Flamen Quirinalis

Flamen Louvre Ma431.jpg
Religion in ancient Rome
Imperial cult
Glossary of ancient Roman religion

In ancient Roman religion, the Flamen Quirinalis was the flamen devoted to the cult of god Quirinus. He was one of the three flamines maiores, third in order of importance after the Flamen Dialis and the Flamen Martialis. As the other ones he had to reside in Rome and was not allowed to leave the city for any reason.

The theology of Quirinus is complex and difficult to interpret. From early times, he was identified with the deified Romulus, who originally seems to have shared some common theological and mythological elements with Quirinus.

The flamen Quirinalis presided over at least three festivals, the Consualia Aestiva on August 21, Robigalia on April 25, and Larentalia on December 23.

These festivals were all devoted to the cult of deities of remarkable antiquity: Consus has been described as the god of the stored grains (from condere, to store grains in an underground barn or silos).[1] Robigus was an evil spirit that could cause mildew and thus damage growing wheat. Larenta was a figure connected to the primordial legendary times of Rome or to the founding of the city itself.

During the Consualia Aestiva the flamen Quirinalis and the Vestals offered a sacrifice at Consus's underground altar in the Circus Maximus.[2] Four days later the Vestals took part in the rites of the festival of Ops, goddess of agricultural plenty, the Opiconsivia. This occasion was related to Consus too and was performed in the Regia of the forum, where Ops had a very sacred chapel, open only to the pontifex maximus and the Vestals.[3]

The Robigalia of April 25 required the sacrificial offering of blood and entrails from a puppy, and perhaps also the entrails of a sheep. The rite took place near the fifth milestone of the Via Claudia.[4] Ovid talks of a lucus (grove) on the site and reports a long prayer he says was pronounced by the flamen Quirinalis. While the prayer may contain elements from an actual formulation, Ovid's text is a poetic recreation.[5]

The Larentalia of December 23 were a parentatio, an act of funerary cult in memory of Larunda or Larentia. A sacrifice was offered at the site of her supposed tomb on the Velabrum. She was not a goddess but a sort of heroine, with two conflicting legends: in the first (and probably elder one) Larentia is a courtesan who had become fabulously rich after spending a night in the sanctuary of Heracles. Later she had bestowed her fortune on the Roman people on the condition that a rite named after her were held yearly. In the second she is Romulus and Remus's wet nurse, also considered the mother of the Fratres Arvales and a she wolf.[6] Gellius in a detailed passage on Larentia makes a specific reference to the flamen Quirinalis.[7] Macrobius makes reference to the presence of an unnamed flamen, "per flaminem".[8] This flamen could neither be the Dialis nor the Martialis, let alone the minores, given the nature of parentatio (funeral rite) of the festival.

This page was last edited on 30 March 2017, at 03:34 (UTC).
Reference: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flamen_Quirinalis under CC BY-SA license.

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