Saturday 20 November 2021

acta dasii

Fรชted on this day on the occasion of his martyrdom by beheading by fellow soldiers in 303 after Diocletian’s Edicts, Dasius of Durostorum (in the Roman province of Moesia Inferior, near the modern day city of Silistra in Bulgaria) was reportedly put to death for refusing to take part in the next month’s celebrations of Saturnalia, nominated to be the festival’s “king.” Though one of the better attested ancient traditions, most of what is known about the holiday is drawn from the above hagiography—which is suspect as pious propaganda—and suggests after a month of revelry and debauchery and satisfying every carnal pleasure, the chosen one, lord of misrule (rex sacorum) dressed as the personification of the pagan god would slit his throat and sacrifice himself to Saturn. Dasius was having none of this and would rather face capital punishment than end his days in debauchery.