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Terminus, Roman god of boundary markers

In ancient Roman religion, the god Terminus was worshiped as the patron god of boundary markers.[18] Ovid, in a hymn directed to the god, wrote: “O Terminus, whether thou art a stone or a stump buried in the field, … thou dost set bounds to people and cities and vast kingdoms”.[19] Numa Pompillius made the first Roman law requiring boundary stones around private property and instituting capital punishment for anyone found guilty of moving these stones.[20]

Source: Boundary marker – Wikipedia


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  1. Tim B.

    “The name of the god Terminus was the Latin word for a boundary stone,[1] and his worship as recorded in the late Republic and Empire centred on this stone, with which the god could be identified.[2] Siculus Flaccus, a writer on land surveying, records the ritual by which the stone was sanctified: the bones, ashes, and blood of a sacrificial victim, along with crops, honeycombs, and wine, were placed into a hole at a point where estates converged, and the stone was driven in on top.[3] On February 23 annually, a festival called the Terminalia was celebrated in Terminus’ honor, involving practices which can be regarded as a reflection or “yearly renewal” of this foundational ritual.[4] Neighboring families would garland their respective sides of the marker and make offerings to Terminus at an altar—Ovid identifies these, again, as crops, honeycombs, and wine. The marker itself would be drenched in the blood of a sacrificed lamb or pig. There followed a communal feast and hymns in praise of Terminus.[2][5]”

  2. Tim B.

    “Ancient authors agreed that the worship of Terminus was of Sabine origin, ascribing its introduction to Rome either to Titus Tatius, the Sabine colleague of Rome’s founding king Romulus (traditional reign 753–717 BC),[12] or to Romulus’ successor Numa Pompilius (717–673 BC).[7][13] Those authors who gave the credit to Numa explained his motivation as the prevention of violent disputes over property.[7][13] “

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