Jupiter Indiges

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According to the Roman historian Livy, Jupiter Indiges is the name given to the deified hero Aeneas. In some versions of his story, he is raised up to become a god after his death by Numicius, a local deity of the river of the same name, at the request of Aeneas' mother Venus.[1] The title Pater Indiges or simply Indiges is also used.[2]

The Greek historian Dionysius of Halicarnassus notes that when the body of Aeneas was not found after a battle between his group of Trojan exiles in Italy and the native Rutulians, it was assumed that he had been taken up by the gods to become a deity. He also presents the alternative explanation that Aeneas may have simply drowned in the river Numicus and that a shrine in his memory was built there.[3]

The term "Indiges", thought by some to be from the same root as "indigenous", may reflect the fact that these minor deities (collectively, the Di indigetes) originated locally in Italy.[4] An alternate explanation is that they were individuals who were raised to the status of gods after mortal life. Compare for example Sol Indiges.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Livy, Ab Urbe Condita Book 1.
  2. ^ Ovid, Metamorphoses, Book 14
  3. ^ The Roman Antiquities of Dionysius of Halicarnassus, published in Vol. I of the Loeb Classical Library edition, 1937
  4. ^ Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities edited William Smith (1870) p. 573