Jupiter and Juno  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Jupiter and Juno are a divine couple from Greek mythology.

Background

The divine couple received from Greece its matrimonial implications, thence bestowing on Juno the role of tutelary goddess of marriage (Iuno Pronuba).

However the couple itself cannot be reduced to a Greek apport. The association of Juno and Jupiter is of the most ancient Latin theology. Praeneste offers a glimpse into original Latin mythology: the local goddess Fortuna is represented as milking two infants, one male and one female, namely Jove (Jupiter) and Juno. It seems fairly safe to assume that from the earliest time they were identified by names and since they got them they were never changed through the course of history: they were called Jupiter and Juno and these gods were the most ancient deities of every Latin town. Praeneste has preserved divine filiation and infancy as the sovereign god and his paredra Juno have a mother who is the primordial goddess Fortuna Primigenia. Many terracotta statuettes have been discovered which represent a woman with a child: one of them represents exactly the scene described by Cicero of a woman with two children of different sex who touch her breast. Two of the votive inscriptions to Fortuna associate her and Jupiter: " Fortunae Iovi puero..." and "Fortunae Iovis puero..."

However in 1882 M. R. Mowat published an inscription in which Fortuna is called daughter of Jupiter, raising new questions and opening new perspectives in the theology of Latin gods. Dumezil has elaborated an interpretative theory according to which this aporia would be an intrinsic, fundamental feature of Indoeuropean deities of the primordial and sovereign level, as it finds a parallel in Vedic religion. The contradiction would put Fortuna both at the origin of time and into its ensuing diachronic process: it is the comparison offered by Vedic deity Aditi, the Not-Bound or Enemy of Bondage, that shows that there is no question of choosing one of the two apparent options: as the mother of the Aditya she has the same type of relationship with one of his sons, Dakṣa, the minor sovereign. who represents the Creative Energy, being at the same time his mother and daughter, as is true for the whole group of sovereign gods to which she belongs. Moreover Aditi is thus one of the heirs (along with Savitr) of the opening god of the Indoiranians, as she is represented with her head on her two sides, with the two faces looking opposite directions. The mother of the sovereign gods has thence two solidal but distinct modalities of duplicity, i.e. of having two foreheads and a double position in the genealogy. Angelo Brelich has interpreted this theology as the basic opposition between the primordial absence of order (chaos) and the organisation of the cosmos.

In art[1]

See also




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