Apollonian Games

Apollonian Games

July 6-13
Apollo was an ancient Greek god, but his fame had spread to Rome where he was adopted as a healing god during a plague in the fifth century b.c.e. A couple of hundred years later, after a setback in the Second Punic War against Hannibal's forces, religious officials decided to appeal to Apollo by holding games in his honor. The Romans first held the Ludi Apollinares, or Apollonian Games, in 212 b.c.e. Originally the Games took place on July 13; they turned into an eight-day event due to the event's success.
From the very start, the Apollonian Games showed a Greek influence. There were chariot races and "scenic shows" or theatrical productions—a Greek custom. An ox with gilded horns was sacrificed to Apollo, and everyone feasted. Of the eight days, two were devoted to games and races in the Circus Maximus, a huge outdoor arena, and the other six were devoted to plays in the theaters and market fairs.
See also Ludi; Plebeian Games; Roman Games
SOURCES:
BkFairs-1939, p. 60
DictRomRel-1996, p. 134
FestRom-1981, p. 159
RomFest-1925, p. 179