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The consecration of a public sanctury. The pontifices had to draw up the deed of foundation. When they had signified that they deemed the act permissible, and the consent of the people (in later times of the emperor) had been obtained, the rite was performed in the presence of the whole collegium pontificum. The Pontifex Maximus, whose head was veiled, and with him the representative of the people, took hold of the doorpost with one hand, the former dictating, and the latter repeating after him, the formula of dedication. The people was represented usually by one of the two consuls, or a person, or a commission (generally of two persons) elected by the people on the recommendation of the senate. One of the persons forming the commission was generally the man who had vowed the dedication. The day on which the shrine was dedicated was regarded as the day of its foundation, and was inscribed in the calendar as a festival.
The act of the Roman pontifices, in virtue of which a thing was pontifices as sacer, i.e. belonging to, or forfeited to, the gods. (On the rite of consecratio associated with the solemn dedication of a sanctuary, see DEDICATIO; on consecratio as the apotheosis of the emperor, see APOTHEOSIS.) In case of certain offences, sentence of consecratio capitis et bonorum was pronouned upon the offender, whose person and property were then made over as a sacrifice, to some deity. A married man who sold his wife was devoted to the gods below; a son who beat his father, to the household gods; one who removed his neighbour's landmark to Terminus; a patronus who betrayed his client, or a client who betrayed his patronus, to Jupiter; one who stole rorn in the ear, to Ceres. To kill a homo sacer was riot accounted as murder, but as the fulfilment of the divine vengeance.
TEMPLUM 48.82%
The Roman term for a space marked out by the augurs (see AUGURES) according to a certain fixed procedure. Its ground-plan was a square or rectangle, having its four sides turned to the different points of the compass; its front however, according to strict Roman custom, faced towards the west, so that any one entering the temple had his face turned towards the east. It was not until later that the front was frequently made to face the east. The building erected on this space, and corresponding to it in plan, did not become a fanum, or sanctuary of the gods, until it had been consecrated by the pontifices. (See DEDICATIO.) As, however, there were fana which were not templa, e.g. all circular buildings, so there were templa which were not fana. Of this sort were the places where public affairs were transacted, such as the rostra in the Forum, the places where the comitia met or the Senate assembled, and even the city of Rome itself. The sanctuaries of the gods were designed as templa if they were intended to serve for meetings of the Senate, and if the form of worship prescribed for such sanctuaries were appropriate to the definition of a templum.
Type: Standard
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