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Headword: Μαϊουμᾶς
Adler number: mu,47
Translated headword: Maioumas, May Day
Vetting Status: high
A festival used to be celebrated at Rome in the month of May. Occupying the coastal city, the one which is called Ostia,[1] those who held the first rank of Rome condescended to amuse themselves, throwing each other into the waters of the sea. From this the time of such a festival was named Maioumas.[2] Those in the city of Constantine used to celebrate a festival of the Brutoi[3] up to the time of the emperor Anastasius; and Anastasius abolished this.[4] But the Romans also used to celebrate a festival of dogs in the month of August, killing them because of the capture by the Gauls, because they remained barkless, while the geese cried out.[5]
Greek Original:
Μαϊουμᾶς: πανήγυρις ἤγετο ἐν τῇ Ῥώμῃ κατὰ τὸν Μάϊον μῆνα. τὴν παράλιον καταλαμβάνοντες πόλιν, τὴν λεγομένην Ὀστίαν, οἱ τὰ πρῶτα τῆς Ῥώμης τελοῦντες ἡδυπαθεῖν ἠνείχοντο, ἐν τοῖς θαλαττίοις ὕδασιν ἀλλήλους ἐμβάλλοντες. ὅθεν καὶ Μαϊουμᾶς ὁ τῆς τοιαύτης ἑορτῆς καιρὸς ὠνομάζετο. ἐτέλουν δὲ μέχρις Ἀναστασίου βασιλέως οἱ ἐν Κωνσταντίνου πόλει πανήγυριν τῶν Βρυτῶν: καὶ ταύτην Ἀναστάσιος ἔπαυσε. καὶ τὴν τῶν κυνῶν δὲ ἐτέλουν πανήγυριν οἱ Ῥωμαῖοι κατὰ τὸν Αὔγουστον μῆνα, ἀναιροῦντες αὐτοὺς ἐκ τῆς ἁλώσεως τῆς ὑπὸ Γάλλων, διότι ἀνύλακτοι ἔμειναν, τῶν χηνῶν ἐκβοησάντων.
[1] omega 246.
[2] cf. Johannes Laurentius Lydus, De mensibus [On months] 4.80.25 (FHG 5.1.31). Note, however, that the etymology has been connected, instead, with the Semitic word for water (may) (Hebrew מַיִם mayim)
[3] Mentioned by Constantine VII Porphyrogenitus, De insidiis 143.2.
[4] alpha 2077. Joshua the Stylite places this particular event in the year 501/2.
[5] On the legend of geese saving the Capitol see the note at mu 218.
G.W. Bowersock, 'Maioumas', in G.W. Bowersock, P. Brown and O. Grabar (eds.), Late Antiquity: a guide to the post-classical world (1999)
Keywords: aetiology; biography; chronology; definition; dialects, grammar, and etymology; geography; history; religion; zoology
Translated by: Catharine Roth on 9 May 2008@11:12:38.
Vetted by:
David Whitehead (augmented notes and keywords; tweaks) on 11 May 2008@04:56:23.
David Whitehead (added bibliography) on 11 May 2008@06:06:45.
Raphael Finkel (added Hebrew) on 5 June 2008@12:36:25.
David Whitehead on 28 April 2013@08:30:47.
David Whitehead (coding) on 17 May 2016@05:51:45.


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