You seem to me as Dian in her orb,
As chaste as is the bud ere it be blown;
But you are more intemperate in your blood
Than Venus, or those pampered animals
That rage in savage sensuality. – William Shakespeare, Much Ado About Nothing (IV,i)
The lady in the statue is Cybele, the great mother-goddess of Asia Minor to whom big cats were sacred; she was worshipped in Rome as the Magna Mater in the feast of Hilaria, which started at the calends of April (March 25th) and continued through to yesterday. In early times these rituals were rather bloody and not at all nice, including castration of a male sacrifice who thus represented Cybele’s lover Attis (the later myth of Aphrodite and Adonis descended from it). But by the second century CE a bull had replaced the human, in an elaborate sacred drama and sacrifice called a taurobolium.
Today, however, was the feast of Veneralia, a festival dedicated to Fortuna Virilis (“Powerful Fortune”) and to Venus Verticordia (Venus the Changer of Hearts). Remember how I told you that women worshipped Fortuna Virilis by bathing in men’s public baths? Well, on Veneralia the image of Venus Verticordia was taken to a men’s bath by her priestesses and ceremonially bathed. As you can see, Fortuna and Venus had become closely associated by the imperial era and their ceremonies merged; by the second century CE the Magna Mater (due in part to the proximity of their festivals and association with Venus Genetrix) was also added to the mixture and worshipped as Venus Caelestis (Heavenly Venus), while a combined aspect of Venus and Fortuna was called Venus Felix (Venus the Lucky). Confused? Don’t feel dumb; I’m sure many Romans were as well. I’ll do my best to explain it in my column for the 23rd, “Vinalia Urbana“.
But in the meantime, so many readers have asked for more nude pictures I figured it was time to grant their requests in observance of the holiday. But since the pictures are pretty explicit, I figured it would be better to hide them away on a sub-page and require you to click through to get to it, so that those averse to such things don’t have to see my pussy. Those who prefer not to go there (and don’t worry, I’m not offended) can click here instead for a fun, cute way to spend a few minutes which doesn’t involve naked women.
One Year Ago Today
“A Modest Proposal” describes some imaginative ideas for sex laws proposed by legislators in Alaska and Texas.