Dea Tacita

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In Roman mythology, Dea Tacita ("the silent goddess") also known as Dea Muta or Muta Tacita was a goddess of the dead.[1][2][3] Ovid's Fasti includes a passage describing a rite propitiating Dea Tacita in order to "seal up hostile mouths / and unfriendly tongue" at Feralia on 21 February.[4][5] Dea Tactica is the same as the naiad Larunda.[6][7] According to Ovid this occurred because Dea Tacitca had her tongue ripped off by Jupiter. Jupiter was angry with her because she told the nymph Juturna to flee from him because he planned to rape her.[8] In this guise, Dea Tacita was worshipped at a festival called Larentalia on 23 December.[9] Goddesses Mutae Tacitae were invoked to destroy a hated person: in an inscription from Cambodunum in Raetia, someone asks "ut mutus sit Quartus" and "erret fugiens ut mus"[10] ("that Quartus be mute" and that he "wander, fleeing, like a mouse").[11] Plutarch, who describes Tacita as a Muse, states that Numa Pompilius credited Tacita for his oracular insight and taught the Romans to worship her.[12]


  1. ^ Wedeck, Harry E.; Baskin, Wade (2019-12-17). Dictionary of Pagan Religions. Open Road Media. ISBN 978-1-5040-6018-9.
  2. ^ King, Charles (2020-03-10). The Ancient Roman Afterlife: Di Manes, Belief, and the Cult of the Dead. University of Texas Press. p. 158. ISBN 978-1-4773-2020-4.
  3. ^ Green, C. M. C. (2007). Roman Religion and the Cult of Diana at Aricia. Cambridge University Press. p. 134. ISBN 978-0-521-85158-9.
  4. ^ Ovid, Fastus 2, v. 572.
  5. ^ Knox, Peter E. (2006-12-22). Oxford Readings in Ovid. OUP Oxford. p. 487. ISBN 978-0-19-156934-0.
  6. ^ Flower, Harriet I. (2017-09-26). The Dancing Lares and the Serpent in the Garden: Religion at the Roman Street Corner. Princeton University Press. p. 19. ISBN 978-0-691-17500-3.
  7. ^ Panoussi, Vassiliki (2019-06-04). Brides, Mourners, Bacchae: Women's Rituals in Roman Literature. JHU Press. ISBN 978-1-4214-2891-8.
  8. ^ Mckay, A. (2016). Rape or romance? : sexual violence and the lust for power in Ovid’s Fasti (rmaster thesis). University of Tasmania.
  9. ^ Schilling, Robert (1964). "Roman Festivals and Their Significance". Acta Classica. 7: 48. ISSN 0065-1141 – via JSTOR.
  10. ^ AE 1958, 38
  11. ^ McDonough, Christopher Michael (2004-10-01). "The Hag and the Household Gods: Silence, Speech, and the Family in Mid‐February (Ovid Fasti 2.533–638)". Classical Philology. 99 (4): 356. doi:10.1086/429941. ISSN 0009-837X.
  12. ^ Plutarch, Parallel Lives (Numa Pompilius), v. 8.6. English translation on Lacus Curtius.