Grotta di Cocceio
The Grotta di Cocceio is an ancient Roman tunnel nearly a kilometre in length connecting Lake Avernus with Cumae and dating from 38-36 BC. It was burrowed through the tuff stone of Monte Grillo by the architect Lucius Cocceius Auctus at the command of Agrippa, in the process of converting the Lake into a military port, the Portus Julius; the Crypta Romana tunnel was built nearby through Monte Grillo in the same period for similar reasons, as well as other tunnels in the vicinity. With the end of the civil war between Octavian and Mark Antony in 31 BC and the displacement of the fleet from Portus Julius to the port of Misenum in 12 BC the tunnels lost their strategic interest; the tunnel was wide enough to allow the passage of two wagons. The Avernus side of the passage was decorated with a colonnade and had many statues in niches hewn into the tufa walls of the entrance. Light and air was provided by six vertical shafts dug into the hill The Aqua Augusta aqueduct supplying the port was dug in a tunnel parallel to and on the northern side the road and was equipped with niches and vertical shafts.
It is known as the Grotta della Pace in reference to a Spanish captain, Pietro de Pace, who made use of the tunnel in 1508-1509 to plunder the ruins of Cumae, which, at the time, still bore many rich items. The Grotta was damaged during World War II and is no longer open to the public, it has undergone extensive restoration works in recent years and should be reopened in the near future. However, colonies of five species of legally-protected bats were discovered during the restoration, making an environmental assessment necessary before the reopening can go through
The Cumaean Sibyl was the priestess presiding over the Apollonian oracle at Cumae, a Greek colony located near Naples, Italy. The word sibyl comes from the ancient Greek word sibylla. There were many sibyls in different locations throughout the ancient world; because of the importance of the Cumaean Sibyl in the legends of early Rome as codified in Virgil's Aeneid VI, because of her proximity to Rome, the Cumaean Sibyl became the most famous among the Romans. The Erythraean Sibyl from modern-day Turkey was famed among Greeks, as was the oldest Hellenic oracle, the Sibyl of Dodona dating to the second millennium BC according to Herodotus, favored in the east; the Cumaean Sibyl is one of the four sibyls painted by Raphael at Santa Maria della Pace She was painted by Andrea del Castagno, in the Sistine Ceiling of Michelangelo her powerful presence overshadows every other sibyl her younger and more beautiful sisters, such as the Delphic Sibyl. There are various names for the Cumaean Sibyl besides the "Herophile" of Pausanias and Lactantius or the Aeneid's "Deiphobe, daughter of Glaucus": "Amaltheia", "Demophile" or "Taraxandra" are all offered in various references.
The story of the acquisition of the Sibylline Books by Lucius Tarquinius Superbus, the semi-legendary last king of the Roman Kingdom, or Tarquinius Priscus, is one of the famous mythic elements of Roman history. Centuries ago, concurrent with the 50th Olympiad, not long before the expulsion of Rome's kings, an old woman "who was not a native of the country" arrived incognita in Rome, she offered nine books of prophecies to King Tarquin. Tarquin relented and purchased the last three at the full original price, whereupon she "disappeared from among men"; the books were thereafter kept in the Temple of Jupiter on the Capitoline Hill, Rome, to be consulted only in emergencies. The temple burned down in the 80s BC, the books with it, necessitating a re-collection of Sibylline prophecies from all parts of the empire; these were sorted and those determined to be legitimate were saved in the rebuilt temple. The Emperor Augustus had them moved to the Temple of Apollo on the Palatine Hill, where they remained for most of the remaining Imperial Period.
The Cumaean Sibyl is featured in the works of various Roman authors, including Virgil and Petronius. The Cumaean Sibyl prophesied by "writing on oak leaves; these would be arranged inside the entrance of her cave, but if the wind blew and scattered them, she would not help to reassemble the leaves and recreate the original prophecy. The Sibyl was a guide to the underworld. Aeneas employed her services before his descent to the lower world to visit his dead father Anchises, but she warned him that it was no light undertaking: The Sibyl acts as a bridge between the worlds of the living and the dead, she shows Aeneas the way to Avernus and teaches him what he needs to know about the dangers of their journey. Although she was a mortal, the Sibyl lived about a thousand years, she attained this longevity. After she refused the god's love, he allowed her body to wither away because she failed to ask for eternal youth, her body grew smaller with age and was kept in a jar. Only her voice was left. Virgil may have been influenced according to Tacitus, amongst others.
Constantine, the Christian emperor, in his first address to the assembly, interpreted the whole of The Eclogues as a reference to the coming of Christ, quoted a long passage of the Sibylline Oracles containing an acrostic in which the initials from a series of verses read: Jesus Christ Son of God Saviour Cross. In the Middle Ages, both the Cumaean Sibyl and Virgil were considered prophets of the birth of Christ, because the fourth of Virgil's Eclogues appears to contain a Messianic prophecy by the Sibyl. In it, she foretells the coming of a saviour; this was identified by early Christians as such—one reason why Dante Alighieri chose Virgil as his guide through the underworld in The Divine Comedy. Michelangelo prominently featured the Cumaean Sibyl in the Sistine Chapel among the Old Testament prophets, as had earlier works such as the Tree of Jesse miniature in the Ingeberg Psalter; the epigraph to T. S. Eliot's poem The Waste Land is a quote from the Satyricon of Petronius wherein Trimalchio states, "Nam Sibyllam quidem Cumis ego ipse oculis meis vidi in ampulla pendere, et cum illi pueri dicerent: Σίβυλλα τί θέλεις.
The title of Sylvia Plath's semi-autobiographical novel The Bell Jar has been said to be a reference to the ampulla in which the Sibyl lived. Robert Graves fashioned a poetic prophesy by the Sibyl to bind the story together in his work of historical fiction, I, Claudius. Geoffrey Hill's poem "After Cumae" in For the Unfallen refers to the Sibyl's'mouthy cave'
Jupiter known as Jove, was the god of the sky and thunder and king of the gods in Ancient Roman religion and mythology. Jupiter was the chief deity of Roman state religion throughout the Republican and Imperial eras, until Christianity became the dominant religion of the Empire. In Roman mythology, he negotiates with Numa Pompilius, the second king of Rome, to establish principles of Roman religion such as offering, or sacrifice. Jupiter is thought to have originated as an aerial god, his identifying implement is the thunderbolt and his primary sacred animal is the eagle, which held precedence over other birds in the taking of auspices and became one of the most common symbols of the Roman army. The two emblems were combined to represent the god in the form of an eagle holding in its claws a thunderbolt seen on Greek and Roman coins; as the sky-god, he was a divine witness to oaths, the sacred trust on which justice and good government depend. Many of his functions were focused on the Capitoline Hill.
In the Capitoline Triad, he was the central guardian of the state with Minerva. His sacred tree was the oak; the Romans regarded Jupiter as the equivalent of the Greek Zeus, in Latin literature and Roman art, the myths and iconography of Zeus are adapted under the name Iuppiter. In the Greek-influenced tradition, Jupiter was the brother of Neptune and Pluto, the Roman equivalents of Poseidon and Hades respectively; each presided over one of the three realms of the universe: sky, the waters, the underworld. The Italic Diespiter was a sky god who manifested himself in the daylight identified with Jupiter. Tinia is regarded as his Etruscan counterpart; the Romans believed that Jupiter granted them supremacy because they had honoured him more than any other people had. Jupiter was "the fount of the auspices upon which the relationship of the city with the gods rested." He personified the divine authority of Rome's highest offices, internal organization, external relations. His image in the Republican and Imperial Capitol bore regalia associated with Rome's ancient kings and the highest consular and Imperial honours.
The consuls swore their oath of office in Jupiter's name, honoured him on the annual feriae of the Capitol in September. To thank him for his help, they offered him a white ox with gilded horns. A similar offering was made by triumphal generals, who surrendered the tokens of their victory at the feet of Jupiter's statue in the Capitol; some scholars have viewed the triumphator as embodying Jupiter in the triumphal procession. Jupiter's association with kingship and sovereignty was reinterpreted as Rome's form of government changed. Rome was ruled by kings. Nostalgia for the kingship was considered treasonous; those suspected of harbouring monarchical ambitions were punished, regardless of their service to the state. In the 5th century BC, the triumphator Camillus was sent into exile after he drove a chariot with a team of four white horses —an honour reserved for Jupiter himself; when Marcus Manlius, whose defense of the Capitol against the invading Gauls had earned him the name Capitolinus, was accused of regal pretensions, he was executed as a traitor by being cast from the Tarpeian Rock.
His house on the Capitoline Hill was razed, it was decreed that no patrician should be allowed to live there. Capitoline Jupiter found himself in a delicate position: he represented a continuity of royal power from the Regal period, conferred power on the magistrates who paid their respects to him. During the Conflict of the Orders, Rome's plebeians demanded the right to hold political and religious office. During their first secessio, they threatened to found their own; when they agreed to come back to Rome they vowed the hill where they had retreated to Jupiter as symbol and guarantor of the unity of the Roman res publica. Plebeians became eligible for all the magistracies and most priesthoods, but the high priest of Jupiter remained the preserve of patricians. Jupiter was served by the patrician Flamen Dialis, the highest-ranking member of the flamines, a college of fifteen priests in the official public cult of Rome, each of whom was devoted to a particular deity, his wife, the Flaminica Dialis, had her own duties, presided over the sacrifice of a ram to Jupiter on each of the nundinae, the "market" days of a calendar cycle, comparable to a week.
The couple were required to marry by the exclusive patrician ritual confarreatio, which included a sacrifice of spelt bread to Jupiter Farreus. The office of Flamen Dialis was circumscribed by several unique ritual prohibitions, some of which shed light on the sovereign nature of the god himself. For instance, the flamen may remove his clothes or apex only when under a roof, in order to avoid showing himself naked to the sky—that is, "as if under the eyes of Jupiter" as god of the heavens; every time the Flaminica saw a lightning bolt or heard a clap of thunder, she was prohibited from carrying on with her normal routine until she placated the god. Some privileges of the flamen of Jupiter may reflect the regal nature of Jupiter: he had the use of the curule chair, was the
Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa
Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa was a Roman consul, statesman and architect. He was a close friend, son-in-law, lieutenant to Gaius Julius Caesar Octavianus and was responsible for the construction of some of the most notable buildings in the history of Rome and for important military victories, most notably at the Battle of Actium in 31 BC against the forces of Mark Antony and Cleopatra; as a result of these victories, Octavianus became the first Roman Emperor, adopting the name of Augustus. Agrippa assisted Augustus in making Rome "a city of marble" and renovating aqueducts to give all Romans, from every social class, access to the highest quality public services, he was responsible for the creation of many baths and gardens, as well as the original Pantheon. Agrippa was husband to Julia the Elder, maternal grandfather to Caligula, maternal great-grandfather to the Emperor Nero. Agrippa was born between 64–62 BC, in an uncertain location, his father was called Lucius Vipsanius Agrippa. He had an elder brother whose name was Lucius Vipsanius Agrippa, a sister named Vipsania Polla.
His family was of humble and plebeian origins. They had not been prominent in Roman public life. According to some scholars, including Victor Gardthausen, R. E. A. Palmer and David Ridgway, Agrippa's family was from Pisa in Etruria. Agrippa was about the same age as Octavian, the two were educated together and became close friends. Despite Agrippa's association with the family of Julius Caesar, his elder brother chose another side in the civil wars of the 40s BC, fighting under Cato against Caesar in Africa; when Cato's forces were defeated, Agrippa's brother was taken prisoner but freed after Octavian interceded on his behalf. It is not known whether Agrippa fought against his brother in Africa, but he served in Caesar's campaign of 46–45 BC against Gnaeus Pompeius, which culminated in the Battle of Munda. Caesar regarded him enough to send him with Octavius in 45 BC to study in Apollonia with the Macedonian legions, while Caesar consolidated his power in Rome. In the fourth month of their stay in Apollonia the news of Julius Caesar's assassination in March 44 BC reached them.
Agrippa and another friend, Quintus Salvidienus Rufus, advised Octavius to march on Rome with the troops from Macedonia, but Octavius decided to sail to Italy with a small retinue. After his arrival, he learned. Octavius at this time took Caesar's name, but modern historians refer to him as "Octavian" during this period. After Octavian's return to Rome, he and his supporters realised. Agrippa helped Octavian to levy troops in Campania. Once Octavian had his legions, he made a pact with Mark Antony and Lepidus established in 43 BC as the Second Triumvirate. Octavian and his consular colleague Quintus Pedius arranged for Caesar's assassins to be prosecuted in their absence, Agrippa was entrusted with the case against Gaius Cassius Longinus, it may have been in the same year that Agrippa began his political career, holding the position of Tribune of the Plebs, which granted him entry to the Senate. In 42 BC, Agrippa fought alongside Octavian and Antony in the Battle of Philippi. After their return to Rome, he played a major role in Octavian's war against Lucius Antonius and Fulvia Antonia the brother and wife of Mark Antony, which began in 41 BC and ended in the capture of Perusia in 40 BC.
However, Salvidienus remained Octavian's main general at this time. After the Perusine war, Octavian departed for Gaul, leaving Agrippa as urban praetor in Rome with instructions to defend Italy against Sextus Pompeius, an opponent of the Triumvirate, now occupying Sicily. In July 40, while Agrippa was occupied with the Ludi Apollinares that were the praetor's responsibility, Sextus began a raid in southern Italy. Agrippa advanced on him. However, the Triumvirate proved unstable, in August 40 both Sextus and Antony invaded Italy. Agrippa's success in retaking Sipontum from Antony helped bring an end to the conflict. Agrippa was among the intermediaries through whom Octavian agreed once more upon peace. During the discussions Octavian learned that Salvidienus had offered to betray him to Antony, with the result that Salvidienus was prosecuted and either executed or committed suicide. Agrippa was now Octavian's leading general. In 39 or 38 BC, Octavian appointed Agrippa governor of Transalpine Gaul, where in 38 BC he put down a rising of the Aquitanians.
He fought the Germanic tribes, becoming the next Roman general to cross the Rhine after Julius Caesar. He was summoned back to Rome by Octavian to assume the consulship for 37 BC, he was well below the usual minimum age of 43, but Octavian had suffered a humiliating naval defeat against Sextus Pompey and needed his friend to oversee the preparations for further warfare. Agrippa refused the offer of a triumph for his exploits in Gaul – on the grounds, says Dio, that he thought it improper to celebrate during a time of trouble for Octavian. Since Sextus Pompeius had command of the sea on the coasts of Italy, Agrippa's first care was to provide a safe harbour for Octavian's ships, he accomplished this by cutting through the strips of land which separated the Lacus Lucrinus from the sea, thus forming an outer harbour, while joining the lake Avernus to the Lucrinus to serve as an inner harbor. The new harbor-complex was named Portus Julius in Octavian's honour. Agrippa was responsible for technological improvements, including larger ships and an improved form of grappling
Mercury is a major god in Roman religion and mythology, being one of the 12 Dii Consentes within the ancient Roman pantheon. He is the god of financial gain, eloquence, communication, boundaries, luck and thieves, he was considered the son of Maia, a daughter of the Titan Atlas, Jupiter in Roman mythology. His name is related to the Latin word merx and merces. In his earliest forms, he appears to have been related to the Etruscan deity Turms, he is depicted holding the caduceus in his left hand. Similar to his Greek equivalent Hermes, he was awarded the caduceus by Apollo who handed him a magic wand, which turned into the caduceus. Mercury did not appear among the numinous di indigetes of early Roman religion. Rather, he subsumed the earlier Dei Lucrii as Roman religion was syncretized with Greek religion during the time of the Roman Republic, starting around the 4th century BC. From the beginning, Mercury had the same aspects as Hermes, wearing winged shoes and a winged hat, carrying the caduceus, a herald's staff with two entwined snakes, Apollo's gift to Hermes.
He was accompanied by a cockerel, herald of the new day, a ram or goat, symbolizing fertility, a tortoise, referring to Mercury's legendary invention of the lyre from a tortoise shell. Like Hermes, he was a god of messages, eloquence and of trade of the grain trade. Mercury was considered a god of abundance and commercial success in Gaul, where he was said to have been revered, he was like Hermes, the Romans' psychopomp, leading newly deceased souls to the afterlife. Additionally, Ovid wrote that Mercury carried Morpheus' dreams from the valley of Somnus to sleeping humans. Archeological evidence from Pompeii suggests; the god of commerce was depicted on two early bronze coins of the Roman Republic, the Sextans and the Semuncia. When they described the gods of Celtic and Germanic tribes, rather than considering them separate deities, the Romans interpreted them as local manifestations or aspects of their own gods, a cultural trait called the interpretatio Romana. Mercury, in particular, was reported as becoming popular among the nations the Roman Empire conquered.
This is because, in the Roman syncretism, Mercury was equated with the Celtic god Lugus, in this aspect was accompanied by the Celtic goddess Rosmerta. Although Lugus may have been a deity of light or the sun, similar to the Roman Apollo, his importance as a god of trade made him more comparable to Mercury, Apollo was instead equated with the Celtic deity Belenus. Romans associated Mercury with the Germanic god Wotan, by interpretatio Romana. Mercury is known to the Romans as Mercurius and in earlier writings as Merqurius, Mirqurios or Mircurios, had a number of epithets representing different aspects or roles, or representing syncretisms with non-Roman deities; the most common and significant of these epithets included the following: Mercurius Artaios, a syncretism of Mercury with the Celtic god Artaios, a deity of bears and hunting, worshiped at Beaucroissant, France. Mercurius Arvernus, a syncretism of the Celtic Arvernus with Mercury. Arvernus was worshiped in the Rhineland as a particular deity of the Arverni tribe, though no dedications to Mercurius Arvernus occur in their territory in the Auvergne region of central France.
Mercurius Cimbrianus, a syncretism of Mercury with a god of the Cimbri sometimes thought to represent Odin. Mercurius Cissonius, a combination of Mercury with the Celtic god Cissonius, written of in the area spanning from Cologne, Germany to Saintes, France. Mercurius Esibraeus, a syncretism of the Iberian deity Esibraeus with the Roman deity Mercury. Esibraeus is mentioned only in an inscription found at Medelim, is the same deity as Banda Isibraiegus, invoked in an inscription from the nearby village of Bemposta. Mercurius Gebrinius, a syncretism of Mercury with the Celtic or Germanic Gebrinius, known from an inscription on an altar in Bonn, Germany. Mercurius Moccus, from a Celtic god, equated with Mercury, known from evidence at Langres, France; the name Moccus implies. Mercurius Sobrius, a syncretism of Mercury with a Carthaginian god of commerce. Mercurius Visucius, a syncretism of the Celtic god Visucius with the Roman god Mercury, attested in an inscription from Stuttgart, Germany. Visucius was worshiped in the frontier area of the empire in Gaul and Germany.
Although he was associated with Mercury, Visucius was sometimes linked to the Roman god Mars, as a dedicatory inscription to "Mars Visucius" and Visucia, Visicius' female counterpart, was found in Gaul. In Virgil's Aeneid, Mercury reminds Aeneas of his mission to found the city of Rome. In Ovid's Fasti, Mercury is assigned to escort the
Hades, in the ancient Greek religion and myth, is the god of the dead and the king of the underworld, with which his name became synonymous. Hades was the eldest son of Rhea, although the last son regurgitated by his father, he and his brothers and Poseidon, defeated their father's generation of gods, the Titans, claimed rulership over the cosmos. Hades received the underworld, Zeus the sky, Poseidon the sea, with the solid earth, long the province of Gaia, available to all three concurrently. Hades was portrayed with his three-headed guard dog Cerberus; the Etruscan god Aita and the Roman gods Dis Pater and Orcus were taken as equivalent to Hades and merged into Pluto, a Latinization of Plouton, itself a euphemistic title given to Hades. The origin of Hades' name is uncertain, but has been seen as meaning "the unseen one" since antiquity. An extensive section of Plato's dialogue Cratylus is devoted to the etymology of the god's name, in which Socrates is arguing for a folk etymology not from "unseen" but from "his knowledge of all noble things".
Modern linguists have proposed the Proto-Greek form *Awides. The earliest attested form is Aḯdēs. West argues instead for an original meaning of "the one who presides over meeting up" from the universality of death. In Homeric and Ionic Greek, he was known as Áïdēs. Other poetic variations of the name include Aïdōneús and the inflected forms Áïdos, Áïdi, Áïda, whose reconstructed nominative case *Áïs is, not attested; the name as it came to be known in classical times was Háidēs. The iota became silent a subscript marking, omitted entirely. From fear of pronouncing his name, around the 5th century BC, the Greeks started referring to Hades as Plouton, with a root meaning "wealthy", considering that from the abode below come riches. Plouton became the Roman god who both distributed riches from below; this deity was a mixture of the Greek god Hades and the Eleusinian icon Ploutos, from this he received a priestess, not practiced in Greece. More elaborate names of the same genre were Ploutodótēs or Ploutodotḗr, meaning "giver of wealth".
Epithets of Hades include Agesander and Agesilaos, both from ágō and anḗr or laos, describing Hades as the god who carries away all. Nicander uses the form Hegesilaus, he was referred to as Zeus katachthonios, meaning "the Zeus of the Underworld", by those avoiding his actual name, as he had complete control over the Underworld. In Greek mythology, the god of the underworld, was the first-born son of the Titans Cronus and Rhea, he had three older sisters, Hestia and Hera, as well as a younger brother, all of whom had been swallowed whole by their father as soon as they were born. Zeus was the youngest child and through the machinations of their mother, Rhea, he was the only one that had escaped this fate. Upon reaching adulthood, Zeus managed to force his father to disgorge his siblings. After their release, the six younger gods, along with allies they managed to gather, challenged the elder gods for power in the Titanomachy, a divine war; the war ended with the victory of the younger gods. Following their victory, according to a single famous passage in the Iliad and his two brothers and Zeus, drew lots for realms to rule.
Zeus received the sky, Poseidon received the seas, Hades received the underworld, the unseen realm to which the souls of the dead go upon leaving the world as well as any and all things beneath the earth. Some myths suggest that Hades was dissatisfied with his turnout, but had no choice and moved to his new realm. Hades obtained his wife and queen, through abduction at the behest of Zeus; this myth is the most important one. Helios told the grieving Demeter that Hades was not unworthy as a consort for Persephone: Aidoneus, the Ruler of Many, is no unfitting husband among the deathless gods for your child, being your own brother and born of the same stock: for honor, he has that third share which he received when division was made at the first, is appointed lord of those among whom he dwells. Despite modern connotations of death as evil, Hades was more altruistically inclined in mythology. Hades was portrayed as passive rather than evil; that said, he was depicted as cold and stern, he held all of his subjects accountable to his laws.
Any other individual aspects of his personality are not given, as Greeks refrained from giving him much thought to avoid attracting his attention. Hades ruled the dead, assisted by others over; the House of Hades was described as full of "guests," though he left the Underworld. He cared little about what happened in the world above, as his primary attention was ensuring none of his subjects left, he forbade his subjects to leave his domain and would become quite enraged when anyone tried to leave, or if someone tried to steal the souls from his realm. His wrath was terri
A volcanic crater is a circular depression in the ground caused by volcanic activity. It is a bowl-shaped feature within which occurs a vent or vents. During volcanic eruptions, molten magma and volcanic gases rise from an underground magma chamber, through a tube-shaped conduit, until they reach the crater's vent, from where the gases escape into the atmosphere and the magma is erupted as lava. A volcanic crater can be of large dimensions, sometimes of great depth. During certain types of explosive eruptions, a volcano's magma chamber may empty enough for an area above it to subside, forming a type of larger depression known as a caldera. In most volcanoes, the crater is situated at the top of a mountain formed from the erupted volcanic deposits such as lava flows and tephra. Volcanoes that terminate in such a summit crater are of a conical form. Other volcanic craters may be found on the flanks of volcanoes, these are referred to as flank craters; some volcanic craters may fill either or with rain and/or melted snow, forming a crater lake.
A crater may be breached during an eruption, either by explosions or by lava, or through erosion. Breached craters have a much lower rim on one side; some volcanoes, such as maars, consist of a crater alone, with scarcely any mountain at all. These volcanic explosion craters are formed when magma rises through water-saturated rocks, which causes a phreatic eruption. Volcanic craters from phreatic eruptions occur on plains away from other obvious volcanoes. Not all volcanoes form craters. Caldera – Cauldron-like volcanic feature formed by the collapse of a magma chamber