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p716 Ludi Honorarii

Article by Leonhard Schmitz, Ph.D., F.R.S.E., Rector of the High School of Edinburgh
on p716 of

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

LUDI HONORA′RII are expressly mentioned only by Suetonius (Aug. 32), who states that Augustus devoted thirty days, which had been occupied till that time by ludi honorarii, to the transaction of legal business. What is meant by ludi honorarii, is not quite certain. According to Festus (s.v. Honorarios ludos) they were the same as the Liberalia. Scaliger, however, in his note on Suetonius, has made it appear very probable that they were the same as those which Tertullian (De Spect. c22)º says were given for the purpose of gaining honours and popularity, in contradistinction to other ludi which were intended either as an honour to the gods, or as ὁσία for the dead. At the time of Augustus this kind of ludi which Tacitus (Agric. 6) seems to designate by the name inania honoris, were so common that no one obtained any public office without lavishing a considerable portion of his property on the exhibition of games. Augustus therefore wisely assigned thirty of the days of the year, on which such spectacles had been exhibited previously, to the transaction of business, i.e. he made these 30 days fasti. (Compare Ernest and F. A. Wulf, ad Sueton. l.c.)


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