Last Updated on 2022/10/06
Libitina, also known as Libentina or Lubentina was an Ancient Roman funeral and burial goddess .
Her name used as a metonym for death, and those who performed funerals were called libitinarii. Libitina was linked to Venus, and some writers have used the word as an epithet for Venus. The Esquiline Hill was home to the Libitina Grove and a number of other religious sites, showing that the neighborhood had “unhealthy and ill-omened” connotations.
In the Campus Esquilinus, there was a public cemetery located outside the Esquiline Gate. On August 19, the day of Vinalia Rustica, a shrine dedicated to Venus was established in the Libitina forest. A coin was taken from the deceased’s estate by the temple’s treasury as part of a purported Servius Tullius-instituted “death tax.” 30,000 people perished in the temple in 65 AD during the plague. Livy records two instances where there were more fatalities than Libitina could handle. There was a panel of funeral directors (dissignatores) headquartered in the Libitina grove.
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