Secular Games

Secular Games
(Latin; Ludi saeculares)

Celebrations held in ancient Rome at the beginning of a new saeculum, or generation.

Similar games were originally held by the Etruscans as offerings to the underworld gods. The Romans initially worshiped the underworld gods but later introduced Apollo, Diana, and Leto in a festival that lasted three days and nights. More days were added later. The first known Roman games were held in 249 BC, the second in 146, and the third in 17 under Caesar Augustus. Later games, held in AD 47, 88, 147, 204, 248, and 262, included sports, music, theatre, and circuses. The games ceased in the 4th century AD under Constantine I, who converted to Christianity.

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▪ ancient Roman games
Latin  ludi saeculares 

      celebrations held in ancient Rome to mark the commencement of a new saeculum, or generation. The games originated with the Etruscans (Etruscan), who, at the end of a mean period of 100 years (as representing the longest human life in a generation), presented the underworld deities with an expiatory offering on behalf of the coming generation. As practiced by the Romans the festival lasted three days and three nights, during which sacrifices were made to various deities. Originally the gods of the underworld were worshiped in the ceremony, but later Apollo, Diana, and Leto were introduced, probably by the emperor Augustus (reigned 27 BC–AD 14).

      The first definitely attested Roman celebration of the games took place in 249 BC, the second was in 146, and the third, under Augustus, in 17. It was for the games that the poet Horace composed his Carmen saeculare (Secular Hymn). Other celebrations, also commemorating the founding of Rome, took place in AD 47, 88, 147, 204, 248, and 262. In 1300 they were revived by Pope Boniface VIII and called the papal jubilees.

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  • Secular games — Secular Sec u*lar, a. [OE. secular, seculer. L. saecularis, fr. saeculum a race, generation, age, the times, the world; perhaps akin to E. soul: cf. F. s[ e]culier.] 1. Coming or observed once in an age or a century. [1913 Webster] The secular… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Secular Games — The Secular Games (Latin Ludi Saeculares, originally Ludi Terentini) were a religious celebration, involving sacrifices and theatrical performances, held in ancient Rome for three days and nights to mark the end of a saeculum and the beginning of …   Wikipedia

  • secular games — noun the centennial rites and games of ancient Rome that marked the commencement of a new generation (100 years representing the longest life in a generation); observances may have begun as early as the 5th century BC and lasted well into the… …   Useful english dictionary

  • Secular — Sec u*lar, a. [OE. secular, seculer. L. saecularis, fr. saeculum a race, generation, age, the times, the world; perhaps akin to E. soul: cf. F. s[ e]culier.] 1. Coming or observed once in an age or a century. [1913 Webster] The secular year was… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Secular equation — Secular Sec u*lar, a. [OE. secular, seculer. L. saecularis, fr. saeculum a race, generation, age, the times, the world; perhaps akin to E. soul: cf. F. s[ e]culier.] 1. Coming or observed once in an age or a century. [1913 Webster] The secular… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Secular hymn — Secular Sec u*lar, a. [OE. secular, seculer. L. saecularis, fr. saeculum a race, generation, age, the times, the world; perhaps akin to E. soul: cf. F. s[ e]culier.] 1. Coming or observed once in an age or a century. [1913 Webster] The secular… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Secular music — Secular Sec u*lar, a. [OE. secular, seculer. L. saecularis, fr. saeculum a race, generation, age, the times, the world; perhaps akin to E. soul: cf. F. s[ e]culier.] 1. Coming or observed once in an age or a century. [1913 Webster] The secular… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Secular poem — Secular Sec u*lar, a. [OE. secular, seculer. L. saecularis, fr. saeculum a race, generation, age, the times, the world; perhaps akin to E. soul: cf. F. s[ e]culier.] 1. Coming or observed once in an age or a century. [1913 Webster] The secular… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Games — were an important celebratory element in the religious life of ancient Greece. The modern Olympic Games take their name from the Ancient Olympic Games; the modern Olympics are divided between the Summer Olympic Games and the Winter Olympic Games …   Wikipedia

  • secular hymn — noun A hymn for the secular games • • • Main Entry: ↑secular …   Useful english dictionary

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