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VOLCANA´LIA

VOLCANA´LIA a festival celebrated at Rome in honour of Vulcan, on the 23rd of August (x. Kal. Sept.), with games in the Circus Flaminius, where the god had a temple (C. I. L. 6.2295; Jordan, Ephem. Epig. 1.36, 230). The sacrifice on this occasion consisted of fishes which the people threw into the fire (Varro, L. L. 6.20), and of a red heifer and a boar-pig (C. I. L. 6.826). That the festival was propitiatory, to stay the destroying fire, is shown not only by the last-mentioned inscription, which alludes to the great fire of Nero's reign, but also by the fact that Stata Mater, who stayed the fire, and Juturna and the Nymphs who supplied water, were associated in the festival (see Marquardt, Staatsverw. 3.9, note 2). This may perhaps explain the selection of fish as the victims. There were feriae Volcano also on the 15th of May (Ov. East. 5.725; Marquardt, Staatsverw. 3.575).

[L.S] [G.E.M]

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