American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. A fertility festival in ancient Rome, celebrated on February 15 in honor of the pastoral god Lupercus.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- One of the most ancient of Roman festivals, celebrated every year in the middle of February. The origin of the festival is older than the legend of Romulus and the wolf, with which, as with the Greek cult of Pan, it was sought later to connect it. It was originally a local purification ceremony of the Palatine city, in which human victims were sacrificed in the Lupercal cave near the Porta Romana, after having been conducted around the walls. In historic times the victims were goats and a dog, and the celebrants ran around the old line of the Palatine walls, striking all whom they met with thongs cut from the skins of the slaughtered animals. These blows were reputed to preserve women from sterility. The divinity of the Lupercalia was the old Etrurian god Inuus, akin to Mars.
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. (Rom. Antiq.) A feast of the Romans in honor of Lupercus, or Pan.
- Latin Lupercālia, from Lupercus, Roman god of flocks. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“• Pagan ritual stolen from a Roman fertility festival called Lupercalia; a fertility festival dedicated to Faunus, the Roman god of agriculture, as well as to the Roman founders Romulus and Remus”
“Others tie the the day to an ancient Roman feast that had tones of romance called Lupercalia, which took place on February 15.”
“The Romans were celebrating their festival, called the Lupercalia, when Caesar, in his triumphal habit, and seated above the Rostra in the market-place, was a spectator of the sports.”
“A heathen deity of Italy, Lupercus, the guardian of their flocks and pastures, has also been identified with Pan, and in whose honour annual rural festivals, known as Lupercalia, were observed.”
“ The Lupercalia was a festival, celebrated in a place called the”
“The Romans were celebrating their festival, called the Lupercalia, when Cæsar, in his triumphal habit, and seated above the Rostra in the market-place, was a spectator of the sports.”
“It is said that the festival of the Lupercalia, which is still observed, was even in those days celebrated on the Palatine hill.”
“The early church cleaned up and Christianized a raunchy Roman fertility festival called Lupercalia that we now celebrate as Valentine's Day.”
“Roman fertility festival called Lupercalia that we now celebrate as Valentine's Day.”
“Valentine's Day originated from the Roman celebration called Lupercalia, which was held on February 15th.”
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