Soteria, Greco-Roman mosaic from
Daphne C5th A.D., Antakya Museum
SOTERIA was the goddess or spirit (daimon) of safety, and of deliverance and preservation from harm.
Her male counterparts were the daimon Soter and the god Dionysos Soter. The Romans named her Salus (Preservation).
|Presumably a daughter of ZEUS or DIONYSOS (both were titled Soter)
Pausanias, Description of Greece 7. 24. 3 (trans. Jones) (Greek travelogue C2nd A.D.) :
"[In Aigion in Akhaia (Aegium in Achaea)] they also have a sanctuary of Soteria (Safety). Her image may be seen by none but the priests, and the following ritual is performed. They take cakes of the district from the goddess and throw them into the sea, saying that they send them to Arethousa at Syrakousa (Syracuse)."
Pausanias, Description of Greece 7. 19. 7 & 21. 7 :
"Eurypylos [the hero of the Trojan War] opened the chest [containing a sacred idol of Dionysos], saw the image, and forthwith on seeing it went mad. He continued to be insane for the greater part of the time, with rare lucid intervals . . .
There is a sanctuary [in Patrai in Akhaia (Patrae in Achaea)] with an image of stone. It is called the sanctuary of Soteria (Deliverance), and the story is that it was originally founded by Eurypylos on being cured of his madness."
Ovid, Fasti 3. 879 ff (trans.Boyle) (Roman poetry C1st B.C. to C1st A.D.) :
"March 30 Comitialis. When the shepherd feeds and pens his kids four more times and the grasslands whiten with four fresh dews, Janus should be worshipped and gentle Concordia (Concord), Salus Romana (Safety of Rome) and the Ara Pacis (Altar of Peace)."
[N.B. Salus was the Roman equivalent of Soteria.]
SOTE′RIA (Sôtêria), i.e., the personification of safety or recovery (Lat. Salus) was worshipped as a divinity in Greece, and had a Temple and a statue at Patrae (Paus. vii. 21. § 2,24. § 2).
Source: Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology.
- Pausanias, Description of Greece - Greek Travelogue C2nd A.D.
- Ovid, Fasti - Latin Epic C1st B.C. - C1st A.D.