previous next


VINA´LIA There were two festivals of this name celebrated by the Romans: the Vinalia urbana or priora, and the Vinalia rustica or altera. The vinalia urbana were celebrated on the 23rd of April. This festival answered to the Greek πιθοιγία, as on this occasion the wine casks which had been filled the preceding autumn were opened for the first time, and the wine tasted (Plin. Nat. 18.287). But before men actually tasted the new wine, a libatiou was offered to Jupiter (Fest. Ep. p. 374, 12), which was called calpar (Id. p. 65, 13).

The rustic vinalia, which fell on the 19th of August (Plin. Nat. 18.289; Varro, L. L. 6.20) and was celebrated by the inhabitants of all Latium, was the day on which the vintage was opened. On this occasion the flamen dialis offered lambs to Jupiter, and while the flesh of the victims lay on the altar he broke with his own hands a bunch of grapes from a vine, and by this act he, as it were, opened the vintage (vindemiam auspicari; Varro, L. L. 6.16), and no must was allowed to be conveyed into the city until this solemnity was performed. This day also was sacred to Jupiter only originally (Fest. p. 265, 28), but afterwards to Venus also, being the day of dedication for her temples in Murcia valle and in Luco Libitinae (Fest. p. 265, 31). The question what Venus had to do with the In Vinalia is raised by Ovid (Ov. Fast. 4.877), but not answered. We may be content with Varro's account, that Venus took gardens under her protection (R. R. 1.1, 6; L. L. 6.20; cf. Fest. Ep. p. 58, 14; Marquardt, Staatsverwaltung, iii. pp. 333, 374).

[L.S] [G.E.M]

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