By H Wagenvoort

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Extra resources for Pietas: Selected Studies in Roman Religion (Studies in Greek and Roman Religion, 1)

Example text

22 'Orcus , SMSR 14 (1938) 33ff. Ill PROFÄNUS, PROFÄNÄRE Anyone who scours the dictionaries in the desire to learn the real meaning of the verb profanare can hardly avoid finding himself befogged. Ernout and Meillet seek to distinguish two homonymous verbs, one derived from the adjective prof anus and meaning the same as English 'desecrate', the other derived from pro fänö and meaning 'sacrifice', 'consecrate' (sacrificare, consecrare). Against them Walde-Hofmann is convinced that there is only one verb, the original meaning of which was 'to sacrifice', but refers us to Danielsson's theory (Eranos 3 (1898)58) that the verb did mean ' 'to sacrifice' but had originally been confined to 'abstracting the human share of the victim" as opposed to 'pollücere , 'to offer the 0£O[xopLa' or divine share.

Cic. Leg. 2, 24 'Caste iubet lex active ad deos'—'The law is t h a t the gods are to be approached in a state of purity'; C. Iulius Caesar Strabo, Adrastus (Ribbeck, Trag. Rom. 2 p. 263), 'Cum capita viridi lauro velare imperant / pvophetae sancti, caste qui puvant sacra'—'when the holy prophets command heads to be veiled with green laurel, and purity in those who handle the offerings'. 3 34 PROFÄNUS, PROFÄNÄRE text must therefore be corrupt, followed the example of the editio princeps in emending sua contagione to sine contagione, a conjecture which we still find defended by Marquardt-Wissowa (Rom.

N or 'narrows'. 15 It is a great subject of controversy what this posture can have meant. Not to make too long a story of it, I myself do not doubt that W. F. e. the 'silent' or infernal shades. It is further worth mentioning that there was a connection between Angerona, in whose honour the Divalia were held on 21 December, and Larenta, to whom special honours were paid every year on 23 December. She is compared by Wissowa (op. cit. p. 235) with the Dea Tacita, whom he calls 'eine Indigitation der Larenta'.

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