Ark of the Covenant - Bible History Online
Bible History Online

Sub Categories

    Back to Categories

    August 14    Scripture

    More Bible History
    Bellona in Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology the goddess of war among the Romans. It is very probable that originally Bellona was a Sabine divinity whose worship was carried to Rome by the Sabine settlers. She is frequently mentioned by the Roman poets as the companion of Mars, or even as his sister or his wife. Virgil describes her as armed with a bloody scourge. (Verg. A. 8.703; Lucan, Phars. 7.569; Horat. Sat. 2.3. 223.) The main object for which Bellena was worshipped and invoked, was to grant a warlike spirit and enthusiasm which no enemy could resist; and it was for this reason, for she had been worshipped at Rome from early times (Liv. 8.9), that in B. C. 296, during the war against the Samnites, Appius Claudius the Blind vowed the first temple of Bellona, which was accordingly erected in the Campus Martins close by the Circus Flaminius. (Liv. 10.19; Ov. Fast. 6.201, &c.) This temple subsequently became of great political importance, for in it the senate assembled to give audience to foreign ambassadors, whom it was not thought proper to admit into the city, to generals who returned from a campaign for which they claimed the honour of a triumph, and on other occasions. (Liv. 28.9, 30.21; Dict. of Ant. s.v. Legatus). In front of the entrance to the temple there stood a pillar, which served for making the symbolical declarations of war; for the area of the temple was regarded as a symbolical representation of the enemies' country, and the pillar as that of the frontier, and the declaration of war was made by launching a spear over the pillar. This ceremony, so long as the Roman dominion was of small extent, had been performed on the actual frontier of the enemy's country. (Ov. Fast. 6.205, &c.; Serv. ad Aen. 9.53; Liv. 1.32; Dict. of Ant. s. v. Fetiales.) The priests of Bellona were called Bellonarii, and when they offered sacrifices to her, they had to wound their own arms or legs, and either to offer up the blood or drink it themselves, in order to become inspired with a warlike enthusiasm. This sacrifice, which was afterwards softened down into a mere symbolic act, took place on the 24th of March, which day was called dies sanguinisfor this reason. (Lucan, 1.565; Martial, 12.57; Tertull. Apology. 9; Lactant. 1.21; comp. Heindorf, ad Hor. Sat. l.c.; Hartung, Die Relig. der Römer, ii. p. 270, &c.; C. Tiesler, De Bellonae Cultu et Sacris, Berlin, 1842. 8vo.) - A Dictionary of Greek and Roman biography and mythology, William Smith, Ed.

    Bellona in Wikipedia Bellona was an Ancient Roman war goddess. She is believed to be one of the numinous gods of the Romans (without a particular mythology and possibly of Etruscan origin), and is supposed by many to have been the Romans' original war deity, predating the identification of Mars with Ares. She accompanied Mars into battle and is taken variously as his sister, wife or daughter. She is also (as at her temple in Ostia) syncretized with Magna Mater. She is also the mother of Romulus and Remus, The legendary founders of Rome. Bellona's attribute is a sword and she is depicted wearing a helmet and armed with a spear and a torch. Politically, all Senate meetings relating to foreign war were conducted in the Templum Bellonae (Temple of Bellona) on the Collis Capitolinus outside the pomerium...