Roman Calendar
by: M. Moravius Horatius Piscinus


Venus Genetrix, charmer of gods and mankind, nurturing Mother, beneath the starry signs that glide through the night, You enliven the ship-bearing seas and the fruitful earth, since it is through You that all things are conceived and animated into life to behold the Light of Day. Goddess, for You the winds make way, the heavenly clouds open at Your coming, the miraculous earth greets You with sweet scented flowers, for You the surface of the seas laugh, and the peaceful heavens glisten in luminescence (Lucretius Carus De Rerum Natura 1.1-9).


1 KALENDS F: Juno Regina on the Aventine. Jupiter Liber and Jupiter Tonans on the Capitoline. I pray first to You, thunderous Jupiter Tonans, that now finally You spare me in my old age and lift Your anger from me (Valerius Flaccus Argonautica 4.474-76).

2 IV Non F: Dies Ater. Cicero delivers the First Philippic before the Senate, 44 BCE. Then came the day of the great conflict, in which Caesar and Anthony led out their fleets and fought, one for the safety, and the other for ruin, of the world (Vellius Paterculus Hist. 2.85-86). Battle of Actium, final defeat of Marc Antonius by Marcus Agrippa, 31 BCE. SVR founds coll. Vita Quotdianae, 2002 CE.

3 III Non Sept C: Go, prepare the sacred vessels, fetch sacrificial offerings and priests to prepare them, that I may give thanks to Jove (Plautus Pseudolus 326-27).

4 Pridie Nonas C: Ludi Romani, in honor of Jupiter Optimus Maximus beginning in the time of Tarquinius Priscus. This occasion was marked by a great procession, described by Dionysius of Halicarnassus, escorting Jupiter from His temple of the Capitolium through the Forum and Velabrium to the Circus Maximus. The procession was composed of the City’s youth, troops of dancers and musicians, athletes and priests, displaying the sacred vessels of the temple and images of the Gods. The games included horse races and chariot races, boxing and wrestling, as well as other athletic and theatrical competitions. Cicero returns from exile, 57 BCE. O Jupiter Capitolinus, to You I pray, I entreat You, who the Roman people have named Optimus after Your kindness and Maximus after Your great power (Cicero Domo 144). Fall of the Roman Empire 476 CE.

5 Nones Sept F: NONAE Ludi Romani Jupiter Stator in the Circus Flaminius, 146 BCE. Death of Eugenius, the last Pagan Emperor, 394 CE.

6 VIII Idus Sept F: Dies Ater Ludi Romani: If You, Father of the Gods and of men, hold back our enemies, at least from this spot, delivering the Romans from their terror, and stay their shameful retreat, then this I vow to You, Jupiter Stator, that a holy precinct and shrine will be built in Your honor as a memorial to remind our descendents of how once the city of Rome was saved by Your aid (Livy 1.12.6-7)

7 VII Idus Sept C: Ludi Romani. It is the greatest consequence to the grape that it is gathered while the moon is on the increase (Pliny N. H. 18.74).

8 VI Idus Sept C: Ludi Romani. Done quickly enough, if it is done well (Cato in Macrobius 16.14).

9 V Idus Sept C: Ludi Romani Asclepigenia celebrating the birth of Asculapis. Latona’s grandson, revered Aesculapis, by whose mild herbal remedies too briefly are the Fates beguiled, from Rome this child sends You his golden locks, that were once his lord’s delight, and along with these the mirror that often assured him he was fair. He hastens to sacrifice these tresses that once circled his shining face, happily to serve, in payment for a vow, if You judge that out of danger he will be. Preserve his youthful grace, though his hair is now shortened, and long may You keep him handsome (Martial 9.17) Birth of Aurelian, 214 CE.

10 IV Idus Sept C: Ludi Romani Never plant reeds unless rain is impending (Pliny 18.78).

11 III Idus Sept C: Ludi Romani Half of Arcturus is visible, a portent of boisterous weather on land and sea for five days (Pliny 18.74). Death penalty imposed on those worshiping ancestors at lararia, 364 CE.

12 Pridie Idus N: Ludi Romani: Jupiter Dapalis, may this feast of offering give You greater strength, and may this lesser portion of our wine offering that I now pour give You comfort (Cato De Agricultura 132).

13 IDIBUS NP: Temple of Jupiter Optimus Maximus, Juno and Minerva, 509 BCE. Septemviri epulones offer a banquet to the Capitoline Triad. Originally there were three epulones elected by the Comitia Plebis, established by a proposal of tribunus Licinius Lucullus in 196 BCE (livy 33.42.1-2). O Father Jupiter who inhabits the Tarpeian Heights as His chosen abode next to the heavens, and You Juno, Daughter of Saturnus, … and You, divine Virgin, whose gentle breast is harshly girt with the aegis of the terrible Gorgon, and all You Gods and Indigites of Italy, hear me as I swear by Your divine powers (Sillius Italicus Punica 10.432-36). Ceremony of Hammering the Nail in the lintel of the cella of Minerva, begun by Marcus Horatius at the dedication in 507 BCE and repeated by Lucius Manlius, 362 BCE (Livy 7.3). Death of Titus, 81 CE: Friends, I have lost a day (Suetonius Titus 8.1).

14 XVIII Kal Oct F: Dies Ater Procession of the Equites equo publico, those in a special class of citizens who were provided with horses at public expense. Wearing red togae and riding white horses, their procession wound from the Campus Martius to the Capitolium, stopping along the way to offer sacrifices at the Temple of Castor and Castoris. Ascension of Domitian, 81 CE.

15 XVII Kal Oct N: The fox changes his skin, but never his habits (Suetonius Vespasian 16.3).

16 XVI Kal Oct C: By this date the Etesian winds (of summer) have quite ceased to blow (Pliny N. H. 18.74). Death of Severus II, 307 CE.

17 XV Kal Oct C: These are the Principles of Law: to live honestly, to harm no one, and to give each his due (Gaius De Institutiones Justiniani 1.2).

18 XIV Kal Oct C: Birth of Trajan, 53 CE. Death of Domitian and ascension of Nerva, 96 CE. Constantine defeats Licinius at Chrysopolis, 324 CE.

19 XIII Kal Oct C: Nothing is rightly taught or learned without examples Columella 11.1.4). Birth of Antonius Pius, 86 CE.

20 XII Kal Oct C: Death of Alexander the Great, 356. All Nature takes from the earth as much as is enough to nourish itself (Seneca Naturales Quaestiones 2.6.1).

21 XI Kal Oct C: The Comissura (the colure point of the vernal equinox) in Pisces disappears (Pliny N. H. 18.74). Birth of diva Faustina, 100/125 CE.

22 X Kal Oct C: The ancients were of the opinion that the vintage is never ripe before the equinox (Pliny N. H. 18.74). Lepidus’ army goes over to Augustus, 36 BCE

23 IX Kal Oct C: Apollo, Diana and Latona in the Theatrum Marcellum. Felicitatas in the Campus Martius. Jupiter Stator on the Via Sacra. Juno Regina in Circus Flaminius. Ceres on the Aventine. The Carmina, Nymphs of the sacred grove near the Porta Capena where Numa Pompilius consulted with Egeria and where the Vestal Virgins gathered water for their sacred rites. Birth of Augustus Caesar 63 BCE

24 VIII Kal Oct C: O divine daughter of Latona, Glory of the Stars and Guardian of the Sacred Groves, be present, Diana, that you may give succor to those of us who labor (Virgil Aeneis 9.404-5).

25 VII Kal Oct C: How then can land be cultivated most profitably? Why, in the words of our agricultural oracles, "by making good out of bad" (Pliny N. H. 18.8). SVR first election of consuls, M. Horatius and Claudius Locatus, 2002 CE.

26 VI Kal Oct C: Venus Genetrix in the Forum of Caesar, 45 BCE.

27 V Kal Oct C: Venus, I offer You thanks, and I beg and entreat You that I may win the man I love and long for, and that he may be gracious to me, and not reject my desire for him (Plautus Miles Gloriosus 1228-30).

28 IV Kal Oct C: Anger creates hatred, harmony nurtures love (Dionysius Cato 1.36).

29 III Kal Oct C: No punishment does Nemesis ever claim, but retribution. She is a strict goddess, and vehement, not one to be taken lightly and never one to cross (Catullus 50.20-21).

30 Prid Kal Oct C: May You, Mercurius, make plump the richness of my house and all else within, save my natural talents, and as usual, may You remain the primary guardian over me (Horace Satires 2.6.14-15).

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