Bellona, Goddess of War and Conquest, was once extremely popular with Roman soldiers. Roman senate meetings pertaining to foreign wars were conducted in Bellona’s temple on the Capitoline Hill. Bellona’s name derives from the same root as bellicose and belligerent. Some consider it safer to call her Bella Donna. Bella Donna, literally “Beautiful Lady,” contains the name Bellona within it. It may be a euphemistic pun so that one could refer to Bellona without actually calling upon this beautiful but fierce lady.

Classical Roman mythology classifies Bellona, Lady of War, as belonging to the family of Mars. She is described as his sister, wife, or daughter.

Macbeth’s success in battle is celebrated and his bloodthirsty nature is insinuated when William Shakespeare has the Thane of Ross describe him as “Bellona’s Bridegroom.”

Also known as:

Bella Donna; Duellona (as in “duel to the death”)


Rome; possibly Etruscan


3 June

Favoured people:

Soldiers, those who battle


A beautiful woman with long windswept hair, girded for battle


Scourge; whip (to whip troops into frenzy); torch (to light her opponents’ funeral pyres)

Sacred plant:

Belladonna (Atropa belladonna), a beautiful but lethal killer, shares her essence.

Sacred sites:

In addition to her Roman temple, Bellona had a temple outside York, England, and a shrine in Arfeuilles, France, now home of the Black Madonna of the Hollies. She was venerated wherever Roman soldiers travelled.



Encyclopedia of Spirits: The Ultimate Guide to the Magic of Fairies, Genies, Demons, Ghosts, Gods & Goddesses– Written by :Judika Illes Copyright © 2009 by Judika Illes.