Ovid: Fasti - Index D-J


The son of Jupiter by the Pleiad Electra, and origin of the Trojan people.

Book I: January 11 Book VI: Introduction Dardanian=Trojan.

Book IV: Introduction An ancestor of Romulus.

Book VI: June 9 Ilus his descendant.


King of Daunia in Italy. The father of Turnus.

Book IV: Introduction Diomedes married his daughter Euippe.


A commission of ten men for public or religious duties.

Book II: Introduction Mentioned.

Book IV: April 6 Ovid served in the College of Ten and was entitled to a seat at the games.


King of Phthia. He and his wife Pyrrha, his cousin, and daughter of Epimetheus, were survivors of the flood. He was the son of Prometheus. (See Michelangelo’s scenes from the Great Flood, Sistine Chapel, Vatican, Rome)

Book IV: April 21 His association with water.


Daughter of Jupiter and Latona (hence her epithet Latonia) and twin sister of Apollo. She was born on the island of Ortygia which is Delos (hence her epithet Ortygia). Goddess of the moon and the hunt. She carries a bow, quiver and arrows. She and her followers are virgins. She is worshipped as the triple goddess, as Hecate in the underworld, Luna or Cynthia the moon, in the heavens, and Diana the huntress on earth. (Skelton’s ‘Diana in the leaves green, Luna who so bright doth sheen, Persephone in hell’) Callisto is one of her followers. (See Luca Penni’s – Diana Huntress – Louvre, Paris, and Jean Goujon’s sculpture (attributed) – Diana of Anet – Louvre, Paris.) She was worshipped at the sacred grove and lake of Nemi in Aricia, as Diana Nemorensis, and the rites practised there are the starting point for Frazer’s ‘The Golden Bough’ (see Chapter I et seq.) She hid Hippolytus, and set him down at Aricia (Nemi), as her consort Virbius. The Romans identified the original Sabine goddess Diana with the Greek Artemis and established her cult on the Aventine. Strabo mentions the connection of the cult of Aricia with the Tauric Chersonese (5.3.12, C.239)

Book I: January 9 When the Greeks were stalled at Aulis on their way to Troy, Iphigeneia was sacrificed to gain a favourable wind. Diana snatched the girl from the altar and substituted a hind. Iphigeneia was transported to the Tauric Chersonese.

Book II: February 11 Callisto one of her followers, expelled from her sacred band.

Book III: Introduction Worshipped on Crete (as the ‘Lady of the Creatures’, and archetypal mode of the Great Goddess). The Moon goddess, passing through one or parts of two zodiacal signs in a month.

Book III: March 1 Worshipped at Nemi.

Book IV: April 21 It was sacrilegious to see her bathing, in her sacred grove. See the myth of Actaeon in the Metamorphoses.

Book V: May 1 Watchdogs sacred to her, presumably from the story of Actaeon, and her role as a hunting goddess and mistress of the animals.

Book V: May 2 She took vengeance on Meleager for the neglect by his father Oeneus of her altar fire.

Book VI: June 21 Protectress of Hippolytus. Her grove at Nemi in Aricia. Called Dictynna, who is also the deified Britomartis.


Titus Didius fought in the Marsic wars. Lucius Porcius Cato was killed by the same trible of Marsians in 89BC.

Book VI: June 11 Mentioned.


The Phoenician Queen of Carthage, a manifestation of Astarte, the Great Goddess. A Sidonian, she founded Carthage, loved Aeneas, and committed suicide when he deserted her. (See Virgil, The Aeneid, Book IV, and Marlowe’s The Tragedy of Dido, Queen of Carthage: See also Purcell’s operatic work ‘Dido and Aeneas’.)

Book III: March 15 Her death.


An offshore island of northern Sicily.

Book IV: April 12 Ceres passed by.


A mountain in Mysia in Asia Minor, sacred to Cybele.

Book IV: April 4 Attis fled there.


The son of Tydeus King of Argos, and a Greek hero in the Trojan War. The grandson of Oeneus of Calydon, and hence called Oenid. He married Euippe the daughter of King Daunus, and founded Brundisium (Brindisi). He was worshipped as a God in Venetia and Southern Italy.

Book IV: Introduction Reached Italy.

Book VI: June 9 He was said to have stolen the Palladium, the statue of Pallas Minerva, from Troy.


An epithet for Venus. Also a name for an early consort of Zeus-Jupiter (a goddess superceded by him at Dodona?)

Book II: February 15 She and Cupid flee from Typhon.

Book V: May 2 Venus. Goddess of licit and illicit love.


A name for Pluto, king of the Underworld, brother of Neptune and Jupiter. His kingdom in the Underworld described. At Venus’s instigation Cupid strikes him with an arrow to make him fall in love with Proserpine. He rapes and abducts her, re-entering Hades through the pool of Cyane.

Book IV: April 12 Ovid tells the tale.

Book VI: June 21 Angered at Hippolytus’ resurrection.

Dog, Constellation of Canis Major

The constellation near Orion, containing Sirius the Dog-star, which rises in August and is associated with dry parching weather. Supposedly the dog Maera, that discovered the body of Icarius.

Book IV: April 25 A dog sacrificed (oddly at this time) to encourage a good harvest.

Dolphin, Constellation of Delphinus

A constellation originating in Greek times. Dolphins were the messengers of Neptune-Poseidon, and one saved the life of Arion the musician whose lyre is represented by Lyra. It lies in a rich area of the Milky Way and is a hunting ground for novae. It contains nine main stars as Ovid suggests, the four main stars forming the rectangle known as Job’s coffin.

Book I: January 9 Delphinus, near Lyra, would have risen at 7am, i.e. at dawn, from Rome, at this date and set in the West after dusk, and so be visible for a short time each night as a constellation.

Book II: February 3 Delphinus would be setting before dusk at this date, and therefore be invisible. Made a constellation by Jupiter. Its nine stars.

Book VI: June 10 Book VI: June 17 The constellation was rising at twilight in the east, at this date.

Drusus, Junior

Born 13BC. The son of Tiberius and Vipsania (daughter of Agrippa), and the cousin and brother of Germanicus through Germanicus’s adoption by Tiberius. He married the Elder Livilla.

Book I:Introduction Mentioned as Germanicus’ ‘brother’.

Drusus, Senior

Surnamed Germanicus, the younger son of Livia Augusta by her first husband (Tiberius Claudius Nero). The father of Germanicus.

Book I: January 13 Brother of Tiberius, he died, aged 31, from a fall from his horse, in 9BC.


Wood nymphs. The nymphs of the trees.

Book IV: April 21 It was sacrilegious to gaze on them.

Eagle, Constellation of Aquila

Jupiter’s sacred bird, the eagle, that carried his thunderbolts. Represented in the sky by the constellation Aquila. Its brightest star is Altair.

Book V: May 25 Book VI: June 1 The constellation was rising in the east at twilight at this date.


Tellus, the personification of the Earth.

Book V: May 11 Sent a Scorpion against Latona.


The father of Andromache and King of Thebe in the Troad.

Book IV: April 4 His kingdom passed by Cybele.


An Italian nymph, wife of Numa. Unconsoled at his death she is turned into a fountain, and its attendant streams (at Le Mole, by Nemi in Aricia). She was worshipped as a minor deity of childbirth at Aricia, and later in Rome. (outside the Porta Capena: see Frazer’s ‘The Golden Bough’ Chapter I.)

Book III: Introduction She is mentioned.

Book III: March 1 The servant of Diana at Nemi. One of the Camenae, water-nymphs of the grove outside the Porta Capena, who became identified with the Muses.

Book IV: April 15 She advises Numa.

Electra, the Pleiad

A daughter of Atlas. One of the Pleiads. She slept with Jupiter and bore him Mercury.

Book IV: Introduction Book VI: Introduction The mother of Dardanus.

Book IV: April 2 Mentioned. She couldn’t bear to watch Troy’s destruction and so became a hidden Pleiad.


A city in Attica, famous for the worship of Ceres-Demeter. Sacred to Ceres, the Mother, and Persephone, the Maiden. The place where Theseus defeated Cercyon.

Book IV: April 12 Ceres’ holy site.

Elissa, see Dido

An epithet for Dido.

Book III: March 15 Her death.


Henna (Enna) a town in Sicily. The plains around it.

Book IV: April 12 Persephone was snatched from there.


The maker of the Wooden Horse, at Troy.

Book III: March 19 Mentioned.


The son of Alba.

Book IV: Introduction The father of Capys.


The Horse Races.

Book II: February 27 Conducted on this day.


The Muse of erotic poetry.

Book IV: April 4 She replies to Ovid’s question.


King of Athens, son of Pandion, father of Orithyia and Procris.

Book V: May 2 Boreas stole his daughter Orithyia.


The son of Dardanus.

Book IV: Introduction Father of Tros.


The daughter of Icarius. His dog, Maera, led Erigone to his grave after he was killed. Erigone became the constellation Virgo. Ovid intended to tell the story somewhere in the later months of the Fasti.

Book V: May 22 The dog became the constellation Canis Minor which set in the west at dusk on this date.


Erythea, or Erytheia was a location, possibly an island, in Spain, where Geryon the three-headed king of Tartessus, pastured the cattle that Hercules plundered. Possibly identified with Cadiz (Gades).

Book V: May 14 The plundered cattle.


A mountain on the north-western tip of Sicily sacred to Venus Aphrodite. Daedalus made a golden honeycomb for her shrine there, after fleeing from Crete via Cumae.

Book IV: April 12 Mentioned.

Book IV: April 23 Taken in 212BC by the Romans. The cult of Venus pf Eryx transferred to Rome.


The Esquiline Hill, one of the Seven Hills of Rome. Propertius lived there.

Book II: February 15 A sacred grove of Juno below it.

Book III: March 1 Romulus had a lookout there to watch Titus Tatius on the neighbouring hill. Ovid derives its name from excubiae, a watch.

Book VI: June 11 The site of Servius’ palace.

Etna, Aetna

The volcanic mountain in eastern Sicily.

Book I: January 11 Its volcanic eruptions as analogy.

Book IV: April 12 Placed above the Giants by Jupiter.


One of the largest of the Aegean islands close to the south-east of Greece and stretching from the Maliac Gulf and the Gulf of Pagasae in the north to the island of Andros in the south. At Chalcis it is less than a hundred yards from the mainland. The Carystian shoals are south of Euboea.

Book IV: April 4 Passed by Cybele.


The river which rises in Eastern Turkey and flows south east through Syria and into Iraq. It joins the Tigris and flows into the Persian Gulf.

Book II: February 15 Venus hides in the Syrian reaches.

Book VI: June 9 Crassus lost the eagles in his defeat nearby.


Daughter of Agenor, king of Phoenicia, and sister of Cadmus, abducted by Jupiter disguised as a white bull. (See Paolo Veronese’s painting – The Rape of Europa – Palazzo Ducale, Venice)

Book V: May 14 Carried off by Jupiter.


The son of Carmentis, one of the Camenae, or prophetic nymphs. She first lived in Arcadia where she bore Evander, to Mercury. Evander founded Pallantium, and she came to Italy with him, where she changed the fifteen Greek letters of the alphabet he had brought with him to Roman letters. In reality perhaps an exiled Greek king of Arcadia who settled on the site of ancient Rome.

Book I: January 11 Book V: May 14 The son of Carmentis. He reaches Italy. His house is called Tegean, for Arcadian.

Book II: February 15 Book IV: Introduction Book VI: June 11 He brought his Arcadian gods to Italy.

Book V: Introduction Introduced the worship of Faunus.


The ancient family surnamed Maximus after Quintus Fabius Maximus.

Book I: January 13 Mentioned.

Book II: February 13 The action of the Fabii against Veii in 477BC.

Book II: February 15 Followers of Remus.


Quintus Fabius Maximus Verrucosos, Cunctator (‘The Delayer’) (?275-203BC). He was appointed Dictator of Rome after Hannibal’s victory at Lake Trasimene in 217BC. He was nicknamed Cunctator for his tactics in delaying open battle with the Carthaginians. When the Roman army was destroyed at Cannae in 216BC pursuing open warfare his tactics were vindicated.

Book I: January 13 Origin of the Maximus surname of the Fabii.

Book II: February 13 The Delayer.


The Etruscan city on the bank of the Tiber north-west of Rome, beyond Mount Soracte, captured by Rome in 241BC. It was famous for its orchards, pastures and cattle. Ovid’s second wife was from Falerii. Falisca herba is the ‘grass of Falerii’.

Book I: January 1 The best pasture for cattle.

Book III: March 19 The source of Rome’s worship of Minerva Capta?

Book IV: Introduction The Faliscan country named from Halaesus.


Demi-gods. Rural deities with horns and tails. The father of Latinus. The god of forests and herdsmen.

Book I: January 9 Book IV: April 15 Identified with Pan.

Book II: February 13 His altars tended on this date.

Book II: February 15 His rites at the Lupercalia. The tale of Faunus, Hercules and Omphale.

Book III: Introduction Worshipped in Arcadia, a pine-crowned god.

Book III: March 1 A pre-Roman god, the son of Picus. Helps Numa.

Book IV: April 15 Numa sacrifices to him.

Book IV: April 21 It was sacrilegious to disturb Faunus (Pan) at midday.

Book V: Introduction His rites introduced into Italy by Evander.


The Shepherd who gave help to Romulus and Remus.

Book III: Introduction Mentioned.

Book IV: April 21 Book V: May 9 With his wife Acca, mourns for Remus, and sees his ghost.


The month. Ovid gives derivations for its name.

Book II: Introduction Origin.


An unknown gate, ‘The Little Window’.

Book VI: June 11 Mentioned.


The Festival of the Dead when the ancestral shades were propitiated.

Book II: February 21 Ended on this day.

Fidius, See Semo Sancus

Flamen Dialis

The Flamen was a priest of a particular god. The Flamen Dialis the High Priest of Jupiter.

Book I: January 13 Book II: Introduction Book III: March 1 Mentioned. The priest wore a cap with a point or peak, an apex. His wife mentioned.

Book VI: June 6 His wife speaks to Ovid.


Defied the oracles in 217BC and was defeated by the Carthaginians at Lake Trasimene.

Book VI: June 22 Mentioned.


The goddess of Spring and of flowering and blossoming plants. Her cult was in existence in Rome at an early date. A temple was dedicated to her in 238BC on the advice of the Sibylline Books. She was later identified with the Greek goddess Chloris. May blossom was associated with her worship.

Book IV: April 28 The Floralia begins on this day.

Book V: May 2 The Floralia carried over into May (April 28-May 3). Ovid fancifully derives Flora from the Greek Chloris by a corruption of the first letter. For the detail of the roses breathed from her lips see Botticelli’s painting Primavera.


The Feast of and Rites of Flora.

Book IV: April 28 Celebrated through to May.

Fools, Feast of

A name for the last day for holding the Feast of Ovens.

Book II: February 17 The day designated by Ovid as so named.


See the Feast of Ovens.

Book II: February 17 Its latest date.


Goddess of the Ovens.

Book II: February 17 Farmers prayed to her to regulate the heat of the ovens when parching the grain.

Fortuna Virilis

Virile Fortune, a representation of Fors Fortuna.

Book IV: April 1 Worshipped on this date by women of the lower orders, in the men’s public baths.


Book V: May 25 A temple dedicated to Fortuna Publica (populi Romani), Fortune’s epithet in Rome.

Book VI: June 11 A temple dedicated by Servius Tullius. It was burnt down in the fire of 213BC.

Book VI: June 24 The festival of Fors Fortuna, ancient pre-Roman goddess of Fate.

Forum Boarium

Took its name from the statue of an ox there.

Book VI: June 11 Mentioned.


The Erinyes. The Eumenides or ‘Kindly Ones’, their ironic title. The Three Sisters, were Alecto, Tisiphone and Megaera, the daughters of Night and Uranus. They were the personified pangs of cruel conscience that pursued the guilty. (See Aeschylus – The Eumenides). Their abode is in Hades by theStyx.

Book IV: April 4 Attis thinks they are pursuing him.

Book VI: June 11 Athamas haunted by Tisiphone.


A city taken by Tarquin the Proud.

Book II: February 24 Ovid tells the story.


A sea nymph, daughter of Nereus and Doris. ( See the fresco ‘Galatea’ by Raphael, Rome, Farnesina)

Book VI: June 21 Mentioned.


The followers of Cybele who ritually castrated themselves.

Book IV: April 4 Mentioned.


A River in Phrygia.

Book IV: April 4 It maddened those who drank its waters.


The son of Tros, brother of Ilus and Assaracus, loved by Jupiter because of his great beauty. Jupiter, in the form of an eagle, abducted him and made him his cup-bearer, against Juno’s will. Ganymede’s name was given to the largest moon of the planet Jupiter.

Book II: February 5 Identified with the constellation Aquarius.

Book VI: Introduction Juno resents the abduction.


The river in eastern and southern Sicily at whose mouth stood the city of Gela on the southern coast. After Syracuse and Agrigentum, Gela was the wealthiest city in Sicily in early times. In the reigns of Hippocrates, B.C. 498-491, and Gelon, B.C. 491-485, it extended its dominion over a large part of the island. Gelon even made himself master of Syracuse, and transported there a great portion of the population of Gela, after which its prosperity began to wane.

Book IV: April 12 Ceres passed by.


The constellation of the Twins, representing Castor and Pollux, sons of Leda and Tyndareus. Pollux was in fact fathered by Jupiter. The twin stars of the constellation are exactly 4.5 degrees apart. It is the source of the Geminid meteor shower in December.

Book V: May 20 The sun entered the sign of Gemini at this date.


Germanicus (15BC-AD19) was the handsome, brilliant and popular son of the elder Drusus, grandson of Antony, and adopted (4AD) son of Tiberius, and husband of Agrippina (daughter of Agrippa, granddaughter of Augustus). He was consul in AD12 , and commander in chief of campaigns in Germany in AD14-16. In AD17 he was appointed to govern Rome’s eastern provinces and died in Antioch in mysterious circumstances, perhaps, as rumoured, through the effects of poison. He was the father of Caligula. Ovid re-dedicated the Fasti to him after Augustus’s death.

Book I:Introduction The Fasti dedication. Part of Germanicus’s translation of Aratus’ Phaenomena survives, attesting to his poetic interests.

Book I: January 1 The year to come (possibly AD 16,17 or 18 when he was campaigning in Germany) will be auspicious for him. Ovid alludes to the triumph of Germanicus and Tiberius on 26 May AD17 decreed two years previously. The river Rhine was represented in the procession (see Tacitus).

Book IV: Introduction Specifically addressed by Ovid.

Giants, Gigantes

Monsters, sons of Tartarus and Earth, with many arms and serpent feet, who made war on the gods by piling up the mountains, and overthrown by Jupiter. They were buried under Sicily.

Book III: March 7 Book V: Introduction Jupiter fought with them.


The son of Minos and Pasiphae, who was drowned in a jar of honey. He was saved by the seer, Polyeidus, or by Aesculapius, using a herb employed by one snake to revive another.

Book VI: June 21 The tale mentioned.

Good Goddess, Bona Dea

Worshipped by women. Formerly an Earth-Goddess, an aspect of the Great Goddess.

Book V: May 1 Her temple on the Aventine.


The Charites, the three Graces. The daughters of Jupiter and Eurynome. Aglaia, Hegemone and Euphrosyne (or Giving, Receiving and Thanking).

Book V: May 2 Companions of Flora.

Gradivus, see Mars

An epithet of Mars, as the Marching God.

Book II: February 27 Book III: March 1 Mentioned.

Book III: March 15 Deceived by Anna.


The hundred-handed Giant son of mother Earth. His brothers were Briareus and Cottus.

Book IV: April 12 Mentioned.


The ancient name for Thessaly from Haemon father of Thessalos.

Book II: Introduction The land of Acastus, king of Iolchos.


A mountain in Thrace supposed to be a mortal turned into a mountain for assuming the name of a great god.

Book I: January 9 The mountain mentioned.

Halaesus, Halesus, Haliscus

A bastard son of Agamemnon, who was driven out, and reaching Italy founded Falerii. He taught the inhabitants the mysteries of Hera (Juno), celebrated in the Argive manner.

Book IV: Introduction Gave his name to the Faliscan country.


The wood nymphs.

Book II: February 11 Callisto was one, in Diana’s sacred band.


Hasdrubal, Hannibal’s brother fell at the Metaurus in 207BC. This Hasdrubal is probably the son of Gisco who took poison after the defeat of Syphax.

Book VI: June 23 On this day.


The daughter of Iuno, born without a father. She became the wife of Hercules after his deification, and had the power to renew life.

Book VI: Introduction In Latin called Iuventas (Youth).


The chief river of Thrace.

Book III: March 17 Crossed by Bacchus.


The daughter of the Titans Perses and Asterie, Latona’s sister. A Thracian goddess of witches, her name is a feminine form of Apollo’s title ‘the far-darter’. She was a lunar goddess, with shining Titans for parents. In Hades she was Prytania of the dead, or the Invincible Queen. She gave riches, wisdom, and victory, and presided over flocks and navigation. She had three bodies and three heads, those of a lioness, a bitch, and a mare. Her ancient power was to give to or withhold from mortals any gift. She was sometimes merged with the lunar aspect of Diana-Artemis, and presided over purifications and expiations. She was the goddess of enchantments and magic charms, and sent demons to earth to torture mortals. At night she appeared with her retinue of infernal dogs, haunting crossroads (as Trivia), tombs and the scenes of crimes. At crossroads her columns or statues had three faces – the Triple Hecates – and offerings were made at the full moon to propitiate her.

Book I: January 1 Three-faced guardian of the crossroads.


The Trojan hero, eldest son of Priam and Hecuba. See Homer’s Iliad.

Book V: May 3 Killed by Achilles who was Chiron’s pupil.

Helice, see Bear Constellation

The Great Bear, from the Greek έλική the twister.

Book III: Introduction Used by the Greeks for navigation.

Book IV: April 12 Addressed by Ceres. The constellation is circumpolar and never rises or sets.

Hellespont, Helle

Helle, the daughter of Athamas and Nephele, was the sister of Phrixus, and granddaughter of Aeolus. Escaping from Ino on the golden ram, she fell into the sea and was drowned, giving her name to the Hellespont, the straits that link the Propontis with the Aegean Sea.

Book I: January 9 Book VI: June 9 Priapus the Hellespontine god of Lampsacus.

Book III: March 23 Book IV: April 20 The story of Helle.

Book IV: April 4 The Hellespont named for her.

Book IV: April 25 Her Ram, is the constellation Aries.


The modern river Tellaro, near Noto in the province of Syracuse. Its river valley is compared to that of Tempe in northern Greece.

Book IV: April 12 Ceres passed by.


(The following material is covered by Ovid in the Metamorphoses). The Hero, son of Jupiter. He was set in the sky as the constellation Hercules between Lyra and Corona Borealis. The son of Jupiter and Alcmena, the wife of Amphitryon (so Hercules is of Theban descent, and a Boeotian). Called Alcides from Amphitryon’s father Alceus. Called also Amphitryoniades. Called also Tirynthius from Tiryns his city in the Argolis. Jupiter predicted at his birth that a scion of Perseus would be born, greater than all other descendants. Juno delayed Hercules’ birth and hastened that of Eurystheus, grandson of Perseus, making Hercules subservient to him. Hercules was set twelve labours by Eurystheus at Juno’s instigation.

1. The killing of the Nemean lion.

2. The destruction of the Lernean Hydra. He uses the poison from the Hydra for his arrows.

3. The capture of the stag with golden antlers.

4. The capture of the Erymanthian Boar.

5. The cleansing of the stables of Augeas king of Elis.

6. The killing of the birds of the Stymphalian Lake in Arcadia.

7. The capture of the Cretan wild bull.

8. The capture of the mares of Diomede of Thrace, that ate human flesh.

9. The taking of the girdle of Hippolyte, Queen of the Amazons.

10. The killing of Geryon and the capture of his oxen.

11. The securing of the apples from the Garden of the Hesperides. He held up the sky for Atlas in order to deceive him and obtain them.

12. The bringing of the dog Cerberus from Hades to the upper world.

He fought with Acheloüs for the hand of Deianira. He married Deianira, killed Nessus, fell in love with Iole, daughter of Eurytus who had cheated him, and received the shirt of Nessus from the outraged Deianira. (See Cavalli’s opera with Lully’s dances – Ercole Amante). He was then tormented to death by the shirt of Nessus.

Book I: January 11 He returned from Spain (Erythea in Southwest Spain) having captured the cattle of Geryon in the Tenth Labour.

Book II: February 13 The Fabii claimed descent from Hercules.

Book II: February 15 The tale of Faunus, Hercules and Omphale.

Book V: May 3 He visits Chiron the Centaur, tutor of Achilles, and accidentally wounds him with a poisoned arrow, soaked in the blood of the Lernean Hydra. Hercules had destroyed Troy because Laomedon broke faith with him.

Book V: May 14 He substituted ritual effigies for human sacrifice, after reaching the banks of the Tiber.

Book V: May 20 His twelve labours.

Book VI: Introduction He married Juno’s daughter, Hebe, after hid deification.

Book VI: June 4 Hercules Custos (The Guardian) protects the Circus below the roof, which is protected by Bellona.

Book VI: June 11 He rescues Ino. He is called Oetaean from his funeral pyre on Mount Oeta.

Book VI: June 30 Juno reluctantly gave Hercules a place in the temple of the Muses.


Hesiod the Greek poet of Ascra. See Theogonia 22.

Book VI: Introduction Mentioned.


The Evening. The planet Venus as the ‘evening star.

Book II: February 15 The evening.

Book V: May 9 The evening star.


Book V: May 20 The daughters of Leucippus, Phoebe and Hilaira, were raped and abducted by Castor and Pollux. They were betrothed to Idas and Lynceus. Hilaira was a priestess of Athene-Minerva.


A river and town on the northern coast of Sicily.

Book IV: April 12 Ceres passed by.


One of the two springs on Mount Helicon associated with the Muses. Hippocrene is the other. Ovid identifies them.

Book V: Introduction The founts of poetic inspiration.


The son of Theseus and the Amazon Hippolyte. He was admired by Phaedra, his step-mother, and was killed at Troezen, after meeting ‘a bull from the sea’. He was brought to life again by Aesculapius, and hidden by Diana (Cynthia, the moon-goddess) who set him down in the sacred grove at Arician Nemi, where he became Virbius, the consort of the goddess (as Adonis was of Venus, and Attis of Cybele), and the King of the Wood (Rex Nemorensis). All this is retold and developed in Frazer’s monumental work, on magic and religion, ‘The Golden Bough’ (see Chapter I et seq.). (See also Euripides’s play ‘Hippolytos’, and Racine’s ‘Phaedra’.)

Book III: March 1 Concealed at Nemi.

Book V: May 2 An example of divine punishment by Neptune. Ovid suggests he might have averted Phaedra’s love for him.

Book VI: June 21 Saved by Aesculapius, and set down at Nemi as Virbius.


The Greek Horae were goddesses of time: variously the year, seasons and the hours of the day. They became guardians of the natural order and of morality. Hesiod names Eunomia (who saw that law was observed), Dike (who attended to justice) and Irene (who was a goddess of peace). There was a later and more elaborate mythology that made them guardians of youth, and the daughters of Zeus and Themis.

Book I: January 1 They sit at Heaven’s Gate with Janus.

Book V: May 2 Companions of Flora.


Son of Amyclas, king of Amyclae, hence he was called Amyclides.His home was Amyclae, in Taenarus, near Sparta. Loved by Phoebus, he was killed by a discus while they were competing. Phoebus turned him into a hyacinth (the blue larkspur, hyacinthos grapta) that has the marks AI AI (woe! woe!) of early Greek letters on the base of its petals, and was sacred to Cretan Hyacinthus. Later it was linked to Ajax. Sparta celebrated the Hyacinthia festival in his honour. (Therapnean here means Spartan since Therapne was a town in Laconia).

Book V: May 2 Flora claims that she created the flower, the hyacinth, from his blood.


The daughters of Atlas and Aethra, half-sisters of the Pleiades. They lived on Mount Nysa and nurtured the infant Bacchus. The Hyades are the star-cluster forming the ‘face’ of the constellation Taurus the Bull. The cluster is used as the first step in the distance scale of the galaxy.

Book III: Introduction Mentioned.

Book IV: April 17 The Hyades set before night in the west at this date.

Book V: May 2 The cluster, a ‘herd’ of piglets (the Suculae, from the Greek ύς), was setting at twilight at this date, when the Sun was virtually conjunct them in Taurus. Alternatively they are granddaughters of Tethys and Oceanus.

Book VI: June 2 The horns and brow of Taurus. The Hyades were rising at dawn at this date.

Book VI: June 15 Thyone, one of the Hyades, used for them all. The Hyades were rising before dawn on this date.


Brother of the Hyades, and son of Atlas and Aethra.

Book V: May 2 Killed by a lioness, gave his name to the Hyades, his sisters.

Book V: May 25 The Hyades were rising before dawn on this date.


The God of marriage.

Book II: February 21 Marriage not auspicious on the Festival of the Dead.


A Titan, the son of Coelus and Terra, and father of the sun-god.

Book I: January 9 The sun-god worshipped in Persia by horse sacrifice.

Book V: May 2 The father of Aurora (Eos) by Theia.


An old farmer, who is visited by the gods.

Book V: May 11 Book VI: June 17 The gods create a son, Orion, for him.


Suitor of Dido.

Book III: March 15 He took the kingdom after her death.


The son of Daedalus for whom his father fashioned wings of wax and feathers like his own in order to escape from Crete. Flying too near the sun, despite being warned, the wax melted and he drowned in the Icarian Sea, and was buried on the island of Icaria. (See W H Auden’s poem ‘Musée des Beaux Arts’ referring to Brueghel’s painting, Icarus, in Brussels)

Book IV: April 4 Icaria passed by Cybele.


The extensive range of mountains in western Mysia, the highest peak Gargaros rising to over 4500 feet and commanding a fine view of the Hellespont and Propontis. There is also a Cretan Mount Ida. The supposed Trojan origin of the Romans via Aeneas, results in the epithet Idalian for the Roman people.

Book I: January 9 Idalians, the Romans.

Book IV: Introduction Solymus, a companion of Aeneas is from Ida.

Book V: May 1 Haunt of the goat-nymph Amalthea.


The putative son of Aphareus, king of Messene, and Arene, but actually fathered by Neptune.

Book V: May 20 The daughters of Leucippus, Phoebe and Hilaira, were raped and abducted by Castor and Pollux. They were betrothed to Idas and Lynceus his half-brother, who fought them.

Ilia, see Silvia


The son of Tros, and builder of Troy (Ilium). The father of Laomedon.

Book VI: June 9 The founder of Troy.

Inachian Heifer

Io the daughter of Inachus a river-god of Argolis, chased and raped by Jupiter. Changed to a heifer by Jupiter and conceded as a gift to Juno.

After Mercury killed Argus her guard, and driven by Juno’s fury Io has reached the Nile, she is returned to human form. With her son Epaphus she is worshipped in Egypt as a goddess. Io is therefore synonymous with Isis (or Hathor the cow-headed goddess with whom she was often confused), and Epaphus with Horus. Worshipped in Crete as a manifestation of Isis.

Book III: March 15 Identified with Anna Perenna.


A river in Argolis. The river-god, father of Io (Inachis).

Book I: January 9 Geese sacrificed to Io.


The daughter of Cadmus, wife of Athamas, and sister of Semele and Agave. She fostered the infant Bacchus. She plotted the deaths of her step-children, Phrixus and Helle. She parched seed to prevent it sprouting and so incurred an oracle against them.

Book II: February 22 Book III: March 23 The incident of the parched seed.

Book VI: June 11 Ovid identifies her with Mater Matruta. She nursed the infant Bacchus.


Daughter of Inachus a river-god of Argolis, chased and raped by Jupiter. With her son Epaphus she was worshipped in Egypt as a goddess. Io is therefore synonymous with Isis (or Hathor the cow-headed goddess with whom she was often confused), and Epaphus with Horus. Isis had a centre of worship at Pharos in Egypt.

Book I: January 9 Geese sacrificed to her.

Book IV: April 20 Book V: May 14 Ovid suggests the constellation of Taurus may represent her.


The daughter of Agamemnon, king of Mycenae, and Clytaemnestra. She is called Mycenis. She was sacrificed by her father at Aulis, to gain favourable winds for the passage to Troy but snatched away by Diana to Tauris, a deer being left in her place. Orestes her brother found her there and they fled to Athens with the image of the goddess. She later became priestess of Diana-Artemis at Brauron.

Book I: January 9 Rescued by Diana at Aulis.


A hill on the right bank of the Tiber (looking downriver) opposite ancient Rome.

Book I: January 1 Named after Janus according to Ovid.


The month, named for Janus.

Book I:Introduction Derived from Janus.


The Roman two-headed god of doorways and beginnings, equivalent to the Hindu elephant god Ganesh. The Janus mask is often depicted with one melancholy and one smiling face. The first month of the year in the Julian calendar was named for him, January (Ianuarius).

Book I:Introduction Book II: Introduction The month January, the gateway of the year, derived from Janus.

Book I: January 1 A dialogue with the god. His named derived from hiare to open, or eo I go, according to Ovid. His temple, with a statue of the god beneath an archway, stood between the Forum Romanum and Forum Iulium.

Book I: January 9 Sacrificial day (Agon) of the god. Ovid suggests derivations of Agon.

Book III: March 30 Janus venerated on this day, four days after the equinox.

Book V: May 9 The first month sacred to him.

Book VI: June 1 He loved Carna, and gave her power over hinges. White-thorn sacred to him, and used to ward off evil.


The son of Aeson, and leader of the Argonauts, hero of the adventure of the Golden Fleece. The fleece is represented in the sky by the constellation and zodiacal sign of Aries, the Ram. In ancient times it contained the point of the vernal equinox (The First Point of Aries) that has since moved by precession into Pisces. He reached Colchis and the court of King Aeetes where he accepted Medea’s help to secure the fleece and married her before returning to Iolchos.

Book I: January 11 An exile from Thessaly.

Book II: February 22 His wife, Medea.


King of Numidia. Aligned with Scipio and beaten by Caesar in North Africa where the remnants of the Pompeian party were being reorganised.

Book IV: April 6 Beaten at the battle of Thapsus in 46BC.

Julia Augusta

Book I: January 11 The title for Livia after adoption into the Julian family, under which she was subsequently deified by Claudius.

Julius Caesar

The Roman general and Tribune. Assassinated and subsequently deified.

Book I: January 11 Book V: May 12 His performance of the sacred rites as Pontifex Maximus. His deification.

Book II: February 5 Deified by Augustus, his adopted son.

Book III: Introduction He reformed the calendar in 46BC.

Book III: March 15 Book V: May 12 His assassination on this date, the Ides of March, in 44BC. His deification. Augustus (Octavian) avenged him at Philippi.

Book IV: April 6 Caesar crushed Pompey’s supporters in Africa at the battle of Thapsus in 46BC.

Book IV: April 14 Caesar relieved the siege of Mutina (Modena) in 43BC, fighting against Mark Antony.

Julus, Iulus

Ascanius, the son of Aeneas, from whom the Iulian clan claimed their origin. The ancestor of Julius Caesar.

Book IV: Introduction Founder of the Julian House.


The daughter of Rhea and Saturn, wife and sister of Jupiter, and the queen of the gods. A representation of the pre-Hellenic Great Goddess. (See the Metope of Temple E at Selinus – The Marriage of Hera and Zeus – Palermo, National Museum.)

Book I:Introduction Tutelary goddess of the monthly Kalends.

Book I: January 1 She sided with the Greeks against the Trojans, and therefore also against their descendants via Aeneas, the Romans. So she assisted Tatius and the Sabines in their attack on the citadel.

Book II: February 1 Juno Sospita, the Saviour, honoured with new temples at this time. Juno Sospita received fervent invocations at the time of labour and childbirth.

Book II: February 11 She transformed Callisto into a bear.

Book II: February 15 Book V: May 2 Her sacred grove below the Esquiline Hill. Worshipped asJuno Lucina the goddess of childbirth.

Book II: February 21 Lara reported Jupiter’s amour to her.

Book III: Introduction Worshipped in Sparta and Mycenae.

Book III: March 1 The founding of her temple on the Esquiline. The mother of Mars. Mention of the Matronalia, in honour of Juno Lucina.

Book III: March 17 Stepmother of Bacchus.

Book IV: April 20 Juno’s disapproval of Jupiter’s amours, here his love for Europa and Io.

Book VI: Introduction Her statue in the temple on the Capitol, dedicated to Jupiter, Juno and Minerva. The month of June named after her (called Junonius in Aricia and Praeneste).

Book VI: June 1 The temple of Juno Moneta founded on the Capitol. Juno Moneta having been the adviser of those to be married became the adviser to the Roman people. Her sacred geese warned (monere) the defenders when the Gauls attacked the citadel. Later the mint was installed nearby, and the word ‘money’ is derived from the temple.

Book VI: June 9 Daughter of Saturn and Ops (Rhea).

Book VI: June 11 She persecuted the family of Jupiter’s lover, Semele.

Book VI: June 30 Juno reluctantly gave Hercules a place in the temple of the Muses.


The sky-god, the Greek Zeus, son of Saturn and Rhea, born on Mount Lycaeum in Arcadia and nurtured on Mount Ida in Crete. The oak is his sacred tree. His emblems of power are the sceptre and lightning-bolt. His wife and sister is Juno (the Greek Hera). (See the sculpted bust (copy) by Brassides, the Jupiter of Otricoli, Vatican)

Book I:Introduction Tutelary god of the monthly Ides.

Book I: January 1 His temple on the Capitoline, and his name as synonymous with the Emperor’s. Even his coming and going is at the discretion of Janus. His early shrine on the Palatine in the time of Romulus is mentioned. He deposed Saturn. His temple on an island in the Tiber.

Book I: January 11 Hercules was his son.

Book I: January 13 A gelded ram offerd to him on the Ides.

Book II: February 1 His temple as Jupiter Tonans, the Thunderer, on the Capitol. This primitive aspect of Jupiter echoes both the Greek Zeus, and the Etruscan gods Tinias, and Summanus.

Book II: February 3 He made Delphinus a constellation.

Book II: February 11 He raped Callisto and set her among the stars as Ursa Major.

Book II: February 15 He fought against Typhon and the Giants.

Book II: February 21 Loved Juturna. He makes Lara mute.

Book II: February 23 The building of his temple on the Capitol.

Book III: March 1 Worshipped as Elicius. Ovid justifies the name.

Book III: March 7 Book V: Introduction Worshipped as Veiovis, the young Jupiter. He took up his lightning bolts after the Giants had assaulted the heavens. He was nursed by nymphs on Mount Ida in Crete.

Book III: March 8 Book III: March 17 Book VI: June 11 The father of Bacchus, by Semele, who was consumed by fire in her union with him. Bacchus was snatched from the flames. Jupiter dethroned his father Saturn.

Book IV: Introduction The father of Dardanus by Electra.

Book IV: April 2 He slept with Maia, Electra, and Taygete.

Book IV: April 12 The brother of Dis.

Book IV: April 13 A temple to Jupiter Victor was dedicated by Quintus Fabius Maximus on this day.

Book IV: April 20 The constellation Taurus represents him abducting Europa.

Book IV: April 21 Invoked by Romulus at the founding of Rome.

Book IV: April 23 The Vinalia sacred to Jupiter. Ovid explains the reason.

Book V: Introduction Book V: May 15 Fathered Mercury on Maia, most beautiful of the Pleiads.

Book V: May 1 His cradle tended by Amalthea, the goat-nymph, who is represented by the star Capella, the ‘she-goat’.

Book V: May 2 In one variant of myth Minerva (Athene) was born from Zeus’ head, without a mother.

Book V: May 11 Helped create a son, Orion (Urion) for Hyrieus.

Book V: May 14 Disguised as a bull he carried off Europa. The bull form became the constellation Taurus.

Book V: May 25 The eagle (constellation Aquila) is his sacred bird.

Book VI: Introduction The temple on the Capitol, dedicated to Jupiter, Juno and Minerva.

Book VI: June 9 The altar of Jupiter the Baker. Jupiter gives instructions regarding the defence of the citadel.

Book VI: June 13 A temple was dedicated to Jupiter Invictus.

Book VI: June 21 Threatened Aesculapius for reviving Hippolytus, having himself resurrected Aesculapius.

Book VI: June 27 The temple of Jupiter the Stayer in front of the Palatine. Vowed by Romulus if Jupiter stayed the flight of the Roman troops during a battle between the Romans and Sabines.


The goddess of Justice. Here Ovid bases her on the Greek goddess Astraea ("the star-maiden") the daughter of Zeus and Themis. She was, as was her mother, a goddess of justice. During the Golden Age, when the gods lived among mankind, she lived on the earth. When evil and wickedness increased its grip on humanity, the gods abandoned mankind. Astraea was the last to leave and took up a place among the stars where she was transformed into the constellation Virgo.

Book I: January 1 The goddess is mentioned.


Or Diuturna, a goddess of Latium, was the goddess of still waters and rivers over which Jupiter gave her command in return for her love. She was venerated by the college of the Fontani, the artisans assigned to the aqueducts and fountains.

Book I: January 11 The Juturnalia, when she was venerated, was on this date.

Book I: January 27 The temple of the Dioscuri near the waters of the Field of Mars, sacred to her.

Book II: February 21 Loved by Jupiter. A sister of Lara.

Juventas, see Hebe