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[2] This Carmenta is thought by some to be a Fate presiding over human birth, and for this reason she is honoured by mothers. Others, however, say that the wife of Evander the Arcadian,1 who was a prophetess and inspired to utter oracles in verse, was therefore surnamed Carmenta, since ‘carmina’ is their word for verses, her own proper name being Nicostrate. As to her own name there is general agreement, but some more probably interpret Carmenta as meaning bereft of mind, because of her ecstasies under inspiration, since ‘carere’ is the Roman word for to be bereft, and ‘mens’ for mind.

1 Cf. Plutarch's Roman Questions, 56 ( Morals, p. 278 b, c), and Livy, i. 7. 8.

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