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    STUDIA HISTORIA - Issue no. 1 / 2014  

Authors:  .
  Abstract:  The God Sabazios was an oriental god with pre-Roman roots, whose worship probably spread with the Roman military into the western provinces of the Roman Empire. The attributes of Sabazius were the snake, lizard, frog and turtle – all symbols of an annual renewal. Since he was also responsible for fertility and obstetrics, the cult may have primarily involved women. No temple dedicated to Sabazios has ever been found, but evidence for his worship is sometimes indicated by small finds. Presumably the members of the religious communities came together in assembly halls to hold banquets in honour of the god. Several ceramic vessels decorated with snakes, frogs, lizards and turtles were found in Sorviodurum / Straubing, a Roman military base on the Danubian Limes in Raetia. They were deposited in a pit of 4.6 x 3.3 m which was situated in the vicus next to a road that was lined with strip houses. The relationship between the pit and a nearby building is not evident. The pit also contained fragments of many other vessels and animal bones, which can be interpreted as remnants of a banquet in honor to Sabazios.

Key words: Sabazios, snakepot, ritual deposit, cult pit.

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