domenica 21 marzo 2010
Celebrated for five days, and was for this reason called by this name: that on the first day no blood was shed, but that on the last four there were contests of gladiators. It would appear however that the first day was only the festival properly so called, and that the last four were merely an addition made perhaps in the time of Caesar to gratify the people, who became so passionately fond of gladiatorial combats. The ancient Calendars also assign only one day to the festival.
As this festival was sacred to Minerva, it seems that women were accustomed to consult fortune-tellers and diviners upon this day. Domitian caused it to be celebrated every year in his Alban villa, situated at the foot of the Alban hills, and instituted a collegium to superintend the celebration, which consisted of shows of wild beasts, of the exhibition of plays, and of contests of orators and poets