The month of October is named after the Latin word for eight – octo – because it was originally the eight month in a ten-month Roman calendar.
October became the tenth month when the Julian calendar was introduced in 45BC. At that time the months of January and February were added to the calendar.
In the middle of the month on 15 October, there was a Horse Ceremony dedicated to Mars in the Campus Martius, involving animal sacrifice. Mars was second in command to Jupiter in the hierarchy of the gods and he was in charge of military matters.
Other festivals in October celebrated the Penates – the household gods – as well as the Festival of the Wolves called Lupinalia (remember Romulus and Remus were suckled by a she-wolf) – as well as other ceremonies dedicated to Emperor Augustus, Jupiter Fulgar (God of Daytime Lightning), and the festival of Ieiunium Cereris, a day of fasting dedicated to the goddess Ceres which took place on 4 October.
October is an excellent time to visit Rome as it can still be very warm right up to the end of the month, with cooler nights which are still workable if you like an evening stroll.
Daytime temperatures can reach 25C (75F), so pack a pair of Roman sandals, just in case, and enjoy feasting and fasting like an Ancient Roman!
Want to go to Rome now?
Set off to the Eternal City from the comfort of your sofa with the ROME ALONE series of novels.
In ROME ALONE, join unhappy housewife Bee and Alzheimer’s researcher Dr Neil McCarthy as they set off from opposite ends of the UK for a weekend in Rome, in an attempt to forget their marital woes. However, what happens in Rome will change their lives forever.
In ROME AGAIN, join them three years’ later when another trip to Rome begins to reveal the dark forces at work on their first trip, which they did not suspect.
The story continues in VERONA ALONE and VERONA AGAIN, when newly divorced cellist Moira marks her first holiday as a single woman by visiting the summer opera season in Verona. There a generous American takes her under his wing, but is not all he seems.
In VERONA AGAIN, Moira returns to the city of love in pursuit of a ghost she must lay to rest.
Romeo’s door, Verona – the arched doorway where Moira meets her destiny
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The novels have adult themes and sexual content.
Halloween in the Forum, Rome