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.