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Crossing the PomeriumThe Boundaries of Political, Religious, and Military Institutions from Caesar to Constantine$
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Michael Koortbojian

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780691195032

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: September 2020

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691195032.001.0001

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Roman Sacrifice and the Ritus Militaris

Roman Sacrifice and the Ritus Militaris

(p.78) 3 Roman Sacrifice and the Ritus Militaris
Crossing the Pomerium

Michael Koortbojian

Princeton University Press

This chapter concerns Roman sacrifice. Sacrifice was only one of many attested Roman rituals, but it is arguably the one whose imagery was most ubiquitous throughout the Roman world. This imagery is known in virtually all of the artistic media—at every possible scale, from the minuscule to the monumental, in many varied contexts, both public and private—and its use extended from the center of the urbs to every corner of Rome's imperium. Most, if not all, of the familiar examples that survive are of imperial date, though a greater repertory of extant mid-Republican monuments would have given a clearer sense of how honors had traditionally been afforded to the gods and a better impression of the shape of the tradition in which the surviving monuments must be set. It would give a better idea of just how early an imagery was established for a distinctly Roman ritus, and when what appear to be its constitutive elements were codified in practice.

Keywords:   Roman sacrifice, ritus militaris, sacrificial imagery, military sacrifice, nuncupatio votorum, Roman military, Roman monuments

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