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Festivals in July Posted by on Jul 21, 2009 in Latin Language

Poplifugia, also called Populifugia, was observed on the fifth of July. Poplifugia literally means, “the day of the people’s flight.” There are several legends associated with this feast. Some say that this day was commemorated to honor the flight of the Romans when Romulus, one of the mythical founders of Rome died. Others say that this festival was held to honor Jupiter, the god of thunder and the heavens. Jupiter was the grandfather of Romulus and the lord over all the gods on Mount Olympus. Supposedly, Jupiter protected the Romans when they were attacked by the Fidenae, a former Etruscan settlement.

Starting from July sixth to July thirteenth the festival of Ludi Apollinares honored the god Apollo. The feast lasted eight to nine days with races and theatrical entertainment. After an outbreak of the plague, sacrifices in the form of a gold gilded ox was presented to Apollo, the god of medicine and healing.

July seventh is the festival of Nonae Caprotinae or the Nones of the Wild Fig. This festival honored the goddess Juno. Juno represented the protector of the state. She is depicted in war-like attire in some sculptures, and is thought to have watched over the Romans in their various wars. July was also considered the best time to hold weddings. Juno is also the goddess of marriage. Hence, she is named after the month of July.

July ninth is the Caprotinia. On this day, female slaves ran about and beat their chests with their arms. The beating of the chest symbolized the legend where a violent storm accompanied by thunder broke out. After the storm, Romulus, who was king, was never to be found. There is also another legend that tells of a Roman maiden who lit a torch and guided the Romans to victory against the Gauls.

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