God of the Month: Tiberinus and the Seven Hills

In December, two festivals – one for the Tiber River and one for the Seven Hills of Rome – were held. Both Tiberinus (the Tiber River) and the Seven Hills received sacrifices. In Roman polytheism, landscapes are divine as well since they are inhabited by numina. Every hill, mountain, river, valley, etc has an in-dwelling spirit – a numen.

Where I live, the Potomac River dominates the landscape. This river goes back 20 million years (in some form) on the North American continent. The ancient Potomac runs from the Piedmont by Mount Vernon (George Washington’s farm), by Washington D.C. and onto the Chesapeake Bay. When I go to Great Falls, I hear Potomac Pater as He thunders over the Fall Line.

I live on the boundary between the Tidewater and the Piedmont. This area is hilly and a challenge to walk. On my daily walks, I have come to know three hills well. I greet each one by the Names that They gave me. The Hills are Cluvius, the longest and highest, Plutonius, the steepest, and Hermanus, who lies between the two.

Salve Potomac Pater!

Ancient River,

Much wisdom you have

Roaring to Us

We stand in awe of You

Salve Potomac Pater!

 

Salve Cluvius!

You challenge all who climb You

We trudge up to the store, the bank, the bus, the school

A fraternity of hill walkers

A bane of drivers

A joy of skateboarders

You rule the neighborhood

Salve Cluvius!

 

Salve Plutonius!

Steep are You.

We grab the vertical railing, hauling ourselves up

You laugh at human curses.

You laugh at dogs peeing.

You laugh at everyone and everything.

Steep are You.

Salve Plutonius!

 

Salve Hermanus!

Sleepy

Drowsy

The snow comes

You wake in delight

Salve Hermanus!

 

Note: The Seven Hills are Aventine, Caelian, Capitoline, Esquiline, Palatine, Quirinal, and Viminal.

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One thought on “God of the Month: Tiberinus and the Seven Hills

  1. Pingback: Op zoek naar antwoorden op de vraag Is er een God # 1 Veel goden – Questiontime – Vragenuurtje

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