The Ancient Library

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On this page: Matuta – Mausoleum



for a prosperous wedlock, the women re­ceived presents from the men and waited on the slaves, just as the men did at the Saturnalia. In the temple of the goddess, women and girls prayed to her and to her son Mars, and brought pious offerings.

Matuta (usually Mater Matuta). An old Italian goddess of dawn and of birth, also goddess of harbours and of the sea, and hence identified with the Greek Leucothea. In her temple at Rome in the Forum Sodrium, on the llth of June, the Matralia, or festival of mothers, was cele-

honour of king Mausolus of Caria (died b.c. 352) by his wife Artemisia, and counted by the ancients one of the seven wonders of the world. [According to Pliny, N. If. xxxvi §§ 30, 31], it consisted of an oblong sub­structure surrounded by thirty-six columns, with a circuit of 440 feet, crowned by a pyramid diminishing by twenty-four steps to its summit, on which stood a marble quadriga, the work of Pythis [or Pythius, Brunn, Gr. Kiimtler, ii 377, ed. 1 ]. The height of the whole building, gorgeous with the most varied colours, was 140 feet. Satyrus

brated in her honour by the women of Rome ; no slaves were admitted to it, and only a matron who had not been married before was allowed to place a wreath on the statue of the goddess. The women first prayed for the well-being of their nephews and nieces, and .then for that of their own children. This custom was re­ferred to the myth of Ino-Leucothea, who tended Dionysus, the son of her sister Semele,

Mausoleum (Gr. Mausolcion}. A splen­did sepulchre at Halicarnassus, built in

and Pythius were the architects, and the sculptures on the four sides were executed by ScSpas, Bryaxis, TimSthSus, and Leo-chares. In the 12th century after Christ the work was still in a good state of preser­vation ; in succeeding centuries it fell to pieces more and more, until the Knights of St. John used it as a quarry [from the time when they built their castle on the site of the old Greek acropolis in 1402, down to the repair of their fortifications in 1522, when they made lime of its marble sculp­tures. In 1845, a number of reliefs were

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