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Vessels containing water were placed at the entrance; from these, those entering sprinkled themselves to be purified from all guilt, as nothing impure was permitted to enter the precincts. The point towards which a Roman temple faced varied, according to the theory of H.Nissen, who investigated a large number of these temples in respect to this matter.It is certain that the Indo-Germanic peoples originally had no buildings for the worship of their gods, but worshiped the gods upon mountains, as Herodotus expressly says of the Persians, or believed the supernatural beings were present in groves or trees.

Either it was built upon a high stone platform, and thus united architecturally with the temple, or it stood in front of the steps or in the portico.

In the earliest period it was made of wood or clay, later it was cast from bronze or made of marble.

Besides the statue of the god to whom the temple was dedicated, statues of other gods were at times placed in the temple, partly as ornaments, partly because of their connexion with the principal god.

When the augurs had determined the boundaries of a temple-enclosure, the boundaries could not lawfully be interrupted except at one point, which was to serve as an entrance.

To mark these boundaries no walls were needed; a formula spoken by the augur was sufficient, and from this ceremony came the phrase effari locum , literally, "to proclaim a place", hence, to define and dedicate.

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