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EPULO´NES who were originally three in number (Tresviri Epulones), were first created in B.C. 196, to attend to the Epulum Jovis (Valer. Max. 2.1.2; Liv. 31.4; Gel. 12.8) and the banquets given in honour of the other gods; a duty which had originally belonged to the Pontifices. (Liv. 33.42; Cic. de Orat. 3.19, 73; de Harusp. Respons. 10, 21; Festus, s. v. Epolonos.) Their number was afterwards increased to seven (Gel. 1.12; Lucan 1.602), and they were called Septemviri Epulones. We often find Septemvir Epulonum as an honorary title in inscriptions (Wilmanns, Inscript. 937, 1112, 1115, 1121, 1148, 1150, 1153, 1160, 1186, 1210, 1212). Once viiviri Epulonum occurs (Cal. Praen. Jan. 17). Julius Caesar added three more (D. C. 43.51), but the title of the college seems always to have been Septemviri.

The Epulones formed a collegium, and were one of the four great religious corporations at Rome; the other three were those of the Pontifices, Augures, and Quindecemviri. But, unlike the others, this was from the first open to plebeians. (D. C. 53.1, 58.12; Plin. Ep. 10.3; Marquardt, Röm. Staatsverwaltung, 3.333.)

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hide References (6 total)
  • Cross-references from this page (6):
    • Cicero, On Oratory, 3.19
    • Lucan, Civil War, 1.602
    • Livy, The History of Rome, Book 33, 42
    • Livy, The History of Rome, Book 31, 4
    • Gellius, Noctes Atticae, 1.12
    • Gellius, Noctes Atticae, 12.8
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