Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Mola Salsa

Before the conclusion of Vestalia I should return to the Vestal Virgins in order to once again show the special role women play in the religio Romana.

When Numa Pompilius founded our tradition he laid down regulations on the conduct of Roman sacrifices. It may be a surprise to some that Numa said, “Sacrifices are not to be celebrated with an effusion of blood, but consist of flour, wine, and the least costly of offerings (Plutarch, Numa 8.8).” Indeed, sacrifices which he is said to have founded for Vesta, Carmenta, Fides, and Terminus, and in celebration of the founding of Roma at Parilia (21 April) do not permit the use of any blood sacrifices.

Those were introduced later under the Greek Tarquinians who arrived from Etruria. At their expulsion and the return to the Numa tradition at the beginning of the Roman Republic, blood sacrifices were again disallowed, and were again reintroduced along with foreign cultus. Today cultores Deorum Romanorum have once again returned to the Numa tradition and reject the use of  blood sacrifices.  Numa also said that “(Into your rites) the Gods are not to be represented in the form of man or beast, nor are there to be any painted or graven image of a deity admitted (ibid. 8.7).

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