Imagine half-naked men running through the streets, whipping young women with bloodied thongs made from freshly cut goat skins. Although it might sound like some sort of perverted sado-masochistic ritual, this is what the Romans did until 496 A.D.
Indeed, mid-February was Lupercalia (Wolf Festival) time. Celebrated on Feb. 15 at the foot of the Palatine Hill beside the cave where, according to tradition, the she-wolf had suckled Romulus and Remus, the festival was essentially a purification and fertility rite.
Story: Rossella Lorenzi, Discovery News | Photo: Wikimedia Commons