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Please add updates or make corrections to the NumisWiki text version as appropriate.
Quindecimviri - The sacerdotal functionairies thus named were, according to Livy, the specially appointed keepers of the Sybylline books, which were first entrusted to the care of two officials (duumviri) by King Tarquin the Proud; afterwards (c. 367 BC) their number was increased to ten, under the name of Decemviri sacris faciundis, that part shuld be of the plebian and part of the patrician order. Lastly, Syla increased the Decemviri to fifteen (quindecimviri), who were instituted in the same manner as pontiffs; and their chief was called Magister Collegii. The dignity was for life, and it exempted its possessors from military service and from every other civil office. Besides gaurding with myterious care the oracles of heaven, which the superstitious Romans believed to be contained in the volumes of the Sybils, and which were consulted, by order of the senate, in times of actual calamity or of impending danger to the state, these magistrates were, moreover, charged with the celebration of the secular games and also the games of Apollo (Apollianarian games).

The memory of the Quidecimviral order of priests is preserved on a silver coin of Vitellius, the reverse of which presents a tripod, upon which a dolphin, and below a crow, with the inscription XV VIR SAC FAC (Quindecemvir Sacris Faciundis (one of fifteen appointed to superintend sacred things). "the whole type of this coin (says Eckhel) belongs to Apollo -- the tripod symbolising the oracles of the Pythoness, and the dolphin and crow being (as everybody knows) sacred to Apollo. -- Augustus, when he was himself quindecimvir, was honoured with that title, on a silver coin of Mesoinius Rufus, in the field of which on the one hand is XV; on the other side SF and on a cippus is inscribed IMP CAES AVG LVD SAEC, that is to say Imperator Caesar Augustus Ludos Saeculares (fecit being understood) Quindecimvir Sacris Feciundis: because the Quindecimvirate had the care of the greater public sports, and at the secular games distributed the lustralia (or perfumes for purification) to the people. -Eckhel, in corroboration of this fact, hapily quotes the authority of Tacitus: "Collegio XVvirorum antiquitus ea cura: and as happily that of Horace, who has immortalised the secular games and the Quindecimviri in his ode "Quindecim Diana preces virorum curet. Doct. Num. Vet. vol vi p 102.

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