Luna, the Goddess of the Moon

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Luna was a Roman lunar deity, personification of the moon.

She was often represented as the female complement of Sol, the personification of the sun. Sometimes she is found represented, along with Proserpine and Hecate, as diva triformis, that is, goddess who takes on three different guises. Since Diana and Juno are both considered to be moon gods, Luna is not necessarily a distinct deity but instead occasionally more of a specialized epithet for a goddess. Selene was the Greek equivalent of Luna. Selene stories are transformed into Luna in Roman art and literature. For instance, the tale of Endymion was a common theme for Roman wall paintings. Both Varro and Vergil identify Luna as one of the twelve gods essential to agriculture, referring to Luna and Sol as the world’s brightest sources of light in their respective lists of twelve. Luna is included in Varro’s list of the twenty main Roman deities (di selecti).

Featured image: The Moon-goddess Selene or Luna accompanied by the Dioscuri, or Phosphoros (the Morning Star) and Hesperos (the Evening Star). Marble altar, Roman artwork, 2nd century CE. From Italy

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