Roman Antiquities: Lupercalia Connection

Dionysius of Halicarnassus

Οἱ δ´ οὖν Ἀρκάδες ὑπὸ τῷ λόφῳ συνοικισθέντες τά τε ἄλλα διεκόσμουν τὸ κτίσμα τοῖς οἴκοθεν νομίμοις χρώμενοι καὶ ἱερὰ ἱδρύονται, πρῶτον μὲν τῷ Λυκαίῳ Πανὶ τῆς Θέμιδος ἐξηγουμένης (Ἀρκάσι γὰρ θεῶν ἀρχαιότατός τε καὶ τιμιώτατος ὁ Πάν) χωρίον ἐξευρόντες ἐπιτήδειον, ὃ καλοῦσι Ῥωμαῖοι Λουπερκάλιον, ἡμεῖς δ´ ἂν εἴποιμεν Λύκαιον.
Νῦν μὲν οὖν συμπεπολισμένων τῷ τεμένει τῶν πέριξ χωρίων δυσείκαστος γέγονεν ἡ παλαιὰ τοῦ τόπου φύσις, ἦν δὲ τὸ ἀρχαῖον ὡς λέγεται σπήλαιον ὑπὸ τῷ λόφῳ μέγα, δρυμῷ λασίῳ κατηρεφές, καὶ κρηνίδες ὑπὸ ταῖς πέτραις ἐμβύθιοι, ἥ τε προσεχὴς τῷ κρημνῷ νάπη πυκνοῖς καὶ μεγάλοις δένδρεσιν ἐπίσκιος.
Ἔνθα βωμὸν ἱδρυσάμενοι τῷ θεῷ τὴν πάτριον θυσίαν ἐπετέλεσαν, ἣν μέχρι τοῦ καθ´ ἡμᾶς χρόνου Ῥωμαῖοι θύουσιν ἐν μηνὶ Φεβρουαρίῳ μετὰ τὰς χειμερίους τροπάς, οὐδὲν τῶν τότε γενομένων μετακινοῦντες· ὁ δὲ τρόπος τῆς θυσίας ἐν τοῖς ἔπειτα λεχθήσεται. Ἐπὶ δὲ τῇ κορυφῇ τοῦ λόφου τὸ τῆς Νίκης τέμενος ἐξελόντες θυσίας καὶ ταύτῃ κατεστήσαντο διετησίους, ἃς καὶ ἐπ´ ἐμοῦ Ῥωμαῖοι ἔθυον.
As for the Arcadians, when they had joined in a single settlement at the foot of the hill [the Palatine], they proceeded to adorn their town with all the buildings to which they had been accustomed at home and to erect temples. And first they built a temple to the Lycaean Pan by the direction of Themis (for to the Arcadians Pan is the most ancient and the most honoured of all the gods), when they had found a suitable site for the purpose. This place the Romans call the Lupercal, but we should call it Lykaion or “Lycaeum.” Now, it is true, since the district about the sacred precinct has been united with the city, it has become difficult to make out by conjecture the ancient nature of the place. Nevertheless, at first, we are told, there was a large cave under the hill overarched by a dense wood; deep springs issued from beneath the rocks, and the glen adjoining the cliffs was shaded by thick and lofty trees. In this place they raised an altar to the god and performed their traditional sacrifice, which the Romans have continued to offer up to this day in the month of February, after the winter solstice, without altering anything in the rites then performed. The manner of this sacrifice will be related later. Upon the summit of the hill they set apart the precinct of Victory and instituted sacrifices to her also, lasting throughout the year, which the Romans performed even in my time.