The Ancient Library

Scanned text contains errors.

On this page: Sacrarium – Sacrifices


military oath of allegiance, originally the preliminary engagement entered upon with the general by newly enlisted troops [Cic., Off. i 11 § 36 ; Livy, xxii 38 § 2]. The oath was taken first by the legates and tribunes. These officers then administered it to the soldiers in the following manner: one soldier in each legion recited the formula of the oath, and the rest were called up by name, and, coming forward one by one, swore to the same oath with the words idem in me, i.e. "The same (holds good) for me." The oath remained in force only till the next campaign, and whenever there was a new general a new oath was taken. After the introduc­tion of the twenty years' service by Marfua (about 100 b.c.) the men raised for service took the oath, not one by one, but all together and for the whole time of service, in the name of the State, afterwards in that of the emperor.

Sacramentum in the oldest and most general form of civil lawsuit, named after it legit actto per sacramentum, is a deposit made beforehand by the parties in the suit. It was originally five sheep or five oxen, according to the value of the object in dispute, afterwards a sum of money at the rate of ten asitgs for each sheep and one hundred for each ox. The deposit wag given back to the successful party, while that of the loser was originally applied to religious purposes; afterwards it went to the cerdrium, or public treasury.

Sacrarinm. The domestic chapel. (See house. Roman.)

Sacrifices, among the ancients, formed the chief part of every religious act. According to the kind of sacrifice offered, they were divided into (a) bloodless offerings and (b) blood offerings, (a) The former consisted in firstfruits, viands, and cakes of various shape and make, which were some of them burned and some of them laid on the altars and sacrificial tables (see figs. 1 and 2) and removed after a time, libations of wine, milk, water with honey or milk, and frank­incense, for which in early times native products (wood and the berries of cedars, junipers, and bay trees, etc.) were used. Asiatic spices, such as incense and myrrh, scarcely came into use before the seventh century in Greece or until towards the end of the Republic at Rome.

(6) For blood-offerings cattle, goats, sheep, and swine were used by preference. Other animals were only employed in special cults. Thus horses were offered in certain Greek regions to Poseidon and Hello's, and at



Rome on the occasion of the October feast to Mars; dogs to Hecate and Robigus, asses


(with terminal bust of Priapns, and implements of


(with thyreug and tympanum).

Mural painting from Pompeii (Boetticber'a £aumcultu*. fig. 12).


(Terra-cotta relief from Pompeii.)

to JPriapus, cocks to Asclepius, and geese to Tsls. Sheep and cattle, it appears, could

About | First | Index



page #  
Search this site
All non-public domain material, including introductions, markup, and OCR © 2005 Tim Spalding.