the personification of gossip, rumour or report.
Homer calls her Ossa (fame) and the Romans Fama, after the Greek Pheme.
As it is often impossible to trace a report to its source, it is said to come from Zeus, and hence Ossa is called the messenger of Zeus. Sophocles (Oed. Tyr. 158) calls her a daughter of Hope, and the poets, both Greek and Latin, have indulged in various imaginary descriptions of Ossa or Fama. Virgil calls her the last born Titan, a daughter of Gaia: "Produc'd her last of the Titanian birth", (Aeneid Book III) and Ovid (Metamorphoses XII) regards her as "falshood cloaths in truth's disguise".
At Athens she was honoured with an altar.
From Metamorphoses by Ovid Book The Ninth
The Death of Hercules
Now a long interval of time succeeds,
When the great son of Jove's immortal deeds,
And step-dame's hate, had fill'd Earth's utmost round;
He from Oechalia, with new lawrels crown'd,
In triumph was return'd. He rites prepares,
And to the King of Gods directs his pray'rs;
When Fame (who falshood cloaths in truth's disguise,
And swells her little bulk with growing lies)
Thy tender ear, o Deianira, mov'd,
That Hercules the fair Iole lov'd.
Her love believes the tale; the truth she fears
Of his new passion, and gives way to tears.
The flowing tears diffus'd her wretched grief,
Why seek I thus, from streaming eyes, relief?
She cries; indulge not thus these fruitless cares,
The harlot will but triumph in thy tears:
From: The Aeneid by Virgil Book IV
The loud report thro' Libyan cities goes.
Fame, the great ill, from small beginnings grows:
Swift from the first; and ev'ry moment brings
New vigor to her flights, new pinions to her wings.
Soon grows the pigmy to gigantic size;
Her feet on earth, her forehead in the skies.
Inrag'd against the gods, revengeful Earth
Produc'd her last of the Titanian birth.
Swift is her walk, more swift her winged haste:
A monstrous phantom, horrible and vast.
As many plumes as raise her lofty flight,
So many piercing eyes inlarge her sight;
Millions of opening mouths to Fame belong,
And ev'ry mouth is furnish'd with a tongue,
And round with list'ning ears the flying plague is hung.
She fills the peaceful universe with cries;
No slumbers ever close her wakeful eyes;
By day, from lofty tow'rs her head she shews,
And spreads thro' trembling crowds disastrous news;
With court informers haunts, and royal spies;
Things done relates, not done she feigns, and mingles truth with lies.
From Description of Greece by Pausanias Book I: Attica
(1.17.1) In the Athenian market-place among the objects not
generally known is an altar to Mercy, of all divinities the most
useful in the life of mortals and in the vicissitudes of fortune,
but honored by the Athenians alone among the Greeks. And they are
conspicuous not only for their humanity but also for their
devotion to religion. They have an altar to Shamefastness, one to
Rumour and one to Effort. It is quite obvious that those who
excel in piety are correspondingly rewarded by good