Salii

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Salii

 

(from Latin salire, “to leap,” “to dance”), in ancient Rome, a college of priests consisting of 12 priests of the god Mars (the Palatini) and 12 priests of the god Quirinus (the Col-lini or Agonenses). Only patricians could be Salii. During the annual celebrations in honor of Mars (in March and October), the Salii formed a procession around the city and performed a martial dance to a magical incantation; hence the name “Salii” (“dancers”). The Salii also existed in other cities of ancient Italy.