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date: 28 November 2022



  • C. Robert Phillips


For the Augustans (Verg. Aen. 8. 190–279; Livy 1. 7. 3–15, with Ogilvie's notes; Prop. 4. 9; Ov. Fast. 1. 543–86, with Bömer's notes, 5. 643–52) a savage fire-breathing monster whose thieving terrified the locals on the *Palatine (*Aventine according to Virgil; but the Scalae Caci on the Palatine imply otherwise: P. Pensabene, LTUR 4.239–40, ‘Scalae Caci’); he stole some of Geryon's cattle from *Heracles/Hercules, who killed him. This Hellenized version relied on Heracles traditions (cf. Hdt. 4. 8) and a false etymology from the Greek kakos (evil: Servius on Aen. 8. 190), and provided an aetiology for the cult of Hercules at the Ara Maxima (Ogilvie on Livy 5. 13. 6). Originally a sister Caca (Lactant.Div. Inst. 1. 20. 36, Serv.; J. Aronen, LTUR 1.205, ‘Caca, Sacellum’) makes him a bisexual deity, possibly *chthonian, connected with fire (Serv.). Dubious connection with Caeculus, founder of *Praeneste, of whom a miracle involving fire is related (Servius on Aen.


  • Roman Myth and Religion

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