Lupercalia  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

Lupercalia was a very ancient, possibly pre-Roman pastoral festival, observed on February 15 to avert evil spirits and purify the city, releasing health and fertility. The Lupercalia was believed in antiquity to have some connection with the Ancient Greek festival of the Arcadian Lykaia (from Ancient Greek: λύκοςlykos, "wolf", Latin lupus) and the worship of Lycaean Pan, the Greek equivalent to Faunus, as instituted by Evander.

References in art

William Shakespeare's play Julius Caesar begins during the Lupercalia, with the tradition described above. Mark Antony is instructed by Caesar to strike his wife Calpurnia, in the hope that she will be able to conceive:

CAESAR (to Calpurnia)
Stand you directly in Antonius' way,
When he doth run his course. Antonius!
ANTONY
Caesar, my lord?
CAESAR
Forget not, in your speed, Antonius,
To touch Calpurnia; for our elders say,
The barren touched in this holy chase,
Shake off their sterile curse.

See also




Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Lupercalia" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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