Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 16, 1905.djvu/174

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page needs to be proofread.


148 The Cimaruta:

of the cock (p. 145) is in accordance with this view. The second explanation would introduce a new idea into our conception of the cimaruta, viz., that these birds are the emblems of the sun-god, to whom both cock and eagle were held sacred, and that they thus contributed to the power of the charm to resist the evil eye. In Lycia both birds were sun-emblems, and were associated with the triscele. But the third idea harmonizes more nearly with the lunar associations of the charm. The cock, as Herr E. Baethgen has shown {De vi ac significatione Galli, 1887), was associated with Diana as well as with Proserpine, .^sculapius, and other divinities — an association which is still preserved in two hair-pins I purchased in Fiume. In one, the cock is modelled in a sitting position above the head of a female figure, supposed to be Diana ; in the other, the bird is represented with a crescent, a fist and a bunch of some herb. Occasionally the cock is represented by its head (Fig. 16) or merely by its comb (Figs. 17, 22), thus affording an excellent example of the gradual de- generation and disappearance of an amulet. The resem- blance between the knuckles of a fist and a cock's comb is suggestive,

8. Heart.

The Heart, as one of the component emblems of the cimaruta, seems to me, all things considered, to be of late introduction. It is not certain that it was employed as an emblem by the Greeks or Romans when the cimaruta is believed to have had its beginning, it is not of frequent occurrence in the charms, it is not present in many of the most typical nor most elaborate ; and where we come upon the heart-emblem most highly developed, there the rue is degenerate, and tends to be superseded by the newer element.

Let me repeat at the outset that the theory that the bow of the key was originally intended to represent a