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Bill Thayer

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 p470  Epulones

Unsigned article on pp470‑471 of

William Smith, D.C.L., LL.D.:
A Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities, John Murray, London, 1875.

EPULO′NES, who were originally three in number (Triumviri Epulones), were first created in B.C. 196, to attend to the Epulum Jovis (Val. Max. II.1 §2; Liv. XXXI.4; Gell. XII.8), and the banquets given in honour of the other gods; which duty had originally belonged to the Pontifices (Liv. XXXIII.42; Cic. De Orat. III.19, De Harusp. Respons. 10; Festus, s.v. Epolonos). Their number was afterwards increased to seven (Gell. I.12; Lucan, I.602), and they were called Septemviri Epulones or Septemviri Epulonum; under which names they are frequently mentioned in inscriptions (Orelli, Inscrip. No. 590, 773, 2259, 2260, 2365).a Julius Caesar added three more (Dion Cass. XLIII.51), but after his time the number appears to have been again limited to seven.

The Epulones formed a collegium, and were one of the four great religious corporations at Rome; the other three were those of Pontifices, Augures, and Quindecemviri (Dion Cass. LIII.1, LVIII.12;  p471  Plin. Ep. X.13;º Walter, Geschichte des Röm. Rechts, § 141, 2ded.).

Thayer's Note:

a inscriptions: The ones cited here are a pretty famous bunch, and two of them are onsite: the inscription of L. Munatius Plancus over the door of his mausoleum in Gaeta, and that of Cestius on his celebrated pyramid in Rome.

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Page updated: 12 Oct 06