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a fig tree in the Comitium, near the steps of the curia and the statue of Attus Navius (Fest. 169; Dionys. iii. 71: ἱερὰ συκή). It was said to have been the tree beneath which the wolf suckled the twins, Romulus and Remus, and to have been miraculously transported to the Comitium by the power of the augur Navius (Plin. NH xv. 77; Tac. Ann. xiii. 58). It was surrounded by a bronze grating (Conon, Narr. 48: ἐρινεὸς ἱερά, and thereby marked a spot that had been struck by lightning (Plin. loc. cit.: sacra fulguribus ibi conditis). It was regarded as a symbol of Rome's power, and any sign of withering as an unfavourable omen which must be averted by the priests (Plin. loc. cit.; Fest. 169). This happened in 58 A.D., according to Tacitus (loc. cit.), who calls the tree ruminalis arbor (see below), and says that it had sheltered the twins 840 years before. The probable explanation of this tree on the Comitium is, that it had grown in a spot which had been struck by lightning and therefore was left unpaved and sacred; and, as this spot was close to the statue of Navius, the legend had developed that the augur had brought it over from the Lupercal (Jord. i. 2. 264, 356-7 ; RE vi. 2147-8).

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58 AD (1)
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