The Ancient Library

Scanned text contains errors.

On this page: Lupus Ferreus – Lustratig – Lustrum



fastituta quam humanitas atque leges." Respect­ ing the rites with which they solemnised the Lu- percalia see lupercalia. [L. S.]

LUPUS FERREUS, the iron wolf used by the besieged in repelling the attacks of the be­siegers, and especially in seizing the battering-ram and diverting it's blows. [abies.] (Liv. xxxviii. 3 ; Veget. de Re Mil ii. 25, iv. 23.) [J. Y."|

LUSTRATIG (/ca0ap<ns), was originally a purification by ablution in water. But the lus­trations, of which we possess direct knowledge, are always connected with sacrifices and other religious rites, and consisted in the sprinkling of water by means of a branch of laurel or olive, and at Rome sometimes by means of the aspergillum (xe'pj/ii//), and in the burning of certain mate­rials, the smoke of which was thought to have a purifying effect. Whenever sacrifices were offered, it seems to have been customary to carry them around the person or thing to bs purified. Lustra­tions were made in ancient Greece, and probably at Rome also, by private individuals when they had polluted themselves with any criminal action. Whole cities and states also sometimes underwent purifications to expiate the crime or crimes com­mitted by a member of the community. The most celebrated purification of this kind was that of Athens, performed by Epimenides of Crete, after the Cylonian massacre. (Diog. Laert. i. 10. § 3.) Purifications also took place when a sacred spot had been unhallowed by profane use, as by burying dead bodies in it, such as was the case with the island of Delos. (Thucyd. i. 8, iii. 104.)

The Romans performed lustrations on many occasions, on which the Greeks did not think of them ; and the object of most Roman lustrations was not to atone for the commission of crime, but to obtain the blessing of the gods upon the persons or things which were lustrated. Thus fields were purified after the business of sowing was over (Ovid. Fast. i. 669), and before the sickle was put to the corn. [AEvales fratres.] The manner in which sheep were lustrated every year at the festival of the Palilia, is described by Ovid (Fast. iv. 735, &c.). The shepherd towards even­ing sprinkled his flock with water, adorned the fold with branches and foliage, burnt pure sulphur and various herbs, and offered sacrifices to Pales. The object of this lustration was to preserve the flock from disease, contagion^ and other evils. (Cato, de Re Rust. c. 141.) All Roman armies before they took the field were lustrated (Dion Cass. xlvii. 38 ; Appian, Hisp. c. 19, Civil, iv. 89» et passim), and as this solemnity was probably al­ways connected with a review of the troops, the word lustratio is also used in the sense of the mo­dern review. (Cic. ad Ait. v. 20. § 2.) The rites customary on such occasions are not mentioned, but they probably resembled those With which a fleet was lustrated before it set sail, and which are described by Appian (Civil, v. 96). Altars were erected on the shore, and the vessels manned with their troops assembled in order elope to the coast. Every body kept profound silence^ and priests standing close by the water killed the victims, and carried the purifying sacrifices (xaddpcria) in small boats three times around the fleet. On these rounds they were accompanied by the generals, who prayed to the gods to preserve the armament from all'dangers. Hereupon the priests divided the sacri­fices into two parts, one of which was thrown into


the sea, and the other burnt upon the altars, while the multitude around prayed to the gods. (Com­ pare Liv. xxxvi. 42, and xxix. 27, where also a prayer is recorded such as generals used to offer on these occasions.) When a Macedonian army was lustrated, a dog was cut in two pieces in the place where the army was to assemble, and one half of the dog was thrown at a distance on the right and the other to the left. The army then as­ sembled in the place between the spots where the pieces had fallen. (Liv, xl. 6; Curt. x. 9. § 12.) But to return to the'Romans. The establishment of a new colony was always preceded by a lustra­ tio with solemn sacrifices. (Cic. de Divin. i. 45 ; Barth, ad Stat. TJieb. iv. p. 1073.) The city of Rome itself, as well as other towns within its do­ minion, always underwent a lustratio, after they had been visited by some great calamity, such as civil bloodshed, awful prodigies, and the like. (Appian, Civil, i. 26 ; Liv. xxxv. 9, xlii. 20.) A regular and general lustratio of the whole Roman people took place after the completion of every lus­ trum, when the censor had finished his census and before he laid down his office. The lustratio (also called lustrum, Fest. s. v.} was conducted by one of the censors (Cic. de Divin. i. 45), and held with sacrifices called Suovetaurilia (Liv. i. 44; Varro, de Re Rust. ii. 1), because the sacrifices consisted of a pig (or ram), a sheep, and an ox. This lus­ tratio, which continued to be observed in the days of Dionysius, took place in the Campus Martins, where the people assembled for the purpose. The sacrifices were carried three times around the as­ sembled multitude. (Dionys. Ant. 'Rom. iv. 22.) Another regular lustration which was observed every year in the month of February, was said to have been instituted because the god Februus was believed to be potens histrationum^ and be­ cause in this month the solemnities in honour of the dii manes took place. (Macrob. Sat. i. 13; compare Hartung, Die Religion der JRomer, i. p. 198, &c.) [L.S.]

LUSTRUM (from luo, Gr. Aouw), is properly speaking a lustration or purification of the whole Roman people performed by one of the censors in the Camptis Martius, after the business of the census was over» [censor ; lustratio.] As this purifi­cation took place only once in five years, the word lustrum was also used to designate the time between two lustra. Varro (de Ling. Lat. vi. 11, ed. Mull.) erroneously derives the word lustrum from luo (I pay), because the vectigalia and tributa were paid every five years to the censors. The first lustrum was performed in b. c. 566 by king Servius, after he had completed his censtm (Liv. i. 44; Dionys. iv. 22), and afterwards it is said to have taken place regularly every five years after the census was over. In the earliest period of the republic the business of the census and the solemnities of the lustrum were performed by the consuls. The first censors were appointed in b. c. 443, and from this year down to b. c. 294 there had, according to Livy (x. 47), only been 26 pairs of censors, and only 21 lustra, or general purifications, although if all had been regular, there would have been 30 pairs of censors and 30 lustra. We must therefore conclude, that sometimes the census was not held at all, or at least not by the censors. We also learn from this statement that the census might take place without the lustrum, and indeed two cases of this kind are recorded (Liv. iii. 22,

About | First | English Index | Classified Index | Latin Index | Greek Index



page #  
Search this site
All non-public domain material, including introductions, markup, and OCR © 2005 Tim Spalding.
Ancient Library was developed and hosted by Tim Spalding of