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Larunda, Mater Larum

(315 words)

Author(s): Prescendi, Francesca (Geneva)
[German version] The identity of the Roman goddess L. is not easily identifiable. L., also called Lara, was understood as the mother of the lares (Lactant. Div. inst. 1,20,35) and equated with Mania (Varro, Ling. 11,61). An aetiological myth says that she was also equated with Tacita Muta (‘mute’) (Ov. Fast. 2,583-616). It is disputed whether L./M.L. is the same goddess as Acca Larentia. According to Varro (Ling. 5,74), L. comes from the Sabine country; Titus Tatius dedicated an altar to her. According to an uncertain reconstruction of a passage in Tacitus (…

Pales

(428 words)

Author(s): Prescendi, Francesca (Geneva)
[German version] Deity of shepherds and herds. In the pastoral Latin literature (e.g. Verg. Ecl. 5,36; Calp. Ecl. 4,106) and in classical texts on Roman religion (Varro in Gell. NA 13,23,4; Ov. Fast. 4,723ff.) P. is female. However a male P. is documented as well (Varro in Serv. Georg. 3,1). The entry of the 7th July in the late Republican Fasti antiates maiores: Palibus II (InscrIt 13,2 p. 14) and Varro Rust. 2,5,1: Palibus point to the existence of two P.s [1] and could be a further indication of a male P. [2.101f.]. In order to avoid the assumption that two deitie…

Fas

(296 words)

Author(s): Prescendi, Francesca (Geneva)
[German version] is to be understood as ‘that which is divinely sanctioned’; its opposite is nefas. The adjective fastus is derived from it. Fas and nefas appear at first with verbs (e.g. fas est), later also as nouns in expressions such as contra fas. The derivation is disputed: 1. from * fēs-/ * fas<* dh(e)h1s- as festus, feriae, fanum; 2. from * <* bheh2 - as fari, fama, fabula, fatum [1]. The relationship between fari and the adj. fastus was already recognised by Varro (Ling. 6, 29-30; 53). According to [2] fari indicates the existence of the utterance removed from the speaker a…

Flamines

(977 words)

Author(s): Prescendi, Francesca (Geneva)
[German version] Roman priests who with the  pontifex, the  rex sacrorum and the  Vestals form the collegium pontificum and are part of the collegia maiora. They are responsible for the cult of individual deities (Cic. Leg. 2,20). Three flamines maiores perform the rites of the cult of the old state gods Jupiter ( flamen Dialis), Mars ( flamen Martialis) and Quirinus ( flamen Quirinalis); there are also twelve flamines minores (Volcanalis, Cerialis, Carmentalis, Portunalis, Volturnalis, Palatualis, Furrinalis, Floralis, Falacer, Pomonalis and two additional unkno…

Cleinis

(92 words)

Author(s): Prescendi, Francesca (Geneva)
[German version] (Κλεῖνις; Kleînis) was a rich Babylonian much beloved by  Apollo and  Artemis. Among the Hyperboreans he learnt that Apollo was honoured with a donkey sacrifice and wished to transfer this custom to Babylon. However, he encountered the misgivings of Apollo, who only appreciated the donkey sacrifice in the land of the Hyperboreans. C. stopped the sacrifice but his sons continued it. Thereupon, Apollo drove the donkeys mad. They ate C. and his sons who were then transformed into birds (Antoninus Liberalis 20).  Donkey cult;  Hyperborei Prescendi, Francesca (Geneva)

Crataeis

(118 words)

Author(s): Prescendi, Francesca (Geneva)
[German version] (Κραταιίς). According to Homer (Od. 12,124), C. is the mother of  Scylla. Hesiod (fr. 150 Rz.; Acusilaus fr. 5, FHG 1, 100), on the other hand, refers to  Hecate as Scylla's mother. Ancient historians attempted to explain this discrepancy in the sources in two ways: on the one hand, a genealogy was established which identified Hecate as the mother of C. and C. as the mother of Scylla (Semus of Delos, fr. 18a, FHG 4, 495). On the other hand, the name of C. was interpreted as an epi…

Cleopatra

(4,237 words)

Author(s): Prescendi, Francesca (Geneva) | Badian, Ernst (Cambridge, MA) | Ameling, Walter (Jena) | Stegmann, Helena (Bonn) | Mehl, Andreas (Halle/Saale) | Et al.
(Κλεοπάτρα; Kleopátra, Lat. Cleopatra). I. Mythology [German version] [I 1] Daughter of Boreas and Oreithyia Daughter of  Boreas and  Oreithyia, first wife of  Phineus. C. was rejected in favour of  Idaea [3], whom Phineus married as his second wife; her sons were blinded (Apollod. 3.200; Hyg. Fab. 18). Prescendi, Francesca (Geneva) [German version] [I 2] Daughter of Idas and Marpessa Daughter of  Idas and  Marpessa, wife of  Meleager. After her abduction by Apollo she was also called ‘Alcyone’ after her mother's …

Comaetho

(129 words)

Author(s): Prescendi, Francesca (Geneva)
(Κομαιθώ; Komaìthṓ). [German version] [1] Lover of Amphitryon Daughter of  Pterelaus, the mythological king of Taphos. She helped  Amphitryon, with whom she has fallen in love, in his battle against the Teleboeans from Taphos. She was, however, killed by him after he had conquered the island (Apollod. 2,60). Prescendi, Francesca (Geneva) [German version] [2] Priestess of Artemis Triklaria at the sanctuary of Laphria near Patrae Priestess of  Artemis Triklaria at the sanctuary of Laphria near Patrae. She and her lover  Melanippus have a sexual encounter in the…

Mater Matuta

(329 words)

Author(s): Prescendi, Francesca (Geneva)
[German version] Goddess of dawn, worshipped in Italy and Rome (Lucr. 5,655f.), whose name, in the form of an adjective, like Lat. maturus, ‘at the proper moment’, goes back, by way of the stem * mātū-, to * , ‘good’ [1]. Statuettes portraying the goddess with the sun's disc around her head and a child in her arms ( kourotrophos), and the temple dedicated to her in Satricum (now Le Ferriere) in Latium (with anatomical votive offerings: [5. Vol. 1-2]), go back to the seventh century BC [2; 3; 4]. Her temple near the Forum Boarium …

Numen

(590 words)

Author(s): Prescendi, Francesca (Geneva)
[German version] (in the Roman religion ‘the expressed will of a deity’). The concept of numen has been particularly popular in academic religious scholarship since the end of the 19th cent. Interest with regard to the Roman religion was sparked by the proponents of pre-deism or dynamism (W.W. Fowler [1], J.G. Frazer [2], H.J. Rose [3], F. Pfister [4], H. Wagenvoort [5]) (doxography: [6. 36; 7. 355-357]). They claimed numen is similar to the concepts of mana, orenda, vakanda etc. of the so-called ‘primitive’ peoples (Polynesians, Melanesians) and signifies the impersona…

Liber, Liberalia

(560 words)

Author(s): Prescendi, Francesca (Geneva)
[German version] Liber Pater is an Italic-Roman god of nature, fertility, and wine. L. is attested archaeologically first on the inscriptions of the Praenestine cistae from the 4th cent. BC (CIL I 2, 563), then on a cippus from Pisaurium from the 3rd-2nd cents. BC (CIL I 2, 381). The historians report that L. was introduced from Greece into Rome in the year 496, when the Sibylline Books had recommended to transfer the triad of Demeter, Kore, and Iacchus - who correspond to the Roman deities Ceres,…

Mania

(517 words)

Author(s): Käppel, Lutz (Kiel) | Prescendi, Francesca (Geneva) | Högemann, Peter (Tübingen) | Ameling, Walter (Jena) | Mehl, Andreas (Halle/Saale)
(Μανία; Manía). [German version] [1] Greek personification of madness Greek personification of madness. Cultic worship as Maníai (plural!) in the place of that name near Megalopolis. According to Paus. 8,34,1-3, Orestes went mad there (identification with Erinyes/Eumenides? Erinys). In the singular M. is found only in Quint. Smyrn. 5,451ff. for the rage of Ajax [1]. M. appears with an annotation of the name on a Lower Italian vase by Asteas depicting Hercules's infanticide ( Lyssa, Oestrus). Käppel, Lutz (Kiel) [German version] [2] Name of the Roman goddess Larunda Another name for…

Lucina

(166 words)

Author(s): Prescendi, Francesca (Geneva)
[German version] Epithet of Juno in her role as the goddess of birth. In antiquity the name is derived either from Latin lucus, ‘grove’, or Latin lux, ‘light’. The latter emphasizes the role of the goddess as midwife (Varro, Ling. 5,69; Varro antiquitates rerum divinarum fr. 100 Cardauns; Ov. Fast. 2,449f.; Plin. HN 16,235). The Kalendae, the days which mark the return of the cycle of the moon, are dedicated to Juno L. (Varro, Ling. 5,69; [1]). Her temple on the Esquiline in Rome was presumably consecrated in 375 BC by t…

Novendiale sacrum

(360 words)

Author(s): Prescendi, Francesca (Geneva)
[German version] ( novemdiale sacrum). NS describes a Roman rite of purification, which was probably performed on the ninth and last day (Fest. 186,13) of a period of nine days of festivities ( feriae novendiales, Paul. Fest. 187; feriae per novem dies, Liv. 1,31,4). Such feriae had no fixed position in the calendar, but were announced according to need (Varro Ling. 6,26: feriae conceptivae). They always took place when the prodigium of a rain of stones had happened and demanded state expiation (e.g. Liv. 35,9,5f.; 39,22,3f.; Obseq. 52; [1. 176f…

Libitina

(227 words)

Author(s): Prescendi, Francesca (Geneva)
[German version] Roman goddess who supervises the fulfilment of funeral duties (Plut. Numa 12,1). The name L., the etymology of which is disputed [1], therefore denotes metaphorically death in poetry (Hor. Carm. 3,30,7 L.). L. was equated with Venus Lubentina (Varro Ling. 6,47). Plutarch (Quaest. Rom. 269b; Numa 12,1) based this identification on the fact that two conflicting phenomena such as death and birth - the latter is related to L. as the result of sexual love - must belong to the domain of a single divinity. In L.'s grove ( lucus Libitinae), probably located on the Esquiline, t…

Lethus

(78 words)

Author(s): Prescendi, Francesca (Geneva)
[German version] (Λῆθος; Lêthos). Pelasgian, son of Teutamus, father of Hippothous [2] (Hom. Il. 17,288) and Pylaeus. Both sons were commanders of Pelasgian troops from Larisa (Hom. Il. 2,840ff.). Since the name L. is reminiscent of the underground place of Lethe, it is reasonable to assume that there was a connection between this mythical person and the Underworld. Prescendi, Francesca (Geneva) Bibliography 1 P. Wathelet, Dictionnaire des Troyens de l'Iliade, vol. 1, 1988, no. 170 and 207.

Indiges

(384 words)

Author(s): Prescendi, Francesca (Geneva)
[German version] (Plural: indigetes) refers to a deity or a group of deities whose identity was interpreted in different ways already in antiquity (Serv. Aen. 12,794). The etymology is also disputed: the hypothesis most widely supported today is the one according to which indiges like  Indigitamenta are considered to be derived from indigitare < * end-ag-itare [1] (‘to invoke’; Fest. 101 L.: indigitanto imprecanto), with indiges, its sense passive, meaning ‘invoked’ (* indag-et-) [2. 59]. Near Lavinium on the river Numicus a cult dedicated to Jupiter Indiges (Liv. 1,2…

Manes, Di.

(476 words)

Author(s): Prescendi, Francesca (Geneva)
[German version] Roman spirits of the dead, particularly the animae (‘souls’) of deceased individuals. They are part of the Underworld and also referred to as di inferi (e.g. CIL X 2936; VI 13388) and contrasted with the gods above ground ( di superi); in metonymy, they may stand for the Underworld itself. Literature of antiquity explains di manes euphemistically as ‘the good’ (Paul Fest. 132 l.; Serv. Aen. 1,143) and links them with Lat. mane, ‘the morning’, with mania or with Mater Matuta (Paul Fest. 109 l.). The salutation frequently found on gravestones and in memorial inscriptions, dis…

Cult Façade

(133 words)

Author(s): Prescendi, Francesca (Geneva)
[German version] The term cult façade (CF) is used to designate the typically Phrygian monument of  Cybele. It consists of a façade chiselled into rock with an alcove for the statue of the goddess. The monuments are pointed towards sunrise. The older CF go back to the 8th cent. BC, when Phrygia was a powerful state. In the 6th cent., when Phrygia was already under Lydian rule, another group of CF was built. The façade of the ‘Midas Monument’ belongs to the older group. It is the best-preserved monument and can be found close to the ancient city of Midas near the modern village of Yazılı Kaya. Prescen…

Larvae

(222 words)

Author(s): Prescendi, Francesca (Geneva)
[German version] In the Roman sphere, larvae are spirits which cause madness (Plaut. Capt. 598; Plaut. Aul. 642): one who has lost his wits is called larvatus (Plaut. Men. 890; Paul Fest. 106 L.). The larvae are regarded as ghosts, who are considered equal to the lemures (Gloss. 5,656,14) and can thus be considered as the addressees of the lemuria (Paul Fest. 77, 25 L.). In the interpretations of Roman authors, the larvae are equated with both the maniae ( Mania) and the dii manes when these return to Earth from the Underworld (Paul Fest. 114 L.). Furthermore, they are also identified with the lar…
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