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Foedus





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Foedus - A treaty of alliance made by one people with another people. Amongst the Romans, in early times, alliances were always made by order of the People, by authority of the Senate, and through the ministration of the Feciales. The foedera, or treaties of Rome with foreign nations, are recorded on some of their consular and family coins. There is in particular a denarius which , bearing on the obverse the effigy and titles of Augustus, places before us, with beautiful destinctness, in the legend and type of its reverse, the ordained rite of forming alliances solemnised by the Romans, from which rare coin an engraving is subjoined. FOED P R CVM GABINIS C ANTIS VETVS. (on another coin, FOEDVS P R QVM GABINIS - sic).



Two men togated and veiled stand opposite each other, holding a sow over a lighted altar. Obverse: CAESAR AVGVSTVS, head of Augustus; silver of Antistia gens.

This reverse offers a type peculiar to the Antisitii, and one chosen by Antistius, a moneyer of Augustus, to indicate his connection by descent with Gabii, that ancient city of Latium. Indeed, Dionysius of Halicarnassus calls "Antistius Petro by far the most renowned of the Gabinians;" on whose death, caused by the treachery of Sextus Tarquinius, the city in question was brought under the domination of his father the King (Dinys. Hal. iii pm 255). Shortly after this event, peace having been restored, a treaty was entered into between the two people, accomplished with sacrifices and oaths; the terms of which Dionysius relates to have been preserved to his own day, inscribed in ancient characters, in the tample of Jupiter Pistius. The same writer informs us that it was an ox which was offered as a victim on the occasion; whereas the coins exhibit a paig or a sow, which assuredly was the animal usually immolated at ratifications of treaties, as Livy has expressly stated (i c 24), in whose work the entire rite and formularies are specified; and Virgil, too, elegently bears out the testimony of coins, in the passge where he records the treaty entered into between Romulus and Tatius, after the rape of the Sabines (Aen. viii 638):

Tum iidem inter se posito certamine, reges, Armati Jovis ante aras, paterasque tenentes Stabant, et casa jungebant foedera porca.

["Then, those two princes, laying aside their strife, took their stand, completely armed, beside the altar of Jupiter, each holding a patera, and having sacrificed a sow, ratified a solemn treaty."]

And Varro says (de R. R. L. ii 4) "When a treaty is ratified at the commencement of a peace, it is customary to sacrifice a pig." The lighted altar on this coin is that of Jupiter; for the name of Diespiter occurs also in the formulary used on the occasion, and this practice too was derived from the Greeks; for in Theocritus, Tiresias is found enjoining Alcmena "to sacrifice to the supreme Jupiter [Zeus] a male pig (Idyll. xxiv v 97). Homer has recorded a much more ancient usage a sacrificing a pig to Jupiter [Zeus], where he says that Agamemnon swore that he restored Briseis to Achilles inviolate (Iliad, T. 250). But Talthybius "stood (the while) beside the pastor of the people, holding in his arms a pig." The althletes in the Olympic games used, with a similar rite, to call Jupiter [Zeus] 'ORKIOS to witness, that they would resort to no fraud in their contests. The sacrifice of a sow and the ceremonial ratifying of a treaty, are expresed in nearly the same manner on coins of Acerra in Campania, and on those of the Samnites. See coins of the Veturia gens.


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