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Diana




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Diana

 
    DIANA, an Italian Divinity, afterwards regarded as identical with the goddess whom the Greeks called (GREEK LETTERING).----According to Cicero (Nat. Deor.), there were three of this name, of whom that most commonly celebrated among mythologists was the daughter of Jupiter and Latona, and twin sister of Apollo. Diana was worshipped in various ways, and under various figures, by diverse ancient nations. In rivalship with the similar claims of Delos, the Ephesians assumed the honour of their city having witnessed the birth of Diana, and the most famous of her temples was that in their city. Skillful, like Apollo, in the use of the bow, her employment on earth was the chase; and if her brother were the god of day, she under the name of Luna, the moon, enlightened mortals during the night. She was the patroness of virginity, and the presiding deity over childbirth, on which account she was called Lucina, or Juno Pronuba, when invoked by women in parturition; and Trivia, when worshipped in the cross-ways, where her statues were generally erected. The earliest trace of her worship at Rome occurs in the tradition, that Servius Tullius dedicated to her a temple on the Aventine mount. Diana was protectress of the slaves; and the day, on which that temple had been dedicated, is said to have been afterwards celebrated every year by slaves of both sexes, and was called the day of the slaves.    (See Dr. Smith's Dictionary of Roman Mythology).----On coins, gems, and other monuments of antiquity, Diana, as the Ephesian goddess, is represented by an image with many breasts, indicating the plenteousness of nature. As Lucifera, she stands either dressed in the stola, holding a lighted torch transversely, in both hands, or she wears the lunar crescent on her head, and drives a chariot drawn by two stags, holding the reins in one hand, and a burning torch in the other. ----As Diana Pergensis (or of Perga), her symbol is either a stone, or some cylinder-shaped vase, marked with celestial signs and figures.----As Diana Venatrix (the huntress), she appears with bow and arrow, as on a coin of Gallienus.----On a consecration medal of Faustina Senior, the figure of Diana in a biga is the type of the Empressís eternity.----When she performs the part of Luna, she wears a crescent on her head, and her chariot is a biga of bulls, as on a first brass of Julia Domna.
    [On a brass medallion of Crispina, without legend of reverse, is the graceful figure of a female, dressed in the stola, or long flowing robe of Roman matrons; recognizable as Diana by the bow she holds in her left, and the arrow in her right hand.----See preceding cut from a cast after a rare specimen in the Cabinet de France].
    The goddess also appears, with attributes of either bow, dog, or torch, on coins of Augustus, Plotina, Faustina Junior, Lucilla, Plautilla, Gordianus Pius, Valerianus, Salonina, Postumus, Claudius II Gothicus, and Quintillus. It is, however, a comparatively rare type on Roman coins.
    On a denarius of a consular family, having for its reverse legend Lucius Hostilius Saserna, Diana stands, with face to the front, holding in the left hand a lance, and in the right the horns of a stag rearing by her side.----See Hostilia gens.
    On a denarious of the Axsia gens, the reverse presents Diana standing, armed with a javelin, in a car drawn by two stags; she is preceded by a dog, and followed by two others.----This denarius is attributed to Lucius Axius Naso, who was proscribed in the last civil war of the republic.
    On a silver coin of the Cornelia gens, Diana appears standing in the Ephesian attitude and dress.----(Engraved in Morell. Fam. Rom. TAB. Ii. No. 6).
    The following are among the most remarkable reverses on which Diana is typified in the imperial series of Roman coins:----

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