Ops

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Topics in Roman mythology
Important Gods:
Legendary History
Roman religion
Greek/Roman myth compared
Other Rustic Gods:

Originally a Sabine goddess, Ops ("plenty") was a fertility deity and earth-goddess in Roman mythology. Her husband was Saturn.

On August 10, a festival took place in her honor. On December 9, the Opalia was celebrated. On August 25, the Opiconsivia was held.

Alternative name: Opis. The singular nominative (Ops) is not used, and only the form Opis is attested in Latin authors. According to Festus (203:19): "Ops is said to be the wife of Saturn. By her they designated the earth, because the earth distributes all goods to the human gender" (Opis dicta est coniux Saturni per quam uolerunt terram significare, quia omnes opes humano generi terra tribuit). The Latin word ops means "riches, goods, abundance, gifts, munificence, plenty". This word is also related to opus, meaning "work" and, particularly "working the earth, ploughing, sowing". This activity was of old deemed sacred, and was often attended by religious rituals intended to obtain the good will of the chthonian deities such as Ops and Consus, etc.. The word ops is related to the Sanskrit ápnas ("goods, property").

Ops was the goddess of plenty among the Latins (Romans). She was the spouse of Saturn, the bountiful monarch of the Golden Age. Just as Saturn was identified to Kronos, his Greek counterpart, Ops was identified to Rhea, the wife of Kronos (or Kronus, in the Latin spelling). The cult of Ops was (mythically) instituted by King Titus Tatius, the Sabine monarch. And Ops soon became the patroness of riches, abundance, and prosperity both personal and national.

Invariably associated with Consus, Ops was feasted with him in the Opalia and the Opiconsivia [qqv]. These festivals were also called Consualia, in honor of Consus, her companion. Ops had a famous temple in the Capitolium. In her statues and coins, Ops is figured sitting down, as chthonian deities normally are, and generaally holds a scepter or a corn spike as her main attributes.

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