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A Latin divinity worshipped along with Diana in the grove at Aricia, at the foot of the Alban Mount. He is said to have been the same as Hippolytus, who was restored to life by Asclepius at the request of Artemis. It was told that Hippolytus was placed by this goddess under the care of the nymph Aricia, and received the name of Virbius. By this nymph he became the father of a son, who was also called Virbius, and whom his mother sent to the assistance of Turnus against Aeneas (Verg. Aen. vii. 761; Ovid, Met. xv. 545). This is a transference to Italy of the story of Hippolytus being devoted to the service of Artemis. It has been suggested with great probability that Virbius was originally a tree spirit of the sacred grove, to whom horses (as representatives of the spirit) were sacrificed. Hence they were in time represented as hostile to the deity Virbius, and therefore excluded from the grove. This was explained by making Virbius the same as Hippolytus, whose death was caused by his horses running away. See Hippolytus.

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