Mule in the Well

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Supervision of cults and funds is given to the duoviri and the aediles, the definition of days of festivals to the decurions. The specific sacral categories of feriae and locus sacer are nowhere hinted at, the question of loca religiosa, burial places, is basically left to the magistrates ch. A direct definition of their field of activity is given for the augurs: augury and the like. What, however, was the like? And what sorts of au- gury existed in a colony? The copying of or even parallel to the Roman auguraculum in the Roman colony of Bantia is, as far as we can see, 32 Thus, however, Crawford , op.

To sum up, we do not see what the priests did at all. At least it is certain that they did not have any rle within the functioning of the institutions described in the lex coloniae. This is congruent, thirdly, with those modifications of Roman rules that we can observe. I leave aside the question whether a colonial augur could lose his office unlike or like?

Other differences are more decisive.

At Rome, a complicated procedure was followed for the election of the candidates nominated and later coopted by the college proper. Seventeen out of thirty- five tribes tribus , that is just a minority, were selected by lot in order to de- termine the succeeding priests. Pace chapter 68, priests were selected in the same manner as magistrates. The second difference concerns the number, three instead of fifteen or sixteen members in each college.

A table’s dress

That is no attempt to reproduce original Roman practice, 39 but the restriction of the college to the very minimum of what could be called a collegium at all. I even doubt the copying of the Roman procedure of nominatio by the college: the position of the two or even one remaining would not be strong enough to make a preselection of candidates socially acceptable.

A fourth observation. Chapters 66 to 68 are ruling about augurs and pontiffs, not about priests. The generic term sacerdotes is never used in this 35 Torelli , op. Burckhardt, Politische Strategien der Optimaten in der sp- ten rmischen Republik.

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Historia Einzelschriften 57 Stuttgart ; L. Hermes Einzelschriften 59 Stuttgart I would prefer a more positive stance: the norms at Urso spell out a position that was controversial at Rome: the augur could lose his office.

The only instance of its application in chapter 91 concerns the public lists of decurions and sacerdotes. The implication must be spelled out: there might be other priesthoods at Urso, too. They are, however, neither decreed nor granted any privileges. If they had any, it would be due to their quality as decurions, for example. Compared to the number of public priesthoods at Rome, this list of two items only, pontiffs and augurs, is very restrictive. Conclusion The analysis of the regulations concerning pontiffs and augurs or augurs and pontiffs in chapter 91, thus excluding a ranking of both does not reveal a slim version of the actual stance of Roman priesthoods during the late republic.

These traditional colleges are not positively used as symbols of the colonys Romanness, but they are accepted rather as unavoidable remnants of tradition. The potential political implications of the office are restricted. With regard to the structure of public cult as developed in the other chapters, these colleges are not necessary. Against the backdrop of traditional Roman religious authority, the inclusion of the priesthoods held for life in the charters chapters on religion does not mark an integration, but an explicit exclusion, a literal as well as metaphorical bracketing.

The Impact of Imperial Rome on Religious, Ritual and Religious Life

The execution of public religion is given to annual magistri, appointed and controlled by the local council as regulated in chapter Or handled by the magistrates themselves. It must be noticed, however, that the model of Urso only partially dominated later developments.

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Priestly positions, old and new, remained important in many localities. They are to be found in the fourth-century album of African Timgad, but are missing in the third-century copy of Italian Canusium. Rodrguez Neila, Magistraturas municipales y funciones religiosas en la Hispania romana, Revista de estudios de la vida local 40 , 92f. Rodrguez Neila , op. Delgado, Sacerdocios y Sacerdotes de la Antigedad Clasica. Biblioteca de las Religiones 9. Madrid, See J. Delgado, Los sacerdotes de rango local de la provincia Romana de Lusitania, Conimbriga 39 , , for Lusitania.

The findings in Northern Africa ge- 21 The model of religion as drawn by the surviving norms of the lex Ursonensis is characterized by a two-layered structure. Religion has a firm place within the socio-political fabric of the colonia. As public cult sacra publica it is financed and organized by the council and its magistrates the financing of the cult is the leitmotif that holds together the whole passage on religion.

The concrete content of this religion is left to the local elite and its financial power. The cult of the Capitoline triad and, to a lesser degree, Venus, presumably Genetrix, the only religious element fixed a priori, does not seem to aim at providing a focus for or island of Romanness within a foreign province. More probably, it ensures that any attempts of local magistrates to create a distinctive per- sonal image for themselves must employ devices ludi Capitolini, so to speak symbolically related to the central government, to Rome.

The existence of a second layer of religion is rather implicitly or even negatively formulated.

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Priesthoods, expiation, burials and ancestor cult belong to this layer; associations might form further elements. This layer does not form an integral part of the political structure and public religion of the colony. It is by no means illegal, but it must not interfere with political activities. The regulations concerning pontiffs and augurs attempt to transfer a traditional element of the first layer to the second layer, acknowleding and isolating this time-honoured institution of public religion at Rome.

At Urso, all priesthoods are subordinated to magisterial power.

Awakening the Soul's Inner Wisdom

Chapter 72, dealing with private donations to temples, should not be read as an extension of public guarantees for the functionning of religion, but as a regulation that religious activities at the borderline between public and private that is private donation to publicly defined cults should be kept within a spatially circumscribed in ea aede realm of religion. Resources legally accumulated under the umbrella of religion should not be used to interfere with the larger socio-political realm. Some more general conclusions can be formulated on this basis.

First, Roman imperialists, at least those, who drafted and voted the lex Ursonensis, did not aim at exporting the contents of their religion, but their concept of religion. This vision included a highly visible, public religion controlled by local political elites and a tolerance of other forms of religion and religious nerally agree: M. Bassignano, Il flaminato nelle province romane dellAfrica. Secondly, centrally defined or suggested religious norms were only used to orientate or reorient local elites towards the central power.

The Capitoline triad and the pair of augurs and pontiffs point into two different directions. Third, polis religion. The two-layered model of religion of the lex Ursonensis shows polis religion to be an indigenous, emic concept. At the same time it reveals the narrow boundaries of the concept, thus providing arguments to limit its use as an etic, analytical concept.

Sacra publica encompass an important, but only small portion of legal, open, public religion. Fourth and last, the previous analysis implies that it will be even more difficult to detect Roman religion in the Roman empire. The presence of the Roman concept of religion and its variants, as attested by the discursive stance of the author of the lex Ursonenesis 45 is not attested by the presence of Capitolia, augures or the festival of the kalendae Ianuariae. It might be identified by the public presence of religion, its agents and its financing, might be attested by the irrelevance of important cults and their priests.

Changes might have been subtle, but they were important. In the long run, they were changing the face of the empire itself. Erfurt, Dezember The triumvirs are illustrative.

According to ancient tradition, Mark Antony descended through Anton from Hercules, Octavian or rather Caesar through Aeneas from Venus and, interestingly, Lepidus from the Vestal Aemilia, who was condemned for unchastity. The great patrician family of the Aemilii, through the Trojan royal house, placed their origins with Jupiter, whilst the Caecilii were deemed to descend from Caeculus, a son of Vulcan who also founded Praeneste. The theme is explored in a splendid article of Peter Wiseman, who rightfully concludes: with a god in the family tree, who needed consuls?

What happened to the notion of divine or at least heroic ancestry during the empire? What was the impact of empire on this phenomenon?