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Carmen Saliare

The Carmen Saliare is a scarcely intelligible fragment of archaic Latin, which played a part in the rituals performed by the Salii or Salian priests, the "jumping priests," of ancient Rome.

The Salii were priests of Mars; as a body they existed before the founding of the Roman republic. They were one of the lesser priesthoods of ancient Rome; they were chosen from the sons of patrician families whose parents were still living. They were appointed for life, though they were allowed to resign from the Salian priesthood if they achieved a more prestigious priesthood or a major magistracy.

Their rituals revolved around Mars and Quirinus, and were performed in March and October. These involved processions in which they donned archaic armour and weapons, and performed their sacred dance, at which they sung the Carmen Saliare proper.

Fragments of the hymn have been preserved. They say:

divum empta cante, divum deo supplicate

cume tonas, Leucesie, prae tet tremonti quot ibet etinei de is cum tonarem

cozeulodorieso. omnia vero adpatula coemisse.
ian cusianes duonus ceruses dunus Ianusve vet pom melios eum recum

While parts of this text seem to mention thunder, and Janus, and perhaps Ceres, the rest of the text is quite obscure.



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