Roma: The Epic Novel of Ancient Rome

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Supposedly the Potitii were punished for their impiety in doing so, while the Pinarii refused to relinquish their office, which they held until the latest period. Another tradition asserts that until their extinction, the Potitii were always superior to the Pinarii in the performance of their sacrum gentilicum , because at the sacrificial banquet given by Hercules, the Pinarii did not arrive until after the entrails had been eaten.

In anger, Hercules declared that the Pinarii should be excluded from partaking of the entrails of the sacrifice, and that in all matters relating to the worship they should be inferior to their brethren.


The disappearance of an entire gens was extraordinary, as was the lack of any magistrates or other persons of importance belonging to such an ancient family. This has led to speculation that the legend referred to some branch of another gens known to history, such as the Valerii Potiti.

Roman Mythology Animated

But at the same time it was possible for a family to exist for centuries without attracting any notice, and the ancient historians are unanimous in making the Potitii a distinct gens. The historian Niebuhr suggests that, if the story regarding the destruction of the Potitii is based on fact, they may have perished in the great plague which raged in BC.

It is not altogether certain that the entire gens perished in this disaster; the legendary account says that thirty grown men were killed, but perhaps some children survived. Although hardly any members of the gens are known to history, a Publius Potitius is mentioned several times by Cicero as one of the guardians of the son of Publius Junius, custodian of the temple of Castor , who died in 80 BC.

Roma: The Novel of Ancient Rome (Paperback)

Five years later, the boy's guardians and stepfather became embroiled in a dispute with Verres , who extracted considerable sums of money, supposedly to make extensive repairs to the temple, which in fact was in sound condition. Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology.

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  • Views Read Edit View history. He is a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin, where he studied history and Classics.

    Roma : Steven Saylor :

    Although he also has written novels about Texas history, Saylor's best-known work is his Roma Sub Rosa series, set in ancient Rome. He divides his time residing in California and texas.

    Roma : The Novel of Ancient Rome. Steven Saylor.

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    Spanning a thousand years, and following the shifting fortunes of two families though the ages, this is the epic saga of Rome, the city and its people. One is born a slave and tempts a Vestal virgin to break her vows.

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    One becomes a mass murderer.