Online Encyclopedia

EGERIA

Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V09, Page 13 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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EGERIA  , an

ancient
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Italian goddess of springs . Two distinct localities were regarded as sacred to her,—the grove of
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Diana Nemorensis at Aricia, and a spring in the immediate neighbour-hood of Rome at the Porta
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Capena . She derives her chief importance from her legendary connexion with King Numa, who had frequent interviews with her and consulted her in regard to his religious legislation (Livy i . 19; Juvenal iii . 12) . These meetings took place on the spot where the sacred shield had fallen from heaven, and here Numa dedicated a grove to-the Camenae, like Egeria deities of springs . After the
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death of Numa, Egeria was said to have fled into the grove of Aricia, where she was changed into a spring for having interrupted the
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rites of Diana by her lamentations (Ovid, Metam. xv . 479) . At Aricia there was also a Manius Egerius, a male counterpart of Egeria . Her connexion with Diana Nemorensis, herself a birth goddess, is confirmed by the fact that her aid was invoked by pregnant
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women . She also possessed the gift of prophecy; and the statement (
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Dion . Halic. ii .

6o) that she was one of the

Muses is due to her connexion with the Camenae, whose worship was displaced by them .

End of Article: EGERIA
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