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Please note that Mommsen uses the AUC chronology (Ab Urbe Condita), i.e. from the founding of the City of Rome. You can use this reference table to have the B.C. dates


III. From the Union of Italy to the Subjugation of Carthage and the Greek States

From: The History of Rome, by Theodor Mommsen
Translated with the sanction of the author by William Purdie Dickson

The History of Old Rome

Chapter XIII - Faith and Manners


The Original Greek New Testament

» Contents of this Chapter

Page 34

Increase of Amusements

We have already noticed the alarming extension of the popular amusements during this epoch. At the beginning of it, apart from some unimportant foot and chariot races which should rather be ranked with religious ceremonies, only a single general festival was held in the month of September, lasting four days and having a definitely fixed maximum of cost.(5)

5. Cf. II. IX. The Roman National Festival

At the close of the epoch, this popular festival had a duration of at least six days; and besides this there were celebrated at the beginning of April the festival of the Mother of the Gods or the so-called Megalensia, towards the end of April that of Ceres and that of Flora, in June that of Apollo, in November the Plebeian games--all of them probably occupying already more days than one. To these fell to be added the numerous cases where the games were celebrated afresh--in which pious scruples presumably often served as a mere pretext--and the incessant extraordinary festivals. Among these the already-mentioned banquets furnished from the dedicated tenths(6) the feasts of the gods, the triumphal and funeral festivities, were conspicuous; and above all the festal games which were celebrated--for the first time in 505--at the close of one of those longer periods which were marked off by the Etrusco-Roman religion, the -saecula-, as they were called.

6. Cf. III. XIII. Religious Economy

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