Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 16, 1905.djvu/356

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3o8 The European Sky- God.

evergreen-oak and ordinary oak {qiiercus) mixed ; but it regularly had acorns. Once won, it might be always worn ; and it conferred various rights on the wearer — e.g. at the public games even senators stood up to do him honour.^ Probably the citizen who wore the oak-crown of Jupiter- was, like the trmmphator, regarded as in some sort a Jupiter incarnate. Again, a Roman magistrate who contracted a treaty seems to have posed as Jupiter. " The reason," says Servius,^ " why the sceptre is used when a treaty has to be made is this. Our forefathers on all such occasions were wont to produce an image of Jupiter. This was difficult, especially when the treaty was made with a distant tribe, A way out of the difficulty was for them to hold a sceptre and so copy, as it were, the image of Jupiter ; for the sceptre is peculiar to himself"

It would seem, then, that even in republican times the latent belief in a human Jupiter made itself felt on various occasions and in various ways. When the republic passed into an empire, this belief gathered fresh force from the altered political circumstances of the day. More and more the emperor came to be looked upon as the one human Jupiter — indeed, as the one Jupiter worthy of the name, whether on earth or elsewhere. The whole subject of emperor-worship has been so carefully studied by M. I'Abbe Beurlier ^ that I shall content myself with indicat- ing those cases in which the emperor was definitely identified with Jupiter in particular.

First and foremost is the case of Julius Caesar, who claimed descent from lulus and was probably aware that the blood of Jupiter ran in his veins. At least, as early as 6d> B.C., when he was a simple quaestor, he proclaimed in the course of a funeral oration that on his father's

1 Plin. nat. hist. 1 6. ii ff.

^ Plut. quaestt. Rom. 92, vit. Coriol. 3.

■* Serv. in. Verg. A en. 12. 206.

■• E. Beurlier Essai sur !e ailte 7-endu mix empereurs romains Paris 1S90.