Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 16, 1905.djvu/341

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The European Sky -God. 293

it is clear that mantis was a ceremonial epithet of Janus, But if so, Maniits may well be a derivative of the same applied to the Manii of Aricia^ as the representatives of the old divine kings, who were in their day and generation reverenced as Janus incarnate.^ This con- jecture is materially strengthened by the fact that the first rex sacrorum at Rome was Manius Papirius.^

At this point I may be pardoned for a brief digression, which will help to clear up one of the most familiar but at the same time least intelligible of Italian beliefs. If the Manii of Aricia were once regarded as successive incarnations of the sky-god called mantis, and if we are to recognize the same word in Manes, the Latin term for ancestral ghosts or spirits,* it seems probable that origin- ally the forefather of each clan was reverenced as a Jupiter and thought to be reincarnated in his descendants. This explains at once the use of the plural Mattes as per- taining to an individual and the belief that these Mattes were gods {di Manes). A man's Mattes were, it would seem, the whole series of his ancestors who had each in

^ It may be objected that the name Manius should have been borne by the rex Nemorensis rather than by the dictator of Aricia. I conceive that originally the two were one and the same ; and that, when the division between sacred and profane duties took place, the name Manius was given to the secular leader in token of the religious position occupied by his predecessors. It is perhaps significant that the names Manlius, Manlia, which appear to be cognate with Maniits (so Zimmermann loc. cit.) were borne by several persons in a like position elsewhere. Thus a rex sacroriun at Bovillae was named Manlius (Dessau 4942), a regina sacrorutn at Rome Manlia (Dessau 3941, 3941 a), and probably another regina sacrorutn at Tibur Manlia (Dessau


2 If I am right in equating Virbius with Janus {supra p. 290 n. 9), we obtain an additional argument for regarding the rex Nemorensis as an embodiment of Janus ; for the first king of the Wood was named Virbius, as was also his son (Verg. Aen. 7. 761 ff.).

^Dionys. atit. Rom. 5. i.

^Steuding in Roscher Lex. ii. 2318 fr. shows that the di Manes oi'^om.z.-a. tombstones were "not the souls of the persons there buried, but ancestral spirits in general or the ancestral spirits of that family in particular."