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that normally the divinities had a right to be publicly honored,
a ri^ht which was derived from old usage or positive law.    A
number of Greek divinities and the  Magna Mater of Asia
Minor were introduced by law in historic times ; nor was it un-
til the decline of the republic, when strangers crowded into
Rome  that the Egyptian Isis and Serapis, the Persian Mith-
ras, the virgo ccelestis of Carthage, and the Sun, began, with-
out law to become naturalized in the older Roman dominions.
The principle in regard to new gods is expressed by Cicero in
the prohibition of separate worship, and of the private cult us
of new or foreign divinities, unless publicly sanctioned (de leg.,
ii.3 8, 19)-    Julius Paulus again (Sentent., v., 21), in the time
of Alexander Severus, decides that " those who introduce
novel and as yet unknown religions, by which the minds of
men are stirred up, are to be exiled, if of respectable stand-
ing, and capitally punished if of humbler condition."    At a
much earlier date, about 425 B.C., in a time of drought and
pestilence, when, as Livy says, in all the streets and chapels
foreign expiations were practised, the aediles were ordered,
perhaps for the first time, to see that no gods should be wor-
shipped and no rites employed but Roman ones (iv;, 30).   Still
more remarkable is the same writer's account (xxv., i) of pub-
lic and private rites afterwards brought in by soothsayers and
sacrificers, and of women in crowds, even in the forum and on
the capitol, making sacrifices and praying in ways unknown,
before.    The sediles are blamed for this, and a special commis-,
sion was given to the city praetor to repress it.    This occurred
during the war with Hannibal, and is one of many illustrations
of the tendency of outlandish rites to come, like new medicines,
into pagan countries in their times of pestilence and calamity.
The forms  of worship,  also,  especially of public,  were
watched over by pagan communities.    No one seems to have
been allowed  to  innovate  in this  respect, as the way of
approach to the gods was thought to have had their sanction..
In Greece the oracle at Delphi served as a kind of regulator
in regard to religious cultus, both as to the objects and the
forms.   New methods of worship, especially of a secret kind,