Main Text


  • aediles

    (sing. aedilis) magistrates responsible for looking after public property and putting on public games, 5.287, 6.663

  • aegis

    the goatskin shield carried by Minerva (and Jupiter), 3.848

  • ancilia

    (sing. ancile) the shields borne by the salii in their ritual dance, 3.377

  • ara maxima

    'the greatest altar', centre of the Roman cult of the deified Hercules. It was between the Palatine and the Tiber, not far from the present-day church of S. Maria in Cosmedin, 1.581

  • caduceus

    the staff carried by a herald (Greek kērukeion), and by Mercury as the messenger of the gods, 4.605, 5.449

  • cognomen

    the third of the Roman citizen's three names, after his personal name and his family name: e.g. Marcus Tullius Cicero, Gaius Julius Caesar; also used metaphorically of the added names of gods, 1.605, 4.621, 5.133, 5.579, 6.461

  • curia

    the thirty curiae were the archaic districts into which the Roman People was divided, 2.530–1, 3.140, 4.635

  • curio

    priest in charge of sacrifices in each of the curiae; the chief of the college was called curio maximus, 2.527

  • Dialis

    see flamen.

  • fasces

    the bound-up rods and axes carried by the magistrates' lictors, symbolizing the power to administer corporal and capital punishment, 1.81, 3.781, 5.51

  • fastus

    a dies fastus, derived from fari, 'to speak', was a day on which legal business was allowed, 1.48, 1.50

  • februa

    'Means of purification, expiatory offerings' (Oxford Latin Dictionary); the main evidence for the meaning of the word is Ovid's own text, 2.19, 2.22, 2.27–8, 4.726, 5.423

  • flamen

    (plu. flamines) priests associated with a particular god; the major flamines were the Dialis, Martialis, and Quirinalis (named after Jupiter, Mars, and Quirinus respectively); the minor flamines were the Carmentalis, Cerialis, Falacer, Floralis, Furinalis, Palatualis, Pomonalis, Portunalis, Virbialis, Volcanalis, Volturnalis, and one other unknown (there were fifteen altogether), 2.21, 2.27 (flaminica, wife of the flamen Dialis), 2.282, 3.137, 3.397, 4.907, 4.910, 4.938, 6.226

  • forda

    technical term for a pregnant sacrificial victim, 4.630–1

  • forum

    (plu. fora) marketplace, public square; unless otherwise stated, the Roman Forum, 1.258 (the Roman Forum and the Julian Forum created by Julius Caesar), 1.264 (the same), 1.302, 2.391 (the Roman Forum and pg 150the Forum Boarium), 2.529, 3.704, 5.552 (the Augustan Forum), 6.396, 6.401 (the Roman Forum and the Forum Boarium), 6.684

  • genius

    the immortal part of any (male) individual; the power of generation, 2.545, 3.58, 5.145

  • hastati

    infantry in the first line of the legion, 3.128

  • lustrum

    a five-year period, named after the censors' quinquennial act of purifying (lustrare) the citizen body, 3.120, 3.165

  • manes

    spirits of the dead, thought of as analogous to gods (di manes was the normal formula), 2.535, 2.570, 2.609, 2.842, 5.422, 5.443, 6.750

  • nefastus

    a dies nefastus, derived from fari, 'to speak', with a negative prefix, was a day on which legal business was not allowed, 1.47, 1.50

  • pilani

    infantry in the third line of the legion, usually called triarii, 3.129

  • pontifices

    (sing. pontifex) college of priests responsible for the religious behaviour of the citizens, presided over by the pontifex maximus, 2.21, 3.420, 3.706, 6.106, 6.454

  • praetor

    the second-most senior elective office in the Roman Republic, responsible for legal judgements; literally 'he who goes in front (prae-itor)', 1.52, 1.207

  • princeps

    'first citizen', informal description of Augustus' position, 2.142, 3.697 (retrospectively of Julius Caesar), 5.570, 6.37 (metaphorically of Juno)

  • principes

    infantry in the second line of the legion, 3.129

  • rex sacrorum

    the senior priest who took over the sacrificial duties of the king (rex) when the Roman monarchy was abolished, 1.333, 2.21, 3.139

  • salii

    priests entrusted with the ritual dance in armour, carrying the ancilia, on 1 March, 19 March, and 19 October, 3.260, 3.387

  • strix

    (plu. striges) blood-sucking bird of ill omen. 'It is agreed that the strix appears in ancient curses, but I do not think it is known what sort of bird it is' (Pliny, Natural History 11.232), 6.139

  • thyrsus

    the pine- or ivy-tipped Bacchic wand, associated particularly with the frenzied maenads, 3.764

  • trabea

    a particular form of short cloak associated with the Roman Knights (equites), its use attributed to Romulus, 1.37, 2.503, 6.375, 6.796

  • vestibulum

    the broad forecourt, open to the street, in front of grand houses in Rome; it was where the clients gathered in the morning to wait for admittance to pay their respects to the master of the house, 6.303

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