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Transfer of a thing from the human into the divine sphere was accomplished through the act of dedicatio and consecrātiō, the former indicating surrender of an object into divine ownership, the latter its transformation into a rēs sacra (‘thing consecrated’). Dedications of temples, places, and altars were legally binding only if performed by competent authorities, such as the magistrates with imperium. At dedications of temples, the dedicant held a doorpost and pronounced (without interruption, hesitation, or stumbling) a formula dictated to him by a pontifex, with other pontifices often present. It contained a precise description of the object, the ground on which it stood, and the conditions of its use, with a written record as the title‐deed.

Subjects: Classical Studies.

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