Page 334. " I was invited to attend the lustrical "

This was the ceremony in which the baby was purified and named. The child would also be presented with a bulla, a locket containing charms to ward off evil, only removed once the child had ‘grown up’ – for a boy, on the day he received his toga virilis (a symbol of citizenship received on reaching adulthood), and on the wedding day for a girl. See a picture of a replica bulla here.

Page 334. " could exercise the right of his ius imaginum "

A Death Mask
Public DomainA Death Mask - Credit: Mary trump/Wikimedia Commons
The right to display ancestral images, given to those who had held the office of aedile. This ius is mentioned by Cicero in his works, and probably refers to ancestral masks. 

Page 337. " took to praying daily at the Temple of the Good Goddess on the Aventine Hill "

A Cornucopia, which Bona Dea is often represented holding
Creative Commons AttributionA Cornucopia, which Bona Dea is often represented holding - Credit: Marie-Lan Nguyen/Wikimedia Commons
The Good Goddess (Bona Dea, or sometimes Fauna) was a Roman goddess of the earth, and of chastity and fertility in women. She was also a goddess of healing; medicinal herbs were grown at her temple, and she was associated with serpents, a symbol of healing. Men were not allowed to enter her temple or to attend her festivals, which were held by women in December, in the house of an important magistrate.

Page 338. " in their last great stronghold, Coracesium, in Cilicia "

Plutarch, a Greek historian of the 1st and 2nd centuries AD, describes a great battle at Coracesium between Pompey and the Cilician pirates. This was the ultimate battle in Pompey’s campaign against the pirates, in which Plutarch states that the Roman fleet scored a victory despite being vastly outnumbered. After the battle, the remaining pirates were besieged inside the town of Coracesium before finally surrendering.

Alanya, modern Coracesium
Creative Commons Attribution Share AlikeAlanya, modern Coracesium - Credit: Patrickneil/Wikimedia Commons

Page 348. " the dancers dressed as Bacchanalians and satyrs "
A Satyr on a Roman Mosaic
Creative Commons AttributionA Satyr on a Roman Mosaic - Credit: mac9/Wikimedia Commons

The bacchanalians were the wild, drunken followers of Bacchus (Greek Dionysus), god of wine, grapes and merriment. Satyrs were the male companions of Bacchus, men with horse tails, long beards, pointed ears and little snub noses. In Roman art satyrs are sometimes conflated with fauns or with aspects of the god Pan, displaying goat’s legs and hoofs and sometimes ram’s horns. They represent the more animalistic aspects of human desire and behaviour.

The Secret History by Donna Tartt centres on a modern bacchanalian ritual.

Satyrs and Maenads Vintaging, Black Figure Cup
Public DomainSatyrs and Maenads Vintaging, Black Figure Cup - Credit: Bibi Saint-Pol/Wikimedia Commons









Dionysiac Revelers on a Roman Sarcophagus
Public DomainDionysiac Revelers on a Roman Sarcophagus - Credit: Haiduc/Wikimedia Commons
Page 350. " ‘Praetor, I need to talk to you about Sergius Catilina.’ "

Lucius Sergius Catilina (108-62 BC) was a Roman politician from one of the oldest patrician families in Rome. He served a distinguished military career and supported Sulla in the civil war of 84-81 BC. He was later accused of the crime of sleeping with the vestal virgin Fabia, Terentia’s sister, but Catulus testified in his favour and he was acquitted. At this point he is trying to work his way up the political career ladder, and will soon come up against Cicero for the position of consul. Catilina will later become an extremely important character in the life of Cicero. Click here for more information on Catilina, but be aware that this page will include some very big plot spoilers for the events of Imperium and its sequels.

Election Cups of Catilina (right) and Cato (left). These were engraved with the name of the candidate, filled with food or drink, and offered to the hungry voters.
Creative Commons Attribution Share AlikeElection Cups of Catilina (right) and Cato (left). These were engraved with the name of the candidate, filled with food or drink, and offered to the hungry voters. - Credit: Panairjdde/Wikimedia Commons