AGONA´LES DIES. a name given to four festivals in the Roman
calendar. Many different explanations have been given of the name (cf. Ov. Fast. 1.319
s. v.; Varr. L. L.
6.12), most of them
quite absurd. There can be little doubt that it is derived from the Old
“a victim,” or agonium,
“a festival,” a word also found in other Italian dialects
(Corssen, i.2 396; Curtius, Principles,
- 1. On Jan. 9 the rex offered in the
regia a ram in honour of Janus
(Cal. Praenest.; Ov. Fast. 1.333).
This sacrifice was said to have been instituted by Numa (Macrob.
- 2. On March 17, the day of the Liberalia, called according to
Masurius (apud Macrob. 1.4, 15) the
Agonium Martiale, a victim was
offered by the Salii agonales on the Mons Quirinalis,
hence sometimes called Mons Agonus, in honour of
Mars, or more probably of Quirinus. (Cal. Vatic.)
- 3. On May 21 there was a festival called in the Cal. Venus.
Agon. Vediovi, when a victim was offered to
Vejovis in his temple on the Capitoline hill.
- 4. On Dec. 11 there was, according to Festus, a festival called
Septimontium, when sacrifice was
offered on each of the seven hills. This is denoted in the Fasti
Amiternini (C. I. L., p. 325) AG. IN., interpreted by Mommsen as Agonia Inui. (Cf. Marquardt, Röm.
Staatsv. iii. p. 310, note; Huschke, Das alte
röm. Jahr, Breslau, 1869, pp. 247-8.)