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This prompted Gelasius' scornful suggestion that "If you assert that this rite has salutary force, celebrate it yourselves in the ancestral fashion; run nude yourselves that you may properly carry out the mockery." The remark was addressed to the senator Andromachus by Gelasius in an extended literary epistle that was virtually a diatribe against the Lupercalia.

The college of Juliiani disbanded or lapsed during Caesar's civil wars, and was not re-established in the reforms of his successor, Augustus.

In the Imperial era, membership of the two traditional collegia was opened to iuvenes of equestrian status.

And many women of rank also purposely get in their way, and like children at school present their hands to be struck, believing that the pregnant will thus be helped in delivery, and the barren to pregnancy.

The Romans themselves attributed the instigation of the Lupercalia to Evander, a culture hero from Arcadia who was credited with bringing the Olympic pantheon, Greek laws and alphabet to Italy, where he founded the city of Pallantium on the future site of Rome, 60 years before the Trojan War.

The cave lay at the foot of the Palatine Hill, on which Romulus was thought to have founded Rome.

Near the cave stood a sanctuary of Rumina, goddess of breastfeeding; and the wild fig-tree (Ficus Ruminalis) to which Romulus and Remus were brought by the divine intervention of the river-god Tiberinus; some Roman sources name the wild fig tree caprificus, literally "goat fig".

Soracte, 45 km (28 mi) north of Rome, had elements in common with the Roman Lupercalia.

The Lupercal cave was restored or rebuilt by Augustus, and has been speculated as identical with a grotto discovered in 2007, 50 feet (15 m) below the remains of Augustus' residence; according to scholarly consensus, the grotto is a nymphaeum, not the Lupercal.

Lupercalia was celebrated in parts of Italy and Gaul; Luperci are attested by inscriptions at Velitrae, Praeneste, Nemausus (modern Nîmes) and elsewhere.

The ancient cult of the Hirpi Sorani ("wolves of Soranus", from Sabine hirpus "wolf"), who practiced at Mt.

At the Lupercal altar, a male goat (or goats) and a dog were sacrificed by one or another of the Luperci, under the supervision of the Flamen dialis, Jupiter's chief priest.