The adoratio, or adoration, is a form of saluting a deity, done to demonstrate one’s veneration. It is performed when saluting a deity, entering a temple, approaching the statue of a deity, approaching an altar, approaching a grave, etc.


How to perform adoratio?

There are two elements of adoratio:

  • The kissing of the right hand and the rotation.
  • Sallustius also mentions that the head should be covered, which is another Roman way of paying respect to the Gods on more solemn occasions (e.g., while offering sacrifice, or entering a temple, etc.).


Taking into account all sources written on the matter, this is recommended for adoratio:

  1. When you pass before or approach a temple or statue of a deity, a grave, or other sacred places such as the hearth, the lararium, etc. simply kiss your right hand in that direction.
  2. If you prefer to make things more solemn (especially when you are about to offer a more solemn sacrifice, or when you approach a relative’s grave), with the head covered, approach the altar, statue, lararium, grave, etc. Then take your right hand to your lips for a kiss and rotate all your body. Your rotation finishes in your original position facing the sacred spot, so that you can proceed with your ritual.
  3. You may also wish to adore in an even more elaborate way when you approach an altar. You may encircle the altar and then stop before the altar, take your hand to your lips and rotate as in 2.



Beard, Mary, and John North. Religions of Rome Volume 2: A Sourcebook.


Nova Roma. “Adoratio.” NOVA ROMA Dedicated to the restoration of classical Roman religion, culture and virtues. Accessed August 17, 2017.

Felix, Marcus Minucius, and John Henry. Freese. The Octavius of Minucius Felix. London: Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, 1919

Secundus, Gaius Plinius. Naturalis historia. Monachii: Saur, 2002.

Plutarch. “Roman Questions.” Sir Thomas Browne. Accessed August 18, 2017.*/a.html.

Plutarch. “Life of Numa.” Sir Thomas Browne. Accessed August 18, 2017.*.html.

Plutarch. “Vitruvius on Architecture.” Sir Thomas Browne. Accessed August 18, 2017.*.html.

Servio, Christopher Michael. McDonough, Richard Edmon. Prior, and Mark D. Stansbury-0Donnell. Servius commentary on Book four of Virgils Aeneid: an annotated translation. Wauconda, IL: Bolchazy-Carducci Publishers, 2004.