Kind of back tracking for a moment, though my thoughts are turned primarily to Delphinia coming up this month! Still I have been reading Plutarch and a section I normally would have completely skipped (because it dealt with a Roman figure) I decided to go back and read after I had read the chapter on Lycurgus. I have no idea why I felt so prompted to read it, I couldn’t care less about Romulus. But I did, since I tend to go with inspiration.
Toward the end of the section it is talking about Lupercalia and essentially says that it is modeled off of Hellenic Lykaea. I have never heard of this festival (I am going to dig out my classical dictionary to see if I can find it) but I think this may be the name of the festival for the return of Apollon. I know that there are those modern worshippers who call it Mantaeia (I am not sure if I spelled that right) but that name always turned me off. Most of my ritual centered off of my poems to Apollon Lykeios. Now Lupercalia occurs the same time that Mantaeia occurs, and the right time for the return of Apollon. Not to mention that Apollodrious of Rhodes in his Argonautika wrote of the god returning with his wolf-light to Delphi. All of this points that the Lykaea mentioned by Plutarch is the celebration of the return of Apollon which may well have correlations with Lupercalia and Lupercus. It has been a while since I read anything Roman so I don’t remember much about Lupercus. Anyhow, I have adopted the name Lykaea as the name of the festival for the return of Apollon. I feel quite confident in my very gut that this is correct!