Terminus

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The Latin term for a boundary sign, Terminus, used as the name of the Roman deity who guarded them.

Each border stone was blessed via sacrifice, and on February 23 of every year, landowners held a festival named “Terminalia” in honor of Terminus. The Capitoline Hill’s Temple of Jupiter Optimus Maximus was considered to have been constructed over a temple to Terminus, who was occasionally referred to as Jupiter Terminalis when he was an aspect of Jupiter.

According to ancient sources, either the first ruler Romulus (traditionally 753–717 BC) or his son Numa brought the cult of Terminus to Rome (717–673 BC). Both the Roman development of proto-Indo-European religion in a deity concerned with the partition of property and the retention of an early animistic reverence for the power inherent in the boundary marker have been suggested by contemporary researchers.

Featured image: Terminus is often pictured as a bust on a boundary stone, here the concedo nvlli or concedo nulli means “I yield to no one”.

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