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p268 Cerealia

Article by Robert Whiston, M.A., Fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge
on p268 of

William Smith, D.C.L., LL.D.:
A Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities, John Murray, London, 1875.

CEREALIA, a festival celebrated at Rome in honour of Ceres, whose wanderings in search of her lost daughter Proserpine were represented by women clothed in white, running about with lighted torches (Ov. Fast. IV.494). During its continuance, games were celebrated in the Circus Maximus (Tacit. Ann. XV.53), the spectators of which appeared in white (Ov. Fast. IV.620); but on any occasion of public mourning the games and festivals were not celebrated at all, as the matrons could not appear at them except in white (Liv. XXII.56, XXXIV.6). The day of the Cerealia is doubtful; some think it was the ides or 13th of April, others the 7th of the same month. (Ov. Fast. IV.389).


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