Hellenistic-Roman deities of the months

Considerations ( volume XI number 4, November 1996-January 1997, pp. 63-95). Ken Gillman : "Twelve Gods and Seven Planets".

http://cura.free.fr/decem/10kengil.html

Cippus Colotianus: Naples, National Museum, inv. no. 2632

Month January. 31 days. Nones on 5th. Day 9 hours, night 14 hours. Sun in Capricorn. Patronage of Juno.

Month February. 28 days. Nones on 5th. Day 10 hours, night 13 hours. Sun in Aquarius. Patronage of Neptune. Fields are sown.

Month March. 31 days. Nones on 7th. Day 12 hours, night 12 hours. Equinox March 24th. Sun in Pisces. Patronage of Minerva.

Month April. 30 days. Nones on 5th. Day 13 hours, night 10 hours. Sun in Aries. Patronage of Venus.

Month May. 31 days. Nones on 7th. Day 14 hours, night 9 hours. sun in Taurus. Patronage of Apollo. Fields are weeded. Sheep are shorn. Wool is washed. Bullocks are tamed.

Month June. 30 days. Nones on 5th. Day 15 hours, night 9 hours. Summer solstice June 23. Sun in Gemini. Patronage of Mercury.

Month July (so named). 31 days. Nones on 7th. Day hours 14, night hours 9. Sun in Cancer. Patronage of Jupiter.

Month August (so named). 31 days. Nones on 5th. Day of 13 hours, night of 11 hours. Sun in Leo. Patronage of Ceres.

Month September. 30 days. Nones on 5th. Day 12 hours, night 12 hours. Equinox September 23. Sun in Virgo. Patronage of Vulcan. Storage jars are coated with pitch.

Month October. 31 days. Nones on 7th. Day 10 hours, night 13 hours. Sun in Libra. Patronage of Mars. Grape harvest.

Month November. 30 days. Nones on 5th. Day 9 hours, night 14 hours. Sun in Scorpio. Patronage of Diana. Sowing of wheat and barley.

Month December. 31 days. Nones on 5th. Day 9 hours, night 15 hours. Sun in Sagittarius. Patronage of Vesta. Beginning of winter. They dung the vineyards, sowing beans, etc.

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Manilius : Astronomica

"Pallas (Minerva) watches over the Woolbearer (Aries);

Cytherea (Venus) over Taurus;

Phoebus (Apollo) the shapely Gemini;

You, Cyllenius (Mercury), over Cancer;

and Jupiter, you yourself rule Leo with the Mother of the Gods;

Virgo who bears ears of grain belongs to Ceres;

and the forged scales to Vulcan;

quarrelsome Scorpio clings to Mars;

Diana cherishes the hunting man part horse (Sagittarius);

and Vesta the contracted stars of Capricorn;

opposite Jupiter is Aquarius, the star of Juno;

and Neptune acknowledges his own Pisces in the upper air."

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Altar, found in Gabii. It is dated as Hadrianic, 117-138 A.D

Symbol

Deity

Zodiac Sign

Capricorn

Peacock

Juno

Aquarius

Dolphins

Neptune

Pisces

Owl

Minerva

Aries

Dove

Venus

Taurus

Tripod

Apollo

Gemini

Winged Tortoise

Mercury

Cancer

Eagle

Jupiter

Leo

Basket

Ceres

Virgo

Pileus [6]

Vulcan

Libra

Wolf

Mars

Scorpio

Dog

Diana

Sagittarius

Lamp

Vesta

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carpet mosaic, found at Hellin in Albacete, Spain

April - Venus riding a man-bull, Taurus. (The Veneralia festival was celebrated on the Kalends of April.)

May - Mercury riding a winged genius who holds twins in his extended hand, Gemini. (May was named for Maia, the mother of Hermes-Mercury, and a festival honoring mother and son was held on the Ides of May.)

August - Diana seated on a centaur holding an arrow, Virgo. (The Natalis of Diana was celebrated on the Ides of August. The Vulcanalia was also held in August, but later in the month after the change of Zodiac Sign, and Vulcan is shown here as the tutela of the next month.)

September - Vulcan on winged genius carrying scales, Libra.

October - helmeted beardless deity with long skirt (a martial goddess such as Minerva rather than Mars) riding on a winged genius who empties a basket of grapes, in the hair are the claws of Scorpio. (The main festival in October, the Armilustrum, celebrated the army. October was the traditional end of the fighting year.)

November - eiled goddess with scepter, seated on a centaur carrying a bow and arrow, Sagittarius. (The veiled goddess is most likely Isis as the great festival of Isis was in November, extending from October 28 to November 3.)

December - Goddess with lance (Minerva most likely) riding creature with goat legs, Capricorn.

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laid by a certain Monnus in a villa in Trier

May - fragment of a caduceus, Mercury

June - diademed goddess with a scepter, Juno

July - bearded Neptune with a trident

August - beardless deity in a red garment, Ceres or Diana

September - bearded Vulcan equipped with tongs

October - youthful Bacchus crowned with vine leaves

November Isis

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Clement of Alexandria (150-215) had written in Excerpta ex Theodota that the apostles would replace the Signs of the Zodiac, presiding over rebirth as formerly the Signs had watched over birth. The Twelve Olympians took the hint and became the Twelve Apostles.

For his burial place Constantine, who had been an ardent follower of Sol Invictus as the universal supreme god prior to Milvian Bridge, built himself a mausoleum, which he dedicated as a church of the Holy Apostles. His sarcophagus was placed in the center flanked by memorials to the twelve apostles (it could also be considered a representation of the Sun surrounded by the twelve Signs of the Zodiac). Three of the apostles had stars carved besides their heads, which tends to confirm this assimilation of the apostles with the astral deities and the Zodiac.

Minerva

Aries

Peter

Venus

Taurus

Simon Zelotes

Apollo

Gemini

James 'the lesser'

Mercury

Cancer

Andrew

Jupiter

Leo

John

Ceres

Virgo

Philip

Vulcan

Libra

Bartholomew

Mars

Scorpio

Thomas

Diana

Sagittarius

James

Vesta

Capricorn

Matthew

Juno

Aquarius

Thaddeus-Jude

Neptune

Pisces

Judas Iscariot

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NEOPLATONIST : The Twelve Gods were divided into four groups each of three (beginning, middle and end), as listed in Table 8. The creative and paternal gods make the universe, the life-givers give it life, uplifters harmonize it, and the guards preserve and protect it.

Jupiter has the highest place in the creative triad, setting in order souls and bodies, and being concerned with all things. Neptune completes the middle part of creation and especially governs the spiritual order, for he is the god who causes movement and all birth. The soul is the very first of the things produced and movement is according to being (e.g., plant, bird, fish, human). Finally, Vulcan inspires the nature of the bodies and makes all the gods' seats in the universe.

Of the protective and unmoved triad, Vesta is first because she preserves the very existence of things and keeps their being undefiled. Minerva guards the intermediate creatures unswerving in intelligent and spontaneous life, lifting them up from matter. Mars shines power upon the creatures in bodily form.

Ceres rules the life giving, wholly producing all life in the universe, intellectual, spiritual and that inseparable from the body. Juno keeps the middle part, devoting herself to the production of the soul. For the intellectual goddess, Ceres, sent forth all the emanations of other spiritual entities from herself. Diana is allotted the end, arousing all the natural Logoi into activity and completing the self-sufficiency of matter.

Of the last, the uplifting or harmonizing triad, Mercury is leader of philosophy. Hence, through it he leads souls up and with his dialectical powers sends them, in whole and in part, up to the good itself. Venus is the prime-moving cause of the erotic inspiration pervading all things and adapts those lives led up by her to the beautiful. She is nude because her function, harmony, creates beauty and beauty is not concealed. Apollo through music completes all things and corrects all things, moving them all together, and drawing them through harmony and rhythm towards the intellectual truth and the light there.

In some lists Plouton replaces Vulcan. The Neoplatonists accepted the Twelve Gods as a legacy from Plato.

Creators

Guards

Life-givers

Uplifters

Jupiter

Vesta

Ceres

Mercury

Neptune

Minerva

Juno

Venus

Vulcan

Mars

Diana

Apollo

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Pyroeis was the same planet the Babylonians called Nergal, and that Nergal with his red fire color and his movement by leaps, had been identified as a bloody and capricious tyrant, the enemy of man, a planet which when seen in certain places in the sky was liable to throw all nature into perturbation. The Greeks will have recognized the flamboyant Nergal or Pyroeis as being similar in nature to their own god of war. So Pyroeis became known as 'Pyroeis the Star of Ares'.

Marduk, the name given by the Babylonians to their chief god, could only be Zeus; there was only the one supreme god. Marduk was associated with the planet the Greeks knew as Phaethon. Astrologically, 'Phaethon the Star of Zeus' merged the supremacy of the Olympian, Father of Gods and Man, with the astrological aspect of a God of the Atmosphere.

Aphrodite and Ishtar were different names for the same goddess of love and pleasure. Phosphoros accordingly was the Star of Aphrodite, though the planet continued to be known as the Dawn or Dusk Star, the one who glowed in the dark like phosphorous.

The Babylonian Nabu, like Hermes, was an astute and tricky schemer and enterpriser, he was also eloquent and a stimulator of the arts. The Greeks knew the planet Nabu as Stilbon; so the twinkling planet close to the Sun, which moves quickly and is always turning and twisting backwards and forwards, became the Star of Hermes.

The planet Ninib had a dull, livid look and moved slowly: this was the planet the Greeks knew as Phainon and who the Babylonians associated with a prudent, grave, and melancholy old man, indifferent to human fates and even a little malevolent. That description didn't match any member of the Olympian gang of twelve, but it did identify Kronos, the exiled father of Zeus, Poseidon, Hera and Plouton. Phainon became the Star of Kronos.

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Ptolemy, Tetrabiblios I, 18

Triplicity

Day Ruler

Night Ruler

Fire

Sun

Jupiter

Earth

Venus

Moon

Air

Saturn

Mercury

Water

Mars & Venus

Mars & Moon