Prodigies and Expiations

Eric M. Orlin

in Foreign Cults in Rome

Published in print August 2010 | ISBN: 9780199731558
Published online September 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780199866342 | DOI:
Prodigies and Expiations

Show Summary Details


Chapter 4 focuses on the expiation of prodigies, the Romans’ attempt to repair a perceived rupture in their relationship with the gods. During the third century, especially at the height of the threat posed by Hannibal, the Romans began to accept not only prodigies occurring on Roman soil but also those occurring on the territory of their Italian allies. This mechanism reveals an important stage in the Roman response to their expansion, the beginnings of a sense of community that included the cities of Italy. The Roman belief that portents occurring on foreign soil affected the Roman state began to mark that soil as part of the Roman community. The continuation of this practice into the second and first centuries reveals the changing nature of the relationship between Rome and the Italian communities up through the Social War.

Keywords: expiation; prodigies; Italy; Rome; social war

Chapter.  12210 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Classical History

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Buy this work at Oxford University Press »

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.