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nēnĭa (naenĭa ), ae (abl. neniā, dissyl., Ov. F. 6, 142), f.,
I.a funeral song, song of lamentation, dirge: naenia est carmen quod in funere laudandi gratiā cantatur ad tibiam, Paul. ex Fest. p. 161 Müll.; cf. Macr. Somn. Scip. 2, 3; Diom. p. 482 P.: “honoratorum virorum laudes cantu ad tibicinem prosequantur, cui nomen nenia,Cic. Leg. 2, 24, 62: “absint inani funere neniae,Hor. C. 2, 20, 21; Suet. Aug. 100.—
II. Transf.
1. A mournful song or ditty of any kind: “Ceae retractes munera neniae,Hor. C. 2, 1, 38: huic homini amanti mea era dixit neniam de bonis, has sung the death-dirge over his property, i. e. has buried, has consumed it, Plaut. Truc. 2, 1, 3.—Prov.: “nenia ludo id fuit,my joy was turned to grief, Plaut. Ps. 5, 1, 32.—
2. A magic song, incantation: “Marsa,Hor. Epod. 17, 29.—
3. A common, trifling song, popular song; a nursery song, lullaby; a song in gen.: “puerorum Nenia, quae regnum recte facientibus offert,Hor. Ep. 1, 1, 62: “dicetur meritā Nox quoque neniā,id. C. 3, 28, 16: “legesne potius viles nenias?mere songs, Phaedr. 3 prol. 10: “lenes neniae,lullabies, Arn. 7, 237: “histrionis,id. 6, 197.—
4. Nenia soricina, the cry of the shrewmouse when caught and pierced through, Plaut. Bacch. 4, 8, 48.—
5. Personified: Nēnia , the goddess of funeral songs, the dirge-goddess, to whom a chapel was dedicated before the Viminal gate, Arn. 4, 131; Aug. Civ. Dei, 6, 9.
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