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Capitolian Games

In Ancient Rome, the Capitolian Games (or Capitoline Games; Ludi Capitolini in Latin) were annual games instituted by Marcus Furius Camillus in 387 B.C. in honor of Jupiter Capitolinus, and in commemoration of the Capitoline Hill's not being taken by the Gauls that same year. The games lasted sixteen days. According to Plutarch, a part of the ceremony involved the public auction of Etruscans.

The original Capitolian Games eventually subsided, but new ones were instituted by Domitian in 86, modeled after the Olympic Games in Greece. Every four years, in the early summer, contestants from several nations came to participate in various events. Rewards and crowns were bestowed on the poets, and placed on their heads by the emperor himself. The feast was not for poets alone, but also for champions, orators, historians, comedians, magicians, etc. These games became so celebrated, that the manner of accounting time by lustres (periods of five years) was changed, and they began to count by Capitolian Games, as the Ancient Greeks did by Olympiads.

References

"Capitoline Games." Wikipedia. Retrieved on August 17, 2011.