Conso

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A grain seed served as the representation of the grain-protecting deity Consus.

His altar (ara) was situated in the Circus Maximus’ first meta. It was either subterranean, or in accordance with other traditions, it was covered in soil that was swept away during the pontiffs’ sacrifices on August 21, December 15, and July 7 during the two Consualia, his feasts. Romulus created the Consualia in Roman mythology as a reason to get his Sabine neighbors together. Romulus’ men kidnapped the Sabine daughters to serve as their wives when the town was gathered and in a drunken frenzy.

Thus, he was a Chthonic god. His rituals were conducted by the Vestals and the Flamen Quirinalis.

The Ops (Opiconsivia or Opalia) celebrations, which took place annually on August 25 and December 19 to coincide with harvesting and sowing of crops, closely followed Consus’. Consus came to be revered as the deity of covert meetings. According to the grammarian Servius, Consus is the patron deity of councils. This fact results from Consus’ involvement in the Sabine women’s kidnapping, which occurred during the Consualia aestiva and was seen as having been authorized by the deity himself. The belief that Consus is the “keeper” of the Earth, as described by Dionysius and Plutarch, and which likens him to Neptune, seems to be connected to this capacity of covert counseling.

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