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Contents

Articles
List of Roman deities 1

Roman Gods 15
Adranus 15
Aius Locutius 16
Almo (god) 17
Apollo 17
Arimanius 34
Averrunci 34
Averruncus 34
Cacus 35
Caelus 37
Consus 41
Convector (mythology) 43
Cupid 44
Dei Lucrii 46
Dionysus 47
Dis Pater 60
Dius Fidius 62
Domiducus 63
Domitius 63
Elagabalus (deity) 64
Endovelicus 66
Evander of Pallene 68
Eventus Bonus 69
Fabulinus 70
Falacer 71
Fascinus 72
Faunus 74
Feretrius 76
Fontus 77
Forculus 78
Hercules 78
Honos 86
Inuus 87
Janus 91
Jugatinus 94
Jupiter (mythology) 94
Jupiter Indiges 100
Jupiter Tonans 101
Lactans 102
Lares 103
Liber 115
Limentinus 120
Mars (mythology) 121
Mercury (mythology) 134
Messor 137
Momus 138
Mors (mythology) 141
Mutunus Tutunus 142
Nemausus 145
Nemestrinus 145
Neptune (mythology) 146
Nodutus 152
Orcus 152
Pales 153
Palici 154
Picumnus 155
Picus 155
Pilumnus 156
Pluto (mythology) 156
Pluvius 167
Portunes 167
Porus (mythology) 169
Quirinus 170
Robigus 172
Sancus 176
Saritor 183
Saturn (mythology) 183
Saturn Devouring His Son 187
Silvanus (mythology) 191
Sol (mythology) 194
Sol Invictus 197
Soranus (mythology) 205
Sors 205
Spiniensis 206
Statanus 206
Sterquilinus 206
Summanus 207
Terminus (god) 210
Tiberinus (god) 213
Tibertus 214
Vagitanus 214
Vejovis 216
Verminus 217
Vertumnus 218
Vervactor 221
Viduus 221
Virtus (deity) 221
Volturnus 222
Vulcan (mythology) 222

Roman Goddesses 231


Abeona 231
Abundantia 231
Acca Larentia 232
Aequitas 233
Aeternitas 234
Alemonia 235
Angerona 235
Angitia 236
Anna Perenna 237
Annona (goddess) 238
Antevorte 239
Appiades 239
Aurora (mythology) 240
Averna 243
Bellona (goddess) 243
Bona Dea 245
Bubona 253
Camenae 253
Candelifera 254
Cardea 255
Carmenta 255
Ceres (mythology) 257
Cinxia 269
Clementia 269
Cloacina 270
Collatina 270
Concordia (mythology) 271
Cuba (mythology) 272
Cunina 273
Cura 273
Dea Dia 274
Dea Tacita 275
Decima (mythology) 275
Deverra 275
Diana (mythology) 276
Disciplina 283
Domiduca 284
Edusa 284
Egeria (mythology) 285
Empanda 288
Epona 288
Fauna (goddess) 293
Faustitas 293
Febris 293
Fecunditas 294
Felicitas 295
Ferentina 296
Feronia (mythology) 296
Fides (goddess) 298
Flora (mythology) 299
Fornax (mythology) 301
Fortuna 301
Fraus 307
Fulgora (mythology) 307
Furrina 307
Gallia (goddess) 308
Hecate 309
Hersilia 321
Hippona 323
Hostilina 327
Invidia 327
Juno (mythology) 329
Lady Justice 331
Juturna 338
Laetitia 338
Larentina 339
Laverna 339
Levana 340
Libera (mythology) 341
Liberalitas 342
Libertas 342
Libitina 344
Lima (mythology) 344
Lua (goddess) 345
Lucina (goddess) 345
Lympha 346
Magna Dea 351
Mana Genita 351
Mania (mythology) 352
Mater Matuta 352
Mefitis 353
Mellona 353
Minerva 354
Molae 360
Moneta 360
Morta (mythology) 361
Murcia (mythology) 361
Nascio 362
Nerio 362
The Night of Enitharmon's Joy 363
Di nixi 365
Nona (mythology) 368
Ops 368
Orbona 369
Palatua 370
Parcae 371
Partula (goddess) 372
Patelana 372
Paventia 373
Pax (mythology) 374
Pellonia (mythology) 375
Pietas (goddess) 375
Poena 376
Pomona 376
Postverta 378
Potina 379
Prorsa Postverta 379
Proserpina 380
Providentia 383
Pudicitia 383
Puta 384
Quiritis 385
Robigo 386
Roma (mythology) 389
Rumina 392
Runcina 393
Rusina 393
Salacia (mythology) 393
Securitas 395
Semonia 395
Sentia 396
Spes 396
Stata Mater 397
Strenua 397
Suadela 397
Tempestas 398
Terra (mythology) 398
The Mother of the Lares 400
Tranquillitas 402
Tutelina (goddess) 403
Vacuna 403
Vallonia (mythology) 405
Venus (mythology) 406
Venus Castina 414
Veritas 415
Vesta (mythology) 416
Vica Pota 421
Victoria (mythology) 422
Viriplaca 422
Volumna 423
Volutina 423

Nymphs 424
Nymph 424
Dryad 432
Limnade 434
Crinaeae 436
Acantha 437
Acis and Galatea (mythology) 438
Adamanthea 440
Adrasteia 441
Aegina (mythology) 443
Aetna (nymph) 444
Aglaea 444
Aitne 446
Alcinoe 446
Alphesiboea 446
Alseid 447
Amalthea (mythology) 448
Anthousai 451
Arethusa (mythology) 451
Argyra (mythology) 453
Asterodia 453
Astris 454
Auloniad 454
Aurai 455
Axioche 455
Bistonis 455
Bolina 456
Britomartis 456
Calybe 459
Calypso (mythology) 460
Canens (mythology) 462
Ceto (disambiguation) 462
Chariclo 463
Chesma (mythology) 463
Circe 463
Clytie 467
Corycian nymphs 468
Cynosura 469
Daphnaie 469
Daphne 470
Echo (mythology) 472
Electra (Pleiad) 473
Epimeliad 474
Eurydice 475
Euryte 477
Glauce 477
Hamadryad 478
Harpina 479
Hegetoria 481
Helike (mythology) 481
Hesperia 482
Hesperides 482
Himalia (mythology) 486
Hyades (mythology) 486
Ianthe 487
Idaea 488
Iphimedeia 488
Kallichore (mythology) 489
Kleodora 489
Korkyra 489
Lampads 490
Larissa (mythology) 490
Leimakid 491
Leuce (mythology) 492
Liriope (nymph) 492
Lotis (mythology) 493
Maenad 494
Maliades 501
Marica (mythology) 501
Melaina 501
Melanippe 502
Meliae 503
Melissa 506
Metis (mythology) 507
Metope (mythology) 509
Mideia 510
Mount Kyllini 511
Naiad 512
Nana (Greek mythology) 516
Napaeae 517
Nephele 518
Nereid 519
Nicaea (mythology) 522
Nysiads 523
Oceanid 524
Ocyrhoe 525
Oenone 526
Oread 527
Orphne 529
Pegaea 529
Pegaeae 529
Pherusa 532
Pirene (mythology) 533
Pitys (mythology) 534
Pleiades (Greek mythology) 534
Plouto 536
Pronoe 536
Pyrene (mythology) 537
Rhapso 537
Salamis (mythology) 538
Salmacis (fountain) 538
Satyrion 539
Sterope (Pleiad) 539
Stilbe 540
Syrinx 540
Syrinx (Wolter) 542
Taygete 544
Thalia (grace) 545
Thalia (muse) 546
Thalia (nymph) 547
Thelpusa 548
Thetis 548
Thriae 554
Erato (dryad) 556
Penelope (dryad) 556
Querquetulanae 557
Abarbarea 557
Achiroe 558
Aegle (mythology) 559
Aganippe 560
Albunea 561
Anaxibia 562
Appias 563
Batea (mythology) 563
Caliadne 565
Callirrhoe (naiad) 565
Cassotis 566
Castalia 566
Ceto (Oceanid) 567
Charybdis 567
Cleochareia 569
Comaetho 569
Creusa 570
Cyane 572
Drosera (naiad) 573
Eleionomae 573
Euboea (mythology) 574
Hieromneme 574
Larunda 574
Lethe 575
Lilaea 577
Melite (naiad) 577
Minthe 578
Nomia (mythology) 579
Ondine (mythology) 580
Orseis 582
Periboea 583
Polyxo 584
Praxithea 585
Salmacis 586
Styx 588
Xanthe 589
Corycia 589
Agave (mythology) 589
Amphinome 591
Amphitrite 592
Cydippe 595
Dynamene 596
Eulimene 597
Halie 597
Hippothoe 598
Ianira 598
Leucothea 599
Lycorias 601
Lysianassa 602
Mermaid 603
Nesaea 610
Orithyia 610
Panopea 612
Psamathe 613
Thalia (Nereid) 614
List of Oceanids 614
Acaste 619
Admete 620
Aethra (Greek mythology) 621
Asia (mythology) 622
Asteria 622
Bolbe 623
Caanthus 624
Chryseis 624
Clitunno 625
Dione (mythology) 625
Doris (mythology) 627
Eidyia 627
Eurynome 628
Eurynome (Oceanid) 630
Hesione 632
Meliboea 633
Merope 634
Nemesis (mythology) 635
Peitho 639
Philyra (mythology) 640
Rhode (mythology) 640
Telesto (mythology) 641
Tyche 641

References
Article Sources and Contributors 644
Image Sources, Licenses and Contributors 664

Article Licenses
License 672
List of Roman deities 1

List of Roman deities


Ancient Roman religion

Practices and beliefs


Imperial cult  · festivals  · ludi
mystery religions · funerals
temples · auspice · sacrifice
votum · libation · lectisternium

Priesthoods
College of Pontiffs · Augur
Vestal Virgins · Flamen · Fetial
Epulones · Arval Brethren
Quindecimviri sacris faciundis

Dii Consentes
Jupiter · Juno · Neptune · Minerva
Mars · Venus · Apollo · Diana
Vulcan · Vesta · Mercury · Ceres

Other deities
Janus · Quirinus · Saturn ·
Hercules · Faunus · Priapus
Bacchus (Liber) · Bona Dea · Ops
Castor and Pollux · Cupid
Chthonic deities: Proserpina ·
Dis Pater · Pluto · Orcus ·
Hecate · Di Manes
Domestic and local deities:
Lares · Di Penates · Genius
Hellenistic deities: Sol Invictus · Magna Mater · Isis ·
Mithras
Deified emperors:
Divus Julius  · Divus Augustus
See also List of Roman deities

Related topics
Roman mythology
Glossary of ancient Roman religion
Religion in ancient Greece
Etruscan religion
Gallo-Roman religion
Decline of Hellenistic polytheism

This is a list of deities of ancient Rome, including those who are known to have received cult within the city of
Rome, the ager Romanus, or the provinces of the Empire under a Latin or Latinized name.
List of Roman deities 2

Roman lists
The Romans themselves provide lists of deities in theologically based groupings.[1] These include:

Triads
• Archaic Triad: Jupiter, Mars, Quirinus.
• Capitoline Triad: Jupiter, Juno, Minerva[2]
• Plebeian or Aventine Triad: Ceres, Liber, Libera, dating to 493 BC.[3]

Groupings of twelve

Lectisternium
In describing the lectisternium of the Twelve Great Gods in 217 BC, the Augustan historian Livy places the deities
in gender-balanced pairs:[4]
• Jupiter-Juno
• Neptune-Minerva
• Mars-Venus
• Apollo-Diana
• Vulcan-Vesta
• Mercury-Ceres
Divine male-female complements such as these, as well as the anthropomorphic influence of Greek mythology,
contributed to a tendency in Latin literature to represent the gods as "married" couples or (as in the case of Venus
and Mars) lovers.

Dii Consentes

Varro uses the name Dii Consentes for the 12 deities, six male-female pairs,
whose gilded images stood in the forum.[5] Although individual names are not
listed, they are assumed to be the deities of the lectisternium. A fragment
from Ennius, within whose lifetime the lectisternium occurred, lists the same
12 deities by name, though in a different order from that of Livy: Juno, Vesta,
Minerva, Ceres, Diana, Venus, Mars, Mercurius, Jove, Neptunus, Vulcanus,
Apollo.[6]

The Dii Consentes are sometimes seen as the Roman equivalent of the Greek
Di Consentes on an altar
Olympians. The meaning of Consentes is subject to interpretation, but is
usually taken to mean that they form a council or consensus of deities.

Agricultural deities

Varro, De re rustica
At the beginning of his treatise on farming, Varro[7] gives a list of twelve deities who are vital to agriculture. These
make up a conceptual or theological grouping, and are not known to have received cult collectively. They are:
• Juppiter-Tellus
• Sol-Luna
• Ceres-Liber
• Robigus-Flora
• Minerva-Venus
• Lympha-Bonus Eventus
List of Roman deities 3

Vergil, Georgics

In his Georgics, a collection of poetry on


agrarian themes, Vergil gives a list
influenced by literary Hellenization and
Augustan ideology:[8]
• Sol-Luna[9]
• Liber-Ceres
• Fauni-Dryads
• Neptune
• Aristaeus[10]
• Pan-Minerva
• Triptolemus[11]
• Silvanus
The poet proposes that the divus Julius
Allegorical scene with Roman deities from the Augustan Altar of Peace Caesar be added as a thirteenth.

Di selecti
Varro[12] gives a list of twenty principal gods of Roman religion:
• Janus
• Jupiter
• Saturn
• Genius
• Mercury
• Apollo
• Mars
• Vulcan
• Neptune
• Sol
• Orcus
• Father Liber
• Tellus
• Ceres
• Juno
• Luna
• Diana
• Minerva
• Venus
• Vesta
List of Roman deities 4

Sabine gods
Varro, who was himself of Sabine origin, gives a list of Sabine gods who
were adopted by the Romans:
• Feronia
• Minerva
• Novensides[13]
• Pales
• Salus
• Fortuna
• Fons
• Fides[14]
• Ops
• Flora
• Vediovis
• Saturn
• Sol Livia, wife of Augustus, dressed as the
goddess Ops
• Luna
• Vulcan
• Summanus
• Larunda
• Terminus
• Quirinus
• Vortumnus
• Lares
• Diana
• Lucina
Elsewhere, Varro claims Sol Indiges, who had a sacred grove at Lavinium, as Sabine but at the same time equates
him with Apollo.[15] Of those listed, he writes, "several names have their roots in both languages, as trees that grow
on a property line creep into both fields. Saturn, for instance, can be said to have another origin here, and so too
Diana."[16] Varro makes various claims for Sabine origins throughout his works, some more plausible than others,
and his list should not be taken at face value.[17] But the importance of the Sabines in the early cultural formation of
Rome is evidenced, for instance, by the bride abduction of the Sabine women by Romulus's men, and in the Sabine
ethnicity of Numa Pompilius, second king of Rome, to whom are attributed many of Rome's religious and legal
institutions.[18] Varro, however, says that the altars to most of these gods were established at Rome by King Tatius
as the result of a vow (votum).[19]
List of Roman deities 5

Alphabetical list
: Top · 0–9 A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

A
• Abeona - a goddess who protected
children the first time they left their
parents' home, safeguarding their first
steps alone
• Abundantia - goddess of good fortune,
abundance, and prosperity
• Acca Larentia - goddess of cornfields. A
mythological figure who started out as
mortal but was later deified.
• Acis - river god near the Etna, son of
Faunus and the nymph Symaethis
• Adeona - goddess who protected children
as they returned home
A "lizard-slayer" Apollo on a mosaic from Roman Africa
• Aeolus - god of storms and winds
(Greek)
• Aerecura - goddess of Celtic origin, associated with the underworld
• Aequitas - goddess of fair trade and honest merchants
• Aesculapius - god of health and medicine
• Aeternitas - goddess and personification of eternity
• Aius Locutius - divine voice that warned the Romans of the imminent Gallic invasion
• Alemonia or Alemona - goddess responsible for nourishing the unborn child
• Angerona - goddess who relieved people from pain and sorrow
• Angita - early goddess of healing, magic and witchcraft. May be the same as Angitia
• Angitia - goddess associated with snakes, later goddess and derived from Angita
• Anna Perenna - early goddess of the "circle of the year", her festival was celebrated March 15
• Antevorta - goddess of the future and one of the Camenae; also called Porrima
• Apollo - god of poetry, music, and oracles, and one of the Dii Consentes
• Arimanius - an underworld god derived from the Greek Areimanios.
• Aurora - goddess of the dawn
• Averna - goddess of the underworld. May be equivalent to Proserpina
• Averruncus - god of childbirth. Averts calamity, whilst bringing good fortune
List of Roman deities 6

B
• Bacchus - god of wine, sensual pleasures, and truth, originally a cult title
for the Greek Dionysus and identified with the Roman Liber
• Bellona or Duellona - war goddess
• Bona Dea - goddess of fertility, healing, virginity, and women. Also
known as Fauna
• Bonus Eventus - personification of a good event
• Bromius - an epithet, Greek in origin, of Bacchus, god of wine
• Bubona - goddess of cattle

C
• Caca - originally an ancient hearth goddess, later demoted to a minor
figure in mythology and replaced by Vesta.
• Cacus - originally an ancient god of fire, later demoted to a giant.
• Caelus - god of the sky
• Camenae - four goddesses with various attributes including fresh water,
prophecy, and childbirth. There were four of them: Carmenta, Egeria,
Antevorta, and Postvorta.
• Candelifera - goddess of childbirth, particularly of bringing the newborn
into the light
• Cardea - goddess of health, thresholds and after being assigned by Janus,
door hinges and handles.
• Carmenta - goddess of childbirth and prophecy, and assigned a flamen A Bacchus from Roman Spain, 2nd
minor. The leader of the Camenae. century

• Carmentes - two goddesses of childbirth: Antevorta and Postvorta or


Porrima, future and past.
• Carna - goddess who presided over the heart and other organs
• Ceres - goddess of the harvest and mother of Proserpina, one of the Dii Consentes, was assigned a flamen minor
• Cinxia - goddess of marriage; name occurs as an epithet of Juno
• Clementia - goddess of forgiveness and mercy
• Clitunno - god of the Clitunno River
• Cloacina - goddess who presided over the system of sewers in Rome; identified with Venus
• Collatina - goddess of hills
• Concordia - goddess of agreement, understanding, and marital harmony
• Consus - chthonic god protecting grain storage
• Convector - god who oversaw the bringing in of the crops from the field
• Cuba - goddess of infants who was invoked by mothers to help their babies sleep
• Cunina - the protectress of infants in cradles
• Cupid - Roman god of love. The son of Venus. Greek name is Eros
• Cura - goddess of care and concern who created humans from clay
• Cybele - a goddess of caverns and mountains, walls and fortresses, nature, wild animals
List of Roman deities 7

D
• Dea Dia - goddess of growth
• Dea Tacita (The Silent Goddess) - goddess of the dead; later
equated with the earth goddess Larenta
• Decima - minor goddess and one of the Parcae (Roman equivalent
of the Moirae). The measurer of the thread of life, her Greek
equivalent was Lachesis
Diana Nemorensis on a denarius • Dei Lucrii - early gods of wealth, profit, commerce and trade
• Devera or Deverra - goddess who ruled over the brooms used to
purify temples in preparation for various worship services, sacrifices and celebrations; she protected midwives
and women in labor
• Diana - goddess of the hunt, the moon, virginity, and childbirth, twin sister of Apollo and one of the Dii
Consentes
• Diana Nemorensis - Local version of Diana
• Dius Fidius - god of oaths, associated with Jupiter
• Disciplina - personification of discipline
• Discordia - goddess of discord. Greek equivalent is Eris
• Dis Pater or Dispater - god of wealth and the underworld
• Domiduca - goddess of protecting children on the way back to their parents' home
• Domiducus - god who brought brides to their husbands' houses.
• Domitius or Domidius - god who kept wives in their husbands' homes

E
• Edusa - goddess of nourishment who guarded over children as they
learned to eat solid foods
• Edesia - goddess of food who presided over banquets
• Egeria - water nymph/goddess, later considered one the Camenae
• Empanda or Panda - goddess of generosity and charity
• Epona - protector of horses, donkeys, mules
• Eventus Bonus - god of success in agriculture and commerce.

F
• Fabulinus - god of children, the god responsible for teaching
children to speak
• Falacer - obscure god. He was assigned a flamen minor.
• Fama - goddess of fame and rumor. The Gallo-Roman horse goddess Epona

• Fascinus - phallic god who protected from evil supernatural


influences
• Fauna - goddess of vegetation. Also a title of other vegetative goddesses such as Bona Dea, Ops, and Terra.
• Faunus - god of flocks.
• Faustitas - goddess who protected herd and livestock
• Febris - goddess who protected people against fevers and malaria
• Fecunditas - goddess of fertility.
• Felicitas - goddess of good luck and success.
• Ferentina - patron goddess of the city Ferentinum, Latium, protector of the Latin commonwealth.
List of Roman deities 8

• Feronia - rural goddess of woods and fountains.


• Fessonia - goddess who relieved weariness
• Fides - goddess of loyalty
• Flora - goddess of flowers, was assigned a flamen minor
• Fornax - goddess of hearths and ovens
• Fontus - god of wells and springs
• Forculus - god of doors
• Fortuna - goddess of luck
• Fraus - goddess of treachery. Her Greek equivalent was Apate
• Fulgora - personification of lightning.
• Furrina - goddess whose functions are mostly unknown; may be associated with water. One source claims she was
a goddess of robbers and thieves. She was assigned a flamen minor. Name could also be Furina.

G
• Glycon - snake god. His cult originated in Macedonia.
• Gratiae - Roman term for the Charites or Graces

H
• Hercules - god of strength, whose worship was derived from the Greek hero
Heracles
• Hermaphroditus - an androgynous god (Greek)
• Hermus - a river god with a sanctuary at Sardis
• Hespera - goddess of dusk
• Hilaritas - goddess of rejoicing and good humor
• Honos - god of military honours, chivalry and as once source claims, military
justice
• Hora - Quirinus' wife
• Hostilina - goddess who presided over the ears of crops becoming even
Roman statue of the infant
I Hercules strangling a snake

• Imporcitor - god responsible for the harrowing of the fields. Minor attendant of
Ceres
• Indiges - the deified Aeneas
• Insitor - god responsible for the sowing of crops
• Intercidona - minor goddess of childbirth; invoked to keep evil spirits away from the child; symbolised by a
cleaver
• Inuus - god of fertility and sexual intercourse, protector of livestock
• Invidia - goddess of envy or jealousy
• Iris - goddess of the rainbow (Greek)
List of Roman deities 9

J
• Janus - double-faced or two-headed god of beginnings and endings
and of doors
• Jugatinus - god of mountain ranges
• Juno - Queen of the Gods and goddess of matrimony, and one of the
Dii Consentes
• Jupiter - King of the Gods and the storm, air, and sky god, father of
Venus, and one of the Dii Consentes; was assigned a flamen maior
• Justitia - goddess of justice
• Juturna- goddess of fountains, wells, and springs
A janiform sculpture, perhaps of Janus
• Juventas - goddess of youth

L
• Lactanus or Lactans - god that made the crops prosper or "yield milk"
• Larentina - an underworld goddess
• Lares - household gods
• Laverna - patroness of thieves, con men and charlatans
• Levana - goddess of the rite through which fathers accepted newborn babies as their own
• Letum - personification of death
• Liber - a god of male fertility, viniculture and freedom, assimilated to Roman Bacchus and Greek Dionysus
• Libera - Liber's female equivalent, assimilated to Roman Proserpina and Greek Persephone.
• Liberalitas - goddess or personification of generosity
• Libertas - goddess or personification of freedom
• Libitina - goddess of death, corpses and funerals
• Lima - goddess of thresholds
• Limentinus - god of lintels
• Lua - goddess to whom soldiers sacrificed captured weapons, probably a consort of Saturn
• Lucina - goddess of childbirth. The name occurs as a surname of Juno.
• Luna - goddess of the moon
• Lupercus - god of shepherds; a name for the Greek god Pan.
• Lympha, often plural lymphae, a water deity assimilated to the Greek nymphs

M
• Mana Genita - goddess who presided over burials, mother or leader
of the manes
• Manes - the souls of the dead; came to be seen as household deities
• Mania - goddess of the dead and ruler of the underworld, wife of
Mantus. Not to be confused with the Greek figure of the same name.
• Mantus - god of the dead and ruler of the underworld, husband of
Mania.
• Mars - god of war and father of Romulus, the founder of Rome,
Capitoline Triad of Juno, Jupiter, and Minerva
lover of Venus, and one of the Dii Consentes, was assigned a
flamen maior
• Mater Matuta - goddess of dawn and childbirth; also seen as patroness of mariners
• Meditrina - goddess of healing, introduced to account for the festival of Meditrinalia
List of Roman deities 10

• Mefitis or Mephitis - goddess and personification of poisonous gases and volcanic vapours.
• Mellona or Mellonia - goddess of bees and beekeeping
• Mercury - messenger of the gods and bearer of souls to the underworld, and one of the Dii Consentes
• Messia - a harvest goddess
• Messor - minor agricultural god concerned with the growth and harvesting of crops; attendant of Ceres.
• Minerva - goddess of wisdom, war and the arts, and one of the Dii Consentes
• Mithras - god worshipped in the Roman empire; popular with soldiers
• Molae - daughters of Mars, probably goddesses of grinding of the grain.
• Moneta - minor goddess of memory, equivalent to the Greek Mnemosyne. Also used as an epithet of Juno.
• Mors - personification of death and equivalent of the Greek Thanatos.
• Morta - minor goddess of death and one of the Parcae (Roman equivalent of the Moirae). The cutter of the thread
of life, her Greek equivalent was Atropos.
• Murcia or Murtia - a little-known goddess who was associated with the myrtle, and in other sources was called a
goddess of sloth and laziness (both interpretations arising from false etymologies of her name). Later equated
with Venus in the form of Venus Murcia.
• Muta - goddess of silence
• Mutunus Tutunus - god of fertility

N
• Naenia - goddess of funerary lament
• Nascio - personification of the act of
birth
• Necessitas - goddess of destiny, the
Roman equivalent of Ananke
• Nemesis - goddess of revenge (Greek)
• Nemestrinus - god of woods and forests
• Neptune - god of the sea, earthquakes,
and horses, and one of the Dii Consentes.
Greek Equivalent is Poseidon.
• Nerio - ancient war goddess and the
personification of valor
• Neverita - wife of Neptune; their quarrels
caused sea storms.
• Nixi, also di nixi, dii nixi, or Nixae -
goddesses of childbirth, called upon to
Neptune on a 3rd-century mosaic
protect women in labour
• Nodutus - god who made knots in stalks of wheat
• Nona - minor goddess, one of the Parcae (Roman equivalent of the Moirae). The spinner of the thread of life, her
Greek equivalent was Clotho.
• Nox - goddess of night, derived from the Greek Nyx.
List of Roman deities 11

O
• Obarator - minor god of agriculture. Responsible for overseeing the top-dressing of crops.
• Occator - minor agricultural god responsible for the growth and harvesting of the crops; attendant of Ceres.
• Orchadis - minor god responsible for the olive groves; attendant of Ceres.
• Ops or Opis - goddess of fertility
• Orbona - goddess of children, especially orphans. She granted new children to those who had become childless
• Orcus - a god of the underworld and punisher of broken oaths

P
• Palatua - obscure goddess who guarded the Palatine
Hill. She was assigned a flamen minor.
• Pales - deity of shepherds, flocks and livestock
• Parcae - personifications of destiny (Nona, Decima,
and Morta)
• Partula or Parca - goddess of childbirth; determined
the length of pregnancy.
• Patelana - goddess of opening husks of grain
• Paventia - goddess who comforted frightened
children
• Pax - goddess of peace; equivalent of Greek Eirene.
Aeneas and the Penates, from a 4th-century manuscript • Pellonia - goddess who warded people off their
enemies
• Penates or Di Penates - household gods
• Picumnus - minor god of fertility, agriculture, matrimony, infants and children
• Picus — Italic woodpecker god with oracular powers
• Pietas - goddess of duty; personification of the Roman virtue pietas.
• Pilumnus - minor guardian god, concerned with the protection of infants at birth
• Pluto - Pluto a name given to him by the Romans from Greek myths, he is the King of the Dead, and of the
underworld.
• Poena - goddess of punishment
• Pomona - goddess of fruit trees, gardens and orchards; assigned a flamen minor
• Porus - god and personification of plenty
• Porrima - goddess of the future. Also called Antevorta. One of the Carmentes and the Camenae
• Portunes - god of keys, doors, and livestock, he was assigned a flamen minor.
• Postverta or Prorsa Postverta - goddess of childbirth and the past, one of the two Carmentes (other being Porrima)
• Potina - goddess of children's drinks
• Priapus - localised god of the shade; worship derived from the Greek Priapus
• Promitor - minor agricultural god, responsible for the growth and harvesting of crops; attendant of Ceres.
• Proserpina - Queen of the Dead and a grain-goddess, the Roman equivalent of the Greek Persephone
• Providentia - goddess of forethought
• Pudicitia - goddess and personification of chastity, one of the Roman virtues. Her Greek equivalent was Aidôs.
• Puta - goddess of pruning vines and bushes
List of Roman deities 12

Q
• Quirinus, Sabine god identified with Mars; Romulus, the founder of Rome, was deified as Quirinus after his
death. Quirinus was a war god and a god of the Roman people and state, and was assigned a flamen maior.
• Quiritis - goddess of motherhood. Originally Sabine or pre-Roman, she was later equated with Juno.

R
• Redarator - minor god of agriculture, associated with the second ploughing
• Robigo or Robigus, a god or goddess who personified grain disease and protected crops
• Roma - personification of the Roman state
• Rumina - goddess who protected breastfeeding mothers
• Runcina - minor goddess of agriculture, associated with reaping and weeding.
• Rusina - protector of the fields or farmland (also known as Rurina)
• Rusor - a minor agricultural god and attendant of Ceres

S
• Salacia - goddess of seawater, wife of Neptune
• Salus - goddess of the public welfare of the Roman people; came to
be equated with the Greek Hygieia
• Sancus - god of loyalty, honesty, and oaths
• Sarritor or Saritor - minor god of agriculture, god of hoeing and
weeding
• Saturn - a titan, god of harvest and agriculture, the father of Jupiter,
Neptune, Juno, and Pluto
• Secia - a harvest goddess
• Securita or Securitas - goddess of security, especially the security of
the Roman empire
• Segetia - an agricultural goddess
Sol Invictus, or Christ depicted in his guise • Semonia - goddess of sowing
• Sentia - goddess who oversaw children's mental development
• Setia - an agricultural goddess
• Silvanus - minor god of woodlands and forests
• Sol Invictus - sun god
• Somnus - god of sleep; equates with the Greek Hypnos.
• Soranus - a god later subsumed by Apollo in the form Apollo Soranus.
• Sors - god of luck
• Spes - goddess of hope
• Spiniensis - minor agricultural god; prayed to when removing thorny bushes
• Stata Mater - goddess who protected against fires. Sometimes equated with Vesta
• Statanus - god also known as Statulinus or Statilinus. Presided over the child's first attempt to stand up. Along
with his wife Statina protected the children as they left home for the first time and returned.
• Statina - goddess who, along with her husband Statanus, protected the childred as they left home for the first time
and returned.
• Sterquilinus ("manure") - god of fertilisation. Also known as Stercutus, Sterculius, Straculius, Struculius.
• Strenua or Strenia - goddess of strength and endurance
• Suadela - goddess of persuasion, her Greek equivalent was Peitho
• Subigus - god of the wedding night
List of Roman deities 13

• Summanus - god of nocturnal thunder

T
• Tellumo - male counterpart of Tellus
• Tempestas - goddess of storms
• Terra Mater or Tellus - goddess of the earth and land
• Terminus - the rustic god of boundaries
• Tiberinus - river god; deity of the Tiber river.
• Tibertus - god of the river Anio, a tributary of the Tiber
• Tranquillitas - goddess of peace and tranquility
• Trivia - goddess of crossroads and magic, equated with Hecate
• Tutelina - a harvest goddess

U
• Ubertas - minor agricultural goddess, who personified fruitfulness of soil and plants, and abundance in general.
• Unxia - minor goddess of marriage, concerned with anointing the bridegroom's door. The name occurs as a
surname of Juno.
• Uranus - god of the sky before Jupiter (Greek)

V
• Vacuna - ancient goddess who protected the farmers' sheep and was
later identified with Nike - Goddess of Victory and worshipped as a
war goddess.
• Vagitanus - minor god of children, guardian of the infant's first cry
at birth
• Vallonia - goddess of valleys
• Vediovus or Veiovis - obscure god, a sort of anti-Jupiter, as the
meaning of his name suggests. May be a god of the underworld
• Venilia or Venelia - sea goddess, wife of Neptune or Faunus
• Venti - the winds, equivalent to the Greek Anemoi. North wind:
Aquilo(n) or Septentrio; South wind: Auster; East wind: Vulturnus;
West wind: Favonius; North west wind: Caurus or Corus.
• Venus - goddess of love and beauty, mother of the hero Aeneas, and
one of the Dii Consentes
• Veritas - goddess and personification of the Roman virtue of veritas
or truth. Venus, Mars, and Cupid on a wall painting from
• Verminus - god of cattle worms Pompeii

• Vertumnus, Vortumnus or Vertimnus - god of the seasons, and of


gardens and fruit trees
• Vervactor - minor agricultural god, deity of the first ploughing
• Vesta - goddess of the hearth and the Roman state, and one of the Dii Consentes
• Vica Pota - goddess of victory and competitions
• Victoria - goddess of victory
• Viduus - god who separated soul and body after death
• Virbius - a forest god, the reborn Hippolytus
• Viriplaca - goddess of marital strife
List of Roman deities 14

• Virtus - god or goddess of military strength, personification of the Roman virtue of virtus
• Volturnus - god of water, was assigned a flamen minor. Not to be confused with Vulturnus.
• Volumna - goddess of nurseries
• Voluptas - goddess of pleasure
• Volutina - goddess of the envelopes of the follicles of crops
• Vulcan - god of the forge, fire, and blacksmiths, husband to Venus, and one of the Dii Consentes, was assigned a
flamen minor

External links
• A list of some major Roman gods [20]
• A list of some minor Roman gods [21]
• Roman Gods and Associates (with Etrusceans) [22]
• Roman Mythology Names Index [23]

References
[1] Robert Schilling, "Roman Gods," Roman and European Mythologies (University of Chicago Press, 1992, from the French edition of 1981),
pp. 75 online (http:/ / books. google. com/ books?id=Uf2_kHAs22sC& pg=PA75& dq="The+ following+ is+ a+ summary+ of+ the+
different+ groupings+ of+ deities+ in+ Rome"& hl=en& ei=Cfz0TN3eGIf9nAePv4npCQ& sa=X& oi=book_result& ct=result& resnum=1&
ved=0CCUQ6AEwAA#v=onepage& q="The following is a summary of the different groupings of deities in Rome"& f=false) and 77 (note
49). Unless otherwise noted, citations of primary sources are Schilling's.
[2] Livy, 1.38.7, 1.55.1–6.
[3] Dionysius of Halicarnassus 6.17.2
[4] Livy, 22.10.9.
[5] Varro, De re rustica 1.1.4: "eos urbanos, quorum imagines ad forum auratae stant, sex mares et feminae totidem.
[6] Ennius, Annales frg. 62, in J. Vahlen, Ennianae Poesis Reliquiae (Leipzig, 1903, 2nd ed.). Ennius's list appears in poetic form, and the word
order may be dictated by the metrical constraints of dactylic hexameter.
[7] Varro, De re rustica 1.1.4–6.
[8] Vergil, Georgics 1.5–20.
[9] Clarissima mundi lumina
[10] Cultor nemorum.
[11] Unci puer monstrator aratri.
[12] As recorded by Augustine of Hippo, De civitate Dei 7.2.
[13] Or Novensiles: the spelling -d- for -l- is characteristic of the Sabine language
[14] For Fides, see also Semo Sancus or Dius Fidius; Roger D. Woodard, Indo-European Sacred Space: Vedic and Roman Cult p. 184.
[15] Varro, De lingua latina 5.10; Paul Rehak, Imperium and Cosmos: Augustus and the Northern Campus Martius (University of Wisconsin
Press, 2006), p. 94.
[16] e quis nonnulla nomina in utraque lingua habent radices, ut arbores quae in confinio natae in utroque agro serpunt: potest enim Saturnus
hic de alia causa esse dictus atque in Sabinis, et sic Diana.
[17] Anna Clark, Divine Qualities: Cult and Community in Republican Rome (Oxford University Press, 2007) pp. 37–38; Emma Dench,
Romulus' Asylum: Roman Identities from the Age of Alexander to the Age of Hadrian (Oxford University Press, 2005), pp. 317–318.
[18] William Warde Fowler, The Religious Experience of the Roman People (London, 1922), p. 108.
[19] Tatius is said by Varro to have dedicated altars to "Ops, Flora, Vediovis and Saturn, to Sol, Luna, Vulcan and Summanus, and likewise to
Larunda, Terminus, Quirinus, Vortumnus, the Lares, Diana and Lucina."
[20] http:/ / www. unrv. com/ culture/ major-roman-god-list. php
[21] http:/ / www. unrv. com/ culture/ minor-roman-god-list. php
[22] http:/ / www. mythome. org/ roman. html
[23] http:/ / www. mythindex. com/ roman-mythology/ Names-A. html
15

Roman Gods

Adranus
Adranus or Adranos (Greek: 'Αδρανός) was a fire god worshipped by the Sicels, an ancient population of the
island of Sicily. His worship occurred all over the island, but particularly in the town of Adranus, modern Adrano,
near Mount Etna.[1] [2] Adranus himself was said to have lived under Mount Etna before being driven out by the
Greek god Hephaestus, or Vulcan. According to Aelian, about a thousand sacred dogs were kept near his temple in
this town.[3] According to Hesychius, Adranus was said to have been the father of the Palici, born to Adranus's lover,
the nymph Thalia.
Some modern commentators have suggested that Adranus may have been related to the similarly-named gods Adar
and Adramelech (from Persia and Phoenicia respectively), who were also personifications of the sun or of fire in
general.[4]

References
[1] Plutarch, Timoleon 12
[2] Diodorus Siculus, xiv. 37
[3] Aelian, Hist. Anim. xi. 20
[4] Schmitz, Leonhard (1867), "Adranus" (http:/ / www. ancientlibrary. com/ smith-bio/ 0029. html), in Smith, William, Dictionary of Greek and
Roman Biography and Mythology, 1, Boston, pp. 20,

Sources
• This article incorporates text from the public domain Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology
by William Smith (1870).
Aius Locutius 16

Aius Locutius
Aius Locutius (Latin: āius locūtius, spoken affirmation) or Aius Loquens (Latin: āius loquens, speaking
affirmation), was a Roman deity or numen associated with the Gallic invasions of Rome during the early 4th century
BC.
According to legend, a Roman pleb named M. Caedicius heard a supernatural, nocturnal voice that issued from
Vesta's sacred grove, at the base of the Palatine hill. It warned him of an imminent Gaulish attack, recommended that
the walls of Rome be fortified and instructed him to pass these messages on to the tribune of the plebs; but because
of the messenger's humble station, the message was ignored. In consequence, the Gauls entered and burned the city
(c.391 BC). Once the Gauls were repelled, the senate built a temple and altar (known as Ara Aius Locutius, or Ara
Saepta) to propitiate the unknown deity who had offered the warning. This was said to have been set up where
Caedicius had heard the divine voice. Later Roman historians disputed its exact location and no trace remains of the
temple or altar; the latter has been historically misidentified with the Palatine altar inscribed si deus si dea ("whether
God or Goddess"), in cautious dedication to some unknown deity.[1]
In the broad context of official Roman religion, Aius Locutius is exceptional. Officially, the gods might speak
through the cryptic writings and utterances of specialised oracles, or through a complex system of signs in answer to
the specific questions of State augurs. They might also grant signs of fortune to their most favoured proteges, or
speak privately to them in dreams. Aius Locutius gave clear, urgent instructions of great importance to the State, in
everyday Latin, to an ordinary plebeian passer-by – and thereafter, according to Cicero, "having acquired a temple,
an altar, and a name, 'Speaker' never spoke again".[2]

Notes and references


[1] Lawrence Richardson, A new Topographical dictionary of ancient Rome, 1992, p5; googlebooks preview (http:/ / books. google. co. uk/
books?id=K_qjo30tjHAC& pg=PA5& lpg=PA5& dq=Aius+ Locutius& source=bl& ots=VvgiSYPOaz&
sig=3a7SjFCxwbvCfYZwD3IpbqBaQfs& hl=en& ei=nbsgTKiIK4z-0gT8sfXfDw& sa=X& oi=book_result& ct=result& resnum=9&
ved=0CDIQ6AEwCDgK#v=onepage& q=Aius Locutius& f=false)
[2] Clifford Ando, The matter of the gods: religion and the Roman Empire, University Presses of California, Columbia and Princeton, 2008,
p.125 - googlebooks preview (http:/ / books. google. co. uk/ books?id=vmQkvj9qdXkC& lpg=PA44& ots=sB2zaASNYm& dq=rome iuvenes
young men& pg=PA125#v=onepage& q=locutius& f=false) for Ando's paraphrasis of Cicero, De divinatione, 2.69.
Almo (god) 17

Almo (god)
Almo was in ancient Roman mythology the eponymous god of a river in the vicinity of Rome.[1] Like Tiberinus and
others, he was prayed to by the augurs of Rome. In the water of Almo the statue of the mother of the gods, Cybele,
used to be washed.[2] [3] He had a naiad daughter named Larunda.[4]

References
[1] Schmitz, Leonhard (1867). "Almo" (http:/ / quod. lib. umich. edu/ cgi/ t/ text/ pageviewer-idx?c=moa;cc=moa;idno=acl3129. 0001.
001;q1=demosthenes;size=l;frm=frameset;seq=147). In William Smith. Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology. 1. Boston:
Little, Brown and Company. pp. 132. .
[2] Cicero, De Natura Deorum iii. 20
[3] comp. Varro De lingua latina v. 71, ed. Müller
[4] Seyffert, Oskar; Henry Nettleship, ed. (1895). A Dictionary of Classical Antiquity: Mythology, Religion, Literature and Art (http:/ / www.
google. com/ books?id=pbcUAAAAYAAJ). W. Glaisher. pp. 373. .

This article incorporates text from the public domain Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology by
William Smith (1870).

Apollo
Apollo

2nd century AD Roman statue of Apollo depicting the god's attributes—the lyre and the snake Python
God of music, poetry, plague, oracles, sun, medicine, light and knowledge

Abode Mount Olympus

Symbol Lyre, laurel wreath, python, raven, bow and arrows

Parents Zeus and Leto

Siblings Artemis

Children Asclepius, Troilus, Aristaeus, Orpheus

Roman equivalent Apollo


Apollo 18

Ancient Greek Religion

Ancient Roman religion

Practices and beliefs


Imperial cult  · festivals  · ludi
mystery religions · funerals
temples · auspice · sacrifice
votum · libation · lectisternium

Priesthoods
College of Pontiffs · Augur
Vestal Virgins · Flamen · Fetial
Epulones · Arval Brethren
Quindecimviri sacris faciundis

Dii Consentes
Jupiter · Juno · Neptune · Minerva
Mars · Venus · Apollo · Diana
Vulcan · Vesta · Mercury · Ceres

Other deities
Janus · Quirinus · Saturn ·
Hercules · Faunus · Priapus
Bacchus (Liber) · Bona Dea · Ops
Castor and Pollux · Cupid
Chthonic deities: Proserpina ·
Dis Pater · Pluto · Orcus ·
Hecate · Di Manes
Domestic and local deities:
Lares · Di Penates · Genius
Hellenistic deities: Sol Invictus · Magna Mater · Isis ·
Mithras
Deified emperors:
Divus Julius  · Divus Augustus
See also List of Roman deities
Apollo 19

Related topics
Roman mythology
Glossary of ancient Roman religion
Religion in ancient Greece
Etruscan religion
Gallo-Roman religion
Decline of Hellenistic polytheism

Apollo (Attic, Ionic, and Homeric Greek: Ἀπόλλων, Apollōn; Doric: Απέλλων, Apellōn; Arcadocypriot: Απείλων,
Apeilōn; Aeolic: Ἄπλουν, Aploun; Latin: Apollō) is one of the most important and diverse of the Olympian deities in
Greek and Roman mythology. The ideal of the kouros (a beardless, athletic youth), Apollo has been variously
recognized as a god of light and the sun; truth and prophecy; medicine, healing, and plague; music, poetry, and the
arts; and more. Apollo is the son of Zeus and Leto, and has a twin sister, the chaste huntress Artemis. Apollo is
known in Greek-influenced Etruscan mythology as Apulu. Apollo was worshiped in both ancient Greek and Roman
religion, as well as in the modern Greco–Roman Neopaganism.
As the patron of Delphi (Pythian Apollo), Apollo was an oracular god—the prophetic deity of the Delphic Oracle.
Medicine and healing were associated with Apollo, whether through the god himself or mediated through his son
Asclepius, yet Apollo was also seen as a god who could bring ill-health and deadly plague. Amongst the god's
custodial charges, Apollo became associated with dominion over colonists, and as the patron defender of herds and
flocks. As the leader of the Muses (Apollon Musegetes) and director of their choir, Apollo functioned as the patron
god of music and poetry. Hermes created the lyre for him, and the instrument became a common attribute of Apollo.
Hymns sung to Apollo were called paeans.
In Hellenistic times, especially during the 3rd century BCE, as Apollo Helios he became identified among Greeks
with Helios, Titan god of the sun, and his sister Artemis similarly equated with Selene, Titan goddess of the moon.[1]
In Latin texts, on the other hand, Joseph Fontenrose declared himself unable to find any conflation of Apollo with
Sol among the Augustan poets of the 1st century, not even in the conjurations of Aeneas and Latinus in Aeneid XII
(161–215).[2] Apollo and Helios/Sol remained separate beings in literary and mythological texts until the 3rd century
CE.

Name
The etymology of Apollo is uncertain. The spelling Ἀπόλλων had almost superseded all other forms by the
beginning of the common era, but the Doric form Απέλλων is more archaic, derived from an earlier *Απέλjων. The
name is certainly cognate with the Doric month name Απέλλαιος and the Doric festival απελλαι.[3]
Several instances of popular etymology are attested from ancient authors. Thus, the Greeks most often associated
Apollo's name with the Greek verb απολλυμι (apollymi), "to destroy".[4] Plato in Cratylus connects the name with
ἀπόλυσις (apolysis), "redeem", with ἀπόλουσις (apolousis), "purification", and with ἁπλοῦν (aploun), "simple",[5]
in particular in reference to the Thessalian form of the name, Ἄπλουν, and finally with Ἀει-βάλλων (aeiballon),
"ever-shooting". Hesychius connects the name Apollo with the Doric απέλλα (apella), which means "assembly", so
that Apollo would be the god of political life, and he also gives the explanation σηκος (sekos), "fold", in which case
Apollo would be the god of flocks and herds.
Following the tradition of these Ancient Greek folk etymologies, in the Doric dialect the word απέλλα originally
meant wall, fence from animals and later assembly within the agora. In the Macedonian dialect πέλλα (pella) means
stone, and some toponyms are derived from this word: Πέλλα (Pella), Πελλήνη (Pellini).
The form Apaliunas (]x-ap-pa-li-u-na-aš) is attested as a god of Wilusa in a treaty between Alaksandu of Wilusa
interpreted as "Alexander of Ilios",[6] and the Hittite great king Muwatalli II ca 1280 BCE.[7] The Hittite testimony
reflects an early form *Apeljōn, which may also be surmised from comparison of Cypriot Απειλων with Doric
Απελλων.[8]
Apollo 20

A number of non-Greek etymologies have been suggested for the name,[9] among them a Hurrian and Hittite
divinity, Aplu, who was widely invoked during the "plague years". Aplu, it is suggested, comes from the Akkadian
Aplu Enlil, meaning "the son of Enlil", a title that was given to the god Nergal, who was linked to Shamash,
Babylonian god of the sun.[10] A Luwian etymology suggested for Apaliunas makes Apollo "The One of
Entrapment", perhaps in the sense of "Hunter".[11]

Greco-Roman epithets
Apollo, like other Greek deities, had a number of epithets applied to him, reflecting the variety of roles, duties, and
aspects ascribed to the god. However, while Apollo has a great number of appellations in Greek myth, only a few
occur in Latin literature, chief among them Phoebus (pronounced /ˈfiːbəs/ FEE-bəs; Φοίβος, Phoibos, literally
"radiant"), which was very commonly used by both the Greeks and Romans in Apollo's role as the god of light.
As sun-god and god of light, Apollo was also known by the epithets Aegletes (English pronunciation: /əˈɡliːtiːz/
ə-GLEE-teez; Αἰγλήτης, Aiglētēs, from αἴγλη, "light of the sun"),[12] Helius (English pronunciation: /ˈhiːliəs/ HEE-lee-əs;
Ἥλιος, Helios, literally "sun"),[13] Phanaeus (English pronunciation: /fəˈniːəs/ fə-NEE-əs; Φαναῖος, Phanaios, literally
"giving or bringing light"), and Lyceus (English pronunciation: /laɪˈsiːəs/ lye-SEE-əs; Λύκειος, Lukeios, from
Proto-Greek *λύκη, "light"). The meaning of the epithet "Lyceus" later became associated Apollo's mother Leto,
who was the patron goddes of Lycia (Λυκία) and who was identified with the wolf (λύκος),[14] earning him the
epithets Lycegenes (English pronunciation: /laɪˈsɛdʒəniːz/ lye-SEJ-ə-neez; Λυκηγενής, Lukēgenēs, literally "born of a
wolf" or "born of Lycia") and Lycoctonus (English pronunciation: /laɪˈkɒktənəs/ lye-KOK-tə-nəs; Λυκοκτόνος,
Lukoktonos, from λύκος, "wolf", and κτείνειν, "to kill"). As god of the sun, the Romans referred to Apollo as Sol
(English pronunciation: /ˈsɒl/ SOL; literally "sun" in Latin).
In association with his birthplace, Mount Cynthus on the island of Delos, Apollo was called Cynthius (English
pronunciation: /ˈsɪnθiəs/ SIN-thee-əs; Κύνθιος, Kunthios, literally "Cynthian"), Cynthogenes (English
pronunciation: /sɪnˈθɒdʒɨniːz/ sin-THOJ-i-neez; Κύνθογενης, Kunthogenēs, literally "born of Cynthus"), and Delius
(English pronunciation: /ˈdiːliəs/ DEE-lee-əs; Δήλιος, Delios, literally "Delian"). As Artemis's twin, Apollo had the
epithet Didymaeus (English pronunciation: /dɪdɨˈmiːəs/ did-i-MEE-əs; Διδυμαιος, Didumaios, from δίδυμος, "twin").
Apollo was worshipped as Actiacus (English pronunciation: /ækˈtaɪ.əkəs/ ak-TYE-ə-kəs; Ἄκτιακός, Aktiakos, literally
"Actian"), Delphinius (English pronunciation: /dɛlˈfɪniəs/ del-FIN-ee-əs; Δελφίνιος, Delphinios, literally "Delphic"), and
Pythius (English pronunciation: /ˈpɪθiəs/ PITH-ee-əs; Πύθιος, Puthios, from Πυθώ, Pūthō, the area around Delphi), after
Actium (Ἄκτιον) and Delphi (Δελφοί) respectively, two of his principal places of worship.[15] [16] An etiology in the
Homeric hymns associated the epithet "Delphinius" with dolphins. He was worshipped as Acraephius (English
pronunciation: /əˈkriːfiəs/ ə-KREE-fee-əs; Ἀκραιφιος, Akraiphios, literally "Acraephian") or Acraephiaeus (English
pronunciation: /əˌkriːfiˈiːəs/ ə-KREE-fee-EE-əs; Ἀκραιφιαίος, Akraiphiaios, literally "Acraephian") in the Boeotian
town of Acraephia (Ἀκραιφία), reputedly founded by his son Acraepheus; and as Smintheus (English
pronunciation: /ˈsmɪnθiəs/ SMIN-thee-əs; Σμινθεύς, Smintheus, either "Sminthian") in the Troad town of Sminthos (or
mouse-killer - from σμίνθος).[17] The epithet "Smintheus" has historically been confused with σμίνθος, "mouse", in
association with Apollo's role as a god of disease. For this he was also known as Parnopius (English
pronunciation: /pɑrˈnoʊpiəs/ par-NOH-pee-əs; Παρνόπιος, Parnopios, from πάρνοψ, "locust") and to the Romans as
Culicarius (English pronunciation: /ˌkjuːlɨˈkæriəs/ KEW-li-KARR-ee-əs; from Latin culicārius, "of midges").
In Apollo's role as a healer, his appellations included Acesius (English pronunciation: /əˈsiːʃəs/ ə-SEE-shəs; Ἀκέσιος,
Akesios, from ἄκεσις, "healing"), Acestor (English pronunciation: /əˈsɛstər/ ə-SES-tər; Ἀκέστωρ, Akestōr, literally
"healer"), Paean (English pronunciation: /ˈpiːən/ PEE-ən; Παιάν, Paiān, from παίειν, "to touch"), and Iatrus (English
[18]
pronunciation: /aɪˈætrəs/ eye-AT-rəs; Ἰατρός, Iātros, literally "physician"). Acesius was the epithet of Apollo
worshipped in Elis, where he had a temple in the agora.[19] The Romans referred to Apollo as Medicus (English
pronunciation: /ˈmɛdɨkəs/ MED-i-kəs; literally "physician" in Latin) in this respect. A temple was dedicated to Apollo
Medicus at Rome, probably next to the temple of Bellona.
Apollo 21

As a protector and founder, Apollo had the epithets Alexicacus (English pronunciation: /əˌlɛksɨˈkækəs/ ə-LEK-si-KAK-əs;
Ἀλεξίκακος, Alexikakos, literally "warding off evil"), Apotropaeus (English pronunciation: /əˌpɒtrəˈpiːəs/
ə-POT-rə-PEE-əs; Ἀποτρόπαιος, Apotropaios, from ὰποτρέπειν, "to avert"), and Epicurius (English
[13]
pronunciation: /ˌɛpɨˈkjʊriəs/ EP-i-KEWR-ee-əs; Ἐπικούριος, Epikourios, from ἐπικουρέειν, "to aid"), as well as
Archegetes (English pronunciation: /ɑrˈkɛdʒətiːz/ ar-KEJ-ə-teez; Ἀρχηγέτης, Arkhēgetēs, literally "founder"), Clarius
(English pronunciation: /ˈklæriəs/ KLARR-ee-əs; Κλάριος, Klārios, from Doric κλάρος, "allotted lot"), and Genetor
(English pronunciation: /ˈdʒɛnɨtər/ JEN-i-tər; Γενέτωρ, Genetōr, literally "ancestor").[13] To the Romans, he was known
in this capacity as Averruncus (English pronunciation: /ˌævəˈrʌŋkəs/ AV-ər-RUNG-kəs; from Latin āverruncare, "to
avert"). He was also called Agyieus (English pronunciation: /ˌædʒiˈaɪ.əs/ AJ-ee-EYE-əs; Ἀγυιεύς, Aguīeus, from ὰγυιά,
"street") for his role in protecting roads and homes; and as Nomius (English pronunciation: /ˈnoʊmiəs/ NOH-mee-əs;
Νόμιος, Nomios, literally "pastoral") and Nymphegetes (English pronunciation: /nɪmˈfɛdʒɨtiːz/ nim-FEJ-i-teez;
Νυμφηγέτης, Numphēgetēs, from Νύμφη, "Nymph", and ἡγέτης, "leader") in his role as a protector of shepherds
and pastoral life.
In his role as god of prophecy and truth, Apollo had the epithets Manticus (English pronunciation: /ˈmæntɨkəs/
MAN-ti-kəs; Μαντικός, Mantikos, literally "prophetic"), Leschenorius (English pronunciation: /ˌlɛskɨˈnɔəriəs/
LES-ki-NOHR-ee-əs; Λεσχηνόριος, Leskhēnorios, from λεσχήνωρ, "converser"), and Loxias (English
[13]
pronunciation: /lɒkˈsaɪəs/ lok-SYE-əs; Λοξίας, Loxias, from λέγειν, "to say"). The epithet "Loxias" has historically
been associated with λοξός, "ambiguous". In this respect, the Romans called him Coelispex (English
pronunciation: /ˈsɛlɨspɛks/ SEL-i-speks; from Latin coelum, "sky", and specere, "to look at"). The epithet Iatromantis
(English pronunciation: /aɪˌætrəˈmæntɪs/ eye-AT-rə-MAN-tis; Ἰατρομάντις, Iātromantis, from ὶατρός, "physician", and
μάντις, "prophet") refers to both his role as a god of healing and of prophecy. As god of music and arts, Apollo had
the epithet Musegetes (English pronunciation: /mjuːˈsædʒɨtiːz/ mew-SAJ-i-teez; Μουσηγέτης, Mousēgetēs, from Μούσα,
"Muse", and ἡγέτης, "leader"), Doric Μουσαγέτας, Mousagetas.[20]
As a god of archery, Apollo was known as Aphetor (English pronunciation: /əˈfiːtər/ ə-FEE-tər; Ἀφήτωρ, Aphētōr, from
ὰφίημι, "to let loose") or Aphetorus (English pronunciation: /əˈfɛtərəs/ ə-FET-ər-əs; Ἀφητόρος, Aphētoros, of the same
origin), Argyrotoxus (English pronunciation: /ɑrˌdʒɪrəˈtɒksəs/ ar-JIRR-ə-TOK-səs; Ἀργυρότοξος, Argurotoxos, literally
"with silver bow"), Hecaërgus (English pronunciation: /ˌhɛkəˈɜrɡəs/ HEK-ə-UR-gəs; Ἑκάεργος, Hekaergos, literally
"far-shooting"), and Hecebolus (English pronunciation: /hɨˈsɛbələs/ hi-SEB-ə-ləs; Ἑκηβόλος, Hekēbolos, literally
"far-shooting"). The Romans referred to Apollo as Articenens (English pronunciation: /ɑrˈtɪsɨnənz/ ar-TISS-i-nənz;
"bow-carrying"). Apollo was called Ismenius (English pronunciation: /ɪzˈmiːniəs/ iz-MEE-nee-əs; Ἰσμηνιός, Ismēnios,
literally "of Ismenus") after Ismenus, the son of Amphion and Niobe, whom he struck with an arrow.

Celtic epithets and cult titles


Apollo was worshipped throughout the Roman Empire. In the traditionally Celtic lands he was most often seen as a
healing and sun god. He was often equated with Celtic gods of similar character.[21]
• As Apollo Atepomarus ("the great horseman" or "possessing a great horse"), Apollo was worshipped at
Mauvières (Indre). Horses were, in the Celtic world, closely linked to the sun.[22]
• Apollo Belenus ('bright' or 'brilliant'). This epithet was given to Apollo in parts of Gaul, North Italy and Noricum
(part of modern Austria). Apollo Belenus was a healing and sun god.[23]
• Apollo Cunomaglus ('hound lord'). A title given to Apollo at a shrine in Wiltshire. Apollo Cunomaglus may have
been a god of healing. Cunomaglus himself may originally have been an independent healing god.[24]
• Apollo Grannus. Grannus was a healing spring god, later equated with Apollo [25] [26] [27]
• Apollo Maponus. A god known from inscriptions in Britain. This may be a local fusion of Apollo and Maponus.
• Apollo Moritasgus ('masses of sea water'). An epithet for Apollo at Alesia, where he was worshipped as god of
healing and, possibly, of physicians.[28]
Apollo 22

• Apollo Vindonnus ('clear light'). Apollo Vindonnus had a temple at Essarois, near Châtillon-sur-Seine in
Burgundy. He was a god of healing, especially of the eyes.[26]
• Apollo Virotutis ('benefactor of mankind?'). Apollo Virotutis was worshipped, among other places, at Fins
d'Annecy (Haute-Savoie) and at Jublains (Maine-et-Loire) [27] [29]

Origins
The cult centers of Apollo in Greece, Delphi and Delos, date from the 8th century BCE. The Delos sanctuary was
primarily dedicated to Artemis, Apollo's twin sister. At Delphi, Apollo was venerated as the slayer of Pytho.
A non-Greek origin of Apollo has long been assumed in scholarship, but be established conclusively.[3] Walter
Burkert[30] discerned three components in the prehistory of Apollo worship, which he termed "a Dorian-northwest
Greek component, a Cretan-Minoan component, and a Syro-Hittite component." The connection with Dorians and
their initiation festival apellai is reinforced by the month Apellaios in northwest Greek calendars.[31]
Homer pictures Apollo on the side of the Trojans, fighting against the Achaeans, during the Trojan War, a
connection seemingly confirmed by the discovery of Apalunias as a tutelary god of Wilusa.[32]
The Greeks gave to Apollo the name αγυιεύς agyieus as the protector god who wards off evil.[33] The Late Bronze
Age (from 1700–1200 BCE) Hittite and Hurrian Aplu, like the Homeric Apollo, was a god of plagues, and resembles
the mouse god Apollo Smintheus. Here we have an apotropaic situation, where a god originally bringing the plague
was invoked to end it, merging over time through fusion with the Mycenaean healer-god Paeon (PA-JA-WO in
Linear B); Paeon, in Homer's Iliad, was the Greek healer of the wounded gods Ares and Hades. In later writers, the
word, usually spelled "Paean", becomes a mere epithet of Apollo in his capacity as a god of healing,[34] but it is now
known from Linear B that Paeon was originally a separate deity.
Homer illustrated Paeon the god, as well as the song both of apotropaic thanksgiving or triumph,[35] and Hesiod also
separated the two; in later poetry Paeon was invoked independently as a god of healing. It is equally difficult to
separate Paeon or Paean in the sense of "healer" from Paean in the sense of "song." Such songs were originally
addressed to Apollo, and afterwards to other gods: to Dionysus, to Apollo Helios, to Apollo's son Asclepius the
healer. About the 4th century BCE, the paean became merely a formula of adulation; its object was either to implore
protection against disease and misfortune, or to offer thanks after such protection had been rendered. It was in this
way that Apollo had become recognised as the god of music. Apollo's role as the slayer of the Python led to his
association with battle and victory; hence it became the Roman custom for a paean to be sung by an army on the
march and before entering into battle, when a fleet left the harbour, and also after a victory had been won.
Apollo 23

Oracular cult
Unusually among the Olympic deities, Apollo had two cult sites that
had widespread influence: Delos and Delphi. In cult practice, Delian
Apollo and Pythian Apollo (the Apollo of Delphi) were so distinct that
they might both have shrines in the same locality.[36] Apollo's cult was
already fully established when written sources commenced, about 650
BCE. Apollo became extremely important to the Greek world as an
oracular deity in the classical period, and the frequency of theophoric
names such as Apollodorus or Apollonios and cities named Apollonia
testify to his popularity. Oracular sanctuaries to Apollo were
established in other sites, including Didyma and Clarus in Asia Minor.
A notable group of oracular pronouncements from Didyma and Clarus,
the so-called "theological oracles", date to the 2nd and 3rd century AD.
In these, Apollo proclaims that there is only one highest god, of whom
the gods of polytheistic religions are mere manifestations or servants.
In the 3rd century, Apollo fell silent. Julian the Apostate in the 4th
century tried to revive the oracle at Delphi, but failed.[3]

Head of Apollo. Marble, Roman copy of a Greek


Oracular shrines original of the 4th century BCE, from the
collection of Cardinal Albani
Apollo had a famous oracle in Delphi, and other notable ones in Clarus
and Branchidae. His oracular shrine in Abae in Phocis, where he bore
the toponymic epithet Abaeus (Ἀπόλλων Ἀβαῖος, Apollon Abaios) was important enough to be consulted by Croesus
(Herodotus, 1.46). His oracular shrines include:
• In Abae in Phocis
• In Bassae in the Peloponnese
• At Clarus, on the west coast of Asia Minor; as at Delphi a holy spring which gave off a pneuma, from which the
priests drank.
• In Corinth, the Oracle of Corinth came from the town of Tenea, from prisoners supposedly taken in the Trojan
War.
• At Khyrse, in Troad, the temple was built for Apollon Smintheus
• In Delos, there was an oracle to the Delian Apollo, during summer. The Hieron (Sanctuary) of Apollo adjacent to
the Sacred Lake, was the place where the god was said to have been born.
• In Delphi, the Pythia became filled with the pneuma of Apollo, said to come from a spring inside the Adyton.
• In Didyma, an oracle on the coast of Anatolia, south west of Lydian (Luwian) Sardis, in which priests from the
lineage of the Branchidae received inspiration by drinking from a healing spring located in the temple. Was
believed to have been founded by Branchus, son or lover of Apollo.
• In Hierapolis Bambyce, Syria (modern Manbij), according to the treatise De Dea Syria, the sanctuary of the
Syrian Goddess contained a robed and bearded image of Apollo. Divination was based on spontaneous
movements of this image.[37]
• At Patara, in Lycia, there was a seasonal winter oracle of Apollo, said to have been the place where the god went
from Delos. As at Delphi the oracle at Patara was a woman.
• In Segesta in Sicily
Oracles were also given by sons of Apollo.
• In Oropus, north of Athens, the oracle Amphiaraus, was said to be the son of Apollo; Oropus also had a sacred
spring.
Apollo 24

• in Labadea, 20 miles (32 km) east of Delphi, Trophonius, another son of Apollo, killed his brother and fled to the
cave where he was also afterwards consulted as an oracle.

Festivals
The chief Apollonian festivals were the Boedromia, Carneia, Carpiae, Daphnephoria, Delia, Hyacinthia, Metageitnia,
Pyanepsia, Pythia and Thargelia.

Attributes and symbols


Apollo's most common attributes were the bow and arrow. Other
attributes of his included the kithara (an advanced version of the
common lyre), the plectrum and the sword. Another common emblem
was the sacrificial tripod, representing his prophetic powers. The
Pythian Games were held in Apollo's honor every four years at Delphi.
The bay laurel plant was used in expiatory sacrifices and in making the
crown of victory at these games. The palm was also sacred to Apollo
because he had been born under one in Delos. Animals sacred to
Apollo included wolves, dolphins, roe deer, swans, cicadas
Apollo Citharoedus ("Apollo with a kithara"),
(symbolizing music and song), hawks, ravens, crows, snakes
Musei Capitolini, Rome
(referencing Apollo's function as the god of prophecy), mice and
griffins, mythical eagle–lion hybrids of Eastern origin.

As god of colonization, Apollo gave oracular guidance on colonies, especially during the height of colonization,
750–550 BCE. According to Greek tradition, he helped Cretan or Arcadian colonists found the city of Troy.
However, this story may reflect a cultural influence which had the reverse direction: Hittite cuneiform texts mention
a Minor Asian god called Appaliunas or Apalunas in connection with the city of Wilusa attested in Hittite
inscriptions, which is now generally regarded as being identical with the Greek Ilion by most scholars. In this
interpretation, Apollo's title of Lykegenes can simply be read as "born in Lycia", which effectively severs the god's
supposed link with wolves (possibly a folk etymology).

In literary contexts, Apollo represents harmony, order, and reason—characteristics contrasted with those of
Dionysus, god of wine, who represents ecstasy and disorder. The contrast between the roles of these gods is reflected
in the adjectives Apollonian and Dionysian. However, the Greeks thought of the two qualities as complementary: the
two gods are brothers, and when Apollo at winter left for Hyperborea, he would leave the Delphic oracle to
Dionysus. This contrast appears to be shown on the two sides of the Borghese Vase.
Apollo is often associated with the Golden Mean. This is the Greek ideal of moderation and a virtue that opposes
gluttony.

Roman Apollo
The Roman worship of Apollo was adopted from the Greeks. As a quintessentially Greek god, Apollo had no direct
Roman equivalent, although later Roman poets often referred to him as Phoebus.[38] There was a tradition that the
Delphic oracle was consulted as early as the period of the kings of Rome during the reign of Tarquinius Superbus.[39]
On the occasion of a pestilence in the 430s BC, Apollo's first temple at Rome was established in the Flaminian
fields, replacing an older cult site there known as the "Apollinare".[40] During the Second Punic War in 212 BC, the
Ludi Apollinares ("Apollonian Games") were instituted in his honor, on the instructions of a prophecy attributed to
one Marcius.[41] In the time of Augustus, who considered himself under the special protection of Apollo and was
even said to be his son, his worship developed and he became one of the chief gods of Rome.[42] After the battle of
Apollo 25

Actium, which was fought near a sanctuary of Apollo, Augustus enlarged Apollo's temple, dedicated a portion of the
spoils to him, and instituted quinquennial games in his honour.[43] He also erected a new temple to the god on the
Palatine hill.[44] Sacrifices and prayers on the Palatine to Apollo and Diana formed the culmination of the Secular
Games, held in 17 BCE to celebrate the dawn of a new era.[45]

In art
In art, Apollo is depicted as a handsome beardless young man, often
with a kithara (as Apollo Citharoedus) or bow in his hand, or reclining
on a tree (the Apollo Lykeios and Apollo Sauroctonos types). The
Apollo Belvedere is a marble sculpture that was rediscovered in the
late 15th century; for centuries it epitomized the ideals of Classical
Antiquity for Europeans, from the Renaissance through the 19th
century. The marble is a Hellenistic or Roman copy of a bronze
original by the Greek sculptor Leochares, made between 350 and 325
BC.

The lifesize so-called "Adonis" (shown at left) found in 1780 on the


site of a villa suburbana near the Via Labicana in the Roman suburb of
Centocelle and now in the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, is identified
as an Apollo by modern scholars. It was probably never intended as a
cult object, but was a pastiche of several 4th-century and later
Hellenistic model types, intended to please a Roman connoisseur of the
2nd century AD, and to be displayed in his villa.

Apollo (the "Adonis" of Centocelle), Roman after


a Greek original (Ashmolean Museum)

In the late 2nd century CE floor mosaic from El Djem, Roman


Thysdrus (right), he is identifiable as Apollo Helios by his effulgent
halo, though now even a god's divine nakedness is concealed by his
cloak, a mark of increasing conventions of modesty in the later Empire.
Another haloed Apollo in mosaic, from Hadrumentum, is in the
museum at Sousse.[46] The conventions of this representation, head
tilted, lips slightly parted, large-eyed, curling hair cut in locks grazing
the neck, were developed in the 3rd century BCE to depict Alexander
the Great (Bieber 1964, Yalouris 1980). Some time after this mosaic
Apollo with a radiant halo in a Roman floor
was executed, the earliest depictions of Christ will be beardless and
mosaic, El Djem, Tunisia, late 2nd century
haloed.

Mythology
Apollo 26

Birth
When Hera discovered that Leto was pregnant and that Zeus was the father, she banned Leto from giving birth on
"terra firma". In her wanderings, Leto found the newly created floating island of Delos, which was neither mainland
nor a real island, so she gave birth there, where she was accepted by the people, offering them her promise that her
son will be always favourable toward the city. Afterwards, Zeus secured Delos to the bottom of the ocean. This
island later became sacred to Apollo.
It is also stated that Hera kidnapped Ilithyia, the goddess of childbirth, to prevent Leto from going into labor. The
other gods tricked Hera into letting her go by offering her a necklace, nine yards (8 m) long, of amber.
Mythographers agree that Artemis was born first and then assisted with the birth of Apollo, or that Artemis was born
one day before Apollo, on the island of Ortygia and that she helped Leto cross the sea to Delos the next day to give
birth to Apollo. Apollo was born on the seventh day (ἑβδομαγενής [47] ) of the month Thargelion —according to
Delian tradition—or of the month Bysios—according to Delphian tradition. The seventh and twentieth, the days of
the new and full moon, were ever afterwards held sacred to him.

Youth
Four days after his birth, Apollo killed the chthonic dragon Python, which lived in Delphi beside the Castalian
Spring. This was the spring which emitted vapors that caused the oracle at Delphi to give her prophesies. Hera sent
the serpent to hunt Leto to her death across the world. In order to protect his mother, Apollo begged Hephaestus for a
bow and arrows. After receiving them, Apollo cornered Python in the sacred cave at Delphi.[48] Apollo killed Python
but had to be punished for it, since Python was a child of Gaia.
Hera then sent the giant Tityos to kill Leto. This time Apollo was aided by his sister Artemis in protecting their
mother. During the battle Zeus finally relented his aid and hurled Tityos down to Tartarus. There he was pegged to
the rock floor, covering an area of 9 acres (36000 m2), where a pair of vultures feasted daily on his liver.

Admetus
When Zeus struck down Apollo's son Asclepius with a lightning bolt for resurrecting Hippolytus from the dead
(transgressing Themis by stealing Hades's subjects), Apollo in revenge killed the Cyclopes, who had fashioned the
bolt for Zeus.[49] Apollo would have been banished to Tartarus forever, but was instead sentenced to one year of hard
labor as punishment, due to the intercession of his mother, Leto. During this time he served as shepherd for King
Admetus of Pherae in Thessaly. Admetus treated Apollo well, and, in return, the god conferred great benefits on
Admetus.
Apollo helped Admetus win Alcestis, the daughter of King Pelias and later convinced the Fates to let Admetus live
past his time, if another took his place. But when it came time for Admetus to die, his parents, whom he had assumed
would gladly die for him, refused to cooperate. Instead, Alcestis took his place, but Heracles managed to "persuade"
Thanatos, the god of death, to return her to the world of the living.

Trojan War
Apollo shot arrows infected with the plague into the Greek encampment during the Trojan War in retribution for
Agamemnon's insult to Chryses, a priest of Apollo whose daughter Chryseis had been captured. He demanded her
return, and the Achaeans complied, indirectly causing the anger of Achilles, which is the theme of the Iliad.
When Diomedes injured Aeneas (Iliad), Apollo rescued him. First, Aphrodite tried to rescue Aeneas but Diomedes
injured her as well. Aeneas was then enveloped in a cloud by Apollo, who took him to Pergamos, a sacred spot in
Troy.
Apollo aided Paris in the killing of Achilles by guiding the arrow of his bow into Achilles' heel. One interpretation of
his motive is that it was in revenge for Achilles' sacrilege in murdering Troilus, the god's own son by Hecuba, on the
Apollo 27

very altar of the god's own temple.

Niobe
The queen of Thebes and wife of Amphion, Niobe boasted of her
superiority to Leto because she had fourteen children (Niobids),
seven male and seven female, while Leto had only two. Apollo
killed her sons as they practiced athletics, with the last begging for
his life, and Artemis her daughters. Apollo and Artemis used
poisoned arrows to kill them, though according to some versions
of the myth, a number of the Niobids were spared (Chloris,
usually). Amphion, at the sight of his dead sons, either killed
himself or was killed by Apollo after swearing revenge. A
devastated Niobe fled to Mount Sipylos in Asia Minor and turned
into stone as she wept. Her tears formed the river Achelous. Zeus Artemis and Apollo Piercing Niobe’s Children with
their Arrows by Jacques-Louis David
had turned all the people of Thebes to stone and so no one buried
the Niobids until the ninth day after their death, when the gods
themselves entombed them.

Consorts and children


Love affairs ascribed to Apollo are a late development in Greek mythology.[50] Their vivid anecdotal qualities have
made favorites some of them of painters since the Renaissance, so that they stand out more prominently in the
modern imagination.

Female lovers

In explanation of the connection of Apollo with δάφνη (daphnē),


the laurel whose leaves his priestess employed at Delphi, it is
told[51] that Apollo chased a nymph, Daphne, daughter of the river
god Peneus, who had scorned him. In Ovid's telling for a Roman
audience, Phoebus Apollo chaffs Cupid for toying with a weapon
more suited to a man, whereupon Cupid wounds him with a
golden dart; simultaneously, however, Cupid shoots a leaden
arrow into Daphne, causing her to be repulsed by Apollo.
Following a spirited chase by Apollo, Daphne prays to her father,
Peneus, for help, and he changes her into the laurel tree, sacred to
Apollo.

Apollo had an affair with a human princess named Leucothea,


daughter of Orchamus and sister of Clytia. Leucothea loved
Apollo who disguised himself as Leucothea's mother to gain
entrance to her chambers. Clytia, jealous of her sister because she
wanted Apollo for herself, told Orchamus the truth, betraying her
sister's trust and confidence in her. Enraged, Orchamus ordered Apollo and Daphne by Bernini in the Galleria
Leucothea to be buried alive. Apollo refused to forgive Clytia for Borghese

betraying his beloved, and a grieving Clytia wilted and slowly


died. Apollo changed her into an incense plant, either heliotrope or sunflower, which follows the sun every day.
Apollo 28

Marpessa was kidnapped by Idas but was loved by Apollo as well. Zeus made her choose between them, and she
chose Idas on the grounds that Apollo, being immortal, would tire of her when she grew old.
Castalia was a nymph whom Apollo loved. She fled from him and dived into the spring at Delphi, at the base of Mt.
Parnassos, which was then named after her. Water from this spring was sacred; it was used to clean the Delphian
temples and inspire poets.
By Cyrene, Apollo had a son named Aristaeus, who became the patron god of cattle, fruit trees, hunting, husbandry
and bee-keeping. He was also a culture-hero and taught humanity dairy skills and the use of nets and traps in
hunting, as well as how to cultivate olives.
With Hecuba, wife of King Priam of Troy, Apollo had a son named Troilus. An oracle prophesied that Troy would
not be defeated as long as Troilus reached the age of twenty alive. He was ambushed and killed by Achilles.
Apollo also fell in love with Cassandra, daughter of Hecuba and Priam, and Troilus' half-sister. He promised
Cassandra the gift of prophecy to seduce her, but she rejected him afterwards. Enraged, Apollo indeed gifted her
with the ability to know the future, with a curse that she could only see the future tragedies and that no one would
ever believe her.
Coronis, daughter of Phlegyas, King of the Lapiths, was another of Apollo's liaisons. Pregnant with Asclepius,
Coronis fell in love with Ischys, son of Elatus. A crow informed Apollo of the affair. When first informed he
disbelieved the crow and turned all crows black (where they were previously white) as a punishment for spreading
untruths. When he found out the truth he sent his sister, Artemis, to kill Coronis (in other stories, Apollo himself had
killed Coronis). As a result he also made the crow sacred and gave them the task of announcing important deaths.
Apollo rescued the baby and gave it to the centaur Chiron to raise. Phlegyas was irate after the death of his daughter
and burned the Temple of Apollo at Delphi. Apollo then killed him for what he did.
In Euripides' play Ion, Apollo fathered Ion by Creusa, wife of Xuthus. Creusa left Ion to die in the wild, but Apollo
asked Hermes to save the child and bring him to the oracle at Delphi, where he was raised by a priestess.
One of his other liaisons was with Acantha, the spirit of the acanthus tree. Upon her death, Apollo transformed her
into a sun-loving herb.
According to the Biblioteca, or "library" of mythology mis-attributed to Apollodorus, he fathered the Corybantes on
the Muse Thalia.[52]
Apollo 29

Male lovers

Hyacinth (or Hyacinthus) was one of his male lovers. Hyacinthus was
a Spartan prince, beautiful and athletic. The pair were practicing
throwing the discus when a discus thrown by Apollo was blown off
course by the jealous Zephyrus and struck Hyacinthus in the head,
killing him instantly. Apollo is said to be filled with grief: out of
Hyacinthus' blood, Apollo created a flower named after him as a
memorial to his death, and his tears stained the flower petals with άί άί,
meaning alas. The Festival of Hyacinthus was a celebration of Sparta.

Another male lover was Cyparissus, a descendant of Heracles. Apollo


gave him a tame deer as a companion but Cyparissus accidentally
killed it with a javelin as it lay asleep in the undergrowth. Cyparissus
asked Apollo to let his tears fall forever. Apollo granted the request by
turning him into the Cypress named after him, which was said to be a
sad tree because the sap forms droplets like tears on the trunk.
Apollo and Hyacinthus
Jacopo Caraglio; 16th c. Italian engraving

Apollo's lyre
Hermes was born on Mount Cyllene in Arcadia. The story is told in the Homeric Hymn to Hermes. His mother,
Maia, had been secretly impregnated by Zeus. Maia wrapped the infant in blankets but Hermes escaped while she
was asleep. Hermes ran to Thessaly, where Apollo was grazing his cattle. The infant Hermes stole a number of his
cows and took them to a cave in the woods near Pylos, covering their tracks. In the cave, he found a tortoise and
killed it, then removed the insides. He used one of the cow's intestines and the tortoise shell and made the first lyre.
Apollo complained to Maia that her son had stolen his cattle, but Hermes had already replaced himself in the
blankets she had wrapped him in, so Maia refused to believe Apollo's claim. Zeus intervened and, claiming to have
seen the events, sided with Apollo. Hermes then began to play music on the lyre he had invented. Apollo, a god of
music, fell in love with the instrument and offered to allow exchange of the cattle for the lyre. Hence, Apollo became
a master of the lyre.

Apollo in the Oresteia


In Aeschylus' Oresteia trilogy, Clytemnestra kills her husband, King Agamemnon, as well as Cassandra, a
prophetess of Apollo. Apollo gives an order through the Oracle at Delphi that Agamemnon's son, Orestes, is to kill
Clytemnestra and Aegisthus, her lover. Orestes and Pylades carry out the revenge, and consequently Orestes is
pursued by the Erinyes (Furies, female personifications of vengeance). Apollo and the Furies argue about whether
the matricide was justified; Apollo holds that the bond of marriage is sacred and Orestes was avenging his father,
whereas the Erinyes say that the bond of blood between mother and son is more meaningful than the bond of
marriage. They invade his temple, and he says that the matter should be brought before Athena. Apollo promises to
protect Orestes, as Orestes has become Apollo's supplicant. Apollo advocates Orestes at the trial, and ultimately
Athena rules with Apollo.
Apollo 30

Other stories
Apollo killed the Aloadae when they attempted to storm Mt. Olympus.
Callimachus sang[53] that Apollo rode on the back of a swan to the land of the Hyperboreans during the winter
months.
Apollo turned Cephissus into a sea monster.
Another contender for the birthplace of Apollo is the Cretan islands of Paximadia.

Musical contests

Pan
Once Pan had the audacity to compare his music with that of Apollo, and to challenge Apollo, the god of the kithara,
to a trial of skill. Tmolus, the mountain-god, was chosen to umpire. Pan blew on his pipes, and with his rustic
melody gave great satisfaction to himself and his faithful follower, Midas, who happened to be present. Then Apollo
struck the strings of his lyre. Tmolus at once awarded the victory to Apollo, and all but Midas agreed with the
judgment. He dissented, and questioned the justice of the award. Apollo would not suffer such a depraved pair of
ears any longer, and caused them to become the ears of a donkey.

Marsyas

Apollo has ominous aspects aside from his plague-bringing,


death-dealing arrows: Marsyas was a satyr who challenged Apollo to a
contest of music. He had found an aulos on the ground, tossed away
after being invented by Athena because it made her cheeks puffy. The
contest was judged by the Muses. After they each performed, both
were deemed equal until Apollo decreed they play and sing at the same
time. As Apollo played the lyre, this was easy to do. Marsyas could not
do this as he only knew how to use the flute and could not sing at the
same time. Apollo was declared the winner because of this. Apollo Apollo and Marsyas by Palma il Giovane

flayed Marsyas alive in a cave near Celaenae in Phrygia for his hubris
to challenge a god. He then nailed Marsyas' shaggy skin to a nearby pine-tree. Marsyas' blood turned into the river
Marsyas.

Another variation is that Apollo played his instrument (the lyre) upside down. Marsyas could not do this with his
instrument (the flute), and so Apollo hung him from a tree and flayed him alive.[54]
Apollo 31

Cinyras
Apollo also had a lyre-playing contest with Cinyras, his son, who committed suicide when he lost.

Modern reception
Apollo has often featured in postclassical art and literature. Percy
Bysshe Shelley composed a "Hymn of Apollo" (1820), and the god's
instruction of the Muses formed the subject of Igor Stravinsky's
Apollon musagète (1927–1928). The name Apollo was given to
NASA's Apollo Lunar program in the 1960s.
The statue of Apollo from the west pediment of the Temple of Zeus at
Olympia (currently in the Archaeological Museum of Olympia) was
depicted on the obverse of the Greek 1000 drachmas banknote of
1987–2001.[55]

Media
• 1. Apollo and Hyacinthus, read by Timothy Carter
• Apollomon from Digimon World Dawn
The Overthrow of Apollo and the Pagan Gods,
watercolour, 25 x 19.3 cm, 1809 - from William
Notes Blake's illustrations of On the Morning of Christ's
[1] For the iconography of the Alexander–Helios type, see H. Hoffmann, 1963. Nativity.
"Helios", in Journal of the American Research Center in Egypt 2, pp. 117–23; cf.
Yalouris 1980, no. 42.
[2] Joseph Fontenrose, "Apollo and Sol in the Latin poets of the first century BC", Transactions of the American Philological Association 30
(1939), pp 439–55; "Apollo and the Sun-God in Ovid", American Journal of Philology 61 (1940) pp 429–44; and "Apollo and Sol in the
Oaths of Aeneas and Latinus" Classical Philology 38.2 (April 1943), pp. 137–138.
[3] Dictionary of Deities and Demons in the Bible, s.v. "Apollo".
[4] Behind the Name: Meaning, Origin and History of the Name Apollo (http:/ / www. behindthename. com/ php/ view. php?name=apollo)
[5] The ἁπλοῦν suggestion is repeated by Plutarch in Moralia in the sense of "unity".
[6] Latacz, Joachim, Troia und Homer: Der Weg zur Lösung eines alten Rätsels. (Munich) 2001:138.
[7] The reading of Apaliunas and the identification with Apollo is due to Emil Forrer (1931).
[8] Hans G. Güterbock, "Troy in Hittite Texts?" in: Mellink (ed.), Troy and the Trojan War: a symposium held at Bryn Mawr College, October
1984, Bryn Mawr Archaeological Monographs Authors John Lawrence Angel, Machteld Johanna Mellink, 1986, ISBN 9780929524597, p.
42.
[9] Martin Nilsson, Die Geschichte der Griechische Religion, vol. I (C.H. Beck) 1955:555-564.
[10] de Grummond, Nancy Thomson (2006) Etruscan Myth, Sacred History, and Legend. (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: University of
Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology); Mackenzie, Donald A. (2005) Myths of Babylonia and Assyria (Gutenberg)
[11] Edwin L. Brown, 'In Search of Anatolian Apollo' in: Chapin (ed.), Charis: essays in honor of Sara A. Immerwahr, Supplement to volume 33
of Hesperia, ASCSA, 2004, ISBN 9780876615331, p. 254.
[12] Apollonius of Rhodes, iv. 1730; Biblioteca, i. 9. § 26
[13] Álvaro, Jr., Santos, Allan. Simbolismo divino (http:/ / books. google. com/ books?id=uAiConL3xyYC& dq=articenens&
source=gbs_navlinks_s). Allan Álvaro, Jr., Santos. .
[14] Aelian, On the Nature of Animals 4. 4 (A.F. Scholfield, tr.).
[15] Ovid, Metamorphoses xiii. 715
[16] Strabo, x. p. 451
[17] Entry Σμινθεύς (http:/ / www. perseus. tufts. edu/ hopper/ text?doc=Perseus:text:1999. 04. 0057:entry=*sminqeu/ s) at LSJ - by eliminating
mice, a primary cause of desease, Apollo promoted preventive medicine.
[18] Euripides, Andromache 901
[19] "Acesius". Smith's Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology. London, 1880.
[20] LSJ entry Μουσαγέτας (http:/ / www. perseus. tufts. edu/ hopper/ text?doc=Perseus:text:1999. 04. 0057:entry=*mousage/ tas)
[21] Miranda J. Green, Dictionary of Celtic Myth and Legend, Thames and Hudson Ltd, 1997
[22] Corpus Inscriptionum Latinarum XIII, 1863–1986; A. Ross,, Pagan Celtic Britain, 1967; M.J. Green, The Gods of the Celts, 1986, London
Apollo 32

[23] J. Zwicker, Fontes Historiae Religionis Celticae, 1934–36, Berlin; Corpus Inscriptionum Latinarum V, XI, XII, XIII; J. Gourcest, "Le culte
de Belenos en Provence occidentale et en Gaule", Ogam 6.6 (1954:257–262); E. Thevonot, "Le cheval sacre dans la Gaule de l'Est", Revue
archeologique de l'Est et du Centre-Est (vol 2), 1951; [ ], "Temoignages du culte de l'Apollon gaulois dans l'Helvetie romaine", Revue celtique
(vol 51), 1934.
[24] W.J. Wedlake, The Excavation of the Shrine of Apollo at Nettleton, Wiltshire, 1956–1971, Society of Antiquaries of London, 1982.
[25] M. Szabo, The Celtic Heritage in Hungary, (Budapest)1971, Budapest
[26] Divinites et sanctuaires de la Gaule, E. Thevonat, 1968, Paris
[27] La religion des Celtes, J. de Vries, 1963, Paris
[28] J. Le Gall, Alesia, archeologie et histoire, (Paris) 1963.
[29] Corpus Inscriptionum Latinarum XIII
[30] Burkert, Walter. Greek Religion, 1985:144.
[31] Graf, Apollo p. 104-113; Burkert also notes in this context Archilochus Fr. 94.
[32] Croft, John (2003) wrote in the Ancient Near East mail list hosted by the University of Chicago (https:/ / listhost. uchicago. edu/ pipermail/
ane/ 2003-May/ 009551. html) that "Apollo does not have a Greek provenance but an Anatolian one. Luwian Apaliuna seems to have travelled
west from further East. Hurrian Aplu was a god of the plague, and resembles the mouse god Apollo Smintheus. Hurrian Aplu itself seems
derived from the Babylonian "Aplu" meaning a "son of"—a title that was given to the Babylonian plague God, Nergal (son of Enlil)"
[33] Martin Nilsson, Die Geschichte der Griechische Religion. vol. I (C.H. Beck) 1955:563f.
[34] Graf, Apollo p. 66 (http:/ / books. google. com/ books?id=it9n9_I-UOkC& pg=PA66#v=onepage& q& f=false)
[35] See Paean.
[36] Burkert 1985:143.
[37] Lucian (attrib.), De Dea Syria 35–37 (http:/ / www. sacred-texts. com/ cla/ luc/ tsg/ tsg07. htm#35).
[38] Theoi: "KORONIS" (http:/ / www. theoi. com/ Heroine/ Koronis. html)
[39] Livy 1.56 (http:/ / www. perseus. tufts. edu/ cgi-bin/ ptext?lookup=Liv. + 1. 56).
[40] Livy 3.63.7 (http:/ / www. perseus. tufts. edu/ hopper/ text. jsp?doc=Perseus:text:1999. 02. 0026:book=3:chapter=63), 4.25.3 (http:/ / www.
perseus. tufts. edu/ hopper/ text. jsp?doc=Perseus:text:1999. 02. 0145:book=4:chapter=25).
[41] Livy 25.12 (http:/ / www. perseus. tufts. edu/ hopper/ text. jsp?doc=Perseus:text:1999. 02. 0147:book=25:chapter=12).
[42] J. H. W. G. Liebeschuetz (1979). Continuity and Change in Roman Religion. Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. 82–85.
ISBN 0-19-814822-4.
[43] Suetonius, Augustus 18.2 (http:/ / penelope. uchicago. edu/ Thayer/ E/ Roman/ Texts/ Suetonius/ 12Caesars/ Augustus*. html#18. 2);
Cassius Dio 51.1.1–3 (http:/ / penelope. uchicago. edu/ Thayer/ E/ Roman/ Texts/ Cassius_Dio/ 51*. html#1).
[44] Cassius Dio 53.1.3 (http:/ / penelope. uchicago. edu/ Thayer/ E/ Roman/ Texts/ Cassius_Dio/ 53*. html#1. 3).
[45] Inscriptiones Latinae Selectae 5050, translated by Mary Beard; John North and Simon Price (1998). Religions of Rome: Volume 2: A
Sourcebook. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. p. 5.7b. ISBN 0-521-45015-2 (hbk.); ISBN 0-521-45646-0 (pbk.).
[46] "" (http:/ / www. tunisiaonline. com/ mosaics/ mosaic05b. html). .
[47] ἑβδομαγενής (http:/ / www. perseus. tufts. edu/ hopper/ text?doc=Perseus:text:1999. 04. 0057:entry=e(bdomagenh/ s), Henry George
Liddell, Robert Scott, A Greek-English Lexicon, on Perseus
[48] Children of the Gods by Kenneth McLeish, page 32.
[49] pseudo-Apollodorus, Bibliothke iii. 10.4.
[50] ""The love-stories themselves were not told until later." (Karl Kerenyi, The Gods of the Greeks 1951:140.
[51] The ancient Daphne episode is noted in late narratives, notably in Ovid, Metamorphoses, in Hyginus, Fabulae, 203 and by the
fourth-century-CE teacher of rhetoric and Christian convert, Libanius, in Narrationes.
[52] Apollodorus, Bibliotheca, 1.3.4 (http:/ / www. theoi. com/ Text/ Apollodorus1. html). Other ancient sources, however, gave the Corybantes
different parents; see Sir James Frazer's note (http:/ / www. theoi. com/ Text/ Ap1a. html#46) on the passage in the Bibliotheca.
[53] Callimachus, Hymn to Apollo2.5
[54] Man Myth and Magic by Richard Cavendish
[55] Bank of Greece (http:/ / www. bankofgreece. gr/ en). Drachma Banknotes & Coins: 1000 drachmas (http:/ / www. bankofgreece. gr/ en/
Banknotes/ banknote_selection. asp?Value=1. 000). Retrieved on 27 March 2009.
Apollo 33

References
•  This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: John Henry Freese (1911).
"Apollo" (http://en.wikisource.org/w/index.php?title=User:Tim_Starling/ScanSet_TIFF_demo&vol=02&
page=EB2A196). In Chisholm, Hugh. Encyclopædia Britannica (Eleventh ed.). Cambridge University Press.

Primary sources
• Homer, Iliad ii.595–600 (c. 700 BCE)
• Sophocles, Oedipus Rex
• Palaephatus, On Unbelievable Tales 46. Hyacinthus (330 BCE)
• Apollodorus, Library 1.3.3 (140 BCE)
• Ovid, Metamorphoses 10. 162–219 (1–8 CE)
• Pausanias, Description of Greece 3.1.3, 3.19.4 (160–176 CE)
• Philostratus the Elder, Images i.24 Hyacinthus (170–245 CE)
• Philostratus the Younger, Images 14. Hyacinthus (170–245 CE)
• Lucian, Dialogues of the Gods 14 (170 CE)
• First Vatican Mythographer, 197. Thamyris et Musae

Secondary sources
• M. Bieber, 1964. Alexander the Great in Greek and Roman Art (Chicago)
• Walter Burkert, 1985. Greek Religion (Harvard University Press) III.2.5 passim
• Graf, Fritz, Apollo, Taylor & Francis, 2009, ISBN 9780415317115.
• Robert Graves, 1960. The Greek Myths, revised edition (Penguin)
• Miranda J. Green, Dictionary of Celtic Myth and Legend, Thames and Hudson Ltd, 1997
• Karl Kerenyi, Apollon: Studien über Antiken Religion und Humanität rev. ed. 1953.
• Karl Kerenyi, 1951 The Gods of the Greeks
• Pauly–Wissowa, Realencyclopädie der klassischen Altertumswissenschaft: II, "Apollon". The best repertory of
cult sites (Burkert).
• Pfeiff, K.A., 1943. Apollon: Wandlung seines Bildes in der griechischen Kunst. Traces the changing iconography
of Apollo.
• Smith, William; Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology, London (1873). "Apollo" (http://
www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/text?doc=Perseus:text:1999.04.0104:entry=heracles-bio-1&highlight=orthrus)

External links
• Apollo (http://www.maicar.com/GML/Apollo.html) at the Greek Mythology Link, by Carlos Parada
Arimanius 34

Arimanius
Arimanius (Latin: Arīmanius; Greek: Areimanios) is a Greek god of the underworld, probably derived from the
Persian deity Ahriman. Plutarch identifies him as the embodiment of Hades.

References
Michael Jordan, Encyclopedia of Gods, Kyle Cathie Limited, 2002

Averrunci
The Averrunci, in antiquity, were an order of deities among the Romans, whose office was to avert dangers and
evils. The Egyptians had also their Dii Averrunci, or Apotropaet, who were pictured in a menacing posture, and
sometimes with whips in their hands. Isis was a divinity of this kind, as was shown by Athanasius Kircher.

References
•  This article incorporates content from the 1728 Cyclopaedia, a publication in the public domain. [1]

References
[1] http:/ / digicoll. library. wisc. edu/ cgi-bin/ HistSciTech/ HistSciTech-idx?type=turn& entity=HistSciTech000900240217& isize=L

Averruncus
In ancient Roman religion, Averruncus or Auruncus is a god of averting harm. Aulus Gellius says that he is one of
the potentially malignant deities who must be propitiated for their power to both inflict and withhold disaster from
people and the harvests.[1]
Although the etymology of the name is often connected to the Latin verb avertere, "to turn away,"[2] a more probable
origin lies in averro "to sweep away," hence averrunco, "to ward off," perhaps with a reference to magical sweeping.
Varro[3] asserts that the infinitive verb averruncare shares its etymology with the god whose primary function is
averting. Averruncus may be among the indigitamenta pertaining to another god such as Apollo or Mars,[4] that is, it
may be a name to be used in a prayer formulary to fix the local action of the invoked deity.[5] Precise naming, in
connection with concealing a deity's true name to monopolize his or her power, was a crucial part of prayer in
antiquity, as evidenced not only in the traditional religions of Greece and Rome and syncretistic Hellenistic religion
and mystery cult, but also in Judaism and ancient Egyptian religion.[6]
In other references, Averruncus is also known as the god of childbirth.
Averruncus 35

In popular culture
In the manga and anime series Mahou Sensei Negima, the main antagonist is Fate Averruncus.

References
[1] Aulus Gellius, Attic Nights 5.12.14: In istis autem diis, quos placari oportet, uti mala a nobis vel a frugibus natis amoliantur, Auruncus
quoque habetur.
[2] As in the note to Aulus Gellius in the Loeb Classical Library edition. (http:/ / penelope. uchicago. edu/ Thayer/ E/ Roman/ Texts/ Gellius/ 5*.
html#note44)
[3] Varro, De lingua latina 7.102.
[4] Robert Turcan, The Gods of Ancient Rome (Routledge, 2001, originally published 1998), p. 41 online. (http:/ / books. google. com/
books?id=gZ4TKhaLwRsC& pg=PA41& dq=averruncus+ intitle:gods+ inauthor:turcan& hl=en& ei=WMsITZXWH4KUnAedpOl7& sa=X&
oi=book_result& ct=result& resnum=1& ved=0CCMQ6AEwAA#v=onepage& q=averruncus intitle:gods inauthor:turcan& f=false)
[5] William Warde Fowler, The Roman Festivals of the Period of the Republic (London, 1908), p. 89.
[6] Matthias Klinghardt, “Prayer Formularies for Public Recitation: Their Use and Function in Ancient Religion,” Numen 46 (1999) 1–5; A.A.
Barb, "Antaura. The Mermaid and the Devil's Grandmother: A Lecture," Journal of the Warburg and Courtauld Institutes 29 (1966), p. 4;
Karen Hartnup, On the Beliefs of the Greeks: Leo Allatios and Popular Orthodoxy (Brill, 2004), pp. 97–101 online (http:/ / books. google.
com/ books?id=xnqI8uSeekwC& pg=PA97& dq="The+ names+ of+ the+ gello+ are+ also+ a+ source+ of+ protection"& lr=& as_drrb_is=q&
as_minm_is=1& as_miny_is=2009& as_maxm_is=12& as_maxy_is=2009& as_brr=0& as_pt=ALLTYPES) (in connection with compelling
demons).

Cacus
In Roman mythology, Cacus was a fire-breathing monster and the son of Vulcan. He lived in a cave in the Palatine
Hill in Italy, the future site of Rome. To the horror of nearby inhabitants, Cacus lived on human flesh and would nail
the heads of victims to the doors of his cave. He was eventually overcome by Hercules.
Cacus 36

According to Evander, Heracles stopped to pasture the


cattle he had stolen from Geryon near Cacus' lair. As
Heracles slept, the monster took a liking to the cattle
and slyly stole eight of them - four bulls and four cows
- by dragging them by their tails, so as to leave no trail.
When Heracles awoke and made to leave, the
remaining herd made plaintive noises towards the cave,
and a single cow lowed in reply.

Angered, Heracles stormed towards the cave. A


terrified Cacus blocked the entrance with a vast,
immoveable boulder, forcing Heracles to tear at the top
of the mountain to reach his adversary. Cacus attacked
Heracles by spewing fire and smoke, while Heracles
responded with tree branches and rocks the size of
millstones. Eventually losing patience, Heracles leapt
into the cave, aiming for the area where the smoke was
heaviest. Heracles grabbed Cacus and strangled the
monster, and was lauded throughout the land for his
act. According to Virgil in Book VIII of his Aeneid,
Heracles grasped Cacus so tightly that Cacus' eyes
popped out and there was no blood left in his throat: "et Hercules and Cacus
angit inhaerens elisos oculos et siccum sanguine Palazzo Vecchio, Florence

guttur."
Another version of the myth states that Cacus made the cattle walk backwards so they left no trail. Heracles drove
his remaining cattle past a cave, where Cacus was hiding the stolen ones, and they began calling out to each other.
Alternatively, Caca, Cacus' sister, told Heracles where he was.
In ancient Roman mythology, Cacus ("the evil one") was a fire god. He was later demoted to the giant described
above. According to the Romans, after Hercules killed Cacus, he founded an altar, the Ara Maxima, where later the
Forum Boarium, the cattle market of Rome, was held. Rome erected temples to Hercules in the area, including the
still extant Temple of Hercules Victor. It is believed that a large stone in the nearby church of Santa Maria in
Cosmedin is what is left of the Ara Maxima.

References
• March, J., Cassell's Dictionary Of Classical Mythology, London, 1999. ISBN 0-304-35161-X
• Coarelli, Filippo, Guida Archeologica di Roma, Arnoldo Mondadori Editore, Milano, 1989.
Caelus 37

Caelus
Caelus or Coelus was a primal god of the sky in
Roman myth and theology, iconography, and
literature (compare caelum, the Latin word for
"sky" or "the heavens", hence English "celestial").
According to Cicero and Hyginus, he was the son
of Aether and Dies ("Day" or "Daylight").[1] The
deity's name usually appears in masculine
grammatical form when he is conceived of as a
male generative force, but the neuter form
Caelum is also found as a divine
personification.[2]

The name of Caelus indicates that he was the


Roman counterpart of the Greek god Uranus
(Οὐρανός, Ouranos), who was of major
importance in the theogonies of the Greeks. Varro
couples him with Terra (Earth) as pater and mater
(father and mother), and says that they are "great
deities" (dei magni) in the theology of the
mysteries at Samothrace.[3] Although Caelus is
not known to have had a cult at Rome,[4] not all
scholars consider him a Greek import; he has
been associated with Summanus as "purely
Roman."[5] Vitruvius includes him among Caelus appears at the top of the cuirass of the Augustus of Prima Porta,
celestial gods whose temple-buildings (aedes) counterposed to Earth at the bottom
[6]
should be built open to the sky. Caelus begins
to appear regularly in Augustan art and in connection with the cult of Mithras during the Imperial era.

Caelus and Dies were the parents of Mercury,[7] in what is apparently a departure from the Greek tradition. Caelus
was the father with Hecate of the distinctively Roman god Janus, as well as of Saturn and Ops.[8] Caelus was also the
father of one of the three forms of Jupiter, the other two fathers being Aether and Saturn.[9] As a sky god, he became
identified with Jupiter, as indicated by an inscription that reads Optimus Maximus Caelus Aeternus Iup<pi>ter.[10]
In one tradition, Caelus was the father with Tellus of the Muses, though was this probably a mere translation of
Ouranos from a Greek source.[11]

Caelus substituted for Uranus in Latin versions of the myth of Saturn (Kronos) castrating his heavenly father, from
whose severed genitals, cast upon the sea, the goddess Venus (Aphrodite) was born.[12] In his work On the Nature of
the Gods, Cicero presents a Stoic allegory of the myth in which the castration signifies "that the highest heavenly
aether, that seed-fire which generates all things, did not require the equivalent of human genitals to proceed in its
generative work."[13] For Macrobius, the severing marks off Chaos from fixed and measured Time (Saturn) as
determined by the revolving Heavens (Caelum). The semina rerum ("seeds" of things that exist physically) come
from Caelum and are the elements which create the world.[14]
The divine spatial abstraction Caelum is a synonym for Olympus as a metaphorical heavenly abode of the divine,
both identified with and distinguished from the mountain in ancient Greece named as the home of the gods. Varro
says that the Greeks call Caelum (or Caelus) "Olympus."[15] As a representation of space, Caelum is one of the
components of the mundus, the "world" or cosmos, along with terra (earth), mare (sea), and aer (air).[16] In his work
Caelus 38

on the cosmological systems of antiquity, the Dutch humanist Gerardus Vossius deals extensively with Caelus and
his duality as both a god and a place that the other gods inhabit.[17]
The ante-Nicene Christian writer Lactantius routinely uses the Latin theonyms Caelus, Saturn, and Jupiter to refer to
the three divine hypostases of the Neoplatonic school of Plotinus: the First God (Caelus), Intellect (Saturn), and
Soul, son of the Intelligible (Jupiter).[18]

In art
It is generally though not universally agreed that Caelus is depicted on the cuirass of the Augustus of Prima Porta,[19]
at the very top above the four horses of the Sun god's quadriga. He is a mature, bearded man who holds a cloak over
his head so that it billows in the form of an arch, a conventional sign of deity (velificatio) that "recalls the vault of the
firmament."[20] He is balanced and paired with the personification of Earth at the bottom of the cuirass.[21] (These
two figures have also been identified as Saturn and the Magna Mater, to represent the new Saturnian "Golden Age"
of Augustan ideology.)[22] On an altar of the Lares now held by the Vatican, Caelus in his chariot appears along with
Apollo-Sol above the figure of Augustus.[23]

Nocturnus and the templum


As Caelus Nocturnus, he was the god of the night-time, starry sky. In a passage from Plautus, Nocturnus is regarded
as the opposite of Sol, the Sun god.[24] Nocturnus appears in several inscriptions found in Dalmatia and Italy, in the
company of other deities who are found also in the cosmological schema of Martianus Capella, based on the
Etruscan tradition.[25] In the Etruscan discipline of divination, Caelus Nocturnus was placed in the sunless north
opposite Sol to represent the polar extremities of the axis (see cardo). This alignment was fundamental to the
drawing of a templum (sacred space) for the practice of augury.[26]

Mithraic Caelus
The name Caelus occurs in dedicatory inscriptions in connection to the cult of Mithras. The Mithraic deity Caelus is
sometimes depicted allegorically as an eagle bending over the sphere of heaven marked with symbols of the planets
or the zodiac.[27] In a Mithraic context he is associated with Cautes[28] and can appear as Caelus Aeternus ("Eternal
Sky").[29] A form of Ahura-Mazda is invoked in Latin as Caelus aeternus Iupiter.[30] The walls of some mithrea
feature allegorical depictions of the cosmos with Oceanus and Caelus. The mithraeum of Dieburg represents the
tripartite world with Caelus, Oceanus, and Tellus below Phaeton-Heliodromus.[31]

As the Jewish god


Some Roman writers used Caelus or Caelum[32] as a way to express the monotheistic god of Judaism. Juvenal
identifies the Jewish god with Caelus as the highest heaven (summum caelum), saying that Jews worship the numen
of Caelus;[33] Petronius uses similar language.[34] Florus has a rather odd passage describing the Holy of Holies in
the Temple of Jerusalem as housing a "sky" (caelum) under a golden vine, which has also been taken as an
uncomprehending attempt to grasp the presence of the Jewish god. A golden vine, perhaps the one mentioned, was
sent by the Hasmonean king Aristobulus to Pompeius Magnus after his defeat of Jerusalem, and was later displayed
in the Temple of Jupiter Capitolinus.[35]
Caelus 39

References
[1] Cicero, De natura deorum 3.44, as cited by E.J. Kenney, Apuleius: Cupid and Psyche (Cambridge University Press, 1990, 2001), note to
6.6.4, p. 198; Hyginus, preface. This is not the theogony that Hesiod presents.
[2] Neuter, for instance, at Varro, De lingua latina 5.57, where a masculine form might be expected for the partner of Terra. Neuter also at
Hyginus, Fabula pr. 2 (17) in a series of divine personifications with Terra and Mare (the Sea). The masculine and neuter forms of the name
Caelus and Caelum differ only in the vocative and nominative cases; when a second-declension noun appears in the genitive, dative, or
ablative case, there is no way to distinguish whether the neuter or masculine is meant. When the deity is conceived of as plural, "the Heavens,"
the masculine Caeli is used, and not the neuter Caela, which would create an ambiguity with first-declension nouns of feminine gender.
Divine personifications in Latin are mostly feminine.
[3] Varro, De lingua Latina 5.58.
[4] Pierre Grimal, The Dictionary of Classical Mythology (Blackwell, 1986, 1996, originally published 1951 in French), pp. 83–84.
[5] Marion Lawrence, "The Velletri Sarcophagus," American Journal of Archaeology 69.3 (1965), p. 220.
[6] Other gods for whom this aedes design was appropriate are Jupiter, Sol and Luna. Vitruvius, De architectura 1.2.5; John E. Stambaugh, "The
Functions of Roman Temples," Aufstieg und Niedergang der römischen Welt II.16.1 (1978), p. 561.
[7] Cicero, De natura Deorum 3.56; also Arnobius, Adversus Nationes 4.14.
[8] Ennius, Annales 27 (edition of Vahlen); Varro, as cited by Nonius Marcellus, p. 197M; Cicero, Timaeus XI (http:/ / www. forumromanum.
org/ literature/ cicero_timaeus. html); Arnobius, Adversus Nationes 2.71, 3.29.
[9] Arnobius, Adversus Nationes 4.14.
[10] CIL 6.81.2.
[11] Arnobius, Adversus Nationes 3.37, citing Mnaseas as his source.
[12] Cicero, De nature Deorum; Arnobius, Adversus Nationes 4.24.
[13] Cicero, De natura Deorum 2.64. Isidore of Seville says similarly that Saturn "cut off the genitalia of his father Caelus, because nothing is
born in the heavens from seeds" (Etymologies 9.11.32). Jane Chance, Medieval Mythography: From Roman North Africa to the School of
Chartres, A.D. 433–1177 (University Press of Florida, 1994), pp. 27 and 142.
[14] Macrobius, Saturnalia 1.8.6–9; Chance, Medieval Mythography, p. 72.
[15] Varro, De lingua latina 7.20; likewise Isidore of Seville, Etymologies 14.8.9. The noun Caelum appears in the accusative case, which
obscures any distinction between masculine and neuter. Servius, note to Aeneid 6.268, says that "Olympus" is the name for both the
Macedonian mountain and for caelum. Citations and discussion by Michel Huhm, "Le mundus et le Comitium: Repésentations symboliques
de l'espace de la cité," Histoire urbaine 10 (2004), p. 54.
[16] Servius, note to Aeneid 3.134; Huhm, "Le mundus et le Comitium," p. 53, notes 36 and 37.
[17] Gerardus Vossius, Idolatriae 3.59 online (http:/ / books. google. com/ books?id=q7w_AAAAcAAJ& pg=PA229& dq=Janus+ Cerus+
Macrobius+ Caelum+ OR+ Caelus& hl=en& ei=byf9TPvUEqiBnAfT4fzHCg& sa=X& oi=book_result& ct=result& resnum=4&
ved=0CDcQ6AEwAw#v=onepage& q& f=false) et passim, in Gerardi Joan. Vossii Operum, vol. 5, De idololatria gentili. See also Giovanni
Santinello and Francesco Bottin, Models of the History of Philosophy: From Its Origins in the Renaissance to the "Historia Philosophica"
(Kluwer, 1993), vol. 1, pp. 222–235.
[18] Elizabeth De Palma Digeser, "Religion, Law and the Roman Polity: The Era of the Great Persecution," in Religion and Law in Classical and
Christian Rome (Franz Steiner, 2006), pp. 78–79.
[19] Jane Clark Reeder, "The Statue of Augustus from Prima Porta, the Underground Complex, and the Omen of the Gallina Alba," American
Journal of Philology 118.1 (1997), p. 109; Charles Brian Rose, "The Parthians in Augustan Rome," American Journal of Archaeology 109.1
(2005), p. 27.
[20] Karl Galinsky, Augustan Culture: An Interpretive Introduction (Princeton University Press, 1996), pp. 158 and 321.
[21] Reeder, "The Statue of Augustus," p. 109.
[22] Specifically, Juppiter Optimus Maximus Saturnus Augustus: Reeder, "The Statue of Augustus," p. 109 and 111.
[23] Reeder, "The Statue of Augustus," p. 103; Lily Ross Taylor, "The Mother of the Lares," American Journal of Archaeology 29.3 (1925), p.
308.
[24] Plautus, Amphytrion 272.
[25] Including CIL 3.1956 = ILS 4887, 9753, 142432, CIL 5.4287 = ILS 4888, as cited and discussed by Mario Torelli, Studies in the
Romanization of Italy (University of Alberta Press, 1995), pp. 108–109.
[26] Torelli, Studies, p. 110. See also Huhm, "Le mundus et le Comitium," pp. 52–53, on the relation of templum, mundus, and caelum.
[27] Doro Levi, "Aion," Hesperia (1944), p. 302.
[28] M.J. Vermaseren, Mithraica I: The Mithraeum at S. Maria Capua Vetere (Brill, 1971), p. 14; Jaime Alvar, Romanising Oriental Gods:
Myth, Salvation, and Ethics in the Cults of Cybele, Isis, and Mithras, translated by Richard Gordon (Brill, 2008), p. 86.
[29] R. Beck in response to I.P. Culianu, "L'«Ascension de l'Âme» dans les mystères et hors des mystères," in La Soteriologia dei culti orientali
nell' impero romano (Brill, 1982), p. 302.
[30] Levi, "Aion," p. 302.
[31] Vermaseren, Mithraica I, p. 14.
[32] The word does not appear in the nominative case in any of the passages, and so its intended gender cannot be distinguished; see above.
Caelus 40

[33] Juvenal, Satires 14.97; Peter Schäfer, Judeophobia: Attitudes toward the Jews in the Ancient World (Harvard University Press, 1997), pp.
41, 79–80.
[34] Petronius, frg. 37.2; Schäfer, Judeophobia, pp. 77–78.
[35] Florus, Epitome 1.40 (3.5.30): "The Jews tried to defend Jerusalem; but he [Pompeius Magnus] entered this city also and saw that grand
Holy of Holies of an impious people exposed, Caelum under a golden vine" (Hierosolymam defendere temptavere Iudaei; verum haec quoque
et intravit et vidit illud grande inpiae gentis arcanum patens, sub aurea vite Caelum). Finbarr Barry Flood, The Great Mosque of Damascus:
Studies on the Makings of an Umayyad Visual Culture (Brill, 2001), pp. 81 and 83 (note 118). The Oxford Latin Dictionary (Oxford:
Clarendon Press, 1982, 1985 reprinting), p. 252, entry on caelum, cites Juvenal, Petronius, and Florus as examples of Caelus or Caelum "with
reference to Jehovah; also, to some symbolization of Jehovah."
Consus 41

Consus
Ancient Roman religion

Practices and beliefs


Imperial cult  · festivals  · ludi
mystery religions · funerals
temples · auspice · sacrifice
votum · libation · lectisternium

Priesthoods
College of Pontiffs · Augur
Vestal Virgins · Flamen · Fetial
Epulones · Arval Brethren
Quindecimviri sacris faciundis

Dii Consentes
Jupiter · Juno · Neptune · Minerva
Mars · Venus · Apollo · Diana
Vulcan · Vesta · Mercury · Ceres

Other deities
Janus · Quirinus · Saturn ·
Hercules · Faunus · Priapus
Bacchus (Liber) · Bona Dea · Ops
Castor and Pollux · Cupid
Chthonic deities: Proserpina ·
Dis Pater · Pluto · Orcus ·
Hecate · Di Manes
Domestic and local deities:
Lares · Di Penates · Genius
Hellenistic deities: Sol Invictus · Magna Mater · Isis ·
Mithras
Deified emperors:
Divus Julius  · Divus Augustus
See also List of Roman deities

Related topics
Roman mythology
Glossary of ancient Roman religion
Religion in ancient Greece
Etruscan religion
Gallo-Roman religion
Decline of Hellenistic polytheism

In ancient Roman religion, the god Consus was the protector of grains and (subterranean) storage bins (silos), and as
such was represented by a grain seed.
Consus 42

His altar was placed beneath the ground (or, according to other sources, simply covered with earth, which was swept
off at his festival) near the Circus Maximus in Rome[1] . The altar was unearthed only during the Consualia, his
festival which took place on August 21 (and another one on December 15). Mule or horse races were the main event
of the festival because the mule and the horse were Consus' sacred animals[1] . Horses and mules were crowned with
chaplets of flowers, and forbidden to work.
Consus' name has no certain etymology down to the present time. This name seems to be Etruscan or Sabine in
origin. It seems that Consus' name is really related to the one of Ops as Consivia (or Consiva), itself related to
"crops, seeding" (Latin conserere ("to sow"); see Ops; Opalia and Opiconsivia). According to Varro (L. I. 6:20),
Consualia dicta a Consus ("The Consualia are so named after Consus").
Shortly after his own festivals the ones for Ops, the Opiconsivia or Opalia, were held every August 25 and December
19, these being the periods respectively of the reaping and the seeding of crops.
Consus also became a god associated with secret conferences, perhaps due to a common misinterpretation of his
name. The Latins (Romans) associated Consus' name with consilium ("councils, synagogues, assemblies; place
where councils assemble"). This word should not be confused with "counsel" ("advice"). It in fact expresses the idea
of "sitting together" (consentes), "being together" (con-sum) or perhaps "called together, conclaimed" (con-calare).
The connection of Consus with these secret councils is attested by Servius (En. 8:636): Consus autem deus est
consiliorum ("Consus is however the god of councils").
As such, it seems that Consus was a member of the council of the Di Consentes ("Council of the Gods") formed by
six gods and six goddesses which assembled in order to assist Jupiter in making great decisions such as destroying
Troy or Atlantis with a Flood, etc.. This tradition is due to the Etruscans, but is also widely attested in Greece as
well, for instance, in Homer.
Consus was often called Neptunus Equestris ("Equestrian Neptune"). So, his connection with the Greek Poseidon
(Neptune) can hardly be denied. Poseidon was also associated with horses and horse racing, a connection which is
reminiscent of Atlantis (founded by Poseidon) and its magnificent hippodromes described by Plato in his Critias.
According to tradition, it was in the course of the Consualia and its horse races that the Romans kidnapped the
Sabine women which they married in order to found their own nation[1] .

Sources
[1] Aldington, Richard; Ames, Delano (1968). New Larousse Encyclopedia of Mythology. Yugoslavia: The Hamlyn Publishing Group Limited,
209.
Convector (mythology) 43

Convector (mythology)
Topics in Roman mythology

Important Gods:

• Jupiter • Minerva
• Mars • Mercury
• Quirinus • Vulcan
• Vesta • Ceres
• Juno • Venus
• Fortuna • Lares
Roman Kingdom

Religion in ancient Rome

Flamens

Roman, Greek, and Etruscan mythologies compared

Other Rustic Gods:

• Bona Dea • Flora


• Carmenta • Lupercus
• Camenae • Pales
• Dea Dia • Pomona
• Convector • Egeria

In Roman mythology, the god Convector oversaw the bringing in of the crops from the fields.
Cupid 44

Cupid
In Roman mythology, Cupid (Latin cupido, meaning "desire") is
the god of desire, affection and erotic love. He is the son of
goddess Venus and god Mars.
In popular culture, Cupid is frequently shown shooting his bow to
inspire romantic love, often as an icon of Valentine's Day. He is
now in the current culture the personification of love and courtship
in general.
For the equivalent deity in Greek mythology, see Eros.

Legend
In the Roman version, Cupid was the son of Venus (goddess of
love) and Mars.[1] [2] In the Greek version he was named Eros and
seen as one of the primordial gods (though other myths exist as
well). Cupid was often depicted with wings, a bow, and a quiver of Classical statue of Cupid with his bow
arrows. The following story is almost identical in both cultures;
the most familiar version is found in Lucius Apuleius's Metamorphoses. When Cupid's mother Venus became
jealous of the princess Psyche, who was so beloved by her subjects that they forgot to worship Venus, she ordered
Cupid to make Psyche fall in love with the vilest thing in the world. While Cupid was sneaking into her room to
shoot Psyche with a golden arrow, he accidentally scratches himself with his own arrow and falls deeply in love with
her.

Following that, Cupid visited Psyche every night while she slept. Speaking to her so that she could not see him, he
told her never to try to see him. Psyche, though, incited by her two older sisters who told her Cupid was a monster,
tried to look at him and angered Cupid. When he left, she looked all over the known world for him until at last the
leader of the gods, Jupiter, gave Psyche the gift of immortality so that she could be with him. Together they had a
daughter, Voluptas, or Hedone, (meaning pleasure) and Psyche became a goddess. Her name "Psyche" means "soul."
Cupid 45

Portrayal
In painting and sculpture, Cupid is often portrayed as a nude (or
sometimes diapered) winged boy or baby (a putto) armed with a
bow and a quiver of arrows.
The Hindu Kāma also has a very similar description. On gems and
other surviving pieces, he is usually shown amusing himself with
childhood play, sometimes driving a hoop, throwing darts,
catching a butterfly, or flirting with a nymph. He is often depicted
with his mother (in graphic arts, this is nearly always Venus),
playing a horn. In other images, his mother is depicted scolding or
even spanking him due to his mischievous nature. He is also
shown wearing a helmet and carrying a buckler, perhaps in
reference to Virgil's Omnia vincit amor or as political satire on
wars for love or love as war.

Cupid figures prominently in ariel poetry, lyrics and, of course,


elegiac love and metamorphic poetry. In epic poetry, he is less
often invoked, but he does appear in Virgil's Aeneid changed into
the shape of Ascanius inspiring Dido's love. In later literature, Caravaggio's Amor Vincit Omnia
Cupid is frequently invoked as fickle, playful, and perverse. He is
often depicted as carrying two sets of arrows: one set gold-headed, which inspire love; and the other lead-headed,
which inspire hatred.

The best-known story involving Cupid is the tale of Cupid and Psyche.

Notes
[1] Cotterell, Arthur. Cupid: A Dictionary of World Mythology (http:/ / www. oxfordreference. com/ views/ ENTRY. html?subview=Main&
entry=t73. e198) Oxford University Press, 1997. Oxford Reference Online. Oxford University Press. Accessed 26 April 2010
[2] John Lemprière, A classical dictionary; containing a copious account of all the proper names mentioned in ancient authors:: with the value
of coins, weights, and measures, used among the Greeks and Romans; and a chronological table (http:/ / books. google. com/
books?id=s6cTAAAAYAAJ& pg=PA225& dq=cupid+ father+ mother+ venus& lr=& as_brr=1& cd=4#v=onepage& q=cupid father mother
venus& f=false) (1820)

References
• Cotterell, Arthur & Storm, Rachel (2008). The Ultimate Encyclopedia of Mythology. Annes Publishing Ltd..
• Arthur Cotterell & Rachel Storm, The Ultimate Encyclopedia of Mythology, 2008 Annes Publishing Ltd.
• Fabio Silva Vallejo, Mitos y leyendas del mundo (Spanish), 2004 Panamericana Editorial.
Dei Lucrii 46

Dei Lucrii
Topics in Roman mythology

Important Gods:

Jupiter Minerva

Mars Mercury

Quirinus Vulcan

Vesta Ceres

Juno Venus

Fortuna Lares

Topics

Roman Kingdom

Religion in ancient Rome

Flamens

Roman, Greek, and Etruscan mythologies compared

Other gods of craft and trade:

Penates Lemures

Dei Lucrii Eventus Bonus

Furrina Portunes

In early Roman mythology, the Dei Lucrii were early gods of wealth, profit, commerce and trade. They were later
subsumed by Mercury.
Dionysus 47

Dionysus
Dionysus

[1]
2nd century Roman statue of Dionysus, after a Hellenistic model (ex-coll. Cardinal Richelieu, Louvre)
God of Wine, Theatre, and Ecstasy

Abode Mount Olympus

Symbol Thyrsus, grapevine, leopard skin, panther, tiger, leopard

Consort Ariadne

Parents Zeus and Semele

Roman equivalent Bacchus, Liber

Dionysus (pronounced /ˌdaɪəˈnaɪsəs/ dye-ə-NYE-səs; Greek: Διόνυσος, Dionysos) was the god of the grape harvest,
winemaking and wine, of ritual madness and ecstasy. His name in Linear B tablets shows he was worshipped from c.
1500—1100 BC by Mycenean Greeks: other traces of Dionysian-type cult have been found in ancient Minoan
Crete.[2] His origins are uncertain, and his cults took many forms; some are described by ancient sources as
Thracian, others as Greek.[3] [4] [5] In some cults, he arrives from the east, as an Asiatic foreigner; and in others, from
Ethiopia in the South. He is a god of epiphany, "the god that comes", and his "foreignness" as an arriving
outsider-god may be inherent and essential to his cults. He is a major, popular figure of Greek mythology and
religion, and is included in some lists of the twelve Olympians. His festivals were the driving force behind the
development of Greek theater.
The earliest cult images of Dionysus show a mature male, bearded and robed. He holds a fennel staff, tipped with a
pine-cone and known as a thyrsus. Later images show him as a beardless, sensuous, naked or half-naked youth: the
literature describes him as womanly or "man-womanish".[6] In its fully developed form, his central cult imagery
shows his triumphant, disorderly arrival or return, as if from some place beyond the borders of the known and
civilized. His procession (thiasus) is made up of wild female followers (maenads) and ithyphallic, bearded satyrs.
Some are armed with the thyrsus, some dance or play music. The god himself is drawn in a chariot, usually by exotic
beasts such as lions or tigers, and is sometimes attended by a bearded, drunken Silenus. This procession is presumed
to be the cult model for the human followers of his Dionysian Mysteries. In his Thracian mysteries, he wears the
bassaris or fox-skin, symbolizing a new life. Dionysus is represented by city religions as the protector of those who
do not belong to conventional society and thus symbolizes everything which is chaotic, dangerous and unexpected,
everything which escapes human reason and which can only be attributed to the unforeseeable action of the gods.[7]
He was also known as Bacchus (pronounced /ˈbækəs/ or English pronunciation: /ˈbɑːkəs/; Greek: Βάκχος, Bakkhos), the
name adopted by the Romans[8] and the frenzy he induces, bakkheia. His thyrsus is sometimes wound with ivy and
dripping with honey. It is a beneficent wand but also a weapon, and can be used to destroy those who oppose his cult
and the freedoms he represents. He is also the Liberator (Eleutherios), whose wine, music and ecstatic dance frees
his followers from self-conscious fear and care, and subverts the oppressive restraints of the powerful. Those who
Dionysus 48

partake in his mysteries are possessed and empowered by the god himself.[9] His cult is also a "cult of the souls"; his
maenads feed the dead through blood-offerings, and he acts as a divine communicant between the living and the
dead.[10]
In Greek mythology, he is presented as a son of Zeus and the mortal Semele, thus semi-divine or heroic: and as son
of Zeus and Persephone or Demeter, thus both fully divine, part-chthonic and possibly identical with Iacchus of the
Eleusinian Mysteries. Some scholars believe that Dionysus is a syncretism of a local Greek nature deity and a more
powerful god from Thrace or Phrygia such as Sabazios[11] or Zalmoxis.[12]

Names

Etymology
The name Dionysos is of uncertain significance. The dio- element has
been associated since antiquity with Zeus (genitive Dios): the -nysos
element is cited as of unknown, possibly non-Greek origin. In
Dionysiac tradition, the place of the god's childhood and education is
called Nysa. Nisah is an epithet of Shiva, and means supreme. Nisam is
Dionysian procession on a marble sarcophagus,
bliss, nisâ, joy. Nysa, the Happy mountain, is the equivalent of Kailâsa,
[13] possibly indicating that the deceased was an
the Earthly Paradise. The earliest attested form of the name is initiate into Dionysian mysteries
Mycenaean Greek di-wo-nu-so, written in Linear B syllabic script,
presumably for /Diwo(h)nūsos/, found on two tablets at Mycenaean Pylos and dated to the 12th or 13th century
BC.[14] [15] Later variants include Boetian Dionūsos and Diōnūsos, and Ionic and Aeolian Deonūsos and Deunūsos.
The Thessalian variant Dien(n)ūsos may be the most archaic form: the Dio- prefix is found in other names, such as
that of the Dioscures, and may derive from Dios, the genitive of the name of Zeus.[16]

Janda (2010, following Peters 1989) sees the verbal stem of diemai "to chase, hurry, impel". The second element
-nūsos is associated with Mount Nysa, the birthplace of the god in Greek mythology, where he was nursed by
nymphs (the Nysiads),[17] but according to the testimony of Pherecydes of Syros, nũsa was an archaic word for
"tree".[18] The cult of Dionysus was closely associated with trees, specifically the fig tree, and some of his bynames
exhibit this, such as Endendros "he in the tree" or Dendritēs, "he of the tree". Peters suggests the original meaning as
"he who runs among the trees", or that of a "runner in the woods". Janda (2010) accepts the etymology but proposes
the more cosmological interpretation of "he who impels the (world-)tree." This interpretation explains how Nysa
could have been re-interpreted from a meaning of "tree" to the name of a mountain: the axis mundi of Indo-European
mythology is represented both as a world-tree and as a world-mountain.[19]

Epithets
Acratophorus, ("giver of unmixed wine), at Phigaleia in Arcadia.[20]
Acroreites at Sicyon..[21]
Adoneus ("ruler") in his Latinised, Bacchic cult.[22]
Aegobolus ("goat killer") at Potniae, in Boeotia.[23]
Aesymnetes ("ruler" or "lord") at Aroë and Patrae in Achaea.
Agrios ("wild"), in Macedonia.
Bromios ("the thunderer" or "he of the loud shout").
Dendrites ("he of the trees"), as a fertility god.
Dithyrambos, form of address used at his festivals, referring to his premature birth.
Dionysus 49

Eleutherios ("the liberator"), an epithet for both Dionysus and Eros.


Endendros "he in the tree"[24]
Enorches ("with balls",[25] with reference to his fertility, or "in the testicles" in reference to Zeus' sewing the baby
Dionysus into his thigh, i.e., his testicles).[26] Used in Samos and Lesbos.
Erikryptos ("completely hidden"), in Macedonia.
Evius, in Euripides' play, The Bacchae.
Iacchus, possibly an epithet of Dionysus and associated with the Eleusinian Mysteries; in Eleusis, he is known as a
son of Zeus and Demeter. The name "Iacchus" may come from the Ιακχος (Iakchos), a hymn sung in honor of
Dionysus.
Liknites ("he of the winnowing fan"), as a fertility god connected with the mystery religions. A winnowing fan was
used to separate the chaff from the grain.
Lyaeus ("he who unties") or releases from care and anxiety.
Melanaigis ("of the black goatskin") at the Apaturia festival.
Oeneus, as god of the wine press.
Pseudanor ("false man"), in Macedonia.
In the Greek pantheon, Dionysus (along with Zeus) absorbs the role of Sabazios, a Thracian/Phrygian deity. In the
Roman pantheon, Sabazius became an alternate name for Bacchus.[27]

Symbolism
The bull, the serpent, the ivy and the wine are the signs of the characteristic Dionysian atmosphere, and Dionysus is
strongly associated with satyrs, centaurs, and sileni. He is often shown riding a leopard, wearing a leopard skin, or in
a chariot drawn by panthers, and may also be recognized by the thyrsus he carries. Besides the grapevine and its wild
barren alter-ego, the toxic ivy plant, both sacred to him, the fig was also his symbol. The pinecone that tipped his
thyrsus linked him to Cybele. The Dionysia and Lenaia festivals in Athens were dedicated to Dionysus. Initiates
worshipped him in the Dionysian Mysteries, which were comparable to and linked with the Orphic Mysteries, and
may have influenced Gnosticism. Orpheus was said to have invented the Mysteries of Dionysus.[28]
Dionysus was another god of resurrection who was strongly linked to the bull. In a cult hymn from Olympia, at a
festival for Hera, Dionysus is invited to come as a bull; "with bull-foot raging." Walter Burkert relates, "Quite
frequently [Dionysus] is portrayed with bull horns, and in Kyzikos he has a tauromorphic image," and refers also to
an archaic myth in which Dionysus is slaughtered as a bull calf and impiously eaten by the Titans.[29] (In the
Classical period of Greece, the bull and other animals identified with deities were separated from them as their
agalma, a kind of heraldic show-piece that concretely signified their numinous presence).[29]
Dionysus 50

Bacchanalia
Introduced into Rome (c. 200 BC) from the Greek culture of southern
Italy or by way of Greek-influenced Etruria, the bacchanalia were held
in secret and attended by women only, in the grove of Simila, near the
Aventine Hill, on March 16 and 17. Subsequently, admission to the
rites was extended to men and celebrations took place five times a
month. The mystery-cult may have been seen as a threat to the political
status quo. The notoriety of these festivals, where many kinds of
crimes and political conspiracies were supposed to be planned, led to a
decree by the Senate in 186 BC — the so-called Senatus consultum de
Bacchanalibus, inscribed on a bronze tablet discovered in Calabria
(1640), now in Vienna — by which the Bacchanalia were prohibited
throughout all Italy except in special cases that required specific
approval by the Senate. In spite of the severe punishment inflicted on
Bacchus by Caravaggio those found in violation of this decree, the Bacchanalia were not
stamped out, at any rate in the south of Italy, for a very long time.

Dionysus is equated with both Bacchus and Liber (also Liber Pater). Liber ("the free one") was a god of male
fertility, wine, and growth, whose female counterpart was Libera. His festival was the Liberalia, celebrated on March
17, but in some myths the festival was also held on March 5.

Mythology

Birth
Dionysus had a strange birth that evokes the difficulty in fitting him
into the Olympian pantheon. His mother was a mortal woman, Semele,
the daughter of king Cadmus of Thebes, and his father was Zeus, the
king of the gods. Zeus' wife, Hera, discovered the affair while Semele
was pregnant. Appearing as an old crone (in other stories a nurse),
Hera befriended Semele, who confided in her that Zeus was the actual
father of the baby in her womb. Hera pretended not to believe her, and
planted seeds of doubt in Semele's mind. Curious, Semele demanded of
Zeus that he reveal himself in all his glory as proof of his godhood.
The top course of this Roman sarcophagus shows
Though Zeus begged her not to ask this, she persisted and he agreed.
Dionysus's birth. In the top center, the baby god
comes out of Zeus's thigh. Therefore he came to her wreathed in bolts of lightning; mortals,
however, could not look upon an undisguised god without dying, and
she perished in the ensuing blaze. Zeus rescued the fetal Dionysus by sewing him into his thigh. A few months later,
Dionysus was born on Mount Pramnos in the island of Ikaria, where Zeus went to release the now-fully-grown baby
from his thigh. In this version, Dionysus is born by two "mothers" (Semele and Zeus) before his birth, hence the
epithet dimētōr (of two mothers) associated with his being "twice-born".

In the Cretan version of the same story, which Diodorus Siculus follows,[30] Dionysus was the son of Zeus and
Persephone, the queen of the Greek underworld. Diodorus' sources equivocally identified the mother as Demeter.[31]
A jealous Hera again attempted to kill the child, this time by sending Titans to rip Dionysus to pieces after luring the
baby with toys. It is said that he was mocked by the Titans who gave him a thyrsus (a fennel stalk) in place of his
rightful sceptre.[32] Zeus turned the Titans into dust with his thunderbolts, but only after the Titans ate everything but
the heart, which was saved, variously, by Athena, Rhea, or Demeter. Zeus used the heart to recreate him in his thigh,
Dionysus 51

hence he was again "the twice-born". Other versions claim that Zeus recreated him in the womb of Semele, or gave
Semele the heart to eat to impregnate her.
The rebirth in both versions of the story is the primary reason why Dionysus was worshipped in mystery religions, as
his death and rebirth were events of mystical reverence. This narrative was apparently used in several Greek and
Roman cults, and variants of it are found in Callimachus and Nonnus, who refer to this Dionysus with the title
Zagreus, and also in several fragmentary poems attributed to Orpheus.
The myth of the dismemberment of Dionysus by the titans, is alluded to by Plato in his Phaedo (69d) in which
Socrates claims that the initiations of the Dionysian Mysteries are similar to those of the philosophic path. Late
Neo-Platonists such as Damascius explore the implications of this at length.[33]

Infancy at Mount Nysa


According to the myth Zeus gave the infant Dionysus into the charge of Hermes. One version of the story is that
Hermes took the boy to King Athamas and his wife Ino, Dionysus' aunt. Hermes bade the couple raise the boy as a
girl, to hide him from Hera's wrath.[34] Another version is that Dionysus was taken to the rain-nymphs of Nysa, who
nourished his infancy and childhood, and for their care Zeus rewarded them by placing them as the Hyades among
the stars (see Hyades star cluster). Other versions have Zeus giving him to Rhea, or to Persephone to raise in the
Underworld, away from Hera. Alternatively, he was raised by Maro.
Dionysus in Greek mythology is a god of foreign origin, and while Mount Nysa is a mythological location, it is
invariably set far away to the east or to the south. The Homeric hymn to Dionysus places it "far from Phoenicia, near
to the Egyptian stream". Others placed it in Anatolia, or in Libya ('away in the west beside a great ocean'), in
Ethiopia (Herodotus), or Arabia (Diodorus Siculus).
According to Herodotus:
As it is, the Greek story has it that no sooner was Dionysus born than Zeus sewed him up in his thigh and
carried him away to Nysa in Ethiopia beyond Egypt; and as for Pan, the Greeks do not know what became of
him after his birth. It is therefore plain to me that the Greeks learned the names of these two gods later than the
names of all the others, and trace the birth of both to the time when they gained the knowledge.
—Herodotus, Histories 2.146
Apollodorus seems to be following Pherecydes, who relates how the infant Dionysus, god of the grapevine, was
nursed by the rain-nymphs, the Hyades at Nysa.

Childhood
When Dionysus grew up, he discovered the culture of the vine and the
mode of extracting its precious juice; but Hera struck him with
madness, and drove him forth a wanderer through various parts of the
earth. In Phrygia the goddess Cybele, better known to the Greeks as
Rhea, cured him and taught him her religious rites, and he set out on a
progress through Asia teaching the people the cultivation of the vine.
The most famous part of his wanderings is his expedition to India,
North African Roman mosaic: Panther-Dionysus which is said to have lasted several years. Returning in triumph he
scatters the pirates, who are changed to dolphins, undertook to introduce his worship into Greece, but was opposed by
except for Acoetes, the helmsman. (Bardo some princes who dreaded its introduction on account of the disorders
National Museum)
and madness it brought with it (e.g. Pentheus or Lycurgus).

Dionysus was exceptionally attractive. One of the Homeric hymns recounts how, while disguised as a mortal sitting
beside the seashore, a few sailors spotted him, believing he was a prince. They attempted to kidnap him and sail him
Dionysus 52

far away to sell for ransom or into slavery. They tried to bind him with ropes, but no type of rope could hold him.
Dionysus turned into a fierce lion and unleashed a bear onboard, killing those he came into contact with. Those who
jumped off the ship were mercifully turned into dolphins. The only survivor was the helmsman, Acoetes, who
recognized the god and tried to stop his sailors from the start.[35] In a similar story, Dionysus desired to sail from
Icaria to Naxos. He then hired a Tyrrhenian pirate ship. But when the god was on board, they sailed not to Naxos but
to Asia, intending to sell him as a slave. So Dionysus turned the mast and oars into snakes, and filled the vessel with
ivy and the sound of flutes so that the sailors went mad and, leaping into the sea, were turned into dolphins.

Other stories

Midas

Once, Dionysus found his old school master and foster father, Silenus, missing.
The old man had been drinking, and had wandered away drunk, and was found
by some peasants, who carried him to their king, (alternatively, he passed out in
Midas' rose garden). Midas recognized him, and treated him hospitably,
entertaining him for ten days and nights with politeness, while Silenus
entertained Midas and his friends with stories and songs. On the eleventh day, he
brought Silenus back to Dionysus. Dionysus offered Midas his choice of
whatever reward he wanted. Midas asked that whatever he might touch should be
changed into gold. Dionysus consented, though was sorry that he had not made a
better choice. Midas rejoiced in his new power, which he hastened to put to the
test. He touched and turned to gold an oak twig and a stone. Overjoyed, as soon
Hermes and the Infant Dionysus by as he got home, he ordered the servants to set a feast on the table. Then he found
Praxiteles, (Archaeological Museum
that his bread, meat, daughter and wine turned to gold.
of Olympia)

Upset, Midas strove to divest himself of his power (the Midas Touch); he hated
the gift he had coveted. He prayed to Dionysus, begging to be delivered from starvation. Dionysus heard and
consented; he told Midas to wash in the river Pactolus. He did so, and when he touched the waters the power passed
into them, and the river sands changed into gold. This was an etiological myth that explained why the sands of the
Pactolus were rich in gold.

Pentheus

Euripides composed a tragedy about the destructive nature of Dionysus in The


Bacchae. Since Euripides wrote this play while in the court of King Archelaus of
Macedon, some scholars believe that the cult of Dionysus was malicious in
Macedon but benign in Athens.
In the play, Dionysus returns to his birthplace, Thebes, which is ruled by his
cousin Pentheus. Dionysus wants to exact revenge on Pentheus and the women
of Thebes (his aunts Agave, Ino and Autonoe) for not believing his mother
Semele's claims of being impregnated by Zeus, and for denying Dionysus's
divinity (and therefore not worshiping him). Kylix (6th century BC) depicting
Dionysus among the sailors
Dionysus slowly drives Pentheus mad, lures him to the woods of Mount transformed to dolphins after
Cithaeron, and then convinces him to spy/peek on the Maenads (female attempting to kidnap him
worshippers of Dionysus, who often experienced divine ecstasy). The Maenads

are in an insane frenzy when Pentheus sees them (earlier in the play they had ripped apart a herd of cattle), and they
catch him but mistake him for a wild animal. Pentheus is torn to shreds, and his mother (Agave, one of the
Dionysus 53

Maenads), not recognizing her own son because of her madness, brutally tears his limbs off as he begs for his life.
Because of their acts the women are banished from Thebes, ensuring Dionysus's revenge.

Lycurgus
When King Lycurgus of Thrace heard that Dionysus was in his kingdom, he imprisoned all the followers of
Dionysus; the god fled, taking refuge with Thetis, and sent a drought which stirred the people into revolt. Dionysus
then made King Lycurgus insane, having him slice his own son into pieces with an axe, thinking he was a patch of
ivy, a plant holy to Dionysus. An oracle then claimed that the land would stay dry and barren as long as Lycurgus
was alive, so his people had him drawn and quartered; with Lycurgus dead, Dionysus lifted the curse. This story was
told in Homer's epic, Iliad 6.136-7. In an alternative version, sometimes shown in art, Lycurgus tried to kill
Ambrosia, a follower of Dionysus, who was transformed into a vine that twined around the enraged king and
restrained him, eventually killing him.[36]

Prosymnus
A better-known story is that of his descent to Hades to rescue his mother Semele, whom he placed among the
stars.[37] He made the ascent from a reputedly bottomless pool on the coast of the Argolid near the prehistoric site of
Lerna. He was guided by Prosymnus or Polymnus, who requested, as his reward, to be Dionysus' lover. Prosymnus
died before Dionysus could honor his pledge, so in order to satisfy Prosymnus' shade, Dionysus fashioned a phallus
from an olive branch and sat on it at Prosymnus' tomb.[38] This story is told in full only in Christian sources whose
aim was to discredit pagan mythology. It appears to have served as an explanation of the secret objects that were
revealed in the Dionysian Mysteries.[39]

Ampelos
Another myth according to Nonnus involves Ampelos, a satyr. Foreseen by Dionysus, the youth was killed in an
accident riding a bull maddened by the sting of an Ate's gadfly. The Fates granted Ampelos a second life as a vine,
from which Dionysus squeezed the first wine.[40]

Chiron
Young Dionysus was also said to have been one of the many famous pupils of the centaur Chiron. According to
Ptolemy Chennus in the Library of Photius, "Dionysius was loved by Chiron, from whom he learned chants and
dances, the bacchic rites and initiations."[41]

Secondary myths

When Hephaestus bound Hera to a magical chair, Dionysus got him


drunk and brought her back to Olympus after he passed out.
A third descent by Dionysus to Hades is invented by Aristophanes in
his comedy The Frogs. Dionysus, as patron of the Athenian dramatic
festival, the Dionysia, wants to bring back to life one of the great
tragedians. After a competition Aeschylus is chosen in preference to
Euripides.
When Theseus abandoned Ariadne sleeping on Naxos, Dionysus found
and married her. She bore him a son named Oenopion, but he
committed suicide or was killed by Perseus. In some variants, he had
Bacchus and Ariadne by Titian, at the National
her crown put into the heavens as the constellation Corona; in others,
Gallery in London
he descended into Hades to restore her to the gods on Olympus.
Dionysus 54

Callirrhoe was a Calydonian woman who scorned a priest of Dionysus who threatened to afflict all the women of
Calydon with insanity (see Maenad). The priest was ordered to sacrifice Callirhoe but he killed himself instead.
Callirhoe threw herself into a well which was later named after her.
Acis, a Sicilian youth, was sometimes said to be Dionysus' son.

Consorts/Children
1. Aphrodite
1. Charites (Graces)
1. Pasithea
2. Euphrosyne
3. Thalia
2. Priapus
2. Ariadne
1. Oenopion
2. Staphylus
3. Peparethus
3. Nyx
1. Phthonus
4. Althaea
1. Deianeira
5. Circe
1. Comus

Parallels with Christianity


The earliest discussions of mythological parallels between Dionysus and the figure of the Christ in Christian
theology can be traced to Friedrich Hölderlin, whose identification of Dionysus with Christ is most explicit in Brod
und Wein (1800–1801) and Der Einzige (1801–1803).[42] Modern scholars such as Martin Hengel, Barry Powell,
and Peter Wick, among others, argue that Dionysian religion and Christianity have notable parallels.
They point to the symbolism of wine and the importance it held in the mythology surrounding both Dionysus and
Jesus Christ;[43] [44] though, Wick argues that the use of wine symbolism in the Gospel of John, including the story
of the Marriage at Cana at which Jesus turns water into wine, was intended to show Jesus as superior to Dionysus.[45]
Additionally, some scholars of comparative mythology argue that both Dionysus and Jesus represent the
"dying-and-returning god" mythological archetype.[29] Other elements, such as the celebration by a ritual meal of
bread and wine, also have parallels.[46] Powell, in particular, argues precursors to the Christian notion of
transubstantiation can be found in Dionysian religion.[46]
Another parallel can be seen in The Bacchae wherein Dionysus appears before King Pentheus on charges of claiming
divinity is compared to the New Testament scene of Jesus being interrogated by Pontius Pilate.[45] [46] [47]
E. Kessler in a symposium Pagan Monotheism in the Roman Empire, Exeter, 17–20 July 2006, argues that
Dionysian cult had developed into strict monotheism by the 4th century CE; together with Mithraism and other sects
the cult formed an instance of "pagan monotheism" in direct competition with Early Christianity during Late
Antiquity.[48]
Dionysus 55

In art

Classical
The god appeared on many kraters and other wine vessels from
classical Greece. His iconography became more complex in the
Hellenistic period, between severe archaising or Neo Attic types
such as the Dionysus Sardanapalus and types showing him as an
indolent and androgynous young man and often shown nude (see
the Dionysus and Eros, Naples Archeological Museum). The 4th
century Lycurgus Cup in the British Museum is a spectacular cage
cup which changes colour when light comes through the glass; it
shows the bound King Lycurgus (Thrace) being taunted by the god
and attacked by a satyr.

Elizabeth Kessler has theorized that a mosaic appearing on the


triclinium floor of the House of Aion in Nea Paphos, Cyprus,
details a monotheistic worship of Dionysus.[49] In the mosaic,
other gods appear but may only be lesser representations of the
centrally-imposed Dionysus.

Modern views
Dionysus has remained an inspiration to artists, philosophers and
writers into the modern era. In The Birth of Tragedy (1872), the
"Bacchus" by Michelangelo (1497)
German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche contrasted Dionysus with
the god Apollo as a symbol of the fundamental, unrestrained
aesthetic principle of force, music, and intoxication versus the principle of sight, form, and beauty represented by the
latter. Nietzsche also claimed that the oldest forms of Greek Tragedy were entirely based on suffering of Dionysus.
Nietzsche continued to contemplate the character of Dionysus, which he revisited in the final pages of his 1886 work
Beyond Good and Evil. This reconceived Nietzschean Dionysus was invoked as an embodiment of the central will to
power concept in Nietzsche's later works The Twilight of the Idols, The Antichrist and Ecce Homo.

The Russian poet and philosopher Vyacheslav Ivanov elaborated the theory of Dionysianism, which traces the roots
of literary art in general and the art of tragedy in particular to ancient Dionysian mysteries. His views were expressed
in the treatises The Hellenic Religion of the Suffering God (1904), and Dionysus and Early Dionysianism (1921).
Inspired by James Frazer, some have labeled Dionysus a life-death-rebirth deity. The mythographer Karl Kerenyi
devoted much energy to Dionysus over his long career; he summed up his thoughts in Dionysos: Archetypal Image
of Indestructible Life (Bollingen, Princeton) 1976.
Dionysus is the main character of Aristophanes' play The Frogs, later updated to a modern version by Burt
Shevelove (libretto) and Stephen Sondheim (music and lyrics) ("The time is the present. The place is ancient Greece.
... "). In the play, Dionysus and his slave Xanthius venture to Hades to bring a famed writer back from the dead, with
the hopes that the writer's presence in the world will fix all nature of earthly problems. In Aristophanes' play,
Euripides competes against Aeschylus to be recovered from the underworld; In Sondheim and Shevelove's, George
Bernard Shaw faces William Shakespeare.
The Romanised equivalent of Dionysus was referenced in the 1852 plantation literature novel Aunt Phillis's Cabin is
alive, which featured a character named Uncle Bacchus, who was so-named due to his excessive alcoholism.
Dionysus 56

Both Eddie Campbell and Grant Morrison have utilised the character. Morrison claims that the myth of Dionysus
provides the inspiration for his violent and explicit graphic novel Kill Your Boyfriend, whilst Campbell used the
character in his Deadface series to explore both the conventions of super-hero comic books and artistic endeavour.
Walt Disney has depicted the character on a number of occasions. The first such portrayal of Dionysus, as the
Roman Bacchus, was in the "Pastoral" segment of Walt Disney's 3rd classic Fantasia. In keeping with the more
fun-loving Roman god, he is portrayed as an overweight, happily drunk man wearing a tunic and cloak, grape leaves
on his head, carrying a goblet of wine, and riding a drunken donkey named Jacchus ("jackass"). He is friends with
the fauns and centaurs, and is shown celebrating a harvest festival. Other portrayals have appeared in both the
Disney movie and spin-off TV series of Hercules. He was depicted as an overweight drunkard as opposed to his
youthful descriptions in myths. He has bright pink skin and rosy red cheeks hinting at his drunkenness. He always
carries either a bottle or glass of wine in his hand, and like in the myths, wears a wreath of grape leaves upon his
head. He is known by his Roman name in the series 'Bacchus', and in one episode headlines his own festival known
as the 'Bacchanal'.
In music Dionysius (together with Demeter) was used as an archetype for the character Tori by contemporary artist
Tori Amos in her 2007 album American Doll Posse, and the Canadian rock band Rush refer to a confrontation and
hatred between Dionysus and Apollo in the Cygnus X-1 duology.
In literature, Dionysius has proven equally inspiring. Rick Riordan's series of books Percy Jackson & The Olympians
presents Dionysus as an uncaring, childish and spoilt god who as a punishment has to work in Camp Half-Blood. In
Fred Saberhagen's 2001 novel, God of the Golden Fleece, a young man in a post-apocalyptic world picks up an
ancient piece of technology shaped in the likeness of the Dionysus. Here, Dionysus is depicted as a relatively weak
god, albeit a subversive one whose powers are able to undermine the authority of tyrants.
A version of Bacchus also appears in C.S. Lewis' Prince Caspian, part of the Chronicles of Narnia. Lewis depicts
him as dangerous-looking, androgynous young boy who helps Aslan awaken the spirits of the Narnian trees and
rivers. He does not appear in the 2008 film version.
In 2009 the poet Stephen Howarth and veteran theatre producer Andrew Hobbs collaborated on a play entitled
Bacchus in Rehab with Dionysus as the central character. The authors describe the piece as "combining highbrow
concept and lowbrow humour".[50]
The second season of True Blood involves a plot line wherein a maenad, Maryann, causes mayhem in the Louisiana
town of Bon Temps in attempt to summon Dionysus.

Names originating from Dionysus


• Dion (also spelled Deion and Dionne)
• Denise (also spelled Denice, Daniesa, Denese, and Denisse)
• Dennis, Denis or Denys (including the derivative surnames Denison and Dennison), Denny
• Denis, Dionis, Dionisie (Romanian)
• Dénes (Hungarian)
• Dionisio/Dyonisio (Spanish), Dionigi (Italian)
• Διονύσιος, Διονύσης, Νιόνιος (Dionysios, Dionysis, Nionios Modern Greek)
• Deniska (diminutive of Russian Denis, itself a derivative of the Greek)
• Dionísio (Portuguese)
Dionysus 57

Gallery

The Ludovisi Dionysos riding a leopard, 4th Statue of Dionysus Dionysus extending a
Dionysus with century BC mosaic from Pella (Sardanapalus) (Museo drinking cup (kantharos),
panther, satyr and Palazzo Massimo Alle late 6th century BC
grapes on a vine Terme, Rome)
(Palazzo Altemps,
Rome)

Drinking Bacchus (1623) Guido


Reni

Notes
[1] Another variant, from the Spanish royal colledtion, is at the Museo del Prado, Madrid: illustration.
[2] Kerenyi 1976.
[3] Thomas McEvilley, The Shape of Ancient Thought, Allsworth press, 2002, pp.118-121. googlebooks preview (http:/ / books. google. co. za/
books?id=vTfm8KHn900C& lpg=PA118& dq=dionysus thracian& pg=PA118#v=onepage& q& f=false)
[4] Reginald Pepys Winnington-Ingram, Sophocles: an interpretation, Cambridge University Press, 1980, p.109 googlebooks preview (http:/ /
books. google. co. za/ books?id=OPo8nVmC9LQC& pg=PA109& dq=dionysus+ thracian& hl=en& ei=J8P_TMXlFcO-4ganoZ3OCA&
sa=X& oi=book_result& ct=result& resnum=4& ved=0CDMQ6AEwAzgK#v=onepage& q=thrace& f=false)
[5] Zofia H. Archibald, in Gocha R. Tsetskhladze (Ed.) Ancient Greeks west and east, Brill, 1999, p.429 ff. googlebooks preview (http:/ / books.
google. co. za/ books?id=ctsUcNshh68C& lpg=PA432& dq=dionysus thracian& pg=PA432#v=onepage& q& f=false)
[6] Otto, Walter F. (1995). Dionysus Myth and Cult. Indiana University Press. ISBN 0253208912.
[7] Gods of Love and Ecstasy, Alain Danielou p.15
[8] In Greek "both votary and god are called Bacchus." Burkert, Greek Religion 1985:162. For the initiate as Bacchus, see Euripides, Bacchantes
491. For the god, who alone is Dionysus, see Sophocles Oedipus the King 211 and Euripides Hippolytus 560.
[9] Sutton, p.2, mentions Dionysus as The Liberator in relation to the city Dionysia festivals. In Euripides, Bacchae 379-385: "He holds this
office, to join in dances, [380] to laugh with the flute, and to bring an end to cares, whenever the delight of the grape comes at the feasts of the
gods, and in ivy-bearing banquets the goblet sheds sleep over men." (http:/ / www. perseus. tufts. edu/ cgi-bin/ ptext?lookup=Eur. + Ba. + 370)
[10] Xavier Riu, Dionysism and Comedy, Rowman and Littlefield, 1999, p.105 ff. googlebooks preview (http:/ / books. google. co. uk/
books?id=wob1UszzkZwC& lpg=PR7& ots=k4W8gIVT_T& dq=riu, xavier, dionysism and comedy, chapter 4, happiness& lr=lang_en&
pg=PA105#v=onepage& q=dead presides living& f=false)
[11] Dictionary of Ancient Deities by Patricia Turner and the late Charles Russell Coulter, 2001, p.152.
Dionysus 58

[12] Dictionary of Ancient Deities by Patricia Turner and the late Charles Russell Coulter, 2001, p.520.
[13] Gods of Love and Ecstasy, Alain Danielou p.135
[14] John Chadwick, The Mycenaean World, Cambridge University Press, 1976, 99ff: "But Dionysos surprisingly appears twice at Pylos, in the
form Diwonusos, both times irritatingly enough on fragments, so that we have no means of verifying his divinity."
[15] Palaeolexicon (http:/ / www. palaeolexicon. com/ default. aspx?static=12& wid=346747), Word study tool of ancient languages
[16] This is recognized by Garcia Ramon (1987) and Peters (1989) and is summarised and endorsed in Janda (2010:20).
[17] Fox, p. 217, "The word Dionysos is divisible into two parts, the first originally Διος (cf. Ζευς), while the second is of an unknown
signification, although perhaps connected with the name of the Mount Nysa which figures in the story of Lykourgos: (...) when Dionysos had
been reborn from the thigh of Zeus, Hermes entrusted him to the nymphs of Mount Nysa, who fed him on the food of the gods, and made him
immortal".
[18] Found in an early 5th c. BC fragment, FGrH 3, 178. The context is a discussion of the name of Dionysus: "Nũsas (acc. pl.), he [Pherecydes]
said, was what they called the trees."
[19] see Janda (2010), 16-44 for a detailed account.
[20] Pausanias, 8.39.6.
[21] Stephanus of Byzantium, s.v. Ακρωρεία
[22] Ausonius, Epigr. xxix. 6.
[23] Pausanias, ix. 8. § 1.
[24] Janda (2010), 16-44.
[25] Kerenyi 1976:286.
[26] Jameson 1993, 53. Cf.n16 for suggestions of Devereux on "Enorkhes".
[27] Rosemarie Taylor-Perry, The God Who Comes: Dionysian Mysteries Revisited. Algora Press 2003, p.89, cf. Sabazius.
[28] Apollodorus (Pseudo Apollodorus), Library and Epitome, 1.3.2 (http:/ / www. perseus. tufts. edu/ cgi-bin/ ptext?lookup=Apollod. + 1. 3. 2).
"Orpheus also invented the mysteries of Dionysus, and having been torn in pieces by the Maenads he is buried in Pieria."
[29] Burkert, Walter, Greek Religion, 1985 pp. 64, 132
[30] Diorodus V 75.4, noted by Karl Kerényi, Dionysos: Archetypal Image of Indestructible Life (Princeton University Press) 1976, "The Cretan
core of the Dionysos myth" p 110 note 213 and pp 110-114.
[31] Diodorus III 64.1, also noted by Kerény (110 note 214.)
[32] Damascius, Commentary on the Phaedo, I, 170, see in translation Westerink, The Greek Commentaries on Plato's Phaedo, vol. II (The
Prometheus Trust, Westbury) 2009
[33] Damascius, Commentary on the Phaedo, I, 1-13 and 165-172, see in translation Westerink, The Greek Commentaries on Plato's Phaedo, vol.
II, The Prometheus Trust, Westbury, 2009
[34] Apollodorus, The Library, with an English Translation by Sir James George Frazer, F.B.A., F.R.S. in 2 Volumes. Cambridge, MA, Harvard
University Press; London, William Heinemann Ltd. 1921. Includes Frazer's notes. ISBN 0674991354, ISBN 0674991362
[35] Theoi.com" Homeric Hymn to Dionysus (http:/ / www. theoi. com/ Olympios/ DionysosWrath. html#Tyrrhenian)
[36] British Museum (http:/ / www. britishmuseum. org/ explore/ highlights/ highlight_objects/ pe_mla/ t/ the_lycurgus_cup. aspx) on the
Lycurgus Cup
[37] Hyginus, Astronomy 2.5.
[38] Clement of Alexandria, Protreptikos, II-30 3-5
[39] Arnobius, Against the Gentiles 5.28 (Dalby 2005, pp. 108–117)
[40] Nonnus, Dionysiaca (X.175-430; XI; XII.1-117); (Dalby 2005, pp. 55–62).
[41] Photius, Library; "Ptolemy Chennus, New History"
[42] The mid-19th century debates are traced in G.S. Williamson, The Longing for Myth in Germany, 2004.
[43] Pausanias, Description of Greece 6. 26. 1 - 2
[44] Athenaeus, Deipnosophistae 2. 34a
[45] Wick, Peter (2004). "Jesus gegen Dionysos? Ein Beitrag zur Kontextualisierung des Johannesevangeliums" (http:/ / www. bsw. org/
?l=71851& a=Comm06. html). Biblica (Rome: Pontifical Biblical Institute) 85 (2): 179–198. . Retrieved 2007-10-10.
[46] Powell, Barry B., Classical Myth Second ed. With new translations of ancient texts by Herbert M. Howe. Upper Saddle River, New Jersey:
Prentice-Hall, Inc., 1998.
[47] Studies in Early Christology (http:/ / books. google. com/ books?id=0fLPOx1B-AwC& pg=PA331& lpg=PA331& dq="dionysus+ had+
been+ at+ home+ in+ palestine+ for+ a+ long+ time"& source=web& ots=GHsCkhiNP6& sig=qE6Sov5Xi_LB_zpRAQZreSAekTQ), by
Martin Hengel, 2005, p.331 (ISBN 0567042804)
[48] E. Kessler, Dionysian Monotheism in Nea Paphos, Cyprus: "two monotheistic religions, Dionysian and Christian, existed
contemporaneously in Nea Paphos during the 4th century C.E. [...] the particular iconography of Hermes and Dionysos in the panel of the
Epiphany of Dionysos [...] represents the culmination of a pagan iconographic tradition in which an infant divinity is seated on the lap of
another divine figure; this pagan motif was appropriated by early Christian artists and developed into the standardized icon of the Virgin and
Child. Thus the mosaic helps to substantiate the existence of pagan monotheism." ( Abstract (http:/ / www. huss. ex. ac. uk/ classics/
conferences/ pagan_monotheism/ abstracts. html))
[49] Kessler, E., Dionysian Monotheism in Nea Paphos, Cyprus,
[50] Facsimile Productions - Current Productions (http:/ / www. facsimileproductions. co. uk/ page_1193321376829. html)
Dionysus 59

References
• Dalby, Andrew (2005). The Story of Bacchus. London: British Museum Press. ISBN 0714122556 (US ISBN
0-89236-742-3)
• Farnell, Lewis Richard, The Cults of the Greek States, 1896. Volume V, cf. Chapter IV, Cults of Dionysos;
Chapter V, Dionysiac Ritual; Chapter VI, Cult-Monuments of Dionysos; Chapter VII, Ideal Dionysiac Types.
• Fox, William Sherwood, The Mythology of All Races, v.1, Greek and Roman, 1916, General editor, Louis Herbert
Gray.
• Janda, Michael, Die Musik nach dem Chaos, Innsbruck 2010.
• Jameson, Michael. "The Asexuality of Dionysus." Masks of Dionysus. Ed. Thomas H. Carpenter and Christopher
A. Faraone. Ithaca: Cornell UP, 1993. ISBN 0-8014-8062-0. 44-64.
• Kerényi, Karl, Dionysos: Archetypal Image of Indestructible Life, (Princeton: Bollingen) 1976. googlebooks
preview (http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=cXL-QIIhn5gC&printsec=frontcover&dq=Dionysos:+
Archetypal+Image+of+Indestructible+Life&source=bl&ots=Yfys2bq-l8&
sig=kttZbkmKrfdmjIQ8bHPJzd6ZhaY&hl=en&ei=jggGTbirMoeA4Qax1JG7Cg&sa=X&oi=book_result&
ct=result&resnum=1&ved=0CB0Q6AEwAA#v=onepage&q&f=false)
• Pickard-Cambridge, Arthur, The Theatre of Dionysus at Athens, 1946.
• Powell, Barry B., Classical Myth, 5th edition, 2007.
• Ridgeway, William, Origin of Tragedy, 1910. Kessinger Publishing (June 2003). ISBN 0-7661-6221-4.
• Ridgeway, William, The Dramas and Dramatic Dances of non-European Races in special reference to the origin
of Greek Tragedy, with an appendix on the origin of Greek Comedy, 1915.
• Riu, Xavier, Dionysism and Comedy, Rowman and Littlefield Publishers (1999). ISBN 0-8476-9442-9. (http://
ccat.sas.upenn.edu/bmcr/2000/2000-06-13.html)
• Seaford, Richard. "Dionysos", Routledge (2006). ISBN 0-415-32488-2.
• Smith, William, Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology, 1870, article on Dionysus, (http://
www.ancientlibrary.com/smith-bio/1052.html)
• Sutton, Dana F., Ancient Comedy, Twayne Publishers (August 1993). ISBN 0-8057-0957-6.

Bibliography
• Livy, History of Rome, Book 39 (http://mcadams.posc.mu.edu/txt/ah/Livy/Livy39.html):13, Description of
banned Bacchanalia in Rome and Italy
• Detienne, Marcel, Arthur Goldhammer (translator), Dionysos at Large, Harvard University Press, 1989. ISBN
0674207734. (Originally in French as Dionysos à ciel ouvert, 1986)
• Albert Henrichs, Between City and Country: Cultic Dimensions of Dionysus in Athens and Attica, (April 1, 1990).
Department of Classics, UCB. Cabinet of the Muses: Rosenmeyer Festschrift. Paper festschrift18. (http://
repositories.cdlib.org/ucbclassics/ctm/festschrift18/)
• Seaford, Richard. Dionysos (Gods and Heroes of the Ancient World). Oxford: Routledge, 2006 (hardcover, ISBN
0-415-32487-4; paperback, ISBN 0-415-32488-2).
• Taylor-Perry, Rosemarie The God Who Comes: Dionysian Mysteries Revisited. New York: Algora Press, 2003
(hardcover, ISBN 0-87586-214-4; paperback, ISBN 0-87586-213-6).
Dionysus 60

External links
• Theoi Project, Dionysos (http://www.theoi.com/Olympios/Dionysos.html) myths from original sources, cult,
classical art
• Iconographic Themes in Art: Bacchus | Dionysos (http://www.xs4all.nl/~schuffel/english/bacchus/)
• Thomas Taylor's treatise on the Bacchic Mysteries (http://www.prometheustrust.co.uk/html/7_-_oracles.
html)
• Dionysos Links and Booklist (http://www.baubo5.com/dionysos.html) (A huge list of links.)
• Mosaic of Dionysus at Ephesus Terrace Home-2 (http://www.panoramio.com/photo/4731362)
• The birth of Dionysus from the thigh of Zeus (http://www.uark.edu/campus-resources/achilles/graphics/trag
Dionysus 667.gif) - Volute crater from Apulia

Dis Pater
Dis Pater, or Dispater (cf. Skt. Dyaus Pitar), was a Roman god of the underworld, later subsumed by Pluto or
Hades. Originally a chthonic god of riches, fertile agricultural land, and underground mineral wealth, he was later
commonly equated with the Roman deities Pluto and Orcus, becoming an underworld deity.
Dis Pater was commonly shortened to simply Dis (much like how Dyaus Pitar was also simply called Dyaus). This
name has since become an alternative name for the underworld or a part of the underworld, such as the Dis of The
Divine Comedy.

Etymology
Dis Pater was originally a god of wealth, much like the Roman god Pluto (from Greek Πλούτων, Ploutōn, meaning
"wealthy"), who was later equated with Dis Pater. Dis is contracted from the Latin dis (from dives meaning "rich"),
and pater ("father"), the literal meaning of Dis Pater being "Wealthy Father" or "Father of Riches" .
Julius Caesar writes in Commentarii de Bello Gallico that the Gauls considered Dis Pater to be an ancestor. In thus
interpreting the Gauls' god as Dis, Caesar offers one of his many examples of interpretatio Romana, the
re-identification of foreign divinities as their closest Roman counterparts. The choice of Dis to translate whatever
Celtic divinity Caesar has in mind - most likely Cernunnos, as the two are both associated with both the Underworld
and prosperity - may in part be due to confusion between Dis Pater and the Proto-Indo-European deity *Dyeus, who
would have been addressed as *Dyeu Phter ("Sky Father"). This name is also the likely origin of the name of many
Indo-European gods, including Zeus and Jupiter, though the name's similarity to Dis Pater may be in part
coincidental.

Mythology
Like Pluto, Dis Pater eventually became associated with death and the underworld because the wealth of the
earth—gems and precious metals—was considered in the domain of the Greco-Roman underworld. As a result, Dis
Pater was over time conflated with the Roman god Pluto, who became associated with the Greek god Hades as the
deity's role as a god of death became more prominent than his role as a wealth god.
In being conflated with Pluto, Dis Pater took on some of the Greek mythological attributes of Pluto/Hades, being one
of the three sons of Saturn (Greek: Cronus) and Ops (Greek: Rhea), along with Jupiter and Neptune. He ruled the
underworld and the dead beside his wife, Proserpina (Greek: Persephone).[1] In literature, Dis Pater was commonly
used as a symbolic and poetic way of referring to death itself.
Dis Pater 61

Worship
When Dis Pater was in the underworld, only oaths and curses could reach him, and people invoked him by striking
the earth with their hands. Black sheep were sacrificed to him, and those who performed the sacrifice averted their
faces. Dis Pater, like his Greek equivalent, Hades, had little or no real cult following, and so there are few statues of
him.
In 249 BC and 207 BC, the Roman Senate under Senator Lucius Catelli ordained special festivals to appease Dis
Pater and Proserpina. Every hundred years, a festival was celebrated in his name. According to legend, a round
marble altar, Altar of Dis Pater and Proserpina (Latin: Ara Ditis Patris et Proserpinae), was miraculously
discovered by the servants of a Sabine called Valesius, the ancestor of the first consul. The servants were digging in
the Tarentum on the edge of the Campus Martius to lay foundations following instructions given to Valesius's
children in dreams, when they found the altar 20 feet (6 m) underground. Valesius reburied the altar after three days
of games. Sacrifices were offered to this altar during the Ludi Saeculares or Ludi Tarentini. It may have been
uncovered for each occasion of the games, to be reburied afterwards, a clearly chthonic tradition of worship. It was
rediscovered in 1886–87 beneath the Corso Vittorio Emanuele in Rome.[2] [3]
In addition to being considered the ancestor of the Gauls, Dis Pater was sometimes identified with the Sabine god
Soranus. In southern Germany and the Balkans, Dis Pater had a Celtic goddess, Aericura, as a consort. Dis Pater was
rarely associated with foreign deities in the shortened form of his name, Dis.[4]

References

Notes
[1] Grimal. The Dictionary of Classical Mythology. Oxford: Basil Blackwell. pp. 141, 177. ISBN 0631132090.
[2] Nash. Pictorial Dictionary of Ancient Rome Volume 1. London: A. Zwemmer Ltd. p. 57. ISBN 0878172653.
[3] Richardson. A New Topographical Dictionary of Ancient Rome. London: Thames and Hudson. pp. 110–111. ISBN 0801843006..
[4] Green. Dictionary of Celtic Myth and Legend. London: Thames and Hudson. pp. 81–82. ISBN 0500015163.
Dius Fidius 62

Dius Fidius
Ancient Roman religion

Practices and beliefs


Imperial cult  · festivals  · ludi
mystery religions · funerals
temples · auspice · sacrifice
votum · libation · lectisternium

Priesthoods
College of Pontiffs · Augur
Vestal Virgins · Flamen · Fetial
Epulones · Arval Brethren
Quindecimviri sacris faciundis

Dii Consentes
Jupiter · Juno · Neptune · Minerva
Mars · Venus · Apollo · Diana
Vulcan · Vesta · Mercury · Ceres

Other deities
Janus · Quirinus · Saturn ·
Hercules · Faunus · Priapus
Bacchus (Liber) · Bona Dea · Ops
Castor and Pollux · Cupid
Chthonic deities: Proserpina ·
Dis Pater · Pluto · Orcus ·
Hecate · Di Manes
Domestic and local deities:
Lares · Di Penates · Genius
Hellenistic deities: Sol Invictus · Magna Mater · Isis ·
Mithras
Deified emperors:
Divus Julius  · Divus Augustus
See also List of Roman deities

Related topics
Roman mythology
Glossary of ancient Roman religion
Religion in ancient Greece
Etruscan religion
Gallo-Roman religion
Decline of Hellenistic polytheism

In ancient Roman religion, Dius Fidius (less often as Dius Fidus) was a god associated with Jupiter. His name was
thought to be related to Fides[1] , and he was a god of oaths.
Dius Fidius 63

Fidius may be an earlier form for filius, "son",[2] with the name Dius Fidius originally referring to Hercules as a son
of Jupiter[3] . According to some writers,[4] the phrase medius fidius was equivalent to mehercule "My Hercules!", a
common interjection.

References
[1] Sextus Pompeius Festus s. v. medius
[2] William Smith, Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology, v. 2, page 150, under Fidius (http:/ / www. ancientlibrary. com/
smith-bio/ 1258. html)
[3] Ovid, Fasti, 6. 213
[4] Cicero, Letters to friends, 5. 21; Pliny, Letters, 4. 3

External links
• Myth Index - Fidius (http://www.mythindex.com/roman-mythology/F/Fidius.html)

Domiducus
In Roman mythology, Domiducus was the god who brought brides to their husbands' houses. His feminine
counterpart was Domiduca.

Domitius
Domitius (or Domidius), in Roman mythology, was a god of marriage, specifically, "The god which helps the
groom bring the bride into the marriage house."[1] [2] who kept wives in the households of their husbands. The name
is derived from the Latin word for "home".

References
[1] Gregory Flood's Roman Gods and Goddesses (http:/ / ancienthistory. about. com/ library/ bl/ bl_gregory_gods. htm)
[2] Roman God Name Evolution (http:/ / www. mythome. org/ romegodevol. html)
Elagabalus (deity) 64

Elagabalus (deity)
Elagabalus or Heliogabalus is a Syro-Roman sun god.

Cult
Elagabalus was initially venerated at Emesa
in Syria. The name is the Latinized form of
the Syrian Ilāh hag-Gabal, which derives
from Ilāh "god" and gabal "mountain")
compare Hebrew: ‫לבג‬‎ gəbul and Arabic:
‫لبج‬‎ jabal), resulting in "the God of the
Mountain" the Emesene manifestation of the
deity.[1] The cult of the deity spread to other
parts of the Roman Empire in the second
century. For example, a dedication has been The temple at Emesa, containing the holy stone, on the reverse of this bronze coin
found as far away as Woerden by Roman usurper Uranius.

(Netherlands).[2]

In Rome
The cult statue was brought to Rome by the Emperor Marcus Aurelius Antoninus, who before his accession was the
hereditary high priest at Emesa and is commonly called Elagabalus after the deity.[3] The Syrian deity was
assimilated with the Roman sun god known as Sol Invictus ("the Undefeated Sun").[4]
A temple called the Elagabalium was built on the east face of the Palatine Hill, to house the holy stone of the Emesa
temple, a black conical meteorite.[5] Herodian writes of that stone:
This stone is worshipped as though it were sent from heaven; on it there are some small projecting
pieces and markings that are pointed out, which the people would like to believe are a rough picture of
the sun, because this is how they see them.[6]
Herodian also relates that Elagabalus
forced senators to watch while he danced
around his deity's altar to the sound of
drums and cymbals,[5] and at each
summer solstice celebrated a great
festival, popular with the masses because
of food distributions,[7] during which he
placed the holy stone on a chariot adorned
with gold and jewels, which he paraded
through the city:

A six horse chariot carried Roman aureus depicting Elagabalus. The reverse reads Sanct Deo Soli Elagabal (To
the Holy Sun God Elagabal), and depicts a four-horse, gold chariot carrying the holy
the divinity, the horses huge
stone of the Emesa temple.
and flawlessly white, with
expensive gold fittings and
rich ornaments. No one held the reins, and no one rode in the chariot; the vehicle was escorted as if the
Elagabalus (deity) 65

god himself were the charioteer. Elagabalus ran backward in front of the chariot, facing the god and
holding the horses reins. He made the whole journey in this reverse fashion, looking up into the face of
his god.[7]
Herodian's description strongly suggests that the Emesene cult was inspired by the Babylonian Akitu-festival.[8]
The Emperor also tried to bring about a union of Roman and Syrian religion under the supremacy of his deity, which
he placed even above Jupiter,[9] and to which he assigned either Astarte, Minerva or Urania, or some combination of
the three, as wife.[7] The most sacred relics from the Roman religion were transferred from their respective shrines to
the Elagabalium, including "the emblem of the Great Mother, the fire of Vesta, the Palladium, the shields of the
Salii, and all that the Romans held sacred." He reportedly also declared that Jews, Samaritans and Christians must
transfer their rites to his temple so that it "might include the mysteries of every form of worship."[10]
After the Emperor was killed in 222, his religious edicts were reversed and the cult of Elagabalus returned to
Emesa.[11]

Literature
• M. Pietrzykowsky, "Die Religionspolitik des Kaisers Elagabal", in: Aufstieg und Niedergang der römischen Welt
II 16.3 (1986) 806-1825

References
[1] Lenormant, Francois (1881). "Sol Elagabalus". Revue de l'Histoire des Religions 3: 310.
[2] An Early Dedication to Elagabal (http:/ / rambambashi. wordpress. com/ 2008/ 05/ 22/ an-early-dedication-to-elagabal/ ); the inscription is in
now in Woerden's city museum.
[3] Halsberghe, Gaston H. (1972). The Cult of Sol Invictus. Leiden: Brill. pp. 62.
[4] Devlaminck, Pieter (2004). "De Cultus van Sol Invictus: Een vergelijkende studie tussen keizer Elagabalus (218-222) en keizer Aurelianus
(270-275)" (http:/ / www. ethesis. net/ invictus/ invictus_inhoud. htm) (in Dutch). University of Ghent. . Retrieved 2007-08-07.
[5] Herodian, Roman History V.5 (http:/ / www. livius. org/ he-hg/ herodian/ hre505. html)
[6] Herodian, Roman History V.3 (http:/ / www. livius. org/ he-hg/ herodian/ hre503. html)
[7] Herodian, Roman History V.6 (http:/ / www. livius. org/ he-hg/ herodian/ hre506. html).
[8] M. Geller, "The Last Wedge," in Zeitschrift für Assyriologie 87 (1997), pp. 43-95.
[9] Cassius Dio, Roman History LXXX.11 (http:/ / penelope. uchicago. edu/ Thayer/ E/ Roman/ Texts/ Cassius_Dio/ 80*. html#79-11)
[10] Augustan History, Life of Elagabalus 3 (http:/ / penelope. uchicago. edu/ Thayer/ E/ Roman/ Texts/ Historia_Augusta/ Elagabalus/ 1*.
html#3. 4)
[11] Herodian, Roman History VI.6 (http:/ / www. livius. org/ he-hg/ herodian/ hre601. html)

External links
• Livius.org: Elagabal (http://www.livius.org/ei-er/elagabal/elagabal.html)
Endovelicus 66

Endovelicus
Endovelicus (Endovélico in Portuguese, also Endouellicus), was an Iron Age god of public health and safety,
worshipped in pre-Roman and Roman Lusitania and Gallaecia. He was associated with chthonic oracles and healing,
and was probably the recipient of pig sacrifices. After the Roman invasion, his cult spread to most of the Roman
Empire, but was always most popular in the Roman provinces of Lusitania (covering part of what is now Portugal)
and Betica (located in Southern Spain). Thus he is considered part of the Roman mythology and the related
Lusitanian and Gallaecian mytology.
Endovelicus has a temple in São Miguel da Mota in Alentejo, Portugal, and there are numerous inscriptions and
ex-votos dedicated to him in the Museu Etnológico de Lisboa (the Ethnological Museum of Lisbon). The cult of
Endovelicus prevailed until the 5th century, just when Christianity was spreading in the region.

Powers
Endovelicus was a supreme solar healing god, thus a god of Medicine. Some suspect he was also a god who wore
several faces, one of which may have been an "infernal" one, since all solar gods went down to the infernos and
returned with healing power.
After receiving certain rites, if a person or priest slept in his sanctuary, Endovelicus would talk to them in their
dreams and even tell them about their own future or offer advice.
Endovelicus also protected the cities or region that venerated him. The epithets given to Endovelicus are deus,
sanctus, prarsentissimus and preaestantissimus. These suggest that the god was effective, and always present and
living on the sanctuary. Votive altars suggest that the god inspired the early Lusitanian resistance against the
Romans.

The name
In the 19th century, António da Visitação Freire classified the name of "Endovelicus" as a mixed Celtic and
Phoenician name, adapted to the Roman language. The End- radical would be from Celtic languages; Bel (or Vel-)
would be Phoenician for Lord and - Cus a usual word termination in Latin. José Leite de Vasconcelos believed the
word Endovellicus was originally Celtic, Andevellicos, meaning very good.

Temples and cult


As a powerful Lusitanian God, the Romans also adopted it and his cult spread to other regions of the Empire.
In the municipality of Alandroal, there is the Santuário da Rocha da Mina (Mina's Rock Sanctuary); some authors
classify it as a temple of Endovelicus. It is the only known place of this kind in Southern Portugal. Near the temple,
we can find the Lucefecit rivulet that has been associated with Lucifer since the Middle Ages. Lucifer was the name
used by the Romans for the Morning star and the goddess Venus. Some authors connect the name of the rivulet with
the meaning of the place as being the "Glimpse of Light". A kilometer away, there is a sacred fountain that is said to
be more ancient than the temple; its waters are still considered medicinal.
The temple is rocky and hemmed in by a rocky formation that protects the site and the chiselled flooring is often
related to Roman sacrificial altars. This sort of monument is not uncommon in the North of Portugal and on the
Spanish Meseta.
Leite de Vasconcelos mentions that the site was used by Roman people from all walks of life. Several inscriptions
suggest that the temple of Endovelicus was used as an oracle. One of the inscriptions states: EX IMPERATO AVERNO.
Leite de Vasconcelos translated this as “segundo a determinação que emanou de baixo" (by the determination that
emanated from below) suggesting that there is a similarity to the Temple of Apollo at Delphi. Steam would emanate
Endovelicus 67

from below, deep within the earth, and bestow clairvoyance. Vasconcelos also suggests that believers practiced the
incubatio, sleeping at the site, hoping for dreams they could interpret later.
In Castro de Ulaca in Ávila, a city on the border of the ancient province of Lusitania, a sanctuary dedicated to
Vaelicus has been discovered. The name could be related to Endovelicus.
The most notable sanctuary hypothetically dedicated to Endovelicus, is the Roman Sanctuary of Panóias in Vila
Real, Trás-os-Montes, with a complex system of "sinks" bearing Roman inscriptions. Nearby, in Cabeço de São
Miguel da Mota, another temple dedicated to Endovelicus was built and, on its ruins, the Alans built or readapted the
previous temple, a sanctuary dedicated to Saint Michael (São Miguel in Portuguese). The Muslims transformed the
temple into a mosque, and with the Reconquista the temple was once agan made a Christian temple. In 1559 the
temple was still somewhat well preserved when the Cardinal Henrique ordered 96 marble columns to be removed
from the place to build the Colégio do Espírito Santo in Évora. From the building only the staging remained. But
archaeological forays have turned up pottery and amphorae as well as votive altars dedicated to Endovelicus, and
lead to the discovery of several architectural elements, among them the "sinks" made in the rocks. The sinks suggests
the existence of rituals, animal sacrifice and, possibly, feasts of a ritual nature.

References
• Loução, Paulo Alexandre: Portugal, Terra de Mistérios Ésquilo, 2000 (third edition; ISBN 972-8605-04-8).
• Michael Jordan, Encyclopedia of Gods, Kyle Cathie Limited, 2002

See also
• Lusitanian mythology
• List of deities
• List of Di Indigetes
Evander of Pallene 68

Evander of Pallene
In Roman mythology, Evander (from Greek Εὔανδρος
Euandros, "good man" or "strong man")[1] [2] or Euander was a
deific culture hero from Arcadia, Greece, who brought the Greek
pantheon, laws and alphabet to Italy, where he founded the city of
Pallantium on the future site of Rome, sixty years before the
Trojan War. He instituted the Lupercalia.

The oldest tradition of its founding ascribes to Evander the


erection of the Great Altar of Hercules in the Forum Boarium. In
Virgil's Aeneid, VIII, where Aeneas and his crew first come upon
them, Evander and his people are engaged in venerating Hercules
for having dispatched the giant Cacus. Virgil's listeners recognized
the same Great Altar of Hercules in the Forum Boarium of their
own day, one detail among the passages that Virgil has saturated Evander from "Promptuarii Iconum Insigniorum "
with references linking a heroic past with the Age of Augustus. As
Virgil's backstory goes, Hercules had been returning from Gades with Geryon's cattle when Evander entertained him
and was the first to raise an altar to this hero. The archaic altar was destroyed in the Great Fire of Rome, AD 64.

Evander was born to Mercury and Carmenta, and his wisdom was beyond that of all Arcadians. According to Virgil
[3]
, previous to the Trojan War, he gathered a group of natives to a city he founded in Italy near the Tiber river,
which he named Pallantium. Virgil states that he named the city in honor of his son, Pallas, although Pausanias as
well as Dionysius of Halicarnassus [4] say that Evander's birth city was Pallantium, thus he named the new city after
the one in Arcadia.
Since he met Anchises before the Trojan War, Evander aids Aeneas[5] in his battle against the Rutuli under the
autochthonous leader Turnus and plays a major role in Aeneid Book XII.
Evander was deified after his death and had an altar constructed in his name on the Aventine Hill.
Pallas apparently died childless, leaving the natives under Turnus to ravage his kingdom. However, the gens Fabia
claimed descent from Evander.

Notes
[1] Charlton T. Lewis, Charles Short, A Latin Dictionary at Perseus (http:/ / www. perseus. tufts. edu/ cgi-bin/ ptext?doc=Perseus:text:1999. 04.
0059:entry=#16312)
[2] A Greek spelling Euandros was affected by poets to emphasize the etymology of the name, "good man."
[3] 'Aeneid, viii
[4] Roman Antiquities, i. 31
[5] They share descent through their common ancestor Atlas

External links
•  Chisholm, Hugh, ed (1911). "Evander". Encyclopædia Britannica (Eleventh ed.). Cambridge University Press.
Eventus Bonus 69

Eventus Bonus
Ancient Roman religion

Practices and beliefs


Imperial cult  · festivals  · ludi
mystery religions · funerals
temples · auspice · sacrifice
votum · libation · lectisternium

Priesthoods
College of Pontiffs · Augur
Vestal Virgins · Flamen · Fetial
Epulones · Arval Brethren
Quindecimviri sacris faciundis

Dii Consentes
Jupiter · Juno · Neptune · Minerva
Mars · Venus · Apollo · Diana
Vulcan · Vesta · Mercury · Ceres

Other deities
Janus · Quirinus · Saturn ·
Hercules · Faunus · Priapus
Bacchus (Liber) · Bona Dea · Ops
Castor and Pollux · Cupid
Chthonic deities: Proserpina ·
Dis Pater · Pluto · Orcus ·
Hecate · Di Manes
Domestic and local deities:
Lares · Di Penates · Genius
Hellenistic deities: Sol Invictus · Magna Mater · Isis ·
Mithras
Deified emperors:
Divus Julius  · Divus Augustus
See also List of Roman deities

Related topics
Roman mythology
Glossary of ancient Roman religion
Religion in ancient Greece
Etruscan religion
Gallo-Roman religion
Decline of Hellenistic polytheism

Bonus Eventus - Good success was honoured inAncient Rome with a peculiar worship. On a denarius of Scribonius
Libo, gens occur these abbreviated words, owing no doubt (says Eckhel, v 303) to the Roman practice of
consecrating every thing capable of producing good and evil, as Fortune, Hope, Genius, etc. And thus with Eventus;
Eventus Bonus 70

just as Lucretius enumerates among events, Slavery, Liberty, Riches, Povery, War, Peace (L i v 456). Eventus,
according to Cicero's definition (De Invent. Rhet. i c 28), is "the issue of any matter respecting which we generally
inquire, what has resulted, or may result, or will ultimately result, from such circumstances." Thus if anything turned
out well it was attributed to Bonus Eventus; that it was considered to be of the same nature as Felicitas, is proved by
a denarius engraved in Morell. Thesaur. amongst the incerti, Tab ii D on which near a female head is inscribed BON
EVENT ET FELICITAS. Eckhel expresses his own opinion to be that "this Genius of the Romans is the same as the
'ΑΝΤΟΜΑΤΙΑ of the Greeks; and he quotes what Plutarch says of Timolean, "Having built in his house a shrine to
'ΑΝΤΟΜΑΤΙΑ, he sacrificed to her; but the house itself he dedicated to the sacred ∆ΑΙΜΩΥ (genius). And Nepos
also, in his life, corroberates the fact of that great reverence, which Timolean paid the above named deification of
chance or fortunate events. The reason for this conduct was, that whatever he undertook he prospered. Consequently,
'ΑΝΤΟΜΑΤΙΑ is niether more nor less than the spontaneous agency of Fortune, that is to say Eventus, and Bonus
Eventus, because thatnks were returned to it; and it was believed to be presided over by a good or sacred Genius, by
the Greeks styled ΑΓΑΘΟΣ, or ΓΕΠΟΣ ∆ΑΙΜΩΥ."
Bonus Eventus, according to Publius Victor, had a temple in the ninth quarter of Rome; and Ammianus also
mentions it. On consular denarii the female sex is assigned to Eventus (see Scribonia gens). Also on an
autonoomous, or family denarius of Galba. But on those of other emperors down to the time of Gallienus, this deity
is represented as of the male sex.

Sources

Fabulinus
In the popular religion of ancient Rome, though not appearing in literary Roman mythology, the god Fabulinus
(from fabulari, to speak) taught children to speak. He received an offering when the child spoke its first words. He
figured among what Walter Pater enumerated in Marius the Epicurean (1885) among:
the names of that populace of 'little gods', dear to the Roman home, which the pontiffs had placed on the
sacred list of the Indigitamenta,[1] to be invoked, because they can help, on special occasions, were not
forgotten in the long litany— Vatican who causes the infant to utter his first cry, Fabulinus who prompts
his first word, Cuba who keeps him quiet in his cot, Domiduca especially, for whom Marius had through
life a particular memory and devotion, the goddess who watches over one's safe coming home".[2]

Notes
[1] Lists of prayer formularies for invocations, or names of deities; cf. Di indigetes.
[2] Pater, Marius the Epicurean, ch. I, "The Religion of Numa".
Falacer 71

Falacer
Topics in Roman mythology

Important Gods:

Jupiter Minerva

Mars Mercury

Quirinus Vulcan

Vesta Ceres

Juno Venus

Fortuna Lares

Topics

Roman Kingdom

Religion in ancient Rome

Flamens

Roman, Greek, and Etruscan mythologies compared

Other gods of craft and trade:

Penates Lemures

Dei Lucrii Eventus Bonus

Furrina Portunes

Falacer, or more fully dīvus pater falacer, was an ancient Italian god, according to Varro.[1] Hartung[2] is inclined to
consider him an epithet of Jupiter, since falandum, according to Festus, was the Etruscan name for "heaven."
His name may appear in the name of the city of Falacrine (Latin: Falacrīnum or Phalacrīna).

References
• This article incorporates text by Leonhard Schmitz from the article "Falacer" in the public domain Dictionary of
Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology by William Smith (1870), vol. 2, p. 132.

Footnotes
[1] de L. L. v. 84, vii. 45
[2] Die Religion der Römer ii. p. 9
Fascinus 72

Fascinus
In ancient Roman religion and magic, the
fascinus or fascinum was the embodiment
of the divine phallus. The word can refer to
the deity himself (Fascinus), to phallus
effigies and amulets, and to the spells used
to invoke his divine protection.[1] Pliny calls
it a medicus invidiae, a "doctor" or remedy
for envy (invidia, a "looking upon") or the
evil eye.

A graphic representation of the power of the


fascinus to ward off the evil eye is found on
a Roman mosaic that depicts a phallus
ejaculating into a disembodied eye;[2] a
Gallo-Roman examples of the fascinum in bronze
1st-century BC terracotta figurine shows
"two little phallus-men sawing an eyeball in
half."[3] As a divinized phallus, the fascinus
shared attributes with Mutunus Tutunus,
whose shrine was supposed to date from the
founding of the city, and the imported Greek
god Priapus.[4]

The Vestal Virgins tended the cult of the


fascinus populi Romani, the sacred image of
the phallus that was one of the tokens of the
safety of the state. It was thus associated
with the Palladium.[5] Roman myths, such as
the begetting of Servius Tullius, suggest that
this phallus was an embodiment of a
masculine generative power located within
the hearth, regarded as sacred.[6] Augustine,
whose primary source on Roman religion
was the lost theological works of Varro,
notes that a phallic image was carried in A ca. 1st-century BC tintinnabulum or wind chime,
procession annually at the festival of Father found at Herculaneum, depicting the phallus as a beast
which the human male engages in combat
Liber, the Roman god identified with
Dionysus or Bacchus, for the purpose of
protecting the fields from fascinatio, magic compulsion:[7]
Fascinus 73

Phallus inscribed on a paving stone at


Pompeii

“ Varro says that certain rites of Liber were celebrated in Italy which were of such unrestrained wickedness that the shameful parts of the male
were worshipped at crossroads in his honour. … For, during the days of the festival of Liber, this obscene member, placed on a little trolley,
was first exhibited with great honour at the crossroads in the countryside, and then conveyed into the city itself. … In this way, it seems, the
god Liber was to be propitiated, in order to secure the growth of seeds and to repel enchantment (fascinatio) from the fields.
[8]

Phallic charms, often winged, were ubiquitous in Roman culture, from jewelry to bells and windchimes to lamps.[9]
The fascinus was thought particularly to ward off evil from children, mainly boys, and from conquering generals.
Pliny notes the custom of hanging a phallic charm on a baby's neck, and examples have been found of
phallus-bearing rings too small to be worn except by children.[10] When a general celebrated a triumph, the Vestals
hung an effigy of the fascinus on the underside of his chariot to protect him from invidia.[11]
The "fist and phallus" amulet was prevalent amongst soldiers. These are phallic pendants with a representation of a
(usually) clenched fist at the bottom of the shaft, facing away from the glans. Several examples show the fist making
the manus fica or "fig sign", a symbol of good luck.[12] The largest known collection comes from Camulodunum.[13]

Etymology
The English word "fascinate" ultimately derives from Latin fascinum and the related verb fascinare, "to use the
power of the fascinus," that is, "to practice magic" and hence "to enchant, bewitch." Catullus uses the verb at the end
of Carmen 7, a hendecasyllabic poem addressing his lover Lesbia; he expresses his infinite desire for kisses that
cannot be counted by voyeurs nor "fascinated" (put under a spell) by a malicious tongue; such bliss, as also in
Carmen 5, potentially attracts invidia.[14]
Fescennine verses, the satiric and often lewd songs or chants performed on various social occasions, may have been
so-named from the fascinum; ancient sources propose this etymology along with an alternative origin from
Fescennia, a small town in Etruria.[15]

References
[1] The neuter form fascinum is used most often for objects or magic charms, masculine fascinus for the god.
[2] Daniel Ogden, Magic, Witchcraft, and Ghosts in the Greek and Roman Worlds: A Sourcebook (Oxford University Press, 2002), p. 25 online.
(http:/ / books. google. com/ books?id=ox3QRxWQQtcC& pg=PA225& dq=fascinus& lr=& as_drrb_is=b& as_minm_is=0&
as_miny_is=1988& as_maxm_is=0& as_maxy_is=2010& num=100& as_brr=3& cd=6#v=onepage& q=fascinus& f=false)
[3] Craig Arthur Williams, Roman Homosexuality: Ideologies of Masculinity in Classical Antiquity p. 92 online. (http:/ / books. google. com/
books?id=Kf4cs5Y0fiIC& pg=PA92& dq=fascinus& lr=& as_drrb_is=b& as_minm_is=0& as_miny_is=1988& as_maxm_is=0&
as_maxy_is=2010& num=100& as_brr=3& cd=11#v=onepage& q=fascinus& f=false)
[4] Arnobius, Adversus nationes 4.7, explicity connects Tutunus to the fascinus; see Robert E.A. Palmer, "Mutinus Titinus: A Study in
Etrusco-Roman Religion and Topography," in Roman Religion and Roman Empire: Five Essays (University of Pennsylvania Press, 1974), pp.
187–206.
[5] R. Joy Littlewood, A Commentary on Ovid: Fasti Book 6 (Oxford University Press, 2006), p. 73; T.P. Wiseman, Remus: A Roman Myth
(Cambridge University Press, 1995), p. 61 online. (http:/ / books. google. com/ books?id=7LPNHRUlWacC& pg=PA61& dq=fascinus& lr=&
as_drrb_is=b& as_minm_is=0& as_miny_is=1988& as_maxm_is=0& as_maxy_is=2010& num=100& as_brr=3& cd=68#v=onepage&
Fascinus 74

q=fascinus& f=false)
[6] Joseph Rykwert, The Idea of a Town: The Anthropology of Urban Form in Rome, Italy, and the Ancient World (MIT Press, 1988), pp. 101
and 159 online. (http:/ / books. google. com/ books?id=Jq78Ff2TYHAC& pg=PA159& dq=fascinus& lr=& as_drrb_is=b& as_minm_is=0&
as_miny_is=1988& as_maxm_is=0& as_maxy_is=2010& num=100& as_brr=3& cd=2#v=onepage& q=fascinus& f=false)
[7] Augustine of Hippo, De civitate Dei 7.21; Williams, Roman Homosexuality, p. 92.
[8] English translation by R.W. Dyson, Augustine: The City of God against the Pagans (Cambridge University Press, 1998, 2002), p. 292 online.
(http:/ / books. google. com/ books?id=ReU2M8cLtGcC& pg=PA292& dq="21+ Of+ the+ wickedness+ of+ the+ rites+ celebrated+ in+
honour+ of+ Liber"& lr=& as_drrb_is=q& as_minm_is=0& as_miny_is=& as_maxm_is=0& as_maxy_is=& as_brr=3& cd=1#v=onepage&
q="21 Of the wickedness of the rites celebrated in honour of Liber"& f=false)
[9] Williams, Roman Homosexuality, p. 92.
[10] Martin Henig, Religion in Roman Britain (London: BT Batsford LTD, 1984), pp. 185–186 online (http:/ / books. google. com/
books?id=ZOhxSp8nlPsC& pg=PA186& dq="A+ child's+ gold+ ring+ with+ phallus"& hl=en& ei=1tOTTIXKG4TfnAenpYCRCA& sa=X&
oi=book_result& ct=result& resnum=1& ved=0CDUQ6AEwAA#v=onepage& q="A child's gold ring with phallus"& f=false), with image of
example.
[11] Pliny, Natural History 28.4.7 (28.39).
[12] Henig, Religion in Roman Britain, p. 176; Portable Antiquities Scheme, cat num: LIN-2BE126, www.finds.org/database
[13] N. Crummy, Colchester Archaeological Report 2: The Roman Small finds from excavations in Colchester 1971-9 (Colchester: Colchester
Archaeological Trust LTD, 1983).
[14] David Wray, Catullus and the Poetics of Roman Manhood (Cambridge University Press, 2001), p. 152 online. (http:/ / books. google. com/
books?id=kmmjg7UX19UC& pg=PA152& dq=fascinus& lr=& as_drrb_is=b& as_minm_is=0& as_miny_is=1988& as_maxm_is=0&
as_maxy_is=2010& num=100& as_brr=3& cd=14#v=onepage& q=fascinus& f=false)
[15] Gian Biagio Conte, Latin Literature: A History (Johns Hopkins University Press, 1987, 1994), p. 23 online. (http:/ / books. google. com/
books?id=NJGp_dkXnuUC& pg=PA23& dq=fascinum& lr=& as_drrb_is=b& as_minm_is=0& as_miny_is=1988& as_maxm_is=0&
as_maxy_is=2010& num=100& as_brr=3& cd=172#v=onepage& q=fascinum& f=false)

Faunus
In ancient Roman religion and myth, Faunus was the horned god of
the forest, plains and fields; when he made cattle fertile he was called
Inuus. He came to be equated in literature with the Greek god Pan.
Faunus was one of the oldest Roman deities, known as the di indigetes.
According to the epic poet Virgil, he was a legendary king of the
Latins who came with his people from Arcadia. His shade was
consulted as a god of prophecy under the name of Fatuus, with
oracles[1] in the sacred grove of Tibur, around the well Albunea, and
on the Aventine Hill in ancient Rome itself [2]

Marcus Terentius Varro asserted that the oracular responses were given
in Saturnian verse.[3] Faunus revealed the future in dreams and voices
that were communicated to those who came to sleep in his precincts,
lying on the fleeces of sacrificed lambs. W. Warde Fowler suggested
that Faunus is identical with Favonius,[4] one of the Roman wind gods
(compare the Anemoi). Faunus as depicted by the sculpter Bartolomeo
Ammanati.

Consorts and family


A goddess of like attributes, called Fauna and Fatua, was associated in his worship. She was regarded sometimes as
his wife, sometimes as his sister. As Pan was accompanied by the Paniskoi, or little Pans, so the existence of many
Fauni was assumed besides the chief Faunus.[5] In fable Faunus appears as an old king of Latium, son of Picus, and
grandson of Saturnus, father of Latinus by the nymph Marica. After his death he is raised to the position of a tutelary
deity of the land, for his many services to agriculture and cattle-breeding.
Faunus 75

Faunus was known as the father or husband or brother of Bona Dea (Fauna, his feminine side) and Latinus by the
nymph Marica (who was also sometimes Faunus' mother). Fauns are place-spirits (genii) of untamed woodland.
Educated, Hellenizing Romans connected their fauns with the Greek satyrs, who were wild and orgiastic drunken
followers of Dionysus, with a distinct origin.

Festivals
The Christian writer Justin Martyr identified him as Lupercus ("he who wards off the wolf"), the protector of cattle,
following Livy, who named his aspect of Inuus as the god who was originally worshiped at the Lupercalia,
celebrated on the anniversary of the founding of his temple, February 15, when his priests (Luperci) wore goat-skins
and hit onlookers with goat-skin belts.
Two festivals, called Faunalia, were celebrated in his honour—one on the 13th of February, in the temple of Faunus
on the island in the Tiber, the other on the 5th of December, when the peasants brought him rustic offerings and
amused themselves with dancing (Peck 1898).
A euhemeristic account made Faunus a Latin king, son of Picus and Canens. He was then revered as the god Fatuus
after his death, worshipped in a sacred forest outside what is now Tivoli, but had been known since Etruscan times as
Tibur, the seat of the Tiburtine Sibyl. His numinous presence was recognized by wolf skins, with wreaths and
goblets.
In Nonnos' Dionysiaca, Faunus/Phaunos accompanied Dionysus when the god campaigned in India.

Equation with Pan


With the increasing Hellenization of literate upper-class Roman culture in the 3rd and 2nd centuries BC, the Romans
tried to equate their own deities with one of the Greeks', applying in reverse the Greeks' own interpretatio graeca.
Faunus was naturally equated with the god Pan, who was a pastoral god of shepherds who was said to reside in
Arcadia. Pan had always been depicted with horns and as such many depictions of Faunus also began to display this
trait. However, the two deities were also considered separate by many, for instance, the epic poet Virgil, in his
Aeneid, made mention of both Faunus and Pan independently.

Later worship
Faunus was worshipped across the Roman Empire for many centuries. An example of this was a set of thirty-two
4th-century spoons found near Thetford in England in 1979. They had been engraved with the name "Faunus", and
each also had a different epithet after the god's name. The spoons also bore Christian symbols, and it has been
suggested that these were initially Christian but later taken and devoted to Faunus by pagans. The 4th century was a
time of largescale Christianisation, and the discovery provides us with evidence that even during the decline of
Roman paganism, the god Faunus was still worshipped.[6] [7] In Gaul, Faunus was identified with the Celtic
Dusios.[8]
Faunus 76

Notes
[1] For oracular Faunus, see Virgil, Aeneid vii.81; Ovid, Fasti iv.649; Cicero, De Natura Deorum ii.6, iii.15 and De Divinatione i.101; Dionysius
of Halicarnassus v.16; Plutarch, Numa Pompilius xv.3; Lactantius Institutiones i.22.9; Servius on the Aeneid viii.314.
[2] Peck 1898
[3] Varro, De lingua latina vii. 36.
[4] W. Warde Fowler (1899). The Roman Festivals of the Period of the Republic: An Introduction to the Study of the Religion of the Romans
(http:/ / www. archive. org/ details/ romanfestivalsof00fowluoft). London: Macmillan and Co.. p. 259. . Retrieved 2007-06-07.
[5] Peck 1898.
[6] Hutton, Ronald. The Pagan Religions of the Ancient British Isles. (1991) Blackwell ISBN 0-631-17288-2. Page 260-261
[7] Ronald Hutton (1988) Antiquaries Journal
[8] Papias, Elementarium: Dusios nominant quos romani Faunos ficarios vocant, as quoted by Du Cange in his 1678 Glossarium mediae et
infimae latinitatis (Niort: Favre, 1883–1887), vol. 3, online (http:/ / ducange. enc. sorbonne. fr/ DUSII); Katherine Nell MacFarlane, "Isidore
of Seville on the Pagan Gods (Origines VIII. 11)," Transactions of the American Philosophical Society 70 (1980), pp. 36–37.

References
• Peck, Harry Thurston, 1898. Harpers Dictionary of Classical Antiquities ( On-line (http://www.perseus.tufts.
edu/cgi-bin/ptext?doc=Perseus:text:1999.04.0062:id=faunus))
• Hammond, N.G.L. and Scullard, H.H. (Eds.) 1970. The Oxford Classical Dictionary (Oxford: Oxford University
Press) ISBN 0-19-869117-3.

Feretrius
Feretrius is one of the titles of the Roman god Jupiter. In this capacity Jupiter was called upon to witness the signing
of contracts and marriages. An oath was taken that called upon Jupiter to strike down the person if they swore the
oath falsely.
Fontus 77

Fontus
In ancient Roman religion, Fontus or Fons (plural Fontes, "Font" or
"Source") was a god of wells and springs. He was the son of Juturna
and Janus.[1]
A religious festival called the Fontinalia was held on October 13 in his
honor. Throughout the city, fountains and wellheads were adorned with
garlands.[2] Fons was not among the deities depicted on coinage of the
Roman Republic.[3]
Numa Pompilius, second king of Rome, was supposed to have been
buried near the altar of Fons (ara Fontis) on the Janiculum.[4] William
Warde Fowler observed that between 259 and 241 BC, cults were
founded for Juturna, Fons, and the Tempestates, all having to do with
sources of water.[5] As a god of pure water, Fons can be placed in
opposition to Liber as a god of wine identified with Bacchus.[6]

An inscription includes Fons among a series of deities who received


expiatory sacrifices by the Arval Brothers in 224 AD, when several
trees in the sacred grove of Dea Dia, their chief deity, had been struck
by lightning and burnt. Fons received two wethers.[7]
Ornamental wellhead (puteal) (1st century AD)
In the cosmological schema of Martianus Capella, Fons is located in depicting a drunken Hercules as part of a Bacchic
the second of 16 celestial regions, with Jupiter, Quirinus, Mars, the revel
Military Lar, Juno, Lympha, and the Novensiles.[8]

Fons Perennis
Water as a source of regeneration played a role in the Mithraic mysteries, and inscriptions to Fons Perennis ("Eternal
Spring" or "Never-Failing Stream") have been found in mithraea. In one of the scenes of the Mithraic cycle, the god
strikes a rock, which then gushes water. A Mithraic text explains that the stream was a source of life-giving water
and immortal refreshment.[9] Dedications to "inanimate entities" from Mithraic narrative ritual, such as Fons
Perennis and Petra Genetrix ("Generative Rock"), treat them as divine and capable of hearing, like the nymphs and
healing powers to whom these are more often made.[10]

References
[1] Arnobius, Adversus Nationes 3.29.
[2] Stephen L. Dyson, Rome: A Living Portrait of an Ancient City (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2010), p. 228. Described by Varro, De lingua
latina 6.3: "The Fontanalia [is named after] Fons, because it's his holiday (dies feriae); on account of him then they toss wreaths into fountains
and garland puteals" (Fontanalia a Fonte, quod is dies feriae eius; ab eo tum et in fontes coronas iaciunt et puteos coronant). Festus also
mentions the rites (sacra).
[3] Michael H. Crawford, Roman Republican Coinage (Cambridge University Press, 1974, 2001), p. 914.
[4] Cicero, De legibus 2.56 and De natura deorum 3.52; Samuel Ball Platner, The Topography and Monuments of Ancient Rome (1904), p. 488.
[5] William Warde Fowler, The Religious Experience of the Roman People (London, 1922), p. 285, with a speculation that this was a response to
the naval activity of the First Punic War.
[6] As when two characters argue over which holds imperium in Plautus's Stichus, line 696ff.; Thomas Habinek, The World of Roman Song
(Johns Hopkins University Press, 2005), p. 186.
[7] Mary Beard, J.A. North, and S.R.F. Price, Religions of Rome: A Sourcebook (Cambridge University Press, 1998), p. 152.
[8] Martianus Capella, The Marriage of Philology and Mercury 1.46 online. (http:/ / books. google. com/ books?id=nZ-Z9eI6dXwC&
pg=PA22& dq=Lympha+ OR+ Lymphae& lr=& cd=11#v=onepage& q=Lympha OR Lymphae& f=false)
[9] Vivienne J. Walters, The Cult of Mithras in the Roman Provinces of Gaul (Brill, 1974), p. 47.
Fontus 78

[10] Richard Gordon, "Institutionalized Religious Options: Mithraism," in A Companion to Roman Religion (Blackwell, 2007), p. 398.

Forculus
In Roman mythology, Forculus was a god that protected the integrity of doors (Latin fores), together with Cardea
and Limentinus[1] . The entrance door was a significant object as the passage between the realms of the inside and
the outside.

References
[1] Augustine, De civitate Dei, 4. 8 (http:/ / books. google. com/ books?id=7Tp7iwzRyDMC& pg=PA145& dq=Forculus+ roman+ god& hl=en&
ei=Ofa6TPS1EI7Nswa-gfnXDQ& sa=X& oi=book_result& ct=book-thumbnail& resnum=1& ved=0CC8Q6wEwAA#v=onepage&
q=Forculus roman god& f=false)

External links
• Roman Gods - see under Forculus (http://www.mythome.org/roman.html)

Hercules

Gilded bronze "Hercules of the


Forum Boarium", with the
apple of the Hesperides, Roman
2nd century BCE; found in the
Forum Boarium in the 15th
century (Capitoline Museums)
Hercules 79

Ancient Roman religion

Practices and beliefs


Imperial cult  · festivals  · ludi
mystery religions · funerals
temples · auspice · sacrifice
votum · libation · lectisternium

Priesthoods
College of Pontiffs · Augur
Vestal Virgins · Flamen · Fetial
Epulones · Arval Brethren
Quindecimviri sacris faciundis

Dii Consentes
Jupiter · Juno · Neptune · Minerva
Mars · Venus · Apollo · Diana
Vulcan · Vesta · Mercury · Ceres

Other deities
Janus · Quirinus · Saturn ·
Hercules · Faunus · Priapus
Bacchus (Liber) · Bona Dea · Ops
Castor and Pollux · Cupid
Chthonic deities: Proserpina ·
Dis Pater · Pluto · Orcus ·
Hecate · Di Manes
Domestic and local deities:
Lares · Di Penates · Genius
Hellenistic deities: Sol Invictus · Magna Mater · Isis ·
Mithras
Deified emperors:
Divus Julius  · Divus Augustus
See also List of Roman deities

Related topics
Roman mythology
Glossary of ancient Roman religion
Religion in ancient Greece
Etruscan religion
Gallo-Roman religion
Decline of Hellenistic polytheism

Hercules is the Roman name for the Greek demigod Heracles, son of Jupiter (the Roman equivalent of Zeus), and
the mortal Alcmena. Early Roman sources suggest that the imported Greek hero supplanted a mythic Italic shepherd
called "Recaranus" or "Garanus", famous for his strength who dedicated the Ara Maxima that became associated
with the earliest Roman cult of Hercules.[1] While adopting much of the Greek Heracles' iconography and mythology
Hercules 80

as his own, Hercules adopted a number of myths and characteristics that were distinctly Roman. With the spread of
Roman hegemony, Hercules was worshiped locally from Hispania through Gaul.

Etymology
Hercules's Latin name was not directly borrowed from Greek Heracles but is a modification of the Etruscan name
Herceler, which derives from the Greek name via syncope, Heracles translates to "The Glory of Hera". An oath
invoking Hercules (Hercle! or Mehercle!) was a common interjection in Classical Latin.[2]

Character
In Roman works of art and in Renaissance and post-Renaissance art that adapts Roman iconography, Hercules can
be identified by his attributes, the lion skin and the gnarled club (his favorite weapon): in mosaic he is shown tanned
bronze, a virile aspect.[3] Hercules was the illegitimate son of Zeus and Alcmene, the wisest and most beautiful of all
mortal women. Hera was enraged at Zeus for his infidelity with Alcmene, and even more so that he placed the infant
Hercules at Hera's breast as she slept and allowed Hercules to feed, which caused Hercules to be partially immortal,
thus, allowing him to surpass all mortal men in strength, size and skill. However, Hera still held a spiteful grudge
against Hercules and sent Hercules into a blind frenzy, in which he killed all of his children. When Hercules regained
his sanity, he sought out the Oracle at Delphi in the hope of making atonement. The Oracle ordered Hercules to serve
Eurystheus, king of Mycenae, who sent him on a series of tasks known as the Labors of Hercules. These tasks are
told in this order: 1.To kill the Nemean lion 2.To destroy the Lernaean Hydra 3.To capture Cernean hind alive 4.To
trap the Erymanthian boar 5.To clean the Augean stables 6.To get rid of the Stymphalen birds 7.To capture the
Cretan bull 8.To round up the mares of Diomeds 9.To fetch Hippolyte's girdle, or belt 10.To fetch the cattle of Geron
11.To fetch the golden apples of the Hesprides 12.To bring Cerberus from Tartarus. While he was a champion and a
great warrior, he was not above cheating and using any unfair trick to his advantage. However, he was renowned as
having "made the world safe for mankind" by destroying many dangerous monsters.
Hercules 81

Roman cult
In their popular culture the Romans adopted the Etruscan Hercle, a
hero-figure that had already been influenced by Greek culture —
especially in the conventions of his representation — but who had
experienced an autonomous development. Etruscan Hercle appears in
the elaborate illustrative engraved designs on the backs of Etruscan
bronze mirrors made during the fourth century BC, which were
favoured grave goods. Their specific literary references have been lost,
with the loss of all Etruscan literature, but the image of the mature,
bearded Hercules suckling at Uni/Juno's breast, engraved on a mirror
back from Volterra, is distinctively Etruscan. This Hercle/Hercules —
the Hercle of the interjection "Mehercle!" — remained a popular cult
figure in the Roman legions.

The literary Greek versions of his exploits were appropriated by


literate Romans from the 2nd century BCE onwards, essentially
unchanged, but Latin literature of Hercules added anecdotal detail of
its own, some of it linking the hero with the geography of the Western
Mediterranean. Details of the Greek cult, which mixed chthonic
libations and uneaten holocausts with Olympian services, were adapted
to specifically Roman requirements as well, as Hercules became the
founding figure of Herculaneum and other places, and his cult became
Gilded bronze Roman "Hercules of the Theatre of
entwined with Imperial cult, as shown in surviving frescoes in the
Pompey", found near the Theatre of Pompey in
[4] Herculanean collegium. His altar has been dated to the 5th or 6th
1864, (Vatican Museums, Rome)
century BC. It stood near the Temple of Hercules Victor. Hercules
became popular with merchants, who customarily paid him a tithe of their profits.

Marcus Antonius identified himself with Hercules, and even invented a son of Hercules, called Anton, from whom
Antonius claimed descent. In response, his enemy Octavianus identified with Apollo. Some early emperors, such as
Trajan, took up the attributes of Hercules, and later Roman Emperors, in particular Commodus and Maximian, went
further and often identified or compared themselves with him and supported his cult; Maximianus styled himself
"Herculius". The cult of Hercules spread through the Roman world. In their gardens, wealthy Romans would often
build altars to Hercules, who was regarded as the benefactor of mankind.[5] In Roman Egypt, what is believed to be
the remains of a Temple of Hercules are found in the Bahariya Oasis.

The Romans adopted the myths of Heracles including his twelve labors, essentially unchanged, but added anecdotal
detail of their own, some of it linking Hercules with the geography of the Western Mediterranean.
In Roman mythology, Acca Larentia was Hercules' mistress. She was married to Tarutius, a wealthy merchant.
When he died, she gave his money to charity. In another version, she was the wife of Faustulus.
In Aeneid 8.195ff, Virgil relates a myth about Hercules' defeating the monstrous Cacus, who lived in a cave under
the Palatine Hill (one of the eventual Seven Hills of Rome).
Hercules 82

Death of Hercules
Hercules was married to Deianeira. Long after their marriage, one day
the centaur Nessus offered to ferry them across a wide river that they
had to cross. Nessus set off with Deianeira first, but tried to abduct her.
When Hercules realized the centaur's real intention, Hercules chased
after him and shot him with an arrow which was poisoned with Hydra's
blood. Before he died, Nessus told Deianeira to take some of his blood
and treasure it, since it was a very powerful medicine and: if she ever
thought Hercules was being unfaithful, the centaur told her, the blood
would restore his love. Deianeira kept the phial of blood.

Many years later after that incident she heard rumours that Hercules
had fallen in love with another woman. She smeared some of the blood
on a robe and sent it to Hercules by a servant named Leechas. When
doing so, some of the blood was spilled on the floor and when the sun
rays fell on it the blood begun to burn. Because of this Deianeira begun
to suspect Nessus's advice and decided to send another servant to fetch
Leechas back before he could hand over the blood soaked robe to
Hercules.But she was too late. Hercules has already put on the robe
and when he did so the blood still poisoned from the same arrow used
by Hercules, burnt into his flesh. When he jumped into a near by river Hercules, Hatra, Iraq, Parthian period, 1st-2nd
in hope of extinguishing the fire, it only made it worse.When he tried century CE.
to rip off the robe from his body his organs were also ripped off with it.
Furiously, Hercules caught Leechas and tossed him into the sea.
After that he asked his friend Philoctetis to build him a pyre out of hardy oak and wild olive on the mountain Oata.
He was burnt to death on the pyre; the fire hurt far less than the poison. Before dying, Hercules offered his bow and
arrows as a token of gratitude to Philoctetis. His father Zeus then turned him into a god. Deianeira, after hearing
what she had caused, committed suicide.

Germanic association
Tacitus records a special affinity of the Germanic peoples for Hercules. In chapter 3 of his Germania, Tacitus states:
... they say that Hercules, too, once visited them; and when going into battle, they sang of him first of all
heroes. They have also those songs of theirs, by the recital of this barditus[6] as they call it, they rouse
their courage, while from the note they augur the result of the approaching conflict. For, as their line
shouts, they inspire or feel alarm.
In the Roman era Hercules' Club amulets appear from the 2nd to 3rd century, distributed over the empire (including
Roman Britain, c.f. Cool 1986), mostly made of gold, shaped like wooden apples. A specimen found in Köln-Nippes
bears the inscription "DEO HER[culi]", confirming the association with Hercules.
In the 5th to 7th centuries, during the Migration Period, the amulet is theorized to have rapidly spread from the Elbe
Germanic area across Europe. These Germanic "Donar's Clubs" were made from deer antler, bone or wood, more
rarely also from bronze or precious metals. They are found exclusively in female graves, apparently worn either as a
belt pendant, or as an ear pendant. The amulet type is replaced by the Viking Age Thor's hammer pendants in the
course of the Christianization of Scandinavia from the 8th to 9th century.
Hercules 83

In popular culture
Since the Renaissance, Heracles has rarely been distinguished from Hercules, the Roman figure overshadowing the
Greek. Later interpretations of Hercules' legend cast him as a wise leader and a good friend (many of the movie and
TV adaptations cast him in this light, especially the 1995–1999 syndicated TV series). He was the main character in
the Disney animated movie of the same name. Steve Reeves is most famous for having played Hercules in the
movies Hercules and Hercules Unchained.The legend of Hercules endures, though often co-opted to suit the political
fashion of the day. Hercules has also had an undeniable influence on modern pop culture characters such as
Superman and He-Man. The legend of Hercules has been described in many movie and television adaptations,
including several comic series featuring the hero. Hercules has been the hero of both Marvel Comics (where the
rendition of Hercules was an early member of the Avengers) and DC Comics adventure comic books. In DC, he has
often been associated with Wonder Woman. In Marvel, he currently stars in his own ongoing series titled The
Incredible Hercules.

In numismatics
Hercules has been the main motif of many collector coins and medals, the
most recent one is the 20 euro Baroque Silver coin issued on September
11, 2002. The obverse side of the coin shows the Grand Staircase in the
town palace of Prince Eugene of Savoy in Vienna, currently the Austrian
Ministry of Finance. Gods and demi-gods hold its flights, while Hercules
stands at the turn of the stairs.

Austrian commemorative coin featuring


Hercules

Gallery
Ancient interpretations

Hercules and the Hercules frescoes in the Hercules and his Hercules Hercules sculpture in
Nemean Lion (detail), collegium at nephew, helper and bronze Behistun, Iran carved
silver plate, 6th Herculaneum eromenos Iolaus statuette, 139 BCE
century (Cabinet des 1st century CE mosaic 2nd century
Médailles, Paris) from the Anzio CE
Nymphaeum, Rome (museum of
Alanya,
Turkey)
Hercules 84

Modern interpretations

Hercules and the Hydra Rococo sculpture of Comic book cover The Cudgel of Hercules used as a
by Antonio del Hercules, 1758. (c.1958) Hercules, a tall heraldic supporter in the
Pollaiuolo, 15th century Branicki Palace in limestone rock and Coat of arms of the
Białystok. Pieskowa Skała Castle Kingdom of Greece, in
in the background use from 1863 to 1973.
Greek royalists were
sometimes mockingly
called "Ηρακλείδες"
("the Herculeses")

Hercules filmography
A series of 19 Italian Hercules movies were made in the late 50's/ early 60's. The actors who played Hercules in
these films were Steve Reeves, Gordon Scott, Kirk Morris, Mickey Hargitay, Mark Forest, Alan Steel, Dan Vadis,
Brad Harris, Reg Park, Peter Lupus (billed as Rock Stevens) and Michael Lane. The films are listed below by their
American release titles, and the titles in parentheses are the original Italian titles with English translation.
• Hercules (Le Fatiche di Ercole/ The Labors of Hercules, 1957) starring Steve Reeves
• Hercules Unchained (Ercole e la regina di Lidia/ Hercules and the Queen of Lydia, 1959) starring Steve Reeves
• Goliath and the Dragon (La Vendetta di Ercole/ The Revenge of Hercules, 1960) (this Hercules film had its title
changed to Goliath when it was distributed in the U.S.)
• Hercules Vs The Hydra (Gli Amori di Ercole/ The Loves of Hercules, 1960) co-starring Jayne Mansfield
• Hercules and the Captive Women (Ercole alla conquista di Atlantide/Hercules at the Conquest of Atlantis, 1961)
(alternate U.S. title: Hercules and the Haunted Women)
• Hercules in the Haunted World (Ercole al centro della terra/Hercules at the Center of the Earth) 1961 (directed
by Mario Bava)
• Hercules in the Vale of Woe (Maciste contro Ercole nella valle dei guai/Maciste Vs. Hercules in the Vale of Woe)
1961
• Ulysses Vs. The Son of Hercules (Ulisse contro Ercole/Ulysses Vs. Hercules) 1962
• The Fury of Hercules (La Furia di Ercole/The Fury of Hercules, a.k.a. The Fury of Samson) 1962
• Hercules, Samson and Ulysses (Ercole sfida Sansone/Hercules Challenges Samson) 1963
• Hercules Vs. the Moloch (Ercole contro Molock/Hercules Vs. Moloch, 1963) (alternate U.S. title: The Conquest of
Mycene)
• Son of Hercules in the Land of Darkness (Ercole l'invincibile/Hercules, the Invincible) 1964 (this was originally a
Hercules film that was retitled to "Son of Hercules" so that it could be included in the "Sons of Hercules" TV
syndication package)
• Hercules Vs. The Giant Warrior (il Trionfo di Ercole/The Triumph of Hercules, 1964) (alternate U.S. title:
Hercules and the Ten Avengers)
• Hercules Against Rome (Ercole contro Roma, 1964)
• Hercules Against the Sons of the Sun (Ercole contro i figli del sole, 1964)
• Hercules and the Tyrants of Babylon (Ercole contro i tiranni di Babilonia, 1964)
Hercules 85

• Samson and the Mighty Challenge (Ercole, Sansone, Maciste e Ursus: gli invincibili, 1964) (a.k.a. Combate dei
Gigantes)
• Hercules and the Princess of Troy (a.k.a. Hercules vs. the Sea Monster) No Italian title, 1965 (this 48-minute
Italian/U.S. co-production was made as a pilot for a Charles Band-produced TV series that never materialized)
• Hercules, the Avenger (Sfida dei giganti/Challenge of the Giants, 1965) This film was composed mostly of stock
footage from 2 earlier Reg Park Hercules films, made to be released directly to U.S. television
The Three Stooges made an American comedy in 1962 called The Three Stooges Meet Hercules with Samson Burke
playing Hercules. Note* - A number of English-dubbed Italian films that featured the Hercules name in their title
were never intended to be Hercules movies by their Italian creators.
• Hercules, Prisoner of Evil was actually a retitled Ursus film.
• Hercules and the Black Pirate and Hercules and the Treasure of the Incas were both retitled Samson movies.
• Hercules and the Masked Rider was actually a retitled Goliath movie.
• Hercules Against the Moon Men, Hercules Against the Barbarians, Hercules Against the Mongols and Hercules
of the Desert were all originally Maciste films.
None of these films in their original Italian versions were connected to the Hercules character in any way. Likewise,
most of the Sons of Hercules movies shown on American TV in the 1960s had nothing to do with Hercules in their
original Italian incarnations.

References
Notes
[1] Servius, commentary on the Aeneid viii. 203, 275 ; Macrobius, Saturnalia iii. 12.
[2] W. M. Lindsay, "Mehercle and Herc(v)lvs. [Mehercle and Herc(u)lus]" The Classical Quarterly 12.2 (April 1918:58).
[3] Hercules almost suggests "Hero". The Classical and Hellenistic convention in frescoes and mosaics, adopted by the Romans, is to show
women as pale-skinned and men as tanned dark from their outdoor arena of action and exercising in the gymnasium.(See also Reed.edu (http:/
/ academic. reed. edu/ humanities/ 110Tech/ RomanAfrica2/ pompei& herc1. jpg), jpg file. Reed.edu (http:/ / academic. reed. edu/ humanities/
110Tech/ RomanAfrica2/ #Subject), subject).
[4] The sculpture had been carefully buried in Antiquity, having been struck by lightning.
[5] Martial, book VII .
[6] or, baritus, there being scribal variants. In the 17th century, the word entered the German language as barditus and was associated with the
Celtic bards.

Sources
• Charlotte Coffin. "Hercules" (http://www.shakmyth.org/myth/111/hercules) in Peyré, Yves (ed.) A Dictionary
of Shakespeare's Classical Mythology (2009)

External links
• Sword and Sandal#Hercules Series (1957-1965) The Italian "Hercules" Filmography
• Etruscan mirror illustrated Uni and Hercle (http://www.maravot.com/Uni_suckling-Heracles.html)
• Hercle and Menerva on an Etruscan mirror from Città di Castello, c 300 B.C.: Badisches Landesmuseum (http://
www.ancientworlds.net/aw/Article/598123)
• Images of Hercules (http://ancientrome.ru/art/artworken/result.htm?alt=Hercules)
• Texts on Wikisource:
• James Wood (1907). "Hercules". The Nuttall Encyclopædia.
• "Hercules". The New Student's Reference Work. Chicago: F. E. Compton and Co.. 1914.
• “Hercules and the Wagoner,” by Aesop
• “Hercules,” from Heroes Every Child Should Know by H. W. Mabie
Honos 86

Honos
In Roman mythology, Honos was the god of chivalry, honor and military
justice. He was depicted in art with a lance and a cornucopia. He was
sometimes identified with the deity Virtus.
Inuus 87

Inuus
Ancient Roman religion

Practices and beliefs


Imperial cult  · festivals  · ludi
mystery religions · funerals
temples · auspice · sacrifice
votum · libation · lectisternium

Priesthoods
College of Pontiffs · Augur
Vestal Virgins · Flamen · Fetial
Epulones · Arval Brethren
Quindecimviri sacris faciundis

Dii Consentes
Jupiter · Juno · Neptune · Minerva
Mars · Venus · Apollo · Diana
Vulcan · Vesta · Mercury · Ceres

Other deities
Janus · Quirinus · Saturn ·
Hercules · Faunus · Priapus
Bacchus (Liber) · Bona Dea · Ops
Castor and Pollux · Cupid
Chthonic deities: Proserpina ·
Dis Pater · Pluto · Orcus ·
Hecate · Di Manes
Domestic and local deities:
Lares · Di Penates · Genius
Hellenistic deities: Sol Invictus · Magna Mater · Isis ·
Mithras
Deified emperors:
Divus Julius  · Divus Augustus
See also List of Roman deities

Related topics
Roman mythology
Glossary of ancient Roman religion
Religion in ancient Greece
Etruscan religion
Gallo-Roman religion
Decline of Hellenistic polytheism

In ancient Roman religion, Inuus was a god, or aspect of a god, who embodied copulation. The evidence for him as
a distinct entity is scant. Servius says that Inuus is an epithet of Faunus (Greek Pan), named from his habit of
intercourse with animals, based on the etymology of ineundum, "a going in, penetration," from inire,[1] "to enter" in
Inuus 88

the sexual sense.[2] Other names for the god were Fatuus and Fatulcus,
W.F. Otto disputed the traditional etymology and derived Inuus instead from in-avos, "friendly, beneficial" (cf. aveo,
"to be eager for, desire"), for the god's fructifying power.[3]

Lupercalia
Livy is the sole source for identifying Inuus as the form of Faunus for whom the Lupercalia was celebrated: "naked
young men would run around venerating Lycaean Pan, whom the Romans then called Inuus, with antics and lewd
behavior."[4] Although Ovid does not name Inuus in his treatment of the Lupercalia, he may allude to his sexual
action in explaining the mythological background of the festival. When Romulus complains that a low fertility rate
has rendered the abduction of the Sabine women pointless, Juno, in her guise as the birth goddess Lucina, offers an
instruction: "Let the sacred goat go into the Italian matrons" (Italidas matres … sacer hirtus inito, with the verb inito
a form of inire).[5] The would-be mothers recoil from this advice, but an augur, "recently arrived from Etruscan soil,"
offers a ritual dodge: a goat was killed, and its hide cut into strips for flagellating women who wished to conceive;
thus the aetiology for the practice at the Lupercalia.[6] Rutilius Namatianus offers a similar verbal play, Faunus init
("Faunus enters"), in pointing out a statue depicting the god at Castrum Inui ("Fort Inuus").[7] Georg Wissowa
rejected both the etymology and the identification of Inuus with Faunus.[8]
The scant evidence for Inuus has not been a bar to elaborate scholarly conjecture, as William Warde Fowler noted at
the beginning of the 20th century in his classic work on Roman festivals.[9] "It is quite plain," Fowler observed, "that
the Roman of the literary age did not know who the god (of the Lupercalia) was."[10]

Castrum Inui
Servius's note on Inuus is prompted by the mention of Castrum Inui at Aeneid 6.77:[11]

A Roman imperial bust of


Faunus

“ This is one and the same as the town (civitas) in Italy which is called New Fort (Castrum Novum). Vergil says 'Fort Inuus' for the place, that
is, 'Fort Pan', who has a cult there. He is called Inuus, however, in Latin, Πάν (Pan) in Greek; also Ἐφιάλτης (Ephialtes), in Latin Incubus;
likewise Faunus, and Fatuus, Fatuclus. He is called Inuus, however, from going around having sex everywhere with all the animals, hence he
is also called Incubus.
[12]

Castrum Novum is most likely Giulianova on the coast of Etruria, but Servius seems to have erred in thinking that
Castrum Inui, on the coast of Latium, was the same town.
Rutilius makes the same identification as Servius, but explains that there was a stone carving of Inuus over the gate
of the town. This image, worn by time, showed horns on its "pastoral forehead", but the ancient name was no longer
legible. Rutilius is noncommittal about its identity, "whether Pan exchanged Tyrrhenian woodlands for Maenala, or
Inuus 89

whether a resident Faunus enters (init) his paternal retreats," but proclaims that "as long as he revitalizes the seed of
mortals with generous fertility, the god is imagined as more than usually predisposed to sex."[13]

Other associations
The Christian apologist Arnobius, in his extended debunking of traditional Roman deities, connects Inuus and Pales
as guardians over flocks and herds.[14] The woodland god Silvanus over time became identified with Faunus, and the
unknown author of the Origo gentis romanae[15] notes that many sources said that Faunus was the same as Silvanus,
the god Inuus, and even Pan.[16] Isidore of Seville identifies the Inui, plural, with Pan, incubi, and the Gallic
Dusios.[17]
Diomedes Grammaticus makes a surprising etymological association: he says that the son of the war goddess
Bellona, Greek Enyo (Ἐνυώ), given in the genitive as Ἐνυοῦς (Enuous), is imagined by the poets as goat-foot Inuus,
"because in the manner of a goat he surmounts the mountaintops and difficult passes of the hills."[18]

Casuccini mirror
An Etruscan bronze mirror from Chiusi (ca. 300 BC), the so-called Casuccini mirror, may depict Inuus. The scene
on the back is a type known from at least four other mirrors, as well as engraved Etruscan gems and Attic red-figure
vases. It depicts the oracular head of Orpheus (Etruscan Urphe) prophesying to a group of figures. Names are
inscribed around the edge of the mirror, but because the figures are not labeled individually, the correlation is not
unambiguous; moreover, the lettering is of disputed legibility in some names. There is general agreement, however,
given the comparative evidence, that the five central figures are Umaele, who seems to act as a medium; Euturpa
(the Muse Euterpe), Inue (Inuus), Eraz, and Aliunea or Alpunea (Palamedes in other scenarios). The lovers in the
pediment at the top are Atunis (Adonis) and the unknown E…ial where Turan (Venus) would be expected. The
figure with outstretched wings on the tang is a Lasa, an Etruscan form of Lar who was a facilitator of love like the
Erotes or Cupid.
The bearded Inuus appears in the center. Damage obscures his midsection and legs, but his left arm and chest are
nude and muscled. On an otherwise very similar mirror, a spear-bearing youth replaces Inuus in the composition. No
myth that would provide a narrative context for the scene has been determined.[19]

Darwinian connection
Charles Darwin used the nomenclature Inuus ecaudalus in writing of the Barbary ape, now classified as Macaca
sylvanus.[20] Charles Kingsley wrote to Darwin in January 1862 speculating that certain mythological beings may
represent cultural memories of creatures "intermediate between man & the ape" who became extinct as a result of
natural selection:

“ I want now to bore you on another matter. This great gulf between the quadrumana & man; & the absence of any record of species
intermediate between man & the ape. It has come home to me with much force, that while we deny the existence of any such, the legends of
most nations are full of them. Fauns, Satyrs, Inui, Elves, Dwarfs — we call them one minute mythological personages, the next conquered

of the old Latins is obscure: but his name is from inire — sexual violence.
[21]

inferior races — & ignore the broad fact, that they are always represented as more bestial than man, & of violent sexual passion. … The Inuus
Inuus 90

References
[1] See the infinitive form inire; ineundum is a gerund.
[2] Servius, note on Aeneid 6.775; Julian Ward Jones, Jr., An Aeneid Commentary of Mixed Type: The Glosses in Mss Harley 4946 and
Ambrosianus G111 inf. (Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies, 1996), pp. 24, 31–32.
[3] Katherine Nell MacFarlane, "Isidore of Seville on the Pagan Gods (Origines VIII. 11)," Transactions of the American Philosophical Society
70 (1980), p. 36, citing Otto's entry on Faunus in PW.
[4] Livy 1.5.2: nudi iuvenes Lycaeum Pana venerantes per lusum atque lasciuiam currerent, quem Romani deinde vocarunt Inuum.
[5] T.P. Wiseman, Historiography and Imagination: Eight Essays on Roman Culture (University of Exeter Press, 1994), p. 138, note 104, takes
Juno's instruction as clear reference to Inuus.
[6] Ovid, Fasti 2.441ff.; Jane F. Gardner, Roman Myths (University of Texas Press, 1993), p. 77, noting that Juno Sospita wears a goatskin cloak.
[7] Rutilius, De reditu suo, line 232.
[8] Georg Wissowa, Religion und Kultus der Römer, 2nd ed., p. 211, as cited by J.G. Frazer, The Golden Bough, vol. 2, Adonis Attis Osiris
(London, 1919), p. 234, note 3.
[9] William Warde Fowler, The Roman Festivals of the Period of the Republic (London, 1908), p. 312, commenting with an atypical degree of
disparagement that "Unger … has much to say about Inuus in the worst style of German pseudo-research"; G.F. Unger, "Die Lupercalen,"
Rheinische Museum 36 (1881) 50–86.
[10] Fowler, Festivals, pp. 312–313.
[11] A.J. Boyle and R.D. Woodard, Ovid: Fasti (Penguin Books, 2000), p. 91.
[12] Servius, note on Aeneid 6.775 (http:/ / www. perseus. tufts. edu/ hopper/ text?doc=Serv. + A. + 6. 775& fromdoc=Perseus:text:1999. 02.
0053): una est in Italia civitas, quae castrum novum dicitur: de hac autem ait 'castrum Inui', id est Panos, qui illic colitur. Inuus autem latine
appellatur, Graece: item Graece, latine Incubo: idem Faunus, idem Fatuus, Fatuclus. dicitur autem Inuus ab ineundo passim cum omnibus
animalibus, unde et Incubo dicitur.
[13] Rutilius, De reditu suo, 225–234; Dennis George, The Cities and Cemeteries of Etruria (London, 1883, 3rd ed.) vol. 1, p. 297, note 7.
[14] Arnobius, Adversus Nationes 3.23.
[15] At one time, Aurelius Victor was thought to be the author of the Origo gentis romanae.
[16] Origo gentis romanae 4.6; Peter F. Dorcey, The Cult of Silvanus: A Study in Roman Folk Religion (Brill, 1992), p. 34.
[17] Isidore of Seville, Etymologiae 8.11.103: Pilosi, qui Graece Panitae, Latine Incubi appellantur, sive Inui ab ineundo passim cum
animalibus. Unde et Incubi dicuntur ab incumbendo, hoc est stuprando. Saepe enim inprobi existunt etiam mulieribus, et earum peragunt
concubitum: quos daemones Galli Dusios vocant, quia adsidue hanc peragunt immunditiam; Katherine Nell MacFarlane, "Isidore of Seville
on the Pagan Gods (Origines VIII. 11)," Transactions of the American Philosophical Society 70 (1980), pp. 36–37.
[18] Diomedes Grammaticus, Ars Grammatica 1.475–476; T.P. Wiseman, "The Minucii and Their Monument," in Imperium sine fine: T. Robert
S. Broughton and the Roman Republic (Franz Steiner, 1996), p. 69.
[19] Richard Daniel De Puma and W.K.C. Guthrie, "An Etruscan Mirror with the Prophesying Head of Orpheus," Record of the Art Museum,
Princeton University 60 (2001) 19–29; Richard Daniel De Puma, Etruscan Mirrors, Corpus Speculorum Etruscorum: U.S.A. 4: Northeastern
Collections ("L'Erma" di Bretschneider, 2005), pp. 61–63.
[20] Charles Darwin, "The Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals," in The Indelible Stamp: The Evolution of an Idea, edited by james
D. Watson (Running Press, 2005), p. 1132 online. (http:/ / books. google. com/ books?id=LEWfWf0mUJIC& pg=PA1132& dq=Inuus& lr=&
as_drrb_is=b& as_minm_is=0& as_miny_is=1972& as_maxm_is=0& as_maxy_is=& num=100& as_brr=3& cd=14#v=onepage& q=Inuus&
f=false)
[21] Charles Kingsley to Charles Darwin, in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin (Cambridge University Press, 1997), vol. 10, pp. 61–63
online. (http:/ / books. google. com/ books?id=5MqBgwX2vZIC& pg=PA63& dq=Inuus& lr=& as_drrb_is=b& as_minm_is=0&
as_miny_is=1972& as_maxm_is=0& as_maxy_is=& num=100& as_brr=3& cd=43#v=onepage& q=Inuus& f=false) Content advisory: This
letter contains remarks and assumptions of "the superior white race" that in the 21st century are considered racist and offensive.
Janus 91

Janus
In Roman mythology, Janus is the god of gates, doors, doorways, beginnings, endings and time. Most often he is
depicted as having two heads, facing opposite directions; one head looks back at the last year while the other looks
forward to the new, simultaneously into the future and the past.

Origins and nature


Macrobius and Cicero attempted to explain the name as Latin deriving it from the verb ire ("to go").[1] It has been
conjectured to be derived from the Indo-European root meaning transitional movement (cf. Sanskrit "yana-" or
Avestan "yah-", likewise with Latin "i-" and Greek "ie-".).[2]
William Betham argued that the cult arrived from the Middle East and that Janus corresponds to the Baal-ianus or
Belinus of the Chaldeans sharing a common origin with the Oannes of Berosus.[3]
Janus was usually depicted with two heads facing in opposite directions. According to a legend, he had received the
gift to see both future and past from the god Saturn in reward for the hospitality received. Janus-like heads of gods
related to Hermes have been found in Greece, perhaps suggesting a compound god.
The Romans associated Janus with the Etruscan deity Ani. Several scholars
suggest that he was likely the most important god in the Roman archaic
pantheon. He was often invoked together with Iuppiter (Jupiter).
According to Macrobius and Cicero, Janus and Jana (Diana) are a pair of
divinities, worshipped as the sun and moon, whence they were regarded as
the highest of the gods, and received their sacrifices before all the others.[4]
In general, Janus was the patron of concrete and abstract beginnings of the
world[5] (such as the religion and the gods themselves), the human life,[6]
new historical ages, and economical enterprises. He was also the god of the
home entrance (ianua), gates, bridges and covered and arcaded passages
The Sculpture Gold coin, depicting Janus
(iani) named after him.
He was frequently used to symbolize change and transitions such as the progression of past to future, of one
condition to another, of one vision to another, the growing up of young people, and of one universe to another. He
was also known as the figure representing time because he could see into the past with one face and into the future
with the other. Hence, Janus was worshipped at the beginnings of the harvest and planting times, as well as
marriages, deaths and other beginnings. He was representative of the middle ground between barbarity and
civilization, rural country and urban cities, and youth and adulthood.
Numa in his regulation of the Roman calendar called the first month Januarius after Janus, at the time the highest
divinity. Numa also introduced the Ianus geminus (also Janus Bifrons, Janus Quirinus or Portae Belli) , a passage
ritually opened at times of war, and shut again when Roman arms rested.[7] It formed a walled enclosure with gates
at each end, situated in the Roman Forum which had been consecrated by Numa Pompilius. In the course of wars,
the gates of the Janus were opened, and in its interior sacrifices and vaticinia were held to forecast the outcome of
military deeds.[8] The doors were closed only during peacetime, an extremely rare event. Livy wrote in his Ab urbe
condita that the doors of the temple had only been closed twice since the reign of Numa: firstly in 235 BC after the
first Punic war and secondly in after the battle of Actium in 31 BC. A temple of Janus is said to have been
consecrated by the consul Gaius Duilius in 260 BCE after the Battle of Mylae in the Forum Holitorium. The
four-side structure known as the Arch of Janus in the Forum Boarium dates to the 4th century CE.
In the Middle Ages, Janus was also taken as the symbol of Genoa, whose Latin name was Ianua, as well as of other
European communes.
Janus 92

The Roman Janus and the Indian Ganesha


There is an obvious likeness between the names of those two lesser
deities from the Roman archaic theology framework and from the still
very alive Indian theology framework. In 1806 Sir William Jones drew
a close comparison between a particular form of Ganesha, known as
Ganesha-Jayanti, and Janus. Another early 19th century Indologist,
Edward Moor,[9] expanded the claims of an association based on
functional grounds, noting that Janus, like Ganesha, was invoked at the
beginning of undertakings, a liminal god who was the guardian of
gates. Moor made various other speculations on the connection
between Janus and Ganesha. The case of Janus is addressed by
Georges Dumezil in hardly a few pages in his work “The archaic
Roman religion” , first issued in 1966;[10] Dumezil’s general thesis is
that overall, the classical period Romans had forgotten most of the
grounds of their own theology, and that hints to their primitive The traditional ascription of the "Temple of
conceptions are held solely in remnants of their most ancient rituals; he Janus" at Autun, Burgundy, is disputed.
does not mention Ganesha/Ganesa at all, he discusses Janus only
within the framework of Roman archaic theology , and the only speculations he mentions as of likenesses outside the
Roman environment is to the Etruscan framework, to Ani, as hinted by Alfred Ernout “Philologica II, 1957” “,[11] and
that rather on a negative stance, to the Indian framework, only as a passing mention to Aditi, and to the Nordic
framework, as a few lines discussing some comparable features of Heimdallr; thus it is obvious that Dumezil by
himself was not aware of a link between Janus and Ganesa, even if negatively connotated; however his work on
Janus lays down numerous threads that can be traced to attributes pertaining to Ganesa; one can retain globally:

a) Georges Dumezil starts his exposé defining Janus as a deity related to “beginnings” in rituals; in this attribute
Janus is compared/ opposed to the other Roman deity Vesta, who is associated to their closing; he then links Janus
much more generally to “beginnings” in the largest sense of “prima” in latin, as of the meaning “the first in a time
sequence or a chronological logic”; he enumerates a number of situations where thus Janus is mentioned first of a
long list of deities, as in the opening of “devotio” a very ancient Roman ritual used in the utmost despaired conditions
of warfare, as well as in the Salii verses and the Arval brothers invocation (both also very ancient rituals) etc …; he
then generally highlights the common trait between all the occasions when Janus is part of, as "in whichever
function, in whichever role of this deity that one examines, ALL stem as obvious consequences of his primacy over
“prima”" even invoking the authority of saint Augustine who entails explicitly Janus as “gifted of the power on all
beginnings” (“omnium initiorum potestatem”).
In his reading of Janus, this deity is fundamentally presiding to beginnings in case of “transition” from one status to
another; he is associated to passage ways, entries into dwellings, to the dual action of opening and closing doors
(hence his role in the rituals of war), to the cyclic opening of the year (month of Janu-arius ) and of each month
(Calendae) , to the opening of the (active) part of the day, and the poet Horace, one of the few late Roman period
educated people still initiated, like Cato, Virgil and Cicero, to the oldest Roman rituals, dedicates to him at the
opening of one of his poems.
b) Conversely Ganesha/Ganesa’s prime attribute is that of presiding to obstacles/hindrances and is specifically
designated as “The Destroyer of Obstacles”; thus Somedeva’s "Kathāsaritsāgara" (The Ocean of rivers of tales” ,
based on Brhatkathā or the “Great Story” a long lost original work ) lengthy book of tales is placed specifically under
the patronage of Ganesa, and everyone chapter opens up with an invocation to that deity; likewise very many
invocations within the multiple tales unfolded in the “Brhatkathā” are addressed to Ganesa, on all occasions when the
hero launches himself on some risky adventure, with a general lesson that unless you propitiate Ganesa at the start so
Janus 93

that he would level down all traps and difficulties before your feet, then your enterprise is doomed to failure; the
higher gods themselves must need propitiate their lesser fellow when they initiate some enterprise lest their own
plans come to no end. Thus the effective presence of Ganesa appears in a quite parallel way to Janus definitely
linked to the notion of “auspicious beginnings” and conversely his absence is definitely linked to “unauspicious
beginnings” , which one could term as actual negative omens; in addition rituals to Ganesa are linked to marriage,
another type of situations that typically associate “auspicious omens” and obvious “beginnings”; likewise in the
Jainism rituals, his avatar Ganapati is worshipped at the beginning of every auspicious ceremony and new project,
and this practice is alledgedly still very common in the Swetambara community.
From these simple, but instructive details, one probably can conclude that there indeed is a common indo-european
background or archetype to what is become Janus in the archaic Roman world, and to what is now known as Ganesa
in the Indian world.

Other myths
Janus was supposed to have shared a kingdom with Camese in Latium. They had many children, including
Tiberinus.
When Romulus and his men kidnapped the Sabine women, Janus caused a volcanic hot spring to erupt, resulting in
the would-be attackers being buried alive in the deathly hot, brutal water and ash mixture of the rushing hot volcanic
springs that killed, burned, or disfigured many of Romulus' men. Romulus was in awe of the god's power. (Later on,
however, Sabine and Rome became allies.) In honor of this, the doors of a walled roofless structure called 'The
Janus' (not a temple) were kept open during war after a symbolic contingent of soldiers had marched through it. The
doors were closed in ceremony when peace was concluded. Augustus and Nero both advertised universal peace,
which had led to 'the closing of the Janus', during their reigns.

References
[1] Macrobius, Saturnalia, I, 9, 11
[2] Taylor, Rabun, "Watching the Skies: Janus, Auspication, and the Shrine in the Roman Forum," Memoirs of the American Academy in Rome
vol. 45 (2000): p, 1.
[3] Royal Numismatic Society, Proceedings of the Numismatic Society, James Fraser, 1837
[4] Macrobius Saturnalia i. 9; Cicero De Natura Deorum ii. 27.
[5] According to Varro, in the carmen saliaris Janus is called "creator", as the initiator of the world itself. De lingua latina, VII, 26–27.
[6] Macrobius defines him Consivium, i.e. propagator of the human genre. Saturnalia, I, 9, 16.
[7] Horat. Carm. iv. 15. 8; Virg. Aen. vii. 607
[8] Livy, History of Rome, I, 19, 2
[9] Edward Moor. Hindu Pantheon. p. 98. (Reprint edition: Delhi, 1968)
[10] The archaic Roman religion, part II the Archaic theology, chapter III, by Georges Dumézil
[11] Philologica II, by Alfred Ernout, 1957

Sources
• Dumézil, Georges (2001). La religione romana arcaica. Milan: Rizzoli. pp. 291. ISBN 8817866377.
• Ferrari, Anna (2001). Dizionario di mitologia greca e latina. Milan: Rizzoli. ISBN 8817866377.
• Livius.org: Janus (http://www.livius.org/ja-jn/janus/janus.html)
• Translation of Ovid's Fasti, a section on January, and Janus (http://www.tkline.freeserve.co.uk/
OvidFastiBkOne.htm#_Toc69367257)
Jugatinus 94

Jugatinus
In Roman mythology, Jugatinus was the god of mountain ranges. His name is known from St. Augustine's work The
City of God[1] , and is not attested otherwise.

References
[1] Augustine, De civitate Dei, 4. 8 (http:/ / books. google. com/ books?id=7Tp7iwzRyDMC& pg=PA145& dq=Forculus+ roman+ god& hl=en&
ei=Ofa6TPS1EI7Nswa-gfnXDQ& sa=X& oi=book_result& ct=book-thumbnail& resnum=1& ved=0CC8Q6wEwAA#v=snippet& q=The
Romans could scarcely& f=false)

Jupiter (mythology)

Late 1st century AD marble statue of Jupiter preserved


in St Petersburg. Drapings, sceptre, eagle, and Victory
are made of painted plaster dating to the 19th century.
Jupiter (mythology) 95

Ancient Roman religion

Practices and beliefs


Imperial cult  · festivals  · ludi
mystery religions · funerals
temples · auspice · sacrifice
votum · libation · lectisternium

Priesthoods
College of Pontiffs · Augur
Vestal Virgins · Flamen · Fetial
Epulones · Arval Brethren
Quindecimviri sacris faciundis

Dii Consentes
Jupiter · Juno · Neptune · Minerva
Mars · Venus · Apollo · Diana
Vulcan · Vesta · Mercury · Ceres

Other deities
Janus · Quirinus · Saturn ·
Hercules · Faunus · Priapus
Bacchus (Liber) · Bona Dea · Ops
Castor and Pollux · Cupid
Chthonic deities: Proserpina ·
Dis Pater · Pluto · Orcus ·
Hecate · Di Manes
Domestic and local deities:
Lares · Di Penates · Genius
Hellenistic deities: Sol Invictus · Magna Mater · Isis ·
Mithras
Deified emperors:
Divus Julius  · Divus Augustus
See also List of Roman deities

Related topics
Roman mythology
Glossary of ancient Roman religion
Religion in ancient Greece
Etruscan religion
Gallo-Roman religion
Decline of Hellenistic polytheism

In ancient Roman religion and myth, Jupiter or Jove was the king of the gods, and the god of sky and thunder. He is
the equivalent of Zeus, in the Greek pantheon. He was called Iuppiter (or Diespiter) Optimus Maximus ("Father God
the Best and Greatest"). As the patron deity of ancient Rome, he ruled over laws and social order. He was the chief
god of the Capitoline Triad, with sister/wife Juno. Jupiter is also the father of the god Mars with Juno. Therefore,
Jupiter is the grandfather of Romulus and Remus, the legendary founders of Rome. Jupiter was venerated in ancient
Jupiter (mythology) 96

Roman religion, and is still venerated in Roman Neopaganism. He is a son of Saturn, along with brothers Neptune
and Pluto.[1] [2] [3] He is also the brother/husband of Ceres (daughter of Saturn and mother of Proserpina), brother of
Veritas (daughter of Saturn), and father of Mercury.

Etymology
Iuppiter originated as a vocative compound of the Old Latin vocative *Iou and pater ("father") and came to replace
the Old Latin nominative case *Ious. Jove[4] is a less common English formation based on Iov-, the stem of oblique
cases of the Latin name. Linguistic studies identify the form *Iou-pater as deriving from the Indo-European vocative
compound *Dyēu-pəter (meaning "O Father Sky-god"; nominative: *Dyēus-pətēr).[5]
Older forms of the deity's name in Rome were Djeus-pater (“day/sky-father”), then Diéspiter. Djeus is the
etymological equivalent of ancient Greece's Zeus and of the Teutonics' Ziu, gen. Ziewes. The Indo-European deity is
thus the god from which Zeus and the Indo-Aryan Vedic Dyaus Pita are derived.
The name of the god was also adopted as the name of the planet Jupiter, and was the original namesake of Latin
forms of the weekday now known in English as Thursday[6] but originally called Iovis Dies in Latin, giving rise to
jeudi in French, jueves in Spanish, joi in Romanian, giovedì in Italian, dijous in Catalan, Xoves in Galego, Joibe in
Furlan.

Epithets of Jupiter
Jupiter was given many names.
By aspect:
1. Jupiter Caelestis ("heavenly")
2. Jupiter Elicius ("who calls forth [celestial omens]" or "who is called forth [by incantations]")
3. Jupiter Feretrius ("who carries away the spoils of war"; called upon to witness solemn oaths[7] - cf. "by Jove").
The epithet or “numen” is probably connected with ferire, the stroke of ritual as illustrated in foedus ferire, of
which the silex, a quartz rock, is evidence in his temple on the Capitoline hill, which is said to have been the first
temple in Rome, erected and dedicated by Romulus to commemorate his winning of the spolia opima from
Acron, king of the Caeninenses, and to serve as a repository for them. Iuppiter Feretrius was therefore equivalent
to Iuppiter Lapis, the latter used for a specially solemn oath[8]
4. Jupiter Fulgurator or Fulgens ("of the lightning")
5. Jupiter Lucetius ("of the light")
6. Jupiter Optimus Maximus (" the best and greatest")
7. Jupiter Pluvius ("sender of rain")
8. Jupiter Stator (from stare meaning "standing")
9. Jupiter Summanus (sender of nocturnal thunder)
10. Jupiter Terminalus or Terminus (defends boundaries).
11. Jupiter Tonans ("thunderer")
12. Jupiter Victor (led Roman armies to victory)
By synchronisation or geography:
1. Jupiter Ammon (Jupiter was equated with the Egyptian deity Amun after the Roman conquest of Egypt)
2. Jupiter Brixianus (Jupiter equated with the local god of the town of Brescia in Cisalpine Gaul (modern North
Italy)
3. Jupiter Capitolinus, the Jupiter Optimus Maximus, venerated in all the places in the Roman Empire with a
Capitol (Capitolium)
4. Jupiter Dolichenus (from Doliche in Syria, originally a Baal weather and war god), since Vespasian popular
among the Roman legions as god of war and victory, esp. on the Danube (Carnuntum). Stands on a bull, a
Jupiter (mythology) 97

thunderbolt in the left, a double ax in the right hand.


5. Jupiter Indiges (Jupiter "of the country" - a title given to Aeneas after his death, according to Livy)
6. Jupiter Ladicus (Jupiter equated with a Celtiberian mountain-god and worshipped as the spirit of Mount Ladicus)
7. Jupiter Laterius or Latiaris ("God of Latium")
8. Jupiter Parthinus or Partinus (Jupiter was worshiped under this name on the borders of north-east Dalmatia and
Upper Moesia, perhaps being associated with the local tribe known as the Partheni)
9. Jupiter Poeninus (Jupiter was worshiped in the Alps under this name, around the Great St Bernard Pass, where he
had a sanctuary)
10. Jupiter Solutorius (a local version of Jupiter worshipped in Spain; he was syncretised with the local Iberian god
Eacus)
11. Jupiter Taranis (Jupiter equated with the Celtic god Taranis)
12. Jupiter Uxellinus (Jupiter as a god of high mountains)

Cult
Jupiter may have begun as a sky-god, concerned
mainly with wine festivals and associated with the
sacred oak on the Capitol. If so, he developed a twofold
character. He received the spolia opima and became a
god of war; as Stator he made the armies stand firm
and as Victor he gave them victory.[9] As the sky-god,
he was the first resort as a divine witness to oaths.[10]
Jupiter was the central deity of the early capitoline
Triad of Roman state religion, comprising Jupiter, Mars
and Quirinus. who each possessed some measure of the
divine characteristics essential to Rome's agricultural
economy, social organisation and success in war[11] He
retained this position as senior deity among the later
Capitoline Triad of Jupiter, Juno and Minerva. He
remained Rome's chief official deity throughout the
Republican and Imperial eras, until displaced by the
religious hegemony of Christianity.

Jupiter granted Rome supremacy because he was


"Jupiter et Thétis" by Jean Ingres, 1811.
honoured more by the Romans than by all others: he
was "the fount of the auspices upon which the
relationship of the city with the gods rested". He thus personified the divine authority of Rome's highest offices,
internal organization and external relations: his image in the Republican and Imperial Capitol bore regalia associated
with Rome's ancient kings and the highest consular and Imperial honours.[12] Roman consuls swore their oath of
office in Jupiter's name. To thank him for his help, and to secure his continued support, they offered him a white,
castrated ox (bos mas) with gilded horns.[13] A similar offering was made by triumphal generals, who must surrender
the tokens of their victory at the feet of Jupiter's statue in the Capitol. During one of the crises of the Punic Wars, he
was offered every animal born that year.[14] In official cult, Jupiter was served by the senior of all flamines, the
Flamen Dialis, whose office was attended by many unique ritual prohibitions.
Jupiter (mythology) 98

Temple of Jupiter
The largest temple in Rome was that of Jupiter Optimus Maximus on the Capitoline Hill. Here, Romans worshipped
him alongside Juno and Minerva, forming the Capitoline Triad. Jupiter was also worshipped at Capitoline Hill in
the form of a stone, known as Iuppiter Lapis or the Jupiter Stone, which was sworn upon as an oath stone. Temples
to Jupiter Optimus Maximus or the Capitoline Triad as a whole were commonly built by the Romans at the center of
new cities in their colonies.
The building was begun by Tarquinius Priscus and completed by the last king of Rome, Tarquinius Superbus,
although it was inaugurated, by a tradition recorded by the historians, on September 13, at the beginning of the
Republican era, 509BCE.
The temple building stood on a high podium with an entrance staircase to the front. On three of its sides it was
probably surrounded by a colonnade, with another two rows of pillars drawn up in line with those on the façade of
the deep pronaos which precedes the three cellae, ranged side by side in the Etruscan manner, the central one being
wider than the other two.
The surviving remains of the foundations and of the podium, most of which lie underneath Palazzo Caffarelli, are
made up of enormous parallel sections of walling made in blocks of grey tufa-quadriga stone (cappellaccio) and bear
witness to the sheer size of the surface area of the temple's base (about 55 x 60 m).
On the roof was a terracotta quadriga, a chariot drawn by four horses, with God Jupiter himself as the charioteer,
made by the Etruscan artist Vulca of Veii in the 6th Century BCE and commissioned by Tarquinius Superbus; it was
replaced by a bronze one in 296BCE. The cult image was also by Vulca and of the same terracotta material; its face
was painted red on festival days (Ovid, Fasti, 1.201f). Beneath the cella were the favissae, or underground passages,
in which were stored the old statues that had fallen from the roof, and various dedicatory gifts.
The temple was rebuilt in marble after fires had worked total destruction in 83BCE, when the cult image was lost, and
the Sibylline Books kept in a stone chest. Fires followed in 69CE, when the Capitol was stormed by the supporters of
Vitellius and in 80CE.
In front of the steps was the altar of Jupiter (ara Iovis). The large square in front of the temple (the Area Capitolina)
featured a number of temples dedicated to minor divinities, in addition to other religious buildings, statues and
trophies.
Its dilapidation began in the fifth century when Stilicho carried off the gold-plated doors, and Narses removed many
of the statues in 571CE.
When Hadrian built Aelia Capitolina on the site of Jerusalem, a temple to Jupiter Capitolinus was erected in the
place of the destroyed Temple in Jerusalem.
Jupiter (mythology) 99

Juppiter Tonans
Juppiter Tonans ("Thundering Jove") was the aspect (numen) of Jupiter
venerated in the Temple of Juppiter Tonans, which was vowed in 26BCE by
Augustus and dedicated in 22 on the Capitoline Hill; the Emperor had narrowly
escaped being struck by lightning during the campaign in Cantabria.[15] An old
temple in the Campus Martius had long been dedicated to Juppiter Fulgens. The
original cult image installed in the sanctuary by its founder was by Leochares,[16]
a Greek sculptor of the 4th Century BCE. The sculpture at the Prado (illustration)
is considered to be a late first century replacement commissioed by Domitian.
The Baroque-era restoration of the arms gives Jupiter a baton-like scepter in his
raised hand. .
Iuppiter Tonans, possibly reflecting
the cult image of the temple of
Jupiter Tonans (Prado) In language
It was once believed that the Roman god Jupiter (Zeus in Greece) was in charge
of cosmic Justice, and in ancient Rome, in their courts of law people swore by Jove to witness the oath,[17] which led
to the common expression "By Jove!" still used as an archaism today.
In addition, "jovial" is a somewhat common adjective, originally used to describe people born under the lucky planet
of Jupiter,[18] which was believed to make them jolly, optimistic, and buoyant in temperament.

Notes
[1] The Creation of the Earth and the Great Flood according to Greek and Roman Mythology (http:/ / www. pitt. edu/ ~dash/ creation-ovid.
html), D. L. Ashliman, 2002
[2] Jupiter (mythology) (http:/ / encarta. msn. com/ encyclopedia_761564260/ Jupiter_(mythology). html), Encarta. Archived (http:/ / www.
webcitation. org/ 5kws7PHsU) 2009-10-31.
[3] Saturn (http:/ / dictionary. reference. com/ browse/ Saturn), dictionary.com
[4] Most common in poetry, for its useful meter, and in the expression "By Jove!"
[5] "Indo-European and the Indo-Europeans" (http:/ / www. bartleby. com/ 61/ 8. html). American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language.
2000. . Retrieved 2008-09-27.
[6] English Thursday, German Donnerstag, is named after Thunor, Thor, or Old High German Donar from Germanic mythology, a deity similar
to Jupiter Tonans
[7] Der Große Brockhaus, vol.9, Leipzig: Brockhaus 1931, p. 520
[8] Samuel Ball Platner, revised by Thomas Ashby: A Topographical Dictionary of Ancient Rome, London: Oxford University Press, 1929 p.293
(http:/ / penelope. uchicago. edu/ Thayer/ E/ Gazetteer/ Places/ Europe/ Italy/ Lazio/ Roma/ Rome/ _Texts/ PLATOP*/ Jupiter_Feretrius.
html)
[9] Victor became an intermediary feminine personification Victoria.
[10] Fides had a similar function, but was feminine. Mars was also a deity of both agriculture and war, and was offered a sheep, a suckling pig
and a bull for his continued protection of the fields and family. Cited by Halm, in Rüpke (ed), 239. See also Cato the Elder, On Agriculture,
141. The Colline deity Quirinus may have equivalent in some way to both Mars and Jupiter: "Quirinus, perhaps the war god of the Quirinal
settlement or the god who presided over the assembled citizens." Howard Hayes Scullard, (2003), A History of the Roman World, 753 to 146
BC, page 393. Routledge.
[11] For a summary regarding the nature, status and complex development of Jupiter from regal to Republican era, see Beard et al., Vol. 1, 59 -
60. For the conceptual difficulties involved in discussion of Roman deities and their cults, see Rüpke, in Rüpke (ed) 1 - 7.
[12] Orlin, in Rüpke (ed), 58.
[13] Scheid, in Rüpke (ed), 263 - 271.
[14] Beard et al, Vol 1, 32-36: the consecration made this a "Sacred Spring" (ver sacrum). The "contract" with Jupiter is exceptionally detailed.
All due care would be taken of the animals, but any that died or were stolen before the scheduled sacrifice would count as if already sacrificed.
Sacred animals were already assigned to the gods, who ought to protect their own property.
[15] Suetonius, Vita Augusti 29.91, etc. See Samuel Ball Platner and Thomas Ashby, A Topographical Dictionary of Ancient Rome, (London:
Oxford University Press) 1929. On-line text (http:/ / penelope. uchicago. edu/ Thayer/ E/ Gazetteer/ Places/ Europe/ Italy/ Lazio/ Roma/
Rome/ _Texts/ PLATOP*/ Aedes_Jovis_Tonantis. html))
Jupiter (mythology) 100

[16] According to Pliny's Natural History, 39.79


[17] Samuel Ball Platner, revised by Thomas Ashby: A Topographical Dictionary of Ancient Rome, London: Oxford University Press, 1929
p.293 (http:/ / penelope. uchicago. edu/ Thayer/ E/ Gazetteer/ Places/ Europe/ Italy/ Lazio/ Roma/ Rome/ _Texts/ PLATOP*/
Jupiter_Feretrius. html) and
Der Große Brockhaus, vol.9, Leipzig: Brockhaus 1931, p. 520
[18] Walter W. Skeat, A Concise Etymological Dictionary of the English Language, Oxford: Clarendon Press 1882, OUP 1984, p.274

References
• Musei Capitolini (http://www.museicapitolini.org/en/museo/sezioni.asp?l1=5&l2=3)
• Dumézil, G. (1988). Mitra-Varuna: An essay on two Indo-European representations of sovereignty. New York:
Zone Books. ISBN 0-942299-13-2
• Dumézil, G. (1996). Archaic Roman religion: With an appendix on the religion of the Etruscans. Baltimore, Md:
Johns Hopkins University Press. ISBN 0-8018-5481-4
• Article "Jupiter" in The Oxford Classical Dictionary. ISBN 0-19-860641-9
• Smith, Miranda J., 'Dictionary of Celtic Myth and Legend' ISBN 0-500-27976-6
• Favourite Greek Myths, Mary Pope Osbourne Aedes Iovis Optimi Maximi Capitolini (http://penelope.uchicago.
edu/Thayer/E/Gazetteer/Places/Europe/Italy/Lazio/Roma/Rome/_Texts/PLATOP*/
Aedes_Jovis_Capitolini.html)
• Platner, S. B., & Ashby, T. (1929). A topographical dictionary of ancient Rome. London: Oxford University
Press, H. Milford. OCLC 1061481
• Rüpke, Jörg (Editor), A Companion to Roman Religion, Wiley-Blackwell, 2007. ISBN 978-1-4051-2943-5

Jupiter Indiges
According to the Roman historian Livy, Jupiter Indiges is the name given to the deified hero Aeneas. In some
versions of his story, he is raised up to become a god after his death by Numicius, a local deity of the river of the
same name, at the request of Aeneas' mother Venus.[1] The title Pater Indiges or simply Indiges is also used.[2]
The Greek historian Dionysius of Halicarnassus notes that when the body of Aeneas was not found after a battle
between his group of Trojan exiles in Italy and the native Rutulians, it was assumed that he had been taken up by the
gods to become a deity. He also presents the alternative explanation that Aeneas may have simply drowned in the
river Numicus and that a shrine in his memory was built there.[3]
The term "Indiges", thought by some to be from the same root as "indigenous", may reflect the fact that these minor
deities (collectively, the "Dii Indegetes") originated locally in Italy [4] . An alternate explanation given is that they
were individuals who were raised to the status of gods after mortal life. Compare for example Sol Indiges.

References
[1] Livy, Ab Urbe Condita Book 1.
[2] Ovid, Metamorphoses, Book 14
[3] The Roman Antiquities of Dionysius of Halicarnassus, published in Vol. I of the Loeb Classical Library edition, 1937
[4] Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities edited William Smith (1870) p. 573
Jupiter Tonans 101

Jupiter Tonans
Jupiter Tonans, or, in Latin spelling, Iuppiter Tonans ("Thundering
Jove") was the aspect (numen) of Jupiter venerated in the Temple of
Juppiter Tonans, which was vowed in 26 BC or BCE by Augustus
and dedicated in 22 BC or BCE on the Capitoline Hill; the Emperor
had narrowly escaped being struck by lightning during the campaign in
Cantabria.[1] An old temple in the Campus Martius had long been
dedicated to Juppiter Fulgens. The original cult image installed in the
sanctuary by its founder was by Leochares,[2] a Greek sculptor of the
4th century BC or BCE.

In the 1st century Vitruvius observed (De architectura I.2.5) the


propriety or decorum required for temples of Jupiter Tonans, that they
be hypaethral, open to the sky.
The sculpture at the Prado (illustration) is considered to be a late 1st
century replacement commissioned by Domitian. The Baroque-era
restoration of the arms has given Jupiter a baton-like scepter in his Jupiter Tonans, possibly reflecting the cult image
raised hand. of the temple of Jupiter Tonans in Rome (Spanish
Royal collection, Prado)

References
[1] Suetonius, Vita Augusti 29.91, etc. See Samuel Ball Platner and Thomas Ashby, A Topographical Dictionary of Ancient Rome, London:
Oxford University Press, 1929, p. 305f. (On-line text) (http:/ / penelope. uchicago. edu/ Thayer/ E/ Gazetteer/ Places/ Europe/ Italy/ Lazio/
Roma/ Rome/ _Texts/ PLATOP*/ Aedes_Jovis_Tonantis. html).
[2] According to Pliny's Natural History, 39.79

External links
• Platner: Aedes Jovis Tonantis. On-line text (http://penelope.uchicago.edu/Thayer/E/Gazetteer/Places/
Europe/Italy/Lazio/Roma/Rome/_Texts/PLATOP*/Aedes_Jovis_Tonantis.html))
Lactans 102

Lactans
In Roman mythology, Lactans (or Lactanus) was a god who made crops prosper, and specifically promoted the
growth of young corn.
Lares 103

Lares
For other meanings, see Lares (disambiguation).

Lar statuette, bronze, 1st century AD (Capitoline


Museum, Rome).

Ancient Roman religion

Practices and beliefs


Imperial cult  · festivals  · ludi
mystery religions · funerals
temples · auspice · sacrifice
votum · libation · lectisternium

Priesthoods
College of Pontiffs · Augur
Vestal Virgins · Flamen · Fetial
Epulones · Arval Brethren
Quindecimviri sacris faciundis

Dii Consentes
Jupiter · Juno · Neptune · Minerva
Mars · Venus · Apollo · Diana
Vulcan · Vesta · Mercury · Ceres
Lares 104

Other deities
Janus · Quirinus · Saturn ·
Hercules · Faunus · Priapus
Bacchus (Liber) · Bona Dea · Ops
Castor and Pollux · Cupid
Chthonic deities: Proserpina ·
Dis Pater · Pluto · Orcus ·
Hecate · Di Manes
Domestic and local deities:
Lares · Di Penates · Genius
Hellenistic deities: Sol Invictus · Magna Mater · Isis ·
Mithras
Deified emperors:
Divus Julius  · Divus Augustus
See also List of Roman deities

Related topics
Roman mythology
Glossary of ancient Roman religion
Religion in ancient Greece
Etruscan religion
Gallo-Roman religion
Decline of Hellenistic polytheism

Lares (sing. Lar) – or archaically, Lases – were guardian deities in ancient Roman religion. Their origin is
uncertain; they may have been guardians of the hearth, fields, boundaries or fruitfulness, hero-ancestors, or an
amalgam of these.
Lares were believed to observe, protect and influence all that happened within the boundaries of their location or
function. The statues of domestic Lares were placed at table during family meals; their presence, cult and blessing
seem to have been required at all important family events. Roman writers sometimes identify or conflate them with
ancestor-deities, domestic Penates and the hearth. Because of these associations, Lares are sometimes categorised as
household gods but some had much broader domains. Roadways, seaways, agriculture, livestock, towns, cities, the
state and its military were all under the protection of their particular Lar or Lares. Those who protected local
neighbourhoods (vici) were housed in the crossroad shrines (Compitales) which served as a focus for the religious,
social and political life of their local, overwhelmingly plebeian communities. Their cult officials included freedmen
and slaves, otherwise excluded by status or property qualification from most administrative and religious offices.
Compared to Rome's major deities, the scope and potency of Lares were limited but they were important, peculiarly
Roman objects of cult. Archaeological and literary evidence attests to their central role in Roman identity and
religious life throughout the Republic and empire. By analogy, a homeward-bound Roman could be described as
returning ad Larem (to the Lar). Despite official bans on non-Christian cults from the late 4th century AD onwards,
unofficial cults to Lares persisted until at least the early 5th century AD.

Origins and development


Archaic Rome's Etruscan neighbours practiced domestic, ancestral or family cults very similar to those offered by
later Romans to their Lares.[1] Ancient Greek and Roman and authors offer "heroes" and "daimones" as translations
of "Lares"; the early Roman playwright Plautus (c. 254–184 BC) employs a Lar Familiaris as a guardian of treasure
on behalf of a family, as a plot equivalent to the Greek playwright Menander's use of a heroon (as an ancestral
hero-shrine).[2] Weinstock proposes a more ancient equivalence of Lar and Greek hero, based on his gloss of a 4th
century BC Latin dedication to the Roman ancestor-hero Aeneas as Lare (Lar).[3]
No physical Lar images survive from before the Late Republican era, but literary references[4] suggest that cult could
be offered to a single Lar, and sometimes many more: in the case of the obscure Lares Grundules, perhaps thirty.
Lares 105

Their development as paired divinities may have arisen through the influences of Greek religion – in particular, the
heroic twin Dioscuri – and the iconography of Rome's semi-divine founder-twins, Romulus and Remus. Domestic
Lares statues from the early Imperial era show only minor stylistic variations from a common type; small, youthful,
lively male figures clad in short, rustic, girdled tunics – made of dogskin, according to Plutarch.[5] They take a
dancer's attitude, tiptoed or lightly balanced on one leg. One arm raises a drinking horn (rhyton) aloft as if to offer a
toast or libation; the other bears a shallow libation dish (patera). Carved representations of Lares on Compitalia
shrines of the same period show figures of the same type. Painted shrine-images of paired Lares show them in
mirrored poses to the left and right of a central figure, understood to be an ancestral genius.

Lares and their domains


Lares belonged within the "bounded physical domain" under their protection,
and seem to have been as innumerable as the places they protected. Some
appear to have had overlapping functions and changes of name. Some have
no particular or descriptive name: for example, those invoked along with
Mars in the Carmen Arvale are simply Lases (an archaic form of Lares),
whose divine functions must be inferred from the wording and context of the
Carmen itself. Likewise those invoked along with other deities by the consul
Publius Decius Mus as an act of devotio before his death in battle are simply
"Lares". The titles and domains given below cannot therefore be taken as
exhaustive or definitive.

• Lares Augusti: the Lares of Augustus, or perhaps "the august Lares",


given public cult on the first of August, thereby identified with the
inaugural day of Imperial Roman magistracies and with Augustus himself.
Official Cult to the Lares Augusti continued from their institution through
to the 4th century AD.[6] They are identified with the Lares Compitalicii
and Lares Praestites of Augustan religious reform.[7]
• Lares Compitalicii (also Lares Compitales): the Lares of local
communities or neighbourhoods (vici), celebrated at the Compitalia
festival. Their shrines were usually positioned at main central crossroads
(compites) of their vici, and provided a focus for the religious and social
life of their community, particularly for the plebeian and servile masses.
The Lares Compitalicii are synonymous with the Lares Augusti of
Augustan reform. Augustus' institution of cult to the Lares Praestites was Gallo-Roman Lar, Imperial period (from
the "Muri" statuette collection).
held at the same Compitalia shrines, but on a different date.[8] [9]
• Lares Domestici: Lares of the house, probably identical with Lares Familiares.
• Lares Familiares: Lares of the family, probably identical with the Lares Domestici.
• Lares Grundules: the thirty "grunting Lares", supposedly given an altar and cult by Romulus when a sow
produced a prodigous farrow of thirty piglets.[10]
• Lares Militares: "military Lares", named by Marcianus Capella as members of two cult groupings which include
Mars, Jupiter and other major Roman deities.[11] Palmer (1974) interprets the figure from a probable altar-relief as
"something like a Lar Militaris": he is cloaked, and sits horseback on a saddle of panther skin.[12]
• Lares Patrii: Lares "of the fathers", possibly equivalent to the dii patrii (deified ancestors) who received cult at
Parentalia.
• Lares Permarini: Lares who protected seafarers; also a temple to them (of which one is known at Rome's Campus
martius).
Lares 106

• Lares Praestites: Lares of the city of Rome, later of the Roman state or community; literally, the "Lares who stand
before", as guardians or watchmen. They were housed in the state Regia, near the temple of Vesta, with whose
worship and sacred hearth they were associated; they seem to have protected Rome from malicious or destructive
fire. They may have also functioned as the neighbourhood Lares of Octavian (the later emperor Augustus), who
owned a house between the Temple of Vesta and the Regia. Augustus later gave this house and care of its Lares to
the Vestals: this donation reinforced the religious bonds between the Lares of his household, his neighbourhood
and the State. His Compitalia reforms extended this identification to every neighbourhood Lares shrine. However,
Lares Praestites and the Lares Compitales (renamed as Lares Augusti) should probably not be considered
identical. Their local festivals were held at the same Compitalia shrines, but at different times.[13]
• Lares Privati
• Lares Rurales: Lares of the fields, identified as custodes agri – guardians of the fields – by Tibullus.[14]
• Lares Viales: Lares of roads and those who travel them.

Domestic Lares
Traditional Roman households owned at least one protective Lares-figure, housed in a shrine along with the images
of the household's penates, genius image and any other favoured deities. Their statues were placed at table during
family meals and banquets. They were divine witnesses at important family occasions, such as marriages, births and
adoptions, and their shrines provided a religious hub for social and family life.[15]
Responsibility for household cult and the behaviour of family members ultimately fell to the family head, the
paterfamilias but he could, and indeed should on certain occasions properly delegate the cult and care of his Lares to
other family members, especially his servants.[16] The positioning of the Lares at the House of Menander suggest
that the paterfamilias delegated this religious task to his villicus (bailif).[17] Individuals who failed to attend to the
needs of their Lares and their families should expect neither reward not good fortune for themselves. In Plautus'
comedy Aulularia, the Lar of the miserly paterfamilias Euclio reveals a pot of gold long-hidden beneath his
household hearth, denied to Euclio's father because of his stinginess towards his Lar. Euclio's own stinginess
deprives him of the gold until he sees the error of his ways; then he uses it to give his virtuous daughter the dowry
she deserves, and all is well.[18]
Care and cult to domestic Lares could include offerings of spelt wheat and grain-garlands, honey cakes and
honeycombs, grapes and first fruits, wine and incense.[19] They could be served at any time and not always by
intention: as well as the formal offerings that seem to have been their due, any food that fell to the floor during house
banquets was theirs.[20] On important occasions, wealthier households may have offered their own Lares a pig. A
single source describes Romulus' provision of an altar and sacrifice to Lares Grundules ("grunting lares") after an
unusually large farrowing of thirty piglets. The circumstances of this offering are otherwise unknown: Taylor
conjectures the sacrifice of a pig, possibly a pregnant sow.[21]

Domestic shrines to the Lares


During the early Imperial period, household shrines acquired the generic name, lararia (s. lararium). The term was
derived from Lar, probably due to the domestic ubiquity of Lares. Not all such shrines need house Lares figures but
of those that did, Pompeian shrine paintings are thought to show a typical layout: paired Lares flank a genius or
ancestor-figure, who wears a toga in the priestly manner prescribed for sacrificers. Positioned beneath this trio of
figures is a serpent, which represents the fertility of fields or the principle of generative power. Arranged around or
within the whole are representations of sacrificial essentials such as bowl and knife, incense box, libation vessels and
parts of sacrificial animals.
Household shrines, with or without a Lar figure or two, could be sited in virtually any room of any house; bedrooms,
private rooms of uncertain purpose and working areas such as kitchen and stores. The Lares figures and shrines of
wealthy households are often, though not exclusively found in the servant's quarters, and resemble those found in
Lares 107

households of more modest means: small Lar statuettes set in wall-niches, sometimes merely a tile-support
projecting from a simply painted background.[22] At Pompeii, the Lares and lararium of the sophisticated,
unpretentious and artistically restrained House of Menander[23] were associated with its servant quarters and adjacent
agricultural estate. Its statuary was unsophisticated, "rustic" and probably of ancient type or make. The placing of
Lares in the public or semi-public parts of a house, such as its atrium, enrolled them in the more outward, theatrical
functions of household religion.[24]
The House of the Vettii in Pompeii had two
lararia. One was a simple, traditionally
Roman affair, positioned out of public view,
and was probably used in private household
rites. The other was placed boldly
front-of-house, among a riot of
Greek-inspired mythological wall-paintings
and the assorted statuary of patron
divinities.[26] Its positioning in a relatively
public part of the domus would have
provided a backdrop for the probably
interminable salutatio (formal greeting)
Pompeian lararium at the House of the Vettii. Two Lares flank an ancestor-genius between its upwardly mobile owners and
holding patera (bowl) and incense box, his head respectfully covered as if for their strings of clients and "an assorted
sacrifice. The snake is associated with the land's fertility and thus prosperity; it group of unattached persons who made the
approaches a low, laden altar. The shrine's tympanum shows a patera, ox-skull and
[25] rounds of salutationes to assure their
knife.
political and economic security".[27]

Domestic Lararia were also used as a sacred, protective depository for commonplace symbols of family change and
continuity. In his coming-of-age, a boy gave his personal amulet (bulla) to his Lares before he put on his manly toga
(toga virilis). Once his first beard had been ritually cut off, it was placed in their keeping.[28] On the night before her
wedding, a Roman girl surrendered her dolls, soft balls and breastbands to her family Lares, as a sign she had come
of age. On the day of her marriage, she transferred her allegiance to her husband's neighbourhood Lares (Lares
Compitalici) by paying them a copper coin en route to her new home. She paid another to her new domestic Lares,
and one to her husband. If the marriage made her a materfamilias, she took joint responsibility with her husband for
aspects of household cult.[29] [30]
Lares 108

Lares and the Compitalia


The city of Rome was protected by a Lar, or Lares, housed in a
shrine (sacellum) on the City's ancient, sacred boundary
(pomerium).[31] Each Roman vicus (pl. vici – administrative
districts or wards) had its own communal Lares, housed in a
permanent shrine at a central crossroads of the district. These
Lares Compitalicii were celebrated at the Compitalia festival
(from the Latin compitum, a crossroad) just after the Saturnalia
that closed the old year. In the "solemn and sumptuous" rites of
Compitalia, a pig was led taken in celebratory procession through
the streets of the vicus then sacrificed to the Lares at their
Compitalia shrine. Cult offerings to these Lares were much the
same as those to domestic Lares; in the late Republican era,
Dionysius of Halicarnassus describes the contribution of a
honey-cake from each household as ancient tradition.[32]

Lar statuette, early 1st century AD, from Lora del Rio,
Spain. At the National Archaeological Museum of
Spain, Madrid

The Compitalia itself was explained as an invention of


Rome's sixth king, Servius Tullius, whose servile
origins and favour towards plebians and slaves had
antagonised Rome's ruling Patrician caste and
ultimately caused his downfall: he was said to have
been fathered by a Lar or some other divine being, on a
royal slave-girl.[33] So although the Lares Compitalicii
were held to protect all the community, regardless of
social class, their festival had a distinctly plebeian
A fresco from a building near Pompeii, a rare depiction of Roman ambiance, and a measure of Saturnalia's reversal of the
men in togae praetextae with dark red borders. It dates from the early status quo. Tradition required that the Lares
Imperial Era and probably shows an event during Compitalia Compitalicii be served by men of very low legal and
social status: not merely plebians, but freedmen and
slaves, to whom "even the heavy-handed Cato recommended liberality during the festival".[34] Dionysius' explains it
thus:

... the heroes [Lares] looked kindly on the service of slaves.[35] And [the Romans] still observe the ancient
custom in connection with those sacrifices propitiating the heroes by the ministry of their servants and during
these days removing every badge of their servitude, in order that the slaves, being softened by this instance of
humanity, which has something great and solemn about it, may make themselves more agreeable to their
masters and be less sensible of the severity of their condition.[36]
While the supervision of the vici and their religious affairs may have been charged to the Roman elite who occupied
most magistracies and priesthoods,[37] management of the day-to-day affairs and public amenities of neighbourhoods
Lares 109

– including their religious festivals – was the responsibility of freedmen and their slave-assistants. The Compitalia
was an official festival but during the Republican era, its shrines appear to have been funded locally, probably by
subscription among the plebeians, freedmen and slaves of the vici. Their support through private benefaction is
nowhere attested, and official attitudes to the Republican Compitalia seem equivocal at best: The Compitalia games
(Ludi Compitalicii) included popular theatrical religious performances of raucously subversive flavour:[38]
Compitalia thus offered a religiously sanctioned outlet for free speech and populist subversion. At some time
between 85–82  BC, the Compitalia shrines were the focus of cult to the ill-fated popularist politician Marcus Marius
Gratidianus during his praetorship. What happened – if anything – to the Compitalia festivals and games in the
immediate aftermath of his public, ritualised murder by his opponents is not known but in 68 BC the games at least
were suppressed as "disorderly".[39]

Lares and Augustan religious reforms


The princeps Augustus reformed Compitalia and subdivided the vici. From 7  BC a Lares' festival on 1 May was
dedicated to the Lares Augusti and a new celebration of the Genius Augusti was held on 1 August, the inaugural day
for Roman magistracies and personally auspicious for Augutus as the anniversary of his victory at Actium. Statues
representing the Genius Augusti were inserted between the Lares of the Compitalia shrines.[40] Whether or not
Augustus substituted the public Lares with "his own" Lares is questionable; augusti can be interpreted as descriptive,
a shared title and honour (the "august" Lares) but when coupled with his new cult to the Genius Augusti, Augustus'
deliberate association with the popular Lares through their shared honorific makes the reformed Compitalia an
unmistakable, local, "street level" aspect of cult to living emperors.[41]
The iconography of these shrines celebrates their sponsor's personal
qualities and achievements and evokes a real or re-invented continuity of
practice from ancient times. Some examples are sophisticated, others
crude and virtually rustic in style; taken as a whole, their positioning in
every vicus (ward) of Rome symbolically extends the ideology of a
"refounded" Rome to every part of the city.[42] The Compitalia reforms
were ingenious and genuinely popular; they valued the traditions of the
Roman masses and won their political, social and religious support.
Probabably in response to this, provincial cults to the Lares Augusti
appear soon afterwards; in Ostia, a Lares Augusti shrine was placed in
the forum, which was ritually cleansed for the occasion.[43] The
Augustan model persisted with only minor modifications until the end of
the Western Empire, still dedicated to the Lares Augusti and associated
with the ruling Emperor by title rather than name. Similar dedications
and collegial arrangements are found elsewhere in the Empire.[44] Compitalia procession with the image of a Lar.
Drawing from a fragment of bas-relief in the
Augustus officially confirmed the plebian-servile character of Compitalia former Lateran Museum

as essential to his "restoration" of Roman tradition, and formalised their


offices; the vici and their religious affairs were now the responsibility of official magistri vici, usually freedmen,
assisted by ministri vici who were usually slaves. A dedication of 2  BC to the Augustan Lares lists four slaves as
shrine-officials of their vicus.[45] Given their slave status, their powers are debatable but they clearly constitute an
official body. Their inscribed names, and those of their owners, are contained within an oak-wreath cartouche. The
oak-leaf chaplet was voted to Augustus as "saviour" of Rome;[46] He was symbolic pater (father) of the Roman state,
and though his genius was owed cult by his extended family, its offer seems to have been entirely voluntary. Hardly
any of the reformed Compital shrines show evidence of cult to the emperor's genius.[47] Augustus acted with the

political acumen of any responsible patronus (patron); his subdivision of the vici created new opportunities for his
clients. It repaid honour with honours, which for the plebs meant offices, priesthood, and the respect of their
Lares 110

peers;[48] at least for some. In Petronius' Satyricon, a magistrate's lictor bangs on Trimalchio's door; it causes a
fearful stir but in comes Habinnas, one of Augustus' new priests, a stonemason by trade; dressed up in his regalia,
perfumed and completely drunk.[49]

Lares origin myths and theology


From the Late Republican and early Imperial eras, the priestly records of the Arval Brethren and the speculative
commentaries of a very small number of literate Romans attest to a Mother of the Lares (Mater Larum). Her children
are invoked by the obscure, fragmentary opening to the Arval Hymn (Carmen Arvale); enos Lases iuvate ("Help us,
Lares").[50] She is named as Mania by Varro (116–27  BC), who believes her an originally Sabine deity. The same
name is used by later Roman authors with the general sense of a bogey or "evil spirit".[51] Much later, Macrobius (fl.
395–423 AD) describes the woolen figurines hung at crossroad shrines during Compitalia as maniae, supposed as an
ingenious substitution for child sacrifices to the Mater Larum, instituted by Rome's last monarch and suppressed by
its first consul, L. Junius Brutus.[52] Modern scholarship takes the Arval rites to the Mother of the Lares as typically
chthonic, and the goddess herself as a dark or terrible aspect of the earth-mother, Tellus. Ovid supplies or elaborates
an origin-myth for the Mater Larum as a once-loquacious nymph, Lara, whose tongue is cut out as punishment for
her betrayal of Jupiter's secret amours. Lara thus becomes Muta (the speechless one). Mercury leads her to the
underworld abode of the dead (ad Manes); in this place of silence she is Tacita (the silent one). En route, he
impregnates her. She gives birth to twin boys as silent or speechless as she. In this context, the Lares can be
understood as "manes of silence" (taciti manes).[53] [54]
Ovid's poetic myth appears to draw on remnants of ancient rites to the Mater Larum, surviving as folk-cult among
women at the fringes of the Feralia: an old woman sews up a fish-head, smears it with pitch then pierces and roasts it
to bind hostile tongues to silence: she thus invokes Tacita. If, as Ovid proposes, the lemures are an unsatiated,
malevolent and wandering form of Lares, then they and their mother also find their way into Lemuralia, when the
hungry Lemures gather in Roman houses and claim cult from the living. The paterfamilias must redeem himself and
his family with the offer of midnight libations of spring-water, and black beans spat onto the floor. Any lemures
dissatisfied with these offerings are scared away by the loud clashing of bronze pots. Taylor notes the chthonic
character of offerings made to fall – or deliberately expelled – towards the earth. If their mother's nature connects
the Lares to the earth they are, according to Taylor, spirits of the departed.[55]
Plutarch offers a legend of Servius Tullius, sixth king of Rome,
credited with the founding of the Lares' public festival, Compitalia.
Servius' virginal slave mother-to-be is impregnated by a
phallus-apparition arising from the hearth,[56] or some other divine
being held to be a major deity or ancestor-hero by some, a Lar by
others: the latter seems to have been a strong popular tradition.
Dionysius of Halicarnassus reports Servius' fathering by a Lar and his
later pious founding of Compitalia as Roman commonplaces during the
Augustan era. The Lar seems to him an equivalent to the Greek hero;
Household lararium in Pompeii
semi-divine, ancestral and protective of place.[57] [58] [59]

These stories connect the Lar to the hearth, the underworld, generative powers (however embodied), nourishment,
forms of divine or semi-divine ancestry and the coupling of the divine with the servile, wherein those deprived by
legal or birth-status of a personal gens could serve, and be served by, the cults attached to Compitalia and Larentalia.
Mommsen's contention that Lares were originally field deities is not incompatible with their role as ancestors and
guardians. A rural familia relied on the productivity of their estate and its soil: around the early 2nd century BC,
Plautus's Lar Familiaris protects the house, and familia as he has always done, and safeguards their secrets.[60]

The little mythography that belongs to the Lares seems inventive and poetic; no traditional, systematic theology
attaches to them. These limitations allow their development as single, usefully nebulous type with many functions. In
Lares 111

Cicero's day, one's possession of domestic Lares laid moral claim of ownership and belonging to one's domicile.[61]
Festus identifies them as "gods of the underworld" (di inferi).[62] To Flaccus, they are ancestral genii (s. genius).
Apuleius considers them benevolent ancestral spirits; they belong both to the underworld and to particular places of
the human world. To him, this distinguishes them from the divine and eternal genius which inhabits, protects and
inspires living men: and having specific physical domains, they cannot be connected with the malicious, vagrant
lemures.[63] In the 4th century AD the Christian polemicist Arnobius, claiming among others Varro (116–27 BC) as
his source, describes them as once-human spirits of the underworld, therefore ancestral manes-ghosts; but also as
"gods of the air", or the upper world. He also – perhaps uniquely in the literature but still claiming Varro's authority
– categorises them with the frightful larvae.[64] [65] The ubiquity of Lares seems to have set considerable restraints on
Christian participation in Roman public life, and in the 3rd century AD, Tertullian remarks the inevitable presence of
Lares in pagan households as good reason to forbid marriage between pagan men and Christian women: the latter
would be "tormented by the vapor of incense each time the demons are honored, each solemn festivity in honor of
the emperors, each beginning of the year, each beginning of the month."[66] Yet their type proved remarkably
persistent. In the early 5th century AD, after the official suppression of non-Christian cults, Rutilius Namatianus
could write of a famine-stricken district whose inhabitants had no choice but to "abandon their Lares" (thus, to desert
their rat-infested houses).[67]

See also
• The Lares in Rome's Imperial cult
• Compitalia
• Genius
• Lemures
• Di Penates
• Manes
• Turan, the Etruscan love goddess

Notes
[1] Ryberg, pp. 10 - 13: a wall painting at the Tomba dei Leopardi, at Etruscan Tarquinni, shows offerings are made to Lares-like figures, or di
Manes (deified ancestors) in a procession preparatory to funeral games. A black-figured Etruscan vase, and Etruscan reliefs, show the forms of
altar and iconography used in Roman Lares-cult, including the offer of a garland crown, sacrifice of a pig and the representation of serpents as
a fructifying or generative force.
[2] Hunter, 2008.
[3] Weinstock, 114-118.
[4] Such as Plautus' singular Lar, above.
[5] Plutarch, Roman Questions, 52: see Waites, 258 for analysis of chthonic connections between the Lares' dogskin tunic, Hecate and the Lares
of the crossroads (Lares Compitalicii).
[6] Beard et al, 185-6, 355, 357.
[7] Lott, 116 - 117.
[8] Beard et al, 139.
[9] Lott, 115 - 117, citing Suetonius.
[10] Taylor, 303, citing the 2nd century BC annalist Cassius Hemina.
[11] Marcianus Capella, 1.45 ff.
[12] Robert EA Plamer, Roman religion and Roman Empire: five essays, University of Pennsylvania Press, 1974, p. 116. Limited preview
available via googlebooks: (http:/ / books. google. com/ books?id=JtQoAAAAYAAJ& q="lar+ militaris"& dq="lar+ militaris"& hl=en&
ei=qxaETJPAAdOnnQfWkvW4AQ& sa=X& oi=book_result& ct=result& resnum=3& ved=0CDUQ6AEwAg)
[13] Lott, 116 - 117.
[14] Tibullus, 1, 1, 19 - 24. (http:/ / books. google. co. uk/ books?id=IpQRKCKEsz0C& pg=PA15& lpg=PA15& dq=Tibullus+ custodes&
source=bl& ots=4VuDDxHV3P& sig=9vM0CNl2oPKOYBAAEnmGEE20giw& hl=en& ei=0r-8TPapLcuX4gbssJ2EDg& sa=X&
oi=book_result& ct=result& resnum=2& sqi=2& ved=0CBoQ6AEwAQ#v=onepage& q=Tibullus custodes& f=false) See also Cicero, De
Legibus, 2. 19, for reference to Lares as field-deities.
Lares 112

[15] The painted Lares and genius at the "House of the Red Walls" in Pompeii shared their quarters with bronze statuettes of Lares, Mercury,
Apollo, and Hercules: see Kaufmann-Heinimann, in Rüpke (ed), 200.
[16] The "proper occasions" included the household's participation in the Compitalia festival. Clear evidence is otherwise lacking for the
executive roles of subservient household members in household cults.
[17] Allison, P., 2006, The Insula of Menander at Pompeii, Vol.III, The Finds; A Contextual Study Oxford: Claredon Press.
[18] Plautus, Aulularia, prologue: see Hunter, 2008.
[19] Orr, 23.
[20] Pliny the Elder, Natural History, 28, 27.
[21] Taylor, 303: citing Cassius Hemina ap. Diomedes I, p384 K; Nonius, p 114 M. Taylor notes that the story's association with Lavinius, Rome
and Alba: "In view of the frequent identity between God and sacrificial victim, it is worth noting that the pig was the most usual offering to the
Lares, just as the pregnant animal and particularly the pregnant sow was a common sacrifice to the earth goddess."
[22] "The architecture of the ancient Romans was, from first to last, an art of shaping space around ritual:" Clarke, 1, citing Frank E. Brown,
Roman Architecture, (New York, 1961, 9. Clarke views Roman ritual as twofold; some is prescribed and ceremonial, and includes activities
which might be called, in modern terms, religious; some is what might be understood in modern terms as secular conventions – the proper and
habitual way of doing things. For Romans, both activities were matters of lawful custom (mos maiorum) rather than religious as opposed to
secular.
[23] Named after its particularly fine fresco of the poet
[24] Kaufmann-Heinimann, in Rüpke (ed), 200: in some cases, the artistic display of the lararium seems to displace its religious function.
[25] Beard et al, vol. 2, 4.12.
[26] The more public lararium is exceptionally large; it measures 1.3m x 2.25m and faces onto the internal courtyard of the building. Its painted
deities are framed by stonework in the form of a classical temple, complete with finely carved pediment to support a patera for offerings. With
its painted deities and mythological scenes, such a lararium would certainly have made a powerful impression. See Allison, P., 2006, The
Insula of Menander at Pompeii, Vol.III, The Finds; A Contextual Study Oxford: Claredon Press.
[27] Clarke, 4, 208, 264: the Vettii brothers had been freedmen and successful entrepreneurs, possibly in the wine business. Their house is
designed and decorated in the so-called Fourth Style and imports courtyard elements of the rural villa. According to Clarke, their
"semi-public" lararium and its surrounding walls - decorated with a riot of deities and mythological scenes - reflects the increasing
secularisation of household religion during this period.
[28] Clarke, 9-10; citing Propertius, 4.1.131-2 & Persius, The Satires, 5.30-1.
[29] Orr, 15-16.
[30] Clarke, 10.
[31] Tacitus, Annals, 12.24.
[32] Lott, 31: Dionysius claims the Compitalia contribution of honey-cakes as an institution of Servius Tullius.
[33] The same institution was also credited to King Lucius Tarquinius Priscus, Servius' predecessor and paterfamilias – though not, by all
accounts, his birth-father). Other candidates for Servius' paternity include a disembodied phallus that materialised at the royal hearth.
[34] Lott, 35, citing Cato, On Agriculture, 5.3.
[35] Dionysius understands the function of the Lar as equivalent to that of a Greek hero; an ancestral spirit, protector of a place and its people,
possessed of both mortal and divine characteristics.
[36] Dionysius of Halicarnassus, 4.14.2-4 (excerpt), Trans. Cary, Loeb, Cambridge, 1939: cited in Lott, 31. By "badges of servility" Dionysus
seems to have meant distinctive slave-clothing; the slaves who ministered to the Lares were dressed as freedmen for the occasion.
[37] Lott, 32 ff.
[38] Pliny, Natural History, 36.204; Cicero, In Pisonem, 8; Propertius, 2.22.3-36.
[39] Lott, 28–51.
[40] Duncan Fishwick, The Imperial Cult in the Latin West: Studies in the Ruler Cult of the Western Provinces of the Roman Empire, volume 1,
Brill Publishers, 1991, pp. 82 - 83.
[41] Lott, 107–117, points out that "Augusti" is never used to refer to private Julian religious practices. He finds unlikely that so subtle a
reformist as Augustus should claim to restore Rome's traditions yet high-handedly replace one of its most popular cults with one to his own
family Lares: contra Taylor (whose view he acknowledges as generally accepted): limited preview available via googlebooks: (http:/ / books.
google. co. uk/ books?id=8nd0aDXbOSkC& dq=Lott+ the+ neighborhoods+ of+ Augustan+ rome& printsec=frontcover& source=bn&
hl=en& ei=7hpGS5fZIZarjAeF78yAAw& sa=X& oi=book_result& ct=result& resnum=4& ved=0CBUQ6AEwAw#v=onepage& q=&
f=false) (accessed 07 January 2010). For the function of Imperial cult at "street level" via the reformed Compitalia, see Duncan Fishwick, The
Imperial Cult in the Latin West: Studies in the Ruler Cult of the Western Provinces of the Roman Empire, volume 1, Brill Publishers, 1991, p
82.
[42] Beard et al, 184–186.
[43] Beard et al, 355.
[44] Lott, 174.
[45] Their shrine is named as Stata Mater, probably after a nearby statue of that goddess.
[46] The oak was sacred to Jupiter and the award of an oak leaf chaplet was reserved for those who had saved the life of a fellow-citizen. As
Rome's "saviour", Augustus had saved the lives of all. Senators, knights (equites), plebs, freedmen and slaves were "under his protection" as
pater patriae (father of the country), a title apparently urged by the general populace.
Lares 113

[47] Galinsky, in Rüpke (ed), 78–79.


[48] Beard et al, vol 2, 207–208: section 8.6a, citing ILS 9250.
[49] Beard et al, vol–2, p–208, sect. 8.6b: citing Petronius, Satyricon, 65.
[50] Taylor, 299.
[51] In the late 2nd century AD, Festus cites mania as a name used by nursemaids to terrify children.
[52] Taylor, 302: whatever the truth regarding this sacrifice and its abolition, the gens Junii held ancestor cult during Larentalia rather than the
usual Parentalia.
[53] Wiseman, 2-88 & 174, Note 82: cf Ovid's connections between the lemures and Rome's founding myth. Remus is murdered by Romulus or
one of his men just before or during the founding of the city. Romulus becomes ancestor of the Romans, ascends heavenwards on his death (or
in some traditions, simply vanishes) and is later identified with the god Quirinus. Murdered Remus is consigned to the oblivion of the earth
and - in Ovid's variant - returns during the Lemuralia, to haunt and reproach the living; wherefore Ovid derives "Lemuria" from "Remuria".
The latter festival name is otherwise unattested but Wiseman observes possible connections between the Lemuria rites and Remus' role in
Rome's foundation legends. While the benevolent Lar is connected to place, boundary and good order, the Lemur is fearsomely chthonic -
transgressive, vagrant and destructive; its rites suggest individual and collective reparation for neglect of due honours, and for possible
blood-guilt; or in the case of Romulus, fratricide. For Ovid's Fasti II, 571 ff (Latin text) see the latinlibrary.com (http:/ / www. thelatinlibrary.
com/ ovid/ ovid. fasti2. shtml)
[54] Taylor, 301: citing "Mania" in Varro, Lingua Latina, 9, 61; "Larunda" in Arnobius, 3, 41; "Lara" in Ovid, Fasti II, 571 ff: Macrobius,
Saturnalia, 1, 7, 34-35; Festus, p115 L.
[55] Taylor, 300-301.
[56] also in Pliny, Natural History, 36, 70.
[57] Lott, 31: citing Dionysius of Halicarnassus, 4.14.3-4.
[58] Plutarch, Moralia, On the fortune of the Romans, 10, 64: available online (Loeb) at Thayer's website (http:/ / penelope. uchicago. edu/
Thayer/ E/ Roman/ Texts/ Plutarch/ Moralia/ Fortuna_Romanorum*. html) (accessed 06 January 1020)
[59] Lott, 35.
[60] Plautus, Aulularia, 2-5. See Hunter, 2008 for analysis.
[61] Cicero, de Domo sua, 108-109, for the domestic presence of the Lares and Penates as an indication of ownership.
[62] Festus, 239.
[63] Apuleius, de Deo Socratis, 15.
[64] Arnobius, Adversus nationes, 3.41.
[65] Taylor, 299-301: citing Martianus Capella, II, 162.
[66] Bowersock, Brown, Grabar et al., Late antiquity: a guide to the postclassical world, Belknap Press, Harvard University Press Reference
Library, 1999, p. 27, citing Tertullian, Ad Uxorem, 6.1.
[67] Rutilius Namatianus, de Reditu suo, 290: Latin text at Thayer's website (http:/ / penelope. uchicago. edu/ Thayer/ L/ Roman/ Texts/
Rutilius_Namatianus/ text*. html) (accessed 06 January 2010)

References
• Beard, M., North, J., Price, S., Religions of Rome, vol. 1, illustrated, reprint, Cambridge University Press, 1998.
ISBN 0521316820
• Beard, M., North, J., Price, S., Religions of Rome, vol. 2, illustrated, reprint, Cambridge University Press, 1998.
ISBN 0521456460
• Clarke, John R., The Houses of Roman Italy, 100 BC-AD 250. Ritual, Space and Decoration, illustrated,
University Presses of California, Columbia and Princeton, 1992. ISBN 9780520084292
• Giacobello, Federico, Larari pompeiani. Iconografia e culto dei Lari in ambito domestico, LED Edizioni
Universitarie, Milano, 2008, ISBN 9788879163743
• Lott, John. B., The Neighborhoods of Augustan Rome, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2004. ISBN
0521828279
• Orr, D. G., Roman domestic religion: the evidence of the household shrines, Aufstieg und Niedergang der
römischen Welt, II, 16, 2, Berlin, 1978, 1557‑91.
• Rüpke, Jörg (Editor), A Companion to Roman Religion, Wiley-Blackwell, 2007, ISBN 9781405129435
• Ryberg, Inez Scott, Rites of the State Religion in Roman Art, Memoirs of the American Academy in Rome, Vol.
22, University of Michigan Press for the American Academy in Rome, 1955, pp. 10 – 13.
• Taylor, Lilly Ross, The Mother of the Lares, American Journal of Archaeology, Vol. 29, 3, (July - Sept. 1925),
299 - 313.
Lares 114

• Waites, Margaret C., The Nature of the Lares and Their Representation in Roman Art, American Journal of
Archaeology, Vol. 24, No. 3 (July - Sept., 1920), 241 - 261.
• Weinstock, Stefan, Two Archaic Inscriptions from Latium, Journal of Roman Studies, 50, (1960), 112 - 118.
• Wiseman, T. P., Remus: a Roman myth, Cambridge University Press, 1995. ISBN 9780521483667
• Hunter, Richard, On Coming After, Studies in Post-Classical Greek Literature and its Reception, Berlin, New
York (Walter de Gruyter) 2008, pp. 612–626.
Liber 115

Liber
Ancient Roman religion

Practices and beliefs


Imperial cult  · festivals  · ludi
mystery religions · funerals
temples · auspice · sacrifice
votum · libation · lectisternium

Priesthoods
College of Pontiffs · Augur
Vestal Virgins · Flamen · Fetial
Epulones · Arval Brethren
Quindecimviri sacris faciundis

Dii Consentes
Jupiter · Juno · Neptune · Minerva
Mars · Venus · Apollo · Diana
Vulcan · Vesta · Mercury · Ceres

Other deities
Janus · Quirinus · Saturn ·
Hercules · Faunus · Priapus
Bacchus (Liber) · Bona Dea · Ops
Castor and Pollux · Cupid
Chthonic deities: Proserpina ·
Dis Pater · Pluto · Orcus ·
Hecate · Di Manes
Domestic and local deities:
Lares · Di Penates · Genius
Hellenistic deities: Sol Invictus · Magna Mater · Isis ·
Mithras
Deified emperors:
Divus Julius  · Divus Augustus
See also List of Roman deities

Related topics
Roman mythology
Glossary of ancient Roman religion
Religion in ancient Greece
Etruscan religion
Gallo-Roman religion
Decline of Hellenistic polytheism

In ancient Roman religion and mythology, Liber ("the free one"), also known as Liber Pater ("the free Father") was
a god of viniculture and wine, fertility and freedom. He was a patron deity of Rome's plebeians and was part of their
Aventine Triad. His festival of Liberalia (March 17) became associated with free speech and the rights attached to
Liber 116

coming of age. His cult and functions were increasingly associated with Bacchus and his Greek equivalent Dionysus,
whose mythologies he came to share.[1]

Origins and establishment


Before his official adoption as a Roman deity, Liber was companion to two different goddesses in two separate,
archaic Italian fertility cults; Ceres, an agricultural and fertility goddess of Rome's Hellenised neighbours, and
Libera, who was either Liber's female equivalent or became so through assimilation. In ancient Lavinium, he was a
phallic deity. Latin liber means "free", or the "free one": when coupled with "pater", it means "The Free Father",
who personifies freedom and champions its attendant rights, as opposed to dependent servitude. Roman writers of
the late Republic and early Empire offer various etymological and poetic speculations based on this trope, to explain
certain features of Liber's cult.[2] [3]
Liber entered Rome's historical tradition soon after the overthrow of the Roman monarchy, the establishment of the
Republic and the first of many threatened or actual plebeian secessions from Rome's authority. According to Livy,
the dictator A. Postumius vowed games (ludi) and a joint public temple to a Triad of Ceres, Liber and Libera on
Rome's Aventine Hill, c.496 BC.[4] In 493 the vow was fulfilled: the new Aventine temple was dedicated and ludi
scaenici (religious dramas) were held in honour of Liber, for the benefit of the Roman people. These early ludi
scaenici have been suggested as the earliest of their kind in Rome, and may represent the earliest official festival to
Liber, or an early form of his Liberalia festival.[5] The formal, official development of the Aventine Triad may have
encouraged the assimilation of its individual deities to Greek equivalents: Ceres to Demeter, Liber to Dionysus and
Libera to Persephone or Kore.[6] [7]
Liber's patronage of Rome's largest, least powerful class of citizens (the plebs, or plebeian commoners) associates
him with particular forms of plebeian disobedience to the civil and religious authority claimed by Rome's Republican
patrician elite. The Aventine Triad has been variously described by modern historians as parallel and "copy and
antithesis" to the Capitoline Triad of Jupiter, Mars and Quirinus on the Capitoline Hill, within the city's sacred
boundary (pomerium): the Aventine Triad was apparently installed at the behest of the Sibylline Books but Liber's
position within it seems equivocal from the outset. He was a god of the grape and of wine; his early ludi scaenici
virtually defined their genre thereafter as satirical, subversive theatre in a lawful religious context. Some aspects of
his cults remained potentially un-Roman and offered a focus for civil disobedience. Liber asserted plebeian rights to
ecstatic release, self-expression and free speech; he was, after all, Liber Pater, the Free Father – libertas personified
and father of plebeian wisdoms and plebeian augury.[8]

Liber and the Bacchanalia of 186 BC


Very little is known of Liber's official and unofficial cults during the early to middle Republican era. Their
Dionysiac or Bacchic elements seem to have been regarded as tolerably ancient, home-grown and manageable by
Roman authorities until 186 BC, shortly after the end of the Second Punic War. Livy, writing 200 years after the
event, gives a highly theatrical account of the Bacchanalia's introduction by a foreign soothsayer, a "Greek of mean
condition... a low operator of sacrifices". The cult spreads in secret, "like a plague". The lower classes, plebeians,
women, the young, morally weak and effeminate males are particularly susceptible: all such persons have leuitas
animi (fickle or uneducated minds) but even Rome's elite are not immune. The Bacchanalia's priestesses urge their
deluded flock to break all social and sexual boundaries, even to visit ritual murder on those who oppose them or
betray their secrets: but a loyal servant reveals all to a shocked senate, whose quick thinking, wise actions and piety
save Rome from the divine wrath and disaster it would otherwise have suffered. Livy's dramatis personae, stylistic
flourishes and tropes probably draw on Roman satyr-plays rather than the Bacchanalia themselves.[9]
The Bacchanalia cults may have offered challenge to Rome's traditional, official values and morality but they were
practiced in Roman Italy for several decades before their alleged disclosure, and were probably no more secretive
than any other mystery cult. Nevertheless, legislation against them – the Senatus consultum de Bacchanalibus of 186
Liber 117

BC – was framed as if in response to a dire and unexpected national and religious emergency, and its execution was
unprecedented in thoroughness, breadth and ferocity. Modern scholarship interprets this reaction as the senate's
assertion of its own civil and religious authority throughout the Italian peninsula, following the recent Punic War and
subsequent social and political instability.[10] The cult was officially represented as the workings of a secret, illicit
state within the Roman state, a conspiracy of priestesses and misfits, capable of anything. Bacchus himself was not
the problem; like any deity, he had a right to cult. Rather than risk his divine offense, the Bacchanalia were not
banned outright. They were made to submit to official regulation, under threat of ferocious penalties: some 6,000
persons are thought to have been put to death. The reformed Bacchic cults bore little resemblance to the crowded,
ecstatic and uninhibited Bacchanalia: every cult meeting was restricted to five initiates and each could be held only
with a praetor's consent. Similar attrition may have been imposed on Liber's cults; attempts to sever him from
perceived or actual associations with the Bacchanalia seems clear from the official transference of the Liberalia ludi
of 17 March to Ceres' Cerealia of 12 - 19 April. Once the ferocity of official clampdown eased off, the Liberalia
games were officially restored, though probably in modified form.[11] Illicit Bacchanals persisted covertly for many
years, particularly in Southern Italy, their likely place of origin.[12] [13]

Festival, cults and priesthoods


Liber was closely, often interchangeably identified with Bacchus, Dionysius and their mythology but was not
entirely subsumed by them; in the late Republican era, Cicero could insist on the "non-identity of Liber and
Dionysus" and describe Liber and Libera as children of Ceres. Liber, like his Aventine companions, carried various
aspects of his older cults into official Roman religion. He protected various aspects of agriculture and fertility; the
vine, the "soft seed" of its grapes, wine and wine vessels, male fertility and virility.[14] As his divine power was
incarnate in the vine, grape and wine,[15] he was offered the first of the wine harvest, known as sacrima.[16] As a
phallic deity, he personified the male procreative power, ejaculated as the "soft seed" of human and animal semen.
His temples held the image of a phallus; in Lavinium, this was the principal focus for his month-long festival, when
according to St. Augustine, the "dishonourable member" was placed "on a little trolley" and taken in procession
around the local crossroad shrines, then to the local forum for its crowning by an honourable matron. The rites
ensured the growth of seeds and repelled any malicious enchantment (fascinatus) from fields.[17]
Liber's festivals are timed to the springtime awakening and renewal of fertility in the agricultural cycle. In Rome, his
annual Liberalia public festival was held on March 17. A portable shrine was carried through Rome's
neighbourhoods (vici) and Liber's "aged priestesses" offered honey-cakes for sale – the discovery of honey was
credited to Liber-Bacchus. Embedded within Liberalia, more or less at a ritualistic level, were the various freedoms
and rights attached to Roman ideas of virility as a divine and natural force.[18] Young men celebrated their coming of
age; they cut off and dedicated their first beards to their household Lares and if citizens, wore their first toga virilis,
the "manly" toga – which Ovid, perhaps by way of poetic etymology, calls a toga libera (Liber's toga or "toga of
freedom"). These new citizens registered their citizenship at the forum and were then free to vote, to leave their
father's domus (household), choose a marriage partner and, thanks to Liber's endowment of virility, father their own
children. Ovid also emphasises the less formal freedoms and rights of Liberalia; Liber was, after all, a god of wine.
From his later place of exile, where he may have been sent for some un-named offense of free speech against the
princeps Augustus, Ovid lamented the lost companionship of his fellow poets, who apparently saw the Liberalia as
an opportunity for uninhibited talking.[19]
Liber 118

Imperial era
Augustus successfully courted the plebs, supported their patron deities and began the restoration of the Aventine
Triad's temple; it was re-dedicated by his successor, Tiberius.[20] No trace remains of it, and the historical and
epigraphical record offers only sparse details to suggest its exact location. Pliny the Elder describes its style and
designers as Greek; this may be further evidence of time-honoured and persistent plebeian cultural connections with
Magna Graecia, well into the Imperial era, when Liber is found in some of the threefold, complementary
deity-groupings of Imperial cult; a saviour figure, like Hercules and the Emperor himself.[21] Septimius Severus
inaugurated his reign and dynasty with games to honour Liber/Shadrapa and Hercules/Melqart, the Romanised
founding hero-deities of his native town, Lepcis Magna (North Africa); then he built them a massive temple and arch
in Rome.[22] Later still, Liber Pater is of one of many deities served by the erudite, deeply religious senator Vettius
Agorius Praetextatus (c. AD 315 – 384).[23] A Bacchic community shrine dedicated to Liber Pater was established in
Cosa (in modern Tuscany) "probably during the 4th cent AD". It remained in use "apparently for decades after the
edicts of Theodosius in 391 and 392 AD outlawing paganism". Its abandonment, or perhaps its destruction "by
zealous Christians", was abrupt that much of its cult paraphernalia survived virtually intact beneath the building's
later collapse.[24]

Temples and cult images


Ancient sources describe the Aventine Triad's temple as built in the Greek style. Vitruvius recommends that Liber's
temples follow an Ionic Greek model, as a "just measure between the severe manner of the Doric and the tenderness
of the Corinthian" and respectful of the deity's part-feminine characteristics.[25]

In modern popular fiction


Gods named Liber and Libera play a major role in the science fiction/time-travel novel Household Gods by Harry
Turtledove and Judith Tarr.

Notes and References


[1] Grimal, Pierre, The Dictionary of Classical Mythology (http:/ / books. google. com/ books?id=iOx6de8LUNAC& printsec=frontcover&
source=gbs_ge_summary_r& cad=0#v=onepage& q& f=false), Wiley-Blackwell, 1996, ISBN 978-0-631-20102-1. (http:/ / books. google.
com/ books?id=iOx6de8LUNAC& lpg=PP1& pg=PA259#v=onepage& q& f=false)
[2] Barbette Stanley Spaeth, The Roman goddess Ceres, University of Texas Press, 1996, pp. 8 (http:/ / books. google. co. uk/
books?id=5g3YDlPvbeMC& lpg=PA142& vq=lavinium& dq= Spaeth, Barbette S. , & pg=PA142#v=onepage& q& f=false), 44. (http:/ /
books. google. co. uk/ books?id=5g3YDlPvbeMC& lpg=PA44& vq=Liber Cicero& dq= Spaeth, Barbette S. , & pg=PA44#v=onepage& q&
f=false)
[3] C.M.C. Green, "Varro's Three Theologies and their influence on the Fasti", in Geraldine Herbert-Brown, (ed)., Ovid's Fasti: historical
readings at its bimillennium, Oxford University Press, 2002. pp. 78-80. (http:/ / books. google. co. uk/ books?id=CeFErNPdXOMC&
lpg=PP1& ots=jKfOltwDm_& dq=Ovid's Fasti: historical readings at its bimillennium By Geraldine Herbert-Brown& pg=PA78#v=onepage&
q& f=false)
[4] The vow was made in hope of victory against the Latins, the relief of a famine in Rome and the co-operation of Rome's plebeian soldiery in
the coming war despite the threat of their secession.
[5] T.P. Wiseman, Remus: a Roman myth, Cambridge University Press, 1995, p.133.
[6] Barbette Stanley Spaeth, The Roman goddess Ceres, University of Texas Press, 1996, pp. 8 (http:/ / books. google. co. uk/
books?id=5g3YDlPvbeMC& lpg=PA142& vq=lavinium& dq= Spaeth, Barbette S. , & pg=PA142#v=onepage& q& f=false), 44. (http:/ /
books. google. co. uk/ books?id=5g3YDlPvbeMC& lpg=PA44& vq=Liber Cicero& dq= Spaeth, Barbette S. , & pg=PA44#v=onepage& q&
f=false)
[7] T.P. Wiseman, Remus: a Roman myth, Cambridge University Press, 1995, p.133 and note 20.
[8] Barbette Stanley Spaeth, The Roman goddess Ceres, University of Texas Press, 1996, pp. 6-8, 92, (http:/ / books. google. co. uk/
books?id=5g3YDlPvbeMC& lpg=PA142& vq=lavinium& dq= Spaeth, Barbette S. , & pg=PA92#v=onepage& q& f=false) citing Henri Le
Bonniec, Le culte de Cérès à Rome. Des origines à la fin de la République, Paris, Librairie C. Klincksieck, 1958, for the Aventine cult with its
central female deity as "copy and antithesis" of the early, entirely male Capitoline Triad and its focus on Jupiter as Rome's supreme deity.
When Mars and Quirinus were later replaced by two goddesses, Jupiter remained the primary focus of Capitoline cult. While the Aventine
Liber 119

temple and ludi may represent a patrician attempt to reconcile or at least molify the plebs, plebeian opposition to patrician domination
continued throughout contemporary and later Republican history.
[9] The plots of Satyr plays would have been familiar to Roman audiences from around the 3rd century BC onwards. See Robert Rouselle,
Liber-Dionysus in Early Roman Drama, The Classical Journal, 82, 3 (1987), p. 191. (http:/ / www. jstor. org/ pss/ 3297899)
[10] During the Punic crisis, some foreign cults and oracles had been repressed, on much smaller scale and not outside Rome itself. See Erich S.
Gruen, Studies in Greek culture and Roman policy, BRILL, 1990, pp.34-78: on precedents see p.41 ff. (http:/ / books. google. co. uk/
books?id=dnOPjX6GOrgC& lpg=PA75& ots=cvlbAQq3cx& dq=Gruen 1990 Bacchus& pg=PA34#v=onepage& q& f=false)
[11] T.P. Wiseman, Remus: a Roman myth, Cambridge University Press, 1995, p.133.
[12] See Sarolta A. Takács, Politics and Religion in the Bacchanalian Affair of 186 B.C.E., Harvard Studies in Classical Philology, Vol. 100,
(2000), p.301. (http:/ / www. jstor. org/ pss/ 3185221)
[13] Beard, M., Price, S., North, J., Religions of Rome: Volume 1, a History, illustrated, Cambridge University Press, 1998, pp. 93 - 96.
[14] Libera protected female fertility.
[15] Cicero, De Natura Deorum, 2.6O. See also St Augustine, De Civitatis Dei, 4.11.
[16] Spaeth find a parallel in the offer of first harvest grains to Ceres. See Barbette Stanley Spaeth, The Roman goddess Ceres, University of
Texas Press, 1996, pp.41, 43. (http:/ / books. google. co. uk/ books?id=5g3YDlPvbeMC& lpg=PA142& vq=lavinium& dq= Spaeth, Barbette
S. , & pg=PA41#v=onepage& q=Liber & f=false)
[17] St Augustine, (trans. R. W. Dyson) The City of God against the pagans, 7.21., in Cambridge Texts in the History of Political Thought, 1998,
pp. 292-3. St Augustine (AD 354 – 430) uses Varro (116 – 27 BC) as source. (http:/ / books. google. com/ books?id=ReU2M8cLtGcC&
pg=PA292& dq="21+ Of+ the+ wickedness+ of+ the+ rites+ celebrated+ in+ honour+ of+ Liber"& lr=& as_drrb_is=q& as_minm_is=0&
as_miny_is=& as_maxm_is=0& as_maxy_is=& as_brr=3& cd=1#v=onepage& q=Liber& f=false)
[18] Barbette Stanley Spaeth, The Roman goddess Ceres, University of Texas Press, 1996, pp. 8 (http:/ / books. google. co. uk/
books?id=5g3YDlPvbeMC& lpg=PA142& vq=lavinium& dq= Spaeth, Barbette S. , & pg=PA142#v=onepage& q& f=false), 44. (http:/ /
books. google. co. uk/ books?id=5g3YDlPvbeMC& lpg=PA44& vq=Liber Cicero& dq= Spaeth, Barbette S. , & pg=PA44#v=onepage& q&
f=false)
[19] See John F. Miller, "Ovid's Liberalia", in Geraldine Herbert-Brown,(ed)., Ovid's Fasti: historical readings at its bimillennium, Oxford
University Press, 2002, pp. 199-224. Briefer scholarly treatment of the Festival is offered in William Warde Fowler, The Roman Festivals of
the Period of the Republic, Gorgias Press, 2004 (reprint of Macmillan and Co., London, 1908), pp.54 - 56. (http:/ / books. google. co. uk/
books?id=_2w01mQEOBAC& lpg=PP1& ots=aqOdEBwy3q& dq=Warde Fowler Ovid Liberalia& pg=PA54#v=onepage& q& f=false)
[20] Tacitus, Annals, 2.49; Dionysius of Halicarnassus, 6.17.
[21] Beard et al., Vol. 1, 134 - 5, 64 - 67.
[22] Bowman, A., Cameron, A., Garnsey, P., (Eds) The Crisis of Empire, AD 193-337, The Cambridge Ancient History, 2nd edition, Volume 12,
2005, p.563. (http:/ / books. google. co. uk/ books?id=MNSyT_PuYVMC& pg=PA563& lpg=PA563& dq=Liber+ Pater+ Shadrapa&
source=bl& ots=uJC6aYMgcZ& sig=TPspaBnGr9ki5z7D5KeVe5QS4Nw& hl=en& ei=wkz1TLXKKMa1hAfGyM3aBQ& sa=X&
oi=book_result& ct=result& resnum=4& ved=0CCkQ6AEwAw#v=onepage& q=Liber Pater Shadrapa& f=false)
[23] J. F. Matthews, Symmachus and the Oriental Cults, The Journal of Roman Studies, Vol. 63 (1973), p. 179. Praetextatus' erudition and
religiousity are attested by his widow, herself a priestess. Praetextatus was also an augur, quindecimvir and public priest of Vesta and Sol, an
initiate of the Eleusinian mysteries, and priest of Hecate, Sarapis, Cybele, and Mithras, all apparently clustered on a solar theology analogous
to that of the Emperor Julian.
[24] Jaquelyn Collins-Clinton, A late antique shrine of Liber Pater at Cosa, Etudes Preliminaires aux Religions Orientales dans l'Empire Romain,
Volume 64, BRILL, 1977, pp.3, 5. (http:/ / books. google. co. uk/ books?id=CsoUAAAAIAAJ& lpg=PR9& ots=rM2A5Kjc7w& dq=Liber
Pater& lr& pg=PA3#v=onepage& q=paraphernalia& f=false)
[25] Joseph Rykwert, The Dancing Column: On Order in Architecture, Massachusetts Institute of Technology Press, 1996, p.237. (http:/ / books.
google. co. uk/ books?id=3IKoh75RI38C& pg=PA237& lpg=PA237& dq=Vitruvius+ + Ionic+ Liber& source=bl& ots=CyLc_RxSEq&
sig=lZ-ea4QcrgVgMagXbAUVECpMfTQ& hl=en& ei=Nxr4TJuuJJmAhAeboazFDw& sa=X& oi=book_result& ct=result& resnum=4&
sqi=2& ved=0CCgQ6AEwAw#v=onepage& q=Vitruvius Ionic Liber& f=false)
Limentinus 120

Limentinus
Limentinus is the Roman God whose responsibility was to protect the threshold of the house.[1] His associates are
Cardea and Forculus.
The whole door is protected by Janus. Limentinus is mentioned by St. Augustine[2] as a protector of the threshold
and may have been responsible for preventing Silvanus from entering the household if a certain ceremony was
performed over children at their birth. Though he may not have been the original cause of the carrying the bride over
the threshold, that would be of Syrian origin, some believe it is so.[3]

References
[1] Myth Index - Limentinus (http:/ / www. mythindex. com/ roman-mythology/ L/ Limentinus. html)
[2] Augustine, De civitate Dei, 4.8; 6.7
[3] An Encyclopaedia of Religions by Maurice Arthur Canney (http:/ / books. google. com/ books?id=FRoMAAAAIAAJ& pg=PA222&
lpg=PA222& dq=Limentinus+ roman+ god& source=web& ots=EyOiCKa5Ww& sig=WvzIk6LuSjy9F92yZdsRmnQuYZk& hl=en& sa=X&
oi=book_result& resnum=4& ct=result#PPA356,M1)
Mars (mythology) 121

Mars (mythology)

Mars, 1st century, found in the Forum of Nerva


(Capitoline Museums, Rome)

Ancient Roman religion

Practices and beliefs


Imperial cult  · festivals  · ludi
mystery religions · funerals
temples · auspice · sacrifice
votum · libation · lectisternium

Priesthoods
College of Pontiffs · Augur
Vestal Virgins · Flamen · Fetial
Epulones · Arval Brethren
Quindecimviri sacris faciundis
Mars (mythology) 122

Dii Consentes
Jupiter · Juno · Neptune · Minerva
Mars · Venus · Apollo · Diana
Vulcan · Vesta · Mercury · Ceres

Other deities
Janus · Quirinus · Saturn ·
Hercules · Faunus · Priapus
Bacchus (Liber) · Bona Dea · Ops
Castor and Pollux · Cupid
Chthonic deities: Proserpina ·
Dis Pater · Pluto · Orcus ·
Hecate · Di Manes
Domestic and local deities:
Lares · Di Penates · Genius
Hellenistic deities: Sol Invictus · Magna Mater · Isis ·
Mithras
Deified emperors:
Divus Julius  · Divus Augustus
See also List of Roman deities

Related topics
Roman mythology
Glossary of ancient Roman religion
Religion in ancient Greece
Etruscan religion
Gallo-Roman religion
Decline of Hellenistic polytheism

Mars (Latin: Mārs, adjectives Martius and Martialis) was the Roman god of war and also an agricultural guardian, a
combination characteristic of early Rome.[1] He was second in importance only to the chief god Jupiter, and he was
the most prominent of the military gods worshipped by the Roman legions. His festivals were held in March, the
month named for him (Latin Martius), and in October, which began and ended the season for military campaigning
and farming.
Under the influence of Greek culture, Mars was identified with the Greek god Ares, whose myths were reinterpreted
in Roman literature and art under the name of Mars. But the character and dignity of Mars differed in fundamental
ways from that of his Greek counterpart, who is often treated with contempt and revulsion in Greek literature.[2]
Mars was a part of the Archaic Triad along with Jupiter and Quirinus, the latter of whom as a guardian of the Roman
people had no Greek equivalent. Mars' altar in the Campus Martius, the area of Rome that took its name from him,
was supposed to have been dedicated by Numa himself, the peace-loving semi-legendary second king of Rome.
Although the center of Mars' worship was originally located outside the pomerium, or sacred boundary of Rome,
Augustus brought the god into the center of Roman religion by establishing the Temple of Mars Ultor in his new
forum.[3]
Although Ares was viewed primarily as a destructive and destabilizing force, Mars represented military power as a
way to secure peace, and was a father (pater) of the Roman people.[4] In the mythic genealogy and founding myths
of Rome, Mars was the father of Romulus and Remus with Rhea Silvia. His love affair with Venus symbolically
reconciled the two different traditions of Rome's founding; Venus was the divine mother of the hero Aeneas,
celebrated as the Trojan refugee who "founded" Rome several generations before Romulus laid out the city walls.
The importance of Mars in establishing religious and cultural identity within the Roman Empire is indicated by the
vast number of inscriptions identifying him with a local deity, particularly in the Western provinces.
Mars (mythology) 123

Birth
Although Ares was the son of Zeus and Hera,[5] Mars was the son of Juno alone. Jupiter had usurped the mother's
function when he gave birth to Minerva directly from his forehead (or mind); to restore the balance, Juno sought the
advice of the goddess Flora on how to do the same. Flora obtained a magic flower (Latin flos, plural flores, a
masculine word) and tested it on a heifer who became fecund at once. She then plucked a flower ritually using her
thumb, touched Juno's belly, and impregnated her. Juno withdrew to Thrace and the shore of Marmara for the birth.
Ovid tells this story in the Fasti, his long-form poetic work on the Roman calendar.[6] It may explain why the
Matronalia, a festival celebrated by married women in honor of Juno as a goddess of childbirth, occurred on the first
day of Mars' month, which is also marked on a calendar from late antiquity as the birthday of Mars. In the earliest
Roman calendar, March was the first month, and the god would have been born with the new year.[7] Ovid is the
only source for the story. He may be presenting a literary myth of his own invention, or an otherwise unknown
archaic Italic tradition; either way, in choosing to include the story, he emphasizes that Mars was connected to plant
life and was not alienated from female nurture.[8]

Consort
The consort of Mars was Nerio or Nerine, "Valour." She represents the vital force (vis), power (potentia) and
majesty (maiestas) of Mars.[9] Her name was regarded as Sabine in origin and is equivalent to Latin virtus, "manly
virtue" (from vir, "man").[10] In the early 3rd century BC, the comic playwright Plautus has a reference to Mars
greeting Nerio, his wife.[11] A source from late antiquity says that Mars and Nerine were celebrated together at a
festival held on March 23.[12] In the later Roman Empire, Nerine came to be identified with Minerva.[13]
Nerio probably originates as a divine personification of Mars' power, as such abstractions in Latin are generally
feminine. Her name appears in an archaic prayer invoking a series of abstract qualities paired with the name of a
deity. The influence of Greek mythology and its anthropomorphic gods may have caused Roman writers to treat
these pairs as "marriages."[14]
St. Augustine disapprovingly gives Mars and the war goddess Bellona as an example of a divine couple who were
also sister and brother.[15]

Essential nature
Virility as a kind of life force (vis) or virtue (virtus) is an essential characteristic of Mars.[16] As an agricultural god,
he directs his energies toward creating conditions that allow crops to grow, which may include warding off hostile
forces of nature.[17] As an embodiment of masculine aggression, he is the force that drives wars — but ideally, war
that delivers a secure peace.
The priesthood of the Arval Brothers called on Mars to drive off "rust" (lues), with its double meaning of wheat
fungus and the red oxides that affect metal, a threat to both iron farm implements and weaponry. In the surviving text
of their hymn, the Arval Brothers invoked Mars as ferus, "savage" or "feral" like a wild animal.[18]
Mars' potential for savagery is expressed in his obscure connections to the wild woodlands, and he may even have
originated as a god of the wild, beyond the boundaries set by humans, and thus a force to be propitiated.[19] In his
book on farming, Cato invokes Mars Silvanus for a ritual to be carried out in silva, in the woods, an uncultivated
place that if not held within bounds can threaten to overtake the fields needed for crops.[20] Mars' character as an
agricultural god may derive solely from his role as a defender and protector,[21] or may be inseparable from his
warrior nature,[22] as the leaping of his armed priests the Salii was meant to quicken the growth of crops.[23]
Mars (mythology) 124

Sacred animals
The two wild animals most sacred to Mars were the woodpecker and
the wolf, which in the natural lore of the Romans were said always to
inhabit the same foothills and woodlands.[24]
Plutarch notes that the woodpecker (picus) is sacred to Mars because
"it is a courageous and spirited bird and has a beak so strong that it can
overturn oaks by pecking them until it has reached the inmost part of
the tree."[25] As the beak of the picus Martius contained the god's She-wolf and twins from an altar to Venus and
power to ward off harm, it was carried as a magic charm to prevent bee Mars
stings and leech bites.[26] The bird of Mars also guarded a woodland
herb (paeonia) used for treatment of the digestive or female
reproductive systems; those who sought to harvest it were advised to
do so by night, lest the woodpecker jab out their eyes.[27] The picus
Martius seems to have been a particular species, but authorities differ
on which one: perhaps Picus viridis[28] or Dryocopus martius.[29]

The woodpecker was revered by the Latin peoples, who abstained from
eating its flesh.[30] It was one of the most important birds in Roman
and Italic augury, the practice of reading the will of the gods through
watching the sky for signs.[31] The mythological figure named Picus Black Woodpecker,
perhaps the picus Martius
had powers of augury that he retained when he was transformed into a
of the Romans
woodpecker; in one tradition, Picus was the son of Mars.[32] The
Umbrian cognate peiqu also means "woodpecker," and the Italic
Picenes were supposed to have derived their name from the picus who served as their guide animal during a ritual
migration undertaken as a rite of Mars.[33] In the territory of the Aequi, another Italic people, Mars had an oracle of
great antiquity where the prophecies were supposed to be spoken by a woodpecker perched on a wooden column.[34]

Mars' association with the wolf is familiar from what may be the most famous of Roman myths, the story of how a
she-wolf (lupa) suckled his infant sons when they were exposed by order of their human uncle, who feared that they
would take back the kingship he had usurped.[35] A lesser-known part of the story is that the woodpecker also
brought nourishment to the twins.[36]
The wolf appears elsewhere in Roman art and literature in masculine form as the animal of Mars. A statue group that
stood along the Appian Way showed Mars in the company of wolves.[37] At the Battle of Sentinum in 295 BC, the
appearance of the wolf of Mars (Martius lupus) was a sign that Roman victory was to come.[38]
In Roman Gaul, the goose is associated with the Celtic forms of Mars, and archaeologists have found geese buried
alongside warriors in graves. The goose was considered a bellicose animal because it is easily provoked to
aggression.[39]

Sacrificial animals
Mars (mythology) 125

Ancient Greek and Roman religion distinguished between animals that


were sacred to a deity and those that were prescribed as the correct
sacrificial offerings for the god. Wild animals might be viewed as
already belonging to the god to whom they were sacred, or at least not
owned by human beings and therefore not theirs to give. Since
sacrificial meat was eaten at a banquet after the gods received their
The procession of the suovetaurilia portion — mainly the entrails (exta) — it follows that the animals
sacrificed were most often, though not always, domestic animals
[40]
normally part of the Roman diet. Most gods received castrated male animals as sacrifices, and the goddesses
female victims; Mars, however, was one of the few male deities who regularly received intact males.[41] Mars did
receive oxen under a few of his cult titles (see Mars Grabovius below), but the usual offering was the bull, singly or
in multiples.

The two most distinctive animal sacrifices made to Mars were the suovetaurilia, for which a pig (sus), ram (ovis) and
bull (taurus) were the victims,[42] and the October Horse, the only horse sacrifice known to have been carried out in
ancient Rome and a rare instance of an inedible victim.[43]

Iconography
In Roman art, Mars is depicted as either bearded and mature or young
and clean-shaven. Even nude or seminude, he often wears a helmet or
carries a spear as emblems of his warrior nature.
On the Augustan Altar of Peace (Ara Pacis), built in the last years of
the 1st century BC, Mars is a mature man with a "handsome,
classicizing" face, and a short curly beard and moustache. His helmet is
a plumed neo-Attic-type. He wears a military cloak (paludamentum)
and a cuirass ornamented with a gorgoneion. Although the relief is
somewhat damaged at this spot, he appears to hold a spear garlanded in
laurel, symbolizing a peace that is won by military victory. (Compare
the 1st-century statue of Mars found in the Forum of Nerva, pictured
above.) In this guise, Mars is presented as the dignified ancestor of the
Roman people. The panel of the Ara Pacis on which he appears would
have faced the Campus Martius, reminding viewers that Mars was the
god whose altar Numa established there, that is, the god of Rome's [44]
Nude statue of Mars in a garden setting, as
oldest civic and military institutions.[45]
depicted on a wall painting from Pompeii

Particularly in works of art influenced by the Greek tradition, Mars


may be portrayed in a manner that resembles Ares, youthful, beardless, and often nude.[46]
Mars (mythology) 126

The spear of Mars


The spear is the instrument of Mars in the same way that Jupiter wields the lightning bolt, Neptune the trident, and
Saturn the scythe or sickle.[47] A relic or fetish called the spear of Mars[48] was kept in the Regia, the former
residence of the Kings of Rome.[49] When Mars is pictured as a peace-bringer, his spear is wreathed with laurel or
other vegetation, as on the Ara Pacis or a coin of Aemilianus.[50]

Names and epithets


The word Mārs (genitive Mārtis),[51] which in Old Latin and poetic usage also appears as Māvors (Māvortis),[52] is
cognate with Oscan Māmers (Māmertos).[53] The Old Latin form was believed to derive from an Italic *Māworts,
however this name is from Etruscan Maris, originally a god of vegetation and not of war. Adjective forms are
martius and martialis, from which derive English "martial" (as in "martial arts" or "martial law") and personal names
such as "Martin". The Campus Martius bore his name.
Mars also gave his name to the third month in the Roman calendar, Martius, from which English "March" derives. In
the most ancient Roman calendar, Martius was the first month. In many languages Tuesday[54] is named for the
planet Mars or the God of War (see "Days of the Week Planetary table"), in Latin Martis Dies (Mars' Day),
surviving in Romance languages as Martes (Spanish), Mardi (French), Martedi (Italian), Marţi (Romanian), and
Dimarts (Catalan), compare An Mháirt (Irish/Gaelic).

In Roman religion
Mars received cult within the traditional religion of Rome under several specific manifestations.

Mars Gradivus
Gradivus was one of the gods by whom a general or soldiers might swear an oath to be valorous in battle.[55] His
temple outside the Porta Capena was where armies gathered. The archaic priesthood of Mars Gradivus was the Salii,
the "leaping priests" who danced ritually in armor as a prelude to war.[56] His cult title is most often taken to mean
"the Strider" or "the Marching God," from gradus, "step, march."[57]
The poet Statius addresses him as "the most implacable of the gods,"[58] but Valerius Maximus concludes his history
by invoking Mars Gradivus as "author and support of the name 'Roman'":[59] Gradivus is asked — along with
Capitoline Jupiter and Vesta, as the keeper of Rome's perpetual flame — to "guard, preserve, and protect" the state,
the peace, and the princeps (the emperor Tiberius at the time).[60]
A source from late antiquity says that the wife of Gradivus was Nereia, the daughter of Nereus, and that he loved her
passionately[61] (compare Nerio above).

Mars Quirinus

Mars Quirinus was the protector of the Quirites ("citizens" or


"civilians") as divided into curiae (citizen assemblies), whose oaths
were required to make a treaty.[62] As a guarantor of treaties, Mars
Quirinus is thus a god of peace: "When he rampages, Mars is called
Gradivus, but when he's at peace Quirinus."[63]
The deified Romulus was identified with Mars Quirinus. In the Archaic Mars celebrated as peace-bringer on a Roman
coin issued by Aemilianus
Triad of Jupiter, Mars, and Quirinus, however, Mars and Quirinus were
two separate deities, though not perhaps in origin. Each of the three
had his own flamen (specialized priest), but the functions of the Flamen Martialis and Flamen Quirinalis are hard to
distinguish.[64]
Mars (mythology) 127

Mars Grabovius
Mars is invoked as Grabovius in the Iguvine Tables, bronze tablets written in Umbrian that record ritual protocols
for carrying out public ceremonies on behalf of the city and community of Iguvium. The same title is given to Jupiter
and to the Umbrian deity Vofionus. This triad has been compared to the Archaic Triad, with Vofionus equivalent to
Quirinus.[65] Tables I and VI describe a complex ritual that took place at the three gates of the city. After the
auspices were taken, two groups of three victims were sacrificed at each gate. Mars Grabovius received three
oxen.[66]

Mars Pater
"Father Mars" or "Mars the Father" is the form in which the god is invoked in the agricultural prayer of Cato,[67] and
he appears with this title in several other literary texts and inscriptions.[68] Mars Pater is among the several gods
invoked in the ritual of devotio, by means of which a general sacrificed himself and the lives of the enemy to secure
a Roman victory.[69]
Father Mars is the regular recipient of the suovetaurilia, the sacrifice of a pig (sus), ram (ovis) and bull (taurus), or
often a bull alone.[70] To Mars Pater other epithets were sometimes appended, such as Mars Pater Victor ("Father
Mars the Victorious"),[71] to whom the Roman army sacrificed a bull on March 1.[72]
Although pater and mater were fairly common as honorifics for a deity,[73] any special claim for Mars as father of
the Roman people lies in the mythic geneaology that makes him the divine father of Romulus and Remus.[74]

Mars Silvanus
In the section of his farming book that offers recipes and medical preparations, Cato describes a votum to promote
the health of cattle:
Make an offering to Mars Silvanus in the forest (in silva) during the daytime for each head of cattle: 3
pounds of meal, 4½ pounds of bacon, 4½ pounds of meat, and 3 pints of wine. You may place the
viands in one vessel, and the wine likewise in one vessel. Either a slave or a free man may make this
offering. After the ceremony is over, consume the offering on the spot at once. A woman may not take
part in this offering or see how it is performed. You may vow the vow every year if you wish.[75]
That Mars Silvanus is a single entity has been doubted. Invocations of deities are often list-like, without connecting
words, and the phrase should perhaps be understood as "Mars and Silvanus".[76] Women were explicitly excluded
from some cult practices of Silvanus, but not necessarily of Mars.[77] William Warde Fowler, however, thought that
the wild god of the wood Silvanus may have been "an emanation or offshoot" of Mars.[78]

Mars Ultor
Augustus created the cult of "Mars the Avenger" to mark two occasions: his defeat of the assassins of Caesar at
Philippi in 42 BC, and the negotiated return of the Roman battle standards that had been lost to the Parthians at the
Battle of Carrhae in 53 BC. The god is depicted wearing a cuirass and helmet and standing in a "martial pose,"
leaning on a lance he holds in his right hand. He holds a shield in his left hand.[79]
A great temple of Mars Ultor was dedicated in the center of the Forum of Augustus in 2 BC, giving the god a new
place of honor in the heart of the city when he had formerly been most associated with the Campus Martius outside
the pomerium (sacred boundary).[80] Some rituals previously conducted within the cult of the Capitoline Jupiter were
transferred to the new Temple of Mars Ultor,[81] which became the point of departure for magistrates as they left for
military campaigns abroad.[82]
On various Imperial holidays, Mars Ultor was the first god to receive a sacrifice, followed by the Genius of the
emperor.[83] An inscription from the 2nd century records continued devotion to Mars Ultor, with a vow to offer him
a bull with gilded horns.[84]
Mars (mythology) 128

Mars Augustus
Augustus was appended far and wide, "on monuments great and small,"[85] to the name of gods or goddesses (as
Augusta), including Mars. The title may have been an honorific for the deity for the same reasons that it became the
title for the former Octavian, but while it honored the deity as the source of the emperor's power and legitimacy, it
may also have allowed the viewer to infer that the deity and the emperor were one.[86]
In Roman Spain (Hispania), many of the statues and dedications to Mars Augustus were presented by members of
the priesthood called the Augustales.[87] These vows (vota) were usually fulfilled within a sanctuary that functioned
as a center for Imperial cult, or in a temple or precinct (templum) consecrated specifically to Mars.[88] As with other
deities invoked as Augustus/-a, altars to Mars Augustus might be set up to further the wellbeing (salus) of the
emperor,[89] but an inscription in the Alps records the gratitude of a slave who dedicated a statue to Mars Augustus
for restoring his own health.[90]
Mars Augustus appears in inscriptions at such locations as Baetica, Saguntum,[91] and Emerita (Lusitania) in Roman
Spain;[92] Lepcis Magna (with a date of 6–7 AD) in present-day Libya;[93] and Sarmizegetusa in the province of
Dacia.[94]

Provincial epithets
In addition to his cult titles at Rome, Mars appears in a large number of inscriptions in the provinces of the Roman
Empire, and more rarely in literary texts, identified with a local deity by means of an epithet. Mars appears with
great frequency in Gaul among the Continental Celts, as well as in Roman Spain and Britain. In Celtic settings, he is
often invoked as a healer.[95] The inscriptions indicate that Mars' ability to dispel the enemy on the battlefield was
transferred to the sick person's struggle against illness; healing is expressed in terms of warding off and rescue.[96]
• Mars Alator, a fusion of Mars with the Celtic deity Alator (possibly meaning "Huntsman" or "Cherisher"),
known from an inscription found in England, on an altar at South Shields and a silver-gilt votive plaque at
Barkway, Hertfordshire.[97] [98]
• Mars Albiorix, a fusion of Mars with the ancient Celtic deity Toutatis, using the epithet Albiorix ("King of the
World"). Mars Albiorix was worshiped as protector of the Albici (or Albioeci) tribe of southern France, and was
regarded as a mountain god. Another epithet of Toutatis, Caturix ("King of Combat"), was used in the
combination Mars Caturix, which was worshipped in Gaul, possibly as the tribal god of the Caturiges.[99]
• "Mars Balearicus", a name used in modern scholarship for small bronze warrior
figures from Mallorca (one of the Balearic Islands) and interpreted as representing the
local Mars cult.[100] These have been found within talayotic sanctuaries with
extensive evidence of burnt offerings. "Mars" is fashioned as a lean, athletic nude
lifting a lance and wearing a helmet, often conical; the genitals are perhaps
semi-erect. Other bronzes at the sites represent the heads or horns of bulls, but the
bones in the ash layers indicate that sheep, goats, and pigs were the sacrificial victims.
Bronze horse-hooves were found in one sanctuary, and an imported statue of Imhotep,
the legendary Egyptian physician, in another. The sacred precincts, which were still in
active use when the Roman occupation began in 123 BC, may have been
"Mars Balearicus" astronomically oriented toward the rising or setting of the constellation
Centaurus.[101]
• Mars Barrex, from Barrex or Barrecis (probably meaning "Supreme One"), a Celtic god known only from a
dedicatory inscription found at Carlisle, England.[98]
• Mars Belatucadrus, an epithet found in five inscriptions in the area of Hadrian's Wall in England, which equates
the Celtic deity Belatu-Cadros with Mars.
• Mars Braciaca, a synthesis of Mars with the Celtic god Braciaca. This deity is only known from a single
inscription at Bakewell, England.[98]
Mars (mythology) 129

• Mars Camulos, from the Celtic war god Camulus.


• Mars Capriociegus, from an Celtic god who was linked to Mars. He is invoked in two inscriptions in the
Pontevedra region of north-west Spain.
• Mars Cocidius. The Celtic hunter god Cocidius was equated with both Mars and Silvanus.[102] He is referenced
around north-west Cumbria and Hadrian's Wall, and was chiefly a war god only in instances where he was
equated with Mars.
• Mars Condatis, from the Celtic god of the confluence of rivers, Condatis. Mars Condatis, who oversaw water
and healing, is known from inscriptions near Hadrian's Wall, at Piercebridge, Bowes and Chester-le-Street.[98]
[103]

• Mars Corotiacus. A local British version of Mars from Martlesham in Suffolk. He appears on a bronze statuette
as a cavalryman, armed and riding a horse which tramples a prostrate enemy beneath its hooves.[99]
• Mars Lenus. Mars Lenus, sometimes founds as Lenus Mars, had a major healing cult at the capital of the Treveri
(present-day Trier). Among the votives are images of children offering doves.[104] His consort was Ancamna.
• Mars Loucetius. The Celtic god Loucetios, Latinized as -ius, appears in nine inscriptions in present-day Germany
and France and one in Britain, and in three as Leucetius. The Gaulish and Brythonic theonyms likely derive from
Proto-Celtic *louk(k)et-, "bright, shining, flashing," hence also "lightning,"[105] alluding to either a Celtic
commonplace metaphor between battles and thunderstorms (Old Irish torannchless, the "thunder feat"), or the
aura of a divinized hero (the lúan of Cú Chulainn). The name is given as an epithet of Mars. The consort of Mars
Loucetius is Nemetona, whose name may be understood as pertaining either to "sacred privilege" or to the sacred
grove (nemeton),[106] and who is also identified with the goddess Victory. At the Romano-British site in Bath, a
dedication to Mars Loucetius as part of this divine couple was made by a pilgrim from the continental Treveri of
Gallia Belgica, who sought healing.[107]
• Mars Mullo. The Celtic god Mullo ("mule") was invoked with Mars in northwest Gaul.[108]
• Mars Neto. A fusion of Mars and the Iberian god Neto/Neito, which may be derived from the celtic Neit.
• Mars Nodens. A fusion of Mars with the Celtic god Nodens.
• Mars Ocelus. A fusion of Mars with the Celtic god Ocelus.
• Mars Olloudius. A fusion of Mars with the Celtic god Olloudius.
• Mars Rigisamus. Mars was given this title (which means 'Greatest King' or 'King of Kings') at West Coker in
Somerset, where a bronze figurine and inscribed plaque dedicated to the god were found in a field, along with the
remains of a building, perhaps a shrine. The figurine depicts a standing naked male figure with a close-fitting
helmet; his right hand may have once held a weapon, and he probably originally also had a shield (both are now
lost). The same epithet for a god is recorded from Bourges in Gaul. The use of this epithet implies that Mars had
an extremely high status, over and above his warrior function.
Mars (mythology) 130

• Mars Rigonemetis ("King of the Sacred Grove"). A dedication to


Rigonemetis and the numen (spirit) of the Emperor inscribed on a stone
was discovered at Nettleham (Lincolnshire) in 1961. Rigonemetis is only
known from this site, and it seems he may have been a god belonging to
the tribe of the Corieltauvi.[99]
• Mars Segomo. "Mars the Victorious" appears among the Celtic
Sequani.[109]
• Mars Smertrius. At a site within the territory of the Treveri, Ancamna
was the consort of Mars Smertrius.[110]
• Mars Teutates. A fusion of Mars with the Celtic god Teutates (Toutatis).
• Mars Thinesus. A form of Mars invoked at Housesteads Roman Fort at
Hadrian's Wall, where his name is linked with two goddesses called the
Alaisiagae. Anne Ross associated Thinesus with a sculpture, also from the
fort, which shows a god flanked by goddesses and accompanied by a goose
– a frequent companion of war gods.[99]
• Mars Visucius. A fusion of Mars with the Celtic god Visucius.
• Mars Vorocius. A Celtic healer-god invoked at the curative spring shrine
at Vichy (Allier) as a curer of eye afflictions. On images, the god is A bronze Mars from Gaul
depicted as a Celtic warrior.[99]

References
[1] Mary Beard, J.A. North, and S.R.F. Price, Religons of Rome: A History (Cambridge University Press, 1998), pp. 47–48.
[2] Kurt A. Raaflaub, War and Peace in the Ancient World (Blackwell, 2007), p. 15.
[3] Paul Rehak and John G. Younger, Imperium and Cosmos: Augustus and the Northern Campus Martius (University of Wisconsin Press,
2006), pp. 11–12.
[4] Isidore of Seville calls Mars Romanae gentis auctorem, the originator or founder of the Roman people as a gens (Etymologiae 5.33.5).
[5] Hesiod, Theogony p. 79 in the translation of Norman O. Brown (Bobbs-Merrill, 1953); 921 in the Loeb Classical Library numbering (http:/ /
books. google. com/ books?id=lnCXI9oFeroC& dq=Ares+ intitle:theogony+ inauthor:hesiod& q="she,+ mingling+ in+ love"+
Ares#v=snippet& q="she, mingling in love" Ares& f=false).
[6] Ovid, Fasti 5.229–260.
[7] William Warde Fowler, The Roman Festivals of the Period of the Republic (London, 1908), p. 35f., discusses this interpretation in order to
question it.
[8] Carole E. Newlands, Playing with Time: Ovid and the Fasti (Cornell University Press, 1995), pp. 105–106.
[9] Aulus Gellius, Attic Nights 13.23. Gellius says the word Nerio or Nerienes is Sabine and is supposed to be the origin of the name Nero as
used by the Claudian family, who were Sabine in origin. The Sabines themselves, Gellius says, thought the word was Greek in origin, from
νεῦρα (neura), Latin nervi, meaning the sinews and ligaments of the limbs.
[10] Robert E.A. Palmer, The Archaic Community of the Romans (Cambridge University Press, 1970, 2009), p. 167.
[11] Plautus, Truculentus 515.
[12] Johannes Lydus, De mensibus 4.60 (42).
[13] Porphyrion, Commentum in Horatium Flaccum, on Epistula II.2.209.
[14] William Warde Fowler, The Religious Experience of the Roman People (London, 1922), p. 150–154; Roger D. Woodard, Indo-European
Sacred Space: Vedic and Roman Cult (University of Illinois Press, 2006), pp. 113–114; Gary Forsythe, A Critical History of Early Rome:
From Prehistory to the First Punic War (University of California Press, 2005), p. 145. The prayer is recorded in the passage on Nerio in Aulus
Gellius.
[15] Augustine, De civitate Dei 6.10, citing Seneca; Fowler doubts the authority of the passage (Religious Experience, p. 166, note 16).
[16] R.B. Onians, The Origins of European Thought about the Body, the Mind, the Soul, the World, Time and Fate (Cambridge University Press,
1951), pp. 470–471. Onians connects the name of Mars to the Latin mas, maris, "male" (p. 178), as had Isidore of Seville, saying that the
month of March (Martius) was named after Mars "because at that time all living things are stirred toward virility (mas, gen. maris) and to the
pleasures of sexual intercourse" (eo tempore cuncta animantia agantur ad marem et ad concumbendi voluptatem): Etymologies 5.33.5,
translation by Stephen A. Barney, The Etymologies of Isidore of Seville (Cambridge University Press, 2006), p. 128. In antiquity, vis was
thought to be related etymologically to vita, "life." Varro (De lingua latina 5.64, quoting Lucilius) notes that vis is vita: "vis drives us to do
everything."
Mars (mythology) 131

[17] On the relation of Mars' warrior aspect to his agricultural functions with respect to Dumézil's Trifunctional hypothesis, see Wouter W.
Belier, Decayed Gods: Origin and Development of Georges Dumézil's 'idéologie tripartie' (Brill, 1991), pp. 88–91 online. (http:/ / books.
google. com/ books?id=Hs3BpWur0_4C& pg=PA88& dq="Besides+ the+ obviously+ warlike+ aspects+ of+ Mars+ there+ are+ also+
features+ which+ have+ an+ agricultural+ aspect"& hl=en& ei=uU3wTNcEyeydB42G2OAK& sa=X& oi=book_result& ct=result&
resnum=1& ved=0CCUQ6AEwAA#v=onepage& q="Besides the obviously warlike aspects of Mars there are also features which have an
agricultural aspect"& f=false)
[18] Schilling, "Mars," in Roman and European Mythologies, p. 135; Palmer, Archaic Community, pp. 113–114.
[19] Gary Forsythe, A Critical History of Early Rome (University of California Press, 2005), p. 127; Fowler, Religious Experience, p. 134.
[20] Cato, On Agriculture 141. In pre-modern agricultural societies, encroaching woodland or wild growth was a real threat to the food supply,
since clearing land for cultivation required intense manual labor with minimal tools and little or no large-scale machinery. Fowler says of
Mars, "As he was not localised either on the farm or in the city, I prefer to think that he was originally conceived as a Power outside the
boundary in each case, but for that very reason all the more to be propitiated by the settlers within it" (Religious Experience, p. 142).
[21] Schilling, "Mars," p. 135.
[22] Beard et al., Religions of Rome: A History, pp. 47–48.
[23] Forsythe, A Critical History of Early Rome, p. 127
[24] Plutarch, Roman Questions 21, citing Nigidius Figulus.
[25] Plutarch, Roman Questions 21; also named as sacred to Mars in his Life of Romulus. Ovid (Fasti 3.37) calls the woodpecker the bird of
Mars.
[26] Pliny, Natural History 29.29.
[27] Pliny, Natural History 27.60. Pliny names the herb as glycysīdē in Greek, Latin paeonia (see Peony: Name), also called pentorobos.
[28] A.H. Krappe, "Picus Who Is Also Zeus," Mnemosyne 9.4 (1941), p. 241.
[29] William Geoffrey Arnott, Birds in the ancient world from A to Z (Routledge, 2007), p. 63 online. (http:/ / books. google. com/
books?id=0NB4qqenLQIC& pg=PA63& dq=picus+ Martius+ Mars+ "green+ woodpecker"& hl=en& ei=ifEITcboAYiWnAfq-KzaDw&
sa=X& oi=book_result& ct=result& resnum=2& ved=0CCsQ6AEwAQ#v=onepage& q=picus Martius Mars "green woodpecker"& f=false)
[30] Plutarch, Roman Questions 21. Athenaeus lists the woodpecker among delicacies on Greek tables (Deipnosophistae 9.369).
[31] Plautus, Asinaria 259–261; Pliny, Natural History 10.18. Named also in the Iguvine Tables (6a, 1–7), as Umbrian peiqu; Schilling, "Roman
Divination," in Roman and European Mythologies (University of Chicago Press, 1992), pp. 96–97 and 105, note 7.
[32] Dionysius of Halicarnassus 1.31; Peter F. Dorcey, The Cult of Silvanus: A Study in Roman Folk Religion (Brill, 1992), p. 33.
[33] John Greppin, entry on "woodpecker," Encyclopedia of Indo-European Culture (Fitzroy Dearborn, 1997), p. 648.
[34] Dionysius Halicarnassus, Roman Antiquities I.14.5, as noted by Mary Emma Armstrong, The Significance of Certain Colors in Roman
Ritual (George Banta Publishing, 1917), p. 6.
[35] The myth of the she-wolf, and the birth of the twins with Mars as their father, is a long and complex tradition that weaves together multiple
stories about the founding of Rome. See T.P. Wiseman, Remus: A Roman Myth (Cambridge University Press, 1995), p. xiii, 73ff. et passim.
[36] Plutarch, Life of Romulus.
[37] Livy 22.1.12, as cited by Wiseman, Remus, p. 189, note 6, and Armstrong, The Significance of Certain Colors, p. 6.
[38] Livy, Ab Urbe Condita 10.27.
[39] Miranda Green, Animals in Celtic Life and Myth (Routledge, 1992), p. 126.
[40] Nicole Belayche, "Religious Actors in Daily Life: Practices and Related Beliefs," in A Companion to Roman Religion (Blackwell, 2007), p.
283; C. Bennett Pascal, "October Horse," Harvard Studies in Classical Philology 85 (1981), pp. 268, 277.
[41] As did Neptune, Janus and the Genius; John Scheid, "Sacrifices for Gods and Ancestors," in A Companion to Roman Religion (Blackwell,
2007), p. 264.
[42] Mary Beard, J.A. North, and S.R.F. Price, Religons of Rome: A Sourcebook (Cambridge University Press, 1998), p. 153.
[43] C. Bennett Pascal, "October Horse," Harvard Studies in Classical Philology 85 (1981), pp. 263, 268, 277.
[44] Robert Schilling, "Mars," in Roman and European Mythologies (University of Chicago Press, 1992, from the French edition of 1981), p. 135
online. (http:/ / books. google. com/ books?id=Uf2_kHAs22sC& pg=PA135& dq=mars+ intitle:mythologies& hl=en&
ei=aV_pTIzqJorQngeB0-ziDQ& sa=X& oi=book_result& ct=result& resnum=1& ved=0CCcQ6AEwAA#v=onepage& q=mars
intitle:mythologies& f=false) The figure is sometimes identified only as a warrior.
[45] Paul Rehak and John G. Younger, Imperium and Cosmos: Augustus and the Northern Campus Martius (University of Wisconsin Press,
2006), p. 114.
[46] Rehak and Younger, Imperium and Cosmos, p. 114.
[47] Martianus Capella 5.425, with Mars specified as Gradivus and Neptune named as Portunus.
[48] Varro, Antiquitates frg. 254* (Cardauns); Plutarch, Romulus 29.1 (a rather muddled account); Arnobius, Adversus nationes 6.11.
[49] Michael Lipka, Roman Gods: A Conceptual Approach (Brill, 2009), p. 88.
[50] Imperium and Cosmos p. 114.
[51] The classical Latin declension of the name is as follows: nominative and vocative case, Mars; genitive, Martis; accusative, Martem; dative,
Marti; ablative Marte. (http:/ / www. slu. edu/ colleges/ AS/ languages/ classical/ latin/ tchmat/ grammar/ whprax/ w7-d3-n. html)
[52] Virgil, "Aeneid" VIII, 630
[53] Mallory, J. P.; D. Q. Adams (1997). Encyclopedia of Indo-European Culture (http:/ / books. google. com/ books?id=tzU3RIV2BWIC&
source=gbs_navlinks_s). New York: Fitzroy Dearborn Publishers. pp. 630–631. ISBN 1-884964-98-2. .; some of the older literature assumes
Mars (mythology) 132

an Indo-European form closer to *Marts, and see a connection with the Indic windgods, the Maruts "Māruta" (http:/ / vedabase. net/ m/
maruta). . Retrieved July 8, 2010., but this makes the appearance of Mavors and the agricultural cults of Mars difficult to explain.
[54] English Tuesday derives from Old English "Tiwesdæg" and means "Tiw's Day" ( Online Etymology Dictionary (http:/ / www. etymonline.
com/ index. php?term=Tuesday)), Tiw being the Old English form of the Proto-Germanic god *Tîwaz, or Týr in Norse, a god of war.
[55] Livy 2.45.
[56] Livy, 1.20, (http:/ / books. google. com/ books?id=M-ikf_c0rB0C& pg=PA31& dq="mars+ gradivus"& hl=en&
ei=rbbRTNr0AYiWnAfRtKy8DA& sa=X& oi=book_result& ct=result& resnum=3& ved=0CDIQ6AEwAg#v=onepage& q="mars
gradivus"& f=false) with note by Valerie M. Warrior, The History of Rome Books 1–5 (Hackett, 2006), p. 31.
[57] Compare Gradiva. The 2nd-century grammarian Festus offers two other explanations in addition. The name, he says, might also mean the
vibration of a spear, for which the Greeks use the word kradainein; others locate the origin of Gradivus in the grass (gramine), because the
grass crown is the highest military honor; see Carole Newlands, Playing with Time: Ovid and the Fasti (Cornell University Press, 1995), p.
106. Servius says that grass was sacred to Mars (note to Aeneid 12.119).
[58] Statius, Thebaid 9.4.
[59] Valerius Maximus 2.131.1, auctor ac stator Romani nominis.
[60] Hans-Friedrich Mueller, Roman Religion in Valerius Maximus (Routledge, 2002), p. 88.
[61] Martianus Capella, The Marriage of Philology and Mercury 1.4.
[62] Robert E.A. Palmer, The Archaic Community of the Romans (Cambridge University Press, 2009), p. 167.
[63] Mars enim cum saevit Gradivus dicitur, cum tranquillus est Quirinus: Servius, note to Aeneid 1.292, at Perseus. (http:/ / www. perseus. tufts.
edu/ hopper/ text?doc=Serv. + A. + 1. 292& fromdoc=Perseus:text:1999. 02. 0053) At Aeneid 6.860, Servius further notes: "Quirinus is the
Mars who presides over peace and whose cult is maintained within the civilian realm, for the Mars of war has his temple outside that realm."
See also Belier, Decayed Gods, p. 92: "The identification of the two gods is a reflection of a social process. The men who till the soil as
Quirites in times of peace are identical with the men who defend their country as Milites in times of war."
[64] Palmer, The Archaic Community of the Romans, pp. 165–171. On how Romulus became identified with Mars Quirinus, see the Dumézilian
summary of Belier, Decayed Gods, p. 93–94.
[65] Etymologically, Quirinus is *co-uiri-no, "(the god) of the community of men (viri)," and Vofionus is *leudhyo-no, "(the god) of the people":
Oliver de Cazanove, "Pre-Roman Italy, Before and Under the Romans," in A Companion to Roman Religion (Blackwell, 2007), p. 49. It has
also been argued that Vofionus corresponds to Janus, because an entry in Festus (204, edition of Lindsay) indicates there was a Roman triad of
Jupiter, Mars, and Janus, each having quirinus as a title; C. Scott Littleton, The New Comparative Mythology (University of California Press,
1966, 1973), p. 178, citing Vsevolod Basanoff, Les dieux Romains (1942).
[66] O. de Cazanove, "Pre-Roman Italy," pp. 49–50.
[67] The Indo-European character of this prayer is discussed by Calvert Watkins, "Some Indo-European Prayers: Cato's Lustration of the Fields,"
in How to Kill a Dragon: Aspects of Indo-European Poetics (Oxford University Press, 1995), pp. 197–213.
[68] Celia E. Schultz, "Juno Sospita and Roman Insecurity in the Social War," in Religion in Republican Italy (Cambridge University Press,
2006), p. 217, especially note 38.
[69] For the text of this vow, see The invocation of Decius Mus.
[70] Mary Beard, J.A. North, and S.R.F. Price, Religons of Rome: A Sourcebook (Cambridge University Press, 1998), pp. 71ff. for examples of a
bull offering, p. 153 on the suovetaurilia.
[71] Beard et al., "Religions of Rome, p. 370.
[72] Martin Henig, Religion in Roman Britain (London, 1984, 1995), p. 27, citing the military calendar from Dura-Europos.
[73] Gary Forsythe, A Critical History of Early Rome: From Prehistory to the First Punic War (University of California Press, 2005), p. 168.
[74] Newlands, Playing with Time, p. 104.
[75] Votum pro bubus, uti valeant, sic facito. Marti Silvano in silva interdius in capita singula boum votum facito. Farris L. III et lardi P.39 IIII S
et pulpae P. IIII S, vini S.40 III, id in unum vas liceto coicere, et vinum item in unum vas liceto coicere. Eam rem divinam vel servus vel liber
licebit faciat. Ubi res divina facta erit, statim ibidem consumito. Mulier ad eam rem divinam ne adsit neve videat quo modo fiat. Hoc votum in
annos singulos, si voles, licebit vovere. Cato the Elder, On Farming 83, English translation (http:/ / penelope. uchicago. edu/ Thayer/ E/
Roman/ Texts/ Cato/ De_Agricultura/ E*. html#83) from the Loeb Classical Library, Bill Thayer's edition at LacusCurtius.
[76] Robert Schilling, "Silvanus," in Roman and European Mythologies (University of Chicago Press, 1992, from the French edition of 1981), p.
146; Peter F. Dorcey, The Cult of Silvanus: A Study in Roman Folk Religion (Brill, 1992), pp. 8–9, 49.
[77] Dorcey, The Cult of Silvanus, pp. 9 and 105ff.
[78] William Warde Fowler, The Roman Festivals of the Period of the Republic (London, 1908), p. 55.
[79] Michael Lipka, Roman Gods: A Conceptual Approach (Brill, 2009), p. 91.
[80] Robert Schilling, "Mars," Roman and European Mythologies (University of Chicago Press, 1992, from the French edition of 1981), p. 135;
Mary Beard, J.A. North, and S.R.F. Price, Religons of Rome: A Sourcebook (Cambridge University Press, 1998), p. 80.
[81] For instance, during the Republic, the dictator was charged with the ritual clavi figendi causa, driving a nail into the wall of the Capitoline
temple. According to Cassius Dio (55.10.4, as cited by Lipka, Roman Gods, p. 108), this duty was transferred to a censor under Augustus, and
the ritual moved to the Temple of Mars Ultor.
[82] Lipka, Roman Gods, p. 109.
[83] Lipka, Roman Gods, pp. 111–112.
Mars (mythology) 133

[84] CIL VI.1, no. 2086 (edition of Bormann and Henzen, 1876), as translated and cited by Charlotte R. Long, The Twelve Gods of Greece and
Rome (Brill, 1987), pp. 130–131.
[85] Keith Hopkins, Conquerors and Slaves (Cambridge University Press, 1978), p. 230.
[86] A.E. Cooley, "Beyond Rome and Latium: Roman Religion in the Age of Augustus," in Religion in Republican Italy (Cambridge University
Press, 2006), p. 247; Duncan Fishwick, The imperial cult in the Latin West (Brill, 2005), passim.
[87] Jonathan Edmondson, "The Cult of Mars Augustus and Roman Imperial Power at Augusta Emerita (Lusitania) in the Third Century A.D.: A
New Votive Dedication," in Culto imperial: politica y poder («L'Erma» di Bretschneider, 2007), p. 562. These include an inscription that was
later built into the castle walls at Sines in Portugal; dedications at Ipagrum (Aguilar de la Frontera, in the modern province of Córdoba) and at
Conobaria (Las Cabezas de San Juan in the province of Seville) in Baetica; and a statue at Isturgi ((CIL II. 2121 = ILS II2/7, 56). A magister of
the "Lares of Augustus" (see Imperial cult) made a dedication to Mars Augustus ((CIL II. 2013 = ILS II2/5, 773) at Singili(a) Barba (Cerro del
Castillón, Antequera).
[88] Edmondson, "The Cult of Mars Augustus," p. 563.
[89] Edmondson, "The Cult of Mars Augustus," p. 562.
[90] Mars Augustus is hailed by the person making the dedication as conservator corporis sui, the preserver of his body, and the statue was
vowed ex iussu numinis ipsius, "by the command of the numen himself" (ILS 3160); Rudolf Haensch, "Inscriptions as Sources of Knowledge
for Religions and Cults in the Roman World of Imperial Times," in A Companion to Roman Religion (Blackwell, 2007), p. 182.
[91] William Van Andringa, "Religions and the Integration of Cities in the Empire in the Second Century AD: The Creation of a Common
Religious Language," A Companion to Roman Religion , p. 86.
[92] Edmondson, "The Cult of Mars Augustus," pp. 541–575.
[93] Ittai Gradel, Emperor Worship and Roman Religion (Oxford University Press, 2002), p. 238, note 11, citing Victor Ehrenberg and Arnold
H.M. Jones, Documents Illustrating the Reigns of Augustus and Tiberius (Oxford University Press, 1955), no. 43.
[94] The chief priest of the three Dacian provinces dedicated an altar pro salute, for the wellbeing of the Emperor Gordian, at an imperial cult
center sometime between 238 and 244 AD; Edmondson, "The Cult of Mars Augustus," p. 562.
[95] Miranda Green, Animals in Celtic Life and Myth (Routledge, 1992), p. 198.
[96] Ton Derks, Gods, Temples, and Ritual Practices: The Transformation of Religious Ideas and Values in Roman Gaul (Amsterdam University
Press, 1998), p. 79.
[97] Phillips, E.J. (1977). Corpus Signorum Imperii Romani, Great Britain, Volume I, Fascicule 1. Hadrian's Wall East of the North Tyne (p. 66).
Oxford: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-725954-5.
[98] Ross, Anne (1967). Pagan Celtic Britain. Routledge & Kegan Paul. ISBN 0-902357-03-4.
[99] Miranda J. Green. "Dictionary of Celtic Myth and Legend" (p. 142.) Thames and Hudson Ltd. 1997
[100] G. Llompart, "Mars Balearicus," Boletín del Seminario de Estudios de Arte y Arqueología 26 (1960) 101–128; "Estatuillas de bronce de
Mallorca: Mars Balearicus," in Bronces y religión romana: actas del XI Congreso Internacional de Bronces Antiguos, Madrid, mayo-junio,
1990 (Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas, 1993), p. 57ff.
[101] Jaume García Rosselló, Joan Fornés Bisquerra, and Michael Hoskin, "Orientations of the Talayotic Sanctuaries of Mallorca," Journal of
History of Astronomy, Archaeoastronomy Supplement 31 (2000), pp. 58–64 (especially note 10) pdf. (http:/ / articles. adsabs. harvard. edu/
cgi-bin/ nph-iarticle_query?2000JHAS. . . 31. . . 58G& defaultprint=YES& filetype=. pdf)
[102] Green, Animals in Celtic Life and Myth, p. 64.
[103] Jones, Barri & Mattingly, David (1990). An Atlas of Roman Britain (p. 275). Oxford: Basil Blackwell. ISBN 1-84217-067-8.
[104] Green, Animals in Celtic Life and Myth, p. 216.
[105] Xavier Delamarre, Dictionnaire de la langue gauloise (Éditions Errance, 2003), 2nd edition, p. 200.
[106] Gaulish nemeton was originally a sacred grove or space defined for religious purposes, and later a building: Bernhard Maier, Dictionary of
Celtic Religion and Culture (Boydell Press, 1997, 2000, originally published 1994 in German), p. 207.
[107] Helmut Birkham, entry on "Loucetius," in Celtic Culture: A Historical Encyclopedia, edited by John Koch (ABC-Clio, 2006), p. 1192.
[108] Green, Animals in Celtic Life and Myth, p. 208.
[109] Lesley Adkins and Roy A. Adkins, Handbook to Life in Ancient Rome (Facts on File, 1994, 2004), p. 297.
[110] Miranda Green, Celtic Myths (University of Texas Press, 1993, 1998), p. 42.

External links
• Mars in Roman Religion (http://www.angelfire.com/empire/martiana/mars/index.html)
Mercury (mythology) 134

Mercury (mythology)

Mercury by 17th-century Flemish sculptor Artus Quellinus,


identified by his hat, drawstring purse, caduceus, winged sandals,
cock (rooster), and goat

Ancient Roman religion

Practices and beliefs


Imperial cult  · festivals  · ludi
mystery religions · funerals
temples · auspice · sacrifice
votum · libation · lectisternium

Priesthoods
College of Pontiffs · Augur
Vestal Virgins · Flamen · Fetial
Epulones · Arval Brethren
Quindecimviri sacris faciundis
Mercury (mythology) 135

Dii Consentes
Jupiter · Juno · Neptune · Minerva
Mars · Venus · Apollo · Diana
Vulcan · Vesta · Mercury · Ceres

Other deities
Janus · Quirinus · Saturn ·
Hercules · Faunus · Priapus
Bacchus (Liber) · Bona Dea · Ops
Castor and Pollux · Cupid
Chthonic deities: Proserpina ·
Dis Pater · Pluto · Orcus ·
Hecate · Di Manes
Domestic and local deities:
Lares · Di Penates · Genius
Hellenistic deities: Sol Invictus · Magna Mater · Isis ·
Mithras
Deified emperors:
Divus Julius  · Divus Augustus
See also List of Roman deities

Related topics
Roman mythology
Glossary of ancient Roman religion
Religion in ancient Greece
Etruscan religion
Gallo-Roman religion
Decline of Hellenistic polytheism

Mercury (pronounced /ˈmɜrkjʉri/, Latin: Mercurius listen) was a messenger,[1] and a god of trade, the son of Maia
Maiestas and Jupiter in Roman mythology. His name is related to the Latin word merx ("merchandise"; compare
merchant, commerce, etc.), mercari (to trade), and merces (wages).[2] In his earliest forms, he appears to have been
related to the Etruscan deity Turms, but most of his characteristics and mythology were borrowed from the
analogous Greek deity, Hermes. Latin writers rewrote Hermes' myths and substituted his name with that of Mercury.
However there are at least two myths that involve Mercury that are Roman in origin. In Virgil's Aeneid, Mercury
reminds Aeneas of his mission to found the city of Rome. In Ovid's Fasti, Mercury is assigned to escort the nymph
Larunda to the underworld. Mercury, however, fell in love with Larunda and made love to her on the way; this act
has also been interpreted as a rape. Larunda thereby became mother to two children, referred to as the Lares,
invisible household gods.
Mercury has influenced the name of many things in a variety of scientific fields, such as the planet Mercury, and the
element mercury, which it was formally associated. The word mercurial is commonly used to refer to something or
someone erratic, volatile or unstable, derived from Mercury's swift flights from place to place.
Mercury (mythology) 136

Mercury did not appear among the numinous di indigetes of early Roman
religion. Rather, he subsumed the earlier Dei Lucrii as Roman religion was
syncretized with Greek religion during the time of the Roman Republic, starting
around the 4th century BC. From the beginning, Mercury had essentially the
same aspects as Hermes, wearing winged shoes talaria and a winged petasos, and
carrying the caduceus, a herald's staff with two entwined snakes that was
Apollo's gift to Hermes. He was often accompanied by a cockerel, herald of the
new day, a ram or goat, symbolizing fertility, and a tortoise, referring to
Mercury's legendary invention of the lyre from a tortoise shell.

Like Hermes, he was also a messenger of the gods and a god of trade,
particularly of the grain trade. Mercury was also considered a god of abundance
and commercial success, particularly in Gaul. He was also, like Hermes, the
Romans' psychopomp, leading newly-deceased souls to the afterlife.
Additionally, Ovid wrote that Mercury carried Morpheus' dreams from the valley
of Somnus to sleeping humans.[3]
Hendrick Goltzius: Mercury, with his
symbols Mercury's temple in the Circus Maximus, between the Aventine and Palatine
hills, was built in 495 BC. This was a fitting place to worship a swift god of trade
and travel, since it was a major center of commerce as well as a racetrack. Since it stood between the plebeian
stronghold on the Aventine and the patrician center on the Palatine, it also emphasized the role of Mercury as a
mediator.
Because Mercury was not one of the early deities surviving from the Roman Kingdom, he was not assigned a flamen
("priest"), but he did have a major festival on May 15, the Mercuralia. During the Mercuralia, merchants sprinkled
water from his sacred well near the Porta Capena on their heads.

Mercury's net in Ludovico Ariosto's Orlando Furioso


Vulcan had created a net out of unbreakable steel so that he could catch Venus, the Goddess of Beauty, and Mars,
the God of War, in the act of making love because he was jealous of their relationship. Vulcan managed to catch
them but, afterwards, Mercury stole the net from the blacksmith God so that he could catch Cloris, a nymph who he
admired. Cloris' job is to fly after the Sun while it rises, and to scatter lilies, roses and violets behind it. Mercury lay
in wait for at least several days until he caught her wing in the net over an unnamed great river in Ethiopia, most
likely the Awash/Awasi river. Mercury then gives the net to the temple of Anubis at Canopus to protect the sacred
spot, but it was stolen 3,000 years later by Caligorant, who goes on to destroy the temple and city. Caligorant is an
important character in Ariosto's Orlando Furioso.[4]

References
[1] Theoi.com (http:/ / www. theoi. com/ Olympios/ Hermes. html)
[2] http:/ / www. behindthename. com/ name/ mercury
[3] Littleton, C. Scott (Ed.) (2002). Mythology: The Illustrated Anthology of World Myth and Storytelling (pp. 195, 251, 253, 258, 292). London:
Duncan Baird Publishers. ISBN 1-904292-01-1.
[4] Ariosto, Ludovico. "Canto XV Lines 47-64." Orlando Furioso. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1998. Print.
Messor 137

Messor
• In Roman mythology, Messor ("mower" or "reaper") was one of the minor god assistants of Ceres, the goddess of
agriculture. See Ceres for more details.
• Messor is also a genus of myrmicine ants, similar to Aphaenogaster. See Messor (ant genus) for more details.
Momus 138

Momus
Greek deities
series
Primordial deities

Titans and Olympians

Aquatic deities

Chthonic deities

Other deities

Personified concepts
• Apate • Kratos
• Atë • Metis
• Bia • Moirae
• Charites • Morpheus
• Eris • Nemesis
• Eros • Nike
• Harmonia • Thanatos
• Horae • Themis
• Hypnos • Zelos

Momus or Momos (μῶμος) was in Greek mythology the god of satire, mockery, censure, writers, poets; a spirit of
evil-spirited blame and unfair criticism. His name is related to μομφή, meaning 'blame' or 'censure'. He is depicted in
classical art as lifting a mask from his face.

In classical literature
Hesiod[1] said that Momus was a son of Night (Nyx). He mocked Hephaestus, Lucian of Samosata recalled,[2] for
having made mankind without doors in their breast, through which their thoughts could be seen. He even mocked
Aphrodite, though all he could find was that she was talkative and had creaky sandals[3] He even found fit to mock
Zeus, saying he is a violent god and lusts for woman, giving birth to two villainous sons equal to him in disgust
(works of Apollonius Molon). Because of his constant criticism, he was exiled from Mt. Olympus.
Momus is featured in one of Aesop's fables, where he is to judge the handiwork of three gods (the gods vary
depending on the version). However, he is jealous of what they have done and derides all of their creations. He is
then banished from Olympus by Zeus for his jealousy.
Sophocles wrote a satyr play, now almost entirely lost, called Momos.
In Lucian's satiric dialogue Assembly of the Gods (ca 165 CE) it is Momus who is the secretary when the gods stage
a city meeting as if at Athens, to decide what to do about newly-arrived outsiders and metics, the target of the satire
being the recent development of complete enfranchisement of unworthy outsiders (Lucian himself being of Syrian
origin).
In Book VI of Plato's Republic, Glaucon says to Socrates: "Momus himself could not find fault with such a
combination."
Momus 139

Renaissance and later writers


Leon Battista Alberti wrote a savage and pessimistic Latin satiric dialogue, Momus, (ca. 1450)[4] which drew upon
Lucian's example; as with his model — though some readers, with Eugenio Garin, detect in it some of Alberti's own
streak of bitterness — the end use of the cynicism in the satire is to amuse.
When Sir Francis Bacon wrote an essay "Of Building," (XLV) he said that "He that builds a fair house upon an ill
seat, committeth himself to prison. .. Neither is it ill air only that maketh an ill seat, but ill ways, ill markets, and, if
you consult with Momus, ill neighbours."
In Giordano Bruno's philosophical treatise "The Expulsion of the Triumphant Beast", Momus plays an integral part
in the series of dialogues conducted by the Olympian Deities and Bruno's narrators. Momus was brought back from
his expulsion deep in the cosmos in order to assist Jove in reconstructing the heaven's by purging them of vice and
heralding in an age of virtue.
In one scene of Jonathan Swift's The Battle of the Books, Momus, while rushing to defend the Moderns, gets some
aid from the goddess Criticism. Interestingly, Swift, a renowned satirist, sides with the Ancients while the goddess of
satire sides with the Moderns
Laurence Sterne ruminated on the possibilities of Momus' window into the soul in a typical rambling excursus in
Tristram Shandy.
Antonin Artaud is referencing him in his brief Artaud Le Momo (1947), written shortly after nine years of
incarceration.
Henry David Thoreau references him in Walden. In his first chapter, "Economy", Thoreau notes what he considers
the valid objection of Momus/Momos against the house which Minerva/Athena made, that she "had not made it
moveable, by which means a bad neighborhood might be avoided".

Mardi Gras
Inspired by the god, the "Knights of Momus" ("KOM") was the name of a Mardi Gras society in Galveston, Texas,
founded in 1871. The original Knights of Momus went defunct around the time of World War II. A new group was
founded in the mid-1980s, and seeking to rekindle the spirit of the original group, adopted the Momus name.
"The Knights of Momus" is also the name of the third-oldest New Orleans Mardi Gras krewe, founded in 1872.
Unlike the Galveston Momus organization, the New Orleans iteration of the Knights of Momus has operated
continuously since its founding, and remains true to its roots as a secret society.
For over 100 years, the Momus parade was a fixture of the New Orleans Mardi Gras parade schedule, parading
annually on the Thursday before Fat Tuesday. Since Momus was the Greek god of mockery, the themes of Momus
parades typically paid homage to the organization's namesake with irreverent humor and biting satire. The 1877
parade theme, "Hades, A Dream of Momus," caused an uproar when it took aim at the Reconstruction government
established in New Orleans after the Civil War. Attempts at retribution by local authorities were largely unsuccessful
due to the secrecy of the membership.
In 1991, the New Orleans City Council passed an ordinance that required social organizations, including Mardi Gras
Krewes, to certify publicly that they did not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, gender or sexual orientation,
in order to obtain parade permits and other public licensure. In effect, the ordinance required these, and other, private
social groups to abandon their traditional code of secrecy and identify their members for the city's Human Relations
Commission. Momus was one of three historic krewes (with Comus of 1857 and Proteus of 1882) that withdrew
from parading rather than identify their membership.
Two federal courts later declared that the ordinance was an unconstitutional infringement on First Amendment rights
of free association, and an unwarranted intrusion on the privacy of the groups subject to the ordinance.[5] The
Supreme Court refused to hear the city's appeal from this decision. Nevertheless, the Momus parade never returned
Momus 140

to the streets of New Orleans, although the group still conducts an annual bal masqué on the Thursday before Mardi
Gras.

References
[1] Hesiod, Theogony, 214.
[2] In the extended dialogue Hermotimus, 20.
[3] Philostratus, Epistles.
[4] Alberti, Momus (The I Tatti Renaissance Library), Sarah Knight and Virginia Brown, editors; Sarah Knight's is the first translation in English.
[5] The decision of the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals appears at volume 42, page 1483 of the Federal Reporter (3rd Series), or 42 F.3d 1483 (5th
Cir. 1995).

External links
• Harry Thurston Peck, Harper's Dictionary of classical antiquity, 1897 (http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/cache/
perscoll_Greco-Roman.html): Momus
• Bohemian Café Society" (http://www.bohemiabooks.com.au/eblinks/spirboho/paris1830/cafes.htm): the
real "Café Momus"
• Lawrence Sterne, Tristram Shandy (http://www.wsu.edu/~brians/anglophone/satanic_verses/glass.html):
ruminations on Momus' windows of glass, in Volume 1, chapter 23 (text)
• Ella Wheeler Wilcox, 'Momus, God of Laughter' (http://www.americanpoems.com/poets/
Ella-Wheeler-Wilcox/16023): Poem at www.americanpoems.com
Mors (mythology) 141

Mors (mythology)
In ancient Roman myth and literature, Mors is the personification of death
equivalent to the Greek Thánatos. As the Latin noun for "death", mors, genitive
mortis, is of feminine gender, but ancient Roman art is not known to depict Death as
a woman.[1] Latin poets, however, are bound by the grammatical gender of the
word.[2] Horace writes of pallida Mors, "pale Death," who kicks her way in to the
hovels of the poor and the towers of kings equally.[3] Seneca, for whom Mors is also
pale, describes her "eager teeth."[4] Tibullus pictures Mors as black or dark.[5]

Mors is often represented allegorically in later Western literature and art,


particularly during the Middle Ages. Depictions of the Crucifixion of Christ
sometimes show Mors standing at the foot of the cross.[6] Mors' antithesis is
personified as Vita, "Life."[7]

Genealogy
Mors is the offspring of Nox (Night), and sibling to the personification of sleep,
Somnus.

Roman mythology
Mors is often connected to Mars,[8] the Roman god of war; Pluto, the god of the
underworld; and Orcus, god of death and punisher of perjurers.
In one story, Hercules fought Mors in order to save his friend's wife. In other stories,
Mors is shown as a servant to Pluto, ending the life of a person after the thread of Mors (Death) coming for a miser
their life has been cut by the Parcae, and of Mercury, messenger to the gods, in a painting by Bosch
escorting the dead persons soul, or shade, down to the underworld's gate.

References
[1] Karl Siegfried Guthke, The Gender of Death: A Cultural History in Art and Literature (Cambridge University Press, 1999), p. 24 et passim.
[2] Diana Burton, "The Gender of Death," in Personification in the Greek World (Ashgate, 2005), pp. 57–58.
[3] Horace, Carmina 1.4.14–15.
[4] Avidis … dentibus: Seneca, Hercules Furens 555.
[5] Tibullus 1.3.3.
[6] Guthke, The Gender of Death, pp. 24, 41, et passim.
[7] Guthke, The Gender of Death, pp. 45–46.
[8] Remigius of Auxerre, In Martianum 36.7: "Mars is called so as if mors (death)," as cited byJane Chance, Medieval Mythography: From
Roman North Africa to the School of Chartres, A.D. 433–1177 (University Press of Florida, 1994), p. 578, note 70. The
etymology-by-association of Remigius should be distinguished from scientific linguistics.
Mutunus Tutunus 142

Mutunus Tutunus
In ancient Roman religion, Mutunus Tutunus or Mutinus Titinus
was a phallic marriage deity, in some respects equated with Priapus.
His shrine was located on the Velian Hill, supposedly since the
founding of Rome, until the 1st century BC.
During preliminary marriage rites, Roman brides are supposed to have
straddled the phallus of Mutunus to prepare themselves for intercourse,
according to Church Fathers who interpreted this act as an obscene loss
of virginity.[1] Arnobius says that Roman matrons were taken for a ride
(inequitare) on Tutunus's "awful phallus" with its "immense shameful
parts",[2] but other sources specify that it is brides who learned through
the ritual not to be embarrassed by sex: "Tutinus, upon whose shameful
lap sit brides, so that the god seems to sample their shame before the A denarius issued by Quintus Titius, thought to
fact."[3] The 2nd-century grammarian Festus is the only classical Latin depict a bearded Mutunus Tutunus
source to take note of the god,[4] and the characterization of the rite by
Christian sources is likely to be hostile or biased.[5]

Etymology
Unlike Priapus, who is depicted in human form with an outsized erection, Mutunus seems to have been embodied
purely by the phallus, like the fascinus or the mysterious begetter of Servius Tullius. The god's name is related to two
infrequently recorded slang words for penis in Latin, mūtō (or muttō) and mūtōnium.[6] "Mutto" was also used as a
cognomen, the third of the three elements of a Roman man's name.[7] Lucilius offers the earliest recorded instance of
both forms: at laeva lacrimas muttoni[8] absterget amica ("A girlfriend wipes away Mutto's tears — his left hand,
that is"),[9] and the derivative mūtōnium. Mūtōnium may have replaced the earlier form, as it appears later among the
graffiti of Pompeii.[10] Horace has a dialogue with his muttō: "What do you want? Surely you're not demanding a
grand consul's granddaughter as a cunt?"[11] Both Lucilius and Horace thus personify the muttō.[12] Mūtūniātus, used
by Martial and in the Corpus Priapeorum,[13] describes a "well-endowed" male.[14]
Both parts of the name Mūtūnus Tūtūnus are reduplicative, Tītīnus perhaps from tītus, another slang word for
"penis."[15]

Cult
The shrine of Mutunus Tutunus on the Velia has not been located. According to Festus, it was destroyed to make a
private bath for the pontifex and Augustan supporter Domitius Calvinus, even though it was revered as among the
most ancient landmarks.[16]
This uprooting raises the question of why Calvinus was permitted to displace such a venerable shrine. The Church
Fathers associate Mutunus with groupings of other deities that are assumed to be based on the lost theological works
of Varro. Through examining these connections, Robert Palmer concluded that the old cult of Mutunus was merged
with that of Father Liber, who was variously identified with or shared attributes with Jupiter, Bacchus, and
Lampsacene Priapus. Palmer further conjectured that it was Mutunus, in the form of Liber, to whom Julius Caesar
made sacrifice on the day of his assassination, receiving the ill omens that the conspirator Decimus Brutus urged him
to ignore. Caesar had previously celebrated his victory at the Battle of Munda on the Liberalia, or festival of Liber
held March 17, and he visited the house of the pontifex Calvinus on the Ides of March, near the archaic shrine of
Mutunus-Liber. In Palmer's view, the evident ill favor of the god gave Augustus license to reform the cult during his
Mutunus Tutunus 143

program of religious revivalism that often disguised radical innovations. The god was then Hellenized as Bacchus
Lyaeus.[17]
Palmer concurred with numismatists who regard a denarius minted by Quintus Titius, moneyer ca. 90–88 BC, as
picturing an aged and bearded Mutunus on its obverse.[18] The winged diadem is a reference to the Priapus of
Lampsacus and to the winged phallus as a common motif in Roman decorative arts, which can also serve as an
apotropaic charm against the evil eye. Another issue by Titius pictures an ivy-crowned Bacchus, with both denarii
having a virtually identical Pegasus on the reverse. Michael Crawford finds "no good grounds" for identifying this
figure as Mutunus,[19] but Palmer points to the shared iconography of the Bacchus–Liber–Priapus figure and the
associative etymology of the gens name Titius. A titus ("penis") with wings was a visual pun, since the word also
referred to a type of bird.[20] Varro seems to have associated Titinus with the Titii, in an etymological collocation
that included Titus Tatius, the royal Sabine contemporary of Romulus; the Curia Titia; or the tribus of the Titienses,
one of the three original tribes of Rome.[21]

References
[1] H.J. Rose, The Roman Questions of Plutarch: A New Translation (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1924, reprinted 1974), p. 84 online. (http:/ /
books. google. com/ books?id=rKOuoVnZsFAC& pg=PA84& dq="Mutunus+ Tutunus"& lr=& as_drrb_is=q& as_minm_is=0&
as_miny_is=& as_maxm_is=0& as_maxy_is=& num=100& as_brr=3& cd=17#v=onepage& q="Mutunus Tutunus"& f=false)
[2] Arnobius, Adversus nationes 4.7 (see also 4.11): Tutunus, cuius immanibus pudendis horrentique fascino vestras inequitare matronas et
auspicabile ducitis et optatis. Compare Tertullian, Ad nationes 2.11 and Apologeticus 25.3. On the translation of pudendis, see J.N. Adams,
The Latin Sexual Vocabulary (Johns Hopkins University Press, 1982, 1990), pp. 55–56.
[3] Lactantius, Divinarum Institutionum 1.20.36: Tutinus in cuius sinu pudendo nubentes praesident ut illarum pudicitiam prior deus delibasse
videatur. See also Augustine of Hippo (particularly De civitate Dei 4.11 and 6.9) who "several times refers with distaste to the practices
associated with" the priapic gods; R.W. Dyson, The City of God Against the Pagans (Cambridge University Press, 1998, 2002), p. 1221
online. (http:/ / books. google. com/ books?id=ReU2M8cLtGcC& pg=PA1221& dq="Mutunus+ Tutunus"& lr=& as_drrb_is=q&
as_minm_is=0& as_miny_is=& as_maxm_is=0& as_maxy_is=& num=100& as_brr=3& cd=7#v=onepage& q="Mutunus Tutunus"& f=false)
[4] Jean-Noël Robert, Eros romano: sexo y moral en la Roma antigua (Editorial Complutense, 1999), p. 58 online. (http:/ / books. google. com/
books?id=1wS-vtfUdbUC& pg=PA58& dq="este+ fascinus+ tiene+ nombre+ y+ se+ le+ honra+ como+ a+ un+ dios+ Mutunus+ Tutunus"&
lr=& as_drrb_is=q& as_minm_is=0& as_miny_is=& as_maxm_is=0& as_maxy_is=& as_brr=0& cd=1#v=onepage& q="este fascinus tiene
nombre y se le honra como a un dios Mutunus Tutunus"& f=false)
[5] Ronald Syme, The Augustan Aristocracy (Oxford University Press, 1989), p. 6, note 37, marks "the mockery of the Christian writers"; see
also Augustine's "distaste" for the phallic gods noted above. W.H. Parker, Priapea: Poems for a Phallic God (Routledge, 1988), p. 135 online
(http:/ / books. google. com/ books?id=iZUOAAAAQAAJ& pg=PA135& dq="Church+ fathers"+ mutunus+ OR+ tutunus+ OR+ mutinus+
OR+ titinus& lr=& as_drrb_is=q& as_minm_is=0& as_miny_is=& as_maxm_is=0& as_maxy_is=& num=100& as_brr=3&
cd=2#v=onepage& q="Church fathers" mutunus OR tutunus OR mutinus OR titinus& f=false), observes that the ritual of Mutunus was
"condemned by early Church fathers"; Joseph Rykwert, The Idea of a Town: The Anthropology of Urban Form in Rome, Italy, and the Ancient
World (MIT Press, 1988), p. 159 online (http:/ / books. google. com/ books?id=Jq78Ff2TYHAC& pg=PA159& dq="Church+ fathers"+
mutunus+ OR+ tutunus+ OR+ mutinus+ OR+ titinus& lr=& as_drrb_is=q& as_minm_is=0& as_miny_is=& as_maxm_is=0& as_maxy_is=&
num=100& as_brr=3& cd=1#v=onepage& q="Church fathers" mutunus OR tutunus OR mutinus OR titinus& f=false), notes that they spoke
"scathingly" of phallic rituals. Tertullian's bias in his assemblage of deities to deride (including Mutunus) pointed out by Mary Beard, John
North et al., Religions of Rome: A Sourcebook (Cambridge University Press, 1998), p. 359, note 1 online. (http:/ / books. google. com/
books?id=xQd82l39KX4C& pg=PA359& dq=Christian+ mutunus+ OR+ tutunus+ OR+ mutinus+ OR+ titinus& lr=& as_drrb_is=q&
as_minm_is=0& as_miny_is=& as_maxm_is=0& as_maxy_is=& num=100& as_brr=3& cd=17#v=onepage& q=Christian mutunus OR
tutunus OR mutinus OR titinus& f=false) The fascinum — identified by Arnobius with the phallus of Mutunus — "was used by Christian
writers in their tirades against pagan customs," points out Enrique Montero Cartelle, El latín erótico: aspectos léxicos y literarios (University
of Seville, 1991), p. 70 online. (http:/ / books. google. com/ books?id=vUfXS1qQg9MC& pg=PA70& dq="Fascinum+ fue+ empleado+ por+
los+ escritores+ cristianos"& lr=& as_drrb_is=q& as_minm_is=0& as_miny_is=& as_maxm_is=0& as_maxy_is=& as_brr=0&
cd=1#v=onepage& q="Fascinum fue empleado por los escritores cristianos"& f=false) For a fuller discussion, see Carlos A. Contreras,
"Christian Views of Paganism," Aufstieg und Niedergang der römischen Welt II.23.1 (1980) 974–1022, p. 1013 online (http:/ / books. google.
com/ books?id=0soI8HZXT3gC& pg=PA1013& dq=Christian+ mutunus+ OR+ tutunus+ OR+ mutinus+ OR+ titinus& lr=& as_drrb_is=q&
as_minm_is=0& as_miny_is=& as_maxm_is=0& as_maxy_is=& num=100& as_brr=3& cd=40#v=onepage& q=Christian mutunus OR
tutunus OR mutinus OR titinus& f=false) specifically in relation to Mutunus and in general asserting that "Arnobius commits the same
mistake as other Fathers of applying Christian conceptions to pagan ideas in order to condemn them" (p. 1010). "Our knowledge of such
things," that is, of rites such as those of Mutunus, "comes from Christian writers who are openly concerned to discredit all aspects of pagan
idolatry," states Peter Stewart, Statues in Roman Society: Representation and Response (Oxford University Press, 2003), p. 266, note 24
online. (http:/ / books. google. com/ books?id=xauWDEbWMs8C& pg=PA266& dq="Our+ knowledge+ of+ such+ things+ comes+ from+
Mutunus Tutunus 144

Christian+ writers+ who+ are+ openly"& lr=& as_drrb_is=q& as_minm_is=0& as_miny_is=& as_maxm_is=0& as_maxy_is=& as_brr=0&
cd=1#v=onepage& q="Our knowledge of such things comes from Christian writers who are openly"& f=false)
[6] J.N. Adams, The Latin Sexual Vocabulary (Johns Hopkins University Press, 1982, 1990), p. 62 online. (http:/ / books. google. com/
books?id=GDP9VHGbF1AC& pg=PA62& dq="Mutunus+ Tutunus"& lr=& as_drrb_is=q& as_minm_is=0& as_miny_is=& as_maxm_is=0&
as_maxy_is=& num=100& as_brr=3& cd=1#v=onepage& q="Mutunus Tutunus"& f=false)
[7] CIL V.1412, 8473, as cited by Adams. The moneyer Quintus Titius, one of whose coins has been interpreted as depicting Mutunus, may have
used the cognomen Mutto; T.R.S. Broughton, The Magistrates of the Roman Republic (American Philological Association, 1952), vol. 2, p.
454.
[8] Muttōni is the dative form of muttō.
[9] Lucilius 307 and 959. Kirk Freundenburg has dubbed the muttō of Lucilius "clearly the least finicky of all personified penises in Roman
satire": Satires of Rome: Threatening Poses from Lucilius to Juvenal (Cambridge University Press, 2001), p. 205 online. (http:/ / books.
google. com/ books?id=QzOjItakZRoC& pg=PA205& dq=muttonis& lr=& as_drrb_is=q& as_minm_is=0& as_miny_is=& as_maxm_is=0&
as_maxy_is=& num=100& as_brr=3& cd=3#v=onepage& q=muttonis& f=false) The left hand was preferred for masturbation by the Romans;
see Antonio Varone, Erotica pompeiana: Love Inscriptions on the Walls of Pompeii («L'Erma» di Bretschneider, 2002), p. 95 online. (http:/ /
books. google. com/ books?id=Vg9h-tW4KikC& dq=insula+ felicula& q="To+ grasp+ the+ meaning+ of+ the+ text"#v=snippet& q="To
grasp the meaning of the text"& f=false)
[10] CIL IV.1939, 1940.
[11] Horace, Sermones 1.2.68.
[12] Adams, Latin Sexual Vocabulary, p. 63.
[13] Martial, Epigrams 3.73.1 and 11.63.2; Corpus Priapeorum 52.10.
[14] Craig Arthur Williams, Roman Homosexuality: Ideologies of Masculinity in Classical Antiquity (Oxford University Press, 1990), p. 92
online. (http:/ / books. google. com/ books?id=Kf4cs5Y0fiIC& pg=PA92& dq="Mutinus+ Titinus"& lr=& as_drrb_is=q& as_minm_is=0&
as_miny_is=& as_maxm_is=0& as_maxy_is=& num=50& as_brr=3& cd=1#v=onepage& q="Mutinus Titinus"& f=false)
[15] Adams, Latin Sexual Vocabulary, p. 32.
[16] Festus 142L, as cited and discussed by Lawrence Richardson, A New Topographical Dictionary of Ancient Rome (Johns Hopkins University
Press, 1992), p. 262 online. (http:/ / books. google. com/ books?id=K_qjo30tjHAC& pg=PA262& dq="Mutinus+ Titinus"& lr=&
as_drrb_is=q& as_minm_is=0& as_miny_is=& as_maxm_is=0& as_maxy_is=& num=50& as_brr=3& cd=9#v=onepage& q="Mutinus
Titinus"& f=false) See also Ronald Syme, The Augustan Aristocracy (Oxford University Press, 1989), p. 6 online. (http:/ / books. google.
com/ books?id=fj8oQ4lzteIC& pg=PA6& dq="Mutunus+ Tutunus"& lr=& as_drrb_is=q& as_minm_is=0& as_miny_is=& as_maxm_is=0&
as_maxy_is=& num=100& as_brr=3& cd=19#v=onepage& q="Mutunus Tutunus"& f=false)
[17] Robert E.A. Palmer, "Mutinus Titinus: A Study in Etrusco-Roman Religion and Topography," in Roman Religion and Roman Empire: Five
Essays (University of Pennsylvania Press, 1974), pp. 187–206.
[18] The identification dates back at least to Ch. Lenormant, "Types des médailles romaines," Revue numismatique (1838), pp. 11–12 online.
(http:/ / books. google. com/ books?id=dnjRAAAAMAAJ& pg=PA11& dq="Mutinus+ Titinus"& lr=& as_drrb_is=q& as_minm_is=0&
as_miny_is=& as_maxm_is=0& as_maxy_is=& num=50& as_brr=3& cd=17#v=onepage& q="Mutinus Titinus"& f=false)
[19] Michael Crawford, Roman Republican Coinage (Cambridge University Press, 1974, 2001), vol. 1, pp. 344 and 346 online. (http:/ / books.
google. com/ books?id=NuBION2KtM4C& pg=PA346& dq="Mutunus+ Tutunus"& lr=& as_drrb_is=q& as_minm_is=0& as_miny_is=&
as_maxm_is=0& as_maxy_is=& num=100& as_brr=3& cd=18#v=onepage& q="Mutunus Tutunus"& f=false)
[20] Scholiast on Persius, Satire 1.20; Adams, Latin Sexual Vocabulary, p. 32.
[21] Palmer, "Mutinus Titinus," p. 190.
Nemausus 145

Nemausus
For the town, see Nîmes. For the true bug genus, see Nemausus (bug).
Deus Nemausus is often said to have been the Celtic patron god of Nemausus (Nîmes). The god does not seem to
have been worshipped outside of this locality. The city certainly derives its name from Nemausus, which was
perhaps the sacred wood in which the Celtic tribe of the Volcae Arecomici (who of their own accord surrendered to
the Romans in 121 BC) held their assemblies (according to Encyclopædia Britannica 1911), or was perhaps the local
Celtic spirit guardian of the spring that originally provided all water for the settlement, as many modern sources
suggest. Or perhaps Stephanus of Byzantium was correct in stating in his geographical dictionary that Nemausos, the
city of Gaul, took its name from the Heracleid (or son of Heracles) Nemausios.
An important healing-spring sanctuary existed in the town; it was established in some form at least as early as the
early Iron Age but was expanded after the Romans colonised the region in the late 2nd century BC, when there was
active Roman encouragement of the cult. Another set of local spirits worshiped at Nemausus (Nîmes) were the
Nemausicae or Matres Nemausicae, who were fertility and healing goddesses belonging to the spring sanctuary.

References
• Green, Miranda, Dictionary of Celtic Myth and Legend. Thames and Hudson Ltd. London. (1997)

Nemestrinus
In Roman mythology, Nemestrinus was a god of the forests and woods. His name comes from Latin nemus,
meaning "wood".
Neptune (mythology) 146

Neptune (mythology)
Ancient Roman religion

Practices and beliefs


Imperial cult  · festivals  · ludi
mystery religions · funerals
temples · auspice · sacrifice
votum · libation · lectisternium

Priesthoods
College of Pontiffs · Augur
Vestal Virgins · Flamen · Fetial
Epulones · Arval Brethren
Quindecimviri sacris faciundis

Dii Consentes
Jupiter · Juno · Neptune · Minerva
Mars · Venus · Apollo · Diana
Vulcan · Vesta · Mercury · Ceres

Other deities
Janus · Quirinus · Saturn ·
Hercules · Faunus · Priapus
Bacchus (Liber) · Bona Dea · Ops
Castor and Pollux · Cupid
Chthonic deities: Proserpina ·
Dis Pater · Pluto · Orcus ·
Hecate · Di Manes
Domestic and local deities:
Lares · Di Penates · Genius
Hellenistic deities: Sol Invictus · Magna Mater · Isis ·
Mithras
Deified emperors:
Divus Julius  · Divus Augustus
See also List of Roman deities

Related topics
Roman mythology
Glossary of ancient Roman religion
Religion in ancient Greece
Etruscan religion
Gallo-Roman religion
Decline of Hellenistic polytheism

Neptune (Latin: Neptūnus) is the god of water and the sea[1] in Roman mythology, a brother of Jupiter and Pluto,
each of them presiding over one of the three realms of the universe, Heaven, Earth and the Netherworld.
Neptune (mythology) 147

Etymology
The etymology of Neptunus is unclear and disputed. The ancient grammarian Varro derived the name from nuptus
i.e. covering (opertio), with a more or less explicit allusion to the nuptiae, marriage of Heaven and Earth.[2]
Among modern scholars P. Kretschmer proposed a derivation from IE *neptu-, moist substance[3] ; but Dumezil
remarked words deriving from root *nep are not attested in IE languages other than Vedic and Avestan. He proposed
an etymology that brings together Neptunus with Vedic and Avestan theonyms Apam Napat, Apam Napá and Old
Irish theonym Nechtan, all meaning descendant of the waters. By using the comparative approach the Indo-Iranian,
Avestan and Irish figures would show common features with the Roman historicised legends about Neptunus.
Dumezil thence proposed to derive the nouns from IE root *nepot or *nept, descendant, siter's son.[4] Dumezil also
supposed Neptunus would be an adjectival form in -no meaning "he who is moist".[5] More recently German scholar
H. Petersmann proposed an etymology from IE rootstem *nebh related to clouds and foggs, plus suffix -tu denoting
an abstract verbal noun, and adjectival suffix -no which refers to the domain of activity of a person or his
prerogatives. IE root *nebh, having the original meaning of damp, wet, has given Sanskrit nábhah, Hittite nepis,
Latin nubs, nebula, German nebel, Slavic nebo etc. The concept would be close to that expressed in the name of
Greek god Όυράνος, derived from IE root *h2vórso-.[6] [7] Such etymology would be more in accord with Varro's.

Theology
The theology of Neptune may only be reconstructed to some extent as since very early times he was identified with
Greek god Poseidon, as he shown already in the lectisternium of 399 B.C. Such identification may well be grounded
in the strict relationship between the Latin and Greek theologies of the two deities.[8] It has been argued that as IE
people could not have a direct knowledge of the sea, their original seats being in inner continental areas, they reused
the theology of an original chtonic deity who associated power over the inland freshwaters as a god of the sea.[9]
This character has been preserved particularly well in the case of Neptune who was definitely a god of springs, lakes
and rivers before becoming also a god of the sea. Poseidon on the other hand underwent this process much earlier as
is shown in the Iliad.[10]
The most ancient Roman calendar set the feriae of Neptunus, the Neptunalia on July 23. This was two days after
Lucaria of July 19 and 21 and two days before the Furrinalia of July 25: G. Wissowa had already remarked that
festivals falling in a range of three days are related to each other. Dumezil elaborated that these festivals were all in
some way related to the protecting function of water during the period of summer heat (canicula), when river and
spring waters are at their lowest. Founding his analysis on the works of Palladius and Columella Dumezil argues that
while the Lucaria were devoted to the dressing of woods, clearing the undergrown bushes by cutting on the 19 and
then by uprooting on the 21, (and burning them afterwards), the Neptunalia were spent under branch huts (umbrae,
casae frondeae) drinking springwater and wine to avoid the heat. The Furrinalia too, devoted to Furrina goddess of
springs, required the work of man since they referred to spring which had to be detected by digging, this fact creating
a correspondence with the Lucaria of 21, which equally required analogous human action upon the soil.
The overflowing of Lake Albanus happened on the date of the Neptunalia. This prodigy that foretold the fall of Veii
is a historical event that Dumezil ascribed to the Roman habit of projecting legendary heritage onto their own past
history. Livy relates that a haruspex from Veii who had been taken prisoner inadvertently gave away the prophecy
that Veii would fall if the waters of the lake should overflow in the inland direction. On the contrary the fact would
go to the disadvantage of Rome if the waters were to overflow towards the sea. The prophecy was confirmed by the
oracle of Delphi consulted by the Roman senate.
This legend would show the scope of the powers hidden in waters and the importance of their control: Veientans
knowing the fact had been digging channels for a long time as recent archeological finds confirm. There is a
temporal coincidence between the conjuration of the prodigy and the works of derivation recommended by Palladius
and Columella at the time of the canicula, when the waters are at their lowest. Neptune's two paredrae Salacia and
Venilia would then in Dumezil's view, who here accepts and reproposes the interpretations of Wissowa and von
Neptune (mythology) 148

Domaszewski, represent the calm and the overpowering aspects of water, both natural and domesticated: Salacia
would be the aspect of gushing, overflowing waters and Venilia that of still or quietly flowing waters.[11] The
Furrinalia of July 25 are explained with the hydraulic works prescribed by Palladius too, i.e. the digging of wells to
detect underground water: patent and hidden waters are are dealt with on separate occasions.
German scholar H. Petermann has proposed a rather different interpretation of the theology of Neptunus. Developing
his understanding of the theonym as rooted in IE *nebh, he argues that the god would be an ancient deity of the
cloudy and rainy sky in company and opposition with Zeus/Iupiter, god of the clear bright sky. As Greek god
Ouranos he would be the father of all living beings on Earth through the fertilising power of rainwater. This hieros
gamos of Neptune and Earth would be reflected in literarature, e.g. in Vergil Aen. V 14 pater Neptunus. The virile
potency of Neptune would be represented by Salacia ( derived from salax, salio in its original sense of salacious,
lustful, desiring sexual intercourse, covering). Salacia would then represent the god's desire for intercourse with
Earth, his virile generating potency manifesting itself in rainfall. While Salacia would denote the overcast sky, the
other charachter of the god would be reflected by his other paredra Venilia, representing the clear sky dotted with
clouds of good weather. The theonym Venilia would be rooted in a not attested adjective *venilis, from IE root
*ven(h) meaning to love, desire, realised in Sanskrit vánati, vanóti, he loves, old Island. vinr friend, German Wonne,
Latin Venus, venia. Reminiscences of this double aspect of Neptune would be found in Catullus 31. 3: "uterque
Neptunus". In Petersmann's conjecture, besides Zeus/Iupiter, (rooted in IE *dei(h) to shine, who originally
represented the bright daylight of fine weather sky), the ancient Indoeuropean venerated a god of heavenly damp or
wet as the generator of life. This fact would be testified by Hittite theonyms nepišaš (D)IŠKURaš or nepišaš
(D)Tarhunnaš "the lord of sky wet", that was revered as the sovereign of Earth and men.[12] Even though over time
this function was transferred to Zeus/iupiter who became also the sovereign of weather, reminiscences of the old
function survived in literature: e.g. in Vergil Aen. V 13 reading: "heu, quinam tanti cinxerunt aetherea nimbi? quive,
pater Neptune, paras?": "Whow, why so many clouds surrounded the sky? What are you preparing, father
Neptune?".[13]

Paredrae
As a rule these entities in Roman religion represent the fundamental aspects or power of the deity concerned. Only in
later time under Hellenising influence they came to be considered as separate deities and consorts of the god. Salacia
and Venilia have been the object of the attention of scholars ancient and modern. Varro connects the first to salum
sea and the second to ventus wind.[14] Festus writes of Salacia that she was the deity that caused the motion of the
sea. While Venilia would cause the wabes to come to the shore Salacia would cause their retreating towards the sea.
The issue has been discussed in many passages by Christian apologists.
He is analogous with but not identical to the god Poseidon of Greek mythology, and is imaged often according to
Hellenistic canons in the Roman mosaics of north Africa.[15] The Roman conception of Neptune owed a great deal to
the Etruscan god Nethuns. A north African inscription at Thugga referring to the "father of the Nereids" shows that
Neptune also subsumed the archaic and by late Hellenistic times purely literary figure of Nereus.[16]
For a time he was paired with Salacia, the goddess of the salt water.[17] At an early date (399 BC) he was identified
with Poseidon, when the Sibylline books ordered a lectisternium to honour him with Apollo, Latona, Diana,
Hercules and Mercury[18]
In the earlier times it was the god Portunes or Fortunus who was thanked for naval victories, but Neptune supplanted
him in this role by at least the first century BC when Sextus Pompeius called himself "son of Neptune."[19]
Unlike Greek Oceanus, god of the world-ocean, Neptune is associated as well with fresh water. Georges Dumézil
suggested[20] that for Latins, the primary identification of Neptune was with freshwater springs, the sea having still
little interest for these people. Like Poseidon, Neptune was also worshipped by the Romans as a god of horses, under
the name "Neptune Equester," patron of horse-racing.[21]
Neptune (mythology) 149

The planet Neptune, unknown to the ancients, was named for the god, as its deep blue gas clouds gave 19th-century
astronomers the impression of great oceans.
"King Neptune" plays a central role in the long-standing tradition of the "Line-crossing ceremony" initiation rite still
current in many navies, coast guards, and merchant fleets. When ships cross the equator, "Pollywogs" (sailors who
have not done such a crossing before) receive "subpoenas"[22] to appear before King Neptune and his court (usually
including his first assistant Davy Jones and Her Highness Amphitrite and often various dignitaries, who are all
represented by the highest-ranking seamen). Some Pollywogs may be "interrogated" by King Nepture and his
entourage. At the end of the ceremony — which in the past often included considerable hazing — they are initiated
as Shellbacks or Sons of Neptune and receive a certificate to that effect.

Festivals
His festival, Neptunalia, at which tents were made from the branches of bushes, took place at the height of summer,
on July 23.[23] suggestive of a primitive role for Neptune as god of water sources in the summer's drought and
heat.[24]
Neptune had two temples in Rome. The first, built in 25 BC, stood near the Circus Flaminius, the Roman racetrack,
and contained a famous sculpture of a marine group by Scopas.[25] The second, the Basilica Neptuni, was built on
the Campus Martius and dedicated by Agrippa in honour of the naval victory of Actium.[26]

Depiction in art

A.D. 300 statue


The French Department of Subaquatic Archaeological Research divers (headed by Michel L'Hour) discovered a
lifesize marble statue of Neptune, in the Rhone River at Arles; it is dated to the early fourth century.[27] The statue is
one of a hundred artifacts that the team excavated between September and October 2007.[27] [28]

Renaissance depictions
The Renaissance brought with it a revival in pagan art, and many pagan gods were depicted in the same classical
models used in Greek and Roman times. However, with Neptune few such models existed, allowing the artists of the
Renaissance to depict Neptune however they chose. The results included a face and actions that seemed more mortal,
as well as associations with Hercules. The overall effect was to change Neptune's image to a less deified state.[29]

Gallery

Neptune Portrait of Giovan Battista Tiepolo Brumidi's The


statue at 31st Andrea Apotheosis of
street, Doria as Washington depicts
Virginia Neptune, Neptune in his
Beach, by Agnolo chariot on a
Virginia Bronzino background of an
ironclad warship, in
the dome of the
United States
Capitol
Neptune (mythology) 150

Neptune in Neptune statue in The Fountain of Neptune's fountain (Fuente de


Poznań, Poland. Gdańsk Neptune, Bologna, Neptuno) in Madrid, Spain.
Italy.

Neptune fountain in the Alameda Coysevox's Neptune at Fontana di Trevi's Neptune in Lviv,
Central in Mexico City the Louvre, in Paris. Neptune, Rome. Ukraine.

Neptune in Bartolomeo Neptune in Neptune in Riobamba, Ecuador.


Olomouc, Czech Ammannati's Gliwice, Poland.
Republic. Fountain of
Neptune in
Florence.

References and notes


[1] J. Toutain, Les cultes païens de l'Empire romain, vol. I (1905:378) securely identified Italic Neptune as a god of freshwater sources as well as
the sea.
[2] Varro Lingua Latina V 72: Neptunus, quod mare terras obnubuit ut nubes caelum, ab nuptu, id est opertione, ut antiqui, a quo nuptiae,
nuptus dictus.: "N., because the sea covered the lands as the clouds the sky, from nuptus i.e. covering, as the ancients (used to say), whence
nuptiae marriage, was named nuptus".
[3] P. Kretschmer Einleitung in der Geschichte der Griechischen Sprache Göttingen, 1896, p. 33
[4] Y. Bonnefoy, W. DOniger Roman and Indoeuropean Myhtologies Chicago, 1992, s.v. Neptune, citing G. Dumezil Myht et Epopée vol. III p.
41 and Ernout-Meillet Dictionnaire etymologique de la langue latine s.v. Neptunus
[5] G. DumezilFetes romaines d' ete' et d' automne, suivi par dix questions romaines Paris 1975, p.25
[6] H. Petermann Göttingen 2002
[7] M. Peters "Untersuchungen zur Vertratung der indogermanischen Laryngeale in Griechisch" in Österreicher Akademie der Wissenschaften,
philsophische historische Klasse Bd. 372, 1980 p.180
[8] R. Bloch "Quelques remarques sur Poseidon, Neptunus and Nethuns" in Revue d'Histoire des Religions 1981
[9] G. Wissowa Religion un Kultus der Römer Munich, 1912; A. von Domaszewski Abhandlungenzur römische Religion Leipzig und Berlin,
1909; R. Bloch above
[10] R. Bloch above
[11] Dumezil above p.31
[12] Eric NeunDie Anitta-TextWiesbaden, 1974, p. 118
Neptune (mythology) 151

[13] H. Petersmann "Neptuns ürsprugliche Rolle im römischen Pantheon. Ein etymologisch-religiongeschichtlicher Erklärungsversuch" in
Lingua et religio. Augewählte kleine Beiträge zur antike religiogeschichtlicher und sprachwissenschaftlicher Grundlage Göttingen, 2002, pp.
226-235
[14] Varro Lingua Latina V 72
[15] Alain Cadotte, "Neptune Africain", Phoenix 56.3/4 (Autumn/Winter 2002:330-347) detected syncretic traces of a Lybian/Punic agrarian god
of fresh water sources, with the epithet Frugifer, "fruit-bearer"; Cadotte enumerated (p.332) some north African Roman mosaics of the fully
characteristic Triumph of Neptune, whether riding in his chariot or mounted directly on sea-beasts.
[16] Noted by Cadotte 2002:232; Cadotte gives a list of inscriptions referring to Neptune, pp335-37.
[17] van Aken, Dr. A.R.A., ed. Elseviers Mythologische Encyclopedie (Elsevier, Amsterdam: 1961)
[18] Livy v. 13.6; Showerman, Grant. The Great Mother of the Gods. Madison, WI: University of Wisconsin, 1901:223
[19] Fox, Robin Lane. The Classical World. Basic Books, 2006. p. 412 ISBN 0465024963
[20] Dumézil, La religion romaine archaïque (Paris, 1966:381)
[21] Compare Epona.
[22] Ceremonial Certificates — Neptune Subpoena (http:/ / www. usni. org/ store/ item. asp?ITEM_ID=1239)
[23] CIL, vol. 1,pt 2:323; Varro, De lingua latina vi.19.
[24] "C'est-à-dire au plus fort de l'été, au moment de la grande sécheresse, et qu'on y construisaient des huttes de feuillage en guise d'abris contre
le soleil" (Cadotte 2002:342, noting Sextus Pompeius Festus, De verborum significatu [ed. Lindsay 1913] 519.1)
[25] Wukitsch, Thomas K., Neptunalia Festival (http:/ / www. mmdtkw. org/ VNeptunalia. html),
[26] Ball Platner, Samuel; Ashby, Thomas (1929), A Topographical Dictionary of Ancient Rome, "Basilica Neptuni" (http:/ / penelope. uchicago.
edu/ Thayer/ E/ Gazetteer/ Places/ Europe/ Italy/ Lazio/ Roma/ Rome/ _Texts/ PLATOP*/ basilicae. html), London: Oxford University Press,
[27] Divers find Caesar bust that may date to 46 B.C. (http:/ / www. thefreelibrary. com/ Divers+ find+ Caesar+ bust+ that+ may+ date+ to+ 46+
B. C. -a01611530816), Associated Press, 2008-05-14,
[28] Henry Samuel, "Julius Caesar bust found in Rhone River" (http:/ / www. telegraph. co. uk/ news/ worldnews/ europe/ france/ 1955773/
Julius-Caesar-bust-found-in-Rhone-River. html), The Telegraph
[29] Freedman, Luba (September 1995), "Neptune in classical and Renaissance visual art" (http:/ / www. springerlink. com/ content/
r0505005858761h8/ ) (PDF), International Journal of the Classical Tradition (Springer Netherlands) 2 (2): 219–237, ISSN 1874-6292,

External links
•  Chisholm, Hugh, ed (1911). "Neptune (god)". Encyclopædia Britannica (Eleventh ed.). Cambridge University
Press.

98949848498984
Nodutus 152

Nodutus
In Roman mythology, Nodutus was the god who made knots in stalks of wheat. His name derives from the Latin
nodus, "a knot", in turn derived from *nōdo- PIE *ned-, "to bind, tie".

Orcus
Orcus was a god of the underworld, punisher of broken oaths in Italic and Roman mythology. He was more
equivalent to the Greek Pluto than to Hades, and later identified with Dis Pater. He was portrayed in paintings in
Etruscan tombs as a hairy, bearded giant. A temple to Orcus may have existed on the Palatine Hill in Rome. It is
likely that he was transliterated from the Greek daemon Horcus, the personification of Oaths and a son of Eris.

Origins
The origins of Orcus may have lain in Etruscan religion. Orcus was a name used by Roman writers to identify a
Gaulish god of the underworld. The so-called Tomb of Orcus, an Etruscan site at Tarquinia, is a misnomer, resulting
from its first discoverers mistaking as Orcus a hairy, bearded giant that was actually a figure of a Cyclops.
The Romans sometimes conflated Orcus with other gods such as Pluto, Hades, and Dis Pater, god of the land of the
dead. The name "Orcus" seems to have been given to his evil and punishing side, as the god who tormented evildoers
in the afterlife. Like the name Hades (or the Norse Hel, for that matter), "Orcus" could also mean the land of the
dead.
Orcus was chiefly worshipped in rural areas; he had no official cult in the cities.[1] This remoteness allowed for him
to survive in the countryside long after the more prevalent gods had ceased to be worshipped. He survived as a folk
figure into the Middle Ages, and aspects of his worship were transmuted into the wild man festivals held in rural
parts of Europe through modern times.[1] Indeed, much of what is known about the celebrations associated with
Orcus come from medieval sources.[1]

Survival and later use


From Orcus' association with death and the underworld, his name came to be used for demons and other underworld
monsters, particularly in Italian where orco refers to a kind of monster found in fairy-tales that feeds on human flesh.
The French word ogre (appearing first in Charles Perrault's fairy-tales) may have come from variant forms of this
word, orgo or ogro; in any case, the French ogre and the Italian orco are exactly the same sort of creature. An early
example of an orco appears in Ludovico Ariosto's Orlando Furioso, as a bestial, blind, tusk-faced monster inspired
by the Cyclops of the Odyssey; this orco should not be confused with the orca, a sea-monster also appearing in
Ariosto.
This orco was the inspiration to J. R. R. Tolkien's orcs in his The Lord of the Rings. In a text published in The War of
the Jewels, Tolkien stated:
Note. The word used in translation of Q[uenya] urko, S[indarin] orch, is Orc. But that is because of the
similarity of the ancient English word orc, 'evil spirit or bogey', to the Elvish words. There is possibly no
connexion between them. The English word is now generally supposed to be derived from Latin
Orcus.
Also, in an unpublished letter sent to Gene Wolfe, Tolkien also made this comment:[2]
Orc I derived from Anglo-Saxon, a word meaning demon, usually supposed to be derived from the Latin
Orcus -- Hell. But I doubt this, though the matter is too involved to set out here.
Orcus 153

From this use, countless other fantasy games and works of fiction have borrowed the concept of the orc.
Orcus appears as a character in Christopher Moore's A Dirty Job.

Notes
[1] Bernheimer, p. 43.
[2] http:/ / home. clara. net/ andywrobertson/ wolfemountains. html

References
• Bernheimer, Richard (1952). Wild men in the Middle Ages, New York : Octagon books, 1979, ISBN
0-374-90616-5
• Grimal, P. (1986). The Dictionary of Classical Mythology. Oxford: Basil Blackwell. (p. 328)
• Richardson, L. (1992). A New Topographical Dictionary of Ancient Rome. Baltimore and London: The Johns
Hopkins University Press. (p. 278)

External links
• "Tomb of the Orcus," Tarquinia (http://www.mysteriousetruscans.com/tarorcus.html)

Pales
Topics in Roman mythology

Important Gods:

• Jupiter • Minerva
• Mars • Mercury
• Quirinus • Vulcan
• Vesta • Ceres
• Juno • Venus
• Fortuna • Lares
Roman Kingdom

Religion in ancient Rome

Flamens

Roman, Greek, and Etruscan mythologies compared

Other Rustic Gods:

• Bona Dea • Flora


• Carmenta • Lupercus
• Camenae • Pales
• Dea Dia • Pomona
• Convector • Egeria

In Roman mythology, Pales was a deity of shepherds, flocks and livestock. Regarded as a male by some sources and
a female by others, and even possibly as a pair of deities (as Pales could be either singular or plural in Latin).
Pales' festival, called the Parilia, was celebrated on April 21. Cattle were driven through bonfires on this day.
Another festival to Pales, apparently dedicated "to the two Pales" (Palibus duobus) was held on July 7.
Pales 154

Marcus Atilius Regulus built a temple to Pales in Rome following his victory over the Salentini in 267 BC. It is
generally thought to have been located on the Palatine Hill, but, being a victory monument, it may have been located
on the route of the triumphal procession, either on the Campus Martius or the Aventine Hill.

References
• Richardson, L. (1992). A New Topographical Dictionary of Ancient Rome. Baltimore and London: The Johns
Hopkins University Press. (p. 282)
• Scullard, H.H. (1981). Festivals and Ceremonies of the Roman Republic. London: Thames and Hudson. (p.
104–105)

Palici
The Palici (Παλικοί in Greek), or Palaci, were a pair of indigenous Sicilian chthonic deities in Roman mythology,
and to a lesser extent in Greek mythology. They are mentioned in Ovid V, 406, and in Virgil IX, 585. Their cult
centered around three small lakes that emitted sulphurous vapors in the Palagonia plain, and as a result these twin
brothers were associated with geysers and the underworld. There was also a shrine to the Palaci in Palacia, where
people could subject themselves or others to tests of reliability through divine judgement; passing meant that an oath
could be trusted. The mythological lineage of the Palici is uncertain; one legend made the Palici the sons of Zeus, or
possibly Hephaestus, by Aetna or Thalia, but another claimed that the Palici were the sons of the Sicilian deity
Adranus.

References
• Hammond, N.G.L. & Scullard, H.H. (eds.) (1970). The Oxford Classical Dictionary. Oxford; Oxford University
Press.
• Wilson, R.J.A. (1990). Sicily under the Roman Empire. Warminster: Aris and Phillips (p. 278).
Picumnus 155

Picumnus
Picumnus (bird) is a genus of Neotropic piculets.
In Roman mythology, Picumnus was a god of fertility, agriculture, matrimony, infants and children. He may have
been the same god as Sterquilinus. His brother was Pilumnus.

Picus
In Roman mythology, Picus was the first king of Latium. He was known for his skill at augury and horsemanship.
The witch Circe turned him into a woodpecker for scorning her love. Picus' wife was Canens, a nymph who killed
herself after his transformation. They had one son, Faunus.
According to grammarian Servius, Picus's love for Pomona was itself scorned. He is featured in one of the
Metamorphoses of Ovid. Virgil says that he was the son of Saturnus and the grandfather of Latinus, the king of the
Laurentines whom Aeneas and his Trojans fought upon reaching Italy.
Italic people believed Picus was the son of the god of war Mars. After being turned into a woodpecker Italic tribes
attributed to the bird divine qualities, connected with Picus's original skills at augury.
One of the function he performed was to lead the deduction of colonies (made up of younger generation folk) with
his flight, which traditionally took place in spring and was performed according to a religiuos ritual known as Ver
sacrum. The people of the Piceni derived their name from the memory of this ritual.

Sources
• Ovid Metamorphoses 14.320-434
• Virgil Aeneid 7.45-49, 170-191
• Servius on Aeneid 7.190
• Diodorus Siculus 6, frag. 5
Pilumnus 156

Pilumnus
In Roman mythology, Pilumnus ("staker") was a nature deity, brother of Picumnus. He ensured children grew
properly and stayed healthy. Ancient Romans made an extra bed after the birth of a child in order to ensure the help
of Pilumnus. He also taught humanity how to grind grain. He was also sometimes identified as the husband of
Danaë, and therefore the father of Danaus and the ancestor of Turnus.
A ceremony to honour the deity involved driving a stake into the ground.

References
• Michael Jordan, Encyclopedia of Gods, Kyle Cathie Limited, 2002
• Myth Index - Deverra, Intercidona and Pilumnus [1]

References
[1] http:/ / www. mythindex. com/ roman-mythology/ D/ Deverra. html

Pluto (mythology)
For the dwarf planet, see Pluto. For other
uses, see Pluto (disambiguation).
In ancient Greek religion and myth, Pluto
(Πλούτων, Ploutōn) was a name for the ruler of
the underworld; the god was also known as
Hades, the name of the underworld itself. He has
two major myths: in Greek cosmogony, he
received the rule of the underworld in a three-way
division of sovereignty over the world, with his
brothers Zeus ruling Heaven and Poseidon the
Sea; and he abducts Persephone to be his wife and
the queen of his realm.[1] In other myths, he plays
a secondary role, mostly as the possessor of a
quest-object.[2]

The name Ploutōn was frequently conflated with


that of Plutus (Πλοῦτος, Ploutos), a god of
wealth, because mineral wealth was found
underground, and because as a chthonic god Pluto
ruled the deep earth that contained the seeds
necessary for a bountiful harvest.[3] Ploutōn
became a more positive way to talk about the
ruler of the underworld, and the name was
The abduction of Proserpina (Persephone) by Pluto, with a Cupid in
popularized through the mystery religions and
attendance (Roman cinerary altar, Antonine Era, 2nd century)
philosophical systems influenced by Plato, the
major Greek source on its meaning.
Pluto (mythology) 157

Pluto (genitive Plutonis) is the Latinized form of the Greek Ploutōn. Pluto's Roman equivalent is Dis Pater, whose
name is most often taken to mean "Rich Father." Pluto was also identified with the obscure Roman Orcus, like Hades
the name of both a god of the underworld and the underworld as a place. The name Pluto is sometimes used for the
ruler of the dead in Latin literature, leading some mythology handbooks to assert misleadingly that Pluto was the
Roman counterpart of Hades, rather than an adopted Greek name identified with Dis Pater or Orcus.[4]

Hesiod's Theogony
The name Plouton does not appear in Hesiod's Theogony, where the six children of Kronos and Rhea are Zeus, Hera,
Poseidon, Hades, Demeter, and Hestia.[5] The male children divide the world into three realms. Hades takes
Persephone by force from her mother Demeter, with the consent of Zeus. Ploutos, "Wealth," appears in the
Theogony as the child of Demeter and Iasion: "fine Plutus, who goes upon the whole earth and the broad back of the
sea, and whoever meets him and comes into his hands, that man he makes rich, and he bestows much wealth upon
him." This union, also described in the Odyssey,[6] took place in a fallow field that had been ploughed three times, in
what seems to be a reference to a ritual copulation or sympathetic magic to ensure the earth's fertility.[7] "The
resemblance of the name Ploutos to Plouton …," it has been noted, "cannot be accidental. Plouton is lord of the
dead, but as Persephone's husband he has serious claims to the powers of fertility."[8] Demeter's son merges with her
son-in-law, redefining the implacable chariot-driver whose horses trample the flowering earth.[9]

Plouton and Ploutos


Plouton was one of several euphemistic names for Hades, described in
the Iliad as the god most hateful to mortals.[10] Plato says that people
prefer the name Plouton, "giver of wealth," because the name of Hades
is fear-provoking.[11] The name was understood as referring to "the
boundless riches of the earth, both the crops on its surface — he was
originally a god of the land — and the mines hidden within it."[12]
What is sometimes taken as "confusion" of the two gods Plouton and
Ploutos ("Wealth") held or acquired a theological significance in
antiquity; as a lord of abundance or riches, Pluto expresses the positive
aspect of the god, symbolized in art by the "horn of plenty"
(cornucopia),[13] by means of which Plouton is distinguished from the
Ploutos (or possibly Plouton) with the horn of
gloomier Hades.[14] abundance, in the company of Dionysos (4th
century BC)
At the time of Ennius (ca. 239–169 BC), the leading figure in the
Hellenization of Latin literature, Pluto was considered a Greek god to
be explained in terms of his Roman equivalents Dis Pater and Orcus.[15] It is unclear whether Pluto had a literary
presence in Rome before Ennius. Some scholars think that rituals and beliefs pertaining to Pluto entered Roman
culture with the establishment of the Saecular Games in 249 BC, and that Dis pater was only a translation of
Plouton.[16] Cicero identifies Pluto with Dis, explaining that "The earth in all its power and plenty is sacred to Father
Dis, a name which is the same as Dives, 'The Wealthy One,' as is the Greek Plouton. This is because everything is
born of the earth and returns to it again."[17]

The geographer Strabo (1st century) makes a distinction between Pluto and Hades. In writing of the mineral wealth
of ancient Iberia (Roman Spain), he says that among the Turdetani, it is "Pluto, and not Hades, who inhabits the
region down below."[18] In Lucian's discourse On Mourning (2nd century), Plouton's "wealth" is the dead he rules
over in the abyss (chasma); the name Hades is reserved for the underworld itself.[19]
Pluto (mythology) 158

Other identifications
In Greek religious practice, Pluto is sometimes seen as the "chthonic Zeus" (Zeus Chthonios[20] or Zeus
Catachthonios[21] ), or at least as having functions or significance equivalent to those of Zeus but pertaining to the
earth or underworld.[22] In ancient Roman and Hellenistic religion, Pluto was identified with a number of other
deities, including Summanus, the god of nocturnal thunder;[23] Februus, the god from whose purification rites the
month of February takes its name;[24] the syncretic god Serapis, regarded as Pluto's Egyptian equivalent;[25] and the
Semitic god Muth (Μούθ). Muth was described by Philo of Byblos as the equivalent of both Thanatos (Death
personified) and Pluto.[26] The ancient Greeks did not regard Pluto as "death" per se.[27]

Mythology
See also: Abduction of Persephone.
The best-known myth involving Pluto or Hades is the abduction of Persephone, also known as Kore ("the Maiden").
The earliest literary versions of the myth are a brief mention in Hesiod's Theogony and the extended narrative of the
Homeric Hymn to Demeter; the ruler of the underworld is named as Hades ("the Hidden One") in both these works.
In the hymn, Hades is given the epithet "son of Kronos", more commonly used of Zeus. He is an unsympathetic
figure, and Persephone's unwillingness is emphasized.[28] Increased usage of the name Plouton in religious
inscriptions and literary texts reflects the influence of the Eleusinian Mysteries, which treated Pluto and Persephone
as a divine couple who received initiates in the afterlife; Pluto was disassociated from the "violent abductor" of
Kore.[29]
The most influential Latin version of the abduction myth is found in the Metamorphoses of Ovid (Book 5), who tells
the story again in the Fasti (Book 4).[30] Another major retelling is the long unfinished poem De raptu Proserpinae
of Claudian. Ovid uses the name Dis, not Pluto in these two passages,[31] and Claudian uses Pluto only once;
translators and editors, however, sometimes supply the more familiar "Pluto" when other epithets appear in the
source text.[32] The mythographers Apollodorus (in Greek, 2nd century BC; see below) and Hyginus (in Latin,
1st-century BC)[33] in their accounts name the god as Pluto instead of Hades. The abduction myth was a popular
subject for Greek and Roman art, and recurs throughout Western art and literature, where the name "Pluto" becomes
common.

Offspring
The Augustan poet Vergil says that Pluto is the father of Allecto, the Fury, whom he hates.[34] In Orphic texts,[35] the
Eumenides ("The Kindly Ones") are the offspring of Persephone and Zeus Chthonios, often identified with Pluto,
and are distinguished from the Furies (Greek Erinyes).[36] The lack of a clear distinction between Pluto and
"chthonic Zeus" confuses the question of whether in some traditions, now obscure, Persephone bore children to her
husband. In the late 4th century, Claudian's epic on the abduction motivates Pluto with a desire for children. The
poem is unfinished, however, and anything Claudian may have known of these traditions is lost.[37]
Pluto (mythology) 159

Mysteries and cult


As Pluto gained importance within the Eleusinian Mysteries
throughout the 5th century BC as an embodiment of agricultural
wealth, the name Hades was increasingly reserved for the underworld
as a place.[38] Neither Hades nor Pluto was one of the traditional
Twelve Olympians, and Hades seems to have received limited cult,[39]
perhaps only at Elis, where the temple was opened once a year.[40] At
the time of Plato, the Athenians honored Plouton with the "strewing of
a couch" (tên klinên strôsai).[41] At Eleusis, Plouton had his own
priestess.[42] Pluto was worshipped with Persephone as a divine couple
at Knidos, Ephesos, Mytilene, and Sparta as well as at Eleusis, where
they were known simply as God (Theos) and Goddess (Thea).[43]
Scenes from the Eleusinian narrative, with
Persephone in the four-horse chariot of Pluto
In the ritual texts of the mystery religions preserved by the so-called
bottom center (red-figure volute-krater, ca. 340
Orphic or Bacchic gold tablets, the earliest extant examples of which BC, from Apulia)
date from the late 5th century BC,[44] the name Hades appears more
frequently than Plouton. Hades, however, most often refers to the underground place,[45] and Plouton to the ruler
who presides over it with Persephone.[46] After the end of the 4th century BC, the name Plouton begins to appear in
Greek metrical inscriptions.[47] Two fragmentary tablets greet Plouton and Persephone jointly,[48] and the divine
couple appear as welcoming figures in a metrical epitaph:

I know that even below the earth, if there is indeed a reward for the worthy ones,
the first and foremost honors, nurse,[49] shall be yours, next to Persephone and Pluto.[50]
Hesychius identifies Plouton with Eubouleus,[51] but other ancient sources distinguish between these two underworld
deities, and in the Mysteries Eubouleus plays the role of a torchbearer, possibly a guide for the initiate's return.[52]

Magic invocations
The names of both Hades and Pluto appear also in the Greek Magical Papyri and curse tablets, with Hades usually
referring to the underworld, and Pluto regularly invoked in connection to Persephone.[53] Five Latin curse tablets
from Rome, dating to the mid-1st century BC, promise Persephone and Pluto an offering of "dates, figs, and a black
pig" if the curse is fulfilled by the desired deadline. The pig was a characteristic animal sacrifice to chthonic deities,
whose victims were typically black or dark in color.[54]
A set of curse tablets written in Doric Greek and found in a tomb addresses a Pasianax, "Lord to All,"[55] sometimes
taken as a title of Pluto,[56] but more recently thought to be a magical name for the corpse.[57] Pasianax is found
elsewhere as an epithet of Zeus, or in the tablets may invoke a daimon like Abrasax.[58]

Sanctuaries of Pluto
Main article: Ploutonion.
A sanctuary dedicated to Pluto was called a ploutonion (Latin plutonium). The complex at Eleusis for the mysteries
had a ploutonion regarded as the birthplace of the divine child Ploutos, in another instance of conflation or close
association of the two.[59] Greek inscriptions record an altar of Pluto, which was to be "plastered", that is, resurfaced
for a new round of sacrifices at Eleusis.[60] One of the known ploutonia was in the sacred grove between Tralleis and
Nysa, where a temple of Plouton and Persephone was located. Visitors sought healing and dream oracles.[61] The
ploutonion at Hierapolis, Phrygia, was connected to the rites of Cybele, but during the Roman Imperial era was
subsumed by the cult of Apollo, as confirmed by archaeological investigations during the 1960s. It too was a dream
oracle.[62]
Pluto (mythology) 160

Iconography
Kevin Clinton attempted to distinguish the iconography of Hades, Plouton, Ploutos, and the Eleusinian Theos in
5th-century vase painting that depicts scenes from or relating to the mysteries. In Clinton's schema, Plouton is a
mature man, sometimes even white-haired; Hades is also usually bearded and mature, but his darkness is emphasized
in literary descriptions, represented in art by dark hair. Plouton's most common attribute is a scepter, but he also
often holds a full or overflowing cornucopia; Hades sometimes holds a horn, but it is depicted with no contents and
should be understood as a drinking horn. Unlike Plouton, Hades never holds agrarian attributes such as stalks of
grain. His chest is usually bare or only partly covered, whereas Plouton is fully robed (exceptions, however, are
admitted by the author). Plouton stands, often in the company of both Demeter and Kore, or sometimes one of the
goddesses, but Hades almost always sits or reclines, usually with Persephone facing him.[63] "Confusion and
disagreement" about the interpretation of these images remain.[64]

In Greek literature and philosophy


The name Plouton is first used in Greek literature by Athenian playwrights.[65] In Aristophanes' comedy The Frogs
(Batrachoi, 405 BC), in which "the Eleusinian colouring is in fact so pervasive,"[66] the ruler of the underworld is
one of the characters, under the name of Plouton. The play depicts a mock descent to the underworld by the god
Dionysus to bring back one of the dead tragic playwrights in the hope of restoring Athenian theater to its former
glory. Plouton is a silent presence onstage for about 600 lines presiding over a contest among the tragedians, then
announces that the winner has the privilege of returning to the upper world.[67] The play also draws on beliefs and
imagery from Orphic and Dionysiac cult, and rituals pertaining to Ploutos (Plutus).[68] In a fragment from another
play by Aristophanes, a character "is comically singing of the excellent aspects of being dead," asking in reference to
the tripartition of sovereignty over the world, "And where do you think Pluto gets his name (i.e. "Rich"), / if not
because he took the best portion? /… / How much better are things below than what Zeus possesses!"[69]
To Plato, the god of the underworld was "an agent in th[e] beneficent cycle of death and rebirth" meriting worship
under the name of Plouton, a giver of spiritual wealth.[70] Plato discusses the etymology of Plouton through his
interlocutor Socrates in the dialogue Cratylus. Socrates says that Plouton gives wealth (ploutos), and his name means
"giver of wealth, which comes out of the earth beneath." Because the name Hades is taken to mean "the invisible,"
people fear what they cannot see; although they are in error about the nature of this deity's power, Socrates says, "the
office and name of the God really correspond."
He is the perfect and accomplished Sophist, and the great
benefactor of the inhabitants of the other world; and even
to us who are upon earth he sends from below exceeding
blessings. For he has much more than he wants down
there; wherefore he is called Pluto (or the rich). Note also,
that he will have nothing to do with men while they are in
the body, but only when the soul is liberated from the
desires and evils of the body. Now there is a great deal of
philosophy and reflection in that; for in their liberated
state he can bind them with the desire of virtue, but while
they are flustered and maddened by the body, not even
father Cronos himself would suffice to keep them with him
in his own far-famed chains.[73]
[71] [72]
Persephone and Pluto or Hades on a
pinax from Locri
Pluto (mythology) 161

Since "the union of body and soul is not better than the loosing,"[74] death is not an evil. Walter Burkert thus saw
Pluto as a "god of dissolution."[75] Among the titles of Pluto was Isodaitēs, "divider into equal portions," a title that
connects him to the fate goddesses the Moirai.[76] Isodaitēs was also a cult title for Dionysus and Helios.[77]
In ordering his ideal city, Plato proposed a calendar in which Plouton was honored as a benefactor in the twelfth
month, implicitly ranking him as one of the twelve principal deities.[78] In the Attic calendar, the twelfth month,
more or less equivalent to June, was Skirophorion; the name may be connected to the rape of Persephone.[79]

Theogonies and cosmology

Euhemerism and Latinization


In the theogony of Euhemerus (4th century BC), the gods were treated as mortal rulers whose deeds were
immortalized by tradition. Ennius translated Euhemerus into Latin about a hundred years later, and a passage from
his version was in turn preserved by the early Christian writer Lactantius.[80] Here the union of Saturn (the Roman
equivalent of Kronos) and Ops, an Italic goddess of abundance, produces Jupiter, Juno, Neptune, Pluto, and Glauca:
Then Saturn took Ops to wife. Titan, the elder brother, demanded the kingship for himself. Vesta their
mother, with their sisters Ceres [Demeter] and Ops, persuaded Saturn not to give way to his brother in
the matter. Titan was less good-looking than Saturn; for that reason, and also because he could see his
mother and sisters working to have it so, he conceded the kingship to Saturn, and came to terms with
him: if Saturn had a male child born to him, it would not be reared. This was done to secure reversion of
the kingship to Titan's children. They then killed the first son that was born to Saturn. Next came twin
children, Jupiter and Juno. Juno was given to Saturn to see while Jupiter was secretly removed and given
to Vesta to be brought up without Saturn's knowledge. In the same way without Saturn knowing, Ops
bore Neptune and hid him away. In her third labor Ops bore another set of twins, Pluto and Glauce.
(Pluto in Latin is Diespiter;[81] some call him Orcus.) Saturn was shown his daughter Glauce but his son
Pluto was hidden and removed. Glauce then died young. That is the pedigree, as written, of Jupiter and
his brothers; that is how it has been passed down to us in holy scripture.
In this theogony, which Ennius introduced into Latin literature, Saturn, "Titan,"[82] Vesta, Ceres, and Ops are
siblings; Glauca is the twin of Pluto and dies mysteriously young. There are several mythological figures named
Glauca; the sister of Pluto may be the Glauca who in Cicero's account of the three aspects of Diana conceived the
third with the equally mysterious Upis.[83]

Apollodorus
The theogony presented by the 2nd-century BC Greek mythographer Apollodorus for the most part follows Hesiod
(see above), but Apollodorus uses the name Plouton instead of Hades and says that the three brothers were each
given a gift by the Cyclopes to use in their battle against the Titans: Zeus thunder and lightning; Poseidon a trident;
and Pluto a helmet (kyneê).[84] The helmet is assumed to be the magical Cap of Invisibility (aidos kyneê), but
Apollodorus is the only author who says it was a possession of Pluto.[85] Apollodorus also uses the name Plouton in
his account of the abduction.

Orphic and philosophical systems


The Orphic theogonies are notoriously varied,[86] and Orphic cosmology influenced the varying Gnostic theogonies
of late antiquity.[87] Clementine literature (4th century AD) preserves a theogony with explicit Orphic influence that
also draws on Hesiod, yielding a distinctive role for Pluto. When the primordial elements came together by orderly
cyclonic force, they produced a generative sphere, the "egg" from which the primeval Orphic entity Phanes is born
and the world is formed. The release of Phanes and his ascent to the heavenly top of the world-egg causes the matter
left in the sphere to settle in relation to its relative weight, creating the tripartite world of the traditional
Pluto (mythology) 162

theogonies:[88]
Its lower part, the heaviest element, sinks downwards, and is called Pluto because of its gravity, weight,
and great quantity (plêthos) of matter. After the separation of this heavy element in the middle part of
the egg the waters flow together, which they call Poseidon. The purest and noblest element, the fire, is
called Zeus, because its nature is glowing (ζέουσα, zeousa). It flies right up into the air, and draws up
the spirit, now called Metis, that was left in the underlying moisture. And when this spirit has reached
the summit of the ether, it is devoured by Zeus, who in his turn begets the intelligence (σύνεσις,
sunesis), also called Pallas. And by this artistic intelligence the etherial artificer creates the whole world.
This world is surrounded by the air, which extends from Zeus, the very hot ether, to the earth; this air is
called Hera.[89]
This cosmogony interprets Hesiod allegorically, and so the heaviest element is identified not as the Earth, but as the
netherworld of Pluto.[90] (In modern geochemistry, plutonium is the heaviest primordial element.) Supposed
etymologies are used to make sense of the relation of physical process to divine name; Plouton is here connected to
plêthos (abundance).[91]
In the Stoic system, Pluto represented the lower region of the air, where according to Seneca (1st century AD) the
soul underwent a kind of purgatory before ascending to the ether.[92] Within the Pythagorean and Neoplatonic
traditions, Pluto was allegorized as the region where souls are purified, located between the moon (as represented by
Persephone) and the sun. Plutarch says that the story of Persephone leaving Pluto for a period during the year is thus
a misunderstanding of the celestial and eschatological phenomena that the myth expresses; when the moon is in the
shadow of Earth, Persephone and Demeter are said to embrace, but when they part, they long for each other, and the
territory of Hades/Pluto comes between them.[93]
A dedicatory inscription from Smyrna describes a 1st–2nd century sanctuary to "God Himself" as the most exalted
of a group of six deities, including clothed statues of Plouton Helios and Koure Selene, "Pluto the Sun" and "Kore
the Moon."[94] The status of Pluto and Kore as a divine couple is marked by what the text describes as a "linen
embroidered bridal curtain."[95] The two are placed as bride and groom within an enclosed temple, separately from
the other deities cultivated at the sanctuary. Plouton Helios is mentioned in other literary sources in connection with
Koure Selene and Helios Apollo; the sun on its nighttime course was sometimes envisioned as traveling through the
underworld on its return to the east. Apuleius describes a rite in which the sun appears at midnight to the initiate at
the gates of Proserpina (the Latin name of Persephone/Kore); it has been suggested that this midnight sun could be
Plouton Helios.[96]
The Smyrna inscription also records the presence of Helios Apollo at the sanctuary. As two forms of Helios, Apollo
and Plouton pose a dichotomy:

Helios Apollo Plouton Helios

One Many

clarity invisibility

bright dark

memory [97]
oblivion

Given the collocation of deities and other details in the inscription, and on the basis of comparative material, it has
been argued that the sanctuary was in the keeping of a Pythagorean sodality or "brotherhood". The relation of Orphic
beliefs to the mystic strand of Pythagoreanism, or of these to Platonism and Neoplatonism, is complex and much
debated.[98]
The Neoplatonist Proclus (5th century AD) considered Pluto the third demiurge, a sublunar demiurge who was also
identified variously with Poseidon or Hephaestus. This idea is present in Renaissance Neoplatonism, as for instance
in the cosmology of Marsilio Ficino (1433–99),[99] who translated Orphic texts into Latin for his own use.[100]
Pluto (mythology) 163

Ficino saw the sublunar demiurge as "a daemonic 'many-headed' sophist, a magus, an enchanter, a fashioner of
images and reflections, a shape-changer of himself and of others, a poet in a way of being and of not-being, a royal
Pluto." This demiurgic figure identified with Pluto is also "'a purifier of souls' who presides over the magic of love
and generation and who uses a fantastic counter-art to mock, but also … to supplement, the divine icastic or truly
imitative art of the sublime translunar Demiurge."[101]

Notes
[1] William Hansen, Classical Mythology: A Guide to the Mythical World of the Greeks and Romans (Oxford University Press, 2004), p. 180.
[2] Hansen, Classical Mythology, p. 180–181.
[3] Hansen, Classical Mythology, p. 182.
[4] Hansen, Classical Mythology, p. 182.
[5] In Book 3 of the Sibylline Oracles, dating mostly to the 2nd century AD, Rhea gives birth to Pluto as she passes by Dodona, "where the
watery paths of the River Europus flowed, and the water ran into the sea, merged with the Peneius. This is also called the Stygian river"; see
Rieuwerd Buitenwerf, Book III of the Sibylline Oracles and Its Social Setting (Brill, 2003), p. 157.
[6] Odyssey 5.125–128: And so it was when Demeter of the lovely hair, yielding / to her desire, lay down with Iasion and loved him / in a
thrice-turned field (translation of Richmond Lattimore).
[7] Hesiod, Theogony 969–74; Apostolos N. Athanassakis, Hesiod. Theogony, Works and Days, Shield (Johns Hopkins University Press, 1983,
2004), p. 56.
[8] Athanassakis, Hesiod, p. 56.
[9] Emily Vermeule, Aspects of Death in Early Greek Art and Poetry (University of California Press, 1979), p. 37; Hendrik Wagenvoort, "The
Origin of the Ludi Saeculares," in Studies in Roman Literature, Culture and Religion (Brill, 1956), p. 198.
[10] Hansen, Classical Mythology, pp. 162 and 182, citing Homer, Iliad 9.158–159. Euphemism is a characteristic way of speaking of divine
figures associated with the dead and the underworld; Joseph William Hewitt, "The Propitiation of Zeus," Harvard Studies in Classical
Philology 19 (1908), p. 66, considers euphemism a form of propitiation.
[11] Plato, Cratylus 403a; Glenn R. Morrow, Plato's Cretan City: A Historical Interpretation of the Laws (Princeton University Press, 1993), pp.
452–453.
[12] Fernando Navarro Antolin, Lygdamus: Corpus Tibullianum III.1–6, Lygdami Elegiarum Liber (Brill, 1996), pp. 145–146.
[13] Charlotte R. Long, The Twelve Gods of Greece and Rome (Brill, 1987), p. 179; Phyllis Fray Bober, “Cernunnos: Origin and Transformation
of a Celtic Divinity,” American Journal of Archaeology 55 (1951), p. 28, examples in Greek and Roman art in note 98; Hewitt, "The
Propitiation of Zeus," p. 65.
[14] Tsagalis, Inscribing Sorrow, pp. 101–102; Morrow, Plato's Cretan City, pp. 452–453; John J. Hermann, Jr., "Demeter-Isis or the Egyptian
Demeter? A Graeco-Roman Sculpture from an Egyptian Workshop in Boston" in Jahrbuch des Deutschen Archäologischen Instituts 114
(1999), p. 88.
[15] Pluto Latine est Dis pater, alii Orcum vocant ("In Latin, Pluto is Dis Pater; others call him Orcus"): Ennius, Euhemerus frg. 7 in the edition
of Vahlen = Var. 78 = E.H. Warmington, Remains of Old Latin (Heinemann, 1940), vol. 1, p. 421. The Augustan poet Horace retains the
Greek accusative form of the noun (Plutona instead of Latin Plutonem) at Carmen 2.14.7, as noted by John Conington, P. Vergili Maronis
Opera (London, 1883), vol. 3, p. 36.
[16] H.D. Jocelyn, The Tragedies of Ennius (Cambridge University Press, 1967), p. 331, with reference to Kurt Latte, Römische
Religionsgeschichte (C.H. Beck, 1967, 1992), p. 246ff.
[17] Cicero, De natura deorum 2.66, translation of John MacDonald Ross (Penguin Books, 1972): Terrena autem vis omnis atque natura Diti
patri dedicata est, qui dives, ut apud Graecos Πλούτων quia et recidunt omnia in terras et oriuntur e terris.
[18] Strabo 3.9 (http:/ / penelope. uchicago. edu/ Thayer/ E/ Roman/ Texts/ Strabo/ 3B*. html#9), citing Poseidonius as his source, who in turn
cites Demetrius of Phalerum on the silver mines of Attica, where "the people dig as strenuously as if they expected to bring up Pluto himself"
(Loeb Classical Library translation, in the LacusCurtius edition).
[19] Lucian, On Mourning (see Greek text (http:/ / books. google. com/ books?id=kmlJAAAAIAAJ& printsec=frontcover&
dq=inauthor:"Lucian+ (of+ Samosata. )"& hl=en& ei=hwEiTaXqB4_enQfNquShDg& sa=X& oi=book_result& ct=result& resnum=10&
ved=0CFMQ6AEwCTgU#v=onepage& q& f=false)); Peter Bolt, Jesus' Defeat of Death: Persuading Mark's Early Readers (Cambridge
University Press, 2003) discusses this passage (pp. 126–127} and Greco-Roman conceptions of the underworld as a context for Christian
eschatology passim.
[20] Noel Robertson, Religion and Reconciliation in Greek Cities: The Sacred Laws of Selinus and Cyrene (Oxford University Press, 2010), p.
102.
[21] Hewitt, "The Propitiation of Zeus," p. 74, asserts that "Zeus Catachthonius seems certainly to be Pluto." Other deities to whom the title
Katachthonios was affixed include Demeter, Persephone, and the Furies; Eugene Lane, "The Epithets of Men," Corpus monumentorum
religionis dei Menis: Interpretation and Testimonia (Brill, 1976), vol. 3, p. 77, citing the entry on Katachthonioi in Roscher, Lexikon II, i, col.
998ff.
[22] Zeus Chthonius and Pluto are seen as having "the same significance" in the Orphic Hymns and in the Dionysiaca of Nonnus (6.156ff.), by
Hewitt, "The Propitiation of Zeus," p. 74, note 7. Overlapping functions are also suggested when Hesiod advises farmers to pray to "Zeus
Pluto (mythology) 164

Chthonius and to holy Demeter that they may cause the holy corn of Demeter to teem in full perfection." This form of Zeus receives the black
victims typically offered to underworld deities.
[23] Martianus Capella, De Nuptiis 2.161.
[24] Martianus Capella, De nuptiis 2.149; Isidore of Seville, Etymologies 5.33.4; Servius, note to Vergil's Georgics 1.43 (Vergil refrains from
naming the god); John Lydus, De mensibus 4.25.
[25] Plutarch, De Iside 27 (http:/ / penelope. uchicago. edu/ Thayer/ E/ Roman/ Texts/ Plutarch/ Moralia/ Isis_and_Osiris*/ B. html) (361e): "In
fact, men assert that Pluto is none other than Serapis and that Persephone is Isis, even as Archemachus of Euboea has said, and also
Heracleides Ponticus who holds the oracle in Canopus to be an oracle of Pluto" (Loeb Classical Library translation of 1936, LacusCurtius
edition). Also spelled Sarapis. See Jaime Alvar, Romanising Oriental Gods: Myth, Salvation, and Ethics in the Cults of Cybele, Isis, and
Mithras, translated by Richard Gordon (Brill, 2008), pp. 53 online (http:/ / books. google. com/ books?id=FH841IBf7mwC& pg=PA53&
dq=pluto& lr=& cd=11#v=onepage& q=pluto& f=false) and 58; Hermann, "Demeter-Isis or the Egyptian Demeter?", p. 84.
[26] Eusebius, Praeparatio Evangelica 1.10.34 (http:/ / www. ccel. org/ ccel/ pearse/ morefathers/ files/ eusebius_pe_01_book1. htm), attributing
this view to the semi-legendary Phoenician author Sanchuniathon via Philo of Byblos. In addition to asserting that Muth was equivalent to
both Thanatos (Death personified) and Pluto, Philo said he was the son of Kronos and Rhea. See entry on "Mot," Dictionary of Deities and
Demons in the Bible, edited by Karel van der Toorn, Bob Becking and Pieter Willem van der Horst (William B. Eerdmans Publishing, 1999,
2nd ed.), p. 598, and Religions of the Ancient World: A Guide, edited by Sarah Iles Johnston (Harvard University Press, 2004), p. 479. Philo's
cosmogony as summarized by Eusebius bears some similarities to that of Hesiod and the Orphics; see Sanchuniathon's history of the gods and
"Theogonies and cosmology" below. Philo said that these were reinterpretations of "Phoenician" beliefs by the Greeks.
[27] Hansen, Classical Mythology, p. 182.
[28] Diane Rayor, The Homeric Hymns (University of California Press, 2004), pp. 107–109.
[29] Christos Tsagalis, Inscribing Sorrow: Fourth-century Attic Funerary Epigrams (Berlin: Walter de Gruyter, 2008), pp. 101–102.
[30] Andrew D. Radford, The Lost Girls: Demeter-Persephone and the Literary Imagination, 1850–1930 (Editions Rodopi, 2007), p. 24. For an
extensive comparison of Ovid's two treatments of the myth, with reference to versions such as the Homeric Hymn to Demeter, see Stephen
Hinds, The Metamorphosis of Persephone: Ovid and the Self-Conscious Muse (Cambridge University Press, 1987), limited preview online.
(http:/ / books. google. com/ books?id=o2o4ZiyIjmAC& printsec=frontcover#v=onepage& q& f=false)
[31] In Book 6 of the Aeneid (the catabasis of Aeneas), Vergil also names the ruler of the underworld as Dis, not Pluto.
[32] See also, for instance, J.J.L. Smolenaars, Statius. Thebaid VII: A Commentary (Brill, 1994), passim (http:/ / books. google. com/
books?id=gpDQnPv0HvIC& dq=pluto+ intitle:Statius+ intitle:Thebaid+ intitle:VII& q=pluto#v=snippet& q=pluto& f=false), or John G.
Fitch, Seneca's 'Hercules Furens' (Cornell University Press, 1987), passim (http:/ / books. google. com/ books?id=m4X_7m7ama4C&
dq=pluto+ thanatos& q=pluto+ OR+ plutonem+ OR+ plutone+ OR+ plutoni+ OR+ plutonis#v=snippet& q=pluto OR plutonem OR plutone
OR plutoni OR plutonis& f=false), where the ruler of the underworld is referred to as "Pluto" in the English commentary, but as "Dis" or with
other epithets in the Latin text.
[33] Hyginus, Fabulae 146.
[34] Vergil, Aeneid 7.327: odit et ipse pater Pluton … monstrum.
[35] Orphic fragments 197 and 360 (edition of Kern) and Orphic Hymn 70, as cited by Helene P. Foley, Hymn to Demeter (Princeton University
Press, 1994), p. 110, note 97.
[36] Robertson, Religion and Reconciliation in Greek Cities, p. 102. Vergil conflates the Eumenides and the Furies, and elsewhere says that
Night (Nox) is their mother. Proclus, in his commentary on the Cratylus of Plato, provides passages from the Orphic Rhapsodies that give two
different genealogies of the Eumenides, one making them the offspring of Persephone and Pluto (or Hades) and the other reporting a prophesy
that they were to be born to Persephone and Apollo (Robertson, Religion and Reconciliation, p. 101).
[37] Foley, Hymn to Demeter, p. 110. Justin Martyr alludes to children of Pluto (Apology 2.5 (http:/ / www. ccel. org/ ccel/ schaff/ anf01. viii. iii.
v. html)), but neither names nor enumerates them; see discussion of the context by David Dawson, Allegorical Readers and Cultural Revision
in Ancient Alexandria (University of California Press, 1992), pp. 193–194. In defining the cult title Ἰσοδαίτης (Isodaitês, 778 in the 1867
edition of Schmidt), Hesychius mentions a "son of Pluto."
[38] Tsagalis, Inscribing Sorrow, p. 102. The shift may have begun as early as the 6th century. The earliest evidence of the assimilation of Hades
and Ploutos/Plouton is a phiale from Douris dating to ca. 490 BC, according to Jan N. Bremmer, "W. Brede Kristensen and the Religions of
Greece and Rome," in Man, Meaning, and Mystery: Hundred Years of History of Religions in Norway. The Heritage of W. Brede Kristensen
(Brill, 2000), pp. 125–126. A point of varying emphasis is whether the idea of Plouton as a god of wealth was a later development, or an
inherent part of his nature, owing to the underground storage of grain in the pithoi that were also used for burial. For a summary of these
issues, see Cora Angier Sowa, Traditional Themes and the Homeric Hymns (Bolchazy-Carducci, 1984, 2005), p. 356, note 105.
[39] Morrow, Plato's Cretan City, p. 452; Long, The Twelve Gods, p. 154.
[40] Farnell, The Cults of the Greek States, p. 281.
[41] Long, The Twelve Gods, p. 179. See lectisternium for the "strewing of couches" in ancient Rome. Two inscriptions from Attica record the
names of individuals who participated in the ritual at different times: IG II21933 and 1934 (http:/ / epigraphy. packhum. org/ inscriptions/
main), as cited by Robert Develin, Athenian Officials, 684–321 B.C. (Cambridge University Press, 1989, 2003), p. 417.
[42] Nicholas F. Jones, The Associations of Classical Athens: The Response to Democracy (Oxford University Press, 1999), p. 125, citing IG
II21363, dating ca. 330–270; Karl Kerényi, Eleusis: Archetypal Image of Mother and Daughter (Princeton University Press, 1967), pp.
110–111.
[43] Tsagalis, Inscribing Sorrow, pp. 101–102.
Pluto (mythology) 165

[44] Fritz Graf and Sarah Iles Johnston, Ritual Texts and the Afterlife (Routledge, 2007), first page (not numbered).
[45] The recurring phrase "house of Hades" (῾Αΐδαο δόμος) can be read ambiguously as either the divine being or the place, or both. In the
numbering of Graf and Johnston, Ritual Texts and the Afterlife, "house of Hades" appears in Tablet 1, line 2 (Hipponion, Calabria, Magna
Graecia, ca. 400 BC), which refers again to Hades as a place ("what you are seeking in the darkness of murky Hades", line 9), with the king of
the underworld (ὑποχθονίοι βασιλεϊ, hypochthonioi basilei) alluded to in line 13; Tablet 2, line 1 (Petelia, present-day Strongoli, Magna
Graecia, 4th century BC); and Tablet 25 (Pharsalos, Thessaly, 350–300 BC). Hades is also discernible on the "carelessly inscribed" Tablet 38
from a Hellenistic-era grave in Hagios Athanasios, near Thessalonike.
[46] Giovanni Casadio and Patricia A. Johnston, "Introduction", Mystic Cults in Magna Graecia (University of Texas Press, 2009), p. 21.
[47] Tsagalis, Inscribing Sorrow, p. 101.
[48] Tablets 15 (Eleuthera 6, 2nd/1st century BC) and 17 (Rethymnon 1, from the early Roman Empire, 25–40 AD), from Crete, in the
numbering of Graf and Johnston.
[49] Sometimes read as "father," as in the translation given by Alberto Bernabé and Ana Isabel Jiménez San Cristóbal, Instructions for the
Netherworld: The Orphic Gold Tablets (Brill, 2008), p. 84.
[50] Παρὰ Φερσεφόνει Πλούτωνί τε: Tsagalis, Inscribing Sorrow, pp. 100–101. Tsagalis discusses this inscription in light of the Homeric Hymn
to Demeter and the Thesmophoria.
[51] The entry in Hesychius reads: Εὐβουλεύς (sch. Nic. Al. 14) · ὁ Πλούτων. παρὰ δὲ τοῖς πολλοῖς ὁ Ζεὺς ἐν Κυρήνη (Eubouleus: ho Ploutôn.
para de toîs polloîs ho Zeus en Kyrene), 643 (Schmidt).
[52] Kevin Clinton, "The Mysteries of Demeter and Kore," in A Companion to Greek Religion (Wiley-Blackwell, 2010), pp. 347–353. In the
view of Lewis Richard Farnell, The Cults of the Greek States (Clarendon Press, 1907), vol. 3, p. 145, Eubouleus was originally a title referring
to the "good counsel" the ruler of the underworld was able to give and which was sought at Pluto's dream oracles; by the 2nd century BC,
however, he had acquired a separate identity.
[53] Hans Dieter Betz, The Greek Magical Papyri in Translation (University of Chicago Press, 1986, 1992), passim (http:/ / books. google. com/
books?id=K0hCj5u3HNQC& dq=hades+ intitle:greek+ intitle:magical+ intitle:Papyri& q=hades#v=snippet& q=hades& f=false); John G.
Gager, Curse Tablets and Binding Spells from the Ancient World (Oxford University Press, 1992), p. 12 (examples invoking Pluto pp. 99, 135,
143–144, 207–209) and passim (http:/ / books. google. com/ books?id=rmhw2eVJnS0C& dq=pluto+ OR+ pluton+ OR+ plouton+ OR+
plutonius+ intitle:curse+ inauthor:Gager& q=hades#v=snippet& q=hades& f=false) on Hades.
[54] Bolt, Jesus' Defeat of Death, p. 152; John Scheid, "Sacrifices for Gods and Ancestors", in A Companion to Roman Religion (Blackwell,
2007), p. 264.
[55] Daniel Ogden, Magic, Witchcraft, and Ghosts in the Greek and Roman Worlds (Oxford University Press, 2002), p. 212, with English
translation of the curse.
[56] Gager, Curse Tablets, p. 131, with translations of both tablets, and note 35.
[57] Derek Collins, Magic in the Ancient Greek World (Blackwell, 2008), p. 73.
[58] Esther Eidinow, "Why the Athenians Began to Curse," in Debating the Athenian Cultural Revolution: Art, Literature, Philosophy and
Politics 430–380 BC (Cambridge University Press, 2007), p. 50; Ogden, Magic, Withcraft, and Ghosts, p. 212.
[59] Bernard Dietrich, "The Religious Prehistory of Demeter's Eleusinian Mysteries," in La soteriologia dei culti orientali nell' Impero Romano
(Brill, 1982), p. 454.
[60] Robertson, Religion and Reconciliation, p. 163 online (http:/ / books. google. com/ books?id=5pyER-1-8VcC& pg=PA163& dq="altar+ of+
pluto"& hl=en& ei=-rIgTd_LH4SHnAfYvLyVDg& sa=X& oi=book_result& ct=result& resnum=4& ved=0CDMQ6AEwAw#v=onepage&
q="altar of pluto"& f=false), citing IG 13356.155 and IG 221672.140; see also The Sanctuary of Demeter and Kore: Topography and
Architecture (American School of Classical Studies, 1997), p. 76, note 31.
[61] Strabo 14.1.44 (http:/ / books. google. com/ books?id=lfMrAAAAYAAJ& pg=PA25& dq=ploutonion+ OR+ plutonion+ OR+ plutonium+
inauthor:Strabo& lr=& as_drrb_is=q& as_minm_is=0& as_miny_is=& as_maxm_is=0& as_maxy_is=& num=100& as_brr=3&
cd=1#v=onepage& q=ploutonion OR plutonion OR plutonium inauthor:Strabo& f=false); "Summaries of Periodicals," American Journal of
Archaeology 7 (1891), p. 209; Hewitt, "The Propitiation of Zeus," p. 93.
[62] Frederick E. Brenk, "Jerusalem-Hierapolis. The Revolt under Antiochos IV Epiphanes in the Light of Evidence for Hierapolis of Phrygia,
Babylon, and Other Cities," in Relighting the Souls: Studies in Plutarch, in Greek Literature, Religion, and Philosophy, and in the New
Testament Background (Franz Steiner, 1998), pp. 382–384, citing Photius, Life of Isidoros 131 on the dream.
[63] Kevin Clinton, Myth and Cult: The Iconography of the Eleusinian Mysteries (Stockholm, 1992), pp. 105. As Clinton notes (p. 107), the
Lexicon Iconographicum Mythologiae Classicae does not distinguish between Hades and Plouton, and combines evidence for either in a
single entry.
[64] Catherine M. Keesling, "Endoios's Painting from the Themistoklean Wall: A Reconstruction," Hesperia 68.4 (1999), p. 544, note 160.
[65] Farnell, The Cults of the Greek States, p. 281.
[66] A.M. Bowie, Aristophanes: Myth, Ritual and Comedy (Cambridge University Press, 1993, 1996), p. 229.
[67] As summarized by Benjamin Bickley Rogers, The Comedies of Aristophanes (London, 1902), pp. xvii and 214 (note to line 1414).
[68] Bowie, Aristophanes, pp. 231–233, 269–271.
[69] Bernabé and Jiménez San Cristóbal, Instructions for the Netherworld, pp. 127–128.
[70] Morrow, Plato's Cretan City, pp. 452–453.
[71] Identified as Pluto by Bernabé and Jiménez San Cristóbal, Instructions for the Netherworld, p. 275.
[72] Identified as Hades by Hansen, Classical Mythology, p. 181.
Pluto (mythology) 166

[73] Translation by Benjamin Jowett, The Dialogues of Plato (London, 1873), vol. 1.
[74] Plato, Laws 828d, translation from Long, The Twelve Gods, p. 69.
[75] Walter Burkert, Greek Religion (Harvard University Press, 1985, originally published 1977 in German), pp. 231, 336. See also Homo
Necans (University of California Press, 1983, originally published 1972 in German), p. 143.
[76] Hesychius, entry on Ἰσοδαίτης, 778 in the 1867 edition of Schmidt, as translated and discussed by Richard Seaford, Money and the Early
Greek Mind: Homer, Philosophy, Tragedy (Cambridge University Press, 2004), p. 51. Hesychius notes that Isodaites may alternatively refer to
a son of Pluto as well as Pluto himself.
[77] H.S. Versnel, Inconsistencies in Greek and Roman Religion: Transition and Reversal in Myth and Ritual (Brill, 1993, 1994), p. 119,
especially note 93.
[78] Plato, Laws 828 B-D; Morrow, Plato's Cretan City p. 452; Long, The Twelve Gods, p. 179.
[79] Morrow, Plato's Cretan City, p. 453; Long, The Twelve Gods, p. 179.
[80] Lactantius, Divine Institutes 1.14; Brian P. Copenhaver, Polydore Vergil: On Discovery (Harvard University Press, 2002), p. 564.
[81] This parenthetical remark is part of the original text, which is more often read as Dis pater. The relation of the title Dis Pater to Diespiter in
Latin is debated; the latter is usually thought to refer to Jupiter.
[82] "Titan" usually refers to a class or race of deities, but sometimes means Helios or other divine personifications of the Sun.
[83] Cicero, De natura deorum 3.58: "Likewise, there are multiple Dianas. The first is said to have been born as a winged Cupid, with Jove and
Proserpina [as parents]. The second, whom we regard as the daughter of the third Jove and Latona, is better known. A tradition holds that Upis
is the father and Glauca the mother of the third [Diana]" (Dianae item plures: prima Iovis et Proserpinae, quae pinnatum Cupidinem genuisse
dicitur; secunda notior, quam Iove tertio et Latona natam accepimus; tertiae pater Upis traditur, Glauce mater: eam saepe Graeci Upim
paterno nomine appellant); Copenhaver, Polydore Vergil: On Discovery, p. 564.
[84] Apollodorus, The Library 1.1–2, 1911 Loeb Classical Library edition, translation and notes by J.G. Frazer.
[85] Hansen, Classical Mythology, p. 182. The verbal play of aidos, "invisible," and Hades is thought to account for Apollodorus's attribution of
the helmet to the ruler of the underworld, since no narratives record his use or possession of it. Apparent references to the "helmet of Pluto" in
other authors, such as Irenaeus ( Against Heresies (http:/ / books. google. com/ books?id=fyUMAAAAIAAJ& dq=offspring+ pluto+ OR+
pluton+ OR+ plouton+ OR+ plutonius& q="helmet+ of+ Pluto"#v=snippet& q="helmet of Pluto"& f=false)), are misleading; "Pluto" is
substituted by the English translator for "Hades."
[86] Gábor Betegh, The Derveni Papyrus: Cosmology, Theology and Interpretations (Cambridge University Press, 2004), p. 151, has noted that
"one cannot establish a linear descent between the different versions"; though efforts to do so have been made, "we cannot find a single
mytheme which would occur invariably in all the accounts and could thus create the core of all Orphic theogonies."
[87] J. van Amersfoort, "Traces of an Alexandrian Orphic Theogony in the Pseudo-Clementines," in Studies in Gnosticism and Hellenistic
Religions, Presented to Gilles Quispel on the Occasion of His 65th Birthday (Brill, 1981), p. 13.
[88] Van Amersfoort, "Traces of an Alexandrian Orphic Theogony," pp. 16–17.
[89] Van Amersfoort, "Traces of an Alexandrian Orphic Theogony," pp. 17–18. Betegh, The Derveni Papyrus, p. 151, summarizes this version
as follows: "The story starts with Chaos; then comes the egg; the bottom part of the egg submerges and becomes Pluton, and Kronos — not a
separate god but identified with Chronos — swallows this heavy matter. The middle part, covering the first sediment, becomes Poseidon. The
upper part of the egg, being purer and lighter, fiery in nature, goes upward and is called Zeus, and so forth."
[90] Van Amersfoort, "Traces of an Alexandrian Orphic Theogony," p. 23; Betegh, The Derveni Papyrus, p. 150.
[91] Arthur Bernard Cook, Zeus: A Study in Ancient Religion (Cambridge University Press, 1925), p. 746.
[92] Cornutus 5; Varro, De lingua latina 5.66; Seneca, Consolatio ad Marciam 25; all as cited by Joseph B. Mayor, De natura deorum libri tres
(Cambridge University Press, 1883), vol. 2, p. 175, note to 2.26.66.
[93] Plutarch, The Face of the Moon, LacusCurtius edition of the Loeb Classical Library translation online (http:/ / penelope. uchicago. edu/
Thayer/ E/ Roman/ Texts/ Plutarch/ Moralia/ The_Face_in_the_Moon*/ D. html); discussed by Leonard L. Thompson, "ISmyrna 753: Gods
and the One God," in Reading Religions in the Ancient World: Essays Presented to Robert McQueen Grant on His 90th Birthday (Brill, 2007),
p. 113, with reference also to Iamblichus.
[94] Thompson, "ISmyrna 753," p. 101ff. The other deities are Helios Apollo, who is paired with Artemis (p. 106); Zeus, who is subordinated to
"God Himself"; and Mēn, an Anatolian moon deity sometimes identified with Attis, who had a table before him for ceremonial dining (pp.
106, 109).
[95] Thompson, "ISmyrna 753," pp. 104–105.
[96] Thompson, "ISmyrna 753," p. 111.
[97] Thompson, "ISmyrna 753," pp. 110–111, 114, with reference to the teachings of Ammonius as recorded by Plutarch, The E at Delphi. (http:/
/ penelope. uchicago. edu/ misctracts/ plutarchE. html) See also Frederick E. Brenk, "Plutarch's Middle Platonic God," Gott und die Götter bei
Plutarch (Walter de Gruyter, 2005), pp. 37–43, on Plutarch's etymological plays that produce these antitheses.
[98] Thompson, "ISmyrna 753," passim, conclusion presented on p. 119. See also Neoplatonism and Gnosticism.
[99] Entry on "Demiurge," The Classical Tradition (Harvard University Press, 2010), p. 256.
[100] Entry on "Orpheus," The Classical Tradition, p. 665. It was even said that the soul of Orpheus had been reborn into Ficino.
[101] Entry on "Demiurge," in The Classical Tradition p. 256.
Pluvius 167

Pluvius
Jupiter Pluvius was the reliever of droughts. See Jupiter (god) for
more details. The name could also be used to describe the Hyades.
In Frank O'Connor's Guest's of the Nation The old woman blames the
drought entirely on Jupiter Pluvius.

Illustration of Jupiter Pluvius (1856)

Portunes
Topics in Roman mythology

Important Gods:

Jupiter Minerva

Mars Mercury

Quirinus Vulcan

Vesta Ceres

Juno Venus

Fortuna Lares

Topics

Roman Kingdom

Religion in ancient Rome

Flamens

Roman, Greek, and Etruscan mythologies compared

Other gods of craft and trade:

Penates Lemures

Dei Lucrii Eventus Bonus

Furrina Portunes
Portunes 168

In Roman mythology, Portunes (alternatively spelled Portumnes


or Portunus) was a god of keys and doors and livestock. He
protected the warehouses where grain was stored. Probably
because of folk associations between porta "gate, door" and portus
"harbor", the "gateway" to the sea, Portunus later became
conflated with Palaemon and evolved into a god primarily of ports
and harbors.[1] In the Latin adjective importunus his name was
applied to untimely waves and weather and contrary winds, and
the Latin echoes in English opportune and its old-fashioned
antonym importune, meaning "well-timed' and "badly-timed".
Temple of Portunus in the Forum Boarium
Hence Portunus is behind both an opportunity and importunate or
badly-timed solicitations (OED).

His festival, celebrated on August 16, the seventeenth day before the Kalends of September, was the Portumnalia, a
minor occasion in the Roman year. On this day, keys were thrown into a fire for good luck in a very solemn and
lugubrious manner. His attribute was a key and his main temple in the city of Rome, the Temple of Portunus, was to
be found in the Forum Boarium.
Portunus appears to be closely related to the god Janus, with whom he shares many characters, functions and the
symbol of the key[2] . He too was represented as a two headed being, with each head facing opposite directions, on
coins and as figurehead of ships. He was considered to be "deus portuum et portarumque praeses"[3]
The relationship between the two gods is underlined by the fact that the date chosen for the dedication of the rebuilt
temple of Janus in the Forum Holitorium by emperor Tiberius is the day of the Portunalia, August 17.[4]
Linguist Giuliano Bonfante has speculated, on the grounds of his cult and of the meaning of his name, that he should
be a very archaic deity and might date back to an era when Latins lived in dwellings built on pilings.[5] He argues
that in Latin the words porta (door, gate) and portus (harbour, port) share their etymology from the same IE root
meaning ford, wading point.
His flamen, the flamen Portunalis one of the flamines minores performed the ritual of oiling the spear (hasta) on the
statue of god Quirinus, with an ointment especially prepared for this purpose and stored in a small vase
(persillum).[6]

Notes
[1] "Portunus gives to the sailor perfect safety in traversing the seas; but why has the raging sea cast up so many cruelly-shattered wrecks?" the
Christian apologist Arnobius asks, ca 300 CE (Seven Books against the Heathen III.23 ( on-line text (http:/ / www. intratext. com/ IXT/
ENG1008/ __P3. HTM)).
[2] Paul. p. 161 L2
[3] Scholium Veron. on Aeneid V.241
[4] Georges Dumézil La religion romaine archaïque Paris, 1974, part I, chap.4
[5] G. Bonfante "Tracce di terminologia palafitticola nel vocabolario latino?" Atti dell'Istituto Veneto di scienze, lettere e arti 97 (1937:53-70).
[6] Fest. p. 321 L2
Portunes 169

References
• Marcus Terentius Varro, De Lingua Latina vii.19.

External links
• William Smith, 1875. A Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities( John Murray, London,): "Portumnalia"
(http://penelope.uchicago.edu/Thayer/E/Roman/Texts/secondary/SMIGRA*/Portumnalia.html)
•  Chisholm, Hugh, ed (1911). "Portunus". Encyclopædia Britannica (Eleventh ed.). Cambridge University Press.

Porus (mythology)
There are two related mythological figures named Porus (Ancient Greek: Πόρος "resource" or "plenty") in Greek
classical literature. In Plato's Symposium, Porus, or Poros, was the personification of plenty. He was seduced by
Penia (poverty) while drunk on more than his fill of nectar at Aphrodite's birthday. Penia gave birth to Eros (love)
from their union. Porus was the son of Metis. This figure exists in Roman mythology as well, in which Porus is the
personification of abundance. He is the sister of Athena.
Quirinus 170

Quirinus
Ancient Roman religion

Practices and beliefs


Imperial cult  · festivals  · ludi
mystery religions · funerals
temples · auspice · sacrifice
votum · libation · lectisternium

Priesthoods
College of Pontiffs · Augur
Vestal Virgins · Flamen · Fetial
Epulones · Arval Brethren
Quindecimviri sacris faciundis

Dii Consentes
Jupiter · Juno · Neptune · Minerva
Mars · Venus · Apollo · Diana
Vulcan · Vesta · Mercury · Ceres

Other deities
Janus · Quirinus · Saturn ·
Hercules · Faunus · Priapus
Bacchus (Liber) · Bona Dea · Ops
Castor and Pollux · Cupid
Chthonic deities: Proserpina ·
Dis Pater · Pluto · Orcus ·
Hecate · Di Manes
Domestic and local deities:
Lares · Di Penates · Genius
Hellenistic deities: Sol Invictus · Magna Mater · Isis ·
Mithras
Deified emperors:
Divus Julius  · Divus Augustus
See also List of Roman deities

Related topics
Roman mythology
Glossary of ancient Roman religion
Religion in ancient Greece
Etruscan religion
Gallo-Roman religion
Decline of Hellenistic polytheism

In Roman mythology, Quirinus was an early god of the Roman state. In Augustan Rome, Quirinus was also an
epithet of Janus, as Janus Quirinus.[1] His name is derived from Quiris meaning "spear."
Quirinus 171

History
Quirinus was originally most likely a Sabine god of war. The Sabines had a settlement near the eventual site of
Rome, and erected an altar to Quirinus on the Collis Quirinalis, the Quirinal Hill, one of the Seven Hills of Rome.
When the Romans settled there, they absorbed the cult of Quirinus into their early belief system — previous to direct
Greek influence — and by the end of the first century BC Quirinus was considered to be the deified Romulus.[2] [3]
He soon became an important god of the Roman state, being included in the earliest precursor of the Capitoline
Triad, along with Mars (then an agriculture god) and Jupiter.[4] Varro notes the Capitolium Vetus an earlier cult sited
on the Quirinal, devoted to Jupiter, Juno and Minerva,[5] among whom Martial makes a distinction between the "old
Jupiter" and the "new".[6]
In later times, however, Quirinus became far less important, losing his place to the later, more widely known
Capitoline Triad (Juno and Minerva took his and Mars' place). Later still, Romans began to drift away from the state
belief system in favor of more personal and mystical cults (such as those of Bacchus, Cybele, and Isis). In the end, he
was worshiped almost exclusively by his flamen, the Flamen Quirinalis, who remained, however, one of the
patrician flamines maiores, the "greater flamens" who preceded the Pontifex Maximus in precedence.[7]

Depiction
In earlier Roman art, he was portrayed as a bearded man with religious and military clothing. However, he was
almost never depicted in later Roman belief systems. He was also often associated with the myrtle.

Festivals
His festival was the Quirinalia, held on February 17.

Legacy
Even centuries after the fall of the Roman Empire, the Quirinal hill in Rome, originally named from the deified
Romulus, was still associated with power - it was chosen as the seat of the royal house after the taking of Rome by
the Savoia and later it became the residence of the Presidents of the Italian Republic.

Notes
[1] In the prayer of the fetiales quoted by Livy (I.32.10); Macrobius (Sat. I.9.15);
[2] Fishwich, Duncan The Imperial Cult in the Latin West Brill, 2nd edition, 1993 ISBN 978-9004071797 (http:/ / books. google. co. uk/
books?id=4II_mqxM8s0C& pg=PA53& dq=romulus+ quirinus& ei=Rfz-SOKiGpDwsgPk4_DrDA& client=firefox-a)
[3] Evans, Jane DeRose The Art of Persuasion University of Michigan Press 1992 ISBN:0472102826 (http:/ / books. google. co. uk/
books?id=2AsRrF3ej38C& pg=PA103& dq=romulus+ quirinus& ei=Rfz-SOKiGpDwsgPk4_DrDA& client=firefox-a#PPA103,M1)
[4] Inez Scott Ryberg, "Was the Capitoline Triad Etruscan or Italic?" The American Journal of Philology 52.2 (1931), pp. 145-156.
[5] Varro, De lingua latina V.158.
[6] Martial, (V, 22.4) remarks on a position on the Esquiline from which one might see hinc novum Iovem, inde veterem, "here the new Jupiter,
there the old."
[7] Festus, 198, L: "Quirinalis, socio imperii Romani Curibus ascito Quirino".
Robigus 172

Robigus
Ancient Roman religion

Practices and beliefs


Imperial cult  · festivals  · ludi
mystery religions · funerals
temples · auspice · sacrifice
votum · libation · lectisternium

Priesthoods
College of Pontiffs · Augur
Vestal Virgins · Flamen · Fetial
Epulones · Arval Brethren
Quindecimviri sacris faciundis

Dii Consentes
Jupiter · Juno · Neptune · Minerva
Mars · Venus · Apollo · Diana
Vulcan · Vesta · Mercury · Ceres

Other deities
Janus · Quirinus · Saturn ·
Hercules · Faunus · Priapus
Bacchus (Liber) · Bona Dea · Ops
Castor and Pollux · Cupid
Chthonic deities: Proserpina ·
Dis Pater · Pluto · Orcus ·
Hecate · Di Manes
Domestic and local deities:
Lares · Di Penates · Genius
Hellenistic deities: Sol Invictus · Magna Mater · Isis ·
Mithras
Deified emperors:
Divus Julius  · Divus Augustus
See also List of Roman deities

Related topics
Roman mythology
Glossary of ancient Roman religion
Religion in ancient Greece
Etruscan religion
Gallo-Roman religion
Decline of Hellenistic polytheism

In ancient Roman religion, the Robigalia was a festival held April 25. Its main ritual was a dog sacrifice to protect
grain fields from disease. Games (ludi) in the form of "major and minor" races were held.[1] The Robigalia was one
of several agricultural festivals in April to celebrate and vitalize the growing season,[2] but the darker sacrificial
Robigus 173

elements of these occasions are also fraught with anxiety about crop failure and the dependence on divine favor to
avert it.[3]
The late Republican scholar Varro says[4] that the Robigalia was named for the god Robigus, who as the numen or
personification of agricultural disease could also prevent it.[5] He was thus a potentially malignant deity to be
propitiated, as Aulus Gellius notes.[6] But the gender of this deity is elusive.[7] The agricultural writer Columella
gives the name in the feminine as Robigo, like the word used for the disease itself,[8] and says that the sacrificial
offering was the blood and entrails of an unweaned puppy (catulus).[9] Most animal sacrifice in the public religion of
ancient Rome resulted in a communal meal and thus involved domestic animals whose flesh was a normal part of the
Roman diet;[10] the dog occurs as a victim most often in magic and private rites for Hecate and other chthonic
deities,[11] but was offered publicly at the Lupercalia[12] and two other sacrifices pertaining to grain crops.[13]
Robigo is a form of wheat rust, and has a reddish or reddish-brown color. Both Robigus and robigo are also found as
Rubig-, which following the etymology-by-association of antiquity[14] was thought to be connected to the color red
(ruber) as a form of homeopathic or sympathetic magic.[15] The color is thematic: the disease was red, the requisite
puppies (or sometimes bitches) had a red coat,[16] the red of blood recalls the distinctively Roman incarnation of
Mars as both a god of agriculture and bloodshed.[17] William Warde Fowler, whose work on Roman festivals
remains a standard reference,[18] entertained the idea that Robigus is an "indigitation" of Mars, that is, a name to be
used in a prayer formulary to fix the local action of the invoked god.[19] The priest who presided was the flamen
Quirinalis, the high priest of Quirinus, the Sabine god of war who become identified with Mars;[20] the ludi were
held for both Mars and Robigo.[21] The flamen recited a prayer that Ovid quotes at length in the Fasti, his six-book
calendar poem on Roman holidays which provides the most extended, though problematic, description of the day.[22]
The Robigalia was held at the boundary of the Ager Romanus.[23] Verrius Flaccus[24] sites it in a grove (lucus) at the
fifth milestone from Rome along the Via Claudia.
Like many other aspects of Roman law and religion, the institution of the Robigalia was attributed to the Sabine
Numa Pompilius,[25] in the eleventh year of his reign as the second king of Rome.[26] The combined presence of
Numa and the flamen Quirinalis may suggest a Sabine origin.[27]
Other April festivals related to farming were the Cerealia, or festival of Ceres, lasting for several days in mid-month;
the Fordicidia on April 15, when a pregnant cow was sacrificed; the Parilia on April 21 to ensure healthy flocks; and
the Vinalia, a wine festival on April 23.[28] Varro considered these and the Robigalia, along with the Great Mother's
Megalensia late in the month, the "original" Roman holidays in April.[29]
The Fasti Praenestini also record that on the same day the festival celebrated a particular class of sex workers:
"pimped-out boys,"[30] following the previous day's recognition of meretrices, female prostitutes regarded as
professionals of some standing.[31]
The Robigalia has been connected to the Christian feast of Rogation, which was concerned with purifying and
blessing the parish and fields and which took the place of the Robigalia on April 25 of the Christian calendar.[32] The
Church Father Tertullian mocks the goddess Robigo as "made up," a fiction.[33]
Robigus 174

References
[1] The ludi cursoribus are mentioned in the Fasti Praenestini; see Elaine Fantham, Ovid: Fasti Book IV (Cambridge University Press, 1998), p.
263.
[2] Mary Beard, J.A. North and S.R.F. Price. Religions of Rome: A History (Cambridge University Press, 1998), vol. 1, p. 45.
[3] Rhiannon Evans, Utopia antiqua: Readings of the Golden Age and Decline at Rome (Routledge, 2008), pp. 185–188.
[4] Varro, De lingua latina 6.16.
[5] A.M. Franklin, The Lupercalia (New York, 1921), p. 74.
[6] Aulus Gellius, Attic Nights 5.12.14: In istis autem diis, quos placari oportet, uti mala a nobis vel a frugibus natis amoliantur, Auruncus
quoque habetur et Robigus ("Auruncus and Robigus are also regarded as among those gods whom it is a duty to placate so that they deflect the
malign influences away from us or the harvests"); Woodard, Indo-European Sacred Space: Vedic and Roman Cult (University of Illinois
Press, 2006), p. 234.
[7] In addition to Varro, Verrius Flaccus (CIL 1: 236, 316) and others hold that he is male; Ovid, Columella (see following), Augustine, and
Tertullian regard the deity as female. A.J. Boyle and R.D. Woodard, Ovid: Fasti (Penguin Books, 2000), p. 254 online. (http:/ / books. google.
com/ books?id=QlS3xbzhplcC& pg=RA1-PA254& dq="In+ the+ following+ lines+ Ovid+ describes+ the+ annual+ sacrifice+ made+ to+
appease+ the+ deity+ of+ grain+ rust"& lr=& as_drrb_is=q& as_minm_is=0& as_miny_is=& as_maxm_is=0& as_maxy_is=& as_brr=0&
cd=1#v=onepage& q="In the following lines Ovid describes the annual sacrifice made to appease the deity of grain rust"& f=false)
[8] Vergil, Georgics 1.151. The 4th-century agricultural writer Palladius devotes a chapter contra nebulas et rubiginem, on preventing miasma
and mildew ( 1.35 (http:/ / books. google. com/ books?id=O88PAAAAQAAJ& pg=PA884& dq="XXXV. + Contra+ nebulas+ & +
rubiginem"& lr=& as_drrb_is=q& as_minm_is=0& as_miny_is=& as_maxm_is=0& as_maxy_is=& as_brr=0& cd=1#v=onepage&
q="XXXV. Contra nebulas & rubiginem"& f=false)).
[9] Columella, De re rustica 10.337–343.
[10] C. Bennett Pascal, "October Horse," Harvard Studies in Classical Philology 85 (1981), pp. 275–276; general discussion of victims' edibility
by Hendrik Wagenvoort, "Profanus, profanare," in Pietas: Selected Studies in Roman Religion (Brill, 1980), pp. 25–38.
[11] David Soren, "Hecate and the Infant Cemetery at Poggio Gramignano," in A Roman Villa and a Late Roman Infant Cemetery («L'Erma» di
Bretschneider, 1999), pp. 619–621.
[12] Plutarch, Roman Questions 68 (http:/ / penelope. uchicago. edu/ Thayer/ E/ Roman/ Texts/ Plutarch/ Moralia/ Roman_Questions*/ C.
html#68); Eli Edward Burriss, "The Place of the Dog in Superstition as Revealed in Latin Literature," Classical Philology 30 (1935), pp.
34–35.
[13] Boyle and Woodard, Ovid: Fasti, p. 255.
[14] Davide Del Bello, Forgotten Paths: Etymology and the Allegorical Mindset (Catholic University of America Press, 2007), passim.
[15] Burriss, "The Place of the Dog in Superstition, pp. 34–35.
[16] Fowler, Roman Festivals, pp. 90–91.
[17] This dual function of Mars, contradictory perhaps to the 21st-century mind, may not have seemed so to the Romans: "In early Rome
agriculture and military activity were closely bound up, in the sense that the Roman farmer was also a soldier (and a voter as well)": Beard,
Religions of Rome, pp. 47–48 online (http:/ / books. google. com/ books?id=2rtaTFYuM3QC& pg=PA47& dq="October+ horse"& lr=&
as_drrb_is=q& as_minm_is=0& as_miny_is=& as_maxm_is=0& as_maxy_is=& num=100& as_brr=3& cd=3#v=onepage& q="October
horse"& f=false) and 53. See also Evans, Utopia antiqua, p. 188 online. (http:/ / books. google. com/ books?id=ppWwPuye_e4C&
pg=PA187& dq="And+ it+ may+ be+ that+ the+ Robigalia+ was+ an+ enactment"& lr=& as_drrb_is=q& as_minm_is=0& as_miny_is=&
as_maxm_is=0& as_maxy_is=& as_brr=0& cd=1#v=onepage& q="And it may be that the Robigalia was an enactment"& f=false)
[18] William Warde Fowler, The Roman Festivals of the Period of the Republic (London, 1908), p. 89.
[19] Precise naming, in connection with concealing a deity's true name to monopolize his or her power, was a crucial part of prayer in antiquity,
as evidenced not only in the traditional religions of Greece and Rome and syncretistic Hellenistic religion and mystery cult, but also in
Judaism, ancient Egyptian religion, and later Christianity. See Matthias Klinghardt, “Prayer Formularies for Public Recitation: Their Use and
Function in Ancient Religion,” Numen 46 (1999) 1–5; A.A. Barb, "Antaura. The Mermaid and the Devil's Grandmother: A Lecture," Journal
of the Warburg and Courtauld Institutes 29 (1966), p. 4; Karen Hartnup, On the Beliefs of the Greeks: Leo Allatios and Popular Orthodoxy
(Brill, 2004), pp. 97–101 online (http:/ / books. google. com/ books?id=xnqI8uSeekwC& pg=PA97& dq="The+ names+ of+ the+ gello+ are+
also+ a+ source+ of+ protection"& lr=& as_drrb_is=q& as_minm_is=1& as_miny_is=2009& as_maxm_is=12& as_maxy_is=2009&
as_brr=0& as_pt=ALLTYPES) (in connection with compelling demons). Augustine of Hippo derided the proliferation of divinities as a turba
minutorum deorum, "a mob of mini-gods" (De civitate Dei 4.9, dea Robigo among them at 4.21); see W.R. Johnson, "The Return of Tutunus,"
Arethusa (1992) 173–179. See also indigitamenta.
[20] Boyle and Woodard, Ovid: Fasti, p. 254; Beard, Religions of Rome, p. 106, note 129; Woodward, Indo-European Sacred Space, p. 136.
[21] Tertullian, De spectaculis 5: Numa Pompilius Marti et Robigini fecit ("Numa Pompilius established [games] for Mars and Robigo").
[22] Ovid, Fasti 4.905–942; Boyle and Woodard, Ovid: Fasti, pp. 254–255 et passim on the nature of this work.
[23] Woodard, Indo-European Sacred Space, p. 234.
[24] CIL 12 pp. 236, 316), as cited by Woodard.
[25] William Warde Fowler, The Religious Experience of the Roman People (London, 1922), p. 108; Tertullian, De spectaculis 5.
[26] Pliny, Natural History 18.285.
Robigus 175

[27] Franklin, Lupercalia, p. 75. The name Quirinus was supposed to derive from the Sabine town of Cures. In his notes to Aeneid 1.292 and
6.859, Servius says that "when Mars rages uncontrolled (saevit), he is called Gradivus; when he is calm (tranquillus), he is called Quirinus."
Therefore, since Quirinus is the "Mars" who presides over peace, his temple is within the city; the temple for the "Mars of war" is located
outside the city limit. The name was also connected to Quirites, Roman civilians, and the civil comitia curiata, in contrast to military
personnel and the comitia centuriata. Quirinus was assimilated with the deified Romulus, possibly as late as the Augustan period. See Robert
Schilling, "Quirinus," Roman and European Mythologies (University of Chicago Press, 1992, from the French edition of 1981), p. 145.
[28] Beard, Religions of Rome, p. 45.
[29] Varro, De lingua latina 6.15–16; Fantham, Fasti, p. 29.
[30] Pueri lenonii, boys managed by a leno, pimp.
[31] Craig A. Williams, Roman Homosexuality (Oxford University Press, 1999, 2010), p. 32 online. (http:/ / books. google. com/
books?id=JoS4ffPU1-0C& pg=PA32& dq="This+ inscription+ informs+ us+ that+ on+ April+ 25"& lr=& as_drrb_is=q& as_minm_is=0&
as_miny_is=& as_maxm_is=0& as_maxy_is=& as_brr=0& cd=2#v=onepage& q="This inscription informs us that on April 25"& f=false)
[32] Daniel T. Reff, Plagues, Priests, and Demons: Sacred Narratives and the Rise of Christianity in the Old World and the New (Cambridge
University Press, 2005), p. 100.
[33] Tertullian, De spectaculis 5 (nam et robiginis deam finxerunt, "you see, they even make up a goddess of wheat disease"); Woodward,
Indo-European Sacred Space, p. 136.

Religion in ancient Rome series

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Sancus 176

Sancus
Sancus is also a genus of the Tetragnathidae family of spiders.
In ancient Roman religion, Sancus (also known as Sangus or Semo Sancus) was the god
of trust (fides), honesty, and oaths. His cult is one of the most ancient of Romans,
probably derived from Umbrian influences.[1]

Oaths
Sancus was also the god who protected oaths of marriage, hospitality, law, commerce,
and contracts in particular. Some forms of swearings were used in his name and honour
at the moment of the signing of contracts and other important civil acts. Some words
(like "sanctity" and "sanction" - for the case of disrespect of pacts) have their etymology
in the name of this god, whose name is connected with sancire "to hallow" (hence
sanctus, "hallowed").

Worship
The temple dedicated to Sancus stood on the Quirinal Hill, under the name Semo Sancus
Dius Fidus. Dionysius of Halicarnassus[2] writes the worship of Semo Sancus was
imported into Rome at a very early time by the Sabines who occupied the Quirinal Hill.
According to tradition his cult was said to have been introduced by the Sabines and
perhaps king Titus Tatius dedicated a small shrine.[3] The actual construction of the
temple is generally ascribed to Tarquin the Proud, although it was dedicated by Spurius
Postumius on June 5th 466 B.C.[4]
Illustration of a statue of
Sancus was considered the son of Iupiter, an opinion recorded by Varro and attributed to Sancus found in the

his teacher Aelius Stilo[5] . He was the god of heavenly light, the avenger of dishonesty, Sabine's shrine on the
Quirinal, near the modern
the upholder of truth and good faith, the sanctifier of agreements. Hence his church of S. Silvestro
identification with Hercules, who was likewise the guardian of the sanctity of oaths. His
festival day occurred on the nonae of June, i.e. June 5th.
The shrine on the Quirinal was described by XIX century archeologist R.A. Lanciani.[6] It was located near the Porta
Sanqualis of the Servian walls[7] , not far from the modern church of S. Silvestro, precisely on the Collis Mucialis.[8]
It was described by classical writers as having no roof so as oaths could be taken under the sky.
It had a chapel containing relics of the regal period: a bronze statue of Tanaquil or Gaia Caecilia, her belt containing
remedies that people came to collect, her distaff, spindle and slippers [9] ,and after the capture of Privernum in 329
B.C., brass medallions or bronze wheels (discs) made of the money confiscated from Vitruvius Vaccus[10] .
Dionysius of Halicarnassus records that the treaty between Rome and Gabii was preserved in this temple. This treaty
was perhaps the first international treaty to be recorded and preserved in written form in ancient Rome. It was
written on the skin of the ox sacrificed to the god upon its agreement and fixed onto a wooden frame or a shield.[11]
According to Lanciani the foundations of the temple were discovered in March 1881, under what was formerly the
convent of S. Silvestro al Quirinale (or degli Arcioni), later the headquarters of the (former) Royal Engineers.
Lanciani relates the monument was a parallelogram in shape, thirty-five feet long by nineteen wide, with walls of
travertine and decorations in white marble. It was surrounded by votive altars and the pedestal of statues. In Latin
literature it is sometimes called aedes, sometimes sacellum, this last appellation probably connected to the fact it was
a sacred space in the open air.[12] Platner though writes its foundation had already been detected in the XVI century.
Sancus 177

Lanciani supposes the statue depicted in this article might have been found on the site of the shrine on the Quirinal as
it appeared in the antiquarian market of Rome at the time of the excavations at S.Silvestro.
There was possibly another shrine or altar (ara) dedicated to Semo Sancus on the Isle of the Tiber, near the temple of
Iupiter Iurarius. This altar bears the inscription seen and misread by S. Justin (Semoni Sanco Deo read as Simoni
Deo Sancto) and was discovered on the island in July, 1574. It is preserved in the Galleria Lapidaria of the Vatican
Museum, first compartment (Dii). Lanciani advances the hypothesis that while the shrine on the Quirinal was of
Sabine origin that on the Tiber island was Latin.
According to another source the statue of Sancus (as Semo Sancus Dius Fidus) was found on the Tiber Island.[13]
The statue is life-sized and is of the archaic Apollo type. The expression of the face and the modelling of the body
however are realistic. Both hands are missing, so that it is impossible to say what were the attributes of the god, one
being perhaps the club of Hercules and/or the oxifraga, the augural bird proper to the god (avis sanqualis),
hypotheses made by archaeologist Visconti and reported by Lanciani. Other scholars think he should have hold
lightningbolts in his left hand.
The inscription on the pedestal mentions a decuria sacerdot[um] bidentalium.[14] Lanciani makes reference to a
glossa of Festus s.v. bidentalia which states these were small shrines of lesser divinities, to whom hostiae bidentes,
i.e. lambs two years old, were sacrificed. William Warde Fowler says these priests should have been concerned with
lightningbolts, bidental being both the technical term for the puteal, hole resembling a well left by strikes onto the
ground and for the victims used to placate the god and purify the site.[15] For this reason the priests of Semo Sancus
were called sacerdotes bidentales. They were organised, like a lay corporation, in a decuria under the presidency of
a magister quinquennalis.
Their residence at the shrine on the Quirinal was located adjoining the chapel: it was ample and commodious,
provided with a supply of water by means of a lead pipe.
The pipes have been removed to the Capitolin Museum. They bear the same inscription found on the base of the
statue. [16]
The statue is now housed in the Galleria dei Candelabri of the Vatican Palace. The foundations of the shrine on the
Quirinal have been destroyed.
Semo Sancus had a large sanctuary at Velitrae, now Velletri, in Volscian territory.[17]

Simon Magus
Justin Martyr records that Simon Magus, a gnostic mentioned in the Christian Bible, performed such miracles by
magic acts during the reign of Claudius that he was regarded as a god and honored with a statue on the island in the
Tiber which the two bridges cross, with the inscription Simoni Deo Sancto, "To Simon the Holy God"[18] . However,
in 1574, the Semo Sancus statue was unearthed on the island in question, leading most scholars to believe that Justin
Martyr confused Semoni Sanco with Simon.

Family
Cato [19] and Silius Italicus[20] wrote that Sancus was a Sabine god and father of the eponymous Sabine hero Sabus.
He is thus sometimes considered a founder-deity.

Origins and significance


Sancus 178

Ancient Roman religion

Practices and beliefs


Imperial cult  · festivals  · ludi
mystery religions · funerals
temples · auspice · sacrifice
votum · libation · lectisternium

Priesthoods
College of Pontiffs · Augur
Vestal Virgins · Flamen · Fetial
Epulones · Arval Brethren
Quindecimviri sacris faciundis

Dii Consentes
Jupiter · Juno · Neptune · Minerva
Mars · Venus · Apollo · Diana
Vulcan · Vesta · Mercury · Ceres

Other deities
Janus · Quirinus · Saturn ·
Hercules · Faunus · Priapus
Bacchus (Liber) · Bona Dea · Ops
Castor and Pollux · Cupid
Chthonic deities: Proserpina ·
Dis Pater · Pluto · Orcus ·
Hecate · Di Manes
Domestic and local deities:
Lares · Di Penates · Genius
Hellenistic deities: Sol Invictus · Magna Mater · Isis ·
Mithras
Deified emperors:
Divus Julius  · Divus Augustus
See also List of Roman deities

Related topics
Roman mythology
Glossary of ancient Roman religion
Religion in ancient Greece
Etruscan religion
Gallo-Roman religion
Decline of Hellenistic polytheism

Even in the ancient world, confusion surrounded this deity, as evidenced by the multiple and unstable forms of his
name. Aelius Stilo[21] identified him with Hercules, but also, because he explained the Dius Fidius as Dioskouros,
with Castor. In late antiquity, Martianus Capella places Sancus in region 12 of his cosomological system, which
draws on Etruscan tradition in associating gods with specific parts of the sky.[22] On the Piacenza Liver the
corresponding case bears the theonym Tluscv. The complexity of the theonym and the multiple relationships of the
Sancus 179

god with other divine figures shall be better examined in a systematic wise here below.

Sancus as Semo
The first part of the theonym defines the god as belonging to the cathegory of divine entities known to the ancient
Romans and Italics as Semones or Semunes. In Rome this theonym is attested in the carmen Arvale and in a
fragmentary inscription.[23] . Outside Rome in Sabine, Umbrian and Pelignan territory.[24] An inscription from
Corfinium reads: Çerfom sacaracicer Semunes sua[d, placing side by side the two entities.
According to ancient Latin sources the meaning of the term would denote semihomines (also explained as
se-homines, men separated from ordinary ones, who have left their human condition) or the dii medioxumi, i.e. gods
of the second rank, semigods,[25] entities that belong to the intermediate sphere between gods and men.[26] The
relationship of these entities to Semo Sancus is comparable to that of the genii to Genius Iovialis: as the genii have a
Genius Iovialis, thus similarly the semones do have a Semo Sancus.[27] The semones would be a class of semigods,
i.e. people who did not share the destiny of ordinary mortals even though they were not admitted to Heaven, such as
Faunus, Priapus, Picus, the Silvani.[28] However some scholars opinate such a definition is wrong and the semones
are spirits of nature, representing the generative power hidden in seeds.[29]
The deity Semonia bears characters that link her to the group of the Semones as is shown by Festus s.v. supplicium:
when a citizen was put to death the custom was to sacrifice a lamb of two years (bidentis) to Semonia to appease her
and purify the community. Only thus could the head and property of the culprit be vowed to the appropriate god. It is
noteworthy that Semo Sancus received the same kind of cult and sacrifice as is shown on the inscription in the figure
under the statue of the god reading: decuria sacerdotum bidentalium.
The relationship between Sancus and the semones of the carmen Arvale remains obscure, even though some scholars
opinate that Semo Sancus and Salus Semonia or Dia Semonia would represent the core significance of this archaic
theology.[30] Norden has proposed a Greek origin.[31]

Sancus and Salus


The two gods were related in several ways. Their shrines (aedes) were very close to each other on two adjacent
hilltops of the Quirinal, the Collis Mucialis and Salutaris respectively.[32] Some scholars also claim some
inscriptions to Sancus have been found on the Collis Salutaris.[33] Moreover Salus is the first of the series of deities
mentioned by Macrobius[34] as related in their sacrality: Salus, Semonia, Seia, Segetia, Tutilina, who required the
observance of a dies feriatus of the person who happened to utter their name. These deities were connected to the
ancient agrarian cults of the valley of the Circus Maximus that remain quite mysteruious[35]
The statue of Tanaquil placed in the shrine of Sancus was famed for containing remedies in its girdle that people
came to collect.[36] As the statues of boys wear the apotropaic golden bulla, bubble or locket, which contained
remedies against envy or the evil eye, Robert E. A. Palmer has remarked a connexion between these and the praebia
of the statue of Tanaquil in the sacellum of Sancus.[37]
German scholars Georg Wissowa, Eduard Norden and Kurt Latte talk of a deity named Salus Semonia[38] which is
though attested only in one inscription of year 1 A.D., which mentions a Salus Semonia in its last line (line
seventeen). There is consensus among scholars that this line is a later addition and cannot be dated with certainty.[39]
In other inscriptions Salus is never connected to Semonia.[40]

Sancus Dius Fidius and Iupiter


The relationship between the two gods is certain as both are in charge of oath, are connected with clear daylight sky
and can wield lightning bolts. This overlap of functional characters has generated confusion about the identity of
Sancus Dius Fidius either among ancient or modern scholars, as Dius Fidius has sometimes been considered another
theonym for Iupiter.[41] The autonomy of Semo Sancus from Iupiter and the fact that Dius Fidius is an alternate
theonym designating Semo Sancus (and not Iupiter) is shewn by the name of the correspondent Umbrian god Fisus
Sancus 180

Sancius which compounds the two constituent parts of Sancus and Dius Fidius: in Umbrian and Sabine Fisus is the
exact correspont of Fidius, as e.g. Sabine Clausus of Latin Claudius.[42] The fact that Sancus as Iupiter is in charge
of the observance of oaths, of the laws of hospitality and of loyalty (Fides) makes him a deity connected with the
sphere and values of sovereignity, i.e. in Dumezil's terminology of the first function.
G. Wissowa advanced the hypothesis that Semo Sancus is the genius of Iupiter.[43] W. W. Fowler has cautioned that
this is an anachronism and it would only be acceptable to say that Sancus is a Genius Iovius as it appears from the
Iguvine Tables.[44]
Theodor Mommsen, William W. Fowler and Georges Dumezil among others rejected the accountability of the
tradition that ascribes a Sabine origin to the Roman cult of Semo Sancus Dius Fidius, partly on linguistic grounds
since the theonym is Latin and no mention or evidence of a Sabine Semo is found near Rome, while the Semones are
attested in Latin in the carmen Arvale. In their view Sancus would be a deity who was shared by all ancient Italic
peoples, whether Osco-Umbrian or Latino-Faliscan.[45]
The details of the cult of Fisus Sancius at Iguvium and those of Fides at Rome[46] , such as the use of the
mandraculum, a piece of linen fabric covering the right hand of the officiant, and of the urfeta (orbita) or orbes
ahenei, sort of small bronze disc brought in the right hand by the offerant at Iguvium and also deposed in the temple
of Semo Sancus in 329 B.C. after an affair of treason[47] confirm the parallelism.
Some aspects of the ritual of the oath for Dius Fidius, such as the proceedings under the open sky and/or in the
compluvium of private residences and the fact the temple of Sancus had no roof, have suggested to romanist O.
Sacchi the idea that the oath by Dius Fidius predated that for Iuppiter Lapis or Iuppiter Feretrius, and should have its
origin in prehistoric time rituals, when the templum was in the open air and defined by natural landmarks as e.g. the
highest nearby tree.[48] Supporting this interpretation is the explanation of the theonym Sancus as meaning sky in
Sabine given by Johannes Lydus, etymology that however is rejected by Dumezil and Briquel among others.[49]
In conclusion all the known details concerning Sancus connect him to the sphere of the fides, of oaths, of the respect
ofmpacts, and of their sanction, or divine guarantee against their breaking. These values are all proper to sovereign
gods and common with Iuppiter (and with Mitra in Vedic religion).

Sancus and Hercules


Aelius Stilo's interpretation of the theonym as Dius Filius is based partly on the interchangeability and alternance of
letters d and l in Sabine, which might have rendered possible the reading of Dius Fidius as Dius Filius, i.e. Dios
Kouros, partly on the function of guarantor of oaths that Sancus shared with Hercules: Georg Wissowa called it a
gelernte Kombination[50] , while interpreting him as the genius, (semo) of Iupiter.[51] Stilo's interpretration in its
linguistic aspect looks to be unsupported by the form of the theonym in the Iguvine Tables, where it appears as Fisus
or Fisovius Sancius, formula that includes the two component parts of the theonym.[52] This theonym is rooted in an
ancient IE *bh(e)idh-tos and is formed on the rootstem *bheidh- which is common to Latin Fides.
The connexion to Hercules looks to be much more substantial on theological grounds. Hercules, especially in ancient
Italy, retained many archaic features of a founder deity and of a guarantor of good faith and loyalty.
Sancus 181

Sancus and Mars


At Iguvium Fisus Sancius is associated to Mars in the ritual of the sacrifice at the Porta Tesenaca as one of the gods
of the minor triad, and this fact proves his military connection in Umbria. This might be explained by the military
nature of the concept of sanction which implies the use of repression. The term sanctus too has in Roman law
military implications: the walls of the city are sancti.[53]
The martial aspect of Sancus is highlighted also in the instance of the Samnite legio linteata, a selected part of the
army formed by noble soldiers bound by a set of particularly compelling oaths and put under the special protection
of Iupiter. In this case the strict association of the ritual to Iupiter underlines the military aspect of the sovereign god
that comes in to supplement the usual role of Mars.[54]
A prodigy related by Livy concerning an avis sanqualis who broke a rainstone or meteorite fallen into a grove sacred
to Mars at Crustumerium in 177 B. C. has also been seen by some scholars as a sign of a martial aspect of Sancus.
Roger D. Woodard has interpreted Sancus as the Roman equivalent of Vedic god Indra, who has to rely on the help
of the Maruts, corresponding to the twelf Roman semones of the carmen Arvale, in his task of killing the dragon
Vrtra thus freeing the waters and averting draught. He traces the etymology of Semo to IE stemroot *seh(w) bearing
the meanings of to pour, ladle, flow, drop related to rain and sowing. [55] In Roman myth Hercules would represent
this mythic character in his killing of the monstre Cacus. Sancus would be identical to Mars and Hercules as shown
by the old cults of the Salii of Tibur.[56]

Sancus in Etruria
As for Etruscan religion N. Thomas De Grummond has suggested to identify Sancus in the inscription Selvans
Sanchuneta found on a cippus unearthed near Bolsena, however other scholars connect this epithet to a local family
gentilicium.[57] The theonym Tec Sans found on bronze statues (of a boy and of the arringatore, public speaker)
from the area near Cortona has been seen as an Etruscan form of the same theonym.[58]

Legacy
The English words sanction and saint are directly derived from Sancus. The toponym Sanguineto is related to the
theonym, through the proper name Sanquinius.[59]

References
[1] K. Latte Roemische Religiongeschichte Muenchen 1960 p. 127
[2] Dion. Hal. II 49, 2
[3] Ovid Fasti VI 217-8; Properce IV 9, 74; Tertullian Ad Nationes II 9, 13; Varro Lingua latina V 52
[4] Dion. Hal. IX 60; Ovid Fasti VI 213; CIL I 2nd 319 p. 220; S. B. Platner, T. Ashby A Topographical Dictionary of Ancient Rome London
1929 pp.469-470
[5] Varro Lingua Latina V 66
[6] R.A. Lanciani Pagan and Christian Rome Boston and New York 1893 pp. 32-33
[7] Festus sv. Sanqualis Porta p. 345 L
[8] Varro Lingua Lat. V 52: Collis Mucialis: quinticeps apud aedem Dei Fidi; in delubro ubi aeditumus habere solet.
[9] Plutarch Quaestiones Romanae 30; Pliny Nat. Hist. VIII 94; Festus sv. praebia p. 276 L: "Praebia rursus Verrius vocari ait ea remedia quae
Gaia Caecilia, uxor Tarquini Prisci,invenisse existimatur, et inmiscuisse zonae suae, qua praecincta statua eius est in aede Sancus, qui deus
dius fidius vocatur; et qua zona periclitantes ramenta sumunt. Ea vocari ait praebia, quod mala prohibeant."
[10] Livy VIII 20, 8
[11] Dion. Hal. Antiquitates Romanae IV 58, 4
[12] S. B. Platner A Topographical Dictionary of Ancient Rome London 1929 p. 469
[13] Claridge, Amanda (1998). Rome: An Oxford Archaeological Guide. Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press. (p. 226)
[14] CIL VI 568
[15] W. W, Fowler The Roman Festivals of the Period of the Republic London, 1899, p. 139
[16] CIL XV 7253
[17] Livy XXXII 1. 10
Sancus 182

[18] The First Apology, Chapter XXVI.—Magicians not trusted by Christians (http:/ / www. ccel. org/ ccel/ schaff/ anf01. viii. ii. xxvi. html),
Justin Martyr.
[19] In a fragment preserved by Dionysius of Halicarnassus, 2.49.2.;
[20] Punica VIII 421
[21] As preserved by Varro, De lingua latina 5.66.
[22] Stefan Weinstock, "Martianus Capella and the Cosmic System of the Etruscans," Journal of Roman Studies 36 (1946), p. 105, especially
note 19. Martianus is likely to have derived his system from Nigidius Figulus (through an intermediate source) and Varro.
[23] CIL I 2nd 2436: Se]monibu[s.
[24] cf. E. Norden Aus altroemischer Priesterbuchen Lund, 1939, p.205 ff.
[25] Festus s.v. medioxumi
[26] Scheiffele in Pauly s.v. semones citing Priscianus p. 683; Festus s.v. hemona; Varro unreferenced from semideus; Hartung I. 41: from serere
and Sabine Semones half-self, more like genii; also Gdywend Mythol. bei der Romer par. 261: in Sabine, godly people, maybe Lares. Besides
belong to this cathegory all the dii medioxumi.
[27] Pauly above.
[28] cf. Ovid Metam. I 193-195
[29] Dahrenberg & Saglio Dictionnaire des Antiquites Grecques et Romaines s.v. Semo Sancus
[30] G.B. Pighi La preghirea romana in AA. VV. La preghira Roma, 1967 pp. 605-606
[31] Classical Review 1939
[32] Varro Lingua Latina V 53
[33] Jesse B. Carter in Encyclopedia of Religion and Ethics vol. 13 s.v. Salus
[34] Macrobius Saturnalia I 16,8
[35] Dumezil ARR Paris 1974, Chirassi Colombo in ANRW 1981 p.405; Tertullian De Spectculis VIII 3
[36] Festus s.v. praebia; Robert E. A. Palmer "Locket gold, lizard green" in Etruscan influences on Itlian Civilisation 1994
[37] R. E. A. Palmer "Locket Gold Lizard Green" in J. F. Hall Etruscan Influences on the Civilizations of Italy 1994 p. 17 ff.
[38] G. Wissowa Roschers Lexicon s.v. Sancus, Religion und Kultus der Roemer Munich 1912 p. 139ff.; E. Norden Aus der altroemischer
Priesterbuechen Lund 1939 p. 202 ff.; K. Latte Rom. Religionsgechichte Munich 1960 p. 49-51
[39] Salus Semonia posuit populi Victoria; R.E.A. Palmer Studies of the northern Campus Martius in ancient Rome 1990
[40] Ara Salutus from a slab of an altar from Praeneste; Salutes pocolom on a pitcher from Horta; Salus Ma[gn]a on a cippus from Bagnacavallo;
Salus on a cippus from the sacred grove of Pisaurum; Salus Publica from Ferentinum
[41] G. Dumezil La religion Roamiane archiaque Paris, 1974; It. tr. p.189
[42] I. Rosenzweig London, 1937, p. ; D. Briquel; E. Norden
[43] G. Wissowa in Roschers Lexicon 1909 s.v. Semo Sancus col. 3654; Religion und Kultus der Römer Munich, 1912, p. 131 f.
[44] W. W. Fowler The Roman Festivals of the Period of the Republic London, 1899, p.
[45] La religion romaine archaique It. tr. Milano, 1977, p. 80 n. 25, citing also G. Wissowa in Roschers Lexicon s.v. Sancus, IV, 1909, col. 3168;
Dumezil wholly rejects the tradition of the synecism of Rome.
[46] cf.Livy I 21, 4; Servius Aen. I 292 on this prescription of Numa's
[47] Livy VIII 20, 8; W. W. Fowler The Roman Festivals of the Period of the Republic London 1899 p. 138; Irene Rosenzweig Ritual and Cult in
Pre-Roman Iguvium London, 1937, p.210; D. Briquel "Sur les aspects militaires du dieu ombrien Fisus Sancius" in MEFRA 1979 p. 136
[48] O. Sacchi "Il trivaso del Quirinale" in Revue Internationale de Droit de l'Antiquite' 2001 pp. 309-311, citing Nonius Marcellus s.v. rituis (L
p.494): Itaque domi rituis nostri, qui per dium Fidium iurare vult, prodire solet in compluvium., 'thus according to our rites he who wishes to
swear an oath by Dius Fidius he as a rule walks to the compluvium (an unroofed space within the house)'; Macrobius Saturnalia III 11, 5 on
the use of the private mensa as an altar mentioned in the ius Papirianum; Granius Flaccus indigitamenta 8 (H. 109) on king Numa's vow by
which he asked for the divine punishment of perjury by all the gods
[49] Lydus de Mensibus IV 90; G. Capdeville "Les dieux de Martianus Capella" in LPRDH 1995 p.290
[50] G. Wissowa Above.
[51] Wiliam W. Fowler The Roman Festivals of the Period of the Republic London, 1899, p. 136 who is rather critical of this interpretation of
Wissowa's.
[52] W. W. Fowler The Roman Festivals of the Period of the Republic London, 1899, p. 137; Irene Rosenzweig Ritual and Cult of Pre-Roman
Iguvium London, 1937 p. 275 as quoted by E. Norden Aus altroemischer Priesterbuchen Lund, 1939, p. 220 : "Iupater Sancius is identical
with Semo Sancus Dius Fidius of the Latins. Here we see Fisus Sancius who originally was an attribute of Iupater himself in his function of
the guardian of Fides, to develop into a separate god with a sphere of his own as preserver of oaths and treaties...The Umbrian god ...with the
combination of the two forms of the Roman god in his name performs a real service in establishing the unity of Dius Fidius and Semo Sancus
as the one god Semo Sancus Dius Fidius"; D. Briquel "Sur les aspects militaires du dieu ombrien Fisus Sancius" in Melanges de l'Ecole
Francais de Rome Antiquite' 1979 p.134-135: datives Ia 15 Fiso Saci, VI b 3 Fiso Sansie; vocative VI b 9, 10, 12, 14 , 15 Fisovie Sansie;
accusative VI b 8 Fisovi Sansi; genitive VI b15 Fisovie Sansie; dative VI b5,6, VII a 37 Fisovi Sansi; I a 17 Fisovi.
[53] D. Briquel "Sur les aspects militaires du dieu ombrien Fisus Sancius" in Melanges de l'Ecole Francais de Rome Antiquite' 1979 pp.135-137
[54] D. Briquel Above
[55] W. W. Fowler The Roman Festivals of the Period of the Republic London 1899 p. 140 ; R. D. Woodard Indo-European Sacred Space: Vedic
and Roman Cult Chicago 2006 p. 186 ff.
Sancus 183

[56] R. D. Woodard Indo-European Sacred Space: Vedic and Roman Cult p.220 ff.; Macrobius Saturnalia III 12
[57] N. T. De Grummond Etruscan Myth Sacred History and Legend 2006 p. 141; Peter F. Dorcey The Cult of Silvanus: a Study in Roman Folk
Religion p. 11 citing C. De Simone Etrusco Sanchuneta PP 39 (1984) pp. 49-53
[58] R. E. A. Palmer "Locket Gold Lizard Green" in J. F. Hall Etruscan Influences on the Civilizations of Italy 1994 p. 17 ff.
[59] Palmer p. 16 and Norden p. 215, above.

External links
• Ancient Library article (http://www.ancientlibrary.com/smith-bio/3037.html)

Saritor
In Roman mythology, Saritor was the god of hoeing and weeding.

Saturn (mythology)
Saturn (Latin: Saturnus) was a major Roman god of time, whose
reign was depicted as a Golden Age of abundance and peace by many
Roman authors. In medieval times he was known as the Roman god of
dance, agriculture, justice and strength; he held a sickle in his left hand
and a bundle of wheat in his right. His mother was Terra and his father
was Caelus. He was identified in classical antiquity with the Greek
deity Cronus, and the mythologies of the two gods are commonly
mixed.

Saturn's wife was Ops (the Roman equivalent of Rhea). Saturn was the
father of Ceres, Jupiter, Veritas, Pluto, and Neptune, Juno, among
others. Saturn had a temple on the Forum Romanum which contained
the Royal Treasury. Saturn is the namesake of both Saturn, the planet,
and Saturday (dies Saturni).
Saturn is often identified with the Greek Cronus. In Hesiod's
Theogony, a mythological account of the creation of the universe and
Zeus' rise to power, Cronus is mentioned as the son of Uranus (the
Greek equivalent of Roman Caelus), the heavens, and Gaia (the Greek
equivalent of Terra), the earth. Hesiod is an early Greek poet and
rhapsode, who presumably lived around 700 BC. He writes that Cronus Saturnus, Caravaggio, 16th c.

seizes power, castrating and overthrowing his father Uranus. However,


it was foretold that one day a mighty son of Cronus would in turn overthrow him, and Cronus devoured all of his
children when they were born to prevent this. Cronus's wife, Rhea (often identified with the Roman goddess Ops),
hid her sixth child, Zeus, on the island of Crete, and offered Cronus a large stone wrapped in swaddling clothes in his
place; Cronus promptly devoured it. Zeus later overthrew Cronus and the other Titans, becoming the new supreme
ruler of the cosmos.

In the Roman tradition, in memory of the Golden Age of man, a mythical age when Saturn was said to have ruled, a
great feast called Saturnalia was held during the winter months around the time of the winter solstice. It was
originally only one day long, taking place on December 17, but later lasted one week. During Saturnalia, roles of
master and slave were reversed, moral restrictions loosened, and the rules of etiquette ignored. It is thought that the
Saturn (mythology) 184

festivals of Saturnalia and Lupercalia were the roots of the carnival year.

Mythology of Saturn
In Babylon he was called Ninib and was an agricultural deity. Saturn, called Cronus by the Greeks, was, at the dawn
of the Ages of the Gods, the Protector and Sower of the Seed and his wife, Ops, (called Rhea by the Greeks) was a
Harvest Helper. Saturn was one of the Seven Titans or Numina and with them, reigned supreme in the Universe. The
Titans were of incredible size and strength and held power for untold ages, until they were deposed by Jupiter.
In Hindu mythology and Astrology Saturn is called as Shani is embodied in the planet Saturn. Shani is the Lord of
Saturday; the word "Shani" also denotes the seventh day or Saturday in most Indian languages. Shani is a Deva and
son of Surya (the Hindu Sun God) and his wife Chhaya (Shadow goddess) and hence also known as Chayyaputra.
He is the elder brother of Yama, the Hindu God of death, who in some scriptures corresponds to the deliverance of
justice. Interestingly, Surya's two sons Shani and Yama judge. Shani gives us the results of one's deeds through one's
life through appropriate punishments and rewards; Yama grants the results of one's deeds after death.
The first inhabitants of the world were the children of Terra (Mother Earth) and Caelus (Father Sky). These creatures
were very large and manlike, but without human qualities. They were the qualities of Earthquake, Hurricane and
Volcano living in a world where there was yet no life. There were only the irresistible forces of nature creating
mountains and seas. They were unlike any life form known to man.
Three creatures born of Terra were monstrously huge with one hundred hands and fifty heads. Three others were
individually called Cyclops, because each had only one enormous eye in the middle of their foreheads. Then, there
were the Titans, seven of them, formidably large and none of whom were a purely destructive force. One was
actually credited with saving man after creation.
Caelus hated the children with the fifty heads. As each was born, he imprisoned it under the earth. Terra was enraged
by the treatment of her children by their father and begged the Cyclopes and the Titans to help her put an end to the
cruel treatment. Only one Titan, Saturn, responded. Saturn lay in wait for his father and, depending on the source,
either castrated him or sliced him into a thousand pieces with his sickle. From Caelus' blood sprang the Giants, a
fourth race of monsters, and the Erinyes (the Furies), whose purpose was to punish wrongdoing. They were referred
to as "those who walk in darkness" and were believed to have writhing snakes for hair and eyes that cried blood.
Though eventually all the monsters were driven from Earth, the Erinyes are to remain until the world is free of sin.
With the deposing of his father, Saturn became the ruler of the Universe for untold ages and he reigned with his
sister, Ops, who also became his wife.
Saturn (mythology) 185

It was prophesied that one day Saturn would lose power when one of
his children would depose him. To prevent this from happening, each
time Ops delivered a child Saturn would immediately devour it. When
her sixth child, Jupiter, was born, Ops had him spirited away to the
island of Crete. She then wrapped a stone in his swaddling clothes. Her
deception was complete when Saturn devoured it, thinking it was the
child. When Jupiter was grown, he secured the job of cup-bearer to his
father. With the help of Terra, his grandmother, Jupiter fed his father a
potion that caused him to vomit up Jupiter's five immortal siblings,
Vesta (Hestia), Ceres (Demeter), Juno (Hera), Pluto (Hades), and
Neptune (Poseidon), who were still alive in their father's stomach.

A devastating war that nearly destroyed the Universe ensued between


Saturn and his five brothers and Jupiter and his five brothers and
sisters. Jupiter persuaded the fifty headed monsters to fight with him
which enabled him to make use of their weapons of thunder, lightning
and earthquake. He also convinced the Titan Prometheus, who was
incredibly wise, and his brother, to join his side. With his forces,
Jupiter was victorious and the Olympians reigned supreme. Saturn was,
again depending on the source, either castrated or sliced into a
thousand pieces with his own sickle (as he had done to his father) and
cast into the darkest and deepest part of Tartarus, the underworld. His Saturn Devouring His Son, painting by Goya
sometime between 1819 and 1823
brothers were imprisoned in Tartarus as well except for Atlas, the
strongest Titan, who was given the burden of holding up the sky.

In Roman mythology,[1] when Jupiter ascended the throne, Saturn fled to Rome and established the Golden Age, a
time of perfect peace and harmony, which lasted as long as he reigned. In memory of the Golden Age, the Feast of
Saturnalia was held every year in the winter at the Winter Solstice. During this time no war could be declared, slaves
and masters ate at the same table, executions were postponed, and it was a season for giving gifts. This was a time of
total abandon and merry making. It refreshed the idea of equality, of a time when all men were on the same level.
When the festival ended, the tax collectors appeared and all money owed out to government, landlords, or lenders
had to be accounted for.

This is another side to Saturn and its ruling sign, Capricorn: the settling of accounts. The time of the winter solstice
is when the Sun enters the sign Capricorn.
Hesiod[2] wrote of the five ages of mankind: Gold, Silver, two ages of Bronze and an age of Iron. The Age of Gold
was the purest age, when no labor was required and weather was always pleasant. It was virtually a place of pleasant
surroundings and of abundance. Death was not an unpleasant eventuality and people occupied their time in pleasant
pursuits. Cronus ruled over this Golden Age.
Saturn (mythology) 186

Astrological Beliefs
Medieval and Renaissance scholars associated Saturn with one of the Four Temperaments of ancient medicine,
melancholy. Physicians, scholars, philosophers and scientists, were rationalised to have a strong Saturn placement
which gives them a tendency toward melancholy, but also wisdom.
Astrological Saturn has always been associated with the letter of the law. Gnostics have identified Saturn with the
god of Early Scripture, whom they regarded as a tyrannical father, obsessed with rigid enforcement of the law. There
is a symbolic link between Saturn and the God of Early Scripture through the use of Saturday. Saturn's Day, the
seventh day of Scripture, the holy day of rest.
Saturn's function is contraction, which gives Saturn (called since ancient times "The Greater Malefic") a somewhat
polarized role against Jupiter (called "The Greater Benefic") in astrology. In Vedic astrology Saturn and Jupiter are
considered natural neutrals, but under closer relations become enemies (although William Lilly disagrees with this
and considers them both friends). Similarly, Saturn is considered cold (slow) and dry (separate) whereas Jupiter is
considered warm (speedy) and moist (inclusive). Where there is light Saturn brings darkness, where there is heat
Saturn brings cold, where there is joy Saturn brings sadness, where there is life Saturn brings death, where there is
luck Saturn brings misfortune (and sometimes heavy consequences for bad judgment or mistakes), where there is
unity Saturn brings isolation, where there is knowledge Saturn brings fear, where there is hope Saturn brings
skepticism and stalling. However these effects are not always negative. Saturn's properties of contraction and
"crystallization" are said to create solidness in the world and give lasting form to everything physical and principle.
Saturn is considered the only planet that doesn't cause over-expansion when negatively aspected with Jupiter, but
rather causes Jupiter's expansion to remit.
Death, particular in old age, has been associated with Saturn since ancient times. At times the freedoms created by
the other planets are abused so that remorse follows. Saturn's color is black. The element associated with Saturn is
lead.
Saturn often stands for the father in the natal chart, as does the Sun, however with Saturn it usually indicates
problems with the father. Saturn indicates a tyrannical, domineering parent who seeks to mold his children in his
own image and force them to live by his standards. Children often become "swallowed up" by such domination.
Saturn's connection with agriculture suggests the nature of time. The Golden Years is a term used to describe the
retirement years and Saturn rules old age.

Planet
Saturn is a gas giant, the second largest planet in the solar system after Jupiter, and the sixth planet out from the Sun.
The planet is widely known for its prominently visible rings. Saturn is a sister planet to Jupiter, Uranus, and
Neptune. Like most of the other planets in the solar system, Saturn is named after a Roman god. Just like with other
planet's satellites, Saturn's moons are named after Greek mythology.
In the ancient times, the planet Saturn was the farthest out of the five known planets other than Earth in the Solar
System (along with Mercury, Venus, Mars, and Jupiter; Uranus and Neptune had not yet been discovered), although
the rings were not discovered until Galileo observed the planet in 1610.
Saturn (mythology) 187

References
[1] Macrobius Saturnalia I,9; Vergil Aeneis VII, 49
[2] Hesiod Theogony

Resources
Mythology: Edith Hamilton
The Only Astrology Book You Will Ever Need: Joanna Martine Woolfolk
Mythic Astrology: Archetypal Powers In The Horoscope: Ariel Guttman and Kenneth Johnson.
Parker's Astrology: Julia and Derek Parker
Mysteries of freemasonry by John Fellows
New larousse encyclopedia of mythology, introduction by Robert Graves

Saturn Devouring His Son


Saturn Devouring His Son is the name given to a painting by
Spanish artist Francisco Goya. It depicts the Greek myth of the
Titan Cronus (in the title Romanised to Saturn), who, fearing that
his children would overthrow him, ate each one upon their birth. It
is one of the series of Black Paintings that Goya painted directly
onto the walls of his house sometime between 1819 and 1823.

The work was transferred to canvas after Goya's death and now
resides in the Museo del Prado in Madrid.

Saturn Devouring His Son, c. 1819–1823. Oil mural


transferred to canvas, 143cm x 81cm. Museo del Prado,
Madrid
Saturn Devouring His Son 188

Background
In 1819, Goya purchased a house on the banks of Manzanares near
Madrid called Quinta del Sordo (Villa of the Deaf Man). It was a small
two-story house which was named after a previous occupant who had
been deaf, although the name was fitting for Goya too, who had been
left deaf after contracting a fever in 1792. Between 1819 and 1823,
when he left the house to move to Bordeaux, Goya produced a series of
14 works, which he painted with oils directly onto the walls of the
house. At the age of 73, and having survived two life-threatening
illnesses, Goya was likely to have been concerned with his own
Quinta del Sordo, c. 1900 mortality, and was increasingly embittered by the civil strife occurring
in Spain. Although he initially decorated the rooms of the house with
more inspiring images, in time he overpainted them all with the intense haunting pictures known today as the Black
Paintings. Uncommissioned and never meant for public display, these pictures reflect his darkening mood with some
intense scenes of malevolence and conflict.[1]

Saturn Devouring His Son, a disturbing portrait of the god Saturn consuming one of his children, was one of six
works with which Goya decorated the dining room. According to Roman myth, it had been foretold that one of the
sons of Saturn would overthrow him, just as he had overthrown his father, Caelus. To prevent this, Saturn ate his
children moments after each was born. His wife Ops eventually hid his sixth son, Jupiter, on the island of Crete,
deceiving Saturn by offering a stone wrapped in swaddling in his place. Jupiter eventually supplanted his father just
as the prophecy had predicted.
Goya never named the works he produced at Quinta del Sordo; the names were assigned by others after his death,[2]
and this painting is also known as just Saturn, Saturn Devouring One of His Sons, Saturn Devouring his Children or
by the Spanish names Saturno devorando a su hijo or Saturno devorando a un hijo.

Painting
Goya depicts Saturn feasting upon one of his sons. His child's head and part of the left arm has already been
consumed. The right arm has probably been eaten too, though it could be folded in front of the body and held in
place by Saturn's crushing grip. The titan is on the point of taking another bite from the left arm; as he looms from
the darkness, his mouth gapes and his eyes bulge white with the appearance of madness. The only other brightness in
the picture comes from the white flesh,the red blood of the corpse, the white knuckles of Saturn as he digs his fingers
into the back of the body, and his piercing eyes, wide with madness. There is evidence that the picture may have
originally portrayed the titan with a partially erect penis,[3] but, if ever present, this disturbing addition was lost due
to the deterioration of the mural over time or during the transfer to canvas; in the picture today the area around his
groin is indistinct. It may even have been overpainted deliberately before the picture was put on public display.[4]
Saturn Devouring His Son 189

Various interpretations of the meaning of the picture have been offered:


the conflict between youth and old age, time as the devourer of all
things, the wrath of God and an allegory of the situation in Spain, where
the fatherland consumed its own children in wars and revolution. There
have been explanations rooted in Goya's relationships with his own son,
Xavier, the only of his six children to survive to adulthood, or with his
live-in housekeeper and possible mistress, Leocadia Weiss; the sex of
the body being consumed can not be determined with certainty. If Goya
made any notes on the picture, they have not survived; as he never
intended the picture for public exhibition, he probably had little interest
in explaining its significance. It has been said that the painting is
"essential to our understanding of the human condition in modern times,
just as Michelangelo's Sistine ceiling is essential to understanding the
tenor of the 16th century".[5]

Goya may have been inspired by Peter Paul Rubens' 1636 picture of the
same name. Rubens' painting, also held at the Museo del Prado, is a
brighter, more conventional treatment of the myth: his Saturn exhibits
less of the cannibalistic ferocity portrayed in Goya's rendition. However,
some critics have suggested that Rubens' portrayal is the more horrific:
the god is portrayed as a calculating remorseless killer, who – fearing
for his own position of power – murders his innocent child. Goya's
vision, on the other hand, shows a man driven mad by the act of killing
Peter Paul Rubens' more refined Saturn his own son. In addition, the body of the son in Goya's picture is that of
Devouring His Son (1636) may have inspired
an adult, not the helpless baby depicted by Rubens. Goya had produced
Goya.
a chalk drawing of the same subject in 1796-7 that was closer in tone to
Rubens' work: it showed a Saturn similar in appearance to that of
Rubens', daintily biting on the leg of one of his sons while he holds another like a leg of chicken, with none of the
gore or madness of the later work. Goya scholar Fred Licht has raised doubts regarding the traditional title however,
noting that the classical iconographical attributes associated with Saturn are absent from the painting, and the body
of the smaller figure does not resemble that of an infant.[6] The rounded buttocks and wide hips of the headless
corpse has also called into question the identification of this figure as a male.[7]

Transfer from the Quinta del Sordo


Although never meant to be seen by the public, the paintings were obviously important works in Goya's oeuvre.
When Goya went into self-imposed exile in France in 1823, he passed Quinta del Sordo to his grandson, Mariano.
After various changes of ownership, the house came into the possession of the Belgian Baron Emile d'Erlanger in
1874. After 70 years on the walls of Quinta del Sordo, the murals were deteriorating badly and, in order to preserve
them, the new owner of the house had them transferred to canvas under the direction of Salvador Martinez Cubells,
the curator of the Museo del Prado. After showing them at the Exposition Universelle of 1878 in Paris, d'Erlanger
eventually donated them to the Spanish state. The effects of time on the murals, coupled with the inevitable damage
caused by the delicate operation of mounting the crumbling plaster on canvas, meant that most of the murals required
restoration work and some detail may have been lost, but in this respect Saturn Devouring His Son appears to have
fared better than some of the other works.
Saturn Devouring His Son 190

In Popular Culture
The image was featured in two instances in the 2009 film Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps. The painting is featured
in the office of Bretton James, who mentions it briefly when Jacob Moore inquires about it. Near the end of the
movie, James rips the painting off the wall in a fit of anger as it seems to provoke his dire financial and political
situation.

Notes
[1] "But never before and never since, as far as we know, has a major, ambitious cycle of paintings been painted with the intention of keeping the
pictures an entirely private affair." Licht, 159
[2] Licht, 168
[3] Morden and Pulimood in Farthing, 375
[4] Connell, 209
[5] Licht, 71
[6] Licht, 168
[7] Connell, 210

References
• Connell, Evan (2004). Francisco Goya: A Life. Counterpoint. pp. 256. ISBN 9781582433073.
• Licht, Fred (1983). Goya: The Origins of the Modern Temper in Art. Icon. pp. 288. ISBN 0064301230.
• Morden, Karen, and Pulimood, Stephen (2006). Stephen Farthing. ed. 1001 Paintings You Must See Before You
Die. London: Quintet Publishing Ltd. ISBN 1-84403-563-8.
• "Saturn Devouring One of His Sons" (http://www.museodelprado.es/coleccion/galeria-on-line/
galeria-on-line/obra/saturno-devorando-a-un-hijo/?no_cache=1). Museo del Prado. Retrieved 27 February 2007.
• E. Weems. "The Black Paintings: Saturn" (http://eeweems.com/goya/saturn.html). Retrieved 27 February
2007.
• Jay Scott Morgan. "The Mystery of Goya's Saturn" (http://web.archive.org/web/20061213003002/http://cat.
middlebury.edu/~nereview/morgan.html). New England Review. Archived from the original (http://cat.
middlebury.edu/~nereview/morgan.html) on 13 December 2006. Retrieved 27 February 2007.
• "Goya's Black Paintings" (http://www.theartwolf.com/goya_black_paintings.htm). theartworlf. Retrieved 27
February 2007.
• Milko A. García Torres. "Francisco José Goya" (http://www.imageandart.com/tutoriales/biografias/goya/
index.html) (in Spanish). Pinacoteca Universal Multimedia. Madrid: F & G Editores. Retrieved 27 February
2007.
Silvanus (mythology) 191

Silvanus (mythology)
Silvanus (Latin: "of the woods") was a Roman tutelary spirit or deity of
woods and fields. As protector of forests (sylvestris deus), he especially
presided over plantations and delighted in trees growing wild.[1] [2] [3] [4]
He is also described as a god watching over the fields and husbandmen,
protecting in particular the boundaries of fields.[5] The similarly named
Etruscan deity Selvans may be a borrowing of Silvanus,[6] or not even
related in origin.[7]

Silvanus is described as the divinity protecting the flocks of cattle,


warding off wolves, and promoting their fertility.[1] [8] [9] [10] Hyginus
states that Silvanus was the first to set up stones to mark the limits of
fields, and that every estate had three Silvani:[11]
• a Silvanus domesticus (in inscriptions called Silvanus Larum and
Silvanus sanctus sacer Larum)
• a Silvanus agrestis (also called salutaris), who was worshipped by
shepherds, and
• a Silvanus orientalis, that is, the god presiding over the point at which
an estate begins.
Hence Silvani were often referred to in the plural.

Attributes and associations


Like other gods of woods and flocks, Silvanus is described as fond of
Bronze statue of Silvanus, said to be from
music; the syrinx was sacred to him,[1] and he is mentioned along with
Nocera in southern Italy.
the Pans and Nymphs.[2] [12] Later speculators even identified Silvanus
with Pan, Faunus, Inuus and Aegipan.[13] He must have been associated
with the Italian Mars, for Cato refers to him as Mars Silvanus.[9] In the provinces outside of Italy, Silvanus was
identified with numerous native gods:[14]

• Sucellos, Sinquas and Tettus in Gaul and Germany


• Callirius, Cocidius and Vinotonus in Britain
• Calaedicus in Spain
• the Mogiae in Pannonia
• Poininus in Moesia.
The Slavic god Borevit has similarities with Silvanus.
Silvanus (mythology) 192

Drawing of a relief of Silvanus from Rome.

Worship
The sacrifices offered to Silvanus consisted of grapes, ears of grain, milk, meat,
wine and pigs.[1] [5] [15] [16] [17] In Cato's De Agricultura an offering to Mars
Silvanus is described, to ensure the health of cattle; it is stated there that his
connection with agriculture referred only to the labour performed by men, and
that females were excluded from his worship.[9] [16] (Compare Bona Dea for a
Roman deity from whose worship men were excluded.) Virgil relates that in the
very earliest times the Tyrrhenian Pelasgians had dedicated a grove and a festival
to Silvanus.[8]

In literature
In works of Latin poetry and art, Silvanus always appears as an old man, but as
Votive statue of the ursarius
cheerful and in love with Pomona.[5] [18] [19] [20] Virgil represents him as carrying (bear-catcher) of Legio XXX Ulpia
the trunk of a cypress (Greek: δενδροφόρος),[12] about which the following Victrix to Silvanus,
[21] [22] LVR-Archäologischer Park Xanten
myth is told. Silvanus – or Apollo according to other versions – was in
love with Cyparissus, and once by accident killed a hind belonging to
Cyparissus. The latter died of grief, and was metamorphosed into a cypress.[23] [24] [25]

In the Harry Potter series, the former Care of Magical Creatures teacher is named Silvanus Kettleburn.
Silvanus (mythology) 193

References
• This article incorporates text from the public domain Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology
by William Smith (1870).
[1] Tibullus II.5.27, 30.
[2] Lucan. Pharsalia III.402.
[3] Pliny the Elder. Naturalis historia XII.2.
[4] Ovid. Metamorphoses I.193.
[5] Horace. Epodes II.21-22.
[6] Robert Schilling, "Silvanus," in Roman and European Mythologies (University of Chicago Press, 1992, from the French edition of 1981), p.
146 online (http:/ / books. google. com/ books?id=Uf2_kHAs22sC& pg=PA146& dq="borrowed+ from+ the+ Latin"+ "Etruscan+ Selvans"&
hl=en& ei=WgHcTLLtE8fOnAe5npkX& sa=X& oi=book_result& ct=result& resnum=1& ved=0CCgQ6AEwAA#v=onepage& q="borrowed
from the Latin" "Etruscan Selvans"& f=false), concurring with Dumézil, Archaic Roman Religion, p. 616.
[7] Peter F. Dorcey, The Cult of Silvanus: A Study in Roman Folk Religion (Brill, 1992), pp. 10–12 online (http:/ / books. google. com/
books?id=1YzWMQecwH4C& pg=PA10& dq="A+ popular+ theory+ traces+ Silvanus+ back+ to+ the+ Etruscan+ divinity+ Selvans"&
hl=en& ei=RhfcTKbpOIrfnQfb1LUW& sa=X& oi=book_result& ct=result& resnum=1& ved=0CCUQ6AEwAA#v=onepage& q="A popular
theory traces Silvanus back to the Etruscan divinity Selvans"& f=false), noting earlier efforts to press an Etruscan etymology on Silvanus.
[8] Virgil. Aeneid VIII.600-1.
[9] Cato the Elder. De Re Rustica 83
[10] Nonnus II.324.
[11] Hyginus. De limitibus constituendi, preface.
[12] Virgil. Georgics I.20-1.
[13] Plutarch. Parallel Lives. Min. 22.
[14] Peter F. Dorcey (1992). The Cult of Silvanus: A Study in Roman Folk Religion, p.32. ISBN 978-90-04-09601-1.
[15] Horace. Epistles II.1.143.
[16] Juvenal. VI.446, with associated scholia.
[17] Compare Voss. Mythol. Briefe, 2.68; Hartung, Die Relig. der Röm. vol. 2. p. 170, &c.
[18] Virgil. Georgics II.494
[19] Horace. Carmina III.8.
[20] Ovid. Metamorphoses XIV.639.
[21] Servius. Commentary on the Aeneid III.680.
[22] Ovid. Metamorphoses X.106
[23] Servius. Commentary on Virgil's Georgics I.20
[24] Virgil. Eclogues X.26.
[25] Virgil. Aeneid III.680.

External links
• Cato's De Agricultura: (http://www.novaroma.org/religio_romana/cato_mars.html) an offering to Mars
Silvanus (e-text in English and Latin)
Sol (mythology) 194

Sol (mythology)
Ancient Roman religion

Practices and beliefs


Imperial cult  · festivals  · ludi
mystery religions · funerals
temples · auspice · sacrifice
votum · libatio