Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 16, 1905.djvu/375

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The European Sky -God. 327

included), which would otherwise have fallen to the king as Jupiter incarnate. It is to be noted that Romulus and Titus Tatius are the only Roman kings of whose sacri- ficial death there is any evidence ; and that the first appointment of a jiavien Dialis is commonly ascribed to their immediate successor Numa, who provided that he should wear magnificent apparel and sit on the royal seat.^ He was thus an obvious substitute for the king himself, and at a banquet none save the rex sacrorum, or priestly king, might take precedence of him."

Romulus and Titus Tatius stand for the old regime which was mitigated and modified by degrees.^ At first the king seems to have been liable to an attack at any moment: the king at Nemi, for example, went about with a drawn sword in his hand and the thought of death always before him. Next, such murderous assaults were limited to one day in the year. It is probable that the Roman king ruled as it were .on sufierance from year to year, and that once in the twelvemonth he had to prove his powers undiminished by defending himself or being prepared to defend himself against a personal assailant. This can be inferred with much likelihood from a later usage. Once a year the Vestal virgins came to the rex sacrormn and addressed him in words of solemn significance : " Art thou watching, king.-* Watch!""* Lastly, the fitness of the king to reign was yet more carefully ensured, when his tenure of office was reduced to a single year^ and his person duplicated by the creation of a second consul. If in times of emergency the consuls were superseded and the

^ Liv. I. 20. 2, Dionys. ant. Rom. 2. 64.

-Gell. 10. 15. 21, Fest. s.v. "ordo" p. 189 Lind.

^Cp. Folk-Lore xw. 392 ff. '*Serv. in. Verg. Aen. 10. 228.

°The annual expulsion of Mamurius Veturius, the " Old Mars," who on the day before the Ides of March was clad in skins, beaten with rods, and turned out of Rome (Frazer Golden Bough ^ iii. 122 f.), will — if I am right in regard- ing Mars as a form of Jupiter {supra p. 320 f.) — be a case in point.