Jupiter Indiges

Jupiter Indiges

According to the Roman historian Livy, Jupiter Indiges is the name given to the deified hero Aeneas. In some versions of his story, he is raised up to become a god after his death by Numicius, a local deity of the river of the same name, at the request of Aeneas' mother Venus. [Livy, Ab Urbe Condita Book 1. ] The title Pater Indiges or simply Indiges is also used. [ Ovid, Metamorphoses, Book 14]

The Greek historian Dionysius of Halicarnassus notes that when the body of Aeneas was not found after a battle between his group of Trojan exiles in Italy and the native Rutulians, it was assumed that he had been taken up by the gods to become a deity. He also presents the alternative explanation that Aeneas may have simply drowned in the river Numicus and that a shrine in his memory was built there. [The Roman Antiquities of Dionysius of Halicarnassus, published in Vol. I of the Loeb Classical Library edition, 1937 ]

The term "Indiges", thought by some to be from the same root as "indigenous", may reflect the fact that these minor deities (collectively, the "Dii Indegetes") originated locally in Italy [Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities edited William Smith (1870) p. 573] . An alternate explanation given is that they were individuals who were raised to the status of gods after mortal life. Compare for example Sol Indiges.


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