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colunt, ‘haunt.’Scythicae . . . Dianae. Near Aricia in one of the craters of the Alban hills, the sides of which are thickly wooded, is a lake still called Lago di Nemi, from a grove and sanctuary of Diana which stood upon its bank. This sanctuary had a legendary connection with the worship of the Tauric Artemis, for Orestes was said, after carrying off from the Scythian Chersonese (the Crimea) his sister Iphigenia and the image of the goddess, to have brought the latter with him to Aricia, where he settled and was buried. The connection was possibly suggested by a comparison between the human sacrifices of Artemis and a horrible custom which prevailed at the Nemus Dianae. The priest (who was called rex nemorensis, which gives point to regnum nemorale) was always a runaway slave, who appointed himself by killing his predecessor. This custom was found still in use by Pausanias towards the end of the second century A.D. , and Suetonius relates of Caligula (35): nemorensi regi, quod multos iam annos potiretur sacerdotio, validiorem adversarium subornavit. Cf. Fast.III. 271: “regna tenent fortesque manu pedibusque fugaces, et perit exemplo postmodo quisque suo.”
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