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On this page: Ludus Trojae – Luduslatrunculorum – Lumina – Lupanar – Lupatum – Lupercalia – Luperci





LUDUS TROJAE. [Cmcus, p. 288, a.]

LUMINA. [servitutes.]

LUPANAR. [caupona, p. 258,b.]

LUPATUM. [frenum.]

LUPERCALIAy one of the most ancient Ro­man festivals, which was celebrated every year in honour of Lupercus, the god of fertility. All the ceremonies with which it was held, and all we know of its history, shows that it was originally a shepherd-festival. (Pint. Caes. 61.) Hence its in­troduction at Rome was connected with the names of Romulus and Remus, the kings of shepherds. Greek writers and their followers among the Ro­mans represent it as a festival of Pan, and ascribe its introduction to the Arcadian Evander. This misrepresentation arose partly from the desire of these writers to identify the Roman divinities with those of Greece, and partly from its rude1 and almost savage ceremonies, which certainly are a proof that the festival must have originated in the remotest antiquity. The festival was held every year, on the 15th of February, in the Lupercal, where Romulus and Remus were said to have been nurtured by the she-wolf; the place contained an altar and a grove sacred to the god Lupercus. (Aurel. Vict. de Orig. Gent. Rom. 22 ; Ovid. Fast. ii. 267.) Here the Luperci assembled on the day of the Lupercalia, and sacrificed to the gad goats and young dogsf which animals are remarkable for their strong sexual instinct, and thus were appro­priate sacrifices to the god of fertility. (Plut. Rom. 21 ; Servius ad Aen. viii. 343.) Two youths of noble birth were then led to the Luperci, and one of the latter touched their foreheads with a sword dipped in the blood of the victims ; other Luperci immediately after wiped off the bloody spots with wool dipped in milk. Hereupon the two youths were obliged to break out into a shout of laughter. This ceremony was probably a sym­bolical purification of the shepherds1. After the sacrifice was over, the Luperci partook of a meal, at which they were plentifully supplied with wine. (Val. Max. ii. 2. 9.) They then cut the skins of the goats which they had sacrificed, into pieces ; with some of which they covered parts of their body in imitation of the god Lupereus, who was represented half naked and half covered with goat­skin. The other pieces of the &Mns they cut into thongs, and holding them in their nands they ran through the streets of the city, touching or strik­ing with them all persons whom they met in their way, and especially women, who even used to come forward voluntarily for the purpose, since they believed that this cefettiony rendered tn'en* fruitful, and procured them asn easy delivery in childbearing. This act of funning about with thongs of goat-skin was a symbolic purification of the land, and that of touching persons a purifi­cation of men, for the words by which this a'et is designated wcefebruare and litstrare. (Ovid. Fast. ii. 31 ; Fest. s. v. Februarius.) The goat-skin itself was called februum, the festive day dies febrttaia, -the month in which it occurred Februarius, and the god himself Februus.

The act of purifying and fertilizing, which, a's

we have seen, was applied to women, was without

doubt originally applied to the flocks, and to the

.people of the city on the Palatine. (Varro, de Ling.

Lat. v. p. 60, Bip.) Festus (s. v. Crepos) says


that the Luperci were also called crept or creppt, from their striking with goatskins (a crepitu pelli-cularum\ but it is more probable that the name crepi was derived from crepa, which was the ancient name for goat. (Fest. s. v. Caprae.)

The festival of the Lupercalia, though it neces­ sarily lost its original import at the time when the Romans were no longer a nation of shepherds, was yet always observed in commemoration of the founders of the city. Antonius, in his consulship, was one of the Luperci, and not only ran with them half-naked and covered with pieces of goat­ skin through the city, but even addressed the people in the forum in this rude attire. (Plut. Caes. 61.) After the time of Caesar, however, the Lu­ percalia seem to Bave been neglected, for Augustus is said to have restored it (Suet. Aug. 31), but he forbade youths (imberbes) to take part in the running. The festival was henceforth celebrated regularly down to the time of the emperor Anas- tasius. Luperealia were also celebrated in other towns of Italy and Gaul, for Luperci are mentioned in inscriptions of Velitrae, Praeneste, Nemausus, and other places. (Orelli, Inscr. n. 2251, &c.) (Compare luperci ; and Hartung, Die Relig. der Romer, vol. ii. p. 176, &c.) [L. S.]

LUPERCI, were- the- priests of the god Luper­cus. They formed a college (sodalitas^ eraipia), the members of which were originally youths of patri­cian families, and which was said to have been in­stituted by Romulus and Remus. (Plut. Rom. 21.) The college was divided into two classes, the one called Fabii or Fabiani, and the other Quinctilii or Quinctiliani. (Fest. s. vv. Quinctiliani Luperci and Fabiani.) TFhese names, which are the same as those with which the followers of Romulus and Remus were designated in the early Roman le­gends, seem to show that the priesthood was originally confined to certain gentes. (Ovid. Fast, ii. 378, wh'Oy however,, confounds the Potitii and Pinarii with the Quinctilii and Fabii.) But if such actually was the case, this limitation does not seeni to have existed for a very long time, though the two classes retained their original names, for Festus says, that in course of time the number of Luperci increased, " Quia honoris gratia multi in Lupercis adscribebantur." What was the original number of Luperci, and how long their office lasted, is unknown ; but it is stated in inscriptions (Orelli, n. 2256 and n. 4920) that a person held the office of Lupercus twice, and another three times, and tMs fact shows at least that the priests were not appointed for life. Julius Caesar added to the two classes of the college a third with the name of Julii or Juliani (Dion Cass. xliv. 6 ; Suet. Caes. 76), and made Antonius their high priest. He also assigned to them certain revenues (vectigalia)., which were afterwards withdrawn from them. (Cic. Philip, iii. 15, with the note' of P. Manutius.) But it is un­certain whether Caesair assigned these revenues to the whole college, or merely to the Julii. From this time" the two ancient classes of the Luperci are sometimes distinguished; from the new one by the name of Luperci veteres. (Orelli,n. 2253.) Although in early times the Luperei were taken only from n'obl-e families, tieir strange and indecent conduct at th'e Lupereaiia was offensive to the more re­fined Romans of a later age (Cie, Philip, ii. 34), and Cicero (pro Cod. 11} characterises the college as a " Fera quaedam sodalitas et plane pastoricia atque agrestis, quorum coitio ilia silvestris ante est

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