Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 16, 1905.djvu/309

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i

The European Sky -God. 261

was formerly called Diovis and Diespiter, that is, the Day- Father. After him his children were called dei. Hence too the names dins and divus, which gave rise to the phrases sub divo and Diits Fidiiis. Consequently the roof of his temple has a hole in it so that the divum or sky may be seen. And certain persons affirm that no oath by this god ^ ought to be taken under cover of a roof." In the sequel Varro definitely identifies Jupiter with the sky, ^ as Ennius had done more than a century before him. Cicero^ quotes from the latter a couple of detached lines, which may be rendered —

" aspice hoc sublime candens, quern invocant omnes lovem."

Look at yonder Brilliance o^r zts, whom the world invokes as fove.

and —

"qui, quod in me est, exsecrabor hoc, quod lucet, quidquid est." Wherefore with all my might Pll curse yon Light, whatever it be.

There can be little doubt that in these passages the poet has caught and made permanent for us the religious thought of the Italians in the moment of its transition from an animistic to an anthropomorphic stage. Behind him lay the divine sky : in front stood the sky-god Jupiter.

As a bright sky-god Jupiter bore the title Lncetius, the " Light-bringer." Servius* in his commentary on the Aeneid says : " In the Oscan language Liicetius means

^"This god" means Dius Fidius. Scaliger cited from Nonius Marcellus s.v. "rituis" a fragment of Varro's Cato, a treatise on the education of children, in which we read : " And so our domestic practice is that whoever wishes to swear by Dius Fidius is wont to step beneath the opening in the roof" Scaliger also compared Plut. qtiaestt. Rom. 28, where we are told that boys who swore by Hercules were not allowed to do so under a roof, but had to go out of doors for the purpose.

2 Varr. de ling. Lat. 5. 67 Miiller : quod lovis luno coniux et is caelum.

^ Cic. de nat. dear. 2. 4 and 65. See J. B. Mayor ad locc.

  • Serv. Aen. 9. 570 sane lingua Osca Lucetius est luppiter, dictus a luce,

quam praestare dicitur hominibus. ipse est enim nostra lingua Diespiter, id est diei pater. A corruption of this appears in Mythogr. Vat. 3. 3. i :