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 p554  Venus Verticordia

Article on pp554‑555 of

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


Venus Verticordia, aedes: a temple built in 114 B.C., in accordance with instructions of the Sibylline books, to atone for a case of incest among the Vestals and a prodigium that followed the acquittal of two at the first trial (Obseq. 37 (97); Lydus de mens. IV.15; Ov. Fast. IV.157‑160;  p555 cf. Oros. V.15.22). The epithet referred to the power of the goddess to turn the mind from lust to purity (Ov. loc. cit.; Val. Max. VIII.15.12). The day of dedication was 1st April (CIL I2 p314; Ov. Fast. IV.133 ff.; Lydus, loc. cit.; Macrob. I.12.15). Servius speaks of a fanum Veneris Verticordiae in the vallis Murciae (Aen. VIII.636), but seems to be confusing the shrine of this goddess with that of Venus Murcia. This may show that the former was near the latter; if not, there is no indication of its location. The statue of the goddess is shown in coins of about 46 B.C. of M. Cordius Rufus (BM Rep. I.523.4037‑9).

About a century earlier Sulpicia (RE VII.246), the wife of Q. Fulvius Flaccus, consul for the fourth time in 209 B.C., is said to have been selected, in accordance with the Sibylline books, as the most chaste woman in Rome, to dedicate a simulacrum to Venus Verticordia (Val. Max. VIII.15.12; Plin. NH VII.120; Solin. I.126), but what relation this statue may have had to the later temple is not known (WR 290‑291; Pr. Myth. I.446; Gilb. III.92).


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