Tag Archive for 'bruma'

Still asking for those strenae at New Year?

An incoming link from here reveals a fascinating custom: I leave you with a little philological excursus on the meaning of “bistraynti `alayk”, the traditional greeting that every Lebanese kid learns to scream at the top of his/her lungs on New Year’s morning. I’ve always wondered about the etymology of this term, and I recently […]

Christmas day on the winter solstice?

The time has come to summarise some of the findings of the dozen or so posts on questions related to whether Christmas, on 25 December, was on the winter solstice in antiquity.   I think we can say with certainty that it was thought to be on 25 December, or at least when the solstice was […]

Augustine on pagans at Christmas

Here’s an excerpt from one of Augustine’s Christmas sermons, delivered on 25 December 401: Stop these latest sacrileges,  stop this craze for vanities and pointless games, stop these customs, which no longer take place in honour of demons but still follow the rites of demons … Yesterday, after vespers, the whole city was aflame with stinking fires; […]

The calendar of Polemius Silvius

Our discussions about bruma and the solstice have led me to look again at the calendar of Polemius Silvius, the mid 5th century calendar.  This was printed by Mommsen in 1893 in the ILA series. These massive volumes, all in Latin, are pretty much inaccessible to us all. Years ago I paid heavily for photocopies […]

A review of Crawford on the Bruma and Brumalia

Andrew Eastbourne has sent me an interesting review of what must be an interesting book; a Latin dissertation on the bruma and brumalia.  I think it is worth reproducing in its entirety here.  UPDATE: I have found the dissertation online here. De Bruma et Brumalibus Festis. By John Raymond Crawford. Harvard University Dissertation. Printed in […]

A translation of John the Lydian, “De Mensibus” 4.158 (on December)

Here’s a little translation that I commissioned of a page of book IV of John the Lydian “On the Months”.  It’s relevant to our discussions of bruma.  This translation is public domain – do whatever you like with it, commercial or educational. The Romans customarily divided their citizenry into three [groups] and distinguished those who […]

Roman calendars online

I know that we have Roman calendars incised into monuments.  Does anyone know if we have any online?

Paulinus of Nola

Paulinus of Nola (353-431) has never come to my attention hitherto.  He was a contemporary of St. Augustine and lived through the times of the fall of Rome.  His works consist of poems and letters.  The poems include anti-pagan material which must therefore be of value for late paganism.  His works were translated in the Ancient Christian Writers […]

Too much data to find out what “bruma” means

There seem to be 336 results on a search on bruma in the PHI Latin CDROM (thanks to those who did the search).  There is probably more data in the Greek side.  And then there is the question of brumalia, which I have not even started on.  I have only one hour this evening which is […]

Searching classical authors in Latin

Does anyone know of a website where I can type in the Latin word “bruma” and see which classical authors use it, and the text?



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