On 13 August, one of the most sacred holidays in ancient Rome, a holy holiday of Diana and commemorated to this day in the city of Nemi, which opens its doors to the Lake of the same name:
The sacred feast of Templum Dianae!
Day dedicated to the Goddess Diana, lady of the woods and nature
(originally the mountain peaks of the woods, lakes, ports, and trivi, then lady of the hunting of the fields and finally of the Moon).
An accurate documented description of the Templum Dianae festival dating back to 9 A.D. is mentioned in Ovid’s “glory” in reference to the “Nemoralia” or torch festival (still celebrated today), dated August 13 along with the August festivities, the festival servants and servants and at vertumno’s feast.
“[..] In the Ariccia Valley, there is a lake surrounded by dark forests considered sacred by a cult since the dawn of time. Along a wall are hung many pieces of thread intertwined and many tablets are placed as a gift to the Goddess. Often women to whom Diana has answered prayers, with a wreath of flowers on her head walk towards Rome carrying a lit torch [..]”.
This document, very valuable, reveals that probably the spread of the cult Nemorense, transcends the Roman foundation, probably predating the Etruscan foundations and the Bronze Age, in fact we find legendary references to a “Virgin” Armed with 13 infallible arrows in many Italian folk legends, one example is the legendary Dolasilla of the Valley of Fanes on the Dolomites, united with the Nemorene seas diana for the presence of the 13 arrows, the mountain peaks and the lakes.
what remains of the Black cult today are probably a set of speculations based on forced imposition to different cults.
what is known for sure is the existence of ancient worship, antecedent to the worship of Diana consecrated to the Goddess Cinthia Fanum (cinzia of the forest), from which would derive the name of “Genzano”, a country of foundation mirrored by Nemi on the lake of the same name.
The cult of Cintia, probably celebrated in the ancient Etruscan Foundation Temple consecrated to her (today probably in the foundations of the church or the castle of Genzano), was surely absorbed by the Latin cult consecrated to Diana, so much so that Cintia became a of the Nife – the goddess’s armpits (as in the case of Kallisto and Artemis).
In less remote eras, in 170 BC Cato Il Vecchio (an honored censor of Tusculum) let us know that the foundation of the Temple of Diana –Templum Dianae – on the Aventino, wanted by King Servo Tullius to centralize political, religious and cultural power in Rome, dates back to the 6th century BC
During the Imperial era, we know that the cult of Diana, was probably associated with the cults of Hekate and Selene, so much so that Emperor Caligula, tried in a forced way to implant the cult of Roman Isis, within the cult of Diana, so much so that in the ancient processions were added ritualistic by the typical Egyptian connotations, processions that instead of being directed to Rome, proceeded every full moon in the direction of the lake, where they probably docked the two famous temple ships of the emperor ( sink into events that are still very obscure today).
After Constantine’s conversion, aimed at foraging the assets of the “church” Dear Roman, action to oil the “gears” of the imperial military machine, the temple suffered the same fate as many other temples, was probably looted and destroyed or I forget in the woods… .
.. at least to this day…