Tempestes

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Tempestas, which means “season, weather; unfavorable weather; storm, tempest,” is the goddess of storms or abrupt weather in ancient Roman mythology.

Similar to certain other nature and weather deities, the word “Tempestates” is frequently used. Cicero mentions that the Tempestates had been designated as gods by the Roman populace while questioning whether or not natural occurrences like clouds and rainbows should be thought of as divine.

In 259 BC, L. Cornelius Scipio erected a temple (aedes or delubrum) to the Tempestate, according to his tombstone. With his fleet stranded in a storm off the coast of Corsica, Scipio made a pledge to seek for relief, and the temple’s construction was a fulfillment of that commitment. The Fasti Antiates Maiores lists December 23 as the dedication day, although Ovid lists June 1; this later date may signify a restoration, or there may have been more than one temple to the Tempestates. The temple established in 259 was a connection between the Mars and Minerva temples in Regio I, possibly close to the Tomb of the Scipios.

During this time, William Warde Fowler saw a pattern of temple dedications that regarded water as a divine power, such as the Temple of Juturna Lutatius Catulus built in 241 and the Temple of Fons built during the Corsican War in 231. At her temple, black sheep were sacrificed.

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