1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Pales

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PALES, an old Italian goddess of flocks and shepherds. The festival called Parilia (less correctly Palilia) was celebrated in her honour at Rome and in the country on the 21st of April. In this festival Pales was invoked to grant protection and increase to flocks and herds; the shepherds entreated forgiveness for any unintentional profanation of holy places of which their flocks might have been guilty, and leaped three times across bonfires of hay and straw (Ovid, Fasti iv. 731–805). The Parilia was not only a herdsmen's festival, but was regarded as the birthday celebration of Rome, which was supposed to have been founded on the same day. Pales plays a very subordinate part in the religion of Rome, even the sex of the divinity being uncertain. A male Pales was sometimes spoken of, corresponding in some respects to Pan; the female Pales was associated with Vesta and Anna Perenna.