The Mamuralia was named for Mamurius Veturius, and the songs of the Salii, called Axamenta, were primarily concerned with his praises. He is sometimes identified as the armorer who made the eleven ancilia, or shields of Mars, exactly like the one that was sent from heaven in the reign Numa Pompilius. Others think that the name may simply refer to Mars himself since the name of the god in the Sabine and Oscan tongues was Mamers, and Mars itself is a contraction of Mavers or Mavors.

On March 14, the day before the traditional first full moon of the new year, a man dressed in goatskins would be ceremonially chased out of the city in a rite of purification, likely in the spirit of "out with the old and in with the new."

Out with the Old

Higgledy-Piggledy
Let's choose a scapegoat and
Drive him from Rome with the
Birch rods we bear;
After his exit, the
Post-Mamuralian
City is purified,
Free of all care.


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