Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 16, 1905.djvu/344

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296 The European Sky -God.

from Appuleius the following dictum : " Manes are souls of the better sort, which while they are in our body are called genii, but on quitting the body Lemures. When they attacked and infested a house, they used to be named Larvae ; if on the other hand they were propitious and favourable, they were known as the Lares of the family." A perusal of the foregoing passages certainly confirms us in the belief that the genius or birth-god comes from the Manes and returns to the Manes ; in fact, that the genius of every man is but the reincarnation of an ancestor's genius.

Moreover, it is highly probable that this genius was a Jupiter. To begin with, there is the important fact that in the case of a woman it was called her Juno.^ Secondly, Caesius,^ who professed to follow Etruscan authorities, declared that the Penates were Fortuna, Ceres, the gejiius lovialis, and the masculine Pales : this genius Lovialis is evidently a family god of some kind, and must not be confused with the genitis Lovis of literature and inscrip- tions,^ who was merely the genius of an anthropomorphic Jupiter. Thirdly, Augustine"^ expressly identifies the genius with Jupiter — a conclusion based on the general similarity between the functions of the genius and those of Jupiter progenitor. Fourthly, the nearest analogy to the word genitis is offered by Fortuna Primigenia, the oak-goddess of Praeneste. The meaning of her title is disputed. Some ^ take it to denote " Eldest-born " ; and this is supported by two inscriptions, which certainly call

^ Roscher Lex. ii. 615 ff.

^Caesius ap. Arnob. adv. nat. 3. 40. A little further on (ib. 43) we read : "Ceres, Pales, Fortuna, lovialis aut Genius." The Etruscan Tages is described as Genii filius, ttepos lovis (Fest. s.v. "Tages" p. 273 Lind. ).

^Minuc. Fel. Octav. 29.5, Dessau 4906: see Orelli 1730.

  • Aug. de civ. Dei 7. 13 quid est Genius ? . . .hie est igitur quern appellant


  • E.g. R. Peter in Roscher Lex. i. 1 542.