Ladon

A river in Arcadia. (Pausanias says, VIII xx, that its springs derive from the Phenean Lake and that it has the finest water of any river in Greece.)

Book II: February 15 In Arcadia, a site of the worship of Pan.

Book V: Introduction A site of the worship of Mercury.

 

Laenas

Consul in 173BC.

Book V: May 2 Mentioned.

 

Laestrygones

An ancient people of Campania in Italy, fabled to be cannibals. See Lamus. They attacked Ulysses and his comrades.

Book IV: Introduction Mentioned.

 

Lampsacus

An ancient Greek colony in Mysia, Asia Minor, known as Pityusa or Pityussa before its colonization by lonian Greeks from Phocaea and Miletus, situated on the Hellespont, opposite Callipolis (Gallipoli) in Thrace. It possessed a good harbour; and the neighborhood was famous for its wine. Lampsacus was the chief seat of the worship of Priapus, a gross nature-god closely connected with the culture of the vine. The ancient name is preserved in the modern village of Lapsaki, but the Greek town possibly lay at Chardak immediately opposite Gallipoli.

Book VI: June 9 Priapus was worshipped there.

 

Lamus

Mythical king of the Laestrygonians, and founder of Formiae. (The Laestrygonian country has been placed in Sicily, at Formia on the coast of Campania, or, as Ernle Bradford suggests in ‘Ulysses Found’ Ch.12, from the details of the natural harbour described by Homer in the Odyssey, at Bonafacio in Corsica, in the sea-gate between Corsica and Sardinia.)

Book IV: Introduction His people the Laestrygonians.

 

Lanuvium

 

Laomedon

The king of Troy, son of Ilus the younger, father of Priam, Hesione and Antigone.

Book VI: June 9 Son of Ilus, to whom the Palladium descended.

Book VI: June 20 The father of Tithonus the Assyrian.

 

Lara, see Tacita

The Silent Goddess.

Book II: February 21 Ovid derives her name from Lala, from the Greek λαλεϊν, to prattle.

 

Larentia

Nurse to Romulus and Remus.

Book III: Introduction Mentioned.

 

Lares

Beneficent spirits watching over the household, fields, public areas etc.

They were the public gods of the crossroads, the Lares Compitales, or Praestites, enshrined in pairs, providing protection, deriving from Etruscan and Sabine deities, as the single family Lar provided household protection. Each house had a Lararium where the image of the Lar was kept. The Lar is usually coupled with the Penates the gods of the larder. The yearly festival of the public Lares was the Compitalia.

Book I: January 1 The Household.

Book II: February 21 The children of Lara.

Book II: February 22 An offering of food made to them.

Book IV: April 21 The household gods of early Rome.

Book V: May 1 An altar dedicated to them on this day. They guard and protect the City.

Book VI: June 27 A sanctuary grantd them on this day.

 

Latinus

The son of Faunus, grandson of Picus, king of Laurentum in Latium, and father of Lavinia. Aeneas married his daughter and became king.

Book II: February 21 The native ruler of Latium.

Book III: March 15 Merged his people with those of Aeneas, and gave him his daughter Lavinia in marriage.

Book IV: Introduction The son of Silvius = Faunus and father of Alba.

Book IV: April 23 Called Latin Amata.

 

Latium

A country in Central Italy, containing Rome. (The modern Lazio region. It originally designated the small area between the mouth of the Tiber and the Alban Hills. With the Roman conquest it was extended south-east to the Gulf of Gaeta, and west to the mountains of Abruzzo, forming the so-called Latium novum or adiectum.)

Book I: January 1 Its name derived by Ovid from Saturn’s concealment (latente).

Book II: February 21 Home of Juturna, and of the nymphs.

Book III: Introduction Mars worshipped there in pre-Roman times.

Book IV: April 4 Aeneas brought the Trojan relics there.

 

Latona

Daughter of the Titan Coeus, and mother of Apollo and Artemis (Diana) by Jupiter.

Book V: May 11 Served by Orion whom she changed into a constellation.

 

Laurentine Fields

The Laurentine road ran towards the sea. The Laurentines were an ancient people living near the coast of Latium. Their city Laurentum is deemed identical with Lavinium.

Book II: February 23 Where Aeneas landed.

 

Lausus

Son of Numitor, killed by Amulius.

Book IV: Introduction Mentioned.

 

Lavinia

The daughter of King Latinus, betrothed to Turnus but later won by Aeneas.

Book I: January 11 The pretext for the wars in Latium.

Book III: March 15 Won by Aeneas.

 

Learchus

The son of Athamas.

Book VI: June 11 Killed by his maddened father.

 

Lemnos

The Greek island. The home of Vulcan the blacksmith of the gods.Thoas was once king there when the Lemnian women murdered their menfolk because of their adultery with Thracian girls. His life was spared because his daughter Hypsipyle set him adrift in an oarless boat.

Book III: Introduction Vulcan worshipped there. Hypsipyle its queen.

 

Lemuria

The festival of the wandering spirits of the dead, who visited their old homes, and were placated by offerings of black beans signifying the living.

Book V: May 9 Ovid explains the rites. The spirits called Lemures.

 

Leo

The constellation and zodiacal sign of the Lion. It contains the star Regulus ‘the heart of the lion’, one of the four guardians of the heavens in Babylonian astronomy, which lies nearly on the ecliptic. (The others are Aldebaran in Taurus, Antares in Scorpius, and Fomalhaut ‘the Fish’s Eye’ in Piscis Austrinus. All four are at roughly ninety degrees to one another). The constellation represents the lion killed by Hercules as the first of his twelve labours.

Book I: January 24 Book II: February 2 Leo set at dawn at the end of January/start of February.

 

Leontini

An ancient city in E Sicily, c.20 mi (32 km) S of Catania. It was (729 B.C.) a colony of Chalcidians from the island of Naxos and passed (5th cent. B.C.) under the rule of Syracuse. It was the legendary home of the Laestrygones, a group of giants encountered by Odysseus. The modern town occupying the site is Lentini.

Book IV: April 12 Passed by Ceres.

 

Lesbos

The island in the eastern Aegean. Among its cities were Mytilene and Methymna. Famous as the home of Sappho the poetess, whose love of women gave rise to the term lesbian.

Book IV: April 4 Passed by Cybele.

 

Leucas

An island off the coast of Acarnania in western Greece, in the Ionian Sea north of Ithaca. Once joined to the mainland.

Book V: May 14 There was a ritual each year on a promontory there, where someone was thrown into the sea.

 

Leucippus

Co-king of Messene with Aphareus.

Book V: May 20 The daughters of Leucippus, Phoebe and Hilaira, were raped and abducted by Castor and Pollux. They were betrothed to Idas and Lynceus his half-brother, who fought to regain them.

 

Leucothea

The White Goddess, the sea-goddess into whom Ino was changed, who as a sea-mew helped Ulysses (See Homer’s Odyssey). She is a manifestation of the Great Goddess in her archetypal form. (See Robert Graves’s ‘The White Goddess’) Venus interceded for Ino, after she had leapt into the sea with her son, and Neptune changed them into sea-deities.

Book VI: June 11 Ino’s divine name.

 

Liber, see Bacchus

An ancient rural god of Italy who presided over planting and fructification. He became associated (as Liber Pater) with Bacchus-Dionysus.

Book I: January 9 Book III: March 5 Book III: March 8 An epithet of Bacchus.

 

Libera, see Ariadne

Book III: March 8 Her divine name.

 

Libertas

The deified virtue, Liberty, centre of one of the many Roman cults.

Book IV: April 13 The Atrium Libertatis, not far from the Forum was dedicated to her.

 

Libra

The constellation of the Balance or Scales, made a separate constellation by Julius Caesar having formerly been regarded by the Greeks as the claws of Scorpio. The symbol of Justice, held by the goddess Astraeia, represented by the constellation Virgo.

Book IV: April 6 Libra was just rising in the east at twilight on this day.

 

Lilybaeum

The cape (now Boeo) and ancient city of Sicily, on the extreme south-western coast. It is the modern Marsala. It was founded (396 B.C.) by Carthage and became a stronghold. In the First Punic War it resisted a long Roman siege (250–242 B.C.). Rome finally won (241 B.C.) the city and used it as a base for the African campaign of Scipio Africanus Major. The city was famous for its harbor.

Book IV: April 12 Ceres passed by.

 

Livia

Livia Drusilla (58BC-29AD), the daughter of Marcus Livius Drusus Claudianus, who became Empress. Her first husband was Tiberius Claudius Nero (who fought against Octavian-Augustus in the Perusine War) to whom she bore Tiberius, later Emperor and Drusus the father of Germanicus, who was Octavian’s future general in Germany.  She married Octavian, the future Augustus, in 38BC, while he was Triumvir, he having forced Claudius to relinquish her. She bore Augustus no children, but exercised great power over him and the succession, helping to secure it for Tiberius. Ovid may have been involved in the anti-Claudian party and so have crossed Livia or her supporters, preventing any chances of reprieve from his exile.

Book I: January 11 Adopted into the Julian Family, according to Augustus’ will, and titled Julia Augusta, subsequently deified by Claudius.

Book I: January 16 Dedicated a shrine to Concord (Concordia) which she presented to Augustus.

Book V: May 1 Restored the temple of Bona Dea, the Good Goddess.

Book VI: June 11 Dedicated a temple of Concord. Her Colonnade was built on the site of a palace of Vedius Pollio bequeathed to Augustus who demolished it. The Colonnade was named after Livia in 7BC.

 

Lotis

A Naiad desired by Priapus.

Book I: January 9 His seduction of her.

 

Lucifer

The morning star (the planet Venus in dawn aspect).

Book I:Introduction The dawn.

Book II: February 9 Venus was a morning ‘star’ in the unknown year when Ovid was writing Book II, for example it was true in 8AD the year of his exile.

Book III: March 26 The Morning Star. Ovid takes this date as the spring equinox.

Book V: May 12 The Morning Star.

 

Lucina

‘The light bringer’, the Roman goddess of childbirth, a manifestation of Juno, but also applied to Diana, as the Great Goddess.

Book II: February 15 Ovid suggests derivations for her name.

Book VI: Introduction Ovid derives her name from luces (days).

 

Lucretia

The wife of Tarquinius Collatinus raped by Sextus Tarquin.

Book II: February 24 Ovid tells the story.

 

Lupercal

A cave at the south west foot of the Palatine Hill said to have been the she-wolf’s den. A fig tree grew there the Ficus Ruminalis.

Book II: February 15 Ovid explains the origin of the name.

 

Luperci, Lupercalia

The priests of Lupercus, the Roman version of Pan Lukaios. The priests were divided into the colleges of the Fabii or Fabiani and Quinctiales or Quinctilii. A third college the Julii was established by Julius Caesar in 44BC.

Book II: Introduction Rites of purification.

Book II: February 15 Book V: Introduction The Lupercalia. The priests stripped naked and ran through the streets, apparently round the boundary of the ancient city on the Palatine, starting from the Lupercal. The priests named Luperci from the place of the wolf (lupa). They struck women on the hands with strips of sacrificial goatskin to promote fertility, and purify from barreness and other evils.

 

Lyaeus

An epithet of Bacchus meaning ‘the deliverer from care’.

Book I: January 9 Worshipped by the minor deities.

 

Lycaeus

A mountain in Arcadia. (Pausanias, VIII xxxviii, has a long section on this mountain, the Holy Peak, sacred to Zeus-Jupiter, and Pan. In the precinct of Zeus no shadow is cast.)

Book II: February 15 A mountain in Arcadia, and seat of worship.

 

Lycaon

Son of Pelasgus. Lycaon was a king of primitive Arcadia who presided over barbarous cannibalistic practises. He was transformed into a wolf by Zeus, angered by human sacrifice. His sons offered Zeus, disguised as a traveller, a banquet containing human remains. They were also changed into wolves and Zeus then precipitated a great flood to cleanse the world.

Book II: February 11 Book III: March 17 The father of Callisto.

 

Lycurgus

King of the Edonians (Edoni) of Thrace who opposed Bacchus’s entry into his kingdom at the River Strymon. Lycurgus was driven mad and killed his own son Dryas with an axe thinking he was a vine. He pruned the corpse, and the Edonians, horrified, instructed by Bacchus, tore Lycurgus to pieces with wild horses on Mount Pangaeum.

Book III: March 17 Mentioned.

 

Lynceus

The son of Aphareus, king of Messene, and Arene: half-brother to Idas.

Book V: May 20 The daughters of Leucippus, Phoebe and Hilaira, were raped and abducted by Castor and Pollux. They were betrothed to Lynceus and Idas, who fought to regain them.

 

Lyre, the Constellation Lyra

The constellation of the Lyre, representing the stringed instrument invented by Mercury and given by Apollo to Orpheus. It contains Vega the fifth brightest star in the sky, which forms one corner of the ‘summer triangle’ with Deneb in Cygnus and Altair in Aquila. Vega will be the pole star around AD14000.

Book I: January 5 Lyra rose at about 3am at this date from Rome.

Book I: January 17 Lyra effectively rose near dawn and set shortly after dusk at this date, thus being visible as an evening constellation for a short time at night.

Book II: February 2 By this date Lyra would be setting before twilight in the north-west and thus be invisible.

Book V: May 5 At this date Lyra was in fact rising at twilight in the north-east.

 

Maenads, Bacchae, Bacchantes, Thyiads

The female followers of Bacchus-Dionysus, noted for their ecstatic worship of the god. Dionysus brought terror and joy. The Maenads’ secret female mysteries may indicate older rituals of ecstatic human sacrifice.

Book IV: April 12 Book VI: June 11 Mentioned.

 

Maenalus, see Arcadia

A mountain range in Arcadia. (Pausanias, VIII xxxvi, says it is sacred to Pan, and the people living there hear him piping.) The haunt of Diana the goddess of the hunt and her virgin companions.

Book II: February 11 Callisto, the Arcadian.

Book III: Introduction Faunus worshipped in Arcadia.

Book IV: April 15 Pan the god of Maenalus.

Book V: Introduction Site of the worship of Mercury.

 

Maeonides

An epithet for Homer from Maeonia in Lydia, his reputed birthplace.

Homer is of course the Greek epic poet, (fl. c. 8th century BC? born Chios or Smyrna?), supposed main author of the Iliad and Odyssey.

Book II: February 5 He sang of Achilles.

 

Maia

One of the Pleiads. She slept with Jupiter, and bore him Mercury.

Book IV: April 2 Mentioned.

Book V: Introduction Book V: May 9 Book V: May 15 Mother of Mercury.

 

Majesty, Maiestas

The daughter of Honour and Reverence according to Ovid.

Book V: Introduction Her birth.

 

Mamurius, Mamuralia

Possibly an Oscan name of Mars. A legendary craftsman at the time of Numa. The Mamuralia was held on March 14.

Book III: March 1 Ovid tells the background legend.

 

Manlius Capitolinus, Marcus

Defended the Capitol in 390BC.

Book VI: June 1 Subsequently charged with seeking kingship.

 

Marcellus

Marcus Claudius Marcellus captured Syracuse in 212BC.

Book IV: April 23 And took the Hill of Eryx, bringing back the sacred rites of Venus from there to Rome.

 

March

The month, named by Romulus after his father, the god Mars.

Book III: Introduction So named.

 

Marcia

The daughter of Lucius Marcius Philippus, wife of Paullus Fabius Maximus, Ovid’s patron, and a friend of Ovid’s third wife who may have been part of her household.

Book VI: June 30 Ovid praises her.

 

Mars

The war god, son of Jupiter, and Juno, the Roman name for the Greek god Ares. An old name for him is Mavors or Mamers. In his military aspect he became known as Gradivus.

Book I:Introduction Gave his name to the first month, March.

Book II: February 5 Book IV: Introduction The father of Romulus. He deified his son.

Book II: February 15 Book IV: Introduction Book V: May 9 The father of Romulus and Remus.

Book II: February 27 Known as Gradivus, the Marching God.

Book III: Introduction Invoked by Ovid. His month of March. His sacred bird the woodpecker. Worshipped by the Latin peoples before the foundation of Rome, but particularly a god of Rome.

Book III: March 23 Sacrifices to him on this day.

Book IV: April 2 He slept with Sterope.

Book V: May 2 His birth was aided by Flora’s art.

Book V: May 12 Augustus dedicated a temple to Mars the Avenger (Ultor) August 1st, 2 BC on his avenging Julius Caesar’s death, and another temple in 20BC commemorating the recovery of the Parthian standards.

Book VI: June 1 His temple beside the Via Tecta (probably a colonnade by the Appian Way), visible from outside the Capene Gate.

Book VI: June 9 He speaks on behalf of Rome.

 

Marsyas

A Satyr of Phrygia who challenged Apollo to a contest in musical skill, and was flayed alive by the God when he was defeated.  (An analogue for the method of making primitive flutes, Minerva’s invention, by extracting the core from the outer sheath) (See Perugino’s painting – Apollo and Marsyas – The Louvre, Paris)

Book VI: June 13 His discovery of the first flute.

 

Masinissa

He and Scipio defeated Syphax and Hasdrubal son of Gisco in 203BC.

Book VI: June 23 On this day.

 

Matralia, Mater Matuta

The Festival of Mater Matuta, identified by Ovid with Ino.

Book VI: June 11 The festival of good mothers.

 

Mavors, see Mars

An epithet of Mars.

Book III: March 1 So addressed.

Book IV: April 21 Invoked by Romulus at the founding of Rome.

Book VI: Introduction He entrusted the defence of the city to Juno.

 

May

The month of May.

Book V: Introduction Ovid suggests various origins for the name.

 

Medea

The daughter of Aeetes, king of Colchis and the Caucasian nymph Asterodeia. A famous sorceress, called the Phasian from the River Phasis in Colchis. She conceived a passion for Jason and agonised over the betrayal of her country for him.( See Gustave Moreau’s painting ‘Jason and Medea’, Louvre, Paris: Frederick Sandys painting ‘Medea’, Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, England: and Castiglione’s painting, ‘Medea casting a spell’, Wadsworth Athanaeum, Hartford, Connecticut) She determined to help Jason carry out his tasks and he took Medea back with him to Iolchos. She deceived Pelias’s daughters and employed them to help destroy him. She then fled through the air with her winged dragons to reach Corinth. There she killed Glauce her rival, and then sacrificed her own sons, before fleeing to Athens where she married King Aegeus.

Book II: Introduction Welcomed by Aegeus.

Book II: February 22 Noted for her crimes.

 

Medusa

One of the three Gorgons, daughter of Phorcys the wise old man of the sea. She is represented in the sky by part of the constellation Perseus, who holds her decapitated head. Neptune lay with her in the form of a bird, and she produced Pegasus the winged horse.

Book III: March 7 Book V: Introduction Mother of Pegasus.

 

Megalesia

The Megalesian Games in honour of the goddess Cybele.

Book IV: April 4 Celebrated on this date.

 

Megara

Megara Hyblaea, a Dorian settlement of 726 BC on the east coast of Sicily.

Book IV: April 12  Ceres passed by.

 

Meleager

King of Calydon, the son of Oeneus, and Althaea, daughter of Thestius. As prince, a hero of Calydon, he joined the Calydonian Boar hunt. He fell in love with Atalanta. He killed the boar and in an argument over the spoils he murdered his uncles, Plexippus and Toxeus. His mother Althaea punished him, with death, by throwing a brand, linked to his life, into the fire.

Book V: May 2 An example of divine vengeance.

 

Melicertes

The son of Athamas and Ino. His mother Ino, maddened by Tisiphone and the sight of her son Learchus’ death, at the hands of his father, leapt into the sea with him. He was changed by Neptune, at Venus’s request, into the sea-god Palaemon.

Book VI: June 11 Ovid tells the tale.

 

Melite, Malta

The island of Malta in the Mediterranean. Cosyra is Pantellaria about 150 miles distant.

Book III: March 15 Ruled by Battus, a refuge for Anna.

 

Memnon

The son of Tithonus and Aurora, fought for Troy in the Trojan War with Greece. He was killed by Achilles, but his mother Aurora begged Jupiter for funeral honours, and he created the warring flock of birds, the Memnonides, from his ashes.

Book IV: April 20 Aurora, the dawn, is his mother.

 

Mercury

The messenger god, Hermes, son of Jupiter and the Pleiad Maia, the daughter of Atlas. He is therefore called Atlantiades. His birthplace was Mount Cyllene, and he is therefore called Cyllenius. He has winged feet, and a winged cap, carries a scimitar, and has a magic wand, the caduceus, with twin snakes twined around it, that brings sleep and healing. The caduceus is the symbol of medicine. (See Botticelli’s painting Primavera.)

Book II: February 21 Summoned by Jupiter to conduct Lara to the underworld.

Book V: Introduction Born on mount Cyllene, worshipped in Arcadia. His rites introduced into Italy by Evander. He named the month of May after his mother Maia.

Book V: May 9 The god of the caduceus, the son of Maia.

Book V: May 11 Helps create a son, Orion (Urion) for Hyrieus.

Book V: May 15 His temple facing the Circus, founded on the Ides in 495BC. Ovid celebrates the god. His fountain by the Capene Gate. He stole the cattle of Apollo.

 

Merope

The seventh ‘lost’ Pleiad.

Book IV: April 2 She married Sisyphus and hides from shame.

 

Metanira

Wife to Celeus, and mother of Triptolemus, cured by Ceres.

Book IV: April 12 Mentioned.

 

Metellus, Lucius Caecilius

Pontifex Maximus.

Book VI: June 9 He saved the sacred relics of Vesta’s temple in 241BC.

 

Metellus, Quintus Caecilius

Book IV: April 4 He rebuilt the temple to Cybele originally dedicated in 191BC, after a fire in 111BC.

 

Mezentius

An Etruscan leader in the Wars in Latium.

Book IV: April 23 Killed by Aeneas.

 

Mind

Mens, the goddess of Mind (courage, heart etc).

Book VI: June 8 A sanctuary to her vowed by the Senate after the defeat by the Carthaginians at Lake Trasimene in 217BC.

 

Minerva

The Roman name for the Greek Athene, the goddess of the mind and women’s arts (also a goddess of war and the goddess of boundaries – see the Stele of Athena, bas-relief, Athens, Acropolis Museum)

Book III: Introduction A goddess of war and peaceful arts.

Book III: March 1 Invoked as a goddess of peace.

Book III: March 15 Loved by Mars.

Book III: March 19 Her festival the Quinquatrus. The shrine of Minerva Capta, and Ovid’s suggestions for the derivation of the name.

Book V: May 2 In one version of myth she was born from Zeus’ head, without a mother.

Book VI: June 9 An image of her, the Palladium, fell from heaven, and as long as it was preserved, Troy was secure. The Greek tale has Ulysses and Diomed steal it, to bring about Troy’s downfall, but the Roman legend was that Aeneas brought it to Italy and that it was kept in the temple of Vesta.

Book VI: June 13 Ovid invokes her favour. The Lesser Quinquatrus. Called Tritonia from her origins near Lake Triton in Libya.

Book VI: June 19 Her worship on the Aventine.

 

Mulciber

‘The Melter’ A name for Vulcan, the smith, as a metal-worker. (See Milton’s Paradise Lost Book I, as the architect of the towers of Heaven. ‘From Morn to Noon he fell...’) A synonym for fire. As such he consumed the mortal part of Hercules.

Book I: January 11 The father of Cacus.

Book VI: June 11 The father of Servius Tullius. Preserves his statue.

 

Muses

The nine Muses are the virgin daughters of Jupiter and Mnemosyne (Memory). They are the patronesses of the arts. Clio (History), Melpomene (Tragedy), Thalia (Comedy), Euterpe (Lyric Poetry), Terpsichore (Dance), Calliope (Epic Poetry), Erato (Love Poetry), Urania (Astronomy), and Polyhymnia (Sacred Song). Mount Helicon is hence called Virgineus. Their epithets are Pierides, Aonides, and Thespiades.

Book II: February 15 The Pierides invoked by Ovid.

Book IV: April 4 The granddaughters of Cybele, the Great Mother, and mother of Jupiter.

Book VI: June 30 Juno reluctantly gave Hercules a place in the temple of the Muses.

 

Muta, see Tacita

 

Mycenae

The city in the Argolis, near Argos and Tiryns. Excavated by Schliemann who opened the beehive tombs of the royal tomb circle. Famous for its Lion Gate once topped perhaps by a statue of the Cretan Great Goddess.

Book III: Introduction Juno worshipped there.

 

Mylae

The ancient port, of NE Sicily, now Milazzo. It was settled by colonists from Messina. Here in 260 B.C. the Romans in a newly built fleet were led to victory over the Carthaginians by the consul Caius Duilius in the First Punic War; it was Rome’s first naval triumph. Mylae was (36 B.C.) the scene of a naval victory of Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa over Sextus Pompeius.

Book IV: April 12  Ceres passed by.

 

Naiads

The water nymphs, demi-goddesses of the rivers, streams and fountains.

Book I: January 9 Attendants on Bacchus.

Book I: January 11 Greeted by Carmentis.

 

Narcissus

The son of the Naiad Liriope and the river-god Cephisus. He rejected Echo out of pride and self-love and she wasted away. He fell in love with his own reflected image. (See the painting by Caravaggio- Palazzo Barberini, Rome), lamented the pain of unrequited love and was turned into the narcissus flower.

Book V: May 2 Mentioned.

 

Nasica, Publius Scipio

Publius Cornelius Scipio Nasica, a young man, was commissioned to receive the statue of the goddess Cybele into the City.

Book IV: April 4 Mentioned.

 

Nemi

The grove at Aricia a town in Latium, (the modern La Riccia), at the foot of the Alban Mountain, three miles from Nemi. The lake and the sacred grove at Nemi were sometimes known as the lake and grove of Aricia, and were the sanctuary of Diana Nemorensis, Diana of the Wood. (See Turner’s etching and painting, The Golden Bough- British Museum and Tate Gallery). Worship there was instituted by Orestes, who fled to Italy, after killing Thoas, king of the Tauric Chersonese, taking with him the image of Tauric Diana. The rites practised there are the starting point for J.G.Frazer’s monumental study in magic and religion, ‘The Golden Bough’. (See Chapter I, et seq.)

Book III: March 1 Hippolytus, as Virbius was the consort of Diana Nemorensis.

 

Nephele

The wife of Athamas, and mother of Phrixus and Helle. Nephele was a phantom created by Jupiter in the likeness of Juno when he wished to deceive Ixion the Lapith who pursued her. Athamas set her aside for Ino.

Book III: March 23 She rescues her children.

 

Neptune

God of the sea, brother of Pluto and Jupiter. The trident is his emblem

Book I: January 11 He assisted at the building of Troy.

Book IV: April 2 He slept with Alcyone and Celaeno.

Book V: May 11 Helps create a son, Orion (Urion) for Hyrieus.

 

Nestor

King of Pylos, son of Neleus. Famed for his wisdom, eloquence and longevity, he took part in the War against Troy.

Book III: March 15 His longevity.

 

Nomentum

Nomentum(modern Menlana), an ancient town of Italy, 14 m. N.E. of Rome by the Via Nomentana. It was a Latin town, but was by some considered to be Sabine, and, like Fidenae and Ficulea, was excluded from the first region by Augustus, who made the Anio its northern boundary.

Book IV: April 25 Ovid travelling back from there to Rome.

 

Nonacris

Mount Nonacris in Arcadia. Also a town in the same region.

Book II: February 15 In Arcadia, a site of the worship of Pan.

 

Numa Pompilius

Numa Pompilius, the second king of Rome (trad. 715-673BC). He searched for knowledge. Having been instructed by Pythagoras (a fable, see the Metamorphoses Bk. XV), he returned to Latium and ruled there, teaching the arts of peace. His wife was Egeria, the nymph.

Book I:Introduction Book III: Introduction Added January and February to the calendar.

Book II: February 1 Book VI: June 9 His sanctuary, the Temple of Vesta.

Book III: March 1 His wife, Egeria, the nymph. He restrained the Quirites.

Book IV: April 15 The origins of the Fordicidia in Numa’s reign.

Book V: Introduction He worshipped Majesty.

 

Numicius

A river in Latium.

Book III: March 15 Hides Anna.

 

Numitor

King of Latium. Father of Ilia, and maternal grandfather of Romulus.

Book IV: Introduction He succeeded Proca.

Book V: Introduction Grandfather of Romulus.

 

Nysa

Heliconian Mount Nysa. The Nyseïds were the nymphs Macris, Erato, Bromie, Bacche and Nysa who hid Bacchus in their cave and nurtured him. They became the Hyades.

Book III: March 17 They hid Bacchus in ivy leaves.

 

Ocean

The Ocean, personified as a sea-god, son of Earth and Air, and husband of Tethys his sister. Oceanus and Tethys are also the Titan and Titaness ruling the planet Venus. Some say from his waters all living things originated and Tethys produced all his children.

Book V: Introduction The primal Ocean. Husband of Tethys, father of Pleione.

Book V: May 2 Grandfather of the Hyades.

 

Ocresia

Ocresia of Corniculum, wife of Tullius of Corniculum. She was given by Tarquin, when he took the city, as a handmaid to his wife Tanaquil. Ocresia was pregnant, and Servius was her son. Later he was given Vulcan as a divine father.

Book VI: June 11 The legend.

 

Oebalus

King of Sparta, from whom the Sabines claimed descent. He was the father of Tyndareus, and therefore Helen’s grandfather.

Book I: January 1 An ancestor of Tatius the Sabine.

Book V: May 20 The grandfather of Castor and Pollux, the Tyndarides.

 

Olenus

Father of Aege, the goat-nymph.

Book V: May 1 Associated with Capella the ‘goat-star’, in the constellation of Auriga the Charioteer.

 

Olympus

A mountain in northern Thessaly supposed to be the home of the gods.

Book I: January 3 Book III: March 7 The Giants piled Ossa and Pelion on Olympus during their battle with the gods.

Book III: March 6 Mentioned. East of Rome.

Book V: Introduction The seat of the gods.

 

Omphale

Queen of Lydia, whom Hercules served for three years. She was a daughter of Jordanes, and husband of Tmolus.

Book II: February 15 Mistress of Hercules. The tale of their encounter with Pan/Faunus.

 

Ophiucus

The constellation (Anguitenens), usually identified as Aesculapius. It contains Barnard’s star, the second closest star to the sun, having the largest proper motion of any star. The encircling snake is the constellation Serpens.

Book VI: June 21 The constellation was well above the southern horizon at twilight at this date.

 

Ops

A Sabine Earth-goddess, associated with agricultural wealth and the soil, identified with the Greek Rhea.

Book VI: June 9 Mother by Saturn of Juno, Ceres and Vesta.

 

Orion

The mighty hunter, one of the giants, now a constellation with his two hunting dogs and his sword and glittering belt. The brightest constellation in the sky, it is an area of star formation in a nearby arm of the Galaxy centred on M42 the Orion Nebula, which marks Orion’s sword. He is depicted as brandishing a club and shield at Taurus the Bull. He was stung to death by a scorpion, and now rises when Scorpio sets and vice versa. His two dogs are Canis Major, which contains Sirius the brightest star in the sky after the sun, and Canis Minor, which contains the star Procyon, forming an equilateral triangle with Sirius and Betelgeuse the red giant in Orion.

Book IV: April 9 Orion was setting in the west at twilight at this date.

Book V: May 11 Orion set before twilight on this date, and was therefore not visible by night. He attacked the Scorpion (Scorpio) sent to harm Latona and she turned him into the constellation.

Book VI: June 17 The son of Hyrieus. Orion was rising at dawn on this date.

Book VI: June 26 Orion was rising at dawn at this date.

 

Ortygia

Part of the city of Syracuse in Sicily on an island in the harbour.

Book IV: April 12  Ceres passed by.

 

Ossa

A mountain in Thessaly in Northern Greece.

Book I: January 3 Book III: March 7 Piled on Olympus by the Giants in their battle with the gods.

 

Othryades

The sole Spartan survivor of a dispute between Argos and Sparta ov er Thyrea.

Book II: February 23 The weapons dedicated to his name.

 

Ovens, Feast of

Rites celebrated at the time of parching the grain.

Book II: February 17 The latest date for the festival.

Book VI: June 9 Goddess of the Ovens mentioned.

 

Ovid

The author, Publius Ovidius Naso, born March 20th 43BC.

Book IV: Introduction Born at Sulmo. Ovid is clearly writing or editing from exile in Tomis at this point.

Book VI: June 6 His daughter was his only child, his daughter by his second wife. She was married to a senator Cornelius Fidus and went to Africa with him, a senatorial province. See Tristia Book IV.X for Ovid’s autobiography.

Book VI: June 13 Ovid touches on his own exile at Tomis, a much less pleasant place than Tibur!