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FLORA 100.00%

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A goddess, originally Sabine, of the spring and of flowers and blossoms in general, to whom prayers were offered for the prospering of the ripe fruits of field and tree. She was also regarded as a goddess of the flower of youth and its pleasures. Her worship was said to have been introduced into Rome by the Sabine king Titus Tatius, and her special priest, the Flamen Floralis, to have been appointed by Numa. A temple was erected to her in the Circus Maximus in 238 B.C. At the same time a theatrical festival, the Floralia, was instituted at the behest of the Sibylline books. At this feast the men decked themselves and their animals with flowers, especially roses; the women put aside their usual costume, and wore the gay dresses usually forbidden. The scene was one of unrestrained merriment. From 173 B.C. the festival was a standing one, and lasted six days, from April 28, the anniversary of the foundation of the temple, to May 3. For the first five days of the games, for the superintendence of which the curule aediles were responsible, there were theatrical performances, largely consisting of the very indecent farces called mimes. On the last day goats, hares, and other animals were hunted in the circus. The people were regaled during the games with porridge, peas, and lentils. Flora was in later times identified with the Greek Chloris (See HORAe). In works of art she was represented as a blooming maiden, decked with flowers.
 
CHLORIS 100.00%

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The personification of the spring season, and goddess of flowers, the wife of Zephyrus, mother of Carpos ("Fruit"). She was identified by the Romans with Flora. (See FLORA.)
 
FERONIA 24.97%
An old Italian goddess, of Sabine origin, but also much worshipped in Etruria. She seems originally to have been regarded in the same light as Flora, Libera, and Venus. The Greeks called her a goddess of flowers; on coins she is represented as a girl in the bloom of youth, with flowers in her hair. She was also worshipped as the goddess of emancipation from slavery. She had a very celebrated shrine at the foot of Mount Soracte in Etruria, where the whole neighbourbood used to bring her rich votive offerings and the firstfruits of the field. The annual festivals served as fairs, such was the crowd of people who flocked to them. The mythical king Erulus of Praeneste was regarded as her son. He had three lives, and had to be slain three times by Evander in consequence.
 
HORAE 15.02%

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The goddesses of order in nature, who cause the seasons to change in their regular course, and all things to come into being, blossom and ripen at the appointed time. In Homer, who gives them neither genealogy nor names, they are mentioned as handmaidens of Zeus, entrusted with the guarding of the gates of heaven and Olympus; in other words, with watching the clouds. Hesiod calls them the daughters of Zeus and Themis, who watch over the field operations of mankind; their names are Eunomia (Good Order), Dike (Justice), and Eirine (Peace), names which show that the divinities of the three ordinary seasons of the world of nature, Spring, Summer, and Winter, are also, as daughters of Themis, appointed to superintend the moral world of human life. This is especially the case with Dike, who is the goddess who presides over legal order, and, like Themis, is enthroned by the side of Zeus. According to Hesiod, she immediately acquaints him with all unjust judicial decisions, so that he may punish them. In the tragic poets she is mentioned with the Erinyes and as a divinity who is relentless and stern in exacting punishment. (See ASTRAeA.) At Athens, two Horoe were honoured: Thallo, the goddess of the flowers of spring; and Carpo, the goddess of the fruits of summer. Nevertheless the Horae were also recognised as four in number, distinguished by the attributes of the seasons. They were represented as delicate, joyous, lightly moving creatures, adorned with flowers and fruits, and, like the Graces, often associated with other divinities, such as Aphrodite, Apollo, and He1ios. As the Hora specially representing spring, we have Chloris, the wife of Zephyrus, and goddess of flowers, identified by the Romans with Flora (q.v.).
 
FLAMEN 9.43%

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The special priest of a special deity among the Romans. There were 15 Flamines; three higher ones (Flamines maiores) of patrician rank: these were the flamen Dialis (of Jupiter), Martialis (of Mars), and Quirinalis (of Quirinus). The remaining 12 were flamines minores, plebeians, and attached to less important deities, as Vulcanus, Flora, Pomona, and Carmenta. Their office was for life, and they could only be deprived of it in certain events. The emblem of their dignity was a white conical hat (apex), made out of the hide of a sacrificed animal, and having an olive branch and woollen thread at the top. This the flamines were obliged to wear always out of doors, indeed the Flamen Dialis had originally to wear it indoors as well. They were exempted from all the duties of civic life, and excluded at the same time from all participation in politics. In course of time, it is true, they were allowed to hold urban offices, but even then they were forbidden to go out of Italy. The Flamen Dialis was originally not allowed to spend a night away from home: in later times, under the Empire, the Pontifex could allow him to sleep out for two nights in the year. Indeed, the Flamen Dialis, whose superior position among the flamens conferred upon him certain privileges, as the toga proetexta, the sella curulis, a seat in the senate, and the services of a lictor, was in proportion obliged to submit to more restrictions than the rest. He, his wife, their children, and his house on the Palatine were dedicated to this god. He must be born of a marriage celebrated by confarreatio, and live himself in indissoluble marriage. (See MARRIAGE.) If his wife died, he resigned his office. In the performance of his sacred functions he was assisted by his children as camilli. (See CAMILLUS.) Every day was for him a holy day, so that he never appeared without the insignia of his office, the conical hat, the thick woollen toga proetexta woven by his wife, the sacrificial knife, and a rod to keep the people away from him. He was preceded by his lictor, and by heralds, who called on the people to stop their work, as the flamen was not permitted to look upon any labour. He was not allowed to cast eyes on an armed host, to mount, or even to touch, a horse, to touch a corpse, or grave, or a goat, or a dog, or raw meat or anything unclean. He must not have near him, or behold, anything in the shape of a chain. Consequently there must be no knots, but only clasps, on his raiment; the ring on his finger was broken, and any one who came into his house with chains must instantly be loosened. If he were guilty of any carelessness in the sacrifices, or if his hat fell off his head, he had to resign. His wife; the flaminica, was priestess of Juno. She had, in like manner, to appear always in her insignia of office, a long woollen robe, with her hair woven with a purple fillet, and arranged in pyramidal form, her head covered with a veil and a kerchief, and carrying a sacrificial knife. On certain days she was forbidden to comb her hair. The chief business of the flamens consisted in daily sacrifices: on certain special occasions they acted with the Pontifices and the Vestal Virgins. The three superior flamens offered a sacrifice to Fides Publica on the Capitol on the 1st October, driving there in a two-horse chariot. During the imperial period flamines of the deified emperors were added to the others.
 
GAMES 5.05%
 
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