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p1222 Vulcanalia

Article by Leonhard Schmitz, Ph.D., F.R.S.E., Rector of the High School of Edinburgh
on p1222 of

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

VULCANA′LIA, a festival celebrated at Rome in honour of Vulcan, on the 23d of August (X Calend. Sept.) with games in the circus Flaminius, where the god had a temple (Inscript. ap. Gruter. LXI.3, CXXXIV; Publ. Vict. de regionib. urb. Romae, 9). The sacrifice on this occasion consisted of fishes which the people threw into the fire (Varro, de Ling. Lat. VI.20). It was also customary on this day to commence working by candlelight, which was probably considered as an auspicious beginning of the use of fire, as the day was sacred to the god of this element (Plin. Epist. III.5). It was on the day of this festival that the consul Q. Fulvius Nobilior received a severe defeat from the Celtiberians, B.C. 153. It became an ater dies in consequence (Appian, Hisp. 45).


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