PALES

A Roman divinity of flocks and shepherds, is described by some as a male, and by others as a female divinity; whence some modern writers have inferred that Pales was a combination of both sexes; but such a monstrosity is altogether foreign to the religion of the Romans. (Virg. Aen. iii. 1, 297, Georg. iii. 1; Serv. ad Virg. Eclog. v. 35; Ov Fast. iv. 721, 746, 766; Dionys. i. 88 ; Athen. viii. p. 361.) Some of the rites performed at the festival of Pales, which was celebrated on the 21 st of April, the birth-day of the city of Rome, would indeed seem to indicate, that the divinity was a female character; but besides the express statements to the contrary (Serv. ad Virg. Geory. iii. 1; Arnob. adv. Gent. iii. 23; Martian. cap. i. p. 27), there also are other reasons for believing that Pales was a male divinity. The name seems to be connected with Palatinus, the centre of all the earliest legends of Rome, and the god himself was with the Romans the embodiment of the same idea as Pan among the Greeks. Respecting the festival of the Palilia see Dict. of Ant. s. v. (Hartung, Die Relig. der Röm. vol. ii. p. 148, &c.)