Roman Calendar
by: M. Moravius Horatius Piscinus

APRILIS

Come to us Venus, O Queen of Cnidos and Paphos, leave Cyprus, though the isle is dear to you, come instead to where the incense is thick and Glycera sings to you, that you may transfer your home to your new shrine among us. Bring along for your company desirous Cupid, with loose-girdled Graces and laughing Nymphs, youthful Juventus and Mercury, who without you are graceless (Horace Carminum Liber I: xxx.1-8).

1 KALENDS F: Veneralia Offer Venus poppies crushed in milk and honey to open Her gifts to you. Women worship Venus Verticordia who turns their hearts towards faithfulness in marriage. Fortuna Virilis was also worshiped this day by women who entered the public baths wearing myrtle wreaths in hope of improving their relationship with men. Ascension of Maximian, 286 CE.

2 IV Non Apr F: Dies Ater Come to us Venus. Bring along for Your company desirous Cupid, loose-girdled Graces and Nymphs, youthful Juventus and Mercury, who without You are graceless (Horace Odes I.30.1-8).

3 III Non Apr C: Natalis of Quirinus. Romulus, may you eternally live in Heaven among the children of the Gods (Ennius Annales 1.121.

4 Pridie Non Apr C: Megalasia Scipio Nasica and the matrons greet the Magna Mater, 204 BCE. Miracle of Claudia Quinta: O Great Mother …if without violation my body is free of all unchaste crimes, may You be my witness, dear Goddess, and testify on behalf of my innocence by the ease with which I now draw this vessel (Silius Italicus Punica 17.35-40). Birth of Caracalla, 188 CE.

5 Non Apr N: NONAE Megalasia Games for Fortuna Publica on Quirinal.

6 VIII Idus Apr N: Dies Ater. Megalasia Caesar’s victory over Juba and the Pompeians at Thapsus, 46 BCE, soon followed by the suicide of Cato the Younger at Utica.

7 VII Idus Apr N: Megalasia Vediovis Justinian closes the Academy in Athens, 529 CE.

8 VI Idus Apr N: Megalasia Natalis of Castor and Pollux. To You she dedicates (this gift), Castor, and to You, Twin of Castor(Catullus 4.26-27). Death of Caracalla 217 CE.

9 V Idus Apr N: Megalasia Nurturing Idean Mother of the Gods, for whom Dindymus is dear, you who love turreted cities and bridled lions, lead me now into battle, and rightly fulfill the omens. Come with your favoring step, O Goddess, lead and we Phrygians will follow (Virgil Aeneis X.252-55). Divus Pius Severus (193 CE).

10 IV Idus Apr N: Megalasia Dedication of the Palatine Temple of Magna Mater, 191 BCE

11 III Idus Apr N:. Oracle of Fortuna Primigenia opened at Praeneste, with the duoviri offering Her a calf. Birth of Pius Severus, 145 CE and divus Septimius Severus, 211 CE. Ascension of Macrinus, 217 CE.

12 Prid Idus Apr N: Ludi Cereri The wise man will command his emotions, a fool obeys his (Publilius Syrus 41).

13 IDIBUS APRILIS NP: Ludi Cereri Temples of Jupiter Victor (295 BCE) and Jupiter Libertas (246 BCE). Jupiter, if it is greatly pleasing to You, that we, rather than Mezentium, should give offerings to You, accordingly may You make us victorious (Cato Origines fr. I.12).

14 XVIII Kal Mai N: Dies Ater. Ludi Cereri Vitellius defeated Otho at Bedriacum, 69 CE.

15 XVII Kal Mai NP: Ludi Cereri FORDICIDIA Sacrifice to Tellus of a pregnant cow, the ashes of the calf kept by Vestal Virgins and used in purification rite of Parilia. Supplicatio to Victoria Augusta in honor of victory at Mutina, 43 BCE. Battle of Bononia where Vibius Pansa defeated Anthony, 43 BCE.

16 XVI Kal Mai N: Ludi Cereri A festival calls for singing and drinking and love-making. These are fit gifts to carry to the temples and please the gods (Ovid Amores 3.10.47-48).

17 XV Kal Mai N: Ludi Cereri Flaxen-haired Ceres, Your fine tresses wreathed with ears of wheat…no other goddess so lavishes men and women with everything good (Ovid Amores 3.10.3-6). Death of Proclus, 485 CE

18 XIV Kal Mai N: Ludi Cereri Golden-haired Ceres, bless this our farm; a crown of wheat I shall hang before your altar (Tibillus I.1.15-16).

19 XIII Kal Mai NP: CERIALIA Aventine Temple of Ceres, Liber and Libera (493 BCE). Sacrifice of pregnant sow to Ceres and a lectisternium held at the Aventine temple (for Ceres and Tellus, Liber and Libera, Consus and Ops ?), horse races in the Circus, and release of foxes in fields with their tails aflame.

20 XII Kal Mai N: Come to us, Liber, with clusters of grapes dangling from your horns, and you, too, Ceres, with a wreath of newly ripened wheat upon your temples, come! Gods of our fathers, we purify our farmers and our fruitful fields; we ask that you drive away harm from our borders. Let not the now sprouting plants succumb before harvest, let not the timid lambs be outrun by swift wolves (Tibillus II.1.3-4; 17-20).

21 XI Kal Mai NP: PARILIA Roma condita: legendary Founding of Rome. Oves lustrantur, shepherds lead flocks in leaping over smoldering beanstalks. Flamen sacrifices to Pales, the Good Shepherd and Shepherdess.

22 X Kal Mai N: Cicero delivers the fourteen and last Philippic, proposing thanksgiving for victory over Anthony at Bononia, 43 BCE.

23 IX Kal Mai F: VINALIA PRIORA New wine offered to Jupiter, and a lamb offered by flamen Dialis in fulfillment of vow of Aeneas, before he plucks the first cluster of grapes. Temples to Venus Erucina dedicated in 215 and 181 BCE. Diana. Image of divus Augustus dedicated in Theater of Marcellus by Julia Augusta and Tiberius.

24 VIII Kal Mai C: Festival of courtesans. As many fish as live in the sea, as many birds as are covered by foliage, as many stars as are held in the sky, so many girls does your Rome hold dear (Ovid Ars Amatoria 1.58-59).

25 VII Kal Mai NP: ROBIGALIA Sacrifice of a dog by the flamen Quirinalis at the fifth mile on the Via Claudia. Spare Ceres’ grain, O scabby Robigo, let the tips of new shoots sway gently above the earth, let growing crops be nourished …keep your scaly hands from the harvest(Ovid Fasti IV.911-21). Serapia, Quirinal Temple of Serapus (217 CE).

26 VI Kal Mai C: Birth of Marcus Aurelius, 121 CE. Short-lived are both the praiser and the praised (Med. 8.21)

27 V Kal Mai C: Defeat of Anthony at Mutina by Aulus Hirtius, who died in the battle, 43 BCE.

28 IV Kal Mai C: FLORALIA Temple of Flora in Circus Maximus (238 BCE) celebrated with theater performances and circus games, est. 173 BCE

29 III Kal Mai C: Ludi Florae (Flora), I pray, sprinkle my heart with Your gifts (Ovid Fasti 5.378).

30 Pridie Kal Mai C: Ludi Florae Battle of the Ergenus River, Licinius defeating Maximinus Daia, 313 CE.

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