OCRISIA

Or Oclisia, the mother of Servius Tullius, according to the old Roman legends. She was one of the captives taken at the conquest of Corniculum by the Romans, and in consequence of her beauty and modesty was given by Tarquinius as a handmaid to his queen, Tanaquil. One day, in the royal palace, when she was presenting some cakes as an offering to the household genius, she saw in the fire the genitale of a man. Tanaquil commaded her to dress herself as a bride, and to shut herself up alone in the chapel, in which the miracle had occurred. Thereupon she became pregnant by a god, whom some regarded as the Lar of the house, others as Vulcan. The offspring of this connexion was Servius Tullius. The more prosaic account represents her as having been first the wife of Spurius Tullius in Corniculum or at Tibur, and relates that after she was carried to Rome she married one of the clients of Tarquinius Priscus, and became by him the mother of Servius Tullius. (Dionys. iv. 1, 2; Ov. Fast. vi. 625, &c.; Plin. H. N. xxxvi. 27. s. 70; Festus, s.v. Nothum ; Plut. de Fort. Rom. 10; Niebuhr, Hist. of Rome, vol. i. p. 364.)