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Numa, Pompilius



He was the second king of Rome (r. 715-673 BC). Of Sabine origin, he was regarded by later Romans as the wisest and most pious of their seven traditional kings. To Numa were attributed the reformation of the calendar, the reorganization of the state religion, the regulation of religious rites and ceremonies, the organization of the several sacerdotal colleges, and the establishment of the system of sacral law.

Most modern scholars suppose, however, that much of Numa's activity in the religious area, for which he is said to have received advice from Egeria, a neighboring nymph, rather resulted from an evolutionary process requiring several generations for its development. Some of these savants accept the historical reality of Numa as a person who initiated rather than completed the Roman religious development.
A.G.H.

Source: (P. R. Coleman-Norton, Princeton University) 61.