a sodalitas or college of
priests at Rome, who represented the second tribe of the Romans, or the
Tities; that is, the Sabines, who, after their union with the Ramnes or
Latins, continued to perform their own ancient Sabine sacra. To superintend
and preserve these, T. Tatius is said to have instituted the Titii sodales
(Tac. Ann. 1.54
). The same writer
2.95) gives another tradition, that
the priesthood was instituted by Romulus in honour of king Tatius, who after
his death was worshipped as a god. It is true that Nipperdey rejects this
passage as an interpolation contradicting the account in the
but Marquardt justly points out that the alternative
tradition is supported by Dionys. A. R.
, where it is said that public sacrifices were yearly offered at
the tomb of Tatius; and it is not improbable that the priesthood really had
this origin, and may rightly be compared (as in the passage of Tacitus) with
the later AUGUSTALES
instituted to preserve the cult of Augustus. Whatever their origin, the use
of Sabine rites is attested by Varro (L. L.
derives the name Sodales Titii from Titiae aves, which were observed by
these priests in certain auguries; it appears that these priests also
preserved the ancient Sabine auguries distinct from those of the other
tribes. This priesthood had fallen somewhat into neglect at the end of the
Republic (cf., however, Lucan, Phars.
1.602), but was
restored by Augustus as a distinguished sodalitas,
in which the members seem to have been of senatorial
rank: among them we find the Emperor Augustus, Nero Caesar, the son of
Germanicus, and the Emperor Claudius (Mon. Ancyr. Gr.
C. I. L.
3.381, 1741; 6.913, 1343; 8.7050). The favour of
Vespasian towards them is testified by C. I. L.