Felicitas

Felicitas

[fi-lis-i-tee]

In Roman mythology, Felicitas was the goddess or personification of good luck and success. She played an important role in Rome's state religion during the empire, and was frequently portrayed on coins. She became a prominent symbol of the wealth and prosperity of the Roman Empire.

Felicitas was unknown before the mid-2nd century BC, when a temple was dedicated to her in the Velabrum in the Campus Martius by Lucius Licinius Lucullus, using booty from his 151–150 BC campaign in Spain. The temple was destroyed by a fire during the reign of Claudius and was never rebuilt.

Another temple in Rome was planned by Julius Caesar and was erected after his death by Marcus Aemilius Lepidus on the site of the Curia Hostilia, which had been restored by Lucius Cornelius Sulla but demolished by Caesar in 44 BC. This temple no longer existed by the time of Hadrian, and its site probably lies under the church of Santi Martina e Luca.

The word felicitas, "luck", is also the source of the word and name felicity.

References

  • Champeaux, Jacqueline (1987). Fortuna. Recherches sur le culte de la Fortune à Rome et dans le monde romain des origines à la mort de César. II Les Transformations de Fortuna sous le République (pp. 216–236). Rome: Ecole Française de Rome. ISBN 2-7283-0041-0.
  • Hammond, N.G.L. & Scullard, H.H. (Eds.) (1970). The Oxford Classical Dictionary (p. 434). Oxford: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-869117-3.
  • Richardson, L. (1992). A New Topographical Dictionary of Ancient Rome (p. 150). Baltimore and London: The Johns Hopkins University Press. ISBN 0-8018-4300-6.

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