The Ancient Library

Scanned text contains errors.

On this page: Ludi Honorarii – Ludi Juvenales – Ludi Liberates – Ludi Martiales – Ludi Megalenses – Ludi Nat Alitii – Ludi Palatfni – Ludi Plebeii – Ludi Pontificates – Ludi Quaestorii – Ludlpiscatorii



50, xxxix. 4G ; Plin. H. JV. xxxv. 7.) It was

thought disgraceful for women to be present at these games, and Publius Sempronius separated himself from his wife because she had been present without his knowledge at liidi funebres. (Plut. Quaest. Horn. p. 267, b ; Val. Max. vi. 3. § 12 ; compare Suet. Aug. 44.) These ludi, though on some occasions the whole people took part in them, were not ludi publici, properly speaking, as they were given by private individuals in honour of their relations or friends. Compare funds, p. 562. [L.S.]

LUDI HONORARII are expressly mentioned only by Suetonius (Aug. 32), who states that Augustus devoted thirty days, which had been occupied till that time by ludi honorarii, to the transaction of legal business. What is meant by ludi honorarii, is not quite certain. According to Festus (s. v. Honorarios ludos] they were the same as the Liberalia. Scaliger, however, in his note on Suetonius, has made it appear very probable that they were the same as those which Tertullian (De Sped. c. 21) says were given for the purpose of gaining honours and popularity, in contradis­ tinction to other ludi which were intended either as an honour to the gods, or as ocn'a for the dead. At the time of Augustus this kind of ludi which Tacitus (Agric. 6) seems to designate by the name inania honoris, were so common that no one ob­ tained any public office without lavishing a con­ siderable portion of his property on the exhibition of games. Augustus therefore wisely assigned thirty of the days of the year, on which such spectacles had been exhibited previously, to the transaction of business, i. e. he made these 30 days fasti. (Compare Ernesti and F. A. Wolf, ad Sueton. L c.) [L. S.]

LUDI JUVENALES. [juvenales.]

LUDI LIBERATES. [dionysia, p. 414.]

LUDI MARTIALES were celebrated every year on the first of August, in the Circus, and in honour of Mars, because the temple of Mars had been dedicated on this day. (Dion Cass. Ix. 5 ; Sueton. Claud. 4.) The ancient calendaria men­ tion also other ludi martiales which were held in the Circus on the 12th of May. [L. S.]

LUDI MEGALENSES. [megalesia.]

LUDI NAT ALITII are the games with which the birth-day of an emperor was generally cele­ brated. They were held in the Circus, whence they are sometimes called circenses. (Capitol. An- tonin. Pius, 5 ; Spartian. Hadrian, 7.) They con­ sisted generally of fights of gladiators and wild beasts. On one occasion of this kind Hadrian exhibited gladiatorial combats for six days, and one thousand wild beasts. [L. S.]

LUDI PALATFNI were instituted by Livia in honour of Augustus, and were held on the Pala­ tine. (Dion Cass. Ivi. sub fin.) According to Dion Cassius they were celebrated during three days, but according to Josephus (Antiq. Jud. xix. 1) they lasted eight days, and commenced on the 27th of December. (See Suet. Calig. 56, with Scaliger's note.") [L. S.]

LUDLPISCATORII were held every year on the sixth of June, in the plain on the right bank of the Tiber, and were conducted by the praetor urbanus on behalf of the fishermen of the Tiber, who made the day a holiday. (Ovid. Fast. vi. 235, &c. ; Fest. s. v. Piscat. ludi.} [L. S.]

LUDI PLEBEII were, according to the


Pseudo-Asconius (ad Verr. i. p. 143, Orelli), the games which had been instituted in commemoration of the freedom of the plebeians after the banish­ ment of the kings, or after the secession of the plebes to the Aventine. The first of these ac­ counts is not borne out by the history of the ple­ beian order, and it is more probable that these games were instituted in commemoration of the reconciliation between the patricians and plebeians after the first secession to the mons sacer, or, ac­ cording to others, to the Aventine. They were held on the 16th, 17th, and 18th of November, and were conducted by the plebeian aediles. (Liv. xxviii. ] 0, xxxix. 7.) It is sufficiently clear from the ancient calendaria that the ludi plebeii were not, as some have supposed, the same as, or a part of, the ludi Romani. [L. S.]

LUDI PONTIFICATES were probably no­ thing but a particular kind of the ludi honorarii mentioned above. They were for the first time given by Augustus, when, after the death of Lepi- dus, he obtained the office of pontifex maximus. (Sueton. Aug. 44.) [L. S.]

LUDI QUAESTORII were of the same cha­racter as the preceding games. They were insti­tuted by the emperor Claudius (Suet. Claud. 24 ; Tacit. Ann. ii. 22), who decreed that all who ob­tained the office of quaestor should, at their own expense, give gladiatorial exhibitions. Nero did away with this obligation for newly appointed quaestors (Tacit. Ann. xiii. 5), but it was revived by Domitian. (Sueton. Domit. c. 4.) [L. S.] LUDI ROMANI or MAGNI. [megalesia.] LUDI SAECULA'RES. If we were to judge from their name, these games would have been celebrated once in every century or saeculum ; but we do not find that they were celebrated with this regularity at any period of Roman history, and the name ludi saeculares itself was never used during the time of the republic. In order to understand their real character we must distinguish between the time of the republic and of the empire, since at these two periods these ludi were of an entirely different character.

During the time of the republic they were called lu'di Tarentini, Terentini, or Taurii, while during the empire they bore the name of ludi saeculares. (Fest. s. v. SaecuL ludi and Taurii ludi; Val. Max. ii. 4. § 5.) Their origin is described by Valerius Maximus, who attributes their institution to the miraculous recovery of three children of one Vale­rius, who had been attacked by a plague raging at the time in Rome, and were restored to health by drink­ing some water warmed at a place in the Campus Martins, ca]Ied Tarentum. Valerius afterwards offered sacrifices in the Tarentum to Dis and Pro­serpina, to whom the recovery of his children was supposed to be owing, spread lectisternia for th^ gods, and held festive games for three successive nights, because his three children had been saved. The account of Valerius Maximus agrees in the main with those of Censorinus (De Die Nat. c. 1 7) and of Zosimus (ii. 3), and all appear to have derived their information from the ancient annalist, Vale­rius Antias. While according to this account the Tarentine games were first celebrated by Valerius, another legend seems to consider the fight of the Horatians and Curiatians as connected with their first celebration. A third account (Festus, s. v. Taurii ludii; Serv. ad'Aen. ii. 140) ascribes theil first institution to the reign of Tarquinius Superbus.

About | First | English Index | Classified Index | Latin Index | Greek Index



page #  
Search this site
All non-public domain material, including introductions, markup, and OCR © 2005 Tim Spalding.
Ancient Library was developed and hosted by Tim Spalding of