Thursday, January 12, 2006

Pridie Idus Januarias

Modern Date : January 12th

Pridie Idus Januarias
Day Before the Ides of January

This is one of the dies comitiales when committees of citizens could vote on political or criminal matters.

The Carmentalia celebrations continued this day in honor of the goddess Carmenta. She was otherwise known as Metis, the Titaness of Wisdom. She is also called Car, Carya, or Car the Wise. Carmenta was the mother of Evander.

This was the day in 49 BC when Julius Caesar crossed the Rubicon and marched on Rome, ending the Republic and beginning the Empire.

This month is sacred to Janus, the god of Beginnings. The Romans had numerous temples to Janus. Whenever war was declared, the chief magistrate would lead a ceremony in which the doors of the main temple of Janus were opened. In time of peace they were normally shut.

The Roman festival of Compitalia honors the Lares and Manes, household gods. The Compitalia and the Feralia are part of the Mania. Mania is the goddess referred to as the Mother or Grandmother of Ghosts. The Romans celebrate the Compitalia on the 12th of January and also the 6th of March. Loaves of bread are fashioned in the shape of men and called Maniae. Woolen effigies of men and women are dedicated to the goddess Mania and hung at the doors of all the houses in Rome in the hope that, in her rounds through the city, she will accept the effigies for the inmates of the house and so spare the living from death for another year.