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the vault of heaven. He was once regarded as a divinity of the sea, but later as a mountain. He was the son of Iapetus, and the father of three classes of nymphs, — the Pleiads, the Hyads, and, according to some stories, the Hesperids. The last-mentioned, assisted by their mother, Hesperis, and a dragon, guarded the golden apples of the tree that had sprung up to grace the wedding of Jove and Juno. The daughters of Atlas were not themselves divinities of the sea.

(6) The Water-nymphs. — Beside the Oceanids and the Nereïds. who have already been mentioned, of most importance were the Naiads, daughters of Jupiter. They presided over brooks and fountains. Other lesser powers of the Ocean were Glaucus, Leucothea, and Melicertes, of whom more is said in another section.

The sympathy with classical ideals, which is requisite to a due appreciation of the Greek theogony, is nowadays a rare possession. There is, however, no strain of simulated regret in the following statement of the difference between ancient and modern conceptions of nature.

The world is too much with us; late and soon,
Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers :
Little we see in Nature that is ours;
We have given our hearts away, a sordid boon!
This sea that bares her bosom to the moon;
The winds that will be howling at all hours,
And are upgathered now like sleeping flowers;
For this, for everything, we are out of tune;
It moves us not. — Great God! I'd rather be
A Pagan suckled in a creed outworn;
So might I, standing on this pleasant lea,
Have glimpses that would make me less forlorn;
Have sight of Proteus rising from the sea;
Or hear old Triton blow his wreathed horn.

1 By Wordsworth.




$ 55. Gods Common to Greece and Italy. — Of the deities already mentioned, the following, although they were later identified with certain Greek gods and goddesses' whose characteristics and adventures they assumed, had developed an independent worship in Italy: Jupiter (Zeus) ; Juno (Hera); Minerva (Athene); Diana (Artemis); Mars (Ares) ; Venus (Aphrodite) ; Vulcanus, or Mulciber (Hephæstus) ; Vesta (Hestia); Mercurius (Hermes); Neptunus (Posidon); Ceres (Demeter) ; Liber (Bacchus) ; Libera (Proserpina); Magna Mater, the great mother of the gods (Rhea, Cybele); Orcus (Pluto, Hades); Tellus, the Earth (Gæa).

§ 56. Italian Gods. — There were also divinities always peculiar to Roman mythology. Of these the more important are :

(1) Saturn, an ancient Italian deity. Fanciful attempts were made to identify him with the Grecian god Cronus; and it was fabled that after his dethronement by Jupiter, he fled to Italy, where he reigned during the Golden Age. In memory of his dominion, the feast of Saturnalia was held every year in the winter season. Then all public business was suspended; declarations of war and criminal executions were postponed ; friends made presents to one another; and even slaves were indulged with great liberties. A feast was given them at which they sat at table, while their masters served, to show the natural equality of men, and that all things belonged equally to all, in the reign of Saturn. The wife of Saturn was Ops, goddess of sowing and harvest (later confounded with Rhea).

1 Names of the corresponding Greek divinities are in parentheses.

(2) Janus, the porter of Heaven. He opens the year, the first month being named after him. He is the guardian deity of gates, on which account he is commonly represented as facing both ways. His temples at Rome were numerous. In war time the gates of the principal ones were always open. In peace they were closed; but they were shut only once between the reign of Numa and that of Augustus.

(3) Quirinus, a war-god, said to be no other than Romulus, the founder of Rome, exalted after his death to a place among the immortals.

(4) Bellona, a war-goddess.

(5) Lucina, the goddess who brings to light, hence the goddess of childbirth: a title bestowed upon both Juno and Diana.

(6) Terminus, the god of landmarks. His statue was a rude stone or post, set in the ground to mark the boundaries of fields.

(7) Faunus, the grandson of Saturn. He was worshipped as a god of fields and shepherds, and also of prophecy. His name in the plural, Fauni, expressed a class of gamesome deities, like the Satyrs of the Greeks. There was also a goddess called Fauna, or Bona Dea (good goddess). To Maia, wife of Vulcan, this designation, Bona Dea, was sometimes applied.

(8) Sylvanus, presiding over forest-glades and ploughed fields.

(9) Pales, the goddess presiding over cattle and pastures. Flora, the goddess of flowers. Pomona, presiding over fruit trees. Vertumnus, the husband of Pomona, was guardian of fruit trees, gardens, and vegetables.


“ Pomona loves the orchard,

And Liber loves the vine,
And Pales loves the straw-built shed

Warm with the breath of kine;

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