World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article


Article Id: WHEBN0010926131
Reproduction Date:

Title: Februa  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: February, Februus, February 15
Collection: Ancient Roman Festivals, February Observances
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia


Februalia, also Februatio, was the Roman festival of ritual purification, later incorporated into Lupercalia.[1] The festival, which is basically one of Spring washing or cleaning (associated also with the raininess of this time of year) is ancient, and possibly of Sabine origin. According to Ovid, Februare as a Latin word which refers to means of purification (particularly with washing or water) derives from an earlier Etruscan word referring to purging.[2]

The Roman month Februarius ("of Februa," whence the English February derives) is named for the Februa/Februatio festival, which occurred on the 13th to 15th days of this Roman month. A later Roman god Februus personified both the month and also purification, and is named for them. Thus, the month is named for the festival and not for the god.

Some sources connect the Latin word for fever (febris) with the same idea of purification or purging, due to the sweating commonly seen in association with fevers.


  1. ^ Alberta Mildred Franklin (1921). The Lupercalia. pp. 79–. 
  2. ^ Richard Jackson King (2006). Desiring Rome: Male Subjectivity and Reading Ovid's Fasti. Ohio State University Press. pp. 195–.  

External links

  • Article about meanings of month-names, including February

This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from World eBook Fair are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.