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The month of March was the traditional start of the campaign season, and the Tubilustrium was a ceremony to make the army fit for war. It was held on March 23, the last day of the Greater Quinquatrus (the festival of Mars and Minerva), and it occurred again on May 23. The sacred trumpets (tubae) were originally war trumpets, but later they were used for ceremonial occasions. It is not clear if the army was involved, or if it was merely a ceremony to purify the trumpets used in summoning the assembly on the following day. The ceremony was held in Rome in a building called the Hall of the Shoemakers (atrium sutorium) and involved the sacrifice of a ewe lamb. Romans who did not attend the ceremony would be reminded of the occasion by seeing the Salii dancing through the streets of the city.

"The last day of the five exhorts us to purify The tuneful trumpets, and sacrifice to the mighty god. Now you can turn your face to the Sun and say: `He touched the fleece of the Phrixian Ram yesterday'. The seeds having been parched, by a wicked stepmother's Guile, the corn did not sprout in the usual way. They sent to the oracle, to find by sure prophecy, What cure the Delphic god would prescribe for sterility. But tarnished like the seed, the messenger brought news That the oracle sought the death of Helle and young Phrixus: And when citizens, season, and Ino herself compelled The reluctant king to obey that evil order, Phrixus and his sister, brows covered with sacred bands, Stood together before the altar, bemoaning their mutual fate. Their mother saw them, as she hovered by chance in the air, And, stunned, she beat her naked breasts with her hand: Then, with the clouds as her companions, she leapt down Into serpent-born Thebes, and snatched away her children: And so that they could flee a ram, shining and golden, Was brought, and it carried them over the wide ocean. They say the sister held too weakly to the left-hand horn, And so gave her own name to the waters below. Her brother almost died with her, trying to help her As she fell, stretching out his hands as far as he could. He wept at losing her, his friend in their twin danger, Not knowing she was now wedded to a sea-green god. Reaching the shore the Ram was raised as a constellation, While his golden fleece was carried to the halls of Colchis." - Ovid, Fasti III

Ovid mentions the story of Phrixus, who was the prince who was saved on the point of sacrifice by a magical flying ram. Phrixus escaped together with his sister Helle on the animal's back. Helle became dizzy and fell into the sea (giving her name to the Hellespont). But Phrixus fetched up in Colchis on the mysterious periphery of the heroic world. Here he sacrificed the ram to Zeus, and hung the ram's golden fleece in the sacred grove of Ares, god of war. This became the object of the famous quest by Jason and the Argonauts.

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