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date: 06 October 2022

Secular Gameslocked

Secular Gameslocked

  • Susan Bilynskyj Dunning


The Ludi Saeculares were a religious performance held at Rome from the Republic to late Empire that came to be connected with the arrival of a new age or saeculum. The earliest celebrations included sacrifices and theatrical games (ludi scaenici; see ludi) at an altar by the Tiber in the Campus Martius; this location was called the Tarentum. In later centuries, new rituals were added to these older elements as the Ludi Saeculares came to be connected with the creation and legitimization of imperial dynasty and authority.The Republican predecessor of the Ludi Saeculares was a cult associated with the Valerian clan (see gens): a legend concerning their foundation describes how a legendary figure named Valesius instituted the first ludi and sacrifices to chthonic deities, Dis Pater and Proserpina (see Persephone), in thanksgiving for the miraculous cure of his three children at the Tarentum (.


  • Roman Myth and Religion

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