Onomata

roma-amor

Τῇ πρὸ δεκαμιᾶς Καλενδῶν Μαΐων ὁ Ῥωμύλος τὴν Ῥώμην ἐπόλισε, πάντας τοὺς πλησιοχώρους συγκαλεσάμενος ἐντειλάμενός τε αὐτοῖς ἐκ τῆς ἑαυτῶν χώρας βῶλον ἐπικομίσασθαι, ταύτῃ πάσης χώρας δεσπόσαι τὴν Ῥώμην οἰωνιζόμενος· αὐτός τε ἱερατικὴν σάλπιγγα ἀναλαβών (λίτουον δ’ αὐτὴν πατρίως Ῥωμαίοις ἔθος καλεῖν ἀπὸ τῆς λιτῆς) ἐξεφώνησε τὸ τῆς πόλεως ὄνομα, πάσης ἱερατικῆς τελετῆς ἡγησάμενος. Ὀνόματα δὲ τῇ πόλει τρία, τελεστικὸν ἱερατικὸν πολιτικόν· τελεστικὸν μὲν <Amor> οἱονεὶ Ἔρως, ὥστε πάντας ἔρωτι θείῳ περὶ τὴν πόλιν κατέχεσθαι, διὸ καὶ Ἀμαρυλλίδα τὴν πόλιν ὁ ποιητὴς αἰνιγματωδῶς βουκολιάζων καλεῖ· ἱερατικὸν δὲ Φλῶρα οἱονεὶ ἄνθουσα, ὅθεν κατὰ ταύτην ἡ τῶν Ἀνθεστηρίων ἑορτή· πολιτικὸν δὲ Ῥῶμα. καὶ τὸ μὲν ἱερατικὸν πᾶσιν ἦν δῆλον καὶ  δεῶς ἐξεφέρετο, τὸ δὲ τελεστικὸν μόνοις τοῖς ἀρχιερεῦσιν ἐξάγειν ἐπὶ τῶν ἱερῶν ἐπετέτραπτο· καὶ λόγος, ποινὰς ὑποσχεῖν τινα τῶν ἐν τέλει ποτέ, ἀνθ’ ὧν ἐπὶ τοῦ πλήθους τὸ τελεστικὸν ὄνομα τῆς πόλεως ἀναφανδὸν ἐθάρρησεν ἐξειπεῖν. μετὰ δὲ τὴν ἐπὶ τῇ ἀναγορεύσει τῆς πόλεως τελετὴν ζεύξας ταῦρον μετὰ δαμάλεως περιῆλθε τὸ τεῖχος, τὸν μὲν ἄρρενα ἐπὶ τὴν τοῦ πεδίου πλευρὰν ζεύξας, τὴν δὲ θήλειαν ἐπὶ τὸ τῆς πόλεως μέρος, ὥστε τοὺς μὲν ἄρρενας τοῖς ἔξω γίνεσθαι φοβερούς, τὰς δὲ θηλείας τοῖς ἔνδον γονίμους· καὶ λαβὼν βῶλον ἐκ τῶν ἔξω τῆς πόλεως μερῶν σὺν καὶ ταῖς πρὸς τῶν ἄλλων ἐπικομιζομέναις ἐπὶ τὴν πόλιν ἠκόντιζε, ταύτῃ οἰωνισάμενος, διὰ παντὸς αὐτὴν ἐκ τῆς τῶν ἔξωθεν ἐπαυξηθῆναι συνδόσεως.
(Joannes Lydus, De Mensibus 4.73)

On the 11th day before the Kalends of May, Romulus founded Rome, calling together all the neighboring people and bidding them to bring a lump of earth from their own territory, thus presaging that Rome would be master over every region. He himself, taking up the sacred trumpet — in their language the Romans customarily called it a lituus, from litê [“prayer”] — proclaimed the name of the city, taking the lead in the whole sacred initiation. And the city had three names: an initiatory [name], a sacred [name], and a political [name]. The initiatory [name] was Amor, that is, Love [Erôs], so that all were held fast around the city by divine love — and for this reason, the poet enigmatically calls the city Amaryllis in his bucolic poetry. The sacred [name was] Flora, that is, “Flowering” [Anthousa] — hence the festival of Anthesteria [was named] in accordance with it. The political [name was] Rome. Now, the sacred name was manifest to all, and was pronounced without fear, but the initiatory [name] was entrusted to the high priests alone to pronounce at the sacred rites. And it is said that one of the magistrates once paid the penalty because he had dared to pronounce the initiatory name of the city openly, before the people. And after the initiation at the public proclamation of the city, he [i.e., Romulus] yoked a bull with a heifer and made the circuit of the walls, putting the male on the side of the plain, the female in the direction of the city, so that the males became terrifying to those outside, the females fertile for those inside. And taking a clod of earth from the region outside the city together with those that had been brought by the others, he hurled them at the city, thus presaging that it would forever increase by the contributions of those outside it. (tr. Mischa Hooker)

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