A myth is any traditional story consisting of events that are ostensibly historical, though often supernatural, explaining the origins of a cultural practice or natural phenomenon. The word myth is derived from the Greek word mythos, which means story. Mythology can refer either to the study of myths, or to a body or collection of myths, myth can mean sacred story, traditional narrative or tale of the gods. A myth can be a story to explain why something exists, human cultures usually include a cosmogonical or creation myth, concerning the origins of the world, or how the world came to exist. The active beings in myths are generally gods and goddesses and heroines, or animals, most myths are set in a timeless past before recorded time or beginning of the critical history. A myth can be a story involving symbols that are capable of multiple meanings, a myth is a sacred narrative because it holds religious or spiritual significance for those who tell it. Myths contribute to and express a cultures systems of thought and values, myths are often therefore stories that are currently understood as being exaggerated or fictitious.
According to Albert A. Anderson, a professor of philosophy, in these works, the term had several meanings, narrative, story and word. Like the related term logos, mythos expresses whatever can be delivered in the form of words, Anderson contrasts the two terms with ergon, a Greek term for action and work. The term mythos lacks an explicit distinction between true or false narratives, in the context of the Theatre of ancient Greece, the term mythos referred to the myth, the narrative, the plot, and the story of a theatrical play. According to David Wiles, the Greek term mythos in this era covered an entire spectrum of different meanings, from undeniable falsehoods to stories with religious, according to philosopher Aristotle, the spirit of a theatrical play was its mythos. The term mythos was used for the material of Greek tragedy. The tragedians of the era could draw inspiration from Greek mythology, David Wiles observes that modern conceptions about Greek tragedy can be misleading. It is commonly thought that the ancient audience members were familiar with the mythos behind a play.
However, the Greek dramatists were not expected to faithfully reproduce traditional myths when adapting them for the stage and they were instead recreating the myths and producing new versions. Storytellers like Euripides relied on suspense to excite their audiences, in one of his works, Merope attempts to kill her sons murderer with an axe, unaware that the man in question is actually her son. According to an ancient description of reactions to this work. They rose to their feet in terror and caused an uproar, David Wiles points that the traditional mythos of Ancient Greece, was primarily a part of its oral tradition
Corpus Inscriptionum Latinarum
The Corpus Inscriptionum Latinarum is a comprehensive collection of ancient Latin inscriptions. It forms a source for documenting the surviving epigraphy of classical antiquity. Public and personal inscriptions throw light on all aspects of Roman life, the Corpus continues to be updated in new editions and supplements. CIL refers to the organization within the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities responsible for collecting data on and it was founded in 1853 by Theodor Mommsen and is the first and major organization aiming at a comprehensive survey. The CIL collects all Latin inscriptions from the territory of the Roman Empire. The earlier volumes collected and published versions of all inscriptions known at the time—most of these had been previously published in a wide range of publications. The language of the CIL is Latin, the leading figure of this committee was Theodor Mommsen. Much of the work involved personal inspections of sites and monuments in an attempt to replicate the original as much as possible, the first volume appeared in 1853.
The CIL presently consists of 17 volumes in about 70 parts, thirteen supplementary volumes have plates and special indices. The other volumes cover other topics, volume XVII, for instance, is entirely devoted to milestones. A volume XVIII is planned, which contain the Carmina Latina Epigraphica. A two-volume Index of Numbers, correlating inscription numbers with numbers, was published in 2003. The Berlin-Brandenburgische Akademie der Wissenschaften continues to update and reprint the CIL, epigraphy Inscriptiones Graecae Inscriptiones Latinae Selectae Corpus Inscriptionum et Monumentorum Religionis Mithriacae Prosopographia Imperii Romani Corpus Inscriptionum Latinarum. Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities, Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities. English translations of selected inscriptions from CIL. attalus. org
Marcus Tullius Cicero was a Roman philosopher, lawyer, political theorist and constitutionalist. He came from a wealthy family of the Roman equestrian order. According to Michael Grant, the influence of Cicero upon the history of European literature, Cicero introduced the Romans to the chief schools of Greek philosophy and created a Latin philosophical vocabulary distinguishing himself as a translator and philosopher. Though he was an orator and successful lawyer, Cicero believed his political career was his most important achievement. During the chaotic latter half of the 1st century BC marked by civil wars, following Julius Caesars death, Cicero became an enemy of Mark Antony in the ensuing power struggle, attacking him in a series of speeches. His severed hands and head were then, as a revenge of Mark Antony. Petrarchs rediscovery of Ciceros letters is often credited for initiating the 14th-century Renaissance in public affairs, according to Polish historian Tadeusz Zieliński, the Renaissance was above all things a revival of Cicero, and only after him and through him of the rest of Classical antiquity.
Cicero was born in 106 BC in Arpinum, a hill town 100 kilometers southeast of Rome and his father was a well-to-do member of the equestrian order and possessed good connections in Rome. However, being a semi-invalid, he could not enter public life, although little is known about Ciceros mother, Helvia, it was common for the wives of important Roman citizens to be responsible for the management of the household. Ciceros brother Quintus wrote in a letter that she was a thrifty housewife, Ciceros cognomen, or personal surname, comes from the Latin for chickpea, cicer. Plutarch explains that the name was given to one of Ciceros ancestors who had a cleft in the tip of his nose resembling a chickpea. However, it is likely that Ciceros ancestors prospered through the cultivation. Romans often chose down-to-earth personal surnames, the family names of Fabius and Piso come from the Latin names of beans, lentils. Plutarch writes that Cicero was urged to change this name when he entered politics. During this period in Roman history, cultured meant being able to speak both Latin and Greek, Cicero used his knowledge of Greek to translate many of the theoretical concepts of Greek philosophy into Latin, thus translating Greek philosophical works for a larger audience.
It was precisely his broad education that tied him to the traditional Roman elite, according to Plutarch, Cicero was an extremely talented student, whose learning attracted attention from all over Rome, affording him the opportunity to study Roman law under Quintus Mucius Scaevola. Ciceros fellow students were Gaius Marius Minor, Servius Sulpicius Rufus, the latter two became Ciceros friends for life, and Pomponius would become, in Ciceros own words, as a second brother, with both maintaining a lifelong correspondence. Cicero wanted to pursue a career in politics along the steps of the Cursus honorum
An epitaph is a short text honouring a deceased person. Strictly speaking, it refers to text that is inscribed on a tombstone or plaque, some epitaphs are specified by the person themselves before their death, while others are chosen by those responsible for the burial. An epitaph may be written in prose or in verse, poets have been known to compose their own epitaphs prior to their death. Most epitaphs are brief records of the family, and perhaps the career, of the deceased, often with an expression of love or respect—for example. Notably, the Laudatio Turiae, the longest known Ancient Roman epitaph, exceeds almost all of these at 180 lines, it celebrates the virtues of an honored wife, some are quotes from holy texts, or aphorisms. One approach of many epitaphs is to speak to the reader, a wry trick of others is to request the reader to get off their resting place, inasmuch as the reader would have to be standing on the ground above the coffin to read the inscription. Nearly all note name, year or date of birth, many list family members and the relationship of the deceased to them.
Heroes and Kings your distance keep, In peace let one poor poet sleep, Who never flattered folks like you, Let Horace blush, — Alexander Pope Wir müssen wissen. — David Hilbert He never killed a man that did not need killing, — Clay Allison Here lies One whose Name was writ in Water — John Keats Undefeated — Hans-Joachim Marseille And the beat goes on. — Sonny Bono Sleep after toyle, port after stormie seas, Ease after warre, death after life, — Joseph Conrad Thats all folks. — Mel Blanc Ive finally stopped getting dumber, — Paul Erdős Go tell the Spartans, stranger passing by that here, obedient to their law, we lie. — Simonidess epigram at Thermopylae I told you I was ill, — Spike Milligan Here sleeps at peace a Hampshire Grenadier Who caught his early death by drinking cold small beer. Soldiers, be wise at his fall, And when youre hot. — Thomas Thetcher tombstone epitaph in Winchester Cathedral To save your world you asked this man to die, Would this man, could he see you now, ask why. — Epitaph for the Unknown Soldier, written by W. H.
Auden There is borne an empty hearsecovered over for such as appear not. Heroes have the earth for their tomb. — Unknown Soldiers epitaph, passages taken from Pericles Funeral Oration Against you I will fling myself and unyielding, O Death. — Virginia Woolf Good frend for Iesvs sake forebeare, To digg the dvst encloased heare. Bleste be man spares thes stones, Good friend for Jesus sake forbear, To dig the dust enclosed here. Blessed be the man that spares these stones, And cursed be he moves my bones
Minerva was the Roman goddess of wisdom and sponsor of arts and strategy. She was born with weapons from the head of Jupiter, after impregnating the titaness Metis, Jupiter recalled a prophecy that his own child would overthrow him. Fearing that their child would grow stronger than he and rule the Heavens in his place, the titaness forged weapons and armor for her child while within the father-god, and the constant pounding and ringing gave him a headache. To relieve the pain, Vulcan used a hammer to split Jupiters head and, from the cleft, Minerva emerged, adult, from the 2nd century BC onwards, the Romans equated her with the Greek goddess Athena. She was the goddess of music, medicine, commerce, weaving. She is often depicted with her sacred creature, an owl usually named as the owl of Minerva, stemming from an Italic moon goddess *Meneswā, the Etruscans adopted the inherited Old Latin name, *Menerwā, thereby calling her Menrva. It is assumed that her Roman name, Minerva, is based on this Etruscan mythology, Minerva was the goddess of wisdom, art and commerce.
She was the Etruscan counterpart to Greek Athena, like Athena, Minerva was born from the head of her father, Jupiter. The word mens is built from the Proto-Indo-European root *men- mind, the Etruscan Menrva was part of a holy triad with Tinia and Uni, equivalent to the Roman Capitoline Triad of Jupiter-Juno-Minerva. Minerva was the daughter of Jupiter, as Minerva Medica, she was the goddess of medicine and doctors. As Minerva Achaea, she was worshipped at Lucera in Apulia where votive gifts, in Fasti III, Ovid called her the goddess of a thousand works. Minerva was worshipped throughout Italy, and when she eventually became equated with the Greek goddess Athena, unlike Mars, god of war, she was sometimes portrayed with sword lowered, in sympathy for the recent dead, rather than raised in triumph. In Rome her bellicose nature was emphasized less than elsewhere and her worship was spread throughout the empire—in Britain, for example, she was syncretized with the local goddess Sulis, who was often invoked for restitution for theft.
The Romans celebrated her festival from March 19 to March 23 during the day which is called, in the plural, the fifth after the Ides of March, the nineteenth. A lesser version, the Minusculae Quinquatria, was held on the Ides of June, June 13, by the flute-players, in 207 BC, a guild of poets and actors was formed to meet and make votive offerings at the temple of Minerva on the Aventine Hill. Among others, its members included Livius Andronicus, the Aventine sanctuary of Minerva continued to be an important center of the arts for much of the middle Roman Republic. When it was founded, the emperor himself was present and was believed to be of divine nature as a result of its construction, Minerva is featured on the coinage of different Roman Emperors. She is often represented on the side of a coin holding an owl
In ancient Roman religion, a votum, plural vota, is a vow or promise made to a deity. The word comes from the past participle of the Latin verb voveo, vow, promise. As the result of this action, a votum is that which fulfills a vow, that is, the thing promised, such as offerings. The votum is thus an aspect of the nature of Roman religion. In everyday life, individuals might make votive offerings to a deity for private concerns, vota privata are attested in abundance by inscriptions, particularly for the Imperial era. These are regularly marked with the letters V. S. L. M, votum solvit libens merito, noting that the person making the dedication He has fulfilled his vow, willingly, as it should. William Warde Fowler found in these expressions of … religious feeling. During the Republican era, the votum was a part of ceremonies conducted at the Capitoline by a general holding imperium before deploying. The triumph with its dedication of spoils and animal sacrifices at the Capitol was in part a fulfillment of such a vow. A general who faced an uncertain outcome in battle might make a votum in the field promising to build an out of gratitude for divine aid in a victory.
In 311 BC, Junius Bubulcus became the first plebeian general to vow and oversee the building of a temple, he honored the goddess Salus, a vow would be made in connection with the ritual of evocatio, negotiations with the enemys tutelary deity to offer superior cult. An extreme form of votum was the devotio, the ritual by which a general sacrificed himself in battle, in the Republic, vota pro salute rei publicae were offered at the beginning of the year, on the day the consuls took office. Under the Empire, the people assembled on January 3 to offer collective vows for the salus of the emperor, offerings were made to Jupiter, Juno and sometimes other deities. These vows originated in 30 BC, when the senate decreed vota on behalf of Octavian as princeps, the vota for the state continued on January 1, while those on behalf of the emperor and his family became fixed on January 3. In Rome, these ceremonies were conducted by the consuls and pontiffs, vota publica continued even after Christianity had become the official religion of the Empire, and possibly as late as the 6th century.
Because the vows were as much affirmations of political loyalty as religious expressions, they were difficult to abolish without undermining the sacral aura of the emperors authority
Glossary of ancient Roman religion
The vocabulary of ancient Roman religion was highly specialized. Its study affords important information about the religion and beliefs of the ancient Romans and this legacy is conspicuous in European cultural history in its influence on juridical and religious vocabulary in Europe, particularly of the Western Church. 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, see Roman temple. The verb abominari was a term of augury for an action that rejects or averts an unfavourable omen indicated by a signum, the noun is abominatio, from which English abomination derives. At the taking of formally solicited auspices, the observer was required to acknowledge any potentially bad sign occurring within the templum he was observing, regardless of the interpretation. He might, take actions in order to ignore the signa, including avoiding the sight of them.
The latter tactic required promptness and skill based on discipline, thus the omen had no validity apart from the observation of it. The aedes was the place of a god. It was thus a structure that housed the 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 an aedes, he writes, should be appropriate to the characteristics of the deity. Thus in theory, though not always in practice, architectural aesthetics had a theological dimension, the word aedilis, a public official, is related by etymology, among the duties of the aediles was the overseeing of public works, including the building and maintenance of temples.
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, Gabinus, peregrinus and incertus. The ager Romanus originally included the space outside the pomerium. According to Varro, the ager Gabinus pertained to the circumstances of the oppidum of Gabii
Tomb of the Scipios
Then it was abandoned and within a few hundred years its location was lost. The location was owned on discovery of the tomb but was bought by the city in 1880 at the suggestion of Rodolfo Amedeo Lanciani. A house was built in a previous vineyard there. The current main entrance to the tomb is an opening in the side of the hill. After discovery the few surviving remains were moved and interred with honor elsewhere or unknowingly discarded, the moveables—the one whole sarcophagus and the fragments of other sarcophagi—were placed on display in the hall of the Pio-Clementino Museum at the Vatican in 1912. The sepulchre is a chambered tomb on the interior, with the remains of a late façade on the exterior. It was originally outside the city not far from where the Via Appia passed through the Servian Wall at the Porta Capena, in subsequent centuries new construction changed the landmarks of the vicinity entirely. The wall was expanded to become the Aurelian Wall through which the Porta Appia admitted the Via Appia, the cemetery was now inside the city.
The Appian gate today is called the Porta San Sebastiano, before it is the so-called Arch of Drusus, actually a section of aqueduct. The Via Appia at that location was renamed to the Via di Porta San Sebastiano and it passes through the Parco degli Scipioni where the cemetery once was located. The via is open to traffic, most of it is lined by walls. The tomb was founded around the turn of the 3rd century BC, after the opening of the Via Appia in 312 BC, probably by the head of the family, Lucius Cornelius Scipio Barbatus. He was the earliest known occupant after his death around 280 BC and his sarcophagus was the only one to survive intact - it is now on show at the Vatican Museums, re-united with its original inscription. During that time the tomb was a landmark in ancient Rome, the tomb held the remains of one person outside the Scipio family, the poet Ennius, of whom there was a marble statue in the tomb according to Cicero. None of the more familiar Scipios were buried here, but according to Livy, the inscriptions on the sarcophagi suggest that the hypogeum was complete about 150 BC.
At that time it came to be supported by another quadrangular room, the creation of a solemn rupestre facade dates to that period. The decoration is attributed to the initiative of Scipio Aemilianus, and is an example of Hellenization of Roman culture in the course of 2nd century BC. At that period the tomb became a kind of family museum, the last well-known use of the tomb itself was in the Claudio-Neronian period, when the daughter and the grandchild of Gnaeus Cornelius Lentulus Gaetulicus were buried here
Ancient Roman temples were among the most important buildings in Roman culture, and some of the richest buildings in Roman architecture, though only a few survive in any sort of complete state. Today they remain the most obvious symbol of Roman architecture and their construction and maintenance was a major part of ancient Roman religion, and all towns of any importance had at least one main temple, as well as smaller shrines. The main room housed the image of the deity to whom the temple was dedicated. Behind the cella was a room or rooms used by attendants for storage of equipment. The ordinary worshipper rarely entered the cella, and most public ceremonies were performed outside, on the portico, with a crowd gathered in the temple precinct. The most common architectural plan had a rectangular temple raised on a podium, with a clear front with a portico at the top of steps. The sides and rear of the building had much less architectural emphasis, there were circular plans, generally with columns all round, and outside Italy there were many compromises with traditional local styles.
The Roman form of temple developed initially from Etruscan temples, themselves influenced by the Greeks, public religious ceremonies of the official Roman religion took place outdoors, and not within the temple building. Some ceremonies were processions that started at, visited, or ended with a temple or shrine, chiefly of animals, would take place at an open-air altar within the templum. Especially under the Empire, exotic foreign cults gained followers in Rome and these often had very different practices, some preferring underground places of worship, while others, like Early Christians, worshipped in houses. The decline of Roman religion was relatively slow, and the temples themselves were not appropriated by the government until a decree of the Emperor Honorius in 415. Santi Cosma e Damiano, in the Roman Forum, originally the Temple of Romulus, was not dedicated as a church until 527. The best known is the Pantheon, which is however highly untypical, being a large circular temple with a magnificent concrete roof.
The English word temple derives from the Latin templum, which was not the building itself. The Roman architect Vitruvius always uses the word templum to refer to the sacred precinct, the more common Latin words for a temple or shrine were sacellum, aedes and fanum. The Etruscans were a people of northern Italy, whose civilization was at its peak in the seventh century BC, the Etruscans were already influenced by early Greek architecture, so Roman temples were distinctive but with both Etruscan and Greek features. Especially in the periods, further statuary might be placed on the roof. As in the Maison Carrée, columns at the side might be half-columns and these steps were normally only at the front, and typically not the whole width of that
Gaius Lutatius Catulus
Not to be confused with Quintus Lutatius Catulus, or Gaius Valerius Catullus. See Lutatius for other members of the gens, for the genus of fungi, see Catulus. Gaius Lutatius Catulus was a Roman statesman and naval commander in the First Punic War and he was born a member of the plebeian gens Lutatius. He was elected as a consul in 242 BCE, a novus homo and his colleague as consul was Aulus Postumius Albinus. In addition to consulship Postumius held the position of Flamen Martialis, Lutatius was therefore the only candidate for commanding the war in Sicily. The senate appointed the praetor Quintus Valerius Falto as his second-in-command and this was somewhat of a novelty, since a second praetorship was created only a few years earlier, thereby allowing one of the praetors to leave Rome. Typically the two shared the command of the army. Upon assuming command Lutatius and Valerius embarked for Sicily, Lutatius had the command of both legions and a new fleet. This fleet was funded by donations from wealthy citizens as the war had left the public treasury virtually empty.
The degree to which Lutatius was involved with the construction of the fleet is unknown, no decisive action in the war was taken in 242 BCE. In 241 BCE Carthage sent a fleet commanded by Hanno the Great to Sicily with dual purpose of regaining naval supremacy. A wound prevented Lutatius from commanding the fleet in the ensuing Battle of the Aegates Islands personally, the battle ended in decisive Roman victory. Carthage, unable to fund a replacement fleet, was forced to negotiate a treaty favorable to the Romans with Lutatius. Both Lutatius and Valerius were awarded a triumph by the senate, to celebrate his victory, Lutatius built a temple to Juturna in Campus Martius, in the area currently known as Largo di Torre Argentina. There is no record of his subsequent life or career. Gaius Lutatius Catulus is the character of Finnish writer Jukka M. Heikkiläs book Merikonsuli
In its many centuries of existence, the Roman state evolved from a monarchy to a classical republic and to an increasingly autocratic empire. Through conquest and assimilation, it came to dominate the Mediterranean region and Western Europe, Asia Minor, North Africa and it is often grouped into classical antiquity together with ancient Greece, and their similar cultures and societies are known as the Greco-Roman world. Ancient Roman civilisation has contributed to modern government, politics, art, architecture, warfare, religion and society. Rome professionalised and expanded its military and created a system of government called res publica, the inspiration for modern republics such as the United States and France. By the end of the Republic, Rome had conquered the lands around the Mediterranean and beyond, its domain extended from the Atlantic to Arabia, the Roman Empire emerged with the end of the Republic and the dictatorship of Augustus Caesar. 721 years of Roman-Persian Wars started in 92 BC with their first war against Parthia and it would become the longest conflict in human history, and have major lasting effects and consequences for both empires.
Under Trajan, the Empire reached its territorial peak, Republican mores and traditions started to decline during the imperial period, with civil wars becoming a prelude common to the rise of a new emperor. Splinter states, such as the Palmyrene Empire, would divide the Empire during the crisis of the 3rd century. Plagued by internal instability and attacked by various migrating peoples, the part of the empire broke up into independent kingdoms in the 5th century. This splintering is a landmark historians use to divide the ancient period of history from the pre-medieval Dark Ages of Europe. King Numitor was deposed from his throne by his brother, while Numitors daughter, Rhea Silvia, because Rhea Silvia was raped and impregnated by Mars, the Roman god of war, the twins were considered half-divine. The new king, feared Romulus and Remus would take back the throne, a she-wolf saved and raised them, and when they were old enough, they returned the throne of Alba Longa to Numitor. Romulus became the source of the citys name, in order to attract people to the city, Rome became a sanctuary for the indigent and unwanted.
This caused a problem for Rome, which had a large workforce but was bereft of women, Romulus traveled to the neighboring towns and tribes and attempted to secure marriage rights, but as Rome was so full of undesirables they all refused. Legend says that the Latins invited the Sabines to a festival and stole their unmarried maidens, leading to the integration of the Latins, after a long time in rough seas, they landed at the banks of the Tiber River. Not long after they landed, the men wanted to take to the sea again, one woman, named Roma, suggested that the women burn the ships out at sea to prevent them from leaving. At first, the men were angry with Roma, but they realized that they were in the ideal place to settle. They named the settlement after the woman who torched their ships, the Roman poet Virgil recounted this legend in his classical epic poem the Aeneid
In ancient Roman religion, Fontus or Fons was a god of wells and springs. A religious festival called the Fontinalia was held on October 13 in his honor, throughout the city and wellheads were adorned with garlands. Fons was the son of Juturna and Janus, numa Pompilius, second king of Rome, was supposed to have been buried near the altar of Fons on the Janiculum. William Warde Fowler observed that between 259 and 241 BC, cults were founded for Juturna and the Tempestates, as a god of pure water, Fons can be placed in opposition to Liber as a god of wine identified with Bacchus. Fons was not among the deities depicted on coinage of the Roman Republic, in the cosmological schema of Martianus Capella, Fons is located in the second of 16 celestial regions, with Jupiter, Mars, the Military Lar, Juno and the Novensiles. Water as a source of regeneration played a role in the Mithraic mysteries, in one of the scenes of the Mithraic cycle, the god strikes a rock, which gushes water. A Mithraic text explains that the stream was a source of life-giving water and immortal refreshment