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On this page: Artemisia – Arura – Aruspex – Arvales Fratres



There was an Egyptian measure of the same name, of which there were two sorts, the old and the new artaba. (Didymus, c. 19.) The old artaba con­ tained 4^ Roman modii = 72 sextarii = 9 gallons nearly, according to most writers; but Galen (c. 5) makes it exactly 5 modii. It was about equal to the Attic metretes ; and it was half of the Ptolemaic medimnus, which was to the Attic medimnus as 3 : 2. The later and more common Egyptian arbata contained 3q modii = 53^ sex­ tarii = 6^ gallons about,which is so nearly the half of the Persian, that we may fairly suppose that in reality it was the half. It was equal to the Olympic cubic foot. (Rhemn. Fann. Carmen de Pond, et Mens. v. 89, 90 ; Hieron. Ad Ezech. 5 ; Bbckh, Metrolog. Untersucli. pp. 242, &c., 285 ; Publ. Econ. of Aili. p. 93, 2nd ed. j Wurm, De Pond.,SLc.p. 133.) [P.S.]

ARTEMISIA (oprefucria), one of the great fes­ tivals celebrated in honour of Artemis m various parts of Greece, in the spring of the year. We find it mentioned at Syracuse in honour of Artemis Po- tamia and Soteria. (Pind. Pytli. ii. 12.) It lasted three days, which were principally spent in feasting and amusements. (Liv. xxv. 23 ; Plut. MarcelL 18.) Bread was offered to her under the name of Ao%ia. (Hesych. s. •».) But these festivals occur in many other places in Greece, as at Delphi, where, according to Hegesander (Athen. vii. p, 325), they offered to the goddess a mullet on this occasion ; because it appeared to hunt and kill the sea-hare, and thus bore some resemblance to Artemis, tlie goddess of hunting. The same name was given to the festivals of Artemis in Gyrene and Ephesus, though in the latter place the goddess was not the Grecian Artemis, but a deity of Eastern origin. (Dionys. iv. 25 ; Achill. Tat. vi. ^ vii. 12, viii. 17 ; Xenoph. Eplies. i. 2.) [L. S.]

ARURA (apovpa), a Greek measure of surface, which would appear, from its name, to have been originally the chief land-measure* It was, accord­ing to Suidas, the fourth part of the TrXeOpov. The 7rA.efy?oz>, as a measure of length, contained 100 Greek feet ; its square therefore =10,000 feet, and therefore the arura =2500 Greek square feet, or the square of 50 feet.

Herodotus (ii. 168) mentions a measure of the same name, but apparently of a different size. He says that it is a hundred Egyptian cubits in every direction. Now the Egyptian cubit contained nearly 17| inches (Hussey, Ancient Weights^ &c. p. 237) ; therefore the square of 100 x 17| inches, i.e. nearly 148 feet, gives approximately the num­ber of square feet (English) in the arura, viz. 21,904. (Wurm, De Pond, &c. p. 94.) [P. S.]

ARUSPEX. [hakuspex.]

ARVALES FRATRES. The fratres arvales formed a college or company of twelve in number, and were so called, according to Varro {De Ling. Lat. v. 85, Muller), from offering public sacri­fices for the fertility of the fields. That they were of extreme antiquity is proved by the legend which refers their institution to Romulus, of whom it is said, that when his nurse Acca Laurentia lost one of her twelve sons, he allowed himself to be adopted by her in his place, and called himself and the remaining eleven " Fratres Arvales." (Gell. vi. 7.) We also find a college called the Sodales Titii^ and as the latter were confessedly of Sa.bine origin, and instituted for the purpose of keeping up the Sabine religious rites (Tac. Ann. i. 53), there is some


reason lor the supposition of Niebuhr (Rom. vol. i. p. 303), that these colleges corresponded one to the other — the Fratres Arvales being connected with the Latin, and the Sodales Titii with the Sabine, element of the Roman state, just as there were two colleges of the Luperd, namely, the Fabii and the Quinctilii, the former of whom seem to have belonged to the Sabines.

The office of the fratres arvales was for life, and was not taken away even from an exile 01 captive. They wore, as a badge of office, a chaplet of ears of corn (spicea corona} fastened on their heads with a white band. (Plin. H. N. xviii. 2.) The number given by inscriptions varies, but it is never more than nine ; though, according to the legend and general belief, it amounted to twelve. One of their annual duties was to celebrate a three days' festival in honour of Dea Dia, supposed to be Ceres, sometimes held on the xvi., xiv., and xm., sometimes on the vi., iv., and in. Kal. Jim., i. e. on the 17th, 19th, and 20th, or the 27th, 29th, and 30th of May. Of this the master of the college, appointed annually, gave public notice (indicebat) from the temple of Concord on the capitol. On the first and last of these days, the college met at the house of their president, to make offerings to the Dea Dia ; on the second they as­sembled in the grove of the same goddess, about five miles south of Rome, and there offered sacri­fices for the fertility of the earth. An account of the different ceremonies of this festival is preserved in an inscription, which was written in the first year of the Emperor Elagabalus (a. d. 218), who was elected a member of the college under the name of M. Aurelius Antoninus Pius Felix. The same inscription contains a hymn, which appears to have been sung at the festival from the most ancient times. (Marini, Atti e Monumenti degli Arvali) tab. xli. ; Orelli, Corp. Inscrip. nr. 2270 ; Klausen, De Carmine Fratrum Arvalium.')

Besides this festival of the Dea Dia, the fratres arvales were required on various occasions, under the emperors, to make vows and offer up thanks­givings, an enumeration of which is given in For-cellini. (Lex. s. v.) ^trabo, indeed (v. 3), informs us that, in the reign of Tiberius, these priests (lepo/uLi/'fjfjioves} performed sacrifices called the Am-barvalia at various places on the borders of the ager Romanus, or original territory of Rome ; and amongst others, at Festi, a place between five and six miles from the city, in the direction of Alba. There is no boldness in supposing that this was a custom handed down from time immemorial, and, moreover, that it was a duty of this priesthood to invoke a blessing on the whole territory of Rome. It is proved by inscriptions that this college ex­isted till the reign of the Emperor Gordian, or A. d. 325, and it is probable that it was not abolished ,till a. d. 400, together with the other colleges of the Pagan priesthoods.

The private ambarvalia were certainly of a different nature from those mentioned by Strabo, and were so called from the victim (hostia ambar-valis) that was slain on the occasion being led three times round the cornfields, before the sickle was put to the corn. This victim was accompanied by a crowd of merry-makers (chorus et socii\ the reapers and farm-servants dancing and singing, aa they marched along, the praises of Ceres-, and praying for her favour and presence, while they offered her the libations of milk, honey^-and wine.

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