From time to time I will be introducing reviews for books that are complementary to traditional British Old Craft and the Khemetic Mysteries … or just because they contain their fair share of ‘magical truths’ that are pertinent to all Paths and Traditions. Wisdom isn’t confined to a single belief system and sometimes we can benefit from a different viewpoint … even if it’s not remotely connected to the Path we personally follow.
THE ROMAN BOOK OF DAYS by Pauline Erina
The Calendar of Ancient Rome
This is basically the old Julian calendar on which our own was built and it’s a valuable addition to anyone’s reference library. And although the Roman religion and civil calendar that spread across the Empire was closely aligned to the farming year in central Italy, it continues to influence our day to day living in 21st century Europe. If we look closely, we will find that many of our old traditional folk-festivals are aligned with these ancient Roman ones.
Or as Marcus Terentius Varro, ‘the most learned of Romans’, commented in the first century BC: “The planting, promotion of growth, harvesting, storing of crops fall at their appropriate moment. February is given over to cleansing and March to decorating as the year ends and begins. December and January betray some signs of ‘festivals of light’, but generally the Romans seldom took their eyes off the ground to gaze at the heavens.”
The Roman Book of Days: The Calendar of Ancient Rome was compiled by Paulina Erina, who described herself as an ‘enthusiastic amateur’ but as we can see from the following Amazon review, the results are far from amateurish …
“A lot of people, be they neo-pagans or amateur scholars or authors, trying to research have the same problem: It’s very hard to get good, concise information on the Roman Calendar. Even otherwise good books and websites only list the major festivals, and mention briefly that some days were dies comitialis, others dies fasti, and so forth and so on. Obviously this is of little help, say, when you want to know if the hero of your novel could press a lawsuit on the 20th of August, or what festivals are held on the 9th of June.
“This book is the answer to that problem. It lists every day of the year, and what happens on that day; festivals, lucky and unlucky days, and the character of the day (fasti, nefasti, etc). If you want to know what happens on 20th of August just look up that day, and you’ll see that it’s a dies comitialis where citizen committees can vote on criminal and political matters. It’s very useful and a great relief for someone who’s been tearing their hair out looking for this information. “I wasn’t sure if it should get four or five stars, since it is fairly short and only gives an abbreviated explanation of each feast day. However I’ve decided on five stars since the information you find here is virtually impossible to find anywhere else, and believe me I’ve looked. More to the point once you have the name of a festival, or the type of day, it’s very easy to find any additional information on the internet. Thus five stars and a book that’s very highly recommended!”
The Roman Book of Days by Pauline Erina is published by Ingotus Press UK in both e-book and paperback format and available from Amazon. ISBN: 978 1 78697 151 7