Or Murtia, a surname of Venus at Rome, where she had a chapel in the circus, with a statue. This surname, which is said to be the same as Myrtea (from myrtus, a myrtle), was believed to indicate the fondness of the goddess for the myrtle tree, and in ancient times there is said to have been a myrtle grove in the front of her chapel at the foot of the Aventine.1 Some of the ecclesiastical writers preferred the derivation from murcus, i.e. stupid or awkward.2 Others again derived the name from the Syracusan word μυκρός, tender.3



  1. Pliny the Elder. Naturalis Historia xv, 36; Servius on Virgil's Aeneid i, 724; Plutarch. Roman Questions, 20.
  2. Augustine. City of God iv, 16; Arnobius. Adversus Nationes iv, 9.
  3. Salmasius on Solinus, p. 637.


  • Apuleius. Metamorphoses vi, 395.
  • Augustine. City of God iv, 16.
  • Festus, p. 143 (ed. Müller).
  • Livy. The History of Rome i, 33.
  • Servius on Virgil's Aeneid viii, 636.
  • Smith, William. (1870). Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology. London: Taylor, Walton, and Maberly.
  • Tertullian. De spectaculis, 8.
  • Varro. On the Latin Language v, 154.

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