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On this page: Salii – Salinae

SAUL

SALII were priests of Mars Gradivus, and arc eaid to have been instituted by Numa. They were twelve in number, chosen from the patricians even in the latest times, and formed an ecclesias­tical corporation. (Liv. i. 20; Dionys. ii. 70; Cic. Rep. ii. 14 ; lecta juventus patrieia, Lucan, ix. 478.) They had the care of the twelve Ancilia, which were kept in the temple of Mars on the Palatine hill, whence those priests were sometimes called Salii Palatini to distinguish them from the other Salii mentioned below. The distinguishing dress of the Salii was an embroidered tunie bound with a brazen belt, the trabea, and the Apex, also worn by the Flamines. [apex.] Each had a sword by his side, and in his right hand a spear or staff. (Dionys. I. c.}

The festival of Mars was celebrated by the Salii on the 1st of March and for several successive days ; on which occasion they were accustomed to go through the city in their official dress carrying the ancilia in their left hands or suspended from their shoulders, and at the same time singing and dancing. In the dance they struck the shields with rods so as to keep time with their voices and with the movements of the dance. (Liv. L c. ; Dionys. /. c. ; Hor. Carm. i. 36. 1, iv. 1. 28). From their dancing Ovid, apparently with cor­rectness, derives their name (Fast. iii. 387). The songs or hymns, which they sang on this occasion (Saliaria canning Hor. Ep. ii. 1. 86 ; Tac. Ann. ii. 83), were called Asamenta, Assame.nta, or Axamenta, of which the etymology is uncertain. Go tiling1 (Gescli. dcr Rom. -Staatsv. p. 1.92) thinks they were so called because they were sung with­out any musical accompaniment, assa voce; but this etymology is opposed to the express statement of Dionysius (iii. 32). Some idea of the subject of these songs may be obtained from a passage in Virgil (Aen. viii. 286), and a small fragment of them is preserved by Varro (L. L. rii. 26, ed. Mu'llar). In later times they were scarcely un­derstood even by the priests themselves. (Varro, L. L. vii. 2 ; Hor. Ep. ii. 1. 86 ; Quintil. i. 6. p. 54, Bipont.) The praises of Mamurius Veturius formed the principal subject of these songs, though who Mamurius Veturius was, the ancients them­selves were not agreed upon. (Varro. L. L. vi. 45.) He is generally said to be the armourer, who made eleven ancilia like the one that was sent from heaven in the reign of Numa. (Festus, s. v. Mam. Vet.; Dionys. ii. 71 ; Ovid. Fast. iii. 384), but some modern writers suppose it to be merely another name of Mars. Besides, however, the praises of Mamurius, the verses, which the Salii sang, appear to have contained a kind of theogony, in which the praises of all the celestial deities were celebrated, with the exception of Venus. (Macrob. Sat. i. 12.) The verses in honour of each god were called by the respective names of each, as Januli, Junonii, Minervii. (Festus, s. v. Axamenta.) Divine honour was paid to some of the emperors by inserting their names in the songs of the Salii. This honour was first bestowed upon Augustus (Monum. Ancyr.), and afterwards upon Germanicus (Tac. Ann. ii. 83) ; and when Verus died, his name was inserted in the song of the Salii by command of M. Antoninus. (Capitol. M. Ant. Phil. 21.)

At the conclusion of the festival the Salii were accustomed to partake of a splendid entertainment in the temple of Mars, which was provesbial for

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SALTNAE.

its excellence. (Suet. Claud. 33 ; Cic. ad Att. v; i) ; Hor. Carm. i. 37.) The members of the col­legium were elected % co-optation. We read of the dignities of praesul, vates, and magister in the collegium, (Capitol. Ibid. 4.)

The shape of the ancile is exhibited in the an­nexed cut, taken from an ancient gem in the Floren­tine cabinet, which illustrates the accounts of the ancient writers that its form was oval, but with the two sides receding inwards with an even curv­ature, and so as to make it broader at the ends thau in the middle. The persons engaged in car­rying these ancilia on their shoulders, suspended from a pole, are probably servants of the Salii ; and the representation agrees exactly with the statement of Dionysius (ii. 70) TreAras vTrriperai. rjprr]iJ.€i/as airb K<x.v6v(av ko/jli&vvi. At the top of the cut is. represented one of the rods with which the Salii were accustomed to beat the shield in their dance, as already described. (Gruter, Inscr. p. cccclxiv. note 3.)

Tullus Hostilius established another collegium of Salii in fulfilment of a vow which he made in a war with the Sabines. These Salii were also twelve in number, chosen from the patricians, and appeared to have been dedicated to the service of Quirinus. They were called the Salii Collini, Agon ales or Agonenses. (Liv. i. 27 ; Dionys. ii. 70, iii. 32 ; Varro, L. L. vi. 14.) Niebuhr (Hist, of Rome, vol. iii. p. 351) supposes, that the oldest and most illustrious college, the Palatine Salii, were chosen originally from the oldest tribe, the Ramnes, and the ono instituted by Tullus Hostilius or the Quirinalian from the Tities alone: a third college for the Luceres was never established. (Compare Hai'tung, Die Religion der Romer, vol. ii, p. 163.)

SALINAE (a/\cu, a\oirf)yiov\ a salt-work, (Varro, de L. Lat. viii. 25, ed. Spcngel.) Al­though the ancients were well acquainted with rock-salt (Herod, iv. 181—185 ; aAes opvKroi, i.e. " fossil salt," Arrian, Escped. Alex. iii. 4. pp. 161,162, ed. Blan.), and although they obtained salt likewise from certain inland lakes (Herod, vii. 30) and from natural springs or brine-pits (Cic Nat. Deor. ii. 53 ; Plin. //. N. xxxi. 7. s. 39— 42), and found no small quantity on certain shores where it was congealed by the heat of the sun without human labour (aA.es ctuTOjUctToi, Herod, iv. 53 ; Plin. I. c.), yet they obtained by far the greatest quantity by the management of works constructed on the sea-shore, where it was natu^ rally adapted for the purpose by being so low ami

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