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Vejovis or Vejove (Latin: Vēiovis or Vēdiovis; rare Vēive or Vēdius) was a Roman god of Etruscan origins.

Representation and worshipEdit

 
O: Diademed bust of Vejovis hurling thunderbolt R: Minerva with javelin and shield riding quadriga

LICINIUS·L·F / MACER

Silver denarius struck in Rome 84 BC

ref.: Licinia 16; sear5 #274; Cr354/1; Syd 732

Vejovis was portrayed as a young man, holding a bunch of arrows, pilum, (or lightning bolts) in his hand, and accompanied by a goat. Romans believed that Vejovis was one of the first gods to be born. He was a god of healing, and became associated with the Greek Asclepius.[1] He was mostly worshipped in Rome and Bovillae in Latium. On the Capitoline Hill and on the Tiber Island, temples were erected in his honour.[2]

Though he was associated with volcanic eruptions, his original role and function is obscured to us.[3] He is occasionally identified with Apollo and young Jupiter.[4][5]

Aulus Gellius, in the Noctes Atticae, written almost a millennium after; speculated that Vejovis was an 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.

TempleEdit

He had a temple between the two peaks of the Capitoline Hill in Rome, where his statue carried a bundle of arrows and stood next to a statue of a she-goat.

SacrificesEdit

In spring, multiple goats were sacrificed to him to avert plagues. Gellius 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] These offerings were less about the animal sacrificed and more about the soul sacrificed

FestivalsEdit

Vejovis had three festivals in the Roman Calendar: on 1 January, 7 March, and 21 May.[8]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Roman Medicine By John Scarborough
  2. ^ The New Encyclopædia Britannica: in 30 volumes By Encyclopædia Britannica, Chicago University of, Encyclopædia Britannica Staff, Encyclopædia Britannica(ed.) [1]
  3. ^ Classical Quarterly By Classical Association (Great Britain)
  4. ^ The Cambridge History of Classical Literature By E. J. Kenney
  5. ^ Nova Roma: Calendar of Holidays and Festivals
  6. ^ Aulus Gellius, Noctes Atticae, [2]
  7. ^ Adkins and Adkins, Dictionary of Roman Religion (Facts On File, 1996) ISBN 0-8160-3005-7
  8. ^ The Nature of the Gods By Marcus Tullius Cicero