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SALII 100.00%
An old Italian college of priests of Mars; said to have been introduced at Rome by Numa and doubled by Tullus Hostilius. The earlier college was called the Salii Palatini, and the later the Salii Agonales or Collini. The former derived their name from their curia on the Palatine Hill; the latter, from the Colline Gate, near which stood their sanctuary on the Quirinal. Both colleges consisted of twelve life-members of patrician family, and recruited their numbers from young men, whose parents were required to be still living; at their head was a magister, a praesul (leader in the dance), and a vates (leader in the song). The cult of the Palatine Salii had to do with Mars, that of the Colline with Quirnus; but the chief connexion of both was with the holy shields, ancilia. (See ANCILE with cut.) The chief business of the Salii fell in March, the beginning of the campaigning season. On March 1st they began a procession through the city, each of them dressed in an embroidered tunic, a bronze breastplate, and a peaked helmet, girt about with a sword, with one of the holy shields on the left arm, and in the right hand a staff, while trumpeters walked in front of them. At all the altars and temples they made a halt, and, under the conduct of the two leaders, danced the war-dance in three measures, from which they take their name of Salii or "dancers," accompanying it by singing certain lays, beating their shields meanwhile with the staves. Every day the procession came to an end at certain appointed stations, where the shields were kept over the night in special houses, and the Salii themselves partook of a meal proverbial for its magnificence [Horace, Odes i 37, 2]. Until March 24th the ancilia were in motion; within this time some special festivities, were also held, in which the Salii took part. On March 11th there was a chariot-race in honour of Mars (Equiria) and a sacrificial feast in honour of the supposed fabricator of the shields, Mamurius Veturius; on the 19th was the ceremony of the cleansing of the shields, and on the 23rd the cleansing of the holy trumpets (tubae) of the priests, called the tubilustrium. The days on which the ancilia were in motion were accounted solemn (religiosi), and on these days men avoided marching out to war, offering battle, and concluding a marriage. In October, the close of the campaigning season, the ancilia were once more brought out, in order to be cleansed in the Campus Martins. The lays of the Salii, called aoeamenta, were referred to Numa, and were written in the archaic Saturnian verse, and in such primitive language, that they were scarcely intelligible even to the priests themselves, and as early as the beginning of the 1st century B.C. were the object of learned interpretation. [Quintilian i 6 § 40. Two or three connected bits of these lays have come down to us (Allen's Remnants of Early Latin, p. 74). The most intelligible is the following, in a rude Saturnian measure: ¦ Cumé tonds, Leucésie, + prae tet tremónti, ¦ Quom tiibei cúnei + déxtumúm tondront; ¦ i.e. Cum tonas, Lucetie (thou god of light), prae te tremunt, cum tibi cunei (bolts of lightning) a dextra tonuerunt.] Besides Mars, other deities, such as Janus, Jupiter, and Minerva, were invoked in them; the invocation of Mamurius Veturius formed the close [Ovid, Fasti, iii 260 ff.]. After the time of Augustus the names of individual emperors were also inserted in the lays
AXAMENTA 100.00%
The ancient hymns sung by the Salii. (See SALII.)
A festival in honour of Mars (See SALII).
A Roman festival celebrated on Feb. 24th, to commemorate the expulsion of the kings. At this festival the rex sacrorum offered sacrifice on the comitium, and then hastily fled. (See REX SACRORUM.) [Probably in this case, as in many others, the sacrifice was originally regarded as a crime. The fact that the Salii were present is recorded by Festus (s.v. Regifugium). Possibly their presence had the same significance as the ceremony of leaping, etc., performed by them in March, presumably with a view to driving evil demons away from the city (Classical Review, v 51 b).]
ANCILE 15.51%
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.
The Sabine Dame of Mars, as the god who brandished the lance (from Sabine curis=Latin quiris, the lance). The Sabines worshipped him under this nameas the father of the founder of their old capital, Cures, just as the Romans honoured Mars as the father of Romulus. When the Sabines migrated to Rome, they took the cult and the name of the god of their race to their now abode on the Quirinal hill. In this way Quirinus, though identical with Mars, had a distinct and separate worship on the slope of the Quirinal. He possessed a temple with priests (See FLAMEN and SALII) and a special festival. When, in the course of time, their connexion was forgotten, Quirinus was identified with the deified Romulus, the son of Mars. For Janus Quirinus See JANUS.
MARS 7.49%
With Jupiter the principal deity of the inhabitants of Italy, and therefore honoured with particular reverence by the Latins and Romans from the very earliest times, especially as the latter regarded him as the father of Romulus, the founder of Rome. He was held to be the son of Juno, who bore him in consequence of touching a wonderful spring-flower, and the husband of Nerio or Nerlene, a goddess of strength. Through the emphasising of one of his attributes he gradually came to be considered as, above all, the god of war; for originally he is at the same time one of the mightiest gods of nature, who accords fertility and protection to fields and herds. The first month of the old Roman year was dedicated to him as the fertilizing god of spring; in the very ancient chant of the Arval brothers (q.v.), at the May-day festival of the Dea Dia, the help and protection of Mars were demanded. In earlier times he was also invoked at the hallowing of the fields (See AMBARVALIA), that he might bless the family, the field and the cattle, and keep off sickness, bad weather, and all else that did harm. (Cp. ROBIGUS.) In later times the names of Ceres and Bacchus were substituted for his on this particular occasion. At the festival on 15th October (see below) a horse was sacrificed to him to insure the fair growth of the seed that had been sown. As god of war he had the special name Gradixus, the strider, from the rapid march in battle 1 (Cp. QUIRINUS), and his symbols were the ravenous wolf, the prophetic and warlike woodpecker, and the lance. When war broke out, the general solemnly invoked his aid, by smiting his holy lance and the holy shields (ancilia -see ANCILE) with the cry, Mars, awake! (Mars vigila!) Many sacrifices were also offered to him during the campaign and before battle; and in his name military honours were conferred. The Field of Mars (Campus Martius) was dedicated to him as the patron god of warlike exercises; contests with battle-steeds, called Equirria, were there held in his honour on the 27th February, 14th March, and 15th October. On the last-mentioned day the horse on the right of the victorious team was sacrificed on his altar in the Field of Mars; it was known as the horse of October (October equus), and its blood was collected and preserved in the temple of Vesta, and used at the Palilia for purposes of purification. The cult of Mars was entrusted to a special priest, the flamen Martialis (see FLAMEN), and the college of the Salii (q.v.), which worshipped him more particularly as god of war. His principal festival was in March, the month sacred to him. As early as the time of king Tullus Hostilius, Pavor and Pallor, Fear and Pallor, are said to have been worshipped as his companions in the fight, in sanctuaries of their own. Augustus caused him to be honoured in a new form, as Mars Ultor (avenger of Caesar), in the magnificent temple in the Forum Augusti, consecrated B.C. 2, where statues of him and of Venus, as the two divine ancestors of the Julian family, were set up. In later times he was identified completely with the Greek Ares (q.v.).
Roman. At Rome, the State religion was under the management of a number of priesthoods, which, by the order of the State, performed the regularly prescribed sacred rites or those specially decreed by the State on their recommendation. In the time of the kings the superintendence of the entire ritual belonged to the kings, among whom Numa, as the founder of an organized worship of the gods, holds a prominent place. The most important priesthoods which originated in the time of the kings were the Flamines, the Augures, the Vestales, the Salii, the Fetiales, the Pontifices, the Luperci, the Fratres Arvales, and the Curiones. Besides these, in course of time there arose the Rex Sacrorum to offer certain sacrifices originally offered by the king, the custodians of the Sibylline oracles, the Epulones to discharge a part of the pontifical duties, the priests of the new cults gradually introduced, and lastly the priests of the deified emperors, e.g. the Sodales Augustales. A number of State cults were handed over to individual clans (gentes) and associations. (See SODALITAS.) After the establishment of the Republic, a distinguished position was attained by the college of the pontifices, who, like the king in earlier times, superintended the entire ritual. They were the technical advisers of the Senate on any new questions that arose in regard to it. Next to them in importance were the augurs and the custodians of the Sibylline oracles. These priesthoods, together with that of the epulones, were styled the four great colleges (quattuor summa collegia), and an equal honour was afterwards given to that of the sodales Augustales. The appointment of the priests, for whom the same qualifications were required as among the Greeks, proceeded in various ways, by nomination, co-optation, and election. They entered on office by inauguration, an act in which the chief pontiff, acting through the augurs, inquired of the god concerned whether the new priest was acceptable to him. His reception into the college was accompanied by a banquet given by the new priest, which became proverbial for its luxury. When officially engaged all State priests (apart from their peculiar insignia ) wore the proetexta, the purple-edged robe of Roman magistrates. They also enjoyed the distinction of a seat of honour at festivals and games, and exemption from military service, from the duties of citizens, and from taxation. The great priesthoods were posts of honour, and, like the political offices, were without remuneration. On the other hand, some priests and riestesses (e.g. the Vestal Virgins and the augurs), besides the use of the sacred or public lands belonging to their temples, received a regular annual salary. The cost of the establishment was defrayed from several sources. The priests had under their management a fund which was maintained from landed property and current receipts (including fees for admission to the temple and for the offering of the sacrifice). They also had a claim to certain parts of the victim, and other perquisites; besides this, they all, especially the curiones (see CURIA), and those associations to which State cults were entrusted, received the necessary money from the public chest. The cost of repairing the temples and of all sacrifices and festivals especially ordered by the State was defrayed from the same source. Similarly the State provided the priests either with public slaves or with free and salaried servants, to wait upon them. (For a particular kind of priests' assistants, See CAMILLI.) All State temples did not have particular priests assigned them; temples without priests of their own were under the superintendence of a sacristan (oedituus); and it was usually only once in the year that sacrifice was offered at the great festival of such temples by a State priest specially appointed for the purpose. No priest could be called to account by any civil magistrate except the censor. The pontifex maximus had the power of punishing the other priests. The position of a priest of a cult not recognised by the State, but merely tolerated, was naturally different. With regard to their maintenance, they were themselves, like the sanctuaries they superintended, supported by the contributions of the votaries of their own cult.
As early as the Homeric age we find dancing an object of artistic cultivation among the Greeks. The sons and daughters of princes and nobles do not disdain to join in it, whether in religious festivals or at social gatherings. The Greek orchestike, or art of dancing, differed much from the modern. Its aim was to ennoble bodily strength and activity with grace and beauty. Joined with music and poetry, dancing among the Greeks embodied the very spirit of the art of music, mainly because the imitative element predominated in it. For its main aim was to make gesture represent feeling, passion and action; and consequently the Greek dance was an exercise riot only for the feet, but for the arms, hands and the whole body. The art at first observed the limits of a noble simplicity, but was perfected, as time went on, in many directions. At the same time it inevitably tended to become more artificial. As in athletics, so in imitative dancing, mechanical execution was largely developed. This was to a great extent displayed in exhibitions of scenes from the mythology, which formed a favourite entertainment at banquets. On the other hand, a prejudice arose against dancing on the part of any one but professionals. For a grown-up person to perform a dance, even at social entertainments, was regarded as an impropriety. The religious performances, especially, as bound up with the worship of Apollo and Dionysus, consisted mainly in choral dances, whose movement varied according to the character of the god and of the festival. Sometimes it was a solemn march round the altar, sometimes a livelier measure, in which there was a strong dash of imitation. This was especially the case at the festivals of Dionysus. It was from these, as is well known, that the Greek draina was developed, and accordingly the dances formed a part of all dramas, varying according to the character of the piece (see CHORUS). Indeed, there was an infinite variety in the forms of the Greek dance. Not only had almost every country district its own, but foreign ones were in course of time adopted. It must be noticed that in Greek society grown-up men and women were not allowed to dance together, but there were some dances which were performed together by the youth of both sexes. Among these was the Hormos, or chain-dance, performed by youths and maidens, holding their hands in a changing line, the youths moving in warlike measure, the girls with grace and softness. Another was the Geranos, or Crane. This dance was peculiar to Delos, and was said to have been first performed by Theseus after his deliverance from the Labyrinth, with the boys and girls whom he had rescued. Its elaborate complications were supposed to represent the mazes of the Labyrinth. At Sparta dances were practised, as a means of bodily training, by boys and girls. Among them two may be particularly mentioned: the Caryatis, performed in honour of Artemis of Caryaae, by the richest and noblest Spartan maidens; and the dances of boys, youths and men, at the festival of the Gymnopoedia, consisting in an imitation of various gymnastic exercises (see CARYATIDES). Among the Greek country dances was the Epilenioss, or dance of the wine-press, which imitated the actions of gathering and pressing the grape. There were also warlike dances, which were specially popular with the Dorians, and, like others, were partly connected with religious worship. One of the most celebrated of these was the Pyrrhiche (see PYRRHIC DANCE). Roman. Dancing never played such a part in the national life of the Romans as it did in that of the Greeks. It is true that the ancient Roman worship included dances of the priests (see SALII), and that the lower orders in the country were fond of dancing on festive occasions. But respectable Romans regarded it as inconsistent with their dignity. After the second Punic War, as Greek habits made their way into Italy, it became the fashion for young men and girls of the upper class to take lessons in dancing and singing. But dancing was never adopted in Rome as a necessary and effective instrument of education, nor was there any time when public dancing was allowed in society. Performances by professional artists, however (the longer the better), were a favourite entertainment, especially during the imperial period, when the art of mimic dancing attained an astonishing degree of perfection.
Type: Standard
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