In ancient Roman religion, Ceres was a goddess of agriculture, grain crops and motherly relationships. She was the central deity in Rome's so-called plebeian or Aventine Triad was paired with her daughter Proserpina in what Romans described as "the Greek rites of Ceres", her seven-day April festival of Cerealia included the popular Ludi Ceriales. She was honoured in the May lustratio of the fields at the Ambarvalia festival, at harvest-time, during Roman marriages and funeral rites. Ceres is the only one of Rome's many agricultural deities to be listed among the Dii Consentes, Rome's equivalent to the Twelve Olympians of Greek mythology; the Romans saw her as the counterpart of the Greek goddess Demeter, whose mythology was reinterpreted for Ceres in Roman art and literature. Ceres' name derives from the reconstructed Proto-Indo-European root *ḱerh₃-, meaning "to satiate, to feed", the root for Latin crescere "to grow" and through it, the English words create and increase. Roman etymologists thought ceres derived from the Latin verb gerere, "to bear, bring forth, produce", because the goddess was linked to pastoral and human fertility.
Archaic cults to Ceres are well-evidenced among Rome's neighbours in the Regal period, including the ancient Latins and Sabellians, less among the Etruscans and Umbrians. An archaic Faliscan inscription of c. 600 BC asks her to provide far, a dietary staple of the Mediterranean world. Throughout the Roman era, Ceres' name was synonymous with grain and, by extension, with bread. Ceres was credited with the discovery of spelt wheat, the yoking of oxen and ploughing, the sowing and nourishing of the young seed, the gift of agriculture to humankind, she had the power to fertilise and fructify plant and animal seed, her laws and rites protected all activities of the agricultural cycle. In January, Ceres was offered spelt wheat and a pregnant sow, along with the earth-goddess Tellus, at the movable Feriae Sementivae; this was certainly held before the annual sowing of grain. The divine portion of sacrifice was the entrails presented in an earthenware pot. In a rural context, Cato the Elder describes the offer to Ceres of a porca praecidanea.
Before the harvest, she was offered a propitiary grain sample. Ovid tells that Ceres "is content with little, provided that her offerings are casta". Ceres' main festival, was held from mid to late April, it included circus games. It opened with a horse-race in the Circus Maximus, whose starting point lay below and opposite to her Aventine Temple. After the race, foxes were released into the Circus, their tails ablaze with lighted torches to cleanse the growing crops and protect them from disease and vermin, or to add warmth and vitality to their growth. From c.175 BC, Cerealia included ludi scaenici through April 12 to 18. In the ancient sacrum cereale a priest the Flamen Cerialis, invoked Ceres along with twelve specialised, minor assistant-gods to secure divine help and protection at each stage of the grain cycle, beginning shortly before the Feriae Sementivae. W. H. Roscher lists these deities among the indigitamenta, names used to invoke specific divine functions. Vervactor, "He who ploughs" Reparator, "He who prepares the earth" Imporcitor, "He who ploughs with a wide furrow" Insitor, "He who plants seeds" Obarator, "He who traces the first ploughing" Occator, "He who harrows" Serritor, "He who digs" Subruncinator, "He who weeds" Messor, "He who reaps" Conuector, "He who carries the grain" Conditor, "He who stores the grain" Promitor, "He who distributes the grain" In Roman bridal processions, a young boy carried Ceres' torch to light the way.
The adult males of the wedding party waited at the groom's house. A wedding sacrifice was offered to Tellus on the bride's behalf. Varro describes the sacrifice of a pig as "a worthy mark of weddings" because "our women, nurses" call the female genitalia porcus. Spaeth believes Ceres may have been included in the sacrificial dedication, because she is identified with Tellus and, as Ceres legifera, she "bears the laws" of marriage. In the most solemn form of marriage, the bride and groom shared a cake made of far, the ancient wheat-type associated with Ceres. From at least the mid-republican era, an official, joint cult to Ceres and Proserpina reinforced Ceres' connection with Roman ideals of female virtue; the promotion of this cult coincides with the rise of a plebeian nobility, an increased birthrate among plebeian commoners, a fall in the birthrate among patrician families. The late Republican Ceres Mater is described as alma. Several of Ceres' ancient Italic precursors are motherhood. Ceres was patron and protector of plebeian laws and Tribunes
Chariot racing was one of the most popular Iranian, ancient Greek and Byzantine sports. Chariot racing was dangerous to both drivers and horses as they suffered serious injury and death, but these dangers added to the excitement and interest for spectators. Chariot races could be watched by women. In the Roman form of chariot racing, teams represented different groups of financial backers and sometimes competed for the services of skilled drivers; as in modern sports like football, spectators chose to support a single team, identifying themselves with its fortunes, violence sometimes broke out between rival factions. The rivalries were sometimes politicized, when teams became associated with competing social or religious ideas; this helps explain why Roman and Byzantine emperors took control of the teams and appointed many officials to oversee them. The sport faded in importance in the West after the fall of Rome, it survived for a time in the Byzantine Empire, where the traditional Roman factions continued to play a prominent role for several centuries, gaining influence in political matters.
Their rivalry culminated in the Nika riots. It is unknown when chariot racing began, but It may have been as old as chariots themselves, it is known from artistic evidence on pottery that the sport existed in the Mycenaean world, but the first literary reference to a chariot race is one described by Homer, at the funeral games of Patroclus. The participants in this race were Diomedes, Antilochus and Meriones; the race, one lap around the stump of a tree, was won by Diomedes, who received a slave woman and a cauldron as his prize. A chariot race was said to be the event that founded the Olympic Games. In the ancient Olympic Games, as well as the other Panhellenic Games, there were both four-horse and two-horse chariot races, which were the same aside from the number of horses; the chariot racing event was first added to the Olympics in 680 BC with the games expanding from a one-day to a two-day event to accommodate the new event. The chariot race was not so prestigious as the foot race of 195 meters, but it was more important than other equestrian events such as racing on horseback, which were dropped from the Olympic Games early on.
The races themselves were held in the hippodrome. The single horse race was known as the "keles"; the hippodrome was situated at the south-east corner of the sanctuary of Olympia, on the large flat area south of the stadium and ran parallel to the latter. Until its exact location was unknown, since it is buried by several meters of sedimentary material from the Alfeios River. In 2008, Annie Muller and staff of the German Archeological Institute used radar to locate a large, rectangular structure similar to Pausanias's description. Pausanias, who visited Olympia in the second century AD, describes the monument as a large, flat space 780 meters long and 320 meters wide; the elongated racecourse was divided longitudinally into two tracks by a stone or wooden barrier, the embolon. All the horses or chariots ran on one track toward the east turned around the embolon and headed back west. Distances varied according to the event; the racecourse was surrounded by artificial banks for the spectators. The race was begun by a procession into the hippodrome, while a herald announced the names of the drivers and owners.
The tethrippon consisted of twelve laps around the hippodrome, with sharp turns around the posts at either end. Various mechanical devices were used, including the starting gates which were lowered to start the race. According to Pausanias, these were invented by the architect Cleoitas, staggered so that the chariots on the outside began the race earlier than those on the inside; the race did not begin properly until the final gate was opened, at which point each chariot would be more or less lined up alongside each other, although the ones that had started on the outside would have been traveling faster than the ones in the middle. Other mechanical devices known as the "eagle" and the "dolphin" were raised to signify that the race had begun, were lowered as the race went on to signify the number of laps remaining; these were bronze carvings of those animals, set up on posts at the starting line. In most cases, the owner and the driver of the chariot were different persons. In 416 BC, the Athenian general Alcibiades had seven chariots in the race, came in first and fourth.
Philip II of Macedon won an Olympic chariot race in an attempt to prove he was not a barbarian, although if he had driven the chariot himself he would have been considered lower than a barbarian. The poet Pindar did praise the courage of Herodotes of Thebes, for driving his own chariot; this rule meant that women could win the race through ownership, despite the fact that women were not allowed to participa
Hercules in ancient Rome
In ancient Roman religion and myth, Hercules was venerated as a divinized hero and incorporated into the legends of Rome's founding. The Romans adapted Greek myths and the iconography of Heracles into their own literature and art, but the hero developed distinctly Roman characteristics; some Greek sources as early as the 6th and 5th century BC gave Heracles Roman connections during his famous labors. Dionysius of Halicarnassus places Hercules among divine figures honored at Rome "whose souls after they had left their mortal bodies are said to have ascended to Heaven and to have obtained the same honours as the gods." His apotheosis thus served as one model during the Empire for the concept of the deified emperor. The divine Hercules was cultivated at Rome as early as the 6th century BC, at a temple next to the shrine of Carmenta and the Porta Carmentalis. By the 5th century BC, the mythological tradition was well established that Hercules had visited Rome during his tenth labor, when he stole the cattle of Geryon in the far west and drove them through Italy.
Several Augustan writers offer narratives of the hero's time in Rome to explain the presence of the Ara Maxima dedicated to Hercules in the Forum Boarium, the "Cattle Market" named because of Geryon's stolen herd. The Temple of Hercules Victor, which still stands, is atypically round, as was the Temple of Hercules Musarum in the Circus Flaminius; the latter displayed fasti, attributed to Marcus Fulvius Nobilior, which Jörg Rüpke places among the earliest Latin antiquarian literature. Fulvius had attracted harsh criticism for enriching himself excessively with booty plundered from temples during his military campaigns; when he became censor, he added a portico to an existing temple of Hercules, most that of Hercules Magnus Custos in the Campus Martius. He transferred a statue group of the Muses from his private collection to dedicate at the temple, which housed the poets' guild. Several place names in Italy were connected to Hercules' adventures. Vitulia as a name for the Italian peninsula came into usage because Hercules chased a runaway bullock there.
The altar of Iuppiter Praestes at Tibur was supposed to have been established by Hercules himself. Hercules Augustus or Hercules Augusti, Hercules "in his capacity as protector of the ruling emperor." Hercules Invictus, at the Ara Maxima. Hercules Victor. Hercules Magnus, honored with games that may have been first established by Sulla. Hercules Musarum, created when Fulvius Nobilior dedicated statues of the Muses to a temple of Hercules. Hercules Olivarius, in reference to a statue of Hercules dedicated by the guild of olive merchants. Hercules Triumphalis, represented by a statue in the Forum Boarium, was dressed in the regalia of a triumphator when a triumph was held, it is mentioned by Pliny. Only those celebrating the rites took part in the communal meal that followed a sacrifice, but at the Ara Maxima, all male citizens were invited. None of the meat that resulted from the sacrifice could be allowed to remain at the end of the day, nor could it be removed from the precinct, so it all had to be eaten.
Women were excluded from this rite. Macrobius explains: When Hercules with Geryon's cattle was journeying over the fields of Italy, a woman, in reply to his request for water to quench his thirst, said that she was not allowed to give him any because it was the feast of the Women's Goddess and no man was permitted to taste of anything that concerned it. Hercules therefore, when he intended to institute a sacrifice, solemnly forbade women to be admitted, ordering Potitius and Pinarius who were in charge of the rites not to allow any woman to be present; the "women's goddess" is taken as the Bona Dea. This relationship, should be thought of as complementary as well as adversarial; the "Good Goddess" is identifiable with several goddesses, in this instance her enmity with Hercules recalls that of Juno. She shared some characteristics with Ceres, with whom Hercules was honored jointly on December 21, with the sacrifice of a pregnant sow, loaves of bread, mulsum, sweet wine. Hercules was among the divinities honored at the first lectisternium held at Rome in 399 BC.
Several Roman clans lay claim to descent from various divine figures. The Fabii traced their genealogy to a daughter of Evander who lay with Hercules in his "dug-out" and conceived the first Fabius; the cult of Hercules at the Ara Maxima was in the keeping of the gens Potitia and the gens Pinaria until 312 BC, when maintenance was transferred to the state and thereafter administered by public slaves. The emperor Commodus chose Hercules as a personal patron, had himself depicted in Hercules' garb. In 184 AD, Commodus renamed all the months of the year after names and aspects of himself, including a mensis Herculeus, either September or October; the innovation was repealed after his murder in 192. Roman sources suggest that the imported Greek hero replaced a mythic Italic shepherd called "Recaranus" or "Garanus", famous for his strength; this hero dedicated the Ara Maxima. Media related to Hercules in ancient Roman art at Wikimedia Commons
Interpretatio graeca is a discourse in which ancient Greek religious concepts and practices and myths are used to interpret or attempt to understand the mythology and religion of other cultures. It is thus a comparative methodology that looks for shared characteristics; the phrase may describe Greek efforts to explain others' beliefs and myths, as when Herodotus describes Egyptian religion in terms of perceived Greek analogues, or when Dionysius of Halicarnassus and Plutarch document Roman cults and practices under the names of equivalent Greek deities. Interpretatio graeca may describe non-Greeks' interpretation of their own belief systems by comparison or assimilation with Greek models, as when Romans adapt Greek myths and iconography under the names of their own gods. Interpretatio romana is comparative discourse in reference to ancient Roman religion and myth, as in the formation of a distinctive Gallo-Roman religion. Both the Romans and the Gauls reinterpreted Gallic religious traditions in relation to Roman models Imperial cult.
Jan Assmann considers the polytheistic approach to internationalizing gods as a form of "intercultural translation": The great achievement of polytheism is the articulation of a common semantic universe.... The meaning of a deity is his or her specific character as it unfolded in myths, rites, so on; this character makes a deity comparable to other deities with similar traits. The similarity of gods makes their names mutually translatable. … The practice of translating the names of the gods created a concept of similarity and produced the idea or conviction that the gods are international. Pliny the Elder expressed the "translatability" of deities as "different names to different peoples"; this capacity made possible the religious syncretism of the Hellenistic era and the pre-Christian Roman Empire. Herodotus was one of the earliest authors to engage in this form of interpretation. In his observations regarding the Egyptians, he establishes Greco-Egyptian equivalents that endured into the Hellenistic era, including Amon/Zeus, Osiris/Dionysus, Ptah/Hephaestus.
In his observations regarding the Scythians, he equates their queen of the gods, Tabiti, to Hestia and Api to Zeus and Gaia and Argimpasa to Aphrodite Urania, whilst claiming that the Scythians worshipped equivalents to Herakles and Ares, but which he doesn't name. Some pairs of Greek and Roman gods, such as Zeus and Jupiter, are thought to derive from a common Indo-European archetype, thus exhibit shared functions by nature. Others required more expansive theological and poetic efforts: though both Ares and Mars are war gods, Ares was a minor figure in Greek religious practice and deprecated by the poets, while Mars was a father of the Roman people and a central figure of archaic Roman religion; some deities dating to Rome's oldest religious stratum, such as Janus and Terminus, had no Greek equivalent. Other Greek divine figures, most notably Apollo, were adopted directly into Roman culture, but underwent a distinctly Roman development, as when Augustus made Apollo one of his patron deities.
In the early period, Etruscan culture played an intermediary role in transmitting Greek myth and religion to the Romans, as evidenced in the linguistic transformation of Greek Heracles to Etruscan Hercle to Roman Hercules. The phrase interpretatio romana was first used by the Imperial-era historian Tacitus in the Germania. Tacitus reports that in a sacred grove of the Nahanarvali, "a priest adorned as a woman presides, but they commemorate gods who in Roman terms are Castor and Pollux." Elsewhere, he identifies the principal god of the Germans as Mercury referring to Wotan. Some information about the deities of the ancient Gauls, who left no written literature other than inscriptions, is preserved by Greco-Roman sources under the names of Greek and Latin equivalents. A large number of Gaulish theonyms or cult titles are preserved, for instance, in association with Mars; as with some Greek and Roman divine counterparts, the perceived similarities between a Gallic and a Roman or Greek deity may reflect a common Indo-European origin.
Lugus was identified with Nodens with Mars as healer and protector, Sulis with Minerva. In some cases, however, a Gallic deity is given an interpretatio romana by means of more than one god, varying among literary texts or inscriptions. Since the religions of the Greco-Roman world were not dogmatic, polytheism lent itself to multiplicity, the concept of "deity" was expansive, permitting multiple and contradictory functions within a single divinity, overlapping powers and functions among the diverse figures of each pantheon; these tendencies extended to cross-cultural identifications. In the Eastern empire, the Anatolian storm god with his double-headed axe became Jupiter Dolichenus, a favorite cult figure among soldiers. Roman scholars such as Varro interpreted the monotheistic god of the Jews into Roman terms as Caelus or Jupiter Optimus Maximus; some Greco-Roman authors seem to have understood the Jewish invocation of Yahweh Sabaoth as Sabazius. Interpretatio germanica is the practice by the Germanic peoples of identifying Roman gods with the names of Germanic deities.
According to Rudolf Simek, this occurred around the 1st century AD, when both cultures came into closer contact. Some evidence for interpretatio germanica exists in the Germanic translations of the Roman names for the days of the week: Sunday, the day of Sunnǭ, the sun, was earlier the day of Sol Invictus, th
Apollo is one of the most important and complex of the Olympian deities in classical Greek and Roman religion and Greek and Roman mythology. The national divinity of the Greeks, Apollo has been variously recognized as a god of music and prophecy, the sun and light, plague and more. Apollo is the son of Zeus and Leto, has a twin sister, the chaste huntress Artemis. Seen as the most beautiful god and the ideal of the kouros, Apollo is considered to be the most Greek of all gods. Apollo is known in Greek-influenced Etruscan mythology as Apulu; as the patron of Delphi, Apollo was an oracular god—the prophetic deity of the Delphic Oracle. Medicine and healing are associated with Apollo, whether through the god himself or mediated through his son Asclepius, yet Apollo was seen as a god who could bring ill-health and deadly plague. Apollo is the god of archery and the invention of archery is credited to him and his sister Artemis, he had a quiver of golden arrows. He is said to have never missed his aim, his arrows could inflict harm by causing sudden deaths or deadly plague.
As the leader of the Muses and director of their choir, Apollo functions as the patron god of music and poetry. He is the inventor of string-music; the Cithara and the lyre are said to be his inventions. The lyre is a common attribute of Apollo. Hymns sung to Apollo were called paeans. Apollo delights in the foundation of towns and the establishment of civil constitution. Hence is associated with dominion over colonists. Additionally, he is the god of the protector of fugitives and refugees. Apollo is the interpreter of laws, he presides over the divine law and custom along with Zeus and Themis. As the protector of young, Apollo is concerned with the health of children, he brings them out of their adolescence. Boys in Ancient Greece, upon reaching their adulthood, dedicated it to Apollo. Apollo is the patron of protector of herds and flocks, he is causes abundance in the milk produced by cattle, is connected with their fertility. As an agricultural deity, Apollo protects the crops from diseases the rust in corns and grains.
He is the controller and destroyer of pests that infect plants and plant harvests. Apollo is the god who wards off evil, he delivered men from the epidemics. Various epithets call him the "averter of evil". In Hellenistic times during the 5th century BCE, as Apollo Helios he became identified among Greeks with Helios, Titan god of the sun. In Latin texts, there was no conflation of Apollo with Sol among the classical Latin poets until 1st century AD. Apollo and Helios/Sol remained separate beings in literary and mythological texts until the 5th century CE. Apollo The name Apollo—unlike the related older name Paean—is not found in the Linear B texts, although there is a possible attestation in the lacunose form ]pe-rjo--[) on the KN E 842 tablet; the etymology of the name is uncertain. The spelling Ἀπόλλων had superseded all other forms by the beginning of the common era, but the Doric form, Apellon, is more archaic, as it is derived from an earlier *Ἀπέλjων, it is a cognate to the Doric month Apellaios, the offerings apellaia at the initiation of the young men during the family-festival apellai.
According to some scholars, the words are derived from the Doric word apella, which meant "wall," "fence for animals" and "assembly within the limits of the square." Apella is the name of the popular assembly in corresponding to the ecclesia. R. S. P. Beekes rejected the connection of the theonym with the noun apellai and suggested a Pre-Greek proto-form *Apalyun. Several instances of popular etymology are attested from ancient authors. Thus, the Greeks most associated Apollo's name with the Greek verb ἀπόλλυμι, "to destroy". Plato in Cratylus connects the name with ἀπόλυσις, "redemption", with ἀπόλουσις, "purification", with ἁπλοῦν, "simple", in particular in reference to the Thessalian form of the name, Ἄπλουν, with Ἀειβάλλων, "ever-shooting". Hesychius connects the name Apollo with the Doric ἀπέλλα, which means "assembly", so that Apollo would be the god of political life, he gives the explanation σηκός, "fold", in which case Apollo would be the god of flocks and herds. In the ancient Macedonian language πέλλα means "stone," and some toponyms may be derived from this word: Πέλλα and Πελλήνη.
A number of non-Greek etymologies have been suggested for the name, The Hittite form Apaliunas is attested in the Manapa-Tarhunta letter related to Hurrian Aplu, a god of plague, in turn from Akkadian Aplu Enlil meaning "the son of Enlil", a title, given to the god Nergal, linked to Shamash, Babylonian god of the sun. The role of Apollo as god of plague is evident in the invocation of Apollo Smintheus by Chryses, the Trojan priest of Apollo, with the purpose of sending a plague against the Greeks (the reasoning behind a god of the plague becoming a god of healing is
A triumphal arch is a monumental structure in the shape of an archway with one or more arched passageways designed to span a road. In its simplest form a triumphal arch consists of two massive piers connected by an arch, crowned with a flat entablature or attic on which a statue might be mounted or which bears commemorative inscriptions; the main structure is decorated with carvings, sculpted reliefs, dedications. More elaborate triumphal arches may have multiple archways. Triumphal arches are one of the most influential and distinctive types of architecture associated with ancient Rome. Thought to have been invented by the Romans, the triumphal arch was used to commemorate victorious generals or significant public events such as the founding of new colonies, the construction of a road or bridge, the death of a member of the imperial family or the accession of a new emperor; the survival of great Roman triumphal arches such as the Arch of Titus inspired many post-Roman states and rulers, up to the present day, to erect their own arches in emulation of the Romans.
Arches in the Roman style have been built in many cities around the world, most notably the Arc de Triomphe in Paris, the Narva Triumphal Arch in Saint Petersburg, the Wellington Arch in London, the Arcul de Triumf in Bucharest and India Gate in Delhi. Triumphal arch is the name given to the arch above the entrance to the chancel of a medieval church where a rood can be placed; the development of the triumphal arch is associated with ancient Roman architecture. Roman aqueducts, bridges and domes employed arch principles and technology; the Romans borrowed the techniques of arch construction from their Etruscan neighbours. The Etruscans used elaborately decorated single bay arches as portals to their cities; the two key elements of the Roman triumphal arch – a round-topped arch and a square entablature – had long been in use as separate architectural elements in ancient Greece, but the Greeks preferred the use of entablatures in their temples, entirely confined their use of the arch to structures under external pressure, such as tombs and sewers.
The Roman triumphal arch combined a round arch and a square entablature in a single free-standing structure. What were supporting columns became purely decorative elements on the outer face of arch, while the entablature, liberated from its role as a building support, became the frame for the civic and religious messages that the arch builders wished to convey through the use of statuary and symbolic and decorative elements; the modern term "triumphal arch" derives from the notion that this form of architecture was connected to the award and commemoration of a triumph to successful Roman generals, by vote of the Roman senate. The earliest arches set up to commemorate a triumph were made in the time of the Roman Republic; these bore imagery that described and commemorated the victory and triumph. Lucius Steritinus is known to have erected two such fornices in 196 BC to commemorate his victories in Hispania. Another fornix was built on the Capitoline Hill by Scipio Africanus in 190 BC, Quintus Fabius Maximus Allobrogicus constructed one in the Roman Forum in 121 BC.
None of these structures has survived and little is known about their appearance. Roman triumphal practices changed at the start of the imperial period when the princeps Augustus decreed that triumphs and triumphal honours were to be confined to members of the Imperial family; the term fornix was replaced by arcus. While Republican fornices could be erected by a triumphator at his own discretion and expense, Imperial triumphal arches were sponsored by decree of the senate, or sometimes by wealthy holders of high office, to honour and promote emperors, their office and the values of empire. Arches were not built as entrances, but – unlike many modern triumphal arches – they were erected across roads and were intended to be passed through, not around. Types of Roman triumphal arches. By the fourth century AD there were 36 such arches in Rome, of which three have survived - the Arch of Titus, the Arch of Septimius Severus and the Arch of Constantine. Numerous arches were built elsewhere in the Roman Empire.
The single arch was the most common, but many triple arches were built, of which the Triumphal Arch of Orange is the earliest surviving example. From the 2nd century AD, many examples of the arcus quadrifrons – a square triumphal arch erected over a crossroads, with arched openings on all four sides – were built in North Africa. Arch-building in Rome and Italy diminished after the time of Trajan but remained widespread in the provinces during the 2nd and 3rd centuries AD. Little is known about. Pliny the Elder, writing in the first century AD, was the only ancient author to discuss them, he wrote that they were intended to "elevate above the ordinary world" an image of an honoured person depicted in the form of a statue with a quadriga. However, the designs of Roman imperial triumphal arches – which became elaborate over time and evolved a regularised set of features – were intended to convey a number of messages to the spectator; the ornamentation of an arch was intended to serve as a constant visual reminder of the triumph and triumphator.
As such, it concentrated on factual imagery rather than allegory. The façade was ornamented with marble columns, the piers and atti
Egeria was a nymph attributed a legendary role in the early history of Rome as a divine consort and counselor of Numa Pompilius, the second Sabine king of Rome, to whom she imparted laws and rituals pertaining to ancient Roman religion. Her name is used as an eponym for a female counselor. Egeria may predate Roman myth: she could have been of Italic origin in the sacred forest of Aricia in Latium, her immemorial site, the grove of Diana Nemorensis. At Aricia there was a Manius Egerius, a male counterpart of Egeria; the name Egeria has been diversely interpreted. Egeria as a nymph or minor goddess of the Roman religious system is of unclear origin. Described sometime as a "mountain nymph", she is regarded as a water nymph and somehow her cult involved some link with childbirth, like the Greek goddess Ilithyia, but most of all, Egeria gave wisdom and prophecy in return for libations of water or milk at her sacred groves. This quality has been made popular through the tale of her relationship with Numa Pompilius.
According to mythology she counseled and guided the King Numa Pompilius in the establishment of the original framework of laws and rituals of Rome. Numa is reputed to have written down the teachings of Egeria in "sacred books" that he had buried with him; when a chance accident brought them back to light some 500 years the Senate deemed them inappropriate for disclosure to the people, ordered their destruction. What made them inappropriate was some matter of religious nature with "political" bearing that has not been handed down by Valerius Antias, the source that Plutarch was using. Dionysius of Halicarnassus hints that they were kept as a close secret by the Pontifices, she is gifted with oracular capabilities. In another episode she helps Numa in a battle of wits with Jupiter himself, whereby Numa sought to gain a protective ritual against lightning strokes and thunder. Numa invoked communicating with other deities, such as Muses; the precise level of her relationship to Numa has been described diversely.
She is given the respectful label coniuncta. By Juvenal's day that tradition was treated more critically. Juvenal called her Numa's Amica in a sceptical phrase. Numa Pompilius died in 673 BC of old age. According to Ovid's Metamorphoses, with Numa's death Egeria melted into tears of sorrow, thus becoming a spring, traditionally identified with the one nearby Porta Capena in Rome. A spring and a grove once sacred to Egeria stand close to a gate of the Porta Capena, its waters were dedicated to the exclusive use of the Vestals. The ninfeo, a favored picnic spot for nineteenth-century Romans, can still be visited in the archaeological park of the Caffarella, between the Appian Way and the more ancient Via Latina, nearby the Baths of Caracalla. In the second century, when Herodes Atticus recast an inherited villa nearby as a great landscaped estate, the natural grotto was formalized as an arched interior with an apsidal end where a statue of Egeria once stood in a niche; the primeval spring, one of dozens of springs that flow into the river Almone, was made to feed large pools, one of, known as Lacus Salutaris or "Lake of Health".
Juvenal regretted an earlier phase of architectural elaboration: Nymph of the Spring! More honour’d hadst thou been, If, free from art, an edge of living green, Thy bubbling fount had circumscribed alone, And marble ne’er profaned the native stone. In Nathaniel Lee's English Restoration tragedy Lucius Junius Brutus, Egeria appears in a vision to Brutus' son Titus. Letitia Elizabeth Landon's poem Egeria's Grotto in The New Monthly Magazine, 1826, descriptive of an artistic representation of Egeria's Spring.. In Oscar Wilde's The Importance of Being Ear