Posted by: aediculaantinoi | October 22, 2010

Antinoan Connections: Goddesses and Antinous–Clementia

Clementia is one of many further deified abstraction goddesses portrayed on coin reverses during Hadrian’s reign. The English word “clemency” of course originates from this Latin term, and she represented the divine qualities of forgiveness, mercy, humanity, and forbearance, which were idealized qualities that it was hoped a good leader would possess. While some might criticize Hadrian for not always displaying these qualities, in many cases he most certainly did, as for example his burning of the tax records (which in essence eradicated or “forgave” debt for many people).

Clementia did not have a temple in Rome until Julius Caesar created one in about 44 BCE, after the civil wars, when he forgave some of his former enemies. She was shown with a branch and a scepter, often leaning against a column. Apart from these scant traces, we know very little about Clementia’s cultus, or any further details. There was a Greek goddess of mercy, Eleos, who had a shrine in Athens, and who seems comparable.

No matter what, it is clementia that is often needed today, particularly when dealing with other religious groups that have wronged us (as queer or as pagans) in the past, as well as us seeking to be supplicants of Clementia when we have been heirs to horrible acts of the past. It is Clementia, in my opinion, that brought about the idea of the Communalia ritual which we do in the Ekklesía Antínoou on occasion, and which I hope to do more in the future. I have little doubt that Antinous is well acquainted with and good friends with the goddess Clementia.

Ave Clementia! Ave Antinoe!


  1. […] Abstractions and Iunonis Loci Britannia Clementia Disciplina Felicitas Fides Pietas Providentia Roma Securitas Spes […]

  2. My name is Clementine, my name means “goddess of mercy” or “merciful goddess” Cool, huh?

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