Indo-European Sacred Space: Vedic and Roman Cult
In Indo-European Sacred Space, Roger D. Woodard provides a careful examination of the sacred spaces of ancient Rome, finding them remarkably consistent with older Indo-European religious practices as described in the Vedas of ancient India. Employing and expanding on the fundamental methods of Émile Benveniste, as well as Georges Dumézil's tripartite analysis of Proto-Indo-European society, Woodard clarifies not only the spatial dynamics of the archaic Roman cult but, stemming from that, an unexpected clarification of several obscure issues in the study of Roman religion.
Looking closely at the organization of Roman religious activity, especially as regards sacrifices, festivals, and the hierarchy of priests, Woodard sheds new light on issues including the presence of the god Terminus in Jupiter's Capitoline temple, the nature of the Roman suovetaurilia, the Ambarvalia and its relationship to the rites of the Fratres Arvales, and the identification of the "Sabine" god Semo Sancus. Perhaps most significantly, this work also presents a novel and persuasive resolution to the long standing problem of "agrarian Mars."
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affiliation Ager Romanus Agni Agnistoma altar Ambarvalia ambarvalic ancient Indo—European archaic Arval rites attested augural Benveniste boundary marker Boyle and Woodard Brahmana Cacus called Capitoline triad Carmen Arvale celebrated Ceres chariot cult cultic Dea Dia deities denote Dionysius of Halicarnassus Dius Fidius divine Dumézil earth Etruscan fertility festival Festus fire ﬂame Flamen Fratres Arvales Gabinus goddess gods Greek grove Hercules hero identified ideology Indra invoked Isti Italic Jupiter Keith Lares Latin linga Livy lustration Mahavedi Manius Mars Maruts midday myth offering Ovid pigs Pitaras Plutarch pomerium Pre—Capitoline preserved priests Propertius Proto—Indo—European Quirinus Rig Veda ritual Robigus Roman religion Rome Rome’s sacred boundary sacred space Sadas post Scheid Semo Sancus Semones society stone Strabo’s structure suovetaurilia Tarquin Tarquinius temple Terminalia Terminus third function Titus Tatius tradition tripartition Trita Aptya Tuscanicae unboundary Vaj apeya Varro Varro Ling Vedic India victim Visnu Vrtra warrior yﬁpa yupa