Alernus, Helernus

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Archaic Roman deity Helernus, sometimes known as Alernus, was a minor underworld deity and the guardian of the beans consumed at the Lemurian celebration in May.

The Tiber River’s mouth was not far from his holy grove (the Lucus). The Roman Pontiffs offered sacrifices to him every year on February 1st, during which a black bull was sacrificed. Carna, one of his daughters, was a goddess who guarded children’s intestines from vampires. The related (presumably chthonic) deity Hule/Horse/Huie, who appears a few times in the Umbrian Iguvine Tablets, is compared to Helernus by Poultney and others.

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