previous next


In ancient times crowns1 were presented to none but a divinity, hence it is that Homer2 awards them only to the gods of heaven and to the entire army; but never to an individual, however great his achievements in battle may have been. It is said, too, that Father Liber was the first of all who placed a crown on his head, and that it was made of ivy.3 In succeeding times, those engaged in sacrifices in honour of the gods began to wear them, the victims being decked with wreaths as well. More recently, again, they were employed in the sacred games;4 and at the present day they are bestowed on such occasions, not upon the victor, indeed, but upon his country, which receives, it is proclaimed, this crown at his hands.5 Hence arose the usage of conferring wreaths upon warriors when about to enjoy a triumph, for them to consecrate in the temples: after which it became the custom to present them at our games. It would be a lengthy matter, and, indeed, foreign to the purpose of this work, to enter upon a discussion who was the first Roman that received each kind of crown; in fact, they were acquainted with none but such as were given as the reward of military prowess. It is a well-known fact, however, that this people has more varieties of crowns than those of all other nations put together.

1 Athenæus and Fabius Pictor say that Janus was the first wearer of a crown: Pherecydes says it was Saturn, Diodorus Siculus Jupiter, and Leo Ægyptiacus Isis, who wore one of wheat.

2 II. xiii. 736.

3 See cc. 34 and 35 of the present Book.

4 The Olympian, Pythian, Isthmian, and Nemæan games.

5 See B. vii. c. 27.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

load focus Latin (Karl Friedrich Theodor Mayhoff, 1906)
hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

hide References (5 total)
  • Cross-references to this page (1):
    • Smith's Bio, Mus
  • Cross-references in general dictionaries to this page (4):
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: