An old Italian goddess, of Sabine origin, but also much worshipped in Etruria. She seems
originally to have been regarded in the same light as Flora, Libera, and Venus. The Greeks
called her a goddess of flowers; on coins she is represented as a girl in the bloom of youth,
with flowers in her hair. She was also worshipped as the goddess of emancipation from slavery.
She had a very celebrated shrine at the foot of Mount Soracté in Etruria, where the
whole neighbourhood used to bring her rich votive offerings and the firstfruits of the field.
The annual festivals served as fairs, such was the crowd of people who flocked to them. The
mythical king Herulus or Erulus of Praenesté was regarded as her son. He had three
lives, and had to be slain three times by Evander in consequence (Verg. Aen. viii. 564