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Mysteries of the Divine Apprenticeship Program

 

 
 

Directory of Italic (Italian) Deities



Acca Larentia: Italic Goddess of cornfields. According to a late legend dating to the Augustan era, she was the wife of Faustulus who together raised Romulus and Remus. She was said to have had twelve sons, with whom she made sacrifices once a year for the fertility of the fields. When one of her sons died, Romulus took his place and instituted the collegium Fratres Arvales. She is therefore identified with the Dea Dia of that collegium. On 23 Dec. a parentatio was performed for her by the flamen Quirinalis. The flamen Quirinalis acted in the role of Romulus (deified as Quirinus) performs funerary rites for his foster mother. Larentia, or Larentina, is also identified with Larunda, Mana Genita, and Muta.

Adeona: Italic Goddess of journeys, She is a protrectress of travelers. In Rome She became an indigimentum of Juno that guided children in their first steps.

Adonis, Etruscan Atunis: Mortal lover of Venus and Proserpina in later myth. Like Proserpina he spent part of the year in the Underworld with Her, and the other part of the year with Venus.

Aeclanuii: Oscan Vertumnus, the God of internal warmth, and ripener of fruits.

Aesai: The Oscan "Holy Ones," like the Etruscan Aiseras, or "The Shrouded Gods," a general name for the Gods, or the Hidden Sanctuary.

Aesculapius: God of healing adopted from the Greeks, His festival held on 1 Jan. to commemorate His temple being built on an isle in the Tiber, 293 BCE.

Agenoria or Angerona: Goddess of silence and industry, giving relief from pain and anxiety. Her festival was held at sunset on the Winter solstice. She is depicted with Her hand cupping Her chin, a crooked index finger raised in front of Her lips.

Aita: Etruscan God of the Underworld, in Rome called Pluto.

Aius Locutus: A divine voice that shouted a warning to the Romans at the approach of the Gauls in 390 BCE.

Albunea: The White Sybil, associated with the sulphurous River Albula, Her sacred spring was at Tibur.

Alernus: An unknown deity, mentioned by Ovid (Fasti VI. 105-106) who had a sacred grove at Rome near the Tiber River.

Alpan: Etruscan Goddess of love and of the Underworld, associated with a Lasa.

Angitia or Anguitina: Oscan Goddess of healing, especially from poison. A sister of Circe, Her sacred grove was at Lake Fuscinus where both sacred snakes and healing herbs were found, like the Bona Dea at Rome. A Procession of the Serpents is still held in Her honor on 1 May in Lanciano, Abruzzia.

Anna Perenna: Italian Goddess of the moon, long life, and rejuvenation. She is associated with the New Year. At the first full moon of March (originally the Ides, 15 March, when the calendar was fixed to the lunar cycle) a feast was held in her honor in a grove of fruits trees at the first mile of the Via Flaminia. The Romans wished each other as many years of life as they could drink cups of wine at Her feast.

Anterus: Numen of mutual love.

Apollo Etruscan Apula: Among the Italians and Gauls, Apollo was mostly known as a god of healing, music, poetry, prophecy and hunting. He was 217 BCE made one of the Di consentes under Greek influence, when He also became identified as a solar deity. His main festival was held at the Ludi Apollini, 6-13 July, and on 23 September together with Diana.

Atargatis: Known as the Dea Syria, consort of Hadad, or Derketo at Ascalon, Her worship was centered in the East, Roman citizens composing most of Her worshipers at Delos, where a statue of Her was consecrated for the wellbeing of Rome in 118/117 BCE. At Eryx in Sicily She was identified with Punic Astarte, who among the Etruscans was called Astres, identified with Ishtar/Inanna. At Rome She was assimilated as the Celestial Venus of the Aeneid legend. Her temple at Eryx, with its sacred prostitutes playing the role of Dido, became popular with Roman consuls and generals who assumed the role of Aeneas. At Rome She is Venus Erycina, Her temple on the Capitoline dedicated 23 April, after the Roman defeat by Hannibal at Lake Trasimene, 217 BCE. Lucian's Ode 43 is dedicated to Dea Syria. She was the main deity of Arabia, known as Allath, Her main temple known today as the Ka'abah.

Aurora: Goddess of the dawn, mother of Lucifer ("The Light Bringer," an epitaph of Venus). She married the mortal Tithonus and asked that he be given immortality, but forgot to also ask that he be given eternal youth so that he continually grew old. Eventually She turned him into a grasshopper. Of Her other lovers, like Cephalus, all were mortals.

Bacchus: Oscan Patir Libero and Pupluna, the Etruscan Fulfuns, and identified with the Roman God of the Vine, Pater Liber, only after 186 BCE.

Bellona: Sabine Goddess of war, sister of Mars, later identified with Nerio as the wife of Mars. Her festival is held on 3 June.

Bibesia: Numen of drink.

Bona Dea: A title (Good Goddess) associated with Fauna, Ops, Maia, and other earth goddesses. She is a goddess of chastity, fruitfulness, and the earth's bounty, especially with healing herbs. Her festivals are on 1 May, 3-4 May; and 3 Dec. In Her Aventine temple was kept a supply of healing herbs guarded by snakes.

Bubona: Numen of cattle breeding.

Caca: Supposed numen of excrement, her name is derived as a female form of Cacus, and there is considerable doubt that any such numen was recognized at Rome.

Cacus, Oscan Cacuui: Fire spitting giant, who stole cattle from Hercules, he was associated with Orion.

Caia Caecilia: The deified mortal princess, Tanaquil, She is a Goddess of Healing.

Canens: The wife of Picus, mother of Faunus, She called for Her husband until She wasted away to a disembodied voice. She is the Voice of the Woods.

Cardea: Indigimentum or wife of Janus for hinges, who protects the house from evil spirits. She was given a twig of Hawthorn by Her husband Janus as a wedding gift, and such a twig is struck against the door hinges and hung over the door in an annual rite to protect the house.

Carmenta: Italic goddess of prophecy and childbirth, mother of Evander, She had a flamen Carmentalis at Rome. Associated with Porrima and Postuorta (past and future). Also a Goddess of Springs commemorated at the Porta Carmentalis, during Her festival of Carmentalia on 11 and 15 Jan.

Carmenae: Fourteen nymphs of childbirth, associated with the Muses, whose festival is held on 13 Aug.

Carnea or Carneis (Oscan): Protective goddess of a healthy body and especially of the large organs - heart, lungs, and liver, whose shrine was on the Caelian. On 1 June beans and bacon were eaten in Her honor and offered to Her in sacrifice.

Castor and Pollux: Popular twins, their temple dedication of 484 BCE is commemorated on 15 July, their main festivals held on 27 Jan. and 13 Aug. They were commonly sworn by, like Hercules, in the forms of mecastor, or edepol.

Catha or Cautha: Etruscan solar god, comparable to Greek Helios.

Celscan: Etruscan giant, literally "Son of Cel." Associated with the highest Apennine peak, Monte Corno, ("the Horn"), where he is also the consort of Ceres. Men wear a talisman of Celscan for virility in the form of a golden horn or red pepper.

Cenetai: Oscan numen of childbirth, comparable to Greek Eileithyia

Ceres, Oscan Kerri, and Etruscan Cels: Goddess of grain, agriculture and law giving. With Her daughter Libitania (Proserpina), She is the Goddess of the renewal of the earth and all regeneration. She is the daughter of Ops, and closely identified with or as Tellus. She has been associated with the central Apennines since the Neolithic period, symbolized by the Three Sacred Mountains and the mons venere within. Her main festivals are the Ceralia on 12-19 April and on 4 October a fast is held in Her honor.

Cerfu: An Umbrian God found at Iguvium in a triad with Jupiter and Mars, each associated with Grabovius, God of the Oaks, invoked to protect that city from barbarian invaders. He is the Oscan Cerus, consort of Ceres, protector of the boundaries of fields and of the plants within, from disease and intemperate weather.

Cerreri: The individual souls of men and women, called Genius for men and Juno for women in Rome.

Charun: Etruscan demon, leader of the Charonte demons who torment the dead. He is portrayed as winged, with a vulture's beak and pointed ears, carrying a large hammer after the manner of Orcus.

Cinxia: Indigimentum of Juno who loosens the girdle of brides.

Clererca: Italian goddess of hinges, family life and protection from strigae, She was at Rome called Cardea.

Clitumnus: An Umbrian river god of healing and prophecy.

Cloacina: Numen of sewers, She is an indigimentum of Venus, "The Purifier."

Collatina: Indigimentum of Tellus for hills and downs.

Cominuii: Oscan Manes.

Comus: Numen of night life and nighttime revelry.

Concordia: Goddess of concord whose festival is 22 July.

Conditor: Indigimentum of Ceres for the storing of grain in barns.

Consiva: Indigimentum of Ceres for sowing and reaping.

Consus, Oscan Consui: God of the earth and crops, and of their storage. At Rome He was also a god of horses. The Consualia falls on 21 Aug after harvest, the traditional date of the Rape of the Sabine women. His other festivals are on 12 and 15 Dec after sowing. His altar lies below ground and is uncovered three times a year for sacrifices.

Convector: Indigimentum of Ceres for the harvest home.

Culsu: Etruscan demoness who guards Gates of the Underworld with scissors and a torch.

Cupid: God of love, son of Venus, and husband of Psyche.

Curis: A Sabine God, the Oscan Kurrenui, in Rome He was Quirinus. His name derives from the Oscan word for spear and He was seen as a god of defensive war, protecting the homeland, and also of protecting farmlands. In this last aspect He protects plants from disease and intemperate weather like Cerus.

Dea Dia: Title of the goddess of the rite of the Fratres Arvales, She is at times identified with Acca Larentia as goddess of corn and wheat fields, otherwise as Mana Genita, Mother of the Lares (Larunda). The rites of the Fratres Arvales were held in Her honor in late May.

Deiuai: Oscan for "the Goddesses," dual mothers of a God of Crops.

Deuerra: One of three numina who protect newborns from Silvanus. A house ceremony is held by three men knocking on the thresholds 1. Intercidona, numina of hewing timbers knocks with axhead, 2. Picumnus knocks with a pestle, 3. Deuerra sweeps with a broom. Ceremony performed while the mother is in bed with her child.

Diana, Etruscan Artumes: Italic counterpart to Janus, She is the Moon Goddess, bringer of light. As Diana Lucina, like Juno, she is a Goddess of Childbirth. Diana as a huntress, sister of Apollo, a bringer/protector from disease, is a later Greek form. She shared a festival with Her brother Apollo on 13 August.

Dii consentes: In 217 BCE the Senate ordered a special festival called a lecistratum to be held in honor of the Dii consentes. Six gods and six goddesses were honored in the ceremony, in which Their images were set out on couches upon the Capitoline, to share a sacred meal with the people of Rome. The Dii consentes were then regarded as the celestial deities who headed the Roman pantheon. These particular deities - Juno and Juppiter, Apollo and Diana, Ceres and Neptune, Mars and Venus, Vesta and Volconus - were selected as the Dii consentes because of Their close identity with the Olympian gods of Greek myth.

Dii inferi: As a counterpoint to the Dii consentes were the gods and goddesses of the Earth. While other gods and goddesses such as Faunus and Fauna might be included among the Di Inferi those most closely identified as such were Dis and Proserpina, Februus, Hecate, and Nemessis.

Dis Pater: One of the Dii Inferi, He is the Roman God of the Underworld, later identified with Pluto or Hades, and husband of Proserpina. In Oscan He was Aidoneus (Adonis) or Aides (Hades), married to Aericura (Proserpina). He is sometimes identified with the Etruscan Februus.

Diuuei: Oscan Jove, literally "the God," He is also called Dioue patir.

Edesia: Numen of food.

Egeria: A water nymph at Rome who married Numa Pompilius and taught him about the gods, at Aricia she was recognized as a goddess, forming a triad with Diana and Virbius.

Epona: Originally a Celtic goddess of horses, She was accepted into the Roman pantheon and had a festival on 18 Dec.

Euan: Etruscan for an individual's immortal soul, like the Roman genius and juno or Oscan cereri.

Falacer: A deified Italic hero, served by a flamen Falaceris, nothing is really known about Him.

Fascinus: Italic phallic numen, associated with Liber, and who has the power to ward off the evil eye. The phallus hung over a doorway for good luck, much like a horseshoe is today, with the epithet, "Hic habitat Felicitas," or "Here dwells Happiness." Large phallics were also placed in Roman gardens to ensure fertility.

Fatuai: The Oscan Goddess called Fauna by the Romans, Daughter of Faunus, She is identified as the Bona Dea. Her Temple of Bon Dea on the Aventine, stored medicinal herbs, guarded by snakes. Her festivals are held on 13 Feb. and the Faunalia on 5 Dec. Another name for Her at Tarentum is Damia.

Faunus, Fatuus or Inuus: The "well-wisher" good spirit of wood and plain, He is the son of Picus. A pastoral and hunting god, who gave oracles, He was later identified with the Greek Pan. His temple on an island in the Tiber was dedicated 13 Feb. 193 BCE. As Inuus He is a god of fertility and sexual intercourse, said by Livy to have been the original deity honored at Lupercalia.

Febris: Numen to ward off fevers.

Februus: One of the Dii Inferi as a God of Purification.

Felicitas: Goddess of good fortune, with cornucopia and herald's staff, celebrated on 9 Oct.

Ferentina: Oscan form of Libitina, combining Flora, Venus, and Ceres, She is the Earth Goddess of the Latin League and one of the secret names of Roma. Her main sanctuaries were at Aricia, and Ferentium of the Hernicii.

Feronia: Italic Goddess of fire and fertility flowers, blossoms, and ripe fruit of fields and trees, also the goddess of the flower of youth and its pleasures. She is an Italic goddess combining attributes of Flora, Venus and Libera, and is sometimes identified with Vesta. She tames wild areas with orchards, and is also a goddess of woods and all trees. At Rome She was also a goddess of freed slaves whose festival was held on 13 November.

Fessonia: Goddess who aids the weary.

Fides Plublica: The gods of good faith and verbal contracts, on 1 Oct. the flamines Dialis, Martialis, and Quirinitalis made sacrifices to them on the Capitol, arriving in two-horse drawn chariots.

Flora: Goddess of flowers, first fruits, especially the fruits of grains, Her temple near the Circus Maximus was dedicated 238 BCE. The Ludi Florales held in Her honor became annual games in 173 BCE, and under the empire were extended throughout 28 Apr-3 May for Floralia. They began with theatrical performances, followed by races, and ending with sacrifices to Flora. Hares and goats were set loose, and vetches, beans, and lupines were distributed to the spectators.

Florus: Oscan god of first fruits, husband of Flora; not found at Rome.

Fluonia: Numen of menstruation.

Fons: God of Springs, son of Janus and Juturna, His altar on the Janiculum, was honored at the Fontinalia on 13 October.

Forculus: Numen of doorways.

Fornax, Oscan Purasia: Goddess of the ovens used to roast grain, honored in the Fornacalia during first part of February. Her festival involved roasting grain in an ancient fashion, the ovens set up in the Forum. The festival was conducted by the Curiae under the supervision of the Curio Maximus. Those who missed sacrificing on the date it was held were called stulti (fools) and had to make a special sacrifice on the Quirinalia.

Fortuna: Goddess of Good Fortune, perhaps the most important goddess. Pliny says, "Fortuna alone is invoked, alone commended, alone accused and subjected to reproaches; deemed volatile and indeed, by most men, blind as well, wayward, capricious, fickle in Her favors and favoring the unworthy (N.H. 2.22). F. Primigenia sets the destiny of children at their birth, 13 Nov. F. Privata of family life. F. Publica of the state, 5 April. F. Liberum of children. F. Virginalis of virgins, 11 June. F. Muliebris of women. F. Virilis of boys, youths, and the happiness of women in marriage. F. Barbata to whom boys dedicated the first shaving of their beards. F. Victrix who gave victories. F. Redux who brought people home safely. F. Tranquilla for prosperous voyages. F. Comes or Dux for the fortune of leaders, while F. Caesaris and F. Augusta were for the emperors. Each order had their own, F. Patricia, F. Plebis and F. Equestris. F. Bona for good fortune and F. Mala to ward off bad luck each had a temple. F. Blanda for flattering, F. Obsequens for yielding, F. Viscata for enticing. F. Dubia for doubtful luck, F. Brevis for fickle fortune, and F. Manens for constant luck. F. Equestris for horses, 13 August. Fors Fortuna for games of chance, 25 May and 24 June. F. Huiusque for luck of the day, 30 July. Her main temple in Rome was in the Forum Boarum, Her largest temple, and an oracle was at Praeneste.

Fraus: Daughter of Orcus and Nox, with a snake's tail and hidden deformities, She is a goddess of fraud and deception.

Frutesca: Numen of fruit.

Fulgora: Numen of lightning.

Furrina: Goddess of highway bandits, Her festival was held on 25 July.

Futrei Kerriiai: Oscan for Daughter of Ceres, She is Libitania.

Garanos: Italic hero, slayer of Cacus, he was later identified as Hercules.

Genii Cucllati: Hooded figures, usually singular, except in Britannia where three hooded figures were depicted, representing fertility, prosperity and regeneration. See Suleviae Junones.

Genius Publicus: Numen of public spirit, honored on 9 October.

Gods of Early Childhood: The indigimenta of Juno, Potina and Educa teach children to eat and drink after being weaned. Cuba protects child while being transferred from cradle to bed. Ossipaga protects a child's bones, Carna the flesh and major organs. Levana guides a child to raise self from ground. Statilinus or Dea Statina aids child to stand. Abeona and Adeona for first steps. Farinus teaches the child to talk.

Gods of Marriage: Different indigimenta of Juno are associated with marriage ceremonies. In addition there is mention of indigimenta of the first wedding night. The only source for these latter indigimenta is however Augustine of Hippo, writing against the pagan gods, so it cannot be certain that the indigimenta of the wedding night were ever part of the Roman pantheon. These indigimenta then are Pronuba or Jugatinus and Juga of marriage, Domiduca who leads the bride to her husband's house and Domitius who keeps the bride at her new home, Unxia who anoints the doorposts of the bride's new home, Cinxia who ties and loosens the bride's girdle, Virginiensis of the bride's virginity, Subigus to tame the bride, Prema the mother goddess who overpowers the husband by holding the bride, Pertunda along with Venus and Priapus to ensure penetration in coitus of the first night, Perficia for coitus, and Maturna who sees that the bride and groom remain together.

Grabovius, Umbrian Krapuvi: Italic God of Oaks, the original Capitoline deity, later identified with Jupiter, Mars and Cerus.

Hecate: One of the Dii Inferi, a goddess of revenge, and a protectress. Goddess of the crossroads, and of abandoned infants, She may be identified with Laverna. Her title in Oscan as Mother of the Manes is Maauissa and thus She is the Genita Manuana. Otherwise She is the sister of Latona and often identified with Diana.

Hercules, Oscan Herekleis and Etruscan Hercle: Unlike the Heracles of Greek myth, he married Minerva and fathered Maris. A guardian of vows as Sancus, or Dius Fidius, he is also called Victor, Invictus on 12-13 August, Custos on 4 June, and Defensor. At Silchester in Britannia he was Hercules Saegon, in northeast Gaul H. Magusanus and in Narbonensis, H. Ilunnus. At Rome his Ara Maxima was in the Forum Boarum. A semidivine hero in early myths, later he became a solar savior deity.

Herentai: Oscan Venus, Goddess of Beauty and Love. She is also a Goddess of Gardens and garden flowers.

Hersilia: Sabine wife of Romulus that was deified by Juno and became Hora.

Hinthial: Etruscan for ghost, shade, or reflection.

Honos or Honor: The numen of honor whose festival was on 17 July.

Imporcitor: Indigimentum of Ceres of the third plowing. Aratio tertius.

Indigetes: A class of lesser deities, like the heroes Aeneas and Evander.

Insitor: Indigimentum of Ceres for sowing.

Intercidona: A goddess who protects the household and family from the evil wishes of others. See under Deuerra.

Inuus: Oscan Faunus, god of fertility and sexual intercourse, who Livy claimed was the deity originally honored at Lupercalia on 15 February.

Janus Etruscan Ani: Pater Matutinus, "breaker of the day," the oldest God, the God of gods, the Good Creator, the beginner of all things. Light, the sun, opener of the heavenly gates. As Consiuius (The Sower) He is the spouse of Juturna, goddess of springs, and father of Fontus. Janus is also spouse of Venila, a Goddess of shallow seas who is sometimes considered the wife of Neptune. As Janus Quirinus he is a god of peace, that is, peace won by the vigilent Quirites. Janus Pater the creator of 1 January and 17 August. He is called Janus Bifrons (two-faced), Janus Patulcius (the opened door during wartime), and Janus Clusivus (the closed door during peace). A minor deity of same name is a guardian of doorways.

Juga: An Italic Goddess of Courtship, who at Rome became an indigimentum of Juno. Her diminuative form of Jugatina is a numen of mountain ridges.

Juenta: Numen of youth.

Juno, Iovino, the Oscan Cerna, and Etruscan Uni: the Bringer of Light, Goddess of Birth and of beginnings. Iuno Sospita Mater Regina is the Savior, regenerator of the dead on 1 Feb. Iuno Curitis or Iuno Quiritis, is the Sabine war goddess, 7 Oct.. I. Sororia of girls at puberty on 1 Oct. As Iuno Domiduca She leads the bride to her husband's house. As Iuno Unxia She anoints the doorstep. As Iuno Cinxia She unties and loosens the bride's girdle. As Iunoa Pronuba and Iuno Iuga She is the foundress of marriage. Iuno Moneta is "the Advisor," on 1 June and 10 Oct. But Iuno Caprotina, "of the goat," on 7 July, and celebrated by slave girls and ancillae. I. Lucina and I. Opigena of childbirth. Queen of Heaven I. Regina, 1 Sept. Also I. Populonia and I. Sispes. She is honored together with Jupiter, Her brother and husband, on 1 July and 13 Sept. on the anniversary of the dedication of the Capitoline temple in 507 BCE. Her other temple on the Aventine was dedicated in 392 BCE.

Juno: Numen of the female power of bearing; also the individual spirit in females.

Jupiter: From Diovis pater (heavenly father), He is the Etruscan Tin, or Tinia, and the Oscan Diuuei: Prior to His identification with the Greek Zeus as a king of the gods, He was Iovi Lucetis, God of light, dawn, and the full moon, Iove Fulgurator and Iovi Fulminator as God of lightning flashes, Iove Tonansor or Iove Tonitrualis, the thunderer, and Iove Pluuius, the God of rain.

Juturna: Goddess of foundations, rivers, and springs. She had a temple in the Campus Martius and a shrine at a sacred spring where on 11 January the Juturnalia was celebrated.

Juventus: Numen of youth celebrated on 19 December.

Kerri: Oscan form of Ceres, an Earth Mother who is both a Goddess of Grain, and a Goddess of Regeneration.

Krapuui: Umbrian oak god, associated later with Jupiter, see Grabovius above.

Kurrenui, or Kurreii: He is the Samnite version of Roman Quirinus and Sabine Curis.

Laran: Etruscan war god, depicted with cape and spear.

Lares: The Lares Familiaris is the titular founder and head of a family, the other Lares being ancestors of a family. The Lares vicorum are the protective spirits of roads, and the Lares compitales are the spirits of a neighborhood whose boundaries are defined by roads. Both were honored in the Compitalia. The Lares Praestite s are protective spirits of the city, at Rome considered to be two. They were depicted either as dogs or as men having the heads of dogs.

Larentina: A Goddess of Death, also called Acca Larentia, Larunda, Mania, and Lara, Mother of the Lares. Also called Muta after Jupiter tore out Her tongue for revealing one of His indiscretions.. She is the mother of the Manes sacrificed to by the flamen Quirinalis at Larentalia on 23 December.

Lasa: Etruscan female guardian of graves, often depicted with mirrors, wreaths, sometimes winged. Unlike the Manes, Lares, or Lemurae, the Lasae were guardian angels in one's lifetime, and remained at a gravesite after death. In the Carim Fratrum Arvalum the Lasae are identified with the Lares Praestites.

Latona: Wife of Jupiter before Juno, Mother of Apollo and Diana, in Greek myth She was Leto.

Laverna: Goddess of thieves and imposters, orphans and lost children.

Lemurae or Larvae: The Lemurae are spirits of the dead who were not given proper burial rites, or whose family has died out, and thus can no longer have proper rites performed for them. The Lemurae may be distinguished from the Larvae in that they are not necessarily evil spirits, whereas the latter are the spirits of the dead who were evil in life as well as in death.

Liber: Italic God of Fertility, spouse of Libera; later as Pater Liber identified with Bacchus (after 186 BCE) and African Shadrapa. His festival is the Liberalia celebrated on 17 March.

Libera: Wife of Liber and Daughter of Ceres, most often associated with Proserpina but more properly as Libitina. Also She may be seen as a younger form of Ceres. She is a star goddess Astera (Virgo) of the underworld, that is, the portion of the zodiac lying beneath the celestial equator.

Libertas: Goddess of the manumission of slaves, who is especially endeared by cats.

Libertina: A Goddess of lustfulness.

Libitina: Italic Goddess of voluptuous delight, gardens, vineyards, and also of death and the departed, She combines attributes of Venus and Proserpina. In Her temple was kept the register of the dead.

Limentina and Limentinus: Goddess and God of the threshold.

Lina: A Goddess of weaving.

Losna: Etruscan moon goddess.

Lua Mater: Wife of Saturn who protected all things purified by and for rituals.

Lucina: At Rome adopted as an indigimenta of both Diana and Juno, She is an Italic goddess "bringing things to light," a moon goddess ruling over women and birth.

Luna: Roman goddess of the moon whose festivals are celebrated 31 March, 24 & 28 August.

Maatreis Maauissa: Oscan Mother goddess similar to Hecate, She is a form of Ceres as a Goddess of the dead, and as Mater Matuta and Mania Genita. See Manes.

Mafitei: Oscan Ceres and Libitina, Mother and Daughter as manifestations of one another. The Bona Dea who at Rome is otherwise identified with Fauna.

Maia Maiestas: The Oscan Earth Mother, called Ops by the Romans. She is also a goddess of Spring, identified at Rome with Fauna and the Bona Dea, She is the wife of Vulcan, mother of Mercury. In Greek myth she was regarded as one of the Pleiades and is so found in Latin literature as well.

Manes: Spirits of the dead. Three times each year (24 Aug, 5 Oct, 8 Nov) the stone was lifted from the mundus, to allow the Manes to arise. They were led by Mania Genita, also called Lara or Larunda, and by Ovid, Muta (the Mute). In earliest times they were sacrificed young boys, later with poppies and garlic, woolen dolls, called maniae, that were hung over doorways for protection. On the Night of the Dead, at new moon around 1 Nov, houses are sealed, the windows shuttered and mirrors turned to the wall, for if the Manes see a child they steal her away. The father of the household performs a rite of propitiation to keep the Manes away from his children at Lemuralia. Offer beans, egg, wine, bread, roses, violets, milk and honey, oil, blood of sheep on 13 Feb. at Feralia.

Mars, Mavors, Mamers, Oscan Bellante and Maris Tiusta not to be confused with Maris below): One of the Dii Consentes, he is the son of Juno by virgin birth (She having conceived Him from a lily), brother of Bellona, and husband of Nerio. God who defends herds, boundaries, fields, and agriculture, later to become the Roman God of War. Originally He may have been identified as a Latin Cerus or Quirinus, warding off disease from fields and animals, or else He later took those roles at Rome. At Iguvium He is invoked alongside Jupiter and Cerus, all associated with Grabovius. As God of War He became Mars Gradivus (the Strider), awakened to battle by generals striking His sacred shield (ancilla) and spear (hasta) with the cry, "Mars viliga!" He is accompanied by Pavor and Pallor who instill fear and confusion in His enemies. His altar was in the Campus Martius, His temple on the Via Appia outside Rome. Later, August built a Temple of Mars Ultor (Mars the Avenger) in the Forum Augusti in 2 BCE, commemorated on 1 June. The entire month of March is dedicated to Him, the Salii performing a dancing procession with the ancillae throughout Rome. His festivals are the Equirria celebrated with contests for war steeds on 27 Feb., as Mars Pater, the father of Romulus and Remus, on 1 March, the Tubilustrium of 23 March, as Mars Invictus on 14 May, October Equus on 15 Oct. and at the Armilustrium on 19 October.

Mantus and Mania: Etruscan God and Goddess of the Underworld, they are the Oscan Mantua and Mantoua.

Maris: Italic thrice-born god who lived 130 years, he is the son of Minerva and Hercules. He is called Maris Husrnana when a child of Minerva, Maris Halna, as an adult with (possibly his wife) Amamtunia, and Maris Isminthianus in death with Leinth.

Mamerurius Venturius: The "Old Man of March" who is driven out of the city each year to ward off disease.

Matuta, Mater Matuta: Goddess of Dawn and of birth, harbors, seas. On 11 June is when mothers prayed to Her for their nephews and nieces during the Matralia.

Maturna: Numen who keeps couples together.

Meditrina: Daughter of Aesculapis, She is the Goddess of Healing, unlike Her sister Hygenia who preserves health. Her festival is the Meditrinalia on 11 October.

Mefitis: Numen of the stench of sewers and swamps that produce disease.

Mellona: Goddess of honey.

Mens: Prudence and intelligence celebrated on 8 July, this was also a term for an individual's (mind) spirit.

Mercia: Numen of laziness.

Mercury: Son of Maia and Volcalnus, God of commerce and communication, messenger of the gods, psychopomp who leads male spirits into incarnation, and in death leads them back to the stars. (Iris for female spirits). His temple on the Aventine was dedicated in 495 BCE, commemorated on 15 May.

Messor and Messia: Messor was the indigimenta of Consus as a god of reaping. Messia as a goddess of reaping, was an indigimenta of Ceres.

Minerva: Etruscan Menrva, in Oscan Catanai or Ciistai: Goddess of good wisdom, weaving, arts, and written laws. Under Greek influence, identified with their war goddesses, Athene, Minerva became identified as a goddess of stratagems in warfare, unlike Mars or Bellona who were deities of the fury of battle. She is unlike the Greek virginal Athena in that She was married to Hercules and bore him a mortal son, Maris, by drawing him from an urn. Her festivals are held on 19 March, 19 June, and 13 September. Together with Jupiter and Juno She had a temple on the Capitoline, dedicated in 507 BCE. Another temple was located on the Aventine. Minerva Capta whose temple was on the Caelia, was brought to Rome from the Falscii. The Esquiline Nympheum was also a Temple of Minerva Medica. Another important temple and cult center for Minerva was at Praeneste.

Molae: Daughter of Mars, goddess of the grindstones, and patroness of millers.

Naenia: Goddess of funerals and dirges (naeniae).

Nemesis: One of the Dii Inferi, She chastises the prideful, wreaks vengeance on the unjust, and punishes the impious. She maintains and restores the natural balance of nature. Her attributes are the measuring rod, bridle and yoke, a sword and scourge, wings and wheel, and She rides a chariot drawn by griffins. She was especially worshipped at Rome by generals, less She punish them for having extraordinary good fortune in battle or for their boastfulness. Her power extends over both gods and men, and She is not under the authority of Jupiter.

Nemestrinus: God of groves, in Gaul He was identified with Mars.

Neptune: One of the Dii Consentes, God of the Seas, husband of Salacia, whose main festival is the Neptunalia of 23 July. Agrippa built the Temple of Neptune in the Campus Martius. Neptune was identified with the Greek god Poseidon after 399 BCE and thereby became a patron of horsemanship. His temple was in the Circus Flaminius, a festival for Him held on 1 December.

Nerio: Sabine consort of Mars, Goddess of Fertility.

Neverita: A wife of Neptune.

Noduterensis: An indigimentum of Ceres for the threshing-floor.

Nodutus: Indigimentum of Ceres, being the joints and knots on the stems of grain plants.

Nortia: Etruscan Fortuna.

Nox: Goddess of Night.

Obarator: An indigimentum of Ceres for topdressing of fields (such as with manure).

Occator: An indigimentum of Ceres for hoeing.

Ops: Earth Mother, wife of Saturnus. 25 Aug. Opsiconsivia; 19Dec. Opalia. Opeconsiua, invoked with one hand touching earth, She is the mother of Jupiter, and also called Maia, Tellus, or Mater (Tellus).

Orbona: Numen invoked by childless couples to assist in pregnancy.

Orcus: Italic demon that carried the dead off to the Underworld, he carried a large mallet to first stun the dead.

Pales: An ancient Goddess of Shepherds. 21 April Parilia. Another festival on 7 July. Purification rite of sacred groves and fountains, also of houses and of herds. With a mixture of sulfur, incense and sheep's blood, spread on three bundles of the herb beanstraw, then set on fire; they are then leaped over three times. In Rome there was another Pales of alleyways.

Palici: Two beneficial spirits of Mt Etna, protectors of pasturelands.

Parcae: The Italic version of the Greek Moirae, also called Fates by the Roman, and by the Etruscans Horae.

Patelana: Indigimentum of Ceres, being the husks of corn when they first open to allow the ears to emerge.

Patir Maatutinui: The Oscan title for Janus as "Opener of the Ways". See Janus.

Pax: Roman Goddess of Peace, who carries a cornucopia in her left hand and an olive branch in her right.

Pellonia: Numen that drives away enemies.

Penates: Numina of the storeroom or pantry, closely identified with the Lares.

Perficia: Numen of coitus.

Pertunda: An Italic goddess of female virginity, modesty and chastity, She was in Rome Pudicitia.

Peta: Numen of prayer.

Picumnus: Italic God of Agriculture, inventor of the use of manure, at Rome he became Saturnus. Husband of Canens, brother of Pilumnus. Both brothers are guardians of newborn infants and women in childbirth.

Picus: Son of Saturnus, father of Faunus by Canens, He is an old Italian God of Agriculture, also a forest deity of prophecy. In a diminutive form He became a warlike hero, king of Latium, turned into a woodpecker (picus) for spurning Circe. Picumnus is reborn as His own son in Picus.

Pietus: Numen of domestic affection.

Pilumnus: Brother of Picumnus. An old Italic god of bakers, He is the inventor of the pestle.

Pluto: Roman god of the wealth of the earth. He has more to do with minerals than vegetation. His name was sometimes used in place of Dis Pater as a kind of Hades although He was not originally a god of the Underworld.

Pomona: Goddess of Fruit and fruit trees, She is the wife of Vertumnus.

Portunus: Originally He was an Italic god of the house entrances, thus a doorman with the attribute of a key. In Rome He became a God of Harbours whose festival on 7 Aug. is the Portunalia.

Priapus: Hellenistic ithyphallic god, a son of Bacchus and Venus, He was especially popular in southern Italy. A god of gardens, fertility, prosperity, and good luck, Roman gardens often contained a red painted phallic of Priapus. Images of Priapus were also placed in gardens to act as scarecrows.

Promitor: An indigimentum of Ceres of when grain is moved to kitchens. Also a god of sheep and goatherds.

Proserpina, the Oscan Libitina: "Germinator of the Seed," Her name is derived from the Greek Persephone, daughter of Demeter, and therefor a goddess of the dead. Originally She was more a daughter of Ceres in the sense of an agricultural goddess (see Libitina). Special festivals to honor Her and Dis were ordered by the Senate in 249 and 207 BCE.

Pudicitia: A numen of modesty and chastity.

Quirinus: The Roman name for the Sabine Curis who founded the Sabine capital of Cures. He is the Oscan Kurrenui, identified at Rome as the apotheotic Romulus, and regarded by some as another form of Mars s Romulus is His son. He was likely a war god, protector, and defender of cities among the Sabines, later becoming a kind of God of War in times of peace, vigilant defense. Mars was originally more an agricultural God, only later becoming warlike. Since the armies of both Rome and the Sabines were originally composed of gentry, both Mars and Quirinus are connected to war and agriculture.

Redarator/Reparator: Indigimentum of Ceres of the second plowing. Aratio secundus.

Rediculus: A god attributed with causing Hannibal to retreat from the gates of Rome.

Rhea Silvia: Mother of Romulus and Remus by Mars; based on a very early earth mother goddess. Rhea is the wife of Saturnus.

Robigo and Robigus: Protective deities of crops against blight. Also deities of ecstatic prophecy resulting from the use of ergot infected rye and similar infections of other grains. 25 April, Robigalia, where the flamen Quirinalis made offerings of dog and sheep to Robigo. In the Fasti Ovid used a feminine form of Robigo as the deity worshipped at Robigalia. Columella and Augustine agreed with Ovid, while Varro (L.L. 6.16) and Verius Flaccus (CIL 1:236, 316) use the male form Robigus. Ovid says the sacrifice made to Robigo on the Robigalia was a dog; Columella has the sacrum canarium as a suckling puppy (Rustica 10. 343-3). But this latter sacrifice was made at the Porta Catularia when the Dog Star Sirius was rising, which Ovid says at Fasti 4. 904. However the rising of Sirius would have been setting at this time of year, rising only in early August. Pliny mentions instead an augurium canarium being made in late spring before the ears of grain emerged from their husks (N.H. 18. 14). A dog was also sacrificed at the Lupercalia, along with goats, and a feast was then held. Ovid's mention of only the exta being brought to the grove of Robigo indicates that the dog meat was included in the sacrificial meal, as would be normal with any sacrifice.

Roma: The numen of Rome projected over the empire, She is not the same as the genius loci of the city itself, nor the protective goddess of Rome, whose name was held secret (Pliny, N.H. III.65)

Rumina and Rumino: Protective deities of suckling cattle specifically, and of mothers suckling infants. They are connected to the Rumina ficus, or the suckling tree in the legend of Romulus and Remus.. Ancient deities who received offerings of milk, They are symbolized by two fig trees in a grotto. A sanctuary of Rumina was located at the foot of the Palatine Hill.

Rusina: An indigimetum of Ceres, being the personification of wheat fields and farmlands.

Sabazios: Originally a Thracio-Phrygian god of fermented juice, at Rome He became closely identified with Juppiter and Bacchus. As a syncretic savior god, Conservator, of the Imperial period, He was closely associated the Carthaginian Tanit, called Venus Caelistis at Rome, and with Mithraism, also with Castor and Pollux, Mercury, and as Attis with Cybele.

Salacia: Wife of Neptune, She of the salty ocean depths.

Salus: God of healing whose festival was held on 5 August.

Sarritor: An indigimentum of Ceres for hoeing.

Sator: An indigimentum of Ceres for the sowing of fields.

Saturnus or Semino: Titan father of the Di consentes, God of the Abundant Earth and consort of Ops. Representing the father of the gods of the pre-Italic peoples, the Ausones, He brought an earlier form of agriculture to Italy, prior to Ceres instituting grain cultivation, and ruled the earth during the Golden Age. His main festival is the Saturnalia on 17-23 Dec. At the foot of the Capitoline His temple served as the state treasury, the aerarium Saturni. He was later identified at Rome with the Greek Cronus. Many of the Neolithic megaliths and stone walls of Italy are attributed to the "Sons of Saturnus" who were giants.

Scabies: Numen of itching and skin diseases.

Segetia: An indigimentum of Consus as grain ripens above ground.

Seia: Indigimentum of Consus for sown grain seeds.

Sethlans: An Etruscan Vulcanus from the Punic Sethlos.

Silvanus, or the Etruscan Selvans: Ancient God of boundaries between woodlands and meadows, of farms, fields and gardens, His sacred grove is always on the border of an estate. As Silvanus Domesticus He is guardian of the house. Silvanus Agrestis watches over flocks. Silvanus Orientalis is the guardian of boundaries. Silvanus Callirius is King of the Woodland or God of the Hazel Wood at Colchester. Silvanus Cocidius was a god of hunting along Hadrian's Wall. As Silvanus Nodens together with Mars Nodens at Lydney, or as Mars Silvanus, He is a god of healing, warding off disease.

Silenus: Depicted as an intoxicated, jolly old man, fat and balding, with large ears and a pug nose, He was renown for His wisdom and was the teacher of Bacchus. Originally maybe a sylvan, He began to appear at Rome in the 5th century with His own characteristic features.

Sima: A snub-nosed satyr of Etruscan myth.

Sol: The sun; as Sol Indiges on 9 Aug., identified with Apollo on 28 Aug., and as Sol Invictus on 25 December.

Soranus: The mediator between the gods and men, who oversees health and purification through savage, ecstatic rites. A Sabine god, often identified with Apollo, whose oracle was at Mont Soracte, and whose priests, the hirpini, carried offerings to him on a path of hot coals. Soranus is also known as the wolf god Sancus at Rome, as Hirpus among the Samnite Hirpini. His female counterpoint is Hirpa, sometimes called Feronia, also known in Rome as Angeronia who was regarded as the protective goddess of Rome and was silenced to prevent Her from revealing Her secret name, thought to be Sorania.

Sospita: "The Saving Goddess" is often an epitaph of Juno or Minerva, but may originally have been a Goddess in Her own right.

Spes: Numen of hope, her festival was held on 1 August.

Spiniensis: Numen for uprooting thorn bushes.

Stata Mater: Numen protectress against fires.

Strenia: As Sabine Goddess of Health and Vigor, She aids in strenuous work. Also a Goddess of Prosperity, She oversees gift giving at New Years, and is made offerings for prosperity in the coming year. At Rome Her temple was on the Via Sacra. A Roman version of Her as Goddess of Health is Salus, She resided in Rome under both names. On 1 Jan. good luck charms called strenae, composed of twigs of the "Sabine tree", juniper, were brought from Her grove and exchanged as gifts.

Sterculinius: An indigimentum of Ceres for fertilizing fields with manure, Fecundus.

Suadela: Numen of persuasion.

Suleviae Junones or Matres Suleviae: A triad of goddesses for fertility, health, and regeneration.

Subigus: Numen of the wedding night.

Summanus: Protective God of nighttime who roared with thunder and cast lightning. His festival is held 20 June.

Sylvani: Semidivine woodland creatures, similar to satyrs with whom they began to be identified in the 6th century BCE, but with equine features and large pointed ears, they are lecherous males associated with nymphs.

Tages: Indigetis of Etruscan myth, he arose from a furrow in the form of a infant on a cloud of smoke, and became the giver of sacred books on prophecy, haruspicini, and the rites of the Aiseras.

Tainai: The Oscan form of Diana, or Etruscan Tana, a Goddess of the Moon.

Talassio: Numen of marriage, her name was called out as a bride was carried through the streets to the house of the groom's family.

Taraxippus: A demon that makes horses shy.

Tarchon and Tyrrhenus: Indigites founders of the Etruscan League.

Tarpeia: Goddess of Death and disease.

Tellus: Mother Earth, invoked during earthquakes. Associated with Ops, Ceres, and Maia. Her festivals are on 24 Jan., 15 April, and 13 Dec.

Tellumui: Oscan form of Plutoun, spouse of Tellus, He is associated with the mineral bounty of the earth, rather than vegetation, and does not have any association with an Underworld of the dead.

Tempestates: A Goddess of Weather, who had a temple at Rome, especially concerned with storms at sea, to Whom sacrifices were made in propitiation.

Terminus: God of Boundaries, especially stone walls. His festival is held on 23 Feb., Terminalia. May be associated with Monte Termino as a guardian of the mountain sanctuary of Ceres.

Thalna: Etruscan goddess of childbirth, consort of Tinia.

Tibernus: Genius loci of the Tiber River. On 15 May the Pontiff Maximus and Vestal Virgins, accompanied by the praetors, walk in procession to the Pons Sublicius and cast the argei, 24 straw puppets substituted for old men that were believed to once have been sacrificed. With Gaia He is honored on 8 December.

Tin, Tinia: Etruscan Jupiter, more specifically a sky god of the North.

Tiv: Etruscan goddess of night and the moon.

Tuchulucha: Etruscan Underworld demon with snake hair, a vulture's beak and wings.

Turan: Etruscan goddess of love, health, and fertility, often shown as a winged young woman. She is closely identified with Venus, but also has aspects where she is a protectress of marriage, or a goddess of love in marriage. She is very uncharacteristic of the Roman Venus.

Turms: Etruscan form of Hermes as a psychopomp.

Tutanus and Tutilina: Numina of grain resting in barn, invoked in times of trouble. Tutilina was also an indigimentum of Consus as a goddess of stored grain.

Uni, or Uniel: Etruscan form of Juno, but also Astarte, so that she became a goddess of the cosmos, Perugia.

Vacuna: Sabine Goddess of Victory, identified with Bellona. Also as a god of leisure and repose, His festival in Rome is held in December.

Valentina: Umbrian Goddess of Healing, Her sanctuary was at Oriculum.

Vallonia: Numen of valleys.

Vanth: An Etruscan demon of death, with all seeing eyes on his wings, he assists the ill on their deathbeds. His attributes include the snake, torch and key.

Veiouis, Vediouis: Italic God of expiation and protector of runaway criminals. He is a God of the underworld, but unlike Pluto. Rather, He is "the opposite of Jupiter," called upon against enemy cities as Jupiter is called upon to defend Rome and its cities. His festivals are on 1 Jan., 7 March, 21 May.

Veive: An Etruscan god of revenge, whose attributes are the goat, laurel wreath, and arrows.

Venelia: Wife of Neptune who oversees shallows seas.

Venus Oscan Herentina and Libitina: Goddess of Love, also considered a goddess of flowers and of gardens. Her earliest Roman name appears to have been Murcia as a goddess of gardens and spring flowers, later interpreted as Myrtea, Goddess of Myrtles. She may then have been a goddess of spring flowers and gardens, with which She was closely identified at Rome. First mention of Venus is in 217 BCE when Venus Erycina was brought to Rome from Sicily, by order of the Sibylline Books following the Roman defeat at Lake Trasieme (see Atargatis). That same year was held the Lecistratum introducing the Dii Consentes as Rome's counterpart to the Greek Olympians, and Venus became identified with Aphrodite. Venus Genetrix was the mother of Aeneas, and therefore regarded as the mother of the Roman people, and especially of gens Iulii through Aeneas' son Julus. Julius Caesar built a temple to Her in the Forum in 46 BCE. The Templum Urbis built by Hadrian in 135 CE was dedicated to Roma and Venus Genetrix. Her festival on 1 April, Veneralia, was shared with Fortuna Virilis, and Verticordia (Concordia as a goddess who turns the hearts of women towards chastity and modesty). The Vinalia of 23 April was dedicated to Venus Erycina and Jupiter. The Vinalia of 19 Aug. was dedicated to Jupiter and Venus Libitina, where She was also recognized as a goddess of prostitution. She was closely identified with Flora, Herentina, and Libitina, yet She was unlike Etruscan Turan who was a Goddess of Love in marriage and chastity. Identified with Aphrodite She became the wife of Vulcanus (Greek Hephaestus). As Venus Victorix She charmed Mars, a popular motif in Roman art. The mother of Cupid and also the mother of Priapus by Bacchus, most if not all of Her myths were derived from Greek myth.

Verminus: Roman god of the dead and of disease. His name means "wormy".

Verplaca: Numen who reconciles families.

Verminus: Protective numen of cattle from worms.

Vertumnus or Vortumnus: "The Turner," "the Changer," an Italic God of fruit, changer of seasons, protector of gardeners. He was also a shape-shifter who won Pomona as his wife after She had vowed to remain virgin. Their festival is held on 13 August.

Vervator or Vervactor: An indigimentum of Ceres for the first plowing. Primo aratio.

Vesta: Known most as a Roman Goddess of the Hearth, She is associated with the Lares and penantes. Her festival, the Vestalia, was held on 9 July.

Victoria: Goddess of Victory whose festivals were celebrated on 17 July and 1 August.

Virbius: An Italic God, with Diana, of the wood and the chase, in later legend raised to life by Asclepius. He is the spirit of the Diana nemus at Aricia who is instilled in the Rex Nemorensis.

Vitalia: Numen of Italy

Volcanus: Italic husband of Maiesta (Maia), who ripens fruit through his inner warmth, at Rome he became one of the Dii consentes in 217 BCE, identified with the Greek Hephaestus and husband to Venus. The Volcanalia was held on 23 August. Also as Mulciber, "The Smelter," His festival is on 23 May.

Volta: A wolf-headed monster.

Voltumna: The Etruscan chthonic God, Veltha, later the supreme deity of the Volsini, sometimes identified with Vertumnus in Rome.

Volutina: An indigimentum of Ceres for husks of corn while folded over ears of grain.

Volturnus: A god of wind and water, His festival is on 27 August.

Voluptes: Numen of sensuality.

 

 

 
 

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