Flaminica Dialis

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Of the Republican flaminicae we have the most evidence and discussion concerning the Flaminica Dialis, the priestess to Iuppiter OM. Married by confarreatio to the Flamen Dialis the Flaminica Dialis was part of undissolvable couple-priesthood. The flaminica was the priestess to Iuppiter OM whilst the flamen was priest. If she died her husband had to resign.


Religious Duties

Every market day, nunindae she sacrificed a ram in the Regia, she had to weave the laena of the Flamen Dialis using a special sacrificial knife the secespita[1] and her dress, especially the flame-colored veil, symbolized the power of fertility. She could only wear shoes made from leather of animals sacrificed to the gods. The Flaminica Dialis was nova nupta, matrona and materfamilias.

Religious dress

Her dress consisted of a dyed purple robe (venenato operitur); her hair was plaited in a high conical bun, the tutulus, bound with wool purple fillets, vittae, the rica a square handkerchief-sized veil made of undyed white wool with purple fringes, covered the tutulus, then a wreath of pomegranate. [2]

Over the robe and rica was worn a large square veil, the purple venetatum which was clasped with a fibula. And over this another veil, the fire-coloured flammeum, to indicate fecundity and her pepetual state as a nova nupta.


  • Festus
  • N. Boels-Janssen "La pretresse à trois voiles"

Revue des études latines, vol 67

  • N. Boels-Janssen " Le statut religieux de la Flaminica Dialis"

REL,5, 1973


  1. Serv, Aen, IV, 262
  2. Fest. s.v. Tutulum, Rica; Varro, De Ling. Lat. VII.44

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