Veiovis (Vediovis) is one of the oldest of the Roman gods. He is a god of healing, and was later associated with the Greek
Asclepius[ Roman Medicine By John Scarborough [http://books.google.com/books?id=a5c1AAAAIAAJ&dq=vediovis&q=vediovis&pgis=1#search] ] . He was mostly worshipped in Rome and Bovillae in Latium. On the Capitoline Hilland on the Tiber Islandtemples were erected in his honour [ The New Encyclopaedia Britannica: in 30 volumes By Encyclopaedia Britannica, Chicago University of, Encyclopaedia Britannica Staff, Encyclopaedia Britannica(ed.) [http://books.google.com/books?id=1BMrAAAAMAAJ&dq=vediovis&q=vediovis&pgis=1#search] ] . In spring, goats were sacrificed to avert plagues.
Veiovis is portrayed as a young man, holding a bunch of arrows (or lightning bolts) in his hand, and is accompanied by a goat. He is probably based on the Etruscan god
Veive. [http://www.pantheon.org/articles/v/veiovis.html [http://www.pantheon.org/articles/v/veiovis.html] ]
The studies about Vediovis are very poor and unclear. We find him in the Sabine deity system, and in the Etruscan's as well. But they let show a constant updating of his condition and his use by people: escaping from netherworld, Volcanic God responsible of marshland and earthquakes [Celebrating Wiccan Spirituality: Spells, Sacred Rites, and Folklore for Each ... By "Lady Sabrina" [http://books.google.com/books?id=mEW3ysNMFawC&pg=RA3-PA123&dq=vediovis&sig=-H3Zrx9o8hn0dqZ5KKbHcKuSp5k] ] [Classical Quarterly By Classical Association (Great Britain) [http://books.google.com/books?id=1u4LAAAAIAAJ&dq=vediovis&q=vediovis&pgis=1#search] ] , and later guardian angel in charge of slaves and fighters refusing to lose. God of deceivers, he was called to protect right causes and to give pain and deception to enemies. His temple was a haven safe from police for wrongly persecuted people, and dedicated to the protection of the new comers in Rome.
The legend shows more him like an entity escaping from hell and trying to join the light and heaven, awesome fighter and protector of any people victims of unfair.
Aulus Gellius, in the " Noctes Atticae", speculated that Veiovis was the inverse or ill-omened counterpart of Jupiter; compare Summanus. Aulus Gellius observes that the particle "ve-" that prefixes the name of the god also appears in Latinwords such as "vesanus", "insane," and thus interprets the name Veiovis as the anti- Jove. Aulus Gellius also informs us that Veiovis received the sacrificeof a female goat, sacrificed "ritu humano"; [ Aulus Gellius, "Noctes Atticae", [http://www.thelatinlibrary.com/gellius5.html book 5, section 12] ] this obscure phrase could either mean "after the manner of a human sacrifice" or "in the manner of a burial." [Adkins and Adkins, "Dictionary of Roman Religion" (Facts On File, 1996) ISBN 0-8160-3005-7]
He has been identified with
Apollo, with the infant Jupiter, and speculatively as the Anti-Jupiter (i.e. the Jupiter of the Lower World) as suggested by his name. In art, he was depicted as a youth holding a laurel wreath and some arrows, next to a goat. He had a temple between the two peaks of the Capitoline Hillin Rome, where his statuehad a beardless head and carried a bundle of arrowsin his right hand. It stood next to a statue of a goat. He was probably a god of expiation and the protector of runaway criminals. Sacrifices were made to him annually on March 7: A festival of Vediovis was held on this day, celebrating an ancient Etruscan or Latin deity whose exact function was lost by Roman times. He was possibly the subterranean counterpart of Jupiter, whose earthquakes and volcanoes mirrored Jupiter's thunder and lightning; however he was also at times identified with Apollo or as a younger version of Jupiter himself. [ [http://www.novaroma.org/calendar/januarius.html#Vediovis Nova Roma: Calendar of Holidays and Festivals ] ]
In fact, Vediovis had three festivals in the Roman Calendar on 1 January 7 March and 21 May [ The Nature of the Gods By Marcus Tullius Cicero [http://books.google.com/books?id=CPG_4CpoWfUC&pg=PA207&dq=vediovis&sig=psocesyxrhZawl6GWzn6kmYTf60] ]
Vejovis also spelled Vediovis, or Vedivs, in Roman religion, a god with uncertain attributes, worshiped in Rome between the two summits of the Capitoline Hill (the Arx and the Capitol) and on Tiber Island (both temples date from just after 200 BC) and at Bovillae, 12 miles southeast of Rome. His name may be connected with that of Jupiter (Jovis), but there is little agreement as to its meaning: he may be a “little Jupiter” or a “Sinister Devils Scorpion” for his enemies. [ The Cambridge History of Classical Literature By E. J. Kenney [http://books.google.com/books?id=-zlwiI7A734C&pg=PA105&dq=vediovis&sig=eI5v3ej_45lxEVVxXHuzkUwF2T8#PPA105,M1] ] Vejovis accepted a she-goat sacrifice humano ritu, meaning either "on behalf of the dead" or instead of a human sacrifice.
At least, it is evidence to say this deity can have two faces, one for allies and one for enemies, his functions evolved with time and his progression, and he is not so simple to understand and to describe.
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.