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Transcript
THE RELIGION OF NUMA
C
THE
RELIGION OF NUMA
AND OTHER ESSAYS ON
THE RELIGION OF ANCIENT ROME
BY
JESSE BENEDICT CARTER
MACMILLAN AND
NEW YORK
:
CO.,
Limited
THE MACMILLAN COMPANY
1906
/ill rights reseJi-ed
TO
K. F. C.
PREFACE
This
life
book
little
Romans from
of the
the story of the religious
tries to tell
when
the time
their history
begins for us until the close of the reign of Augustus.
Each of
and
is
its five
in a
development
separation
essays deals with a distinct period
sense complete in
inherent
itself
the
in
;
but the dramatic
whole
forbids
In
save as
acts
or
in
the
study of religion,
chapters.
their
spite
of
Roman
modern
interest
religion
has been in general relegated to specialists
in ancient history
ing
for
Roman
and
appearance, but though
parably
less
This
classics.
is
religion
it
attractive than
is
not
at
is
not surpris-
prepossessing
first
Greek
sight
religion,
in
incomit
is,
if
even
properly understood, fully as interesting, nay,
In Mr. W. Warde Fowler's Romati
more so.
Festivals
its
however the subject was presented in all
and if the present book shall serve
attractiveness,
vii
THE RELIGION OF NUMA
viii
a
as
introduction
simple
will
purpose
No
have been
to
his
work,
larger
its
fulfilled.
one can write of
Roman
without
religion
being almost inestimably indebted to Georg Wissowa
whose
Religiott
und Cultus der Rbmer
the best
is
systematic presentation of the subject.
was the
It
author's privilege to be Wissowa's pupil, and
that
in
is
this
book
is
directly
even the ideas that are new,
ones,
waters returning to him after
religion,
emphasise
men
the
many
psychological
no matter what
may be.
may have
as
there are any good
if
days.
careful student of the history of the
doubt
cannot
much
him, and
to
only the bread which he cast upon the
are
The
owing
It
a
is
their
personal metaphysics
the author's hope that these essays
human
this
his
Romans
of
reality
interest because
reality
and
to
he has tried to
present the
Romans
of like passions to ourselves, in spite of
all
differences of time and race.
Hearty thanks are due to Mr. W. Warde Fowler
and to Mr. Albert W. Van Kuren for their great
kindness in reading the proofs
of the book
which
my
is
at best
;
and the dedication
a poor return for the help
wife has given me.
J.
Rome, November,
1905.
B. C.
CONTENTS
The Religion of Numa
The Reorganisation of Servius
27
The Coming of the Sibyl
62
.
The Decline of Faith
The Augustan Renaissance
104
.
146
THE RELIGION OF NUMA
Rome
forms no exception to the general rule that
grow by contact with the
nations, like individuals,
outside world.
of her republic
In the middle of the five centuries
came
the Punic wars and the intimate
association with Greece which
made
the last half of
her history as a republic so different from the first
and in the kingdom, which preceded the
half;
republic, there was a similar coming of foreign
influence,
which made the
semi-historical
later kingdom with its
names of the Tarquins and Servius
Tullius so different from the earlier
its
altogether
Hostilius and
legendary
Romulus,
kingdom with
Numa, Tullus
We
have thus four
Ancus Martius.
distinct phases in the history of
Roman
society,
a corresponding phase of religion in each period
and
and
;
if we add to this that new social structure which
came into being by the reforms of Augustus at the
beginning of the empire, together with the religious
changes which accompanied it, we shall have the five
periods which these five essays try to describe
B
:
the
THE RELIGION OF XUMA
2
period before the Tarquins, that
Xuma " the later kingdom, that
;
tion
of Servius
republic,
the
the
that
the
;
the
centuries
closing
"
"
is
Decline
Faith
of
empire and the
"
is
Coming
the
of
the
the
"
Religion of
"
Reorganisa-
three centuries of the
first
"
is
"
"
the
Sibyl
that
republic,
and
;
of
finally
Augustan Renaissance."
the
;
is
early
Like
all
attempts to cut historj^ into sections these divisions
are
more
or
less
arbitrary,
sufficiently justifies
but their convenience
their creation.
They must be
thought of however not as representing independent
blocks, arbitrarily arranged in a certain consecutive
order, not as five successive religious consciousnesses,
but merely as marking the entrance of certain
new
ideas into the continuous religious consciousness of
the
Roman
people.
The
history of each
of these
simply the record of the change which new
social conditions produced in that great barometer
is
periods
of society, the religious consciousness of the comIt is in the period of the old kingdom that
munity.
our story begins.
At
try to
first
sight
it
may seem
draw a picture of the
a
foolish
thing to
of
religious condition
time about the political history of which we
know so little, and it is only right therefore that
we should inquire what sources of knowledge we
a
possess.
There was a time, not so very long ago, when
under the banner of the new-born science of
"
Com-
THE RELIGION OF NUMA
"
parative Philology
of
3
there gathered together a group
men who thought
history,
they held the key to prehistoric
and that words themselves would tell the
story where ancient
monuments and
literature
were
was a great and beautiful thought, and
the science which encouraged it has taken its place
silent.
It
and reputable member of the community
as a useful
of sciences, but
its
pretensions to the throne of the
revealer of mysteries have been withdrawn
who
are
most ardent
its
"
Germanic
religion
followers,
which
by those
and the " Indo-
brought into being
is
is
a pleasant thought for an idle hour rather than a
foundation and starting-point for the study of ancient
religion in general.
Altogether aside from the fact
that although primitive religion and nationality are
the
in
ma in
identical,
—
language
and
nationality
by no means so—— we have the great practical
difficulty in the case of Greece and Rome that in
are
'
the
earliest
period
of which
these two religions bear so
we must
we have knowledge
little
resemblance that
either assert for the time of
unity a religious development
Indo-Germanic
much more
primitive
than that which comparative philology has sketched,
or we must suppose the presence of a strong decadent
influence in
is
equally
Rome's case
difficult.
If
after the separation,
we
which
realise that in a primitive
name of the god is usually the same as
of the thing which he represents, the existence of a Greek god and a Roman god with names
religion
the
the
name
THE RELIGION OF NUMA
4
which correspond to the same Indo-Germanic word
proves Hnguistically that the thing existed and had
a
name
before the separation, but not at
name was
thing was deified or that the
a
We
at that time.
god
that the
all
the
name
of
must therefore be content
our study of religion much more humbly
much later period.
In fact we cannot go back appreciably before
the dawn of political history, but there are certain
to begin
and
at a
which enable us
considerations
stand
the
at
least
dawn
the
of
phenomena
under-
to
those
itself,
loom up in the twilight
and the understanding of which gives us a fair start
For this knowledge
in our historical development.
survivals in culture which
we
to the so-called
are indebted
method, which
mankind
is
is
based
on
"
"
anthropological
the
that
assumption
and that this essential
essentially uniform,
uniformity justifies us in drawing inferences about
very ancient thought from the very primitive thought
of the barbarous and savage peoples of our own day.
At
first
sight the
apparent than
that
the
weakness of
its
strength,
prehistoric
primitive
destined to civilisation
primitive culture of
this contention
and
is
it
is
culture
is
more
easy to show
of a
people
one thing, and the retarded
modern
tribes stunted
in
their
growth is quite another thing, so that, as has so
often been said, the two bear a relation to each other
not unlike that of a healthy young child to a
grown
idiot.
And
yet there
is
full-
a decided resemblance
THE RELIGION OF NUMA
5
between the child and the idiot, and whether prehistoric or retarded, primitive culture shows every-
where strong likeness, and the method is productive
of good if we confine our reasoning backwards to
those things in savage life which the two kinds of
primitive culture, the prehistoric and the
retarded,
common.
To do this however we must
have some knowledge of the prehistoric, and our
modern retarded savage must be used merely to
illumine certain things which we see only in half-light
he must never be employed as a lay-figure in sketching
in those features of prehistoric life of which we are
have
in
;
It is peculiarly useful to
totally in ignorance.
Roman
student of
religion because he stands
the
on the
borderland and looking backwards sees just enough
dark shapes looming up behind him to crave more
light.
to
For
in
phases of early
many
Roman
religion
go back
old manners of thought, and these manners of
there
are
characteristics
present
which
Romans but are found
The
own day.
which anthropology has made
thought are not peculiar to the
in
primitive peoples of our
many
greatest contribution
Roman
to the study of early
Not much more than
the word
"
animism
"
religion
is
"
animism."
a quarter of a century ago
began to be used to describe that
phase of the psychological condition of
primitive peoples by which they believe that a spirit
{aniina) resides in everything, material and imparticular
material.
This
spirit
is
generally closely associated
THE RELIGION OF NUMA
6
with the thing
with it.
When
it is
thing,
be
to
in
sometimes actually identified
itself,
thought of as distinct from the
supposed to have the form of the thing,
a word its " double."
These doubles
is
it
exercise an influence, often for
evil,
over the thing,
expedient and necessary therefore that
they should be propitiated so that their evil influence
may be removed and the thing itself may prosper.
and
is
it
These doubles are not
as yet gods, they are merely
powers, potentialities, but in the course of time they
The
develop into gods.
is
first
the obtaining of a name, a
step in this direction
name
the knowledge
of which gives a certain control over the
him who knows
it.
name begin
with a
to
power
Finally these powers equipped
to take on personal characteristics,
to be thought of as individuals,
and
finally represented
under the form of men.
It
cannot be shown that
all
the gods of
originated in this way, but certainly
did,
and
it
is
many
not impossible that they
all
Rome
of
did
;
them
and
theory of their origin explains better than any
other theory certain habits of thought which the
this
early
At
Romans
the time
cherished
in
regard
of
when our knowledge
to
their
Roman
gods.
religion
Rome is in possession of a great many gods,
but very few of them are much more than names
for powers.
They are none of them personal enough
begins,
to be connected together in myths.
very simple reason
why
there
And
this
is
the
was no such thing
as
THE RELIGION OF NUMA
7
Roman
mythology, a blank in Rome's early
development which many modern writers have refused
to admit, taking upon themselves the unnecessary
a native
trouble of positing an original
The gods
Rome
of early
given in marriage
;
mythology
later lost.
were neither married nor
they had no children or grand-
children and there were no divine genealogies.
stead
they were thought of occasionally
In-
more
as
or less individual powers, but usually as masses of
potentialities, grouped together
the " gods of the country," the
for
"
convenience as
gods of the store-
"
Even when
gods of the dead," etc.
they were conceived of as somewhat individual, they
were usually very closely associated with the corroom," the
much
"
the
Hearth
"
example Vesta was not so
object, for
responding
goddess of the hearth as the goddess
itself, Janus not the god of doors so much
"
god Door."
But by just as much as the human element was
absent from the concept of the deity, by just so
as the
much
the
greater.
element of formalism
This
in
the
cult
was
must not be interpreted
was not a
modern ideas
it
formalism
according to our
formalism which was the result and the successor of
;
it was not a secondary proa decadent spirituality
but it was
in an age of the decline of faith
;
duct
itself
;
the essence of religion in the period
greatest
religious
purity.
of the
In the careful and con-
scientious fulfilment of the form consisted the whole
THE RELIGION OF NUMA
8
duty of man toward his gods.
would have been intolerable
instincts
were
less
Such a
in
purely legal.
state of affairs
any nation whose
So identical were
the laws concerning the gods and the laws concerning
men that though in the earliest period of Roman
jurisprudence the ius divimun and the ius Jiumanum
are already separated, they are separated merely
formally as two separate fields or provinces in which
the spirit of the law and often even the letter of its
enactment are the same.
Such a formalism implies
a very firm belief in the existence of the gods.
The
dealings of a man with the gods are quite as really
reciprocal
as
his
dealings with his
fellow citizens.
But on the other hand though the existence of the
gods is never doubted for a moment, the gods
themselves are an unknown quantity hence out of
;
the formal relationship an intimacy never developed,
and while it is scarcely just to characterise the early
cult as exclusively a
religion
of
fear, certainly
real
not present until a much later day.
The
potentialit)- of the gods always overshadowed their
affection
is
personality.
But
this
was
not
all
loss,
for
the
absence of personality prevented the growth of those
gross myths which are usually found among primitive
peoples, for the purer
are not
process
more
inspiring
myths of gods
the primitive product but result from the
of
refining
which accompanies
Thus
a
people's
theory of animism
illumines the religious condition of that borderland
growth
in
culture.
the
THE RELIGION OF NUMA
of history in which
9
Romulus and Numa Pompilius
have their dwelling-place.
pleasant fiction of which the
to that
According
—
the
was so extremely fond
institutions could be traced back to
ancient world
that
all
establishment by some
Rome was
individual
—
belief
their
the religion
of
have been founded by her
second king Numa, and it was the custom to refer
to all that was most antique in the cult as forming
supposed to
a part of the venerable " religion
of Numa."
us this can be merely a name, and even
as a
name
misleading, for a part of the beliefs with which we
are dealing go back for centuries before Romulus
and the
Rome.
traditional
But
it is
B.C.
as the
753
a convenient term
foundation of
if
we mean by
merely the old kingdom before foreign influences
The Romans of a later time coined
began to work.
it
an excellent name not so much
for the period as for
the kind of religion which existed then, contrasting
the original deities of
Rome
gods, calling the former the
with the
"
new
foreign
old indigenous gods
"
"
"
{Di Indigetes) and the latter the newly settled gods
For our knowledge of the religion
{Di Novetisides).
of this period we are not dependent upon a mere
theory,
no matter how good
it
may
be
in itself,
but
we have
the best sort of contemporary evidence in
addition, and it is to the discovery of this evidence
that the
owes
its
modern study of Roman
existence.
The
religion
"
For
virtually
records of early political
|
^
^
1
THE RELIGION OF NUMA
ro
390 when the
history were largely destroyed in B.C.
Gauls sacked Rome, but the religious
with
status,
the conservativeness characteristic of religion generally, suffered very few changes during all these years,
and
left
festivals
a record of itself in the annually recurring
Roman
of the
Many
people.
which grew
year, festivals
into an instinctive function of the
centuries
life
of the
when
later
common
the
calendar
was engraved on stone, these revered old festivals
were inscribed on these stone calendars in peculiarly
large letters as distinguished from
Thus from
all
the other items.
the fragments of these stone calendars,
which have been found, and which are themselves
nineteen centuries old, we can read back another
eight or ten centuries further.
"
calendar
of
Numa " we
are
By
able
the aid of this
to
assert
the
presence of certain deities in the Rome of this time,
and the equally important absence of others.
And
from the character of the deities present and of the
festivals
themselves a correct and more or less de-
tailed picture of the religious
may
be
drawn.
This
condition of the time
and
calendar
the
list
of
Indigetes extracted from it form the foundation for
all our study of the history of Roman religion.
The
so
religious forms of a
bound
satisfactory
impossible
up with
its
knowledge
of
without some
Unfortunately there
is
community
social
no
the
are always
organisation
one
is
knowledge of the
field
in
that
a
practically
Roman
other.
history
THE RELIGION OF NUMA
where theories are so abundant and
in
ii
facts so rare as
regard to the question of the early social organisaBut without coming into conflict with any of
tion.
the rival theories
statements.
at least the following
main the community was
fairly
and
homogeneous, there were no great
extremes and no conspicuous foreign element,
uniform
social
we may make
In the
so that each individual, had he stopped to analyse
his social position,
would have found himself
an individual
;
in four
a relationship to himself as
to his family
to the group of families
distinct relationships
:
;
which formed his clan
i^gens)
;
and
to the
finally
We may
go a step further on safe ground
and assert that the least important of these relations
state.
was that to himself, and the most important that to
his
The
family.
unit
of early
Roman
social
was not the individual but the family, and
most primitive ideas of life after death it
family which
The
state
families.
is
life
in
the
is
the
has immortality, not the individual.
not a union of individuals but of
The very
psychological
idea
of the
in-
dividual seems to have taken centuries to develop,
and to have reached
the empire.
Of
its real
significance only under
the four elements therefore
we have
established the pre-eminence of the family and the
importance of the state as based on the family idea
the individual may be disregarded in this early
;
period,
and there
is
left
only the clan, which how-
ever offers a difficult problem.
The
family and the
•
THE RELIGION OF NUMA
12
were destined to hold their own, merely exchanging places in the course of time, so that the
the individual
state came first and the family second
state
;
was
to
ever
into
grow
importance, but
increasing
It
is already dying when history begins.
a pleasant theory and one that has a high degree
of probability that there may have been a time
the clan
is
when
when
out
the clan was to the family what the state
union
a
of
allegiance
from
when
history begins, and that
various
of
of each
clans,
is
the state arose
immediate
the
family was gradually alienated
clan and transferred to the state, so that
its
the clan gave up its life in order that the state, the
child of its own creation, might live.
If this be so,
we can
see
why
the social importance of the clan
ceases so early in
The
Roman
history.
centre therefore of early religious
life
is
the
family, and the state as a macrqcosrn of the family
and the father of each family is its chief priest, and
;
the king as the father of the state
As
of the state.
which he has
case of a
for
is
the chief priest
the individual the only god
"
worship is his double," called in the
his Gcnhcs and in that of a woman her
for
man
Juno, her individualisation of the goddess Juno, quite
a distinct deity, peculiar to herself
But even here
the family instinct shows
itself,
Genius and the Juno represent
,in the individual, they
ised the procreative
and though
all
that
seem originally
to
is
later the
intellectual
have symbol-
power of the individual
in
rela-
THE RELIGION OF NUMA
and the
number
13
The
tion to the continuance of the
family.
family
however, side by side worshipped a
state,
of deities.
In the primitive hut, the model of which has
come down to us in so many little burial urns of
early time
example those that have recently
(for
been dug up
in
Roman Forum),
the wonderful cemetery under the
with
one door and no window,
its
there were several elements which needed propitiation
the door itself as the keeper
;
hearth,
and the niche
away
of
The
door-god was the god-door Janus, the ianua
the hearth was
and
wife
whom
was
daughters, so
The
Penates).
house.
;
had
It
;
was a goddess, Vesta,
it
and the storage-niche, the penns,
"
keeping of the
in the
itself
the care of the womenfolk, the
in
they served
the
evil,
for the storage of food.
Janus,
"
sacred door,
its
{Di
gods
was modelled
state itself
its
store-closet
the
after
down
in
the Forum, and the king himself, the father of the
state,
was
his special priest
burned, and
;
it
had
its
hearth,
where
own
Vesta, tended by
the vestal virgins, the daughters of the state
and
the sacred
fire
its
;
it
had
store -niche with
date but
later
the
its
household
still
its
At
Penates.
a
very early there was added to
the
worship
idea
of
the
general
protector of the house, the Lar, which gave rise to
the familiar expression
origin
of this
Lar
interesting, because
"
Lares and Penates."
Familiaris^
it
as
he
is
The
called,
is
shows the intimate connection
THE RELIGION OF NUMA
14
between the farming life of the community and its
The Lares were originally the group of
religion.
gods who looked after the various farms they were
in the plural because they were worshipped where
;
the boundary lines of several farms met, but though
them were worshipped together, each farm
one individual Lar.
But the care of the
several of
had
its
farm included also the protection of the house on
the farm, so that the Lar of the farm became also
the Lar of the house,
of course of houses on
first
and then of every house everywhere even
when no farm was connected with it.
farms,
Aside from Vesta, the Genius, the Lar, and the
possibly the most important element in
Penates,
family worship was the cult of the dead ancestors.
This cujt is, of course, common to almost all religions,
and
its
presence
in
Roman
surprising, but the form in
religion
which
curious and relatively rare.
has a
"
as
in so
this
to
not
far
occurs there
is
Just as the living
man
man
also
double
is
originally not
have been thought of at
On the contrary
the great leveller and the remover of
as ceasing with the individual.
death
is
individuality,
so
thought of at
first
the double of the dead
"
was not
as an individual double but merely
as forming a part of an indefinite
"
is
double," the Genius, so the dead
must have a double, but
the Genius, who seems
first
it
mass of
spirits,
the
{Di Manes) as they were called because
These
they were feared as being anything but good.
good gods
THE RELIGION OF NUMA
Di Manes had
individual,
therefore no specific relation to the
and the individual
human
the only
15
to have preserved
really ceased at death
;
which the Di Manes seem
relation
was a connection with the
living
of the family to which they had originally
members
belonged.
that the
It
is
therefore very misleading to assert
Romans had from the beginning a belief
in immortality, when we instinctively think of the
The thing that was
immortality of the individual.
It
immortal was not the individual but the family.
is thoroughly in keeping with the practical character
of the
Roman mind
that they did not concern them-
selves with the place in
which these
spirits of the
dead were supposed to reside, but merely with the
door through which they could and did return to
earth.
We
until
Greece
have no accounts of the Lowqr World
lent her mythology to Rome, and
imagination never built anything like the Greek
palace of Pluto./ But while they did not waste energy
in furnishing the Lower World with the fittings
of fancy, they did keep a careful guard over the door
This door they called the inimdus, and
of egress.
represented it crudely by a trench or shallow pit, at
On certain
the bottom of which there lay a stone.
days of the year
the
spirits
this stone
came back
to
was removed, and then
earth again, where they
were received and entertained by the living members
There were a number of these days
of their family.
in
the
year,
three
of them scattered
through the
THE RELIGION OF NUMA
i6
year
August 24, October
:
5,
November
days: February 13-21 and
sets of
The February
was calm and
8
May
and two
;
11, 13.
9,
celebration, the so-called Parentalia,
dignified
least superstitious
and
and represented
that
all
was
fearful in the generally terrify-
The Lemuria in May had
ing worship of the dead.
exactly the opposite character and belongs to the
"
expulsion of evil spirits," of which
category of the
Mr. Frazer
in
his
Golden Bough has given so
many
instances.
In
facts
this
connection
which
beliefs.
One
it
is
almost
stand
fact
is
interesting to notice
as
corollaries
to
two
these
the religious necessity for the
continuance of the family, in order that there might
always be a living representative of the family to
It was the
perform the sacrifices to the ancestors.
of
head
of
the
the
not
to
duty
family
only
perform
these sacrifices himself as long as he lived but also
The
to provide a successor.
usual
method was by
marriage and the rearing of a family, but,
there
was no male
recurred
to.
in case
child in the family, adoption
Here
it
is
was
peculiarly significant that
the sanction of the chief priest was necessary, and he
never gave his consent in case the man to be adopted
was the only representative of his family, so that his
removal from that family into another would leave
his
original
family without
In cases of inheritance the
was
for the
a male
representative.
lien
on the income
first
maintenance of the traditional
sacrifices
THE RELIGION OF NUMA
17
some special arrangement had been made.
These exceptional inheritances, without the deduction
for sacrifices, were naturally desired above all others
unless
and the phrase
"
an inheritance without sacrifices
ihereditas sine sacris)
became by degrees the popular
The
'expression for a godsend.
connection
in this
is
"
that,
other fact of interest
inasmuch as ancestors were
worshipped only en masse and not as individuals,
that process could not take place in
which
is
so familiar in
many
Roman
religion
other religions, namely
that the great gods of the state should some of them
have been originally ancestors whose greatness during
life had produced a corresponding emphasis in their
worship after death, so that ultimately they were
promoted from the ranks of the deified dead into the
select
Olympus
of individual god.s.
a favourite theory of
the time of
There are
the
Euhemerus down
religions in
This has been
making of a god from
which
it
to Herbert Spencer.
is
true for certain of
the major gods, but there are no traces of the process in Roman religion, and the reason is obvious in
view of the peculiar character of ancestor worship
in
Rome.
We
have now seen the principal elements which
went to make up the family religion and that part
of the state religion which was an enlargement and
an imitation of the family
religion.
But even
in the
most primitive times a Roman's life was not bounded
by his own hut and the phenomenon of death. There
C
1
THE RELIGION OF NUMA
8
was work
and
to be
done
life,
a living to be gained,
here, as everywhere, there
were hosts of unseen
in
powers who must be propitiated.
His religion was
not only coincident with every phase of private life,
it was also
closely related to the specific occupations
and interests of the people, and just as the interests
community, its means of livelihood, were
and stock-raising, so the gods were those
of the crops and the herds.
Some years ago the
of
the
agriculture
Professor
late
from
the
Mommsen
succeeded
stone calendars
existing
Roman
religious festivals of the old
in
a
extracting
of the
list
year,
and also
in
of festivals was complete in its
present condition at a time before the city of Rome
was surrounded by the wall which Servius Tullius
proving that this
built,
and that
kingdom,
"
the
list
it
goes back to the old
of what has been called the
therefore
time
Religion of Numa."
the
festiv^als in detail,
We
but
cannot go through
all
is
it
extremely interesting
to notice that almost every one of them is connected
with the life of the farmer and represents the action
of propitiation towards some god or group of gods
at every time in the Roman year which was at all
critical for agricultural interests.
It
must not be forgotten also that
absolutely complete, because
official state festivals,
those which
fell
it
and not even
upon the
this list
is
not
represents merely the
all
of them but only
same day
or days every
year, so that they could be engraved in the stone to
THE
•
RELIG-ION OF
NUMA
19
form a perpetual calendar.
All state festivals, of
which there were several, which were appointed in
each particular year according to the backward or
forward estate of the harvest, were omitted from
list, though they were celebrated at some time"
and naturally the public calendars
every year
contained no reference to the many private and semi-
the
in
;
private ceremonies of the year, with which the state
had nothing
official to do, festivals
of the family and
the clan, and even local festivals of various districts
of the
city.
In this
list
of peaceful deities of the farm there
is
one god whose character has been very much misunderstood because of the company which he keeps
;
the god
this is
Mars.
It
has become the fashion
of late to consider him as a god of vegetation, and a
many ingenious arguments have been brought
But the
forward to show his agricultural character.
great
more primitive a community is, the more intense is
struggle for existence, and the more rife its
its
with its neighbours.
Alongside of the
ploughshare there must always have been the sword
or its equivalent, and along with Flora and Ceres
rivalries
there
battle.
must always have been a god of
That Mars was this god in early
strife
and
as well as
is shown above all things by the
fact
was always worshipped outside the city, as a
god who must be kept at a distance.
Naturally
his cult was associated with the dominant interest of
later
times
that he
THE RELIGION OF NUMA
20
life,
the crops, and he was worshipped in the beautiful
ceremony of the purification of the fields, which Mr.
Walter Pater has so exquisitely described at the
opening of Marius
as
regarded
the
the
Epicurean.
of the
protector
But he was
warder off of
evil influences rather
factor in the
development of the crops.
in
the early days of the
Roman
and
fields
the
than as a positive
Then too
militia, before
the
army had come into existence, the war season
was only during the summer after the planting and
regular
before the harvest, so that the two festivals which
marked the beginning and the end of that season
were also readily associated with the state of the
crops at that time.
But the most interesting and curious thing about
is not so much what it does contain
this old religion
as
what
as
what we miss,
we
it
does not.
It is
for
not so
more than
Rome
instinctively associate with
under
Here
this old regime.
whose names we do not
find
:
much what we
half the gods
is
find
whom
were not there
a partial
list
of those
Minerva, Diana, Venus,
Fortuna, Hercules, Castor, Pollux, Apollo, Mercury,
Dis, Proserpina, Aesculapius, the Magna Mater. And
yet their absence is not surprising when we realise
that almost all of the gods in this list represent phases
of
life
with which
Rome
in
this
early period
was
She had no appreciable
absolutely unacquainted.
trade or commerce, no manufactures or particular
handicrafts,
and
no
political
interests
except
the
THE RELIGION OF NUMA
21
simple patriarchal government which sufficed for her
Her gods of water were the gods of
present needs.
and springs
Neptune was there, but he was
not the ocean-god like the Greek Poseidon.
Vulcan,
the god of fire, who was afterwards associated with
rivers
;
Greek Hephaistos and became the patron of
metal-working, was at this time merely the god of
destructive and not of constructive fire.
Even the
the
Juppiter who was destined to become
almost identical with the name and fame of Rome
great god
was not yet a god of the
and
state
but
politics,
merely the sky-god, especially the lightning god,
"
striker,"
Juppiter Feretrius, the
shrine on the Capitoline where
Capitoline temple of Juppiter
Another curious
to stand.
age, which,
is
I
Optimus Maximus was
commented on,
number of goddesses.
male
who seems
parallel.
is
these pairs
to stand
Each of the
merely the contrasted potentiality
the male
little
great
think, has never been
the only one
is
without a
a
the
later
characteristic of this early
the extraordinarily limited
Vesta
who had
by herself
others
in a pair of
is
which
much more famous, and the only ones in
who ever obtained a pronounced indivi-
duality did so because their cult was afterwards rein-
forced
by being associated with some extra-Roman
cult.
The
best illustration of this last
and say that
is
Juno.
We
seems highly probable
that the worship of female deities was in the main
may go
further
confined to the
women
it
of the community, while the
THE RELIGION OF NUMA
22
men worshipped the gods. This distinction extended
even to the priesthoods where the wife of the priest
of a god was the priestess of the corresponding
Such a state of affairs is doubly interesting
goddess.
in view of the pre-eminence of female deities in the
Greek world, which
early
been
has
shown by Miss Jane Harrison
so
strikingly
her recent book,
in
Prolegomena to the Study of Greek Religion.
The most vital question which can be put to
almost any religion is that in regard to its expan-
power and its adaptability to new conditions.
is bound to undergo changes, and a young
sive
Society
social
new
if
organism,
New
cells.
interests
are
the growth
is
normal,
is
conditions
coming
to
continually growing
are
to be continuous,
and
arising
the front.
new
new
In addition,
material
is
if
being
constantly absorbed, and the simple homogeneous
character of the old society is being entirely changed
by the
influx
of foreign
occurred in ancient
Roman
religion
ment from
elements.
Rome, and
it
is
This
what
was not capable of organic develop-
within, that the curious things
which our history has to record.
strange external accretions which lend
to
is
because ancient
it
interest to the story, while at the
happened
is
these
the
chief
It
same time they
conceal the original form so fully as to render the
writing of a history of Roman religion extremely
difficult.
Yet
it
must not be supposed because Roman
THE RELIGION OF NUMA
religion
was unable
to adapt itself to the
of society with
stitution
new con-
contrasted classes, and
its
new commercial and
to the
23
interests
political
which
attracted the attention of the upper classes, that
was absolutely devoid within
limitations, of a certain
For several centuries
affect
Rome, her
alongside of the
it
developed
is
within
its
it
own
capability of development.
after outside influences
began to
on developing
The manner in which
original religion kept
new
forms.
thoroughly significant of the original
national character of the
We
itself,
Romans.
have seen that from the very beginning the
nature of the gods as powers rather than personalities
tended to emphasise the value and importance of
the name, which usually indicated the particular
deity and was very
In the
only thing known about him.
course of time as the original name of the deity
began to be thought of entirely as a proper name
without any meaning, rather than as a common
function or speciality of each
often
the
noun explaining the nature of the god to which it
was attached, it became necessary to add to the
original
name some
adjective which
describe the god and do the
by
itself
had
would adequately
work which the name
originally done.
And
as the nature
more complicated along
with the increasing complications of daily life, new
adjectives were added, each one expressing some
of the various deities grew
particular
phase of the god's
activity.
Such an
THE RELIGION OF NUMA
24
was called a cognomen, and was often of
very great importance because it began to be felt
that a god with one adjective, i.e. invoked for one
purpose, was almost a different god from the same
adjective
god with a
purpose.
different adjective,
i.e.
Thus a knowledge of
invoked
for
another
these adjectives was
almost as necessary as a knowledge of the name of
The next step in the development was
the god.
These important
one which followed very easily.
adjectives began to be thought of as having a value
and an existence in themselves, apart from the god
The grammatical
which they were attached.
change which accompanied this psychological movement was the transfer of the adjective into an
to
abstract noun.
Both adjectives and abstract nouns
express quality, but the adjective is in a condition
of dependence on a noun, while the abstract noun
is
independent and self-supporting.
And
thus, just
as in certain of the lower organisms a group of cells
breaks off and sets up an individual organism of its
in old Roman religion some phase of a
own, so
god's activity, expressed in an adjective, broke off
with the adjective from its original stock and set
up
for
itself,
turning
its
name from
the dependent
adjective form into the independent abstract noun.
Thus Juppiter, worshipped as a god of good faith
in the dealings of men with one another, the god
by whom oaths were sworn under the open sky,
was designated as "Juppiter, guarding-good-faith,"
RELIGION OF
NUMA
25
tTHE
There were however many other
of
Juppiter's work, and hence the adjective
phases
fidius became very important as the means of
r
Fidius.
this
distinguishing
Eventually
from
activity
the
all
others.
broke off from Juppiter and formed
it
the abstract noun Fides, the goddess of good faith,
where the sex of the deity as a goddess was entirely
determined by the grammatical gender of abstract
nouns as feminine.
This
strange enough but there
is all
the
in
step
development
even more
is
one more
curious yet.
This abstract goddess Fides did not stay long in the
she began very soon to be
purely abstract sphere
;
made
concrete again, as the Fides of this particular
person or of that particular group and as this Fides
or
that,
until
she
became almost
as
concrete
as
Juppiter himself had been, and hence we have a
great many different Fides in seeming contradiction
to the old
no
plural.
grammatical rule that abstract nouns had
Now
all
this
development
of religion throws light upon
Roman mind and
its
and we see why it
great lawyers and
instinctive
is
that the
very
in
the field
the character of the
methods of thought,
Romans were very
mediocre
philosophers.
Both law and
philosophy require the ability for
in both cases the essential qualities
abstract thought
of a thing must be separated from the thing itself
;
But
in
the case of philosophic thought this abstracqualities, do not immediately seek rein-
tion, these
THE RELIGION OF NUMA
26.
carnation.
They continue
abstractions and
as
do
not immediately descend to earth again, whereas for
law such a descent is absolutely necessary because
jurisprudence is interested not so much in the
abstraction by
but rather in the abstract as
itself,
Hence a type of mind
make the concrete
presented in concrete cases.
which found
it
equally easy to
into the abstract
made
and then
to
turn the abstract so
into a kind of concrete again,
is
par
excellence
the legal mind, and no better proof of the instinctive
tendency to law-making on the part of the Romans
can be found than in the fact that the same habits
of mind which
ment of
make
laws also governed the develop-
their religion.
Unfortunately however
who could save old
deities
were
merely
the
logical
existing, merely
breed.
They
were
was not these abstract
Roman
religion.
They
outcome of the
deities
new offspring of the old
did not represent any new interests,
already
but
it
merely
the
individualisation
of
certain
phases of the old deities, phases which had always
been present and were now at most merely emphasised by being worshipped separately.
THE REORGANISATION OF SERVIUS
Like
a
peak
lofty
above
rising
the
mists
which
cover the tops of the lower-lying mountains, the figure
of Servius Tullius towers above the semi-legendary
We feel that we
Tarquins on either side of him.
have to do with a veritable character in history, and
we find ourselves wondering what sort of a man he
was personally
with
—
a
us only faintly
the older
with
d'etre
is
kings,
and comes to
Tarquin, while the
the marks of a wooden man,
the
younger Tarquin has all
who was put up only
whole raison
that never occurs to us
feeling
Romulus and
elder
be thrown down, whose
to
to explain the transition from
to the republic on the theory of a
Eliminate the revolution, suppose the
change to have been a gradual and a constitutional
the
kingdom
revolution.
one,
and you may discard the proud Tarquin with-
out losing anything but a lay-figure with its more
or less gaudy trappings of later myths.
But it is
not so with Servius
are very real
maker
into
;
his
and defy
a legend.
wall and his constitution
all
attempts
to
turn
their
Yet on the other hand we
27
REORGANISATION OF SERVIUS
28
must be on our guard,
much
for
which seems to attach to him
ness of
certain
tract.
is
of the definiteness
rather the definite-
a certain stage in Rome's development, a
well-bounded chronological and sociological
It is dangerous to try to limit too strictly
Servius's
personal
this
part in
development
;
and
though perhaps less fascinating, to use his
name as a general term for the changes which Rome
far safer,
underwent from the time when foreign influences
began to
tell
He
republic.
certain
this
is
much
upon her
until
the beginning of the
forms a convenient
title
therefore for
And yet even
phases of Rome's growth.
not strictly correct, for Servius stands not so
for
the
coming
into existence of certain facts,
as for the recognition of the existence of these facts.
The
facts themselves were of slow growth, covering
probably centuries, but the actions resulting from
them, and the outward changes in society, came
thick and fast and may well have taken place, all
of them, within the limits of one man's
life.
The
foundation fact upon which all these changes were
based is the influence of the outside world on the
Roman community.
Until this time there had been
to differentiate
little
Rome
from any other of the
hill-communities of Italy, of which there were scores
in her immediate neighbourhood
nor was she the
;
only one to come into
world.
It
upon her
was the
effect
contact
with
the outside
which that influence had
as contrasted with
her neighbours which
REORGANISATION OF SERVIUS
made
When we
the difiference.
fluence affected her differently
we
ask
find
why
29
this
in-
no satisfactory
—
the
answer, and are in the presence of a mystery
world-old insoluble mystery of the superiority of one
tribe or
same
one individual over others apparently of the
Political history is wont to tell this
class.
"
Rise
chapter of Rome's story under the title of the
of the Plebeians," but the presence of the Plebeians
was only the outward symbol of an inward change.
This change was the breaking up of the monotonous
one-class
its
one
of a
—
society of the primitive
agricultural
—
interest,
community with
and the formation
many-class 'society with manifold
such as trade, handicraft, and politics.
It
variegated
interests,
was the awakening of
Rome
into a world-life out of
her century-long undisturbed bucolic slumber.
There were
at this time
two peoples
in Italy,
who
by reason of their older culture were able to be
Rome's teachers. One lay to the north of her, the
mysterious Etruscans, whose culture fortunately for
Rome had only a very moderate influence, because
the Etruscan culture had already lost
virility, possibly also because
it
was
much
of
distinctly felt
its
to
be foreign, and hence could effect no insidious entry,
and probably because Rome was at this time too
strong and
young and
the best from Etruria.
the Greek colonies of
Rome
for the
clean to take anything but
The
other lay to the south,
Magna Graecia, separated from
present by many miles of forest and
REORGANISATION OF SERVIUS
30
by
Around her
hostile tribes.
own
next
inferior to
of
her,
service, that of
and
came,
in
the
kin,
Latium were her
in
becoming rapidly
do her at least this
Latins,
but enabled to
absorbing the foreign influences which
cases
certain
them,
latinising
Rome
thus transmitting them to
in
and
a
more
or less
of
Rome
during
assimilated condition.
The
three great facts in the
life
coming of Greek merchants and
Greek trade from the south, the coming of Etruscan
this period are
and
artisans
from
handicraft
of
beginnings
the
her
the
north,
rivalry
political
and
and
the
gradual
prominence in the league of Latin cities around her.
Each one of these movements is reflected in the
two
first
this
not
is
traveller, like his
his
mythical prototype Aeneas, carried
Thus
gods with him.
private
settled
In regard to the
surprising, for the ancient
changes of the period.
religious
in
Rome
there were worshipped in
the gods of
gods was destined to make
primitive polytheist
tastes
;
many
matter,
Rome,
and
all
the peoples
who
within her walls, and the presence of these
for,
is
its
influence
very catholic
when one
is
Your
religious
already in possession
gods, the addition of a few
especially
felt.
his
in
when, as was
more
now
is
the
of
a minor
case in
these deities are the patrons of occupations
interests hitherto entirely
and hence not provided
It was therefore in no
for
unknown
in
spirit
his
to the
Roman,
scheme of gods.
of disloyalty to the
REORGANISATION OF SERVIUS
•
31
.
already existing gods, and with no desire to introduce
rival deities, that the
new
cults
they became so important as to
began to spread
call for state
until
recogni-
tion.
Possibly the most interesting cases are those of
the two gods
who came from
the south, Hercules
and Castor, interesting because they were the forerunners of that great multitude of Greek gods who
later came in proudly by special invitation, and even
though they were
they came into Rome, as
were, incognito, and were so far from being known
more
interesting
yet
Greek as Greek could
it
as Greek, that,
wards more
when
because,
be,
the
same gods came
directly, these
in
new-comers were
afterfelt
to
be quite a different thing, and their worship was
carried on in another part of the city away from the
old-established cults.
In the Greek world Herakles and
Hermes were
the especial patrons of travellers, and as travelling
was never done for pleasure but always for business,
they became the patrons of the travelling merchant.
It was also natural that they should go with the
settlers
colony.
away from the mother-city into the new
Thus it was that they came from the
mother-land into the colonies of
Magna
Graecia
in
and
once being established there
made their way slowly but inevitably northwards.
The story of Hermes, under the name of Mercury,
Southern
Italy,
belongs to a later chapter, but that of Herakles
=
REORGANISATION OF SERVIUS
32
Hercules must be recounted here.
It is
only within
the last few years that the scholarly world has been
persuaded that there was no such thing as an original
Italic
at first sight it was very difficult to
because there seemed to be so many appa-
Hercules
believe,
;
rently very old
But
it
Italic
in
legends centering
Hercules.
been shown, either that these legends
has
never existed and rest solely upon false interpretation of monuments, or that, though they did exist
at
an early date, they were introduced under Greek
It was the trading merchant therefore
influence.
who brought Herakles northward. And as the god
went, his name was softened into Hercules, and with
the assimilation of the name to the tongue of the
Italic people, there
of
his
went hand
nature to their
he became thoroughly
content.
Rome as
in Rome
at
first
It
hand an adaptation
so
italicised
that
both
in
by degrees
form and
probable that the cult came into
is
well as into the other cities of Latium, but
it
was confined
obtained
Greek
cult
proportions in
fourteen miles
to a few individuals,
and
On
the
no public recognition.
contrary, for reasons that
this
in
needs,
we
are at a loss to find,
seems to have reached very large
little town
of Tibur (Tivoli),
the
north-east
of
Rome.
There
it
other worship and lost so much of
its foreign atmosphere that it became thoroughly
In the course of time the Roman state
latinised.
dominated
all
acknowledged
this
Tivoli
cult
of
Hercules
and
REORGAxXISATION OF SERVIUS
33
But the extraaccepted a branch of it as its own.
ordinary thing about this acknowledgment is that
the Romans felt it to be a Latin and not a foreign
cult.
They showed
this intimate
and friendly
feel-
ing by permitting an altar to Hercules to be erected
But
within the city proper, in the Forum Boarium.
in
order to understand the significance of this act
a word of digression is necessary.
Under the old Roman regime every act of life
was performed under the supervision of the gods,
and
in
No
godly patronage was especially emphasised
which affected the life of the communityact was of greater importance for the community
this
acts
than the choice of a home, the location of a settleThus the founding of an ancient city was
ment.
accompanied by sacred
rites,
chief
among which was
the ploughing of a furrow around the space which was
This furrow
ultimately to be enclosed by the wall.
formed a symbolic wall on very much the same
circle.
principle as that on which the witch draws her
called the pomeriuin and was to the
world of the gods what the city wall was to the world
of men.
It did not however always coincide with
The furrow was
the actual city wall, and the space
sometimes
less,
it
embraced was
sometimes more, than that embraced
and just as new walls covering
city wall
larger territory could be built for the city, so a new
by the
;
pomeriiim line could be drawn.
for a spiritual barrier there
As was becoming
was nothing
to
mark
D
it
REORGANISATION OF SERVIUS
34
the
except
boundary
line
imaginary
stones
The
passed.
through which the
which Servius
wall,
and which continued to be the outer wall of
built
Rome
a period of eight or nine hundred years
for
was
until the third Christian century,
at the
time of
building coincident in the main with the line of
the pomerium, with one very important exception
namely that all the region of the Aventine, which
its
:
was
inside
the
embraced
by
pomerium
line
^
and
It
into
important part
do so
the
in
political
wall,
lay
continued thus
the
in
until the
and
city
outside
the
other words outside the
empire
all
until
through the
the
reign
of
pomerium
played an
the religious world and it continued
Originally the
Claudius.
to
of
Servian
and was
religious city.
republic
limits
the
line
middle of the republic, during the
Second Punic War, when its sanctity was destroyed
and it lost its real religious significance, though
it
remained as a formal
As
institution.
a
divine
served originally in the world of the gods
the same purpose as the material wall
much
very
of stone did in the world of men.
Before the
barrier
it
problem of foreign gods had begun
to exist for the
good old days when they knew only
the gods of their own religion, the pomerium served
to keep within the bounds of Rome all the beneficent
Romans,
in the
kindly gods whose presence was not needed outside
the fields, and it served fully as important a
in
purpose
in
keeping outside of
Rome
the gods
who
REORGANISATION OF SERVIUS
were feared rather than loved,
war-god Mars.
introduced
into
When
Rome
35
example the dread
for
gods began to be
they might, of course, be
foreign
worshipped inside the pomerium by private individuals, but when the state acknowledged them
it
was more prudent that her worship should be
outside the sacred wall.
the foreign gods,
Thus
came
it
who were taken
to pass that
into the cult of the
Roman
state, were given temples in the Campus
Martius or over on the Aventine, and the two or
three cases where they were publicly worshipped
form no
inside the
rule
— suchpomerium
an exception
unthinkable
worship
real
would
in the strictly logical
exception to this
be,
in
fact,
system of
— but these gods were allowed
quite
Roman
inside because
they came to Rome from her kinsfolk, the Latins,
and were not felt to be foreign.
Hercules
is
one of the cases
we have
in this last category.
Greek god, his
long residence in Tibur (Tivoli) had made him, as it
were, a naturalised citizen of Latium, and hence Rome
Though
felt it
At
originally, as
seen, a
no impropriety to take him inside h^v pomerium.
his worship seems to have been carried on
first
by two
clans, the Potitii
during
the
republic,
But though it was
had come in as the
and the
Pinarii,
state
assumed
the
really the
latinised
but
Greek Herakles who
Hercules, the god had
paid a certain price for his admission, for he
stripped of
all
later,
control.
came
the various attributes which he had had
REORGANISATION OF SERVIUS
36
Greece and retaining merely his function as patron
of trade and travel.
It was this practical side of his
in
which appealed
nature alone
found
its
in
expression
to
at the great altar in the F"orum
always remained
Hercules-worship
early date by no
in
the more or
of which were
a
in
it
he too was called
this
by the same
Romans through
all
relative
Greek
direct
was
recognised that this
to the old Hercules, so
new
that
There was nothing
Romans, because they
Hercules.
to
the
a matter of course that there should be
among their own gods
They never understood the
found a parallel
Greek
an
Centuries later Herakles be-
to the
was akin
in
at
immediate neighbourhood,
Herakles
it
sense the centre of
was reinforced
less
characterised
and
considered
"
This altar
than three temples of Hercules
channels,
surprising
It
it
;
the tenth
less
simplicity of ritual.
came known
"
Boarium.
certain
Rome.
in
Romans
the
the offering of
deity.
for
each
true state
doubtful whether they could have
namely, that in almost all their other
identifications of Roman and Greek deities, they
were really doing violence to their own native gods
of affairs
;
understood
is
it
it
:
by superimposing upon them the
whom
had
attributes of a deity
nothing in common,
whereas, in identifying the new Herakles with their
old Hercules, they were doing a perfectly legitimate
with
really
For one who knows the true state of
thincr.
there
they
is
something pathetically amusing
in
affairs
the fact
REORGANISATION OF SERVIUS
showed more delicacy
that they really
in
n
making
their old (really originally Greek) Hercules into the
new Greek Herakles- Hercules, than they did in
throwing together Neptune and Poseidon, Mars and
As a matter of fact they
Ares, Diana and Artemis.
always reverenced the old cult of the great altar,
and never allowed the more sensational phases of
Greek worship
to be practised there,
and put
off into
another quarter the temples which were built to
Hercules under the various new attributes which the
These temples
cult brought with it.
were placed, as was proper, outside the poineriuni,
in the southern part of the Campus Martius.
new Greek
But
to return
to the
by the contagion of commerce,
god of great power from
a deity, of which,
they already
whom came
felt
simple Hercules and the
state had now obtained
Roman
Servian regime, the
a need, a
success in the practical undertakings of
Hence he had a strong hold on the Romans
life.
whose
practical side
The
ment.
the religious world,
The
and
was undergoing a rapid develop-
idea of trade was
it
now
had received
its
other god, who came up from
formal acceptance into
whose
formed one of the
represented in
divine sanction.
Magna
the
earliest incidents in the
Graecia
state-cult
breakdown
of the old agricultural religion, was Castor, with his
twin-brother Pollux, although brother Pollux was
always an insignificant partner, so much so that the
temple which was subsequently built to them both
REORGANISATION OF SERVIUS
38
was
referred to
the temple of
either as
"
Castor
"
"
alone or as the temple of the Castors."
At various
points in the old Greek world we meet with a pair
of brothers,
at first not designated by individual
names but merely named as a pair. Even these
pair-names do not agree, but they represent all of
them the same idea. Later when individual names
are
substituted
individual
protection,
Greece
is
for
names
and
the
also
on
sea-coast
general
the
— they
pair- name,
They
differ.
sea-coast
are
— and
these
gods
most
of
of
are especially helpful as
rescuers from the dangers of the sea, and they are
very early and almost everywhere connected
with horses.
But in spite of their usefulness they
are not very prominent, and it is doubtful whether
also
they would ever have become famous, except for
one of those little accidents which make the fortunes
It so happened that
of gods as well as of men.
horses began to be used in warfare more than for
the mere drawing of chariots
came
into
;
a primitive sort of
produced by mounting
With this
heavy-armed foot-soldiers on horseback.
"
"
= " Sons of
cavalry the Twin-Brothers {Dios-kouroi
cavalry
being,
Just
Zeus"), especially Castor, became prominent.
as the Greek merchants had taken Herakles with
them when they set out to plant colonies in Southern
Italy, so the heavy-mounted horsemen carried their
god Castor with them wherever they went. The
Italic
tribes in
their turn
were quick to seize jpon
REORGANISATION OF SERVIUS
its
it
as an essential part
Thus the Castor-
moved
cult
steadily northward, carried, as
on horseback.
the
little
and with
divine patron, Castor.
this idea of cavalry,
went
39
At
last
it
were,
reached Latium, and there
it
town of Tusculum, afterwards so famous as
became in some unaccount-
the residence of Cicero,
way an important
able
Castor
what
Tibur
latinised him, so that
done
Rome
doubt that the
Roman
Tusculum, and that
in
for
received
did
for
i.e.
him not
its
its
little
come from
cult actually did
as in every other step on
as an
There can be
but as one of her kin.
alien
and
Hercules,
cult -centre,
had
introduction into
march,
it
Rome,
was connected
This would
with the reorganisation of the cavalry.
imply that Tusculum was famous for its
cavalry and that Rome took the idea of it from her
statements for which we have unfortunately no
seem
to
—
other confirmation, though we have abundant proof
of the cult at Tusculum and of Rome's close association with
it.
Castor was thus the patron of the
"
horsemen
"
and his great day was July 15, when the
horsemen's parade took place.
Possibly this had
been the date of the festival at Tusculum, a day
{equites)
especially appropriate because
it
was the Ides of the
month, and the Ides were sacred to Juppiter, whose
sons Castor and Pollux [Dios-kouroi) were supposed
to be.
this
It
is
extremely interesting
in
the light of
knowledge of the true state of affairs to see
how
REORGANISATION OF SERVIUS
40
later
legend
Pollux.
It
explained the coming of Castor and
was an incident in the mythical war
which was supposed to have taken place after the
Tarquin had been driven out, and the republic
last
had been
The
started.
adversaries of
Rome,
allied
with Tarquin, notably Octavius Mamilius of Tusculum,
fought against the
Romans
the
in
Lake
battle of
The Romans won,
Regillus on July 15, B.C. 499.
and the first news of victory was brought to Rome
by the miraculous appearance of Castor and Pollux
who were
seen watering their horses
at the spring of Juturna.
A
in
the
temple on
Forum
this
spot
was then vowed and fifteen years later, B.C. 484, it
was completed and dedicated. Tusculum, July 15,
and the dedication of the temple
in
B.C.
484
are
seemingly the only historical facts in this legend
and long before B.C. 499 Castor was worshipped
;
in
especially on July
Rome,
15.
The
site
of his
was without doubt the same locality
the P'orum where his temple was
subsequently
original worship
in
built,
for
it
is
an almost invariable rule that the
temples are built on the actual
earliest
site
of,
or
close to, the old altar or shrine
formal
temple.
received
Like
which preceded the
Hercules therefore he was
pomerium, and probably for a
it was felt that he was a eod
of Tusculum, and hence a god of Rome's kinsfolk.
We have an additional confirmation of this feeline
inside the
similar reason, because
in
the
way
in
which the
later
direct
cult of Castor
REORGANISATION OF SERVIUS
was
This
treated.
and
healing
the
his
emphasising
41
with
connecting Castor
of dreams, and
function as a rescuer from the
cult,
interpretation
dangers of the sea, would have been without meaning
Romans who worshipped him merely
for the old
as
a patron of horsemen and horsemanship.
The new
ideas seem to have had as their centre a later temple
the
in
Circus
Flaminius and
Hercules
thus
and
may again be paralleled, since they have,
each of them, an old cult-centre inside the poniermm,
Castor
Hercules
ideas, in
later cult-centre,
for
the
in
more advanced
each case in the Circus Flaminius.
Although
caused
Forum Boarium, Castor
the
in
Forum, and a
the
it
was Greek influence which ultimately
of Roman religion, and
destruction
although the cults of Hercules and of Castor are
the first definite effects of this influence, it cannot
be said that the destruction had
because
their
in
slow journey
their
any sense begun,
northward, and in
in
long residence at Tibur and Tusculum rethe two cults had lost all that was
spectively,
The Roman
pernicious.
to be akin
to
itself,
indeed akin to the
in
trade and
its
instinct,
which
did not go amiss
new Rome with
its
ages of the world's history, whether
instinct to grasp
more
felt
them
they were
new
interest
increased interest in warfare, for the
trader and the warrior have gone side
or a
;
civilised
territory
for
by
side in
all
be a primitive
commercial purposes
it
endeavour to obtain an open
port.
REORGANISATION OF SERVIUS
42
The beginnings
been
exhibited
There
is
yet so
the
Greek influence
case
of
have
Hercules
thus
and
of
remains to inquire what Etruria did.
no race about which we know so much and
and
Castor,
of
in
it
as about the Etruscans.
little
and
always been
still
are
a
riddle,
They have
and
our
as
knowledge of them increases we seem further than
ever from a solution, and what we gain in positive
knowledge
is
more than counterbalanced
increased sense of our ignorance.
by the
Altogether aside
from the problem of the origin of the Etruscans, and
the race to which they belonged, is the other problem
In a certain sense Etruria
of their disappearance.
steps out of history quite as mysteriously as she
entered into it, nay even more mysteriously, for we
are always willing to allow a certain percentage of
mystery as the legitimate
accompaniment of
pre-
but when in the light of more or
less historic times a nation steps off the stage of the
historic
history,
world's history, and
leaves practically
no heritage
behind her, we have a right to be amazed.
Of
all
the peoples in Italy Rome ought in the order of
events to have been her successor, and yet when we
contrast the influence of Etruria on Rome with the
influence of the
we
see an
Greek colonies of Southern Italy
amazing
difference.
these Greek colonies on
Rome
The
influence
prepared the
way
of
for
the direct influence of the Greek motherland, so that
one passed
over into the other by imperceptible
REORGANISATION OF SERVIUS
gradations, but the influence of Etruria on
43
Rome
not
only led to nothing but was in itself of a most superficial sort.
Etruria must have had some literature,
yet
we
search the history of
Roman
literature in vain
any traces of the influence of that literature on
Rome, with the one exception of books on divinaWe know
tion and the interpretation of lightning.
for
of her manners and customs to be able to
too
little
tell
exactly
how much they may have
Rome, and yet
which
Roman
is
it
influenced
worth noting that the things
writers actually refer to Etruria, are
of them most superficial
a few of the insignia
of political office
a few of the trappings of one or
two ritualistic acts a branch of divination, by the
all
:
;
;
consultation of the entrails {Jiaruspicind), which was
of secondary importance compared to augury
and
the most depraved form of Roman public sport, the
;
The only fundamental
gladiatorial games.
tion
of
Rome
which
it
the habit to
is
institu-
ascribe to
Etruria, the idea of the so-called teuiphim or division
of the sky into regions as an
axiom of augury, seems
have been quite as much a general
as a specifically Etruscan one.
Even
to
influence
architects
was
seem
relatively
to
have
slight,
built
and
the
Italic
in
art
though
earliest
idea
her
her
formal
temples for Rome, they were soon succeeded in this
We seek in vain for a comwork by the Greeks.
plete
and satisfactory explanation of
this limitation
of her influence, but certain thoughts suggest them-
REORGANISATION OF SERYIUS
44
selves, which, as far as
All that
we know
they go, are probably correct.
of Etruria impresses us with the
was an outward
fact that hers
civilisation
unaccom-
panied by an inward culture, that it was a formal
rather than a spiritual growth, an artificial acquisition
from without rather than a development from within
outwards.
brutality,
was interested
rather than
of youth
is
its
spiritual aspects.
individual.
effects
in art
Now
present in nations just as
though probably a nation
an
its strength went
but for its sensual
was strong but with
It
it
It
is
is
less
the idealism
in individuals,
conscious of
it
than
with the nation one of the
of the instinct of self-preservation, and for a
youthful nation to absorb the vices of an old decadent
one would be self-destruction.
Thus the youthful
Rome
rejected most of the Etruscan poison, and
thus nature purified herself, and Etruria was buried
in
the pit of her
own
nastiness.
There was however one town which acted as an
interpreter between
Rome
and Etruria, and was the
original cult-centre for a very great goddess, spread-
ing
her
cult
in
both directions, into
Rome and
The town was Falerii and the goddess
was Minerva, who in a certain sense entered Rome
into Etruria.
three times, once direct from
finally,
when
Falerii
to
Rome, and
of Etruria, and
was captured by the Romans,
again direct to Rome.
are scarcely
Falerii
Rome by way
once from Falerii to
In the earliest period there
any traces of the worship of Minerva
in
REORGANISATION OF SERVIUS
Latium or Southern
certain
Italy,
was not known
that she
45
and we are absolutely
Rome.
in
In the
country north of Rome, however, the situation is
different.
There she is found quite frequently,
in
Etruria under the name of MENERVA
especially
or
MENRVA.
Yet she cannot have been an Etruscan
name
goddess, because the
Etruscan.
She
Etruscan, nor
Latin
in
where
a
To
Latin, at
Latium.
is
so
least
we can
far
find a place
we
the ancients
As
Such a
appeared so thoroughly Etruscan
it
go out of
their
way
to explain that
it
was
was the only Latin town
bank of the Tiber, and because of its
a matter of fact
it
connection
vital
with the Etruscans, so vital that while
it
however
Etruscan
the country of the Faliscans.
in
on the right
locality it was early brought into
all
Roman, nor
as we know
people is under strong
shall be near the solution.
Falerii,
that they
not.
If
and not
Italic
neither
Latin
influence,
place
itself is
therefore
is
it
never lost
original Latin character, it lost enough of
to exercise a very considerable direct influence
of
over
its
Etruria,
influenced
and
to
by her in
be
to
turn.
a
We
very large extent
cannot of course
positively prove that Minerva was originally worshipped only at Falerii, and that her cult spread
entirely from this one point, but we have at least
strong negative evidence, and so far as the general
history
of ancient
nothing impossible
in
religion
is
concerned
such a spread.
there
is
Religious history
REORGANISATION OF SERVIUS
46
shows many
parallels to this
;
for
example the
classic
case of the god Eros of Thespiae, in Boeotia, who
would have lived and died merely a little insignificant local god, if
it
had not been
for the Boeotian
poet Hesiod who adopted Eros into his poetry and
thus gave him a start in life by which he ultimately
succeeded in going all over the Greek world, and
then passing into Rome as Cupid
and so into all
;
later times.
We
are accustomed to think of Minerva as the
name
Latin
for
Athena, the daughter of Zeus, and
unconsciously we clothe Minerva with all the glory
of Athena and endow her with Athena's many-sidedIn reality the
ness.
little
peasant goddess of Falerii
nothing in common with Athena
except the fact that both of them were interested in
handicraft and the handicraftsman, but Athena had a
had
originally
hundred other
interests besides, while this
seems to have
filled
When
one thing
the whole of Minerva's horizon.
Minerva went on
her travels
into
Etruria,
a people who eventually learned
from the representations of Greek art a very conshe came
among
amount of Greek mythology, and who,
when they heard of Athena, saw her resemblance to
siderable
Minerva and began thus to associate the two.
in this association
Minerva was still
even
But
pre-
eminently the goddess of the artisan and the labouring man, she was the patroness of the works of
man's hands rather than of the works of his mind.
REORGANISATION OF SERVIUS
47
and as such she was brought into Rome by Etruscan
and Faliscan workmen. At first she was worshipped
merely by these workmen in their own houses, but
by degrees as the number of these workmen increased
and as a knowledge of their handicraft spread to
native Romans, Minerva became so prominent that
the state was
compelled to acknowledge her, and
to accept her
was a very
But
it
acknowledgment from that of
these gods had been received
different
Hercules or Castor
inside
the gods of the state.
among
;
the pomerium,
but
Minerva
was given
a
None the
temple outside, over on the Aventine.
less her cult throve, and her power was soon shown
Her great festival was
both religiously and socially.
on
the
of
19th
March, a
day which had been
but the presence of
Minerva's celebrations on that day soon caused the
associations with Mars to be almost entirely forgotten.
originally
sacred
to
Mars,
became the meeting-place of all
Rome, it was at once their religious
business headquarters.
There they
Socially her temple
the artisans of
centre and their
met
{collegia) and arranged
continued to be as long as
in their primitive guilds
and thus
their affairs,
pagan
Rome
lasted.
guilds of Minerva
than in an
is
incident
it
The
respect
nowhere more
shown
to these
clearly exhibited
which happened
in
the
time
of the Second
Punic War, several centuries after
the introduction of the cult.
Terrified by adverse
portents the
Roman
Senate instructed the old poet
REORGANISATION OF SERVIUS
48
Livius Andronicus to write a
Juno and
sing
The hymn
it.
hymn
honour of
in
youths and maidens to
was sung, and was such a great
to train a chorus of
success that the gratitude of the Senate
took the
form of granting permission to the poets of the city
to have a guild of their own, and a meeting-place
along with the older guilds in the temple of Minerva
on the Aventine.
This was the
expression of literary appreciation
was
flattery
decree
made
Roman
;
state's first
from her stand-
indeed, for were not poets
equal to butchers, bakers, and
cloth-makers, and was not poetry acknowledged to
be of some practical use and adjudged a legitimate
point
by
it
this
occupation
The
?
history of the cult of Minerva
is
much more
Like
complicated than that of Hercules or Castor.
them she was subjected to strong Greek influence,
and, as we shall see later, not very long after her
introduction
Juppiter
she
and
was taken into the company of
thus forming
the
famous
Juno,
Also temples were built to her
Capitoline triad.
individually under various aspects of the worship of
Athena with whom she gradually became
identified,
Aventine temple the original idea
of Minerva, the working man's friend, continued
Doubtless the society of
practically unchanged.
but
in
the old
Servius's day, who witnessed the coming of Minerva,
did not realise what this introduction meant, and how
absolutely necessary
it
was
for
Rome's future develop-
REORGANISATION OF SERVIUS
ment that the
be
artisan class should
49
among
her
people, and that this class should be represented in
the world of the gods.
They
knew
little
that in the
temple on the Aventine was being brought to expression the trade-union idea, which was to pass over
into
mediaeval
the
masters,
still
and
modern labour-union, with
latter-day parody in the
its spirit
both workmen
of
guild
under religious auspices, and to find a
of hostility to employers, and
its
indifference,
an organisation, to things religious.
Trade and handicraft were thus added to the
at least as
Roman
world, of
above the
earth,
men on
and
the awakening of the political
responding religious phenomenon
this,
we must
clear
the
and of the gods
earth,
remains
it
way by
us to consider
for
spirit
;
and
its
but before
cor-
we do
casting aside one
ancient hypothesis connected with Servius's religious
reforms, which
is
not correct, at least
which the ancients meant
The writing
is
in
the
way
in
it.
of the earlier period of
Rome's history
sometimes complicated rather than helped by the
statements of the generally well-meaning but often
Their real
misguided historians of later times.
knowledge of the
facts
was
in
many
cases no greater
they lacked what modern histoa breadth of view and a knowledge
than ours, while
rians possess
of the
:
phenomena of
among many
religious
nations.
many periods and
The study of the social and
history in
movements under Servius presents us with
E
REORGANISATION OF SERVIUS
50
an interesting
illustration of this.
It
was customary
to ascribe to Servius Tullius the introduction
namely
of the cult of Fortuna, and Plutarch takes occasion
twice
Moralia to describe the
his
in
interest
of
Servius in this cult and to recount the extraordinary
number of temples which he
chance
of
goddess
under
to
built
her
various
the
great
attributes.
The Romans of Plutarch's day thought of Fortuna
very much the way in which their poets, especially
in
described her, as a great and powerful
of
chance, the personification of the element
goddess
of apparent caprice which seems to be present in
Horace,
It is very much our
the running of the universe.
way of thinking of her, and of course both our own
concept and the later Roman concept go back to
But Greece had not always had this idea
Greece.
goddess of luck.
of the
The
older purer age of
Greek thought was permeated with the idea of the
absolute immutable character of the divine will, a
belief
which precluded the possibility of chance or
The earliest Greek Tyche (Fortuna) was
caprice.
the
daughter of Zeus who
that his will through her
is
shown
in
fulfilled
his
will
and
;
was often a beneficent
will
the tendency to think of her as a goddess
It was only the growth of scepticism,
of plenty.
the failure of faith to bear up under the apparently
contradictory lessons of experience, which brought
into
being
goddess
of
in
the
chance,
Alexandrian
age
the
capricious
winged
Tyche,
the
deity
REORGANISATION OF SERVIUS
poised on the
It
ball.
was
this
51
habit of thought
which eventually gave the Romans that idea of
Fortuna which has became our idea because it is
Roman
prevalent one in
the
the periods with which
we
are
literature
most
and
life
in
Now
familiar.
if Fortuna be thought of in this latter way, it is a
very easy matter to connect her with Servius Tullius,
for the legendary accounts of Servius's career picture
him
as a very child of
"
fortune,"
raised from
lowest estate to the highest power, the
boy who became
king.
delight to honour,
if
little
the
slave
What goddess would
he
not the goddess of the happy
chance which had made him what he was
?
very pretty, but it is unfortunately
quite impossible, because whatever the time may
have been when Fortuna began to be worshipped in
All this
Rome,
it is
is
certain that the idea of chance did not
enter into the concept of her until long after Servius's
Instead the early Fortuna was a goddess of
day.
plenty and
of
among mankind as a
among the
protectress
a goddess of fertility and
fecundity.
fertility,
women and
the herds
Her
full
as
of childbirth,
crops and
name was probably Fors Fortuna,
a
name
two old temples across the river
from Rome proper, in Trastevere, where she was
which survived
in
of the crops.
country by the farmers in behalf
Fortuna is thus merely the cult-name
added to the
old
worshipped
meaning,
in the
which
goddess Fors to intensify her
broke off from her and
finally
REORGANISATION OF SERVIUS
52
became independent, expressing the same idea of a
Later under Greek influence the
goddess of plenty.
concept of luck, especially good-luck, slowly displaced
The possibility of such a transition
the older idea.
fertility to good-luck is shown us in the phrase
arbor felix" which originally meant a fruitful tree
from
"
and later a tree of good omen.
As regards Fortuna
and Servius therefore there is no inherent reason why
they should have been connected, and whenever it
was that Fortuna began to exist, be it before or after
came
Servius, she
into the world as a goddess of
plenty and did not turn into a goddess of luck
centuries after her birth.
It
must not be supposed that Rome
in this sixth
century before Christ could take into herself
traders
and
artisans,
among
her
own
without
all
these
and become thus interested also
citizens in
these
new employments,
receiving a corresponding
a larger political
till
Thus
life.
impulse toward
there began that ever-
increasing participation in the affairs of the Latin
league, which
world
was her
dominion.
always belonged to
insignificant
first
is
this league,
member.
Alba Longa stood out
she afterwards
step toward acquiring a
probable that Rome had
but at first as a very
Those were the days in which
It
lost,
as leader, a leadership which
but of which the
recollection
was retained because the Alban Mount behind Alba
Longa remained
the cult-centre, connected with the
worship of the god of the league, the Juppiter of the
REORGANISATION OF SERVIUS
Latins
when
(Juppiter Latiaris), not only until
the league ceased to exist, but even later
Rome
53
B.C.
338
when
kept up a sentimental celebration of the old
In the course of time, for reasons which
festival.
we do not know. Alba Longa's power
the mantle of her
little
town
in
still
The coming
most extraordinary
Roman
fell
declined and
upon
a
Aricia,
existence not far from Albano.
of Aricia to the presidency of the league
a religious
started
supremacy
religion.
movement which
in
The
the
is
checkered
one of the
of
history
ultimate result of this move-
ment was the introduction of the goddess Diana into
the state-cult of Rome, where she was subsequently
identified with Apollo's sister Artemis.
a long story, and to understand
some distance
Among
the
to
make our
it
But
this
is
we must go back
beginning.
more savage
tribes
and
in the wilder
mountain regions of both Greece and Italy there was
worshipped a goddess who had a different name in
each country, Artemis in Greece, Diana in Italy, but
in nature very much the same.
This does
who was
not imply that it was the same goddess orginally or
that the early Artemis of Greece had any influence
on the Diana of Italy.
Their similarity was probably
caused merely by the similarity of the conditions from
which they sprang, the similar needs of the two
She was a goddess of the woods, and of
nature, and especially of wild animals, a patroness of
peoples.
the hunt and the huntsman, but also a goddess of
all
54
REORGANISATION OF SERVIUS
small animals, of
all
helpless
little
ones,
and a helper
too of those that bore them, hence a goddess of birth,
and
sphere of mankind a goddess of women
Later in Greece Artemis was
in the
and of
childbirth.
absorbed into the sea-cult of Apollo on the island of
Delos, where she became Apollo's sister, like him the
child of
similar
Latona
change
;
but naturally Diana experienced no
Rome, centuries later, she was
until in
identified with Artemis.
artificially
In the earliest
times there were two places in Italy where the cult
of Diana was especially prominent, both, as we
should expect,
in
wooded mountainous regions
:
one
on Mount Tifata (near Capua), the modern St. Angelo
in Formis
the other in Latium, in a grove near
;
Aricia.
It
is
with this
have here to do.
that we
became so
cult-centre
latter
The grove near
Aricia
famous that the goddess worshipped there was known
"
Diana of the Grove " (Diana Nemorensis), and
as
the place where she was worshipped was called the
"
Grove
modern
"
"
{iiemus), a
name which
is still
retained in the
She wds a goddess of the woods,
of the animal kingdom, of birth, and so of women
and almost all the dedicatory inscriptions which have
Nemi."
;
been found near her shrine were put up by women.
She was worshipped above all by the people of
Aricia, and she seems to have been the patron deity
of the town.
When
it
fell
to Aricia's lot to
become
the head of the league, her goddess Diana promptly
assumed an important position
in
the league,
not
REORGANISATION OF SERVIUS
55
because she had
by nature any political bearing
whatsoever, but merely because she was wedded to
Aricia,
career.
and experienced
Thus
there
all
came
the vicissitudes of her
into the league, alongside
of the old Juppiter Latiaris of the Alban Mount, the
new Diana Nemorensis of
Aricia,
and
sacrifices
to
her formed a part of the solemn ritual of the united
towns of Latium.
It does not take actually a great
many
years for a religious custom to acquire sanctity,
and before many generations had passed, Diana was
felt to be quite as original and essential a part of the
worship of the league as Juppiter himself
these
same
centuries
and influence
one of
way
to
its
in
Rome was growing
in
During
importance
the league, until, instead of being
towns, she was in a fair
insignificant
become
its
president.
Here her diplomacy
The
league was of course
essentially a political institution, but in a primitive
stepped
in
to help her.
society political institutions are
religious ones,
and the
influence lies through
still
in
tutelage to
direct road to strong political
religious
zeal.
The way
to
leadership in the Latin league lay through excessive
devotion to Juppiter and Diana.
accidental coincidence that we find
It is therefore
Rome in
no
the period
of Servius building a temple to Juppiter Latiaris on
the top of the Alban Mount, and introducing the
worship of Diana into Rome, building her a temple
on the Aventine, hence outside the poniermin.
Yet
it was not the
introduction of her worship as an
REORGANISATION OF SERVIUS
56
ordinary state-cult, for then she would have been
taken inside the pomerium with far greater right
than
Hercules and
Castor were.
It
was, on
the
contrary, the building of a sanctuary of the league
outside the pomerium, yet inside the
the adoption of Diana as a
wall
civil
not
;
Roman
goddess, but the
close association of the Diana of the Latin league
with Rome.
It was
the attempt to put Rome
as
religiously
well
which Aricia held
was
the
still
the
and
it
league-goddess
helped
league
as politically
;
to
was
the
position
tradition has
;
the
build
into
successful.
temple
Diana
it
that
and the
;
dedication day of the temple, August 13, was the
same as that of the temple at Nemi. The Roman
temple was outside the pomeriiun therefore, not
because she was a foreign goddess like Minerva, but
because as a league-goddess she must be outside, not
inside, the sacred wall of
Rome.
Diana had been* introduced
for a specific purpose
game, not because Rome felt
it is
religious need of her
hardly to be
as part of a diplomatic
any
real
;
expected therefore that her subsequent
Rome would be of any great importance.
career
in
Naturally
when once the state had taken the responsibility of
the cult upon
pagan Rome
at least
act
;
in
itself,
that cult
was assured
lasted, for the state
as long as
was always
faithful,
the mechanical performance of a ritual
but popular interest could not be counted on,
many of the things which Diana stood
especially as
REORGANISATION OF SERVIUS
57
to women, were ably
not likely that Diana
would ever have been of importance in the religion of
for,
for
example her
relation
It
represented by Juno.
is
subsequent time, had it not been for another accident
which served to keep alive the interest in Diana,
just as the accident of Diana's connection with the
Latin league had aroused that interest in the beginThis was the coming of Apollo and his sister
ning.
Artemis.
Apollo came first, probably during the
time of Servius, but Artemis seems to have come
much later, not before B.C. 431. Her identification
with Diana was inevitable, and from that time onward
Diana begins a new
life
with
myths of Artemis, but this
all
the attributes and
new Artemis-Diana was
quite as different a goddess from the old Aventine
Diana as the new Athena-Minerva was from the old
Aventine Minerva.
The
political
interest of the
Romans had been
aroused, they had found their life-work, their career
was opening before
them,
and
must not
it
supposed that the reflex action of this
spirit
on the
religious
world
new
be
political
was confined to the
two league temples, one to Juppiter
Latiaris on the Alban Mount, miles away from
Rome, and one to Diana outside the pomerimn
over in the woods of the Aventine.
This political
building
interest
of
was no
artificial
acquisition, but the inevit-
able expression of an instinct.
It
must therefore
find its representation inside the city, in
connexion
REORGANISATION OF SERVIUS
58
with a deity
the people.
who was already deep in the hearts of
This deity could be none other than
the sky-father Juppiter, who had stood by them in
the old days of their exclusively farming life, sending
them sunshine and rain in due season.
Up on the
Capitoline
striker,"
"
he was
the
worshipped as Feretrius,
most fearful attribute as the god of
his
in
To him
the lightning.
the richest
spoils
of war
opimd) were due, and to him the conqueror
It was this
gave thanks on his return from battle.
{spolia
Juppiter of the Capitoline who was chosen to be the
divine representative of Rome's political ambition
;
and her confidence
her
in
success
inevitable
the future, and the
in
lay
the
omen
cult-names,
of
the
cognoniina, with which this Juppiter was henceforth
and forever adorned, Juppiter Optimus Maximus.
These adjectives are^ no mere idle ornament, no
purely pleasant phraseology they express not merely
the excellence of Rome's Juppiter but his absolute
;
superiority to
other Juppiters, including Juppiter
all
And
Latiaris.
so while
Rome
with one hand was
temple for the league on the Alban
Mount, merely as a member of the league, with the
other hand she was building a temple in the heart
building
a
of her city to a god
to himself all other
who was to bring into subjection
gods who dared to challenge his
supremacy, just as the city which paid him honour
all other cities which refused to
was to overcome
acknowledge
her.
From
henceforth Juppiter Optimus
REORGANISATION OF SERVIUS
Maximus
Rome.
represents
It
all
was under
were fought,
it
that
Roman
in
banner that her battles
his
was to him
most truly
is
59
time to come that
in all
returning generals gave thanks.
Tradition sets the completion of the Capitoline
temple in the first year of the republic, but the idea
and the actual beginning of the work belong to the
later
kingdom and hence
the contemplation of
and
to our present period,
forms a
it
fitting close to the
And
development which we have tried to sketch.
now that this part of our work is over it may be
well
have
to ask ourselves
been
necessity
travelled
so
what we have
main
the
explored, that
may
seen,
for
there
many bypaths which we have
road
not be entirely distinct
in
of
we have
our mind.
In the period which corresponds to the later king-
dom, and roughly to the sixth century before Christ,
"
and which we have called " Servian for convenience,
we have watched a
primitive
from the world's
pastoral
community,
turning into a small
city-state with political interests, the beginnings of
trade and handicraft, and various rival social classes
isolated
life,
;
and we have seen how along with the coming of
these outside interests there
came
various
new
cults
connected with them, most of them implying entirely
new deities, and only one or two of them new sides
of old deities.
received
its
The body
first
blows
;
of old
Roman
what Tacitus
says of the downfall of the empire
—
"
had
religion
{Hist.
Then was
i.
4)
that
REORGANISATION OF SERVIUS
6o
secret of the empire disclosed, that
—
Roman
true of
is
it
was possible
Rome "
be appointed elsewhere than at
for a ruler to
in this
religion
period when
it
was discovered that the state might take into itself
deities from outside Rome.
And yet while the
principle itself
was
fatal,
the practice of
had been without much harm.
inevitable,
it,
so
far,
Rome's growth was
was quite as inevitable that these new
it
interests should
be represented
in
the world of the
gods her old gods did not suffice, hence new ones
were introduced. But the actual gods brought in thus
far were harmless
Hercules, Castor, Minerva, Diana
;
;
Rome any
never did
in
injury
themselves,
never
injured her national morale, never lowered the tone
of earnest sobriety which had been characteristic of
the old regime.
So
Rome
was good, and well had
far
it
if
she
Olympus
could
now.
have
What
shut
the
old
it
been for
gate of
the
religion
her
had not
Politics, trade, and art
provided was now present.
With these she was abunwere now represented.
But that
dantly supplied for all her future career.
not to be, the gate was still open, and the
was
destructive influence of Greece
host of
new
deities,
was soon
who were
overwhelm the old Roman gods
might
forgive
virtues, to the
— but
to
sap
to send in a
destined not only to
—which
away
in itself
the old
we
Roman
maintenance of which the atmosphere
of these old gods was essential.
The
forerunner of
REORGANISATION OF SERVIUS
this
influence
was
in
himself
innocent
enough,
6i
it
coming and the subset him in distinct
which
sequent developments
was Apollo, and
it
is
to his
opposition to Juppiter Optimus
now
turn.
Maximus
that
we
V
THE COMING OF THE SIBYL
The Rome
of the first consuls was a very different
Not only was
from that of the earHer kings.
the population larger but it was divided socially
Rome
The simple
into different classes.
class
patriarchal one-
community had been transformed
into
the
complex structure of a society which had in it
virtually all those elements and interests, except
the
more
strictly
intellectual
make up what we
The world
sense.
creased
in
call
of
population,
the
and
which
ones,
society
in
had
also
gods
there
too
go
to
modern
the
there
in-
was
between the old
present a slight social distinction
gods {Indigetcs) and the new-comers {Novensides),
though
it
distinction
is
was
open
felt.
how
The new gods
to question
strongly this
thus far were
not incommensurable with the old ones.
They
formed a tolerably harmonious circle, and there was
the old
not felt to be any need of new priesthoods
them all. There
priests were sufficient to look after
;
were a few new names, and a few new temples or
altars, but everything was in the old spirit, and there
62
was no
THE COMING OF THE SIBYL
63
between the old and the new.
None
rivalry
of the old gods was crowded into the background
by the new-comers. This was on the face of it
impossible as yet, because the new gods all represented new ideas which had not been provided for
Even Diana, who afterwards
of Juno, stood at
somewhat
the
functions
usurped
present pre-eminently for the political idea pure and
under the old scheme.
This period
simple, so far as Rome was concerned.
of equipoise did not continue very long, but while
it lasted it was
beyond doubt the best and strongest
period
whole
the
in
There was no violent
history
of
Roman
religion.
religious enthusiasm, but then
there was no corresponding depression offsetting
It
it.
was the cold but conscientious formalism which
was best adapted
so long as
to the
Roman
character, because
held sway the excesses of superstition
it
were avoided.
But
element of superstition was already on
in within a few years of the open-
this
the way, it
ing of the
influence
celebrated
came
republic,
its
Punic War.
and
it
exercised
its
insidious
more and more powerfully
ever
until
it
wildest orgies in the time of the Second
It
is
in
this period of the first three
centuries of the republic, roughly from
B.C.
500
to
200, that this change was produced.
Outwardly
resembled a steady growth in religious feeling and
B.C.
it
enthusiasm,
and
contemporaries.
it
It
might well have seemed so to
was a period of many new gods
THE COMING OF THE SIBYL
64
and many new temples, but this
harm.
It was the principle behind
It
damage.
true
Roman
and the
was the
religion
last half
what the
first
in
was no
itself
it
which did the
essential contradiction to
and
Roman
character
what
demanded
;
of the republic paid the price for
half had done, in
a decline of faith
which has scarcely been exceeded
in
the
world's
history.
It
of
has been customary for writers on the history
morals to attribute these changes to the
Roman
and of course in the
coming of Greek influence
main this is correct, but these writers have in general
neglected to analyse this Greek influence more
;
closely,
in
and
different
to distinguish the various aspects of
periods, and to ask and
why
question
influence
this
ticularly harmful
should
Romans.
to the
spoken of as the influence of Greek
philosophy,
but
incorrect,
entirely
our
for
present
we
for
all
is
so
par-
generally
literature
this
period
know
literature did not begin to influence
be
It
it
answer the
that
Rome
and
is
Greek
until the
time of the Punic wars, and yet the Greek influence
of which we speak here began to exert its effects
two hundred and
The
religion
more nor
It is
cause
real
fifty
of
years before the Punic wars.
unnatural stimulation of
the
during these three centuries is nothing
less than the books of the Sibylline oracles.
therefore a very definite
which we have before
us.
and interesting problem
It is to examine the
THE COMING OF THE SIBYL
65
workings of these oracles and to explain
had such an extraordinary
society, that
in
effect
why they
on religion and
three centuries they could entirely
change both the form and the content of Roman
religion, and under the guise of increasing its zeal,
so
sap
its
vitality
that
it
required
two
almost
hundred years of human experience and suffering
before true religion was in some sense at least
restored to
its
own
place.
Like the origin of almost
movements
in
the Sibylline
later age,
for
all
the great religious
the world's history, the beginnings of
books are shrouded
whom
in
A
mystery.
history had no secrets, with a
cheap would-be omniscience told of the old
who
visited
him
at the original price the six that
woman
Tarquin and offered him nine books
for a certain price, and when he refused to pay it,
went away, burned three, and then returning offered
his again refusing she
and
were
left
;
on'
went away, burned three more
finally offered at the
same old
price the three
remained, which
he accepted.
Except as a
sidelight on the character of the early Greek trader
the story is worthless.
It is doubtful even if the
that
presence of the Sibylline books in Rome goes back
The first dateable use of
beyond the republic.
them was
little
fact
the year B.C. 496, and there is one
connected with them which makes it
in
probable that they did not come in until the republic
had begun.
This is the circumstance that in view
F
THE COMING OF THE SIBYL
66
of the great secrecy of the books
is
it
unthinkable
Rome
that they should ever have been in
without
guardians, and yet the earliest guardians
that we know of were a newly made priesthood con"
two
sisting originally of two men, the so-called
especial
men
in
of
charge
the
sacrifices
"
{Ilviri
sacris
Now the form of this title is peculiar
facmndis).
is not a
it
proper name like the titles of all the
other priesthoods.
Instead it is built on the plan
;
of the titles of the special committees appointed by
the Senate for administrative purposes
mark
;
it
bears every
under the republic,
rather than under the kingdom, at a time when the
Senate had the supreme control.
So much may
therefore of having arisen
be said regarding the time when they were intro-
duced into
came,
this
Rome
as for the place from
;
which they
was without doubt the Greek colonies
Italy, probably the oldest and most
important of them, Cumae, so famous for its Sibyl.
This was not the first association that Rome had
of Southern
had with Cumae, for in all probability the worship
of Apollo had spread from there into Rome toward
the close of the kingdom.
were connected
inspired the Sibyl,
but
in
it
is
Apollo and the books
Cumae, for it was Apollo who
and the oracles were his commands,
at
almost certain that Apollo came to
advance of the
oracles.
He came
Rome
there as a god
of healing and was given a sacred place outside the
pomeriuni
in
the
Campus
Martins,
on
the
spot
THE COMING OF THE SH^YL
where
later
(B.C.
431) a temple was
Artemis -Diana and
built
their
67
for
him
mother
with his
sister
Latona.
This was the only state temple that Apollo
ever had, until Augustus built the famous one on
It was in the wake of Apollo that
the Palatine.
the Sibylline books came.
selves, they were kept so
expect to
As
books them-
for the
we cannot
secret that
know much about them,
but
in
rare cases
where the seriousness of the exigency warranted it,
the Senate permitted the actual publication of the
oracle upon which its action was based, and of
the oracles
preserved to
Greek
which
thus published one or two have been
us.
They were of course written in
and were phrased in the ambiguous style
obvious reasons was the most advantageous
for
style for oracles.
certain
They commanded
specific deities, naturally
all
the worship of
of
them Greek,
and the performance of certain more or less comWhen they were received in
plicated ritual acts.
Rome, they were placed
Optimus Maximus on
in
the temple of Juppiter
the Capitoline in the keeping
"
two
of their guardians, the new priesthood of the
men in charge of the sacrifices." This committee
to ten in B.C. 367 when the
the Patricians and the
between
great compromise
was made, and the Plebeians were
Plebeians
of
two was enlarged
admitted into this one priesthood, with
fifteen,
five
repre-
Subsequently Sulla made the number
which continued as the official number from
sentatives.
THE COMING OF THE SIBYL
68
that time
so that
on,
the
periods
is
referred to.
however lay
Senate saw
The
is
priesthood
ordinarily
when one of
called the Qtiindecemviri, even
books
When
the hands of the Senate.
in
the older
real control of the
the
the priests were ordered to consult
fit,
the books, but without this special command even
their guardians dared not
The
approach them.
to the Senate
priests reported
what they had found,
and the Senate then decreed whatever actions the
oracles
commanded.
The carrying out
was again
the
of
these
charge of the Sibylline
priests, who performed the ceremonies demanded and
were for all time to come responsible for the maintenactions
in
ance of any new cults which might be introduced.
When we see how carefully these oracles were
guarded and how circumspectly their use was hedged
about by senatorial control, and when we think how
harm the use
relatively little
in
Greece
well
seem as
of this
if
of oracles had wrought
the centuries of her history,
in all
the statements
made
in
it
may
the beginning
chapter about the havoc caused by these
But the efforts of
oracles were grossly exaggerated.
the
that
Senate to safeguard these oracles only prove
the
realised
parison
certain
the
older and wiser men in the community
how dangerous they were, and the com-
with
Greece
essential
leads
to
a
consideration
differences between the
Roman temperament which made
was meat
for
one into poison
of
Greek and
that which
for the other.
THE COMING OF THE SH^^L
69
In the older purer age of Greece the gods were
never far away from men, they lived almost side by
there were to be sure many gods
side with them
;
of
whom
they were afraid
desired to keep as far
whom
and from
away
as
other gods of whom they
constructing the records of
history they did not work backwards from the
of the present into an ever darkening past, but
were a great
to
many
In
think.
they
possible, but there
liked
their
light
they
began from the beginning in the full light of the
gods from whom all things sprang, and mythology
passed
into
history
by imperceptible gradations.
the beginning when all
were completely in the hands of the gods
Art
they did about their immediate past.
They knew more about
things
than
began very early to make them familiar with the
appearance of the gods, so that there was little that
was mysterious about their religion, so little that the
element of mystery had later to be almost artificially
cultivated
in
the
"
mysteries."
They
gods rather than feared them, and they
respected the
felt that the
gods would do them no harm unless they themselves
first
sinned against them or their
own
fellow-men,
and the oracles of Delphi were no more terrifying to
them than the coming of the word of God was to
the prophets of Israel.
They were accustomed
to
these messages, which were almost every-day affairs.
It was all a part of that marvellous poise of nature
which made the every-day mortal Greek almost as
s
THE COMING OF THE SIBYL
70
calm as the unperturbed imperturbable faces of
gods as their great sculptors saw them.
In
their
Rome
element
The superstitious
all was very different.
the Italian character, which amazes us so
in
much to-day when cultured
and women in good society
because
of
the
evil
twentieth century
is
eye,
Sometimes
thousand years.
men
persecute their fellows
a heritage of many
seems as
it
if
were
it
the Italian birthright, the
blight of Etruria which
came
spite of themselves.
into their nature in
required centuries to educate
concept
of
individual
personal
Roman
the
gods.
It
into the
He
had
by terror of unknown
powers all about him, and by regarding religion as
the science of propitiating the right power on the
One could not know these powers,
right occasion.
begun
his
theological career
one did not desire
their
masters
and
Their gods were at once
but never their
to.
their
servants,
The early Roman knew no such thing
companions.
as an oracle, the only messages from the gods were
the
expressions
prodigies and
of their
portents.
wrath,
They
in
did
sending of
indeed consult
the
the gods by watching the flight of birds or studying
the entrails of the sacrifice, but it was merely to
obtain a
"
yes or no
"
answer to a categorical question
was pleasing to the gods.
as to whether a certain act
Otherwise
all
point where
nor
faith
about them
sight
carried
failed,
them
la}-
m}'ster}',
and
at
the
since
neither
imagination
an\-
further,
superstition
THE COMING OF THE SHiYL
stepped
the
in,
more
71
and the more they thought of the gods
terrified
they became.
Now
to a people thus constituted a divine
if you present
book of infal-
Hble
oracles, you increase their terror in greater
measure than the book itself can assuage it, and
with the use of the book the simpler forms of their
old belief will
of this
And no
new
grow
"
and
less effective in the face
which can work wonders.
how you may hedge
matter
book about,
less
witchcraft,"
the use of the
be used more and more as the
will
it
is
increasingly aroused.
of the outward and the inward effects
craving for magic
The study
of the Sibylline books is therefore the real history of
The outreligion in the first half of the republic.
ward
seen
effects are
in
the introduction of a series
who were
of Greek gods,
in
themselves
in the
main
eminently respectable, and whose presence was
no offence
to
good morals, and
in
we
stop there
we fail to understand why the religious interest of
the Second Punic War should change so quickly to
itself
if
the scepticism of the following century.
effects
The inward
though they are hard to
yet be discovered between the lines of
however,
see,
may
the
chronicle,
which,
will
explain
all
the undermining of
we wonder not why the structure
suddenly but how it managed to last so
foundation, until
collapsed so
long.
The
history of the activity of the books begins
peaceably enough.
In the year B.C.
496 Rome was
THE COMING OF THE SIBYL
72
bad way
in a
;
her crops had failed and the importa-
from Latium was rendered very difficult
because of the war with the Latins in which she was
tion of grain
In her distress she turned to the SibyHine
engaged.
books, and on the occasion of this their
first
use, the oracles ordered the introduction
recorded
into
Rome
of the cult of three Greek deities, Demeter, Dionysos,
It was a most appropriate and characterand Kore.
In the
istic choice.
first
place the deities in question
were worshipped at Cumae, the home of the books,
whence Rome could, and probably did, borrow the
cult
;
and
goddess
of
in
second
the
grain,
and
place
it
was
Demeter was the
from
Cumae
that
Rome was
already beginning to obtain her imported
Thus the coming of the Cumaean
grain supply.
Demeter into the religious world of Rome is but the
Cumaean grain into
The Greek goddess of
just as Castor had come
sacred parallel to the coming of
the material world of
grain
came with
Rome.
the grain,
with the Greek cavalry, with this essential distinction
however that Demeter came b}- the incantation of
the books and the enactment of the Senate, whereas
Castor's
It
is
coming was a slow and normal development.
important to notice closely exactl\- what
happened when these
deities
were introduced, partly
because they form the first recorded instance, and
hence may well have acted as a model for subsequent
repetitions of the act, but also because we have a
more
definite
knowledge of the phenomena
in
this
THE COMING OF THE SIBYL
case than in
many
In
others.
clear that the deities
were
felt
the
first
^i
it
place
to be foreign
:
is
not
only was their temple built out the Aventine way,
in the valley of the Circus Maximus, outside the
—
—
poweriujH, but a much more significant fact their
Greek names were dropped, and they were given
Roman names instead, to make them seem less out
of place.
Then too these Roman names were not
new names, translations of their Greek titles, but
were the names of already existing Roman deities
with whom they were easily identified, so that we
see at once that their
coming was no
Roman Olympus
of the
;
real
enrichment
what, they stood for was
represented there, and their coming was
simply a reduplication, with the consequent result
already
that as these parvenus increased
influence, they
robbed of
all
in
prominence and
their vitality the sober
Roman deities to whom they had attached themWhat were these original deities who were
old
selves.
doomed to death in B.C. 496 ?
name of the old Roman goddess
fertility, about whom we know
thus
the
of
Demeter took
Ceres, a goddess
just
enough
to
belonged to the old religion of Numa
and that she was at heart quite a different person
assert that she
from
Demeter.
All
the
rest
is
lost,
submerged
under the new Demeter-Ceres with her temple built
by Greek
architects
It is this
and her April games.
an extraordinary
new Ceres who soon develops
political
importance because her temple
is
to
the
THE COMING OF THE SIBYL
74
Plebeians as a class what the temple of Minerva is
It is there that
to the unions of organised labour.
they have their meeting-place, and the temple itself
is always their treasury as contrasted with the Saturn
The
temple, the treasury of the state as a whole.
very officers of the Plebeians, the famous Plebeian
get
aediles,
temple
name from
their
{aedes).
This
association with
this
political side of her activity
the only real advantage, except the grain itself,
the two form at
connected with her importation
is
;
best
poor economic compensation
a
increasing immoral
effects
ever
the
for
games of
of the public
Ceres.
But though Ceres
is
the most important of the
three deities economically
not forget
esting,
and
we must
politically,
the other two, both of
though one of them more
whom
for
are inter-
what she
is
not
Along with Demeter came
Dionysos and Demeter's daughter Kore the three
were associated in the solemn mysteries of Eleusis,
than for what she
is.
:
but none of the beauty of these ideas went over into
Demeter was merely the deified
the Roman cult.
and Dionysos was little else than the
god of wine, while poor Kore fell out without any
grain-traffic,
particular content for a curious reason
see in a
whom
Liber,
The only
moment.
Dionysos
could
who had had
be
old
that
Roman
identified
we
shall
deity with
was the god
a rather interesting history, and
who had done enough along
the line of self-develop-
THE COMING OF THE SIBYL
ment
to deserve
to insignificance
fertility
under the prominence of
his
new
Liber was at this time a flourishing god
namesake.
of
75
a better fate than to be crushed
and, since the introduction of the grape
into Italy, especially the patron of the
fruit
of the
he had made his own career, and there was
a time when he had no individuality of his own but
vine, but
was merely a cult-adjective of the great god Juppiter,
Thus
all fertility in every phase of life.
out of the original Juppiter-Liber there had grown
and now this Liber lost
the independent god Liber
the giver of
;
his
comes
Finally
the
who
this
by
identification
Kore,
Demeter's
individuality
Romans were hard
with
Dionysos.
Here
daughter.
to find a goddess
put to it
represented any similar content, and after all
was no light task because Kore has little
meaning unless
—
she
bride
logical
knowledge
Romans
is
taken
a process which
Pluto's
also
as
Persephone,
required a mytho-
and appreciation
in
which the
of the early republic were totally lacking.
But there was an old goddess Libera, a shadowy
and paired with the masculine
potentiality contrasted
and they chose her and gave Kore her name.
have a curious proof of how little the Romans
knew of Kore- Libera, and of how purely mechanical
Liber,
We
both the introduction of Kore and her identification
with Libera were, in the fact that about two hundred
and
the
fifty
real
years later, as we shall see, Persephone,
Kore, was introduced into Rome as an
THE COMING OF THE SIBYL
76
new
altogether
began to
and existed there side by side
a
century before people
Libera stood
that Proserpina and
realise
same Greek goddess.
for the
was necessary to go into these
It
that
deity,
Libera for at least
with
we might understand
as
much
details in order
as possible of
the process by which the gods of the Sibylline books
were assimilated into the body of Roman religion.
We see how in the main they were superfluous and
therefore unnecessary and even undesirable because
by
their presence they
which were
robbed old
Roman
deities
and how those elements
their existence,
least
in
accord with
the
old
of
them
in
Roman
were most apt to develop, and how in general
their adoption was a purely mechanical process, like
spirit
in witchcraft, where the form is all important
because the meaning cannot be understood, and how
any act
was
in
because
of
all
therefore the estate of these gods
different
totally
Rome from what it had been in
in
Rome they were introduced,
their
practical
Greece,
stripped
mjthology, worshipped only for their
and compelled therefore to work
bearings,
for their living.
The importation
more
to
Rome
physical
needs
addition
of
grain
thus
of
grain
than the
;
it
mere
Cumae meant
satisfaction
of her
much more than
meant
three deities to
imported was
from
the
her state-cult, for the
carried
from
Cumae
to
Ostia by sea and so up the Tiber to Rome, and the
THE COMING OF THE SIBYL
tj
whole matter therefore marks one of the important
steps in
Rome's
interest in
especially in ocean
commerce generally but
As
commerce.
yet she did not
do the actual carrying herself, but she began to be
interested in it, and the sea began to mean someThis increased interest
thing to this inland town.
in trade in general and this inceptive interest in
"
"
those who go down to the sea in ships
have both
of them
time
;
left their
two new
reflexion in the religious
deities
life
are introduced, both of
of the
them
almost certainly by means of the Sibylline oracles,
though some accidental blanks in our historical
tradition
The
have deprived us of
chronicle of the year
details.
B.C.
495
there was a dispute in that year as to
dedicate the temple of Mercury.
first
appearance
in
our sources.
This
tells
us that
who should
is
Mercury's
The circumstances
vowing of the temple have been omitted
through some oversight, but in spite of this the con-
of the
nexion of his introduction with the Sibylline books
beyond all reasonable doubt, for the simple reason
is
that the guardians of the oracles always looked after
Notwithstanding the
subsequent time.
suddenness of his appearance and the silence of the
his cult in all
chronicle, his story
is
quite clear and his past history
easy to restore, at least in outline.
The versatile Hermes, who as messenger of the
gods plays a part in so many Greek myths, became
in the course of time among other things associated
THE COMING OF THE SIBYL
78
with travelling, as god of roads, and also with trade,
partly
because trading necessitates
Hermes was
partly because
and
travelling,
also the protector of the
Thus
market-place in which the trading was done.
he was called " Hermes Protector of the Merchant "
{Empolaios) and in this capacity went into the colonies
of Greece, including those of Southern Italy.
Thus
Hermes
with
travelled
the
Cumae and became known
merchant
grain
to the
from
Romans.
They
however knew him merely as the god of trade, and
their name for him is nothing but the translation into
Latin of his Greek
For a long time
Mercurius
it
among
cult-title
:
Evipolaios
=
Alcrcurius.
was thought that there had existed a
the original gods of
Rome, but
the
traces of this old
god are apparent rather than real
and suggest one phase of that pastime of which the
later
Romans were
so fond, that of writing history
backwards and putting an
about the gods
Thus
whom
artificial
halo of antiquitj-
they borrowed from Greece.
Mercury was received
into
the state-cult at
about the time when the grain trade began, and was,
as
it
were, the divine representative of the interest
which
the
Roman
state
took
in
the whole trans-
His temple was outside the pomeriuni on
the Aventine side of the Circus Maximus.
It was
action.
in this
temple of the merchant god that the primitive
of Commerce {collegmni nicrcatonivi) had
Chamber
its
beginning,
commercial,
an
association,
whose
partly
members, the
sacral,
partly
mercuriales,
are
THE COMING OF THE SIBYL
79
frequently met with in literature and also in inscriptions, one of which has been found as far away as
the
island
of
which he had
god of
In
Delos.
Romans Mercury
the
actual
cult
of
the
never regained the many-sidedness
lost
in
coming
to
them merely
as a
In this capacity he appears on
trade.
sextans of the old
the
copper coinage, and under the
empire he went into the provinces as the companion
of Mars, since the merchant went side by side with
soldier.
On the contrary when in the third
century before Christ Greek literature came to Rome,
the
simple idea of Mercury was reinforced by many
ideas and he entered into Roman poetry
with all the attributes and functions of Hermes
but
this
new Greek
;
this
had
little
no great
or no effect on the cult and there were
rivals
to the
old temple near the Circus
Maximus, no cult-centre with advanced Greek ideas,
as we have seen spring up in the case of Hercules,
Castor, Minerva, and Diana.
We
have already seen how the
trade brought four
new
deities to
rise
of the grain
Rome, but
The grain
there
one more chapter to our story.
itself
and the trade itself had now obtained their divine
is
complements, but the sea had not yet received its
due it too must have its parallel among the gods of
Rome. And so it came to pass that again under
;
the influence
of the
fateful
books, though exactly
how we cannot say, the Greek Poseidon
came into Rome. The sea had always meant much
when
or
THE COMING OF THE SIBYL
So
to the Greeks,
"The
troops
sea
and the joyful shout of Xenophon's
"
finds an echo all through
the sea
!
!
the centuries of Greek history before and after the
But the multitude of islands and harbours
Anabasis.
Greece
in
them
is
marked contrast
in
to
the dearth of
where even to-day there is no good
port of call on the west coast between Naples and
and the latter would be useless, were
Civitavecchia
in
Italy,
—
not for Trajan's mole.
In Italy accordingly the
sea-god Poseidon was worshipped only in the Greek
it
colonies,
one
at
where however he had two famous
Tarentum,
later called
cults,
Colonia Neptunia, and
at Paestum, whose old name was Poseidonia.
The Romans had worshipped deities of water in
one
abundance, as
water meant
deities
rivers,
became an
agricultural
and drought, death
life,
people,
;
for
but their
were those of the sweet waters of springs and
But when the
they knew no god of the sea.
oracles brought Poseidon to
Rome
he was identified
Roman
water-god Neptune, whose cult
We do not know
henceforward included the sea.
with an old
w^here the shrine of the old sweet-water
Neptune had
been, but his old festival had occurred on July 23.
The new Poseidon-Neptune was given a temple
outside the poinerium in the
the
new was connected with
that the dedication
Campus
Martius, but
the old in so far at least
day of the new temple was July
day of the old Neptune festival.
With the introduction of Neptune, the sea-god,
23, the
THE COMING OF THE SIBYL
the
had accomph'shed, as
state
divine marine insurance
;
it
were, a
8i
sort
of
the transport of the grain
but it
was now watched over by a Roman god
was not to be expected that the cult of a sea;
god would ever mean very much to the Romans.
The maritime commerce of the Eternal City was
very slow
sequent
Italy
in
developing, and
proportions,
engaged
in
it,
not
it
because
grew
to
sub-
its
Romans of
foreigners who
the
but because those
took to the sea by nature later became Romans.
Nor did naval warfare fall to her lot until the First
Punic War, and even then her victories were gained
by the tactics of land fighting transferred to the decks
own and the enemy's, fastened
together by landing-bridges, and the glory of victory
It was not
was due not to Neptune but to Mars.
of two ships, her
until the civil
wars at the close of the republic that
and that Neptune received
real naval battles occurred,
his share of glory for the victory at
31, and
over Sextus
later
Actium
Pompeius,
in
in B.C.
a temple
by Agrippa in the Campus Martius, behind
the beautiful columns of which the Roman Stock-
erected
Exchange
transacts
its
business to-day.
decade of the republic therefore, as
we have seen, a group of Greek gods was introduced
by the Sibylline oracles, no one of whom can be
In the
first
said to have
been really needed, no one of
whom
except the sea-element in Neptune represented any
new and vital principles not already present in the
c;
THE COMING OF THE SIBYL
82
world,
religious
The
not of
if
best that can
be
Numa,
at least of Servius.
of these
gods is that
two of them, notably Mercury and Neptune, exerted no positively detrimental influences on
later generations.
For the next two centuries our
said
one or
chronicles are silent, so far as the actual introduction
of
new
and
it
deities
is
by the aid of the books
not until
B.C.
is
concerned,
293 that the narrative of new
But in other ways the oracles
gods begins again.
were not idle during these two hundred years.
must
rid
ourselves of the idea that
it
We
was necessary
that their consultation should always result in the
importation of some new Greek deity.
might order the carrying out of some
rite
The oracles
new religious
regarding the deities already present, and these
especially the public processions so
feed the ever-growing superperformed,
frequently
stition of the populace.
It is essential to a charm
religious
or
rites,
incantation
that
strange or foreign,
without
;
portents,
when
it
it is
should
above
contain
all
something
things help from
and when the gods
when
cattle
their statues
send prodigies and
weep and sweat blood,
speak, and meteors
something strange and
unusual
fall
from the sky,
must be done
to
counteract these things.
Among the foreign acts
thus ordered the sacred procession occurs frequently.
It started from the temple of Apollo in the Campus
Martius and passed into the city through the Porta
Carmentalis, went across the Forum and then outside
THE COMING OF THE SIBYL
the poniermni again
the
to
83
temple of Ceres, and
then to the temple of Juno Regina on the Aventine.
It was therefore a power from without which came
into their city to purify
them and
away out
to carry
of the city again the impurities of which
had
it
rid
the community.
It
is
also
characteristic
of
such
semi-magical
things that they lose their effects after a few applications, and other things must be sought always more
complicated
more
and
strange.
Thus from the
beginning of the republic down through the Second
Punic War we have a series of extraordinary measures,
growing more and
religious
human
frenzy
sacrifices
more complicated
of
the
after
years
at the
are performed
until
command
begin again to be introduced, and
century that we now turn.
deities
It
is
of
In this the third century before Christ
the books.
this
the
in
Cannae even
that
probable
the
it
is
to
Romans had always
what their
names were under the old regime we do not know,
worshipped certain
powers of healing, but
except that possibly they were connected with the
At the close of the kingdom they
gods of water.
received, as we have seen, Apollo the divine healer,
Apollo Medicus, and this was originally the only
of his activity which he exercised at Rome.
side
At
various
seasons
of
plague
during
centuries of the republic they called on
and on one such occasion
(B.C.
the
him
431) they
early
for help,
built
him
THE COMING OF THE SIBYL
84
But
a temple.
the course of time
in
men began
to
think lightly of the old family physician who had
stood by the Romans during more than two centuries
;
his
methods were too conservative, they were
felt
A new god of
Rome, the Greek god
not to be thoroughly up to date.
healing had
in
appeared
whom myth
called Apollo's son, though
he had had no connection with Apollo.
His great sanctuary was at Epidauros, and from
Asklepios,
originall)'
there his cult spread over
first
he was known at
private individuals,
the
Greek
Tarentum
tagious,
and
of
the
the worship of
in
Southern
Metapontum
It
but
;
of
stories
were eagerly heard.
only
who had brought him up from
colonies
or
At
the Greek world.
all
Rome
is
his
probably
Italy,
his
was con-
cult
miraculous
cures
no wonder then that
the presence of a great pestilence in B.C. 293,
the Sibylline books were consulted,
"
"
it
in
when
was found
must
Livy says,
The war
be brought to Rome from Epidauros."
with Pyrrhus however was on, and nothing could
be done that year except the setting apart of a
in the books," as
that Aesculapius
solemn day of prayer and supplication to Aesculapius.
It is
interesting to observe
how much
the
Romans
have changed since the time exactly two centuries
before (B.C. 493), when Ceres and her companions,
the
their
first
gods introduced by the books, received
That was the acknowledgment of
temple.
gods well known
at
Rome, and even then they were
II
THE COMING OF THE SIBYL
immediately
gods
identified with already existing
now they
;
85
Roman
actually send an expedition not only
Rome but of
god whom they
outside of
Italy itself to bring in the
cult of a
accept by his Greek name.
292) the expedition started
In the following year (B.C.
Epidauros to bring back the god, that is the
was both his symbol and his
visible presence.
Such an importation of a sacred
for
sacred snake which
snake from Epidauros is not unique in the case of
Rome, but was the normal method of establishing a
branch
cult.
this
just
established.
the
as to
Snakes were kept at Epidauros for
and many branches were thus
purpose,
It is
an extremely interesting question
medical value of the methods
practical
of healing practised at Epidauros and
For
a
long
time
those
best
fitted
its
to
branches.
express
a
modern physicians who examined
the matter, found nothing good in them, and their
opinion seems to receive confirmation from some of
technical opinion,
the
recently discovered at Epidauros,
the most extraordinary tales of miraculous
And yet many of these tales are not intended
inscriptions
which
cures.
tell
as actual facts, but rather as pious legends, proclaimed
for the edification of the devout, in
order that their
Before we condemn the
might be quickened.
whole affair, we must realise two facts one is that
faith
;
some of the most able minds of Greece, men who
were otherwise by no means remarkable for their
religious faith, believed implicitly in
Epidauros and
THE COMING OF THE SIBYL
86
went there
to
be cured
;
and the other
that the
is
the god was always supplemented by medicines, in which there may well have
miraculous
action of
been some
We
about
real value.
are
this
told
much
too
embassy
rather
than
to Epidauros, for the
of this third century
different
is
Greek
too
little
atmosphere
from that of the
was beginning to
early republic.
influence Rome, and those generations were being
literature
who were to be the pioneers in Roman literaThus Roman mythology was commencing
born
ture.
along Greek lines and with Greek models, and one
of the points where legend grew thickest and fastest
coming of Aesculapius. The plain facts
went to Epidauros,
obtained the snake, brought it back safely to Rome,
and established the sanctuary on the island in the
Tiber, where a temple was built and dedicated
is
this
in
are evidentl)' that the committee
Probably this was the first
January I, B.C. 291.
use to which the island had ever been put, and from
this
time dates the
the city
much
;
first
bridge connecting
it
with
the other bridge, to the right bank, was
later.
The Romans had always considered
the island a disadvantage rather than an advantage.
Even in legend it was cursed, for it sprang from the
wheat of the Tarquins.
The)- had always desired
to be cut off from it, and had always feared lest it
might act as a means of approach for the enemy
The {qw real facts of
from the opposite bank.
THE COMING OF THE SIBYL
87
Aesculapius's coming grew into a ronnantic account
of how, to the great surprise and terror of the sailors,
the snake went of
and how
own accord
its
into the
Roman
stayed aboard until they reached
Antium, and then suddenly swam ashore and coiled
itself up in a sacred palm tree in the enclosure of
it
ship
;
the
temple of Apollo there
were
in
of ever
despair
and how, when they
;
getting
back again,
it
it
returned peaceably to them at the end of three days,
and
all
went well on the journey
Ostia and up
to
the Tiber until they were passing the island,
the snake went ashore to
make
its
when
permanent home
there.
It
was
a
pretty
formed the island
fancy
which
into the
a
at
likeness
later
date
of a boat by
building a prow and stem of travertine at either end,
and it is a
the traces of which may still be seen
;
of the
curious instance
Rome
S.
in
the
modern
Bartolommeo
many
city,
stands
survivals of ancient
that
on
Aesculapius sanctuary, and so
the
far
the
site
as
Hospital of
of the old
we can
tell,
twenty-two centuries of suffering humanity have
had the burden of their pain lightened there, in
uninterrupted succession since that new year's day,
above three hundred years before Christ, when the
hospital of Aesculapius of Epidauros
was formally
opened.
The coming
of the god of healing in the opening
may well be regarded as
years of the third century
THE COMING OF THE SIBYL
88
an
omen
of the great suffering which that century-
Rome. It was a century of almost
then
first the Samnite war
uninterrupted warfare
the war with Pyrrhus and Rome's conquest of
Southern Italy then after a breathing spell of about
was
to bring to
:
;
;
a decade the
first
war with Carthage, and Rome's
then camin fighting at sea
bitter apprenticeship
;
and finally the war
paigns in Cisalpine Gaul
with Hannibal roughly filling the last two decades,
the most fearful contest in all Rome's history, with
;
her most terrible
It is
little
in the
to be
in
enemy
wondered
her
own land of
Italy.
at therefore that this
was
religious depression, a time
main a century of
when the fear of the gods filled every man's heart
and when every trifling apparent irregularity in the
of nature
course
was
exaggerated into a portent
declaring the wrath of the gods and needing
immediate and extraordinary
moment
just such a
century
of
propitiation.
as this in
It
some
is
in
the middle of the
249) that the next recorded instance
The first war with Carthage
occurs.
Rome
had just suffered a terrible
progress,
(B.C.
new gods
was
in
off
defeat
the
north-western
point
of
Sicily,
at
Drepana, a defeat all the more hideous because it
was supposed to have been caused by the impiety of
the Consul Clodius, who, hearing that the sacred
chickens would not
"
saying
them
all.
let
eat,
perpetrated his grim jest by
them drink then
But to cap
it
all
instead,"
the wall
and drowning
of Rome was
THE COMING OF THE SIBYL
Then
struck
by lightning.
and the books were consulted.
made
89
was necessary
action
They ordered
that
Dis and Proserpina, a
black steer to Dis, and a black cow to Proserpina,
three successive nights, out on the Campus Martius,
sacrifice
at
should be
to
an altar which was called the Tarentuni^ and that
ceremony should be repeated at the end of a
the
hundred
years.
Here the myth -makers of
later
times have been even more busily at work than they
were in the case of Aesculapius.
The Aesculapius
story
was
fitted
out
by them merely with a few
miraculous details, a few legendary ornaments, but
the story of Dis and Proserpina was so covered with
their fabrications that
has only recently been freed
it
from them and seen
in
its
true light,
and certain
phases were so absolutely perverted that there are
number of very difficult points. To get a
understanding of the situation we must begin
a
still
clear
quite a distance back.
Taken
as a whole, religious beliefs are
most conservative things
may grow
as radical as
in
the world
you
;
among
please, but his effect
the general religious consciousness of his time
tremely
slight.
the
the individual
is
on
ex-
Occasionally the number of radical
and certain classes of society
individuals grows larger
are affected
by their views, but even, in the periods
of religious development which we are apt to think
of as most iconoclastic, society taken in the large,
and on the average of
all classes, is
not
much more
THE COMING OF THE SIBYL
90
radical than in apparently
a whole
as
religion
section of
it
is
more conservative than
section from which change
is
And
normal times.
conservative,
there
the
all
while
is
one
rest,
a
almost excluded, that
In our discussion
concerning the dead.
the beliefs
is
of the religion of Numa we saw the very primitive
character of Roman beliefs in this field, the firm
retention of the old animistic idea of the dead, the
tendency to class the dead together as a mass and
to believe in a collective rather than an individual
immortality, and
above
all
the abhorrence
dead and the disinclination to dwell on
dition
and
the grave.
to paint imaginary pictures of
In view of these feelings
we have
that
Roman gods
it
is
of the
their conlife
beyond
not strange
great difficulty in finding any old
of the dead, aside from the dead who
all gods.
These dead as gods {Di
Manes) and possibly Mother Earth {Terra Mater)
In Greece
are the only rulers in the Lower World.
are themselves
contrary death was
almost
on
the
life,
and though the conditions
not unlike those
in
Rome,
as
in
as
natural
as
early times were
Rohde
in
his
PsycJw
has so wonderfully described them, the Greek soon
grew beyond this, and the world of the dead became
almost as well known to him as the world of the
There was a kingdom of the dead, and a
These rulers were
living.
king and queen ruled over them.
called
by
but the
different
names
in different parts
names which they had
in
of Greece,
certain
parts of
II
THE COMING OF THE SIBYL
Hades
the Peloponnesus,
his
Persephone
The
rest.
91
bride,
the king of the dead and
were destined to survive the
cult of this
royal pair travelled far and
most notable development occurred in
Attica, where Persephone became Kore the daughter
wide, but
its
by Hades to become his bride,
Hades himself under the sunny skies of Athens
some of his terrors and became Pluto, the god
of Demeter, stolen
while
lost
of riches, especially the rich blessings of the earth.
But all this was very foreign to Rome, and while
the Greeks were thinking these thoughts, the
Romans
were going quietly along, content with their simple
Di Manes. No better proof of this can be desired
than the one accidentally given us in the introduction
of Demeter and her daughter Kore into Rome as
Ceres
and
Libera
in
B.C.
493, and the
absolute
word
colourlessness and pointlessness of Libera, in a
the entire lack of connexion in the
con-
religious
Rome
between Libera and Persephone.
But in B.C. 249, almost two and a half centuries
Rome had
later, matters were on a different basis
sciousness of
;
been learning a great deal that was foreign to her
old beliefs, and there was no longer anything impossible to her in the idea of individual rulers of the
dead.
Thus
at
the
command
of the books
Pluto
and Persephone were received into the state-cult,
though the strangeness of the situation was acknowledged, at least in
so far that they translated Pluto
into the Latin Dis
;
Persephone to be sure was
left
THE COMING OF THE SIBYL
92
more
alone, or
It is
speaking was accommodated
strictly
to the Latin tongue
by being changed
of course impossible that the
249 were
entirely ignorant of Pluto
to Proserpina.
Romans
of
B.C.
and Persephone
the Sibylline books bade them be brought in.
Here again the traders from Southern Italy had
been their teachers
and the name Tarentuni of
until
;
the altar where the sacrifice was to be
made may
Tarentum as the source
The Romans knew Tarentum only too
possibly indicate the town of
of the cult.
well since the eventful
war with Pyrrhus, which lay
only a generation back in their history.
And
Romans adopted
so the
the Greek gods of
the dead, and thus, at least theoretically, put their
dead ancestors into subjection to the Greeks just
as
they
at the
the
themselves,
feet
the
descendants,
of the Greeks in this
enactment
of
Roman
the
life.
Senate
gave
were sitting
But though
these
gods
and the
citizenship,
priests of the Sibylline
books were in duty bound to perform the ritual of
the cult, be it said to the credit of the Romans,
the gods themselves never took a very deep hold of
the
religious
life
names, to be
formulae
deities,
of the people
sure,
and
stood
crept
side
into
in
a
general.
few
of
Their
the
old
by side with the older
and Proserpina was made much of by the
Roman
but the real tests of devotion,
poets
dedicatory inscriptions, are almost entirely absent.
Strangely
;
enough the only thing which seems
to
THE COMING OF THE SIBYL
93
have caught their fancy was the weird ritual of the
nightly sacrifice at the Tarentum, and especially its
This idea of
repetition after one hundred years.
the hundred years
Roman
is
rather than Greek, and
whether it may not
open
have been added to the instructions in the oracle to
it
at
is
whole
the
give
Thus
to question
least
in
were
249
Roman
added
matter an
B.C.
instituted
the
colour.
Secular
which
were repeated with approximate
accuracy in B.C. 146, and would doubtless have
been again between B.C. 49 and 46, had not the
Civil War completely filled men's minds and made
Games,
human
to the dead, in
sacrifices
Meantime
daily occurrence.
backwards
were
in
working
and building out into
fictitious
hundred
celebrations
years
On
kingdom.
apart,
annalists
own
the
past
into
hand we
peculiar
a series
249, one
time of the
B.C.
preceding
back
the other
Roman
their
fashion,
of
an almost
battle,
the
the
shall
have occa-
sion later to speak of the restoration of the
and
their reorganisation
Under
much like
which
is
the
test
of
individuals,
often
games
by Augustus.
adversity nations are very
and a national weakness,
entirely concealed
in
normal con-
ditions, comes prominently and disastrously to the
surface in the hour when strength is most needed.
The war with Hannibal was
Rome's
history,
dependence
upon
and
the
under
just
its
Sibylline
such
a crisis in
influence
books
Rome's
was
more
THE COMING OF THE SIBYL
94
pronounced than
sown during the
ever.
The
destined
seeds
centuries
earlier
of superstition
now
burst
into
produce the fruit, the
gathering of which was to be the bitter task of
full
blossom,
to
the closing centuries of the republic.
The
story of
Punic War, regarded merely from the
military standpoint, reads for Rome almost like a
the Second
nightmare, with its long succession of apparently
easy victories turning one by one into defeats but
when we add to this that other chronicle, of which
;
equally fond, the long lists of portents and
prodigies sent by the angered gods, and when we
realise that to the masses of the people the wrath
is
Livy
of the gods was more terrible and just as real as
the
hostility
heart
to
of
Hannibal, then
reproach
them
for
we have
not the
their religious
frenzy.
Seen by themselves, the jumping of a cow out of
a second-story window, or the images of the gods
tears, do not seem very serious matters,
shedding
but
endow
us with three hundred years of hereditar)'
dread of these things, give us the instinctive interpretation of them as the turning away from us of
the powers upon which we rely for help, nay their
and our
positive opposition to us and our hopes
—
condition in the presence of these
be very
phenomena would
different.
Thus almost every year between
201 had
its
B.C.
218 and
share of religious ceremonial, and the
Sibylline books, which had
hitherto been, in theory
THE COMING OF THE SIBYL
at
least,
95
merely an alternative method of religious
procedure permitted to exist alongside of the older
and more conservative forms, became now the order
Like a Homeric picture
of the day.
quarrels
of the
in
gods
Olympus
in
run
which the
parallel
to
and Trojans on the plains
of Troy, so every victory which Rome won over
Hannibal on the field of battle was bought at the
the
of Greeks
battles
price of a victory of
in the field of religion
Greek gods over Roman gods
and further, although Rome
;
keeping Hannibal outside of her own
walls, her gods did not succeed in defending the
succeeded
in
pomerium against the Greek gods, and it is during
this Second Punic War that this, the greatest safeguard of old Roman religion and customs, was
broken
down,
and
new gods
the
gained
entire
possession of the city, placing their temples on the
From now on
spots hitherto held most sacred.
distinction ceases,
all
speak of a
Roman
and
it
is
scarcely possible to
in contrast to a
Graeco-Roman
important however to observe that this
breakdown occurred because of excess of religious
cult.
zeal
It is
rather than
and though we
terioration
all
the
Ceres
through neglect and indifference,
indeed notice a gradual de-
may
of the deities introduced by the books,
way down from
and
miraculous
Proserpina
the busy working gods like
Neptune to the more
Mercury and
Aesculapius, and the cult of Dis or
with its possibilities of weird fantastic
THE COMING OF THE SIBYL
96
worship, there have been however as yet only scanty
But this was the
traces of the orgiastic element.
next
and
step,
it
was not long
in
The
coming.
with
campaigns of the earlier years of the war
Hannibal had passed, Cannae (B.C. 216) had
been
somewhat
rapid
where
by Metaurus
retrieved
reinforcements
the
Hasdrubal, had been
for
(B.C.
Hannibal,
207),
led
by
to pieces, but the result
cut
was not what had been hoped for, and Hannibal
had not left Italy, but entrenched in the mountains
of the south he seemed to be preparing to pass the
It was in this the year B.C.
rest of his life there.
205 that the help of the books was again sought,
peradventure they might show the way to drive
if
Hannibal
that,
upon the
from
of the
out
when
land, he could
Italy,
if
story
is
be conquered and
driven
the Great Mother of the gods should
Rome
be brought to
the
The reply came
enemy should wage war
country.
a foreign-born
from Phrygia.
The
rest
of
quaintly and withal so truthfully
so
by Livy (Bk. xxix.) that it will not be amiss to
"
The oracle discovered by the
quote his words
Decemviri affected the Senate the more on this
told
:
—
account because the ambassadors
who had brought
of Metaurus] to
Delphi reported that when they were sacrificing to
the Pythian Apollo the omens were all favourable,
the
and
gifts
that
[vowed
the
at
oracle
greater victory was at
the
battle
had
hand
giv^en
response
for the
Roman
that
a
people
THE COMING OF THE SIBYL
97
than that one from whose spoils they were then
And as a finishing touch to this
bringing gifts.
same hope they dwelt upon the prophetic opinion
Publius Scipio regarding the end of the war,
because he had asked for Africa as his province.
of
And
so in prder that they might the more quickly
obtain
that
victory
which
to
itself
promised
them by the omens and oracles of fate, they began to consider what means there was of bringAs yet the Roman
ing the goddess to Rome.
people had no states in alliance with them
Asia
in
however they remembered that formerly
Aesculapius had been brought from Greece for the
sake of the health of the people, though they had
Minor
no
;
alliance with Greece.
They
realised too that a
friendship had been
Pergamon]
he could
.
in
.
.
begun with King Attalus [of
and that Attalus would do what
Roman people and so
send ambassadors to him, ....
behalf of the
they decided
to
and they allotted them
five
;
ships-of-war
that they might approach in a fitting
countries
favour.
way
to
which
Asia
approaching
offered
they desired
Now when
they
the
to
in
order
manner the
interest
in
their
the ambassadors were on their
disembarked
oracle
asked
at
what
Delphi,
prospect
and
it
them and the Roman people of accomplish-
ing the things which they had been sent to do.
It
was that through King Attalus
they would obtain what they sought, but that when
is
said that the reply
H
THE COMING OF THE SIBYL
98
Rome they should see
Rome should be at hand
they brought the goddess to
to
to
man
that the best
it
in
Then they came
receive her.
to
to
Pergamon
the king [Attalus], and he received them graciously
and led them to Pessinus in Phrygia, and he gave
them the sacred stone which,
over to
natives
»the
said, was the Mother of the gods, and bade them
And Marcus Valerius Falto was
carry it to Rome.
sent ahead by the ambassadors and he announced
that
the goddess
man
in
was coming, and that the best
the state must be sought out to receive her
with due ceremony."
In the next year (B.C. 204)
recounting new prodigies Livy continues
Then too the matter of the Idaean Mother must
after
"
:
be attended
Valerius,
who had been
one of the ambassadors
announced that she would soon be
sent ahead, had
in
Marcus
aside from the fact that
to, for
—
Italy, there was also
a fresh message that
she
The Senate had to
already at Tarracina.
decide a very important matter, namely who was
was
the
best
man
in
the state, for every
man
in
the
state preferred a victory in such a contest as this
to
any
commands
the Senate or
decided that of
best
the
was
all
Publius
matrons
or
which
offices
vote
the
the people might give him.
was
meet the goddess
men
the good
Scipio.
.
ordered
and
ship, to carry her to
to
.
.
to
in
He
go
receive
of
They
the state the
then
with
to
Ostia
her
from
all
to
the
land and to give her over to
THE COMING OF THE SIBYL
women
the
to carry.
mouth of the
After the ship came to the
out in a small
Tiber, Scipio, going
had
he
as
boat,
99
been
received
commanded,
the
goddess from the priests and carried her to land.
And
her
the noblest
women
of the land
.
.
received
.
and
they carried the goddess in their
arms, taking turn about while all Rome poured out
to meet her, and incense-burners were placed before
.
.
.
the doors
where she was carried by, and incense
was burned
in her
honour.
And
thus praying that
she might enter willingly and propitiously into the
city, they carried her into the temple of Victory,
which is on the Palatine, on the day before the
Nones of April [April 4]. And this was a festal
day and the people in great numbers gave gifts
to the goddess, and a banquet for the gods was
held,
and games were performed which were called
This extraordinary picture
Megalesiar
in the
main
part of
it,
historically correct.
the enthusiasm of the
is
probably
The most
Roman
striking
populace,
Thus was introduced
summoned by means
of the books, the one whose cult was destined to
outlast that of all the others, and to do more harm
and produce more demoralisation than all the other
To understand why this was so, we
cults together.
is
certainly not
into
Rome
must go back
The
and we
overdrawn.
the last deity ever
for a
moment.
influence of Greece on
Rome was
progressive,
are able to indicate at least three distinct
THE COMING OF THE SIBYL
loo
periods and phases of it, so far as religion is concerned
first, the informal coming of a few Greek
:
gods who adapted themselves more or
pletely
the
to
Hercules
and
Apollo was
Roman
old
and
Castor
indirectly
character
even
com-
less
such
;
are
though
the second
Apollo,
responsible
for
was the cause of the coming of
the Sibylline books.
The influence of these books
period, because he
produced the second period, with
its
characteristics
of ever-growing superstition, and greater pomp in
cult acts, but though the sobriety of the old days
had changed into a restless activity, the new gods
who came in and the new cult acts introduced were
still
of such a
character that
Romans
could
take
But just as the
part in the worship without shame.
Apollo had produced the books, so now as
the books brought in the Great
Mother, and the third period had begun, the period
staid
their last bequest
of orgiastic
Oriental
least
certain
among
of Christianity.
worship,
We may
Mother was, and why
this
be so different from
the
At
which prevailed,
classes, until
all
different points in
at
the establishment
well ask
who
one Greek
this
cult
Great
should
rest.
Asia Minor and
in
Crete a
goddess was worshipped, originally without proper
name, as the great source of all fertility, the mother
of
all
things, even of the gods.
Mount Dindymos
Phrygia was one of the chief centres of the cult,
and there the Great Mother was known also as
in
THE COMING OF THE SIBYL
loi
From these various centres the cult spread
Cybele.
over all the Greek world, but wherever it went, it
always gave evidence of its birthplace by certain
strange Oriental elements both in its myths and in
its rites.
Its devotees were a noisy orgiastic band,
who
filled
the streets with their dances, and the air
with their singing and the clashing of their symbols,
to the accompaniment of the rattling of coin in the
money box
—
for the
collection of
money from
the
bystanders was always a part of the performance.
"
This then was what the best man in the state
and the
Rome
Roman matrons went
grave
to receive
—
a sacred
forth
from
stone representing the
goddess, and a band of noisy emasculated priests
and
this
was what they opened
their gates to,
took up into their holy of holies, the Palatine
the
birthplace
come
of
bearing
"
;
and
hill,
The Greeks had again
and like the Trojans who
Rome.
gifts,
broke down their walls and took the wooden horse
up into their citadel, Romans, the reputed descendents of these Trojans, were carrying up to their
most sacred hill another gift of Greece which was
They put the image in the
temple of Victoria on the Palatine until such time
as its own temple was ready to receive it, and the
to capture their city.
goddess of Victory seemed to respond to its presence,
for did not Hannibal leave Italy the very next year ?
And who would
be so impious as to suggest that to
and
not
Cybele
belonged the glory, and that
Scipio
THE COMING OF THE SIBYL
I02
Roman army in Africa affected Hannibal
more than a sacred stone on the Palatine ?
a strong
be doubted whether anything but
exigency would ever have induced
to accept such an utterly foreign cult
and
well
may
It
such
a
Rome
great
;
when the nightmare of the war was
awoke to the realisation that a very
been committed.
To
their credit
past, the
Senate
serious act
had
be
that
said
it
The
they did what they could to minimise the evil.
goddess had brought her own priests with her, the
cult was in their hands, and there the law decreed
it
must
stay,
That
and no
Roman
citizen could
become a
law was really enforced is shown
by several cases where punishment, even transportapriest.
this
tion across the sea,
was meted out
to transgressors.
Then
too the worship must be in the main confined
to the precincts of the temple on the Palatine, and
only on certain days of the year were the priests
allowed to perform in the streets of the city.
It is
significant of the strength of Roman law that these
enactments held good
and were not changed
and a half
for three
until
centuries,
the reign of Antoninus
Pius.
In
the
introduction
of
Mother the
Great
the
Sibylline books performed their last and most notable
achievement.
deities,
Hereafter
they
introduced
no
and were consulted only occasionally,
for political purposes, for
example
the followers of Sulla, and in
B.C.
in B.C.
56
in
new
chiefly
87 against
connexion
I
THE COMING OF THE SIBYL
with a scheme of purely political import.
was done, and we have seen in what
103
Their work
it
consisted.
For three hundred years they had been encouraging
the
growth of superstition.
From
their
vantage
ground of the temple of Juppiter Optimus Maximus,
the essence of all that was most patriotically Roman
in
Rome, they had been giving forth these infallible
seemed so much superior to the simple
oracles which
"
"
answers with which the old Romans
yes and no
had been content in their dealings with the gods.
In times of peril by pestilence and by battle they
had given advice, and the pestilence had ceased and
the battle had turned to victory.
It seemed indeed
Sibyl deserved the gratitude of Rome.
alone could teach them what the books had
the
that
Time
It was only in the coming
really given them.
generations that it became evident that the abuse of
faith, the substitution of incantation for devotion, was
destructive of true religion.
It is
the effect of this
substitution on the various classes of society under
the
new and
centuries
trying social conditions of the last two
of the republic that forms the theme of
our next chapter.
THE DECLINE OF FAITH
It
is
In
the fashion of our
art
not
we
of
that
like
a
centuries in
to think
day
no
fourteenth
the
revival
Greece.
evil of
experiencing another
are
Renaissance,
and
fifteenth
Rome, but
of ancient
in
a
leading behind Rome to the classic and
In itself it
even the pre-classic models of Greece.
movement
is
a
healthful tendency, a needed corrective to the
search for novelty which characterised
But in
the closing years of the nineteenth century.
our admiration for the Greek spirit we ought not to
sensational
forget that after
its
Alexander that
beauty, and aged very
regret
the
of our
fact
that
spirit
rapidly.
Rome,
like
seemed
at
lost
much
We may
certain
times
of
indeed
persons
to
possess
strong faculty for assimilating the worst of her
surroundings, while occasionally curiously unresponand yet we ought in justice
sive to the better things
acquaintance,
a
;
to strive to realise the fact that not only
spirit
at
its
the historical
is
the Greek
best an unteachable thing, but that at
moment when Rome came under
influence the Greek world
that
was very old and weary.
104
THE DECLINE OF FAITH
It
was Rome's misfortune and not her
105
fault that
when
she was old enough to go to school, Alexandrianism
with its pedantic detail was the order of the day in
mythology, and the timorous post-Socratic schools
were the teachers of philosophy.
Naturally if Rome
had been another Greece she would have worked
back from these
later forms to the truer, purer spirit,
not Greece, and no thoughtful man
ever pretended that she was.
In the third century
before Christ Greece began actively to influence
but
Rome was
Rome
;
before that time Hellenic influence had been
confined largely to the effects on religion produced
by the Sibylline books, and to the effects on
caused by the presence of Greek traders.
But now Greek thought as embodied in the literature
began to affect Roman thought, and to bring into
society
being a literature based on Greek models.
centuries of Sibylline oracles
had produced
for
Three
Rome
religious condition of the Second
Punic War, when she did not think twice before
the
pathological
down
breaking
the
hitherto separated
elements
in
her
religious
the
barrier
which
had
from the adopted
and at the same time
national
religion,
unhesitatingly reached out to Asia Minor for an
Oriental cult, masquerading in Greek colours, and
placed
on
the
Palatine
the
Great
Mother
of
Pessinus.
From
steadily at
work which shaped the history of Roman
two remaining centuries till the close
religion in the
this
time on two influences were
THE DECLINE OF FAITH
io6
of the republic
one, mythology, directly affecting
the forms of the cult and the beliefs concerning the
:
individual gods
;
the
other,
philosophy,
attacking
the whole foundation of religious belief in general.
Greece gave her gods to Rome when she herself
was weary of them, she gave her the tired gods,
exhausted by centuries of handling, long ago dragged
down from Olympus, and weary
with
serving
as
lay -figures for poets and artists, and being for ever
rigged out in new mythological garments, or jaded
with the laboratory experiments of philosophers who
tried to interpret them in every conceivable fashion
or else to do
away with them
wonder that
it
did not take the
a century to
come
that the only one
to the
the
Magna
It
is
no
end of these gods, to find
among them who
their religious desires
all,
entirely.
Romans more than
was the
least
could satisfy
Greek of them
Mater, and having found this to go
more like unto her, in a
forth to take to themselves
word, to crave the sensational cults of the Orient.
And the philosophy which Greece gave Rome was
no better than the mythology.
that
human thought experienced
It is not strange
a reaction after a
century which contained both Plato and Aristotle,
but it is a pity that Rome should have learned her
philosophy from a period of doubt and scepticism
an age in which the lesser masters, who had known
the
greater
ones,
pupils' pupils.
had
gone,
leaving
nothing
but
THE DECLINE OF FAITH
107
The
history of religion in Rome during the last
two centuries of the republic is the story of the
and reaction of these two tendencies
action
one toward the novel and sensational
we
which
may
call
superstition,
philosophy of doubt, which
—
in
the
the state.
of
religion
ward
the
in
the
worship,
other the
we may
call scepticism
presence of the established religion of
This much the two centuries have in
common, but here
first
—
these
their
centuries
was able
to hold
resemblance ends.
In the
200-100) the
(B.C.
state
her own, at least in out-
appearance, and to wage war against both
In the other century (B.C. 100 to
tendencies.
Augustus) politics gained control of the state religion
and so robbed her of her strength that she was
crushed between the opposing forces of superstition
and scepticism.
It is to the story of the earlier of
these two centuries, the second before Christ, that
we now turn.
With the close
began
for
prosperity.
exactly
Rome
of the Second
distributed,
semblance
to
and
it
some of our
commercial prosperity,
general
Punic
War
there
period of very great material
This prosperity was, to be sure, not
a
bettering
of
increase
not
is
in that it
economic
of the
without
modern
its
instances
re-
of
was not so much a
conditions
as
the
wealth of a relatively
very rapid
small number, an increase gained at the expense of
positive detriment to a large element in the popula-
THE DECLINE OF FAITH
io8
Thus it was that a century of which the first
tion.
seventy years provide an almost unparalleled spectacle
of the increase of national territory, accompanied,
according to the ancient methods of taxation, by a
vast increase in national wealth, should close with
the tragedies of Tiberius and Gaius Gracchus and
the legacy of class hatred which produced the civil
This growth in wealth and territory was not
wars.
without
were vowed
;
on the
and the
outward observer
war provided the
Thus to the
of the vows.
might well have seemed that
was enjoying a time of
it
of the state
Between the
great prosperity.
War
spoils of the
for the fulfilment
the religion
outvv^ard
The
of minor wars in
means
appearance of the
was
gained by a series
territory
the course of which many temples
its effects
state religion.
Punic
close of the
201) and the year of Tiberius Gracchus
133) we have accurate knowledge of the
(B.C.
dedication of no less than nineteen state temples,
(B.C.
and there were undoubtedly many others of which
we have no record. Another apparently good sign
is
far
the fact
that the Sibylline books are silent, so
as the introduction of
new
deities
is
concerned.
Yet these surface indications are deceptive.
the
now
that
As
the
for
line
pomerium
Sibylline
had been broken down, and the temples of Greek
gods might be placed anywhere in the city, it was a
books,
very simple matter for the state to bring
Greek god that
it
pleased, and
likening
in
him
any
to a
THE DECLINE OF FAITH
more or
less similar
Roman name,
the
where.
to
calling him by
put up a temple to him any-
was also true
It
109
Roman god and
that, as
Roman
theology
was now based on the principle that every Roman
god had his Greek parallel and vice versa, there
were no gods
at
brought
left,
the
in
all
in
whose names would have occurred
Sibylline
who
books,
vowing of new
temples, this
could
And
now without them.
as
represented
not be
for
at
the
best
merely the habit formed during more devout days
;
was moving by the momentum acquired
during the Second Punic War, and the gods to
whom these temples were erected were really Greek
religion
In a word, not only
gods under Roman names.
was the state religion becoming more and more
of a form day by day, but the form was that of
Greece and not of Rome.
to trace this
movement
It is
extremely interesting
look behind the
in detail, to
outward appearance and see the remarkable changes
that were really taking place.
we
look at the temples which were built in the
years following the Second Punic War, we shall have
no difficulty in finding examples of the introduction
If
of
Greek gods under Roman names.
war
itself in
the year B.C.
vowed a temple
battle
near
goddess,
During the
207 a Roman general had
to Juventas
Siena.
on the occasion of a
Juventas was
one of those abstract
an old
deities
Roman
which had
been produced by the breaking off and becoming
THE DECLINE OF FAITH
no
of a cult -title.
She was intimately
associated with Juppiter, and had a special shrine in
independent
the
Capitoline
and
the
assumption
privileges of
bolised
was the divine
away of childish things
Juventas
temple.
representative of the putting
of
the
young manhood.
by the Romans
responsibilities
and
This act was sym-
in the beautiful
ceremony of
putting on the toga of manhood {toga virilis), when
the lad was led by his father to the Capitoline
temple to make sacrifices to Juppiter, and at the
same time a contribution was made to the treasury
But
of Juventas.
this
was
not
the
goddess
in
whose honour the temple vowed at Siena was built
at the Circus Maximus and dedicated B.C. 191.
This Juventas was nothing more or less than the
Greek Hebe, the female counterpart of Ganymedes,
cupbearer to the gods.
Similarly in B.C. 179
temple was dedicated to Diana at the Circus
Flaminius, but this was not the old goddess of
Aricia, whose cult Rome had adopted for the sake
as
a
of increasing her influence in the Latin league.
It
was the Greek Artemis, who at her first coming into
Rome had been associated with Apollo in the
temple built in B.C. 431, and was now given a temple
of her own.
Perhaps the strangest of all; is the
temple which was erected to Mars in the Campus
Martins
that the
of their
in
B.C.
138.
It
might well be supposed
Romans would keep holy the
race, the god to whom, under
reputed father
Juppiter, their
THE DECLINE OF FAITH
iii
On the contary in B.C. 2 i 7, when
they were carrying out a Greek ceremony of offering
success was due.
a banquet to a set of gods, arranged in pairs, they
showed no
hesitation in grouping together Mars
and Venus to represent the Greek pair Ares and
Aphrodite, thus doing violence to Mars by bringing
him
Venus which was
into a relationship with
Roman
with whom
tirely foreign to old
him with Ares,
Now
name
138 a temple
in B.C.
is
en-
thought, and identifying
he had nothing to do.
built to Ares under the
of Mars, close beside the venerable old altar
of Mars, one of the oldest and most sacred of
Roman
shrines.
But
Greek gods with
this passion for identifying
Roman
ones
parallel
for
known
deities
way.
The
not
did
the
confine
itself
were introduced into
old
Roman
honour the ancient
god,
festival
yearly celebrated, had
Rome
Faunus,
of the
as his
finding a
to
gods of Greece
greater
and
;
Fauna, who was better known as the
whose
in
Liipercalia
associate a
"
less
same
in the
was
goddess.
"
good goddess
(Bona Dea).
Eventually this new title Bona Dea
crowded out the old title Fauna, so that it was almost
Bona Dea was a goddess of
forgotten.
women, and the most characteristic feature of her
worship was the exclusion of men from taking part
entirely
in
it.
Now
there
was
a
Greek
goddess,
called
Damia, also a goddess of women, from whose cult
also men were excluded, and her cult spread from
THE DECLINE OF FAITH
112
Greece to
especially
Greek colonies of Southern
the
Tarentum, and so eventually
to
Italy,
Rome.
But by the time she arrived in Rome the connexion
Fauna and Bona Dea had been entirely forgotten.
of
Damia was surely a Bona Dea, yes she was the
Bona Dea, for was not the proof at hand in the fact
that men were excluded from both cults }
So a
temple was built for her, probably shortly after the
Second Punic War, and from the time no one ever
thought of poor Fauna again, except scholars and
poets,
who amused
in
Faunus, as
sister,
lived
themselves, as was their wont, by
various genealogical relationships to
putting her
or
wife,
daughter, while
and prospered under the stolen
title
Damia
of the
Bona Dea.
We
see from this on
what a small resemblance
such identifications were based,
in this case merely
on the presence of a similar minor injunction in the
But we have here at least a
laws of each cult.
genuine cult which had arrived and was asking for
admission, and in so far we are better off than in
most
instances,
where nothing substantial was gained
Two forces were now at work
by the identification.
assisting in
namely
marked
art
an
this
and
fusion of
literature.
epoch
several centuries she
in
Roman gods,
capture of Syracuse
Greek and
The
Rome's
artistic
career
;
for
had employed Greek architects
and had also become acquainted with the artistic
types of certain Greek gods, but now all at once a
THE DECLINE OF FAITH
113
wealth of Greek sculpture was disclosed to her, and
she could not rest content until all her gods were
The adoption of
represented in the fashion of man.
the Greek type, in those cases where an identification
had already been effected, was not difficult and was
main successful, though there followed almost
in the
inevitably an enrichment of the Greek element in
Roman god
the
because of the presence of some
which brought its own myth
But there were certain Roman gods for
attribute in the statue,
with
it.
whom Greek
parallels could not
be found, and
in these
awkward one,
example when the Roman
cases a compromise, usually rather an
had
to be effected, as for
gods of the storeroom, the Di Penates, were represented by statues of the Greek Castor and Pollux.
In such
cases
confusion
was sure
to
follow,
and
subsequent antiquarians would be tempted to write
treatises proving the original connexion of Castor or
Pollux with the Penates, as gods of protection
as
misleading,
in
own way was fully
and Roman scholars became fasci-
Literature too in
general, etc.
its
nated with the labyrinths of Alexandrian mythology,
and straightway began
rapidly as
kings and
to build
possible, establishing
all
Roman myths
lists
sorts of genealogies,
as
of old Latin
and weaving as
many Greek
mythological figures as possible into
the legends of the foundation of Italic towns.
It was the ceremonial of the cult however which
most often offered the best means of
identification,
I.
THE DECLINE OF FAITH
114
as
we have seen above
Bona Dea-
the case of
in
Damia, where the exclusion of men from the rites
In a similar way
was the main point of similarity.
the old Roman god of the harvest, Consus, was
Greek ocean-god Poseidon because
identified with the
horse-races were a characteristic feature of the
tivals
of
each
women and
parallel the
and
;
the
old
of childbirth was
Roman
as
given
fes-
of
goddess
her Greek
Greek goddess Leukothea, the helper of
those in peril at sea, because in both cases slaves
were forbidden to take part in the cult.
of the capture of Rome by these
and Greek ceremonials was not conthe mere addition of new ideas, and the
But the
effect
Greek gods
fined
to
transformation of certain old
Roman
This
deities.
would have been comparatively harmless, but there
was inevitably another result the consequent neglect
of all Roman deities for whom no Greek parallels
:
were
and the forgetting of all the
ideas which were crowded into the
forthcoming,
original
Roman
background by the novel and more
Even the
ideas.
were
treated
in
festivals
the
same
brilliant
of the old
cavalier
Greek
Roman
year
manner.
The
only with those
or
them
which
ceremonies
pleased them.
frightened
There were certain festivals, for example the Luperinterest
calia,
of the
people continued
the old ceremony of purification on February
which a reverence was still felt; and others
15, for
like the Parilia, the birthday of
Rome, on April
21,
THE DECLINE OF FAITH
Anna Perenna
or the
festival
on March
115
15,
which
involved open-air celebrations and picnics.
These
and others like them were always kept up, while
many others were totally neglected. Naturally for
the present the forms were continued by the state
the festivals were celebrated at least by the priests
and every temple received
sacrifice
on
its
;
;
birthday.
The wheels of the state religion were still running,
but the power behind them had stopped, and it was
only momentum which kept them in motion.
It is only when we realise these things that we
can understand how it was possible that the most
learned scholars at the close of the republic were so
desperately ignorant concerning old Roman religion.
In regard to many of the old Roman gods they
know
absolutely nothing, and try to disguise their
behind a show of learning based on
ignorance
in regard to the rest
etymological sleight-of-hand
information is so tangled with Greek ideas
;
their
that
it
mass
is
often
almost impossible to unravel the
This
and separate the old from the new.
unravelling has been the tedious occupation of the
half century in the study of Roman religion
last
;
and so patiently and successfully has it been accomplished that, although we would give almost
anything for a few books of Varro's Divine Antiis
it
tolerably certain that the possession
of these books would not change in the least the
quities,
fundamental
concepts
underlying
the
modern
re-
the decline OF FAITH
it6
construction of ancient
certain
equally
much more
just so
religion
strongly,
tradiction to
though
;
in
is
distinct con-
of Varro's favourite theories.
many
an accomplishment of which History
modestly proud, that modern scholars
able to
to a
eliminate,
it is
emphasise
what we already realise,
modern reconstruction
that this
is
Roman
these books would
that
large
may
It
well be
have been
degree, the personal
equation and the myopic effects of his own time
from the statements of the greatest scholar of
Roman
antiquity,
and thus though handicapped by
the possession of merely a small percentage of the
facts which Varro knew, to arrive at a concept of
the whole matter infinitely more correct than that
which
his
books contained.
During
this
second century before Christ, therefore,
the state religion was apparently unchanged so far
as the outward form
The terminology
was concerned.
and the ceremonies were much the same as
but the content was quite different
:
before,
Greek gods and
gods and Roman
Greek ideas had displaced Roman
ideas, and the official representatives of religion, the
state priests, were carrying the whole burden of
worship on
interest
their
had been
own
in
shoulders,
because popular
the main deflected
and was
These lines of rival
working along other lines.
interest were superstition and scepticism, phenomena
which at first sight appear as distinct opposites, but
which are on the contrary very closely akin, so that
THE DECLINE OF FAITH
117
they usually occur together not only in the same
age, but frequently even in the same individual.
are purely relative terms,
They
superstition consists in
its
the essence of scepticism
and the essence of
surplus element, just as
lies
in
its
No
deficiency.
religion judged from the standpoint of the worshipper
can properly be called a superstition, but if once we
can establish the essential things
any large addition
Speaking with
of superstition.
we have no
as
religion
relatively
forms
elements
historical
a
then
sympathy
right therefore to designate early
so
— but
in a religion,
to those essential things savours
superstition
—
it
with
in
Roman
be
of course
may
other
comparison
religious
once we have established the essential
in that early religion,
new and
introduction of
The
as superstition.
we may
consider the
entirely different elements
old religion of
Rome
consisted
exact and
scrupulous fulfilment of a large
number of minute ceremonials. The result of this
in
%
the
careful
fulfilment
around
man
did
of
ritual
was
him no harm but
that
that
was the end of the whole matter.
not
command
these powers
to
know
;
the
powers
rather good, and
Religion did
or even permit special inquiries into
it
was not only not man's duty to
it was his positive duty to
the gods,
Through the influence of Greece
had now come into Rome an altogether new
not
to.
try
try
there
idea,
nourished largely by the Sibylline books, and represented most fully in the Magna Mater, the idea
THE DECLINE OF FAITH
ii8
of the perpetual service of a god, a consecration to
him, to the exclusion of all other things, and a life
given over to the orgiastic performance of cult acts,
which produced a state of ecstasy and consequently
a communion with the deity.
Along with this there
went a
belief in the possibility,
by means of
certain
books and certain men, of obtaining from the gods
a
knowledge of the
beliefs,
religion,
The
which
may
these
surplus
the spirit of old
Roman
future.
quite contrary to
It
is
justly be called superstition.
Sibylline books had
aroused these feelings,
a knowledge of the oracle at Delphi had increased
them, the
farther,
but
rites
of
Aesculapius had
was not
it
until the
them
carried
Magna Mater came
they seem to have burst forth in any large
But aside from the rapid growth of the
degree.
that
Magna Mater
cult
itself
we have
in
this
second
The first
century two instances of this tendency.
was connected with the god Dionysos-Liber, innocent
enough
at
his
first
reception
in
B.C.
493,
company of Demeter-Ceres and Kore- Libera.
sure the state had introduced him merely as
in
the
To
be
the god
of wine, but the mystery element in Dionysos took
firm hold on private worship,
clubs or societies began to
and the Bacchanalian
spread over Italy.
the course of about three centuries they had
a formidable
menace
to the
morals and
physical security of the inhabitants of
In
become
even the
Rome.
Their
meetings instead of occurring three times a year
THE DECLINE OF FAITH
took place
119
times a month, and finally in B.C.
186 the famous Bacchanalian trial took place, of
five
which
Livy (Bk. xxxix.) gives such a graphic
account, and to which a copy of the inscription of the
decree of the Senate, preserved to our day, gives
such eloquent testimony, providing as
penalties
for
does severe
it
subsequent offenders, and recognising
on the other hand large liberty of conscience.
The same love of mystery and longing
for
knowledge which produced the Bacchanalian clubs
accorded a warm reception to astrology and made
men
listen
with eagerness to those
their fortunes or guide their lives
We
stars.
knowledge
who
could
do not know when the bearers of
first
arrived
in
tell
by means of the
Rome, but Cato,
in
this
his
Farm Almanac,
in
our earliest piece of prose literature,
giving rules for the behaviour of the farm bailiff
especially enjoins the intending landowner that his
should not be given to the consultation
bailiff
of
Chaldaean astrologers.
Within half a century the
problem of the Chaldaeans grew so serious that
state
interference
was necessary, and
in
B.C.
139
the praetor Cn. Cornelius Hispalus issued an edict
ordering the Chaldaeans to leave Rome and Italy
within ten days.
The same age which produced
superstition
brought
the shape of a
trouble
also
this
this
antidote
growth of
for
it
in
philosophy, but the only
philosophy not only cured
sceptical
was that
the
THE DECLINE OF FAITH
I20
but
superstition
religious
in
underlying
spirit
so
doing
killed
It
it.
the
cast
seven devils of superstition, but
sure, the
genuine
be
out, to
when men
returned to themselves again, they found their whole
With the
spiritual house swept and garnished.
death of the direct pupils of Aristotle, the Greek
mind had thought out all the problems of philosophy
of which man at that time was able to conceive.
The
following generations of philosophers devoted
themselves either to the elaboration of detail or to
a renewed examination of the foundations of belief,
with the
that
result
their smaller
minds came
to
smaller conclusions, and the end of their investigations
one increased scepticism.
w^as
of the day showed
many
different
more
or
less
by accenting
they defined
names, but they
pervaded
ethics as
ethics
The
slight variations
many
by a
all
agreed
sceptical
schools
and bore
in
being
spirit,
and
against metaphysics, though
very
differently
according to
their starting point.
One
reached
of the earliest philosophical influences which
Rome was however that of a pre-Socratic
school, the school of Pythagoras.
in
itself,
enough
was in Southern
cant that the
This was natural
as the headquarters of the school
Italy,
but
it
is
curious and signifi-
pronounced instance of its influence
occurred shortly after the Second Punic War, and in
connexion with a clever fraud which was perpetrated
with
a
first
view to influencing
religion.
In the
year
THE DECLINE OF FAITH
B.C.
1
8
1
a certain
ploughing
his
man
field,
reported that
121
when he was
which lay on the other side of
the Tiber, at the foot of the Janiculum, the plough
had laid bare two stone sarcophagi, stoutly sealed
lead, and bearing inscriptions in Greek and
Latin according to which they purported to contain,
one of them the body of King Numa, the other, his
with
When they were opened the one which
ought to have contained the body was empty, in
the other lay two rolls, each roll consisting of seven
writings.
books
;
the one set of seven was written in Latin
and treated of
pontifical law, the other consisted of
They were examined, found
be heretical and subversive to true religion, and
philosophical writings.
to
were accordingly burned
connexion of Numa and
but believed
impossible
the
in
in
practically certain that this
Comitium.
Pythagoras,
at
this
The
historically
time,
makes
it
was a clever attempt to
introduce the philosophy of Pythagoras into
under the holy sanction of the name of
Rome
Numa.
Fortunately the zeal of the city praetor frustrated
the scheme.
But the doctrines of philosophy, which
thus failed to enter by the door of religion, found
As the
the door of literature wide open for them.
irony of fate would have it, Cato, the stalwart enemy
of Greek influence, had brought back from Sardinia
with him the poet Ennius, and at about the time
when the
false
books of
Numa
Comitium Ennius was giving
were burning
in the
to the world a
Latin
THE DECLINE OF FAITH
122
translation
of
Euhemerus.
lived
the Sacred History of the Greek
This Euhemerus, a Sicilian who had
about a century before this time, earned his
fame by writing a novel of adventure and
to
title
travel, in
which he described a
taken
the
in
Red Sea along
which he had
trip
the
coast
of Arabia
to the wonderful island of Panchaia,
where he found
a column with an inscription on
history of Ouranos, Kronos, and
telling the life
it
Zeus,
who were
thus shown to have been historical characters after-
wards elevated into
element
cal
in
his
deities.
It
was
this
theologi-
book which made him famous.
This theory of the historical origin of the gods
is even to-day called Euhemerism, and has exerted
a baleful influence over writers on mythology from
its
author's day down to our own.
These then
were the doctrines which Ennius presented to the
Romans in their own tongue, and it is pathetic
that his Sacred History formed
the
formal treatise on theology which Rome ever
Born under such an evil star, it is
possessed.
to
realise
first
small wonder that her theological speculations never
reached great metaphysical heights.
In these days
question
of
it
seemed
philosophy
to the Senate that the
was beginning
to
be
so
might be considered as a public
that
it was therefore their
and
duty to try
danger,
that
it
to cope with
it.
Thc)' chose, of course, the typical
Roman method
of dealing with such matters, and
serious
THE DECLINE OF FAITH
the
philosophers
first
in
were
B.C.
sent
At
it
include
to
six
123
Rome.
from
was only the Epicureans who
but in B.C. 161 the edict was
173
out,
broadened
However
were expelled
years
in
philosophers
later,
in
B.C.
general.
came
155, there
Rome
an embassy of philosophers whose mission
was avowedly political and not philosophical, and
to
who
thus could not be excluded, while at the same
time they took occasion to preach their philosophical
doctrines.
the best
It
was fortunate
among
all
Rome
that Stoicism,
became thus the national
was in many re-
her most strongly and
philosophy of Rome.
spects quite
for
these philosophies, appealed to
Stoicism
as sceptical as the others, but
it
had
great advantage that it laid a strong
on ethics, and was in so far capable of
at least this
emphasis
It might be well enough
becoming a guide of life.
for Greeks, whose aggressive work in the world had
been done, to
a
theory
of
settle
life
down
which
to
an
age with
excluded the
idle old
practically
possibility of strong decisive action, but
still
her.
to
young, and most of her work was
She might think
take
peculiar
decadent
her
forms
leaders
Rome was
still
before
and pretend
of the more
herself very old
delight
of Greek
instinctively
in
many
thought,
turned
to
but
in
reality
Stoicism,
as
affording a compromise between the mere thoughtless activity of youth, which acts for the love of
acting,
and the jaded philosophy of the vanity of
THE DECLINE OF FAITH
124
About
all effort.
the middle of the century {circa
150) there existed
B.C.
and
intellectual
in
Rome
a
influence,
a centre of culture
little
group
men
of
peculiarly interesting, because they form practically
the first instance of an intellectual coterie in the
of Rome.
history
Scipio,
the
who had
poet
Their leader was the younger
as his associates his friend Laelius,
Lucilius,
whose
brilliant
sub-
writings,
merged by the more brilliant satires of Horace, form
one of the most deplorable losses in Roman literaand the Stoic philosopher Panaitios of Rhodes.
Terence had also belonged to the circle, but he was
now dead.
Stoicism was the avowed philosophy
ture,
of these men, and their influence, especially that of
Panaitios and Lucilius, did much to popularise their
chosen philosophical creed.
While Stoicism claimed
superiority
to religion
and showed the impossibility of attaching any value
to
religious
of religion
knowledge,
for
the
expediency, and
it
recognised the necessity
common
effected
a
people on grounds of
reconciliation
between
of religion on the one hand, and the
recognition of it on the other, by asserting that
the religion of the state was justified not only by
this
denial
expediency but much more by the
fact
that
it
was
only the presentation of the truths of
Stoicism in a form which was intelligible to the
lower classes.
Had this group of Scipio and his
after
all
associates
made
an
effort
to
emphasise
these
THE DECLINE OF FAITH
125
particular doctrines of Stoicism in relation to religion,
the downfall of the state religion, which occurred in
the
following
But
for
century,
reasons, which
might have been hindered.
we
shall
see
in
a
moment,
could not have been prevented, and it
doubtful whether the influence of any philosophical
this downfall
is
when supported by such prominent
men, could have perceptibly postponed the catas-
system, even
Meantime the only visible contribution of
Stoicism to the problem of religion was the growth
under her influence of the idea of a " double truth,"
trophe.
one truth
common
for the intellectual classes
people, reaching
and one
climax
its
in
for the
the phrase
"
It is expedient for the state to be deceived in
matters of religion" [expedit igitur falli in religione
civitatem).
This was the attitude toward religion of
the most intellectual
men
beginning of what
was
terrible period in
Rome's
the
in
in
community
many ways
the
at
the
most
history.
The
last century before Christ (more exactly
133-B.C. 27) is the story of how Rome became
an empire because she was no longer able to be a
B.C.
it is the history of the growth of one-man
power because many-men power had become imThis growth was caused not only, nor at
possible.
republic
first
;
even
chiefly,
by
the
Rome's statesmen, but by the
grasping
character
of
increase of the rabble
and the consequent unmanageable character of her
population, except under the firm hand of a single
THE DECLINE OF FAITH
126
master.
And
years of
civil
the reason
war
why
empire was not because the
was so slow
in
it
took one hundred
change the republic into the
to
dying that
its
spirit
of the republic
death struggles
filled
a
century, but merely because the republic died too
easily and the way to one-man power was so simple
that there were too many candidates for the position,
and
hence the
civil
wars were bound to continue until the bitter
lessons of experience
to gain
had taught men not only how
the supreme control, which was
but
easy,
how
to
which was m.uch
These
wars between them.
civil
keep
more
it
and
difficult.
relatively
exclude
rivals,
The ambitious
leaders of this century did not have to create a
Their task
throne; that was ready to their hand.
was only to put defences around it.
Even these
defences of
for the
it
were not directly against the people,
people had no desire to overthrow the throne,
but merely against the rival candidates.
Step by
step from Tiberius Gracchus to Gains Gracchus, and
on to Marius, to
until
Sulla, to
became
more
from being a
mere
possession
became nine points of
the
tenure
perfect
Pompey, to Julius Caesar,
and more permanent
;
momentary
position,
the law, and Octavian
by adding an almost
reverence to his person in the
In the main the foreign
it
made
religious
title
Augustus.
wars of the second
century before Christ gave place to the Civil War at
home, but there was one exception to this, the war
THE DECLINE OF FAITH
127
with Mithradates, king of Pontus, which on various
occasions during the early part of the century took
large
bodies of
Romans
though to supplement
in
the
to
And
Orient.
as
knowledge of the East,
this
the closing half of the century the field of the
struggle was enlarged so that it too included
the East and South-East.
have already seen
so many instances of the effects of political events
civil
We
on the course of
of no
surprise
struggles, the
their
it
us
religion that
see
to
War
religion.
that
is
a matter
of
these
In the struggle of
so.
home every possible weapon was employed,
was soon discovered that the
priests
and the
were excellent means of
paraphernalia of religion
political
it
both
and the Oriental wars, left
It would be much more
they had not done
if
the rivals at
and
Civil
marks on
surprising
Roman
to
The religion of the
power and influence.
became enslaved to politics. On the
state therefore
other hand the campaigns
soldiers,
and eventually on
populace, acquainted with
in
the East
their
return
made
the
the whole
various Oriental
deities,
which helped to satisfy their craving for the sensaThus while the state
tional and the superstitious.
religion in
debauched condition was losing influence,
its
the orgiastic element in worship was gaining power
through these newly acquired Oriental
cults.
The
story of the religion of the last century of the republic
is
accordingly the history of the control of state
religion
by
politics
and
its
consequent destruction,
THE DECLINE OF FAITH
128
and the growth of superstition because of the coming
of new Oriental worships
and we may add to
;
these two topics a third
the pathetic attempts of
:
philosophy to breathe new
life
into the
dead religion
of the state.
When
comes
it
towers above
insight
of the
human
are writ large on this page
history, the
of religious
Sulla
the question
to
names
characters whose
all
Dictator Lucius Cornelius
To
others.
his
political
largely owing the harnessing of the state
to the chariot of the politician, now and
is
religion
hereafter
;
leader of
and
it
Roman
was he who was the
foremost
armies
and the
man who, because
to
of his
the
Orient,
peculiarly
superstitious
encouraged the worship of the strange
In both these
which were found there.
character,
deities
was ably seconded by Pompey, half a
On the other hand the futile
directions he
later.
generation
efforts
of philosophy to improve the situation were
by the chief priest
inspired during the earlier period
a contemporary of Sulla, and during
and
Caesar's time by Varro, the greatest
Pompey's
Scaevola,
scholar that
Rome
Let us follow
ever produced.
the fortunes of the religion
first
of the state at the hands of the politicians.
upper and
influential classes of
now thoroughly imbued
Roman
The
society were
with Stoic philosophy and
"
"
double truth
accordingly with the doctrine of the
the real philosophical truth
in the field of religion
—
THE DECLINE OF FAITH
129
which was their own pecuHar property and which
showed them clearly that all the forms of religion
were
vain,
statement
and
its
doctrines at best a clumsy
roundabout parables of a truth which
"
face to face
and that lower " truth
in
they saw
intended for
;
masses
the
and
dictated
the
by
pressure of necessity, the concrete state religion in
all
its
which must be preserved among the
in the interest of the state and of
details,
lower classes
The
society.
was thus a matter of
state religion
But once this idea
expediency and of usefulness.
of its usefulness was put into the foreground, it was
natural
asked
it
:
the
that
Was
might be
Could
?
If religion existed
why
should
should
question
it
it
not be put to greater uses
come
?
in general for its political effects,
not be used by the individual, like
any other political apparatus,
advancement ? The man to
to have
immediately be
this state religion as useful after all as
first
in
all
its
own
for his
whom
this
fullness
individual
idea seems
was
Sulla,
and
The
he proceeded immediately to act upon it.
control of religion could, of course, be obtained best
through the priesthoods, and those priesthoods were
naturally most worth gaining which possessed the
greatest
These
right
of
interference
were
priesthoods
:
their traditional right to break
declare legislative
Pontiffs,
with
action
their
in
first
null
general
affairs
the
of
state.
Augurs, with
up assemblies and to
and void then the
;
control
of
all
vexed
K
THE DECLINE OF FAITH
I30
questions concerning the intersection of divine and
human law and lastly the XVviri, or the keepers
;
of the Sibylline books, in charge also of the cults
which the oracles had given birth.
Accordingly
he increased the numbers of these three priesthoods,
and inasmuch as the old
raising each to fifteen
to
;
right of the colleges of the priests to
in their
own
from them
fill
vacancies
bodies themselves had been taken
away
now
103, and such vacancies were
in B.C.
was an easy thing for him
with
his own men.
positions
The result of accentuating the political importance of these three colleges was that the whole
filled
by popular
to
the
fill
body of the
political
vote,
it
new
state
spirit,
became actuated with a
structure was re-
religion
and
the
modelled along
the
lines
The immediate
effect
of
whole
of
this
new
this
valuation.
was that the
priests
became entirely absorbed in politics.
To be sure Sulla was not responsible for all of this,
themselves
because
the
tendency had been
in
this
ever since the time of the Punic wars.
old days of
been
Roman
the main
direction
In the good
religion the office of priest
own
had
reward, and
though the
no
a
formed
means
priests
by
separate class, and
the individual priest had many secular interests
in
its
and occasionally some
political
ones, he
was not
In the time of
supposed to hold political office.
the Punic wars, however, the tide began to turn.
The
earliest
recorded instance of a priest holding a
THE DECLINE OF FAITH
131
high poHtical office is in the year B.C. 242 when
the Flamen Martialis or special priest of Mars was
but when the gentleman in question
go to the war, he was forbidden by the
Pontifex Maximus.
In B.C. 200 the Flamen Dialis,
chosen Consul
;
started to
or
special
priest
was allowed
of Juppiter,
to
be
made
aedile, but his brother had to be especially
authorised to take the oath of office in his stead,
since the priest of Juppiter, the
god of
himself not allowed to take an oath.
oaths,
was
In the course
the next century such cases became more
common, and where the thing was not allowed,
the priesthood became unpopular, and was some-
of
times
left
This
entirely vacant.
last
was
position which
But the
to the
evil
unfilled
effects
emptying of
from
of politics
certain
thing happened,
Diale, a
Flaminium
for instance, in the case of the
B.C.
87 till B.C. i i.
were not confined
priesthoods, which after
were of no
very great importance, except as
their presence tended to sustain the morale of the
Its effects were much more
old religious ritual.
all
disastrous in the very important priesthoods which
had now become
exclusively
essentially
political
interests
political
of
the
offices.
The
incumbents,
fact that each man was elected
by general vote of the people and without any
combined with the
the case
special fitness for the position, as had been
in the old days, tended to break down all the
traditions of the college,
and thus to destroy much
THE DECLINE OF FAITH
132
knowledge which was being handed down
There arose therefore an
oral tradition.
of the
by
largely
ignorance of the ritual of the cult which was great
proportion as the knowledge originally
had
been accurate and intricate.
But even
present
all
this was not
the arranging of the yearly
in
just
;
calendar, with
to
bring
into
was
years,
here the
its
complicated intercalation of days
the
harmony
in
still
results
of
and the
solar
hands of the
the
lunar
priests,
and
growing ignorance were
their
The calendar became terribly dismost appalling.
and this again had its reaction on religion,
ordered
;
the calendar
for
month
occasionally
fell
so out of
gear with the natural seasons that it was impossible
to celebrate some of the old Roman festivals, which
had a
distinct bearing
Thus the
state
were those of
who turned
means of
its
own
household, the priests,
the reverent formalism of the old days
into a mockery,
a
on certain seasons of the year.
greatest enemies of the religion of the
and made
their priesthood
merely
political influence.
Now
into
that the old Roman gods had been changed
new-fangled Greek gods, and the old Roman
priesthoods
into
modern
political
clubs,
it
is
little
wonder that the
religion of the fathers ceased to
But while history shows
satisfy their descendents.
that specific religious creeds have often proved
mortal and subject to change and decay, the same
history
makes
clear that the religious
instinct
is
a
THE DECLINE OF FAITH
constant
factor
for
suppose
in
humanity
moment
a
that the
Roman community had
the
because the religion
first
From
it.
satisfy
of
the
not
religious need of
ceased to exist, simply
state had ceased to
when the Sibyl gave her
on down to the time of Sulla,
the day
Rome
oracles to
;
133
and we must
the desire for the sensational and the extraordinary
had been steadily growing.
It had its
idea that there was such a thing as
a direct communion with the deity, and that the
in religion
birth
the
in
were
oracles
an
command from
immediate
him.
was nourished by the sense of foreignness in the
Greek ceremonies gradually introduced into the cult.
It
It
fed
on the more sensational aspects of certain of
on the enthusiastic rites of
gods brought in
Bacchus, on the miracle-working of Aesculapius,
on the Stygian mystery of Dis and Proserpina.
the
But
:
its
fulfilment
was to come from the East, that
inexhaustible fountain of religious energy.
Magna Mater
first
undiluted
But
the
it
Orientalism
state
in
recognised
itself
had
its
own.
In the
This was the
which came to Rome.
received
some unaccountable way
it,
and
had
to put
upon
this outlandish Eastern cult the stamp of Rome's
that
stamp which no nation ever
nationality,
managed
successfully
the
was
and
permanently
resisted
;
and
thus
reception of the cult on the part of the state
not only a disgraceful thing, tending to degrade
true religion and spread the contagion of Orientalism,
THE DECLINE OF FAITH
134
but
made
also
it
aroused
whose appetite had been
other deities, whose cult would
those
for
eager
have the great additional charm of being unlicensed
by the state, and hence savouring of unlawfulness.
Such a
cult,
length found,
long half-consciously desired, was at
when
in
B.C.
92 the Roman soldiery
commanded by Sulla penetrated into the valley of
Comana in Cappadocia. There was a whole community, a miniature state, devoted to the service of a
goddess not unlike the Great Mother of Pessinus,
but whose cult was more ecstatic, more orgiastic,
than
that
Rome knew
and the
of
the
Magna Mater,
The king was the
her.
at
least
The
were priests and priestesses.
citizens
as
chief priest,
war with Mithradates brought the Roman army
there again and also to another Comana in Pontus,
where there was a branch of the Cappadocian cult.
It was not the
ignorant soldiery alone who were
impressed by what they saw
was
fully as
when
Rome
before
the great
and
him,
appeared to
Thus her
city
much
his
crisis
Sulla,
career,
his
march on
lay
was the goddess of Comana who
him in a dream and gave him courage.
it
cult entered
its
hearts of the people
of Comana.
The
to
his
leader,
his return to Italy
storming of the Eternal City,
by Sulla has
seems
in
their
;
and on
affected,
Rome, and
parallel
by
his
in
the capture of the
the capture of the
companion, the goddess
name of this goddess
have been Ma, but the Greeks, who also
original
THE DECLINE OF FAITH
knew
had likened her to Enyo, their goddess of
hence in these days of facile
her,
and warfare
strife
;
Romans' course was
identification the
became straightway Bellona,
called
Of
goddess of war.
their old
all
The
this.
same
relation
clear,
and she
by the name of
the chapters of the
history of such identifications none
than
135
more curious
is
old Bellona had borne to
that Fides, the goddess of
Mars the
good
faith,
had borne to Juppiter.
She was the result of the
deification
of
one
of the qualities of Mars,
separate
the breaking off of an adjective and the turning of
it into a noun
but from now on, though the old
;
still
goddess
her
own
own temple and
name was also applied to this
goddess who came in the train of
existed and had her
worship, the
strange Oriental
the debauched Roman
the
army on
But though men might
East.
name
of a
worship her
in private as
the state, even
admit
her
Fanatici,
sacred
in
its
among
its
old
its
return from the
call this
national
new-comer by
goddess and
they pleased, the religion of
sunken condition, refused to
deities, and the priests, the
with their wild
dances, to the
music of
cymbals and trumpets, slashing themselves with their
double axes until their arms streamed with blood,
were
not, at
least
as yet, the official
representatives
of the state, the companions of the reverend old Salii
"
Even the sanctuwith their dignified
three-step."
aries
city,
of the private cult must be kept outside the
this law in B.C. 48 resulted
and the violation of
THE DECLINE OF FAITH
136
in the raiding
Her
chapels.
and destruction of one of these private
cult does not seem to have become
a state affair until the beginning of the third century
A.D.jwhen Caracalla.who had extended Roman citizenship to
all
the inhabitants of the provinces, gave a
similar citizenship to
in
Rome.
It is
all
the foreign deities resident
a curious coincidence that this action
same year A.D.
which the breakdown of the ponieriuvi for state
cults had occurred B.C.
For the present, however,
of Caracalla's occurred just about the
in
that
is
to say in the
first
century
B.C.,
the state re-
tained her dignity, though the resultant unorthodox
character of the cult increased its power and
influence,
than the
An
and made it more
Magna Mater was.
subversive to morals
even more interesting instance, both of the
popularit}^ of sensational
foreign
cults
and of the
struggle of the state religion against them,
in
the
case of the
spread of
Isis
Egyptian goddess
found
The
worship into the Greek, and conse-
quently also into the
Roman
world, began relatively
In the third century Isis and her
early.
is
Isis.
companion
Serapis were well established on the island of Delos
and in the second century we find traces of
;
their
worship
and
Puteoli.
Puteoli,
the
Campania, especially at Pompeii
This last-named place, the seaport
in
modern
Pozzuoli,
outside
of
Naples,
was probably the door through which Isis and her
Puteoli was the chief port
train came into Italy.
THE DECLINE OF FAITH
for Oriental ships, including
Egypt, and
commercial relations
Delos.
date
it
with
Rome
supplied
with gods
it
137
also
had
At this later
somewhat the
in
same way that Cumae, in the same neighbourhood,
had done centuries before.
So far as the city of
Rome
concerned, an apparently trustworthy
back to the time of
itself is
tradition traces the private cult
Sulla
and
;
much
later
it
certainly cannot have been introduced
than this time, because
had became so prominent and so
in
B.C.
58
it
offensive to the
authorities of the state that they destroyed an altar
of Isis on the Capitoline.
Apparently
Isis
was no
exception to the general law of growth by persecution, because in the course of the next decade the
state
found
three times,
it
i.e.
necessary to
in B.C. 53, 50,
interfere
and 48.
no
less
than
Finally the
policy of suppression proved so ineffectual that it
was decided to try the opposite extreme, and to see
what could be done by state acknowledgment and
state control, and so the Triumvirs, Octavian, Antony,
and
a
Lepidus, in
state
decreed
B.C.
43
decreed
the
building
of
But although they had
the erection of a temple, they were too
temple
for
Isis.
much engaged
in
mediately, and
until the
their
own
affairs
temple was
to build
it
im-
built Isis could
not properly be considered among the state gods.
As events turned out this temple was never built,
for in the course of the next few years the trouble
with
Antony and Cleopatra began, and
thus the gods
THE DECLINE OF FAITH
138
Egypt became the gods of Rome's enemies, and so
far as the state was concerned an acknowledgment
of these gods was impossible.
Instead Augustus
of
forbade even private chapels inside the povieriinn.
The subsequent history of Isis does not directly
concern
us
;
suffice
vicissitudes she
it
to
say that
was admitted
to the
after
various
state cult
by
Caracalla along with all the other foreign deities.
But it was not only Asia Minor and Egypt which
gave their cults to Rome the deities of Syria came
too.
Prominent among them was Atargatis, whose
;
cult
seems
to
at Puteoli.
have touched the Italian mainland
first
army of Crassus on
which was destined to come
In B.C. 54 the
its
to
Eastern expedition,
such a tragic end in the terrible defeat at Carrhae,
visited
and plundered the sanctuary of the goddess
Thus she became known at Rome, where
in Syria.
"
she was
"
called simply the
{dca
Syrian goddess
Syria) and was worshipped in a way very similar to
the Magna Mater and Bellona.
Lastly when Pompey swept the Mediterranean
of Cilician pirates, the sailors became ac-
clean
quainted with a Persian deity, Mithras, whose cult
in Rome began during our period and subsequently
crowded
all
the other orgiastic cults into insignifi-
cance.
We
have now seen how the politicians were turn-
ing the state religion into a tool for the accomplishment of their own selfish ends, and how the masses
THE DECLINE OF FAITH
139
people were seeking satisfaction for their
religious needs in sensational foreign worships, in-
of
the
troduced from Asia Minor, Egypt, Syria, and Persia.
We must now see whether any efforts were being
made by any members of the community in behalf
of the
in
old
religion,
existence
and whether there
traces
any
of
the
pure
were
old
still
Roman
worship.
The
latter-day philosophies of Greece had dealt
Roman
a severe blow at
intellectual
classes
by convincing the
religion
the
in
community
that
in
the
nature of things there could be no such knowledge
as that upon which religion was based, and hence
that religion
man's
was an
Yet
idle thing
unworthy of a
true
could not take
away
the philosophy in the world
from a Roman his sense of duty
to the state.
Now
the state
interest.
all
in
its
experience had
found religion so necessary that she had built up a
formal system of it and made it a part of herself
As
it
was the duty of the
state in
citizen
every part of her activity,
it
to support the
was
clearly his
Hence
there
arose that crass contradiction, which existed in
Rome
duty to support the state
religion.
to a large degree as long as these particular systems
of philosophy prevailed, between the duty which a
man, as a thinking man, owed to himself, and the
duty which he, as a good citizen, owed to the state.
We have seen how during the second century before
Christ no attempt
was made
to reconcile these
two
THE DECLINE OF FAITH
I40
how they
views and
man,
for
existed side by side in such a
example, as
Ennius,
who wrote
certain
embodying the most extraordinary sceptical
doctrines, and certain patriotic poems in which the
treatises
whole apparatus of the Roman gods is prominently
exhibited and most reverently treated.
have
We
how
also seen
this
"
double truth
"
not
could
have disastrous results on the state religion
of
all efforts
was made
to
The
to the contrary.
in
first effort
but
spite
which
improve the situation was not so much
an attempt at reconciliation as a frank statement of
the difficulties of the case.
The problem had advanced considerably toward solution when once it
had been clearly stated.
The man who had the
courage to make the statement was Ouintus Mucius
Scaevola, a famous lawyer as well as the head of the
He was a
Maximusj.
and was admirably fitted for
college of Pontiffs (Pontifex
contemporary of
Sulla,
because he not only represented religion in
Maximus, but could speak
his task
his position as Pontifex
behalf of the state both theoretically as a
lawyer, and practically because he had filled almost
all the important political offices (consul, B.C.
95).
also in
The
been
treatise in
lost
what he
which he made
to us, but
said
from
writer Augustine
of God
(iv.
Ennius has
27).
in
we may
his
statements has
obtain a
a
fair
quotation b}^ the
his wonderful book
idea of
Christian
The City
For Scaevola the double truth of
grown
into
a
triple
truth,
and
there
THE DECLINE OF FAITH
no
are
than
less
three
distinct
religion of poets, of philosophers,
The
of
religion
the
141
religions
by which he
poets,
the
:
and of statesmen.
means
mythological treatment of the gods, he
demns as worthless because it tells a great
the
con-
many
things about the gods which are not true and which
are entirely unworthy of them.
The religion of
philosophers he does not consider suitable to the
because it contains many things which are
state,
superfluous,
some which
and
are
The
injurious.
be allowed to pass, but the
injurious things, by which he evidently means the
superfluous things
may
doctrines of Euhemeros, are a very serious matter,
not because they are untrue but because the knowThe
ledge of them is inexpedient for the masses.
religion of the statesman can have no part in these
things, even
if they are true
of the state must believe in
belief in them,
;
and a man
many
as a citizen
things, or profess
which the same man, as an
indivi-
Scaevola's
dual and a philosopher, knows are false.
honest well-intentioned effort to support the religion
of
"
the
masses
state
"
in
was
naturally
a
fellow-citizens to
undergo these
Numa
admiring Scaevola
together.
calling
on
his
casuistical
soon cared more for Bellona and
the gods of
The very
failure.
whose behalf Scaevola was
Isis
gymnastics
than for all
But we cannot help
for his patriotism,
though we
may
The state religion could
not envy him his ethics.
never be supported on the arguments of expediency
;
THE DECLINE OF FAITH
142
every one granted its expediency, and still it fell
worst enemies, the politicians, granted it most of
;
its
all,
and they were the only ones who put the doctrine
to any practical use.
It was precisely this
discovery
of
its
expediency and
caused
its
great practical value which
the practical standpoint
its
From
downfall.
the problem was settled once and
for
matter of theory
next generation,
in
remained
it
for the
all,
but as a
the person of Varro, to provide a more
satisfactory
and to effect something of a compromise
solution,
between the truth of philosophy and the truth of
religion.
Marcus
equipped
Varro
Terentius
with
the
all
came
learning
of
to
the
his
time
work
and
possessed of a greater knowledge of facts than any
other Roman of his or any other day.
So far as
the problem of religion was concerned, he embodied
this
learning in the sixteen books of Divine Anti-
which he very appropriately dedicated to
Caesar
in his capacity as Pontifex Maximus.
Julius
If Ennius's Sacra His tor ia be left out of account, his
quities,
book was the
which
Rome
accomplish three things
history of
religion
Rome
was
;
on systematic theology
In this work he desired to
treatise
first
ever had.
to
:
essential the
state
second, by an examination of Greek
mythology to purify the
immoral influences third,
;
religion
by a review of the
first,
show how
state
to
religion
show
that
from
its
the state
so purified was fully in accord with Stoic
THE DECLINE OF FAITH
143
"
In
three religions,"
regard to the
therefore, he agreed with Scaevola in casting out
philosophy.
entirely the religion of the poets, and in accepting
both the others, but he differed from Scaevola in
that he denied the contradiction between them and
asserted that they were not two truths but two
forms of the same truth.
We are not able to go into
the details of his attempt, because unfortunately the
books
which he wrote
in
it
have been
and
lost to us,
we have again merely the quotation in Augustine's
But we know that in general he
City of God.
tried to show that the formal doctrines of the state
religion
were merely a popular presentation of the
and that the whole
truths of the Stoic philosophy,
system of
Roman
and the
gods could be reduced
A
man might
therefore hold fast to both
religions as to a simpler creed
Hence
one.
his belief as
in the
heroic
effort,
fame
failure.
politics
lent
The
had
to
his
religion
killed
it.
and
citizen
in
con-
was concerned, but merely
manner of
in the
supported as
the learning of his day and
his
good
an intelligent individual were not
matter of form,
Varro's
and a more abstruse
a man's belief as a
so far as the truth
trast
and the conceptive
earth, the procreative
elements.
in theory
philosophical contrast between the sky
to the great
was
the
state
It
was
a
life
was by
all
nevertheless
of
alone which could restore
presentation.
the influence that
all
words,
it
to
was
a
;
power
but that was
political
it,
dead
THE DECLINE OF FAITH
144
work of an emperor, Augustus, and not of a
the
scholar, Varro.
While Varro, with the weapon of philosophy,
was attempting to defend the religion of the state
against its enemies, the poets and the philosophers, a
armed with philosophy, was trying to
Roman people against its worst enemy,
It may not seem as though Lucretius
superstition.
poet,
also
defend the
belonged
among
Roman
the friends of old
religion,
though the De ReruJii Natura were exactly
a religious poem, and yet his work was in so far
and
as
helpful to old
Roman
religion
that
in
it
attacked
the excesses of a latter-day superstition which had
alienated the hearts of the people from their old
beliefs.
Superstition
scepticism,
and
is
with
a parasite which lives on
killing of the parasite
the
and it
scepticism sometimes dies as well
to question whether Lucretius's book was
;
is
open
not of
For
considerable service in the cause of religion.
it is the fashion
at
still
lived
Rome,
though
religion
of the writers on the ethics of the close of the republic
to emphasise almost entirely the scepticism of the
day,
dwelling
on
the
attitude
of
a
or
Cicero
a
"
little
Caesar, and forgetting the infinite number of
Rome in the country,
people," especially outside of
who
still
and who
believed in the old religion of the fathers,
still
performed the old
festivals of
Numa,
people who knew no more about Isis than they did
Their presence is disclosed
about Stoic philosophy.
THE DECLINE OF FAITH
145
few republican inscriptions, but better yet
the continuance of the rites of family worship
to us in a
in
down
into the latest days of
Rome,
rites
which did
not form a part of the restoration of Augustus, and
which therefore, had they died now, would never
have come to
life
again.
It
is
by
just so
much
remember these people, as they
have been forgotten by history, if we ever expect to
more our duty
to
obtain a picture of
portions.
Augustus
turn.
Roman
They were
built in the
religion in its true pro-
besides the people upon
restoration, to which
whom
we now
THE AUGUSTAN RENAISSANCE
Politics
had
caused
Weakened by
religion.
the
downfall
of
the
state
the attacks of a sceptical
philosophy, driven from the hearts of the common
people by the rival cults of the Orient, the state
religion had finally lost all its influence by the
abuse
of
it
with
the
a
as
were deserted,
political
carpeting their
grass
Its
tool.
temples were
its
falling
priesthoods
into
ruins
mosaic pavements
and the spiders weaving new altar cloths.
To us
it would have seemed im-
with our modern ideas
possible that this state religion could ever rise again
;
and probably no other state religion that the world
has ever seen could have been brought to life again,
because
no other state religion
has ever
been
so
absolutely a part of the state, unless the state itself
were a theocracy
;
and possibly no
lesser genius than
Augustus could have accomplished the task even
under the slightly more favourable conditions which
the state religion of
Caesar
would
Rome
have
offered.
the
attempted
one of the many questions which
146
\\'hether Julius
restoration
his
death
is
left
THE AUGUSTAN RENAISSANCE
unanswered.
Certainly thoughtful
men
147
of his da\'
hoped that he would, and it was in this hope that
Varro dedicated his Divine Antiquities to him
and another contemporary, Granius Flaccus, his
;
book
O71 the Invocatioti of the Gods.
But except
one law which he caused to be enacted " con-
for
cerning the priesthoods," we have no knowledge
either of his accomplishment or of his intentions,
and the great task was left practically untouched
for the master-hand of Augustus.
we may understand what Augustus
how he managed to succeed in relation to
In order that
did and
we must obtain some
the state religion
idea of the
whole scheme of Augustus in relation to the state
at large, of which his religious reorganisation was
merely a
written was
but
its
One
part.
tions of the
of the cleverest characterisa-
Emperor Augustus which has ever been
that by the
relatively
late
secluded
Professor
position
in
Mommsen,
the
Latin
preface to an edition of Augustus's great autobio-
graphy, the Res Gestae, has prevented
generally
as
Mommsen
man who wore most
is
from being
Augustus
mask
great man, though himself not great."
This
epigrammatic statement
it
it
describes
the
"a
of a
known.
not just, although
it
is
is
skilfully
undoubtedly clever but
the opinion concerning
Augustus which we would expect a man to hold
who, like Mommsen, had an almost unbounded
admiration
for
Julius
Caesar.
There
have
been
THE AUGUSTAN RENAISSANCE
148
through the pages of history even down
scattered
to our
own day men
of
whom we
say that they
were not great men, though they did a great work.
In certain cases doubtless
from
his
we
cases
his
work and
we can separate
justifiy the assertion,
are deceived
b}-
the
man
but
the
man
in
other
himself just as
contemporaries were and as he wished them to
be.
For
called
it
occasionally happens that a
men and
over
to rule
to
man who
is
reorganise a dis-
is able best to accomplish his
end by a gentle diplomacy, a conciliatory manner,
which is often misunderstood by those who surround
him and who interpret gentleness of spirit as small-
ordered government
ness
and
of spirit
self-restraint
as
weakness.
It
man who
Augustus
wore most skilfully the mask of an ordinary man
The more
though himself an extraordinary man.
would be truer
we study
as a
to describe
the chaotic condition of
Rome
Second Triumvirate and the more
not
only
the
total
disorganisation
fully
of
under the
we
realise
the
forms
of government but also the absolute demoralisation
of the individual citizen, the more we appreciate the
almost impossible task which was set for Augustus
For one
and which he successfully accomplished.
hundred years
(B.C.
133-31), from Tiberius Gracchus
Actium, hardly a decade had passed which had
not brought forth some terrible revolution for Rome.
Even the great Caesar had failed, had not divined
to
of the
aright the only treatment to which the disease
THE AUGUSTAN RENAISSANCE
149
age would yield, for although the blows which actually
killed Caesar may have been merely an accident in
deed of irresponsible men,
history, the
his fall
was no
accident but was the inevitable logical outcome of
But Augustus succeeded in
form of government which enabled
himself and his connexion to occupy the throne for
his
imperial
policy.
establishing a
almost
a
hundred
years,
and
even
then
though
revolutions came, his constitution was the main bul-
wark of government in succeeding centuries.
would take us too far from our present subject
It
to
in any completeness the question of how he
succeeded, but a word or two may be said in general,
and the rest will become clearer when we examine
answer
his reorganisation of religion.
The
secret of Augustus's success
was the
by which he
throne
and his own
the
strengthen
tact
and
diplomacy
infinite
managed
position on
to
it
while apparently restoring the form of the republic
It is open to
and the manners of the old days.
question whether he was actuated by a consideration
of the good of the state, or by a regard for his own
selfish ends, but it is beyond question that he gave
to
Rome
the only form of government which could
eradicate the habit of revolution, and thus saved the
state.
He
succeeded because he did
not
under-
estimate the difficulty of the task, and accordingly
brought
to
emphasising
bear
on
especiall)'
it
every
the
possible
ps)-chologicaI
influence,
clement
THE AUGUSTAN RENAISSANCE
ISO
and being willing
to arrive at
his
to
go a long way around in order
He was not content with a
goal.
mere temporary makeshift, which might carry him
end of his own life he was laying foundaNowhere is this more clearly
tions for the future.
to the
;
stated than in one of his edicts, where he says
"
May
it
fall
my
to
and strong and
to obtain the wished-for fruit of
labours, that
may
that
when
I
I
die
1
:
—
to establish the state firm
lot
be called the author of
may
carry with
that the foundations which
I
have
me
laid
it
the
may
my
and
hope
abide."
These abiding foundations must be laid deep in
it was his grasp of the
the national psychology, and
psychological problem which explains his reorganisaA century of civil war had totally
tion of religion.
destroyed the
spirit of
unity and created an infinite
of petty hatreds between man and man.
had looked so long at their individual interests
number
Men
that they had almost forgotten the existence of the
But if the spirit of patriotism could be
state.
quickened into a new
life,
then
men would
think
and forget themselves, and united in
their love of this one universal object of devotion
which might
they would learn a lesson of union
But the
to their whole life.
be
extended
gradually
of the
state
must be presented not as it was
wretchedness, lacerated b}^ civil struggle
in
state
;
all
its
the sight
of the present would serve onl\- to start the quarrel
instead it must be the ideal state, a
over again
;
THE AUGUSTAN RENAISSANCE
state so
that
far
away, so distant from
seemed equally
all
they
151
the citizens,
all
near.
If
this
state
were to be something more than a mere abstraction,
it
could be clothed only in the reverential garments
it must be the
Rome of the good old
of the past,
Yet if they were not for ever to mourn a
Golden Age " in the past and a paradise that was
lost, there must also be a hope for the future, a
days.
"
In a word the belief in
paradise to be regained.
the eternity of Rome must be instilled into men's
hearts.
Thus was the
born, and
instance
it
is
of
"
idea of the
eternal
"
city
no mere coincidence that the
this
in
phrase
Tibullus, a poet of the
literature
Augustan
vinced of the eternity of
age.
Rome men
the past for inspiration in
full
first
occurs
Once
in
con-
could look at
confidence that the
beauties which had been could be obtained again.
But Augustus was more than a sentimental enand he saw that it was not enough for
men to drop their swords at the epiphany of
thusiast,
"
Roma
and
Aeterna," that their eyes would grow weary
to earth would behold the swords
looking
These swords must be beaten
again.
into plough-
the deserted farms of
and pruning hooks
Italy must be filled again, and the stability of the
state must be increased by an enlargement of the
shares
;
agricultural
community.
But
for
the
accomplish-
ment of these reforms something was needed which
was
at
once
gentler
and
stronger
A^i,.
than
legal
THE AUGUSTAN RENAISSANCE
152
The
enactments.
make smooth
must
poet
the
was the poet who could best
interest men in
the past
and thus Augustan
poetry was encouraged and directed by the emperor,
way
of the law.
It
;
that
by pointing out the
might
inspire
than
glorious
the
was
age
men
the old.
a
or
it
new Rome more
Practically
directly
Rome
glories of old
make
to
every poet of
under the
indirectly
was
influence
of
counsellor,
Maecenas, who encouraged Virgil to
Georgics, and these glowing pictures of
write
his
farm
life
the
did
ruler.
quite
as
It
much
to
the
emperor's
carry
out
the
later.
And Virgil
emperor's plans
was not alone in writing of country life Tibullus,
even more gentle than the gentle bard of Mantua,
as
the Aeneid
;
was
to
telling the
same story
in
another form.
By this time the myths which Greece had given
Rome or which Rome had made for herself on
Greek models were absolutely a part of the national
These too entered into Augustus's scheme.
past.
Thus another protege
of Maecenas, the poet Progradually weaned from love poetry
and filled instead with a hunger for the myths of
Roman temples and of old Roman customs, so
pertius,
was
that
Cynthia slowly gives way to Tarpeia and
Vertumnus, and the Rome of Augustus to the
Rome of Romulus. Even the irrepressible Ovid
tried in his
and started
exuberant fashion to
in
his
assist in
this
work
Fasti to write a history of the
THE AUGUSTAN RENAISSANCE
Roman year. But above
more important in its intowers the Aeneid of Virgil.
All through
religious
all
153
of the
festivals
these,
fluence,
and
infinitely
the varied incidents of the twelve books there runs
the scarlet thread of a great purpose, the glorification of Rome and of Augustus.
From the sack of
Troy, through the long wanderings and the fierce
wars in Latium, down to the final conquest of the
enemy, we see Aeneas led by the hand of the
The
gods whose will it was that Rome should be.
lesson is very evident.
The providence which
guided us in the past still protects us we have no
right to be discouraged, and our future is assured
;
us
under the same gods who brought our fathers
out of the land of the Trojans, through the midst
of the Greeks,
But there is concealed in the
Aeneid another
to
lesson,
Its
Augustus.
much more
hero,
the
directly
useful
immaculate
pious
Aeneas, is the direct ancestor of the Julian house
to which Augustus belongs, and the founding of
Rome shows
toward the
not
city,
only the good will of the gods
but in no less degree their special
The
appointment and protection of the leader.
descendants of the house of Aeneas are therefore
the divinely appointed rulers of Rome.
There can be no question but that this poetry
had an
effect
influence
was
none the
difficult
was not necessary
for
less far
to
reaching because
estimate and analyse.
its
It
the psychological result that
154
THE AUGUSTAN RENAISSANCE
men should actually believe in these myths much
was gained if they allowed their thoughts to dwell
on the ideas presented in them.
It was the
;
sedimentary
formed
thus
deposit
barren in the
was
to
But while Augustus was
wars.
civil
broad-minded enough
to
realise
influence of literature, he did
that
which
the soil of patriotism which had grown so
fertilise
the value of the
not
fail to recognise
could not live by myths alone, that they
men
must be surrounded by
visible cult acts
and tangible
temples of the gods in order that their faith might
be aided by sight and their
life
filled
with action.
Literature was to encourage patriotism, and patriotism
was the foundation
state
religion,
enactment
for the spiritual restoration
but the
prepare
religious activity
the
was to
state
itself
outward
The
take.
of the
must by legal
form which the
question of the
sincerity of Augustus in these religious reforms is a
If the essence of
very difficult one to answer.
consisted in acts and not in belief, in works
religion
and not
man.
in faith,
Beyond
Augustus was a devoutly religious
we cannot go, for our judgment
that
is hampered not only by ignorance of the facts but
by our inability to free ourselves from the modern
standpoint
that
in
the
we do know.
interpretation
of
There can be
the
few
facts
no question of
the emperor's fitness for the task so far as priestly
learning went, for he was from a very early age a
member
of three
priesthoods
:
a
pontiff,
an augur,
THE AUGUSTAN RENAISSANCE
and
a
of the
guardian
Sibylline
155
With
books.
modesty however he refrained from
characteristic
becoming Chief Pontiff until in B.C. 12 the death of
Lepidus, the discarded member of the Second
Triumvirate,
left
the position vacant.
One who understands
will
Augustus
have no
the political
difficulty
in
reforms
of
understanding
of religion, for they were both
undertaken with the same general underlying prinIn both cases inciples and along similar lines.
his
reorganisation
and novelties were strenuously avoided,
novations
except of course those of a merely administrative
character.
In each case a successful effort was
made
to
have
it
appear as if the old institutions of
were being reinstated, whereas as a
matter of fact the form alone was old with its age
the republic
artificially
emphasised occasionally by an archaistic
touch, while the content was quite nevv^
result
in
The
each case was the strengthening
real
of the
monarch)' and the emphasising of the divine right
In our study of Augustus's
of the Julian house.
restoration of religion wc must not be content
therefore with chronicling the old forms which were
we must e.\amine in each case the
new content which was put into them, even though
re-established, but
the evidence of that content consists oftentimes of a
The fondness of Augustus for the
mere tendency.
is nowhere more clearly exhibited than in
archaic
one of his
earliest religious acts
:
the formal declaration
THE AUGUSTAN RENAISSANCE
156
of war against Antony and Cleopatra, in B.C. 32, by
means of the Fetiales. The Fetiales were a very
ancient priestly college which acted, under the
of the
direction
international
treaties
and
Senate, as
all
the
representatives
of
was through them that all
declarations of war had been made,
law.
It
seems probable that this custom had fallen
into desuetude after the Punic wars, and that acbut
it
cordingly the college had lapsed into insignificance,
it
had not died out altogether.
But now as
the first step in the rebuilding of the priesthoods
if
Octavian restored the college to
its
old rank and
gained also the additional advantage that the people
were impressed with the moral righteousness of their
cause against Antony and Cleopatra, and also with
the fact that it was a foreign, i.e. an international
war, and not a civil one, in which they were about
to engage.
The
effect of Octavian's restoration
was
a lasting one, for from this time on this priesthood
was held in high honour during the whole of the
empire, and the emperors themselves were members
of
it.
was
This
a
characteristic
very
It
beginning
to
was primarily the human
Augustus's activity.
element to which he was appealing in his religious
changes, and hence the priesthoods needed especial
attention.
Actium
It
was not
long
after
the
battle
of
that he restored another very ancient priest-
hood, that of the Arval brothers.
This was a very
THE AUGUSTAN RENAISSANCE
men who
priesthood consisting of twelve
old
i
tooll
part in the purification of the land, the Ambarvalia,
so called because the ceremony consisted of a solemn
But
procession around the boundaries of the fields.
as the Roman territory grew and such a ceremony
in
the old fashion became impossible and was
carried out merely symbolically by sacrifices
various boundary points, the Arval brothers lost
their
importance, so that
sacrifices
their
place
was
even
these
in
taken
by the
at
all
symbolic
pontiffs.
however
recognised in this priesthood
an effectual means of emphasising the agricultural
side of Roman life, and of connecting the imperial
Augustus
family with the farming population.
new worship was the sanctuary
this
grove at the
and
it
is
fifth
milestone of the
The
in
centre of
the sacred
Via Campana,
there that the wonderful discoveries have
"
"
been made of the inscriptions giving the
minutes
of the meetings of this curious corporation, begin-
But the pastoral side of their
ning with Augustus.
worship was an insignificant matter, even in the age
of Augustus, compared with their prayers and sup-^^
plications in behalf of the imperial house, so that
the records of this supposedly agricultural priesthood
form one of our best sources for the study of emperorworship.
Three other priesthoods, the
pontiffs, the augurs,
and the guardians of the Sibylline books {XVviri)
did not need actual restoration, for their ability
158
to
THE AUGUSTAN RENAISSANXE
had kept them
interfere in politics
alive during
the closing centuries of the
republic, when political
usefulness was the surest means of
surviving in the
But the fact that they had
struggle for existence.
been politically powerful made the control of them
all
the more necessary for an
emperor who wished
hands all the possibilities of political
to have in his
It was
contrary to Augustus's policy
openly to crush any of the institutions which had
really been or, what was from his standpoint very
influence.
much
the
same
bulwark
of
however
these
chief
means
of
control
thing,
had been thought
As
republicanism.
of
one
had
priesthoods
the
bringing
man.
Hence
a
matter
been
of
be a
fact
one of the
republic
for
to
into
the
Augustus the
it was
problem was easy to solve
only necessary
to honour these priesthoods
by raising
their dignity still higher and
by making only men
;
to appear
of
senatorial
rank
eligible, and then to take the
them himself and to fill them with
his own supporters.
Thus the republic was apparently saved and the empire was really strengthened.
chief position in
his
But the priesthood to which Augustus devoted
most especial attention was the priesthood of
Here he was guided not
Vesta, the Vestal virgins.
only by his desire to improve the condition of the
priesthoods in general but also by his especial interest
in the
in
cult of Vesta.
Vesta
will
The
be explained
reasons for this interest
in a
moment when we
THE AUGUSTAN RENAISSANCE
discuss the emperor's
about
said
favourite cults
word
but a
;
159
on the priestesses of Vesta may be
The Vestal virgins had been relatively
effects
its
here.
contaminated by politics, but the priesthood
had suffered along with all the rest of the religion
little
of the
state
because of the general indifferentism
religious things which characterised
and neglect of
the
centuries
closing
families
of the
the state were not
in
The
republic.
as
ready as
in
best
the
days to devote their daughters to the service,
and thus the rank and consequently the influence
earlier
of the Vestals had to
now
some extent
declined.
But
was immediately changed, the outward
honour and the insignia of the Vestals were increased
all
this
until they
were allowed such privileges as not even
When they went through
the emperors possessed.
street, they were attended by a lictor as the
higher officers of the state were, and they were given
But the most characterspecial seats at the theatre.
the
istic
thing which Augustus did for them and that
their cause the most was the emperor's
which helped
made to be repeated in public gossip,
he had a grand-daughter of the proper age
he would unhesitatingly make her a Vestal virgin.
declaration,
that
if
Toward
the close of his
a statement of
his
ship.
been
reign, a
sort
life Augustus prepared
what he had accomplished during
of compte rendu
In a roundabout
preserved
to
us
of
way almost
and
it
his
all
naturally
steward-
of this has
forms the
i6o
THE AUGUSTAN RENAISSANCE
source
greatest
of our knowledge
of
his
activity.
number of his religious reforms
The spoils of war I have consecrated to
After reciting a large
he adds
:
—
"
Capitoline temple, in the temple of
god Julius, in the temple of Apollo, in the
temple of Vesta, in the temple of Mars the Avenger."
the gods
in the
the
These words give us a clue
religious
the more
spirit,
to
the
more
especial
of Augustus, a clue which is all
needed because of his apparently catholic
interests
and
his
seemingly
the forms of old
and
Roman
general
religion.
interest
in
all
No man who
some
cases entirely rebuilt eightytwo temples to various deities could be accused of
undue partiality in emphasising certain phases of
restored
in
religion to the total
matter of
fact
exclusion of others.
underneath
But as a
this general interest there
present certain very specific interests, and
passage in his own writing adds great strength
to the other evidence as to what these gods were.
were
this
Naturally
in
every
list
of pre-eminent deities Juppiter
must be present, hence the mention of the Capitoline
temple first as a matter of fact however Augustus's
;
worship of Juppiter was much more a matter of
His attitude was one
form than of real interest.
of graceful acceptance of the inevitable rather than
of enthusiastic homage.
Juppiter was not adapted
it was almost impossible to
connect Juppiter with a specific form of government
other than the republic, much less with a particular
to his purpose, because
THE AUGUSTAN RENAISSANCE
the Julian house.
family like
royal
come
mean
to
republicanism.
Capitoline
in the republic in B.C.
of republicanism about
was too genuine
to
cealing
features.
imperial
matters
deities
Julius, Apollo,
509 and
the
which
it
be used as a mask
With
had
Juppiter
The
temple had ushered
there was a halo
i6i
con-
for
four
other
stood very differently.
The god
Vesta, and Mars the Avenger were
either already identical with the imperial family or
could easily be connected with it.
The central feature of the religion of the empire
was a thing altogether unique and unknown
From
in
the
the
worship of the emperors as gods.
Augustus on this was the chief characteristic
republic
:
of the state religion
;
its
beginnings must be sought
therefore under his reign and he is largely accountable for it.
According to our modern ideas it seems
a very strange thing to worship a living man as
a god
it seems
also strange to worship a dead
;
man
as
a
god, but
analogy
inherent
instinct of the
the
we have
there
of
worship
of
But we must
at
saints,
least
the
and
the
race toward ancestor-wor-
ship which unexpectedly crops
intervals.
the
rid
out
in
all
of
ourselves
of us at
modern
ideas and try to appreciate the historical evolution
of
This evolution
emperor -worship.
and we can trace every step of
clear
is
it,
perfectly
though
we must remember that the various
which we are compelled to take up one
doing so
cesses
M
in
proafter
1
THE AUGUSTAN RENAISSANCE
62
another
in
our explanation went on
nature side
in
and exercised a sympathetic influence one
the
other, which we have to eHminate from
upon
by
side,
our
but
explanation
make allowance
for
our
in
finished concept.
We
have seen that from the very beginning of
religious
Rome
in
life
the
idea
was present that
everything, each individual and each family, had its
divine double, the individual in the shape of his
Genius, the family in the shape of protecting spirits,
In addition
Vesta, the Penates, and later the Lar.
to this, under the influence of the Greek myths
which various families adopted, certain gods originally
independent became especially associated with these
families.
the
Each family was naturally
worship
worship
of
was
its
quite
particular family or
own
as
gods, but
naturally
its
interested
this
in
particular
confined
to
the
Now
the
first
dependents.
preliminary step toward emperor-worship was taken
when the gods of the imperial family began to be
worshipped by other families, then by all other
But from the
families, and officially by the state.
of
each
the
family had included
gods
very beginning
also
the
deified
ancestors, the
Di Manes,
at
first
thought of en masse and not as individuals, but
toward the close of the republic they began to be
individualised,
worship
was
so
that
when
the
the
next step
dead
ancestor therefore of Augustus,
Julius,
in
emperor-
a
particular
began to be wor-
THE AUGUSTAN RENAISSANCE
163
shipped by the whole people and officially by the
state.
But also from the beginning there had been
another element
still
in
family worship, the cult paid
Genius or divine double of the living master
There followed then correspondingly
of the house.
to the
as another step toward emperor-worship, the
homage
paid by the whole state to the Genius of the living
These three steps the worship bj^ the
emperor.
:
whole state of the gods of the emperor's family,
its
in
three forms, the gods of the family in general,
and
the deified ancestor, and the Genius
in particular
of the living representative, were
officially
established
came from
by
encouraged and
all
Augustus.
Lastly
there
the Orient a habit of thought in distinct
contradiction
to
Roman
ideas
whereby
not
the
emperor but the \ery man
himself was divine in life and in death,
Augustus
fought against this concept but had to yield to it
Genius of the
living
and allow himself
god
in
to be worshipped
directly as a
the Orient itself and in certain coast towns
of Italy which were under strong Oriental influence,
but he forbade it in Rome, and thus established a
precedent which was followed by
among
the emperors
who came
all
the better ones
after him.
This digression was necessary
in
order that
we
might appreciate the reasons for Augustus's preferin emphasising certain
he did not foresee or plan
ences
cults.
for
Unquestionably
an emperor-worship
such as eventually grew up out of his arrangements
;
1
64
THE AUGUSTAN RENAISSANCE
he was however deeply
interested
in
the worship of the special deities of his
The
four gods
therefore
with that of Juppiter
activity
—
in
emphasising
own
family.
whose names he couples
the
summary
of his religious
Apollo, Vesta, Mars the Avenger, and the
—
god Julius are all intimately connected with
and if we add to this the worship of
family
;
own
Genius, the Genius Augusti,
real
kernel of his religious restoration.
we
shall
It
his
his
have the
remains
what way these deities are connected
with his family, and how he managed to emphasise
their cult and at the same time to bring them into
for us to see in
close relationship to himself.
From
the time of his
Apollo had stood
first
in a relation
introduction into
Rome
of contrast to Juppiter.
Apollo's oracles, the Sibylline books, had brought in
a host of Greek gods whose presence tended inevitably to lessen the unique position and the unparalleled prestige of Juppiter Optimus Maximus,
the great
religion.
representative of nationalism in Roman
first this contrast was scarcely marked,
At
and the very oracles of Apollo which were destined
undermine Juppiter's omnipotence were stored in
The
Juppiter's temple and under his protection.
to
was felt more strongly as the priesthood
of the Sibylline books began to grow in influence
alongside of the pontiffs, the priests of the Juppiter
difference
cults.
when
This opposition was emphasised
in B.C.
367,
the priesthood of the oracles was opened to
THE AUGUSTAN RENAISSANX'K
the plebeians, while the pontiffs were
At
still
165
patricians.
unquestionably the object of the patricians
was to keep for themselves the more sacred and the
first
then more important college and to open the lesser
But in the struggle of
priesthood to the plebeians.
the two orders those things which were opened to
the plebeians grew in importance and entirely over-
shadowed those which were
so scrupulously hedged
about, and the elements which strove to resist pro-
gress were crushed beneath
it;
and
just as the old
assembly, the Comitia Curiata, which the patricians
had kept for themselves, was later of no account com-
pared with the Comitia Centuriata, which belonged
to both orders, so the college of pontiffs lost signifi-
cance while the keepers of the oracles gained steadily
But it was not merely
power and influence.
because Apollo was the great leader of the Greek
movement in Roman religion that Augustus chose
in
A far more important consideration
honour him.
guided him, for Apollo was especially attached to
the Julian house in all its mythical and historical
to
fortunes.
favour
Actium
of
the
in
;
The
first
great public evidence of Apollo's
Augustus's career was at the battle of
but while this led to the first proclamation
emperor's devotion
Actium which made him
to
Apollo,
it
was not
a worshipper of the god,
but it was because he was a worshipper of Apollo
from the beginning that Actium and all subsetiuent
tokens of the god's favour were emphasised by him.
THE AUGUSTAN RENAISSANCE
i66
However much
or
little
the people of the day
may
have known about Apollo's previous relations to the
Julian family, the legend of his assistance at Actium,
and the immortalisation of that legend in the great
The
temple on the Palatine were proofs enough.
moral effect of the Palatine temple cannot be overestimated, especially
is
when we
realise
one
fact,
which
often neglected, that this temple gained infinitely
in
because
significance
attached
the
to
we must not
in
forget
of
process
it
was on private ground,
emperor's
that
transition
own
private
house, for
the
Palatine
was only
into
the
resi-
imperial
dence, and though the house of Augustus,
when he
was the palace, during his lifetime it was
it,
The temple of Apollo
merely his private residence.
left
was therefore
in
origin theoretically the private
family rather than the seat of
was the Apollo of the Julian house
its
Roman
chapel of a
a state cult.
It
who was being worshipped
far
there.
more than a private worship,
soon
to
be
a
cult
centre
in
And
for
it
distinct
yet
was
it
began very
rivalry
Juppiter Optimus Maximus on the Capitoline.
oracles of the Sibyl, e\en though they were
to
The
the
words of Apollo, had never been preserved in the
old temple of Apollo on the Flaminian meadow,
but instead
the}'
had always been in the custody of
But now these oracles,
Juppiter on the Capitoline.
after
being carefully revised by
deposited
in
the
the emperor, were
new Palatine temple, and by
this
THE AUGUSTAN RENAISSANCE
167
act the centre of all the Greek cults in Rome
was transferred from Juppitcr to Apollo, from the
Capitoline to the Palatine, and the rivalry between
the two was publicly declared.
The temple was
dedicated
in
and
28
B.C.
Augustus
allowed
its
Roman
people for more
than a decade before he took the next step, a step
influence to permeate the
which was virtually to parallel Apollo and
Artemis-Diana with Juppiter and Juno.
his sister
Among the Greek gods who came into Rome we
saw the entrance in the middle of the third century
before
Christ
of
a
of
pair
deities
World, Dis and Proserpina, and
in
of
the
Lower
connexion with
the introduction the establishment of certain games
called
at
"
the
secular
"
because they were to be repeated
expiration
of
a
century {saecuhini).
The
249, one hundred
years later with a slight delay they were celebrated
again in B.C. 146, the next anniversary was omitted
initial
because
celebration
it
fell in
was
in
B.C.
the midst of the
civil
war between
Caesar and Pompey, but now Augustus wished to
There were chronological difficulties,
celebrate them.
but they did not prove insurmountable.
was
set in
An
oracle
circulation, or one actually in circulation
was made use
of,
wherein
it
was declared that a
great cycle of four times one hundred and ten years
had passed and that a new age was now beginning.
The emperor, if not responsible for this oracle, was
It was an essential part
very willing to accept it.
THE AUGUSTAN RENAISSANCE
i68
all things should become new, and
new age should come a new spirit.
This new saeculuvi must be ushered in by games
of his plan that
that with the
which should be
in
once
at
and unlike those of
like
They were
past centuries.
to be celebrated at least
part on the hallowed spot, the
Tarentiivi in the
Martins, they were to extend through three
like
the old games, but the three days were
nights
Campus
to
be added as
and the
well,
deities
worshipped
in
the night, while they were no longer the old gods
of the Lower World, Dis and Proserpina, were at
least
mysterious deities
of fate and fortune, while
the gods of the day, Apollo and Artemis, Juppiter
and Juno, were
new
as
to the
celebrations themselves were.
games as the day
But the equality of
Apollo and Juppiter was expressed not merely
the
Diana.
was
It
in
Juppiter-Juno with Apollomore in evidence on the third
of
parallelisation
still
and greatest day of the
of three
times
festival, when the procession
nine youths and three times nine
the song in honour of Apollo and
maidens sang
Diana, which Horace wrote and which has been
us
preserved
to
Saeculare,
and
among
to
which
his
writings,
the
Carmen
in
addition
the
recently
found inscription giving an account of the games
bears witness in the words carmen composnit Q.
Horatius Flaccus
{C.I.L.
the procession started
vi.
from
32323).
On
this
day
the Apollo temple on
the Palatine, and went over to the Juppiter temple
THE AUGUSTAN RENAISSANXE
169
on the Capitoline, and then back again to Apollo
on the Palatine, thus indicating not only the equality
of Apollo and Juppiter but even the superiority of
A new age had indeed begun, an age
which the new associations of the Palatine and
the former.
in
the glamour of imperialism were to overcome the
more democratic
its
incorrigibly
associations of the Capitoline with
republican
which had hitherto
ordinated
the
to
in
Juppiter.
theory
gods
of
at
least
Greek gods
been sub-
Rome
old
were
now
The
not only equality but superiority.
of
to
not
cult
be
did
sure,
always
specific
Apollo,
retain
the exalted
Augustus
position to which
granted
had
raised
it,
but
even
prominence, whereas
the
it
never entirely lost its
idea of the su-
general
premacy of the imperial cult was now established
But this secular celebration
for all time to come.
interesting aside from
of Augustus
is
of
and
for
it
the relation
affords
Apollo,
Juppiter
of the skilful combination of
illustration
old in the
Augustan reorganisation.
In
another
new and
form the
avowedly the old one, but in two respects
In the first
at least it introduces a new element.
festival
is
place participation in the old festival, as in all the
old festivals, had been confined to Roman citizens.
Others might look on, but they could not take part,
nor were they the recipients of any of the blessings
But now every free member
which were to follow.
of the community, with wife and child, might join
THE AUGUSTAN RENAISSANCE
lyo
in
the
in
thus the note
was struck
be the keynote of all that was best
the changes introduced by the empire whose
"
to
and
highest
most
most
"
Mommsen
to
and
celebration,
which was
puts
it,
beautiful
was gradually
perfectly,
as
task,"
Professor
and the one which she
to reconcile
fulfilled
and thus
put an end to the contrast between the ruling
and the subordinate communities, and thus to
city
Roman
change the old
law of city-citizenship into
community of the state which embraced all the
members of the empire." But even this w^as not
a
all
;
under the guise of
this
restoration of an old
republican institution a blow was struck at the very
foundation of all republican institutions, namely
the power of the Senate.
It was />ar excellence
Augustus's
to
whom
festival,
Senate had
yet
the
had
he
little
control
arranged by him
committed
the
or nothing to say
or
by those
The
details.
about
it
and
of such religious celebrations had
hitherto formed an inalienable part of the Senate's
power.
Even
magistrates
in the
do
not
procession itself the republican
seem
to
have
been
officially
was thus no longer the Senate inviting
the magistrates and the citizens in good and regular
present.
It
standing to perform a certain divine function, but
it was the emperor invitmg all the members of the
community, citizens and non-citizens alike, to join
with him in worshipping the gods of the new state.
A great part of Augustus's success was un-
THE AUGUSTAN RENAISSANXE
I
7
I
questionably due to a certain form of moral courage.
For
diplomacy and his desire to feel the pulse
of the people he was never lacking in the
courage
of his own convictions.
This can be seen nowhere
all his
better than in his attitude toward his
adoptive father
Caesar.
From the very beginning when he
Julius
took upon himself, even at the cost of temporary
impoverishment, the payment of Caesar's legacy, he
was supremely true to the man whose successor he
was, and this faithfulness is especially apparent in
the field of religion.
Here there are two
cults,
both
Caesar, for which Augustus was
largely responsible, that of the god Julius himself,
relating to Julius
and that of Mars the Avenger.
In consideration of what Caesar had already done
for the reorganisation of the state, and in view of
what he was planning
national calamit}', but
to carry out, his death
his
influence
might
was a
still
be
and preserved by elevating him into the
For the accomplishment of this
rank of the gods.
it was necessary that the Senate should act, for in the
rescued
hands of the Senate alone lay the power
to receive
Thus the god Julius was
created and the word divus received a new meaning.
With that logic which was characteristic of Roman
new gods
religion
Julius
into the state.
from the very beginning, the elevation of
the ranks of the greater and more
into
individual gods went side by side with his exclusion
from the ranks of the ordinary deified ancestors, so
1/2
THE AUGUSTAN RENAISSANCE
that thereafter at the funeral processions of the Julian
family his wax mask was absent from the processions
of ancestors to which he no longer belonged, but in
the parade of the circus he was present, drawn in a
waggon among the greater gods. Nothing was left
undone
and per-
to render his cult both conspicuous
manent.
A
Antony
after
was appointed to
look after it, and as the irony of fate would have it
one of the first incumbents of this position was Marc
B.C.
40.
special priest (JIaineu)
with
reconciliation
his
Augustus
in
Then
too a special festival day was given
the religious holida}'s of the year.
It
him among
was intended
that this
birthday, but as that day
day should be July
happened
1
3, his
to be already de-
voted to an important celebration in connexion with
the games of Apollo, the day preceding it, July 12,
was chosen.
But more was needed than a priest and
a
holiday,
there
must be
temple of the Divus
Julius.
a
centre as well, a
cult
The
site
of this temple
was already given in the associations connected with
Caesar's death.
There could be but one place for it,
and that was
in
the
Forum near
the Regia where his
body had been carried to be burned.
temple was built and dedicated August
An
altar
There the
18, B.C. 29.
had been erected on the spot where Caesar's
body had been burned, and the new temple was so
placed that the altar was included
occupying a niche
the substructure.
in
in its
boundaries,
the centre of the front line of
The temple had
the usual history
THE AUGUSTAN RENAISSANCE
173
of destruction and rebuilding in antiquity until in
early
Christian times it was used for secular purposes, and
the
eyesore
of
the
pagan
altar
was removed
by
building a wall across the front, the diameter of the
semicircular niche, and by roofing the altar over on
a level with the existing platform.
Thus the altar
with
and religious associations was
and though the temple in its
main outlines had long been excavated, the altar was
its
historical
entirely lost sight
of,
not discovered until 1898, when the wall was broken
Thus by the
through and the whole thing laid bare.
vote of the Senate, the appointment of a priest, the
setting apart of a holy day in the year, and the
building of a temple, the worship of the god Julius
but it was the general irresistible
was established
;
tendency toward emperor -worship which kept it
alive and made it the model for a tremendous sub-
Augustus had accomplished
sequent development.
Men were looking on Caesar as a success
The Di Manes of a
after all and not as a failure.
his desire.
murdered emperor had been profitably exchanged
the Divus Julius, and just as the gods had
founded the old Rome of Romulus, so again it was
a god who had laid the foundations of the empire
for
over which his successor was ruling.
But Augustus was not content with this
all
very well for
as an
illustration
men
to look
;
it
was
upon the god Caesar
of justification after death, as an
right the wrongs of
example of how heaven could
THE AUGUSTAN RENAISSANCE
1/4
earthly existence, but that was not sufficient
the
;
punishment of those who caused his earthly downfall
must be emphasised, it must be shown that the gods
were quite as much interested in punishing the sinner
rewarding the righteous man who was sinned
It was one thing to transfer one's ancestors
against.
as
in
to
the
was
it
gods,
quite
another
take
to
thing
measures to keep oneself from following in their footsteps, even though their last estate was theoretically
Hence
desirable.
side
Divus Julius went
side with the cult of the
Mars
show
that
it
of the beginning of the
was no mere poetical title but a
genuine cult-name born
in
an earnest
moment
of
the
cognomen was vowed by Augustus
vengeance
slayers
temple,
his
for
father,"
of Caesar, Brutus
vowed
building that
at
in
in
the
the
small round temple to
This was dedicated
for
"
in
behalf
war against
and Cassius.
Philippi in B.C. 42,
:
Mars under
the great temple subsequently built to
this
Mars the
Ultor,
The circumstances
Avenger.
cult
by
that of
This
was so slow
in
meantime Augustus erected a
Mars Ultor on the Capitoline.
May
12, B.C. 20.
In the years
which followed Augustus proceeded with the difficult and extremely expensive task of purchasing
property for his own Forum, and here was built
and dedicated, August i, B.C. 2, the great temple of
Mars Ultor. But aside from being a very present
reminder of the vengeance which the gods had
for those
who
in store
killed a Caesar, it stood also for the Julian
THE AUGUSTAN RENAISSANCE
175
house, for Mars was not alone in the temple but with
him was Venus, the ancestral mother of the family
of Julius and Augustus
;
and thus was once more
emphasised the connexion between the ancestors of
the ruling house and the great ancestor Mars, from
whom
Romans were
all
sprung,
A temple possessed of such strong associations with
the imperial family became instantly a centre of their
family worship, and in this respect produced another
to the cult of Juppiter on the Capitoline.
In
connexion namely with the putting on of the toga
rival
virilis
the
members of the
Mars Ultor
the temple of
imperial family went to
instead of following the
immemorial custom of ascending the Capitol to the
More imof Juppiter Optimus Maximus.
shrine
portant yet the insignia of the triumph, which had
always been in the keeping of the Capitoline Juppiter
even before he was Optimus
"
was only the
in the
Maximus and while he
were now preserved
Striker," Feretrius,
temple of Mars Ultor.
With
all
the state worshipping Apollo, the god of
the emperor's
own
family,
on the Palatine, celebrating
the divinity of his ancestor the god
Julius in the
Roman Forum, and acknowledging Mars
avenger of
all
those
who
the
as
did the emperor harm,
in
own new Forum, it might have seemed
far-seeing man that religion had been suffi-
the emperor's
to a less
ciently pressed into the service of the royal family.
But so
it
did not seem to Augustus.
These
cults
were
THE AUGUSTAN RENAISSANCE
176
all
three of
them
essentially new,
and new
but the
test
cults
may,
become prominent they usually do,
comes with time whether there is external
to be sure, easily
;
pressure sufficiently continuous to give permanency to
this
prominence.
As
a matter of fact not one of these
three cults continued later to hold the rank in im-
On the other
portance which it had under Augustus.
hand if one went low enough and looked sufficiently
deep down certain elements in the religious life of
the
community could be found which continued
These
almost unchanged from century to century.
were the simple elements which were involved in
family worship, the sacrifices at the hearth of Vesta,
and those to the Genius of the master of the house.
Here simple beliefs and elementary cult acts had
continued virtually unchanged from the very earliest
down
period
need
to the
formal
any
present.
restoration
These
on
cults did
the part
not
of the
emperor, for they had not experienced the decline
which the other cults had suffered, but by just so
much more they would
empire and his own
his
afford a firm foundation for
rule if
he could
in
some way
In the
connecting them v^'ith himself
The
case of Vesta this was comparatively easy.
succeed
in
Pontifex
virgins,
Maximus was
the guardian of the Vestal
and thus on March
12, when Augustus
was quite natural that
Vesta and that the day
6, B.C.
became Pontifex Maximus,
there should be a festival to
it
should continue as a public holiday.
The Pontifex
THE AUGUSTAN RENAISSANCE
177
Maximus however was supposed to live in the
Regia down in the Forunni, where Julius Caesar as
Pontifex Maximus had actually lived. This Augustus
did not desire to do, hence he gracefully gave up the
Regia to the Vestal virgins and made his official
residence in his
own house on
the Palatine, fulfilling
the religious requirements by consecrating a part of
that house.
On a portion of the section thus consecrated a temple of Vesta was built and dedicated
April 28,
own
"
B.C.
This was
12.
strictly
Vesta," the hearth of his
own
speaking his
house, but the
prominence of the temple of Vesta there had an
effect
similar to the prominence of the temple of Apollo
on the Palatine, and the whole state began thus to
worship at the hearth of the emperor, and in time the
emperor was worshipped at each individual hearth.
But the crowning touch of Augustus's religious
this was the establishment
policy was yet to come
After
of the worship of the Genius of the emperor.
;
Actium and
certain
in
the earlier years of his reign it is
not have thought of
that Augustus would
putting himself, even in the spiritualised form of his
Genius, before the people as an object of worship.
But the tendency to emperor-worship which Oriental
had brought with it was not without its
influence
effects
effects
on the emperor himself, and perhaps these
all the stronger because of his valiant
were
struggle against
worshipping the
it.
Then
too the state was already
gods of his
family,
even
Vesta
178
THE AUGUSTAN RENAISSANCE
He had
Augusta, the goddess of his own hearth.
in substance, even if not yet in name, the
become
father of his country.
custom
that the
It
had been an immemorial
the household should
members of
In
house.
worship the Genius of the master of the
custom still existed.
every household in Rome that
It
was a very
logical step,
and one therefore which a
could easily take, to carry out the analogy
of the family and to allow the whole state to worship
the Genius of the emperor, who was the head of the
Roman
The
family of the state.
all
idea therefore was not at
incongruous, nor was the way
carried out,
though the
in
which
was
it
was so ingenious
latter
as to
deserve special consideration.
In the old days when Rome was a farming comover the fields
munity, the guardianship of the gods
was one of the most important elements in religious
life.
The gods were above
boundary
two roads
lines,
and thus
it
all
the protectors of the
came
to pass that
where
and thus the corners of four farms
came together the deities protecting these farms were
cros.sed
the Lares
worshipped together as the Lares Compitales,
of the compita or cross-roads.
this
worship was
city
streets,
later
Curiously enough
extended to the crossing of
and as was natural
organised
in
the city than
Regular associations,
it
it
became more
had been
collegia,
in
highlj'
the country.
were formed to look
after the details of the worship, headed by the magistri vicorum, who were however not public ofificials
THE AUGUSTAN RENAISSANCE
but
the
merely
elected
heads
of
these
colleges,
the lower ranks of society.
contagion of
and
The
men mainly from
civil
political
colleges as well as their
higher up
in
strife
more
affected these
aristocratic parallels,
the social scale, and turned
local political clubs.
The
179
them
into
part played by these clubs
in the civil struggles which occupied the last century
of the republic was such that the Senate in B.C. 64
was compelled
to dissolve them,
though they were
restored again six years later and existed until Caesar
Rut now Augustus was
destroyed them entirely.
creating a new organisation for the city, dividing it
into fourteen regions, each region containing a certain
number of subdivisions
of
called vici.
the cross-roads" afforded
opportunity which he never
him
failed
The
old "colleges
just the
sort of
to seize, that
of
to restore a neglected republican institution,
seeming
and at the same time of making it into a support of
The colleges had antiquity in their
the monarchy.
favour,
and
their repeated suppression
was
clear proof
They must be recognised and taken
over by the state, their officials must be made into
officials of the state, but, most important, their worship
must be permeated with the imperial idea. This was
where Augustus's skill showed itself. At every shrine
of the cross-roads where of old the two Lares had
of their power.
been worshipped alone, a third image now took its
This was the Genius Augusti,
place between them.
who
thus formed henceforth an integral part of the
THE AUGUSTAN RENAISSANCE
i8o
Under
worship of every part of the city.
the presiding Genius Augusti the Lares themselves
local
began to be known as the Lares Augusti and the
grew in popularity so that it began to extend
cult
all of Italy and even
through the provinces
of the empire, and wherever the Lares went, along
with them went the worship of the Genius of the
through
emperor.
Now
we have
that
the question
arises
what
seen
irresistibly
as
to
Augustus did,
the measure
There can be no question but that
in obtaining the immediate object
of his success.
he was successful
which he was seeking after.
A formal religious life
was unquestionably brought into being, and such
strength as that life had was exerted in behalf of the
This
empire.
is
is
in
only
part true of the city but
it
absolutely true of the provinces, where after
all in
bound
to He.
the long run the balance of power was
In every case the religious reform,
spread rapidly through the rest
begun in the city,
of Italy and out into
There the negative elements, which
For
growth in Rome itself, were absent.
the provinces.
hindered
its
the provinces the empire was
emperor was
The
religion
far better
politics
which the
republic had
of
all
Augustus
scepticism
all.
had
politics of the last
destroyed, had
recreated
the
century of the
recreated
as political considerations could.
which
and even a bad
gain,
than none at
it
But the
had made possible the
in
as far
spirit
of
political
THE AUGUSTAN RENAISSANCE
i8i
abuse of religion could not be driven out by any
A form might be
further application of politics.
created, both the paraphernalia of temples and the
hierarchy of priests whose business it was to perform
certain cult acts, but there the power of enactment
ceased.
In the
went on
for
main the
good or
All
these things.
for
that
religious
ill
was
life
of the people
entirely independent of
alive
and
real
in
the
simple domestic cult went on down into the empire,
and those who were faithful were faithful still. The
cults of the Orient, against
all
that he dared,
majority
of the
which Augustus had done
captured the minds of the vast
people, and a Mithras or an Isis
still
meant infinitely more than a Mars or a Vesta, even
if Mars were the avenger of a Caesar, and Vesta the
Among
goddess of the living emperor's own hearth.
the more intellectual classes the folly of the one set
of gods, the darlings of the common people, was felt
as keenly as the folly of the others, those who
had been worshipped by the men of former days.
Philosophy, which had had its share in the break-
down of faith, beginning in
was now offering out of
faith
which
it
the days of the Punic wars,
itself a substitute for the
had taken away.
It
no longer con-
tented itself with a destructive criticism which resulted
in a negative
view of
life,
but
in
Stoicism at least
it
strove to provide something sufficiently constructive
to afford not only a rule of living but also an
inspiration to
live.
1
THE AUGUSTAN RENAISSANCE
82
With the death of Augustus the
Roman
history of old
the last attempt to
religion
last
was
was
in
;
From now on
it.
what he
for
the main old though certain
mixed with
were
His was
the spiritual need of the people
fill
with the old forms and the old ideas
offered
chapter in the
closed.
new
the
ideas
lifeless
platitudes of philosophy and the orgiastic excesses
of the Oriental cults divided the field between them,
and
it
was with them rather than with the gods of
Numa
or even
with
the
of
deities
the
Sibylline
That
fought its battles.
too is a fascinating study, but it is quite another
story and with the death of Augustus our present
And when we look back over the whole
tale is told.
books that
of
it
Christianity
the main outlines
because of the details
become perhaps even clearer
into which we have been
compelled to go.
We
see at the start the simple religion of an agri-
cultural
and
still
people
inheriting
from
formalism which
content.
this religion
that
it
is
Toward
strongly tinged with animism
an animistic past a certain
so great that
developing through
takes into
it
almost becomes a
the close of the
itself a certain
kingdom we
Italic
see
influences so
number of elements
which were absent from the older
religion because
they had no concomitants in daily life, but whose
These elements
presence is now rendered necessary.
are especially the ideas of politics, trade, commerce,
Then for a moment under
and the liberal arts.
THE AUGUSTAN RExNAISSAXCE
183
Servius an equilibrium seems to have been reached,
and a reh"gion to have been brought into being which
was simple enough for the old lovers of simplicity
and varied enough to satisfy the new demands of
the community.
But this was not for long, for the
conquest of Rome by Greece began then,
three centuries before the physical conquest of Greece
The hosts of Greek deities invaded
by Rome.
spiritual
and captured
Rome
under
the
Sibylline books, and though at
leadership
first
of
the
they had been
kept outside the pomerium, even this iron barrier was
melted in the heat of the Second Punic War, and the
new Greek gods swarmed
same time as a last
the
into the city proper.
At
heritage from the baleful
books an Oriental goddess, the Magna Mater, was
taken into the cult and into the hearts of the people,
and the elements of decay were thus all present.
These elements were threefold
:
the natural spiritual
reaction resulting from the excesses of the period of
War the fascination of the Orient,
Rome in the cult of the Magna Mater
the Second Punic
exhibited to
and the new
the
;
;
gift
which Greece now made
knowledge of her
literature,
to
especially
Rome,
of her
In the last two centuries of the republic
philosophy.
then these forces alone would have been sufficient to
cause the downfall of religion, but they were aided by
politics, which fastened itself upon the formalism of
the state religion and sucked the little life-blood that
was left. Rome's scholars and wise men could deplore
1
84
THE AUGUSTAN RENAISSANCE
the result and point out the causes, but they could
not cure the state of affairs.
What politics had done,
politics
alone could
undo, hence only the reforms
of an autocrat could restore something of the outward structure of the old state religion.
But beyond
and the autocrat were alike powerless.
Against philosophy and Oriental ecstasy they were
of no avail.
Hence the spirit had left the religion
this
politics
which Augustus had restored even before the marble
in its honour had fallen
temples which he had built
into decay.
The age of formalism had passed, the
demands of the individual could no longer be
religious
satisfied
For good or for evil something
by a mere ritual.
more personal, more subjective, was needed. Men
sought for it in various ways and with varying success,
but except in the simple forms of family worship old
Roman
religion
was dead.
INDEX
References
to
the
more
recent
have been given
religion
on the subject of Roman
literature
connection with the appropriate topics
in
in this index.
The
following
abbreviations
Roman
Fowler,
have
Festivals,
been
employed
London,
1899;
:
—
A".
R.R.
/•'.
=
= Warde
Wissowa,
P.W. =
Roenier,
Muenchen, 1902
Pauly-Wissowa, Encyclopaedie der Altertumsiuissenschaft, Stuttgart,
Z^.i. := Roscher, Lexikon der Griechischen und Roemischeii
1894
Religion
—
and
Cult us
der
;
Mythologie, Leipzig, 1884
—
;
.
Actium, 81, 165
Aeneid, as a political treatise, 153
Aesculapius, 84. Cp. R.R. 253 ff.
R.F. 278 Thraemer, P.W. s.v.
Anthropological
of, 4.
;
;
;
method,
criticism
5
Antony and the
Cp. R.R. 293
cult
of
Isis,
137.
Cp. R.F. 180
Roman
R.R. Q.y) Wernicke, P.W. s.v.
R.R.
Apollo and Augustus, 164.
Cp.
ed.
Gardthausen, Augustus, 873, 961
i,
R.R. 67; Apollo Medicus, 83.
2, p. 298.
Agrippa, erects Temple of Neptune,
Cp. R.F. 180; A". A'. 240
81
Richter,
Cp. Beloch, Italischc
Topographic der Aricia, 53.
Stadt
Rom.
P.W.
Platner,
Bund,
Huelsen,
242
187
s.v.
Ancient Rome, 357
Alba Longa and the Latin League, Artemis, 53 ff.
Cp. Wernicke.
Asklepios
Agricultural character of early
religion, 18.
Cp. R.F. 335
20 ff. JMommsen, C.I.L.
Apollo,
66.
57,
;
;
;
;
;
;
;
;
;
52.
Cp. Beloch, Italisclie Bund,
Huelsen, in P.W. s.v.
177
Altar of Caesar, 173. Cp. Huelsen,
;
Forum Romanum,
P.W.
s.v.
Arval
Brotherhood, restored by
Augustus, 156.
Cp. A'. A*. 485
Henzen,
Wissowa, P.W. s.v.
;
ed. 2, p. 139
Acta Fratrum Arvalium, Berlin,
Ancient Rome, 180
Animism, 5.
1874; C.I.L. vi. 2023 -21 19.
Cp. Tylor, Primitive
ii.
Culture,
1-327
32338-32398
377 ff.
ff.
Golden
Frazer,
170
Cp, Aesculapius
Asklepios, 84.
Bough,
Anna Perenna, 115. Cp. R. F. 50-54 Atargatis, 138. Cp. A'. A*. 300 ff.
R.R. 194 Wissowa, in P.W. s.v.
Cumont, in P.W. s.v.
Usener, Rheinisches Museum, xxx. Athena, contrasted with Minerva, 46
Attalus of Pergamon, 97
206 Meltzer, Lex. s.v.
;
;
Platner,
i.
;
,
i.
;
;
;
;
;
185
INDEX
i86
Augustus
147-152
;
his character
Bacchanalian
and motives,
scandal,
118,
Comitia Curiata, 165
Commercial spirit in Rome, 107
Comparative philology, 2
Consus, 114.
Cp. R.F. 206-209,
212-213, 267-268; R.R. 166 ff.
119.
C.I.L.
Cp. Livy, 39, 8 ff.
X. 104
K.R. 58, 248
Bellona, 134.
Cp. Aust, in
;
196,
;
P.W.
Aust,
s.v.
;
s.v.
R.R. 289
;
P.
Cp. K.F.
W'issowa,
iii.
105-106; K.K. 177 tf.
W. s.v. Kern, in P.W.
;
in P.
66
ff.
Bona Dea-Damia,
;
s.v.;
Daniia
;
of, 173
religious reforms of, 146, 147
Calendars, as sources for early Roman
C.I.L.
;
10.
religion,
I,
ed. 2
;
Cp. Momnisen,
R.F. 336 R.R.
;
disorder of, owing
ignorance of priests, 132
ff.
;
Die
sowa,
Augustus,
Mommsen,
viii.
Cp. Wis-
Saeculare, 168.
225
Saccular -feicr des
Marburg,
1894
Ephem.
Epigraph.
;
ff.
Carnientalis Porta, 82.
Cp. Richter,
Topographit der Sfadt Ram. 44
Plainer, Ancient Rome, 48
Castor, 37 ff.
Cp. Helbig, Hermes,
xl. 1905, loi ff.
R.F. 2g6-2<)j
R.R. 216 ff.
Albert. Le Culte
de Castor et Pollux eii Italie
Ceres- Demeter, 72.
Cp. R.F. 72;
;
S.
V.
Di Indigetes,
R.F.
192;
9.
Cp. R.R. 15
Wissowa, De
Romanorum
ff.;
dis
NTar-
indigetibus,
to
Cannae, 96
Carmen
Damia, iii, 112.
Cp. Ceres
Dead, worship of, 14-15.
Cp.
R.R., 187 R.F. 300, 306 ff.
Demeter, 72.
Cp. Ceres
Diana, 53 ff.
Cp. R.F. 198 ff.
R.R. 198 ff.; Wissowa, in P.W.
;
Caesar, altar
15
source of Sibylline books,
W. Cumae,
burg, 1892
Di Manes, 14, 90.
Cp. R.R. 192;
R.F. 108; Peter, Lex. s.v.
Di Xovensides, 9. Cp. R.R. 15 ff.
Dionysos, 72.
Cp. Liber
Dios-kouroi, 38, 39.
Cp. Castor
Di Penates, 13, 113.
Cp. R.R.
145
ff
.
;
De
R.F. 337;
Culto Privato,
i.
55
ff
.
;
Marchi,
Wissowa,
in Le.v. s.v.
Divus Julius, 171.
Drepana, 88
Cp. R.R. 284
ff.
;
;
79, 105
in
P.W.
;
R.R. 242
ff.
;
Wissowa,
s.v.
Chaldaeans, 119.
Cp. K.R.
Baumstark, in P.W'. s.v.
Circus Flaminius, 41
Clodius, 88
ligion
161,
162,
Boissier,
163.
La
re-
romainc
Cp. Mommsen,
History (Engl, transl. ),
1T2-1T3; Teuffel, Rocm. Lit.
Ennius, 121, 122.
58;
Cognomina, 24.
Cp. Carter, De
deorum Romaiioruni cog?iomi)tiI'us, Leipzig, 1898
Collegia, 47.
Cp. Waltzing, Les
Corporations chez les Romains,
Louvain, 1895-1900
Collegium mercatorum, 78
Colonia Xcptunia, 80
Comitia Centuriata. 165
Emperor -worship,
Cp. R.R. 284;
Roman
3,
100-104;
Skutsch,
in
P.W.
s.v.
Epidauros, 84
Eros of Thespiae, 46.
Cp. PrellerRobert, Griech. Myfli. 50T ff.
Etruscans, problem of, 42
flf.
Cp. Mommsen,
History (Engl, transl.), 4,
Euhemerism, 122.
Roman
200
Euhemerus, 17. Cp. Rohde, Griech.
Roman, 220 ff.
INDEX
Cp. C.I.L. xi. p. 464
ff.
Deecke, Die Falisker, Strassburg, 1888. p. 89 ff.
Falerii,
44.
;
187
fanus, 13.
Cp. h'.F. 282
91 ff.
Juno, 12.
Cy>.
ff.
R.R.
;
R.F. passim; R.R,
Family as original social unit, 11
Fanatici, 135.
Cp. R.R. 291
Fauna, in.
Cp. Bona Dea
Faunus, tii.
Cp. K.F. 256-265;
R.K. 172 ff.
Female deities, absence of, in early
Juppiter as symbol of republic, 160
Juppiter Feretrius, 21, 58.
Cp.
R.F. 229, 230; R.R. 103
Juppiter Fidius, 25.
Cp. R.F. 138;
Roman religion, 21
Fetiales, 156.
Cp. K.F. 230,
Juppiter
R.K. 475
Fides,
25.
231;
113
ff-
R.R. 120
95
ff.
Latiaris,
;
R.F.
Cp.
55.
R.R. 34
ff.
Juppiter Optimus Ma.ximus, 21, ;8.
ff.
Cp.
R.R.
R.F. 237;
103
Flaccus, Granius, 147
Formalism in Roman
Cp. R.F. 348
religion,
7.
Fors Foriuna, 51.
Cp. R.F. 161172; R.R. 206 ff.
Fortuna, 50 ff.
Cp. R.F. 161-172,
223-225; R.R. 206 ff.
Forum Boarium, 33, 36
Frazer, Golden Bough, i6
no
Cp. R.R.
ff.
Jus divinum, 8
Jus humanum, 8
Juventas, 109.
Cp. R.R. 125
ff.
Cp. Libera
Kore, 72.
Lar Familiaris,
ff.
Wissowa,
;
Psyche, ed.
13.
Cp. R.R, 149
in Lex. s.v.
Rohde,
2,
38 ff.
Latin League,
;
254
De
;
Marchi,
i.
Genius, 12.
Cp. R.R. 154
ff.
Genius Augusti, 179.
Cp. R.R.
72. 73- 179
Great Mother of the gods, 96. Cp.
R.F. 69-70; R.R. 263
Greek influence in Rome, 99, 100,
104
Guilds
in relation to
Minerva, 47
:
Haruspicina, 43.
Hasdrubal, 96
to the
Lemuria, 16.
Cp. R.F. 106-110;
De Marchi, 36, 37, 39; R.R.
189
Lepidus, 137
Liber, 74, 75.
Cp. R.F. 54, 55:
R.R. 126 ff., 243 ff.
R.R.
Libera, 75.
Cp. R.F. 74
;
Study
Cp. R.R. 469
ff.
Hermes Empolaios,
tj. Cp. PrellerRoberl, Griech. Myth, 414
Hesiod, 46
Horace, 168
Indo-Germanic
136.
ler.
Lex.
religion, 3
Cp. R.R. 292
s.v.
ff.
Livius Andronicus, 48
Lucretius, 144
Ludi Saeculares, 93.
364
ff.
;
Epigraph,
Cp. Juventas
Hebe-Juventas, no.
Hercules, 32.
Cp. R.R. 219 ff.
Hereditas sine sacris, 17
Isis,
ff.
;
Alba
Cp.
ff.
Longa
243
Hannibal, 93, 94
Harrison Prolegomena
of Greek Religion, 22
52
Dre.\-
viii.
225
R.R.
Cp.
Mommsen,
in
Ephem.
ff.
Cp. R.F.
Lupercalia, in, 114.
R.R. 172 ff.
298, 299, 310-321
;
Ma-Bellona, 134.
Cp. Bellona
Maecenas, 152
Mater.
Cp. Great Mother
Magna
of the gods
Marius the Epicurean, 20
Mars, 19.
Cp. R.F. 34
129 ff.
Mars-Ares, no, ni
ft'-
:
A'. A'.
INDEX
i88
Mars
Ultor,
R.R.
Cp.
174.
Poseidonia-l^aestum, 80
70,
133
Megalesia, 99
P.W.
s.v.
R.R. 203
;
etc.
Te.xtes
(2 vols.),
Mommsen,
Cp. R.R. 64
unpopularity of,
last century of republic,
131.
Cp. Marquardt, Staatsverw. iii.
;
in
ff.
Mithradates, 127
Mithras, 138.
Cp. R.R. 307
Cumont,
35
Priesthood of Sibylline books, 66.
Cp. Quindecemviri
Priesthoods, political value of, 129.
Potitii,
Mercury, 77.
Cp. R.F. 121, 186;
R.H. 248 ff.
Metaurus, 96
Minerva, 44 ff.
Cp. Wissowa, in
64
ff.
ff.
Propertius, 152
Proserpina, 76.
;
et
monuments,
Brussels, 1896
R.R. 255
18
ff.
;
R.F.
Cp.
212
;
Carter, in Le.v. s.v.
Puteoli,
De
15.
Cp. R.F. 211
Marchi, i. 184 R.R. 188
absence
in
of,
Mythology,
Rome, 8.
Cp. R.R. 20 ff.
Mundus,
;
136
Pythagorianism, 120
;
Name,
importance
6.
of,
Regillus,
Cp.
\.
;
121.
Cp.
Gesch.
\.
ff.
120,
of,
S.
Roem.
Schwegler,
564
of.
77
Octavian, 137
Octavius Mamilius, 40
Paestum
— Poseidonia,
R.F. 306-310
Parilia,
R.R. 165
;
De
Cp.
114.
ff.
;
Marchi,
i,
199
79-85
R.F.
;
ff.
;
Cell.
15,
II,
I
;
Sueton.
Grammat. 25
Pinarii,
Sibyl,
35
Plebeian aediles, 74.
coming
Herbert,
Roman
iv.
201
Cp. Neptune
ff.
Cp. Diels,
17.
Cp. Prin-
History
(Engl,
transl.),
ff.
;
Tarentum
33, 34, 35
Cp. R. R.
History
Sulla increases the priesthood of the
his influence
Sibylline books, 67
Pomerium,
Poseidon, 79.
40.
ciples of Sociology
Stoicism, the official state philosophy
of Rome, 123.
Cp. Mommsen,
Syria dea, 138.
Staatsrcchf,
62
of,
Cp. R.R. 245;
ii.
471
Plutarch, Moralia, 50
Pollux, 37.
Cp. Castor
Mommsen,
1
Slbyllinische Blaetter, Berlin, 1890
Sibylline oracles, 64 ff.
Spencer,
Pater, Walter, 20
Persephone, 75.
Cp. Proserpina
Philosophers e.xpelled from Rome,
Aiken,
122, 123.
xii, 54717
Cp.
Aul.
of,
Mommsen, Roman
(Engl, transl. ), iv. 205
Scipio Aemilianus and his circle, 124
Secular games, 93, 167.
Cp. Ludi
Saeculares
Servius Tullius, 27, 50
Sextus Pompeius, 81
80
Cp. R.R. 187
Parentalia, 16.
1883
Bartolommeo, 87
62;
Ocean commerce, beginnings
edition, Berlin,
Aeterna, 151
Scaevola, theology
R.R. 62
;
R.R.
Cp.
40
Mommsen's
Roma
V.
Numa, apocryphal books
68.
Republic, character of the last century of, 125, 126
Res Gestae of Augustus, 147.
Cp.
Frazer, Golden Bough,
403 ff.
Nemi, 54
Neptune, 80.
Cp. R.F. 185-187
R.R. 250 ff; Wissowa, in Le.x.
s.
Quindecemviri,
461 ff.
on
religion,
128
Cp. R.R. 300
Tarentum-Colonia Neptunia, 80
in
Campus
Cp. Richter, 224
ff.
Martius,
;
89.
Plainer. 322
INDEX
Tarquin and the old woman, 65
Tarracina, 98
43.
Cp. R.N. 403 ff.
Terra Mater, 90.
Cp. R.F., 294296 U.K. 162
Tiber, island in, 86
Templum,
;
Tibullus, 152
Tibur
(Tivoli), 35
Tifata, 54
Tusciilum, 39, 40
Tyche, 50.
Cp.
189
Varro, theology
of,
142.
Cp. R.R.
62
13.
Cp. R.R. 141 ff.; Dc
Marchi, Culto Private, i. 64 ff.
R.F. 146 ff.
Vesta and Augustus, 176, 177. Cp.
Gardthausen, Augustus, 868
Vesta,
:
-Vestal Virgins, 158
Victoria, temple of, on Palatine, loi
Virgil,
Prcller- Robert,
Vulcan,
152
21.
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