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This article focuses on the possible connections which can be established between the Roman goddess Juno as the protector deity of marriages and married women and the rites and rituals associated with the sacred feast of the Lupercalia. The role of other Italic gods associated with these sacred ceremonies is also analyzed, such as the rustic god Faunus, as well as Jupiter, Mars, and Romulus-Quirinus (albeit in secondary roles; for example, the name Luperci given to the young Roman men involved in the ritual flogging of the Roman women of fertile age is linked with lupus, the Latin name of the wolf, animal sacred to the god Mars and forever bound to the Twins Romulus and Remus, the mythical and heroic founders of Rome). The amiculum Iunonis or the garment of Juno is in fact the name given to the ritual objects used by the Luperci in the act of symbolic fecundation of the Roman young women, namely the leather thongs carved out of the skin of a sacrificed goat. The he-goat (Latin hircus) is also connected with the ancient Roman and Latin god Faunus (the Italic divine counterpart of the ancient Greek Πᾶν). As a final acknowledgment, I hereby thank Professor Attilio Mastrocinque who had the idea of this study and whose book revealed to me the hidden links between Juno, Bona Dea, and the feast of the Lupercalia, normally associated with the god of wild nature, Faunus-Pan. I owe also a debt of gratitude to the patience and unremitting help of Professor Patricia Johnston, whose observations greatly improved my conclusions.

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Vergil’s depiction of Juno as saeva does not correspond to Homer’s depiction of Hera, but rather to a combination of Homer’s Hera and Pallas. Vergil’s Juno, moreover, is far less subservient to Jupiter (who is not really as active in the Aeneid as Zeus is in the Iliad). While Homer frequently pairs Hera with Pallas Athena, Vergil’s Juno acts independently, while assuming in particular many of the traits of Homer’s Pallas Athena.

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It is not surprising, given that the Ab urbe condita is an important source of information about Roman religious practices, to find frequent mentions of Juno’s shrines or cults in Livy’s work. Yet, we have to ask ourselves to what extent this religious data has been rewritten and recomposed according to the Roman historiographical tradition in order to provide the audience with a particular view of Roman history. A further study allows us to distinguish two kinds of Junones: Roman and Italian Junones who stood as a protective goddess of Rome, on the one hand, and on the other, Junones from the borders of the Roman world, who supported or questioned Rome’s identity and its Empire’s guiding principles in the historical narrative.

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A driving force in Vergil’s Aeneid is the hostility of Juno to the Trojans as they approach, and finally arrive in Italy. The epic in some ways mirrors the opposition encountered by Augustus as the new ruler of Rome. Juno’s opposition to the Trojans has its origin not only in Greek mythology, but in the history of the local peoples of Italy with whom early Romans had to contend. From the outset of the poem she becomes the personification of these opposing forces. Once the Trojans finally reach mainland Italy, she sets in motion a long war, although the one depicted in the Aeneid was not as long as the real wars Romans waged with the Latin League and with the many of the tribes of Italy, including the Veii. The reality of the wars Rome had to contend with are here compared to the relatively brief one depicted in the Aeneid, and the pacification of Juno reflects the merging of the different peoples of Rome with their subjugator.

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Juno, the goddess of marriage who is able – in her form of Lucina – to bring children to light, does not appear to be particularly “motherly” in the ancient sources. I will explain this paradox showing that both attitudes are aspects of Juno’s control over motherhood and childbirth, which can manifest itself both in a negative and in a positive way. Moreover, I will show how control over motherhood and childbirth is nothing but one of the numerous tasks which the feminea dea par excellence has to perform in order to regulate the roles of the Roman women.

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The Historia Augusta mentions some oracles of Juno Caelestis, the Carthaginian goddess who uttered them shortly before the reigns of Pertinax and Severus. This Juno and her prophecies were imporant to the author of the Historia Augusta mainly because they were concerned with the forthcoming death of Commodus and the coming of Pertinax and Severus.

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The goddess Juno is traditionally represented as a very powerful entity in Roman literature, caring for stable human relationships, especially between men and women; and, at the same time, she is often depicted as a jealous, furious, even a vengeful goddess. The aim of the paper is to illustrate how Martianus Capella depicts the goddess Juno, to what extent his portrait conforms to the literary tradition, in what points and for what reasons he differs from it when compared with other authors across particular genres and gods.

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The allegorical interpretations of pagan gods flourished in late Antiquity. They were the work of the pagans, who thus sought to spiritualize their religion, but also of some Christians, who thought that the pagan fables were hiding truths they needed to discover.

The goddess Hera-Juno has not escaped the phenomenon. Here we consider, taking as one basis the works of Fabius Planciades Fulgentius, African writer of the fifth-sixth century, what these interpretations are and what they tell us both about this goddess and the mentality of late Antiquity.

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In the opening of Fasti 6, Ovid proposes different explanations for the origin of the month name June by means of a competition between three goddesses: Juno, Juventas, and Concordia. Each goddess puts forth an etymology for June that derives from her own name or individual attributions, alimenting the indecisiveness of the poet who eventually walks out of the scene unable to return a verdict. As she is depicted in this text, Juno might appear as a parodic version of the Virgilian goddess and the ideas she represents. To a close reading, however, it is evident that Juno has retained her reconciliatory function, which has allowed the Roman development, and moreover has been enriched by characteristics that look back at her ancient Italian cult and, at the same time, place her in the new Augustan reality. In particular, Ovid blends the early martial and political aspects of the goddess with her function as protectress of legitimate marriage, which seems to have been prominent in the Augustan period. In fact, Ovid emphasizes that conjugal union is the means by which Juno ends her hostility and enables further growth and development.

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The appearances of the goddess Night in Virgil’s Aeneid can be profitably studied as a cipher to appreciating better certain key elements of the poet’s epic presentation of Troy’s fall and the rise of the future Rome. Detailed consideration of every epiphany of the goddess in the poem offers insight into Virgil’s rationale for how he presents the ultimate resolution of the conflict in Latium and the quelling of Juno’s rage against the Trojans.

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