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A Place at the AltarPriestesses in Republican Rome$
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Meghan J. DiLuzio

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780691169576

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691169576.001.0001

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Priestly Couples

Priestly Couples

(p.52) Chapter Two Priestly Couples
A Place at the Altar

Meghan J. DiLuzio

Princeton University Press

This chapter argues that priestly couples had a larger role in the Roman ritual system than modern scholars have realized. The rex sacrorum and the flamen Martialis certainly shared their offices with the regina sacrorum and the flaminica Martialis respectively. It seems very likely that the wives of the thirteen remaining flamines were flaminicae as well. Priestly couples are best understood in relation to the patterns of worship in the household, where husbands and wives fulfilled complementary religious roles. Indeed, priestly couples exemplified traditionally asymmetrical gender constructions and relationships. It is clear, however, that the structure of Roman society included a robust ritual role for both sexes. Wives and priestesses offered sacrifices at domestic hearths and public altars because the religious system was thought to function properly only when men and women served their gods together.

Keywords:   priestly couples, Roman ritual system, rex sacrorum, flamen Martialis, regina sacrorum, flaminica Martialis, flamines, flaminicae, religious roles, gender constructions

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