LVDI APOLLINARES - Opening Ceremony

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LVDI APOLLINARES - Opening Ceremony

Postby Lucius Vitellius Triarius » Thu Jul 07, 2016 4:54 am

Salvete omnes!

Today, we begin the games to Apollo, or the Ludi Apollinares. Apollo was son of Jupiter and Latona, and brother of Diana, and of all the divinities in the pagan world, the chief cherisher and protecter of the polite arts, and the most conspicuous character in heathen theology; nor unjustly, from the glorious attributes ascribed to him, for he was the god of light, medicine, eloquence, music, poetry and prophecy.

Amongst the most remarkable adventures of this god, was his quarrel with Jupiter, on account of the death of his son Aesculapius, killed by that deity on the complaint of Pluto, that he decreased the number of the dead by his cures. Apollo, to revenge this injury, killed the Cyclops who forged the thunder-bolts. For this he was banished heaven, and endured great sufferings on earth, being forced to hire himself as a shepherd to Admetus, king of Thessaly. During his pastoral servitude, he is said to have invented the lyre to sooth his troubles. He was so skilled in the bow, that his arrows were always fatal. Python and the Cyclops experienced their force.

He became enamored of Daphne, daughter of the river Peneus of Thessaly. The god pursued her, but she flying to preserve her chastity, was changed into a laurel, whose leaves Apollo immediately consecrated to bind his temples, and become the reward of poetry.

His temple at Delphi became so frequented, that it was called the oracle of the earth; all nations and princes vieing in their munificence to it. The Romans erected to him many temples.

The animals sacred to him were the wolf, from his acuteness of sight, and because he spared his flocks when the god was a shepherd; the crow and the raven, because these birds were supposed to have, by instinct, the faculty of prediction; the swan, from its divining its own death; the hawk, from its boldness in flight; and the cock, because he announces the rising of the sun.

As to the signification of this fabulous divinity, all are agreed that, by Apollo, the sun is understood in general, though several poetical fictions have relation only to the sun, and not to Apollo. The great attributes of this deity were divination, healing, music, and archery, all which manifestly refer to the sun. Light dispelling darkness, is a strong emblem of truth dissipating ignorance; the warmth of the sun conduces greatly to health; and there can be no juster symbol of the planetary harmony, than Apollo's lyre, the seven strings of which are said to represent the seven planets. As his darts are reported to have destroyed the monster Python, so his rays dry up the noxious moisture which is pernicious to vegetation and fertility.

Apollo was very differently represented in different countries and times, according to the character he assumed. In general he is described as a beardless youth, with long flowing hair floating as it were in the wind, comely and graceful, crowned with laurel, his garments and sandals shining with gold. In one hand he holds a bow and arrows, in the other a lyre; sometimes a shield and the graces. At other times he is invested in a long robe, and carries a lyre and a cup of nectar, the symbol of his divinity.

He has a threefold authority: in heaven, he is the Sun; and by the lyre intimates, that he is the source of harmony: upon earth he is called Liber Pater, and carries a shield to show he is the protector of mankind, and their preserver in health and safety. In the infernal regions he is styled Apollo, and his arrows show his authority; whosoever is stricken with them being immediately sent thither. As the Sun, Apollo was represented in a chariot, drawn by the four horses, Eous, Aethon, Phlegon, and Pyroeis.

Considered in his poetical character, he is called indifferently either Vates or Lyristes; music and poetry, in the earliest ages of the world, having made but one and the same profession.

The Ludi Apollinares

From 208 BC, the Ludi Apollinares were held annually in Rome between the 6th and 13th July. The ludi were not merely games, but rather a festival of chariot races, plays and sacrifices in honor of the Greek god Apollo.

Roman legend states that the Romans instigated the ludi following oracular advice to secure victory against the forces of Hannibal. But they are also a perfect example of how the Roman establishment controlled and integrated foreign religious practices.

Roman religion was relatively inclusive, welcoming foreign gods and cults– but only if they fit in with traditional Roman religion and did not threaten it. By 213 BC, the forces of Hannibal had massively destabilized the Italy of Rome and her allies.

The battles of Trasimene and Cannae resulted in 15,000 and 75,000 Italian casualties, respectively, and refugees from the countryside and other Italian towns flooded into Rome.

Desperate times led to desperate measures. As it seems that their ancestral gods had failed them, the fearful people began to look elsewhere for supernatural help.

“The longer the war dragged on,” said Livy in his History of Rome, “and success and failure altered the situation and quite so much so the attitude of men, superstitious fear, in large part foreign…invaded the state to such a degree that either men or else gods suddenly changed.”

The Roman state now faced conflict both inside and outside its walls.

The Senate answered this threat to its sacred institutions from its own people by calling for the voluntary surrender of all oracular books and prophetic writings as of the first of April. In the meantime, they banned all foreign rites.

But then something “peculiar” happened. The praetor in charge of collecting the writings, Marcus Aemilius, happened across a book of oracles, The Carmina Marciana, by a seer called Marcius. He read two of the oracles it contained. One foretold the calamitous events that had occurred at Cannae, but the other offered the Romans hope.

As Livy described the oracle: “Romans, if you wish to drive out the enemy from your land, the plague that came from faraway lands, I bid you vow to Apollo annual games ….If you perform all this rightly, you shall ever rejoice and your power shall be dominant.”

Aemilius delivered the oracles to the Senate. After a day’s deliberation, Marcius’ prophecies were cross-checked against the Sibylline books, the ancient Oracular texts of the Roman state, which King Tarquinius Priscus purchased from the Sibyl of Cumae.

Unsurprisingly, the Sibyl’s prophecies affirmed the instigation of the new ceremonials. She was, after all, an oracle of Apollo.

So, the Senate called for the institution of sacred games held in honor of a Greek god. They paid for these games, celebrated the following year in 212 BC, at public expense. “The people took part in them,” states Livy,” wearing wreaths of flowers. The married women offered prayers. The doors to the houses were opened, meals eaten in the open and the day marked with every observance.

Games or ludi dedicated to Apollo took up most of the festival. This was a quite standard part of the religious observances of any festival; an offering of human effort and endeavor to the gods as much as entertainment laid on for the crowds. The Ludi Apollinares consisted of Ludi Circenses: chariot races in the Circus Maximus and Ludi Scaenici: mimes, dances and plays.

On the final day the formal sacrifice to Apollo rounded off the festival-performed “by Greek rite” rather than Roman. This meant that the officiating priest performed the sacrifice bare-headed, rather than with his head covered by his toga according to Roman tradition.

At this sacrifice, the Romans offered Apollo a gilded ox and two gilded white goats. They also offered a gilded heifer to Latona, the Latin name for Apollo’s mother, Leto.

The Ludi Apollinares were never meant to become an established part of the Roman religious calendar. But four years later in 208 BC, the Romans passed a lex, or law, making this so.

Reasons for this vary. The most favored explanation is a plague prompted the Senate to establish the games as a permanent fixture as Apollo was a god of healing. But Livy states this was not the reason at all, and also suggests they were, in fact, made permanent in 211 BC:

“The Games of Apollo had been exhibited the previous year, and when the question of their repetition the next year was moved by the praetor Calpurnius, the senate passed a decree that they should be observed for all time…. Such is the origin of the Apollinarian Games, which were instituted for the cause of victory and not, as is generally thought, in the interests of the public health.”

But perhaps of greater interest is the reasoning behind the inception of the Ludi Apollinaire. For the tales of oracular coincidence are surely no more than that.

The Roman state faced a crisis within as well as a war outside. Rather than creating more discord by forcefully suppressing the people’s interest in foreign cults at a time of national crisis, the state instead used that same crisis as an excuse for integrating some of those rites into official Roman religion.

Apollo’s games may have added a Greek flavor to part of the Roman religious character, but they were still molded and manipulated to fit within the context of Roman state religion.

In our modern age we return to these games to honor Apollo, so I welcome, on behalf of our Consules and Magistrates, all citizens to the Greek Games of the Romans! May you all participate in these games and may the best one win!

Ceremony to Apollo

This morning, I performed the following ceremony with some modifications. This ceremony I have written, so others may use it in the future on this opening day, as we grow offline and actually perform public ceremonies.


On the Occasion of the:
Ludi Apollinares
T. Flavio P. Iunio cos.
MMDCCLXIX a.u.c. (2016 CE)


by L. VITELLIVS TRIARIVS, Sacerdos Apollinis


When performed in public, the Altar should be adorned with bay laurel, tufts of wool, and hyacinths, where available, and the ceremonia performed in ritus Graecus.

ABLUTIO:

Washing both hands in clean water, dressed in chiton, and in capite aperto (bare-headed), pray:

May this water cast out all impurities from my substance as from lead to gold.
May this water cleanse my body of impurities, as the rain cleanses the air.
Purify my mind.
Purify my body.
Purify my heart.
It is so.


INVOCATIO:

The appropriate Gods are invoked.

O Iane pater, God of New Beginnings, Hear Me!
O Iane pater, Gatekeeper of the Gods, Hear Me!
O Iane pater, Bringer of the Morning Sun, Hear Me!

O Apollo Thearius, God of the Oracle, Hear Me!
O Apollo Proupsius, God of Foreseeing, Hear Me!
O Apollo Musagetes, Leader of the Muses, Hear Me!
O Apollo Medicus, God of Healing, Hear Me!
O Apollo Ulius, God of Sound Health, Hear Me!
O Apollo Alexicacus, Averter of Evil and Harm, Hear Me!
O Apollo Palatinus, Watcher of the Palatine, Hear Me!

O Phoebus Apollo, bearer of health, for You we compose our song, and favorably promote Your discoveries. With Your healing arts, You lead life back when it is withdrawn from us and recall us from joining the Manes in Heaven. You who formerly dwelt in the temples of Aegea, Pergamum, and Epidaurum, and who drove off the Python from Your peaceful house at Delphi, sought a temple at Rome to Your glory, by expelling the foul presence of illness. Come to me now as each time. You have fondly strengthened me when often You were called, and may You be present in all that is performed in and for these games.


PRAEFATIO:

Mother Vesta, (adoratio gesture) and all the Gods which it is pious to summon, join together to attend to this humble ceremony. Grant that my work may rise with Your auspices. Fill my intentions with warmth and light. Remind me of the noble virtues. May you, mother Vesta, favor me. Aid me in all my daily tasks, favor me and keep my family from harm.

Light oil lamp or candle.

Oh, Vesta mater, (adoratio gesture) for this petition accept this offering of incense made before you, and upon your will make it so.

Incense is placed in the focus of the altar.

May You be honored by this incense, may You be strengthened by it.

Oh, Ianus (adoratio gesture), creator of the morning sunrise, with You begins our prayers this day. May you favor my work and aid my task to communicate with yourself, Apollo pater, and all the Gods and Goddesses and for this petition may you accept this offering of incense made before you. Upon your will make it so.

Incense is placed in the focus of the altar.


May You be honored by this incense, may You be strengthened by it.

Phoebos Apollo, radiant and shining archer,
Pythian Apollo, Lord of Delphi and oracles,
Delian Apollo, Lord of the Island of Delos,
I ask your presence. I call to you to be here this morning and witness this rite. Be you well and blessed, O Iane pater, Father Apollo, and gods and goddesses of my household on the occasion of these games, the Ludi Apollinares. By offering you this incense and barley, I pray good prayers so that you may be benevolent and propitious to the Roman People, the Quirites, and to me, my family, and my household.

Incense is placed in the focus of the altar. Barley is sprinkled on the altar.

May You be honored by this incense and barley, may You be strengthened by its presence and fragrant smoke.


PRECATIO:


O Iane pater, Gatekeeper to the Gods, with this incense and wine on the occasion of the beginning of these games, I pray, ask and beseech you so that you may watch over the Roman People, the Quirites, to me, my family, and my household, and bring us success in our newest beginning, the Ludi Apollinares. O God of all creation and God of the Gods, may you be benevolent and propitious to the Roman People, the Quirites, and to me, to my household and to my family.

Raise each offering and present it to the deity so that the deity may bless it.

(Present Wine) Iane pater, I pray that You bless this wine in sacrifice.
(Present Frankincense) Iane pater, I pray that You bless this incense in sacrifice.

O far-shooting Apollo, god of the silver bow, whom rich-haired Latona bore, remember the good things
I have done for you in the past, and I now humbly ask that may every good fortune attend the Roman people, the Quirites. I pray and I ask that you may increase the sovereign power and majesty of the Roman people, the Quirites, in war and peace; as you have always watch over us among the Latins. Forever may you grant safety, victory and health to the Roman people, the Quirites. May you bestow your favor on the Roman people, the Quirites, and on the legions of the Roman people, the Quirites. May you preserve the health and welfare of the people of Rome, the Quirites, and may you always remain willingly favorable and propitious to the people of Rome, the Quirites, to me, to my house and my household.

O Apollo, or by whatsoever holy name it pleases You, from antiquity have You accepted the customary offerings of mankind, preserve in good faith the children of Romulus as ever You graced our ancestors and thus bless and accept these offerings I now make in sacrifice to You.

Let offerings be made to you with the appropriate sacrifice of seven libations of wine, seven leaves of bay laurel, seven cakes of barley, and the sweet smell of Frankincense on the occasion of these games, the Ludi Apollinares, given to you in your immortal honor.

Raise each offering and present it to the deity so that the deity may bless it.

(Present Wine) Apollo, to this same end I pray that You bless this wine in sacrifice.
(Present Frankincense) Apollo, to this same end I pray that You bless this incense in sacrifice.
(Present Bay Laurel) Apollo, to this same end I pray that You bless this bay laurel in sacrifice.
(Present Barley Cakes) Apollo, to this same end I pray that You bless these cakes in sacrifice.

Prepare the offerings for immolation by sprinkling them with mola salsa.

May you accept these offerings to be burnt whole for you in sacrifice.


HYMN TO APOLLO:

Kithara or lyre music should be played as the hymn is sung, but never flute music.

Come, O God, kind patron, come! May you favor us in your presence.

O Delian, hear me as I attest, The Kithara and the curved bow shall ever be dear to me, and to you, I offer this hymn:

I will remember and not be unmindful of Apollo who shoots afar. As he goes through the house of Zeus, the gods tremble before him and all spring up from their seats when he draws near, as he bends his bright bow.

But Latona alone stays by the side of Zeus who delights in thunder; and then she unstrings his bow, and closes his quiver, and takes his archery from his strong shoulders in her hands and hangs them on a golden peg against a pillar of his father's house.

Then she leads him to a seat and makes him sit: and the Father gives him nectar in a golden cup welcoming his dear son, while the other gods make him sit down there, and queenly Latona rejoices because she bare a mighty son and an archer.

Rejoice, blessed Latona, for you bare a glorious child, the lord Apollo, who delights in arrows; him in rocky Delos, as you rested against the great mass of the Cynthian hill hard by a palm-tree by the streams of Inopus.

O Great Pythian, how, then, shall I sing of you who in all ways are a worthy theme of song? For everywhere, O Phoebus, the whole range of song is fallen to you, both over the mainland that rears heifers and over the isles.

All mountain-peaks and high headlands of lofty hills and rivers flowing out to the deep and beaches sloping seawards and havens of the sea are your delight.

Shall I sing how at the first Latona bare you to be the joy of men, as she rested against Mount Cynthus in that rocky isle, in sea-girt Delos, while on either hand a dark wave rolled on landwards driven by shrill winds, whence arising you rule over all mortal men?

End kithara or lyre music.

O Apollo, Great Musagetes, may You be honored by this hymn, may You be strengthened by its melodious sound.


IMMOLATIO:


O Iane pater, for these reasons may you be honored and strengthened with the sacrifice of this wine, and become favorable and propitious to the Roman people, the Quirites, to myself, to my house, and to my household.

A libation of wine is poured in the focus of the altar.

May You accept this offering, and may this sacrifice pay appropriate tribute to You.

O Iane pater, for these reasons may you be honored and strengthened with the sacrifice of this incense, and become favorable and propitious to the Roman people, the Quirites, to myself, to my house, and to my household.

Frankincense is placed in the focus of the altar.

May You accept this offering, and may this sacrifice pay appropriate tribute to You.

O Apollo, Great Olympian, for these reasons may you be honored and strengthened with the sacrifice of this wine, and become favorable and propitious to the Roman people, the Quirites, to myself, to my house, and to my household.

Seven libations of wine are poured in the focus of the altar.

May You accept this offering, and may this sacrifice pay appropriate tribute to You.

O Apollo, Great Delian, for these reasons may you be honored and strengthened with the sacrifice of this bay laurel, and become favorable and propitious to the Roman people, the Quirites, to myself, to my house, and to my household.

Seven bay laurel leaves are placed in the focus of the altar.

May You accept this offering, and may this sacrifice pay appropriate tribute to You.

O Apollo, Great Pythian, for these reasons may you be honored and strengthened with the sacrifice of these barley cakes, and become favorable and propitious to the Roman people, the Quirites, to myself, to my house, and to my household.

Seven barley cakes are placed in the focus of the altar.

May You accept this offering, and may this sacrifice pay appropriate tribute to You.

O Apollo, Mighty Latoeus, for these reasons may you be honored and strengthened with the sacrifice of this incense, and become favorable and propitious to the Roman people, the Quirites, to myself, to my house, and to my household.

Frankincense is placed in the focus of the altar.

May You accept this offering, and may this sacrifice pay appropriate tribute to You.


REDDITIO:


O Iane pater, master of new beginnings, just as I have offered sacrifices and prayed to you with proper prayer, for these reasons may you be honored and strengthened with the sacrifice, and become favorable and propitious to the Roman people, the Quirites, to myself, to my house, and to my household.

Incense is placed in the focus of the altar.

O Father Apollo, great Delphinian, just as I have offered sacrifices and prayed to you with proper prayer, for these reasons may you be honored and strengthened with the sacrifice, and become favorable and propitious to the Roman people, the Quirites, to myself, to my house, and to my household.

Incense is placed in the focus of the altar.

It is so.


PIACULUM:

O Iane pater, and all other gods and goddesses by whatever name I may call you, if anything in this ceremony was displeasing to you, with this incense I ask forgiveness and expiate my fault.

Incense is placed in the focus of the altar.

Apollo pater, and all other gods and goddesses by whatever name I may call you, if anything in this ceremony was displeasing to you, with this incense I ask forgiveness and expiate my fault.

Incense is placed in the focus of the altar.

O Vesta mater, and all other gods and goddesses by whatever name I may call you, if anything in this ceremony was displeasing to you, with this incense I ask forgiveness and expiate my fault.

Incense is placed in the focus of the altar.

It is done.

Extinguish oil lamp or candle.



Note: Apollonian Incense was used, as well as Frankincense. Apollonian Incense is 4 parts Frankincense, 2 parts Myrrh, and 2 parts coarsely-ground Bay Laurel.
L VITELLIVS TRIARIVS
lvtriarius AT yahoo DOT com

Awarded the Corona Civica in L. Curtio L. Aurelio cos.
Upon order of the senate for excellence of service to the senate and people of Rome in founding the Republic

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