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Bill Thayer

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p942 Populifugia

Unsigned article on p942 of

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

POPULIFUGIA, or POPLIFUGIA, the day of the people's flight, was celebrated on the Nones of July, according to an ancient tradition preserved by Varro (De Ling. Lat. VI.18, ed. Müller), in commemoration of the flight of the people, when the inhabitants of Ficulea, Fidenae, and other places round about, appeared in arms against Rome shortly after the departure of the Gauls, and produced such a panic that the Romans suddenly fled before them. Macrobius (Saturn. III.2), however, says that the Populifugia was celebrated in commemoration of the flight of the people before the Tuscans, while Dionysius (II.56) refers its origin to the flight of the people on the death of Romulus. Niebuhr (Hist. of Rome, vol. II p573) seems disposed to accept the tradition preserved by Varro; but the different accounts of its origin given by Macrobius and Dionysius render the story uncertain.a

Thayer's Note:

a For a more numinous context, see its possible connection with the Capratine Nones: A. M. Franklin, The Lupercalia, p60.

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Page updated: 4 Feb 13