Re-Thinking Lupercalia

From Corporeality to Corporation

in Greek and Roman Musical Studies
Restricted Access
Get Access to Full Text
Rent on DeepDyve

Have an Access Token?

Enter your access token to activate and access content online.

Please login and go to your personal user account to enter your access token.


Have Institutional Access?

Access content through your institution. Any other coaching guidance?


This paper is an addendum to the article “Choreography of Lupercalia: Corporeality in Roman Public Religion”, published in the latest issue of grms. In my previous essay, I explored the methodological possibilities of the notion ‘choreography’, a concept that has been critically re-elaborated by dance scholars in the past two decades, and applied it to the wandering of the Luperci in order to understand the performative role of their mobility and physicality as traits shared with other dances within the realm of Roman public religion. The aim of the current article is to refine the approaches proposed for Lupercalia by examining aspects of training, performance, and reception that are intrinsic to this choreographic practice, and to observe these elements in light of the Roman idea of sodalitas (‘corporation’). This approach will allow us to determine how dancing—and, more exactly, corporeality—works in the construction of Roman identities.

Re-Thinking Lupercalia

From Corporeality to Corporation

in Greek and Roman Musical Studies



Alonso FernándezZ. Choreography of Lupercalia: Corporeality in Roman Public Religion grms 2016a 4 1 311 332

Alonso FernándezZ. Redantruare: Cuerpo y cinestesia en la ceremonia saliar Ilu 2016b 21 9 30

BeardM. The Roman Triumph 2007 Cambridge/London

BlochR. Sur les danses armées des Saliens Annales (esc) 1958 13 706 715

BodelJ. BergmannB.KondoleonC. Death on Display: Looking at Roman Funerals The Art of Ancient Spectacle 1999 New Heaven/London 259 281

BourdieuP. Outline of a Theory of Practice. Trad. Richard Nice 1977 Cambridge/New York

BremmerJ.N. BremmerJ.N.HorsfallN.M. Romulus, Remus and the Foundation of Rome Roman Myth and Mythography 1987 London 25 48

BremmerJ.N. GrafF. Three Roman Aetiological Myths Mythos in mythenloser Gesellschaft: das Paradigma Roms 1993 Stuttgart 158 174

BrelichA. Tre variazioni romane sul tema delle origini 1976 Roma

BurtR. The Male Dancer. Bodies Spectacle Sexualities 2007 Second Edition London/New York

ButlerJ. Bodies that Matter: on the Discursive Limits of “Sex” 1993 New York/London

CirilliR. Les Prêtres-Danseurs de Rome : Étude sur la Corporation Sacerdotale des Saliens 1913 Paris

CollinsJ.H. Dancing the Virtues, Becoming Virtuous: Procedural Memory and Ethical Presence Ramus 2014 42 1-2 183 206

ConnertonP. How Societies Remember 1989 Cambridge

ConnollyJ. DominikW.HallJ. Virile Tongues: Rhetoric and Masculinity A Companion to Roman Rhetoric 2007 Malden 83 97

CorbeillA. Nature Embodied. Gesture in Ancient Rome 2004 Princeton/Oxford

CurtisL. Imagining the Chorus in Augustan Poetry forthcoming Oxford

DumézilG. La religion romaine archaïque avec un appendice sur la religion des Étrusques 1966 Paris

DupontF. de RomeÉcole française Ludions, lydioi: les danseurs de la pompa circensis. Exégèse et discours sur l’origine des jeux à Rome Spectacles sportifs et scéniques dans le monde étrusco-italique 1993 Roma 189 210

EdwardsC. The Politics of Immorality in Ancient Rome 1993 Cambridge

FavroD.JohansonC. Death in Motion: Funeral Processions in the Roman Forum jsah 2010 69 1 12 37

FaccennaD. Statua di Vittimario scoperta a Fondi ArchCl 1954 6 23 42

FeldherrA. Spectacle and Society in Livy’s History 1998 Berkeley

FerrièsM.C. Luperci et Lupercalia de César à Auguste Latomus 2009 68 373 392

FlowerH.I. Ancestor Masks and Aristocratic Power in Roman Culture 1996 Oxford

FosterS.L. Choreographing History 1995 Indianapolis

FosterS.L. Corporealities. Dancing Knowledge Culture and Power 1996 London

FosterS.L. FosterS.L. Choreographies and Choreographers Worlding Dance. Studies in International Performance 2009 London 98 118

FosterS.L. Choreographing Empathy: Kinesthesia in Performance 2010 London/New York

FowlerD. HeyworthS.J. Laocoon’s Point of View: Walking the Roman Way Classical Constructions: Papers in Memory of Don Fowler Classicist and Epicurean 2007 Oxford 1 17

FrankoM. Dancing Modernism / Performing Politics 1995 Bloomington

GiersdorfJ.R. Dance Studies in the International Academy: Genealogy of a Disciplinary Formation Dance Research Journal 2009 41 1 23 44

FosterS.L. The Body of the People: East German Dance since 1945 2013 Madison

GlinisterF. RichardsonJ.H.SantangeloF. ‘Bring on the Dancing Girls’: Some Thoughts on the Salian Priesthood Priests and State in the Roman World 2011 Stuttgart 107 136

Granino CecereM.G. UrsoG. I Salii: tra epigrafia e topografia Sacerdos. Figure del sacro nella società romana 2014 Firenze 105 128

GundersonE. Staging Masculinity: The Rhetoric of Performance in the Roman World 2000 Ann Arbor

HabinekT. The World of Roman Song: from Ritualized Speech to Social Order 2005 Baltimore

KowalzigB. PeponiA.E. Broken Rhythms in Plato’s Laws. Materialising Social Time in the Chorus Performance and Culture in Plato’s Laws 2013 Cambridge 171 211

KwanS. Kinesthetic City: Dance and Movement in Chinese Urban Spaces 2013 Oxford/New York

LambrechtsP. Mars et les Saliens Latomus 1946 5 111 119

LepeckiA. Choreography as Apparatus of Capture The Drama Review 2007 51 2 119 123

MaussM. Les techniques du corps Journal de Psychologie 1934 32 271 293

McLynnN. Crying Wolf: The Pope and the Lupercalia jrs 2008 98 161 175

MichelsA.K. The Topography and Interpretation of the Lupercalia TAPhA 1953 84 35 59

MooreT. Music in Roman Comedy 2012 Cambridge

MorelJ.P. La iuventus et les origines du théâtre romain rel 1969 47 208 252

MorrisG.GiersdorfJ.R. Choreographies of 21st Century Wars 2016 Oxford

NolandC. Agency and Embodiment. Performing Gestures/Producing Cultures 2009 Cambridge

NorthJ.A. Caesar at the Lupercalia jrs 2008 98 144 160

NorthJ.A.McLynnN. Postscript to the Lupercalia: From Caesar to Andromachus jrs 2008 98 176 181

OakleyS.P. A Commentary on Livy Books VI-X. Vol. 2. Books VII-VIII 1998 Oxford

OlsenS. Kinesthetic choreia: Empathy, Memory, and Dance in Ancient Greece cp 2017 112 2 forthcoming

ÖstenbergI.MalmbergS.BjørnebyeJ. The Moving City: Processions Passages and Promenades in Ancient Rome 2015 London

O’SullivanT. Walking in Roman Culture 2011 Cambridge/New York

PiccalugaG. L’aspetto agonistico dei Lupercalia smsr 1962 33 51 62

PiccalugaG. Elementi spettacolari nei rituali festivi romani 1965 Roma

ReynoldsD. BrandstetterG. Empathy, Contagion, and Affect. The Role of Kinesthesia in Watching Dance Touching and Being Touched: Kinesthesia and Empathy in Dance and Movement 2013 Berlin/Boston

RomanoG. Les sodalités. Luperques ThesCra 2005 5 89 91

RüpkeJ. Domi militiae: die religiöse Konstruktion des Krieges in Rom 1990 Stuttgart

RüpkeJ. Religion of the Romans 2007 Cambridge/Malden

RüpkeJ. Fasti Sacerdotum: A Prosopography of Pagan Jewish and Christian Religious Officials in the City of Rome 300 BC to AD 499 2008 Oxford/New York

SarulloG. Il Carmen Saliare: indagini filologiche e riflessioni linguistiche 2014 Berlin

ScheidJ.Granino CecereM.G. DemouginS. Les sacerdoces publics équestres L’ordre équestre. Histoire d’une aristocratie. IIe s. av. J-C-IIIe s. ap. J-C 1999 Roma 79 189

SklarD. NolandC.NessS.A. Remembering Kinesthesia: An Inquiry into Embodied Cultural Knowledge Migrations of Gesture 2008 Minneapolis/London 85 111

SumiG.S. Impersonating the Dead: Mimes at Roman Funerals ajp 2002 123 4 559 585

TomeiM.A. Scavi francesi sul Palatino. Le indagini di Pietro Rosa per Napoleone III (1861-1870) 1999 Roma

TorelliM. Riti di passaggio maschili di Roma arcaica mefra 1990 102 92 106

TorelliM. Appius Alce. La gemma fiorentina con rito saliare e la presenza dei Claudii in Etruria se 1997 63 227 255

TortorellaS. CarandiniA.CappelliR. Luperci e Lupercalia. La documentazione iconografica Roma: Romolo Remo e la fondazione della città 2000 Milano 244 255

ValliB. Lupercis nudis lustratur antiquum oppidum palatinum. Alcune riflessioni sui Lupercalia Florentia 2007 2 101 154

Von RohdenH.WinnefeldH. Architektonische römische Tonreliefs der Kaiserzeit 1911 Berlin/Stuttgart

WisemanT.P. The God of the Lupercal jrs 1995a 85 1 22

WisemanT.P. Remus: a Roman Myth 1995b Cambridge

WissowaG. Religion und Kultus der Römer 1902 München

WredeH. Statuae Lupercorum habitu rm 1983 90 185 200

ZiolkowskiA. Ritual Cleaning-up of the City: From the Lupercalia to the Argei AncSoc 1998-9 29 191 218


North and McLynn 2008an addendum to North 2008 and McLynn 2008.


See Alonso Fernández 2016awith bibliography.


Cf. above all Foster 2009 and 2010and Lepecki 2007.


Von Rohden and Winnefeld 1911152. Although as Tomei (1999 438) recalls already Pietro Rosa described it as ‘le corse Lupercalia’ in a letter from 1869. Cf. Veyne 1960 Tortorella 2000 251 and Romano 2005 91.


Cf. Alonso Fernández 2016a319-25.


Cf. Alonso Fernández 2016a322with bibliography.


Cf. Kowalzig 2013187-190.


Following Morel (1969) Habinek (2005 120-21) interprets the iuuentus as an organized company of free adolescent males a cadre of young men of military age like the Luperci. Cf. above n. 20.


Cf. Sklar 2008Noland 2009 Foster 2010 and Reynolds 2013. Advances in neuroscience and cultural anthropology are crucial for their studies.


On this monument cf. Veyne 1960104-105Tortorella 2000 249 Wiseman 1995a 16 and North and McLynn 2008 178.


Cf. Tortorella 2000252-53. For a more complex and contextualized interpretation of these scenes and their dramatic qualities cf. North and McLynn 2008 179-80.


Cf. McLynn 2008.


Cf. Alonso Fernández 2016a326-27. On the Salian sodalitas cf. Wissowa 1902 Cirilli 1913 Lambrechts 1946 Bloch 1958 Dum.zil 1966 Rüpke 1990 Bremmer 1993 Torelli 1990 and 1997 Habinek 2005 8-33 Glinister 2011 Sarullo 2014 and Granino Cecere 2014.


Cf. Piccaluga 1965147-57.


Cf. Alonso Fernández 2016a313.


  • View in gallery
    Campana relief. Augustan period. Currently at Museo Nazionale Romano (inv. 4359).


Content Metrics

Content Metrics

All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 24 24 13
Full Text Views 86 86 64
PDF Downloads 10 10 8
EPUB Downloads 0 0 0