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A Test Case: The Secular Games Of 17 B.C.

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Chapter Summary

The historical phenomenon the author has chosen as a test case is the Augustan Secular Games of 17 B.C., first of all because of its pivotal role in the religious history of Rome, and secondly because of its uniquely rich documentation, which comprises the proceedings of the Games, coins, the records of various historians and antiquarians, and of course Horaces famous hymn, which was performed on this occasion. Horaces hymn actually reflects the poets personal, unofficial interpretation of the event, which differs markedly from the one the organizers of the Games, had in mind. This chapter is subdivided into two sections namely, the actual celebrations of the Games, as planned by the organizers, and Horaces Carmen Saeculare. Putnam and others have claimed that Ilithyia in Horace is actually Diana, on the basis of the very similar functional foci and the epithet Lucina as characteristic of Diana.

Keywords: Augustan secular games; Diana; Horaces Carmen Saeculare; Ilithyia



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