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LUSTRATION

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Originally appearing in Volume V17, Page 132 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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LUSTRATION, a term that includes all the methods of purification and expiation among the Greeks and Romans. Amongthe Greeks there are two ideas clearly distinguishable—that human nature must purify itself (teapcns) from guilt before it is fit to enter into communion with God or even to associate with men, and that guilt must be expiated voluntarily (lkaoµor) by certain processes which God has revealed, in order to avoid the punishment that must otherwise overtake it. It is not possible to make such a distinction among the Latin terms lustratio, piacula, piamenta, caerimoniae, and even among the Greeks it is not consistently observed. Guilt and impurity arose in various ways; among the Greeks, besides the general idea that man is always in need of purification, the species of guilt most insisted on by religion are incurred by murder, by touching a dead body, by sexual intercourse, and by seeing a prodigy or sign of the divine will. The last three spring from the idea that man had been without preparation and improperly brought into communication with God, and was therefore guilty. The first, which involves a really moral idea of guilt, is far more important than the others in Hellenic religion. Among the Romans we hear more of the last species of impurity; in general the idea takes the form that after some great disaster the people become convinced that guilt has been incurred and must be expiated. The methods of purification consist in ceremonies performed with water, fire, air or earth, or with a branch of a sacred tree, especially of the laurel, and also in sacrifice and other ceremonial. Before entering a temple the worshipper dipped his hand in the vase of holy water (repi//avriiplov, aqua lustratis) which stood at the door; before a sacrifice bathing was common; salt-water was more efficacious than fresh, and the celebrants of the Eleusinian mysteries bathed in the sea (hXa5e, /.u' rrai); the water was more efficacious if a firebrand from the altar were plunged in it. The torch, fire and sulphur (re) BeYov) were also powerful purifying agents. Purification by air was most frequent in the Dionysiac mysteries; puppets suspended and swinging in the air (oscilla) formed one way of using the lustrative power of the air. Rubbing with sand and salt was another method. The sacrifice chiefly used for purification by the Greeks was a pig; among the Romans it was always, except in the Lupercalia, a pig, a sheep and a bull (suovetaurilia). In Athens a purificatory sacrifice and prayer was held before every meeting of the ecclesia; the Maimacteria,l in honour of Zeus Maimactes (the god of wrath), was an annual festival of purification, and at the Thargelia two men (or a woman and a man) were sacrificed on the seashore, their bodies burned and the ashes thrown into the sea, to avert the wrath of Apollo. On extraordinary occasions lustrations were performed for a whole city. So Athens was purified by Epimenides after the Cylonian massacre, and Delos in the Peloponnesian War (426 B.C.) to stop the plague and appease the wrath of Apollo. In Rome, besides such annual ceremonies as the Ambarvalia, Lupercalia, Cerialia, Paganalia, &c., there was a lustration of the fleet before it sailed, and of the army before it marched. Part of the ceremonial always consisted in leading or carrying the victims round the impure persons or things. After any disaster the lustratio classium or exercitus was often again performed, so as to make certain that the gods got all their due. The Amburbium, a solemn procession of the people round the boundaries of Rome, was a similar ceremonial performed for the whole city on occasions of great danger or calamity; the Ambilustrium (so called from the sacrificial victims being carried round the people assembled on the Campus Martius) was the purificatory ceremony which took place after the regular quinquennial census (lustrum) of the Roman people. See C. F. Hermann, Griechische Altertumer, H.; G. F. Schomann, ib. H.; P. Stengel, Die griechischen Kultusaltertumer (1898) ; Marquardt, Romische Staatsverwaltung, iii. p. 200 (1885); P. E. von Lasaulx, Die Siihnopfer der Griechen and Romer (1841); J. Donaldson, " On the Expiatory and Substitutionary Sacrifices of the Greeks," in Transactions of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, xxvii., 1876; and the articles by A. Bouche-Leclercq 1n Daremberg and Saglio, Dictionnaire des antiquites, and by W. Warde Fowler in Smith's Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities (3rd ed., 1891). 1 Maimacteria does not actually occur in ancient authorities as the name of a festival. ' See Latin translation by J. G. L. Kosegarten, Alii Ispahenensis Liber . Arabice editur adjectaque translalione adnotationibusque illustralus (Greifswald, 1840). 2 See Hyksos and Israelite Cities, by W. M. Flinders Petrie and J. Garrow Duncan, 1206 (double volume), Brit. Sch. of Arch. 2 J. de Morgan, Delegation en Perse (Paris, 19o0), vol. i. pl. viii. Nos. 8, 7 and 9. ' See ' The Treasures of the Oxus," catalogue of the Franks Bequest to the British Museum by Ormonde M. Dalton (London, 1905), pl. xxvi. No. 190; see also J. R. Aspelin, " Les antiquites du nord," No. 608; also for further references, Kathleen Schlesinger, " Precursors of the Violin Family," pt. ii. of The Instruments of the Orchestra, pp. 407-408, and appendix B, pp. 492-493; and Gazette archeologique (Paris, 1886), vol. xi. pl. x. and p. 70.the paintings of the Buddhist cave-temples of Ajanta.5 Several representations of the barbiton are extant from the classical Roman period. The modern Egyptian 'ad is the direct descendant of the Arabic lute, and, according to Lane, is strung with seven pairs of catgut strings played by a plectrum. A specimen in the Victoria and Albert Museum, given by the khedive, has four pairs only, which appears to have been the old stringing of the instrument. When frets (cross-lines dividing the neck or finger-board to show the fingering) are employed they are of catgut disposed according to the Arabic scale of seventeen intervals in the octave, consisting of twelve limmas, an interval rather less than our equal semitone, and five commas, which are very small but quite recognizable differences of pitch. The lute family is separated from the guitars, also of Eastern origin, by the formation of the sound body, which is in all lutes pear-shaped, without the sides or ribs necessary to the structure of the flat-backed guitar and cither. Observing this distinction, we include with the lute the little Neapolitan mandoline of 2 ft. long and the large double-necked Roman chitarrone, not infrequently 6 ft. long. Mandolines are partly strung with wire, and are played with a plectrum, indispensable for metal or short strings. Perhaps the earliest lutes were so played, but the large lutes and theorbos strung with catgut have been invariably touched by the fingers only, the length permitting this more sympathetic means of producing the tone. Praetorius,6 writing when the lute was in universal favour, mentions seven varieties distinguished by size and tuning. The smallest would be larger than a mandoline, and the melody string, the " chanterelle," often a single" string, lower in pitch. Praetorius calls this an octave lute, with the chanterelle C or D. The two discant lutes have respectively B and A, the alto G, the tenor E, the bass D, and the great octave bass G, an octave below the alto lute which may be taken as the model lute cultivated by the amateurs of the time. The bass lutes were theorbos, that is, double-necked lutes, as described below. The accord- ance of an alto lute was :- -rd' founded upon that of the original eight-stringed European lute, to which the highest and lowest notes had, in course of time, been added. A later addition was the" also on the finger- board, and bass strings, double or single, known as diapasons, which, descending to the deep C of the violoncello, were not stopped with the fingers. The diapasons were tuned as the key of the piece of music required. Fig. 2 represents an Italian instrument made by one of the most celebrated lute makers, Venere of Padua, in 1600; it is 3 ft. 6 in. high, and has six pairs of unisons and eight single diapason s. The finger-board, divided into approximately equal half tones by the frets, as a rule eight in number, was often further divided on the higher notes, for ten, eleven, or, as in the woodcut, even twelve, semitones. The head, bearing the tuning pegs, was placed at an obtuse or a right angle to the neck, to increase the bearing of the strings upon the nut, and be convenient for sudden requirements of tuning during performance, the trouble of keeping a lute in tune being proverbial. The lute was in general use during the 16th and 17th centuries. In the 18th it declined; still J. S. Bach wrote a " partita " for it. The latest date we have met with of an en-graved publication for the lute is 176o. The large double-necked lute, with two sets of tuning pegs, the lower for the finger-board, the higher for the diapason strings, was known as the theorbo; also, and especially in England, as the arch- lute; and, in a special form, the neck being then very long, as the chitarrone. Theorbo and chitarrone appear together at the close of the 16th century, and their introduction was synchronous with the rise of accompanied monody in music, that is, of the oratorio and the opera. Peri, Caccini and Monteverde used theorbos to b By John Griffiths (London, 1896), vol. ii. pl. 105, cave I. to, e. Syntagm. Music. pt. ii., " Organographie " (Wolfenbiittel, 1618), pp. 3o and 58-61.
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