Roman Calendar
by: M. Moravius Horatius Piscinus


Holy Vulcan, foremost of this place, to You we pray. Grant peace to the exhausted fire brigades and to those who service the fountains. If none are harmed so very much, if the flames You permit to assault only a few deplorable souls, Holy One, then at each of your altars they will sing your praises, three times, three times they will pour libations and make thick with incense Your altar fires piled high with fruitful boughs (Grattius Cynegetica 437-42).


1 KALENDS F: Spes in Forum Holitorius, 258 BCE. Spes Bona, please hear my prayer and lend me Your aid; help me out of my misfortunes (Plautus Rudens 231-32). Victoria on Palatine, 294. Shrine of Victoria Virgo on the Palatine, 193 BCE. Festival of Ceres. Birth of Claudius, 10 BCE. Birth of Pertinax, 126 CE.

2 IV Non Sext F: Dies Ater: Roman defeat at Cannae by Hannibal, 216 BCE. Battle of Zela, Caesarís address to the Senate, Veni, vidi, vici, 47 BCE.

3 III Non Sext C: Sacrum Canarium made to protect crops from withering summer heat, performed near the Porta Catularia, at the rising of Sirius, possibly by the flamen Quirinalis.

4 Pridie Nonas C: If, at the fourth day of the Moon, Her horns are erect, there will be great storms at sea unless, indeed, She has a corona around Her and that circlet unblemished, for by that sign we are informed that there will be no stormy weather before the Full Moon (Varro in Pliny N. H. 18.79).

5 Nones Sext F: NONAE Temple of Salus on the Quirinal, 302 BCE. Circus games and sacrifice of a cow for Salus. Flee the fifth: for then sprang Orcus and the Eumenides (Virgil Georg. I.276-78)

6 VIII Idus Sext F: Dies Ater Holy Goddess, may whatever herbs grow by Your providence bring health to all humankind (Antonius Mus Precatio Terrae 25-26).

7 VII Idus Sext C: Summerís heat has taken my desire to study (Anonymous). Death of Trajan, 117 CE.

8 VI Idus Sext C: I invoke You, Sol, that You may guide my search for my parents (Pacuvius Medus fr.2).

9 V Idus Sext C: Sol Indiges on Quirinal. Venus Cloacina. Julius Caesar defeats Pompeius Magnus at Pharsalia, 48 BCE. Battle of Andianople, 378 CE.

10 IV Idus Sext C: Kind Venus, we tearfully entreat, as we kneel and clasp Your altar, take us under Your protection and defend us. Punish the evil ones who have belittled Your sanctuary, and in Your good grace let this altar be our refuge (Plautus Rodens 694 ff.).

11 III Idus Sext C: Ascension of Hadrian, 117 CE. Hercules, Founder of our city, You who are called Alcidus, in whose footsteps we now reside on this hallowed earth, avert the threatening storms from our land (Sillius Italicus Punica 1.639-42).

12 Pridie Idus C: Hercules Magnus Custodus in Circus Flaminius. Hercules Invictus in Circus Maximus. Venus Victix, Honor, Virtus, and Felicitatis in Theater Marmoreus. Lychnapsia: Festival of Lights of Isis.

13 Idus Sext NP: IDIBUS AUGUSTI Feriae Jovi VERTUMNALIA Offering of first ripened fruit to Vertumnus and Pomona on the Aventine, 264 BCE, when the first grape turns blue on the bunch and ear of corn swells with milky juice (Propertius 4.2.13). Diana on the Aventine, before 509 BCE. Castor and Pollux in Circus Flaminius, 3rd cent. Flora in the Circus Maximus. Grove of Camena at Porta Capena. Felicitas on the Velia, 173 BCE. Fortuna Equestris, 173 BCE. Hercules Victor at Porta Trigemina. Come hither, Hercules, and grace this newly dedicated temple with the presence of Your genius (Papinius Statius Silvae 3.1.23-28).

14 XIX Kal Sept F: Dies Ater Ciceroís conviction of Verres, 70 BCE. Alaricís sack of Rome, 410 CE.

15 XVIII Kal Sept C: Vesta, watch over him who tends the Holy Fire. Live well, fires, O undying flames, live long, I pray (Ovid Fasti 3.426-28).

16 XVII Kal Sept C: If showers prevail at the setting of the Dolphin, they will not cease so long as while Arcturus remains visible (Pliny N. H. 18.74).

17 XVI Kal Sept NP: PORTUNALIA Temple of Portunus in Forum Holitonus, 260. Sacrifice by flamen Portunalis on Ponta Aemilius for Tibernalia. Janus in Theatrum Marcellum, 260 BCE, where people offer keys into His fire in order to bless their house. A lucky day to set the vine in the earth, and tame the steer, and fix lashes to the warp (Virgil Georg. 1.284-85).

18 XV Kal Sept C: Flora, Festival of Flowers. Lead on, O best of Mothers, lead on, I plead, and exhaust the Gods with humble entreaties on my behalf (Papinius Statius Achilleis 1.143-44).

19 XIV Kal Sept F: VINALIA RUSTICA Feriae Jovi. Flamen Dialis takes the auspicatio for the grape harvest, cutting the first bunch during the sacrifice of a ewe lamb. Festival of Gardeners (holitores) for Venus in the locus of Libitina. Temple of Venus Opsequens in Circus Maximus, 295 BCE. Death of Augustus at Nola, ascension of Tiberius, 14 CE. Birth of Probus, 232 CE.

20 XIII Kal Sept C: Come, glad Venus of Erycina, we pray You may come, with Love and Laughter attending on festival (Horace Carmen 1.5.33-34).

21 XII Kal Sept NP: CONSUALIA Sacrifice by the flamen Quirinalis and Vestal Virgins offer wreaths of many flowers to Consus on the Aventine, 272 BCE, and to His indigimenta Seia, Segestia, Messia, and Tutulina. Procession of horses and mules, decked in flower wreaths, to race in the Circus. Rape of the Sabine women (Livy 1.9.6). Hecate.

22 XI Kal Sept EN: Aedesia What good is it to be energetic outside the house when your home-life within is bad (Valerius Maximus 2.9.1)

23 X Kal Sept NP: VOLCANALIA Temple of Volcunus in Circus Flaminius, 3rd cent. Herds of animals blessed by driving them over fires. Fish caught from the Tiber near the Temple of Volcanus were offered in the family hearth as a home blessing. The Good Works of Hora, wife of Quirinus, celebrated at His temple on the Quirinal. The flamen Portunalis anoints the arms of Quirinus. Maia above the Comitia. Sacrifices to Nymphs in the Campus Martius, to Juturna and Ops Opifera.

24 IX Kal Sept N: Mundus opened, no raising of troops, sending them off to campaign or entering battle, and no marriages perform (Macrob. Sat I.16.18). Luna on Graecostasus. Destruction of Pompeii, 79 CE.

25 VIII Kal Sept NP: OPICONSIVIA Sacrifices to Ops made in the Regia by Vestal Virgins and the pontifex maximus dressed and veiled as a Vestal (Varro L. L. 6.21). Temple of Ops on Capitoline. Libertas on the Aventine.

26 VII Kal Sept C: Arugula should be sown after the Vulcanalia (Pliny N. H. 18.74)

27 VI Kal Sept NP: VOLTUNALIA Sacrifice by the flamen Volturnalis to Volturnus to avert harsh dry winds as raised clouds of dust at Cannae (Livy 22.43.10).

28 V Kal Sept C: Sol and Luna in Circus Maximus. O Sol, whose light embraces the world, you orbit inexhaustible, forever returning (Caludianus Olybii et Probini 1-2).

29 IV Kal Sept C: The deepest rivers flow with the least sound (Curtius Rufius 7.4.13).

30 III Kal Sept C: This is the season for extracting the lees of wine and boiling defrutum, this last must be done when there is no moon, or if it is a full moon, in the day-time (Pliny N. H. 18.74).

31 Prid Kal Sept C: Virtue will safely follow wherever the Fates lead (Lucan Pharsalia 2.287). Birth of Commodus, 161 CE.

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