Bonus Eventus

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In ancient Roman religion, the heavenly figure Bonus Eventus, or “Good Outcome,” was worshipped.

It is listed by the Late Republican historian Varro as one of the twelve gods who oversaw agriculture, along with Lympha, the goddess who controlled water supplies. Bonus Eventus’ primary purpose may have been agricultural, but throughout the Imperial age, he came to stand for a broader definition of success and was one of the many abstractions that were shown as symbols on Roman coins.

Bonus Eventus had a temple on Campus Martius that was undetermined in age. Only Ammianus Marcellinus makes reference to it, in relation to a brand-new portico (Porticus Boni Eventos) constructed by the municipal prefect Claudius in 374 AD. The portico, which was situated in the Gardens of Agrippa, may have been made up of five Corinthian capitals “of amazing proportions” that were discovered in the 19th century.

During the tumult of the Year of Four Emperors (69 AD) during the reigns of Galba, Vespasian, Titus, Antoninus Pius, and Septimius Severus, coins with Bonus Eventus were produced.

Featured image: Ara dedicated to Bonus Eventus by soldiers of Legio I Italica

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