Date(s) - 23/05/2020
This is the second ceremony of the Purification of the Trumpets, the first held on 23 March.
This ceremony is repeated today in May. On this day ‘the trumpets used in the sacred rites are purified in the Hall of the Shoemakers’ and a ewe lamb was sacrificed (Ovid). This is a festival of Mars and Minerva. During this event again the Salii priests danced.
The trumpets (tubi) are likely ritual instruments (like the sacred ancilia) for use in summoning the Comitia Curiata assembly on the following day on March 23rd, but likely the ceremony also involved a symbolic purification of the trumpets that sent communication signals to the army in the field.
The suspected reason for this ceremony repeating at the end of May is that in early pre-Republican Rome the first military campaigns ran from late March until late May. During this period men could be spared from the cultivation of fields and to deliver a ‘knock-out blow’ by the destruction of the enemy’s freshly growing crops. Therefore, this ceremony likely reflected the purification of the military communication devices upon returning from these early campaigns which occurred between March and May.