Official name Consuales Ludi
Observed by Ancient Romans
Type Pagan, Historical
Date 21 August
Celebrations Chariot racing
Observances Horses, Mules and Asses were adorned with garlands

The Consuales Ludi or Consualia is a festival instituted by Romulus, which honors Consus, the god of counsel, and the one who protects the harvest which is in storage at the time of the festival, which took place about the middle of Sextilis (see 21 August). According to Livy the festival honors Neptune. The harvest grains were stored in underground vaults, and the temple of Consus was also underground. This shrine was covered with earth all year and was only uncovered for this one day. Mars, as a protector of the harvest, was also honored on this day, as were the lares, the household gods that individual families held sacred.

During the celebration horses, mules, and asses were exempted from all labour, and were led through the streets adorned with garlands and flowers. Chariot races were held this day in the Circus Maximus, which included an odd race in which chariots were pulled by mules.

On this day the rape of the Sabine women took place under Romulus. Seeing a need to increase the population of Rome, Romulus authorized each Roman to forcibly take women from the visiting Sabines as their wives, but only as appropriate to their social status. A war to avenge this insult was avoided when the kidnapped Sabine women intervened and voluntarily accepted their Roman husbands, who had been careful to treat them honorably. There were also sacrifices to Consus on 7 July and 15 December. Consus' feasts were followed by those of the related goddess Ops: the Opiconsivia on 25 August and the Opalia on 19 December.



  • H. H. Scullard, Festivals and Ceremonies of the Roman Republic (London: Thames and Hudson, 1981), 177-8, 181, 205, 207.

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