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Calendrical Notes
I keep daily notes on the Roman calendar -- to-day (January 1st, Julian date) has several coinciding ceremonies attached to it. This post is really intended to see if anyone else would be interested in my calendar notes. The English is from the Loeb Classics whenever I happen to possess the book, other translations are taken from publicly available sources as I lay heavy stress on the fact that I am an amateur classicist and my own renderings are not always perfect. I have corrected Loeb on one point where the translation seems to obscure the sense.

To-day is the Kalends of January (KALENDIS IANVARII). To-day is marked F, FASTVS, i.e. business in court might be heard this day.

Fortunately the Fasti of Praeneste preserves a fairly intact note for to-day:

''[Kalends of January. Business in Court.] To Aesculapius and Vediovis on the island. This day, along with the [other] Kalends, is given the name {calendae} because it is the first of the days which the pontifex minor [calls] on the Capitol in the Calabrian senate-house, in every month up until each Nones. The new year [begins then] because on this day the new magistrates enter office; this custom started in the 601st year after the foundation [of Rome].''

The connexion in Latin is between KALENDAS and the verb CALO, CALAVI, CALATVM, to call or to announce solemnly.

The sacred form, in the MENSES PLENI or full months (of thirty-one days) that predate the Julian reform (i.e. March, July, October, May), SEPTEM DIEM CALO TE IVNO COVELLA (from Varro's Lingua Latina, from the twenty-seventh chapter of the sixth book). In the MENSES CAVI and in the new Julian months of thirty-one days (August, December and January) the formula is DIES TE QVINQVE CALO IVNO COVELLA.

IVNO COVELLA, Juno of the Hollow Moon, is associated with the Nones on account of this incantation,  though Ovid states the Nones have no tutelary deity. The association is perhaps strengthened by the fact that the  Nones are the days of the waxing quarter-moon. It has occurred to me and to at least one other reconstructer of the Roman pagan religion that Juno, as the goddess of motherhood might govern the monthly cyclical renewal of the moon, just as she does the monthly cycle of menstruation and pregnancy, but a reference from the classical  authors would be required. Warde Fowler states that ''[Juno's] connexion with the moon is certain but not easy to explain''.

The temple of Vediovis on the Tiber Island is referred to by Livy, i) in the thirty-first book of his Roman History, in the twenty-first chapter: ''[during the raising of the siege of Cremona, invested by a host of Gauls lead by the Carthaginian Hamilcar in 200 B.C.E., the year of the City 554] the praetor... [L. Furius Purpureo] vowed a temple to Diiovis if he routed the enemy on that day''. ii) In the thirty-fourth book of the Roman History, we find that '' [in the year 194 B.C.E., of the city 560] ''on the Island, Gaius Servilius the duumvir dedicated a temple to Jupiter; it had been vowed six years before in the Gallic war by the praetor Lucius Furius Purpurio, and contracted for by the same man as consul.''

Note that although in the latter reference to Livy we find the phrase ''IOVIS AEDEM'' (a temple [lit. of, but better rendered] to Jupiter) the earlier reference gives the form DIIOVIS. Mommsen is sure that the deity referred to is VEDIOVIS.

Warde Fowler gives VEDIOVIS as ''the opposite of'' or ''separated from'' Jupiter. He refers to Vediovis as an obscure god, but I cannot agree. The source for this etymology is in the twenty-first chapter of the fifth book of ''Attic Nights'' (a learned commonplace-book by the second-century scholar Aulus Gellius), which is an invaluable source upon the god himself:

''In ancient prayers we have observed that these names of deities appear: Diovis and Vediovis; furthermore, there is also a temple of Vediovis at Rome, between the Citadel and the Capitolium. The explanation of these names I have found to be this: the ancient Latins derived Iovis from iuvare (help), and called that same god "father," thus adding a second word. For Iovispater is the full and complete form, which becomes Iupiter by the syncope or change of some of the letters. So also Neptunuspater is used as a compound, and Saturnuspater and Ianuspater and Marspater — for that is the original form of Marspiter — and Jove also was called Diespiter, that is, the father of day and of light. And therefore by a name of similar origin Jove is called Diovis and also Lucetius, because he blesses us and helps us by means of the day and the light, which are equivalent to life itself. And Lucetius is applied to Jove by Gnaeus Naevius in his poem On the Punic War.

Accordingly, when they had given the names Iovis and Diovis from iuvare (help), they applied a name of the contrary meaning to that god who had, not the power to help, but the force to do harm — for some gods they worshipped in order to gain their favour, others they propitiated in order to avert their hostility; and they called him Vediovis, thus taking away and denying his power to give help. 

 For the particle ve which appears in different forms in different words, now being spelled with these two letters and now with an a inserted between the two,a has two meanings which also differ from each other. For ve, like very many other particles, has the effect either of weakening or of strengthening the force of a word; and it therefore happens that some words to which that particle is prefixed are ambiguous and may be used with either force, such as vescus (small), vemens (mighty), and vegrandis (very small),  a point which I have discussed elsewhere in greater detail. But vesanus and vecordes are used with only one of the meanings of ve, namely, the privative or negative force, which the Greeks call κατὰ στέρησιν.

It is for this reason that the statue of the god Vediovis, which is in the temple of which I spoke above, holds arrows, which, as everyone knows, are devised to inflict harm. For that reason it has often been said that that god is Apollo; and a she-goat is sacrificed to him in the customary fashion, and a representation of that animal stands near his statue.

It was for this reason, they say, that Virgil, a man deeply versed in antiquarian lore, but never making a display of his knowledge, prays to the unpropitious gods in the Georgics, thus intimating that in gods of that kind there is a power capable of injuring rather than aiding. The verses of Vergil are these:

A task of narrow span, but no small praise,
If unpropitious powers bar not my way
And favouring Phoebus grant a poet's prayer.

And among those gods which ought to be placated in order to avert evil influences from ourselves or our harvests are reckoned Auruncus and Robigus.''

The phrase of Aulus Gellius rendered by the Loeb Classical Library as ''in the customary fashion'' is HVMANO RITV. This is a far more interesting phrase than the Loeb translation suggests, and may denote a sacrifice by burial (HVMO, HVMARE, HVMATVS, I inter), which strikes the author as appropriate for the opposite of Jupiter, the god of the heavens, or that the goat is a substitute for a human victim.

Vediovis association with Apollo, ''so often a god of pestilence'' (Warde Fowler), whose arrows inflicted plague upon the intractable Achaeans (cf. the first book of the Iliad), is interesting insofar as he shared the Tiber Island with the temple of Aesculapius, the god of medicine and healing.

The temple of Aesculapius is alluded to in the Periochae, a fourth-century ''summary''  of Livy,  but really no more than a table of contents, though valuable as it covers parts of the History otherwise lost:

''[In the year 293 B.C.E., the year of the city 461] When the people suffered from a plague, envoys were sent to bring a statue of Aesculapius from Epidaurus to Rome. They brought with them a snake that had joined them in the ship, and which no doubt was a manifestation of the god; from the ship, it went to the island in the Tiber, to the place where the temple of Aesculapius has been erected.'' 

In his ''Roman Antiquities'' (the thirteenth chapter of the fifth book), Dionysius of Helicarnassus informs us that the Tiber Island is ''of goodly size [and] consecrated to Aesculapius.'' He gives in the same place an account of how the island came into being: after the expulsion of Tarquin, the consuls divided up the property of the tyrant amongst those who had no allotments ''reserving only one field, which lies between the city and the river. This field their ancestors had by a public decree consecrated to Mars as a meadow for horses and the most suitable drill-field for the youth to perform their exercises in arms. The strongest proof, I think, that even before this the field had been consecrated to this god, but that Tarquinius had appropriated it to his own use and sown it, was the action then taken by the consuls in regard to the corn there.  For though they had given leave to the people to drive and carry away everything that belonged to the tyrants, they would not permit anyone to carry away the grain which had grown in this field and was still lying upon the threshing-floors whether in the straw or threshed, but looking upon it as accursed and quite unfit to be carried into their houses, they caused a vote to be passed that it should be thrown into the river. And there is even now a conspicuous monument of what happened on that occasion, in the form of an island of goodly size consecrated to Aesculapius and washed on all sides by the river, an island which was formed, they say, out of the heap of rotten straw and was further enlarged by the silt which the river kept adding.''

It is possible that the presence of Aesculapius, the deity of healing, brought Vediovis to the Tiber Island, Warde Fowler notes that there is a clear connection between Apollo and Aesculapius. It is worth observing that a temple to the god FAVNVS was vowed in the year 196 B.C.E., of the city 558, and built on the Tiber Island in the year 194 B.C.E., of the city 556. In his Fasti, Ovid recounts that it was the god Faunus who appeared to Numa Pompilius in a dream and halted a dearth and pestilence in Rome:

In Numa’s kingship the harvest failed to reward men’s efforts:
The farmers, deceived, offered their prayers in vain.
At one time that year it was dry, with cold northerlies,
The next, the fields were rank with endless rain:
Often the crop failed the farmer in its first sprouting,
And meagre wild oats overran choked soil,
And the cattle dropped their young prematurely,
And the ewes often died giving birth to lambs.
There was an ancient wood, long untouched by the axe,
Still sacred to Pan, the god of Maenalus:
He gave answers, to calm minds, in night silence.
Here Numa sacrificed twin ewes.
The first fell to Faunus, the second to gentle Sleep:
Both the fleeces were spread on the hard soil.
Twice the king’s unshorn head was sprinkled with spring water,
Twice he pressed the beech leaves to his forehead.
He abstained from sex: no meat might be served
At table, nor could he wear a ring on any finger.
Dressed in rough clothes he lay down on fresh fleeces,
Having worshipped the god with appropriate words.
Meanwhile Night arrived, her calm brow wreathed
With poppies: bringing with her shadowy dreams.
Faunus appeared, and pressing the fleece with a hard hoof,
From the right side of the bed, he uttered these words:
‘King, you must appease Earth, with the death of two cows:
Let one heifer give two lives, in sacrifice.’
Fear banished sleep: Numa pondered the vision,
And considered the ambiguous and dark command.
His wife, Egeria, most dear to the grove, eased his doubt,
Saying: ‘What’s needed are the innards of a pregnant cow,’
The innards of a pregnant cow were offered: the year proved
More fruitful, and earth and cattle bore their increase.

Thus, the god who possesses the power to inflict the plague, and who is propitiated to prevent it, shares the Tiber Island with two gods of healing or of averting pestilence and unfruitfulness.

After and in the year of the Consulship of Nobilior and Luscus, 153 B.C.E, of the City 601, the new Consuls take up their office to-day, and it is customary to give New Year's presents called STRENAE by way of good omen. 

Ovid alludes to the sentiments of this day in the first book of his Fasti (a poetic commentary on the religious calendar, here rendered into English prose: ''A happy day now dawns : forward the holy aspirations both with tongues and spirits; now, on a blessed day, blessed words are to be uttered. Be our ears relieved from litigation, and let all intemperate altercation be straightway removed : postpone, malignant tongue, your task. See you not, how the heavens blaze with scented flames, and crackles upon kindled hearth Cilician spikenard? The flame with its brightness reverberates on the gold of the temples, and scatters its quivering beam on the sacred ceilings. With pure dresses they go  to the Tarpeian heights, and the very multitude wears the colour harmonizing with the gay occasion. And now precede new fasces, new purple glistens behind, and the ornamented chairs of ivory bear new burthens.''

The STRENAE themselves are much older than the assumption of the Consulship upon this day. The name is derived from the goddess STRENIA or STRENVA of the Sabines. Varro, in the forty-seventh chapter of the fifth book of his Latin Language, alludes to her sacellum at the head of the VIA SACRA, the Sacred Way that ran through the Forum to the Capitol: ''the Sacred Way...extends from the Chapel of Strenia to the Capitol''. 

At the beginning of each year, certain sacred twigs from the grove of STRENIA are carried along the Sacred Way in procession to the Citadel on the Capitoline Hill, but we do not know whether this rite belonged always to the Kalends of January or if it was transferred here in the year alluded to above.

The customs given above are alluded to by the late writer Q. Aurelius Symmachus thus: ''From almost the beginning of Mars' city [i.e. Rome, on account of the fact that Mars was the sire of Romulus by Rhea Silvia, and also the city of the ANCILIA, the sacred shields of Mars, one of which fell from Heaven] the custom of New Year's gifts prevailed on account of the precedent of king Tatius who was the first to reckon the holy branches of a lucky tree in Strenia's grove as the auspicious signs of the new year."

The commentator on my copy of Varro gives us that STRENIA is ''a goddess of health and physical well-being''. The form STRENVA is identical to the feminine form of the adjective STRENVVS, -A, -VM, brisk, nimble, active or vigorous, hence, the vigorous one, or the one who makes others nimble and strong.
Patrick J. Gray

'' Now. Close your eyes. It's but a short step to the boat, a short pull across the river.''
''And then?''
''And then, I promise you, you'll dream a different story altogether''

From ''I, Claudius'', by J. Pulman after R. Graves.
The observant will note that the post given above is a day ahead in it's reckoning -- I blundered at the Saturnalia and lost track. Yesterday was in fact the Kalends of January, not the day before.
Patrick J. Gray

'' Now. Close your eyes. It's but a short step to the boat, a short pull across the river.''
''And then?''
''And then, I promise you, you'll dream a different story altogether''

From ''I, Claudius'', by J. Pulman after R. Graves.
You're forgiven! Wink
Robert Vermaat
FECTIO Late Romans
(Maurikios-Strategikon, book VIII.2: Maxim 12)
[Image: artgroepbutton.jpg]
Thank you -- I spent most of the morning armed with a red pen correcting dates!
Patrick J. Gray

'' Now. Close your eyes. It's but a short step to the boat, a short pull across the river.''
''And then?''
''And then, I promise you, you'll dream a different story altogether''

From ''I, Claudius'', by J. Pulman after R. Graves.
To-day is the third day before the Nones of January (ANTE DIEM III NONAS IANVARII), in modern reckoning the third of January.

The late calendars of Polemius (fifth century) and Philocalus (fourth century) give between them to-day, -to-morrow and the day after to-morrow as LVDI, public games. Polemius reveals that by this late period these were the dates of the LVDI COMPITALES (with to-morrow explicitly marked as the day of the LVDI COMPITALES = COMPITALIA?), but this dating rested purely on tradition, i.e. they never became FERIAE STATIVAE, festivals of fixed date. These late dates are contradicted by e.g. Dionysius of Halicarnassus, a source of the first century B.C.E., who gives them as ''a few days'' after the SATVRNALIA (Roman Antiquities, Book IV Chapter XIV).

Macrobius, also of fourth-century date, makes this clear in the sixteenth chapter of the first book of his Saturnalia, in which he ranks them as FERIAE CONCEPTIVAE held a few days after the Saturnalia.

Returning to the Republican period, Varro, in his ''Latin Language'' (Book Six, Chapter Twenty-Five), gives us the following: '' I shall speak of the annual festivals which are not fixed on a special day. The COMPITALIA is the day assigned to the Lares of the highways, therefore where the highways 'COMPETVNT' (meet), sacrifice is then made at the 'COMPITA' (crossroads).''

In Rome, the SACELLA of the Lares Compitales, two in each case, were erected at the points where two VICI or streets of houses met. These, naturally, formed the religious centres of their district and colleges or COLLEGIA COMPITALICIA were set up. These were open to freedmen, slaves and other lowly men and were much exploited by unscrupulous populists, leading to their suppression in 64 B.C.E (the year of the consulship of Caesar and Figulus, of the City six hundred and ninety). They were revived by perhaps the most notorious populist of all, CLODIVS PVLCHER, who abandoned his patrician status, in a LEX CLODIA DE COLLEGII in 56 B.C.E. (the year of the consulship of Lentulus and Philippus, of the City six hundred and ninety-eight)

It has commonly been said that Julius Caesar suppressed them, but the passage in Suetonius, in the forty-second chapter of his ''Julius'': ''He dissolved all guilds, except those of ancient foundation.'' This cannot refer to the COLLEGIA COMPITALICIA, for Dionysius of Halicarnassus, again in the fourteenth chapter of the fourth book of the Roman Antiquities, states that they were founded by Servius Tullius, the penultimate king of Rome: ''he commanded that there should be erected in every street by the inhabitants of the neighbourhood chapels to heroes whose statues stood in front of the houses, and he made a law that sacrifices should be performed to them every year, each family contributing a honey-cake. He directed also that the persons attending and assisting those who performed the sacrifices at these shrines on behalf of the neighbourhood should not be free men, but slaves, the ministry of servants being looked upon as pleasing to the heroes. This festival the Romans still continued to celebrate even in my day in the most solemn and sumptuous manner a few days after the Saturnalia, calling it the Compitalia, after the streets; for compiti is their name for streets.And they still observe the ancient custom in connexion with those sacrifices, propitiating the heroes by the ministry of their servants, and during these days removing every badge of their servitude, in order that the slaves, being softened by this instance of humanity, which has something great and solemn about it, may make themselves more agreeable to their masters and be less sensible of the severity of their condition.''

We must, then, conclude that the COLLEGIA lapsed in the disturbed times of the civil wars and then were revived by Augustus which is indeed the clear sense of Suetonius' ''Augustus'', Chapter 31 -- '' He also revived some of the ancient rites which had gradually fallen into disuse, such as the augury of Safety, the office of Flamen Dialis, the ceremonies of the Lupercalia, the Secular Games, and the festival of the Compitalia... He provided that the Lares of the Crossroads should be crowned twice a year, with spring and summer flowers.''

In the country districts, too, the COMPITALIA was celebrated. A. Persius Flaccus, a satirist of the first century C.E., gives us invaluable information regarding its rites. In the fourth Satire, parodying a miser, we find:

''...whenever he fastens up the yoke at the festival of crossroads and thoroughfares, in the extremity of his dread at scraping off the ancient incrustation from his dwarf wine jar, groans out ''May it be for the best!'' as he munches onions, coats and all, with salt, and while his slaves are clapping their hands with ecstasy at the mess of meal, gulps down the mothery lees of expiring vinegar''

Thus, we know that a yoke was set up, perhaps at the crossroads (cf. Ovid in his ''Fasti'' on the Paganalia: ''Let the farmer hang the toil-worn plough on its post''), the commentator on my copy of Persius gives ''The yoke was hung up, with the other parts of the plough, as a symbol of the suspension of labour.'

There was evidently a feast, though less miserable than onions, PVLS and salt, and wine was drunk in abundance (Cf. Cato's DE AGRICVLTVRA: ''In addition, issue 3½ congii [of wine, i.e. eighteen pints and 2 gills] per person for the Saturnalia and the Compitalia.) with the toast ''HOC BENE SIT''. The plebeian character of the Compitalia is as clear in the country as in the city -- the master provides a meal for his slaves. Cf. also Cato's DE AGRICVLTVRA, on the duties of the VILICVS, ''He must perform no religious rites, except on the occasion of the Compitalia at the cross-roads, or before the hearth'', thus, it was essentially a celebration of rude and rustic people, superintended not by the master but by his steward.

The sacrifice (Warde Fowler) appears to have been offered at an altar set up at a crossroads, or where two paths between fields crossed.
Patrick J. Gray

'' Now. Close your eyes. It's but a short step to the boat, a short pull across the river.''
''And then?''
''And then, I promise you, you'll dream a different story altogether''

From ''I, Claudius'', by J. Pulman after R. Graves.
interesting keep the good work
Gelu I.
Thank you. If it is of interest to any beginners, I attach an little introductory note on Roman reckoning:

The Kalendar used by here is that of the Divine Emperor Julius Caesar. It consists of twelve months (MENSES), to wit:

MENSIS MARTIVS, of thirty-one days.
MENSIS APRILIS, of thirty days.
MENSIS MAIVS, of thirty-one days.
MENSIS IVNIVS, of thirty days.
MENSIS SEPTEMBRIS, of thirty days.
MENSIS OCTOBRIS, of thirty-one days.
MENSIS NOVEMBRIS, of thirty days.
MENSIS DECEMBRIS, of thirty-one days.
MENSIS IANVARIVS, of thirty-one days.
MENSIS FEBRVARIVS of twenty-eight days.

These dates are not equivalent to the Gregorian calendar. The Julian date may be obtained by subtracting thirteen days from the Gregorian.

In any case, we do not reckon by weeks, but rather by counting forward (inclusively) towards the nearest of the three fixed days in each month, the Kalends, the Nones and the Ides. The months are divided into ''full'' months (MENSES PLENI) of thirty-one days, and ''hollow'' months (MENSES CAVI) of thirty days.

In the full months that predate the Julian reform (MENSES MARTIVS, MAIVS, QVINCTILIS and OCTOBRIS) the Kalends is the first, the Nones the seventh and the Ides the fifteenth day.
In the new Julian full months (MENSES SEXTILIS, DECEMBRIS and IANVARIVS) and in the hollow months, the Kalends is the first day, the Nones the fifth and the Ides the thirteenth day.

There is a traditional rhyme to remember this:

March, July, October, May,
The Nones the seventh, Ides the fifteenth day.

February has 28 or (in modern terms) 29 days and is reckoned as a shortened hollow month. However, in actual fact, the sixth day before the Kalends of March is reckoned as forty-eight hours long, so that February always has twenty-eight days.

The Nones are so chosen as to fall nine days, inclusively, before the Ides, and the Ides themselves fall approximately on the middle day of each month.

Furthermore, the Kalends marks the sighting of the first sliver of the new moon, the Nones the quarter-moon and the Ides the full moon.

The eve (PRIDIE) and the day following (POSTRIDIE) the Kalends, Ides or Nones are expressed as such. The latter is a black day (DIES ATER) of ill omen ''on these days... [we] might not start anything new'' (Varro, ''Latin Language'', Book Six Chapter 29)

Note that the dates ''AB VRBE CONDITA'' are artificial -- the Romans never used such a system, instead naming each year after the two consuls elected for that year. Such lists of consuls (the FASTI CONSVLARES) provide the foundation for the annalists.

Religious and legal calendars were published (FASTI). In these, the religious and legal status of each day was marked by an abbreviation. We possess several fragmentary FASTI, one of the most valuable being that of Praeneste, which preserves much of the commentary of Verrius Flaccus, writing in the reign of Tiberius.

The essential division is into ''DIES FASTI'', on which courts might take place, and ''DIES NEFASTI'' which were devoted to other purposes. FASTVS derives from FAS, a noun meaning ''in accordance with the dictates of religion'' or ''permissible'' (NEFAS is the opposite), thus, days upon which it is permissible to hold court, or from FOR, FARI, FATVS, to say or to speak, because on these days ''it is permitted in the presence of the magistrates of the Roman people to speak those words, without which no legal business can take place'' (FASTI PRAENESTINI, Verius Flaccus)

There were three classes of ''DIES FASTI'' or permitted days:

1. ''DIES FASTI PROPRIE ET TOTI'' on which the praetor might hold his court at all hours, were denoted by F alone.

2. ''DIES PROPRIE SED NON TOTI FASTI'' were those on which the praetor might hold his court at certain hours, or, in other words, they were partially ''FASTI'' and partly ''NEFASTI''. Abbreviations include FP (FASTVS PRIMO). Other abbreviations were used, as END. (ENDOTERCISVS, divided in two), on which the morning and evening were NEFASTI and the intervening period, between the sacrifice and the offering of the entrails upon the altar, was FASTVS, Q. REX. C.F. (QVANDO REX COMITIO FVGIT or QVANDO REX COMITAVIT FAS)on which the King (the REX SACRORVM or King of the Sacred Rites, who assumed many of the functions of the old King) flees the Council [after offering sacrifice there] -- the two Regifugia, held by some to commemorate the expulsion of the Tarquins) and Q. ST. D. (QVANDO STERCVS DEFERTVR, on which the ashes [of the Vestal Fire] are thrown away through the Porta Stercoraria).

3. ''DIES NON PROPRIE SED CASU FASTI'', or days that were not ''FASTI'' but became so by accident, as if the ''COMITIA'' was not held on its proper day (a ''DIES FASTVS TOTVS'') or if it lasted but part of the day (the remainder was a DIES FASTVS EX PARTE).

''DIES NEFASTI' were those on which the praetor might not hold his court, nor may assemblies (COMITIA) be held. The term initially held no religious meaning -- from a religious point of view, days were either ''DIES FESTI'' devoted to the gods, ''DIES PROFESTI'' devoted to the affairs of men and ''DIES INTERCISI'', in part devoted to the gods and in part devoted to men -- but later came to be applied to religious days in general, as ''DIES NEFASTI'' were generally dedicated to the worship of the gods.

The abbreviation NP is sometimes met with. Warde Fowler takes it to indicate a day sacred to a god or goddess who was not of earthly character. Nova Roma (a Roman pagan group) glosses it ''nefastus publicus'', a sacred day on which public rites were held. Seek source for latter?

''DIES PROFESTI'' were subdivided into ''DIES COMITIALES'' on which the comitia might be held, ''DIES COMPERENDINI'' onto which legal summonses (VADIMONIA) could be transferred, and ''DIES STATI' on which cases between Romans and foreigners might be heard. ''DIES PROELIALES'' were those on which war might be declared, it being forbidden by the dictates of religion to declare war on certain days and festivals.
Patrick J. Gray

'' Now. Close your eyes. It's but a short step to the boat, a short pull across the river.''
''And then?''
''And then, I promise you, you'll dream a different story altogether''

From ''I, Claudius'', by J. Pulman after R. Graves.
There is no substantial note for to-day -- it is the second before the Nones of January (ANTE DIEM II NONAS IANVARII), also the eve of the Nones (PRIDIE NONAS) marked C., DIES COMITIALIS, as was yesterday. To-day is the day marked by Polemius as LVDI COMPITALES and is a possible late date for the COMPITALIA.
Patrick J. Gray

'' Now. Close your eyes. It's but a short step to the boat, a short pull across the river.''
''And then?''
''And then, I promise you, you'll dream a different story altogether''

From ''I, Claudius'', by J. Pulman after R. Graves.
To-day is the Nones of January (NONIS IANVARII), in modern reckoning the fifth of January.

The calendar of Polemius Silvius possesses in one manuscript the note COMITALIS. It is possibly a corruption of DIES COMITIALIS, but as the FASTI PRAENESTINI notes to-day as a DIES FASTVS, we might consider that it could be a corruption of COMPITALES, i.e. to-day is held a third day of Compitalian games. This is certainly the interpretation of Warde Fowler.

As we find in Cato's DE AGRICVLTVRA, particular devotion ought to be paid to the Lares on the Kalends, Ides and Nones:

[Of the wife of the VILICVS or overseer]: ''On the Kalends, Ides, and Nones, and whenever a holy day comes, she must hang a garland over the hearth, and on those days pray to the household gods as the opportunity offers.'' It is assumed in Cato's text that the devotion of the humble vilica is subsidiary to the proper rituals performed by the paterfamilias, indeed, the overseer is cautioned to restrain his wife from presumptuous piety and infringement on the proper worship of the father of the household. This is quite in keeping with the legal character of the Roman religion, its characteristics being austerity and lack of emotionalism -- summed up in the principle DO VT DES: I give [to the gods] in order that thou [the gods] mayest give unto me.

What rituals were, we may ask, done in honour of the Lares? In the fifth satire of Juvenal, we find the offering of wreaths, of incense and of flowers. Christian edicts against the worship of the gods explicitly forbid ''libation of undiluted wine'', ''a pinch of incense'', ''a lighted candle'' and ''hang[ing] a garland of flowers'' (Flower's The Dancing Lares). All of these, then are proper offerings to the Lares.
Patrick J. Gray

'' Now. Close your eyes. It's but a short step to the boat, a short pull across the river.''
''And then?''
''And then, I promise you, you'll dream a different story altogether''

From ''I, Claudius'', by J. Pulman after R. Graves.
To-day is the eighth day before the Ides of January (ANTE DIEM VIII IDVS IANVARII), also referred to as the day after the Nones of January (POSTRIDIE NONAS IANVARII). In modern reckoning it is the sixth of January.

To-day is marked F., DIES FASTVS, but see below.

To-day, as with all ''days after'', is a DIES ATER, a black day of ill omen, ''on these days... [we] might not start anything new'' (Varro, ''Latin Language'', Book Six Chapter 29).
Patrick J. Gray

'' Now. Close your eyes. It's but a short step to the boat, a short pull across the river.''
''And then?''
''And then, I promise you, you'll dream a different story altogether''

From ''I, Claudius'', by J. Pulman after R. Graves.
To-day has but a short note, it is the seventh day before the Ides of January (ANTE DIEM VII IDVS IANVARII), in modern reckoning the seventh of January. To-day is marked C., DIES COMITIALIS.

There are, however, two interesting historical notes, both fragmentary:

''Business in Assembly. Caesar Augustus [first took up the fasces], when Hirtius and Pansa [were consuls].
[Tiberius Caesar] was appointed to the board of seven epulones.''

The year of the consulship of Hirtius and Pansa was 43 B.C.E., of the City 711, a most significant year, being the year of the battles of PONTVS GALLORVM and of MVTINA, both part of the brief civil war., called by Suetonius that of Mutina (Suet. Aug. 9) between Mark Antony on one side and the Senate and the God Augustus (then Octavian) before the formation of the second Triumvirate.

The ''taking up of the fasces'' alluded to in the note must refer to his appointment as propraetor, which is described by Suetonius thus:

''Put in command of the army which he had raised, with the rank of propraetor, and bidden to join with Hirtius and Pansa, who had become consuls [both fell in the war of Mutina, one in battle and one either of a septic wound or by poison], in lending aid to Decimus Brutus [one of Caesar's assassins, in this war Octavian takes the part of the Optimates against Antony, who sought to seize Cisalpine Gaul from the aforementioned Brutus], he finished the war which had been entrusted to him within three months in two battles.''

This was the first office Augustus held that possessed IMPERIVM, the power to beat and, outside the POMERIVM or sacred boundary of Rome, to slay, and, as such, he was for the first time attended by LICTORS bearing the FASCES, the bundle of rods and, outside the city, an axe-blade that symbolised his power.

To my great annoyance I cannot find the year in which Tiberius was appointed one of the SEPTEMVIRI EPVLONES. These were a college of priests, originally three in number, founded in 196 B.C.E. (the year of the consulate of Purpureo and Marcellus, of the City 558) to attend to the EPVLVM IOVIS, the ritual feast offered to Jupiter on the Ides of September at the Roman Games, at which the statues of the gods reclined and were served a great feast, the lesser EPVLVM IOVIS on the Ides of November (during the Plebeian Games) and to the other banquets held in honour of the immortal gods. They succeeded the Pontifices in this duty.

At some period prior to the time of Caesar the number was raised to seven, and Caesar added three more (Cassius Dio, the fifty-first chapter of the forty-third book: ''For owing favours, as he did, to many persons, he repaid them by such appointments as these and by priesthoods, adding one man to the Quindecemviri, and three others to the Septemviri, as they were called.'' This increase was clearly of very short duration and the number of Epulones continued at seven (cf. e.g. the second-century antiquarian Aulus Gellius, in the twelfth chapter of his first book of Attic Nights: ''one of the Seven who oversee the banquets of the gods'').
Patrick J. Gray

'' Now. Close your eyes. It's but a short step to the boat, a short pull across the river.''
''And then?''
''And then, I promise you, you'll dream a different story altogether''

From ''I, Claudius'', by J. Pulman after R. Graves.
To-day is the sixth day before the Ides of January (ANTE DIEM VI IDVS IANVARII), in modern reckoning the eighth day of the month. It is marked C., DIES COMITIALIS.

The FASTI PRAENESTINI contains a fairly intact commentary by Verrius Flaccus:

''Business in Assembly. [Tiberius Caesar dedicated] the statue of Augustan Justice . . . [when Plancus] and Silius were consuls.''

The year of the consulship of C. Silius and L. Munatius Plancus was the year 13 C.E., of the City 766. According to the abstract of a paper by Mr.  R. Syme in the Journal of Roman Studies (Vol. 56, Issue I-II, November 1966, pp. 55-60), there is a degree of controversy over the form of the name of the first consul, with a longer form, C. Silius Caecina Largus, being suggested, as also over the duration of the consulship. It has been suggested there was at least one CONSVL SVFFECTVS (a consul appointed following the death of one already in office), possibly another, and perhaps even another pair of SVFFECTI?

It was also the year prior to the God Augustus' death and apotheosis in 14 C.E., the year of the consulship of Pompeius and Appuleius, of the City 767. According to a paper by Mr.  J.B. Lott, published in the 113th volume of the ''Zeitschrift fuer Papyrologie und Epigraphik'', that published in 1996, pp. 263-270 (once again, I regrettably cannot afford to purchase the paper at the moment), this statue was the ''earliest attested cult of IVSTITIA at Rome''.

Lott alludes to passages from the first letter in the second volume of the epistles of Ovid from his exile in the Black Sea, addressed to Germanicus, namely lines 25-34.

Germanicus, having won triumphal ornaments against the Dalmatians and Pannonians together with Tiberius in 9 C.E. (the year of the consulship of Sabinus and Camerinus, of the City 762) , which the latter delayed on account of the public mourning caused by the Varian disaster. Germanicus celebrated his delayed triumph in 13 C.E. (see above) and is thus addressed by Ovid:

''Thou [O Fame] didst tell me how, though for  many days before the cloudy Auster poured forth constant rain, the sun through heavenly power shone bright, the day matching the looks of the people; how the victor, honouring them with a loud voice, bestowed the warlike gifts upon the heroes he praised; how as he was about to don the embroidered vestments, the marks of glory, first he sprinkled incense on the sacred hearth, appeasing in purity the justice of his father which ever has a shrine in that breast ; how wherever he went, he received the happy omen of applause and the pavement blushed with dewy roses.''

Although Germanicus is apparently addressed, Tiberius was also a TRIVMPHATOR, and only he can be referred to here, as Augustus adopted Tiberius as his son [in 4 C.E., the year if the consulship of Catus and Saturninus, of the City 757], not Germanicus -- this sacrifice of incense to appease ''the justice of his father'' is perhaps the dedication of the statue of Augustan Justice.

See also the sixth letter of the third book, lines 23-26:

''And no-one is milder than our princeps, for Justice tempers his strength. Her Caesar but recently installed in a marble temple; long ago he enshrined her in his heart''.

Although this letter alludes to Augustus, it is at least possible that the allusion is to the dedication of Augustan Justice by Tiberius (if we take Caesar as Tiberius, a title he would have adopted as Augustus' son).
Patrick J. Gray

'' Now. Close your eyes. It's but a short step to the boat, a short pull across the river.''
''And then?''
''And then, I promise you, you'll dream a different story altogether''

From ''I, Claudius'', by J. Pulman after R. Graves.
To-day is the fifth day before the Ides of January (ANTE DIEM V IDVS IANVARII), in modern reckoning the ninth day of the month. The Fasti Praenestini preserves a sadly much mutilated note:

''[No Business; Public Holiday.] Agonalia . . . Agonia . . . or because . . .''

Note that NP is interpreted by the translator as ''NEFASTVS PVBLICVS'', whereas Warde Fowler glosses it as the the festival of a god not of earthly character.

On account of fragmentary note, we must rely on literary sources, which are fortunately extremely detailed. Ovid's Fasti (the first book, line 317 et seq.) yields the following:

''Add four successive days to the Nones, and on the Agonal morn Janus must be appeased. The day may take its name from the attendant who, in garb succinct, fells at a blow the victim of the gods; for just before he dyes the brandished knife in the warm blood, he always asks if he is to proceed (agatne), and not until he is bidden does he proceed. Some believe that the day is named Agonal from the driving of the victims, because the sheep do not come but are driven (agantur) to the altar. Others think the ancients called this festival Agnalia (“festival of the lambs”), dropping a single letter from its proper place. Or perhaps, because the victim fears the knives mirrored in the water before they strike, the day may have been so styled from the brute’s agony. It may be also that he day took a Greek name from the games (agones) which were wont to be held in olden times. In the ancient tongue, too, agonia meant a sheep, and that last, in my judgement, is the true reason of the name. And though that is not certain, still the King of the Sacred Rites is bound to placate the divinities by sacrificing the mate of a woolly ewe. The victim is so called because it is felled by a victorious right hand; the hostia (sacrificial victim) takes its name from conquered hostes (foes).''

It should be noted that the abbreviation AGON., AGONIA, is found on March 17th (the LIBERALIA), May 21st (the AGONIA VEDIOVI) and on December 11th (AGONIA INDIGETI). The last case is perhaps doubtful, as Warde Fowler glosses AG[ONIA] IN[DIGETI] as merely a carver's error for AGON.

From Varro, we receive proof that AGONIA denotes the sacrifice of a ram to a particular god by the REX SACRORVM in the REGIA (''the traditional palace of Numa'', my commentator on Varro). See Book VI, Chapter Twelve:

''The dies agonales, on which the high-priest sacrifices a ram in the Regia, were named from ''agon'' for this reason, because the helper at the sacrifices asks ''agone'', ''shall I do my work? ; unless it is from the Greek, where ''agon'' means ''princeps'', leader, from the fact that the sacrificing is done by a leader of the state and the leader of the flock is sacrificed.''

The commentator upon Varro (the Loeb edition) notes that the answer to ''agone'' is ''HOC AGE'' (do thou this).

The ''attendant... in garb succinct'', the ''helper at the sacrifices'' of Varro is the POPA, who knocked down the sacrificial victim with a hammer, or the CVLTRARIVS, who slit the throat of the victim. Ovid seems rather to confuse the two, but from Suetonius' Caligula (32:3) we see that they were at least sometimes separate:

''Once when he stood by the altar dressed as a popa, and a victim was brought up, he raised his mallet on high and slew the cultrarius.''

The ''garb succinct'' is the CINCTVS GABINVS, which Mommsen derives from the lengthy wars with Gabii in the reign of the last of the Tarquins (Livy, 1 53 and 54) when the toga was still worn by soldiers:

''For this the sinus was drawn over the head and then the long end which usually hung down the back from the left shoulder was drawn under the left arm and around the waist behind to the front and tucked in there.'' (Private Life of the Romans, Chapter VII, 245, by H.W. and revised by Mary Johnston, Scott, Foresman and Company (1903, 1932))

It should be carefully observed that both arms are left free, and thus it was retained by priests offering sacrifice.

AGONALIA is a popular misinterpretation on the form of LIBERALIA, SATURNALIA and so on. The name of the festival does not derive from the name of a god, so the AGONIVS of Augustine is either a blunder or a misassociation (Warde Fowler quotes Ambrosch as giving a possibility that AGONIVS may be a god of the Colline city.)

The cult of Janus is exceedingly complex, and at present we will only discuss his aspect as the god of door-ways (a door-way is IANVA). Warde Fowler notes that it is ''well known'' that Janus is invoked at the beginning, and Vesta at the end, of all rituals, public and private, for which see the twenty-seventh chapter of the second book of Cicero's ''DE NATVRA DEORVM'':

''Also, as the beginning and the end are the most important parts of all affairs, they held that Janus is the leader in a sacrifice, the name being derived from ire (''to go''), hence the names jani for archways and januae for the front doors of secular buildings. Again, the name Vesta comes from the Greeks, for she is the goddess whom they call Hestia. Her power extends over altars and hearths, and therefore all prayers and all sacrifices end with this goddess, because she is the guardian of the innermost things.''

This agrees with the association of Janus with the door-way, or the first part of the house entered, and Vesta as the '' RERVM CVSTOS INTIMARVM'', the goddess who presides over the penetralia, the hearth and the inmost parts of the house, the last to which a stranger would be admitted.

The fact that the sacrifice was performed by the REX SACRORVM in the REGIA is most interesting, because it was the household of the old King, who stood in the role of PATERFAMILIAS to the entire Roman state. To quote Warde Fowler ''To the father, the defender of the family, belonged naturally the care of the entrance, the dangerous point, where both evil men and evil spirits might find a way in. And surely this must be the explanation of the fact that no priest is to be found for Janus...but the Rex sacrorum, the lineal representative of the ancient religious duties of the king, and therefore, we may infer with certainty, of those of the...head of the household.''
Patrick J. Gray

'' Now. Close your eyes. It's but a short step to the boat, a short pull across the river.''
''And then?''
''And then, I promise you, you'll dream a different story altogether''

From ''I, Claudius'', by J. Pulman after R. Graves.
To-day is the fourth before the Ides of January (ANTE DIEM IV IDVS IANVARII), in modern reckoning the tenth of January.

There is a damaged explanatory note in the Fasti of Praeneste, of which a reconstruction has been attempted:

''Mid-split Day. This word endotercisus means that [the day is split up - because in ancient times the word endo] was used instead of "in". [On a mid-split day, it is unlawful in the morning . . . before] the victim is sacrificed, [and after the entrails have been laid out . . . again] it is unlawful. Therefore [the response is often given . . . that in the middle time] business can take place. Tiberius Caesar . . .''

It is perhaps needless to add that Warde Fowler gives to-day as EN, DIES ENDOTERCISVS, and that in using the Latin terms, one in which the morning is NEFASTVS before the sacrifice, the middle of the day is FASTVS and the latter part of the day, after the entrails are laid out up, it is again NEFASTVS.

Regrettably the historical note is hopelessly mutilated and no more can be said that the fourth before the Ides of January was the anniversary of some deed of note of Tiberius Caesar.
Patrick J. Gray

'' Now. Close your eyes. It's but a short step to the boat, a short pull across the river.''
''And then?''
''And then, I promise you, you'll dream a different story altogether''

From ''I, Claudius'', by J. Pulman after R. Graves.
To-day is the the third day before the Ides of January (ANTE DIEM III IDVS IANVARII), in modern reckoning the eleventh day of the month, and is the date of the first CARMENTALIA, the festival of the goddess CARMENTA or CARMENTIS. Fortunately the FASTI PRAENESTINI possesses a fragmentary annotation by Verrius Flaccus, thus:

''[No Business; Public Holiday.] Carmentalia . . . [Carmentis looks after childbirth and all] future events, and therefore [inside her shrine they do not allow hides of leather or any] omen associated with dead animals.''

In the Fabulae of Pseudo-Hyginus (Hyginus was a scholar of the first century B.C.E., who died in 17 C.E., the year of the consulship of Flaccus and Rufus, of the City the seven-hundred and seventy first. The Fabulae are too crude in style to be his work and are evidently summaries taken down by a later author, described by H. J. Rose as ''ADVLESCENTVM IMPERITVM, SEMIDOCTVM, STVLTVM'' (a stupid, half-learned and ignorant boy), we find that CARMENTA was named NICOSTRATE, and that the name CARMENTA was bestowed upon her for her renown as a prophetess (CARMENTA or CARMENTIS is evidently related to CARMEN, a poem, but also a spell, charm [cognate with CARMEN] incantation or a prophecy).

She was the mother of Evander, who coming banished from Arcadia founded Pallantium, and who fought with Aeneas against Turnus. He was deified after his death and had a temple on the Aventine. EVANDER is the Greek Εὔανδρος, the good or the virtuous man.

Cf. also Plutarch, from the fifty-sixth Roman Question, who gives a reverse etymology:

Some say that Carmenta was Evander's mother, and going into Italy was called Themis, but as some say, Nicostrata; who, when she sang forth oracles in verse, was called Carmenta by the Latins; for they call verses carmina. There are some of opinion that Carmenta was a Destiny, therefore the matrons sacrifice to her. But the etymology of the word is from cares mente (beside herself), by reason of divine raptures. Hence Carmenta had not her name from carmina; but contrariwise, her verses were called carmina from her, because being inspired she sang her oracles in verse.''

In the Fasti of Ovid, the four-hundred and sixty-first line we find:

''The happy prophetess, even as she lived in highest favour with the gods, so now herself a goddess hath she this day in Janus’ month all to herself.''

Carmenta's temple was at the foot of the southern end of the Capitol, near the Porta Carmentalis, where, according to Servius' commentary upon Virgil, she was buried. In the eighth book of the Aeneid, the three-hundred and thirty-sixth to the three-hundred and forty-first line, we find:

''He [Evander] scarce had said,
when near their path he showed an altar fair
and the Carmental gate, where Romans see
memorial of Carmentis, nymph divine,
the prophetess of fate, who first foretold
what honors on Aeneas' sons should fall
and lordly Pallanteum, where they dwell.''

She had a minor flamen of her own, the FLAMEN CARMENTALIS, but in the Fasti of Ovid, we find an allusion to ''the rite pontifical of the Arcadian goddess'' (Book I, Line 461) , so we must conclude that the PONTIFICES too played a part in her cult.

The cult of CARMENTA was chiefly practised by Roman matrons, with Warde Fowler citing ''clear evidence'' that women alone were admitted into her sanctuary. Varro, in the eighty-fourth chapter of seventh book of his ''Latin Language'' notes there is a verb SCORTARI, to whore, and a noun SCORTVM, a harlot, which is identical in form with the archaic SCORTVM, skin or hide, and derived from it (in the sense of hired flesh). In the Atellan farces a prostitute is alluded to as a PELLICVLA. It is thus possible that the rule against hides in the temple of a matron-goddess of childhood (though given an acceptable explanation by Ovid (Fasti, Book I, line 620), i.e. ''It is not lawful to bring leather into her shrine, lest her pure hearths should be defiled by skins of slaughtered beasts'' ) may have originally alluded to prostitutes and the later custom arose by mistake.

Plutarch, again in his fifty-sixth ''Roman Question'' attributes the temple to the matrons of Rome.

''There is a certain tradition that, when the women were prohibited by the senate from the use of chariots drawn by a pair of horses, they conspired together not to be got with child and breed children, and in this manner to be revenged on their husbands until they revoked the decree and gratified them; which being done, children were begot, and the women, becoming good breeders and very fruitful, built the temple of Carmenta.''

In the sixteenth chapter of the sixteenth book of his ''Attic Nights'', a learned commonplace-book by the second century antiquarian Aulus Gellius, we find:

''THOSE at whose birth the feet appeared first, instead of the head, which is considered the most difficult and dangerous form of parturition, are called Agrippae, a word formed from aegritudo, or “difficulty,” and pedes (feet). But Varro says that the position of children in the womb is with the head lowest and the feet raised up, not according to the nature of a man, but of a tree. For he likens the branches of a tree to the feet and legs, and the stock and trunk to the head. “Accordingly,” says he, “when they chanced to be turned upon their feet in an unnatural position, since their arms are usually extended they are wont to be held back, and then women give birth with greater difficulty. Forthe purpose of averting this danger altars were set up at Rome to the two Carmentes, of whom one was called Postverta, the other Prorsa [or Porrima], named from natural and unnatural births, and their power over them.”

These CARMENTES are have been interpreted as titles of the goddess CARMENTA (Warde Fowler) but this is not, to my mind, tenable. They must be separate goddesses, which is the sense of Aulus Gellius, and is confirmed by Ovid's ''Fasti'', (the six-hundred and twenty-third line of the first book):
''Porrima and Postverta are [there] placated, whether they be thy sisters, Maenalian goddess or companions of thine exile: the one is thought to have sung of what was long ago (PORRO), the other of what should come to pass hereafter (VENTVRVM POSTMODO).

What connection, therefore, we may ask, is there between prophecy and child-birth? Professor H. Nettleship, the Corpus Professor of Latin at Oxford in the late nineteenth century, gives us the following (cited by Warde Fowler): ''The reason why the Carmentes are worshipped by matrons is because they tell the fortunes of children''. Warde Fowler adds that ''they tell the fortunes of women in childbirth''.

Lastly, although it may seem incongruous for a goddess of childbirth to be worshipped and propitiated in mid-winter, Warde Fowler notes ''as far as we can judge from the calendar, April was the month at which marriages...were especially frequent'' citing the festival of Fortuna Virilis, in which women, prayed publicly naked in the baths ''because in them like men they appear naked in that part of the body, by which they attract men with their femininity'' (Fasti Pranestini) and that of Flora, ''who looks after the flowering of plants, to cure the barrenness of the crops'' [ditto, to which me might add the fertility of women] to which we might add that April was dedicated to Venus (ditto, again). Reckoning from April, it is in January that births might be expected.

According to Ovid, in the four-hundred and sixty-third line of the first book of the ''Fasti'', to-day is also dedicated to the nymph IVTVRNA:

'' Thee, too, sister of Turnus, the same morn enshrined at the spot where the Virgin Water circles the Field of Mars.''

TVRNVS was the Latin chieftain of the RVTVLI who sought the hand of Lavinia before it was made clear by prophecy that she should wed Aeneas. This feud led to the war between the Latins and the Trojans described in the seventh through to the twelfth book of the AENEID.

In the words of Warde Fowler, ''the fount of Juturna was near the Vesta-temple, and therefore close to the Forum: its water was used, says Servius [M. Servius Honoratus, commentator on Virgil], for all kinds of sacrifices, and itself was the object of sacrifice in a drought. All took part in the festival who used water in their daily work ('qui artificium aqua exercent'). But the Juturnalia appears in no calendar, and Aust is no doubt right in explaining it only as the dedication-festival of the temple built by Augustus in 2 B.C.E. [the year of the consulship of Augustus and Silvanus, of the City 752].

The waters of the fount of Juturna are noted for curing ills, as we see from the late first-century general and author S. IVLIVS FRONTINVS, in his treatise upon aqueducts (Book I Passage IV):

''For four hundred and forty-one years from the foundation of the City, the Romans were satisfied with the use of such waters as they drew from the Tiber, from wells, or from springs. Esteem for springs still continues, and is observed with veneration. They are believed to bring healing to the sick, as, for example, the springs of the Camenae, of Apollo, and of Juturna. But there now run into the City: the Appian aqueduct, Old Anio, Marcia, Tepula, Julia, Virgo, Alsietina, which is also called Augusta, Claudia, New Anio.''

The Virgin Water of Ovid is the AQUA VIRGO, one of the aqueducts supplying the city. Frontinus derives the name thus (Book I Passage X):

''The same man [i.e. M. Vipsanius Agrippa], after his own third consulship, in the consulship of Gaius Sentius and Quintus Lucretius [19 B.C.E., of the City 735], twelve years after he had constructed the Julian aqueduct, also brought Virgo to Rome, taking it from the estate of Lucullus. We learn that June 9 was the day that it first began to flow in the City. It was called Virgo, because a young girl pointed out certain springs to some soldiers hunting for water, and when they followed these up and dug, they found a copious supply. A small temple, situated near the spring, contains a painting which illustrates this origin of the aqueduct. The intake of Virgo is on the Collatian Way at the eighth milestone, in a marshy spot, surrounded by a concrete enclosure for the purpose of confining the gushing waters. Its volume is augmented by several tributaries.''

Returning to IVTVRNA, Varro provides us with an etymology derived from IVVARE, to give help (the seventy-first chapter of the fifth book):

''Juturna was a nymph whose function was ''iuvare'', to give help; therefore many sick persons, on account of this name, are wont to seek water from her spring''

It was from the pool fed by the spring of Juturna, the LACVS IVTVRNAE, that the DIOSCURI or Twin Brethren, Castor and Pollux, watered their horses when they came, on the Ides of Quintilis or July, bearing news of the Roman victory over the Tarquins supported by the Latin League at the great battle of Lake Regillus (Livy 2 19-20) in the year 499 B.C.E.., the year of the consulship of Aebutius and Vetusius, of the City 255, or in 496 B.C.E., the year of the consulship of Albus and Tricostus, of the City 254, for which Plutarch's Life of Aemilius Paulus, chapter 25.

''And when the Romans had conquered the Tarquins, who had taken the field against them with the Latins, two tall and beautiful men were seen at Rome a little while after, who brought direct tidings from the army. These were conjectured to be the Dioscuri. The first man who met them in front of the spring in the forum, where they were cooling their horses, which were reeking with sweat, was amazed at their report of the victory. Then, we are told, they touched his beard with their hands, quietly smiling the while, and the hair of it was changed at once from black to red, a circumstance which gave credence to their story, and fixed upon the man the surname of Ahenobarbus, that is to say, Bronze-beard.''

See also the Life of Coriolanus by the same author, chapter III:

''In the battle of which I was speaking, it is said that Castor and Pollux appeared, and that immediately after the battle they were seen, their horses all a-drip with sweat, in the forum, announcing the victory, by the fountain where their temple now stands. Therefore the day on which this victory was won, the ides of July, was consecrated to the Dioscuri.''

The modern poet Macaulay included the following lines in his ''Battle of Lake Regillus'':

Sempronius Atratinus
Sat in the Eastern Gate,
Beside him were three Fathers,
Each in his chair of state;
Fabius, whose nine stout grandsons
That day were in the field,
And Manlius, eldest of the Twelve
Who keep the Golden Shield;
And Sergius, the High Pontiff,
For wisdom far renowned;
In all Etruria's colleges
Was no such Pontiff found.
And all around the portal,
And high above the wall,
Stood a great throng of people,
But sad and silent all;
Young lads and stooping elders
That might not bear the mail,
Matrons with lips that quivered,
And maids with faces pale.
Since the first gleam of daylight,
Sempronius had not ceased
To listen for the rushing
Of horse-hoofs from the east.
The mist of eve was rising,
The sun was hastening down,
When he was aware of a princely pair
Fast pricking towards the town.
So like they were, man never
Saw twins so like before;
Red with gore their armor was,
Their steeds were red with gore.
``Hail to the great Asylum!
Hail to the hill-tops seven!
Hail to the fire that burns for aye,
And the shield that fell from heaven!
This day, by Lake Regillus,
Under the Porcian height,
All in the lands of Tusculum
Was fought a glorious fight.
Tomorrow your Dictator
Shall bring in triumph home
The spoils of thirty cities
To deck the shrines of Rome!''
Then burst from that great concourse
A shout that shook the towers,
And some ran north, and some ran south,
Crying,``The day is ours!''
But on rode these strange horsemen,
With slow and lordly pace;
And none who saw their bearing
Durst ask their name or race.
On rode they to the Forum,
While laurel-boughs and flowers,
From house-tops and from windows,
Fell on their crests in showers.
When they drew nigh to Vesta,
They vaulted down amain,
And washed their horses in the well
That springs by Vesta's fane.
And straight again they mounted,
And rode to Vesta's door;
Then, like a blast, away they passed,
And no man saw them more.

Sempronius Atratinus is Aulus Sempronius Atratinus who was later consul in 497 and in 491 B.C.E., of the City 257 and 263, which consulates he shared with M. Minucius Augurinus.

''The fire that burns for aye'' is the sacred fire of Vesta, while the ''Twelve'' are the members of one of the two colleges of Salii, or Leaping Priests of Mars, who kept among twenty-four copies the ANCILE that fell from Heaven, one of the PIGNORA IMPERII or divine pledges of Roman rule, the list being given by Servius, the commentator on Virgil, in the gloss on the one-hundred and eighty-eighth line of the seventh book.

The ''Asylum'' is the temple of Asylaeus founded by Romulus upon the Capitol, and served as a place of refuge for people who fled from other Latin cities to Rome. See Livy, book one chapter eight:

''In the place which is now enclosed, between the two groves as you go up the hill, he opened a sanctuary. Thither fled, from the surrounding peoples, a miscellaneous rabble, without distinction of bond or free, eager for new conditions; and these constituted the first advance in power towards that greatness at which Romulus aimed.''

The thirty cities are the members of the Latin League.
Patrick J. Gray

'' Now. Close your eyes. It's but a short step to the boat, a short pull across the river.''
''And then?''
''And then, I promise you, you'll dream a different story altogether''

From ''I, Claudius'', by J. Pulman after R. Graves.

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