THE ENCYCLOPÆDIA BRITANNICA

A DICTIONARY OF ARTS, SCIENCES, LITERATURE AND GENERAL INFORMATION

ELEVENTH EDITION 1911

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ANNA PERENNA, an old Roman deity of the circle or “ring” of the year, as the name (per annum) clearly indicates. Her festival fell on the full moon of the first month (March 15), and was held at the grove of the goddess at the first milestone on the Via Flaminia. It was much frequented by the city plebs, and Ovid describes vividly the revelry and licentiousness of the occasion (Fasti. iii. 523 foll.). From Macrobius we learn (Sat. i. 12. 6) that sacrifice was made to her “ut annare perannareque commode liccat,” i.e. that the circle of the year may be completed happily. This is all we know for certain about the goddess and her cult; but the name naturally suggested myth-making, and Anna became a figure in stories which may be read in Ovid (l.c.) and in Silius Italicus (8.50 foll.). The coarse myth told by Ovid, in which Anna plays a trick on Mars when in love with Minerva, is probably an old Italian folk-tale, poetically applied to the persons of these deities when they became partially anthropomorphized under Greek influence. (W. W. F.*)
Transcriber's note: A few typographical errors have been corrected. They appear in the text like this, and the explanation will appear when the mouse pointer is moved over the marked passage. Sections in Greek will yield a transliteration when the pointer is moved over them, and words using diacritic characters in the Latin Extended Additional block, which may not display in some fonts or browsers, will display an unaccented version.

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