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Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Pagan Festival Shout Out: Volturnalia

volturnusVolturnalia was the Roman festival on August 27 dedicated to Volturnus, 'god of the waters,' god of fountains. The name probably derived from a local Samnite cult. Volturnus was the father of the goddess Juturna, who was first identified with a spring in Latium near the Numicus River and later with a pool near the Temple of Vesta in the Forum of Rome. They were both honored on this day with feasting, wine-drinking, and games.

No myths concerning Volturnus have survived. A minority view among scholars is that Volturnus was a generic God of rivers, and gave his name both to the Tiber and the Volturno. Also it has been theorized that the Romans might have equated Volturnus with Vulturnus, as evidenced by this passage from Lucretious:

Inde aliae tempestates ventique secuntur, altitonans Volturnus et Auster fulmine pollens.

“And other Winds do follow: the high roar Of great Volturnus, and the South wind strong With thunder-bolts.”

Those who equate Volturnus with Vulturnus believe that the Volturnalia was a festival to avert the drought caused by these drying winds.

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