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CARMENTA´LIA an old Roman festival celebrated in honour of the nymphs called Carmenta or Carmentis, for an account of whom see Dict. of Biog. s. v. Camenae. This festival was celebrated annually on the 11th and the 15th of January: the sacrifice was offered by the flamen Carmentalis (Cic. Brut. 14, 56) and the Pontifices, in the fanum Carmentis, near the Porta Carmentalis, at the south-west of the Capitol. One Carmentis was known as Porrinœ (Ov. Fast. 1.633) or Prorsa (Gel. 16.16) or Antevorta (Macrob. 1.7, 20), the other as Postvorta (Serv. on Verg. A. 8.339). They were regarded as goddesses foretelling the fortunes of newly-born children ; and hence the festival was chiefly observed by married women. Nothing in any way connected with death was allowed to be used in the worship, not even leather. The second day of the festival was given up especially to rites bearing upon childbirth. The explanation given by Livy (5.25) of the addition of this day is manifestly due only to a false etymology.


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