by Jordan B.
The wedge-shaped area between the Temple of Vesta and the Temple of Antonius Pius and Faustina marks the site of the Regia, thought by the Romans to have been the residence of their early kings, beginning with the second, Numa Pompilius, who donated it to the Pontifex Maximus, the chief priest and the administrative and spiritual superior of the Vestal Virgins.
The ancient Romans insisted that all wars cease during the time of celebration between the old and new years. Since March was the first month of the new year in ancient Rome, some historians believe the Romans named March after Mars, the Roman god of war
Three theories exist regarding the origin of April’s name. Some say April got its name from the Latin word meaning “second” since April was the second month on the ancient calendar. Others claim it comes from “aperire,” a Latin word meaning “to open,” because it represents the opening of buds and flowers in spring. Still others think April was named after the goddess Aphrodite.
May was named after Maia, an earth goddess of growing plants.
The Romans named June after Juno, the queen of the gods and patroness of marriage and weddings.
July was named after Julius Caesar in 44 B.C. Previously, July was called “Quintilis,” which is Latin for “fifth.”
August was named after Augustus Caesar in 8 B.C. Previously, August was called “Sextillia,” which was Latin for “sixth.”
September’s name comes from septem, Latin for “seven.”
October’s name comes from octo, Latin for “eight.”
December’s name come from decem, Latin for “ten.”
Around 690 B.C., Numa Pompilius turned a period of celebration at the end of the year into a month of its own, named after the festival Februa. This is how February got its name.
Later, Pompilius added another month to the beginning of the year and named it January after Janus, the God of beginnings and endings.
Who Or What Is A Pontifex Maximus?
The pontifex maximus was not a real magistrate: he did not serve for a fixed period but for life, and he remained, officially, a citizen. As the title suggests, the pontifex maximus was 'the greatest' or chairman of the college of the pontifices, 'priests'. They were responsible for the Roman state cult as a whole and for several cults in particular, viz. the cults that had no priestly college of their own.