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was an ancient Italian goddess who had power over life and death,167 so that when sacrifices were made to her the suppliants prayed that no one of the household should become 'manus' (i.e., one of the Manes). Her cult was obscure, but she had a great influence over child-birth; and it is said that she was a rival of Iuno Lucina. She was honored at the festival Compitalia, and nursing bitches were sacrificed to her (Plutarch, op. cit., 53). As Geneta she had a statue and an altar in the grove of Ceres at Agnone in Samnium.188
IUNO (OR IUNO LUCINA)
IUNO ('Youthful'?),169 one of the chief goddesses of the Roman pantheon, formed the great State triad with Iupiter and Minerva; but though, by a false analogy with the Greek Hera, she was often referred to as the wife of Iupiter, there is no well-authenticated myth of this until the anthropomorphic period following the acceptance of Greek ideas.170 She was the divinity of the lower atmosphere in distinction to the domain of Iupiter in the heavens, and was originally the elemental spirit of womanhood, representing the female principle in human life as Hercules did the male. Each woman had her Iuno, a spirit who guarded her throughout life, corresponding to Genius for men, and by whom she swore; whence Iuno became the great tutelary deity of woman in all her functions and activities.
In several of her aspects, especially as Iuno Lucina, Iuno was the chief goddess of child-birth and presided over every process and activity of the offspring until the period of manhood and womanhood. Lucina was her most 167 Wissowa, op. cit., p. 240.
168 Conway, op. cit., pp. 191-192. 169 Walde, op. cit., pp. 398-399. 170 Fowler, op. cit., p. 134.
frequent epithet (Ovid, Fasti, ii, 449-451), and one by which poets addressed her (Horace, Epoda, v, 5-6); and the name, meaning 'light,' was derived from Luna ('Moon'; Cicero, op. cit., ii, 27), being supposed to have been given her because she brought children into the light. She also received many other epithets expressive of the various phases of her character, as Conservatrix, Opigena (Festus, p. 200), and very commonly Sospita or Sispes, by which she was known at Lanuvium (CIL xiv, 2088 ff.); and a temple in the herb-market at Rome was dedicated to her in 197 B.C. (Livy, xxxiv, 53). She was often assimilated with, and called, Diana and Ilithyia, or she sometimes preferred the name of Genitalis (Horace, Carmen Seculare, 13-16). Iuno Lucina apparently supplanted the old birth-goddess Natio; Lucina and the Nixi dii were associated in the obstetric function; and old Roman goddesses were subsidiary to her. Lucina was not only invoked for her aid but also to save women in confinement (Terence, Andria, 473; Adelphœ, 487); and she was similarly implored to be propitious to infants, as to the boy who was to usher in the Golden Age (Vergil, Ecloga, iv, 8-10).
Iuno frequently appears in very minor functional capacities under the surname of one or another of the many numina of her retinue, as Lucina Ossipaga, or Fluonia (Arnobius, op. cit., iii, 30, 118); as the divine matchmaker, she was Iuno Iuga (Paulus, p. 104); as the divine bridesmaid, Iuno Pronuba (Vergil, Æn., iv, 166); and as Iuno Populona she protected against devastation and was responsible for the increase of the population.172 According to an old legend of the sacred grove near the Suburra, which surrounded her temple on the Esquiline, 171 Fowler, op. cit., p. 302.
172 Wissowa, op. cit., p. 189.
the Sabine women carried off by the Romans proved sterile, so that couples made pilgrimages there and heard a voice from the trees which indicated the remedy (Ovid, op. cit., ii, 431-450).
Iuno shared honors at the Capitoline temple with Iupiter and Minerva, but her most renowned sanctuary in Rome was on the Esquiline, where a gift was brought to the goddess after every birth, where flowers were offered her (ib., iii, 253-254), and which no one wearing something knotted was allowed to approach, a knot being supposed to hinder birth (Servius, op. cit., iv, 518).
Iuno was universally regarded as the goddess of matrons and chastity, and the wives of Romans joined in the festival of the Matronalia which celebrated the dedication of her temple on March 1, when pigs were sacrificed as substitutes for lambs.13 She also had a sacred grove at Lanuvium, one of the great sanctuaries of Latium; and her oracles, which were announced from the mouths of serpents, enjoyed great renown in Rome. The goat was sacred to her and at Lanuvium she was represented as wearing a goat's skin. The thongs ('amicula Iunonis,' Arnobius, op. cit., ii, 23) used by the priests of Faunus, for the purification of sterile women, were taken from the skin of the goat, and from this custom Iuno received the name Februa and was brought into relation to Faunus as the goddess of conception (Paulus, p. 85; Martianus Capella, ii, 149; Arnobius, op. cit., iii, 30). The festival of Iuno Regina was celebrated on the Aventine by processions of women, the sacrifice of cows, and other ceremonies (Livy, v, 31; xxi, 62; xxii, 1; xxvii, 37; xxxi, 12); and another festival was held at Falerii (Ovid, op. cit., ii, 427).
The oldest strictly women's celebration in Rome was
178 Fowler, op. cit., pp. 38, 105.
174 Ib., pp. 179, 318-321.
the Nona Caprotinæ,175 held on July 7, when sacrifices and feasts were held under the wild fig-tree (CIL iv, 1555), and at which sham battles took place between servant maids who exchanged scurrilous epithets and speeches. The origin and significance of this festival have been lost, but it is supposed to have had something to do with sex-life, perhaps the bearing of children, since Iuno bore the name Caprotina and was evidently associated with it.176 The term is connected with Latin caper ('goat').177
IUTURNA, associated with Carmentis in child-birth, was a water-nymph, representing the healing powers of water and presiding over a spring named for her at Lanuvium (Servius, op. cit., xii, 139; Varro, op. cit., v, 71).178 After the first Punic War, her cult was transferred to Rome, and a temple was built for her on the Campus Martius; while an old lacus of Iuturna was situated in the Forum near the shrine of Castor and Pollux (Ovid, op. cit., i, 706-708). Recent excavations have disclosed this shrine of Iuturna,11 the construction of which suggests that it was used for incubation. Her festival, the Iuturnalia, was celebrated on January 11 simultaneously with the Carmentalia, and was attended especially by those whose occupations associated them with spring water, such as fullers (Servius, loc. cit.).
175 Wissowa, op. cit., p. 184; also Fowler, Religious Experience, p. 143; id., Festivals, pp. 175, 178-179.
176 Wissowa, op. cit., p. 184.
177 Walde, op. cit., p. 128.
178 Note.-Fons (or Fontus) was the god of springs and had a temple at Rome and a festival in his honor, the Fontinalia, on October 13 (Varro, op. cit., vi, 22).
179 H. L. Bishop, "The Fountain of Juturna in the Roman Forum," in RP, 1903, ii, 174-180.
MATER MATUTA was an ancient Italian goddess who presided over the early morning hour;180 and as the birth of day from darkness was symbolized by Ianus, so she is said to have unlocked the womb and brought the child into the light.181 At the close of the Republic she was identified with the Greek Leukothea (Cicero, op. cit., iii, 19; Paulus, p. 125); but she was overshadowed in her obstetric functions by Iuno Lucina, for whom Matuta was occasionally used as a surname. She was always a deity of matrons and children, like Carmentis, Fortuna, and Bona Dea, and it is suggested that she was a form of the latter.182
The temple of Mater Matuta, in the Forum Boarium, dated from 396 B.C., and was dedicated on June 11, thus giving rise to the Matralia. Only women officiated at this rite, which was attended solely by matrons who were living with their first husbands; while a female slave, ritually brought into her temple, was cuffed and driven out (Ovid, op. cit., vi, 475 ff.; Plutarch, Vita Camilli, 5). Women prayed there for their nephews and nieces before their own children (Plutarch, Quæst. Rom., 16, 17), a mark of the extreme antiquity of the worship of this divinity.
The cult of Mater Matuta was widespread throughout Central Italy, and even extended to Africa, while inscriptions to her have been found in Umbria, at Præneste, and among the Volsci. The temple in the harbor of Pyrgi, the port of Care in Etruria, dedicated to Ilithyia, is believed to have been hers,183 and she also had shrines at Satricum and Cora.
180 Cf. Walde, op. cit., pp. 470-471.
181 Wissowa, op. cit., p. 110.
182 Fowler, op. cit.,
183 Ib., p. 155, note 4.