Sancus

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Sancus, often spelled Sangus or Semo Sancus, was a deity of fidelity (fides), honesty, and oaths in the religion of the ancient Romans.

His religion, which is among the oldest among the Romans, undoubtedly has Umbrian roots. According to Cato and Silius Italicus, Sancus was a Sabine deity and the father of the titular Sabine hero Sabus. Thus, he is occasionally referred to as a founder-deity. Sancus was the deity who guarded pledges made in connection with marriage, hospitality, the law, business, and especially formal contracts. On Quirinal Hill, there was a Sancus temple known as Semo Sancus Dius Fidius. According to Dionysius of Halicarnassus, the Sabines who lived on Quirinal Hill brought Semo Sancus worship into Rome quite early.

Featured image: Illustration of a statue of Sancus found in the Sabine’s shrine on the Quirinal, near the modern church of S. Silvestro

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