Hereafter, to avoid repetition, I use 'palubum' to mean food products ground for sacrificial meals.

[Etymonline:] [...] immolare "to sacrifice," originally "to sprinkle with sacrificial meal," from assimilated form of in- "into, in, on, upon" (see in- (2)) + mola (salsa) "(sacrificial) meal," related to molere "to grind" (see mallet). [...]

The etymology of the English verb 'immolate' implies the importance of palubum. This blog asserts 'barley cake' as the palubum; while page 79 of A Companion to Food in the Ancient World edited by John Wilkins, Robin Nadea states:

The Greek text refers to the pounding of the flour of emmer (far) for the sacrificial meals which would be mixed with salt (mola salsa), and the prohibition applies only in the gender relation that assumes marriage between a traditional Roman citizen and a young free girl.

  1. So what were the palabum? Anything that was able to be ground?

  2. What is special about palubum? Why did sacrificial meals require them?


Did you mean 'pabulum'?

The Roman tradition of animal sacrifice, among many specific acts, required mola salsa to be sprinkled on the victim's head and spine. Along with salt, the grain used to make the mola salsa was far, which is anglicized as either emmer or spelt wheat. According to the NovaRoma site, it came in the form of a cake. An article on Religio et Pietas explains that the sprinkling rituals were required by law and similar to Jewish practices.

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