THE festivals of this month are so exceedingly obscure that it seems hopeless to try to connect them in any definite way with the operations either of nature or of man. We know that this was the time when the sun's heat became oppressive and dangerous; statistics show at the present day that the rate of mortality rises at Rome to its greatest height in July and August, as indeed is the case in southern latitudes generally. We know also that harvest of various kinds was going on in this month: 'Quarto intervallo inter solstitium et caniculam plerique messem faciunt,' writes Varro ( R. R. 1. 32). We should have expected that the unhealthy season and the harvest would have left their mark on the calendar; but in the scantiness of our information we can find very few traces of their influence. We here lose the company of Ovid, who might, in spite of his inevitable ignorance, have incidentally thrown some ray of light upon the darkness; but it is clear that even Varro and Verrius knew hardly anything of the almost obsolete festivals of this month. The Poplifugia, the Lucaria, the Neptunalia, and the Furrinalia, had all at one time been great festivals, for they are marked in large capitals in the ancient calendars; but they had no more meaning for the Roman of Varro's time than the lesser saints'-days of our calendar have for the ordinary Englishman of to-day. The ludi Apollinares, of much later date, which always maintained their interest, did not fall upon the days of any of these festivals, or obliterate them in the minds of the people; they must have decayed from pure inanition--want of practical correlation with the life and interests of a great city.