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MATRA´LIA a festival celebrated at Rome every year on the 11th of June, in honour of the goddess Mater Matuta, whose temple stood in the Forum Boarium from the time of Servius Tullius (Liv. 5.19; 33.27). It was celebrated only by Roman matrons, and the sacrifices offered to the goddess consisted of cakes baked in pots of earthenware (Varro, L. L. 5.106; Ovid. Fast. 6.475, &c.). Slaves were not allowed to take part in the solemnities, or to enter the temple of the goddess. One slave, however, was admitted by the matrons, but only to be exposed to a humiliating treatment, for one of the matrons gave her a blow on the cheek and then sent her away from the temple. The matrons on this occasion took with them the children of their sisters, but not their own, held them in their arms, and prayed for their welfare (Plut. Camil. 5; Quaest. Rom. p. 267). The statue of the goddess was then crowned with a garland, by one of the matrons who had not yet lost a husband (Tertull. Monogam. 100.17). There can be little doubt that the peculiar ordinances in this festival arose from an identification of Mater Matuta with Leucothea, also a goddess of the Dawn. The story of Ino will explain the sisters' children, the punishment of the slaves and the honour of the once-married, and it is difficult to find any other satisfactory explanation. At the same time it is not improbable that the rites connected with the Greek myth are mingled with a simpler Roman festival of Mothers, in which the goddess of lawful marriage and of the birth of children (as of the birth of light) was honoured. (Compare Preller, Röm. Myth. p. 286, and Dict. of Greek and Roman Biography, arts. Ino and Matuta.)

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