CAPRATINA

A surname of Juno at Rome, of which the origin is related as follows :--When the Roman state was in a very weak condition, after the ravages of the Gauls, the neighboring people under Postumius Livius advanced from Fidenae before the gates of Rome, and demanded Roman women in marriage, threatening to destroy Rome completely unless their demand was complied with. While the Roman senate was yet deliberating as to what was to be done, a slave of the name of Tutela or Philotis, offered to go with her fellowslaves, in the disguise of free women, to the camp of the enemy. The stratagem succeeded, and when the Latins in their camp, intoxicated with wine, had fallen asleep, the slaves gave a signal to the Romans from a wild fig-tree (caprificus). The Romans now broke forth from the city, and defeated the enemy. The senate rewarded the generosity of the female slaves by restoring them to freedom, and giving to each a dowry from the public treasury. The day on which Rome had thus been delivered, the 7th of July, was called none Caprotinae, and an annual festival was celebrated to Juno Caprotina in all Latium, by free women as well as by female slaves, with much mirth and merriment. The solemnity took place under the ancient caprificus, and the milky juice flowing from the tree was offered as a sacrifice to the goddess. (Macrob. Sat. i. 11; Varro, De Ling. Lat. vi. 18; Plut. Roemul. 29, Camil. 33.)