Personal name from Medieval Latin “lŭpus”, meaning “wolf”. Lupercus in Roman mythology was considered a pastoral deity invoked to protect the fertility. In his honor were celebrated on February 15, in a cave on the Palatine Hill. Lupercalia was a very ancient pre-Roman pastoral festival, observed on February 13 through 15 to avert evil spirits and purify the city, releasing health and fertility. Lupercalia subsumed Februa, an earlier-origin spring cleansing ritual held on the same date, which gives the month of February (Februarius) its name.