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JUNO
Form: i.e. Iovino, a feminine form corresponding to Iovis contained in Iupiter.
In the Italian mythology, the queen of heaven and of heavenly light, especially that of the new moon; the wife of Jupiter. After she had been identified with the Greek Hera (q.v.), she was regarded as the daughter of Saturnus (who was identified with Cronus), and as sister of her husband. In Italy, as the queen of womankind, she was the representative of woman in general, to such a degree that, as every man had his Genius, so every woman had her Iuno, to whom she offered sacrifice and by whom she swore. It was as Iuno Lucina (the bringer of light) that she was worshipped from the most ancient times and in many parts of Italy. As such, she was the goddess of the beginnings of all the months, and on the calends, at Rome, the rex sacrorum and his wife made regular sacrifices to her. As all goddesses of light are also goddesses of birth (the appearance of the light from out of the darkness being looked on as a birth), under the same name of Lucina she was honoured as the mightiest of the goddesses of birth. Her temple at Rome, in a sacred grove, was one of the most ancient and venerated. By a custom dating back to Numa, a piece of gold was placed in her treasury there at the birth of every male child. The Matronalia (q.v.) was the most famous feast of the goddess. It was celebrated by the Roman matrons and virgins on the 1st March. At this festival the goddess was represented veiled, with a flower in her right hand, and an infant in swaddling clothes in her left. Another ancient worship highly honoured throughout Italy was that of Iuno Sospita (the Saviour), whose ancient grove and temple at Lanuvium was deemed sacred at Rome, which itself had two temples to this divinity. At an appointed time in every year the Roman consuls offered a sacrifice to the Juno at Lanuvium. The image of the goddess at that place wore, over the robes of a matron, a goatskin which served as helmet and cuirass, with a shield held in one hand and a spear brandished in the other. This worship assigned to the goddess who presided over the life of woman the character of a divinity of protecting power. Iuno Curitis, or Quiritis (i.e. armed with a spear), who was specially worshipped by the Sabines, was also a warlike goddess. As goddess of marriage Juno was invoked at weddings under many names. As Domiduca she conducts the bride into the bridegroom's house; as Unxia she anoints the doorposts as a sign of good omen at her reception; as Cinxia she ties and unlooses the marriage girdle; and as Pronuba and Iuga she is the foundress of marriage. On the citadels of towns, which were deemed to be under her particular protection, she was specially worshipped by matrons, either with Jupiter, or alone, as Iuno Regina, being the wife of Iupiter Rex and the highest celestial goddess. In this capacity she had her chief temple at Rome, on the Capitol, close to Jupiter. It was there that the well-known geese were kept, which were sacred to her as being prolific and domesticated creatures. Another highly honoured fane of Iuno Regina was on the Aventine, to which her worship had been transplanted from Veii after the destruction of that city. There was also a temple on the Capitol dedicated to Iuno Moneta (" the admonisher "), in gratitude (it was said) for her salutary admonitions [Cic., De Divinatione, i 45 § 101]. Money derived from the goddess its designation Moneta, as it was coined in the temple of Iuno Moneta. Another most ancient Roman worship was that of Iuno Caprotina (Juno of the goat). This was celebrated by the festival held by female slaves on the 7th July, called Nonae Caprotinoe. (See CAPROTINA.) In the third Punic War the worship of Iuno Caelestis was brought into Rome from Carthage. This was the ancient tutelary goddess of Carthage, strictly speaking the Astarte of the Phoenicians. When Carthage was restored under the Empire, her worship flourished anew. Not only the goose, but also the raven that loves the heights, was sacred to her as the protectress of citadels.
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