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
(Paul. ex Fest. p. 128), i. e. the stone from which
water flows: cf. AQUAEMANALIS
The technical term for moving the
stone was vertere
(Fulgentius, de abstr. serm.
§ 4, S. V.
), a word also used for turning up a
vessel to empty it (Verg. A. 9.165
), so that
possibly the lapis manalis
vessel of the rain-god. (Cf. Grimm, Deutsche Myth.
see generally Hartung, Rel. der Römer,
ii. p. 11;
Preller, Röm. Myth.
pp. 173, 313; Marquardt, vi. p.
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).