Saturday, August 27, 2011


Thanks to Dusio for bringing up Tempesta and the Tempestates. There isn't much out there about Her or Them unless you really look. I am grateful for Google Books! I was able to take my research over there and came across the book Rome and Carthage at peace by Robert E. A. Palmer. In it there are a few references to the Tempestates. I went there because I knew that Scipio was the one who dedicated the temple. Turns out he did it because he was on his way to wage war with the Carthaginians.

I'm of two minds on this: The Aeneid starts out with Juno calling upon Aeolus to loose the storm winds to decimate Aeneis' ships. So is Scipio's offering, which was the same as the one made in The Aeneid, plus his promise to build a temple in honor of Juno? Is Tempesta one of Her epithets? One of Her Aspects? The temple dedication/celebration was done on June first, the celebration of Juno Moneta.

Other theory: He felt like Juno was after him (She was the Patroness of Carthage!), so he made offerings and promises to the Tempestes to spare him. His dedication on one of Juno's festival dates could be taken as trying to overwrite her.

More theories abound! In the book I mentioned above, the author theorizes that the storm deities were Punic in origin. In a play written hundreds of years after the temple was dedicated, a seafaring merchant delivers this speech:

quom bene re gesta salvos convortor domum
Neptuno grates habeo et Tempestatibus
simul Mercurio qui me in mercimoniis
iuvit lucris que quadrupli cavit rem meam

Here's my crappy amateur translation:

When the house (domain? boat?) was saved from veering
I thanked Neptune and The Tempests
At the same time, Mercury in some way gained me four times the worth of my merchandise.

I tried using google translate to help, but it was a clunker. It doesn't really work with idioms. Anyway, that's what the basic gist sounds like to me. Thanks to Neptune, to The Tempests, and to Mercury for successful seafaring.

Add another book to my virtual list, I'm enjoying the preview of this one!

I hope all are safe and well. Please continue to dissipate the storm and push it far out to sea!

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