Proserpina or Proserpine is an ancient Roman goddess whose cult and mysteries were combined from those of Libera, an early Roman goddess of wine, the Greek Persephone and Demeter, goddesses of grain and agriculture. The Roman goddess Libera was daughter of the agricultural goddess Ceres and wife to Liber, god of wine and freedom. In 204 BC, a new "greek-style" cult to Ceres and Proserpina as "Mother and Maiden" was imported from southern Italy, along with Greek priestesses to serve it, was installed in Libera and Ceres' temple on Rome's Aventine Hill; the new cult and its priesthood were promoted by Rome's religious authorities as morally desirable for respectable Roman women, may have subsumed the temple's older, native cult to Ceres and Libera. Just as Persephone was thought to be a daughter of Demeter, Romans made Proserpina a daughter of Demeter's Roman equivalent, Ceres. Like Persephone, Proserpina is associated with its ruler, her name is a Latinisation of "Persephone" influenced by the Latin proserpere, with respect to the growing of grain.
Her core myths – her forcible abduction by the god of the Underworld, her mother's search for her and her eventual but temporary restoration to the world above – are the subject of works in Roman and art and literature. In particular, Proserpina's seizure by the god of the Underworld – described as the Rape of Proserpina, or of Persephone – has offered dramatic subject matter for Renaissance and sculptors and painters. In early Roman religion, Libera was the female equivalent of Liber, she was an Italic goddess. She enters Roman history as part of a Triadic cult alongside Ceres and Liber, in a temple established on the Aventine Hill around 493 BCE; the location and context of this early cult mark her association with Rome's commoner-citizens, or plebs. Otherwise, her relationship to her Aventine cult partners is uncertain. Libera was identified with Proserpina in 205 BCE, when she acquired a Romanised form of the Greek mystery rites and their attendant mythology. In the late Republican era, Cicero described Libera as Ceres' children.
At around the same time in the context of popular or religious drama, Hyginus equated her with Greek Ariadne, as bride to Liber's Greek equivalent, Dionysus. The older and newer forms of her cult and rites, their diverse associations, persisted well into the late Imperial era. St. Augustine observed that Libera is concerned with female fertility, as Liber is with male fertility. Proserpina was introduced to Rome around 205 BCE, along with the ritus graecia cereris, as part of Rome's general religious recruitment of deities as allies against Carthage, towards the end of the Second Punic War; the cult originated in southern Italy and was based on the women-only Greek Thesmophoria, a mystery cult to Demeter and Persephone as "Mother and Maiden". It arrived along with its Greek priestesses, who were granted Roman citizenship so that they could pray to the gods "with a foreign and external knowledge, but with a domestic and civil intention"; the new cult was installed in the ancient Temple of Ceres and Libera, Rome's Aventine patrons of the plebs.
Their joint cult recalls Demeter's search for Persephone, after the latter's rape and abduction into the underworld by Hades. At the Aventine, the new cult took its place alongside the old, it made no reference to Liber, whose open and gender-mixed cult continued to play a central role in plebeian culture, as a patron and protector of plebeian rights and values. The female initiates and priestesses of the new "greek style" mysteries of Ceres and Proserpina were expected to uphold Rome's traditional, patrician-dominated social hierarchy and traditional morality. Unmarried girls should emulate the chastity of the maiden, their rites were intended to secure a good harvest, increase the fertility of those who partook in the mysteries. A Temple of Proserpina was located in a suburb of Melite, in modern Mtarfa, Malta; the temple's ruins were quarried between the 17th and 18th centuries, only a few fragments survive. The best-known myth surrounding Proserpina is of her abduction by the god of the Underworld, her mother Ceres' frantic search for her, her eventual but temporary restitution to the world above.
In Latin literature, several versions are known, all similar in most respects to the myths of Greek Persephone's abduction by the King of the underworld, named variously in Greek sources as Hades or Pluto. "Hades" can mean both the hidden Underworld and its king, who in early Greek ver
The Neptunalia was an obscure archaic two-day festival in honor of Neptune as god of waters, celebrated at Rome in the heat and drought of summer 23 July. It was one of the dies comitiales, when committees of citizens could vote on civil or criminal matters. In the ancient calendar this day is marked as Nept. ludi et feriae, or Nept. ludi, from which Leonhard Schmitz concluded that the festival was celebrated with games. Respecting the ceremonies of this festival nothing is known, except that the people used to build huts of branches and foliage, in which they feasted and amused themselves. LacusCurtius website: William Smith's Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities, 1875. Neptunalia
Rome is the capital city and a special comune of Italy. Rome serves as the capital of the Lazio region. With 2,872,800 residents in 1,285 km2, it is the country's most populated comune, it is the fourth most populous city in the European Union by population within city limits. It is the centre of the Metropolitan City of Rome, which has a population of 4,355,725 residents, thus making it the most populous metropolitan city in Italy. Rome is located in the central-western portion of the Italian Peninsula, within Lazio, along the shores of the Tiber; the Vatican City is an independent country inside the city boundaries of Rome, the only existing example of a country within a city: for this reason Rome has been defined as capital of two states. Rome's history spans 28 centuries. While Roman mythology dates the founding of Rome at around 753 BC, the site has been inhabited for much longer, making it one of the oldest continuously occupied sites in Europe; the city's early population originated from a mix of Latins and Sabines.
The city successively became the capital of the Roman Kingdom, the Roman Republic and the Roman Empire, is regarded by some as the first metropolis. It was first called The Eternal City by the Roman poet Tibullus in the 1st century BC, the expression was taken up by Ovid and Livy. Rome is called the "Caput Mundi". After the fall of the Western Empire, which marked the beginning of the Middle Ages, Rome fell under the political control of the Papacy, in the 8th century it became the capital of the Papal States, which lasted until 1870. Beginning with the Renaissance all the popes since Nicholas V pursued over four hundred years a coherent architectural and urban programme aimed at making the city the artistic and cultural centre of the world. In this way, Rome became first one of the major centres of the Italian Renaissance, the birthplace of both the Baroque style and Neoclassicism. Famous artists, painters and architects made Rome the centre of their activity, creating masterpieces throughout the city.
In 1871, Rome became the capital of the Kingdom of Italy, which, in 1946, became the Italian Republic. Rome has the status of a global city. In 2016, Rome ranked as the 14th-most-visited city in the world, 3rd most visited in the European Union, the most popular tourist attraction in Italy, its historic centre is listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. The famous Vatican Museums are among the world's most visited museums while the Colosseum was the most popular tourist attraction in world with 7.4 million visitors in 2018. Host city for the 1960 Summer Olympics, Rome is the seat of several specialized agencies of the United Nations, such as the Food and Agriculture Organization, the World Food Programme and the International Fund for Agricultural Development; the city hosts the Secretariat of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Union for the Mediterranean as well as the headquarters of many international business companies such as Eni, Enel, TIM, Leonardo S.p. A. and national and international banks such as Unicredit and BNL.
Its business district, called EUR, is the base of many companies involved in the oil industry, the pharmaceutical industry, financial services. Rome is an important fashion and design centre thanks to renowned international brands centered in the city. Rome's Cinecittà Studios have been the set of many Academy Award–winning movies. According to the founding myth of the city by the Ancient Romans themselves, the long-held tradition of the origin of the name Roma is believed to have come from the city's founder and first king, Romulus. However, it is a possibility that the name Romulus was derived from Rome itself; as early as the 4th century, there have been alternative theories proposed on the origin of the name Roma. Several hypotheses have been advanced focusing on its linguistic roots which however remain uncertain: from Rumon or Rumen, archaic name of the Tiber, which in turn has the same root as the Greek verb ῥέω and the Latin verb ruo, which both mean "flow". There is archaeological evidence of human occupation of the Rome area from 14,000 years ago, but the dense layer of much younger debris obscures Palaeolithic and Neolithic sites.
Evidence of stone tools and stone weapons attest to about 10,000 years of human presence. Several excavations support the view that Rome grew from pastoral settlements on the Palatine Hill built above the area of the future Roman Forum. Between the end of the bronze age and the beginning of the Iron age, each hill between the sea and the Capitol was topped by a village. However, none of them had yet an urban quality. Nowadays, there is a wide consensus that the city developed through the aggregation of several villages around the largest one, placed above the Palatine; this aggregation was facilitated by the increase of agricultural productivity above the subsistence level, which allowed the establishment of secondary and tertiary activities. These in turn boosted the development of trade with the Greek colonies of southern Italy; these developments, which according to archaeological ev
In historiography, ancient Rome is Roman civilization from the founding of the Italian city of Rome in the 8th century BC to the collapse of the Western Roman Empire in the 5th century AD, encompassing the Roman Kingdom, Roman Republic and Roman Empire until the fall of the western empire. The civilization began as an Italic settlement in the Italian Peninsula, conventionally founded in 753 BC, that grew into the city of Rome and which subsequently gave its name to the empire over which it ruled and to the widespread civilisation the empire developed; the Roman Empire expanded to become one of the largest empires in the ancient world, though still ruled from the city, with an estimated 50 to 90 million inhabitants and covering 5.0 million square kilometres at its height in AD 117. In its many centuries of existence, the Roman state evolved from a monarchy to a classical republic and to an autocratic semi-elective empire. Through conquest and assimilation, it dominated the North African coast and most of Western Europe, the Balkans and much of the Middle East.
It is grouped into classical antiquity together with ancient Greece, their similar cultures and societies are known as the Greco-Roman world. Ancient Roman civilisation has contributed to modern language, society, law, government, art, literature and engineering. Rome professionalised and expanded its military and created a system of government called res publica, the inspiration for modern republics such as the United States and France, it achieved impressive technological and architectural feats, such as the construction of an extensive system of aqueducts and roads, as well as the construction of large monuments and public facilities. The Punic Wars with Carthage were decisive in establishing Rome as a world power. In this series of wars Rome gained control of the strategic islands of Corsica and Sicily. By the end of the Republic, Rome had conquered the lands around the Mediterranean and beyond: its domain extended from the Atlantic to Arabia and from the mouth of the Rhine to North Africa.
The Roman Empire emerged with the dictatorship of Augustus Caesar. 721 years of Roman–Persian Wars started in 92 BC with their first war against Parthia. It would become the longest conflict in human history, have major lasting effects and consequences for both empires. Under Trajan, the Empire reached its territorial peak, it stretched from the entire Mediterranean Basin to the beaches of the North Sea in the north, to the shores of the Red and Caspian Seas in the East. Republican mores and traditions started to decline during the imperial period, with civil wars becoming a prelude common to the rise of a new emperor. Splinter states, such as the Palmyrene Empire, would temporarily divide the Empire during the crisis of the 3rd century. Plagued by internal instability and attacked by various migrating peoples, the western part of the empire broke up into independent "barbarian" kingdoms in the 5th century; this splintering is a landmark historians use to divide the ancient period of universal history from the pre-medieval "Dark Ages" of Europe.
The eastern part of the empire endured through the 5th century and remained a power throughout the "Dark Ages" and medieval times until its fall in 1453 AD. Although the citizens of the empire made no distinction, the empire is most referred to as the "Byzantine Empire" by modern historians during the Middle Ages to differentiate between the state of antiquity and the nation it grew into. According to the founding myth of Rome, the city was founded on 21 April 753 BC on the banks of the river Tiber in central Italy, by the twin brothers Romulus and Remus, who descended from the Trojan prince Aeneas, who were grandsons of the Latin King Numitor of Alba Longa. King Numitor was deposed by his brother, while Numitor's daughter, Rhea Silvia, gave birth to the twins. Since Rhea Silvia had been raped and impregnated by Mars, the Roman god of war, the twins were considered half-divine; the new king, feared Romulus and Remus would take back the throne, so he ordered them to be drowned. A she-wolf saved and raised them, when they were old enough, they returned the throne of Alba Longa to Numitor.
The twins founded their own city, but Romulus killed Remus in a quarrel over the location of the Roman Kingdom, though some sources state the quarrel was about, going to rule or give his name to the city. Romulus became the source of the city's name. In order to attract people to the city, Rome became a sanctuary for the indigent and unwanted; this caused a problem, in that Rome was bereft of women. Romulus visited neighboring towns and tribes and attempted to secure marriage rights, but as Rome was so full of undesirables he was refused. Legend says that the Latins invited the Sabines to a festival and stole their unmarried maidens, leading to the integration of the Latins with the Sabines. Another legend, recorded by Greek historian Dionysius of Halicarnassus, says that Prince Aeneas led a group of Trojans on a sea voyage to found a new Troy, since the original was destroyed at the end of the Trojan War. After a long time in rough seas, they landed on the banks of the Tiber River. Not long after they landed, the men wanted to take to the sea again, but the women who were traveling with them did not want to leave.
One woman, named Roma, suggested that the women burn the ships out at sea to prevent their leaving
Italy the Italian Republic, is a country in Southern Europe. Located in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea, Italy shares open land borders with France, Austria and the enclaved microstates San Marino and Vatican City. Italy covers an area of 301,340 km2 and has a temperate seasonal and Mediterranean climate. With around 61 million inhabitants, it is the fourth-most populous EU member state and the most populous country in Southern Europe. Due to its central geographic location in Southern Europe and the Mediterranean, Italy has been home to a myriad of peoples and cultures. In addition to the various ancient peoples dispersed throughout modern-day Italy, the most famous of which being the Indo-European Italics who gave the peninsula its name, beginning from the classical era and Carthaginians founded colonies in insular Italy and Genoa, Greeks established settlements in the so-called Magna Graecia, while Etruscans and Celts inhabited central and northern Italy respectively; the Italic tribe known as the Latins formed the Roman Kingdom in the 8th century BC, which became a republic with a government of the Senate and the People.
The Roman Republic conquered and assimilated its neighbours on the peninsula, in some cases through the establishment of federations, the Republic expanded and conquered parts of Europe, North Africa and the Middle East. By the first century BC, the Roman Empire emerged as the dominant power in the Mediterranean Basin and became the leading cultural and religious centre of Western civilisation, inaugurating the Pax Romana, a period of more than 200 years during which Italy's technology, economy and literature flourished. Italy remained the metropole of the Roman Empire; the legacy of the Roman Empire endured its fall and can be observed in the global distribution of culture, governments and the Latin script. During the Early Middle Ages, Italy endured sociopolitical collapse and barbarian invasions, but by the 11th century, numerous rival city-states and maritime republics in the northern and central regions of Italy, rose to great prosperity through shipping and banking, laying the groundwork for modern capitalism.
These independent statelets served as Europe's main trading hubs with Asia and the Near East enjoying a greater degree of democracy than the larger feudal monarchies that were consolidating throughout Europe. The Renaissance began in Italy and spread to the rest of Europe, bringing a renewed interest in humanism, science and art. Italian culture flourished, producing famous scholars and polymaths such as Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael and Machiavelli. During the Middle Ages, Italian explorers such as Marco Polo, Christopher Columbus, Amerigo Vespucci, John Cabot and Giovanni da Verrazzano discovered new routes to the Far East and the New World, helping to usher in the European Age of Discovery. Italy's commercial and political power waned with the opening of trade routes that bypassed the Mediterranean. Centuries of infighting between the Italian city-states, such as the Italian Wars of the 15th and 16th centuries, left the region fragmented, it was subsequently conquered and further divided by European powers such as France and Austria.
By the mid-19th century, rising Italian nationalism and calls for independence from foreign control led to a period of revolutionary political upheaval. After centuries of foreign domination and political division, Italy was entirely unified in 1871, establishing the Kingdom of Italy as a great power. From the late 19th century to the early 20th century, Italy industrialised, namely in the north, acquired a colonial empire, while the south remained impoverished and excluded from industrialisation, fuelling a large and influential diaspora. Despite being one of the main victors in World War I, Italy entered a period of economic crisis and social turmoil, leading to the rise of a fascist dictatorship in 1922. Participation in World War II on the Axis side ended in military defeat, economic destruction and the Italian Civil War. Following the liberation of Italy and the rise of the resistance, the country abolished the monarchy, reinstated democracy, enjoyed a prolonged economic boom and, despite periods of sociopolitical turmoil became a developed country.
Today, Italy is considered to be one of the world's most culturally and economically advanced countries, with the sixth-largest worldwide national wealth. Its advanced economy ranks eighth-largest in the world and third in the Eurozone by nominal GDP. Italy owns the third-largest central bank gold reserve, it has a high level of human development, it stands among the top countries for life expectancy. The country plays a prominent role in regional and global economic, military and diplomatic affairs. Italy is a founding and leading member of the European Union and a member of numerous international institutions, including the UN, NATO, the OECD, the OSCE, the WTO, the G7, the G20, the Union for the Mediterranean, the Council of Europe, Uniting for Consensus, the Schengen Area and many more; as a reflection
Festivals in ancient Rome were a important part of Roman religious life during both the Republican and Imperial eras, one of the primary features of the Roman calendar. Feriae were either private. State holidays received public funding. Games, such as the Ludi Apollinares, were not technically feriae, but the days on which they were celebrated were dies festi, holidays in the modern sense of days off work. Although feriae were paid for by the state, ludi were funded by wealthy individuals. Feriae privatae were holidays celebrated by families; this article deals only with public holidays, including rites celebrated by the state priests of Rome at temples, as well as celebrations by neighborhoods and friends held throughout Rome Feriae were of four kinds: Stativae were annual holidays that held a fixed or stable date on the calendar. Conceptivae were annual holidays. Imperativae were holidays held "on demand" when special expiations were called for. One of the most important sources for Roman holidays is Ovid's Fasti, an incomplete poem that describes and provides origins for festivals from January to June at the time of Augustus.
Varro defined feriae as "days instituted for the sake of the gods." Religious rites were performed on the feriae, public business was suspended. Slaves were supposed to be given some form of rest. Cicero says that people who were free should not engage in lawsuits and quarrels, slaves should get a break from their labors. Agricultural writers recognized that some jobs on a farm might still need to be performed, specified what these were; some agricultural tasks not otherwise permitted could be carried out if an expiation were made in advance the sacrifice of a puppy. Within the city of Rome, the flamens and the priest known as the Rex sacrorum were not allowed to see work done. On a practical level, those who "inadvertently" worked could pay a fine or offer up a piaculum a pig. Work considered vital either to the gods or preserving human life was excusable, according to some experts on religious law. Although Romans were required not to work, they were not required to take any religious action unless they were priests or had family rites to maintain.
Following is a month-by-month list of Roman festivals and games that had a fixed place on the calendar. For some, the date on which they were first established is recorded. A deity's festival marked the anniversary of the founding of a temple, or a rededication after a major renovation. Festivals not named for deities are thought to be among the oldest on the calendar; some religious observances were monthly. The first day of the month was the Kalends; each Kalends was sacred to Juno, the Regina sacrorum marked the day by presiding over a sacrifice to the goddess. A pontiff and the Rex sacrorum reported the sighting of the new moon, the pontiff announced whether the Nones occurred on the 5th or 7th of that month. On the Nones, announcements were made regarding events to take place that month; the Ides were sacred to Jupiter. On each Ides, a white lamb was led along the Via Sacra to the Capitolium for sacrifice to Jupiter; the list includes other notable public religious events such as sacrifices and processions that were observed annually but are neither feriae nor dies natales.
Unless otherwise noted, the calendar is that of H. H. Scullard and Ceremonies of the Roman Republic. 1: From 153 BC onward, consuls entered office on this date, accompanied by vota publica and the taking of auspices. Festivals were held for the imported cult of Aesculapius and for the obscure god Vediovis. 3-5: most common dates for Compitalia, a moveable feast 5: Dies natalis of the shrine of Vica Pota on the Velian Hill 9: Agonalia in honor of Janus, after whom the month January is named. The name derives from februa, "the means of purification, expiatory offerings." It marked a turn of season, with February 5 the official first day of spring bringing the renewal of agricultural activities after winter. 1: Dies natalis for the Temple of Juno Sospita and Queen.
Ariadne, in Greek mythology, was a Cretan princess. She is associated with mazes and labyrinths because of her involvement in the myths of the Minotaur and Theseus. Ariadne was the daughter of Minos—the King of Crete and a son of Zeus—and Pasiphaë—Minos' queen and a daughter of Helios. Others called daughter of Asterius, husband-king of Europa. Ariadne was the sister of Acacallis, Deucalion, Glaucus and Catreus. Through her mother, Pasiphaë, she was the half-sister of the Minotaur. Ariadne married Dionysus and became the mother of Oenopion, the personification of wine, Thoas, Phanus, Phliasus, Ceramus, Euanthes and Tauropolis. Minos put Ariadne in charge of the labyrinth. In other stories, she became the bride of the god Dionysus, with the question of her being mortal or a goddess varying in those accounts. Since ancient Greek myths are passed down through oral tradition, many variations of this and other myths exist. According to an Athenian version of the legend, Minos attacked Athens after his son was killed there.
The Athenians asked for terms, were required to sacrifice seven young men and seven maidens to the Minotaur every seven or nine years. One year, the sacrificial party included Theseus, the son of King Aegeus, who volunteered to come and kill the Minotaur. Ariadne fell in love at first sight, helped him by giving him a sword and a ball of thread, so that he could find his way out of the Minotaur's labyrinth, she eloped with Theseus after he achieved his goal, but according to Homer "he had no joy of her, for ere that, Artemis slew her in seagirt Dia because of the witness of Dionysus". Most accounts claim that Ariadne was abandoned by Theseus, but in some versions she is mortally wounded by Perseus. Homer does not expand on the nature of Dionysus's accusation, but the Oxford Classical Dictionary speculates that she was married to Dionysus when she ran away with Theseus. In Hesiod and most other accounts, Theseus abandoned Ariadne sleeping on Naxos, Dionysus rediscovered and wedded her. In a few versions of the myth, Dionysus appeared to Theseus as they sailed away from Crete, saying that he had chosen Ariadne as his wife and demanding that Theseus leave her on Naxos for him.
The vase-painters of Athens showed Athena leading Theseus from the sleeping Ariadne to his ship. With Dionysus, she bore him famous children including Oenopion and Thoas, her wedding diadem was set in the heavens as the constellation Corona Borealis. Ariadne remained faithful to Dionysus but was killed by Perseus at Argos. In other myths she hanged herself from a tree, like Erigone and the hanging Artemis, a Mesopotamian theme; some scholars have posited, due to her thread-spinning and winding associations, that she was a weaving goddess, like Arachne, supporting this theory with the mytheme of the Hanged Nymph. Dionysus brought her and his mother Semele back, they joined the gods in Olympus. Karl Kerenyi and Robert Graves theorize that Ariadne was a Great Goddess of Crete, "the first divine personage of Greek mythology to be recognized in Crete", once archaeology had begun. Kerenyi observes that her name is an epithet and claims that she was the "Mistress of the Labyrinth", both a winding dance-ground and in the Greek view a prison with the dreaded Minotaur at its centre.
Kerenyi notes a Linear B inscription from Knossos, "to all the gods, honey... to the mistress of the labyrinth honey" in equal amounts, suggesting to him that the Mistress of the Labyrinth was a Great Goddess in her own right. Professor Barry Powell has suggested. Plutarch, in his vita of Theseus, which treats him as a historical individual, reports that in the Naxos of his day, an earthly Ariadne was separate from a celestial one: Some of the Naxians have a story of their own, that there were two Minoses and two Ariadnes, one of whom, they say, was married to Dionysos in Naxos and bore him Staphylos and his brother, the other, of a time, having been carried off by Theseus and abandoned by him, came to Naxos, accompanied by a nurse named Korkyne, whose tomb they show. In a kylix by the painter Aison Theseus drags the Minotaur from a temple-like labyrinth, but the goddess who attends him, in this Attic representation, is Athena. An ancient cult of Aphrodite-Ariadne was observed at Amathus, according to the obscure Hellenistic mythographer Paeon of Amathus.
According to the myth, current at Amathus, the second most important Cypriote cult centre of Aphrodite, Theseus's ship was swept off course and the pregnant and suffering Ariadne put ashore in the storm. Theseus, attempting to secure the ship, was inadvertently swept out to sea, thus being absolved of abandonment; the Cypriote women cared for Ariadne, memorialized in a shrine. Theseus, overcome with grief upon his return, left money for sacrifices to Ariadne and ordered two cult images, one of silver and one of bronze, set up. At the observation in her honour on th