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Daily News20-06-2010
Thunderstruck!
If you asked most people the name of the Roman god of thunder, I imagine some learned ones mighty say it was Jupiter, but they`d only be half right. You see, the Roman`s had two different classifications of thunder; daytime thunder, which was ruled by Jupiter and nocturnal thunder, which was ruled by the strangely named Summanus. His temple was founded at the Circus Maximus around 276 BC and his feast day was held on the 20th June, celebrated with wheel shaped cakes known as summonalia. In order to placate Summanus and thus lessen his urge to disturb the night with thunder claps and lightening strikes, he was offered sacrifices which were always black in colour. Some authors have claimed his name means `The Greatest of The Manes` if this is so, he would also have been offered human sacrifices, in this case the lives of the gladiators who fought at the Circus Maximus. Box office or what? We can`t be sure about this though, as even the Ancient Roman writer Ovid was vague concerning Summanus` exact role or character. So today, comparatively little concrete information is known about this deity. Some writers have even suggested he was not a separate individual at all but rather that he was an aspect of Jupiter. What we do know is that whether he was a god in his own right or not, he was also the patron god of thieves - presumably because they tended to go about conducting their nefarious business during the hours of darkness. All in all, to modern minds at least, Summanus was not the kind of god you`d want to meet on a dark and stormy night, oh no!
In This Month's Newsletter
In this month`s issue, how David Beckham`s injury could affect his marriage to Victoria, and what the stars say. Plus, learn how to use spells in everyday life, and see our predictions for Coronation Street....
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