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Volturnalia

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Roman bridge over the Volturno River
Roman bridge over the Volturno River. Demolished during World War II; then rebuilt.

Volturnalia was a Roman festival celebrated to protect the still ripening fruit from deterioration in the hot Southeast winds (common this time of year). During the festival, Volturnus, the god of the river and southeast wind, was worshipped.

Volturnus was the original deity of rivers, later identified as the god of the Tiber. It was brought to Rome in the 2nd century BCE. The Volturno river flowing in southern Italy takes its name from him. Volturnus was the father of the goddess Juturna, who was originally the protector of the Lazio spring near the Numicus River, later the pond near the Temple of Vesta in the Roman Forum.

In their honour, on that day there were feasts, the wine was drunk and games were organized. The deity’s protector was the priest Flamen Volturnalis.

Sources
  • Jaczynowska Maria, Religie świata rzymskiego, Warszawa 1987
  • Zieliński Tadeusz, Religia Rzeczypospolitej Rzymskiej

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