March 7, 2017

The Junonalia

Entry for March 7th in "Juno Covella" by Lawrence Durdin-Robertson:
Roman: JUNO; The Junonalia. (Philocalus, Kai. anno 354) "March 7. Junonalia."  (Enc. Brit. 1810 ed.) "Junonalia, a festival observed by the Romans in honour of Juno. It was instituted on account of certain prodigies that happened in Italy, and was celebrated by matrons. In the solemnity . . two images of Juno, made of cypress, were borne in procession. Then marched 27 girls, habited in long robes, singing a hymn to the goddess; then came the decemviri, crowned with laurel, in vestments edged with purple. This pompous company, going through the Vicus Fugarius, had a dance in the great field of Rome; from thence they proceeded through the Forum Boarium to the temple of Juno . . and the cypress images were left standing. This festival . . is fully described by Livy, lib. vii. dec. 3. The hymn used upon the occasion was composed by Livius the poet."
(photo of Shrine of Juno/Cancer, Foundation Center Temple, copyright M. Quick)
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