Goddess of the Week: Cloacina

This week I give you 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.

I swear: I did not make that up.

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.

Full Disclosure: I originally ran this post in 2010. I'm rerunning because I recently had to call on Cloacina myself! That's right! I had to fix my toilet, which involved READING my Home Depot book on fixing stuff, and then changing the flapper, which is fancy plumbing talk for the the rubber thingy that keeps all the water in the tank from going down the drain. The hardest part? Finding the right flapper. Our toilet is, apparently, incredibly special. No simple OSH flapper for it!


Desiree said...

I love this, and that you're so handy. Did you know the Minoan civilization (on the island of Santorini) had running water and flush toilets in 1500 BC?
I think that's pretty cool, and reminds us how uncivilized recent European history was, with people tossing the unmentionable out of their windows and into the streets.

Olga said...

It makes sense that you would have a very special flapper because who else would know who to channel right away?Now, were you able to find the special flapper at Home Depot?

Daisy said...

I'm glad you "fessed up" because I recognized the repeat! May Cloacina keep my flappers and other things working well, because my equipment is probably older than yours!

Daisy's Barbara

Ms M said...

Great post! Good job on fixing the flapper. We may need to channel Cloacina (and Home Depot) soon, as I think we're beginning to have a flapper problem with our toilet.

altadenahiker said...

My sewer god is at my beck and call and thus I worship him. (It took me YEARS to find an honorable plumber.)

Petrea Burchard said...

I suppose it's obvious where we get our word for the anatomical equivalent.

Margaret, you are a home-fixin' goddess!

Pasadena Adjacent said...

Yes, when you have only one bathroom, you take care to keep it in working order; more so then my truck.

In your adventure, did you discover the avant guard/artist/musician Plumbing family the "Potts?" Potts Plumbing on Valley in Alhambra. Perfect name, isn't it? I bought a T-shirt from their shop.

btw: that poem is hysterical

Susan Campisi said...

I like how utilitarian Cloacina is. And yes, we will all know when we need to channel her! My wish is that it won't be anytime soon.

Alison said...

Loving that poem!
Alison xx

Darryl Iorio said...

Now I know who to burn offerings for when I’m fixing my plumbing.

I’ve had the same problem with the flapper before. It was ridiculously hard to find a flapper to fit that annoying hole. I finally took it out of the water closet (it’s broken, anyways) and went to the store and showed the thing to the clerk, who for some reason cannot find it before when I showed him a picture of it.

-- Darryl Iorio