ANGERONA

Or Angeronia, a Roman divinity, of whom it is difficult to form a distinct idea, on account of the contradictory statements about her. According to one class of passages she is the goddess of anguish and fear, that is, the goddess who not only produces this state of mind, but also relieves men from it. (Verrius Flace. ap. Macrob. Sat. i. 10.) Her statue stood in the temple of Volupia, near the porta Romanula, close by the Forum, and she was represented with her mouth bound and sealed up (os obligatum et signatum, Macrob. l. c.; Plin. H. N. iii. 9), which according to Massurius Sabinus (ap. Macrob. l.c.) indicated that those who concealed their anxiety in patience would by this means attain the greatest happiness. Hartung (Die Relig. d. Röm. ii p.247) interprets this as a symbolical suppression of cries of anguish, because such cries were always unlucky omens. He also thinks that the statue of the goddess of anguish was placed in the temple of the goddess of delight, to indicate that the latter should exercise her influence upon the former, and change sorrow into joy. Julius Modestus (ap. Macrob. l. c.) and Festus (s. v. Angeronae deae) give an historical origin to the worship of this divinity, for they say, that at one time men and beasts were visited by a disease called angina, which disappeared as soon as sacrifices were vowed to Angerona. (Comp. Orelli, Inscript. p. 87. No. 116.)

Other accounts state that Angerona was the goddess of silence, and that her worship was introduced at Rome to prevent the secret and sacred name of Rome being made known, or that Angerona was herself the protecting divinity of Rome, who by laying her finger on her mouth enjoined men not to divulge the secret name of Rome. (Plin. l. c.; Macrob. Sat. iii. 9.) A festival, Angeronalia, was celebrated at Rome in honour of Angerona, every year on the 12th of December, on which day the pontiffs offered sacrifices to her in the temple of Volupia, and in the curia Acculeia. (Varro, de Ling. Lat. vi. 23; Plin. and Macrob. ll. cc.)