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On this page: Sacrilegium – Sacrorum Detestatio – Saecularesludi



sacrifice they washed their hands in water. The victim itself was likewise adorned with garlands, and its homs were sometimes gilt. Before the animal was killed, a bunch of hair was cut from its forehead, and thrown into the fire as primitiae: this prepaiatorv rite was called /carapxecr^ai' (Horn. II xix. 254, Od. xiv. 422 ; Herod, ii. 45,' iv. 60 ; Eurip. Ipliig. Taur. 40.) In the heroic ages the princes, as the high priests of their people, s killed the victim ; in later times this was done by the priests themselves. Wrhen the sacrifice was to be offered to the Olympic gods, the head of the animal was drawn heavenward (see the woodcut t on the title page of this work : comp. Eustath. ad Iliad, i. 459 ) ; when to the gods of the. lower world, to heroes, or to the dead, it was drawn downwards. While the flesh was burning upon the altar, wine and incense were thrown upon it (Iliad, i. 264, xi. 774, &c), and prayers and music: accompanied the solemnity.

The most common animal sacrifices at Rome s were the suovetaurilia, or solitaurilia, consisting of p. pig, a sheep, and an ox. They were performed in all cases of a lustration, and the victims were carried around the thing to be lustrated, whether it was a city, a people, or .a piece of land. [Lus-tratio.] The Greek rpiTTva, which likewise consisted of an ox, a sheep :and a p'g, was the same sacrifice as the Roma$i suovetaurilia. (Calli-mach. ap. Phot. s. v. Tpirrvav.' Aristoph. Pfojf. 820.) The customs observed beforehand during the sacri­fice of an animal were on t*be whole the same as those observed in Greece. (Virg. Aen. vi. 245 ; Serv. ad Aen. iv. 57 ; Fest. s. ??. Immolare ; Cato, de Re Rust. 134, 132.) But the victim was in most cases not killed by the priests who conducted the sacrifice, but by a person called popa,, who struck the animal with a hammer before the knife was used. (Serv. ad Aen. xii. 120 ; Suet. Calig. 32.) The better parts of the intestines (exta) were strewed with barley meal, wine, and incense, and were burnt upon the altar. Those parts of the animal which were burnt were called prosecta, prosiciae, or ablegmina. When a sacrifice was offered to gods of rivers or the sea, these parts were not burnt, but thrown into the water. (Cato, de Re Rust. 134 ; Macrob. Sat. ii. 2 ; Li.v. xxix. 27'; Virg. Aen. v. 774.) Respecting the use which the .ancients made of sacrifices to learn the will of the gods, see haruspex and divinatio.

Unbloody sacrifices. Among these we may first mention the libations (libationes, XoiSal or cnrovSai). We have seen above that bloody sacrifices were usually accompanied by libations, as wine was poured upon them. Libations always accompanied a sacrifice which was offered in concluding a treaty with a foreign nation, and that here they formed a prominent part of the solemnity, is clear from the fact that the treaty itself was called (nrovSai. But libations were also made independent of any other sacrifice, as in solemn prayers (Iliad, xvi. 233), and on many other occasions of public and private, as before drinking at meals, and the like. Libations usually consisted of unmixed wine (ez'crTroj/Sos-, meruiri), but sometimes also of milk, honey, and other fluids, either pure or diluted with water.' (Soph. Oed. Col. 159,481 ; Plin. //. N. xiv. 19 ; Aeschyl. Eum. 107.) Incense was like­wise an offering which usually accompanied bloody sacrifices, but it was also burned as an offering by Real incense appears to have been used


only in later times (Plin. //. N. xiii. 1), but in the early times, and afterwards also, various kinds of fragrant wood, such as cedar, fig, vine, and nwrtle-wood, were burnt upon the altars of the gods. (Suid. s. v. N^aAia £uAa.)

• A third class of unbloody sacrifices consisted of fruit and cakes. The former were mostly offered to the gods as primitiae or tithes of the harvest, and as a sign of gratitude. They were sometimes offered in their natural state, sometimes also adorned or prepared in various ways. Of this kind were the etpecri&vri) an olive branch wound around with wool and hung with various kinds of fruits ; the x^TPaL °r P°ts filled with cooked beans [PvA-nepsia] ; the Kepvov or /cepi/a, or dishes.. with fruit; the u(rxat 01> <->0'Xa [oschophoria]. Other instances may be found in the. accounts of the various festivals. Cakes (ire\avoi, Tre^ara, tto-Tra^a, libum) were peculiar to the worship of cer­tain deities, as to that of Apollo. They were either simple cakes of flour, sometimes also of wax, or they were made in the shape of some animal, and were then offered as symbolical sacrifices in the place of real animals, either because they could not easily be procured or were too expensive for the sacrificer. (Suid. s. v. Boys e€§o/iLos ; Serv. ad Aen. ii. 1J6.) This appearance instead of reality in sacrifices was also manifest on other occasions, for we find that sheep were sacrificed instead of stags, and were then called stags ; and in the temple of Isis at Rome the priests used water of the river Tiber instead of Nile water, and called the former water of the Nile. (Fest. s. v. Cer-varia ovis; Serv. I.e.}

See Wachsmuth, Hdlcn. Alterthums'k. vol. ii, pp. 548—559, 2d ed. ; Hartung, Die Religion der Romer, vol. i. p. 160, &c, [L. S.] .

SACRILEGIUMis the crime of stealing things consecrated to the gods, or things deposited in a consecrated place. (Quinctil. vii. 3. § 21, &c. • Cic. deLeg. ii. 16 ; Liv. xlii. 3.) A lex Julia referred to in the Digest (48. tit. 13. s. 4) appears to have placed the crime of sacrilegium on an equality with peculatus. [peculatus.] Several of the imperial constitutions made death the punishment for a sacrilegus, which consisted according to circum­ stances either in being given up to wild beasts, in being burned alive, or hanged. (Dig. 48. tit. 13. s. 6.) Paulus says in general that a sacrilegus was punished with death, but he distinguishes between such persons who robbed the sacra piiblica, and such as robbed the sacra privata, and he is of opinion that the latter, though more than a common thief, yet deserves less punishment than the former. In a .wider sense,, sacrilegium was used by the Ro­ mans to designate any violation of religion (Corn. Nep. Alcib. 6), or of anything which should be treated with religious reverence. (Ovid. Met. xiv. 539, Rem. Am. 367, Fast. iii. 700.) Hence a law in the Codex (9. tit. 29. s. 1) states that any person is guilty of sacrilegium who neglects or violates the sanctity of the divine law. An­ other law (Cod. 9. tit. 29. s. 2) decreed that even a doubt as to whether a person appointed by an emperor to some office was worthy of this office, was to be regarded as a crime equal to sacrilegium. [L. S.]

SACRORUM DETESTATIO. [gens, p. 568, b.]

SAECULARESLUDI. [LumSAECtJLAREs.] .SAE'CULUM. A saeculum was of a twofold

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