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AQUAELIC´IUM

AQUAELIC´IUM (aquilicium), a sacrifice for rain (Paul. ex Festo, s. v. p. 2): “aquilicia Jovi immolatis, nudipedalia denuntiatis” (Tert. Apol. 40). In times of drought, the matrons clad in the stola, with bare feet and loosened hair (Petron. 44), and the magistrates without their purple robes and with reversed fasces (Tert. de Jejunio, 16), used to carry in procession a stone which lay outside the Porta Capena near the temple of Mars, through the city to the Capitol. The name of the stone was lapis or petra manalis (Paul. ex Fest. p. 128), i. e. the stone from which water flows: cf. AQUAEMANALIS Manalis Fons. The technical term for moving the stone was vertere (Fulgentius, de abstr. serm. § 4, S. V. manales lapides), a word also used for turning up a vessel to empty it (Verg. A. 9.165), so that possibly the lapis manalis symbolised the vessel of the rain-god. (Cf. Grimm, Deutsche Myth. p. 560; see generally Hartung, Rel. der Römer, ii. p. 11; Preller, Röm. Myth. pp. 173, 313; Marquardt, vi. p. 252.)

The practice of instituting ceremonies for rain is found in all ages. In 1240, at Liège, we read of a procession of the kind, three times round the town by the clergy and people with bare feet and in woollen garments (Grimm, Deutsche Myth. p. 159; cf. p. 562); and in our own day at Skopia, in Turkey, there is an altar which had in Roman times been erected to Jupiter, and in seasons of drought the corporation solemnly set it upright, and pour on it [p. 1.157]libations of wine (A. J. Evans, at the Society of Antiquaries, March 20, 1884).

[L.C.P]

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