Myths and Folklore Wiki
Myths and Folklore Wiki



Juno is the ancient Roman goddess of marriage and childbirth. She is also the chief goddess, Roman Queen of the Gods (Regina Deorum) and female counterpart of Jupiter. She is the wife and sister to King Jupiter. Juno is considered as the protector and special counselor of the roman state. Juno also looked after the woman of Rome. She is the youngest daughter of Saturn and Ops. Younger sister of Vesta and Ceres and older sister of Jupiter, Neptune and Pluto. Juno was worshipped as one of the Capitoline Triad alongside with her husband Jupiter and Minerva, the goddess of wisdom.

Juno is generally depicted as gracefully beautiful and very tall, who is more warrior-like in nature, as opposed to her Greek counterpart, Hera. She is usually wearing a goatskin coat with a golden crown called polos, carrying a spear and a shield.

Juno's symbols are crown, cypress, pomegranate, lily and lotus. While peacock, lion and cuckoos serves as her sacred animals.

Etymology

The name Juno was also once thought to be connected to Iove (Jove), originally as Diuno and Diove from *Diovona. At the beginning of the 20th century, a derivation was proposed from iuven- (as in Latin iuvenis, "youth"), through a syncopated form iūn- (as in iūnix, "heifer", and iūnior, "younger"). This etymology became widely accepted after it was endorsed by Georg Wissowa.

Iuuen- is related to Latin aevum and Greek aion (αἰών) through a common Indo-European root referring to a concept of vital energy or "fertile time". The iuvenis is he who has the fullness of vital force. In some inscriptions Jupiter himself is called Iuuntus, and one of the epithets of Jupiter is Ioviste, a superlative form of iuuen- meaning "the youngest". Iuventas, "Youth", was one of two deities who "refused" to leave the Capitol when the building of the new Temple of Capitoline Jove required the exauguration of deities who already occupied the site. Juno is the equivalent to Hera, the Greek goddess for woman, marriage, family and childbirth. Juno is the Roman goddess of marriage, family and childbirth. Ancient etymologies associated Juno's name with iuvare, "to aid, benefit", and iuvenescere, "rejuvenate", sometimes connecting it to the renewal of the new and waxing moon, perhaps implying the idea of a moon goddess.

Festival

The Matronalia

Like most gods and goddesses, there was a festival in honor of Juno. Matronalia was celebrated on the first of March. Matronalia was a day when husbands were expected to present their wife with gifts. Some say that the festival was made in honor of Juno's son, Mars. While some says, that the celebration was mark of the end of the the Roman-Sabine war, where women played an important role. It is said that the women threw themselves between the factions to restore peace.

In addition to Matronalia, which falls on the first of March, the first of each months were special to Juno. The entire month of June was also considered sacred to her, and it was named in her honor.

The Epithets of Juno

Just like her Greek counterpart, Hera. Juno has many epithets that describe her function or area within the Roman society.

  • Juno Sospita- Juno Sospita refers to Juno’s role as the protector of those in confinement, referring to pregnant women awaiting the impending birth of their child. As a protector, this aspect of Juno is depicted in goatskin, carrying a spear and a shield. Juno Sospita was also the chief deity of Lanuvium, a city located to the southeast of Rome.
  • Juno Lucina- As Juno Lucina, Juno was known as the goddess of childbirth. Lucina, which means “light,” was described as “she who brings children into the light.” Her main duty was to ensure the safety of women in childbirth. In the temple of Juno Lucina, a woman could not present an offering unless all knots in her clothing were untied. It was said that a belt would hinder delivery
  • Juno Moneta- Juno Moneta refers to the goddess of Rome that was the protector of funds. In the Temple of Juno Moneta, the first Roman coins were minted and continued to be minted there for over four centuries.

Juno also has many other epithets that describes her roles and function in the Roman society such as Juno Curitis, Juno Lucetia, Regina Coeli, Juno Caprotina, Juno Cinxia (she who loses the bride's girdle), Juno Tutula, Juno Flounia or Fluvionia and many more.

Mythology

Early Life of Regina Juno

The story of Juno’s creation, was very similar to her Greek counterpart. In the beginning of time, the cosmos was ruled by a god known as Caelus. In time, Caelus’s son Saturn overthrew him and took control of the universe for himself. Saturn united with Ops, the goddess of elemental earth, and sired children with her.

While the children were still growing in Ops’ womb, Saturn learned of a prophecy that predicted his downfall at the hands of one of his offspring. Not knowing who was to take the role of usurper, Saturn ate his first five children, one of whom was Juno. Ops saved the last child, Jupiter, and substituted a rock in his place. When Saturn ate the rock, he came down with a case of indigestion that ultimately caused him to vomit up his children; Juno, Pluto, Neptune, Ceres, and Vesta were soon free. After combining their strength with that of their younger brother Jupiter, the divine siblings took over the world and divided responsibilities amongst themselves.

Family of Juno

Juno's parents is Titan-King Saturn and Titaness-Queen Ops. She had two elder sister which is Vesta, goddess of hearth and Ceres, goddess of agriculture and fertility. Juno also had three younger brother named Jupiter, god of sky and thunder (whom she marry later), Neptune, god of sea and Pluto, god of the underworld and wealth.

Juno is married to her youngest brother, Jupiter. Through their incestous marriage, Juno gave birth to Mars the god of war, Juventus the goddess of youth and rejuvenation, Vulcan the god of blacksmith, Lucina, goddess of childbirth, Bellona, goddess of war, conquest, bloodlust and destruction and lastly Discordia the goddess of discord and strife.

The Household of Goddess Juno

Juno was attended by Castor and Pollux also known as Terror and Boldness, alongside with 14 additional nymphs. Her most beloved and favourite attendent is Iris. She has been pictured at her side in artwork. Iris is Juno's messenger.

Juno was usually believed to be the mother of four childrens Mars, Vulcan, Juventus and Bellona. According to a roman poetic work by Ovid, Mars the Roman God of war was said to be the parthegenous child of Juno. He was conceived by the magical flower that Juno ate. The flower was given to her by Flora, the goddess of spring and flowers.

As Jupiter's wife, Juno is known to be fiercely loyal, but also a jealous, vindictive and cruel, especially when Jupiter usurped her role as a mother and gave birth to Minerva from his head. It is believed that Jupiter tapped his head and Minerva sprang from his head. This incident is believed to the reason behind why Juno use Flora's magical flower to gave birth to Mars on her own.

She was also according to Homer and Virgil, likes (and) more often scold her husband rather than caressing him. This probably could explain why Jupiter often cheats on Juno a lot.

Io

It starts with Juno looking down on Earth from heaven and seeing an unusual dark cloud. She assumes that the cloud was put there by her husband to hide himself. Juno blows the cloud away and goes down to investigate. She finds her husband Jupiter standing by a river with an attractive heifer (a female cow). Jupiter had been flirting with a river goddess named Io and when he sensed his wife coming, changed Io into a heifer.

Juno compliments the beauty of the heifer and asks who it belongs to. Jupiter says it was a “new creation of the Earth” and didn’t belong to anyone. Then Juno asks to have the heifer. Jupiter can’t say no because it would look suspicious so he gives the heifer to his wife.

Juno senses something is going on with the heifer so she gives it to Argus, the giant with one hundred eyes, to keep a close watch over it. Argus agrees and begins watching the heifer. Io’s (the heifer’s) father and brother come across Io in her transformed state and offer it some grass to eat. Io licks her father’s hand but he doesn’t understand. Then Io writes her name in the dirt with her hoof and he understands and is sad that she’s been changed into a female cow. Just then Argus comes near and chases her father Inachus, the river god, away from Io.

At this point Jupiter becomes sad about Io being changed into a heifer and her being held under so close a watch by Argus. He decides to call on Mercury who is the Roman god (his name is Hermes in Greek mythology) of trade and poetry and actually a lot of other things, to go and lull Argus to sleep and then kill him. Mercury agrees and leaves heaven with his winged shoes and lands on Earth. He leaves his shoes and cap and only takes his syrinx, which is a reed-like instrument, and poses as a shepherd playing music.

Argus hears and likes the music he is playing and invites him over to rest and play more. Mercury agrees and plays his most calming songs and lulls most of Argus’s eyes to sleep but a few stay open. Then, to lull the giant all the way to sleep, he tells the story of how the syrinx came to be. In short, there was a river goddess named Syrinx and she was beautiful. Pan, the god of the wild and shepherds and flocks, saw her and wanted to marry her. Syrinx runs away and Pan chases. She runs right up to the river and then asks the other water nymphs (goddesses) to help her. They change Syrinx into reeds just as Pan arrives. He is sad she has been changed but likes the music the reeds make. He cuts a few and begins to play them as an instrument and is happy to at least have the instrument, if not Syrinx herself.

That story lulls Argus all the way to sleep and Mercury chops off his head, killing him and freeing Io, still in heifer form. Juno, however, is still upset and has further plans of torment for Io. She sends a gadfly, which is a fly that bites horses, to chase and torment her. Io runs all over the world and through oceans to escape the gadfly. Finally, after promising not to go down and flirt with Io anymore, Jupiter convinces his wife Juno to change Io back into her original form and reunite her with her family, which she does.

Callisto

Diana goddess of hunting and moon was said to have a beautiful nymph as one of her huntresses. The nymph was named Callisto. Jupiter, Diana's father and Juno's husband fell in love with Callisto. He disguised himself as Diana and slept with her. When Juno found out about her husband's affair with the nymph, Juno became extremely jealous and she promised for vengeance. Juno appeared herself before Callisto and turned her into a bear. Juno then came to her step-daughter, Diana and convinced her to shot one of her arrows at Callisto. Diana fullfilled Juno's wish and shot the girl with one of her arrow. Poor Callisto fell to the ground and died tragically.

Juno and Aeneas

Juno was the main antoganist in during the entire epic. Aeneas was the son of Venus, the goddess of love and beauty and Prince Anchises, the handsome prince of Troy. After the Trojan War Aeneas alongside the remainig Trojan escaped from Troy and went sail. They sailed endlessly. But one day Juno found out that the prophecy of Aeneas. The prophecy foretold that Aeneas will become the new king f Italy and his descendants will bring the destruction of Carthage, one of Juno's favourite city. So Juno worried about this matter and went to Aeolus, the wind god who keeps the wind in the jail. Juno ask Aeolus to send the winds to sink the Trojan ships and in return, she promised him a beautiful nymph for a wife. Aeolus immediately agreed, since Juno is the most powerful goddess, and unleashes the East, West and the South-West Winds against the Trojans.

The winds blast the Trojan ships, and Aeneas prays to the gods. He then wishes that he could have died at Troy, killed by Achilles just as Hector was. Aeneas thinks that the Trojans who died defending Troy were many times more blessed than he is, who survived only to have no home. Meanwhile, his men's ships (eleven are mentioned) crash in the shallows or begin to sink. The situation is desperate, but then Neptune, the god of the ocean, notices the storm and recognizes it as his sister Juno's work. He angrily commands the winds to return to Aeolus, and proclaims that he, Neptune, is the lord of the ocean. Neptune then calms the sea, just as a politician might calm an angry crowd, and the sun comes out.

The exhausted Trojans land their remaining seven ships at a cove in Libya, and Achates, a friend of Aeneas's, starts a fire. Aeneas hikes up a mountain to try to see if any other of his men's ships are out on the water. Instead, he spots a herd of deer. He shoots seven of them. Returning with the deer to feed his men, Aeneas gives a stirring pep talk. He recalls their difficulties with Scylla and the Cyclops, but says that someday, they'll enjoy looking back on these events. "A joy it will be one day, perhaps, to remember even this," says Aeneas. He says that the Fates have determined that they will manage to reach Italy, so they should cheer up. Though Aeneas privately worries and grieves, he fakes a positive attitude to support his men. They eat and miss their drowned friends.

Jupiter and Venus watch the scene from the heavens. Venus asks Jupiter when there will be an end to Aeneas's suffering. Jupiter tells her not to worry, and foretells more of Aeneas's fate. Aeneas will reach Italy and found Lavinium, but he will have to battle the Italian locals first. Aeneas will then rule for three years, and after his death his son Ascanius will rule for thirty years. After three hundred years, Romulus and Remus, sons of a mortal priestess and Mars, will be born, and Romulus will found Rome, which will endure indefinitely. Even Juno will change her mind and love Rome. Eventually, Julius Caesar will bring peace—he will close the gates of war and bind Discord with a hundred knots.

Jupiter then sends the god Mercury to make Dido, the queen of Carthage, and her people be friendly and hospitable to the Trojans. Aeneas and Achates go into the woods, where they come upon a virgin warrior, who is actually Venus in disguise. Venus tells them about Dido's past, how her greedy brother Pygmalion, king of Tyre, killed Dido's husband Sychaeus for his wealth. When she learned what had happened from the ghost of her dead husband, Dido led her friends to escape, and founded the city of Carthage: "A woman leads them all." Aeneas then recounts his difficult journey and laments his drowned men, but Venus stops him and tells him the lost ships have arrived safely at the harbor of Carthage. Venus reveals herself, and then makes Aeneas and Achates invisible by covering them in a dense mist so that they can travel safely into Carthage.

As he walks through Carthage, Aeneas envies the productive and happy town with its workers building up the city like busy bees. On the walls of a temple to Juno, Aeneas sees a depiction of the Trojan War of a large temple of Juno, including images of Priam, Achilles, and Hector, and is amazed and comforted that the ordeals of his people are known throughout the world. "Even here, the world is a world of tears and the burdens of mortality touch the heart."

Dido then arrives at the temple, and is not only beautiful but shows herself to be a capable leader. Aeneas (still invisible) is astonished to see friends whom he thought had drowned standing next to Dido. He listens as one of the Trojans describes their past struggles and Aeneas's bravery, declares their peaceful intentions, and asks if they can rebuild their ships at Dido's city. She generously offers them land and help in finding Aeneas. Just then, the mist of invisibility breaks away, revealing them, and Venus uses her powers to make Aeneas look extra-handsome. Aeneas praises Dido, and she welcomes him and calls for a grand feast. Achates leaves to retrieve gifts for Dido of beautiful clothing and jewels.

Venus still concerned about Juno's wrath and mistrustful of Carthaginian hospitality, sends Cupid, disguised as Aeneas's son Ascanius, to make Dido fall in love with Aeneas. Cupid brings the gifts to the feast, sits in Dido's lap and enchants her, making her forget her beloved Sychaeus as she falls in love with Aeneas. The narrator describes love as poison and fire, and says that Dido is "doomed." The Trojans and their hosts drink and make merry together and listen to music. Dido asks Aeneas to tell the whole story of his seven years of wandering.

(This story is just summary of book 1.)

Powers and Abilities

As Queen of the Gods, the chief goddess of he Roman Gods and female counterpart of Jupiter, Juno is considered as the most powerful goddess in Roman mythology. Juno was a goddess by her own right and she is described being more graceful and merciful than her Greek counterpart Hera.

She was honoured and worshipped by millions of Romans every single day. Many Romans, especially woman, loved her.

  • Immortality
  • Agriculture Inuition
  • Cycle Manipulation
  • Divine Lord Physiology
    • Divine Authority (Queen of the Gods & Sovereign Goddess)
  • Enhanced Charisma
  • Advanced Telepathy
  • Guardianship
  • Lunar Deity Physiology (one myth; new & waxing moon)
  • Monetary Manipulation
  • Oath Keeping
  • Purification
  • Relationship Manipulation
    • Matrimony Relationship
  • Sacred Energy Manipulation
  • Sacrificial Power
  • Sex Deity Physiology (limited; female sexuality)
    • Feminity Manipulation
    • Fertility Manipulation
      • Birth Manipulation
        • Miscarriage Inducement
        • Infertile Manipulation
        • Pregnancy Inducement
  • Love Manipulation (limited)
  • Seer (Juno often warns Rome everytime she sees/sense danger)
  • Super Fecundity
  • Supernatural Beauty
  • Trinity Force (Jupiter-Juno-Minerva; the Capitoline Triad)
  • War Deity Physiology (limited)
    • Combat Specialist
      • Combat Perception
    • Supernatural Strength
    • War Manipulation
      • Army Manipulation
      • War Inducement (limited)
  • Spell Casting
  • Shapeshifting
    • Animal Morphing
    • Human Morphing
  • Flight
  • Transmutation
  • Transportation

See Also

Gallery