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LUDI TAU´RII were of a similar nature, and due to a somewhat similar origin as the Ludi Saeculares. They were instituted to the gods of the lower world, according to Festus (s. v. Taurii, p. 350 M. The absurd interpretation given by Varro on p. 351 may be discarded), in the reign of Tarquinius Superbus, when a great pestilence fell on pregnant women, owing to the sale of bulls' flesh among the people. Other interpretations of the name are that it is from taura or taurea, a barren cow, which was sacrificed to Proserpina, or that the games were instituted by the Sabines that a pestilence which had attacked them might be turned on the bulls which they sacrificed (Serv. on Verg. A. 2.140). At these games there was a chariot-race in the circus (Varro, L. L. 5.154). We hear of their being celebrated religionis causa for two days in 186 B.C. (Liv. 39.22, 1).


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  • Cross-references from this page (3):
    • Vergil, Aeneid, 2.140
    • Livy, The History of Rome, Book 39, 1
    • Livy, The History of Rome, Book 39, 22
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