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MANES 100.00%
A name given by the Romans to the spirits of the dead, which were held to be immortal like the gods,and hence designated as such (dii manes). They dwell below the earth, and only come forth at certain seasons of the year. On the Mons Palatinus at Rome, there was, as in other Italian towns, a deep pit with the shape of an inverted sky, known as mundus, the lowest part of which was consecrated to the infernal gods and also to the Manes, and was closed with a stone, lapis manalis, thought to be the gate of the nether world. This stone was lifted up three times a year (August 24th, October 5th, November 8th), and the Manes were then believed to rise to the upper world: on this account those days were religiosi, i.e. no serious matter might be undertaken on them. Sacrifices were offered to them as to the dead; water, wine, warin inilk, honey, oil, and the blood of black sheep, pigs, and oxen, were poured on the grave; ointments and incense were offered; and the grave was decked with flowers, roses and violets by preference. Oblations, which chiefly consisted of beans, eggs, lentils, bread and wine, were placed on the grave, and the mourners partook of a meal in its neighbourhood. Besides the private celebrations there was also a public and universal festival, the Parentalia, which lasted from the 13th to the 21st of February, the last month of the older Roman year; the last day had the special name Feralia. During these days all the temples were closed, marriages were prohibited, and the magistrates had to appear in public without the tokens of their office. The festival of the dead was followed by that of the relations on February 22nd, called Caristia. This was celebrated throughout the town by each individual family, the members of which exchanged presents and met at festal banquets.
FERALIA 100.00%
The last day of the Roman festival called the Parentalia. (See MANES.)
The general festival in honour of deceased relatives, celebrated by the Romans from February 13th to 21st. (See MANES.)
An ancient Etruscan deity of the nocturnal heavens, to whom was ascribed thunder by night; as that by day was ascribed to Jupiter. He had a chapel on the Capitol, and his image in term cotta stood on the pediment of the great temple. Besides this he had a temple near the Circus Maximus, where on the 20th of June an annual sacrifice was offered to him. His true significance became in later times so obscure that his name was falsely explained as meaning the highest of the Manes (summus Manium) and equivalent to Dis, pater, or the Greek Pluto.
The Latin personification of concord or harmony, especially among Roman citizens. Shrines were repeatedly erected to Concordia during the republican period after the cessation of civil dissensions. The earliest was dedicated by Camillus in 367 B.C. The goddess Concordia was also invoked, together with Janus, Salus, and Pax, at the family festival of the Caristia, on the 30th March, and, with Venus and Fortuna, by married women on the 1st of April (see MANES). During the imperial period Concordia Augusta was worshipped as the protectress of harmony, especially of matrimonial agreement; in the emperor's household.
Certain special days were so called among the Romans which, owing to religious scruples, were deemed unsuitable for particular undertakings, especially for beginning them. On such days only what was absolutely necessary was done. So far as they are unsuited for sacred, political, legal, or military undertakings, they belong to the dies nefasti. (See FASTI.) As regards private affairs, these days were of different kinds. Some were of ill omen for journeys, others for weddings. In the latter case the day previous was also avoided, so that the first day of married life should not be a day of unhappy omen. Among such days were those consecrated to the dead and to the gods of the nether world, as the Parentalia and the Feralia, and days when the mundus, i.e. the world below, stood open (See MANES); the Lemuria (See LARVAe); also days sacred to Vesta, days on which the Sam passed through the city, or those which were deemed unlucky owing to their historical associations (atri dies, "black days "), such as the anniversary of the battle on the Allia (July 18th); also all days immediately after the calends, nones, and ides, on account of the repeated defeats and disasters experienced by the Romans on those days.
MANIA 17.38%
An old Italian goddess of the Manes, i.e. the dead, also called Lara, Larunda, Muta (the dumb), Mana Genita, who was held by some to be the mother or grandmother of the good Lares, by others of the evil Larvoe. Originally daughter of the river-god Almo, and called Lara, she was deprived of her tongue by Jupiter, because she had betrayed his love for the Nymph Juturna, and was condemned to be the Nymph of the marshy waters in the realm of the speechless. On the way to the nether world Mercury fell in love with her, and the Lares were her offspring in early times boys are said to have been sacrificed to her, to insure the prosperity of a family. At a later period heads of poppies and garlic were offered to her, and woollen dolls, manioe, called after her, were suspended on the doors as a protection. As Mana Genita she received the sacrifice of a dog and was implored not to let any of the family become a " good one," i.e. die. In the course of time Mania became a bogy with which children were threatened.
TELLUS 17.12%
The Italian deity of mother-earth, often called tellus mater. She was invoked during earthquakes (her temple in Rome having been dedicated in 268 B.C. in consequence of an earthquake in the time of war). She was also invoked in solemn oaths as the common grave of all things, together with the Manes and with Jupiter, the god of heaven. Like the Greek Demeter, she was also the goddess of marriage, but was most revered in conjunction with Ceres as goddess of fruitfulness. Thus in her honour were held the festival of the sowing (ferioe sementivoe), celebrated in January at the end of the winter seed time, fixed by the pontifex to be held on two consecutive market days. The paganalia were celebrated at the same time in the country, when a pregnant sow was sacrificed to Tellus and Ceres. Besides these, there was the feast of fordicidia or hordicidia, at which cows in calf (fordoe) were sacrificed to her. This was held on the 15th of April to insure plenty during the year, and was celebrated under the management of the pontifices and the Vestal Virgins, partly on the Capitol in the thirty curioe, and partly outside the town. The ashes of the unborn calves were kept by the Vestal Virgins till the feast of the Parilia (see PALES), when they were used for the purpose of purification. Besides the female deity, a god Tellumo was also worshipped.
According to the belief current among the Greeks, the world of the dead, or the spacious abode of Hades, with its wide doors, was in the dark depths of the earth. In the Odyssey, its entrance and outer court are on the western side of the river Oceanus, in the ground sacred to Persephone, with its grove of barren willows and poplars. Here is the abode of the Cimmerians, veiled in darkness and cloud where the sun never shines. The soil of this court, and indeed of the lower world in general, is a meadow of asphodel, an unattractive weed of dreary aspect usually planted on graves. The actual abode of the subterranean powers is Erebos, or the impenetrable darkness. In later times entrances to the lower world were imagined in other places where there were cavernous hollows which looked as if they led into the bowels of the earth. Such places were Hermione and the promontory of Taenarum in the Peloponnese, Heraclea on the Euxine, and Cumae in Italy, where the mythical Cimmerli were also localized. The lower world of Homer is intersected by great rivers, the Styx, the Acheron (river of woe), Cocytus (river of cries), a branch of the Styx, Phlegethon and Pyriphlegethon (rivers of fire). The last two unite and join the waters; of the Acheron. In the post-Homeric legend, these rivers are represented as surrounding the infernal regions, and another river appears with them, that of Lethe, or oblivion. In the waters of Lethe the souls of the dead drink forgetfulness of their earthly existence. The lower world once conceived as separated from the upper by these rivers, the idea of a ferryman arose. This was Charon, the son of Erebos and of Nyx, a gloomy, sullen old man, who takes the souls in his boat across Acheron into the realm of shadows. The souls are brought down from the upper world by Hermes, and pay the ferryman an obolos, which was put for this purpose into the mouths of the dead. Charon has the right to refuse a passage to souls whose bodies have not been duly buried. In Homer it is the spirits themselves who refuse to receive any one to whom funeral honours have not been paid. At the gate lies the dog Cerberus, son of Typhaon and Echidna. He is a terrible monster with three heads, and mane and tail of snakes. He is friendly to the spirits who enter, but if anyone tries to got out he seizes him and holds him fast. The ghosts of the dead were in ancient times conceived as incorporeal images of their former selves, without mind or consciousness. In the Odyssey the seer Tiresias is the only one who has retained his consciousness and judgment, and this as an exceptional gift of Persephone. But they have the power of drinking the blood of animals, and having done so they recover their consciousness and power of speech. The soul therefore is not conceived as entirely annihilated. The ghosts retain the outer form of their body, and follow, but instinctively only, what was their favourite pursuit in life. Orion in Homer is still a hunter, Minos sits in judgment as when alive. Perhaps the punishments inflicted in Homer on Tityus, Tantalus, and Sisyphus (for Ixion, the Danaides, Peirithous, and others belong to a later story) should be regarded in this light. The penalties inflicted on them in the upper world may be merely transferred by Homer to their ghostly existence. For the idea of a sensible punishment is not consistent with that of an unconscious continuance in being. It must be remembered, at the same time, that Homer several times mentions that the Erinyes punish perjurers after death. We are forced then to conclude that the ancient belief is, in this instance, found side by side with the later and generally received idea, that the dead, even without drinking blood, preserved their consciousness and power of speech. Connected with it is the notion that the have the power of influencing men's life on earth in various ways. The most ancient belief knows nothing of future rewards of the righteous, or indeed of any complete separation between the just and the unjust, or of a judgment to make the necessary awards. The judges of the dead are in the later legend Minos, Rhadamanthys, Aecus, and Triptlemus. It was a later age, too, which transferred Elysium and Tartarus to the lower world, Elysium as the abode of the blessed, and Tartarus as that of the damned. In the earlier belief these regions had nothing to do with the realm of Hades (See HADES). The name Tartarus was in later times often applied to the whole of the lower world. The ghosts of those who had lived a life of average merit were imagined as wandering on the asphodel meadow. In general it must be said that the ancient ideas of a future life were always subject to considerable changes, owing to the influence of the doctrines taught in the mysteries, and the representations of poets, philosophers, sculptors, and painters (see POLYGNOTUS). The general tendency was to multiply the terrors of Hades, especially at the gates, and in Tartarus. (For the deities cf the lower world see HADES, PERSEPHONE, and ERINYES.) The Greek beliefs on the subject found their way to Rome through the instrumentality of the poets, especially Vergil. But they did not entirely supplant the national traditions. (See ORCUS, MANIA, MANES, LARES, and LARVAe. )
A Greek game very popular at drinking bouts. The player lay on the couch, and in that position tried to throw a few drops of wine in as high a curve as possible, at a mark, without spilling any of the wine. The mark was called kottabeion, and was a bronze goblet or saucer, and it was a point to make a noise when hitting it. On the kottabeion was fastened a little image or a bust of Hermes, which as called Manes, and which the player had to bit first with the wine. The wine was supposed to make a sound both in hitting the figure and in falling afterwards into the saucer. This of course greatly increased the difficulty of the game. There was another form of the game in which the point was to make the wine hit the saucer while swimming in a large vessel of water, and sink it. The game was played in a round chamber made for the purpose. The form of the room was circular, to give every player an equal chance of hitting the mark, which was placed in the centre. The victor generally received a prize agreed upon beforehand. The players also used the game to discover their chances of success in love. They uttered the name of their beloved while throwing the wine. A successful throv gave a good omen, an unsuccessful one a bad omen. A good player leaned upon his left elbow, remained quite quiet, and only used his right hand to throw with. The game came originally from Sicily, but became popular through the whole of Greece, and specially at Athens, where to play well was a mark of good breeding. It did not go out of fashion till the 4th century after Christ. [The cut represents one of the several methods of playing the game.]
BURIAL 10.99%
Roman. The worship of the dead among the Romans had, characteristically enough, a legal tinge, and formed a part of the pontifical law, which regulated the place and manner of the interment. The theory of the Romans, like that of the Greeks, was that there was an obligation to bury every dead body, except those of felons, suicides, and persons struck by lightning. Any one finding a corpse was expected at least to throw some earth upon it as a symbol of burial. The first duty of a man's survivors was to bury his body; if he died in a foreign country, the act had to be performed symbolically. If this duty was neglected, the offender incurred a taint of guilt from which he had to purify himself by an annually repeated atonement. After death the eyes and mouth were closed, the body bathed in hot water and then anointed fully dressed, and adorned with the fitting insignia in case of the deceased having held high office. The corpse was then laid out on a state-bed in the atrium, the feet turned towards the door. Near the bed were pans with burning odours, while in the vestibulum, branches of pine and cypress were put up as signs of mourning. The custom of putting a coin in the mouth is not mentioned in literature before the imperial period; but the relics found in tombs show that it is much older. It was, however, only under the Empire that it became general. In ancient times funerals took place after nightfall and by torchlight; and this was always the case with second burials, and if the deceased was a child, or a person of slender means. Hence the use of torches was never discontinued, even when the ceremony took place by day. It was held indispensable at every funeral, and became, in fact, the symbol of burial. The usual time at which funerals took place among the upper classes was the forenoon of the eighth day after death. In the laws of the Twelve Tables an attempt was made to check excess in funeral expenses, but with as little success as attended later enactments. If the funeral was one of unusual ceremony, the citizens were publicly invited by a herald to attend it. The arrangements were entrusted to a special functionary, who was assisted by lictors. The procession was headed by a band of wind instruments, the number of which was limited by the Twelve Tables to ten. In ancient times, and at least down to the Punic wars, these musicians were followed by professional female singers, chanting the praises of the dead (see NENIA). Then came a company of dancers and actors to amuse the spectators with their antics. Supposing the family was honorata, in other words, had it had one or more members who had held curule offices, and the consequent right of setting up masked statues of its forefathers in its house, the central point of the ceremony was the procession of ancestors. This consisted of persons dressed to represent the ancestors in their wax masks, their official robes, and other insignia. The indirect lines of relationship were represented as well as the direct. Each figure was mounted on a high carriage and preceded by lictors. The train included memorials of the deeds done by the deceased, torchbearers, and lictors with lowered fasces. The body followed, uncovered, on an elevated couch; sometimes in a coffin inside the bier. A wooden figure, clothed, and wearing the wax mask representing the dead, sat upright beside it in the attitude of life. The bearers were usually the sons, relations and friends of the deceased; in the case of emperors, they were senators and high officials. Behind the bier came the other mourners, men and women, the freedmen in mourning and without any ornaments. Arrived at the Forum, the bier was set down before the rostrum. The representatives of the ancestors sat down on wooden chairs; the rest arranged themselves in a circle round, while a son or kinsman ascended the rostrum and delivered a panegyric upon the dead. If the funeral was a public one, the orator was appointed by the senate. In the case of deceased ladies such speeches were not usual, until the last century of the Republic. After the speech, the procession moved on in the same order to the place of burial, which, according to the law of the Twelve Tables, must be situated outside the city. No one could be buried within the city but men of illustrious merit, as, for instance, generals who had won a triumph, and Vestal Virgins. By a special resolution of the popular assembly, these persons were allowed the honour of burial in the Forum. The tombs were in some cases situated on family estates, but the greater number formed a line extending from the gates of the city to some distance along the great roads, and especially the Via Appia. (Comp. fig. 4.) Burial was, among the Romans, the oldest form of disposing of the corpse. In certain families (e.g. the gens Cornelia), it long continued the exclusive custom. Infant children, and poor people in general, were always buried. Even when the body was burnt, an old custom prescribed that a limb should be cut off and buried, otherwise the family was not regarded as having discharged its obligations. The body was laid in its tomb in full dress, and placed in a special sarcopbagus. When the body was to be burnt, a pyre was erected on a specified place near the grave. The pyre was sometimes made in the form of an altar, and adorned in the costliest manner. The couch and the body were laid upon it, and with them anything which the deceased person bad used or been fond of, sometimes one of his favourite animals. The followers threw in a variety of gifts as a last remembrance. The pyre was then kindled by the nearest kinsman and friends, who performed the office with averted faces. The ashes were extinguished with water or wine, and the procession, after saying a last farewell, returned home, while the nearest of kin collected the ashes in a cloth and buried the severed limb. After somedays, the dry ashes were put by the nearest relations into an urn, which was deposited in deep silence in the sepulchral chamber, which they entered ungirt and bare-footed. After the burial or burning there was a funeral feast at the tomb. A sacrifice to the Lares purified the family and the house from the taint entailed by death. The mourning was ended on the ninth day after the burial by a sacrifice offered to the Manes of the dead, and a meal of eggs, lentils and salt, at which the mourning attire was laid aside. It was on this day that the games held in honour of the dead generally took place. (See MANES.) Everything necessary for the funeral was provided by contract by the libitinarii or officials of the temple of Libitina, at which a notification was made of all cases of death (see LIBITINA). There were public burial-places, but only for slaves and those who were too poor to buy burial-places for themselves. The bodies were thrown promiscuously into large common graves, called puticuli, or wells, on account of their depth. There was a burial place of this sort on the Esquiline, where the bodies of criminals were thrown to the dogs and birds, until Maecenas laid out his park there. Cheap and promiscuous burial was also provided by the so-called "dove-cots" or columbaria, a place in which could be purchased by persons of scanty means (see COLUMBARIUM). The graves of individuals and families were subterranean chambers, or buildings in the style of houses. Freedmen, and probably also clients and friends, were often buried with the family. The grave was regarded by the Romans and Greeks alike as the dwelling-place of the dead, and was accordingly decked out with every imaginable kind of domestic furniture. It is to this custom that we owe the preservation of so many remains of this sort. The monument often had a piece of land, with field and garden attached to it, surrounded by a wall, and intended to supply flowers, herbs, and other things necessary for the decoration of the tomb and maintenance of the attendants. Other buildings would often be attached, for burning the corpses, for holding the funeral feast, and for housing the freedmen who had the care of the spot. Inscriptions in verse and prose, giving information about the dead, would also be found there.
The Greek god of the sea and of everything liquid, son of Cronus and Rhea; a younger brother of Zeus, according to Homer; an elder brother, according to Hesiod. At the distribution of the world the rule over the sea and all its gods and creatures fell to him, as the rule over the sky fell to Zeus, and that over the underworld to Pluto. His wife is Amphitrite, his son Triton, his daughter Benthesikyme. As described by Homer [IL. xiii 21], he has his dwelling in the depth of the sea in a golden palace near Aegae, according to the usual acceptation on the north coast of the Peloponnesus, where lay also his other place of worship mentioned by Homer, Helice [IL. viii 203], afterwards overthrown by an earthquake. On leaving his palace, he is clad in a golden robe and wields in his hand a golden whip, while he stands in a chariot drawn by swift-footed steeds with hoofs of bronze and manes of gold, with the monsters of the deep bounding and frisking around him, as he drives over the sea, which joyfully opens before his advance. As Zeus bears the lightning, so Poseidon bears the mighty trident, with which he stirs up the sea, cleaves rocks, and makes fountains and horses spring forth from them. Another symbol of the stormy flood is the bull, for which reason men offered sacrifice to Poseidon with dark-coloured bulls, while oil the other hand, the dolphin is a symbol of the peaceful and calm sea. For, while lie sends storm and shipwreck, he is also a beneficent god, who sends favourable, winds. Every occupation on or by the sea, navigation, trade, fishing, is subject to his power; he also it is who grants victory by sea. Seafaring peoples traced their origin to him. But, as the sea was thought of as supporting the earth and as pressing into its hidden clefts and hollows, so Poseidon was worshipped from one point of view as "the supporter of the earth" (gaieochos), from the other as "the shaker of the earth" (ennosigaios, enosithom), who makes the earth quake beneath the blows of his trident. As such he was worshipped in districts which were a prey to earthquakes, as in Sparta, or in those which could show traces of great convulsions, as in Thessaly, where he was said to have opened up the Vale of Tempe, and formed the outlet of the Peneus into the sea by shattering the wall of rock which inclosed the valley. In the interior Poseidon was often worshipped as tile creator of waters, especially of springs and the blessing brought by them; so particularly in Argolis and Arcadia, where, as being the fertilizing god, he was even regarded as the lover of Demeter and father of Persephone. In the course of time, under the predominance of the conception of Poseidon as god of the sea, his worsbip in such inland places fell into the background, and was displaced by that of other deities. Hence arose the legends of his contests with other gods for particular countries, as with Athene for Athens and Troezen, and with Hera for Argolis, and of exchanges, as that of Delphi for the island of Calauria, which belonged to Apollo. He was also regarded as the creator and tamer of the horse: sometimes he was said to have brought it out of a rock by a blow, sometimes the earth was said to have been impregnated by him, and so given it birth; accordingly he was frequently worshipped as an equestrian god (hippios). Thus in the Attic deme of Colonus he was worshipped together with Athene, who was said to have invented the bridle. He was also specially worshipped at the equestrian games at the Isthmus. Owing to the great diffusion of his worship through all the Greek races of the mother-country, as well as of the colonies, he plays a chief part in Greek legend, appearing as early as the Trojan story, in which he stands on the side of the Greeks in irreconcilable wrath against Troy, on account of the deception practised on him by Laomedon. Similarly Odysseus cannot be protected from his rage on account of the blinding of his son Polyphemus, except by the unanimous will of the other gods. The unruly wildness of the sea, which is reflected in his character, appears also frequently in his sons, such as Orion, Polyphemus, Cycnus, Antaens, Busiris, Amycus, Cercyon, and others. But he was also deemed to be the ancestor of numerous noble families, especially of the Ionian race, which from old times worshipped him as a national god, and from their home on the north coast of the Peloponnesus carried his worship over with them to Asia. Here, in his chief sanctuary, on the promontory of Mycale, the Ionians celebrated their national festival, the Panionia. From the Ionian race and its representative, Theseus, arose also the national festival of Poseidon observed by all Greece at the Corinthian Isthmus, where the Isthmian games were celebrated in alternate years. The Greeks, after their victory over the Persians, set up a bronze colossus more than 10 ½ feet high in honour of the Isthmian god [Herod., ix 81]. The horse, the dolphin, and the pine tree were deemed sacred to Poseidon; it was with wreaths of pine that the victors in the Isthmian games were crowned. He was worshipped with human sacrifices, but more generally with sacrifices of horses and bulls, especially black ones; these were not unfrequently hurled alive into rivers. Besides horse-races, bull-fights were held in his honour. His temples were usually to be found on promontories, isthmuses, and tongues of land. His usual attributes were the trident and the dolphin, and also the tunny-fish. He was represented as a powerful, kingly man, like Zeus, but without his exalted calm, more compact in figure, and with thicker and curlier bair on his head. He is draped sometimes in a long robe, sometimes with a light scarf, which allows his powerful frame to be more fully displayed (see cut). Colossal statues of him often stood by harbours and on promontories. With Poseidon the Romans identified their sea-god Neptunus (q.v.).
The Roman year was supposed to have consisted, under Romulus, of 10 months, four full ones of 31 days (March, May, July and October), and six "hollow" of 30 days (April, June, August, September, November, December). But, as a space of 304 days makes up neither a solar nor a lunar year, it is difficult to understand the so-called "year of Romulus." King Numa was usually supposed to have introduced the year of 12 months by adding January and February at the end; for the Roman year, it must be remembered, began originally with March. On this system every month except February had an odd number of days: March 31, April 29, May 31, June 29, Quintilis 31, Sextilis 29, September 29, October 31, November 29, December 29, January 29, February 28. Numa is also credited with the attempt to square this lunar year of 355 days with the solar year of 365; but how he did it is not certainly known. The Decemviri in 450 B.C. probably introduced the system of adjustment afterwards in use. According to this a cycle of four years was taken, in the second year of which an intercalary month (mensis mercedonius) of 23 days was inserted between the 24th and 25th of February, and in the fourth year a month of 22 days between the 23rd and 24th February. Thus the period of 4 years amounted to 1465 days. But this gave the year an average of 366 1/4 days, or one day too many, so that a special rectification was necessary from time to time. This was probably carried out by the omission of an intercalary month. It was the business of the Pontifices to keep the calendar in order by regular intercalation; but, partly from carelessness, partly from political motives, they made insertions and omissions so incorrectly as to bring the calendar into complete disorder, and destroy the correspondence between the months and the seasons. The mischief was finally remedied by Caesar, with the assistance of the mathematician Sosigenes. To bring the calendar into correspondence with the seasons, the year 46 B.C. was lengthened so as to consist of 15 months, or 415 days, and the calendar known as the Julian was introduced on the 1st January, 45 B.C. This calendar is founded simply on the solar year, which is well known to be a discovery of the Egyptians. Caeesar fixed this year to 365 1/4 days, which is correct within a few Minutes. After this the ordinary year consisted of 365 days, divided into 12 months, with the names still in use. Every fourth year had 366 days, a day being inserted at the end of February. The Julian calendar maintained its ground till 1582, when Pope Gregory XIII corrected the trifling error which still attached to it. The old names of the months were retained with two exceptions, that of Quintilis, which, in honour of Caesar, was called Iulius, and that of Sextilis, which in 8 B.C. Was called Augustus in honour of the emperor. The old divisionsof the lunar month were also retained for convenience of dating. These were the Kalendae, marking the first appearance of the new moon; the Nonoe, marking the first quarter ; the Idus, marking the full moon. Kalendae> means properly the day of summoning, from calare, to summon. The Pontifex was bound to observe the first phase, and to make his announcement to the Rex Sacrorum, who then summoned the people to the Capitol, in front of the Curia Calabra, so called from calare. Here he offered sacrifice, and announced that the first quarter would begin on the 5th or 7th day (inclusive) as the case might be. This day was called Nonae, as (according to Roman calculation) the 9th day before the full moon, and fell in March, May, July and October on the 7th, in the other months on the 5th. The appearance of the full moon was called Idus (probably connected with the Etruscan word iduare, to divide), because it divided the month in the middle. The days of the month were counted backwards, in the first half of the month from the Nones and Ides, in the last half from the Kalends of the following month. The Romans also had a week called internundinum, or the interval between two nundinae. It consisted of eight days, and, like our weeks, could be divided between two months or two years. (For further details see FASTI.) After the establishment of the Republic the Romans named their years after the consuls, a custom which was maintained down to the reign of Justinian (541 A.D.). After the time of Augustus it became the practice in literature to date events from the foundation of Rome, which took place according to Varro in 753, according to Cato in 751 B.C. The Day. The Greeks reckoned the civil day from sunset to sunset, the Romans (like ourselves) from midnight to midnight. The natural day was reckoned by both as lasting from sunrise to sunset. The divisions of the day were for a long time made on no common principle. It was for military purposes that the Romans first hit on such a principle, dividing the night during service into four equal watches (vigiliae). Corresponding to this we find another division (probably calculated immediately for the courts of justice) into mane (sunrise to 9 or 10), forenoon (ad meridiem), afternoon (de meridie) until 3 or 4, and evening (suprema) from thence till sunset. After the introduction of sun-dials and waterclocks the day and night were divided each into 12 hours; but the division was founded on the varying length of the day, so that each hour of the day was longer, and conversely each hour of the night shorter, in summer than in winter.
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