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Bona Dea
(631 words)

[German version]

The ‘Good Goddess’, a female deity from whose cult and temples men were excluded (other names: Fauna, Fatua, Fenta Fauna). Her secret, nocturnal ceremonies took place in early December with the participation of the vestals at the home of a woman cum imperio, whose husband was an official, who had to be out of the house (cf. the famous Clodius scandal of 62 BC, Cic. Har. resp. 37; Plut. Caesar 9). It was a state ceremony pro populo. Some details of the ceremony are known to us: a porca was sacrificed (Macrob. Sat. 1,12,23); the room was decorated with twigs from vines…

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Versnel, Hendrik S. (Warmond), “Bona Dea”, in: Brill’s New Pauly, Antiquity volumes edited by: Hubert Cancik and , Helmuth Schneider, English Edition by: Christine F. Salazar, Classical Tradition volumes edited by: Manfred Landfester, English Edition by: Francis G. Gentry. Consulted online on 29 July 2021 <>
First published online: 2006
First print edition: 9789004122598, 20110510

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