These were certainly held in the
Circus Flaminius (V. Max. 1.7
), and are mentioned as early as 216 B.C. (Liv. 23.30
as the Circus Flaminius was built in 220 B.C. (Liv. Epit.
xx.), we may assign the establishment of the Ludi Plebeii to the same date,
and also the Jovis epulum
on the Ides (for all Ides are
sacred to Jupiter) which is connected with these games (Liv. 25.2
). This is a more probable
view than that of Cicero, who (de Orat.
73) makes the Epulum Jovis to exist in the time of Numa, or that of the
Pseudo-Asconius (p. 143, 12), who supposes the Ludi Plebeii to have been
established either after the expulsion of the kings, or after the secession
of the plebs. (See Marquardt, Staatsverw.
3.349.) We find
from the Calendar of Philocalus (354 A.D.) that the Ludi Plebeii lasted till
the fourth century; cf. also Lampr. Alex. Sev.
37. The date
of them was originally Nov. 15 (the Equorum
being on the 14th), just as that of the Ludi Romani was
Sept. 15 (C. I. L.
1.401). They were celebrated by the
plebeian aediles; and already in 207 B.C. they lasted for more than one day
In some early calendars, e. g. the Fasti Maffeiani, they are put [p. 2.91]
down as lasting from Nov. 4 to Nov. 17: in the
Calendar of Philocalus, from Nov. 12 to 16 (C. I. L. l.c.
That plays were acted at the Ludi Plebeii is proved from the didascalia to
of Plautus (Ritschl, Parerga