Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 16, 1905.djvu/308

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THE EUROPEAN SKY-GOD. Ill: THE ITALIANS.

BY ARTHUR BERNARD COOK.

The Latin language bears witness to an early animistic conception of the sky. For the common expression sitb divo, " under the open sky," stands in an obvious relation to the doublets divKS and detcs, which are the ordinary terms for "god."^ Of kindred origin were the names lu-piter (with its variant forms Dius, Diovis, lovis, etc.), Dies-piter (with dies, etc.), and certain others to be mentioned later.^ This whole group of words springs ultimately from a root div-, meaning "to shine" ;^ and it is probable that divum originally denoted the sky as " bright," diviis or dens a god who dwelt in the " bright " sky, hi-piter the " Bright " One as " Father." The close interconnexion of the said words, satisfactorily demon- strated by modern philologists, was already appreciated in the first century B.C. by M. Terentius Varro, who writes in his great treatise On the Latin Tongue:'^ "Jupiter

^W. M. Lindsay The Latin Language p. 244.

"^ See Aust in W. H. Roscher AtisfiihrHches Lexikon der griechischen und romischen Mythologie ii. 619 ff. for a collection of the facts, and K. Brugmann Ktirze vergleichende Grammatik der indogermanischen Spi-achen, pp. 85, 88, 91, 95, 312, 358, 377, 445, 685 for their explanation.

^ O. Schrader Reallexikon der indogermanischen Altertumskunde p. 670.

^ Varr. de ling. Lat. 5. 66 Mtiller : hoc idem magis ostendit antiquius lovis nomen ; nam olim Diovis et Diespiter dictus, id est dies pater, a quo dei dicti qui inde, et dius et divos, unde sub divo, Dius Fidius. itaque inde eius perforatum tectum, ut ea videatur divom id est caelum ; quidam negant sub tecto per hunc deierare oportere.