Myth of Bellona
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BELLONA

Bellona (IPA: [bɛlˈloːna]) was an ancient Roman goddess of war. Her main attribute is the military helmet worn on her head; she often holds a sword, spear, or shield, and brandishes a torch or whip as she rides into battle in a four-horse chariot. She had a temple near the Theatre of Marcellus. Her iconography was extended by painters and sculptors following the Renaissance.
DATABASES
Bellona (IPA: [bɛlˈloːna]) was an ancient Roman goddess of war. Her main attribute is the military helmet worn on her head; she often holds a sword, spear, or shield, and brandishes a torch or whip as she rides into battle in a four-horse chariot. She had a temple near the Theatre of Marcellus. Her iconography was extended by painters and sculptors following the Renaissance.
the priests of Bellona (q.v.), who were employed in offering sacrifices to her mingled with a portion of their own blood. Hence March 24, the day consecrated to this goddess, was called the day of blood.
BELLONA (originally Duellona), in Roman mythology, the goddess of war (bellum, i.e. duellum), corresponding to the Greek Enyo. By later mythologists she is called sometimes the sister, daughter or wife of Mars, sometimes his charioteer or nurse. Her worship appears to have been promoted in Rome chiefly by the family of the Claudii, whose Sabine origin, together with their use of the name of "Nero," has suggested an identification of Bellona with the Sabine war goddess Nerio, herself identified, like Bellona, with Virtus. Her temple at Rome, dedicated by Appius Claudius Caecus (296 B.C.) during a battle with the Samnites and Etruscans (Ovid, Fasti vi. 201), stood in the Campus Martius, near the Flaminian Circus, and outside the gates of the city. It was there that the senate met to discuss a general's claim to a triumph, and to receive ambassadors from foreign states. In front of it was the columna bellica, where the ceremony of declaring war by the fetialis was performed. From this native Italian goddess is to be distinguished the Asiatic Bellona, whose worship was introduced into Rome from Comana, in Cappadocia, apparently by Sulla, to whom she had appeared, urging him to march to Rome and bathe in the blood of his enemies (Plutarch, Sulla, 9). For her a new temple was built, and a college of priests (Bellonarii) instituted to conduct her fanatical rites, the prominent feature of which was to lacerate themselves and sprinkle the blood on the spectators (Tibullus i. 6.45-50). To make the scene more grim they wore black dresses (Tertullian, De Pallio) from head to foot. The festival of Bellona, which originally took place on the 3rd of June, was altered to the 24th of March, after the confusion of the Roman Bellona with her Asiatic namesake.

See Tiesler, De Bellonae Cultu (1842).
Discover the legends and myths and religious beliefs surrounding Bellona, the Roman goddess of war and the war-cry. She was believed to have inspired a warlike frenzy, in which Roman legionnaires would fight in a nearly uncontrollable, rage and fury. Dies Sanguinis (Day of Blood) was a festival held in Ancient Rome on the 24th March, called Bellona's Day, when devout adherents and priests of the cult of Bellona cut themselves and drank the sacrificial blood to propitiate the goddess. Her name is derived from the Latin word 'bellum' meaning war. The Greek counterparts of Bellona were Enyo and Eris.
The goddess of war among the Romans. It is very probable that originally Bellona was a Sabine divinity whose worship was carried to Rome by the Sabine settlers. She is frequently mentioned by the Roman poets as the companion of Mars, or even as his sister or his wife. Virgil describes her as armed with a bloody scourge.1

The main object for which Bellona was worshiped and invoked, was to grant a warlike spirit and enthusiasm which no enemy could resist; and it was for this reason, for she had been worshiped at Rome from early times,2 that in 296 BCE, during the war against the Samnites, Appius Claudius the Blind vowed the first temple of Bellona, which was accordingly erected in the Campus Martius close by the Circus Flaminius.3 This temple subsequently became of great political importance, for in it the senate assembled to give audience to foreign ambassadors, whom it was not thought proper to admit into the city, to generals who returned from a campaign for which they claimed the honor of a triumph, and on other occasions.4 In front of the entrance to the temple there stood a pillar, which served for making the symbolical declarations of war; for the area of the temple was regarded as a symbolical representation of the enemies' country, and the pillar as that of the frontier, and the declaration of war was made by launching a spear over the pillar. This ceremony, so long as the Roman dominion was of small extent, had been performed on the actual frontier of the enemy's country.5
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