For the genus of Lepidoptera, see Carmenta (moth)
The Duenos inscription, dated to the 6th century BC, shows the earliest known forms of the Old Latin alphabet.

In Roman mythology, Carmenta was the goddess of childbirth and prophecy, associated with technological innovation as well as the protection of mothers and children, and a patron of midwives. Her name is derived from carmen, meaning a magic spell, oracle or song, and is also the roots of the word charm. Her real name was Nicostrata, but was changed later by the Italians. She was the mother of Evander and along with other followers they founded the town of Pallantium, which later was one of the sites of the start of Rome.

Carmenta was said to have invented the Latin alphabet.

Carmenta was one of the Camenae. The leader of her cult was called the flamen carmentalis.

It was forbidden to wear leather or other forms of dead skin in her temple, which was next to the Porta Carmentalis in Rome.

Her festival, called the Carmentalia, was celebrated primarily by women on January 11 and January 15.


Boccaccio’s Famous Women translated by Virginia Brown 2001, pp. 52-56; Cambridge and London, Harvard University Press; ISBN 0-674-01130-9