(neut. pl.). A festival celebrated at Rome
on the 19th of March, in honour of Mars and, in a greater degree, of Minerva, whose temple had
been founded on that day on the Aventine. An incorrect explanation of the name quinquatrus
, which means the fifth day after the Ides (Varro, L.
vi. 14), led to the festival in honour of Minerva being afterwards prolonged to
five days. It was celebrated by all whose employment was under the protection of the goddess,
such as teachers and their pupils. The latter obtained a holiday during the festival, and
began a new course of study when it was over. The former received at this time their yearly
stipend —the minerval.
(See Ludus Litterarius
.) The festival was also celebrated by women and
children (as being spinners and weavers), by artisans and artists of every kind, and by poets
and painters. The first day of the festival was celebrated with sacrifices by the State in
honour of the founding of the temple. On the following days the gladiators performed, and
there were social gatherings in the houses. On June 13th the minor Quinquatrus
) took place. This festival lasted three days. It was
celebrated by the guild of the flute-players, an important and numerous body at Rome. They
honoured the goddess as their special patroness by meeting at her temple, by masked
processions through the city, and by a banquet in the temple of the Capitoline Iupiter. See
Livy , lx. 30; Ovid,
Fast. vi. 651
; Juv.x. 115
; and Marquardt,
, iii. 566 in the second edition.