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Ops

This post is also available in: Polish (polski)

Livia as a goddess Ops.
Creative Commons Attribution license - On the same terms 3.0.

Ops, also called Ops Consivia, was originally a Sabine, then Roman, goddess of fertility, abundance and wealth; also revered as the protector of agriculture. Considered the spouse of Saturn. Later identified with the Greek Rea.
Ancient writers used the Ops form, the Description form. The goddess’ name comes from the word opus, meaning “work”.

The cult of Ops was started by Titus Tatius, according to Roman legend, the king of the Sabine city of Cures, who, after the kidnapping of the Sabine women, led the Sabine troops fighting against Rome. Ops immediately after the appearance of the cult in Rome, she became the patroness of wealth, abundance and prosperity. Ops had a famous temple at Capitolium.
Originally, her festival took place on August 10. In her honour, Opalia on December 19th (some say 9th) and Opeconsivia on August 25th. During these festivals, there were events known as Consualia, dedicated to Consus – the god who looks after the grain stored in the granaries – to her husband.

After unifying Ops with Greek beliefs, the goddess became not only the wife of Saturn but his sister and daughter of Coelus (Caelus). Her children were: Jupiter, Neptune, Pluto, Juno, Ceres and Vesta. Over time, Ops gained the status of a queen and was considered an outstanding goddess. By public decree, she was awarded churches, priests and offerings.

Iconographic images, coming from relatively late times, show her stretching out with one hand with bread and with the other in a helpful gesture. On the reverse of Roman coins, it is depicted with a sceptre as the personification of wealth.

Sources
  • Kempiński Andrzej, Encyklopedia mitologii ludów indoeuropejskich, Warszawa 2001
  • Schmidt Joël, Słownik mitologii greckiej i rzymskiej, Katowice 1996

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