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Flamen (Pl. Flamines) - Type of Roman Priest

A Type of Roman Priest

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Flamen (Roman priest) in front of a shrine Artist Unknown Yale University Art Gallery

Flamen (Roman priest) in front of a shrine;Artist Unknown;Yale University Art Gallery; 1st - 2nd century A.D.; Marble; Dimensions: 28 x 24 x 5 cm. (11 x 9 7/16 x 1 15/16 in.)

Credit Line: Bequest of Adra M. Newell;Rights: Yale University Art Gallery;Accession Number: 7114.

Definition:

Roman Priests | Flamen

Flamen (pl. flamines) was a type of Roman priest. The flamines were priests attached to the cult of an individual god and looked after the temple of that god. There were three major flamines:

  1. the Flamen Dialis whose god was Jupiter,
  2. the Flamen Martialis whose god was Mars, and
  3. the Flamen Quirinalis whose god was Quirinus.

There were 12 other, minor flamines.

All wore an apex, laena, and laurel wreath. The flamines were not allowed out of doors without an apex, which was a conical cap with a pointed stick of olive wood and a bit a wool. The laena was a thick woolen cloak that they fastened with a bronze fibula, a Roman pin or brooch. The Flamen Dialis had extra restrictions.

Main Source: Festivals and Ceremonies of the Roman Republic, by H.H. Scullard.

 

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