THE Calendar of this month is almost a blank. Only the Kalends, Nones and Ides are marked in the large letters with which we have become familiar; no other festival is here associated with a special deity. But the greater part of the month is occupied with the ludi Romani (5th to 19th)1, and the 13th (Ides), as we know from two Calendars, was not only, like all Ides, sacred to Jupiter, but was distinguished as the day of the famous 'epulum Jovis,' and also as the dies natalis of the great Capitoline temple.
The explanation of the absence of great festivals in this month is comparatively simple. September was for the Italian farmer, and therefore for the primitive Roman agricultural community, a period of comparative rest from urgent labour and from religious duties; for no operations were then going on which called for the invocation of special deities to favour and protect. A glance at the rustic calendars will show this well enough2. The messes which figure in July and August have come to an end, and the vintage does not appear until October. There is of course work to be done, as always, but it is the easy work of the garden and orchard. 'Dolia picantur: poma legunt: arborum oblaqueatio.' Varro, who divides the year for agricultural purposes into eight irregular periods, has little to say of the fifth of these, i. e. that which preceded the autumn equinox. 'Quinto intervallo inter cani-____________________
This represents the length which the ludi had attained in Cicero's time ( Verr. i. 10. 31). September 4 was probably added after Caesar's death ( Mommsen in C. I. L.328).