from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. Among the ancient Romans, a periodical observance in honor of deceased ancestors, including the visiting of their tombs and the offering to their shades of oblations of food, flowers, and other gifts. Sometimes the tombs were illuminated with lamps. Compare Feralia.
Sorry, no etymologies found.
Finally, of course, there is that vague body, the Di Manes, 'the good gods,' the principal deities of the world of the dead; to them invocations are addressed, and they have their place in the formulæ of the _parentalia_ and the opening of the
This we learn from the Memoirs (or parentalia rather) of that worthy Judge, lately published by his Son 3 where the following acknowledgment is presened:
Literary anecdotes of the eighteenth century : comprizing biographical memoirs of William Bowyer, printer, F. S. A., and many of his learned friends : an incidental view of the progress and advancement of literature in this kingdom during the last century : and biographical anecdotes of a considerable number of eminent writers and ingenious artists ; with a very copious index
The Romans also celebrated their parentalia novendialia, a yearly novena (13 to 22 Feb.) of commemoration of all the departed members of their families (cf. Mommsen, "Corp. Inscript.