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The Collaborative International Dictionary

Levana \Le*va"na\ (l[-e]*v[=a]"n[.a]), n. [L., fr. levare to raise.] (Rom. Myth.) A goddess who protected newborn infants.


Levana (from Latinlevare, "to lift") is an ancient Roman goddess involved in rituals pertaining to childbirth. Augustine says that dea Levana is invoked when the child is lifted de terra, from the earth or ground. Her function may be paralleled by the Greek Artemis Orthia, if interpreted as the Artemis who lifts or raises children.

It is sometimes supposed that Levana was invoked in a ceremony by which the father lifted the child to acknowledge it as his own, but the existence of such a ceremony is based on tenuous evidence and contradicted by Roman law pertaining to legitimacy of birth. More likely, Levana was the goddess who oversaw the lifting of the child by the midwife immediately after birth. Kneeling or squatting was a more common position for childbirth in antiquity, and the newborn probably came to rest on the ground before the umbilical cord was cut.

Usage examples of "levana".

I had sat in the cheap seats in Temple Levana Israel and listened to a guy reading in Hebrew, simultaneous translation provided for a small donation.