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The Lupercalia (Latin Lupercalus) was a festival of purification and fertility in ancient Rome - held every year on 15th February. It was named after the god Lupercus, the Roman equivalent of the Greek god Pan.

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Q: What was lupercal?
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What is the Lupercal and what is the significance of this place?

The Lupercal was a cave at the Palatine hill where the pastoral religious festival of the Lupercalia was performed. The name was derived from the lupa (she-wolf) who suckled the baby twins Romulus and Remus. The Lupercal was said to be the place where the she-wolf found them after they landed in the area. The twins were said to have been thrown in the river Tiber by the king of Alba Longa The Lupercalia was a celebration of Lupercus, the god of shepherds. It was officiated by a priests called Luperci (brothers of the lupus, wolf) the college of priests of Lupercus. The festival involved the sacrifice of a goat and a dog, two animals with a strong sex drive. Two noble youths anointed the foreheads of the priests with a sword dipped in the blood of the victims. The priests wiped the blood off with wool soaked in milk. The youths then had to laugh loud. Afterwards there was a feast. Then the priests cut the skin of the goats and covered the part of their bodies with goat skin (Lupercus was depicted half naked and half covered with goat skin). They also cut thongs. They then run half naked though the streets of the Palatine hill, striking people. This act was symbolic of purifying the land and of fertility. The struck men were purified. Young women lined up to be hit. This was to ensure fertility and ease the pains of labour.


What was the feast of Lupercal?

First of all--terms. Lupercal was not a feast, it was a cave. It was supposed to be the cave where Romulus and Remus were nursed by the she-wolf. The feast was the Lupercalia. Both cave and festival come from the Latin word for wolf (lupus). The Lupercalia was a religious festival in honour of Lupercus, a pastoral god of fertility and protector of sheep and goat from attack by wolves. It was officiated by priests called luperci. It lasted three days and started with the sacrifice of two goats and a dog by the Lupercal. Two youths were initiated to the priesthood. A feast followed. On the last day the priests cut the goat skin and covered part of the body of two initiates with it because Lupercus was depicted as half covered with goat skin and half naked. They also made thongs with the goat skin. The Lupercalia was a very old festival (probably pre-Roman) of both purification and fertility. The two half-naked youths led the priests in a run around the Palatine hill and hit the ground and people with the thongs. Young women would hold out their hands to them and would have their hands hit. This was supposed to ensure fertility and ease the pains of labour. As the men ran around the perimeter of Palatine Hill, the hitting of the ground purified and protected the hill. The evil which caused illness was supposed to be driven out. The priests were both goats (a symbol of fertility) and dogs (protectors of the flock from the wolves). The thongs were called februa (a Latin word which referred to means of purification) and the festival occurred in February, the month of purification. It was one of the logiest surviving pagan festivals. It was finally suppressed by Pope Gelasius in 495.


What is Marc Anthony famous for?

Unfortunately, Marc Antony is famous for the hyped up romance with Cleopatra. His other accomplishments, although not as great a some would have you believe, are overshadowed by his affair with Cleo and its consequences.


Related questions

How many pages does The Feast of Lupercal have?

The Feast of Lupercal has 246 pages.


Who was Lupercal and when did the feast of Lupercal occur?

It is a novel by Brian Moore entitled "The Feast of Lupercal." The setting was in Belfast Ireland during the 1950s."The Feast of Lupercal" was an roman fertility festivity ,it was believed that the women whom were not fertile could conceive on this date and those who were fertile could bear moreOccurred Feb. 14 (Lupercal eve)/Feb 15


What is lupercal in Julius Caesar?

It is on Feb.15


Does the Feast of Lupercal take place on the Ides of March?

No, the Feast of Lupercal takes place on February 15 whereas the Ides of March are on March 15.


What holiday is being celebrated in Julius Caesar?

the Feast of Lupercal


How did casca react to the events at the lupercal festival?

Casca reveals information to Brutus that suggests Caesar may be getting more ambitious in a reaction to events at the Lupercal festival


What holiday is being celebrated in Act 1 Scene 1 of Julius Caesar?

the feast of lupercal


In Julius Caesar why are the carpenter and the cobbler celebrating?

They are celebrating in Caesar's victory and it was also the feast of Lupercal.


What activity takes place as part of the Lupercal?

One of the main activities that takes place as part of the Lupercal is a ceremonial race called the Lupercal run. During this event, young men would run through the streets of Rome while wearing loincloths made from the skins of sacrificed goats. It was believed that being touched by these runners would bring fertility and protect against evil spirits.


How does Brutus feel about the idea presented to him at the Race of Lupercal?

He has to think about what Cassius said before he agrees with it. At first he is not sure.


What was the festival taking place at the beginning of Julius Caesar?

feast of Lupercal, a Roman festival of fruitfulness to the pagan god Pan.


Why does Caesar tell calpurnia to stand close to the racers?

Because the superstition said that women who were touched by the Lupercal racers were likely to have babies.