Wednesday, April 19, 2017

The Lesser Roman Goddesses

These Roman goddesses are the ones that are not frequently talked about, and often forgotten in naming talk, unlike the more well-known goddesses like Juno and Venus. For people living a hard life, each individual function was important (explaining why there were so many agricultural deities). However, even goddesses that were quite popular in ancient times are not very popular today, especially as baby name inspiration. A case could be made for any of the following names that they could be used today. Names which objectionable meaning or sound have been left out, such as Hostilina, who makes grain grow evenly, because her name sounds so similar to the word hostile.

Angerona (ahn-jeh-ROH-nah) was the reliever of pain and sorrow. Her duty was to keep the sacred name of Rome a secret.

Cardea (kar-DAY-uh), ancient Roman goddess of the door hinge.

Carmenta was the goddess of childbirth and prophecy, and she is also known as Nicostrata. As one of the 12 deities attended by minor flamens, we know a bit more about her story than the others you will read about below. Carmenta comes from Latin carmen, meaning "magic spell," and "oracle" and it is where we get the word charm. Carmenta supposedly invented the Latin alphabet, was the mother of Evander, and her festival was named Carmentalia.

Clementia, goddess of clemency.

Concordia, goddess of agreement. While this one is a bit whimsical or over-the-top, nicknames Connie or Cory or Cody could bring it back down.

Cura (KYUR-uh), meaning "care," wasn't so much of a goddess as she was a personification.

Decima (DESS-ih-mah), who measured the thread of life.

Deverra (deh-VER-uh) was the goddess who protected midwives and women in labor but also the brooms used to purify temples. Her name means "to sweep away."

Empanda (em-PAHN-dah) was an ancient goddess whose names means "to give bread." It is said her temple was never closed to those in need.

Fauna, goddess of prophecy.

Feronia (fay-ROHN-yah, ferh-OH-nee-ah) was a goddess of many talents - wildlife, fertility, health, abundance, granting freedom to slaves, giving civil liberties to the humble, and potentially the goddess of fire, or water, or travelers, or the harvest. A nickname such as Ferra or Fey would bring this out of ancient times.

Furrina (fyur-EE-nah) was the goddess of bubbling water and springs.

Juturna (ju-TURN-uh) was goddess of fountains, wells and springs.

Lua (LOO-ah), the goddess of confiscated enemy weapons.

Lucina (lu-CHEE-nah, lu-SEE-nah) was the goddess of childbirth whose Greek equivalent was Eileithyia. Her name is generally taken to mean "light," like most Luc- names, but there is a strong possibility it means "grove," from lucus, as she has a sacred grove of lotus trees associated with her.

Mellonia (meh-LOW-nee-ah) was goddess of bees and beekeeping.

Nortia (NOR-shuh) was a new year goddess with Etruscan origins, and she presided over time, fate, destiny and chance.

Palatua (pa-LAH-tu-ah) guarded Palatine Hill and provided priests for the gods and goddesses.

Patelana (pah-teh-LAH-nah), or Patelena/Patella, who opens the grain.

Pax, goddess of peace.

Pellonia (pell-OH-nee-ah) was the goddess who pushed enemies away.

Pomona (poh-MOH-nah) was goddess of fruitful abundance, and her name means "fruit."

Porrima (por-EE-mah) goddess of the future. She is sometimes called Antevorta, sister of Postverta, and they are connected to Carmenta.

Proserpina (pro-sur-PEE-nah) was based on Persephone and Demeter, who were major Greek goddesses. She was an agriculture goddess, and her name likely means "to emerge." Proserpine is another recorded spelling.

Romana, or Fortuna Romana, the "Luck of Rome." She may be the same as Viscata.

Rurina (ru-REE-nah) or Rusina was a Roman agricultural deity. Along with some of the majors, like Tellus and Ceres, Rusina was goddess of the fields. Her etymology is Latin rus, the same as "rural," and "rustic." She may be the female counterpart of Rusor, but his name comes from rursus, meaning "again."

Rumina (ru-MEE-nah) was the goddess of nursing mothers and breastfeeding babies, both human and animal, and her name either comes from ruma, "teat," or rumino, "to chew the cud." Her temple was located at the foot of the Palatine Hill where Romulus and Remus, who suckled from a she-wolf, were raised. She and her male counterpart Rumino are strongly connected to fig trees. As she is very ancient, she may have once played a deeper role, one which played on the life-nourishing qualities of milk.

Runcina (roon-CHEE-nah) was the goddess of the weeding process.

Salacia (suh-LAY-shuh) was goddess of salt water/the ocean and her name means "salt" or "saltwater." She was the wife of Neptune

Segesta (seh-GESS-tuh), who promotes the growth of the planted seed.

Seia (SAY-uh) was the goddess who protected sewn seeds.

Strenia (STRAYN-yah), or Strenua, was the goddess of the new year, January 1.

Suadela (swah-DAY-lah), or Suada (SWAH-dah), was goddess of romantic persuasion.

Tutelina (TU-teh-lee-nah), who watched over stored grain. She was sometimes associated with Messia.

Venilia (veh-NEEL-ee-uh) or Venelia may have been a goddess or just a nymph. She represented the winds over the sea. She may have been a wife or lover of Neptune.

Volutina (VOH-lu-tee-nah), the goddess who makes "envelope" shaped protective leaves to form, as her etymology suggests.

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