RITI E RELIGIONE

OCRICULUM AD 168 TRA RITI E RELIGIONE ROMANA

In quello che è uno tra i più importanti eventi in Umbria non potevano mancare quelli che erano i riti nel tempo dell’antica Roma.

Dal matrimonio al funerale, sino ai “Rosalia Signorum” propiziatori per le legioni o i “Ludi Piscatorii” fausti per chi navigava il Tevere, passando per la più importante manifestazione di devozione alla Dea Valentia – che, come ricorda Tertulliano, era una delle poche e importanti divinità dove il culto principale era fuori l’Urbe, proprio a Ocriculum – nei tre giorni dell’evento umbro assisteremo alla rievocazione di diversi riti che andranno a dare una fotografia di quella che poteva essere la vita religiosa in un Municipio romano di II sec. d.C.

IL MATRIMONIO ROMANO

Il matrimonio è un’istituzione molto antica che, durante l’epoca romana, era strettamente legato al diritto chiamato “ius connubi”. Addirittura il divieto di contrarre matrimonio tra le diversi classi contenuto nelle antiche XII tavole venne abolito già nel 445 a.C. su proposta del tribuno della plebe Caio Canuleio, diritto che fu esteso a tutto l’impero soltanto sotto Caracalla.

GLI SPONSALIA

A precedere il matrimonio vero e proprio era la cerimonia solenne degli sponsalia, quando il pater familias promettava al fidanzato la mano della figlia attraverso l’atto della sponsio. Alla presenza degli aruspici e agli amici e i clienti delle famiglie a testimonianza dell’atto si consumava questa cerimonia solenne che impegnava le due persone come il matrimonio stesso. A seguito dell’atto giuridico seguiva lo scambio di doni come una sorta di pegno per le future nozze. A questo punto il fidanzato regalava l’anulus pronubus, l’anello che aveva la funzione di simbolica di “catena” attraverso il quale il futuro sposo legava a se la futura sposa: l’anello infilato in quello che oggi chiamiamo “anulare” – e che si credeva avesse una vena che raggiungeva direttamente il cuore sanciva, insieme alla definizione della dote, una sorta di “contratto prematrimoniale”.

IL RITO DEL MATRIMONIO

Per i romani, estremamente superstiziosi, il periodo migliore per sposarsi coincideva con gli inizi dell’estate – seguendo il calendario di Roma era proibito celebrare matrimoni nei giorni festivi, quando ci si doveva occupare di cose divine nei templi, nelle Calende e nelle Idi, durante i Parentalia, la festività di febbraio in onore dei parenti defunti e soprattutto (purtroppo per noi!) nel mese di maggio.

Il giorno precedente al matrimonio la donna, consacrando sull’altare domestico i giochi con cui aveva passato l’infanzia dava segno del passaggio da questa all’età adulta. Assistita da una matrona anziana, la pronuba, la donna si vestiva secondo i dettami della tradizione e aspettava lo sposo e i parenti nella casa del pater familias.

Tre potevano essere le modalità di matrimonio:
– il più antico e solenne rito per confaerratio che era un rito che si caratterizzava nell’offerta da parte dei due sposi di una focaccia di farro alla presenza del Pontefice Massimo e della classe sacerdotale dei Flamines, sacerdoti di Giove, e a quella di dieci cittadini nel ruolo di testimoni cadde presto in disuso;
– il secondo per coemptio, più civile che religioso, era una sorta di rito di compravendita della donna da parte del padre allo sposo che per l’acquisto “pagava” la simbolica cifra di un nummus;
– c’era poi l’usus ossia la il fatto che se le due persone avessero convissuto per un anno insieme potevano essere considerati marito e moglie.

Il rito iniziava con un sacrificio augurale di una pecora o un bue, una volta che gli auruspici ne avevano esaminato le viscere e con responso favorevole, i due sposi mangiavano insieme una focaccia di farro. Successivamente la pronuba congiungeva sull’altare la mano destra dei due sposi e proprio in quel momento veniva sancito il patto di matrimonio.

Al termine del rito si svolgeva, come oggi, la cena nuptialis il banchetto di nozze a cui erano invitati parenti amici e clienti. Forse in ricordo di quel “ratto” che secondo tradizione diede origine a Roma, lo sposo fingeva infine di rapire la moglie strappandola dai genitori e successivamente partiva il corteo nunziale che alla luce delle fiaccole accompagnava gli sposi verso la casa dell’uomo, ad accompagnare la sposa due fanciulli di lato e uno che la precedeva con una fiaccola di biancospino, mentre lo sposo distribuiva noci in simbolo di fecondità.

Giunti alla soglia la sposa ornava la porta con delle bende di lana e spalmava del grasso di maiale dicendo al marito la formula latina di promessa “ubi tu gaius ego gaia”, in una sorta di moderna “”dovunque tu sia, io sarò”. Era a questo punto che due amici del marito portavano in casa sollevandola evitando che inciampasse e il marito la accoglieva con un tizzone ardente e dell’acqua pura. Alla fine, mentre il corteo si scioglieva la pronuba accompagnava la sposa in camera dove lo sposo scioglieva la cintura virginale.

Il giorno successivo la sposa, in abiti da matrona, sacrificava ai Lari ed ai Penati e riceveva doni dal marito,ne seguiva un banchetto (repotia) riservato ai parenti degli sposi.

DOMENICA 27 MAGGIO (ORE 16.00) IL MATRIMONIO DURANTE OCRICULUM AD 168

Come ogni anno la domenica, presso le Sostruzioni, il pubblico potrà assistere al racconto del rito del matrimonio romano con corteo delle famiglie nobili, il rito e il simposio con danze e musiche.

Rito del Matrimonio Romano (foto: Liviana Lattanzi)

 

IL RITO DEI “ROSALIAE SIGNORUM”

Durante due diverse date del mese di maggio, l’esercito romano celebrava le Rosaliae signorum. Gli stendardi (signa), durante una supplicatio (una solenne cerimonia di ringraziamento agli dei), venivano consacrati e adornati (incoronati) con delle rose.

Questa celebrazione ci è nota grazie al Feriale Duranum, un calendario (scritto su papiro) di una coorte di stanza presso la città di Dura Europos, durante il regno di Alessandro Severo (Marcus Aurelius Severus Alexander Augustus 222 – 235 d.C.). Probabilmente il Feriale rappresenta un calendario ufficiale delle unità militari, con tutte le festività e celebrazioni da onorare. La prima data risulta incerta (probabilmente coincideva con il periodo dei Lemuria – 9,11 e 13 Maggio), mentre sappiamo con sicurezza che la seconda data coincideva con il 31 Maggio, il giorno precedente le calende di Giugno.

Le rosaliae signorum costituivano parte delle pratiche devozionali dedicate, dall’esercito, ai propri stendardi. Come ci ricorda lo storico latino Tacito, l’esercito romano venerava gli stendardi come se fossero delle divinità (una loro rappresentazione).

Una primissima in Italia grazie alla direzione artistica di Giulio Ranaldi (Associazione Suodales, progetto ANTICAE VIAE) e la Legio XVI Flavia di Ocriculum, la Legio I Minervia e la Centuria Picena.

Antico rito romano dei Rosaliae Signorum dove i vessilli venivano adornati di rose
Il Rito dei Rosaliae Signorum (foto: Fabio Oddi)

 

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