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SATURNUS ( 100.00%
An ancient Italian god of seedtime anti harvest, with a sickle as symbol; husband of Ops, father of Picus. In later times he was identified with the Greek Kronos, who, thrust out by Zeus, came across the sea to Latium, was received by Janus, settled as king on the Capitoline Hill (as it was called in after times), brought agriculture and its blessings to the people, and subsequently disappeared. His reign was regarded as the golden age of Italy. At the foot of the Capitoline Hill a temple, built by the last Tarquin on the site of a very ancient altar, was dedicated to him and to his wife Ops. Under this temple was the Roman treasury (aerraium Saturni; No. 4 in plan, s.v. FORUM). Except during his festival, his statue was, throughout the year, wound round the feet with woollen fillets. People offered sacrifices to him with uncovered head, according to the Greek rites. His own festival, the Saturnalia, took place on December 17, and consisted of sacrifices in the open air in front of the temple and also of an outdoor banquet, at which the senators and knights appeared, after laying aside the toga for a loosely fitting gown called synthesis. After the feasting, they separated with the cry, "Io Saturnalia!" The festival was also celebrated in private society; schools had holidays, law-courts were closed, all work was stopped, war was deferred, and no punishment of criminals took place for seven days from December 17 to 23. During that time there were all kinds of fantastic amusements. The festival wag symbolical of a return to the golden age. People gave presents to one another, in particular wax tapers (cerei) and dolls (sigillaria). They also entertained one another, and amused themselves with social games; in particular, they gambled for nuts-the symbol of fruitfulness. Every freedom was given to slaves, and they were first entertained at the banquet and served by their masters, in remembrance that under the rule of Saturnus there had been no differences in social rank.
 
CRONUS 100.00%
In Greek mythology, the youngest son of Uranus and Gaea, who mutilated and overthrew his father, and, with the assistance of his kinsfolk the Titans, made himself sovereign of the world. He took his sister Rhea to wife, and became by her father of Hestia, Demeterr, Hera, Hades, Poseidon, and Zeus. But his mother prophesied that one of his children would overthrow him. He accordingly swallowed them all except Zeus, whom Rhea saved by a stratagem. Zeus, when grown tip, obtained the assistance of the Ocean-nymph Thetis in making Cronus disgorge his children, and then, with the help of his kinsfolk, overpowered Cronus and the Titans. According to one version of the fable, Cronus was imprisoned in Tartarus with the Titans; according to another, he was reconciled with Zeus, and reigned with Rhadamanthys on the Islands of the Blessed. Cronus seems originally to have been a god of the harvest; whence it happens that in many parts of Greece the harvest month was called Cronion. His name being easily confused with that of Chronos ("Time"), he was afterwards erroneously regarded as the god of time. In works of art he was represented as an old man with a mantle drawn over the back of his head, and holding a sickle in his hand. The Romans identified him with Saturnus, their god of sowing (see SATURNUS).
 
DIS PATER 98.03%
The ruler of the world below, worshipped by the Romans as the god who corresponded to the Greek Pluto. His worship, like that of Proserpina, was first introduced in the early days of the Republic, at the command of the Sibylline books. Dis Pater had a chapel near the altar of Saturnus, and a subterranean altar on the Campus Martius in common with Proserpina. This was only opened when, as at the secular games, sacrifices were offered to both. The victims offered thus were black animals.
 
AGES 94.76%
The age of gold, in which Kronos or Saturnus was king. During this period mankind enjoyed perpetual youth, joy, and peace undisturbed, reaping in their fulness the fruits which the earth spontaneously brought forth. Death came upon them like a soft slumber; and after it they became good daemones, watching men like guardians in their deeds of justice and injustice, and hovering round them with gifts of wealth.
 
FAUNUS 48.48%
"The well-wisher" (from favere) [or perhaps "the speaker" (from fari)]. One of the oldest and most popular deities, who was identified with the Greek Pan on account of the similarity of their attributes. (See PAN.) As a good spirit of the forest, plains, and fields, he gave fruitfulness to the cattle, and was hence called Inuus. With all this he was also a god of prophecy, called by the name of Fatuus. He revealed the future in dreams and strange voices, communicated to his votaries while sleeping in his precincts upon the fleeces of sacrificed lambs. A goddess of like attributes, called Fauna and Fatua, was associated in his worship. She was regarded sometimes as his wife, sometimes as his daughter (see BONA DEA). Just as Pan was accompanied by the Paniskoi, or little Pans, so the existence of many Fauni was assumed besides the chief Faunus. They were imagined as merry, capricious beings, and in particular as mischievous goblins who caused night-mares. In fable Faunus appears as an old king of Latium, son of Picus, and grandson of Saturnus, father of Latinus by the nymph Marica. After his death he is raised to the position of a tutelary deity of the land, for his many services to agriculture and cattle-breeding. Two festivals, called Faunalia, were celebrated in his honour, one on the 13th of February, in the temple on the island in the Tiber, the other on the 5th of December. The peasants brought him rustic offerings and amused themselves with dancing.
 
JUNO 20.21%
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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