Juno (mythology)

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Bronze statuette of Juno

Juno ( Latin Iuno , nickname " Unxia ") is an old Italian, especially Roman goddess. She was considered the goddess of childbirth, marriage, and care. The month name June is derived from Juno.

Origins and cult

After she was equated with the Greek goddess Hera and held her role or function, she became the wife of Jupiter and thus queen of the goddesses. The equation probably happened under Etruscan influence. Juno was worshiped by the Etruscans under the name Uni . Her parents were Saturnus and Ops .

IVNO REGINA ("Queen Juno") on a denarius from the first half of the 3rd century

According to Varro , the cult of Juno Lucina, the goddess of childbirth, was introduced by the Sabine king Titus Tatius . Juno was the patroness of the city of Rome , was venerated on the Capitol , which also happened as part of the Capitoline Triassic . Her holiday was the Matronalia or feriae Matronales (from Latin matrona - "dignified married woman") on March 1st . Her sacred animal was the goose , which is why geese were kept at her temple on the Capitol. When these warned the citizens of Rome of attacking enemies by loud chatter, the warning was attributed to Juno and was nicknamed Moneta , the warner or admonisher. At the same time, she was still the patron saint of the early urban mint in Rome, as it is said to have been around 289 BC on the Capitol in a building belonging to the Juno Temple. Was established.

Outside Rome there were important Juno cults in Teanum Sidicinum , Aesernia , Lanuvium , Gabii , Veii and Perusia, among others . The Sabine goddess Juno Curitis was also transferred to Rome as Juno Quiritis . She is often equated iconographically with Isis .

Sometimes the tradition of Valentine's Day is traced back to one of her memorial days, when she was offered flower offerings on February 14th .

Iuno ( pl. Junones ) was also called the personal protective spirit of a woman. She was the female counterpart to male genius . In this role as a genius, she could occasionally act as the protective goddess of a prostitute.

Juno on a Swiss tarot card with a peacock


The peacock is an attribute of Junos , especially in baroque allegories of love and beauty. On Roman coins, she is also accompanied by a peacock, carries a (long) scepter and the offering bowl. There are also pictures of Juno carrying ears of grain. In allegorical representations of the four-element doctrine , Juno stands for air.


Web links

Commons : Iuno  - collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Nancy Thomson de Grummond : Etruscan Myth, Sacred History and Legend. Univ. of Pennsylvania Museum of Archeology and Anthropology, Philadelphia, PA 2006, pp. 78-84.
  2. Julius Rosenbaum : The story of the lust epidemic. First part: the epidemic of lust in antiquity. Lippert, Halle 1839, p. 70 ( Google Books ); compare Max Ihm : I. Junones. In: Wilhelm Heinrich Roscher (Hrsg.): Detailed lexicon of Greek and Roman mythology. Volume 2.1, Leipzig 1894, Col. 615-617.