Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 16, 1905.djvu/377

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The European Sky -God. 329

Romulus.^ Romulus disappeared, according to tradition,^ on July 7 ; but this is not an insuperable barrier to con- necting the Poplifugia with his death, since festivals separated by an interval of one day are often related to each other.^ Indeed, Macrobius and Plutarch ^ identify the Poplifugia with July 7. That the rites of the two days were not unconnected appears also from the fact that July 5 was a festival of Jupiter, July 7 a festival of Juno. Note too that the former festival was associated with the fate of Romulus at the Caprae palus in the Campus Martins,^ while the latter festival included a sacrifice to Juno Caprotina at the same Caprae pabis^ With regard to the rites themselves, we are told by Varro that on July 5 there were "certain traces of a flight" {aliquot vestigia fugae) ; and, if we may venture with Merkel to identify the Poplifugia with the Fugalia, it was a time of much license.'^ That certainly was the character of July 7, when the handmaids of Rome wore their mistresses' robes, jibed at the passers-by, had a free fight among themselves with fisticuffs and stones, and sat down to a banquet under the boughs of a fig-tree, while the mob in general thronged forth from the city- gates with shouts of " Gaius," " Marcus," " Lucius," etc. Some took all this to be a mimic flight or rout ; others, a sign of energy and haste.^ On the whole, it seems pro- bable that the proceedings of both days were a survival of the primitive mode of electing the Roman king. The people had a foot-race {Poplifugia) to determine who was

^ Plut. vit. Rom. 29, Dionys. ant. Rom. z. 56. ^Cic. de rep. I. 16, Plut. vit. Rom. 27.

^ Warde Fowler Roman Festivals p. 1 74 quoting Mommsen in Corp. inscrr. Lat. i. (Fasti) 321 (on July 7).

  • Macrob. Sat. 3. 2. 14, Plut. vit. Rom. 29, vit. Cam. 33.

° Plut. vit. Rom. 27.

®Varr. de ling. Lat. 6. 18, Macrob. Sat. i. 11. 36, Plut. vit. Bom. 29.

^ Aug. de civ. Dei 2. 6. » Plut. vit. Rom. 29, vit. Cam. 33.