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The Latin term for an official collection of forms of prayer belonging to the libri pontificii (see PONTIFEX). In them were set forth the various powers of each god who was to be summoned to aid in particular cases; and none of these divinities could be passed over, if the prayer was to receive a favourable answer. Only those portions of the collection were made public which bore direct reference to private life; prayers at marriages, at births, for a blessing on the children at different times of life, and for the beginning of all kinds of work, especially agriculture. (The names of the gods of earliest childhood were as follows: Potina and Educa, who taught the child when weaned to eat and drink; Cuba, who protected the child when taken out of the cradle and put to bed; Ossipaga, who strengthened the bones; Carna, who strengthened the flesh; Levana, who helped it to rise from the ground; Statanus, Statilinus, or dea Statina, who taught it to stand; Abeona and Adeona, who supported its first walking; Fabulinus, Farinus, who assisted it to talk.) All collective occupations, all parts of the house, all different spots had their particular gods, who were invoked in these forms of prayer. Often the various names only indicate the different characteristics of a single divinity; e.g. Maia was invoked under the names of Bona, Fauna, Ops, and Fatua. In course of time the different attributes came to be regarded as separate divinities. [The names of the above divinities are quoted from Varro, Antiquitates Rerum Divinarum, by Tertullian, Ad Nat. ii 11, 15 (and De Anima 37, 39); and by Augustine, De Civitate Dei, iv 11, 21 (and iv 8, 10; vi 9, vii 23).]
Type: Standard
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