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Listed 75 sub titles with search on: Mythology  for wider area of: "LAZIO Region ITALY" .

Mythology (75)

Ancient myths

The adventures of Ulysses, the Laestrygonians


Eponymous founders or settlers


ARDEA (Ancient city) ITALY
Ardeas, a son of Odysseus and Circe, the mythical founder of the town of Ardea in the country of the Rutuli. (Dionys. i. 72 ; Steph. Byz. s. v. Anteia)

Famous robbers


ROME (Ancient city) ITALY
Son of Hephaestus.

   Cacus. In Italian mythology, a fire-spitting giant, the son of Vulcan, who lived near the place where Rome was afterwards built. When Hercules came into the neighbourhood with the cattle of Geryon, Cacus stole some of them while the hero was sleeping and dragged them backwards into his cave under a spur of the Aventine, so that their footprints gave no clue to the direction in which they had gone. He then closed the entrance to the cave with a rock, which ten pairs of oxen were unable to move. But the lowing of the cattle guided the hero, in his search, to the right track. He tore open the cave, and, after a fearful struggle, slew Cacus with his club. Upon this he built an altar on the spot to Iupiter, under the title of Pater Inventor, "the discoverer," and sacrificed one of the cattle upon it. The inhabitants paid him every honour for freeing them of the monster; and Evander, who had been instructed by his mother, Carmentis, in the lore of prophecy, saluted him as a god. Hercules is then said to have established his own religious service, and to have instructed two noble families, the Potitii and the Pinarii, in the usages to be observed at the sacrifice. This sacrifice was to be offered on the Ara Maxima, which he himself had built on the cattle-market (Forum Boarium) where the cattle had been pastured.

This text is from: Harry Thurston Peck, Harpers Dictionary of Classical Antiquities. Cited Nov 2002 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks


Pilumnus & Danae

ARDEA (Ancient city) ITALY
According to a later or Italian tradition, the chest was carried to the coast of Italy, where king Pilumnus married Danae, and founded Ardea (Virg. Aen. vii. 410; Serv. ad Aen. vii. 372)


ROME (Ancient city) ITALY
Romulus. The name of the mythical founder of Rome. According to the popular Roman tradition, recorded in the first book of Livy, he was the son of Mars and Ilia or Rhea Silvia, daughter of Numitor, and was born at the same birth with Remus. Amulius, who had usurped the throne of Alba, in defiance of the right of his elder brother Numitor, ordered the infants to be thrown into the Tiber, and their mother to be buried alive, the doom of a vestal virgin who violated her vow of chastity. The river happened at that time to have overflowed its banks, so that the two infants were not carried into the middle of the stream, but drifted along the margin, till the basket which contained them became entangled in the roots of a wild vine at the foot of the Palatine Hill. At this time a she-wolf, coming down to the river to drink, suckled the infants, and carried them to her den among the thickets hard by. Here they were found by Faustulus, the king's herdsman, who took them home to his wife Laurentia, by whom they were carefully nursed, and named Romulus and Remus. The two youths grew up, employed in the labours, the sports, and the perils of the pastoral occupation of their foster-father. But their royal blood could not be quite concealed. Their superior mien, courage, and abilities soon acquired for them a decided superiority over their young compeers, and they became leaders of the youthful herdsmen in their contests with robbers or with rivals. Having quarrelled with the herdsmen of Numitor, whose flocks were accustomed to graze on the neighbouring hill Aventinus, Remus fell into an ambuscade, and was dragged before Numitor to be punished. While Numitor, struck with the noble bearing of the youth, and influenced by the secret stirrings of nature within, was hesitating what punishment to inflict, Romulus, accompanied by Faustulus, hastened to the rescue of Remus. On their arrival at Alba, the secret of their origin was discovered, and a plan was speedily organized for the expulsion of Amulius and the restoration of their grandfather Numitor to his throne. This was soon accomplished; but the twin-brothers felt little disposition to remain in a subordinate position at Alba, after the enjoyment of the rude liberty and power to which they had been accustomed among their native hills. They therefore requested from their grandfather permission to build a city on the banks of the Tiber, where their lives had been so miraculously preserved. Scarcely had this permission been granted, when a contest arose between the two brothers respecting the site, the name, and the sovereignty of the city which they were about to found. Romulus wished it to be built on the Palatine Hill, and to be called by his name; Remus preferred the Aventine, and his own name. To terminate their dispute amicably, they agreed to refer it to the decision of the gods by augury. Romulus took his station on the Palatine Hill, Remus on the Aventine. At sunrise Remus saw six vultures, and immediately after Romulus saw twelve. The superiority was adjudged to Romulus, because he had seen the greater number; against which decision Remus remonstrated indignantly, on the ground that he had first received an omen. Romulus then proceeded to mark out the boundaries for the wall of the intended city. This was done by a plough with a brazen ploughshare, drawn by a bull and a heifer, and so directed that the furrow should fall inward. The plough was lifted and carried over the spaces intended to be left for gates; and in this manner a square space was marked out, including the Palatine Hill, and a small portion of the land at its base, termed Roma Quadrata. This took place on the 21st of April, on the day of the festival of Pales, the goddess of shepherds. While the wall was beginning to rise above the surface, Remus, whose mind was still rankling with his discomfiture, leaped over it, scornfully saying, "Shall such a wall as that keep your city?" Immediately Romulus, or, as others say, Celer, who had charge of erecting that part of the wall, struck him dead to the ground with the implement which he held in his hand, exclaiming, "So perish whosoever shall hereafter overleap these ramparts."
    By this event Romulus was left the sole sovereign of the city; yet he felt deep remorse at his brother's fate, buried him honourably, and, when he sat to administer justice, placed an empty seat by his side, with a sceptre and crown, as if acknowledging the right of his brother to the possession of equal power. To augment as speedily as possible the number of his subjects, Romulus set apart, in his new city, a place of refuge, to which any man might flee, and be there protected from his pursuers. By this device the population increased rapidly in males, but there was a great deficiency in women; for the adjoining States, regarding the followers of Romulus as little better than a horde of brigands, refused to sanction intermarriages. But the schemes of Romulus were not to be so frustrated. In honour of the god Consus, he proclaimed games, to which he invited the neighbouring States. Great numbers came, accompanied by their families, and, at an appointed signal, the Roman youth, rushing suddenly into the midst of the spectators, snatched up the unmarried women in their arms, and carried them off by force. The outrage was immediately resented, and Romulus found himself involved in a war with all the neighbouring States. Fortunately for Rome, though those States had sustained a common injury, they did not unite their forces in the common cause. They fought singly, and were each in turn defeated; Caenina, Crustumerium, and Antemnae fell successively before the Roman arms. Romulus slew with his own hands Acron, king of Caenina, and bore off his spoils, dedicating them, as spolia opima, to Iupiter Feretrius. The third part of the lands of the conquered towns was seized by the victors, and such of the people of these towns as were willing to remove to Rome were received as free citizens. In the meantime, the Sabines, to avenge the insult which they had sustained, had collected together forces under Titus Tatius, king of the Quirites. The Romans were unable to meet so strong an army in the field, and withdrew within their walls. They had previously placed their flocks in what they thought a place of safety, on the Capitoline Hill, which, strong as it was by nature, they had still further secured by additional fortifications. Tarpeia, the daughter of the commander of that fortress, having fallen into the hands of the Sabines, agreed to betray the access to the hill for the ornaments they wore upon their arms. At their approach she opened the gate, and, as they entered, they crushed her to death beneath their shields. From her the cliff of the Capitoline Hill was called the Tarpeian Rock. The attempt of the Romans to regain this place of strength brought on a general engagement. The combat was long and doubtful. At one time the Romans were almost driven into the city, which the Sabines were on the point of entering along with them, when fresh courage was infused into the fugitives in consequence of Romulus vowing a temple to Iupiter Stator, and by a stream of water which rushed out of the Temple of Ianus and swept away the Sabines from the gate. The struggle was renewed during several successive days with various fortune and great mutual slaughter. At length the Sabine women who had been carried away, and who were now reconciled to their fate, rushed with loud outcries between the combatants, imploring their husbands and their fathers to spare on each side those who were now equally dear. Both parties paused; a conference began, a peace was concluded, and a treaty framed, by which the two nations were united into one, and Romulus and Tatius became the joint sovereigns of the united people. But, though united, each nation continued to be governed by its own king and Senate. During the double rule of Romulus and Tatius a war was undertaken against the Latin town of Cameria, which was reduced and made a Roman colony, and its people were admitted into the Roman State, as had been done with those whom Romulus previously subdued. Tatius was soon afterwards slain by the people of Laurentum, because he had refused to do them justice against his kinsmen, who had violated the laws of nations by insulting their ambassadors.
    The death of Tatius left Romulus sole monarch of Rome. He was soon engaged in a war with Fidenae, a Tuscan settlement on the banks of the Tiber. This people he likewise overcame, and placed in the city a Roman colony. This war, extending the Roman frontier, led to a hostile collision with Veii, in which he was also successful, and deprived Veii, at that time one of the most powerful cities of Etruria, of a large portion of its territories, though he found that the city itself was too strong to be taken. The reign of Romulus now drew near its close. One day, while holding a review of his army, on a plain near Lake Capra, the sky was suddenly overcast with gloom and a tempest of thunder and lightning arose. The people fled in dismay; and when the storm abated, Romulus, over whose head it had raged most fiercely, was nowhere to be seen. A rumour was circulated that during the tempest he had been carried to heaven by his father, the god Mars. This opinion was speedily confirmed by the report of Iulius Proculus, who declared that, as he was returning by night from Alba to Rome, Romulus appeared before him in a form of more than mortal majesty, and bade him go and tell the Romans that Rome was destined by the gods to be the chief city of the earth; that human power should never be able to withstand her people; and that he himself would be their guardian god Quirinus.

This text is from: Harry Thurston Peck, Harpers Dictionary of Classical Antiquities. Cited Nov 2002 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks

Romulus, the founder of the city of Rome. It is unnecessary in the present work to prove that all the stories about Romulus are mythical, and merely represent the traditional belief of the Roman people respecting their origin. Romulus, which is only a lengthened form of Romus, is simply the Roman people represented as an individual, and must be placed in the same category as Aeolus, Dorus, and Ion, the reputed ancestors of the Aeolians, Dorians, and Ionians, owing to the universal practice of antiquity to represent nations as springing from eponymous ancestors. But although none of the tales about Romulus can be received as an historical fact, yet it is of importance to know the general belief of the Roman people respecting the life of the founder of their city. It is, however, very difficult to ascertain the original form of the legend; since poets, on the one hand, embellished it with the creations of their own fancy, and historians, on the other hand, omitted many of its most marvellous incidents, in order to reduce it to the form of a probable history. The various tales related respecting the foundation of Rome may be reduced to two classes, one of Greek and the other of native origin. The former bring Romulus into close connection with Aeneas. A few Greek writers make Aeneas the founder of Rome, and speak of his wife under the name of Roma; others represent Romulus as his son or a remote descendant; but the greater part make him his grandson by his daughter Ilia. In most of these accounts the twin brothers are spoken of, but they appear under the names of Romulus and Romus, not Remus (comp. Dionys. i. 72, 73; Plut. Rom. 2, 3; Serv. ad Virg. Aen. i. 274; Festus, s. v. Roma). These accounts, however, scarcely deserve the name of traditions, as Niebuhr has remarked; they are for the most part the inventions of Greek writers, who were ignorant of the native legend, but having heard of the fame of Rome, wished to assign to it an origin.
  The old Roman legend was of a very different kind. It was preserved in popular poems, which were handed down from generation to generation, and some of which were in existence in the time of Dionysius (i. 79); and it seems to have been recorded in prose in its most genuine form by the annalist Q. Fabius Pictor, who lived during the second Punic War. This legend probably ran nearly as follows: At Alba Longa there reigned a succession of kings, descended from Iulus, the son of Aeneas. One of the last of these kings left two sons, Numitor and Amulius. The latter, who was the younger, deprived Numitor of the kingdom, but allowed him to live in the enjoyment of his private fortune. Fearful, however, lest the heirs of Numitor might not submit so quietly to his usurpation, he caused his only son to be murdered, and made his daughter Silvia one of the Vestal virgins. As Silvia one day went into the sacred grove, to draw water for the service of the goddess, a wolf met her, and she fled into a cave for safety; there, while a total eclipse obscured the sun, Mars himself overpowered her, and then consoled her with the promise that she should be the mother of heroic children (Serv. ad Virg. Aen i. 274; Dionys. ii. 56; Plut. Rom. 27). When her time came, she brought forth twins. Amnlius doomed the guilty Vestal and her babes to be drowned in the river. in the Anio Silvia exchanged her earthly life for that of a goddess, and became the wife of the river-god. The stream carried the cradle in which the children were lying into the Tiber, which had overflowed its banks far and wide. It was stranded at the foot of the Palatine, and overturned on the root of a wild figtree, which, under the name of the Ficus Ruminalis, was preserved and held sacred for many ages after. A she-wolf, which had come to drink of the stream, carried them into her den hard by, and sotck led them; and there, when they wanted other food, the woodpecker, a bird sacred to Mars, brought it to them (Ov. Fast. iii. 54). At length this marvellous spectacle was seen by Faustulus, the king's shepherd, who took the children to his own house, and gave them to the care of his wife, Acca Larentia. They were called Romulus and Remus, and grew up along with the twelve sons of their foster-parents, on the Palatine hill (Massurius Sabinus, ap. Gell. vi. 7). They were, however, distinguished from their comrades by the beauty of their person and the bravery of their deeds, and became the acknowledged leaders of the other shepherd youths, with whom they fought boldly against wild beasts and robbers. The followers of Romulus were called Quintilii; those of Remus, Fabii. A quarrel arose between them and the herdsmen of Numitor, who stalled their cattle on the neighbouring hill of the Aventine. Remus was taken by a stratagem, during the absence of his brother, and carried off to Numitor. His age and noble bearing made Numitor think of his grandsons; and his suspicions were confirmed by the tale of the marvellous nurture of the twin brothers. Meanwhile Romulus hastened with his foster-father to Numitor; suspicion was changed into certainty, and the old man recognised them as his grandsons. They now resolved to avenge the wrongs which their family had suffered. With the help of their faithful comrades, who had flocked to Alba to rescue Remus, they slew Amulius, and placed Numitor on the throne.
  Romulus and Remus loved their old abode, and therefore left Alba to found a city on the banks of the Tiber. They were accompanied only by their old comrades, the shepherds. The story which makes them joined by the Alban nobles, is no part of the old legend; since the Julii and similar families do not appear till after the destruction of Alba. As the brothers possessed equal authority and power, a strife arose between them where the city should be built, who should be its founder, and after whose name it should be called. Romulus wished to build it on the Palatine, Remus on the Aventine, or, according to another tradition, on another hill three or four miles lower down the river, called Remuria or Remoria, which Niebulir supposes to be the hill beyond S. Paolo (comlp. Dionys. i. 85; Plut. Rom. 9). It was agreed that the question should be decided by augtly ; and each took his station on the top of his chosen hill. The night passed away, and as the day was dawning Remus saw six vultures; but at sun-rise, when these tidings were brought to Romulus, twelve vultures flew by him. Each claimed the augury in his own favour; but most of the shepherds decided for Romulus, and Remus was therefore obliged to yield. Romulus now proceeded to mark out the pomoerium of his city (see Dict. of Ant. s. v.). He yoked a bullock and a heifer to a plough with a copper ploughshare, and drew a deep furrow round the foot of the Palatine, so as to include a considerable compass below the hill; and men followed after who turned every clod to the inward side. Where the gates were to be made, the plough was carried over the space; since otherwise nothing unclean could have entered the city, as the track of the plough was holy. In the comitium a vault was built underground, which was filled with the first-fruits of all the natural productions that support human life, and with earth which each of the settlers had brought with him from his home. This place was called Mundus, and was believed to be the entrance to the lower world (Festus, s. v. Mundus ; Plut. Rom. 11). Rome is said to have been founded on the 21 st of April, and this day was celebrated as a yearly festival down to the latest times of Roman history. It was the Palilia, or festival of Pales, the divinity of the shepherds, and was, therefore, a day weil fitted for the foundation of a city by shepherds (see Dict. of Ant. s. v. Palilia). On the line of the pomoerium Romulus began to raise a wall. Remus, who still resented the wrong he had suffered, leapt over it in scorn, whereupon Romulus slew him, saying, So die whosoever hereafter shall leap over my walls; "though, according to another account, he was killed by Celer, who had the charge of the building. Remorse now seized Romulus, and he rejected all food and comfort, till at length he appeased the shade of Remus by instituting the festival of the Lemuria for the souls of the departed (Ov. Fast. v. 461, &c.). Afterwards an empty throne was set by the side of Romulus, with a sceptre and crown, that his brother might seem to reign with him (Serv. ad Virg. Aen. i. 276). Thus in the earliest legends we find the supreme power divided between two persons; but it is not impossible that the belief in the double kingdom of Romulus and Remus, as well as subsequently in that of Romulus and Titus Tatius, may have arisen simply from the circumstance of there being two magistrates at the head of the state in later times.
  Romulus now found his people too few in numbers. He therefore set apart, on the Capitoline hill, an asylum, or a sanctuary, in which homicides and runaway slaves might take refuge. The city thus became filled with men, but they wanted women. Romulus, therefore, tried to form treaties with the neighbouring tribes, in order to obtain connubium, or the right of legal marriage with their citizens; but his offers were treated with disdain, and he accordingly resolved to obtain by force what he could not gain by entreaty. in the fourth month after the foundation of the city, he proclaimed that games were to be celebrated in honour of the god Consus, and invited his neighbours, the Latins and Sabines, to the festival. Suspecting no treachery, they came in numbers, with their wives and children. But the Roman youths rushed upon their guests, and carried off the virgins. The old legend related that thirty Sabine virgins were thus seized, and became the wives of their ravishers but the smallness of the number seemed so incredible to a later age, which looked upon the legend as a genuine history, that it was increased to some hundreds by such writers as Valerius Antias and Juba (Plut. Rom. 14; comp. Liv. i. 13). The parents of the virgins returned home and prepared for vengeance. The inhabitants of three of the Latin towns, Caenina, Anteinmae, and Crustumerium, took up arms one after the other, and were successively defeated by the Romans. Romulus slew with his own hand Acron, king of Caenina, and dedicated his arms and armour, as spolia opima, to Jupiter. At last the Sabine king, Titus Tatius, advanced with a powerful army, against Rome. His forces were so great that Romulus, unable to resist him in the field, was obliged to retire into the city. He had previously fortified and garrisoned the top of the Saturnian hill, afterwards called the Capitoline, which was divided from the city on the Palatine, by a swampy valley, the site of the forum. But Tarpeia, the daughter of the commander of the fortress, dazzled by the golden bracelets of the Sabines, promised to betray the hill to them, if they would give her the ornaments which they wore on their left arms. Her offer was accepted; in the night time she opened a gate and let in tile enemy but when she claimed her reward, they threw upon her the shields which they carried on their left arms, and thus crushed her to death. Her tomb was shown on the hill in later times, and her memory was preserved by the name of the Tarpeian rock, from which traitors were afterwards hurled down. On the next day the Romans endeavoured to recover the hill. A long and desperate battle was fought in the valley between the Palatine and the Capitoline. At one time the Romans were driven before the enemy, and the day seemed utterly lost, when Romulus vowed a temple to Jupiter Stator, the Stayer of Flight; whereupon the Romans took courage, and returned again to the combat. At length, when both parties were exhausted with the struggle, the Sabine women rushed in between them, and prayed their husbands and fathers to be reconciled. Their prayer was heard; the two people not only made peace, but agreed to form only one nation. The Romans continued to dwell on the Palatine under their king Romulus; the Sabines built a new town on the Capitoline and Quirinal hills, where they lived under their king Titus Tatius. The two kings and their senates met for deliberation in the valley between the Palatine and Capitoline hills, which was hence called comitium, or the place of meeting. But this union did not last long. Titus Tatius was slain at a festival at Lavinium, by some Laurentines to whom he had refused satisfaction for outrages which had been committed by his kinsmen. Henceforward Romulus ruled alone over both Romans and Sabines; but, as he neglected to pursue the murderers, both his people and those of Laurentum were visited by a pestilence, which did not cease until the murderers on both sides were given up.
  After the death of Tatius the old legend appears to have passed on at once to the departure of Romultis from the world. Of the long period which intervened few particulars are recorded, and these Niebuhr supposes, with some justice, to be the inventions of a later age. Romulus is said to have attacked Fidenae, and to have taken the city; and likewise to have carried on a successful war against the powerful city of Veii, which purchased a truce of a hundred years, on a surrender of a third of its territory. At length, after a reign of thirty-seven years, when the city had become strong and powerful, and Romulus had performed all his mortal works, the hour of his departure arrived. One day as he was reviewing his people in the Campus Martius. near the Goat's Pool, the sun was sud denly eclipsed, darkness overspread the earth, and a dreadful storm dispersed the people. When daylight returned, Romulus had disappeared, for his father Mars had carried him up to heaven in a fiery chariot ("Quirinus Martis equis Acheronta fugit", Hor. Coarm. iii. 3; "Rex patriis astra petebat equis", Ov. Fast. ii. 496). The people mourned for their beloved king; but their mourning gave way to religious reverence, when he appeared again in more than mortal beauty to Proculus Julius, and bade him tell the Romans that they should become the lords of the world, and that he would watch over them as their guardian god Quirinis. The Romans therefore worshipped him under this name. The festival of the Quirinalia was celebrated in his honour on the 17th of February; but the Nones of Quintilis, or the seventh of July, was the day on which, according to tradition, he departed from the earth.
  Such was the glorified end of Romulus in the genuine legend. But as it staggered the faith of a later age, a tale was invented to account for his mysterious disappearance. It was related that the senators, discontented with the tyrannical rule of their king, murdered him during the gloom of a tempest, cut up his body, and carried home the mangled pieces under their robes. But the forgers of this tale forgot that Romulus is nowhere represented in the ancient legend as a tyrant, but as a mild and merciful monarch, whose rule became still more gentle after the death of Tatius, whom it branded as a tyrant.
  The genuine features of the old legend about Romulus may still be seen in the accounts of Livy (i. 3-16), Dionysius (i. 76--ii. 56), and Plutarch (Romul.), notwithstanding the numerous falsifications and interpolations by which it is obscured, especially in the two latter writers. It is given in its most perfect form in the Roman Histories of Niebuhr and Malden.
A  s Romulus was regarded as the founder of Rome, its most ancient political institutions and the organisation of the people were ascribed to him by the popular belief. Thus he is said to have divided the people into three tribes, which bore the names Ramnes, Titles, and Luceres. The Ramnes were supposed to have derived their name from Romulus, the Tities from Titus Tatius the Sabine king, and the Luceres from Lucumo, an Etruscan chief who had assisted Romulus in the war against the Sabines. Each tribe contained ten curiae, which received their names from the thirty Sabine women who had brought about the peace between the Romans and their own people. Further, each curia contained ten gentes, and each gens a hundred men. Thus the people, according to the general belief, were divided originally into three tribes, thirty curiae, and three hundred gentes, which mustered 3000 men, who fought on foot, and were called a legion. Besides those there were three hundred horsemen, called celeres, the same body as the equites of a later time; but the legend neglects to tell us from what quarter these horsemen came. To assist him in the government of the people Romulus is said to have selected a number of the aged men in the state, who were called patres, or senatores. The council itself, which was called the senatus, originally consisted of one hundred members; but this number was increased to two hundred when the Sabines were incorporated in the state. In addition to the senate, there was another assembly, consisting of the members of the gentes, which bore the name of comitia curiata, because they voted in it according to their division into curiae. To this assembly was committed the election of the kings in subsequent times.
  That part of the legend of Romulus which relates to the political institutions which he is said to have founded, represents undoubted historical facts. For we have certain evidence of the existence of such institutions in the earliest times, and many traces endured to the imperial period : and the popular belief only attempted to explain the origin of existing phenomena by ascribing their first establishment to the heroic founder of the state. Thus, while no competent scholar would attempt in the present day to give a history of Romulus; because, even on the supposition that the legend still retained some real facts, we have no criteria to separate rate what is true from what is false; yet, on the other hand, it is no presumption to endeavor to form a conception of the political organisation of Rome in the earliest times, because we can take our start from actually existing institutions, and trace them back, in many cases step by step, to remote times. We are thus able to prove that the legend is for the most part only an explanation of facts which had a real existence. It would be out of place here to attempt an explanation of the early Roman constitution, but a few remarks are necessary in explanation of the legendary account of the constitution which has been given above.
  The original site of Rome was on the Palatine hill. On this there was a Latin colony established at the earliest times, which formed an independent state. On the neighbouring hills there appear to have been also settlements of Sabines and Etruscans, cans, the former probably on the Quirinal and Capitoline pitoline hills, and the latter on the Caelian. In course of time these Sabine and Etruscan settlements ments coalesced with the Latin colony on the Palatine, and the three peoples became united into one state. At what time this union took place it is of course impossible to say; the legend referred it to the age of Romulus. There appears, pears, however, sufficient evidence to prove that the Latins and Sabines were united first, and that it was probably long afterwards that the Etruscans became amalgamated with them. Of this we may mention, as one proof, the number of the senate, which is said to have been doubled on the union of the Sabines, but which remained two hundred till the reign of Tarquinius Priscus, who is reported to have increased it to three hundred (Liv. i. 35; Dionys. iii. 67). These three peoples, after their amalgamation, became three tribes; the Latins were called Ramnes or Ramnenses; the Sabines, Tities or Titienses; the Etruscans, Luceres or Lucerenses. The name of Ramnes undoubtedly comes from the same root as that of Romus or Romulus, and in like manner that of Tities is connected with Titus Tatius. The origin of the third name is more doubtful, and was a disputed point even in antiquity. Most ancient writers derived it from Lucumo, which etymology best agrees with the Etruscan origin of the tribe, as Lucumo was a title of honour common to the Etruscan chiefs. Others suppose it to come from Lucerus, a king of Ardea (Paul. Diac. s. v. Lucercses), a statement on which Niebuhr principally relies for the proof of the Latin origin of the third tribe; but we think with the majority of the best modern writers, that the Luceres were of Etruscan, and not of Latin, descent. Each of these tribes was divided into ten curiae, as the legend states; but that they derived their names from the thirty Sabine women is of course fabulous. In like manner each curia was divided into ten gentes, which must be regarded as smaller political bodies, rather than as combinations of persons of the same kindred. For further information the reader is referred to the several articles on these subjects in the Dictionary of Atiquities.

This text is from: A dictionary of Greek and Roman biography and mythology, 1873 (ed. William Smith). Cited Jan 2006 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks

Hersila, the wife of Romulus, according to Livy (i. 11) and Plutarch (Romul. 14) but, according to Dionysius (ii. 45, iii. 1), Macrobius (Sat. i. 6), and one of the accounts in Plutarch (l. c.), of Hostus Hostilius, or Hostus, grandfather of Tullus Hostilius, fourth king of Rome. Those who made Hersilia wife of Romulus, gave her a son Aollius or Avillius, and a daughter Prima (Zenodotus of Troezene, ap. Plut. Romul. 14); those who assigned her to Hostus, called her son Hostus Hostilius. Hersilia was the only married woman carried off by the Romans in the rape of the Sabine maidens, and that unwittingly, or because she voluntarily followed the fortunes of Prima her daughter. In all versions of her story, Hersilia acts as mediator--in Livy (l. c.) with Romulus, for the people of Antemnae--in Dionysius and Plutarch (ib. 19), between the Romans and Sabines, in the war arising from the rape of the women. Her name is probably a later and a Greek addition to the original story of Romulus. As Romulus after death became Quirinus, so those writers who made Hersilia his wife raised her to the dignity of a goddess, Hora or Horta, in either case, probably, with reference to boundaries of time (Hora) or space (horos). (Gell. xiii. 22 ; Ennius, Ann. i.; Nonius, s. v. Hora; Augustin. de Civ. Dei. iv. 16.)

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Gods & demigods

Fortuna Equestris (Equester)

Equester, and in Greek Hippios, occurs as a surname of several divinities, such as Poseidon (Neptune), who had created the horse, and in whose honour horse-races were held (Serv. ad Virg. Georg. i. 12; Liv. i. 9; Paus. v. 15.4), of Aphrodite (Serv. ad Aen. i. 724), Hera (Paus. v. 15.4), Athena (Paus. i. 30.4, 31.3, v. 15.4, viii. 47.1), and Ares. (Paus. v. 15.4). The Roman goddess Fortuna bore the same surname, and the consul Flaccus vowed a temple to her in B. C. 180, during a battle against the Celtiberians. (Liv. xl. 40, xlii. 3). Tacitus (Ann. iii. 71) mentions a temple of Fortuna Equestris at Antium.

Artenis Aricia

ARICIA (Ancient city) LAZIO
Aricia (Arikine), a surname of Artemis, derived from the town of Aricia in Latium, where she was worshipped. A tradition of that place related that Hippolytus, after being restored to life by Asclepius, came to Italy, ruled over Aricia, and dedicated a grove to Artemis (Paus. ii. 27.4). This goddess was believed to be the Taurian Artemis, and her statue at Aricia was considered to be the same as the one which Orestes had brought with him from Tauris (Serv. ad Aen. ii. 116; Strab. v.; Hygin. Fab. 261). According to Strabo, the priest of the Arician Artemis was always a run-away slave, who obtained his office in the following manner: -The sacred grove of Artemis contained one tree from which it was not allowed to break off a branch; but if a slave succeeded in effecting it, the priest was obliged to fight with him, and if he was conquered and killed, the victorious slave became his successor, and might in his turn be killed by another slave, who then succeeded him. Suetonius (Calig. 35) calls the priest rex nemorensis. Ovid (Fast. iii. 260, &c.), Suetonius, and Pausanias, speak of contests of slaves in the grove at Aricia, which seem to refer to the frequent fights between the priest and a slave who tried to obtain his office.

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Fascinus, an early Latin divinity, and identical with Mutinus or Tutinus. He was worshipped as the protector from sorcery, witchcraft, and evil daemons; and represented in the form of a phallus, the genuine Latin for which is fascinum, this symbol being believed to be most efficient in averting all evil influences. He was especially invoked to protect women in childbed and their offspring (Plin. Hist. Nat. xxviii. 4, 7); and women wrapt up in the toga praetexta used to offer up sacrifices in the chapel of Fascinus. (Paul. Diac. p. 103.) His worship was under the care of the Vestals; and generals, who entered the city in triumph, had the symbol of Fascinus fastened under their chariot, that he might protect them from envy (medicus invidiae), for envy was believed to exercise an injurious influence on those who were envied. (Plin. l. c.) It was a custom with the Romans, when they praised any body, to add the word praefiscine or praefiscini, which seems to have been an invocation of Fascinus, to prevent the praise turning out injurious to the person on whom it was bestowed.

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Jupiter Latialis

Latialis or Latiaris, a surname of Jupiter as the protecting divinity of Latium. The Latin towns and Rome celebrated to him every year the feriae Latinae, on the Alban mount, which were proclaimed and conducted by one of the Roman consuls. (Liv. xxi. 63, xxii. 1; Dionys. iv. 49; Serv. ad Aen. xii. 135; Suet. Calig. 22 )

Jupiter Imperator

Imperator, a surname of Jupiter at Praeneste. After the conquest of that town in B. C. 376, T. Quinctius brought his statue to the capitol at Rome, where it was placed between the chapels of Jupiter and Minerva. (Liv. vi. 29.) According to Cicero (in Verr. iv. 57), he was identical with Jupiter Urius (i. e. the sender of favourable wind), of the Greeks.

Jupiter (Greek Zeus)

ROME (Ancient city) ITALY
Jupiter or perhaps more correctly, JUPPITER, a contraction of Diovis pater, or Diespiter, and Diovis or dies, which was originally identical with divum (heaven); so that Jupiter literally means "the heavenly father." The same meaning is implied in the name Lucesius or Lucerius, by which he was called by the Oscans, and which was often used by the poet Naevius (Serv. ad Aen. ix. 570; comp. Fest. s. v. Lucetium; Macrob. Sat. i. 15; Gell. v. 12.) The corresponding name of Juno is Lucina. It is further not impossible that the forgotten name, divus pater Falacer, mentioned by Varro (de L. L. v. 84, vii. 45), may be the same as Jupiter, since, according to Festus (s. v. falae), falandum was the Etruscan name for heaven. The surname of Supinalis (August. de Civ. Dei, vii. 11) likewise alludes to the dome of heaven.
  As Jupiter was the lord of heaven, the Romans attributed to him power over all the changes in the heavens, as rain, storms, thunder and lightning, whence he had the epithets of Pluvius, Fulgurator, Tonitrualis, Tonans, Fulminator, and Serenator. (Appul. de Mund. 37; Fest. s. v. prorsum; Suet. Aug. 91.) As the pebble or flint stone was regarded as the symbol of lightning, Jupiter was frequently represented with such a stone in his hand instead of a thunderbolt (Arnob. vi. 25); and in ancient times a flint stone was exhibited as a symbolic representation of the god. (Serv. ad Aen. viii. 641; August. de Civ. Dei, ii. 29.) In concluding a treaty, the Romans took the sacred symbols of Jupiter, viz. the sceptre and flint stone, together with some grass from his temple, and the oath taken on such an occasion was expressed by per Jovem Lopidem jurare. (Fest. s.v. Feretrius; Liv. xxx. 43; Appul. de Deo Socrat. 4; Cic. ad Fam. vii. 12; Gell. i. 21; Polyb. iii. 26.) When the country wanted rain, the help of Jupiter was sought by a sacrifice called aquilicium (Tertull. Apol. 40); and respecting the mode of calling down lightning. These powers exercised by the god, and more especially the thunderbolt, which was ever at his command, made him the highest and most powerful among the gods, whence he is ordinarily called the best and most high (optimus maximus), and his temple stood on the capitol; for he, like the Greek Zeus, loved to erect his throne on lofty hills. (Liv. i. 10, 38, xliii. 55.) From the capitol, whence he derived the surnames of Capitolinus and Tarpeius, he looked down upon the forum and the city, and from the Alban and sacred mounts he surveyed the whole of Latium (Fest. s. v. Sacer Mons), for he was the protector of the city and the surrounding country. As such he was worshipped by the consuls on entering upon their office, and a general returning from a campaign had first of all to offer up his thanks to Jupiter, and it was in honour of Jupiter that the victorious general celebrated his triumph. (Liv. xxi. 63, xli. 32, xlii. 49.) The god himself was therefore designated by the names of Imperator, Victor, Invictus, Stator, Opitulus, Feretrius, Praedator, Triumphator, and the like. (Liv. i. 12, vi. 29, x. 29; Ov. Fast. iv. 621; August. de Civ. Dei, viii. 11; Serv. ad Aen. iii. 223; Appul. de Mund. 37; Festus, s. v. Opitulus; Cic. de Leg. ii. 11, in Verr. iv. 58.) Under all these surnames the god had temples or statues at Rome; and two temples, viz. those of Jupiter Stator at the Mucian gate and Jupiter Feretrius, were believed to have been built in the time of Romulus. (Liv. i. 12, 41; Dionys. ii. 34, 50.) The Roman games and the Feriae Latinae were celebrated to him under the names of Capitolinus and Latialis.
  Jupiter, according to the belief of the Romans, determined the course of all earthly and human affairs: he foresaw the future, and the events happening in it were the results of his will. He revealed the future to man through signs in the heavens and the flight of birds, which are hence called the messengers of Jupiter, while the god himself is designated as Prodigialis, that is, the sender of prodigies. (Plaut. Amphitr. ii. 2, 107.) For the same reason Jupiter was invoked at the beginning of every undertaking, whether sacred or profane, together with Janus, who blessed the beginning itself (August. de Civ. Dei, vii. 8; Liv. viii. 9; Cato, de R. R. 134, 141; Macrob. Sat. i. 16); and rams were sacrificed to Jupiter on the [p. 660] ides of every month by his flamen, while a female lamb and a pig were offered to Juno on the kalends of every month by the wife of the rex sacrorum. (Macrob. Sat. i. 15; Ov. Fast. i. 587; Fest. s. v. Idulis Ovis.) Another sacrifice, consisting of a ram, was offered to Jupiter in the regia on the nundines, that is, at the beginning of every week (Macrob. Sat. i. 16; Festus. s. v. nundinas); and it may be remarked in general that the first day of every period of time both at Rome and in Latium was sacred to Jupiter, and marked by festivals, sacrifices, or libations.
  It seems to be only a necessary consequence of what has been already said, that Jupiter was considered as the guardian of law, and as the protector of justice and virtue: he maintained the sanctity of an oath, and presided over all transactions which were based upon faithfulness and justice. Hence Fides was his companion on the capitol, along with Victoria; and hence a traitor to his country, and persons guilty of perjury, were thrown down the Tarpeian rock. Faithfulness is manifested in the internal relations of the state, as well as in its connections with foreign powers, and in both respects Jupiter was regarded as its protector. Hence Jupiter and Juno were the guardians of the bond of marriage; and when the harmony between husband and wife was disturbed, it was restored by Juno, surnamed Conciliatrix or Viriplaca, who had a sanctuary on the Palatine. (Fest. s. v. Conciliatric; Val. Max. ii. 1. 6.) Not only the family, however, but all the political bodies into which the Roman people was divided, such as the gentes and curiae, were under the especial protection of the king and queen of the gods; and so was the whole body of the Roman people, that is, the Roman state itself. The fact of Jupiter being further considered as the watchful guardian of property, is implied in his surname of Hercius (from the ancient herctum, property), and from his being expressly called by Dionysius (ii. 74), horios Zeus, i.e. Jupiter Terminus, or the protector of boundaries, not only of private property, but of the state.
  As Jupiter was the prince of light, the white colour was sacred to him, white animals were sacrificed to him, his chariot was believed to be drawn by four white horses, his priests wore white caps, and the consuls were attired in white when they offered sacrifices in the capitol the day they entered on their office. (Festus, s.v. albogalerum pileum.) When the Romans became acquainted with the religion of the Greeks, they naturally identified Jupiter with Zeus, and afterwards with the Egyptian Ammon, and in their representations of the god they likewise adopted the type of the Greek Zeus.

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Jupiter Elicius

Elicius, a surname of Jupiter at Rome, where king Numa dedicated to Jupiter Elicius an altar on the Aventine. (Liv. i. 20.) The same king was said to have instituted certain secret rites to be performed in honour of the god, which were recorded in his Commentarii. (Liv. i. 31.) The origin of the name as well as the notion of Jupiter Elicius is referred to the Etruscans, who by certain prayers and sacrifices called forth (eliciebant or evocabant) lightning or invited Jupiter to send lightning. (Plin H. N. ii. 54; Ov Fast. iii,327, &c.; Varro, de Ling. Lat. vi. 94.) The object of calling down lightning was according to Livy's explanation to elicit prodigies ex mentlibus dicinis; and when the god appeared or sent his lightning in anger, it was an unfortunate sign to the person who had invited it. Seneca (Quaest. Nat. ii. 49) attests that the ancients distinguished a kind of lightning or fulmina, called fulmina hospitalia, which it was possible for man to draw down, and Pliny mentions Numa, Tullus Hostilius, and Porsena, among the persons who in early times had called down lighstning, though Tullus and his family perished in the attempt. Some modern writers think that the belief in the pos sibility of calling down lightnings arose out of certain observations or experiments in electricity, with which the ancients were acquainted, and some have even ventured upon the supposition that the ancients, and the Etruscans in particular, knew the use of conductors of lightning, which, though they cannot draw lightning from heaven, yet conduct it towards a certain point. Servius (ad Virg. Eclog. vi. 42) goes even so far as to say that the art of drawing down lightning was known to Prometheus.

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Jupiter Hospitalis

Hospitalis, the guardian or protector of the law of hospitality. We find the title of dii hospitales as applied to a distinct class of gods, though their names are not mentioned. (Tacit. Ann. xv. 52; Liv. xxxix. 51; Ov. Met. v. 45.) But the great protector of hospitality was Jupiter, at Rome called Jupiter hospitalis, and by the Greeks Zeus xenios. (Serv. ad Aen. i. 140; Cic. ad Q. frat. ii. 12; Horn. Od. xiv. 389)

Jupiter Lucerius, Juno Luceria

Lucerius, Luceria, also Lucetius and Lucetia, that is, the giver of light, occur as surnames of Jupiter and Juno. According to Servius (ad Aen. ix. 570) the name was used especially among the Oscans. (Macrob. Sat. i. 15; Gellius, v. 12)

Jupiter Lapis

Lapis, the stone, a surname of Jupiter at Rome, as we see from the expression Jovem Lapidem jurare. (Cic. ad Fam. vii. 12; Gell. i. 21 ; Polyb. iii. 26.) It was formerly believed that Jupiter Lapis was a stone statue of the god, or originally a rude stone serving as a symbol, around which people assembled for the purpose of worshipping Jupiter. But it is now generally acknowledged that the pebble or flint stone was regarded as the symbol of lightning, and that, therefore, in some representations of Jupiter, he held a stone in his hand instead of the thunderbolt. (Arnob. adv. Gent. iv. 25.) Such a stone (lapis Capitolinus, August. De Civ. Dei, ii. 29) was even set up as a symbolic representation of the god himself. (Serv. ad Aen. viii. 641.) When a treaty was to be concluded, the sacred symbols of Jupiter were taken from his temple, viz. his sceptre, the pebble and grass from the district of the temple, for the purpose of swearing by them (per Jovem Lapidem jurare ; Liv. i. 24, xxx. 43; Fest. s. v. Feretrius). A pebble or flint stone was also used by the Romans in killing the animal, when an oath was to be accompanied by a sacrifice; and this custom was probably a remnant of very early times, when metal instruments were not yet used for such purposes. (Fest. s. v. Lapidenm Silicem ; comp. Liv. i. 24, ix. 5; Polyb. iii. 26; Plut. Sull. 10.)

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Jupiter Liberator

Liberator, a surname of Jupiter, answering to the Greek Eleutherios, to whom Augustus built a temple on the Aventine. (Tac. Ann. xv. 64, xvi. 35)

Juno (Greek Hera)

Juno. The name of Juno is probably of the same root as Jupiter, and differs from it only in its termination. As Jupiter is the king of heaven and of the gods, so Juno is the queen of heaven, or the female Jupiter. The Romans identified at an early time their Juno with Hera, with whom she has indeed many resemblances, but we shall endeavour here to treat of the Roman Juno exclusively, and to separate the Greek notions entertained by the Romans, from those which are of a purely Italian or Roman nature. Juno, as the queen of heaven, bore the surname of Regina, under which she was worshipped at Rome from early times, and at a later period her worship was solemnly transferred from Veii to Rome, where a sanctuary was dedicated to her on the Aventine. (Liv. v. 21, 22, xxii. 1, xxvii. 37; Varr. de L. L. v. 67.) She is rarely described as hurling the thunderbolt, and the main feature of her character is, that she was to the female sex all that Jupiter was to the male, and that she was regarded as the protectress of every thing connected with marriage. She was, however, not only the protecting genius of the female sex in general, but accompanied every individual woman through life, from the moment of her birth to the end of her life. Hence she bore the special surnames of Virginalis and Matrona, as well as the general ones of Opigena and Sospita (Ov. Fast. vi. 33; Horat. Carm. iii. 4, 59; Serv. ad Aen. viii. 84; August. de Civ. Dei, iv. 11; Festus, p. 343, ed. Muller), under which she was worshipped both at Lanuvium and at Rome. (Liv. xxiv. 10, xxvii. 3, xxxii. 30; Ov. Fast. ii. 56; Cic. de Div. i. 2.) On their birthday women offered sacrifices to Juno surnamed natalis, just as men sacrificed to their genius natalis (Tibull. iv. 6. 13. 15); but the general festival, which was celebrated by all the women, in honour of Juno, was called Matronalia (Dict. of Ant. s. v.), and took place on the 1st of March. Her protection of women, and especially her power of making them fruitful, is further alluded to in the festival Populifugia (Dict. of Ant. s.v.) as well as in the surname of Februarius, Februata, Februta, or Februalis. (Fest. s.v. Februarius, p. 85, ed. Muller; comp. Ov. Fast. ii. 441.) Juno was further, like Saturn, the guardian of the finances, and under the name of Moneta she had a temple on the Capitoline hill, which contained the mint. (Liv. vi. 20.) Some Romans considered Juno Moneta as identical with Mnemosune, but this identification undoubtedly arose from the desire of finding the name Moneta a deeper meaning than it really contains. The most important period in a woman's life is that of her marriage, and, as we have already remarked, she was believed especially to preside over marriage. Hence she was called Juga or Jugalis, and had a variety of other names, alluding to the various occasions on which she was invoked by newly-married people, such as, Domiduca, Iterduca, Pronuba, Cinxia, Prema, Pertunda, Fluonia, and Lucina. (Virg. Aen. iv. 166, 457, with Serv. note; Ov. Heroid. vi. 43; August. de Civ. Dei, vi. 7, 11, vii. 3; Arnob. iii. 7, 25, vi. 7, 25; Fest. s. vv.) The month of June, which is said to have originally been called Junonius, was considered to be the most favourable period for marrying. (Macrob. Sat. i. 12; Ov. Fast. vi. 56.) Juno, however, not only presided over the fertility of marriage, but also over its inviolable sanctity, and unchastity and inordinate love of sexual pleasures were hated by the goddess. Hence a law of Numa ordained that a prostitute should not touch the altar of Juno, and that if she had done so, she should with dishevelled hair offer a female lamb to Juno. (Gell. iv. 3.) Women in childbed invoked Juno Lucina to help them (Plaut. Aulul. iv. 7, 11; Plut. Quaest. Rom. 77; Propert. v 1, 95; Arnob. iii. 9, 21, 23), and after the delivery of the child, a table was laid out for her in the house for a whole week (Tertull. de Anim. 39), for newly-born children were likewise under her protection, whence she was sometimes confounded with the Greek Artemis or Eileithyia. (Catull. xxxiv. 13; Dionys. Hal. iv. 15)
  As Juno has all the characteristics of her husband, in so far as they refer to the female sex, she presides over all human affairs, which are based upon justice and faithfulness, and more especially over the domestic affairs, in which women are more particularly concerned, though public affairs were not beyond her sphere, as we may infer from her surnames of Curiatia and Populonia. In Etruria, where the worship of Juno was very general, she bore the surname of Cupra, which is said to have been derived from the name of a town, but it may be connected with the Sabine word cyprus, which, according to Varro (de L. L. v. 159), signified good, and also occurs in the name of vicus Cyprius. At Falerii, too, her worship was of great importance (Dionys. i. 21), and so also at Lanuvium, Aricia, Tibur, Praeneste, and other places. (Ov. Fast. vi. 49, 59; Liv. v. 21, x. 2; Serv. ad Aen. vii. 739; Strab. v. p. 241.) In the representations of the Roman Juno that have come down to us, the type of the Greek Hera is commonly adopted.

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(Juno ?) Empanda or Panda

Empanda or Panda, was, according to Festus (s. v. Empanda), a dca paganorum. Varro (ap. Non.; comp. Gell. xiii. 22; Arnob. iv. 2) connects the word with pandere, but absurdly explains it by panem dare, so that Empanda would be the goddess of bread or food. She had a sanctuary near the gate, called after her the porta Pandana, which led to the capitol (Festus, s. v. Pandana; Varro, de Ling. Lat. v. 42). Her temple was an asylum, which was always open, and the suppliants who came to it were supplied with food from the funds of the temple. This custom at once shews the meaning of the name Panda or Emlpanda: it is connected with pandere, to open; she is accordingly the goddess who is open to or admits any one who wants protection. Hartung (die Religion der Rom. ii.) thinks that Empanda and Panda are only surnames of Juno.

Juno Juga or Jugadelis

Juga or Jugadelis, that is, the goddess of marriage, occurs as a surname of Juno, in the same sense as the Greek zugia. She had a temple under this name in the forum at Rome, below the capitol, and the street which there took its commencement was called vicus Jugarius. (August. dei, iv. Dei, iv. 8, 11, vi. 9; Festus)

Juno Lucina

Lucina the goddess of light, or rather the goddess that brings to light, and hence the goddess that presides over the birth of children; it was therefore used as a surname of Juno and Diana, and the two are sometimes called Lucinae. (Varro, de Ling. Lat. v. 69; Catull. xxxiv. 13; Horat. Carm. Saec. 14, &c.; Ov. Fast. ii. 441, &c., vi. 39; Tibull. iii. 4. 13.) When women of rank gave birth to a son, a lectisterniumn was prepared for Juno Lucina in the atrium of the house. (Serv. and Philarg. ad Virg. Eclog. iv. 63.)

Venus Libentina, Lubentina or Lubentia

Libentina, Lubentina or Lubentia, a surname of Venus among the Romans, by which she is described as the goddess of sexual pleasure (dea libidinis, Varr. de Ling. Lat. v. 6; Cic. de Nat. Deor. ii. 23; August. de Civ. Dei, iv. 8; Nonius, i. 324; Plaut. Asin. ii. 2. 2; Arnob. adv. Gent. i. p. 15, who however speaks of Libentini dii.)

Bacchus Liber

Liber. This name, or Liber pater, is frequently applied by the Roman poets to the Greek Bacchus or Dionysus, who was accordingly regarded as identical with the Italian Liber. Cicero (de Nat. Deor. ii. 24), however, very justly distinguishes between Dionysus (the Greek Liber) and the Liber who was worshipped by the early Italians in conjunction with Ceres and Libera. Liber and the feminine Libera were ancient Italian divinities, presiding over the cultivation of the vine and fertility of the fields; and this seems to have given rise to the combination of their worship with that of Ceres. A temple of these three divinities was vowed by the dictator, A. Postumius, in B. C. 496, near the Circus Flaminius; it was afterwards restored by Augustus, and dedicated by Tiberius. (Tac. Ann. ii. 49; Dionys. vi. 17.) The most probable etymology of the name Liber is from liberare; Servius (ad Virg. Georg. i. 7) indeed states that the Sabine name for Liber was Loebasius, but this seems to have been only an obsolete form for Liber, just as we are told that the ancient Romans said loebesus and loebertas for the later forms liber(us) and libertas. (Paul. Diac. p. 121, ed. Miller.) Hence Seneca (de Tranq. Anim. 15) says, "Liber dictus est quia liberat servitio curarum animi", while others, who were evidently thinking of the Greek Bacchus, found in the name an allusion to licentious drinking and speaking. (Macrob. Sat. i. 18; August. de Civ. Dei, vi. 9; Paul. Diac.) Poets usually call him Liber pater, the latter word being very commonly added by the Italians to the names of gods. The female Libera was identified by the Romans with Cora or Persephone, the daughter of Demeter (Ceres), whence Cicero (de Nat. Deor. ii. 24) calls Liber and Libera children of Ceres; whereas Ovid (Fast. iii. 512) calls Ariadne Libera. The festival of the Liberalia was celebrated by the Romans every year on the 17th of March. (Dict. of Ant. s. v. Liberalia; Hartung, Die Relig. der Rοm. vol. ii. p. 135, &c.; Klausen, Aeneas und die Penaten, vol. ii. p. 750, &c.)

This text is from: A dictionary of Greek and Roman biography and mythology, 1873 (ed. William Smith). Cited Oct 2006 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks

Bacchus Lyaeus

Lyaeus (Luaios), the god who frees men from care and anxiety, a surname of Bacchus. (Eustath. ad Hom.; Virg. Georg. ii. 229.)


Mars an ancient Roman god, who was at an early period identified by the Romans with the Greek Ares, or the god delighting in bloody war, although there are a variety of indications that the Italian Mars was originally a divinity of a very different nature. In the first place Mars bore the surname of Silvanus, and sacrifices were offered to him for the prosperity of the fields and flocks; and in the second a lance was honoured at Rome as well as at Praeneste as the symbol of Mars (Liv. xxiv. 10), so that Mars resembles more the Greek Pallas Athene than Ares. The transition from the idea of Mars as an agricultural god to that of a warlike being, was not difficult with the early Latins, as the two occupations were intimately connected. The name of the god in the Sabine and Oscan was Mamers; and Mars itself is a contraction of Mavers or Mavors.
  Next to Jupiter, Mars enjoyed the highest honours at Rome: he frequently is designated as father Mars, whence the forms Marspiterand Maspiter, analogous to Jupiter (Gellius, iv. 12; Macrob. Sat. i. 12, 19; Varro, De Ling. Lat. viii. 33); and Jupiter, Mars, and Quirinus, were the three tutelary divinities of Rome, to each of whom king Numa appointed a flamen, whose rank was sometimes thought higher even than that of the great pontiff. (Liv. viii. 9; Festus, p. 188, ed. Muller) Hence a very ancient sanctuary was dedicated to Mars on the Quirinal hill, near the temple of Dius Fidius, from which he derived his surname of Quirinus (Varro, De ling Lat. v 52; Serv. ad Aen. i. 296), and hence he was regarded as the father of the Roman people, having begotten the founders of Rome by Rhea Silvia, a priestess of Vesta. The rites of the worship of Mars all point to victory, in proof of which we need only direct attention to the dances in armour of the Salii, the dedication of the place of warlike exercises and games to Mars (campus Martius), and that war itself is frequently designated by the name of Mars. But being the father of the Romans, Mars was also the protector of the most honourable pursuit, i. e. nariculture, and hence he was invoked to be propitious to the household of the rustic Roman (Cato, De Re Rust. 141); and under the name of Silvanus, he was worshipped to take care of the cattle (ibid. 83). The warlike Mars was called Gradivus, as the rustic god was called Silvanus; while, in his relation to the state, he bore the name of Quirinus. These are the three principal aspects under which the god appears; and in reference to the second, it may be remarked that females were excluded from his worship, and that accordingly he presided more particularly over those occupations of country life which belonged to the male sex. (Cato, De Re Rust. 83; Schol. ad Juvenal. vi. 446.) But notwithstanding this, Mars was conceived not only accompanied by female divinities, but one of them, Nerio, or Neriene, is even described as his wife. (G(ellius, xiii. 22; Plaut. Truc. ii. 6. 34; L. Lydus, De Mens. iv. 42.)
  Mars was further looked upon as a god with prophetic powers; and in the neighbourhood of Reate there had been a very ancient oracle of the god (Dionys. i. 41), in which the future was revealed through a woodpecker (picus), which was sacred to him, and was for this reason surnamed Martius. The wolf also was sacred to Mars, and these animals, together with the horse, were his favourite sacrifices. Numerous temples were dedicated to him at Rome, the most important of which was that outside the Porta Capena, on the Appian road (Liv. x. 23, vi. 5, xli. 13; Serv. ad Aen. i. 296 ), and that of Mars Ultor, which was built by Augustus, in the forum. (Dion Cass. xlvi. 24 ; Sneton. Aug. 29; Virruv. i. 7; comp. Hartung, Die Reliq. der Rom. vol. ii. p. 155, &c.)

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Bellona, the goddess of war among the Romans. It is very probable that originally Bellona was a Sabine divinity whose worship was carried to Rome by the Sabine settlers. She is frequently mentioned by the Roman poets as the companion of Mars, or even as his sister or his wife. Virgil describes her as armed with a bloody scourge. (Virg. Aen. viii. 703; Lucan, Phars. vii. 569; Horat. Sat. ii. 3. 223.) The main object for which Bellena was worshipped and invoked, was to grant a warlike spirit and enthusiasm which no enemy could resist; and it was for this reason, for she had been worshipped at Rome from early times (Liv. viii. 9), that in B. C. 296, during the war against the Samnites, Appius Claudius the Blind vowed the first temple of Bellona, which was accordingly erected in the Campus Martins close by the Circus Flaminius. (Liv. x. 19; Ov. Fast. vi. 201, &c.) This temple subsequently became of great political importance, for in it the senate assembled to give audience to foreign ambassadors, whom it was not thought proper to admit into the city, to generals who returned from a campaign for which they claimed the honour of a triumph, and on other occasions. (Liv. xxviii. 9, xxx. 21; Dict. of Ant. s.v. Legatus). In front of the entrance to the temple there stood a pillar, which served for making the symbolical declarations of war; for the area of the temple was regarded as a symbolical representation of the enemies' country, and the pillar as that of the frontier, and the declaration of war was made by launching a spear over the pillar. This ceremony, so long as the Roman dominion was of small extent, had been performed on the actual frontier of the enemy's country. (Ov. Fast. vi. 205, &c.; Serv. ad Aen. ix. 53; Liv. i. 32; Dict. of Ant. s. v. Fetiales.) The priests of Bellona were called Bellonarii, and when they offered sacrifices to her, they had to wound their own arms or legs, and either to offer up the blood or drink it themselves, in order to become inspired with a warlike enthusiasm. This sacrifice, which was afterwards softened down into a mere symbolic act, took place on the 24th of March, which day was called dies sanguinisfor this reason. (Lucan, i. 565; Martial, xii. 57; Tertull. Apology. 9; Lactant. i. 21; comp. Heindorf, ad Hor. Sat. l. c.; Hartung, Die Relig. der Romer, ii.; C. Tiesler, De Bellonae Cultu et Sacris, Berlin, 1842. 8vo.)

This text is from: A dictionary of Greek and Roman biography and mythology, 1873 (ed. William Smith). Cited Oct 2005 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks

Bona Dea

Bona Dea, a Roman divinity, who is described as the sister, wife, or daughter of Faunus, and was herself called Fauna, Fatua, or Oma (Serv. ad Aen. viii. 314; Macrob. Sat. i. 12). She was worshipped at Rome from the earliest times as a chaste and prophetic divinity; and her worship was so exclusively confined to women, that men were not even allowed to know her name. Faunus himself had not been able to overcome her aversion to men, except by changing her into a serpent (Cic. de Harusp. resp. 17; Varr. ap. Lactant. i. 22; Serv. l. c.). She revealed her oracles only to females, as Faunus did only to males. Her sanctuary was a grotto in the Aventine, which had been consecrated to her by Claudia, a pure maiden (Macrob. l. c.; Ov. Fast. v. 148, &c.). In the time of Cicero, however, she had also a sanctuary between Aricia and Bovillae (Cic. pro Mil. 31; Ascon. ad Milon..) Her festival, which was celebrated every year on the 1st of May, was held in the house of the consul or praetor, as the sacrifices on that occasion were offered on behalf of the whole Roman people. The solemnities were conducted by the Vestals, and only women, usually of the higher orders, were allowed to take part in them (Cic. ad Ait. i. 13, de Harusp. resp. l. c.; Dion Cass. xxxvii. 45). During the solemnity, no male person was allowed to be in the house, and portraits of men were tolerated only when they were covered over. It is a wellknown fact, that P. Clodius profaned the sacred ceremonies on such an occasion by entering the house of Caesar in the disguise of a woman (Juv. vi. 429; Senec. Epist. 97; Plut. Caes. 9, Quaest. Rom. 20; Cic. Paradox. 4, ad Att. ii.4). The women who celebrated the festival of Fauna had to prepare themselves for it by abstaining from various things, especially from intercourse with men. The house of the consul or praetor was decorated by the Vestals as a temple, with flowers and foliage of every kind except myrtle, on account of its symbolic meaning. The head of the goddess's statue was adorned with a garland of vine-leaves, and a serpent surrounded its feet. The women were decorated in a similar manner. Although no one was allowed to bring wine with her, a vessel filled with wine, stood in the room, and from it the women made their libations and drank. This wine, however, was called milk, and the vessel containing it mellarium, so that the name of wine was avoided altogether. The solemnity commenced with a sacrifice called damium (the priestess who performed bore the name damiatrix, and the goddess damia, who however gives an absurd account of these names). One might suppose that the sacrifice consisted of a chamois (dama) or some kind of substitute for a chamois; but Pliny (H. N. x. 77) seems to suggest, that the sacrifice consisted of liens of various colours, except black ones. After this sacrifice, the women began to perform Bacchic dances, and to drink of the wine prepared for them (Juv. vi. 314). The goddess herself was believed to have set the example for this; for, while yet on earth, she was said to have intoxicated herself by emptying a large vessel of wine, whereupon Faunus killed her with a myrtle staff, but afterwards raised her to the rank of a goddess (Varr. ap. Lactant. l. c.; Arnob. adv. Gent. v. 18; Plut. Quaest. Rom. 20). This whole ceremony took place at night, whence it is usually called sacrum opertum, or sucra opertanea (Cic. de Legg. ii. 9, ad Att. i. 13). Fauna was also regarded as a goddess possessed of healing powers, as might be inferred from the serpents being part of her worship; but we know that various kinds of medicinal herbs were sold in her temple, and bought largely by the poorer classes (Macrob., Plut., Arnob. ll. cc.). Greek writers, in their usual way, identify the Bona Dea with some Greek divinity, such as Semele, Medeia, Hecate, or Persephone. The Angitia of the Marsians seems to have been the same goddess with them as the Bona Dea with the Romans.

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Edulica or Edusa

Edulica or Edusa, a Roman divinity, who was worshipped as the protectress of children, and was believed to bless their food, just as Potina and Cuba blessed their drinking and their sleep. (Augustin, de Civ. Dei, iv. 11; Varro, ap. Non.; Arnob. iii. 25; Donat. ad Terent. Phorm. i. 1, 11.)


Epona (Hippona), from epus (hippos), that is, equus, was regarded as the protectress of horses. Images of her, either statues or paintings, were frequently seen in niches of stables. She was said to be the daughter of Fulvius Stellus by a mare. (Juven. viii. 157; Plut. Parall. Gr. et Rom.)

Flora (Chloris)

Flora (Chloris), the Roman goddess of flowers and spring. The writers, whose object it was to bring Flora, the Roman religion into contempt, relate that Flora had been, like Acca Laurentia, a courtezan, who accumulated a large property, and bequeathed it to the Roman people, in return for which she was honoured with the annual festival of the Floralia (Lactant. i. 20). But her worship was established at Rome in the very earliest times, for a temple is said to have been vowed to her by king Tatius (Varro, de. L. L. v. 74), and Numa appointed a flamen to her. The resemblance between the names Flora and Chloris led the later Romans to identify the two divinities. Her temple at Rome was situated near the Circus Maximus (Tac. Ann. ii. 49), and her festival was celebrated from the 28th of April till the first of May, with extravagant merriment and lasciviousness. (Dict. of Ant. s. v. Floralia.)

This text is from: A dictionary of Greek and Roman biography and mythology, 1873 (ed. William Smith). Cited Dec 2005 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks


Fontus, a Roman divinity, and believed to be a son of Janus. He had an altar on the Janiculus, which derived its name from his father, and on which Numa was believed to be buried. He was a brother of Volturnus. (Cic. de Leg. ii. 22 ; Arnob. iii. 29.) The name of this divinity is connected with fons, a well; and he was the personification of the flowing waters. On the 13th of October the Romans celebrated the festival of the wells, called Fontinalia, at which the wells were adorned with garlands, and flowers thrown into them. (Varro, de L. L. vi. 22; Festus, s. v. Fontinalia.)


Fornax, a Roman goddess, who is said to have been worshipped that she might ripen the corn, and prevent its being burnt in baking in the oven. (Fornax.) Her festival, the Fornacalia, was announced by the curio maximus. (Ov. Fast. ii. 525, &c.; Festus, s. v. Fornacalia.)

Furina or Furrina

Furina or Furrina, an ancient Roman divinity, who had a sacred grove at Rome (Cic. de Nat.Deor. iii. 18). Her worship seems to have become extinct at an early time, for Varro (de L. L. vi. 19) states that in his day her name was almost forgotten. An annual festival (Furinalia or Furinales feriae) had been celebrated in honour of her, and a flamen (flamen Furinalis) conducted her worship (Varro de L. L. v. 84, vii. 45). She had also a temple in the neighbourhood of Satricum (Cic. ad Q. Frat. iii. 1).


Indiges, plur. Indigetes, the name by which indigenous gods and heroes were invoked at Rome, that is, such as were believed to have once lived on earth as mortals, and were after their death raised to the rank of gods, e. g. Janus, Picus, Faunus, Aeneas, Evander, Hercules, Latinus, Romulus, and others (Serv. ad Aen. xii. 794; Liv. viii. 9; Virg. Georg. i. 498, Aen. viii. 314, xii. 794; Arnob. adv. Gent. i.). Thus Aeneas, after his disappearance on the banks of the Numicus, became a deus Indiges, pater Indiges, or Jupiter Indiges; and in like manner Romulus became Quirinus, and Latinus Jupiter Latiaris (Gellius, ii. 16; Virg., Liv. ll. cc. ; Sil. Ital. viii. 39 Tibull. ii. 5, 44; Solin. 2; Aurel. Vict. de Orig. 14). The Indigetes are frequently mentioned together with the Lares and Penates (Virg. Georg. i. 498; Lucan, i. 556; Sil. Ital. ix. 294), and many writers connect the Indigetes with those divinities to whom a share in the foundation of the Latin and Roman state is ascribed, such as Mars, Venus, Vesta, &c. (Sil. Ital. l. c.; Ov. Met. xv. 862; Claudian, Bell. Gild. 82; Liv. viii. 9). Paulus Diaconus describes the Indigetes as deo, quorum nomina vulgari non licet, a statement which is repeated by others, though its import is rather obscure. The origin of the name Indigetes was also a matter of dispute with the ancients (Serv. ad Aen. xii. 794), but they were at all events Deoi enchiorioi, and we are therefore inclined rather to connect the name with induagere than with indigilare, as Festus thinks; in addition to which the plural is not Indigites, but Indigetes. We may therefore define the Indigetes to be indigenous heroes of the country, whom the grateful veneration of their countrymen raised after their death to the rank of gods. They were regarded as manifestations of the supreme deity, and worshipped as the protectors of the country to which they had done good service during their mortal life.

This text is from: A dictionary of Greek and Roman biography and mythology, 1873 (ed. William Smith). Cited Feb 2006 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks


Lares. Gods of inferior power worshipped at Rome, of human origin and presiding over houses and families. There were various classes of them, such as Urbani, to preside over the cities; Familiares, over houses; Rustici, over the country; Compitales, over crossways; Marini, over the sea; Viales, over roads, etc. The Lares were originally human beings themselves, who lived upon the earth, and, becoming pure spirits after death, loved still to hover round the dwelling which they once inhabited, to watch over its safety, and to guard it with as much care as the faithful dog does the possessions of its master. They keep off, therefore, danger from without, while the Penates (q.v.), residing in the interior of the dwelling, pour forth benefits upon its inmates. The fundamental idea, on which rests the doctrine of the Lares, is intimately connected with all the psychology and pneumatology of the ancient Italians. According to Apuleius the daemones which once had inhabited, as souls, human bodies, were called Lemures: this name therefore designated, in general, the spirit separated from the body. Such a spirit, if it adopted its posterity--if it took possession, with favourable power, of the abode of its children--was called Lar familiaris. If on the contrary, by reason of the faults committed in life, it found in the grave no resting place, it appeared to men as a phantom; inoffensive to the good, but terrible to the wicked. Its name was in that case Larva. As, however, there was no way of precisely ascertaining what had been the lot of a deceased person, whether he had become, for example, a Lar or a Larva, it was customary to give to the dead the general appellation of Manes. The mother of the Lares was called Lara or Larunda (Arnob. Adv. Gent. iii. 41; Macrob. i. 7). This conception of the Lares, as the souls of fathers and of forefathers, protectors of their children, and watching over the safety of their descendants, necessarily gave rise to the custom of burying the dead within the dwelling ( Serv. ad Verg. Aen.v. 64; vi. 152; Orig.xv. 11). Men wished to have near them these tutelary genii, in order to be certain of their assistance and support. In process of time, however, this custom was prohibited at Rome by the laws of the Twelve Tables.
  The Etrurians, and the Romans after them, had their Lares publici and Lares privati. The Lares were supposed to assist at all gatherings of men, at all public assemblies or reunions, in all transactions of men, and in all the most important affairs of State as well as of individuals. As each individual had his Lar, his genius, his guardian spirit, even the infant at the breast, so entire families, and whole races and nations, were equally under the protection of one of these tutelar deities. Here the Lares became in some degree confounded with the Heroes, that is, with the spirits of those who, having deserved well of their country while on earth, continued to watch over and protect it. It would seem, too, that at times the worship of these public Lares, like that of the public Penates, was not without some striking resemblance to that rendered to the great national divinities.
  All that the house contained was confided to the superintending care of these vigilant genii: they were set as a watch over all things large and small, and hence the name of Praestites, which is sometimes given them (Ovid, Fast.v. 128 Fast., 132). Hence the dog was the natural symbol of the Lares; an image of this animal was placed by the side of their statues, or else these were covered with the skin of a dog. The ordinary altar on which sacrifices were offered to the Lares was the domestic hearth. The victims consisted of a hog ( Hor. Carm.iii. 23Hor. Carm., 4) or a fowl; sometimes, with the rich, of a young steer; to them were also presented the first fruits of the season, and libations of wine were poured out. In all the family repasts, the first thing done was to cast a portion of all the viands into the fire that burned on the hearth, in honour of the Lares. In the form of marriage, called coemptio, the bride always threw a piece of money on the hearth to the Lares of her family, and deposited another in the neighbouring cross-road, in order to obtain admission, as it were, into the dwelling of her husband. Young persons, after their fifteenth year, consecrated to the Lares the bulla which they had worn from infancy ( Pers.v. 31). Soldiers, when their time of service was once ended, dedicated to them the arms with which they had fought (Ovid, Trist. iv. 8, 21). Captives and slaves restored to freedom consecrated to the Lares the fetters from which they had just been freed ( Sat.i. 5). Before undertaking a journey, or after a successful return, homage was paid to these deities, their protection was implored, or thanks were rendered for their guardian care (Ovid, Trist. i. 3, 33). The new master of a house crowned the Lares, in order to render them propitious; a custom which was of the most universal nature, and which was perpetuated to the latest times (Plaut. Trinum. i. 2, 1). The proper place for worshipping the Lares, and where their images stood, was called Lararium, a sort of domestic chapel in the atrium, where were also to be seen the images and busts of the family ancestors. The rich had often two Lararia, one large and the other small; they had also “Masters of the Lares,” and “Decuries of the Lares”--namely, slaves specially charged with the care of these domestic chapels and the images of their divinities. As to the poor, their Lares had to be content with the simple hearth, where honours not less simple were paid to them. Certain public festivals were also celebrated in honour of the Lares, called Lararia and Compitalia. The period for their celebration fell in the month of December, a little after that of the Saturnalia. The Compitalia, dedicated to the Lares Compitales, were celebrated in the open air, in the cross-roads. The day of their celebration was not fixed. They were introduced at Rome by Servius Tullius, who left to the Senate the care of determining the period [p. 923] when they should be held. In early times, children were immolated to the goddess Mania, the mother, according to some, of the Lares, to propitiate her favour for the protection of the family. This barbarous rite was subsequently abolished, and little balls of wool were hung up in the stead of human offerings at the gates of dwellings. Macrobius ( Sat.i. 7 Sat., 34) informs us that it was Junius Brutus who, after the expulsion of the Tarquins, introduced a new form of sacrifice, by virtue of which heads of garlic and poppies were offered up in place of human heads, ut pro capitibus capitibus supplicaretur, in accordance with the oracle of Apollo.
  As regards the forms under which the Lares were represented, it may be observed that it differed often but little from that of the Penates. Thus, on the coins of the Caesian family, they are represented as two young men, seated, their heads covered with helmets, and holding spears in their hands, while a dog watches at their feet. Sometimes, as has already been remarked, the heads of the Lares are represented as covered with, or their mantle as formed of, the skin of a dog. At other times we find the Lares resembling naked children, with the bulla hanging from the neck.

This text is from: Harry Thurston Peck, Harpers Dictionary of Classical Antiquities. Cited Feb 2006 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks

Lares. The worship of the Lares at Rome was closely connected with that of the Manes, and that of both was analogous to the hero worship of the Greeks. The name Lar is Etruscan, and signifies lord, king, or hero. The Lares may be divided into two classes, the Lares domestici and Lares publici, and the former were the Manes of a house raised to the dignity of heroes. So long as the house was the place where the dead were buried (Serv. ad Aen. v. 64, vi. 152), the Manes and Lares must have been more nearly identical than afterwards, although the Manes were more closely connected with the place of burial, while the Lares were more particularly the divinities presiding over the hearth and the whole house. According to what has here been said, it was not the spirits of all the dead that were honoured as Lares, but only the spirits of good men. It is not certain whether the spirits of women could become Lares; but from the sugrundaria in Fulgentius (De Prisc. Serm. p. xi. ed. Lersch.), it has been inferred that children dying before they were 40 days old might become Lares. (Comp. Nonius, p. 114; Diomed. i. p. 379.) All the domestic Lares were headed by the Lar familiaris, who was regarded as the first originator of the family, corresponding in some measure with the Greek heros eponumos, whence Dionysius (iv. 2) calls him ho kat oikian heros. (Comp. Plut. De Fort. Rom. 10; and more especially Plin. H. N. xxxvi. 70; Plant. Aulul. Prolog.) The Lar familiaris was inseparable from the family; and when the latter changed their abode, the Lar went with them. (Plaut. Trin. 39, &c.)
  The public Lares are expressly distinguished by Pliny (H. N. xxi. 8) from the domestic or private ones, and they were worshipped not only at Rome, but in all the towns regulated according to a Roman or Latin model. (Hertzberg, De Diis Rom. Pair. p. 47.) Among the Lares publici we have mention of Lares praestites and Lares compitales, who are in reality the same, and differ only in regard to the place or occasion of their worship. Servius Tullius is said to have instituted their worship (Plin. H. N. xxxvi. 70); and when Augustus improved the regulations of the city made by that king, he also renewed the worship of the public Lares. Their name, Lares praestites, characterises them as the protecting spirits of the city (Ov. Fast. v. 134), in which they had a temple in the uppermost part of the Via Sacra, that is, near a compitum, whence they might be called compitales. (Solin. 1; Ov. Fast. v. 128; Tacit. Ann. xii. 24.) This temple (Sacellum Larum or aedes Larum) contained two images, which were probably those of Romulus and Remus, and before them stood a stone figure of a dog, either the symbol of watchfulness, or because a dog was the ordinary sacrifice offered to the Lares. Now, while these Lares were the general protectors of the whole city, the Lares compitales must be regarded as those who presided over the several divisions of the city, which were marked by the compita or the points where two or more streets crossed each other, and where small chapels (aediculae) were erected to those Lares, the number of which must have been very great at Rome. As Augustus wished to be regarded as the second founder of the city, the genius Augusti was added to the Lares praestites, just as among the Lares of a family the genius of the paterfamilias also was worshipped.
  But besides the Lares praestites and compitales, there are some other Lares which must be reckoned among the public ones, viz., the Lares rurales, who were worshipped in the country, and whose origin was probably traced to certain heroes who had at one time benefitted the republic. (Cic. De Leg. ii. 11; Tibull. i. 1. 24.) The Lares arvales probably belonged to the same class. (Klausen, De Carm. Frat. Arval. p. 62.) We have also mention of Lares viales, who were worshipped on the highroads by travellers (Plaut. Merc. v. 2, 22; Serv. ad Aen. iii. 302); and of the Lares marini or permarini, to whom P. Aemilius dedicated a sanctuary in remembrance of his naval victory over Antiochus. (Liv. xl. 52.)
  The worship of the Lares was likewise partly public and partly private. The domestic Lares, like the Penates, formed the religious elements of the Roman household (Cic. De Repub. iv. in fin., ad Fam. i. 9, in Verr. iii. 24; Cat. De Re Rust. 143); and their worship, together with that of the Penates and Manes, constituted what are called the sacra privata. The images of the Lares, in great houses, were usually in a separate compartment, called aediculae or lararia. (Juven. viii. 110; Tibull. i. 10. 22; Petron. 29; Ael. Lamprid. Alex. Sev. 28; comp. Dict. of Ant. s. v. Lararium.) The Lares were generally represented in the cinctus Gabinus (Pers. v. 31; Ov. Fast. ii. 634), and their worship was very simple, especially in the early times and in the country. The offerings were set before them in patellae, whence they themselves are called patellarii (Plaut. Cistell. ii. 2. 55), and pious people e made offerings to them every day (Plaut. Aulul. Prolog.); but they were more especially worshipped on the calends, nones, and ides of every month. (Cat. De Re Rust. 143; Horat. Carm. iii. 23. 2; Tibull. i. 3. 33; Virg. Eclog. i. 43.) When the inhabitants of the house took their meals, some portion was offered to the Lares, and on joyful family occasions they were adorned with wreaths, and the lararia were thrown open. (Plaut. Aulul. ii. 8. 15; Ov. Fast. ii. 633; Pers. iii. 24, &c., v. 31; Propert. i. 1. 132; Petron. 38.) When the young bride entered the house of her husband, her first duty was to offer a sacrifice to the Lares. (Macrob. Sat. i. 15.) Respecting the public worship of the Lares, and the festival of the Larentalia, see Dict. of Ant. s. v. Larentalia, Compitalia. (Comp. Hempel, De Diis Laribus, Zwickau, 1797; Muller, De Diis Romanorum Laribus et Penatibus, Hafniae, 1811; Schomann, De Diis Manibus, Laribus et Geniis, Greifswald, 1840; Hertzberg, De Diis Romanorum Patriis, sive de Larum atque Penatium tam publicorum quam privatorum Religione et Cultu, Halae, 1840.)

This text is from: A dictionary of Greek and Roman biography and mythology, 1873 (ed. William Smith). Cited Oct 2006 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks


Larunda or Lara, a daughter of Almon, was a nymph who denounced to Juno that there was some connexion between Jupiter and Juturna; hence her name is connected with lalein. Jupiter punished her by depriving her of her tongue, and condemning her to be conducted into the lower world by Mercury ;but on the way thither Mercury fell in love with her, and afterwards she gave birth to two Lares. (Ov. Fast. ii. 599, &c.; Auson. Monosyll. de Diis, 9.) Hartung (Die Relig.) infers from Lactantius (i. 20) that Larunda is identical with Muta and Tacita.

Lactans, Lacturnus & Lacturcia

Lactans, Lacturnus & Lacturcia, Roman divinities, who were believed to protect the young fruits of the field. (Serv. ad Aen. i. 315; August. De Civ. Dei, iv. 3.) Some believe that Lactans and Lacturcia are mere surnames of Ops, and that Lacturnus is a surname of Saturnus. (Hartung, Die Relig. der Rem.)


Lateranus, was, according to Arnobius (adv. Gent. iv. 6), a divinity protecting the hearths built of bricks (lateres), whence some consider him to be identical with Vulcan. (Hartung, Die Relig. der Rom. ii.)


Laverna, the protecting divinity of thieves and impostors; a grove was sacred to her on the via Salaria, and she had an altar near the porta Lavernalis, which derived its name from her. (Arnob. adv. Gent. iii. 26; Nonius, viii. 6; Acron, ad Horat. Ep. i. 16, 60; Varro, De L. L. v. 163; Fest. s. v. Laverniones.) The name of this divinity, which is said to be a contraction of Lativerna, is, according to some, connected with the verb latere, or with the Greek labein and the Sanscrit labh, but it is more probably derived from levare and levator (a thief). See Petron. 140; Obbarius, ad Horat. Ep. i. 16. 60.

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Lemures i. e., spectres or spirits of the dead, which were believed by the Romans to return to the upper world and injure the living. Some writers describe Lemures as the common name for all the spirits of the dead (Apul. de Deo Socr.; Serv. ad Aen. iii. 63; Mart. Capella, ii.162; Ov. Fast. v. 483), and divide all Lemures into two classes; viz. the souls of those who have been good men are said to become Lares, while those of the wicked become Larvae. But the common idea was that the Lemures and Larvae were the same (August. De Civ. Dei, ix. 11); and the Lemures are said to wander about at night as spectres, and to torment and frighten the living. (Horat. Epist. ii. 2. 209; Pers. v. 185). In order to propitiate them, and to purify the human habitations, certain ceremonies were performed on the three nights of the 9th, 11th, and 13th of May every year. The pater familias rose at midnight, and went outside the door making certain signs with his hand to keep the spectre at a distance. He then washed his hand thrice in spring water, turned round, and took black beans into his mouth, which he afterwards threw behind him. The spectres were believed to collect these beans. After having spoken certain words without looking around, he again washed his hands, made a noise with brass basins, and called out to the spectres nine times: " be gone, you spectres of the house !" This being done, he was allowed to look round, for the spectres were rendered harmless. The days on which these rites were performed were considered unlucky, and the temples remained closed during that period. (Varro, ap. Non.; Fest. s. v. Fabam; Ov. Fast. v. 419, &c.; comp. Hartung, Die Relig. der Rom. i.)

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Levana, a Roman divinity, who derived her name from the custom that the father picked up his new-born child from the ground, by which symbolic act he declared his intention not to kill the child, but to bring it up. (August. De Civ. Dei, iv. 11.)


Libertas, the personification of Liberty, was worshipped at Rome as a divinity. A temple was erected to her on the Aventine by Tib. Sempronius Gracchus, the expenses of which were defrayed by fines which had been exacted. Another was built by Clodius on the spot where Cicero's house had stood (Liv. xxiv. 16; Paul. Diac.; Dion Cass. xxxviii. 17, xxxix. 11), which Cicero afterwards contemptuously called Templum Licentiae (pro Dom. 51, de Leg. ii. 17). After Caesar's victories in Spain, the senate decreed the erection of a temple to Libertas at the public expense (Dion Cass. xliii. 44); and after the murder of Sejanus, a statue of her was set up in the forum. (Dion Cass. lviii. 12.) From these temples we must distinguish the Atrium Libertatis, which was in the north of the forum, towards the Quirinal, probably on the elevated ground extending from the Quirinal to the Capitoline (Cic. ad Att. iv. 16; Liv. xliii. 16). This building, which had been restored as early as B. C. 195 (Liv. xxxiv. 44), and was newly built by Asinius Pollio (Suet. Aug. 29), served as an office of the censors (Liv. l. c. xliii. 16, xlv. 15), and sometimes also criminal trials were held (Cic. p. Mil. 22), and hostages were kept in it (Liv. xxv. 7). It also contained tables with laws inscribed upon them, and seems, to some extent, to have been used as public archives (Liv. xliii. 6; Fest.). After its rebuilding by Asinius Pollio, it became the repository of the first public library at Rome. Libertas is usually represented as a matron, with the pileus, the symbol of liberty, or a wreath of laurel. Sometimes she appears holding the Phrygian cap in her hand. (Dion Cass. xlvii. 25, lxiii. 29; Suet. Ner. 57; Hirt. Mythol. Bilderb. p. 115, tab. 13, 14.)

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Libitina, an ancient Italian divinity, who was identified by the later Romans sometimes with Persephone (on account of her connection with the dead and their burial) and sometimes with Aphrodite. The latter was probably the consequence of etymological speculations on the name Libitina, which people connected with libido (Plut. Num. 12, Quaest. Rom. 23). Her temple at Rome was a repository of everything necessary for burials, and persons might there either buy or hire those things. It was owing to this circumstance, that a person undertaking the proper burial of a person (an undertaker) was called libitinarius, and his business libitina, whence the expressions libitinam exercere, or facere (Senec. de Benef. vi. 38; Val. Max. v. 2.10), and libitina funeribus non sufficiebat, i. e. they could not all be buried (Liv. xl. 19, xli. 21). Also the utensils kept in the temple, especially the bed on which corpses were burnt, were called libitina (Plin. xxxvii. 3; Martial, x. 97; Ascon. Argum. ad Milon). Dionysius (iv. 79) relates that king Servius Tullius, in order to ascertain the number of persons who died, ordained that for each person that had died, a piece of money should be deposited in the temple of Libitina (Comp. Suet. Ner. 39). Owing to this connection of Libitina with the dead, Roman poets frequently employ her name in the sense of death itself. (Horat. Carm. iii. 30. 6; Sat. ii. 6, 19, Epist. ii. 1. 49; Juvenal. xiv. 122.)

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Lima, a Roman divinity protecting the threshold (limen, Arnob. adv. Gent. iv. 9); it is, however, not impossible that she may be the same as the dea Limentina.


Limentinus, the god protecting the threshold (limen) of the house. (Arnob. adv. Gent. i. 15, iv. 9, 11; Tertull. Idol. 15; August. de Civ. Dei, iv. 8, vi. 7.) Much superstition was connected among the Romans with the threshold, and many persons were very scrupulous in always putting the right foot across it first. (Petron. Sat. 30.)

Luna (the moon)

Luna, the moon. The sun and the moon were worshipped both by Greeks and Romans, and among the latter the worship of Luna is said to have been introduced by the Sabine T. Tatius, in the time of Romulus (Varro, de Ling. Lat. v. 74 ; Dionys. ii. 50). But, however this may be, it is certain, notwithstanding the assertion of Varro, that Sol and Luna were reckoned among the great gods, that their worship never occupied any prominent place in the religion of the Romans, for the two divinities had between them only a small chapel in the Via Sacra (Sext. Ruf. Reg. Urb. iv), Luna, on account of her greater influence upon the Roman mode of calculating time, seems to have been revered even more highly than Sol, for there was a considerable temple of her on the Aventine, the building of which was ascribed to Servius Tullius (Ov. Fast. iii. 883; Tac. Ann. xv. 41; P. Vict. Reg. Urb. xiii.). A second sanctuary of Luna existed on the Capitol, and a third on the Palatine, where she was worshipped under the name of Noctiluca, and where her temple was lighted up every night. (Varro, de Ling. Lat. v. 68; Horat. Carm. iv. 6. 38). Further particulars concerning her worship are not known.

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Luperca or Lupa

Luperca or Lupa, an ancient Italian divinity, the wife of Lupercus, who, in the shape of a she-wolf, performed the office of nurse to Romulus and Remus (Arnob. adv. Gent. iv. 3). In some accounts she is identified with Acca Laurentia, the wife of the shepherd Faustulus. (Liv. i. 4)


Lupercus, an ancient Italian divinity, who was worshipped by shepherds as the protector of their flocks against wolves, and at the same time as the promoter of the fertility among sheep, whence he was called Inuus or Ephialtes. On the north side of the Palatine hill there had been in ancient times a cave, the sanctuary of Lupercus, surrounded by a grove, containing an altar of the god and his figure clad in a goat-skin, just as his priests the Luperci (Dionys. i. 79; Justin. xliii. 1, 4; Liv. i. 5; Serv. ad Aen. vi. 776; Isidor. viii. 11, 103, &c.; Artemid. Oneir. ii. 42). The Romans sometimes identified Lupercus with the Arcadian Pan. Respecting the festival celebrated in honour of Lupercus and his priests, the Luperci, see Dict. of Ant. s. v. Lupercalia and Luperci.

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Penates. With Vesta and Lar, the household gods of the Romans; strictly the guardians of the store-room (penus), which in old Roman houses stood next the atrium; in later times, near the back of the building (penetralia). They were two in number, and presided over the well-being of the house, their blessing being shown in the fulness of the store-room. This chamber, therefore, as being sacred to them, was holy, and not to be entered except by chaste and undefiled persons. The hearth of the house was their altar, and on it were sculptured the figures of the two Penates beside that of the Lar. Often they were represented dancing and raising a drinking-horn to symbolize a joyful and prosperous life. The offerings to them were made jointly with those to the Lar. (See Lares.) There were also Penates belonging to the State. These at first had their temple in the Velian Quarter, where their statues stood below those of the Dioscuri. Afterwards it was supposed that the original Penates, brought from Samothrace [p. 1197] to Troy, and thence conveyed by Aeneas to Lavinium, were identical with certain symbols kept with the Palladium in a secret part of the temple of Vesta. The Penates of the Latin League, which were at first regarded as the Trojan Penates, were enshrined in the sanctuary at Lavinium. Annual offerings were brought to them by the Roman priests, and also by consuls, praetors, and dictators on assuming or laying down office, and by generals on their departure for their provinces.

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   Son of Poseidon and king of the Laestrygones, said to have founded Formiae in Italy.


PRAENESTE (Ancient city) LAZIO

Faustulus & Acca Laurentia

ROME (Ancient city) ITALY
Faustulus, the royal shepherd of Amulius and husband of Acca Laurentia. He found Romulus and Remus as they were nursed by the she-wolf, and carried the twins to his wife to be brought up. (Liv. i. 5), He was believed to have been killed, like Remus, by near relatives, while He was endeavouring to settle a dispute between them, and to have been buried in the forum near the rostra, were a stone figure of a lion marked his tomb. Others, however, believed that Romulus was buried there. (Festus, s. v. Niger Lapis; Dionys. i. 87)

Acca Laurentia or Larentia, a mythical woman who occurs in the stories in early Roman history. Macrobius (Sat. i. 10), with whom Plutarch (Quaest. Romn. 35; Romul. 5) agrees in the main points, relates the following tradition about her. In the reign of Ancus Martius a servant (aedituus) of the temple of Hercules invited during the holidays the god to a game of dice, promising that if he should lose the game, he would treat the god with a repast and a beautiful woman. When the god had conquered the servant, the latter shut up Acca Laurentia, then the most beautiful and most notorious woman, together with a well stored table in the temple of Hercules, who, when she left the sanctuary, advised her to try to gain the affection of the first wealthy man she should meet. She succeeded in making Carutius, an Etruscan, or as Plutarch calls him, Tarrutius, love and marry her. After his death she inherited his large property, which, when she herself died, she left to the Roman people. Ancus, in gratitude for this, allowed her to be buried in the Velabrum, and instituted an annual festival, the Larentalia, at which sacrifices were offered to the Lares (Comp. Varr. Ling. Lat. v.). According to others (Macer, apud Macrob. l. c.; Ov. Fast. iii. 55, &c.; Plin. H. N. xviii. 2), Acca Laurentia was the wife of the shepherd Faustulus and the nurse of Romulus and Remus after they had been taken from the she-wolf. Plutarch indeed states, that this Laurentia was altogether a different being from the one occurring in the reign of Ancus; but other writers, such as Macer, relate their stories as belonging to the same being (Comp. Gell. vi. 7). According to Massurius Sabinus in Gellius she was the mother of twelve sons, and when one of them died, Romulus stept into his place, and adopted in conjunction with the remaining eleven the name of fratres arvales. According to other accounts again she was not the wife of Faustulus, but a prostitute who from her mode of life was called lupa by the shepherds, and who left the property she gained in that way to the Roman people (Valer. Ant. ap. Gell. l. c.; Livy, i. 4). Whatever may be thought of the contradictory statements respecting Acca Laurentia, thus much seems clear, that she was of Etruscan origin, and connected with the worship of the Lares, from which her name Larentia itself seems to be derived. This appears further from the number of her sons, which answers to that of the twelve country Lares, and from the circumstance that the day sacred to her was followed by one sacred to the Lares.

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Faula or Fauna was, according to some, a concubine of Heracles in Italy; while, according to others, she was the wife or sister of Faunus. Latinus, who is called a son of Heracles by a concubine, was probably considered to be the son of Faula; whereas the common tradition describes him as a son of Faunus. Faula was identified by some of the ancients with the Greek Aphrodite (Verr. Flacc. ap. Lactant. de Fals. Relig. i. 20, Inst. Ep. ad Pentad. 20)


Camilla, a daughter of king Metabus of the Volscian town of Privernum. When her father, expelled by his subjects, came in his flight to the river Amasenus, he tied his infant daughter, whom he had previously devoted to the service of Diana, to a spear, and hurled it across the river. He himself then swam after it, and on reaching the opposite bank he found his child uninjured. He took her with him, and had her suckled by a mare. He brought her up in pure maidenhood, and she became one of the swift-footed servants of Diana, accustomed to the chase and to war. In the war between Aeneas and Turnus she assisted the latter, and was slain by Aruns. Diana avenged her death by sending Opis to kill Aruns, and to rescue the body of Camilla. (Virg. Aen. vii. 803, &c., xi. 432, &c., 648, &c.; Hygin. Fab. 252.) Servius (ad Aen. xi. 543 and 558) remarks, that she was called Camilla because she was engaged in the service of Diana, since all youthful priestesses were called Camilla by the Etruscans. That there were such Camillae as well as Camilli at Rome is expressly stated by Dionysius. (ii. 21, &c.; Fest. s. v. Camillus.)

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ROME (Ancient city) ITALY
Entoria, the daughter of a Roman countryman. Cronos (Saturn) who was once hospitably received by him, became, by his fair daughter, the father of four sons, Janus, Hymnus, Faustus, and Felix. Cronos taught the father the cultivation of the vine and the preparation of wine, enjoining him to teach his neighbours the same. This was done accordingly, but the country people, who became intoxicated with their new drink, thought it to be poison, and stoned their neighbour to death, whereupon his grandsons hung themselves in their grief. At a much later time, when the Romans were visited by a plague, they were told by the Delphic oracle, that the plague was a punishment for the outrage committed on Entoria's father, and Lutatius Catulus caused a temple to be erected to Cronos on the Tarpeian rock, and in it an altar with four faces. (Plut. Parall. Gr. et Rom. 9)

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Historic figures


CAIETA (Ancient city) LAZIO
Caieta, according to some accounts, the nurse of Aeneas (Virg. Aen. vii. 1; Ov. Mct. xiv. 442), and, according to others, the nurse of Creusa or Ascanius. (Serv. ad Aen. 1. c.) The promontory of Caieta, as well as the port and town of this name on the western coast of Italy, were believed to have been called after her.



Faunus, the son of Picus and father of Latinus, was the third in the series of the kings of the Laurentes. In his reign Faunus, like his two predecessors, Picus and Saturn, had promoted agriculture and the breeding of cattle among his subjects, and also distinguished himself as a hunter. (Plin. H. N. ix. 6; Propert. iv. 2. 34.) In his reign likewise the Arcadian Evander and Heracles were believed to have arrived in Latium. (Plut. Parall. Gr. et Rom. 38.) Faunus acts a very prominent part in the mythical history of Latium, for, independent of what he did for agriculture, he was regarded as one of the great founders of the religion of the country; hence Lactantius (i. 24.9) places him on an equality with Numa. He was therefore in later times worshipped in two distinct capacities: first, as the god of fields and shepherds, and secondly, as an oracular and prophetic divinity. The festival of the Faumalia, which was celebrated on the 5th of December, by the country people, with great feasting and merriment, had reference to him as the god of agriculture and cattle. (Horat. Carm. iii. 18.) As a prophetic god, he was believed to reveal the future to man, partly in dreams, and partly by voices of unknown origin. (Virg. Aen. vii. 81, &c.; Cic. de Nut. Deor. ii. 2, iii. 6, de Divin. i. 45.) What he was in this respect to the male sex, his wife Fauna or Faula was to the female, whence they bore the surnames Fatuus, Fatua, or Fatuellus, Fatuella, derived from fari, fatum. (Justin, xliii. 1; Lactant. i. 22.) They are said to have given their oracles in Saturnian verse, whence we may perhaps infer that there existed in Latium collections of oracles in this metre. (Varro, de L. L. vii. 36.) The places where such oracles were given were sacred groves, one near Tibur, around the well Albunea, and another on the Aventine, near Rome. (Virg. l. c.; Ov. Fast. iv. 649, &c.) The rites observed in the former place are minutely described by Virgil : a priest offered up a sheep and other sacrifices; and the person who consulted the oracle had to sleep one night on the skin of the victim, during which the god gave an answer to his questions either in a dream or in supernatural voices. Similar rites are described by Ovid as having taken place on the Aventine. (Comp. Isidor. viii. 11, 87.) There is a tradition that Numa, by a stratagem, compelled Picus and his son Faunus to reveal to him the secret of calling down lightning from heaven, and of purifying things struck by lightning. (Arnob. v. 1; Plut. Num. 15; Ov. Fast. iii. 291, &c.) At Rome there was a round temple of Faunus, surrounded with columns, on Mount Caelius and another was built to him, in B. C. 196, on the island in the Tiber, where sacrifices were offered to him on the ides of February, the day on which the Fabii had perished on the Cremera. (Liv. xxxiii. 42, xxxiv. 53; P. Vict. Reg. Urb. 2; Vitruv. iii. 1; Ov. Fast. ii. 193.) In consequence of the mauner in which be gave his oracles, he was looked upon as the author of spectral appearances and terrifying sounds (Dionys. v. 16); and he is therefore described as a wanton and voluptuous god, dwelling in woods, and fond of nymphs. (Horat. l. c.) The way in which the god manifested himself seems to have given rise to the idea of a plurality of fauns (Fauni), who are described as monsters, half goat, and with horns. (Ov. Fast. v. 99, Heroid. iv. 49.) Faunus thus gradually came to be identified with the Arcadian Pan, and the Fauni as identical with the Greek satyrs, whence Ovid (Met. vi. 392) uses the expression Fauni et Satyri fratres. As Faunus, and afterwards the Fauni, were believed to be particularly fond of frightening persons in various ways, it is not an improbable conjecture that Faunus may be a euphemistic name, and connected with faveo. (Hartung, Die Relig. d. Rom. vol. ii.)

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Latinus (Latinos), a king of Latium, is described in the common tradition as a son of Faunus and the nymph Marica, as a brother of Lavinius, and the husband of Amata, by whom he became the father of Lavinia, whom he gave in marriage to Aeneas (Virg. Aen. vii. 47, &c.; Serv. ad Aen. i. 6; Arnob. ii. 71). But along with this there are a variety of other traditions. Hesiod (Theog. 1013) calls him a son of Odysseus and Circe, and brother of Agrius, king of the Tyrrhenians, and Hyginus (Fab. 127) calls him a son of Telemachus and Circe, while others describe him as a son of Heracles, by an Hyperborean woman, who was afterwards married to Faunus (Dionys. i. 43), or as a son of Heracles by a daughter of Faunus (Justin. xliii. 1). Conon (Narr. 3) relates, that Latinus was the father of Laurina, whom he gave in marriage to Locrus, and that Latinus was slain by Heracles for having taken away from him the oxen of Geryones, According to Festus (s. v. Oscillum) Jupiter Latiaris once lived upon the earth under the name of Latinus, or Latinus after the fight with Mezentius suddenly disappeared, and was changed into Jupiter Latiaris. Hence the relation between Jupiter Latiaris and Latinus is perfectly analogous to that between Quirinus and Romulus, and Latinus may be conceived as an incarnation of the supreme god.

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Numa Pompilius (715-673 BC)

ROME (Ancient city) ITALY
Numa Pompilius, the second king of Rome. The legend of this king is so well told by Niebuhr (Hist. of Rome, vol. i. p. 237, &c.), from Livy and the ancient authorities, that we cannot do better than borrow his words. "On the death of Romulus the senate at first would not allow the election of a new king: every senator was to enjoy the royal power in rotation as interrex. In this way a year passed. The people, being treated more oppressively than before, were vehement in demanding the election of a sovereign to protect them. When the senate permitted it to be held, the Romans and Sabines disputed out of which nation the king should be taken. It was agreed that the former should choose him out of the latter: and all voices concurred in naming the wise and pious Numa Pompilius of Cures, who had married the daughter of Tatius.
"It was a very prevalent belief in antiquity that Numa had derived his knowledge from the Greek Pythagoras; Polybius and other writers attempted to show that this was impossible, for chronological reasons, inasmuch as Pythagoras did not come into Italy till the reign of Servius Tullius; but an inpartial critic, who does not believe that the son of Mnesarehus was the only Pythagoras, or that there is any kind of necessity for placing Numa in the twentieth Olympiad, or, in fine, that the historical personality of Pythagoras is more certain than that of Numa, will be pleased with the old popular opinion, and will not sacrifice it to chronology.
" When Numa was assured by the auguries that the gods approved of his election, the first care of the pious king was turned, not to the rites of the temples, but to human institutions. He divided the lands which Romulus had conquered and had left open to occupancy. He founded the worship of Terminus. It was not till after he had done this that Numa set himself to legislate for religion. He was revered as the author of the Roman ceremonial law. Instructed by the Camena Egeria, who was espoused to him in a visible form, and who led him into the assemblies of her sisters in the sacred grove, he regulated the whole hierarchy; the pontiffs, who took care, by precept and by chastisement, that the laws relating to religion should be observed both by individuals and by the state; the augurs, whose calling it was to afford security for the councils of men by piercing into those of the gods; the flamens, who ministered in the temples of the supreme deities; the chaste virgins of Vesta; the Salii, who solemnised the worship of the gods with armed dances and songs. He prescribed the rites according to which the people might offer worship and prayer acceptable to the gods. To him were revealed the conjurations for compelling Jupiter himself to make known his will, by lightnings and the flight of birds: whereas others were forced to wait for these prodigies from the favour of the god, who was often silent to such as were doomed to destruction. This charm he learnt from Faunus and Picus, whom, by the advice of Egeria, he enticed and bound in chains, as Midas bound Silenus in the rose garden. From this pious prince the god brooked such boldness. At Numa's entreaty he exempted the people from the terrible duty of offering up human sacrifices. But when the audacious Tullus presumed to imitate his predecessor, he was killed by a flash of lightning during his conjurations in the temple of Jupiter Elicius. The thirty-nine years of Numa's reign, which glided away in quiet happiness, without any war or any calamity, afforded no legends but of such marvels. That nothing might break the peace of his days, the ancile fell from heaven, [p. 1213] when the land was threatened with a pestilence, which disappeared as soon as Numa ordained the ceremonies of the Salii. Numa was not a theme of song, like Romulus; indeed he enjoined that, among all the Camenae, the highest honours should be paid to Tacita. Yet a story was handed down, that, when he was entertaining his guests, the plain food in the earthenware dishes were turned on the appearance of Egeria into a banquet fit for gods, in vessels of gold, in order that her divinity might be made manifest to the incredulous. The temple of Janus, his work, continued always shut: peace was spread over Italy; until Numa, like the darlings of the gods in the golden age, fell asleep, full of days. Egeria melted away in tears into a fountain".
  The sacred books of Numa, in which he prescribed all the religious rites and ceremonies, were said to have been buried near him in a separate tomb, and to have been discovered by accident, five hundred years afterwards, by one Terentius, in the consulship of Cornelius and Baebius, B. C. 181. By Terentius they were carried to the city-praetor Petilius, and were found to consist of twelve or seven books, in Latin, on ecclesiastical law (de jure pontificum), and the same number of books in Greek on philosophy: the latter were burnt at the command of the senate, but the former were carefully preserved. The story of the discovery of these books is evidently a forgery; and the books, which were ascribed to Numa, and which were extant at a later time, were evidently nothing more than ancient works containing an account of the ceremonial of the Roman religion (Plut. Numa; Liv. i. 18-21; Cic. de Rep. ii. 13-15; Dionys. ii. 58-66; Plin. H. N. xiii. 14. s. 27 ; Val. Max. i. 1. § 12; August. de Civ. Dei, vii. 34).
  It would be idle to inquire into the historical reality of Numa. Whether such a person ever existed or not, we cannot look upon the second king of Rome as a real historical personage. His name represents the rule of law and order, and to him are ascribed all those ecclesiastical institutions which formed the basis of the ceremonial religion of the Romans. Some modern writers connect his name with the word nomos, " law" (Hartung, Die Religion der Romer), but this is mere fancy. It would be impossible to enter into a history of the various institutions of this king, without discussing the whole ecclesiastical system of the Romans, a subject which would be freign to this work. We would only remark, that the universal tradition of tile Sabine origin of Numa intimates that the Romans must have derived a great portion of their religious system from the Sabines, rather than from the Etruscans, as is commonly believed.

This text is from: A Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities (1890) (eds. William Smith, LLD, William Wayte, G. E. Marindin). Cited Jan 2006 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks

Hostilius, Tulus (670-638 BC)

Tulus Hostilius, grandson of Hostus Hostilius (see ancient Medullia), was the third king of Rome. Thirty-two vears -from about B. C. 670 to 638- were assigned by the annalists to his reign. According to the legends, his history ran as follows: Hostilius departed from the peaceful ways of Numa, and aspired to the martial renown of Romulus. He made Alba acknowledge Rome's supremacy in the war wherein the three Roman brothers, the Horatii, fought with the three Alban brothers, the Curiatii, at the Fossa Cluilia. Next he warred with Fidenae and with Veii, and being straitly pressed by their joint hosts, he vowed temples to Pallor and Pavor -Paleness and Panic. And after the fight was won, he tore asunder with chariots Mettius Fufetius, the king or dictator of Alba, because he had desired to betray Rome; and he utterly destroyed Alba, sparing only the temples of the gods, and bringing the Alban people to Rome, where he gave them the Caelian hill to dwell on. Then he turned himself to war with the Sabines, who, he said, had wronged the Roman merchants at the temple of Feronia, at the foot of Mount Soracte; and being again straitened in fight in a wood called the Wicked Wood, he vowed a yearly festival to Saturn and Ops, and to double the number of the Salii, or priests of Mamers. And when, by their help, he had vanquished the Sabines, he performed his vow, and its records were the feasts Saturnalia and Opalia. But while Hostilius thus warred with the nations northward and eastward of the city, he leagued himself with the Latins and with the Hernicans, so that while he was besieging Veii, the men of Tusculum and of Anagnia encamped on the Esquiline hill, and kept guard over Rome, where the city was most open. Yet, in his old days, Hostilius grew weary of warring; and when a pestilence struck him and his people, and a shower of burning stones fell from heaven on Mount Alba, and a voice as of the Alban gods came forth from the solitary temple of Jupiter on its summit, he remembered the peaceful and happy days of Numa, and sought to win the favour of the gods, as Numa had done, by prayer and divination. But the gods heeded neither his prayers nor his charms, and when he would inquire of Jupiter Elicius, Jupiter was wroth, and smote Hostilius and his whole house with fire. Later times placed his sepulchre on the Velian hill.
  That the story of Tullus Hostilius in Dionysius and Livy is the prose form of an heroic legend there seems little reason to doubt. The incidents of the Alban war, the meeting of the armies on the boundary line of Rome and Alba, the combat of the triad of brethren, the destruction of the city, the wrath of the gods, and the extinction of the Hostilian house, are genuine poetical features. Perhaps the only historical fact embodied in them is the ruin of Alba itself; and even this is misrepresented, since, had a Roman king destroyed it, the territory and city would have become Roman, whereas Alba remained a member of the Latin league until the dissolution of that confederacy in B. C. 338. Yet, on the other hand, with Hostilius begins a new era in the early history of Rome, the ytho-historical, with higher pretensions and perhaps nearer approaches to fact and personality. As Romulus was the founder and eponymus of the Ramnes or first tribe, and Tatius of the Titienses or second, so Hostilius, a Latin of Medullia, was probably the founder of the third patrician tribe, the Luceres, which, whatever Etruscan admixture it may have had, was certainly in its main element Latin. Hostilius assigned lands, added to a national priesthood, and to the patriciate, instituted new religious festivals, and, according to one account at least, increased the number of the equites, all of which are tokens of permanent additions to the populus or burgherdom, and characteristics of a founder of the nation. Consistent with these glimpses of historical existence are his building the Hostilia curia, and his enclosure of the comitium. He was not therefore, like Romulus, merely an eponymus, nor, like Numa, merely an abstraction of one element, the religious phase of the commonwealth, but a hero-king, whose personality is dimly visible through the fragments of dismembered record and among the luminous clouds of poetic colouring.
(Dionys. iii. 1-36; Liv. i. 22-32; Cic. de Rep. ii. 17).

This text is from: A dictionary of Greek and Roman biography and mythology, 1873 (ed. William Smith). Cited Jan 2006 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks

Ancus Marcius (642-617 BC)

Ancus Marcius, the fourth king of Rome, is said to have reigned twenty-three or twenty-four years, from about B. C. 638 to 614. According to tradition he was the son of Numa's daughter, and sought to tread in the footsteps of his grandfather by reestablishing the religious ceremonies which had fallen into neglect. But a war with the Latins called him from the pursuits of peace. He conquered the Latins, took many Latin towns, transported the inhabitants to Rome, and gave them the Aventine to dwell on. These conquered Latins, according to Niebuhr's views, formed the original Plebs. (Dict. of Ant. s. v. Plebs.) It is related further of Ancus, that he founded a colony at Ostia, at the mouth of the Tiber; built a fortress on the Janiculum as a protection against Etruria, and united it with the city by a bridge across the Tiber; dug the ditch of the Quirites, as it was called, which was a defence for the open ground between the Caelian and the Palatine; and built a prison to restrain offenders, who were increasing.
(Liv. i. 32, 33; Dionys. iii. 36-45; Cic. de Rep. ii. 18; Plut. Num. 21)

This text is from: A dictionary of Greek and Roman biography and mythology, 1873 (ed. William Smith). Cited Jan 2006 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks

Tarquinius Priscus (617-579 BC)

Tarquinius, the name of a family in early Roman history, to which the fifth and seventh kings of Rome belonged. The table on the following page represents the genealogy of the family according to Livy.
  The legend of the Tarquins ran as follows. The Tarquins were of Greek extraction. Demaratus, their ancestor, belonged to the noble family of the Bacchiadae at Corinth, and fled from his native city when the power of his order was overthrown by Cypselus. He settled at Tarquinii in Etruria, where he had mercantile connections, for commerce had not been considered disreputable among the Corinthian nobles. He brought great wealth with him, and is said to have been accompanied by tile painter Cleophantus, and by Eucheir and Eugrammus, masters of the plastic arts, and likewise to have introduced among the Etruscans the knowledge of alphabetical writing (Plin. H.N. xxxv. 5. s. 43; Tac. Ann. xi. 14). He married an Etruscan wife, by whom he had two sons, Lucumo and Aruns. The latter died in the lifetime of his father, leaving his wife pregnant; but as Demaratus was ignorant of this circumstance, he bequeathed all his property to Lucumo, and died himself shortly afterwards. 1 But, although Lucumo was thus one of the most wealthy persons at Tarquinii, and had married Tanaquil, who belonged to a family of the highest rank, the was excluded, as a Stranger, from all power and influence in the state. Discontented with this inferior position, and urged on by his wife, he resolved to leave Tarquinii and remove to Rome, where a new eitizen had more chance of obtaining distinction. He accordingly set out for Rome, riding in a chariot with his wife, and accompanied by a large train of followers. When they had reached the Janiculum and were already within sight of Rome, an eagle seized his cap, and after carrying it away to a great height placed it again upon his head. Tanaquil, who was skilled in the Etruscan science of augury, bade her husband hope for the highest honour from this omen. Her predictions were soon verified. The stranger was received with welcome, and he and his followers were admitted to the rights of Roman citizens. He took the name of L. Tarquinius, to which Livy adds Priscus. His wealth, his courage, and his wisdom, gained him the love both of Ancus Marcius and of the people. The former appointed him guardian of his children; and, when he died, the senate and the people unanimously elected Tarquinius to the vacant throne.
  The reign of Tarquinius was distinguished by great exploits in war, and by great works in peace. The history of his wars is related very differently by Livy and Dionysius. According to the former writer lie waged war with the Latins and Sabines with great success. lie first destroyed the wealthy town of Apiolae, which belonged to the Sabines, and subsequently took the Latin towns of Cameria, Crustumerium, Medullia, Ameriola, Ficulnea, Corniculum, and Nomentum. But his most memorable exploit was the defeat of the Sabines, who had advanced up to the very gates of Rome. They were at first driven back after a doubtful struggle, but were subsequently overthrown with great loss upon the Anio, and compelled to sue for peace. They ceded to the Romans the town of Collatia, where Tarquinius placed a strong garrison, the command of which he entrusted to Egerius, the son of his deceased brother Aruns, who, with his family, took the surname of Collatinus. Several traditions are connected with this war. The king's son, a youth of fourteen, slew a foe with his own hand, and received as a reward a golden bulla and a robe bordered with purple; and these remained in after times the ornaments and dress of youths of noble rank. In this war, also, Tarquinius is said to have vowed the building of the Capitol.
  Livy says nothing more respecting the wars of this king, but Dionysius relates at great length his wars with the Etruscans. According to the latter writer five of the great Etruscan cities sent assistance to the Latins, which proved ineffectual; and subsequently all the twelve cities united their forces against Rome, but were overcome by Tarquinius, and compelled to submit to his authority. They are further stated to have done homage to him by presenting him with a golden crown, an ivory throne and sceptre, a purple tunic and robe figured with gold, and other badges of kingly power, such as the Etruscans used when their twelve cities chose a common chief in war (Dionys. iii. 57, 59, 61). Thus, according to this story, Tarquinius ruled over the Latins, Sabines, and Etruscans, as well as Romans; but no Latin writer mentions this war with the Etruscans, with the exception of Florus (i. 5), and the compiler of the triumphal Fasti. Cicero (de Rep. ii. 20) and Strabo (v. p. 231) relate that Tarquinius also subdued the Aequi but this war is not mentioned by Dionysius, and is referred by Livy (i. 55) to Tarquinius Superbus.
  Although the wars of Tarquinius were of great celebrity, the important works which he executed in peace have made his name still more famous. Many of these works are ascribed in some stories to the second Tarquinius, but almost all traditions agree in assigning to the elder Tarquinius the erection of the vast sewers by which the lower parts of the city were drained, and which still remain, with not a stone displaced, to bear witness to his power and wealth (See Cloaca). The quay by which the Tiber is banked, and through which the sewer opens into it, must clearly have been executed at the same time, and may therefore be safely ascribed to the elder Tarquinius.
  The same king is also said in some traditions to have laid out the Circus Maximus in the valley which had been redeemed from water by the sewers, and also to have instituted the Great or Roman Games, which were henceforth performed in the Circus. The Forum, with its porticoes and rows of shops, was also his work, and he likewise began to surround the city with a stone wall, a work which was finished by his successor Servius Tullius. The building of the Capitoline temple is moreover attributed to the elder Tarquinius, though most traditions ascribe this work to his son, and only the vow to the father.
  Tarquinius also made some changes in the constitution of the state. He added a hundred new members to the senate, who were called patres minorum gentium, to distinguish them from the old senators, who were now called padres majorum gentium. He wished to add to the three centuries of equites established by Romulus three new centuries, and to call them after himself and two of his friends. His plan was opposed by the augur Attus Navius, who gave a convincing proof that the gods were opposed to his purpose. Accordingly he gave up his design of establishing new centuries, but to each of the former centuries lie associated another tinder the same name, so that henceforth there were the first and second Ramnes, Titles, and Luceres. He increased the number of Vestal Virgins from four to six.
  Tarquinius had reigned thirty-eight years, when lie was assassinated by the contrivance of the sons of Ancus Marcius. They had long wished to take vengeance upon him on account of their being deprived of the throne, and now fearing lest he should secure the succession to his son-in-law Servius Tullius, they hired two countrymen, who, feigning to have a quarrel, came before the king to have their dispute decided; and while he was listening to the complaint of one, the other gave him a deadly wound with his axe. But the sons of Marcius did not secure the reward of their crime, for Servius Tullius, with the assistance of Tanaquil, succeeded to the vacant throne. Tarquinius left two sons and two daughters. His two sons, L. Tarquinius and Aruns, were subsequently married to the two daughters of Servius Tullius. One of his daughters was married to Servius Tullius, and the other to M. Brutus, by whom she became the mother of the celebrated L. Brutus, the first consul at Rome. The principal authorities for the life of Tarquinius Priscus are Livy (i. 34-41), Dionysius (iii. 46-73, iv. I), and Cicero (de Rep. iii. 20).
The life of Servius Tullius is given under Tullius. There it is related how he was murdered, after a reign of forty-four years, by his son-in-law, L. Tarquinius, who had been urged on by his wicked wife to commit the dreadful deed. The Roman writers represent the younger Tarquinius as a cruel and tyrannical monarch, and the fact of his being the last king of Rome has doubtless contributed not a little to blacken his character. The estimation in which he was held by the Romans is shown by his surname of Superbus.

This text is from: A dictionary of Greek and Roman biography and mythology, 1873 (ed. William Smith). Cited Jan 2006 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks

Servius Tullius (579-534 BC)

Tullius, Servius, the sixth king of Rome. The account of the early life and death of Servius Tullius is full of marvels, and cannot be regarded as possessing any title to a real historical narrative. According to the general tradition, he was of servile origin, and owed his elevation to the favour of the gods, and especially to the protection of the goddess Fortune, with whom he was always a favourite. During his life-time she used to visit him secretly in his chamber as his spouse; and after his death, his statue was placed in her temple, and remained unhurt when the temple itself was once destroyed by fire (Ov. Fast. vi. 573, foll., 625; Val. Max. i. 8.11). The future greatness of Servius was announced by a miracle before his birth. His mother Ocrisia, a female slave of the queen's, and one of the captives taken at Corniculum, was offering cakes to the Lar or the household genius, when she saw in the fire on the hearth an apparition of the deity. Tanaquil, who understood the portent, commanded her to dress herself as a bride, and to shut herself up in the chamber. There she became pregnant by the god. whom some Romans maintained to be the household genius, and others Vulcan; the former supporting their opinion by the festival which Servius established in honour of the Lares, the latter by the deliverance of his statue from fire (Ov. Fast. vi. 625, foil.; Dionys. iv. 2). There are two other legends respecting the birth of Servius, which have more of an historical air, and may therefore be regarded as of later origin. One related that his mother was a slave from Tarquinii, that his father was a client of the king, and that he himself was brought up in the palace with the other household slaves, and waited at the royal table (Cic. de Rep. ii. 21). The other legend, which gives Servius a nobler origin, and which is therefore preferred both by Dionysius and Livy, states that his father, likewise called Servius Tullius, was a noble of Corniculum, who was slain at the taking of the city, and that his mother, then in a state of pregnancy, was carried away captive to Rome where she gave birth to the future king in the royal palace. The prodigies which preceded the birth of Servius accompanied his youth. Once as he was sleeping at mid-day in the porch of the palace, his head was seen surrounded with flames. Tanaquil forbade their being extinguished, for her prophetic spirit recognised the future destiny of the boy : they played around him without harming him, and when he awoke, the fire vanished. From this time forward Servius was brought up as the king's child with the greatest hopes. Nor were these hopes disappointed. By his personal bravery he gained a battle which the Romans had nearly lost; and Tarquinius placed such confidence in him, that he gave him his daughter in marriage, and entrusted him with the exercise of the government. His rule was mild and beneficent ; and so popular did he become, that the sons of Ancus Marcius, fearing lest they should be deprived of the throne which they claimed as their inheritance, procured the assassination of Tarquinius. They did not, however, reap the fruit of their crime, for Tanaquil. pretending that the king's wound was not mortal, told the people that Tarquinius would recover in a few days, and that he had commanded Servius meantime to discharge the duties of the kingly office. Servius forthwith began to act as king, greatly to the satisfaction of the people; and when the death of Tarquinius could no longer be concealed, he was already in firm possession of the royal power. Servius thus succeeded to the throne without being elected by the senate and the curiae; but the curiae afterwards, at his own request, invested him with the imperium. (Cic. de Rep. ii. 21; Dionys. iv. 12)
  The reign of Servius Tullius is almost as barrel of military exploits as that of Numa. The only war which Livy mentions (i. 42) is one against Veii, which was brought to a speedy conclusion. This war is magnified by Dionysius (iv. 27) into victories over the whole Etruscan nation, which is said to have revolted after the death of Tarquinius Priscus; and these pretended triumphs have found their way into the Fasti, where they are recorded, with the year and date of their occurrence. But the great deeds of Servius were deeds of peace ; and he was regarded by posterity as the author of all their civil rights and institutions, just as Numa was of their religious rites and ordinances. Three important events are assigned to Servius by universal tradition. First he established a constitution, in which the plebs took its place as the second part of the nation, and of which we shall speak more fully below. Secondly, he extended the pomoerium, or hallowed boundary of the city (see Pomoerium), and completed the city by incorporating with it the Quirinal, Viminal and Esquiline hills. He surrounded the whole with a stone wall called after him the wall of Servius Tullius; and from the Porta Collina to the Esquiline Gate where the hills sloped gently to the plain, he constructed a gigantic mound, nearly a mile in length, and a moat, one hundred feet in breadth and thirty in depth, from which the earth of the mound was dug. Rome thus acquired a circumference of five miles, and this continued to be the legal extent of the city till the time of the emperors, although suburbs were added to it. Thirdly, Servius established an important alliance with the Latins, by which Rome and the cities of Latium became the members of one great league. As leagues of this kind were always connected among the ancients with the worship at some common temple, a temple of Diana or the Moon was built upon the Aventine, which was not included in the pomoerium, as the place of the religious meetings of the two nations. It appears that the Sabines likewise shared in the worship of this temple. There was a celebrated tradition, that a Sabine husbandman had a cow of extraordinary beauty and size, and that the soothsayers had predicted that whoever should sacrifice this cow to Diana on the Aventine, would raise his country to rule over the confederates. The Sabine, anxious to secure the supremacy of his own people, had driven the cow to Rome, and was on the point of sacrificing her before the altar, when the crafty Roman priest rebuked him for daring to offer it with unwashed hands. While the Sabine went and washed in the Tiber, the Roman sacrificed the cow. The gigantic horns of the animal were preserved down to very late times, nailed up in the vestibule (Liv. i. 45). From the fact that the Aventine was selected as the place of meeting, it has been inferred that the supremacy of Rome was acknowledged by the Latins; but since we find it expressly stated that this supremacy was not acquired till the reign of Tarquinius Superbus, this view is perhaps not strictly correct.
  After Servius had established his new constitution, he did homage to the majesty of the centuries, by calling them together, and leaving them to decide whether he was to reign over them or not. The body which he had called into existence, naturally ratified his power, and declared him to be their king. The patricians, however, were far from acquiescing in the new order of things, and hated the man who had deprived them of their exclusive rule, and had conferred such important benefits upon the plebeians. In addition to his constitutional changes in favour of the second order in the state, tradition related, that out of his private wealth, he discharged the debts of those who were reduced to indigence; that he deprived the creditor of the power of seizing the body of his debtor, and restricted him to the seizure of the goods of the latter; and that he assigned to the plebeians allotments of lands out of the territories which they had won in war (Cic. de Rep. ii. 21 ; Dionys. iv. 9; Liv. i. 46). The king had good reasons for mistrusting the patricians. Accordingly, when he took up his residence on the Esquiline, he would not allow them to dwell there, but assigned to them the valley, which was called after them the Patricius Vicus, or Patrician Street (Festus s. v.). Meantime, the long and uninterrupted popularity of the king seemed to deprive L. Tarquinius more and more of the chance of regaining the throne of his father. The patricians, anxious to recover their supremacy, readily joined Tarquinius in a conspiracy to assassinate the king. The legend of his death is too celebrated to be omitted here, although it perhaps contains no further truth than that Servius fell a victim to a patrician conspiracy, the leader of which was the son or descendant of the former king. The legend ran as follows. Servius Tullius, soon after his succession, gave his two daughters in marriage to the two sons of Tarquinius Priscus. L. Tarquinius the elder was married to a quiet and gentle wife; Aruns, the younger, to an aspiring and ambitious woman. The character of the two brothers was the very opposite of the wives who had fallen to their lot ; for Lucius was proud and haughty, but Aruns unambitious and quiet. The wife of Aruns, enraged at the long life of her father, and fearing that at his death her husband would tamely resign the sovereignty to his elder brother, resolved to destroy both her father and her husband. Her fiendish spirit put into the heart of Lucius thoughts of crime which he had never entertained before. Lucius murdered his wife, and the younger Tullia her husband; and the survivors, without even the show of mourning, were straightway joined in unhallowed wedlock. Tullia now incessantly urged her husband to murder her father, and thus obtain the kingdom which he so ardently coveted. It was said that their design was hastened by the belief that Servius, in order to complete his legislation, entertained the thought of laying down his kingly power, and establishing the consular form of government. The patricians were no less alarmed at this scheme, as it would have had the effect of confirming for ever the hated laws of Servius. Their mutual hatred and fears united them closely together; and when the conspiracy was ripe, Tarquinius entered the forum arrayed in the kingly robes, seated himself in the royal chair in the senate-house, and ordered the senators to be summoned to him as their king. At the first news of the commotion, Servius hastened to the senate-house, and standing at the door-way, ordered Tarquinius to come down from the throne. Tarquinius sprang forward, seized the old man, and flung him down the stone steps. Covered with blood, the king was hastening home; but, before he reached it, he was overtaken by the servants of Tarquinius, and murdered. Tullia drove to the senate-house, and greeted her husband as king; but her transports of joy struck even him with horror. He bade her go home; and as she was returning, her charioteer pulled up, and pointed out the corpse of her father lying in his blood across the road. She commanded him to drive on; the blood of her father spirted over the carriage and on her dress; and from that day forward the street bore the name of the Vicus Sceleratus, or Wicked Street. The body lay unburied, for Tarquinius said scoffingly, "Romulus too went without burial"; and this impious mockery is said to have given rise to his surname of Superbus (Liv. i. 46-48; Ov. Fast. vi. 581, foll.). Servius had reigned forty four years. His memory was long cherished by the plebeians, and his birth-day was celebrated on the nones of every month, for it was remembered that he was born on the nones of some month, but the month itself had become a matter of uncertainty. At a later time, when the oppressions of the patricians became more and more intolerable, the senate found it necessary to forbid the markets to be holden on the nones, lest the people should attempt an insurrection to restore the laws of their martyred monarch. (Macrob. Sat. i. 13)
  The Roman traditions, as we have seen, were unanimous in making Servius Tullius of Latin origin. He is universally stated to have been the son of a native of Corniculum, which was a Latin town; and Niebuhr, in his Lectures, supposes that he may have been the offspring of a marriage between one of the Luceres and a woman of Cornienlum, previously to the establishment of the connubium, and that this may be the foundation of the story of his descent. His name Tullius also indicates a Latin origin, since the Tullii are expressly mentioned as one of the Alban gentes which were received into the Latin state in the reign of Tullus Hostilius. (Liv. i. 30.) His institutions, likewise, bear all the traces of a Latin character. But the Etruscan tradition about this king was entirely different, and made him a native of Etruria. This Etruscan tradition was related by the emperor Claudius, in a speech which he made upon the admission of some Lugdunensian Gauls into the senate; and the fragments of which are still preserved on two tables discovered at Lyons in the sixteenth century. and since the time of Lipsius have been printed in most editions of Tacitus. In this speech Claudius says "that, according to the Tuscans, Servius was the faithful companion of Caeles Vibenna, and shared all his fortunes: that at last being overpowered by a variety of disasters, he quitted Etruria with the remains of the army which had served under Caeles, went to Rome, and occupied the Caelian Hill, calling it so after his former commander: that he exchanged his Tuscan name Mastarna for the Roman one of Servius Tullius, obtained the kingly power, and wielded it to the great good of the state". This Caeles Vibenna was well known to the Roman writers, according to whom he came himself to Rome, though the statements in whose reign he came differed greatly. All accounts, however, represent him as a leader of an army raised by himself, and not belonging to any state, and as coming to Rome by the invitation of the Roman kings, to assist them. (see Caeles) There can be no question that the emperor Claudius drew his account from Etruscan annals; and there is no reason for disbelieving that Caeles Vibenna and Mastarna are historical personages, for, as Niebuhr observes, Caeles is too frequently and too distinctly mentioned to be fabulous, and his Etruscan name cannot have been invented by the Romans. The value of the tradition about Mastarna would very much depend upon the date of the Etruscan authorities, from whom Claudius derived his account; but on this point we are entirely in the dark. Niebuhr, in the first edition of his history, inclined strongly to the opinion that Rome was of Etruscan origin, and in his lectures, delivered in the year 1826, he adopted the Etruscan tradition respecting the origin of Servius Tullius, on the ground "that Etruscan literature is so decidedly more ancient than that of the Romans, that he did not hesitate to give preference to the traditions of the former". In the second edition of his history, however, Niebuhr so completely abandoned his former idea of the Etruscan origin of Rome, that he would not even admit the Etruscan origin of the Luceres, a point in which most subsequent scholars dissent from him; and in his Lectures of the year 1828, he strongly maintains the Latin origin of Servius Tullius, and asserts his belief that "Etruscan literature is mostly assigned to too early a period, and that to the time from the Hannibalian war down to the time of Sulla, a period of somewhat more than a century, most of the literary productions of the Etruscans must be referred". But the fact is that whether we are to follow the Etruscan or the Roman tradition about Servius is one of those points on which no certainty can be by any possibility obtained. So much seems clear, that Servius usurped the throne : he seized the royalty upon the murder of the former king, without being elected by the senate and the comitia, and he introduced great constitutional changes, apparently to strengthen his power against a powerful faction in the state. It is equally clear that his reign came to a violent end: he was dethroned and murdered by the descendants of the previous king, in league with his enemies in the state, who sought to recover the power of which they had been dispossessed. Now if we are right in our supposition that Tarquinius Priscus and Tarquinius Superbus were both of Etruscan origin, and represent an Etruscan sovereignty at Rome, it seems to follow that the reign of Servius Tullius represents a successful attempt of the Latins to recover their independence, or in any case the sovereignty of an Etruscan people different from the one to which the Tarquins belonged. Further than this we cannot go; and it seems to us impossible to determine which supposition has the greatest preponderance of evidence in its favour. K. O. Miller adopted the latter supposition. He believed that the Etruscan town of Tarquinii was at the head of the twelve cities of Etruria at this time, that it conquered Rome, and that the reign of Tarquinius Priscus represents the supremacy of the state of Tarquinii at Rome. He further supposed that the supremacy of Tarquinii may not have been universally acknowledged throughout Etruria, and that the army of Caeles and of his lieutenant Mastarna perhaps belonged to the town of Volsinii, which wished to maintain its independence against Tarquinii; that it was with the remains of this army that Mastarna eventually conquered Rome, and thus destroyed the dominion of Tarquinii in that city.

The most important event connected with the reign of Servius Tullius is the new constitution which he gave to the Roman state. The details of this constitution are stated in different articles in the Dictionary of Antiquities, and it is therefore only necessary to give here a general outline, which the [p. 1187] reader can fill up by references to the work just mentioned. The two main objects of the constitution of Servius were to give the plebs political independence, and to assign to property that influence in the state which had previously belonged to birth exclusively; and it cannot be questioned that the military and financial objects, which he secured by the changes he introduced, were regarded by him as of secondary importance. In order to carry his purpose into effect Servius made a two-fold division of the Roman people, one territorial, and the other according to property. He first divided the whole Roman territory into Regiones, and the inhabitants into Tribus, the people of each region forming a tribe. The city was divided into four regions or tribes, and the country around into twenty-six regions or tribes, so that the entire number of Tribus Urbanae and Tribus Rusticae, as they were respectively called, amounted to thirty (Liv. i. 43; Dionys. iv. 14, 15). Livy does not mention the number of the country tribes in his account of the Servian constitution, and we are indebted to Fabius Pictor, the oldest of the Roman annalists (Dionys. l. c.), and to Varro (ap. Non. p. 43), for the number of twenty-six. Moreover Livy, when he speaks of the whole number of the tribes in B. C. 495, says that they were made twenty-one in that year (Liv. ii. 21; comp. Dionys. vii. 64). Hence the statements of Fabius Pictor and Varro might appear to be doubtful. But in the first place their account has the greatest internal probability, since the number thirty plays such an important part in the Roman constitution, and the thirty tribes would thus correspond to the thirty curiae; and in the second place Niebuhr has called attention to the fact that in the war with Porsena, Rome lost a considerable part of her territory, and thus the number of her tribes would naturally be reduced. When, however, Niebuhr proceeds to say that the tribes were reduced in the war with Porsena from thirty to twenty, because it was the ancient practice in Italy to deprive a conquered nation of a third part of its territory, he seems to have forgotten, as Becker has remarked, that the four city tribes could not have been taken into account in such a forfeiture, and that consequently a third part of the territory would not have been ten tribes. Into this question, however, it is unnecessary further to enter. The conquest of Porsena had undoubtedly broken up the whole Servian system; and thus it was all the easier to form a new tribe in B. C. 504, when the gens Claudia migrated to Rome (Liv. ii. 16). It would appear that an entirely new distribution of the tribes became necessary, and this was probably carried into effect in B. C. 495, soon after the battle of the lake of Regillus. In fact the words of Livy (ii. 21) already referred to state as much, for he does not say that before this year there were twenty tribes, or that the twenty-first was then added for the first time, but simply that twenty-one tribes were then formed (Romae tribes una et viginti factae). The subsequent increase in the number of the tribes, till they reached that of thirty-five, is related in the Dictionary of Antiquities (s. v. Tribus). But to return from this digression to the Servian constitution. Each tribe was an organised body, with a magistrate at its head, called Phularchos by Dionysius (iv. 14), and Curator Tribus by Varro (L. L. vi. 86), whose principal duty appears to have consisted in keeping a register of the inhabitants in each regio, and of their property, for purposes of taxation, and for levying the troops for the armies. Further, each country tribe or regio was divided into a certain number of Pagi, a name which had been given to the divisions of the Roman territory as early as the reign of Numa (Dionys. ii. 76); and each Pagus also formed an organised body, with a Magister Pagi at its head, who kept a register of the names and of the property of all persons in the pagus, raised the taxes, and summoned the people, when necessary, to war. Each pagus had its own sacred rites and common sanctuary, connected with which was a yearly festival called Paganalia, at which all the Pagani took part. Dionysius says that the Pagi were fortified places, established by Servius Tullius, to which the country people might retreat in case of an hostile inroad ; but this is scarcely correct, for even if Servius Tullius established such fortified places, it is evident that the word was used to indicate a local division, and must have been given to the country adjoining the fortified place as well as to the fortified place itself (Dionys. iv. 15; Varr. L. L. vi. 24, 26 Macrob. Saturn. i. 16; Ov. Fast. i. 669) As the country tribes were divided into Pagi, so were the city tribes divided into Vici, with a Magister Vici at the head of each, who performed duties analogous to those of the Magister Pagi. The Vici in like manner had their own religious rites and sanctuaries, which were erected at spots where two or more ways met (in compitis); and consequently their festival, corresponding to the Paganalia, was called Compitalia. (Dionys. iv. 14)
  The main object which Servius had in view in the institution of the tribes was to give an organisation to the plebeians, of which they had been entirely destitute before; but whether the patricians were included in the tribes or not, is a subject of great difficulty, and has given rise to great difference of opinion among modern scholars, some regarding the division into tribes as a local division of the whole Roman people, and consequently of patricians and their clients as well as of plebeians, while others look upon it as simply an organisation of the second order. The undoubted object of Servius Tullius in the institution of the tribes led Niebuhr to maintain that the patricians could not possibly have belonged to the tribes originally ; but as we find them in the tribes at a later period (Liv. iv. 24, v. 30, 32), he supposed that they were admitted into them by the legislation of the decemvirs. But probable as this might appear, all the evidence we possess goes the other way, and tends to show that the tribes were a local division of the whole Roman people. In the first place, if Servius had created thirty local tribes for the plebs alone, from which the patricians were excluded, it is not easy to see why the three ancient tribes of the Ramnes, Tities, and Luceres, should not have continued in existence. This we know was not the case; for it is certain, that the three ancient tribes disappear from the time of the Servian constitution, and that their names alone were retained by the Equites, and that henceforward we read only of the division of the patricians into thirty curiae : indeed it is expressly said that the phulai genikai were abolished by Servius, and that the Phulai topikai were established in their place. (Dionys. iv. 14.) Secondly, it is certain that all the tribes of the year B. C. 495, with the exception of the Crustumina, take their names from patrician gentes. Thirdly, the establishment of the Claudian tribe, consisting as it did mainly of the patrician Claudia gens, is almost of itself sufficient to prove that patricians were included in the Servian tribes. Niebuhr lays great stress upon the fact that in no instance do we find the patricians voting in the Comitia Tributa before the time of the decemvirs ; but as Becker very justly remarks, this does not pros e any thing, as we have no reason for supposing that the Comitia Tributa were established by Servius along with the tribes. Such an assembly would have had no meaning in the Servian constitution, and would have been opposed to its first principles. The Comitia Tributa were called into existence, when the plebs began to struggle after independence, and had tribunes of their own at their head; and it is certainly improbable that patricians should have been allowed to vote in assemblies summoned by plebeian magistrates to promote the interests of the plebs. The Comitia Tributa must not therefore be regarded as assemblies of the tribes, as Becker has justly remarked. but as assemblies of the plebeians, who voted according to tribes, as their natural divisions. Hence as the same writer observes, we see the full force of the expression in the Leges Valeria Horatia, Publilia and Hortensia: "quod tributim plebes jussisset".
  The tribes therefore were an organisation of the whole Roman people, patricians as well as plebeians, according to their local divisions; but they were instituted, as we have already remarked, for the benefit of the plebeians, who had not, like the patricians, possessed previously any political organisation. At the same time, though the institution of the tribes gave the plebeians a political organisation, it conferred upon them no political power. no right to take any part in the management of public affairs or in the elections. These rights, however, were bestowed upon them by another institution of Servius Tullius, which was entirely distinct from and had no connection with the thirty tribes. He made a new division of the whole Roman people into Classes according to the amount of their property, and he so arranged thee classes that the wealthiest persons, whether patricians or plebeians, should possess the chief power and influence. In order to ascertain the property of each citizen, he instituted the Census, which was a register of Roman citizens and their property, and enacted that it should be taken anew from time to time. Under the republic it was taken afresh, as is well known, every five years, Lists of the citizens were made out by the curator tribus or magistrate of each tribe, and each citizen had to state upon oath the amount and value of his property. According to the returns thus obtained a division of the citizens was made, which determined the tax (tributum), which each citizen was to pay, the kind of military service he was to perform, and the position he was to occupy in the popular assembly. The whole arrangement was of a military character. The people assembled in the Campus as an army (exercitus, or, according to the more ancient expression. classis), and was therefore divided into two parts, the cavalry (equites), and infantry (pedites). The infantry was divided into five Classes. The first class contained all those persons whose property amounted at least to 100,000 asses: the second class those who had at least 75,000 asses the third those who had at least 50.000 asses: the fourth those who had at least 25,000 asses: and the fifth those who had at least 10,000 asses, according to Bockh's probable conjecture, for Dionysius makes the sum necessary for admission to this class 12,500 asses (12 1/2 minae) and Livy 11,000 asses. It must be recollected, however, that these numbers are not the ancient ones. when the as was a pound weight of copper, but those of the sixth century of the city. The original numbers were probably 20.000, 15.000, 10,000, 5000. and 2000 asses respectively, which were increased fivefold, when the as was coined so much lighter. Further, for military purposes each of the five classes was divided into elder (Seniores) and younger (Juniores) men : the former consisting of men from the age of 46 to 60, the latter of men from the age of 17 to 45. It was from the Juniores that the armies of the state were levied : the Seniores were not obliged to serve in the field. and could only be called upon to defend the city. Moreover, all the soldiers had to find their own arms and armour; but it was so arranged that the expense of the equipment should be in proportion to the wealth of each class.
  Servius however did not make this arrangement of the people for military purposes alone. He had another and more important object in view, namely, the creation of a new national assembly, which was to possess the powers formerly exercised by the Comitia curiata, and thus become the sovereign assembly in the state. For this purpose he divided each classes into a certain number of centuriae. each of which counted as one vote. But in accordance with the great principle of his constitution, which, as has been several times remarked, was to give the preponderance of power to wealth, a century was not made of a fixed number of men; but the first or richest class contained a far greater number of centuries than any of the other classes, although they must at the same time have contained a much smaller number of men. Thus the first class contained 80 centuries. the second 20, the third 20, the fourth 20, and the fifth 30, in all 170. One half of the centuries consisted of Seniores, and the other half of Juniores; by which an advantage was given to age and experience over youth and rashness, for the Seniores, though possessing an equal number of votes, must of course have been very inferior in number to the Juniores. Besides these 170 centuries of the classes, Servius formed five other centuries, admission into which did not depend upon the census. Of these the smiths and carpenters (fabri) formed two centuries, and the horn-blowers and trumpeters (cornicines and tubicines) two other centuries: these four centuries voted with the classes, but Livy and Dionysius give a different statement as to which of the classes they voted with. The other century not belonging to the classes, and erroneously called the sixth class by Dionysius, comprised all those persons whose property did not amount to that of the fifth class. This century, however, consisted of three subdivisions according to the amount of their property, called respectively the accensi velati, the proletarii and capite censi: the accensi velati were those. whose property was at least 1500 asses, or originally 300 asses, and they served as supernumeraries in the army without arms, but ready to take the arms and places of such as might fall in battle : the proletarii were those who had at least 375 asses, or originally 75 asses, and they were sometimes armed in pressing danger at the public expense : while the capite censi were all those whose property was less than the sum last mentioned, and they were never called upon to serve till the time of Marius. Thus the infantry or Pedites contained in all 175 centuries.
  The cavalry or Equites were divided by Servius Tullius into 18 centuries, which did not comprise Seniores or Juniores, but consisted only of men below the age of forty-six. The early history and arrangement of the Equites have given rise to much discussion among modern scholars, into which we cannot enter here. It is sufficient for our present purpose to state that Tarquinius Priscus had divided each of the three ancient centuries of equites into two troops, called respectively the first (priores) and second (posteriores) Ramnes, Tities, and Luceres. These three double centuries Servius Tullius formed into six new centuries, usually called the sex suffragia : and as they were merely a new organisation of the old body, they must have consisted exclusively of patricians. Besides these six centuries, Servius formed twelve others, taken from the richest and most distinguished families in the state, plebeian as well as patrician. There can be little question that a certain amount of property was necessary for admission to all the equestrian centuries, as well in consequence of the timocratic principle of this part of the Servian constitution, as on account of the express statement of Dionysius (iv. 18) that the equites were chosen by Servius out of the richest and most illustrious families, and of Cicero (de Rep. ii. 22) that they were of the highest census (censu maximo). Neither of these writers nor Livy mentions the property which was necessary to entitle a person to a place among the equites; but as we know that the equestrian census in the later times of the republic was four times the amount of that of the first class, it is probable that the same census was established by Servius Tullius. Niebuhr indeed supposed that the sex suffragia comprised all the patricians, independent of the property they possessed; but this supposition is, independent of other considerations, disproved by the tact, that we have express mention of a patrician, L. Tarquitius, who was compelled on account of his poverty to serve on foot.
  The 175 centuries of pedites and the 18 of equities thus made a total of 193 centuries. Of these, 97 forced a majority of votes in the assembly. Although all the Roman citizens had a vote in this assembly, which was called the Comitia Centuriata, from the voting by centuries, it will be seen at once that the poorer classes had not much influence in the assembly; for the 18 centuries of the equites and the 80 centuries of the first class, voted first; and if they could come to an agreement upon any measure, they possessed at once a majority, and there was no occasion to call upon the centuries of the other classes to vote at all. This was the great object of the institution, which was to give the power to wealth, and nut either to birth or to numbers.
  The preceding account of the centuries has been taken from Livy (i. 43) and Dionysius (iv. 16, foll.), who agree in all the main points. The account of Cicero (de Re Publ. ii. 22) cannot be reconciled with that of Livy and Dionysius, and owing to the corruptions of the text it is hopeless to make the attempt. The few discrepancies between Livy and Dionysius will be seen by the following table, taken from Becker, by which the reader will also perceive more clearly the census of each class, the number of centuries or votes which each contained, and the order in which they voted.

LIVY. EQUITES.--Centriae 18
I.    CLASSIS.--Census 100,000 asses.
     Centuriae Seniorum 40
     Centuriae Juniorum 40
     Centuriae Fabrum 2
II.  CLASSIS.--Census 75,000 asses.
     Centuriae Seniorum 10
     Centuriae Juniorum 10
III. CLASSIS.--Census 50,000 asses.
     Centuriae Seniorum 10
     Centuriae Juniorum 10
IV. CLASSIS.--Census 25,000 asses.
     Centuriae Seniorum 10
     Centuriae Juniorum 10
V.  CLASSIS.--Census 11,000 asses.
     Centuriae Seniorum 15
     Centuriae Juniorum 15
     Centuriae accensorum, cornicinum, tubicinum 3
     Centuria capite censorum 1
Sum total of the Centuriae 194

I.    CLASSIS.--Census 100 minae.
     Centuriae Seniorum 40
     Centuriae Juniorum 40
II.  CLASSIS.--Census 75 minae.
     Centuriae Seniorum 10
     Centuriae Juniorum 10
     Centuriae Fabrum 2
III. CLASSIS.--Census 50 minae.
     Centuriae Seniorum 10
     Centuriae Juniorum 10
IV. CLASSIS.--Census 25 minae.
     Centuriae Seniorum 10
     Centuriae Juniorum 10
     Centuriae cornic. et tubic. 2
V.  CLASSIS.--Census 121/2 minae.
     Centuriae Seniorum 15
     Centuriae Juniorum 15
     Centuria capite censorum 1
Sum total of the Centuriae 193

There can be little doubt that the number in Dionysius is the correct one. According to Livy's number cases might have arisen in which it was impossible to obtain a majority, as ninety-seven might have voted for a measure and ninety-seven against it. Moreover, Cicero (de Rep. ii. 22) describes ninety-six as the minority. The other discrepancies between Livy and Dionysius are of no great importance, and need not be discussed further in this place.
  The Assembly of the Centuries, or Comitia Centuriata, was made by Servius, as we have already remarked, the sovereign assembly of the nation, and it accordingly stept into the place formerly occupied by the Comitia Curiata. Servius transferred to it from the latter assembly the right of electing kings and the higher magistrates, of enacting and repealing laws, and of deciding upon war, and jurisdiction in cases of appeal from the sentence of a judge. He did not, however, abolish the Comitia Curiata, but on the contrary he allowed them very great power and influence in the state. He not only permitted them to retain the exercise of such rights as affected their own corporations, but he enacted that no vote of the Comitia Centuriata should he valid till it had received the sanction of the Comitia Curiata. This sanction of the Curiae is often expressed by the words patrum auctoritas or patres auctores facti, in which phrase patres mean the patricii. In course of time the sanction of the Curiae was abolished, or at least became a mere matter of form; but the successive steps by which this was accomplished do not belong to the present inquiry, and are related elsewhere.
  Although Servius gave the plebeians political rights and recognised them as the second order of the Roman people, it must not be supposed that he placed them on a footing of equality with the patricians. From the time of Servius they were cives, they had the jus civitatis, but not in its full extent. The jus civitatis included both the jus publicum and the jus privatum ; but of each of these rights they possessed only a portion. Of the jus publicum Servius gave to them only the jus suffragii, or right of voting in the comitia centuriata, but not the jus honorum, or eligibility to the public offices of the state. Of the jus privatum Servius conferred upon them only the commercium, by virtue of which they could become owners of land and could appear before the courts without the mediation of a patronus, but he did not grant to them the connubium, or right of marriage with the patricians. Moreover, they had no claim to the use of the public land, the possessio of which continued to be confined to the patricians, although the conquered lands were won by the blood of the second order as well as of the first; but, as some compensation for this injustice, Servius is said to have given to the poor plebeians small portions of the public land in full ownership (Dionys. iv. 9, 10, 13; Liv. i. 46 ; Zonar. vii. 9).
  The laws of Servius Tullius are said to have been committed to writing, and were known under the name of the Commentarii Servii Tullii. Dionysius says (iv. 13) that he regulated the commercium between the two orders by about fifty laws; but the commentaries of Servius Tullius, which are cited by later writers, such as Verrius Flaccus, can only have contained the substance of the laws ascribed to him; since the original laws, if they were ever committed to writing, must long since have perished.
The principal modern writers who have treated of the Servian constitution are: Niebuhr, Hist. of Rome, vol. i.; Goittling, Geschichte der Romischen Staatsverfassung; Gerlach, Die Verfassung d. Servius in ihrer Entwickelung, Basel, 1837; Huschke, Die Verfassung d. Kon. Serv. Tull., Heidelberg, 1838; Peter, Epochen d. Verfassungsgesch. der Romisch. Republ., Leigzig, 1841; Walter, Gesch. d. Romisch. Rechts; Becker, Handbuch d. Romisch. Alterthumer, vol. ii.

This text is from: A dictionary of Greek and Roman biography and mythology, 1873 (ed. William Smith). Cited Jan 2006 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks

Lucius Tarquinius Superbus (534-510 BC)

L. Tarquinius Superbus commenced his reign without any of the forms of election. He seized the kingdom as a recovered inheritance, and did not wait to be elected by the senate or the people, or to receive the imperium from the curiae. One of the first acts of his reign was to abolish all the privileges which had been conferred upon the plebeians by Servius, since the patricians had assisted him in obtaining the kingdom. He forbade the meetings of the tribes, and repealed the laws which had conferred civil equality upon the plebeians, and which had abolished the right of meizing the person of a debtor. He also compelled the poor to work at miserable wages upon his magnificent buildings, and the hardships which they suffered were so great that many put an end to their lives. But he did not confine his oppressions to the poor. All the senators and patricians whom he mistrusted, or whose wealth he coveted, were put to death or driven into exile. The vacant places in the senate were not filled up, and this body was scarcely ever consulted by him. He surrounded himself by a body-guard, by means of which he was enabled to do what he liked. But, although a tyrant at home, he raised the state to great influence and power among the surrounding nations, partly by his alliances and partly by his conquests. He gave his daughter in marriage to Octavius Mamilius of Tusculum, the most powerful of the Latin chiefs, and by his means he acquired great influence in Latium. Under his sway Rome became eventually the acknowledged head of the Latin confederacy. According to Cicero (de Rep. ii. 24) he subdued the whole of Latium by force of arms; but Livy and Dionysius represent his supremacy as due to his alliances and intrigues. Any Latin chiefs, like Turnus Herdonius, who attempted to resist him, were treated as traitors and punished with death. At the solemn meeting of the Latins at the Alban Mount, Tarquinius sacrificed the bull on behalf of all the allies, and distributed the flesh to the people of the league. So complete was the union of the Romans and the Latins that the soldiers of the two nations were not kept separate, but each maniple in the army was composed of both Romans and Latins. The Hernici also became members of the league, but their troops were kept apart from the Roman legions.
  Strengthened by this Latin alliance, and at the head of a formidable army, Tarquinius turned his arms against the Volscians. He took the wealthy town of Suessa Pometia, with the spoils of which he commenced the erection of the Capitol which his father had vowed; but great as these were, they were scarcely sufficient even for the foundations of this magnificent edifice, and the people were heavily taxed to complete the building. In digging for the foundations, a human head was discovered beneath the earth, undecayed and trickling with blood; and Etruscan soothsayers expounded the prodigy as a sign that Rome was destined to become the head of the world. In the vaults of this temple he deposited the Sibylline books, which the king purchased from a sibyl or prophetess. She had offered to sell him nine books for three hundred pieces of gold. The king refused the offer with scorn. Thereupon she went away, and burned three, and then demanded the same price for the six. The king still refused. She again went away and burnt three more, and still demanded the same price for the remaining three. The king now purchased the three books, and the sibyl disappeared.
  In order to secure his Volscian conquests, Tarquinius founded the colonies of Signia and Circeii. He was next engaged in a war with Gabii, one of the Latin cities, which refused to enter into the league. Unable to take the city by force of arms, Tarquinius had recourse to stratagem. His son, Sextus, pretending to be ill-treated by his father, and covered with the bloody marks of stripes, fled to Gabii. The infatuated inhabitants intrusted him with the command of their troops, and when he had obtained the unlimited confidence of the citizens, he sent a messenger to his father to inquire how he should deliver the city into his hands. The king, who was walking in his garden when the messenger arrived, made no reply, but kept striking off the heads of the tallest poppies with his stick. Sextus took the hint. He put to death or banished, on false charges, all the leading men of the place, and then had no difficulty in compelling it to submit to his father.
  In the midst of his prosperity, Tarquinius was troubled by a strange portent. A serpent crawled out from the altar in the royal palace, and seized on the entrails of the victim. The king, in fear, sent his two sons, Titus and Aruns, to consult the oracle at Delphi. They were accompanied by their cousin, L. Junius Brutus. One of the sisters of Tarquinius had been married to M. Brutus, a man of great wealth, who died, leaving two sons under age. Of these the elder was killed by Tarquinius. who coveted their possessions; the younger escaped his brother's fate only by feigning idiotcy. On arriving at Delphi, Brutus propitiated the priestess with the gift of a golden stick enclosed in a hollow staff. After executing the king's commission, Titus and Aruns asked the priestess who was to reign at Rome after their father. The priestess replied, whichsoever should first kiss his mother. The princes agreed to keep the matter secret from Sextus, who was at Rome, and to cast lots between themselves. Brutus, who better understood the meaning of the oracle, fell, as if by chance, when they quitted the temple, and kissed the earth, mother of them all. The fall of the king was also foreshadowed by other prodigies, and it came to pass in the following way:
  Tarquinius was besieging Ardea, a city of the Rutulians. The place could not be taken by force. and the Roman army lay encamped beneath the walls. Here as the king's sons, and their cousin, Tarquinius Collatinus, the son of Egerius, were feasting together, a dispute arose about the virtue of their wives. As nothing was doing in the field, they mounted their horses to visit their homes by surprize. They first went to Rome, where they surprized the king's daughters at a splendid banquet. They then hastened to Collatia, and there, though it was late in the night, they found Lucretia, the wife of Collatinus, spinning amid her handmaids. The beauty and virtue of Lucretia had fired the evil passions of Sextus. A few days he returned to Collatia, where he was hospitably received by Lucretia as her husband's kinsman. In the dead of night he entered the chamber with a drawn sword; by threatening to lay a slave with his throat cut beside her, whom he would pretend to have killed in order to avenge her husband's honour, he forced her to yield to his wishes. As soon as Sextus had departed, Lucretia sent for her husband and father. Collatinus came, accompanied by L. Brutus; Lucretius, with P. Valerius, who afterwards gained the surname of Publicola. They found her in an agony of sorrow. She told them what had happened, enjoined them to avenge her dishonour, and then stabbed herself to death. They all swore to avenge her. Brutus threw off his assumed stupidity, and placed himself at their head. They carried the corpse into the marketplace of Collatia. There the people took up arms, and resolved to renounce the Tarquins. A number [p. 979] of young men attended the funeral procession to Rome. Brutus, who was Tribunus Celerum, summoned the people, and related the deed of shame. All classes were inflamed with the same indignation. A decree was passed deposing the king, and banishing him and his family from the city. Brutus now set out for the army at Ardea. Tarquinius meantime had hastened to Rome, but found the gates closed against him. Brutus was received with joy at Ardea; and the army likewise renounced their allegiance to the tyrant. Tarquinius, with his two sons, Titus and Aruns, took refuge at Caere in Etruria. Sextus repaired to Gabii, his own principality, where, according to Livy, he was shortly after murdered by the friends of those whom he had put to death. Tarquinius reigned twenty-five years. His banishment was placed in the year of the city 244, or B. C. 510 (Liv. i. 49-60; Dionys. iv. 41-75; Cic. de Rep. ii. 24, 25).
  The remainder of the story may be told with greater brevity. The history of the establishment of the republic and of the attempts of Tarquinius to recover the sovereignty, has already been related in detail in other articles. L. Brutus and Tarquinius Collatinus were the first consuls ; but the people so hated the very name and race of the dethroned king, that Collatinus was obliged to resign his office, and retire from Rome. P. Valerius was elected consul in his place. Meantime ambassadors came to Rome from Tarquinii, to which city Tarquinius had removed from Caere, demanding the restitution of his private property. The demand seemed just to the senate and the people; but while the ambassadors were making preparation for carrying away the property, they found means to organize a conspiracy among the young Roman nobles for the restoration of the royal family. The plot was discovered by means of a slave, and the consul Brutus ordered the execution of his two sons, who were parties to the plot. The agreement to give up the property was made void by this attempt at treason. The royal goods were abandoned to the people to plunder, and their landed estates were divided among the poor, with the exception of the plain between tile city and the river, which was reserved for public uses. This plain was consecrated to Mars, and called the Campus Martius.
  Tarquinius now endeavoured to recover the throne by force of arms. The people of Tarquinii and Veii espoused his cause, and marched against Rome. The two consuls advanced to meet them. A bloody battle was fought, in which Brutus and Aruns, the son of Tarquinius, slew each other. Both parties claimed the victory, till a voice was heard in the dead of night, proclaiming that the Romans had conquered, as the Etruscans had lost one man more. Alarmed at this, the Etruscans fled, and Valerius, the surviving consul, entered Rome in triumph.
  Tarquinius next repaired to Lars Porsena, the powerful king of Clusium, who likewise espoused his cause, and marched against Rome at the head of a vast army. The history of this memorable expedition, which was long preserved in the Roman lays, is related under Porsena.
  After Porsena quitted Rome, Tarquinius took refuge with his son-in-law, Mamilius Octavius of Tusculum. Under the guidance of the latter, the latin states espoused the cause of the exiled king, and eventually declared war against Rome. The contest was decided by the battle of the lake Regillus, which was long celebrated in song, and the description of which in Livy resembles one of the battles in the Iliad. The Romans were commanded by the dictator, A. Postumius, and by his lieutenant, T. Aebutius, the master of the knights ; the Latins were headed by Tarquinius and Octavius Mamilius. The struggle was fierce and bloody, built the Latins at length turned to flight. Almost all the chiefs on either side fell in the conflict, or were grievously wounded. Tarquinius himself was wounded, but escaped with his life ; his son Sextus is said to have fallen in this battle, though, according to another tradition, as we have already seen, he is said to have been slain by the inhabitants of Gabii. It was related in the old tradition, that the Romans gained this battle by the assistance of the Dioscuri (Castor and Pollux), who were seen charging the Latins at the head of the Roman cavalry, and who afterwards carried to Rome the intelligence of the defeat of the Latins. A temple was built in the forum on the spot where they appeared, and their festival was celebrated yearly on the Ides of Quintilis (the 15th of July), the day of the battle of Regillus, on which all the knights passed in solemn procession to their temple. According to Livy the battle of the lake Regillus was fought in B. C. 498, but he says that some of the annals placed it in B. C. 496, in which year it is given by Dionysius (vi. 3) and in the Fasti Capitolini.
  The Latins were completely humbled by this victory. Tarquinius Superbus had no other state to whom he could apply for assistance. He had already survived all his family; and he now fled to Aristobulus at Cumae, where he died a wretched and childless old man. (Liv. ii. 1-21; Dionys. v. l-vi. 21).
  In the preceding account we have attempted to give the story of the Tarquins as nearly as possible in the words of the ancient writers. But it is hardly necessary to remark in the present day that this story cannot be received as a real history, or to point out the numerous inconsistencies and impossibilities in the narrative. It may suffice as a sample to remind the reader that the younger Tarquinius who was expelled from Rome in mature age, was the son of the king who ascended the throne 107 years previously in the vigour of life ; and that Servius Tullius, who married the daughter of Tarquinius Priscus, shortly before he ascended the throne, immediately after his accession is the father of two daughters whom he marries to the brothers of his own wife. It would be a fruitless task to endeavour to ascertain the real history of the later Roman monarchy; for although the legend has doubtless preserved some facts, vet we have no criteria to determine the true from the false. The story of the Tarquins has evidently been drawn from the works of several popular poets, and there can be little doubt that one at least of the writers must have become acquainted with Greek literature from the Greek colonies in southern Italy. The stratagem by which Tarquinius obtained possession of Gabii is obviously taken from a tale in Herodotus (iii. 154), and similar cases might easily be multiplied. Hence we may account for the Greek origin of the Tarquins. There is, however, one fact in the common tale which it is impossible to disbelieve, although it has been questioned by Niebuhr, we mean the Etruscan origin of the Tarquins. Niebuhr [p. 980] attempts to establish the Latin origin of Tarquinius by several considerations. He remarks that we read of a Tarquinia gens; that the surname Priscus of the elder Tarquinius was a regular Latin surname, which occurs in the family of the Servilii and many others; and lastly, that the wife of the elder Tarquinius was called in one tradition, not Tanaquil. but Caia Caecilia, a name which may be traced to Caeculus, the mythic founder of Praeneste. These arguments, however, have not much weight, and certainly are insufficient to refute the universally received belief of antiquity in the Etruscan origin of the Tarqnins, which is, moreover, confined by the great architectural works undertaken in the time of the last Roman kings, works to which no Sabine or Latin town could lay claim, and which at that time could have been accomplished by the Etruscans alone. Moreover the tradition which connects Tarquinius with the Luceres, the third ancient Roman tribe, again points to Etruria; for although Niebuhr looks upon the Luceres as Latins, most subsequent scholars have with far more proability supposed the third tribe to have been of Etruscan origin. The statement of Dionysius that Tarquinius Priscus conquered the whole of Etruria, and was acknowledged by the twelve Etruscan cities as their ruler, to whom they paid homage, must certainly be rejected, when we recollect the small extent of the Roman dominions under the preceding king, and the great power and extensive territory of the Etruscans at that time. It is far more probable that Rome was conquered by the Etruscans, and that the epoch of the Tarquins represents an Etruscan rule at Rome. This is the opinion of K. O. Miller. He supposes that the town of Tarquinii was at this time at the head of Etruria, and that the twelve Etruscan cities did homage to the ruler of Tarquinii. He further supposes that Rome as well as a part of Latium acknowledged the supremacy of Tarquinii; and that as Rome was the most important of the possessions of Tarquinii towards the south, it was fortified and enlarged, and thus became a great and flourishing city. Many Tarquinian nobles would naturally take up their abode at Rome, and one of them might have been entrusted by Tarquinii with the government of the city. Muller however thinks that L. Tarquinius is not the real name of the Etruscan ruler, but that Lucius is the Latinized form of Lucumo, and that Tarquinius merely indicates his origin from Tarquinii. According to Miller the banishment of the Tarquins was not an isolated event confined to Rome, but was connected with the fall of the city of Tarquinii, which lost at that time its supremacy over the other Etruscan cities.

This text is from: A dictionary of Greek and Roman biography and mythology, 1873 (ed. William Smith). Cited Jan 2006 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks



Juturna, the nymph of a well in Latium, famous for its excellent healing qualities. Its water was used in nearly all sacrifices (Serv. ad Aen. xii. 139; Varr. de L. L. v. 71), and a chapel was dedicated to its nymph at Rome in the Campus Martius by Lutatius Catulus; sacrifices were offered to her on the 11th of January both by the state and private persons. (Ov. Fast. i. 463; Serv. l.c.) A pond in the forum, between the temples of Castor and Vesta, was called Lacus Juturnae, whence we must infer that the name of the nymph Juturna is not connected with jugis, but probably with juvare. She is said to have been beloved by Jupiter, who rewarded her with immortality and the rule over the waters. (Virg. Aen. xii. 140, 878; Ov. Fast. ii. 585, 606.) Arnobius (iii. 29) calls her the wife of Janus and mother of Fontus, but in the Aeneid she appears as the affectionate sister of Turnus. (Hartung, Die Relig. der Rem. vol. ii. p. 101, &c.)


Marica, a Latin nymph who was worshipped at Minturnae, and to whom a grove was sacred on the river Liris. She was said to be the mother of Latinus by Faunus. (Virg. Aen. vii. 47.) Servius (ad Aen. l. c. and xii. 164) remarks that some considered her to be identical with Aphrodite and others with Circe.



ROME (Ancient city) ITALY
Fides, the personification of fidelity or faithfulness (Cic. de Off. iii. 29). Numa is said to have built a temple to Fides publica, on the Capitol (Dionys. ii. 75), and another was built there in the consulship of M. Aemilius Scaurus, B. C. 115 (Cic. de Nat. Deor. ii. 23, 31; iii. 18; de Leg. ii. 8, 11). She was represented as a matron wearing a wreath of olive or laurel leaves, and carrying in her hand corn ears, or a basket with fruit. (Rasche, Lex Num. ii. 1)




PALANTION (Ancient city) ROME
Son of Hermes, leads Arcadian colony from Pallantium to Italy and founds Rome, his image at Pallantium.

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