This Day in Ancient History: kalendae martiae

The Tyche (Fortune) of Antioch. Marble, Roman ...

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kalendae martiae

  • This was originally the beginning of the New Year for the ancient Romans (and the consuls would probably enter office on this date prior to 153 B.C.)
  • Festival of Mars, which included a procession of the Salian priests around the city singing their mysterious Carmen Saliare
  • “birthday” of the temple of Juno Lucina
  • Matronalia — a sort of ‘unofficial’ festival during which it was customary for hubbies to pray for the ongoing health of their spouses and give them presents; for their part, the wives apparently served the slaves (sort of like Saturnalia and Mother’s Day rolled into one)
  • 509 B.C. — hot on the heels of the death of Lucius Junius Brutus on the battlefield (see yesterday), P. Valerius Poplicola delivers a funeral oration which Plutarch claimed ‘began the tradition’
  • 293 A.D. — Co-emperor Maximian adopts Constantius, who is given the title Caesar (and it is possible that Diocletian similarly adopted and conferred a similar title upon Galerius)
  • 2005 — birth of our dog, named by the rogueclassicist Tyche, but misheard by the liberi as Tyke …