Vica Pota

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In ancient Roman religion, Vica Pota was a goddess whose shrine (aedes) was located at the foot of the Velian Hill, on the site of the domus of Publius Valerius Publicola.[1] This location would place the temple on the same side of the Velia as the forum and perhaps not far from the Regia. Cicero explains her name as deriving from vincendi atque potiundi, "conquering and gaining mastery."[2]

Winged Victory of Brescia, 1st century BC: the earlier goddess Vica Pota became identified with Victory personified

In the Apocolocyntosis, Vica Pota is the mother of Diespiter;[3] although usually identified with Jupiter, Diespiter is here treated as a separate deity, and in the view of Arthur Bernard Cook should perhaps be regarded as the chthonic Dispater.[4] The festival of Vica Pota was January 5.

Asconius identifies her with Victoria,[5] but she is probably an earlier Roman or Italic form of victory goddess that predated Victoria and the influence of Greek Nike;[6] Vica Pota was thus the older equivalent of Victoria but probably not a personification of victory as such.[7] In a conjecture not widely accepted, Ludwig Preller thought that Vica Pota might be identified with the Etruscan divine figure Lasa Vecu.[8]

See also[edit]

  • Vacuna, sometimes also identified as a goddess of victory

References[edit]

  1. ^ Livy 2.7.6 and 11–12.
  2. ^ Cicero, De legibus 2.28.
  3. ^ Duncan Fishwick, The Imperial Cult in the Latin West (Brill, 2002), p. 84 online.
  4. ^ Arthur Bernard Cook, "The European Sky-God III: The Italians," Folklore 16 (1905), p. 263 online. See also Detlev Dormeyer, "Die Apotheose in Seneca Apocolocyntosis und die Himmelfahrt Lk 24.50–53; Apg 1.9–11," in Testimony and Interpretation: Early Christology in its Judeo-Hellenistic Milieu: Studies in Honor of Petr Pokorný (Continuum, 2004), p. 137 online.
  5. ^ Lawrence Richardson, A New Topographical Dictionary of Ancient Rome (Johns Hopkins University Press, 1992), pp. 140 and 420.
  6. ^ J. Rufus Fears, "The Theology of Victory at Rome," Aufstieg und Niedergang der römischen Welt II.17.2 (1981), p. 774 online; John T. Ramsey and A. Lewis Licht, The Comet of 44 B.C. and Caesar's Funeral Games (Oxford University Press, 1997), p. 186 online.
  7. ^ William Vernon Harris, War and Imperialism in Republican Rome, 327-70 B.C. (Oxford University Press, 1979, 1985), p. 124 online.
  8. ^ Preller, Römische Mythologie vol. 2, p. 245, as cited by Charles Hoeing, "Vica Pota," American Journal of Philology 24 (1903), p. 324 online.