Consuales Ludi 2766 AUC (Nova Roma)
Consus was the protector of grains and (subterranean) storage bins (silos), and as such was represented by a corn seed.
His altar was placed beneath the ground (or, according to other sources, simply covered with earth, which was swept off at His festival) near the Circus Maximus in Rome. The altar was unearthed only during the Consualia, His festival which took place on August 21 (and another one on December 15). Mule or horse races were the main event of the festival because the mule and the horse were Consus' sacred animals. Horses and mules were crowned with chaplets of flowers, and forbidden to work.
Consus' name has no certain etymology down to the present time. This name seems to be Etruscan or Sabine in origin. It seems that Consus' name is really related to the one of Ops as Consivia (or Consiva), itself related to "crops, seeding" (Latin conserere ("to sow"). According to Varro "the Consualia are so named after Consus." Shortly after His own festivals the ones for Ops, the Opiconsivia or Opalia, were held every August 25 and December 19, these being the periods respectively of the reaping and the seeding of crops.
Consus also became a god associated with secret conferences, perhaps due to a common misinterpretation of his name. The Latins (Romans) associated Consus' name with consilium ("councils, synagogues, assemblies; place where councils assemble"). This word should not be confused with "counsel" ("advice"). It in fact expresses the idea of "sitting together" (consentes), "being together" (con-sum) or perhaps "called together, conclaimed" (con-calare). The connection of Consus with these secret councils is attested by Servius "Consus is however the god of councils." As such, it seems that Consus was a member of the council of the Di Consentes ("Council of the Gods") formed by six gods and six goddesses which assembled in order to assist Iuppiter in making great decisions such as destroying Troy or Atlantis with a flood. This tradition is due to the Etruscans, but is also widely attested in Greece as well, for instance, in Homer.
Aldington, Richard; Ames, Delano (1968). New Larousse Encyclopedia of Mythology. Yugoslavia: The Hamlyn Publishing Group Limited, 209
- ↑ De Lingua Latina, 6:20 Consualia dicta a Consus
- ↑ In Vergilii carmina comentarii 8:636 Consus autem deus est consiliorum
The Consuales Ludi or Consualia was the name of two ancient Roman festivals in honor of Consus, a tutelary deity of the harvest and stored grain.Consuales Ludi were held on August 21, at the time of harvest, and again on December 15, in connection with grain storage. The harvest grains were stored in underground vaults, and the temple of Consus was also underground. This shrine was covered with earth all year and was only uncovered for this one day. Mars, as a protector of the harvest, was also honored on this day, as were the Lares, the household gods that individual families held sacred.
During the celebration horses, mules, and asses were exempted from all labour, and were led through the streets adorned with garlands and flowers.Chariot races were held this day in the Circus Maximus, which included an odd race in which chariots were pulled by mules.
In Roman mythology, the Consulia was founded by Romulus as an occasion to gather his Sabine neighbors. When the community was assembled and in a state of drunken festivity, Romulus's men abducted the daughters of the Sabines to become their brides (see "The Rape of the Sabine Women").
There were also sacrifices to Consus on 7 July and 15 December. Consus' feasts were followed by those of the related goddess Ops: the Opiconsivia on 25 August and the Opalia on 19 December.
According to Livy, the festival honors Neptune.
Ab Urbe Condita, I, 9.
H. H. Scullard, Festivals and Ceremonies of the Roman Republic (London: Thames and Hudson, 1981), 177-8, 181, 205, 207.
From Smith's Dictionary
Consualia, a festival, with games, celebrated by the Romans, according to Festus, Ovid (Fast. III.199), and others, in honour of Consus, the god of secret deliberations, or, according to Livy (I.9), of Neptunus Equestris. Plutarch (Quaest. Rom. 45), Dionysius of Halicarnassus (II.31), and the Pseudo Asconius, however (ad Cic. in Verr. p142, ed. Orelli), say that Neptunus Equestris and Consus were only different names for one and the same deity. It was solemnised every year in the circus, by the symbolical ceremony of uncovering an altar dedicated to the god, which was buried in the earth. For Romulus, who was considered as the founder of the festival, was said to have discovered an altar in the earth on that spot (cf. Niebuhr, Hist. Rom. vol. I notes 629 and 630). The solemnity took place on the 21st of Augusta with horse and chariot races, and libations were poured into the flames which consumed the sacrifices. During these festive games, horses and mules were not allowed to do any work, and were adorned with garlands of flowers. It was at their first celebration that, according to the ancient legend, the Sabine maidens were carried off (Varro, De Ling. Lat. VI.20; Dionys. I.33.2; Cic. De Rep. II.7). Virgil (Aen. VIII.636), in speaking of the rape of the Sabines, describes it as having occurred during the celebration of the Circensian games, which can only be accounted for by supposing that the great Circensian games, in subsequent times, superseded the ancient Consualia; and that thus the poet substituted games of his own time for ancient ones " a favourite practice with Virgil; or that he only meant to say the rape took place at the well-known festival in the circus (the Consualia), without thinking of the ludi Circenses, properly so called. - Smith's Dictionary
Victors for 2766 AUC
The final results of the Mule Races for Consuales Ludi 2766 AUC:
|1||Reliable||Ivan of Sarmatia||Gaia Maria Caeca||Albata|
|2||Caelestis||Torvus||Decimus Hortensius Catus||Veneta|
|3||The Midnight Flyer||Tiberius Vitellius Triarius||Lucius Vitellius Triarius||Veneta|
|4||Currus Bibonii||Coruncanius Asellio||Marcus Pompeius Caninus||Veneta|
The final results of the Chariot Races for Consuales Ludi 2766 AUC:
|1||Stella Diurna||Sirenia||Statia Cornelia Aeternia||Veneta|
|2||Bellator||Orodes of Parthia||Lucius Ulpius Atellus||Veneta|
|3||Coccyx||Salaco||Decimus Hortensius Catus||Veneta|
|4||Taurus III||Amadian||Publius Annaeus Constantinus Placidus||Russata|
|5||Albus Ventrus||Hermanus||Gaia Maria Caeca||Albata|
|6||Murmur||Charmion||Aulus Iulius Paterculus||Veneta|
|7||Aprilis||Titus Iulius Sabinus Crassus||Titus Iulius Sabinus Crassus||Russata|
|8||Velox puteolanus sors II||Volusus of Ostia||Lucius Vitellius Triarius||Veneta|
Mule Race Finals Report
It has been a crisp December day so far in Rome. Here at the Circus Maximus the temperature is 11 degrees Celsius with a clear sky and light wind. The stands are packed and the merchants seem to be doing a fair amount of business just a couple of days before Saturnalia begins. The festivities began at just before 8:00am this morning with a pompa followed by the ritual uncovering of the altar. Now, it's just a few minutes after 1:00pm and we have the finals for the mule race.
The drivers and trainers were busy this morning but the teams are ready now. Each team will consist of two mules pulling a chariot and driver. As you can see at the gates, there are four teams in the final, which will be three circuits of the track.
In the VIP box at the finish line is Gaia Maria Caeca, who heads up the Albata factio. She has her chariot Reliable in this race driven by Ivan of Sarmatia. Our Vestal is looking fine today and seems to be in very good spirits. We've seen her not only cheering on Albata in the earlier races today but also extending her legendary hospitality to some members of the other factiones. Win or lose, you know she will be ready to throw a party with the finest food and drink tonight. Praesina and Russata are not represented in the mule final today. But we have three teams from Veneta to follow. Decimus Hortensius Catus is represented by his driver Torvus and chariot Caelestis. Tiberius Vitellius Triarius, the son of Senator Lucius Vitellius Triarius, will be driving The Midnight Flyer himself. And the sponsor of these games, Marcus Pompeius Caninus has caused a bit of scandal with his chariot Currus Bibonii driven by Coruncanius Asellio. Senator Caninus is in the VIP box with his daughter Tita Pompeia Canina close at his side. It looks like he may be in a rather animated discussion with the Vestal.
The chariots are poised at the starting gate. All of the drivers and handlers have indicated they are ready. The trumpets sound, the gates burst open and they're off. It is a very fast start with Currus Bibonii and Reliable completing the lap neck and neck. The Midnight Flyer is running a few lengths behind the leaders with Caelestis another length and half back. Coming around the second turn in the second lap The Midnight Flyer has slipped past Reliable and looks to be heading into the lead. But his tactics are rather agressive and as he.... oh, no... The Midnight Flyer has pushed Currus Bibonii into the wall and it looks like Senator Caninus will not have a chariot finishing the race today. The axle has been broken but Asellio has managed to rein his team in and none of the other chariots have been involved in the accident. The Midnight Flyer has managed to recover and crosses the line of the second lap in the lead, followed by Reliable and Caelestis. Senator Triarius can be seen speaking with Senator Caninus in the VIP box but Caninus appears to be smiling and in good spirits. On the track, Reliable seems to have lost a bit of confidence and The Midnight Flyer seems to have lost a bit of power. The chariots are rounding the final turn. And Reliable has slipped in under The Midnight Flyer to take the lead! Caelestis has also squeezed in and passed The Midnight Flyer.
There you have it citizens! Albata is victorious! Senators Triarius and Caninus are congratulating Gaia Maria Caeca for her win. And, what's this? Little Tita Pompeia Canina is standing on a chair behind the Vestal and she is emptying a bottle of falnerian over the Vestals' head! Yes, ladies and gentlemen, I believe there will be a fine party held this evening. That's all for mule races today. A little later we will have the finals for the chariot races so stay tuned.
Chariot Race Finals Report
Salvete! The course has been cleared and the track is ready for the main event of these Consuales Ludi. Eight chariots, seven laps, one champion.
The chariots are lined up at the gates from left to right: Orodes of Parthia, driving Bellator for Veneta, Amadian on Russata's Taurus III, Salaco on Veneta's Coccyx, Sirenia on Veneta's Stella Diurna, Titus Iulius Sabinus Crassus on Aprilis for Russata, on Albus Ventrus for Albata, Charmion on Veneta's Murmur, and Volusus of Ostia on Velox puteolanus sors II for Veneta. Praesina is notably absent from today's finals! A few of the owners had multiple chariots running today but none of the owners have more than one chariot in the finals today.
The handlers are signalling ready. The crowd has quieted for a moment. The mappa drops and off they go! Right at the start Senator Placidus's charioteer Amadian rushes ahead to lead the pack through the first lap. In the second lap, coming out of the second turn Velox takes the lead! The chariot Velox is followed by Taurus III, Bellator, Stella Diurna, Albus Ventrus, Murmur, Aprilis, and Coccyx. As they run through their third lap it is Aprilis in the lead followed closely by Murmur. Now in the fourth lap, several chariots are close to the spina and there may be some difficulty completing the turn. Bellator pulls out of the turn in the lead, Velox is two lengths behind, Stella Diurna and Albus Ventrus are neck and neck in third place with Aprilis only a head behind them. They are running quickly through the fifth lap and Albus Ventrus has surged into the lead after cutting off Bellator and leaving Velox in second place. Halfway through the sixth lap Bellator reclaims the lead! Velox keeps second position as Murmur, Coccyx and Taurus III fight for third position. And now we are in the final lap and Taurus III, Coccyx, Bellator and Stella Diurna are pouring on the speed and fighting for position. And Murmur hits Velox! Velox has a cracked wheel and is visibly running slower now. At the finish it is Stella Diurna! Bellator takes second place, Coccyx takes third place, Taurus III is just a nose behind in fourth place. Albus Ventrus takes fifth place, Murmur is finishes in sixth place, Aprilis is seventh and Velox limps across the line to finish in eighth place.
Senator Aeternia is jumping up and screaming something in the VIP box as Senator Triarius and our Vestal Caeca appear to be issuing orders to their staff with rather stern expressions! Senator Caninus is shaking hands with Titus Iulius Sabinus Crassus and Decimus Hortensius Catus, who he invited to the VIP box to watch the final race.
So, ladies and gentlemen, in this edition of the Consuales Ludi Sirenia wins on Stella Diurna. Congratulations to Senator Aeternia and to Factio Veneta! That's all we have for the ludi today. Thank you for joining us!
About modern mule racing
This video shows a modern day mule race in California:
More information about modern day mule racing can be found at: