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 However, there also exists another more ancient and mythical account, to the effect that Rome was an Arcadian colony planted by Evander. He entertained Hercules when driving the oxen of Geryon, and being informed by his mother Nicostrata, (who was skilled in the art of prophecy,) that when Hercules should have completed his labours it was fore-ordained that he should be enrolled amongst the gods; he informed him of the matter, consecrated to him a grove, and offered sacrifice to him after the Grecian mode; a sacrifice which is continued in honour of Hercules to this day. The Roman historian Cœlius is of opinion that this is a proof that Rome is a Grecian colony, the sacrifice to Hercules after the Grecian mode having been brought over from their fatherland. The Romans also worship the mother of Evander under the name of Carmentis,1 considering her one of the nymphs.
1 The Camenæ, says Dr. Smith, were prophetic nymphs, and belonged to the religion of ancient Italy, although later traditions represent them as having been introduced into Italy from Arcadia. Two of the Camenæ were Antevorta and Postvorta; the third was Carmenta or Carmentis, a prophetic and healing divinity, who had a temple at the foot of the Capitoline hill, and altars near the Porta Carmentalis. The traditions which assigned a Greek origin to her worship at Rome, state that her original name was Nicostrata, and that she was called Carmentis from her prophetic powers. (Serv. ad Æn. viii. 51, 336; Dionys. i. 15, 32.) According to these traditions, she was the mother of Evander, the Arcadian, by Hermes; and after having endeavoured to persuade her son to kill Hermes, she fled with him to Italy, where she gave oracles to the people and to Hercules. She was put to death by her son at the age of 110 years, and then obtained divine honours. Dionys. i. 31, &c.
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