The word 'lupa' has multiple meanings. It can also mean prostitute (in Italian this has shifted to 'cagna' as in English 'bitch'). It's hard to unpack how words shift in meaning and in societies where women have much more status and freedom the word prostitute can have a range of other meanings, from sexually active to sacred in some way. In Greek and Roman religion the 'bitch goddess' is Artemis or Diana respectively. She is not bossed around by anyone, in fact, she is also called 'mistress of the animals', 'goddess of the wild' and the like.
There are so many things going on in this story. The shepherd, Faunus (another name for Pan and probably from the term 'the kindly one') takes the twins back home to another woman who has had ten children. She, like the wolf, is known as Lupa. But these 'lupas' are mothers, they suckle children. That is the most obvious element in the two stories.
Pan or Faunus is a kind of sidekick to Diana and Artemis and that also comes through in this story with the passing of the children from the suckling she-wolf 'lupa' to the suckling woman 'lupa'.
Photos on this page:
1. The shrine on the Palatine Hill, Rome with both bird/wolf/woman and sheep.
2. A Roman coin in the Museum of Antiquities, Turin.
3. The Palatine shrine with bird/wolf/woman.
4. The Palatine shrine with sheeps's head.
5. Lupa sculpture outside the Capitoline Museum (behind it).
6. Lupa sculpture outside the Capitoline Museum at sunrise.
The photo that heads my blog is the Lupa sculpture inside the Capitoline Museum.