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Parilia is Coming!

The Parilia is an ancient Roman festival held on April 21.  Originally this was a pastoral festival for the purification of shepherds, but later it came to be associated with the founding of Rome on April 21, 753 B.C.  Of course the most famous (or infamous) story associated with the founding of Rome is the fraternal showdown between Romulus and Remus.  Did you know there are a couple of versions to this story?  Consider reading and comparing both versions as part of your class this week.

The first, and better known version, can be found in Book 1 of the Histories of Livy, Ab Urbe Condita Libri.

The second appears in Book 4 of Ovid’s Fasti, a poem by Ovid recalling the many festivals of Rome.

Reading excerpts from both of these great works allows students not only the opportunity to compare the two versions of this legend, but the stylistic differences between Livy and Ovid, historical prose and poetry.  You can find the Latin text of both tales conveniently in one pdf, just over two pages long here:

For an outline of the first four books of the Fasti and the festivals addressed: Outline of Ovid’s Fasti, Books 1 – 4

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