Festivals of September Posted by on Sep 22, 2009 in Latin Language

From September fourth to September nineteenth, the Ludi Romani or the Roman Games were held. The Games were held to honor Jupiter, the supreme Roman deity. When the Ludi Romani was first celebrated, the games only lasted for a day. However, after time the games were celebrated for about fifteen days. The Ludi Romani was actually a religious festival, but it was not necessarily celebrated as an annual event. At times the festival was held at the whim of the consuls; especially after a triumphant military victory.

On the thirteenth of the Ludi Romani, the Epulum Jovis was held. The Epulum Jovis was a grand feast in honor of Jupiter. Statutes of all the gods were brought in and placed on soft pillows called pulvinaria. A grand table was set so that the gods could have their pick of the food. Since the statues couldn’t actually eat the food, the epulones or the ministers would actually do the consumption of the food. The fifteenth to the nineteeth were the days designated for the circus games like chariot races. The Ludi Romani was also the first festival to introduce ancient Roman drama to a wide audience.

The twenty sixth of September was the festival of Venus Genetrix or Mother Venus. Although Venus is mainly known to be associated as the goddess of love, in ancient Roman times she was associated with several attributes. The festival of Venus Genetrix is an acknowledgement of Venus’s ties to motherhood and domesticity. In ancient mythology, Venus was the mother of Cupid, who is now famously depicted in contemporary culture with wings and a bow of arrows. More generally though, the people of Rome viewed Venus as the mother of the Roman race and traced the begining of their ancestry to Venus.

Septimontium was also another festival celebrated in September. Seven animals were sacrificed seven times in the seven hills of Rome. The seven hills were: Aventinus (Aventine Hill), Caelius (Caelian Hill), Capitolinus (Capitoline Hill), Esquilinus (Esquiline Hill), Palatinus (Palatine Hill), Quirinalis (Quirinal Hill), and Viminalis (Viminal Hill). The ancient Romans believed that the first people settled within these seven hills. In honor of the first settlements, Septimontium was celebrated.

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