Liberty and Sunshine

A nice example of the  use of sun/light/rays imagery used in conjunction with the theme of freedom in a non-racialized context.  I particularly like the cock (rooster) used to as a symbol (I believe) of the ‘dawn’ of a new era’ Also rather fun classical reception generally.  Product of Boulton’s mint.


Illustrated type in trade, but for academic reference specimen in BMAG (1885 N 1536.97) discussed Mason 2009:92-93.

Great online exhibition on images of liberty on early American coinage:

French Neo Classical explanation of the iconography, Thanks Delafosse!


What’s Ovid playing at?!

In the Fasti, why does he make up the goddess Muta as a name for Lara in book 2 on the Feralia?  The Romans already had a goddess of silence and she already had her own place on the calendar!

The Divalia of Angerona:

Pliny NH 3.36: It seems pertinent to add at this point an instance of old religion established especially to inculcate this silence: the goddess Angerona, to whom sacrifice is offered on December 21, is represented in her statue with a sealed bandage over her mouth.



InscrIt-13-02, 00017 = EE-09, 00740 = Gordon 00036 = AE 1898, 00014 = AE 1922, 00096 = AE 1953, +00236 = AE 1993, +00144 = AE 2002, +00181 = AE 2007, 00312

[C XII Di]va(lia) n(efas) p(iaculum) feriae diva[e Angeronae quae ab anginae morbo] / appell[atur quod remedia eius quondam] / prae[cepit statuerunt eam ore obligato] / in ar[a Volupiae ut moneret ne quis nomen] / occul[tum urbis enuntiaret 3] / [3]m aiunt ob an[3] / [3]m / [D XI c(omitialis) Laribus Perm]arinis in porti[cu Mi]nucia / [E X La]r(entalia) n(efas) p(iaculum) [fer]iae Iovi Accae Larentin[ae Parentalia fiunt] / hanc alii Remi et Rom[uli nutricem alii] / meretricem Herculis scortum [fuisse dic]unt / Parentari ei publice quod p(opulum) R(omanum) he[redem fece]rit / magnae pecuniae quam accepe[rat testame]nto / Tarutili amatoris sui / F [VIIII c(omitialis)]

Is he playing around with the identity of the Mother of the Lares and her connection with Acca Larentia?  I’m thinking about Coarelli 2003: 12-13 and how he builds on Wiseman 1995.


Divine Twins

Wiseman 1995: 71:


I am sympathetic to a view of ancient myth where narratives bleed one into another emerging as new wholes.  I’ve worried a good deal about the connection of the Penates and the Dioscuri. And then, in that context how similar the iconography of the Lares Praestites is.  In this context, when I find myself persuaded of the emergence of the Romulus and Remus narrative out of the Lara, Lares story, I immediately start wondering if we shouldn’t also add in the Dioscuri.  I’m comforted by the fact that Schwegler already made this leap:


I’m especially intrigued by the reference to Servius, Aen. 7.678 and the identification of the dii Indigetes at Praeneste as two brothers and the assertion that this is the same as at Rome.


Vergil a little earlier had just mentioned the twin kings of Tibur.

tum gemini fratres Tiburtia moenia linquunt / fratris Tiburti dictam cognomine gentem / Catillusque acerque Coras Argiua iuuentus (6.670-2)

This portion of book 7 is a mini mythological geography of the region around Rome, an opportunity for Vergil to weave in the esoterica that was not central to his narrative but potentially of sentimental attachment to parts of his audience.

I’m left with the sense that most communities around ancient Rome has pairs of founding or protective young male deities and that dii Indigetes in the unmarked plural probably generally refers to this type of god.  I take part of my support for this idea from this reading of Vergil’s Georgics.


By the same poetic logic as this above (Romulus – Indiges) in Silius Italicus,  Punica 9.294 the suggestion is that the Indigetes include Faunus, Quirinus and Castor and Pollux.  This reminds me of the composition of the Bolsena mirror!

This is also consistent with all the plural references to the di Indigetes in the Latin corpus.

Serv. V. Aen. 12.794 ~ Serv. V. Geor. 1.64

Livy 8.9.6 – Decius’ devoto

Lucan BC 1.556 – statues weep to foretell civil war

Silius Italicus,  Punica 10.436 – another military oath

The only epigraphic reference to the di Indigetes is discussed here. The article also has excellent bibliography of both the plural and singular divinities.

My one quibble would be their differentiating the Indiges of the Dec 11 festival (epigraphic evidence here) from the cult of Sol Indiges on the Quirinal known from other calendars (see below).  The key text reads: Ag]on(alia) Ind(igeti)  and we know of a connection between the Quirinal and the name Agones from Festus (images below) and Dionysius.

Singular references to Indiges seem to always refer to the god worshiped near the Numicus river, associated with both Aeneas and Jupiter.

Tibullus elegies 2.5.44

Livy 1.2.6

V. Aen. 12.794

Ovid Meta. 15.862

Aulus Gellius NA 2.16.9

Silius Italicus,  Punica 8.39

Serv. V. Aen. 1.259

There is also a frieze decorating the tomb of T. Statilius Taurus which shows the battle of Numicus and Aeneas’ apotheosis.

There is nothing that stops Aeneas Indiges from being an Augustan age creation or embellishment at very least.

Update 7/5/17:

An elogium of Aeneas from the forum of Emerita (an Augustan Colony) refers to his apotheosis and his assumption of the name Indiges Pater.  It came to light in 1986 excavations.  This elogium is nearly identical to one found in Pompeii:

CIL 10, 00808 (p 967) = CIL 10, 08348 = EE-08-01, 00311 = EE-08-01, 00854 = PompIn 00016 = InscrIt-13-03, 00085 = D 00063 = AE 2013, +00195

Augustan age epigraphy also testifies to the cult of Sol Indiges on the Quirinal. Cf. Also another calendars for reference to the same cult:

CIL 09, 02319 = CIL 09, 02320 = CIL 01, p 0217 = InscrIt-13-02, 00024 = Allifae 00002 = Allifae 00003 = RECapua 00212 = RECapua 00213 

CIL 09, 04192 (p 698) = InscrIt-13-02, 00025 = ZPE-153-266 = Freis 00001

Festus refs: