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date: 06 December 2022

Vertumnuslocked

Vertumnuslocked

  • Herbert Jennings Rose
  •  and John Scheid

Extract

Vertumnus (Vortumnus), supposedly an *Etruscan god: so Varro, Ling. 5. 46 and Prop. 4. 2. 4, who says he came from *Volsinii; but nothing confirms this view (Radke, Götter 317 ff.; G. Dumézil, ARR 339 f.), which may just be speculation based on the resemblance of his name to that of *Voltumna and the fact that his temple on the *Aventine (its anniversary 13 August) displayed a painting of M. Fulvius Flaccus, conqueror of Volsinii in 264 bce. His statue stood in the vicus Tuscus in Rome, and *Propertius (4. 2. 13 ff.) indicates that the shopkeepers there made frequent offerings to him. Nothing is known of his functions, since all ancient interpretations played with the various meanings of the verb vertere, from which they derived the god's name (e.g. Prop. 4. 2. 21 ff.; Ov.Met. 14. 642 ff.). The hypothesis that his name can be connected with the Etruscan family ultimni, Latinized Veldumnius, is not acceptable.

Subjects

  • Roman Myth and Religion

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