The Science Work
Site is for sale:
Category: History

Festival Agonaly and Janus's cult in archaic Rome

a. N. Greshnykh


Work is presented by department of ancient history

Lomonosov Moscow State University.

The research supervisor - the doctor of historical sciences, professor I.L. Mayak

Article is devoted to a research of a question of cult identification of one of the most ancient festivals of the Roman sacral calendar - Agonaly and also reconstruction and interpretations of his rituals. On the basis of complex use of narrative, epigraphic and numismatical sources the conclusion about initial communication of all agonalny days celebrated in fasta and which are ambiguously interpreted by late antique authors with Janus's cult is drawn.

The paper is devoted to studying cult identification of one of the oldest festivities of the Roman sacral calendar - Agonalias, as well as to reconstruction and interpretation of its rituals. Basing on complex usage of narrative, epigraphic and numismatic sources, author makes a conclusion about the initial connection of all Agonalian days, marked in the fasti and ambiguously interpreted by later ancient authors, and the cult of Janus.

The question of primordial value of a sacral festival of Agonies, or Agonaly, one of the most important in the most ancient Roman religious calendar, has basic value for studying sacral and political institutes Rima of the archaic period. It represents, in essence, most

a stoyatelny problem in the course studying the most ancient Roman religion. Despite this, it still did not receive sufficient coverage in a historiography. It is explained first of all by extreme avarice and fragmentation of these late sources. Perhaps, it was promoted by opinion of such authority,

as G. Vissov claiming that four Atonal days specified in fasta "one and all treat various deities" [8, s. 25]. To define to what, it is not possible as the name of a festival does not contain a teonim but only simple designation of a sacrifice. [8, s. 25] At the same time, according to G. Vissova, it indicates deep archaism of the festival. This point of view was approved in a historiography to this day as still there is no special work devoted Agonaliyam. We share opinion G. Vis - owls concerning Agonaly's antiquity. As for the main thesis, after hundred years after his statement, it is necessary to make, apparently, an attempt to reconsider it and to understand whether really available data of different types of sources allow to carry with bigger or smaller degree of accuracy of Agonaliya to a cult of any certain deity.

The main sources containing information on the problem interesting us are works by the Roman historians, poets and, mainly, antiquaries whose data go back to very early primary sources (pontifikal-ny annals, indigitament, works of experts on sacred history) and also epigraphic monuments, - fasta. As auxiliary we address and graphic monuments. Considering the conservatism characteristic of the Roman religious institutes, the designated istochnikovy base is represented reliable and at the heart of deserving trust.

So, fasta contain four atonal days: On January 9 (CIL. I2 Fast. Maff.; Fast. Praen.), on March 17 (CIL. I2, Fast. Vat.), on May 21 (CIL. I2, Fast. Ven.; Fast. Maff.; Fast.

Esqv.), on December 11 (CIL. I2, Fast. Maff.; Fast. Praen.; Fast. Amit.; Fast. Ant.). The tradition defines Agonaliya as feriae stativae (Macr., S., I,16,4,6: "... stativae sunt... in quibus praecipue servantur Agonalia, Carmentalia, Lupercalia"), thus, the specified dates are motionless. But in epigraphic and narrative sources the difference in opinions on the issue of attribution of a festival is observed. These traditions testify to unambiguous accessory of the first of days to Janus (Ovid., F., I,317-318: "Quattuor adde dies ductis ex ordine Nonis, / Ianus Agonali luce piandus erit"). On accessory of the last there is no direct instruction. The second and third agonalny days are carried, respectively, to Mars (Macr., S., I, 4, 15: "Masurius etiam secundo Fastorum: Liberalium dies inquit a pontificibus agonium Martiale appelatur") and to Vediovis (CIL. I2, Fast. Ven), but only nominally and not unanimously. Any specific rituals sent in these days to called gods are not known. In general, when ancient authors undertake to connect Agonaliya with any concrete cult, steadily point only to Janus. Thus, Janus - the only deity to which at least one of atonal days - is absolutely precisely devoted January 9. Other three unambiguous and reliable identifications in sources have no. Such provision only underlines relevance of a question.

First of all we will look what data are provided in our order by antique authors about atonal festivals in general, without concerning concrete dates, mainly - about origin of the name. We find the earliest certificate at Varron: "Agonalny day in which the Tsar in Regiya sacrificed

a ram, it was called from & #34; агона" as in it [deity] was questioned by the first person in the state, and the leader of herd was sacrificed" (L.L., VI. 12: "Dies Agonales per quos rex in regia arietem ummolat, dicti ab "agon", eo quod interrogatur a principe civitatis et princeps gregis immolatur"). At once several options of etymologies are offered by Ovidy (it is necessary to notice that this fragment is given in the I book where it is about Agonaliyakh on January 9, but the reasoning has obviously general character):

This day, maybe, on the priest with podpoyasky which is designated

Makes a sacrifice to gods and kills it, - Because, having bared the knife and being going to strike it, He says: "I will strike" or

its "agone"? Or because the cattle to an altar is adjusted - "agantur", this day in the afternoon of the Agon - was designated

liya at us?

Think also that in old time it we ovchit - "agnalny" it was called, the same word, but only with the admission of a letter of one. Or because in water the victim of knives sees reflection, Can on fear of the cattle called

to be this day? It is also possible that put this

it is called on the Greek games In old time when games happened

in the course.

The classic language called then

"agonaliya" herd; In it, in my opinion, sense true

words it is hidden. Anyway there, but priest

Supreme is obliged to sacrifice to gods the husband

woolly sheep. (F., I, 319-334).

F. Petrovsky Lane

(Nominis esse potest cuccintus causa


Hostia caelitibus quo feriente cadit,

Qui calido strictos tincturus sanguine


Semper agatne, rogat, nec nisi iussus

Pars, quia non veniant pecudes, sed

agantur ab actu,

Nomen Agonalem credit habere diem.

Pars putat hoc festum priscis Agnalia


Una sit ut proprio littera dempta loco.

An, quia praevisos in aqua timet hostia


A pecoris lux est ipsa notata metu?

Fas etiam, fieri solitis aetate priorum

Nomina de ludis Graeca tulisse diem.

Et pecus antiquus dicebat Agonia


Veraque iudicio est ultima causa meo.

Utque ea non certa est, ita rex placare


Numina lanigerae coniuge debet ovis.

Ovid., F., I, 319-334).

The short, but substantial definition is available in Pavel Diakon's excerpts from the dictionary of the Festival: "Agonalny was called that day in which the Tsar made an atoning sacrifice, the sacrificial animal ancient was called & #34; агониа". Considered also that god who directs business management, and Agonaliya - his holiday is called agonalny. Or because hills called Agons, and Agonies - sacrifices which were made on the hill..." (Fest., P., Ago-nium: "Agonium dies appellabatur, quo rex hostiam immolabat; hostiam enim antiqui agoniam vocabant. Agonium etiam putabant deum dici praesidentem rebus agendis; Agonalia eius festivitatem. Sive quia agones dicebant montes, Agonia sacrificia, quae fiebant in monte..."). The following article serves kind of as an explanation to just

given: "Agonium is the game called because the place in which these games were held initially was without corners; holidays of this place were called Agons" (Fest., P., Agonium: "Ago-nium id est ludum, ob hoc dictum, quia locus, in quo ludi initio facti sunt, fuerit sine angulo; cuius festa Agonalia dicebantur").

The similar explanation contains at Ioann Lida (perhaps, it is explained by existence of the general primary source): "The Agon and an agonia is called the place in the form of a circle which does not have corners, on similarity (outlines) of which also on winners round wreathes were laid. Three obelisks represent three elements of the nature: water, fire, the earth because over them some death are valid. Thereof the myth attributes a trekhgolovost to a dog of Pluto, like three elements because air - life-giving. Thus, by these obelisks it is shown that agonies were founded kind of in honor of the dead for the fatherland" (Lyd., De mens., III, 15).

Existence in the given fragments of such number of contradictory versions finds ambiguity of origin of the name of Agonaly already for Romans, and since quite early time. The majority of the offered etymologies are unreliable, and at times and are simply naive as, for example, Fest and Ioann's aspiration Lida to explain this name with lack of corners at the sacred site where the ceremony was carried out. It is unlikely have under themselves a basis and the quoted Ovidiya's reasonings. The most plausible submit the versions which are contained in the first of two articles of the Festival and also at Varron. The possible origin of a word from designation of a sacrifice is confirmed by one more passage of the Festival: "The victims consider the called agonies from & #34; агендо" (actions)" (Fest., P., Agonias: "Agonias hostias putant ab agendo dictas"). Agonaly's communication from tops -

the ny deity, Varrona who is marked out at the same and the Festival, also has under herself a real basis. In the Roman cult practice of Janus called at the beginning of any action (mainly sacral) (Cat., De agri cult. 134; Cic., De nat. deor. II, 67; Ovid., F. I, 171-174; Macr., Sat. I, 9) and also at commission of ceremonies of transition which result, according to the most ancient religious representations, was a change of an ontologic state [9, page 98-103]. Therefore it is possible to assume that the Festival means it by "god who directs business management". As an argument in favor of origin of the name Agonaliya from a concept of "execution of religious rites" (not necessarily sacrifices) also very ancient sacral formula "Hoc age!" can serve ("Do it!"), said at commission of various solemn rites (Plut., G. Mart., 25).


Thus, it is possible to approve etymological communication of the word "Agonalia" with a sort of religious rites, moreover probably not specifically certain, and with a concept of process of their execution that indicates very high antiquity of this festival. Besides, from the foggy statements of ancient authors it is possible to emit rational grain. Thanking them not always to successful attempts to interpret the name of a holiday, we have not numerous, but essential data on some aspects of its departure.

The ceremonial party of Agonaly as we see, hardly gives in to reconstruction. Sources testify (and in it they are unanimous) that these days the Tsar of Religious rites brought in Re-giya to the Supreme deity (on January 9 as it is precisely established, to Janus) in an atoning sacrifice of a ram. It can indicate association of all four days through

Janus's honoring as the significant role in departure of its public cult was assigned to the Tsar of Religious rites. Let's emphasize that certificates on these sacrifices belong in sources to Agonaliyam in general, and by no means not only to a festival on January 9. The festival also indicates an adresovannost of agonalny ceremonies to Supreme deity. However there are bases to believe that the sacrifice was not the only element of agonalsky rituals. Points existence of priestly board of Kollinsky to it saliyev, called also Agonalsky about which report Varron (L.L., VI, 14: "In libris Saliorum quorum cognomen Agonensium...") and Dionysius Galikarnassky (II, 70, 1). The tradition refers emergence of this board in Rima to rule of Numa Pompiliya or Toole Gostiliya (Liv., I, 27.7: "Tullus duodecim vovit Salios"; Quint., Inst.or., I, 10.20: "Versus quoque Saliorum habent carmen. Quae cum omnia sint a Numa rege instituta, faciunt manifestum ne illis quidem, qui rudes ac bellicosi videntur, curam musices, quantam illa recipiebat aetas, defuisse"; Serv., Aen., VIII, 285: "Horum numerum Hostilius addidit..."). However, according to modern researchers, the origin of this board is much more ancient and originates in dorimsky time [6, p. 53-78; 10, with. 252-253]. It is obvious that, at least, in agonalny days of a saliya did not make a sacrifice - it was made by the Tsar of Religious rites, so their participation in Agonaliyakh was expressed in something other. The festival tells that saliya performed sacred chants in honor of various deities, each of which was called on the corresponding teonim. One of types of these chants carried Yanualiya's name (Fest., P., Axamenta: "Axamenta dicebantur carmina Saliaria, quae a Saliis sacerdotibus canebantur, in universos

homines composita. Nam in deos singulos versus facti a nominibus eorum appellaban-tur, ut Ianuli, Iunonii, Minervii"). Obviously, their texts remained in the fragments given in the treatise Varrona (De L.L., VII, 26: ". in carmine Saliorum sunt haec:. Ian cusianes duonus cerurses. Dunus Ianusue vet pom melios eum recum"). According to Serviya, the round Rima on line a pomeriya and worship entered a round of the religious rites performed saliya-m during it to altars, including, probably, and Janus (Serv., Aen., VIII, 285: "Salii sunt, qui tripudiantes aras circumibant"). The ceremony of a circular round of the city carried as it is possible to claim with confidence, very ancient magic character. Fest and Ioann Lid, as it was shown, define Agonaliya as the certain "games" held in the ancient time on the sacred site. Details of their description (in particular, strictly established round shape of the sacred site) and also ambiguity of the last demonstrate deep archaism of a ceremony, though do not clear up details of its departure. Everything told certifies, in our opinion, difficult and extremely archaic nature of a festival of Agonaly.

The following Agonalny day - - in the majority of sources is designated on March 17 as the holiday Liberaly devoted to Bacchus (CIL. I2, Fast. Maff., Fast. Farn., Fast. Vat.; Ovid., F., III, 713-790). But Vatican fasta and also Varron (L.L., VI, 14: "In libris Saliorum quorum cognomen Agonensium forsitan hic dies [Liberalia] ideo appelletur porius Agonias") and Makro-by (S., I, 4, 15: "Masurius etiam secundo Fastorum: Liberalium dies inquit a pontificibus agonium Martiale appellatur") designate it as Agonalny. At the same time Makroby with reference to "Fasta" of Masuriya reports that day Liberaly was designated by pontiffs "Agonies of Mars", and Varron, approving the same, ssy-

it is barked at sacred books by Agonalsky saliyev. It follows from this that they really performed the rituals in a festival on March 17 (it is confirmed also by Polibiya's words that saliya sent the ceremonies all thirty March days (Polyb., Hist., XXI, 13, 11-13)). But the principal value has that saliya since the most ancient time served a cult not only Mars, but also Janus that appears from them chants, extremely archaic on language, where Janus is called as "god of gods" and "the kind creator" (Varro, L.L., VII, 26: "... in carmine Saliorum sunt haec: ".Ian cusianes duonus ceruses. Dunus Ianusue uet pom melios eum recum"; Macr., S., I, 9, 14: [IanumSaliorum quoque antiquissimus carminibus deorum deus canitur") and also from honoring by Kollinsky, Agonalsky saliya of Mars of Kvirin and Janus Kviri-n [4, s. 148-149], embodying civil, "peace" and military aspects of life of the Roman community, and the last - and actually transition from war to the world.

Also such detail attracts attention: On March 17 baked sacred pie - "liba" (Ovid., F., III, 733-734: "Nomine ab auctoris ducunt libamina nomen/Libaque, quod sacris pars datur inde focis"). In the dictionary of the Festival at the same time the yanuala - a type of a liba which was sacrificed only to Janus" (Fest., P., Ianual is told about existence ": "Ianuai libi genus, quod Iano tantummodo libatur"). Thus, at the heart of Agonaly's ceremonies elements of honoring of Janus are clearly visible on March 17 - along with in parallel the coexisting elements of cults of Mars and Lieber.

Reference to Janus Agonaly's cult is represented on May 21 to more disputable - because of extreme avarice and separation of data. This day is designated by Ago-nalny in Maffeyansky, Eskvilinsky and Venuziysky fasta, and in the last - with a name of Vediovis in a genetiva. That

concerns data of tradition, we find them only at Ovidiya, but they are indicative: the author is limited in two lines, urging the reader to return "to Janus", i.e. to the I book "Fastov" - January to learn there everything about Agonaliyakh which are celebrated as well in the specified day (F., V, 721-722: "Ad Ianum redeat, qui quaerit, Agonia quid sint: / Quae tamen in fastis hoc quoque tempus habent"). In Ovidiya's text there are no additional explanations of differences of this Agonalny day from other, any teonim, except Janus. It is obvious that Ovidiya has no doubts concerning Agonaly's accessory entirely to Janus's cult. Asking about Janus and Vediovis's communication, it is necessary to take into account also G. Uzener and J.J. Frezer's opinions seeing etymological identity in their names [7, s. 16, 326; 12, with. 192]. Based on these data, it is possible to assume with the known care that initially during a dorimsky era Janus and Ve-diovis represented various forms of the same deity (especially - if to take into account the justice of such assumption established above for Janus and Jupiter, as one of forms of which Vediovis [1, p was considered. 270-282; 3, p. 74-77; 8, s. 190; 13, with. 71]), or, at least, had the similar functions which were reflected in the general rituals. It is known that Vediovis's cult very much early lost the value and by the time of Ovidiya it was finally pushed into the background and it is strongly forgotten, having merged with a cult of Jupiter (Ovid., F., I, 293: "Iuppiter in parte est: cepit locus unus utrumque/iunctaque sunt magno templa nepotis avo") [13, page 71]. On the other hand, it is necessary to consider Venuziya's peripheries-nost: in this town removed from Rima the archaic cult of Vediovis could hold on longer.

As for Agonaly on December 11, here first of all follows otme-

to tit the coincidence of date of their carrying out with day of the holiday Septimontion treated by T. Mommsen as identity of these festivals [2, s. ZZb; 11, with. 143] Septi-montsy is dated in fasta unstably - 11, on December 12, but steadily designated as put Agonaly (CIL. I2. Fast. Mafíf., Fast. Praen., Fast. Amit., Fast. Ant., Fast. Prilocal., Fast. Polem. Silv.). It is known that Septimontsy was celebrated in memory of the first latino-sabinsky sinoy-kizm made, according to tradition, in the second half of the 8th century BC. One of options of tradition connects the construction of a sanctuary of Janus Dvuliky at the Roman Forum which followed signing a peace treaty between Romul and Tatsy with this phenomenon ("kind of as a sign of association of two tsars") (Serv., Aen., I, 291: "Alii dicunt Tatium et Romulum facto foedere hoc templum aedifi-asse, unde et Ianus ipse duas facies habet, quasi ut ostendat duorud regum coitionem"), put as ancient authors claimed, the beginning to association of Latin and sabinsky communities. In our opinion, existence of such version other than the steady option attributing establishment of this temple to Numa Pompiliyu can indicate initial connection of a cult of Janus with Agonal-ny festivals. Further, as Ioann Lid claims, Septimontsy, as well as Agonaliya, was devoted to "the parent and lavronosny Sun" (Lyd., De mens., frg. Caseol. p. 18). Makroby approves Janus's identity and the Sun Indigeta, referring to chants of the same saliyev (Macr., S., I, 9,9,15: "Ianum quidam solem demonstrari volunt... Saliorum quoque antiquissimus carminibus deorum deus canitur"). Considering that both epithets Lida can be surely applied to Janus - god standing at the beginning chelove-

chesky life and at the same time being honored as the first Italic tsar, topped on monetary images with a laurel wreath [5, tab. 1, 2, 3], it is possible to draw a conclusion, as on December 11 was day of honoring of Janus.

At last, possible communication December Agonaly with Janus's cult is traced in one aspect: The Kviri-nalsky hill (colles) in tradition is called Agonalny, and leaders of Kollinskiye of a collar on it - gate of Agons (Fest., P., Agonium: "... hinc Romae mons Quirinalis Agonus et Collina porta Ago-nensis") that allows to draw an analogy to board Agonalsky (Colleen-sky) saliyev, colles consisting of inhabitants, including Kvirinal. Obviously, the part of agonalny ceremonies executed by saliya occurred exactly there, near the temple of Kvirin built during Numa's government (Fest., Quirinalis

collis: "Quirinalis collis ____ quod in eo

factum sit templum Quirino..."). It is spoken well by also early syncretism of cults of Janus and Kvirin. [4, s. 148-149; 8, s. 96; 13, page 48]. Thus, on December 11 a part of ceremonies in honor of Janus was made by the inhabitants of montes making a sacrifice at tops of the hills, and a part (perhaps, in honor of Janus Kvirin's form) - inhabitants of colles, embodying and uniting all civilian population of the Roman community which was within a pomeriya to the middle of the 8th century BC

So, despite the absence of direct instructions and fragmentation of these our sources, it is possible to draw a conclusion on initial accessory Ago-naly to an archaic cult of Janus allowing inclusion of elements of honoring of deities close to it (Vediovis) or later accession of other cults (Lieber).

State regulation and support of venture business in development.


1. Cook A. Zeus. Vol. II. Cambridge, University press, 1925.
2. Corpus Inscriptionum Latinarum consilio et auctoritate Academiae litterarum regiae Borussiae editum. Ed. 1. Vol. I2. Berolini, Reimeri, 1893. 831 p.
3. Evans E. C. The Cults of Sabine Territory. New York, American Academy in Rome, 1939. 254 p.
4. Gersohel L. Saliens de Mars et Saliens de Quirinus.//Revue historique de Droit. 1950. Vol. 138. P. 145-151.
5. Grueber H. The Coins of the Roman Republic in the British Museum. Vol. III. London, British Museum, 1970. T. 1. 594 p.
6. Peruzzi E. Aspetti culturali del Lazio primitivo. Firenze, L. S. Olschki, 1978. 197 p.
7. UsenerH. Götternamen. Bonn, F. Cohen, 1896. 391 s.
8. Wissowa G. Religion und Kultus der Römer. Beck. München, 1902. 612 S.
9. Guilty A.N. Janus and "right of war": one of aspects of a cult.//Ius antiquum. Ancient right. 2000. No. 6. Page 98-104.
10. I.L. Rim lighthouse of the first tsars. Genesis of the Roman policy. M.: MSU publishing house, 1983. 266 pages
11. Mommsen T. Istoriya Rima. SPb.: Science, Yuventa, 1994. T. I. 732 pages
12. J.J. milling cutter. Gold branch. (Additional volume). M.; Kiev: Refl-buk, Vakler, 1998. 464 pages
13. E.M. Shtayerman. Social fundamentals of religion Ancient Rima. M.: Science, 1987. 318 pages
Theresa Bates
Other scientific works: