Gender: Feminine
Origin: Latin
Meaning: “magic spell, oracle, song.”

      In Roman Mythology, Carmenta is a pre-Latin goddess, possibly dating back to the Etruscans. She was the goddess of childbirth and prophecy. She was associated with technological innovations and was the patron of midwifery.

      She was also a member of the Carmenae goddesses: wise ancient goddesses who were associated with springs, rivers and fountains. They were somewhat the equivalent of Greek muses.

      The Ancient Romans also attributed the invention of the Latin alphabet to her. Her name is associated with the Latin word carmen meaning “magic spell, oracle or song,” though other sources suggest that the name is from a much older source and that its meaning is not clear. However, as an interesting side note, carmen is the root for the English and French word charm and the Spanish female name of Carmen shares the same etymology.

      Some legends attribute Carmenta as a Greek immigrant by the name of Nicostrata, (who fled the Trojan wars along with her son Evander). She was believed to have founded the city of Pallantium which was later absorbed into Rome, forming one of the seven hills. She was known as a great prophetess and for her wonderful singing voice, (hence the name).

      Though her festival was usually celebrated around January 11 or 15, (the Carmentalia), she was also honoured on the Feast of Expectant Mothers, which fell on July 2. After the fall of Rome and the introduction of Christianity, the feast was changed to the feast of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

      Another form is Carmentis