Ludi Augustales – October 3-12 Following his predecessors Sulla and Caesar, games were held in Augustus' honor starting in 11 BC. It became a ten-day event under Tiberius. Usually only the last day featured chariot racing.
Yeah, well, those horses and chariot wheels did tend to screw up the turf - not good for the athletes.
Black Day: Anniversary of Arausio – October 6 A day considered unlucky since it was the anniversary of the defeat to German tribes in 105 BC.
Those dang Germans !
Meditrinalia – October 11 To Jupiter, in his form as the wine-god, and Meditrina, goddess of healing and medicine. This was the first occasion on which Romans tasted the year's new vintage.
After quaffing all that new vintage stuff, no doubt Meditrina's skills of healing came in very handy! Ah-ha... we have a post about this, from 2011 (AD that is)- See HERE
Fontinalia – October 13 To Fons or Fontus, god of fountains, springs, and wells. Fountains and wellheads around the city of Rome were decorated with garlands.
And there are lots and lots, and lots of fountains in Rome - I saw many of 'em, but that was many decades ago (not nearly as many decades ago as this Festival though)!
Equus October – October 15 A race of two-horse chariots on the Campius Martius in honor of Mars. The right hand horse was sacrificed to the god with the tail being taken to the regia where its blood was left to drip on the hearth. The head was fought over between the residents of the Via Sacra (the rich and powerful) and the Subura (the poor). This festival and the next represented the usual close of the military season.
Armilustrium – October 19 To Mars. This marked the end of the military campaigning season. Soldiers' weapons were ritually purified and stored for the winter on the Aventine Hill. The assembled army was garlanded with flowers and reviewed in the Circus Maximus. Trumpets were played. There was a procession with torches and sacrificial animals.
Inhabitants of the USA carry on their version of this particular festival continually, by ritually saying "Thank you for your service" to any individual wearing military uniform, in any situation...whether said individual has ever done anything remotely like service to man or beast, or not. (Perhaps this should be my cue to run and hide!)
Ludi Victoriae Sullae – October 26 - November 1 Sometimes modern readers are puzzled about why Sulla's contemporaries complain so much about him. It should be realized that some of the things he did could be rather offensive to the traditional Roman. For example, after he won the battle of the Colline Gate in 82 BC to restore his control of Rome from the Marian faction, he chose the first anniversary to institute annual games in honor of the victory and by implication of course, himself. Now what had once only been done for gods, was being done on behalf of a mere man. This set a precedent for Caesar. Usually only the last day featured chariot racing.
"the Marian Faction"?
Any connection to "Marian...Madam Librarian
What can I say, my dear, to catch your ear...."?
Julius Caesar’s family was socially distinguished: its members were patrician, and claimed descent from Venus and Aeneas. Although not prominent in politics, they were closely connected with the Marian faction in Roman politics – Caesar’s aunt was married to the popular leader Marius, and he himself married Cornelia, the daughter of Cinna (a follower of Marius). Cornelia died in 69 BC, after which Caesar married Sulla’s granddaughter Pompeia, in 67 BC.