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PERSES 100.00%
Son of the Titan Crius, father of Hecate.
 
CHONIAN GODS 66.17%
The deities who rule under the earth or who are connected with the lower world, as Hades, Pluto, Persephone, Demeter, Dionysus, Hecate, and Hermes.
 
ASTERIA 35.03%
daughter of the Titan Coeus and the Titanid Phoebe; sister of Leto, and mother of Hecate by Perses, son of the Titan Crius. She is said to have turned into an ortyx (=quail) and plunged into the sea to escape the love of Zeus. After her the Island of Delos was named Asteria, and then Ortygia, till it received its ordinary name.
 
BENDIS 34.91%
A goddess of the moon among the Thracians. She was invested with power over heaven and earth, and identified by the Greeks with Artemis, Hecate, and Persephone. The worship of this goddess wasintroduced into Attica by Thracian aliens; and was so popular that in Plato's time it became a state ceremonial at Athens. A public festival was instituted called the Bendideia, at which there were torch-races and a solemn procession of Athenians and Thracians at the Piraeus.
 
SELENE 19.44%
The Greek goddess of the moon, daughter of the Titan Hyperion and Theia, sister of Helios and Eos. She was described as a beautiful woman with long wings and golden diadem, from which she shed a mild light [Homeric Hymn xxxii 7], riding in a car drawn by two white horses or mules or cows. The horns of the latter symbolised the crescent moon. In later times she was identified with Artemis (or else with Hecate and Persephone), as was Helios with Phoebus Apollo, and therefore was herself called Phoebe. After this she was also regarded as a huntress and archer, recognisable by her crescent as the goddess of the moon. She was worshipped on the days of the new and full moon. She bore to Zeus a daughter Pandia, worshipped at Athens with her father at the festival of Pandia (Dem., Or. 21 § 9]. On her love for Endymion, see ENDYMION.
 
CALLIMACHUS 14.00%
A Greek scholar and poet, the chief representative of the Alexandrian school. He was the son of Battus, and thus sprung from the noble family of the Battiadae. He at first gave his lectures in a suburb of Alexandria; but was afterwards summoned by Ptolemy Philadelphus to the Museum there and in about 260 B.C. was made president of the library. He held this office till his death, which took place about 240 B.C. He (did a great service to literature by sifting and cataloguing the numerous books collected at Alexandria. The results of his labours were published in his great work called Pinakes, or "Tablets." This contained 120 books, and was a catalogue, arranged in chronological order, of the works contained in the library, with observations on their genuineness, an indication of the first and last word in each book, and a note of its bulk. This work laid the foundation of a critical study of Greek literature. 800 works, partly in prose, partly in verse, were attributed altogether to Callimachus; but it is to be observed that he avoided, on principle, the composition of long poems, so as to be able to give more thought to the artistic elaboration of details. The essence of Callimachus' verse is art and learning, not poetic genius in the real sense. Indeed, some of his compositions had a directly learned object; the Aitia, or "Causes," for instance. This was a collection of elegiac poems in four books, treating, with great erudition, of the foundation of cities, the origin of religious ceremonies, and the like. Through his writings, as well as through his oral instruction, Callimachus exercised an immense influence, not only on the course of learning, but on the poetical tendencies of the Alexandrian school. Among his pupils were the most celebrated savants of the time, Eratosthenes, Aristophanes of Byzantium, Apollonius of Rhodes, and others. Of his writings only a very few have survived in a complete state: these are, six hymns, five of which are in epic and one in elegiac form, and sixty-four epigrams. The hymns, both in their language and their matter, attest the learned taste of their author. His elegy, entitled the Coma Berenices, or "Lock of Berenice," is imitated by Catullus in one of his remaining pieces. Ovid, in the twentieth of his Heroides, as well as in his Ibis, took poems of Callimachus for his models. Indeed, the Romans generally set a very high value on his elegies, and liked to imitate them. Of his other works in prose and poetry-among the latter may be mentioned a very popular epic called Hecate--only fragments have survived.
 
SCYLLA 13.80%
(1) In Homer, daughter of Crataeis; a terrible monster of the sea, with a loud bark like that of a young dog, twelve shapeless feet, and six long necks, each of them bearing a horrid head with three rows of teeth closely set. Her lower half lies in a dark cavern, which is in the middle of a rock, smooth of surface, not to be climbed, and rising up into the clouds; while with her heads she fishes for dolphins, sea-dogs, and the larger animals of the sea. If a ship come too near to her, with each of her six heads she snatches up a man of the crew, as from the ship of Odysseus. Opposite her, a bow-shot off, is a lower rock with a wild fig tree on it, and under it the whirlpool of Charybdis, which three times in the day sucks in the sea and discharges it again in a terrible whirlpool, against which even the help of Poseidon is unavailing. Whoever tries to avoid one of the two evils falls a prey to the other [Homer, Od. xi 85-110]. In later times Scylla and Charybdis, the position of which is left uncertain by Homer, were supposed to be placed in the Strait of Messina, Scylla being identified with a projecting rock on the Italian side. She was also made a daughter of Phorcys and of Hecate Crataeis. When Heracles, as he is passing by, is robbed by her of one of Geryon's oxen, he slays her in her cavern; but her father burns her corpse, and thus recalls her to life. According to another myth, she was originally a beautiful princess or sea Nymph, loved now by Zeus, now by Poseidon or Glaucus or Triton, until she was changed by the jealousy of her rivals, Hera, Amphitrite, or Circe, into a monster, imagined as a maiden above, but as ending below in the body of a fish, begirt with hideous dogs. (2) Daughter of Nisus (q.v.).
 
DIANA 12.90%
An ancient Italian deity, whose name is the feminine counterpart of Ianus. She was the goddess of the moon, of the open air, and open country, with its mountains, forests, springs and brooks, of the chase, and of childbirth. In the latter capacity she, like Juno, bore the second title of Lucina. Thus her attributes were akin to those of the Greek Artemis, and in the course of time she was completely identified with her and with Hecate, who resembled her. The most celebrated shrine of Diana was at Aricia in a grove (nemus), from which she was sometimes simply called Nemorensis. This was on the banks of the modern lake of Nemi, which was called the mirror of Diana. Here a male deitynamed Virbius was worshipped with her,a god of the forest and the chase. He was in later times identified with Hippolytus, the risen favourite of Artemis, and the oldest priest of the sanctuary (Rex Nemorensis). He was said to have originated the custom of giving the priest's office to a runaway slave, who broke off a branch from a particular tree in the precincts, and slew his predecessor in office in single combat. In consequence of this murderous custom the Greeks compared Diana of Aricia with the Tauric Artemis, and a fable arose that Orestes bad brought the image of that god into the grove. Diana was chiefly worshipped by womell, who prayed to her for happiness in marriage or childbirth. The most considerable temple of Diana at Rome was in the Aventine, founded by Servius Tullius as the sanctuary of the Latin confederacy. On the day of its foundation (August 13) the slaves had a holiday. This Diana was completely identified with the sister of Apollo, and worshipped simply as Artemis at the Secular Games. A sign of the original difference however remained. Cows were offered to the Diana of the Aventine, and her temple adorned with cows, not with stags' horns, but it was the doe which was sacred to Artemis (see ARTEMIS).
 
PERSEPHONE 10.00%
Daughter of Zeus and Demeter. As the wife of Hades, she is the dread queen of the world below. Her special name in Attic cult is Core (lit. "the Maiden"). As a maiden while plucking flowers (near Enna in Sicily, according to the story common in later times), she was carried off into the lower world by Hades on his car, with the consent of her father. To appease her mother's wrath, Zeus sent Hermes to bring her back; but, since she had eaten part of a pomegranate given her by Hades (i.e. had already become his wife), she could only spend two-thirds of the year in the upper world with her mother. At the end of that time she had always to return to her husband, and rule as the dark goddess of death; whereas, while with her mother, she was regarded as the virgin daughter, and the helper of the goddess who presides over the fertility of the earth. Hence Persephone is emblematic of vegetable life, that comes and goes with the changing seasons. In spring, when the seeds sprout up from the ground, she rises to her mother; when the harvest is over, and the vegetation dies, and the seed is laid again in the dark grave of earth, she returns to her subterraneous kingdom. From this notion of the seed buried in the dark earth and again rising to light was developed that conception of the myth as an image of immortality which lies at the base of the Eleusinian mysteries. To express her rising and descending, her festivals were celebrated in spring and after the harvest. In spring she was worshipped at the lesser Eleusinia in Attica, and at her flower-festival of the anthesphoria, in the Peloponnesus, but more especially in Sicily. In autumn, there was held in Attica the great Eleusinia; i.e. the wedding-feast on her marriage with the god of the lower world. She was generally worshipped together with her mother; hence they were spoken of as "the two goddesses." In the Eleusinian mysteries she was also connected with Dionysus, who, under the mystic name Iacchus, was regarded as her son, brother, or bridegroom. In later times she was confused with other divinities, especially Hecate, as the goddess of night and of the world of spirits. She was represented either as the young and beautiful daughter of Demeter, with cornucopia, ears of corn, and a cock, the emblem of her rising in spring, or as the grim spouse of Hades, with rich adornments and the symbolic pomegranate. (See cut, and cp.DEMETER, fig.1) The Roman name Proserpina is regarded by some as an altered form of the Greek Persephone; by others as a native name only accidentally similar to the Greek, denoting a goddess who assisted in the germination (proserpere) of the seed, and, owing to the similarity of the two goddesses, transferred to Persephone after the introduction of her cult as the divinity of the lower world. (See HADES; see also LIBITINA.)
 
PERGAMENE SCULPTURES 8.33%
These sculptures belong to the acropolis of Pergamon in Asia Minor, discovered by the accomplished architect Humann in 1871, and excavated in and after 1878 under the superintendence of Humann and the distinguished archaeologist Conze, with the assistance of R. Bohn and others. The work was done at the expense of the Prussian government, and the sculptures then brought to light are now in the Museum at Berlin. The first rank among them is occupied by the remains of the sculpture representing the fight between the gods and the snake-legged Giants, a colossal composition in high relief, which occupied a space 7 ft. 6 1/2 ins. high, and extended over the outer surface (about 118 sq. ft. in area) of the upper part of the platform of an altar about 39 ft. high, which was probably built by king Eumenes II (197-159 B.C.). Of this about half remains, whereof a third consists of more or less well-preserved slabs, and the rest of fragments large and small. They exhibit an astonishing mastery of form and technique,and a vivid realism that is often terrible, combined with a truly grand style, and are among the most important productions of ancient art. Only fragmentary portions of the names of the sculptors in marble belonging to the Pergamene school (see SCULPTURE) have been found. [Sogonus, Phyromachus, Stratonicus, and Antigonus, mentioned in Pliny, N. H. xxxiv 34, were sculptors in bronze. The name of Menecrates in the genitive case has been traced in one of the inscriptions, and has led to the conjecture that his sons Apollonius and Tauriscus, the sculptors of the Farnese Bull, were among the artists who worked at Pergamon. The "great marble altar, 40 ft. high, with colossal figures, comprising a battle of the Giants," is mentioned in the the Liber Memorialis of Ampelius q.v.).] The most important parts of the work are shown in the cuts. The powerful figure of Zeus (fig. 1), wrapped in flowing drapery, is most impressive. With his thunderbolt of triple fork and flaming crest, he has already transfixed the thigh of a Giant, who has sunk to the earth. In his left hand he shakes his aegis over a second opponent, who writhes on the ground in pain. A snake-legged Giant holds out his left arm, wrapped round with the skin of a wild beast, to protect him from the onslaught of the god. By the side of Zeus, and taking part in the conflict, hovers his eagle. The counterpart to this was presumably the group with Athene in the centre (fig. 2). The goddess appears in full armour, with the heavy round shield on her left arm; on her head, the front portion of which is unfortunately destroyed, is the tall Corinthian helmet; and on her breast, the aegis, carved with the greatest care. She is advancing with fierce strides towards the right, dragging along with her by the hair a young Giant with a vast pair of wings. Her sacred serpent is also fighting for her. The motive of the piece vividly reminds one of the Laocoon group, which is closely allied in form and expression. The group of Athene and the Giants is most effectively completed by the figure of Nike with outspread wings flying up to the victorious goddess, and by the mighty form of Mother Earth, with the upper portion of her body rising up from the deep. Her name (Ge) is written over her right shoulder. With imploring gestures she is raising to heaven her face, surrounded by her unbound locks; for they are her own children who are thus being laid low by the might of the celestial gods. One of the most remarkable groups is that in which the triple Hecate appears among the fighting Olympians. The sculptor has given her three heads (one wanting); and three pairs of arms, all of them bearing weapons (fig. 3). In other groups of combatants we find Helios on his four-horse chariot, with Eos riding in front; Dionysus; the sea-gods with their stately following of sea-centaurs and other divinities of the ocean; the goddess Cybele, seated on a lion, etc. Beside these there have been found about thirty other slabs carved in relief, of smaller dimensions (5 ft. 2·8 ins. high), including some on the story of Telephus, the patron hero of the State of Pergamon. These formed part of a smaller frieze, running round the inner side of an Ionic colonnade, rising above the larger frieze, on the platform, and inclosing the altar proper. The torsoes of a large number of colossal statues, mostly female, which likewise originally stood on the platform, have also been discovered. On the Pergamene School, see SCULPTURE.
 
ARTEMIS 6.20%
The virgin daughter of Zeus and Leto (Latona), by the common account born a twin-sister of Apollo, and just before him, at Delos. The Ortygia (see ASTERIA) named in another tradition as her birthplace, was interpreted to mean Delos, though several other places where the worship of Artemis had long prevailed put forward pretensions to that name and its mythological renown, especially the well-known island of Ortygia off Syracuse. She, as well as her mother, was worshipped jointly with her brother at Delos, Delphi and all the most venerable spots where Apollo was honoured. She is armed, as he is, with bow and arrow, which, like him, and often together with him, she wields against monsters and giants; hence the paean was chanted to her as well as to him. Like those of Apollo, the shafts of Artemis were regarded as the cause of sudden death, especially to maidens and wives. But she was also a beneficent and helpful deity. As Apollo is the luminous god of day, she with her torch is a goddess of light by night, and in course of time becomes identified with all possible goddesses of moon and night. (See SELENE, HECATE, BENDIS, BRITOMARTIS.) Her proper domain is that of Nature, with its hills and valleys, woods, meadows, rivers and fountains ; there amid her nymphs, herself the fairest and tallest, she is a mighty huntress, sometimes chasing wild animals, sometimes dancing, playing, or bathing with her companions. Her favourite haunt was thought to be the mountains and forest of Arcadia, where, in many spots, she had sanctuaries, consecrated hunting-grounds, and sacred animals. To her, as goddess of the forest and the chase, all beasts of the woods and fields, in fact all game, were dear and sacred; but her favourite animal was held all over Greece to be the hind. From this sacred animal and the hunting of it, the month which the other Greeks called Artemision or Artemisios (March-April) was named by the Athenians Elaphe-bolion (deer-shooting), and her festival as goddess of game and hunting, at which deer or cakes in the shape of deer were offered up, Elaphebolia. As goddess of the chase, she had also some influence in war, and the Spartans before battle sought her favour by the gift of a she-goat. Miltiades too, before the battle of Marathon, had vowed to her as many goats as there should be enemies fallen on the field; but the number proving so great that the vow could not be kept, 500 goats were sacrificed at each anniversary of the victory in the month of Boedromion. Again she was much worshipped as a goddess of the Moon. At Amarynthus in Eubaea, the whole island kept holiday to her with processions and prize-fights. At Munychia in Attica, at full moon in the month of Munychion (April-May), large round loaves or cakes, decked all round with lights as a symbol of her own luminary, were borne in procession and presented to her; and at the same time was solemnized the festival of the victory of Salamis in Cyprus, because on that occasion the goddess had shone in her full glory on the Greeks. An ancient shrine of the Moon-goddess at Brauron in Attica was held in such veneration, that the Brauronia, originally a merely local festival, was afterwards made a public ceremony, to which Athens itself sent deputies every five years, and a precinct was dedicated to " Artemis of Brauron" on the Acropolis itself. (See plan of ACROPOLIS.) At this feast the girls between five and ten years of age, clad in saffron-coloured garments, were conducted by their mothers in procession to the goddess, and commended to her care. For Artemis is also a protectress of youth, especially those of her own sex. As such she patronized a Nurses' festival at Sparta in a temple outside the town, to which little boys were brought by their nurses; while the Ionians at their Apaturia presented her with the hair of boys. Almost everywhere young girls revered the virgin goddess as the guardian of their maiden years, and before marriage they offered up to her a lock of their hair, their girdle, and their maiden garment. She was also worshipped in many parts as the goddess of Good Repute, especially in youths and maidens, and was regarded as an enemy of all disorderly doings. With her attributes as the goddess of the moon, and as the promoter of healthy development, especially in the female frame, is connected the notion of her assisting in childbirth (see EILEITHYLA). in early times human sacrifices had been offered to Artemis. A relic of this was the yearly custom observed at Sparta, of flogging the boys till they bled, at the altar of deity not unknown elsewhere and named Artemis Orthia (the upright) probably from her stiff posture in the antiquated wooden image. At Sparta, as in other places, the ancient image was looked upon as the same which Iphigenia and Orestes brought away from Tauris (the Crimea), viz., that of the Tauric Artemis; a Scythian deity who was identified with Artemis because of the human sacrifices common in her worship. The Artemis of Ephesus, too, so greatly honoured by all the Ionians of Asia [Acts xix 28] is no Greek divinity, but Asiatic. This is sufficiently shown by the fact that eunuchs were employed in her worship; a practice quite foreign to Greek ideas. The Greek colonists identified her with their own Artemis, because she was goddess of the moon and a power of nature, present in mountains, woods and marshy places, nourishing life in plants, animals and men. But, unlike Artemis, she was not regarded as a virgin, but as a mother and foster-mother, as is clearly shown by the multitude of breasts in the rude effigy. Her worship, frantic and fanatical after the manner of Asia, was traced back to the Amazons. A number of other deities native to Asia was also worshipped by the Greeks under the name of Artemis. Artemis appears in works of art as the ideal of austere maiden beauty, tall of stature, with bow and quiver on her shoulder, or torch in her hand, and generally leading or carrying a hinds, or riding in a chariot drawn by hinds. Her commonest character is that of a huntress. In earlier times the figure is fuller and stronger, and the clothing more complete; in later works she is represented as more slender and lighter of foot, the hair loose, the dress girt up high, the feet protected by the Cretan shoe. The most celebrated of her existing statues is the Diana of Versailles (see cut). On the identification of Artemis with the Italian Diana, see DIANA.
 
SACRIFICES 4.72%
among the ancients, formed the chief part of every religious act. According to the kind of sacrifice offered, they were divided into (a) bloodless offerings and (b) blood offerings. (a) The former consisted in firstfruits, viands, and cakes of various shape and make, which were some of them burned and some of them laid on the altars and sacrificial tables (See figs. 1 and 2) and removed after a time, libations of wine, milk, water with honey or milk, and frankincense, for which in early times native products (wood and the berries of cedars, junipers, and bay trees, etc.) were used. Asiatic spices, such as incense and myrrh, scarcely came into use before the seventh century in Greece or until towards the end of the Republic at Rome. (b) For blood-offerings cattle, goats, sheep, and swine were used by preference. Other animals were only employed in special cults. Thus horses were offered in certain Greek regions to Poseidon and Helios, and at Rome on the occasion of the October feast to Mars; dogs to Hecate and Robigus, asses to Priapus, cocks to Asclepius, and geese to Isis. Sheep and cattle, it appears, could be offered to any gods among the Greeks. As regards swine and goats, the regulations varied according to the different regions. Swine were sacrificed especially to Demeter and Dionysus, goats to the last named divinity and to Apollo and Aromis as well as Aphrodite, while they were excluded from the service of Athene, and it was only at Sparta that they were presented to Hera. At Epidaurus they might not be sacrificed to Asclepius, though elsewhere this was done without scruple. [Part of the spoils of the chase-such as the antlers or fell of the stag, or the head and feet of the boar or the bear--was offered to Artemis Agrotera (See fig. 3).] As regards the sex and colour of the victims, the Romans agreed in general with the Greeks in following the rule of sacrificing male creatures to gods, female to goddesses, and those of dark hue to the infernal powers. At Rome, however, there were special regulations respecting the victims appropriate to the different divinities. Thus the appropriate offering for Jupiter was a young steer of a white colour, or at least with a white spot on its forehead; for Mars, in the case of expiatory sacrifices, two bucks or a steer; the latter also for Neptune and Apollo; for Vulcan, a red calf and a boar; for Liber and Mercury, a he-goat; for Juno, Minerva, and Diana, a heifer; for Juno, as Lucina, an ewe lamb or (as also for Ceres and the Bona Dea) a sow; for Tellus, a pregnant, and for Proserpine a barren, heifer; and so on. The regulations as regards the condition of the victims were not the same everywhere in Greece. Still in general with them, as invariably with the Romans, the rule held good, that only beasts which were without blemish, and had not yet been used for labour, should be employed. Similarly, there were definite rules, which were, however, not the same everywhere, concerning the age of the victims. Thus, by Athenian law, lambs could not be offered at all before their first shearing, and sheep only when they had borne lambs. The Romans distinguished victims by their ages as lactantes, sucklings, and maiores, full grown. The sacrifice of sucklings was subject to certain limitations: young pigs had to be five days old, lambs seven, and calves thirty. Animals were reckoned maiores if they were bidentes; i.e. if their upper and lower rows of teeth were complete. There were exact requirements for all cases as regards their sex and condition, and to transgress these was an offence that demanded expiation. If the victims could not be obtained as the regulations required, the pontifical law allowed their place to be taken by a representation in wax or dough, or by a different animal in substitution for the sort required. In many cults different creatures were combined for sacrifice: e.g. a bull, a sheep, and a pig (Cp. SUOVETAURILIA), or a pig, a buck, and a ram, and the like. In State sacrifices, victims were sometimes sacrificed in great numbers; e.g. at the Athenian festival in commemoration of the victory at Marathon, 500 goats were slain. (Cp. HECATOMBE.) Human sacrifices as a means of expiation were not unknown to the earliest Greek and Roman worship, and continued in certain cases (e.g. at the feast of the Lyman Zeus and of Jupiter Latiaris) until the imperial period; however, where they continued to exist, criminals who were in any case doomed to death were selected, and in many places opportunity was further given them for escape. In general, it was considered that purity in soul and body was an indispensable requirement for a sacrifice that was to be acceptable to a divinity. Accordingly the offerer washed at least his hands and feet, and appeared in clean (for the most part, white) robes. One who had incurred blood-guiltiness could not offer sacrifice at all; he who had polluted himself by touching anything unclean, particularly a corpse, needed special purification by fumigation. Precautions were also taken to insure the withdrawal of all persons who might be otherwise unpleasing to the divinity; from many sacrifices women were excluded, from others men, from many slaves and freedmen. At Rome, in early times, all plebeians were excluded by the patricians. The victims were generally decked out with ribbons and wreaths, and sometimes the cattle had their horns gilded. If the creature voluntarily followed to the altar or even bowed its head, this was considered as a favourable sign; it was an unfavourable sign if it offered resistance or tried to escape. In that case, with the Romans, the object of the sacrifice was deemed to be frustrated. Among the Greeks those who took part in the sacrifice wore wreaths; a firebrand from the altar was dipped in water, and with the water thus consecrated they sprinkled themselves and the altar. They then strewed the head of the victim with baked barley-grains, and cast some hairs cut from its head into the sacrificial fire. After those present had been called upon to observe a devout silence, and avoid everything that might mar the solemnity of the occasion, the gods were invited, amidst the sound of flutes or hymns sung to the lyre and dancing, to accept the sacrifice propitiously. The hands of the worshippers were raised, or extended, or pointed downwards, according as the prayer was made to a god of heaven, of the sea, or of the lower world respectively. The victim was then felled to the ground with a mace or a hatchet, and its throat cut with the sacrificial knife. During this operation the animal's head was held up, if the sacrifice belonged to the upper gods, and bowed down if it belonged to those of the lower world or the dead. The blood caught from it was, in the former case, poured round the altar, in the latter, into a ditch. In the case just mentioned the sacrifice was entirely burned (and this was also the rule with animals which were not edible), and the ashes were poured into the ditch. In sacrifices to the gods of the upper world, only certain portions were burned to the gods, such as thigh-bones or chine-bones out off the victim, some of the entrails, or some pieces of flesh with a layer of fat, rolled round the whole, together with libations of wine and oil, frankincense, and sacrificial cakes. The remainder, after removing the god's portion, as it was called, for the priests engaged in the sacrifice, was either roasted at once for the sacrificial banquet and so consumed, or taken home. Festal sacrifices at the public expense were often combined with a public meal. Sacrifice was made to the gods of the upper air in the morning; to those of the lower world in the evening. Among the Romans, as among the Greeks, reverent silence prevailed during the sacrificial operations; in case a careless word should become an evil omen, and to prevent any disturbance by external surroundings, a flute-player played and the offerer of the sacrifice himself veiled his head during the rite. The prayer, formulated by the pontifices, and unintelligible to the priests themselves from its archaic language, was repeated by the votary after the priest, who read it from a written form, as any deviation from the exact words made the whole sacrifice of no avail. As a rule, the worshipper turned his face to the east, or, if the ceremony took place before the temple, to the image of the divinity, grasping the altar with his hands; and, when the prayer was ended, laid his hands on his lips, and turned himself from left to right (in many cults from right to left), or, again, walked round the altar and then seated himself. Then the victim, selected as being without blemish, was consecrated, the priest sprinkling salted grains of dried and pounded spelt (mola salsa) and pouring wine from a cup upon its head, and also in certain sacrifices cutting some of the hairs off its head, and finally making a stroke with his knife along the back of the creature, from its head to its tail. Cattle were killed with the mace, calves with the hammer, small animals with the knife, by the priest's attendants appointed for the purpose, to whom also the dissection of the victims was assigned. If the inspectors of sacrifice (see HARUSPEX) declared that the entrails (exta), cut out with the knife, were not normal, this was a sign that the offering was not pleasing to the divinity; and if it was a male animal which had been previously slaughtered, a female was now killed. If the entrails again proved unfavourable, the sacrifice was regarded as of no avail. On the other hand, in the case of prodigies, sacrifices were offered until favourable signs appeared. In other sin-offerings there was no inspection of entrails. Sin-offerings were either entirely burned or given to the priests. Otherwise the flesh was eaten by the offerers, and only the entrails, which were roasted on spits, or boiled, were offered up, together with particular portions of the meat, in the proper way, and placed in a dish upon the altar, after being sprinkled with mola salsa and wine. The slaughter of the victim took place in the morning, whilst the extawere offered at evening, the intervening time being taken up by the process of preparation.
 
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