an old Roman festival celebrated in
honour of the nymphs called Carmenta or Carmentis, for an account of whom
see Dict. of Biog.
s. v. Camenae.
This festival was celebrated annually on the 11th and
the 15th of January: the sacrifice was offered by the flamen Carmentalis
) and the Pontifices, in the
near the Porta
Carmentalis, at the south-west of the Capitol. One Carmentis was known as
) or Prorsa
) or Antevorta
1.7, 20), the other as Postvorta
(Serv. on Verg. A. 8.339
). They were regarded as
goddesses foretelling the fortunes of newly-born children ; and hence the
festival was chiefly observed by married women. Nothing in any way connected
with death was allowed to be used in the worship, not even leather. The
second day of the festival was given up especially to rites bearing upon
childbirth. The explanation given by Livy (5.25
of the addition of this day is manifestly due only to a false etymology.