views updated May 21 2018


JUNO . The name Iuno is a derivative of iun- and the ending -on-. It is very likely a shortened form of iuven-, as found in iunix ("heifer") and the comparative iunior ("younger"). The derivative Iunius (mensis ), or "month of June," was linked by the ancients sometimes to iunior (Varro, De lingua Latina 6.33) and sometimes to Iūno (Servius, Ad Georgica 1.43). Uni, the name of an Etruscan goddess, is borrowed from the Latin Iuno, just as Ani, the name of an Etruscan god, comes from Ianus.

The goddess personifies creative youth. She oversees birth, both on a human and on a heavenly level. Upon beginning labor, women call upon Juno Lucina ("she who brings into light"), who is honored at the Matronalia of 1 March (cf. Plautus, Aulularia 692; Terence, Adelphoe 487). Juno Covella is the patroness, along with Janus, of each month's calends in order to further the labor of the young moon from the calends until the nones.

Several other ancient cults of Juno fall on the first of the month: February 1 (Juno Sospita); June 1 (Juno Moneta); September 1 (Juno Regina of the Aventine); October 1 (Juno Sororia). Exceptions to this rule are the cults of Juno that lost their autonomy. Thus Juno Caprotina is honored on July 7, the nones, in a ceremony "intended to strengthen the light of night" (Dumézil, 1975) and connected with the cult rendered to Jupiter in the Poplifugia of July 5. Similarly, Juno Regina of the Capitol is venerated, along with Jupiter, on September 13, the ides, in the left chapel of the Capitoline temple, the anniversary of which falls on that date (Livy, 7.3.5).

In Roman history Juno intervened in several instances. In 396 bce the dictator M. Furius Camillus obtained the consent of Uni, the Etruscan homologue of Juno and the protectress of the hostile town of Veii, to be transferred from her besieged town to the Aventine in Rome. Thus a second Juno Regina, this one of foreign origin, was established in the capital (Livy, 5.21.3, 22.46). In 390 bce the Capitol was saved from the Gauls by the honking of geese, birds sacred to Juno (Livy, 5.47.34). Was this an intervention of Juno Moneta ("the warner"; see Cicero, De divinatione 1.101)? In 344 bce a temple was dedicated to her by the dictator L. Furius Camillus, the son of the aforementioned Marcus (Livy, 7.28.4). The establishment of a mint near this sanctuary to Moneta (Ad Monetae ; Livy, 6.20.13) gave to the word moneta the meaning of "money."

Syncretism had little effect upon Juno. In the lectisternium of 217 bce she was simply paired with Jupiter after the example of the Greek couple Zeus and Hera.


Dumézil, Georges. La religion romaine archaïque. 2d ed. Paris, 1974. See page 299 on the etymology and pages 303310 on the Italic Junoes. This work has been translated from the first edition by Philip Krapp as Archaic Roman Religion, 2 vols. (Chicago, 1970).

Dumézil, Georges. Fêtes romaines d'été et d'automne. Paris, 1975. See pages 271283 on Juno Caprotina, written in partnership with Paul Drossart.

Schilling, Robert. Rites, cultes, dieux de Rome. Paris, 1979. See pages 233239 on Juno Covella and pages 239244 on Juno Sororia.

Wissowa, Georg. Religion und Kultus der Römer. 2d ed. Munich, 1912. See pages 181191 for a general treatment.

New Sources

Champeaux, Jacqueline. "Religion romaine et religion latin: les cultes de Jupiter et Junon à Préneste." Revue des études Latines 60 (1982): 71104.

Dury-Moyaers, Geneviève. "Aperçu critique relatif au culte de Junon." In Aufstieg und Niedergang der Römischen Welt 2.17.1, pp. 142202. Berlin and New York, 1981.

Dury-Moyaers, Geneviève. "Réflexions à propos de l'iconographie de Iuno Sospita." In Beiträge zur altitalischen Geistesgeschichte. Festschrift Gerhard Radke, pp. 83101. Münster, 1986.

Fabian, Klaus Dietrich. Aspekte einer Entwicklungsgeschichte der römisch-lateinischen Göttin Juno. Berlin, 1978.

Fabian, Klaus Dietrich. "Ex numine dea? Überlegungen zum numinosen Ursprung der römischen Göttin Iuno." In Beiträge zur altitalischen Geistesgeschichte. Festschrift Gerhard Radke, pp. 102115. Münster, 1986.

Häussler, Reinhard. Hera und Juno. Wiesbaden, 1995.

Pailler, Jean-Marie, "Quaestiunculae Dumezilianae. 1. Origines de Rome, trivalence féminine, hagiographie." Pallas 48 (1998): 203224.

Robert Schilling (1987)

Translated from French by Paul C. Duggan
Revised Bibliography


views updated May 23 2018

Juno ★★★½ 2007 (PG-13)

Ultrasassy Juno (Page) realizes she may not know it all after she finds herself facing teenage motherhood, with her goofy, lovable best friend Paulie (Cera) as the expectant dad. Her parents are concerned, but not angry, almost like they've been there before. Juno opts for adoption rather than abortion, but has trouble following through after she's met with the childless yuppie couple Venessa (Garner) and Mark (Bateman) who are first in line to snatch up her baby. Note-perfect performances all around, especially by Page as the girl unwillingly rocketing into womanhood. Director Jason Reitman retains expert balance for this very smart, funny, offbeat, and touching story, which easily could've come out as another lame teen comedy. 92m/C DVD . US Ellen Page, Michael Cera, Jennifer Garner, Jason Bateman, Allison Janney, J.K. Simmons, Olivia Thirlby; D: Jason Reitman; W: Diablo Cody; C: Eric Steelberg; M: Mateo Messina. Oscars ‘07: Orig. Screenplay; British Acad. ‘07: Orig.Screenplay; Ind. Spirit ‘08: Actress, Film, First Screenplay; Writers Guild ‘07: Orig. Screenplay.


views updated May 21 2018

Juno in Roman mythology, the most important goddess of the Roman state, wife of Jupiter. She was originally an ancient Italian goddess. Her Greek equivalent is Hera.


views updated May 08 2018

Juno A solar system asteroid (No. 3), diameter 268 km; approximate mass 2 × 1019 kg; rotational period 7.21 hours; orbital period 4.36 years. It was discovered in 1804 by K. Harding.


views updated Jun 08 2018

Juno Asteroid discovered by Karl Harding in 1804. It is the tenth-largest asteroid, with a diameter of 244km (152mi).


views updated Jun 11 2018

Juno In Roman mythology, the principal female deity and consort of Jupiter, depicted as a statuesque, matronly figure.