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p985 Regifugium

Article by Leonhard Schmitz, Ph.D., F.R.S.E., Rector of the High School of Edinburgh
on p985 of

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

REGIFU′GIUM or FUGA′LIA, the king's flight, a festival which was celebrated by the Romans every year on the 24th of February, and according to Verrius (ap. Festus, s.v. Regifugium) and Ovid (Fast. II.684, &c.) in commemoration of the flight of king Tarquinius Superbus from Rome. The day is marked in the Fasti as nefastus. In some ancient calendaria the 24th of May is likewise called Regifugium, and in others it is described as Q. Rex. C. F., that is, "Quando Rex comitiavit, fas," or "Quando Rex comitio fugit." Several ancient as well as modern writers have denied that either of these days had anything to do with the flight of king Tarquinius (Cincius, ap. Fest. l.c.), and are of opinion that these two days derived their name from the symbolical flight of the Rex Sacrorum from the comitium; for this king-priest was generally not allowed to appear in the comitium, which was destined for the transaction of political matters in which he could not take part. But on certain days in the year, and certainly on the two days mentioned above, he had to go to the comitium for the purpose of offering certain sacrifices, and immediately after he had performed his functions there, he hastily fled from it; and this symbolical flight is said to have been called Regifugium (Fest. l.c.; Plut. Quaest. Rom. 63; Ovid, Fast. V.727).


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