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Diana

Roman Colosseum

'The Roman Colosseum'

The Roman Goddess Diana
The way of the Romans was to adopt various elements from other cultures and civilisations. This included the Roman religion which was highly influenced by the Ancient Greek religion and gave the Greek God names the equivalent Roman names. The Roman priests then adopted the mythology or stories about the Gods and Goddesses and evolved a Roman Gods Family tree detailing how each of the Roman Gods and Goddesses, like Diana, were related.

Greek and Roman religion and mythology therefore become closely entwined.

Mythology surrounding Diana
The mythology and information about the Roman Goddess Diana

  • Name: Diana

  • A major deity and one of the 12 Olympian Gods

  • Jurisdiction: Diana was described as being the Roman Goddess of the Moon and Hunting. She was also the protector of children

  • Mythology: Mythical Family Tree or Relatives: Diana was believed to be the Goddess of the Moon and hunting. She was seen as an emblem of chastity  Diana was the daughter of Jupiter and Latona. Her brother was Apollo and as he was god of the sun his sister was the goddess of the moon.

  • Depiction / Description / Symbol: the cypress tree and the deer

  • Name of equivalent Greek Goddess: Artemis

  • She was worshipped at a festival on August 13 called Nemoralia, the festival of Torches

  • To celebrate the festival of Nemoralia worshippers would form a procession of torches and candles around the dark waters of the sacred Lake Nemi referred to as Diana's Mirror. The lights of their candles and torches joined the light of the moon reflecting upon the surface of the water

  • Hunting or killing any animal was forbidden on Nemoralia

  • The festival of Nemoralia was later adopted by Catholics as The Feast of the Assumption

  • Sacrifices to Diana - During sacrifices to the Roman gods the sex of the victim had to correspond to the sex of the god to whom it was offered. White animals were given to the gods of the upper world whereas black victims to the gods of the underworld

Diana, Princess of Wales
In the funeral Obituary to Diana, Princess of Wales in 1997, her brother the Earl Of Spencer drew an ironic analogy between the ancient goddess of hunting and his sister:

"...It is a point to remember that of all the ironies about Diana, perhaps the greatest was this: a girl given the name of the ancient goddess of hunting was, in the end, the most hunted person of the modern age..."

For a full transcript of the speech click: Earl Of Spencer Obituary To Princess Diana

Myths about the Roman Goddess Diana
12 Olympian Gods
Roman Colosseum
Roman Gods

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