The European Sky -God.
The regalia of Greek and Italian kings marked them out as vice-gerents of the sky-god or sun -god. On the one hand, they had a golden crown of oak-leaves ;^ on the other, an eagle-tipped sceptre, which represented an original tree or branch.^ The British imperial crown is now closed in by two arches of golden oak-leaves and acorns, richly studded with diamonds and pearls,^ while the so-called 'rod of equity' is a sceptre surmounted by a dove.^ It is, moreover, possible that the royal ' orb,' like the apple of the Irish prince,^ stands for the sun itself. The Scottish crown likewise has golden arches enriched with enamelled oak-leaves: these leaves were in all probability added about the year 1536 by James V.,*^ the Stuart badge being the oak.'^ The Scottish sword of state, presented to James IV. in 1507 by Pope Julius II., has the arms of the latter enamelled on its scabbard, vis. ' on a cartouch azure, an oak tree eradicated and fructuated or': the handle and guard of this sword are decorated with silver-gilt oak-leaves and acorns, while the scabbard is adorned throughout with a similar design.^ Lastly, the head of the Scottish sceptre is formed by a globe of rock crystal,^ which again may have symbolised the sun.
We have seen reason to suppose that the life of the Irish king was bound up with the di/e or sacred tree that grew in or near his fort.^*^ For instance, in T/ic Lay of
'^Folk-lore xvi. 302, 307, 312.
"-lb. XV. 370 ff., xvi. 302, 307, 312.
^R. Chambers The Book of Days London 1S64 i. 614 f. with woodcut.
^ The EnL-yclopizdia Britannica ed. 9 xx. 340 s.v. 'Regalia.'
^Folk-lore xvii. 147, 154, 159, 169.
®A. J. S. Brook 'Technical Description of the Regalia of Scotland' in the Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland New Series xii. 83.
Infra p. 15 f. ^A. J. S. Brook loc. cit. p. 1058".
■^ Id. ib. p. 98 f. ^^ Folk-lore xvii. 169 ff.