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Acca Larentia

Acca Larentia, obscure Roman goddess with a festival on 23 December (Larentalia or Larentinalia). Valerius Antias (fr. 1 Peter) makes her a prostitute, contemporary with Romulus, who left her property to the Roman people; Licinius Macer (fr. 1 Peter) makes her wife of Faustulus and hence adopted mother of Romulus. Cato (fr. 16 Peter) initially made the connection of she-wolf (lupa) with prostitute (meretrix); thus the courtesan name Faula is linked with Faustulus (RE 6. 2090–1). The long quantity of the first syllable in Larentia (Auson. Technop. 8. 9 Peiper; p. 179 Green) suggests a connection with Larunda and not Lar (short a), but this is not decisive, and the Lar as family ancestor would be appropriate (see lares); cf. Ogilvie on Livy 1. 4. 7. Plutarch implausibly assigned her an April festival (Quaest. Rom. 35 with Rose's notes); cf. E. Tabeling, Mater Larum (1932), 57–8; Latte, RR 92.


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