Friday, June 10, 2011


Acts of the Arval Brethren, 183 A.D.

Thanks to Tony Prost for drawing my attention to an example of expiatory sacrifice accompanying tree cutting in a sacred grove, as recorded in the Acts of the Arval Brethren (183 A.D.), tr. in John Scheid, "Hierarchy and Structure in Roman Polytheism: Roman Methods of Conceiving Action," in Clifford Ando, ed., Roman Religion (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2003), pp. 164-189 (at 167, pieced together from Google Books' snippet view):
Under the consulship of Lucius Tutilius Pontianus Gentianus, on the sixth day before the Ides of February (the 8th), the magister Quintus Licinius Nepos sacrificed adult suovetaurilia, in order to begin the work of digging out a fig tree that had grown on the roof of the temple of dea Dia, and in order to repair the temple; he also sacrificed, close to the sanctuary, two female cattle to dea Dia, two rams to father Janus, two sheep with abundant wool to Jupiter, (Column II) two rams with abundant wool to Mars, two ewes to the Juno of dea Dia; two ewes to the God-or-Goddess, two ewes to the divine Virgins, two sheep to the divine Servants, two sheep to the Lares, two ewes to the God-or-Goddess who protects this sacred grove and place, two sheep to Fons, two ewes to Flora, two ewes to Vesta, two ewes to mother Vesta; he also sacrificed two ewes to Adolenda Conmolanda <sic> Deferunda. Also, (he sacrificed) before the Caesareum sixteen sheep to the sixteen divi.
Latin text from Hermann Dessau, ed., Inscriptiones Latinae Selectae, Vol. II, Pars I (Berlin: Weidmann, 1902) p. 279, #5047:
L. Tutilio Pontiano Gentiano cos. VI id. Februar., | in luco deae Diae Q. Licinius Nepos mag. operis inchuandi causa, quod | in fastigio aedis deae Diae ficus innata esset, eruendam et aedem reficiendam, immolavit suovetaurilibus maioribus; item ad aedem deae | Diae boves feminas II, Iano patri arietes II, Iovi berbeces II altilaneos, || Marti arietes altilaneos II, Iunoni deae Diae oves II, sive deo sive deae oves II, | Virginibus divis oves II, Famulis divis verbeces duos, Laribus verbeces duos, | Matri Larum oves duas, sive deo sive deae in cuius tutela hic lucus locusve | est oves II, Fonti verbeces II, Florae oves II, Vestae oves II, Vestae matri oves II; iten (sic) | Adolendae Conmolandae Deferundae oves II; item ante Caesareum divis n. XVI verbec. | immolavit n. XVI.
John Scheid, ed., Commentarii Fratrum Arvalium Qui Supersunt (Rome: École Française de Rome, 1998), is unavailable to me.

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