Our Roman fathers gave the name of februa to instruments of purification. . . . The month is called after these things, because the Luperci purify the whole ground with strips of hide, which are their instruments of cleansing, or because the season is pure when once peace-offerings have been made at the graves and the days devoted to the dead are past. Our sires believed
that every sin and every cause of ill could be wiped out by rites of purgation.