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In Roman mythology Fauna was the mother goddess of earth, rural life, fields, cattle and wild creatures. She was a protectress of women.


A Roman earth-mother and fertility goddess, usually referred to as the Bona Dea. She is thought to be the wife, sister or daughter of God Faunus. Fauna is identified withTerra, Tellus or Ops.

Bona Dea ("the Good Goddess") is a Roman fertility goddess, especially worshipped by the Roman matrons. She presided over both virginity and fertility in women. She is the daughter of the god Faunus and she herself is often called Fauna. She had a temple on the Aventine Hill, but her secret rites (December 4) were not held there but in the house of a prominent Roman magistrate. Only women were admitted and even representations of men and beasts were removed. At these secret meetings it was forbidden to speak the words wine and myrtle because Faunus had once made her drunk and beaten her with a myrtle stick. Her festival was observed on May 1. Similarly, no men were allowed to be present here either.

She was also a healing goddess and the sick were tended in her temple garden with medicinal herbs. Bona Dea was portrayed sitting on a throne, holding a cornucopia. The snake is her attribute, a symbol of healing, and consecrated snakes were kept in her temple at Rome, indicating her phallic nature. Her image could often be found on coins.

Other Names

Fauna is an alternate name for:

  • Bona Dea, was a goddess of fertility, healing, virginity and women. She may also be known as Marica.
  • Ops, a fertility deity and earth-goddess of Sabine] origin.
  • Terra (goddess), the goddess of the Earth.

See Also


Part of this article consists of modified text from Wikipedia, and the article is therefore licensed under GFDL.

Fauna [ Pantheon]