OGOD

Celtic

Egyptian

Etruscan

Phoenician

Roman


 

 


 



Fama is the Roman Goddess of Rumor. Her name in Latin means just what it looks like, "Fame", with additional meanings of "Reputation", "Ill Repute", "Public Opinion", or "News"; it is derived from the Latin verb feri, meaning "to speak". She seems to be a Roman version of the Greek Ossa or Pheme, whose name also means "Rumor", though the Greek word ossa can also be used of voices or sounds in general, including the voice of prophecy. I don't know if it's related, but the Greek word osse, with the plural ossa means "a pair of eyes", which evokes an image of the watchful eyes of the Goddess of Gossip.

As the Greek Ossa, She was said to be the messenger of Zeus, from whom rumors were thought to come, for rumors can be difficult or impossible to trace back to their source. Ossa had an altar in Athens, and was sometimes called the daughter of Elpis the Goddess of Hope, Who was called Spes in Latin. In another version of Her parentage (repeated by the Roman poet Virgil in his Aeneid), Fama was the youngest daughter of the Earth (Gaea), and the Heavens (Ouranos), making Her one of the Titanes or Giants, the earliest race of Gods. To the Greeks, Ossa was a neutral Goddess of both fame and infamy, and would as soon proclaim the glory of a victorious battle as She would spread slander and gossip.

To the Romans, though, Fama was generally known for Her more malicious side. Virgil in his Aeneid describes Her as being small and fearful at first, then growing larger and stronger, as rumors are wont to do, until She fills the sky, standing with Her head hidden by storm clouds. He calls Her a "dreadful monster" who never sleeps, and describes Her as having swift feet and great wings with which She flies, spreading rumor quickly; he also says that at the base of every feather is an eye, an ear, and a mouth, which She uses to see, hear, and then disperse Her rumors, slander, and outright lies. And according to Ovid in his Metamorphoses, Fama lives at the center of the world, where earth, sea, and sky meet; from there She can see and hear everything that goes on in the world. Her home on a tall peak has no doors but instead has a thousand windows and is made entirely of bronze, so that the slightest noise or whisper echoes and reverberates throughout.

Alternate spellings: Faam or Fame

 



 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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