Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 16, 1905.djvu/369

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The European Sky- God. 321

Quirinus} as Janus had been before him.^ The title /«/(??' also was common to Mars^ with Jupiter. The wood- pecker, associated with Zeus on Greek soil* and with Jupiter in Italy/ was more commonly regarded as the bird of Mars.*^

These are among the reasons which have led me to suppose that Jupiter, Mars and Quirinus, the great triad of gods standing at the head of Roman religion and served by the " major priests " {Jiamines niaiores), were but differentiated forms of one and the same deity — the sky-god who was at once the " Bright-father," the " Battle-turner," and the " Oak "-god. When the Salii are described as being " under the protection of Jupiter Mars Quirinus " ; when Decius devotes himself to death with a solemn prayer commencing "Janus, Jupiter, Mars pater, Quirinus"^; when Numa ordains that the first spolia opima should be presented to Jupiter Feretrius, the second to Mars, the third to Quirinus,^ — we seem to witness successive stages in the evolution of this divine triad.

The king who personated the warlike oak-Jupiter must needs be a great warrior. Some of the ancients, who saw a little way but not very far into their own past, held that Romulus was called Quirinus because he had been presented with a quiris or oaken spear on account of his valour in war.^" The custom of thus rewarding martial prowess deserves more attention than it has received. It was, I believe, no mere decoration like those of modern times, but rather the bestowing of the sceptre in which the godhead was believed to reside : the man who so

'^ Supra p. 281 n. 9. "^ lb. n. 8. ^ Preller-Jordan, i. 335.

  • Folk- Lore xv. 387 n. ^S, Class. Rev. xvii. 412, xviii. So f., 83 f.

5 In the myth ot Picus and Jupiter Elicius [Class. Kev. xvii. 270).

® Class. Rev. xviii. 375. '^Serv. in Verg. Aen. 8. 663.

« Liv. 8. 9. 6. 9 Serv. hi Verg. Aeu. 6. 860, Plut. vit. Marcell. 8.

^" Plut. vit. Rom. 29.