9/7/10

Goddess of the Week: Cloacina

The Cloaca Maxima canal of Ancient RomeImage via WikipediaLA Fine emailed me looking for a plumbing goddess (old houses, you know). Would you believe it: there is one! Cloacina, Roman goddess of sewers.

Smirk all you want, but do you really want to chance offending the one goddess who understood that empires and happy homes are built on good sanitation?

There is actually a nice little essay with photos about Cloacina by Jon C. Schladweiler here. In it, you'll learn that a shrine to Cloacina stood in front of the Forum -- right above the Cloaca Maxima (which sounds way more regal than its translation: the "main drain.")

In the essay, you'll also discover this wonderful poem in her honor:

O Cloacina, Goddess of this place,

Look on thy suppliants with a smiling face.

Soft, yet cohesive let their offerings flow,

Not rashly swift nor insolently slow.


Channel this goddess: You'll know when.


Need a goddess: I got goddesses! Post a comment telling me your need and I'll see what I can find.

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21 comments:

Jean Spitzer said...

Okayyy . . . . I started laughing at the title. Those Romans were very practical people with admirable plumbing, some of which still survives today. So maybe a goddess of plumbing is not such a silly idea.

Stacey @ Entropified said...

Plumbing. Absolutely it's vital!

uwant2gogo said...

Margaret Finnegan,did you make that poem up????!!!! That is beyond funny. If not, the Romans are funnier than anyone knew. I'm going to show it to the young comedian.

Margaret said...

Kim: I did not make the poem up. It's from the essay noted, and I couldn't tell if the essay writer made it up or if the ancient Romans did. It's pretty funny.

altadenahiker said...

Given the plumbing problems up here, I will pray to this goddess on a regular basis. Thank God, or thank Goddess, you can point our prayers in the right direction.

Daisy said...

Couldn't resist... I sent the pdf link to our City engineering dept with an expectation of a future, meaningful, ceremony. :-)

Alison said...

I'm the person who sent the initial query, and intend to build a small shrine to Cloacina on a shelf in the appropriate room of our house. As suggested by Margaret, some copper pipe will be part of it, (and possibly some white porcelain) I forsee a trip to the local hardware shop in my near future...

Laurie said...

You always have exactly what I need. Dishwasher's leaking. Leave it to those aquaduct-building ancients to find the right diety for the job!

Petrea said...

This explains the word, "cloaca."

Shell Sherree said...

I'll be sure to pay homage to Cloacina regularly as a preventative measure. Perish the thought that our offerings be rash or insolent. Sounds both unhealthy and rude.

pattiwag said...

Our sewer is at least 150 years old. But knock wood still working! We do have to have tree roots removed every few years. How about a godess for teachers? Or maybe you've done that already?

Deb said...

Sheesh, there really is a goddess for everything, isn't there? And it amazes me that the Romans had such an amazing knack for achitecture planning way back then. Pretty clever. I learn something new every time I visit your blog!

Enjoy your day, Margaret. xo

... daisy... said...

There you go!!!! A Roman Goddess!!!!! YIPPIIIIII :-D

armyblond said...

Wow! There really is a goddess for everything!

Rois said...

I suppose this is the goddess drunks are praying to when they over do it.LOL!

Margaret said...

Pattiwag: Great idea! It's in the queue

claire said...

Oh, Margaret, our younger daughter is a water engineer, loving to work with waste-water treatment. I just have her this.

Now, would you have a goddess for wind-turbines. This is our other daughter's work!

Pasadena Adjacent said...

When you live in a home with only one throne you do what you can to appease the goddess

Offerings: snakes-root killers-drano.

Lloyd said...

I really enjoyed reading the posts on your blog. I would like to invite you to come on over to my blog and check it out. God bless, Lloyd

TheChieftess said...

When we were in Ephesus Turkey and Pompeii Italy, I was amazed at the actuality of ancient indoor plumbing!!! Both ruins sported evidence of indoor potties and very advanced sewage lines under the homes...they even flushed!!! In Ephesus, they mentioned that the underground sewage systems today are based on the systems from back then...

Anonymous said...

Most of teh references to the poem (that I can find) claim it was written by Lord Byron!