Miner 1956: 503. The article is reprinted in McCutcheon 1999, a volume that offers in its introductory chapter a very good overview of the insider-outsider problem and that includes a selection of some of the most important scholarly contributions to the debate within the study of religion. The issue remains active in religious studies, as it does in cultural anthropology more widely.
I presume that Miner's observations apply also to bathroom habits elsewhere in North America and Europe.
See, for example, Feeney 2004, an excellent discussion of the application of theoretical models of sacrifice to the poetry of Vergil and Ovid. For a treatment of this methodological issue on a broader scale, see the rather pointed critique in Hopkins 1978: 180–8.
Emic and etic, terms drawn originally from the field of linguistics (Pike 1967: 37–44; reprinted in McCutcheon 1999: 28–36), are one of several pairs of words used to present the insider-outsider distinction. Others include first-order vs. second-order categories, particular vs. universal, descriptive vs. redescriptive, and local vs. global.
See, for example, Morris et al. 1999 and Berry 1990.
See, however, C. Ando's concluding essay in Faraone and Naiden 2012 along with A. Hollman's review of that same volume in BMCR 2013.04.44 and, in the same vein but with reference to ancient Egypt, Frankfurter 2011.
For this discussion, the metaphorical extension of the English word ‘sacrifice’, by which one can sacrifice for one's family or hit a sacrifice fly in baseball, is not relevant: this meaning is completely unknown to the Romans of the Classical period. Also unfamiliar to the Romans would be another use of ‘sacrifice’ now current in the life sciences, as a term for euthanasia of research animals with no real religious significance The plea of an editorial in the Canadian Journal of Comparative Medicine and Veterinary Science from 1967 (p. 241) that researchers abandon the term because there is no deity involved in the act of euthanizing laboratory animals, fell on deaf ears: ‘sacrifice’ remains common in animal management literature.
OED, s.v. ‘sacrifice, n.’.
e.g., J. Scheid, s.v. ‘sacrifice, Roman’ in OCD
3, 1345–6; Prescendi 2007: 122–5; Rüpke 2007: 137–8. Cf., n. 89 below.
Macr., Sat. 3.3.2, citing the late republican jurist Trebatius; Prescendi 2007: 25–6.
McClymond treats sacrificial events as ‘clusters of different types of activities’, including prayer, killing, cooking, and consumption, which are not in and of themselves sacrificial (they are frequently performed in other contexts), but which become sacrificial in the aggregate (McClymond 2008: 25–34).
Scheid 2005: 44–57; 2007: 263–9. Scheid's reconstruction and interpretation is followed by Prescendi 2007: 31–48. Rüpke 2005 offers a different interpretation of the meal that follows the sacrifice.
On the early Christian appropriation and transformation of Roman sacrificial imagery and discourse, see Castelli 2004: 50–9.
‘Arguably, then, it is the Christians who bequeathed to future generations the metonymic equivalence of sacrifice and violence’, Knust and Várhelyi 2011: 17. Elsner 2012 emphasizes the heavy influence of early Christian writers on modern theorizations of sacrifice.
Burkert 1983: 3; Girard 1977: 1. Concise surveys of the major modern theories of sacrifice in the ancient world can be found in Knust and Várhelyi 2011: 4–18, Lincoln 2012, and Graf 2012. A wider range of scholarly approaches is presented by McClymond 2008: 1–24.
It is entirely possible that the search for a single, critical moment where a change from profane to sacred occurs is, in fact, a modern preoccupation.
This is made clear in numerous passages from several Roman authors. As an example, I offer Var., R. 1.2.19: ‘Itaque propterea institutum diversa de causa ut ex caprino genere ad alii dei aram hostia adduceretur, ad alii non sacrificaretur, cum ab eodem odio alter videre nollet, alter etiam videre pereuntem vellet. Sic factum ut Libero patri, repertori vitis, hirci immolarentur, proinde ut capite darent poenas; contra ut Minervae caprini generis nihil immolarent propter oleam, quod eam quam laeserit fieri dicunt sterilem’ (‘And so therefore, it has been established by opposing justifications that victims of the caprine sort are brought to the altar of one deity, but they are not sacrificed at the altar of another, since on account of the same hatred, one does not want to see a goat and the other desires to see one perish. Thus it happens that goats are immolated to Liber Pater, who discovered the vine, so that they pay him a penalty and, by a contrary logic, caprine victims are never immolated to Minerva on account of the olive: they say that whatever olive plant a goat bites becomes sterile’).
Ernout and Meillet 1979: 411 s.v. molo; Walde and Hofmann 1954: 2.104–6 s.v. molo; de Vaan 2008: 386–7 s.v. molo.
Fest. 124L, s.v. mola.
cf. Serv., A. 4.57 and 10.541.
e.g., Faraone and Naiden 2012: 4; Prescendi 2007: 36 and 108–9. An exception is Scheid 2005: 52.
Plin., N.H. 31.89 is usually taken to refer to sacrifice (so Prescendi 2007: 105) but the text mentions only sacra, not sacrificia.
Two famous examples are found on the altar of Domitius Ahenobarbus (Ryberg 1955: fig. 17a–c) and the Cancellaria relief (Ryberg 1955: fig. 37a–b). I follow Elsner 2012: 121 in setting aside the plethora of images of the tauroctony of Mithras and the taurobolium of Cybele and Attis.
Ryberg 1955: figs 83 and 89b. Another famous instance of this scene is on the Boscoreale cup (Aldrete 2014: 33, fig. 1).
As in a relief from the Forum of Trajan now in the Louvre (Ryberg 1955: fig. 69a).
Van Straten 1995: 188.
The lack of interest in vegetal sacrifice is widespread in the field of religious studies (McClymond 2008: 65). Significant exceptions to this rule in the study of Roman sacrifice are the treatment of the sacrifice of wheat and wine in Scheid 2012 and the argument for the increased popularity of vegetal sacrifice in Late Antiquity advanced by Elsner 2012. The quotation comes from Frankfurter 2011: 75.
This assertion is based on a search of ‘sacrific*’ on the Brepolis Library of Latin Texts A.
Goats: Var., R. 1.2.19; Liv. 45.16.6. Dogs: Fest. 358L. Horses: Plin., N.H. 28.146; Fest. 190L s.v. October equus. Birds: Suet., Calig. 22.
MacKinnon 2004: 59–74.
Scheid 2005: 100–2; 2012: 84. Contra Prescendi 2007: 22–3.
Var., L. 6.3.14. Compare Var., R. 2.8.1.
CIL 6.32323.139–40 = ILS 5050.139–40 = Pighi 1965: 117 (from Rome).
Paul. ex Fest. 77L, s.v. fabam and Fest. 344L, s.v. refriva faba.
Var., L 5.122. See also Scheid 2012: 90–1.
Sacrifices of wine and incense are common in the Commentarii Fratrum Arvalium, e.g. Scheid 1998: nn. 58.47, 64.1.46–7, and 68.1.49.
Paul. ex Fest. 423L, s.v. sacrima.
Fest. and Paul. ex Fest. 286L and 287L, s.v. pecunia sacrificium; Paul. ex Fest. 423L s.v. sacrima.
This is suggested by Ov., F. 1.127–8.
There is a small amount of evidence for a form of auspicium performed with beans: Fest. and Paul. ex Fest. 344L and 345L, s.v. refriva faba; Plin., N.H. 18.119.
Analyses of the traditions about Curius and his contemporary Fabricius, both famous for prudentia and paupertas, are found in Berrendonner 2001 and Vigourt 2001.
e.g., Liv. 22.1.19; 45.16.6; Plin., N.H. 36.39; Tac., Ann. 6.34. Cf. Macr., Sat. 3.2.16.
To my knowledge, the sole exception is a phrase preserved twice in the Commentarii Fratrum Arvalium (Scheid 1998: nn. 55.1.20 and 58.13) where the presence of an accusative object of immolare necessitates that cultro be instrumental in the traditional sense: ‘ture et vino in igne in foculo fecit immolavitque vino mola cultroque Iovi o(ptimo) m(aximo) b(ovem) m(arem), Iunoni reginae b(ovem) f(eminam), Minervae b(ovem) f(eminam), Saluti publicae populi Romani Quiritium b(ovem) f(eminam).’
Lucil. frag. 450 Krenkel; Hor., Sat. 1.3.90 and 1.6.115; Juv. 6.343 and 11.108.
As suggested by Bouma 1996: 1.238–41.
Aul. Gel. 2.10.3–4, quoting a letter of Varro, and Paul. ex Fest. 78L, s.v. favisae.
Augustine, Civ. D. 6.9 (which probably draws on Varro) and possibly Paul. ex Fest. 93L, s.v. ipsilles with 398L, s.v. subsilles.
Douglas 1982: 117. This line of interpretation has enjoyed a wider influence in the study of Classical Antiquity than work along the lines of Burkert 1983 and Girard 1977, and the bibliography is enormous. Foundational is the collection of essays on Greek sacrifice in Detienne and Vernant 1989.
It is entirely possible that miniature ceramics were not, in reality, less expensive offerings than actual foodstuffs. Pliny and Apuleius may reflect an élite misconception about the religious praxis of lower class worshippers, offering an incorrect, emic interpretation of an observable phenomenon. Even if this is the case, the argument still stands that these passages underscore how essential was consumption to the ritual of sacrificium.
e.g., Martens 2004 and Lentacker, Ervynck and Van Neer 2004 on a mithraeum at Tienen in Belgium, King 2005 on Roman Britain, and the various contributions to Lepetz and Van Andringa 2008 on Roman Gaul.
A brief survey of the bone assemblages from sites in west-central Italy is offered by Bouma 1996: 1.228–41.
Moses (forthcoming, table 2) reports that these species account for 89.9 per cent of the total number of individual animal specimens recovered.
8.9 per cent of the total, according to Moses, forthcoming, table 2.
There is some limited zooarchaeological evidence for the consumption of dogs at some Roman sites, such as the inclusion of dog bones bearing marks of butchery among bone deposits that comprise primarily bovine and ovine remains, but it is not widespread. As the most extensive survey of meat production in Roman Italy has concluded, ‘Dogs were variously trained as guards, protectors, companions, and pets, but they were not raised to be eaten’ (MacKinnon 2004: 74).
The only Roman reference to the sacrifice of a deer pertains to a Greek context: Ov., F. 1.387–8 where the deer is sacrificed to Diana as a substitute for Iphigenia.
Ov., F. 4.901–42 with Fest. 358L, s.v. rutilae canes; Var., L. 6.16. The offering of a dog to Robigus may be the same ritual as the augurium canarium referred to by Plin., N.H. 18.14. Columella 2.21.4 might also refer to dog sacrifice, but the verb (feceris) leaves it ambiguous as to which ritual was being performed. Pliny reports a ritual, possibly sacrifice (‘res divina fit’, 29.58), involving a dog in honour of the little-known goddess, Genita Mana (cf. Plut., RQ 52 = Mor. 277A–C). Plutarch is the only source for dog sacrifice at the Lupercalia (RQ 68 and 111 = Mor. 280 B–C and 290D; Rom. 21.5).
See, for example, Wilkens 2006 and De Grossi Mazzorin and Minniti 2006.
On the general absence of wild meat from the Roman diet, see MacKinnon 2004: 190–2. Although there is some evidence for Roman consumption of dog in the form of canine skeletons with butchery marks (e.g., De Grossi Mazzorin and Tagliacozzo 1997: 437–8), there is no evidence that dogs were raised for meat production (MacKinnon 2004: 74). For an argument that wild animals are more common in ancient Mediterranean, and specifically in Etruscan, sacrifice than is generally acknowledged, see Rask 2014.
Marcellus, de Medicamentis 8.50; Palmer 1996: 23–4.
Ankarloo and Clark 1999: 75–6; Wilburn 2012: 87–90.
The numerous sources for this event are collected and analysed in Engels 2007: 416–18, 443–8. For the possible link between this instance and the revelation of an unchaste Vestal, see Schultz 2012: 126 n. 18
Liv. 22.57.2–6; Cass. Hemina fr. 32 Peter = FRH F33.
Plu., RQ 83 = Mor. 283F–284C; Liv., Per. 63.
Liv. 22.57.2–6, discussed also in Schultz 2012: 126–7.
On the Latin terminology for living sacrificial victims, see Prescendi 2009.
I use ‘ritual killing’ as a blanket term for any rite, including but not limited to sacrifice, that involves the death of a human being. For the difference in Roman attitudes toward human sacrifice and other forms of ritual killing, see Schultz 2010.
The exact nature of the connection between the two rituals is not clear, but I agree with Eckstein 1982 that we should not see the sacrifice of Gauls and Greeks as some sort of atonement for the unchastity of the Vestals.
There is no evidence, contra Parker 2004 and Wildfang 2006: 58–9, that the Romans ever perceived the punishment of a Vestal as sacrifice. For a more extended analysis of the distinction between the punishment of unchaste Vestals and, on the one hand, sacrifice and, on the other, secular capital punishment, see Schultz 2012.
For example, Cic., Rep. 3.15 and Font. 31; Plin., N.H. 36.39; Tac., Ann. 14.30; Sil. 3.763–829.
Prescendi 2007: 224–41 and, arriving at the same conclusion by a different path, Schultz 2012: 132–3.
MacBain 1982: 127–35; Schultz 2010: 529–30; 2012: 129–30.
e.g., O'Gorman 2010: 121–7 and Versnel 1976.
Cic., Red. pop. 1; Sall., Hist. 2.47.10 (M) = 2.44.10 McGushin. See Rosenblitt 2011 for the connection between these two passages.
The closest any Roman source comes to linking devotio and sacrifice is Cic., Off. 3.95: ‘Quid <quod> Agamemnon, cum devovisset Dianae quod in suo regno pulcherrimum natum esset illo anno, immolavit Iphigeniam, qua nihil erat eo quidem anno natum pulchrius?’ Because the context is Greek, it is safe to assume that Cicero is using, as he often does elsewhere when addressing a general audience, technical terms in a very general way. Devotio is primarily a form of vow that is, ideally, followed by a death (‘si is homo qui devotus est moritur, probe factum videri’ (Liv. 8.10.)). See Oakley 1998: 481 and Sacco 2004: 316. In Livy's account of the first devotio in 340 b.c.e. at the battle of the Veseris between Rome and the Latins (8.9.1–14), the ritual consists of the recitation of the dedicatory formula by the consul P. Decius Mus while in the midst of battle. The description of Decius’ ensuing death is very spare and devoid of any sacrificial imagery or terminology. At 8.10.11–12, Livy notes that a commander could devote one of his soldiers rather than himself. If the devotio was not successful (i.e., the devotus somehow survived), expiatory steps had to be taken: the burial of a larger-than-life-sized statue and piaculum hostia<m> caedi. If the commander who devoted himself did not die in battle, he was interdicted from performing any ritual on behalf of the state (publicum divinum).
As illustrated by Livy's description of the first Decius to perform the ritual as he rode out to meet the enemy: ‘aliquanto augustior humano visu, sicut caelo missus’ (8.9.10).
As is implied in all the relevant entries in the OLD. See also n. 9 above.
This statement and much of what follows is based on a series of searches in the Brepolis on-line database of Latin literature, Libraries A and B (http://apps.brepolis.net/BrepolisPortal/default.aspx) conducted throughout the summer of 2015. The database is a very useful, but not infallible tool.
The distinction is preserved by Suet., Prat. 176 and Serv., A. 4.57. Nonius 539L identifies mactare with immolare, but the texts he cites do not really support his claim. Plaut., Amph. 1034 seems to draw an equivalence between sacrificare and mactare (cf. Val. Max. 9.7.mil.Rom.2). The relationship between magmentum and augmentum (Paul. ex Fest. 113L, s.v. magmentum; Serv., A. 4.57) is not clear.
Paul. ex Fest. 112–13L, s.v. mactus; Serv., A. 9.641. Modern etymologists disagree on the origin of the term. Ernout and Meillet 1979: 376 s.v. mactus; Walde and Hofmann 1954: 2.4 s.v. mactus; de Vaan 2008: 357 s.v. mactus.
Var., L. 5.112; see also Cic., Har. Resp. 31. Magmentum also appears in two imperial leges sacrae pertaining to the observance of the Imperial cult preserved in inscriptions found in the Roman colonies of Salona in Dalmatia (CIL 3.1933, dated to 137 c.e.) and Narbo in Gallia Narbonensis (CIL 12.4333, dated to 11 c.e.). The two texts are nearly identical and perhaps go back to the original lex sacra of the altar of Diana on the Aventine hill in Rome, to which the inscriptions explicitly appeal.
See, for example, citations from Pomponius and Afranius in Non. Mar. 540–1L.
Plaut., Stich 233; Cato, Agr. 132; Cass. Hemina fr. 13 Peter = FRH F17.
Fest. 298L, s.v. pollucere.
Plaut., Stich. 233; CIL 12.1531 = ILLRP 136 = ILS 3411 (from Sora). Also Var., Men. 413 = Macr., Sat. 3.12.2. It is probable, but not certain, that this is the same as the polluctum of ex mercibus libamenta mentioned by Varro at L. 6.54. Cato's instruction to pollucere to Jupiter an assaria pecunia refers to produce valued at one as (Agr. 132.2; Scheid 2005: 136–9). Paul. ex Fest. 287L, s.v. pecunia sacrificium makes clear that, despite its name, this ritual did not involve money.
Aldrete 2014: 32. Of these, three-fourths come from the first and second centuries c.e.
The problem is widely acknowledged, but see specifically Moussy 1977; 1990; Engels 2007: 259–82. Similar difficulties beset efforts, both ancient and modern, to reconstruct the technical differences among the concepts of sacer, sanctus, and religiosus: see Rives 2011.
Throughout his corpus Cicero uses a range of technical divinatory terms, including augur, ostentum, and portentum, in rather general ways, even in De Divinatione where one might reasonably expect him to be more precise.
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