The ritual songs (axamenta
) of the Salii
(q.v.), who sang them during the processions of Mars and Quirinus. These, by the
middle of the first century B.C., had become unintelligible even to the priests
themselves (Quint. i. 6, 40
were consequently written down and henceforward repeated merely as a formula. L. Aelius Stilo
wrote a commentary on them (Varro, L. L.
vii. 2; Fest.
, Müll.). Only two or three connected bits of these hymns
have come down to us, and these in a very corrupt state in the pages of the grammarians. (Cf.
Terent. Maurus, p. 2261, Putsch.) They will be found collected and explained by Bergk
i. 477) and Corssen (Origines Poësis Rom.
Berlin, 1846). See also Wordsworth, Fragments and Specimens of Early
Latin (Oxford, 1874)
, and Allen, Remnants of Early Latin
, p. 74