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Vica Pota

(135 words)

Author(s): Wardle, David (Cape Town)
[German version] Roman goddess, whose cult, which originated perhaps as early as the archaic period, was located at a site at the foot of the Velia [3] hill (Liv. 2,7,10), where the house of P. Valerius [I 44] Poplicola had once been rebuilt (Ascon. p. 13 Clark); the 'birthday' (Natalis templi) of the sanctuary was 5 January (InscrIt 13,2,391). In addition to an etymology of the name from victus, 'food', and potus, 'drink' (Arnob. 3,25; cf. Sen. Apocol. 9,4) there is also a (more plausible) derivation from vinco 'to conquer, to win' ( vincendi atque potiundi: Cic. Leg. 2,28; cf. Ascon. l…

Pudicitia

(272 words)

Author(s): Wardle, David (Cape Town)
[German version] Personification of (married) female chastity. In Rome, associations of married women worshipped her in organized cult: p atrician women as P. Patricia, p lebeian women as P. Plebeia. An altar and a statue of P. Patricia, perhaps iconographically similar to Fortuna Muliebris, are said have been erected near the temple of Hercules on the Forum Boarium around 330 BC, after a lawsuit against patrician women for poisoning their husbands (Fest. 270; 282 L.). The cult of P. Plebeia was allegedly established by one Verginia in 296 BC, after her marriage to the ple…

Perna

(128 words)

Author(s): Wardle, David (Cape Town)
[German version] Oscan goddess, whose worship is attested only in Agnone (cf. Vetter no. 147), with a statue and an altar in a grove of the Oscan Ceres and a cult in the Floralia festival. There is no plausible linguistic connection with Anna Perenna or an Etruscan chthonic deity. The name per-na seems to be formed on Latin per, 'through'; porrima is a possible superlative. The connection with Ceres points to a fertility aspect, but her exact function remains unclear. Perhaps P. was responsible for the early stages of pregnancy - analogous to Prorsa (a…

Sanctus

(392 words)

Author(s): Wardle, David (Cape Town)
[German version] (originally the perfect passive participle of the Lat. verb sancire, 'dedicate, make inviolable'). Sanctus is not identical with sacer , but the use of sanctior as the comparative of sacer and the formation of the compound sacrosanctus point to a connexion going back to the Indo-European *sak- ('endowed with existence'). Three phases of the ancient use of sanctus and the substantive sanctitas can be identified. 1. Sanctus qualifies things, places or offices defined or safeguarded in their existence, usually in a law, by a sanctio  (e.g., walls, …

Virtus

(402 words)

Author(s): Wardle, David (Cape Town)
[German version] The Latin word virtus generally refers to the essence of 'man' ( vir), expressed in particular as courage (on other meanings, cf. Virtue). However, as a concept of social and ethical values, the Latin virtus translated the Greek aretḗ. In Christian usage, too, virtus comprises many different 'virtues' (Aug. Civ. 4,20). At Rome, V. was honoured as the goddess of 'manfulness', at first in association with Honos. The circumstances of temple foundations and the cultic iconography of V. on Republican and Imperial coins (a helmeted female figure with a lance, he…

Salus

(358 words)

Author(s): Wardle, David (Cape Town)
[German version] ('Well-being') was a deified characteristic (Personification) - depicted as a female deity, often enthroned, with a sceptre, bowl, snake or ear of corn - associated primarily with the security and welfare of the Roman state, its citizens and later its rulers. The city of Rome's temple to S. on the Mons Quirinalis, vowed by C. Iunius [I 19] Bubulcus in 311 BC during the second of the  Samnite Wars, was dedicated by him on 5 August (Cic. Att. 4,2,4; Cic. Sest. 131) 302 BC (Liv. 10,1…

Salacia

(281 words)

Author(s): Börm, Henning (Kiel) | Wardle, David (Cape Town)
[German version] [1] Maiden and worshipper of Apollo (Σαλακία; Salakía). Maiden from Ophionis (her name may derive from the Salbacus mountains), who, according to an etiological legend, carries a box in a procession for Apollo. In the box are cakes in the form of lyre, bow and arrow, which are typical insignia of the god. The wind snatches her sacrificial gifts and blows them out to sea, which carries them to the Lycian Chersonnesus near Patara. A 'refugee from S.' finds them and sacrifices them there  (Steph. Byz. s. v. Πάταρα; Pátara). Börm, Henning (Kiel) [German version] [2] Roman godde…