her "daughter of Jupiter." Others translate "Authoress or Mother of all things," and point to Cicero's statement that the spot where the oaken tablets of Praeneste were found "is nowadays carefully railed in on account of the sanctuary of the boy Jupiter, who, seated as a suckling along with Juno on the lap of Fortuna and reaching towards her breast, is worshipped with the utmost reverence by mothers." The cult was singular, not to say unique. "Italy," says Mr. Warde Fowler, "presents us with no real parallel to this child-Jupiter"; and that he should have been conceived not only as a child but also as a father is still more mystifying. If, however, we may venture to interpret Primigenia as "First of the genii or birth-gods," we go some way towards reading the riddle, because every genius is from one point of view a father, from another a son. The infants Jupiter and Juno on the lap of Fortuna would, on this showing, be the typical male and female genii. The suggestion is strengthened by the constant coupling and occasional identification of Fortuna and Genius, or of Fortuna and Tutela (=female Genius), in inscriptions. Fifthly, there were but very few festivals in the Roman calendar sacred to Jupiter. One of these few was the Larentalia on December 23, which Ovid described as "welcome to the genii." Macrobius explains the connexion as follows: on this day the flamen (Quirinalis) offered a solemn sacrifice to the Manes of Acca Larentia (the Mother of the Lares), and the occasion was sacred to Jupiter because "the ancients held that souls were given
- Dessau 3684, 3685.
- See J. A. Hild in Daremberg-Saglio Dict. Ant. ii. 1270. Cp. also Plut. de fort. Rom. 10 τὴν δὲ τύχην … ὡς πρωτόπολιν καὶ τιθηνόν
- Cic. de div. 2. 85.
- Warde Fowler Roman Festivals p. 225.
- Roscher Lex. i. 1522 f., Daremberg-Saglio Dict. Ant. ii. 1276.
- Supra p. 295.
- Macrob. Sat. 1. 10. 15.
- Gell. 7. 7. 7.
- Roscher Lex. i. 5.