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Pales, a very ancient Italian divinity, is represented sometimes as a male, sometimes as a female power.

As a male divinity he is more particularly the god of shepherds and flocks.

As a female deity, Pales presides over husbandry and the fruitfulness of herds. Her festivals, the Palilia, were celebrated on the 21st of April, the day on which the city of Rome was founded. During this festival it was customary for shepherds to ignite a mass of straw, through which they rushed with their flocks, believing that this ordeal would purify them from sin.

The name Palatine, which originally signified a pastoral colony, is derived from this divinity. Her offerings were cakes and milk.


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