rex nemorensis

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The ‘king of the grove’, i.e. Diana's grove near Aricia, at the foot of the Alban hills (see albanus mons). This priest was unique among religious officials of the Roman world, in being an escaped slave who acquired office by killing his predecessor, after issuing a challenge by plucking a branch from a particular tree in the grove. The ‘mystery’ of the priest of Nemi is the starting‐point of J. G. Frazer's The Golden Bough.

Subjects: Classical Studies.

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