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Diana


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An Italian goddess anciently identified with Artemis, from whom she took over the patronage of margins and savageness. One of her most famous shrines was on Mt. Tifata near Capua; the name Tifata means ‘holm‐oak grove’, which suits Diana's character as a goddess of the wilderness. Most famous of all was her ancient cult near Aricia (on the shore of the volcanic lake known as the Mirror of Diana, below the modern Nemi, i.e. nemus, ‘grove’). Her temple stood in a grove. It was an old religious centre of the Latin League, and it is probable that the foundation of her temple on the Aventine was an attempt to transfer the headquarters of this cult to Rome, along with the headship of the league. See further rex nemorensis. That she was later largely a goddess of women is shown by the processions of women bearing torches (symbols of her name and original function) in her honour at Aricia.

Subjects: Classical Studies.


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