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attributes, and was joined with Isis in worship. The cult had gained fame for cures at Alexandria and had reached Rome with its prestige enhanced by the success it had won in Greece.279
Serapis, celebrated as a healer, was easily the leader of all the foreign healing deities who came to Rome in rivalry with Esculapius, whether claiming his name or arrogating an equality in therapeutic powers; and his methods were singularly like those in vogue in the cult of the Greek Asklepios at Pergamon and elsewhere, which had been adopted at Alexandria.280 Its essential features were incubation, either by the patients themselves, by friends, or by priests, with hieratic interpretation, divination, magic formulas and incantations, medicines, diet, and general hygienic measures. Suppliants, after undergoing a ceremonial purification, made sacrifices before passing the night in the temple; and while they slept, the god and his attendants visited them, often touched the diseased part, and applied some remedy. Dreams and visions were interpreted; and if the cure had not been effected by a miracle, the divine directions for healing were followed (Iamblichos, de Mysteriis, iii, 3; Artemidoros, iv, 22). Many of the priests of Isis and Serapis are said to have been educated physicians who prescribed for the patients according to their technical knowledge and pursued a systematic treatment.281
Isis, who was invoked by women, especially for the troubles peculiar to their sex, conferred fertility and gave nursing mothers full breasts; while nursing women applied at the temple for employment, and after swearing that they were free from all disease, underwent a complete and searching physical examination by the priests.
279 J. G. Milne, "Græco-Egyptian Religion," in ERE vi, 376-378. 280 Wissowa, op. cit., pp. 351-359; also Bruzon, op. cit., p. 137. 281 Bruzon, loc. cit.
If approved, the priests consecrated the first milk pressed from the breasts, and the women remained as wet-nurses, for hire if free women, or for sale if slaves.281
The walls of the temples of Isis and Serapis were adorned by numerous votive tablets, inscriptions, and anatomical models, many of which were of the male and female genital organs.22 One of the inscriptions was the gift of a man named Saurana in recognition of the cure of his son;283 and another text declares that Serapis directed two sick men to go to Vespasian and allow him to touch the one with his spittle and the other with his foot, thus healing blindness and a crippled hand (Suetonius, Vita Vesp., 7; Tacitus, Hist., iv, 81). A votive medallion to Serapis has been found showing the mystic tripod and the attributes of Esculapius. The tripod is supported upon a vase standing on the heads of three rams and encircled by a serpent whose head is raised above the vase as if to partake of its contents; and at the base are three cocks eating sacred barley.284
The following inscriptions, expressing thanks to these deities for a return of health, have been found:285
Isi. sacr. L. Magius. Phileas. Vi. Vir. Aquil. ob. salut. Grattiani. Filii. et. Grattiæ.
Isidi. et. Serap. sacrum. ex. voto. pro. filioli. salute. suscepto. Saurana. fecit.
I.S.I.P.D.M. Isidi. salutari. pro. sal. Q. Vergilii. Modesti. Cassia. Mat. V.S.D.
Serapis was usually represented with the emblems of Esculapius, the serpent and staff; and on an ancient
282 F. Buret, "La Médecine chez les Romains avant l'ère chrétienne," in Janus, 1896, i, 522.
283 Kissel, in Janus, 1848, iii, 670; also Sprengel, op. cit., i, 184. 284 Sprengel, op. cit., i, 183, 185.
285 Kissel, loc. cit.
monument the god is shown with the serpent coiled around his body and an aureole upon the head.284
(For the history of the cult in Rome and for its general character, see under the heading Isis.)
Supplement to Chapter VII.
THE following are a few examples of minor Roman functional deities and numina who supervised some of the less prominent spheres of divine activity, with prescribed subdivision of duties, as illustrated by auxiliary divinities in the cults of Iuno Lucina and Diana, especially in relation to protection, physiological processes, and human development; of (A) conception, gestation, and birth, and (B) the care and growth of children from infancy to the maturity of adult life.
(A) Minor Deities and Numina Associated
ANTEVORTA, Porrima, Prorsa, and Prosa were practically identical and were invoked for head presentations and easy delivery (Macrobius, Saturnalia, I, vii, 20; Ovid, Fasti, i, 633-636; Varro, apud Aulus Gellius, XVI, xvi, 4 ff.).
AVERRUNCUS was a deity who guarded women during parturition and afterwards from the assaults of Silvanus (Varro, de Ling. Lat., VII, v, 100; Aulus Gellius, V, xii). CANDELIFERA lighted and carried the candles during confinement (Tertullian, ad Nationes, ii, 11).
CINXIA loosened the bride's girdle after marriage (Festus, p. 92).
CURITIS protected married women and gave them promise of strong children (ib., p. 147).
DECIMA, one of the Fates, guarded women during the tenth lunar month of pregnancy, determined the date of delivery, and presided over the accouchements (Aulus Gellius, III, xvi, 10-11).
DEVERRA, with Intercidona and Pilumnus, guarded the young mother from attacks of Silvanus, one striking the threshold with an axe and the other with a pestle, while Deverra swept it with a broom to prevent him from entering the house (Augustine, de Civitate Dei, vi, 9).
FEBRUA was a goddess of purification who presided over the delivery of the after-birth and over purgation (Festus, p. 85).
FEBRUUS (and Februlis) purified women to favor fecundity and coöperated with the Luperci at the Lupercalia to drive away the hostile spirits that prevented impregnation. What Februlis did for women Februus did for men (ib.).
FLUONIA (or Fluona) stopped the menses after conception and prevented hemorrhages during pregnancy (Paulus, p. 92).
INTERCIDONA guarded the navel and coöperated with Pilumnus and Deverra in protecting the lying-in woman against Silvanus (Augustine, loc. cit.).
MENA presided over menstruation, inducing it during adolescence, and remaining idle during pregnancy (Augustine, op. cit., iv, 11; vii, 2-3).
NONA, one of the Fates, coöperated with Decima in determining the proper date of birth (Varro, apud Aulus Gellius, III, xvi, 10; Tertullian, de Anima, 37).
NUMERIA, the goddess of counting, was also the divinity of speedy, successful births (Varro, apud Nonius, p. 352). OPIGENA, a divine midwife, aided in child-birth, particularly in the cult of Iuno Lucina (Festus, p. 200).
PARTULA presided over the delivery and placed the binder (Tertullian, loc. cit.).
PERFICA was a completing goddess who presided over coition (Arnobius, adversus Nationes, iv, 131).
PERTUNDA presided over the first coition (Arnobius, loc. cit.; Augustine, op. cit., vi, 9).
POPULONA, a phase of Iuno, protected against devastation and promoted an increase in population (Augustine, op. cit., vi, 10).
PORRIMA, see Antevorta.
POSTVORTA presided over breech presentations (Varro, apud Aulus Gellius, XVI, xvi, 4 ff.).
PREMA presided over the coition of newly married couples (Augustine, op. cit., vi, 9, note 3).
PRORSA (or Prosa), see Antevorta.
SENTINUS and Sentina gave the embryo sensation (Tertullian, ad Nationes, ii, 11; Augustine, op. cit., vii, 2-3). SUBIGUS was the tutelary god of the wedding night (Augustine, op. cit., vi, 9).
VAGITANUS opened the mouth for the first cry and promoted breathing and squalling (Varro, apud Aulus Gellius, XVI, xvii, 2).
VITUMNUS bestowed upon the child the faculty of life (Tertullian, loc. cit.; Augustine, op. cit., vii, 2-3).
(B) Minor Deities and Numina Associated with the Care and Growth of Children from Infancy to Maturity. ABEONA watched over the goings of the child (Augustine, op. cit., iv, 21; vii, 3).
ADEONA Watched over the comings of the child (Augustine, loc. cit.).