Brill’s New Pauly

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(573 words)

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A social ritual celebrated in Rome on 15 February (InscrIt 13,2, p. 409) ( Lustratio : Varro, Ling. 6,34; Ov. Fast. 2,31f.; Dion. Hal. Ant. Rom. 1,80,1). It began with the sacrifice of a goat at the foot of Mons Palatinus. In honour of the god Faunus (Ov. Fast. 2,267f.), the cult centre was called Lupercal (Varro, Ling. 5,85; Dion. Hal. Ant. Rom. 1,32,3-5). According to Plutarch (Romulus 21,6), two young men were touched on the forehead with the bloody slaughtering knife and the blood was wiped off them again with milk-soaked wool; then they had to laugh.

The sacrifice supplie…

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Baudy, Gerhard (Constance), “Lupercalia”, in: Brill’s New Pauly, Antiquity volumes edited by: Hubert Cancik and , Helmuth Schneider, English Edition by: Christine F. Salazar, Classical Tradition volumes edited by: Manfred Landfester, English Edition by: Francis G. Gentry. Consulted online on 28 May 2023 <>
First published online: 2006
First print edition: 9789004122598, 20110510

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