The Latin term for an official collection of forms of prayer belonging to the libri pontificii.
In them were set forth the various powers of each god who was to be summoned to aid in
particular cases; and none of these divinities could be passed over, if the prayer was to
receive a favourable answer. Only those portions of the collection were made public which bore
direct reference to private life; prayers at marriages, at births, for a blessing on the
children at different times of life, and for the beginning of all kinds of work, especially
agriculture. The names of the gods of earliest childhood were as follows: Potina and
Educa, who taught the child when weaned to eat and drink; Cuba, who protected the child when
taken out of the cradle and put to bed; Ossipaga, who strengthened the bones; Carna, who
strengthened the flesh; Levana, who helped it to rise from the ground; Statanus, Statilinus,
or Dea Statina, who taught it to stand; Abeona and Adeona, who supported its first walking;
Fabulinus, Farinus, who assisted it to talk. All collective occupations, all parts of the
house, all different spots had their particular gods, who were invoked in these forms of
prayer. Often the various names only indicate the different characteristics of a single
divinity—e. g. Maia was invoked under the names of Bona, Fauna, Ops, and Fatua. In
course of time the different attributes came to be regarded as separate divinities. The names
of these divinities are quoted from Varro's Antiquitates Rerum Divinarum
Tertullian Ad Nat.
ii. 11, 15; De Anima
, 37, 39; and by
Augustine, De Civitate Dei
, iv. 11, 21; iv. 8, 10; vi. 9; vii. 23.