Talk:Lemuria (festival)

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"On those days, the Vestals would prepare sacred mola salsa (salt cake) from the first ears of wheat of the season." This seems like the wrong time of year-- unless it was winter wheat. Is there any classical reference to substantiate this? User:Wetman.

What's the problem with winter wheat? Quite standard in a Mediterranean climate. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 22:04, 30 July 2007 (UTC)

All Saints Day[edit]

User:Bryan Derksen notes "there's an inconsistancy about All Saints Day that I don't know how to resolve." I'm confused myself, as I though he had deleted the following text:

This ancient custom was Christianized in the feast of All Saints Day, established in Rome first on May 13, in order to de-paganize the Roman Lemuria. In the 8th century, as the popular observance of the Lemuria had safely faded over time, the feast of All Saints was shifted to November 1, coinciding with the similar Celtic propitiation of the spirits at Samhain. Pope Gregory III (731-741) consecrated a chapel in the Basilica of St. Peter to all the saints and fixed the anniversary, not by chance, for 1 November.
The idea that this festival was the origin of that of All Saints, which was moved later to November 1, has now been abandoned by Roman Catholics.

I wonder if we may discuss why this text is confusing, inconsistent, inaccurate, non-historical or embarrassing, and make it clearer and better. I shall not simply re-enter it, until we've all discussed it for a bit. For a start, is there any serious educated doubt that the Christian church consistently covered pagan sites and pagan festivals with Christian ones, for a start? Or is that understood as a matter of historical development? Is that considered controversial anywhere? Wetman 06:00, 20 Feb 2004 (UTC)

The inconsistency is that the paragraph I brought over from Lemuria describes how the festival was Christianized into All Saints day, but the text immediately below it that was already on this page says that the idea that All Saints originated from this festival has been abandoned. So one source says Lemuria became All Saints, and the other says the exact opposite. I know nothing about any of this, all I did was create a disambiguation page, so I was pointing out that this contradiction existed for other people who know more than I about these hollidays. Bryan 06:56, 20 Feb 2004 (UTC)
The Roman Catholic church has abandoned the former connection Catholic scholars made between All Saints' Day and this Roman festival. (A step backwards in my opinion.) That was me, quoting the Catholic Encyclopedia and not being clear. I better have another look... Wetman 07:01, 20 Feb 2004 (UTC)

13 or 14 May? Thanks, Wetman. I accept your conclusion - although I do not have access to your source. Zingi 06:02, 11 May 2005 (UTC)

Well, someone re-inserted that confusing/embarrassing section at some point in the last two years, so I edited it to a) remove the excessive repetition of the date and b) rephrase to a more objective POV. Subversified 04:57, 15 July 2007 (UTC)

Generally scholars today are more skeptical of claims of continuity with ancient religions than were scholars of the 19th century. This is true to some extent even among Roman Catholic scholars, although there still remains plenty of regard in church circles for the work of German romanticists and Celtic fantacists. I do not regard this new skepticism as a step backwards. The works of historian and popularizer Ronald Hutton have been a much needed breath of fresh air after all the enthusiastic speculation of journalists and inventing ancient links with modern festivals. I think it is important for this article to convey just how tentative such links are. Rwflammang (talk) 16:19, 3 August 2009 (UTC)

Black Beans in Rome[edit]

Since black beans are native to the Americas, they were not present in ancient Rome. There may have been something like it, perhaps black chick peas. It would be helpful to have someone familiar with a translation of Ovid to check this. Tmangray (talk) 20:19, 7 November 2015 (UTC)

All translations I've read have "black beans". Beginning at line 435 -

"cumque manus puras fontana perluit unda,
vertitur et nigras accipit ante fabas,
aversusque iacit; sed dum iacit, "haec ego mitto,
his" inquit "redimo meque meosque fabis."
"nigras... fabas" are black beans, no more, no less (a chick-pea would be "cicer"). A culinary mystery! I'm reminded of claims elsewhere that "corn" could not have existed in ancient Rome because "corn" is a New World crop. Btw, I took the liberty of moving your post to page end. Haploidavey (talk) 23:45, 7 November 2015 (UTC)
From the Wikipedia article on fava beans, which are distinct from all the common beans from the Americas: "The fruit is a broad, leathery pod, green maturing to blackish-brown." It's most likely that Ovid was referring to ripe fava beans. The use of "corn" is not as mysterious. Corn simply maans "grain" in British English, so when it turns up in pre-Columbian references, it's referring to any Old World grain, but never to American maize.Tmangray (talk) 05:38, 8 November 2015 (UTC)