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wedded pair as they reached the hearth. Before the pair go a boy playing on the double-flutes and two women holding torches, who probably move round the altar, as well as another woman, who perhaps leads the way to the bridal chamber (figs. 13 and 14).
(d) Upon the day following the marriage the relations and friends brought presents to the house (étaúdia).2 · The presents consisted chiefly in objects likely to be useful to the bride, such as vases, articles of toilet, spinning implements, etc. The subject was a
favourite one with the Greek vasepainters, probable examples being the designs on E 188 in Case 35 and the toilet-box E 773 in Case H in the Third Vase Room. A still better instance occurs on the restored“ marriage bowl” E 810 in Case C in the same room, where the bride is being presented with various articles of toilet, probably on the occasion of the maúdia, though possibly in preparation for the wedding. | Cf. Schol. to Arist. Plut. 768 :
φέρε συ τα καταχύσματα ταχέως κατάχει του νυμφίου και της κόρης. 2 See Jahrb. d. arch. Inst., 1900, p. 144 ff.
Roman Marriage.--In its legal aspects Roman marriage was rather complicated, owing to the different forms by which it could be effected. In the patrician or confarreate marriage a cake of spelt was eaten at the ceremony ; in the coemptio the husband figuratively bought his bride “ with the copper and the scales "; 1 in the form called usus it was merely necessary that the pair should live together for a year. The illustrations and objects shown in these Cases deal only with certain ceremonies which were common to all forms of Roman marriage. They concern (a) the betrothal; (b) the actual wedding rites; and (©) the escorting (deductio) of the bride to the house of the bridegroom.
(a) The betrothal took the form of a solemn contract between the fathers or guardians on either side. In all Roman contracts it was customary that a pledge should be given, and this pledge often consisted in a ring. It was fitting, therefore, that a ring given to the fiancée by her betrothed should come to be a sign of the betrothal contract. It is natural to identify these rings with a series of Roman rings which have for their design two clasped right hands. An example in gold of about the third century A.D. (No. 48) is shown in this Case.
(6) The Roman bride before her wedding laid aside the dress of her girlhood (the toga praetexta), and dedicated it with her toys to the Lares, the guardian deities of her father's house, or else to Venus (see below, p. 192). She was dressed in saffron.coloured veil and saffron-coloured shoes, and had her hair parted into six locks, such as we see wound round the heads of the Vestal Virgins, who were regarded as the brides of the state. The actual ceremony consisted in the solemn clasping of hands (dextrarum iunctio), an action seen on the relief on the sepulchral chest (No. 49) placed in the lower part of this case. The inscription shows that the chest was dedicated by a freedman and imperial scribe named Vitalis to the memory of his wife Vernasia Cyclas. The ceremony is only shown in an abbreviated form on this chest, but it appears in detail on a relief from a sarcophagus in Rome here illustrated (fig. 15). The husband and wife clasp hands, and between them stands the pronuba or matron-friend of the bride, placing a hand on the shoulder of each. The roll held by the man in his left hand is perhaps the
For a possible illustration of the rite on an early Etruscan monument, see Röm. Mitt., IV., pl. 4, p. 89 ff.
? See Jordan, Tempel der Vesta, pl. 8-10, p. 43 ff. 3 See Cat. of Sculpt., III., 2307.
wedding contract. Between the pair stands the wedding-god, Hymenaeus, holding a torch. The clasping of hands was followed by a sacrifice to Jupiter, and this closed the actual wedding ceremonies. The sacrifice is represented in the illustration (No.
Fig. 15.—Roman WEDDING CEREMONY. 50; fig. 16) taken from a Roman sarcophagus. The bride and bridegroom stand by the burning altar, upon which the latter pours a libation. Behind the pair stands Juno pronuba, the presiding goddess of the wedding rites. On the right a bull is
Fig. 16.—Roman WEDDING SACRIFICE (No. 50). being led up to sacrifice, and on the left stand Venus, Hymenaeus and the Graces.
(c) When night had fallen there followed the procession, in which the bride was escorted from her father's house to that of the bridegroom, a procession described in one of the most splendid of the poems of Catullus.1 Torch-bearers and flute-players led the way, and the wedding train was accompanied by a crowd, the boys in which chanted rude jesting verses and petitioned the bridegroom for nuts. When the doorway of the house was reached, the bridegroom carefully lifted the bride over the threshold, that there might be no ill-omened stumbling. “Carry the gilded feet across the threshold,” sings Catullus, “ that the omen may be favourable.” This moment is illustrated by a scene from a Roman comedy (No. 51), taken from a lamp exhibited in Table-Case K (see below, p. 54, fig. 34). The bride is being carried on the back of a man, while a Cupid waits at the door to receive her. Within the house she received a gift of fire and water, elements so necessary to the performance of the housewife's duties, and on the day following the wedding did sacrifice at her husband's altar.
Dedications.—The practice of dedicating objects to deities was the natural outcome of gratitude for benefits received or hope of gaining future advantages. Sometimes the object offered was regarded as in the nature of a forfeit. Thus the pine archons at Athens upon entering into office took an oath to dedicate a gold statue at Delphi equal in size to themselves if they transgressed the laws. Objects were frequently dedicated in consequence of a vow. The idea involved was that the gods would be more likely to do their part of a transaction if the applicant for their benefits
No. Ixi. ? ibid., 1. 131 f. 3 Plat., Phaedr. 235 ).
promised something definite in return. This comes out most clearly in the Roman expression voti reus—“condemned to pay a vow”—applied to those whose prayer had been granted, and who now had to fulfil their promise made in time of stress and difficulty. Very frequently the vow was made by some person stricken with disease, and it is to such a cause that we owe the numerous votive offerings representing some part of the human body.
The constant streams of these offerings made the ancient temples depositories of all kinds of objects, ranging from jewels of great price and high artistic merit to the roughest terracotta figure. In the Gold Ornament Room (Case D) is a magnificent gold pin of the Ptolemaic period inscribed with a dedication to Aphrodite of Paphos, showing that the offering was the result of a vow made by Eubule, the wife of Aratos, and one Tamisa. Overcrowding led to periodical clearances of objects of the least intrinsic value. To prevent things dedicated returning to the uses of common life, they were frequently broken and thrown into heaps. This accounts for the masses of debris, consisting chiefly of terracottas and vases, which have been found within the precincts of great sanctuaries.
The vast accumulations of treasure in the various temples naturally demanded careful cataloguing and supervision on the part of the temple officials. From time to time elaborate inventories were drawn up, and (after the manner of ancient documents) inscribed on stone. Such inventories have been discovered in large numbers at Delos, Athens, and elsewhere. In the case of objects in precious metal the weights are recorded and the various members composing a piece of jewellery enumerated.
The principal objects here exhibited as illustrating the ancient custom of dedication may now be mentioned. In Wall-Case 96 is an inscription of the fifth century B.c. (No. 52) found in the ruins of the temple of Poseidon on Cape Taenaron in Lakonia. It records the dedication by one Theares of a slave named Kleogenes to the temple-service of Poseidon. The names of an ephoros, probably an official of the temple, and of a witness are added. This Greek practice of dedicating slaves to the temple-service of a god reminds us of the Hebrew custom of dedicating children (such as Samuel) to like service.
In the lower part of Case 96 we have an example (No. 53) of the careful inventories which the temple officials of the Parthenon drew up as records of the objects committed to their charge. In