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Historical and Religious Memory in the Ancient World$
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Beate Dignas and R. R. R. Smith

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199572069

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199572069.001.0001

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Epigraphy and Ritual

Epigraphy and Ritual

The Vow of a Legionary from Sulmo

(p.181) 8 Epigraphy and Ritual
Historical and Religious Memory in the Ancient World

John Scheid

Oxford University Press

A graffito discovered in the temple of Hercules Curinus at Sulmo allows us to explore the ritual logic of the Roman vow, undoubtedly one of the most characteristic rites in Roman religion, with its specific vocabulary and timing, unlike, for example, the Christian vow. In most cases, vows — whether they are modest such as the one from the temple at Sulmo, or grand such as those we find on offerings in metal or marble — recall one aspect or phase of the rite. The text from Sulmo is one of the rare votive texts that gives us the two principal phases of the vow, announcement and fulfilment.

Keywords:   graffito, Hercules Curinus, offerings, ritual, Roman religion, Sulmo, vow, votive texts

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