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Mu'rcia, Mu'rtea

or MU'RTIA, a surname of Venus at Rome, where she had a chapel in the circus, with a statue. (Fest. p. 143, ed. Müller; Apul. Met. 6.395; Tertull. De Spect. 8; Varro, De Ling. Lat. 5.154; August. De Civ. Dei, 4.16; Liv. 1.33; Serv. ad Aen. 8.636.) He This surname, which is said to be the same as Myrtea (from myrtus, a myrtle), was believed to indicate the fondness of the goddess for the myrtle tree, and in ancient times there is said to havebeen a myrtle grove in the front of her chapel at the foot of the Aventine. (Plin. Nat. 15.36; Serv. ad Aen. 1.724; Plut. Quaest. Rom. 20.) Some of the ecclesiastical writers preferred the derivation from murcus, i. e. stupid or awkward. (August. De Civ. Dei, 4.16; Arnob. ad v. Gent. 4.9.) Others again derived the name from the Syracusan word μυκρός, tender. (Salmas. ad Solin. p. 637.)


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