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p1028 Septimontium

Article by Leonhard Schmitz, Ph.D., F.R.S.E., Rector of the High School of Edinburgh
on p1028 of

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

SEPTIMON′TIUM, a Roman festival which was held in the month of December. It lasted only for one day (dies Septimontium, dies Septimontialis). According to Festus (s.v. Septimontium), the festival was the same as the Agonalia; but Scaliger in his note on this passage has shown from Varro (de Ling. Lat. VI.24) and from Tertullian (de Idolol. 10), that the Septimontium must have been held on one of the last days of December, whereas the Agonalia took place on the tenth of this month. The day of the Septimontium was a dies feriatus for the montani, or the inhabitants of the seven ancient hills or rather districts of Rome, who offered on this day sacrifices to the gods in their respective districts. These sacra (sacra pro montibus, Festus, s.v. Publica sacra) were, like the paganalia, not sacra publica, but privata (Varro, l.c.; compare Sacra). They were believed to have been instituted to commemorate the enclosure of the seven hills of Rome within the walls of the city, but must certainly be referred to a time when the Capitoline, Quirinal, and Viminal were not yet incorporated with Rome (cf. Columella, II.10; Suet. Domit. 4; Plut. Quaest. Rom. 68; Niebuhr, Hist. of Rome, vol. I p389, &c.).


Thayer's Note:

A more nearly complete discussion of this topic is found in the article in Platner & Ashby's Topographical Dictionary of Ancient Rome, which in turn is based on Platner's detailed article in CP 1:69‑80 (1906).


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