Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. In Roman antiquity, an open space prescribed to be left free from buildings within and without the walls of a town, marked off by stone pillars, and consecrated by a religious ceremony.
- From Latin pōmoerium, pōmērium ("the religious boundary of a city"), which word being either formed as post ("behind") + moerus, mūrus ("wall") + -ium (neuter form of -ius, adjectival suffix) or derived from Etruscan. (Wiktionary)
“When Agrippa returned from two years in Further Gaul covered in glory, he and the two legions he had brought with him camped on the Campus Martius outside the pomerium; the Senate had voted him a triumph, which meant he was religiously forbidden to enter Rome herself.”
“When it discusses war, the Senate must meet outside the pomerium.”
“Religiously, Rome herself existed only within the pomerium; all outside it was Roman territory.”
“Cross the pomerium into Rome, and you lose your triumph!”
“But the crowd which thronged the Circus Flaminius (it had been decided that to bring her body inside the pomerium would be imprudent, given her unclean status) appreciated so much luster less than they did the sight of Dalmatica's three-year-old twins, Faustus and Fausta, clad in black and carried by a black-festooned female giant from Further Gaul.”
“So he stepped across the pomerium without a qualm, and proceeded to give the city back some semblance of government.”
““And,” asked Sulla of his steward, Chrysogonus, whose task it had been to look after the family, “how is my guest who cannot cross the pomerium into Rome?””
““I will lodge it for you,” said Sulla, rising, “as you cannot cross the pomerium to visit Vesta.””
“Therefore, said Sulla blandly, he could justifiably be said to have enlarged the territory of Rome within Italy, and he would mark the event by moving Rome's pomerium an infinitesmal hundred feet.”
“He couldn't cross the pomerium into the city to meet the voters, chat to everyone in the Forum, pose modestly nearby when some tribune of the plebs called a contio of the Plebeian Assembly to discuss the merits of this favored candidate-and lambaste his rivals.”
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