The original symbolism of the libation was merely that of drink given to the gods to please them, e.g. 7.480. The occasion here suggests a different thought, which, however, we can hardly suppose to have been inherent in the libation at an oath. Cf., however, Liv. i. 24 “si prior defexit publico consilio dolo malo, tu illo die Iuppiter populum Romanum sic ferito ut ego hunc porcum hic hodie feriam” , and similarly xxi. 45 “precatus deos ita se mactarent quem ad modum ipse agnum mactasset” ; compare also the oath ‘by the stone,’ “si sciens fallo tum me Diespitcr salva urbe arceque bonis eiciat uti ego hunc lapidem” (Roscher Lex. 1187).
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