Archaic Definition of the Week – Ancilia

This week, we go about as archaic as we can go….

ancilia (Latin).  Twelve archaic bronze shields kept in the sanctuary of MARS in the Roman Forum.  Tradition remembered that one shield had fallen from the sky on 1 March and a divinely instructed blacksmith had made the further eleven. An aristocratic group, the Salii, used the shields in the yearly OCTOBER HORSE festival, which is probably one of the oldest in the Roman calendar.

Continuum Dictionary of Religion edited by Michael Pye.

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