Tiberinus

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Tiberinus was the god of the Tiber River.

Aeneas was assisted by Tiberinus after arriving in Italy from Troy, according to Book VIII of Virgil’s epic Aeneid, and was advised to form an alliance with Evander of Pallene in order to fight Turnus and his supporters (see founding of Rome). Aeneas saw Tiberinus in a dream, who informed him that he had found his rightful home. Aeneas’ boat was able to safely arrive at the city because Tiberinus also managed to calm the sea. Tiberinus was the father of Ocnus along with Manto.

As the river deity who discovered the twins Romulus and Remus and delivered them to the she-wolf Lupa (who had just lost her own pups) to nurse, Tiberinus is well known. Later, he saved and wed Rhea Silvia, the twins’ mother and a Vestal Virgin who had been given the death penalty. Every May, people made care to offer gifts in the Tiber River in honor of Tiberinus, one of the most revered river gods. Twenty-seven straw dolls named Argei, in honor of Tiberinus, were presented.

Featured image: Tiberinus (statue from the Campidoglio, Rome).

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