Aedes Martis (Nova Roma)
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Revision as of 14:48, 4 October 2016
WORK IN PROGRESS
As the word Mars has no Indo-European derivation, it is most likely the Latinised form of the agricultural Etruscan god Maris. Initially Mars was a Roman god of fertility and vegetation and a protector of cattle, fields and boundaries and farmers. In the second century BC, the conservative Cato the Elder advised "For your cattle, for them to be healthy, make this sacrifice to Mars Silvanus you must make this sacrifice each year" (De Agri Cultura 83). Mars later became associated with battle as the growing Roman Empire began to expand, and he came to be identified with the Greek god Ares. Unlike his Greek counterpart, Mars was generally revered and rivaled Iuppiter as the most honoured god. He was also the tutelary god of the city of Rome. As He was regarded as the legendary father of Rome's founder, Romulus, it was believed that all Romans were descendants of Mars.
The Campus Martius (English: Field of Mars) in ancient Rome, was a floodplain of the Tiber River, the site of the altar of Mars and the temple of Apollo in the 5th century BC. Originally used primarily as a military exercise ground, it was later drained and, by the 1st century BC, became covered with large public buildings—baths, amphitheatre, theatres, gymnasium, crematorium, and many more temples. The Pantheon is the most notable structure extant. The historian Livy (1st century BC) called the area campus ignifer because of the volcanic smoke often seen there.