Averruncus

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Averruncus, sometimes known as Auruncus, is a deity of protection in the religion of ancient Rome.

According to Aulus Gellius, he is one of the potentially dangerous deities who must be appeased because of their ability to both bring about and prevent tragedy for people and harvests. A word to be employed in a prayer formulary to fix the local activity of the invoked deity, Averruncus may be one of the indigitamenta related to another god, such as Apollo or Mars. Precise naming was an essential component of prayer in antiquity, as shown by the fact that not only the traditional religions of Greece and Rome, syncretistic Hellenistic religion, and mystery cults, but also Judaism and ancient Egyptian religion all practiced it, along with concealing a deity’s true name in order to monopolize his or her power. Averruncus is sometimes referred to as the deity of childbirth in other sources.

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