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Romulus was the first who established the Arval1 priesthood at Rome. This order consisted of the eleven sons of Accra Placentia, his nurse,2 together with Romulus himself, who assumed the appellation of the twelfth of the brotherhood. Upon this priesthood he bestowed, as being the most august dis- tinction that he could confer upon it, a wreath of years of corn, tied together with a white fillet; and this in fact, was the first chaplet that was ever used at Rome.This dignity is only ended with life itself, and whether in exile or in captivity, it always attends its owner. In those early days, two jugera of land were considered enough for a citizen of Rome, and to none was a larger portion than this allotted. And yet, at the present day, men who but lately were the slaves of the Emperor Nero have been hardly content with pleasure-gardens that occupied the same space as this; while they must have fishponds, forsooth, of still greater extent, and in some instances I might add, perhaps, kitchens even as well.

Numa first established the custom of offering corn to the gods, and of propitiating them with the salted3 cake; he was the first, too, as we learn from Hemina, to parch spelt, from the fact that, when in this state, it is more wholesome as an aliment4 This method, however, he could only establish one way: by making an enactment, to the effect that spelt is not in a pure state for offering, except when parched. He it was, too, who instituted the Fornacalia,5 festivals appropriated for the parching of corn, and others,6 observed with equal solemnity, for the erection and preservation of the "termini," or boundaries of the fields: for these termini, in those days, they particularly regarded as gods; while to other divinities they gave the names of Seia,7 from "sero," "to sow," and of Segesta, from tile "segetes," or "crops of standing corn," the statues of which goddesses we still see erected in the Circus. A third divinity it is forbidden by the rules of our religion to name even8 beneath a roof. In former days, too, they would not so much as taste the corn when newly cut, nor yet wine when just made, before the priests had made a libation of the first-fruits.

1 "Arvorum sacerdotal," the priests of the fields.

2 Or foster-mother. It has been suggested that the Rogations of the Roman church may have possibly originated in the Ambarvalia, or ceremonial presided over by the Arval priesthood.

3 Made of salt and the meal or flour of spelt. Salt was the emblem of wisdom, friendship, and other virtues.

4 This, Fée observes, is not the case with any kind of wheat; with manioc, which has an acrid principle, the process may be necessary, in order to make it fit for food.

5 Or Feast of the Furnace or Oven. See Ovid's Fasti, B. ii. 1. 5—25.

6 Called the Terminalia. See Ovid's Fasti, B. ii. 1. 641, et seq.

7 Tertullian, De Spect. i. 16, calls this goddess by the name of Sessia.

8 Cœlius Rhodiginus, Turnebus, and Vossius, conjecture that the name of this goddess, who might only be named in the field, was Tutelina. Hardouin thinks that it was Segesta, here mentioned.

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