Statue of Vejovis

Statue of Vejovis

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Representation and worship

ref.: Licinia 16 sear5 #274 Cr354/1 Syd 732

Vejovis was portrayed as a young man, holding a bunch of arrows, pilum, (or lightning bolts) in his hand, and accompanied by a goat. Romans believed that Vejovis was one of the first gods to be born. He was a god of healing, and became associated with the Greek Asclepius. [1] He was mostly worshipped in Rome and Bovillae in Latium. On the Capitoline Hill and on the Tiber Island, temples were erected in his honour. [2]


In spring, goats were sacrificed to him to avert plagues. Aulus Gellius informs us that Vejovis received the sacrifice of a female goat, sacrificed ritu humano [3] this obscure phrase could either mean "after the manner of a human sacrifice" or "in the manner of a burial." [4]

The Magic of tearing down statues

The recent attention to the pulling down of statues of those whose history has fallen short of modern expectations has a long magical tradition.

In Ancient Times statues had a magical function. They were supposed to represent either Gods or Heroes looking down on society and protecting it. Sometimes they were used as a focal point for a god at a particular site. In other times a statue was erected to a dead human “hero” to appease them.

In Egypt, the Hermetica (and repeated by Iamblicus) statues were used by magicians to communicate directly with the dead or Gods. They were doorways between the worlds, and the statues could speak.

But statues were often destroyed or buried because they were not doing their job or that the person was deemed to have committed crimes, so that modern people (usually the rulers) did not want them hanging around anymore. Normally statues were disfigured by having their nose (access to breath) and mouths chiselled off. In other times they were buried.
Gods who failed to do their job went the same way.

One of the most charged statues in Rome is that of who received the “soul” of a goat as an offering. He was a god of healing and was supposed to stop plagues. But one day, the Romans decided he failed as a God and pulled him from his temple and buried him. In modern times, Vejovis’s statue was dug up again and placed in a Roman museum. Ancient Greeks buried Apollo’s statues to ward off plague or if he failed to stop one.

Newer statues of heroes appear after the rise of Christianity, and they were usually symbolic, in that they were acknowledging that the image of this person was important after their deaths for future generations to see and respect. But recent events have shown that in humanity’s unconscious, the old rules still apply.


Jonathan Edward Colston (1636-1721)

The people of Bristol erected a statue to merchant Edward Colston it was an acknowledgement that he poured a lot of cash into charity work in Bristol. At the time no-one cared that Colston’s money came from slavery and his company transported more than 84,000 African men, women and children to the Caribbean and the rest of the Americas, of whom 19,000 died on their journey. To the people of Bristol, he was a hero.

In the 21st century, we no longer turn a blind eye to slavery. We might accept some “sins” that people had historically, but slavery is a deal killer. Colston is no longer a hero and no longer deserves to be revered as one. Removing the statue is not causing people to forget history in fact, the statue will end up in a museum, because we write history down. We will always know that

Edward Colston existed, and we will see him in history books giving money to the poor while earning that money kidnapping and selling black people.

The statue situation in the US is slightly different. In the 1950s and 1960s, statues of Confederate heroes were erected as symbols of white rule. They were a direct response to the black civil rights movement and were effective magically invoking the dead spirits and making them heroes to keep blacks in check.

American history is always one where legend and spin are more important than reality, and the South kept the image of the Confederacy alive mostly to justify segregation. In this false religion, these racist, slave owners, were heroes. Putting statues of these heroes was telling the descendants of slaves to “keep their place” and “know who their boss is.” It is not surprising then that such black magic statues have to be pulled down.

What I find useful from this experience is that the statue issue has awoken a re-evaluation of other heroes and our acceptance of them.

The much over-quoted Albert Pike who is seen as an American masonic hero but in real life was a confederate, racist, war criminal who encouraged his soldiers to scalp people. Not was he a traitor to both sides to the war, but he might have helped found the KKK (a form of masons for those without opposable thumbs). So his statue should not be seen outside the masonic lodges (where he can still be a hero) but to the rest of the world, he was a generally disgusting human being.

Even the revolutionary heroes such as George Washington (who wore dentures made from a teeth pulled from a black slave), Thomas Jefferson (slave owner) and Benjamin Franklyn are being re-evaluated to a greater or lesser degree. Centuries of spin that Disney and other US historians have made turning these people into saints will probably prevent too much dirt ever sticking, but it is time the US looked at the revolutionary war and see if it delivered on its promises.

Another statue getting a lot of attention is Winston Churchill, who is a hero to the English for seeing Hitler coming and being a great leader in a time of need. But had Churchill died before WW2, he would have been widely hated as a historical figure. While a colonial war hero and critical of the way wars were handled, most of his actions were self-glorification. This arrogance led to the death of thousands of ANZACs at the battle of Gallipoli by thinking his Royal Navy could save the day and effectively tipping the Turks off that the raid was happening.

An aristocrat, Churchill was anti-union, anti-votes for women and a racist. He was surprisingly not anti-fascist and was continually trying to get a deal with Mussolini and Franco to abandon Hitler. Like many British aristocrats believed Hitler was ok until he started threatening the British Empire. He also made decisions which would result in the deaths of many Indians by starvation, and he also turned on the Greek freedom fighters fighting Hitler because he feared that they would go Russian after the war. While I can see why Churchill was a hero to middle England, he was not a hero to everyone, and I can see why his statue would be targeted.

The point of this is that the removal of statues and the re-evaluation of historical figures is an integral part of development. In some cases, particularly in the case of actual criminals such as King Leopold of Belgium, they need to go because we can no longer worship people who committed such atrocities as heroes. We need heroes for our age to fulfill that role.


The Romans believed that Jupiter granted them supremacy because they had honoured him more than any other people had. Jupiter was "the fount of the auspices upon which the relationship of the city with the gods rested." [18] He 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. [19]

The consuls swore their oath of office in Jupiter's name, and honoured him on the annual feriae of the Capitol in September. To thank him for his help, and to secure his continued support, they sacrificed a white ox (bos mas) with gilded horns. [20] A similar sacrificial offering was made by triumphal generals, who surrendered the tokens of their victory at the feet of Jupiter's statue in the Capitol. Some scholars have viewed the triumphator as embodying (or impersonating) Jupiter in the triumphal procession. [21]

Jupiter's association with kingship and sovereignty was reinterpreted as Rome's form of government changed. Originally, Rome was ruled by kings after the monarchy was abolished and the Republic established, religious prerogatives were transferred to the patres, the patrician ruling class. Nostalgia for the kingship (affectatio regni) was considered treasonous. Those suspected of harbouring monarchical ambitions were punished, regardless of their service to the state. In the 5th century BC, the triumphator Camillus was sent into exile after he drove a chariot with a team of four white horses (quadriga)—an honour reserved for Jupiter himself. When Marcus Manlius, whose defense of the Capitol against the invading Gauls had earned him the name Capitolinus, was accused of regal pretensions, he was executed as a traitor by being cast from the Tarpeian Rock. His house on the Capitoline Hill was razed, and it was decreed that no patrician should ever be allowed to live there. [22] Capitoline Jupiter represented a continuity of royal power from the Regal period, and conferred power to the magistrates who paid their respects to him at the same time he embodied that which was now forbidden, abhorred, and scorned. [23] [ clarification needed ]

During the Conflict of the Orders, Rome's plebeians demanded the right to hold political and religious office. During their first secessio (similar to a general strike), they withdrew from the city and threatened to found their own. When they agreed to come back to Rome they vowed the hill where they had retreated to Jupiter as symbol and guarantor of the unity of the Roman res publica. [24] Plebeians eventually became eligible for all the magistracies and most priesthoods, but the high priest of Jupiter (Flamen Dialis) remained the preserve of patricians. [25]

Flamen and Flaminica Dialis Edit

Jupiter was served by the patrician Flamen Dialis, the highest-ranking member of the flamines, a college of fifteen priests in the official public cult of Rome, each of whom was devoted to a particular deity. His wife, the Flaminica Dialis, had her own duties, and presided over the sacrifice of a ram to Jupiter on each of the nundinae, the "market" days of a calendar cycle, comparable to a week. [26] The couple were required to marry by the exclusive patrician ritual confarreatio, which included a sacrifice of spelt bread to Jupiter Farreus (from far, "wheat, grain"). [27]

The office of Flamen Dialis was circumscribed by several unique ritual prohibitions, some of which shed light on the sovereign nature of the god himself. [28] For instance, the flamen may remove his clothes or apex (his pointed hat) only when under a roof, in order to avoid showing himself naked to the sky—that is, "as if under the eyes of Jupiter" as god of the heavens. Every time the Flaminica saw a lightning bolt or heard a clap of thunder (Jupiter's distinctive instrument), she was prohibited from carrying on with her normal routine until she placated the god. [29]

Some privileges of the flamen of Jupiter may reflect the regal nature of Jupiter: he had the use of the curule chair, [30] and was the only priest (sacerdos) who was preceded by a lictor [31] and had a seat in the senate. [32] Other regulations concern his ritual purity and his separation from the military function he was forbidden to ride a horse or see the army outside the sacred boundary of Rome (pomerium). Although he served the god who embodied the sanctity of the oath, it was not religiously permissible (fas) for the Dialis to swear an oath. [33] He could not have contacts with anything dead or connected with death: corpses, funerals, funeral fires, raw meat. This set of restrictions reflects the fulness of life and absolute freedom that are features of Jupiter. [34]

Augurs Edit

The augures publici, augurs were a college of sacerdotes who were in charge of all inaugurations and of the performing of ceremonies known as auguria. Their creation was traditionally ascribed to Romulus. They were considered the only official interpreters of Jupiter's will, thence they were essential to the very existence of the Roman State as Romans saw in Jupiter the only source of state authority.

Fetials Edit

The fetials were a college of 20 men devoted to the religious administration of international affairs of state. [35] Their task was to preserve and apply the fetial law (ius fetiale), a complex set of procedures aimed at ensuring the protection of the gods in Rome's relations with foreign states. Iuppiter Lapis is the god under whose protection they act, and whom the chief fetial (pater patratus) invokes in the rite concluding a treaty. [36] If a declaration of war ensues, the fetial calls upon Jupiter and Quirinus, the heavenly, earthly and chthonic gods as witnesses of any potential violation of the ius. He can then declare war within 33 days. [37]

The action of the fetials falls under Jupiter's jurisdiction as the divine defender of good faith. Several emblems of the fetial office pertain to Jupiter. The silex was the stone used for the fetial sacrifice, housed in the Temple of Iuppiter Feretrius, as was their sceptre. Sacred herbs (sagmina), sometimes identified as vervain, had to be taken from the nearby citadel (arx) for their ritual use. [38]

Jupiter and religion in the secessions of the plebs Edit

The role of Jupiter in the conflict of the orders is a reflection of the religiosity of the Romans. On one side, the patricians were able to naturally claim the support of the supreme god as they held the auspices of the State. On the other side, the plebs (plebeians) argued that, as Jupiter was the source of justice, they had his favor because their cause was just.

The first secession was caused by the excessive debt burden on the plebs. The legal institute of the nexum permitted a debtor to become a slave of his creditor. The plebs argued the debts had become unsustainable because of the expenses of the wars wanted by the patricians. As the senate did not accede to the proposal of a total debt remission advanced by dictator and augur Manius Valerius Maximus the plebs retired on the Mount Sacer, a hill located three Roman miles to the North-northeast of Rome, past the Nomentan bridge on river Anio. [39] The place is windy and was usually the site of rites of divination performed by haruspices. The senate in the end sent a delegation composed of ten members with full powers of making a deal with the plebs, of which were part Menenius Agrippa and Manius Valerius. It was Valerius, according to the inscription found at Arezzo in 1688 and written on the order of Augustus as well as other literary sources, that brought the plebs down from the Mount, after the secessionists had consecrated it to Jupiter Territor and built an altar (ara) on its summit. The fear of the wrath of Jupiter was an important element in the solution of the crisis. The consecration of the Mount probably referred to its summit only. The ritual requested the participation of both an augur (presumably Manius Valerius himself) and a pontifex. [40]

The second secession was caused by the autocratic and arrogant behaviour of the decemviri, who had been charged by the Roman people with writing down the laws in use till then kept secret by the patrician magistrates and the sacerdotes. All magistracies and the tribunes of the plebs had resigned in advance. The task resulted in the XII Tables, which though concerned only private law. The plebs once again retreated to the Sacer Mons: this act besides recalling the first secession was meant to seek the protection of the supreme god. The secession ended with the resignation of the decemviri and an amnesty for the rebellious soldiers who had deserted from their camp near Mount Algidus while warring against the Volscians, abandoning the commanders. The amnesty was granted by the senate and guaranteed by the pontifex maximus Quintus Furius (in Livy's version) (or Marcus Papirius) who also supervised the nomination of the new tribunes of the plebs, then gathered on the Aventine Hill. The role played by the pontifex maximus in a situation of vacation of powers is a significant element underlining the religious basis and character of the tribunicia potestas. [41]

A dominant line of scholarship has held that Rome lacked a body of myths in its earliest period, or that this original mythology has been irrecoverably obscured by the influence of the Greek narrative tradition. [42] After the influence of Greek culture on Roman culture, Latin literature and iconography reinterpreted the myths of Zeus in depictions and narratives of Jupiter. In the legendary history of Rome, Jupiter is often connected to kings and kingship.

Birth Edit

Jupiter is depicted as the twin of Juno in a statue at Praeneste that showed them nursed by Fortuna Primigenia. [43] An inscription that is also from Praeneste, however, says that Fortuna Primigenia was Jupiter's first-born child. [44] Jacqueline Champeaux sees this contradiction as the result of successive different cultural and religious phases, in which a wave of influence coming from the Hellenic world made Fortuna the daughter of Jupiter. [45] The childhood of Zeus is an important theme in Greek religion, art and literature, but there are only rare (or dubious) depictions of Jupiter as a child. [46]

Numa Edit

Faced by a period of bad weather endangering the harvest during one early spring, King Numa resorted to the scheme of asking the advice of the god by evoking his presence. [47] He succeeded through the help of Picus and Faunus, whom he had imprisoned by making them drunk. The two gods (with a charm) evoked Jupiter, who was forced to come down to earth at the Aventine (hence named Iuppiter Elicius, according to Ovid). After Numa skilfully avoided the requests of the god for human sacrifices, Jupiter agreed to his request to know how lightning bolts are averted, asking only for the substitutions Numa had mentioned: an onion bulb, hairs and a fish. Moreover, Jupiter promised that at the sunrise of the following day he would give to Numa and the Roman people pawns of the imperium. The following day, after throwing three lightning bolts across a clear sky, Jupiter sent down from heaven a shield. Since this shield had no angles, Numa named it ancile because in it resided the fate of the imperium, he had many copies made of it to disguise the real one. He asked the smith Mamurius Veturius to make the copies, and gave them to the Salii. As his only reward, Mamurius expressed the wish that his name be sung in the last of their carmina. [48] Plutarch gives a slightly different version of the story, writing that the cause of the miraculous drop of the shield was a plague and not linking it with the Roman imperium. [49]

Tullus Hostilius Edit

Throughout his reign, King Tullus had a scornful attitude towards religion. His temperament was warlike, and he disregarded religious rites and piety. After conquering the Albans with the duel between the Horatii and Curiatii, Tullus destroyed Alba Longa and deported its inhabitants to Rome. As Livy tells the story, omens (prodigia) in the form of a rain of stones occurred on the Alban Mount because the deported Albans had disregarded their ancestral rites linked to the sanctuary of Jupiter. In addition to the omens, a voice was heard requesting that the Albans perform the rites. A plague followed and at last the king himself fell ill. As a consequence, the warlike character of Tullus broke down he resorted to religion and petty, superstitious practices. At last, he found a book by Numa recording a secret rite on how to evoke Iuppiter Elicius. The king attempted to perform it, but since he executed the rite improperly the god threw a lightning bolt which burned down the king's house and killed Tullus. [50]

Tarquin the Elder Edit

When approaching Rome (where Tarquin was heading to try his luck in politics after unsuccessful attempts in his native Tarquinii), an eagle swooped down, removed his hat, flew screaming in circles, replaced the hat on his head and flew away. Tarquin's wife Tanaquil interpreted this as a sign that he would become king based on the bird, the quadrant of the sky from which it came, the god who had sent it and the fact it touched his hat (an item of clothing placed on a man's most noble part, the head). [51]

The Elder Tarquin is credited with introducing the Capitoline Triad to Rome, by building the so-called Capitolium Vetus. Macrobius writes this issued from his Samothracian mystery beliefs. [52]

Sacrifices Edit

Sacrificial victims (hostiae) offered to Jupiter were the ox (castrated bull), the lamb (on the Ides, the ovis idulis) and the wether (castrated male goat or ram) (on the Ides of January). [53] The animals were required to be white. The question of the lamb's gender is unresolved while a lamb is generally male, for the vintage-opening festival the flamen Dialis sacrificed a ewe. [54] This rule seems to have had many exceptions, as the sacrifice of a ram on the Nundinae by the flaminica Dialis demonstrates. During one of the crises of the Punic Wars, Jupiter was offered every animal born that year. [55]

Temples Edit

Temple of Capitoline Jupiter Edit

The temple to Jupiter Optimus Maximus stood on the Capitoline Hill in Rome. [56] Jupiter was worshiped there as an individual deity, and with Juno and Minerva as part of the Capitoline Triad. The building was supposedly begun by king Tarquinius Priscus, completed by the last king (Tarquinius Superbus) and inaugurated in the early days of the Roman Republic (September 13, 509 BC). It was topped with the statues of four horses drawing a quadriga, with Jupiter as charioteer. A large statue of Jupiter stood within on festival days, its face was painted red. [57] In (or near) this temple was the Iuppiter Lapis: the Jupiter Stone, on which oaths could be sworn.

Jupiter's Capitoline Temple probably served as the architectural model for his provincial temples. 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.

Other temples in Rome Edit

There were two temples in Rome dedicated to Iuppiter Stator the first one was built and dedicated in 294 BC by Marcus Atilius Regulus after the third Samnite War. It was located on the Via Nova, below the Porta Mugonia, ancient entrance to the Palatine. [58] Legend attributed its founding to Romulus. [59] There may have been an earlier shrine (fanum), since the Jupiter cult is attested epigraphically. [60] Ovid places the temple's dedication on June 27, but it is unclear whether this was the original date, [61] or the rededication after the restoration by Augustus. [62]

A second temple of Iuppiter Stator was built and dedicated by Quintus Caecilus Metellus Macedonicus after his triumph in 146 BC near the Circus Flaminius. It was connected to the restored temple of Iuno Regina with a portico (porticus Metelli). [63]

Iuppiter Victor had a temple dedicated by Quintus Fabius Maximus Gurges during the third Samnite War in 295 BC. Its location is unknown, but it may be on the Quirinal, on which an inscription reading Diovei Victore [64] has been found, or on the Palatine according to the Notitia in the Liber Regionum (regio X), which reads: aedes Iovis Victoris. Either might have been dedicated on April 13 or June 13 (days of Iuppiter Victor and of Iuppiter Invictus, respectively, in Ovid's Fasti). [65] Inscriptions from the imperial age have revealed the existence of an otherwise-unknown temple of Iuppiter Propugnator on the Palatine. [66]

Iuppiter Latiaris and Feriae Latinae Edit

The cult of Iuppiter Latiaris was the most ancient known cult of the god: it was practised since very remote times near the top of the Mons Albanus on which the god was venerated as the high protector of the Latin League under the hegemony of Alba Longa.

After the destruction of Alba by king Tullus Hostilius the cult was forsaken. The god manifested his discontent through the prodigy of a rain of stones: the commission sent by the Roman senate to inquire was also greeted by a rain of stones and heard a loud voice from the grove on the summit of the mount requesting the Albans perform the religious service to the god according to the rites of their country. In consequence of this event the Romans instituted a festival of nine days (nundinae). Nonetheless a plague ensued: in the end Tullus Hostilius himself was affected and lastly killed by the god with a lightning bolt. [67] The festival was reestablished on its primitive site by the last Roman king Tarquin the Proud under the leadership of Rome.

The feriae Latinae, or Latiar as they were known originally, [68] were the common festival (panegyris) of the so-called Priscan Latins [69] and of the Albans. [70] Their restoration aimed at grounding Roman hegemony in this ancestral religious tradition of the Latins. The original cult was reinstated unchanged as is testified by some archaic features of the ritual: the exclusion of wine from the sacrifice [71] the offers of milk and cheese and the ritual use of rocking among the games. Rocking is one of the most ancient rites mimicking ascent to Heaven and is very widespread. At the Latiar the rocking took place on a tree and the winner was of course the one who had swung the highest. This rite was said to have been instituted by the Albans to commemorate the disappearance of king Latinus, in the battle against Mezentius king of Caere: the rite symbolised a search for him both on earth and in heaven. The rocking as well as the customary drinking of milk was also considered to commemorate and ritually reinstate infancy. [72] The Romans in the last form of the rite brought the sacrificial ox from Rome and every participant was bestowed a portion of the meat, rite known as carnem petere. [73] Other games were held in every participant borough. In Rome a race of chariots (quadrigae) was held starting from the Capitol: the winner drank a liquor made with absynth. [74] This competition has been compared to the Vedic rite of the vajapeya: in it seventeen chariots run a phoney race which must be won by the king in order to allow him to drink a cup of madhu, i. e. soma. [75] The feasting lasted for at least four days, possibly six according to Niebuhr, one day for each of the six Latin and Alban decuriae. [76] According to different records 47 or 53 boroughs took part in the festival (the listed names too differ in Pliny NH III 69 and Dionysius of Halicarnassus AR V 61). The Latiar became an important feature of Roman political life as they were feriae conceptivae, i. e. their date varied each year: the consuls and the highest magistrates were required to attend shortly after the beginning of the administration, originally on the Ides of March: the Feriae usually took place in early April. They could not start campaigning before its end and if any part of the games had been neglected or performed unritually the Latiar had to be wholly repeated. The inscriptions from the imperial age record the festival back to the time of the decemvirs. [77] Wissowa remarks the inner linkage of the temple of the Mons Albanus with that of the Capitol apparent in the common association with the rite of the triumph: [78] since 231 BC some triumphing commanders had triumphed there first with the same legal features as in Rome. [79]

Ides Edit

The Ides (the midpoint of the month, with a full moon) was sacred to Jupiter, because on that day heavenly light shone day and night. [80] Some (or all) Ides were Feriae Iovis, sacred to Jupiter. [81] On the Ides, a white lamb (ovis idulis) was led along Rome's Sacred Way to the Capitoline Citadel and sacrificed to him. [82] Jupiter's two epula Iovis festivals fell on the Ides, as did his temple foundation rites as Optimus Maximus, Victor, Invictus and (possibly) Stator. [83]

Nundinae Edit

The nundinae recurred every ninth day, dividing the calendar into a market cycle analogous to a week. Market days gave rural people (pagi) the opportunity to sell in town and to be informed of religious and political edicts, which were posted publicly for three days. According to tradition, these festival days were instituted by the king Servius Tullius. [84] The high priestess of Jupiter (Flaminica Dialis) sanctified the days by sacrificing a ram to Jupiter. [85]

Festivals Edit

During the Republican era, more fixed holidays on the Roman calendar were devoted to Jupiter than to any other deity. [86]

Viniculture and wine Edit

Festivals of viniculture and wine were devoted to Jupiter, since grapes were particularly susceptible to adverse weather. [87] Dumézil describes wine as a "kingly" drink with the power to inebriate and exhilarate, analogous to the Vedic Soma. [88]

Three Roman festivals were connected with viniculture and wine.

The rustic Vinalia altera on August 19 asked for good weather for ripening the grapes before harvest. [89] When the grapes were ripe, [90] a sheep was sacrificed to Jupiter and the flamen Dialis cut the first of the grape harvest. [91]

The Meditrinalia on October 11 marked the end of the grape harvest the new wine was pressed, tasted and mixed with old wine [92] to control fermentation. In the Fasti Amiternini, this festival is assigned to Jupiter. Later Roman sources invented a goddess Meditrina, probably to explain the name of the festival. [93]

At the Vinalia urbana on April 23, new wine was offered to Jupiter. [94] Large quantities of it were poured into a ditch near the temple of Venus Erycina, which was located on the Capitol. [95]

Regifugium and Poplifugium Edit

The Regifugium ("King's Flight") [96] on February 24 has often been discussed in connection with the Poplifugia on July 5, a day holy to Jupiter. [97] The Regifugium followed the festival of Iuppiter Terminus (Jupiter of Boundaries) on February 23. Later Roman antiquarians misinterpreted the Regifugium as marking the expulsion of the monarchy, but the "king" of this festival may have been the priest known as the rex sacrorum who ritually enacted the waning and renewal of power associated with the New Year (March 1 in the old Roman calendar). [98] A temporary vacancy of power (construed as a yearly "interregnum") occurred between the Regifugium on February 24 and the New Year on March 1 (when the lunar cycle was thought to coincide again with the solar cycle), and the uncertainty and change during the two winter months were over. [99] Some scholars emphasize the traditional political significance of the day. [100]

The Poplifugia ("Routing of Armies" [101] ), a day sacred to Jupiter, may similarly mark the second half of the year before the Julian calendar reform, the months were named numerically, Quintilis (the fifth month) to December (the tenth month). [102] The Poplifugia was a "primitive military ritual" for which the adult male population assembled for purification rites, after which they ritually dispelled foreign invaders from Rome. [103]

Epula Iovis Edit

There were two festivals called epulum Iovis ("Feast of Jove"). One was held on September 13, the anniversary of the foundation of Jupiter's Capitoline temple. The other (and probably older) festival was part of the Plebeian Games (Ludi Plebei), and was held on November 13. [104] In the 3rd century BC, the epulum Iovis became similar to a lectisternium. [105]

Ludi Edit

The most ancient Roman games followed after one day (considered a dies ater, or "black day", i. e. a day which was traditionally considered unfortunate even though it was not nefas, see also article Glossary of ancient Roman religion) the two Epula Iovis of September and November.

The games of September were named Ludi Magni originally they were not held every year, but later became the annual Ludi Romani [106] and were held in the Circus Maximus after a procession from the Capitol. The games were attributed to Tarquinius Priscus, [107] and linked to the cult of Jupiter on the Capitol. Romans themselves acknowledged analogies with the triumph, which Dumézil thinks can be explained by their common Etruscan origin the magistrate in charge of the games dressed as the triumphator and the pompa circensis resembled a triumphal procession. Wissowa and Mommsen argue that they were a detached part of the triumph on the above grounds [108] (a conclusion which Dumézil rejects). [109]

The Ludi Plebei took place in November in the Circus Flaminius. [110] Mommsen argued that the epulum of the Ludi Plebei was the model of the Ludi Romani, but Wissowa finds the evidence for this assumption insufficient. [111] The Ludi Plebei were probably established in 534 BC. Their association with the cult of Jupiter is attested by Cicero. [112]

Larentalia Edit

The feriae of December 23 were devoted to a major ceremony in honour of Acca Larentia (or Larentina), in which some of the highest religious authorities participated (probably including the Flamen Quirinalis and the pontiffs). The Fasti Praenestini marks the day as feriae Iovis, as does Macrobius. [113] It is unclear whether the rite of parentatio was itself the reason for the festival of Jupiter, or if this was another festival which happened to fall on the same day. Wissowa denies their association, since Jupiter and his flamen would not be involved with the underworld or the deities of death (or be present at a funeral rite held at a gravesite). [114]

The Latin name 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 [115] 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 Proto-Italic vocable *Djous Patēr, [12] and ultimately the Indo-European vocative compound *Dyēu-pəter (meaning "O Father Sky-god" nominative: *Dyēus-pətēr). [116]

Older forms of the deity's name in Rome were Dieus-pater ("day/sky-father"), then Diéspiter. [117] The 19th-century philologist Georg Wissowa asserted these names are conceptually- and linguistically-connected to Diovis and Diovis Pater he compares the analogous formations Vedius-Veiove and fulgur Dium, as opposed to fulgur Summanum (nocturnal lightning bolt) and flamen Dialis (based on Dius, dies). [118] The Ancient later viewed them as entities separate from Jupiter. The terms are similar in etymology and semantics (dies, "daylight" and Dius, "daytime sky"), but differ linguistically. Wissowa considers the epithet Dianus noteworthy. [119] [120] Dieus is the etymological equivalent of ancient Greece's Zeus and of the Teutonics' Ziu (genitive Ziewes). The Indo-European deity is the god from which the names and partially the theology of Jupiter, Zeus and the Indo-Aryan Vedic Dyaus Pita derive or have developed. [121]

The Roman practice of swearing by Jove to witness an oath in law courts [122] is the origin of the expression "by Jove!"—archaic, but still in use. The name of the god was also adopted as the name of the planet Jupiter the adjective "jovial" originally described those born under the planet of Jupiter [123] (reputed to be jolly, optimistic, and buoyant in temperament).

Jove was the original namesake of Latin forms of the weekday now known in English as Thursday [124] (originally called Iovis Dies in Latin). These became jeudi in French, jueves in Spanish, joi in Romanian, giovedì in Italian, dijous in Catalan, Xoves in Galician, Joibe in Friulian, Dijóu in Provençal.

Major epithets Edit

The epithets of a Roman god indicate his theological qualities. The study of these epithets must consider their origins (the historical context of an epithet's source).

Jupiter's most ancient attested forms of cult belong to the State cult: these include the mount cult (see section above note n. 22). In Rome this cult entailed the existence of particular sanctuaries the most important of which were located on Mons Capitolinus (earlier Tarpeius). The mount had two tops that were both destined to the discharge of acts of cult related to Jupiter. The northern and higher top was the arx and on it was located the observation place of the augurs (auguraculum) and to it headed the monthly procession of the sacra Idulia. [125] On the southern top was to be found the most ancient sanctuary of the god: the shrine of Iuppiter Feretrius allegedly built by Romulus, restored by Augustus. The god here had no image and was represented by the sacred flintstone (silex). [126] The most ancient known rites, those of the spolia opima and of the fetials which connect Jupiter with Mars and Quirinus are dedicated to Iuppiter Feretrius or Iuppiter Lapis. [127] The concept of the sky god was already overlapped with the ethical and political domain since this early time. According to Wissowa and Dumézil [128] Iuppiter Lapis seems to be inseparable from Iuppiter Feretrius in whose tiny templet on the Capitol the stone was lodged.

Another most ancient epithet is Lucetius: although the Ancients, followed by some modern scholars such as Wissowa, [118] interpreted it as referring to sunlight, the carmen Saliare shows that it refers to lightning. [129] A further confirmation of this interpretation is provided by the sacred meaning of lightning which is reflected in the sensitivity of the flaminica Dialis to the phenomenon. [130] To the same atmospheric complex belongs the epithet Elicius: while the ancient erudites thought it was connected to lightning, it is in fact related to the opening of the rervoirs of rain, as is testified by the ceremony of the Nudipedalia, meant to propitiate rainfall and devoted to Jupiter. [131] and the ritual of the lapis manalis, the stone which was brought into the city through the Porta Capena and carried around in times of drought, which was named Aquaelicium. [132] Other early epithets connected with the atmospheric quality of Jupiter are Pluvius, Imbricius, Tempestas, Tonitrualis, tempestatium divinarum potens, Serenator, Serenus [133] [134] and, referred to lightning, Fulgur, [135] Fulgur Fulmen, [136] later as nomen agentis Fulgurator, Fulminator: [137] the high antiquity of the cult is testified by the neutre form Fulgur and the use of the term for the bidental, the lightning well dug on the spot hit by a lightning bolt. [138]

A group of epithets has been interpreted by Wissowa (and his followers) as a reflection of the agricultural or warring nature of the god, some of which are also in the list of eleven preserved by Augustine. [139] [140] The agricultural ones include Opitulus, Almus, Ruminus, Frugifer, Farreus, Pecunia, Dapalis, [141] Epulo. [142] Augustine gives an explanation of the ones he lists which should reflect Varro's: Opitulus because he brings opem (means, relief) to the needy, Almus because he nourishes everything, Ruminus because he nourishes the living beings by breastfeeding them, Pecunia because everything belongs to him. [143] Dumézil maintains the cult usage of these epithets is not documented and that the epithet Ruminus, as Wissowa and Latte remarked, may not have the meaning given by Augustine but it should be understood as part of a series including Rumina, Ruminalis ficus, Iuppiter Ruminus, which bears the name of Rome itself with an Etruscan vocalism preserved in inscriptions, series that would be preserved in the sacred language (cf. Rumach Etruscan for Roman). However many scholars have argued that the name of Rome, Ruma, meant in fact woman's breast. [144] Diva Rumina, as Augustine testifies in the cited passage, was the goddess of suckling babies: she was venerated near the ficus ruminalis and was offered only libations of milk. [145] Here moreover Augustine cites the verses devoted to Jupiter by Quintus Valerius Soranus, while hypothesising Iuno (more adept in his view as a breastfeeder), i.e. Rumina instead of Ruminus, might be nothing else than Iuppiter: "Iuppiter omnipotens regum rerumque deumque Progenitor genetrixque deum. ".

In Dumézil's opinion Farreus should be understood as related to the rite of the confarreatio the most sacred form of marriage, the name of which is due to the spelt cake eaten by the spouses, rather than surmising an agricultural quality of the god: the epithet means the god was the guarantor of the effects of the ceremony, to which the presence of his flamen is necessary and that he can interrupt with a clap of thunder. [146]

The epithet Dapalis is on the other hand connected to a rite described by Cato and mentioned by Festus. [147] Before the sowing of autumn or spring the peasant offered a banquet of roast beef and a cup of wine to Jupiter : it is natural that on such occasions he would entreat the god who has power over the weather, however Cato' s prayer of s one of sheer offer and no request. The language suggests another attitude: Jupiter is invited to a banquet which is supposedly abundant and magnificent. The god is honoured as summus. The peasant may hope he shall receive a benefit, but he does not say it. This interpretation finds support in the analogous urban ceremony of the epulum Iovis, from which the god derives the epithet of Epulo and which was a magnificent feast accompanied by flutes. [148]

Epithets related to warring are in Wissowa's view Iuppiter Feretrius, Iuppiter Stator, Iuppiter Victor and Iuppiter Invictus. [149] Feretrius would be connected with war by the rite of the first type of spolia opima which is in fact a dedication to the god of the arms of the defeated king of the enemy that happens whenever he has been killed by the king of Rome or his equivalent authority. Here too Dumézil notes the dedication has to do with regality and not with war, since the rite is in fact the offer of the arms of a king by a king: a proof of such an assumption is provided by the fact that the arms of an enemy king captured by an officer or a common soldier were dedicated to Mars and Quirinus respectively.

Iuppiter Stator was first attributed by tradition to Romulus, who had prayed the god for his almighty help at a difficult time the battle with the Sabines of king Titus Tatius. [150] Dumézil opines the action of Jupiter is not that of a god of war who wins through fighting: Jupiter acts by causing an inexplicable change in the morale of the fighters of the two sides. The same feature can be detected also in the certainly historical record of the battle of the third Samnite War in 294 BC, in which consul Marcus Atilius Regulus vowed a temple to Iuppiter Stator if "Jupiter will stop the rout of the Roman army and if afterwards the Samnite legions shall be victouriously massacred. It looked as if the gods themselves had taken side with Romans, so much easily did the Roman arms succeed in prevailing. ". [151] [152] In a similar manner one can explain the epithet Victor, whose cult was founded in 295 BC on the battlefield of Sentinum by Quintus Fabius Maximus Gurges and who received another vow again in 293 by consul Lucius Papirius Cursor before a battle against the Samnite legio linteata. The religious meaning of the vow is in both cases an appeal to the supreme god by a Roman chief at a time of need for divine help from the supreme god, albeit for different reasons: Fabius had remained the only political and military responsible of the Roman State after the devotio of P. Decius Mus, Papirius had to face an enemy who had acted with impious rites and vows, i.e. was religiously reprehensible. [153]

More recently Dario Sabbatucci has given a different interpretation of the meaning of Stator within the frame of his structuralistic and dialectic vision of Roman calendar, identifying oppositions, tensions and equilibria: January is the month of Janus, at the beginning of the year, in the uncertain time of winter (the most ancient calendar had only ten months, from March to December). In this month Janus deifies kingship and defies Jupiter. Moreover, January sees also the presence of Veiovis who appears as an anti-Jupiter, of Carmenta who is the goddess of birth and like Janus has two opposed faces, Prorsa and Postvorta (also named Antevorta and Porrima), of Iuturna, who as a gushing spring evokes the process of coming into being from non-being as the god of passage and change does. In this period the preeminence of Janus needs compensating on the Ides through the action of Jupiter Stator, who plays the role of anti-Janus, i.e. of moderator of the action of Janus. [154]

Epithets denoting functionality Edit

Some epithets describe a particular aspect of the god, or one of his functions:

  • Jove Aegiochus, Jove "Holder of the Goat or Aegis", as the father of Aegipan. [155]
  • Jupiter Caelus, Jupiter as the sky or heavens see also Caelus.
  • Jupiter Caelestis, "Heavenly" or "Celestial Jupiter".
  • Jupiter Elicius, Jupiter "who calls forth [celestial omens]" or "who is called forth [by incantations]" "sender of rain".
  • Jupiter Feretrius, who carries away the spoils of war". Feretrius was called upon to witness solemn oaths. [156] The epithet or "numen" is probably connected with the verb ferire, "to strike," referring to a ritual striking 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. [157] According to Livy I 10, 5 and Plutarch Marcellus 8 though, the meaning of this epithet is related to the peculiar frame used to carry the spolia opima to the god, the feretrum, itself from verb fero,
  • Jupiter Centumpeda, literally, "he who has one hundred feet" that is, "he who has the power of establishing, of rendering stable, bestowing stability on everything", since he himself is the paramount of stability.
  • Jupiter Fulgur ("Lightning Jupiter"), Fulgurator or Fulgens
  • Jupiter Lucetius ("of the light"), an epithet almost certainly related to the light or flame of lightningbolts and not to daylight, as indicated by the Jovian verses of the carmen Saliare. [158]
  • Jupiter Optimus Maximus (" the best and greatest"). Optumus[159] because of the benefits he bestows, Maximus because of his strength, according to Cicero Pro Domo Sua. [160]
  • Jupiter Pluvius, "sender of rain".
  • Jupiter Ruminus, "breastfeeder of every living being", according to Augustine. [161]
  • Jupiter Stator, from stare, "to stand": "he who has power of founding, instituting everything", thence also he who bestows the power of resistance, making people, soldiers, stand firm and fast. [162]
  • Jupiter Summanus, sender of nocturnal thunder
  • Jupiter Terminalus or Iuppiter Terminus, patron and defender of boundaries
  • Jupiter Tigillus, "beam or shaft that supports and holds together the universe." [163]
  • Jupiter Tonans, "thunderer"
  • Jupiter Victor, "he who has the power of conquering everything." [163]

Syncretic or geographical epithets Edit

Some epithets of Jupiter indicate his association with a particular place. Epithets found in the provinces of the Roman Empire may identify Jupiter with a local deity or site (see syncretism).

  • Jupiter Ammon, Jupiter equated with the Egyptian deity Amun after the Roman conquest of Egypt
  • Jupiter Brixianus, Jupiter equated with the local god of the town of Brescia in Cisalpine Gaul (modern North Italy)
  • Jupiter Capitolinus, also Jupiter Optimus Maximus, venerated throughout the Roman Empire at sites with a Capitol (Capitolium)
  • Jupiter Dolichenus, from Doliche in Syria, originally a Baal weather and war god. From the time of Vespasian, he was popular among the Roman legions as god of war and victory, especially on the Danube at Carnuntum. He is depicted as standing on a bull, with a thunderbolt in his left hand, and a double ax in the right.
  • Jupiter Indiges, "Jupiter of the country," a title given to Aeneas after his death, according to Livy[164]
  • Jupiter Ladicus, Jupiter equated with a Celtiberian mountain-god and worshipped as the spirit of Mount Ladicus in Gallaecia, northwest Iberia, [165] preserved in the toponym Codos de Ladoco. [166]
  • Jupiter Laterius or Latiaris, the god of Latium
  • Jupiter Parthinus or Partinus, under this name was worshiped on the borders of northeast Dalmatia and Upper Moesia, perhaps associated with the local tribe known as the Partheni.
  • Jupiter Poeninus, under this name worshipped in the Alps, around the Great St Bernard Pass, where he had a sanctuary.
  • Jupiter Solutorius, a local version of Jupiter worshipped in Spain he was syncretised with the local Iberian god Eacus.
  • Jupiter Taranis, Jupiter equated with the Celtic god Taranis.
  • Jupiter Uxellinus, Jupiter as a god of high mountains.

In addition, many of the epithets of Zeus can be found applied to Jupiter, by interpretatio romana. Thus, since the hero Trophonius (from Lebadea in Boeotia) is called Zeus Trophonius, this can be represented in English (as it would be in Latin) as Jupiter Trophonius. Similarly, the Greek cult of Zeus Meilichios appears in Pompeii as Jupiter Meilichius. Except in representing actual cults in Italy, this is largely 19th-century usage modern works distinguish Jupiter from Zeus.

Sources Edit

Marcus Terentius Varro and Verrius Flaccus [167] were the main sources on the theology of Jupiter and archaic Roman religion in general. Varro was acquainted with the libri pontificum ("books of the Pontiffs") and their archaic classifications. [168] On these two sources depend other ancient authorities, such as Ovid, Servius, Aulus Gellius, Macrobius, patristic texts, Dionysius of Halicarnassus and Plutarch.

One of the most important sources which preserve the theology of Jupiter and other Roman deities is The City of God against the Pagans by Augustine of Hippo. Augustine's criticism of traditional Roman religion is based on Varro's lost work, Antiquitates Rerum Divinarum. Although a work of Christian apologetics, The City of God provides glimpses into Varro's theological system and authentic Roman theological lore in general. According to Augustine, [169] Varro drew on the pontiff Mucius Scaevola's tripartite theology:

  • The mythic theology of the poets (useful for the theatre)
  • The physical theology of the philosophers (useful for understanding the natural world)
  • The civil theology of the priests (useful for the state) [170]

Jovian theology Edit

Georg Wissowa stressed Jupiter's uniqueness as the only case among Indo-European religions in which the original god preserved his name, his identity and his prerogatives. [118] In this view, Jupiter is the god of heaven and retains his identification with the sky among the Latin poets (his name is used as a synonym for "sky". [171] ) In this respect, he differs from his Greek equivalent Zeus (who is considered a personal god, warden and dispenser of skylight). His name reflects this idea it is a derivative of the Indo-European word for "bright, shining sky". His residence is found atop the hills of Rome and of mountains in general as a result, his cult is present in Rome and throughout Italy at upper elevations. [172] Jupiter assumed atmospheric qualities he is the wielder of lightning and the master of weather. However, Wissowa acknowledges that Jupiter is not merely a naturalistic, heavenly, supreme deity he is in continual communication with man by means of thunder, lightning and the flight of birds (his auspices). Through his vigilant watch he is also the guardian of public oaths and compacts and the guarantor of good faith in the State cult. [173] The Jovian cult was common to the Italic people under the names Iove, Diove (Latin) and Iuve, Diuve (Oscan, in Umbrian only Iuve, Iupater in the Iguvine Tables).

Wissowa considered Jupiter also a god of war and agriculture, in addition to his political role as guarantor of good faith (public and private) as Iuppiter Lapis and Dius Fidius, respectively. His view is grounded in the sphere of action of the god (who intervenes in battle and influences the harvest through weather).Wissowa (1912), pp. 103–108

In Georges Dumézil's view, Jovian theology (and that of the equivalent gods in other Indo-European religions) is an evolution from a naturalistic, supreme, celestial god identified with heaven to a sovereign god, a wielder of lightning bolts, master and protector of the community (in other words, of a change from a naturalistic approach to the world of the divine to a socio-political approach). [174]

In Vedic religion, Dyaus Pitar remained confined to his distant, removed, passive role and the place of sovereign god was occupied by Varuna and Mitra. In Greek and Roman religion, instead, the homonymous gods *Diou- and Διϝ- evolved into atmospheric deities by their mastery of thunder and lightning, they expressed themselves and made their will known to the community. In Rome, Jupiter also sent signs to the leaders of the state in the form of auspices in addition to thunder. The art of augury was considered prestigious by ancient Romans by sending his signs, Jupiter (the sovereign of heaven) communicates his advice to his terrestrial colleague: the king (rex) or his successor magistrates. The encounter between the heavenly and political, legal aspects of the deity are well represented by the prerogatives, privileges, functions and taboos proper to his flamen (the flamen Dialis and his wife, the flaminica Dialis).

Dumézil maintains that Jupiter is not himself a god of war and agriculture, although his actions and interest may extend to these spheres of human endeavour. His view is based on the methodological assumption that the chief criterion for studying a god's nature is not to consider his field of action, but the quality, method and features of his action. Consequently, the analysis of the type of action performed by Jupiter in the domains in which he operates indicates that Jupiter is a sovereign god who may act in the field of politics (as well as agriculture and war) in his capacity as such, i.e. in a way and with the features proper to a king. Sovereignty is expressed through the two aspects of absolute, magic power (epitomised and represented by the Vedic god Varuna) and lawful right (by the Vedic god Mitra). [176] However, sovereignty permits action in every field otherwise, it would lose its essential quality. As a further proof, Dumézil cites the story of Tullus Hostilius (the most belligerent of the Roman kings), who was killed by Jupiter with a lightning bolt (indicating that he did not enjoy the god's favour). Varro's definition of Jupiter as the god who has under his jurisdiction the full expression of every being (penes Iovem sunt summa) reflects the sovereign nature of the god, as opposed to the jurisdiction of Janus (god of passages and change) on their beginning (penes Ianum sunt prima). [177]

Capitoline Triad Edit

The Capitoline Triad was introduced to Rome by the Tarquins. Dumézil [178] thinks it might have been an Etruscan (or local) creation based on Vitruvius' treatise on architecture, in which the three deities are associated as the most important. It is possible that the Etruscans paid particular attention to Menrva (Minerva) as a goddess of destiny, in addition to the royal couple Uni (Juno) and Tinia (Jupiter). [179] In Rome, Minerva later assumed a military aspect under the influence of Athena Pallas (Polias). Dumézil argues that with the advent of the Republic, Jupiter became the only king of Rome, no longer merely the first of the great gods.

Archaic Triad Edit

The Archaic Triad is a hypothetical theological structure (or system) consisting of the gods Jupiter, Mars and Quirinus. It was first described by Wissowa, [180] and the concept was developed further by Dumézil. The three-function hypothesis of Indo-European society advanced by Dumézil holds that in prehistory, society was divided into three classes (priests, warriors and craftsmen) which had as their religious counterparts the divine figures of the sovereign god, the warrior god and the civil god. The sovereign function (embodied by Jupiter) entailed omnipotence thence, a domain extended over every aspect of nature and life. The colour relating to the sovereign function is white.

The three functions are interrelated with one another, overlapping to some extent the sovereign function, although essentially religious in nature, is involved in many ways in areas pertaining to the other two. Therefore, Jupiter is the "magic player" in the founding of the Roman state and the fields of war, agricultural plenty, human fertility and wealth. [181]

This hypothesis has not found widespread support among scholars.

Jupiter and Minerva Edit

Apart from being protectress of the arts and craft as Minerva Capta, who was brought from Falerii, Minerva's association to Jupiter and relevance to Roman state religion is mainly linked to the Palladium, a wooden statue of Athena that could move the eyes and wave the spear. It was stored in the penus interior, inner penus of the aedes Vestae, temple of Vesta and considered the most important among the pignora imperii, pawns of dominion, empire. [182] In Roman traditional lore it was brought from Troy by Aeneas. Scholars though think it was last taken to Rome in the third or second century BC. [183]

Juno and Fortuna Edit

The divine couple received from Greece its matrimonial implications, thence bestowing on Juno the role of tutelary goddess of marriage (Iuno Pronuba).

The couple itself though cannot be reduced to a Greek apport. The association of Juno and Jupiter is of the most ancient Latin theology. [184] Praeneste offers a glimpse into original Latin mythology: the local goddess Fortuna is represented as milking two infants, one male and one female, namely Jove (Jupiter) and Juno. [185] It seems fairly safe to assume that from the earliest times they were identified by their own proper names and since they got them they were never changed through the course of history: they were called Jupiter and Juno. These gods were the most ancient deities of every Latin town. Praeneste preserved divine filiation and infancy as the sovereign god and his paredra Juno have a mother who is the primordial goddess Fortuna Primigenia. [186] Many terracotta statuettes have been discovered which represent a woman with a child: one of them represents exactly the scene described by Cicero of a woman with two children of different sex who touch her breast. Two of the votive inscriptions to Fortuna associate her and Jupiter: " Fortunae Iovi puero. " and "Fortunae Iovis puero. " [187]

In 1882 though R. Mowat published an inscription in which Fortuna is called daughter of Jupiter, raising new questions and opening new perspectives in the theology of Latin gods. [188] Dumezil has elaborated an interpretative theory according to which this aporia would be an intrinsic, fundamental feature of Indoeuropean deities of the primordial and sovereign level, as it finds a parallel in Vedic religion. [189] The contradiction would put Fortuna both at the origin of time and into its ensuing diachronic process: it is the comparison offered by Vedic deity Aditi, the Not-Bound or Enemy of Bondage, that shows that there is no question of choosing one of the two apparent options: as the mother of the Aditya she has the same type of relationship with one of his sons, Dakṣa, the minor sovereign. who represents the Creative Energy, being at the same time his mother and daughter, as is true for the whole group of sovereign gods to which she belongs. [190] Moreover, Aditi is thus one of the heirs (along with Savitr) of the opening god of the Indoiranians, as she is represented with her head on her two sides, with the two faces looking opposite directions. [191] The mother of the sovereign gods has thence two solidal but distinct modalities of duplicity, i.e. of having two foreheads and a double position in the genealogy. Angelo Brelich has interpreted this theology as the basic opposition between the primordial absence of order (chaos) and the organisation of the cosmos. [192]

Janus Edit

The relation of Jupiter to Janus is problematic. Varro defines Jupiter as the god who has potestas (power) over the forces by which anything happens in the world. Janus, however, has the privilege of being invoked first in rites, since in his power are the beginnings of things (prima), the appearance of Jupiter included. [193]

Saturn Edit

The Latins considered Saturn the predecessor of Jupiter. Saturn reigned in Latium during a mythical Golden Age reenacted every year at the festival of Saturnalia. Saturn also retained primacy in matters of agriculture and money. Unlike the Greek tradition of Cronus and Zeus, the usurpation of Saturn as king of the gods by Jupiter was not viewed by the Latins as violent or hostile Saturn continued to be revered in his temple at the foot of the Capitol Hill, which maintained the alternative name Saturnius into the time of Varro. [194] A. Pasqualini has argued that Saturn was related to Iuppiter Latiaris, the old Jupiter of the Latins, as the original figure of this Jupiter was superseded on the Alban Mount, whereas it preserved its gruesome character in the ceremony held at the sanctuary of the Latiar Hill in Rome which involved a human sacrifice and the aspersion of the statue of the god with the blood of the victim. [195]

Fides Edit

The abstract personification Fides ("Faith, Trust") was one of the oldest gods associated with Jupiter. As guarantor of public faith, Fides had her temple on the Capitol (near that of Capitoline Jupiter). [196]

Dius Fidius Edit

Dius Fidius is considered a theonym for Jupiter, [197] and sometimes a separate entity also known in Rome as Semo Sancus Dius Fidius. Wissowa argued that while Jupiter is the god of the Fides Publica Populi Romani as Iuppiter Lapis (by whom important oaths are sworn), Dius Fidius is a deity established for everyday use and was charged with the protection of good faith in private affairs. Dius Fidius would thus correspond to Zeus Pistios. [198] The association with Jupiter may be a matter of divine relation some scholars see him as a form of Hercules. [199] Both Jupiter and Dius Fidius were wardens of oaths and wielders of lightning bolts both required an opening in the roof of their temples. [128]

The functionality of Sancus occurs consistently within the sphere of fides, oaths and respect for contracts and of the divine-sanction guarantee against their breach. Wissowa suggested that Semo Sancus is the genius of Jupiter, [200] but the concept of a deity's genius is a development of the Imperial period. [201]

Some aspects of the oath-ritual for Dius Fidius (such as proceedings under the open sky or in the compluvium of private residences), and the fact the temple of Sancus had no roof, suggest that the oath sworn by Dius Fidius predated that for Iuppiter Lapis or Iuppiter Feretrius. [202]

Genius Edit

Augustine quotes Varro who explains the genius as "the god who is in charge and has the power to generate everything" and "the rational spirit of all (therefore, everyone has their own)". Augustine concludes that Jupiter should be considered the genius of the universe. [203]

G. Wissowa advanced the hypothesis that Semo Sancus is the genius of Jupiter. [200] W. W. Fowler has cautioned that this interpretation looks to be an anachronism and it would only be acceptable to say that Sancus is a Genius Iovius, as it appears from the Iguvine Tables. [204]

Censorinus cites Granius Flaccus as saying that "the Genius was the same entity as the Lar" in his lost work De Indigitamentis. [205] [206] probably referring to the Lar Familiaris. Mutunus Tutunus had his shrine at the foot of the Velian Hill near those of the Di Penates and of Vica Pota, who were among the most ancient gods of the Roman community of according to Wissowa. [207]

Dumézil opines that the attribution of a Genius to the gods should be earlier than its first attestation of 58 BC, in an inscription which mentions the Iovis Genius. [208]

A connection between Genius and Jupiter seems apparent in Plautus' comedy Amphitryon, in which Jupiter takes up the looks of Alcmena's husband in order to seduce her: J. Hubeaux sees there a reflection of the story that Scipio Africanus' mother conceived him with a snake that was in fact Jupiter transformed. [209] Scipio himself claimed that only he would rise to the mansion of the gods through the widest gate. [210]

Among the Etruscan Penates there is a Genius Iovialis who comes after Fortuna and Ceres and before Pales. [211] Genius Iovialis is one of the Penates of the humans and not of Jupiter though, as these were located in region I of Martianus Capella' s division of Heaven, while Genius appears in regions V and VI along with Ceres, Favor (possibly a Roman approximation to an Etruscan male manifestation of Fortuna) and Pales. [212] This is in accord with the definition of the Penates of man being Fortuna, Ceres, Pales and Genius Iovialis and the statement in Macrobius that the Larentalia were dedicated to Jupiter as the god whence the souls of men come from and to whom they return after death. [213]

Summanus Edit

The god of nighttime lightning has been interpreted as an aspect of Jupiter, either a chthonic manifestation of the god or a separate god of the underworld. A statue of Summanus stood on the roof of the Temple of Capitoline Jupiter, and Iuppiter Summanus is one of the epithets of Jupiter. [214] Dumézil sees the opposition Dius Fidius versus Summanus as complementary, interpreting it as typical to the inherent ambiguity of the sovereign god exemplified by that of Mitra and Varuna in Vedic religion. [215] The complementarity of the epithets is shown in inscriptions found on puteals or bidentals reciting either fulgur Dium conditum [216] or fulgur Summanum conditum in places struck by daytime versus nighttime lightning bolts respectively. [217] This is also consistent with the etymology of Summanus, deriving from sub and mane (the time before morning). [218]

Liber Edit

Iuppiter was associated with Liber through his epithet of Liber (association not yet been fully explained by scholars, due to the scarcity of early documentation). In the past, it was maintained that Liber was only a progressively-detached hypostasis of Jupiter consequently, the vintage festivals were to be attributed only to Iuppiter Liber. [219] Such a hypothesis was rejected as groundless by Wissowa, although he was a supporter of Liber's Jovian origin. [220] Olivier de Cazanove [221] contends that it is difficult to admit that Liber (who is present in the oldest calendars—those of Numa—in the Liberalia and in the month of Liber at Lavinium) [222] was derived from another deity. Such a derivation would find support only in epigraphic documents, primarily from the Osco-Sabellic area. [223] Wissowa sets the position of Iuppiter Liber within the framework of an agrarian Jupiter. The god also had a temple in this name on the Aventine in Rome, which was restored by Augustus and dedicated on September 1. Here, the god was sometimes named Liber [224] and sometimes Libertas. [225] Wissowa opines that the relationship existed in the concept of creative abundance through which the supposedly-separate Liber might have been connected [226] to the Greek god Dionysos, although both deities might not have been originally related to viticulture.

Other scholars assert that there was no Liber (other than a god of wine) within historical memory. [227] O. de Cazanove [228] argues that the domain of the sovereign god Jupiter was that of sacred, sacrificial wine (vinum inferium), [229] while that of Liber and Libera was confined to secular wine (vinum spurcum) [230] these two types were obtained through differing fermentation processes. The offer of wine to Liber was made possible by naming the mustum (grape juice) stored in amphoras sacrima. [231] Sacred wine was obtained by the natural fermentation of juice of grapes free from flaws of any type, religious (e. g. those struck by lightning, brought into contact with corpses or wounded people or coming from an unfertilised grapeyard) or secular (by "cutting" it with old wine). Secular (or "profane") wine was obtained through several types of manipulation (e.g. by adding honey, or mulsum using raisins, or passum by boiling, or defrutum). However, the sacrima used for the offering to the two gods for the preservation of grapeyards, vessels and wine [232] was obtained only by pouring the juice into amphors after pressing. [233] The mustum was considered spurcum (dirty), and thus unusable in sacrifices. [234] The amphor (itself not an item of sacrifice) permitted presentation of its content on a table or could be added to a sacrifice this happened at the auspicatio vindamiae for the first grape [235] and for ears of corn of the praemetium on a dish (lanx) at the temple of Ceres. [236]

Dumézil, on the other hand, sees the relationship between Jupiter and Liber as grounded in the social and political relevance of the two gods (who were both considered patrons of freedom). [237] The Liberalia of March were, since earliest times, the occasion for the ceremony of the donning of the toga virilis or libera (which marked the passage into adult citizenship by young people). Augustine relates that these festivals had a particularly obscene character: a phallus was taken to the fields on a cart, and then back in triumph to town. In Lavinium they lasted a month, during which the population enjoyed bawdy jokes. The most honest matronae were supposed to publicly crown the phallus with flowers, to ensure a good harvest and repeal the fascinatio (evil eye). [222] In Rome representations of the sex organs were placed in the temple of the couple Liber Libera, who presided over the male and female components of generation and the "liberation" of the semen. [238] This complex of rites and beliefs shows that the divine couple's jurisdiction extended over fertility in general, not only that of grapes. The etymology of Liber (archaic form Loifer, Loifir) was explained by Émile Benveniste as formed on the IE theme *leudh- plus the suffix -es- its original meaning is "the one of germination, he who ensures the sprouting of crops". [239]

The relationship of Jupiter with freedom was a common belief among the Roman people, as demonstrated by the dedication of the Mons Sacer to the god after the first secession of the plebs. Later inscriptions also show the unabated popular belief in Jupiter as bestower of freedom in the imperial era. [240]

Veiove Edit

Scholars have been often puzzled by Ve(d)iove (or Veiovis, or Vedius) and unwilling to discuss his identity, claiming our knowledge of this god is insufficient. [241] Most, however, agree that Veiove is a sort of special Jupiter or anti-Iove, or even an underworld Jupiter. In other words, Veiove is indeed the Capitoline god himself, who takes up a different, diminished appearance (iuvenis and parvus, young and gracile), in order to be able to discharge sovereign functions over places, times and spheres that by their own nature are excluded from the direct control of Jupiter as Optimus Maximus. [242] This conclusion is based on information provided by Gellius, [243] who states his name is formed by adding prefix ve (here denoting "deprivation" or "negation") to Iove (whose name Gellius posits as rooted in the verb iuvo "I benefit"). D. Sabbatucci has stressed the feature of bearer of instability and antithesis to cosmic order of the god, who threatens the kingly power of Jupiter as Stator and Centumpeda and whose presence occurs side by side to Janus' on January 1, but also his function of helper to the growth of the young Jupiter. [244] In 1858 Ludwig Preller suggested that Veiovis may be the sinister double of Jupiter. [245]

In fact, the god (under the name Vetis) is placed in the last case (number 16) of the outer rim of the Piacenza Liver—before Cilens (Nocturnus), who ends (or begins in the Etruscan vision) the disposition of the gods. In Martianus Capella's division of heaven, he is found in region XV with the dii publici as such, he numbers among the infernal (or antipodal) gods. The location of his two temples in Rome—near those of Jupiter (one on the Capitoline Hill, in the low between the arx and the Capitolium, between the two groves where the asylum founded by Romulus stood, the other on the Tiber Island near that of Iuppiter Iurarius, later also known as temple of Aesculapius) [246] —may be significant in this respect, along with the fact that he is considered the father [247] of Apollo, perhaps because he was depicted carrying arrows. He is also considered to be the unbearded Jupiter. [248] The dates of his festivals support the same conclusion: they fall on January 1, [249] March 7 [250] and May 21, [251] the first date being the recurrence of the Agonalia, dedicated to Janus and celebrated by the king with the sacrifice of a ram. The nature of the sacrifice is debated Gellius states capra, a female goat, although some scholars posit a ram. This sacrifice occurred rito humano, which may mean "with the rite appropriate for human sacrifice". [252] Gellius concludes by stating that this god is one of those who receive sacrifices so as to persuade them to refrain from causing harm.

The arrow is an ambivalent symbol it was used in the ritual of the devotio (the general who vowed had to stand on an arrow). [253] It is perhaps because of the arrow and of the juvenile looks that Gellius identifies Veiove with Apollo [254] and as a god who must receive worship in order to obtain his abstention from harming men, along with Robigus and Averruncus. [255] The ambivalence in the identity of Veiove is apparent in the fact that while he is present in places and times which may have a negative connotation (such as the asylum of Romulus in between the two groves on the Capitol, the Tiberine island along with Faunus and Aesculapius, the kalends of January, the nones of March, and May 21, a statue of his nonetheless stands in the arx. Moreover, the initial particle ve- which the ancient supposed were part of his name is itself ambivalent as it may have both an accrescitive and diminutive value. [256]

Maurice Besnier has remarked that a temple to Iuppiter was dedicated by praetor Lucius Furius Purpureo before the battle of Cremona against the Celtic Cenomani of Cisalpine Gaul. [257] An inscription found at Brescia in 1888 shows that Iuppiter Iurarius was worshipped there [258] and one found on the south tip of Tiber Island in 1854 that there was a cult to the god on the spot too. [259] Besnier speculates that Lucius Furius had evoked the chief god of the enemy and built a temple to him in Rome outside the pomerium. On January 1, the Fasti Praenestini record the festivals of Aesculapius and Vediove on the Island, while in the Fasti Ovid speaks of Jupiter and his grandson. [260] Livy records that in 192 BC, duumvir Q. Marcus Ralla dedicated to Jupiter on the Capitol the two temples promised by L. Furius Purpureo, one of which was that promised during the war against the Gauls. [261] Besnier would accept a correction to Livy's passage (proposed by Jordan) to read aedes Veiovi instead of aedes duae Iovi. Such a correction concerns the temples dedicated on the Capitol: it does not address the question of the dedication of the temple on the Island, which is puzzling, since the place is attested epigraphically as dedicated to the cult of Iuppiter Iurarius, in the Fasti Praenestini of Vediove [262] and to Jupiter according to Ovid. The two gods may have been seen as equivalent: Iuppiter Iurarius is an awesome and vengeful god, parallel to the Greek Zeus Orkios, the avenger of perjury. [263]

A. Pasqualini has argued that Veiovis seems related to Iuppiter Latiaris, as the original figure of this Jupiter would have been superseded on the Alban Mount, whereas it preserved its gruesome character in the ceremony held on the sanctuary of the Latiar Hill, the southernmost hilltop of the Quirinal in Rome, which involved a human sacrifice. The gens Iulia had gentilician cults at Bovillae where a dedicatory inscription to Vediove has been found in 1826 on an ara. [264] According to Pasqualini it was a deity similar to Vediove, wielder of lightningbolts and chthonic, who was connected to the cult of the founders who first inhabited the Alban Mount and built the sanctuary. Such a cult once superseded on the Mount would have been taken up and preserved by the Iulii, private citizens bound to the sacra Albana by their Alban origin. [265]

Victoria Edit

Victoria was connected to Iuppiter Victor in his role as bestower of military victory. Jupiter, as a sovereign god, was considered as having the power to conquer anyone and anything in a supernatural way his contribution to military victory was different from that of Mars (god of military valour). Victoria appears first on the reverse of coins representing Venus (driving the quadriga of Jupiter, with her head crowned and with a palm in her hand) during the first Punic War. Sometimes, she is represented walking and carrying a trophy. [266]

A temple was dedicated to the goddess afterwards on the Palatine, testifying to her high station in the Roman mind. When Hieron of Syracuse presented a golden statuette of the goddess to Rome, the Senate had it placed in the temple of Capitoline Jupiter among the greatest (and most sacred) deities. [267] Although Victoria played a significant role in the religious ideology of the late Republic and the Empire, she is undocumented in earlier times. A function similar to hers may have been played by the little-known Vica Pota.

Terminus Edit

Juventas and Terminus were the gods who, according to legend, [268] refused to leave their sites on the Capitol when the construction of the temple of Jupiter was undertaken. Therefore, they had to be reserved a sacellum within the new temple. Their stubbornness was considered a good omen it would guarantee youth, stability and safety to Rome on its site. [269] This legend is generally thought by scholars to indicate their strict connection with Jupiter. An inscription found near Ravenna reads Iuppiter Ter., [270] indicating that Terminus is an aspect of Jupiter.

Terminus is the god of boundaries (public and private), as he is portrayed in literature. The religious value of the boundary marker is documented by Plutarch, [271] who ascribes to king Numa the construction of temples to Fides and Terminus and the delimitation of Roman territory. Ovid gives a vivid description of the rural rite at a boundary of fields of neighbouring peasants on February 23 (the day of the Terminalia. [272] On that day, Roman pontiffs and magistrates held a ceremony at the sixth mile of the Via Laurentina (ancient border of the Roman ager, which maintained a religious value). This festival, however, marked the end of the year and was linked to time more directly than to space (as attested by Augustine's apologia on the role of Janus with respect to endings). [273] Dario Sabbatucci has emphasised the temporal affiliation of Terminus, a reminder of which is found in the rite of the regifugium. [274] G. Dumézil, on the other hand, views the function of this god as associated with the legalistic aspect of the sovereign function of Jupiter. Terminus would be the counterpart of the minor Vedic god Bagha, who oversees the just and fair division of goods among citizens. [275]

Iuventas Edit

Along with Terminus, Iuventas (also known as Iuventus and Iuunta) represents an aspect of Jupiter (as the legend of her refusal to leave the Capitol Hill demonstrates. Her name has the same root as Juno (from Iuu-, "young, youngster") the ceremonial litter bearing the sacred goose of Juno Moneta stopped before her sacellum on the festival of the goddess. Later, she was identified with the Greek Hebe. The fact that Jupiter is related to the concept of youth is shown by his epithets Puer, Iuuentus and Ioviste (interpreted as "the youngest" by some scholars). [276] Dumézil noted the presence of the two minor sovereign deities Bagha and Aryaman beside the Vedic sovereign gods Varuna and Mitra (though more closely associated with Mitra) the couple would be reflected in Rome by Terminus and Iuventas. Aryaman is the god of young soldiers. The function of Iuventas is to protect the iuvenes (the novi togati of the year, who are required to offer a sacrifice to Jupiter on the Capitol) [277] and the Roman soldiers (a function later attributed to Juno). King Servius Tullius, in reforming the Roman social organisation, required that every adolescent offer a coin to the goddess of youth upon entering adulthood. [278]

In Dumézil's analysis, the function of Iuventas (the personification of youth), was to control the entrance of young men into society and protect them until they reach the age of iuvenes or iuniores (i.e. of serving the state as soldiers). [279] A temple to Iuventas was promised in 207 BC by consul Marcus Livius Salinator and dedicated in 191 BC. [280]

Penates Edit

The Romans considered the Penates as the gods to whom they owed their own existence. [281] As noted by Wissowa Penates is an adjective, meaning "those of or from the penus" the innermost part, most hidden recess [282] Dumézil though refuses Wissowa's interpretation of penus as the storeroom of a household. As a nation the Romans honoured the Penates publici: Dionysius calls them Trojan gods as they were absorbed into the Trojan legend. They had a temple in Rome at the foot of the Velian Hill, near the Palatine, in which they were represented as a couple of male youth. They were honoured every year by the new consuls before entering office at Lavinium, [283] because the Romans believed the Penates of that town were identical to their own. [284]

The concept of di Penates is more defined in Etruria: Arnobius (citing a Caesius) states that the Etruscan Penates were named Fortuna, Ceres, Genius Iovialis and Pales according to Nigidius Figulus, they included those of Jupiter, of Neptune, of the infernal gods and of mortal men. [285] According to Varro the Penates reside in the recesses of Heaven and are called Consentes and Complices by the Etruscans because they rise and set together, are twelve in number and their names are unknown, six male and six females and are the cousellors and masters of Jupiter. Martianus states they are always in agreement among themselves. [286] While these last gods seem to be the Penates of Jupiter, Jupiter himself along with Juno and Minerva is one of the Penates of man according to some authors. [287]

This complex concept is reflected in Martianus Capella's division of heaven, found in Book I of his De Nuptiis Mercurii et Philologiae, which places the Di Consentes Penates in region I with the Favores Opertanei Ceres and Genius in region V Pales in region VI Favor and Genius (again) in region VII Secundanus Pales, Fortuna and Favor Pastor in region XI. The disposition of these divine entities and their repetition in different locations may be due to the fact that Penates belonging to different categories (of Jupiter in region I, earthly or of mortal men in region V) are intended. Favor(es) may be the Etruscan masculine equivalent of Fortuna. [288]

The Temple of Veiovis

The Temple of Veiovis was only brought to light in 1939, during the excavation underneath Piazza del Campidoglio for the creation of the Gallery Junction.

The parts of the building which make up the Palazzo Senatorio are superimposed both over the temple and over the nearby Tabularium, thereby managing to obscure the Roman building almost completely and as a result saving it from destruction.

According to ancient sources, and based on the discovery, in the area of the cella, of a marble statue used for religious purposes, it has been possible to identify the divinity to whom this temple was dedicated: Veiovis, the youthful God of the underworld who was the ancient Italic version of Jupiter.

Latin authors define its position as being "inter duos lucos", that is to say between two sacred woods situated on the two heights of the Capitoline Hill. In the same area was also situated the Asylum, where, legend has it, Romulus extended hospitality to fugitives from other parts of the Latium region, in order to populate the new city which he founded.

Consecrated in 196 BC by Consul Lucius Furius Purpurio in the Battle of Cremona during the war against the Boii Gauls, the temple was then dedicated in 192 BC by Quintus Marcius Ralla.

The chief feature of this temple, and one which is not shared by many other Roman buildings - probably on account of the very limited space available - is the transversally-elongated cella, whose width is almost double its depth (15 x 8.90 metres).

The temple's high podium has a lime-and-mortar internal nucleus lined with Travertine marble.

The façade runs in line with the road that climbed up from the Clivus Capitolinus, and features a pronaos with four pillars in the central part preceeded by a flight of steps.
Three distinct building phases have been identified, the last of which has been dated to the first quarter of the I century BC and is linked with the building of the Tabularium.

The temple was then restored by Emperor Domitian in the I century AD with the addition of brick pillars and coloured marble coating on the floor and cella walls.

The area surrounding the building was paved with large slabs of Travertine marble.


Vis Source: Aquam 6 Pawns
Location: Covenant Seasons: Spring
As the Ice and snow from the Mountains melts in Spring, and the tides of the Lagoon swell, the dark waters of the Regio’s Canals begin to bubble and churn. From these places comes a strange, almost living black water. It seems to be boiling, and yet is cool to the touch. It can be gathered and seperated from the ‘regular’ water of the Canals with much patience.

Vis Source: Imaginem 6 Pawns
Location: The City of Venice Season:Spring
As the season of Lent Approaches, the Festivities of Carnival break into a fever pitch. Frivolity, Drunkness, strange assignations, and a general atmosphere of disguise, deception and revelry descend on the city. On the day before Carnival ends, as the sun sets, among dozens of those out in the streets in masks, small crystal tears will form at the corner of their eyes. These crystals seem to contain the image of that mask, and it is the most creative, the most inspired masks from which they seem to fall. Collecting them is a task taking skill and attention, and the Covenant may not be the only one at the task.

Vis Source: Corpus 4 Pawns
Location: The City of Venice Season:Fall
The square of Saint Marco has a powerful Dominion Aura, as several Churches ring it, and powerful relics are nearby. Two tall pillars, containing the Lion of Venice and a Statue to St. Theodore, mark a historic place in the city. Yet these serve a darker purpose, for it is here that the worst criminal of venice face justice. Murderers and Traitors, Oath-breakers and those beyond the pale. Their blood is spilled on these stones. On the day before All-Saints Day, as the Dominion reatreats, darker Aura’s surge. The Blood of the Murdered wells up from the stones and may be collected. But others may know of this dark thing and not be too pleased about the ‘desecration’ of the square, or have their own dark purposes for this Vis.

Vis Source: Intelligo 8 Pawns,
Location: In the Middle of the Adriadic Season:winter
In a secret spot known only to a few sailors and the covenant, when the winds of winter blow and t he clouds part, a strange phenomenon occurs. Spirits of Magic descend from the air and ascend from the sea to witness a dance of beautiful, transcendent and near perfect light. This light must be gathered in glass globes of near perfect symmetry,

Statue of Vejovis - History

Marble satue of Vediovis (ca. 80 AD) from his temple on the Capitol (now in the Musei Capitolini)

From Dr Erin Warford (referenced below)

As Stefan Weinstock (referenced below, at p. 8) observed, evidence of the cult of Vediovis:

“. appeared relatively late in Rome: two temples were built for him at the beginning of the 2nd century BC:

✴ one on the island in the Tiber, which was dedicated on 1st January, 194 BC and

✴ the other on the Capitol, , which was dedicated on 7th March, 92 BC.

. This evidence [see my page Temples Dedicated to Vediovis in 194-1 BC] is reliable, but does not reveal more than that Vediovis was considered to be an indigenous god [by this time, who could therefore] receive a temple inside the pomerium .”

Each of these temples was vowed in battle by the same person, L. Furius Purpurio (cos 96 BC)

✴ As a praetor in 200 BC, and in the absence of the commanding consul, he led what was, in effect, a consular army to relieve Cremona, which was besieged by Gauls, According to Livy, at a crucial moment in the ensuing battle, he:

“. vowed a temple to Deoiove ( sic ), should he rout the enemy on that day”, (‘History of Rome’, 31: 21: 12).

He achieved a stunning victory and was awarded a controversial triumph (since he was only a praetor and had allegedly acted against the orders of the commanding consul). The temple that he had vowed on this occasion was the temple of Vediovis on the Tiber Island, which was dedicated in 194 BC.

✴ As consul in 196 BC, Furius and his consular colleague, M. Claudius Marcellus, were both assigned to Cisalpine Gaul. While Claudius was awarded a triumph over the Insubrian Gauls at the end of the year, it seems that Furius was probably denied one. However, Livy recorded that:

“Two temples to Iove ( sic ), were dedicated on the Capitol [in 192 BC] L. Furius Purpurio had vowed [both of them]:

✴ one while praetor [in 200 BC], in the Gallic war and

✴ the other while consul [in 196 BC]”, (‘History of Rome’, 35: 41: 8).

This second temple, which Furius must have vowed during a battle in Gaul, was the temple of Vediovis on Capitol.

We might reasonably wonder why Furius

As noted above, the period 194-1 BC saw the dedication of five temples that had been vowed in battle by an individual who belonged (or who aspired to belong) to this military élite:

✴ three of these temples were dedicated in 194 BC:

• the Temple to Fortuna Primigenia on the Quirinal, which had been vowed in 204 BC by the consul Publius Sempronius Tuditianus during the later stages of the Second Punic War

• the Temple of Vediovis on the Tiber Island, which had been vowed in 200 BC by Lucius Furius Purpurio (as praetor) during an engagement with Gallic and Ligurian tribes in Cisalpine Gaul and

• the Temple of Juno Sospita in the Forum Holitorium, which had been vowed in 197 BC by the consul Caius Cornelius Cethegus at the beginning of a battle in Cisalpine Gaul

✴ 192 BC saw the dedication the Temple of Vediovis on the Capitol: Lucius Furius Purpurio had was vowed it as consul during another engagement with Ligurian tribes in Cisalpine Gaul in 196 BC and

✴ 191 BC finally saw the dedication of the Temple to Iuventus on the Aventine side of the Circus Maximus, which the consul Marcus Livius Salinator had vowed in 207 BC during the Battle of Metaurus.

Dionysius of Halicarnassus dealt with Romulus’ association with this site (which Ovid mentioned in the quote above):

“. finding that many of the cities in Italy were very badly governed, . [Romulus] undertook to attract fugitives from them . His purpose was to increase the power of the Romans and to lessen that of their neighbours but he invented a specious pretext for this initiative, making it appear that he was showing honour to a god: for he consecrated the place between the Capitol and the citadel (which is now called, in the language of the Romans ‘ inter duos lucos ’ (a term that described the actual conditions at that time, when the place was shaded by thick woods on both sides where it joined the hills) and made it an asylum for supplicants. He also built a temple there, but I cannot say for certain to which god or divinity he dedicated it . [Thus], under the colour of religion, he undertook to protect those who fled to [this consecrated location] from . their enemies and if they chose to remain with him, he promised them citizenship and a share of the land he should take from the enemy”, (‘Roman Antiquities’. 2: 15: 3-4).

Plutarch also wrote of a sanctified place of asylum here:

“. when Rome was first founded, they made a sanctuary of refuge for all fugitives, which they called the sanctuary of the God of Asylum. There, they received all who came, delivering none up (neither slave to masters, nor debtor to creditors, nor murderer to magistrates), declaring that they made the asylum secure for all men in obedience to an oracle from Delphi”, (‘Life of Romulus’, 9: 3).

I wonder whether, in some traditions, Dionysius’ Romulean temple here was dedicated to Plutarch’s ‘God of Asylum’, and whether the god in question was Vediovis ??

Having said that, the surviving evidence for the cult statue in the second of these temples is our most important source of information on the cult of this mysterious deity, followed by some numismatic evidence and (less usefully) by late speculation of the etymology of the name.

Cult Statues from the Temple of Vediovis on the Capitol

Cypress Statue of ca. 192 BC ?

Pliny the Elder ( ca . 79 AD), in a passage that dealt with the durability of various kinds of wood, observed that:

“Cypress . is the wood that, beyond all others, retains its polish in the best condition for all time. Has not the cult statue of Vediovis on the Arx ( simulacrum Vediovis in arce ) . , [which is] made of cypress, lasted since its dedication in the 561st year after the foundation of Rome ( a condita urbe DLXI )”, (‘Natural History’, 16: 79).

If Pliny was using Varronian dating, this would mean that the cult image in the temple of Vediovis on the Capitol had been consecrated in 193/2 BC but, as John Briscoe (referenced below, at p. 114) pointed out, we have no idea what precise dating system was used by Pliny’s source and, in any case:

“. it could be that the numeral in [the surviving manuscripts] is corrupt, and that it should read 562. It is perfectly possible that the temple and the statue were dedicated on the same day [on 7th March 192 BC] . ”

In other words, it seems that the original cypress statue of Vediovis in his temple on the Capitol survived in Pliny’s lifetime. Ovid (8 AD) seems to have used the evidence of this statue to explain the nature of Vediovis to the readers of his Fasti :

“He is the young Jupiter: look on his youthful face look then on his hand, [which] holds no thunderbolts: Jupiter assumed the thunderbolts [only] after the giants dared attempt to win the sky at first he was unarmed. . A she-goat [Amalthiea] also stands [beside his image] the Cretan nymphs are said to have fed the god it was the she-goat that gave her milk to the infant Jove [on Mount Ida]”, (‘ Fasti ’, 3: 429-48, based on the translation of James Frazer, referenced below, at p. 153).

Thus, statue that Ovid described portrayed a young (probably beardless) god standing beside a she-goat and, at least by 8 AD, this figure was empty-handed.

Marble Statue of ca. 81 AD ?

I t is likely that this cypress statue was destroyed soon after Pliny’s death in 79 AD: Christer Henriksén (referenced below, at p. 410) observed that the Emperor Domitian (81-96 AD) rebuilt a number of temples on the Capitol:

“. the temples of Iuppiter Tonans and Vediovis ([which had presumably been] damaged in the fire of 80 AD) the temple of Iuppiter Optimus Maximus (which had been rebuilt by Vespasian .. in 69 BC but had burned down again in 80 BC) and probably also the temple of Juno Moneta on the Arx .”

Aulus Gellius ( ca . 170 AD) probably described the statue that replaced it:

“The statue of the god Vediovis, which is in [his] temple [on the Capitol], . holds arrows, which, as everyone knows, are devised to inflict harm. For that reason it has often been said that that god is Apollo and a she-goat is sacrificed to him ‘ in humano ritu ’ [by a human rite] and a representation of that animal stands near his statue”, (‘Attic Nights’, 5: 12: 11-12).

Howard Scullard (referenced below, at p. 57) noted that:

“During excavations of this temple in 1939, a marble statue [illustrated at the top of the page] was found: a male figure of Apolline type, with a cloak hanging over the left arm, although the arms and head were missing. This must have replaced the earlier wooden statue which may have been destroyed in the fire of 80 AD.”

Cult Statues from the Temple of Vediovis on the Capitol: Conclusion

Both Ovid and Gellius mentioned that a goat stood beside the figure of Vediovis, and there is no reason to dispute either of these testimonies. The question of what, if anything, Vediovis held in his hand is more complicated:

✴ Ovid laid great stress on the fact that the original figure was unarmed, but this might have been a reflection of the state of the statue in ca. 8 AD.

✴ Gellius, on the other hand, is clear that the figure that was installed in the temple after 80 AD held arrows.

While the putative arrows confirmed Gellius in his view that the statue portrayed Apollo, it seems likely that his identification was also supported by the fact that the god was depicted (as Apollo usually was) as a handsome, beardless, young man.

Possible Numismatic Evidence

Denarius issued by L. Caesius: 112-1 BC (RRC 298/1)

Obverse: Young god holding a thunderbolt Detail of the monogram behind the god

Reverse: Lares (identified by ’LA RE’, with dog between bust of Vulcan above ‘L. CAESI’ below

I n 112 or 111 BC, L. Caesius issued a silver denarius, the obverse of which depicted the head and shoulders of a young god, seen from behind, who holds a thunderbolt (as evidenced by its zig-zag shafts) in his right hand . Gary Farney (referenced below, at p. 258) pointed out that epigraphic evidence suggests that the Caesii:

“. held high office early at Praeneste, and they maintained a connection to the town into the 2nd century AD.”

However, as far as we know, this L. Caesius was the first member of this family to hold a political post at Rome. It is possible that his father had received civitas per magistratum after holding office at Praeneste, since the measure that extended Roman citizenship to Latins who had held office in their own cities seems to have been enacted in ca . 122 BC (see, for example, Christopher Dart, referenced below, at p. 61). He might be the L(ucio) Caesio C(ai) f(ilio) imperatore who was recorded in an inscription (AE 1984, 495) from Alcántara as having taken the surrender of a local tribe as praetorian commander in Hispania Ulterior in 104 BC (see Corey Brennan, referenced below, at p. 499). It is thus entirely possible that L. Caesius was a ‘new man’ in Rome, intent upon introducing himself the the electorate there in order to further his career. This might explain the stunning obverse portrait on the obverse, which stands out among those of the 39 denarii that were minted in the period 122-90 BC (contained in this extract from the on-line database of the American Numismatic Society.

Before addressing the identity of the god portrayed on the obverse, we might usefully explore the complex iconography on the reverse. Gary Farney (referenced below, at p. 258) observed that the reference to Vulcan probably reflected the fact that, in legend, he was the father of Caeculus, the founder of Praeneste: Farney suggested more specifically that, like the Roman Caecilii, the Caesii might have claimed descent from Caeculus. He also recognised that the presence of the dog allows us to identify the Lares as the Lares Praestites, the twin spirits who acted as the guardians of Rome: Ovid described them in the context of their festival on 1st May, the day that:

“ . witnessed the foundation of an altar to the Lares Praestites, together with small images of the gods. Curius indeed had vowed them, but the passage of time destroys many things and wears away stone. The reason for their epithet is that they keep watch over everything. They support us and protect the city walls and they are ever-present and bring us aid. A dog, carved from the same stone, used to stand at their feet: why did it stand there with the Lares? . [Because], like the Lares, dogs are watchful ( pervigilantque Lares pervigilantque canes )”, (‘ Fasti’ , 5: 129-144, based on the translation by James Frazer, referenced below, at pp. 269-271).

Farney argued that, in legend, the Lares Praestites were the brothers of Caeculus’ mother, citing ( inter alia ) a claim by Solinus (3rd century AD) that:

“. the books of the Praenestines say that the city was founded by Caeculus, whom (as the tale goes) the sisters of the Digidii found, hard by a fortuitous fire”, (‘Polyhistor’, 2: 9).

Servius (4th century AD) was more explicit in his commentary on a passage by Virgil, in which he explained that:

“ There were two divine brothers ( duo fratres, qui divi appellabantur ) who had a sister. Once, while she was sitting by the fire, a spark fell into her lap and, by this means, she became the mother of a son . This child was Caeculus who, after growing up to manhood, . built the town of Praeneste”, (‘ad Aeneid’, 7: 678, my translation).

Farney’s alternative name ‘Depidii’ for the brothers apparently came from Varro: according to Timothy Cornell (in Timothy Cornell, referenced below, Volume III, at p. 115), the so-called Verona Scholiast claimed that Varro had recorded that Caeculus was brought up by the ‘Depidii’, who are also :

“. recorded by Solinus [above], (who calls them Digidii) as the brothers of the virgins who found [the baby Caeculus] in the hearth they are probably to be identified with the two reputedly divine brothers mentioned by Servius [above], (one suspects that divi in the phrase duo fratres, qui divi appellabantur is a corruption of Depidii or Digidii), whose sister was the mother of Caeculus.”

However, it is difficult to substantiate Farney’s claim that:

“Caeculus’ divine uncles (called the Depidii or Digidii . ) are to be equated with the Lares Praestites, numina with a name similar to Praeneste.”

Furthermore, it seems to me that, even if the legend at Praeneste was framed in those terms in 112 BC, it would have not have been common knowledge among Caesius Roman ‘audience’. Thus while Vulcan on the reverse might well have signalled Caesius’ Praenestine origins, I doubt that the depiction of the Roman Lares Praestites would have served the same purpose.

I suggest that Caesius’ intention in depicting the Lares Praestites on his coins was to underline their Latin/ Trojan origins and, thereby, the common Latin origins of both the cities of Latium (including Praeneste) and Rome: although most of our surviving sources record that the house gods that Aeneas brought from Troy to Lavinium were known to the Latins as the Penates, we also see them occasionally described in our surviving sources as Lares:

✴ the poet Tibullus ( ca . 30 BC) described Aeneas’ arrival in Italy as follows:

“Aeneas never-resting, brother of Cupid, ever on the wing, whose exiled barks carry the holy things of Troy, now doth Jove allot to thee the fields of Laurentum, now doth a hospitable land invite thy wandering gods ( lares ). There divinity shall be thine, when Numicius’ sacred waters carry thee to Heaven, a god of the native-born ( indigetem ). See, Victory is hovering above the weary ships. At last the haughty goddess comes to the men of Troy”, (‘ Elegies ’, 2: 39-46, translated by F. W. Cornish et al ., referenced below, at p. 275).

✴ Lucan ( ca . 50 AD) imagined that, on the eve of the Battle of Thapsus (46 BC), Caesar had prayed for victory as follows:

“All ye spirits of the dead, who inhabit the ruins of Troy and ye household gods (lares ) of my ancestor Aeneas, who now dwell safe in Lavinium and Alba, upon whose altar still shines the fire from Troy and thou, Pallas [an ancient statue of Athena], famous pledge of security, whom no male eye may behold in thy secret shrine: I, the most renowned descendant of the race of Iulus [ i.e ., Ascanius, the son of Aeneas], . place incense .. upon your altars and solemnly invoke you in your ancient abode. Grant me prosperity to the end, and I shall restore your people: in grateful return, the Italians ( Ausonidae ) shall rebuild the walls of the Trojans, and a Roman Troy shall rise”, (‘ Civil War ’, 9: 990-9, translated by J. D. Duff, referenced below, at p. 579).

Finally, we should consider the significance of an inscription on a small cippus from the site of a sanctuary at Tor Tignosa, near Lavinium, which was first published as:

However, Adriano La Regina (referenced below, at p. 434) recently republished it in the form illustrated below:

From Adriano La Regina (referenced below, at p. 434)

Thus, while earlier scholars considered that the inscription had recorded a gift Lar Aeneas (Aeneas, the ancestor), Adriano La Regina plausibly argued (at p. 435) that it recorded a gift made by a lady, Aula Venia, to the lares (in the plural). He dated it (at p. 435-6) to ca . 300 BC, and pointed out(at p. 436) that:

✴ this inscription represents the earliest direct attestation of the cult of the Lares in Italy, and no other surviving attestation of this kind is earlier than the 1st century BC

✴ other archeological evidence from this sanctuary indicated cult activity here between the 5th and 2nd centuries BC and

✴ the sanctuary was located in the heart of Latium, at the intersection of via Ardeatina and the road that connected Lavinium with Alba Longa.

Harriet Flower (referenced below, at p. 16) argued that Lares were specifically deities who protected places, and that those recorded in this inscription lived in and protected:

“. a local sanctuary in Latium, where their profile was low, and where they probably received regular offerings on a small scale.”

While that might be true, it seems to me that, in the light of:

- the location of the sanctuary, on the road that linked Lavinium to Alba, both locations closely associated with legends surrounding the Trojan Penates and

- the passages by Tibullus and Lucan discussed above

it would be odd if these Lares were not associated in some way with the pan-Latin Penates at Lavinium and, by extension, with the Lares Praestite and the (twin) dii Penates publici at Rome. Thus, it is at least possible that Caesius used the Lares Praestite on the reverse of his coin to underline that common religious heritage that he and his fellow Latins shared with the Romans.

We can now turn to the identity of the young deity on the obverse of the coin. Michael Crawford (referenced below, 1974, at p. 312) argued that the monogram behind his head should probably be read as ‘AP’, identifying him as Apollo, and that:

“. since the object in his hand is clearly a thunderbolt, the type perhaps results from the assimilation of Apollo with Jupiter . ”

This hypothesis is based on the reasonable observation that Apollo is usually depicted as a youthful figure, albeit that he is generally equipped with arrows rather than thunderbolts (the traditional attributes of the bearded Jupiter). Crawford considered, but rejected, the hypothesis that this deity resulted from the assimilation of Apollo with Vediovis, citing the testimony of Ovid (above) that the image of Vediovis in his temple on the Capitol depicted him as the young Jupiter but, crucially, before he had assumed the thunderbolt. James Luce (referenced below, at p. 25), in his analysis of the three later coins discussed below, agreed, arguing that:

“. the [alternative] identification [of this deity] with Vediovis cannot stand. . The evidence of Ovid . rules this out absolutely.”

However, Peter Wiseman (referenced below, at p. 76) argued that there was no basis for privileging Ovid’s evidence for the absence of thunderbolts in the Augustan period (as discussed further below). Like Crawford and Luce, he asserted (at p. 73) that the monogram:

“. ought to mean AP(ollo), the identification [perhaps]made necessary by the unfamiliar attribute [of the thunderbolt].”

He therefore concluded that:

“The most economical explanation of the coin types of L. Caesius and C. Licinius Macer [see below] is that those moneyers accepted the identification of Vediovis as Apollo, and of his weapon as a thunderbolt, [rather than Apollo’s usual arrows].”

Thus, for Crawford and Luce, the young god resulted from the assimilation of Apollo with Jupiter and his thunderbolts, while for Wiseman, he resulted from the assimilation of Jupiter and his thunderbolts with Apollo, to form Vediovis.

However, this identification of the god as Apollo (whether or not assimilated with Jupiter) is not as definitive as these authors suggest, in part because the monogram on the coin is not universally accepted as signifying Apollo. For example, as long ago as 1895, Leopold Montague (referenced below, at p. 162] as Roma is therefore to be preferred. The head appears to be that of Vedius or Vejovis, whose statue at Rome carried in the hand a sheaf of arrows, which would naturally be confused with the Greek thunderbolt.”

This was the site of the important sanctuary of Fortuna Primigenia, where Cicero located a statue:

“. of the infant Jupiter ( Iovis pueri ), who is represented as sitting with Juno in the lap of Fortune and reaching for her breast, . [which] is held in the highest reverence by mothers”, (‘ On Divination ’, 2: 85, translated by William Falconer, at p. 467).

This suggests that the young Jupiter was worshiped in the sanctuary, where Fortuna Primigenia was considered to be his wet nurse (and that of Juno). It is, therefore, at least possible that the monogram indicates ‘Roma’, and that Caesius wanted to underline his devotion to the young Jupiter in the form in which he was venerated in Rome ( i.e . as Vediovis) on the obverse of his coin. On this hypothesis, the coin depicted the young Jupiter, which ( pace Ovid) would have reflected the iconography of the cypress statue of Vediovis in his temple on the Capitol.

Denarius issued collectively by the 3 moneyers: 86 BC (RRC 350a)

Obverse: Young god, thunderbolt below

Denarius issued by Mn. Fonteius: 85 BC ( RRC 353 ) Denarius issued by C. Licinius Macer: 84 BC ( RRC 354/1 )

Obverse: Young god, thunderbolt below. Obverse: Young god holding a thunderbolt

To take this further, we need to look at three other coins (illustrated above) that had obverses that similarly depicted the head of an Apollo-like god with thunderbolts, all of which were issued in the period 86-4 BC:

✴ in the first two (RRC 350a and RRC 353), the thunderbolts were below the head on the obverse while

✴ in the third (RRC 354/1), the moneyer C. Livinius Macer had revived the obverse of Lucius Caesius.

Michael Crawford (referenced below, 1974, at p. 364, 369 and 370 respectively) characterised the deity on the obverse as Apollo, and argued (at p. 369) that the monogram below his chin in Fonteius’ coin should again be read as ‘AP’, identifying him as Apollo.

As we have seen, James Luce (referenced below, at p. 25) insisted that the obverses of these coins depict Apollo. He therefore included these issues in his list of coin issues of the ‘Apollo (at p. 28) in the decade up to Sulla’e emergence as dictator in 82 BC. On this basis, he concluded (at p. 32) that:

“The choice of Apollo [on the obverses of coins minted at Rome in this period] was clearly deliberate, . [and] shows that he became, in some sense, [both] the symbol and the patron of the government in power.”

Denarii and denarii seratii minted at Rome in 87-2 BC (Michael Crawford, referenced below, 1974)

The denarii are contained in this extract from the on-line database of the American Numismatic Society

In the table above, I have revised Luce’s list of ‘Apollo’ coins in order to bring it into line with the chronology established by Michael Crawford (referenced below, 1974). I have also restricted it to the period 88-82 BC, when Sulla was away from Rome. I have also tried to place the coinage of this period in its historical context. It seems to me that the period of Sulla’s absence from Rome falls into three distinct periods:

✴ Michael Crawford (referenced below, 1964, at p. 143) argued that the coins (RRC 349) issued by the Memmii ex senātus consultato were struck for the populist Marius, after his return to Rome in 87 BC. His return heralded a period of violence in the city that subsided after his death in the following year.

✴ Crawford argued (at p. 144) that the identical coins of that year (86 BC) were struck collectively by a ‘regular’, triumviral college:

“. reflecting, thereby, the return to normality at Rome after the death of Marius.”

L. Cornelius Cinna, who had been consul when Marius had been invited to return, was now in the ascendancy, and held the consulship in four consecutive years before he was killed by his troops in 84 BC.

✴ Sulla returned to Italy from the east early in 83 BC, and Italy was then engulfed by civil war. Marius’ son, who headed the resistance to Sulla, found himself trapped when Sulla laid siege to Praeneste in 82 BC: he committed suicide just before that city fell to Sulla’s forces.

Sulla himself finally took Rome and was proclaimed dictator in late 82 or early 81 BC. Interestingly, three coins (RRC 369-71) that were issued at some time in 82-80 BC constituted a restoration of the coinage of 127 BC, except that the original head of Roma was replaced by the legend ROMA and the head of Apollo. Michael Crawford (referenced below, 1964, at pp. 144-5) argued plausibly that this restored issue:

“. was probably struck by Sulla after [his] capture of Rome in 82 BC, with the [twin] aims of continuing the regular coinage of the Republic without appointing extra moneyers and of proclaiming the defeat of his foes.”

If so, then this was a particularly clear example of Luce’s claim (above) that the government in power at this time chose to symbolise that power by representing Apollo on the obverses of coins that they minted at Rome.

If we now look back on the coins of the period of Sulla’s absence from Rome, it is clear that only those issued86-4 BC would have reflected the preferences of a government that actually exercised power in Rome in any meaningful sense: both before and after this interlude, Italy was in chaos. More specifically, in this three-year period of relative stability, it seems that power resided with Cinna,. We might therefore reasonably assume that Cinna decided on the iconography of the coins that were issued from Rome at this time, and that the moneyers of 86 BC, who identified themselves as ‘GAR OGLV VER’, simply reflected this official preference. In respect of the other coins issued in this period:

✴ RRC 351, which were issued by plebeian aediles in 86 BC and depicted Ceres on the obverse, would have financed the corn supply and

✴ RRC 356, which were issued by curule aediles in 84 BC and depicted Cybele, would have referred to their oversight of games held in her honour.

The situation in respect of the strange denarii (RRC 352) that the otherwise unknown L. Julius Bursio issued in 85 BC is almost completely obscure:

✴ the obverse depicts the head of a male deity who has the attributes of Apollo (laurel wreath and ringlets), Mercury (winged head) and Neptune (trident behind) and

✴ the reverse depicts the goddess Victory in a quadriga and (usually) the legend L.IVLI.BVRSIO.

In a minority of these denarii (RRC 352/1b), the reverse legend reads EX·A·P ( ex argento publico ), but Paul de Ruyter (referenced below) has demonstrated from the overlapping control marks that these too were issued by Bursio in Rome. The reverse is hardly likely to have celebrated Sulla’s victory over Mithridates’ general Archelaus at the Battle of Orchomenus in this year: it might have celebrated the victory of Cinna’s man, Fimbria, over Mithridates at the battle of Miletopolis in the previous year, or it might have represented a forlorn hope that it would be Fimbria rather than Sulla who would definitely defeat Mithridates. The significance of the obverse deity is completely obscure.

We know of coins issued by three moneyers from this family: the denarii from all three issues are contained in this extract from the on-line database of the American Numismatic Society:

✴ Caius Fonteius (RRC 290: 114-3 BC), who fought for Rome in the Social War and was killed at Asculum (‘ Pro Fonteio ’, 14) in 90 BC

✴ Manius Fonteius (RRC 307: 108-7 BC) and

✴ Manius Fonteius, son of Caius (RRC 353: 85 BC), the moneyer under discussion here.

Cicero defended Marcus Fonteius whom he described as belonging to a prominent family from Tusculum, who seems to have been a moneyer at some stage before his quaestorship of 84 BC (‘ Pro Fonteio ’, 3-5), albeit that none of his coins survive. The most economical assumption is that:

✴ Caius and the elder Manius were brothers and

✴ Marcus and the younger Manius were also brothers, and thus both the sons of Caius.

Thus, we see both the younger Manius and his brother (or, at least his kinsman) Marcus in the service of Cinna at this period. Nothing more is known about the younger Manius, but Cicero (‘ Pro Fonteio ’, 6) recorded that Marcus was a legatus in Spain at the time of Sulla’s return to Italy. He managed to continue in public life, serving as legate in Macedonia (‘ Pro Fonteio ’, 44) and was prosecuted in ca . 69 BC for alleged offences that he had committed as propraetor in Gaul. It is possible that the younger Manius could also have survived in public life after Sulla’s return: a coin (RRC 429/1) issued by P. Fonteius Capito in 55 BC refers on the reverse to a heroic action undertaken in battle by a military tribune, ‘MN·FONT·TR·MIL’, and Michael Crawford (referenced below, 1974, at p. 453) suggested that the this could have been the younger Manius in action at the time of his brother’s propraetorship in Gaul. If so, then we might assume that he had not caused to much offence to Sulla by his action as moneyer in 85 BC, or at least that he had managed to keep a very low profile for a period thereafter.

On the basis of this information, we might assume that the younger Manius was

The winged child atop a goat on the reverse is identified as everything from a symbol of Vejovis, young Jupiter, Cupid, or even an infant Bacchus. The inclusion of the caps of the Dioscuri and the thyrsus of Bacchus

The most interesting thing about these obverses, irrespective of the identity of the deity portrayed, is the sudden reappearance of his thunderbolt, which James Luce (referenced below, at pp. 37-8) characterised as a threat to annihilate Sulla.

However, the problem with this is that Michael Crawford (referenced below, 1974, at p. 368) attributed another coin to Bursio: a very rare bronze coin (RRC 352/2, quinarius or sestertius), with:

✴ the obverse depicting the head of a male deity with attributes of Apollo (laurel wreath and ringlets) and Mercury (winged head) , but with no trident behind and

✴ the reverse depicting Cupid breaking thunderbolt over knee.

If this is correct, and if the thunderbolt symbolised the power and intentions of Cinna at this time, then Bursio must have been an overt supporter of Sulla. James Luce (at p. 38 and not 66) rejected the attribution of this coin to Bursio, and argued that:

“. Sulla had something to say in reply [to Cinna’ thunderbolt]. A very rare and anonymous quinarius [RRC 352/2] appeared . , doubtless issued from Sullan-held territory sometime in 83 or 82 BC. Sulla's answer was blunt and uncompromising the reverse shows Cupid breaking the thunderbolt over his knee.”

H oward Scullard (referenced below, at pp. 56-7) posed an interesting question:

“. who was Vediovis? . Cicero, speaking of strained efforts to explain the etymology of the names of some gods, asks:

‘What will you make of Vediovis (quid Veiovi facies)?’ [from ‘Nature of the Gods’, 3: 62, translated by Harris Rackham, referenced below].

. the derivation was apparently unknown to Cicero and his generation . ”

modern scholars have not been

deterred from seeking answers, which are naturally more speculative than

conclusive, and as a result Vediovis has appeared in a staggering variety of

roles. He has been seen as an Etruscan god imported into Rome, with the

first two letters of his name considered as the stem of the word rather than

the usually accepted prefix (cf. Veii and Veientes). Others would follow

Aulus Gellius in seeing Vediovis as Apollo because he is depicted holding

arrows and with a goat beside him, but this identification was probably a

late suggestion and scarcely explains the god's early nature. The majority

of modern scholars connect the name with Jupiter. It appears with the

same variations as Iovis with the particle ve-prefixed: Vediovis, Diovis

Vedius, Dius Vediovis, Iovis. The meaning of ve-is ambiguous because it

can be either privative or diminutive. Gellius explains Jupiter as derived

Origins of the Cult of Vediovis

As noted above, Ovid’s Fasti included only one event for 7th March:

“[So] that the strangeness of the name [Vediovis] may not prove a stumbling-block, . learn who that god is and why he is so called. He is the young Jupiter: look on [the] youthful face [of his statue] look then on his hand, [which] holds no thunderbolts: Jupiter assumed the thunderbolts [only] after the giants dared attempt to win the sky at first he was unarmed. . A she-goat also stands [beside the statue] . it was the she-goat that gave her milk to the infant Jove”, (‘ Fasti ’ 3: 429-48, based on the translation of James Frazer, revised by G. P. Goold, referenced below).

Ovid recorded the day of the anniversary of the dedication of this second temple:

“The Nones [7th] of March have only one mark in the calendar, because . , on that day, the temple of Vediovis was consecrated in front of the two groves. When Romulus surrounded the grove with a high stone wall, [he established a refuge for fugitives (see below)]. . [So] that the strangeness of the name [Vediovis] may not present a stumbling-block, . learn who that god is and why he is so called:

✴ [Vediovis] is the young Jupiter: look on his youthful face [in his cult statue - see below] look then on his hand, [which] holds no thunderbolts: at first Jupiter was unarmed: he assumed the thunderbolts [only] after the giants had dared attempt to win the sky . A she-goat also stands [beside the image of Vediovis] . it was the she-goat [Amaltheia] that gave her milk to the infant Jove [on Mount Ida].

✴ Now I am called on to explain the name [Vediovis]. Countrymen call stunted spelt vegrandia [puny] and small things vesca . [thin]. If that is the meaning of the [prefix ‘ve-’], may I not suspect that the shrine of Vediovis is the shrine of the little Jupiter ?“, (‘ Fasti ’ 3: 429-48, based on the translation of James Frazer, revised by G. P. Goold, referenced below).

Ovid seems to have used the evidence of this statue to explain the nature of Vediovis to the readers of his Fasti : having recorded the dies natalis of this temple, he continued:

“[So] that the strangeness of the name [Vediovis] may not prove a stumbling-block, . [let me tell you] who that god is, and why he is so called. He is the young Jupiter: look on his youthful face look then on his hand, [which] holds no thunderbolts: Jupiter assumed the thunderbolts [only] after the giants dared attempt to win the sky at first he was unarmed. . A she-goat [Amalthiea] also stands [beside his image] the Cretan nymphs are said to have fed the god it was the she-goat that gave her milk to the infant Jove [on Mount Ida]. Now I [must] to explain the name. Countrymen call stunted spelt ‘ vegrandia’ , and they call small things vesca . If that is the meaning of the[prefix ‘ve-’], may I not suspect that the shrine of Vediovis is the shrine of the little Jupiter ?“, (‘ Fasti ’ 3: 429-48, based on the translation of James Frazer, revised by G. P. Goold, referenced below, at p. 153).

Aulus Gellius ( ca . 170 AD) described this statue:

“[The names] Diovis and Vediovis appear in ancient [Roman] prayers. Furthermore, there is also a temple of Vediovis at Rome, between the Citadel and the Capitolium”, (‘Attic Nights’, 5: 12: 1-2).

As we shall see, Aulus Gellius (died ca . 169 AD) also based his etymology of the name Vediovis on the cult statue in the temple on the Capitol. Like Ovid, he realised that it was related to that of Jupiter: thus, he started by asserting that:

“. the ancient Latins derived Iovis from iuvare (help), and called that same god ‘father’, thus adding a second word: for Iovispater is the full and complete form, and it became Jupiter”, (‘Attic Nights’, 5: 12: 3-5).

However, he then deduced that the ancient Latins had:

“. applied a name of the contrary meaning to that god who had, not the power to help, but the force to do harm. . and they called him Vediovis, thus taking away and denying his power to give help”, (‘Attic Nights’, 5: 12: 8-9).

It seems that he had reached this conclusion on the basis of the iconography of the statue that had been discovered in 1939:

“It is for this reason that the statue of the god Vediovis, which is in the temple of which I spoke above, holds arrows, which, as everyone knows, are devised to inflict harm. For that reason, it has often been said that that god is Apollo and a she-goat is sacrificed to him by the ritus humano , and a representation of that animal stands near his statue”, (‘Attic Nights’, 5: 12: 11-12).

Howard Scullard (referenced below, search on Vediovis) suggested that the phrase in humano ritu ’:

“. might imply that the goat was a surrogate for human sacrifice or was an offering to Vediovis regarded as a chthonic deity, but more probably it refers to an offering for a (dead) man in contrast to an offering to the gods. However, the whole matter may be a mistake: Gellius may have deduced the sacrifice of a goat from the animal accompanying the statue: [however], an attribute does not necessarily involve it being an object of sacrifice.”

(This etymology was also recorded by Festus (519 L, search on ‘Vescoli’), for whom the prefix ‘ ve -’ signified small, and Vediovis was the young Jove.)

Macrobius must have had a different source for his assumption that Vediovis was a god of the underworld who could be called on by generals or dictators in battle: thus he wrote that enemy

“. cities and armies are devoted to destruction with the following words, which only dictators and generals are able to use for the purpose:

‘ Dis pater , Vediovis, Manes, or by whatever other name it is right to call you: may you all fill . Carthage, and . those who will bear arms and missiles against our legions and army with the urge to flee, with dread, with panic . ’”, (‘ Saturnalia ’, 3: 9: 10, translated by Robert Kaster, referenced below, at p. 69).

It seems to me that it might have been this aspect of Vediovis that had commented him to Lucius Furius Purpurio, although this is obviously only speculation.

Unfortunately, none of the surviving sources shed light on the earlier history of this cult, which leaves us asking, with Howard Scullard (referenced below, at p. 56):

As he pointed out, all we know of the origins of this god comes from the etymology of his name, which:

“. appears with the same variations as Iovis , [but] with the particle ‘ve-’ prefixed . The meaning of ‘ve-’ is ambiguous because it can be either privative or diminutive [ i.e ., it can mean ‘not Jove’] or ‘young Jove’].”

However, as Cicero warned, reliance on etymology in order to discern divine origins is:

“. a dangerous practice: [anyone trying to do so] will be in difficulties with a great many names. [For example], what will [he] make of Vediovis . ?”, (‘ Nature of the Gods ’, 3: 62, translated by Harris Rackham, referenced below).

The answer to Cicero’s question is that scholars have confidently endowed Vediovis with a plethora of different and potentially conflicting origins and characteristics, as will be evident in what follows.

Eric Olin (referenced below, 2010, at p. 181) asserted that:

“. although the identity of Vediovis and his potential relationship to Jupiter remain problematic , there is little doubt that [he] was worshipped from a very early date in Italy.”

In this context, at note 69, he cited Howard Scullard (as above, pp 56-8):

“. who discusses . the evidence for Iron Age worship of the God”

Scullard himself, at p. 57, first cited Varro, who included Vediovis in a list of Sabine gods that thad been introduced to Rome in the regal period:

“There is also the scent of the speech of the Sabines about the altars that were dedicated at Rome by the vow of King Tatius: for, as the Annals tell, he vowed [ inter alia ], the altar of] . Vediovis . ”, (‘ On the Latin Language ’, 5: 74, translated by Roland Kent, referenced below).

Arthur Frothingham (referenced below, at p. 381) observed that Varro:

“. quotes from the Annals a list of the Sabine gods worshipped in primitive Rome . [that includes Vediovis]. The source for such a list is probably not earlier than the 3rd century BC and while of no particular value in proving a Sabine origin, is an interesting confirmation of the primitive character of the god [as perceived at that time].”

I am not aware of the reason for Frothingham’s assertion that the Annals referenced by Varro are probably not earlier than the 3rd century BC but, if he is correct, then Varro’s testimony could throw some light on how Vediovis was perceived at that time when his cult arrived at Rome. However, Stefan Weinstock (referenced below, at p. 8, note 2) argued that:

“. Varro’s assertion of the Sabine origin of many gods is open to doubt and cannot be confirmed in the present case [ i.e . the case of Vediovis] from other sources.”

Scullard nevertheless argued (at p. 57) that Varro’s etymology

“. certainly should not be contemptuously rejected out of hand as is often done. For even if Vediovis was not a Sabine deity, his Italic origin may be very early: under his temple on the Capitol [see below] a ritually buried deposit of ex -votos included . imposto ware of the 7th century BC.

However, these ancient objects cannot be securely connected with either Vediovis or the temple that was dedicated to him here in 192 BC.

Howard Scullard (as above) also noted that, outside Rome, the cult of Vediovis:

“. is attested only at Bovillae, where an altar, set up ca . 100 BC, was dedicated to 'father Vediovis by the gens Iulia in accordance with the laws of Alba’. This reference takes us back to the Iron Age.”

However (again), the inscription (CIL XIV 2387) refers to the private cult of the Roman gens Julia at Bovillae and, while the member of this family who commissioned the altar certainly wanted to convey an impression of its ancient origins, this might well have been disingenuous. In my view, all we can really say is that the inscription from Bovillae (which is discussed further below) tells us nothing about either:

✴ how the Romans conceived of Vediovis in the first decade of the 2nd century BC or

✴ why Lucius Furius Purpurio apparently vowed two temples to him in Rome (one on the Tiber Island under discussion here and another on the Capitol discussed below) at that time.

The only other surviving evidence of a cult site dedicated to the Latin Vediovis from Bovillae on the Alban Lake, some 20 km southeast of Rome on via Appia: as we shall see, an inscription ( CIL XIV 2387 , ca . 100 BC) on an altar there records that the gens Julia dedicated it under Alban law to Father Vediovis (V ediovei Patrei ).

Altar of Vediovis at Bovillae

Front and back of the inscribed altar from Bovillae (CIL XIV 2387)

Adapted from S. Weinstock (referenced below, at p. 8)

Vediovis is documented in an inscription (CIL XIV 2387) on an altar that was discovered at Bovillae (see below). It reads:

Vediovei Patrei/ genteiles Iuliei/ Ved〚- - -〛 aara (front)

Mary Beard and her colleagues (referenced below, at p. 17) translated this as:

‘Members of the Julian clan to Father Vediovis/ Altar for Vediovis/ Dedicated by Alban Law’

and observed that, in the inscription:

“. the Julii, acting as a clan, record a dedication or sacrifice to the god Vediovis.”

The altar would have been used for private, family rites of the kind recorded by Festus:

“[While] public rituals are those that are for the populus . private rituals are those that are for individual men, families, gentes ”, (‘d e verborum significatu ’, 284L, translated by Christopher Smith (2006) referenced below, at p. 44, note 111).

We know from Macrobius that a number of patrician families, including the Julii, had their own domestic cults:

“There are . religious festivals that belong to specific clans, like Claudian or Aemilian or Julian or Cornelian festivals and any others that a given clan keeps as a consequence of its own domestic observances”, (‘ Saturnalia ’, 1: 16: 7, translated by Robert Kaster, referenced below).

Thus, the likelihood is that the private Julian festival recorded by Macrobius was dedicated to Vediovis and celebrated at this altar, which would have been on their property. The dating of the inscription is not straightforward: as Stephen Smith (referenced below, at p. 147) observed:

“By naming the gens or clan, rather than an individual, [the inscription] suggests timeless continuity, [and this] prevents it from being dated precisely. Its script pretends to be old by following the pseudo-archaic spelling conventions proposed by the grammarian Lucius Accius, which were popular from around 132 to 74 BC. [The] lettering [is] of approximately the same period, and so the altar is usually dated to around 100 BC .”

The EAGLE database (see the CIL link) dates it to the period 150-75 BC.

The altar was found in 1826 at Frattocchie, a district of the comune di Marino in Lazio (some 20 km southeast Rome) on the estate of Vincenzo Colonna, and is now in the garden of Palazzo Colonna, Rome. (See Andrea Pancotti, referenced below, for details of the excavations). This was the site of ancient Bovillae, on via Appia and below the Alban hills. According to the EAGLE database, the inscription was found ‘in an external corner of the scena of the theatre, wedged between the floor of large stones'. It had clearly been reused, but we might reasonably assume that its original location was nearby. Thus, the gens Julia probably owned an estate at Bovillae in ca . 100 BC and were, at that time, intent on laying claim to a longstanding presence in the area. This is significant because:

✴ according to the now-unknown author of the ‘ Origo Gentis Romanae ’:

“While . Latinus Silvius was ruling [Alba Longa, the ancient capital of Latium], the colonies of Praeneste, Tiber, Gabii, Tusculum, Cora, Pometia, Labici, Crustumium, Cameria, Bovillae, and other cities on every side were sent forth”, (‘OGR ’, 17: 6) and

✴ there is epigraphic evidence that, from at least the 1st century AD (see, for example, CIL VI 1851 ), the people of Bovillae referred to themselves as Albani Longani Bovillenses, thereby implying that they had replaced Alba Longa after its destruction (according to tradition) in 658 BC.

Thus, evidence of an apparently ancient Julian cult here would support the claim of the Julii to descent from Ascanius, son of Aeneas, the founder and first king of Alba Longa.

Vediovis, Ascanius and the Julii

Ernst Badian (referenced below, at pp. 14-15)

“The altar [at Bovillae] has had a disastrous effect in modern scholarship, reinforced by the family propaganda of Augustus and Tiberius (see below). It has led to the identification of Bovillae as the place of origin of the Julii . A dose of reality [is needed:

✴ . there is no [known] conjunction between the Julii and Vediovis outside this text . [and]

✴ there is no [surviving] record of any contact between the Julii and Bovillae before this inscription, and indeed no record, literary or epigraphic, after it down to Augustus (see below).

The gens , of course, had had many centuries in which to show an interest in Bovillae but, apart from this text and monument, no such interest appears, not even by Caesar . who proudly proclaimed his ancestry on suitable occasions . We must look for a different explanation, bearing directly on this text.”

“The sudden emphasis [in ca . 100 BC] on the family legend tracing their descent to Alba Longa and ultimately [via Ascanius and Aeneas] to Venus, serves as a political manifesto. Vediovis presumably had no structure dedicated to him at Bovillae (unlike at Rome, where several had long existed [see above]), but there was probably an area sacred to him, which gave the Julii their opportunity. An altar could be used as the vehicle for a suitable inscription: it was much cheaper than a temple and seems not to have needed public authorisation. By the time the Julii were firmly established among leading [Roman] families, with consulships in 91 and 90, they had no further need of Bovillae. Interest was resumed only by Augustus, under whom ludi at Bovillae were founded, and by Tiberius, who built a sacrarium to the gens Iulia there . : Augustus and Tiberius, of course, had a special interest in ‘proving’ their Julian descent.”

It seems to me that Badian’s basic premise is borne out by the fact that it was apparently Lucius Furius Purpurio who had introduced the cult of Vediovis to Rome at the start of the 2nd century BC. Furthermore, the ‘sudden emphasis’ of the Julii on their descent from Venus is also manifest in two coins that depicted Venus on the reverse that were issued (respectively) by

✴ Sextus Julius Caesar (praetor of 123 BC) in 129 BC (RRC 258/1):

✴ Lucius Julius Caesar (consul of 90 BC) in 103 BC (RRC 320/1).

“It seems likely that Vediovis represented, at least for the Julii, the divine form of their [alleged] founder, Iulus, for it was a Latin tradition that founders [of clans or cities] took on a new name when they were deified: so [for example]: Romulus became the god Quirinus Aeneas (at least at Lavinium) became Indiges and Latinus (the founder of the Latins) became Jupiter Latiaris” (my slight change of word order).

Stefan Weinstock (referenced below, pp, 8-10) presented the evidence for his assertion (at p.10) that Vediovis was a young Jupiter (rather than a form of Apollo, as other scholars suggest - see below). Like Beard et al ., he concluded (at p. 10) that:

“Vediovis was a youthful Jupiter [and] Iulus was [also] assumed to be [a diminutive of Jove]: the conclusion seems unavoidable that the Julii created the gentilician cult of Vediovis precisely because they believed him to be identical with [the deified] Iulus.”

Thus, we can reasonably assume that Lucius at least alluded to this family tradition at some point in his putative Libri Pontificalium .

According to Varro (‘ On the Latin Language ’, 5:74, ca. 45 BC), the Sabine Titus Tatius, Romulus’ colleague, dedicated a number of altars in Rome, including one dedicated to Vediovis.

Vediovis seems to have had an Etruscan equivalent: for example, Karolina Sekita (referenced below, at p. 105 and note 58) recorded an inscription (Py. co. 33, ca. 300 BC) on a cup from the southern sanctuary at Pyrgi (Caere) that recorded vei[-]is , which she completed as Veivis , observing that this was very probably an Etruscan form of Vediovis. She observed (at p. 107) that other inscriptions from this sanctuary recorded Kore (Cavaθa) and Demeter (Vei), who were frequently worshipped in

vidence of the cult of Vediovis outside Rome is in the so-called Linen Book of Zagreb, a linen scroll that had been reused to wrap an Egyptian mummy (now in the Archeological Museum of Zagreb), which had been re-purposed from an Etruscan liturgical calendar. Jean MacIntosh Turfa (referenced below, at p. 24) suggested that:

“. the book’s script, associated with the region of Perugia, is dated to ca . 200-150 BC”.

She noted that it contained entries for rituals of a number of gods, including Vetis/ Veove , the Roman Vediovis, to whom sacrifices were made on 24th September.

Eric Orlin (referenced below, 2010, at p. 18o) outlined the political climate in which these temples (among others) were dedicated: the Second Punic War had ended in 201 BC, and the new temple foundations at Rome in the following decades point to:

“. the Roman interest in suggesting that the Roman religious community extended throughout Italy [which was now, once more, securely in Roman hands]. This period saw a burst of new temple construction that is unparalleled in any other period of Roman history 15 new temples were definitely dedicated between 194 and 173 BC . A remarkable aspect of these new temples is how many were dedicated to important divinities from the Italian peninsular . The inclination to focus on Italian deities was demonstrated at the very outset of this period, . [when] the Romans finally dedicated a temple [in Rome] to Juno Sospita, whom they had worshipped in common with the people of Lanuvium [in Latium] since 338 BC [see below].

K. Sekita, “ Śuri et al: A ‘Chthonic’ Etruscan Face of Apollon ”, in

E. Bispham and D. Miano (editors), “G ods and Goddesses in Ancient Italy ”, (2020) London and New York, at pp. 100-19

D. Miano, “ Fortuna: Deity and Concept in Archaic and Republican Italy “, (2018) Oxford

H. Flower, “ The Dancing Lares and the Serpent in the Garden: Religion at the Roman Street Corner ”, (2017) Princeton and Oxford

E. Warford, “ Stuck in the Middle with You: Vediovis, God of Transitions and In-between Places”, (2017) presented at the annual meeting of the Classical Association of the Middle West and South, April 5-8, Kitchener, Ontario

C. Dart, “The Social War (91 to 88 BCE): A History of the Italian Insurgency against the Roman Republic” (2016) London and New York

C. Henriksén, “ A Commentary on Martial, Epigrams, Book 9 ”, (2012) Oxford

MacIntosh Turfa J., “ Divining the Etruscan World. The Brontoscopic Calendar and Religious Practice ”, (2012) Cambridge

R. A. Kaster, “ Macrobius: Saturnalia: Volume I, Books 1-2 and Volume II, Books 3-5 ”, (2011) Cambridge (MA)

G. Farney, “ Ethnic Identity and Aristocratic Competition in Republican Rome ” (2010) Cambridge

E. Orlin, “ Foreign Cults in Rome: Creating a Roman Empire ”, (2010) Oxford

T. P. Wiseman, “ Remembering the Roman People: Essays on Late-Republican Politics and Literature ”, (2009) Oxford and New York

T.. C. Brennan, “ The Praetorship in the Roman Republic ”, (2000) Oxford

T. J. Cornell (editor), “The Fragments of the Roman Historians”, (2000)

E. Orlin, “ Temples, Religion and Politics in the Roman Republic ”, (1997) Leiden, New York, Cologne

Analysis ", Numismatic Chronicle, 156 ( 1996) 79-147

M. Crawford, “ Roman Republican Coinage ”, (1974) Cambridge

J. Briscoe, “ A Commentary On Livy: Books 31-33 ”, (1973) Oxford

S. Weinstock, “ Divus Julius ”, (1971) Oxford

R. G. Kent (translator), “ Varro: ‘On the Latin Language’: Volume I: Books 5-7 ”, (1938) Cambridge (MA)

H. Rackham (translator), “ Cicero: ‘On the Nature of the Gods’ ”, (1933), Cambridge (MA)

J. G. Frazer (translator, revised by G. P. Goold), “ Ovid: ‘Fasti’” , (1931), Cambridge (MA)

J. D. Duff (translator), “Lucan: The Civil War (Pharsalia)” , (1928), Cambridge (MA)

A. L. Frothingham, “ Vediovis, the Volcanic God: A Reconstruction ”, American Journal of Philology, 38: 4 (1917) 370-91

F. W. Cornish et al. (translators, revised by G. P. Goold), “ Catullus. Tibullus. Pervigilium Veneris” , (1913), Cambridge (MA)

L. Montague, “The Meaning of the Monogram on Denarii Struck by Caesius and Manius Fonteius”, Numismatic Chronicle and Journal of the Numismatic Society, 15 (1895) 162-3


to the website of Craig S. Chalquist, PhD, founder of Worldrede Academy and its imprint World Soul Books.

My interests include:
– Storytelling, folklore, and myth
– Depth psychology, symbol, and dream
– Terrapsychology and presence of place
– Ecopsychology, where self and world meet
– Enchantivism and deep systemic change

I especially enjoy exploring what mythic motifs, plots, and images might be alive in specific events. Myth is hardly dead: it is going on all the time, inside and outside of us. Every time we perceive how and why, more of our lived, felt reality is reenchanted.

Roman Gods and Goddesses A-Z 🔱🗒️

ADDucation&rsquos mega list of Roman gods and goddesses includes the parents, consorts, siblings, groups and titles of Roman gods and godesses. In addition the table includes the equivalent Greek gods on which the Roman pantheon of gods and Roman mythology is based. Similarly ADDucation&rsquos other lists on Greek and Roman mythology include key facts, trivia and fascinating insights into the everyday lives of Greek and Roman people.

ADDucation Tips: Click column headings with arrows to sort Roman gods and goddesses. Reload page for original sort order. Resize your browser to full screen and/or zoom out to display as many columns as possible. Click the ➕ icon to reveal any hidden columns. Use the &ldquoFilter table&hellip&rdquo to find ancient Roman deities quickly. Key: Bold indicates masculine/male Roman gods and bold+Italics indicates feminine/female Roman goddesses.

Roman Gods and Goddesses 🔱 Title/s Festivals, Temples, Anniversaries Group/s Gender Parents Siblings Consort/s Offspring Greek Equivalent
Abeona was the Roman goddess of partings. Conception, childbirth and childcare. Indigitamenta [3] . Female
Roman divine personification of abundance and prosperity. Abstract deity [4] . Female
Acca Larentia
Acca Larentia was a mythical women who later became a Roman goddess associated with the Lares and identified with Larentina, Mana Genita / Geneta Mana and Muta. 23 December Larentalia festival Agricultural goddess. Etruscan origin. Female Faustulus (mortal shepherd).
Foster mother of Romulus and Remus. She had 12 sons. Romulus and her remaining 11 sons formed the Arval Brethren of priests.
Adeona / Adiona
Roman goddess of safe return, learning to walk and guiding children home. Childhood development. Indigitamenta [3] . Female
Aequitas / Aecetia / Equitas
Roman divine personification of equity or fairness beyond legal justice. Used as an epithet &ldquobyname&rdquo for propaganda, e.g. Aequitas Augusti. Abstract deity [4] . Female
Aestas / Aestatis
Roman goddess of summer usually depicted naked and garlands of grain/ears of corn. Associated with Phoebus. 27 June Initium Aestatis festival marking the beginning of summer. Female
Roman goddess that encourages children to be active, e.g. walking reasoning, counting, singing etc. Childhood development. Indigitamenta [3] . Female
Roman goddess of unborn children who nourishes the growth of the embryo. Conception and pregnancy. Indigitamenta [3] . Female
Angerona / Angeronia
Roman goddess of will, the winter solstice, suffering and silence who relieved pain and sorrow of men. Angerona was the protector of Rome and keeper of the sacred name of the city &ndash which should not be spoken to conceal it from her enemies. 21 December Angeronalia / Divalia Roman festival in honor of Angerona. Sacrifices were made in the temple of Voluptia (which contained a statue of Angerona) to Angerona, Hercules and Ceres.
Sometimes identified with Feronia.
Anna Perenna /Annae Perena
Anna Perenna was the Roman goddess of the succession of years based on the annual lunar cycle of the moon (per annum). Represented as an old woman. See also Luna. 15 March New Year&rsquos Day festival and holiday to honor Anna Perenna. Female Bellus (king of Sidon) Dido / Elissa (Phoenician princess and founder of Carthage).
Antevorta / Porrima
Antevorta was the Roman goddess of childbirth and the future. Present when a child was born head first. See also her sister Postvorta. The Camenae. Aspect of Carmenta. Conception, childbirth and childcare. Indigitamenta [3] .
Female Postverta
Apollo / Phoebus / Apollo Phoebus
Apollo was the Roman god of the sun (rides the sun), healing, medicine, music and poetry.

Apollo was one of the best known and most important Roman gods and goddesses.

  • 6-13 July Ludi Apollinares games
  • 14-19 July Ludi Apollinare games, markets and fairs
  • 23 September temple of Apollo (and Latona) rededication anniversary.
  • with Coronis: Aesculapius
  • with ? Janus
  • 17 March Liberalia festival to Liber / Bacchus
  • 25 December Brumalia winter solstice festival honoring Bacchus, Saturn, Ceres which consisted of feasting and merriment.

Bacchus was associated with Bacchanalia Roman festivals.

  • 1 May temple of Bona Dea anniversary
  • 3 December Bona Dea rites for women.
  • Antevorta.
  • Postvorta.
  • Carmenta / Carmentis.
  • Egeria /Aegeria.
  • Caster: Tyndareus (King of Sparta) and Leda (Spartan queen) 19*
  • Or Zeus and Leda 1*
  • Or Pollux: Zeus and Leda 1*
  • Helen of Troy.
  • Clytemnestra.

Ceres is one of the 20 most important Roman gods and goddesses.

  • 12-19 April Cerialia festival and games to Ceres with chariot racing on the last day
  • May/June Ambarvalia 1 or 3 day festival to Ceres / Dea Dia by the Fratres Arvales priests
  • 4 October Ieiunium Cereris fasting day in honor of Ceres
  • 24 August first of three days the &ldquomundus cerialis&rdquo (world of Ceres)&rdquo ritual pit was opened. Offerings were made to Ceres and other agricultural and underworld deities
  • 5 October second opening of the &ldquomundus&rdquo pit
  • 8 November third opening of the &ldquomundus&rdquo pit
  • 13 December lectisternium (propitiatory meal offering ceremony) to Ceres
  • 25 December Brumalia winter solstice festival honoring Saturn, Ceres and Bacchus consisting of feasting and merriment.
  • 5 February temple of Concordia anniversary
  • 22 July temple of Concordia anniversary.
  • 7 July sacrifice to Consus by public priests
  • 21 August Consualia festival parades and chariot races
  • 12 December Consus festival
  • 15 December Consualia festival parades and chariot races.
  • 15-28 March Hilaria festival to Cybele with religious rites
  • 4-10 April Megalesia festival to Cybele with games and chariot racing on the last day.
  • May/June Ambarvalia 1 or 3 day festival to Ceres / Dea Dia by the Fratres Arvales priests.
  • 21 February Feralia festival to celebrate di Manes chthonic deities representing the souls of the deceased. Feralia was held on the last day of the Parentalia festival to remember ancesters. Rites in the name of Dea Tacita were also performed.

Diana is one of the 20 most important of all Roman gods and goddesses.

  • June 5 temple of Dius Fidius anniversary
  • 1 September ceremonies for Juno Regina on the Aventine and Jupiter Tonans &ldquoThunderer&rdquo on the Capitolium
  • 7 October rites for Juno Curitis and Jupiter Fulgur &ldquodaytime lightning&rdquo.
  • 13 February festival for Faunus on Tiber island
  • 15 February Pre-Roman Lupercalia festival (dies Februatus) to Faunus with offerings, sacrifices, feasting, a foot race and fertility rites which eventually became the Christian St. Valentine&rsquos Day!
  • 5 December country festival for Faunus.
  • With Marica: Latinus
  • With ?: Fauna
  • 1 July temple anniversary to Felicitas at her temple on the Campus Martius
  • 9 October rites at shrines on the Capitolium for Genius Publicus, Fausta Felicitas and Venus Victrix.
  • 27 April-3 May Ludi Florales (Flora games) to celebrate fertility with promiscuous activities and chariot racing on the last day
  • 24 May (or mid July) Rosalia festival to honor Flora and commemorate the dead with flowers
  • 13 August Flora temple anniversary near the Circus Maximus.
  • 1 April Veneralia festival
  • 5 April temple of Fortuna anniversary
  • 25 May temple of Fortuna Primigenia anniversary
  • 24 June Fors Fortuna festival with sacrifices
  • 6 July Temple of Fortuna Muliebris anniversary
  • 13 August Fortuna Equestris temple anniversary
  • 3-12 October Augustalia (Augustus games) altar to Fortuna Redux
  • 13 November festival in honor of Fortuna Primigenia.
  • 1 February Helernus sacred day. A black ox was sacrificed at his sacred grove near mouth of river Tiber
  • 9/11/13 May Lemuria festival
  • 4 June restoration of Hercules Custos temple anniversary
  • 29 June temple of Hercules Musarum anniversary
  • 12 August sacrifice of a heifer (cow) to Hercules Invictus and offering from the skyphos (ritual two handled cup) of Hercules.
  • 29 May Honos and Virtus temple anniversary
  • 17 July temple of Honos and Virtus anniversary and sacrifice to Victoria
  • 19 July festival to Honos
  • 12 August Venus Victrix temple anniversary and festival to Honos and Virtus, Felicitas and possibly Vesta.

January is named after Janus who is typically depicted with two faces, one looking forwards, the other backwards.

As guardian of passages Janus was the gatekeeper between Heaven and Earth so he was always invoked first to ensure communication between gods and worshipers.
One of the 20 most important Roman gods and goddesses.

  • 1 January New Year Kalends.
  • 9 January Agonalia (religious) festival to Janus
  • 17 March Agonalia festival to Janus
  • 21st May Agonalia festival to Janus
  • 11th December Agonalia festival to Janus
  • 17 August Temple of Janus anniversary.
  • Caelus and Trivia (Greek: Uranus and Hecate )
  • Or primordial deities Ether and Dies.
  • With Venilia: Canens
  • With Juturna: Fontus
  • With Camese: Aithex, Olistene, Tiberinus

When Juno touched a magical herb she became pregnant and gave birth to Mars.

Juno is one of the 20 most important of all Roman gods and goddesses.

  • 1 July temple ofJuno Felicitas anniversary
  • 1 September ceremonies for Juno Regina on the Aventine and Jupiter Tonans &ldquothe Thunderer&rdquo on the Capitolium.
  • 1 June temple of Juno Moneta anniversary
  • 10 October temple of Juno Moneta re-dedication.

Anywhere lightning strikes is sacred to Jupiter.

Later Jupiter also became a protector of the Roman people and one of the most famous and important of all Roman gods and goddesses.

  • 13 January Ides festival to Jupiter
  • 13 February Ides festival to Jupiter and first day of Parentalia festival in honor of family ancestors when a priestess of Vesta conducted a rite for the collective Di Parentes of Rome.
  • 15 March Ides festival to Jupiter
  • 1 April Veneralia wine festival to Jupiter and Venus
  • 13 April temple of Jupiter Victor anniversary
  • 23 April Vinalia Priora wine festival to Jupiter and Venus
  • 15 May Ides festival to Jupiter
  • 13 June Ides festival to Jupiter
  • 27 June temple of Jupiter Stator anniversary
  • 5 July Poplifugia festival to Jupiter
  • 15 July Ides festival to Jupiter
  • 13 August Ides festival to Jupiter
  • 19 August Vinalia Rustica wine harvest festival to Jupiter and Venus.
  • 5 September Jupiter Stator temple anniversary
  • 5-19 September Ludi Romani (Roman games) festival
  • 13 September Ides festival and temple to Jupiter Optimus Maximus anniversary. Epulums (ritual feasts) to Jove and the Capitoline Triad
  • 7 October rites for Juno Curitis and Jupiter Fulgur &ldquodaytime lightning&rdquo
  • 11 October Meditrinalia festival in honor of the new wine vintage offered to Roman gods and goddesses Jupiter (in his guise of wine god) and Meditrina
  • 15 October Ides festival to Jupiter
  • October 26-1 November Ludi Victoriae Sullanae games in honor of Jupiter
  • 1 November Ludi circenses (Roman circus races) in honor of Jupiter
  • 4-17 November Ludi Plebeii (Plebeian Games) in honor of Jupiter
  • 13 November Ides festival to Jupiter and Epulum (ritual feast) to Jupiter.
  • With Juno: Vulcan, Minerva, Mars, Bellona
  • With Dione: Venus
  • With Latona: Apollo, Diana
  • With Maia: Mercury
  • With Semele: Bacchus
  • With Ceres: Prosperina
  • With Alcmene: Hercules
  • With Moneta: The Muses
  • Possibly: Invidia, Lucina
  • 11 January Juturnalia temple anniversary
  • 27 August Volturnalia festival.

Liber is one of the 20 most important Roman gods and goddesses.

  • 17 March Liberalia festival to Liber / Bacchus
  • 5 September Mammes vindemia wine festival (originally to Greek god Dionysus).

In 46 BC the Roman Senate approved a shrine to Libertas in recognition of Julius Caesar which was never instead a statue to Libertas was placed in the Roman Forum.

Luna is one of the 20 most important of all Roman gods and goddesses.

  • 31 March temple of Luna anniversary
  • 24 August sacrifices to Luna on the Graecostasis platform
  • 28 August Circus Maximus games in honor of Sol and Luna.
  • 1 May sacrifice day to Maia
  • 23 August Vulcanalia festival with sacrifices to Vulcan and goddesses Ops Opifera, Juturna, Maia, Hora and the water nymphs.
  • 7 Pleiades sisters (Atlantides):
    • Maia eldest
    • Electra
    • Taygete
    • Alcyone
    • Celaeno
    • Sterope/Asterope
    • Merope youngest
    • the Manes
    • the Lares
    • ghosts, restless spirits and undead
    • 27 February and 14 March Equirria festivals (horse racing) to Mars
    • 1 March, 19 March Feriae Marti (festival for Mars)
    • 17 March Agonalia (religious) festival
    • 19-23 March Quinquatrus festival to Mars and Minerva
    • 23 March Tubilustrium festival to Mars. War trumpets cleaned and priests of Mars danced on the streets
    • 14 May Temple of Mars Invictus (Mars the Unconquered) anniversary
    • 1 June temple of Mars on the clivus anniversary
    • 13&ndash15 June Quinquatrus minusculae festival to Mars and Minerva
    • 15 October October Horse / Equus October festival with animal sacrifice to honor Mars. Two-horse chariot races on the Campius Martius
    • 19 October Armilustrium (military festival) with trumpets, garlands for soldiers, rites, animal sacrifice and torches in honor of Mars.
    • Juno Lucinaand a magical herb.
    • Or Jupiter and Juno.
    • With Rhea Silvia: Romulus and Remus (twins and founders of Rome.
    • with Venus: Cupid, Himerus, Formido, Pavor
    • 30 September Meditrinalia festival to honor Meditrina as Roman goddess of medicine with fruits
    • 11 October Meditrinalia festival in honor of the new wine vintage offered to Roman gods and goddesses.

    Jupiter (in his guise of wine god) and Meditrina.

    Mercury was the winged messenger of the Roman gods.

    Mercury was one of the 20 most important Roman gods and goddesses.

    Minerva is one of the 12 most important of all Roman gods and goddesses.

    • 19-23 March Quinquatrus festival to Mars and Minerva
    • 13&ndash15 June Quinquatrus minusculae festival to Mars and Minerva
    • 19 June temple of Minerva on the Aventine anniversary
    • 4 December Minerva festival.
    • Phanes (hermaphroditic)
    • Tartarus.
    • The Moirai (Fates)
    • and (Orphic 9* ) Chaos, Aether, Erebos, Phanes.

    One of the most famous and important of all Roman gods and goddesses.

    • 23 July Neptunalia festival to Neptune celebrated by dock workers on the Tiber river with food and games
    • 1 December temple ceremonies for Neptune.
    • 23 August Vulcanalia festival with sacrifices to Vulcan and goddesses Ops Opifera, Juturna, Maia, Hora and the water nymphs
    • 25 August Opiconsivia end of harvest festival
    • 19 December Opalia festival marking the storage of grain.

    Orcus is one of the 20 most important Roman gods and goddesses.

    • 21 April Parilia rustic festival and commemoration of the birthday of the city of Rome
    • 7 July festival to the two Pales.
    • 17 March Liberalia festival to Libera
    • 25 November sacred day to Prosperpina.
    • 1 January New Year Day sacrifice to temple of Jupiter
    • 5 August offerings and public sacrifice at the temple of Salus.
    • 17-23 December Saturnalia festival including feasting, gift-giving, gambling, wearing of the Pilleus (felt hat) public sacrifice and a banquet to honor Saturn
    • 23 December The last day of Saturnalia was called Sigillaria where wax/pottery figurines were given as gifts
    • 25 December Brumalia winter solstice festival honoring Saturn, Ceres and Bacchus consisting of feasting and merriment.
    • Sol Indiges &ldquoNative / Invoked sun&rdquo, probably earliest
    • Sol Invictus &ldquoUnconquered Sun&rdquo.

    Sol&rsquos origins lie in Mesopotamian mythology. Helios is most closely associated with Sol Invictus.

    Sol is one of the 20 most important Roman gods and goddesses.

    • 9 August public sacrifice at the Quirinal to Sol Indiges
    • 28 August Circus Maximus games in honor of Sol and Luna
    • 11 December Agonalia (religious) festival for Sol Indiges.
    • 23 February Terminalia festival in honor of Terminus. where farmers agreed borders and made sacrifices to ward off evil
    • 24 February Regifugium festival to Terminus marking the expulsion of the last king of Rome.

    Tellus is one of the 20 most important Roman gods and goddesses.

    • 15 April Fordicidia fertility festival and games
    • 8 December festival for Gaia
    • 13 December temple of Tellus anniversary.
    • June 7 Ludi Piscatorii &ldquoFishermen&rsquos Games&rdquo
    • 8 December festival for Tiberinus Pater
    • 17 August Tiberinalia festival to Father Tiber.


    • 1 January festival to Vejovis /Aesculapius for new year prosperity.
    • 7 March festival to Vejovis
    • 21 May festival to Vejovis.
    • Epione
    • Salus (maybe)
    • Hygeia
    • Iaso
    • Aceso,
    • Aglaea
    • Panacea
    • Machaon
    • Podalirius
      With ?:
  • Telesphoros
  • Aratus
  • Venus is one of the 20 most important of all Roman gods and goddesses.

    • 1 April Veneralia wine festival to Jupiter and Venus
    • 23 April Vinalia Priora wine festival to Jupiter and Venus
    • 19 August Vinalia Rustica wine harvest festival to Jupiter and Venus
    • 26 September temple of Venus Genetrix anniversary
    • 9 October rites at shrines on the Capitolium for Genius Publicus, Fausta Felicitas and Venus Victrix.
    • Mars
    • Vulcan
    • Aeneas (mortal)
    • with Anchises (mortal): Aeneas
    • with Mars: Cupid, Himerus, Formido, Pavor.

    Vesta is one of the 20 most important of all Roman gods and goddesses.

    • Dispiter was an earlier Roman goddess.
    • Vacuna was an earlier Sabine goddess.
    • 17 July temple of Honos and Virtus anniversary and sacrifice to Victoria
    • 20 July, Ludi Victoriae Caesari (Roman games)
    • 1 August Victoria temple anniversary on the Palatine hill
    • 26 October to 1 November Ludi Victoriae Sullanae (Sulla&rsquos Victory games).
    • 29 May Honos and Virtus temple anniversary
    • 17 July temple of Honos and Virtus anniversary and sacrifice to Victoria
    • 12 August Venus Victrix temple anniversary and festival to Honos and Virtus, Felicitas and possibly Vesta.

    Vulcan later became identified with Greek smith god Hephaestus and became the god of smithing.

    In Greek mythology Hephaistos forged thunderbolts for Zeus but in Roman mythology Vulcan provided the bolts for Jupiter.

    Vulcan is one of the most famous of all Roman gods and goddesses.

    • 23 May Tubilustria purification of trumpets ceremony
    • 23 August Vulcanalia festival with sacrifices to Vulcan and goddesses Ops Opifera, Juturna, Maia, Hora and the water nymphs.

    Notes and FAQ about ADDucation&rsquos Roman Gods and Goddesses A-Z list:

    • [1] Di selecti: 20 main Roman gods and goddesses.
    • [2] Di flaminales: 15 Roman gods with devoted flamens (priests, plural &ldquoflamines&rdquo). The Rex Sacrorum [17] &ldquoking of the sacred&rdquo was officially the highest position in Roman state religion, followed by the three flamines maiores: Flamen Dialis (Jupiter), Flamen Martialis (Mars), Flamen Quirinalis (Quirinus), then the Pontifex Maximus [18] &ldquogreatest priest&rdquo (who actually had the most power) then the 12 flamines minores.
    • [3] Indigitamenta: Roman gods and goddesses primarily known by name alone, or as an epithet of a major god or a minor entity or epithets of major gods. The College of Pontiffs maintained the indigitamenta list to ensure the correct names were invoked in public prayers.
    • [4] Abstract deity: Divine personification of a virtue which can be invoked in prayer or used as an epithet &ldquobyname/nickname&rdquo.
    • [5] Tutelary deity: Guardian/protector or patron of specific places, people and occupations.
    • [6] Chthonic deity: Underworld &ldquosubterranean&rdquo god/goddess or spirit.
    • [7] Dii Consentes: Six male-female pairs of Roman gods and goddesses, often seen as the Roman equivalent of the Greek Olympians. Their gilded images stood in the Forum.
    • This A-Z list of Roman gods and goddesses is primarily compiled from the works of Roman scholar Marcus Terentius Varro (116-27 BC) and Roman poet Ovid (43 BC

    Her festival, the Floralia, was held between April 28 and May 3 and symbolized the renewal of the cycle of life, drinking, and flowers. The festival was first instituted in 240 B.C.E, and on the advice of the Sibylline books, she was also given a temple in 238 B.C.E. At the festival, with the men decked in flowers, and the women wearing normally forbidden gay costumes, five days of farces and mimes were enacted – ithyphallic, and including nudity when called for – followed by a sixth day of the hunting of goats and hares. On May 23 another (rose) festival was held in her honor.

    Flora's Greek equivalent is Chloris, who was a nymph. Flora is married to Favonius, the wind god also known as Zephyr, and her companion was Hercules.

    Flora achieved more prominence in the neo-pagan revival of Antiquity among Renaissance humanists than she had ever enjoyed in ancient Rome.

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