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date: 09 December 2022



  • Herbert Jennings Rose
  •  and John Scheid


Volcanus (VolkanusVulcanus), an ancient Roman god of destructive, devouring *fire, in both the human environment and in nature: e.g. in volcanoes (see Strabo 5. 246 for his worship at the Solfatare of *Puteoli, and Plin. HN 2. 240 for fire coming out of the ground near *Mutina), which explains why his temple should always stand outside a city (Vitr. 1. 7. 1), on the authority of the *Etruscan*haruspices. He was associated with *Maia(2) (Gell. NA 13. 23. 2 ‘Maiam Volcani’), the goddess of the irrepressible development of the fire, and was worshipped at Rome from the earliest-known times, having a flamen (see flamines) and a festival, the Volcanalia, on 23 August (calendars). His shrine, the Volcanal, stood in the Area Volcani in the *forum Romanum at the foot of the *Capitol; it may therefore go back to a time when the Forum was still outside the city (see F. Coarelli, Il Foro Romano, 1: Periodo arcaico (1983), 164 ff.


  • Roman Myth and Religion

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