Skip Navigation
Elizabeth A.Sackler Center for Feminist Art

Carmenta

Legendary, worshipped in ancient Rome, circa 753 B.C.E.–C.E. 476

The prophetess Carmenta (Carmentis) originally came from Greece, where her given name was Nicostrata. For reasons unknown, she fled the country with her son Evander and arrived in Italy, where she was given the name Carmenta, from the Latin root carmen (“magic spell” or “oracle”). As her legend grew, Carmenta was deified as a goddess of prophecy, childbirth, and midwives. She was said to preside over the Camenae, a group of wise water nymphs who were celebrated in January each year, with festivities led by the Vestal Virgins (see Vestris).

Judy Chicago (American, b. 1939). <em>The Dinner Party</em> (Heritage Floor; detail), 1974–79. Porcelain with rainbow and gold luster, 48 x 48 x 48 ft. (14.6 x 14.6 x 14.6 m). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of the Elizabeth A. Sackler Foundation, 2002.10. © Judy Chicago. Photograph by Jook Leung Photography
Judy Chicago (American, b. 1939). The Dinner Party (Heritage Floor; detail), 1974–79. Porcelain with rainbow and gold luster, 48 x 48 x 48 ft. (14.6 x 14.6 x 14.6 m). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of the Elizabeth A. Sackler Foundation, 2002.10. © Judy Chicago. Photograph by Jook Leung Photography

Related Place Setting

Related Heritage Floor Entries