20. Terra

Terra or Tellus was the personification of the Goddess of Earth in Roman mythology. The names Terra Mater and Tellus Mater both mean “Mother Earth”

Mater in Latin is a honorific title also bestowed on other goddesses. Tellurium- a chemical element was named after Tellus in 1798.

Romans appealed to Terra over the earthquakes. Along with Ceres – the grain goddess, she was responsible for the productivity of farmland.

She was also associated with marriage, motherhood, pregnant women, and pregnant animals. Terra’s Greek counterpart is Gaia.

The two words Terra and Tellus are thought to derive from the formulaic phrase tersa tellus, meaning “dry land”.

Terra refers to the element earth (one of the four basic elements viz earth, air, water, and fire). Tellus refers to the guardian deity of Earth and by extension the globe itself.

Actual classical Latin usage does not necessarily appear to respect this distinction.

A male deity of Earth, Tellumo, was sometimes invoked together with Terra during the rites in her honor

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s