Terra Mater or Tellus was a goddess personifying the Earth in Roman mythology. The names Terra Mater and Tellus Mater both mean "Mother Earth" in Latin; Mater is an honorific title also bestowed on other goddesses. Romans appealed to her over earthquakes, and along with the grain goddess Ceres, she was responsible for the productivity of farmland. She was also associated with marriage, motherhood, pregnant women, and pregnant animals. Terra's Greek counterpart is Gaia, and as such, she was said to be the mother of Fama, the goddess of fame and rumor.
Some linguists studying the Indo-European languages believe that the two words Terra and Tellus derive from the formulaic phrase tersa tellus, meaning "dry land". If this is true, Tellus might be the more ancient version of the name. According to the Oxford Classical Dictionary, Terra refers to the element earth (one of the four basic elements of earth, air, water, and fire) and Tellus refers to the guardian deity of Earth and by extension the globe itself. Actual classical Latin usage does not necessarily appear to respect this distinction.
A festival for Tellus called the Fordicia or Hordicidia was held every year on April 15; it involved the sacrifice of pregnant cows and was managed by the pontifex maximus and the Vestal Virgins. The Virgins kept the ashes of the fetal calves until they were used for purification at Parilia. Two festivals were held in January to mark the end of the winter sowing season, the Sementivae, celebrated in the city, and the Paganalia, celebrated mostly in rural areas. The first part of the Sementivae was held from January 24 to 26 in honor of Tellus, the second part honored Ceres and was held a week later.
Wines of the Month: First of the Summer Wines the Bottles You Simply Must Have at Your Garden Party - Anthony Rose Sn Iffs out the Best of This Season's Delicacies
Jun 05, 1999; "As the century draws to a close, the wines of Jerez are as good or better than they have ever been. The choice is excellent, and...