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Here is a selection of terms referred to in the novel along with their pronunciations.
Aedile - (The anglicized version of aedilis; pronounced: ay-DL-s) Responsible for maintaining public buildings and regulating public festivals, they also had the power to enforce public order.
Bulla - (pronounced: bwl-lä) A circle of gold or leather worn by free children as a good luck charm. When the child reached the age of consent, the bulla was ceremoniously laid aside along with the child's clothing and the boy or girl donned the attire of an adult.
Comitia - (pronounced: k-m-t-ä) An assembly.
Charon - In Greek mythology, he is the ferryman who carries the souls of the dead across the river Acheron. He has been depicted as a winged demon, a sulky old man or as a skeleton.
Cursus Honorum - (pronounced: krs-s hn-OR-m) Run of honors or run of offices. There was a specific order in which Roman Patricians had to hold office.
Dignitas - (pronounced: DG-nt-äs) Meaning reputation or dignity, a Roman patrician's dignitas was extremely important for both his self esteem and for his clout in the Senate.
Flaminis - (pronounced: Flm-nis or Flm-en (singular form)) Patrician priests who were attached to individual Gods and looked after Their temples. They could not legally appear outside without their apex (a conical hat with a pointed piece of olive wood attached to it and surrounded by wool at the base. Like the Pope's hat). Their formal attire also included a thick, woolen cloak called a laena that was fastened by a fibula (pronounced: fb--lä )a broach or pin made of bronzeand a laurel wreath.
Flamen Carmentalis - The priest of Carmentis. His duties to the Goddess included performing sacrifices, but the skins of dead animals were not permitted inside the temple.
Flamen Cerialis - This priest served Ceres.
Flamen Dialis - One of the three major flamines, he was attached to the temple of Jupiter. The flamen Dialis had to observe many social taboos.
Flamen Falacer - This priest served Falacer.
Flamen Floralis - This priest served Flora.
Flamen Furrinalis - This priest served Furrina.
Flamen Martialis - One of the three major flamines, he served Mars.
Flamen Palatualis - This priest served Pales.
Flamen Pomonalis - This priest served Pomona.
Flamen Portunalis - This priest served Portunus.
Flamen Quirinalis - One of the three major flamines, he served Quirinus.
Flamen Volcanalis - This priest served Volcanus.
Flamen Volturnalis - This priest served Volturnus.
Iatros - (pronounced -ät-rs') A Greek physician.
Lemurs - Spirits of the dead who returned to visit (more likely torment) the living. Ghosts. The Lemuria was celebrated on May 9, 11, and 13 (three non-consecutive days and on odd numbered days of the month, even days being unlucky). On each morning, the head of the household would rise at midnight and roam the house in his bare feet. He would first make a gesture with his hand, fingers closed around his thumb, then wash his hands in pure water. Then, nine times, he would spit out a black bean from his mouth and say, "with these beans, I redeem me and mine." He would do this without looking back. Then he would wash again and clash two bronze vessels together, then repeat nine times, "Ghosts of my fathers, be gone."
Paterfamilias - (pronounced: Pät-er-fa-mil--s ) The head of the family. The ranking male in the Roman household, the Paterfamilias had supreme authority over his wife and children. Any daughters-in-law and grandchildren also fell under his authority.
Patrician - A Roman noble citizen. The Patrician class owned most of the land and were responsible for holding the high offices and leading the army. Members of the Patrician class were established during the Monarchy and could buy seats on the Senate.
Plebeian - A Roman free citizen, not of noble birth and not able to buy into the Senate.
Ponitfex Maximus - (pronounced: Pntfex Mx--ms) The chief priest in Rome. He was responsible for performing or overseeing most of the state religious rituals.
Rex Sacrorum - (pronounced: Rx Sk-rr-um) Also called the Sacrificulus (pronounced: Sk-r-f-kl-us), he performed some of the state religious rituals.
Scipio - (pronounced: Sk-p-)
Swnw - (pronounced: Soo-noo?) An Egyptian physician.
Vestals - Or Vestal Virgins, tended the sacred fires of Vesta, Goddess of the hearth. There were six Vestals that served in pairs. Chosen from among the Patrician families while still children, the youngest pair were trained by the oldest pair, while the middle pair performed the day-to-day rituals and observances. A Vestal had to remain unmarried and chaste for her full thirty year tenure, though there was usually one scandal every generation. An unchaste Vestal was buried alive. The Vestal Virgins were involved in some manner or another in many rituals involving the other Gods, either by their presence or by the use of items they had prepared or harvested.