Homer Hesiod Hymns Tragedy Remythologizing Tools Blackboard Info
Form: a figure in Italian mythology.
A fire-spitting giant, the son of Vulcan, who lived near the place where Rome was afterwards built. When Hercules came into the neighbourbood with the cattle of Geryon, Cacus stole some of them while the hero was sleeping. He dragged them backwards into, his cave under a spur of the Aventine, so, that their footsteps gave no clue to the direction in which they had gone. He then closed the entrance to the cave with a rock, which ten pairs of oxen were unable to move. But the lowing of the cattle guided the hero, in his search, to the right track. He tore open the cave, and, after a fearful struggle, slew Cacus with his club. Upon this he built an altar on the spot to Jupiter, under the title of Pater Inventor("the discoverer"), and sacrificed one of the cattle upon it. The inhabitants paid him every honour for freeing them of the monster, and Evander, who was instructed by his mother Carmentis in the lore of prophecy, saluted him as a god. Hercules is then said to have established his own religious service, and to have instructed two noble families, the Potitii and the Pinarii, in the usages to be observed at the sacrifice. This sacrifice was to be offered on the Ara Maxima, which he himself had built on the cattle market (Forum Boatrium) where the cattle had been pastured.
Type: Standard
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