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date: 05 February 2023



  • C. Robert Phillips


Carmentis or Carmenta (the latter Greek and seldom Latin, as Hyg. Fab. 277. 2), meaning ‘full of *carmen (divine incantation)’; see A. Ernout and A. Meillet, Dictionnaire étymologique de la langue latine2 (1959), s.v. ‘carmen’; A. Walde and J. B. Hoffmann, Lateinisches etymologisches Wörterbuch (1938–54), s.v. ‘carmen’; Ogilvie, Comm. Livy 1–5 1. 7. 8, and, for other etymologies, Ov. Fast. 1. 619–20, Plut. Quaest. Rom. 56. Connected with *childbirth (cf. the two Carmentes, Prorsa and Postverta, in reference to the child's position in the womb: Varro, Antiquitates Romanae Divinae frs. 103–4 Cardauns, with his comments), prophecy (Serv. on Aen. 8. 51), or both (fasti Praenestini, 11 January), although the prohibition on leather (Ov. Fast. 1. 629; cf. Varro, Ling. 7. 84) implies childbirth. Mythologically a prophetess, mother of *Evander paralleling *Themis of the Greek tradition (Serv. on Aen. 8. 336), she (Hyg. Fab.


  • Roman Myth and Religion

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