Mens

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In Roman mythology, Mens, also known as Mens Bona (Latin for "Good Mind"), was the personification of thought, consciousness and the mind, and also of "right-thinking". Her festival was celebrated on June 8.[1][2] A temple on the Capitoline Hill in Rome was vowed to Mens in 217 BC on advice from the Sibylline Books, after the defeat of Lake Trasimene,[3] and was dedicated in 215 BC.

In Latin poetry[edit]

  • Propertius celebrated his escape from erotic bondage to his Cynthia by dedicating himself to the shrine of Mens Bona.[4]
  • Ovid depicted Cupid as leading Good Sense (Mens Bona) as a captive in his triumphal parade.[5]

Later developments[edit]

The Latin word mens expresses the idea of "mind" and is the origin of English words like mental and dementia. The gifted-only organization Mensa International was originally to be named mens in the sense of "mind", but took instead the name Mensa (Latin: "table") to avoid ambiguity with "men's" in English and "mens" in other languages.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Adkins, Roy A. (1998). Handbook to life in ancient Rome. Oxford University Press. p. 267. ISBN 0-19-512332-8.
  2. ^ Harrington, Karl Pomeroy (1914). The Roman elegiac poets. American Book Company.
  3. ^ J E Sandys ed., A Dictionary of Classical Antiquities (London 1894) p. 389
  4. ^ Guy Lee trans., Propertius: The Poems (OUP 2009) p.102 (III.24.19-20)
  5. ^ A D Melville trans., Ovid: The Love Poems (OUP 2008) p. 5 and p. 176 (Amores I.2.32-3)

Further reading[edit]

  • Richardson, L. (1992). A New Topographical Dictionary of Ancient Rome (pp. 251). Baltimore and London: The Johns Hopkins University Press. ISBN 0-8018-4300-6.
  • Scullard, H.H. (1981). Festivals and Ceremonies of the Roman Republic (p. 148). London: Thames and Hudson. ISBN 0-8014-1402-4.