Date(s) - 05/07/2020
The Poplifugia was the only festival in the whole year which was written in the calendars in large letters and yet was celebrated before the Nones of the month. Later Romans seem to have been unclear as to what this day commemorated. But it was agreed to commemorate the ‘Flight of the People’. There are two explanations. The first is that the people fled when Romulus disappeared from mortal sight during a tempest, or more likely it referred to the flight of the Romans when attacked by the people of Fidenae after the Gallic sack of Rome. Varro, in his de lingua Latina, says that traces of such flight appeared in the rites and sacrifices of the day which he described in his (now lost) work on Antiquities.
An earlier probable commemoration recognized at this ceremony was that after Romulus disappeared (was murdered?) Rome was thrown into chaos resulting in a significant number of citizens fleeing the city for safety.
It is probable that Jupiter, and possibly Quirinius were honoured at this festival. It is suspected that a staged ‘flight’ may have been part of the ceremonies of the day.