Ludi were public games held for the benefit and entertainment of the Roman people. Ludi were held in conjunction with, or sometimes as the major feature of, Roman religious festivals, were presented as part of the cult of state; the earliest ludi were horse races in the circus. Animal exhibitions with mock hunts and theatrical performances became part of the festivals. Days on which ludi were held were public holidays, no business could be conducted—"remarkably," it has been noted, "considering that in the Imperial era more than 135 days might be spent at these entertainments" during the year. Although their entertainment value may have overshadowed religious sentiment at any given moment in late antiquity the ludi were understood as part of the worship of the traditional gods, the Church Fathers thus advised Christians not to participate in the festivities; the singular form ludus, "game, sport" or "play" has several meanings in Latin. The plural is used for "games" in a sense analogous to the Greek festivals of games, such as the Panhellenic Games.
The late-antique scholar Isidore of Seville, classifies the forms of ludus as gymnicus, circensis and scaenicus. The relation of gladiatorial games to the ludi is complex. All ludi seem to have been votive offerings, staged as the fulfillment of a vow to a deity whose favor had been sought and evidenced. In 366 BC, the Ludi Romani became the first games to be placed on the religious calendar as an annual event sponsored by the state as a whole. Games in the circus were preceded by a parade featuring the competitors, mounted youths of the Roman nobility, armed dancers, musicians, a satyr chorus, images of the gods; as the product of military victory, ludi were connected to triumphs. The first recorded venatio was presented in 186 BC by M. Fulvius Nobilior as part of his ludi votivi, for which he paid with booty displayed at his triumph; as religious ceremonies, ludi were organized at first by various colleges of priests. Although public money was allocated for the staging of ludi, the presiding official came to augment the splendor of his games from personal funds as a form of public relations.
The sponsor was able to advertise his wealth, while declaring that he intended to share it for public benefit. Although some men with an eye on the consulship skipped the office of aedile for the reason that massive expenditures were expected, those with sufficient resources spent lavishly to cultivate the favor of the people; the religious festivals to which the ludi were attached occasioned public banquets, public works such as the refurbishing or building of temples. Following the assassination of Julius Caesar at the Ides of March in 44 BC, Marcus Brutus realized that a significant segment of the populus regarded him not as a liberator, but as the murderer of a beloved champion, among other gestures of goodwill toward the people, he arranged to sponsor the Ludi Apollinares, held annually July 6–13. Caesar's heir Octavian at once upstaged him with Ludi Victoriae Caesaris, "games in honor of Caesar's victory," which ran July 20–28 in conjunction with a festival to honor Venus Genetrix, Caesar's patron deity and divine matriarch of the Julian gens.
It was during these ludi, which served as funeral games, that the comet famously appeared to "announce" Caesar's newly divine status. Octavian recognized the value of the festivals in unifying the people, as Augustus instituted new ludi within his program of religious reform; the ludi compitalicii were entertainments staged by the neighborhoods or community associations of Rome in conjunction with the Compitalia, the new year festival held on movable dates between the Saturnalia and January 5 in honor of the crossroads Lares. In the late Republic, performances were held at the main intersections of neighborhoods throughout the city on the same day. During the civil wars of the 80s, these ludi gave rise to unruly plebeian political expression by the neighborhood organizations. Freedmen played a leading role, slaves participated in the festivities. In 67 BC, the Compitalia had been disrupted by a riot at the ludi, which were the scene of disturbances in 66–65 BC; this unrest on the first occasion was a response to the trial of Manilius, who had backed reforms pertaining to the voting rights of freedmen, on the second is attached to the murky events referred to misleadingly as the First Catilinarian Conspiracy.
Along with some forms of occupational guilds and neighborhood associations, the ludi compitalicii were banned by the senate in 64 BC. An unnamed tribune of the plebs supported efforts to stage the ludi for 61 BC, but the consul-designate Metellus Celer squelched the attempt. In 58 BC, Clodius Pulcher, who had given up his patrician status to become one of the people's tribunes, restored the right of association, but before his law was enacted, his aide Sextus Cloelius had prepared the way by organizing new-year ludi; the consul Calpurnius Piso, father-in-law of Caesar, permitted the games though the organizations that ran them were still outlawed. Caesar banned the collegia and ludi again in 46 BC. In 7 BC, Augustus reorganized Rome for administrative purposes into 265 districts which replaced but which were still called vici. An image of the Genius of Augustus now
Romulus was the legendary founder and first king of Rome. Various traditions attribute the establishment of many of Rome's oldest legal, political and social institutions to Romulus and his contemporaries. Although many of these traditions incorporate elements of folklore, it is not clear to what extent a historical figure underlies the mythical Romulus, the events and institutions ascribed to him were central to the myths surrounding Rome's origins and cultural traditions; the myths concerning Romulus involve several distinct episodes and figures: the miraculous birth and youth of Romulus and Remus, his twin brother. Romulus and Remus, his twin brother, were the sons of Rhea Silvia, herself the daughter of Numitor, the former king of Alba Longa. Through them, the twins are descended from the Trojan hero Aeneas and Latinus, the mythical founder of the kingdom of Latium. Before the twins' birth, Numitor had been usurped by Amulius. After seizing the throne, Amulius murdered Numitor's son, condemned Rhea to perpetual virginity by consecrating her a Vestal.
Rhea, became pregnant, ostensibly by the god Mars. Amulius had her imprisoned, upon the twins' birth, ordered that they be thrown into the rain-swollen Tiber. Instead of carrying out the king's orders, his servants left the twins along the riverbank at the foot of Palatine Hill. In the traditional telling of the legend, a she-wolf happened upon the twins, who were at the foot of a fig tree, she suckled and tended them by a cave until they were found by the herdsman Faustulus and his wife, Acca Larentia. The brothers grew to manhood among hill-folk. After becoming involved in a conflict between the followers of Amulius and those of their grandfather Numitor, they learned the truth of their origin, they restored Numitor to the throne. The princes set out to establish a city of their own, they returned to the hills overlooking the site where they had been exposed as infants. They could not agree on; when an omen to resolve the controversy failed to provide a clear indication, the conflict escalated and Remus was killed by his brother or by his brother's follower.
In a variant of the legend, the augurs favoured Romulus, who proceeded to plough a square furrow around the Palatine Hill to demarcate the walls of the future city. When Remus derisively leapt over the "walls" to show how inadequate they were against invaders, he was struck down by Romulus in anger. In another variant, Remus died during a melée, along with Faustulus; the founding of the city by Romulus was commemorated annually on April 21, with the festival of the Parilia. His first act was to fortify the Palatine, in the course, he laid out the city's boundaries with a furrow that he ploughed, performed another sacrifice, with his followers set to work building the city itself. Romulus sought the assent of the people to become their king. With Numitor's help, he received their approval. Romulus accepted the crown after he sacrificed and prayed to Jupiter, after receiving favourable omens. Romulus divided the populace into three tribes, known as the Ramnes and Luceres, for taxation and military purposes.
Each tribe was presided over by an official known as a tribune, was further divided into ten curia, or wards, each presided over by an official known as a curio. Romulus allotted a portion of land to each ward, for the benefit of the people. Nothing is known of the manner in which the tribes and curiae were taxed, but for the military levy, each curia was responsible for providing one hundred foot soldiers, a unit known as a century, ten cavalry; each Romulean tribe thus provided about one thousand infantry, one century of cavalry. Choosing one hundred men from the leading families, Romulus established the Roman senate; these men he called the city fathers. The other class, known as the "plebs" or "plebeians", consisted of the servants, fugitives who sought asylum at Rome, those captured in war, others who were granted Roman citizenship over time. To encourage the growth of the city, Romulus outlawed infanticide, established an asylum for fugitives on the Capitoline Hill, where freemen and slaves alike could claim protection and seek Roman citizenship.
The new city was filled with colonists, most of whom were unmarried men. With no intermarriage between Rome and neighboring communities, the new city would fail. Romulus sent envoys to neighboring towns, appealing to them to allow intermarriage with Roman citizens, but his overtures were rebuffed. Romulus formulated a plan to acquire women from other settlements, he announced a momentous festival and games, invited the people of the neighboring cities to attend. Many did, in particular the Sabines. At a prearranged signal, the Romans began to snatch and carry off the marriageable women among their guests; the aggrieved cities prepared for war with Rome, might have defeated Romulus had they been united. But impatient with the preparations of the Sabines, the Latin towns of Caenina and Antemnae took action without their allies. Caenina was the first to attack.
Etruscan religion comprises a set of stories and religious practices of the Etruscan civilization, originating in the 7th century BC from the preceding Iron Age Villanovan culture influenced by the mythology of ancient Greece and Phoenicia, sharing similarities with concurrent Roman mythology and religion. As the Etruscan civilization was assimilated into the Roman Republic in the 4th century BC, the Etruscan religion and mythology were incorporated into classical Roman culture, following the Roman tendency to absorb some of the local gods and customs of conquered lands; the Etruscan system of belief was an immanent polytheism. Long after the assimilation of the Etruscans, Seneca the Younger said that the difference between the Romans and the Etruscans was thatWhereas we believe lightning to be released as a result of the collision of clouds, they believe that the clouds collide so as to release lightning: for as they attribute all to deity, they are led to believe not that things have a meaning insofar as they occur, but rather that they occur because they must have a meaning.
Around the mun or muni, or tombs, were the man or mani, the souls of the ancestors. In iconography after the 5th century BC, the deceased are shown traveling to the underworld. In several instances of Etruscan art, such as in the François Tomb in Vulci, a spirit of the dead is identified by the term hinthial " underneath". A god was called an ais; the abode of a god was a sacred place, such as a favi, a grave or temple. There, one would need to make a fler, or "offering". Three layers of deities are portrayed in Etruscan art. One appears to be lesser divinities of an indigenous origin: the sun. Ruling over them were higher deities that seem to reflect the Indo-European system: Tin or Tinia, the sky, Uni his wife, Cel, the earth goddess; as a third layer, the Greek gods were adopted by the Etruscan system during the Etruscan Orientalizing Period of 750/700-600 BC. Examples are Aritimi and Pacha, over time the primary trinity became Tinia and Menrva; the Etruscans believed their religion had been revealed to them by seers, the two main ones being Tages, a childlike figure born from tilled land, gifted with prescience, Vegoia, a female figure.
The Etruscans believed in intimate contact with divinity. They did nothing without proper consultation with the signs from them; these practices were taken over in total by the Romans. The Etruscan scriptures were a corpus of texts termed the Etrusca Disciplina; this name appears in Valerius Maximus, Marcus Tullius Cicero refers to a disciplina in his writings on the subject. Massimo Pallottino summarizes the known scriptures as the Libri Haruspicini, containing the theory and rules of divination from animal entrails; the last was composed of the Libri Fatales, detailing the religiously correct methods of founding cities and shrines, draining fields, formulating laws and ordinances, measuring space and dividing time. The revelations of the prophet Tages were given in the Libri Tagetici, which included the Libri Haruspicini and the Acherontici, those of the prophetess Vegoia in the Libri Vegoici, which included the Libri Fulgurales and part of the Libri Rituales; these works did not present prophecies or scriptures in the ordinary sense: the Etrusca Disciplina foretold nothing itself.
The Etruscans appear to have had religion and no great visions. Instead they concentrated on the problem of the will of the gods: questioning why, if the gods created the universe and humanity and have a will and a plan for everyone and everything in it, they did not devise a system for communicating that will in a clear manner; the Etruscans accepted the inscrutability of their gods' wills. They did not attempt to rationalize or explain divine actions or formulate any doctrines of the gods' intentions; as answer to the problem of ascertaining the divine will, they developed an elaborate system of divination. These revelations may not be otherwise understandable and may not be pleasant or easy, but are perilous to doubt; the Etrusca Disciplina therefore was a set of rules for the conduct of all sorts of divination. Cicero saidFor a hasty acceptance of an erroneous opinion is discreditable in any case, so in an inquiry as to how much weight should be given to auspices, to sacred rites, to religious observances.
He quipped, regarding d
The Dii Consentes as Di or Dei Consentes, was a list of twelve major deities, six gods and six goddesses, in the pantheon of Ancient Rome. Their gilt statues stood in the Forum apparently in the Porticus Deorum Consentium; the gods were listed by the poet Ennius in the late 3rd century BC in a paraphrase of an unknown Greek poet: Juno, Minerva, Diana, Mars, Jupiter, Vulcan, ApolloLivy arranges them in six male-female pairs: Jupiter-Juno, Neptune-Minerva, Mars-Venus, Apollo-Diana, Vulcan-Vesta and Mercury-Ceres. Three of the Dii Consentes formed the Capitoline Triad: Jupiter and Minerva; the grouping of twelve deities has origins older than the Greek or Roman sources. The Greek grouping may have Anatolian, more Lycian origins. A group of twelve Hittite gods is known both from artistic representation; the Hittite Twelve are all male, with no individualizing features. They have a possible reflex in a Lycian group of twelve gods in the Roman Empire period. By 400 BC, a precinct dedicated to twelve gods existed at the marketplace in Xanthos in Lycia.
Herodotus refers to a group of twelve gods in Egypt, but this finds no confirmation in Egyptian sources. The Greek cult of the Twelve Olympians can be traced to 6th century BC Athens and has no precedent in the Mycenaean period; the altar to the Twelve Olympians at Athens is dated to the archonship of the younger Pesistratos, in 522/521 BC. By the 5th century BC there are well-attested cults of the Twelve Olympians in Olympia and at the Hieron on the Bosphorus; the references to twelve Etruscan deities are due to Roman authors, writing long after the influence of the Greek pantheon had become dominant, must be regarded with skepticism. Arnobius states that the Etruscans had a set of six male and six female deities which they called consentes and complices because they rose and set together, implying an astronomical significance, that these twelve acted as councillors of Jupiter. Scholarly evaluation of this account is dependent on the hypothesis that the Etruscans immigrated to Italy from Anatolia.
In this case, the Etruscan Twelve might have been cognate to the Hittite Twelve. It is, just as possible that the Etruscan Twelve were an adaptation of the Greek Twelve just like the Roman Twelve. Di indigetes Twelve Olympians, the equivalent grouping of the Greek pantheon Long, Charlotte R.. The Twelve Gods of Greece and Rome. Vol. 107 of Études préliminaires aux religions orientales dans l'Empire romain. Brill Archive
The Regia was a two-part structure in Ancient Rome lying along the Sacra Via at the edge of the Roman Forum that served as the residence or one of the main headquarters of kings of Rome and as the office of the Pontifex Maximus, the highest religious official of Rome. It occupied a triangular patch of terrain between the Temple of Vesta, the Temple of Divus Julius and Temple of Antoninus and Faustina. Only the foundations of Republican/Imperial Regia remain. Like the Curia it was rebuilt several times, as far back as the Roman monarchy. Studies have found multiple layers of similar buildings with more regular features, prompting the theory that this "Republican Regia" was to have a different use. According to ancient tradition it was built by the second king of Rome, Numa Pompilius, as a royal palace. Indeed, the Latin term regia can be translated as royal residence, it is said that he built the Temple of Vesta and the House of the Vestal Virgins as well as the Domus Publica. This created a central area for religious life in the city and Kingdom.
When Caesar became Pontifex Maximus, he exercised his duties from the Regia. The archives of the pontifices were kept here, the formulas of all kinds of prayers, sacrifices, etc. the state calendar of sacred days, the Annales — the record of events of each year for public reference — and the laws relating to marriage, wills, etc. The Regia was the place of assembly at times of the Fratres Arvales, it was burned and restored in 148 BC (for a possible burning by the Gauls in 390 BC. The rebuilt structure had an irregularly formed enclosed courtyard, paved in tuff with a wooden portico; the interior was divided into three rooms with entrance from the courtyard into the middle room. The West Room was the shrine of sacrarium Martis, in which the ancilia of Mars were stored. Here, stood the lances that were consecrated to Mars, the hastae Martiae. According to legend, if the lances started vibrating something terrible would happen, they are said to have vibrated on the night of 14 March 44 BC when, in spite of the vibrating lances, Pontifex Maximus at the time, left the Regia to attend a meeting of the Senate, where he was assassinated.
The East Room contained a sanctuary of Ops Consiva, so sacred that only the pontifex maximus and the Vestal Virgins were allowed to enter it. The site of the Regia has been investigated via archaeological excavation for some time, although a comprehensive publication of the site is still forthcoming; the site was first cleared between 1872 and 1875. In 1876 F. Dutert discussed the site in his volume on the Forum Romanum, subsequently, Nichols identified the site as being the Regia in 1886; the site was explored again by Hülsen in 1889. The Italian archaeologist Giacomo Boni conducted excavations at the site in 1899; the American archaeologist Frank Brown dug at the site in the 1930s and again in the 1960s. The architectural terracottas from the Brown excavations were published in 1995. Brown, F. E. 1935. "The Regia." Memoirs of the American Academy in Rome 12:67–88. Carnabucci, E. 2012. Regia: nuovi dati archeologici dagli appunti inediti di Giacomo Boni. Rome: Edizioni Quasar. ISBN 9788871404998 Downey, S. B. 1995.
Architectural terracottas from the Regia. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press. ISBN 9780472105717 Losehand, Joachim. Häuser für die Herrscher Roms und Athens?: Überlegungen zu Funktion und Bedeutung von Gebäude F auf der Athener Agora und der Regia auf dem Forum Romanum. Hamburg: Dr. Kovac. ISBN 3-8300-3397-4; the Regia
In ancient Roman religion, the Di Penates or Penates were among the dii familiares, or household deities, invoked most in domestic rituals. When the family had a meal, they threw a bit into the fire on the hearth for the Penates, they were thus associated with Vesta, the Lares, the Genius of the paterfamilias in the "little universe" of the domus. Like other domestic deities, the Penates had a public counterpart. An etymological interpretation of the Penates would make them in origin tutelary deities of the storeroom, Latin penus, the innermost part of the house, where they guarded the household's food, wine and other supplies; as they were associated with the source of food, they became a symbol of the continuing life of the family. Cicero explained that they "dwell inside, from which they are called penetrales by the poets"; the 2nd-century AD grammarian Festus defined penus, however, as "the most secret site in the shrine of Vesta, surrounded by curtains." Macrobius reports the theological view of Varro that "those who dig out truth more diligently have said that the Penates are those through whom we breathe in our inner core, through whom we have a body, through whom we possess a rational mind."
The Penates of Rome had a temple on the Velia near the Palatine. Dionysius of Halicarnassus says it housed statues of two youths in the archaic style; the public cult of the ancestral gods of the Roman people originated in Lavinium, where they were closely linked with Vesta. One tradition identified the public Penates as the sacred objects rescued by Aeneas from Troy and carried by him to Italy. They, or rival duplicates, were housed in the Temple of Vesta in the Forum, thus the Penates, unlike the localized Lares, are portable deities. Archaeological evidence from Lavinium shows marked Greek influence in the archaic period, Aeneas was venerated there as Father Indiges. At the new year, Roman magistrates first sacrificed to Capitoline Jupiter at Rome, traveled to Lavinium for sacrifices to Jupiter Indiges and Vesta, a ceremonial visit to the "Trojan" Penates