Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 16, 1905.djvu/347

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page needs to be proofread.


The European Sky -God. 299

and that the pontiffs used to pray " Jupiter Optimus Maximus, or by what other name thou wouldst be called." This raises a suspicion that the Genius of Rome was the Capitoline Jupiter. And it is noteworthy that Augustine^ quotes from Varro the one surviving couplet of the imprudent Valerius Soranus —

" luppiter omnipotens regum rerumque deumque progenitor genetrixque deum, deus unus et omnes." Alviighty Jupiter, father of kings and thijigs And gods, yea ??iother of gods, whole god and sole. —

the very couplet, it will be observed, which Augustine cited in support of his contention that the genius was Jupiter.'- However that may be, we are, I believe, justified in maintaining that the family genius, the godhead incar- nate in the founder of the clan, and passed on from father to son, was none other than Jupiter. Appuleius^ speaks oi " prayers addressed to Genius and Genita " : the former he describes as Manium deum ^ ; the latter reappears in Plutarch ^ and Pliny ^ as Genita Mana, a birth-goddess to whom dogs (the offering appropriate to the Lares Praestites") were sacrificed in order that none of those born in the house might become manns, i.e. might die. In both cases the epithet adds weight to my conclusion that the deity incarnate was the sky-god who bore the old religious title vianus?'

But it is time to resume the thread of our main argu- ment. At Rome too, as throughout Latium, there are

^ Aug. de civ. Dei 7. 9. 2 Supra p. 296.

^ Appul. de deo Socr. 687.

'^ Id. ib. 689 nomine Manium deum nuncupant. The older texts give the variant " Manem deum."

5 Plut. quaestt. Rom. 52. '< Plin. nat. hist. 29. 58.

^ Warde Fowler Roman Festivals pp. loi, 351 f.

^If Birt is right in urging that another name for the genius was cerus (Roscher Lex. i. 1615), my case is still further strengthened, since the phrase cerus manus was used of Janus by the Salii {supra p. 292).