A female Roman divinity of plenty and fertility, as is indicated by her name, which is connected with opimus, opulentus, inops, and copia.1 She was regarded as the wife of Saturn, and, accordingly, as the protectress of every thing connected with agriculture. Her abode was in the earth, and hence those who invoked her, or made vows to her, used to touch the ground,2 and as she was believed to give to human beings both their place of abode and their food, newly-born children were recommended to her care.3
Her worship was intimately connected with that of her husband Saturn, for she had both temples and festivals in common with him; she had, however, also a separate sanctuary on the Capitol, and in the Vicus Jugarius, not far from the temple of Saturn, she had an altar in common with Ceres.4 Caesar brought the state's treasure chest to the temple on the Capitol and placed it in the protection of Ops Capitolina. There were other temples of Ops in Rome, among which the one of Ops Opifera.
The festivals of Ops are called Opalia and Opiconsivia, from her surname Consiva, connected with the verb serere, to sow.5 The Opalia was celebrated on December 19. The Opiconsivia, a ceremony at the altar of Ops Consiva, at the Regia on the Forum, was observed on August 25. Only on that day were the official priest and the Vestal Virgins allowed to approach the altar. Another festival was celebrated on August 10 at her temple on the Forum.
- Festus, p. 186. ff. (ed. Miller).
- Macrobius, i, 10.
- Augustine. City of God iv, 11, 21.
- Livy. The History of Rome xxxix, 22; P. Victor. De Regionibus Urbis Romae viii.
- Festus, 1. c.; Macrobius, i, 10, 12.
- Aken, Dr. A.R.A. van. (1961). Elseviers Mythologische Encyclopedie. Amsterdam: Elsevier.
- Bartelink, Dr. G.J.M. (1988). Prisma van de mythologie. Utrecht: Het Spectrum.
- Leach, Maria, ed. (1984). Funk & Wagnalls Standard Dictionary of Folklore, Mythology, and Legend. New York: HarperCollins.