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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…

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)

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,…

Latinus

(795 words)

Author(s): Prescendi, Francesca (Geneva) | Blume, Horst-Dieter (Münster) | Montanari, Franco (Pisa)
[German version] [1] Mythical ancestor of the Latin people (Greek Λατῖνος; Latînos). Mythical eponymous ancestor of the Latini. According to the Greek version, L. and his brother Agrius are the sons of Odysseus and Circe and kings of the Tyrrheni on the Island of the Blessed (Hes. Theog. 1011ff.). Servius (Aen. 12,164), who refers to a no longer identifiable Greek author, takes up this origin of L., but identifies him as the founder of the city of Rome, which was named for Rhome, the sister of L. Accor…

Libera

(98 words)

Author(s): Prescendi, Francesca (Geneva)
[German version] The consort of Liber; as he is the god of male fertility, so she is the goddess of female fertility (Aug. Civ. 6,9). She belongs to the Aventine triad of Ceres, Liber and L. (Fast. Caeretani, CIL I 1, 212) and is venerated together with Liber, at the Liberalia and at wine festivals [1. 256ff.]. In accordance with the identification of Liber with Dionysius L. is equated with Ariadne (Ov. Fast. 3,512). For bibliography see Liber. Prescendi, Francesca (Geneva) Bibliography 1 O. de Cazanove, Jupiter, Liber et le vin latin, in: RHR 205, 1988, 245-265.

Inferi

(310 words)

Author(s): Prescendi, Francesca (Geneva)
[German version] Etymologically related to infra (‘below’), Inferi is a collective term for all the gods of the Underworld ( Manes). It corresponds to the Greek terms katachthónioi and hypochthónioi. The Dii Inferi are contrasted to the gods above the earth ( Dii Superi CIL IX 5813) or the gods of the heavens ( Dii Caelestes) and the earth ( Dii Terrestres) (e.g. in a declaration of war by the  Fetiales: Liv. 1,32,9). In the cult, their Underworld nature is characterized by the way in which the sacrifice is offered to them: it is thrown on the ground (Fe…

Indigitamenta

(405 words)

Author(s): Prescendi, Francesca (Geneva)
[German version] For the etymology, see  Indiges. According to Wissowa, the word indigitamenta refers to collections of invocation phrases with which Roman priests turn to deities on different occasions and which are kept secret by the state because of their compelling authority [1; 2]. With reference to Varro (Antiquitates 14, fr. 87 Cardauns), however, the indigitamenta are frequently regarded as lists of deities that belong to the pontifical books. Many of these gods, so-called ‘special gods or gods of the moment’, have a limited role which is mo…

Fetiales

(499 words)

Author(s): Prescendi, Francesca (Geneva)
[German version] Roman priests, who formed a   collegium of 20 life-time members. They were co-opted from Rome's noble families (Dion. Hal. Ant. Rom. 2,72). Their name was linked with foedus (Serv. Aen. 1,62), fides (Varro, Ling. 5,86), and ferire (Fest. 81 L.). According to tradition, the founder of this collegium was either Numa (Dion. Hal. Ant. Rom. 2,72,1; Plut. Numa 12,4-13,67f-68c; Camillus 18,137b-f), Tullus Hostilius (Cic. Rep. 2,31), or Ancus Marcius (Liv. 1,32,5; Ps. Aur. Vict. De viris illustribus 5,4; Serv. Aen. 10,14). The fetiales upheld the ius fetiale (Cic. Off. 1,36…

Laverna

(146 words)

Author(s): Prescendi, Francesca (Geneva)
[German version] Roman goddess. An inscription (CIL XI 6708,7) on a clay bowl from the 3rd cent. BC represents the first evidence of her name known today. In literature, L. is considered on the one hand as the protector of thieves, the laverniones (Plaut. Aul. 445; Hor. Epist. 1,16,60) who found a hiding-place in her grove (Paul. Fest. 104 L.), and on the other hand as a goddess of the Underworld (Septimius Serenus fr. 6 Blänsdorf). An altar was dedicated to her on the Aventine near the Porta Lavernalis that was named after her (Varro, …

Lemures, Lemuria

(307 words)

Author(s): Prescendi, Francesca (Geneva)
[German version] Lemures is a Roman term that describes the ghosts that appear during the night (Hor. Epist. 2,2,209; Non. 1, 197 L.). The lemures are equated with the dii manes (Ov. Fast. 5,422; schol. in Pers. 8,185) or the larvae (Varro in Non. 1, 197 L.). Later commentators interpret them as souls of the deceased who died early (Porph. ad Hor. Epist. 2,2,209) or through violence (Acro ad Hor. Epist. 2,2,209). The festival of the lemuria (or lemuralia) on 9, 11 and 13 May was dedicated to them. On these days - people believed - the lemures would return to the earth during the night and e…

Calliphana

(117 words)

Author(s): Prescendi, Francesca (Geneva)
[German version] (Lat. Calliphana, also Calliphoena). Priestess of Ceres in Rome. Originally a priestess of Demeter in Elea/Velia. In accordance to the concept that Ceres was a goddess of Greek origin and that her ritual must observe Greek form, she was brought to Rome from Elea, like most priestesses dedicated to Ceres. However, in order for her to be able to fulfil her duties as a citizen in the service of fellow citizens ( civis pro civibus) (and with the appropriate fundamental attitude) -- according to Cic. Balb. 55, she was granted Roman citizenship by the praetor…

Callithoe

(162 words)

Author(s): Michel, Raphael (Basle) | Prescendi, Francesca (Geneva)
[German version] [1] Daughter of Celeus and Metaneira (Καλλιθόη, Kallithóe, ‘excelling in speed’). Oldest daughter of  Celeus, King of Eleusis, and of  Metaneira. C. and her sisters Callidice, Cleisidice and Demo invited  Demeter, who was grieving for her daughter Persephone, to their home (H. Hom. 2,110). Michel, Raphael (Basle) Bibliography N. J. Richardson, The Homeric Hymn to Demeter, 1974, 183-185. [German version] [2] First priestess of Hera First priestess of Hera Argia's sanctuary in Argos or in Tiryns [1]. She was the first to decorate a column with w…

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…
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