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Tiresias: The Ancient Mediterranean Religions Source Database



11065
Varro, On The Latin Language, 5.143-5.144


nanMany founded towns in Latium by the Etruscan ritual; that is, with a team of cattle, a bull and a cow on the inside, they ran a furrow around with a plough (for reasons of religion they did this on an auspicious day), that they might be fortified by a ditch and a wall. The place whence they had ploughed up the earth, they called a fossa 'ditch,' and the earth thrown inside it they called the murus 'wall.' The orbis 'circle' which was made back of this, was the beginning of the urbs 'city'; because the circle was post murum 'back of the wall,' it was called a postmoerium; it sets the limits for the taking of the auspices for the city. Stone markers of the pomerium stand both around Aricia and around Rome. Therefore towns also which had earlier had the plough drawn around them, were termed urbes 'cities,' from orbis 'circle' and urvum 'curved'; therefore also all our colonies are mentioned as urbes in the old writings, because they had been founded in just the same way as Rome; therefore also colonies and cities conduntur 'are founded,' because they are placed inside the pomerium.


nanThe first town of the Roman line which was founded in Latium, was Lavinium; for there are our Penates. This was named from the daughter of Latinus who was wedded to Aeneas, Lavinia. Thirty years after this, a second town was founded, named Alba; it was named from the alba 'white' sow. This sow, when she had escaped from Aeneas's ship to Lavinium, gave birth to a litter of thirty young: from this prodigy, thirty years after the founding of Lavinium, this second city was established, called Alba Longa 'the Long White City,' on account of the colour of the sow and the nature of the place. From here came Rhea, mother of Romulus; from her, Romulus; from him, Rome.


Intertexts (texts cited often on the same page as the searched text):

12 results
1. Cicero, On Divination, 1.3, 2.77 (2nd cent. BCE - 1st cent. BCE)

1.3. Quam vero Graecia coloniam misit in Aeoliam, Ioniam, Asiam, Siciliam, Italiam sine Pythio aut Dodonaeo aut Hammonis oraculo? aut quod bellum susceptum ab ea sine consilio deorum est? Nec unum genus est divinationis publice privatimque celebratum. Nam, ut omittam ceteros populos, noster quam multa genera conplexus est! Principio huius urbis parens Romulus non solum auspicato urbem condidisse, sed ipse etiam optumus augur fuisse traditur. Deinde auguribus et reliqui reges usi, et exactis regibus nihil publice sine auspiciis nec domi nec militiae gerebatur. Cumque magna vis videretur esse et inpetriendis consulendisque rebus et monstris interpretandis ac procurandis in haruspicum disciplina, omnem hanc ex Etruria scientiam adhibebant, ne genus esset ullum divinationis, quod neglectum ab iis videretur. 2.77. qui auspicia non habent! Itaque nec amnis transeunt auspicato nec tripudio auspicantur. Ubi ergo avium divinatio? quae, quoniam ab iis, qui auspicia nulla habent, bella administrantur, ad urbanas res retenta videtur, a bellicis esse sublata. Nam ex acuminibus quidem, quod totum auspicium militare est, iam M. Marcellus ille quinquiens consul totum omisit, idem imperator, idem augur optumus. Et quidem ille dicebat, si quando rem agere vellet, ne impediretur auspiciis, lectica operta facere iter se solere. Huic simile est, quod nos augures praecipimus, ne iuges auspicium obveniat, ut iumenta iubeant diiungere. 1.3. And, indeed, what colony did Greece ever send into Aeolia, Ionia, Asia, Sicily, or Italy without consulting the Pythian or Dodonian oracle, or that of Jupiter Hammon? Or what war did she ever undertake without first seeking the counsel of the gods? [2] Nor is it only one single mode of divination that has been employed in public and in private. For, to say nothing of other nations, how many our own people have embraced! In the first place, according to tradition, Romulus, the father of this City, not only founded it in obedience to the auspices, but was himself a most skilful augur. Next, the other Roman kings employed augurs; and, again, after the expulsion of the kings, no public business was ever transacted at home or abroad without first taking the auspices. Furthermore, since our forefathers believed that the soothsayers art had great efficacy in seeking for omens and advice, as well as in cases where prodigies were to be interpreted and their effects averted, they gradually introduced that art in its entirety from Etruria, lest it should appear that any kind of divination had been disregarded by them. 1.3. Therefore Ateius, by his announcement, did not create the cause of the disaster; but having observed the sign he simply advised Crassus what the result would be if the warning was ignored. It follows, then, that the announcement by Ateius of the unfavourable augury had no effect; or if it did, as Appius thinks, then the sin is not in him who gave the warning, but in him who disregarded it.[17] And whence, pray, did you augurs derive that staff, which is the most conspicuous mark of your priestly office? It is the very one, indeed with which Romulus marked out the quarter for taking observations when he founded the city. Now this staffe is a crooked wand, slightly curved at the top, and, because of its resemblance to a trumpet, derives its name from the Latin word meaning the trumpet with which the battle-charge is sounded. It was placed in the temple of the Salii on the Palatine hill and, though the temple was burned, the staff was found uninjured. 2.77. Therefore they have no tripudium and they cross rivers without first taking the auspices. What, then, has become of divining by means of birds? It is not used by those who conduct our wars, for they have not the right of auspices. Since it has been withdrawn from use in the field I suppose it is reserved for city use only!As to divination ex acuminibus, which is altogether military, it was wholly ignored by that famous man, Marcus Marcellus, who was consul five times and, besides, was a commander-in‑chief, as well as a very fine augur. In fact, he used to say that, if he wished to execute some manoeuvre which he did not want interfered with by the auspices, he would travel in a closed litter. His method is of a kind with the advice which we augurs give, that the draught cattle be ordered to be unyoked so as to prevent a iuge auspicium.
2. Cicero, On The Nature of The Gods, 2.9 (2nd cent. BCE - 1st cent. BCE)

2.9. Or are we to make light of the famous augural staff of Attus Navius, wherewith he marked out the vineyard into sections for the purpose of discovering the pig? I would agree that we might do so, had not King Hostilius fought great and glorious wars under the guidance of Attus's augury. But owing to the carelessness of our nobility the augural lore has been forgotten, and the reality of the auspices has fallen into contempt, only the outward show being retained; and in consequence highly important departments of public administration, and in particular the conduct of wars upon which the safety of the state depends, are carried on without any auspices at all; no taking of omens when crossing rivers, none when lights flash from the points of the javelins, none when men are called to arms (owing to which wills made on active service have gone out of existence, since our generals only enter on their military command when they have laid down their augural powers).
3. Cicero, De Oratore, 3.43 (2nd cent. BCE - 1st cent. BCE)

3.43. Athenis iam diu doctrina ipsorum Atheniensium interiit, domicilium tantum in illa urbe remanet studiorum, quibus vacant cives, peregrini fruuntur capti quodam modo nomine urbis et auctoritate; tamen eruditissimos homines Asiaticos quivis Atheniensis indoctus non verbis, sed sono vocis nec tam bene quam suaviter loquendo facile superabit. Nostri minus student litteris quam Latini; tamen ex istis, quos nostis, urbanis, in quibus minimum est litterarum, nemo est quin litteratissimum togatorum omnium, Q. Valerium Soranum, lenitate vocis atque ipso oris pressu et sono facile vincat.
4. Cicero, Republic, 2.11 (2nd cent. BCE - 1st cent. BCE)

2.11. Urbis autem ipsius nativa praesidia quis est tam neglegens qui non habeat animo notata ac plane cognita? cuius is est tractus ductusque muri cum Romuli, tum etiam reliquorum regum sapientia definitus ex omni parte arduis praeruptisque montibus, ut unus aditus, qui esset inter Esquilinum Quirinalemque montem, maximo aggere obiecto fossa cingeretur vastissima, atque ut ita munita arx circumiectu arduo et quasi circumciso saxo niteretur, ut etiam in illa tempestate horribili Gallici adventus incolumis atque intacta permanserit. Locumque delegit et fontibus abundantem et in regione pestilenti salubrem; colles enim sunt, qui cum perflantur ipsi, tum adferunt umbram vallibus.
5. Varro, On The Latin Language, 5.41-5.43, 5.46-5.47, 5.54, 5.144, 5.148-5.152, 5.157-5.159, 5.163-5.165, 6.23 (2nd cent. BCE - 1st cent. BCE)

6. Varro, On Agriculture, 1.2.7 (2nd cent. BCE - 1st cent. BCE)

7. Livy, History, 41.10.5, 41.10.7, 41.10.13, 45.39.11 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. BCE)

8. Strabo, Geography, 5.3.7-5.3.8 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. BCE)

5.3.7. In the interior, the first city above Ostia is Rome; it is the only city built on the Tiber. It has been remarked above, that its position was fixed, not by choice, but necessity; to this must be added, that those who afterwards enlarged it, were not at liberty to select a better site, being prevented by what was already built. The first [kings] fortified the Capitol, the Palatium, and the Collis Quirinalis, which was so easy of access, that when Titus Tatius came to avenge the rape of the [Sabine] virgins, he took it on the first assault. Ancus Marcius, who added Mount Caelius and the Aventine Mount with the intermediate plain, separated as these places were both from each other and from what had been formerly fortified, was compelled to do this of necessity; since he did not consider it proper to leave outside his walls, heights so well protected by nature, to whomsoever might have a mind to fortify themselves upon them, while at the same time he was not capable of enclosing the whole as far as Mount Quirinus. Servius perceived this defect, and added the Esquiline and Viminal hills. As these were both of easy access from without, a deep trench was dug outside them and the earth thrown up on the inside, thus forming a terrace of 6 stadia in length along the inner side of the trench. This terrace he surmounted with a wall flanked with towers, and extending from the Colline to the Esquiline gate. Midway along the terrace is a third gate, named after the Viminal hill. Such is the Roman rampart, which seems to stand in need of other ramparts itself. But it seems to me that the first [founders] were of opinion, both in regard to themselves and their successors, that Romans had to depend not on fortifications, but on arms and their individual valour, both for safety and for wealth, and that walls were not a defence to men, but men were a defence to walls. At the period of its commencement, when the large and fertile districts surrounding the city belonged to others, and while it lay easily open to assault, there was nothing in its position which could be looked upon as favourable; but when by valour and labour these districts became its own, there succeeded a tide of prosperity surpassing the advantages of every other place. Thus, notwithstanding the prodigious increase of the city, there has been plenty of food, and also of wood and stone for ceaseless building, rendered necessary by the falling down of houses, and on account of conflagrations, and of the sales, which seem never to cease. These sales are a kind of voluntary falling down of houses, each owner knocking down and rebuilding one part or another, according to his individual taste. For these purposes the numerous quarries, the forests, and the rivers which convey the materials, offer wonderful facilities. of these rivers, the first is the Teverone, which flows from Alba, a city of the Latins near to the country of the Marsi, and from thence through the plain below this [city], till it unites with the Tiber. After this come the Nera (Nar) and the Timia, which passing through Ombrica fall into the Tiber, and the Chiana, which flows through Tyrrhenia and the territory of Clusiumn. Augustus Caesar endeavoured to avert from the city damages of the kind alluded to, and instituted a company of freedmen, who should be ready to lend their assistance in cases of conflagration; whilst, as a preventive against the falling of houses, he decreed that all new buildings should not be carried so high as formerly, and that those erected along the public ways should not exceed seventy feet in height. But these improvements must have ceased only for the facilities afforded by the quarries, the forests, and the ease of transport. 5.3.8. These advantages accrued to the city from the nature of the country; but the foresight of the Romans added others besides. The Grecian cities are thought to have flourished mainly on account of the felicitous choice made by their founders, in regard to the beauty and strength of their sites, their proximity to some port, and the fineness of the country. But the Roman prudence was more particularly employed on matters which had received but little attention from the Greeks, such as paving their roads, constructing aqueducts, and sewers, to convey the sewage of the city into the Tiber. In fact, they have paved the roads, cut through hills, and filled up valleys, so that the merchandise may be conveyed by carriage from the ports. The sewers, arched over with hewn stones, are large enough in some parts for waggons loaded with hay to pass through; while so plentiful is the supply of water from the aqueducts, that rivers may be said to flow through the city and the sewers, and almost every house is furnished with water-pipes and copious fountains. To effect which Marcus Agrippa directed his special attention; he likewise bestowed upon the city numerous ornaments. We may remark, that the ancients, occupied with greater and more necessary concerns, paid but little attention to the beautifying of Rome. But their successors, and especially those of our own day, without neglecting these things, have at the same time embellished the city with numerous and splendid objects. Pompey, divus Caesar, and Augustus, with his children, friends, wife, and sister, have surpassed all others in their zeal and munificence in these decorations. The greater number of these may be seen in the Campus Martius, which to the beauties of nature adds those of art. The size of the plain is marvellous, permitting chariot-races and other feats of horsemanship without impediment, and multitudes to exercise themselves at ball, in the circus and the palaestra. The structures which surround it, the turf covered with herbage all the year round, the summits of the hills beyond the Tiber, extending from its banks with panoramic effect, present a spectacle which the eye abandons with regret. Near to this plain is another surrounded with columns, sacred groves, three theatres, an amphitheatre, and superb temples in close contiguity to each other; and so magnificent, that it would seem idle to describe the rest of the city after it. For this cause the Romans, esteeming it as the most sacred place, have there erected funeral monuments to the most illustrious persons of either sex. The most remarkable of these is that designated as the Mausoleum, which consists of a mound of earth raised upon a high foundation of white marble, situated near the river, and covered to the top with ever-green shrubs. Upon the summit is a bronze statue of Augustus Caesar, and beneath the mound are the ashes of himself, his relatives, and friends. Behind is a large grove containing charming promenades. In the centre of the plain, is the spot where this prince was reduced to ashes; it is surrounded with a double enclosure, one of marble, the other of iron, and planted within with poplars. If from hence you proceed to visit the ancient forum, which is equally filled with basilicas, porticos, and temples, you will there behold the Capitol, the Palatium, with the noble works which adorn them, and the promenade of Livia, each successive place causing you speedily to forget what you have before seen. Such is Rome.
9. Festus Sextus Pompeius, De Verborum Significatione, None (2nd cent. CE - 2nd cent. CE)

10. Macrobius, Saturnalia, 3.9.3 (4th cent. CE - 5th cent. CE)

11. Macrobius, Saturnalia, 3.9.3 (4th cent. CE - 5th cent. CE)

12. Servius, Commentary On The Aeneid, 12.246 (4th cent. CE - 5th cent. CE)



Subjects of this text:

subject book bibliographic info
aediles Nelsestuen, Varro the Agronomist: Political Philosophy, Satire, and Agriculture in the Late Republic (2015) 108
aeneas Roller, A Guide to the Geography of Pliny the Elder (2022) 147
agri cultura, concept of Nelsestuen, Varro the Agronomist: Political Philosophy, Satire, and Agriculture in the Late Republic (2015) 108
agronomy, tradition of Nelsestuen, Varro the Agronomist: Political Philosophy, Satire, and Agriculture in the Late Republic (2015) 108
angerona Roller, A Guide to the Geography of Pliny the Elder (2022) 147
appius claudius pulcher Nelsestuen, Varro the Agronomist: Political Philosophy, Satire, and Agriculture in the Late Republic (2015) 108
auspication, and naval warfare Konrad, The Challenge to the Auspices: Studies on Magisterial Power in the Middle Roman Republic (2022) 157
auspication, and water Konrad, The Challenge to the Auspices: Studies on Magisterial Power in the Middle Roman Republic (2022) 157
auspicato, of consul Konrad, The Challenge to the Auspices: Studies on Magisterial Power in the Middle Roman Republic (2022) 157
auspicato, of departure/war Konrad, The Challenge to the Auspices: Studies on Magisterial Power in the Middle Roman Republic (2022) 64
auspicato, repetition of Konrad, The Challenge to the Auspices: Studies on Magisterial Power in the Middle Roman Republic (2022) 64
auspicato, water, interrupted by Konrad, The Challenge to the Auspices: Studies on Magisterial Power in the Middle Roman Republic (2022) 157
auspicato Konrad, The Challenge to the Auspices: Studies on Magisterial Power in the Middle Roman Republic (2022) 157
ave sinistra, domi and militiae Konrad, The Challenge to the Auspices: Studies on Magisterial Power in the Middle Roman Republic (2022) 64
ave sinistra, peremnia Konrad, The Challenge to the Auspices: Studies on Magisterial Power in the Middle Roman Republic (2022) 157
ave sinistra, urbanum Konrad, The Challenge to the Auspices: Studies on Magisterial Power in the Middle Roman Republic (2022) 64
axius, q. Nelsestuen, Varro the Agronomist: Political Philosophy, Satire, and Agriculture in the Late Republic (2015) 108
campania Roller, A Guide to the Geography of Pliny the Elder (2022) 147
capitol Konrad, The Challenge to the Auspices: Studies on Magisterial Power in the Middle Roman Republic (2022) 64
claudius pulcher, c., attempts army command without profectio Konrad, The Challenge to the Auspices: Studies on Magisterial Power in the Middle Roman Republic (2022) 64
claudius pulcher, p., pulli, drowned by Konrad, The Challenge to the Auspices: Studies on Magisterial Power in the Middle Roman Republic (2022) 157
cora Roller, A Guide to the Geography of Pliny the Elder (2022) 147
dardanus Roller, A Guide to the Geography of Pliny the Elder (2022) 147
de re rustica (varro), definitions in Nelsestuen, Varro the Agronomist: Political Philosophy, Satire, and Agriculture in the Late Republic (2015) 108
de re rustica (varro), etymologies in Nelsestuen, Varro the Agronomist: Political Philosophy, Satire, and Agriculture in the Late Republic (2015) 108
de re rustica (varro), metaphor in Nelsestuen, Varro the Agronomist: Political Philosophy, Satire, and Agriculture in the Late Republic (2015) 108
de re rustica (varro), puns in Nelsestuen, Varro the Agronomist: Political Philosophy, Satire, and Agriculture in the Late Republic (2015) 108
de re rustica (varro), representation of italy in Nelsestuen, Varro the Agronomist: Political Philosophy, Satire, and Agriculture in the Late Republic (2015) 108
de re rustica (varro), spatial terminology in Nelsestuen, Varro the Agronomist: Political Philosophy, Satire, and Agriculture in the Late Republic (2015) 108
fundanius, c., father-in-law of varro Nelsestuen, Varro the Agronomist: Political Philosophy, Satire, and Agriculture in the Late Republic (2015) 108
imperator Konrad, The Challenge to the Auspices: Studies on Magisterial Power in the Middle Roman Republic (2022) 64
imperium, in sphere militiae Konrad, The Challenge to the Auspices: Studies on Magisterial Power in the Middle Roman Republic (2022) 64
italia, de re rusticas representation of Nelsestuen, Varro the Agronomist: Political Philosophy, Satire, and Agriculture in the Late Republic (2015) 108
italia, etymology of Nelsestuen, Varro the Agronomist: Political Philosophy, Satire, and Agriculture in the Late Republic (2015) 108
italia, organic conception of Nelsestuen, Varro the Agronomist: Political Philosophy, Satire, and Agriculture in the Late Republic (2015) 108
italia, relationship with rome Nelsestuen, Varro the Agronomist: Political Philosophy, Satire, and Agriculture in the Late Republic (2015) 108
italy (italia) Roller, A Guide to the Geography of Pliny the Elder (2022) 147
ius, pontificium Konrad, The Challenge to the Auspices: Studies on Magisterial Power in the Middle Roman Republic (2022) 157
iustus Konrad, The Challenge to the Auspices: Studies on Magisterial Power in the Middle Roman Republic (2022) 64
latium Roller, A Guide to the Geography of Pliny the Elder (2022) 147
legitimacy, of magisterial power Konrad, The Challenge to the Auspices: Studies on Magisterial Power in the Middle Roman Republic (2022) 64
lex, curiata Konrad, The Challenge to the Auspices: Studies on Magisterial Power in the Middle Roman Republic (2022) 64
lictors, axes Konrad, The Challenge to the Auspices: Studies on Magisterial Power in the Middle Roman Republic (2022) 64
lictors, fasces Konrad, The Challenge to the Auspices: Studies on Magisterial Power in the Middle Roman Republic (2022) 64
lictors, needed by magistrate to exercise powers Konrad, The Challenge to the Auspices: Studies on Magisterial Power in the Middle Roman Republic (2022) 64
lictors Konrad, The Challenge to the Auspices: Studies on Magisterial Power in the Middle Roman Republic (2022) 64
livy, and augural language Konrad, The Challenge to the Auspices: Studies on Magisterial Power in the Middle Roman Republic (2022) 64
ostia, augural significance of Konrad, The Challenge to the Auspices: Studies on Magisterial Power in the Middle Roman Republic (2022) 157
paludamentum/paludatus Konrad, The Challenge to the Auspices: Studies on Magisterial Power in the Middle Roman Republic (2022) 64, 157
pomarium (orchard) Nelsestuen, Varro the Agronomist: Political Philosophy, Satire, and Agriculture in the Late Republic (2015) 108
pomerium, inaugurated Konrad, The Challenge to the Auspices: Studies on Magisterial Power in the Middle Roman Republic (2022) 157
pomerium (boundary) Nelsestuen, Varro the Agronomist: Political Philosophy, Satire, and Agriculture in the Late Republic (2015) 108
profectio, of consuls Konrad, The Challenge to the Auspices: Studies on Magisterial Power in the Middle Roman Republic (2022) 64
pulli, drowning at rome/ostia Konrad, The Challenge to the Auspices: Studies on Magisterial Power in the Middle Roman Republic (2022) 157
religion Nelsestuen, Varro the Agronomist: Political Philosophy, Satire, and Agriculture in the Late Republic (2015) 108
rome (city), secret names of Roller, A Guide to the Geography of Pliny the Elder (2022) 147
rome (city) Roller, A Guide to the Geography of Pliny the Elder (2022) 147
rome (monuments and features in city), arch of titus Roller, A Guide to the Geography of Pliny the Elder (2022) 147
rome (monuments and features in city), shrine of volupia Roller, A Guide to the Geography of Pliny the Elder (2022) 147
rome (monuments and features in city), velabrum Roller, A Guide to the Geography of Pliny the Elder (2022) 147
romulus Roller, A Guide to the Geography of Pliny the Elder (2022) 147
scrofa, cn. tremelius Nelsestuen, Varro the Agronomist: Political Philosophy, Satire, and Agriculture in the Late Republic (2015) 108
servius auctus sive danielis, on augural character of ostia and tiber Konrad, The Challenge to the Auspices: Studies on Magisterial Power in the Middle Roman Republic (2022) 157
sicily Konrad, The Challenge to the Auspices: Studies on Magisterial Power in the Middle Roman Republic (2022) 157
solstices' Roller, A Guide to the Geography of Pliny the Elder (2022) 147
stolo, c. licinius Nelsestuen, Varro the Agronomist: Political Philosophy, Satire, and Agriculture in the Late Republic (2015) 108
tiber river, augural significance of Konrad, The Challenge to the Auspices: Studies on Magisterial Power in the Middle Roman Republic (2022) 157
titus (emperor) Roller, A Guide to the Geography of Pliny the Elder (2022) 147
urbs/ad urbem/in urbe, (not) effata Konrad, The Challenge to the Auspices: Studies on Magisterial Power in the Middle Roman Republic (2022) 157
urbs/ad urbem/in urbe, maritima Konrad, The Challenge to the Auspices: Studies on Magisterial Power in the Middle Roman Republic (2022) 157
valerius soranus, q. Roller, A Guide to the Geography of Pliny the Elder (2022) 147
varro, m. terentius, as author of saturae menippeae Nelsestuen, Varro the Agronomist: Political Philosophy, Satire, and Agriculture in the Late Republic (2015) 108
vespasian (emperor) Roller, A Guide to the Geography of Pliny the Elder (2022) 147
vineyards Nelsestuen, Varro the Agronomist: Political Philosophy, Satire, and Agriculture in the Late Republic (2015) 108
votorum nuncupatio Konrad, The Challenge to the Auspices: Studies on Magisterial Power in the Middle Roman Republic (2022) 64