Saturday, February 04, 2006

Pridie Nonas Februarias

Modern Date : February 4th

Pridie Nonas Februarias
Day before the Nones of February

This is one of the dies nefasti a day on which no legal action or public voting could take place. The dies nefasti of February were days of religious ceremony honoring the dead and heralding the rebirth of the Spring and its associated fertility.

Septimius Severus died at York in England this day in 211 AD, after a long illness. He was 65. Caracalle succeeded him as emperor this day.
Geta became emperor this day in 211 AD.

February is a month sacred to the gods Mars (as Quirinus, or Romulus) and Juno, the wife of Jupiter. Juno (Hera) was the mother of Mars, called Ares by the Greeks, and sometimes Enyalius. Ares was often accompanied in his bloody campaigns by Enyo, the murderess goddess of war who was known as Bellona by the Romans. Ares paid no attention to which cause was right or wrong and was concerned only with where he could cause maximum carnage. The Romans held a milder, more honorable view of Mars, honoring him as the son of Zeus and the father of Romulus.

February is also a month in which particular reverence was shown to the spirits of deceased ancestors. This was a month devoted to fertility, both of men and women, and of the land.

One of the dark-moon, women-only festivals of the Greeks. This festival, celebrated on the 26th day of the Greek month of Gamelion, was also known as the Gamelia, and was sacred to the marriage of Zeus and Hera.