Saturday, July 14, 2012


The Worship of Money

There is a curious passage about the literal worship of money in Pliny, Natural History 34.38.137 (quoting Messala; tr. H. Rackham):
The family of the Servilii has a holy coin to which every year they perform sacrifices with the greatest devotion and splendour; and they say that this coin seems to have on some occasions grown bigger and on other occasions smaller, and that thereby it portends either the advancement or the decadence of the family.

Serviliorum familia habet trientem sacrum, cui summa cum cura magnificentiaque sacra quotannis faciunt. quem ferunt alias crevisse, alias decrevisse videri et ex eo aut honorem aut deminutionem familiae significare.
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