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Camenae

p89 Article on pp89‑90 of

Samuel Ball Platner (as completed and revised by Thomas Ashby):
A Topographical Dictionary of Ancient Rome,
London: Oxford University Press, 1929.

Camenae: originally fountain deities, afterwards identified with the Muses, who gave their name to the place where their cult was located. Topographically, Camenae was a general term (Vitr. VIII.3.1; Mart. II.6.16; Serv. ad Aen. VII.697; cf. templa Camenarum, Schol. Iuv. III.216), including the valley (vallis Egeriae, Iuv. III.13), the grove (lucus, Iuv. loc. cit.; Liv. I.21), the spring (fons, locc. citt.; Plut. Num. 4; Symmach. Ep. I.20), and the shrine (aedicula, Serv. loc. cit.). The spring was undoubtedly at the foot of the southern extremity of the Caelian hill, inside the boundaries of the Villa Mattei, but it is impossible to identify it certainly with any particular one of those that are now found in the immediate vicinity (cf. LA 223‑225; LS III.205; HJ 206). The grove was around the spring, and the vallis extended north-east from this point along the south-east side of the Caelian, and was traversed by the vicus Camenarum (CIL VI.975, Reg. I), which joined the via Appia. This valley is now marked by the Via delle Mole and the Marrana brook. The spring was near the via Appia, and, according to tradition, Numa built beside it a small bronze aedicula (the day of dedication was Aug. 13, Fast. Ant. ap. NS 1921, 108), which, after having been struck by lightning and removed to the temple of Honos et Virtus, was again transferred by Fulvius Nobilior to the temple of Hercules which was then called aedes Herculis et Musarum. Later a temple (aedes, (Plin. NH XXXIV.19) appears to have taken its place, which is mentioned only once. The grotto of the spring had also been adorned with marble in Juvenal's p90time (III.10). Its water was excellent (Vitr. cit.; Frontin. de aquis I.4). See Aqua Mercurii.


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