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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.
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