Ritus Graecus

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Ritus Romanus and Ritus Graecus refer to specific aspects of the behavior of the celebrant of public caeremoniae in Rome.


Ritus Romanus

Celebrant wears the toga, cinctus Gabinus, that is, with arms free and the head covered by a part of the toga.

Ritus Graecus

Celebrant wears a laurel wreath.


In telling the story of how Hercules came to Rome, "[Livy] wishes to stress that Greek and Roman culture were intermingled from the start, and he uses the case study of the Graecus ritus in cult: even before the city was founded, according to this tale, the cult of the site of Rome involved Greek cult." [1] Scheid sees a partly political motive. By applying the term "ritus Graecus" the Romans stressed their longstanding participation in Greek culture and religion, justifying their place in, and eventually at the head of, the Greek world. [2]


  1. Feeney, Denis. (March 2006) On not forgetting the "Literatur" in "Literatur und Religion": Representing the Mythic and the Divine in Roman Historiography (Version 1.0), Princeton/Stanford Working Papers in Classics, Princeton University. (P. 18) Retrieved from http://www.princeton.edu/~pswpc/pdfs/feeney/030601.pdf
  2. Scheid, J. (2003). An Introduction to Roman Religion. Trans. J. Lloyd

  • Scheid, John. Harvard Studies in Classical Philology 97 (1995) 15-31, "Graeco Ritu: A Typically Roman Way of Honoring the Gods" ISSN 0073-0688
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