The Ancient Library

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On this page: Rutilius Lupus – Rutilius Namatianus – Sabazius – Sacellum – Sacerdos – Sacra – Sacramentum




rmna, " a teat"]. Ancient Italian pastoral deities, who protected the suckling cattle and received offerings of milk. In Rome their sanctuary stood at the foot of the Palatine Hill, in the neighbourhood of the Lupercal; in the same place was the Ruminal fig tree (probably a primitive emblem of the nurturing goddess) [the Rumlnd ficus of Ovid, Fasti ii 412], under which Romulus and Remus were said to have been suckled by the wolf.

Rfttllius Lupus (Lucius). A Roman rhe-

torician who composed in the time of Tiberius (14-37 A.D.) a work upon the figures of speech, abridged from a Greek treatise by the younger Gorgias. Of this work two books (Schemata Lexeos] have been preserved. The value of the work consists in its translations of striking passages quoted as examples, mainly from the lost speeches of the Greek orators. It was used by the anonymous author of a later Carmen de Figuris et SchSmatlbus in 186 hexameters. Rutilius Namatianus. See namatianus.

Sabazius. A Thracian and Phrygian deity, whom the Greeks usually identified with Dionysus [Diodorus, iv 4], and some­ times also with Zeus. His orgiastic worship was very closely connected with that of the Phrygian Mother of the Gods, Rhea-Cybele, and of Attis. Along with this it was intro­ duced into Athens in the 5th century b.c. [Aristophanes, Vespce 9, Lysistr. 388; De­ mosthenes, De. Cor. § 260]. In later times it was widely spread in Rome and Italy, especially in the latter days of paganism. Like many of the oriental deities, he repre­ sented the flourishing life of nature, which sinks in death, always to rise again. As an emblem of the yearly renovation of nature, the symbol specially appropriated to him was the snake. Accordingly, at the celebration of his mysteries, a golden snake was passed under the clothes and drawn over the bosom of the initiated. [Clement of Alexandria, Protrept., p. 6. In the Characters of Theophrastus, when the superstitious man " sees a serpent in his house, if it be the red snake, he will invoke ! Sabazius " (xxviii, ed. Jebb).] j

Sabinus (Masiirlus). One of the most celebrated Roman jurists, a pupil of Atelus Capito in the time of Tiberius, and founder of the school of jurists called after him that of the SablriULni. (See ateius capito and jurisprudence. )

Sacellnm. The Latin name for a small sanctuary, which was a mere altar, or an inclosed uncovered place with an altar, or a little temple with either an altar or an image for purposes of worship. In Rome the greater part of these sanctuaries were among the oldest and holiest places of worship.

Sacerdos (Manius Plot his). A Latin gram- ' marian, perhaps of the end of the 3rd cen­tury a.d. ; wrote in Rome an ars yrammatica in three books. The third treats of metre.

Sacra. The Latin term for all trans­actions relating to the worship of the gods, especially sacrifice and prayer. They are either sacra prlvata or publica. The former were undertaken on behalf of the individual by himself, on behalf of the family by the pdter fdmllias, or on behalf of the gens by the whole body of the gentiles. The centre of the domestic service of the gods is formed by the worship of the Penates and Lares. In particular cases recourse was also had to certain specified deities. Besides this, private sacra were attached to particular families ; these passed to the heir with the succession and became a burden ou him. Hence an inheritance without sacra (heredUas slnl sacris) proverbially signi­fied an unimpaired piece of good fortune [Plautus, Capt. lib, Trin. 483]. As the family had sacra, so also had the gens (q.v.}, which had arisen out of the family by expansion. These were performed by a sacrificial priest (flameri) appointed from among the gentiles, the celebration taking place in his own house or in a special sdcellum in the presence of the assembled gentiles. The sacra publica were under­taken pro populo collectively, (1) by the curice, pagi, or vlci, into which the com­munity was divided, whence such sacrifices were called sacra pdpularia; or (2) by the individual gentes and societies (see soda-litas), to which the superintendence of a particular cult had been committed b}' the State; or (3) by the magistrates and priests of the Roman State. The sacra of the gentes were with few exceptions performed in public, though the multitude present remained silent spectators; only in a few cases they took part in the procession to the place of worship or in the sacrificial feast.

Sacramentum. The Roman term for the

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