Felicitas, the Goddess of Wealth and Success

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Felicitas was a deity of abundance, wealth and success and presided over good fortune; her feast day was celebrated on October 9.

Sometimes the term felicitas was an epithet referring to Juno Felicitas personification of Happiness. She had many temples in Rome, including one on the Capitol, and was depicted with a caduceus and cornucopia. Felicitas is a state of blessedness, productivity, or enjoyment inspired by God. Felicitas might refer to a general’s luck or good fortune as well as a woman’s fertility. Despite their similarities, Felicitas and Fortuna were distinct in Roman religion. Fortuna was erratic and her powers may be detrimental, as seen by the shrine dedicated to Mala Fortuna (literally, “Bad Luck”), but Felicitas was usually associated with good fortune.

Related article: Gods and Goddesses of Ancient Rome

The inscription Hic habitat Felicitas (“Felicitas inhabits here”) on an apotropaic sculpture of a phallus at a bakery in Pompeii indicates the continuing magical link of increased sexual potency, growth, and general good fortune in productivity. Promotion of felicitas came to be seen as evidence of one’s quality and divine favor. Felicitas was a type of charismatic authority that was a contagious aptitude for creating productive conditions outside of oneself, a characteristic that lived within an individual, and a divine gift.

Phallic relief with the inscription "Felicitas dwells here" in Pompeii
Phallic relief with the inscription “Felicitas dwells here” in Pompeii
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