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parentali . . . more, ‘to die in honour of the dead,’ after the fashion of the Roman Parentalia or festival of the dead, Feb. 18th—21st, the last day of which was called Feralia. Cf. Amor. I. xiii. 3, “sic Memnonis umbris annua sollemni caede parentet avis”. It was an ancient belief that the spirits of the dead were appeased or gratified by bloodshed (cf. 457 n., Virg. Aen.III. 66), and to this belief is traced the origin of gladiatorial shows. Cf. Servius on Virg. Aen.X. 519, “moris erat in sepulcris virorum fortium captivos necari: quod postquam crudele visum est, placuit gladiatores ante sepulcra dimicare, qui a busti cineribus bustuarii dicti”. So Tertull. de Spectac. xii., “captivos vel malo ingenio servos in exsequiis immolabant. Postea placuit impietatem voluptate adumbrare...Ita mortem homicidiis consolabantur”. From the reading of M uoce Merkel conjectures luce, which is in point as defining the day as well as the month of the commemoration.
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