In Roman mythology, Cloacina (Latin, cloaca: "sewer" or "drain") was the goddess who presided over the Cloaca Maxima ("Great Drain"), the main trunk of the system of sewers in Rome. She was originally derived from Etruscan mythology. The Cloaca Maxima were said to be begun by one of Rome's Etruscan kings, Tarquinius Priscus, and finished by another, Tarquinius Superbus.
Titus Tatius, who reigned with Romulus, erected a statue to Cloacina as the spirit of the "Great Drain". As well as controlling sewers, she was also a protector of sexual intercourse in marriage. Despite her Etruscan origins, she later became identified with Venus.
Cloacina was worshipped as an aspect of Venus at the small Shrine of Venus Cloacina, situated before the Basilica Aemilia on the Roman Forum and directly above the Cloaca Maxima. Some Roman coins had images of Cloacina or her shrine on them.
A short poem to Cloacina is typically attributed to Lord Byron:
O Cloacina, Goddess of this place,
Look on thy suppliants with a smiling face.Not rashly swift nor insolently slow.
Soft, yet cohesive let their offerings flow,
Cloacina appears in the comic B.P.R.D.: The Soul of Venice where she is also claimed to be the protector of sexual intercourse in marriage. This comic also cited the poem above.
- "B.P.R.D. Plague of Frogs - Volume 1". DarkHorse.com. p. 152.