northanger (northanger) wrote,

flora (part three)

They say that Typhaon, the terrible, violent and lawless, was joined in love with this girl of the glancing eyes [Ekhidna], and she conceiving bore children to him, with hard tempers. —Theogony 306-308 @

Sylvia was named after mortal Rhea Silvia, considered the first Vestal Virgin; raped by Mars she gave birth to twins Romulus and Remus who later founded Rome (but see also Rhea, the mother of the gods). Flora is the fertility goddess of flowers & springtime.

two versions of Hera/Juno's conception of Typhaon/Mars

{1} Hera's anger at the Birth of Athene & the Conception of Typhaon

After Athene's birth from the head of Zeus, Hera was furious and invoking the powers of Heaven and Earth gave birth to the monster Typhaon.

"She [Python] it was who once received from gold-throned Hera and brought up fell, cruel Typhaon to be a plague to men. Once on a time Hera bare him because she was angry with father Zeus, when Kronides bare all-glorious Athene in his head. Thereupon queenly Hera was angry and spoke among the assembled gods: ' .. Yes, now I will contrive that a son be born me to be foremost among the undying gods - and that without casting shame on the holy bond of wedlock between you and me. And I will not come to your bed, but will consort with the blessed gods far off from you.'

When she had so spoken, she went apart from the gods, being very angry. Then straightway large-eyed queenly Hera prayed, striking the ground flatwise with her hand, and speaking thus: 'Hear now, I pray, Gaia and wide Ouranos above, and you Titanes gods who dwell beneath the earth about great Tartaros, and from whom are sprung both gods and men! Harken you now to me, one and all, and grant that I may bear a child apart from Zeus, no wit lesser than him in strength - nay, let him be as much stronger than Zeus as all-seeing Zeus than Kronos.'

Thus she cried and lashed the earth with her strong hand. Then the life-giving Gaia (Earth) was moved: and when Hera saw it she was glad in heart, for she thought her prayer would be fulfilled. And thereafter she never came to the bed of wise Zeus for a full year .. But when the months and days were fulfilled and the seasons duly came on as the earth moved round, she bare one neither like the gods nor mortal men, fell, cruel Typhaon, to be a plague to men. Straightway large-eyed queenly Hera took him and bringing one evil thing to another such, gave him to the drakaina; and she received him. And this Typhaon used to work great mischief among the famous tribes of men." —Homeric Hymns 3.300-355 @

{2} The Birth of Ares

"[Flora tells her story:] 'Mars [Ares] also, you may not know, was formed by my arts. I pray that Jove [Zeus] stays ignorant of this. Holy Juno [Hera], when Minerva [Athene] sprang unmothered, was hurt that Jove did not need her service. She went to complain to Oceanus of her husband’s deeds. She stopped at our door, tired from the journey. As soon as I saw her, I asked, ‘What’s brought you here, Saturnia [Hera]?’ She reports where she’s going, and cites the cause. I consoled her with friendly words: ‘Words,’ she declares, ‘cannot relieve my pain. If Jove became a father without using a spouse and possesses both titles by himself, why should I not expect a spouseless motherhood, chaste parturition, untouched by a man? I’ll try every drug on the broad earth and empty Oceanus and the hollows of Tartarus.’ Her speech was mid-course; my face was hesitant. ‘You look, Nympha, as thou you can help,’ she says. Three times I wanted to help, three times my tongue stuck: Jupiter’s anger caused massive fear. ‘Please help me,’ she said, ‘my source will be concealed;’ and the divine Styx testifies to this. ‘A flower,’ I said, ‘from the fields of Olenus will grant your wish. It’s unique to my gardens. I was told: ‘Touch a barren cow; she’ll be a mother.’ I touched. No delay: she was a mother.’ I quickly plucked the clinging flower with my thumb. Juno feels its touch and at the touch conceives. She bulges, and enters Thrace and west Propontis, and fulfils her wish: Mars [Ares] was created. Recalling my role in his birth, Mars said: ‘You, too, should have a place in Romulus’ city.” —Ovid Fasti 5.229 @

Tags: flora, juno, mars

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