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