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Bill Thayer

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 p270  Charistia

Article by Robert Whiston, M.A., Fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge
on pp270‑271 of

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

CHARI′STIA (from χαρίζομαι, to grant a favour or pardon), a Roman feast, to which none but relations and members of the same family were invited, in order that any quarrel or disagreement  p271 which had arisen amongst them might be made up, and a reconciliation effected. It was celebrated every year on the 19th of February (Ov. Fast. II.617; Val. Max. II.1 § 8; Mart. IX.55).a

Thayer's Note:

a This stumped me for a while, until I was set straight by James Eason of the Sir Thomas Browne site. There's no specific reference to the Charistia in Martial, just a vague "Luce propinquorum", a "Relatives' Day". Lewis & Short, s.v. charistia, gives the two other citations outright, but only "cf. Mart. 9, 56, 1". That same entry gives the date as February 20.

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Page updated: 13 Feb 13