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Hi'spala Fece'nia

by birth a slave, but afterwards a freed woman, was in B. C. 186 the mistress of one P. Aebutius, who lived in the Aventine quarter of Rome. To prevent her lover's initiation in the Bacchanalian mysteries, she partially disclosed to him the nefarious nature of their rites, which, while a slave in attendance on her mistress, she had occasionally witnessed. Aebutius revealed to the consul, Sp. Postumius Albinus [ALBINUS, No. 12], what Hispala had imparted to him. She was in consequence summoned by the consul, who, partly by promises, partly by threats, drew from her a full disclosure of the place, the practices, and the purposes of the Bacchanalian society. After the association was put down, Hispala was rewarded with the privileges of a free-born matron of Rome; and lest revenge or superstition should prompt any of the worshippers of Bacchus to attempt her life, her security was made by a special decree of the senate the charge of the consuls for the time being. And besides these immunities, a million of sesterces was paid from the treasury to Hispala. (Liv. 39.9-19; comp. V. Max. 6.3.7.)

[W.B.D]

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186 BC (1)
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