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Lecture 4

CLA160H1 Lecture Notes - Lecture 4: Arval Brethren, October Horse, Pomerium


Department
Classics
Course Code
CLA160H1
Professor
J.Ramsay
Lecture
4

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CLA310 - Religion in the Roman World
Wednesday Oct 3, 2012
Lecture 4 - Religious Spaces and Objects in the Roman World
Midterm
1 hour
Anything from reading and lectures
Sample midterm posted online, rubric to follow
Vocabulary identification, short answer, long answer (choice given), text analysis, image analy-
sis (choice given)
20% of final grade
Research Essay
Topic of choice (some suggestions will be posted)
Research proposal due Oct. 31: research question, tentative thesis, 2-3 sentence summary of es-
say, 8 items for bibliography (primary and secondary sources)
Final essay: 3,000-3,500 words (10-14 pages)
10-12 items in bibliography (primary and secondary sources)
Format: 12-point font, double spaced, last name on each page, along with page numbers
Images can count as primary sources
Chicago style - use footnotes (but not picky)
Recap
Communication with the gods
Sacrifices
Various kinds of religious performances
Major festivals
Lectestania - statues reclining on couch
“term” - statues on chairs
Bringing gods in your life
Make a meal for them
Take images, sit them down as a Roman would, and feasting them
Ludi (2 types) - Circus chariot race, animal hunts, other athletic events; theatrical events
Saturnalia - merry making, turning over traditional roles
Annual festival, part of calendar
Slaves would be served by masters
Sometimes festivals involve going against the grain
Other rituals:
Parilia - associated with purification
People burn sulfur
Origins from out in the country, asking protection for the sheep
October Horse (Equus October)
Holocaust offering - when the whole body is burnt not just specific parts
In this case it was a horse - unusual as they are not often offered
Horses not seen as food for the Romans
Perhaps thats why they burnt all?
Offered to Mars, god of War
Therefore associated with chthonic deities; associated with killing in slaughter

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CLA310 - Religion in the Roman World
Wednesday Oct 3, 2012
Lecture 4 - Religious Spaces and Objects in the Roman World
Horse plays military role and linked with the deity
If you don’t eat sacrifice, you burnt whole thing
Ludi Romani
Earliest ludi
Ambarvalia
Arval brethren
Dea Dia associated with Ceres, who was honored at this festival
Compitalia
Lares Compitalis were minor deities; counterparts of household gods
They were out at crossroads and neighborhoods - sacrilizing entire areas of city
People might offer flowers
Gods are everywhere; even in rural area
Important to us as Augustus renames all of them - renames them Lares Augusti. Very
important - self-promotion
Parentalia and Lemuria
Ancestor worship
The dead join the ancestors
“To the divine shades”
Lemuria associated with darker side of spirits - sometimes the people who die are not
benevolent or good people and they will continue on as such
They were more spooky and ghost-like and had to be appeased
Prayers
C. Alsfeld’s division of ancient prayers:
1) Invocation (“calling upon”) - very important to get deities name right. Your prayers is a
verbal message and it must reach right deity
Might want to flatter deity to get their attention
Flattering can be a mini offering and may be enough to win your case
2) Explanation and justification - what are you asking for, and why are you justified?
You need to make the deity realized their duty to you
I.e., in the past I’d done such and such so you should hear me
If you don’t give explanation their help is uncertain
If your prayer is rejected it could be that your sacrifice wasn’t enough
3) Request
May include praise of deity
May or may not be accompanied by material offering
May be formulaic or spontaneous
As prayers are formulaic people could do it on either own - don’t need to constantly consult re-
ligious authority
But if your prayer doesn’t work you can seek religious counsel
Could have rhythm and be accompanied by music
Hymns
Problem of distinguishing between hymns and prayers

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CLA310 - Religion in the Roman World
Wednesday Oct 3, 2012
Lecture 4 - Religious Spaces and Objects in the Roman World
Metrical or rhythmic, accompanied by music
Offering of praise or thanks to a deity, but requests may be included
Often, praise of god = thanksgiving (cf. Moussy)
Emphasis on beauty of language and performance - > pleasure to deity
May be sung in procession
Very Greek practice, where procession includes singing accompanied by visual spectacle
Romans later adopted this in response to prodigies
Main difference between hymns and prayers: hymns are an offering in themselves
Why this distinction?
Distinction between secular and sacred language or formula?
A hymn is for everyone, a poem is more difficult to understand?
Hymn sung by religious professionals, trained musicians, but the audience are not nec-
essarily literary or musical and need to understand as they are also joining in worship
Public display, and therefore don’t want something to out there
Hymn might follow a structure somewhat similar to prayer, but without explanation and justifi-
cation
May be proceeded by prayer, can’t assume the structure to be the same
Claude Moussy did whole examination of Roman concepts of thanking (either people or
deities)
His studies reveal that thanking can be very religious
Goes on to say that Romans have been criticized for not thanking the gods enough
They did not have much of a concept of thanking, but Moussy argued that praise was an ex-
pression of thanks
Did this study in relation to african tribes
“You made this possible”
Austin: “Performative Utterances”
Some utterances are actions in themselves
Examples:
“I bet you five dollars” - your statement is the bet; you made the bet by forming your words
“Thank you for the book”
“You helped us win this game” (in a speech later) - praising and thanking
Praise can be thanksgiving
Praise is an action; hymns and prayers are a type of religious performance
Important conditions: the persons speaking the utterances must follow conventions of their so-
ciety in the appropriate context correct and sincerely
I.e., if your society doesn’t have word for bet, your statement is not correct
I.e., if your society needs a secret handshake to make a bet and you don’t do it, then your
words are null
I.e., if you aren’t sincere, then your words are null
Captiui 922-927
Hegio, the senex, rejoices that his son Philopolemus has been found safely:
He spontaneously offers up a prayer to Jupiter, and the other gods
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