Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Maia, the Roman goddess for whom the month of May is named

Originally uploaded by Pocco.
In Roman mythology, says Wikipedia, Maia was identified with Maia Maiestas (also called Fauna, Bona Dea (the 'Good Goddess') and Ops), a goddess who may be equivalent to an old Italic goddess of spring.

The month of May was named for her; the first and fifteenth of May were sacred to her.

Maia was associated with Vulcan, and on the first of May the flamen of that god sacrificed to her a pregnant sow, an appropriate sacrifice also for an earth goddess such as Bona Dea: a sow-shaped wafer might be substituted. The goddess was accessible only to women; men were excluded from her precincts.

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