Fratres Arvales

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FRATRES ARVALES (pl) (sg: fratre arvalis)


Definition & Overview

ARVAL BROTHERS (Fratres Arvales), in Roman antiquities, a college or priesthood, consisting of twelve members, elected for life from the highest ranks in Rome, and always apparently, during the empire, including the emperor. Their chief duty was to offer annually public sacrifice for the fertility of the fields (Varro, L. L. v. 85). It is generally held that the college was founded by Romulus (see Acca Larentia). This legend probably arose from the connexion of Acca Larentia, as mater Larum, with the Lares who had a part in the religious ceremonies of the Arvales. But apart from this, there is proof of the high antiquity of the college, which was said to have been older than Rome itself, in the verbal forms of the song with which, down to late times, a part of the ceremonies was accompanied, and which is still preserved. It is clear also that, while the members were themselves always persons of distinction, the duties of their office were held in high respect. And yet it is singular that no mention of them occurs in Cicero or Livy, and that altogether literary allusions to them are very scarce. On the other hand, we possess a long series of the acta or minutes of their proceedings, drawn up by themselves, and inscribed on stone. Excavations, commenced in the 16th century and continued to the 19th, in the grove of the Dea Dia about 5 m. from Rome, have yielded 96 of these records from A.D. 14 to 241. The brotherhood appears to have languished in obscurity during the republic, and to have been revived by Augustus. In his time the college consisted of a master (magister), a vice-master (promagister), a flamen, and a praetor, with eight ordinary members, attended by various servants, and in particular by four chorus boys, sons of senators, having both parents alive. Each wore a wreath of corn, a white fillet and the praetexta. The election of members was by co-optation on the motion of the president, who, with a flamen, was himself elected for one year. The great annual festival which they had to conduct was held in honour of the anonymous Dea Dia, who was probably identical with Ceres. It occupied three days in May. The ceremony of the first day took place in Rome itself, in the house of the magister or his deputy, or on the Palatine in the temple of the emperors, where at sunrise fruits and incense were offered to the goddess. A sumptuous banquet took place, followed by a distribution of doles and garlands. On the second and principal day of the festival the ceremonies were conducted in the grove of the Dea Dia. They included a dance in the temple of the goddess, at which the song of the brotherhood was sung, in language so antiquated that it was hardly intelligible (see the text and translation in Mommsen, Hist. of Rome, bk. i. ch. xv.) even to Romans of the time of Augustus, who regarded it as the oldest existing document in their mother-tongue. Especial mention should be made of the ceremony of purifying the grove, which was held to be defiled by the felling of trees, the breaking of a bough or the presence of any iron tools, such as those used by the lapidary who engraved the records of the proceedings on stone. The song and dance were followed by the election of officers for the next year, a banquet and races. On the third day the sacrifice took place in Rome, and was of the same nature as that offered on the first day. The Arvales also offered sacrifice and solemn vows on behalf of the imperial family on the 3rd of January and on other extraordinary occasions. The brotherhood is said to have lasted till the time of Theodosius. The British Museum contains a bust of Marcus Aurelius in the dress of a Frater Arvalis.[1]


The brethren dated back to the time of Numa Pompilius, second king of Rome, and persisted to the imperial period. Their task was the worship of Dea Dia, an old fertility goddess and probably an aspect of Ceres. On the three days of her May festival, they offered sacrifices and chanted secretly inside the temple of the goddess at her lucus the Carmen Arvale, the exact meaning of which was no longer understood in later times. The magister (master) of the college selected the exact three days of the celebration by an unknown method. The celebration began in Rome on the first day, was transferred to a sacred grove outside the city wall on the second day and ended back in the city on the third day.

The fratres arvales formed a college or company of twelve in number from the Roman senatorial class and, in the Empire, usually included the reigning emperor as one of them. They were so called, according to Varro[2] , from offering public sacrifices for the fertility of the fields. That they were of extreme antiquity is proved by the legend which refers their institution to Romulus, of whom it is said, that when his nurse Acca Laurentia lost one of her twelve sons, he allowed himself to be adopted by her in his place, and called himself and the remaining eleven "Fratres Arvales"[3] . The college consisted of a president (magister) and eleven other officials (fratres), who were elected on an annual basis, and membership of the brethren would be very advantageous to somebody with ambitions of high political office.[4]

We also find a college called the Sodales Titii, and as the latter were confessedly of Sabine origin, and instituted for the purpose of keeping up the Sabine religious rites[5] , there is some reason for the supposition of Niebuhr[6] , that these colleges corresponded one to the other — the Fratres Arvales being connected with the Latin, and the Sodales Titii with the Sabine, element of the Roman state, just as there were two colleges of the Luperci, namely, the Fabii and the Quinctilii, the former of whom seem to have belonged to the Sabines.[7]

Duties of the Office

The office of the fratres arvales was for life, and was not taken away even from an exile or captive. They wore, as badge of office, a chaplet of ears of corn (spicea corona) fastened on their heads with a white band[8] . The number given by inscriptions varies, but it is never more than nine; though, according to the legend and general belief, it amounted to twelve. The Brethren assembled in the Regia throughout the year.

One of their annual duties was to celebrate a three days festival in honour of Dea Dia, supposed to be Ceres, sometimes held on the XVI., XIV., and XIII., sometimes on the VI., IV., and III. Kal. Jun., i.e. on the 17th, 19th, and 20th, or the 27th, 29th, and 30th of May. Of this the master of the college, appointed annually, gave public notice (indicebat) from the temple of Concord on the capitol. On the first and last of these days, the college met at the house of their president, to make offerings to the Dea Dia; on the second they assembled in the grove of the same goddess, about five miles north of Rome, and there offered sacrifices for the fertility of the earth. Before the sacrifice, the sacrificial victim was led three times around a grain field where a chorus of farmers and farm-servants danced and sang praises for Ceres and offered her libations of milk, honey and wine. The grove was about five miles south-west of Rome along the ancient Via Campana, where the modern suburban quarter of La Magliana is located[9] . There was apparently money involved, too. The brotherhood met in a sacred grove about 5km outside Rome that had its own outbuildings, including luxurious dining areas, a bath house and even a small circus for horse and chariot racing.

In similarity, many Roman priesthoods and cults ran on exactly the same lines and had just as much money involved. What makes the fratres arvales different is that their rites and duties were associated with the goddess Dea Dia, a deity about which almost nothing is known. The etymology of her name suggests a connection with the brightness of the sun and we do know that there was some kind of association with agricultural prosperity – a key issue for a city like Rome that was entirely dependent on foreign grain.

Their duties included ritual propitiations or thanksgivings as the Ambarvalia, the sacrifices done at the borders of Rome at the fifth mile of the Via Campana or Salaria (a place now on the hill Monte delle Piche at the Magliana Vecchia on the right bank of the Tiber).

Archaic traits of the rituals included the prohibition of the use of iron, the use of the olla terrea (a jar made of unbaked earth) and of the sacrificial burner of Dea Dia made of silver and adorned with grassy clods.

The Carmen Arvale

An account of the different ceremonies of this festival is preserved in an inscription, which was written in the first year of the Emperor Elagabalus (A.D. 218), who was elected a member of the college under the name of M. Aurelius Antoninus Pius Felix. The same inscription contains a hymn, which appears to have been sung at the festival from the most ancient times[10] Dea Dia was honoured by the singing of the song of the Arval Brethren, the Carmen Arvale, during the festival in her honour in May:







Translated in English:

Help us, Lares!
Help us, Lares!
Help us, Lares!

Marmor (derv. Mars), let not plague or ruin attack the multitude!

Marmor (derv. Mars), let not plague or ruin attack the multitude!

Marmor (derv. Mars), let not plague or ruin attack the multitude!

Be filled, fierce Mars! Leap the threshold!
Be filled, fierce Mars! Leap the threshold!
Be filled, fierce Mars! Leap the threshold!

Halt, wild one!
Halt, wild one!
Halt, wild one!

By turns call on all the gods of sowing!
By turns call on all the gods of sowing!
By turns call on all the gods of sowing!

Help us, Marmor (derv. Mars)!
Help us, Marmor (derv. Mars)!
Help us, Marmor (derv. Mars)!


Lares were household gods, marmor is another reference to Mars, the god of war amongst other things.

Despite their name and agricultural leanings they have nothing to do with arval bread, the traditional funeral fare. That word comes from Old Norse, meaning something akin to a feast or a wake.

The song may have Etruscan-Libyan origins, as proposed by D. G. Brinton in his paper,The Etrusco-Libyan Elements in the Song of the Arval Brethren. [11]

Other Festivals

Besides this festival of the Dea Dia, the fratres arvales were required on various occasions, under the emperors, to make vows and offer up thanksgivings, an enumeration of which is given in Forcellini[12] . Strabo, indeed[13] , informs us that, in the reign of Tiberius, these priests (ἱερομνήμονες) performed sacrifices called the Ambarvalia at various places on the borders of the ager Romanus, or original territory of Rome; and amongst others, at Festi. There is no boldness in supposing that this was a custom handed down from time immemorial, and, moreover, that it was a duty of this priesthood to invoke a blessing on the whole territory of Rome. It is proved by inscriptions that this college existed till the reign of the Emperor Gordian, or A.D. 325, and it is probable that it was not abolished till A.D. 400, together with the other colleges of the Pagan priesthoods.[14]


The Ambarvalia was a Roman agricultural fertility rite held at the end of May in honor of Ceres.[15]

At these festivals they sacrificed a bull, a sow, and a sheep, which, before the sacrifice, were led in procession thrice around the fields; whence the feast is supposed to have taken its name, ambio, I go round, and arvum, field. This sacrifice was called a suovetaurilia in Latin. These feasts were of two kinds, public and private. The private were solemnized by the masters of families, accompanied by their children and servants, in the villages and farms out of Rome. The public were celebrated in the boundaries of the city, and in which twelve fratres arvales walked at the head of a procession of the citizens, who had lands and vineyards at Rome. During the procession, prayers would be made to the goddess. The Carmen Arvale (ambervale Carmen) was a prayer (see above) preferred on this occasion.

The name "Ambarvalia" appears to be predominantly an urban designation. Roman farmers' almanacs, (menologia rusticae) describe this only as segetes lustrantur ("crops are purified").[16] Joseph Justus Scaliger, in his notes on Sextus Pompeius Festus, maintains the ambarvalia to be the same as amburbium. Numerous other communities of the Italian peninsula enacted similar rites with different names.[17]

Private Rites

The private ambarvalia were certainly of a different nature from those mentioned by Strabo, and were so called from the victim (hostia ambarvalis) that was slain on the occasion being led three times round the cornfields, before the sickle was put to the corn. This victim was accompanied by a crowd of merry-makers (chorus et socii), the reapers and farm-servants dancing and singing, as they marched along, the praises of Ceres, and praying for her favour and presence, while they offered her the libations of milk, honey, and wine.[18] . This ceremony was also called a lustratio[19] , or purification; and for a beautiful description of the holiday, and the prayers and vows made on the occasion, the reader is referred to Tibullus[20] . It is, perhaps, worthwhile to remark that Polybius[21] uses language almost applicable to the Roman ambarvalia in speaking of the Mantineans, who, he says (specifying the occasion), made a purification, and carried victims round the city, and all the country.

Evolution into the Christian ceremonies of Whitsun Week

There is, however, a still greater resemblance to the rites we have been describing, in the ceremonies of the rogation or gang week of the Latin church. These consisted of processions through the fields, accompanied with prayers (rogationes) for a blessing on the fruits of the earth, and were continued during three days in Whitsun-week. The custom was abolished at the Reformation in consequence of its abuse, and the perambulation of the parish boundaries substituted in its place[22] .

Acts of the Arval Brethren, 183 A.D.

An example of expiatory sacrifice accompanying tree cutting in a sacred grove, as recorded in the Acts of the Arval Brethren (183 A.D.), as translated by John Scheid:[23]

Under the consulship of Lucius Tutilius Pontianus Gentianus, on the sixth day before the Ides of February (the 8th), the magister Quintus Licinius Nepos sacrificed adult suovetaurilia, in order to begin the work of digging out a fig tree that had grown on the roof of the temple of dea Dia, and in order to repair the temple; he also sacrificed, close to the sanctuary, two female cattle to dea Dia, two rams to father Janus, two sheep with abundant wool to Jupiter, (Column II) two rams with abundant wool to Mars, two ewes to the Juno of dea Dia; two ewes to the God-or-Goddess, two ewes to the divine Virgins, two sheep to the divine Servants, two sheep to the Lares, two ewes to the God-or-Goddess who protects this sacred grove and place, two sheep to Fons, two ewes to Flora, two ewes to Vesta, two ewes to mother Vesta; he also sacrificed two ewes to Adolenda Conmolanda <sic> Deferunda. Also, (he sacrificed) before the Caesareum sixteen sheep to the sixteen divi.

Latin text from Hermann Dessau, ed., Inscriptiones Latinae Selectae, Vol. II, Pars I[24]

L. Tutilio Pontiano Gentiano cos. VI id. Februar., | in luco deae Diae Q. Licinius Nepos mag. operis inchuandi causa, quod | in fastigio aedis deae Diae ficus innata esset, eruendam et aedem reficiendam, immolavit suovetaurilibus maioribus; item ad aedem deae | Diae boves feminas II, Iano patri arietes II, Iovi berbeces II altilaneos, || Marti arietes altilaneos II, Iunoni deae Diae oves II, sive deo sive deae oves II, | Virginibus divis oves II, Famulis divis verbeces duos, Laribus verbeces duos, | Matri Larum oves duas, sive deo sive deae in cuius tutela hic lucus locusve | est oves II, Fonti verbeces II, Florae oves II, Vestae oves II, Vestae matri oves II; iten (sic) | Adolendae Conmolandae Deferundae oves II; item ante Caesareum divis n. XVI verbec. | immolavit n. XVI.

(See also, John Scheid, ed., Commentarii Fratrum Arvalium Qui Supersunt, Rome: École Française de Rome, 1998.)

Restoration of the priesthood by Augustus

The importance of Arval Brethren apparently dwindled during the Roman Republic, but emperor Augustus revived their practices to enforce his own authority. After Augustus' time emperors and senators frequented the festivities. At least two emperors, Marcus Aurelius and Elagabalus, were formally accepted as members of the Brethren. The first full descriptions of their rituals also originate from this time. The last inscriptions (Acta Arvalia) about the Arval Brethren date from about 325 AD. They were abolished along with Rome's other traditional priesthoods by 400 AD.

Acta Arvalia

The Acta Arvalia were the recorded protocols of the Arval Brethren. The acta were inscribed in marble tablets fastened to the walls of the Temple of Dea Dia, goddess of the Sacred grove, between the right bank of the Tiber and the hill Monte delle Piche. The oldest of the protocols are evidence of Old Latin. They are mentioned by Varro.[25] "The transcription of the records of this priesthood onto stone provided possibly the biggest coherent complex of inscriptions of the Roman ancient world," Jörg Rüpke has observed.[26]

The acta document routine rituals and special occasions, the vota of participating members, the name of the place where sacrifices occurred, and specific dates. They are an important source for ancient Roman prosopography[27] and a useful one for the study of Rome's distinctive archaic religious traditions. Actual liturgies are lacking: the first instance of a Latin hymn text, the famous and incomprehensibly archaic Carmen Arvale, was not entrusted to publication in a stone inscription until the beginning of the third century CE, when few could have deciphered it.

Fragments of the inscriptions were first recovered by Wilhelm Henzen, 1866-69.[28] Further fragments subsequently came to light.

Though their rituals were conducted outside the pomerium that demarcated the official confines of the city in earliest times,[29] the Arvales emerged from obscurity toward the end of the Roman Republic as an elite group, to judge from the status of their known members in the Augustan period.[30]

The Agricultural Dieties

In ancient Roman religion, agricultural deities were thought to care for every aspect of growing, harvesting, and storing crops. Preeminent among these are such major deities as Ceres and Saturn, but a large number of the many Roman deities known by name either supported farming or were devoted solely to a specific agricultural function.

From 272 to 264 BC, four temples were dedicated separately to the agricultural deities Consus, Tellus, Pales, and Vortumnus. The establishment of four such temples within a period of eight years indicates a high degree of concern for stabilizing and developing the productivity of Italy following the Pyrrhic War.[31]

The Acta Arvalia preserve the names of four "functional goddesses"[32] that are otherwise unknown. They were to be invoked for a piaculum, a propitiation conducted in advance of destroying a tree. Their names, having the appearance of Latin gerundives, are Adolenda (in reference to burning the tree), Commolenda (reducing it to chips), Deferunda and Coinquenda (felling the tree).

They are included by Wilhelm Heinrich Roscher among the indigitamenta, the lists of Roman deities maintained by priests to assure that the correct divinity was invoked in public rituals.[33] What appears to be a gerundive form would be unusual, though not unique to these four deities. Most theonyms formed from verbs are active or agent nouns, indicating that the deity was thought to enable or perform the action. If the names are gerundives, they could be taken as passive, meaning that the deity received the action. Hendrik Wagenvoort thought that perhaps the names were addressed to the numen of the tree itself, trees being of feminine gender in Latin.[34]

Two sheep were the prescribed piaculum for each goddess.[35]

Ceres' helper gods

Twelve specialized gods known only by name are invoked for the "cereal rite" (sacrum cereale) in honor of Ceres and Tellus. These may or may not correspond to the number of Arval Brethren. Ceres' twelve assistant deities are listed by Servius.[36] Servius cites the historian Fabius Pictor (late 3rd century BC) as his source. The twelve are all male, with names formed from the agent suffix -tor. Although their gender indicates that they are not aspects of the two goddesses who were the main recipients of the sacrum, their names are "mere appellatives" for verbal functions.[37] The rite was held just before the Feriae Sementivae. W.H. Roscher lists these deities among the indigitamenta, lists of names kept by the pontiffs for invoking specific divine functions.[38]

  • Vervactor, "He who ploughs"
  • Reparator, "He who prepares the earth"
  • Imporcitor, "He who ploughs with a wide furrow"[39]

  • Insitor, "He who plants seeds"
  • Obarator, "He who traces the first plowing"
  • Occator, "He who harrows"
  • Serritor, "He who digs"
  • Subruncinator, "He who weeds"
  • Messor, "He who reaps"
  • Conuector (Convector), "He who carries the grain"
  • Conditor, "He who stores the grain"
  • Promitor, "He who distributes the grain"

Varro, De re rustica

At the beginning of his treatise on farming, Varro[40] gives a list of twelve deities who are vital to agriculture. These make up a conceptual or theological grouping, and are not known to have received cult collectively. They are:

Vergil, Georgics

In his Georgics, a collection of poetry on agrarian themes, Vergil gives a list influenced by literary Hellenization and Augustan ideology:[41]

  • Liber-Ceres
  • Fauni-Dryads
  • Neptune
  • Aristaeus[43]

  • Pan-Minerva
  • Triptolemus[44]

  • Silvanus

The poet proposes that the divus Julius Caesar be added as a thirteenth.

Other indigitamenta

The names of other specialized agricultural dieties are preserved in scattered sources.[45]

  • Rusina is a goddess of the fields (from Latin rus, ruris; cf. English "rural" and "rustic").[46]

  • Rusor is invoked with Altor by the pontiffs in a sacrifice to the earth deities Tellus and Tellumo. In interpreting the god's function, Varro derives Rusor from rursus, "again," because of the cyclical nature of agriculture.[47]

As a matter of linguistics, the name is likely to derive from either the root ru-, as in Rumina, the breastfeeding goddess (perhaps from ruma, "teat")[48] or rus, ruris as the male counterpart of Rusina.[49] Altor is an agent god from the verb alo, alere, altus, "to grow, nurture, nourish". According to Varro, he received res divina because "all things which are born are nourished from the earth".[50]

  • Sator (from the same root as Insitor above), the "sower" god.[51]

  • Seia, goddess who protects the seed once sown in the earth; also as Fructesea, compounded with fructus, "produce, fruit"[52]

  • Segesta, goddess who promotes the growth of the seedling.
  • Hostilina, goddess who makes grain grow evenly.[53]

or Lacturnus,[55] god who infuses crops with "milk" (sap or juice).

  • Volutina, goddess who induces "envelopes" (involumenta) or leaf sheaths to form.[56]

  • Nodutus, god who causes the "knot" (Latin nodus) or node to form.[57]

  • Patelana (Patelena, Patella), goddess who opens up (pateo, patere) the grain, possibly in reference to the emergence of the flag leaf.[58]

  • Runcina (as in Subruncinator above), the weeder goddess, or a goddess of mowing.[59]

  • Messia, the female equivalent of Messor the reaper, and associated with Tutelina.
  • Noduterensis (compare Nodutus) or Terensis, the god of threshing[60]

  • Tutelina (also Tutulina or Tutilina), a goddess who watches over the stored grain.[61]

  • Sterquilinus (also as Sterces, Stercutus, Sterculus, Sterculinus), who manures the fields.


  1. Marini, Atti e Monumenti de' Fratri Arvali (1795); Hoffmann, Die A. (1858); Oldenberg, De Sacris Fratrum A. (1875); Bergk, Das Lied der Arvalbriider (1856); Breal, "Le Chant des Arvals" in Mem. de la Soc. de Linguistique (1880; Edon, Nouvelle Etude sur le Chant Le'mural (1884); Corpus Inscriptionum Latinarum, vi. 2023-2119; Henzen, Ada Fratrum Arvalium (1874)
  2. De Ling. Lat. V.85, Müller
  3. Gell. VI.7
  4. William Smith, A Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities, John Murray, London, 1875, pp. 138-139
  5. Tac. Ann. I.53
  6. Rom. Hist. vol. I p303
  7. William Smith, A Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities, John Murray, London, 1875, pp. 138-139
  8. Plin. H. N. XVIII.2
  9. John Scheid, Recherches Archéologiques à La Magliana
  10. Marini, Atti e Monumenti degli Arvali, tab. XLI; Orelli, Corp. Inscrip. nr. 2270; Klausen, De Carmine Fratrum Arvalium.
  11. Brinton, D. G. "The Etrusco-Libyan Elements in the Song of the Arval Brethren." Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society , Vol. 30, No. 139 (Dec., 1892), pp. 317-324
  12. Lex, s.v.
  13. V.3
  14. William Smith, A Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities, John Murray, London, 1875, pp. 138-139
  15. Phillips III, Robert and Anthony Spawforth, Eds. “Ambarvalia,” Oxford Classical Dictionary. 3rd. Ed. Oxford University Press, 1996. ISBN: 0-19-521693-8
  16. Phillips and Spawforth
  17. Phillips and Spawforth
  18. Virg. Georg. I.338
  19. Virg. Ecl. V.83
  20. Tibullus II.1
  21. Polybius IV.21 §9
  22. Hooker, Eccl. POl. V.61, 2; Wheatley, Com. Pray. V.20
  23. Scheid, John. "Hierarchy and Structure in Roman Polytheism: Roman Methods of Conceiving Action," in Clifford Ando, ed., Roman Religion. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2003, pp. 164-189
  24. Hermann Dessau, ed., Inscriptiones Latinae Selectae, Vol. II, Pars I. Berlin: Weidmann, 1902, p. 279, #5047
  25. Varro, De lingua Latina 5.85.
  26. Jörg Rüpke, Alessandro Barchiesi, Jörg Rüpke and Susan A. Stephens, Rituals in Ink: A Conference on Religion and Literary Production in Ancient Rome (Steiner Verlag) 2004:35.
  27. Though "the richness of details and the abundance of the epigraphical corpus remain unexplained" (Rüpke 2004:36).
  28. Wilhelm Henzen, ed. Acta Fratrum Arvalium quae supersunt (Berlin, 1874)
  29. Rüpke 2004:35.
  30. Rüpke 2004:34-37
  31. William Warde Fowler, The Roman Festivals of the Period of the Republic (London, 1908), pp. 340–341.
  32. Michael Lipka, Roman Gods: A Conceptual Approach (Brill, 2009), p. 69.
  33. W.H. Roscher, Ausführliches Lexikon der griechischen und römischen Mythologie. Leipzig: Teubner, 1890–94, vol. 2, pt. 1, pp. 188, 195, 197.
  34. As summarized by Jan Hendrik Waszink, Quinti Septimi Florentis Tertulliani 'De Anima.'" Brill, 2010, p. 444.
  35. Corpus Inscriptionum Latinarum 6.2107, Inscriptiones Latinae Selectae 5048; Mary Beard, J.A. North, and S.R.F. Price, Religions of Rome: A Sourcebook (Cambridge University Press, 1998), vol. 2, pp. 151–152.
  36. 1.21, as cited in Barbette Stanley Spaeth, The Roman Goddess Ceres (University of Texas Press, 1996), p. 36.
  37. Michael Lipka, Roman Gods: A Conceptual Approach (Brill, 2009), p. 69.
  38. Wilhelm Heinrich Roscher, Ausführliches Lexikon der griechischen und römischen Mythologie (Leipzig: Teubner, 1890–94), vol. 2, pt. 1, pp. 187–233.
  39. Beard, Mary., Price, S., North, J., Religions of Rome: Volume 1, a History, illustrated, Cambridge University Press, 1998, p. 11, cf imporco, "to put into furrows".
  40. Varro, De re rustica 1.1.4–6.
  41. Vergil, Georgics 1.5–20.
  42. Clarissima mundi lumina
  43. 'Cultor nemorum
  44. Unci puer monstrator aratri
  45. As listed by Hermann Usener, Götternamen (Bonn, 1896), pp. 76–77, unless otherwise noted.
  46. Augustine, De Civitate Dei 4.8.
  47. Varro as cited by Augustine, De Civitate Dei 7.23; Roscher, Ausführliches Lexikon, p. 219.
  48. S.P. Oakley, A Commentary on Livy, Books 6–10 (Oxford University Press, 2005), p. 264.
  49. Roscher, Ausführliches Lexikon, p. 219.
  50. As preserved by Augustine, De Civitate Dei 7.23: quod ex terra, inquit, aluntur omnia quae nata sunt; Roscher, Ausführliches Lexikon, p. 192.
  51. Servius, note to Georgics 1.21: a satione Sator," "Sator [is named] from [the act of] sowing."
  52. Augustine, De Civitate Dei 4.21.
  53. Name known only from Augustine, De civitate Dei 4.8, where it is derived from an Old Latin verb hostire "to make even".
  54. As named only by Servius, note to Georgics 1.315, citing Varro: sane Varro in libris divinarum dicit deum esse Lactantem, qui se infundit segetibus et eas facit lactescere.
  55. As named by Augustine, De Civitate Dei 4.8; Roscher, Ausführliches Lexikon, vol. 2, pt. 1, p. 201, suggests the two names probably refer to the same divine entity.
  56. Named only by Augustine, De civitate Dei, 4. 8.
  57. From *nōdo-Proto-Indo-European language*ned-, "to bind, tie".
  58. Augustine, De Civitate Dei 4.8.
  59. Augustine, De Civitate Dei 4.8.
  60. Arnobius 4.7; Turcan, The Gods of Ancient Rome, p. 38.
  61. Augustine of Hippo, De Civitate Dei 4.8; Tertullian, De spectaculis 8.

Further reading

  • Beard, Mary. ""Writing and ritual: a study of diversity and expansion in the Arval Acta" PBSR 53 (1985:114-62).
  • Henzen, Wilhelm, ed. Acta Fratrum Arvalium quae supersunt (Berlin, 1874)
  • Scheid, John. Les frères arvales: recrutement et origine sociale sous les Julio-Claudiens (Paris: Collection de l'École Pratique des Hautes Études) 1975.
  • Scheid, John. Romulus et ses frères: Le collège des frères arvales, modèle du culte public dans la Rome des empereurs (Rome) 1990.
  • Scheid, John, ed., Comentarii Fraturm Arvalium Qui Supersunt (Rome: Ecole Francaise de Rome and Soprintendenza Archeologica di Roma, 1998) ISBN 2-7283-0539-0, modern critical edition.
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