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Quote of the day: What, pray, would have happened if his l
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History of Rome (Ab Urbe Condita) by Livy
Translated by Rev. Canon Roberts
Book I Chapter 20: Numa's Religious Institutions. (Cont.)
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Next he turned his attention to the appointment of priests. He himself, however, conducted a great many religious services, especially those which belong to the Flamen of Jupiter. But he thought that in a warlike state there would be more kings of the type of Romulus than of Numa who would take the field in person. To guard, therefore, against the sacrificial rites rites which the king performed being interrupted, he appointed a Flamen as perpetual priest to Jupiter, and ordered that he should wear a distinctive dress and sit in the royal curule chair. He appointed two additional Flamens, one for Mars, the other for Quirinus, and also chose virgins as priestesses to Vesta. This order of priestesses came into existence originally in Alba and was connected with the race of the founder. He assigned them a public stipend that they might give their whole time to the temple, and made their persons sacred and inviolable by a vow of chastity and other religious sanctions. Similarly he chose twelve Salii for Mars Gradivus, and assigned to them the distinctive dress of an embroidered tunic and over it a brazen cuirass. They were instructed to march in solemn procession through the City, carrying the twelve shields called the Ancilia, and singing hymns accompanied by a solemn dance in triple time.

The next office to be filled was that of the Pontifex Maximus. Numa appointed the son of Marcus, one of the senators -- Numa Marcius -- and all the regulations bearing on religion, written out and sealed, were placed in his charge. Here was laid down with what victims, on what days, and at what temples the various sacrifices were to be offered, and from what sources the expenses connected with them were to be defrayed. He placed all other sacred functions, both public and private, under the supervision of the Pontifex, in order that there might be an authority for the people to consult, and so all trouble and confusion arising through foreign rites being adopted and their ancestral ones neglected might be avoided. Nor were his functions confined to directing the worship of the celestial gods; he was to instruct the people how to conduct funerals and appease the spirits of the departed, and what prodigies sent by lightning or in any other way were to be attended to and expiated. To elicit these signs of the divine will, he dedicated an altar to Jupiter Elicius on the Aventine, and consulted the god through auguries, as to which prodigies were to receive attention.

Religious reforms by Numa

Event: Religious reforms by Numa

Tum sacerdotibus creandis animum adiecit, quamquam ipse plurima sacra obibat, ea maxime quae nunc ad Dialem flaminem pertinent. Sed quia in civitate bellicosa plures Romuli quam Numae similes reges putabat fore iturosque ipsos ad bella, ne sacra regiae vicis desererentur flaminem Iovi adsiduum sacerdotem creavit insignique eum ueste et curuli regia sella adornavit. Huic duos flamines adiecit, Marti unum, alterum Quirino, virginesque Vestae legit, Alba oriundum sacerdotium et genti conditoris haud alienum. His ut adsiduae templi antistites essent stipendium de publico statuit; virginitate aliisque caerimoniis venerabiles ac sanctas fecit. Salios item duodecim Marti Gradiuo legit, tunicaeque pictae insigne dedit et super tunicam aeneum pectori tegumen; caelestiaque arma, quae ancilia appellantur, ferre ac per urbem ire canentes carmina cum tripudiis sollemnique saltatu iussit. Pontificem deinde Numam Marcium Marci filium ex patribus legit eique sacra omnia exscripta exsignataque attribuit, quibus hostiis, quibus diebus, ad quae templa sacra fierent, atque unde in eos sumptus pecunia erogaretur. Cetera quoque omnia publica priuataque sacra pontificis scitis subiecit, ut esset quo consultum plebes veniret, ne quid divini iuris neglegendo patrios ritus peregrinosque adsciscendo turbaretur; nec caelestes modo caerimonias, sed iusta quoque funebria placandosque manes ut idem pontifex edoceret, quaeque prodigia fulminibus alIove quo visu missa susciperentur atque curarentur. Ad ea elicienda ex mentibus divinis Iovi Elicio aram in Aventino dicavit deumque consuluit auguriis, quae suscipienda essent.