This Day in Ancient History: idus februariae

idus februariae

  • Parentalia (day 1) — a festival for honouring/appeasing the dead began on this day with a number of signs: temples were closed, altars did not have fires burn on them, people were forbidden to get married, and magistrates set down the trappings of their office.
  • Fornacalia (day 1) — this was actually a “feriae conceptivae”, which means that it probably wasn’t always held on the same day. Originally, it was a feast of the curiae (an early division of the Roman people) which also seems to have involved a sort of banquet for the gods, although scholars are unsure which gods were specifically honoured. Then again, Ovid claims that rural folk would pray to a divinity called Fornax.
  • 196 B.C. — dedication of a Temple of Faunus on the Tiber island
  • 194 A.D. — Septimius Severus recognized as Emperor in Egypt
  • 250 A.D. — martyrdom of Polyeuctus of Melitene


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