previous next


AC´TIA (Ἄκτια), a festival of Apollo Actius, celebrated at Nicopolis in Epirus, with wrestling, musical contests, horse-racing, and sea-fights. It was established by Augustus, in commemoration of his victory over Antony off Actium, and was probably the revival of an ancient festival; for there was a celebrated temple of Apollo at Actium, which is mentioned by Thucydides (1.29) and Strabo (vii. p.325), and which was enlarged by Augustus. The games instituted by Augustus were celebrated every four years (μεντετηρίς, ludi quinquennales) at Nicopolis, probably on Sept. 2, the anniversary of the battle of Actium; they received the title of a sacred Agon, and ranked next after the four great games of Greece. Some counted by Actiads instead of Olympiads. (J. BJ 1.20, 4; Strab. l.c.; D. C. 51.1; Suet. Aug. 18; Stat. Silv. 2.2, 6; Böckh, Corp. Inscr. No. 1720, 1793; Krause, Olympia, p. 221.)

Actia were also celebrated at the same time at Rome by the orders of the senate. (D. C. 53.1, 54.19; Mommsen, Res gest. D. Aug. p. 27.) They are frequently mentioned in inscriptions, and were also celebrated in other parts of the empire. (Friedländer, Sittengesch. ii. p. 304.)

[W.S] [A.S.W]

hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: