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Religion And Magic At Rome: The Fountain Of Anna Perenna

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Chapter Summary

Anna Perenna was an ancient Roman deity; according to the Tiberian Fasti Vaticani, her festival at Rome was at that date celebrated on the Ides of March near the first milestone along the Via Flaminia in the Campus Martius. For the sake of proper contextualisation, this chapter presents the three inscriptions, which seem to provide some corrective to Ovid's account of the celebrations at the March festival of Anna Perenna. The marble altar and two votive bases were built into the late-antique retaining wall of the trough and evidently stem from an earlier phase of the shrine. Some 549 coins were found, almost all in the deeper strata of the cistern, attesting to the practice of throwing money into water as a sign of devotion to the resident nymph(s) or deity. Seven pine-cones and a number of fragmentary egg-shells were also found in the cistern.

Keywords: ancient Roman deity; Anna Perenna; malign magic; March festival; pine-cones; Rome



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