God of the Sea
|Member of the Dii Consentes|
|Symbol||Horse, trident, dolphin|
|Parents||Saturn and Ops|
|Siblings||Jupiter, Pluto, Juno, Ceres, Vesta|
|Practices and beliefs|
Neptune (Latin: Neptūnus [nɛpˈtuːnʊs]) is the god of freshwater and the sea in Roman religion. He is the counterpart of the Greek god Poseidon. In the Greek tradition, he is a brother of Jupiter and Pluto; the brothers preside over the realms of heaven, the earthly world (including the underworld), and the seas. Salacia is his wife.
Depictions of Neptune in Roman mosaics, especially those in North Africa, were influenced by Hellenistic conventions. He was likely associated with freshwater springs before the sea. Like Poseidon, he was also worshipped by the Romans as a god of horses, as Neptunus equestris (a patron of horse-racing).
The theology of Neptune is limited by his close identification with the Greek god Poseidon, one of many members of the Greek pantheon whose theology was later tied to a Roman deity. The lectisternium of 399 BC indicated that the Greek figures of Poseidon, Artemis, and Heracles had been introduced and worshipped in Rome as Neptune, Diana, and Hercules. It has been speculated that Neptune has been conflated with a Proto-Indo-European freshwater deity; since the Indo-Europeans lived inland and had little direct knowledge of the sea, the Romans may have reused the theology of a previous freshwater god in their worship of Neptune. Servius explicitly names Neptune as the god of rivers, springs, and waters; he may parallel the Irish god Nechtan, master of rivers and wells. This is in contrast to Poseidon, who was primarily a god of the sea.
Neptune has been associated with a number of other Roman deities. By the first century BC, he had supplanted Portunus as the god of naval victories; Sextus Pompeius called himself the "son of Neptune". For a time, Neptune was paired in his dominion of the sea with Salacia, the goddess of saltwater. Neptune was considered the legendary progenitor god of the Falisci (who called themselves Neptunia proles), joining Mars, Janus, Saturn, and Jupiter as the deific father of a Latin tribe.
Neptunalia, the Roman festival of Neptune, was held at the height of summer (typically on July 23). The date of the festival and the construction of tree-branch shelters suggest that Neptune was a god of water sources in times of drought and heat. The most ancient Roman calendar set the feriae of Neptunus on July 23, between the Lucaria festival of the grove and the Furrinalia festival of July 25. All three festivals were connected to water during the period of summer heat (canicula) and drought, when freshwater sources were lowest.
It has been speculated that the three festivals fall in a logical order. The Lucaria was devoted to clearing overgrown bushes and uprooting and burning excess vegetation. Neptunalia followed, devoted to conservation and the draining of superficial waters. These culminated in the Furrinalia, sacred to Furrina (the goddess of springs and wells).
Neptunalia was spent under branch huts in a woods between the Tiber and the Via Salaria, with participants drinking spring water and wine to escape the heat. It was a time of merrymaking, when men and women could mix without the usual Roman societal constraints. There is an added context of agricultural fertility in the festival, since Neptune received the sacrifice of a bull.
Neptune had only one temple in Rome. It stood near the Circus Flaminius, the Roman racetrack in the southern part of the Campus Martius, and dates back to at least 206 BC. The temple was restored out by Gnaeus Domitius Ahenobarbus c. 40 BC, an event depicted on a coin struck by the consul. Within the temple was a sculpture of a marine group by Scopas Minor. The Basilica Neptuni was later built on the Campus Martius, and was dedicated by Agrippa in honor of the naval victory of Actium. This basilica supplanted the older temple, which had replaced an ancient altar.
Neptune is one of only four Roman gods to whom it was considered appropriate to sacrifice a bull. The other three were Apollo, Mars, and Jupiter, although Jupiter has also been depicted with the offering of a red bull and a red-bull calf. If an incorrect offering was presented, either inadvertently or due to necessity, additional propitiation was required to avoid divine retribution. This type of offering implied a stricter connection between the deity and the world.
Paredrae are entities who accompany a god, representing the fundamental aspects (or powers) of that god. With Hellenic influence, these paredrae came to be considered separate deities and consorts of their associated god. Earlier folk belief might have also identified paredrae as consorts of their god.
Salacia and Venilia have been discussed by ancient and modern scholars. Varro connects Salacia to salum (sea), and Venilia to ventus (wind). Festus attributed to Salacia the motion of the sea. Venilia brought waves to the shore, and Salacia caused their retreat out to sea. They were examined by the Christian philosopher St. Augustine, who devoted a chapter of De Civitate Dei to ridiculing inconsistencies in the theological definition of the entities; since Salacia personified the deep sea, Augustine wondered how she could also be the retreating waves (since waves are a surface phenomenon). He wrote elsewhere that Venilia would be the "hope that comes", an aspect (or power) of Jupiter understood as anima mundi.
Servius, in his commentary on the Aeneid, wrote about Salacia and Venilia in V 724: "(Venus) dicitur et Salacia, quae proprie meretricum dea appellata est a veteribus"; "(Venus) is also called Salacia, who was particularly named goddess of prostitutes by the ancient". Elsewhere, he wrote that Salacia and Venilia are the same entity.
Among modern scholars, Dumézil and his followers Bloch and Schilling centre their interpretation of Neptune on the direct, concrete, limited value and functions of water. Salacia would represent the forceful, violent aspect of gushing and overflowing water and Venilia the tranquil, gentle aspect of still (or slowly-flowing) water. According to Dumézil, Neptune's two paredrae (Salacia and Venilia) represent the overpowering and tranquil aspects of water, natural and domesticated: Salacia the gushing, overbearing waters, and Venilia the still (or quietly-flowing) waters.
Preller, Fowler, Petersmann and Takács attribute to the theology of Neptune broader significance as a god of universal worldly fertility, particularly relevant to agriculture and human reproduction. They interpret Salacia as personifying lust, and Venilia as related to venia: ingratiating attraction, connected with love and the desire for reproduction. Ludwig Preller cited a significant aspect of Venilia; she was recorded in the indigitamenta as a deity of longing or desire. According to Preller, this would explain a theonym similar to that of Venus. Other data seem to agree; Salacia would parallel Thetis as the mother of Achilles, and Venilia would be the mother of Turnus and Iuturna by Daunus (king of the Rutulians). According to another source, Venilia would be the partner of Janus, with whom she mothered the nymph Canens (loved by Picus). These mythical data underline the reproductive function envisaged in the figures of Neptune's paredrae, particularly that of Venilia, in childbirth and motherhood. A legendary king Venulus was remembered at Tibur and Lavinium.
Before Poseidon was known as the god of the sea, he was connected to the horse and may have originally been depicted in equine form. This connection reflects the violent and brutal nature of Poseidon the earth-shaker, the linkage of horses and springs, and the animal's psychopompous character. Neptune, in contrast, has no such direct connection with horses. The Roman deity Consus was associated with the horse, and his underground altar was in the valley of the Circus Maximus at the foot of the Palatine (the site of horse races). On the summer Consualia (August 21) it was customary to bring horses and mules, crowned with flowers, in procession and then hold equine races in the Circus. The festival also traditionally reenacted the abduction of the Sabine (and Latin) women, reflecting the sexual license characteristic of such festivals. On that day, the Flamen Quirinalis and the Vestal Virgins made sacrifices on the underground altar of Consus. The proximity of the two Consualia to the Opiconsivia (the latter were four days later, the winter festival on December 19) indicates the relationship between the two deities pertaining to agriculture. According to Dumézil, the horse has a much-different symbolic value in the theologies of Poseidon and Consus. Tertullian (De Spectaculis V 7) wrote that according to Roman tradition, Consus was the god who advised Romulus on the abduction of the Sabines.
Perhaps influenced by Poseidon Ίππιος, Consus (whose festival included horse races) was reinterpreted as Neptunus equestris; for his underground altar, he was identified with Poseidon Ένοσίχθων. The etymology of Poseidon, derived from Posis (lord or husband) and De (grain or earth) may have contributed to the identification of Consus with Neptune. His arcane cult, which required the unearthing of the altar, indicate the deity's antiquity and chthonic nature. From Augustine (De Civitate Dei IV 8, about the role of Tutilina in assuring the safety of stored grain), Dumézil interprets its name as deriving from condere (to hide or store) as a verbal noun similar to Sancus and Janus: the god of stored grains. A direct identification of Consus with Poseidon is hindered by the fact that Poseidon is nowhere worshipped at underground shrines or altars.
Martianus Capella places Neptune and Consus together in region X of Heaven, possibly following an old interpretatio graeca of Consus or reflecting an Etruscan idea of a chthonic Neptune apparent in the recommendation of the De Haruspicum Responso for propitiating Neptune for the cracking sounds heard underground in the ager latiniensis.[clarification needed] The Etruscans were also fond of horse races.
The Etruscan name of Neptune is Nethuns. It had been believed that Neptune derived from Etruscan, but this view has been disputed. Nethuns was apparently important to the Etruscans. His name is found in two places on the Liver of Piacenza: on the outer rim of section seven, and on the gallbladder of section 28. This last location aligns with Pliny the Elder's belief that the gallbladder was sacred to Neptune. The name Nethuns occurs eight times in columns VII, IX, and XI of the Liber Linteus.
On a mirror from Tuscania (E. S. 1. 76), Nethuns is represented talking to Uśil (the sun) and Thesan (the goddess of dawn). Nethuns is seated on the left, holding a double-ended trident in his right hand and with his left arm raised as if giving instructions. Uśil is standing in the centre, holding Aplu's bow in his right hand. Thesan is on the right, with her right hand on Uśil's shoulder; both are listening intently to Nethuns' words. The identification of Uśil with Aplu (and his association with Nethuns) is emphasised by an anguiped demon holding two dolphins on an exergue. The scene highlights the identities and association of Nethuns and Aplu (here identified as Uśil) as main deities of the worldly realm and the life cycle. Thesan and Uśil-Aplu, who has been identified with Śuri (Soranus Pater, the underworld sun god) clarify the transience of earthly life.
Neptune is a god of fertility, including human fertility. According to Stephen Weinstock, Jupiter is present in each of the first three regions with different aspects related to each region; Neptune should have been in the second region, and Pluto in the third. The reason for Neptune's displacement to region X is unclear. It is consistent with the collocation in the third quadrant of the deities related to the human world.
Arnobius provides information about the theology of Neptune. Neptune and Apollo were considered Etruscan Penates, and the deities were credited with giving Ilium its walls. In another tradition based on the same source, the Etruscan Penates were Fortuna, Ceres, Genius Iovialis and Pales.
The etymology of the Latin Neptunus is unclear and disputed. The ancient grammarian Varro derived the name from nuptus ("covering", opertio), alluding to nuptiae ("the marriage of Heaven and Earth").
Among modern scholars, Paul Kretschmer proposed a derivation from the Indo-European *neptu- ("moist substance"). Raymond Bloch similarly theorised that it might be an adjectival form (-no) of *nuptu- ("he who is moist").
Georges Dumézil said that words deriving from the root *nep- are not attested in Indo-European languages other than Vedic Sanskrit and Avestan. He proposed an etymology which joins Neptunus with the Indian and Iranian theonyms Apam Napat and Apam Napá and the Old Irish theonym Nechtan, all meaning "descendant of the waters". Using a comparative approach, the Indo-Iranian, Avestan and Irish figures have common features with the Roman legends about Neptune. Dumézil proposed to derive the nouns from the Indo-European root népōts- ("descendant, sister's son"). His former student, Indo-Europeanist Jaan Puhvel, theorises that the name might have meant "child (neve, nephew) of the water" as part of an Indo-European fire-in-water myth.
A different etymology, grounded in the legendary history of Latium and Etruria, was proposed by the 19th-century scholars Ludwig Preller, Karl Otfried Müller and Wilhelm Deeke. The name of the Etruscan deity Nethuns or Nethunus (NÈDVNVZ) would be an adjectival form of the toponym Nepe(t) or Nepete (present-day Nepi), near Falerii. The district was traditionally connected to the cult of Neptune, and Messapus and Halesus (the eponymous hero of Falerii) were believed to be his sons. Messapus led the Falisci (and others) to war in the Aeneid. Nepi and Falerii have been known since antiquity for the quality of their meadow springwater. Nepet might be considered a hydronymic toponym of pre-Indo-European origin from a noun meaning "damp wide valley, plain", a cognate of the proto-Greek νάπη ("wooded vale, chasm").
Fertility deity and divine ancestor
In lectures delivered during the 1990s, German scholar Hubert Petersmann proposed an etymology from the Indo-European root *nebh- ("damp, wet") with the suffix -tu (for an abstract verbal noun) and the adjectival suffix -no (domain of activity). The root *nebh- gives the Sanskrit nābhah, Hittite nepis, Latin nubs, nebula, German Nebel, and the Slavic nebo. The concept would be close to that expressed in the name of the Greek god Όυράνος (Uranus), derived from the root *h2wórso- ("to water or irrigate") and *h2worsó- ("the irrigator").
Petersmann proposes a different interpretation of Neptune's theology. Developing his understanding of the theonym as rooted in the Indo-European *nebh, he writes that the god would be an ancient deity of the cloudy, rainy sky in company with (and in opposition to) Zeus/Jupiter, the god of clear skies. Similar to Caelus, he would be the father of all earthly things through the fertilising power of rain. The hieros gamos of Neptune and Earth is reflected in Virgil's Aeneid V 14 (pater Neptunus). Neptune's power would be reflected by Salacia, one of his paredrae, who also denotes the overcast sky. His other paredra, Venilia, is associated with the wind as well as the sea. The theonym Venilia may be rooted in *venilis, a postulated adjective deriving from the IE root *ven(h) ("to love or desire") in the Sanskrit vánati, vanóti ("he loves"), German Wonne, and the Latin Venus, venia. Neptune's dual nature is found in Catullus 31. 3: "uterque Neptunus".
According to Petersmann, the ancient Indo-Europeans also venerated a god of wetness as the generator of life; this is indicated by the Hittite theonyms nepišaš (D)IŠKURaš or nepišaš (D)Tarhunnaš ("lord of sky wet"), the sovereign of Earth and humanity. Although this function was transferred to Zeus/Jupiter (the sovereigns of weather), the old function survived in literature: the Aeneid V 13-14 reads, "Heu, quianam tanti cinxerunt aethera nimbi?/ quidve, pater Neptune, paras?" ("What, why have so many clouds enringed the sky? What are you preparing, father Neptune?") The indispensability of water and its connexion to reproduction are universally known.
Müller and Deeke interpreted Neptune's theology as a divine ancestor of the Latin Faliscans: the father of Messapus and Halesus, their heroic founders. William Warde Fowler considered Salacia the personification of the virile potency which generated a Latin people, parallel with Mars, Saturn, Janus and Jupiter.
Depictions in art
Etruscan representations of Neptune are rare but significant. The oldest may be a fourth-century BC carved carnelian scarab from Vulci of Nethuns kicking a rock and creating a spring (Paris: Bibliothèque Nationale, Cabinet des Medailles. Another Etruscan artifact (Nethunus, from the Luynes collection) depicts the god causing a horse to spring from the earth with a blow of his trident.
A late-fourth-century bronze mirror in the Vatican Museums (Museo Gregoriano Etrusco: C.S.E. Vaticano 1.5a) depicts Neptune with Amymone (daughter of Danaus), whom he saves from assault by a satyr and teaches the art of creating springs. On a bronze mirror from Tuscania dated to 350 BC, also in the Vatican Museums (Museo Gregoriano Etrusco E. S. 1. 76), Nethuns is talking to Usil and Thesan. He holds a double-ended trident, suggesting that he might be able wield lightning bolts.
Neptune tobacco label (1860–1870)
Neptune fountain in Nuremberg
Neptune Monument in Gdańsk
- Raymond Bloch 1981. "Quelques remarques sur Poseidon, Neptunus et Nethuns" in Comptes-rendus des séances de l' Académie des Inscriptions et Belles-Letres 2 pp. 341–352.
- Nancy Thomson De Grummond 2006. Etruscan Mythology, Sacred History and Legend: An Introduction, University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology, ISBN 1-931707-86-3.
- Georges Dumézil 1977. La religione romana arcaica. Con un 'appendice sulla religione degli Etruschi Edizione e traduzione a cura di Furio Jesi: Milano Rizzoli (Italian translation conducted on an expanded version of the 2nd edition of La religion romaine archaïque Paris Payot 1974).
- William Warde Fowler 1912. The Religious experience of the Roman People London.
- Sarolta A. Takacs 2008. Vestal Virgins, Sibyls and Matronae: Women in Roman Religion, University of Texas Press.
- Georg Wissowa 1912. Religion und Kultus der Rőmer Munich.
- "Neptune, Prado Museum, Madrid at Spain is culture". www.spainisculture.com. Retrieved 2021-12-20.
- Culture, p. 754, citing Dumézil. See also 
- J. Toutain, Les cultes païens de l'Empire romain, vol. I (1905:378) securely identified Italic Neptune as a saltwater sources as well as the sea.
- Larousse Desk Reference Encyclopedia, The Book People, Haydock, 1995, p. 215.
- About the relationship of the lord of our earthly world with water(s) Bloch, p. 342-346, gives the following explanations: 1. Poseidon is originally conceived as a chthonic god, lord and husband of the Earth (for the etymolog gearoid γαιήοχος, he who possesses the Earth, εννοσίδας he who makes the Earth quake) with an equine form. He mates with Demeter under this form in the Arcadian myth from Thelpusa, they beget the racing horse Areion and the unnamed daughter of those mysteries (story in Pausanias VIII 25, 3). 2. Poseidon hippios (horse) is the god of Earth and as springs come from beneath the earth, this is also a metaphora (or better a figure) of the origin of life on Earth; the horse is universally considered as having a psychopompous character and Poseidon is known as tamer of horses (damaios) and father of Pegasus who with its hoof can open up a spring. 3. Poseidon is the god worshipped in the main temple of the Isle of Atlantis in the myth narrated by Plato in the dialogues Timaeus and Critias; there was also a hippodrome nearby. 4. The island was swallowed up by an earthquake caused by Poseidon himself. This factor would connect the power over earth and that over waters. The Greek had a memory of the explosion of the Island of Santorini and of the seaquake it provoked as well as other consequences affecting climate.
- Alain Cadotte, "Neptune Africain", Phoenix 56. 3/4 (Autumn/Winter 2002:330-347) detected syncretic traces of a Libyan/Punic agrarian god of fresh water sources, with the epithet Frugifer, "fruit-bearer"; Cadotte enumerated (p.332) some north African Roman mosaics of the fully characteristic Triumph of Neptune, whether riding in his chariot or mounted directly on albino dolphins.
- Dumézil, La religion romaine archaïque, 381, Paris, 1966.
- Compare Epona.
- "Neptune, Prado Museum, Madrid at Spain is culture". www.spainisculture.com. Retrieved 2021-12-20.
- Bloch 1981, pp. 341–344. sfn error: no target: CITEREFBloch1981 (help)
- Showerman, Grant (1901). The Great Mother of the Gods. Madison, WI: University of Wisconsin, Madison. p. 223. Retrieved August 10, 2021.
- Wissowa, Georg (1902). Religion und Kultus der Römer (in German). Munchen: C. H. Beck.
- von Domaszewski, Alfred (1909). Abhandlungen zur römische Religion (in German). Leipzig and Berlin: Teubner.
- Bloch 1981, p. 346. sfn error: no target: CITEREFBloch1981 (help)
- Bloch 1981. sfn error: no target: CITEREFBloch1981 (help)
- Fox, Robin Lane (2006). The Classical World. Basic Books. p. 412. ISBN 0-465-02496-3.
- van Aken, A. R. A. (1961). Elsevier's Mythologische Encyclopedie. Amsterdam: Elsevier.
- Fowler 1912, p. 186. sfn error: no target: CITEREFFowler1912 (help)
- "C'est-à-dire au plus fort de l'été, au moment de la grande sécheresse, et qu'on y construisaient des huttes de feuillage en guise d'abris contre le soleil" (Cadotte 2002:342, noting Sextus Pompeius Festus, De verborum significatu [ed. Lindsay 1913] 519.1)
- G. Dumézil Fêtes romaines d' été et d' automne. Suivi de Dix questions romaines Paris 1975 1. "Les eaux et les bois" p. 25-31.
- CIL, vol. 1, pt 2:323; Varro, De lingua Latina vi.19.
- Sarolta A. Takacs Vestal virgins, sibyls and matronae: women in Roman religion 2008, University of Texas Press, p. 53 f., citing Horace Carmina III 28.
- Sarolta A. Takacs 2008; citing Macrobius Saturnalia III 10, 4.
- Cassius Dio 17 fragment 57. 60 as cited by L. Richardson jr. A New Topographical Dictionary of Ancient Rome 1992 p. 267.
- On the issue of this group by Scopas cf. F. Coarelli "L'ora di Domizio Enobarbo e la cultura artistica in Roma nel II sec. a. C." in Dialoghi di Arrcheologia II 3 1968 p. 302-368.
- Wukitsch, Thomas K., Neptunalia Festival
- Ball Platner, Samuel; Ashby, Thomas (1929), A Topographical Dictionary of Ancient Rome, "Basilica Neptuni", London: Oxford University Press
- Dumézil 1977 p. 340, who cites Livy Ab Urbe Condita Libri XXVIII 11, 4. Bloch 1981 p. 347 n. 19.
- Macrobius Saturnalia III 10,4
- G. Dumezil "Quaestiunculae indo-italicae: 11. Iovi tauro verre ariete immolari non licet" Revue d' Etudes Latins 39 1961 p. 241-250.
- William Warde Fowler The Religious experience of the Roman People London, 1912, p. 346f.
- Aulus Gellius Noctes Atticae XIII 24, 1-18.
- Varro Lingua Latina V 72.
- Festus p. L s.v.
- Varro apud Augustine De Civitate Dei VII 22.
- Augustine above II 11.
- William Warde Fowler The Religious Experience of the Roman People London, 1912, Appendix II.
- Dumézil accepts and re-proposes the interpretations of Wissowa and von Domaszewski.
- Dumezil above p.31
- Ludwig Preller Römische Mythologie Berlin, 1858 part II, p.121-2; Servius Ad Aeneidem VIII 9.
- Ovid Metamorphoses XIV 334.
- Ludwig Preller above, citing Servius; C. J. Mackie "Turnus and his ancestors" in The Classical Quarterly (New Series) 1991, 41, pp. 261-265.
- Bloch 1981 p. 343
- William Warde Fowler The Roman Festivals of the Period of the Republic London, 1899, p.
- W. W. Fowler, citing James G. Frazer.
- S. Dušanić, Ž. Petković "The Flamen Quirinalis at the Consualia and the Horseman of the Lacus Curtius" in Aevum 2002 1. p. 63.
- Sarolta A. Takacs Vestal Virgins, Sybils and Matrons University of Texas Press 2008 p. 55-56, also citing Scullard on the influence of horse races in the identification. Bloch 1981 citing Chantraine DELG s.v. Poseidon.
- Cf. the related deities of the Circus Semonia, Seia, Segetia, Tutilina: Tertullian De Spectaculis VIII 3.
- G. Capdeville "Jeux athletiques et rituels de fondation" Revue de l' histoire des religions.
- Cicero De Haruspicum Responso 20. Neptunus is mentioned third after Jupiter and Saturn and before Tellus.
- R. Bloch 1981; G. Capdeville "Les dieux de Martianus Capella" in Revue de l'Histoire des Religions 213-3, 1996, p. 282 n. 112
- Bloch 1981 p. 348.Bonfante, Giuliano; Bonfante, Larissa (2002). The Etruscan Language: an Introduction. Manchester: University of Manchester Press. ISBN 0-7190-5540-7. p. 202.
- De Grummond, Nancy Thomson (2006). Etruscan Mythology, Sacred History and Legend: An Introduction. University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology. ISBN 1-931707-86-3. p. 59.
- R. Bloch 1981; Pliny Nat. Hist. XI 195
- N. Thomas De Grummond Etruscam Myth, Sacred History and Legend Univ. of Pennsylvania Press 2006 p. 145.
- Erika Simon "Gods in Harmony: The Etruscan Pantheon" in N. Thomas De Grummond (editor) Etruscan Religion 2006 p. 48; G. Colonna "Altari e sacelli: l'area sud di Pyrgi dop otto anni di ricerche" Rendiconti della Pontificia Accademia di Archeologia 64 p. 63-115; "Sacred Architecture and the Religion of the Etruscans" in N.T. DeGrummond 2006 p.139
- Ludwig Preller Römische Mythologie Berlin, 1858, II p. 1
- G. Dumezil La religion romaine archaique Paris, 1974 2nd, Appendix; It. tr. p. 584; citing Stephen Weinstock "Martianus Capella and the Cosmic System of the Etruscans" in Journal of Roman Studies 36, 1946, p. 104 ff.; G. Capdeville "Les dieux de Martianus Capella" in Revue de l'Histoire des Religions 213-3, 1996, p. 280-281
- Cf. M. Pallottino "Deorum sedes" in Saggi di antichitá. II. Documenti per la storia della civiltá etrusca Roma 1979 p. 779-790. For a summary exposition of the content of this work the reader is referred to article Juno, section Etrurian Uni note n. 201.
- Arnobius Adversus Nationes III 40, 1-2.
- Michiel de Vaan, Etymological Dictionary of Latin and the other Italic Languages, Leiden/Boston 2004, p. 406.
- Varro Lingua Latina V 72: Neptunus, quod mare terras obnubuit ut nubes caelum, ab nuptu, id est opertione, ut antiqui, a quo nuptiae, nuptus dictus.: "N., because the sea covered the lands as the clouds the sky, from nuptus i.e. "covering", as the ancients (used to say), whence nuptiae marriage, was named nuptus".
- P. Kretschmer Einleitung in der Geschichte der Griechischen Sprache Göttingen, 1896, p. 33.
- R. Bloch "Quelques remarques sur Poseidon, Neptunus et Nethuns" in Revue de l' Histoire des Religions (1981), p. 347.
- Y. Bonnefoy, W. Doniger Roman and Indoeuropean Mythologies Chicago, 1992, p. 138-139, s.v. Neptune, citing G. Dumezil Myth et Epopée vol. III, p. 41 and Alfred Ernout- Atoine Meillet Dictionnaire étymologique de la langue latine Paris, 1985 4th, s.v. Neptunus.
- G. Dumézil Fêtes romaines d' étè et d' automne, suivi par dix questions romaines, p. 25, Paris 1975.
- Jaan Puhvel, Comparative Mythology, Baltimore 1987, p. 277-283.
- Vergil Aeneis, VII, p. 691: L. Preller Römische Mythologie, vol. 2, Berlin, 1858; Müller-Deeke Etrusker II 54 n. 1 b; Deeke Falisker p. 103, as quoted by William Warde Fowler The Roman Festivals of the Period of the Republic London, 1899, p. 185 and n. 3.
- Robert S.P. Beekes, Etymological Dictionary of Greek, Leiden/Boston 2010, p. 996.
- H. Petersmann below, Göttingen 2002.
- M. Peters "Untersuchungen zur Vertratung der indogermanischen Laryngeale in Griechisch" in Österreicher Akademie der Wissenschaften, philosophische historische Klasse, vol. 372, Vienna 1980, p. 180.
- Hubert Petersmann Lingua et Religio: ausgewählte kleine Schriften zur antiken Religionsgeschichte auf sprachwissenschaftlicher Grundlage herausgegeben von Bernd Heßen. Hypomnemata: Supplement-Reihe 1. Göttingen: Vandenhoeck und Ruprecht, 2002. Pp. 304. ISBN 3-525-25231-5.
- Catullus 31. 3: "Paene insularum, Sirmio, insularumque/ ocelle, quascumque in liquentibus stagnis/ marique vasto fert uterque Neptunus/...": the quoted words belong to a passage in which the poet seems to be hinting to the double nature of Neptune as god both of the freshwaters and of the sea.
- Eric Neun Die Anitta-Text Wiesbaden, 1974, p. 118.
- H. Petersmann "Neptuns ürsprugliche Rolle im römischen Pantheon. Ein etymologisch-religiongeschichtlicher Erklärungsversuch" in Lingua et religio. Augewählte kleine Beiträge zur antike religiogeschichtlicher und sprachwissenschaftlicher Grundlage Göttingen, 2002, pp. 226-235.
- cf. Festus s. v. aqua: "a qua iuvamur", whence we get life, p 2 L.; s. v. aqua et igni : "...quam accipiuntur nuptae, videlicet quia hae duae res...vitam continent", p.2-3 L; s.v. facem: "facem in nuptiis in honore Cereris praeferebant, aqua aspergebatur nova nupta...ut ignem et aquam cum viro communicaret", p.87 L.
- William Warde Fowler The Roman Festivals of the Period of the Republic London, 1899, p. 126
- Jacques Heurgon, in Bloch 1981 p. 352.
- N.T. De Grummond 2006 p. 145.
- Warburg Institute Iconographic Database (ca 600 images of Neptune)
- Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). Encyclopædia Britannica. Vol. 19 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 385. .