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March 18, 2016 at 12:55 am #789
Today was a busy day on the calendar with two occasions occurring. These two events are believed to occur on the same day out of coincidence.
The first is Liberalia. During this day our sources tell us, women priestesses of Liber Pater, crowned with ivy, sat in the city displaying cakes (liba) made of oil and honey. At these cake stands, these priestesses had small altars on which they offered sacrifice on behalf of any customer if a cake was purchased. Liber was not known to have had a temple in Rome during Republican times, and this festival appears to have been rustic. Sources say that the Liberalia is held in honour of both Liber and his female counterpart Libera.
Varro, records that Liber was associated with fertility of crops and especially wine, and became strongly associated with the Greek, Dionysus. Liber also presides over the fertility of men and Libera over that of women, and that to the accompaniment of crude songs a symbolic phallus was carried around the countryside on a cart and then escorted into the town were a virtuous matron laid a wreath on the image. Ovid says that there were no games during the Liberalia.
Liber and Liberia are also associated with liberty and the Plebeian order. In antiquity this was the day children officially came of age when reaching puberty. This event consisted of a simple ceremony where the boy put aside the purple-edged toga (praetexta) and the sacrificed the bulla of boyhood to the Lares. He then put on a new toga which was known as virilis, which was pure white and lacked the purple edge of the praetexta. He was then escorted by his family and friends to the Tabularium in the Forum and registered as a full citizen. He then made another sacrifice to Liber or Iuventus or both.
The second occasion is Agonalia, which occurs multiple times over the year. This particular Agonalia is dedicated to Mars and called more specifically Agonium Martiale. In antiquity, the Rex Sacrorum sacrificed a ram in the Regia. The Salii may also have been involved in this ceremony.
For the Sacra Publica I observed this day with the following ceremony:quote :
P. Iunius Brutus
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