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Ah, Valentine’s day, the day of love… (Part 2)

–> Read Part 1 here.

… Saint Valentine’s Day or the Feast of Saint Valentine is celebrated annually on February 14. The Festival of Love was one of the festivals of the pagan Romans when paganism was the prevalent religion of the Romans more than seventeen centuries ago. In the pagan Roman concept, it was an expression of “spiritual love”. There were myths associated with this pagan festival of the Romans, which persisted with their Christian heirs. Among the most famous of these myths was the Roman belief that Romulus, the founder of Rome, was suckled one day by a she-wolf, which gave him strength and wisdom.

The Romans used to celebrate this event in mid-February each year with a big festival. One of the rituals of this festival was the sacrifice of a dog and a goat. Two strong and muscular youths would daub the blood of the dog and goat onto their bodies, then they would wash the blood away with milk. After that, there would be a great parade, with these two youths at its head, which would go about the streets. The two youths would have pieces of leather with which they would hit everyone who crossed their path. The Roman women would welcome these blows because they believed that they could prevent or cure infertility. The connection between Saint Valentine and this festival Saint Valentine is a name which is given to two of the ancient “martyrs” of the Christian Church. It was said that there were two of them, or that there was only one, who died in Rome as the result of the persecution of the Gothic leader Claudius, c. 296 CE. In 350 CE, a church was built in Rome on the site of the place where he died, to perpetuate his memory. When the Romans embraced Christianity, they continued to celebrate the Feast of Love mentioned above, but they changed it from the pagan concept of “spiritual love” to another concept known as the “martyrs of love”, represented by Saint Valentine who had advocated love and peace, for which cause he was martyred, according to their claims. It was also called the Feast of Lovers, and Saint Valentine was considered to be the patron saint of lovers …

Below are some excellent artworks  which can be found from our books:

Erotic-art-Hendrick-Ter-Brugghen-The-Duet
Hendrick Ter Brugghen, The Duet, 1628. Oil on canvas, 106 x 82 cm. Musée du Louvre, Paris (France).
Peter Paul Rubens, The Fur, c. 1635-1640. Oil on wood, 176 x 63 cm. Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna (Austria)
Erotic-art-Diego-Velázquez-The-Toilet-of-Venus
Diego Velázquez, The Toilet of Venus, known as the Rokeby Venus, 1647-1651. Oil on canvas, 122.5 x 177 cm. The National Gallery, London (United Kingdom).
Erotic-art-Jean-Honoré-Fragonard-La-Gimblette
Jean-Honoré Fragonard, La Gimblette, 1768. Oil on canvas. Private Collection, Paris (France).

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