Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 16, 1905.djvu/349

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The European Sky-God. 301

are represented with two stars above their heads — a recognized numismatic emblem of divinity.^ Romulus, after the death of Remus, was bidden by an oracle to set an empty throne by his side with a sceptre and crown for Remus, in order that the two brothers might still seem to be associated in the government.^ Again, the tradition that Romulus later ruled conjointly with Titus Tatius the Sabine also points to the custom of a dual kingship. When the Tarquins were driven out, the same ancient principle reasserted itself and produced that characteristically Roman institution, the double consulship. There was a certain dramatic fitness in the legend that the battle of lake Regillus, at which the tyrant was finally beaten, was won for the consuls by the help of the great twin brethren Castor and Pollux. The duo- viri or highest magistrates in colonies and municipal towns throughout Italy, who sometimes bore the name of praetors,^ and once at least that of dictators,^ may have been in every case the political outcome of a concep- tion which was in its origin religious. The same belief possibly contributed to the later duplication of the Caesars : it is to be observed that the bisellium or honorary " seat for two " belonged to them in virtue of their divinity.^

The god thus represented by the Roman kings and by their republican and imperial successors was, we

1 Tradition called them the sons of Mars by Rhea Silvia : but this, as we shall see later {infj-a p. 320 f.), does not conflict with their relation to Jupiter. For the moment it may suffice to point out that they were found under the ficus Ruminalis or Kumina, and that the Romans worshipped a Jupiter Kuminus (Aug. de civ. Dei^. Ii). On the fig-tree as a substitute for the oak of Jupiter see Folk-lore xv. 299 (Zeus Su/cdcrtos etc.).

-Serv. in Verg. Aen. i. 276.

2 Daremberg-Saglio Diet, des Ant. ii. 416 s.v. "duumviri juridicundo."

  • At Fidenae we hear first of duovi7-ei (Dessau 5943) and subsequently

of two dictators (Dessau 6224).

  • E. Beurlier Essai sur le culte rendu aux empereurs rojuains p. 48.