For, just as it is said that the Pythagoreans do not allow men to worship and pray to their gods cursorily and by the way, but would have them go from their homes directly to this office, with their minds prepared for it, so Numa thought that his citizens ought neither to hear nor see any divine service while they were occupied with other matters and therefore unable to pay attention. They should rather be free from all distractions and devote their thoughts to the religious ceremony as a matter of the highest importance. They should also rid their streets of noise and clatter and clamour, and all such accompaniments of menial and manual labour, and clear them for the sacred ceremonies. And the Romans still preserve some traces of this earlier feeling. When a magistrate is busy taking auspices or sacrificing, the people cry
‘Hoc age,’ which means
’ and helps to make the bystanders attentive and orderly.