Carmen Saliare

The Carmen Saliare is a fragment of archaic Latin, which played a part in the rituals performed by the Salii (Salian priests, a.k.a. "leaping priests") of Ancient Rome.[1] There are 35 extant fragments of the Carmen Saliare, which can be read in Morel's FPL.[2]

The rituals revolved around Mars and Quirinus, and were performed in March and October. These involved processions in which they donned archaic armour and weapons, performed their sacred dance, and sang the Carmen Saliare. As a body they existed before the founding of the Roman Republic, tracing their origin back to the reign of Numa Pompilius. The Salian priests were chosen from the sons of patrician families whose parents were still living. They were appointed for life, though they were allowed to resign from the Salian priesthood if they achieved a more prestigious priesthood or a major magistracy.

In the Annales written by Roman historian Tacitus, it is revealed that several Romans proposed the name of Germanicus to be added to the Salian Song, as a memory of his virtue and goodwill.

Roman bas relief. The Salian priests carry their sacred shields.
I salii
Relief depicting the Salii (National Museum of Rome - Palazzo Altemps, Rome)


Two fragments which been preserved by Marcus Terentius Varro in his De Lingua Latina, 7.26, 27 (fragment 2 and 1 by Maurenbrecher's numbering):[3]

Latin (ed. C. O. Muellerus)
  • Cozeulodoizeso; omnia vero adpatula coemisse iamcusianes duo misceruses dun ianusve vet pos melios eumrecum . . . .
  • Divum empta cante, divum deo supplicante.
Latin (ed. A. Spengel)
  • Cozeulodorieso omnia vero adpatula coemisse ian cusianes duonus ceruses dunus ianus ue uet pom elios eum recum . . .
  • divum empta cante, divum deo supplicante.
Latin (ed. R. G. Kent)
  • Cozevi oborieso. Omnia vero ad Patulc<ium> commisse<i>.
    Ianeus iam es, duonus Cerus es, du<o>nus Ianus.
    Ven<i>es po<tissimu>m melios eum recum . . .
  • Divum em pa cante, divum deo supplicate.
English translation (ed. R. G. Kent)
  • O Planter God,[a] arise. Everything indeed have I committed unto (thee as) the Opener.[a] Now art thou the Doorkeeper, thou art the Good Creator, the Good God of Beginnings. Thou'lt come especially, thou the superior of these kings . . .
  • Sing ye to the Father of the Gods, entreat the God of Gods.

The mysterious cozeulodorieso has attracted several proposals. Julius Pomponius Laetus proposed in his editio princeps the interpretation osculo dolori ero "I shall be as a kiss to grief", though his emendations are now dismissed as "editorial fantasy".[4] George Hempl restored it more carefully to coceulod orieso, attested in some manuscripts aside from the spacing, which is good archaic Latin for classical cucūlō oriēre "(thou shalt) come forth with the cuckoo".[5]

A fragment preserved by Quintus Terentius Scaurus in his De orthographia (fragment 6 by Maurenbrecher's numbering):[6]

Latin (ed. H. Keilius) † cuine ponas Leucesiae praetexere monti
quot ibet etinei de is cum tonarem.
Theodor Bergk's conjectured reconstruction Cúme tonás, Leucésie, práe tét tremónti,
Quóm tibeí cúnei décstumúm tonáront

An excerpt of it:[7]

Latin with metre indicated cumé tonás, Leucésie, praé tét tremónti
Rendering in classical Latin cum tonas, Lucetie, prae te tremunt
English translation When thou thunderest, O god of Light (Jupiter), men tremble before thee

See also


  1. ^ a b epithet of Janus


  1. ^ Clifford Ando; Jörg Rüpke (2006). Religion and Law in Classical and Christian Rome. Franz Steiner Verlag. pp. 18–. ISBN 978-3-515-08854-1.
  2. ^ FPL=Fragmenta poetarum latinorum epicorum et lyricorum: praeter enni annales et Ciceronis Germanicique Aratea, originally compiled by W. Morel 1927, 2nd edition by C. Büchner 1982, 3rd and 4th editions by J. Blänsdorf in 1995 and 2011.
  3. ^ Marcus Terentius Varro, de lingua latina:
    • M. Terenti Varronis de lingua latina libri qui supersunt   ex codicum vetustissimarumque editionum auctoritate integra lectione adiecta   recensuit Leonhardus Spengel   Berolini, sumtibus Dunckeri et Humboltii – MDCCCXXVI [1826], p. 312 & 314 (google)
    • M. Terenti Varronis de lingua latina librorum quae supersunt   emendata et annotata a Carolo Odofredo Muellero   anno MDCCCXXXIII [1833], p. 129 & 130 (google)
    • M. Terenti Varronis de lingua Latina libri   emendavit apparatu critico instruxit praefatus est Leonardus Spengel.   Leonardo patre mortuo edidit et recognovit filius Andreas Spengel.   Berolini apud Weidmannos   MDCCCLXXXV [1885], p. 127 & 129 (google-US, google-US)
    • M. Terenti Varronis de lingua latina quae supersunt   recensuerunt Georgius Goetz et Fridericus Schoell   accedunt grammaticorum Varronis librorum fragmenta   Lipsiae in aedibus B. G. Teubneri MCMX [1910], p. 100f. (IA)
    • Varro on the Latin language   with an English translation by Roland G. Kent   In two volumes   I   Books V.–VII., 1938, pp. 292–295
  4. ^ Sarullo, Giulia; Taylor, Daniel J. (December 2013). "Two Fragments of the Carmen Saliare and the Manuscript Tradition of Varro's De Lingua Latina". Codices Manuscripti & Impressi. 91/92: 1–10.
  5. ^ Hempl, George (1899). "The Origin of the Latin Letters G and Z". Transactions and Proceedings of the American Philological Association. The Johns Hopkins University Press. 30: 24–41. doi:10.2307/282560. JSTOR 282560.
  6. ^ Q. Terentii Scauri liber de orthographia; in: Grammatici latini ex recensione Henrici Keilii   Vol. VII   Scriptores de orthographia   [...]   Lipsiae in aedibus B. G. Teubneri   MDCCCLXXX [1880], p. 28 (IA). For Theodor Bergk's conjectured reconstruction compare also:
    • Indices lectionum et publicarum et privatarum, quae in Academia Marburgensi per semestre hibernum inde a D. XXV. M. Octobris MDCCCXLVII [1847] usque ad D. XXV. M. Martii MDCCCXLVIII [1848]. Habendae proponuntur. — Inest Theodori Bergkii Commentatio De Carminum Saliarium reliquiis. Marburgi. Typis Elwerti Academicis, pp. p. XII & XIV (google)
    • Opuscula philologica Bergkiana edidit Rudolfus Peppmüller. Volumen I. Ad Latinas literas spectantia. Halis Saxonum, in Orphanotrophei libraria. MDCCCLXXXIV. – Kleine philologische Schriften von Theodor Bergk. Herausgegeben von Rudolf Peppmüller. I. Band. Zur römischen Literatur. Halle a. S., Verlag der Buchhandlung des Waisenhauses. 1884, pp. 492 & 494 (google-US)
  7. ^ Elegiac poems of Ovid   edited by J. W. E. Pearce.   Vol. II   The Roman Calendar   Selections from Fasti, Oxford, 1914, p. 146 (IA)

External links

  • B. Maurenbrecher:
    • Carminum Saliarium reliquiae edidit B. Maurenbrecher; in: Jahrbücher für classische Philologie. Herausgegeben von Alfred Fleckeisen. Einundzwanzigster Supplementband. Mit einer Karte. Druck und Verlag von B. G. Teubner, Leipzig, 1894, p. 313ff. (IA)
    • Carminum Saliarium reliquiae edidit B. Maurenbrecher. Commentatio ex supplemento uno et vicesimo Annalium Philologicorum seorsum expressa. Lipsiae in aedibus B. G. Teubneri. MDCCCXCIV [1894] (IA)
  • George Hempl:
    • III.—The Origin of the Latin Letters G and Z. By Prof. George Hempl, in: Transactions and Proceedings of the American Philological Association. 1899. Volume XXX, pp. 26 & 39f. (JSTOR):
    • XII.—The Salian Hymn to Janus. By Prof. George Hempl, in: Transactions and Proceedings of the American Philological Association. 1900. Volume XXXI, pp. 182ff. (JSTOR, IA, google-US)
Carmen (given name)

Carmen is a given name with two different origins. Its first root is Italian, Portuguese, and Spanish, used as a nickname for Carmel and Carmelo (respectively), from Hebrew karmel, "God's vineyard." The second origin is from Latin carmen, which means "ode" or "poem" ("Patrium Carmen": ode to the motherland) and is also the root of the English word charm. The name of the Roman Goddess Carmenta based on this root comes from the purely Latin origin, as is the fragment of archaic Latin known as "Carmen Saliare". In English, the name is unisex; in Italian, Spanish, Romanian, and Portuguese it is generally female.

Carmen (verse)

In Ancient Rome, the term "carmen" was generally used to signify a verse; but in its proper sense, it referred to a spell or prayer, form of expiation, execration, etc. Surviving examples include the Carmen Arvale and the Carmen Saliare.

Clothing in ancient Rome

Clothing in ancient Rome generally comprised a short-sleeved or sleeveless, knee-length tunic for men and boys, and a longer, usually sleeved tunic for women and girls. On formal occasions, adult male citizens could wear a woolen toga, draped over their tunic, and married citizen women wore a woolen mantle, known as a palla, over a stola, a simple, long-sleeved, voluminous garment that hung to midstep. Clothing, footwear and accoutrements identified gender, status, rank and social class, and thus offered a means of social control. This was probably most apparent in the segregation of seating tiers at public theatres, games and festivals, and in the distinctive, privileged official dress of magistrates, priesthoods and the military.

The toga was considered Rome's "national costume" but for day-to-day activities, most Romans preferred more casual, practical and comfortable clothing; the tunic, in various forms, was the basic garment for all classes, both sexes and most occupations. It was usually made of linen, and was augmented as necessary with underwear, or with various kinds of cold-or-wet weather wear, such as knee-breeches for men, and cloaks, coats and hats. In colder parts of the empire, full length trousers were worn. Most urban Romans wore shoes, slippers, boots or sandals of various types; in the countryside, some wore clogs.

Most clothing was simple in structure and basic form, and its production required minimal cutting and tailoring, but all was produced by hand and every process required skill, knowledge and time. Spinning and weaving were thought virtuous, frugal occupations for Roman women of all classes. Wealthy matrons, including Augustus' wife Livia, might show their traditionalist values by producing home-spun clothing, but most men and women who could afford it bought their clothing from specialist artisans. Relative to the overall basic cost of living, even simple clothing was expensive, and was recycled many times down the social scale.

Rome's governing elite produced laws designed to limit public displays of personal wealth and luxury. None were particularly successful, as the same wealthy elite had an appetite for luxurious and fashionable clothing. Exotic fabrics were available, at a price; silk damasks, translucent gauzes, cloth of gold, and intricate embroideries; and vivid, expensive dyes such as saffron yellow or Tyrian purple. Not all dyes were costly, however, and most Romans wore colourful clothing. Clean, bright clothing was a mark of respectability and status among all social classes. The fastenings and brooches used to secure garments such as cloaks provided further opportunities for personal embellishment and display.

Duenos inscription

The Duenos inscription is one of the earliest known Old Latin texts, variously dated from the 7th to the 5th century BC. It is inscribed on the sides of a kernos, in this case a trio of small globular vases adjoined by three clay struts. It was found by Heinrich Dressel in 1880 on the Quirinal Hill in Rome. The kernos belongs to the Staatliche Museen in Berlin (inventory no. 30894,3).

The inscription is written right to left in three units, without spaces to separate words. It is difficult to translate, as some letters are hard to distinguish, particularly since they cannot always be deduced by context. The absence of spaces causes additional difficulty in assigning the letters to the respective words.

Epithets of Jupiter

The numerous epithets of Jupiter indicate the importance and variety of the god's cult in ancient Roman religion.


In ancient Roman religion and myth, Faunus [fau̯nʊs] was the horned god of the forest, plains and fields; when he made cattle fertile he was called Inuus. He came to be equated in literature with the Greek god Pan.

Faunus was one of the oldest Roman deities, known as the di indigetes. According to the epic poet Virgil, he was a legendary king of the Latins. His shade was consulted as a goddess of prophecy under the name of Fatuus, with oracles in the sacred grove of Tibur, around the well Albunea, and on the Aventine Hill in ancient Rome itself.Marcus Terentius Varro asserted that the oracular responses were given in Saturnian verse. Faunus revealed the future in dreams and voices that were communicated to those who came to sleep in his precincts, lying on the fleeces of sacrificed lambs. W. Warde Fowler suggested that Faunus is identical with Favonius, one of the Roman wind gods (compare the Anemoi). Faunus is very probably of Indo-European origin, which he shares with the Vedic god Rudra.

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In ancient Roman religion and myth, Janus (; Latin: IANVS (Iānus), pronounced [ˈjaː.nus]) is the god of beginnings, gates, transitions, time, duality, doorways, passages, and endings. He is usually depicted as having two faces, since he looks to the future and to the past. It is conventionally thought that the month of January is named for Janus (Ianuarius), but according to ancient Roman farmers' almanacs Juno was the tutelary deity of the month.Janus presided over the beginning and ending of conflict, and hence war and peace. The gates of a building in Rome named after him (not a temple, as it is often called, but an open enclosure with gates at each end) were opened in time of war, and closed to mark the arrival of peace (which did not happen very often). As a god of transitions, he had functions pertaining to birth and to journeys and exchange, and in his association with Portunus, a similar harbor and gateway god, he was concerned with travelling, trading and shipping.

Janus had no flamen or specialised priest (sacerdos) assigned to him, but the King of the Sacred Rites (rex sacrorum) himself carried out his ceremonies. Janus had an ubiquitous presence in religious ceremonies throughout the year. As such, Janus was ritually invoked at the beginning of each ceremony, regardless of the main deity honored on any particular occasion.The ancient Greeks had no equivalent to Janus, whom the Romans claimed as distinctively their own.

Jupiter (mythology)

Jupiter (from Latin: Iūpiter [ˈjuːpɪtɛr] or Iuppiter [ˈjʊppɪtɛr], from Proto-Italic *djous "day, sky" + *patēr "father", thus "sky father"), also known as Jove (gen. Iovis [ˈjɔwɪs]), was the god of the sky and thunder and king of the gods in Ancient Roman religion and mythology. Jupiter was the chief deity of Roman state religion throughout the Republican and Imperial eras, until Christianity became the dominant religion of the Empire. In Roman mythology, he negotiates with Numa Pompilius, the second king of Rome, to establish principles of Roman religion such as offering, or sacrifice.

Jupiter is usually thought to have originated as an aerial god. His identifying implement is the thunderbolt and his primary sacred animal is the eagle, which held precedence over other birds in the taking of auspices and became one of the most common symbols of the Roman army (see Aquila). The two emblems were often combined to represent the god in the form of an eagle holding in its claws a thunderbolt, frequently seen on Greek and Roman coins. As the sky-god, he was a divine witness to oaths, the sacred trust on which justice and good government depend. Many of his functions were focused on the Capitoline Hill, where the citadel was located. In the Capitoline Triad, he was the central guardian of the state with Juno and Minerva. His sacred tree was the oak.

The Romans regarded Jupiter as the equivalent of the Greek Zeus, and in Latin literature and Roman art, the myths and iconography of Zeus are adapted under the name Iuppiter. In the Greek-influenced tradition, Jupiter was the brother of Neptune and Pluto, the Roman equivalents of Poseidon and Hades respectively. Each presided over one of the three realms of the universe: sky, the waters, and the underworld. The Italic Diespiter was also a sky god who manifested himself in the daylight, usually identified with Jupiter. Tinia is usually regarded as his Etruscan counterpart.

Lucius Aelius Stilo Praeconinus

Lucius Aelius Stilo Praeconinus (; c. 154 – 74 BC), of Lanuvium, is the earliest philologist of the Roman Republic. He came from a distinguished family and belonged to the equestrian order.

He was called Stilo (Latin stylus, "pen"), because he wrote speeches for others, and Praeconinus from his father's profession (praeco, "announcer, public crier, herald"). His aristocratic sympathies were so strong that he voluntarily accompanied Caecilius Metellus Numidicus into exile. At Rome he divided his time between teaching (although not as a professional schoolmaster) and literary work.His most famous pupils were Varro and Cicero, and amongst his friends was Coelius Antipater, the historian. According to Cicero, who expresses a poor opinion of his powers as an orator, Stilo was a follower of the Stoic school. Only a few fragments of his works remain. He wrote commentaries on the hymns of the Salii (Carmen Saliare), and probably also on the Twelve Tables. He analyzed the authenticity of comedies supposedly by Plautus, and recognized 25 as canonical, four more than were allowed by Varro.It is probable that he was the author of a general glossographical work, dealing with literary, historical and antiquarian questions. The rhetorical treatise Ad Herennium was attributed to him by some scholars of the early 20th century.


In ancient Roman religion, the Mamuralia or Sacrum Mamurio ("Rite for Mamurius") was a festival held on March 14 or 15, named only in sources from late antiquity. According to Joannes Lydus, an old man wearing animal skins was beaten ritually with sticks. The name is connected to Mamurius Veturius, who according to tradition was the craftsman who made the ritual shields (ancilia) that hung in the temple of Mars. Because the Roman calendar originally began in March, the Sacrum Mamurio is usually regarded as a ritual marking the transition from the old year to the new. It shares some characteristics with scapegoat or pharmakos ritual.

Marcus Annius Verus Caesar

Marcus Annius Verus Caesar (born 162 or 163 AD) was the 12th of 13 children of Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius and Empress Faustina the Younger. Annius was made caesar on 12 October 166 AD, alongside his brother Commodus, designating them co-heirs of the Roman Empire. Annius died on 10 September 169, at age seven, due to complications from a surgery to remove a tumor from under his ear. His death left Commodus as the sole heir.

Mars (mythology)

In ancient Roman religion and myth, Mars (Latin: Mārs, [maːrs]) was the god of war and also an agricultural guardian, a combination characteristic of early Rome. He was second in importance only to Jupiter and he was the most prominent of the military gods in the religion of the Roman army. Most of his festivals were held in March, the month named for him (Latin Martius), and in October, which began the season for military campaigning and ended the season for farming.

Under the influence of Greek culture, Mars was identified with the Greek god Ares, whose myths were reinterpreted in Roman literature and art under the name of Mars. But the character and dignity of Mars differed in fundamental ways from that of his Greek counterpart, who is often treated with contempt and revulsion in Greek literature. Mars was a part of the Archaic Triad along with Jupiter and Quirinus, the latter of whom, as a guardian of the Roman people, had no Greek equivalent. Mars' altar in the Campus Martius, the area of Rome that took its name from him, was supposed to have been dedicated by Numa, the peace-loving semi-legendary second king of Rome. Although the center of Mars' worship was originally located outside the sacred boundary of Rome (pomerium), Augustus made the god a renewed focus of Roman religion by establishing the Temple of Mars Ultor in his new forum.Although Ares was viewed primarily as a destructive and destabilizing force, Mars represented military power as a way to secure peace, and was a father (pater) of the Roman people. In the mythic genealogy and founding myths of Rome, Mars was the father of Romulus and Remus with Rhea Silvia. His love affair with Venus symbolically reconciled the two different traditions of Rome's founding; Venus was the divine mother of the hero Aeneas, celebrated as the Trojan refugee who "founded" Rome several generations before Romulus laid out the city walls.

The importance of Mars in establishing religious and cultural identity within the Roman Empire is indicated by the vast number of inscriptions identifying him with a local deity, particularly in the Western provinces.

Mars may ultimately be a reflex of the Proto-Indo-European god Perkwunos, having originally a thunderer character. At least etymological Etruscan predecessors are present in Maris, though this is not universally agreed upon.

Old Latin

Old Latin, also known as Early Latin or Archaic Latin, refers to the Latin language in the period before 75 BC: before the age of Classical Latin. (In New and Contemporary Latin, this language is called prisca Latinitas ("ancient Latin") rather than vetus Latina ("old Latin"), as vetus Latina is used to refer to a set of Biblical texts written in Late Latin.) It is ultimately descended from the Proto-Italic language.

The use of "old", "early" and "archaic" has been standard in publications of Old Latin writings since at least the 18th century. The definition is not arbitrary, but the terms refer to writings with spelling conventions and word forms not generally found in works written under the Roman Empire. This article presents some of the major differences.

The earliest known specimen of the Latin language appears on the Praeneste fibula. A new analysis performed in 2011 declared it to be genuine "beyond any reasonable doubt" and dating from the Orientalizing period, in the first half of the seventh century BC.


Prayer is an invocation or act that seeks to activate a rapport with an object of worship, typically a deity, through deliberate communication. In the narrow sense, the term refers to an act of supplication or intercession directed towards a deity, or a deified ancestor. More generally, prayer can also have the purpose of thanksgiving or praise, and in comparative religion is closely associated with more abstract forms of meditation and with charms or spells.Prayer can take a variety of forms: it can be part of a set liturgy or ritual, and it can be performed alone or in groups. Prayer may take the form of a hymn, incantation, formal creedal statement, or a spontaneous utterance in the praying person.

Today, most major religions involve prayer in one way or another; some ritualize the act, requiring a strict sequence of actions or placing a restriction on who is permitted to pray, while others teach that prayer may be practised spontaneously by anyone at any time.

Sacred language

A sacred language, "holy language" (in religious context) or liturgical language is any language that is cultivated and used primarily in religious service or for other religious reasons by people who speak another, primary language in their daily life.


In ancient Roman religion, the Salii (, Latin pronunciation: ['sʌlɪiː]) were the "leaping priests" (from the verb saliō "leap, jump") of Mars supposed to have been introduced by King Numa Pompilius. They were twelve patrician youths, dressed as archaic warriors: an embroidered tunic, a breastplate, a short red cloak (paludamentum), a sword, and a spiked headdress called an apex. They were charged with the twelve bronze shields called ancilia, which, like the Mycenaean shield, resembled a figure eight. One of the shields was said to have fallen from heaven in the reign of King Numa and eleven copies were made to protect the identity of the sacred shield on the advice of the nymph Egeria, consort of Numa, who prophesied that wherever that shield was preserved, the people would be the dominant people of the earth.

Each year in March, the Salii made a procession round the city, dancing and singing the Carmen Saliare. Ovid, who relates the story of Numa and the heavenly ancilia in his Fasti (3.259–392), found the hymn and the Salian rituals outdated and hard to understand. During the Principate, by decree of the Senate, Augustus' name was inserted into the song (Res Gestae 10). They ended the day by banqueting. Saliaris cena became proverbial for a sumptuous feast.

King Tullus Hostilius is said to have established another collegium of Salii in fulfillment of a vow which he made in the second war with Fidenae and Veii. 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, Agonales, or Agonenses.It is unclear whether the primary aim of the ritual was to protect Rome's army, although this is the traditional view.


The Tricornenses of Tricornum (modern Ritopek) were a Romanized Thraco-Celtic artificially created community by the Romans that replaced the Celtic Celegeri. The inhabitants of Tricornum were Celtic and Thracian, attested by epigraphic sources. After 6 AD, the Tricornenses were one of the four units of Upper Moesia alongside the Dardani, Moesi and Picenses. The ceremonial parade armour found at Ritopek belonged to a Tricornian soldier of Legio VII Claudia, dating to AD 258.

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