Mater Matuta

Mater Matuta was an indigenous Latin goddess, whom the Romans eventually made equivalent to the dawn goddess Aurora, and the Greek goddess Eos.[1] Her cult is attested several places in Latium; her most famous temple was located at Satricum. In Rome she had a temple on the north side of the Forum Boarium, allegedly built by Servius Tullius, destroyed in 506 B.C., and rebuilt by Marcus Furius Camillus in 396 B.C.,[2] and she was also associated with the sea harbors and ports, where there were other temples to her.

Mother goddess seated in a wicker chair and nursing an infant, sometimes identified as Mater Matuta[citation needed] (Roman Britain, 2nd century AD)

Another remarkable place of worship was located in Campania, outside modern Capua. Dozens of votive statues representing matres matutae were found in the so-called "fondo Patturelli" (a private estate) during excavations in the 19th century.[3] An extensive collection of these votives is housed in the Museo Campano in Capua.[4]


At Rome her festival was the Matralia, celebrated on June 11 at her temple in the Forum Boarium.[5] The festival was only for single women or women in their first marriage, who offered prayers for their nephews and nieces, and then drove a slave out of the temple.[6]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Marcus Tullius Cicero, De Natura Deorum, II, 48.
  2. ^ Titus Livius, Ab Urbe Condita Libri, V, 14.
  3. ^ George Kazantzidis and Dimos Spatharas (2018). Ancient Emotions I. Hope in Ancient Literature, History, and Art. Walter de Gruyter. ISBN 9783110598254. p. 311.
  4. ^ The Mothers (Rooms V-VI-VII-VIII-IX), Museo Campano Capua. Retrieved March 13, 2020.
  5. ^ Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Mater Matuta" . Encyclopædia Britannica. 17 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 878.
  6. ^ Plutarch, Quaestiones Romanae, 16.

Further readingEdit

  • Desport, Marie. "Matuta, l'Aurore chez Évandre". In: Revue des Études Anciennes. Tome 49, 1947, n°1-2. pp. 111-129. [DOI:] ; []
  • Flacelière, R. Deux rites du culte de « Mater Matuta », Plutarque, Camille, 5, 2.. In: Revue des Études Anciennes. Tome 52, 1950, n°1-2. pp. 18-27. DOI:;
  • Kaizer, Ted. Leucothea as Mater Matuta at Colonia Berytus. A note on local mythology in the Levant and the Hellenisation of a Phoenician city. In: Syria. Tome 82, 2005. pp. 199-206. DOI: ;

External linksEdit