Temple of Juturna in Largo di Torre Argentina, Rome.
Temple of Juturna in Largo di Torre Argentina, Rome.

In the myth and religion of ancient Rome, Juturna, or Diuturna,[1] was a goddess of fountains, wells and springs, and the mother of Fontus by Janus.[2]

Mythology

Juturna was an ancient Latin deity of fountains,[3] who in some myths was turned by Jupiter into a water nymph – a Naiad – and given by him a sacred well in Lavinium, Latium,[4] as well as another one near the temple to Vesta in the Forum Romanum. The pool next to the second well was called Lacus Juturnae. A local water nymph or river-god generally presides over a single body of water, but Juturna has broader powers which probably reflect her original importance in Latium, where she had temples in Rome and Lavinium, a cult of healthful waters at Ardea, and the fountain/well next to the lake in the Roman forum. It was here in Roman legend that the deities Castor and Pollux watered their horses after bringing news of the Roman victory at the Battle of Lake Regillus in 496 BC (Valerius Maximus, I.8.1; Plutarch, Life of Aemilius Paulus, 25.2, Life of Coriolanus, 3.4).

In literature

Cult

Holloway has argued that the goddess shown carrying a winged helmet on early Roman coinage is Juturna, but her iconography is largely unknown. A later altar relief from the Temple of Castor and Pollux in the Roman Forum may depict her. A Roman festival was held in her honor on January 11, when she was given sacrifices and honored by the fontani (the men who maintained the fountains and aqueducts of Rome).[7]

Honours

Juturna Lake in Antarctica is named after the deity.

References

  1. ^ F Guirand ed, New Larousse Encyclopedia of Mythology (London 1968) p. 210
  2. ^ Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Juturna" . Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.
  3. ^ J E Sandys, A Dictionary of Classical Antiquities (London 1892) p. 340
  4. ^ J E Sandys, A Dictionary of Classical Antiquities (London 1892) p. 340
  5. ^ Virgil, Aeneid (Penguin 1990) p. 384 and 396 (Aen. 12.638-44 and 1059-61)
  6. ^ A Chiu, Ovid’s Women of the Year (2016) p. 88-90
  7. ^ F Guirand ed, New Larousse Encyclopedia of Mythology (London 1968) p. 210

Further reading