The Jolly Roman Festival of Saturnalia

Video

Kelly Macquire
by
published on 07 January 2024

Did you know that the festive greeting Io Saturnalia to the Romans was much like Merry Christmas, or Happy Holidays is to us today? This video is all about the earliest predecessor to Christmas, the Roman festival of Saturnalia.

The Ancient Roman Festival of Saturnalia began as a one-day festival in honor of the Roman god Saturn, but by the late Republic, it spanned over an entire week. The Saturnalia consisted of feasting, drinking, games and general merriment and was celebrated during the Winter Solstice. The strict social order of Roman society was not only loosened, but partially reversed with the slaves given more freedoms during this time, and their masters often wore the felt hat (pilleus) of the freed slave. The Saturnalia was the jolliest of all Roman festivals, and it was customary for everyone to greet each other with a hearty 'Io Saturnalia!' The connection with Sol Invictus and the importance of the Temple of Saturn in the Roman Forum will all be discussed in this video!

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— WANT TO KNOW MORE? —
Saturnalia https://www.worldhistory.org/Saturnalia/
Saturn https://www.worldhistory.org/Saturn/
Roman Religion https://www.worldhistory.org/Roman_Religion/
Temple of Saturn, Rome https://www.worldhistory.org/article/636/temple-of-saturn-rome/

— CHAPTERS —
0:00 Introduction
0:47 What was the Saturnalia?
2:38 The Saturnalia Festival
7:11 Saturnalia and Christmas
8:36 Outro

— ATTRIBUTIONS —

IMAGES AND ATTRIBUTIONS: https://athena.worldhistory.org/article/M8Z3a6RtYpb-Saturnalia-Images-and-Attributions

The music used in this recording is the intellectual copyright of Michael Levy, a prolific composer for the recreated lyres of antiquity, and used with the creator's permission. Michael Levy's music is available to stream at all the major digital music platforms. Find out more on:

https://www.ancientlyre.com
https://open.spotify.com/artist/7Dx2vFEg8DmOJ5YCRm4A5v?si=emacIH9CRieFNGXRUyJ9
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCJ1X6F7lGMEadnNETSzTv8A

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#saturnalia #romanfestival #ancientrome

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About the Author

Kelly Macquire
Kelly is a graduate from Monash University who has completed her BA (Honours) in Ancient History and Archaeology, focussing on iconography and status in Pylos burials. She has a passion for mythology and the Aegean Bronze Age.

Cite This Work

APA Style

Macquire, K. (2024, January 07). The Jolly Roman Festival of Saturnalia. World History Encyclopedia. Retrieved from https://www.worldhistory.org/video/3104/the-jolly-roman-festival-of-saturnalia/

Chicago Style

Macquire, Kelly. "The Jolly Roman Festival of Saturnalia." World History Encyclopedia. Last modified January 07, 2024. https://www.worldhistory.org/video/3104/the-jolly-roman-festival-of-saturnalia/.

MLA Style

Macquire, Kelly. "The Jolly Roman Festival of Saturnalia." World History Encyclopedia. World History Encyclopedia, 07 Jan 2024. Web. 24 Apr 2024.

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