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Feciales - These were sacred heralds, who proclaimed truces, treaties of peace, and declarations of war. Numa, or, according to others, Anctus Martius, institued a college of them to the number of twelve. The chief of this order of priesthood was called Pater Patratus, accomplished father. Their functions were originally intended to cause treaties to be observed, and to prevent the Romans from undertaking an unjust war. It seems probable that the Romans took from the ancient people of Latium the idea of establishing the college of Feciales. On a silver coin of the Veturia gens we see a Fecial priest, on his knees, holding a sow, which a Roman on one side, and on the other side a man of a different nation, both touch with their wands. It was thus that alliances were made between the Roman people with other states. And when the two deputies touched the sow, the Fecialis invoked Jupiter to deal as severely with those who might violate the treaty, as he, the priest himself, was about to do towards that |animal|; he then knocked it on the head with a flint stone. On a denarius of the Antestia gens a similar sacrifice of a pig is seen, to record the ratification of a treaty. See FOED P R CVM GABINIS

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