was paid to the gods in the following manner: The person prostrated himself
) before the statue of the god whom he
wished to honour, then kissed his hand and waved it to the statue (cf. Apul.
4.28, ad moventes oribus suis
dexteram, primore digito in erectum pollicem residente--adorationibus
). While doing this he moved round his whole body,
usually from left to right, but sometimes (e. g. in Gaul, Plin. Nat. 28.25
; and in the temple of
Aesculapius at Rome; Corp. Inscr. Gr.
5980) from right to
left, for which custom Plutarch (Plut. Num.
) gives some curious reasons; but the true reason is quite unknown.
Hence the convertere se
is used for adorare
in Liv. 5.21
1.1, 69). It was also the practice to have the
head and ears covered, so that only the forepart of the face remained [p. 1.29]
uncovered (Plin. Nat.
. c.; Minucius Felix, 2; Lucret. 5.1197). The adoratio
differed from the oratio
or prayers, which were offered with the palms open and
upturned to heaven, the suppliant usually kneeling. (Il. 7.177
1005; caelo supinas ferre manus,
Hor. Carm. 3.23.1
.) Clasping of the hands
(digitisinterse pectine iunctis,
Ov. Met. 9.299
pectinatim inter se implexis,
Plin. Nat. 28.59
) was a gesture only
resorted to by witches, as a means of hindering child-birth. The adoration
paid to the Roman emperors was borrowed from the Eastern mode of adoration,
and consisted in prostration on the ground, and kissing
Adoratio, from a vase in the British Museum.
the feet and knees, or even the dress (cf. Ammian. 21.9
, adorari purpuram
) of the emperor (but this did not become the ordinary
etiquette of the court before the time of Diocletian). Instances, however,
of this servile adoration occur much earlier; thus Vitellius
“adored” Caius Caesar when returning from Syria: capite velato circumvertensque se deinde procumbens
(Suet. Vit. 2
). This mode of prostration
is also called adulatio
cf. 30.16, 5).