Date(s) - 08/12/2020
Today is a festival day to the god Tiberinus whose temple was historically on the Tiber Island. In times of drought prayers were offered to Tiberinus with the formula ‘mayest thou, O Tiberinus, be present with thy waves’, and ‘And thee, father Tiberinus, with thy hallowed stream’.
We are told by Servius that Tiberinus was customarily invoked by the pontiffs, possibly the Flamen Volturnalis(?). He played an important part in the ritual of the pontiffs: thus Varro, who derived their name from pons (bridge), says that they had built and maintained the old bridge over the Tiber, and ‘rites are prepared on both sides of the Tiber with no small ceremony’.
Today was the anniversary day of the dedication of his temple. A reflection of this festival may survive in the words which Virgil, when Aeneas who turned to the rising sun, ‘duly raised water from the river in his hollow palms, and prayed’.