Sunday, January 15, 2012

Set Kills Apophis; Juturnalia


Today, in the Cairo Calendar, marks the date of Set's Killing of Apophis.

Last year, I wrote about this festival a few days later than this because it was celebrated on that day in Neos Alexandria. However, in preparing Devotio Antinoo, rather than sticking with the various dates that various festivals happened to fall on in Neos Alexandria's calendar last year for the permanent dates, I consulted the Cairo Calendar (as given in Bob Brier's translation) and found that most of the festivals were found on it on dates fairly close to what they were last year, and this particular one happened on January 11. So, I've decided to standardize the Egyptian festivals according to that source.

January 11th is also the Roman festival of Juturna, known as the Juturnalia. She is variously said to be the sister of Turnus, or of Castor and Pollux–the latter were said to have been seen watering their horses at her fountain at one point, and her fountain was located adjacent to one of Castor's temples. She had an affair with Jupiter, but was betrayed by Larunda, who was struck dumb by Jupiter as a result; she also had a child by Ianus, Fontus, the god of wells and springs–given that she was herself a nymph/goddess associated with several lakes, wells, and fountains, this makes perfect sense!

Today is also the first day of the Carmentalia, the second day of which is January 15th, which is very odd for a Roman festival–it ought to have its second day on the 13th, more logically, but it doesn't…hmm. Carmenta, a goddess/nymph associated with childbirth and prophecy, was said to have lived and died in the neighborhood of Rome, and was buried at the base of the Capitoline Hill. She had some enmity with Hercules, who forbade her–and as a result, all women–from attending a particular rite; but sometimes this particular action is attributed to Bona Dea instead.

Isn't Roman myth fun?

Unfortunately, I can't elaborate too much more at present, as there are pressing tasks upon me, but I hope to write that film review soon–perhaps in the coming day!