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p317 Lucus Furrinae

Article on pp317‑318 of

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


Lucus Furrinae (Fast. Allif. Pinc. Maff. ad 25 Iul.; v. CIL I2 p217, 219, 225; Varro, LL VI.19) or Furinae, (Varro, LL V.84; VII.45 — some MSS. only, cf. Müller's notes; Fest. 88; Cic. de nat. deor. III.46; ad Q.F. III.1.4; Martianus Capella II.164, Furinna). (The authority of the Fasti is to be preferred to that of the MSS., which p318vary, so that we get Furrina alongside Furinalia1 (Wissowa in RE VII.382).) In Fast. Ant. ap. NS 1921, 104, the abbreviation FUR is indecisive; ἄλσος Ἐρινύων, Plut. C. Gracch. 17; νυμφῶν Φορρίνων (Inscr. Gauckler, Sanctuaire Syrien du Janicule 18, Forinarum, CIL VI.422; cf. 30765) [CIL VI.10200 is a forgery; cf. Mitt. 1895, 293]): a grove on the right bank of the Tiber, on the site now partly occupied by the Villa Sciarra on the Janiculum. It was in this grove that C. Gracchus met a voluntary death in 121 B.C. at the hand of his slave Philocrates to escape his pursuers (Auct. de vir. ill. 65: P. Laetorio in ponte Sublicio persequentibus resistente, in lucum Furinae pervenit; cf. Plut. cit.).

The day of the festival (Furrinalia) was 25th July; but in Varro's time it was already dying out; quoius deae honos apud antiquos. Nam et ei sacra instituta annua et flamen attributus: nunc vix nomen notum paucis. The excavations of 1906‑10 did not bring to light any remains belonging to the republican period, as had at first been believed (Gauckler, op. cit. 249‑252).

The real nature of Furrina is uncertain (Wissowa cit.). Gauckler maintained that the use of the word νύμφαι signified that she had been a goddess of springs, which he believed that he had actually found; Hülsen's scepticism as to their antiquity seems unjustified (Gauckler, op. cit. 244 sqq.).

The connection with the Furies which Cicero (de nat. deor. cit.: Eumenides . . . quae si deae sunt, quarum et Athenis fanum est et apud nos, ut ego interpretor, lucus Furinae, Furiae deae sunt), Plutarch (cit.), and Martianus Capella (cit., where he enumerates Fura Furinaque et mater Mania as divinities of the underworld) all deduce, probably rests on a mere similarity of name. There was also a shrine of Furrina not far from Arpinum (Cic. ad Q.F. cit.: ab eo ponticulo qui est ad Furinae, Satricum versus, where Satricum is not the better known city in Latium, but another in the Volscian territory).

The inscription cited ap. Gauckler 19 runs as follows: Διὶ Κεραυνίῳ Ἀρτεμις ἡ καὶ Σιδωνία Κυπρία ἐξ ἐπιταγῆς ἀνέθηκεν καὶ νυνφὲς (sic) Φορρίνες (sic). It belongs to the latter half of the second century A.D., and shows that while the old cult of Furrina was not entirely forgotten, another worship, that of Zeus Keraunios or Juppiter Ammon, had been superimposed upon it. CIL VI.422, which no doubt came from this same site, is a dedication 'Iovi optimo maximo Heliopolitano Augusto, genio Forinarum et cultoribus huius loci,' belonging to the Antonine or Severan period; and to this time belongs the establishment here of the cult of Juppiter Heliopolitanus (q.v. for further history of the site and bibliography). The same is probably the case with ibid. 423 (cf. add. p3005), another dedication to Juppiter Heliopolitanus, dating from 238‑243 A.D., above which is a relief of Atargatis with two lions (Amelung, Kat. Vat. I.280, n152).


The Authors' Note:

1 In Fest. cit. Lindsay (p78) prefers Furnalia, the reading of the best MSS.


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