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Calendrical Notes
#16
To-day is the second day before the Ides of January (ANTE DIEM II IDVS IANVARII), marked C., DIES COMITIALIS, also known as the Eve of the Ides (PRIDIE IDVS IANVARII). In modern terms, it is the twelfth of January.

On account of the lengthy note yesterday on the Carmentalia and Juturnalia, I omitted the historical note, which I will now treat of.

''[Imp. Caesar Augustus put an end to all wars, for the third time] since Romulus, and closed the gate of Janus, [when he was consul for the fifth time, with Sex. Appuleius]. Augustus . . . Tiberius Caesar''

Regrettably nothing can be done with the most fragmentary portion, but the majority of the note can be reconstructed.

The year of the consulship of Augustus and Appuleius is 29 B.C.E., the year of the City 725 – two years after the Battle of Actium and a year after the capture of Alexandria and the final defeat of Antony.

In the thirteenth chapter of the ''Res Gestae Divi Augusti'' we find the following passage:

''It was the will of our ancestors that the gateway of Janus Quirinus should be shut when victories had secured peace by land and sea throughout the whole empire of the Roman people; from the foundation of the city to my birth, tradition records that it was shut only twice [by Numa and Manlius], but while I was the leading citizen the Senate resolved that it should be shut on three occasions.''

The reference is to the doors of the ancient temple of Janus Geminus (the twin, from his two heads), a small shrine which held an archaic statue of the god and which was located between the Forum Romanum and the Forum Julium. It was said to be dedicated by Numa Pompilius.

The statue itself may is sometimes alleged to have borne a staff and a key (Ovid Fasti I 99-100):


He, holding in his right hand his staff and in his left the key, to me these accents uttered from his front mouth: “Dismiss thy fear, thy answer take, laborious singer of the days, and mark my words.''

However, Pliny, in the sixteenth chapter of the twenty-fourth book of the Natural History, gives us the following:

''Various circumstances prove, that the art of making statues was commonly practised in Italy at an early period. The statue in the Cattle Market is said to have been consecrated to Hercules by Evander; it is called the triumphal Hercules, and, on the occasion of triumphal processions, is arrayed in triumphal vestments. And then besides, King Numa dedicated the statue of the two-faced Janus; a deity who is worshipped as presiding over both peace and war. The fingers, too, are so formed as to indicate three hundred and sixty-five days, or in other words, the year; thus denoting that he is the god of time and duration.''

Setting aside the controversy as to how the statue indicated this number (and some MSS give three-hundred and fifty-five, said to be the number of days of the year in Numa's day), these descriptions are evidently irreconcilable. It has been suggested that as Ovid wrote far earlier than Pliny, the statue may have been replaced, but evidently Pliny believed that the statue he saw was the original and it is hard to believe that Pliny would have blundered if it was a replacement.

I suspect that Ovid has been badly misconstrued, and was in fact, without any doubt referring to an apparition of the god that either appeared to him in his own house as he wrote, or as a literary conceit without the slightest reference to the statue of Janus. The full passage runs:

''But what god am I to say thou art, Janus of double-shape? for Greece hath no divinity like thee. The reason, too, unfold why alone of all the heavenly one thou doest see both back and front. While thus I mused, the tablets in my hand, methought the house grew brighter than it was before. Then of a sudden sacred Janus, in his two-headed shape, offered his double visage to my wondering eyes. A terror seized me, I felt my hair stiffen with fear, and with a sudden chill my bosom froze.''

Plutarch's Life of Numa Pompilius also gives us an account of the peace that prevailed in his reign (from Chapters 19 and 20):

''The first month, January, is so named from Janus. And I think that March, which is  named from Mars, was moved by Numa from its place at the head of the months because he wished in every case that martial influences should yield precedence to civil and political. For this Janus, in remote antiquity, whether he was a demi-god or a king, was a patron of civil and social order, and is said to have lifted human life out of its bestial and savage state. For this reason he is represented with two faces, implying that he brought men's lives out of one sort and condition into another.


He also has a temple at Rome with double doors, which they call the gates of war; for the temple always stands open in time of war, but is closed when peace has come. The latter was a difficult matter, and it rarely happened, since the realm was always engaged in some war, as its increasing size brought it into collision with the barbarous nations which encompassed it round about. But in the time of Augustus Caesar it was closed, after he had overthrown Antony; and before that, when Marcus Atilius and Titus Manlius were consuls, it was closed a short time; then war broke out again at once, and it was opened. During the reign of Numa, however, it was not seen open for a single day, but remained shut for the space of forty-three years together, so complete and universal was the cessation of war. For not only was the Roman people softened and charmed by the righteousness and mildness of their king, but also the cities round about, as if some cooling breeze or salubrious wind were wafted upon them from Rome, began to experience a change of temper, and all of them were filled with a longing desire to have good government, to be at peace, to till the earth, to rear their children in quiet, and to worship the gods. Festivals and feasts, hospitalities and friendly converse between people who visited one another promiscuously and without fear, — these prevailed throughout Italy, while honour and justice flowed into all hearts from the wisdom of Numa, as from a fountain, and the calm serenity of his spirit diffused itself abroad.''

The year of the consulship of T. Manlius and M. Atilius was 235 B.C.E., the year of the City 519, and the gates were closed after Manlius put down a rising in Sardinia, which had been seized from the Carthaginians while they were distracted by a rising of their mercenaries (240-238 B.C.E., of the City 514-516).

The three closures by Augustus were a) after the defeat of Anthony, b) in the year of the consulship of Augustus and Silanus, 25 B.C.E, of the City 729 (?); which places it near the middle of the Cantabrian Wars (??? -- source definitely needed), c) unknown.

There exist several excellent literary descriptions of the custom of opening the doors of the temple of Janus in war, and what it signifies, as in the seventh book of Vergil's Aeneid, Lines 601-615:

''There was a sacred custom in Latium, Land of the West, which the Alban Cities continuously observed, and Rome, supreme in all the world, observes today when Romans first stir Mars to engage battle, alike if they prepare to launch war's miseries with might and main on Getae, Hyrcanians, or Arabs, or to journey to India, in the track of dawn, and to bid the Parthians hand our standards back. There are twin Gates of War, for by that name men call them; and they are hallowed by men's awe and the dread presence of heartless Mars. A hundred bars of bronze, and iron's tough, everlasting strength, close them, and Janus, never moving from that threshold, is their guard. When the senators have irrevocably decided for battle, the consul himself, a figure conspicuous in Quirine toga of State and Gabine cincture, unbolts these gates, and their hinge-posts groan; it is he who calls the fighting forth, then the rest of their manhood follows, and the bronze horns, in hoarse assent, add their breath''.


See also lines 293-296 of the first book:

''The terrible iron-constricted Gates of War shall shut; and safe within them shall stay the godless and ghastly Lust of Blood, propped on his pitiless piled armory, and still roaring from gory mouth, but held fast by a hundred chains of bronze knotted behind his back.''

Thus according to Vergil, War is held within the gates of the temple of Janus and is released when the doors are opened, and confined when they are shut.

However, see Ovid's Fasti, Book I Line 277 et seq.:

But why hide in time of peace and open thy gates when men take arms?“ Without delay he rendered me the reason that I sought. “My fate, unbarred, stands open wide, that when the people hath gone forth to war, the road for their return may be open too. I bar the doors in time of peace, lest peace depart, and under Caesar’s star I shall be long shut up.” He spoke, and lifting up his eyes that saw in opposite directions, he surveyed all that the whole world held. Peace reigned, and on the Rhine already, Germanicus, thy triumph had been won, when the river yielded up her waters to thy slaves.O Janus, let the peace and the ministers of peace endure for aye, and grant that its author may never forgot his handiwork.''

According to Ovid, the closed gates of the temple of Janus retain Peace, not War and prevent it from departing from Rome, as opposed to ''letting slip the dogs of War''.
Patrick J. Gray

'' Now. Close your eyes. It's but a short step to the boat, a short pull across the river.''
''And then?''
''And then, I promise you, you'll dream a different story altogether''

From ''I, Claudius'', by J. Pulman after R. Graves.
Reply
#17
To-day is the Ides of January (IDIBVS IANVARII), in modern terms the thirteenth day of the month. To-day is marked by Warde Fowler NP, sacred to a god not of earthly character.

The Ides are sacred to IVPPITER OPTIMVS MAXVMVS, Jupiter Greatest and Best, also known as Capitoline Jupiter, from his great temple with IVNO REGINA and MINERVA (the Capitoline Triad, TRIAS CAPITOLINVS), on the Capitoline Hill.

The Ides are the days of the full moon, and may be thus sacred to the king and greatest of the gods, the god of thunder, of the oak and of the heavens, because the two great heavenly lights, Sun and Moon, give light through the whole twenty-four hours. Warde Fowler (The Roman Festivals of the Republic, a standard text) gives this as a generally accepted explanation with a reference to the Mythologisches [sic.] Lexikon of Roscher.

There is a historical note partly preserved in the Fasti of Praeneste:

''Ides. No Business; Public Holiday . . .
[The senate decreed] that a chaplet of oak should be placed [above the door of the home of Imp. Caesar] Augustus, because he restored [the republic] to the Roman people.''

The ''chaplet of oak'' referred to is the civic crown (CORONA CIVICA), alluded to by Augustus himself in the thirty-fourth chapter of the RES GESTAE DIVI AVGVSTI:

''In my sixth and seventh consulates, after putting out the civil war, having obtained all things by universal consent, I handed over the state from my power to the dominion of the senate and Roman people. And for this merit of mine, by a senate decree, I was called Augustus and the doors of my temple were publicly clothed with laurel and a civic crown was fixed over my door and a gold shield placed in the Julian senate-house, and the inscription of that shield testified to the virtue, mercy, justice, and piety, for which the senate and Roman people gave it to me. After that time, I exceeded all in influence, but I had no greater power than the others who were colleagues with me in each magistracy. ''

The sixth and seventh consulships of Augustus were both shared with M. Vipsanius Agrippa, being the years of the City 726 and 727, in the current system of reckoning 28 and 27 B.C.E.

The return of the state to ''the dominion of the senate and the Roman people'' and the restoration ''[of] the republic to the Roman people.'', although they were mere figures and Augustus retained practical command, are tremendously important if we want to understand the Principate. Augustus' title, ''Princeps'', is essentially a democratic title, translatable as something like ''first citizen'', a primus inter pares and most certainly not either a dictator ruling by force, or a King by divine right. Augustus owed his power, at least in theory, to a democratic vote of the senate. The force that made that vote inevitable was carefully concealed, and the accretion of pseudo-divine honours, by vote of the senate, and increasing power, cause a steady slide towards monarchy while maintaining the outward appearance of a republic.
Patrick J. Gray

'' Now. Close your eyes. It's but a short step to the boat, a short pull across the river.''
''And then?''
''And then, I promise you, you'll dream a different story altogether''

From ''I, Claudius'', by J. Pulman after R. Graves.
Reply
#18
To-day is the nineteenth day before the Kalends of February (ANTE DIEM XIX KALENDAS FEBRVARII), generally known as the day after the Ides of January (POSTRIDIE IDVS IANVARII), in modern reckoning the fourteenth of the month. It is marked EN, ENDOTERCISVS, a mid-split day. There is an annotation in the Fasti of Praeneste:

Mid-split Day. By [decree] of the senate an unlucky day: [the birthday of Antonius]. [This day is a sacred day, for] the same reason as all the days following Kalends and Nones.

The Antonius referred to is none other than M. Antonius the triumvir, Mark Antony, who was born to-day in 82 or 83 B.C.E., of the City 671 or 672.

To-day, as with all ''days after'', is a DIES ATER, a black day of ill omen, ''on these days... [we] might not start anything new'' (Varro, ''Latin Language'', Book Six Chapter 29).

The modern reader would find a contradiction between ''sacredness'' in the modern sense and ''accursed'', however, the Latin adjective SACER embraces both senses, signifying anything set apart for the gods, whether for good or for destruction.

Lewis and Short give, inter alia, the following definitions:

a) ''dedicated or consecrated to a divinity, holy''

b) ''devoted to a divinity for destruction, forfeited... accursed, criminal, impious, wicked.''

Warde Fowler notes that these DIES ATRES, the POSTRIDVANI, were of ill omen on account of the Disaster of the Allia [the breaking of the Roman line by a miscellanaeous host of Gauls led by Brennus the Senonian, in the year 390 B.C.E., of the City 364] , which was preceded by breaches of the ritual observed on the day after the Ides of July. See Livy, in the first chapter of the sixth book of his ''Roman History'':

'' The consular tribune Sulpicius had not offered acceptable sacrifices on July 16 (the day after the Ides), and without having secured the good will of the gods the Roman army was exposed to the enemy two days later. Some think that it was for this reason that on the day after the Ides in each month all religious functions were ordered to be suspended, and hence it became the custom to observe the second and the middle days of the month in the same way.''
Patrick J. Gray

'' Now. Close your eyes. It's but a short step to the boat, a short pull across the river.''
''And then?''
''And then, I promise you, you'll dream a different story altogether''

From ''I, Claudius'', by J. Pulman after R. Graves.
Reply
#19
To-day is the eighteenth day before the Kalends of February (ANTE DIEM XVIII KALENDAS FEBRVARII), in modern reckoning the fifteenth of the month. Warde Fowler notes to-day as NP, sacred to a god not of earthly character.

To-day is held the second Carmentalia, and we possess a nearly intact note in the Fasti of Praeneste (N.B. the translator has chosen to render NP NEFASTVS PVBLICVS):

''No Business; Public Holiday. Carmentalia. A festival of Carmentis, for the same reason as the 11th. This festival is said to have been established [by Romulus], because he captured Fidenae on this day.''

Warde Fowler notes that although there are several parallel examples of the festivals of related deities , or of two festivals to a single deity being held three days apart, as Consus and Ops (Aug. 21st and 25th) or the Fordicidia and Cerealia (April 15th and 19th) or again the Quinquatrum and Tubilustrium (both sacred to Mars, on the 19th and 23rd of March), this cannot be the case here, or we would not have two traditions of the foundation of this second Carmentalia as a separate and later festival.

Returning to the account given in the Fasti of Praeneste, Warde Fowler states that ''it [i.e. the second Carmentalia] was said to have been added by a victorious general who left Rome by the Porta Carmentalis to attack Fidenae''.

In Plutarch's Parallel Lives, we learn that the victorious general was none other than Romulus (Romulus Chapter 23):

''Fidenae, a neighbouring city to Rome, he took, as some say, by sending his horsemen of a sudden with orders to cut away the pivots of the gates, and then appearing himself unexpectedly; 6 but others say that the men of Fidenae first made an incursion, driving off booty and devastating the territory and outskirts of the city, and that Romulus set an ambush for them, killed many of them, and took their city. He did not, however, destroy or raze it to the ground, but made it a colony of Rome, and sent thither twenty-five hundred colonists, on the Ides of April.''

In the first book of the Fasti of Ovid, line 617 et seq., we possess the a quite different tradition of its origin:

''When the third sun shall look back on the past Ides, the sacred rites will be repeated in honour of the Parrhasian goddess. For of old Ausonian matrons drove in carriages (carpenta), which I ween were also called after Evander’s parent (Carmentis). Afterwards the honour was taken from them, and every matron vowed not to propagate the line of her ungrateful spouse by giving birth to offspring; and lest she should bear children, she rashly by a secret thrust discharged the growing burden from her womb. They say the senate reprimanded the wives for their daring cruelty, but restored the right of which they had been mulcted; and they ordained that now two festivals be held alike in honour of the Teagean mother to promote the birth of boys and girls.''

There are a good few erudite terms here that the beginner may find perplexing: Parrhasia is lower Arcadia, the region of the Peloponnese from whence Evander came, Ausonian is a poetic adjective signifying Italic or Roman and Teagean is the adjectival form of the name of an old Arcadian town, to wit Tegea, used poetically for Arcadian.

In the Quaestiones Romanes of Plutarch, No. 56 we find a similar story applied to the foundation of the temple of Carmenta:

''There is a certain tale repeated that the women were prevented by the senate from using horse-drawn vehicles; they therefore made an agreement with one another not to conceive nor to bear children, and they kept their husbands at a distance, until the husbands changed their minds and made the concession to them. When children were born to them, they, as mothers of a fair and numerous progeny, founded the temple of Carmenta.''

This account makes no distinction between the two Carmentalia and, for our purposes, is most useful as confirming that Ovid's account was at least current amongst the Romans.

However, should these traditions be erroneous, there is a few other possibilities:

Philipp Eduard Huschke, in his ''Alte roemische Jahr und seine Tage'' suggests that the two festivals are one Latin, the other Sabine, and date to the union of the Roman city on the Palatine with the Sabines. Warde Fowler suggests this is lent a little support by Plutarch in the 21st chapter of his ''Romulus'' thus:

''The Sabines, then, adopted the Roman months, about which I have written sufficiently in my Life of Numa. Romulus, on the other hand, made use of their oblong shields, and changed his own armour and that of the Romans, who before that carried round shields of the Argive pattern. Feasts and sacrifices they shared with one another, not discarding any which the two peoples had observed before, but instituting other new ones. One of these is the Matronalia, which was bestowed upon the women to commemorate their putting a stop to the war; and another is the Carmentalia. This Carmenta is thought by some to be a Fate presiding over human birth, and for this reason she is honoured by mothers. Others, however, say that the wife of Evander the Arcadian, who was a prophetess and inspired to utter oracles in verse, was therefore surnamed Carmenta, since "carmina" is their word for verses, her own proper name being Nicostrate. As to her own name there is general agreement, but some more probably interpret Carmenta as meaning bereft of mind, because of her ecstasies under inspiration, since "carere" is the Roman word for to be bereft, and "mens" for mind.''

Aulus Gellius, in the sixteenth chapter of the sixteenth book of the Attic Nights, gives us the following:

''For the purpose of averting this danger altars were set up at Rome to the two Carmentes, of whom one was called Postverta, the other Prorsa, named from natural and unnatural births, and their power over them.”

Warde Fowler suggests in a foot-note that it is at least conceivable that one of each of the two Carmentalia was devoted to Porrima and the other to Postvorta.

Ovid, in the section of the Fasti devoted to the first Carmentalia, alludes to the pure hearths of the goddess (plural, the Latin ''PVROS FOCOS''), so it is possible there were two altars in the temple, devoted to the two goddesses or aspects.

Regrettably we must conclude that even the antiquarians of Augustan Rome knew of several traditions surrounding this ancient festival and could not distinguish with exact certainty between them on account of its great antiquity.
Patrick J. Gray

'' Now. Close your eyes. It's but a short step to the boat, a short pull across the river.''
''And then?''
''And then, I promise you, you'll dream a different story altogether''

From ''I, Claudius'', by J. Pulman after R. Graves.
Reply
#20
To-day is the seventeenth day before the Kalends of February (ANTE DIEM XVII KALENDAS FEBRVARII), in modern reckoning the sixteenth day of the month. Warde Fowler notes it to be C., DIES COMITIALIS.

We possess two reasonably intact historical notices, both capable of reconstruction:

''Business in Assembly. Imp. Caesar was called [Augustus], when he was consul for the 7th time and Agrippa [was consul for the 3rd time].''
The temple of Concordia Augusta [was dedicated] when P.Dolabella and C.Silvanus were consuls. Tiberius Caesar [dedicated] it when he returned from Pannonia.

A. The year of the seventh consulship of Augustus and the third of Agrippa was 27 B.C.E., the year of the City 727. In the thirty-fourth chapter of the RES GESTAE DIVI AVGVSTI we find:

''In my sixth and seventh consulships, when I had extinguished the flames of civil war, after receiving by universal consent the absolute control of affairs, I transferred the republic from my own control to the will of the senate and the Roman people. For this service on my part I was given the title of Augustus by decree of the senate, and the doorposts of my house were covered with laurels by public act, and a civic crown was fixed above my door, and a golden shield was placed in the Curia Julia whose inscription testified that the senate and the Roman people gave me this in recognition of my valour, my clemency, my justice, and my piety.''

Just as the God Augustus' title (PRINCEPS) denoted merely ''first citizen'', so AVGVSTVS was not in the beginning a monarchical title (he declined to be styled ROMVLVS) or the badge of a permanent Imperial office . It simply denotes ''the venerable one'' and so belongs to a long Republican tradition of honorary AGNOMINA being voted to successful generals as a sign of popular esteem, as Scipio AFRICANVS. Thus, in the beginning, Augustus' supreme power was seen as an exceptional and unique circumstance in a Republic, a temporary measure, rather than a new monarchy.

B. According to the Loeb commentary on Ovid's Fasti, the temple of CONCORDIA in the Forum was vowed by M. Furius Camillus, the captor of Veii, in the year 367 B.C.E., of the City 387, during the bitter Conflict of the Orders and intended as a symbol of reconciliation between patricians an plebeians. It was rebuilt by Tiberius in 10 C.E. (the year of the City 763 and of the consulship of Dolabella and Silvanus) with the spoils of his victorious war in Germany and rededicated as the AEDES CONCORDIAE AVGVSTAE.

See the first book of the Fasti, lines 638 et seq.

''Furius the vanquisher of the Etruscan folk, had vowed the ancient temple, and he kept his vow. The cause was that the common folk had taken up arms and seceded from the nobles, and Rome dreaded her own puissance. The recent cause was better: Germany presented her dishevelled locks at thy command, leader revered; hence didst thou offer the spoil of the vanquished people, and didst build a temple to that goddess whom thou thyself dost worship.''

Also Suetonius' ''Tiberius'' Chapter 20:

''After two years he returned to the city from Germany and celebrated the triumph which he had postponed [he had been voted a triumph for his defeat of the Illyrians or Pannonians, but this was delayed on account of the Varian disaster], accompanied also by his generals, for whom he had obtained the triumphal regalia. And before turning to enter the Capitol, he dismounted from his chariot and fell at the knees of his father, who was presiding over the ceremonies. He sent Bato, the leader of the Pannonians, to Ravenna, after presenting him with rich gifts; thus showing his gratitude to him for allowing him to escape when he was trapped with his army in a dangerous place. Then he gave a banquet to the people at a thousand tables, and a largess of three hundred sesterces to every man. With the proceeds of his spoils he restored and dedicated the temple of Concord, as well as that of Pollux and Castor, in his own name and that of his brother.''
Patrick J. Gray

'' Now. Close your eyes. It's but a short step to the boat, a short pull across the river.''
''And then?''
''And then, I promise you, you'll dream a different story altogether''

From ''I, Claudius'', by J. Pulman after R. Graves.
Reply
#21
To-day is the sixteenth day before the Kalends of February (ANTE DIEM XVII KALENDAS FEBRVARII), according to modern reckoning the seventeenth day of the month. To-day is marked C., or DIES COMITIALIS.

We possess a fragmentary historical note, fortunately not so mutilated as to prevent reconstruction:

''Business in Assembly. The pontifices, [the augurs, the quindecimviri sacris faciundis, and the septemviri] epulonum sacrificed victims to the [the godhead of Augustus at the altar] which Tiberius Caesar dedicated.''

The date is in or after 14 C.E., for the God Augustus was deified in the year of his death. At the present (although this is due more to the lateness of the hour and the tiredness of the author than for want of searching) I am not altogether sure which altar is referred to -- it cannot possibly be that of the AEDES DIVI AVGVSTI, for that was dedicated by Caligula (Suet. Calig. Chapter 21):

''He completed the public works which had been half finished under Tiberius, namely the temple of Augustus and the theatre of Pompey.''

The QVINDECIMVIRI SACRIS FACIVNDIS or the QVINDECIMVIRI SACRORVM were the fifteen members of the last of the four priestly colleges, whose duty was to safeguard and interpret the Sybilline Books. For their origin, see the sixty-second chapter of the fourth book of the Roman Antiquities of Dionysius of Halicarnassus:

''Tarquinius chose two men of distinction from among the citizens and appointing two public slaves to assist them, entrusted to them the guarding of the books; and when one of these men, named Marcus Atilius, seemed to have been faithless to his trust and was informed upon by one of the public slaves, he ordered him to be sewed up in a leather bag and thrown into the sea as a parricide. Since the expulsion of the kings, the commonwealth, taking upon itself the guarding of these oracles, entrusts the care of them to persons of the greatest distinction, who hold this office for life, being exempt from military service and from all civil employments, and it assigns public slaves to assist them, in whose absence the others are not permitted to inspect the oracles. In short, there is no possession of the Romans, sacred or profane, which they guard so carefully as they do the Sibylline oracles. They consult them, by order of the senate, when the state is in the grip of party strife or some great misfortune has happened to them in war, or some important prodigies and apparitions have been seen which are difficult of interpretation, as has often happened''

In the year 367 B.C.E., of the City 387, L. Sextius Lateranus and C. Licinius Stolo, tribunes of the plebs, proposed a fourth LEX LICINIA SEXTIA [the LEGES LICINIAE SEXTIAE were bitterly controversial during the Conflict of the Orders], increasing the duumvirs to ten and making five plebeians, as we find in the thirty-sixth chapter of the sixth book of Livy's Roman History:

''they brought forward a fresh proposal, viz. that instead of the duumviri (the two keepers of the Sacred Books) a College of Ten should be formed, half of them plebeians and half patricians''

Subsequently the number was increased still further to fifteen, likely by L. Cornelius Sulla the Dictator, and certainly by the time of Cicero.

Julius Caesar added a sixteenth, for which see Cassius Dio, Book 42 Chapter 51, but this seems to have been an increase of but short duration:

''Indeed, in order to reward a larger number, he appointed ten praetors for the next year and more than the customary number of priests; for he added one member each to the pontifices and to the augurs, of whom he was one, and also to the Quindecemviri,as they were called, although he had desired to take all the priesthoods himself, as had been decreed.''

The Quindecemviri were ex officio priests of Apollo, as the god of the Sibylline prophecies, and celebrated both the Secular Games and those in honour of their patron god. Each quindecemvir had in his house a tripod of bronze dedicated to Apollo.

Of the death and deification of Augustus, see the Vita Divi Avgvsti by Suetonius, chapter 95:

''His death, too, of which I shall speak next, and his deification after death, were known in advance by unmistakable signs. As he was bringing the lustrum [i.e. a purificatory SVOVETAVRILIA, or sacrifice of pig, ram and bull, according to a very ancient rite and carried out by the Censor every five years] to an end in the Campus Martius before a great throng of people, an eagle flew several times about him and then going across to the temple hard by, perched above the first letter of Agrippa's name. On noticing this, Augustus bade his colleague recite the vows which it is usual to offer for the next five years for although he had them prepared and written out on a tablet, he declared that he would not be responsible for vows which he should never pay. At about the same time the first letter of his name was melted from the inscription on one of his statues by a flash of lightning; this was interpreted to mean that he would live only a hundred days from that time, the number indicated by the letter C, and that he would be numbered with the gods, since aesar (that is, the part of the name Caesar which was left) is the word for god in the Etruscan tongue.''
Patrick J. Gray

'' Now. Close your eyes. It's but a short step to the boat, a short pull across the river.''
''And then?''
''And then, I promise you, you'll dream a different story altogether''

From ''I, Claudius'', by J. Pulman after R. Graves.
Reply
#22
To-day is the fifteenth day before the Kalends of February (ANTE DIEM XV KALENDAS FEBRVARII), in modern reckoning the eighteenth day of the month. It is marked by Warde Fowler C., DIES COMITIALIS. There are no annotations to the Fasti of Praeneste to-day.
Patrick J. Gray

'' Now. Close your eyes. It's but a short step to the boat, a short pull across the river.''
''And then?''
''And then, I promise you, you'll dream a different story altogether''

From ''I, Claudius'', by J. Pulman after R. Graves.
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#23
To-day, once more, has but a short note. It is the fourteenth day before the Kalends of February (ANTE DIEM XIV KALENDAS FEBRVARII), in modern reckoning the nineteenth of January. To-day is marked C., DIES COMITIALIS.
Patrick J. Gray

'' Now. Close your eyes. It's but a short step to the boat, a short pull across the river.''
''And then?''
''And then, I promise you, you'll dream a different story altogether''

From ''I, Claudius'', by J. Pulman after R. Graves.
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#24
To-day is the twelfth day before the Kalends of February (ANTE DIEM XII KALENDAS FEBRVARII), in modern reckoning the twenty-first day of January. It is marked C., DIES COMITIALIS, ''Business in Assembly''.
Patrick J. Gray

'' Now. Close your eyes. It's but a short step to the boat, a short pull across the river.''
''And then?''
''And then, I promise you, you'll dream a different story altogether''

From ''I, Claudius'', by J. Pulman after R. Graves.
Reply
#25
To-day is the eleventh day before the Kalends of February (ANTE DIEM XI KALENDAS FEBRVARII), in modern reckoning the twenty-second of January. To-day is marked DIES COMITIALIS, ''Business in Assembly''.
Patrick J. Gray

'' Now. Close your eyes. It's but a short step to the boat, a short pull across the river.''
''And then?''
''And then, I promise you, you'll dream a different story altogether''

From ''I, Claudius'', by J. Pulman after R. Graves.
Reply
#26
To-day is the tenth day before the Kalends of February (ANTE DIEM X KALENDAS IANVARII), in modern reckoning the twenty-second of January, marked C., DIES COMITIALIS, ''Business in Assembly''. My apologies for the repetitive character of these small notes, but they are necessary.
Patrick J. Gray

'' Now. Close your eyes. It's but a short step to the boat, a short pull across the river.''
''And then?''
''And then, I promise you, you'll dream a different story altogether''

From ''I, Claudius'', by J. Pulman after R. Graves.
Reply
#27
Well very interesting until now please keep the good work we're missing your posts at least I am
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