganda, have survived in enormous numbers.
While the traditional view of the ancient Roman artists is that they borrowed from, copied Greek precedents, more recent analysis has indicated that Roman art is a creative pastiche relying on Greek models but encompassing Etruscan, native Italic, Egyptian visual culture. Stylistic eclecticism and practical application are the hallmarks of much Roman art. Pliny, Ancient Rome's most important historian concerning the arts, recorded that nearly all the forms of art – sculpture, portrait painting genre painting – were advanced in Greek times, in some cases, more advanced than in Rome. Though little remains of Greek wall art and portraiture Greek sculpture and vase painting bears this out; these forms were not surpassed by Roman artists in fineness of design or execution. As another example of the lost "Golden Age", he singled out Peiraikos, "whose artistry is surpassed by only a few... He painted barbershops and shoemakers’ stalls, donkeys and such, for that reason came to be called the'painter of vulgar subjects'.
The adjective "vulgar" is used here in its original meaning, which means "common". The Greek antecedents of Roman art were legendary. In the mid-5th century BC, the most famous Greek artists were Polygnotos, noted for his wall murals, Apollodoros, the originator of chiaroscuro; the development of realistic technique is credited to Zeuxis and Parrhasius, who according to ancient Greek legend, are said to have once competed in a bravura display of their talents, history's earliest descriptions of trompe l’oeil painting. In sculpture, Praxiteles and Lysippos were the foremost sculptors, it appears that Roman artists had much Ancient Greek art to copy from, as trade in art was brisk throughout the empire, much of the Greek artistic heritage found its way into Roman art through books and teaching. Ancient Greek treatises on the arts are known to have existed in Roman times. Many Roman artists came from Greek colonies and provinces... The high number of Roman copies of Greek art speaks of the esteem Roman artists had for Greek art, of its rarer and higher quality.
Many of the art forms and methods used by the Romans – such as high and low relief, free-standing sculpture, bronze casting, vase art, cameo, coin art, fine jewelry and metalwork, funerary sculpture, perspective drawing, caricature and portrait painting, landscape painting, architectural sculpture, trompe l’oeil painting – all were developed or refined by Ancient Greek artists. One exception is the Roman bust; the traditional head-and-shoulders bust may have been early Roman form. Every artistic technique and method used by Renaissance artists 1,900 years had been demonstrated by Ancient Greek artists, with the notable exceptions of oil colors and mathematically accurate perspective. Where Greek artists were revered in their society, most Roman artists were anonymous and considered tradesmen. There is no recording, as in Ancient Greece, of the great masters of Roman art, no signed works. Where Greeks worshiped the aesthetic qualities of great art, wrote extensively on artistic theory, Roman art was more decorative and indicative of status and wealth, not the subject of scholars or philosophers.
Owing in part to the fact that the Roman cities were far larger than the Greek city-states in power and population, less provincial, art in Ancient Rome took on a wider, sometimes more utilitarian, purpose. Roman culture assimilated many cultures and was for the most part tolerant of the ways of conquered peoples. Roman art was commissioned and owned in far greater quantities, adapted to more uses than in Greek times. Wealthy Romans were more materialistic. In the Christian era of the late Empire, from 350 to 500 CE, wall painting, mosaic ceiling and floor work, funerary sculpture thrived, while full-sized sculpture in the round and panel painting died out, most for religious reasons; when Constantine moved the capital of the empire to Byzantium, Roman art incorporated Eastern influences to produce the Byzantine style of the late empire. When Rome was sacked in the 5th century, artisans moved to
The French horn is a brass instrument made of tubing wrapped into a coil with a flared bell. The double horn in F/B♭ is the horn most used by players in professional orchestras and bands. A musician who plays a French horn is known as hornist. Pitch is controlled through the combination of the following factors: speed of air through the instrument. Most horns have lever-operated rotary valves, but some older horns, use piston valves and the Vienna horn uses double-piston valves, or pumpenvalves; the backward-facing orientation of the bell relates to the perceived desirability to create a subdued sound in concert situations, in contrast to the more piercing quality of the trumpet. A horn without valves is known as a natural horn, changing pitch along the natural harmonics of the instrument. Pitch may be controlled by the position of the hand in the bell, in effect reducing the bell's diameter; the pitch of any note can be raised or lowered by adjusting the hand position in the bell. The key of a natural horn can be changed by adding different crooks of different lengths.
Three valves control the flow of air in the single horn, tuned to F or less B♭. The more common double horn has a fourth, trigger valve operated by the thumb, which routes the air to one set of tubing tuned to F or another tuned to B♭ which expands the horn range to over four octaves and blends with flutes or clarinets in a woodwind ensemble. Triple horns with five valves are made tuned in F, B♭, a descant E♭ or F. There are double horns with five valves tuned in B♭, descant E♭ or F, a stopping valve, which simplifies the complicated and difficult hand-stopping technique, though these are rarer. Common are descant doubles, which provide B♭ and alto F branches. A crucial element in playing the horn deals with the mouthpiece. Most of the time, the mouthpiece is placed in the exact center of the lips, because of differences in the formation of the lips and teeth of different players, some tend to play with the mouthpiece off center. Although the exact side-to-side placement of the mouthpiece varies for most horn players, the up-and-down placement of the mouthpiece is two-thirds on the upper lip and one-third on the lower lip.
When playing higher notes, the majority of players exert a small degree of additional pressure on the lips using the mouthpiece. However, this is undesirable from the perspective of both endurance and tone: excessive mouthpiece pressure makes the horn sound forced and harsh, decreases player's stamina due to the resulting constricted flow of blood to the lips and lip muscles; the name "French horn" is found only in first coming into use in the late 17th century. At that time, French makers were preeminent in the manufacture of hunting horns, were credited with creating the now-familiar, circular "hoop" shape of the instrument; as a result, these instruments were called in English, by their French names: trompe de chasse or cor de chasse. German makers first devised crooks to make such horns playable in different keys—so musicians came to use "French" and "German" to distinguish the simple hunting horn from the newer horn with crooks, which in England was called by the Italian name corno cromatico.
More "French horn" is used colloquially, though the adjective has been avoided when referring to the European orchestral horn since the German horn began replacing the French-style instrument in British orchestras around 1930. The International Horn Society has recommended since 1971 that the instrument be called the horn. There is a more specific use of "French horn" to describe a particular horn type, differentiated from the German horn and Vienna horn. In this sense, "French horn" refers to a narrow-bore instrument with three Périnet valves, it retains the narrow bell-throat and mouthpipe crooks of the orchestral hand horn of the late 18th century, most has an "ascending" third valve. This is a whole-tone valve arranged so that with the valve in the "up" position the valve loop is engaged, but when the valve is pressed the loop is cut out, raising the pitch by a whole tone; as the name indicates, humans used to blow on the actual horns of animals before starting to emulate them in metal. This original usage survives in the shofar, a ram's horn, which plays an important role in Jewish religious rituals.
Early metal horns were less complex than modern horns, consisting of brass tubes with a flared opening wound around a few times. These early "hunting" horns were played on a hunt while mounted, the sound they produced was called a recheat. Change of pitch was controlled by the lips. Without valves, only the notes within the harmonic series are available. By combining a long length with a narrow bore, the French horn's design allows the player to reach the higher overtones which differ by whole tones, thus making it capable of playing melodies before valves were invented. Early horns were pitched in B♭ alto, A, A♭, G, F, E, E♭, D, C, B♭ basso
The flute is a family of musical instruments in the woodwind group. Unlike woodwind instruments with reeds, a flute is an aerophone or reedless wind instrument that produces its sound from the flow of air across an opening. According to the instrument classification of Hornbostel–Sachs, flutes are categorized as edge-blown aerophones. A musician who plays the flute can be referred to as a flute player, flutist or, less fluter or flutenist. Flutes are the earliest extant musical instruments, as paleolithic instruments with hand-bored holes have been found. A number of flutes dating to about 43,000 to 35,000 years ago have been found in the Swabian Jura region of present-day Germany; these flutes demonstrate that a developed musical tradition existed from the earliest period of modern human presence in Europe. The word flute first entered the English language during the Middle English period, as floute, or else flowte, flote from Old French flaute and from Old Provençal flaüt, or else from Old French fleüte, flaüte, flahute via Middle High German floite or Dutch fluit.
The English verb flout has the same linguistic root, the modern Dutch verb fluiten still shares the two meanings. Attempts to trace the word back to the Latin flare have been pronounced "phonologically impossible" or "inadmissable"; the first known use of the word flute was in the 14th century. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, this was in Geoffrey Chaucer's The Hous of Fame, c.1380. Today, a musician who plays any instrument in the flute family can be called a flutist, or flautist, or a flute player. Flutist dates back to at least 1603, the earliest quotation cited by the Oxford English Dictionary. Flautist was used in 1860 by Nathaniel Hawthorne in The Marble Faun, after being adopted during the 18th century from Italy, like many musical terms in England since the Italian Renaissance. Other English terms, now obsolete, are fluter and flutenist; the oldest flute discovered may be a fragment of the femur of a juvenile cave bear, with two to four holes, found at Divje Babe in Slovenia and dated to about 43,000 years ago.
However, this has been disputed. In 2008 another flute dated back to at least 35,000 years ago was discovered in Hohle Fels cave near Ulm, Germany; the five-holed flute is made from a vulture wing bone. The researchers involved in the discovery published their findings in the journal Nature, in August 2009; the discovery was the oldest confirmed find of any musical instrument in history, until a redating of flutes found in Geißenklösterle cave revealed them to be older with an age of 42,000 to 43,000 years. The flute, one of several found, was found in the Hohle Fels cavern next to the Venus of Hohle Fels and a short distance from the oldest known human carving. On announcing the discovery, scientists suggested that the "finds demonstrate the presence of a well-established musical tradition at the time when modern humans colonized Europe". Scientists have suggested that the discovery of the flute may help to explain "the probable behavioural and cognitive gulf between" Neanderthals and early modern human.
A three-holed flute, 18.7 cm long, made from a mammoth tusk was discovered in 2004, two flutes made from swan bones excavated a decade earlier are among the oldest known musical instruments. A playable 9,000-year-old Gudi was excavated from a tomb in Jiahu along with 29 defunct twins, made from the wing bones of red-crowned cranes with five to eight holes each, in the Central Chinese province of Henan; the earliest extant Chinese transverse flute is a chi flute discovered in the Tomb of Marquis Yi of Zeng at the Suizhou site, Hubei province, China. It dates from 433 BC, of the Zhou Dynasty, it is fashioned of lacquered bamboo with closed ends and has five stops that are at the flute's side instead of the top. Chi flutes are mentioned in Shi Jing and edited by Confucius, according to tradition; the earliest written reference to a flute is from a Sumerian-language cuneiform tablet dated to c. 2600–2700 BCE. Flutes are mentioned in a translated tablet of the Epic of Gilgamesh, an epic poem whose development spanned the period of 2100–600 BCE.
Additionally, a set of cuneiform tablets knows as the "musical texts" provide precise tuning instructions for seven scale of a stringed instrument. One of those scales is named embūbum, an Akkadian word for "flute"; the Bible, in Genesis 4:21, cites Jubal as being the "father of all those who play the ugab and the kinnor". The former Hebrew term is believed by some to refer to some wind instrument, or wind instruments in general, the latter to a stringed instrument, or stringed instruments in general; as such, Jubal is regarded in the Judeo-Christian tradition as the inventor of the flute. Elsewhere in the Bible, the flute is referred to as "chalil", in particular in 1 Samuel 10:5, 1 Kings 1:40, Isaiah 5:12 and 30:29, Jeremiah 48:36. Archeological digs in the Holy Land have discovered flutes from both the Bronze Age and the Iron Age, the latter era "witness the creation of the Israelite kingdom and its separation into the two kingdoms of Israel and Judea."Some early flutes were made out of tibias.
A trumpet is a brass instrument used in classical and jazz ensembles. The trumpet group contains the instruments with the highest register in the brass family. Trumpet-like instruments have been used as signaling devices in battle or hunting, with examples dating back to at least 1500 BC. Trumpets are used in art music styles, for instance in orchestras, concert bands, jazz ensembles, as well as in popular music, they are played by blowing air through nearly-closed lips, producing a "buzzing" sound that starts a standing wave vibration in the air column inside the instrument. Since the late 15th century they have been constructed of brass tubing bent twice into a rounded rectangular shape. There are many distinct types of trumpet, with the most common being pitched in B♭, having a tubing length of about 1.48 m. Early trumpets did not provide means to change the length of tubing, whereas modern instruments have three valves in order to change their pitch. There are eight combinations of three valves, making seven different tubing lengths, with the third valve sometimes used as an alternate fingering equivalent to the 1-2 combination.
Most trumpets have valves of the piston type. The use of rotary-valved trumpets is more common in orchestral settings, although this practice varies by country; each valve, when engaged, increases the length of lowering the pitch of the instrument. A musician who plays the trumpet is called trumpeter; the English word "trumpet" was first used in the late 14th century. The word came from Old French "trompette", a diminutive of trompe; the word "trump", meaning "trumpet," was first used in English in 1300. The word comes from Old French trompe "long, tube-like musical wind instrument", cognate with Provençal tromba, Italian tromba, all from a Germanic source, of imitative origin." The earliest trumpets date earlier. The bronze and silver trumpets from Tutankhamun's grave in Egypt, bronze lurs from Scandinavia, metal trumpets from China date back to this period. Trumpets from the Oxus civilization of Central Asia have decorated swellings in the middle, yet are made out of one sheet of metal, considered a technical wonder.
The Shofar, made from a ram horn and the Hatzotzeroth, made of metal, are both mentioned in the Bible. They were played in Solomon's Temple around 3000 years ago, they were said to be used to blow down the walls of Jericho. They are still used on certain religious days; the Salpinx was a straight trumpet 62 inches long, made of bronze. Salpinx contests were a part of the original Olympic Games; the Moche people of ancient Peru depicted trumpets in their art going back to AD 300. The earliest trumpets were signaling instruments used for military or religious purposes, rather than music in the modern sense. Improvements to instrument design and metal making in the late Middle Ages and Renaissance led to an increased usefulness of the trumpet as a musical instrument; the natural trumpets of this era consisted of a single coiled tube without valves and therefore could only produce the notes of a single overtone series. Changing keys required the player to change crooks of the instrument; the development of the upper, "clarino" register by specialist trumpeters—notably Cesare Bendinelli—would lend itself well to the Baroque era known as the "Golden Age of the natural trumpet."
During this period, a vast body of music was written for virtuoso trumpeters. The art was revived in the mid-20th century and natural trumpet playing is again a thriving art around the world. Many modern players in Germany and the UK who perform Baroque music use a version of the natural trumpet fitted with three or four vent holes to aid in correcting out-of-tune notes in the harmonic series; the melody-dominated homophony of the classical and romantic periods relegated the trumpet to a secondary role by most major composers owing to the limitations of the natural trumpet. Berlioz wrote in 1844: Notwithstanding the real loftiness and distinguished nature of its quality of tone, there are few instruments that have been more degraded. Down to Beethoven and Weber, every composer – not excepting Mozart – persisted in confining it to the unworthy function of filling up, or in causing it to sound two or three commonplace rhythmical formulae; the attempt to give the trumpet more chromatic freedom in its range saw the development of the keyed trumpet, but this was a unsuccessful venture due to the poor quality of its sound.
Although the impetus for a tubular valve began as early as 1793, it was not until 1818 that Friedrich Bluhmel and Heinrich Stölzel made a joint patent application for the box valve as manufactured by W. Schuster; the symphonies of Mozart, as late as Brahms, were still played on natural trumpets. Crooks and shanks as opposed to keys or valves were standard, notably in France, into the first part of the 20th century; as a consequence of this late development of the instrument's chromatic ability, the repertoire for the instrument is small compared to other instruments. The 20th century saw an explosion in the variety of music written for the trumpet; the trumpet is constructed of brass tubing bent twice into a rounded oblong shape. As with all brass instruments, sound is produced by blowing air through closed lips, producing a "buzzing" sound into the mouthp
Glossary of ancient Roman religion
The vocabulary of ancient Roman religion was specialized. Its study affords important information about the religion and beliefs of the ancient Romans; this legacy is conspicuous in European cultural history in its influence on juridical and religious vocabulary in Europe of the Western Church. This glossary provides explanations of concepts as they were expressed in Latin pertaining to religious practices and beliefs, with links to articles on major topics such as priesthoods, forms of divination, rituals. For theonyms, or the names and epithets of gods, see List of Roman deities. For public religious holidays, see Roman festivals. For temples see the List of Ancient Roman temples. Individual landmarks of religious topography in ancient Rome are not included in this list; the verb abominari was a term of augury for an action that rejects or averts an unfavourable omen indicated by a signum, "sign". The noun is abominatio. At the taking of formally solicited auspices, the observer was required to acknowledge any bad sign occurring within the templum he was observing, regardless of the interpretation.
He might, take certain actions in order to ignore the signa, including avoiding the sight of them, interpreting them as favourable. The latter tactic required promptness and skill based on discipline and learning, thus the omen had no validity apart from the observation of it. The aedes was the dwelling place of a god, it was thus a structure that housed the deity's image, distinguished from the templum or sacred district. Aedes is one of several Latin words that can be translated as "shrine" or "temple". For instance, the Temple of Vesta, as it is called in English, was in Latin an aedes. See the diminutive aedicula, a small shrine. In his work On Architecture, Vitruvius always uses the word templum in the technical sense of a space defined through augury, with aedes the usual word for the building itself; the design of a deity's aedes, should be appropriate to the characteristics of the deity. For a celestial deity such as Jupiter, Sol or Luna, the building should be open to the sky, thus in theory, though not always in practice, architectural aesthetics had a theological dimension.
The word aedilis, a public official, is related by etymology. The temple of Flora, for instance, was built in 241 BC by two aediles acting on Sibylline oracles; the plebeian aediles had their headquarters at the aedes of Ceres. In religious usage, ager was terrestrial space defined for the purposes of augury in relation to auspicia. There were five kinds of ager: Romanus, peregrinus and incertus; the ager Romanus included the urban space outside the pomerium and the surrounding countryside. According to Varro, the ager Gabinus pertained to the special circumstances of the oppidum of Gabii, the first to sign a sacred treaty with Rome; the ager peregrinus was other territory, brought under treaty. Ager hosticus meant foreign territory; the powers and actions of magistrates were based on and constrained by the nature of the ager on which they stood, ager in more general usage meant a territory as defined or politically. The ager Romanus could not be extended outside Italy; the focal point of sacrifice was the altar.
Most altars throughout the city of Rome and in the countryside would have been simple, open-air structures. An altar that received food offerings might be called a mensa, "table."Perhaps the best-known Roman altar is the elaborate and Greek-influenced Ara Pacis, called "the most representative work of Augustan art." Other major public altars included the Ara Maxima. A tree was categorized as felix; the adjective felix here means not only "fruitful" but more broadly "auspicious". Macrobius lists arbores felices as the oak, the birch, the hazelnut, the sorbus, the white fig, the pear, the apple, the grape, the plum, the cornus and the lotus; the oak was sacred to Jupiter, twigs of oak were used by the Vestals to ignite the sacred fire in March every year. Among the felices were the olive tree, a twig of, affixed to the hat of the Flamen Dialis, the laurel and the poplar, which crowned the Salian priests. Arbores infelices were those under the protection of chthonic gods or those gods who had the power of turning away misfortune.
As listed by Tarquitius Priscus in his lost ostentarium on trees, these were buckthorn, red cornel, black fig, "those that bear a black berry and black fruit," holly, woodland pear, butcher's broom and brambles." The verb attrectare referred in specialized religious usage to touching sacred objects while performing cultic actions. Attrectare had a positive meaning only in reference to the action