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Juno was the daughter of Saturn and Cybele, and sister to Jupiter, Neptune, Ceres, &c. She married Jupiter, who gained her affections under the form of a cuckoo, and thus became Queen of Heaven and Earth. Their dissensions were perpetual, owing to the frequent infidelities of Jove, and the implacable and revengeful spirit of Juno, who persecuted with extreme severity all whom he favoured, as Hercules, Æneas, Ino, &c. Jealousy appears to have been the leading trait in her character; the Trojan war, with all its attendant miseries, was caused by her resentment of the preference shewn
by Paris to Venus, to whom he gave the golden apple on mount Ida. Her hatred pursued the unfortunate Trojans, even after the demolition of their city, and the ruin of their state, and she rested not until she had destroyed their very name as a people, and merged them in Rome and Alba.
Jupiter was so incensed at her ceaseless persecution of his son Hercules, that he punished her by suspending her from heaven by a golden chain; Vulcan attempted to release his mother, but was kicked out of heaven by Jove, and broke his leg in the fall: Juno endeavoured to form a conspiracy against her husband, but it was frustrated, and Apollo and Neptune were banished from Olympus for joining in it. The worship of the Queen of Heaven prevailed in Greece, Rome, and Carthage; her most celebrated temples were in the last city, and at Argos and Olympia; the sacrifices offered to her were lambs and sows; the flowers sacred to her were the lily, the dittany, and the poppy; the birds were the peacock, (her favourite bird, said by the poets to have been Argus, whose hundred eyes she placed in the tail when she thus transformed him,) the goose and the hawk.
Juno is represented as a beautiful woman, seated in a chariot drawn by peacocks, her head adorned with a diadem, and her messenger, the lovely Iris, following her. She was known and adored by various names, as Saturnia, Olympia, Lamia,
Argiva, Ammonia, &c., and the foundation of her temple, in Carthage, is thus described by Virgil:
Full in the centre of the town there stood
Eneid, book 1.
Neptune was the son of Saturn and Cybele, and owing to his mother's care was preserved and concealed in a sheep-fold during his infancy; at the partition of the empire of Saturn between his sons, the sea fell to the lot of Neptune, who was dissatisfied with his portion, and conspired with the rest of the gods to dethrone Jupiter, who condemned him when the conspiracy was discovered, to build the walls of Ilium or Troy, which he did, assisted by Apollo. Neptune possessed more power than any of the gods, Jupiter alone excepted;-the
ocean, rivers, and fountains were subject to him, and he could raise islands from the bottom of the sea with a blow of his trident, and cause earthquakes at his pleasure. The worship of Neptune was almost universal throughout the earth; he was particularly venerated in Libya, both Greeks and Romans were much attached to him, and celebrated the Consulia and the Isthmian games to his honour; the latter of these famous games were so called from the Isthmus of Corinth; where they were observed, and were originally instituted in memory of Melicerta, B.C. 1326. They were for some time discontinued, and then revived by Theseus, in honour of Neptune, after which they took place every fifth year; the victors were rewarded with garlands of pine leaves. Neptune is generally pictured seated in a car, in the form of a shell, drawn by sea horses, and surrounded by Tritons, nymphs, and sea-monsters, a radiated crown on his head, and the famous trident, used for allaying tempests, in his hand.
Homer represents him as issuing from the main, and in three steps crossing the horizon. The word Neptune is often used metaphorically by the poets, to signify sea-water. Amphitrite was the wife of Neptune, and his children were very numerous; the most celebrated were Bellerophon, Polyphemus, the Cyclops, and Ancaeus, one of the Argonants.