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ANCILE
The small oval sacred shield, curved inwards on either side, which was said to have fallen from heaven in the reign of Numa. There being a prophecy that the stability of Rome was bound up with it, Numa had eleven others made exactly like it by a cunning workman, Mamurius Veturius, so that the right one should not be stolen. The care of these arms, which were sacred to Mars was entrusted to the Salii (q.v.), who had to carry them through the city once a year with peculiar ceremonies. At the conclusion of their songs Mamurius himself was invoked, and on March 14th they held a special feast, the Mamuralia, at which they sacrificed to him, beating on a hide with staves, probably to imitate a smith's hammering. It is likely that the name Mamurius conceals that of the god Mars (or Mamers) himself.

Pictures and Media
ANCILIA BORNE BY TWO SALII, WITH LEGEND IN ETRUSCAN CHARACTERS. Above-Gk, ATKYAE ancile; below= AAKE, Aloaeus, the owner's name. (Gem in Florence.)
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gutter splint
gutter splint
PLACE HOLDER FOR COUNTER
gutter splint