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Article

Volcanus  

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.

Article

Voltumna  

John Scheid

Voltumna, an Etruscan goddess, at whose shrine the Etruscan federal council met (Livy, 4. 23. 5; 25. 7; 61. 2; 5. 17. 6; 6. 2. 2; cf. CIL 11. 5265 and J. Gascou, Mélanges d'arch. 1967, for the survival of these meetings.). Nothing more is known of her and the site of the shrine is uncertain (see volsinii).

Article

votum  

H. S. Versnel

A vow. Both Greeks and Romans habitually made promises to gods, in order to persuade them to grant a favour stipulated in advance. If the gods fulfilled their part, the vow-maker fell under the obligation to do as he had promised. Although the practice was no less popular in Greece, the vow developed an institutional form especially in Rome, owing to the practical and juridical aspect of Roman religion. Expressions such as v(otum) s(oluit) l(ibens) m(erito) (‘NN has paid his vow with pleasure and deservedly’), mainly in private votive gifts, and voti reus, voti damnatus (‘obliged to fulfil his vow’), mainly in public vows, belong to the fixed formulas. In the private sphere *prayers for recovery and good health, crops, childbirth, safe return from an expedition, etc. were, in case of fulfilment, answered by a great variety of *votive offerings. In public votive religion it was the magistrate who in the name of the state undertook to offer to a god or gods sacrifices, games, the building of a temple or an altar etc. , if the god on his side would give his assistance in such basic collective crises as war, epidemics, and drought. Formulas had to be pronounced in public and were very strict: mistakes required the repetition of the whole ceremony. In addition to these extraordinary vows there were also regular vota, pronounced for a definite period: e.