Topics: Ancient Rome, Diana, Artemis Pages: 3 (871 words) Published: January 9, 2014
Diana was initially just the hunting goddess,[citation needed] associated with wild animals and woodlands. She also later became a moon goddess, supplanting Titan goddess Luna.[citation needed] She also became the goddess of childbirth and ruled over the countryside. Catullus wrote a poem to Diana in which she has more than one alias: Latonia, Lucina, Iuno, Trivia, Luna.[11] In Rome the cult of Diana should have been almost as old as the city itself as Varro mentions her in the list of deities to whom king Titus Tatius vowed a shrine. It is noteworthy that the list includes Luna and Diana Lucina as separate entities. Another testimony to the high antiquity of her cult is to be found in the lex regia of king Tullus Hostilius that condemns those guilty of incest to the sacratio to the goddess. Diana was worshipped at a festival on August 13,[12] when King Servius Tullius, himself born a slave, dedicated her temple on the Aventine Hill in the mid-6th century BC. Being placed on the Aventine, and thus outside the pomerium, meant that Diana's cult essentially remained a foreign one, like that of Bacchus; she was never officially transferred to Rome as Juno was after the sack of Veii. It seems that her cult originated in Aricia,[13] where her priest, the Rex Nemorensis remained. There the simple open-air fane was held in common by the Latin tribes,[14] which Rome aspired to weld into a league and direct. Diana of the wood was soon thoroughly Hellenized,[15] "a process which culminated with the appearance of Diana beside Apollo in the first lectisternium at Rome".[16] Diana was regarded with great reverence and was a patroness of lower-class citizens, called plebeians,[17] and slaves; slaves could receive asylum in her temples. This fact is of difficult interpretation. Georg Wissowa proposed the explanation that it might be because the first slaves of the Romans must have been Latins of the neighbouring tribes.[18] However in Ephesus too there was the same custom of...
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