Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 16, 1905.djvu/342

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294 The European Sky -God,

turn been regarded as Jupiter incarnate. To this series, when he came to die, he added his own genius or birth- god, the divine spirit transmitted to him at the moment of conception on the lectus gejiialis or bridal-bed. This appears not only from such dedications as a tombstone ^ at Pola inscribed —

MANIBVS I ET GENIO | P. VATrI • SEVERI To the Mattes and Genius of P. Vatrhis Severus,

or a funeral lamp ^ in the Museo Kircheriano painted with the words —

Helenus : suom genio M(a)nib inferis | mandat • stipem • strenam • lumen | suom • secum • defert • ne quis • eum | solvat nisi • nos • qui • legamus. Helemis commends his Genius to the Manes below. He brings down with him as cotttribtition and gift his light. Let no man loose him but we %vho bind.

but also from definite statements made by various classical authors. Thus Martianus Capella^ says : " Inasmuch as the Ma7ies are assigned to bodies at the moment of con- ception, when life is over they still delight in these bodies and haunting them are called Lcvmres. If they are supported by the virtue of their past life, they become the Lares of households and towns. But if they are depraved by the body, they are spoken of as Larvae and Mauiae." We are here told that the Manes are embodied at conception ; in other words, that the ancestral spirits are reincarnated in their descendants, presumably as genii. Servius * says much the same : " Some hold that the Manes are identical with the genii of antiquity ; and that, as soon as the body is conceived, two Manes are assigned to it, which do not desert it even in death, but on the consumption of the body still inhabit its

^ Wilmanns Exempla inscrr. Lat. 233. Others are cited by Orelli 1725, 1727.

'^ Bull, deir Inst. Arch, i860 p. 70. Garucci read "suom geniom dis .inferis," but his facsimile has beyond a doubt svomgenio m nibinferis.

^ Mart. Cap. 2. 162 f. ^ Serv. in Verg. Aen. 3. 63, cp. ib. 6. 743.