MEPHITIS

A Roman divinity who had a grove and temple in the Esquiliae, on a spot which it was thought fatal to enter. (Plin. H. N. ii. 93. s. 95; Varro, De L. L. v. 49.) Who this Mephitis was is very obscure, though it is probable that she was invoked against the influence of the mephitic exhalations of the earth in the grove of Albunea. She was perhaps one of the Italian sibyls. Servius (ad Aen. vii. 84) mentions that Mephitis as a male divinity was connected with Leucothea (Matuta) in the same manner as Adonis with Aphrodite, and that others identified her with Juno. (Comp. Tac. Ann. iii. 33.)