THE PONTIFICES AND THE SECULARISATION OF RELIGION
In the last lecture we saw how the new experiences of the Roman people, during the period from the abolition of the kingship to the war with Hannibal, led to the introduction of foreign deities and showy ceremonies of a character quite strange to the old religion. But there was another process going on at the same time. The authorities of that old religion were full of vigour in this same period; it may even be said, that as far as we can trace their activity in the dim light of those early days, they made themselves almost supreme in the State. And the result was, in brief, that religion became more and more a matter of State administration, and thereby lost its chance of developing the conscience of the individual. It is indeed quite possible, as has recently been maintained,556 that it stood actively in the way of such development. I have no doubt that there was a germ of conscience, of moral feeling, in the religio of old days—the feeling of anxiety and doubt which originally suggested the cura and caerimonia of the State; but the efforts of the authorities in this period were spent in gradually destroying that germ. True, they did not interfere with the simple religion of the family, which had its value all through Roman history; but the attitude of the individual towards public worship will react on his attitude towards private worship, which may also have lost some part of its vitality in this period.
271The religious authorities of which I speak are of course the two great colleges of pontifices and augurs. Of the latter, and of the system of divination of which they held the secrets, I will speak in the next lecture. Here we have to do with the pontifices and their work in this period, a thorny and somewhat technical subject, but a most important one for the history of Roman religious experience.
I have so far assumed that this college existed in the age of the kings, and assisted the Rex in the administration of the ius divinum. It is legitimate to do this, but as a matter of fact we do not know for certain what was the origin of the college itself, or of its mysterious name. In the period we have now reached we come, however, upon a striking fact, which is luckily easy to interpret; the king's house, the Regia, has become the office of the head of the college, the pontifex maximus, and also the meeting-place of the college for business.557 Obviously this head, whether or no he existed during the kingly period, has stepped into the place of the Rex in the control of the ius divinum. Again, we know that in the third century B.C., when written history begins, the pontifices and their head had reached a very high level of power, as we shall presently see more in detail; the process of the growth of this power must therefore lie in the two preceding centuries, during which Rome was slowly attaining that paramount position in Italy in which we find her at the time of the Punic wars. Thirdly, we know that in that third century B.C. the college was laid open to plebeians as well as to members of the old patrician gentes, and that one of the most famous of all its many distinguished heads was not only not a patrician, but a Latin from Cameria, Ti. Coruncanius. Putting these three facts together we can divine in outline the history of the pontifices during these two centuries. With the instinct for order and organisation that never failed them, the Romans have constructed a permanent power to take charge of their ius divinum, i.e. all their relations to the deities with whom 272they must maintain a pax; the circumstances of their career during two centuries have exalted this power to an extraordinary degree of influence, direct and indirect, internal and external; and, lastly, in a period which saw the gradual amalgamation into a unified whole of privileged and unprivileged, patres and plebs, they have with wonderful wisdom thrown open to all citizens the administration of that ius which was essential to the welfare of the united community. These are indisputable facts; and they are thoroughly characteristic of the practical wisdom of the Roman people in that early age.
In order to understand how the pontifices attained their great position, the one thing needful is to examine the nature of their work. This I propose to do next, and then to attempt to sum up the result of their activity on the Roman religious system.
It is impossible to exaggerate the importance of the college in the early history of Roman law; and for us in particular that importance lies in the fact that they were the sole depositaries of the religious law in the period during which the civil law was being slowly disentangled from it. If we look at the so-called leges regiae, which are probably the oldest rules of law that have come down to us (though they may have been made into a collection as late as the very end of the Republic),558 we see at once that they belong to the ius divinum; and there is little doubt that they were extracted from those books of the pontifices which I shall have to explain later on.559 In other words, it is the maintenance of the pax deorum that they are chiefly concerned with; the crime of the citizen is a violation of that pax, and the deity most concerned will punish the community unless some expiatory step is taken to re-establish the right relation between the human and divine inhabitants of the city. "Pellex aram Iunonis ne tangito; si tanget, Iunoni crinibus demissis agnum feminam caedito." "Si parentem puer verberit, ast olle plorassit, puer divis parentum sacer esto."560 The harlot who touches the altar of Juno, the deity of married women, 273breaks the pax with that deity, and she must offer a piacular sacrifice to renew it; the son who strikes a parent is made over as the property of the divi parentum, i.e. those of the whole community,561 the peaceful relation with whom his act has imperilled. With such rules as these the civil magistrate of the republic can have had nothing to do; they belong to an older period of thought and of government, and survived in the books of the college which under the republic continued to administer the ius divinum; for these rules doubtless continued to exist side by side with the civil law as it gradually developed itself, and the necessary modes of expiation were known to the pontifices only. Roman society was indeed so deeply penetrated for many ages with the idea of religio—the dread of violating the pax deorum,—that the idea of law as a matter of the relation of man to man, as "the interference of the State in the passions and interests of humanity only," must have gained ground by very slow degrees. This primitive religious law then, i.e. the regulation of the proper steps to be taken to avoid a breach of the pax deorum, was entirely in the hands of the religious authorities, the Rex at first and then the pontifices, as the only experts who could know the secrets of the ius divinum; and from their decisions and prescriptions there could be no appeal, simply because there was no individual or body in the State to whom an appeal was conceivable. But after the rule of the Etruscan kings, with all its disturbing influences, and after the revolution which got rid of them, there must have been an age of new ideas and increased mental activity, and also of increasing social complexity, the signs of which in the way of trade and industry we have already found in certain facts of religious history. In the domain of law this meant new problems, new difficulties; and these were met in the middle of the fifth century B.C., if the received chronology is to be accepted,562 by the publication of the XII. Tables.
In order to get some idea of the work of the pontifices 274at this time, let us consider one or two of these difficulties and problems.
Within the family every act, every relation, was matter of religion; the numina had to be considered in regard to it. The end and aim, then as throughout Roman history, was the maintenance of the sacra of the family, without which it could not be conceived as existing—the due worship of its deities, and the religious care of its dead. Take marriage as an example: "the entry of a bride into the household—of one who as yet had no lot in the family life—meant some straining of the relation between the divine and human members,"563 and the human part of the family must be assured that the divine part is willing to accept her before the step can be regarded as complete. She has to enter the family in such a way as to share in its sacra; and if confarreatio was (as we may believe) the oldest form of patrician marriage,564 the bride was subjected to a ceremony which was plainly of a sacramental character—the sacred cake of far being partaken of by both bride and bridegroom in the presence of the highest religious authority of the State. In the simplest form of society there would be no call for further priestly interference in marriage; but in a society growing more numerous and complex, exceptions, abnormal conditions begin to show themselves, and new problems arise, which must be solved by new expedients, prescriptions, permissions, devices, or fictions. For these the religious authorities are solely responsible; for what is a matter of religious interest to the family is also matter of religious interest to the State, simply because the State is composed of families in the same sense as the human body is composed of cellular tissue. All this, we believe, was once the work of the Rex, perhaps with the college of pontifices to help him; when the kingship disappeared it became the work of that college solely, with the pontifex maximus as the chief authority.
So, too, in all other questions which concerned the maintenance of the family, and especially in regard to the 275devolution of property. I am here only illustrating the way in which the pontifical college acquired their paramount influence by having a quantity of new and difficult work forced upon them, and it is not part of my plan to explain the early history of adoptions and wills; but I may give a single concrete illustration for the benefit of those who are not versed in Roman law. It must constantly have happened, in that disturbed period which brought the kingship to an end, that by death or capture in war a family was left without male heirs. Daughters could not take their place, because the sacra of a family could not be maintained by daughters, who would, in the natural order of things, be sooner or later married and so become members of other families. Hence the expedient was adopted of making a filius familias of another family a member of your own; and this, like marriage, involved a straining of the relations between the human and divine members of your family, and was thus a matter for the religious authorities to contrive in such a manner as to preserve the pax between them. The difficulty was overcome by the practical wisdom of the pontifical college, which held a solemn inquiry into the case before submitting it to the people in specially summoned assembly (comitia calata);565 and thus the new filius familias was enabled not only to renounce his own sacra (detestatio sacrorum), but to pass into the guardianship of another set of sacra, without incurring the anger of the numina concerned with the welfare of either.
Such difficult matters as these, and many more connected directly or indirectly with the devolution of property, such as the guardianship of women and of the incapable, the power to dispose of property otherwise than by the original rules of succession, the law of burial and the care of the dead,—all these, at the time of which I am speaking, must have been among the secrets of the pontifices; and we can also suspect, though without being sure of our facts, that the great increase of the importance of the plebs under the Etruscan dynasty offered further 276opportunities for the growth alike of the work and influence of the college.566 Above all, we must remember that this work was done in secret, that the mysteries of adjustment were unknown to the people when once they had passed out of the ken of family and gens, and that there could have been no appeal from the pontifices to any other body. Nay, more, we must also bear in mind that this body of religious experts was self-electing. Until the lex Domitia of 104 B.C. both pontifices and augurs filled up their own colleges with persons whom they believed qualified both by knowledge and disposition. Thus it would seem that there was every chance that in that early Rome, where neither in family nor State could anything be undertaken without some reference to the religious authority, where the pax deorum was the one essential object of public and private life, a power might be developed apt one day not only to petrify religion and stultify its worshippers, but thereby also to cramp the energies of the community, acting as an obstacle to its development within its walls and without. Had Roman law remained entirely in the hands of this self-electing college, one of two things must have happened: either that college would have become purely secular in character, or the wonderful legal system that we still enjoy would never have had space to grow up. But this was not to be; with the publication of the XII. Tables a new era opens.
If we reject, as we conscientiously may, the latest attempts of criticism to post-date the drawing up of the Tables,567 and in fact to destroy their historical value for us, what is their significance for our present purpose? It is simply that in the middle of the fifth century B.C. the pontifices lost a monopoly—ceased to be the sole depositaries of the rules of law affecting the pax deorum, and that new rules are being set down in writing, on the basis of old custom, which more especially affect the relations between the human citizens. For both the ius divinum and the ius civile are to be found in this collection, but the latter is beginning to assert its independence. I think 277we may say, without much hesitation, that this event, however doubtful its traditional details, did actually save Rome from either of the two consequences to which I alluded just now. The constitution developed itself on lay and not on ecclesiastical lines, leaving the pontifices other work to do, and Roman civil law was eventually able to free itself from the trammels of the ius divinum.
But for another century the college still found abundant legal work to do, for it was not likely that at Rome, the most conservative of all city-states, it could be quickly set aside, or that the old ideas of law could so speedily disappear. What then was this work?
When rules of civil law were written down, it was still necessary to deal with them in two ways which were open to the pontifices, and indeed at this early time to no one else. First, it was necessary to make their provisions effectual by prescribing in each case the proper method of procedure (actio). Now it is most important to grasp the fact that procedure in the ius civile was originally of precisely the same nature as procedure in the ius divinum, and that precisely the same rigid exactness is indispensable in both. Action and formula in civil law belong to the same class of practices as sacrifice and prayer in religious law, and spring from the same mental soil. Thus, for example, the most familiar case of action and formula in civil law, the sacramentum, was, as the name proves, a piece of religious procedure, i.e. the deposition in a sacred spot of a sum of money which the suitor in the case would forfeit if he lost it, together with the utterance of a certain formula of words which must be correctly spoken. If we choose to go back so far, we may even see in this combination of formularised act and speech a survival of magical or quasi-magical belief;568 but this is matter rather for the anthropologist than the historian of religion. The point for us at this moment is that these acts and formulae (legis actiones, as they are known in Roman law) could not suddenly or rapidly pass out of the hands of that body of skilled experts which had so long been in sole possession 278of them; the publication of old and new rules of law in the XII. Tables made no immediate difference in this respect. The consuls, the new civil executive, were still in no sense necessarily skilled in such matters, and were without the prestige of the former executive, the Rex; they were also doubtless busy with other work, especially in the field. Nothing could be more natural than that the pontifices should continue to provide the procedure for the now written law, just as they had formerly supplied it for the unwritten.569
So, too, with the interpretation of the Tables; this was the second part of the work that still remained to them. Writing was in that age a mystery to the mass of the population, and doubtless the idea was still in their minds that there was something supernatural about it. Writing, in fact, as well as formularised action and speech, may have had the flavour of magic about it. However that may be, there can be no doubt that the interpretation of a legal document was in those days a much more serious, if a less arduous business, than it is now. Here again, then, it seems perfectly natural that there should be no rapid or violent change in the personnel of those deemed capable of such interpretation; there was no other body of experts capable of the work; the pontifices remained iuris-consulti, i.e. interpreters and advisers, and in the course of two and a half centuries accumulated an amount of material that formed a basis for the first published system of Roman law, the ius Aelianum or tripartita of 200 B.C. It is most useful to remember, as proof of this, that one member of the college was selected every year for the special purpose of helping the people with advice in matters of civil law, both in regard to interpretation and the choice of legis actiones; so we are expressly told by Pomponius, who adds that this practice continued for about a hundred years after the publication of the Tables, i.e. till the election of the first praetor in 366.570 After that date the ius civile emerges more distinctly from the old body of law, which included also the ius divinum, and its 279interpretation was no longer a matter purely for religious experts. In 337 we hear of the first plebeian praetor—truly a momentous event, showing that the old profound belief is dying out, which demanded a religious and patrician qualification for all legal work. And at the end of the fourth century comes the publication, not only of the legis actiones, but of the Fasti, i.e. even of that most vital part of the ius divinum, which distinguished the times and seasons belonging to the numina from those belonging to the human citizens.571 One might well suppose that the power of the pontifices was on the wane, for they had lost another monopoly.
And indeed in one sense this was so. It must have been so, for as the range of the State's activity increased, the sphere of religious influence became relatively less. Marriage, for example, though it still needed a religious ceremony in common opinion, ceased to need it in the eye of the law—a change which is familiar to us in our own age. The pontifex was no longer indispensable to the suitor at law, nor to the citizen who wished to know on what day he might proceed with his suit. The college undoubtedly ceased to be the powerful secretly-acting body in whose hands was the entire religio of the citizen, i.e. the decision of all points on which he might feel the old anxious nervousness about the good-will of the gods. But now we mark a change which gave the old institution new life and new work. At the end of this fourth century (300 B.C.) it was thrown open to plebeians by the lex Ogulnia; and, as I have already mentioned, within a few years we come upon a plebeian pontifex maximus, who was not even a Roman by birth, yet one of the most famous in the whole series of the holders of that great office. Most probably, too, the numbers of the members have already been increased from five to nine, of whom five must be plebeian. These members begin to be found holding also civil magistracies, and the pontifex maximus was often a consul of the year. It is quite plain then that this priestly office is becoming more and 280more secularised; it expands with the new order of things instead of shrinking into itself. It leaves religion, in the proper sense of the word, far behind. The sacrificing priests, the flamines, etc., who were the humbler members in a technical sense of the same college, go on with their proper and strictly religious work under the supervision of the pontifex maximus,572 but they steadily become of less importance as the greater members become secularised in their functions and their ambitions. And these greater members, instead of becoming stranded on a barren shore of antique religion, boldly venture into a new sphere of human life, and add definite secular work to their old religious functions.
The events of the latter part of the fourth century B.C., culminating in the publication of the Fasti and the legis actiones, probably meant much more for the Romans than we can divine by the uncertain light of historical imagination. It is the age of expansion, internal and external; the old patrician exclusive rule was gone beyond recall; the plebeians had forced their way into every department of government, including at last even the great religious collegia; the old Latin league had been broken up, and the Latin cities organised in various new relations to Rome, each one being connected with the suzerain city by a separate treaty, sealed with religious sanctions. After the Samnite wars and the struggle with Pyrrhus, further organisation was necessary, and there arose by degrees a loose system of union which we are accustomed to call the Italian confederation. The adaptation of all these new conditions to the existing order of things at Rome was the work of the senate and magistrates so far as it concerned human beings only; but so far as it affected the relations of the divine inhabitants of the various communities it must have been the work of the pontifices. That work is indeed almost entirely hidden from us, for Livy's books of this period are lost, and Livy is the only historian who has preserved for us in any substance the religious side of Rome's public life. But what we have 281learnt in the course of these lectures will have made it plain that no political changes could take place without involving religious adaptation, and also that the only body qualified to undertake such adaptation was the pontifical college.
We may thus be quite certain, that though they had lost their old monopoly of religious knowledge, the pontifices found plenty of fresh work to do in this period. It is my belief that they now became more active than they ever had been. From this time, for example, we may almost certainly date their literary or quasi-literary activity; I mean the practice of recording the leading events of each year, which may have had its origin a century earlier, with the eclipse of the sun in or about 404 B.C.573 I should guess that after the admission of the plebeians to the college in 300 B.C., the new members put fresh life and vigour into the old work, and developed it in various directions. It is in this period that I am inclined to attribute to the college that zeal for compiling and perhaps inventing religious formulae of all kinds, which took shape in the libri or commentarii pontificum, and embodied that strange manual of the methods of addressing deities, which we know as Indigitamenta. And again, in the skilled work of the admission of new deities and the dedication of their temples, occasioned by the new organisation and condition of Italy, and lastly, in the supervision of the proper methods of expiating prodigia, which (though the habit is doubtless an old one) began henceforward to be reported to the Senate from all parts of the ager Romanus and even beyond, their meetings in the Regia must have been fully occupied. Our loss is great indeed in the total want of detail about the life and character of the great plebeian pontifex maximus of the first half of the third century B.C., that Titus Coruncanius whom I have already mentioned as being a Latin by birth; for Cicero declares that the commentarii of the college showed him as a man of the greatest ability,574 whose reputation remained for ages as one who was ready with wise counsel in matters both public and 282private. Coupling him with two other memorable holders of the office, he says that "et in senatu et apud populum et in causis amicorum et domi et militiae consilium suum fidemque praestabant."575 This passage should be remembered as a valuable illustration of the way in which the college and its head were becoming more and more occupied with secular business; it is worth noting, too, that this great man was himself consul in the year 280, and took a useful part in the first campaign against Pyrrhus.576 Yet Cicero makes it plain that he looked on him also as a great figure in religious matters—nay, even as a man whom the gods loved.577
I will finish this lecture by illustrating briefly this renewed and extended activity of the pontifices, so far as we can dimly trace it in this third century B.C. Most of it is connected more or less directly with the State religion, yet with a tendency to become more and more secular and perfunctory; the word cura would express it better than caerimonia, and caerimonia better than religio. The care of the calendar, for example (a technical matter which lies outside my province in these lectures), was originally of religious importance, because the oldest religious festivals marked operations of husbandry, and these, when fixed in the calendar, must occur at the right seasons.578 It was the duty of the pontifices so to adjust the necessary intercalations as to effect this object—a duty to which they were, as it turned out, quite unequal. But continued city life broke the connection between the festivals and the agricultural work to which they originally corresponded, and what was once a cura of religious import became a secular matter of which the value was not appreciated. So too with another duty, for which both the Romans and ourselves have more reason to be grateful to them—the recording of the leading events of national history.
It is uncertain what prompted the college, or rather its head, to begin making these records, though there is 283no doubt about the fact. But it would be natural enough that those who had charge of the calendar, which would necessitate some record of years for purposes of intercalation, should go on to mark the names of the consuls and such striking events as would make a year memorable. In any case this was what actually happened. The pontifex maximus, we are told with precision, kept a tabula, or whited board, on which these events were noted down, with the consuls' names attached to them, or possibly a kind of almanac, made out for the whole year, on which they could append their notes to particular days.579 This yearly tabula was no doubt at first kept secret, like all the pontifical documents, but sooner or later, perhaps at the same time as the publication of the fasti and legis actiones, it was exposed to public view in or at the Regia.580 This went on for at least two centuries, and the records, which in the nature of things must have grown in length and detail as events became more startling and numerous, were edited in eighty books by the pontifex maximus P. Mucius Scaevola in 123 B.C.—the year of the first tribunate of C. Gracchus. The large number of these books has long been a stumbling-block to the learned, for we are expressly told that the annales maximi, as the records were called, were (in spite of their name) of a very meagre character; and many conjectures have quite recently been made to explain it.581 But guessing is almost useless, seeing that there are no data for it. The editor may have added matter of his own, amplifying and adorning after the manner of writers of his day; or he may have worked in the contents of other pontifical books, libri or commentarii pontificales. The point for us is simply the continued activity of the pontifex maximus in this work, which must have become almost entirely secular in character. The notes may have been jejune, but they were probably accurate, and free from the perversions of family vanity or such lengthy rhetorical ornamentation as became the universal fashion among private writers of annalistic history. They were, we may suppose, exactly 284what our modern historical conscience demands. But all that is left of them, or almost all, is the list of consuls (fasti consulares) and of triumphs (fasti triumphales) which in their present form must, or at least may, have been extracted from them.582 On the whole, we may reckon them as the most valuable work of the college; and they may be taken as marking a growing sense of the importance of Rome and her history, the commemoration of which is thus committed to an official who, as an individual, had invariably served the State well, and in whom all classes had perfect confidence.583
One important part of the work of the college in this century must have been the adjustment of the civic religion of the Italian communities to that of Rome. What deities were to be made citizens of Rome? Which were to be left in their old homes undisturbed? No doubt many other questions must have called for attention in religious matters after the conquest of Italy, but this is the one of which we know most. The temple foundations of this period have all been carefully put together (chiefly from Livy's invaluable records) by Aust,584 and show that there was a certain tendency to bring in deities from outside, not so much because they represented some special need of the Romans, corn or art or industry, as two centuries earlier, but simply because they were deities of the conquered whom it might be prudent to adopt. The great Juno Regina of Veii was long ago induced by evocatio to migrate to Rome; Fors Fortuna from Etruria, Juturna from Lavinium, Minerva Capta from Falerii, Feronia, a famous Latin goddess from Capena, Vortumnus from Volsinii,585 all attest the same liberal tone in religious matters which on the whole marks the secular Italian policy of the Senate in this period. If we had but more information about the former, we should be able to understand the latter far better. We should like to know why in some cases the chief deity of a community came to Rome, while in others there is not trace of migration. The famous Vacuna of Reate, for example, never left her 285home in the Apennines, possibly because she was a kind of Vesta, who could not be spared from Reate, and was not wanted at Rome.586
The list of foundations also points to other tendencies and experiences of the time. We might guess that there was some attempt, with the aid of pontifical skill, to encourage agriculture or give it a fresh start after the invasion of Pyrrhus; for between 272 and 264, the years of the pacification of Italy, we find temples built to four agricultural deities, three indigenous Roman ones, Consus, Tellus, Pales, and one Etruscan garden god, Vertumnus.587 Then we have a group of foundations in honour of deities connected with water—Juturna, Fons, Tempestates, which seem to have some reference to the naval activity of the first Punic war; they all fall between 259 and 241 B.C.588 Lastly, we notice a fresh accession of deified abstractions,—Salus (an old deity in a new form), Spes, Honos et Virtus, Concordia, and Mens.589 I am glad to find that the latest investigator of these religious abstractions is at one with me in believing that they simply mark a developed stage in the religious bent of the earliest Roman. If the old Romans had the habit of spiritualising a great variety of material objects, in other words, if they were in an advanced animistic stage, there seems to be no reason why they should not have begun to spiritualise mental concepts also (for which they had words, as for the material objects), even at a very early period. The whole psychological aspect of such abstractions is most interesting, but I must pass it over here, merely suggesting that each of these abstractions was doubtless deified for some particular reason, under the direction, or with the sanction, of the pontifices.590
But we have not as yet reached what is, after all, for our purposes the most instructive part of the work of the pontifices—I mean the archives or memoranda (libri or commentarii) which they kept, and from which, indirectly, much of what I have had to say about the ius divinum has been drawn. It is here that we see the 286policy of maintaining the pax deorum carried to its highest point. These books contained a vast collection of formulae for every kind of process in which the deities were in any way concerned; here was the complete pharmacopoeia of the ius divinum.591 We must remember that the pontifex maximus and his assessors had to be ready at any moment with the correct formula for all religious acts, whether extraordinary, like the devotio of Decius or the expiation of some startling "prodigium," or belonging to the ordinary course of city life, such as prayers in sacrificial ritual, vota both public and private, charters (leges) of newly founded temples, and so on. The idea that the spoken formula (ultimately, as we saw, derived from an age of magic) was efficient only if no slip were made, seems to have gained in strength instead of diminishing, as we might have expected it to do with advancing civilisation; and the pontifices not only responded to its importunity, but actually stimulated it. Vires acquirit eundo are words which apply well in all ages to the passion for organisation and precision. Though we cannot prove it, I myself have little doubt that the members of the college, or some of them, collected and invented formulae simply for the pleasure of doing it, and that the work became as congenial to them as the systematisation of the law to Jewish scribes after the captivity, or as casuistry to the confessors of the middle ages. When the art of writing became familiar to experts, the natural and primitive desire of the Roman to have exactness in the spoken word affected him also in his relations with the word as written. The scribe and the Pharisee found their opportunity. The whole public religion of the State, and to some extent also the private religion of the family, became a mass of forms and formulae, and never succeeded in freeing itself from these fetters.
We can best illustrate this superfluity of priestly zeal in that strange list of forms of invocation called Indigitamenta, which I have already explained with the help of 287Wissowa.592 Working upon the old Roman animism, and the popular fondness for formulae, the pontifices drew up those lists in the fourth and third centuries B.C., which have so seriously misled scholars as to the genuine primitive religious ideas of the Romans. They are in the main priestly inventions, the work of ingenious formulators. We may even be tempted to look on them as an attempt to rivet the yoke of priestly formalism on the life of the individual as well as on the life of the State as a whole. But if ever this was the intention, it was too late. A people that was beginning to get into touch with the civilisation of Hellas could not possibly bear such a yoke. In the last lecture we have already seen a tendency towards emotional religion independent of the old State worship; the philosophy of individualism was to complete the work of emancipation in the last two centuries B.C. The old State religion remained, but in stunted form and with paralysed vitality; Rome was the scene of an arrested religious development. The feeling, the religious instinct (religio) was indeed there, though latent; the Romans were human beings, like the rest of us. But as we go on with the story we shall find that, when trouble or disaster brought it out of its hiding-place, it was no longer possible to soothe it on Roman principles or by Roman methods. These methods—in other words, the ius divinum as formulated by the authorities—had been meant to soothe it, and had indeed so effectually lulled it to sleep, that when at last it awoke again they had lost the power of dealing with it. When the craving did come upon the Roman, which in time of peril or doubt has come upon individuals and communities in all ages, for support and comfort from the Unseen, it had to be satisfied by giving him new gods to worship in new ways, gods from Greece and the East, some of them concealed under Latin names, but still aliens, not citizens of his own State, aliens with whom he had little or nothing in common, who had no home in his patriotic feeling, no place in his religious experience.593 As I said 288at the beginning of the last lecture, we must not underrate the religiousness of the Roman character, which was never entirely lost; but the secret of its comparative uselessness lies in this—that the natural desire to be right with the Power manifesting itself in the universe, and to know more of that Power, became weakened and destroyed by an over-scrupulous attention to the means taken to realise it, and by the introduction of foreign methods which had no root in the mental fibre of the people, and reflected no part of its experience. Religion was effectually divorced from life and morality.
NOTES TO LECTURE XII
556 See Mulder, De notione conscientiae, quae et qualis fuerit Romanis, Leyden, 1908, cap. 2. On p. 56 he quotes Luthard (Die antike Ethik, p. 131), who says of the Roman religion that it was even more an affair of the State than with any other people; hence its peculiar legal character. Though Mulder overworks his point, his chapter (especially p. 61 foll.) is full of interest.
557 Wissowa, R.K. p. 431. The first chapter of Ambrosch's Studien und Andeutungen, in which the nature and history of the Regia was first really investigated, is still valuable. An excellent short account is given by Mr. Marindin in his article in the Dict. of Antiquities, ed. 2. It is now generally maintained that the Regia in historical times was rather a building for sacred purposes than a residence for a man and his family, and this I hold to be correct; but it may for all that have originally been the residence of the Rex and of the Pont. Max. when the Rex had disappeared.
558 See Schanz, Gesch. der röm. Literatur, i. 43, where a succinct account is given of modern opinion as to the so-called ius Papirianum. The main argument for the late date of the collection is that Cicero does not seem to have known of it when he wrote the letter ad Fam. ix. 21 in 46 B.C. This of course in no way affects the primitive character of the rules themselves.
559 The inference that the rules were found in the Libri pontificum is inevitable in any case, but seems proved by the fact that one of them, that relating to the spolia opima, is stated by Festus, p. 189 (s.v. "opima"), to have been extracted from those books.
560 Festus, s.v. "pellices" and s.v. "plorare," which latter word is interpreted as = inclamare.
561 The divi parentum are here generally taken as those of the particular family, and this may have been so; but cf. Wissowa, R.K. 192.
562 For the attempts of Pais in Italy and Lambert in France to date the Tables at the end of the fourth century or later, see Schanz, op. cit. i. 41. In Germany opinion is universally in favour of the traditional date.
563 See Social Life at Rome in the Age of Cicero, p. 135.
564 On the religious character of confarreatio see De Marchi, La Religione nella vita privata, i. p. 145 foll.
565 Cic. de Domo, 12. 14; Gellius, v. 19.
566 See, e.g. Launspach, State and Family in Early Rome, p. 256 foll. The last three chapters of this little book, on Patria potestas, Marriage, and Succession, will be found useful by those who cannot enter into the many disputes and difficulties which have arisen out of the attempts of writers on Roman law to adjust legal ideas to the dim early history of Rome. Binder, in his work Die Plebs, starts from the improbable hypothesis that the plebs was the population of the Latin part of the city as distinct from that Sabine part on the Quirinal, which he believes to have been the only patrician body; and he further believes that the plebs lived originally under "Mutterrecht," the patres under "Vaterrecht." Such a condition of society would, of course, have greatly added to the pontifical work of religious adjustment; it would have been more than even the pontifices could have successfully achieved.
567 See above, note 7. Binder, Die Plebs, p. 488 foll., discusses, and in the main rejects, the arguments of Pais and Lambert.
568 So Huvelin, in a paper in L'Année sociologique, 1905-6, p. 1 foll., criticised by Hubert et Mauss, Mélanges d'histoire des religions, p. xxiii. foll.
569 From the religious point of view the legis actiones are best explained in Marquardt, 318 foll. Cp. Muirhead, Roman Law, ed. 1899, pp. 246-7; Greenidge, Roman Public Life, index s.v. "legis actio," and especially p. 87.
570 The famous passage of Pomponius is in the Digest, i. 2. 2, sec. 6 (for the work of Aelius, see Dig. i. 2. 2, 38) "ex his legibus ... actiones compositae sunt, quibus inter se homines disceptarent: quas actiones ne populus prout vellet institueret, certas sollemnesque esse voluerunt.... Omnium tamen harum et interpretandi scientia et actiones apud collegium pontificum erant, ex quibus constituebatur, quis quoquo anno praeesset privatis."
571 Livy ix. 46 "civile ius, repositum in penetralibus pontificum, evulgavit (Cn. Flavius), fastosque circa forum in albo proponit, ut quando lege agi posset sciretur." Cp. Val. Max. ii. 5. 2. Civile ius is here usually taken as meaning the procedure; but this is a passage which may give some countenance to those who would put the publication of the XII. Tables later than the traditional date.
572 For the relation of the Flamines, Vestals, and Rex sacrorum to the pontifex maximus, see Wissowa, R.K. 432 foll.
573 See above, p. 283. For the eclipse, Cic. Rep. i. 16. 25; and 290for the various scientific determinations of its exact date, Schanz, Gesch. der röm. Lit. vol. i. (ed. 2) p. 37. "Ex hoc die," writes Cicero, "quem apud Ennium et in maximis annalibus consignatum videmus, superiores solis defectiones reputatae sunt."
574 Cic. Brutus, 55 "longe plurimum ingenio valuisse."
575 De Orat. iii. 33. 134.
576 See Dict. of Classical Biography, s.v. "Coruncanius."
577 Nat. deor. ii. 165. Coruncanius is mentioned as one of those whom the gods love, if indeed they take an interest in human affairs.
578 See above, p. 100 foll.; and Roman Festivals, p. 3.
579 Our knowledge of this tabula chiefly depends on a passage in the Danielian scholiast on Virg. Aen. i. 373: "ita enim annales conficiebantur. Tabulam dealbatam quotannis pontifex maximus habuit, in qua praescriptis consulum nominibus et aliorum magistratum, digna memoratu notare consueverat domi militiaeque terra marique gesta per singulos dies. Cuius diligentiae annuos commentarios in octoginta libros veteres retulerunt, eosque a pontificibus maximis, a quibus fiebant, annales maximos appellarunt." The explanation of the name is no doubt wrong; but all the rest of this passage can be relied on; cp. Cic. de Orat. ii. 12. 52; Dion. Hal. i. 73, 74; Gell. ii. 28. 6; Cic. Legg. i. 2. 6. For the idea of the almanac, see Cichorius in Pauly-Wissowa, Real-Encycl., s.v. "annales maximi."
580 Proponebat tabulam domi, Cic. de Orat. ii. 12. 52. This must refer to the official residence of the Pont. Max.; see above, p. 271.
581 These attempted solutions of an insoluble problem may be found in brief in Schanz, Gesch. der röm. Lit. i. 37. Perhaps the boldest is that of Cantorelli, that the annales were constructed not out of the tabula but out of the commentarii; but this is in conflict with the passage in the scholiast on Virgil. To me the difficulty does not seem overwhelming; events occurring "domi militiaeque, terra marique," may have filled considerable space, and yet have been meagre in the eyes of the rhetoricians of the last century B.C.
582 Schanz, op. cit. p. 35.
583 The great authority of the Pont. Max. is well shown in the story of Tremellius the praetor, who in the middle of the second century B.C. was fined (by a tribune?) "quod cum M. Aemilio pontifice maximo iniuriose contenderat, sacrorumque quam magistratuum ius potentius fuit." Livy, Epit. 47.
584 De aedibus sacris populi Romani, p. 10 foll.
585 Aust, op. cit. p. 14 foll. See also R.F. p. 340 foll.
586 For Vacuna, Wissowa, R.K. pp. 44 and 128. She was later, but probably without good reason, identified with Victoria. The conjecture that she was a hearth deity rests on the lines of Ovid, Fasti, vi. 305, which I have before referred to in another context: 291
ante focos olim scamnis considere longis
mos erat et mensae credere adesse deos.
nunc quoque cum fiunt antiquae sacra Vacunae,
ante Vacunales stantque sedentque focos.
587 Aust, p. 14. For Vertumnus the locus classicus is Propert. v. 2. It is not certain that the connection with gardens was primitive.
588 R.F. p. 341.
589 R.F. p. 341.
590 See Axtell, The Deification of Abstract Ideas in Roman Literature and Inscriptions (Chicago, 1907), p. 59 foll., where the views of Mommsen, Boissier, Marquardt, and Wissowa are discussed. Axtell's own conclusion is given on p. 62 foll. In the main it seems to agree with that hazarded in my Roman Festivals, p. 190.
591 For the evidence as to the contents of the commentarii, which are now generally identified with the libri, see Wissowa, R.K. 32 and 441; Schanz, op. cit. i. 32; and the article "Commentarii" in Pauly-Wissowa, Real-Encycl. As Wissowa remarks (p. 441, note 6), we are greatly in need of a complete collection of all fragments of these archives.
592 See above, p. 159 foll. The conviction that these lists are of comparatively late and priestly origin, which has long been growing on me, was originally suggested by the learned article "Indigitamenta" by R. Peter in Roscher's Lexicon, vol. ii. p. 175 foll.
593 I have here adopted some sentences from my article in the Hibbert Journal for 1907, p. 854.
THE AUGURS AND THE ART OF DIVINATION
"The one great corruption to which all religion is exposed is its separation from morality. The very strength of the religious motive has a tendency to exclude, or disparage, all other tendencies of the human mind, even the noblest and best. It is against this corruption that the prophetic order from first to last constantly protested.... Mercy and justice, judgment and truth, repentance and goodness—not sacrifice, not fasting, not ablutions,—is the burden of the whole prophetic teaching of the Old Testament."594
The over-formalising, or ritualising, of any religion is sure to bring about that result against which the Jewish prophets protested. We saw at the end of the last lecture how the pontifices contributed to such a result. We are now to study the contribution of the other great college, the augurs. For instead of developing, as did the wise man or seer of Israel, into the mouthpiece of God in His demand for the righteousness of man, the Roman diviner merely assisted the pontifex in his work of robbing religion of the idea of righteousness. Divination seems to be a universal instinct of human nature, a perfectly natural instinct, arising out of man's daily needs, hopes, fears; but though it may have had the chance, even at Rome, it never has been able, except among the Jews, to emerge from its cramping chrysalis of magic and become a really valuable stimulant of morality.
By divination I mean the various ways and methods 293by which, in all stages of his development, man has persuaded himself that what he is going to do or suffer will turn out well or ill for him. It is probably judicious, with Dr. Tylor and with the majority of recent anthropologists, to consider it as belonging to the region of magic;595 and it is obvious that it affords excellent examples of that inadequacy which characterises magical attempts to overcome the difficulties man meets with in his struggle for existence.596 It belongs, like other forms of magic, to a stage in which man's idea of his relation to the Power manifesting itself in the universe is both rude and rudimentary. But it shares with magic the power or property of surviving, in form at least, through the animistic stage into that of religion, and it is largely practised at the present day even among highly civilised peoples.
But I must observe, before I go on, that divination as an object of anthropological inquiry still stands in need of a thorough scientific examination. At present it seems to puzzle anthropologists;597 and the reason probably is that the material for studying it inductively has not as yet been collected and sifted. Strange to say, it does not appear in the index to Dr. Westermarck's great work, which I have so often quoted: it is hardly to be found even in the Golden Bough: nor can I find a thoroughgoing treatment of it in any other books about the early history of mankind. And any sort of guesswork under these circumstances only increases our difficulties. Some years ago the great German philosophical lawyer, von Jhering, in an interesting work called the Evolution of the Aryan, made some most ingenious attempts to explain the origin of Roman divination. He fancied that the practice of examining the entrails of a victim, for example, began in the course of Aryan migration, because when you encamped in a new region you would catch and kill some of the native cattle in order to see whether they were wholesome enough to tempt you to stay.598 Again, the study of the flight of birds was prompted by the desire to get information about the mountain passes and the 294course of great rivers; and this study grew into an elaborate art as the leader of the host, the prototype of the Roman augur, gained experience by constant observation from elevated ground.599 Such a theory as this last might be worth something if it were based upon known facts; as it is, it is only most ingenious guesswork. This great legal writer did not know, as we do now, that divination by both these methods is found all over the world, and cannot be explained by any supposed needs of migrating Aryans.
Whatever be the origin of the several forms of divination, the object of the practice in ancient Italy and Greece is beyond doubt—to find out whether the Power with whom you wish to be in right relation is favourable to certain human operations, or willing to aid in removing certain forms of human suffering. According to our definition, it was a part of religion, whether or no it belonged originally to magic. It was a practical expression of that doubt or anxiety to which I believe the Romans attached the word religio. In the agricultural period it must have been specially useful and even inevitable,600 because the tiller of the soil is always in need of knowledge as to the best times and seasons for his operations, and his out-of-door life gives him constant opportunity of observing natural phenomena, diosemeia, signs from heaven, and the utterances and movements of birds and other animals. It is interesting to reflect that these last may often be of real service in foretelling the weather, which is so important to the farmer. As I write this on a December day I recall the fact that I have myself within the last week successfully foretold a spell of cold after observing a great arrival of winter thrushes from the north. This particular branch of augury is, in fact, neither so inadequate nor so absurd as most others. Von Jhering may turn out to be right in his notion that at least some forms of divination have their origin in practical needs and in the skill of uncivilised man in discerning the signs of the weather—a skill which it is well to remember 295far exceeds that of the house-dweller of modern civilisation. But with the growth of the City-state and the habits of life in a town, these early instincts and methods of the agriculturist came to be caught up into a system of religious practice, adapted to the conditions of civil and political existence; thus they gradually lost their original meaning and such real value as they ever possessed. I have pointed out that the Roman festivals and the ritual of the oldest calendar gradually got out of relation with the agricultural life in which they for the most part originated:601 so it was with divination, which in the hands of the State authorities became formalised into a set of rules for ascertaining the good-will of the gods, and obtaining their sanction for the operations of the community, which had no scientific basis whatever, no relation to truth and fact. Of all the methods for putting yourself in right relation with the Power, this was the least valuable, and indeed the most harmful; it came in course of time to be a positive obstacle to efficiency and freedom of action, it wasted valuable time, and it often served as the means of promoting private ends to the detriment of the public interest.
Before I go on to consider the development of the highly formalised system of public divination, let me clear the ground by a few remarks about such forms of the practice as were not sanctioned by the State. That these existed throughout Roman history there is no doubt, as they existed in Greece, among the Jews, and elsewhere in the East, alongside of the advanced and organised methods of official and authorised experts.
Our information about private divination is scattered about in Roman literature, and even when brought together there is not a great deal of it. What is prominent both in Roman literature and Roman history is the divination authorised by the State and systematised by its authorities; even in Cicero's treatise de Divinatione, though the subject-matter is of a general kind, drawn from Greece as well as Rome, it is, I think, apart from 296philosophical questions, chiefly the art of augurs and haruspices that interests the writer, who was himself an augur when he wrote it. In Greek literature exactly the opposite is the case; there we hear little of State-authorised divination, and a great deal of wandering soothsayers, soothsaying families, and oracles which (except at Delphi) were not under the direct control of a City-state.602 The methods of divination are much the same in both peninsulas, and indeed vary little all the world over; the difference lies simply in this,—that at Rome the adoption and systematisation by the State of certain methods, especially those which dealt with birds and lightning, had the effect of discrediting, if not excluding, an immense amount of private practice of this kind. I mean that if the State strongly sanctions some forms of divination, working them by its own officials, it casts a shadow of discredit over the rest. As the ius divinum tended to exclude magic and the barbarous in ritual, so did the ius augurale, which was a part of it, exclude the quack in divination. And in this particular department of human delusion the result may be said to have been happy; for though divination belongs to religion as having survived from an earlier stage into a religious one, yet it is the least valuable, the least fruitful, part of it.603 True, the augural systematisation, as we shall see, had a sinister effect on political progress; but even there the very emptiness and absurdity of the whole business helped to bring contempt on it, and, as Cicero tells us in a well-known passage, even old Cato declared that he could not imagine why a haruspex did not laugh when he met a brother of the craft.604 In Greece, on the contrary, it might, I believe, be shown that the absence of systematisation by the State only served to prolong the credit and influence of the professional quack.
Greece was at all periods full of these quacks; did the sham prophet exist at Rome in the period we have now under review? Later on the Oriental soothsayer found his way there; of these Chaldaei and mathematici I shall 297have a word to say in another lecture, and we shall see how the State authorities made occasional attempts to exclude them. Of the frantic type of diviner, the ἔνθεοϛ, so common in Greece, we hear nothing in the sober Roman annals; the idea of a human being "possessed by a spirit of divination" seems foreign to the Roman character.605 The only soothsayer, so far as I know, who appears in Roman legend in a private capacity is that Attus Navius who gave Tarquinius Priscus the benefit of his knowledge; and he is represented as a respectable Sabine, and his art as an augural one learnt from the Etruscans.606 There are, indeed, ancient traces of a prophetic art at Rome, but, as the historian of divination has well observed, they are all connected not with human beings, but with divinities, a fact which explains the Latin word divinatio.607 To take what is perhaps the best example, the ancient deity Carmenta, who had a flamen and a double festival in the month of January, may very probably represent some dim tradition of a numen at whose shrine women might gain some knowledge as to their fortunes in childbirth, just as outside Rome, at Praeneste and Antium, Fortuna seems to have had this gift in historical times.608 So St. Augustine interpreted Carmenta,609 probably following Varro; and to Virgil she was the "vates fatidica, cecinit quae prima futuros Aeneadas magnos et nobile Pallanteum."
But Carmenta, Picus, Faunus, are dim mythical figures which for us can have no bearing on Roman religious experience; it would be more to the point to ask what was the original meaning and history of the word vates, if the question were answerable in the absence of an early Roman literature. All we can say about this is that this word had, as a rule, a certain dignity about it, which enabled it eventually to stand for a poet, and that it rarely has a sinister sense, unless accompanied by some adjective specially used in order to give it.610 The real word for a quack is hariolus, and the fact that it is comparatively rare suggests that the character it expresses was not a common one. It 298occurs here and there in fragments of old plays, where, unluckily, we cannot be quite sure whether it represents a Greek or a Latin idea. The following lines from the Telamo of Ennius shows us the hariolus, as well as the word vates with a discreditable adjective attached:
sed superstitiosi vates impudentesque harioli
aut inertes, aut insani, aut quibus egestas imperat,
qui sibi semitam non sapiunt, alteri monstrant viam,
quibu' divitias pollicentur, ab iis drachmam ipsi petunt.611
A more satisfactory bit of evidence as to the existence of the quack in the second century B.C., when Greece and the East were beginning to pour their unauthorised religionists into Italy, is the interesting passage in old Cato's book on agriculture, in which he urges that the bailiff of an estate should not be permitted to consult either a haruspex, augur, hariolus, or Chaldaeus.612 But on the whole, such little evidence as we possess seems to confirm the view I hazarded just now, that the overwhelming prestige of State authority at Rome discouraged and discredited the quack diviner both in public and private life. His work in private life was largely that of fortune-telling, of foretelling the future in one sense or another; and this was exactly what the State authorities never did and never countenanced, at any rate until the stress of the Hannibalic war, and then only in a very limited sense. Their object was a strictly religious one, to get the sanction of the divine members of the community for the undertakings of the human ones. Even the so-called Sibylline oracles, as we saw, were not prophecies; and the augural art never provided an answer to the question, "What is going to happen?" but only to that much more religious one, "Are the deities willing that we should do this or that?"613
But before I leave the subject of private divination, I must note that there was a department of it which may be called legitimate, as distinguished from that of the quack. I mean the auspicia of the family religion, and 299also the comparatively harmless folklore about omens of all sorts and kinds.
Naturally we have little information about legitimate auspicia in the life of the family; but we have seen that the religious instinct of the Roman forbade him to face any important undertaking or crisis without making sure of the sanction of the numina concerned, and among the methods of insurance (if I may use a convenient word) the auspicia must have had a place from the earliest times. No important thing was done, says Cicero in the de Divinatione, "nisi auspicato, ne privatim quidem."614 Valerius Maximus says the same in so many words, and some other evidence has been collected by De Marchi in his work on the private religion of the Romans.615 But only in the case of marriage do we hear of auspicia in historical times, and even there they seem to have degenerated into a mere form. "Auspices nuptiarum, re omissa, nomen tantum tenent"—so Cicero wrote of his own time;616 he seems to be thinking of augury by means of birds, for he adds, "nam ut nunc extis sic tunc avibus magnae res impetrari solebant." As we have already seen, the object of the examination of a victim's entrails was simply to ascertain its fitness to be offered; but by Cicero's time the Etruscan art of divination by this method must have penetrated into private life. I think we may conjecture that in the life of the family on the land the auspicia, as the word itself implies, were worked chiefly by observation of birds. Nigidius Figulus, the learned mystic of Cicero's time, wrote a book, de Augurio Privato, of which one fragment survives which has to do with this kind of divination, and with the distinction between omens from birds seen on the right or left, and from high or low flyers.617 In the familiar ode of Horace beginning, "Impios parrae recinentis omen,"618 the corvus and cornix are mentioned besides the parra, and in that wholesome old out-of-door life of the farm, as I said just now, there was a certain basis of truth and fact in the observation of such presages. But Horace mentions other animals, wolf, fox, and snake, and some at 300least of the folklore about omens which is to be found in Pliny's descriptions of animals may help us to appreciate the nature of the old Roman ideas on this subject. The tiller of the land and the shepherd on the uplands used their eyes and ears, not wholly without advantage to themselves; but in the life of the city such observation became gradually formal and meaningless, and degenerated into the superstition reflected in Horace's ode. I must parenthetically confess to a personal feeling of regret that this people, who in their early days had good opportunities, made little or no contribution to the knowledge of animals and their habits.619 But I must pass on to the more important subject of divination as developed and formalised by the authorities of the State.
In explaining the ritual of the ius divinum I laid stress on the fact that its main object was to maintain the pax deorum, the right relation between the divine and human citizens.620 To make this pax secure, it was necessary that in every public act the good-will of the gods should be ascertained by obtaining favourable auspices—it must be done auspicato. To take the first illustration that occurs, Livy describes a dictator about to fight a battle as leaving his camp auspicato, after sacrificing to obtain the pax deorum.621 It is for this reason that the auspicia have a leading place in the foundation legends of the city. We are all familiar with the story of the auspicia of Romulus and Remus, which goes back at least as far as Ennius;622 and we find them also in the foundation of coloniae in historical times.623 I do not know that I can better express the place which the auspicia occupied in the mind of the Roman than by quoting the words which Livy puts into the mouth of Appius Claudius in 367 B.C., when supposed to be inveighing against the opening of the consulship to plebeians: "Auspiciis hanc urbem conditam esse, auspiciis bello ac pace, domi militiaeque, omnia geri, quis est qui ignoret?" He goes on to argue that these auspicia belong to patricians only, that no plebeian magistrate is created auspicato, that the man who wants to allow 301plebeians to become curule magistrates, tollit ex civitate auspicia. "Nunc nos, tanquam iam nihil pace deorum opus sit, omnes caerimonias polluimus."624 This is, of course, only Livy's rhetoric, but it represents the fundamental Roman idea of the public auspicia.
The passage is also useful because it alludes to the fact that the right of taking the auspicia belonged ultimately to the whole patrician body of fully qualified citizens.625 But so far as we can discern in the dim light of the earliest period, this body entrusted the right and duty to its chief magistrate, the Rex, exactly as it entrusted him with the imperium, the supreme power of command in civil matters. Thus the auspicia and the imperium were indissolubly connected; as Dr. Greenidge says,626 "they are the divine and human side of the same power," and may be found together in a thousand passages in Roman literature and inscriptions. But at the side of the Rex we find, according to tradition, two helpers or advisers called augures, the three together perhaps forming a collegium.627 Now there was certainly an important difference between the Rex and the augurs; the latter were aiders and interpreters, but the Rex only was said habere auspicia, just as the whole patrician body had this right, though they delegated it to the Rex during his lifetime, and on his death received it again. The man who "habet auspicia" has the right of spectio, i.e. of taking the auspices in a particular case,628 of watching the sky or the conduct of the sacred fowls in eating; this right the augurs never had. Their power was limited to guidance and interpretation. This follows necessarily from the fundamental principle that the auspicia and the imperium were indissolubly connected; for the augur, of course, never possessed the imperium by virtue of his office. It is true that of the augur in the regal period we know almost nothing; his art, as we shall see directly, was kept strictly secret, and he was bound by oath not to reveal it.629 But we may safely argue back in general terms from the relation of magistrate and augur under the later Republic 302to the relation of augur and Rex, from whom descended the magistrate's imperium. The one essential thing to remember is that it was in all periods the magistrate who was responsible, under the sanction and advice of his assistants the pontifices and augurs, for the maintenance of the pax deorum. The lay element in the actual working of the constitution never lost this prerogative. Rome was never hierarchically governed.
It would be going beyond the scope of these lectures if I were to plunge at this point into the thorny question of the exact relation between magistrate and augur in respect of details. Nor do I propose to go into the minutiae of augural lore, which are not instructive, like those of sacrifice, for our survey of Roman religious experience. It will be sufficient to state in outline what I believe to be necessary for our purpose.630 The person who had the auspicia, i.e. originally the Rex, like the later magistrate, had to watch for signs from heaven; in order to do so he marked out a templum, a rectangular space, by noting certain objects, trees or what not, beyond which, whether he looked at earth or sky, he need take no notice of what he saw. The spot where he took up his position for this purpose was itself a rectangular space,631 marked out on a similar principle; in each case the space was liberatus effatus, i.e. freed from previous associations by a form of words, and ready, if need were (as in the case of loca sacra) to be further handed over to the deities as their property; this consecration, however, did not, of course, follow in the ordinary procedure of the auspicia. In the urbana auspicia all loca effata must be within the sacred boundary of the pomoerium. Within this the magistrate watched in silence at the dead of night for such signs as he especially asked for (auspicia impetrativa); those which offered themselves without such specification (oblativa) he was not bound to take cognisance of unless some one claimed his attention for them. The signs were originally in the regal period, if we may guess from the word auspicium, only such as birds supplied, and the 303space in which they were watched for was not complicated by the divisions of the later augural art.632 The business of the augur was, we may suppose, to see that the details were carried out correctly, and to interpret the signs; but those signs were not sent to him, for he was not the actual representative of the State in this ritual.
If the constitutional position and duty of the augurs have now been made sufficiently clear, I may go on to explain briefly, as in the case of the pontifices, how the office became gradually secularised, and the duty formalised, so that if there ever had been anything of a really religious character in this art, any genuine belief in the manifestation by the Power of his will in matters of State life, such character, such belief, had become by the second century B.C. entirely paralysed and destroyed. But the history of the augurate is much more difficult to follow than that of the pontificate. The work of the pontifices touched the life of every day, public and private, at many points, with the result that their secrets ceased to be secrets by the end of the fourth century B.C. The work of the augurs was occasional, and more technical than that of the other college; it can hardly be said to have affected the religion of family life, nor did it continually bear upon public life, as did the pontifical knowledge of the ius divinum and the calendar. Hence the augural lore was never published, under pressure of public opinion, and neither ancient nor modern scholars have had to waste their time in investigating it. Books were indeed written about it in later times by one or two curious students, but in the time of Cicero, who was himself an augur, the neglect of it was general, even by members of the college.633
This mysterious augural lore was preserved in books, like that of the pontifices; and in all probability these books were put together in the same period as the latter, viz., the two centuries immediately following the abolition of the kingship.634 I think there is a strong probability that the augurate emerged from the age of Etruscan rule 304which marks the latter part of the kingly period, with increased importance and fresh activity, the result of immediate contact with Etruscan methods of divination.635 It is likely that they began in this way to cultivate the art of divination by lightning, which was peculiarly Etruscan, and to divide their templum into regiones, which, as I said just now, were not apparently needed for the observation of omens from birds. How far they carried this art we cannot tell, owing to the loss of their books and the commentaries upon them; but about the Etruscan discipline we do know something. Those who wish to have a glimpse of it may consult the first chapter of the fourth volume of Bouché-Leclercq's History of Divination, as a more intelligible account than any known to me.636 But all I need to insist on now is the likelihood that the augurs began the Republican period with a power of interpretation which was the more important because the art was changed; it is now the depository not only of the old bird lore, but of the new lightning lore. And as this last became the peculiar characteristic of the art of public divination, and as the augurs were, like the pontifices, a close self-electing corporation until 104 B.C. and a close self-electing patrician body until the lex Ogulnia of 300 B.C., holding secret meetings every month on the arx,637 and recording their lore in books which were never made public, they might well have grown into a powerful hierarchy, if they had only been possessed of the right of spectio. What saved Rome from this fate was simply the fact that the college was a body of interpreters only, or, in other words, the principle that the auspicia belonged exclusively to the magistrate. The auspicia were in fact a matter of public law, not of religion, properly speaking; the idea on which they were based, that the sanction of the deities was needed for every public action, very early lost its true significance, and the process of taking them became a mere form, the religious character of which was almost entirely forgotten. They ceased to be matter of religion just as the amulet 305or any other form of preventive magic fails to be reckoned as within the sphere of religion; the feeling was there that they must be attended to (though even that feeling lost its strength in course of time), but only as a matter of custom, not because the Power was really believed to sanction an act in this way.
Thus it seems that the importance of the augurs belongs to Roman public law, and not to the history of Roman religious experience. It will be found fully explained, in that connection, in Mommsen's Staatsrecht, or in Dr. Greenidge's volume on Roman Public Life.638 All we have to note here is the complete secularisation of what was once really a part of the Roman religion; the augurs themselves were public men and could hold magistracies, and their art of interpretation came to be used for secular and political purposes only. They could declare a magistrate vitio creatus, whether they had been present at the taking of the auspices or not; they could also on appeal stop the proceedings at a public assembly, whether for election or legislation; it may be said of them that in one way or another they had a veto on every public transaction.639 As Cicero expresses it in his ius divinum, in the second book of his work on the constitution: "Quae augur iniusta nefasta vitiosa dira defixerit inrita infectaque sunto, quique non paruerit, capital esto."640 But in spite of the fine words iniusta nefasta vitiosa, there was no religious principle involved in this solemn injunction. When Bibulus in 59 B.C. sought as consul to stop Caesar's proceedings by using his right of spectio, all he had to do was to announce that he was going to look for lightning (obnuntiare); and if there had been the smallest remnant of religious belief left in the Roman mind about such transactions, it would quietly have acquiesced, in the conviction that Jupiter would send lightning to the Roman magistrate who asked for it; as it was, Caesar took no notice, and the Roman people only laughed. Caesar was at the time, let us note, the head of the Roman religion, pontifex 306maximus. So with the augurs as the interpreters of the magisterial spectio; proud as Cicero was of becoming an augur, with all the old surviving elective ritual,641 he never, we may be sure, believed for a moment that he had the power of interpreting the will of the gods. A century before his augurship the whole business of public divination had been regulated by statute, like any other secular matter; and in his own day it was an open question with men of education whether there were such a thing as divination at all.642 True, as we shall see, the illegitimate forms of divination were at this very time gaining ground, as the current of superstition increased in strength which marks this last period of the republic; but the augur's art and the spectio of the magistrate were still surviving as mere constitutional fossils, and were not destined to share largely in Augustus' heroic attempt to put fresh life into the ius divinum. Vile damnum, as Tacitus said of the foreign quacks banished to Sardinia by Tiberius; for neither in the sphere of religion nor later in that of politics can the art of divination be said to have had any lasting value.
I have not dealt at any length with the augurs and the State system of divination, but I hope I have said enough to show that, as I hinted at the beginning of this lecture, it affords an excellent illustration of the way in which the religious instinct, the desire to be in right relation with the Power manifesting itself in the universe, was first soothed and satisfied, then hypnotised and paralysed, by the formalisation and gradual secularisation of religious processes. The desire to obtain the sanction of the Power by seeking for favourable signs or omens seems to be a universal instinct of human nature, though a perverse one; if left to itself it will apparently pass into the region of harmless folklore, where it does not seriously interfere with human progress, either secular or religious; but where, as at Rome, it is taken up into the ritual of a religious system, and is further allowed to express itself mechanically in the region of public law, 307it exhausts itself rapidly, loses all its original significance, and becomes a clog on human progress.
In ancient Italy this instinct for divination was nowhere so strongly and so perversely developed into a mechanical system as in Etruria, and it is highly probable that this development contributed largely to the rapid political and moral decay of the Etruscan people. The narrow aristocratic constitution of the Etruscan cities, worked by a kind of priestly nobility, seems to have afforded great opportunities for the cultivation of the perverse art which (as we are now beginning to recognise) this people had brought with them from the East.643 I have already suggested that an Etruscan dominion at Rome had very probably unfortunate results in developing and formalising the art of the augurs. But the age of the Tarquinii was not the only one in which the sinister influence of this strange people was brought to bear on Roman religious institutions; and before I close this lecture I must say a very few words about a second invasion of Etruscan perversity, which began some two centuries and a half later. This was the result of that renewed religio, that feeling of anxiety and sometimes of despair characteristic of the last half of the third century B.C., the perilous era of the Punic wars, with which I shall deal more particularly in the next lecture. The state religion could not soothe it; neither pontifices nor augurs had any sufficient native remedy for it, and as the ritual of worship was reinforced from Greece and the East, so the ritual of divination was reinforced from Etruria.
The Etruscans seem to have educated their diviners with care and system. We do not know the details of such education, but it seems likely that there were schools of these prophets, by means of which the art was handed down and developed.644 The word for the person thus trained was haruspex in its Italian form as known to us, though it had an Etruscan original.645 The art acquired was of three kinds—the interpretation of lightning; the explanation and interpretation of the entrails of victims, 308and especially of the liver; and, thirdly, the explanation and expiation of portents and prodigia.646 All three departments seem to have been carried to an extreme degree of perverse development. To give an idea of it I need but refer to recent discussions of the relation between the divisions marked on a bronze model of a victim's liver (found in 1877 at Piacenza), in which are written the Etruscan names of a great number of deities, and the somewhat similar divisions of the templum of the heavens as given by Martianus Capella in explanation of the celestial dwellings of the Italian deities. A study of this unprofitable subject, of which the only interest lies in the illustration it offers of the prostitution of human ingenuity, will be found in a little work by Carl Thulin, published in the series called Religionsgeschichtliche Versuche und Vorarbeiten.647
Just as the Roman authorities had recourse from time to time to the Sibylline books, so also they occasionally, though not apparently before the Punic wars, sought the help of the trained Etruscan diviners. We shall come across instances of this in the next two lectures, and I need not specify them now. They seem to have used their art in all its departments; and in the most degraded of these, the examination of entrails, it was found so convenient to have their services in a campaign that in course of time one at least seems to have accompanied every Roman army.648 The complicated art of augury might in fact be dispensed with if you had a haruspex ready and willing at a moment's notice to give you a good report of the victim's liver. To keep up the supply of experts, the senate, probably in the second century B.C., determined to select and train ten boys of noble family in each Etruscan city. This was the last service that the degenerate Etruscan people rendered to its conquerors, and a more degrading one it is impossible to imagine. These foreign diviners were never admitted to the dignity of a collegium;649 they rather played the part of the domestic chaplain kept to say grace before meat. For 309a moment they attract our attention in connection with the persecution of Cicero by his political enemies, and the consecratio after his exile of the site of his house on the Palatine hill.650 For a moment again we meet with them in the reign of Claudius, who was interested in the Etruscans and wrote a work about them, and once raised the question in the senate of the revival of the haruspices and their art—such part of it, at least, as might seem worth preserving—"ne vetustissima Italiae disciplina per desidium exolesceret."651 And strange to say, though in fact no part of this ancient Italian discipline was in the least worth preserving, it survived in outward form into the fourth century of the empire.652 We read with astonishment in the code of the Christian emperor Theodosius, that if the imperial palace or other public buildings are struck by lightning the haruspices are to be consulted, according to ancient custom, as to the meaning of the portent.653 Thirteen years after the death of Theodosius, in 408, Etruscan experts offered their services to Pompeianus, prefect of Rome, to save the city from the Goths. Pompeianus was tempted, but consulted Innocent, the Bishop of Rome, who "did not see fit to oppose his own opinion to the wishes of the people at such a crisis, but stipulated that the magic rites should be performed secretly." What followed is uncertain. "The Christian historian says that the rites were performed, but were unavailing; the pagan Zosimus affirms that the aid of the Tuscans was declined."654 So hard died the futile arts of the most unfruitful of all Italian races.
NOTES TO LECTURE XIII
594 Stanley's Jewish Church (ed. 1906), vol. i. p. 398 foll.
595 Hist. de divination dans l'antiquité, vol. i. p. 7 foll.; divination is "contemplative," magic "active." But this learned author did not deal with divination except as it existed in Greece and Italy; and in view of our present extended knowledge this differentia is not instructive.
596310 See Tylor's article in the last edition of the Encyclopaedia Britannica, and his Gifford Lectures, Pt. ii. ch. iv.; Haddon, Magic and Fetishism, p. 40. Bouché-Leclercq, Hist. de divination dans l'antiquité, vol. i. p. 7, distinguishes divination from magic; but his knowledge of the subject was limited to civilised races.
597 Mr. Marett seems doubtful about it: see his Threshold of Religion, pp. 42 and 83. In the latter passage he says that it may or may not be treated as a branch of magic, and may be "originally due to some dim sort of theorising about causes, the theory engendering the practice rather than the practice the theory." I should doubt whether, when the facts have been fully collected, this will be the conclusion to which they point.
598 Evolution of the Aryan, Drucker's translation, p. 369.
599 Ib. pp. 364, 374.
600 A curious survival of divination from the agricultural period, which was taken over by the State, but not fixed to a day in the calendar, is the augurium canarium. The exta of red puppies which had been sacrificed were consulted, apparently with a view to ascertain the probability of the corn ripening well (Festus, p. 285, quoting Ateius Capito). See R.F. p. 90, and the references there given; also Cic. de Legibus, ii. 20; Fest. 379; and Wissowa in Pauly-Wissowa, p. 2328.
601 See above, p. 102.
602 See Dr. Jevons' account in Gardner and Jevons, Manual of Greek Antiquities, ch. vii.
603 Bouché-Leclercq in the introduction to his first volume (p. 3) expresses a different opinion. He thinks that the benefit conferred by divination in the conduct of life was the most valuable part of religion. With this I entirely disagree.
604 Cic. de Divinatione, ii. 51.
605 See Bouché-Leclercq, iv. 119 foll. In a recently published essay, De antiquorum daemonismo, by J. Tamburnino (Giessen, 1909), the only genuine Roman evidence adduced of possession is Minucius Felix, Octavius, ch. 27, i.e. it belongs to the late second century A.D. In the so-called Italian oracles there is no question of it: e.g. the lots at Praeneste were worked by a boy (Cic. de Div. ii. 86).
606 Livy i. 36; Cic. de Div. i. 17. It is Dion. Hal. iii. 70 who says that his art was Etruscan.
607 Bouché-Leclercq, iv. 120.
608 For Carmenta see R.F. 167 and 291 foll. For Fortuna, ib. 223 foll.; cp. 170 foll.
609 Aug. de Civ. Dei, iv. 11; he uses the plural Carmentes; see R.F. as above. Virgil, Aen. viii. 336.
610 As "superstitiosi vates" in the passage of Ennius quoted below. In his imaginary ius divinum Cicero uses the word for "fatidici" authorised by the State (de Legg. ii. 20). He is perhaps thinking of the haruspices.
611311 Ribbeck, Fragm. tragicorum Romanorum, p. 55. For hariolus outside the play-writers, Cic. de Nat. Deor. i. 20. 55, where it is combined with haruspices, augures, vates, and coniectores (interpreters of dreams). Ad Att. viii. 11. 3.
612 Cato, R.R. ch. 54; cp. Columella, i. 8 and xi. 1.
613 See P. Regell, De augurum publicorum libris, p. 6 "Omnia illa auguria quae futurarum rerum aliquid predicunt ... augurum publicorum disciplinae abroganda sunt: aut privati sunt augurii, aut Tuscorum disciplinae." Cp. Cic. de Har. Resp. 9. 18.
614 Cic. de Div. i. 16. 28; Val. Max. ii. 1. 1.
615 La Religione nella vita domestica, i. 153 foll.; 232 foll.
616 Cic. de Div. i. 16, 28.
617 This fragment is preserved in Gellius vii. 6. 10. Nigidius may be responsible for many of Pliny's omens. Regell, op. cit. p. 8.
618 Hor. Odes, iii. 27. 1 foll.
619 Exactly the same misfortune occurred in the middle ages. The monks had abundant opportunity of observation, but were occupied with other matters, and have left behind them no works on natural history.
620 See above, p. 169 foll.
621 Livy vi. 12.
622 See the fragment of Ennius' Annales in Cic. de Div. i. 107.
623 Wissowa, R.K. p. 450; Lex coloniae Genetivae, 66 and 67.
624 Livy vi. 41.
625 See a good account in the Dict. of Antiquities, vol. i. 252 and 255; and Wissowa in Pauly-Wissowa, s.v. "auspicia."
626 Roman Public Life, p. 162.
627 Wissowa, R.K. 451, note 2; Marq. 241.
628 Mommsen, Staatsrecht, i. 86.
629 Wissowa, R.K. 451, note 7; Plut. Quaest. Rom. 99; Pliny, Ep. 4. 8. Plutarch asks why an augur can never be deprived of his office, and answers that the secrecy of his art made it impossible. Cp. Paulus, 16.
630 The latest authoritative account of the auspicia is in Pauly-Wissowa, s.v., where the necessary literature and material will be found for a study of an extremely complicated subject.
631 The technical term was templum minus, in contradistinction to the templum maius, i.e. the space in which he was to look for signs. See Bouché-Leclercq, iv. 197; Fest. 157. The usual place was the arx, where was the auguraculum, on which the magistrate taking the auspices "pitched his tent" (tabernaculum), looking to the east, with the north as his left or lucky side. Von Jhering, op. cit. p. 364, makes some ingenious use of this procedure to support his theory that the origin of such institutions is to be found in the period of migration.
632 That the division of the templum into regiones was necessary only for the auguria caelestia, and not for the observation of birds, 312is the conclusion drawn by Wissowa (R.K. 457, note 2) from the words of Cicero (de Legibus, ii. 21) in his ius divinum: "caelique fulgura regionibus ratis temperanto" (i.e. the magistrates).
633 Cicero expressly says that even old Cato complained of the neglect of the auspicia by the college: de Div. i. 15. 28; above, in sec. 25, he had said the same thing of the augurs of his own day, i.e. including himself. We know of a work on the auspicia by M. Messalla, an augur, from which Gellius, xiii. 15, quotes a lengthy extract (cp. ch. 14). This man was consul in 53 B.C.; Schanz, Gesch. der röm. Lit., ii. 492. Just at the same time Appius Claudius, Cicero's predecessor as governor of Cilicia, wrote libri augurales, to which Cicero more than once alludes in his correspondence with Appius: ad Fam. iii. 9. 3 and 11. 4. It is plain that the old augural lore is now treated only as a curiosity, of which the secrecy need no longer be respected.
634 P. Regell, De augurum publicorum libris, whose excellent little work has never been superseded, thinks (p. 19) that the libri were the result of the neglect of the art, i.e. that it was necessary to put it in writing, because otherwise it would be forgotten. "Tota eius vita," he says, "lenta est mors." The lore was complete about the time of the decemvirate, but decreta must have been continually added (p. 23). The nucleus may be represented in Cicero, de Legibus, ii. 20. 21, and perhaps existed in Saturnian verse (Festus, 290). The additions in the way of decree or comment would probably range over the fourth and third centuries B.C. like those of the pontifices. No doubt the Hannibalic war had the effect of diminishing the importance of the lore, as the next lecture should show. On the whole we may put the great period of the college between the decemvirate and the war with Hannibal.
635 This is the opinion of Bouché-Leclercq, op. cit. vol. iv. p. 205 foll.; cp. Wissowa, R.K. p. 457. Cicero calls the augurs "interpretes Iovis Optimi maximi" (de Legibus, ii. 20), and herein could hardly have made a mistake, as he was himself an augur. As the great deity was of Etruscan origin in this form, I should conjecture that the college took new ground and gained new influence under the Etruscan dynasty.
636 Cp. also Müller-Deecke, Die Etrusker, ii. 165 foll. Our knowledge comes chiefly from the learned but obscure writer Martianus Capella (ed. Eyssenhardt), who wrote under the later Empire.
637 For these meetings see Cic. de Div. i. 41. 90; Regell, p. 23. They were obsolete in Cicero's time, but seem to have still existed in the time of Scipio Aemilianus: Cic. Lael. 2. 7.
638 Staatsrecht, i. 73 foll.; Greenidge, Roman Public Life, p. 172 foll.
639 The best account of the constitutional power of the augurs is in Pauly-Wissowa, Real-Encyclopädie, s.v. "augur," vol. i. p. 2334 foll.; cp. Wissowa, R.K. 457-8.
640313 De Legibus, ii. 21.
641 The outward form of co-optatio was still preserved, like our "election" of a bishop by a chapter. Cicero was co-opted by Hortensius after nomination by two other augurs. See his interesting account of this in his Brutus, ch. i. The survival may be taken as throwing light on the original secrecy and closeness of the collegium.
642 For the leges Aelia et Fufia, cf. Greenidge, op. cit. p. 173. The Stoics of the last century B.C. were divided on this point. See below, p. 399. In the second book of his de Divinatione, following the Academic or agnostic school, he himself confutes his brother Quintus' argument for divination contained in Bk. I.
643 This is the view of Thulin, Die Götter des Martianus Capella und der Bronzeleber von Piacenza (Giessen, 1906), p. 7 foll., and it seems at present to hold the field: see Gruppe, Die mythologische Literatur aus den Jahren 1898-1905, p. 336.
644 Müller-Deecke, vol. ii. p. 7 foll.
645 See Deecke's note on p. 12 of Müller-Deecke, vol. ii. It is possibly connected with hariolus.
646 Wissowa, R.K. p. 470, and Müller-Deecke, vol. ii. 165 foll.
647 See above, note 50.
648 References to Livy will be found in Wissowa, R.K. p. 473, note 11. One of these, to Livy xxvii. 16. 14, is worth quoting as suggesting that a haruspex might give useful advice in spite of his art: "Hostia quoque caesa consulenti (Fabio) deos haruspex, cavendum a fraude hostili et ab insidiis, praedixit."
649 They were not sacerdotes publici Romani, nor is a collegium mentioned till the reign of Claudius: Tac. Ann. xi. 15. The proper term seems to have been ordo, which occurs in inscriptions of the Empire: Marq. p. 415.
650 See the oration De haruspicum responsis (especially 5. 9), the genuineness of which is now generally acknowledged. Asconius quotes it as Cicero's (ed. Clark, p. 70): so also Quintilian, v. 11. 42.
651 Tac. Ann. 11. 15.
652 The haruspices mentioned in inscriptions (above, note 56) were not the genuine article; they were Romans and equites. Probably this was only one of the many ways of finding dignity or employment for persons of good birth under the Empire.
653 Cod. Theod. xvi. 10. 1 (of the year 321 A.D.), quoted by Wissowa, R.K. p. 475, note 1. In ix. 16. 3. 5, however, the practice of consulting such experts is strictly prohibited.
654 The story is told in Prof. Dill's Roman Society in the Last Century of the Western Empire, ed. 1, p. 41.
THE HANNIBALIC WAR
We have noticed two different, if not opposing, tendencies in Roman religious experience since the disappearance of the kingship. First, there was a tendency towards the reception of new and more emotional forms of worship, under the direction of the Sibylline books and their keepers; secondly, we have seen how, in the hands of pontifices and augurs, religious practice became gradually so highly formularised and secularised that the real religious instinct is hardly discernible in it, except indeed in the degraded form of scruple as to the exact performance of the ritual laid down. There was also, towards the end of that period, a third tendency beginning to show itself, which was eventually to complete the paralysis of the old religion—a tendency to neglect and despise the old religious forms. This need not surprise us, if we keep in mind two facts: (1) that Rome is now continually in close contact with Greece and her life and thought; (2) that it seems to be inevitable in western civilisation that a hard and fast system of religious rule should eventually arouse rebellion in certain minds. Already there are a few signs that the regulations of the ius divinum are not invariably treated with respect.
As long ago as 293 B.C. and the last struggle with the Samnites, we find a trace of this neglect or carelessness. One of the chicken-keepers (pullarii) reported falsely to the consul Papirius that the sacred chickens had given good omen in their eating: this was discovered by a 315young nephew of Papirius, "iuvenis ante doctrinam deos spernentem natus," as Livy calls him, and came to the consul's ears. Papirius' reception of the news was characteristic of the way in which a Roman could combine practical common-sense with the formal respect claimed by his ius divinum; he declared that the omen had been reported to him as good, and therefore "populo Romano exercituique egregium auspicium est." The umpire had decided favourably for him, and there was an end of the matter, except indeed that that umpire was placed in the forefront of the battle that the gods might punish him themselves, and there of course he died.655 A generation later we have a case of far more pronounced contempt in the familiar story of P. Claudius Pulcher and his colleague Junius, each of whom lost a Roman fleet after neglecting the warning of the pullarius: of Claudius it is told that he had the sacred chickens thrown into the sea.656 Another well-known story is that of Flaminius, the democrat consul who, as we shall learn directly, was defeated and killed at Trasimene after leaving Rome with none of his religious duties performed.657 The famous Marcellus of this second Punic war, though himself an "augur optimus," according to Cicero, declined to act upon an auspicium ex acuminibus—electric sparks seen at the end of the soldiers' spears—and was accustomed to ride in his litter with blinds drawn, so that he should not see any evil omen.658 Assuredly the transition from superstition to reason had its ludicrous side even in public life.
But it is not the gradual approach of rationalism that is the subject of this lecture. For years after the death of Flaminius we have no trace of it: that was no time for speculating, and it would have been dangerous. The religious history of the time, as recorded by Livy, shows on the contrary that religio in the old sense of the word is once more occupying the Roman mind—the sense of awe in the presence of the Unknown, the sense of sin or of duties omitted, or merely a vague sense of terror that suggested recourse to the supernatural. No wonder: for 316though Italy had been invaded within the memory of living man, it was not then invaded by one who had sworn to his father in infancy to destroy the enemy root and branch. Instinctively both Romans and loyal Italians knew that they were face to face with a struggle for life and death. It is hard for us to realise the terror of the situation as it must have been in those days of slow communication and doubtful news. It is to Livy's credit that he recognised it fully, and all who look on history as something more than wars and battles must be eternally grateful to him for searching the records of the pontifices for evidence of a people's emotion and the means taken to soothe it. Polybius has nothing to tell us of this but a few generalisations, drawn from his own experience a century later.659 In all essential attributes of a Roman historian Livy is far the better of the two. I propose to follow his guidance in trying to gain some knowledge of the revived religio of the age and the way in which it was dealt with by the authorities.
It is in the winter of 218-17, when Hannibal was wintering in north Italy after his victory at the Trebbia, that Livy first brings the matter before us.660 He uses the word I have just now and so often used: men's minds were moti in religionem, and they reported many prodigia which were uncritically accepted by the vulgar. He begins with Rome, and here it is worth noting that these portents issue from the crowded haunts of the markets, the forum olitorium, and the forum boarium, both close to the river and the quays. In the latter place, for example, an ox was said to have climbed to the third story of a house, whence it threw itself down, terrified by the panic of the inhabitants—a story which incidentally throws light on the housing of the lower population at the time.661 Other wonders were announced from various parts of Italy,662 and the decemviri were directed to have recourse to the Sibylline books, except for the procuratio of one miracle, common in a volcanic country, the fall of pebble-rain.663 This had a procuratio to itself by settled custom, 317the novendiale sacrum,664 an expiation parallel with that which, in the religion of the family, followed a birth or a death. For the rest, the whole city was subjected to lustratio,665 and, in fact, the whole population was busy with the work. A lectisternium was ordered for Iuventas,666 the deity of the young recruits, a supplicatio for Hercules at one of his temples, and five special victims were ordered for Genius—directions which have been variously interpreted. I am disposed to think of them as referring to the capacity of the State to increase its male population in the face of military peril. That the authorities were looking ahead is clear from the fact next stated, that one of the praetors had to undertake a special vow if the State should survive for ten years. These measures, ordered by the books, "magna ex parte levaverant religione animos." Unfortunately, the wayward consul Flaminius spoilt their endeavours by wilfully neglecting his religious duties at the Capitol, and also at the Alban mount, where he should have presided at the Latin festival, and hurrying secretly to the seat of war, lest his command should be interfered with by the aristocrats.
Spring came on, and with the immediate prospect of a crisis the religio broke out afresh.667 Marvels were reported from Sicily and Sardinia, as well as Italy and Rome. We need not trouble ourselves with them, except so far as to note that one, at least, was pure invention; at Falerii, where there was an oracle by lots,668 one tablet fell out of the bundle with the words written on it, Mavors telum suum concutit. The mental explanation of all this is lost to us;669 it would be interesting to know how the reports really originated and were conveyed to Rome. That a widely spread religio is really indicated we can hardly doubt. The steps taken to soothe it, the religious prescriptions, are of more value to us. The Senate received the reports, and the consul then introduced the question of procuration. Besides decreeing, no doubt with the sanction of the pontifices, certain ordinary measures, the Senate referred the matter to the decemviri and the Sibylline 318books. A fulmen, weighing fifty pounds, was awarded to Jupiter, and gifts of silver to his consorts in the Capitoline temple. Then follow directions which show that the religio of women was to be particularly cared for. Juno Regina of the Aventine was to have a tribute collected by matrons, and she and the famous Juno Sospita of Lanuvium were to have special sacrifices; and it is probable that another Juno Regina, she of Ardea, was the object of a sacrifice, which the decemviri themselves undertook in the forum of that city.670 This prominence of Juno may be a counterpart, I think, to the special attention shown to Hercules and Genius in the previous winter.671 And it is interesting to notice that the libertinae were directed to collect money for their own goddess Feronia.672
It is evident that Livy, in detailing these directions from the books of the pontifices,673 took them in the chronological order in which they were to be carried out; for the day sacred to Juno Regina of the Aventine is September 1, that of Feronia November 13, and the last instruction he mentions is in December, when Saturnus was to have a sacrifice and lectisternium at his own temple in the forum (prepared by senators), and a convivium publicum. This meant, we note with interest, the Graecising of this old Roman cult, which now took the form which is so familiar to us of public rejoicing by all classes, including slaves.674 But long before these dates the terrible disaster of Trasimene had forced the Senate, at the urgent persuasion of the dictator Fabius, to have recourse to the sacred books again.675 Never before had they been so frequently consulted; the ordinary piacula of the pontifices were not thought of; a consul had grievously broken the pax deorum, and what remedy was possible no Roman authority could tell. The prescriptions of the books were many and various; the most interesting of them is the famous ver sacrum, an old Italian custom, already referred to, but here prescribed by a Greek authority. This was submitted to the people in Comitia, and carried with quaint provisions suited to protect 319them against any unconscious mistake in carrying out the vow, such as might produce further religio. We will only notice that though, according to the old tradition, it was to Mars that the Italian stocks were wont in time of famine and distress to dedicate the whole agricultural produce of the year, together with the male children born that spring,676 in this crisis it is to Jupiter that the vow is made. It is the Roman people only who here make the vow, and they make it, I doubt not, to that great Jupiter of the Capitol who for 300 years has been their guardian, and in whose temple are kept the sacred books that ordered it.677
But the authorities were determined to make now a supreme effort to still the alarm, and to restore the people to cheerfulness. They went on to vow ludi magni, i.e. extra games beside the usual yearly ludi Romani, at a cost of 333,333 and one-third asses, three being the sacred number. Then a supplicatio was decreed, which was attended not only by the urban population, but by crowds from the country, and for three days the decemviri superintended a lectisternium on a grand scale, such as had never been seen in Rome before, in which twelve deities in pairs, Roman and Greek indistinguishable from each other, were seen reclining on cushions. If Wissowa interprets this rightly,678 as I think he does, it marks a turning-point in the religious history of Rome. The old distinction between di indigetes and di novensiles now vanishes for good; the showy Greek ritual is applied alike to Roman and to Greek deities; the Sibylline books have conquered the ius divinum, and the decemviri in religious matters are more trusted physicians than the pontifices. The old Roman State religion, which we have been so long examining, may be said henceforward to exist only in the form of dead bones, which even Augustus will hardly be able to make live.
So far, however, all had been orderly and dignified. But after Cannae we begin to divine that the stress of disaster is telling more severely on the nervous fibre of the people. Two Vestals were found guilty of adultery— 320always a suspicious event; in such times a wicked rumour once spread would have its own way. One killed herself; the other was buried alive at the Colline gate. A scriba pontificis, who had seduced one of them, was beaten to death by the pontifex maximus. Such a violation of the pax deorum was itself a prodigium, and again the books were consulted, and an embassy was sent to Delphi with Fabius Pictor as leader.679 Greece is looming ever larger in the eyes of the frightened Roman.
Under such circumstances it is hardly astonishing to read of a new (or almost new) and horrible rite, in which a Greek man and woman and a Gallic man and woman (slaves, no doubt) were buried alive in the forum boarium in a hole closed by a big stone, which had already, says Livy, been used for human victims—"minime Romano sacro." As in the case of the Vestals, blood-shedding is avoided, but the death is all the more horrible. What are we to make of such barbarism? Technically, it must have been a sacrifice to Tellus and the Manes, like the devotio of Decius, and like that also, it probably had in it a substratum of magic.680 As regards the choice of victims it baffles us, for if we can understand the selection of a Gallic pair at a time when the Gauls of North Italy were taking Hannibal's side, it is not so easy to see why the Greeks were just now the objects of public animosity. Diels has suggested that Gelo, son of Hiero of Syracuse, deserted Rome for Carthage after Cannae,681 and wanting a better explanation we may accept this, and imagine, if we can, that the cruel death of a pair of Greek slaves need not be taken as expressing any general feeling of antagonism or hatred for things Greek. But, after all, the most astonishing fact in the whole story is this—that the abominable practice lasted into the Empire; Pliny, at least, emphatically states that his own age had seen it, and heard the solemn form of prayer which the magister of the quindecemviri used to dictate over the victims.682 Pliny, we may note, also speaks of the forum boarium as the scene of the sacrifice, where also the first gladiatorial games 321were exhibited.683 Rome was already accustomed to see horrors there.
As we have now reached the climax of the religious panic of these years, I may pause here for a moment to refer to an interesting matter which I mentioned in my third lecture. At this very time, if we accept Wissowa's conjecture, the twenty-seven puppets of straw known as Argei, which were thrown over the pons sublicius by the Vestals on the ides of May, were being substituted as surrogates for the sacrifice by drowning of the same number of Greeks (Argei); an atrocity which he fancies actually took place somewhere in the interval between the first and second Punic wars, under orders found in the Sibylline books.684 All scholars know that there were in the four regions of the old city twenty-seven (or twenty-four) chapels, sacella, which were also called Argei, and have caused great trouble to topographers and archaeologists.685 To complete his hypothesis, Wissowa conjectures that these too date from this same age, and were distributed over the city in order to take away the miasma caused by some great pestilence or other trouble, of which, owing to the loss of Livy's second decade, we have no information. But neither have we a scrap of information about the building of the chapels, or the drowning of the twenty-seven Greeks, an atrocity so abominable that the only way in which we might conceivably account for its disappearance in the records would be the hypothesis of a conspiracy of silence, an impossible thing at Rome. The loss of Livy's second decade cannot of itself be an explanation; such an event is just what an epitomator would have seized on, yet there is no trace of it in the surviving epitomes, nor in any other author who may have had Livy before him. Varro knew nothing of it, so far as we can tell; where he refers to the Argei he makes no mention of such an astonishing origin either of puppets or chapels. If there had been a record in the books of the pontifices, it is impossible to imagine that he was not aware of it.
322On the contrary, he quotes no official record, but a line of Ennius which attributes the origin of the Argei to Numa:686
libaque fictores Argeos et tutulatos.
Now Ennius was born in 239687 B.C., and was, therefore, living when the whole astonishing business began. How does he come to ascribe to Numa institutions which were to himself exactly as the building of the Forth Bridge might be to an Edinburgh man of middle age? Why, too, if these institutions were of such recent date, did the Romans of the last two centuries B.C. invent all sorts of wild explanations of them, at which Wissowa very properly scoffs? It is for him to explain why these explanations were needed. It is inconceivable that in a large city, with colleges of priests preserving religious traditions and formulae, all memory of the remarkable origin of sacella and puppets should have so completely vanished as to leave room for the growth of such a crop of explanations. These will be found in my Roman Festivals, p. 112, and whoever reads them will conclude at once, I am sure, that the Romans knew nothing at all about the true history of the Argei. We may still class this curious ceremony with some of the primitive magical or quasi-magical rites of the ancient settlement. We are not entitled to cite it as an example of the growing savagery of this trying period; and if it be argued that it is an example rather of humanity, because for the original victims straw puppets were substituted, the answer is that even if we were to grant the human sacrifice, the surrogation of puppets is a most unlikely thing to have happened.688 It is a rare practice; Wissowa himself judiciously rejects it as an explanation of such objects as oscilla and maniae. You cannot adopt it when you choose, to explain a difficulty, and then reject it when you choose. Why, one may ask, was this humane method not applied also to the two pairs of Gauls and Greeks just mentioned? But I need not pursue the subject further; we may be satisfied to reflect that from an 323anthropological point of view the Argei need never have been anything more than puppets.689
But to return to the religious history of the war. It would seem that the extraordinary series of performances ordered during the depression and despair that followed Cannae had succeeded for the time in quieting the religio. Fabius Pictor too had returned from Delphi,690 and brought home in what seems to be hexameter verse instructions as to the worship of certain deities, with injunctions to the Romans to send gifts to the Pythian Apollo if prosperity should return to them, and ending with the significant words, "lasciviam (disorderly excitement) a vobis prohibete," which may be interpreted as "keep quiet, and do not get into a religious panic." The hexameters were Greek, but were translated for the benefit of the people; and Fabius publicly told how he had himself obeyed the voice of the oracle by sacrificing to the deities it named, and had worn the wreath, the sign that he was accomplishing religious work, during the whole of his journey home. This wreath he now deposited on the altar of Apollo. This was in 216, and it is remarkable that we hear of no new outbreak of prodigia, the normal symptom of religio, till the next year. Then we have a list; as Livy says,691 "simplices et religiosi homines" were ready with them at any time. A panic arose in Rome, not strictly of a religious kind, which shows the nervousness of the population; a rumour went about that an army had been seen on the Janiculum, but men who were on the spot refuted it. In this case the Sibylline books were not consulted, but Etruscan haruspices were called in, who simply ordered a supplicatio of the new kind, at the pulvinaria. This is the first, or almost the first instance of these experts being consulted; earlier statements of the kind are probably apocryphal, as I pointed out in the last lecture. It is not clear why the authorities had recourse to them at this moment; but I am inclined to think that the old remedies even of the Sibylline books and their keepers were getting stale, and that while it was 324thought undesirable to excite the people by new rites, it was felt that the familiar ones might gain some new prestige by being recommended by new experts. The old prescription, given by a new physician, may gain in authority. The next year again, 213, brought another crop of prodigia, but Livy dismisses them with the simple words, "His procuratis ex decreto pontificum."692 It is reasonable to suppose that a reaction was taking place in the minds of the senators and pontifices, and that they were determined to take as little notice as possible of disturbing symptoms, relying on the prestige of the Delphic oracle, and acting on its advice to suppress lascivia.
But in this same year the lascivia broke out again with unprecedented force. The cause was not only, as Livy explains it, the dreary continuance of the war with varying success; if we read between the lines we may guess that the break-up of family life occasioned by the deaths of so many heads of houses and their sons, had opened the way for feminine excitement and for the introduction of external rites such as an old Roman paterfamilias would no more have tolerated than the pontifices themselves. "Tanta religio," says Livy,693 "et ea magna ex parte externa, civitatem incessit, ut aut homines, aut dii repente alii viderentur facti"; it seemed as if the old religious system, in spite of all its highly formalised apparatus of expiation, was being deliberately set aside. "Nec iam in secreto modo atque intra parietes abolebantur Romani ritus: sed in publico etiam ac foro Capitolioque (this is the hardest cut of all) mulierum turba erat, nec sacrificantium nec precantium deos patrio more." To understand such an amazing religious rebellion against the ius divinum we must remember that 80,000 men had fallen at Cannae, besides great numbers in the two previous years, and that therefore the real effective human support of that ius had in great part given way. Private priests and prophets, vermin to be found all over the Graeco-Roman 325world, had captured for gain the minds of helpless women, and of the ruined and despairing population of the country now flocking into Rome. The aediles and triumviri capitales, responsible for the order of the city, could do nothing; the Senate had to commission the praetor urbanus to rid the people of these religiones. When in those days the Senate and magistrates took such a matter in hand, further rebellion was impossible. All we are told is that the praetor issued an edict ordering that all who possessed private forms of prophecy or prayer, or rules of sacrifice, should bring them to him before the kalends of April next; and that no one should sacrifice in public with any strange or foreign rite. I do not know that the wonderful good sense of this decree has ever been commented on. To take violent or cruel measures would have been dangerous in the extreme at such a psychological moment. Livy tells this story at the very end of the year 213, and the kalends of April referred to must be those of the next year; there was, therefore, plenty of time to obey the order, and in the meantime the excitement might subside of itself. The mischief was not absolutely and suddenly stopped; in private houses the new rites were allowed to go on,—a policy adhered to in time to come,—but the ius divinum of the Roman State, the public worship of the Roman deities, must not be tampered with. This wise policy seems to have succeeded for the time; for even after the capture of Tarentum by Hannibal, and the prospect of an attack in that direction from Macedonia, we do not hear of any renewed outbreak. Prodigia are reported as usual, but the remedy thought sufficient is only a single day's supplicatio and a sacrum novendiale. The consuls, however, in the true Roman spirit, devoted themselves for several days to religious duties before leaving Rome for their commands.
This was at the beginning of the year 212. But after the Latin festival at the end of April we hear of a new 326religio, and a very curious one.694 It looks as though certain Latin oracles, written in Saturnian verse, and attributed to an apocryphal vates of the suspicious name of Marcius, had got abroad in the panic of the previous year, and had been confiscated by the praetor urbanus charged, as we saw, with the suppression of religious mischief. He had handed them on to the new praetor urbanus of 212. One of them prophesied the disaster of Cannae which had already happened; the other gave directions for instituting games in honour of Apollo, including one which placed the religious part of these ludi in the hands of the decemviri. I strongly suspect that the whole transaction was a plan on the part of the Senate and the religious colleges, in order to quiet the minds of the people by a new religious festival in honour of a great deity of whose prestige every one had heard, for he had been long established in Rome; he is now to take a more worthy place there, to be incorporated in the ius divinum in a new sense, in gratitude perhaps for his recent advice given to Fabius Pictor at Delphi. Possibly also he is to be regarded here as the Greek deity of healing, though we do not hear of any pestilence at the time; but four years later it was in consequence of an epidemic that these ludi were renewed and made permanent. The main object of the moment was no doubt to amuse the people and occupy their minds. The whole population took part in the games, wearing wreaths as partakers in a sacred rite; the matrons were not left out; and every one kept his house door open and feasted before the eyes of his fellow-citizens.695
If it be asked why these games in honour of a Greek god should have been suggested by a Latin oracle, the answer is, I think, that the latter was used rather as a pretext for a pre-conceived plan; if it be true that the Marcian verses had won some prestige among the vulgar, it was an adroit stroke to invent one that might be used in this way. This is the only way in which we can 327satisfactorily account for the direction to the decemviri to undertake the necessary sacrifices. The government seizes a chance of taking the material of religio out of the hands of the vulgar and utilising it for its own purposes. It was clever too to give the alleged Latin oracles the sanction of the Graecus ritus; "decemviri Graeco ritu hostiis sacra faciant," says the oracle. The keepers consulted the sacred books as to the projected ludi, and henceforward, as it would seem, these Latin oracles were placed in their keeping to be added to the Sibylline books in the collection on the Capitol. The amalgamation of Roman and Greek religion is complete. If there were any doubt of it after the lectisternia to the twelve gods which we noticed just now, all such doubt is removed by the religious events of this year 212—that famous year in which Hannibal came within sight of Rome, and fell away again, never to return.
The student of Roman religious history, and of all religious psychology, as he follows carefully the extracts from the priestly records which Livy has embodied in his story of the last years of the great struggle, will find much to interest him. Even little things have here their significance. He will still find relics of the scruple about the minutiae of the ius divinum to which the Romans had become habituated under priestly rule—religio in that sense in which it is least really religious. He will find a Flamen Dialis resigning his priesthood because he had made a blunder in putting the exta of a victim on the altar;696 only too ready, it may have been, to take an opportunity of getting free of those numerous taboos which deprived the priest of Jupiter of all possibility of active life. Such a conjecture finds support in the curious fact that his successor was a youth of such bad character that his relations induced the pontifex maximus to select him for the sacred post, in hopes that the restrictive discipline he would have to undergo might improve his morals and make him a 328better citizen.697 About the later history of this youth I may have something to say in the next lecture. Again, we find religio of the scrupulous kind sadly worrying the stout old warrior Marcellus shortly before his death698: "Aliae atque aliae obiectae animo religiones tenebant." One of these religiones was a curious one; he had vowed a temple of Honos and Virtus—two deities together; and the pontifices made difficulties, insisting that two deities could not inhabit the same cella, for if it should be struck by lightning, how were you to tell, in conducting the procuratio, to which of them to sacrifice? The difficulty was solved by building two temples. Such quaintnesses of the old type of religious idea are thus still found, but they are becoming mere survivals.
The prodigia continue, and occasionally, as a new crisis in the war was known to be approaching, became exacerbated. In 208, just before the old consul Marcellus left the city to meet his death, he and his colleague were terribly pestered with them, and could not succeed in their sacrificing (litare). For many days they failed to secure the pax deorum.699 When it was known that Hasdrubal was on his way from Spain, and that the greatest peril of the war was approaching, special steps were taken to make sure of that pax.700 The pontifices ordered that twenty-seven maidens—a number of magical significance both in Greece and Italy701—should chant a carmen composed by the poet Livius Andronicus; and in the elaborate ritual that followed, as the result of the striking of the temple of Juno on the Aventine by lightning, the decemviri and haruspices from Etruria also had a share. The procession of the maidens, singing and dancing through the city till they reached the temple of Juno by the Clivus Publicius, was a new feature in ritual, and must have been a striking one. Doubtless it was all a part of a deliberate policy to keep the women of the city in good humour, and in touch with the religion of the State, instead of going after other gods, as they had already gone and were again to go with 329amazing and perilous fervour. For Juno Regina of the Aventine was their special deity; and in this case they were authorised—all matronae living within ten miles of the city—to contribute in money to a noble gift to the temple.
Hasdrubal was defeated and killed (207), and the danger passed away. Then, when the news reached Rome (if Livy's account may be relied on), there followed such an outburst of gratitude to the deities as we have never yet met with, and shall not meet with again in Roman history.702 It was not only that the State ordered a supplicatio of three days thanksgiving; men and women alike took advantage of it to press in crowds to the temples, the materfamilias with her children, and in her finest robes: "cum omni solutae metu, perinde ac si debellatum foret, deis immortalibus grates agerent." I would draw attention to the fact that here is no mere fulfilment of a vow, of a bargain, as some will have it; in this moment of real religious emotion the first thought is one of thankfulness that the pax deorum is restored, and that the Power manifesting itself in the universe, though in the humble form of these dwellers in Roman temples, would permit the long-suffering people once more to feel themselves in right relation to him. As we go on with our studies in the two centuries that follow, let us bear this moment in mind; it will remind us that the religious instinct never entirely dies out in the heart of any people.
I would fain stop at this point, and have done with the war and its religious troubles; but there is one more event which cannot be omitted,—the solemn advent of a new deity, this time neither Greek nor Italian. After the Metaurus battle, the dreaded Hannibal yet remained in Italy, and so long as he was there the Romans could know no security. So far as religion could help them every possible means had been used; there seemed no expedient left. In 205 a pretext for inspecting the Sibylline books was found in an unusual burst of pebble-rain; and there, as it was given out, an oracle was 330deciphered, which foretold that Hannibal would have to leave Italy if the Magna Mater of Pessinus were brought to Rome.703 In whose brain this idea originated we do not know, but it was a brilliant one. The eastern cult was wholly unknown at Rome, was something entirely new and strange, a fresh and hopeful prescription for an exhausted patient. The project was seized on with avidity, and supported by the influence of Delphi and of that strange soldier mystic the great Scipio.704 The best man in the State was to receive the goddess, and when, after many months, she came to Italy in the form of a black stone, it was Scipio who was chosen for the duty. For Attalus, king of Pergamus, had consented to let her go from her Phrygian home; and when she arrived at Ostia, Scipio with all the Roman matrons went thither by land; alone he boarded the ship, received the goddess from her priests, and carried her to land, where the noblest women of the State received her,—received the black stone, that is,—and carried it in their arms in turns, while all Rome poured out to meet her, and burned incense at their doors as she passed by. And praying that she might willingly and propitiously into the city, they carried her into the temple of Victory on the Palatine on the 4th of April, henceforward to be a festal day, the popular Megalesia.
This Magna Mater was the first Oriental deity introduced into Rome, and the last deity introduced by the Sibylline books. It is probable that no Roman then knew much about the real nature of her cult and its noisy orgiastic character and other degrading features; it was sufficient to have found a new prescription, and once more to have given the people, and especially the women, a happy moment of hope and confidence. But the truth came out soon enough; and though the goddess must have her own priests, it was ordered by a Senatusconsultum that no Roman should take part in her service.705 Though established in the heart of the city, and ere long to have her own temple, she was to continue a foreign deity outside 331the ius divinum. As such she belongs to those worships with which I am not called upon by the plan of these lectures to deal.
Hannibal withdrew at last from Italy, and in 202 the war came to an end. Looking at the divine inhabitants of the city in that year, we may see in them almost as much a colluvies nationum as in the human population itself. Under such circumstances neither the old City-state nor its religion could any longer continue to exist. The decay of the one reflects that of the other; the failure to trust the di indigetes, the constant desire to try new and foreign manifestations of divine power, were sure signs that the State was passing into a new phase. In the next two centuries Rome gained the world and lost her own soul.
NOTES TO LECTURE XIV
655 The story is told in Livy x. 40 and 41, and must have been taken by him from the records of the pontifices, which had almost certainly begun by this date (see above, p. 283). While on these chapters the reader may also note the curious vow of this Papirius to Jupiter Victor at the end of ch. xlii.; and the description of the religious horrors of the Samnites witnessed by the army, and especially the words "respersae fando infandoque sanguine arae" (see above, p. 196), which clearly indicate a practice abhorrent to Romans.
656 Val. Max. i. 5. 3 and 4; Cic. de Div. i. 16. 29; Livy, Epit. xix.
657 The locus classicus is Livy xxi. 63.
658 Cic. de Div. ii. 36. 77. I find an illustration of this effect of lightning in Major Bruce's Twenty Years in the Himalaya, p. 130: "Directly the ice-axes begin to hum (in a storm) they should be put away."
659 He notices it in connection with the war only in iii. 112. 6, after the battle of Cannae: a striking passage, but cast in general language.
660 Livy xxi. 62 foll. Wissowa comments on this passage in R.K. p. 223.
661 See the author's Social Life at Rome in the Age of Cicero, p. 28 foll.
662 The rule seems to have been that no prodigia were accepted, and procurata by the authorities, which were announced from beyond 332the ager Romanus. See Mommsen in O. Jahn's edition of the Periochae of Livy's books, and of Iulius Obsequens, preface, p. xviii. But this does not appear from the records of this war; and, at any rate, the religious panic was Italian as well as Roman.
663 Red sand still occasionally falls in Italy, brought by a sirocco from the Sahara, and this accounts for the prodigium, "pluit sanguine," which is often met with. I have a record of it in the Daily Mail of March 11, 1901. But the lapides were probably of volcanic origin.
664 Wissowa, R.K. p. 328.
665 This must have been a special performance of the yearly Amburbium, of which unluckily we known hardly anything (Wissowa, R.K. 130).
666 R.F. p. 56, where unfortunately the word is misprinted Pubertas. Wissowa, R.K. 126, thinks of Hebe in a Latin form; in his view it must be a Greek deity, being brought in by the decemviri and the books. But we shall find that these begin now to interfere with Roman cults, and in such a crisis we need not wonder at it. Wissowa allows that we do not know where this Hebe can have come from, nor, I may add, why she should have come. That there was some special meaning in the combination Juventas, Hercules, Genius I feel sure, and I conjecture that it may be found in the urgent need of a supply of iuvenes. Hercules and Genius seem both to represent the male principle of life (R.F. 142 foll.). Juventas speaks for herself, but we may remember that the tirones sacrificed to her on the day of the Liberalia (17th March), and that Liber is almost certainly another form of Genius (R.F. 55).
667 Livy xxii. 1.
668 It is only from this passage that we know of the oracle. See Bouché-Leclercq, Hist. de divination, iv. 146. That of Caere is mentioned in Livy xxi. 62. Both cities were mainly Etruscan.
669 Livy xxvii. 37 betrays some knowledge of the infectious nature of prodigy-reporting: "Sub unius prodigii, ut fit, mentionem, alia quoque nuntiata."
670 Pliny, N.H. xxxv. 115, where the verses are quoted as inscribed on the paintings in her temple at Ardea. Note that Juno is here called the wife of Jupiter by a Greek artist from Asia.
671 For Juno as the woman's deity and guardian spirit, see above, p. 135. To refer this prominence of the goddess to her connection with Carthage and mythical enmity to the Romans, as we see it in the Aeneid, is premature; we must suppose that each Juno was still a local deity, and no general conception in the later Greek sense is as yet possible.
672 For Feronia, see R.F. 252 foll.
673 The procurationes ordered were doubtless recorded in the annales maximi. The books of the decemviri, we must suppose, were burnt with the oracles in 38 B.C. (Diels, Sib. Blätter, p. 6 note).
674 Wissowa, R.K. 170; Marq. 586 foll.
675333 Livy xxii. 9-10.
676 See above, p. 204 foll.; Strabo, p. 250; Festus, p. 106.
677 If it be asked why Jupiter is here without his titles Optimus Maximus, the answer is that just below, where ludi magni are vowed to him, as all such ludi were, he is also simply Jupiter.
678 R.K. 356. In his view the new amalgam of twelve gods was known as di Consentes, an expression of Varro's which has been much discussed. See Müller-Deecke, Etrusker, ii. 83; C.I.L. vi. 102; Wissowa, Gesammelte Abhandlungen, 190 foll. In de Re Rust. i. 1, Varro speaks of twelve dei consentes, urbani, whose gilded statues stood in the forum.
679 Livy xxii. 57.
680 See above, p. 207. Orosius' account of this is worth reading; he calls it "obligamentum hoc magicum" (iv. 13). He mentions a Gallic pair and a Greek woman, and dates it in 226 (227 according to Wissowa, Gesammelte Abhandlungen, p. 227). Cp. Plut. Marcell. 3. Livy's words, "iam ante hostiis humanis, minime Romano sacro, imbutum," agree with this. There must have been an outbreak of feeling and recourse to the Sibylline books in the stress of the Gallic war.
681 Sib. Blätter, p. 86.
682 Pliny, N.H. xxviii. 12 and 13. Plutarch, l.c., confirms him. Pliny, it may be noticed, is here writing of spells, etc., among which he classes the precatio of this rite.
683 The first gladiatorial show was in 264 B.C. (Val. Max. ii. 4. 7).
684 The arguments are stated fully in his Gesammelte Abhandlungen, 211 foll.
685 The best account of these, or rather of the Argean itinerary, of which fragments are preserved in Varro, L.L. v. 45 foll., is still that of Jordan in his Römische Topographie, ii. 603 foll. The extracts seem to be from a record of directions for the passage of a procession round the sacella (or sacraria, Varro v. 48). Though quoting these, Varro has nothing to say of their origin, which would be strange indeed if they were of such comparatively late date.
686 In Varro, L.L. vii. 44. There is no doubt that the line is from Ennius; it is also quoted as his in Festus, p. 355.
687 Schanz, Gesch. der röm. Literatur, vol. i. ed. 3, p. 110.
688 Some examples of substitution will be found in Westermarck, Origin and Development of the Moral Ideas, i. 469. It is of course a well-known phenomenon, but is now generally rejected as an explanation of oscilla, maniae, etc. (see Wissowa, R.K. p. 355, and Frazer, G.B. ii. 344). I know of no case of it on good evidence at Rome, unless it be one in the devotio, of an effigy for the soldier, ("ni moritur," Livy viii. 10).
689 See Roman Festivals, p. 117, with references to Mannhardt; Frazer, G.B. ii. 256; Farnell, Cults of the Greek States, v. 181.
690 Livy xxiii. 11. See also Diels, Sib. Blätter, pp. 11 and 92.
691334 Livy xxiv. 10.
692 Ib. xxiv. 44.
693 Ib. xxv. 1.
694 Ib. xxv. 12. On the Marcian oracles and their metre, see Bouché-Leclercq, Hist. de divination, iv. 128 foll.; Wissowa, R.K. 463 note 2; Diels, op. cit. p. 7 foll.
695 See above, Lect. xi. p. 262. For the Apolline games, R.F. p. 179 foll.
696 Livy xxvi. 23.
697 Ib. xxvii. 8.
698 Ib. xxvii. 25; Plut. Marcellus, p. 28.
699 Ib. xxvii. 23.
700 Ib. xxvii. 37.
701 The idea that this number was "chthonic" and a monopoly of the Sibylline utterances was started by Diels, Sib. Blätter, p. 42 foll., with imperfect anthropological knowledge, and has led Wissowa and others into wrong conclusions, e.g. as to the Argei. See an article criticising Wissowa in Classical Rev. 1902, p. 211. On the whole subject of the number three and its multiples, see Usener, "Dreizahl," in Rheinisches Museum for 1903, and Goudy, Trichotomy in Roman Law (Oxford, 1910), p. 5 foll.
702 Livy xxvii. 51. For gratitude among Romans, see above, p. 202. A gift of thanksgiving was sent to Delphi (Livy xxviii. 45).
703 Ib. xxix. 10 foll. For other references see R.F. p. 69 foll.
704 Ib. xxix. 10.
705 Dion. Hal. ii. 19; R.F. p. 70.
AFTER THE HANNIBALIC WAR
The long and deadly struggle with Hannibal ended in 201 B.C., and no sooner was peace concluded than the Senate determined on war with Macedon. This decision is a critical moment in Roman history, for it initiated not only a long period of advance and the eventual supremacy of Rome in the Eastern Mediterranean, but also an age of narrow aristocratic rule which remained unquestioned till revolution broke out with Tiberius Gracchus. But we cannot safely deny that it was a just decision. Hannibal was alive, and his late ally, Philip of Macedon, now in sinister coalition with Antiochus of Syria, might be capable of invading exhausted Italy. To have an enemy once more in the peninsula would probably be fatal to Rome and Italy, and one more effort was necessary in order to avert such a calamity; an effort that must be made at once, while Carthage lay prostrate.
It is necessary to grasp fully the danger of the moment if we are to understand the part played by religion (if I may use the word) in bringing about the desired result. It was most difficult to persuade a people worn out by one war that it was essential for their safety that they should at once face another. Historians naturally look on the success of the Senate in this task as due to its own prestige, and to the skilful oratory of the Consul in the speech to the people which Livy has reproduced in his own admirable rhetoric. But a closer 336examination of the chapters at the beginning of the historian's thirty-first book will show that religion too was used, in accordance with the experience of the late war, to put pressure on the voters and to inspire their confidence. As we saw in the last lecture, they had been constantly cheered and braced by religious expedients,—their often-recurring religio had been soothed and satisfied; now the same means were to be used positively rather than negatively, to help in urging them to a definite course of action. Some sixty years later Polybius, writing of the extreme religiousness of the Romans, expressed his conviction that religion was invented for political objects, and only serves as the means of bridling the fickle and unreasoning Demos; for if it were possible to have a State consisting of wise men only, no such institution would be necessary.706 The philosophic historian is here thinking mainly of the way in which religion was turned to account by the Roman authorities in his own lifetime. We cannot have a better illustration of this than the events of the year 200 B.C.
Already, in the autumn of the previous year, the ground had been prepared. To the plebeian games in November there had been added a feast of Jupiter (Iovis epulum), as had been done more than once during the late war.707 Jupiter, in the form of his image in the Capitoline temple, lay on his couch at the feast of the outgoing plebeian magistrates, with his face reddened with minium as at a triumph, and Juno and Minerva sat each on her sella on either side of him; and to give practical point to this show, corn from Africa was distributed at four asses the modius, or at most one quarter of the normal price. When the new consuls entered on office on the ides of the following March, further religious steps were at once taken; the political atmosphere was charged with religiosity. On the first day of their office the consuls were directed by the Senate, doubtless with the sanction of the pontifices, to sacrifice to such deities as they might select, with a special prayer for the success of the new war which Senate and people (the latter by a clever anticipation) are contemplating. Haruspices from Etruria had been adroitly procured, and no doubt primed, who 337reported that the gods had accepted this prayer, and that the examination of the victims portended extension of the Roman frontier, victory, and triumph.708 Yet, in spite of all this, the people were not yet willing; in almost all the centuries, when the voting for the war took place, they rejected the proposal of the Senate. Then the consul Sulpicius was put up to address them, and at the end of Livy's version of his speech we find him clinching his political arguments with religious ones. "Ite in suffragium, bene iuvantibus dis, et quae Patres censuerunt, vos iubete. Huius vobis sententiae non consul modo auctor est, sed etiam di immortales; qui mihi sacrificanti ... laeta omnia prosperaque portendere." Thus adjured, the people yielded; and as a reward, and to stifle any religio that might be troubling them, they are treated to a supplicatio of three days, including an "obsecratio circa omnia pulvinaria" for the happy result of the war; and once more, after the levy was over,—a heavy tax on the patience of the people,—the consul made vows of ludi and a special gift to Jupiter, in case the State should be intact and prospering five years from that day.709
Exactly the same religious machinery was used a few years later to gain the consent of the people for a war of far less obvious necessity,—that with Antiochus of Syria. It was at once successful. The haruspices were again on the spot and gave the same report; and then, solutis religione animis, the centuries sanctioned the war. The vow that followed, of which Livy gives a modernised wording, was for ludi to last ten continuous days, and for gifts of money at all the pulvinaria, where now, as we gather from these same chapters, the images of the gods were displayed on their couches during the greater part of the year.710
We may realise in accounts like these how far we 338have left behind us the old Roman religion we discussed in earlier lectures. That religion did not any longer supply the material needed; it was not suited to be the handmaid of a political or military policy; it was a real religion, not invented for political purposes, to use Polybius' language, but itself a part of the life of the State, whether active in war, or law, or politics. In the ceremonies I have just been describing almost all the features are foreign,—the pulvinaria, the haruspices, perhaps even the Iovis epulum; and we feel that though the religio in the minds of the people is doubtless a genuine thing, yet the means taken to soothe it are far from genuine,—they are mala medicamenta, quack remedies. Such is the method by which a shrewd, masterly government compels the obedience of a populus religiosus. After long experience of such methods, can we wonder that Polybius could formulate his famous view of religion, or that a great and good Roman lawyer, himself pontifex maximus, could declare that political religion stands quite apart from the religion of the poets, or that of the philosophers, and must be acted on, whether true or false?711
The reporting of prodigia goes on with astonishing vigour in this period, and seems to have become endemic. I only mention it here (for we have had quite enough of it already) because the question arises whether it is now used mainly for political purposes, or to annoy a personal rival or enemy. This does not appear clearly from Livy's accounts, but in an age of personal and political rivalries, as this undoubtedly was, it can hardly have been otherwise. Certain it is that the interests of the State were grievously interfered with in this way. The consuls at this time, and until 153 B.C., did not enter on office until March 15, and they should have been ready to start for their military duties as soon as the levies had been completed; instead of which, they were constantly delayed by the duty of expiating these marvels. In 199 Flamininus, whose appointment to the command in Macedonia had of course annoyed the friends of the man he was superseding, 339was delayed in this way for the greater part of the year, and yet he is said to have left Italy at an earlier date than most consuls.712 Thus the change to January 1 for the beginning of the consular year, which took place in 153 B.C., was an unavoidable political necessity. Even the Sibylline books came to be used for personal and political purposes. In the year 144 the praetor Marcius Rex was commissioned to repair the Appian and Aniensian aqueducts and to construct a new one. The decemviri sacris faciundis, consulting the books, as it was said, for other reasons, found an oracle forbidding the water to be conveyed to the Capitoline hill, and seem on this absurd ground to have been able to delay the necessary work. Our information is much mutilated, but the real explanation seems to be that there was some personal spite against Marcius, who, however, eventually completed the work.713 Nearly a century later a Sibylline oracle, beyond doubt invented for the purpose, was used to prevent Pompeius from taking an army to Egypt to restore Ptolemy Auletes to his throne. But all students of Roman history in the last two centuries B.C. are familiar with such cases of the prostitution of religion or religious processes, and I have already said enough about it in the lecture on divination.714
I do not, of course, mean to assert that personal and political motives account for all or the greater number of prodigia reported. There is plenty of evidence that the genuine old religio could be stirred up by real marvels, which the government were bound to expiate in order to satisfy public feeling. Thus in 193 B.C. earthquakes were so frequent that the Senate could not meet, nor could any public business be done, so busy were the consuls with the work of expiation. At last the Sibylline books were consulted and the usual religious remedies applied; but the spirit of the age is apparent in the edict of the consuls, prompted by the Senate, that if feriae had been decreed to take place on a certain day for the expiation of an earthquake, no fresh earthquake was to be reported 340on that same day.715 This delicious edict, unparalleled in Roman history, caused the grave Livy to declare that the people must have grown tired, not only of the earthquakes, but of the feriae appointed to expiate them.
Let us turn to another and more interesting feature of this age, which is plainly visible in the sphere of religion, as in other aspects both of private and public life: I mean the growth of individualism. Men, and indeed women also, as we shall see, are beginning to feel and to assert their individual importance, as against the strict rules and traditions, civil or religious, of the life of the family and the State. This is a tendency that had long been at work in Greece, and is especially marked in the teaching of the two great ethical schools of the post-Alexandrian period, the Epicureans and Stoics. The influence of Greece on the Romans was already strong enough to have sown the seeds of individualism in Italy; but the tendency was at the same time a natural result of enlarged experience and expanding intelligence among the upper classes. The second century B.C. shows us many prominent men of strong individual character, who assert themselves in ways to which we have not been accustomed in Roman history, e.g. Scipio the elder, Flamininus, Cato, Aemilius Paulus and his son, Scipio Aemilianus; and among lesser and less honourable men we see the tendency in the passionate desire for personal distinction in the way of military commands, triumphs, and the giving of expensive games. This is the age in which we first hear of statues and portrait busts of eminent men; and magistrates begin to put their names or types connected with their families on the coins which they issue.716
In religion this tendency is seen mainly in the attempts of the individual, often successful, to shake himself free of the restrictions of the old ius divinum. I pointed out long ago that it was a weak point in the old Roman religion that it did little or nothing to encourage and develop the individual religious instinct; it was formalised 341>as a religion of family and State, and made no appeal, as did that of the Jews, to the individual's sense of right and wrong.717 The sense of sin was only present to the Roman individual mind in the form of scruple about omissions or mistakes in the performance of religious duties. Thus religion lost her chance at Rome as an agent in the development of the better side of human nature. As an illustration of what I mean I may recall what I said in an early lecture, that the spirit of a dead Roman was not thought of as definitely individualised; it joined the whole mass of the Manes in some dimly conceived abode beneath the earth; there is no singular of the word Manes. It is only in the third century B.C. that we first meet with memorial tombstones to individuals, like those of the Scipios, and not till the end of the Republican period that we find the words Di Manes representing in any sense the spirit of the individual departed.718
In practical life the quarrel of the individual with the ius divinum takes the form of protest against the restrictions placed on the old sacrificing priesthoods, these of the Flamines and the Rex sacrorum, who, unlike the pontifices and augurs, were disqualified from holding a secular magistracy.719 These priesthoods must be filled up, and when a vacancy occurred, the pontifex maximus, who retained the power of the Rex in this sphere, as a kind of paterfamilias of the whole State, selected the persons, and could compel them to serve even if they were unwilling. But the interests of public life are now far more attractive than the duties of the cults,—the individual wishes to assert himself where his self-assertion will be noted and appreciated.
These attempts at emancipation from the ius divinum were not at first successful. In 242 a flamen of Mars was elected consul; he hoped to be in joint command with his colleague Lutatius of the naval campaign against Carthage. But the ius divinum forbade him to leave Italy, and the pontifex maximus inexorably enforced it.720 Of this quarrel we have no details; but in 190 a similar case 342is recorded in full. A flamen Quirinalis, elected praetor, who had Sardinia assigned him as his province, was stopped by the ius divinum administered by another inexorable pontifex maximus; and it was only after a long struggle, in which Senate, tribunes, and people all took part, that he was forced to submit. So great was his wrath that he was with difficulty persuaded not to resign his praetorship.721 Naturally it became difficult to fill these priesthoods, for it was invidious to compel young men of any promise to commit what was practically political suicide. The office of rex sacrorum was vacant for two years between 210 and 208;722 and in 180 Cornelius Dolabella, a duumvir navalis, on being selected for this priesthood, absolutely refused to obey the pontifex maximus when ordered to resign his secular command. He was fined for disobedience, and appealed to the people; at the moment when it became obvious that the appeal would fail, he contrived to escape by getting up an unlucky omen. Religio inde fuit pontificibus inaugurandi Dolabellae; and here we have the strange spectacle of the ius divinum being used to defeat its own ends. Such a state of things needs no comment.723
But the most extraordinary story of this kind is that of a flamen of Jupiter,—a story which many years ago I told in detail in the Classical Review. Here I may just be allowed to reproduce it in outline. In the year 209 a young C. Valerius Flaccus, the black sheep of a great family, was inaugurated against his will as Flamen Dialis by the pontifex maximus P. Licinius.724 It was within the power of the head of the Roman religion to use such compulsion, but it must have been difficult and unusual to do so without the consent of the victim's relations. In this case, as Livy expressly tells us, it was used because the lad was of bad character,—ob adolescentiam negligentem luxuriosamque; and it is pretty plain that the step was suggested by his elder brother and other relations, in order to keep him out of mischief. For, as we have seen, the taboos on this ancient priesthood were numerous and strict, and among the restrictions laid on its holder was one 343which forbade him to leave his house for a single night. Thus we learn not only that this priesthood was not much accounted of in those days, but also that for the cura and caerimonia of religion a pure mind was no longer needed. But it might be utilised as a kind of penal settlement for a libertine noble; and it is not impossible that a century and a quarter later the attempt to put the boy Julius Caesar into the same priesthood, though otherwise represented by the historians, may have had the same object.725 But the strange thing in the case of Flaccus is that this very cura and caerimonia, if Livy's account is to be trusted, had such a wholesome disciplinary effect, that the libertine became a model youth, the admiration of his own and other families. Relying on his excellent character he even asserted the ancient right of this flamen to take his seat in the Senate, a right which had long been in abeyance ob indignitatem flaminum priorum; and he eventually gained his point, in spite of obstinate opposition on the part of a praetor. Some years later, in 200, this same man was elected curule aedile.726 This was clearly the first example of an attempt to combine the priesthood with a magistracy, for a difficulty at once arose and was solved in a way for which no precedent is quoted. Among the taboos on this priest there was one forbidding him to take an oath; yet the law demanded that a magistrate must take the usual oath within five days of entering on office.727] Flaccus insisted on asserting his individuality in spite of the ius divinum, and the Senate and people both backed him up. The Senate decreed that if he could find some one to take the oath for him, the consuls might, if they chose, approach the tribune with a view to getting a relieving plebiscitum; this was duly obtained, and he took the oath by proxy. In his year of office as aedile we find him giving expensive ludi Romani; and in 184 he only missed the praetorship by an unlucky accident.728 In this story we find the self-assertion of an individual supported by Senate, consuls, and people in breaking loose from the antiquated restrictions of a bygone age, and 344we cannot but sympathise with it. But Roman history is full of surprises, and among these I know none more amazing than the successful attempt of Augustus two centuries later to revive this priesthood with all its absurdities.729
The self-assertion of members of the great families against the ius divinum was inevitable, and in the instances just noticed the attitude of compromise taken up by the government was only what was to be expected in an age of stress and change and new ideas. But in less than twenty years after the peace with Carthage this government found itself suddenly face to face with what may be called a religious rebellion chiefly among the lower orders, including women; and the authorities unhesitatingly reverted to the position of conscientious guardians of the religious system of the City-state. They began to realise that they had been holding a wolf by the ears ever since the beginning of the Hannibalic war; that they had a population to deal with which was no longer pure Roman or even pure Italian, and that even the genuine Romans themselves were liable to be moved by new currents of religious feeling. During the war they had done all that was possible to meet the mental as well as the material troubles of this population, even to the length of introducing the worship, under certain restrictions, of the great Phrygian Mother of the gods. But now, in 186, the sudden outbreak of Dionysiac orgies in Italy showed them that all their remedies were stale and insufficient, and that the wolf was getting loose in their hands.
Dionysus had long been housed at Rome, under the name of Liber, in that temple of Ceres, Liber, and Libera which was discussed in detail in my eleventh lecture.730 But it is not likely that many Romans recognised the identity of Liber and Dionysus, and it is quite certain that the characteristic features of the Dionysiac ritual were entirely unknown at Rome for three centuries after the foundation of the temple. That ritual, as it existed in Greece 345from the earliest times, retaining the essential features which it bore in its original Thracian home,731 has lately been thoroughly examined and clearly expounded by Dr. Farnell in the fifth volume of his Cults of the Greek States, and the student of the Roman religious history of this period would do well to study carefully his fifth chapter. In most Greek states, as at Athens, in spite of occasional outbreaks, the wilder aspects of the cult had not been encouraged, but at Delphi and at Thebes, i.e. on Parnassus and Cithaeron, the more striking phenomena of the genuine ritual are found down to a late period. Dr. Farnell has summed these up under three heads at the beginning of his account: "The wild and ecstatic enthusiasm that it inspired, the self-abandonment and communion with the deity achieved through orgiastic rites and a savage sacramental act, and the prominence of women in the ritual, which in accordance with a certain psychic law made a special appeal to their temperament."732 It meant in fact exactly that form of religious ecstasy which was peculiarly abhorrent to the minds of the old Romans, who had built up the ius divinum with its sober ritual and its practical ideas of the supernatural powers around them. We found nothing in our studies of this religion to lead us to suppose for an instant that it had any mental effect such as "the transcending of the limits of the ordinary consciousness and the feeling of communion with the divine nature."733 The Latin language indeed had no native words for the expression of such emotions.734
But it would be a great mistake to suppose that there was no soil in Italy, or even at Rome, where such emotional rites might take root. We may believe that the dignity and sobriety of the Roman character was in part at least the result of the discipline of ordered religion in family and state; but this is not to say that the Romans were never capable of religious indiscipline,—far from it. The Italian rural festival, then as now, was lively and indecorous, so far as we can guess from the few glimpses 346we get of it; and at Rome the ancient festival of Anna Perenna, in which women took part, was a scene of revelry as Ovid describes it,735—of dancing, singing, and intoxication, and we need not wonder that it found no place in the ancient calendar of the ius divinum. And we have lately had occasion to notice, in the new ritual instituted under the direction of the Sibylline books, and more especially during the great war, clear indications that the natural emotions of women, even of Roman women, had to be satisfied by shows and processions in which they could share, and that the ideal dignity of the Roman matron had often given way under the terrible stress of public and domestic anxiety and peril. No wonder then that when Roman armies had been for years in Greece, and Greeks were flocking into Rome in larger numbers every year, the Dionysiac rites should find their way into Italy, and no wonder too that they should instantly find a congenial soil, exotics though they were.
The story of the Bacchanalia is told by Livy in his best manner, and whether or no it be literally true in every particular, is full of life and interest. It is the fashion now to reject as false whatever is surprising; and the latest historian of Rome dismisses Livy's account of the discovery of the mischief as "an interesting romance."736 Fortunately we are not now concerned with this romance, if such it be; I only propose to dwell on one or two points more nearly concerned with our subject.
First, let us note that the seeds of this evil crop were sown in Etruria, the most dangerous neighbour of the Romans from a religious point of view; for it is hardly too much to say that all Greek influences that filtered through Etruria on their way to Rome were contaminated in the process. According to the story,737 a common Greek religious quack (sacrificulus et vates, as Livy calls him), of the type held up to scorn by Plato in the Republic,738 came to Etruria and began to initiate in the rites; drunkenness was the result, and with drinking came crime and immorality of all kinds. From Etruria 347the mischief spread to Rome, and was there discovered accidentally. According to the evidence given, it began with a small association of women, who met openly in the daytime only three times a year. Then it fell under the direction of a priestess from Campania,—Rome's other most dangerous neighbour in regard to religion and morals,—who gave it a sinister turn. The meetings were held at night, and were accompanied not only by the characteristic features of the old Thracian ritual, but, as in Etruria, by the most abominable wickedness. It was said to have infected a large part of the population, including young members of noble families; for with the true missionary instinct, young people only were admitted by the hierophants. We need not necessarily believe all this; but it is certain, from the steps taken by the government, about which there is no doubt, that it is in the main a true account. The storm and stress of the long war with Hannibal would be enough to account for the phenomena, even if they were not in keeping with well-known psychical facts.
Let us now turn for a moment to the attitude of the government in this extraordinary episode of Roman religious experience. The danger is dealt with entirely by the Senate and the magistrates; the authorities of the ius divinum as such have nothing to do with it. It is characteristic of the age that it is not dealt with as a matter of religion merely, but as a conspiracy—coniuratio.739 This is the word used by Livy, and we find it also in the document called Senatusconsultum de Bacchanalibus, part of which has most fortunately come down to us. This is the word also used, we may note, of the conspiracy of Catiline in the century following, and it always conveys the idea of rebellion against the order and welfare of the State. In this case it was rebellion against the whole body of the mos maiorum, the ἤθοϛ of the City-state of Rome. For it was an attempt to supersede the ancient religious life of that State by externa superstitio, prava religio—prava, because deorum numen praetenditur sceleribus; 348and hence, as Livy expresses it in the admirable speech put into the mouth of the consul, the Roman gods themselves felt their numen to be contaminated.740 All the speeches in Livy, except perhaps the military ones, are worth careful study by those who would enter into the Roman spirit as conceived by an Augustan writer; and this is one of the most valuable of them.
Lastly, let us note the steps taken by the government in this emergency. It is treated as a matter of police, both in Rome and Italy; the guilty are sought out and punished as conspirators against the State, and a precedent of tremendous force is hereby established for all future dealings with externa superstitio, which held good even to the last struggle with Christianity. Where foreign rites are believed to be dangerous to the State or to morality, they must be rigidly suppressed in the Roman world; when they are harmless they may be tolerated, or even, like the cult of the Magna Mater, received into the sacred circle of Roman worships.741 But there is yet another lesson to be learnt from the conduct of the government at this crisis. Who would have suspected, while reading the horrible story, and noting the almost arbitrary energy with which the coniuratio was stamped out, that the Dionysiac rites would even now be tolerated under certain conditions? That this was so is a fact attested not only by Livy, but by the Senatusconsultum itself.742 The government was now forced to recognise the fact that there were Romans for whom the ius divinum no longer sufficed, and who needed a more emotional form of religion. If any one (so ran in effect the Senatusconsultum) felt conscientiously that he could not wholly renounce the new religion, he might apply in person to the praetor urbanus; and the praetor would lay the matter before a meeting of the Senate, at which not less than a hundred must be present. The Senate may give leave for the worship, provided that no more than five persons be present at it; and that there be no common fund for its support, nor any permanent priest to preside at it. 349These clauses, says Aust,743 are a concession to the strong spiritual current of feeling which sought for something fresher and better to take the place of the old religion of forms; and on the whole we may agree with him. All religious revivals are liable to be accompanied by moral evil, but they all express unmistakably a natural and honourable yearning of the human spirit.
Not long after this, in 181, the government put its foot down firmly on what seems to have been another attempt, though in this case a ludicrous one, to introduce strange religious ideas at Rome. We have the story of this on the authority not only of Livy, but of the oldest Roman annalist, Cassius Hemina, from whose work Pliny has preserved a fragment relating to this matter.744 Cassius must almost certainly have been alive in 181, and would remember the event;745 and though his account and Livy's differ in details, we may take the story as in the main true. A secretary (scriba), who had land on the Janiculan hill, dug up there a stone coffin with an inscription stating that the king Numa was buried in it. No remains of a body were found, but in a square stone casket inside the coffin were found books written on paper (charta) and supposed to be writings of Numa about the Pythagorean philosophy. These writings were read by many people, and eventually by a praetor, who at once pronounced them to be subversive of religion. That anything supposed to emanate from Numa should have this character was of course impossible; and it is plain that the writings were believed even at the time to be absurd forgeries, drawn up with the idea of investing strange doctrines with the authority of Numa's name; for the legend of a religious connection between Numa and Pythagoras must have been known at the time. The discoverer appealed to the tribunes, who referred the matter to the senate; and the senate authorised the praetor to burn the books in the Comitium, which was done in the presence of a large assembly.
In a later lecture I shall have something to say of the 350revival of Pythagoreanism in the time of Cicero, and I need not now attempt to explain what such a revival might mean. All we need to note is that something subversive of the Roman religion was believed to be circulating in 181 in Roman society under the assumed authority of Numa's name, and that the senate, warned by recent experience, determined to stamp it out at once. They seem to have suddenly become alive to the fact that Greece, and in this instance mainly Magna Graecia, was sending clever agents to Rome for the propagation of ideas which might make the people less tractable to authority. In the stress of the great war, indeed for years afterwards, they had probably never had leisure to reflect on the inevitable result of the writings of a man like Ennius, who was not improbably responsible for the propagation of these very Pythagorean notions.746 Now a reaction seems to set in against the flowing tide of admiration for everything Greek;747 but it was too late to arrest the flood. All that could be hoped for was that in the lives and minds of the wiser Romans the new Greek civilisation might so leaven the old Roman ignorance that no permanent harm should be done to the instincts of virtus and pietas: and to some extent this hope was realised. But for the masses there was no such hope. What Greek teaching reached their minds was almost wholly that of the ludi scenici; and I must now say a word in conclusion about this unwholesome influence—unwholesome, that is, so far as it affected the old religious ideas.
I had occasion, when dealing with Dr. Frazer's notion that the Roman religion admitted such ideas as the marriage of the gods with all its natural consequences,748 to point out that his evidence was almost wholly derived from the play-writers of the very period on which we are now engaged. I said that he seems to be justified in concluding that there was a popular idea of such a kind, which the State religion did not recognise; but that it can very easily be explained as the natural effect of a 351degenerate Greek mythology, popularised by Greek dramas adapted to the Roman stage, upon certain peculiarities of the Roman theology, and especially the functional combination of male and female divine names in Italian invocations of the deities. Nothing could be more natural than that playwrights should take advantage of such combinations to invent or translate comic passages to please a Roman audience, "now largely consisting of semi-educated men who had lost faith in their own religion, and a host of smaller people of mixed descent and nationality." We do not know enough of the older comedies to be at all sure how far they had gone in this direction, though we are certain, to use the words of Zeller,749 that it was impossible to transplant Greek poetry to Roman soil without bringing Greek mythology with it; or, as I should put it, without subordinating the old reasonable idea of the Power manifesting itself in the universe to the Greek fancy for clothing that Power in the human form and endowing it with human faults and frailties.
But of the two great literary figures of the age we have now reached, Ennius and Plautus, we know beyond all doubt that they taught the ignorant Roman of their day not only to be indifferent to his deities, but to laugh at them. Just at the very time when the forged books of Numa were being burnt in the Comitium, Ennius' famous translation of the Sacred History of Euhemerus was becoming known at Rome, in which was taught the doctrine of the human origin of all deities; and though we have hardly a fragment left of the comedies of Ennius, we may presume that he would not have hesitated for a moment to make the gods ridiculous on the stage. It was he who wrote the celebrated lines in his tragedy of Telamo:750
ego deum genus esse semper dixi et dicam caelitum,
sed eos non curare opinor quid agat humanum genus,
which (as I have said elsewhere)751 strike a direct blow at 352the efficacy of sacrifice and prayer by openly declaring that the gods did not interest themselves in mankind. This is the same Epicurean doctrine afterwards preached by Lucretius, and I must return to it in the next lecture. At present let us select a couple of specimens of the more explicit evidence of the extant plays of Plautus, which began to be exhibited at Rome just about the end of the war with Hannibal.
Here is an example of the way in which the family relationships of Greek gods could be made amusing under Roman names. Alcesimarchus in the Cistellaria wishes to make a strong asseveration, and begins:752
at ita me di deaeque, superi et inferi et medioxumi,
but immediately goes on to specify these deities more particularly by their names and relationships—and gets the latter wrong. Melaenis corrects him in a way which (as Aust notes)753 could only have seemed comical to a Roman audience if they had already some acquaintance with the divine family gossip.
itaque me Iuno regina et Iovi' supremi filia
itaque me Saturnus eiius patruos—ME. ecastor, pater.
AL. itaque me Ops opulenta, illius avia—ME. immo mater quidem.
Perhaps it was the fancy of the age for divine genealogy that is here being made fun of rather than the gods themselves; but in any case the passage shows how irrecoverably lost was the real impersonal character of the old Roman numen, and how impossible it must have been in such an age to believe that anything was really to be gained by the once solemn rites of the ius divinum.
But the most remarkable evidence is in the Amphitruo,754 where Jupiter and Mercurius are among the dramatis personae. This comedy is extremely amusing, and was quite capable of entertaining the Parisians in the form given it by Molière; but for them it could hardly have been so funny as for the Greeks in the age of the New Comedy and their disciples the Romans of 353Plautus' day, who saw Zeus and Hermes, Jupiter and Mercurius, brought by their own misdoings into absurd and degrading situations. Jupiter personates Amphitruo, and so gains admission to his wife, Alkmene! Comment is needless, unless we take the last line of the play as a comment:—
Nunc, spectatores, Iovi' summi causa clare plaudite!
I do not propose to follow further the downfall of the old Roman ideas about the objects of worship, or the neglect and decay of the ius divinum. They do not fall within the scope of my subject—the religious experience of the Roman people. So long as there was any life in these ideas and in the cult which was the practical expression of them, they formed part of that experience. But I think I have sufficiently proved that the life has gone out of the ideas, and that the worship has consequently become meaningless. Ideas about the divine may be discussed by philosophers as the Romans begin to read and in some degree to think; and the outward forms of the cult may be maintained in such particulars as most closely concern the public life of the community; but as a religious system expressing human experience we have done with these things.
NOTES TO LECTURE XV
706 Polybius vi. 56.
707 Livy xxxi. 4 ad fin., cp. xxv. 2, xxvii. 36, etc. For the Iovis epulum see R.F. 216 foll. and the references there given. Wissowa, R.K. foll. 111. 385 foll. I am not sure that I am right in limiting the human partakers of the epulum of Nov. 13 to the plebeian magistrates.
708 Livy xxxi. 5. The importance of the words "prolationem finium" does not seem to have been noticed by historians. If they are genuine they indicate an undoubtedly aggressive attitude.
709 Livy xxxi. 7 and 8.
710 Livy xxxvi. 1.
711 Augustine, Civ. Dei, iv. 27: "Relatum est in litteras doctissimum pontificem Scaevolam disputasse tria genera tradita deorum: unum a poetis, alterum a philosophis, tertium a principibus civitatis. 354Primum genus nugatorium dicit esse, quod multa de diis fingantur indigna, etc. Expedire igitur falli in religione civitates."
712 Livy xxxii. 9, cp. 28. In connection with these prodigia it may be worth noting that in xxxii. 30 we are told that a consul vowed a temple to Juno Sospita, who had in her famous seat at Lanuvium been a constant centre of marvel-mongering. Livy xxxiv. 53 places the building of this temple in foro olitorio three years later, if we may read there Sospitae instead of the Matutae of the MSS. with Sigonius: (cp. Aust, de Aedibus, p. 21, and Wissowa, R.K. 117). This interesting deity had been taken into the Roman worship in 338 B.C., but not moved from Lanuvium, which had peculiar religious relations with Rome. See Myth. Lex. vol. ii. p. 608, where the attributes of this Juno in art are described by Vogel. The date of the temple at Rome was 194. Whether the object of it was to diminish the portents at Lanuvium it is impossible to say, but judging from the records of prodigia in Julius Obsequens it had that effect. I find only four prodigia reported from Lanuvium after this date.
713 See the passage in Frontinus, de Aqueductibus, i. 7 (C. Herschel's edition gives the reading of the best MS.), and the mutilated passage in the new epitomes of Livy found by Grenfell and Hunt in Egypt (Oxyrrhyncus Papyri, vol. iv. pp. 101 and 113). The general bearing of the two passages taken together seems to me to be that given in the text.
714 Cic. ad Fam. i. 1 and 2. A somewhat similar case in 190 B.C. will be found in Livy xxxviii. 45, where the oracle forbade a Roman army to cross the Taurus range.
715 Livy xxxiv. 55.
716 Livy xxxviii. 56, mentions statues which were believed to be those of Scipio the elder, his brother Lucius, and Ennius, "in Scipionum monumento" outside the Porta Capena, and another of Scipio at Liternum, where he had a villa; this one Livy says that he saw himself blown down by a storm. On statues and busts at Rome, see Pliny xxxiv. 28 foll.; Mrs. Strong, Roman Sculpture, p. 28 foll.; Cambridge Companion to Latin Studies, p. 550 foll.; and for coins, p. 456.
717 See above, p. 240, for the remarkable exception in the case of the elder Scipio, whose practice when in Rome was to go up to the Capitoline temple before daybreak and contemplate the statue of Jupiter; the dogs never barked at him, and the aedituus opened the cella Iovis at his summons. I see no good ground for rejecting this story, which is not likely to have been invented. It can be traced back to two writers, Oppius, the friend of Caesar, and Julius Hyginus, the librarian of Augustus (Gell. vi. 1. 1), and was probably based on tradition. Livy mentions it in xxvi. 19, and suggests that this and other ways of Scipio were assumed to impress the multitude. The Roman mind was naturally averse from such individualism in 355religion; but Scipio was beyond doubt more familiar than his contemporaries with Greek ideas. In a chapter on Idealism in his little book on Religion and Art in Ancient Greece, Professor Ernest Gardner writes: "The statue (of Athene) by Phidias within the Parthenon offered not merely that form in which she would choose to appear if she showed herself to mortal eyes, but actually showed her form as if she had revealed it to the sculptor. To look upon such an image helped the worshipper as much as—perhaps more than—any service or ritual, to bring himself into communion with the goddess, and to fit himself, as a citizen of her chosen city, to carry out her will in contributing his best efforts to its supremacy in politics, in literature, and in art." That Scipio had some feeling of this kind need not be doubted, though the statue was not a great work of art like that of Phidias. Cp. Lucretius, vi. 75 foll.
718 See below, p. 386.
719 Marquardt, 332, and Mommsen, Staatsrecht, i. ed. 2, p. 463 foll.
720 Livy, Epit. xix.
721 Livy xxxvii. 51: "Religio ad postremum vicit, ut dicto audiens esset flamen pontifici." Here religio is used in the sense of obligation to the ius divinum.
722 Livy xxvii. 6; cp. 36.
723 This story is told in Livy xl. 42.
724 Livy xxvii. 8. For the compelling power (capere) of the Pont. Max., see Marq. 314. The story may have come from the annals of the Valerii Flacci, and also from those of the pontifices; it was apparently well known, as Valerius Maximus knew it (vi. 9. 2).
725 Velleius ii. 43.
726 Livy xxxi. 50.
727 For the oath see "Lex incerta reperta Bantiae," lines 16 and 17, in Bruns, Fontes Iuris Romani. The oath taboo is mentioned by Gellius 10. 15. 3.; Festus 104, and Plutarch, Quaest. Rom. 113.
728 Livy xxxii. 7; xxxix. 39.
729 Tac. Ann. iv. 16.
730 See above, p. 255.
731 Farnell, Cults of the Greek States, vol. v. p. 85 foll. Very interesting is the modern survival of Dionysiac rites recently discovered in Thrace by Mr. Dawkins (Hellenic Journal, 1906, p. 191).
732 Farnell, op. cit. vol. v. p. 150.
733 Quoted by Farnell, p. 151, from Rohde's Psyche.
734 It is possible that superstitio may originally have had some such meaning; see W. Otto in Archiv für Religionswissenschaft, 1909, p. 548 foll.; Mayor's edition of Cic. de Nat. Deorum, note on ii. 72 foll.
735356 Ovid, Fasti, iii. 523 foll. See also Roman Society in the Age of Cicero, p. 289.
736 See Mr. Heitland's History of the Roman Republic, vol. ii. p. 229 note, and cp. Wissowa in Pauly-Wissowa, Real-Encycl. s.v. "Bacchanalia."
737 Livy xxxix. 8 foll.
738 Plato, de Rep. 364 B; cp. Laws, 933 D.
739 "Quaestio de clandestinis coniurationibus decreta est," Livy xxxix. 8; so also in chs. 14 and 17. Cp. Sctm. de Bacchanalibus, line 13, "conioura (se)." This document is, strictly speaking, a letter to the magistrates "in agro Teurano" in Bruttium embodying the orders of the Senatus consultum. It will be found in Bruns, Fontes Iuris Romani, or in Wordsworth, Fragments and Specimens of Early Latin.
740 Livy xxxix. 16: "Omnia, dis propitiis volentibusque, faciemus, qui quia suum numen sceleribus libidinibusque contaminari indigne ferebant," etc.
741 Mommsen, Strafrecht, p. 567 foll.
742 Livy xxxix. 18 ad fin. Sctm. de Bacch. lines 3 foll.
743 Religion der Römer, p. 78.
744 Livy xl. 29 seems to have put his account together from Cassius Hemina and other annalists, so far as we can judge from the reference to them in Pliny, N.H. xiii. 84; Valerius Antias, who simply stated that the writings were Pythagorean as well as Numan, Livy rejects as ignorant of the chronological impossibility of making the king contemporary with the philosopher. The fragment of Cassius Hemina is quoted in Pliny, sec. 86; Val. Max. i. 1, and Plutarch, Numa 22, add nothing to our knowledge of the incident.
745 See Schanz, Gesch. der röm. Literatur, i. 268; Pliny, loc. cit., calls him "vetustissimus auctor annalium," but his work was later than the Annals or Origines of Cato.
746 Ennius came from South Italy (Rudiae in Messapia), the home of Pythagoreanism. For traces of it in his works, see Reid on Cicero, Academica priora, ii. 51.
747 This is the view taken by Colin, Rome et la Grèce, 200-146 B.C., p. 269 foll. This reaction was probably only a part of the general reversion to conservatism which we have been noticing in the action of the government in religious matters.
748 See above, p. 149 foll.
749 Quoted by Aust, Religion der Römer, p. 64. The passage is in Zeller's Religion und Philosophie bei den Römern, a short treatise reprinted in his Vorträge und Abhandlungen, ii. 93 foll.
750 Ribbeck, Fragmenta Tragicorum Latinorum, p. 54.
751 Social Life at Rome in the Age of Cicero, p. 334.
752 Cistellaria, ii. 1. 45 foll.
753 Aust, op. cit. p. 66.
754 See Schanz, Gesch. der röm. Literatur, vol. i. p. 75.
GREEK PHILOSOPHY AND ROMAN RELIGION
I said at the end of the last lecture that ideas about the Divine might be discussed at Rome by philosophers, as the Romans began to read and in some degree to think. At the era we have now reached, the latter half of the second century B.C., this process actually began, and I propose in this lecture to deal with it briefly. But my subject is the Roman religious experience, and I can only find room for philosophy so far as the philosophy introduced at Rome had a really religious side. Another reason forbidding me to give much space to it is that it was at Rome entirely exotic, did not spring from an indigenous root in Roman life and thought, and never seriously affected the minds of the lower and less educated population. And I must add that the types of Greek philosophy which concern us at all have been fully and ably dealt with, the one in vol. ii. of Dr. Caird's lectures on this foundation on The Evolution of Theology in the Greek Philosophers, a work from which I have learnt much, and the other by Dr. Masson in his most instructive work on the great Epicurean poet Lucretius.
We have seen in the two last lectures that in that second century B.C. the Roman was fast becoming religiously destitute—a castaway without consolation, and without the sense that he needed it. He was destitute, first, in regard to his idea of God and of his relation to God; for if we take our old definition of religion, which seems to me to be continually useful, we can hardly say of 358that age that it showed any effective desire to be in right relation with the Power manifesting itself in the universe. The old idea of the manifestation of the Power in the various numina had no longer any relation to Roman life; the kind of life in which it germinated and grew, the life of agriculture and warlike self-defence, had passed away with the growth of the great city, the decay of the small farmer, and the extension of the empire; and no new informing and inspiring principle had taken its place. Secondly, he was destitute in regard to his sense of duty, which had been largely dependent on religion, both in the family and in the State. No new force had come in to create and maintain conscience. In public life, indeed, the religious oath was still powerful, and continued to be so, though there are some signs that its binding force was less strong than of yore, especially in the army.755 But in a society so complex as that of Rome in the last two centuries B.C. much more was wanted than a bond sanctioned by civil and religious law; there was needed a sense of duty to the family, the slave, the provincials, the poor and unfortunate. There was no spring of moral action, no religious consecration of morality, no stimulus to moral endeavour. The individual was rapidly developing, emancipating himself from the State and the group-system of society; but he was developing in a wrong direction. The importance of self, when realised in high and low alike, was becoming self-seeking, indifference to all but self. We have now to see whether philosophy could do anything to relieve this destitution of the Romans in regard both to God and duty.
The first system of philosophy actually to make its appearance at Rome was that of Epicurus756; but it speedily disappeared for the time, and only became popular in the last century B.C., and then in its most repulsive form. It was indeed destined to inspire the noblest mind among all Roman thinkers with some of the greatest poetry ever written; but I need say little of it, for it was never really a part of Roman religious 359experience. Though capable of doing men much good in a turbulent and individualistic age, it did not and could not do this by establishing a religious sanction for conduct. The Epicurean gods were altogether out of reach of the conscience of the individual. They were superfluous even for the atomic theory on which the whole system was pivoted;757 and what Epicurus himself understood by them, or any of his followers down to Lucretius, is matter of subtle and perplexing disputation.758 One point is clear, that they had no interest in human beings;759 and the natural inference would be that human beings had no call to worship them; yet, strange to say, Epicurus himself took part in worship, and in the worship of the national religion of his native city. Philodemus, the contemporary of Lucretius, expressly asserts this,760 and even insists that Epicurism gave a religious sanction to morality which was absent in Stoicism.761 Lucretius himself clearly thought that worship was natural and possible. "If you do not clear your mind of false notions," he says, "nec delubra deum placido cum pectore adibis."762 Man might go on with his ancestral worship, but entirely without fear, and as with "placid mind" he took part in the rites of his fathers, a mysterious divine influence might enter his mind; "the images of a Zeus, a Heracles, an Athene, might pass in and impress on him the aspect and character of each deity, and carry with them suggestions of virtue, of courage, of wise counsel in difficulty."763 Evidently both Epicurus and his followers had felt the difficulty and the peril of breaking entirely with the religious habits of the mass of the people, and had conscientiously done their best to reconcile their own belief with popular practice—an attempt which has its parallel in the religious speculation of the present day.
But for the Roman follower of Epicurus, wholly unused to such subtle ideas as the passage of divine influence into the mind by means of religious contemplation, this lame attempt to bring apathetic gods into relation with human life must have been quite meaningless. Cicero 360well expresses the common sense of a Roman at the very beginning of his treatise on the Nature of the Gods.764 "If they are right who deny that the gods have any interest in human affairs, where is there room for pietas, for sanctitas, for religio?" What, he adds, is the use of worship, of honour, of prayer? If these are simply make-believes, pietas cannot exist, and with it we may almost assume that fides and iustitia, and the social virtues generally, which hold society together, must vanish too. Such criticism is characteristically Roman, and we may take it as representing accurately the feeling of the old-fashioned Roman of Cicero's day, as well as of the Stoic or Academic critic of Epicurism. On the other hand, the believing Epicurean at Rome was not more likely to accept the compromise; he had done with his own gods and their worship, and such a "ficta simulatio" was not likely to attract him. Even Lucretius, whose mind was in a sense really religious, does no more in the passage I quoted just now than allude to actual worship of the gods, and he makes it quite clear that the tranquillity and happiness coming from contemplation, and the punishment that follows misdoing, are both purely subjective; the gods are not active in influencing man's life, but man influences that life himself by opening his mind to the contemplation of the gods. This passage of Lucretius (vi. 68 foll.) is, if I am not mistaken, the nearest approach to real religion that we find in the history of Roman Epicurism; yet so far as we know it bore no fruit. It seems to me to express a genuine feeling, a religio, but the expression is blurred by a consciousness of inconsistency.
The fact is that in the system of Epicurus the Power manifesting itself in the universe is not a divine Power, but a mechanical one; the gods have nothing to do with it, they cannot be active, their perfection is found in repose; they are an adjunct, an after-thought in the system. Thus all attempts to reconcile the Power with the popular religion must inevitably be failures, and more especially 361so in the Roman world. At best the Epicurean gods could but set an example of quietism which could not possibly be a force for good in that active world of business and government.765 The real force of Epicurism, for the Roman at least, if I am not mistaken, was analogous to a religious force, though far indeed from being one in reality—I mean the profound and touching belief in the Founder himself as a saviour, which is so familiar to all readers of Lucretius.766 And the real legacy of Lucretius himself to Roman religion is only indirectly a religious one—I mean the wholesome contempt for "superstitio" and all the baser side of religious belief and practice, old and new.767 If his devotion to the Master had been rooted more in the love of goodness and less in the admiration for his speculations, and if his contempt for superstitio had been less harshly dogmatic, had he been more sympathetic and generous in his attitude to the Italian ideas of the divine—the power of Lucretius might possibly have been strong and permanent.
Thus for the Roman's destitution in regard to God Epicurism could find no remedy, and as a consequence it could provide no religious sanction for his conduct in life. What power it had upon conduct as a system of ethics is a question outside the range of my subject. No doubt a certain type of mind, naturally pure and good, and apt to retire upon itself, might find in Epicurism not only no harm but even positive help; perhaps the best way to appreciate this fact, too often overlooked, is to read the defence of the Epicurean ethics put into the mouth of Torquatus, in the first book of the de Finibus,768 by one who was far from being in sympathy with the creed. But for the Roman of that age, when ideas of duty and discipline were losing strength, this enticing faith, with pleasure as its summum bonum, and with quietism as its ideal of human life,769 could hardly be a real stimulus to active virtue; the Roman needed bracing, and this was not a tonic, but a sedative. Far more valuable in every way, and far better suited to the 362best instincts of the Roman character, was the rival creed of Stoicism, and I must devote the rest of this lecture to the consideration of its religious aspect.
It was most fortunate for Rome that her best and ablest men in the second century B.C. fell into the hands, not of Epicureans, but of Stoics—into the hands, too, of a single Stoic of high standing, fine character, and good sense. For destitute as the Roman was both in regard to God and to Duty, he found in Stoicism an explanation of man's place in the universe,—an explanation relating him directly to the Power manifesting itself therein, and deriving from that relation a binding principle of conduct and duty. This should make the religious character of Stoicism at once apparent. It is perfectly true, as the late Mr. Lecky said long ago,770 that "Stoicism, taught by Panaetius of Rhodes, and soon after by the Syrian Posidonius, became the true religion of the educated classes. It furnished the principles of virtue, coloured the noblest literature of the time, and guided all the developments of moral enthusiasm." To this I only need to add that it woke in the mind an entirely new idea of Deity, far transcending that of Roman numina and of Greek polytheism, and yet not incapable of being reconciled with these; so that it might be taken as an inpouring of sudden light upon old conceptions of the Power, glorifying and transfiguring them, rather than, like the Epicurean faith, a bitter and contemptuous negation of man's inherited religious instincts. But before we go on to consider this illumination more closely, let me say a few words about Panaetius the Stoic missionary, and Scipio Aemilianus, his most famous disciple.
Scipio, born 184, was a happy combination of the best Roman aristocratic character and the receptive intelligence which for a Roman was the chief result of a Greek liberal education. He had been educated by his famous father, Aemilius Paulus, in a thoroughly healthy way; he was no mere book-student, but a practical courageous Roman, with a solid mental foundation of 363moral rectitude (pietas) fixed firmly in the traditions and instincts of his own family. On this foundation, as has been well said,771 a superstructure of intellectual culture might be built securely without destroying it, and this was exactly what did take place, both for Scipio and for that circle of friends of his which has become so famous in Roman history. In very early life he became the intimate friend of Polybius, whose account of their first unreserved intercourse is one of the most delightful passages in all ancient literature;772 and from Polybius he doubtless learnt to think. He must have learnt to understand the real nature of the Roman empire, to appreciate the forces which had called it into being,773 the qualities which had preserved it through the fearful struggle with Hannibal, and the duty of a noble Roman in regard to it. From Polybius, indeed, it is not likely that he gained much light on matters either of religion or morality; but that statesman and historian must inevitably have accustomed him, in the course of their long intercourse, to think more deeply than Roman had ever yet thought, about the world in which he lived and was to act for many years the leading part. Thus he was well prepared for the friendship of a more spiritual guide.
Panaetius, who was probably about the same age as Scipio, had the advantage, as a visitor at Rome, of being a Rhodian, i.e. a citizen of the one Greek State which had been almost continuously on good terms with Rome, and of great value to her. He was also a scion of an old and honoured family in that city, and was thus in every way a fit friend and companion for a great Roman noble. When their friendship began we do not know for certain; but it is a fact that he lived for some two years, together with Polybius, in the house of Scipio, and these years were probably between 144 and 141 B.C., after Scipio's return from the conquest of Carthage.774 When Scipio in 141 was commissioned by the Senate to go and set things in order in the eastern Mediterranean, he took Panaetius with him,775 and brought him home to live with 364him again as a guest, perhaps until he left for the Numantine war in 134, after which it is not likely that they met again before Scipio's sudden death in 129. I am particular about the extent of their intimacy, because I wish to make it clear that this was no ordinary or fleeting friendship between a commonplace Greek philosopher and an average Roman statesman. Both statesman and philosopher were far above the usual level of their kind, and in the course of this long intimacy must have had full opportunity of learning from each other. From Scipio Panaetius would learn the secrets of the Roman temperament, and divine the right methods of dealing with it, and the result of this was a happy modification of the old rigidity of the Stoic principles—an adaptation of them to the Roman character which had far-reaching consequences. From Panaetius Scipio and his friends would learn a new and illuminating conception of man's place in the universe, and of his relation to the Power manifested in it. To understand the power of Stoicism on the mind of these Romans and their intellectual successors, it is necessary to have a clear idea of this illumination.
Hitherto there had been nothing in the religion of Rome, or of any other city-state, to make it inevitable, reasonable, that man should worship the Power, except tradition and self-interest, involved in the tradition and self-interest of the family and the city. The gods belonged, as we saw, to family or city as divine inhabitants, and if you neglected them they would show their anger against you. Originally it was religio, the feeling of awe for something distinct from man and unknown to him, which forced him to propitiate that which he might fear, but had no reason, except the instinct of self-preservation, to reverence; and later on, as he came to know his numina better, to make them, so to speak, his own, and to formulate the methods of propitiating them, he gradually came also to take them for granted, and to worship them as a matter of traditional duty. The idea of conforming 365his life to the will of any of these numina would, of course, be absolutely strange to him—the expression would have no meaning whatever for him. The help which he sought from them was not moral help, but material.776 But now, when the religio has been hypnotised and soothed away, and when the tradition of ceremonial observance was growing dim and weak, when he is left alone with his fellow-men, and without any binding reason for right conduct towards them, he may learn from Stoicism that there is a Power above and beyond all his numina, yet involving and embracing them all, to which, and by the help of which, as a man endowed with reason, he must conform his life.
The theology held and taught by Panaetius, in common with all Stoics at all periods, was based upon two leading thoughts, in the correlation of which lay the kernel of the Stoic ethical system. The first of these thoughts is this: the whole universe, in all its forms and manifestations, shows unmistakably the work of Reason, of Mind; without mind, reason, spiritus, as Cicero calls it,777 the universe could not exist. I need not go here into the origin and history of this thought; what is important for us is to make clear the theological consequences of it. Obviously it was natural that the Stoic should be led on to the conviction that this universe endowed with Reason—with a Reason far transcending all human capacity—must itself be God. The Stoic arguments in support of this further step are indeed lame, as they inevitably must be; they are well set forth at the beginning of Book ii. of Cicero's work de Natura Deorum (based upon one by Posidonius, the successor and disciple of Panaetius), where they seem to us rather cold and formal. That step is indeed incapable of being made convincing by any syllogism; it is only when we try to think with the minds of those old thinkers, living in a world of unmeaning worship, that we begin to realise the nobility of a conviction which they tried in vain to reduce to a syllogism. Sapiens a principio mundus, et deus habendus 366est;778 these words, which sound like an article of a creed, suffice for us without the laborious arguments of Cleanthes and Chrysippus which we may read in the fifth and sixth chapters of Cicero's book. Cicero has added to these a characteristic illustration from city life, which I may quote as more useful for us. "If a man enters a house or a gymnasium or a forum, and sees reason, method, and discipline reigning there, he cannot suppose that these came about without a cause, but perceives that there is someone there who rules and is obeyed: how much more, when he contemplates the motions and revolutions to be seen in the universe (e.g., in the heavenly bodies), must he conclude that they are all governed by a conscious Mind!" And this Mind can be nothing else but God.
This sounds like the Deism of the eighteenth century, and might be described as "natural religion"; but the Stoics took yet another step, and developed their thought into Pantheism. The idea of a personal Deity, distinct from the universe and its Creator, was obnoxious to them; it would have committed them to a dualism of Mind and Matter which, from the very outset of their history, they emphatically repudiated; their conviction was of a Unity in all things, and to this they consistently held in spite of constant and damaging criticism. The theological result of this conviction has lately been well expressed by Dr. Bussell.779 He is speaking of Seneca in particular, but what he says applies to all Stoics equally well: "Though he yearns to see God in 'the moral order of the Universe,' he is forced in the interests of Unity to identify Him with every other known force. As He is everything, so any name will suit Him. He is the sum of existence: or the secret and abstract law which guides it: He is Nature or Fate. The partial names of special deities are all His, and together they make up the fulness of the divine title; but they disappear in the immense nothingness, rather than colour or qualify it." This is a point of immense importance for the study of Stoicism at 367Rome; it was fully developed by Posidonius, and copied from him both by Cicero and Varro. "God," says Cicero in the book I have been quoting, "pervading all nature (pertinens per naturam cuiusque rei), can be understood as Ceres on the land, as Neptune on the sea, and so on, and may be and should be worshipped in all these different forms;" not in superstitious fear and grovelling spirit—the mental attitude which Lucretius had condemned years before this treatise was written—but with pure heart and mind, following the one and true God in all his various manifestations.780 Thus the Stoic Pantheism, in spite of its weak points, could find room for the deities of the city-state, and put new illuminating life into them. To us it may seem, as it seems to Dr. Bussell, that they would disappear in an immense nothingness; but to the Roman mind of Scipio's age, if I am not mistaken, they might, on the contrary, save the great Pantheistic idea from so itself disappearing. I cannot but think that the Roman's idea of divinity, the force or will-power which he called numen,781 would find here a means of reviving its former hold on the Roman mind, and enabling it to grasp as a concrete fact, and not merely as an abstract idea, the "deus pertinens per naturam cuiusque rei." In particular the Roman conception of the great Jupiter, the father of heaven, might gain new life for the people who had so long been used to call him "the Best and Greatest." Almost from the very beginning of Stoicism the school had seized upon Zeus to convey, under the guise of a personality and a name, some idea of the Reason in the universe;782 and the same use might just as well, perhaps even better, be made of the great deity of the Capitoline temple, whom his people recognised as the open heaven with all its manifestations, the celestial representative of good faith and righteous dealing, and the special protector of the destinies of Rome and her empire.
The second thought which lies at the base of the religion or theology of Stoicism, is this: that Man himself, 368alone in all the Universe, shares with God the full possession of Reason. In other words, Man alone, besides God, is strictly individual, self-conscious, capable of realising an end and of working towards it; he is so utterly different from the animals, so far above them (or if we call him an animal, he is, in Cicero's language,783 animal providum, sagax, multiplex, acutum, memor, plenum rationis et consilii), that he must surely be of the same nature as God. And this is what, in strict conformity with all Stoic teaching, Cicero in this same passage expressly says—man is generatus a deo. So too in the famous hymn of Cleanthes,784 quoted by St. Paul at Athens ("For we are also his offspring,"):—
Chiefest glory of deathless Gods, Almighty for ever,
Sovereign of Nature that rulest by law, what name shall we give thee?
Blessed be Thou, for on Thee should call all things that are mortal.
For that we are Thy offspring: nay, all that in myriad motion
Lives for its day on the earth bears one impress, Thy likeness, upon it;
Wherefore my song is of Thee, and I hymn Thy power for ever.
In these splendid lines it is plain that not Man only is thought of, but all living things, animals included with Man; and this is in accordance with the true Stoic Pantheism. But none the less on this account did the Stoics believe Man to be the one living thing in the universe comparable with God, and capable of communion with him by virtue of the possession of Reason. As Cicero says, a few lines farther on in the work I am quoting, "virtus eadem in homine ac deo est, neque ullo alio ingenio praeterea." And since every creature seeks to maintain and augment its own being, to bring it to perfection, to express it fully, by an innate law of its nature, Man being endowed with Reason above all other creatures, strives, or should strive, to bring himself to a perfect expression, by identifying himself with the divine principle which he shares with God. As Dr. Caird puts it,785 "the ruling power of Reason so dominates his nature that he cannot be described as anything but a self-conscious ego (i.e. in contrast with other animals); and 369just because of this, all his impulses become concentrated in one great effort after self-realisation." But the self that he tries to realise must be his true self, not his irrational impulses: the self which is a part of the divine principle. He must desire to realise himself as having Reason, and so to come into close communion with God, the Reason of the universe. Those who are at all familiar with the later Roman Stoics, Seneca and Marcus Aurelius, and Epictetus, if we may include him among them, will recognise in this inspiring thought, vague and impalpable as it may seem, the germ of many beautiful expressions of the relation of Man to God, which seem to bring Stoicism into closer spiritual connection with Christianity than any other doctrine of the ancient world.
The work of Cicero from which I have been quoting, the first book of his treatise on the Laws, i.e. the Roman constitution, is very probably based on one by Panaetius himself,786 of whom we are expressly told that he used to discuss that constitution together with Polybius and Scipio in the days of their happy intimacy at Rome.787 In any case we may find it helpful, taken together with the earlier fragmentary work de Republica, in trying to form some idea of the effect of this second leading Stoic thought on the best Roman minds of the last ages of the Republic. We find, as we might expect, that it is not on Man simply as individual that stress is here laid. Man is not thought of as hoping to realise his own Reason in isolation; the Stoics, though, like their rivals, they represent a reaction of the individual against the State, were all along perfectly clear that man in isolation would be helpless, and that his own reason bade him realise himself in association with his fellow-men.788 It is the position of Man, as associated, 1, with God, 2, with other men, that is here made prominent; and the bond of connection is in each case Law, which is indeed only one name for the Supreme Reason and the highest Good. I must say a word about these two aspects of Man's 370position in the world, in order to explain what I believe to have been the effect of this teaching on the Roman mind.
1. In explaining the relation of Man to God Cicero uses an expression which some years before he had developed in a fine passage in the Republic: true law, he says, is right reason.789 In the Laws he takes it up again, and argues that as both God and Man have reason, there must be a direct relation between them.790 And as Law and right reason are identical, we may say that Law is the binding force of that relation. And again, this means that the universe may be looked on as one great State (civitas), of which both God and Man (or gods and men) are citizens, or in another way as a State of which the constitution is itself the Reason, or God's law, which all reasonable beings must obey. Such obedience is itself the effort by which Man realises his own reason: he is a part of a reasonable universe, and he cannot rebel against its law without violating his own highest instinct. It is not hard to see how this way of expressing the Stoic theological principle would appeal to the Roman mind. That mind was wholly incapable of metaphysical thinking; but it could without effort understand, with the help of its social and political principles and experience, the idea of supreme intelligent rule—a supreme imperium, as it were, to rebel against which would be a moral perduellio, high treason against a supreme Law, unwritten like his own, and resting, as he thought of his own as resting, on the best instincts, tradition, reason, of his community; from his own constitution and laws he could lift his mind without much difficulty to the constitution and law of the communis deorum et hominum civitas. The idea of God in any such sense as this was indeed new to him; but he could grasp it under the expression "universal law of right reason" when he would have utterly failed, for example, to conceive of it as "the Absolute." He can feel himself the citizen of a State whose maker and ruler is God, and whose law is the inevitable force of Reason; 371he can realise his relationship to God as a part of the same State, gifted with the same power of discerning its legal basis, nay, even helping to administer its law by rational obedience.
2. Reason as thus ruling the universe can also provide a basis for Man's reasonable association with his fellow-men, and a religious basis if conceived as God; for Man's recognition of the divine law, the recta ratio, as binding on him, is followed quite naturally by his recognition of the application of that law to the world he lives in. "Human law comes into existence," says Zeller, explaining this point,791 "when man becomes aware of the divine law, and recognises its claim on him." Here, again, it is easy to see how illuminating would be this conception of law for the Roman of Scipio's time. So far the Roman idea and study of law (as I have elsewhere expressed it)792 had been of a crabbed, practical character, wanting in breadth of treatment, destitute of any philosophical conception of the moral principles which lie behind all law and government. The new doctrine called up life in these dry bones, and started Roman lawyers, many of whom were Stoics more or less pronounced, on a career of enlightened legal study which has left one of the most valuable legacies inherited by the modern world from ancient civilisation. In another way too it had, I think, an immediate effect on Scipio himself and his circle, and on their mental descendants, of whom Cicero was the most brilliant: it made them look on the law and constitution of their State as eminently reasonable, and on rebellion against it as unreason, or as the Romans call it, lascivia, wanton disregard of principle. So far as I know, no great Roman lawyer was ever a revolutionary like Catiline or Clodius, nor yet an obstinate conservative like Cato, whose Stoicism was of the older and less Romanised type; the two of whom we know most in the century following the arrival of Panaetius were both wise, just, and moderate men, Mucius Scaevola and Servius Sulpicius, of whom it may be truly said they 372contributed as much to civilisation as the great military and political leaders of the same period.793
There now remains the question whether this noble Stoic religion, as we may fairly call it, with its ideas of the relation of Man to God and to his fellow-men, had, after all, sufficient definiteness for a Roman to act as a grip on his conscience and his conduct in his daily dealings with others. It could deduce the existence and beauty of the social virtues from its own principles; if Man partakes of the eternal Reason, or, as they otherwise put it, if he is through his Reason a part of God himself in the highest sense, and if God and Reason are in the highest sense good, then in realising his own Reason, in obeying the voice of the God within him,794 he must be himself good by the natural instinct of his own being. Accordingly, these social virtues, duties, officia, as the Romans called them, were set forth by Panaetius in two books, which in a Latinised form we still fortunately possess,—the first two of Cicero's work de Officiis,—and without the uncompromising rigidity which characterised the original Stoic ethical doctrine inherited from the Cynics.795 In the first book he treated of the good simply (honestum), in the second of the useful (utile), and in a third, which it was left for Cicero to execute, of the cases of conflict between these two. In this charming work there is much to admire, and even much to learn: the social virtues—benevolence, justice, liberality, self-restraint, and so on, are enlarged upon and illustrated by historical examples796 in perfect Latin by Cicero; and as we read it we cannot but feel that the influence of Panaetius upon his educated Roman pupils must have been eminently wholesome.
But at the same time we inevitably feel that there is something wanting. What power could such a discussion really have to constrain an ordinary man to right action? The constraint, such as it is, seems purely an intellectual process, and this is indeed noticeable in the Stoic ethics of all periods. No Stoic brought his doctrine nearer to a religious system than Epictetus; yet this is how Epictetus 373puts the matter:797 "If a man could be thoroughly penetrated, as he ought to be, with this thought, that we are all in an especial manner sprung from God, and that God is the Father of men as well as gods, full sure he would never conceive aught ignoble or base of himself.... Those few who hold that they are born for fidelity, modesty, and unerring rightness in dealing with the things of sense, never conceive aught base or ignoble of themselves." He means that, for the real Stoic, self-respect is the necessary consequence of his intellectual conception of his place in the universe, and that self-respect must as inevitably result in virtue. Can this intellectual attitude really act as a constraining force on the will of the average man? This is far too complicated a question for me to enter upon here, and I can but suggest the study of it for anyone who would wish to test the actual life-giving moral power of this philosophy. Suffice it to say that their idea of the universe as Reason and God naturally led the Stoics into a kind of Fatalism, a destined order in the world which nothing could effectually oppose;798 and they were naturally in some difficulty in reconciling this with the freedom of Man's will. That freedom they constantly and consistently asserted; but it comes after all to this, that Man is free to bring his will into conformity, through knowledge, with the Power and the universal Reason; or, as Dr. Caird puts it,799 Man has the choice whether he will be a willing or an unwilling servant (of the universal Reason): unwilling, if he makes it his aim to satisfy his particular self, an aim which he can only attain so far as the general system of things allows him; willing, if he identifies himself with the divine reason which is manifested in that system." But that identification of himself with the divine Reason is again an intellectual process; it can only be realised by minds highly trained in thinking; it could not have the smallest grip on the conduct of the ordinary ignorant man, or on the minds of women and children.
And here we come upon another weak point in Stoicism 374as presented to the Roman world in this last century B.C. It was an age in which gentleness, tenderness, pity, and the philanthropic spirit were most sadly needed, and it cannot be said of Stoicism that it had any mission to encourage their growth. The Stoics looked on the mass of men as ignorant and wicked,800 and it never occurred to them that it was a duty of the Good Man to teach and redeem them,—to sacrifice his life, if need be, in the work of enlightenment. They seem to have thought even of women and children as hardly partaking of Reason; their ideally good man was virtuous in a strictly virile way,801 and it never occurred to them that training in goodness must begin from the earliest years, and be gradually developed with infinite sympathy and tenderness. If a man is to learn that there is something within him which partakes of God, and which should naturally lead him to right conduct, he must begin to learn this truth in his infancy.802 But the absence of a place for emotion and sympathy in the Stoic system, resulting from the purely intellectual nature of their central doctrine of Reason, meant also the absence of any spirit of enthusiastic propaganda. Their notion that emotion or passion is "a movement of mind contrary to reason and nature,"803 lamed their whole system as a progressive force in the world of that day. Such religious power as it could exercise worked simply through the radiating influence of a few wise and good men, by nature pure and unselfish, who gradually familiarised the educated part of society with a nobler idea of God than the old religion had ever been able to supply, and with that other inspiring idea of the near relation of Man to God as partaking of His nature. But the active enthusiasm of a real religion—the effective desire to be in right relation with the Power—was strange to Stoicism. In one way or another it had many excellent results; it cleared the ground, for example, for a new and universal religion by putting into the shade, if not altogether out of the way, the old local cults with their narrow and limited civic force: it glorified the idea 375of law and order in an age when the Roman world seemed to be forgetting what these sacred words meant; but a real active enthusiasm of humanity was wanting in it. Hence there is a certain hopelessness about Stoicism, which increased rather than diminished as the world went on, and such as is seen in a kind of sad grandeur in Marcus Aurelius, the Stoic emperor. Of him it may be said, both as emperor and philosopher, as has been said of the Stoic in general, that "he was essentially a soldier left to hold a fort surrounded by overpowering hosts of the enemy. He could not conquer or drive them away, but he could hold out to the last and die at his post."
NOTES TO LECTURE XVI.
755 See, e.g. Livy iii. 20: "Sed nondum haec, quae nunc tenet saeculum, neglegentia deum venerat; nec interpretando sibi quisque iusiurandum et leges aptas faciebat, sed suos potius mores ad ea accommodabat." Cp. Cic. de Off. iii. 111.
756 Two Epicureans were expelled from Rome in 173 (probably), Athenaeus, p. 547. Cicero, Tusc. iv. 3, 7, gives some idea of the later popularity of the school in the first half of the last century B.C.
757 So Masson, Lucretius, i. 263, 271.
758 See Masson i. ch. xii. and ii. p. 141 foll.; Mayor's Cicero de Nat. Deor. vol. i. xlviii. and 138 foll.; Guyau, La Morale d'Épicure (ed. 4), p. 171 foll.
759 Cic. N.D. i. 19, 49 foll., and many other passages; Diog. Laert. x. 55; Zeller, Stoics, Epicureans, and Sceptics, p. 441 foll.; Masson i. 292, who aptly quotes Cotta the academic critic in Cicero's dialogue: "When Epicurus takes away from the gods the power of helping and doing good, he extirpates the very roots of religion from the minds of men" (Cic. N.D. i. 45. 121). One may add with Dr. Masson (i. 416 foll.) that a machine cannot command worship; the Natura of Lucretius, i.e., was really a machine.
760 Masson i. p. 284, and citations of Philodemus there given.
761 Mayor's Cic. N.D. vol. i. p. xlix.
762 Lucr. vi. 68 foll.
763 Masson i. p. 285.
764 Cic. N.D. i. 2. 3.
765 Cic. N.D. i. 37. 102; to believe the gods idle "etiam homines inertes efficit."
766 For this profound reverence for Epicurus see also Cic. N.D. 376i. 8. 18. It amounted to a faith. In this passage the Epicurean is described as "nihil tam verens quam ne dubitare aliqua de re videretur, tanquam modo ex deorum concilio et ex Epicuri intermundiis descendisset." See also sec. 43 and Mayor's note; Cic. de Finibus, i. 5. 14; Masson i. 354-5, who quotes the most striking passages from Lucretius, e.g. v. 8-10:
deus ille fuit, deus, inclyte Memmi,
qui princeps vitae rationem invenit eam quae
nunc appellatur sapientia, etc.
In a paper entitled "Die Bekehrung (conversion) im klassischen Altertum," by W. A. Heidel (Zeitschrift für Religionspsychologie, vol. iii. Heft 2), the author, an American disciple of W. James, argues that the exordium of Bk. iii. indicates a psychological conversion of Lucretius.
767 See Masson's chapter (p. 399 foll.) on the teaching and personality of Lucretius. Social Life at Rome in the Age of Cicero, p. 327 foll., and references there given. I may note here that the power of Epicurism as a faith depended also largely on the directness, downrightness, and audacity of its system, working on minds weary of philosophers' disputations and political quarrels.
768 Cic. de Finibus, i. viii. to end (translation by J. S. Reid, Camb. Univ. Press). The following sentence in ch. 18, sec. 57, puts the Epicurean ethics in a nutshell: "Clamat Epicurus, is quem vos nimis voluptatibus esse deditum dicitis, non posse iucunde vivi nisi sapienter, honeste, iusteque vivatur, nec sapienter, honeste, iuste, nisi iucunde."
769 What this quietism might mean for a Roman may be gathered from the following passage in Cic. de Finibus, i. 13. 43, in which sapientia is practical wisdom, the Aristotelian φρονησιϛ or the ars vivendi, as Cicero has explained it just before: "Sapientia est adhibenda, quae, et terroribus cupiditatibusque detractis et omnium falsarum opinionum temeritate derepta, certissimam se ducem praebeat ad voluptatem. Sapientia enim est una, quae maestitiam pellat ex animis, quae nos exhorrescere metu non sinat; qua praeceptrice in tranquillitate vivi potest, omnium cupiditatum ardore restincto. Cupiditates enim sunt insatiabiles, quae non modo singulos homines, sed universas familias evertunt, totam etiam labefactant saepe rempublicam. Ex cupiditatibus odia discidia discordiae seditiones bella nascuntur." And so on to the end of the chapter. The message of Lucretius to the Roman was practically the same. The remedy was the wrong one in that age; though it does not necessarily entail withdrawal from public life with all its enticements and risks, it must inevitably have a strong tendency to suggest it; and such withdrawal had, as a matter of fact, been one of the characteristics of the Epicurean life. See Zeller, Stoics, etc., ch. xx.; Guyau, La Morale d'Épicure, p. 141 foll.
770377 History of European Morals (1899), vol. i. p. 225. The treatment of Stoicism in this work, though not, strictly speaking, philosophical, is in many ways most instructive.
771 F. Leo, Die griechische und lateinische Literatur, p. 337. See the author's Social Life at Rome in the Age of Cicero, p. 105.
772 Polybius xxxii. 9-16.
773 See a discussion by the author of the meaning of τὑχη in Polybius, Classical Review, vol. xvii. p. 445, and the passages there quoted relating to the growth of the Roman dominion.
774 See Schmekel, Die mittlere Stoa, p. 3 foll.
775 Ib. p. 6, note 3.
776 See above, p. 251.
777 Cic. N.D. ii., end of sec. 19. He is translating the Greek πνεῦμα, which in Stoicism is not a spiritual conception, but a material one, in harmony with their theory of the universe as being itself material, including reason and the soul. This is one of the weak points of the Stoic idea of Unity. For the meaning of spiritus see Mayor's note on the passage; it is "the ether or warm air which penetrates and gives life to all things, and connects them together in one organic whole."
778 Cic. N.D. ii. xiii. 36 ad fin. On all this department of the Stoic teaching see Zeller, Stoics, etc., p. 135 foll.; Caird, Gifford Lectures, vol. ii., Lectures 16 and 17.
779 Marcus Aurelius and the Later Stoics, by F. W. Bussell p. 42.
780 Cic. N.D. ii. ch. 28 (secs. 70-72), with Mayor's commentary; Zeller, op. cit. p. 327 foll.; Mayor, introduction to vol. ii. of his edition of Cic. N.D. xi. foll.; Social Life at Rome in the Age of Cicero, p. 334 foll. It is important to note the distinction drawn by Cicero between religion and superstition; what Lucretius called religio as a whole Cicero (and Varro too, cf. Aug. Civ. Dei, vi. 9) thus divided. See Mayor's valuable note, vol. ii. p. 183. Some interesting remarks on the Stoic way of dealing with popular mythology will be found in Oakesmith's Religion of Plutarch, p. 68 foll.
781 See above, p. 118 foll.
782 See Mayor's note on Cic. N.D. ii. 15. 39 (vol. i. p. 130), with quotation from Philodemus. Zeller, Stoics, etc., p. 337 foll.
783 Cic. de Legibus, i. 7. 22.
784 Fragmenta Philosophorum Graecorum, Paris, 1883. I have borrowed the beautiful translation of my friend Hastings Crossley, printed p. 183 foll. of his Golden Sayings of Epictetus, in Macmillan's Golden Treasury Series.
785 Gifford Lectures, ii. p. 94.
786 So Schmekel, Die mittlere Stoa, p. 61 foll. The evidence is 378not conclusive, and the process of argument is one of elimination; but it raises a fairly strong probability.
787 Cic. de Rep. i. 21. 34.
788 See Zeller, Stoics, etc., p. 294 foll.
789 Cic. de Rep. iii. 22. 33.
790 Cic. de Legibus, i. 7. 22 foll.: "Est igitur, quoniam nihil est ratione melius, eaque in homine et in deo, prima homini cum deo rationis societas. Inter quos autem ratio, inter eosdem etiam recta ratio communis est," etc.
791 Zeller, Stoics, etc., p. 226 foll.
792 Social Life at Rome, p. 117.
793 Ib. p. 118 foll.
794 I may take this opportunity of noting that a Roman might better understand this notion of his Reason as the voice of God within him, or conscience, from his own idea of his "other soul," or genius; see above, p. 75. But we do not know for certain that it was presented to him in this way by Panaetius, though Posidonius (ap. Galenum, 469) used the word δαἱμων in this sense, as did the later Stoics; see Mulder, de Conscientiae notione, p. 71. Seneca, Ep. 41. 2, uses the word spiritus: "Sacer intra nos spiritus sedet ... in unoquoque virorum bonorum, quis deus incertum est, habitat deus" (from Virg. Aen. viii. 352). Cp. Marcus Aurelius iii. 3. Seneca uses the word genius clearly in this sense in Ep. 110 foll. On the Stoic daemon consult Zeller, Stoics, etc., p. 332 foll.; Oakesmith, Religion of Plutarch, ch. vi.
795 See, e.g., Zeller, p. 268.
796 This habit of illustrating by historical examples had an educational value of its own, but serves well to show how comparatively feeble was the appeal of Stoicism to the conscience. It may be seen well in Valerius Maximus, whose work, compiled of fact and fiction for educational purposes, is far indeed from being an inspiring one. See Social Life at Rome, p. 189.
797 Arrian, Discourses, i. 3. 1-6 (Golden Sayings of Epictetus, No. 9).
798 Schmekel, Die mittlere Stoa, p. 190 foll. (Panaetius), and 244 foll. (Posidonius), Zeller 160 foll. This is the Fate or Providence on which the moral lesson of the Aeneid is based; see below, p. 409 foll. Aeneas is the servant of Destiny. If he had persisted in rebelling against it by remaining at Carthage with Dido, that would not have changed the inevitable course of things, but it would have ruined him.
799 Gifford Lectures, ii. 96.
800 Zeller, Stoics, etc., p. 255. This, of course, did not diminish the duty of general benevolence, ib. p. 310 and references, where fine passages of Cicero and Seneca are quoted about duties to one's inferiors. But an enthusiasm of humanity was none the less wanting in Stoicism, and this was largely owing no doubt to their hard and fast 379distinction between virtue and vice, and their want of perception of a growth or evolution in society. See Caird, op. cit. ii. 99; Lecky, Hist. of European Morals, i. 192 foll.; Zeller 251 foll.
801 See some excellent remarks in Lecky, op. cit. i. p. 242 foll.
802 See above, note 40.
803 Zeller, Stoics, etc., p. 229. Cic. de Finibus, iii, 10, 35; Tusc. Disp. iv. 28, 60.
MYSTICISM—IDEAS OF A FUTURE LIFE
We have now reached the end of the period of the Republic; but before I go on to the age of Augustus, with which I must bring these lectures to an end, I must ask attention to a movement which can best be described by the somewhat vague term Mysticism, but is generally known to historians of philosophy as Neo-pythagoreanism. The fact is that such tendency as there ever was at Rome towards Mysticism—which was never indeed a strong one till Rome had almost ceased to be Roman804—seems to have taken the form of thinking known as Pythagorean. The ideas at the root of the Pythagorean doctrine, the belief in a future life, the conception of this life as only preparatory to another, the conviction of the need of purgation in another life and of the preparatory discipline and asceticism to be practised while we are here,—these are truly religious ideas; and even among Romans the religious instinct, though it might be hypnotised, could never be entirely destroyed. When it awoke from time to time in the minds of thinking men it was apt to express itself in Pythagorean tones. With the ignorant and vulgar it might find a baser expression in superstition pure and simple,—in the finding of portents, in astrology, in Dionysiac orgies; but with these Pythagoreanism must not be reckoned. These, as they appeared on the soil of Italy, were the bastard children of quasi-religious thought. But the movement of which I speak marks a reaction, among men who could both feel and think, against the 381whole tendency of Roman religious experience as we have been tracing it; against the extreme formalism, now meaningless, of the Roman State religion; against the extreme scepticism and indifference so obvious in the last century and a half of the republican era; against the purely intellectual appeal of the ethical systems of which I have been recently speaking. Stoicism indeed, as we shall see, held out a hand to the new movement, simply because Stoicism had a religious side which was wanting in Epicurism. But the thought that our senses and our reason are not after all the sole fountains of our knowledge, a thought which is the essence of mysticism, was really foreign to Stoicism; and when this thought did find a soil in the mind of a thinking Roman of this age, it was likely to spring up in a transcendental form which we may call Pythagoreanism.
South Italy was indeed the true home of the Pythagorean teaching. There its founder had established it, and there, mixed up with more popular Orphic doctrine and practice, it must have remained latent for centuries.805 "Tenuit magnam illam Graeciam," says Cicero of Pythagoras, "cum honore disciplinae, tum etiam auctoritate; multaque saecula post sic viguit Pythagoreorum nomen, ut nulli alii docti viderentur."806 To South Italy Plato is said to have travelled to study this philosophy, and to learn the doctrine of the immortality of the soul; and the story is generally accepted as true.807 But of any missionary attempt of Pythagoreanism on Rome we know nothing—and probably there was nothing to tell—till that mysterious plot to introduce it after the Hannibalic war which I mentioned in a recent lecture.808 That war brought Rome into close contact with Tarentum and southern Italy, and it is likely enough that the attempt to connect King Numa with the philosopher, both in the familiar legend and in the alleged discovery of the stone coffin with its forged manuscripts, had its origin in this contact. The Senate could not object to the legend, but it promptly stamped out this grotesque attempt at propagandism. Then we 382hear no more of the doctrine for a century at least; but in the last century B.C. we know that there appeared a number of Pythagorean writings, falsely attributed to the founder himself or his disciples,809—a method of propagandism which, like that of the previous century, may perhaps be taken as marking the religious nature of the doctrine, which needed the ipse dixit of the founder or something as near it as possible.810 But of the immediate influence of these writings we know nothing. The person really responsible for the tendency to this kind of mysticism was undoubtedly the great Posidonius, philosopher, historian, traveller, who more than any other man dominated the Roman world of thought in the first half of the last century B.C., and whose writings, now surviving in a few fragments only, lie at the back of nearly all the serious Roman literature of his own and indeed of the following age.811 Panaetius, there can be little doubt, had done something to leaven Stoicism with Platonic-Aristotelian psychology,812 the general tendency of which was towards a dualism of Soul and Body. The Stoics, in the strict sense of the name, "could not be content with any philosophy which divided heaven from earth, the spiritual from the material." "They rebelled against the idea of a transcendent God and a transcendent ideal world, as modern thought has rebelled against the supernaturalism of mediaeval religion and philosophy."813 In their passion for unity they would not separate soul and body. But when once Panaetius had hinted at a reversion to the older mode of thought, it was natural and easy to follow his lead in a society which had long ago abandoned burial for cremation, and bidden farewell to the primitive notion that the body lived on under the earth: in a society, too, which had always believed in that "other soul," the Genius of a man, as distinct from his bodily self of this earthly life.814
Now as soon as this dualism of body and soul was suggested, it was taken up by Posidonius into what we may call his neo-Stoic system, and at once gave mysticism, 383—or transcendentalism, if we choose so to call it—its chance. For in such a dualistic psychology it is the soul that gains in value, the body that loses. Life becomes an imprisonment of the soul in the body; the soul seeks to escape, death is but the beginning of a new life, and the imagination is set to work to fathom the mysteries of Man's future existence, nay, in some more fanciful minds, those of his pre-existence as well. This kind of speculation, half philosophic, half poetical, is the transcendental side of the Platonic psychology, and in the last age of the Republic was able to connect Platonism and Pythagoreanism without deserting Stoicism.815 We can see it reflected from Posidonius in the Dream of Scipio, the beautiful myth, imitated from those of Plato, with which Cicero concluded his treatise on the State, written in the year 54 B.C., after his retirement from political life. In this, and again in the first book of his Tusculan Disputations, composed nearly ten years later, Cicero is beyond doubt on the tracks of Posidonius, and therefore also of Pythagoreanism.816 Listen to the words put into the mouth of the elder Scipio and addressed to his younger namesake: "Tu vero enitere et sic habeto, non esse te mortalem, sed corpus hoc; non enim tu es, quem forma ista declarat; sed mens cuiusque is est quisque, non ea figura quae digito demonstrari potest."817 Here is the body plainly losing, the soul gaining importance. But he goes still further: "deum igitur te scito esse: si quidem deus est qui viget qui sentit qui meminit: qui providet, qui tam regit et moderatur et movet id corpus cui propositus est, quam hunc mundum ille princeps deus, et ut mundum ex quadam parte mortalem ipse deus aeternus, sic fragile corpus animus sempiternus movet."818
With such a view of the soul in relation to the body, we can understand how in this myth it is described as flying upwards, released from corporeal bondage, and ascending through heavenly stations to pure aether, if at least (and here we may note the characteristic Roman touch) its abode on earth has been the body of a good citizen.819 All that 384is of earth earthy, all old ideas of burial, all notions of a gloomy abode below the earth, are here fairly left behind. So too in the first book of the Tusculans, written after the death of his beloved daughter, Cicero would persuade himself and others that death cannot be an evil if we once allow the soul to be immortal: for from its very nature it must rise into aethereal realms, cannot sink like the body into the earth.820 Into its experiences in the aether I do not need to go here. Enough has been said to show that, as it were, the heavens were opened, and with the psychological separation of soul from body the imaginative faculty was released also; not indeed that any Roman, or even Posidonius himself, could revel in cosmological dreams as did Plato, but they found in him all they needed, and it would seem that they made much use of it. Plato's Timaeus was made by Posidonius the subject of a commentary,821 and by Cicero himself it was in part at least translated, about the time when he was writing the Tusculans, and still deeply moved by his recent loss. Of this translation a fragment survives; and in the introductory sentences he indicates a second stimulus to his Pythagorean tendencies, besides Posidonius. He tells how he had met at Ephesus, when on his way to his province of Cilicia, the famous Pythagorean Nigidius Figulus, and had enjoyed conversation with him.822 Nigidius was an old friend, who had helped Cicero in his consulship; he was one of those "polyhistores" who are characteristic of the age, like Posidonius and Varro, and wrote works on all kinds of subjects of which but few fragments remain. But his reputation as a Pythagorean survived for centuries;823 and this mention of him by Cicero is only another proof of the direction the thoughts of the latter were taking in these last two years of his life.
Clearly, then, Cicero in his philosophical writings of these years was affected by the current of mysticism that was then running. But to me it is still more interesting to find it moving him in a practical matter of which he has himself left the truth on record; for Cicero is a real 385human being for whom all who are familiar with his letters must have something in the nature of affection, and with whom, too, we feel genuine sympathy in the calamity which now fell upon him. It was early in 45 B.C. that he lost his only and dearly loved daughter, and the blow to his sensitive temperament, already hardly tried by political anxiety, was severe. We still have the private letters which he wrote to Atticus after her death from his solitude at Astura on the edge of the melancholy Pomptine marshes;824 and here, if our minds are sufficiently divested of modern ideas and trained to look on death with Roman eyes, we may be startled to find him thinking of her as still in some sense surviving, and as divine rather than human: as a deity or spirit to whom a fanum could be erected. He makes it clear to Atticus, who is acting as his business agent at Rome, that he does not want a mere tomb (sepulcrum), but a fanum, which as we have seen was the general word for a spot of ground sacred to a deity. "I wish to have a fanum built, and that wish cannot be rooted out of my heart. I am anxious to avoid any likeness to a tomb, not so much on account of the penalty of the law, as in order to attain as nearly as possible to an apotheosis. This I could do if I built it in the villa itself, but ... I dread the changes of owners. Wherever I construct it on the land, I think that I could secure that posterity should respect its sanctity."825 The word here translated sanctity is religio; we may remember that all burial places were loca religiosa, not consecrated by the State, yet hallowed by the feeling of awe or scruple in approaching them; but Cicero is probably here using the word rather in that wider sense in which it so often expresses the presence of a deity in some particular spot.826
Atticus was a man of the world and probably an Epicurean, and his friend in two successive letters half apologises for this strong desire. "I should not like it to be known by any other name but fanum,—unreasonably, you will perhaps say." And again, "you must bear with 386these silly wishes (ineptiæ) of mine."827 But this only makes the intensity of his feeling about it the more plain and significant; he really seems to want Tullia to be thought of as having passed into the sphere of divinity, however vaguely he may have conceived of it. Perhaps he remembered his own words in Scipio's dream, "Deum te esse scito." The ashes of Tullia rested in the family tomb, but the godlike thing imprisoned in her mortal body was to be honoured at this fanum, which, strange as it may seem to us, her father wished to erect in a public and frequented place. She does not fade away into the common herd of Manes, but remains, though as a spirit, the same individual Tullia whom her father had loved so dearly.
I long ago explained the old Roman idea of Manes,828 a vague conception of shades of the dead dwelling below the earth, and hardly, if at all, individualised. But in Tullia's case we meet with a clear conception of an individual spirit; and this alone would lead us to suspect a Pythagorean influence at work, such as that under which Virgil wrote the famous words "Quisque suos patimur Manes," which simply mean "Each individual of us must endure his own individual ghosthood."829 This process of individualisation must have been gradually coming on, but the steps are lost to us; we only know that the earliest sepulchral inscription which speaks to it, in the vague plural Di Manes so familiar in later times, is dateable somewhere about this very time.830 My friend Dr. J. B. Carter would explain it, in part at least, by the Roman conception of Genius to which I alluded just now, and doubtless this must be taken into account. For myself I would rather think of it as the natural result of the growth of individualism in the living human being during the last two centuries B.C. Surely it was impossible for personality to grow as it did in that period without a corresponding growth of the idea of individual immortality in the minds of all who believed in a future life of any kind at all. The Epicureans did not so believe; but Roman Stoics instructed by Panaetius and 387Posidonius might not only believe in immortality but in an immortality of the individual.
Let me take this opportunity of noting that there was, of course, no sort of restriction on a man's belief about this or any other religious question. It was perfectly open to every one to hold what view best pleased him about the state of the dead: all that the State required of him was that he should fulfil his obligations at the tombs of his own kin. No dogma reigned in the necropolis, only duty, pietas,—and that pietas implied no conviction. The Parentalia in February were originally, so far as we can discern, only a yearly renewal of the rite of burial on its anniversary;831 this implies civilisation and some kind of calendar, but not a creed. Later on, in the Fasti of the City-state, the day was fixed for all citizens without regard of anniversaries; and here the rites become a matter of ius, the ius Manium, to the observance of which the Manes are entitled. Still there is no creed, though Cicero speaks of this ius as based on the idea of a future life.832 As a fact these rites are a survival from an age in which the dead man was believed to go on living in the grave, but that primitive idea was no longer held by the educated. Each man was free in all periods to believe what he pleased about the dead, and as the Romans began to think, this freedom becomes easy to illustrate. Cicero himself is usually agnostic, as is in keeping with his Academic tendency in philosophy; even in one of these very letters he seems to speak of his own non-existence after death.833 So, too, the excellent Servius Sulpicius, in the famous letter of condolence written to Cicero at this time from Athens, seems to be uncertain.834 We all know the words of Caesar (reported by Sallust), which are often quoted with a kind of holy horror, as though a pontifex maximus might not hold any opinion he pleased about death, and as though his doubt were not the common doubt of innumerable thinking men of the age.835 Catullus wrote of death as "nox perpetua dormienda"; Lucretius, of course, gloried in the thought that there is no life beyond. 388In the following century the learned Pliny could write of death as the relapsing into the same nothingness as before we were born, and could scoff at the absurdities of the cult of the dead.836
But when a man like Cicero was deeply touched by grief, his emotional nature abandoned its neutral attitude, and turned for consolation to mysticism. As I have said, he was persuading himself that Tullia was still living,—a glorified spirit. We can gain just a momentary glimpse of what was in his mind by turning to the fragments of the Consolatio which he was now writing at Astura.
This was a Consolatio of the kind which was a recognised literary form of this and later times,837 though in this case it was addressed by the writer to himself; to write was for Cicero second nature, and he was sure to take up his pen when he had feelings that needed expression. It is unfortunately lost, all but one fragment, which he quotes himself in the first book of his Tusculans, and one or two more preserved by the Christian writer Lactantius, a great admirer of Cicero, who came near to catching the beauty of his style. The passage quoted by himself is precious.838 It insists on the spiritual nature of the soul, which can have nothing in common with earth or matter of any kind, seeing that it thinks, remembers, foresees: "ita quicquid est illud, quod sentit, quod sapit, quod vivit, quod viget, caeleste et divinum, ob eamque rem aeternum sit necesse est." And in the concluding words he hints strongly at the divinity of the soul, which is of the same make as God himself,—of the same immaterial nature as the only Deity of whom we mortals can conceive. His daughter, therefore, is not only still living in a spiritual life, but she is in some vague sense divine; that word apotheosis, which he twice uses in the letters, has a real meaning for him at this moment; and in a fragment of the Consolatio quoted by Lactantius he makes this quite plain; "Te omnium optimam doctissimamque, approbantibus dis immortalibus ipsis, in eorum coëtu locatam, ad opinionem omnium mortalium consecrabo."839
389Undoubtedly Cicero is here under the influence of the Pythagoreans as well as of his own emotion. In another chapter Lactantius seems to make this certain;840 he begins by combining Stoics and Pythagoreans as both believing the immortality of the soul, goes on to deal with the Pythagorean doctrine (or one form of it) that in this life we are expiating the sins of another, and ends by quoting Cicero's Consolatio to that effect: "Quid Ciceroni faciemus? qui cum in principio Consolationis suae dixit, luendorum scelerum causa nasci homines, iteravit id ipsum postea, quasi obiurgans eum qui vitam poenam non esse putet." Another lost book, the Hortensius, which was written immediately after the Consolatio, March to May 45,841 shows in one or two surviving fragments exactly the same tendency of thought and reading.842 Our conclusion then must be that Cicero, always impressionable, and in his way also religious, had in this year 45 a real religious experience. He was brought face to face with one of the mysterious facts of life, and with one of the great mysteries of the universe, and the religious instinct awoke within him. How many others, even in that sordid and materialistic age, may have had the like experience, with or without a mystical philosophy to guide their thoughts? In the last words of the famous Laudatio Turiae, of which I have written at length in my Social Life in the Age of Cicero,843 we may perhaps catch an echo of a similar religious feeling: "Te di Manes tui ut quietam patiantur atque ita tueantur opto" (I pray that thy divine Manes may keep thee in peace and watch over thee). These words, expressing the hope of a practical man, not of a philosopher, are very difficult to explain, except as the unauthorised utterances of an individual. They hardly find a parallel either in literature or inscriptions. We must not press them, yet they help us to divine that there was in this last half-century B.C. some mystical yearning to realise the condition of the loved ones gone before, and the relation of their life to that of the living. This religious instinct, let us note once for all, is not identical 390with the old one which we expressed by the formula about the Power manifesting itself in the universe. The religious instinct of the primitive Roman was concerned only with this life and its perils and mysteries; the religious instinct of Cicero's time was not that of simple men struggling with agricultural perils, but that of educated men whose minds could pass in emotional moments far beyond the troubles of this present world, to speculate on the great questions, why we are here, what we are, and what becomes of us after death.
But what of the ordinary Roman of this age—what of the man who was not trained to think, and had no leisure or desire to read? What did he believe about a future life, or did he believe anything? This brings us to a curious question about which I must say a very few words—did this ordinary Roman, as Lucretius seems to insist, believe in Hades and its torments? Not in one passage only does Lucretius insist on this. "That fear of Hell" (so Dr. Masson translates him) "must be driven out headlong, which troubles the life of man from its inmost depth, and overspreads everything with the blackness of death, and permits no pleasure to be pure and unalloyed."844 I need not multiply quotations; evidently the poet believed what he said, though he may be using the exaggeration of poetical diction. And to a certain extent he is borne out by the literature of his time. In fact Polybius, writing nearly a century earlier of the Romans and their religion, implies that such notions were common, and that they were invented by "the ancients" to frighten the people into submission.845 Cicero, though he of course thinks of them as merely the fables of poets, seems to suggest that the ordinary man did believe in them; thinking of his own recent loss, he says that our misery would be unbearable when we lose those we love, if we really thought of them as "in iis malis quibus vulgo opinantur."846 Of course all these fables were Greek, not Roman. There is no reason to believe that the old Romans imagined their own dead 391experiencing any miseries in Orcus—the old name, as it would seem, for the dimly imagined abode of the Manes, afterwards personified after the manner of Plutus.847 No doubt they believed that the dead were ghosts, desiring to get back to their old homes, who, in the well-ordered religion of the City-state, were limited in this strong desire to certain days in the civic year.848 But their first acquaintance with Hades and its tortures may probably be dated early, i.e. when they first became acquainted with Etruscan works of art, themselves the result of a knowledge of Greek art and myth.849 Early in the second century B.C. Plautus in the Captivi alluded to these paintings as familiar;850 and we must not forget that the Etruscans habitually chose the most gruesome and cruel of the Greek fables for illustration, and especially delighted in that of Charon, one likely enough to strike the popular imagination. The play-writers themselves were responsible for inculcating the belief, as Boissier remarked in his work on the Roman religion of the early empire.851 In the theatre, with women and children present, Cicero says in the first book of his Tusculans, the crowded auditorium is moved as it listens to such a "grande carmen" as that sung by a ghost describing his terrible journey from the realms of Acheron; and in another passage of the same book he mentions both painters and poets as responsible for a delusion which philosophers have to refute.852 I need not say that the Roman poets too continually use the imagery of Tartarus; but they use it as literary tradition, and in the sixth Aeneid it is used also to enforce the idea of duty to the State which is the real theme of the poem.
As Dr. Masson truly observes, we have the literature but we have not the folklore of the age of Cicero and Virgil; and it must be confessed that without the folklore such scanty literary evidence as I have just mentioned does not come to much. Dr. Masson indeed concludes on this evidence that the fear of future torments 392played a considerable part in the religious notions both of the common people and possibly of some of the educated. I think it may have been so, but on other grounds, which I must briefly explain.
From all that I have said in these lectures about the religious ideas represented in the earliest calendar, i.e. those of the governing Romans of the earliest City-state, it will be plain that a gruesome eschatology was an impossibility for them. Just the same may be said of the Greek ideas represented in the Homeric poems; for with the exception of the Nekuia of the Odyssey, which almost all scholars agree in attributing to a later age than the bulk of the two Homeric epics, in this poetry il se fait grand jour.853 This is not the first time that I have compared the religion of the Roman patricians to that of Homer;854 and there is a growing conviction among experts that we have in each case the ideas of a comparatively civilised immigrant population, whose religion, though it has developed in very different ways, has the common characteristic of cleanness and brightness. In Italy it is practical, in Homer imaginative; but in both it is free from the brutal and the grotesque. Even the eschatology of the eleventh Odyssey is not cruel, it is comparatively colourless; and, as I said just now, this also may be said of the Roman ideas of Orcus and the Manes.
In each case it is life, not death, that is of interest to the living; death is rather a negation than anything distinctly realised. The state of the dead in Homer is shadowy and triste, a state not to be desired, as Achilles so painfully expresses it in a famous passage; but the life of the Achaean in the poems is vivid—nay, such a vivid realisation of life can alone account for the production of such poems. So, too, the immigrant population at Rome, to whom is due the regulation of the religion as we know it, and the inspiring force that made for ordered government and warlike enterprise, was too full of practical if not of imaginative vitality to 393be apt to dwell upon the possibilities of existence after death, to conceive of such existence as either happy or miserable, the reward or the punishment for things done in this world.
But in each peninsula this immigrant race was living in the midst of a far more primitive population; and it is perhaps to this population that we must look for the origin of the more detailed and imaginative notions of the life of the dead. Of the Greeks in this matter I have not space here to speak, nor am I competent to do so. But the conviction is steadily gaining ground that in early Rome we have to recognise the existence of two races; whether the older of these was Ligurian, as Prof. Ridgeway thinks, or primitive Latin, i.e. old Italic, as Binder believes, does not matter for our present purpose;855 nor are the arguments drawn from religion which these writers have used at all convincing to my intelligence. But they have not noticed what is to me a really valid argument, viz. the double festival of the dead in the calendar of Numa. In February we find the cheerful and orderly festival of the Parentalia, the yearly renewal of the seemly rite of burial; in May, on the other hand, the student of the calendar is astonished to find three several days called Lemuria, the rites belonging to which are never mentioned, except where Ovid treats us to a grotesque account of the driving out of ancestral spirits from the house.856 No one doubts, I think, that the Lemuria represents an older stratum of thought about the dead than the other festival,857 but no one, so far as I know, has ventured to claim the Lemures and their three days as belonging to the religion of the more primitive race. If I make this suggestion now, it must be taken as a hypothesis only, but as a hypothesis it can at least do no harm. If I am asked why Lemuria should have been admitted into the patrician calendar, I answer that I have long held that a few of the non-patrician religious customs were absorbed into the religion of the city of the four regions, the Lupercalia, for example;858 and 394nothing could be more likely than that the old barbarous ideas about the dead should win this amount of respect, seeing that by the limitation to three days in the year order and decency might be brought into their service. I may repeat, with a slight addition, what I wrote ten years ago about these two Roman festivals of the dead: "If we compare Ovid's account of the grotesque domestic rites of the Lemuria with those of February, which were of a systematic, cheerful, and even beautiful character, we may feel fairly sure that the latter represent the organised life of a City-state, the former the ideas of an age when life was wilder and less secure, and the fear of the dead, of ghosts and demons, was a powerful factor in the minds of the people. If we may argue from Ovid's account, it is not impossible that the Lemuria may have been one of those periodical expulsions of demons of which we hear so much in the Golden Bough, and which are performed on behalf of the community as well as in the domestic circle among savage peoples. It is noticeable that the offering of food to the demons is a feature common to these practices, and that it also appears in those described by Ovid."859 To this I should now add the suggestion above made, that the Lemuria represents the ideas of the older race that occupied the site of Rome, while the Parentalia is originally the festival of the patrician immigrants.
But what has all this to do with the eschatology which Lucretius attributes to the common people at Rome in his own day? Simply this, that the ideas at the root of the Lemuria may well have provided the raw material for such an eschatology, while those at the root of the Parentalia could not have done this. Dr. Westermarck has recently shown that primitive religions do spontaneously generate the idea of moral retribution after death, e.g. the notion that the souls of bad people may reappear as evil spirits or obnoxious animals.860 We have no proof whatever of the existence of such notions at Rome; but I contend that the permanence of this type 395of belief about the dead which is represented by the Lemuria—a permanence which is attested by Ovid's description—raises a presumption that the lower stratum of the Roman population, if the chance were given it, would the more readily understand the pictures of Etruscan artists and the allusions of Greek playwrights, and the more easily become the prey of the eschatological horrors which Lucretius describes as terrifying them. The material was there from the earliest times, and all that was needed was for Greeks and Etruscans to work upon it.
Before leaving this point it may be worth while to remember that though the well-to-do and educated classes cremated their dead, the poor of the crowded city population of the period I am now dealing with enjoyed no such orderly and cleanly funeral rites. The literary evidence is explicit on this point, and has been confirmed by modern excavation on the Esquiline, where we know from Varro and Horace that the poor and the slaves were thrown en masse into puticuli, i.e. holes where it was impossible that any memorial ceremonies could be kept up.861 Horace's lines are familiar (Sat. 8. 8):
huc prius angustis eiecta cadavera cellis
conservus vili portanda locabat in arca.
hoc miserae plebi stabat commune sepulcrum, etc.
It is dangerous to be too confident about the effect on the religious imagination of different ways of dealing with the dead; but it is at least not improbable that any inherited tendency to believe in a miserable future for the soul would be confirmed and maintained by so miserable a fate for the body. The mass of the population had little chance of ridding itself of eschatological superstition.
Thus I am inclined to come to Dr. Masson's conclusion, though on somewhat different grounds. I think it quite possible that the uneducated in the age of the poet may have really been inoculated with these ideas of cruel retribution, and that in many cases this may have 396resulted in despair or at least discomfort. Only we must remember that in a great city like Rome, as in Paris or London to-day, both the miseries and the enjoyments of life would tend to accustom the minds of the lower strata to consider the present rather than the future; the necessities and pleasures of the moment are with them the only material of thought. Neither comfort nor remonstrance could reach them from pulpit or from missioner; neither fear nor hope could largely enter into their lives. In fact I half suspect that most of them were, after all, so long as they were healthy and active, much what Lucretius would have them be—free from all religious scruple; but, alas, utterly destitute of the intellectual support which he claimed from the study of philosophy. We can well understand how it was among the lower population of the great cities that early Christianity found its chance. They had no education or philosophy to stand between them and the gospel of redemption.
I must say one word about another kind of transcendentalism which was pushing its way into favour in Roman society at this time—I mean astrology. One may call it transcendental because it was based, in its original home in the East, on a mystical notion of sympathy between the phenomena of the starry heavens and the phenomena of human life;862 and that this notion was carefully inculcated by those who taught the "science" at Rome is shown by the long and wearisome poem on astrology written by Manilius in the succeeding age. But it is not likely that this form of mysticism had become really popular before the period of the Empire, and in any case it can hardly be called a part of Roman religious experience. I only mention it here as helping to illustrate the way in which men's minds were now beginning to turn with interest to speculations altogether beyond the range of that practical ethical philosophy which was natural and congenial to the Roman, altogether beyond the horizon of man's daily prospect in this world. The growing interest in Fortuna, 397both as natural force and deity, which became intense under the Empire, is another indication of the same tendency.863
As soon as Rome had come into close contact with Greece, which had long before been overrun by the eastern astrology—by the Chaldaeans or mathematici, as they are so often called—these experts began to appear also in Italy. We first hear of them from old Cato, who advises that the steward of an estate should be strictly forbidden to consult Chaldaei, harioli, haruspices, and such gentry.864 In 139 B.C.—a year in which there happened to be in Rome an embassy from Simon Maccabaeus—Chaldaeans were ordered to leave Rome and Italy within ten days; but I think there is some evidence that these were really Jews who were trying to propagate their own religion.865 For some time we hear nothing more of these intruders; but they probably gained ground again in the course of the Mithridatic wars, which were responsible for the introduction of much Oriental religion into Italy. They are mentioned in 87, together with θῦται and Sibyllistae, as persuading the ill-fated Octavius to remain in Rome to meet his death, as it turned out, at the hands of the Marians.866 But no Roman seems to have taken up astrology as a quasi-scientific study till that Nigidius, of whom I have already said a word, was persuaded thus to waste his time and brains. He is said to have foretold the greatness of Augustus at his birth in 63 B.C.;867 and from this time forward the taking of horoscopes or genethliaca became a favourite pursuit at Rome—unfortunately for the people of Europe, who caught the infection and kept it endemic for at least fifteen centuries.
Astrology is in no sense religion, and I must leave it with these few remarks. It represents the individual and his personal interests, not even the advantage of the community, and it was for this reason that the Chaldaei were disliked by the Roman government. The individual is not satisfied with legitimate Roman means of divination; he is employing illegitimate ways when he entrusts himself 398to these Orientals, who, most of them doubtless, well deserved the scathing contempt which Tacitus has contrived to put into six words: "Genus hominum potentibus infidum, sperantibus fallax," adding, with no less contempt for the Roman authorities who had to deal with them, that they will always be forbidden, and always will be found at Rome.868
NOTES TO LECTURE XVII
804 For the Pythagoreanism of the Neo-platonic movement in the third century A.D. consult Bussell, Marcus Aurelius and the Later Stoics (Edin. 1910), p. 30 foll., who explains the reaction from Stoicism to Neo-Platonism. See also Caird, Gifford Lectures, ii. 162 foll.
805 Schmekel, Die mittlere Stoa, p. 403, says that it had ceased to exist for centuries as a philosophy, but cautiously adds in a note that the knowledge of it was not extinct. The famous Orphic tablets from South Italy are taken as dating from the third and fourth centuries B.C., and if not actually Pythagorean, they are next door to being so. See Miss Harrison, Prolegomena to the Study of Greek Religion, p. 660.
806 Tusc. Disp. i. 38.
807 See, e.g., Prof. Taylor's little book on Plato (Constable), p. 11.
808 See above, p. 349.
809 Sextus Empiricus, adv. Physicos, ii. 281 foll.
810 For the devotion of the believers to the founder and his ipse dixit, see Cicero, Nat. Deor. i. 5. 10.
811 The relation of Posidonius to Roman literature has been much discussed of late. See, e.g., Norden, Virgil, Aen. vi., index, s.v. "Stoa"; Schmekel, Die mittlere Stoa, 85 foll., 238 foll.
812 For Panaetius' enthusiasm for Plato and his teaching, see Cic. Tusc. Disp. i. 32. 79; the whole passage indicates, though it does not exactly prove, an approach to the Platonic psychology.
813 Caird, Gifford Lectures, vol. ii. p. 85.
814 See above, p. 75. The idea that the practice of cremation influenced the ideas of the Roman about the soul was first, I think, suggested by Boissier, Religion romaine, i. 310. Cicero himself hints at this conclusion in Tusc. Disp. i. 16. 36: "In terram enim cadentibus corporibus, hisque humo tectis, e quo dictum est humari, sub terra censebant reliquam vitam agi mortuorum. Quam eorum opinionem magni errores consecuti sunt; quos auxerunt poetae."
815 This point is well put by Dill, p. 493 of Roman Society from Nero to Marcus Aurelius. See also Dieterich, Eine Mithras-Liturgie, p. 200 fol.; Stewart, Myths of Plato, 352-53.
816399 Schmekel, Die mittlere Stoa, p. 400 foll.
817 De Rep. vi. 26.
818 Ib. The word providet reminds us that this transcendental philosophy supplied the later Stoics with an explanation of divination. See Bouché-Leclercq, Hist. de divination, i. 68; Dill, op. cit. p. 439; Seneca, Nat. Quaest. ii. 52, fully accepted divination. Cp. Cic. Tusc. Disp. i. 37. 66, where he quotes his own Consolatio; see above, p. 388. Panaetius, however, had courageously denied divination: Cic. Div. i. 3. 6; Zeller, Stoics, etc., p. 352.
819 De Rep. vi. 15, 26, and 29.
820 Tusc. Disp. i. 16. 36 foll. On the whole subject of the rise of the soul after death see Dieterich, Eine Mithras-Liturgie, p. 179 foll.
821 Schmekel, op. cit. p. 438; Stewart, Myths of Plato, p. 300.
822 For Nigidius, see Schanz, Gesch. der röm. Literatur (ed. 2), vol. ii. p. 419 foll.
823 "Nigidius Figulus Pythagoreus et magus in exilio moritur" is the notice of him in St. Jerome's Chronicle for the year 45 B.C.
824 These letters are in the 12th book of those to Atticus, Nos. 12-40.
825 Ad Att. xii. 36. The translation is Shuckburgh's.
826 A good example is Virg. Aen. viii. 349, but it is needless to multiply instances of the religio loci. Serv. ad Aen. i. 314 defines lucus as "arborum multitudo cum religione."
827 Ad Att. xii. 36; cp. 35. He uses the Greek word ἀποθἑωσιϛ in 35. 1, which seems to have come into use in his own time; see Liddell & Scott, s.v.
828 See above, p. 58.
829 Aen. vi. 743. The meaning of these words seems to be quite plain, though commentators have worried themselves over them from Servius downwards. The mistake has been in not sufficiently considering the force of quisque, and puzzling too much over the vague word Manes. Henry discerned the true meaning in our own time. See his Aeneidea, vol. iii. p. 397. Cp. the words quoted above from Somn. Scip.: "mens cuiusque is est quisque." M. S. Reinach (Cultes, etc. ii. 135 foll.) is not far out: "Nous souffrons chacun suivant le degré de souillure de nos âmes."
830 C.I.L. i. 639, with Mommsen's note.
831 See R.F. p. 308.
832 Tusc. Disp. i. 12. 27. For the "ius Manium," de Legibus, ii. 22 and 54 foll.
833 Ad Att. xii. 18: "Longum illud tempus cum non ero magis me movet quam hoc exiguum," etc. Cp. Tusc. i. ad fin.
834 Ad Fam. iv. 5. 6: "Quod si quis apud inferos sensus est, qui illius in te amor fuit pietasque in omnes suos, hoc certe illa te facere nonvult."
835 Sall. Cat. ch. 51: "Mortem cuncta mortalium dissolvere, 400ultra neque curae neque gaudio locum esse." This is the Epicurean doctrine, which Caesar was said to hold.
836 Catull. 5. 6; Pliny, N.H. vii. 188. The whole passage is worth quoting: "Post sepulturam vanae Manium ambages. Omnibus a supremo die eadem quae ante primum, nec magis a morte sensus ullus aut corpori aut animae quam ante natalem. Eadem enim vanitas in futurum etiam se propagat et in mortis quoque tempora sibi vitam mentitur, alias immortalitatem animae, alias transfigurationem, alias sensum inferis dando et Manes colendo deumque faciendo qui iam etiam homo esse desierit, ceu vero ullo modo spirandi ratio ceteris animalibus praestet, aut non diuturniora in vita multa reperiantur quibus nemo similem divinat immortalitatem," etc.
837 There is an essay on this form of literature in the Études morales sur l'antiquité of Constant Martha, p. 135 foll.
838 Tusc. Disp. i. 27. 66.
839 Lact. Inst. i. 15. 20.
840 Lact. iii. 18.
841 See Schanz, Gesch. der röm. Literatur, vol. ii. p. 376.
842 Fragments 54 and 55.
843 P. 158 foll.
844 Lucr. vi. 764 foll. Cp. iii. 966 foll.; Masson, Lucretius, i. p. 402. Mr. Cyril Bailey also reminds me of Lucr. iii. 31-93, and 1053 to end; and adds a decided opinion that the poet is not here thinking of the common Roman, but of the educated Roman brought up on Greek and Graeco-Roman poetry and philosophy.
845 Polyb. vi. 56.
846 Tusc. i. 46. 111.
847 See Roscher's Myth. Lex. s.v. "Orcus"; Wissowa, R.K. p. 192.
848 See above, p. 107.
849 Müller-Deecke, Etrusker, ii. 108 foll. Illustrations can be seen in Dennis, Cities and Cemeteries of Etruria, ed. 2.
850 Captivi, v. 4. 1.
851 La Religion romaine d'Auguste aux Antonins, vol. i. p. 310.
852 Cic. Tusc. i. 16. 37. For the eschatology of the sixth Aeneid, a curious mélange of religion, philosophy, and folklore, see Norden's work on Virgil, Aeneid, vi. (index, p. 468). Norden believes, I may note, that the philosophical and religious elements in it are mainly derived from Posidonius. Cp. also Glover, Studies in Virgil, ch. x. (Hades). For popular beliefs in Hades, etc., under the Empire, see Friedländer's Sittengeschichte, vol. iii. last chapter.
853 Weil, Études sur l'antiquité grecque, p. 12, quoted by Glover, p. 218.
854 See above, p. 105.
855 Since this lecture was written a most interesting discussion of Greek ideas, Achaean and Pelasgic, about the relation of soul and body after death, has appeared in Mr. Lawson's Modern Greek Folklore 401and Ancient Greek Religion, especially in chapters v. and vi., confirming me, to some extent at least, in the conjecture I had here hazarded. The working of the imagination in regard to a future state is in Greece, in his view, peculiar to the older or Pelasgic population; and if the Etruscans were of Pelasgic stock, as is now believed by many, their imaginative grotesqueness, a degraded form perhaps of the original characteristic, acting on the ideas of a still more primitive population of which the Lemuria is a survival, might explain the later prevalence of a gruesome eschatology at Rome. But whoever studies Mr. Lawson's chapters closely will find serious difficulties in the way even of such a hypothesis as this.
856 Ovid, Fasti, v. 430 foll.; R.F. p. 109. Wissowa, R.K. p. 192, attributes the ideas of larvae (ghosts) and of Orcus, not to religion, but to popular superstition. If he here means by religion the State religion and the Parentalia in particular, I can agree with him.
857 Dr. Carter allows this in Hastings' Dict. of Religion and Ethics, vol. i. (Roman section of article "Ancestor Worship.")
858 See R.F. p. 334.
859 R.F. p. 107.
860 Origin and Development of Moral Ideas, ii. 693 foll.
861 Varro, L.L. v. 25; Paulus p. 216; Hülsen-Jordan, Röm. Topogr. iii. p. 268 foll. The remains of these puticuli were unluckily very imperfectly reported, and have been lost in the building of the Rome of to-day. On the question of the religious aspect of the two ways of disposing of the dead, burial and cremation, it is as well to remember Dieterich's warning in Mutter Erde, p. 66, note: "den Versuch, aus der Verbreitung und dem Wechsel der Sitte des Verbrennens und Begrabens für meine Untersuchung Schlüsse zu gewinnen, habe ichvöllig aufgegeben, als ich angesichts der ungeheueren Materialen meines Kollegen von Duhn die Unmöglicheit solcher Schlüsse einsehen musste." In Mr. Lawson's book quoted above it seems to me to be proved that the object of both methods is the same, viz. to destroy the body as quickly as possible in order to prevent the soul from re-entering it and annoying the survivors.
862 This is well explained by Cumont in his Religions orientales dans le paganisme romain, p. 196 foll., following Bouché-Leclercq's work on astrology in Greece. Cumont thinks that astrology took over the business of the augurs and haruspices, which was now dropped, and this is true in the main as regards the individual, but not as regards the State; see above, p. 308 foll.
863 For Fortuna in the writings of Caesar, etc., see Classical Review, vol. xvii. p. 153. The locus classicus for Fortuna as a deity under the early empire is Pliny, N.H. ii. 22.
864 Cato, R.R. ch. v. 4.
865 Val. Max. i. 3. 2, who no doubt was following Livy; for in the Epitomes of some lost books of Livy discovered at Oxyrrhyncus 402by Grenfell and Hunt (Oxyrrh. Papyri, vol. iv. p. 101), the same fact is alluded to. For the embassy, Maccab. i. 14. 24; xv. 15-24. Two extracts from the text of Valerius, which is here lost, both state that proselytising Jews were at this time driven from Rome; the Jupiter Sabazius, whose cult they were propagating, can hardly be other than that of Jehovah; see Schürer, Jewish People in the Time of Christ, pt. ii. vol. ii. p. 233 of the English translation. The expulsion of Chaldaei may, however, have been a separate measure of the praetor Hispalus.
866 Plutarch, Marius, 42.
867 Suet. Aug. 1. I have seen a learned work about a century old, now entirely forgotten, in which it is maintained that Virgil's fourth Eclogue is simply a genethliacon of Augustus; the arguments, which are ingenious but futile, are drawn from the poem of Manilius.
868 Tacitus, Hist. i. 22.
RELIGIOUS FEELING IN THE POEMS OF VIRGIL
My justification for devoting a whole lecture to Virgil must be that this great poet, more warmly and sympathetically than any other Latin author, gives expression to the best religious feeling of the Roman mind. And this is so not only in regard to the tendencies of religion in his own day; he stands apart from all his literary contemporaries in that he sums up the past of Roman religious experience, reflects that of his own time, and also looks forward into the future. No other poet, no historian, not even Livy, who sprang from the same region and in his tone and spirit in some ways resembles Virgil, has the same broad outlook, the same tender interest in religious antiquity, the same all-embracing sympathy for the Roman world he knew, and the same confident and cheerful hope for its future. Each of the Augustan poets—Horace, Ovid, Propertius, Tibullus—has his own peculiar gift and charm; but those who know Virgil through and through will at once acknowledge the difference between these and the man possessed of spiritual insight. They are helpful in various ways to the student of Roman religion, and Tibullus especially has a simple reverence for the old religion which has inspired a few exquisite descriptions of this aspect of Italian life. But, if I may use the word, they had no mission; they were true poets, yet not poets of the prophetic order; they had not thought deeply and reached conviction, like Lucretius and Virgil. A few words from the conclusion of an 404Edinburgh professor's admirable work on Virgil will sufficiently express what I mean. "His religious belief," says Sellar, "like his other speculative convictions, was composite and undefined; yet it embraced what was purest and most vital in the religions of antiquity, and in its deepest intuitions it seems to look forward to the belief which became dominant in Rome four centuries later."869 In fact, Virgil gathers up what was valuable in the past of Rome and adds to it a new element, a new source of life and hope. It was this that made it possible for a great French critic to assert that for those who have read Virgil there is nothing astonishing in Christianity.870 Let us try and realise what these writers mean. The Scotsman is sober and earnest, the Frenchman epigrammatically exaggerating; but the feeling that underlies both utterances is a true one.
We have traced the gradual paralysis of the secularised State religion. We have glanced at the two types of philosophical thought which took the place of that religion in the minds of the cultivated section of Roman society, neither of which could adequately supply the Roman and Italian mind with an expression of its own natural feeling, never wholly extinct, of its relation to the Power manifesting itself in the universe. Stoicism came near to doing what was needed, by rehabilitating itself on Italian soil and indulging Roman preconceptions of the divine; but it could not greatly affect the mass of men, and its appeal was not to feeling, but to reason. Epicurism, though perhaps more popular, was in reality more in conflict with what was best in the Italian nature, and the passionate appeal of Lucretius to look for comfort to a scientific knowledge of the rerum natura had no enduring power to cheer. Lastly, we have examined the tendency of the same age towards mysticism and Cicero's doubting and embarrassed expression of it, and we found that this tendency rather illustrates a sense of something wanting than hopefully satisfies it. We may well feel ourselves, now we have arrived at the close of the Republican era, just as the best men of that 405day felt, that there is something wanting. In their minds this feeling almost amounted to despair; in ours, as we read the story of the troublous time after the death of Caesar, it is pity and wonder. There was, in fact, more than a sense of weariness and discomfort, moral and material, in the Roman mind of that generation—there was also what we may almost call a sense of sin, such a feeling, though doubtless less real and intense, as that which their prophets, from time to time, awoke in the Jewish people, and one not unknown in the history of Hellas. It was essentially a feeling of neglected duty—of neglected duty to the Power and of goodwill wanting towards men. Lucretius had been unconsciously a powerful witness to this feeling, but had not found the remedy. In the early Augustan age it is again expressed by Horace, by Sallust, and more deeply and truly in the beautiful preface to Livy's History.871 Livy there says that he devoted himself to the early annals of Rome that he might shut his eyes to the evils of his own time—"tempora quibus nec vitia nostra nec remedia pati possumus."
This something wanting was then a feeling, a religio, if we can venture to use the old word once more in the sense which I have so often attributed to it. Not an unreasonable or ungovernable feeling, not a superstitio, but a feeling of happy dependence on a higher Power, and a desire to conform to His will in all the relations of human life. This is the kind of feeling that had always lain at the root of the Roman pietas, the sense of duty to family and State, and to the deities who protected them. In the jarring of factions, the cruelty and bloodshed of tyrants, and the luxurious self-indulgence of the last two generations, the voice of pietas had been silenced, the better instincts of humanity had gone down. We have to see what was done by our poet to awake that voice again and to put fresh life into those instincts. Only let us remember that more permanent good is done in this world by a beautiful nature giving itself its natural expression, than by precept or denunciation; and beware of 406attributing to Virgil more direct consciousness of his mission than he really felt. It is the nature of the man that is of value to us in our studies, as it was to the Romans in their despair, a nature ruled by sweet, calm feeling, full of sympathy and full of hope.
The something wanting in others which we find in Virgil only, or in him more convincingly felt and more resonantly expressed, is a kindly and hopeful outlook on the world, with a deep and real sympathy for all sorrow and pain. It is not the result of any definite religious conviction; it is in the nature of the man, and is of the very fibre of his being; but it made him a better religious teacher than the rest, just because real religion is not a matter of reason only, or of convention, or of art, but of feeling. This was the true antidote to despair or depression—a sympathy with man in all he does or suffers, not an indignant cry of remonstrance like that of Lucretius. Virgil's sympathetic outlook includes not only Man, but the animal world, and there can be no better proof that his feeling was genuine. The nightingale robbed of her young,872
quem durus arator
observans nido implumes detraxit: at illa
flet noctem, ramoque sedens miserabile carmen
integrat et maestis late loca questibus implet;
the cattle smitten by the plague,873 the migrating birds coming in from the sea,874 and many another tender touch, all show us the feeling of which I am speaking; for he who could so feel towards animals must needs have a soul of pity for man. So, too, with the inanimate nature of Italy; the land in which Virgil's shepherds and husbandmen live and work is one full of such detailed loveliness as might suggest a beneficent Power presiding over it all, inviting man to lift up his heart in gratitude or prayer. As Sellar has well remarked,875 the sense of natural beauty is in the Georgics intertwined with the toil of man, raising, as it were, the toiler to a higher level of humanity as he lifts his eyes from his work. And this natural beauty is 407made real for the reader by the life and force that everywhere pervades it; all nature is alive and full of feeling; the fruit trees, for example, in the second Georgic seem instinct with an almost human life.876 The moment this comes home to us we see how it harmonises with all we have learnt of the old Italian conception of the divine, of the forceful numina working for man's benefit if properly propitiated. And even when Virgil is using the language of the Stoics to explain the life of nature, we feel that behind the philosophical theory there lies this feeling of the Italian:
deum namque ire per omnes
terrasque tractusque maris caelumque profundum:
hinc pecudes, armenta, viros, genus omne ferarum.877
This is the religious spirit of the Georgics; the divine forces are everywhere, and a man must submit himself to them and seek their aid. He finds his true resource rather in prayer than in philosophy, his part in the world is "laborare et orare." The hard lot of the Hesiodic labourer is not that of the agricola of the Georgics, who carries on his campaign of toil with a cheerful heart and a clear conscience, for he is in right relation with the Power manifesting itself in the life around him.
This, then, so far as I can describe it without going too far into detail, is the feeling, the religio, which was needed in the Italy of that day. We may, perhaps, venture to compare its revival in the work of Virgil with the return to nature in the English poetry of a century ago, which also brought with it a revival of religious fervency. Though Virgil and Wordsworth are in many ways as unlike as two poets can be, they are alike in the possession of that gentle and trustful outlook on the world of nature which stimulates the mind to think of itself in its relation to the Power. We do not need to analyse the process or to put it into any logical shape; we may rest content with it as a fact in the history of Roman religious experience.
In Virgil's case, as in Wordsworth's, this feeling had 408the effect of reconciling the poet's mind to the old forms of religious worship. Reconcile is, perhaps, hardly the right word; we may doubt whether he had ever quarrelled with them. As he believed in the Power and its manifestations, so too he believed in the traditional modes of propitiating it, not asking himself the raison d'être of this or that ceremony, still less looking on them with pity and contempt, like Lucretius, but accepting them in his broad humanity as part of the life and thought of man in Italy.
fortunatus et ille Deos qui novit agrestes.878
Let us mark the word novit. The husbandman has come to recognise these emanations of the Power and to know them as friends; the word could not have been used of malignant spirits. As I said in an early lecture, man advances in his knowledge of the Power as he advances in civilisation. So the rural rites have a claim on his sympathy no less than the men who performed them; he knew them in their detail, and he knew them in the spirit which animated them. He must have studied them in detail, and not only the rural cults, but those of the city too; every gesture in worship has an interest for him, and so great is our respect for his accuracy that we accept what he tells us even if we cannot explain it.879 His careful learning in all these details has been the means of preserving for us large sources of knowledge; for Servius, Macrobius, and other commentators accumulated stores of it in endeavouring to interpret him.
Now, this is not mere antiquarianism in Virgil, any more than is the detail of old life which abounds in Scott's poems and novels. These two men had the same wide, 409sympathetic outlook on the world. Scott was interested in everything and everybody, whether living or dead long ago, and in all they did; and I think we may say the same of Virgil, though he is said to have been rather reserved and shy than genial and talkative like Scott. Virgil's mind was not so much "curious," I think, as sympathetic, and his delight in these religious details arises from his love of Italy and all that man did in it. He caught the spirit of the old Italian worship, which, as we saw, demanded that each act should be performed accurately according to rules laid down. He recognises the necessity, and with true Italian instinct he acts upon it as he writes. He knows that these acts of cult are one outward expression of that quality which had made Rome great—pietas, the sense of duty to family, State, and Deity.
So far I have been considering what I may call the psychological basis of Virgil's religion—the man's sympathetic nature and wide outlook, which included in its love of Italy even the old practical worship of Italians. I have now to go on to the poet's greatest work, in which the idea of duty was not merely recognised in religious acts but exemplified in an ideal Roman. It is mainly in the Aeneid that we see him looking forward as well as backward, for it is there that we have the chart of the Roman's duty drawn to the scale of his past history, and meant to guide him in the future in still more glorious travel.
There are two ways in which we may contemplate the Aeneid as a whole and the teaching it offered the Roman of that day. We may think of it (if I may for a moment use musical language) as a great fugue, of which the leading subject is the mission of Rome in the world. Providence, Divine will, the Reason of the Stoics, or, in the poetical setting of the poem, Jupiter, the great protecting Roman deity, with the Fates behind him somewhat vaguely conceived,880 had guided the State to greatness and empire from its infancy onwards, and the citizens of that State must be worthy of that destiny if they were to carry out the great work. This mighty theme pervades the whole poem and, like the subject of a fugue, enters and re-enters from time to time in thrilling tones. It is given out in the prophecy put into the mouth of Jupiter himself at the beginning of the first book; it is heard 410in still more magnificent music from the shade of old Anchises in the last moments of the hero's visit to Hades in the sixth book, and again in the description of the shield which Venus gives her son.881 Though the poem is unequal and some parts of it are left without the final touches, yet whenever the poet comes upon this great theme the tone is that of a full organ. This is, I think, apart from those exquisite beauties of detail which are for those only who have been initiated in the Virgilian mysteries, what chiefly moves the modern reader of Virgil. There are drawbacks which, for us moderns at least, detract from the general effect: the intervention of gods and goddesses after the Homeric manner, but without the charm of Homer; the seeming want of warm human blood in the hero; the stern decrees of Fate overruling human passions and interests; but he who keeps the great theme ever in mind, watching for it as he reads, as one watches for the new entry of a great fugue-subject, will never fail to see in the Aeneid one of the noblest efforts of human art—to understand what makes it the world's second great epic.
But this great destiny of Rome has been accomplished by the service of man; by his loyalty, self-sacrifice, and sense of duty; by that quality known to the Romans as pietas; and the second lesson or reminder of the Aeneid lies in the exemplification of this truth in the person and character of the hero. We moderns find it hard to interest ourselves in the character of Aeneas. But as Prof. Nettleship remarked long ago,882 a Roman reader would not have thought him dull or uninteresting; if that had been so, the poem could hardly have become popular from the moment of its publication. I am inclined to think that the development of the character of Aeneas under stress of perils, moral and material, was much more obvious to the Roman than it is to us, and much more keenly appreciated. For him it was the chief lesson of the poem, which makes it as it were a "whole duty of the Roman"; and as this lesson is really a part of Roman 411religious experience I am going to occupy the rest of this lecture with it.
The development of the character of Aeneas, under the influence of perils and temptations through which he is guided by Jupiter and the Fates, is not a subject which has received much attention from modern criticism.883 Yet to me, at least, it would be surprising if the leading character of the poem were, so to speak, a statue once and for all conceived and executed by the artist, instead of a human being subjected to various experiences which work upon his character as well as his career. There were circumstances in Virgil's time which made it natural that a poet of a serious and philosophical turn of mind should be interested in the development of character and make it part of his great subject. We have more than once had occasion to notice the growth of individualism in the last two centuries B.C. Beyond doubt personal character had a great interest at this time for thinking men, apart from its development; the world was ruled by individuals, and at no time has so much depended on the disposition of individuals. Men had long begun to take themselves very seriously, and to write their own biographies. So entirely had the individual emancipated himself from the State, that he had almost forgotten that the State existed and claimed his pietas; he worked and played for his own ends.884 Even the armies of that melancholy age were known and thought of, not as the servants of the State, but as Sullani, Pompeiani, and so on. This almost arrogant self-assertion of the individual was a fact of the time, and could not be suppressed entirely; it was henceforward impossible to return to the old times when the State was all in all and the individual counted for little.
But in the Aeneid, if I am not mistaken, there is an almost perfect balance between the two conflicting interests. The State is the pivot on which turns all that is best in individual human character; in other words, Aeneas is not playing his own game, but fulfilling the 412order of destiny which was to bring the world under Roman dominion. Individualism of the wrong type, that of Dido, Turnus, Mezentius, has to be escaped or overcome by the hero, for whom the call of duty is that of the State to be; but, all the same, the hero is an individual, and one conceived not merely as a type or a force. True, he is typical of Roman pietas, and bears his constant epithet accordingly; but if we look at him carefully we shall see that his pietas is at first imperfect, and that his individualism has to be tamed and brought into the service of the State with the help of the State's deities. This is what makes the Aeneid a religious poem; the character of Aeneas is pivoted on religion; religion is the one sanction of his conduct. There is no appeal in the Aeneid to knowledge, or reason, or pleasure,—always to the will of God. Pietas is Virgil's word for religion, as it had been Cicero's in his more exalted moments. In the Dream of Scipio we read that "piis omnibus retinendus est animus in custodia corporis: nec iniussu eius a quo ille est vobis datus, ex hominum vita migrandum est, ne munus humanum adsignatum a deo defugisse videamini."885 In these words, as is shown by those that follow, the munus hominum is exactly what it is in the Aeneid, duty to Man and the State, and as it is laid down for man by God, it is also duty to Him. The State finds its perfection in the individual so long as he thus fulfills the will of God.886
Let us now go on to watch Aeneas as he gradually develops this perfect balance of motive.
Aeneas is marked at the very outset of the poem as "insignem pietate virum"; the key-note of his character is sounded here at once with skill, and the key thus suggested (to use musical metaphor once more) is maintained steadily throughout it. The quality demanded by the gods from every true Roman who would take his part in carrying out the divine mission of Rome must be emphasised in the ideal Roman. Yet, as we read on, we soon discover that Aeneas was by no means as yet 413a perfect character. It can hardly be by accident that the poet has described him as yielding to despair and bewailing his fate on the first approach of danger—forgetting the mission before him and the destiny driving him on, and wishing that he were lying dead with Hector under the walls of Troy (i. 92 foll.). It would have been easy enough for Virgil to have taken up at once the heroic vein in the man, as it was left him by Homer,887 and to have made him urge his men to bestir themselves or to yield bravely to fate. And this is precisely what Aeneas does when the storm is over and the danger past (198 foll.); yet even then he is not whole-hearted about it:
talia voce refert, curisque ingentibus aeger
spem voltu simulat, premit alto corde dolorem.
At the very moment, that is, when he expresses his belief in his destiny and the duty of making for Italy, he still has misgivings, though he dare not express them.
Heinze has remarked888 that before this, at the sack of Troy, he had shown a want of self-control, and yielded to a mad passion of desperate fighting that is not to be found in the Aeneas of the last six books (ii. 314 foll.):
arma amens capio nec sat rationis in armis.
Furor and ira drive him headlong; we are reminded of the mad fury of Mezentius or Turnus.
Again, after the death of Priam Venus has to remind him of his duty to his father, wife, and son (ii. 594 foll.), reproaching him for his loss of sanity and self-control:
nate, quis indomitas tantus dolor excitat iras?
quid furis, aut quonam nostri tibi cura recessit?
non prius aspicies ubi fessum aetate parentem
liqueris Anchisen, superet coniunxne Creusa
During the wanderings narrated in the third book it is Anchises who leads, and who receives and interprets the divine warnings; he seems to be the guardian and guide of his son: to that son he is "omnis curae casusque levamen" (iii. 709), and he is "felix nati pietate" (iii. 480). 414He is, in fact, the typical Roman father, who, unlike Homer's Laertes, maintains his activity and authority to the end of his life, and to whom even the grown-up son, himself a father, owes reverence and obedience. As Boissier has pointed out,890 the death of Anchises is postponed in the story as long as possible, and it is only after his death that Aeneas is exposed to a really dangerous temptation; it is immediately after this event that, as we saw, he loses heart at the first storm, and then, on landing in Africa, falls a victim for the moment to the queenly charms of Dido. We may notice that up to this point his pietas has been a limited one, hardly called upon for exercise beyond the bounds of family life and duty; when he is himself at the head, not only of the family, but, so to speak, of the State, it has to take a wider range, and to be put to a severe test.
To all that has at different times been written about Virgil's treatment of the Dido legend I must venture here to add another word. Heinze has shown891 that no certain origin can be discovered for the form of the story as Virgil tells it; it may have been Naevius who first took Aeneas to Sicily, but we do not know whether he or any successor of his invented the essential point of Virgil's story,—the suicide of Dido as a consequence of her desertion by Aeneas.892 In any case the question arises, why our poet should have deliberately abandoned the current and popular version, and exposed his hero to such imminent danger of deserting the path which Jupiter and the Fates had marked out for him,—of sacrificing his great mission to the passion of a magnificent woman, and to the prospect of illicit ease and unsanctioned dominion. Heinze is of opinion that Virgil's motive was here a purely artistic one; he wanted an opportunity to introduce the pathetic element into his epic. "There was no lack of models; the latest bloom of Greek poetry had been in nothing more inventive than in dealing with all the phenomena of the passion of love,—its agony, shame, and despair, and the self-immolation of its victims."893 He 415enforces this view with great learning, and all he writes about it is of value; but I must confess that he has not convinced me that this was Virgil's chief motive. He seems to me to leave out of account two important considerations: first, that though the poet drew freely on every available source, Greek and Roman, for the enrichment of his subject and its treatment, yet the whole design and purpose of the Aeneid is Roman and not Greek, and the introduction of a love-story as such would have been foreign to that design, and also to the aims and hopes of Augustus and the best men of the age. Secondly, Heinze seems to forget, like so many others who have written about the Dido episode, that Virgil had before his very eyes facts sufficiently striking, a romance quite sufficiently appalling, to suggest the adoption of the form of the story as we have it in the fourth book. Twice in his own lifetime did a single formidable woman work a baleful spell upon the destinies of the Roman empire. In neither case did the spell take fatal effect; Julius escaped in time from the wiles and the splendour of Cleopatra; Antony failed indeed to escape, but brought himself and her to fortunate ruin. It is to me inexplicable, considering how all Virgil's poems abound with allusions to the events of his time, and with side-glances at the chief agents in them, that neither Heinze nor Norden should have even touched on the possibility that Cleopatra was in the poet's mind when he wrote the fourth book. It is perhaps difficult for one who puts the poem on the dissecting-board, and whose attention is continually absorbed in the investigation of minute points in the fibre of it, to bear in mind the extraordinary events of the poet's lifetime,—the civil war, the murder of Julius, the division of the Roman world, the distraction of Italy, the attempt of Antony, or rather, indeed, of his enslaver, to set up a rival Oriental dominion, and the rescue of Romanism and civilisation by Augustus. Had Lucretius himself lived in that generation, he could hardly have escaped the influence of these appalling facts. Whoever 416will turn to the late Prof. Nettleship's essay on the poetry of Virgil, appended to his Ancient Roman Lives of Virgil,894 can hardly fail to be convinced that on the later poet's mind they had produced a profound impression, the effects of which are traceable throughout the whole mass of his work. His Roman readers, whose state and empire had been brought to the verge of ruin by the exaltation of individual passions and ambitions, would look for these constant allusions and understand them far better than we can.
I maintain, then, that the poet adopted his version of the story of Dido not simply as an affecting and pathetic episode, but (in keeping with his whole design) to emphasise the great lesson of the poem by showing that the growth and glory of the Roman dominion are due, under providence, to Roman virtus and pietas—that sense of duty to family, State, and gods, which rises, in spite of trial and danger, superior to the enticements of individual passion and selfish ease. Aeneas is sorely tried, but he escapes from Dido to perform the will of the gods; it is Jupiter, ruler of the Fates and the Roman destinies, who rescues him, and thus the divine care for Rome, an idea of which Augustus wished to make the most, is carefully preserved in the tale. If for us the character of Aeneas suffers by his desertion of Dido, that is simply because the poet, seized with intense pity for the injured queen, seems for once, like his own hero, to have forgotten his mission in the poem, and at the very moment when he means to show Aeneas performing the noblest act of self-sacrifice, renouncing his individual passion and listening to the stern call of duty, human nature gets the better of him, and what he meant to paint as a noble act has come out on his canvas as a mean one.
In Virgil's story, then, we have in contrast and conflict the opposing principles of duty and pleasure, of patriotism and selfishness, and the victory of the latter in the person of Aeneas by the help of the great god who was the 417guardian of the destinies of Rome, and of the goddess who was the mother of the hero and the reputed progenitor of the Julian family. When once this great trial is over, the way is clear for the accomplishment of Aeneas' mission, though he still has trials to face, and as yet is not fully equipped for meeting them.
Whoever, after reading the stormy scenes of the fourth book, will go straight on to the fifth, cannot but be struck with a change of tone which would have been doubly welcome to a man of that true Roman feeling which Virgil was counting on as well as inculcating throughout his work—doubly welcome, because he would find it not only in the incidents, but in the character of Aeneas. We here leave self and passion behind, and are introduced to scenes where the careful performance of religious and family duties seems to produce ease of mind and the tranquillity that comes of a soothed conscience. For the first time in the poem we meet with a characteristic of that best Roman life which was dear to the heart of Augustus, and with which we may be quite certain that the poet himself was entirely in sympathy. Strange, indeed, it is that this should be the case in a book so wholly based for its externals on Greek poetical traditions; but it is none the less true, and it is a striking example of Virgil's wonderful genius for transforming old things with new light and meaning.895
It is not only then, or even mainly, the traditional necessity of describing games in an epic poem, that is the raison d'être of the fifth book; the object was rather, as I understand it, to gain the needful contrast to the stormy passion of the fourth, and a relief for the mind of the Roman reader before he approached the awful scenery and experiences of the sixth, while at the same time there could be indicated—and for a Roman reader more than indicated—the first beginning of a change in the character of the hero. All this is effected with wonderful skill by making Aeneas perform with detailed carefulness the Roman ritual of the Parentalia as it was known to the 418Romans of the Augustan age. The Parentalia, as I have said elsewhere,896 were not days of terror or ill-omen, but rather days on which the performance of duty was the leading idea in men's minds; that duty was a pleasant and cheerful one, for the dead were still members of the family, and there was nothing to fear from them so long as the living performed their duties towards them under the due regulations of the ius divinum. The ritual indicates the idea of the yearly renewal of the rite of burial, with the propitiation of the departed which was necessary for the welfare of the family; and when the liturgical nine days were over, the living members met together in the Caristia, a kind of love feast of the family, at which all quarrels were to be forgotten, and from which all guilty members were excluded. In families of wealth and distinction in Virgil's time the days of mourning might be followed by games in honour of the departed. Thus a Roman would at once recognise the fact that Aeneas is here presented to us for the first time as a Roman father of a family, discharging the duties essential to the continuance and prosperity of that family with cheerfulness as well as with gravitas; and that his pietas here takes a definite, practical, and truly Roman form, though it is not as yet extended to its full connotation as the performance of duty towards the State and its gods.
All this is quite in keeping with the little touches of characterisation which we can also notice in this book. In the second line Aeneas pursues his way certus, even while he gazes at the flames of Dido's funeral pyre, not knowing what they meant. He presides at the games with the dignity of a Roman magistrate, and reproachingly consoles the beaten Dares with words which seem to reflect his late experience at Carthage (v. 465):
infelix, quae tanta animum dementia cepit?
non vires alias conversaque numina sentis?
When the ships are burnt he does not give way to despair, as in the storm of the first book, but prays for 419help to the omnipotent Jupiter, in whose hand were the destinies of his descendants (v. 687 foll.). But he is not yet perfect in his sense of duty; he feels the blow severely, and for a moment wavers (v. 700 foll.):
... casu concussus acerbo
nunc huc ingentis, nunc illuc pectore curas
mutabat versans, Siculisne resideret arvis
oblitus fatorum, Italasne capesseret oras.
It needs the cheering advice of old Nautes (quicquid erit, superanda omnis fortuna ferendo est), and the appearance of the shade of Anchises, to confirm his wavering will with renewed sense of his mission. This appearance of his father, "omnis curae casusque levamen," with the summons to meet him in Hades, is, as Heinze has seen,897 a turning-point in the fortunes and the character of Aeneas, and prepares us for the final ordeal and initiation which he undergoes in the following book.
I here use the word initiation because I have no doubt that Virgil had in his mind when writing it the Greek idea of initiation into mysteries preparatory to a new life. An actual initiation was, of course, out of the question; on the other hand a catabasis, a descent into Hades, was part of the epic inheritance he derived from Homer, and this, like the funeral games in the fifth book, he might use with an earnestness of purpose wanting in Homer, to work in with the great theme of his poem, not merely as an artistic effort. The purpose here was to make of Aeneas a new man, to regenerate him; to prepare him by mystic enlightenment for the toil, peril, and triumph that await him in the accomplishment of his divine mission. We must not look too closely into the process; it is a strange mélange of popular and philosophic ideas and scenery, made at once intelligible and magnificent by the wonderful resources of the poet; but we may be sure that it has the same general meaning as the visions of Dante long afterwards. As Mr. Tozer has said, Dante's conversion and ultimate salvation were the primary object of his journey through the three realms 420of the spiritual world.898 In this sense it can be called an initiation, an ordeal, a sacrament.
So much has been written about this wonderful book that I do not need to dwell upon it here. I will content myself with pointing out very briefly a fact which struck me when I last read it. The ordeal of preparation is not complete till the very end of the book, when the shade of Anchises has shown his son all the great things to come, the due accomplishment of which depends on his sense of duty, his pietas. Up to that moment Aeneas is always thinking and speaking of the past, while in the last six books he is always looking ahead, absorbed in the work each hour placed before him, and in the prospect of the glory of Rome and Italy. The poet had contrived that his hero should himself narrate the story of the sack of Troy and his subsequent wanderings, and narrate them to the very person who would have made it impossible for him ever again to look forward on the path of duty. Surely this is significant of a moral as well as an artistic purpose; the passionate love of the queen urges her to keep his mind fixed on the past, to engage him in the story of events that concerned himself and not his mission (i. 748):
necnon et vario noctem sermone trahebat
infelix Dido, longumque bibebat amorem
multa super Priamo rogitans, super Hectore multa, etc.
After the shade of Creusa had told him of his destiny, which she was not to share, the past was still in his mind, and he seems to have forgotten the warning; he calls himself an exile (iii. 10):
litora cum patriae lacrimans portusque relinquo
et campos ubi Troia fuit. Feror exsul in altum—
I find an exception after the meeting with Andromache, when he thinks of the future for a moment, but even then half-heartedly as it seems to me, with a very distinct reluctance to face the dangers to come, and with a touching envy of those who could "stay at home at ease" (iii. 493 421foll.). His want of faith in the future is again shown in Book v., in the passage quoted just now; and even in Book vi. he is at first purposely depicted as "slack," as having his attention caught by what is for the moment before him, or with the figures of old friends and enemies whom he meets, until the last awakening revelation of Anchises. Thus no sooner has he landed in Italy than he is attracted by the pictures in the temple of Apollo and incurs a rebuke from the priestess (vi. 37 foll.):
non hoc ista sibi tempus spectacula poscit;
nunc grege de intacto septem mactare iuvencos
so also a little farther on she has to warn him again (50 foll.) at the entrance to the cave:
"cessas in vota precesque,
Tros" ait "Aenea, cessas?"
It may be fancy in me to see even in his prayer which follows a leaning to think of Troy and his past troubles (56 foll.). But I cannot but believe that in this book he is meant to take a last farewell of all who have shared his past fortunes, have helped him or injured him; he meets Palinurus, Dido, Tydeus, Deiphobus, and the rest, and while meditating over these he has once more to be hurried by his guide (538):
sed comes admonuit breviterque adfata Sibylla est:
nox ruit, Aenea, nos flendo ducimus horas.
When Anchises appears the whole tone changes, and his famous words seem to me to show conclusively that hesitation and want of fixed, undeviating purpose had been so far his son's chief failing (806):
et dubitamus adhuc virtutem extendere factis,
aut metus Ausonia prohibet consistere terra?
The father's vision and prophecy are of the future and the great deeds of men to come, and henceforward Aeneas makes no allusion to the past and the figures that peopled it, abandons talk and lamentations, "virtutem extendit 422factis." At the outset of Book vii. we feel the ship moving at once; three lines suffice for the fresh start; Circe is passed unheeded. "Maior rerum mihi nascitur ordo," says the poet in line 43; "maius opus moveo;" for the real subject of the poem is at last reached, and a heroic character by heroic deeds is to lay the foundation of the eternal dominion of Rome.
A very few words shall suffice about the Aeneas of the later books. Let us freely allow that he is not strongly characterised; that for us moderns the interest centres rather in Turnus, who is heroic as an individual, but not as a pioneer of civilisation divinely led; that there is no real heroine, for feminine passion would be here out of place and un-Roman, and the courtship of Lavinia is undertaken, so to speak, for political reasons. The rôle of Aeneas, as the agent of Jupiter in conquest and civilisation, would appeal to a Roman rather than to a modern, and it was reserved for the modern critic to complain of a lack of individual interest in him. So, too, it is in Jewish history; we feel with Esau more than with Jacob, and with David more than with Moses, who is none the less the grandest typical Israelite in the Old Testament. And, indeed, Virgil's theme here is less the development of a character or the portraiture of a hero than the idealisation of the people of the Italy which he loved so well, who needed only a divinely guided leader and civiliser to enter upon the glorious career that was in store for them.
I cannot escape the belief, as I read again through these books, that Virgil did intend to depict in Aeneas his ideal of that Roman character to which the leading writers of his day ascribed the greatness of their race. His pietas is now confirmed and enlarged, it has become a sense of duty to the will of the gods as well as to his father, his son, and his people, and this sense of duty never leaves him, either in his general course of action or in the detail of sacrifice and propitiation. His courage and steadfastness never fail him; he looks ever forward, confident in divine protection; the shield he carries is adorned 423—a wonderful stroke of poetic genius—with scenes of the future, and not of the past (viii. 729 foll.):
talia per clipeum Volcani, dona parentis,
miratur rerumque ignarus imagine gaudet
attollens umero famamque et fata nepotum.
He is never in these books to be found wanting in swiftness and vigilance; when he cheers his comrades it is no longer in a half-hearted way, but as at the beginning of the eleventh book, with the utmost vigour and confidence, "Arma parate, animis et spe praesumite bellum" (xi. 18).
His humanitas again is here more obvious than in his earlier career, and it is plainly meant to be contrasted with the heroic savagery of Mezentius and Turnus. So keenly did the poet feel this development in his hero's character, that in his descriptions of the death of Lausus and the burial of Pallas—noble and beautiful youths whom he loved in imagination as he loved in reality all young things—his tenderness is so touching that even now we can hardly read them without tears. And not only is the hero heroic and humane, but he is a just man and keeps faith; when, in the twelfth book, the Rutulians break the treaty, and his own men have joined in the unjust combat (xii. 311):
at pius Aeneas dextram tendebat inermem
nudato capite atque suos clamore vocabat:
"quo ruitis? quove ista repens discordia surgit?
o cohibete iras; ictum iam foedus et omnes
compositae leges: mihi ius concurrere soli."
He claims for himself alone, under the guiding hand of providence, the right to deal with Turnus, the enemy of humanity and righteousness. And we may note that when it came to that last struggle, though conquering by divine aid, he was ready to spare the life of the conquered till he saw the spoils of the young Pallas upon him.
The character of Aeneas, then, though not painted in such strong light as we moderns might expect or desire, is 424intentionally developed into a heroic type in the course of the story—a type which every Roman would recognise as his own natural ideal. And this growth is the direct result of religious influence. It is partly the result of the hero's own natural pietas, innate within him from the first, as it was in the breast of every noble Roman; partly the result of a gradually enlarged recognition of the will of God, and partly of the strengthening and almost sacramental process of the journey to Hades, of the revelation there made of the mysteries of life and death, and of the great future which Jupiter and the Fates have reserved for the Roman people. In these three influences Virgil has summed up all the best religious factors of his day: the instinct of the Roman for religious observance, with all its natural effect on conduct; the elevating Stoic doctrine which brought man into immediate relation with the universal; and, lastly, the tendency to mysticism, Orphic or Pythagorean, which tells of a yearning in the soul of man to hope for a life beyond this, and to make of this life a meet preparation for that other.
Only one word more. We can hardly doubt the truth of the story that the poet died earnestly entreating that this greatest work of his life should perish with him, and this may aptly remind us that though I have been treating the Aeneid as a poem of religion and morals, yet, after all, Virgil was a poet rather than a preacher, and thought of his Aeneid, not as a sermon, but as a work of art. Had he thought of it as a sermon he could hardly have wished to deprive the Roman world of it. The true poet is never a preacher except in so far as he is a poet. If the Greeks thought of their poets as teachers, says the late Prof. Jebb, "this was simply a recognition of poetry as the highest influence, intellectual and spiritual, that they knew." "It was not merely a recreation of their leisure, but a power pervading and moulding their whole existence." Surely this is also true of Virgil, and of the best at least of his Roman readers. No one can read the sixth Aeneid, the greatest effort of his genius, without feeling 425that poetry was all in all to him; that learning, legend, philosophy, religion, whatever in the whole range of human thought and fancy entered his mind, emerged from it as poetry and poetry only.899
NOTES TO LECTURE XVIII
869 Sellar, Virgil, p. 371.
870 Sainte-Beuve, Étude sur Virgile, p. 68.
871 Horace, Epode 16, where, however, he is not quite so much in earnest as in Odes iii. 6. Sallust, prefaces to Jugurtha and Catiline: these do not ring quite true.
872 Georg. iv. 511 foll.
873 Georg. iii. 440 foll. The famous lines (498 foll.) about the horse smitten with pestilence will occur to every one.
874 Aen. vi. 309.
875 Op. cit. p. 231. He cites Georg. i. 107 and 187 foll.
876 Sellar, Virgil, p. 232.
877 Georg. iv. 221 foll.
878 Georg. ii. 493.
879 Prof. Hardie recently asked me an explanation of the double altar that we meet with more than once in Virgil in connection with funeral rites: e.g., Ecl. 5. 66; Aen. iii. 305; v. 77 foll. Servius tries to explain this, but clearly did not understand it. Of course I could offer no satisfactory solution. Yet we are both certain that there is a satisfactory one if we could only get at it.
880 Much has been written about the part of the Fates in the Aeneid and their relation to Jupiter. See Heinze, Vergils epische Technik, p. 286 foll.; Glover, Studies in Virgil, 202 and 277 foll. I may be allowed to refer also to my Social Life at Rome in the Age of Cicero, p. 342 foll.
881 Aen. i. 257 foll., vi. 756 foll., viii. 615 foll.
882 Suggestions preliminary to a Study of the Aeneid, p. 36.
883 It is not likely to strike us unless we read the whole Aeneid through, without distracting our minds with other reading, and this few of us do. I did it some ten years ago; before that the development of character had not dawned on me fully. I later on found it shortly but clearly set forth in Heinze's Vergils epische Technik, p. 266 foll.; and this caused me to read the poem through once more, with the result that I became confirmed in my view, and read a paper on the subject to the Oxford Philological Society, which I have in part embodied in this lecture.
884 This is dwelt on in Social Life at Rome in the Age of Cicero, p. 124 foll.
885 De Republica, vi. 15.
886426 It may be as well to note here that the actual representation of God in the Aeneid is its weakest point. It was an epic poem, and could not dispense with the Homeric machinery: hence Jupiter is practically the representative of the Stoic all-pervading deity, with the Fates behind him. But it is not unlikely that Virgil may thus have actually helped to make the way clear for a nobler monotheistic idea by damaging Jupiter in the course of this treatment; see Social Life at Rome in the Age of Cicero, p. 341 foll.
887 On the Homeric Aeneas there are some good remarks in Boissier's Nouvelles Promenades archaeologiques (Horace et Virgile), p. 130 foll. Of all the Homeric heroes he seems to come nearest, though but slightly sketched, to the Roman ideal of heroism.
888 Heinze, Vergils epische Technik, p. 17.
889 I should be disposed to consider this passage as decisive of the point, but that it immediately follows upon the doubtful lines 567-588, in which Aeneas is tempted in his mad fury to slay Helen; and if those lines are not Virgil's, we have not sufficient explanation of the rebuke which Venus here administers to her son. On the other hand, if they were really Virgil's, and omitted (as Servius declares) by the original editors Tucca and Varius, we should have a convincing proof that the poet meant his hero, in these terrible scenes, to come so short of the true Roman heroic type as to be capable of slaying a woman in cold blood, and while a suppliant at an altar of the gods. Into this much-disputed question I must not go farther, except to note that while Heinze is absolutely confident that Virgil never wrote these lines, the editor of the new Oxford text of Virgil is equally certain that he did. My opinion is of no value on such a point; but I am disposed to agree with Mr. Hirtzel that "versus valde Vergilianos, ab optimis codicibus omissos, iniuria obleverunt Tucca et Varius." They are certainly in keeping with the picture of Aeneas' impotentia which is generally suggested in Book ii. If it should be argued that this impotentia, i.e. want of self-control, is only put into the mouth of Aeneas in order to heighten the effect of his stirring narrative, it will be well to remember the remonstrances of Venus, which make such a hypothesis impossible.
890 Op. cit. p. 231.
891 Vergils epische Technik, p. 113 foll.
892 The original story was, that unable to escape from an enforced marriage with Iarbas, she killed herself to mark her unflinching faithfulness to her first husband Sicharbas. Servius quotes Varro as stating that it was not Dido, but Anna who committed suicide for love of Aeneas (on Aen. iv. 682); and as Varro died before the Aeneid was begun, this may be taken as proving that Virgil's version of the love-story was not his own invention. But it is quite possible that Servius here only means that Varro's version differed in this point from that which the poet soon afterwards 427adopted; it may be that the story in the poem is thus practically his own.
893 Op. cit. p. 116.
894 Ancient Lives of Vergil, Clarendon Press, 1879.
895 The critics have, I think, been weaker in dealing with the fifth book than with any of the others. Prof. Tyrrell is too violent in his contempt for it to admit of quotation here. Heinze has some good and acute remarks on Virgil's motive in placing the book where it is, but seems to me to miss the real importance of it (op. cit. 140 foll.). Even Boissier, whose delightful account of the scenery of Eryx should be read by every one who would appreciate this book (op. cit. p. 232), goes so far as to say that it is the one book with which we feel we might easily dispense so far as the story is concerned.
896 Roman Festivals, p. 307.
897 Op. cit. p. 270.
898 Commentary on Dante's Divina Commedia, pp. 615 foll. I am indebted for this reference to Stewart's Myths of Plato, p. 367.
899 Nettleship remarked most truly that there is no better way of appreciating the heroic Aeneas of these last books than by studying carefully the early part of the eleventh.
THE AUGUSTAN REVIVAL
It is a long descent from the inspiring idealism of Virgil to the cool, tactical attempt of Augustus to revive the outward forms of the old religion. It seems strange that two men so different in character and upbringing should have been working in the same years in the same direction, yet on planes so far apart. How far the two were directly connected in their work we cannot know for certain. It is said that the subject of the Aeneid was suggested to Virgil by Augustus, and it is quite possible that this may be true; but it by no means follows from this that the inspiration of the poem came from any other source but Virgil's own thought and feeling. We also know that Augustus from the first appreciated the Aeneid, and that he saved it for all time; but it is by no means clear that it inspired him in his efforts towards moral and religious regeneration. Perhaps the truth is that both were moved by the wave of mingled depression and hope that swept over Italy for some years after the death of Julius, and that each used his experience in his own way and according to his opportunities. They had at least this in common, that they utilised the past to encourage the present age, and that by filling old forms and names with new meaning they set men's minds upon thinking of the future.900
Yet the revival of the State religion by Augustus is at once the most remarkable event in the history of the Roman religion, and one almost unique in religious 429history. I have repeatedly spoken of that State religion as hypnotised or paralysed, meaning that the belief in the efficacy of the old cults had passed away among the educated classes, that the mongrel city populace had long been accustomed to scoff at the old deities, and that the outward practice of religion had been allowed to decay. To us, then, it may seem almost impossible that the practice, and to some extent also the belief, should be capable of resuscitation at the will of a single individual, even if that individual represented the best interests and the collective wisdom of the State. For it is impossible to deny that this resuscitation was real; that both pax deorum and ius divinum became once more terms of force and meaning. Beset as it was by at least three formidable enemies, which tended to destroy it even while they fed on it, like parasites in the animal or vegetable world feeding on their hosts,—the rationalising philosophy of syncretism, the worship of the Caesars, and the new Oriental cults,—the old religion continued to exist for at least three centuries in outward form, and to some extent in popular belief.
We must remember the tenacious conservatism of the Roman mind: the emotional stimulus of the age of depression and despair which preceded this revival: and the conscientious care with which the successors of Augustus, Tiberius in particular, carried out his religious policy.901 Then as we become more familiar with the Corpus of inscriptions and the writings of the early Christian fathers, we begin to appreciate the fact that the natural and inherited religion of a people cannot altogether die, and that to describe this old Roman religion as dead is to use too strong a word. The votive inscriptions of the Empire show us overwhelming proof of surviving belief in the great deities of the olden time, and of the care taken of their temples. Antoninus Pius is honoured "ob insignem erga caerimonias publicas curam et religionem."902 Marcus Aurelius himself did not hesitate in times of public distress to put in action the whole 430apparatus of the old religion.903 Constantius in A.D. 329 was shown round the temples when he visited Rome for the first time, and in spite of his Christianity took a curious interest in them.904 That the private worship, too, went on into the fourth century we know from the Theodosian code, where in the interest of Christianity the worship of Lares Penates and Genius is strictly forbidden.905 Again, the constant ridicule with which the Christian writers speak of the minutiae of the heathen worship makes it quite plain that they knew it as actually existing, and not merely from books like those of Varro. They do not so much attack the Oriental religions of their time as the genuine old Roman cults; more especially is this the case with St. Augustine, from whose de Civitate Dei we have learnt so much about the latter. The very necessity under which the leaders of Christianity found themselves of suiting their own religious character, and in some ways even their own ceremonies, to the habits and prejudices of the pagans, tells the same story. But the question how far Latin Christianity was indebted to the religion of the Romans must be postponed to my last lecture; I have said enough to indicate in which direction we must go for evidence that the work of Augustus was not in vain, that it gave fresh stimulus to a plant that still had some life in it.
If, then, the Augustan revival was not a mere sham, but had its measure of real success, how are we to account for this? I think the explanation is not really difficult, if we bring to bear upon the problem what we have learnt from the beginning about the religious experience of the Romans. Let us note that Augustus troubled himself little about the later political developments of religion, which we have lately been examining,—about pontifices, augurs, and Sibylline books; these institutions, which had been so much used in the republican period for political and party purposes, it was rather his interest to keep in the background. But in one way or another he must have grasped the fundamental idea of the old 431Roman worship, that the prosperity and the fertility of man, and of his flocks and herds and crops on the farm, and the prosperity and fertility of the citizen within the city itself, equally depended on the dutiful attention (pietas) paid to the divine beings who had taken up their abode in farm or city.906 The best expression of this idea in words is pax deorum,—the right relation between man and the various manifestations of the Power,—and the machinery by which it was secured was the ius divinum.907 We shall not be far wrong if we say that it was Augustus' aim to re-establish the pax by means of the ius; but if we wished to explain the matter to some one who has not been trained in these technical terms, it would be better to say that he appealed to a deeply-rooted idea in the popular mind,—the idea that unless the divine inhabitants were properly and continually propitiated, they would not do their part in supporting the human inhabitants in all their doings and interests. This popular conviction he deliberately determined to use as his chief political lever.
This has, I think, been insufficiently emphasised by historians, who contemplate the work of this shrewd statesman too entirely from the political point of view. I am sure that he had learnt from his predecessors in power that reform on political lines only was without any element of stability, and that he knew that it was far more important to touch a spring in the feeling of the people, than to occupy himself, like Sulla, in mending old machinery or inventing new. If he could but induce them to believe in him as the restorer of the pax deorum, he knew that his work was accomplished. And I believe that we have what is practically his own word for this conviction; not in his Res Gestae, the Monumentum Ancyranum, which is a record of facts and of deeds only, but in the famous hymn which Horace wrote at his instance and to give expression to his ideas, for use in the Secular Games of 17 B.C., to which I am coming presently. Ferrero has lately described that hymn as a magnificent poem,908 an opinion which to me is incomprehensible. It 432is neat, and embodies the necessary ideas adequately, but it is far too flat to be the genuine offspring of such a poet as Horace. To me it reads as though Augustus had written it in prose and then ordered his poet to put it into metre; and assuredly it expresses exactly what we should have expected Augustus to wish to be sung by his youthful choirs. I shall refer to it again shortly to illustrate another point; all I need say now is that he who reads it carefully and thinks about it will find there the conviction of which I have been speaking, that prosperity and fertility, whether of man, beast, or crop, depend on the Roman's attitude toward his deities; religion, morality, fertility, and public concord are the points which the astute ruler wished to be emphasised.909 That this hymn was a really important part of the ceremony is certain from the fact that it was given to the best living poet to write, and that his name is mentioned as its author in the inscription, discovered not many years ago, which commemorated the whole performance: "CARMEN COMPOSUIT Q. HORATIUS FLACCUS."910
If, then, I am right, this strange movement was not merely a revival of religious ceremonies, but an appeal through them to the conscience of the people. A revival of religious life it, of course, was not, for what we understand by that term had never existed at Rome; but it was an attempt to give expression, in a religious form and under State authorisation, to certain feelings and ideas not far removed in kind from those which in our own day we describe as our religious experience. Whether Augustus himself shared in these feelings and ideas it is, of course, impossible to conjecture. But as a man's religious convictions are largely the result of his own experience and of that of the society in which he lives, and as Augustus' own experience for the twenty years before he took this work in hand had been full of trial and temptation, I am disposed to guess that he was rather expressing a popular conviction which he shared himself than merely standing apart and administering a remedy. And this view seems 433to me to be on the whole confirmed by the tone and spirit of the great literary works of the age.
Augustus did not become pontifex maximus till the year 12 B.C., nineteen years after he had crushed Antony at Actium; he waited with scrupulous patience until the headship of the Roman religion became vacant by the death of Lepidus.911 But this did not prevent him from pursuing his religious policy with great earnestness before that date, for he had long been a member of the pontifical college, as well as augur and quindecemvir. No sooner had he returned to Rome from Egypt than the work of temple restoration began, the outward and visible sign to all that the pax deorum was to be firmly re-established. The fact of the restoration he has told us in half a dozen words in his own Res Gestae:912 "Duo et octaginta templa deum in urbe ex decreto senatus refeci," adding that not one was neglected that needed repair. Among them was that oldest and smallest temple of Jupiter Feretrius on the Capitol to which I referred in a former lecture;913 and his personal interest in the work is attested by Livy, who says that he himself heard Augustus tell how he had found an inscription, relating to the second spolia opima dedicated there, when he went into the temple bent on the work of restoration.914 It needs but a little historical imagination to appreciate the psychological importance of all this work. We have to think not only of the bystanders who watched, but of the very workmen themselves, rejoicing at once in new employment and in the revival of an old sense of religious duty. Little more than twenty years earlier, no workman could be found to lay a hand upon the newly-built temple of Isis, when the consul Aemilius Paulus gave orders for its destruction as a centre of superstitio;915 now abundant work was provided which every man's conscience would approve. When I think of the Rome of that year 28, with all its fresh hope and confidence taking visible shape in this way, even Horace's famous lines seem cold to me (Od. ii. 6. 1):
434delicta maiorum immeritus lues
Romane, donec templa refeceris
aedesque labentis deorum et
foeda nigro simulacra fumo.
The restoration of the temple buildings implies also a revival of the old ritual, the cura et caerimonia. As to this we are very imperfectly informed,—we have no correspondence of this age, as of the last, and the details of life in the Augustan city are not preserved in abundance. But Ovid comes to the rescue here, as in secular matters, and on the whole the evidence in his Fasti suggests that the old sacrificing priesthoods, the Rex and the flamines, were set to their work again. He tells us, for example, how he himself, as he was returning to Rome from Nomentum,916 had seen the flamen Quirinalis carrying out the exta of a dog and a sheep which had been sacrificed in the morning in the city, to be laid on the altar in the grove of Robigus. In spite of all its disabling restrictions, it was possible once more to fill the ancient priesthood of Jupiter; and of the Rex sacrorum and the other flamines we hear in the early Empire.917 They were in the potestas of the pontifex maximus, and as after 12 B.C. that position was always held by the Princeps himself, it was not likely that they would be allowed to neglect their duties. Other ancient colleges were also revived or confirmed by the inclusion of the Emperor himself among their members (a fact which Augustus was careful to record in his own words), e.g. the Fetiales, of whom he had made use when declaring war with Antony and Cleopatra;918 the Sodales Titienses, an institution of which we have lost the origin and meaning; the Salii, Luperci, and above all the Fratres Arvales, the brotherhood whose duty it had once been to lead a procession round the crops in May, and so to ensure the pax deorum for the most vital material of human subsistence. The corn-supply now came almost entirely from Africa and Egypt; the inner meaning of this old ritual could not be revived, and we must own that all this restoration of the old caerimonia must have 435appealed rather to the eye than the mind of the beholder. It was necessary to put some new element into it to give it life. Here we come upon a most important fact in the work of Augustus, which will become apparent if we take a rapid glance at the work and history of the Fratres, and then go on to find further illustration of the curious mixture of old and new which the Roman religion was henceforward to be.
The fortunate survival of large fragments of the records of the Brotherhood, dating from shortly after the battle of Actium, show that it continued to work and to flourish down to the reign of Gordian (A.D. 241), and from other sources we know that it was still in existence in the fourth century.919 These records have been found on the site of the sacred grove, at the fifth milestone on the via Campana between Rome and Ostia, which from the time of this revival onwards was the centre of the activity of the Fratres.
The brethren were twelve in number, with a magister at their head and a flamen to assist him; they were chosen from distinguished families by co-optation, the reigning Emperor being always a member.920 Their duties fell into two divisions, which most aptly illustrate respectively the old and the new ingredients in the religious prescriptions of Augustus, as they were carried out by his successors. The first of these is the performance of the yearly rites in honour of the Dea Dia, the goddess or numen without a substantival name (a form perhaps of Ceres and Tellus), whose home was in the sacred grove, and who was the special object of this venerable cult. Secondly, the care of vows, prayers, and sacrifices for the Emperors and other members of the imperial house. I must say a few words about each of these divisions of duty.
The worship of the Dea Dia took place in May on three days, with an interval always of one day between the first and second, according to the old custom of the calendar.921 On the first, preliminary rites were performed 436at Rome, in the house of the magister; on the second was the most important part of the whole ceremony, which took place at the sacred grove. These rites will give a good idea of the old Roman worship, and of the exactness with which Augustus sought to restore it. At dawn the magister sacrificed two porcae piaculares to the Dea, and then a vacca honoraria, after which he laid aside the toga praetexta or sacrificial vestment, and rested till noon, when all the brethren partook of a common meal, of which the porcae formed the chief part. Then resuming the praetexta, and crowned with wreaths of corn-ears, they proceeded to the altar in the grove, where they sacrificed the agna opima, which was the principal victim in the whole ceremonial.922 Other rites followed, e.g. the passing round, from one to another of the brethren, fruits gathered and consecrated on the previous day, each brother receiving them in his left, i.e. lucky hand, and passing them on with his right; and the singing of the famous Arval hymn to Mars and the Lares to a rhythmic dance-tune. Then after another meal and chariot-racing in the neighbouring circus, they returned to Rome and finished the day with further feasting.923 A cynical reader of these Acta might suggest that the appetites of the good brethren were made more of than their pietas; but the feasting may be just as much a part of the ancient practice as any of the other curiosities of ritual.
The utensils employed were of the primitive sun-baked clay (ollae), and seem to have been regarded with a veneration almost amounting to worship.924 Long ago I had occasion to note how the old form of piacular sacrifice was used and recorded whenever iron was taken into the grove, or any damage done to the trees by lightning or other accident. Once, when a tiny fig-tree sprouted on the roof of the temple, piacula of all suitable kinds had to be offered to Mars, Dea Dia, Janus, Jupiter, Juno, Virgines divae, Famuli divi, Lares, Mater Larum, sive deus sive dea in cuius tutela hic lucus locusque est, Fons, Hora, Vesta Mater, Vesta deorum dearumque, Adolenda 437Commolenda Deferunda,—and sixteen divi of the imperial families!925 As the date of this extraordinary performance is A.D. 183, nothing can better show the extent to which the revival of elaborate ritual had been carried by Augustus, and the amazing tenacity with which it held its ground.
The second part of the activity of the brethren well illustrates the new element which Augustus adroitly insinuated into the old religious forms: but I shall not dwell upon it, for the worship of the Caesars in its developed form is not of either Roman or Italian origin, any more than the other kinds of cult which were now pressing in from the East; and it thus lies outside the range of my subject. The revival of this old priesthood, and doubtless of others, the Salii for example, was turned to account to mark the sacred character and political and social predominance of the imperial family. All events of importance in the life of the Emperor himself and his family were the occasion of vows, prayers, or thanksgivings on the part of the Fratres; births, marriages, successions to the throne, journeys and safe return, and the assumption of the consulship and other offices or priesthoods. These rites all took place at various temples or altars in Rome, or at the Ara Pacis, recently excavated, which Augustus had built in the Campus Martius. Here, by way of example of them, is a "votum susceptum pro salute novi principis," on his accession.926
"Imperatore M. Othone Caesare Augusto, L. Salvio Othone Titiano iterum consulibus, III kalendas Februarias magistro Imperatore M. Othone Caesare Augusto, promagistro L. Salvio Othone Titiano: collegi fratrum Arvalium nomine immolavit in Capitolio ob vota nuncupata pro salute imperatoris M. Othonis Caesaris Augusti in annum proximum in III nonas Ianuarias Iovi bovem marem, Iunoni vaccam: Minervae vaccam: Saluti publicae populi Romani vaccam: divo Augusto bovem marem, divae Augustae vaccam: divo Claudio bovem marem: in collegio adfuerunt, etc."
438This record, which belongs to the year 69 and the accession of Otho, shows the divi, i.e. the deified emperors Augustus and Claudius, together with the deified Livia, associated with the trias of the Capitoline temple and the Salus publica in the sacrificial rites. But under the Flavian dynasty which followed this association was judiciously dropped.927 It may serve for the moment to illustrate what was to come of this new element so subtly introduced into the old worship; how it led to practices which are utterly repulsive to us, and repulsive too to an honest man even in that day. The noble words of Tiberius, declining to have temples erected to him in Spain, have been preserved by Tacitus from the senatorial records:928 "Ego me, patres conscripti, mortalem esse fateor"; and he added that his only claim to immortality lay in the due performance of duty. Tiberius, whatever else he may have been, was beyond doubt an honest man; and so too was Seneca, the author of the famous skit on the deification of Claudius. But the extravagances of Caesar-worship are not to be met with in Augustus' time; for him the new element may be defined, as in Rome (and in Italy too, so far as his own wish could limit it) nothing more than the encouragement of the belief in him, and loyalty to him as the restorer of the pax deorum. To this end he sought to magnify his own achievements as avenger of the crime of the murder of Julius, by which the pax had been grievously disturbed. I propose to finish this lecture by giving some account of the way in which he attained this object. Let us briefly examine the famous ritual of the Ludi saeculares, of which we have more detailed knowledge than of any other Roman rite of any period; it marks the zenith of his prosperity and religious activity, and belongs to the year 17 B.C., two years after the death of Virgil,—a date which may be said to divide the long power of Augustus into two nearly equal halves.
This famous celebration is an epoch in the history of the Roman religion, if not in the history of Rome herself. 439It stands on the very verge of an old and a new régime. It was the outward or ritualistic expression of the idea, already suggested by Virgil in the fourth Eclogue and the Aeneid, that a regeneration is at hand of Rome and Italy, in religion, morals, agriculture, government; old things are put away, new sap is to run in the half-withered trunk and branches of a noble tree. The experience of the past, as with Aeneas after the descent into Hades, is to lead to new effort and a new type of character, of which pietas in its broadest sense is the inspiring motive. Henceforward the Roman is to look ahead of him in hope and confidence, virtutem extendere factis. Augustus, the Aeneas of the actual State, was firmly established in a prestige which extended beyond Italy even to the far East; his faithful and capable coadjutor Agrippa was by his side to take his part in the ritual, and no cloud in that year 17 seemed to be visible on the horizon.
The Ludi saeculares are also unique in respect of the records we have of them. By wonderful good fortune we can construct an almost complete picture of what was done in that year on the last days of May and the first three of June. We have the text of the Sibylline oracle,—how manufactured we do not know, nor does it much matter,—which prescribed the ritual, preserved by Zosimus, a Greek historian of the fifth century A.D., together with his own account.929 Thus the outline of the ritual has been known all along, together with many details; and to help it out we have also the perfect text of the hymn written by Horace for the occasion, and sung by two choirs of boys and girls respectively. But great was the delight of the learned world when, in September 1890, workmen employed on the Tiber embankment, close, as it turned out, to the spot where the nightly rites of the ludi took place, came upon a mediaeval wall partly made of ancient material, in which some marbles were found covered with inscriptions relating to this same celebration.930 This treasure was badly mutilated, but the inscription was easily decipherable; it contains a letter from Augustus 440giving instructions, two decrees of the Senate, and a series of records of the Quindecemviri, who were of course in charge of a ritual which had been ordered by a Sibylline oracle. Some few points were at first puzzling, but have been cleared up since the discovery. Mommsen, of course, took the work in hand, and his exposition is still, and always will be, the starting-point for students. Wissowa has an excellent popular account of it, and recently, in the fifth volume of his Greatness and Decline of Rome, Ferrero has utilised it to give an animated account of the whole ceremony.931
The Ludi saeculares take their name from the word saeculum; and the old Italian idea of a saeculum seems to have been a period stretching from any given moment to the death of the oldest person born at that moment,—a hundred years being the natural period so conceived.932 Thus a new saeculum might begin at any time, and might be endowed with special religious significance by certain solemn ceremonies; in this way the people might be persuaded that a new leaf, so to speak, had been turned over in their history: that all past evil, material or moral, had been put away and done with (saeculum condere), and a new period entered on of innocence and prosperity. There are faint traces of three early celebrations of this kind, beginning in 463 B.C., traditionally a disastrous year, and renewed in 363 and 263. But in 249, another year of distress and peril, a new saeculum was entered on with a new and a Greek ritual, ordered by a Sibylline oracle. A subterranean altar in a spot by the Tiber, near the present Ponte St. Angelo, and called Tarentum (possibly to mark the original home of the rite), was dedicated to Dis and Proserpina, Greek deities of the nether world; and here for three successive nights black victims were offered to them. The subterranean altar and the use of the word condere (to put away), might suggest that this rite may have had something in common with those well-known quasi-dramatic ones in which objects are buried or thrown into the water, to represent the cessation of one 441period of vegetation and the beginning of another.933 Or we may look on it in the light of one of those rites de passage in which a transition is made from one state of things to another, without any definite religious idea being attached to it. There is no doubt some mystical element in the primitive idea of the beginning and ending of periods of time, which has not as yet been thoroughly investigated.934
Now it is easy to see how exactly a rite of this kind, with suitable modifications, would fit in with Augustus' purposes as we have explained them. Fortunately too Varro had in 42 B.C. published a book in which the mystic or Pythagorean doctrine was set forth of the palingenesis of All Souls after four saecula of 110 years each; the fourth Eclogue of Virgil may have been influenced by this, among other mystical ideas, as it was written only three years later; and in any case the doctrine was well known.935 But Augustus had to wait a while, until peace and confidence were restored. Why eventually he chose the year 17 is quite uncertain; it does not exactly fit in with any calculation of four saecula of 110 years starting from any known date. But a saeculum, as we have seen, might begin at any moment; and in any case it was easy to manufacture a calculation, which was now duly accomplished by trusty persons, chief among them being the great lawyer, Ateius Capito, an ardent adherent of Augustus and his projects.936 Probably too it was necessary to take advantage of the popular feeling of the moment, that a better time had come, and that it should be started on its way in some fitting outward form.
So an elaborate programme was drawn up, the main features of which I must now explain. On 26th May and the two following days (for the mystic numbers three, nine, and twenty-seven are noticeable throughout the ritual)937 the means of purification (suffimenta)—torches, sulphur, bitumen938—were distributed by the priests to all free persons, whether citizens or not; for this once, all in 442Rome at the time, with the exception of slaves, were to give an imperial meaning to the ceremony by their share in it. Even bachelors, though forbidden to attend public shows under a recent law de maritandis ordinibus, were allowed to do so on this occasion. No doubt the idea was that the whole people were to be purified from all pollution of the past; it is what M. van Gennep calls a rite de séparation, the first step in a rite de passage. The next three days all the people came to the Quindecemviri at certain stated places, and made offerings of fruges, the products of the earth, as we do at our harvest festivals; these were the firstfruits of the coming harvest.939 It may be worth while to recall the facts that it was on these same days that the procession of the Ambarvalia used to go round the ripening crops, and that in the early days of June the symbolic penus of Vesta was being cleansed to receive the new grain.940 That Augustus wished to emphasise the importance of Italian agriculture is beyond doubt, and is apparent also in the hymn of Horace, Fertilis frugum pecorisque Tellus spicea donet Cererem corona, etc.
When the suffimenta had been distributed and the offerings made, all was ready for the putting away or burying of the old saeculum. On the night before 1st June Augustus himself, together with Agrippa, sacrificed to the Greek Moirae, the Parcae of Horace's hymn, perhaps in some sense the Fata of the Aeneid; on the second night to Eilithyia, the Greek deity of childbirth; and on the third to Mother Tellus. The form of prayer accompanying the sacrifice is preserved in the inscription; it is Latin in language and form, as dry and concise as any we examined in my lectures on ritual, and contains the macte esto which I was then at pains to explain. Augustus prayed for the safety and prosperity of the State in every way, and also for himself, his house, and his familia.941 The scene on the bank of the Tiber, illuminated by torches, must have been most impressive.
These were the nightly ceremonies. But each day also 443had its ritual, in which the Roman deities of the heaven were the objects of worship, not, as by the Tiber bank, Greek deities of the earth and the nether world. On the first two days Augustus and Agrippa offered the proper victims to Jupiter and Juno respectively on the Capitol; Minerva is omitted, and probably the other two are reckoned in Greek fashion as a married pair. The form of prayer was the same as that used by night, with the necessary modifications. Thus the great Capitoline temple and its deities have a full share of attention, and they go too far who think that Augustus was so wanting in tact as to put them in the shade.942 But on the third and last day the scene changes from the Capitol to the Palatine, the residence of Augustus, where he had built his great temple of Apollo; here for the first time in the ceremony Horace's hymn was sung. On all the days and nights there had been shows and amusements, and a hundred and ten chosen matrons had taken solemn part in the services.943 But I must pass these over and turn in the last place to the question, as interesting as it is old and difficult, as to how and where Horace's hymn was sung, and how we are to understand it.
The instructions given to the poet by Augustus are obvious as we read the Carmen in the light of the ceremonial of which it was to mark the conclusion. He was to bring into it, as we have already seen, the ideas which were to be revived and made resonant, of religion, morality, and the fertility of man, beast, and crop; and they are all there. He was also to include all the deities who had been addressed in prayer both by day and night, by Tiber bank and on the Capitol, and to give the most prominent place to those who on this last day were worshipped on the Palatine; to Apollo, for whom Augustus had built a great temple close to his own house (in privato solo944), as his own specially protecting deity since Actium, and Diana, who as equivalent to Artemis, could not but be associated with Apollo. Thus the deities of the hymn are both Latin and Greek,945 and this expresses the undoubted fact 444that the religion of the Romans was henceforward to be even in outward expression a cosmopolitan or Romano-Hellenic one, in keeping with the fact that all free men of every race might take part in this great festival. But it cannot fail to strike every careful reader that the great trias of the Capitol is hardly visible in the poem, though Jupiter and Juno had been the chief objects of worship on the two previous days. Jupiter is twice incidentally named, but in no connection with the Capitol;946 and it is only when we read between the lines of the fourteenth stanza that we discover Jupiter and Juno as the recipients of the white oxen which had been sacrificed to them there. I have already said that we must not make too much of the neglect of Jupiter and Juno by Augustus; but it is plain that he directed Horace not to make them too prominent in this hymn, and I think it is quite possible that Horace a little overdid his obedience.
The result of all this is that the hymn, in spite of its neatness and adequacy, is wanting in spontaneity, and presents the casual reader with an apparently unmeaning jumble of Greek and Roman gods and goddesses. The only way to clear it up is by taking it in immediate relation with what we know about the places in which it was sung. To me at last it has become clear enough in all its main points; and I will give here my own results, which do not altogether coincide with those of other recent inquirers.
Before the discovery of the great inscription we knew that this hymn was sung before the new temple of Apollo on the Palatine; we now know that it was also sung on the Capitol,947 thus uniting in one performance the old religion of republican Rome with the new imperial cult of Apollo. But this new fact has, in my opinion, led to misapprehensions both of the manner of singing and the order of subjects in the hymn. Mommsen thought that the first part was sung on the Palatine, the middle part on the Capitol, and the last again on the Palatine, and he is followed by Wissowa; and both seem to think it possible 445that there may have been singing too during the procession from the one hill to the other.948 I think we need not trouble ourselves about the latter point, for the Via Sacra, by which the procession must have gone, was far too narrow and irregular to allow fifty-four singers, with the tibicines who must have been accompanying them, to walk and perform at the same time.949 The inscription, too, says plainly that the hymn was sung on the Palatine and then on the Capitol, and by that plain statement of fact we had better abide.
Now let us note that these two stations on the two hills were the best possible positions for Augustus' purpose, not only because of their religious importance, but because they afforded the most spacious views of the city, now everywhere adorned with new or restored buildings. The temple of Apollo was built upon a large and lofty area at the north-east end of the Palatine.950 Recent excavations have shown it to be some hundred yards broad by a hundred and fifty in length, and Ovid, in a passage of his Tristia951 gives us an idea of its height:
inde tenore pari gradibus sublimia celsis
ducor ad intonsi candida templa dei.
On this area the choirs of boys and girls took their station, facing the marble temple, on the fastigium of which was represented the Sun driving his four-horse chariot.952 After singing, probably together, the first two stanzas or exordium of the hymn, they addressed this Sol:
alme Sol, curru nitido diem qui
promis et celas, aliusque et idem
nasceris, possis nihil urbe Roma
As they sang these last words, they would turn towards the city that lay behind them, and look over it to the Tiber and the scene of the nightly sacrifices of the Tarentum; and with the deities of these rites, who must of course be taken before those of day and light, as in the order of the festival, the next five stanzas are occupied:953 446Eilithyia, the Moirae (Parcae), and Tellus or Ceres. When that duty is over they turn once more to the temple, and the Greek deities of the Tarentum are mentioned no more. Three stanzas are devoted to Apollo and Diana (Luna), with a happy allusion to the Aeneid, and then once more the choirs turn, and this time they face the Capitol; the hymn is long, and these changes of movement would be at once a relief to the singers and a pleasant sight to the spectators. They address the deities of the Capitol in appropriate language:
di probos mores docili iuventae,
di, senectuti placidae quietem,
Romulae genti date remque prolemque
et decus omne.
The allusion to Jupiter and Juno is thus veiled:
quaeque vos bobus veneratur albis
clarus Anchisae Venerisque sanguis,
impetret, bellante prior, iacentem
lenis in hostem.
Horace has cleverly made Augustus himself the leading figure in this and the following stanza, and the listeners forget the Capitoline gods as they note the allusion to Venus, the ancestress of the Julii, the prestige of Augustus that has brought envoys to him from Scythia, Media, and India, and in the next stanza the public virtues, presented here as deities—Fides, Pax, Honos, Pudor, Virtus—on whose aid and worship the new régime is based.954
At the sixteenth stanza the choirs again face about to the temple of Apollo, and with him and Diana again the next two stanzas have to do. Only one remains, in which as an exodos we may be sure the two choirs of boys and girls joined; it sums up the whole body of deities, but with Apollo and Diana as the special objects of the day's worship:
haec Iovem sentire deosque cunctos
spem bonam certamque domum reporto,
doctus et Phoebi chorus et Dianae
447The performance on the Palatine was now over, and the procession streamed down the hill to join the Via Sacra near the Regia and the Vesta temple, and so to make its way up to the Capitol, where the performance was repeated.955 Taking station at this noble point of view, he who will can again follow its movement with the hymn in his hand. The area in front of the Capitoline temple looked across to the Palatine, and the image of Sol and his quadriga must have been in full view; thus the exordium and the next stanza (alme Sol) would be sung looking in that direction. Equally well in view, if they turned to the right, would be the scene of the midnight sacrifices across the Campus Martius; and so on throughout the singing the changes of position would be easy and graceful, here as on the Palatine.
Here I prefer to make an end of the performance, following the text of the inscription, which tells us nothing of a return to the Palatine. It would be far more in keeping with Roman practice that the Capitol should be the scene of the conclusion of the processional ceremony, even on a day when Apollo was, with Augustus himself, the principal figure. From the musical point of view, too, a third performance is improbable, for the singers were young and tender.
And here, too, with this impressive scene, which can hardly fail to move the imagination of any one who has stood on Palatine and Capitol, I will close my account of the religious experience of the Romans. A few remarks only remain for me to make about its contribution, such as it was, to the Latin form of Christianity.
NOTES TO LECTURE XIX
900 A summary of the relations between Virgil and Augustus may be found in Mr. Glover's Studies in Virgil, p. 144 foll.
901 Tiberius added to his Augustan inheritance a curious and possibly morbid anxiety about religious matters and details of cult, of which examples may be found in Tac. Ann. iii. 58, vi. 12, among 448other passages. Perhaps, however, the most interesting is that connected with the famous story of "the Great Pan is dead," told by Plutarch in the de Defectu Oraculorum, ch. xvii. The news of this strange story reached the ears of Tiberius, who at once set the learned men about him to inquire into it; and they came to the no less strange conclusion that "this was the Pan who was born of Hermes and Penelope." S. Reinach has recently offered an explanation of this story, which is at least better than previous ones, in Cultes, mythes, et religions, vol. iii. p. 1 foll.
902 C.I.L. vi. 1001.
903 Jul. Capitolinus, 13.
904 Symmachus, Rel. 3.
905 Cod. Theod. xvi. 10. 2. On this subject generally consult Dill's Roman Society in the Last Century of the Western Empire, bk. i. chs. i. and iv.
906 This idea is exactly expressed by Horace in Odes iii. 23, perhaps addressed to the vilica of his own farm. Cp. Cato, R.R. 143, where the vilica is to pray to the Lar familiaris pro copia. Horace mentions only the Kalends for this rite; Cato adds Nones and Ides. Cp. Tibull. i. 3. 34; i. 10. 15 foll.
907 See above, Lectures iv. and v.
908 Greatness and Decline of Rome (E.T.), v. 93.
909 See especially lines 45 foll. and 56 foll.
910 C.I.L. vi. 32,323, or Dessau, Inscriptiones selectae, vol. ii. part i. p. 284.
911 For this reason the veiled figure in one of the fine sculptures on the Ara Pacis frieze, which used to be taken as Augustus Pont. Max., cannot be so identified (see Domaszewski, Abhandlungen zur römischen Religion, p. 90 foll.), for the date of the Ara Pacis is 13 B.C., the year before Lepidus died. The figure can be most conveniently seen by English students in Mrs. Strong's Roman Sculpture, plate xi. p. 46. It may be Agrippa acting as Pont. Max. for Lepidus.
912 Monumentum Ancyranum, ed. Mommsen (Lat.), iv. 17.
913 See above, p. 129.
914 Livy iv. 20. 7.
915 Valerius Maximus, Epit. 3, 4.
916 Ovid, Fasti, iv. 901 foll.
917 See Marquardt, 326 foll.
918 Dio Cassius, l. 4, 5.
919 Henzen, Acta Fratrum Arvalium, p. xxv. of the exordium.
920 Henzen, p. 154.
921 See above, p. 98.
922 Henzen, pp. 24, 28.
923 For the hymn, Henzen, p. 26; Dessau, Inscr. select. ii. pt. i. p. 276. See also above, p. 186.
924 Wissowa, R.K. p. 487, note 5.
925449 Henzen, 142 foll.; Dessau, p. 279; see above, p. 162.
926 Henzen, p. 105.
927 Ib. p. 107.
928 Tac. Ann. iii.
929 Zosimus, ii. 5 and 6. The oracle and the extract from Zosimus are printed in Dr. Wickham's introduction to the Carmen saeculare, and in Diels, Sibyllinische Blätter, p. 131 foll.
930 C.I.L. vi. 32,323. Ephemeris epigraphica, viii. 255 foll., contains the text and Mommsen's exposition. Dessau, Inscr. selectae, ii. pt. i. 282, does not give the whole document.
931 Wissowa, Gesammelte Abhandlungen, p. 192 foll.; Ferrero, vol. v. 85 foll.
932 The word was first explained by Mommsen, Röm. Chronologie, ed. 2, p. 172.
933 See, e.g., Golden Bough, ed. 2, vol. ii. p. 70 foll.
934 The religious or mystical conception of time is the subject of an interesting discussion by Hubert et Mauss, Mélanges d'histoire et de religion, p. 189 foll.; but the saeculum does not seem to have attracted their attention.
935 The actual words of Varro, from his work de gente Populi Romani, are quoted by St. Augustine, de Civ. Dei, xxii. 28: "Genethliaci quidam scripserunt esse in renascendis hominibus quam appellant 45;λιγγενεσἱαν Graeci; hac scripserunt confici in annis numero quadringentis quadraginta, ut idem corpus et eadem anima, quae fuerint coniuncta in homine aliquando, eadem rursus redeant in coniunctionem." The passage well illustrates the mystical tendency of which I was speaking in the last lecture.
936 For attempts to explain the difficulty see Wissowa, op. cit. p. 204.
937 The cakes offered to Eilithyia, and again to Apollo, are nine in number; see the inscription lines 117 and 143. The choirs of boys and girls were each twenty-seven.
938 The suffimenta are described by Zosimus, l.c. There is a coin of Domitian, who also celebrated Ludi saeculares, in which he appears seated and distributing the suffimenta, as the inscription shows.
939 So Zosimus, who says they consisted of wheat, barley, and beans.
940 R.F. p. 148 foll.
941 See the inscription, line 92 foll. Ferrero assumes that these words were to be taken as representing the families of all worshippers present, who would repeat the words "mihi domo familiae." But this is arbitrary; the prayer follows the old form as we have it, e.g., in Cato, R.R. (see above, p. 182), and as Cato or any landowner would represent the rest of the human beings on the estate, so did Augustus represent the whole community.
942 So J. B. Carter, Religion of Numa, p. 160.
943450 The matrons, equal in number to the years of the saeculum, first appear on 2nd June in the worship of Juno.
944 Mon. Ancyr. (Lat.), iv. 21.
945 Zosimus, l.c., says that "hymns" were sung in Greek as well as Latin; but this is not borne out by any other authority.
946 Line 31 (et Iovis aurae), where Jupiter simply stands for the heaven and its influence on the earth; and line 73 (haec Iovem sentire, etc.), where he is introduced in the most general way as head of all deities.
947 Line 147 of the inscription: "Sacrificioque perfecto puer[i X] XVII quibus denuntiatum erat patrimi et matrimi et puellae totidem carmen cecinerunt: eodemque modo in Capitolio. Carmen composuit Q. Horatius Flaccus."
948 Eph. epigr. viii. 256. Wissowa, Gesamm. Abhandl. p. 206, note, who refers to Vahlen and Christ as differing from Mommsen, in papers which I have not seen. Wissowa says that the threefold division of the hymn "springt in die Augen"; but this has never been my experience.
949 Apart from the awkwardness for singers of the descent from the Palatine and the steep ascent to the Capitol, we may remember that they would have to pass under the fornix Fabianus, which was not much more than nine feet broad (Lanciani, Ruins and Excavations, p. 217).
950 See Hülsen-Jordan, Topographie, iii. 72 and note. See also map at the end of the volume, No. 1 of the series. There is, however, some doubt as to whether the site was not on the side of the Palatine looking towards the Tiber over the Circus maximus. See my paper in the Classical Quarterly, 1910, p. 145 foll. If so, my explanation of the performance of the hymn seems rather to be confirmed than weakened.
951 Ovid, Tristia, iii. 1. 59 foll.
952 Propertius, iii. 28 (31): "In quo Solis erat supra fastigia currus." No one seems to have noticed the connection between this and Horace's allusion to Sol, which is otherwise not easy to explain.
953 I will not enter on the insoluble question as to what stanzas or parts of stanzas were sung by the boys and girls respectively. That the hymn was so sung in double chorus is intrinsically probable, and stated in the oracle, lines 20, 21. Some of the schemes which have been propounded are given in Wickham's Horace. I imagine that the stanzas may have been sung alternately except in the case of the first two and the last, but the ninth looks as though it might have been divided between the two choirs. Ferrero has a scheme of his own, p. 91 foll.; and if he had taken a little more pains might have worked out the whole problem satisfactorily.
954 Of these quasi-deities Fides is the oldest, and was associated with Jupiter on the Capitol; Wissowa, R.K. 103 foll. Thus we may find a callida iunctura between the thirteenth, fourteenth, and 451fifteenth stanzas, for Fides and Pax would fit in well with the responsa petunt of the fourteenth. Whether Pax was recognised as a deity at this time is not quite certain; but a few years later, in 9 B.C., an altar of Pax Augusta was dedicated. The Ara Pacis was begun in 13 B.C. See Axtell, Deification of Abstract Ideas (Chicago, 1907), p. 37, who may also be consulted for the other deities here mentioned. See also above, p. 285. In Tibull. i. 10. 45 foll., Pax seems to be on the verge of deification, but not to have attained it except in the poet's fancy.
955 The route may be followed in the map of the Via Sacra in Lanciani's Ruins and Excavations, and in his chapter entitled, "A Walk through the Sacra Via," or more shortly in my Social Life in the Age of Cicero, p. 18 foll.
Note.—The whole question of the singing of the Carmen saeculare in its relation to the two principal sites and to the topography of the festival generally, is fully discussed by the author in Classical Review for 1910, p. 145 foll.
"A time of spiritual awakening, of a calling to higher destinies, came upon the world, the civilised world which lay around the Mediterranean Sea, at the beginning of our era. The calling was concentrated in the life and death of the Founder of Christianity."956 The writer of these words goes on to point out that the beginning of our era was "a time of general stirring in all the higher fields of human activity," and that all such stirring, all that brings higher ideals before the minds of men of action, of imagination, or of reflection, if not itself religion, is in some sense religious, and in that age must be taken into account as having some bearing on the origin of Christianity, the greatest of all religious movements. And inasmuch as the new spirit of the age seems to have put new life into the old religious systems, with the help of philosophy and poetry, as well as of a purer and more effective conception of Man's relation to the Power manifesting itself in the universe, he finds it useful and legitimate to show how the ideas and characteristics of the leading types of religion in the civilised world of which he speaks were absorbed or "baptized" into the spirit of Christianity. In other words, we may ask what was the contribution of each of these religious types to the formation of the Christian type of religion; for however new was the inspiration which was the essential living germ of our religion, yet that germ was of necessity planted in soil full of other religious ingredients, 453which found their way into the sap of the plant as it grew towards maturity.
I have all along wished to bring our subject, the religious experience of the Roman people, into touch with Christianity, whether by marking points of contact, or of contrast, or both. In the last few lectures I have laid stress on certain points likely to be useful to us in this last stage of our studies, and these will, I hope, furnish us with some amount of material. But I confess that I have approached this subject with great hesitation. What I shall have to say will be tentative and suggestive only; but I hope that the account that I have given in these lectures of Roman religious experience may be of use in helping a better qualified student to carry on the work more adequately.
Let us glance back for a moment at the results of the last four lectures, in which I have been dealing with Roman religious experience after the paralysis or hypnotism of the old religion of the State. We saw, in the first place, that the educated part of Roman society had been brought to the very threshold of a new and more elevating type of religion, by Greek philosophy transplanted to Roman soil, and chiefly by Stoicism. True, one great Epicurean genius had had his share in this process, by denouncing the weakness and wickedness of the Roman society, and the futility of all the religious forms and fancies with which they still dallied; but Lucretius had nothing to offer in the place of these forms and fancies—nothing, that is, which could grip the conscience and act as a real force upon conduct. The Roman was in a religious sense destitute, both of a real sense of duty to his fellow-men of all grades, and in regard to God; and for this destitution Lucretius' remedy, the accurate knowledge of a philosophical theory of the universe, was wholly inadequate. The first real appeal to the conscience of the Roman came from Stoicism, the reasonable and less austere type of Stoicism which Panaetius preached to the Scipionic circle. From this 454the Roman learnt that as a part of the divine universe Man himself is divine: that as endowed with a portion of that Reason which itself is God, he has a sacred duty to perform in using it. Thus, as the Universal was revealed, so the Individual was ennobled; and the only thing wanting to make of this a real religion was a bond that might unite the two more effectually in conduct as well as in thought. Though a later development of Stoicism did indeed all but achieve this union, that of the later Republic failed to do so, because it inherited the old Stoic neglect of the emotional side of man's nature, and could take little advantage from a strong current of mystical feeling that was running side by side with it. The Stoic ingredient in the soil which was being prepared for Christianity was rich and valuable, but in this one respect it was poor. It was intellectually beautiful, but it stirred as yet no "enthusiasm of humanity."957
Another ingredient in the soil was that imaginative transcendentalism which we discussed under the name of Mysticism, in which the soul becomes of greater interest than the body, and a strange yearning possesses the mind to speculate on the nature of the soul, its existence before this life, and its lot in another world. These imaginative yearnings were not native to the Roman, who had never had any very definite idea of a future life, nor had ever troubled himself about a previous one; they filtered through the Pythagorean and Platonic philosophy into that type of later Stoicism which attracted him. They were hardly treated in Roman society with real religious earnestness, except perhaps in some few moments of sorrow and emotion such as I dwelt on in the experience of Cicero. But the mere fact that they were in the air at Rome is of importance for us. They stimulated the imaginative faculty in religious thought; they kept alive in the minds at least of some men the questions why we are here, what we are, and what becomes of us after death. They prepared the Roman mind for Christian eschatology; and this, though never so important in the 455Latin Church as in the Greek, was yet an important part of the teaching of the early Church. St. Paul exactly expresses the yearning thus dimly foreshadowed in the mystical movement of which I am speaking: "We that are in this tabernacle do groan, being burdened; not for that we would be unclothed, but that we would be clothed upon, that what is mortal may be swallowed up of life" (2 Cor. v. 4). It was essential that the Roman should be able to understand words like these, and to associate them with a religion which, though in its most vital points one mainly affecting this life, was also, like those of Isis and Mithras, strongly tinged with mysticism. "All religions of that time," it has lately been said, "were religions of hope. Stress was laid on the future: the present time was but for preparation. So in the mysterious cults of Hellenism, whose highest aim is to offer guarantees for other worldly happiness; so too in Judaism, whose legacy has but the aim of furnishing the happy life in the kingdom of the future. But Christianity is a religion of faith, the gospel not only giving guarantees for the future life, but bringing confidence, peace, joy, salvation, forgiveness, righteousness—whatever man's heart yearns after."958
Yet another ingredient was that kindly, charitable, sympathetic outlook on the world which we found in the poems of Virgil, and which is associated throughout them with the idea of duty and honourable service. The husbandman toiling cheerfully and doing his simple acts of worship, among the patient animals that he loves, and the scenes of natural beauty that inspire him with pure and tender thoughts; and then again in the Aeneid the warrior kept true to his goal by a sense of duty stimulated by supernatural influence: both these sides of the Virgilian spirit show well how the soil is being prepared for another and a richer crop. Love and Duty are the essentials of Christian ethics; they are both to be found in this poet, and through him made their way into the ideas of the better Romans of the next generation, and so into the philosophy of Seneca and 456Marcus Aurelius. "To minds touched with the same sense of life's problems which pervades the poetry of Virgil, the ideas that came from Galilee brought the rest and peace which they could not find elsewhere."959 The early Christian writers loved the "vates Gentilium," and St. Augustine in particular is for ever quoting him; but I should be going beyond the limits of my subject if I were to follow his gentle influence farther down the stream of time.
In my last lecture we discussed the revival of the old religious forms by Augustus, and the consummation of this work of his in the splendid ritual of the Ludi saeculares. Can it be said that such an astute and worldly policy as this had any value in the way of preparation for Christianity? Only, I think, in one way; it renewed the idea of the connection between religion and the State, and of the religious duties of the individual citizen towards the State. It preserved the outward features of the old State religion, such as the calendar, the ritual, and the terminology or vocabulary, and handed these down to a time when they could be of service to a Latin Christian church.960 Had the old forms been allowed to go utterly to rack and ruin, as they had been already doing for the last two centuries, the Roman State would have been as such without religion, or the worship of the Caesars would have become disastrously powerful and prominent, or maybe the State would have adopted the religion of Isis or Mithras or some other Oriental cult and belief, before Christianity could lay a firm grasp on it. I think it might be shown that the continuity of the old religion in its connection with the State was really of value in keeping these growths from occupying too much ground: of value in checking too rapid a growth of individualism:961 of value too in cherishing certain really precious religious characteristics, orderliness and decency in ritual, for example, which, as we have seen, were very early developed in the Roman religious system, and which owed their continued vitality to the overwhelming influence of the Roman State 457over all her citizens and their ideas. Thus when at last, after a period of anxious conflict between rival religions, the State proclaimed itself Christian, and henceforward for good or ill extended its protection to the Church, its religious tradition was still one of decency and order, still free from almost all that the old Roman State knew and dreaded as superstitio. There was, in fact, a legacy, not indeed a spiritual one, but yet one of some small value, left by the old Roman religion to the Latin Church: and this I will turn for a few minutes to examine.
As an example of the orderly, sane, and decent character which the Church inherited from the Roman religion, I might recall what I said in Lecture IX. about lustratio, that slow and orderly processional movement in which the old Romans delighted, and which is familiar still to all travellers in Italy.962 Another is the tender and reverential care for the resting-places of departed relatives. I am not sure that Prof. Gardner is right in asserting that the prayers for the dead of the Catholic Church took the place of the worship of the dead in the Roman family;963 for it is not easy to say how far it is true that the dead were ever really worshipped at Rome, and the idea of prayer for the dead, if it can be traced to Roman sources at all, may be rather due to those tendencies which we discussed under Mysticism, than to anything inherent in the old Roman attitude to the departed. None the less there is in the sacra privata of the Parentalia, and especially of the Caristia which concluded it—a kind of love-feast of all members of the family, where all quarrels and differences were to be laid aside,964—something that suggests the Christian attitude towards the dead, and in some dim way too the doctrine of the Communion of Saints. And we may also notice how closely in regard to externals the great events of family life,—those critical moments when the aid of the numina was most needed—the first days of infancy, the eras of puberty and of marriage, passed on in their sober and orderly ritual into 458the baptism, confirmation, and sacramental wedding of the Christian Church. In such ways the private religion of the Roman family had doubtless a real continuity in the new era, though the line of connection is difficult to trace. This, and many other examples of survival, the worship of local saints which took the place of that of local deities, the use of holy water and of incense as symbolic elements in worship, and the general resemblance of the arrangement of festivals in the Calendars, Roman and Christian, might be interesting matter for a complete course of lectures, but must be omitted here.
Another point of interest, which might also be widely expanded, is the influence of the Roman religious spirit, as distinct from the outward form, on Christian thought and literature in the Western half of the Empire. The subtle transcendentalism of the Greek fathers was foreign to Latin Christianity; the characteristics of Roman life as reflected in Roman worship are plainly visible in the Latin fathers. From Minucius Felix onwards, the Christians who wrote in Latin, so far from being imaginative and dreamy, are one and all matter-of-fact; historical, abounding in illustration of life and conduct; ethical rather than speculative; legal in their cast of thought rather than philosophical; rhetorical in their manner of expression rather than fervent or poetical. They were well versed in the great literature of Rome, but most of them, and especially the African school (which carried Roman tendencies to an extreme), knew comparatively little of Greek. St. Augustine, for example, could not bring himself to work at Greek with ardour, nor could he explain why this was so.965 Of Augustine, as the type of the literature of Latin Christianity, Bishop Westcott wrote with something of an exaggerated criticism, lamenting that he had not the Greek which had so large a place in the Bishop's own training. "He looked" (more particularly in the de Civitate Dei) "at everything from the side of law and not of freedom: from the side of God, as an irresponsible sovereign, and not of man, as a loving servant. 459In spite of his admiration for Plato, he was driven by a passion for system" (how this reminds us of the old Roman religious lawyers!) "to fix, to externalise, to freeze every idea into a rigid shape. In spite of his genius he could not shake off the influence of a legal and rhetorical training, which controversy called into active exercise."966 The lecture from which I am quoting is an interesting one, on the work and character of Origen, the great Alexandrian of the third century A.D., with whom Augustine is contrasted, as in an earlier age we might contrast Seneca with Philo; the Latin writers rhetorical, practical, realistic; the Greek authors idealistic and fervent, apt to see deep moral significance in all human life. And this is really the manner and mental attitude of all the famous Latin fathers: of Lactantius, the clear, precise Ciceronian, whose every page shows the perennial value of the Latin tongue; of Tertullian, the subtle and acute rhetorician, more gifted with imagination than his fellows; of Arnobius, another Roman African, the reputed teacher of Lactantius.
One of the characteristics of these Latin fathers is their fondness for using the famous words of the old Roman religion, but in new senses. They inherit that Roman love for a strong technical word of pregnant meaning which has left us so many imperishable legacies in terminology. Municipium, colonia, imperium, collegium, rise in one's mind the moment the subject is mentioned; and a few minutes' thought will reveal another score of words which in various forms pervade all our modern European terminology. So, too, with the language of religion. These Latin advocates of Christian doctrine took the old words which we have so often dwelt on in the course of these lectures, and gave them new but almost equally clear and pregnant meanings. Let us glance at three or four of these; for such a legacy as this is no mean property of the Christian religion of the West.
Let us take, to begin with, the greatest of all these words—religio. I have maintained throughout these lectures that the original sense of this word was the 460natural feeling of man in the presence of the supernatural; and though this has actually been questioned since I began them,967 I see no good reason to alter my conviction. But in the age of Cicero and Lucretius the word begins to take on a different meaning, of great importance for the future. Though Cicero as a young man had defined religio as "the feeling of the presence of a higher or divine nature, which prompts man to worship,—to cura et caerimonia,"968 yet later on in life he uses it with much freedom of that cura et caerimonia apart from the feeling. To take a single example among many: in a passage in his de Legibus he says that to worship private or strange or foreign gods, "confusionem habet religionum";969 and again he calls his own imaginary ius divinum in that treatise a constitutio religionum, a system of religious duties.970 In many other passages, on the other hand, we find both the feeling which prompts and the cult-acts which follow on it equally connoted by the word; for example, the phrase religio sepulcrorum suggests quite as much the feeling as the ritual. So it would seem that religio is already beginning to pass into the sense in which we still use it—i.e., the feeling which suggests worship, and the forms under which we perform that worship. In this broad sense it is also used by Lucretius, who included under it all that was for him the world's evil and folly, both the feeling of awe which he believed to be degrading, and the organised worship of the family and the State, which he no less firmly believed to be futile. "Tantum religio potuit suadere malorum."971 The fact is that in that age, when the old local character of the cults was disappearing, and when men like Posidonius, Varro, and Cicero were thinking and writing about the nature of the gods and kindred subjects, a word was wanted to gather up and express all this religious side of human life and experience: it must be a word without a definite technical meaning, and such a word was religio.
Thus while religio continues to express the feeling only or the cult only, if called on to do so, it gains in the 461age of Cicero a more comprehensive connotation, as the result of the contemplation of religion by philosophy as a thing apart from itself; and this enabled the early Christian writers, who knew their Cicero well, to give it a meaning in which it is still in use among all European nations.
But there was yet to be a real change in the meaning of the word, one that was inevitable, as the contrast between Christianity and other religions called for emphasis. The second century A.D. was that in which the competition was keenest between various religious creeds and forms, each with its own vitality, and each clearly marked off from the others. It is no longer a question of religion as a whole, contemplated by a critical or a sympathetic philosophy; the question is, which creed or form is to be the true and the victorious religion. Our wonderful word again adapts itself to the situation. Each separate religious system can now be called a religio. The old polytheistic system can now be called religio Deorum by the Christian, while his own creed is religio Dei. In the Octavius of Minucius Felix, written about the end of the second century, the word is already used in this sense. Nostra religio, vera religio,972 is for him the whole Christian faith and practice as it stood then—the depth of feeling and the acts which gave it outward form. The one true religion can thus be now expressed by the word. In Lactantius, Arnobius, Tertullian, in the third century A.D., this new sense is to be found on almost every page, but a single noble passage of Lactantius must suffice to illustrate it. "The heathen sacrifice," he says, "and leave all their religion in the temple; thus it is that such religiones cannot make men good or firm in their faith. But 'nostra religio eo firma est et solida et immutabilis, quia mentem ipsam pro sacrificio habet, quia tota in animo colentis est.'"973
Here at last we come upon a force of meaning which the word had never before attained. Religio here is not awe only or cult only, but a mental devotion capable of 462building up character. "The kingdom of God is within you." Surely this is a valuable legacy to the Christian faith from our hard, dry, old Roman religion.
Another legacy in words is that of pius. Our English word "pious" has suffered some damage from the sanctimoniousness of a certain type of Puritanism; but piety still remains sweet and wholesome, and, like its Latin original in the middle ages it seems to express one beautiful aspect of the Christian life better than any other word. In the old Roman religion pius meant the man who strictly conforms his life to the ius divinum; this we know from the very definite ancient explanations of its contrary, impius. The impius is the man who wilfully breaks the ius divinum and the pax deorum; for him no piaculum was of avail.974 Such a crime is the nearest approach in Roman antiquity to our idea of sin. Pius is therefore, as we saw in discussing Aeneas, the man who knows the will of the gods, and so far as in him lies adjusts his conduct thereto, whether in the life of the family or as a citizen of the State. As applied to things, to a war for example, the word pium is almost equivalent to iustum or purum, i.e., pium bellum is a war declared and conducted in accordance with the principles of the ius divinum.975 Pietas is therefore a virtue, that of obedience to the will of God as shown in private and public life, and it herein differs from religio, which is not a virtue, but a feeling. But we need not be surprised to find that in Lactantius pietas can be used to explain religio; for religio is no longer a feeling only or a cult only, but, as we saw just now, a mental devotion capable of building up character. In one passage he says that it is no true philosophy which "veram religionem, id est summam pietatem, non habet."976 In another interesting chapter he shows plainly enough that he uses pietas just as he uses religio, to express the whole Christian mental furniture.977 He begins by scornfully pointing to Aeneas as the typical pius, and asking what we are to think of the pietas of a man who could bind the hands of prisoners 463in order to slaughter them as a sacrifice to the shade of Pallas978 (little dreaming, indeed, that Christian piety should ever be guilty of such slaughter in the cause of the faith); and ends by asking, "What, then, is pietas? Surely it is with those who know not war; who keep at peace with all men; who love their enemies and count all men their brethren; who can control their anger and curb all mental wilfulness." And once again, pietas is the main ingredient in iustitia, that is, in Christian righteousness, for "pietas nihil aliud est quam Dei notio." Even here it is not so far removed from its old meaning; but in a Christian writer it can mean conformity to the will of God, based on a real knowledge of Him, in a sense which shows us by a sudden illuminating flash the deep gulf set between the old religion and the new.
Another word, bequeathed in this case rather by the Latin language than the Roman religion, in which it held no strictly technical meaning, is sanctus, which has played so large a part in the terminology of the Catholic Church, and passed thence into the language of Puritanism for the living Christian, as in Baxter's famous book, The Saints' Rest. The exact meaning of sanctus is extremely difficult to fix, and this may be why it was found to be a convenient word for a type of character negative rather than positive. The lawyers defined it as meaning what is sancitum by the State,979 without tracing it back to a time when the State was a religious as well as a civil entity. But there was beyond doubt a religious flavour in it from the beginning, as in other old Italian words connected with it; and thus it seems to be able to express a certain conjunction of religious and moral purity which finally brought it into the hands of the Christian writers. A single verse of Virgil will serve to explain what I mean. Turnus, before he rushes forth to meet his death at Aeneas' hand, and knowing that he is to meet it, asks the Manes to be good to him, "quoniam superis aversa voluntas," for—
464sancta ad vos anima atque istius nescia culpae
descendam magnorum haud unquam indignus avorum.980
He goes to the shades with a conscience clear of guilt or of impietas; as the ancient scholiast interprets the word, it is equivalent to incorrupta.981 In this sense it became one of the favourite superlatives to describe in sepulchral inscriptions, pagan or Christian, the purity of departed women and children.982
Lastly, we have the great word sacer, with its compounds sacrificium and sacramentum. The adjective itself has no new or special significance, I think, in the language of the early Christians, and in our Teutonic languages the Roman sense of it, "that which is made over to God," is expressed by the word holy, sacred being retained in a general sense for that which is not "common." But sacrificium, the act of making a thing, animate or inanimate, or yourself, as in devotio, over to the gods, is indeed a great legacy on which I do not need to dwell. Sacramentum, on the other hand, needs a word of explanation.
Sacramentum in Roman public law meant (1) a legal formula (legis actio), under which a sum of money was deposited, originally in a temple,983 to be forfeited by the loser in a suit. The deposition in loco sacro gives the word to the process, and helps us to see that it must mean some act which has a religious sanction. So with (2) its other meaning, i.e. the oath of obedience taken by the soldier, who was iuratus in verba, that is, sworn under a formula with a religious sanction attached.984 It is tempting to suppose that it is through this channel that it found its way into the Christian vocabulary—the soldier of Christ affirming his allegiance in the solemn rites of baptism, marriage, or the Eucharist. It is a curious fact that it seems to be used in this way in the religion of Mithras,985 which was especially powerful among the Roman legions of the Empire, and in which there was a grade of the faithful with the title of milites. Sacramentum was here the word for the initiatory rites 465of a grade. In the earliest Christian writers of Latin it usually means a mystery; thus Arnobius writes of the Christian religion as revealing the "veritatis absconditae sacramenta";986 but in another passage the idea in his mind seems to be that of military service. It is better, he says, for Christians to break their worldly contracts, even of marriage, than to break the fides Christiana, "et salutaris militiae sacramenta deponere;"987 and Tertullian more than once attaches the same military meaning to it: "Vocati sumus ad militiam Dei vivi iam tunc cum in verba sacramenti spopondimus."988 Perhaps we may take it that the word, though of general significance for a religiously binding force produced by certain mysterious rites, had a special attraction for writers of the painful third century A.D., as reflecting into the Christian life from old Roman times something of the spirit of the duty and self-sacrifice of the loyal legionary. In any case we have once more a verbal legacy of priceless value.989
To sum up what I have been saying, there were certain ingredients in the Roman soil, deposits of the Roman religious experience, which were in their several ways favourable to the growth of a new plant. There were also certain direct legacies from the old Roman religion, of which Christianity could dispose with profit, in the shape of forms of ritual, and, what was even of greater value, words of real significance in the old religion, which were destined to become of permanent and priceless value in the Christian speech of the western nations. There were also other points in the society and organisation of the Roman Empire which were of great importance for the growth of the new creed; but these lie outside my proper subject, and have been dealt with by Professor Gardner in the lecture to which I alluded at the beginning of this lecture, and most instructively by Sir W. M. Ramsay in more than one of his books, and especially in St. Paul, the Traveller and Roman Citizen.
And yet, all this taken together, so far from explaining 466Christianity, does not help us much in getting to understand even the conditions under which it grew into men's minds as a new power in the life of the world. The plant, though grown in soil which had borne other crops, was wholly new in structure and vital principle. I say this deliberately, after spending so many years on the study of the religion of the Romans, and making myself acquainted in some measure with the religions of other peoples. The essential difference, as it appears to me as a student of the history of religion, is this, that whereas the connection between religion and morality has so far been a loose one,—at Rome, indeed, so loose, that many have refused to believe in its existence,—the new religion was itself morality,990 but morality consecrated and raised to a higher power than it had ever yet reached. It becomes active instead of passive; mere good nature is replaced by a doctrine of universal love; pietas, the sense of duty in outward things, becomes an enthusiasm embracing all humanity, consecrated by such an appeal to the conscience as there never had been in the world before—the appeal to the life and death of the divine Master.
This is what is meant, if I am not mistaken, by the great contrast so often and so vividly drawn by St. Paul between the spirit and the flesh, between the children of light and the children of darkness, between the sleep or the death of the world and the waking to life in Christ, between the blameless and the harmless sons of God and the crooked and perverse generation among whom they shine as lights in the world. I confess that I never realised this contrast fully or intelligently until I read through the Pauline Epistles from beginning to end with a special historical object in view. It is useful to be familiar with the life and literature of the two preceding centuries, if only to be able the better to realise, in passing to St. Paul, a Roman citizen, a man of education and experience, the great gulf fixed between the old and the new as he himself saw it.
467But historical knowledge, knowledge of the Roman society of the day, study of the Roman religious experience, cannot do more than give us a little help; they cannot reveal the secret. History can explain the progress of morality, but it cannot explain its consecration. With St. Paul the contrast is not merely one of good and bad, but of the spirit and the flesh, of life and death. No mere contemplation of the world around him could have kindled the fervency of spirit with which this contrast is by him conceived and expressed. Absolute devotion to the life and death of the Master, apart even from His work and teaching (of which, indeed, St. Paul says little), this alone can explain it. The love of Christ is the entirely new power that has come into the world;991 not merely as a new type of morality, but as "a Divine influence transfiguring human nature in a universal love." The passion of St. Paul's appeal lies in the consecration of every detail of it by reference to the life and death of his Master; and the great contrast is for him not as with the Stoics, between the universal law of Nature and those who rebel against it; not as with Lucretius, between the blind victims of religio and the indefatigable student of the rerum natura; not, as in the Aeneid, between the man who bows to the decrees of fate, destiny, God, or whatever we choose to call it, and the wilful rebel, victim of his own passions; not, as in the Roman State and family, between the man who performs religious duties and the man who wilfully neglects them—between pius and impius; but between the universal law of love, focussed and concentrated in the love of Christ, and the sleep, the darkness, the death of a world that will not recognise it.
I will conclude these lectures with one practical illustration of this great contrast, which will carry us back for a moment to the ritual of the old Roman ius divinum. That ritual, we saw, consisted mainly of sacrifice and prayer, the two apparently inseparable from 468each other. I pointed out that though the efficacy of the whole process was believed to depend on the strictest adherence to prescribed forms, whether of actions or words, the prayers, when we first meet with them, have got beyond the region of charm or spell, and are cast in the language of petition; they show clearly a sense of the dependence of man on the Power manifesting itself in the universe. There was here, perhaps, a germ of religious development; but it was arrested in its growth by the formalisation of the whole Roman religious system, and no substitute was to be found for it either in the imported Greek ritual, or in the more enlightening doctrines of exotic Greek philosophy. The prayers used in the ritual of Augustus' great festival, which was almost as much Greek as Roman in character, seem to us as hard and formal as the most ancient Roman prayers that have come down to us. In the most emotional moments of the life of a Roman of enlightenment like Cicero, when we can truly say of him that he was touched by true religious feeling, as well as by the spiritual aspirations of the nobler Greek philosophers, prayers find no place at all.
But for St. Paul and the members of the early Christian brotherhood the whole of life was a continuous worship, and the one great feature of that worship was prayer. It has been said by a great Christian writer of recent times that "when the attention of a thinking heathen was directed to the new religion spreading in the Roman Empire, the first thing to strike him as extraordinary would be that a religion of prayer was superseding the religion of ceremonies and invocation of gods; that it encouraged all, even the most uneducated, to pray, or, in other words, to meditate and exercise the mind in self-scrutiny and contemplation of God."992 And, as the same writer says, prayer thus became a motive power of moral renewal and inward civilisation, to which nothing else could be compared for efficacy. And more than this, it was the chief inward and spiritual means of 469maintaining that universal law of love, which, so far as this life was concerned, was the great secret of the new religion.
NOTES TO LECTURE XX
956 P. Gardner, The Growth of Christianity, 1907, p. 2. Cp. some remarks of Prof. Conway in Virgil's Messianic Eclogue, p. 39 foll.
957 The phrase "enthusiasm of humanity" is, of course, that of the author of Ecce Homo, a most inspiring book for all students of religious history, as indeed for all other readers.
958 Dobschütz on "Early Christian Eschatology," in Transactions of the Third Congress for the History of Religions, vol. ii. (Oxford, 1908), p. 320.
959 The words are those of Mr. Glover in the last page of his Studies in Virgil.
960 It should be understood that these legacies, with the exception of the last (the vocabulary), were only taken up by the Church after the first two centuries of its existence. And even the vocabulary of the early Roman Church was mainly Greek (Gwatkin, Early Church History, ii. 213, and it was not till the rise of the African school of writers (Tertullian, Arnobius, Augustine) that the Latin vocabulary really established itself. Any real assimilation of Christian and pagan forms of worship was not possible until the latter were growing meaningless; then "the assimilation of Christianity to heathenism from the third century is matter of history" (Gwatkin, i. 269).
961 Caird, Gifford Lectures, vol. ii. p. 353, has some interesting remarks on this point.
962 See above, p. 211.
963 Growth of Christianity, p. 144.
964 See Roman Festivals, p. 308.
965 Confessions, i. 14.
966 Westcott, Religious Thought in the West, p. 246. Gwatkin writes (vol. ii. 236) that all Augustine's conceptions are shaped by law and Stoicism. Cp. p. 237. So, too, of Tertullian.
967 By W. Otto, in the Archiv für Religionswissenschaft, vol. xii. (1909) p. 533 foll.
968 De Inventione, ii. 161.
969 De Legibus, ii. 10. 25.
970 Ib. 10. 23.
971 Lucretius i. 101.
972 E.g. Octavius 38. 2; and again at the end of that chapter.
973 Lactantius, bk. v. (de Iustitia) ch. 19. I may note here that the paragraph in the text where this is quoted was first published in the Transactions of the Congress for the History of Religions 470(Oxford, 1908), vol. ii. p. 174. I may also add that the restricted sense of the word religio as meaning the monastic life is, of course, comparatively late. This restrictive use of heathen words, from the third century onwards, is the subject of some valuable remarks by Prof. Gwatkin in his Early Church History, vol. i. p. 268 foll.
974 See Roman Festivals, p. 299, and the references there given.
975 Livy i. 32, ix. 8. 6; Wissowa, R.K. p. 476; Greenidge, Roman Public Life, p. 56.
976 Lactantius iv. 3 (de vera sapientia).
977 Ib. v. (de Iustitia) ch. 10.
978 Aen. xi. 81.
979 Marquardt, 145, note 5.
980 Aen. xii. 648.
981 Servius, ad Aen. xii. 648.
982 The original meaning of sanctus as applied to things, e.g. walls and tombs, was probably "inviolable"; Nettleship, Contributions to Latin Lexicography, s.v. "sanctus," who also suggests a connection between the word and the attitude of the Roman towards his dead: thus Cicero in Topica 90 writes of aequitas as consisting of three parts,—pietas, sanctitas, and iustitia,—meaning man's relation to the gods, the Manes, and his fellow-men. Nettleship also quotes Aen. v. 80 (salve sancte parens), Tibull. ii. 2. 6, and other passages, which show that the word was specially used of the dead and their belongings. But when used of persons living, as frequently in the last century B.C., it expresses a certain purity of life, not without a religious tincture, which could not so well be expressed by any other word, owing to the original meaning being that of religious inviolability. Thus Cicero uses it in the 9th Philippic of his old friend Sulpicius, one of the best and purest men of his time; and long before Cicero, Cato had used it of an obligation at once ethical and religious: "Maiores sanctius habuere defendi pupillos quam clientem non fallere." It is interesting to notice that it was used later on of Mithras and other oriental deities (Cumont, Mon. myst. Mithra, i. p. 533; Les Religions orientales, p. 289, note 45); in the case of Mithras, at least, this meant that his life was pure, and that he wished his worshippers to be pure also.
983 Marquardt, p. 318, note 4; Mommsen, Strafrecht, pp. 902, 1026. See also Greenidge, Roman Public Life, p. 56; Festus, p. 347.
984 Greenidge, op. cit. p. 154.
985 Cumont, Mysterien von Mithras, p. 116 of the German edition. See also De Marchi, La Religione nella vita privata, vol. ii. 114. It may be worth noting that the idea of life as the service of a soldier bound to obedience by his oath is found also in Stoicism; see Epictetus (Arrian), Discourses, i. 14, iii. 24, 99-101, ii. 26, 28-30; (Crossley's Golden Sayings of Epictetus, Nos. 37, 125, 132, 134).
986471 Arnobius, adv. Nationes, i. 3.
987 Ib. ii. 6.
988 Tertull., ad Martyr. c. 3. Cp. de Corona Militiae, c. 11.
989 It is curious that the word sacerdos did not find its way into the Christian vocabulary. Apparently it had its chance; for Tertullian uses it in several ways, e.g., "summus sacerdos" for a bishop (de Bapt. 17; "disciplina sacerdotalis," de Monog. 7. 12; and for other examples see Harnack, Entstehung und Entwickelung der Kirchenverfassung und des Kirchenrechts in den zwei ersten Jahrhunderten, 1910, p. 85). But the words finally adopted for the grades of the priesthood were Greek: bishop, priest, and deacon. Nevertheless, the general word for the priesthood, as distinguished from the laity, is Latin (ordo); hence "ordination" and holy "orders." It is not of religious origin, but taken from the language of municipal life, ordo et plebs being contrasted just as they were contrasted in municipia as senate (decuriones) and all non-official persons. See Harnack, op. cit. p. 82.
990 This is, of course, in one light, the legitimate development of the union of religion and morality in the Hebrew mind. "For the Israelite morality, righteousness, is simply doing the will of God, which from the earliest age is assumed to be ascertainable, and indeed ascertained. The Law in its simplest form was at once the rule of morality and the revealed will of God." "The central feature of O.T. morality is its religious character" (Alexander, Ethics of St. Paul, p. 34). In the religious system we have been occupied with, religion can only be reckoned as one of the factors in the growth of morality; it supplied the sanction for some acts of righteousness, but (in historical times at least) by no means for all.
Prof. Gwatkin, in his Early Church History, vol. i. p. 54, states the relation of early Christianity to morality thus: "Christ's person, not His teaching, is the message of the Gospel. If we know anything for certain about Jesus of Nazareth, it is that He steadily claimed to be the Son of God, the Redeemer of mankind, and the ruler of the world to come, and by that claim the Gospel stands or falls. Therefore, the Lord's disciples went not forth as preachers of morality, but as witnesses of his life, and of the historic resurrection which proved his mightiest claims. Their morality is always an inference from these, never the forefront of their teaching. They seem to think that if they can only fill men with true thankfulness for the gift of life in Christ, morality will take care of itself." I cannot but think that this is expressed too strongly, or baldly; but it is in the main in keeping with the impression left on my mind by a study of St. Paul. It must, however, be remembered that the Pauline spirit is not exactly that of early Christianity in general: see Gwatkin, vol. i. p. 98. In the Didache, e.g., there is no trace of St. Paul's influence (104).
991 In a book which had just been published when I was delivering 472these lectures at Edinburgh (The Ethics of St. Paul, by Archibald Alexander), I found a very interesting chapter on "The Dynamic of the New Life," p. 126 foll. The word which for the author best expresses that dynamic is faith, which is "the spring of all endeavour, the inspiration of all heroism" (p. 150). "It brings the whole life into the domain of spiritual freedom, and is the animating and energising principle of all moral purpose." What exactly is here understood by faith is explained on p. 151 to the end of the chapter, of which I may quote the concluding words: "Faith in Christ means life in Christ. And this complete yielding of self and vital union with the Saviour, this dying and rising again, is at once man's supreme ideal and the source of all moral greatness."
992 Döllinger, The First Age of Christianity and the Church (Oxenham's translation), p. 344 foll.
On The Use of Huts or Booths in Religious Ritual
This may be taken as an addendum to Lecture II. on taboo at Rome; but owing to the uncertainty of the explanation given in it, I reserved it for an Appendix. The custom here dealt with is found both in the public and private worship of the Romans, and also in Greece and elsewhere, but has never, so far as I know, been investigated by anthropologists.
On the Ides of March, at the festival of Anna Perenna, a deity explained as representing "the ring of the year," whose cult is not recognised in the ancient religious calendar, the lower population came out of the city, and lay about all day in the Campus Martius, near the Tiber. Ovid, fortunately, took the trouble to describe the scene in the third book of his Fasti, as he had witnessed it himself. Some of them, he says, lay in the open, some constructed tents, and some made rude huts of stakes and branches, stretching their togas over them to make a shelter.
plebs venit ac virides passim disiecta per herbas
potat, et accumbit cum pare quisque sua.
sub Iove pars durat, pauci tentoria ponunt,
sunt quibus e ramis frondea facta casa est,
pars, ubi pro rigidis calamos statuere columnis,
desuper extentas imposuere togas.
quot sumant cyathos, ad numerumque bibunt.993
It appears also from Ovid's account that there was much drunkenness and obscene language; this was, in fact, a festa very different in character from those of the Numan calendar; and that there was a magical element in the cult of the deity seems proved by the mysterious allusion to "virgineus cruor" in connection with her grove not far from this scene of revelry, in Martial iv. 64. 17 (cp. Pliny, N.H. xxviii. 78, and Columella 474x. 558). Tibullus describes something of the same kind at a rustic festival,994 though he does not make it clear what time of year he is speaking of; a few lines before he had mentioned the drinking and leaping over the fire at the Parilia, the shepherd's festival in April, though I cannot feel sure that the following lines are also meant to refer to it:—
tunc operata deo pubes discumbet in herba,
arboris antiquae qua levis umbra cadit,
aut e veste sua tendent umbracula sertis
vincta, coronatus stabit et ipse calix.
Here it is too much to suppose that the umbracula were contrived to make up for the want of shade in a country so covered with woodland as Italy was then; and the words "sertis vincta" show that there was some special meaning in the practice. I think we may guess that in both instances the extemporised huts had some forgotten religious meaning. Yet another passage of Tibullus, which also describes a rural festival, alludes to a similar custom.995 I have given reasons in the Classical Review for thinking that this was a summer festival, accompanied as it was, like many midsummer rites all over Europe, by bonfires and revelry, though the usual interpretation ascribes it to the winter.996
tunc nitidus plenis confisus rusticus agris
ingeret ardenti grandia ligna foco,
turbaque vernarum, saturi bona signa coloni,
ludet et ex virgis exstruet ante casas.
The slaves can here hardly be playing at building houses of twigs, like the children in Horace's Satire,997 unless we are to suppose that Tibullus is thinking of slave children only, which is indeed possible; but even if that were so, how are we to account for the popularity of this curious form of sport?
There was, however, at Rome a public summer festival, included in the calendar, in which we find this same custom. At the Neptunalia, on July 23, huts or booths were erected, made of the foliage of trees. "Umbrae vocantur Neptunalibus casae frondeae pro tabernaculis," says Festus998 (following Verrius Flaccus), where the last word is one in regular use for military tents. This is the only thing that is told us about this festival, 475and we may assume that even this would not have come down to us if it had not been a survival rigidly adhered to, i.e. the construction of shelters from the foliage of trees, instead of using tents, which could easily have been procured in the city. As the festival was in the hot month of July, we might suppose that shelter from the sun was the real object here; but we do not hear of it at other summer festivals, and the parallel practices I shall now mention make the rationalising explanation very doubtful. It is unlucky that we know hardly anything about the older and un-Graecised Neptunus, and nothing about his festival except this one fact; the comparative method is here our only hope.
The Jewish feast of tabernacles will, of course, occur at once to every one; this was in the heat of the summer, and the booths were here, as at the Neptunalia, made of the branches of trees;999 the explanation given to the Israelites was not that they were thus to shelter themselves from the heat, but to be reminded of their homeless wanderings in the wilderness, plainly an aetiological account, as in the case of the passover. There are distinct examples in Greece of the same practice, e.g. the σκιἁδεϛ at the Spartan Carneia,1000 and tents (σκηναἱ) in several cases, as at the mysteries of Andania, where the peculiar regulations for the construction of the tents points to a ritualistic origin almost unmistakably.1001 But perhaps the most striking parallel is to be found in the famous letter of Gregory the Great, preserved by Bede, about the British converts to Christianity, who were to be allowed to use their heathen temples as churches:
"Et quia boves solent in sacrificio daemonum multos occidere, debet iis etiam hac in re aliqua solemnitas immutari: ut die dedicationis, vel natalicii sanctorum martyrum quorum illic reliquiae ponuntur, tabernacula sibi circa easdem ecclesias quae ex fanis commutatae sunt, de ramis arborum faciant, et religiosis conviviis sollemnitatem celebrent: nec diabolo iam animalia immolent, et ad laudem Dei in esu suo animalia occident," etc.1002
Why should Gregory here take the trouble to describe the material out of which these huts were to be made? Surely 476because the custom was one which had been described to him by Augustine or Mellitus as part of the heathen practice, and one which he was willing to condone as harmless (possibly with a recollection of the Jewish feast), since the Britons set great store by it.
If these examples from Europe and Palestine are sufficient to suggest that there was originally a religious or mystic meaning in the custom, we must look for its explanation in anthropological research. Robertson Smith was,1003 I think, the first to suggest a possible explanation of the Feast of Tabernacles, by comparing with it the rule, stated in Numbers xxxi. 19, that men might not enter their houses after bloodshed: "Do ye abide without the camp seven days: whosoever hath killed any person, and whosoever hath touched any slain, purify both yourselves and your captives on the third day and on the seventh day." He also pointed out that pilgrims are subject to the same rule, or taboo, in Syria and elsewhere. Since then an immense mass of evidence has been collected showing that all the world over persons in a holy or unclean state are placed under this or some similar restriction;1004 and if this be the case with pilgrims and warriors after a battle, it may also have been so with worshippers at some particular festival, even if we are quite unable to recover the special character of the worship which produced the restriction.1005 In the Feast of Tabernacles, which was a harvest festival, the cause seems to have been the great sanctity of the first-fruits, which are regarded with extreme veneration in many parts of the world. In the now famous festival of the first-fruits among the Natchez Indians of Louisiana, of which the details have been recorded with singular care and obvious accuracy,1006 we find that the chief, the Great Sun, and all the celebrators, have to live in huts two miles from their village, while the corn, grown for the purpose in a particular spot, is sacramentally eaten. It is quite impossible, without further evidence, which is not likely ever to be forthcoming, to explain either the Greek, Roman, or British customs in this way; we must be content with the general principle that the holiness of human beings at particular times is liable to carry with it the practice of renouncing your 477own dwelling and living in an extemporised hut or booth. The tents that we hear of in the Greek rites I look upon as late developments of this primitive practice. The inscription of Andania, which is the best Greek evidence we possess, dates only from 91 B.C.; and by that time there would have been every opportunity for the rude huts to become civilised tents. The casae made by the vernae in Tibullus' poem were, I would suggest, a kind of unconscious survival of the same feeling and practice, the real religious meaning being almost entirely lost.
Lastly, I will venture to suggest that the casae of the Roman custom, made of branches at the Neptunalia and the feast of Anna Perenna, and of virgae by the slaves on the farm, are a reminiscence of the earliest form of Italian dwelling, which survived to historical times in the round temple of Vesta, and of which we have examples in the hut-urns discovered in the necropolis at Alba.1007 The earliest form of all was probably a round structure made of branches of trees stuck into the ground, bent inwards at the top and tied together.1008 Just as bronze instruments survived from an earlier stage of culture in some religious rites at Rome, so, I imagine, did this ancient form of dwelling, which really belongs to an age previous to that of permanent settlement and agricultural routine. The hut circles of the neolithic age, such as are abundant on Dartmoor, were probably roofed with branches supported by a central pole.1009
993 Fasti, iii. 525 foll. See R.F. p. 50 foll.
994 Tibull. ii. 5. 89 foll. Mr. Mackail has pointed out to me a passage in the Pervigilium Veneris, line 5, which seems to contain a hint of the same practice (cp. line 43).
995 Tibull. ii. 1. 1-24.
996 Classical Review, 1908, p. 36 foll. My conclusions were criticised by Dr. Postgate in the Classical Quarterly for 1909, p. 127.
997 Hor. Sat. ii. 3. 247.
998 Festus, ed. Müller, p. 377.
999 Leviticus xxiii. 40-42. Cp. Plutarch, Quaest. conviv. 4. 2. This was a feast of harvest and first-fruits (Exodus xxiii. 16). Nehemiah viii. 13 foll. gives a graphic account of the revival of this festival after the captivity.
1000 Athenaeus iv. 41. 8 F. Cp. Farnell, Cults of the Greek States, vol. iv., p. 260.
1001 Dittenberger, Sylloge inscript. (ed. 2), 653, lines 34 foll. Cp. p. 200 (Teos).
1002 Baeda, Hist. eccl. i. 30 (ed. Plummer). There is a curious case of isolation in a hut in a process by which the sacrificer of the soma in the Vedic religion becomes divine, quoted by Hubert et Mauss, Mélanges, p. 34. This may possibly afford a clue to the mystery.
1003 Religion of the Semites, notes K and N at the end of the volume.
1004 See e.g. Frazer, G. B. ed. 2, index, s.v. "Seclusion."
1005 It has occurred to me that the shedding of blood in animal sacrifice may possibly be the reason in some of these rites. The last words of the passage quoted above from Baeda suggest this explanation in the case of the Britons. In the first-fruits festivals the "killing of the corn" may be a parallel cause of taboo. See G. B. i. 372.
1006 Du Pratz, translated in G. B. ii. 332 foll.
1007 See e.g. Helbig, Die Italiker in der Poebene, p. 50 foll. Lanciani, Ruins and Excavations of Ancient Rome, p. 132. It is worth noting that in a passage quoted by Helbig, Plutarch (Numa 8) uses for some of the most ancient Roman attempts at temple building the same word by which he describes the booths at the feast of tabernacles (καλιἁδεϛ).
1008 Whether there was in later days any special religious signification in the use of green foliage and branches I will not undertake to say, but I have been struck by the constant use of them in cases of religious seclusion, even where the person is secluded in some part of the house, and not outside it. See e.g. G. B. ii. pp. 205-214.
1009 Prof. Anwyl, Celtic Religion (Constable's series), p. 10. Mr. Baring-Gould told Mr. Anwyl that he had seen in some of the Dartmoor circles central holes which seemed meant for the fixing of this pole. I will add here that it has occurred to me that these huts must, in one sense at least, be a survival (like other points of ritual), from the days of pastoral life, and of the migration of the Aryans. Temporary huts are characteristic of pastoral as contrasted with agricultural life, and must have been used during the wanderings, as by the Israelites. See Schrader, Prehistoric Antiquities of the Aryan Peoples (Eng. Trans., London, 1890), p. 404.
Prof. Deubner's Theory of the Lupercalia
(See pp. 34 and 106)
In the Archiv für Religionswissenschaft, 1910, p. 481 foll., Prof. Deubner has published an interesting study of this puzzling festival, to which I wish to invite attention, though it has reached me too late for use in my earlier lectures.
It has long been clear to me that any attempt to explain the details of the Lupercalia on a single hypothesis must be a failure. If all the details belong to the same age and the same original festival, we cannot recover the key to the whole ceremonial, though we may succeed in interpreting certain features of it with some success. Is it, however, possible that these details belong to different periods,—that the whole rite, as we know it, with all the details put together from different sources of knowledge, was the result of an accretion of various features upon an original simple basis of ceremonial? Prof. Deubner answers this question in the affirmative, and works out his answer with much skill and learning.
He begins by explaining the word lupercus as derived from lupus and arceo, and meaning a "keeper off of wolves." The luperci were originally men chosen from two gentes or families to keep the wolves from the sheepfolds, in the days when the Palatine was a shepherd's settlement, and they did it by running round the base of the hill in a magical circle (if I understand him rightly). If that be so, we need not assume a deity Lupercus, nor in fact any deity at all, nor need we see in the runners a quasi-dramatic representation of wolves as vegetation-spirits, as Mannhardt proposed (see my Roman Festivals, p. 316 foll.). This view has the advantage of making the rite a simple and practical one, such as would be natural to primitive Latins; and the etymology is apparently unexceptionable, though it will doubtless be criticised, as in fact it has been long ago.
479But in course of time, Prof. Deubner goes on, there came to be engrafted on this simple rite of circumambulation without reference to a deity, a festival of the rustic god Faunus; and now there was added a sacrifice of goats, which seem to have been his favourite victims (kids in Hor. Odes, iii. 18). The luperci, who had formerly run round the hill quite naked, as in many rites of the kind (see p. 491), now girt themselves with the skins of the goats, in order to increase their "religious force" in keeping away the wolves, with strength derived from the victims.
But the luperci also carried in their hands, in the festival as we know it, strips of the skins of the victims, with which they struck at women who offered themselves to the blows, in order to make them fertile. This, Prof. Deubner thinks, was a still later accretion. Life in a city had obliterated the original meaning of the rite—the keeping off wolves; but a new meaning becomes attached to it, presumably growing out of the use of the skins as magical instruments of additional force. Here, too, Juno first appears on the scene as the deity of women, for the strips were known as amicula Iunonis (R.F. 321 and note). The strips may have been substituted for something carried in the hand to drive away the wolves; the goat, it should be noted, is prominent in the cult of Juno, e.g. at Lanuvium. The mystical meaning of striking or flogging has been sufficiently explained in this instance by Mannhardt (R.F. p. 320), and is now familiar to anthropologists in other contexts.
In the period when the fertilisation of women became the leading feature of the rite, the State took up the popular festival, and it gained admittance to the religious calendar, which was drawn up for the city of the four regions (see above, Lect. IV., p. 106). The State was represented, as we learn from Ovid, by the Flamen Dialis (Fasti, ii. 282).
But we still have to account for some strange detail, which has never been satisfactorily explained in connection with the rest of the ceremony. The runners had their foreheads smeared with the blood of the victims, which was then wiped off with wool dipped in milk; after which, says Plutarch (Romulus, 21), they were obliged to laugh. These details, as Prof. Deubner remarks, seem very un-Roman; we have no parallel to them in Roman ritual, and I have remarked more than once in these lectures on the absence of the use of blood in Roman ceremonial. I have suggested that they were allowed to survive in the religion of the city-state, though actually belonging to that of a primitive population living on the site of Rome. Prof. 480Deubner's explanation is very different, and at first sight startling. These, he thinks, are Greek cathartic details added by Augustus when he re-organised the Lupercalia, as we may guess that he did from Suet. Aug. 31. They can all be paralleled from Greek religion. We know of them only from Plutarch, who quotes a certain Butas as writing Greek elegiacs in which they were mentioned; but of the date of this poet we know nothing. Ovid does not mention these details, nor hint at them in the stories he tells about the festival. (It is certainly possible that Augustus's revision may have been made after Ovid wrote the second book of the Fasti; it could not have been done until he became Pont. Max. in 12 B.C., and perhaps not till long after that, and the Fasti was written some time before Ovid's banishment in A.D. 9.) That Augustus should insert Greek cathartic details in the old Roman festival is certainly surprising, but not impossible. We know that in the ludi saeculares he took great pains to combine Greek with Roman ritual.
The above is a mere outline of Prof. Deubner's article, but enough, I hope, to attract the attention of English scholars to it. Whether or no it be accepted in whole or part by learned opinion, it will at least have the credit of suggesting a way in which not only the Lupercalia, but possibly other obscure rites, may be compelled ultimately to yield up their secrets.
The Pairs of Deities In Gellius xiii. 23 (see page 150)
The first paired deity mentioned by Gellius is Lua Saturni, also known as Lua Mater, of whom Dr. Frazer writes (p. 412), "In regard to Lua we know that she was spoken of as a mother, which makes it not improbable that she was also a wife." We are not surprised to find him claiming that because Vesta is addressed as Mater in the Acta Fratr. Arv. (Henzen, p. 147), that virgin deity was also married. This he does in his lectures on Kingship (p. 222), quoting Ennius and Lactantius as making Vesta mother of Saturnus and Titan. No comment on this is needed for any one conversant with Graeco-Roman religion and literature from Ennius onward. The title Mater here means simply that Vesta was to her worshippers in a maternal position: "quamvis virginem, indole tamen quadam materna praeditam fuisse nuper exposuit Preunerus," says Henzen, quoting Preuner's Hestia-Vesta, an old book but a good one (p. 333). But to return to Lua: I freely confess that I cannot explain why she was styled Mater. We only know of her, apart from the list in Gellius and one passage of Servius, from the two passages of Livy quoted without comment by Dr. Frazer. The first of these (viii. 1), which may be taken from the pontifical books, seems to let in a ray of light on her nature and function. In 338 B.C. the Volscians had been beaten, and "armorum magna vis" was found in their camp. "Ea Luae Matri se dare consul dixit, finesque hostium usque ad maritimam oram depopulatus est." That is, as I understand the words, he dedicated the enemy's spoils to the numen who was the enemy of his own crops.1010 For if Lua be connected etymologically with lues, she may be the hurtful aspect of Saturnus, like Tursa Cerfia Cerfii Martii as Buecheler explains it (Umbrica, p. 98).
482A curious passage of Servius may be quoted in support of this view, in which Luae is an almost certain correction for Lunae (see Jordan's edition of Preller's Rom. Mythol. vol. ii. p. 22). Commenting on Virgil's "Arboribusque satisque lues" (Aen. iii. 139), he writes: "quidam dicunt, diversis numinibus vel bene vel male faciendi potestatem dicatam, ut Veneri coniugia, Cereri divortia, Iunoni procreationem liberorum: sterilitatem horum tam Saturno quam Luae, hanc enim sicut Saturnum orbandi potestatem habere." Whatever Lua may originally have been, she seems to have been regarded as a power capable of working for evil in the crops and in women; if you could get her to work on your enemy's crops (cp. the excantatio, above p. 58), so much the better, and the better would her claim be to the title of Mater (but Dr. Frazer supplies us with examples of a hostile spirit being called by a family name, e.g., Grandfather Smallpox, G.B. iii. p. 98). When the consul had dedicated the spoils to her he proceeded to assist her in her functions by ravaging the crops of the enemy; thus she became later on a deity of spoils. In the Macedonian triumph of B.C. 167 we find her in company with Mars and Minerva as one of the deities to whom "spolia hostium dicare ius fasque est" (Livy xlv. 33).
I may add here that Dr. Frazer has another arrow in his quiver to prove that Saturnus was married: if Lua was not his wife (which no Roman asserts) certainly (he says) Ops was. He quotes a few words from Macrobius (i. 13. 19) in which these two are mentioned as husband and wife. If he had quoted the whole passage, his reader would have been better able to judge of the value of the writers of whom Macrobius says that they "crediderunt" that Ops was wife of Saturn. For it appears that some of them fancied that Saturnus was "a satu dictus cuius causa de caelo est"—(a desperate attempt to make the old spirit of the seed into a heaven-god), while Ops, whose name speaks for itself, was the earth. But the real companion deity to Ops was not Saturnus, but Consus. This has been placed beyond all reasonable doubt by Wissowa in his de Feriis (reprinted in Gesammelte Abhandlungen, p. 154 foll.). See also my R.F. p. 212. The names Ops and Consus obviously refer to stored corn, and everything in their cult points the same way. Saturnus' connection with Ops is a late and a mistaken one, derived from the Graecising tendency, which brought Cronos and Rhea to bear on them.
Next a word about Hora Quirini. As this coupling of names is followed by Virites Quirini, in the characteristic method explained in the text (cp. Cic. Nat. Deor. ii. 27 of Vesta, "vis 483eius ad aras et focos pertinet"), it is hardly necessary to comment on it. Hora is perhaps connected with Umbrian Heris (cp. Buecheler, Umbrica, index), which with kindred forms means will, willingness. Thus in "Nerienem Mavortis et Herem" (Ennius, fragm. 70, in Baehrens, Fragm. Poet. Lat.) we may see the strength and the will of Mars (cp. Herie Iunonis). Hora is also connected in legend with Hersilia (Ov. Met. 14. 829), and this helps to show how the Alexandrian erotic legend-making faculty got hold of her. But, says Dr. Frazer, Ennius regarded her as wife of Quirinus: "Teque Quirine pater veneror, Horamque Quirini" (fragm. 71 of the Annales). This is Dr. Frazer's interpretation of the words, but Ennius says nothing of conjugal relations; and even if he had, his evidence as to ancient Roman conceptions would be worthless. Ennius was not a Roman; he came from Magna Graecia; and if Dr. Frazer will read all that is said about him, e.g. in Schanz's history of Roman literature, he will allow that every statement of such a man about old Roman ideas of the divine must be regarded with suspicion and subjected to careful criticism.
Next we come to Salacia Neptuni. Of this couple Dr. Frazer says that Varro plainly implies that they were husband and wife, and that this is affirmed by Augustine, Seneca, and Servius. The accumulation of evidence seems strong; but Varro implies nothing of the kind (L.L. v. 72). He is indulging in fancy etymologies, and derives Neptunus from nubere, "quod mare terras obnubit ut nubes caelum, ab nuptu id est opertione ut antiqui, a quo nuptiae, nuptus dictus." If he had meant to make Salacia wife of Neptunus, this last sentence would surely have suggested it; but he goes on after a full stop, "Salacia Neptuni a salo." It is only the later writers, ignorant of the real nature of Roman religious ideas, who make Salacia into a wife. It is worth noting that Varro adds another feminine deity in his next sentence, Venilia, whom Virgil makes the mother of Turnus (Aen. x. 76); and Servius, commenting on this line, goes one better, and says she was identical with Salacia. Perhaps both were sea or water spirits, connected with Neptunus as famulae or anculae (see Wissowa, R.K. p. 19), but they are lost to us, and speculation is useless. In R.F. p. 186, I suggested an explanation of Salacia which I am disposed to withdraw. But for anyone wishing to study the treatment of old Roman numina by the mythologists and philosophers of the Graeco-Roman period, I would recommend an attentive reading of the whole chapter of Augustine from which Dr. Frazer quotes a few words (C.D. vii. 22); and further a careful study of the Graeco-Roman 484methods of fabricating myths about Roman divine names, for which he will do well to read the passages referred to by Wissowa in R.K. pp. 250 and 251, and notes.
Lastly, comes Maia Volcani. Here for once we get a fact of cult, which is a relief, after the loose and reckless statements of non-Roman and Christian writers. The flamen Volcanalis sacrificed to Maia on May 1st, which proves that there was a real and not a fancied connection between Volcanus and Maia, but certainly not that they were husband and wife. Dr. Frazer, however, quotes Cincius "on the Fasti" as (ap. Macrob. i. 12. 18) stating this, and refers us to Schanz's Gesch. der röm. Lit. for information about him. In the second edition of that work he will find a discussion of the very doubtful question as to whether the Cincius he quotes is the person whom he asserts him to be, viz., the annalist of the second Punic War. The writer of the article "Cincius" in Pauly-Wissowa Real-Encycl. is very confident that the one who wrote on the Fasti lived as late as the age of Augustus. But putting that aside, what are we to make of the fact that another annalist, L. Calpurnius Piso (famous as the author of the first lex de repetundis, 149 B.C.), said that the wife of Volcanus was not Maia, but Maiestas? Piso was not a good authority (see above, p. 51), but he seems here to bring the "consort" of the fire-god into line with such expressions of activity as Moles, Virites, and so on; and it seems that as early as the second century b.c., sport and speculation with these names were beginning. I have quoted the whole pedantic passage from Macrobius in my Roman Festivals, p. 98, where the reader may enjoy it at leisure. I shall not be surprised if he comes to the conclusion that neither Macrobius nor his learned informers knew anything about Maia. When he reads that she was the mother of Mercurius, he will recollect that Mercurius was not a Roman deity of the earliest period, and did not belong to the di indigetes; and when he finds that she is identified with Bona Dea, he must not forget that that deity, as scholars are now pretty well agreed, was introduced at Rome from Tarentum in the age of the Punic Wars. The one fact we know is the sacrifice by the flamen Volcanalis on May 1. Someone went to work to explain this and another, viz. that the Ides of the month was the dedication day of the first temple of Mercurius (B.C. 495), and also the fact that the temple of the Bona Dea on the Aventine was dedicated on the Kalends. The result was an extraordinary jumble of fancy and myth, which has been recognised as such by those who have studied closely the methods of Graeco-Roman scholarship. The unwary, of course, 485are taken in. A student of these methods might do well to take as an exercise in criticism the three "specimens of Roman mythology" which Dr. Frazer says (p. 413) have "survived the wreck of antiquity"—the loves of Vertumnus and Pomona, of Jupiter and Juturna, of Janus and Cardea. In the last of these especially he will find one of the most audacious pieces of charming and wilful invention that a Latin poet could perpetrate, in imitation of Hellenistic love tales, and to suit the taste of a public whose education was mainly Greek.
The above lengthy note was written before I had seen von Domaszewski's paper on this subject ("Festschrift für O. Hirschfeld") reprinted in Abhandlungen zur röm. Religion, p. 104 foll. cp. p. 162.) His explanations are different in detail from mine, but rest on the same general principle that the names Salacia, etc., indicate functions or attributes of the male deity to whom they are attached.
1010 For the taboo on such spoils, and their destruction, see M. S. Reinach's interesting paper "Tarpeia," in Cultes, mythes, et religions, iii. 221 foll.
(Lecture VIII., page 169 foll.) Ius and Fas
In historical times the two kinds of ius, divinum and humanum, were strongly distinguished (see Wissowa, R.K. p. 318, who quotes Gaius ii. 2: "summa itaque rerum divisio in duos articulos diducitur, nam aliae sunt divini iuris, aliae humani"). But it is almost certain that there was originally no such clear distinction. The general opinion of historians of Roman law is thus expressed by Cuq (Institutions juridiques des Romains, p. 54): "Le droit civil n'a eu d'abord qu'une portée fort restreinte. Peu à peu il a gagné du terrain, il a entrepris de réglementer des rapports qui autrefois étaient du domaine de la religion. Pendant longtemps à Rome le droit théocratique a coexisté avec le droit civil." (See also Muirhead, Introduction to Roman Law, ed. Goudy, p. 15.) Possibly the formation of an organised calendar, marking off the days belonging to the deities from those which were not so made over to them, first gave the opportunity for the gradual realisation of the thought that the set of rules under which the citizen was responsible to the divine beings was not exactly the same as that under which he was responsible to the civil authorities. The distinction took many ages to realise in all its aspects, and is not complete even under the XII. Tables or later, because the sanction for civil offences remained in great part a divine one; on this point Jhering is certainly wrong (Geist des röm. Rechts, i. 267 foll.). As Cuq remarks (p. 54, note 1), one institution of the ius divinum kept its force after the complete secularisation of law, and retains it to this day, viz. the oath.
If there was originally no distinction between religious and civil rules of law, it follows that there were originally no two distinguishing terms for them. The earliest passage in which they are distinguished as ius divinum and humanum (so far as I know) is Cicero's speech for Sestius (B.C. 56), sec. 91, quoted by 487Wissowa, p. 319: "domicilia coniuncta quas urbes dicimus, invento et divino iure et humano, moenibus cinxerunt." But by all British writers on Roman law, and by many foreign ones, the word fas is used as equivalent to the ius divinum, and sharply distinguished from ius. Thus the late Dr. Greenidge, in his useful work on Roman public life (p. 52 and elsewhere), makes this distinction; he writes of the rex as the chief expounder of the divine law (fas), and of the control exercised by fas over the citizen's life. Cp. Muirhead, ed. Goudy, p. 15 foll., where Mommsen is quoted thus: "Mommsen is probably near the mark when he describes the leges regiae as mostly rules of the fas." But Mommsen, like Wissowa in his Religion und Kultus, does not use the word fas, but speaks of "Sakralrecht." Sohm, on the other hand (Roman Law, trans. Ledlie, p. 15, note), compares fas with Sanscrit dharma and Greek themis, as meaning unwritten rules of divine origin, which eventually gave way before ius, as in Greece before δἱκαιον. (Cp. Binder, Die Plebs, p. 501.) But it is safer in this case to leave etymology alone, and to try to discover what the Romans themselves understood by fas, which is indeed a peculiar and puzzling word. (For its possible connection with fari, effari (ager effatus), fanum, and profanum, etc., see H. Nettleship's Contributions to Latin Lexicography, s.v. "Fas.")
Fas was at all times indeclinable, and is rarely found even as an accusative, as in Virg. Aen. ix. 96:
mortaline manu factae immortale carinae
In the oldest examples of its use, i.e. in the ancient calendar QRCF, on March 24 and May 24, i.e. "quando rex comitiavit fas" (Varro, L.L. vi. 31), and QStDF on June 15, i.e. "Quando stercus delatum fas" (Varro, L.L. vi. 32), it is hard to say whether it is a substantive at all, and not rather an adverb like satis. So, too, in the antique language of the lex templi of Furfo (58 B.C.) we read, "Utii tangere sarcire tegere devehere defigere mandare ferro oeti promovere referre fasque esto" (liceat should probably be inserted before fasque esto). See CIL. i. 603, line 7; Dessau, Inscript. Lat. selectae, ii. 1. 4906, p. 246. In these examples fas simply means that you may do certain acts without breaking religious law; it does not stand for the religious law itself. To me it looks like a technical word of the ius divinum, meaning that which it is lawful to do under it; thus a dies fastus is one on which it is lawful under that ius to perform certain acts of civil government, "sine piaculo" (Varro, L.L. vi. 29). Nefas is, 488therefore, in the same way a word which conveys a prohibition under the divine law. By constant juxtaposition with ius, fas came in course of time to take on the character of a substantive, and so too did its opposite nefas. The dictionaries supply many examples of its use as a substantive and as paralleled with ius, but the only one I can find that is earlier than Cicero is Terence, Hecyra, iii. 3. 27, i.e. in the work of a non-Roman.
I cannot find that it is so used by Varro, where we might naturally have expected it. Cicero does not call his imaginary ius divinum a fas, but iura religionum, constitutio religionum (de Legibus ii. 10-23, 17-32). Ius is the word always used technically of particular departments of the religious law, e.g. ius pontificium, ius augurale, and ius fetiale (CIL. i. p. 202, is preimus ius fetiale paravit). The notion that fas could mean a kind of code of religious law is probably due to Virgil's use of the word in "Quippe etiam festis quaeddam exercere diebus Fas et iura sinunt," Georg. i. 269, and to the comment of Servius, "id est, divina humanaque iura permittunt: nam ad religionem fas, ad homines iura pertinent."
It is strange to find it personified as a kind of deity in the formula of the fetiales, used when they announced the Roman demands at an enemy's frontier (Livy i. 32): "Audi Iuppiter, inquit, audite Fines (cuiuscunque gentis sunt nominat), audiat Fas." Whence did Livy get this formula? We have no record of a book of the fetiales; if this came from those of the pontifices, as is probable, the formula need not be of ancient date, and the personification of Fines also suggests a doubt as to the genuineness of the whole formula.
The Worship of Sacred Utensils (page 436)
There can be no doubt that some kind of worship was paid by the Arval Brethren to certain ollae, or primitive vessels of sun-baked clay used in their most ancient rites. This is attested by two inscriptions of different ages which are printed on pp. 26 and 27 of Henzen's Acta Fratrum Arvalium. After leaving their grove and entering the temple "in mensa sacrum fecerunt ollis"; and shortly afterwards, "in aedem intraverunt et ollas precati sunt." Then, to our astonishment, we read that the door of the temple was opened, and the ollae thrown down the slope in front of it. This last act seems inexplicable; but the worship finds a singular parallel in the dairy ritual of the Todas of the Nilghiri hills.
Dr. Rivers, in his work on the Todas (Macmillan, 1906, p. 453), in summing up his impressions of their worship, observes that "the attitude of worship which is undoubtedly present in the Toda mind is becoming transferred from the gods themselves to the material objects used in the service of the gods." "The religious attitude of worship is being transferred from the gods themselves to the objects round which centres the ritual of the dairy." These objects are mainly the bells of the buffaloes and the dairy vessels; and an explicit account of them, the reverence in which they are held, and the prayers in which they are mentioned, will be found in the fifth, sixth, and eighth chapters of Dr. Rivers' work, which, as an account of what seems to be a religion atrophied by over-development of ritual, is in many ways of great interest to the student of Roman religious experience. The following sentence will appeal to the readers of these Lectures:—
"The Todas seem to show us how the over-development of the ritual aspect of religion may lead to atrophy of those ideas and beliefs through which the religion has been built up; and 490then how, in its turn, the ritual may suffer, and acts which are performed mechanically, with no living ideas behind them, may come to be performed carelessly and incompletely, while religious observances which involve trouble and discomfort may be evaded or completely neglected."
Whether the worship of the ollae was a part of the original ritual of the Brethren, or grew up after its revival by Augustus, it is impossible to determine. But if we can allow the dairy ritual of the Todas to help us in the matter, we may conclude that in any case it was not really primitive, and that it was a result of that process of over-ritualisation to which must also be ascribed the piacula caused by the growth of a fig-tree on the roof of the temple, and the three Sondergötter Adolenda Commolenda Deferunda. (See above p. 161 foll., and Henzen, Acta Fratr. Arv. p. 147.)
Acca Larentia, 67
Addenda Commolenda Deferunda, 162, 490
Aedes Vestae: see Vesta
Aediles, plebeian, 255
Aemilius Paulus, 340, 362, 433
Aeneid, the, 119, 206, 230, 250, 251;
as a means of understanding the spirit of the Roman religion, 254; a poem of religion and morals, 409-425
Ager paganus: lustration, 80, 213
Romanus: lustration, 78, 100
Agriculture, the economic basis of Roman life, 99;
festivals, see Festivals
Agrippa, 442, 443
Alba Longa, 109, 128
Alban Mount: Latin festival, 172;
temple of Jupiter Latiaris, 237, 238, 245
Alexander, Archibald, on faith, 472
Ambarvalia, procession of the, 214, 218, 442
Amburbium, 214, 218, 332
Amulets, 42, 59, 60, 74, 84
lustration, 96, 217;
Animism, 65, 122, 148, 164, 287
Anna Perenna: festival, 65, 105, 346;
Ovid's account of, 473
Antoninus Pius, 429
Apollo, 257, 449;
cult of, 268;
associated with Diana, 443, 446;
with Latona, 262;
the Pythian, 323;
institution of Apolline games, 326
Appius Claudius, 300
Aquaelicium, ceremony of the, 50, 52
Ara, meaning of, 146
Ara Maxima in the Forum Boarium 29, 230
Ara Pacis of Augustus, 177, 437, 448
Argei: festival, 36, 65;
puppets thrown into the Tiber, 54, 105, 321, 322;
chapels called, 321, 322
Army: lustration of, 96, 100, 215, 217
Arnobius, 51, 52, 459, 461, 465
Artemis, 235, 443
Arval Brethren: see Fratres Arvales
Astrology, 396-398, 401
Ateius Capito, 441
Athene Polias, 234
Attalus, king of Pergamus, 330
Atticus, Cicero's letters to, 385
Attus Navius, soothsayer, 297
Augurium canarium, 310
Augurs, 174-176, 193, 271, 276;
and the art of divination, 292-309;
in relation to the Rex, 301;
art strictly secret, 301;
compared with pontifices, 303
lore preserved in books, 303;
political importance, 305
Augustus, 35, 133, 213, 344;
revival of religion, 428-447;
his connection with Virgil, 428;
pontifex maximus, 433;
restoration of temples, 433-434;
revival of ancient ritual, 434-436;
restorer of the pax deorum, 438
Aurelius, Marcus, 456
Auspicia, 175, 214;
in life of family, 299;
in State operations, 300;
indissolubly connected with imperuim, 301
Aust, on religion of the family, 68;
on Roman deities, 157;
on prayer, 198;
492 on reaction against the ius divinum, 349
Aventine: plebeian quarter, 255;
temples, 95, 147, 233, 234, 237, 244, 484
Cyril, cited, 400
Beans, used to get rid of ghosts, 85, 107;
taboo on eating, 91, 98
Bellona, connection with Mars, 166
Binder, Dr., on the plebs, 23, 86, 242, 289, 393
Birds, used in augury, 293, 296, 299, 302
Birth, spirits invoked at, 83, 84, 164
Blood: taboo on, 33;
mystic use of, 33, 34, 82;
not prominent in Roman ritual, 180-181;
consecration through, 194;
wine as substitute for, 196
Boissier, G., 391;
on the Aeneid, 414, 427
Bona Dea, 484
Bouché-Leclercq, M., on divination, 310
Boundary festivals: see Terminalia
Boundary stones, 81-82, 212;
sprinkled with blood of victims, 34, 82, 196
Bulla worn by children, 60, 74
Burial places loca religiosa, 37, 385
Bussell, F. W., cited, 366, 367
Caesar, Julius: belief in spells, 59;
pontifex maximus, 305;
and the priesthood, 343
Caesar-worship, 437, 438, 456
Caird, Professor, 357;
on Reason in man, 368, 373
Cakes: honey, 82;
sacred, 83, 130, 141, 180, 183, 184, 274, 449;
see also Salt-cake
Calendar, the ancient religious, 12, 14, 34, 38, 55, 65, 217, 225;
in relation to agricultural life, 100-102, 282, 295;
festivals necessarily fixed, 102;
a matter of routine, 103;
its psychological result, 104-105;
a document of religious law, 106;
exclusion of the barbarous and grotesque, 107;
attributed to Numa Pompilius, 108
Calpurnius Piso, L.: see Piso
Camilli and camillae, 177, 195
Campus Martius, 34, 447;
lustrum of censors, 203, 210, 215, 219
Cannae, religious panic after the battle of, 319
Cantorelli, on the annales maximi, 290
Capitolium, 238, 239, 246, 339;
Carmen saeculare sung, 444-445;
temples, 95, 115, 146, 203, 239, 242, 245, 254, 266, 433, 443, 447
Caprotinae, Nonae, 143
connection with Janus, 485
Caristia, 418, 457
Carmen, meaning of, 186;
used at siege of Carthage, 206, 219
Arvale, 78, 132, 186, 187, 436
used by Attiedii, 187
saeculare, 431, 432, 439, 443-447, 450, 451
Carmenta, 36, 122, 297
Carter, J. B., on cult-titles, 153;
on the Latins, 229-230;
on Castor-cult, 232, 244;
on Diana, 236;
on Fortuna, 245;
on Hercules, 231;
on Janus, 141;
on Juno, 144;
on the Manes, 386;
on Mars, 133;
on Poseidon-Neptune, 260
Cassius Hemina, 349, 356
Castor and Pollux, 231, 244;
temple, 231, 244
Cato, the Censor, 121, 132, 182-184, 251, 296, 298, 340
Catullus, on death, 387
Censors, lustrum of the, 203, 210, 215, 219
Census, 215, 218
Cerealia, 100, 121, 269
Ceres, 100, 121, 139, 161, 162, 260, 435, 446;
temple, 255, 269
Cerfius, or Cerus, 158
expelled from Rome, 397, 402
see also Amulets
Chickens, sacred, as omens, 314, 315
Children: purificatory rites, 28;
naming of, 28-29, 42;
amulets and bulla worn by, 42, 60, 74, 84;
dedication of, 204-205
Christianity, early: contributions from the Roman religion, 452-467;
the Greek and Latin fathers compared, 458-459;
its relation to morality, 471
Cicero, 58, 178, 296, 309;
493 on religiousness of the Romans, 249-250;
on Titus Coruncanius, 281-282;
on divination, 299, 312;
on interest of the gods in human affairs, 360;
on Stoicism, 365-368, 377;
on relation of man to God, 370;
affected by revival of Pythagoreanism, 381, 383, 389;
turns to mysticism, 384, 388;
his letters to Atticus, 385;
his Somnium Scipionis, 383, 386, 412;
belief in a future life, 389;
definition of religio, 460
Claudius, Emperor, 309, 438
Claudius Pulcher, P., 315
Cleanthes, hymn of, 368, 377
Clusius (or Clusivius), cult-title of Janus, 126
Colonia, religious rites at founding of, 170
Compitalia, 61, 78, 81, 88, 102
Confarreatio, marriage by, 83, 130, 274
Coniuratio, 347, 348, 356
Consualia, 101, 139
Consuls, annual ceremony at the Capitoline temple, 203, 219, 239-240
connection with Ops, 482
Conway, Professor, on Quirinus and Quirites, 143
Cook, A. B., on Jupiter, 128, 141;
on Janus, 140;
on Quirinus and Quirites, 143
Corn deities, Greek, 255, 259
Corpus Inscriptionum, 13, 201
Coruncanius, Titus, 271, 279, 281, 290
Coulanges, Fustel de, on the Lar, 77
Crawley, Mr., on the fatherhood of gods, 157;
on religion and morality, 227, 242
Cremation, 382, 395, 398, 401
Crooke, Mr., on luck in odd numbers, 98
Cult-titles, invention of, 153
Cumont, Professor, on the religion of the Romans, 2;
on Jupiter, 246
Cuq, on civil and religious law, 486
Cura et caerimonia, Cicero's expression, 81, 104, 106, 108, 145, 162, 170, 270, 282, 343, 434, 460
Cynics, the, 372
Days, lucky and unlucky, 38-41;
see also Dies
De Marchi, on votive offerings, 201, 202
Dea Dia, 146;
description of rites, 435-436;
veneration for utensils used, 436;
temple, 161, 436
Dead: disposal of the, 45, 84, 121, 395, 401;
cult, 91, 102, 457, 470;
festivals, 40, 112, 418;
contrast between Lemuria and Parentalia, 107, 393-395
Decemviri, 259, 317, 318, 326
Decius Mus, self-sacrifice of, 206-207, 220, 286, 320
Deities, Roman: see also Numen and Spirits;
sources of our knowledge of, 114-115;
mental conception of the Romans regarding, 115-117, 122-123, 139-140, 145, 147, 157, 224-225;
di indigetes, 117, 139, 149, 180, 214;
functional spirits with will-power, 119;
the four great gods, 124-134;
epithets of Pater and Mater applied to, 137, 155-157;
the question of marriage, 148-152, 166, 350, 481-485;
fluctuation between male and female, 148-149;
nomenclature, 118, 149-156, 163;
compared with Greek gods, 158;
presence of, at meals, 172-173, 193;
introduction of new, 96, 229-242, 255-262;
women's, see Women
Delphic oracle consulted during Hannibalic war, 323-324, 326
supersession of Ceres by, 100
Deubner, Professor, his theory of the Lupercalia, 138, 478-480
Devotio, 206-209, 219-221;
formula, 207-208, 220;
sacrificial nature, 207, 220
Di Manes: see Manes
Di Penates: see Penates
Diana: associated with Janus, 76, 125, 166;
connection with Artemis, 235, 443;
with Apollo, 443, 446;
with Hercules, 262;
temples, 95, 147, 234, 237, 244
494 Dies comitiales, 103
fasti, 98, 103, 181
lustricus, 28, 42, 90
nefasti, 38, 40, 98, 103, 181
postriduani, 39, 40
religiosi, 38-40, 105
Dieterich, on disposal of the dead, 401
Dill, Professor, on Roman worship, 200
Dionysius of Halicarnassus, 130, 193, 215, 234, 250
Dionysus: identified with Liber, 255, 344;
ritual, in Greece, 344-345;
outbreak of Dionysiac orgies in Italy, 344
Dis, black victims sacrificed to, 440
Dius Fidius, connection with Jupiter, 130, 142
Divination, 56, 180;
a universal instinct of human nature, 292, 306;
connection with magic, 293, 310;
views on the origin of, 293;
formalised by State authorities, 295, 300;
quack diviners, 296-298;
auspicia of family religion, 298-300;
duties of the Rex, 302;
lore preserved in books, 303;
divination by lightning, 51, 52, 304, 305, 307, 309;
no lasting value in sphere of religion, 306;
a clog on progress, 307;
sinister influence of Etruscan divination on Rome, 307
Dobschütz, on Christianity, 455
Dogs: sacrifices: see Sacrifices
Dolabella, Cornelius, 342
Döllinger, Dr., on the Flamen Dialis, 112;
on prayer, 468
Domaszewski, von, cited, 99, 110, 154, 167;
definition of numen, 119;
on the cult epithets of Janus, 140;
on Juno, 144;
on evolution of dei out of functional numina, 165
Duhn, Professor von, cited, 31, 89
Dynamic theory of sacrifice, 177, 184, 190, 194
Earthquakes, expiation of, 339
Eilithyia, Greek deity of childbirth, 442, 446, 449
Ennius, cited, 65, 152, 183, 298, 322, 350, 351, 356
Epictetus, 369, 372
Epicurism, 352, 358, 360, 361, 375, 376, 381, 404, 453
Epulum Iovis: see Jupiter
Equirria, 96, 99, 217
Eschatology, Christian: preparation of the Roman mind for, 454
Esquiline, 87, 395
domination in Rome, 237, 239, 245, 258;
art of divination, 299, 304;
sinister influence on Rome, 307, 346, 347, 391
Evil spirits, 11, 29, 75, 76, 84, 93;
wolf's fat as a charm against, 90
Evocatio, 58, 206
Excantatio, 58, 482
Extipicina, Etruscan rite of, 180
Fabius Pictor, 161, 261, 318, 320, 323, 326
Family (familia): origin and meaning of, 70, 86;
religion in the, 68, 70, 73, 92, 116, 224, 226-228, 251, 270, 274, 298-300;
description of the house, 72-73, 87;
its holy places, 73;
spirits of the household: see Spirits;
the Lar familiaris, 77;
position of slaves, 78;
religio terminorum, 82;
burial of the dead, 73, 92;
maintenance of the sacra, 274-275
Fanum, meaning of, 146
Far, sacred cakes of, 45, 83, 130, 141, 180, 274
Farnell, Dr., cited, 19, 27, 160, 161, 205;
on the vow of the ver sacrum, 219;
on Dionysiac ritual, 345, 355
Farreus, connection with Jupiter, 130
Fas, early usage of, 487-488
Fasti: see Calendar
Faunus, 81, 89, 297, 479;
connection with Lupercalia, 117
Februum, meaning of, 210, 222
Feretrius, cult-title of Jupiter: see Jupiter
Feriae Iovis, 129
Latinae, 40, 61, 172
Feronia, 284, 318
Ferrero, on the Carmen saeculare, 431, 450;
on the ludi saeculares, 440
Fertility, customs to produce, 100, 106, 143, 210, 222, 479
Festivals, 78-81, 97, 105;
agricultural, 34, 82, 98, 100, 120;
harvest, 98, 101, 121;
vintage, 100, 129;
of the dead: see Dead;
Latin festival on Alban mount, 172;
495 in calendar, necessarily fixed, 95, 99, 102;
women's: see Women
Festus, 33, 61, 141, 217
Fetiales, 31, 130, 143, 157, 251, 434, 488
Fides, 154, 446, 450;
connection with Jupiter, 167
Fig-tree: sprouting of, on roof of temple, 162;
piacula offered to various deities, 436, 490
Flamen Cerealis, 161, 163
Dialis, 32, 112, 124, 129, 193, 239, 246, 327, 342, 479;
taboos on, 33-35, 44, 45, 108, 109, 327, 342, 343
Martialis, 124, 131, 142, 341
Quirinalis, 124, 131, 134, 139, 142, 181, 197, 342, 434
Flamines, 113, 122, 123, 175, 193, 280, 341, 434;
personal purity essential, 178, 195
Flaminica Dialis, 135, 144;
taboos on, 35-36
Flaminius, 315, 317, 338, 340
Fons, 117, 285
Forculus, the door spirit, 76
Fordicidia, 100, 120, 121
Fortuna (Fors Fortuna), 201, 235, 245, 284, 297, 396, 401
Forum Boarium, human sacrifices, 112, 320
Fratres Arvales: Acta Fratrum Arvalium, 161, 213, 435;
carmen, 78, 132, 186, 187, 436;
ritual of, 35, 100, 146, 149, 157, 162, 182, 191, 195, 213;
revived by Augustus, 434;
duties of the Brethren, 435;
worship of sacred utensils, 489-490
Attiedii, 157, 187, 215
Frazer, Dr. J. G., his definition of religion, 8;
his theory of divine kingship, 19, 20, 49, 51, 52, 115, 128, 140;
on totemism, 25, 26;
on taboo, 30, 34, 47;
on oscilla, 61, 62, 67;
on the Parilia, 100, 222;
on marriage of gods, 144, 149, 150, 152, 155, 156, 165, 350, 481-485;
on cult of Jupiter, 167;
on appointment of camillae, 177, 195;
on Diana, 235;
on superstition, 264
Fulgur, cult-title of Jupiter, 129
Furrina, 18, 117, 122
Gallus, Aelius, on religiosum, 37
Games instituted to divert attention in times of trouble, 262-263;
see also Ludi
Gardner, Professor E., cited, 355
Gardner, Professor P., on Christianity, 452;
on prayers for the dead, 457;
Gellius, Aulus, on the conjunction of divine names, 150-152;
story of Scipio, 240;
on religiousness of the Romans, 250
Genius: the male principle of life, 30, 92, 154, 317, 332;
of the paterfamilias, 30;
doubtful identification of Hercules with, 30;
in combination with Hercules and Juventas, 332;
Juno the feminine counterpart of, 87
Gennep, M. van, on taboo, 42, 44;
on religious ceremonies, 65, 90, 442;
on lustrations, 211, 212
Gentes, 69, 259
Georgics, the religious spirit of the, 407
Ghosts, 75, 85, 91, 92, 107
Gilds, trade, 230
Glover, Mr., on Christianity, 456
God, as represented in the Aeneid, 426
Gods: see Deities
Gratitude, not a prominent characteristic of the Roman, 252, 267
Greek comedy, influence on Roman religion, 351-353
gods, compared with Roman, 158;
introduced into Rome, 230-242
philosophy, influence on Roman religion, 357-375
Greenidge, Dr., on the auspicia and the imperium, 301
Gregory the Great, 475
Gwatkin, Professor, on Augustine, 469;
on the relation of early Christianity to morality, 471
Haddon, Professor, on supernaturalism, 21
Hades, 390, 391
Hannibalic War: revival of religio, 315, 317;
Sibylline books consulted, 316-319, 329;
sacrifices and offerings made to deities, 318;
religious panic after battle of Cannae, 319;
human sacrifices, 320;
Delphic oracle consulted, 323, 324, 326;
496 outbreak of lascivia, 324;
institution of Apolline games, 326;
religious history of last years, 327-329;
gratitude to deities, 329;
the Magna Mater of Pessinus brought to Rome, 330
Hardie, Professor, and the double altar in connection with funeral rites, 425
Hariolus, 297, 298, 311
Harrison, Miss, on covering the head at sacrifices, 195
Haruspices, 296, 313, 337, 338, 397;
history of the, 307-309
Heinze, on the Aeneid, 413-415, 419, 426, 427
Heitland, Mr., on Bacchanalia, 346, 356
Hercules: associated with Diana, 262;
with Juno, 17;
in combination with Juventas and Genius, 317, 332;
doubtful identification with Genius, 30;
identified with the Greek Heracles, 230, 243;
Victor or Invictus, 230, 231, 236, 243, 244;
cult of, 231, 244;
worship confined to men, 29
Hirtzel, Mr., cited, 426
Homer, religion of, compared with that of Roman patricians, 392
Honey cakes, 82
Honos et Virtus, 285, 446;
Horace, 81, 299, 403, 405;
Carmen saeculare, 431-432, 439, 443-447, 450, 451
Hora Quirini, 482-483
Horses: lustrations, 96, 215;
sacrifice of, see Sacrifices
Howerth, Ira W., his definition of religion, 8
Hubert et Mauss, on magic, 64, 65;
on sacrifice, 190, 194, 195, 198
Human sacrifice, 33, 44, 107, 112, 226, 320, 440
Hut-urns, sepulchral, 87, 477
Huts or booths, use of, in religious ritual, 473-477
Huvelin, M., on magic, 64
Ides, 39, 65, 95, 251, 484;
sacred to Jupiter, 129
Iguvium: ritual, 22, 138, 181, 197;
lustration of the arx, 187, 214, 215;
of the people, 31, 208, 215-216
Images and statues of gods, 146, 147, 165, 239, 262, 264, 336, 337;
statue of Athene, 355
Immortality, belief in, 69, 386-387, 389, 424
Inauguratio of the priest-king Numa, 174-175, 193
Incense, 164, 180, 330, 458
Indigetes, di, 117, 139, 149, 180, 214
Indigitamenta, 76, 84, 88, 130, 138, 153, 159-161, 163, 165, 168, 281, 286, 291
Individualism, growth of, 240, 266, 287, 340, 358, 411, 456
Innocent, Bishop of Rome, 309
Iron, tabooed in religious ceremonies, 32, 35, 45, 214
Isis: religion, 455, 456;
Ius, early usage of, 486-487
civile, 5, 169;
and the ius divinum, 58, 276-279
divinum, 13, 24, 33, 38, 49, 68, 104, 106, 107, 128, 146, 227, 228, 241, 271-273, 286, 287, 296, 345;
and the ius civile, 58, 276-279;
ritual, 169-191, 467;
the pontifical books the pharmacopoeia of, 286;
decay and neglect, 203, 314, 327, 352, 353;
reaction against, 324, 340-344, 348;
Augustan revival, 429
hospitii, 31, 32
Janus: the door spirit, 76, 127, 146;
bifrons of the Forum, 77;
speculations regarding, 125, 140, 141;
worship, 183, 212;
connection with Cardea, 485;
with Diana, 76, 125, 166;
with Juno, 126, 135;
with Vesta, 140, 145;
Jebb, Professor, on poetry of the Greeks, 424
Jevons, Dr., 19;
on totemism, 26;
on taboo, 28, 41;
on magic, 48, 186;
on priests, 176
Jews, proselytising, expelled from Rome, 139 B.C., 397, 402
Jhering, von, on origin of Roman divination, 293, 294, 311
Jordan, H., 13;
on pairing of deities, 152
497 Juno, 121, 479;
Regina, (of Ardea) 318,
(of the Aventine) 318, 329,
(of Veii) 135, 206, 284;
Sospita, 318, 354;
connection with Hercules, 17;
with Janus, 126, 135;
with Jupiter, 136, 144, 166, 443, 444, 446;
one of the Etruscan trias, 94, 237;
representative of female principle, 17, 87, 135, 144;
temples, 135, 172, 237, 328, 329, 354
Junonius, cult-title of Janus, 126
Jupiter, 115, 118, 124, 127, 128, 141, 143, 147, 159, 183, 212;
difference between Jupiter and Zeus, 141;
connection with Diana, 76;
with Dius Fidius, 130, 142, 167, 450;
with Juno, 136, 144, 166, 443, 444, 446;
with Juturna, 485;
with Tellus, 121;
with Terminus, 82;
Capitolinus, 120, 129, 204, 205, 237, 238, 240, 241, 318, 319, 333, 367;
Elicius, 36, 50-52, 129, 137;
Feretrius, 129, 433;
Latiaris, 237, 238;
one of the Etruscan trias, 94, 172, 237, 336;
cult at Praeneste, 167;
cult-titles Optimus Maximus, 129, 238;
Ides sacred to, 129;
worshipped on Alban Mount, 109, 128, 172;
epulum Iovis, 172, 263, 268, 336, 338, 353;
temples, 95, 115, 129, 146, 172, 237-238, 241, 245, 246, 254, 266, 433, 443
Juturna, 284, 285;
connection with Jupiter, 485
Juventas, in combination with Genius and Hercules, 317, 332
Kalends, 39, 95, 126, 135, 251, 484
Kobbert, Maximilianus, on religio, 46
Kronos, identified with Saturnus, 118
Lactantius, 156, 165, 388, 459, 461, 462, 469
Lang, Mr., 19;
cited in connection with the calendar of Numa, 105
Lapis: see Stones
Laralia: see Compitalia
Larentia, Acca, 67
Lar familiaris, 77, 78, 92, 251
Lares compitales, 61, 117, 132, 186
Latin Festival: see Feriae Latinae
Latins, the, 10, 23, 25, 86, 123, 130, 172, 193, 229
Latona, associated with Apollo, 262
Laughing, in ritual of Lupercalia, 106, 111
Laurel branches carried in procession, 265
Lawson, J. C., on burial and cremation, 91, 400, 401
Leather, tabooed in the worship of Carmenta, 36
Lecky, Mr., on Stoicism, 362, 377
Lectisternium, 263-266, 268, 317-319, 327
Leges regiae, connection with the ius divinum, 272
Leland, C. G., 67
Lemuria, 40, 85, 98, 107, 401;
compared with the Parentalia, 393-395
Lepidus, pontifex maximus, 433, 438
Liber, 158, 260, 332;
identified with Dionysus, 255, 344;
identified with Persephone, 255
Licinius Imbrex, 151
Licinius, P., pontifex maximus, 342
Lightning, divination by, 51, 52, 304, 305, 307, 309
Limentinus, spirit of the threshold, 76
Livius Andronicus, 328
Livy, cited, 170, 174, 204, 205, 216, 217, 252, 261, 264, 269, 280, 300, 316, 324, 405;
on Bacchanalia, 346-348
Lua, 165, 481, 482
Lucetius, cult-title of Jupiter, 129
Lucilius, 156, 183
Lucretius, cited, 352, 359, 360, 376, 387, 394, 396, 403-406, 453;
his contempt for superstitio, 361, 367;
on Roman belief in Hades, 390;
his use of religio, 460
Lucus, meaning of, 146
Ludi, 44, 95, 122, 204: see also Games
magni, vowed to Jupiter during Hannibalic war, 319, 333
saeculares, 34, 431, 480;
prayers used in, 198, 468;
ritual described, 438-447;
discovery of inscriptions, 439
scenici, 261, 263, 350
Lupercalia, 20, 34, 53, 65, 106, 118, 179, 194, 210, 393;
whipping to 498produce fertility, 54, 479;
Prof. Deubner's theory, 137, 478-480
Luperci, 34, 54, 106, 434, 479
Lustrations: meaning of lustrare, 209-210;
lustration of the ager paganus, 80, 213;
of the ager Romanus, 78, 100;
of ancilia, 96, 217;
of the army, 96, 100, 215, 217;
of the arx of Iguvium, 187, 199;
of cattle and sheep, 100;
of the city, 214, 317;
of the farm, 132, 212;
of horses, 96, 215;
of people, 31, 216;
of trumpets, 96, 215;
animistic conception of, 211;
ultimately adapted by Roman Church to its own ritual, 211, 218, 457
Luthard, on Roman religion, 288
Macrobius, cited, 28, 196, 206, 208, 219, 220, 484
Macte esto, meaning of the phrase, 182, 183, 197, 442
Magic: allied to taboo, 27, 47;
contagious and homoeopathic, 48;
and divination, 293, 309;
prayers and incantations, 185, 186, 198;
private, 57, 68;
in purificatory processes, 210;
and religion, 47-49, 56, 224, 253;
rigorously excluded from State ritual, 49, 57, 105, 107, 224;
sympathetic, 50, 55
Magna Mater of Pessinus, brought to Rome, 330, 344, 348
Maia, 165, 166;
connection with Volcanus, 151, 484
Maiestas, 151, 484
Mana, the positive aspect of taboo, 27, 30, 42, 48, 60
Manes, 39, 50, 75, 85, 92, 102, 106, 121, 208, 320, 341, 391, 392;
individualisation of, 386;
Di Manes, 341, 386
Mania, mother of the Lares, 61
Manilius, his poem on astrology, 396
Mannhardt, his theory of the Vegetation-spirit, 19-20, 478;
on laughing in ritual of the Lupercalia, 111-112
Marcellus, 315, 328
Marcius, Latin oracles supposed to be written by, 326
Marcius Rex, praetor, 339
Marcus Aurelius, 369, 429
Marett, Mr., on taboo, 42, 45;
on sacrificium, 192;
on divination, 310
Marquardt, on Roman religion, 13, 16;
on naming of children, 42
Marriage: a religious ceremony, 83, 177, 274, 279;
Tellus an object of worship at, 121;
among deities, 148-152, 166, 350, 481-485
Mars, 124, 129, 147, 204, 208, 215, 246, 319;
various forms of his name, 131;
as a married god, 150-152, 166;
invocations to, 186, 212;
connection with Bellona, 166;
with Nerio, 150-151, 166;
with Quirinus, 134, 150;
Silvanus, 29, 132, 142;
cult of, 132-134;
Martianus Capella, 308
Masson, Dr., 357, 395;
on Roman fear of future torments, 391
Mastarna, Etruscan name of Servius Tullus, 237, 246
Masurius Sabinus, 90
Matutinus, cult-title of Janus, 126
Meals, sacrificial, 172, 173, 193, 436;
epulum Iovis: see under Jupiter
Mercurius (Hermes), 260, 262, 268, 484
Mildew, spirit of the: see Robigus
Minerva, one of the Etruscan trias, 94, 237;
name Italian, not Etruscan, 234, 245;
associated with trade gilds, 233, 234, 236;
temples, 172, 233, 234, 244
Minium, faces painted with, 82, 115, 336
Minucius Felix, 461
Mithras, religion of, 455, 456, 464
Moirae (Parcae), 442, 446
Mola salsa: see Salt-cake
Moles, 150, 154, 158
Mommsen, cited, 200, 440;
and the religion of the Romans, 2;
on the Fasti anni Romani, 95, 96, 111;
on Carmen saeculare, 444
Mucius Scaevola: see Scaevola
Mysticism, 380-398, 404;
in the form of astrology, 396, 401;
not native to the Roman, 454
Neo-Pythagoreanism: see Mysticism
identified with Poseidon, 118, 260;
connection with Salacia, 150, 483;
with Mercurius, 262
499 Nerio: connection with Mars, 150-151, 166;
meaning of Nerio Martis, 150, 154
Nettleship, Professor, on the phrase macte esto, 197;
on the character of Aeneas, 410, 427;
on sanctus, 470
Nigidius Figulus, 299, 384, 397
Nones, 39, 95, 251;
Nonae Caprotinae, 143
Numa Pompilius, priest-king: Livy's account of his inauguratio, 174-175;
legends, 108, 115, 170, 180, 233, 322;
Calendar described, 92-109;
spurious books found in stone coffin, 349, 381
Numbers, mystic, 98, 328, 334, 441, 449
Numen, 34, 111, 250, 264, 364, 365, 367, 407;
meaning of the word, 118;
von Domaszewski's definition of, 119;
evolution of dei out of functional numina, 165;
see also Spirits and Deities
Oak-gods, 125, 129, 141, 143
Oaths: connection of Castor and Pollux with, 232;
of Hercules, 231;
of Jupiter, 130;
taken in open air, 141-142;
the religious, in public life, 358, 375;
used by women, 244;
taboo on, 343, 355
October horse, 20, 34, 65, 106;
sacrifice of, 45, 105, 179
Odd numbers, luck in, 98
Ollae, worship of, 489-490
connection with Consus, 482;
with Saturnus, 482
Oracles, 339, 354;
see also Delphic oracle
the old name for the abode of the Manes, 391, 392;
sacrifice of captives to, 44
Orphic doctrine, 381;
Oscilla, 61, 67;
Dr. Frazer's theory, 61;
see also Puppets
Otto, W., on connection of religio with practice of taboo, 46
Ovid, on Roman gods, 22;
his picture of the Sementivae, 79, 80;
rite of pagus, 82;
on the Lemuria, 107, 112, 394;
on Janus, 125;
on images of gods, 147;
on the Robigalia, 181, 196, 197, 434;
on meals at sacrifices, 193;
on the word februum, 210;
on annual ceremony by consuls, 219;
on the festival of Anna Perenna, 346, 473
Paganalia, 61, 62, 67, 102
Pagus: the familia in relation to, 71;
meaning of the word, 87;
festival of the Lar, 78;
other festivals, 79;
the religio terminorum, 81-82;
lustrations of the, 213, 214
Pais, on Acca Larentia, 67;
on the Tarquinii and Mastarna, 245
Palatine: Carmen saeculare sung on the, 443-447, 450;
temple of Apollo, 443-445
Pales, 122, 149
Panaetius: and the Scipionic circle, 363-364, 453;
his theology, 365;
and Platonic psychology, 382, 398
Pantheism, Stoic, 366-368
Papirius, the consul, 314, 315, 331
Parentalia, 40, 107, 387, 401, 418, 457;
compared with the Lemuria, 393-395
Parilia, 100, 120, 193, 222, 474
Pater and Mater, as applied to deities, 155-157
Patricians, 259, 304;
religious system a monopoly of, 229
Patulcius, cult-title of Janus, 126
Pax (deity), 446, 451
Pax deorum, 169, 224, 261, 264, 272, 276, 286, 302, 328, 329;
means towards maintenance of, 171, 180, 273, 300;
violation of, 320;
reestablished by Augustus, 429, 431, 433
Pebble-rain, 316, 329, 332
Penates, 73, 74, 86, 92, 116, 193
Peter, R., on Indigitamenta, 160
Petronius, on ceremony of the aquaelicium, 64
Philodemus, 359, 375
Pietas, 174, 227, 250, 254, 387, 405, 409-412, 466;
meaning of, 462-463;
Virgil's word for religion, 412
Piso, L. Calpurnius, 51-53, 484
Pius, 63, 462;
Plague, Sibylline books consulted at outbreak of, 261
Plato, 258, 381
Plautus, 151, 351-352
500 Playwrights, their influence on Roman religion, 240, 351, 353
Plebeians, 105, 170;
the Plebs as the original inhabitants of Latium, 242, 259, 268, 289;
emotional tendency of, 263-264;
opening of priesthoods to, 268, 271, 279;
increase of importance under the Etruscan dynasty, 275;
first plebeian praetor, 279;
pontifex maximus: see Coruncanius, Titus
Pliny, 51, 256;
on spells and charms, 53, 57, 59, 60, 65, 66, 90, 186;
on human sacrifice, 320;
on death, 388, 400
Polybius, cited, 250, 253, 316, 363, 369, 390;
on religion, 336
Pomoerium, 94, 214, 225, 230, 231
Pomona (or Pomunus), 122, 149;
connection with Vertumnus, 485
Pompeianus, prefect of Rome, 309
Pomponius, 278, 289
Pons sublicius: no iron used in building, 35;
Argei thrown from, 54, 105, 321
Pontifex Maximus, 175, 271, 280, 341;
tabula kept by, 283;
compelling power of, 342, 355
Pontifices, 120, 177, 200, 341;
share in festivals, 106, 139;
the question of their origin, 180, 195, 271;
insignia of, 193;
College of, 271;
open to plebeians, 268, 271, 279;
legal side of their work, 272-276;
the XII. Tables, 58, 276-278, 289;
abolition of legal monopoly, 279;
work of, in third century b.c., 282;
admission of new deities, 284;
compilation of annals, 285;
collection of religious formulae, 287;
the Pontifical books, 76, 159, 182, 197, 283, 285-286
Porca praecidanea, rite of the, 121, 183, 191
Portunus, 118, 122
Poseidon, identified with Neptunus, 118
Posidonius, 250, 365, 367, 382-384, 398
Prayers, 76, 106, 126, 153, 215, 224, 225, 251;
at the inauguratio of the priest-king Numa, 175;
at making of new clearing, 169, 182;
at sacrifices, 181-191;
at flowering of the pear-trees, 182;
when wine is offered, 182;
for the ceremony of lustration, 183;
form and manner of Roman, 185, 189, 196;
magical survivals in, 188-189;
in ritual of Ludi saeculares, 442, 449, 468
Precatio, 53, 166
Priests: see Pontifices
Processions: of lustratio, adapted to the ritual of the Roman Church, 211, 218, 457;
of the triumphus, 217, 239-240;
Roman fondness for, 263;
see also Lustrations
Procuratio, 316, 328;
Prodigia, 281, 316, 324, 325, 328, 338, 339, 354
Propertius, 22, 147, 403
Proserpina, black victims sacrificed to, 440
Pulvinaria, 337, 338
Punic War: see Hannibalic War
Puppets: Argei thrown into Tiber, 54, 105, 321;
oscilla, 61, 67
Purification: see Lustrations
Puticuli, 395, 401
Pythagoras, legend of a religious connection between Numa and, 349, 381
Pythagoreanism, 349, 380-381
Quindecemviri, 440, 442
Quirinus, 94, 118, 124, 143, 147, 246;
identified with Mars, 134;
with Romulus, 135
Quirites, 134, 143
Rain-making: see Aquaelicium
Ramsay, Sir W. M., 465
Red colouring in sacred rites and its connection with blood, 89, 177, 194
Regia, 45, 105, 106, 271, 288;
sacrarium Martis in, 133, 208
Reinach, M. Salomon, cited, 26, 42, 114, 131, 481
Religio, 9, 28, 30, 36, 38, 72, 76, 83, 85, 93, 104, 106, 174, 223, 227, 241, 248, 261, 263, 267, 270, 273, 282, 287, 294, 364, 405, 407;
meanings and uses of the word, 21, 37, 41, 186, 192, 198, 249, 254, 385, 462, 470;
Cicero's definition of, 460;
and taboo, 34, 36, 40, 46;
501 revival of, during Hannibalic war, 315, 317, 336-339
Religio Larium, 79
terminorum, 81, 82
Religion, definitions of, 7-9;
and magic, 47-49, 56, 224, 253;
and morality, 227, 242, 292, 466, 471;
primitive, 25-28, 63, 69;
real, a matter of feeling, 406
Roman: a highly formalised system, 3, 63, 103-104, 200, 226, 248-249, 340;
compared with Roman law, 5;
a technical subject, 6;
its difficulties, 13;
aid from archaeology and anthropology, 16-20, 25;
primitive survivals in, 24, 30;
examples of real magic in, 50, 53-54;
a reality, 62-63, 103, 249;
in the family, see Family;
of the State, 93, 105, 226-228, 270;
the Calendar of Numa the basis of our knowledge of, 94-109;
moral influence mainly disciplinary, 108, 228;
Greek influence, 120, 255-262, 346, 350-353;
Roman ideas of divinity, 115-117, 122-123, 145-164;
ritual of the ius divinum, 169-222;
personal purity essential in all worshippers, 178;
discouraged individual development, 226;
introduction of new deities, 96, 229-242, 255-262;
priesthoods limited to patrician families, 229;
religious instinct of the Romans, 249;
neglect and decay, 263-265, 287, 314, 429;
growth of individualism, 240, 266, 287, 340, 358, 411, 456;
Sibylline influence, 242, 255-262;
secularisation of, 270-291;
sinister influence of Etruscan divination, 307-309, 346;
used for political purposes, 336;
attempt to propagate Pythagoreanism, 349-350, 381;
destitution of Romans in regard to idea of God and sense of duty, 357-358;
no remedy in Epicurism, 361;
arrival of Stoicism: see Stoicism and Mysticism;
belief in future torments, 390;
religion compared with that of Homer, 392;
early Christianity, 396;
religious feeling in Virgil's poems, 403-427;
Augustan revival, 428-451;
contributions to the Latin form of Christianity, 452-472;
see also Prayer and Sacrifice
Renan, cited, 185
Renel, M., cited, 26
Réville, M. Jean, on the formalism of the Roman religion, 3;
his definition of religion, 8
Rex Nemoreusis, 235
sacrorum, 128, 174, 175, 180, 193, 207, 229, 271, 273, 341, 434;
relation of the Rex to the augurs, 301-302
Ridgeway, Professor, on the Flamen Dialis, 112;
on Janus, 140;
on original inhabitants of Latium, 242, 393
Rivers, Dr., on the ritual aspect of religion among the Todas, 489-490
Robertson Smith, Professor, 19, 26, 27, 172, 221;
on the Feast of the Tabernacles, 476
Robigalia, 139, 196
Robigus, 100, 117, 122, 146, 179, 434;
Ovid's version of prayer to, 197
Roman Church, survival of old religious practices in the, 25, 211, 218, 456-458, 469
Romulus, 51, 130, 135
Roscher, Dr., 141
Sacellum, meaning of, 146
Sacer and sacramentum, 36, 277, 464
Sacred utensils, worship of, 436, 489-490
Sacrifices, 29, 90, 224, 225;
description of the act, 179-181;
honorific, 172, 173;
piacular, 35, 172, 173, 182, 189, 191, 208, 273, 436;
sacramental, 141, 172;
dynamic theory of, 177, 184, 190, 194;
meals in connection with, 172, 173, 193, 436;
mystic use of blood, 34, 82;
victim must be acceptable to the deity, 179;
women and strangers excluded from rites, 29-31;
prayers at, 181-191;
sacrifice of cakes, 82, 83, 180, 183, 184;
cow, 100, 120, 436;
dog, 181, 197, 216, 434;
goat, 54, 106, 179, 479;
horse, 34, 97, 105, 179;
lamb, 37, 82, 436;
ox, 132, 179, 212, 215, 444;
pig, 82, 132, 170, 179, 212, 215, 436;
red dog, 179, 310;
salt-cake, 73, 207;
sheep, 132, 179, 181, 212, 215, 434;
sow, 121, 183;
white heifer, 172, 177, 239;
wine, 82, 180, 182-184, 196;
see also Human sacrifice
Sacrificium, meaning of, 171, 464
Sacrum, 171, 254
502 Saeculum, the old Italian idea of a, 440
St. Augustine, cited, 58, 76, 120, 149, 159, 163, 297, 430, 458;
on Decius, 220
Sainte Beuve, on Virgil, 404
St. Paul, 455, 466-468
connection with Neptunus, 483
Salii, 40, 96, 110, 132, 133, 143, 176, 182, 217, 229, 434;
Salt-cake, 73, 207
Salus, 154, 285
Sanctus, meaning of, 463-464, 470
Saturnalia, 81, 99, 101-103, 107, 112
Saturnus, 101, 111, 118, 318;
identified with Kronos, 118;
connection with Consus, 482;
with Ops, 482
Sayce, Professor, 155
Scaevola, P. Mucius, 283
Q. Mucius, 73, 86, 338, 353, 371
Scipio, the elder, 240, 247, 267, 340, 354;
receives the Magna Mater at Rome, 330
Aemilianus, 198, 203-204, 340;
his friendship with Polybius and Panaetius, 362-364, 369, 371
Scott, Sir Walter, compared with Virgil, 408
Sellar, Professor, on Virgil, 404, 406
Sementivae, festival, 79, 89
Senatusconsultum de Bacchanalibus, 347, 348, 356
Seneca, 369, 378, 438, 455
Servius, cited, 58, 62, 119, 120, 134, 138, 142, 143, 146, 183, 184, 194, 210
Sulpicius, 371, 387
his Etruscan name Mastarna, 237
Sibyl of Cumae, 257-258
Sibylline books, 173, 242, 255-257, 261, 323;
consulted during the Hannibalic war, 316-319, 329;
used for personal and political purposes, 339
Silvanus, 76, 81, 89, 132, 142
Slaves, 53, 78, 395, 401, 474;
Greek, buried alive in the Forum boarium, 112, 320
Sodales Titienses, 434
Sol, image of, on the Palatine, 445, 447, 450
Sondergötter, Usener's theory of, 161-164, 168
Spells, 48, 53, 57-59, 208, 221;
origin of prayer in, 185, 189
Spirits, 34, 58;
agricultural, 161, 251, 285;
dead, see Ghosts;
of the doorway, 75-76, 92, 127;
evil, see Evil spirits;
household, 11, 68, 73, 74, 77, 83, 84, 86, 92, 104, 193;
woodland, 76, 81, 83, 92, 132;
development into dei, 116, 117, 119, 120, 123-124, 161, 165;
see also Deities and Numen
Spolia opima, 138, 141, 288;
dedicated at temple of Jupiter Feretrius, 130, 433
Stanley, on religion and morality, 292
Statues and busts at Rome, first mention of, 340, 354;
see also Images
Stoicism, 359, 377, 381-383;
introduced into Rome, 362;
its influence on the Roman mind, 370-372, 404, 453;
weak points in Roman, 372-374;
failed to rouse an "enthusiasm of humanity," 375, 454
Stones: lapis manalis, 50;
stone representing Magna Mater, 330;
see also Boundary stones
Strangers, fear of, 30-32
Stubbs, Bishop, 103
Subterranean altar, black victims offered at, 440, 445
Suffimenta, 441, 442, 449
Sulpicius, consul 211 b.c., 337
Summanus, cult-title of Jupiter, 129
Suovetaurilia, 132, 212, 215
Superstitio, 106, 355, 361, 405;
temple of Isis condemned as a centre of, 433
Supplicatio, 262, 265, 269, 337;
ordered during Hannibalic war, 317, 319, 323, 325, 329
Tabernacles, Feast of the, 475, 476 Taboo, 25, 83, 223;
definition of, 27;
its ethical value, 28;
on children, 28;
on women, 29;
on strangers, 30-32;
on criminals, 32;
on inanimate objects, 32;
on places, 36;
on times and seasons, 38-41;
on iron, 35, 44, 214;
on leather, 36;
503 on the Flamen Dialis, 33-35, 44, 45, 108, 109, 327, 342, 343;
on the Flaminica Dialis, 35
Tarentum, sacrifices on subterranean altar, 440, 445
Tarquinii, the, 146, 237, 245
Tellus (Terra Mater), 100, 120, 122, 136, 138, 139, 156, 158, 161, 162, 320, 435, 442, 446;
an object of worship at marriage, 121;
connection with Jupiter, 121;
Temples: absence of, in earliest Rome, 146;
restored by Augustus, 343; Aesculapius, 260;
Apollo, on the Palatine, 443-445;
Bona Dea on the Aventine, 484;
Castor, 231, 244;
Ceres, Liber, and Libera, 255-257, 269, 344;
Dea Dia, 161;
Diana, on the Aventine, 95, 147, 234, 237, 244;
Juno Moneta, 135, 328-329;
Juno Sospita, 354;
Jupiter, Juno, and Minerva, 146, 172, 237-238, 246, 254, 443;
Jupiter Feretrius, on the Capitol, 95, 115, 129-130, 146, 147, 203, 245, 266, 433;
Jupiter Latiaris, on the Alban Hill, 237, 238, 245;
Minerva, on the Aventine, 233, 234, 244;
Vesta, see Vesta: aedes
Terminalia, 34, 193, 196
Terminus, 82, 117, 239
Terra Mater, see Tellus
Tertullian, cited, 159, 163, 459, 461, 465
Theodosian code, 430
Tiberius, 429, 438, 447
Tibicines, 180, 195, 233, 445
Tibullus, cited, 22, 80, 147, 178, 403;
on use of huts at rural festivals, 474
Time, religious or mystical conception of, 440-441, 449
Toga praetexta, worn by priests and children, 29, 42, 50, 61, 74, 84, 175-177, 194-195, 436
Tombstones, memorial, first mention of, 341
Toutain, M., 26
Tozer, Mr., on Dante, 419
Trade: deities brought to Rome by, 230;
connection of Hercules with, 231;
Trasimene, outbreak of religio after the battle of, 318
Treaties, Jupiter's connection with, 130
Tripodatio, 187, 198
Tubilustrium, 96, 217
Turiae, Laudatio, cited, 389
Tylor, Dr., 26, 49, 74, 293
Usener, H., 19, 138, 160;
his theory of the Sondergötter, 161-164, 168
Vacuna of Reate, 284, 290
Valerius Antias, 52, 115, 137
Flaccus, C., 342-343, 355
Maximus, 203-204, 299, 378
Varro, cited, 16, 59, 76, 79, 81, 89, 103, 120, 125, 142, 143, 149, 156, 159, 168, 210, 222, 235, 251, 321
Vates, meaning of, 297-298
Vedic ritual, 185
Vegetation-spirit, Mannhardt's theory, 19, 20, 478
Venus, connection with Volcanus, 166
Ver sacrum, 196, 204-205, 318
Verbenarius, 31, 43
Verrius Flaccus, 16, 30
Vertumnus, 147, 291;
connection with Pomona, 485;
Vesta, 73, 74, 76, 92, 116, 126, 136, 137, 140, 147, 481;
aedes, 39, 40, 126, 136, 146, 477;
penus Vestae, 36, 73, 101, 136, 442
Vestal virgins, 53, 113, 120, 139, 175, 177, 194, 320;
at the ceremony of the Argei, 54, 55, 106, 321;
salt-cake baked by, 73;
representative of daughters of the family, 136;
statues of, 144
Virgil, on religio, 37;
on the Paganalia, 62, 67;
on lustratio, 80, 213, 221;
on the Manes, 386, 399;
religious feeling in his poems, 403-427, 455;
compared with Wordsworth, 407-408; with Scott, 408;
his idea of pietas, 409;
his connection with Augustus, 428;
see also Aeneid
504 Virites, 150, 158
Volcanalia, 98, 101
Volcanus, 118, 122, 124;
connection with Maia, 151, 484;
with Venus, 166
Volturnus, 117, 118, 122, 124
Vortumnus, 165, 284
Vows, 188, 226, 286;
public, 200, 202-204;
see also Devotio and Evocatio
Waltzing, on Roman trades, 233
Westcott, Bishop, on Augustine, 458
Westermarck, Dr., cited, 31, 44, 123, 179;
on magic, 47;
on religion of primitive man, 63, 394;
on Roman prayers, 185;
on religion and morality, 227
Williamowitz-Moellendorf, on Hercules, 243
Wine, used at sacrifices, 82, 180, 182-184;
as a substitute for blood, 196
Winter, J. G., cited, 243
Wissowa, Georg, cited, 13, 14, 16-18, 33, 36, 112, 122, 146, 193, 199, 319, 440;
on dies religiosi, 38-40;
on the Argei, 54, 55, 65, 111, 321, 322;
on the ritual of the Salii, 97;
his list of di indigetes, 117, 139;
on Faunus, 118;
on Janus, 126, 141;
on Mars, 142;
on the Indigitamenta, 159, 161-163, 168;
on cult of Jupiter, 167;
on prayer, 198;
on Hercules, 243;
on Hebe, 332;
on Carmen saeculare, 444, 450
Wolf's fat, used as a charm against evil spirits, 83, 90
Women, 264, 265;
taboo on, 29;
excluded from certain sacrificial rites, 29-30;
at the ceremony of the aquaelicium, 64;
rites to produce fertility, 54, 106, 143, 479;
oaths used by, 244;
excitement among, during Hannibalic war, 324;
rebellion against the ius divinum, 344;
festivals, 143, 346, 443, 450;
deities, 135, 235, 272, 297, 318, 332, 479
Wordsworth, compared with Virgil, 407
Zeller, cited, 351, 356;
on human law and divine law, 371
Zosimus, cited, 309, 439, 449, 450
Printed by R. & R. Clark, Limited, Edinburgh.
WORKS ON ROMAN HISTORY
ROMAN SOCIETY DURING THE LAST CENTURY OF THE EMPIRE OF THE WEST. By Sir Samuel Dill, M.A. New Edition, Revised. Extra Crown 8vo. 8s. 6d. net.
ROMAN SOCIETY FROM NERO TO MARCUS AURELIUS. By Sir Samuel Dill, M.A. Second Edition. 8vo. 15s. net.
LIFE IN THE ROMAN WORLD OF NERO AND ST. PAUL. By Prof. T. G. Tucker, Litt.D. Illustrated. 8vo. 12s. 6d. net.
THE AMAZING EMPEROR HELIOGABALUS. By J. Stuart Hay, St. John's College, Oxford. With Introduction by Prof. J. B. Bury, Litt.D. 8vo. 8s. 6d. net.
By Prof. THEODOR MOMMSEN.
THE HISTORY OF ROME, FROM THE EARLIEST TIMES TO THE PERIOD OF ITS DECLINE. Translated by William Purdie Dickson, D.D., LL.D. A Newer and Cheaper Edition, Revised, and embodying all the most recent alterations and additions made by Dr. Mommsen. In Five vols. Crown 8vo. 7s. 6d. each.
Abridged Edition of the above for the use of Schools and Colleges. By C. Bryans and F. J. R. Hendy. One vol. Crown 8vo. 7s. 6d.
THE PROVINCES OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE FROM CAESAR TO DIOCLETIAN. Translated by Dr. W. P. Dickson. Second Impression. Revised by Prof. B. F. Haverfield. Two vols. 8vo. 21s. net.
MACMILLAN AND CO., Ltd., LONDON
ROMAN PUBLIC LIFE.
By A. H. J. Greenidge, M.A. Extra Crown 8vo. 10s. 6d.
THE ROMAN ASSEMBLIES FROM THEIR ORIGIN TO THE END OF THE REPUBLIC.
By George Willis Botsford, Ph.D. 8vo. 17s. net.
CIVIL WAR AND REBELLION IN THE ROMAN EMPIRE, A.D. 69-70.
By Bernard W. Henderson, M.A. With Maps and Illustrations. 8vo. 8s. 6d. net.
RELIGION OF NUMA, AND OTHER ESSAYS ON THE RELIGION OF ANCIENT ROME.
By Jesse Benedict Carter. Crown 8vo. 3s. 6d. net.
THE INFLUENCE OF WEALTH IN IMPERIAL ROME.
By Professor W. S. Davis. Extra Crown 8vo. 8s. 6d. net.
THE ROMANS ON THE RIVIERA AND THE RHONE.
By W. H. Bullock Hall, F.R.G.S. Illustrated. 8vo. 6s.
A HISTORY OF ROME TO THE BATTLE OF ACTIUM.
By E. S. Shuckburgh, M.A. Crown 8vo. 8s. 6d.
By W. WARDE FOWLER, M.A.
8vo. 10s. net.
SOCIAL LIFE AT ROME
IN THE AGE OF CICERO
TIMES.—"In a series of interesting and not overcrowded chapters it presents this age in its form and habit, as it lived and moved, its social and intellectual atmosphere and the material conditions which surrounded it.... There is not a dull page in the book."
OXFORD MAGAZINE.—"A book which will be of the highest value to all who wish to gain an insight into the reality of life and character in the Rome of Cicero's day."
ATHENÆUM.—"A very readable as well as learned monograph on an attractive subject.... We have found the book excellent reading."
DAILY NEWS.—"A work of brilliant scholarship and an admirable piece of writing."
Extra Crown 8vo. 6s.
THE ROMAN FESTIVALS
OF THE PERIOD OF THE REPUBLIC
AN INTRODUCTION TO THE STUDY OF THE RELIGION OF THE ROMANS
SPECTATOR.—"This work is intended as an introduction to the study of the religion of the Romans, and a very faithful and accurate piece of work it is, as indeed might be expected by those who know Mr. Fowler's previous studies of ancient life."
GUARDIAN.—"A delightful volume which will attract and interest any educated and thoughtful reader."
ACADEMY.—"A book with which every student of Roman religion will have to make his account.... Alike as a storehouse of critically-sifted facts and as a tentative essay towards the synthetic arrangement of these facts, Mr. Fowler's book seems to us to mark a very distinct advance upon anything that has yet been done."
By W. WARDE FOWLER, M.A.
Crown 8vo. 5s.
GREEKS AND ROMANS
A SURVEY INTRODUCTORY TO THE
STUDY OF ANCIENT HISTORY
TIMES.—"The purpose is excellent, and Mr. Warde Fowler executes it in a very skilful and scholarly fashion."
CLASSICAL REVIEW.—"This little book is excellent both in design and in execution, and it supplies a want which has been much felt by those engaged in teaching ancient history.... A book which will have a most stimulating effect on the teaching of ancient history, and which ought to become familiar to every schoolboy and undergraduate."
WESTMINSTER GAZETTE.—"It is impossible within any available limits to give an adequate account of Mr. Fowler's treatment of his subject. We can but commend his treatise to our readers; and this we can do without reserve."
OXFORD MAGAZINE.—"One of those charming books which by their excellence are able to commend themselves to entirely different persons.... The man beginning work for 'Greats' will always be told that he must read this; and if he do so, will be rewarded by having the relations of the different parts of his reading marked out with masterly clearness; and the student who has been over most of the ground himself in original authorities, will find with pleasure fresh light thrown on many points by Mr. Fowler's grace of style and power of illustration.... We cordially recommend it as at once charmingly written, and accurate, useful and stimulating."
TALES OF THE BIRDS. Illustrated. Uniform Edition. Crown 8vo. 3s. 6d. Prize Editions. Crown 8vo. 2s. 6d. Extra gilt, gilt edges. 3s. 6d. School Edition. Globe 8vo. 1s. 6d.
MORE TALES OF THE BIRDS. Illustrated. Crown 8vo. 3s. 6d.
A YEAR WITH THE BIRDS. Illustrated. Crown 8vo. 3s. 6d. Prize Editions. Crown 8vo. 2s. 6d. Extra gilt, gilt edges. 3s. 6d.
SUMMER STUDIES OF BIRDS AND BOOKS Crown 8vo. 3s. 6d.
End of the Project Gutenberg EBook of The Religious Experience of the Roman
People, by W. Warde Fowler
*** END OF THIS PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK RELIGIOUS EXPERIENCE OF THE ROMAN PEOPLE ***
***** This file should be named 23349-h.htm or 23349-h.zip *****
This and all associated files of various formats will be found in:
Produced by Turgut Dincer, Ted Garvin and the Online
Distributed Proofreading Team at http://www.pgdp.net
Updated editions will replace the previous one--the old editions
will be renamed.
Creating the works from public domain print editions means that no
one owns a United States copyright in these works, so the Foundation
(and you!) can copy and distribute it in the United States without
permission and without paying copyright royalties. Special rules,
copying and distributing Project Gutenberg-tm electronic works to
protect the PROJECT GUTENBERG-tm concept and trademark. Project
Gutenberg is a registered trademark, and may not be used if you
charge for the eBooks, unless you receive specific permission. If you
do not charge anything for copies of this eBook, complying with the
rules is very easy. You may use this eBook for nearly any purpose
such as creation of derivative works, reports, performances and
research. They may be modified and printed and given away--you may do
practically ANYTHING with public domain eBooks. Redistribution is
subject to the trademark license, especially commercial
*** START: FULL LICENSE ***
THE FULL PROJECT GUTENBERG LICENSE
PLEASE READ THIS BEFORE YOU DISTRIBUTE OR USE THIS WORK
To protect the Project Gutenberg-tm mission of promoting the free
distribution of electronic works, by using or distributing this work
(or any other work associated in any way with the phrase "Project
Gutenberg"), you agree to comply with all the terms of the Full Project
Gutenberg-tm License (available with this file or online at
1.A. By reading or using any part of this Project Gutenberg-tm
electronic work, you indicate that you have read, understand, agree to
and accept all the terms of this license and intellectual property
(trademark/copyright) agreement. If you do not agree to abide by all
the terms of this agreement, you must cease using and return or destroy
all copies of Project Gutenberg-tm electronic works in your possession.
If you paid a fee for obtaining a copy of or access to a Project
Gutenberg-tm electronic work and you do not agree to be bound by the
terms of this agreement, you may obtain a refund from the person or
entity to whom you paid the fee as set forth in paragraph 1.E.8.
1.B. "Project Gutenberg" is a registered trademark. It may only be
used on or associated in any way with an electronic work by people who
agree to be bound by the terms of this agreement. There are a few
things that you can do with most Project Gutenberg-tm electronic works
even without complying with the full terms of this agreement. See
paragraph 1.C below. There are a lot of things you can do with Project
Gutenberg-tm electronic works if you follow the terms of this agreement
and help preserve free future access to Project Gutenberg-tm electronic
works. See paragraph 1.E below.
1.C. The Project Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation ("the Foundation"
or PGLAF), owns a compilation copyright in the collection of Project
Gutenberg-tm electronic works. Nearly all the individual works in the
collection are in the public domain in the United States. If an
individual work is in the public domain in the United States and you are
located in the United States, we do not claim a right to prevent you from
copying, distributing, performing, displaying or creating derivative
works based on the work as long as all references to Project Gutenberg
are removed. Of course, we hope that you will support the Project
Gutenberg-tm mission of promoting free access to electronic works by
freely sharing Project Gutenberg-tm works in compliance with the terms of
this agreement for keeping the Project Gutenberg-tm name associated with
the work. You can easily comply with the terms of this agreement by
keeping this work in the same format with its attached full Project
Gutenberg-tm License when you share it without charge with others.
1.D. The copyright laws of the place where you are located also govern
what you can do with this work. Copyright laws in most countries are in
a constant state of change. If you are outside the United States, check
the laws of your country in addition to the terms of this agreement
before downloading, copying, displaying, performing, distributing or
creating derivative works based on this work or any other Project
Gutenberg-tm work. The Foundation makes no representations concerning
the copyright status of any work in any country outside the United
1.E. Unless you have removed all references to Project Gutenberg:
1.E.1. The following sentence, with active links to, or other immediate
access to, the full Project Gutenberg-tm License must appear prominently
whenever any copy of a Project Gutenberg-tm work (any work on which the
phrase "Project Gutenberg" appears, or with which the phrase "Project
Gutenberg" is associated) is accessed, displayed, performed, viewed,
copied or distributed:
This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with
almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away or
re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included
with this eBook or online at www.gutenberg.net
1.E.2. If an individual Project Gutenberg-tm electronic work is derived
from the public domain (does not contain a notice indicating that it is
posted with permission of the copyright holder), the work can be copied
and distributed to anyone in the United States without paying any fees
or charges. If you are redistributing or providing access to a work
with the phrase "Project Gutenberg" associated with or appearing on the
work, you must comply either with the requirements of paragraphs 1.E.1
through 1.E.7 or obtain permission for the use of the work and the
Project Gutenberg-tm trademark as set forth in paragraphs 1.E.8 or
1.E.3. If an individual Project Gutenberg-tm electronic work is posted
with the permission of the copyright holder, your use and distribution
must comply with both paragraphs 1.E.1 through 1.E.7 and any additional
terms imposed by the copyright holder. Additional terms will be linked
to the Project Gutenberg-tm License for all works posted with the
permission of the copyright holder found at the beginning of this work.
1.E.4. Do not unlink or detach or remove the full Project Gutenberg-tm
License terms from this work, or any files containing a part of this
work or any other work associated with Project Gutenberg-tm.
1.E.5. Do not copy, display, perform, distribute or redistribute this
electronic work, or any part of this electronic work, without
prominently displaying the sentence set forth in paragraph 1.E.1 with
active links or immediate access to the full terms of the Project
1.E.6. You may convert to and distribute this work in any binary,
compressed, marked up, nonproprietary or proprietary form, including any
word processing or hypertext form. However, if you provide access to or
distribute copies of a Project Gutenberg-tm work in a format other than
"Plain Vanilla ASCII" or other format used in the official version
posted on the official Project Gutenberg-tm web site (www.gutenberg.net),
you must, at no additional cost, fee or expense to the user, provide a
copy, a means of exporting a copy, or a means of obtaining a copy upon
request, of the work in its original "Plain Vanilla ASCII" or other
form. Any alternate format must include the full Project Gutenberg-tm
License as specified in paragraph 1.E.1.
1.E.7. Do not charge a fee for access to, viewing, displaying,
performing, copying or distributing any Project Gutenberg-tm works
unless you comply with paragraph 1.E.8 or 1.E.9.
1.E.8. You may charge a reasonable fee for copies of or providing
access to or distributing Project Gutenberg-tm electronic works provided
- You pay a royalty fee of 20% of the gross profits you derive from
the use of Project Gutenberg-tm works calculated using the method
you already use to calculate your applicable taxes. The fee is
owed to the owner of the Project Gutenberg-tm trademark, but he
has agreed to donate royalties under this paragraph to the
Project Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation. Royalty payments
must be paid within 60 days following each date on which you
prepare (or are legally required to prepare) your periodic tax
returns. Royalty payments should be clearly marked as such and
sent to the Project Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation at the
address specified in Section 4, "Information about donations to
the Project Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation."
- You provide a full refund of any money paid by a user who notifies
you in writing (or by e-mail) within 30 days of receipt that s/he
does not agree to the terms of the full Project Gutenberg-tm
License. You must require such a user to return or
destroy all copies of the works possessed in a physical medium
and discontinue all use of and all access to other copies of
Project Gutenberg-tm works.
- You provide, in accordance with paragraph 1.F.3, a full refund of any
money paid for a work or a replacement copy, if a defect in the
electronic work is discovered and reported to you within 90 days
of receipt of the work.
- You comply with all other terms of this agreement for free
distribution of Project Gutenberg-tm works.
1.E.9. If you wish to charge a fee or distribute a Project Gutenberg-tm
electronic work or group of works on different terms than are set
forth in this agreement, you must obtain permission in writing from
both the Project Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation and Michael
Hart, the owner of the Project Gutenberg-tm trademark. Contact the
Foundation as set forth in Section 3 below.
1.F.1. Project Gutenberg volunteers and employees expend considerable
effort to identify, do copyright research on, transcribe and proofread
public domain works in creating the Project Gutenberg-tm
collection. Despite these efforts, Project Gutenberg-tm electronic
works, and the medium on which they may be stored, may contain
"Defects," such as, but not limited to, incomplete, inaccurate or
corrupt data, transcription errors, a copyright or other intellectual
property infringement, a defective or damaged disk or other medium, a
computer virus, or computer codes that damage or cannot be read by
1.F.2. LIMITED WARRANTY, DISCLAIMER OF DAMAGES - Except for the "Right
of Replacement or Refund" described in paragraph 1.F.3, the Project
Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation, the owner of the Project
Gutenberg-tm trademark, and any other party distributing a Project
Gutenberg-tm electronic work under this agreement, disclaim all
liability to you for damages, costs and expenses, including legal
fees. YOU AGREE THAT YOU HAVE NO REMEDIES FOR NEGLIGENCE, STRICT
LIABILITY, BREACH OF WARRANTY OR BREACH OF CONTRACT EXCEPT THOSE
PROVIDED IN PARAGRAPH F3. YOU AGREE THAT THE FOUNDATION, THE
TRADEMARK OWNER, AND ANY DISTRIBUTOR UNDER THIS AGREEMENT WILL NOT BE
LIABLE TO YOU FOR ACTUAL, DIRECT, INDIRECT, CONSEQUENTIAL, PUNITIVE OR
INCIDENTAL DAMAGES EVEN IF YOU GIVE NOTICE OF THE POSSIBILITY OF SUCH
1.F.3. LIMITED RIGHT OF REPLACEMENT OR REFUND - If you discover a
defect in this electronic work within 90 days of receiving it, you can
receive a refund of the money (if any) you paid for it by sending a
written explanation to the person you received the work from. If you
received the work on a physical medium, you must return the medium with
your written explanation. The person or entity that provided you with
the defective work may elect to provide a replacement copy in lieu of a
refund. If you received the work electronically, the person or entity
providing it to you may choose to give you a second opportunity to
receive the work electronically in lieu of a refund. If the second copy
is also defective, you may demand a refund in writing without further
opportunities to fix the problem.
1.F.4. Except for the limited right of replacement or refund set forth
in paragraph 1.F.3, this work is provided to you 'AS-IS' WITH NO OTHER
WARRANTIES OF ANY KIND, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO
WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTIBILITY OR FITNESS FOR ANY PURPOSE.
1.F.5. Some states do not allow disclaimers of certain implied
warranties or the exclusion or limitation of certain types of damages.
If any disclaimer or limitation set forth in this agreement violates the
law of the state applicable to this agreement, the agreement shall be
interpreted to make the maximum disclaimer or limitation permitted by
the applicable state law. The invalidity or unenforceability of any
provision of this agreement shall not void the remaining provisions.
1.F.6. INDEMNITY - You agree to indemnify and hold the Foundation, the
trademark owner, any agent or employee of the Foundation, anyone
providing copies of Project Gutenberg-tm electronic works in accordance
with this agreement, and any volunteers associated with the production,
promotion and distribution of Project Gutenberg-tm electronic works,
harmless from all liability, costs and expenses, including legal fees,
that arise directly or indirectly from any of the following which you do
or cause to occur: (a) distribution of this or any Project Gutenberg-tm
work, (b) alteration, modification, or additions or deletions to any
Project Gutenberg-tm work, and (c) any Defect you cause.
Section 2. Information about the Mission of Project Gutenberg-tm
Project Gutenberg-tm is synonymous with the free distribution of
electronic works in formats readable by the widest variety of computers
including obsolete, old, middle-aged and new computers. It exists
because of the efforts of hundreds of volunteers and donations from
people in all walks of life.
Volunteers and financial support to provide volunteers with the
assistance they need, is critical to reaching Project Gutenberg-tm's
goals and ensuring that the Project Gutenberg-tm collection will
remain freely available for generations to come. In 2001, the Project
Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation was created to provide a secure
and permanent future for Project Gutenberg-tm and future generations.
To learn more about the Project Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation
and how your efforts and donations can help, see Sections 3 and 4
and the Foundation web page at http://www.pglaf.org.
Section 3. Information about the Project Gutenberg Literary Archive
The Project Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation is a non profit
501(c)(3) educational corporation organized under the laws of the
state of Mississippi and granted tax exempt status by the Internal
Revenue Service. The Foundation's EIN or federal tax identification
number is 64-6221541. Its 501(c)(3) letter is posted at
http://pglaf.org/fundraising. Contributions to the Project Gutenberg
Literary Archive Foundation are tax deductible to the full extent
permitted by U.S. federal laws and your state's laws.
The Foundation's principal office is located at 4557 Melan Dr. S.
Fairbanks, AK, 99712., but its volunteers and employees are scattered
throughout numerous locations. Its business office is located at
809 North 1500 West, Salt Lake City, UT 84116, (801) 596-1887, email
email@example.com. Email contact links and up to date contact
information can be found at the Foundation's web site and official
page at http://pglaf.org
For additional contact information:
Dr. Gregory B. Newby
Chief Executive and Director
Section 4. Information about Donations to the Project Gutenberg
Literary Archive Foundation
Project Gutenberg-tm depends upon and cannot survive without wide
spread public support and donations to carry out its mission of
increasing the number of public domain and licensed works that can be
freely distributed in machine readable form accessible by the widest
array of equipment including outdated equipment. Many small donations
($1 to $5,000) are particularly important to maintaining tax exempt
status with the IRS.
The Foundation is committed to complying with the laws regulating
charities and charitable donations in all 50 states of the United
States. Compliance requirements are not uniform and it takes a
considerable effort, much paperwork and many fees to meet and keep up
with these requirements. We do not solicit donations in locations
where we have not received written confirmation of compliance. To
SEND DONATIONS or determine the status of compliance for any
particular state visit http://pglaf.org
While we cannot and do not solicit contributions from states where we
have not met the solicitation requirements, we know of no prohibition
against accepting unsolicited donations from donors in such states who
approach us with offers to donate.
International donations are gratefully accepted, but we cannot make
any statements concerning tax treatment of donations received from
outside the United States. U.S. laws alone swamp our small staff.
Please check the Project Gutenberg Web pages for current donation
methods and addresses. Donations are accepted in a number of other
ways including including checks, online payments and credit card
donations. To donate, please visit: http://pglaf.org/donate
Section 5. General Information About Project Gutenberg-tm electronic
Professor Michael S. Hart is the originator of the Project Gutenberg-tm
concept of a library of electronic works that could be freely shared
with anyone. For thirty years, he produced and distributed Project
Gutenberg-tm eBooks with only a loose network of volunteer support.
Project Gutenberg-tm eBooks are often created from several printed
editions, all of which are confirmed as Public Domain in the U.S.
unless a copyright notice is included. Thus, we do not necessarily
keep eBooks in compliance with any particular paper edition.
Most people start at our Web site which has the main PG search facility:
This Web site includes information about Project Gutenberg-tm,
including how to make donations to the Project Gutenberg Literary
Archive Foundation, how to help produce our new eBooks, and how to
subscribe to our email newsletter to hear about new eBooks.
Zordon N. 37: I Divoratori Del Cosmo (The Devourers Of Cosmos), published in September, 1976 - So, Zordon and Jane have time-traveled to ancient Egypt to find some answers about the Sphinx they found on the South Pole. They get separated, though, a...
4 days ago