Happy Lupercalia

Anyone else here try to celebrate the Roman holy days?

The Lupercalia was an old holiday, dating far enough back that Romans of the late republic didn’t even quite know who they were worshipping, but they knew how to have a good time. It relates somehow to wolves (lupus = wolf), but little is known about its significance other than that it was a festival of fertility.

The basic gist was that the most popular and attractive young men went out into the woods and sacrificed a goat. They smeared blood on themselves and then ran around, lashing the young women with strips of flesh from the sacrificed goat.

Yay!!! Go Lupercalia! So everyone, go out and celebrate a good old fashioned holiday that is all about getting messy and BDSM in the name of fertility!!!

I believe Robbie Williams made a music video based on that. Only he used his own flesh instead of a goat. And he had the girls rollerskate around him while he pelted them with his muscle groups. Then he danced with the hottest one as a skeleton.

I celebrate many different holidays from many cultures.

I try to avoid the ones with BDSM in, though.

Dude, SWEET. It seems like EVERY Christian holiday replaces something non-Christian and more fun.

Where did you hear about this?

Meh. What we need is a holiday where I get to kill dogs, torch them, and throw them at guys.

I study Classics, it part of a roman civ course… well, thats where I first heard it, then I researched online and went to my instructors office hours.

Delita, I have never heard that Lupercalia has anything to do with wolves, in spite of the fact that the Latin word for ‘wolf’ is lupus. Rather, I thought that its name comes from the pastoral god Lupercus, who is similar to the deity Pan. It seems perfectly logical to me that the name of a fertility festival comes from the name of a deity whose domain includes fertility.

I am doubtful that the ‘luper-’ element of Lupercalia or Lupercus comes from lupus, because it is a second-declension Latin noun, and its stem would not expand to a rhoticised stem like a third-declension noun foedus ‘treaty’, whose expanded stem foeder- appears in adjectives/past participles like foederatus ‘conferederated’. In other words, because the noun lupus has no historical form like ‘luper’, it seems unlikely to me that Lupercalia comes from it directly. Of course, I know that some Roman grammarians made up all sorts fanciful etymologies of various words, so the whole idea that Lupercalia originally had something to do with wolves may come from that. Never assume that just because one word appears similar to another they are related; whilst the Latin word virtus ‘courage, valour’ does indeed come from vir ‘man’, the word virus ‘filth, waste’ does not.

Otherwise, I prefer the old Germanic holidays, myself, although I am well aware of the Roman ones.

… Dude. Never expected to run into a Latin geek. :3