Saturn, it is said, observed this covenant
so faithfully, that he devoured, as soon as they were born,
his legitimate sons. His punctuality, however, in this
respect, was at last frustrated by the artifice of Vesta,
who, being delivered of twins, Jupiter and Juno, presented
the latter to her husband, and concealing the former, sent
him to be nursed on Mount Ida in Crete, committing the care
of him to the Curetes and Corybantes.
The reign of Saturn was so mild and happy, that the poets
have given it the name of the golden age. The people, who
before wandered about like beasts, were then reduced to
civil society; laws were enacted, and the art of tilling and
sowing the ground introduced; whence Varro tells us, that
Saturn had his name a satu, from sowing.
He was usually represented as an old man, bare-headed and
bald, with all the marks of infirmity in his eyes,
countenance, and figure. In his right hand they sometimes
placed a sickle or scythe; at others, a key, and a
circumflexed serpent biting its tail, in his left. He
sometimes was pictured with six wings, and feet of wool, to
show how insensibly and swiftly time passes. The scythe
denoted his cutting down and subverting all things, and the
serpent the revolution of the year.