A surname of Venus at Rome, which is derived by some from the verb calvere, to mock or annoy, and is believed to refer to the caprices of lovers. Others relate, that Ancus Marcius dedicated the temple of Venus Calva near the Capitol at the time when his wife's hair began to fall off; whereas a third account connects the foundation of this temple with the war against the Gauls, during which the Roman women were said to have cut off their hair for the purpose of making bow-strings of it.

Hartung1 thinks the last account the most probable, and believes that the name referred to a real or symbolical cutting off of the hair of brides on their marriage day.2



  1. Die Religion der Römer. Vol. 2, p. 251.
  2. Comp. A. Persius Flaccus. The Satires ii, 70, with the Scholiast.


  • Lactantius, i, 20, 27.
  • Servius on Virgil's Aeneid i, 724.
  • Smith, William. (1870). Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology. London: Taylor, Walton, and Maberly.

This article incorporates text from Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology (1870) by William Smith, which is in the public domain.