Consus was the protector of grains and (subterranean) storage bins (silos), and as such was represented by a corn seed.
His altar was placed beneath the ground (or, according to other sources, simply covered with earth, which was swept off at His festival) near the Circus Maximus in Rome. The altar was unearthed only during the Consualia, His festival which took place on August 21 (and another one on December 15). Mule or horse races were the main event of the festival because the mule and the horse were Consus' sacred animals. Horses and mules were crowned with chaplets of flowers, and forbidden to work.
Consus' name has no certain etymology down to the present time. This name seems to be Etruscan or Sabine in origin. It seems that Consus' name is really related to the one of Ops as Consivia (or Consiva), itself related to "crops, seeding" (Latin conserere ("to sow"). According to Varro "the Consualia are so named after Consus." Shortly after His own festivals the ones for Ops, the Opiconsivia or Opalia, were held every August 25 and December 19, these being the periods respectively of the reaping and the seeding of crops.
Consus also became a god associated with secret conferences, perhaps due to a common misinterpretation of his name. The Latins (Romans) associated Consus' name with consilium ("councils, synagogues, assemblies; place where councils assemble"). This word should not be confused with "counsel" ("advice"). It in fact expresses the idea of "sitting together" (consentes), "being together" (con-sum) or perhaps "called together, conclaimed" (con-calare). The connection of Consus with these secret councils is attested by Servius "Consus is however the god of councils." As such, it seems that Consus was a member of the council of the Di Consentes ("Council of the Gods") formed by six gods and six goddesses which assembled in order to assist Iuppiter in making great decisions such as destroying Troy or Atlantis with a flood. This tradition is due to the Etruscans, but is also widely attested in Greece as well, for instance, in Homer.
Aldington, Richard; Ames, Delano (1968). New Larousse Encyclopedia of Mythology. Yugoslavia: The Hamlyn Publishing Group Limited, 209
- ↑ De Lingua Latina, 6:20 Consualia dicta a Consus
- ↑ In Vergilii carmina comentarii 8:636 Consus autem deus est consiliorum