Roman Calendar
by: M. Moravius Horatius Piscinus

MARTIUS

Arise, O Consus, arise. All things, truly, I entrust to Patulcium the Opener. Now You are Janus the Gatekeeper, now Cerus the Good Creator, now Janus the God of Good Beginnings. Come, now most especially, You who are the better of these kings (Carmen Salii in Varro Lingua Latina 7.26)

 

1 KALENDAE MARTIAE N: Matronalia Festival of women at Temple of Juno Lucina, dedicated 375 BCE. Kind Lucina, I pray You spare pregnant girls from laborís hardship and gently birth ripened infants from their wombs. (Ovid Fasti II.451-52) Laurels are placed over the door of the Regia, and Vestaís sacred fire is renewed. Dies natalis Mars Pater Victor.

2 VI Non Mart C: Dies Ater. Restore our youth, Venus, restore our healthy glow, and the kalends of March they will devote to the Paphian goddess. Gladly will the procession wind to Your altar, in shining white robes they will bring You sweet incense and pure wine, served with glistening morsels of meat piled as delicate petit fors. (Martial IX.90.13-18)

3 V Non Mart C: Dance before the Father of the Gods, give thanks to the God of Gods. (Carmen Salii; Varro L. L. 7.27)

4 IV Non Mart C: At this time, too, attention should be paid to gardens and rose beds. (Pliny NH 18.65)

5 III Non Mart C: Isidis Navigium: Isis, once stalled in Phoroneusí caves, now queen of Pharos and a deity of the breathless East, welcome with the sound of many sistrums the Mareotic bark, and gently with your own hand lead the peerless youth. (Statius Silvae III.2.101-4) Flower wreaths are thrown on the water as an image of Isis is brought down to the sea, as a blessing of boats at the beginning of sailing season.

6 Pridie Nonas C: Supplicatio to Vesta and the Penates Publici. Augustus Caesar appointed pontifex maximus, 12 BCE. Worship at the shrine of Vesta, wish the Goddess joy and offer incense on the Ilian hearth. (Ovid Fasti III.417-18)

7 NONAE MARTIAE F: Temple of Vediovis between the two sacred groves on the Capitoline, 192 BCE. Death of Antonius Pius, and ascension of divus Marcus Aurelius and divus Lucius Verus, 161 CE. Birth of Geta, 189 CE.

8 VIII Idus Mart F: Dies Ater Ariadne given crown of Venus by Bacchus to become the goddess Libera.

9 VII Idus Mart C: Even modest affairs prosper with harmony. (Sallust, Jugurtha 10.11)

10 VI Idus Mart C: When the pear is in bloom, you should begin also to plow. (Cato, de Agricultura 40)

11 V Idus Mart C: Often there is wisdom beneath a dirty cloak. (Caecilius Statius 255)

12 IV Idus Mart C: Martyrdom of Hypatia at the hands of a Christian mob in Alexandria, 415ce.

13 III Idus Mart EN: Alexander Severus saluted by the legions as imperator, and supplicationes were therefore made to Jupiter, Juno, and Minerva, 222 CE Often, when one God burdens, another God brings help. (Ovid, Tristia 1.2.4)

14 Pridie Idus Mart NP: Mamuralia when Veturius Mamurius, the artisan who made the ancile held by the Salii priests, was driven from Rome. Reenactment of this legend was performed as a purification rite, all of the disease-producing spirits having been driven by the Salii onto Mamurius who is then beaten out of the City. Equirria horse races on the Campus Martius honor Mars. Today the circus holds all of Rome. (Juvenal 11.197) Alexander Severus acceded to the titles of Augustus, Pater Patria, and pontifex maximus, 222 CE.

15 IDIBUS MARTIS NP: Feriae Jovi; Fastus; Annae Perennae when plebeians streamed from the City onto the Campus Martius to spend the day drinking wine and in revelry. Procession of the Palms made by the cannophori of Attis, leaving the City in search of His sacred pine..

16 XVII Kal Apr F: Dies Ater Compitalia: Procession of the pontifices and Vestal Virgins to the Argeorum sacella, where the straw puppets called Argei were stored (see 14 May). Death of Tiberius 37ce

17 XVI Kal Apr NP: LIBERALIA On this day old women, the sacerdotes Liberi, wearing wreaths of ivy on their heads sit in all parts of the City, with libum cakes and a brazier, on which they offer up the cakes on behalf of any purchaser (Varro L.L. VI.14). AGONALIA On this day the Rex Sacrorum sacrifices a ram to Mars in the Regia. The assistant, minister sacrificii, would ask "agone?" To which the Rex Sacrorum replied "Hoc age." Compitalia is the day assigned to the Lares Viales therefore where the crossroads meet, sacrifice is then made at the compita (Varro L.L. VI.25). I call upon you Lares Viales that you may well protect me. (Plautus Mercator 865) Victory of Julius Caesar at Munda, 45 BCE. Death of M. Aurelius, ascension of Commodus 180 CE.

18 XV Kal Apr C: O Liber, humbly now I approach Your altar; grant tranquil seas for me, Father Liber, and fair winds in my sails. (Propertius 3.17.1-2)

19 XIV Kal Apr NP: QUINQUATRUS on the fifth day after the Ides the Salii were joined by the tribuni celerum, or cavalry officers, in the Comitium for a purification of the ancillae and sacrifice to Mars, followed by a feast. Dies artificum, holiday of craftsmen. MINERVALIA celebrating the dedications of the Temple of Minerva Capta on Caelian, c. 241 BCE, and the Temple of Minerva on Aventine, c. 105 BCE.

20 XIII Kal Apr C: O Minerva, You have always come to my aid with Your counsels, witness to the existence of my works. (Cicero Domo 144)

21 XII Kal Apr C: Septimatrus Bellicose Mars, lay aside for awhile Your round bronze shield and spear. Mars, be present and let loose from its helmet Your sleek, shining hair. (Ovid Fasti III.1-2) Birth of Ovid 43 BCE

22 XI Kal Apr N: Dies violae, lay flowers at the tombs of loved-ones. Attis arbor intrat, procession of the pinetree of Attis into Rome, and its mock burial in the Forum.

23 X Kal Apr NP: TUBILUSTRIUM lustration of the tubae used to call the Comitia Curiata.

24 IX Kal Apr F: Quando Rex Comitiavit Fas: The Comitia Curiata meets under the presidency of the Rex Sacrorum to hear wills proclaimed in the atrium Sutorius, or Hall of Shoemakers. Dies Sanguis (Dance and castration of Galli around Pine of Attis). Go, incite others if You must, Cybele, just go, and keep far away from me and my house! (Catullus 63.91)

25 VIII Kal Apr C: Hilaria: The Resurrection of Attis. The sacred pine is removed from its burial and erected in the Forum. Pines are likewise placed in private homes and decorated with much merriment.

26 VII Kal Apr C: Requietio, day of rest in rites of Magna Mater and Attis.

27 VI Kal Apr C: Lavatio Magnae Materi, washing of the cult statue and symbola by the priestess of Magna Mater at the confluence of the Almo and the Tiber. Victory of Julius Caesar at Alexandria, 47 BCE.

28 V Kal Apr C: Dies natalis of Sol and Luna. Nativity of Jesus celebrated on this day until 336 CE. Sacrifice at the Tombs of the Ancestors. Death of Pertinax, ascension of Didius Julianus, 193 CE.

29 IV Kal Apr C O Shining Phoebus and forest Diana, shining ornaments of the sky, ever gentle and refined, O sacred brows, grant us now our prayer. (Horace, Saeculares 1-4)

30 III Kal Apr C: Augustus dedicated statues to Salus, Goddess of public safety and welfare, to Pax and to Concordia in the restoration of each of their temples, 10 BCE.

31 Prid Kal Apr C: The festival of Luna held on the Aventine (Ovid) and the Palatine (Varro), where Her temples were illuminated throughout the night and She was called Noctiluca. Therefore adoring You as though You were nurturing Venus Herself, whether You are female, or whether You are male, even so, Noctiluca, Illuminating the Night, You are a nurturing Moon. (Laevius, FPR fr. 26)

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