The Roman practice, best described as sparsio, of bestowing public donatives by throwing things among the multitude to be scrambled for in scenes of wild disorder has never received the attention which its strangeness solicits and its significance for the study of Roman politics and economics deserves.1 Though a preliminary view of a neglected and highly speculative field cannot but raise more questions than it answers, the nature and importance of the sparsiones may, we believe, be adequately demonstrated by consideration of three points: (1) what was distributed by sparsio, (2) by whom and on what occasions, and (3) by what particular methods.
What was distributed by sparsio? The articles scattered to the Roman multitude have long been the object of careful study. They fall into two classes, tokens and gifts "in kind." The tokens—tesserae, coins, little balls, sections of reed, and such bizarre objects as figurines and inscribed spoons—are such by virtue of their designated exchange value.2 As gifts "in kind" may be classed figs, dates, nuts, sweets, and cookies, as well as such less appetizing bits as vegetables, fruits, grain, chick-peas, beans, birds, and flowers.3 The solid sparsio was often accompanied by a liquid one of water, wine, perfume, or oil.4 Meal, blood, and ashes were also strewn abroad in rites in which the public scrambling played a conspicuous part.5
The tokens in question were of course "symbols" (the word originates with them, in fact),6 but no more so than the other gifts. Figs, nuts, fruits, meal, flowers, and so forth are well-known symbols of fertility, possessing in the sparsio the broader signification of a "general blessing."7 The ancients tell us that a shower of chick-peas and beans stands for omnia semina (all kinds of seeds),8 and that Janus's scattering of sweets is but an earnest of sweet things to follow through the year.9 The same motif of abundance is evident in the tokens and figurines,10 which were interchangeable with gifts in kind and could represent omne genus rerum (every sort of thing)11—it was not just bread that the emperor scattered; it was "perpetual daily bread."12 The keynote is abundance—abundance of everything good, the plouthygeia of the Greek sparsio13 as it appears in the gifts of the Hygeia, Thalysia, Panspermia, Thargelos, and so forth, when mixtures of grain and fruits were scattered over the heads of the recipients to impart all the blessings of life,14 and life itself.15 With such a mixture the Romans showered their archaic Vortumnus, god of the annus vertens at his festival,16 and were themselves showered at the year-feast of the Floralia,17 when "omnia semina super populum spargebant" (they strewed every kind of seed on the people), as well as nuts, flowers, and beans, in primitive chthonian-agricultural rites.18 But the true Roman equivalent of plouthygeia is the strena, the king's gift at the New Year, which in its primitive form of laurel branch seems to have figured in sparsiones,19 as it certainly does in its other forms.20 Whether the original sparsio was a scattering over the people and fields of Zeugungskraft (reproductive power) in the form of blood, ashes, or fresh remains of the dismembered year-god,21 or whether it was a strewing of bloodless offerings such as honey-cakes or mola salsa,22 it would be useless to inquire, since both forms are found together from the earliest time.23
Who gave the sparsiones, and on what occasions? So far we are on familiar ground. No one will deny that some sparsiones followed a New Year's pattern. But were there any that did not? The answer is in the negative. In maintaining that the great public distributions were simply the extension of unpretentious private festivities,24 scholars have ignored the essential aspect of the latter, especially where sparsiones are concerned; namely, that they were not private at all. Private sparsiones were for celebrations marking some rite de passage in a family—a birth, death, marriage, coming-of-age, or the like.25 These are precisely the occasions on which the individual's case, overpassing the bounds of everyday life to establish contact with the spirit world, becomes a concern of great moment to the entire society.26 The Roman funeral was a public affair;27 the Roman people could in fact commandeer the funeral of anyone at will,28 and compel the dead, through his heir, to make that public distribution which belonged to a funeral.29 If the defunct could not afford this donative, a public collection would be taken, a "shower" which the heir would presently redistribute as the dead man's gift to the people.30 At marriages it was the same story, and bride and groom could no more evade the obligation of scattering presents to the populace than they could avoid the meal that the populace threw at them.31 Likewise, the triumphator both received and gave a shower;32 indeed, Lord Raglan has recently called attention to the obvious fact that triumph, wedding, and funeral are in all essentials ritually identical.33 Alike they mark the beginning and end of a life-period; for the individual they are little New Year's days, celebrated with the same feasting, games, greetings, and sparsiones as mark the regular New Year,34 a time when public and private rites seem to be wholly mingled and confounded.35 The giver of a sparsio, furthermore, ceased by that act to be a mere private individual, for he received a statue in his memory,36 and was annually glorified in a public feast of his own providing.37
The striking resemblance of various important Roman festivals to each other has been explained by referring them to a single common prototype.38 This was the Secular celebration, the inauguration of the Great Year, marking the life-cycle of the Roman people, individually and collectively.39 And this Secular rite was before everything the great sparsio, deriving its name from the primitive *se-tlo-m, "was das Säen ermömglicht" (that which sowing makes possible)—the sowing, specifically, of men and animals, the begetting of the race.40 The central act of the celebration was the redistribution to all the people by the king (the emperor in the revived version) of praemitiae—beans, barley, corn—which they had brought in as year-offerings.41 Much the same thing took place at Delphi originally "on the birthday of the god":42 all over the ancient world, in fact, a royal sparsio dramatized the begetting of the race on the day of creation, the New Year.43 It is quite proper that the chief patron of the sparsiones should have been Janus, first king and father of the race, and that the hero-kings of the first age—Janus, Saturn, Semo-Sancus, Cereus, Lupercus, Faunus, and so forth—should uniformly figure in the role of the sower.44 If private sparsiones had to be given by one who was mactus (honored, glorified) by virtue of standing for the moment between one world and another (for such is the rite de passage), the king was always mactus: he was the type and model of the one who give the sparsio.45
During the Republic, for example, a magistrate giving grain on a lavish scale could be charged with trying to play king to the people,46 which clearly betrays the origin of the system. The public donative as a royal but at the same time very popular survival was a source both of power and embarrassment to the oligarchs. Cicero has only praise for a system which enables great men to win all but regal acclaim,47 yet he is quite aware how ill the usage suits a republican order and insists that public liberality is a royal, not a private, virtue.48 It is impossible indeed to conceive of a system less compatible to the good order of the Republic, or more plainly and fatally designed to beget corruption in it, than that of the Roman collections and distributions,49 or any more blatant offense to every idea of order and decorum (so dear to the Republic) than a public scramble.50 The distribution, particularly the sparsiones, it is safe to say, could hardly have arisen and taken root under the very noses of the conscript fathers without their knowledge and consent: if they were not suppressed along with newfangled cults and luxuries, it is because they were classified among the sacrosanct and ineradicable survivals of an earlier day.51 Their immense vitality and popularity carried them right through the Republic, in fact, to become the very cornerstone of imperial authority.
From the first the emperor was careful to reserve to himself the sole right of making donatives (cf. fig. 13).52 Not only was this his exclusive and inescapable office,53 it was also his one sufficient claim to rule if all else failed.54 A reading of Dio, Suetonius, or Tacitus will suffice to show that a ruler at Rome was popular in that degree to which he resembled a Saturnalian king, and that from the first every emperor made a determined effort to play that strange and hilarious role.55 It was the people who insisted on this: even though he forbade it, they persisted in giving the emperor that popular title of Dominus,56 the specific fixture of public feasts,57 which proclaimed to the scandalized world that he was dominus et deus, nothing less than the old festive king, dominus convivii, giver of all good things,58 the equivalent of the Greek basileus,59 the despotes who in the Old Comedy bursts on the scene with a shower of gifts and a clamorous invitation to all the world to come and feast at his house.60
It was with this festive office of year-king, with its boundless popular appeal,61 that the political rivals of the late Republic played so dangerously. It was as praefectus annonae that Pompey earned his title of The Great and the right to wear royal insignia at festivals.62 When a Crassus, Sulla, or Lucullus gave a feast of abundance, it was at the very Ara Maxima where Hercules, as type and model of the victorious year-king, had set the example.63 Brutus and Octavian bid desperately against each other for the right to play year-king,64 and Antony with equal presumption could take the role of King Lupercus at Rome or Dionysus at Athens.65 Caesar's Clodius posed as the New Numa,66 and Caesar's own regalia was that of the festive king.67 It was, moreover, as lord of peace and plenty that both he and his successor enjoyed the grant of sovereign power68 by a popular consent which recalls the manner in which Cyrus became king of the Persians in return for a timely feast.69 Indeed, it was an established procedure in ancient times for an ambitious man to seize a throne simply by getting himself made King of the Festival and then, by exercising his ceremonial right to demand year-gifts and to redistribute them, reorganize the state while refusing to yield up his royal office.70 It was for that matter at the Ludi Saeculares that Augustus himself assumed rule of the world.71 An unbroken tradition binds the imperial bounty to the Saturnia regna of the fabled priest-kings: to the end the emperor remains the magnus parens mundi, the lord of peace and plenty, the New Hercules, King of the Golden Age,72 "sowing his gifts broadcast as a sower his seeds."73
What was the method employed in the sparsiones, and why? On tokens used in the distributions are found representations of the emperor handing out gifts, or of Liberalitas shaking out the contents of her cornucopia, from a raised platform.74 Heliogabalus is described as acting Phoenicio ritu when, dressed as the Sun, he mounts a specially built platform to shower gold and silver cups on the people.75 Certainly the picture of Gaius flinging gold and silver from the palace roof76 suggests the famous scene from the tomb of Ay (cf. fig. 14), in which Amenophis IV throws gold from a palace balcony while above his head, to make the meaning clear, the Sun with outstretched hands showers his gifts at the same time.77 But, while it has notable archaic affinities,78 the custom of casting gifts from a high platform is no late Oriental importation at Rome, for the old Republican usage was to scatter nummos (coins) from the rostra,79 apparently the survival of a very primitive native sparsio.80
Likewise the chariot from which the emperor would fling his gold at the New Year,81 while it has striking Oriental parallels in the heavenly car or plow from which the year-god showered blessings over men and fields,82 has just as definite counterparts in the North and West among the Scythians,83 Celts,84 Greeks,85 and Germans,86 all of whom remember in their oldest ritual and legend the gold that fell from the wagon or plow of the god at the turn of the year. The holy vehicle also appears in Rome as the chariot of the sparsio-giving triumphator (cf. fig. 11B, p. 117),87 the quadriga in the Vulcanal,88 or that heavenly car mounted upon the topmost part of the Capitol, upon which the fertility of the Roman fields was believed to depend.89
Besides the platform and chariot, one must consider the linea, stretched high overhead, from which, in some endlessly puzzling fashion, sweets and tokens were shaken down over the crowd in what the ancients refer to as imber, pluviae, grando, nubilia, and so forth.90 This is more than a poet's fancy. The sparsio that fell from on high was actually thought of as falling from heaven. Throughout the ancient world one meets in legend and ritual the golden shower that descends upon the world to fructify it on the day of creation.91 The Roman version of this is King Janus's sweet rain of honey and gold; it is the sparsio, from the golden chariot92 or gilded platform,93 of gilt tokens and golden grain, of crocus, saffron, powdered chrysolite or bean-straw, gilt figs, dates, and cookies—the golden color predominates in the sparsiones:94 as in the year-rites of India, everything that is scattered is thought of as golden because or est semence (gold is seed).95 What is more natural than that such a shower should usher in the aureum tempus (Golden Age) at the Saturnalia?96
The golden shower belongs to the familiar hieros gamos: it is the fructifying of the earth by the shower, thought of both as seed and as water, that falls from heaven.97 This treasure is stored in the inner chamber of the Earth-Goddess98—represented at Rome both by the temple of Vesta99 and the treasury of Ceres, that immemorial shrine of the plebs, wherein was kept both the yellow grain and the yellow gold of the state,100 both being scattered abroad at the proper time under her sponsorship.101 It was Flora, the Terra Mater, who "prima per immensas sparsit nova semina gentes" (first scattered new seeds among countless peoples).102 But, though it reposes by right in the bins of the goddess, the ultimate source of this wealth is her heavenly spouse.103
This concept is familiar to the whole ancient world. In the common Egyptian formula "all things good and pure" are "given of heaven, formed by the earth, conveyed by the Nile."104 "From heaven shall abundance come down upon thee," is the Sumerian version,105 while Babylonian Marduk filled the land with feasts of plenty when he "poured out abundance over Shidlam,"106 even as the God of Israel" commanded the clouds from above, and opened the doors of heaven, and had rained down manna . . . and had given them of the corn of heaven: man did eat angels' food; He sent them meat to the full; . . . He rained down flesh upon them as dust," etc.107 Though early Easter ceremonies furnish some of the most striking instances of sparsio,108 it was not through Christian channels that the idea of the heavenly donative reached Rome; for when the boys of the city gathered beneath the Pope's window to sing for a largess at the New Year, it was "quomodo qui ad Caesarem" that they called to him to appear at his high window like the sun, moon, and cloud, to scatter good things over them.109 This donative is the equivalent of the English "singing cakes" or "singing silver," which, as in the Sarum usage, "must be caste out of the steple, that all the boyes in the parish must lie scrambling by the eares."110 It recalls the office of Augustus, who, upon becoming patron of the iuventus, all over Italy supervised such youthful scrambles for tokens and sweets.111 There is an ancient representation of the linea in action which clearly portrays its heavenly nature. It is from a lost glass vase of the fourth century and depicts the distribution of the annonae: high above a group of people with birds, flowers, and festive mappae in their hands fly two winged genii, each holding a string of bellaria in either hand—they are plainly heavenly purveyors of heavenly gifts (fig. 15).112
The Romans not only received year-gifts by sparsio, but made them in the same way; that is, by throwing cakes, coins, tokens, flowers, etc., into pits or waters leading to the other world.113 Though this practice is found among ancient peoples everywhere,114 none make more of it than the Romans. The original Roman stips was food or a coin that was tossed or thrown to the god; only later was it laid on the sacra mensa.115 Archaic Roman offerings to chthonian deities had to be thrown or tossed in some way before being burned,116 quite like the Jewish heave- and wave-offerings,117 and the burning itself was a kind of sparsio.118 Though throwing is a well-known way of banishing evil, and the act of sparsio may have been designed "both to get rid of the evil and to distribute the good fertility charm over the fields,"119 the main thing about throwing objects, good or bad (and who shall see evil in honey-cakes and lucky coins?) is that thereby the gift or curse is passed through the void, from one world to another, as it were, with careful avoidance of physical contact between giver and receiver.120 The spirits are fed—at a safe distance—by sparsio.121 If food fell from the hand or the table by accident it could not be retrieved, for it had passed to the spirits122—to Hecate, who would redistribute it to the poor (earthly counterpart of the spirits) by sparsio.123
New Year's gifts are both given and received through the void. They fall in some unaccountable way into one's shoe or stocking, or they are suddenly thrown in through the window or chimney; they are not transmitted directly, but descend mysteriously in the night, like manna124—it is even dangerous to recognize the giver.125 This avoidance of contact is the idea behind royal sparsiones among certain backward peoples of antiquity, where the king, living aloof from the world of men, took his meals behind a partition, removed only at the New Year,126 or in a secret room,127 or at a table set apart as if for a spirit from the other world.128 The world was thought of as living on the crumbs from his table,129 and he gave his portions by throwing them to his subjects, who would scramble after them "like dogs."130
One cannot sufficiently admire the mentality which, having introduced the tesserae into Rome as a means, for so we are assured,131 of procuring good order and regularity in the grain distributions, chose to dispense the same in mad, universal scrambles.132 The sparsio does not of itself call for a scramble—there was more than enough for all, and no one was allowed to be disappointed.133 Plainly the undignified rixa, direptio, rapina, tumultus, and so forth were a regular and necessary part of the business.134
What the scramble represented was a sort of grab bag, for the sparsio was a kind of lottery.135 The element of chance plays a most important role in the distributions: the fundamental principle even of the highly regulated annona was at all times simply luck, admission to the grain-lists being determined solely by lot.136 Everything about the Saturnalia smacks of divination—the very food of the year-feast is prophetic.137 A gift received by sparsio falls into one's hands by the imponderable working of fate; it is a providential thing, a present for which one is beholden to no man; it is a boon from heaven, given with majestic impartiality in bewildering abundance and unrestrained disorder.138 It is a sign and a promise, a communication from on high.
How far the ancients went in this interpretation of the sparsio can be seen if one considers the objects of the rixae. They were sortes.139 The word comes from sero, "set in rows," i.e., "strung on a line," and goes back to the oracular shrines of prehistoric Italy,140 where at the New Year the Earth Goddess (as Fortuna)141 would tell people their fortunes by means of lots and dice.142 The lots—sortes—were hung on a line, a linea, and "devenaient prophétiques par le seul fait qu'elles étaient tirées sort" (became prophetic for the simple reason that they were cast).143 All this fits with the sortes of the sparsio, which also came from an oracular shrine, were perforated for hanging on a line, were given out at the New Year,144 and bore the name of Fortuna,145 whose gifts, moreover, were commonly thought of as coming by sparsio.146 In form as well as name the tokens are thus seen to be real sortes.
Quite as specific is the borrowed term for sortes, tesserae, which means simply "dice" or "tablets."147 Dice and tablets were used together at the primitive divination shrines, where one would compare marks on dice with those on tablets to learn his fortune.148 Just so the value of a tessera could be realized only by matching it with other symbols, the original tessera being employed as a ticket of identification which admitted the holder to a feast when it matched a like token kept by the giver of the feast.149 For admission to public feasts every holder of a tessera had to have his name on the bronze tablets or incisi kept on the Capitol.150 The interesting custom of admission to public feasts by ticket, though it has been ignored by scholars, is found at archaic year-festivals everywhere, from the festival tablets of the Sumerians151 and the arrows of the Asiatics (serving both as tickets and as gaming pieces)152 to the wooden tags of the Scandinavian North153 and the laurel leaf tickets of the primitive Greeks and Romans—which, incidentally, bring us back to the strena.154 Also widespread is the idea of registration in a great list of incisi, a "Book of Life" opened at the foundation of the world, containing the names of those to whom life is given for the new age.155 To be written down in this book is to be admitted to the banquet of life, to receive a tessera, "a white stone, and in the stone a new name written," and with it a share in the feast of the "hidden manna" (Revelation 2:17), the food that falls from heaven.
Such was the economy of the mystery feasts, which present indeed the closest affinity to the rites of the ludi saeculares, the sowing festival,156 including tesserae157 and sparsio.158 At the Saturnalia feast of the Arval Brethren a gold coin was presented to each of the guests as the gift of life itself.159 The sparsio of life-giving stones in the Deucalion legend follows upon a casting of dice, which determines the method by which the race is to be created and also the lot in life of the persons thus begotten.160 By a like sowing Cadmus, at the beginning of the "Great Year," produced a race of men fittingly called Sparti.161 It is only natural, as Wissowa points out in the case of Fortuna,162 that people should come to think of one who gives certain assurance of a boon as the actual giver of the boon, and regard those tokens which merely promise life and prosperity as the very gift itself: the die or sors which indicates the blessings of life to follow is not to be distinguished from the seed from which those blessings spring. The tessera, like the Oriental seal, gave one a place and a status in the world of men: it was the gift of a grain tessera that assigned a slave his freedom and his place in a tribe.163 As seal and tessera witness solemn contracts between men and gods,164 the sparsio of itself is such a contract: on the giver's part it promised a golden age of peace and prosperity—this the sparsiones songs make clear.165 As to the one who caught the falling gold, he accepted a contract on his part166 and recognized the rule and dominion of his benefactor in formal acclamations, found sometimes actually written on the tesserae.167
While the tesserae may be described variously as tickets, tablets, coins, or seals,168 they are particularly interesting as dice. They actually take the form of gaming pieces in many instances,169 and on some of them the iactus venerius is indicated.170 This last opens up a wide vista into the background of the sparsio, for it recalls the old Roman custom of choosing a rex bibendi at feasts (the "king" being the first guest to throw the Venus),171 a practice which can have been inspired only by the example and tradition of choosing the rex Saturnalius, King of the Great Feast, by lot.172 Dicing, it should be remembered, was legal at Rome only during the Saturnalia.173 The Venus also indicates the archaic background of those tesserae lasciviae, which have shocked scholars as symbols of Roman degeneracy and decline,174 for it recalls a very widespread and ancient legend of how the king during the New Year's feast casts dice with a stranger from the underworld for the hand of a fair lady and the possession of the kingdom.175 This legend appears in the oldest stratum of Roman tradition as the story of Hercules and Acca Larentia, in which the hero wins the lady and a feast by dicing at the Saturnalia.176 Not to pursue them further, the many and complex connections between sortes, tickets, feasts, goddesses, and the rest may be summarized in the herald's order at the Greek revels: "Come hither, . . . that Tyche may by lot tell each man where he is supposed to eat!"177
We have discussed the sparsiones of the Romans only in a broad and general sense. If the evidence is scarce enough to require such treatment, it is also consistent enough to support it. The multiple aspects of the institution fit nicely together and may be matched in every point with common practices of other peoples, the same peculiar elements appearing in the same complex combinations. We can therefore with confidence answer the three questions proposed at the outset of this study in the following general but specific terms: (1) the objects of the sparsiones were tokens symbolic of life, health, strength, and abundance, and were actually exchangeable, as far as possible, for the tangible realization of these blessings; (2) they were given by the king or his counterpart—emperor, magistrate, or paterfamilias—as the living representative of the father and founder of the race, by (3) being scattered like seed or rain from a celestial station in a manner to simulate the sowing of the race itself on the day of creation, with all the blessings and omens that rightly accompany such a begetting and amid acclamations that joyfully recognize the divine providence and miraculous power of the giver.
The sparsio is the authentic heritage of the Golden Age, the sublime economy of which remains throughout antiquity, and indeed in religious ideology down to the very present, the ultimate basis of the social, economic, and political structure.
*This article was originally published in Classical Journal 40 (1945): 515-43.
1. Treatment of the sparsiones must be sought for in works dealing primarily with other things. The most instructive of these are Michael Rostovzeff, Römische Bleitesserae (Aalen: Scientia, 1969); Joachim Marquardt, Römisches Staatsverwaltung, 3 vols., 2d ed. (Leipzig: Hirzel, 1885), 3:475-96; Ludwig Friedlander, Darstellungen aus der Sittengeschichte Roms, 4 vols., 8th ed. (Leipzig: Hirzel, 1910), 2:316-18; Ph. Fabia, "Sparsio," in Charles V. Daremberg and Edmond Saglio, Dictionnaire des antiquités grecques et romaines, 6 vols. in 10 (Paris: Hachette, 1877-1919), 4:2:1418-19. The ritual side of the sparsio is discussed at length by Martin P. Nilsson, Geschichte der griechischen Religion, 2 vols. (Munich: Beck, 1941), 1:110-25; Francis M. Cornford, The Origin of Attic Comedy (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1934), 100-102 and passim; Samson Eitrem, Opferritus und Voropfer der Greichen und Röm;mer (Kristiania: Dybwad, 1915), 261-69. Less important works are indicated in the course of the present study.
2. Rostovzeff, Römische Bleitesserae, is the classic treatment of the tokens, which he also discusses in "Congiarium," in RE 4:875-80. Berve, "Liberalitas," in RE 13:86-93, also deals with the tokens, as does Martin Lipenius in his extensive Strenarum Historia, in Johannes G. Graevius, Thesaurus Antiquitatum Romanarum, 12 vols. (Rhen.: Halmam, 1694), 12:409-552.
3. Types of bellaria are listed by Friedländer, Sittengeschichte Roms, 2:316-18.
4. The liquid sparsio is discussed by Fabia, "Sparsio," in Daremberg and Saglio, Dictionnaire des antiquités grecques et romaines, 4:2:1418-19, with the exception of the oil, which figures in the old bridal sparsio (see below, n. 31), and in certain primitive scrambles, see Servius, Commentarius in Georgica 384.
5. The blood of the October horse, mixed with the ashes of the Fordicidia calves, was distributed to all the people and strewn over the fields; see Georg Wissowa, Religion und Kultus der Römer (Munich: Beck, 1912), 200-201; Franz Altheim, Terra Mater: Unter-suchungen zur altitalischen Religionsgeschichte (Giessen: Töpelmann, 1931), 121. The fullest treatment of these bloody sparsiones is Samson Eitrem, Beiträge zur griechischen Religionsgeschichte, 3 parts (Kristiania: Dybwad, 1917-19), 2:19-49. Both animals in question had been the victims of violent dismemberment, a wild tussle being held for the right to sprinkle the blood of the horse; in Sextus Pompeius Festus, De Verborum Significatu Quae Supersunt cum Pauli Epitome, ed. Wallace M. Lindsay (Leipzig: Teubner, 1913), 190-91. The Greek pharmakoi were hung with objects used in sparsiones, such as figs, cakes, and so forth, and their own ashes were scattered, in Cornford, Origin of Attic Comedy, 55-56; see below, n. 118.
6. Rostovzeff, Römische Bleitesserae, 117; Theodor Mommsen, "Das römische Gastrecht und die römische Clientel," Historische Zeitschrift 1 (1859): 340-41; cf. "symbol" in James Murray, ed., Oxford English Dictionary, 12 vols. (Oxford: Clarendon, 1933).
7. For a broad treatment of this subject, see Eitrem, Opferritus und Voropfer, 261-80; Nilsson, Geschichte der griechischen Religion, 1:113-15; Edvard Lehmann, "Erscheinungs- und Ideenwelt der Religion," in Alfred Bertholet and Edvard Lehmann, eds., Lehrbuch der Religionsgeschichte, 2 vols., 4th ed. (Tubingen: Mohr, 1925), 1:26, 40-43.
8. Scholiast to Persius, Satires V, 177-79.
9. Ovid, Fasti I, 187-88: "'Omen,' ait [Janus], 'causa est, ut res sapor ille sequatur, et peragat coeptum dulcis ut annus iter.'" ("It is because of the omen," said [Janus], ". . . that the taste follows the event, and that the whole course of the year may be sweet like its beginning.")
10. Whether or not the sigillaria and the dulces figuras scattered at the Saturnalia (Martial, Epigrams XIV, 222) were the same, as some commentators on Statius, Silvae I, 6, 17, have maintained, originally representing the body of the slain vegetation god (Cornford, Origin of Attic Comedy, 102), it is certain that as New Year's gifts both impart luck and prosperity. The principle of substitution is very conspicuous in the sparsiones. The rule, in sacra simulata pro veris accipi (to accept imitation holy objects as though they were genuine), makes possible, says Servius, Commentarius in Aeneidem (Commentary on the Aeneid) II, 116, the use of models de pane vel cera (of bread or wax) for any costly object. Types of substitution in sparsiones are discussed by Eitrem, Opferritus und Voropfer, 277-78. A special coin takes the place at Rome of every kind of food offering or contribution, so that in time such terms as visceratio, epulum, cibus, sportula, congiarium, munus, and so forth, come to mean simply "a coin"; vid. lexicons, Hug, "Sportula," in RE 2:3:1884; Berve, "Liberalitas," in RE 13:85, 88; Mommsen, "Das römische Gastrecht und die römische Clientel," 340-42; Otto Toller, De Spectaculis, Cenis, Distributionibus in Municipiis Romanis Occidentis Imperatorum Aetate Exhibitis (Altenburg: Bond, 1889), 77-90. This substitution is very ancient with the Romans, see Wissowa, Religion und Kultus der Römer, 428-29; cf. Deuteronomy 14:23-26.
11. Suetonius, Domitian 4; cf. Suetonius, Nero 11; Suetonius, Augustus 98.
12. Joannes Malalas, Chronographia XIII, 322-23, in PG 97:481-84; Chronicon Paschale, in PG 92:641; cf. Plutarch, Crassus 2.
13. Aristophanes, The Birds 725-52 (a typical year-song of the quete variety).
14. Nilsson, Geschichte der griechischen Religion, 1:116-18, 439, 503.
15. Sparsio rejuvenates (Aristophanes, Plutus 1197-207) and restores the dead; see Cicero, De Legibus II, 25 ; cf. Eitrem, Opferritus und Voropfer, 262.
16. Propertius, Elegies IV, 2; cf. Wissowa, Religion und Kultus der Römer, 287-88.
17. The festival of Flora was a duplicate of that of Acca Larentia, Plutarch, Romulus 4-5; cf. K. Schwenck, "Hercules und Acca Larentia," Rheinisches Museum 22 (1867): 129-31; Wilhelm H. Roscher "Acca Larentia," in Wilhelm H. Roscher, Ausführliches Lexikon der griechen und römischen Mythologie, 7 vols. (Leipzig: Teubner, 1884-1937), 1:6; Altheim, Terra Mater, 142-43), which was a chthonian "Totenmahl" held on Midwinter Night; see Macrobius, Saturnalia I, 10, 17; Varro, De Lingua Latina VI, 23-24; Gellius, Noctes Atticae (Attic Nights) VII, 7, 7; Plutarch, Romulus 4-5; and Plutarch, Quaestiones Romanae nos. 34-35.
18. Scholiast to Persius, Satires V, 177-79; cf. Altheim, Terra Mater, 136. This seems to have been the classic sparsio at Rome, for when in A.D. 217 such distributions were abolished, the Floralia was specifically excepted; see Marquardt, Römische Staatsverwaltung, 3:497; Dio Cassius, LXXIX, 22, 1.
19. The laurel switch was used in the water sparsiones that accompanied the sprinkling of ashes, blood, and bean-straw at the Palilia; see Ovid, Fasti IV, 721-40; V, 675-80; Zosimus, Historia Nova VI, 6; cf. Marquardt, Römische Staatsverwaltung, 3:248, n. 7. Is it possible that the word strena is to be referred to sterno, struo, rather than to the hypothetical *st(e)re suggested by Alois Walde, Vergleichendes Wörterbuch der indogermanischen Sprachen, 3 vols. (Leipzig: de Gruyter, 1927-32), 2:627-28?
20. See below, n. 81, passages describing the hypateia of the emperors at Constantinople.
21. Cornford, Origin of Attic Comedy, 58-69, 85-86, 90-102, is especially convinced that a sparsio must follow a sparagmos (tearing, mangling) of the divine victim, with all the connotations which Frazer has made familiar. Cf. James G. Frazer, The Golden Bough, 12 vols. (New York: Macmillan, 1935), 7:214-69.
22. Ancient tradition gave the bloodless form priority: Empedocles, in Hermann Diels, Fragmente der Vorsokratiker, 3 vols., 6th ed. (Zürich: Weidmann, 1951), 1:362-63, frg. 128; Plutarch, Numa VIII, 8; cf. Eitrem, Opferritus und Voropfer, 273-74. Wissowa, Religion und Kultus der Römer, 410, 412, holds the strewing of meal to be the older form at Rome.
23. E.g., in the clumsy strewing of bloodless offerings over animal victims (Dionysius of Halicarnassus, Roman Antiquities VII, 72, 15-18; Hyginus, Fabulae 277). The October horse was decked with bread, and human victims were adorned with the bloodless objects of the sparsiones, see Cornford, Origin of Attic Comedy, 55-56. On the association of bloody and bloodless sparsio, cf. Eitrem, Opferritus und Voropfer, 261-80.
24. Rostovzeff, Römische Bleitesserae, 20-21, and in "Congiarium," in RE 4:875, 880, is particularly insistent on this point, while Berve, "Liberalitas," in RE 13:82-83, actually maintains that the sparsiones were not only strictly private, but entirely spontaneous and devoid of any motive but the desire for a little fun.
25. Occasions listed by Rostovzeff, "Congiarium," in RE 4:878; cf. Terence, Phormio I, 41-51, on the gift days. On these occasions one gave a coin to each member of the community (Pliny, Epistulae [Epistles] X, 117; Plautus, Aulularia V, 107), or to a common fund (Georg Wissowa, "Iuventas," in Roscher, Ausführliches Lexikon, 2:1:764; Wissowa, Religion und Kultus der Römer, 58, 128, 135, 168), or received gifts from the same; Terence, Phormio I, 41-51; Theodor Mommsen, Römische Geschichte, 8 vols., 2d ed. (Berlin: Weidmann, 1856), 1:787, on "Pfennigcollecten" at funerals.
26. "Il n'y avait point de solennité au sein d'une famille riche qui ne fût célébr&7eacute;e par une gratification au peuple, par un festin public ou des jeux" (there was no celebration observed by a rich family that was not also marked by a gift to the people, by a public festival or by games), in V. Duruy, "Du régime municipal dans l'empire romain," Revue historique 1 (1876): 348. The interested presence of all the race, living and dead, at these affairs is the subject of Erich Bethe, Ahnenbild und Familiengeschichte bei Römern und Griechen (Munich: Beck, 1935), 1-5.
27. Polybius, Histories VI, 53.
28. Victor, De Viris Illustribus 15; Dionysius of Halicarnassus, Roman Antiquities VIII, 58; Livy, II, 16, 7; cf. III, 18, 11; II, 61, 8-9; Dio Cassius, XXXIX, 64; XL, 49, 1-3; XLVIII, 53, 5.
29. Cf. Duruy, "Régime municipal dans l'empire romain," 349, for references; Johann Kirchmann, De Funeribus Romanorum (Lübeck: Jauchius, 1625), 583-84. From Livy, VIII, 22, 2-3, it is plain that Flavius's distribution never would have been tolerated on any other occasion than a funeral. The compulsory public distribution is found in ancient funeral practices elsewhere, e.g., Josephus, Jewish Wars II, 1.
30. Victor, De Viris Illustribus 32 and 18; cf. Pliny, Natural History XXI, 10, in which this public contribution accompanies an actual shower of flowers. On showering the dead with good things, especially grain, cf. Eitrem, Opferritus und Voropfer, 261-80.
31. Vergil, Eclogues VIII, 30, "Sparge, marite, nuces" (scatter, bridegroom, the nuts; cf. Festus, Lindsay, ed., 178-79), is matched by a like obligation put upon the bride; Apuleius, Apologia 88; cf. Diodorus, XIII, 84; Pliny, Natural History XV, 86. Other wedding sparsiones were the scramble for the spina alba, which was broken up and distributed among the people tanquam vitae praesidia (cf. modern bride's bouquet), and the sprinkling of the threshold with oil by the bride; Pliny, Natural History XXVIII, 135; Servius, Commentary on the Aeneid IV, 458, a custom still observed in Syria. The private katachysmata (handfuls of figs, nuts, and so forth) that introduced a Greek bridegroom or new-bought slave to his new life (Aristophanes, Plutus 768) is not to be distinguished from the great public showers; ibid., 794-822.
32. On the showering of the victorious emperor or contestant by the people, cf. Herodian, Histories VII, 10, 8; for the similar phylloboloi (showering with leaves), cf. Pindar, Pythian Odes IX, 123-25. The symbolism of the triumphal shower is treated by Eitrem, Opferritus und Voropfer, 266-67, and Ludwig Deubner, "Die Bedeutung des Kranzes im klassischen Altertum," Archiv für Religion-swissenschaft 30 (1933): 79. Vortumnus, showered with fruits at the turn of the year, was the prototype of the triumphator; Wissowa, Religion und Kultus der Römer, 287-88. On the scattering of gifts by the victorious emperor, see below, n. 81.
33. Lord Fitz R. Raglan, "Magic and Religion," Folklore 50 (1939): 129. Thus the symbolic nut shower of the wedding (Festus, Lindsay, ed., 178) also appears in the year-rites of the Saturnalia (Martial, Epigrams V, 30, 8) and at funerals; see Eitrem, Opferritus und Voropfer, 262-63. On the identity of funeral and triumph in ritual, cf. Ch. Picard, "Les Bûchers sacr&eacue;s d'Eleusis," RHR 107 (1933): 137-54.
34. Cf. Wilhelm Schmidt, Geburtstag im Altertum (Giessen: Töpelmann, 1908), 36-37. All bellaria were of the nature of second tables (Gellius, Attic Nights XIII, 11, 7), which would make them necessarily New Year's rites at Rome; Athenaeus, Deipnosophists XIV, 639; cf. Jane Harrison, Themis, 2d ed. (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1927), 250-51. On the significance of Roman festivals as anniversaries, cf. André Piganiol, Recherches sur les jeux romains (Strasbourg: Librairie Istra, 1923), 145-48.
35. The identity of birthday and New Year is especially evident in the economy of the more ancient collegia. Thus the Arval Brethren and the Salii had the primary duty of celebrating birthdays and the New Year with identical rites, Wissowa, Religion und Kultus der Römer, 345-47, and "Arvales Fratres," in RE 2:1472-73, 1485. The college of Aesculapius and Hygeia gave its sparsiones out on the emperor's birthday, the birthday of the college, and at the New Year; Rostovzeff, Römische Bleitesserae, 98. The identity of the emperor's birthday with the New Year (the official birthday of all Romans, for that matter, Wissowa, "Arvales Fratres," in RE 2:1485), is emphasized by Statius, Silvae IV, 1-2. The genesia is at once birthday and "Totenfeier" (Schmidt, Geburtstag im Altertum, 9-13, 37-45; Erwin Rohde, Psyche: The Cult of Souls and Belief in Immortality among the Greeks [London: Kegan Paul, 1925], 167), held at Rome for all the dead on Midwinter Night (Wissowa, Religion und Kultus der Römer, 233), when alone, says Macrobius, Saturnalia I, 10, 18, the cry of "Io Saturnalia!" was legal. The Matronalia, on March 1, the old Roman New Year, resembled a birthday celebration in every respect (Wissowa, Religion und Kultus der Römer, 185), while every Roman bride celebrated her marriage with coin- and cake-tokens not on the marriage day, but at the Compitalia at the end of the Saturnalia; see ibid., 167-68.
36. Malalas, Chronographia, in PG 97:481-82; Chronicon Paschale 262-63, in PG 92:641. Cicero, Pro Archia Poeta XII, 30, shows how established the custom was. At all periods the rewards for gifts of grain to the people was a statue in one's memory; Pliny, Natural History XVIII, 15; Gellius, Attic Nights VII, 7, 1; Chronicon Paschale 391, in PG 92:1004. The statue and feast that went with it amounted to cult veneration, writes W. Buckler, "A Charitable Foundation of A.D. 237," Journal of Hellenic Studies 57 (1937): 1-10; cf. Duruy, "Régime municipal dans l'empire romain," 347; Samuel Dill, Roman Society from Nero to Marcus Aurelius (New York: Wold, 1905), 275.
37. In all the above instances the statue marks the scene of such a feast. Not a single instance is known in which a group observes a memorial feast at its own expense (cf. Schmidt, Geburtstag im Altertum, 37-38). To be rich was to be a hero (Pausanias, Description of Greece IV, 32, 2; Diodorus, XIII, 84 and 90). Such donatives were "a manifestation of power and enhancement of the personality" exalting the status of the giver to a superhuman level; cf. Athenaeus, Deipnosophists X, 418B, and the discussion by Bronislaw Malinowski, Crime and Custom in Savage Society (London: Paul, Trench, Trübner, 1926), 29; quote from the latter.
38. The definitive studies are by Georg Wissowa, "De Feriis Anni Romanorum Vetustissimi Observations Selectae," in Geschichtliche Abhandlungen zur römischen Religions- und Stadtgeschichte (Munich: Beck, 1904), 154-74; Ludwig Deubner, "Zur Entwicklungsgeschichte der altrömischen Religion," Neue Jahrbücher für das klassische Altertum 27 (1911): 321-35; Alfred von Domaszewski, "Die Festcyclen des römischen Kalenders," Archiv für Religionswissenschaft 10 (1907): 333-34; and Eitrem, Beiträge zur griechischen Religionsgeschichte, 2:19-22. All are in agreement that a single great festival was either repeated or prolonged by installments throughout the year; cf. Mommsen, Römische Geschichte, 1:788.
39. No one was allowed to be absent from the secular rites held in his generation, and no one might live to behold those of another; Zosimus, Historia Nova II, 5, 1; Suetonius, Divus Claudius 21; Acta Ludorum Saecularium, lines 52-57, in Theodor Mommsen, Gesammelte Schriften, 8 vols. (Berlin: Weidmann, 1905-13; reprinted 1965), 8:572; cf. 578-80.
40. E. Diehl, "Das Saeculum, seine Riten und Gebete," Rheinisches Museum für Philologie 83 (1934): 255-56; cf. Fritz Blumenthal, "Ludi Saeculares," Klio 15 (1917-18): 242.
41. Zosimus, Historia Nova II, 5. The redistribution appears "unsinnig" to Blumenthal, "Ludi Saeculares," 232, and puzzling to Mommsen, Gesammelte Schriften, 8:596, but has been explained convincingly by Piganiol, Recherches sur les jeux romains, 92-101.
42. Plutarch, Quaestiones Graecae no. 12; see William R. Halliday, The Greek Questions of Plutarch (Oxford: Clarendon, 1928), 72-73. On the primitive bringing of first-fruits to Delphi, cf. Plutarch, Quaestiones Graecae no. 35. The function of the god there was to bestow equally crops and children; Euripides, Io 301-3.
43. See below, nn. 83, 86, 91. The ludi saeculares are the founder's festival, the saeculum urbis conditae; Diehl, "Das Saeculum, seine Riten und Gebete," 370; cf. 371-72. The day of sowing is the day of creation, for the Romans considered "Erzeugung" and birthday one and the same event; cf. Franz Altheim, "Altitalische und altrömische Gottesvorstellung," Klio 30 (1937): 51.
44. This subject has particularly engaged the attention of Albert Schwegler, Römische Geschichte, 3 vols. (Tübingen: Mohr, 1884), 1:212-39; and Ludwig Preller, Römische Mythologie, 2 vols. paginated sequentially, 2d ed. (Berlin: Weidmann, 1865), 92-146, 294-374, 401-501. Of the large Janus literature, it is sufficient to cite the summary of the god's offices and his predominance in the economy of tokens and distributions (Ovid, Fasti I, 185-86) by Otto Huth, Janus: Ein Beitrag zur altrömischen Religionsgeschichte (Bonn: Röhrscheid, 1932), 23 and passim. Does the Jano struem of Cato, De Agri Cultura 134, refer to the sparsio of cakes? The identity of New Year's distribution with feasts of the dead and the gifts of the sower is generally explained on the ground that the act of opening the subterranean corn-bin is both a chthonian and a New Year's rite: this theory, introduced by Otfrid Müller, has been popular since its revival by William W. Fowler, Religious Experience of the Roman People from the Earliest Times to the Age of Augustus (London: Macmillan, 1911) or The Roman Festivals of the Period of the Republic (London: Macmillan, 1899); cf. Stefan Weinstock, "Templum," Römische Mitteilungen 45 (1930): 115; W. Kroll, "Mundus," in RE 16:561-63; Martin P. Nilsson, "Die Griechen," in Bertholet and Lehmann, Lehrbuch der Religionsgeschichte, 2:297-98, 369; see below, n. 101.
45. That the private sportulae were never bestowed in kind, as the public often were, indicates their later origin; Hug, "Sportula," in RE 2:3:1885. Cicero, Epistulae ad Familiares XI, 28, speaks of distributions as private in the sense of having no constitutional significance, i.e., as nonpolitical; but there is no issue as to the priority of private or public sparsio, since any liberalitas is meaningless unless the gift is made both (a) from private means and (b) to parties outside one's family circle. Thus Augustus, in Monumentum Ancyranum I, 32-35, boasts:" populum universummis impensis liberarem" (I freed the whole people by my generosity), his private gift to 320,000 Romans being given on the very public occasion of his assuming the tribunate and consulship; ibid., III, 15-17. So Crassus "out of his own means" fed all the Romans for three months, but this again was to celebrate a consulship (Plutarch, Crassus 2); so too with Caesar (Plutarch, Caesar 55-56).
46. For sources, cf. Theodor Mommsen, "Sp. Cassius, M. Manilius, Sp. Maelius, die drei Demagogen des 3. und 4. Jahrhunderts der römischen Republik," Hermes 5 (1871): 228-71; and Schwegler, Römische Geschichte, 3:132-36, 282-98. The Gracchi and even Caesar would come under this head. Maelius expected to restore the monarchy by giving but two pounds of grain to every plebeian, a ridiculously small bribe, unless for the people it had a deeper significance. Cf. ibid., 3:314-15.
47. Cicero, De Officiis II, 61-64; Cicero, Epistulae ad Atticum I, 16, 12; Cicero, Pro Murena 36; cf. Tacitus, Annals IV, 62; Appian, Samnite History XI, 1, where he writes that to give money and gifts to the populace is an archaic Roman tradition.
48. Cicero, De Officiis II, 73, 77; Cicero, Pro Ligario VII, 23; Cicero, Epistulae ad Familiares IX, 13, 4; Cicero, Pro Rege Deiotaro 26.
49. Emphasized by Theodor Mommsen, De Collegiis et Sodaliciis Romanorum (Kiel: Libraria Schwersiana, 1843): 50-55; and Mommsen, Römische Geschichte, 1:787.
50. Sparsiones are never objected to on principle, but only because they have become the plaything of the lowest classes; Persius, Saturnalia V, 177; Minucius Felix, XI, 37. Epictetus, Discourses IV, 7, 22-24, objects to scrambling for figs and nuts since dignified men do not scramble "for such small stakes!"; cf. Cicero, Pro Murena 19; Appian, The Civil Wars V, 12-13, 128; Cicero, De Officiis II, 57.
51. Just as the popular burials in the Forum, though dreaded by the senate (Dio Cassius, XXXIX, 64; XLVIII, 53, 5; cf. Livy, VIII, 22, 2-4), weathered every attack because they were a primitive popular custom. Cf. Lucan, Bellum Civile II, 222; David Randall-MacIver, Villanovans and Early Etruscans (Oxford: Clarendon, 1924), 73-83.
52. Cf. Rostovzeff, Römische Bleitesserae, 11, 39-40; Rostovzeff, "Congiarium," in RE 4:876, 880; cf. Viktor E. Gardthausen, Augustus und seine Zeit, 1 vol. in 3 parts (Leipzig: Teubner, 1891-96), 1:2:588; Otto Hirschfeld, Untersuchungen auf dem Gebiete der römischen Verwaltungsgeschichte (Berlin: Weidmann, 1877), 120.
53. No emperor could escape loud popular censure if he failed to give lavishly; Suetonius, Divus Claudius 12; Zosimus, Historia Nova IV, 16; Plutarch, Galba 18, and so forth.
54. See Berve, "Liberalitas," in RE 13:89-90.
55. The evidence is collected in Friedländer, Sittengeschichte Roms, 2:299-305.
56. Thus, during the sparsiones, "tollunt innumeras ad astra voces Saturnalia principis sonantes et dulci dominum favore clamant: hoc solum vetuit licere Caesar" (they raise countless voices to heaven proclaiming the Saturnalia of the emperor and saluting their lord with warm admiration; this alone Caesar forbade)—Statius, Silvae I, 6, 81-84. Augustus strictly forbade this dominus title (Suetonius, Augustus 53), as did Tiberius (Suetonius, Tiberius 27). According to Victor, De Caesaribus XXXIV, 4, Diocletian "primus omnium post Caligulam Domitiumque dominum se palam dici passus et adorari se appellarique uti deum" (after Caligula and Domitian, Diocletian was the first of all of them who allowed himself to be called "lord" [dominus] openly and to be venerated and addressed as though he were a god). Cf. Victor, De Caesaribus XI, 2, and Victor, Epitome III, 8; XI, 6. The dominus title would never have caused the scandal it did, had it originated, as Theodor Mommsen, Römisches Staatsrecht, 3 vols., 3d ed. (Leipzig: Hirzel, 1885-87), 2:760-63, claims, in the old economy of the Roman household, nor would it have been inseparably connected with the title of deus (ibid.) had it referred strictly to the private relationship of servant and master.
57. Cf. Thesaurus Linguae Latinae (Leipzig: Teubner, 1934), s.v. "dominus"; Suetonius, Domitian 13.
58. Suetonius, Domitian 13; cf. Livy, XXIII, 8, 6-7. When Trimalchio regales his guests with a sparsio, they immediately interpret it as a religious donative stemming not from their host but from the emperor: "Rati ergo sacrum esse ferculum tam religiso apparatu perfusum, consurreximus altius et 'Augusto patri patriae, feliciter' diximus. Quibusdam tamen etiam post hanc venerationem poma rapientibus, et ipsi iis mappas implevimus." (We thought that it must be a sacred dish that was drenched with such holy trappings; we stood up straight and said, "May it go well for Augustus the father of his country." But since many were grabbing for the fruit even after this solemnity, we filled our napkins ourselves.) Petronius, Satyricon 60.
59. Claudius's behavior at his revived version of the archaic year-feast, where he waited on tables, addressed his guests as domini, and so forth (Suetonius, Divus Claudius 21), closely resembles that of King Cotys; Athenaeus, Deipnosophists IV, 131; cf. X, 439. At the Saturnalia (Macrobius, Saturnalia I, 7, 26; Athenaeus, Deipnosophists XIV, 639-40), as at the old sparsiones-festival of the Floralia (Dio Cassius, LVIII, 19, 1), the emperor was treated in every way as a festival king. Since these celebrations are beyond doubt archaic, the origin of the supreme office cannot be dissociated from them (see below, n. 70).
60. Aristophanes, Ecclesiazusae 1144-65; cf. Altheim, Terra Mater, 19. At the Saturnalia the emperor keeps open house (Statius, Silvae I, 6, 39-50).
61. Amid all the vicissitudes of the late Republic the common people of Italy remained loyal to the folk-memory of a Golden Age, and at the end of the Republic were looking forward with particular enthusiasm to the return of the Saturnia regna. Cf. Guglielmo Ferrero, Greatness and Decline of Rome, 5 vols. (New York: Putnam and Sons, 1909-10), 2:339; Vergil, Eclogues 4.
62. Cassiodorus, Variae VI, 18; Plutarch, Pompey 28; Velleius Paterculus, Historiae Romanae II, 40.
63. Preller, Römische Mythologie, 650, 653-54, 657. At Rome the prototype of the feast-giving year-king is Hercules, who takes the place of the old local Cererius and Jovius as sponsor of public feasts; cf. Piganiol, Recherches sur les jeux romains, 121-25. It is he who presides over the food distribution of the Ara Maxima, an event which Wissowa, Religion und Kultus der Romer, 277, holds to be the oldest public rite of the Romans: it was a true year-feast of abundance, at which food was ostentatiously thrown away; ibid., 278. Wissowa, in ibid., 276-77, 282-83 (cf. 271), identifies this Hercules with the autochthonous Garanus, as in this same office he is identified with the old native sowing-god Semo Sancus; Schwegler, Römische Geschichte, 4:346, 368-69, 375-76; Preller, Römische Mythologie, 79, 238, 634, 637-38. "The ancients had a way of calling all mighty men Hercules," says Servius, Commentary on the Aeneid VIII, 203, and everywhere the hero appears as the year-king; Dio Chrysostom, Orations I, 50-74; Schwenck, "Hercules und Acca Larentia," 129-31; cf. Michael Rostovzeff, Mystic Italy (New York: Holt, 1927), 137, on Hercules as the great mysta. Even the Oriental year-king, as Ningizzida, Ninurta, Ningirsu, Tammuz, and so forth, "seems to be in possession of all the attributes of Herakles," Henri Frankfort, "Gods and Myths on Sargonid Seals," Iraq 1 (1934): 14.
64. Appian, Civil Wars III, 21, 23-24; cf. Kenneth Scott, "The Political Propoganda of 44-30 B.C.," Memoirs of the American Academy in Rome 11 (1933): 7-49.
65. Cicero, Philippics II, 84-85; Athenaeus, Deipnosophists IV, 148.
66. Mommsen, Römische Geschichte, 3:290-91.
67. Dio Cassius, L, 10, 2; Florus, Epitome II, 13; Suetonius, Caesar 79. Caesar's public feasts, given on a royal scale (Plutarch, Caesar 5), are described as archaic by Ausonius, Technopaegnion IX, 5.
68. Plutarch, Caesar LV, 57; Tacitus, Annals I, 2.
69. Herodotus, History, I, 126. On Cyrus as the model year-king, cf. Alfred Jeremias, The Old Testament in the Light of the Ancient East, 2 vols. (London: Williams and Norgate: 1911), 2:231-32, 274-76.
70. In that way the gardener Ellil-banai became king of Babylon in grauer Vorzeit (in the mists of time); Bruno Meissner, Babylonien und Assyrien, 2 vols. (Heidelberg: Winter, 1925), 2:99. At Tarsus the Epicurean Lysias, chosen "crown wearer" (Priest of Heracles), refused to give up the insignia after the festival and made himself absolute tyrant, "first of all dividing the wealth of the rich among the poor, killing all who refused to contribute"; Athenaeus, Deipnosophists V, 215. Later, when the people of that city formed factions, they crowned Cassius and Dolabella as rival kings; Appian, Civil Wars IV, 64. Cornford, Origin of Attic Comedy, 26, has very plausibly suggested that the famous ruse of Pisistratus and his masquerade-Athena succeeded because, insofar as it concerned the old year-king, he could rely "on the conception being familiar to the simple-minded folk in ritual." When Timaeus wanted to become king of Cyzicus, he began by "bestowing a largess of money and grain upon his fellow citizens"; Athenaeus, Deipnosophists XI, 509. The formula was followed in Sicyon, where "the king receives honors and in turn gives gifts" of land, grain, and money to everyone (Livy, XXXII, 40, 8-9). Distributions as a rule follow confiscations, as in the case of Molpagoras at Cius (Polybius, Histories XV, 21, 1-2), Charops in Epirus (ibid., XXXII, 5), Chaeron at Sparta (ibid., XXIV, 7, 2-3), Phintias in Sicily (Diodorus, XXII, 2), Nabis at Sparta (ibid., XXVII, 1), and so forth. In Roman legend there are many traces of such practice. When all the people chose Tullus Hostilius king, he divided up all the royal lands among them (Dionysius of Halicarnassus, Roman Antiquities III, 1), following the example of Romulus himself, who willed to each Roman a couple of jugera as an heredium (Varro, De Re Rustica I, 10, 2). King Numa "abolished poverty by force" when he gave to the masses "all the land which Romulus had won by the spear"; Plutarch, Numa 16. When Sextus, son of Tarquin, became King of Gabii, he "destroyed the more influential citizens and distributed their wealth among the populace"; Zonaras, Annals VII, 10. Lepidus had the people plunder and divide the effects of all who opposed his (royal) triumph, Appian, Civil Wars IV, 5, 31.
71. Cf. Diehl, "Das Saeculum, seine Riten und Gebete," 348-52. It was at the great year-festival of the Gauls at Lyons that Drusus induced these people to accept Augustus as ruler and god; it is evident from the ease with which this plan succeeded that he was following a pattern as familiar to the Gauls as the secular celebration was to the Romans; H. W. Lawton, "The Religion of the Gallo-Romans," in Speculum Religionis: Studies in Honor of Claude G. Montifiore (Oxford, Clarendon, 1929), 73.
72. Such symbolic titles are very common, e.g., Martial, Epigrams XII, 62, 1-4; Statius, Silvae I, 6, 2; IV, 1: Vergil, Bucolics I, 6-7; Seneca, Epistulae I, 73; Claudianus Mamertus, Panegyrics V, 2; VI, 1; Cassiodorus, Variae VI, 4; IX, 17; XII, 11; Corippus, Justin IV, 165-74; Nicolaus Damascenus, Vita Caesaris 12, and so forth. The familiar concept of the king as the ultimate source of the food supply, expressed in these passages, needs no discussion. "AUG" on coins "in effect raises the Emperor to the level of a symbol typifying, in a more than earthly capacity, the blessings which the more humble of the earth may enjoy"; C. H. V. Sutherland, "The Historical Evidence of Greek and Roman Coins," Greece and Rome 9 (February 1940): 74. Caesar was the first Roman to put his own image on coins, an honor reserved before that time for deity; ibid., 72.
73. Cassiodorus, Variae III, 29.
74. Berve, "Liberalitas," in RE 13:90.
75. Herodian, Histories V, 6, 9.
76. Josephus, Antiquities of the Jews XIX, 1, 5.
77. R. Lepsius, Denkmäler, 3:103-9; reproduced in E. A. W. Budge, A History of Egypt from the End of the Neolithic Period to the Death of Cleopatra, 8 vols. (London: Kegan Paul, Trench, Trübner, 1902), 4:121, 123; cf. 127: the gifts include all the fruits of the earth, but also many ankh tokens, showing that the god is bestowing life itself.
78. Dio Cassius, LIX, 25, 1-5: Gaius had ordered a high bema erected on the shore and from it supervised his soldiers as they gathered shells from the beach, following a mock combat. Then he gave them rich presents, as if they had won a great victory, and marched with the booty back to Rome, where he immediately mounted another platform to watch the people gathering silver and gold in the same manner. The whole story of the farcical British expedition, with its island objective, its mock combats, its triumph and collecting of shells and gold, and so forth, closely resembles Alexander's mythical expedition to the underworld (Pseudo-Callisthenes, Life of Alexander II, 41), a tradition with an Oriental year-rite background (cf. Julius Zacher, Pseudocallisthenes [Halle: Buchhandlung des Walsenhauses, 1867], 141-42); also Octavian's unsuccessful attempt to satisfy his soldiers with such a token triumph; Appian, Civil Wars V, 13, 128.
79. Cicero, Philippics II, 16.
80. Besides sparsiones, memorial speeches were given from the rostra (Polybius, Histories VI, 53, 2), where stood the golden statue of Memory (Cicero, Philippics II, 84). Herodotus, History IV, 26, describes the same remarkable combination of sparsio, memorial rites, and golden statue among the Scythians, and compares it with the Western genesia. The actual distribution of the dismembered body of the defunct in the Eastern rite may well represent the original form of the visceratio or Roman funeral distribution of meat (Livy, VIII, 22, 2; XXXIX, 46, 2; cf. above n. 21). The older rostra, to which Cicero refers (Wissowa, Religion und Kultus der Römer, 77), was the seat of Lupercus (Cicero, Philippics II, 84; Suetonius, Caesar 79), and stood on the site of the earlier Volcanal, a raised platform from which the kings would address the people (references in Samuel B. Platner and Thomas Ashby, A Topographical Dictionary of Ancient Rome [London: Oxford University Press, 1929], 583). Livy, XXXIX, 46, 5; XL, 19, 2, tells of showers of blood in Area Vulcani, implying that the spot was actually the scene of bloody sparsiones. For another type of chthonian sparsio taking place there, see below, n. 116.
81. Heliogabalus varied the platform routine with the golden chariot; Herodian, Histories V, 6, 6-9. The solar costume went with both, for at Constantinople the emperors wore it for their chariot sparsiones (Theophanes, Chronographia, anno 791; Cedrenus, I, 710). In a relief from an ivory plaque one sees the deified emperor in a chariot mounted on a very high wooden platform hung with draperies (cf. fig. 118, p. 117); Henri Leclerq, "Éléphant," in Fernand Cabrol and Henri Leclercq, Dictionnaire d'archéologie chrétienne et de liturgie, 15 vols. (Paris: Letouzey et Ané, 1907), 4:2656; cf. Herodian, Histories, IV, 2, 1-4; Lucius Ampelius, VIII, 19. Representations of exalted chariots are very common (see fig. 11, p. 117 in this volume).
82. The Babylonian year-god scatters seed from his heavenly car or mountain top; cf. below, n. 91. His special symbol is the plow (V. Scheil, "La Charrue Symbole de Ningirsu," Revue d'Assyriologie et d'Archéologie Orientale 34 : 42), which identifies him with year-gods everywhere (cf. Frankfort, "Gods and Myths on Sargonid Seals," 13-14), notably with Triptolemus (Hyginus, Fabulae 147, with specific reference to sparsiones), of whom Arthur B. Cook, Zeus, 3 vols. (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1925), 1:214, 225, observes "a remarkable similarity between the equipment of Triptolemus and that of Dionysus," including chariot and plow.
83. Herodotus, History IV, 5: the sacred gold of the Scythians fell from the sky at the creation, along with a plow. The one able to take up this gold was declared king.
84. Of great antiquity is the story of Lo(v)ernius, Luernes, Ariamnes, etc., who feasted all the Celts for a year and was acclaimed leader and benefactor of the race as he "drove his chariot across the fields, scattering gold and silver for the thousands of Celts who followed him"; Athenaeus, Deipnosophists IV, 152; Strabo, Geography IV, 2, 3.
85. Cf. Hyginus, Fabulae 147. The practice of scattering seeds and chopped straw in the wake of a plow or wagon at New Year's still survives in Northern Greece; Cornford, Origin of Attic Comedy, 63.
86. The Greek custom is found among the Germans as well (Jacob Grimm, Teutonic Mythology, tr. James S. Stallybrass, 3 vols. [London: Bell, 1883], 1:275-76), imitating in this case the Earth-Goddess and/or her consort, who ride through the sky on Midwinter Night scattering shavings and straw from their wagon or plow, bits which on being picked up turn to gold; cf. Pseudo-Callisthenes, Life of Alexander II, 41; Stith Thompson, Motif-Index of Folk-Literature (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1932-36), F342.
87. The chariot of the triumphator is that of Jupiter himself; Ludwig Deubner, "Die Tracht des römischen Triumphators," Hermes 69 (1934): 320. It is also the royal chariot (Velleius Paterculus, Historiae Romanae II, 40) and the victorious chariot of the games, to judge from Suetonius, Vespasian 5.
88. This quadriga had been placed by Romulus himself in the temple of Vulcan (Dionysius of Halicarnassus, Roman Antiquities II, 54, 2; cf. Platner and Ashby, Topographical Dictionary, 583), the source of the archaic sparsiones (see above, n. 80). It goes back to the time when Vulcan ruled before the arrival of Jove, Jérôme Carcopino, Vergile et les origines d'Ostie (Paris: de Boccard, 1919), 98-102.
89. Plutarch, Publicola 13; cf. Emil Aust, Die Religion der Römer (Münster: Aschendorff, 1899), 49-55.
90. Martial, Epigrams VIII, 78, 7-12; Statius, Silvae I, 6, 9-10; 20-27; Ovid, Fasti I, 185-86, and so forth.
91. To cases cited above in nn. 83-86 may be added the golden sparsiones (soma, rice, butter, gold, and so forth) of the Asvamedha, the archaic New Year's celebration of India; Paul É. Dumont, L'Asvamedha (Paris: Geuther, 1927), v-viii, 252-53. This rite has been identified with the oldest Sumerian year-practices by William F. Albright and Paul É. Dumont, "A Parallel between Indic and Babylonian Sacrificial Ritual," JAOS 54 (1934): 107-28; cf. the Babylonian sprinklings of honey and milk in Meissner, Babylonien und Assyrien, 2:238-39. For interesting Armenian sparsiones, cf. Zabelle C. Boyajian, Armenian Legends and Poems (London: Dent and Sons, 1916), 49, commenting on Moses of Khorene. At the Persian creation golden streams flow down and a golden shower falls from heaven to earth; Albert J. Carnoy, "Iranian Views of Origins in Connection with Similar Babylonian Beliefs," JAOS 36 (1916): 301; and Albert J. Carnoy, Iranian Mythology, vol. 6 in Louis H. Gray, ed., Mythology of All Races, 13 vols. (Boston: Jones, 1917), 299-300. For the flowing gold of the Ras Shamra ritual texts, cf. George A. Barton, "The Second Liturgical Poem from Ras Shamra," JAOS 55 (1935): 38-44. At the founding of Athens and the birth of Athena, Zeus sent a shower of gold over the place (Pindar, Olympian Odes VII, 8 and 50). The cases of Danae and others will come to mind. The golden tears of the goddess give life to the world as rain; J. Rendell Harris, Picus Who Is Also Zeus (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1916), 45-47; cf. Pausanias, Description of Greece II, 31, 14.
92. In the chariot sparsiones cited above, n. 81, it is specifically reported that the chariot was of gold; cf. Pindar, Olympian Odes I, 37-41.
93. Martial, Epigrams VIII, 33, 3-4; and in Martial, Liber Spectaculorum II, 3; for saffron, Martial, Epigrams V, 25, 7-8. The throne of Lupercus on the rostra (see above, n. 80) was the sella aurea; Cicero, Philippics II, 3; cf. Pindar, Nemean Odes I, 37.
94. This theme is treated by Fabia, "Sparsio," in Daremberg and Saglio, Dictionnaire des antiquités grecques et romaines 4:2:1419; on gilding, cf. Rostovzeff, Römische Bleitesserae, 116; Martial, Epigrams XIII, 27; cf. Mirabilia Romae I, 4 on the "golden bread," reminding one of the Dutch-gold on the gingerbread figures at old-world fairs.
95. Dumont, L'Asvamedha, 249; cf. 15-16. Of the importance of gold as a universal luck- and fertility-charm nothing need here be said.
96. It is so described by Statius, Silvae I, 6, 40; cf. Vergil, Eclogues IV, 6-10, where "nova progenies caelo demittitur alto" (a new generation is sent down from heaven on high) refers, of course, to the gens aurea of line 9.
97. It is the marriage of "the Earth-Mother and the Heaven-Father, whose rain falls in a life-giving stream into the womb of Earth"; Cornford, Origin of Attic Comedy, 19; cf. Morris Jastrow, "Sumerian and Akkadian Versions of Beginnings," JAOS 36 (1916): 290-95, and the broad treatment by G. W. Elderkin, "The Marriage of Zeus and Hera and Its Symbol," American Journal of Archaeology 41 (1937): 424-35. Water in the New Year's rites has a special fertilizing power, discussed by A. J. Wensinck, "The Semitic New Year and the Origin of Eschatology" Acta Orientalia 1 (1922): 164-65 and passim. In the Indian year-rites "water is seed"; F. Max Müller, ed., The Upanishaas, 2 vols. (Oxford: Clarendon, 1879-84), 1:238-39. In the ancient Easter rite the wax of the Easter Taper "is dropped into the font in the form of a cross, and the candle itself is dipped into it. . . . Then the people are sprinkled with this Easter water" (Henry J. Feasey, Ancient English Holy Week Ceremonial [London: Baker, 1897], 238-39), while the wax of the taper itself may be distributed among the multitude in the form of little wafer-tokens to bring prosperity for the year; ibid., 203-4. Greek sparsiones were accompanied by liberal water lustrations over the multitude; Aristophanes, Pax 962-72; cf. Cornford, Origin of Attic Comedy, 101-2. The liquid and flower showers of the Isis cult (Apuleius, Metamorphoses XI, 9) and the sprinkling of Nile water in the same (Servius, Commentary on the Aeneid II, 116, and IV, 512) certainly have the same significance as the life-giving "drop" of the Egyptian New Year. The sprinkling of the life-giving water by the Pharaoh at the great year-festival (the Sed Festival) is often depicted in murals and reliefs; for example, see Edouard H. Naville, Festival-Hall of Osorkon II (London: Kegan, Paul, Trench, Trübner, 1892), pl. XI and p. 24. Befeuchter and Befruchter are concepts identical with those of the ancients; Altheim, Terra Mater, 150; Preller, Römische Mythologie, 335. Cf. G. Dossin, "Un rituel due culte d'Istar," Revue d'Assyriologie 35 (1938): 9.
98. From the golden horde of Demeter came the sparsiones of the Thalysia; Homer, Iliad 9:534; Nilsson, Geschichte der griechischen Religion, 1:117; Cornford, Origin of Attic Comedy, 27. Frigg, or Freyja, was called Folla, Abundia, Dame Habonde, and so forth, because "she bestowed prosperity and abundance on mortals"; she kept "the divine mother's chest (eski), out of which gifts were showered upon [the people]"; Grimm, Teutonic Mythology, 1:308. This treasure was "the gold of Frigg"; ibid., 1:307. The treasure chamber of the goddess always appears in close connection with the royal marriage motif (Cornford, Origin of Attic Comedy, 26-27), of which the story of King Solomon and the Queen of Sheba in its numerous Oriental versions is perhaps the most instructive instance, though the reader may recall various Celtic legends of the same intent, such as Geoffrey of Monmouth, Historia Regum Britanniae II, 14; cf. Herodotus, History II, 121-26; II, 135; I, 187, and so forth.
99. This was the penus (provisions) of the community and the arca pontificum (treasury of the pontifices), from which festival expenses were paid; Wissowa, Religion und Kultus der Römer, 407, 471. After half the blood of the October horse had been sprinkled, the other half was stored there for future sparsiones (ibid., 145; see above, n. 5).
100. Ibid., 300; it was the "Archiv und Kasse" into which all fines were paid, and from which the cura annonae was administered; cf. ibid., 302, 297; cf. Altheim, Terra Mater, 118; Piganiol, Recherches sur les jeux romains, 2, 12, 85, 91, 101, and so forth; Fowler, The Roman Festivals of the Period of the Republic, 74-79.
101. In connection with the sparsiones the goddess appears most often as Fortuna (see below, nn. 141-46) and as Annona: the Annona Augusti Ceres of the Imperial coins representing "Ceres . . . in her guise as Imperial Corn Supply"; Sutherland, "Greek and Roman Coins," 74-75. Annona is the emissary (Oehler, "Annona," in RE 1:2320), and the indigitamentum of Ceres; Georg Wissowa, "Annona," in Roscher, Ausführliches Lexikon, 1:360; Berve, "Liberalitas," in RE 13:89-90. Ceres received and dispensed the praemitiae as archaic patroness of the cura annonae and of the primitive games (see above, n. 100). Her mate is the year-god Janus-Cerus; Huth, Janus, 22-23, 93; Wilhelm Roscher, "Ianus," in Roscher, Ausführliches Lexikon, 2:1:30; Wissowa, Religion und Kultus der Römer, 103-4, 109; and it has often been noted that her festival was the year-festival (Piganiol, Recherches sur les jeux romains, 91; Fowler, Roman Festivals, 74-79), the primitive year being marked by the opening and shutting of her subterranean corn bin; see above, n. 44; cf. Altheim, "Altitalische und altrömische Gottesvorstellung," 47-50; Wissowa, "De Feriis Anni Romanorum Vetustissimi," 154-55. The name Annona refers specifically to the yearly office of distribution.
102. Ovid, Fasti V, 221; on Flora as Ceres, cf. Altheim, Terra Mater, 132-33.
103. The treasury of the goddess is also that of Pluto, and the counterpart of the heavenly treasury of Zeus; Cornford, Origin of Attic Comedy, 27; Aristophanes, Plutus 131-34. Lydus, De Mensibus IV, 85, argues that Pluto is the Sun in the underworld with Kore, who personifies "that power which is upon the seeds as they fall from heaven to earth." At all times the substance of the Roman sparsiones was taken in theory from the aerarium Saturnii (Oehler, "Annona," in RE 1:2319), and Saturn's temple was the city treasury; Wissowa, Religion und Kultus der Römer, 57. In the East the waters of heaven and those of the underworld are identical, and the gold shower is supplied from a heavenly rain-pond, which is at the same time the water of the abyss; cf. Lehmann, "Erscheinungs- und Ideenwelt der Religion," in Bertholet and Lehmann, Lehrbuch der Religionsgeschichte, 1:105-6; and Edvard Lehmann, "Die Perser," in Bertholet and Lehmann, Lehrbuch der Religionsgeschichte, 2:228.
104. Alan H. Gardiner, Egyptian Grammar (Oxford: Clarendon, 1927), 296, cites references to this.
105. Anton Deimel, Sumerische Grammatik (Rome: Pontifical Biblical Institute, 1924), 119; cf. 110: "von Phallus überschüssiger Kraft, vom Hause des Sturmflutes, vom Gebirge, dem heiligen Orte werde ich dir [i.e., the King] einen Wind schicken: das Land wird er mit Lebenshauch beschencken." It is the goddess who brings forth this shower; Jastrow, "Sumerian and Akkadian Versions of Beginnings," 292-93.
106. Hammurabi Code, Prologue, cols. 2-4; Robert F. Harper, Code of Hammurabi (Chicago: University of Chicago, 1904), 5-9. The Persian god sits in heaven "on a golden throne . . . with hands overflowing"; Carnoy, Iranian Mythology, 229-300.
107. Psalms 78:23-29 (for the New Year); cf. Malachi 3:10.
108. Cf. Wensinck, "Semitic New Year and the Origin of Eschatology" 158-99; Feasey, Ancient English Holy Week Ceremonial, 55-72.
109. "Domine aperi fenestram. Sol veni! Luna veni! Nubes celestis cum manna veni!" (Henri Leclerq, "Laudes Pueriles," in Cabrol and Leclercq, Dictionnaire d'archéologie chrétienne et de liturgie, 8:2:1913.)
110. Feasey, Ancient English Holy Week Ceremonial, 74, 76-77; cf. 58.
111. Suetonius, Augustus 98. As princeps iuventutis (Augustus, Monumentum Ancyranum III, 1-6) he would distribute tokens marked MAG(ister) IUVENT(utis); Rostovzeff, Römische Bleitesserae, 59; cf. Hubert Démoulin, "Encore les collegia iuvenum," Musée Belge 3 (1899): 177-92.
112. Henri Leclerq, "Annone," in Cabrol and Leclercq, Dictionnaire d'archéologie chrétienne et de liturgie, 1:2275-76, fig. 776. Leclercq's explanation is that "deux génies couvrent les époux de fleurs" (two geniuses are showering the married couple with flowers), although the objects on the strings in no way resemble flowers, and the strings are not held lightly like garlands, but are clutched firmly and hang straight, though at odd angles, as if they were being shaken.
113. Plutarch, Romulus 11. The best-known example is that of the Lacus Curtius, into which every Roman tossed a coin or fruit offering "quotannis ex voto pro salute eius" (each year in fulfillment of a vow for his welfare); Suetonius, Augustus 57; cf. Livy, VII, 6, 3-6; Propertius, Elegies IV, 2, 61. The mouth of the underworld was the mundus, which has been persistently identified with the subterranean public silo from which the grain distributions were made, the mundus Cereris (Festus, Lindsay, ed., 144; Macrobius, Saturnalia I, 16-18; see above, n. 101).
114. "Diese Sitte der Münzspende an Quellen und Flüsse geht durch die ganze antike Welt," according to Franz Dölger, "Die Münze im Taufbecken und die Münzenfunde in Heilquellen der Antike Kultur- und Religionsgeschichtliches zum Kanon 48 der Synode von Elvira in Spanien," in Antike und Christentum, 6 vols. (Münster: Aschendorff, 1929), 3:13, who has treated the subject extensively; ibid., 3:1-24. Additional instances of the throwing of year-offerings into the abyss of the netherworld are to be found in Sozomen, Historia Ecclesiastica (Ecclesiastical History) 2, 4; Gregory of Tours, De Gloria Confessorum 2, in PL 71:830-31; Pausanias, Description of Greece I, 18, 7; VII, 24, 2; III, 23, 9; III, 26, 1 (this Ino is identified with the Roman Mater Matuta in ritual; cf. Schirmer, "Leukothea," in Roscher, Ausführliches Lexikon, 2:2:2012); Lucian, De Syria Dea (On the Syrian Goddess) 12, and so forth. The Demeter pigs of the Thesmophoria were thrown into a pit before being scattered over the fields, according to Gilbert Murray, Five Stages of Greek Religion (Oxford: Clarendon, 1925), 30.
115. Wissowa, Religion und Kultus der Römer, 429. One is reminded of the Greek katabolia, the act of contributing one's offering to a public feast by throwing it onto the common pile; Athenaeus, Deipnosophists VII, 362; Johann Tzetzes, Ad Hesiodum 2.
116. Cf. H. J. Rose, "The Cult of Volkanus at Rome," Journal of Roman Studies 23 (1933): 58-61; J. Toutain, "Sur un rite curieux et significatif du cult de Vulcain Rome," RHR 103 (1931): 136-37.
117. Leviticus 5; 8:26-30; 14:6-7, 16; 23:11, 20, and so forth. These rites are a complicated series of throwing, waving, sprinkling, and mixing of oil, blood, water, bits of meat, and fruits of the earth, with much liquid sparsio over altar, priests, and congregation. They are full of instructive parallels which cannot be treated here.
118. As seen in the scattering of ashes to the winds, in which every vestige of the object of sacrifice follows the course of the flame and smoke to the other world. The ashes of various "vegetation gods" were sown abroad in true sparsiones; Jane Harrison, Prolegomena to the Study of Greek Religion (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1908), 97-98. On burning as a means of banishment, cf. Pausanias, Description of Greece II, 10, 1.
119. Cornford, Origin of Attic Comedy, 55-56; Eitrem, Opferritus und Voropfer, 280-94.
120. Roman practices of banishment recall the Hittite system, which puts things "on the road to the Sungod in the Underworld" by throwing them into a fire, a stream, or a pit; Albrecht Götze, Kleinasien (Munich: Beck, 1933), 146-47. The Sumerian compound for "dedicate," "sacrifice," is a-ru, literally "throw into the water," writes Deimel, Sumerische Grammatik, 42. Objects tossed into the year-fires of Europe (Grimm, Teutonic Mythologie, 1:43) were also cast into holy fountains, both acting as "Bote zwischen der göttlichen und der menschlichen Welt" (a messenger between the divine and the human worlds); Paul Herrmann, Altdeutsche Kultgebräuche (Jena: Diederichs, 1928), 33; cf. 40, 59. The year-fire itself is transmitted from heaven by a burning-glass, a "type of the Orient on high," passing from the world above to that below without any contact of the two; Feasey, Ancient English Holy Week Festival, 187-88, 180-81.
121. Eitrem, Opferritus und Voropfer, 282-90; Rose, "Cult of Volkanus at Rome," 61; Paul Radin, Social Anthropology (New York: McGraw-Hill, 1932), 306. The throwing of food or stones keeps the spirits at a distance either by satisfying them (Cerberus) or scaring them off; cf. Thompson, Motif-Index of Folk-Literature, H331; R231 (Atalanta motif); G512. With the sparsio as a form of combat (e.g., confetti) the present study is not concerned. It will be enough to note that the adorea of kisses, flowers, fruits, and vegetables (Plutarch, Cato Minor 46) thrown to actors in the theater could, if an actor did badly, take the form of a shower of stones: in either case it was a sparsio; but Franciscus B. Ferrarius, De Veterum Acclamationibus et Plausu, in Graevius, Thesaurus Antiquitatem Romanorum, 6:82-88, warns against confusing ritual combats with stoning rites (cf. Eitrem, Opferritus und Voropfer, 290).
122. The spirits were waiting to snatch it: they were the Harpies, the rapacious dead; Kirchmann, De Funeribus Romanorum, 578-80; Georg Weicker, Der Seelenvogel in der alten Litteratur und Kunst (Leipzig: Teubner, 1902), 20. In Babylonia the stray animals that snatched food from the ground were "the shadow-spirits of the dead"; Meissner, Babylonien und Assyrien, 1:419. To appease such the Philageians would carry some crumbs from the year-feast; Athenaeus, Deipnosophists IV, 149C; cf. Franz Dölger, "Die Eucharistie als Reiseschutz: Die Eucharistie in den Händen der Laien," in Antike und Christentum, 5:232-47, 258. After the German year-feast the crumbs were scattered over the fields with cries of "wôld! wôld!" (Grimm, Teutonic Mythology, 1:156), the sowing of the fields and the feeding of the dead being the same act; Eitrem, Opferritus und Voropfer, 262. For the Pythagoreans all food that fell from the table passed tois erosi and could not be used by mortals; Diels, Fragmente der Vorsokratiker, 1:463; Diogenes Laertius, Lives of Eminent Philosophers VIII, 34. Whatever is thrown or dropped is lost to this world, whatever is caught is gained; Pausanias, Description of Greece I, 17, 3; Aelius Spartianus, Hadrian XXVI, 7.
123. Hecate takes a deipnon from the rich to feed the poor, who must snatch the food before it is set down; Aristophanes, Plutus 594-99; Joannes Tzetzes, Commentarii in Aristophanem, vol. 6:1 of Scholia in Aristophanem, ed. W. J. W. Koster (Groningen: Wolters, 1960), 142. The crumbs for Hecate (see Gulick's note on Athenaeus, Deipnosophists IV, 149C; cf. III, 110C) were a sort of Hygeia-bread, like the cakes of the Kollyridian rites; Franz Dölger, "Heidnische und christliche Brotstempel mit religiösen Zeichen: Zur Geschichte des Hostienstempels," in Antike und Christentum, 1:13-14. The remnants of the Christian agape, heavenly food, were distributed among the poor; Evagrius, Ecclesiastical History IV, 36, in PG 86:2:2769; I. Bekker, ed., Georgius Cedrenus 1:686-88, as were the untouchable remains of the great Slavic year-feast for the dead; Jan Machal, Slavic Mythology, vol. 3 in Gray, Mythology of All Races (Boston: Jones, 1918), 236. In Israel what fell from the sacred bread-fruit tree in the temple could be picked up only by the poor; Babylonian Talmud Pesah 52b; cf. the gleaning-law, Leviticus 19:9-10. Eitrem, Opferritus und Voropfer, 263-64, 267, gives other cases in which "die Armen vielfach den Platz der Totenseelen eingenommen" (the poor took the place of the dead).
124. Grimm, Teutonic Mythology, 1:273-74, 282. Unless the god unexpectedly lets fall a shoe or ring, and so forth, from his statue, these must be snatched from him unawares by one who would obtain prosperity; ibid., 1:114, n. 2. Cf. such year-motifs as Gilgamesh snatching the tablets of Destiny, Prometheus stealing fire, and so forth. The throwing or accidental dropping of a spindle into running streams at the New Year gratifies the earth-goddess; cf. Adolf Wuttke, Der deutsche Volksaberglaube der Gegenwart (Berlin: Wiegandt and Grieben, 1900), 26 (24), 29-30, 32; Thompson, Motif-Index of Folk-Literature, G423, a motif occurring very anciently in the Ras Shamra fragments; Barton, "Second Liturgical Poem from Ras Shamra," 38.
125. See Thompson, Motif-Index of Folk-Literature, E545, 561, 373.
126. Athenaeus, Deipnosophists IV, 145; cf. 146B; Herodotus, History IX, 110.
127. Götze, Kleinasien, 153, 155 (of the Hittite king).
128. Athenaeus, Deipnosophists IV, 153. The symbol of Orestes' utter banishment from the world of men is his eating alone at a table set apart (Euripides, Iphigeneia at Taurus 949-54).
129. Athenaeus, Deipnosophists IV, 145; Herman Kees, Ägypten, in Handbuch der Altertumswissenschaft, vol. 3, pt. 1, 3a (Munich: Beck, 1933), 64.
130. Athenaeus, Deipnosophists IV, 151 (Thracian), 153 (Parthian). It is still considered an ill omen in the East for food to pass directly from the hand of a giver to that of a receiver.
131. Rostovzeff, Römische Bleitesserae, 13, 16-17, 38, 55, is insistent on this point.
132. Many were actually killed in scrambles for tesserae (Dio Cassius, LIX, 25, 5; Herodian, Histories V, 6, 10). Yet for Rostovzeff, Römische Bleitesserae, 4, "Ausstreuen" is nothing more than a convenient means of distribution.
133. Gifts were flung until "desunt qui rapiant, sinusque pleni gaudent" (there are too few to grasp them all, and full laps shout for joy); Statius, Silvae I, 6, 79-80. When "omne genus rerum missilia sparsit, et . . . pars maior intra popularia deciderat" (he scattered gifts of all sorts of things, and the greater part fell among the people), Domitian gave the knights and senators a special repeat shower, Suetonius, Domitian IV, 5; cf. Suetonius, Augustus 41, and Duruy, "Régime municipal dans l'empire romain," 348. Rich senators complained if they failed to get their share of these trivial "hand-outs," a plain indication of their symbolic nature (Symmachus, Epistolae IX, 153; cf. Commodian, Instructiones II, 34).
134. Quite apart from the fun of the licentia diripiendi (Suetonius, Augustus 98; Josephus, Antiquities of the Jews XIX, 1, 13, 93), there is an archaic background to the rixae (brawls), as seen in Apollodorus, I, 9, 23; Hyginus, Fabulae 22, where Jason's sparsio of stones that begets a race of men is followed by yet another which sets them fighting by the ears. Altheim, Terra Mater, 136, surmises a "kultische Bedeutung" (cultic meaning) in the rixanti populo (brawling mob) of Persius, Saturnalia V, 176, but is not more specific. The rixa figures also in the Greek sparsio; Aristophanes, Wasps 58-59; cf. Cornford, Origin of Attic Comedy, 100-101.
135. Rostovzeff, Römische Bleitesserae, 56, and Friedländer, Sittengeschichte Roms, 2:317, both use the term without following up the clue.
136. Hermann Dessau, Geschichte der römischen Kaiserzeit, 2 vols. (Berlin: Weidmann, 1924-26), 1:339.
137. Alexander Tille, Yule and Christmas: Their Place in the Germanic Year (London: Nutt, 1899), 31-32, 114-15. The famous year-cake of the Slavs (Machal, Slavic Mythology, 218-19) recalls the round Janus cakes of the Roman New Year (Wissowa, Religion und Kultus der Römer, 111, n. 3). Contributions to the Greek feast had to be caught, not purchased; Athenaeus, Deipnosophists IV, 141; Pausanias, Description of Greece VII, 18, 7; cf. 1 Samuel 2:13-14, where the priest receives his share by a sort of grab-bag. A fowl alighting on the emperor's table during the scrambles of the Saturnalia was hailed as the best of omens; Aelius Lampridius, Severus Alexander XXXVII, 6; cf. Franz Dölger, "Die Apollinarischen Spiele und das Fest Pelusia," in Antike und Christentum, 1:153; and Rostovzeff, Römische Bleitesserae, 89, on "die sacrale Grundlage der Jagd" (the sacral basis of the hunt).
138. All this is implied in the symbol of the cornucopia, the impartiality motif in the formula, "O dominum aequum et bonum" (O just and good lord)! (Suetonius, Augustus 53; cf. Dio Chrysostom, Orations III, 73; Athenaeus, Deipnosophists I, 13; Livy, XXXI, 4, 6-7; Tacitus, Annals IV, 64).
139. E.g., Aelius Lampridius, Heliogabalus 22; Suetonius, Augustus 75.
140. V. E. Ehrenberg, "Losung," in RE 13:1459; A. Bouché-Leclercq, "La Divination italique," RHR 1 (1880): 43-44; cf. Cicero, De Divinatione I, 34; II, 85-87. It should not be overlooked that sero, serere also means to "sow."
141. Ehrenberg, "Losung," in RE 13:1455-57; Bouché-Leclercq, "Divination italique," 44-45. In this capacity Fortuna is an old autochthonous version of the Mother Goddess (see above, n. 101).
142. Ehrenburg, "Losung," in RE 13:1455-57. The great shrine of Fortuna Primigenia at Praeneste was open only at the New Year (cf. refs. in Bouché-Leclercq, "Divination italique," 46-47); so also the Pythian originally gave oracles only one day a year, on the god's birthday (Plutarch, Quaestiones Graecae no. 9).
143. Bouché-Leclercq, "Divination italique," 44; Ehrenberg, "Losung," in RE 13:1475; Cicero, De Divinatione II, 85-87.
144. The numerous tesserae from the shrine of Aesculapius and Hygeia on the Tiber Island fulfil all these conditions; Rostovzeff, Römische Bleitesserae, 2-3, 99.
145. Hers is the most common name on all tokens; Rostovzeff, Römische Bleitesserae, 97; Wissowa, Religion und Kultus der Römer, 246; and designates the goddess as "Spenderin von materiellen Gütern" (distributor of material goods); Rostovzeff, Römische Bleitesserae, 110.
146. Seneca, Epistulae I, 74, 6: "ad haec, quae a fortuna sparguntur, sinum expandit et sollicitus missilia exspectat" (opens his arms for what is scattered by fortune and waits anxiously for her gifts).
147. Cf. lexica; Mommsen, "Das römische Gastrecht und die römische Clientel," 340-41; K. Regling, "Tessera," in RE 2:5:851-54.
148. Pausanias, Description of Greece VII, 25, 6; II, 20, 3 (where Tyche corresponds to the Italian Fortuna).
149. The classic treatment of this is by Mommsen, "Das römische Gastrecht und die römische Clientel," 339-42, and Theodor Mommsen, "Das römische Gastrecht," in Römische Forschungen, 2 vols. (Berlin: Weidmann, 1864), 1:338-43. The need for such tickets argues their origin in public rather than in the intimate private cult.
150. Cf. Regling, "Tessera," in RE 2:5:851-54; Rostovzeff, Römische Bleitesserae, 1; Marquardt, Römische Staatsverwaltung, 2:128: the incisi (those whose names are inscribed) possess "ein für allemal eine tessera" (a permanent tessera) to match their names in the list. Cf. Livy, VIII, 20, 8, and Wissowa, Religion und Kultus der Römer, 131, on the great tessera of the state.
151. Deimel, Sumerische Grammatik, 73, 77-78 (dated New Year), 86-87, 210, 224.
152. Throughout the Middle East it was the custom for everyone coming to the king's feast at the New Year to contribute an arrow; Carnoy, Iranian Mythology, 306-8. These were the baresmen used by the king in divination as he sat "on a golden throne, on a golden cushion, on a golden carpet . . . with hands overflowing" (ibid., 299-300), as appears from comparison with the Tartar custom described by Joinville, Histoire de St. Louis (Paris: Foucault, 1824), 475-78. For the Scythian version cf. Herodotus, History IV, 81; for the Caucasus, William E. D. Allen, A History of the Georgian People (London: Kegan Paul, Trench, Trübner, 1932), 331. The use of lucky arrows in determining portions at feasts is frequently mentioned in Arabic sources, e.g., Qur'an 2:216; Mucallaqat, 2, 104. The same association of arrow-token (or seal) and feast is apparent in very early Babylonia, where seals seem to have originated as arrows or reeds (William H. Ward, The Seal Cylinders of Western Asia [Washington, D.C.: Carnegie Institute, 1910], 5), the earliest of these being devoted to New Year's banquet themes. According to Frankfort, "Gods and Myths on Sargonid Seals," 7, 6, their "designs of good omen," which reflect "the Babylonian New Year festival . . . antedate by 2,000 years the texts upon which we must draw." The favorite subjects of the very earliest seals are banquet and hunting scenes; Leon Legrain, Archaic Seal Impressions (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1936), 4. The arrow appears as a device for carrying a message between this world and the world above in much folklore, e.g., Herodotus, History V, 105. See "The Arrow, the Hunter, and the State," pages 1-32 in this volume.
153. "Marks were cut on pieces of wood, . . . and each person had his mark. Sometimes the places at feasts were assigned by lot; . . . images of some of the gods were sometimes marked on the lots"; Paul B. Du Chaillu, The Viking Age, 2 vols. (New York: Scribner, 1890), 1:350. Runes and ogam characters take their form from being cut on such pieces of wood (John Rhys, Lectures on the Origin and Growth of Religion as Illustrated by Celtic Heathendom [London: Williams and Norgate, 1898], 268), just as Babylonian characters appear on seals "long before we meet any instance of writing on clay tablets"; Legrain, Archaic Seal Impressions, 4. Such marks exactly resemble the Hausmarken, or private seals, derived anciently from some southern European alphabet "most like the North-Etruscan," according to Gustav Neckel, "Die Runen," Acta Philologica Scandinavica 12 (1937-38): 114-15; cf. 112-13.
154. For admission to the primitive Greek feasts the poor would present a section of reed or a laurel leaf; Athenaeus, Deipnosophists IV, 140, 141E. The leaf would be given back to the holder with a paste of oil and barley on it, both laurel (ibid., IV, 140C) and reed serving as cheap and convenient containers; Campbell Bonner, "Notes on the Use of the Reed, with Special Reference to Some Doubtful Passages," Transactions and Proceedings of the American Philological Society 39 (1908): 35-48. The laurel leaf here has a token value, for one could pay certain fines either with a cake (kamma) or with a laurel leaf (kammatis); Athenaeus, Deipnosophists IV, 141A. The leaf was put to the same use by the early Romans, who would cook their New-Year and birthday cakes on them and call them panes laureati; Cato, De Agri Cultura 75-76 and 121. In the East the strena takes the alternative form of sections of reed under the Empire; Malalas, Chronographia, in PG 97:481-84; Chronicon Paschale, in PG 92:641. An unexplained passage from Wilhelm Henzen, ed., Acta Fratrum Arvalium Quae Supersunt (Berlin: Reimer, 1874), 26, seems to imply that there was a scramble in the giving out of the panes laureati: "et panes laureat(os) per public(os) partiti sunt; ibi omn(es) lumemulia cum rapinis acceperunt" (they distributed the panes laureati among the crowd; everyone got the lumemulia there in wild scrambles). Since the meaning of lumemulia is entirely unknown (ibid., 32), may not the rapinae refer to rixae of the distributions rather than to "beets"?
155. Wensinck, "Semitic New Year and the Origin of Eschatology," 172 and passim, citing especially Ephraim Syrus, Hymn II, 2; VI, 13. The heavenly Book of Life is matched by like tablets kept in the underworld; Aeschylus, Eumenides 273-75. The worst of all penalties is to be blotted out from the Book of Life, to be "cut off from among the people," and so forth.
156. Blumenthal, "Ludi Saeculares," 231-32; cf. Herodian, Histories III, 8, 10.
157. The Golden Tablets of the Orphic mysteries as "passports to the other world" (Rohde, Psyche, 249-50 [vii, 21]) resemble the coins or cakes with which the dead were expected to pay their admission to the banquets of the beyond, thus assuring their nonreturn; Paul Sartori, "Die Totenmünze," Archiv für Religionswissenschaft 2 (1899): 210, 213. A dos or sportula had to be presented by all seeking entrance to the feasts of the various collegia and mysteries; Dölger, "Die Münze im Taufbecken," in Antike und Christentum 3:9-12; Wissowa, Religion und Kultus der Römer, 407.
158. The Phyllobolia was one of the formal steps of initiation into the mysteries; references in Eitrem, Opferritus und Voropfer, 279. In the famous picture of the heavenly banquet of Vibia, depicting certain mysteries (Rostovzeff, Mystic Italy, 145-46; cf. Johannes Leipoldt, Die Religionen der Umwelt des Urchristentums [Leipzig: Deichert, 1926], no. 166), two youths are seen in the foreground on a flowering field; one of them scatters small objects which the other gathers up and puts in his mouth; Raffaele Garruci, Storia dell'arte cristiana nei primi otto secoli della Chiesa, 6 vols. (Prato: Giachetti, 1880), 6, pl. 494; Henri Leclerq, "Agape," in Cabrol and Leclercq, Dictionnaire d'archéologie chrétienne et de liturgie, 1:839-40, fig. 186. Cf. Aischrion, I, 43, in Poetae Lyrici Graeci, ed. Theodorus Bregk (Leipzig: Teubner, 1882), 2:517: "kai theon broma agrostin heures, hen Kronos katespeiren" (you have found dog's-tooth grass, the food of the gods, which Kronos scattered about); and Carnoy, Iranian Mythology, 308: "And there shalt thou place the meadow where unceasingly the golden-colored, where unceasingly the invincible food is eaten." The feast on the grass with its miraculous abundance occurs in Herodotus, History I, 126; Matthew 14:19; and Mark 6:39; and in the archaic Roman year-feasts; Ovid, Fasti III, 532-40; this Anna Perenna, the year-goddess, is identical with Ceres; Altheim, Terra Mater, 93; Henzen, Acta Fratrum Arvalium, 26: "in cespite . . . sacr(um) fecer(unt)" (they held the banquet . . . on the grass).
159. A remarkable parallel is the Indian Asvamedha feast, at the end of which the king gave to each priestly guest a piece of gold of 100 grains, "because the life of man is 100 years" (Dumont, L'Asvamedha, iii, 15-16; cf. v; 249). Just so, after the Arval banquet each of the brethren received a sportula of gold coin, which is always specified as 100 denarii (Henzen, Acta Fratrum Arvalium, 13, 16-17, 26-27, 45-46); though it is not stated that this is for one hundred years, such was in fact the secular life-span, and the coin was exchanged for the wish, "augeat t(ibi) I(uppiter) a(nnos)" (may Jupiter increase your years); ibid., 45-46; cf. Wissowa, "Arvales Fratres," in RE 2:1475.
160. P. Nigidius Figulus, frg. 99; Scholia ad Germanicum (ed. Maas), 85, 154.
161. Apollodorus III, 4, 1; Euripides, Madness of Heracles 4-7; Hyginus, Fabulae 178; Ovid, Metamorphosis III, 101-30; cf. Thompson, Motif-Index of Folk-Literature, A1245. On Spartoi from speirein, cf. Turk, "Spartoi," in RE 2:3:1538-40.
162. Wissowa, Religion und Kultus der Römer, 261-62.
163. Marquardt, Römische Staatsverwaltung, 2:130.
164. The seal was a contract between god and man as it was between men; Otto Weber, Altorientalische Siegelbilder (Leipzig: Hinrichs, 1920), 1, 5. It was "the emblem of the Creator God, as a symbol and guarantee of his assistance," W. M. Flinders Petrie, Scarabs and Cylinders with Names (London: University of London, 1917), 3-4; also "a peculium of their owner," that had "a protective virtue . . . [and] may have conveyed a sense of divine companionship," Arthur J. Evans, The Palace of Minos at Knossos, 4 vols. (London: Macmillan, 1935), 3:144. On the tessera as contract, see above, n. 149.
165. Such were the song of the Sicilian bukoliasts (Nilsson, Geschichte der griechischen Religion, 1:118), the Eiresione song (ibid., 1:114), and the typical "quête" song in Aristophanes, The Birds 723-36. Latin equivalents of these are the laudes pueriles, a collection of which may be found in Leclerq, "Laudes Pueriles," in Cabrol and Leclercq, Dictionnaire d'archéologie chrétienne et de liturgie, 8:1910-16, and the panegyrics, collected in Henri Leclerq, "Panégyrique," in ibid., 13:1016-45. The activities of these youthful New Year's choruses closely resemble those of the Arval and Salian brethren; cf. Robert S. Conway, Ancient Italy and Modern Religion (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1933), 2-10. When a sparsio is given at a private party, the guests spring to their feet and recite an acclamatio to the Emperor; Petronius, Satyricon 60.
166. This appears in a very ancient form of marriage contract, wherein one party catches the gold or silver thrown by the other; Poetae Lyrici Graeci 2:299 (epigrams 2-3), also in Elegy and Iambus with the Anacreontea, 2 vols. (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1968), 2:6-7 (epigrams 7-8); Herodotus, History I, 199; Thompson, Motif-Index of Folk-Literature, H316, where both throwing and catching serve to establish a contract. If the gifts thrown into the abyss at the New Year disappeared, it was believed that the god had accepted the contract; if not, it was taken as a bad sign; Pausanias, Description of Greece III, 23, 9.
167. Rostovzeff, Römische Bleitesserae, 41. Many of these acclamations are collected by Ferrarius in Graevius, Thesaurus Antiquitatem Romanorum, 6:104-15, 123-36, 150-83, 199-230; and Leclerq, "Laudes Pueriles," in Cabrol and Leclerq, Dictionnaire d'archéologie chrétienne et de liturgie, 8:1910-16. The hundreds of acclamationes almost without exception (1) hail the donor as worthy and victorious, and (2) wish him multos annos (many years).
168. The principle of substitution is here in full force. The common resemblance of tesserae to coins is explained by the substitution of coins and dice alike for those primitive astragals of which Neolithic Italy has yielded a great harvest, but which disappear completely in historic times to survive in altered form both as coins and as dice; Ehrenberg, "Losung," in RE 13:1485; Hugo Blümner, Die römischen Privataltertümer (Munich: Beck, 1911), 412, n. 12. The Lydians, who are traditionally said to have invented money, also invented lots and games of chance, and that in an attempt to solve the food-distribution problem; Herodotus, History I, 94. Since writing possibly began with seals, it is significant that Cadmus, who begot the race by sowing tokens, is also credited with the invention of written symbols. Diogenes recommended the universal use of dice as money; Athenaeus, Deipnosophists IV, 159; and indeed gilt astragals marked like dice still serve as money in the most civilized parts of the East Indies. Blümner, Römischen Privataltertümer, 415, finds that the Romans never diced except for money, so that the coin was part of the game. While coins may have originated from seals (Arthur R. Burns, Money and Monetary Policy in Early Times [New York: Kelley, 1927], 37), dice and seals are also confused and identified in archaic times; Fritz Hommel, Ethnologie und Geographie des alten Orients (Munich: Beck, 1926), 48-49 (Hittite), 66 (Etruscan).
169. A large class of bronze and the whole class of bone tesserae are tesserae lusoriae; Regling, "Tessera," in RE 2:5:851-54.
170. Regling, "Spintria," in RE 2:3:1814, and Rostovzeff, Römische Bleitesserae, 56-57.
171. Horace, Carmen Saeculare I, 4, 14; II, 7, 25-26; Mau, "Astragalos," in RE 2:1795, suggests that this is the reason for calling Venus basilikos; cf. Plautus, Curculio 357.
172. Tacitus, Annals XIII, 15; Cicero, Epistulae ad Atticum V, 20, 5; Lucian, Saturnalia 2-4, and 9; Seneca, Apocolocyntosis 8. The Roman emperor learned the fortune of his rule by dicing at the New Year in the shrine of Fortuna at Praeneste (Suetonius, Domitian 15) exactly as the Babylonian monarch would dice in the Chamber of Destiny, or the kings of the North would cast dice in the temple of Uppsala to win 300 years of life; Paul Herrmann, Nordische Mythologie (Leipzig: Engelmann, 1903), 531. King, high-priest (Cicero, In Verrem II, 2, 126), and scapegoat (Leviticus 16:8; Babylonian Talmud Yoma 63b; Helmold, Chronicle of the Slavs I, 52, and so forth) were all chosen by lot.
173. Martial, Epigrams V, 84; XI, 6; cf. Suetonius, Augustus 71.
174. E.g., Rostovzeff, Römische Bleitesserae, 59; Regling, "Spintria," in RE 2:3:1814. Far from being a late invention, just such "obscöne Bleispiegel und Bleiplaketten" (obscene lead mirrors and lead plaques) were found in the temple of Ishtar at Assur (Meissner, Babylonien und Assyrien, 2:438), and refer no doubt to that system of ritual prostitution for which Herodotus, History I, 196, actually finds parallels in Italy; cf. Joshua Whatmough, The Foundations of Roman Italy (London: Methuen, 1937), 173.
175. Best known in its Celtic versions; cf. Henry d'Arbois de Jubainville, The Irish Mythological Cycle and Celtic Mythology, tr. Richard I. Best (Dublin: Hodges, Figgis, 1903), 178-82. A very old version of the story is the Setna legend, dating at least from the Twelfth Dynasty in Egypt, Max Pieper, Ägyptische Literatur (Potsdam: Athenaion, 1927), 93-94; Gaston Maspero, Les contes populaires de l'Égypte ancienne, 3d ed. (Paris: Guilmoto, 1906), 100-101. Pieper identifies it with the Rhampsinitus cycle; Herodotus, History I, 121-26, with its remarkable dicing episode, ibid., I, 122, and its tesserae lasciviae, ibid., I, 126.
176. Macrobius, Saturnalia I, 10, 12-14; Tertullian, Ad Nationes II, 10; Augustine, De Civitate Dei (The City of God) VI, 7, 2, in PL 41:184-85; Plutarch, Quaestiones Romanae no. 35; Plutarch, Romulus 4-5. Acca divided up all her property among the Roman people, as did her mate at the Ara Maxima, and they celebrated her bounty in a midwinter feast at her tomb; Gellius, Attic Nights VII, 7, 7, citing Cato; cf. Macrobius, Saturnalia I, 10, 16; Varro, De Lingua Latina VI, 23-24; Plutarch, Romulus 4-5; Plutarch, Quaestiones Romanae no. 34. From Herodotus, History II, 121-22, it is plain that the lady of the Setna cycle, whom Herodotus calls Demeter, is none other than Acca's indigitamentum, Ceres.
177. Aristophanes, Ecclesiazusae 687-88, 834-37. Tyche, like Fortuna, was a dicing goddess, and as such, like Acca, the companion of Hercules; Pausanias, Description of Greece II, 20, 3.