Skip to Main Content
Have library access? Log in through your library
Indo-European Sacred Space

Indo-European Sacred Space: Vedic and Roman Cult

Series: Traditions
Copyright Date: 2006
Pages: 312
  • Cite this Item
  • Book Info
    Indo-European Sacred Space
    Book Description:

    In Indo-European Sacred Space, Roger D. Woodard provides a careful examination of the sacred spaces of ancient Rome, finding them remarkably consistent with older Indo-European religious practices as described in the Vedas of ancient India. Employing and expanding on the fundamental methods of Émile Benveniste, as well as Georges Dumezil's tripartite analysis of Proto-Indo-European society, Woodard clarifies not only the spatial dynamics of the archaic Roman cult but, stemming from that, an unexpected clarification of several obscure issues in the study of Roman religion. _x000B_Looking closely at the organization of Roman religious activity, especially as regards sacrifices, festivals, and the hierarchy of priests, Woodard sheds new light on issues including the presence of the god Terminus in Jupiter's Capitoline temple, the nature of the Roman suovetaurilia, the Ambarvalia and its relationship to the rites of the Fratres Arvales, and the identification of the "Sabine" god Semo Sancus. Perhaps most significantly, this work also presents a novel and persuasive resolution to the long standing problem of "agrarian Mars."_x000B__x000B__x000B_

    eISBN: 978-0-252-09295-4
    Subjects: Religion, History

Table of Contents

Export Selected Citations Export to NoodleTools Export to RefWorks Export to EasyBib Export a RIS file (For EndNote, ProCite, Reference Manager, Zotero, Mendeley...) Export a Text file (For BibTex)
  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
    (pp. ix-x)
    (pp. xi-xiv)
  5. CHAPTER 1 The Minor Capitoline Triad
    (pp. 1-58)

    This first chapter lays a foundation for the rest of the book that follows. Much, therefore, of what appears in chapter 1 is review and restatement, but with some new ideas and interpretations applied. Even among the old ideas, however, some concepts and methods will likely be unfamiliar to a subset of readers. These include basic notions about the tripartition of Proto-Indo-European society—ideas readily associated with, among other scholars, Émile Benveniste and Georges Dumézil. The latter author’s interpretation of the survival of a prehistoric tripartite ideology in the attested mythic and religious systems of various Indo-European peoples of antiquity...

  6. CHAPTER 2 Terminus
    (pp. 59-95)

    Chapter 2 begins with an examination of the evidence for Indo-European parallels to Roman Terminus. This investigation will take us to Ireland and to India, and we will discover that the Vedic cult of the latter place offers a particularly close match to Terminus. The Vedic comparandum will be examined in detail. The chapter concludes with an examination of the three sacred fires of Vedic India and their Roman counterparts, an initial discussion of Vedic (and, less so, Roman) sacred spaces, and a consideration of the evolutionary development of the Romantermini sacrificales.

    In the preceding chapter we departed from...

  7. CHAPTER 3 Into the Teacup
    (pp. 96-141)

    The public rites of the Terminalia, the Ambarvalia, the Arval celebration of the goddess Dea Dia, ancient rituals of lustration preserved in the writings of Cato, Virgil, and Tibullus—these are the things which will occupy our attention in chapter 3. We will examine these rituals and their component parts comparatively, holding them up to the light side by side, and shining the illuminating brilliance of Vedic ritual and cult on them. We begin where we left off in the preceding chapter.

    In chapter 2, we examined the private festival of the Terminalia; the public observance, as will become clear,...

  8. CHAPTER 4 The Fourth Fire
    (pp. 142-240)

    Chapter 4 brings us to the heart of the present work. We will begin by examining the large sacred space of Vedic cult, the Mahāvedi, its geometry and its use, and then turn to its homologous Roman space, the Ager Romanus. Around the periphery of that Roman space are positioned several sites of ritual importance, as we saw in chapter 3. We will investigate almost all of these in turn, focusing on that locale and ritual attested in greatest detail, the Arval festival of Dea Dia celebrated in the grove of the goddess along the Via Campana, as well as...

  9. CHAPTER 5 From the Inside Out
    (pp. 241-268)

    In this the final chapter of our study we will more closely examine elements of the Indo-European sacred spaces. Particular attention will be given to the boundary markers of the great sacred space, especially to their instantiation in Roman cult and the significance of their use for, interalia, revealing the character of the gods Terminus and Mars. Discussions in this chapter will also focus somewhat more directly on the ancient Indo-European cult which is parent to the Vedic and Roman ritual practices examined throughout. The empirical method employed for these discussions is one that projects original (that is, historically antecedent)...

  10. Postscript
    (pp. 269-270)

    As promised in the preface, the discussions, analyses, and theories presented in the preceding pages mark only a beginning. There is much that remains to be done given the ideas developed herein. Three topics for study by application and further development of these ideas come readily to mind. First and foremost, an examination of the rites of the Umbrian city of Iguvium, preserved in the bronze tablets of the Frater Atiieřiur, the Atiedian Brothers, needs to be undertaken. The archaic Italic rites of this priesthood are celebrated as a journey through the spaces of the city of Iguvium. Second is...

    (pp. 271-276)
    (pp. 277-284)
  13. INDEX
    (pp. 285-296)
  14. Back Matter
    (pp. 297-298)