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a sister of Salus and related to Mars; and she was reputed to restore health by the use of wine, herbs, and magic formulas. The Meditrinalia, on October 11,116 was a festival at which the wine of the new vintage was tested, and the ceremonies were conducted under the auspices of the Flamen Martialis, who consecrated the wine as a remedy by repeating the following words: "Novum vetus vinum bibo; novo veteri vino morbo medeor" ("An old man, I drink new wine; with new wine I cure old disease"). The name Meditrina is cognate with Latin medeor, 'I heal. "11




MINERVA, an ancient Falerian goddess,118 was one of the di novensides and had a temple on the Capitoline before the formation of the second State triad of which she was a member. She was a divinity of handicrafts, of artificers, and of artists' and workmen's guilds; and was the special tutelary deity of physicians. Although she was known as Minerva Medica, it is not clear that her cult, with a temple on the Esquiline, practiced healing in Rome;120 but it was common for leeches to appeal to her for guidance and power to cure the sick, and Cicero (de Div., ii, 59) even remarks that "Minerva will give medicine without a physician"; while inscriptions found at the temple of Minerva Memor et Medica Cabardiacensis near Placentia indicate that there she prescribed medicines, healed diseases of the ear, and even restored the hair (CIL xi, 1292-1310).121

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117 Lindsay, The Latin Language, p. 347.

118 Wissowa, op. cit., pp. 247 ff.

119 Preller, Regionen der Stadt Rom, p. 133.

120 Wissowa, op. cit., p. 255, note 1.

121 E. Thrämer, "Health and Gods of Healing (Greek and Roman),"

in ERE vi, 554.

Toward the close of the Republic, the cult of Minerva was blended with that of the Greek Athena, who was known as Minerva and Minerva Fatidica or Medica, and who practically supplanted the old Roman goddess during the Empire. Outside of Rome, however, the cult of the Italian Minerva continued in its purity,122 and extended, even to Britain, where figures of the goddess, now preserved at Chester, have been found.123 She was worshipped at the State temple of Iupiter on the Capitoline, the right cella of which was dedicated to her, and she also had temples on the Esquiline, the Cælian, and the Aventine. At least one of these was consecrated on March 19, her natal day,1" and the festival of Quinquatrus (Festus, p. 257; Ovid, op. cit., iii, 809), held from March 18 to 23, was in her honor,125 while she was also associated in the ceremonies of Feriæ Iovi on June 13. During the epidemic of 363 B.C., a nail was driven in her temple on the Capitoline in the hope of checking the pestilence (Livy, vii, 3).


NEPTUNUS, god of the seas, streams, springs, and fresh waters, had the same attributes as the Greek Poseidon, with whom the Romans identified him. With other divinities, he was honored as an averter of pestilence at the first lectisternium in 399 B.c. (Livy, v, 13), and inscriptions found at Como in Italy and at Plombières in France indicate that there he was regarded as a healing deity.12 His festival, the Neptunalia, was held on July 23, and it has been conjectured that it was in fact utilized to propi

122 Wissowa, op. cit., p. 254.

123 H. Barnes, "On Roman Medicine and Roman Inscriptions found in Britain," in PRSM, 1913-1914, vii, 80.

124 Fowler, op. cit., p. 59.

125 Ib., p. 158.

126 Hopf, op. cit., p. 45.

tiate the divinity of waters and springs that the disastrous heat and droughts of summer might be averted.127


NORTIA, a Tuscan goddess who had healing functions, was a special deity of the Volsci (Tertullian, Apologeticus, 24); and it was customary to drive a nail in the walls of her temple at Volsinii each year "as indices of the number of years" (Livy, vii, 3).128 This statement has recently been confirmed by the discovery of the remains of the temple at Pozzarello near Bolsena, and votive tablets found there bear witness that she was a healing divinity, allied to Fortuna. Votive poems (CIL vi, 537) and inscriptions were addressed to her (CIL xi, 2685 f.), but she was not admitted as a State goddess at Rome.129


PICUMNUS and Pilumnus, two divinities said to be brothers and declared to be alike in character, acted as beneficent deities of matrimony. With Intercidona and Deverra they protected parturient women and their children from evil spirits and from attacks of Silvanus; and when a birth had taken place, a couch (lectus) being spread for them as di coniugales, they were worshipped as di infantium, who attended to the proper development of the child (Augustine, op. cit., vi, 9; Servius, ad Æn., ix, 4; x, 76; Nonnos, p. 528).180


PICUS was an old Latin prophetic deity, supposed to be the son of Saturn (Vergil, op. cit., vii, 48-49) and closely

127 Fowler, op. cit., pp. 186-187.

128 Ib., pp. 172, 234.

129 Wissowa, op. cit., p. 288.

130 R. Peter, in Roscher, ii, 197, 199, 213-215.

associated with Faunus (Ovid, Metamorphoses, iii, 291 ff.; Plutarch, Vita Numa, 15). He had an oracle at Tiora and healed the sick.


SALUS ('Welfare'), originally a Sabine goddess, first appears in the Roman pantheon as a divine impersonation of the general welfare of city and State. Primarily she was associated closely with Semo Sancus Dius Fidius, for an elevation on the Quirinal near the shrine of the latter deity was called Collis Salutaris, while the gate leading to it was named Porta Salutaris; and she herself was occasionally termed Salus Semonia (e.g., Macrobius, op. cit., I, xvi, 8). In 302 в.c., a temple was dedicated on the Quirinal to her as Salus Publica (Livy, ix, 43); its walls were painted in 269 B.C.; it was struck by lightning at least four times; and it was burned to the ground during the reign of Claudius.181

It was only after the Greek goddess Hygieia came to Rome that Salus, through identification with her, became a divinity of health rather than of welfare. This Hellenic deity was the only one of the divine associates of Asklepios who appeared in Rome, and her name was Latinized to Hygia. During the pestilence of 180 B.C. Salus was invoked with Apollo and Esculapius (Livy, xl, 19, 37), showing that she was being transformed to a likeness of Hygieia; and she was afterward equated with Hygieia as Salus Hygia, being represented in statues and pictures with the characteristic drapery of the double garment of the Greek goddess.132 Inscriptions to this cultcompanion of Esculapius were sometimes addressed to Hygia and sometimes to Salus, and occasionally they 181 Fowler, op. cit., p. 191. 182 Wissowa, op. cit., p. 337.

were definitely distinguished as 'Salus eius' (CIL vi, 164) and 'Hygia' (CIL ix, 17-19, 20234). An altar to Esculapius and Salus, for the health and safety of the Romans, was found at Chester, England, in 1779, and a votive tablet to these deities was unearthed at Binchester in 1879.18 A temple at Lambesa by Marcus Aurelius was dedicated 'Esculapio et Saluti' (CIL vii, 2579 f.; cf. also Terence, Hecyra, 338); but it would appear that the name and ultimate character of Salus were more properly represented by the Marsian deity Valetudo (CIL ix, 38123813; cf. Martianus Capella, i, 16), under which title Salus was addressed (CIL iii, 7279; cf. also iii, 5149; viii, 9610) besides being so represented on a denarius of M' Acilius Glabrio. It seems probable that Valentia, a deity of the Umbrian town Ocriculum, was a similar divinity of physical health (CIL xi, 4082; Tertullian, op. cit., 24).

The later functions of Salus were those of a goddess of health, attending upon her chief and caring for the sacred serpents, but she never appears as a healing divinity. She is represented as holding a branch of laurel or with a cup and a serpent, standing or sitting by Esculapius, and a statue of the goddess, as Salus Publica, stood in the temple of Concordia (Dion Kassios, liv, xxxv, 2).


SATURNUS, an ancient Italian agricultural deity who presided over the seeding of the fields, was later assimilated to the Greek Kronos. Saturnus and his descendants were seers and healing divinities, averters of ills, and especially entrusted with the welfare of each citizen. His temple was on the Capitoline, but an altar and evidences of an older temple were located at the foot of the hill." His festival, the Saturnalia, began on December 17, and

133 Barnes, in PRSM, 1913-1914, vii, 78. 184 Fowler, op. cit., p. 269.


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