Larunda (also Larunde, Laranda, Lara) was a naiad nymph, daughter of the river Almo in Ovid's Fasti. She was famous for both beauty and loquacity (a trait her parents attempted to curb). She was incapable of keeping secrets, and so revealed to Jupiter's wife Juno his affair with Juturna (Larunda's fellow nymph, and the wife of Janus). For betraying his trust, Jupiter cut out Lara's tongue and ordered Mercury, the psychopomp, to conduct her to Avernus, the gateway to the Underworld and realm of Pluto. Mercury, however, fell in love with Larunda and made love to her on the way; this act has also been interpreted as a rape. Lara thereby became mother to two children, referred to as the Lares, invisible household gods. However, she had to stay in a hidden cottage in the woods so that Jupiter would not find her.
Larunda is likely identical with Muta "the mute one" and Tacita "the silent one", nymphs or minor goddesses.
- ^ Ovid, Fasti 2, V. 599.
- ^ Lactantius, The Divine Institutions, I. 20
- ^ J. A. Hartung, Die Religion der Römer: Nach den Quellen, vol. II, p. 204
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