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Bacchānal (old orthog. Bacānal, v. S. C. Bacch. A. V. C. 568, Wordsworth, Fragm. and Spec. p. 172: baccānal, Plaut. Aul. 3, 1, 3), ālis, n. [from Bacchus, like Fagutal, Frutinal, Lupercal, etc.; v. App. 1 to the Pref.],
- I. a place devoted to Bacchus, the place where the festivals of Bacchus were celebrated: NE QVIS EORVM BACANAL HABVISE VELET, S. C. Bacch. v. 4: EA BACANALIA … IN DIEBVS X … FACIATIS VTEI DISMOTA SIENT, ib. v. 28: ad Baccas veni in Baccanal, Plaut. Aul. 3, 1, 3: aperire, id. ib. 8: Bacchanalia, Liv. 39, 18, 7.
- II. Transf., in the plur.: Bacchānālia, ium (gen. sometimes Bacchananorum, Sall. H. 3, 79 Dietsch; Firm. Mat. Err. Prof. Relig. 6, 9), a feast of Bacchus, the orgies of Bacchus (diff. from the Roman festival of Liber; v. Liberalia); celebrated once in three years, at night, and in the most tumultuous and licentious manner (cf. Smith, Antiq.); hence, prohibited in Rome, A.U.C. 568, B.C. 186, by a decree of the Senate, Senatusconsultum de Bacchanalibus, which is yet preserved (v. Wordsworth, Fragm. and Spec. p. 172 sq.); Liv. 39, 9, 3; 39, 12, 4; 39, 16, 10; 39, 18, 7 sq.; 39, 41, 6; Cic. Leg. 2, 15, 37; Tac. H. 2, 68.
Rarely in sing.: Bacchanal facere, Plaut. Mil. 3, 2, 43 Lorenz ad loc.; id. Bacch. 1, 1, 20; so, exercere, id Suppos Amph Tun’ me mactes? v. 12: habere, in the abovementioned S. C.
Poet.: Bacchanalia vivere, to live in the manner of the Bacchantes, to live riotously and wantonly, Juv. 2, 3.