Cerealia


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CEREALIA Feasts instituted in honour of Ceres, at which the Roman matrons, holding torches in their hands, and hurrying about by night, represented the grief of Ceres, seeking for Proserpine, whom Pluto had carried off.  They were celebrated in the month of April, and lasted eight days; during the ceremonies of which a rigorous silence was observed, especially at the sacrifices performed in honour of the goddess at Eleusis in Arrica, whence the Romans had borrowed the mysteries of Ceres.

Memmius, a curule Edile, was the first who established these feasts at Rome feasts which were always accompanied by sports, as shown by a denarius of the Menimia gens, on which appears Ceres, with three corn ears and a torch (or distaff), a serpent at her feet, and the inscription MEMMIVS AEDilis CEREALIA PREIMVS FECIT Engraved in Akerman, ii. P. 63, pl. ii No.8. See Meminia gens

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