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On this page: Mars – Mars, Field of – Mars' Hill – Marsyas – Martialis



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 hia 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 Gradlvus, the strider, from the rapid march in battleJ (c.p. 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 vigilaf) 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 Martins) 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 Squus), 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 Martialls (see flamen), and the college of the Stilii (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, Favor 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.).

Mars, Field of. See campus mabtids.

Mars' Hill. See areopagus.

1 It has recently "been proposed to connect it with grand-is, grand-ire, and to explain it as an epithet of growth (Mr. Minton Warren, in Ameri­can Jour jw>l of Philology, iv 71)=

Marsyas. A Silenus of Phrygian legend (really god of the river of the same name near the old Phrygian town CtSlsense), son of Hyagnis. He was the typical player on the flute. Among the Phrygians the flute entered into the worship of Cybele and Dionysus, and Marsyas is said to have instructed Olympus in playing upon that instrument. According to a Greek legend, Athene had invented the flute, and then cast it aside because it distorted the features of the player. Marsyas took it up, and became so skilful as to challenge Apollo, the patron god of the lyre. The Muses having declared him vanquished, the god flayed him; his skin was hung up in the cave from which the river Marsyas issued, and was said to move about joyfully when a flute was played. King Midas, who had decided in his favour, received as punishment from Apollo a pair of donkey's ears. The contest was a favourite subject in art.

Martialis (Marcus Valerius). The Roman epigrammatist, born at Bilbllis in Spain between a.d. 40 and 43. He was originally intended for the law, and was sent to Rome in Nero's reign to complete his studies, but devoted himself to poetry, which obtained for him the favour of Titus, Domitian, and the great men of Rome, and thus insured him a livelihood. On returning in 98 under Trajan to Bilbilis, after a stay of thirty-four years in the capital, he was so poor that the younger Pliny [Ep. iii 21] had to give him pecuniary assistance for the journey. Though his skill as a poet won him patrons in his native country, and even an estate from the wealthy Marcella, yet he yearned for the bustle of the capital. He died about 102.—Martial is the creator of the modern epigram, and the first ancient poet who exclusively cultivated the epigram as a separate branch of literature. Besides a small collection of epigrams about public shows under Titus and his successor (Liber SpectaculOrum), we possess a much larger collection in fourteen books, of which only two (xi and xii) were not published under Domitian. He depicts, usually in elegiac or iambic verse, the corrupt morals of his degenerate times with brilliant and biting wit and with the metrical skill of Ovid, but without any moral seriousness, and with evident pleasure in what is coarse. A par­ticularly distasteful effect is produced by his fulsome flattery of patrons in high positions, especially Domitian, in whom he manages to discover and to admire every virtue that a man and a prince could possibly

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