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Terra or Tellus was a primeval Roman goddess, mother of Fama.

Her festival was held on April 15; it was called the Fordicia. Pregnant cows were sacrificed. From January 24 to 26, the Sementivae in honor of Terra and Ceres was held. The Goddesses were asked to protect sowers and seeds. She was seen as the goddess of the earth, fertility, motherhood and pregnant women.

In Planetary science Terra is also a name of the third planet in the Solar System, which is usually referred to as "Earth" instead. It was named after this goddess, in accordance to the general rule of naming planetary objects and satellites to Roman gods and goddesses. Earth is known as Tellus in the Lensman books by E. E. Smith.

Tellumo is the masculine form of Tellus.

Her Greek counterpart is Gaia.

Tellus was also an Athenian statesman featured in Herodotus's Histories where he is described by the wise man Solon as being the happiest man ever. This is because he led a good life and produced fine sons and daughters who remembered him. He also died in battle, having routed the opposition in war. The "perfect" life of Tellus helps historians infer what was considered the most honourable and mentionable way to live in the opinion of the ancient Greeks.

After describing Tellus as the happiest of all men, Solon states that the second happiest men ever were the brothers Cleobis and Biton.


This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Terra".