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 p3  Ara Aii Locutii

Article on pp3‑4 of

Samuel Ball Platner (as completed and revised by Thomas Ashby):
A Topographical Dictionary of Ancient Rome,
London: Oxford University Press, 1929.

Aius Locutius, Ara: an altar erected in 390 B.C. by order of the senate at the north corner of the Palatine in infima Nova via, opposite the grove of Vesta. It was dedicated to the deus indiges, Aius Locutius (Loquens, Cic. de div. II.69), the speaking voice. Tradition agreed in relating that in 391 a plebeian, M. Caedicius, heard at night at  p4 this point a voice that warned the Romans of the invasion of the Gauls. No attention was paid to this warning until after the event, when the altar was built in expiation (Cic. de div. I.101; II.69; Varro ap. Gell. XVI.17; Liv. V.32.6, 50.5, 52.11; Plut. Cam. 30: νεὼν φήμης καὶ κληδόνος: de fort. Rom. 5: ἕδη). Besides ara, this altar is also referred to as sacellum (Liv. V.32) and templum (ib. V.50, 52), but there is no doubt that it was an enclosed altar in the open air. This altar has no connection with that found on the south-west slope of the Palatine near the Velabrum, dedicated sive deo sive deivae (CIL I2.801 = VI.110 =30694)1 with which it has sometimes been identified (HJ 46; RE I.1130; Roscher II. 191, and literature cited).

The Authors' Notes:

1ILS 4015. The earliest record of this altar is in a notebook of Sir William Gell (II.30; see Mem. A.P. I.2.139, n. 35), who adds, "it exists in the Vigna Nussiner, near the church of S. Anastasia."

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Page updated: 10 Feb 08