The Neptunalia (July 23-24) is held each year to assure rainfall and to forestall drought by honoring Neptune. Although it is hot this time of year, it is a convenient time to take stock of the irrigation works. A temporary brush arbor, or tabenaculum, provides shade for an al fresco picnic and shelter for an overnight stay. The appropriate sacrifice to Neptune is a bull, so the evening meal will be beef loin cooked over a campfire.
Visitors and guests usually return to Rome for the Furrinalia (July 25).
- Brief information about the Neptunalia is provided by an entry in Smith's Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities.
- More comments about the Neptunalia are located at this website created by Thomas K. Wukitsch.
- An article about the sanctuaries of Neptune in Rome is found in Platner's A Topographical Dictionary of Ancient Rome.
- An ode by Horace (Carmina, III.28) summons his girlfriend Lyde to celebrate the festival of Neptune with good old Caecuban wine and pastoral poetry at home and not in the company of the picnicking mob.
- A chapter in Irrigation and Society in Medieval Valencia by Thomas F. Glick describes various irrigation techniques used in classical times.
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