This Day in Ancient History: ante diem xiv kalendas januarias

ante diem xiv kalendas januarias

  • Saturnalia (day 3) – major, popular festival in honour of Saturn with banquets, the wearing of soft caps (pilei), and general good cheer. Shops and schools were closed, gambling was legally permitted, gifts were exchanged and masters might even wait on their servants. Obviously this festival is often seen as a precursor to our modern-day Christmas celebrations.
  • Opalia — unknown rituals in honour of Ops, the wife of Saturn
  • rites in honour of Juventas (= Hebe?) — a somewhat mysterious festival, probably connected to Roman ‘coming of age’ rituals
  • 69 A.D. — a major fire on the Capitoline hill in Rome, caused by Vitellius‘ troops
  • 307 A.D. — martyrdom of Nemesius of Alexandria and Thea