Secular games as a festival established in ancient Rome in 249 BC. They celebrated the past century and met a new one. In mythology, there is the following explanation for the birth of secular games: one resident of ancient Italy prayed to the gods to help them find medicines for his children. And then the voices answered him so that he would go to Tarentum and give the children water to the water heated on the altar of the gods Dis and Proserpina. He did just that - his children were healed. In the dream, they were told to sacrifice on the Field of Mars to the gods of the underworld.
A more historic and confirmed version says that in 249 BC, the priests of Ancient Rome said that if the Romans needed victory in wars, then they should arrange Trentinian games for three days and nights. The victims, according to this legend, were to bring as Pluto and Proserpina. The Romans heard the priests and held the first games, solemnly singing the hymn and killing animals.
Sacrifices were permanent and even described in detail. So, on the night of May 1, nine lambs and nine female goats were to be donated to the gods, two bulls were killed during the day. Also on the list were cows, a pregnant sow and pies. Each victim was followed by theatrical performances and feasts.
The sculpture "The Abduction of Proserpina" by Bernini. Source: arteopereartisti. it
The games were held approximately once every 100 or 110 years, so the maximum human lifespan was estimated, although some time intervals ranged from 63 to 129 years. After 140 BC. er secular games were not held until 17 BC. er Then they made the first Roman emperor Octavian Augustus. At that time, the sacrifices were intended for other gods — the goddesses of fate, Moiram, the goddess of the family of Illytha, and the mother of Earth, Telluru. Games 17 BC. er celebrated on the Capitol and Palatine hills.
The secular games invited people (but not slaves) to take part in a major celebration. People were handed out torches, mountain pitch as a symbol of purification, as well as wheat and barley for sacrifices. The altar of Pluto and Proserpina was buried deep in the ground on ordinary days. Up it was raised only during the holiday. In the Middle Ages, secular games acquired a slightly different character - now they were celebrated as Pope's jubilees.
Basilier "Ancient Roman S. Games"
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