Celebrating Saturnalia

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Celebrating Saturnalia

Postby Octavius Tullius Curio » Sat Dec 02, 2017 8:13 pm

With the holiday season approaching fast its interesting to recount the ancient myths on how it all came to it. For the christians its surely the christmas season in which the birth of Jesus Christ is being celebrated.

For us, the cultores of the religio romana its somewhat different. Its the celebration of the Golden Age of our early human ancestors which was brought to us by Saturnus the mighty god of agriculture, liberation, and time for just a short amount of time.

Once, together with his wife Ops he ruled the universe. Yet it was foretold that at one point he would be overthrown by one of his own children. To not letting this happen, everytime Ops gave birth to a child, he swallowed it to stay in power. He swallowed Vesta, Ceres, Juno, Pluto and Neptune. Yet, when Ops received her sixth child she couldn't bear it anymore and hid the newborn infant with the name of Jupiter from her father. Young Jupiter nursed and cared for by his grandmother Terra and the Nymphs soon grew up. Once he reached adulthood he was told about whom he his and what the prophecy told. So he confronted his father Saturn and forced him to drink a potion which made him upchuck Jupiters lost siblings. Jupiter and his now freed siblings disposed Saturn as the ruler of the sole universe after a long war which almost destroyed it. Saturn then fled to Latium where he was met and invited by the two faced roman god Janus. Saturn initiated the Golden Age for humankind which Ovid describes like this:

" This was the Golden Age that, without coercion, without laws, spontaneously nurtured the good and the true. There was no fear or punishment: there were no threatening words to be read, fixed in bronze, no crowd of suppliants fearing the judge’s face: they lived safely without protection. No pine tree felled in the mountains had yet reached the flowing waves to travel to other lands: human beings only knew their own shores. There were no steep ditches surrounding towns, no straight war-trumpets, no coiled horns, no swords and helmets. Without the use of armies, people passed their lives in gentle peace and security. The earth herself also, freely, without the scars of ploughs, untouched by hoes, produced everything from herself. Contented with food that grew without cultivation, they collected mountain strawberries and the fruit of the strawberry tree, wild cherries, blackberries clinging to the tough brambles, and acorns fallen from Jupiter’s spreading oak-tree. Spring was eternal, and gentle breezes caressed with warm air the flowers that grew without being seeded. Then the untilled earth gave of its produce and, without needing renewal, the fields whitened with heavy ears of corn. Sometimes rivers of milk flowed, sometimes streams of nectar, and golden honey trickled from the green holm oak." http://ovid.lib.virginia.edu/trans/Meta ... #488381093

The Golden Age lasted for many generations and no man had to fear another.Men were equal in all regards.They were living in harmony with natural law. No sickness was torturing the mortal souls. As it was spring it was autumn at the same time and the fruit trees were full food ready to eat. Harmony prevailed. A true paradise on earth for the mortal souls.

The ancient romans celebrated and remembered this golden time from Dezember 17 - 23, known to them as "Saturnalia" with great sophistication.

It was the most popular holiday of the Roman year. Catullus describes it as "the best of days", and Seneca complains that the "whole mob has let itself go in pleasures" . Pliny the Younger writes that he retired to his room while the rest of the household celebrated . It was an occasion for celebration, visits to friends, and the presentation of gifts, particularly wax candles (cerei), perhaps to signify the returning light after the solstice, and sigillaria. Aulus Gellius relates that he and his Roman compatriots would gather at the baths in Athens, where they were studying, and pose difficult questions to one another on the ancient poets, a crown of laurel being dedicated to Saturn if no-one could answer them

During the holiday, restrictions were relaxed and the social order inverted. Gambling was allowed in public. Slaves were permitted to use dice and did not have to work. Instead of the toga, colorful dinner clothes were permitted in public, as was the pileus, a felt cap normally worn by the manumitted slave that symbolized the freedom of the season. Within the family, a Lord of Misrule was chosen, a role once occupied by a young Nero, who derisively commanded his younger step-brother Britannicus to sing.

Slaves were treated as equals, allowed to wear their masters' clothing, and be waited on at meal time. Figs, nuts, dates and other dainties were showered on the people, women and children, men and senators alike, and bread and wine served among the rows while guests were entertained by women fighting in the arena and cranes were hunted by dwarfs.

As our roman ancestors once did, so do we this year by honoring the golden age of mankind brought to us by mighty Saturnus. May the spirit of happiness and joy Saturnalia's be with all of you in the coming weeks.

Tempus est in gaudium! :)
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Re: Celebrating Saturnalia

Postby Gaius Florius Aetius » Mon Dec 04, 2017 10:58 pm

Great writing! :)
Advice is judged by results, not by intentions.

- Cicero
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