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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)

Faustulus

(382 words)

Author(s): Prescendi, Francesca (Geneva)
[German version] Foster father of Romulus and Remus, husband of Acca Larentia. According to the tradition [1. 9f.] going back to Diocles [7] and Fabius Pictor (Dion. Hal. Ant. Rom. 1,79,4; Plut. Romulus 3,1,19a; 8,9,22c; Ps.-Aur. Vict. Origo 20,1), F. is either Amulius' leading shepherd, to whom the other shepherds hand over the newly-born brothers Romulus and Remus (Dion. Hal. Ant. Rom. 1,79-83), or the one who finds the twins with the she-wolf on the Tiber banks (Liv. 1,4). He in his turn gives …

Palladion, Palladium

(616 words)

Author(s): Prescendi, Francesca (Geneva)
[German version] (Παλλάδιον/ Palládion, Latin Palladium). A statue that guaranteed the protection of a city [1]. The most famous one is the Palladion of Troy, which already in Antiquity had been connected etymologically to Pallas [3] (Apollod. 3,12,3) and was claimed to have fallen from the sky (Pherecydes FGrH 3 F 179; Dion. Hal. Ant. 2,66,5; Ov. Fast. 6,421f.) and to have been brought by Dardanus [1] to Troy as Athena's gift (Dion. Hal. Ant. 1,68f.) or as a gift from Zeus (Iliupersis PEG I fr. 1). …

Calybe

(86 words)

Author(s): Prescendi, Francesca (Geneva)
(Καλύβη; Kalýbē). [German version] [1] Mistress of Laomedon Nymph who bore to the Trojan king  Laomedon a son named Bucolion (Apollod. 3.12.3). Without mentioning the name of the mother, Homer (Il. 6.23-24) also mentions the birth of Laomedon's illegitimate son Bucolion. Prescendi, Francesca (Geneva) [German version] [2] Priestess of Juno Priestess of  Juno in Ardea. The fury Allecto takes on her form when she appears to  Turnus in a dream and incites him to fight against the Trojans (Verg. Aen. 7.419). Prescendi, Francesca (Geneva)

Incubus

(156 words)

Author(s): Prescendi, Francesca (Geneva)
[German version] or Incubo (derived from the Latin incubare, ‘to lie on something’) denotes in late Latin both the sender of nightmares, who corresponds to the Greek Ephialtes ( Aloads), and the nightmare he causes. As goblin and bringer of obscene dreams, incubus is equated with, e.g.,  Faunus or, more precisely, the so-called Faunus ficarius (‘Faunus of the fig trees’; Isid. Orig. 8,11,103-104) [1], with  Inuus and  Silvanus (Serv. Aen. 6,775). Christian authors have particularly stressed the lust of the incubi for intercourse with women (Aug. Civ. 15,23,108). It was bel…

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…

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,…

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, …
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