Monday, March 7, 2011

March 7

March 7 marked the Festival of Vediovis, an underworld version of Jupiter. 

Romans believe that Vejovis is one of the first gods to be born. He is a god of healing, and became associated with the Greek Asclepius.[1] He is mostly worshipped in Rome and Bovillaein Latium. On the Capitoline Hill and on the Tiber Island, temples have been erected in his honor.[2] In spring, goats have been sacrificed to avert plagues.
Vejovis is portrayed as a young man, holding a bunch of arrows, pilum, (or lightning bolts) in his hand, and is accompanied by a goat. He may be based on the Etruscan god of vendetta[dubious ], known to them by the name Vetis written on the Piacenza Liver, a bronze model used in haruspical divination.
The studies about Vejovis are very poor and unclear. They show a constant updating of his condition and his use by people: escaping from netherworld, Volcanic God responsible for marshland and earthquakes,[3][4] and later guardian angel in charge of slaves and fighters refusing to lose. God of deceivers, he is called to protect right causes and to give pain and deception to enemies. His temple has been described as a haven safe from police for wrongly persecuted people, and dedicated to the protection of the new comers in Rome, but this view is probably wrong.[5]
The legend shows him more like an entity escaping from hell and trying to join the light and heaven, awesome fighter and protector of any people victims of unfairness.
Aulus Gellius, in the Noctes Atticae, speculated that Vejovis is the inverse or ill-omened counterpart of Jupiter; compare Summanus. Aulus Gellius observes that the particle ve- that prefixes the name of the god also appears in Latin words such as vesanus, "insane," and thus interprets the name Vejovis as the anti-Jove. Aulus Gellius also informs us that Vejovis received the sacrifice of a female goat, sacrificed ritu humano;[6] this obscure phrase could either mean "after the manner of a human sacrifice" or "in the manner of a burial."[7]
He has been identified with Apollo, with the infant Jupiter, and speculatively as the Anti-Jupiter (i.e. the Jupiter of the Lower World) as suggested by his name. In art, he is depicted as a youth holding a Laurel wreath and some arrows, next to a goat. He had a temple between the two peaks of the Capitoline Hill in Rome, where his statue had a beardless head and carried a bundle of arrows in his right hand. It stood next to a statue of a goat. There is no firm evidence that he is a god of expiation and the protector of runaway criminals.[8] Sacrifices have been made to him annually on March 7: A festival of Vejovis is held on this day, celebrating an ancient Etruscan or Latin deity whose exact function is lost by Roman times. He is possibly the subterranean counterpart of Jupiter, whose earthquakes and volcanoes mirrored Jupiter's thunder and lightning; however he is also at times identified with Apollo or as a younger version of Jupiter himself.[9]
In fact, Vejovis had three festivals in the Roman Calendar: on 1 January, 7 March, and 21 May.[10]
Vejovis in Roman religion, a god with uncertain attributes, worshiped in Rome between the two summits of the Capitoline Hill (the Arx and the Capitol) and on Tiber Island (both temples date from just after 200 BC) and at Bovillae, 12 miles southeast of Rome. His name may be connected with that of Jupiter (Jovis), but there is little agreement as to its meaning: he may be a “little Jupiter” or a “Sinister Devils Scorpion” for his enemies.[11] Vejovis accepted a she-goat sacrifice humano ritu, meaning either "on behalf of the dead" or instead of a human sacrifice.
At least, it is evidence to say this deity can have two faces, one for allies and one for enemies, his functions evolved with time and his progression, and he is not so simple to understand and to describe.

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