Februus

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In ancient Roman religion, Februus was the god of purification. He was also worshipped under the same name by the Etruscans, as the Etruscan god of purification, but also the underworld. For the Etruscans, Februus was also the god of riches (money/gold) and death, both connected to the underworld in the same natural manner as with the better-known Roman god Pluto.

Februus may have become the Roman Febris, goddess of fever (febris in Latin means fever) and malaria. These are possibly connected with the sweating of fevers, which was considered a purgative, washing, and purificational process.

Februus is possibly named in honor of the more ancient Februa, (also Februalia and Februatio), the spring festival of washing and purification. Februus' holy month was Februarius (of Februa), hence English February, a month named for the Februa/februalia spring purification festival which occurred on the 15th of that month.

These spring purification activities occurred at about the same time as Lupercalia, a Roman festival in honor of Faun and also the wolf who nursed Romulus and Remus, during which expiatory sacrifices and ritual purifications were also performed. Because of this coincidence, the two gods (Faun and Februus) were often considered the same entity.