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Writing and Ritual: A Study of Diversity and Expansion in the Arval Acta

Author(s): Mary Beard
Source: Papers of the British School at Rome, Vol. 53 (1985), pp. 114-162
Published by: British School at Rome
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/40310817 .
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WRITING AND RITUAL
A STUDY OF DIVERSITY AND EXPANSION IN THE ARVAL ACTA
The
priests
of the Arval Brotherhood at Rome
during
the first three centuries of the
empire kept
a detailed written record of their ritual and cult
organisation, year by
year
and
day by day.1
Inscribed on
stone,
a considerable
quantity
of this
unique
document
survives; but, despite
its
preservation, many
areas of the Arvals'
activity
remain unfamiliar. Few historians of
religion
have used this material in their
treatment of ritual or state cult under the
empire
-
even
though
the record contains
vivid details of
(especially)
the summer festival celebrated
by
the brotherhood.
Witness,
for
example,
such
seemingly
bizarre ritual
practices
as the distribution of
.individual
rose
petals amongst
the brethren and the
casting
of
jars (ollae)
down a
hillside.2 Likewise
epigraphists,
in
producing
excellent editions of
(larger
or
smaller)
parts
of the
text,
have
rarely
discussed wider issues concerned with the
inscription
as
a whole. The overall
layout
of the text has tended to be
ignored;
as has also the
pressure
on
space
that
led,
on
occasions,
to the
inscribing
of the record not on the
usual marble
slabs,
but on the
exposed
flanks of stone furniture in the Arvals' sacred
grove.3
Even the colourful
vignettes
of ancient life have
only rarely
been drawn out
of this
body
of material.
Who,
for
example,
is aware of the
problems,
both
religious
and
practical,
faced
by
the
priests
in
183,
when a
fig
tree rooted in the roof of their
principal temple?
The attention of modern scholars has been focused on a
very
narrow
range
of
issues raised
by
the 'Arval
Acta',
as this
priestly
record is
conventionally
known. On
'Although
an
understanding
of
parts
of
my argument depends
on a
(rudimentary) knowledge
of
Latin,
I
hope
that this
paper
will be of interest to
non-classicists;
for this reason I have
provided
translations of Latin wherever
possible
and have
explained
some technical details that will
already
be
familiar to
specialists.
As
always,
I am most
grateful
to Keith
Hopkins
for his
generous
and
good-
humoured
criticism;
also to Chloe
Chard,
Simon
Price,
Nicholas
Purcell,
Peter Wiseman and seminar
groups
in London and
Cambridge. John Scheid,
whose
knowledge
of the Arvals and their cult is
unsurpassed, kindly guided
me around the current excavations of the Arval Grove and shared his
expertise.
All references to the Arva] Acta are
given by
date
(a.d.
unless
indicated) and, except
where
stated,
may
be found in two
corpora:
W.
Henzen,
Ada Fratrum Arvalium
quae supersunt (Berlin, 1874)
-
henceforward 'Henzen'
-
and the
supplement
to that
volume,
A.
Pasoli,
Acta Fratrum Arvalium
quae post
annum MDCCCLXXIV
reperta
sunt
(Studi
e richerche
7, Bologna, 1950).
Pasoli's work is less accurate
than that of Henzen and in
any
detailed
study
his text should
always
be checked
against
the
original
publication.
For discoveries more recent than Pasoli's
edition,
note
especially:
A.
Ferrua,
BCA 78
(1961-62),
1
16-29;
S.
Panciera,
RAL 23
(1968), 315-32; J.
M.
Reynolds,
PBSR 37
(1969), 158-60;
S.
Panciera,
RPAA 48
(1975-76), 279-308, J.
Scheid and H.
Broise,
MEFRA 92
(1980), 215-48; J. Scheid,
£/>£43 (1981),
343-52
(with
NSc
1899,
267 and G.
Mancini,
BCA 55
(1928),
275-80- both omitted
by
Pasoli).
A full new edition of the Acta is
currently being prepared by J.
Scheid. A convenient
bibliography
of the Acta and cult in
general may
be found in E.
Olshausen,
ANRW II. 16.
1,
820-32.
2See
218, May
29
(rose petals: b,
5 and
13; jars: a, 29-30).
The ritual of the
jars
is
'explained'
in the
record of the second
day
of the festival of Dea Dia in 240
(pag. II, 20-25)
as
providing
a 'cena Matri
Larum'
('a
meal for the Mother of the
Lares').
See R.
Syme,
Some Arval Brethren
(Oxford, 1980),
106-7.
3See218,
220.
DIVERSITY AND EXPANSION IN THE ARVAL ACTA 1 15
the one
hand, linguists
have concentrated on the Arval
hymn,
an archaic and
practically incomprehensible chant, sung by
the
priests
at their summer festival and
fully preserved
in the Acta of 218.4 On the other
hand,
historians of the
early empire
have
mostly
been concerned with a
prosopographical study
of the texts or with
extracting
individual items of 'historical' information. There
is,
to be
sure,
some
interest here: the recorded names of the
priests
have
encouraged
the
study
of the
social and
political background
of the Arvals as a
group;5
the
precise dating
of each
entry by
reference to the current consuls has allowed new names to be added to the
consular
fasti;6
sacrifices
performed
in
thanksgiving
for the
discovery (and
sub-
sequent suppression)
of
conspiracies
have
pinpointed exactly plots
to overthrow the
reigning emperor;7
and so on.
Nevertheless,
this almost exclusive stress on the
conventional
topics
of Roman
political history
has
given
a
very
restricted view of the
material as a whole
-
a view which I
hope
to widen in the course of this
paper.8
I have chosen to concentrate on an
aspect
of the Arval Acta not
previously (to
my knowledge)
discussed: that
is,
the
changing
character of the written record and
the functions of
writing
within the ritual
activity
of the brotherhood. In
particular,
I
shall show
that, contrary
to a common
assumption,
these documents are not
rigidly
standardised.
They
are
strikingly
diverse and
they
demonstrate a marked
tendency
towards
expansion
and
increasing
detail over the three centuries of their
production.
Proceeding
from this
observation,
I shall
argue
that the record was not used as a
practical
tool of reference
by
the
priests.
The
principal
function of the
writing
was
'symbolic'.9
This
argument
will be related to a more
general
discussion of the uses of
writing
in ancient
(and other)
societies.
As a
necessary preliminary
to
my
detailed discussion of the
texts,
I shall consider
briefly
the
history
of the Arval
Brotherhood,
its
place
within Roman
religion
and the
extent, appearance
and
general
content of the Acta.
I. THE PRIESTHOOD
The
history
of the
priesthood
is ill-documented and ill-understood. Almost all our
information comes
directly
from the Acta
themselves,
whose earliest
preserved
4218, May
29
(a, 31-8).
For modern
discussion, see,
for
example,
M.
Nacinovich,
Carmen Arvale 2
vols
(Rome, 1933/4);
E.
Norden,
Aus altròmischen Preisterbüchern
(Lund, 1939), 109-280;
R. G.
Tanner,
C£U1 (1961),
209-38.
5J. Scheid, Lesfrères
Arvales: recrutement et
origine
sociale sous les
empereurs julio-claudiens (Paris, 1975)
-
henceforward, 'Scheid, Lesfrères Arvales';
R.
Syme,
Some Arval Brethren
(Oxford, 1980)
-
with review
by
J. North, JRS
73
(1983),
216-18.
6See, recently,
S.
Panciera,
RPAA 48
(1975-76),
279-308
(esp. 279-86).
7For
example, 39, frag, d; 87, Sept.
22.
«Exceptions
to this exclusive stress
include,
for
example:
I.
Ghirassi,
SMSR 39
(1968), 191-291;
R.
Schilling, Hommages
M. Renard 2
(Coll. Lat., 102, Brussels, 1969),
675-9
(reprinted
in R.
Schilling, Rites,
cuites et dieux de Rome
(Paris, 1979), 366-70).
9I have used the word
'symbolic' throughout
as a shorthand. It is not
employed
in
any
technical
sense,
nor with reference to one of the
many
'theories of
symbolism5.
In
fact,
it
may
best be seen
(loosely)
as an
expression
of the
positive aspects
of that
quality
which I describe
negatively
as 'non-
utilitarian'.
116 MARY BEARD
fragment
is dated to the
reign
of
Augustus.10
The Arvals were
not, however,
an
entirely
new
imperial
foundation. Their existence is attested some
years
before the
advent of
empire, by Varrò, writing
in the 40s b.c. He discussed the
etymology
of the
title 'Fratres Arvales' and located their interests
firmly
in the
sphere
of
agriculture:
'they carry
out
public
ritual so that the fields
may
bear
crops'.11
It has
usually
been
assumed, partly
in the
light
of this focus on
crops,
that
they belonged
to a
primitive,
rural stratum of Roman
religion,
and
that,
in the
process
of urbanisation and the
'decline' of traditional cult in the late
Republic, they entirely
ceased to
function;
until,
that
is, they
were revived
by Augustus,
who
preserved
their
agricultural rites,
but also directed some of their ritual towards the cult of the
imperial
house.12 That is
too extreme a view.
Varrò,
who was
writing
in the final
phase
of the
Republic,
did
after all refer to their activities in the
present tense;
and there is no reason to
suppose
(despite
the silence of our
literary sources)
that their existence did not continue
unbroken,
from a foundation in
tjie
early Republic.13 Nevertheless,
it seems
fairly
certain that there
was,
at
least,
a hew
impetus
in the cult from the
early Augustan
period
-
an
impetus
marked most
notably by
the introduction of the
regular
inscribed record of the brotherhood's activities.14
The main
part
of the
priests'
traditional
religious obligation
centred on the
goddess
Dea Dia. The
precise
character of this
deity
is unclear. Some modern work
has
suggested
that she should be seen as a
primitive
celestial
deity,
who became in
one
way
or another associated with
agricultural prosperity
and the success of
crops.15 Certainty
is
impossible;
but we
may
note at least the
markedly agricultural
flavour of the
major
festival of Dea
Dia,
celebrated
by
the Arvals each
year
in
May.16
The other
regular
rites of the
Brethren,
as recorded in the
Acta,
were
certainly
innovations of the
imperial period;
for
they
were concerned with the
well-being
of
the
emperor
and of the
imperial
house. Most
prominent, throughout
almost the
whole
period
covered
by
the
Acta,
was the annual vow and sacrifice
performed
in
102
1/20
b.c.
11
De
Lingua
Latina
5,
85: 'sacra
publica
faciunt
propterea
ut
fruges
ferant arva\
12See,
for
example, Scheid, Lesfrères Arvales,
335-66.
l3The silence of
literary
evidence is of little
significance
in the
history
of the Arval cult. It
would,
we
must
remember,
be hard to attest Arval
activity
in the
principate
on the basis of
literary
evidence
alone;
we
rely
on the chance survival of the inscribed stone texts.
l4Note,
for
example,
the statue of
Augustus
as Arval
(Vatican,
Sala de'
Busti,
274
-
illustrated in
Scheid, Lesfrères Arvales, frontispiece).
We cannot
prove
that the introduction of inscribed record
keeping
coincided with the
Augustan 'reform5;
but
(as
Nicholas Purcell has
suggested
to
me)
it seems
compatible
with other
Augustan initiatives,
such as the
display
of
inscribed^/iw/t
on the Arcus
Augusti
in
the Forum.
13This view is held
(broadly speaking) by
both Chirassi and
Schilling (note 8, above).
The celestial
character of Dea Dia is
particularly suggested by
the
linguistic
root
di,
as in '¿/¿us'
('bright')
and '¿/ivum'
('sky').
In
general, questions
about the character of individual Roman deities seem to me
misplaced;
Roman
deities,
as
part
of a
pantheon,
are understandable
only through
their
relationships (of similarity
or
opposition)
with other members of that
pantheon.
l6Details of
days
1 and 2 of this festival are laid out in
Appendices
II and III.
Day
3 is briefer and is
clearly
described in the Acta of
87, May 20, 183, May
20 and
213, May
20. The
agricultural
character
is evident
in,
for
example,
on
day
1 the consecration of the corn and the bread decked with laurel
(218);
and on
day
2 the wreaths with ears of corn
(87)
and the
passing
round of the corn
(218).
DIVERSITY AND EXPANSION IN THE ARVAL ACTA 1 1 7
January
Tor the
safety
of
(pro salute)
the
reigning emperor
and sometimes also
members of his
family.17
In addition to this
vow,
in the first
century a.d.,
the
brethren
performed
an elaborate series of sacrifices on the
birthdays
of the
emperor
and his
family,18
and on the
assumption
of his various
imperial powers,
and their
anniversaries.
So,
for
example,
on December
4,
a.d. 58
(the
fourth
anniversary
of
Nero's
assumption
of tribunician
power)
the head of the brotherhood
immolavit in
Capitolio
ob
tribunic(iam) potestatem
Neronis Claudi Caesaris
Aug(usti)
Germanici
Iovi
b(ovem) marem,
Iunoni
vaccam,
Minervae vaccam.19
They
also commemorated
extraordinary
events that affected the
imperial
house
-
making
sacrifices when
(as
I have
already mentioned) conspiracies against
the
emperor
were
discovered,
or when the
emperor
achieved
victory
in war or returned
to Rome. On one occasion
(a.d. 214),
we find them
giving
thanks
specifically
for the
safe arrival of Caracalla at his winter
quarters
in Nicomedia
(the capital
of the
Roman
province
of
Bithynia),
after a difficult
journey
on which he had suffered
shipwreck:
fratres Arvales convenerunt
[quod domjinus n(oster) imp(erator) Caes(ar)
M Aurellius
Antoninus Pius
[Felix Aug(ustus) Parth(icus) max(imus) Brit(annicus) max(imus) Germ(anicus)
ma]x(imus) p(ontifex) m(aximus) t(ribunicia) p(otestate) XVII, imp(erator)
III
co(n)s(ul)
IIII
p(ater) p(atriae) proco(n)s(ul) salv[us atque
incolumis
pro
securitate
provinjciar(um)
felicissime
ad
[hjiberna
Nicomediae
ing[ressus sit].20
The cult of the Arval Brethren was centred on a
grove
about 7 km. west of
Rome
-
on the ancient Via
Campana,
at a
place
now known as La
Magliana.
The
layout
of the area is known both from references in the Acta and from excavations
which have been undertaken in various
stages
since the sixteenth
century.
It was in
the course of these
-
and
especially
those of the second half of the nineteenth
century
-
that the
great majority
of
surviving fragments
of the inscribed record were
I7For variations in the stated beneficiaries of these
sacrifices, see,
for
example, 27, Jan.
24
(Tiberius
and
Livia); 59, Jan.
3
(Nero
and
Octavia); 81, Jan.
3
(Titus,
Domi
tian, Julia
and their
children);
105
(Trajan alone); 231, Jan
3
(Alexander Severus, Julia Mammaea,
the
senate,
the
patria
and all the domus
divina
-
4the divine
(imperial) house').
l8See,
for
example, 27, Jan.
30
(Livia); 38, Aug.
31
(Gaius)-
see MEFRA 92
(1980), 220; 57,
Nov.
6
(Agrippina); 58,
Dec. 15
(Nero); 69, Jun.
5
(Galeria,
wife of
Vitellius).
Deified
emperors
or deceased
members of the
imperial
house
might
also be so
honoured;
see
38, Sept.
23
(Augustus); 38, May
24
(Germanicus)-
see MEFRA 92
(1980),
221.
translation:
(The
head of the
brotherhood)
sacrificed on the
Capitol
on account of the
tribunician
power
of Nero Claudius Caesar
Augustus
Germanicus
-
for
Jupiter
a
bull,
for
Juno
a
cow,
for Minerva a cow.
^214
(b, 2-6).
Translation: 'The Arval Brethren met because our lord
Emperor
Caesar
Marcus Aurelius Antoninus Pius Felix
Augustus (i.e. Caracalla),
the
greatest conqueror
of
Parthia,
the
greatest conqueror
of
Britain,
the
greatest conqueror
of
Germany, pontifex maximus,
in the seventeenth
year
of his tribunician
power,
hailed
imperator
three
times,
consul four
times,
father of his
country,
proconsul, through
the
greatest good
fortune entered his winter
quarters
in Nicomedia safe and
unharmed, bringing safety
to the
provinces.'
The circumstances of the
emperor's shipwreck
are
explained
in
SHA,
Caracalla
5, 8;
Dio
78, 16,
7. Similar
'extraordinary'
sacrifices are recorded in
63,
April
10
(?),
the arrival in Rome of
Nero, Poppaea
and their new-born
baby daughter; 118, June-
August,
the arrival of Hadrian in Rome for the first time since his
accession; 213,
Oct.
6,
Caracalla's
German
victory.
118 MARY BEARD
found. Most
recently
the French school in Rome has renewed excavation there
and,
although many
details of the
history
and
layout
of the area remain
obscure,
their
work has enabled us to locate several of the cult
buildings
and has
provided
some
insight
into the relative
chronology
of the remains.21 In
general,
the indications
given
by
the Acta have been
confirmed;
and the
major buildings
mentioned there
(at
least
in their
third-century form)
can now be identified with reasonable
certainty:
a round
temple
of Dea Dia
(whose podium
is still
visible,
about 25 m. in
diameter);22
a
'tetrastyle',
used as a
dining
room for the brethren
(located
about 120 m. south of
the
temple);23
a bath
building,
south of the
tetrastyle.24
The circus in which chariot
races were held on the second
day
of the Dea Dia festival was identified
by
nineteenth
century
excavators with
masonry
remains to the west of the
temple.
In their
judgement
it was about 100 m. in
length.25
The Arval
grove
was sacred
to
the
goddess
Dea Dia
and,
as is recorded in the
Act£, any mishap
within it
required expiation. When,
for
example,
a tree in the
grove
was struck
by lightning
or even when
just
a branch fell
off, 'piacular'
sacrifices
were
required.26
This ritual was also demanded when the record of the Arvals'
activities was inscribed each
year.
Since the iron
inscribing
chisel was a taboo
substance in the sacred
grove,
sacrifices were
performed
in
expiation
each time it was
brought
into the area or taken out.27
The Arval Brethren themselves
normally
numbered 1 2 men
-
in addition to the
reigning emperor,
who served as a
supernumerary.28
Once
having joined
the
brotherhood
(by
a
process
of
co-option
described in the
Acta29) they
served for life.
The names of these
priests
are recorded in detail in the
Acta; and,
on the basis of this
21
A
history
of the excavations
up
to the 1870s is
given by Henzen,
XI-XX. For
preliminary
notices
of the recent French excavation in the Arval
grove,
see
J.
Scheid and H.
Broise, Archelogia
Laziale
1
(Rome, 1978),
75-77
(including
a
plan
of the
area);
MEFRA 92
(1980), 215-48;
and 'Les fouilles à la
Magliana:
le lucus et Yaedes Deae Diae' in Lunario Romano 1983: II
Lazio nell'antichità
romana,
197-213. This
excavation has revealed structures almost
entirely
of Severan
date;
we cannot
yet
be certain whether or
not these
buildings
were similar to earlier structures on the site.
MFor references to the
temple
in the
Acta, see,
for
example, 59, May 29; 183,
Feb.
8; 218, May
29
(a, 25, 29, 31).
23See,
for
example, 87, May 19; 218, May
29
(a, 18, 19).
Scheid and Broise
{Archeologia
Laziale l,
75-77) apparently accept
that the
building
known in the Acta as the
'tetrastyle'
is identical to that
known as the 'Caesareum'
('shrine
of the
emperors';
see
81, May 19; 183, May 19), although
Henzen
had seen them as two
separate
structures
(pp. XXI-XXIII).
24See
240,
2nd
day (pag. II, 6).
This
building
has
recently
been identified in the excavations
(J.
Scheid and H.
Broise, Archeologia
Laziale l, 75-6), although
before the
discovery
of the text of 240 the
existence of a bath house in the Arval
santuary
has been denied
(see Henzen, XXIII).
25For references in the Acta to the Arval
circus-games, see,
for
example, 59, May 29; 81, May 19;
120, May 29; 213, May
19. This
building
has not been studied
by
the French team. Note the
(over-
optimistic) plan
of A.
Pellegrini (1865), reproduced byj.
Scheid and H.
Broise, Archeologia
Laziale l,
75.
^For
example, 87, Sept. 10; 224,
Nov. 7. 'Piacular' sacrifices are sacrifices of
expiation (Latin:
biaculum) .
27For
example, 81, May
1 and
May
13
(appended
to the record of
80); 121, April
7 and
May
?
(appended
to the record of
120); 225, April
18 and
May
5
(appended
to the record of
224).
MIn addition to the
testimony
of the
Acta,
a
fragment
of the
first-century
writer Masurius Sabinus
(preserved
in Aulus
Gellius,
Attic
Nights 7, 7, 8)
tells a
story
of the
origin
of the Arval Brethren in the 12
sons of Acca Larentia.
«For
example, 14, May 14; 14,
Dec.
15; 86,
Feb.
26; 118,
Feb. 26.
DIVERSITY AND EXPANSION IN THE ARVAL ACTA 1
19
record,
their
identity
and
background
have been
minutely investigated.
It is clear
that there
were,
over
time,
minor fluctuations in the
general
level of social distinction
possessed by
the Arvals as a
group.30
For the
moment, however,
it is
enough
to stress
that
(as
with the
major colleges
of state
priests) they
were
solidly
senatorial in rank.
Within the
priestly group,
there was a
hierarchy
of
temporary
offices. Each
member
probably
took his turn at these
-
serving,
for
example,
as
magister (the
yearly rotating
head of the
brotherhood)
or as
flamen (another
annual
official,
whose
precise
role is
unclear).31
The Arval
year
of office was almost coterminous with the
calendar
year,
for it ran from the festival of Saturnalia
(17 December)
in one
year
to
the same festival the next. These same limits also
provided
the formal structure for
the Acta: each
'year's'
record
is, strictly speaking,
the record of an Arval
year.32
Subordinate to the
priests
came a
variety
of cult servants and minor officials of
the Arval cult. These
ranged
from four
¿boys
of senatorial
families,
who assisted at
sacrifices and
joined
with the
priests
at the communal
feasting
at the Dea Dia
ceremony,33
to men who were
slaves, or,
at
least,
of servile
origin. Kalatores,
for
example,
freedmen of individual
priests,
sometimes
performed
minor sacrifices on
behalf of the
brotherhood;34
so also did the
public
slaves
(publici),
who were
attached as servants not to
any individual,
but to the
priesthood
as a whole.35 Other
slaves took more
closely
defined roles in the
activity
of the brotherhood: one
(or
more)
aedituus was in
charge
of the
day-to-day
care of the
temple
of Dea Dia
-
and
probably
of the
grove
as a
whole;36
a
notary (commentariensis
or
publicus
a
commentariis)
kept
a
preliminary
written record of the ritual and administrative activities of the
brotherhood.37
The end of the Arval cult is
just
a little less
shadowy
than its
origin.
The main
series of
surviving
Acta
stops
in the middle of the third
century,
but the cult did not
at that
point collapse.
This is
proved partly by
a small
fragment
of an
inscription,
^See,
for
example,
the conclusions of
J. Scheid, Lesfrères Arvales,
295-9
312-17; 328-30;
R.
Syme,
Some Arval Brethren
(with
the allusive
summary, pp. 94-103).
3IOn the Arval 'career'
(the general pattern
that a man would serve as
flamen
before
serving
as
magister,
and
only
later act as
promagister,
a substitute for the
magister
if he was
absent),
see
J. Scheid,
Les
frères Arvales,
389-90. On the status of the
flamen,
see
Henzen,
V-VI. It
appears
that at least in the first
century
the
flamen
was
very closely
associated with the
magister; note,
for
example, 78,
March 1 1
-
the
choice of a new
flamen
when the
magister
had died in office.
32My
references are all to the Arval
year,
Saturnalia to
Saturnalia;
but this is
equivalent
to the
calendar vear in all cases but 1 20, when the first entry of the Arval vear falls on 23 December 119.
33See
Henzen,
VI-VII
with,
for
example, 80, May 30; 213, May 20; 218, May
27
(a, 11-12).
^See
Henzen,
VIII. For their
performance
of
piacular
sacrifices
(with
the
public slaves),
see
72,
May ?; 92, April
25
(appended
to the record of
91).
Their attachment to individual Brethren and the
organisation
of their
appointment
is documented in 1
20, May
29.
35Henzen,
VII-VIII. For their
appointment,
see 1
18, Aug. ?; 155,
Dec. 1 1 . Their tasks included the
handing
round of the bread decked with laurel on the 2nd
day
of the Dea Dia festival
(218, May
29
(a,
30)) and (with kalatores) piacular sacrifices (89, April 12: 121, April 7).
^Henzen,
IX. Note his involvement in a
piacular
sacrifice
following
the
collapse
of a tree in the
grove (91,
Nov.
5).
37For his activities as a
notary,
see
218, May 30; 240,
2nd
day (pag. II, 37-9).
Note also his
participation
in a
piacular
sacrifice
(221, May 9).
120 MARY BEARD
which is
probably
a
piece
of the inscribed Arval record of
304,38
but more
significant
are the conclusions reached
by
the French excavators of the
grove. They
have shown
that material from its
pagan
cult
buildings
is found reused in Christian structures
only
from the
very
last decade of the fourth
century
and
they
have
argued,
consequently,
that it was not until the 390s that the Arval
grove
was
systematically
dismantled.39 This
conveniently
coincides with Theodosius' law of
391,
which
prohibited
all
pagan
sacrifice and forbade access to
pagan temples.40
The Arval cult
may
have fallen victim to Theodosius'
legislation.
Yet we cannot be certain that it
had not died out earlier in the fourth
century,
or that it did not continue in some
modified form after 39 1.41
II. THE ACTA
The record
kept by
the Arval
Brethren,
as it now
survives,
consists in a series of
inscribed stone tablets
(some fragmentary) spanning
a
period
of over 300
years,
from
the earliest
preserved
of 21 b.c. to the latest of a.d. 304.
They
survive in considerable
quantity
-
Henzen's edition of the
texts,
for
example, occupies
some 200
pages,
and
more have been found since that
publication
in 1874.42 Most of these
tablets, apart
from a few
'strays',
were
brought
to
light by
excavation in the Arval
grove itself,
which was the
original
site of the inscribed texts.43
Of
course,
not
everything
has survived. The
body
of material
preserved
seems
large,
but it includes records for
only
about 100 individual
years;
and some of these
are so
fragmentary
that
they give
us
only
a few lines of the
year
in
question.
However,
we are fortunate that within the
surviving
text the record of some
years
is
almost
complete.
There follows
(from
here to
p. 125)
a
text,
with
translation,
of one
such
year.
This
gives
a
good
overall
impression
of the
general 'style'
of the
documents I shall be
discussing.44
38304- illustrated NSc
1919,
105-6.
39J.
Scheid and H.
Broise,
MEFRA 92
(1980), esp.
242-8.
^See Codex Theodosianus
16, 10,
10. A convenient translation of this text
(and
some of the
many
other
pieces
of
anti-pagan legislation
of around this
date) may
be found in B. Croke and
J. Harries,
Religious Conflict
in
Fourth-Century
Rome
(Sydney, 1982),
17-25
(documents 15-36).
41
The
widespread
evasion of the Theodosian
(and later) legislation
is
clearly
characterised
by J.
Geffcken,
The Last
Days of
Greco-Roman
Paganism (trans.
S.
McGormack) (Amsterdam etc, 1978),
223-5.
Of
course,
one cannot either assume that material from
pagan buildings
would have been reused
immediately
after their abandonment.
42See n. 1 above.
43For the
find-spots
of the
'strays',
see
Henzen,
XX
and,
for
example,
the texts
published by J.
M.
Reynolds,
PBSR 37
(1969),
158-60
(the
modern Via di
Boccea,
some miles from the Arval
Grove,
outside the
city
of
Rome)
and S.
Panciera,
RAL 23
(1968),
315-32
(the
modern Via
Nomentana).
"I do not wish to
suggest
that this is a
'typical'
Arval document. As I
hope
to show in the course of
this
paper,
there are no
'typical'
documents in the series.
DIVERSITY AND EXPANSION IN THE ARVAL ACTA 121
THE SURVIVING ARVAL ACTA FOR THE YEAR 87
Key
to
symbols'.
I
-
end of line in inscribed text
[ ]
-
all words or letters in
square
brackets are
suggested
restorations where the
original
text has been lost
through damage
to the inscribed stones
( )
-
all words or letters in round brackets are inserted to
complete
abbreviated words in the
original
text
So,
for
example,
in the first line of the text
'Imperatore)'
indicates that the Latin text used the
abbreviation
'Imp',
where we would write
'Imperatore'; '[Ca]esare'
indicates that
damage
to the stone
had left
only
'esare'
legible
-
restored
by
modern editors to 'Caesare'. Some of the
longer
restorations
in
square
brackets
are,
of
course,
less certain than this
straightforward example; they
should be
regarded
as
highly conjectural,
included in
my
text
only
to make the flow of sense easier to follow.
Imp(eratore) [Gajesare
Domitiano
Aug(usto) >Germ[anico XIII]/
L.
[V]ol[usio]
Saturnino
[co(n)s(ulibusl/
III
[non(as) Ianuar(ias)]/
in
Capitolio
in
pro[nao
Iovis
optimi maxi]mi
C. Salvius
Liberalis/
frater
Arvalfis, qui
vice C. Iuli
Silani] magistri fungebatur,/
ad
collegium [frjatrum
Arvalium rettulit: cum di
immortales/ propitiato
numine suo vota orbis
terra[rum], qua[e pr]o salute/
imp(eratoris)
Caesaris divi
Vespasiani f(ili) Domi[tiani Aug(usti) Germanici/ pontif(icis)
maximi et
Domitiae
Aug(ustae) c[oniugis
eius et
Iuliae]/ Aug(ustae) totique
domui eorum
cupide suscepta
efrant, exaudieru]nt,/
convenire
collegio priora
solvere et nova
n[uncupare.]/
Collegium decrevit:/
[qu]od
bonum faustum felix
salutarequ[e
sit:
cu]m v[ota]/
con
tingerei
ut
priora
solveren tur
[e]t
nova
[voverentur]/ pro
salute et incolumitate
imp(eratoris) Ca[es]aris
divi
[Vespasiani f(ili)]/
Domitiani
Aug(usti)
Germanici
pontif(icis) max(imi)
et
Domiftiae Aug(ustae)] coniug(is)/
eius et Iuliae
Aug(ustae) totique
domui
eorum, Iov[i o(ptimo)] m(aximo) b(ovem) m(arem), Iunoni/ reginae
b(ovem) f(eminam),
Minervae
b(ovem) f(eminam),
Saluti
publica[e popu]li
Romani
Quiri/tium
b(ovem) f(eminam)./
Eodem die ibidem in area C. Salvius
[Li]beralis, q[ui v]ice magistri/ fungebatur,
ture et vino in
igne
in
fóculo fecit immolavi
tq (uè)/ vino,
mola
cultroque
Iovi
o(ptimo) m(aximo) b(ovem) m(arem),
Iunoni
reginae b(ovem) f(eminam), Minervae/ b(ovem) f(eminam),
Saluti
publicae p(opuli) R(omani)
Q(uiritium) b(ovem) f(eminam);
exta aulicocta
reddidit./
Eodem die ibidem in
pronao
Iovis
o(ptimi) m(aximi)
C. Salvius Liberalis
frater/ Arvalis, qui
vice Iuli
Silani
magistri fungeba[t]ur,
adstante
collegio/ [fratrum]
Arvalium vota
pro
salute et incolumitate
imp(eratoris) Caesaris/ [divi Vespasiani f(ili)
Domitiani
Aug(usti)
Germanici
pontif(icis) max(imi)
trib(unicia) pot(estate)/ [censoris per]petui p(atris) p(atriae)
et Domitiae
Aug(ustae) coniugis
eius et
Iuliae
Aug(ustae)/ [totique d]omui
eorum nomine
collegi
fratrum Arvalium in
haec/ [verba] suscepit:/
[Iupp]iter o(ptime) m(axime),
si
imp(erator)
Caesar divi
Vespasiani f(ilius) Domitia[nus Au]g(ustus)
Germanicus/ pontif(ex)
maximus
trib(unicia) pot (estate)
censor
perpetuus p(ater) [p(atriae)
et
Domit]ia Aug(usta)/
coniunx eius et Iulia
Aug(usta), quos
me sentio
[dicere viv]ent domusq(ue)/
eorum incolumis erit
a(nte) d(iem)
III nonas
Ianufar(ias), quae pro]ximae p(opulo) R(omano),
Quiritibus,/
rei
publicae p(opuli) R(omani), Q(uiritium), erunt,
et eum diem
eosfque
salvos
s]erva
veris
ex/ periculis,
si
qua
sunt eruntve ante eum
[diem, eventu]mque bonum/ ita,
uti me sentio
dicere, dederis,
eos
[que
in eo sta
tu] quo
nunc
sunt,/
aut eo meliore serva
veris,
ast tu
[ea
ita
faxis, tu]m
tibi
nomine/ collegi
fratrum Arvalium
bo[ve
aurato voveo
e]sse futurum./
Iuno
regina, qu[ae
in verba Iovi
o(ptimo) m(aximo)
bove aurato voveo
e]sse futurum,/ quod
hodie
v[ovi,
ast tu ea ita
faxis,
turn tibi in eadem verba
nomine] collegi/
fratrum
Afrvalium
bove aurata
voveo esse
futurum.]/
Minerva, quae [in
verba Iunoni
reginae
bove aurata vovi esse
futur]um, quod/
hodie
vov[i,
ast tu ea ita
faxis,
turn tibi in eadem
verba] nomine/ collegi fr[atrum
Arvalium bove aurata voveo esse
futurum.]/
Salus
publica populi Romani, Quiriftium, quae
in verba Iunoni
reginae] bove/
aurata vovi esse
futurum, quod hfodie vovi,
ast tu ea ita
f)axis,/
turn tibi in eadem verba nomine
colflegi
fratrum
Arv]alium/
bove aurata voveo esse
futurum./
[In colle]gio
adfuerunt C. Salvius Liberalis Nonius
B[assus,
A.
I]ulius Quadratus,/ [L. Maec]ius
122 MARY BEARD
Postumus,
L. Veratius
Quadratus,
P. Sallustius
Blaesus,/ [L. Venuljeius Apronianus./ [Isdem
co(n)s(ulibus)
. .
.]I
idus
Ian(uarias)
in
pronao
aedis Concordiae
quae e[st prope/ templujm
divi
Vespasiani,/ [C. Salvius]
Liberalis Nonius Bassus fra ter
Arvalis, qui v[ice Iuli/ Silajni magistri
fungebatur,
adstantibus
fratribfus Arvali/bus sacjrificium
Deae Diae in hunc annum sic
indixit:/ [quod
bo]num
faustum
fausftum] (sic)
felix fortunatum
salutar[eque sit] imp (era tori)/ [Caesjari
Domitiano
Aufg(usto) Germanico pontif(ici) max(imo)
et
Domfitiae AJug(ustae)/ [coni]ugi
eius et
Iul[iae
Aug(ustae) totiqjue
domui eorum
po[puloque Romano,]/ Quiritibus fratfribusque Arvalibus]
mihique, sacr[ificium Deae]/
Diae erit XVI
k(alendas) Iun(ias) [domi,
XIIII
k(alendas) Iu]n(ias)
in
luco et
[domi,
XIII
k(alendas) Iun(ias)]/
domi. In
collegio adfue[runt
C.
Salviu]s Libera[lis
Nonius
Bas]sus,/
L. Veratius
Quadratus,
L.
Mae[cius Postumus,
A.
I]ulius [Quadratus, P.]/
Sallustius
Blaesus./
L. Volusio
Satur[nino],
C.
Galpufrnio co(n)s(ulibus)
.... vota
nuncupata]/
in
Capitfolio
pr]o
salute
e[t
incolumitate
imp(eratoris)
Caesaris Domitiani
Aug(usti)/ Germanici, magisterio
C.
Iuli
Silani, promag(istro)
C. Salvio
Liberale,
Iovi
o(ptimo) m(aximo)]/ b(ovem) m(arem),
Iunoni
regin[ae b(ovem) f(eminam),
Minervae
b(ovem) f(eminam).
In
collegio]
adfuerunt
imp(erator)
Caesar
Domitian[us Aug(ustus) Germandcus,
G. Salvius
Liberalis]/
Nonius
Bassus,
L. Maecius
Postumus,
L.
[Veratius Quadratus.]/
•'
Isdem
co(n)s(ulibus)
XI
k(alendas) Febr(uarias)
in
Capitolio
ad vota
reddfenda
et
nuncupanda pro]/
salute et incolumitate
Imp(eratoris)
Caesaris
Domitfiani Aug(usti) Germanici]/ magisterio
C. Iuli
Silani, promag(istro)
C. Salvio
[Liberale
Nonio Basso. In
collegio]/
adfuerunt G. Salvius Liberalis
Nonius
[Bassus
etc
]/
Iuppiter o(ptime) m(axime) Capitoline, s[i Imp(erator)
Caesar divi
Vespasiani f(ilius) Domitianus]/
Aug(ustus) Germanicuspontif[exmaximustribunic(is) potest(ate)
censor
perpetuusp(ater) p(atriae),]/
ex cuius incolumitate
ufniversorum
salus
constat, quern nos]/
sentimus
dicere,
vivet
[domusque
eius
incolumis erit
a(nte) d(iem)
XI
k(alendas) Februarias]/ quae proximae p(opulo) R(omano),
Qj(uiritibus), refi p(ublicae) p(opuli) R(omani), Q(uiritium), erunt,
et eum diem
eumque]/
salvom
servaveris ex
[periculis
si
qua
sunt eruntve ante
eum]/
diem
eventumq(ue) bonu(m
ita uti nos sentimus
dicere, dederis]/ eumq(ue)
in eo
statu, quo n(unc est,
aut eo meliore
servaveris, custodie]/ risque
aeterni ta tern
i[mperi, quod suscipiendo ampliavi t, ut]/
voti
compotem
rem
p(ublicam) saep[e facias,
ast tu ea ita
faxis,
turn
tibi] / nom[in]e collegi
fratrum
Arfvalium
bove aurato
vove]o esse/ futur[um.]/
Isdem
co(n)s(ulibus) k(alendis) Febr(uariis)
allectus Narcissus Annianus
publicus loco/ Nymphi
Numisiani ad fratres
Arvales./
C. Bellico Natale
Tebaniano,
C. Ducenio Proculo
co(n)s(ulibus)
XIIII
k(alendas) Iun(ias)/
in luco
Deae Diae
magisterio
C. Iuli
Silani,
curam
agente C./
Nonio Basso Salvio
Liberale,
fratres Arvales
Deae Diae
sacri/ficium
fecerunt. C. Salvius
Liberalis, qui
vice
magistri fungebatur
C. Iuli
Silani,
ante
lucum in aram
porcas piacu/lares
duas luco
coinquiendi
et
operis
faciendi
immolavit;/
deinde vaccam
Deae Diae honorariam immolavit. C.
Salvius/
Liberalis Nonius
Bassus,
L. Maecius
Postumus,
A. Iulius
Quadratus,/
P. Sallustius
Blaesus, Q.
Tillius Sassius in
tetrastylo consederunft]/
et ex sacrificio
epulati
sunt, sumptisq(ue) praetextis
et
coronis/ spiceis
vittatis lucum Deae Diae ad summotum
escenderunt/
et
per
Salvium Liberalem Nonium
Bassum, qui
vice
magistrfi]/ fungebatur,
et
Q.
Tillium
Sassium, qui
vice flaminis
funge/batur,
Deae Diae
agnam opimam immolarunt, perfectoque/
sacrificio omnes ture et
vino fecerunt. Deinde coronis
in/
latis
signisq(ue)
unctis
Q.
Tillium Sassium ex
Saturnalibus/ primis
ad
Saturnalia secunda annuum
magistrum fecer(unt),/
item Ti. Iulium Celsum Marium Candidum
flaminem; deinde/
in
t[etr]astylum desciderunt, ibiq(ue)
in triclinio
discumbentes/ epulati
sunt ad
magistrum
C. Iulium
Silanum; post epulas/ ric[i]niatus
soleatus cum corona
pactili
rosacia
summoto/
sup[r]a
careares escidit et
signum quadrigis
et
desultoribus/ mi[s]it, praesidente
L. Maecio
Postumo;
victores
palmis et/
coronis
argentéis honoravit./
Eadem die Romae domo
apud mag(istrum)
C. Iulium Silanum idem
qui
in luco
cenarunt./
XIII
k(alendas) Iun(ias)
domo
apud mag(istrum)
C. Iulium Silanum fratres
Arvales/
ad consumman-
dum sacrificium Deae Diae
cenarunt,
et
in/ter
cenam C. Salvius Liberalis Nonius
Bassus,
L. Maecius
Pos/tumus,
A. Iulius
Quadratus,
P. Sallustius
Blaesus, Q. Tillius/ Sassius,
L. Venuleius
Apronian[u]s
ture et vino
fecerunt,/
ministrantibus
pueris patrimis
et matrimis isdem
qui/
XVI
k(alendas) Iun(ias),
et
fruges
libatas ad aram
rettulerunt; lampadib(us)/
incensis tuscanicas
contigerunt, quas per calatores/
domibus suis
miserunft]./
Pu[eri patrimi
et
matrimi], qui
ad sacrificium Deae Diae
praest[o/ erant, ]ilius Marcianus,
DIVERSITY AND EXPANSION IN THE ARVAL ACTA 123
Rusonis P.
Calvisius/ [ ]
Umbrini M. Petronius
Cremutius,/ [
-.
./

]
Prisco
co(n)s(ulibus)
IIII idus
Septiem-
bres) mag(isterio)
C.
Iuli/ [Sila]ni
in luco Deae
Diae, quod
ramus ex arbore ilicana
ob/ [vjetustatem
deciderit, piaculum
factum est
per
calatorem
et/ [p]ublicos./
Isdem
co(n)s(ulibus) idi[b]us Sept(embribus)
in
Capitolio
arae dedicatione
pro mag(isterio) C./
Iuli
Silani immolavit vaccam L. Maecius
Post[umus.] Adfuerunft]/
in
collegio
L. Maecius
Postumus,
A.
Iulius
Quadratus, Q. Tillius/ Sassius./
Isdem
co(n)s(ulibus)
X
k(alendas) Oct(obres)
in
Ca[p]itolio
ob detecta scelera
nefariorum,
mag(isterio)/ [C]
Iuli
Silani,
immolavit in
Capitolio b(ovem) m(arem)
immolavit
(sic)
C.
Venu/[leius
Apjronianus./
L.
U[

]
Plotio
Grypo co(n)s(ulibus)
XVII
k(alendas) Mai(as) piaculu[m
factum in
luco/
Deae Diae
per calatore]m
et
públicos
ob ferrum
in[latum scripturae
et
scalpturae/
consummato
magis]terio Iul[i SJilani./
[ co(n)s(ulibus) piaculum
factum
a]d De[ae
Diae
per calatorem/
et
públicos ob] ferr[um
elatum .... etc
....]/
TRANSLATION
The
following
translation aims to
provide
a
key
to the Latin
text,
rather than a
polished
final version. It
offers one reasonable
rendering;
others
(differing
in tone or
occasionally
in
sense)
are
possible.
The
consulship
of
Imperator
Caesar Domitian
Augustus Germanicus,
for the thirteenth
time,
and
Lucius Volusius Sa tu minus.
January
3
On the
Capitol,
in the
portico
of the
temple
of
Jupiter Optimus Maximus,
Caius Salvius
Liberalis,
Arval
Brother,
who was
acting
in the
place
of Caius
Julius Silanus,
master
(of
the
college),
announced
to the
college
of the Arval Brethren: 'Since the immortal
gods,
their
power propitiated,
have heard the
prayers
of the
world,
which were
eagerly
undertaken for the health of
Emperor
Caesar Domitian
Augustus Germanicus,
the son of the deified
Vespasian, pontifex maximus,
and of Domitia
Augusta,
his
wife,
and of
Julia Augusta
and of all their
house,
it is
right
for the
college
to fulfil their
previous
vows
and to
proclaim
new ones.
The
college
decreed:
May
it be
good, propitious,
fortunate and safe: since it was
right
that the
previous
vows should be
fulfilled and new ones made for the health and
safety
of
Emperor
Caesar Domitian
Augustus
Germanicus,
son of the deified
Vespasian, pontifex
maximus and of Domitia
Augusta,
his
wife,
and of
Julia Augusta
and of all their house
-
for
Jupiter Optimus Maximus,
a
bull;
for
Juno Regina,
a
cow;
for
Minerva,
a
cow;
for the Common Health of the Roman
People,
the
Quirites,
a cow.
On the same
day,
in the same
place,
in the forecourt
(of
the
temple)
Caius Salvius
Liberalis,
who was
acting
in
place
of the
master,
with incense and wine made a libation in the fire in the brazier and offered
in sacrifice with
wine,
with
barley cake,
with the knife
-
for
Jupiter Optimus Maximus,
a
bull;
for
Juno
Regina,
a
cow;
for
Minerva,
a
cow;
for the Common Health of the Roman
People,
the
Quirites,
a
cow;
he offered
up
the innards cooked in a
jar.
On the same
day,
in the same
place,
in the
portico
of the
temple
of
Jupiter Optimus Maximus,
Caius
Salvius
Liberalis,
who was
acting
in
place
of
Julius Silanus,
the
master,
with the
college
of the Arval
Brethren
present,
undertook vows in the name of the
college
of the Arval Brethren for the health and
safety
of
Emperor
Caesar Domitian
Augustus Germanicus,
son of the deified
Vespasian, pontifex
maximus,
with tribunician
power,
censor for
life,
father of his
country
and Domitia
Augusta
his wife
and
Julia Augusta
and all of their house
-
in these words:
Jupiter Optimus Maximus,
if
Emperor
Caesar Domitian
Augustus Germanicus,
son of the deified
Vespasian, pontifex maximus,
with tribunician
power,
censor for
life,
father of his
country
and Domitia
Augusta,
his
wife,
and
Julia Augusta,
of whom I hold that I am
speaking,
shall live and their house be
safe on the third of
January
which shall be next for the Roman
People,
the
Quirites,
for the state of the
Roman
People,
the
Quirites,
and if
you
shall
keep
that
day
and them safe from whatever
dangers
there
are and will be before that
day,
and if
you
shall
give
a
happy
outcome in such a
way
as I hold
myself
to
mean,
and if
you
shall
keep
them in that condition in which
they
now are or in a better
one,
if
you
shall
do these
things thus,
then in the name of the
college
of the Arval Brethren I vow that
you
shall have a
gilded
bull.
124 MARY BEARD
Juno Regina,
in those words in which I vow that
Jupiter Optimus
Maximus shall have a
gilded bull,
which I have
today vowed,
if
you
shall do these
things thus,
then in the same
words,
in the name of the
college
of the Arval
Brethren,
I vow that
you
shall have a
gilded
cow.
Minerva,
in those words in which I have vowed that
Juno Regina
shall have a
gilded cow,
which I have
today vowed,
if
you
shall do these
things thus,
then in the same words in the name of the
college
of the
Arval Brethren I vow that
you
shall have a
gilded
cow.
Common Health of the Roman
People,
the
Quirites,
in those words in which I have vowed that
Juno
Regina
shall have a
gilded cow,
which I have
today vowed,
if
you
shall do these
things thus,
then in the
same words in the name of the
college
of the Arval Brethren I vow that
you
shall have a
gilded
cow.
In the
college
were Caius Salvius Liberalis Nonius
Bassus,
Aulus
Julius Quadratus,
Lucius Maecius
Postumus,
Lucius Veratius
Quadratus,
Publius Sallustius
Blaesus,
Lucius Venuleius
Apronianus.
In the same
consulship,
on
January x,
in the
portico
of the
temple
of Concord which is near the
temple
of the deified
Vespasian,
Caius Salvius Liberalis Nonius
Bassus,
Arval
Brother,
who was
acting
in
place
of
Julius Silanus,
the
master,
with the Arval Brethren
present, proclaimed
the sacrifice to Dea Dia for
this
year
thus: r
May.it
be
good, propitious, propitious, fortunate,
successful and safe for
Emperor
Caesar Domitian
Augustus
Germanicus
pontifex
maximus and for Domitia
Augusta
his wife and for
Julia Augusta
and
for all their house and for the Roman
people,
the
Quirites,
and for the Arval Brethren and for
me,
the
sacrifice to Dea Dia will be
May 17,
at
home, May
19 in the
grove
and at
home, May
20 at home. In
the
college
were Caius Salvius Liberalis Nonius
Bassus,
Lucius Veratius
Quadratus,
Lucius Maecius
Postumus,
Aulus
Julius Quadratus,
Publius Sallustius Blaesus.
In the
consulship
of Lucius Volusius Saturninus and Caius
Calpurnius
vows were
proclaimed
on
the
Capitol
for the health and
safety
of
Emperor
Caesar Domitian
Augustus Germanicus,
in the
mastership
of Caius
Julius Silanus,
with Caius Salvius Liberalis as
pro-master
-
for
Jupiter Optimus
Maximus,
a
bull;
for
Juno Regina,
a
cow;
for
Minerva,
a cow. In the
college
were
Imperator
Caesar
Domitian
Augustus Germanicus,
Caius Salvius Liberalis Nonius
Bassus,
Lucius Maecius
Postumus,
Lucius Veratius
Quadratus.
In the same
consulship,
on
January 22,
on the
Capitol,
in order to
discharge
and
proclaim
vows for the
health and
safety
of
Emperor
Caesar Domitian
Augustus Germanicus,
in the
mastership
of Caius
Julius
Silanus,
with Caius Salvius Liberalis Nonius Bassus as
pro-master.
In the
college
were Caius Salvius
Liberalis Nonius Bassus . . etc . . .
Jupiter Optimus
Maximus
Capitolinus,
if
Emperor
Caesar Domitian
Augustus Germanicus,
son of the
deified
Vespasian, pontifex maximus,
with tribunician
power,
censor for
life,
father of his
country,
on
whose
safety
the health of all
depends,
of whom we hold that we are
speaking,
shall live and his house
be safe on
January
22 which will be next for the Roman
people,
the
Quirites,
for the state of the Roman
people,
the
Quirites,
and if
you
shall
keep
that
day
and him safe from whatever
dangers
there are or will
be before that
day
and if
you
shall
give
a
happy
outcome in such a
way
as we hold ourselves to
mean,
and if
you
shall
keep
him in that condition in which he now is or in a better
one,
and if
you
shall
guard
the
eternity
of the
empire,
which he has ennobled
by undertaking responsibility
for
it,
so that
you may
often
grant
the state its
prayer,
if
you
shall do these
things thus,
then in the name of the
college
of Arval
Brethren,
I vow that
you
shall have a
gilded
bull.
In the same
consulship,
on
February 1,
Narcissus Annianus was chosen as
public
slave for the Arval
Brethren in the
place
of
Nymphius
Numisianus.
In the
consulship
of Caius Bellicus Natalis Tebanianus and Caius Ducenius
Proculus,
on
May 19,
in the
grove
of Dea
Dia,
in the
mastership
of Caius
Julius Silanus,
with Caius Nonius Bassus Salvius Liberalis
taking charge,
the Arval Brethren
performed
the sacrifice to Dea Dia. Caius Salvius
Liberalis,
who was
acting
in the
place
of the
master,
Caius
Julius Silanus,
in front of the
grove
sacrificed onto the altar two
expiatory pigs
in
expiation
for
polluting
the
grove
and the work to be carried out
there;
then he
sacrificed a cow as an
offering
to Dea Dia. Caius Salvius Liberalis Nonius
Bassus,
Lucius Maecius
Postumus,
Aulus
Julius Quadratus,
Publius Sallustius
Blaesus, Quintus
Tillius Sassius sat down in the
tetrastyle
and feasted off the
sacrifice,
and
taking up
their
togas
with
purple
borders and their
garlands
made of ears of corn with woollen
bands, they
ascended the
grove
with attendants
clearing
the
way
and
through
Salvius Liberalis Nonius
Bassus,
who was
acting
in
place
of the
master, they
sacrificed a choice
lamb to Dea Dia
and,
when the sacrifice was
complete, they
all made a libation with incense and wine.
Then,
when the
garlands
had been
brought
in and the statues anointed
they
made
Quintus
Tillius
DIVERSITY AND EXPANSION IN THE ARVAL ACTA 125
Sassius annual master from the
coming
Saturnalia to the
next,
likewise
they
made Tiberius
Julius
Celsus
Marius Candidus
flamen;
then
they
went down to the
tetrastyle,
and there
reclining
in the
dining
room
they
feasted in the
presence
of the master Caius
Julius Silanus;
after the feast
wearing
a veil and
sandals,
with a
garland
woven with
roses,
with attendants
clearing
the
way,
he ascended above the
starting gates
and
gave
the
signal
to the four-horse chariots and the
leapers,
with Lucius Maecius Postumus
presiding;
he honoured the victors with
palms
and silver
garlands.
On the same
day
at
Rome,
in the house of the master Gaius
Julius Silanus,
the same
people
who were in
the
grove
dined.
On
May 20,
in the house of the master Gaius
Julius Silanus,
the Arval Brethren dined to
complete
the
sacrifice to Dea
Dia,
and
during
dinner Gaius Salvius Liberalis Nonius
Bassus,
Lucius Maecius
Postumus,
Aulus
Julius Quadra tus,
Publius Sallustius
Blaesus, Quintus
Tillius
Sassius,
Lucius
Venuleius
Apronianus
made a libation with incense and
wine,
with
boys
whose fathers and mothers
were still
alive,
the same as on
May
1
7, serving
at
table,
and
they brought
the consecrated corn to the
altar;
with
lamps lit, they
touched the bowls
(?),
which
they
sent to their homes
through
the kalatores.
The
boys
whose fathers and mothers were still
alive,
who were
present
at the sacrifice to Dea
Dia,
were
]ilius Marcianus,
Publius (Ualvisius
,
son of
Ruso,

,
Marcus Petronius
Cremutius,
son of
Uriibrinus,
In the
consulship
of and
Priscus,
on
September
10,
in the
mastership
of Caius
Julius Silanus,
in the
grove
of Dea
Dia,
because a branch fell from an oak
tree on account of its
age,
an
expiation
was
performed through
a kalator and
public
slaves.
In the same
consulship,
on
September 13,
on the
Capitol,
at the dedication of an altar on behalf of the
mastership
of Caius
Julius
Silanus Lucius Maecius Postumus sacrificed a cow. Present in the
college
were Lucius Maecius
Postumus,
Aulus
Julius Quadratus, Quintus
Tillius Sassius.
In the same
consulship,
on
September 22,
on the
Capitol,
on account of the detection of the
villainy
of
criminals,
in the
mastership
of Caius
Julius Silanus,
Caius Veneleius
Apronianus
sacrificed on the
Capitol
sacrificed
(sic)
a bull. In the
consulship
of Lucius U and .... Plotius
Grypus,
on
April 15,
an
expiation
was
performed
in the
grove
of Dea Dia
through
a kalator and
public
slaves on
account of the iron for
writing
and
engraving being brought in,
after the
mastership
of
Julius
Silanus
was
completed.
In the
consulship
an
expiation
was
performed
?. . . .
through
a kalator and
public
slaves on account of iron etc ...
The size of the
tablets,
and the
layout
of the inscribed text within
them, vary.
Up
to at least 155 the tablets
(when complete)
were all about 1-70 m. in
height
and
the written text was
arranged
within them in one or two
columns;
so the width
varied between about 50 cm. and almost a metre.
Presumably
these tablets were
made to fit into some standard architectural context within the
grove
-
maybe
the
stylobate
of the
temple
of Dea Dia.45 Later in the second
century,
the size of the
tablets and their internal
arrangement changed: they
became shorter and
broader,
with the text laid out now in three columns.46 It is a reasonable
conjecture
that the
original
site for their
display
within the
grove (whether
or not the
temple
of Dea
Dia)
had been used
up,
and a new one of different dimensions chosen.
Shortage
of
space
in the
grove
caused
yet
more drastic
changes.
I have
already
mentioned some instances in the
early
third
century,
when the text was inscribed on
45See the clear
diagrams
and dimensions
provided by
A.
Huelsen, Ephemeris Epigraphica
8
(1899),
esp.
347-50
(although
he
doubts, perhaps reasonably,
the standard
assumption (e.g. Henzen, X)
that
these tablets could have fitted onto a circular
building.
A
photograph
of a
(nearly complete) example
of an
early
document is
provided by J.
Scheid and H.
Broise,
MEFRA 92
(1980),
223.
^See,
for
example, 183,
described and illustrated
by
A. E.
Gordon,
Album of Dated Latin
Inscriptions,
II
(California, 1964),
no. 242 with
pl.
114. The
original
dimensions of this stone were
approximately
0-6 m.
(height) by
1-4 m.
(width).
126
MARY BEARD
the flanks of stone furniture in the
grove.47
At about the same time we sometimes find
the record of a fresh
year
carved not on to a new tablet
(however
this
might
be
improvised),
but on to the
empty
lower
margins
of tablets of earlier
years.
For
example,
the Acta of 213 were inscribed below the text of
155,
and those of 219
below the text of 90.48
Each
year's
record was inscribed on to the stone
together
at the end of the
year,
not
day by day
as the rituals were carried out.
Presumably
some
running
record was
kept (on perishable materials) throughout
the
year
to form the basis of the final
inscribed texts.49 This
system
of annual
inscription
is attested from the
style
of the
script
alone
-
homogenous
within the text of each
year,
but
showing
discernible
differences from one twelve month block to the next. But from the 80s it is
documented also in the Acta
themselves;
for the
expiatory
sacrifices
performed
when
the iron
inscribing
chisel was
brought
into the
grove (and
later taken
out)
were then
annually
recorded. These sacrifices
-
and so also the
carving
itself
-
generally
took
place
in
April,
about four months after the end of the
year
in
question.50
Earlier in
the first
century
there is no direct evidence for the act of
inscription,
but on one
occasion at least it seems to have taken
place
much closer to the end of the
year.
That was in
69,
when the inscribed record
originally
included the name of the
emperor
Vitellius who was murdered on 20 or 21 December
69, only
a few
days
after
the end of the Arval
year.
This name was
subsequently erased;
but the obvious
implication
is that the
carving
of the record had taken
place
either in the few
days
before his death or in the
period
of
uncertainty
that
immediately
followed.51 We do
not know whether there were other occasions on which the record was so
promptly
inscribed.
This
regular
and detailed written record of
priestly activity was,
I
think, unique
within the Roman
religious system.
Of
course,
written documents of various sorts
are associated with the
organisation
and
practice
of state
religion. Inscriptions
survive,
for
example,
which record the
membership
lists of
colleges
of
priests
or
47See
above, p.
114.
^For an illustration of
155/213,
see A. E.
Gordon,
Album
of
Dated Latin
Inscriptions,
III
(California,
1965), pl.
100 A and B.
49The task of the
commentariensis,
above
p.
119.
^From at least
87,
it was the
regular pattern (except
where
improvisation
was
necessary)
for the
record of an individual
year
to
occupy
the whole of one or two tablets. Earlier the records had run on
continuously,
each one
starting
wherever on the tablet the last one had finished
(see,
for
example,
35
and 36
-
with
diagram
of
layout
CIL
2025).
Even in these
early
documents the
style
of the
inscribing
clearly
marks out one
year
from another. For a convenient list of dates of
inscription,
see
Henzen,
128-30.
51
We must assume the
following precise
course of events:
(1)
the
composition
of the
running
record
during 69, noting,
as
appropriate,
Vitellius as
magister
of the
college
and the
presence
at Arval
ceremonies of his brother L. Vitellius
(whose
name was also later erased from the
record); (2)
17
December,
end of the Arval
year; (3) inscribing
of the
record, including
the names of Vitellius and his
brother; (4)
defeat and death of
Vitellius,
20 or 21
December; (5) subsequent
erasure of the names.
Note that Vitellius was not
subject
to a formal damnatio memoriae and that the
only likely
context for
such an erasure is in the
early days
of the Flavian
victory,
when
feelings against
Vitellius no doubt still
ran
high.
DIVERSITY AND EXPANSION IN THE ARVAL ACTA 127
make brief mention of the
yearly
celebration of the Latin
festival;52 literary
sources
preserve quotations
from
priestly books,
such as those of the
pontifical college
which
were concerned with a
variety
of
religious
matters:
pontifical law,
the correct
formulae for
prayers
and sacrifices and so forth.53 Yet none of this material is
comparable
with the record of the Arval brethren in either scale or content: it is
mostly
briefer
-
a more or less
perfunctory list,
rather than a detailed
description; or,
where more
lengthy,
it
generally
embodies
prescriptive religious
rules rather than an
account of ritual as enacted on
any
individual occasion.
Perhaps
the closest
parallel
to the Arval Acta lies in the
lengthy inscriptions
which
give
a full and elaborate
account of the ceremonial of the secular
games.54
Yet here
again
a close
comparison
is
inappropriate.
The secular
games,
celebrated
only
once in 100
(or 110) years,
were
a
special
case and not
part
of the
day
to
day
ritual of Rome. The record of their
celebration must
obviously
be
placed
in a different
category
from the record of the
regular
rituals of the Arvals.
Can we be sure that similar records were not
kept by
other
priestly colleges
at
Rome
-
simply failing
to survive
because, perhaps, they
were written on
perishable
material,
not stone? Of
course,
we cannot be sure. It
might
even be
suggested
that
the total lack of evidence for documents of a similar
type
in
any
other
priestly college
carries little force as a
negative argument. For,
after
all,
if the Arval record did not
happen
itself to be
preserved,
we would be
quite
unaware of its existence
-
since no
mention of it is made in
any surviving literary
source. This
suggestion, though
at first
sight plausible,
is
unconvincing
for the
following
reason. The
history
of other
priestly
colleges
at
Rome,
in
particular
the
pontífices
and
augures,
is
comparatively
well
documented;
and our ancient evidence includes considerable information on
(and
citation
from)
their written documents and manuals of
procedure. Yet, amongst
this
evidence,
we find no hint that
they kept any
record
comparable
to the
regular
Arval
record of business and rituals. The Arval
brotherhood,
on the other
hand,
excited
very
little interest
among
authors in
antiquity
-
beyond
minor
aetiological specula-
tion on the
origin
of the
priesthood.55
The silence on their
activity
of
writing
is
just
part
of a
general
silence on their activities as a whole. I think it is a reasonable
(though
not
certain)
deduction from
this,
that the Arvals were
unique,
that no other
major college kept
similar written records.
III. CHARACTERISTICS OF THE ARVAL ACTA: DIVERSITY AND
GROWTH
The records of the Arval brethren show
striking diversity
and variation. The
inscribed details of individual ceremonies differed
considerably
from
year
to
year;
and between the first
century
b.c. and the third
century
a.d. there were substantial
^Membership
lists:
e.g.,
CIL
VI,
1976
(
=
/Z,S9338, 3); 1977;
1978
(
=
/Z,S5024); 1979-1983;
1984
(
=
ILS
5025); 1985-2008;
2009
(
=
ILS
466);
2010. Latin Festival: CIL VI 2011-2019.
53See,
for
example,
the
fragments
collected
by
P.
Preibisch, Fragmenta
librorum
pontijicum (Tilsit,
1878), reprinted
in P.
Preibisch,
Two Studies in the Roman
Pontífices (New York, 1975).
*CIL VI 32323 (
=
ILS
5050); 32326;
32327 (
=
ILS
5050a);
32328-32336.
55See Masurius Sabinus in Aulus
Gellius,
Attic
Nights 7, 7,
8 and
Pliny,
Natural
History 18, 2,
6.
128 MARY BEARD
changes
in the character of the Acta. This is
marked,
in
particular, by
a
general
trend
towards an
increasingly
detailed record of the Brotherhood's
activity.
This characterisation of the Acta conflicts with a common
assumption
that the
Arval record consisted of a series of
highly
standardised documents.
Rituals,
it is
supposed,
were
repeated
in
exactly
the same form
year
after
year
and then recorded
in
just
the same
way;
variations in the record were
largely
restricted to the
personnel
of the
Brotherhood,
as old names
dropped
out and new names were introduced into
the lists of brethren
present
at
any ceremony.
This
assumption certainly
lies behind
much
epigraphic study
of the texts. For
many
small
fragments
of the Acta have been
restored into
lengthy
documents
simply
on the
understanding
that one
year's
record
must be
nearly
identical to others of
roughly
the same
date; fragmentary entries,
in
other
words,
are
completed simply by
direct
copying
from other
parts
of the Acta.56
In the illustrations which
follow,
I
hope
to demonstrate that this
assumption
is
(at
the
very least)
a crude
oversimplification.
Of
course,
there are some
repetitive
entries in the
Acta,
and some standardised
phrases. Many
rituals
were,
no
doubt,
performed
in
broadly
the same
way many
times. Yet the
superficial similarity
of the
documents
cannot,
on closer
reading,
mask their
diversity
and variation.
I have chosen to illustrate some of the
important changes
in the Acta from the
regular
record of the festival of Dea Dia. This festival was the
major ceremony
in
honour of the traditional
deity
of the Arval cult. It took
place
over three
days
in
May,
each of which had a somewhat different character. Details from the record of
the first two
days
-
the most elaborate of the festival
-
are laid out in
Appendices
II
and III. For the moment let us note the broad scheme of the festival. The first
day
of
the ceremonies took
place
in the house of the
magister
of the brotherhood
where,
in
the
morning,
a sacrifice of wine and incense was
performed,
in association with
various other
rituals, including
the
anointing
of a statue of the
goddess;
in the
afternoon there was
feasting
and another sacrifice of wine and incense. The second
day
of the festival was the most
important
and took
place largely
in the Arval
grove
itself. There were three main elements in the ceremonies. The first was the sacrifice of
pigs
and a
cow,
after which the brethren took a meal from the sacrificial meat. The
second was the sacrifice of a
lamb,
with a whole
variety
of associated rituals
-
the
singing
of the Arval
hymn,
the
rolling
of
jars
down the hillside and so
on;
at this
point
in their ceremonies the brethren also chose a
magister
to serve for the next
year.
The
third element consisted of
games
in the circus in the
grove,
followed
by
dinner in the
evening
at the house of the
magister
in Rome. The final
day
of the festival was much
simpler, comprising just
sacrifice and dinner at the house of the
magister.
In addition
to these three
days
of the
ceremony proper,
there was a
preliminary element,
conventionally
known
by
modern scholars as the indictio. This took
place
in
January,
when the
magister
of the brotherhood
gave
formal announcement
(indixit)
of the date
and
place
of the Dea Dia festival for that
year.
Full details of this are
provided
in
Appendix
I.
^Spectacular examples
of this
tendency
are 77
(CIL
VI
2055);
M. Aurelius B
{CIL
VI
2092).
CIL
conveniently lays
out the
surviving fragment
of text on the lefthand
page,
with the restoration on the
right.
DIVERSITY AND EXPANSION IN THE ARVAL ACTA 129
Diversity
Let us consider first the
diversity
in the written record of this
festival,
and leave until
later discussion of the trend towards
increasing
detail in the documents. The least
elaborate
part
of the whole festival of Dea Dia was the indictio. For this reason its
record
provides
the easiest
starting point
for a demonstration of the variations found
throughout
the Acta.
The texts which refer to this
preliminary
element of the festival57
do,
at first
sight, give
an
impression
of
homogeneity.
It is
clear,
on even a
cursory reading,
that
the same ritual underlies all the accounts of the occasion in the
Acta;
for
example,
the ritual
performed
in
January
a.d. 21 was
broadly
the same as that
performed
in
January
155. It is also
immediately
clear that the same schema was
consistently
followed over almost three centuries in
arranging
the recorded data. The entries
were
always
dated
by
reference to the current
consuls;
the name of the
magister
who
proclaimed
the festival was
always recorded,
with
(in
almost
every case)
the names
of the other brethren
attending
the
ceremony;
the date and
place
of the summer
festival,
as
proclaimed by
the
magister,
were
always included;
and there are
many
other marks of
similarity
in content and
style.
Within this framework of broad
similarity, striking
elements of
change
and
diversity emerge.
In order to
highlight
the
changes,
I have chosen to list seven
points
which
exemplify diversity
at different levels.
They
are
by
no means the
only
examples
which could be
found,
nor are
they
all of
equal significance.
Indeed some
of the
points,
I have isolated
are, individually,
trivial. Yet the
aggregate
of these
minor indications of
diversity
-
as well as their
range
-
is
impressive.
For we are
dealing
not
only
with
differing patterns
in the inclusion or exclusion of certain ritual
elements in the
record,
but also with
changes
in the formulae of
description
and in
the
practical
circumstances
(such
as date and
place)
of the rituals as enacted.
1. The first
point
is a
general
one: it is clear that the record of one
year
was not
generally produced by
close
copying
of the records of the
preceding years.58
Consider,
for
example,
the
surviving
records between 58 and 63. The texts of 58 and
59
appear very
similar at first
sight.
Yet note that in 58 the date and location of the
May
ceremonies are recorded as if in direct
speech:
a
colon,
that
is,
or inverted
commas must be inserted between 'Titiano
mag'
and 'XVI kal Iun' in order to make
syntactical
sense of the sentence. In
59,
on the other
hand,
a form of indirect
speech
is
used. Note also that in the record of 58 the list of Arvals
present
at the
ceremony
of
indictio is included
twice;
while in
59,
in
place
of the second list of
names,
is a mere
reference back to the first list: 'in
conlegio
adfuerunt isdem
qui supra scripti
sunt'.
The document of 63
incorporates yet
more variations from those of the
preceding
years.
These include
changes
of word order and
vocabulary:
the
phrase
'sacrificium
indixit Deae Diae' takes the
place
of 'sacrificium Deae Diae
indixit';
and the brethren
are said to be 'adhibitis'
('called together')
rather than 'adstantibus'
('present').
57In what follows I shall not
give
detailed references where
my
statements are
easily
verifiable from
the texts assembled in the
appendices.
^This is not to
deny
that there are some 'clusters'
-
that
is, groupings
around the same date of
records
closely
similar in
wording. See,
for
example, 118,
120 and
(in
a more
fragmentary state)
122
(although
even these are not
absolutely identical).
130 MARY BEARD
The
points
that follow are more
specific:
2.
Occasionally
all reference to this ritual of
proclamation
was omitted from the
record. To be
sure,
the normal
practice
of the Arval brethren was to include mention
of the indictio in their inscribed texts each
year;
and where such a record is now
absent,
the
explanation
is
usually
to be
found, quite straightforwardly,
in the
incomplete
survival of the documents as a whole. In
110, however,
we can be
reasonably
certain that there was never
any
mention at all of the
ceremony
of indictio.
Almost all ceremonies are excluded from this
year's
record and the reasons for this
apparently exceptional
lacuna are unclear.59 For our
present purpose
it is sufficient
to
point
out that even such a
regular part
of the Arvals' ritual calendar
can,
on
occasion,
be absent from the inscribed Acta.
3. The circumstances of the ritual
-
both date and
place
-
vary.
The
ceremony
oí indictio was
always, apparently, performed
between the nones and ides of
January,
but there are definite attestations
fo£
the seventh
day
before the ides
(91,
1
18, 120,
155),
the sixth
day (78, 89),
the third
day (60)
and
pridie (59).
Likewise the location
of the ritual could
change.
The indictio was
normally
recorded as
having
taken
place
in the
temple
of
Concord;
but in 59 it is said to have been
performed
in the Pantheon.
Even the
regular
location of the
temple
of Concord is
variously
described.
Up
to the 80s a.d. it
appears
as 'in
aede(m) Concordiae';
later it becomes 'in
pronao
aedis Concordiae'. In
87, exceptionally,
the
temple
of Concord is itself located as
'next to the
temple
of Divus
Vespasianus'. Occasionally (as
in 21 and
probably 60)
the
place
of
performance
is not mentioned at all.
4. The
arrangements
for the summer festival of Dea
Dia,
as
proclaimed
in the
indictio also
vary.
There seems to have been a
general
rule that in 'odd'
years
the
main festival would take
place
on the sixteenth
day
before the kalends of
June (
1 7
May),
the fourteenth
(19 May)
and the thirteenth
(20 May);
while in 'even'
years
it
would take
place
on the
sixth,
fourth and third
day
before the kalends
(27,
29 and 30
May). However,
in
59, 63,
68 and 69 this rule is reversed and in 90 the
magister
announced that the summer festival would take
place
on a
completely
different set of
days, beginning
with the
eighth day
before the kalends of
June (25 May).
The first
surviving
record of the indictio
(20 b.c.)
shows even
greater
variation from the later
norm;
for on that occasion the summer festival was
proclaimed
to take
place
not in
May
at
all,
but
early
in
June
sometime before the nones
(that is,
before the
fifth).
The location announced for the festival of Dea Dia
displays greater uniformity.
The
normal
practice
here was for the first
day
of the festival to be fixed
domi,
the second in
luco et domi and the third domi.
However,
in
231,
239 and 240 no
place
is
specified;
in
183 the location of the first
day
is described as
Romae,
not domi and in 89
apud
or ad
magistros
is added to the location domi.
5. The
agent
of
proclamation,
as defined in the
texts,
did not remain constant
throughout
the
period
covered.
Up
to
87,
the Acta state that the
magister (alone)
59See A.
Ferrua,
BCA 78
(1961-62),
1
16-29, especially
lines 21-25 of the text with the
commentary
on
p.
120. The
only
detail recorded of Arval
activity
in 110 is the act of
inscribing
the record of the
previous year;
the text then runs
straight
on to the account of the rituals of 1 1 1.
J.
Scheid has
recently
tried to
explain
this
strange lacuna, by arguing (Hommages Schilling (Paris, 1983) 215-30)
that the
record of 1 10 was
inscribed,
but in a different location.
Although possible,
such a view is
supported by
little clear evidence.
DIVERSITY AND EXPANSION IN THE ARVAL ACTA 131
announced the
arrangements
for the summer
festival;
or
alternatively
a
passive
form
is used
-
'sacrum indicium Deae Diae'
(e.g. 78).
60
From 87 the
responsibility
for the
proclamation
is said to lie with the Brotherhood as a whole: either
(e.g. 89, 91, 183)
'fratres
Arvales sacrificium Dea Diae indixerunt or
(e.g. 118,
120 and
very similarly
in
231)
W sacrificium Deae Diae indicendum
fratres
Arvales convenerunt'.61
6. The actual words
spoken by
the
magister
in
proclaiming
the summer festival
-
including
a short
prayer
-
are sometimes included in the record and sometimes not.
They
are included in 21 and
38,
and then not
again (as
far as we can
tell)
until
87;
they
are absent once more in
89,
but then
present right through
until the third
century,
when
they
are absent in
231,
239 and 240.
7. When the verbatim account is
included,
the words recorded are not
always
identical. For
example,
the usual
introductory
formula is
Quod bonum,faustum,felix,
fortunatum salutareque
sit
(eg 91, 120, 183);
but
from this salutare is sometimes omitted
(21 and,
almost
certainly,
105 and
155).
Likewise there are
changes
in the stated
beneficiaries of the
magisteri prayer
for
good
fortune and health. The
emperor,
the
Roman
people
and the Arval brotherhood as a whole are
regularly
included
(e.g.
91, 120, 183).
But on occasion the
magister
is said to have
prayed
also for himself
{mihique-e.g. 87, 90, 91),
for the senate
(senatuir-e.g. 145, 155, 183, 186)
or for the
rule and
power
of the
emperor (imperio potestatique
eius
-
193).
These instances of
diversity
are
typical
of what
may
be found in the Acta as a
whole and are
important
for the
development
of
my present argument.
I shall discuss
below how
sharply incompatible
this
diversity
is with most modern views of the
function of the Arval
documents;
and from this I shall
suggest
a new
interpretation
of
the role of
writing
within the ritual
activity
of the brethren.
Increasing
detail
The
tendency
to
expansion
in the Arval record is
yet
more
striking.
A
superficial
glance
reveals a clear contrast between the earliest texts in the series and those of the
middle and later
periods:
the documents of
21/20
b.c. and a.d. 14 are
very
stark
records, containing
the barest details of ritual actions and
priestly organisation;62
those, of, say,
the mid-second
century
and later often extend to
many
times the
earlier
length
and are marked
by
an accumulation of detail on almost all
aspects
of
the Arvals'
activity. Diversity
enters even
here,
and
sporadically
the amount of detail
in these later records falls
dramatically;
but the overall trend is
clearly upwards.
The festival of Dea Dia once more
provides
a
good
illustration of this. Let us
consider here the
expansion
in the record of the second
day
of the summer festival
(Appendix III).
The account of the
proceedings
in
218,
for
example, although
not
complete,
extends to almost 40 lines. It is at least ten times
longer
than the accounts
of the first
century
a.d. and includes an
extraordinary
wealth of ritual detail
-
the
^In the
early
accounts a
passive
formulation is
commonly (though
not
always)
used when a
promagister,
not
magister,
conducted the indictio.
6lBut note that the word order of 1 18 is
slightly
different from that of 120.
62In
21/20 b.c.,
for
example,
it
appears (though
the text is
very fragmentary)
that the record of the
indictio of
January
20 follows
immediately
after the record of the festival of Dea Dia in summer 21. The
Acta of 1 4 describe the action taken after a tree in the
grove
had fallen down and record two
cooptions;
they
do not mention
any
detail of the celebration of the summer festival.
132 MARY BEARD
Arval
dance,
the text of the Arval
hymn,
the
throwing
of
jars
down the
hill,
the
passing
of corn around the brethren and so on.
By
contrast the record of 38 takes
up
a mere nine short lines and mentions
only
the
principal
sacrifices of the
day
and the
afternoon
games.63
A
similar, though
sometimes more
limited, expansion
occurs in
the record of the first and third
days
of the festival and in that of the indictio.
This
proliferation
is evident even in the accounts
given
of the routine
administrative business of the brotherhood.
Consider,
for
example,
the records
concerning
the
cooption
of a new member into the Arval
group.
The earliest
typically
stated that the
magister
introduced a new
priest
into the brotherhood and
named the
(deceased)
member whose
place
the new recruit took.
They
also
sometimes added that the
emperor
had indicated
by
letter his own choice in the
selection. Some later documents in the series show a marked
expansion;
for
they
include not
only
the text of the
emperor's
letter but even such
apparently gratuitous
pieces
of information as the record of the
design
of the seal stone with which the
letter* was sealed.64
Only
one area of the Arval Acta does not reflect this trend towards increase:
that
is,
the area of vows and sacrifices on behalf of the
emperor
and his
family.
Here
the
picture
is more
complicated.
One
group
of these
'imperial'
ceremonies is
present
in the record from the first
century
b.c. to the third
century
a.d.
Right through
the
texts we
find,
for
example,
the vow and sacrifice
performed by
the brethren on 3
January
each
year
'for the
safety
of the
emperor'.65
And
irregularly
from the first to
the third
century extraordinary
vows and sacrifices are
described,
undertaken for
special
events in the life of the
emperor
-
victory
in
war,
the birth of an
heir,
recovery
from
ill-health,
and so forth.66 One of the last of these
-
a sacrifice in
celebration of a
victory
of Caracalla in 213
-
is reminiscent in its wordiness of the late
accounts of the festival of Dea Dia.67 In contrast to
these, however,
another
group
of
imperial
celebrations have a
quite
different
pattern
of record in the Acta. The
sacrifices
regularly performed during
the
Julio-Claudian period
on the
birthday
of
63A mere line count can be
misleading,
for the lines of 38 are about half the
length
of those of 218.
Likewise, although
the record of 87 extends to 25
lines,
its short line
length
means that it is in fact
many
times smaller than the third
century
record. It is also noticeable that the later documents use
many
more abbreviations and so contain
considerably
more 'information' in the same
space.
MFor an
early example,
see
14, May 14; 14,
Dec. 15. For the later
form,
see 1
18,
Feb. 26
-
but note
that the
very fragmentary
record of 43
(although 'early') probably
contains a text of the
emperor's
letter. The record of the
ceremony
of
cooption
demonstrates
clearly
the
incompleteness
of the Arval
Acta:
although
over 150 Arval Brethren are known from the
Acta,
records of less than 20
cooptions
are
preserved.
This
incompleteness
is due both to the
incomplete
survival of the texts and
(no doubt)
to the
incomplete coverage
of Arval
activity
in the Acta as inscribed.
fóThese records to some extent follow the
proliferation
of
language
I have outlined. There is a
peak
in their
length
in the late second
century (see,
for
example,
Marcus Aurelius C
-
including
the verbatim
text of a
lengthy prayer), although
the
very
latest documents
(e.g. 213, Jan. 3)
are here shorter and
by
far the
lengthiest
texts are those of the late first
century (see,
for
example, 87,
where there is a
lengthy
description
of the circumstances of the
ceremony
as well as a verbatim account of the
prayers)
.
^See above, p.
117.
67213,
Oct. 6.
DIVERSITY AND EXPANSION IN THE ARVAL ACTA 133
the
ruling emperor,
his
family
and some divi
entirely disappear
from the
preserved
record from 70 onwards.
Similarly
the sacrifices documented
throughout
most of
the first
century
on the occasion of the
emperor's assumption
of
imperial powers
-
and on the
anniversary
of that
assumption
-
are
completely
absent from the Acta
after the end of the Flavian
period.68
This
pattern
of absences is not the
simple opposite
of the
general
trend towards
increasing
detail in the
texts;
for it consists in the total
disappearance
of certain
rituals from the
record,
not in
any
move towards conciseness or
brevity
in
description.
But far from
being
irrelevant to the issues under consideration
here,
it
raises in acute form a
question
of
great importance
to
any study
of the Arvals'
activity
in
record-keeping:
how far do
changes
in the text reflect
changes
in the ritual
that is
described,
how far a
change
in
recording practice
itself?
Does,
for
example,
the
disappearance
of some
imperial
rituals from the Arval Acta indicate that
they
were no
longer performed
or that
they
Were no
longer
recorded?
Or,
when the
festival of Dea Dia is described with much
greater elaboration,
are we to assume a
change
in the level of
record-keeping
or an increase in the elaboration of the ritual
itself? It is to this
problem
that we now turn.
IV. CHANGES IN RITUAL OR CHANGES IN RECORDING PRACTICE?
The
problem
I have raised
is,
in the last
resort,
insoluble. We have no
independent
account of the rituals of the Arval Brethren and so cannot 'check' the
descriptions
provided
in the Acta
against any
external reference
point.
On the basis of the
inscribed texts alone it is
logically impossible
to be certain whether
they
reflect a
changing
and
increasing ritual,
or whether the
writing
itself is
changing
or
proliferat-
ing
around a ritual that remains
fairly
constant. Nevertheless we can deduce what
seems
probable
or
nearly
certain from the evidence we have.
In a few cases there is little doubt that the
changes
in the record result from
changes
in the ritual
being
described. This is
obviously
true with
changing
circumstances
-
in time or
place
-
of the ceremonies described. When the Acta state
that the
ceremony
of indictio in 59 took
place
in the Pantheon
(and
not the usual
temple
of
Concord),
we must assume
that,
for reasons lost to
us,
the location of the
ritual as
performed
in that
year
was
changed.
Likewise with some details of the
second
day
of the festival of Dea Dia. In
218,
for
example,
in the ritual
leading up
to
the Arval
hymn
and
dance,
the Brethren are said first to
pass
round the ears of corn
amongst themselves,
then to throw
jars
down the
hillside;
in
240, by contrast,
this
order is
reversed,
with the ritual of the
jars preceding
that of the corn. Unless we are
to
imagine
here a mistake in the record
keeping,
it seems most
likely
that the order of
^The
disappearance
of these ceremonies was
gradual. Note,
for
example,
the ceremonies
commemorating
the
assumption
of tribunician
power.
In the
reign
of Nero the anniversaries of this
assumption
were celebrated
(57,
Dec.
4; 58, Dec.4);
under Domitian
only
the first
assumption
was
marked in this
way (81, Sept. 30).
134 MARY BEARD
the festival as enacted in 240 was in certain
respects
different from that of 218.69
In other cases we can be sure that the
changes
in the record are the
consequences
of
changes
in
recording practice
and not
changes
in the ritual as
enacted. The
process
of
cooption
of new brethren
provides
a clear
example
of this. I
have
already
mentioned that in the second
century
the Arvals started to record the
design
of the seal on the letters of recommendation received from the
emperor.70
This cannot mark a
change
of habit on the
emperor's part;
he had
presumably
always
sealed his letters. It marks instead a
change
in what the Arvals chose to
mention in their inscribed record. A similar deduction can be made from the
description
of the first
day
of the
May
festival of Dea Dia. Details of the first
day's
ceremonies are included in the
first-century
records
only erratically. Indeed,
in at
least nine
years
where the
preserved
text is full
enough
to allow
certainty,
no mention
is made of this
day's activity
at all.
Yet,
where the indictio is
recorded,
the date and
location of the first
day
of the
May
festival are
always proclaimed.
Are we to
imagine
that the rituals were
formally announced,
but not enacted?
Surely
not. The
variations in the record must here
again
be due to variations in the
practice
of
record-keeping.71
For most of the Arval Acta the
relationship
between
changes
in ritual and
changes
in the written text remains uncertain.
Predictably
it is
only
in the less
problematic
and less
interesting
cases that we can make the
step by step
deductions
such as I have outlined. In the
examples
which follow no firm
proof
is
possible.
Nevertheless,
as I shall
show,
we can
fairly suggest
how far it is
likely
that the
changes
in the written record followed from
changes
in the
underlying
ritual.
There is
only
one area of the Arval Acta in which a
major change
in the text
seems to result from a
change
in the ritual
performed:
that
is,
the sacrifices
undertaken
by
the brethren on the
birthday
of the
emperor
and on the
assumption
(and
anniversaries of the
assumption)
of
imperial powers.
The record of these
sacrifices died out in the second half of the first
century
a.d. after which
point
I think
they
were not
performed.
This
may
seem
surprising.
Celebrations on the
birthday
of
the
emperor,
in
particular,
form a
large part
of the celebrations recorded in the
various
surviving imperial
calendars. The
third-century
Feriale
Duranum,
for
example, presents
a vast
array
of
birthday
festivities
-
not
only
those of the
living
emperor
and his
family,
but of divi also.72 Is it reasonable to
imagine
that this kind of
sacrifice died out of the Arval ritual at Rome? What
explanation
could be offered
for that
change?
69240
(pag. II, 21-35)
-
not in
Appendix.
Note also the
sequence
of 218:
anointing
of the
statue,
followed
by
the
closing
of the
temple,
followed
by
the dance and
reopening
of the
temple
is not matched
in 240. There the doors of the
temple
are
closed,
then the dance takes
place
followed
by
the
anointing
of
the statue before the
temple
is
reopened. Again
we are almost
certainly dealing
with a
change
in the
order of the ritual as
performed.
On the ritual of
240,
see A.
Piganiol,
CRAI
1946, 241-51;
but note that
Piganiol
is too
ready
to assume
changes
in the ritual as
performed
underlie
changes
in the record.
70Above, p.
132.
7lFor dates of the omission of the
ceremony,
see
Appendix.
Note that in
87, although
there is no
specific
record of the first
day,
the
boys serving
food at the Arval table on the third
day
are said to be
the same as those who served on
May 17,
i.e. the first
day
of the festival
(see 87, May 20).
72See R. O.
Fink,
A. S.
Hoey
and W. F.
Snyder,
YCIS 7
(1940), 1-222;
W. F.
Snyder,
YCIS 1
(1940),
223-317.
DIVERSITY AND EXPANSION IN THE ARVAL ACTA 135
Two factors
suggest
that these rituals ceased to be
practised. First,
the
imperial
celebrations which
disappeared
from the Acta are
only
one element of the Arval
rituals connected with the
imperial
house. Other
elements,
the
regular January
sacrifice and the
irregular
sacrifices on
special occasions,
never ceased to be
recorded.
Secondly,
as we have
seen,
there was a
general tendency
for
more,
and
apparently
trivial,
details of ritual
activity
to be recorded. It is hard to
imagine
in
these
circumstances,
when the
description
was
becoming fuller,
that a substantial
group
of sacrifices was
being performed
and
yet
not recorded.
The
explanation
of the
disappearance
of these ceremonies from the Arval
calendar is of obvious
importance
in the
general history
of
pagan
cult at Rome in the
principate,
but lies rather outside the
specific
concerns of this article. Suffice it to
say
here that this
change
is
part
of a
pattern
I detect more
widely
in the
religion
of the
city
of Rome
(but
not
Italy
and the
provinces)
at this
period:
rituals
designed
specifically
as celebrations of the
emperor
and his
family
tended to die out as the
traditional cults of the
city
became more and more focused on the
imperial
house.73
I
hope
to discuss this
phenomenon
elsewhere.
All other
major changes
in the Arval record
-
and
particularly
the trend
towards
increasing
detail
-
result from
changes
in
recording practice,
not in the
underlying
ritual. The records of the festival of the Dea Dia once
again provide
convenient illustration which
may
be taken as
typical
of the Acta as a whole.
The limited
expansion
evident in the record of the indictio
(see Appendix I)
clearly
results almost
entirely
from
changes
in the level of
recording.
The increased
length
of the later documents
(erratically
from the late first
century on)
is accounted
for
principally by
the inclusion of a verbatim record of the
magisteri prayer;
this
presumably
had
always
been
uttered,
but
simply
not recorded.
Similarly
it is
standard in the later accounts to describe the
precise position
of the
magister
as he
delivered the
prayer:
this
obviously
reflects no
particular change
in the ritual
process.
There
were,
of
course,
minor variations in the words uttered and some
lengthening
of the
prayer
as the
imperial
titles to be included
grew. But, by
and
large,
there is no indication that there were
any
substantial
changes
in the
ritual;
where the record
increased,
it is the
recording
itself that has
grown
more elaborate.
The case of the second
day
of the festival of Dea Dia
might
seem more
complicated.
Can the nine short lines of the record of 38 reflect
exactly
the same
ritual as the 40 or so lines of 218? Could all the
striking
ceremonial described in 218
have been
performed
in 38 without
being
recorded?
Briefly my
answer to both these
questions is, yes.
There are
many
reasons for
this;74
but
principally
I believe that
73Note,
for
example,
in the Arval ritual the
imperial
location of some traditional rites: on occasion
part
of the festival of Dea Dia took
place
in the
temple
of the Divi
(deified emperors)
on the Palatine
(Antoninus
Pius
A; 218, May 27). Compare
the initiative of
Augustus,
who built a shrine of Vesta on
the Palatine
-
thus
(topographically) linking
himself and his
imperial power
with a
goddess
tradition-
ally
associated with the
safety
of the Roman state.
See,
in
brief,
S. B. Platner and T.
Ashby,
A
topographical Dictionary of
Ancient Rome
(London, 1929),
557.
74Consider,
for
example,
the record of the Arval
hymn
and dance. In our
surviving
documents it is
only
ever laid out in detail in 218
-
but it was not
performed
in that
year
alone. In some other
years,
where a verbatim account is
lacking,
we find a brief mention that this
part
of the ritual took
place
(Alexander A; 240,
2nd
day (pag. II, 33-5)).
It seems reasonable to
suppose
that it was in fact
performed every year
whether or not a full
(or brief)
account was
given
in the Acta.
136 MARY BEARD
modern
curiosity
leads us to an anachronistic assessment of these documents. We are
struck
by
the
apparent
bizarre details of 218
-
the
throwing
of the
jars,
the Arval
dance,
and so forth
-
and we cannot
imagine
that such elements would ever have
been left out of the record. It is
quite conceivable, however,
that for Roman
priests
the three central features of the
day's
rituals were the two
major
sacrifices and the
fact that the
emperor
Gaius initiated the final
stage
of
games.
All
else,
however
apparently worthy
of
note,
was
subsidiary
and
quite dispensable
in
any summary
of
what took
place.
Both in this case and in all other
major
instances of increase in the
record,
I am convinced that we are
dealing
not with
changes
in the ritual but with
changes
in the
practice
of
recording.
V. DIVERSITY AND GROWTH: THE DEFEAT OF OUR EXPECTATIONS
The features I have isolated in the record of the Arval Brethren confound the
common
assumption
that the Arval Acta are
rigidly
standardised documents.
Diversity
and
growth
seem
surprising
for three main reasons.
First,
there is a
sharp
contrast between the
diversity
of the Arval records and the
normal
scholarly
view that Roman ritual was
unbendingly
conservative. It is
very
often stated that Roman
religious
ceremonies were carried out
year
after
year
in
precisely
the same
way,
down to the minutest detail. If there was
any slight
divergence
from standard
practice,
the whole
ceremony
had to be
repeated.75
1 have
already
indicated that some of the
frequent
minor variations found in the Acta
-
those of
place, date,
verbal formulae and so on
-
result from variations in rituals as
enacted. This is
scarcely compatible
with the standard view of
rigid
conservatism. It
is
important
to
emphasise
that the Arval Acta are the
only
full accounts of
regularly
enacted Roman ritual that survive.
Contrary
to our
expectations,
that ritual
incorporated
a
profusion
of minor variations and
(as
far as we can
tell)
was never
repeated
after
disruption
or accidental
mishandling.76
Secondly,
the
history
of the cult
might
lead us to
expect
not an
increase,
but a
gradual
decrease in the level of record
keeping.
We
might reasonably suppose,
for
example,
that the
original purpose
of the inscribed documents was to establish in
detail the form of the new ritual activities
imposed
on the Brethren
by Augustus;
that
is,
the
Acta,
as records of
procedure,
were in the first instance to form a
practical
tool
of reference for the
brotherhood,
while the new ritual
processes
were still unfamiliar.
In this
case,
we would
expect
the fullest documents to be at the
beginning
of the
series,
with a decrease in detail over time as the Brethren became
entirely
familiar
with the ritual
-
and
as, perhaps,
the
novelty
of the
record-keeping
wore off. In
fact,
that is
exactly
the
opposite
of what we have found.
A
subsidiary
historical
point
concerns the
availability
of
space
for the written
record. I have
already
mentioned that from the
early
third
century
the Brethren
75A facet of Roman
religion
well-documented
by
the ancients
themselves;
see
Cicero,
De
Haruspicum
Responso 12, 23; Pliny,
Natural
History 28, 2,
1 1. For a full
discussion,
see
J.
A.
North,
PBSR 30
(1976),
1-12.
7627
apparently
records some mistake in
ritual, although
there is no evidence of
repetition (in
edition of Pasoli
(n.
1
above)
=
Fragmenta
Aetatis Plane
Incertae,
n.
16).
DIVERSITY AND EXPANSION IN THE ARVAL ACTA 137
were sometimes forced to accommodate their record on the sides of furniture or on
unused sections of earlier tablets.77 In the
light
of such
physical pressures,
we
might
expect
a
tendency
towards
brevity
in the documents. In
fact,
the
tendency
towards
proliferation
in the text overcame the obvious
practical
difficulties. These late
documents,
in their
improvised settings,
are some of the most elaborate in the series.
Thirdly,
the
diversity
and
growth
in the texts is at
sharp
variance with a
currently
influential
anthropological
view of the role of
writing
within intellectual
and cultural
systems.
One of the
principal exponents
of this view
-
or,
more
correctly,
set of views
-
is
J. Goody. Among
his
many important
contributions to the
debate on the
'consequences
of
literacy',78
he has
argued
that 'literate
religions
with
their fixed
point
of reference
[in
a written
text],
are less tolerant of
change'
than
those
religions
which do not
incorporate
a written element.79 Oral
traditions,
that
is,
easily permit
variance. Their rituals and
myth constantly
and
imperceptibly adapt
themselves to
changing circumstances;'
while still
retaining
the illusion
-
for it is
uncheckable
-
that
they
are
performed
or told as
they always
have been. Once a
written element is
introduced, however, changes
become much more
difficult,
since
they require
an undeniable break with the tradition
firmly
established in the written
text. This is an attractive and often workable
model; yet
it must
already
be clear that
it does not
provide
a
helpful
framework for
understanding
the Arval
Acta,
with all
their
diversity
and variation.
This
incongruence
between the most
striking
characteristics of the Arval Acta
and considered
expectations
of the character of those documents
requires
further
investigation.
In
particular,
we need to consider in
greater
detail the function of the
writing
of the Arval
Brethren;
for I
hope
to show that our mistaken
assumptions
about the
highly
standardised nature of the record are based
upon
a mistaken view
of the role of
writing
in the Brotherhood.
VI. THE USES OF WRITING
The common view of the character of the Arval record is founded on an
assumption
that it formed a
practical
tool of reference for the
Brethren;
that the
writing
was
essentially
'utilitarian5.80 I shall
argue against
this that the character of the
documents
only
makes sense if the
writing
of the Arval record is seen as
essentially
a
non-utilitarian
activity.
In
my view,
there is no
good
reason to
suppose
that
any
of
the Arval Acta were ever used ©r read at all.
"Above, pp. 114,
125-6.
78Note
especially J. Goody
and I.
Watt,
The
Consequences
of
Literacy',
CSSH 5
(1963), 304-45,
reprinted inj. Goody (ed), Literacy
in Traditional Societies
(Cambridge, 1968),
27-68
andj. Goody,
The
Domestication
of
the
Savage
Mind
(Cambridge, 1977).
In these works
Goody
touches on
many themes,
but
his
underlying
concern is with the
impact
of the introduction of
writing
on the intellectual
processes
of a
community.
79J. Goody,
Literacy
in Traditional
Societies, Introduction,
2
(my
italics and
explanatory parenthesis).
^I use the term 'utilitarian' as a short-hand
-
denoting
a text that is
produced
in order to be read
and referred to. In this
sense,
for
example,
the written minutes of a modern committee
meeting
are
'utilitarian',
since
they represent
a source of information about
previous
decisions and
provide
precedents
for
proposed
action in the future.
138 MARY BEARD
Let us consider first in what
precise
sense a utilitarian view of
writing
underlies
most modern
approaches
to the record. Here we
may usefully
return to two of the
three factors isolated in the
previous
section as reasons for
surprise
at the
diversity
and
expansion
of the documents.
The first of these relates to the
position
of
writing
in the
newly
reformed cult
under
Augustus. Surprise
here follows
directly
from an
assumption
that the
writing
fulfilled
principally
a utilitarian function. For the
tendency
to
expansion
in the
record seems
odd, only
if it is assumed that the Brethren used these documents
during
the
early years
of
uncertainty
in the refounded
cult;
it seems odd
given
that the
practical
need for the documents would have
decreased,
not increased as time went
by.
The second
point
is
part
of the broader
anthropological theory
of the effects of
writing
on
religious systems
in
general.
It is less obvious here that a utilitarian
function is
being proposed;
but that becomes clear when the
steps
in the
argument
are more
carefully
examined.
The
theory supported by Goody,
when
applied
to the Arval
record,
demands
that we
imagine
the
following
series of
stages
in the
production
of the documents: at
the start of the
process
the Arval ritual is
performed
-
let us
say
for the first time
after the new
impetus provided by Augustus;
at the second
stage
the written record
of that ritual is
produced;
at the third the ritual is
again performed, following
exactly
the details of the written
record,
and so
exactly mirroring
the first
performance
of the
ritual;
at the fourth
stage
the record is
again produced
-
exactly
the same as the
previous record,
in that it consists in an account of
exactly
the same
ritual. And so the
process continues,
with no variation
entering
into either the ritual
or the
writing.
This
step by step
account of
Goody's
thesis
exposes
its
underlying
utilitarian
view of
writing.
The
writing
and the ritual are locked
together
because the record of
one
year
is assumed to be used as a reference
point
for the
performance
of the ritual
the next
year.
The
Arvals,
in other
words,
read their record and
consciously
avoided
diverging
from its
orthodoxy.
These two
examples
demonstrate the
incompatibility
of the
diversity
and
growth
in the record with its assumed utilitarian function.
Although
neither the
thesis of
Goody
nor the
simpler
view
-
that,
in the
light
of the cult's
history,
we
should
expect
a decrease in the amount of written record
-
is in itself
unreasonable,
both views fail in this instance to
explain
the character of the
surviving documents;
for
they
both assume a
practical purpose
in the record
keeping.
This failure leads us
to
suggest,
for the moment
negatively,
that the
principal
function of the Arval Acta
was not utilitarian.
This non-utilitarian nature of the Arval
writing
is
clearly
illustrated in a section
from the record that I have not
yet
discussed: the actions taken when a tree in the
grove (or just
an individual
branch) collapsed.
In one of the earliest
surviving
inscriptions (that
of a.d.
14),
there is a full record of the
report
to the Brethren that
an
aged
tree in the
grove
had fallen down and of their decision that it should be
burnt within the
grove
and no wood removed.81 If the
writing
of the Arval record
81
14,
first
surviving entry
of the
year (the
break of the stone
prevents
exact
dating).
DIVERSITY AND EXPANSION IN THE ARVAL ACTA 139
formed a
practical
tool of
reference,
we should assume that the decision would
constitute a
precedent,
and
that,
when a similar incident
happened later,
reference
would be made back and the established course of action
closely
followed. In
fact,
when later
(e.g.
38 and
81)
ancient trees or branches in the
grove collapsed,
it seems
that
they
were removed from the
grove
after
expiatory
sacrifices had been
performed.82 Although
the record of the action in a.d. 14
superficially appears
to
provide
a
guide
for future
procedure,
there is no indication that it was ever later
referred to.83
But if the Arval Acta did not serve as a
practical
record of the Arval
ritual,
what
did
they
do? I wish now to characterise the documents and their functions more
positively
and offer as a
starting point
the
following
formulation.
The act of
writing
in the Arval cult
fprmed part
of the ritual
activity
itself and
its
purpose.
was as
'symbolic'
as the rites and sacrifices it records. The
apparent
oddities in the documents can
only
be understood if the
writing
is seen as a ritual in
its own
right.
This formulation
may seem,
at first
sight, unsatisfactory:
it
appears
rather
unspecific;
it runs counter to a standard
principle
of 'common
sense',
that what is
written is intended to be
read;
it smacks of the old
archaeological joke
that what one
cannot
explain may conveniently
be attributed to 'ritual
purposes'. Yet,
in its
favour,
I
put
forward three
points:
it answers the need to find a non-utilitarian function for
the Arval
record;
it enables us
(as
I shall show
below)
to understand much better the
features of
diversity
and
expansion
in the
record;
it is
compatible
with
important
conclusions on the
possible
uses of
writing
that have been reached in other areas of
ancient and medieval culture. It is to these areas of
comparison
that I turn
first;
for
they
add colour and
depth
to
my preliminary
formulation.
Symbolic writing
I am here concerned with documents which
seem,
at first
sight,
to
impart
'information',
or to
classify
and order 'factual material'. No-one
would,
of
course,
suppose
that all
writing
fulfilled a 'utilitarian'
function;
for
instance,
much of what
we
conventionally
know as 'literature' lacks
any practical
function as a tool of
reference and
might easily
-
if
loosely
-
be
regarded
as
'symbolic'.
But in what sense
can
writing
with an
apparently practical purpose
be said to be
'symbolic'?
And how
is that
symbolic
function
recognised?
Let us consider some
examples.
To all outward
appearances,
one of the most utilitarian documents of
English
medieval
history
is the
Domesday
Book. The information included in its
survey
of
England
and the land and
legal rights
established and recorded within it
were,
we
imagine, constantly
referred to and used
during disputes
at law in the
following
centuries. That is
part
of our
perception
of the
organisation
and 'bureaucratisation'
of Norman
England.
8238, April 18;
81
Jan.
15.
^We cannot be
absolutely
certain that the earlier decision was not
explicitly
reversed between 14
and
38,
on a
part
of the stone now
lost;
however there is no evidence to
support
this view and no
justification
for
assuming
this to be the case.
140 MARY BEARD
Yet M. T.
Clanchy
has shown
clearly
that this is a false
perception.84
In the two
centuries after it was
compiled, Domesday
Book was
only very rarely
consulted for
factual information. Its main function seems to have been
symbolic.
It asserted the
power
of
King
William over his
newly conquered territory, by reducing
to
writing
all that it contained and it
provided
for the
Anglo-Saxon
inhabitants a vivid
symbol
of their
subjection.
This is illustrated
by
the comment of an
English
chronicler:
'
. . there was no
single
hide nor
virgate
of
land,
nor indeed
-
it is a shame to relate
but it seemed no shame for him to do
-
one ox or one cow nor one
pig
which was
there left out and not
put
down in his record'.85 And
indeed,
the title
'Domesday'
-
the title
given
to the book
by
William's
English subjects
-
neatly
summed
up
the
visions of the Last
Judgement
that its existence evoked.
Discussion of
Domesday
Book forms
part
of a full
length study by Clanchy
on
the uses of
writing
in
England
between the eleventh and fourteenth centuries. In this
he
discusses
the
stages by
which literate modes of
thought slowly replaced
oral
modes after the introduction of
widespread
written records. The details of his
developmental
scheme do not concern us here.86 Suffice it to
say that,
in
identifying
what he
regards
as a transitional
phase
between
orality
and
literacy, Clanchy
provides many
other
examples
of
apparently
utilitarian documents whose main
function was
symbolic. Striking among
these are some
early
charters
conveying
land
to monasteries. In contrast to our modern attitudes to
conveyancing documents,
the
written contents of these charters were not considered of
primary importance. They
served instead as
symbolic objects,
as
permanent representations
of the
grant
of land
to the
monastery.87
Similar instances of a non-utilitarian function in
writing
can be found in the
ancient world. A
striking example
is
provided by
recent research
by
C.
Williamson,
who has
investigated
the function of the inscribed bronze tablets
containing
the texts
of Roman
Republican laws, normally
fixed on to the walls of Roman
temples.
She
has shown that these tablets served no
obviously
utilitarian
purpose; they
were
not,
for
example,
consulted when the terms of the law were in
doubt,
nor were
they
laid
out in
any way
that made
reading
their contents
easy. They
served instead a
symbolic
function: inscribed in bronze and
lodged
in sacred
space, they
served as
written
objects
to validate the law in
question
and the democratic
processes through
which it had been
passed.88
These
examples
serve to make us sensitive to this
(often neglected) symbolic
function of
writing
and to
suggest
a
general
context for
understanding
our docu-
MFrom
Memory
to Written Record:
England
1066-1307
(London, 1979),
18-21
(henceforward,
Clanchy, Memory).
**The
Anglo-Saxon
Chronicle: a revised translation
(ed.
D. Whitelock et
al., 1961),
161-2
-
quoted by
Clanchy, Memory
18.
^These are
clearly
summarised
by Clanchy, Memory
258-65. For a more recent
study building
on
Clanchy's
work in this
area,
see B.
Stock,
The
Implications of Literacy (Princeton, 1983)
-
especially
the
introduction
(3-11),
which
lucidly
defines the current field of debate on the transition from
orality
to
literacy
and its
consequences.
87Clanchy, Memory,
205-6.
88C.
Williamson,
Law
Making
in the Comitia
of Republican
Rome: the
processes of drafting
and
disseminating,
recording
and
retrieving
laws and
plebiscites (Unpublished
PhD
Dissertation, London, 1984).
DIVERSITY AND EXPANSION IN THE ARVAL ACTA 141
ments. Neither the medieval cases nor the Roman
legal
tablets
provide
an exact
parallel
with the Arval
Acta; yet
the non-utilitarian characteristics of both
help
us to
defy
our cultural
expectations
and to allow to the Arval Acta a
symbolic
role. It now
seems easier to state that the
activity
of the
writing
was
part
of the
activity
of the
ritual and not an
external,
utilitarian record of it.
This conclusion has wider
consequences.
Historians and
epigraphers
have
tended to assume that
inscriptions
fulfilled a utilitarian function in the ancient
world;
that
they
were erected in order to be read.89 And from this
assumption, they
have
made
generalising
conclusions about the
spread
of
public
information in
antiquity
and the
relationship
between the
quantity
of inscribed
public
documents and
different
political systems.
It
is,
for
example,
a
commonplace
to make a link between
the advanced
democracy
of classical
Athens,
which
depended
on a well-informed
citizen
body,
and the
large
number of
public inscriptions
found in the
city.90
In some
cases,
these conclusions
may
be
valid; /yet my analysis
of the Arval Acta would
suggest
that the issues are not
always
so
simple.
When one of the most extensive
inscribed documents of the Roman
empire
can be shown to have functioned as no
practical
tool of
reference,
we should think more
carefully
about the function of all
the
inscriptions
we examine.
Why
were
they
read? Were
they
even read at all?
I wish now to turn back to the Arval Acta themselves and to consider some
questions raised,
at least
implicitly, by my
discussion so far. I shall examine more
closely
the features of
diversity
and
expansion
that have
already
been
isolated,
and
from this I
hope
to characterise more
precisely
the
symbolic
function of the
documents. In the absence of
any
but the most
meagre
external evidence on the
Arval
cult,
it is
impossible
to delineate the causes of the
great expansion
of the record
or
give
a definitive
explanation
of the
symbolic
role of the
writing; yet
I can
provide,
at
least,
a fuller
analysis
of all these features.
Finally, prompted by
an
apparently
distant
analogy,
I shall offer some
suggestions
on the
type
of
explanation
that would
be
appropriate
in this case and on some
probable
causes of the distinctive character of
the record.
Diversity
The
diversity
of the written record
-
as distinct from the
tendency
to
expansion
in
the
writing
-
presents
no
problem,
in the
light
of the
symbolic
function of the record.
If the Brethren did not
constantly
use the records of earlier
years
as a
practical guide,
it is not
surprising
that there were considerable differences in the records from
year
to
year.
This is a sufficient and
convincing general explanation
of the
diversity
of the
Acta.
^The
strength
of this
assumption (with particular
reference to
Pompeian graffiti)
is discussed
by
W. V.
Harris, ZPE
52
(1983),
87-111
(esp. 102-11).
Harris's
objections
to the
proposition
are based
largely
on his estimate of the small
proportion
of the
population
who were able to read. While
broadly
in
agreement
with Harris's
conclusions, my
own
objections
arise from more fundamental doubts about
the function of
writing
in ancient societies. R.
MacMullen, AJPh
103
(1982),
233-46
refreshingly
raises
the
question
of
why inscriptions
were erected in
Rome,
but
disappointingly
concludes that the
'epigraphic
habit' was conditioned
by
a 'sense of audience'
(p. 246).
^See,
for
example, J.
K.
Davies, Democracy
and Classical Greece
(Hassocks, 1978),
66.
142 MARY BEARD
In individual instances other factors
may
have contributed to the
diversity.
The
influence of the
emperor,
for
example, may
sometimes have
encouraged
a sudden
fullness in the record. This
was, perhaps,
the case in a.d.
38,
when the inclusion of the
words of the
prayer
of indictio
-
unusual at this date
-
coincided with the
emperor's
term of office as
magister
of the Brotherhood.
Likewise, changes
of
'secretary' (as
with
modern
committees)
will no doubt have
brought changes
of
style
in the docu-
ments.91 But such
particular explanations,
however
important
in individual
cases,
take a
subsidiary place
in
any
overall
analysis
to the more
general principle:
that the
diversity
of the Arval record stemmed from the functions of that record.
The
expansion
in the text: a
tendency
to
self reference
The
tendency
towards
expansion
in the
record,
without
(in general)
an
underlying
increase in the ritual as
performed,
cannot be treated so
simply.
Yet some advance is
possible
on this
problem,
if we consider more
precisely
the nature of the
expansion
of
the inscribed texts.
The
expansion
in the Arval Acta consisted in the accumulation of detail on the
rituals
performed
and the cult
organisation
of the Brotherhood. In the third
century
a.d.
many
more elements of the ritual found a
place
in the inscribed record than had
in the first
century
b.c. This characterisation is
correct,
but not
very precise.
For
some
types
of detail were never
recorded;
other
types,
and not those that are
immediately predictable, began
to find a
place.
This distinction
requires
examina-
tion.
Many
items were never included in even the most detailed documents of the
third
century. Although
it
might
seem bizarre to construct a list of
topics
never
mentioned
by
the
Arvals,
it does
help
to
highlight
the
specific
character of the
expansion
of the record. There
was,
for
example,
never
any
extended
description
of
the Brethren
themselves;
no career sketches were attached to their
names,
even on
their
entry
to the Brotherhood.92
Only
a few details were added to the
description
of
the chariot races on the second
day
of the festival of Dea Dia:
although by
the late
first
century
a.d. we find mention of the
presentation
of
prizes
to the
winners,
the
names of the successful and unsuccessful
competitors
were never
recorded,
nor
any
circumstantial details of the race itself.93
Likewise,
we find no
growth
in the verbatim
reporting
of discussion
by
the brethren on
problems
of ritual and
organisation.
We
know that these took
place
-
as in a.d.
120,
when
they
debated
problems
that had
arisen over the financial contributions to the Brotherhood of a freedman
kalator; yet
record was never made of the
opinions
of individual brethren nor the reasons for
their decision.94 The list of such omissions could
go
on and on.
By contrast,
one
(perhaps surprising)
element in the
expansion
of the Arval Acta
is the
increasing
stress on the
process
of their own construction. The act of
writing
91
In the case of the Acta we should no doubt think of
changes
in the office of commentariensis.
^Occasionally
a
single
title is attached to the names of the
priests
-
such as
'praetor',
'consul' or
title of another
priesthood. See,
for
example, 14,
Dec. 15
-
the
cooption
of
'[

] Pompeium
augurem'; 58, May
1
-
M. Valerius Messalla
Corvinus,
cos.
(described
as cos. des. the
previous year,
i.e.
57,
Nov.
6).
93See,
for
example, 81, May 19; 105, May 19; 213, May
19.
^See, 120, May
29.
DIVERSITY AND EXPANSION IN THE ARVAL ACTA 143
itself took an
increasingly prominent part
in the inscribed texts. Let us consider some
examples.
From the 80s a.d. as I have
already mentioned,
the act of
inscribing
the stones is
itself
emphasised
in the Acta
by
the annual
recording
of
expiatory
sacrifices
performed
when the
inscribing
chisel was
brought
in and out of the
grove.95
These
sacrifices were
then,
as far as we can
tell,
never omitted from the Arval records and
even
grew
in
importance
over the centuries. For in the earlier
period, up
to the
second
century a.d., they
were conducted
by
cult servants
alone;
in the third
century
they
came to be
performed by
Arval Brethren
themselves,
or even the
magister
of the
Brotherhood. This
suggests
that
greater importance
was then attached to these
rituals associated with the
inscription.96
Later texts in the series came to include details of the
composition
of the
preliminary (presumably perishable)
written
record of Arval
proceedings.
In the
Acta of
the
third
century
we sometimes find recorded the name and
presence
of the
commentariensis,
the
public
slave who
produced
the first
report
of the
ceremonies,
from which the later inscribed text was taken.
So,
for
example,
after the
description
of
Elagabalus' cooption
into the Brotherhood in
218,
we read:
detulit Primus
Cornefianus pubjl(icus) [a c]omm(entariis) fratr(um) Arv(alium)97
On
occasion,
the later documents also reveal how the attendance lists for each of the
Arval ceremonies were constructed. For
they
mention that the Brethren themselves
recorded in a book
(codex)
their
presence
and
performance
of the rituals. Once
again,
the text of 218
provides
a
good example
-
this time from the
description
of the
second
day
of the festival of Dea Dia:
item in circo in fóculo
arg(enteo) cespiti
ornato extam
vacc(inam) redd(idit),
et in
tetrastylo
reversus
est,
et in codice
cavit,
et
praetextam deposuit,
et in
papilione
suo
reversus, promeridie
autem
fratres Arvales
praetextas acceper(unt)
in
tetrastylo conveneru[nt]
et subsellis consederunt et
ca[v]erunt
se
adfuisse
et sacrum
fecisse
. . . .%
The inclusion of such details indicates that the interest of the Arval Acta was
becoming
more
strongly
focused on the
writing
itself and the
process
of
composition.
Thirdly,
some later texts seem almost to elevate the action of
writing
above the
action of ritual and to conceive of ritual
activity
in terms
of
the
layout
of the written
record. That
is,
for
example,
when
referring
to actions
repeated
within a
single
ceremony, they
make cross reference to the earlier
part
of the ritual
by saying
that
the brethren did what was done or written above
(supra); they
do not
say,
as we
might
expect,
'the brethren did what was done
before'.99
Of
course,
a similar
expression
is
sometimes used much earlier in the Acta
(and
in other Roman
documents)
when a
list of names is
repeated:
'adfuerunt isdem
qui supra scripti
sunt'
('they
were
present
95Above
p.
126.
%Cult servants:
81, May
1 and 13
(appended
to the record of
80); 121, April
7 and ?
(appended
to
the record of
120).
Brethren or
magister:
221
May
9 and ?
(appended
to record of
220);
225
April
18
(appended
to record of
224).
97218, May
30.
"218, May
29
(appendix III).
"See,
for
example, 224,
Dec.
10; 218,
first
surviving entry
on stone
(the
break of the stone
prevents
exact
dating).
144 MARY BEARD
who were written
above').100
But to refer back to a list in this
way,
in a sense to
say
'ditto',
is
very
different from
describing
actions in those
terms; or,
at
least,
it
represents only
a
preliminary stage
towards such a
description.
Recognition
that the
expansion
of the Arval Acta in
part
consisted of a
growing
element of self-reference is
important
for two reasons.
First,
it reinforces
my
earlier
conclusions on the
symbolic
function of the documents.
They
did not serve as a
practical
tool of reference for the
Brethren, growing
in size as the
practical
need for
such records
decreased; rather,
the
writing
was an
important
function in its own
right
and its
expansion
was associated with
increasing introspection
and a
growing
preoccupation
with the
process
of their own
composition. Secondly,
it adds a
distinctive feature to our
descriptive profile
of the texts. This feature will
prove
a
useful
point
of reference as I turn to discuss
possible explanations
for the character of
the documents.
VII. A SUMMARY OF THE PROBLEM
I wish
finally
to discuss the nature of the
problem
of
explanation
and so to
deepen
our
understanding
of the
striking expansion
of the documents and of their
symbolic
function. No rabbit is
pulled
out of the hat. I have no neat solution to the
many
problems
raised
by
the character of the texts. Yet
by considering
some
unsatisfactory
explanations
of the
great proliferation
in the
writing
and
by
some
imaginative
extrapolation,
I
think
we can
appreciate
better some of the factors which determined
the
changing
character of the Arval Acta and their function.
Let us first sunimarise as
briefly,
but as
precisely,
as
possible
the characteristics
of the
Acta,
as
they
have
emerged
in the course of
my argument.
There are four
principal points:
1 . The Arval Acta formed an 'enclosed'
group
of
texts, falling
within a
single
cultural context and associated with a
single religious practice.
2. The function of the documents was not that of a
practical
tool of reference. In
a broad sense it was
symbolic.
3. Between the first
century
b.c. and the third
century
a.d. the
writing
proliferated,
so that the texts of the latest
period
were
many
times
longer
than those
of the first
century
b.c.
4. One element of this
proliferation
was a
growing emphasis
on the
activity
of
writing
itself.
l0059, Jan.
12. This formula is also
frequently
used
later, especially
with reference to the
boys
who
served at table at the festival of Dea Dia
-
see for
example 213, May
20
'
ministran tibus
pueris patrimis
et matrimis
senator(um)
filis
praetextatis q(ui) s(upra)' ('with
sons of
senators, boys
whose fathers and
mothers were still
alive,
the same as
above'); though
here also a contrast
may
be drawn with the earlier
standard mode for
describing
these
boys.
Note for
example 87, May
20 'ministrantibus
pueris patrimis
et matrimis isdem
qui
XVI
k(alendas) Iun(ias)' ('with boys
whose fathers and mothers were still
alive,
the same as on
May 17, serving
at
table').
In the earlier
text,
reference is made back to
something
outside the record
(May 17,
a
day
of the
ceremony);
in the later
entry
reference is made
(reflexively)
back to another
part
of the record itself.
DIVERSITY AND EXPANSION IN THE ARVAL ACTA 145
These four features
together
form a distinctive
whole;
and
they provide
the
background
to
my
discussion of
explanation
and
my
introduction of some
compara-
tive material.
On
explanations for expansion
Two
explanations
for the
tendency
to
expansion
in the Arval Acta
spring easily
to
mind:
first,
that our texts
simply
mirror the
highly
rhetorical
'wordy' style
of Roman
official documents in the late
empire;
and
second,
that the excessive
production
of
writing, recording
the minutest details of Arval
ceremonies,
is related to the
academic, antiquarian
tone of late Roman
paganism.
In
fact,
neither of these
superficially plausible explanations
is
adequate,
as I shall
briefly
show.
Legal
and
imperial
documents 'of the fourth
century
a.d. are
commonly
held to
be
distinguished by
an
excessive, flowery style.101 Why
cannot the
developments
in
the Arval record be seen as
part
of the
gradual growth
of that
ample style?
The
simple
answer is that the
proliferation
of
writing
in the Arval Acta was
qualitatively
different from that
regarded
as characteristic of fourth
century
official documents.
The
Acta,
as I have
shown, expanded through
the inclusion of extra details on the
ritual and
organisation
of the Brotherhood and on the
processes
of their own
composition. They incorporated
no marked
change
in
literary style.
Late
imperial
official
documents, by contrast,
owed their enormous
length
to a
highflown rhetoric,
to the
long
lists of
synonyms (where previously
one word would have been
used),
to
the
employment
of
superlatives,
archaisms and
lengthy periphrases.
The two
phenomena are,
in
my view, quite
different. The
expansion
in detail in the Arval Acta
cannot be
explained by
reference to the excessive rhetoric
thought
to be characteristic
of the late
Empire.102
The
phenomenon
of iate
paganism' provides
no more
convincing
answer to the
problems
of the Arval Acta. There is on the surface a
similarity
between the
antiquarian
detail included in the works of Macrobius and Servius and various
features of the late Arval records.103 One
might
be
tempted
to
suggest,
for
example,
that it was
antiquarian
interest on the
part
of the
priests
that led them to record in
218 the text of their archaic and almost
incomprehensible
Arval
hymn. Yet,
on
reflexion,
it seems unwarranted to
explain
the
expansion
of our texts between the
first and third centuries a.d. as
simply
an
early sign
of the
antiquarianism supposedly
characteristic of the fourth and fifth centuries a.d. Besides the awkward
disjunction
of
dates,
this
explanation exaggerates
the
changes
in
pagan religion
in the later
l01This
style
is
clearly
characterised
by
R.
MacMullen,
Traditio 18
(1962), 364-78, quoting
some
classic
examples.
MacMullen's overall thesis is that this
obfuscatory style
is to be linked to the
increasingly
remote and
mystifying
forms of
government
in the late
Empire.
IO2I have used the
phrase 'thought
to be characteristic1
advisedly.
I am far from convinced of the
dramatic
change
in
style
between the first
century
b.c. and the late
Empire
that is
usually postulated.
See
(on
these
lines)
M.
Benner,
The
Emperor Says:
studies in the rhetorical
style
in edicts in the
early Empire
(Studia
Graeca et Latina
Gothoburgensia 33, Gòteborg, 1975)
-
esp.
the
conclusion, p.
191.
IO3See,
for
example,
the formulae oí evocado and devotio
preserved
in
Macrobius,
Saturnalia
3, 9,
7-8
and 10-11. The common
supposition
here is that we are
dealing
with an
antiquarian pagan
revival
centred on the so-called 'Circle of
Symmachus'
-
see,
H. Bloch in A.
Momigliano (ed), Paganism
and
Christianity
in the Fourth
Century (Oxford, 1963),
193-218.
146 MARY BEARD
empire. For,
to
oversimplify somewhat,
Roman
paganism always displayed
a
strongly 'antiquarian' side,
as far back as we can trace it.
Consider,
for
example,
the
reforms of
Augustus:
the
rediscovery
of the
Lupercal,
the revival of the
Augurium
Salutis and the Saecular Games.104 Consider also the
surviving fragments
of the
writings
of
Varrò, particularly
his
Antiquitates
Rerum Divinarum}00 These
give
us
just
as arcane and academic a view of Roman
paganism
as
any
of the
literary
compilations
of the fourth and fifth centuries a.d. There was no distinctive
explosion
of
religious antiquarianism
in the late
empire, certainly
none sufficient to
explain
the
changes
in the Arval Acta.106
These
explanations,
however
inadequate,
can nevertheless
help
us in consider-
ing
how the
great expansion
in the Arval Acta
might
most
appropriately
be
explained.
Let us think
away,
for the
moment,
the
particular objections
I have
just
raised. Both
explanations
would still remain
unconvincing.
For
starting
from the
premise
of some
supposed general
characteristic of late Roman
culture, they simply
fail to hit their
target; they
fail that is to
explain
the distinctive characteristics of the
Arval Acta.
Neither,
for
example,
could
easily
account for the
growing tendency
to
self-reference in the documents.
They
are too
free-floating
as
explanations,
not
sufficiently
related to the
analysis
of the texts.
The close
analysis
of the texts
cannot, however,
account for
everything.
Unless
we
suppose
that the
writing
of our texts took
place
in
complete
cultural
isolation,
we
cannot
deny
the influence on their character of external factors. We cannot
expect
that an
explanation
could be
generated
from the texts alone.
Our
difficulty'
lies in
deciding
which external factors should be seen as influential
on the
precise
character of the
texts, especially given
our
very hazy
information on
the Arval cult and its
organisation
from
any
source other than the Acta themselves.
No deductive
explanation
for the
developments
in the Arval record is ever
likely
to
be
possible.
I have
decided, therefore,
to frame
my
final
question
in
very
broad terms
and to ask what kind
of explanation
for these
developments
would seem
satisfactory
104On
Augustan archaism,
see A.
Wardman, Religion
and
Statecraft among
the Romans
(St. Albans,
London etc.
1982),
70-2.
l05Varro, Antiquitates
Rerum Divinarum
(ed. Cardauns).
Note the
following typical fragments: 36,
on
the
gods
added to the
pantheon by
Titus
Tatius;
5 1
,
on the
significance
of the headdress of the Flamen
Dialis; 113,
on the
etymology
of the
goddess
Rumina. We
should, however,
bear in mind that the
process
of
excerption
of Varro's work
by
later authors
may
have
emphasised
even further its
antiquarian
flavour.
106My
view here is
compatible
with that of A. Cameron in Entretiens Hardt 23
(Ckristianisme
et
formes
littéraires dans
l'antiquité
tardive en
Occident), 1-30,
who debunks the 'Circle of
Symmachus'
and
argues
that
there was no
particular pagan antiquarian
scholastic tradition at the end of the fourth
century.
As with
religion,
it seems better to see
antiquarianism
as an
absolutely
traditional feature of
literary
culture in
antiquity.
There
were,
for
example,
learned commentaries on the
poems
of
Virgil
from almost the
moment of their
composition
-
note the studies of
Hyginus (died
a.d.
17),
Probus
(first century a.d.),
Q.
Caecilius
Epirota (first century b.c./a.d.).
The
apparent peak
of such works in late
antiquity may
be
explained by
the fact that each later
scholarly work, drawing
on and
improving
the work of its
predecessors,
tended to
eclipse
those
predecessors.
The earlier works thus fell out of the
tradition,
while
the later ones survived
-
to create an immediate
impression
of a concentration of
scholarly activity
in
late
antiquity.
DIVERSITY AND EXPANSION IN THE ARVAL ACTA 147
and
plausible.
What would such an
explanation
look like? The
following
sketch
offers
just
one
view,
stimulated
by
a distant
comparative
case and
adducing
one
feature of the cult
organisation
of the Arvals understandable outside the texts
themselves
-
that
is,
the social status of the Brethren.
VIII. TOWARDS AN UNDERSTANDING OF THE DEVELOPMENTS IN
THE ARVAL ACTA
The increase in
length
of the Arval record
may
well be related to the
greater
need felt
by
the Brethren to 'validate' their ritual
activity,
as more
priests
were drawn from
circles outside the
highest
echelons of the traditional Italian
aristocracy,
from the
lower ranks of the senate and from those whose
origin lay
in the
provinces.
As the
rites of the Brotherhood came to be
performed increasingly by
men whose status in
relation to the traditional state cult wai
unclear,
so also the need to 'validate' the
ritual in
writing
increased. This at least is a reasonable
suggestion
and is
(as
I shall
show) compatible
with the ancient evidence for the Arval cult and with a model of
development
attested in much more recent
'literary' changes.
The
travel-writing
of British visitors to
Italy
in the seventeenth and
eighteenth
centuries
displays
a
proliferation very
similar to that which I have demonstrated in
the Arval Acta. Travellers of the seventeenth
century characteristically
described in
only
a few lines works of art to which their
eighteenth century counterparts
devoted
pages.
This
change can,
at least in
part,
be linked to the
changing
social status of the
travellers. For most of the aristocratic visitors of the seventeenth
century,
travel to
Italy
was
merely
one element in a social
prestige they already possessed.
For
many
of
the visitors in the
eighteenth century,
of somewhat lower social
status,
their
stay
in
Italy
and the contact with Italian works of art
provided
access for the first time to a
new, higher,
level of
prestige:
hence their
greater
need to 'validate' in
writing
their
personal experiences abroad,
and hence the
gradual proliferation
of the texts.107 A
similar
pattern
of
change (and
so
perhaps
a similar
impetus
behind the
change)
can
be detected in the
developments
of the Arval
record, especially
if we
opt
for a more
precise
function for the
writing
than the
admittedly vague 'symbolic'
function I have
so far discussed.
'Symbolic'
functions
may
seem to
defy precision.
Yet in the case of the
inscribing
of the Roman bronze
legal documents,
in that of the
composition
and
preservation
of monastic charters and now in the case of seventeenth and
eighteenth
century English
travel
literature,
we have seen
writing operating symbolically
to
107A
typical example
of this
proliferation
can be found in two
descriptions
of the
ceilings
of Pietro
da Gortona in the Pitti Palace. The first
-
The
Voyage
to
Italy
or A
Compleat Journey through Italy by
R.
Lassels,
'Gent, who Travelled
through Italy
Five times as Tutor to several of the
English Nobility
and
Gentry' (London, 1670)
-
treats the
ceiling
in less than one small
page (p. 181-2)
and describes the
precise layout
of
only
one scene
(that showing Seleucus,
Antiochus and
Stratonica). By contrast,
the
account of the
parvenue Lady
Miller
{Letters from Italy, describing
the
Manners, Customs, Antiquities,
Paintings of
that
Country,
In the Years MDCCLXX and
MDCCLXXI, London, 1776)
devotes several
pages
to work of Pietro
(pp. 159-62)
and describes
fully
each scene
depicted.
See further
Appendix
IV.
148 MARY BEARD
'validate' the
processes underlying
the text's
production.108
The bronze
tablets,
for
example,
were not referred to for
legal information,
but
represented
a
permanent
embodiment of the law and of the democratic
processes
which
produced it;
the
travel
writing represented
a
symbolic
authentication of the
journey
to
Italy and,
with
it,
of the author's claims to a loftier social status. It is no more than a
reasonable
conjecture;
but let us
suppose
that the
symbolic
function of the Arval
record was similar. We can then cast the
problem
of the
development
of the Acta in a
different form and ask not
simply why they expanded
over
time,
but
why
there was
an ever
increasing
need to validate the ritual
activity
of the Brethren.
The
changing
social status of the
priests provides (as
in the case of
English
travel
literature)
a
plausible
answer here. It is well
recognized
that the Arval
priests
under
Augustus
were men of the
highest distinction,
often drawn from the traditional
aristocratic families of Rome.109
Leaving
aside the
slight
fall in social status at the
end of the first
century,
so
expertly
identified
by Syme,110
we can see a clear
difference
by
the third
century,
the time of
greatest proliferation
of the Arval Acta:
many
Arvals of that
period
are not known to have held
any
other
post; many
were
apparently
of
provincial origin.111
In certain
respects
this contrast
may
be more
apparent
than real. Some men of the
greatest
distinction were still members of the
Brotherhood;112
and some of the 'unknowns'
may
be
explained by
our
inadequate
information on the
fasti
of office
holding
in the
early
third
century.113
Yet it is hard to
deny
that there had been some shift in the social status of the
Brethren,
as a
group,
and that this
might plausibly
be related to the
change
in character of the documents.
Major
state
priests
drawn from outside the traditional strata of the Roman
aristocracy
found their
relationship
to the traditional cults of the
city
of Rome
uncertain;
while at the same time
priests
whose
origins
were more and more
disparate
found their social cohesion as a
group
was under strain. Both these factors
underlay
the
greater perceived
need to validate their ritual
activity (and
with it
perhaps
their own
cohesion) by writing
and
record-keeping.
108For bronze
legal
documents and
charters,
see above
p.
140.
109See the table in
Scheid,
Les
f
reres
Arvales,
96-101.
Note,
for
example,
such 'traditional'
aristocratic names as
Ap.
Claudius
Pulcher,
M. Valerius Messalla
Gorvinus,
Paullus Fabius
Maximus,
L. Aemilius Paullus.
110R.
Syme,
Some Arval
Brethren,
94-6.
inFor
complete
'unknowns' in the third
century, note,
for
example,
T. Statilius
Silianus,
Iasdius
Aemilianus
Honoratianus,
M. Flavius
Alpinus. Amongst provincials
in the
Brethren,
note M.
Julius
Gessius Bassus
(of probably Syrian origin)
and P. Aelius Coeranus
(of Egyptian origin).
Of
course,
provincial background
is no indicator of lack of
distinction;
indeed
by
the third
century
about 50
per
cent of the senate had such
ancestry (see
K.
Hopkins
and G. Burton in K.
Hopkins,
Death and Renewal
(Cambridge, 1983), 120-200,
table
3.15).
II2In addition to P. Aelius Coeranus
(cited
as a
'provincial' Arval,
note 111
-
see also CIL XIV
3586
=
ILS 1
158),
note L. Caesonius Lucillus
{CIL
XIV 3902
=
ILS 1
186)
and Cn. Catilius
Severus,
descendant of the famous
second-century
consul
(SHA,
Alexander
68, 1).
113See the convenient table in K.
Hopkins
and G.
Burton,
loc. cit.
(n.
1
11),
table 3.1. Between 193
and 235 the
proportion
of consuls known in the historical record from the
probable
total of all consuls
appointed
is about 65
per
cent. This
compares
with about 99
per
cent between 30 b.c. and a.d. 1 7 and
93
per
cent between 55 and 69.
DIVERSITY AND EXPANSION IN THE ARVAL ACTA 149
Many
other variations on this theme are
possible:
criteria other than social
status
may
be
suggested
as determinants of the
expansion
in the Arval Acta. These
might
include
changes
in the
position
of the Arval cult in relation to the whole
range
of traditional
pagan
cults of the
city;
or even
changes
in the role of the senatorial
order
(from
which the
priests
were
always drawn)
in the
social, political
and cultural
life of Rome. We
cannot,
as I have stressed
before,
be certain. I
hope, however,
that
by sketching
out one
possible explanation
of the
pattern
of
development
of the Arval
Acta I have shown what order of
explanation
we should have in mind and so also
have further clarified the
problem.
I
hope
also to have shown that the
changing
character of this
group
of
inscriptions (superficially, perhaps,
a limited
epigraphic
problem)
can be related to a
range
of issues central to our
understanding
of the
society, culture,
and
religion
of the
principate.
Mary Beard
APPENDIX I: THE RECORD OF THE INDICTIO
The
following extracts, excerpted
from the full texts of the Arval
Acta, provide
a
conspectus
of all
records of the
ceremony
oiindictio. In those
years
in which the
surviving
records of the
ceremony
are
very
fragmentary,
I have
merely
noted this
(e.g.
'193
Very fragmentary5),
without
including
full details of
the few letters or words that remain. In those
years
where
my
list includes no mention of the
indictio,
it is
to be assumed that the record which once existed no
longer
survives
(but
see 1
10).
The conventions used in this and the
following appendices
are the same as those on
p.
121 . But note
in addition that double
square
brackets
[[ ]]
are used to indicate words on the stone
deliberately
deleted
(rather
than lost
by
accidental
damage)
and round brackets
(.
.
.)
have
occasionally
been used
to enclose
my
own
explanatory glosses
added to text or translations.
For the sake of
space
I have not
provided
a translation of
every extract,
but
only
of some well
preserved representative examples.
20 b.c.
]o
P. Silio
[co(n)s(ulibus)/ ma]g(isterio)
Cn.
Pompei Q.
f.
[sacrificium
Deae Diae
indictum/ k(alendis)] Iun(iis) [domi,/ a(nte) d(iem)
III
n]on(as) Iun(ias)
in
[luco
et
domi,/
pridie n]on(as) Iun(ias) [domi./
Adfuerunt
C]n. Pompeius Q. f.,
M.
Corn[utus /
M.
Mejssalla
Corvinus
[
a.d. 21 Ti. Caesare
IIII,
Druso
[Caesare
II
co(n)s(ulibus)]/
III
eid(us) Ian(uarias),/
T.
Quinctius
Crispin[us Valerianus]/ mag(ister)
manibus
lfautis, capite]/ ve[l]ato,
sub
div[o,
contra
orien/
t]em [s]acrificiu[m
indixit
Deae]/ Diae:/ quod
bonum
ffaustum, felix, for]/tunatumq[ue
sit
p(opulo)
R
(ornano), Q(uiritibus), fratribus]/que Arvali[bus
Ti. Caesari
Augu]/sto Iulia[e
Augustae
et
liberis]/ nepotibufs totique
domui
eorum/ s]acrific[ium
Deae Diae hoc anno
erit/
a(nte)] d(iem) V[

In the
consulship
of Tiberius
Caesar,
for the fourth
time,
and Drusus Caesar for the second
time,
on
January
1 1
,
Titus
Quinctius Crispinus Valerianus,
the
master,
with washed
hands,
with veiled
head,
in the
open air, facing
east
proclaimed
the sacrifice to Dea Dia:
may
it be
good, propitious,
fortunate and successful for the Roman
People,
the
Quirites,
for Tiberius
Caesar
Augustus,
for
Julia Augusta
and for their
children,
for their
grandchildren
and for the
whole of their
house;
the sacrifice to Dea Dia this
year
will be
38
q[uod

faust]um [

]/ Ger[m(anico)
. . .
so]rori[busq(ue)

]/ mih[ique sacrijficium
in
[luco domoque]/
C.
C[aesa]ris Augusti
150 MARY BEARD
Germanici magistri erit]:/ a(nte) d(iem)
VI
k(alendas)
Iunias
[domi],/ a(nte) d(iem)
IIII
k(alendas)
Iunias in
[luco
et
domi],/ a(nte) d(iem)
III
k(alendas)
Iunias
[domi]./
Gaius,
uncertain date.
Very fragmentary.
43
Very fragmentary.
58
[isde]m co(n)s(ulibus)
III idus
[Ianua]r(ias)
in
[...?..
adstantibus L. Salvio Othone Titiano
mag(istro),/
A.
V]itellio,
M.
[Aponio
Saturnino fratribus
A]rvalibus
sacrificium Deae Diae
[indixit
M.
Val]erius Mfessalla
Gorvinus
co(n)s(ul),/ praeunte
L Salvio Othone
Ti]tiano
mag(istro):
XVI
k(alendas) Iun(ias) domi, X[IIII k(alendas) Iun(ias) i]n
luco
[et
domi.
XIII
k(alendas) Iun(ias) domi./
In
collegio
adfuerunt L.
Salv]ius
Otho Titianus
mag(ister),
M. Valerius
[Messa]lla Corfvinus
. . . etc . .
./
T.
Sextiu]s
Africanus.
In the same
consulship,
on
January
11 in ...?.. in the
presence
of Lucius Salvius Otho
Titianus,
the
master,
Aulus
Vitellius,
Marcus
Aponius Saturninus,
Arval
Brethren,
Marcus
Valerius Messalla
Corvinus,
'the
consul, proclaimed
the sacrifice to Dea
Dia,
with Lucius
Salvius Otho
Titianus,
the
master, dictating
the formula:
May 17,
at
home; May 19,
in the
grove
and at
home; May 20,
at home. Present in the
college
were Lucius Salvius Otho
Titianus,
the
master,
Marcus Valerius Messalla
Corvinus,
the consul . . . etc. . Titus Sextius
Africanus.
59 Isdem
co(n)s(ulibus) pr(idie)
idus
Ianuar(ias)/
in Pantheo astantibus L.
Calpurnio
L. f.
Pisone
mag(istro)/,
G.
Vipstano Aproniano co(n)s(ule),
L. Salvio Othone
Titiano,
M.
Aponio Saturn(ino)/,
M. Valerio Messalla
Corvino, Sulpicio Camerino,
T. Sextio
Africano,
fratribus/ Arvalibus,
sacrificium Deae Diae indixit L.
Calpurnius
L. f. Piso
magister,
praeeunte/
L. Salvio Othone Titiano in VI
k(alendas) Iun(ias)
domi et in IIII
k(alendas)
Iun(ias)
in luco et
domi/
et in III
k(alendas)
Iunias
domi./
In
conlegio
adfuerunt isdem
qui
supra scripti sunt./
In the same
consulship,
on
January 12,
in the
Pantheon,
in the
presence
of Lucius
Calpurnius
Piso,
son of
Lucius,
the
master,
Caius
Vipstanus Apronianus,
the
consul,
Lucius Salvius Otho
Titianus,
Marcus
Aponius Saturninus,
Marcus Valerius
Corvinus, Sulpicius Camerinus,
Titus
Sextius
Africanus,
Arval
Brethren,
Lucius
Calpurnius Piso,
son of
Lucius,
the
master,
proclaimed
the sacrifice to Dea
Dia,
with Lucius Salvius Otho Titianus
dictating
the
formula,
for
May
27 at
home,
for
May
29 in the
grove
and at home and for
May
30 at home. Present in
the
grove
were the same who are written above.
60 Isdem
co(n)s(ulibus)
III idus
Ianuar(ias)/
adstantibus
Sulpicio
Camerino
magistro,
L. Salvio
Othone
Titiano,
C.
Vipstano Aproniano [
63
[is]dem co(n)s(ulibus) [pri]die
idus
Ianuar(ias)/ [in
aedem
Co]ncordiae
sacrificium
indixit/
[Deae Diae/ Q. Tillius]
Sassius
magister collegi
fratrum
Arva/[liu]m nomine,
adhibitis
Q.
Volusio
Satur/[ni]no,
T. Sextio
Africano,
L. Salvio
Othone/ [Titiano]
in VI
k(alendas)
Iun(ias) domi,/
IIII
k(alendas) Iun(ias)
in luco et
domi,/
III
k(alendas) Iun(ias) domi./ [I]n
collegio
adfuerunt
Q.
Tillius
Sassius/ mag(ister), Q.
Volusius
Saturninus,
T.
Sextius/
Africanus,
L. Salvius Otho
Titianus./
In the same
consulship,
on
January 12,
in the
temple
of
Concord, Quintus
Tillius
Sassius,
the
master of the
college proclaimed
the sacrifice to Dea
Dia,
in the name of the Arval
Brethren,
having
summoned
Quintus
Volusius
Saturninus,
Titus Sextius
Africanus,
Lucius Salvius
Otho
Titianus,
for
(i.e.
he
proclaimed
it
for) May
27 at
home, May
29 in the
grove
and at
home, May
30 at home. Present in the
college
were
Quintus
Tillius
Sassius,
the
master,
Quintus
Volusius
Saturninus,
Titus Sextius
Africanus,
Lucius Salvius Otho Titianus.
DIVERSITY AND EXPANSION IN THE ARVAL ACTA 151
Nero,
uncertain date L.
Salvjio O[thone Titiano/ sacjrificium
in
[dictum/
Deae
D]iae./
XVI
k(alendas) Iun(ias) dom[i],/
XIIII
k(alendas) Iun(ias)
in luco et
domi,/
XIII
k(alendas)
Iun(ias) domi./
In
colle[g]io adfuerunt/
L. Salvius Otho
Titianus,/
A.
Vitellius, Q. Tillius/
Sassius./
69 isdem
[co(n)s(ulibus)]
VI
i[dus Ian(uarias)
in
a]edem Concordiae,/ asta[ntibus fr]atrib[us
Arvalibus, mag(isterio) Ser.]
Galbae
imp(eratoris) Caesaris/ [Aug(usti), promag(istro)
L.
S]al[vio
Othone
T]itia[n]o [c]ollegi
fratrum
Arval(ium)/ [nominje sfacrificium
Deae Diae
injdictum [p]raeeunte
L. Maecio
Postumo:/ [VI k(alendas)] Iun(ias) do[mi
IIII
k(alendas)
Iun(ias)]
in luco et
domi,
III
k(alendas) Iun(ias) domi./ [In collegijo
adfuerunt
[L.
Salvius
O]tho Titianus, Q.
Tillius
Sassius, [M. Rajecius Taurus, [L.
Maecius
P]ostumus./
75
Very fragmentary.
78 Isdem
co(n)s(ulibus)
VI idus
Ian(uarias)
in aede Concordiae
adstan/tibus
fratribus Arvalibus
mag(isterio)
C. Matidi
Patruini, promag(istro)
L.
Veratio/ Quadrato, collegi
fratrum
Arvalium sacrificium indictum Deae
Diàe,/ praeunte
L. Maecio
Postumo,
in diem VI
k(alendas) Iun(ias) dom[i],/
IIII
k(alendas) Iuni(as)
in luco et
domi,
III
k(alendas) Iun(ias)
domi. In
collegio adfuerunt/
L. Veratius
Quadratus,
C.
Vipstanus Apronianus,
L. Maecius
Postumus,/
C. Iunius Tadius
Mefitanus,
A.
Julius Quadratus.
In the same
consulship,
on
January 8,
in the
Temple
of
Concord,
in the
presence
of the Arval
Brethren,
in the
mastership
of Caius Matidius
Patruinus,
while Lucius Veratius was
promaster,
the sacrifice of the
college
of Arval Brethren was
proclaimed,
with Lucius Maecius
Patruinus
dictating
the
formula,
for
May
27 at
home,
for
May
29 in the
grove
and at
home,
for
May
30 at home. Present in the
college
were Lucius Veratius
Quadratus,
Caius
Vipstanus
Apronianus,
Lucius Maecius
Postumus,
Caius Iunis Tadius
Mefitanus,
Aulus
Julius
Quadratus.
86
id]us Ianuar(ias)
in aedem Concordiae astantibus fratribus
Arva/[libus] magisterio/
[imp(eratoris)]
Caesaris Domitiani
Aug(usti) Germanici, promag(istro)
L. Veratio
Quadra[to, collegi]/
fratrum Arvalium sacrum indictum Deae Diae
per
L. Veratium
[Quadratum]/ promag(istrum), praeeunte Q.
Tillio
Sassio,
in diem VI
k(alendas)
Iunias
domi,
IIII
k(alendas) [Iun(ias)]/
in luco et
domi,
III
k(alendas) Iun(ias)
domi. In
collegio
adfuerunt L.
Veratius/ Quadratus promag(ister),
L. Venuleius
Apronianus,
A.
Julius
Quadratus,
C.
Salvius/
Liberalis Nonius
Bassus, Q.
Tillius
Sassius,
P. Sallustius
Blaesus./
87
]I
idus
Ian(uarias),
in
pronao
aedis Concordiae
quae e[st prope/ templu]m
divi
Vespasiani/ [C. Salvius]
Liberalis Nonius Bassus frater
Arvalis, qui v[ice Iuli/ Sila]ni magistri
fungebatur,
adstantibus
fratrib[us Arvali/bus sac]rificium
Deae Diae in hunc annum sic
indixit:/ [quod bo]num, faustum, fausftum] (sic) felix,
fortunatum
salutarfeque sit]
imp(eratori)/ [Caes]ari
Domitiano
Au[g(usto) Germanico pontif(ici) max(imo)
et
Domfitiae A]ug(ustae)/ [cohi]ugi
eius et
Iul[iae Aug(ustae) totiq]ue
domui eorum
po[puloque Romano],/ Quiritibus fratfribusque Arvalibus] mihique sacrfificium Deae]/
Diae erit XVI
k(alendas) Iun(ias) [domi,
XIIII
k(alendas) Iu]n(ias)
in luco et
[domi
XIII
k(alendas) Iun(ias)]/
domi. In
collegio adfue[runt
C.
Salvius] Liberaflis
Nonius
Bas]sus,/
L.
Veratius
Quadratus,
L.
Mae[cius Postumus,
A.
I]uliu[s Quadratus, P.]/
Sallustius
Blaesus./
For
translation,
see
p.
124
89 Isdem
co(n)s(ulibus)
VI idus
Ianuar(ias),/
in
pronavo
aedis Concordiae fratres Arvales
sa[crificium]/
Deae Diae indixerunt XVI
¿(alendas) Iun(ias)
domi
aput [magistros],/
XIIII
k(alendas) Iun(ias)
in luco et domi ad
magistros,
XIII
k(alendas) Iu[nias domi]./
In
collegio
interfuerunt A. Iulius
Quadra[tus, ]/
P. Sallustius
Blaesus, Q.
Tillius Sasius
(sic)
[ ]/
152 MARY BEARD
90
magisterio
P. Sallusti Blaesi
11/ [in pronao
aedis
Concordiae,
P. Sallustiùs Blaesus
magister fratrum]
Arvalium manibus
lautis,
velato
capite,
sub
divo, culmine,
contra
orientem, Deae/ [Diae
cum
collegis
sacríficium indixit:
quod bonum, faustum, felix,
fortunatum
salutareque
sit
imp(eratori) Caesajrí
Domitiano
Áug(usto)
Germanico
pontifici
máximo et Domitiae
Aug(ustae) coniugi eius/ [totique
domui eorum
populoque Romano,
Quiritibus, fratribusque]
Arvalibus
mihique,
sacrificium Deae Diae hoc anno erit
a(nte)
d(iem)
Vili
k(alendas) Iun(ias) domi/ [a(nte) d(iem)
VI
k(alendas) Iun(ias)
in luco et
domi,
a(nte) d(iem)
V
k( alendas) Iun(ias) domi].
In
collegio
adfuerunt P. Sallustiùs
Blaesus,
L.
Maecius
Postumus, Q.
Tillius
Sassius./
91 Isdem
co(n)s(ulibus)
VII idus
Ianuar(ias)/
in
pronao
aedis Concordiae fratres
Arvales/
sacrificium Deae Diae
indixerunt/ magisterio
L. Vera ti
Quadrati.
In
pronao
aedis
Concor/
diae L. Veratius
Quadratus magister
fratrum
Arvalium/
manibus
lautis,
velato
capite,
sub
divo, columine,
contra
ori/entem,
Deae Diae cum
collegis
sacrificium
indixerunt:/ quod
bonum faustum felix fortunatum
salutareque sit/ imp(eratori)
Caesari Domitiano
Aug(usto)
Germanico
pontif(ici)
maxsimo e%
Domitiae/ Augustae coniugi
eius
totique
domui
eorum,
populo Romano,/ Quiritibus,
fra tribus Arvalibus
mihique;/
sacrificium Deae Diae hoc anno
erit
a(nte) d(iem)
XVI
k(alendas) Iun(ias) domo, a(nte) d(iem)
XIIII
k( alendas)
Iunias in
luco et
domo, a(nte) d(iem)
XIII k
(alendas) Iun(ias) domo./
Adfuerunt in
collegio
L.
Veratius
Quadratus,
L. Maecius
Pos/tumus, Q.
Tillius Sassius.
In the same
consulship,
on
January 7,
in the
portico
of the
temple
of
Concord,
the Arval
Brethren
proclaimed
the sacrifice to Dea
Dia,
in the
mastership
of Lucius Veratius
Quadratus.
In the
portico
of the
temple
of
Concord,
Lucius Veratius
Quadratus,
the master
of the Arval
Brethren,
with washed
hands,
with veiled
head,
in the
open air,
beneath the
gable, facing east,
with his
colleagues, proclaimed
the sacrifice to Dea Dia:
May
it be
good,
propitious, fortunate,
successful and
salutary
for the
emperor
Caesar Domitian
Augustus
Germanicus, pontifex maximus,
and for Domitia
Augusta,
his
wife,
and for the whole of their
house,
for the Roman
people,
the
Quirites,
and for the Arval Brethren and for
me;
the
sacrifice to Dea Dia this
year
will be
May
1 7 at
home, May
19 in the
grove
and at
home, May
20 at home. Present in the
college
were Lucius Veratius
Quadratus,
Lucius Maecius
Postumus, Quintus
Tillius Sassius.
101
[isdem] consu[libus
VII
idus] Ianuar(ias)/
in
pronafo
aedis
Concordi]ae ffratres
Arvales
sacrificiu]m
Deae Diae
indixerunt, ibique/
Ti. Claudius
[Sacerdos] Iuflianus mag(ister)
fratr(um) Arval(ium)
manibus
laujtis,
velato
capite,
sub
diu, cui/mine,
contra
or[ientem
sacrifi]ci[um
Deae Diae cum
colle]gis i[ndixit]: quod bo[n]um faus/tum
felix fortunatum
sa[l]utare[que
sit
i]mp(eratori) Cfaesari
Nervae
Traiano] Aug(usto) Germ(anico) [totique]/
domui
eius, populo Romano, Quint [i] bus,
fra tribus
[Arvalibus; sacrificium]
Deae
[Diae
hoc]/
anno erit XVI
k(alendas)
Iunias
domi,
ante diem XIIII
k(alendas) Iun(ias) i[n
luco et
domi,
ante diem
XI]II k(alendas) Iun(ias) d[omi. Ad]/fuerunt
in
colleg(io)
Ti. Claudius
Sa[ce]rdos Iulianus,
Ti.
Iu[lius
Candidus
Mariu]s Celsus,
C.
Ca[ecilius]/ Strabo,
L. Iulius
Marinus Caecilius
Simplex,
M.
Valerius Tre]bicius Decianus, Q?
Fulvius
[Gillo]/
Bittius
Proculus,
C. Salvius
[Liber]
alis Nonius
Bassus,
L. Maecius
Postumus, [Ti.]
Catius
Ca[esius
Fronto]./
105
[i]sd[em co(n)s(ulibus) V]II
idus
Ian(uarias)/ [in pronao
aedis
Conc]ordiae
fratres Arvales
sa/[crum
Deae Diae
i]ndixerunt, ibique/ [M.
Valerius
Trebici]us
Decianus
mag(ister)
manifbus/ lautis, capite vel]ato,
sub
divo, culmi[ne, contra/
orientem cum
colleg]i[s
Deae
Diae
sacrificium/
indixerunt sic in hunc
annjum:/ quod bonu[m
faustum felix
fortu]natum[q(ue) sit]/ imp(eratori)
Caesari
Nerv[ae Traiano] Aug(usto) Germ(anico)
Dae
(ico) [totiq(ue)]/
domui eius
p(opulo)
R
(ornano), Q(uiritibus), fratribusque
Arval
(ibus)
[sacrificium]/
Deae Diae hoc anno erit ante diem
[XVI k(alendas) Iuni]as d[omi]/
ante diem
XIV
k(alendas)
Iunias in luco et
dom[i ante]
diem XIII
k(alendas) Iun(ias)
domi. Adfuerunt
in
colleg(io)
M.
V[aler]ius/
Trebicius
Decianus,
Ti. Iulius Candidus
Mafrius Celsus],/
C.
DIVERSITY AND EXPANSION IN THE ARVAL ACTA 153
Antius A. Iulius
Quadratus,
L.
Maec[ius Postumus, Ti.]/
Iulius
Candidus,
Ti. Catius Caesius
[Fronto,
C.
Caecilius]/ Strabfo], Q. Fulvi[us Gillo] Bittfius Proculus]./
110 Not recorded.
1 1 1 Isdem
[co(n)s(ulibus)
....
id(us) Ian(uarias)]/
in
pronao [aedis
Concordiae fratres
Arvajles
sacrificium
D[eae
Diae
]/ laut[is,
velato
capite
sub divo culmine
c]ontra
orientem
[ ] :/ quod
bonum
faustu[m
felix fortunatum
salutarejque
sit
Imp(eratori)
Ca[es(ari)

]/ fratribusque A[rvalibus;
sacrificium
Dea]e
Diae hoc
ann[o
erit
]/
XIII
k(alendas)
Iun domi.
Afdfuerunt
in
collegio
Ti.
Iuljius
Candidus
[Caecilius ]/ Decianus,
Ti.
Iulifus
Candidus
]
117
[isdem co(n)s(ulibus)]
III idus
Ianuar(ias)/ [in pronao
aedis Concordiae fratres Arvales
sacrum Deae Diae
indix]erunt, ibique
P. Metilius Secundus
magister
manibus
lau[t]is, [capite
velato,
sub
divo,/ culmine,
contra
orfentem,
cum
collegis
Deae Diae sacrificium
indixit:/ quod
bonum faustum felix
fortunatumque
sit
imp(eratori)
Caesari Nervae Traiano
Aug(usto)
Germ(anico)]
Dacico Parthico
totique
domui
e[ius pojpulo Rom[ano, Quiritibus,
fratribusque/
Arvalibus: sacrificium Deae Diae hoc anno erit ante
d(iem)
XVI k
(alendas)
Iun(ias) domi,
ante
d(iem)
XIIII
k(alendas)
easdem in luco
et]
domi
ant[e d(iem)
XIII
k(alendas) ea]sdem
domi. Adfuerunt
[in] collegio
P.
[Metilius
Secundus
mag(ister),/
M. Valerius Trebicius
Dec]ianus,
L. Antonius
Albus, [Q.
Fulvius
Gill]o
Bittius
Proculus./
Trajan,
uncertain date.
Very fragmentary.
1 18 Isdem
co(n)s(ulibus)
VII id
(us) Ian(uarias)/
in
pronao
aedis Concordiae ad sacrificium Deae
Diae
indi/cendum
fratres Arvales
convenerunt, ibique
M.
V[alerius]/
Trebicius Decianus
magister
manibus
lautis, [velato]/ capite,
sub
divo, culmine,
contra
orientem, cu[m collegis]/
suis indixit:
quod
bonum faustum
fel[ix fortu]/natum salutareque sit/ Imp(eratori)
Caesari
divi Traiani Parthici filio divi
Ner[vae nep(oti)]/
Traiano Hadriano
Augusto totique
dom[ui]/
eius
populo Romano, Quiritibus,
fratribus Ar
[vali] /bus;
sacrificium Deae Diae hoc
anno erit ante
diem/
VI
k(alendas) Iun(ias) domi,
ante diem IIII
k( alendas) Iun(ias)
in
[lu]co
et
domi,/
ante diem III
k(alendas) Iun(ias)
domi consummabitur.
[A]dfuerunt/
in
collegio
M. Valerius Trebicius Decianus
mag(ister),/
Ti. Iulius Candidus Caecilius
Simplex,
Ti. Iulius Candi
[d us],/
L. Antonius
Albus,
P. Metilius
Secundus./
In the same
consulship,
on
January 7,
in the
portico
of the
temple
of
Concord,
the Arval
Brethren assembled to
proclaim
the sacrifice to Dea Dia and there Marcus Valerius Trebicius
Decianus,
the
master,
with washed
hands,
with veiled
head,
in the
open air,
beneath the
gable,
facing east,
with his
colleagues, proclaimed: May
it be
good, propitious, fortunate,
successful
and
salutary
for the
emperor
Caesar
Trajan
Hadrian
Augustus,
son of the deified
Trajan
Parthicus, grandson
of the deified
Nerva, pontifex maximus,
and for the whole of his
house,
for the Roman
people,
the
Quirites,
and for the Arval
Brethren;
the sacrifice to Dea Dia this
year
will be
May
27 at
home, May
29 in the
grove
and at
home, May
30 it will be
completed
at home. Present in the
college
were Marcus Valerius Trebicius Decianus the
master,
Tiberius
Iulius Candidus Caecilius
Simplex,
Tiberius Iulius Candi
[dus],
Lucius Antonius
Albus,
Publius Metilius Secundus.
120 Isdem
co(n)s(ulibus)
VII idus
Ian(uarias)/
in
pronao
aedis Concordiae ad sacrificium
indicendum Deae Diae fratres Arvales
convenerunt, [ibique]/
C. Vitorius Hosidius Geta
mag(ister)
manibus
lautis,
velato
capite,
sub
divo,
culmine contra
orientem, [cum]/ collegis
suis
indixit:/ quod
bonum faustum felix fortunatum
salutareque
sit
Imp (era tori)
Caesari divi
Traiani Parthici
f(ilio)
divi
[Nervae]/ nepoti
Traiano Hadriano
Aug(usto) pont(ifici)
max
(imo) totique
domui
eius, populo Romano, Quiritibus, fratribusque/ Arvalibus;
sacrifi-
cium Deae Diae hoc anno erit ante diem VI
k(alendas) Iun(ias) domi,
ante diem IIII
154 MARY BEARD
k(alendas) Iun(ias)
in luco et
domi,
ante diem III
k(alendas) Iun(ias)
domi consummabitur.
Adfuerunt in
collegio
C. Vitorius Hosidius Geta
magist(er), M./
Valerius Trebicius
Decianus,
Ti. Iulius Candidus Caecilius
Simplex,
Ti. Iulius
Candidus,
L. Antonius
Albus./
122
[isdem co(n)s(ulibus)
VII idus
Ianuar(ias) in/ pronao]
aedis Concordiae ad
[sacrificium
indice]
ndum Deae
Dia[e]
fratres
[Arvales convenerunt, ibique/
P.
Corn]elius
Geminus
mag(ister) mafnibus lautis, velat]o capite,
sub
divo, culmine, [contra orientem,
cum
collegis
suis
indixit:/ quod bonu]m
faustum felix
fort[unatum salutareq]ue
sit
Imp(eratori)
Caesari
[divi
Traiani Parthici
f(ilio)
divi
Nervae/ nepoti Tr]aiano
Hadriano
Aug(usto) [pontifici
máximo, patri pa]t(riae) totique
domui
ei[us populo
Romano
Quiritibus, fratribusque/
Ar]valibus:
sacrificium Dea
[Di]ae [hoc
anno erit ante
diem]
VI
k(alendas) Iun(ias)
domi
a[nte/
diem IIII
k(alendas) Iun(ias)
in luco et
domi,
ante
di]em
III
k(alendas) Iun(ias)
domi
consummabitur.
Afdfuerunt
in
collegio
P.
Go]rnelius Geminus, [
M.
Valerius/
Iu]nianus,
C. Vitorius Hosidius
Geta, [ ]./
139
[Isdem co(n)s(ulibus)
VII id
(us) Ian(uarias)/]
in
pronao
aedis Concordiae fratres
[Arvales
sacrificium Deae Diae
indixerur^i.
Ti.
Iulius]/
Candidus
promag(ister)
manibus
lau[tis,
velato
capi]t[e,
sub
divo, columine,
contra
orientem]/
sacrificium Deae Diae cum
collegfis indixit]:/
quod
bonum faustum felix
fortufnatum salutareque
sit
Imp(eratori) Caes(ari)
divi Hadriani
filio/ divi]
Traiani
nepoti
divi Nervae
pron(epoti) [T.
Aelio Hadriano Antonino
Aug(usto)
Pio, p(ontifici) m(aximo),/ trib(unicia) pot(estate)] co(n)s(uli) II, p(atri) p(atriae), principi
parentiq(ue), s(enatui) [p(opulo) R(omano), Q(uiritibus) fratrib(us)/ Arval(ibus):
sacrifi-
cium Deae Diae hoc anno
erit/ a(nte) d(iem)
XVI
k(alendas) Iun(ias)] domi, a(nte) d(iem)
XIIII
k(alendas) Iun(ias)
in
luc[o
et
domi, a(nte) d(iem)
XIII
k(alendas) Iun(ias)
domi
consummabitur. Adfuerunt in
collegio ]
145 Isdem
co(n)s(ulibus) [VII
idus
Ianuarias/
in
pronao aedis]
Concordiae fratres Arvales
sacri[ficium
Deae Diae
indixerunt, ibique
Ti.
Licinius] Cassius/ [Cassia]nus promag(ister)
manibus
lautis,
velato
capite, s[ub divo, columine,
contra
orientem,
sacrificium
Dea]
e Diae
cum/ [col]legis
suis
indixit:/ [quod]
bonum faustum felix fortunatum
salutareque
sit
Imp(eratori) Ca[esari
divi Hadriani filio divi Traiani
nepoti divi] Nervae/ pronepoti
T. Aelio
Hadriano Antonino
Augusto
Pio
pontif(ici) mafximo, trib(unicia) potest(ate)
VIII
co(n)-
s(uli)
IIII
imp(eratori)
II
patri patriae princjipi/ parentique nostro,
et M. Aelio Aurelio
Caesari
filio,
et ceteris
[liberis totique
domui eius et senatui
populoque]/
Romano
Quiritibus
fratribusque Arvalibus:/
sacrificium Deae Diae hoc anno erit ante diem XVI k
(alendas)
Iun(ias) domi,
ante
di[em
XIV
k(alendas) Iun(ias)
in luco et
domi,
ante diem XIII
k( alendas)]/ Iun(ias)
domi consummabitur. Adfuerunt in
collegio
Ti. Licinius Cassius
Ca[ssianus promag(ister)]/
M. Fabius Iulianus Heracleo
Optatianus,
M. Valerius
Homullus,
Ti. Iulius Candid
[us
Caecilius
Simplex]./
155 Isdem
co(n)s(ulibus)
VII idus
Ian(uarias)/
in
pronao
aedis Concordiae fratres Arvales
sacrificiu[m Deae]/
Diae
indixerunt, ibique
C. Iulius
M[a]ximus pro mag(istro)
manibus
[lautis],/
velato
capite,
sub
dio, cuflmine, contr]a orientem, sacrificfium
Deae
Diae]
cum
collegis
suis
infdixit]:/ quod
bonum faustum
[felix fortunatumque]
sit
Imp(eratori) Caesafri
divi Hadriani
filio]/
divi Traiani
nepoti [divi
Nervae
pro] nepoti
T.
Ael[io
Hadriano
Antonino]/ Aug(usto)
Pio
p(atri) p(atriae) pontifici max[imo tribunic(ia) pot(estate)
XVIII
co(n)s(uli)
IIII
imp(eratori) II]/
et M. Aelio Aurelio
Caesa[ri
filio
totique
domui eorum et
senatui, popu]lo Romano, Quiritibus,
fra
[tribus
Arvalibus: sacrificium Deae Diae hoc
anno]/
erit
a(nte) d(iem)
XVI
k(alendas) Iun(ias) domi,
an
(te) d(iem) [XIIII
k
(alendas) easd(em)
in luco et
domi, a(nte) d(iem)
XIII
k(alendas) eas(dem)
domi
con]/summabitur.
Adfuerunt
C.
[Iulius
Maximus
promag(ister),
Ti. Claudius
Agrippi]nus,
M. Valerius
Iunianus./
In the same
consulship,
on
January 7,
in the
portico
of the
temple
of
Concord,
the Arval
Brethren
proclaimed
the sacrifice to Dea Dia. And there Gaius
Julius Maximus,
the
promaster,
with washed
hands,
with veiled
head,
in the
open air,
beneath the
gable, facing
DIVERSITY AND EXPANSION IN THE ARVAL ACTA 155
east
proclaimed
the sacrifice to Dea Dia with his
colleagues: May
it be
good, propitious,
fortunate and successful for the
Emperor Caesar,
son of the deified
Hadrian, grandson
of the
deified
Trajan, great grandson
of the deified
Nerva,
Titus Aelius Hadrianus Antoninus
Augustus Pius,
father of his
country, pontifex maximus,
in the
eighteenth year
of his
tribunician
power,
consul four
times,
twice hailed
imperator,
and for Marcus Aurelius
Caesar,
his
son,
and for the whole of their house and for the
senate,
for the Roman
people,
the
Quirites,
for the Arval
Brethren;
the sacrifice to Dea Dia this
year
will be
May
1 7 at
home,
May
19 in the
grove
and at
home, May
20 it will be
completed
at home. Present were Caius
Iulius Maximus
promaster,
Tiberius Claudius
Agrippinus,
Marcus Valerius Iunianus.
Antoninus
Pius,
uncertain date.
Very fragmentary.
Marcus
Aurelius,
uncertain date.
Very fragmentary.
Marcus
Aurelius,
uncertain date.
Very fragmentary.
183 Isdem
[co(n)s(ulibus)]
VII idus
Ianuar(i¿s)/
in
pronao [ae]dis
Concordiae fratres Arvales
sacrificium Deae
Diae/ indixferunt], ibique Q.
Licinius
Nepos mag(ister)
velato
capite,
contra
ori/entem, [sub] divo,
columine:
quod
bonum faustum felix fortunatum
salu/tareque
sit
Imp(eratori) Caes(ari)
M. Aurelio
[[Commodo]]
Antonino
Aug(usto)
Pio
Sarmat(ico)/
Germ(anico)
máximo
p(ontifici) m(aximo), p(atri) p(atriae), co(n)s(uli) IIII, óptimo
maximoque principi,
divi M.
Anto/nini fil(io),
divi Antonini
nepoti,
divi Hadriani
pronepoti,
divi
Traiani/
Parthici
abnepoti,
divi Nervae
abnepoti (sic), senutui, p(opulo)
R
(ornano),
Q(uiritibus), fratribusque Arva/libus,
sacrificium Deae Diae hoc anno erit ante diem XVI
kal(endas) Iunias/ Romae,
ante diem XIIII
k(alendas) Iun(ias)
in luco et
domi,
XIII
k(alendas) Iun(ias) consummabitur/
domi. Adfuerunt in
coll(egio) Q.
Licinius
Nepos
mag(ister),
Cn. Catilius
Severus,/
M.
Ulpius
Astius
pr(aetor),
M. Antonius Iuvenis.
186
[i]sdem co(n)s(ulibus) [VII id(us) Ian(uarias)/
in
pronao
aedis Concordiae fratres
Arv]al(es)
sacrific(ium)
Deae Diae
infdixerunt, ibique/
T. FI.
Sulpicianus promag(ister), velato] capite,
contra
orientem, s[ub divo, columine:/ quod
bonum faustum felix
fort]unat(um)
salutareq(ue)
sit
Imp(eratori) Caes(ari)
M.
A[urelio Commodo/
Antonino
Aug(usto)
Pio
Sarm(atico) Germ(anico) max(imo) p(ontifici) m(aximo)] p(atri) p(atriae), co(n)s(uli) V,
óptimo maximoq(ue) princ[ipi divi/
Marci Antonini
f(ilio),
divi
Ant]on(ini)
Pii
nepoti,
divi
Hadriani
profnepoti,
divi Traiani Parthici
abnepo]t(i),
divi Nervae
adnepoti, senatui,
p(opulo)
R
(ornano), Q(uiritibus), [fratrisbusque/ Arvalibus; sacrificium]
Deae Diae hoc
anno erit ante diem VI
k(alendas) Iun(ias) [Romae,/
ante diem IIII
k(alendas) Iun(ias) i]n
luco et
domi,
III
k(alendas) Iun(ias) consumm(abitur)
domi.
Ad[fuerunt/
in
collegio
T. Fl.
Sulpici]anus promag(ister),
C. Arrius
Antoninus,
M.
Anto[nius Iuvenis]./
193
Very fragmentary.
231 VII idus
[Ianuar(ias)/
in
pronao aedi]s
Concordiae fratres Arvales convenerunt ad indi-
cendum
[sacrificium
Deae Diae in
XVI, XIIII,
XIII
kal(endas) Iun(ias).
Adfuerunt C.
Por/
cius Priscus
m]ag(ister),
P. Ael.
Secundinus,
M. Saenius
Donatus,
C. Annius Percen-
nian[us ]./
Alexander
Severus,
uncertain date
mag(ister)
sacrificium Deae Diae cum
fratribus]
Arval(ibus) [in]dic(it): q[uod
bonum
faustum/
felix fortunatum
salutareque
sit
Imp(eratori)
Caes(ari)
M.
Aur(elio) Seve]ro
Alexandro
[Aug(usto) p(ontifici) m(aximo) trib(unicia)
pot(estate).
. .
./ co(n)s(uli).
.
p(atri) p(atriae) proco(n)s(uli),
divi
Magni Ant]onini P(ii)
f(ilio),
divi S
[everi nep(oti), et/
Iuliae Mammaeae
Augustae m]atr(i) Aug(usti)
n
(ostri)
et
cas[trorum
et
senatus/
et
patriae, totique d(omus) eorum, s(enatui) p(opulo)q(ue)
R
(ornano), [Q(uiritibus), fratribusque
Arvalibus: sacrificium Deae Diae
h]oc
anno erit
an(te) d(iem) [.
. .k
(alendas) Iun(ias)/ domi,
ante
d(iem)
. .
.] k(alendas) Iun(ias)
luco et
d[omi,
ante
d(iem)
.
./ k(alendas) Iun(ias)
domi. Adfuerunt etc
]
156 MARY BEARD
239
[isdem co(n)s(ulibus)
. . .idus
] Ian(uarias)/ [fratres
Arvales in aede
Concor]
diae con venerunt
ad
indi/[cendum
sacrificium
De]ae
Diae in
XVI, XIIII,
XIII
k(alendas) Iun./ [Adfuerunt
Imp(erator) Caes(ar)
M. Antonius Gordianus
Pius]
Felix
Aug(ustus) mag(ister) coll(egii)
fratr(um)/ [Arvalium /
P. Aelius
Cojeranus,
T. Gaesonius
Lu/[cillus
L.
Fabius
Fojrtunatus Victorinus/ [
in
ere]
bras voces
adclamav(erunt)/
t ]•
In the same
consulship,
on
January
?
,
the Arval Brethren assembled in the
temple
of Concord
to
proclaim
the sacrifice to Dea Dia for
May 17, 19,
20. Present were the
Emperor
Caesar
Marcus Antonius Gordianus Pius Felix
Augustus,
master of the
college
of Arval Breth-
ren Publius Aelius
Coeranus,
Titus Caesonius
Lucillus,
Lucius Fabius
Fortunatus Victorinus
they
shouted out with
many
a voice.
240
[Vettio
Sabino II ...... Venusto
co(n)s(ulibu)s,/
VII idus
Ian(uarias)/
fratres Arvales ante
pronaum
aedis Concordiae
conve]ner(unt)/ [ad
indicendum sacrificium
De]ae
Diae in
VI,
IIII, [III Kal(endas)
Iun
(ias)./,
Adfuerunt F. Fortunatus Victorinus
pr]o mag(istro)
vice Fl.
Luciliani/ [mag(istri) }[[

]]tus pr(aetor),
C.
Ann(ius) Percen/panus
Caesonius
Lucijllus:
edicto
perlecto faus(t)e
et
creb/[ris
vocibus
adcjlamaverunt./
APPENDIX II: THE RECORD OF THE FIRST DAY OF DEA DIA
FESTIVAL
The
following
list includes all notices
(excerpted
from the full
texts)
of the first
day
of the Dea Dia
Festival
up
to 105. In those
years
in which no record
(or
other
comment)
is
listed,
it is to be assumed
that the relevant section of the Arval text has not
survived; by
contrast the notice 'Not recorded'
indicates that the relevant section of the Acta is
fully preserved,
but that this
ceremony
was not
described.
I have
appended
to the main list the record of
218,
as an
example
of the character of the later
documents in the
sequence.
21 b.c.
Very fragmentary,
but
probably
recorded.
a.d. 14 Not recorded.
38
a(nte) d(iem)
VI
[k(alendas)] Iunias/
C. Caesar
Augustus Germa[ni]cus magister collegii
fratru[m Arvalium]/
in domo su
[a q]uae
fuit Ti.
[Cajesaris
avi sub diu in ara
sac[rificium]/
Deae Diae
c[oncepi]t./
Adfuerunt M.
Ffurius C]ami[llus], Appius
Iunius
Silanus,
Cn.
D[omitius]/ Ahenobarbus, [Pauljlus Fabiu[s Persijcus,
C. Caecina
Largus, Taurufs
Statilius]/ Corvinus,
L. Annius
Vinicianus, [C. CJalpurnius Piso./
On
May 27,
Caius Caesar
Augustus Germanicus,
master of the
college
of Arval
Brethren,
in
his
palace,
which
belonged
to Tiberius
Caesar,
his
grandfather,
in the
open air,
celebrated on
an altar the sacrifice to Dea Dia. Present were Marcus Furius
Camillus, Appius
Iunius
Silanus,
Cnaeus Domitius
Ahenobarbus,
Paullus Fabius
Persicus,
Caius Caecina
Largus,
Taurus Statilius
Corvinus,
Lucius Annius
Vinicianus,
Caius
Calpurnius
Piso.
40 Not recorded.
53 Not recorded.
59 Not recorded.
66 Not recorded.
DIVERSITY AND EXPANSION IN THE ARVAL ACTA 157
69 Not recorded.
72 Not recorded.
81 Ti. Iulio
Montano,
L. Vettio Paullo
co(n)s(ulibus)
XVI
k(alendas) Iun(ias) magisterio
C.
Iuni
Mefitani/ collegi
fratrum Arvalium
sacrificium, quod conceptum est,
in domo
Iuni/
Mefitani
per magistrum
et ceteros
sacerdotes;
item iterum
epulantes ad/ magistrum, pueris
ingenuis
senatorum filiis
patrimis
matrimis
minis/trantibus
ture et
vino,
referentibus ad aram
in
pataris/
In the
consulship
of Tiberius Iunius Montanus and Lucius Vettius
Paullus,
on
May 17,
in the
mastership
of Gaius
Junius Mefitanus,
the sacrifice of the
college
of Arval
Brethren,
which
had been
formally
announced
(was
carried
out)
in the house of Iunius
Mefitanus, by
the
master and other
priests;
then next
feasting
at the house of the
master,
with freeborn
boys,
the
sons of
senators,
whose fathers and mothers were still
alive, making offerings
with incense and
wine, taking
it to the altar in libation «¿lishes.
87 Not recorded.
89 Not recorded.
90
co(n)s(ulibus), ma]gisterio
P. Sallusti Blaesi
II,
Vili
k(alendas) Iunias/ [in
domo P.
Sallusti Blaesi
mag(istri)
II fratres Arvales
discumbejntes
sacrificium fecerunt Deae Diae ture
et
vino; pueri
senatorum fili
patrimi/ [matrimi praetextati
cum
publicis
ad aram ret-
tulerunt]./
In the
consulship
of
,
in the
mastership
of Publius Sallustius Blaesus for the second
time,
on
May 25,
in the house of Publius Sallustius
Blaesus,
master for the second
time,
the
Arval
Brethren, reclining
at
dinner, performed
a sacrifice with incense and wine.
Boys,
the sons
of
senators,
whose fathers and mothers were still
alive, wearing togae
with a
purple border,
took it to the altar.
105 C. Iulio Basso
[Cn. Afrjanio
Dextro
co[(n)s(ulibus)/
XVI
k(alendas)] Iun(ias),/
in domo
aput
M.
[Valerium
Trebicium
Decijanum mag(istrum) [frjatres Ar/vales sacrififcium
Deae
Diae
ture]
vino
fecerunt, ibique/
discumbentes
[toralibus segmenta]
tis
[sa]crificium ture/
vino
fecerun[t.
Pueri
patrimi
matrimi
prae]textati
cum
pu/blicis
ad
ara[m
rettulerunt Cornelius
Dola]
bella
Verania/[nus ],
D. Valer
[ius Valeriu]s
Catullus
Mes[sallinu]s,
T.
Vin[ spo]rtulis cenatum/ [est
denaris centenis. In
colleg(io)]
adfuerunt M.
Valerius
Trebicfius Decianus,
L.
Maecius/ P]ostumus,
Ti. Iulius Candidus
Mfarius Celsus,
P.
Metilius/ Sab]inus Nepos,
Ti. Iulius
Candidus, Q.
Fulvius
[Gillo Bittius]/ Proculus,
Ti.
Catius Caesius
Fronto,
C. Antius A. Iulius
[Qua]/dratus,
C. Caecilius
Strabo./
In the
consulship
of Caius Iulius Bassus and Cnaeus Afranius
Dexter,
on
May 17,
in the house
of Marcus Valerius Trebicius
Decianus,
the
master,
the Arval Brethren
performed
a sacrifice
to Dea Dia with incense and
wine;
and there
reclining
at dinner on decorated couch
covers,
they performed
a sacrifice with incense and wine.
Boys
whose fathers and mothers were still
alive, wearing togae
with a
purple border, along
with the
public slaves,
took it to the
altar,
Cornelius Dolabella Veranianus
,
Decimus Valerius
,
Valerius
Catullus
Messallinus,
Titus Vin
They
dined on a
sportula
of a hundred denarii
each. Present in the
college
were Marcus Valerius Trebicius
Decianus,
Lucius Maecius
Postumus,
Tiberius Iulius Candidus Marius
Celsus,
Publius Metilius Sabinus
Nepos,
Tiberius
Iulius
Candidus, Quintas
Fulvius Gillo Bittius
Proculus,
Tiberius Catius Caesius
Fronto,
Caius Antius Aulus Iulius
Quadratus,
Caius Caecilius Strabo.
158 MARY BEARD
218
[isdem co(n)s(ulibus)
VI
kal(endas) Iun(ias)
in Palatio
in] divor(um) per
Alfenium
Avitianum
promag(istrum) fratr(es) Arv(ales) prima/ [luce
ture et vino fecerunt
et] frug(es)
arid
(as)
et
virid(es)
con
tiger (unt)
et
panes laureatos,
et Deam
Diam/ [unguentaverunt,
et
fratres
Arv]al(es)
cathedris conseder
(unt)
traetextati
(sic
-
for
praetextati)
et ibi
praetextas
deposuerunt/ [Alfenius
Avitianus
prom] ag (is ter), Catil(ius) Severus, Statil(ius) Silianus,
Sulpic(ius) Pollio, Fl(avius) Archelaus, Armenius/ [Peregrinus, ]us Fl(avius)
Alpinus.
Item
post merid(iem)
a balneo cathedris
consederunt; deinde/ [manibus
lautis
c]enatoria
alba
sumpser(unt)
et in
tricliniarib(us) discubuer(unt)
et
epulati
sunt. Item
pueri/
[praetextati pat]rimi
et matrimi
senator(um)
fili
n(umero)
IIII in cathedius
(sic
-
for
cathedris)
consederunt et
epulati sunt./ [Fratres Ar]
vales tost
epulap (sic
-
for
post epulas) super
toralibus
segmentatis discubuer(unt)
et
t(ure) v(ino) f(ecerunt)
et
per pueros praetext(atos)/
[senat]orum
filios et
public(os)
af
(sic
-
for
ad)
aram
pertul(erunt)
et
unguent(a)
et coronas
acceperunt
et in
mantelis/ [pulm]enta r(ur)s(us) contigerunt.
Item mensa secunda bellario-
r(um)
divisa
est,
et
sportulas acceper(unt) sacerdotes/ Imp(eratoris) Aug(usti)
et ceteri
sacerdotes
q(ui) s(upra) s(cripti) s(unt)
et
rosa(m) soluta(m) diviser(unt), ibique felic(ia)
dixer(unt).
In the same
consulship,
on
May 27,
on the Palatine in the
temple
of the
Divi, through
Alfenius
Avitianus,
the
promaster,
the Arval
Brethren,
at first
light performed
a sacrifice with incense
and wine and consecrated
(by touching) parched
corn and
green
corn and bread decked with
laurel and anointed
(a
statue
of)
Dea Dia and the Arval Brethren sat down in
chairs, wearing
their
togae
with a
purple
border and then
they put
aside their
togae
with a
purple
border
-
Alfenius Avitianus
promaster,
Catilius
Severus,
Statilius
Silianus, Sulpicius Pollio,
Flavius
Archelaus,
Armenius
Peregrinus, us,
Flavius
Alpinus.
Then after
midday,
following
a
bath, they
sat down in
chairs; thereupon, having
washed their
hands, they put
on
their white dinner dress and
they
reclined on the
covering
of the couches and feasted. Likewise
boys wearing
the
toga
with a
purple border,
whose fathers and mothers were still
alive,
the
sons of
senators,
four in
number,
sat down on chairs and feasted. The Arval
Brethren,
after the
feast,
reclined on decorated couch covers and
they performed
a libation with incense and wine
and
they conveyed
it to the altar
through
the
boys, wearing
their
togae
with a
purple border,
the sons of
senators,
and
through
the
public
slaves and
they
received
perfumes
and wreathes
and
they again
consecrated
(by touching) portions
of food in
napkins.
Then the second course
of dessert was distributed and the
priests
of
Emperor Augustus (sc.
the
reigning emperor)
and
the other
priests
who are written above received
sportulae,
and
they
distributed the individual
petals
of a rose and then
they
wished each other
good
fortune.
APPENDIX III: THE RECORD OF THE SECOND DAY OF DEA DIA
FESTIVAL
I include below the full records
(with translation)
of the second
day
of the Dea Dia festival of 38
and,
in
striking contrast,
218.
38
a(nte) d(iem)
IIII
k(alendas) Iunias/
Taurus Statilius Corvinus
promagister collegii fratru[m
Arvalium]/
nomine in luco Deae Diae vaccam
inmolavit;/
eodem die
eodemque
loco C.
Caesar
Augustus Germanicufs magister]/ collegii frat(r)um
Arvalium cum
Appio
Silano
flaminfe
Deae
Diae]/ agnam opimam
inmolavit et
signum
misit
quadrigfis]/
et
desultoribus./
Adfuerunt Paullus Fabius
Persicus,
Cn. Domitius
Ahenobarbus,
M.
Furfius]/ Camillus,
C.
Caecina
Largus,
L. Annius
Vinicianus,
C.
Calpurnius Piso./
On
May 29,
Taurus Statilius
Corvinus, promaster
of the
college,
in the name of the Arval
Brethren,
sacrificed a cow to Dea Dia in the
grove;
on the same
day
and in the same
place
Caius Caesar
Augustus Germanicus,
master of the
college
of Arval
Brethren, along
with
Appius Silanus,
the
flamen,
sacrificed a fat lamb to Dea Dia and
gave
the
signal
to the four-
horse chariots and the
leapers.
Present were Paullus Fabius
Persicus,
Cnaeus Domitius
DIVERSITY AND EXPANSION IN THE ARVAL ACTA 159
Ahenobarbus,
Marcus Furius
Camillus,
Caius Caecina
Largus,
Lucius Annius
Viniciañus,
Caius
Calpurnius
Piso.
87 See text above
(p. 122,
record of XIIII
k(alendas) lun(ias)),
with translation
(p. 124).
218 Item IIII
kal(endas) Iuniap (sic
-
for
Iunias)/
in luco Deae Diae Alfenius Avitianus
promag-
(ister)
ad aram
immol(avit) porcil(ias) piacul(ares)
II luci
coinq(uiendi) etoperis/faciund(i);
ibi
vacc(am) honor(ariam) imm(olavit)
et inde in
tetrastylo revers(us)
subsellis
consed(it).
deinde reversus ad
aram/
extn
(sic
-
for
exta)
reddidit
porcillar(es) (sic
-
for
porciliares)
. Item
in circo in fóculo
arg(enteo) cespiti
ornato extam
vacc(am) redd(idit),
et in
tetrstylo/
reversus
est,
et in codice
cavit,
et
praetextam deposuit,
et in
papilione
suo reversus. Promeridie
autem/
fratres Arvales
praetextas acceper(unt)
et in
tetrastylo
convenerum
(sic
-
for
convenerunt)
et
subsellis consederunt et cacerunt
(sic
-
for
caverunt)/
se adfuisse et sacrum
fecisse,
et
porcilias
piaculares epulati
sunt et
sanguem postea.
Inde
praetextati/ capite
velato vittas
(sic
-
for
vittis) spiceis
coronati lucum ascenderunt et
per Alfen(i)um
Avitianum
promag(istrum)
agnam/opimam imm(olaverunt)
et
hospae
litationem
inspexer(unt).
Perfecto sacriflro
(sic
-
for
sacrificio)
omnes ture et vino fecerurft.
Deinde/
reversi in aedem in mensa sacrum fecerunt
otiis
(sic
-
for
ollis)
et ante aedem in
cespite promag(ister)
et
flam(en) sacr(um) fecer(unt)./
Item foras ad aram reversi thesauros
dederunt;
item
flam(en)
et
promag(ister) scyfos
arg(enteos)
cum
sumpuis/
vino
repletis
ante osteum acerras
(ferentes)
ture et vino
fecer(unt),
et ante osteum restiteriet
(sic
-
for restiterunt
et)
duo ad
fruges petendas/
cum
públicos (sic
-
for
publicis)
desciderunt et reversi dextra
dederunt,
laeva
receperunt;
deinde ab
(sic
-
for
ad)
alterutrum sibi
redd(iderunt),/
et
public(is) frug(es) tradider(unt).
Deinde in aedem
intraver(unt)
et ollas
precati sunt,
et osteis
apertis per
clivum
iacta/verunt,
deinde subsellis
marmoreis
consed(erunt)
et
panes laureat(os) per public (os) partiti
sunt: ibe
(sic
-
for
ibi)
omn(es) lumemulia/
cum
rapinis acceperunt
et deas
unguentaverunt,
et aedes elusa
e(st);
omnes foris
(sic
-
for
foras)
exierunt. ibi
sacerdotes/ elusi, succincti,
libellis
acceptis,
carmen
descindentes
tripodaverunt
in verba haec: Enos Lases
iuvate,/ [e]
nos Lases
iuvate,
enos Lases
iuvate. Neve luaerve
(sic)
Marma
(sic)
sins incurrere in
pleores,
neve luerve
Marmar/[si]ns
incurrere in
pleoris (sic),
neve luerve Marmar sers
(sic)
incurrere in
pleoris (sic).
Satur
fu,
furere
(sic)
Mars.
Limen/ [sal] i,
sta berber. Satur
fu,
fere Mars. Limen
sali,
sta berber. satur
fu,
fere Mars. Limen saiisia
(sic) berber./ [Sem]unis
al temei
advocapit conctos,
semunis
alternei
advocapit conctos,
simunis
(sic)
alternie
(sic) advocapit/ [conetjos.
Enos Marmor
iuvato,
enos Marmor
iuvato,
enos Mamor
(sic)
iuvato.
Triumpe, triumpe, trium/[pe,
trijumpe.
Post
tripodationem
deinde
signo
dato
publici introier(unt)
et libellos
receperunt.
[

gap
of c ? lines
]
/noiae (sic) [

ibique
felicia dixerunt et desciderunt lucum.
Depositis ]/ praetexftis
cenatoria alba
acc(eperunt)
et
i]n tetrafstylo epulati
sunt . Fercula cum
campanis
et urnalibus
mulsi
singulorum]
more
to[mpae (sic
-
for
pompae)
in
tetrastylujm transier[unt.
Post
epulas
singuli praesentes acceperunt]/ sportulas [(denarios centenos)
et rosam
s]olut(am)
acc(eperunt)
et
pa[rtiti
sunt. Deinde L. Alfenius Avitianus
promag(ister) latum]/ sumfsit]
et
ricifnium; superaccepit coronjam
taciliem
(sic
-
for
pactilem) r[oseam,
et summoto
super
carceres
ascendit]/ signumque [quadrig(is) big(is) desul]toribus misit, p[r]aeside[n-
tibus
Catilio]/ Severo,
Armen
[io Peregrino, Caesonio]
Lucíalo
(sic) [ ]t[. .],
Novo
(sic) [Severo
Pio ad
cretam.]/
Deinde
peractfis circensib]us
Romae
[reversi?]
et in
domu[ mag(istri)
cenatoria]/
alba
acceper(unt)
et
[discumbentes
toralibus
segmentatis ture]
et vino
fecer[unt,
ministrantibus
pueris]/ patrim(is)
et
mat[rimis
senatorum filis
q(ui)] supra;
et
sacrificio
peracto unguenta
et
coronas]/ accep(erunt)
et
mantelfis pulment(a)
rursus
con] tiger (unt)
et
sportulas sing[ul]i [acceperunt (denarios centenos)]./
Mensam
secunfdam
bellariorum
diviserunt
e]t
rosam solutam
acceperu[nt ibique
felicia
dixerunt.]/
160 MARY BEARD
Then on
May 29,
in the
grove
of Dea
Dia,
Alfenius
Avitianus,
the
promagister*
sacrificed at
the altar two
expiatory piglets,
in
expiation
for
polluting
the
grove
and
carrying
out the work
there;
in the same
place
he sacrificed a
cow, freely
offered and
then, returning
to the
tetrastyle,
he sat on the seats.
Then, returning
to the
altar,
he offered
up
the innards of the
piglets.
Likewise in the circus in a silver brazier adorned with turf he offered
up
the innards of the cow
and he returned to the
tetrastyle
and recorded his actions in a book and took off his
toga
with
purple
border and returned to his tent. Before
midday
the Arval Brethren took their
togae
with
purple
border and met in the
tetrastyle
and sat on the seats and recorded their
presence
and that
they
had
performed
the sacrifice and
they
dined off the
expiatory piglets
and
afterwards off their blood.
Then, putting
on their
togae
with
purple border,
with covered
heads, garlanded
with ears of
corn, they
climbed
up (the grove)
and
through
Alfenius
Avitianus the
promaster they
sacrificed a choice lamb and carried out an
inspection
of the
victim for omens. When the sacrifice was
complete, they
all
performed
a libation with incense
and wine. Then
returning
into the
temple
on the table
they performed
a sacrifice for the
jars
and in front of the
temple
on the
grass
the
promaster
and flamen
performed
a sacrifice. Then
returning
outside to the altar
they
offered
money;
then the flamen and
promaster, bringing
before the door silver
goblets
with vessels full of wine and incense
boxes, performed
a libation
with incense and
wine,
and
they stayed
in front of the
door,
and two
priests
went down to fetch
the corn with the
public
slaves
and, returning, they gave
it with their
right
hand and received
it with their
left,
then
they exchanged
it between one another and handed it over to the
public
slaves. Then
they
entered the
temple
and
prayed
to the
jars and, opening
the
doors,
threw the
jars
down the
hillside,
then
they
sat down on the marble seats and
they
shared the loaves
decorated with
laurel,
distributed
by
the
public slaves;
there
they
all took lumemulia with
turnips
and annointed the statues of the
goddesses,
and the
temple
was shut. All
(who
were
not
priests)
went
outside,
while there the
priests
shut
in, hitching up
their
togas, taking
the
books in their
hands, (singing)
the
song,
danced to these words:
Arval
Hymn
Then after the
dance,
when the
signal
was
given,
the
public
slaves entered and collected the
books.
[The missing portion
here no doubt included notice of the choice of master for the next
year]
and then
they
wished each other
good
fortune and descended the
grove. Taking
off their
togae
with
purple border, they
took
up
their white dinner dress and dined in the
tetrastyle;
in
the manner of a
procession, trays
came into the
tetrastyle
with bells
(?)
and
jars
oimulsum for
each one. After dinner each one
present
received a
gift
of a hundred denarii and
they
took the
petals
of a rose and wished each other
good
fortune. Then the
promagister (name) put
on his
broad
stripe
and
shawl;
he
put
on in addition a
garland
woven with roses and with attendants
clearing
the
way
he climbed
up
above the
starting gates
and
gave
the
signal
to the four horse
chariots,
the two horse chariots and the
leapers,
while Catilius
Severus,
Armenius
Peregrinus,
Caesonius
Lucillus,

,
Novius Severus
Pius,

,
presided
at the finish.
Then,
when the
games
were
over, they
returned to Rome and in the
house of
(name),
the
magister, they put
on their white dinner dress and
reclining
on decorated
coverlets
they performed
a libation with incense and
wine,
while
boys
of senatorial
family
whose fathers and mothers were still
alive,
waited on
them,
and when the sacrifice was finished
they
received oils and
garlands
and
they picked up
the
portions
of food
again
in their
napkins
and
they
each received a
gift
of a hundred
denarii; they
divided
up
the second course of sweets
and received the
petals
of a rose and then wished each other
good
fortune.
DIVERSITY AND EXPANSION IN THE ARVAL ACTA 161
APPENDIX IV: A COMPARATIVE EXAMPLE: BRITISH TRAVEL
WRITING IN THE SEVENTEENTH AND EIGHTEENTH CENTURIES
The
writing
of British travellers to
Italy
in the seventeenth and
eighteenth
centuries
provides
a closer
parallel
for the distinctive features of the Arval Acta than is
perhaps
at first
apparent. Although
there
are
obviously many
areas of distance and
dissimilarity,
the
literary genre
in which
early
modern
travellers recounted their
experiences abroad,
described works of
art, landscapes,
the habits of the
natives and so
forth, presents
a
pattern
of
development
which matches that of the Arval record in
important respects.
Let us return to the four distinctive features of the Arval record which I listed above
and make a
comparison:
1. Like the Arval
Acta,
travel
writing
of the seventeenth and
eighteenth
centuries forms an enclosed
group
of
texts,
associated with a
single
cultural
activity:
travel to
Italy by
members of the British elite.
2. Like the Arval
Acta,
it often fulfilled no
obviously
utilitarian function. To be
sure,
some of the
books written
by
travellers did
present
themselves as
guide-books (like
our Blue Guides or Michelin
Guides),
to
help
future visitors.1 But more sterved
principally
as a
symbolic
Validation* of the travel
undertaken
by
their author.2
3. Like the Arval
Acta,
it
expanded strikingly.
Between the seventeenth and
eighteenth centuries,
writing proliferated:
a work of
art,
for
example,
described in one or two brief sentences in the
seventeenth
century may
be
given
a
lengthy description
of 20 or 30 lines in a book written a hundred
years
later.3
4. As in the case of the Arval
Acta,
one element of the
expansion
consisted in a
growing emphasis
on the
production
of the text itself. In
particular,
later works in the series
lay
stress on the
genesis
of the
description they give
-
providing
anecdotal details
concerning
the visitor's first enunciation of his or her
reaction to the
landscape
or work of
art,
and how that reaction was converted into written text.4
Recent work
by
C. Chard on
English
travel
writing
has touched on these
aspects
of the
development
of the
genre
and has
suggested
that the
changes
in the
writing
should be associated with
the
changing
role of
foreign
travel within British
society
in the seven teeth and
eighteenth centuries;
and
more
precisely
with the
changing
social status of those
engaged
in travel and with the
changing
cultural
role of
Italy
in the
perceptions
of the British. In the seventeenth
century
the travellers and writers were
normally
themselves members of the
highest
echelons of
society, or,
at
least, they
were
directly
associated with those
echelons, perhaps
as tutors or
companions.
Travel to
Italy provided
an extra
element within a cultural and
scholarly prestige they already possessed;
it did not form or define that
prestige. By
the
mid-eighteenth century,
men and women of somewhat lower social status embarked on
journeys
to
Italy;
and
by
virtue of their
experiences there, they gained
access to a cultural
prestige they
did not
previously possess.
As a
consequence, throughout
the
upper
echelons of British
society,
travel to
'Note,
for
example, [T. Martyn],
The Gentleman's Guide in his Tour
through Italy,
with a correct
map
and directions for
travelling
in that
country (London, 1787).
*The non-utilitarian function of these works is made clear in the verbal battle between G. Baretti
and S.
Sharp;
their books did not so much offer a
practical guide
to
Italy,
but
represented
their
competing
claims to a
privileged
access to the
'foreign5. See,
for
example,
S.
Sharp,
Letters
from Italy,
describing
the Customs and Manners
of
that
Country,
In the Years 1765 and 1766. To which is
Annexed,
An
Admonition to Gentlemen who
pass
the
Alps,
in Their Tour
through Italy (London, 1766);
A view
of
the
Customs,
Manners,
Drama
of Italy,
as
they
were described in the Frusta Letteraria and in the Account
of Italy
in
English,
written
by
Mr.
Baretti; compared
with the Letters
from Italy,
written
by
Mr.
Sharp (London, 1967);
G.
Baretti,
An Account
of
the Manners and Customs
of Italy,
with observations on the mistakes
of
some travellers with
regard
to that
country (London,
1768
-
second edition
London, 1769, corrected,
with notes and an
appendix
added in answer to Samuel
Sharp, Esq.).
3See
above,
n. 107.
Compare
also the
description
of the Pantheon in
[J. Clenche]
A Tour in France
and
Italy
made
by
an
English Gentleman,
1675
(London, 1676)
-
a brief 13
lines, pp.
86-7
-
with that in
T.
Smollet,
Travels
through
France and
Italy, containing
observations on
Character, Customs, Religion, Government,
Police, Commerce,
Arts and
Antiquities (London, 1766)
-
a
lengthy
65
lines, pp.
122-5.
4Note for
example
the anecdotal detail
provided by Lady Miller,
Letters
from Italy (see
note
107) I,
455; II,
128-9.
162 MARY BEARD
Italy
came to take a different
place
in the formation of social status: the
'appropriation
of the
foreign'
(and
the
display
of that
appropriation)
became an
increasingly important, defining,
element of
high
social and cultural
prestige.
The
proliferation
of
writing
relates
closely
to this transformation. In the
seventeenth
century
travel
writing certainly provided
validation of a cultural
experience.
But the visit to
Italy,
and the account of
it,
did not define the
prestige
of the
writer,
nor
give
him or her access to a new
level of
prestige.
The
writing
was brief. In the
eighteenth century,
as a wider social
group
embarked on
travel to
Italy
and as that travel became an essential element in the definition of
prestige,
validation in
writing
of their
personal experiences
in
Italy
became more and more
important.
For it was this that
embodied the claim of the author to
high
social and cultural status. So the
writing proliferated:
not
just
one line on each
statue,
but
twenty.5
This
explanation
is
convincing precisely
because it demonstrates a link between the
changing
character of the
writing
and the
changing
cultural and social context within which that
writing
was
produced.
However distant from the documents of our
pagan priesthood
in
imperial Rome,
it serves to
make us sensitive to the
possibilities
of a
complex interrelationship
between
writing
and other elements
of social and cultural
practice.
It shows one
way
of
generating
an
explanation
for a set of
problems
similar,
in certain
respects,
to those raised
by
the Arval Acta.6
5Typical
short accounts of the seventeenth
century
are
[W. Bromley],
Remarks on the Grande Tour
of
France and
Italy Lately
Performed
by
a Person of
Quality (London, 1692)
and A Tour in France and
Italy
(see
note
3).
Later
wordy accounts,
often
by
those of
slightly
lower social
status,
include H. L.
Piozzi,
Observations and
Reflections
made in the course
of
a
journey through France, Italy
and
Germany (London,
1
789);
T.
Smollet
M.D.,
Travels
through
France and
Italy (see
note
3); J.
Moore
M.D.,
A View
of Society
and Manners
in
Italy,
with anecdotes
relating
to some eminent characters
(London, 1781).
6Throughout
this
appendix
I have been
shamelessly parasitic
on Chloe
Chard,
whose
Cambridge
PhD dissertation
{Horror
and Terror in Literature
of
the Grand
Tour,
and in the Gothic
Novel)
touches on these
issues.