eklogai

polytheist extractions

Tag Archives: mars

Censorinus, De die natali 12.2

“If music were not welcome to the immortal gods, theater spectacles would not have been established to conciliate the gods, the flute-player would not be used in all sacrifices in sacred temples, nor would a triumphal parade be conducted with the flute and horn player in honor of Mars, nor the lyre to Apollo, nor the flute and similar instruments to the Muses.” – Censorinus, De die natali 12.2

Cato, De Agricultura 139-141

“To open up a clearing, you must use the Roman rite, as follows. Do sacrifice of an expiation piglet, and say it thus: ‘Whatever god, whatever goddess you may be to whom this place is sacred, since it is proper to sacrifice the expiation swine for the taking of this sacred place, therefore, may what I do or what another by my order does be rightly done. Therefore in slaughtering for you this expiation swine I pray with good prayers that you be willing and favourable to me, to my house and household and to my children; wherefore, accept the slaughter of this expiatory piglet.’ If you want to dig there, do another Expiation. Say explicitly ‘for the purpose of working the land’. Then do some of the work on each consecutive day till all is done. If you interrupt it, or public or household holidays intervene, you must do another Expiation. You must consecrate the field as follows. Instruct Pig, Sheep and Ox to be driven all around: ‘Under the favour of the spirits and in confidence of a good outcome I entrust to you, (Manius), to consecrate by your care my farm, field and land; driving or drawing Pig, Sheep and Ox thereupon, wherever you may determine.’ First invoke Janus and Jove with wine, and say: ‘Father Mars, I ask and pray that you be ready and favourable to me, our house and household. Wherefore I have ordered Pig, Sheep and Ox to be driven all around my land and farm, so that you will prevent, ward off and avert sicknesses seen and unseen, childlessness and fruitlessness, disaster and storm; so that you will permit fruits, grains, vines and saplings to flourish and come to fruition; so that you will keep safe shepherds and flocks and give good heart and health to me, our house and household. Therefore, for the consecration and making sacred of my farm, field and land as aforesaid, accept the slaughter of this suckling Pig, Sheep and Ox.’ Repeat: ‘… therefore, Father Mars, accept the slaughter of this suckling Pig, Sheep and Ox.’ Do it with a knife. Have strues and fertum at hand. Offer immediately. As you slaughter the piglet, lamb and calf, then: ‘… therefore accept the slaughter of Pig, Sheep and Ox.’ Mars must not be named, nor must one say ‘lamb’ or ‘calf’. If all the offerings are unpromising, say it thus: ‘… Father Mars, if anything dissatisfies you in that suckling Pig, Sheep and Ox, I offer you this Pig, Sheep and Ox in expiation.’ If only one or two are doubtful, say it thus: ‘… Father Mars, since you were dissatisfied with that piglet, I offer you this piglet in expiation.’” – Cato, De Agricultura 139-141

Cato, De Agricultura 83

“Make a dedication for the health of the oxen as follows. To Mars and Silvanus, in the forest, in daytime, dedicate the following per head of oxen: 3 lb. emmer, 4 lb. fat, 4 lb. lean meat, 3 pints wine. You may place it all together in one jug; the wine, also, may be placed all in one jug. They may be offered by a slave or a free person. When they have been offered, they should be consumed, at once, on the spot. No woman must be present or see the rite. You may make this dedication each year if you wish.” – Cato, De Agricultura 83

Gregory of Tours, History of the Franks 2.20-22

“Of queen Clotild the king had a firstborn son whom the mothers wished to be baptized; she therefore persistently urged Clovis to permit it, saying, ‘The gods whom ye worship are naught; they cannot aid either themselves or others, seeing that they are images carved of wood or stone or metal. Moreover the names which ye have given them are the names of men not of gods. Saturn was a man, fabled to have escaped by flight from his son to avoid being thrust from his kingdom; Jupiter also, the lewdest practicer of debaucheries and unnatural vice, the abuser of the women of his own family, who could not even abstain from intercourse with his own sister … What powers had Mars and Mercury? They may have been endowed with magical arts but they never had the power of a divine name.’  [continues on like this for a while] Though the queen ever argued thus, the king’s mind was nowise moved towards belief, but he replied, ‘It is by command of our gods that all things are created and come forth; it is manifest that thy god availeth in nothing; nay more, he is not even proven to belong to the race of gods.’ But the queen, true to her faith, presented her son for baptism. She gave an expensive donation to the church, hoping that she might thus move god to touch the heart of her husband, which no amount of preaching could reach. The boy was duly baptized and named Ingomer, but died while yet clothed in the white raiment of his regeneration. Thereupon the king was moved to bitter wrath, nor was he slow to reproach the queen saying, ‘If the child had been dedicated in the name of my gods, surely he would have survived. But now, baptized in the name of thy god, he could not live a single day.’ The queen replied, ‘I render thanks to almighty god, creator of all things, who hath not judged me all unworthy, and deigneth to take into his kingdom this child born of my womb. My mind is untouched by grief at this event, since I know that they which be called from this world in the white clothes of baptism shall be nurtured in the sight of god.’ Afterwards she bore another son who was baptized with the name of Chlodomer. When he too began to ail, the king said, ‘It cannot but befall that this infant like his brother shall straightaway die, being baptized in the name of thy Christ.’ But the mother prayed and god ordained that the child should recover.” – Gregory of Tours, History of the Franks 2.20-22

Rescript of Maximinus Daia

“Let them look at the standing crops already flourishing with waving heads in the broad fields, and at the meadows glittering with plants and flowers, in response to abundant rains and the restored mildness and softness of the atmosphere. Finally, let all rejoice that the might of the most powerful and terrible Mars has been propitiated by our piety, our sacrifices, and our veneration; and let them on this account enjoy firm and tranquil peace and quiet; and let as many as have wholly abandoned that blind error and delusion and have returned to a right and sound mind rejoice the more, as those who have been rescued from an unexpected storm or severe disease and are to reap the fruits of pleasure for the rest of their life.” – Rescript of Maximinus Daia, quoted in Eusebius of Caesarea, Ecclesastical History 6.7.10-11