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JC375 .F85
Lectures on the early history of the kin

3 1924 030 444 131


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http://www.archive.org/details/cu31 9240304441 31

LECTURES ON THE EARLY HISTORY OF THE KINGSHIP

LECTURES ON THE

EARLY HISTORY OF THE

KINGSHIP

BY
J.

g:

frazer
DURHAM

HON. D.C.L. OXFORD, HON, LL.D. GLASGOW, HON, UTT.D.

FELLOW OF TRINITY COLLEGE, CAMBRIDGE

IL0Ttlr0n

MACMILLAN AND
NEW YORK
:

CO., Limited

THE MACMILLAN COMPANY

1905

All

rights reserved

TO

EDMUND
IN

GOSSE

GRATITUDE AND FRIENDSHIP

PREFACE
The
following
lectures

were

delivered

at

Trinity

College, Cambridge, in the Lent term of this year,

under the

title

of "

The

Sacred Character and Magical

Functions of Kings in Early Society."

The

general

theory here sketched of the evolution of the Kingship

formed the subject of two


at the

lectures

given in

London

Royal Institution

last I

May.

In preparing the

manuscript for the press

have made a few unim-

portant changes, mostly verbal, and added references


to

my

authorities.

Otherwise the lectures are printed


Substantially they consist of a

as they
series

were spoken.

of extracts from the forthcoming third edition

of

my

book The Golden Bough, which


on many
points.
as I

will

contain

fuller information

Such prefatory remarks

may have

to

make

are

reserved for that work, but I cannot allow this volume


to

go forth without an acknowledgment of the debt


to

owe

my

friend

Mr. A. B. Cook, Fellow and Lecturer


If
I

of Queens' College, Cambridge.


to present

have been able

my

theory of the Arician kingship in a

more

probable, or at least a

more

precise,

form than

before, I

owe the improvement

chiefly to the stimulating

viii

PREFACE
which obliged
in

influence of his criticisms,

me
by

to reconsider

the whole problem.

Moreover,

working out

my
my
to,

revised theory I have profited greatly

his learning
at

and acumen, which he has generously placed


disposal in the spirit of the

good old maxim

Koiva

J.

G.

FRAZER.

Trinity College, Cambridge, i6tA August 1905.

CONTENTS
LECTURE I The of Methods of the study Reasons preferring the inductive method King of the Wood Nemi of Diana Nemi Conversion of the of Diana of the Virgin Mary Egeria Virbius the mate of Diana Summary of
history
institutions

for

at

Characteristics

at

festival

into a feast

conclusions

Pages 1-27

Priestly

LECTURE II antiquity Relation of Spartan kings Castor and kings Pollux Incarnate gods Kings magicians of magic Law of and Law of Contact Homoeopathic and Contagious Magic Both included under Sympathetic Magic Examples of Homoeopathic Magic Magical images Cures based hunting on Homoeopathic Magic Use of Homoeopathic Magic magical and Negative Magic or taboo Savage
in
to
as

Principles

Similarity

iVIagic

fishing

telepathy

......
in in

in

belief in

28-59

LECTURE III Magical telepathy war Homoeopathic Magic and the dead Homoeopathic Magic used animals, inanimate annul omens Examples of Contagious Magic Magical hurt him contact between wounded person and the weapon Public magicians develop kingsMagical contact of
relation

to

plants,

things,

to

evil

that

Rise

of monarchy essential to

savagery

.......
footprints

into

the

emergence of mankind

from
60-88

ix

CONTENTS

LECTURE
The
institution

IV
to

regulate the weather Public magicians expected Making sunshine Making or calming wind Making rain develop into kings in Australia, New Tendency of magicians Africa Similar MelanesiaThe evolution complete Guinea, and Europe The divinity evolution among the MalaysTraces of
research
to to

of a public

order of magicians a great incentive

in

it

in

of kings

Pages 89-128

LECTURE V
Development of the magician into a god as well as a king- Incarnate human gods in Polynesia, Africa, and ancient Greece and Germany Worship of the Brahmans in India Human gods in Tibet and China Divinity of the emperors of China and Japan Worship of Summary of the evolution of the the kings of Babylon and Egypt

King of the Wood at Nemi again considered He seems have been the mate of Diana, the two being considered as King and Queen of the Wood Trees regarded as male and female
Kingship
to

Marriages of

trees

and plants

.129-159

LECTURE VI Germany Marriage of the powers of vegetation May King and Queen ancient Babylon, Egypt, and and England Marriage of the gods ancient Sweden and Gaul Marriage of Greece Similar water-gods human brides of the Perseus and Andromeda Furthest. Romain and the typeThe Slaying of the Dragon
in in
rites

in

to

Stories

at

Dragon of Rouen

160-193

LECTURE
The
Sacred Marriage

VII

and Egeria Kings of Rome and Alba god of the oak and the thunder Sacred marriage of Jupiter and Juno perhaps enacted by the King and Queen of Rome Roman kings regarded as sons of the fire god by his wives the Vestal Virgins Sacred fires and Vestal Virgins in
personified
Jupiter,

Numa
the

Ireland and Peru

194-228

CONTENTS

xi

LECTURE
daughter
to

VIII

Succession to Latin kingship in female line through marriage with king's

Indifference

to

paternity of kings

Sons of kings go abroad and reign in their wives' country

kingdom through marriage with

late

female kinship

among European
the

peoples

indigenous race

Attempt of Tarquin
male
line

Abolition of kingship
Proud

Roman kings of plebeian or


at

African Succession king's widow Evidence of


parallels

Rome a patrician revolution


from female
to

to alter succession

Roman
.

sovereignty partly hereditary, partly elective

Personal qualities required in candidates for kingship


princess
at

and of crown determined by

athletic contest

King's

Possession

of

Flight

Rome

Pages 229-264

LECTURE
The King's
kings
Flight at

IX

Rome

in relation to the Saturnalia

sentatives of Saturn killed at the Saturnalia

Saturn and Jupiter Summary of conclusions


Wood
at

Human Violent deaths of Roman


as to the

repre-

of the
,

Nemi

He

King

represented Jupiter or Janus and mated

with Diana

and Juno

Janus or Reasons

for

Dianus and Diana the equivalents of Jupiter putting the divine king to death The

King of Nemi

Calicut an

Indian parallel to the


.

King
.

of the
.

Wood

at

265-297

INDEX

299-309

LECTURE
The
history of institutions
ferring the inductive

Methods of the studyReasons premethod King of the Wood Nemi of Diana Nemi Conversion of the of Diana of the Virgin Mary Egeria Virbius the mate of Diana Summary of
for
at

Characteristics

at

festival

into a feast

conclusions.

The
I

subject of these lectures

is

" The Sacred Character


in

and Magical Functions of Kings

Early Society."

But

must warn you

at the outset that


title

you

will

hear

much

less

about kings than from the

of the lectures you

might reasonably expect and perhaps wish to hear.

The

sacred character and magical functions of kings in

early society cannot be understood without

some know-

ledge of those general forms of superstition of which


this aspect

of the kingship

is

a particular expression

above

all,

we must

acquaint ourselves with the elements

of primitive magic, since the ancient king was often


little

more than the


the

chief magician of his tribe.

Several

lectures will therefore be


illustrating

devoted to explaining and


their

elements of magic, and during


apparently be lost

discussion the king will


entirely.
I

sight

of

mention

this at the

beginning in order to
I

prevent disappointment.

For the same reason,

wish

THE HISTORT OF INSTITUTIONS

lect.

to say that the greater part, though not the whole, of

the lectures will consist merely of fresh


illustrations

examples or

of principles which
;

have already stated


lastly,

and exemplified elsewhere

and,

that,

apart
all

from a few introductory remarks, the substance of

that I shall say will be published before long in the

new

edition of

my

book, which

is

now

in the press.

Before addressing myself to the special subject of


the lectures, I desire to

make

a hv^ general observations

on the method

have followed in them.

Anthropology, or the study of man, claims a place


for itself

among

the sciences.

Of

that study or science

the history of institutions, with which


cerned, forms an important branch.

we
all

are here con-

It

aims at tracing

the growth, development, and decay of


tutions from the

human

insti-

earliest to the latest times,

not merely

recording the facts in chronological order, but referring

them

to their general causes in the physical and mental

man and the influence of external nature. Now, if we are to pursue this study in a scientific spirit, we must endeavour to investigate the beliefs and customs
constitution of

of mankind with the same rigorous impartiality with


which,
for

example,

the

zoologist

investigates

the
is

habits of bees

and

ants.

To

attain that impartiality

indeed

much

harder for the anthropologist than for the

zoologist, for the customs

and superstitions even of the

lowest savages touch us far

more nearly than the habits

even of the highest animals.

The

continuity of
if

human
of the

development has been such that most,


^

not

all,

The Golden Bough, a Study

in

Magic and

Religion,

2nd

edition,

London, 1900.

THE SCIENTIFIC TEMPER


still

great institutions which


civilised society

form the framework of


in savagery,

have their roots

and have

been handed

down

to us in these later days through

countless generations, assuming

new outward forms


Such,

in

the

process
core

of transmission, but
substantially

remaining in their
for

inmost

unchanged.

example, to take a few conspicuous instances, are the


institution

of

private

property,

the

institution

of

marriage, the institution of war, and the worship of


a god.

Differences of opinion

may
Thus

exist,

and have
;

existed, as to the precise value of the inheritance

as to

the fact of

it

there can be none.


it is

in treating

even

of the rudest savages

not easy,

if I

may

say so, to

keep our eyes fixed


before us.

inflexibly

on the object immediately from our

For we seem
history,

to be standing at the sources

of

human

and

it is difficult

to exclude

mind the thought of the momentous consequences which


in other ages

and other lands have flowed from these

simple beginnings, often from these apparently harmless


absurdities.

And

the further

we descend

the stream of

history,

and the nearer we approach to our own age and


it

country, the harder

becomes to maintain an impartial

attitude in the investigation of institutions which have

been fraught with


misery for mankind.
inquiry,

so

much
Yet,
if

happiness and so

much

we

are to succeed in the


it

we must endeavour
it

to approach

without

prejudice and to pursue

without passion, bearing in

mind

that our

aim

is

simply the ascertainment of truth,


;

not the apportionment of praise or blame

that

we

are
;

not judges,

still

less

advocates, but merely inquirers

4
that
it

THE 'DEDUCTIVE METHOD


is

lect.

for us, in the language of Spinoza,


ridere,

humanas
sed

actiones

non

non

lugere,

neque

detestari,

intelligere}

science

which

rests

on observation,

as

all

the

historical sciences necessarily do,

may be taught

in

one

of two ways.

Either

we may

begin with a statement


illustrate it

of general principles
individual cases
;

and then proceed to

by

or,

on the contrary, we

may

begin

with the individual cases and from a comparison of them with each other
laws which,
particulars.
latter
is

may endeavour in common parlance, The former is the


like

to elicit those general


are said to

govern the

deductive method, the

the inductive.

Both methods have,


respective advantages
tive

most other

things,

their

and disadvantages.

The deducscientific.

method
is
it

is,

in appearance at least, the

more

There
about

an

air

of completeness, symmetry, and precision


is

which

very taking.
is

It gives

us a bird's-eye

view of a subject which

easily

grasped by the mind


It is

and retained by the

memory.

thus admirably

adapted for exposition on the side of the teacher, and


for learning
it is

on the

side of the pupil.

In other words,

the best

mode of imparting and

acquiring informa-

tion,

whether for the sake of examinations or for higher

ends.

For such purposes the inductive method


It

is

nearly useless.
^

plunges us
i.

at

once into such a sea of


animum ad Politicam appiicuer'iTK^ cum praxi optime cotrvemunt^ certa
;

Spinoza, Traclatus PoUtkuSj

" Cum

igitur

nihil quod

nwum

"vel

iriauditum

est,

sed tantum ea, quae

et indubitata ratione demonstrare^ et

out ex ipsa /lumanae naturae conditione deducere intendi

ut ea,

quae ad hanc scientiam spectant, eadem animi Ubertate^ qua res Matkematicas

solemus, tnquirerem, sedulo curavi^ humanas actiones non ridere^ non lugere^ neque detestariy

sed intelligere.^^

THE INDUCTIVE METHOD


it is

particulars that

difficult at first to find

our bearings,

that

is,

to perceive the general principles


this

which are to

reduce

seeming chaos to
expressive phrase,

order.
it
is

To

adopt a

common and
wood

hard to see the

for the trees.

Yet the

serious disadvantage under


is

which the inductive method thus labours

perhaps

more than compensated


solid

in

another direction by one


discovery.

advantage

it is

the

method of

In

all

sciences

which

rest

on observation, discovery must

ulti-

mately proceed from the particular to the general, from


the isolated observed instances to the abstract conception

which binds them together.


are,

Apparent exceptions there


I believe,

but on examination they will always,


rule.

be

found to conform to the

Thus
if it

if
it

the inductive
is

method

is

unsuited to the acquisition,


;

well suited

to the extension, of knowledge

does not train a


for research.

student for examinations,

it

trains

him

Apart from

this general
is

advantage possessed by the

inductive method, there

a special reason
it

why

anthro-

pology should adhere to


order to

at the present time.

In

make

a sound induction large collections of


;

facts are necessary


is

hence in the inductive sciences

it

essential that a period

of collection should precede

a period of generalisation.

Not

until great masses

of

observations have been accumulated and classified


the general laws which pervade

do

them begin
are

to appear

on the

surface.

Now

anthropology in general and the


in

history of institutions
collecting stage.

particular

still

in
is

the

The prime want of


This
is

the study

not

so

much

theories as facts.

especially true

of

STUDT OF THE SAVAGE


have
said,

lect.
;

that branch of the study which treats of origins


as I

for,

most great institutions may be traced


our most precious document.

back to savagery, and consequently for the early history


of mankind the savage
It is
is

only of late years that the document has received


it

the attention

deserves

and unfortunately

it is

perish-

ing under our eyes.

Contact with

civilisation is rapidly

effacing the old beliefs


is

and customs of the savage, and


anthro-

thereby obliterating records of priceless value for the

history of our race.

The most urgent need of

pology

at present

is

to procure accurate accounts of the

existing customs and ideas of savages before they have

disappeared.

When

these have

been obtained, when

the records existing in our libraries have been fully


scrutinised,

and when the whole body of information

has been classified and digested, the philosophic historian will be able to formulate, with a fair degree
probability, those general laws
intellectual, social,

of

which have shaped the


our day.

and moral evolution of mankind.


be

That

will

not

done

in

The

great
will

thinkers, the

Newtons and Darwins of anthropology,


It
is

come
by

after us.

our business to prepare for them


in

collecting, sifting,

and arranging the records

order

that when, in
shall arise

the fulness of time, the

master-mind
'

and survey them, he may be able to detect


which has escaped

at

once that unity in multiplicity, that universal in the


us.
is

particulars,

The duty

at present

incumbent on the investigator


together the
facts,

therefore

to

rake

whether, like some of

my

friends,

he

goes for them

at the peril

of his

life

to savage lands,

ROUSSEAU'S
The

DREAM

or merely unearths them at his ease from the dust of


libraries.

time has gone by when dreamers like

Rousseau could reconstruct the history of society out


of their

own

minds, and their dreams could be accepted

as visions

of a golden age to come, their voices listened

to like angel trumpets heralding the advent of a

new

heaven and a new earth.


pologist of to-day to

It is

not for the anthronotes, to build


is

blow these high

these gay castles in the clouds.

His task

the soberer,

duller one of laying, in the patient accumulation


facts,

of

the foundations of a structure

more

solid

and

enduring than the glittering fantasies of Rousseau's


dream.

Yet he too may prove

in

the end to be a
all

pioneer of revolution, a revolution

the surer and

more
and

lasting because

it

will

be slow and peaceful.


is.

Thus

the

method of anthropology

induction,

at present its students are

engaged in compiling

and arranging

their materials rather than in evolving

general theories out of them.

Yet a
is

certain

amount

of preliminary generalisation
necessary.

legitimate and indeed

The work even of

observation can hardly

be accomplished without some intermixture of theory


to- direct

the observer's attention to points which he


as too insignifi-

might otherwise overlook or regard


cant to be worthy of record.

But these provisional


;

we must always be ready to modify or discard them when they The advance are found to conflict with fresh evidence.
hypotheses

should

be held very loosely

of knowledge in

this, as in

every other

field, consists in

a progressive readjustment of theory to fact, of con-

OBSTACLES TO STUDT

lect.
;

ception to perception, of thought to experience


as that readjustment,

and

though more and more exact, can


is infinite.

never be perfect, the advance

These considerations may serve to

justify or at least

excuse two features of anthropological books of the


present day which are apt to repel students

otherwise be attracted to the subject.


features
is

who might One of these

the apparently disproportionate space occu-

pied by the bare description and cataloguing of facts,

which soon

pall

on the reader by
other
is

their

number and

monotony.

The

the unstable, shifting, dis-

cordant nature of the theories put forward to explain


the facts.

Both features are to be regretted, but they

can hardly be avoided at the present stage of inquiry.

The
I

bearing of these remarks

lies,

as Captain Cuttle

profoundly observed, in their application.

In
I

my

book
any

have followed the inductive method, and


it

intend to

adhere to

in

my

lectures.

started without

general theory of the nature and evolution of the king-

ship in early society.

The

rule of one particular Italian

kingship had long puzzled

me

till

happened to meet

with a similar rule in southern India which seemed to

throw

light

on the

Italian custom.

to formulate

my

explanation of the

As soon as I began two, many kindred,

but hitherto apparently disconnected, facts came crowding in upon me, offering, as
I

thought, the materials for

a fairly probable induction as to certain aspects of the

kingly

office

in early

society.

Thus what

at

first

intended to be merely an explanation of one particular


kingship
gradually developed into

something like a

THE KING OF THE PFOOD


on the sanctity of the old kings
purpose
it

9
in

treatise

general.

For

my

was therefore

essential to

enumerate
based

and describe

in detail the facts

on which

my

induction, since for the

most

part, so far as I
I shall

am

aware,

they had not been put together before.

follow the

same method for the same reasons in


principles

my lectures.

The

which

I shall

discuss will generally be old,

and may be

trite to

some of you.

But the evidence

by which

I shall illustrate

them

will for the

most part

be new, by which
published before in
facts

only

mean

that
If

it

has not been


find the

my
you

book.

you should

which

shall inflict

on you even more tedious


have the consolation of

than

my

theories,

will

remembering that they are incomparably more valuable.

The

particular

case

of a sacred kingship which

served as the starting-point of


priesthood

my
;

investigation

was the

of Diana

at

Nemi, which combined the


for the priest bore the

regal with the sacred character


title

of Rex Nemorensis or King of the

Wood, and

his

office

was

called a

kingdom.

As my

general inquiry
I shall

into the early kingship thus centres


invite

round Nemi,

your attention to

it

for a few minutes before


field. I shall

we

pass to the survey of a wider

not detain

you long on what to some may be


I

familiar ground,
repetition of

and
I

shall

avoid as far as possible

all

what

have already published.

The Alban
full

hills are

a fine bold group of volcanic

mountains which

rise

abruptly from the


last

Campagna

in

view of Rome, forming the

spur sent out by

lo

THE LAKE OF NEMI


Two
now
filled

lect.

the Apennines towards the sea.


craters are

of the extinct

by two beautiful waters, the Alban


of Nemi.

lake and
far

its

lesser sister the lake

Both

lie

below the monastery-crowned top of Monte Cavo,

the

summit of the range, but yet so high above the


on the rim of the larger

plain

that standing

crater, at Castel

Gandolfo, where the popes had their

summer

palace,
lake,

you look down on the one hand


on the western horizon, the sea

into the

Alban

and on the other away across the

Campagna
flashes like

to where,
a

broad

sheet of burnished gold in the sun.

The
as
lies

lake of

Nemi

is

still,

as

of old, embowered in

woods, where the wild flowers blow in spring as freshly

no doubt they did two thousand springs ago.


so deep
its

It

down

in the old crater that the


is

calm sur-

face of

clear water

seldom

ruffled

by the wind.
mantled with

On

ail

sides but one the banks, thickly

vegetation, descend steeply to the water's edge.

Only

on the north a stretch of

flat

ground intervenes between


hills.

the lake and the foot of the

Here, under the


village

abrupt declivity
the

now
resort

crested

by the

of Nemi,

sylvan goddess
the
It

Diana had an old and famous


of pilgrims from
as the sacred
all

sanctuary,

parts of

Latium.

was known
is,

grove of Diana

Nemorensis, that

Diana of the Wood, or perhaps

more

exactly,

Diana of the Woodland Glade.

Some-

times the lake and grove were called, after the nearest

town, the lake and grove of Aricia.

spacious terrace

or platform, some seven hundred feet long, contained


the sanctuary.

On

the north and east

it

was bounded

DIANA'S SHRINE
hillsides

ii

by great retaining walls which cut into the


served to support them.

and

Semicircular niches sunk in

the walls and faced with columns formed a series of


chapels,

which

in

modern times have yielded

a rich

harvest of votive offerings.

Compared with
itself

the extent
;

of the sacred precinct, the temple but


built
its

was not large

ruins prove

it

to have been neatly and solidly

of peperino and adorned with Doric columns.

Elaborate cornices of marble and friezes of terra-cotta


contributed to the outward splendour of the edifice,

which appears to have been further enhanced by


gilt

tiles

of

bronze.^
great wealth and popularity of the sanctuary in

The

antiquity are attested by ancient writers as well as by

the remains which have

come

to light in

modern

times.

In the

civil

war

its

sacred treasures went to replenish the

empty
once

coffers

of Octavian.^

But we

are not told that

he treated Diana as
treated

civilly as his

uncle Julius Cassar

Capitoline

Jupiter,

borrowing

three

thousand pounds weight of solid gold from the god

and scrupulously paying him back in the same weight


of
gilt

copper.^

However, the sanctuary


its

at

Nemi
two

recovered

from the drain on


it

resources, for

centuries later

was

still

reputed one of the richest in

'

On

the excavations at

Nemi

see

Notizie degli

Scam

for 1885,

1887, 1888,

1895; Bulletim delV Inaituto di Corrispondaiza Archeohgica, 1885, pp. 149-157, 225-242; O. Rossbach, in Verhandlungm der iiitrzigsten f^ersammlmg Deutscker Philologen (Leipsic, 1890), pp. 147-164 ; G. H. Wallis, Illuitraud Catalogue
1889,

of Classical Antiquities from


1893).
^ ^

the Site

of the Temple of Diana, Nemi,

Italy (preface dated

Appian, Bellum

Civile^ v. 24.

Suetonius, Divus yuUus, 54.

12
Italy.^

THE OFFERINGS OF PILGRIMS


Ovid has described the
tablets
;

lect.
fillets

walls

hung with

and commemorative

and the abundance of


site

cheap votive offerings and copper coins, which the

has yielded in our time, speaks volumes for the piety

and numbers,

if

not for the opulence and

liberality,

of

the worshippers.

Swarms

of beggars used to stream

forth daily from the slums of Aricia and take their

stand on the long slope

up which the labouring horses


;

dragged well-to-do pilgrims to the shrine

and accord-

ing to the response which their whines and importunities

met with they blew

kisses

or hissed curses after the

carriages as they swept rapidly

down

hill again.^

Even
to the

peoples and potentates of the East did

homage

lady of the lake


sanctuary
;

by setting up monuments in her

and within the precinct stood shrines of the


Isis

Egyptian goddesses
gorgeous jewellery.*

and Bubastis, with a store of

The

retirement of the spot and the beauty of the


naturally tempted
fix

landscape

some of the luxurious

Roman
lake.

nobles to

their

summer

residences

by the

Here Lucius

Cassar

had a house to which, on a


after the

day

in early

summer, only two months

murder

of his illustrious namesake, he invited Cicero to meet


the assassin Brutus.^

The emperors themselves appear

to have been partial to a retreat where they could find


^

Appian,

loc, cit,
iii.

2 '

Ovid, Fasti^

267

sq,

Juvenal, Sat.
ii.

iv.

117 sq.;

Persius,

Sat.

vi.

56 with the scholiast's note;


Corpus Inscripthnum Latlnarum,

Martial, Efigr.
*

19. 3, xii. 32. lo.


in Hermes, vi. (1872), pp.

W.

Henzen,

6-12

xiv. 2215, 2216, 2218.


^

Cicero,

Atticum, xv. 4.

5.

THE EMPERORS AT NEMI

13

repose from the cares of state and the bustle of the


great city in the fresh air of the lake and the stillness of

the woods.
villa,

Here
it

Julius Caesar built himself a costly

but pulled

down

again because

it

was not to

his

mind.^

Here
and

Caligula caused two magnificent barges,

or rather floating palaces, to be launched for


lake
;

him on the

it

was while dallying in the woods of Nemi

that the sluggard Vitellius received those tidings of

revolt which
called

woke him from

his

dream of pleasure and

him

to arms.^

Vespasian had a

monument
fill

dedi-

cated to his honour in the grove by the senate and

people of Aricia

Trajan condescended to
;

the chief
in his

magistracy of the town


taste for architecture

and Hadrian indulged


a structure

by restoring

which had

been erected in the precinct by a prince of the royal

house of Parthia.*
Such, then, was the sanctuary of Diana at Nemi, a
fitting

home

for the " mistress of

mountains and forests

green and lonely glades and sounding rivers," as Catullus


calls her.*

Multitudes of her statuettes, appropriately clad in


the short tunic and high buskins of a huntress, with the

quiver slung over her shoulder, have been found on the


spot.

Some of them
at

represent her with her

bow

in her

hand or her hound

her side.

Bronze and iron spears,

and images of stags and hinds, discovered within the


^

Suetonius, Divus j^uiius, 46.

Notmie

degli

Old Same (London, 1901),


* ^

Scam, 1895, pp. 361-396, 461-474; pp. 205-214.


iii.

R. Lanciani,

New

Tales of

Tacitus, Hhtor.

36.

* C.l.L. liv.

2213, 2216, 4191.

Catullus, xxxiv. 9 i^^.

14
precinct,

THE HUNTRESS GODDESS


may

lect.

have been the offerings of huntsmen to


Similarly

the huntress goddess for success in the chase. the bronze tridents, which have

come

to light at

Nemi,

were perhaps presented by fishermen


fish in

the lake, or

who had maybe by hunters who had


For
the wild boar was
still

speared stabbed

boars in the forest.


in
era.

hunted

Italy

down to the end of The younger Pliny tells


three fine boars

the

first

century of our

us how, with his usual

pretty affectation, he sat meditating and reading


nets, while
fell

by the
Indeed,

into them.^

some fourteen hundred years


favourite pastime of

later

boar-hunting was a

Pope Leo the Tenth.^

few rude

images of cows, oxen, horses, and pigs dug up on the


site

may perhaps

indicate that

Diana was here worshipped


In like manner her Greek

as the patroness

of domestic animals as well as of the

wild creatures of the wood.

counterpart, Artemis, was a goddess not only of

game

but of herds.

Thus her

sanctuary in the highlands of

north-western Arcadia, between Clitor and Cynasthae,

owned

sacred cattle which were driven off by Aetolian

freebooters on one of their forays.^

When Xenophon
among

returned from the wars and settled on his estate


the

wooded

hills

and green meadows of the rich valley


temple on the model of her
it it

through which the Alpheus flows past Olympia, he


dedicated to Artemis a
little

great temple at Ephesus, surrounded


all

with a grove ot
not only with a

kinds of fruit-trees, and endowed

chase

but also with a


'

sacred
i.

pasture.
6.
iv.

The
376.

chase

Pliny, Efist.

W.

Roscoe, Life and Pontificate of Leo the Tenth,^

Polybius, Hist.

iv.

18 and 19.

ANCIENT ITALY
in fish

15

abounded

and game of

all sorts,

and the pasture


;

sufficed to rear swine, goats, oxen,

and horses

and

at

her yearly festival the pious soldier sacrificed to the

goddess a tithe both of the


pasture and of the
the people of

cattle

from the sacred


Again,

game from
cattle

the sacred chase.^

Hyampolis

in Phocis

worshipped Artemis

and thought that no


dedicated to her.^

throve like those which they

Perhaps, then, the images of cattle

found

in Diana's precinct at

Nemi were
of a few
trees,

offered to her

by herdsmen to ensure her blessing on


So to the
last,

their herds.

in spite

villas

peeping out
to have

here and there among the

Nemi seems
the

remained in some sense an image of what Italy had


been in the far
sparsely
- off

days

when
of

land

was

still

peopled with

tribes

savage hunters or

wandering herdsmen, when the beechwoods and oakwoods, with


their

deciduous

foliage,

reddening

in

autumn and bare


the hand of man,

in winter,

had not yet begun, under

to yield to the evergreens of the south,


still

the laurel, the olive, the cypress, and the oleander,


less

to those intruders of a later age,

which nowadays

we

are apt to think of as characteristically Italian, the

lemon and the orange.^


Kennst du das Land, wo
die Citronen blilhn,

Im

dunkeln Laub die Gold-Orangen gluhn,

Ein sanfter Wind vom blauen Himmel weht. Die Myrte still und hoch der Lorbeer steht ?
Kennst du
^

es

wohl?
v. 3.

Xenophon, Anabasis,

4-13.

2 Pausanias, x. 35. 7^

V. Hehn, Kulturpfianzen und Hausthkre^

(Berlin, 1902), pp.

520

sy.

THE PRIEST OF NEMI


But that
is

modern
it

rather than ancient Italy.


in its natural

However,
ings
that

was not merely


ancient
shrine

surround-

this

of the sylvan goddess of


the
past.

continued to be a type or miniature

Down
here

to the decline of

Rome
The

a custom

was observed
once

which
to

seems to transport
savagery.

us

at

from
a

civilisation

priest

of the goddess

bore

the

title

of king, and
his tenure

his

office

was

called

kingdom, but
one.
office

of the throne was a singular


slave,

He

was

runaway

who
his

succeeded
it

to

by slaying

his predecessor,

and he held
title

only

so long as he could

make good

in

single

combat against

all

assailants.

Any

fugitive slave

who
in
if

contrived to break a branch from a certain


the

tree

grove had the right to fight the priest, and


his

he killed him he reigned in


therefore, the priest kept
tree.

stead.

Naturally,

watch and ward over that


Strabo,

The Greek geographer


alert.^

who

appears
in

to have seen him, describes

him

as always

sword

hand, always on the

His eyes probably acquired

that restless, watchful look which,

among

the

Esquimaux
the shedder

of Bering
of blood
;

Strait, is said to betray infallibly

for with that people

revenge

is

a sacred duty,

and the manslayer

carries his life in his hand.^

Of

the worship of Diana at

Nemi
I

there are

two

features of special importance

which
;

would ask you


i.

Strabo, v. 3. 12
iii.

Ovid, Fasti,

iii.

271
;

sq.

id.,

Ars Am.
ii.

259

sq.

Statius,

Syl-u.

1.

55

sq.

Suetonius, Caligula, 35

Solinus,

11

Pausanias,

ii.

27.4;

Servius,
2 E.

on

Virgil, Aen. vi. 136,

W.

Nelson, "

The Eskimo

about Bering Strait," Eighteenth Annual Report of


I.

the

Bureau of American Ethnology, Part

(Washington, 1899),

p.

293.

DIANA'S FIRE
In the
first place,

17

to bear in mind.

the votive offerings

found on the spot prove that the goddess was believed


to bless

men and women

with offspring and to grant In the second

expectant mothers an easy delivery.^


place, fire

seems to have played a foremost part in

her ritual.

At

her annual festival of the thirteenth

of August her

grove was illuminated, and

women
to

whose prayers had been heard by her came crowned


with
wreaths
in

and

bearing

lighted

torches

the

sanctuary

fulfilment

of their vows.^

Some one
Emperor

unknown
little

dedicated a perpetually burning lamp in a

shrine at

Nemi

for the safety of the

Claudius and his family.^

The

terra-cotta lamps which


*

have been discovered in the grove

may

perhaps have
If so, the

served a like purpose for humbler persons.

analogy of the

custom to the Catholic practice of

dedicating holy candles in churches

would be obvious.

Moreover, the

title

of Vesta borne by Diana at

Nemi ^
holy

points clearly to the maintenance of a perpetual

fire in

her sanctuary.

A large

circular

basement

at the north-east corner

of the temple, raised on three of a mosaic pavement, probably

steps

and bearing

traces

supported a round temple of Diana in her character of


^

Graevius,

Thesaurus

Antiquitatum

Romanarum,

xii,

col.

808

Bulletino

del-

Arch. 1885, pp. 183 sq. ; Notixie degli Scavi, 1S85, pp. 160, 254 ; id., 1895, p. 424 ; O. Rossbach, of. cit. p. 160 ; G. H. Wallis, op. cit. pp. 4, 15, 17. ^ Statius, Syl-u. iii. i. 52-60 ; Gratius Faliscus, Cynegeticim, i. 484 sq. ; Ovid,
Inst, di Corrisf.

Fasti,

iii.

269

sj,

Propertius,

iii.

24
p.
;

(30), 9

sq., ed.

Paley,

As

to tlie 13th of

August
Festivals
'

as

Diana's day, see Festus,


5
sq.

Aasoams, De firiis Romanis,

343, ed. C. O. MUUer ; Martial, xii. 67. 2 ; C.I.L. xiv. 21 12; W. Warde Fowler, Roman

of the period of the Republic, p. 198, Notizie degli Scam, 1888, pp. 193 sq. ; 0. Rossbach,
op. cit. pp.

op.

cit. p.

164.

*
'

G. H. Wallis,

24-26.

C.I.L. xiv. 2213.

DIANAS DAY
like the

lect.
in

Vesta,

round temple of Vesta

the

Roman

forum.^

The

true character of this circular

basement
acute and

was

first

perceived and pointed out by

my

learned friend

Mr. A.

B.

Cook.^

Previous writers

had taken
at

it

for an altar or pedestal.

The

sacred

fire

Nemi would seem


spot,^

to have been tended

by Vestal
was
fire,

Virgins, for the head of a Vestal in terra-cotta

found on the
cared
for

and the worship of a perpetual


appears
earliest

by holy maidens,
in

to

have

been
latest

common
times.*

Latium from the

to the

For example, we know that among the ruins of Alba Longa the Vestal fire was kept burning by
Vestal Virgins to the end of the fourth century of our

era.*

At

the annual festival of Diana, which was held

all

over Italy on the thirteenth of August, hunting dogs

were crowned and wild beasts were not molested

wine was brought forth, and the feast consisted of a


kid, cakes,

and apples

still

hanging in clusters on the

boughs.*

The

Christian

Church
the

appears

to

have

sanctified this great festival

of the virgin goddess by


festival

adroitly

converting

it

into

of

the

Assumption of the Blessed Virgin on the


of August.^
'

fifteenth

The

discrepancy of two days


;

between
G. H. Wallis,

Notizie degli Scam, 1885, p. 478

O. Rossbach,

ef. cit. p.

158

cp. cit, pp. 9 iq, ^ Classical


^ *

Review, October 1902,


op. cit. p. 30.

p.

376.

G. H. Wall is,
J.

Marquardt, RSmische Staatsverivaltung,


iv.

iii.^

^jG.
p.

Juvenal,

60 jy.

Asconius, In Milonianem,

35, ed, Kiesseling and Schoell

Symmachus,
^ '

Epist. ix. 128


iii.

and 129
55 sqq.
;

C.I.L.

vi.

2172, xiv. 4120.


\. 483-492. CLonAon, 1901), pp. 93-102.

Statius, Sylvae,
J.

1.

Gratius Faliscus, Cynegeticon,


Besiac

Rendel Harris, The Anmtators of the Codex

ASSUMPTION OF THE VIRGIN


is

19

the dates of the festivals


their identity
;

not a

fatal

argument against

for a similar displacement of

two days

occurs in the case of St. George's festival on the twentythird of April, which
is

most probably

identical with the

ancient
first.^

Roman festival of the Parilia on April twentyAs to the reasons which prompted this conof the Virgin Mary some light
of
the Eastern
is

version of the festival of the Virgin Diana into the


festival

thrown by
in

the

records

Church.

Thus
is

the

Syriac text of the treatise called The Departure of

my

Lady Mary from


the

this

World an account
in

given of the

reasons which led to the institution of the festival of

Assumption of the Virgin

August.

In the
:

English version of the treatise the passage runs thus

"And
a

the apostles ordered also that there should be


thirteenth

commemoration of the blessed one on the

of of

Ab

[that

is,

August
Diana's

observe that the thirteenth

August

is

own

day

another
fifteenth

manuof Ab],

script or manuscripts

read

on the

on account of the vines bearing bunches (of grapes), and on account of the
hail,

trees bearing fruit, that clouds

of

bearing stones of wrath, might not come, and the

trees

be broken, and their


clusters."
^

fruits,

and the vines with


observe
is

their

Here you

will

that

the

festival

of the Assumption of the Virgin

definitely

said to

have been fixed on the thirteenth or fifteenth of


for the sake of protecting the ripening grapes

August
'

The

evidence for this identification will be given in the third edition of The

Golden Rough.
'^

The Journal of Sacred Literature,

New

Series, vii. (1865), p. 153.

20

THE FESTIVAL OF THE VINES


fruits.

lect.

and other
out to

This interesting passage was pointed


learned friend

me by my
I

Mr. Rendel Harris.


same
sort has

Since then

find that an inference of the

been drawn independently from this passage by the late


Professor Lucius of Strasburg in a
the end of last year,

book published at where he reinforces the argument

by other evidence.^

Thus he

points out that in the


fifteenth

calendars of the Syrian


is

Church the
in the

of August

repeatedly designated as the Festival of the

Mother

of

God for

the vines,

and that
the

Arabic text of the

apocryphal work

On
:

passing of the Blessed Virgin

Mary, attributed to the Apostle John, there occurs the


following passage
instituted
is,

"Also

a festival in her

honour was

on the

fifteenth
is

day of the month

Ab
from

[that
this

August], which

the day of her passing

world, the day on which the miracles were performed,

and the time when the

fruits

of trees are ripening."

Now
in

we hear of vineyards and

plantations dedicated to

Artemis, fruits offered to her, and her temple standing

an orchard.*

Hence we may

conjecture that her

Italian sister

Diana was

vines and fruit-trees,

also revered as a patroness of and that on the thirteenth of

August the owners of vineyards and orchards paid


respects to her at

their

Nemi

in order to ensure the safety of

the ripening
'

fruit.

We

have just seen that wine and

1904), pp. 488


^

E. Lucius, Die jlnfStigc dei Heiligenkults in der christlichen Kirchc (Tflbingen, sq., 521. The writer appears to have overlooked the occurrence of
jiposioli

Diana's day on the 13th of August.

Johanni

de transitu Beatac Mariae firginis Liter

ex recensione et

cum

interpretatione Maximiliani Engeri (Elberfeldae, 1854), pp. loi, 103.


3

Pauly

Wissowa, Real SncyclcfUdie der clasmchen tVissemchaften,


18. 12
;

ii.

1342-

Pausanias,

vii.

Xenophon,

Artabasis, v. 3. 12.

THE FESTIVAL OF ANAITIS


still

21

apples
festal

hanging on the boughs were part of the

cheer on that day.


fill

We

know,

too, that

Diana
a

was believed to

the husbandman's
series

barns with
is

bounteous harvest/ and in a

of gems, she

repre-

sented with a branch of fruit in one hand, and a cup,

which

is

sometimes

full

of

fruit, in the

other .^

Even

in

Scandinavia a relic of the worship of Diana survived


in

the custom of blessing the fruits of the earth of


sort,

every

which

in

Catholic

times

was

annually

observed at the

festival

of the Assumption of the

Virgin on the fifteenth of August.^

There

is,

need hardly say, no intrinsic improb-

ability in the

view that for the sake of edification the


real

Church may have converted a


into a nominal Christian one.

heathen festival

My

learned friend

Mr.

F. C. Conybeare of

Oxford has furnished me with an


a transformation.

undoubted instance of such

He

tells

me

that in the

Armenian Church, " according

to the

express evidence of the

Armenian

fathers of the year

700 and

later,

the day of the Virgin was placed on


that was the day of

September

the fifteenth, because

Anahite, the magnificence of whose feast the Christian


doctors hoped thereby to transfer to Mary."

This
the

Anahite or Anaitis,

as

the

Greeks called
Virgin

her,

Armenian

predecessor

of

the

Mary, was a
the

great Oriental goddess

whose worship was exceedingly


adjoining

popular not only in Armenia but in


^

Catullus, xxxiv. 17 jyy,

^ Fnrtvrinsler,

Die

aittiken

Gemmen,

iii.

231, with plates xx. 66,

xxii. 18, 26, 30,

32, all cited by


'

Mr. A. B. Cook, Classical Review, October 1902, p. 378, note 4. Olaus Magnus, Hisloria de Gentium Septentrionalium -variis conditiotiihus, xvi. 9.

22
countries.

THE
The

NTMPH EGERIA
rites
is

lect.
plainly in-

character of her

dicated by Strabo,^ himself a native of these regions.

A
ance

mythical personage of some interest and importat

Nemi was

the

water-nymph Egeria.
it

The
is

purling of her stream as

flowed over the pebbles

mentioned by Ovid, who

tells

us that he had often

drunk of
sacrifice

its

water.^

Women
because
she

with

child

used to
like

to

Egeria,

was

believed,

Diana, to

be able to grant them an easy delivery.^

Tradition ran that the


mistress of the wise king

nymph had been the wife or Numa, that he had consorted


Romans had been
inspired

with her in the secrecy of the sacred grove, and that


the laws which he gave the

by commune with her

divinity.*

Plutarch compares

the legend with other tales of the loves, of goddesses


for

mortal

men, such
for the fair

as

the

loves

of Cybele and

the

Moon

youths Attis and Endymion.

According to some, the trysting-place of the lovers

Numa

and Egeria was not

in

the

woods of Nemi,

but at Rome, in a grove outside the dripping Porta Capena, where another sacred spring of Egeria gushed

from
^

a dark cavern.^
xi. 8.

Every day the Roman Vestals


Metam.

Strabo,

12, xi. 14. 16, xii. 3. 37.


vii.

" Virgil,

Aen.

762

s^q.

Ovid, Fasti,

iii.

273

jyy.

id.,

xv.

482

sqq.

Strabo, v. 3. 12.
2

Festus, p. 77, ed. C. O. MiiUer.

*
i.

Ovid, Fasti,
i.

iii.

273
i.

sqq.

id.,

1.4; Livy,
on

19. 5,
ii.

21. 3
sq.
;

Plutarch,

Metam. xv. 482 sqq. Numa, 4, 8, 13, 15


iii.

Cicero,

De

Ugibus,

Dionysius Halicarn.
i.

Antiquit. Roman,

60

Juvenal, Sat.

12

Lactantius, Di-vin. Inst.

22

Servius,
^

Virgil, Aen.
iii.

vii.

763.
;

Juvenal, Sat.

10 sqq.

Livy,

i.

21. 3.

As

to the position of this grove

and

spring see O. Gilbert, Geschichte und Topografhie der Stadt


sqq.,
ii.

152 sqq.; O. Richter, Tofographie der Stadt

Rom im Altertum, i. 109 Rom^ (Munich, 1902), pp.

342

sq.

THE WJTER OF EGERIA


carrying
it

23

fetched water from this spring to wash the temple of


Vesta,
heads.^
in

earthenware pitchers on their

In Juvenal's time the natural rock had been

encased in marble, and the hallowed spot was profaned

by gangs of poor Jews, who were suffered to squat,


like gypsies, in the grove.

We

spring which

fell

into the lake

may suppose of Nemi was


first

that the

the true

original Egeria,

and that when the

settlers

moved
new

down from

the Alban hills to the banks of the Tiber

they brought the

nymph

with them and found a

home for her in a grove outside the gates. The remains of baths which have been discovered within the sacred precinct,^ together with many terracotta models of various parts of the human body,
suggest that the waters of Egeria were perhaps
to

used

heal the sick,


testified

who may have


gratitude

declared their hopes


likenesses

or

their

by dedicating

of the diseased members to the goddess, in accordance


with a practice which
still it

prevails in

many

parts

of

Europe.

To
I

this

day

would seem

that the spring

of Egeria retains medicinal virtues.^

Here
Nemi.
of them

may mention

a fine double bust in marble of


in the precinct at

two water-gods which has been found

Their heads are turned back to back.


is

One
wildly spring
iii.

that of a bearded man, the other that of a

beardless youth.

Their matted hair

is

tossed
;

about and seems clogged with moisture


^

fins
;

Plutarch,

Numa,

13

compare Propertius,
151

v.

4.

15

sq.

Ovid, Fasti,

11-14.
^ '

O. Rossbach,

op. cit. p.

compare C.I.L.

xiv.

4190.

R. Lanciani, in

Athmaum, October

10, 1885, p. 477.

24
from
their

VIRBIUS

AND HIPPOLTTUS

lect.
;

brows and from the mouth of the younger


to their breasts,

water-plants cling

and similar plants


with their

or fish-scales to their cheeks.

Both have that wild


artists,

and troubled look which the ancient


exquisite taste, loved

to give to divinities

of the fickle
probably the

and

restless

element.

The

busts

are

work of

a skilful artist of the first century of

our

era.

Inscriptions

seem to prove that they were dedicated

to Diana.''

The
I

last

of the mythical beings at


is

Nemi

to

whom

have to ask your attention

Virbius.

Legend had

that Virbius was no other than the young Greek it hero Hippolytus whose story is familiar to you all. Two points in it must be borne in mind first, he was the favourite of Artemis, the Greek equivalent of
;

Diana, and second, he was killed by his horses, which

dragged him at
mistress,

their hoofs to death.

But

his divine

so

runs

the

tale,

had Hippolytus brought

to

life

again,

and transported him to the woods of


king under the name of Virbius,
his patroness

Nemi, where she entrusted him to the nymph Egeria.


There he reigned
as a

and there he dedicated a sacred precinct to


Diana.^

As

to

the

real

character

of this mythical

Virbius the

ancients appear

to

have been doubtful.

Some thought
is,"
'

that he was the sun.

"But
deity
O. Rossbach,

the truth
associated
op. cit. p.

says

Servius,

"that
s^.

he
p.

is

a
;

W.

Helbig, in Noti%ie degli Scavi, 1885,


op. cit. pp.

227

159;

G. H. Wallis,
^

32

Virgil, jien.
sjq., vi.

263

PP- 347 '7-1 Pindar, Pyth.

vii. 761 s^q., with the commentary of Servius ; Ovid, Fasti, Hi. Scholiast on Persius, Sat. vi. 56, 735 s^^. id., Metam. xv. 497 sqq. cd. O. Jahn ; Pausanias, ii. 27. 4 ; ApoUodorus, iii. 10. 3 ; Scholiast on
; ;

iii.

96.

SAINT HIPPOLYTUS
Diana, as
Attis
is

25

with

associated with the

Mother

of the

Gods, and

Erichthonius with
^

Minerva, and

Adonis with Venus."

This statement of the old


I

commentator on Virgil

believe to be of the utmost

importance for the understanding both of the Arician


worship in general and of the extraordinary rule of
succession

to

the priesthood in particular.

I I

greatly
its

regret that in former editions of


significance entirely.

my book
it

missed
implies

The view which

of

the character of Virbius will


a

form the pivot on which


will revolve.

good deal of our subsequent researches


I will

Here

only remark that in his long and chequered

career this mythical personage

Hippolytus

or Virbius

has displayed a remarkable tenacity of

life.

For we

can

hardly doubt that the Saint Hippolytus of the


calendar,

Roman
other
after

who was dragged by

horses to death
is

on the thirteenth of August, Diana's own day,


than

no

the Greek hero of the same name, who,


as a heathen sinner, has

dying twice over

been

happily resuscitated as a Christian saint.^

of tracing the
Harris,

saint's pedigree

belongs to

The merit Mr. Rendel

who
can

has distinguished himself by other kindred

researches in this department of sacred history.^

We

now perhaps understand why


according to Servius,
Am.
vii.

the ancients

identified Hippolytus, the

companion of Artemis, with


stood
sq.;
lias

Virbius, who,
^

to

Diana

Servius on V\r%i\,

761.
ii.

P. Ribadeneira, Flos Sanctorum (Venice, 1763),


13, pp.

93

August

sqq.

(Paris and

Rome, 1867).

Prudentius

Acta Sanctorum, drawn picture

of the imaginary

282
'

tqq., ed.

martyrdom which might melt the Th. Obbarius).

stoniest heart {Perhteph. xi. pp.

J.

Rendel Harris, Annotators of Codex Bezac (London, 1901),

pp. loi sq.

26
as

DIANA'S

MATE

lect.

Adonis to Venus, or Attis to Cybele.

For Diana,

like

Artemis, appears to have been originally a goddess


general and of childbirth in particular.^
like

of

fertility in

As such
Virbius.

she,

her Greek counterpart, needed a


partner, if Servius
is

male partner.

That

right,

was

In his character of the founder of the sacred


first

grove and

king of Nemi, Virbius

is

clearly the

mythical predecessor* or archetype of

the line

of priests

who served Diana under Wood, and who came, one


end.^
It
is

the

title

of Kings of the

after the other, to a violent

natural, therefore, to conjecture that these

priestly kings stood to the

goddess of the grove in the


;

same

relation in

which Virbius stood to her

in short,
his

that the mortal

King of the
herself.^

Wood

had for

queen

the woodland Diana

Reviewing the evidence as a whole, we


that the worship of

may

conclude
at

Diana in her sacred grove

Nemi
;

was of great importance and immemorial antiquity


that she

was revered

as the

goddess of woodlands and


cattle

of wild creatures, probably also of domestic


of the fruits of the earth
bless
in
;

and

that she

was believed to

men and women


;

with offspring and to aid mothers holy


fire,

childbed

"that

her

tended by chaste

virgins,

burned perpetually
;

in a

round temple within


her was a water-

the

precinct

that associated with

nymph
^

Egeria,

who

discharged one
poem on her (No.

of Diana's own
xxxiv.).

See, for example, CatuUus's fine

This was pointed out long ago by P. Buttmann [Mythologus, ii. 151). ^ Seneca speaks of Diana as " regina nemorum " or " Queen of the Woods " {Hiffolytus, 406), perhaps with a reminiscence of the Rex Nemortmis, as Mr. A. B.
^

Cook

has suggested [Classical RevietVj October 1902, p. 373,

/*.

3).

VIRBIUS AT
women

NEMI
in travail,

27

functions by succouring

and who was

popularly supposed to have mated with an old

Roman

king

in the sacred

grove

further, that

Diana of the

Wood
Cybele

herself

had

male companion, Virbius by name,

who was
;

to her

what Adonis was to Venus, or Attis to


this

and, lastly, that


in

mythical Virbius

was

represented

historical

times

by

line

of priests

known
lives

as

the

Kings of the Wood, who regularly

perished by the swords of their successors, and whose

were

in a

manner bound up with

a certain tree in

the grove, because, so long as that tree was uninjured,

they were safe from attack.

This ends what


present.

have to say on

Nemi

for the

In the next lecture

we

shall

begin our study

of the general principles of magic.

LECTURE
Priestly kings
in

II

Castor Relation of Spartan Incarnate godsKings magiciansPrinciples and Law of Contact HomoeoLaw of Contagious Magic Both included under pathic Magic and Sympathetic Magic Examples of Homoeopathic Magic Magical images Cures based on Homoeopathic Magic Use hunting and Negative of Homoeopathic Magic magical Magic taboo Savage
antiquity

kings to

and Pollux of magic

as

Similarity

in

fishing

or

belief in

telepathy.

In the

last lecture

we began our

consideration of the
I

position of the king in early society.


that the character of sanctity

indicated briefly

which attaches to the kingpeoples


is

ship

among many savage and barbarous

a pro-

duct of certain primitive modes of thought and of habits


based on them, which are very alien to our ways of
thinking arid acting, and can only be understood after long and patient study.
Instead of attempting to lay

down

a general scheme of the development of the sacred


I

kingship in early society,

took

as the starting-point

of

our inquiries a particular example of the institution, namely, the titular kingship of the priests of Diana at

Nemi
be

and

think that this

mode of proceeding may

justified,

not only by the greater definiteness and

precision

which we attain by considering an abstract


in

problem

a concrete form,
28

but also by the

many

LECT.

II

PRIESTLT KINGS
which are raised by
I

29
this particular

interesting questions

kingship.

In the present lecture

propose to begin the

examination

of these

questions.

They can only


the

be

adequately answered by the comparative method, and


accordingly, leaving

behind for the

Nemi and the King of present, we must now look


institution
is

Wood

about for

other examples of sacred kingships and try to discover


the ideas

on which the
first place,

based.

In the

then,

we saw

that the

King of the
title,

Wood
king.
title

at

Nemi, though he bore the kingly


any
rate,

was, in

historical times at

much more

a priest than a

Now

this

union of priestly duties with a royal


in
classical

was common

antiquity.

Rome and
of
the

Athens furnish the most familiar examples


practice, but
it

existed also in

many

other places.

In

Greece the duties of these priestly kings, as we learn

from

Aristotle,

were especially associated


of the
city.^

with

the

Common Hearth

In the island of Cos, for

example, the titular king sacrificed to Hestia, the goddess of the hearth, the equivalent of the Italian Vesta
;

and he received the hide and one leg of the victim


his perquisite.^

as

In Mytilene the kings, of


to

were several, invited

banquets at the
the
state

whom there Common


to

Hearth those guests


honour.*
if

whom

delighted

In Chios also there were several kings, and


his cows, his sheep,
first

any herdsman or shepherd drove

or his swine to pasture in a sacred grove, the


'

person

Aristotle, Politics, viii. (vi.) 8. 20, p.

1322 b 26

sqq.

Dittenberger, Sylloge Inscriptionum Graecarum^

No. 616;

Ch. Michel, Recueil

a'lmcriptiom Grecques, No. 716,


'

Ch. Michel,

Recueil,

Nos. 356, 357.

30

PRIESTLY KINGS
witnessed the transgression was

lect.
to denounce

who

bound

the transgressor to the kings, under pain of incurring


the divine wrath and,

what perhaps was more


fine

serious,
deity.^

of

having

to

pay a

to

the

offended

In the same island the king was charged with the duty

of pronouncing the public curses,^ a spiritual weapon of

which much

use

was

made

by the

ancients.

For

example, in Teos, public curses were levelled at any one

who should prevent


country.

the importation of corn into the

" If any man," so ran the curse, " shall by

any manner of means prevent the importation of corn


into the land of the Teans,

may he

perish, he

and

his

family."

But

that, I

need hardly inform you, was in

the dark ages, before the invention of tariff reform.

The Teans, it is obvious, were " free-fooders." You will observe that all these titular kings whom I have mentioned held office in republican states. The
general opinion of the ancients seems to have been that

such priestly kingships were instituted after the abolition

of the monarchy in order to offer the

sacrifices

and to
not
a

discharge the religious duties which had formerly fallen

within the province of the real king.*

The view

is

improbable in

itself,

and

it

is

moreover confirmed by

case in which the descendants

of the old kings are

known
'

as a matter
5y//rJg-,^

of history to have retained a shadowy


No. 570
;

Dittenberger,

Ch. Michel,

Recutil,
;

P. Cauer, DiUctus Imcriftionum Graecarum^ No. 496


P. Cauer, op.

No. 707. Ch. Michel,

Reciuil,

No.

1383.
'
cit.

Aristotle, Politics,

74

m-

.^tttiquit.

P- '37 i Rom. iv. 74.

op. cit. No. 1318. 1285 b 14 sjj.; Demosthenes, Contra Neacr. Plutarch, Sluaeu. Rom. 63 ; Livy, ii. a. i ; Dionysius Halicarn.
;

No. 480
iii.

Ch. Michel,

14. 13, p.

4.

II

PRIESTLT KINGS
the descendants of the Ionian kings,

31

royalty after the real

power had departed from them.

At Ephesus
the
title

who

traced their pedigree to Codrus, king of Athens, kept

of king and certain privileges, such as the right

to a seat of

honour

at the games, to

wear a purple robe

and carry a

staff instead

of a sceptre, and to preside at

the rites of Eleusinian Demeter.''


the

So

at

Cyrene, when

monarchy was

abolished, the deposed

King Battus

was assigned certain domains and allowed to retain some


priestly functions.^

Thus

the classical evidence points to the conclusion

that in prehistoric ages, before the rise of the republican

form of government, the various


ruled

tribes or cities

were

by kings, who discharged

priestly

duties

and

probably enjoyed a sacred character as descendants of


deities.

This conclusion

is

borne out by the example

of Sparta, where the monarchy survived to historical


times.

For there the two kings were believed to be


;

descended from the supreme god Zeus


they offered
all

as his offspring

the state sacrifices, received a share of

the victims, and

held the priesthood of Zeus, one of

them
priest

acting as priest of

Zeus Lacedasmon, the other

as

of Heavenly Zeus.^

This combination of royal authority with priestly


functions
is

common

in

many

parts of the world

and

hardly

calls for illustration.

To

take a single example,


is

among
^ ^

the Matabeles of South Africa the king

at the

Strabo, xiv. i. 3.

Herodotus,

iv.
vi.

162.

Herodotus,
iii.

56

Xenophon, Respub. Lacedaem,


1285 a 3
sjq.

15,

compare

id.

13

Aris-

totle, Politics,

14. 3, p.

32

THE SPARTAN KINGS


high-priest.

lect.

same time
at the great

Every year he

offers sacrifices

and the
fruits,

little

dance, and also at the festival

of the new

which ends these dances.

On

these

occasions he prays to the spirits of his forefathers and


likewise to his

own
is

spirit

for

it

is

from these higher


shows that the

powers that he expects every


This example
king
is

blessing.^
it

instructive, because

something more than a


spirits

priest.

He

prays not
spirit.

only to the

of his fathers, but to his

own

He

is

clearly raised
;

above the
is

common

standard of mere

humanity
Similarly,

there

something

divine

about

him.

we may suppose

that the Spartan kings were

regarded not merely as descended from the great god

Zeus but

also as partaking of his divine spirit.

This

is

clearly indicated

by a curious Spartan
I

belief

mentioned

by Herodotus, to which
attention has been paid

do not remember that


writers.

by modern

The

old

historian tells us that formerly both the Spartan kings

went forth with the army to


times a rule was
to
fight,

battle,

but that in

later

made
other

that

when one king marched out


stay
at

the

should

home.
of
the
is left

"

And
there

accordingly,"

says

Herodotus,

" one

kings

remaining at home, one of the Tyndarids


too
;

for hitherto

both of them were invoked and


^

followed the kings."

The Tyndarids,

need hardly

say, are the heavenly twins, Castor

and Pollux, the sons


clearly

of Zeus.

The

belief described

by Herodotus

Father Croonenberghs,
453. Herodotus,
p.

"La

Mission du Zambeze," Missions Catioligues, liv.

{1882),
^

v.

75.

11

CASTOR AND POLLUX

33

implies that one of these divine beings was supposed to

be in constant attendance on each of the two Spartan


kings, staying with

them where they stayed and going

with them wherever they went.

From

this

we may
aid

reasonably infer that they were thought

to

the

kings, their kinsmen, with their advice and counsel in

time of need.
represented
as

Now

Castor and Pollux are

commonly
constantly

spearmen,

and

they were

associated or identified, not only with stars, but also

with those lurid lights which, in an atmosphere charged

with

electricity, are

sometimes seen to play round the

mastheads of ships under a


similar lights

murky

sky.

Moreover,
glitter in
tells

were observed by the ancients to

the darkness
that he

on the points of

spears.

Pliny

us

had seen such

lights flickering

on the spears of

Roman

sentinels as they

paced their rounds by night in


it is

front of the

camp

and

said that Cossacks, riding

across the steppes

on stormy
at

nights, perceive

glimmerSince,

ings

of the same sort

their

lance-heads.^

therefore, the divine brothers Castor

and Pollux were

believed to be in constant attendance


kings,
it

on the Spartan

seems not impossible that they may have been

thought to accompany the march of a Spartan army,


appearing in the twilight or in the darkness either as
stars in the

sky or

as the

sheen of spears on earth.

It

might further be worth while to consider how


stories

far the
battle,

of the appearance of the heavenly twins in

charging on their milk-white steeds at the head of the


1

Pliny, Nat. Hist.


^

ii.

loi.

Compare Seneca,

Sjiaest.
et

Natur.
i.

i.

i.

14.

Potocki, Voyages dans Us steps d' Astrakhan

du Cnucase,

143.

34

DIVINITT OF KINGS
may

lect.

earthly chivalry,

not have originated in similar

lights seen to glitter in the

gloaming on a point here


spears.

and there
I

in the long

hedge of levelled or ported


riders

mean

that

any two

on white horses whose

spear-heads happened to be touched by the mystic light

might

easily
is

be taken for Castor and Pollux in person.


in this conjecture

If there

any truth

and

it is

only a

conjecture

we should conclude
in

that the divine brothers

were never seen

broad day, but only at dusk or in

the darkness of night.

Now their most


it

famous appear-

ance was at the battle of Lake Regillus, as to which


are expressly told that

we

was

late in the
over.''

evening of a

summer day
tions

before the fighting was

Such

state-

ments ought not lightly to be dismissed


of a rhetorical
historian.

as late inven-

The memories of

great

battles linger

long among the peasantry of the neigh-

bourhood.

However
dotus
suffices

that to

may
prove

be,

the

evidence

of

Herorelation

that

an

intimate

was believed to

exist

between the two Spartan kings


Castor and
Pollux.

and the

divine
is

twins

And

in

general there

no doubt that

in early society kings

have been often thought to be not merely descendants of


divinities,

but themselves divine and invested with super-

natural powers.

Thus they

are frequently expected to

give rain and sunshine in due season, to

make

the crops

grow, and so forth.

In short, they are considered and In early society the divinity

treated as incarnate gods.


that doth hedge a king
1

is

no mere
13
;

figure of speech.
De
tiatura deorum,
ii.

Dionysius Halicarn. Ant. Rom.

vi.

Cicero,

2. 6.

TTPES OF MAN-GOD
Of
these incarnate

35
convenient to

human gods
spirit

it

is

distinguish
divinity
is

two

types.

In the one type the indwelling

conceived as a

which has taken up


later time
;

its

abode in the man, whether at birth or at a


the other type
it

in

consists essentially in the possession of

magical powers of a very high order.

Accordingly the

one

may

be called the inspired, the other the magical


Strictly perhaps, according to
is

man-god.

our notions,

the inspired type alone

entitled to

rank as a god,

while the other

is

merely a glorified magician.

But

such sharp distinctions are not drawn by primitive man.

To him

the

two conceptions shade


it

off into each other

perhaps he might find

hard to define or even perceive


Certainly
it

the difference between them.

would not

be easy to refer

all

particular instances definitely to one


I shall therefore

or other of these heads.

not attempt

to carry the distinction through.


theoretically
it

But so

far as

we can

draw a

line

of demarcation between them,


is

appears to be probable that the magical

older than
abstract

the inspired type.


probability

For a consideration both of

and of the concrete

facts points strongly to


is

the conclusion that a belief in magic


belief in gods.

older than a

On

the particular grounds for that


;

conclusion I do not propose to dwell

an examination
subject.

of them would lead us too


if it

far

from our

But

be true that in the evolution of society magic has


it

preceded religion,

becomes probable that magicians

may

in

some
it

cases

have gradually developed into kings

before

occurred to people to imagine that their rulers


spirits

were the living incarnations of great

or deities.

36

INFLUENCE OF SUPERSTITION
is

lect.

However,

for our immediate purpose the question of

the priority of the two types


shall pass it by.

of

little

moment, and

What

is

essential to the understanding


is

of the character of kings in early society


acquaintance with the
principles of

some
magic,

primitive

and some notion of the extraordinary hold which that


ancient system of superstition has had

on the human

mind
else

in all ages

and

in all countries.

For whatever

he

may have

been, the old king seems

commonly

to have been a magician.

The
theories
his feet

idea that the first king


his tribe

was simply the strongest


is

and bravest man of

one of those

facile

which the arm-chair philosopher concocts with

on the fender without taking the trouble to Like many other speculations of consult the facts.
that sort
it

seems so obvious, so consonant to reason,


true,

that

it

must be

and that to seek to establish

it

by

actual

instances

would be superfluous.
I

That such
but
I

instances
that, if

may

occur,

would not deny

believe

we could

scrutinise the

whole evidence, they

would be found
rule.

to be the exceptions rather than the

All purely rationalistic speculations of this sort

as to the origin

of society are vitiated by one funda-

mental defect

they do not reckon with the influence

of superstition,

which pervades the

life

of the savage

and has contributed to build up the


an incalculable extent.
to apprehend

social

organism to

We

are only beginning dimly

how many

institutions of universal pre-

valence, not limited to one race or one religion,

may

perhaps rest historically on a foundation

of savage

II

PRINCIPLES OF MAGIC
is,

37

superstition, that

on ideas which would now only

need to be stated in order to be immediately rejected


as false

and absurd by every reasonable and educated


his political or religious creed

man, whatever
I

might

be.

say that

we

are only beginning to apprehend this, for

we

are only beginning to understand the

mind of

the

savage, and therefore the


fathers

mind of our savage

fore-

who

created these institutions and handed

them

down to us. If the time should ever come when what we merely suspect should prove to be true, and the truth should be recognised by all, it may involve a reconstruction of society such as we can hardly dream
of.

But that

is

a question for the future, perhaps a

stormy future.
ful past.
I

Here we

are concerned with the peace-

was led into making these remarks by the observait is

tion that

impossible to understand the rise of the

kingly power without some acquaintance with primitive


superstition,

and particularly with that branch of


Accordingly

it

which goes by the name of magic.


propose

now

to devote

some time

to a consideration of

the theory and practice of magic without special refer-

ence to the exercise of that art by the early king.

The

principles of thought

on which magic
:

is

based

appear to resolve themselves into two

first,

that like

produces

like,

or that an effect resembles

its

cause

and, second, that things which have once been in contact

continue to act on each other even after the contact


has been severed. the

The former

principle

may

be called

Law

of Similarity, the latter the

Law

of Contact or

38
Contagion.
the

KINDS OF MAGIC
From
effect

lect.

the

first

of these principles

namely,
he can
it
:

Law

of Similarity

the magician
the

infers that

produce any

he desires merely by imitating

from the second


Contagion

he

namely,

Law

of Contact or

concludes that whatever he does to a

material object will affect equally the person with

whom

the object was once in contact, whether


or not.

it

formed part

Charms "based on the Law of of his body Similarity may be called Homoeopathic or Imitative Charms based on the Law of Contact or Magic.
Contagion may be called Contagious Magic.
expression Homoeopathic
species

The

Magic

to designate the former


I

was

first

employed, so far as
It

am

aware, by

Mr. Y. Hirn.^
and
I

seems to

me

an excellent expression,

prefer

it

to

the phrase Imitative or Mimetic

Magic which,
Imitative or

partly following

Mr. Sidney Hartland,^


if it

formerly employed to denote the same thing.

For

Mimetic Magic suggests,

does not
it

imply, a conscious agent


limits the scope of

who

imitates,

and

thereby

magic too narrowly.

For the same

principles

which the magician applies

in the practice of

his art are implicitly believed

by him to regulate the


;

operations of inanimate nature


tacitly

in

other words, he

assumes that the Laws of Similarity and Contact


application

are of universal

and
is

are

not limited to

human

actions.

In short, magic

a spurious system

of natural law as well as a fallacious guide of conduct,


a false science as well as an abortive
'

art.

Regarded
282.

as

Y. Hirn,

Origins

of Art (London, 1900),


(1897), p. 65.

p.

2 Folk-lore, viii.

11

KINDS OF MAGIC
is,

39

a system of natural law, that


rules

as a

statement of the

which determine the sequence of events throughit

out the world,


regarded
as

may

be called Theoretical Magic

set

of precepts which
their

observe in

order to compass

ends,

human beings it may be


on.

called Practical
I

Magic.
later

shall return to this distinction


I

what

wish to impress on you

is

not so

Here much the

diiference between the theory


as the distinction

and the practice of magic

between the principles of thought that

respectively underlie the


I

two branches of magic which


Both
be

have called

Homoeopathic and Contagious.


on analysis
of the
to

principles
different

turn out

merely two

misapplications
is

association of ideas.

HomcEopathic magic
ideas

founded on the association of


is

by

similarity

contagious magic

founded on

the association of ideas by contiguity.

Homoeopathic

magic commits the mistake of assuming that things


which resemble each other are the same
:

contagious

magic commits the mistake of assuming that things which have once been
always in contact.
in contact with each other are

But

in practice the
;

two branches

of magic are often combined


while

or, to

be more exact,

homoeopathic

or

imitative

magic
will

may be
generally

practised

by

itself,

contagious

magic

be found to involve an application of the homoeopathic


or imitative principle.
things

Thus

abstractly stated, the

two
will

may

be a

little

difficult

to grasp.

You

readily understand

them when they


Both
trains

are illustrated

by

concrete examples.

of thought are

in fact

40

HOMCEOPATHIC MAGIC
It

lect.

extremely simple and elementary.


otherwise,
since

could hardly be
the
to
concrete,

they

are

familiar

in

though

certainly

not in

the

abstract,

the

crude

intelligence not only of the savage, but

of ignorant and
branches

dull-witted

people

everywhere.

Both
the

of

magic,

the

homoeopathic

and

contagious,

may
name

conveniently be comprehended under the general

of Sympathetic Magic, since both assume that things act on each other at a distance through a secret
sympathy, the impulse being transmitted

from the
conceive
I

one to the other by means of what we


postulated by

may

as a sort of invisible ether, not unlike that which,

understand,

is

modern

science for a pre-

cisely similar

purpose

namely,

to explain

how

things

can physically affect each other through a space which


appears to be empty.
All this
will, I

hope, be
I will

made

plain to

you by

the

examples with which

now

illustrate

both branches

of magic, beginning with the homoeopathic.


it

But here

may

be convenient to tabulate as follows the branches


to

of magic according
underlie

the

laws

of thought which

them

Sympathetic Magic

{Law of Sympathy)

Homoeopathic Magic

Contagious Magic

{Law of Similarity)

{Law of Contact)

We

now

take up Homoeopathic or Imitative Magic.

Perhaps the most familiar application of the idea

II

MAGICAL IMAGES
is

41

that like produces like

the attempt which has been


all

made

in

many

ages and in almost

parts of the world

to injure or destroy an

enemy by

injuring or destroying

an effigy of him, in the belief that just as the effigy


suiFers so does the

man, and

that

when

it

perishes he
believe
ashes,

must
that

die.

Thus

the

North American Indians

by drawing the figure of a person in sand,

or clay, or by considering any object as his body, and

then stabbing

it

with a sharp stick or doing

it

any other

injury, they inflict a corresponding injury

on the person

represented.^

Among

the

Chippeway Indians, when a

man was
disease to

ill

he used to ask the sorcerer to transfer the

some other person to

whom

he bore a grudge.

To

effect this, the sorcerer

made

a small

wooden image
while he

of the patient's enemy, pierced the heart of the image,

and introduced various magical powders into


muttered an appropriate
spell.^

it,

So when a Cora Indian

of Mexico wishes to kiU a man, he makes a figure of him


out of burnt clay, strips of cloth, and so forth, and then,
uttering incantations, runs thorns through the head or

stomach of the figure to make


corresponding part of his body.
Indian makes a

his victim suffer in the

Sometimes the Cora

more

beneficent use of this sort of

homoeopathic magic.
flocks or herds, he

When
makes

he wishes to multiply his

a figure of the animal he


it

wants in wax or

clay,

and deposits

in a cave

of the

mountains
'

for these Indians believe that the


to

mountains
(NewRiver,

J.

Morse, Report

the Secretary
p.

of

War

of

the

U.S.

Indian Affairs

haven, 1822), Appendix,


^

102.
to

W. H.

Keating, Narrative of an Expedition

the Source

of

St. Peter's

u. 159.

42
are masters of

MAGICAL IMAGES
all

lect.

riches,

including cattle and sheep.

For every cow,

deer, dog, or

hen he wants, the Indian

has to sacrifice a corresponding image of the creature.^

This may help us to understand the meaning of the figures of cattle, deer, horses, and pigs which were
dedicated to Diana at Nemi. the offerings of farmers
to multiply the
cattle

They may have been or huntsmen who hoped thereby The Peruvian or the game.
they disliked or feared, and

Indians moulded images of fat mixed with grain to


imitate the persons

whom

then burned the effigy on the road where the intended


victim was to pass.

This they

called

burning his

soul.

But they drew a

delicate distinction

between the kinds

of ^materials to be used in the manufacture of these


images, according as the intended victim was an Indian

or a Viracocha, that

is,

a Spaniard.

To

kill

an Indian
kill a

they employed maize and the fat of a llama, to

Spaniard they used wheat and the fat of a pig, because


Viracochas did not eat llamas, and preferred wheat to
maize.^
I

may

observe in passing that the meaning and origin

of the name Viracocha, as applied by the Peruvian


Indians to the Spaniards,
ness
is

explained with great frank-

by an early

Italian (not,

you

will observe, a Spanish)

historian

of America, who had himself travelled

in the

country at the time of the Conquest.


the Indians saw the very great

He says
cruelties

"

When

which the

Spaniards committed everywhere

on entering Peru, not

"

^ C. Lumholz, Unknown Mexico (London, 1903), i. 485 sq, P. J. de Arriaga, Extirfacion de la IdoUtria del Piru (Lima, 1621), pp. 25

sq.

II

VIRACOCHA
God,
as boasted, but not

43

only would they never believe us to be Christians and


children of

even that we were

born on
a

this earth, or generated


;

by a man and born of must be

woman

so fierce an animal they concluded

the offspring of the sea, and therefore they called us


Viracocchie, for in their language they call the sea cocchie

and the froth vira

thus they think that

we

are a

congelation of the sea, and have been nourished by the


froth
;

and that we are come to destroy the world, with

other things in which the Omnipotence of God would not


suffice to

undeceive them.

They
trees,

say that the winds

ruin houses and break

down

and the

fire

burns

them

but the

Viracocchie devour

everything, they

consume the very

earth, they force the rivers, they are


rest,

never quiet, they never

they are always rushing

about, sometimes in one direction and sometimes in the


other, seeking for gold

and

silver

yet never contented,


kill

they

game

it

away, they

make

war, they

each other,

they rob, they swear, they are renegades, they never

speak the truth, and they deprive us of our support.


Finally, the Indians curse the sea for having cast such

very wicked and harsh beings on the land."


explanation of the

An

name
is

Viracocha,

much more

flatter-

ing to Spanish vanity,

given by the Inca Garcilasso

de la Vega, himself half a Spaniard.^

But to return to

our magic.

When
^

the Lerons of Borneo wish to be revenged on

2 Garcilasso

G. Benzoni, History of the New World, pp. 252 de la Vega, Royal Commentaries of

ly.

(Hakluyt Society).
Yncas,
ii.

the

65

sqq.

(Hakluyt

Society],

44
an enemy they
it

MAGICAL IMAGES

lect.

in the

make a wooden image of him and leave jungle. As it decays he dies.^ More elaborate

is

the proceeding adopted by the Kenyahs of Borneo in


circumstances.

similar

The

operator retires with the

image to a quiet spot on the river bank, and when a hawk


appears in a certain part of the sky he kills a fowl,

blood on the image, and puts a bit of fat in the mouth of the figure, saying, " Put fat in his mouth." By that he means, " May his head be cut off, hung up
smears
its

in

an enemy's house, and fed with

fat in the usual

way."

Then he
wooden

strikes at the breast of the

image with

a small

spear, throws

it

into a pool of water reddened


it

with red earth, and afterwards takes


in the ground.^

out and buries

it

If an

Aino of Japan wishes to compass

the destruction of an enemy, he will

make

a likeness
it

of him out of mugwort


in a hole upside
tree,

or the guelder-rose and bury

down
his

or under the trunk of a rotten

with a prayer to a

demon
will

to carry off the man's


tree.

soul or to

make

body rot away with the

Sometimes an Aino

woman

attempt to get rid of

her husband in this fashion by wrapping


dress in the shape of a corpse

up

his head-

and burying

it

deep in

the ground, while she breathes a prayer that her husband

may

rot and die with the head-dress.

Often, however, magical images are employed for

more amiable purposes.


^

Thus

to shoot an arrow into

W. H.

Furness, The Home^ife of Borneo Head-hunters (Philadelphia,

1902),

P-

93^

Hose and M'Dougall,

in

Journal of

the Anthropological Institute,

xxx. (1901),

p.

178.
^

J.

Batchelor, The Ainu and their Folk-lore (London, 1901), pp. 329-331.

11

MAGICAL IMAGES
;

45

the heart of a clay image was an ancient

Hindoo mode

of winning a woman's love

only the bow-string must

be of hemp, the shaft of the arrow must be of black ala

wood,

its

plume an owl's

feather,

and

its

barb a thorn.

No

doubt the wound

inflicted

on the heart of the clay


the Chippeway Indians,

image was supposed to make a corresponding impression

on the woman's

heart.

Among

we

are told, there used to be few

young men or women


the hearts of the

who had

not

little

images of the persons whose love

they wished to win.

They punctured

images and inserted magical powders in the punctures,


while they addressed the images by the names of the
persons

whom

they represented, bidding

them
love

requite

their affection.^
inflicted
it

And

as

the

wound of

may

be

by means of an image, so by means of an image


be healed.

may

How
in a

that can

be done has been

described by

poem based on the experiown schoolfellows. It is ence of one of his called The Pilgrimage to Kevlaar, and tells how sick people are wont to offer wax models of their ailing members to the Virgin Mary at Kevlaar in order that In Heine's she may heal them of their infirmities. poem a young man lies wasting away for love and
Heine
sorrow at the death of his sweetheart.
his

So he goes with
at Kevlaar,

mother on pilgrimage to the Virgin


her the waxen model of

and

offers

a heart, with a prayer


heal his

that she

would be pleased to

own wounded
119
;

field,

W. Caland, Altmdisches Zauherritual (Amsterdam, 1900), p. Hymm of the Atharva-Veda (Oxford, 1897), pp. 358 sq. W. H. Keating, Expedition to the Source of St. Peter's River,

M. Bloom-

ii.

159.

46
heart.

MAGICAL IMAGES
Such customs,
still

lect.

parts of Europe, are


in
later

commonly observed in some interesting because they show how


ailing

times magic comes to be incorporated with

religion.

The moulding of wax images of


is

members

in its origin purely


is

magical

the prayer to
:

the Virgin or to a saint


bination of the

purely religious

the com-

two

is

a crude, if pathetic, attempt to

turn both magic and religion to account for the benefit

of the sufferer.

The
wife.

natives of

New

Caledonia

make

use of effigies

to maintain or restore

harmony between husband and

Two

spindle-shaped bundles, one representing


the other the

the

man and
They

woman,

are tied firmly

together to
couple.

symbolise
are

and ensure the amity of the


various plants, together

made up of

with some threads from the woman's girdle and a piece

of the man's apron


each.

a bone needle forms the axis of


is

The
both.

talisman

meant

to render the union of


is

the spouses indissoluble, and

carefully treasured

by

them

If,

nevertheless,

a domestic jar

should

unfortunately take place, the husband repairs to the

family burying-ground with the precious packet.

There

he lights a

fire

with a

wood of
it

a particular kind, fumi-

gates the talisman, sprinkles

with water from a pre-

scribed source, waves

it

round

his head,

and then

stirring

the needle in the bundle which represents himself, he


says, " I

change the heart of


If the wife
still

this

woman
it

that she

may

love me."

remains obdurate, he

ties a

sugar-cane to the bundle, and presents


a third person.

to her through

If she eats of the sugar-cane, she feels

II

MAGICAL CURES
On

47
her side she has

her love for her husband revive.


the right to operate in

hke manner on the bundle which


recover her husband's

represents herself in order to


affection.^

Another beneficent use of homoeopathic magic


heal or prevent sickness.

is

to
a

In ancient Greece,

when
sit

man

died of dropsy, his children were

made

to

with

their feet in water until the

body was burned.

This

was supposed to prevent the watery disease from attacking them.^


Similarly,

on the

principle of water to water,

among
the

the natives of the hiUs near Rajamahall in India,


a person
:

body of

who

has died of dropsy


if

is

thrown

into a river

they think that

the corpse were buried,

the disorder would return and carry oiF other people.^

The
jaundice.

ancient

Hindoos performed an elaborate


main

cere-

mony, based on homoeopathic magic,


Its

for the cure of

drift

was to banish the yellow

colour to yellow creatures and yellow things, such as


the sun, to which
it

properly belongs, and to procure

for the patient a healthy red colour

from a

living,

vigorous source, namely a red bull.

With
:

this inten-

tion, a priest recited the following spell

"

Up
:

to the
in the

sun

shall

go thy heart-ache and thy jaundice


unto long

colour

of the red bull do we envelop thee


tints,
life.

We
this

envelop thee in red

May

person go unscathed and be free


'

of yellow colour
p.

Father Lambert, in Missions Catholiques,

xii.

(1880),

41

id.,

Mceurs

et

Superstitions

da

Neo-Cale'doniem

(Noumea, 1900),
mndicta 14.

pp.

97

sq,

' Plutarch, '


iv.

De

sera numinis

Th. Shaw, "The Inhabitants of the Hills near Rajamahall," 69 (8vo edition, London, 1807).

Asiatic Researches,

48

CURES FOR JAUNDICE


divinity
is

lect.

The cows whose

Rohini, they who, more-

over, are themselves red {rohinih)

in their

every form
Into
the

and every strength we do envelop


parrots, into the thrush,

thee.

do we put thy jaundice, and,

furthermore, into the yellow wagtail do


jaundice."

we put thy

While he uttered
sip

these words, the priest,

in order to infuse the rosy patient,

hue of health into the sallow


which was mixed with
he poured water over the
the sick

gave him water to


:

the hair of a red bull


animal's back and

made

man
and

drink

it

he

seated

him on

the skin of a red bull

tied a piece of
his colour

the skin to him.

Then

in order to

improve
taint,

by thoroughly eradicating the yellow


thus.

he proceeded

He

first

daubed him from head to foot with a

yellow porridge
plant), set a parrot,

made of turmeric or curcuma (a yellow him on a bed, tied three yellow birds, to wit, a thrush, and a yellow wagtail, by means of a
;

yellow string to the foot of the bed

then pouring water

over the patient, he washed oiF the yellow porridge, and

with

it

no doubt the jaundice, from him to the yellow


After that, by way of giving a
final

birds.

bloom

to

his complexion, he took some hairs of a red

bull,

wrapt
skin.''

them

in gold leaf,

and glued them to the patient's

The

ancient Greeks held that if a person suffering from

jaundice looked sharply at a stone-curlew, and the bird

looked steadily

at

him, he was cured of the disease.


" and such the

" Such

is

the nature," says Plutarch,


it

temperament of the creature that


^

draws out and

W.

M. Bloomfield, Hjmm of the Athar-va-Veda (Oxford, 1897), pp. 7 m., 263 w. Caland, Alt'mdUches Zauherritual (Amsterdam, 1900), pp. 75 so.

II

CURES FOR JAUNDICE


malady which
^

49
through

receives the

issues, like a stream,

the eyesight."

So well recognised among bird-fanciers


property of the stone-curlew that when
it

was

this valuable

they had one of these birds for sale they kept

carefully
it

covered, lest a jaundiced person should look at

and

be cured for nothing.^


in the drab colour eye, which, if
lichen,
is
it

The

virtue of the bird lay not


in its large golden

of
is

its

plumage but

not mistaken for a tuft of yellow

the

first

thing that strikes the searcher, as the

bird cowers, to escape observation,

on the ground.*

Thus

the yellow eye of the bird drew out the yellow

jaundice.
bird, to

Pliny

tells

of another, or perhaps the same,


their
it

which the Greeks gave


if a

name

for jaundice,

because

jaundiced
bird.*

man saw

the disease left

him

and slew the

He

mentions also a stone which


its

was supposed to cure jaundice because


that of a jaundiced skin.^

hue, resembled
turnips,

In

Germany yellow

gold coins, gold rings, saffron,


are
still

and other yellow things

esteemed remedies for jaundice, just as a stick

of red sealing-wax carried on the person cures the red


eruption popularly

known
its

as St.

Anthony's

fire,

or the

blood-stone with

blood-red spots allays bleeding.*


St.

Another cure prescribed in Germany for


fire
is

Anthony's

to rub the patient with ashes

from

a house that

'

Plutarch, Siuaest. Con-uiv.

v. 7. 2, 8 sq.
;

Aelian, Nai. Animalmm, xvii.


p.

1 3.

2 Schol.
^
*

on Aristophanes, Birds, 266


Nat.
Hist. xxx. g^.

Schol. on Plato, Gorgki,


p.

494

b.

Alfred Newton, Dictionary of Birds,


Pliny,

129.
for jaundice,

The Greek name

and

for this singular

bird,
^

was

ikteros.

Nat. Hist, xxxvii. 170.


Leoprechting, Aus dem
Lechrain

'

(Munich,

1855),

p.

92; A. Wuttke, Der

diutsche Volksaberglaube^ 477.

50

CAPILLARY ATTRACriON
down
^
;

lect.

has been burned pathy,


it

for,

on the principle of homoeoas

is

easy to see that

the

fire

died out in

that house, so St.

Anthony's

fire will

die out in that

man.

An ancient Indian cure for a scanty crop of hair, based


on the same
principle,

was to pour
;

a solution of certain
this

plants over the head of the patient

had to be done

by a doctor who was dressed

in

black and had eaten

black food, and the ceremony must be performed in


the early morning, while the stars were fading in the
sky, and before the black crows had risen cawing from
their
nests.^

The

exact virtue of these plants has

unfortunately

escaped

our

knowledge,

but
;

we

can

hardly doubt that they were dark and hairy

while the

black clothes of the doctor, his black food, and the

swarthy hue of the crows unquestionably combined to

produce a crop of black hair on the patient's head.

A
is

more

disagreeable

means of attaining the same end


a boy's hair a

adopted by some of the tribes of Central Australia.

To

promote the growth of


urged thereto by

man

with flowing

locks bites the youth's scalp as hard as he can, being


his friends,

who

sit

round watching

him

at his task, while the suiFerer

howls aloud with


capillary attraction.

pain.^

Clearly,

on the principle of

A. Wuttke,

loc. cit.

M.

Bloomfield,

Hymns of
p.

the

AltindhcJus Zauhirritual,

103.

Atharva-Veda, pp. 31, 536 In ancient Indian magic it

sq.
is

W.

Caland,

often prescribed

that charms to heal sickness should be performed at the hour

when

the stars are

vanishing in the sky.

See

W.

Caland,

op. cit. pp.


?

85,

86, 88, 96.

Was

this in

order that the ailment might vanish with the stars


^

Spencer and Gillen, Northern Tribes of Central Australia (London, 1904),

p.

352

id..

Native Tribes of Central Australia,

p.

251.

II

HOMCEOPATHIC DOCTORS
may
say so, he thus imparts of his

51

if I

own mature
is

abundance to the scarcity of his youthfial friend.

One of the
it

great merits of homoeopathic magic

that

enables the cure to be performed

on the person of the

doctor instead of on that of his victim,


relieved of all trouble
his medical

who

is

thus
sees

and inconvenience, while he


in anguish before him.

man

writhe

For

example, the peasants of Perche, in France, labour under


the impression that
a

prolonged
patient's

fit

of vomiting

is

brought

about

by the
it,

stomach becoming

unhooked,

as they call
is

and so

falling

down.

Accordorgan to

ingly, a practitioner
its

called in to restore the

proper place.

After hearing the symptoms he at

once throws himself into the most horrible contortions,


for the purpose of

unhooking
effort,

his

own

stomach.
it

Having
in

succeeded in the

he next hooks

up again
Fee

another series of contortions and grimaces, while the


patient experiences a corresponding relief.
francs.'
five

Further, great use

is

made of homoeopathic and

in

general sympathetic magic for the sake of procuring a


plentiful supply of food.

The

hunter and the fisherman

resort to

it

for this purpose, whether their immediate

object

is

to multiply the

game and

the

fish,

or to lure

the wild creatures to their destruction.


also

The farmer
and
fruits

employs

it

in order to cause his crops

to ripen.

Thus

to

begin

with

hunting

and

fishing,

the

Toradjas of Central Celebes believe that things of the


1

F. Chapiseau,

Le folk-lcre

de la Beucejt du Fcrche (Paris, igoz),

i.

172

sj.

52

NEGATIVE MAGIC
attract each other

lect.
their indwell-

same sort

by means of

ing spirits or vital

ether.

Hence they hang up

the

jawbones of deer and wild pigs in their houses, in


order that the
spirits

which animate these bones

may

draw the

living creatures of the

same kind into the

path of the hunter.^

The
turtle.
is

western tribes of British

New

Guinea employ a charm to aid the hunter in

spearing

dugong or
into

small

beetle,

which

haunts cocoa-nut
spear-haft

trees,

placed in the socket of the


fits.

which the spear- head

This
in

is

supposed to make the spear -head stick

fast

the

dugong or

turtle, just as
it

the beetle sticks fast to a

man's skin when

bites him.^
is

But the system of sympathetic magic


composed of
large
It

not merely

positive precepts

it

comprises a very
is,

number of negative

precepts, that

prohibitions.
also

tells

you not merely what to do, but

what to
:

leave undone.

The

positive precepts are

charms

the

negative precepts are taboos.


taboo, in fact,

The whole
its

doctrine of

would seem to be only a

special applica-

tion of sympathetic magic, with


similarity

two great laws of


laws are certainly
the savage, they

and contact.

not formulated in so

Though these many words by

are nevertheless implicitly believed

by him to regulate

the course of nature quite independently of

human

will.

He
^

thinks that if he acts in a certain way, certain conse-

quences will inevitably follow in virtue of one or other of


A. C. Kruyt,
in Verdageii en Mededeelingen
iv.

der komnk. Akademie -van

Wam-

schappertj

Afdeeling Letterkunde,

Reeks,

Hi.

B. A. Hely, "Notes on Totemism,


Guinea^

etc.,

Deel (Amsterdam, 1899), pp. 203 so. among the Western Tribes," Brhish

New

Annual Report for 1894-95,

p. 56,

II

NATURE OF TABOO
;

53

these laws

and

if

the consequences of a particular act

appear to him likely to prove disagreeable or dangerous,

he

is

naturally careful not to act in that

way

in order

not to incur those consequences.


abstains

In other words, he

from doing that which,

in accordance with his

mistaken notions of cause and efFect, he falsely believes

would
taboo.

injure

him

in short, he subjects himself to a


is

Thus taboo
magic.
in
this,

only a negative application of


magic,
so
says,

practical

Positive
that

or

sorcery,

says,

"

Do

order

Negative magic or taboo


so

and so may happen." " Do not do this, lest


Sorcery says,

and so should
says,

happen."

"Act."
the

Taboo
that
is,

"Abstain."
is

The aim of
is,

positive magic,
:

of sorcery,

to produce a desired event

aim of negative magic, that


an undesirable one.
able

of taboo,

is

to avoid

But both consequences, the desir-

and the undesirable, are supposed to be brought

about by the same natural agencies, to wit, the law


of similarity and the law of contact.
desired

And just
effected

as the

consequence

is

not

really

by the
dreaded

observance

of a magical ceremony,

so

the

consequence does not really result from the violation

of a taboo.

If the supposed evil necessarily followed a

breach of taboo, the taboo would not be a taboo but


a precept of morality or

common
sense,

sense.

It is

not a
fire

taboo to say, "


it

Do

not put your hand in the

"

is

a rule of

common

because the forbidden

action entails a real, not an imaginary evil.

In short,

those negative precepts which

we

call

taboo are just as

vain and futile as those positive precepts which

we

call

54
sorcery.

SORCERT AND TABOO


The two
things are
a

lect.

merely opposite sides

or poles of one great disastrous fallacy,

mistaken

conception of the nature of the association of ideas.

Of

that fallacy, sorcery

is

the positive, and taboo the

negative pole.

If

we

give the general

name of magic

to the whole erroneous system,


practical,

both theoretical and

then taboo

may

be defined as the negative

side

of practical magic.
:

To

put

this

in

tabular

form

Magic
\

(Magic

as a

Theoretical pseudo-science)

Practical

(Magic

as a

pseudo-art)

Positive

Magic

Negative Magic
or

or

Sorcery
I

Taboo
its

have made these remarks on taboo and

relation

to

magic

a relation which has not yet, I think, been

generally apprehended

because

am

about to give

some

instances
I

of

taboos

observed by hunters and


fall

fishermen, and

wished to show that they

under

the head of Sympathetic Magic, being only particular


applications of that general theory.

Among

the

Esquimaux of

Baffin

Land boys
if

are

forbidden to play

at cat's cradle,

because

they did

so their fingers might in later


in

life

become entangled

the

harpoon - line.^
the

Here,

as

you
an

will

readily

perceive,
^

taboo

is

obviously

application
Bulletin

of
of
the

F. Boas,

"The Eskimo

of Baffin

Land and Hudson Bay,"


i,

American Museum of Natural Historv, xv. Part

(1901),

p.

l6l.

II

HOMCEOPATHIC TABOOS
is

55
of homoeo-

the law of similarity which pathic magic


the
string
:

the

basis

as the child's fingers are

entangled by

in

playing

cat's

cradle, so

they

will

be

entangled by the harpoon-line

hunts

whales.

when he is a man and Again, among the Huzuls of the

Carpathian Mountains, the wife of a hunter


spin while her husband
is

may

not

eating
like

for if she does, the


spindle,

game
taboo

will

turn and

wind

the
it.^

and the
the

hunter will not be able to hit


is

Here

again

clearly derived

from the law of

similarity.

This Huzul superstition perhaps enables us to understand


a

curious

law of ancient

Italy

mentioned by

Pliny, which forbade


as they walked, or

women

to spin

on the high-roads

even to carry their spindles openly,


to
injure

because any such action was believed


crops.^

the

Probably the notion was that the


fields

women

walking on the high-road would pass


that the twirling of the spindle
stalks

of corn, and

would

twirl the cornstraight.

and prevent them from growing

To

take another example of a taboo based on the law of


similarity,
is

that
in

is,

on homoeopathic magic.
crystals
in

Camphor
in

found

the form of
in

the crevices of

certain

trees

the

East

Indies.

Accordingly,
for

Borneo, when

men

are

searching

camphor, they
lest

may
tree.^

not wash the leaves which they use as plates,

the camphor

should dissolve

and disappear from the wash


their plates

They

think, in fact, that to

R. F. Kaindl, " Zauberglaube


Pliny, Nat. Hut. xxviii. 28.

bei

den Huzulen," Ghbus, Ixxvi. (1899),

p.

273.

"

W. H.

Furness, Home-life of Borneo Head-hunters (Philadelphia, 1902),

p.

169.

S6

HOMCEOPATHIC TABOOS
crystals
in

lect.

would be to wash out the camphor


trees

from the

which they are imbedded.

Again, the chief


is

product of some parts of Laos, a province of Siam,


lac.

This

is

a resinous

gum

exuded by
to

a red insect

on

the

young

branches

of

trees,

which

the

little

creatures

have to be attached

by hand.

All

who

engage in the business of gathering the

gum

abstain

from washing themselves and especially


their heads, lest hair they should
boughs.-'

from cleansing

by removing the
detach the
these

parasites
insects

from

their

other

from the

All

may

be

called

homoeopathic

taboos.

Further,

some of the Brazilian Indians would


for

never bring a slaughtered deer into their hut with-

out

first

hamstringing

it

they believed that

if

they did

not hamstring
able

it,

they and their


their

children

would never be
Apparently
animal they

to

run down
that

enemies.^

they thought
at the

by hamstringing the
their foes of

same stroke deprived

the use of their legs.

Once more, the Cholones, an

Indian tribe of Eastern Peru, employ poisoned arrows


in

the

chase

but there are certain animals, such as


kinds of falcons, and a species of

armadillos, certain
vulture, which they

would on no account shoot


believe

at with

these

weapons.

For they

that

between the

poisoned arrows which they use and the supply of


poison at
^

home

there exists a sympathetic relation of


le

E. Aymonier, Voyage dans

Laos (Paris, 1895-97), ' 3^^

>

compare

id.^

Notes

sur

le
"

Laos (Saigon, 1885), p. 110. A. Thevet, Les singularittK de


1558),
p.

la

France Antarcti^ue, autrement nommee Ameri^ue


Uni-verselle

(Antwerp,

93

id.^

Cosmographie

(Paris,

1575),

ii.

970

[wrongly numbered, 936]

sq.

11

CONIAGIOUS TABOOS
if
all

57

such a sort that

they shot at any of these creatures


the poison at

home would be spoilt, which would be a great loss to them.'' Here the exact train of thought is not clear but we may
with poisoned shafts
;

suppose that the animals in question are believed to


possess a

power of counteracting and annulling the


if

effect

of the poison, and that consequently

they are touched


it

by

it, all

the poison, including the store of


its

at

home,

would be deprived of
be,
it

virtue.

However

that

may

is

plain that the superstition rests

on the law

of contact, on the idea, namely, that things which have once been
in

contact with each other remain so

sympathetically always.

The

poison with which

the

hunter wounds an

animal has once been in contact

with the store of poison at


in the

home

hence

if

the poison
all

wound

loses its

venom, so

necessarily will

the

poison at home.

These may be

called contagious taboos.


in the

This belief of the Cholones Indians,


thetic influence exerted

sympaat a

on each other by things

distance,

is

of the essence of magic.

Whatever doubts
of action
is

science

may

entertain as to the possibility


;

at

a distance, magic has none


its first principles.

faith in telepathy

one of

A modern
;

advocate of the influence

of mind upon mind

at a distance

would have no

diffiit

culty in convincing a savage

the savage believed in

long ago, and what

is

more, he acted on his belief with

a logical consistency such as his civilised brother in the


faith has not yet, so far as I

am

aware, exhibited in his


(Leipsic, 1835-36),

^
ii.

E. Poeppig, Reiss in Chile, Peru und

auf dem Amawmtrome

323.

58
conduct.

SAVAGE TELEPATHY
For the savage
is

lect.

convinced not only that


off,

magical ceremonies afFect persons and things afar

but that the simplest acts of daily


circumstances do so also.

life

may

in certain

Hence on momentous
less elaborate

occa-

sions the conduct of friends and relations


is

at a distance

often regulated

by a more or

code of

rules, the neglect

of which by the one

set

of persons

would,

it

is

supposed, entail misfortune or even death

on

their distant friends.

Thus,

for example,

when

party of
tions at

men are out hunting or fighting, their relahome are often expected to do certain things,

or to abstain from doing certain others, for the sake of

ensuring the safety and success of the absent hunters or


warriors.

How

the particular acts or abstinences are


is

supposed to operate
is

not always plain

what

is

clear

that they are

really
evil.

believed to afFect the distant

persons for good or

Thus
Central

to take a few instances.

When some
home
;

of the

Esquimaux
lift

are

away hunting on the


at

ice, it is

forbidden to

up the bedding

because they

think that to do so would cause the ice to crack and


drift off,

and so the men might be

lost.^

The

notion

seems to be that the lifting of the men's bedclothes

would cause the


also
;

ice

on which they

are standing to

lift

and a skater knows that the undulation of the


always a sign that him.
it is

ice is

thin and

may

give
in

way
the

with

Again,
the

winter,
^

when

among new moon


of

the

Esquimaux

appears, boys

must run
Bulletin

F. Boas, "

The Eskimo

Baffin

Land and Hudson Bay,"


i.

of

the

American Museum of Natural History^ xv. Part

(1901), p. 149.

II

SAVAGE TELEPATHY
it

59

out of the snow-house, take a handful of snow, and

put

into the kettle.

It is

believed that this helps the


it

hunter to capture the seal and to bring


the putting of

home.^

Here
an

snow

in the kettle

is

probably regarded
in
it
:

as a preparation for boiling

something

it

is

imitation of

what
his

will

happen when the hunter comes


it

home with

bag, and thus

helps by

means of

imitative magic to bring about that desired result.

Lastly, in the

Baram

district

of Sarawak, when the

men are away searching for camphor in the forest, the women at home dare not touch a comb for if they
;

did

so,

the interstices between the fibres of the tree,

instead
crystals,

of

being

filled

with

the

precious

camphor

would be empty,
This
;

like the spaces


is

between the

teeth of a comb.^

plainly an

application of
it

the law of similarity

in other words,

is

a case of

homoeopathic magic.

These examples may serve


theory of telepathy, that
is,

to illustrate the

savage

the belief in a magical


at a distance so

sympathy which binds together friends

that their actions mutually affect each other for

good

or

ill.

And

in regard to negative magic or taboo the


it,

foregoing instances have shown that

like

positive

magic or sorcery,

falls

into

two great
as

divisions,

which

may

be called respectively Homoeopathic

Taboo and

Contagious Taboo, according

they are based on the

law of similarity or the law of contact.


^ ^

F. Boas, op.

cit. p.

160.
p.

W. H.

Furness, Home-life of Borneo Head-hunters,

169.

LECTURE III war Homoeopathic Magic Magical telepathy animals, inanimate and the dead Homoeopathic omens Examples of Contagious Magic Magic used annul Magical contact between wounded person and the weapon Public magicians hurt him Magical contact of develop Rise of monarchy the emerin

in

relation

to

plants,

things,

to

evil

that

footprints

into kings

essential to

gence of mankind from savagery.

In the

last lecture I

explained the two great principles


called the

of magic, which
the

may be

Law of Similarity and


similarity
is

Law

of Contact.

The law of

the

foundation of homoeopathic or imitative magic.

The

law of contact

is

the foundation of contagious magic.


possibility

Both branches of magic assume the on persons and things


at a distance.

of acting

At

the end of last

lecture I illustrated this primitive belief in telepathy by the


rules observed

by people

at

home while
sort,

their friends are

away hunting or searching for precious commodities, such


as

camphor.

Rules of the same

based on a belief in

the sympathetic connection between persons at a distance, are observed

by friends and relations

while the

men

are out

on the warpath.

home Thus among


at
is

the Toradjas of Central Celebes,

hunting for heads, the villagers


60

when a who stay

party
at

away

home, and

LECT.iii

TELEPATHY IN WAR
men

6i

especially the wives of the head-hunters, have to observe

certain rules in order not to hinder the absent


their task.

at

In the
is

first

place the entrance to the lobo

or spirit-house

shut.

For the

spirits

of their fathers,

who

live in that house, are

now away
;

with the warriors,

watching over and guarding them

and

if

any one

entered their house in their absence, the spirits would


hear the noise and return in great anger at thus being
recalled

from the campaign.

Moreover, the people


:

at

home have
up

to keep the house tidy

the sleeping-mats

of the absent
as if they

men must

be hung on beams, not rolled


:

were to be away for a long time

their
:

wives and next-of-kin

may

not quit the house at night


fire

every night a light burns in the house, and a

must
:

be kept up constantly at the foot of the house-ladder


garments, turbans, and head-dresses
aside, for if the

may

not be laid
ofi^

turban or head-dress were put

by

friends at
his

home, the warrior's turban might drop from


in the battle.

head

When

the spirit of the headIs

hunter returns

home

in his sleep (which

the Toradja's

expression for a soldier's dream) he must find every-

thing there in good order and nothing that could vex

him.

By

the

observance

of

these

rules,

say the

Toradjas, the souls of the head-hunters are covered or


protected.

And

in order to

make them
is

strong, that

they

may

not soon grow weary, rice


floor

strewed morning
in

and evening on the


to feed

of the house, probably

order

and refresh the absent warriors.

The women

too go

about constantly with a certain plant of which

the pods are so light and feathery that they are easily

62

TABOOS IN WAR
make
This
last

lect.
the

wafted by the wind, for that helps to


nimble-footed.^
as to the

men

custom, as well as the rule

wearing of turbans, are clearly applications of

the law of similarity.

Among

the Shans of

Burma
She

the wife of an absent

warrior has to observe certain rules.


she rests and does no work.
fills

Every

fifth

day

an earthen goblet
it
it

with water to the brim and puts flowers into


day.
If the water sinks, or the flowers fade,

every
is

an

omen of

death.

Moreover, she may not sleep

in her

husband's bed during his absence, but she sweeps the

bedding clean and lays

it

out every night,^ perhaps in

order that her husband's soul

may

repose on
like the

it

if

he

should

revisit his

soldier in Campbell's

home in a dream, poem


watch

war-broken

Our

bugles sang truce, for the night-cloud


the sentinel stars set their

had lozoer'd.

And

in the sky.

While marriageable boys of the Mekeo


British

district in

New

Guinea are making their drums, they have

to live alone in the forest

and observe a number of rules


similarity, that
is,

which are based on the law of


be used in the dances, and in

on

the principle of homoeopathic magic.

The drums order that they may

will

give

out a resonant sonorous note, great care must be taken


in their construction.

Having chosen

a suitable piece
it

of wood, the lad hollows out the inside by burning

with a hot coal


1

till

the sides are very thin.

The

skin

A. C. Kruyt, " Het Koppensnellen


Verslagen en Mededeelingen
iv.

der Toradja's van Midden-Celebes, en zijne der


konink.

.beteekenis,"

Akademie van fVetenschappen,


sq.

Afdeeling Letterkunde,
2

Reeks,

iii.

Deel (Amsterdam, 1899), pp. 258

Indian Antiquary, xxi. (1892), p. 120.

Ill

HOMCEOPATHIC TABOOS
is

6:^

of an iguana

then stretched over the hollow and


All the time the boy

tightened with string and glue.


is

at

work on

the drum, he

may
it

not eat

fish

for if a

fish

bone pricked him, the skin of the drum would


If he ate a red banana,

burst.

would choke him, and


a dull stifled note
:

the
if

drum would consequently have

he tasted grated cocoa-nut, the white ants, like the

white particles of the nut, would

gnaw

the

body of the

drum
if

if

he touched water, the hot coal with which he

burns out the inside of the

drum would be

extinguished

he cooked his food in an ordinary round pot, he

himself would grow fat and round like a pot, and the
girls

would
a

jeer

at

him.^

Again, a Highland witch

can sink

ship

by homoeopathic magic.

She has

only to set a small round dish floating in a milk -pan


full

of water, and then to croon her

spell.

When

the

dish upsets in the pan, the ship will


sea.
left

go down

in the

They home at

say that once three witches

from Harris
on

night, after placing the milk-pan thus

the floor, and strictly charging a serving-maid to let

nothing

come near

it.

But while the


into the

girl

was not

looking, a

duck waddled
of the pan.
if

room and

squattered

in the water

came home and asked


pan.

Next morning the witches anything had come near the


No," whereupon one of the a heavy sea we had last

The

girl

said

"

witches remarked,

"What

night
'

coming
p.

round Cabag

Head!"^
p.
in

If a
Misshm

wolf

Father Guis, " Les Canaquea, ce

qu'ils font, ce qu'ils disent,"

Catholiques,

XXX. (1898),
2
T.

29 ; A. C. Haddoti, Head-hunters, G. Campbell, TVttchcrafi and Hecmd Sight


sq.

257. the Highlands and Islands of Scot-

land {G^isgovi, 1902), pp. 21

64

HOMCEOPATHIC MAGIC
way
of

lect.

has carried off a sheep, the Esthonians


simple
fall

making

him
to

know a very drop it. They let


have at
hand, such

anything
a cap
let

they happen

as

or a glove, or they
it

lift

up

a heavy stone

and

go.^

On

the

principle

of homoeopathic

magic, that clearly compels


sheep.

the wolf to let

go the

In the

last lecture

mentioned that homoeopathic

magic
fruit.

is

when

make plants grow and bear Thus among the Huzuls of the Carpathians, woman is planting cabbages, she winds many
often employed to

cloths about her head, in order that the heads of the

cabbages
Prussia,

may
when

also be thick.^

Among

the Kurs of East


in spring, he
in

farmer sows his

fields
it,

carries an axe

and chops the earth with

order that

the corn-stalks

may

be so sturdy that an axe will be

needed

to

hew

them

down.^

When
fields,

Macedonian

farmers have done digging their


spades up into the "
air,

they throw their

and catching them again, exclaim,


the spade has gone
!

May the crop grow as high as And as plants may be helped, so

"

may be hindered The eminent and marred by homoeopathic magic. novelist, Mr. Thomas Hardy, was once informed that the reason why certain trees in front of his house, near
they
Dorchester, did not thrive, was that he looked at them
before breakfast
^

on an empty stomach.

Mr. Hardy

Boecler-Kreutzwald, Der Ehsten aberglaubische Gebrauche, Weisen und Gewohn122.

heiten^ p.

^
p.

R. F. Kaindl,
Tetzner,
''

" ZaubergUube

bei

den

Huzulen,"

Globus,

Ixxvi.

(1899),

276.
^ F.
*

G. F. Abbott, Macedonian

Die Kuren in Ost-preusaen," Globus, Ixxv. (1899), Folk-lore (Cambridge, 1903), p. 122.

p.

148.

Ill

MAGIC OF PLANTS
me
this himself.^

6$

told

You

will easily perceive that the

effect

of an empty stomach, conveyed through the eye-

sight,

must

necessarily be prejudicial to trees

by empty-

ing them, so

to say, of sap

and nutriment.

Thus

stated the principle seems almost a truism.

In these examples people are supposed to influence


plants
for

good or

evil

by means of homoeopathic

magic.

But on the same principle plants can reciproIn magic, as


are
I

cally influence people.

believe in physics,

action

and

reaction

equal

and

opposite.

The

Cherokee Indians are adepts


sort.

in practical

botany of this

Thus

the wiry roots of the catgut plant or devil's

shoestring (Tephrosid) are so tough that they can almost

stop a ploughshare in the furrow.

Hence Cherokee
of the roots

women wash
to

their heads with a decoction

make

the hair strong, and Cherokee ball-players wash


it

themselves with
to help

to

toughen their muscles.

Again,

them

to spring quickly to their feet

when they

are

thrown to the ground, these Indian ball-players

bathe their limbs with a decoction of the small rush

{yuncus tenuis), because, so they say, that plant always


recovers
its

erect position,

no matter how often

it

has

been trampled down.


the Cherokees beat

To

improve a
in water

child's

memory

up burs

which has been


virtue of the

fetched from a roaring waterfall.

The

potion

is

threefold.
is

The

voice of the

Long Man or
:

river-god

heard in the roar of the cataract


is

the
;

stream seizes and holds whatever

cast

upon its surface

and there

is

nothing that sticks like a bur.


1

Hence

it

Compare

Folk-lore, viii. (1897), p. 11.

66

MAGIC OF PLANTS
will

lect.

seems clear that with the potion the child

drink in

the lessons taught by the voice of the waters, will seize

upon them
like a bur.^

like the stream,

and

will stick fast to

them

The Sundanese of certain kinds of wood

the Indian Archipelago regard


as unsuitable for use in house-

building, especially such trees as have thorns

on them.

They think that the life made of such timber would be thorny and
of people
trouble.
If a house

who

lived in a house
full

of

were

built of trees that

had

fallen

or lost their leaves through age, the inmates would die

soon

if it

were

built of

wood taken from


would be sure
the

a house that

had been burnt down,


in the

fire

to break out

new

dwelling.^

Before

Cherokee braves

went forth

to war, the

medicine-man used to give each

of them a small charmed root which made him absolutely invulnerable.

On

the eve of battle the warrior

bathed in a running stream, chewed a portion of the


root and spat the juice on his body in order that the
bullets

might

slide

from

his skin like the

drops of

water.
really

Some of you may perhaps doubt whether this made the men bullet-proof. There is a barren and
is

paralysing spirit of scepticism abroad at the present day

which

most deplorable.

However,
in the

the efficacy of this


Civil

particular

charm was proved

American
in the

War
the

for three

hundred Cherokees served

army of

' Mooney, " Myths of the Cherokee," ISIimteenti Arniual Report of the Bureau J. of American Ethnology (Washington, 1900), Pt. i. pp. 425 sq. ; compare ;*/., '' Sacred Formulas of the Cherokees,'' Seventh Annual Report of the Bureau of Ethnology

(Washington, 1891), p. 329. ^ Habbema, " Bijgeloof


J.

in de Praenger-Regentschappen,"
Indi'e\
li,

Bijdragen

tot

de

Taal- hand' en Volkenkunde van Nedei-landsch

(1900),

p.

113.

in

MAGIC OF THE DEAD

67

South, and they were never, or hardly ever,


in action.^

wounded

Homoeopathic magic often works by means of the


dead
;

for just as the dead can neither see nor hear nor

speak, so
deaf,

you can render people temporarily

blind,

and

dumb by means
is

of dead men's bones or any-

thing else that


Burglars in
all

infected with the contagion of death.

ages

and

in

many

lands have

been

patrons of this species of magic.

In ancient Greece
'

the housebreaker thought he could silence the fiercest

watch-dog by means of
pyre.^

brand plucked from a funeral

To

throw the inmates of a house into deep

slumber, the Peruvian Indian scatters the dust of dead

men's bones.^

The

Indians of Mexico employed for

this purpose the left forearm of a

dead

woman

but

the bone had to be stolen.

With
the

this

they beat on the


inall

ground before they entered the house which they


tended to rob
;

that

made
;

inmates

to

lose

power of speech and motion

they were as dead, hearstir.*

ing and seeing everything, but powerless to

In

Europe

similar properties

were ascribed to the

Hand
the

of Glory, which was the dried and pickled hand of a

man who had been


fat

hanged.

If a candle
also died

made of

of a malefactor

who had
in the

on the gallows

was lighted and placed


^

Hand

of Glory as in a

J.

Mooney, "Sacred Formulas of the Cherokees," Seventh Annual Report of the


p.

Bureau of Ethnology (Washington, 1891), ^ Aelian, Nat. Amm. i. 38.


^

389.

"

B. de Sahagun, Histoire Ginirale


31, pp.

P. J. de Arriaga, Extirfacion de la Idolatria del Piru (Lima, 1621), p. 22. da choses de la Noumlle Espagne (Paris, 1880),

blc. iv. ch.

274

s(j. ;

E. Seler, Altmexikanische Studien,

ii.

(Berlin, 1899), pp.

51

sj. {yeroffentlichungen aui

dem ioniglichem Museum fiir

FiStkerkunde, vi.).

68
candlestick,
it

MAGIC OF THE DEAD


it

lect.

rendered motionless
;

all

persons to

whom
more

was presented
if
is

they could not

stir

a finger any

than

they were dead.^


itself the

Sometimes the dead man's

hand
all
its

candle, or rather

bunch of candles,
fire
;

withered fingers being set on

but should

one member of the household be awake, one finger ot


the

hand

will not kindle.^

When

a Blackfoot Indian a skull with

went out eagle-hunting, he used to take

him, because he believed that the skull would

make

him

invisible like the

dead man to

whom

it

had be-

Thus the eagles would not be able to see and attack him.^ The Tarahumares of Mexico are great runners, and parties of them engage in races with each other. They believe that the bones of the dead induce
longed.
fatigue
will
;

hence before a race the friends of one side

bury dead men's bones in the track, hoping that

the runners of the other side will pass over


so be weakened.

them and

Naturally they warn their

to shun the spot where the bones are

own men buried.* The

Belep tribe of

New

Caledonia think they can disable

an enemy from flight by means of the leg-bone of a

dead

foe.

They
it

stick certain plants into the bone,

and

then smash
ancestors.

between stones before the skulls of

their

It is

easy to see that this breaks the leg of


so hinders

the living
^

enemy and

him from running away.*

J.
^

W.

Brand, Popular Antiquities of Great Britain, iii. 278 sq. (Bohn's edition). Henderson, Folk-lore of the Northern Counties of England, pp. 239 sgq.
(Leipsic, 1843), pp.
Tales, p.
i.

J.

W.
* ^
^

Wolf, NiederlUndische Sagen

363-365.

G. B. Grinnell, Blackfoot Lodge


C. Lumholtz, Unknown Mexico,

238.

284.
p.

Father Lambert, in Missions Catholiques,

superstitions des

xi. (1879), Neo-CaUdoniens (Noumea, 1900), pp. 30 sq.

43

id.,

Moeurs

et

Ill

MAGIC OF ANIMALS
Again,

69

many

animals are conceived to possess pro-

perties

which might be useful to man, and accordingly

the savage seeks to transfer

them

to himself

by means

of homoeopathic magic.

Thus when

a Galla of East

Africa sees a tortoise, he will take off his sandals and


step on
it,

believing that this

makes the

soles

of his feet

hard like the shell of the animal.^


Baffin
is

The Esquimaux of

Land think
and

that if part of the intestines of a fox

placed under the feet of a baby boy, he will become


skilful in

active

walking over thin

ice, like

a fox.^

The
flesh

ancient Greeks were of opinion that to eat the

of the wakeful nightingale would prevent a


;

man

from sleeping

that to smear the eyes of a blear-sighted

person with the gall of an eagle would give him the


eagle's vision
;

and that a raven's eggs would restore


Only, the

the blackness of the raven to silvery hair.

person

who
full

adopted

this last

mode of

concealing the

ravages of time had to be most careful to keep his

mouth
hair

of

oil

all

the time he applied the raven's


as well as his

eggs to his venerable locks, else his teeth

would be dyed raven

black,

and no amount of
shade too

scrubbing and scouring would avail to whiten them


again.^

The

hair-restorer was
it

in

fact

powerful, and in applying

you might get more than

you bargained

for.

The Huichol
^

Indians of Mexico admire the beautiful


:

Ph. Paulitschke, Ethmgrafhie Nordost-AJriias


p.

die geistige

Cultur der Danakil,

Galla und Somil (Berlin, 1896),


"^

27.

F. Boas,

"The Eskimo

of Baffin

Land and Hudson Bay,"


i.

Bulletin

of

the

American Museum of Natural History, xv. Pt. ' Aelian, Nat. Anim. i. 42, 43, and 48.

(1901),

p.

160.

70

MAGIC OF ANIMALS
woman
is

lect.
a

markings on the backs of serpents.

Hence when
it

Huichol

about to

weave or embroider, her


in a cleft

husband catches a large serpent and holds


stick,

while the

woman

strokes the reptile with one


its

hand down the whole length of


passes the

back

then she
eyes, that

same hand over her forehead and


markings on the serpent's back.^

she

may

be able to work as beautiful patterns in the

web

as the

Among
races
tie

the Tarahumares of

Mexico men who run


like

deer-hoofs to their backs in the belief that this will

make them

swift -footed

the

deer.^

Cherokee

ball-players rub

their bodies with eel-skins in order to


as slippery

make themselves
and they

and hard to hold

as eels

also apply land-tortoises to their legs in the


as thick

hope of making them


these animals.

and strong

as the legs of

But they
will not

are careful not to eat frogs,


their

lest the brittleness

of the frog's bones should infect

own

bones.

They

wear the feathers of the bald-

headed buzzard for fear of themselves becoming bald, nor


turkey feathers,
lest

they should suffer from a goitrous


like

growth on the throat


throat of a turkey.'

the red appendage


flesh

on

the

Again, the

of the

common
from

grey squirrel

is

forbidden to Cherokees

who

suffer

rheumatism, because the squirrel eats in a cramped


position,

which would

clearly aggravate

the pangs of

the rheumatic patient.^

C. Lumholtz, UnJtnown Mexico,


/f/,,

ii.

234..

'

J.
*

290. Mooney, "


ii>, i.

Myths of the Cherokee,"

Nineteenth
i.

Annual Report of

the

Bureau

of American Ethnology (Washington, 1900), Part


Id., ib. p.

pp. 262, 284, 285, 306, 308.

262.

Ill

MAGIC OF ANIMALS
When
a Cherokee
is

71
a cold
fire

starting

on a journey on

winter morning, he rubs his feet in the ashes of the

and sings four

verses,

by means of which he can

set the

cold at defiance, like the wolf, the deer, the fox, and the

opossum, whose

feet,

so the

Indians think, are

never frost-bitten.

After each verse he imitates the

cry and action of the animal, thus identifying himself

with

it

by means of homoeopathic magic.

The song
real wolf, a

he sings
real

may
a

be rendered, "
real

become a

deer,

fox,

and

a real

opossum."

After

stating that he has


utters a prolonged

become

a real wolf, the songster


like a

howl and paws the ground

wolf with his


other animals.^
it

feet.

And

similarly

he

mimics the

The

mole-cricket has claws with which


the Cherokees
it is

burrows, and

among

reputed to

be an excellent singer.

Hence when

children are long

of learning to speak, their tongues are scratched with


the claw of a live mole-cricket in order that they

may

soon talk as distinctly as the


also

insect.

Grown

persons

who

are slow of speech


if

may
inside

acquire a ready flow

of eloquence,
scratched on
cricket.^

only

the

of their throat be

four successive

mornings with a mole-

The negroes of

the Maroni river in Guiana

have a somewhat similar cure for stammering.

Day

and

night the shrieks of a certain species of ape reforest.

sound through the


kill

Hence, when the negroes


its

one of these

pests,
it.

they remove

larynx and

make
^

a cup out of

If a stammering child drinks


the

Mooney, " Myths of the Cherokee," Nineteenth Annual Report of J. of American Ethnology (Washington, 1900), Part i. p. 266.
^ Id., ib. p. 309.

Bureau

72
out of such
a

MAGIC OF THINGS
cup for a few months,
it

lect.
ceases

to

stammer.^

Cherokee parents scratch the hands of


with the pincers of
a live

their children

red crawfish, resembling a

lobster, in order to give the infants a strong grip, like

that of the crawfish.^

This

may

help us to understand

why on
friends

the fifth day after birth a

Greek

child used to

receive presents of octopuses and cuttle-fish

from

its

and

relations.^

For the numerous arms,

legs,

and

tentacles of these creatures

seem well calculated

to strengthen the grip of a baby's hands and to impart

the power of toddling to

its little feet.

On

the principle of homoeopathic magic inanimate

things as well as plants and animals

may

be fraught

with blessing or bane for mankind


will extract the
be.

and the wise man


as the case

one or avoid the other


infinity

may

Out of an

of cases

I will cite a

very few

examples.

Thus, on the seventh day


little

after a birth the

Toradjas hold a
child are set
its

feast, at

which the

feet of the

on a piece of

iron, in order to strengthen

feeble soul with the strong soul of the Iron.*

Simi-

larly at initiation a
his right foot

Brahman boy

is

made

to tread with

on a

stone, while the


;

words are repeated,


^

" Tread on

this stone

like a stone be firm."

Malagese mode of counteracting the levity of fortune


is
^

to bury a stone at the foot of the heavy houseVoyages J. Crevaux,


J.
^ *

dam PAmerique du Sud

(Paris, 1883), pp.

159

sq,

Mooney, op. cit, p. 308. Scholiast on Plato, Theaetetus, p. 160 a. A. C. Kruijt, " Het ijzer in Midden-Celebes," Bijdragen
Itidi^, liii.

tot

de Taal- Land- en

Volkenkunde -van Ncdirlandsch


^

(1901), p. 159.
ii,

Griiya-Sitras, translated by

H. Oldenberg, Part

p.

146,

Ill

MAGIC OF STONES
The common custom of

73

post.^

swearing upon a stone

may
Thus

be based partly on a belief that the strength and

stability

of the stone lend confirmation to the oath.

there was a stone at Athens on which the nine

archons

stood

when they swore

to

rule

justly

and

according to the laws.^


stone

In Laconia an

unwrought
the

was

shown which, according to

legend,
as soon

relieved the matricide Orestes of his


as

madness
is

he had sat

down on

it

'

and Zeus

said to

have

cured himself of his love for Hera by sitting

down

on a
cases

certain rock in the island of Leucadia.*


it

In these

may have

been thought that the wayward and

flighty impulses of love

and madness were counteracted


stone.

by the steadying influence of a heavy

But magical virtue


their shape
solidity.

resides in stones
as well as

by reason of

and colour

of their weight and

The

Indians of Peru employed certain stones

for

the

increase of maize, others for the increase of

potatoes,

and others again


to

for the increase of cattle.

The stones intended


to multiply cattle

make maize grow were


sheep.*

fashioned

in the likeness of cobs of maize, and the stones destined

had the shape of


is

This mode of agriculture


the natives of
1

extensively practised by

New

Caledonia.

Thus

in

order to
xi.

make
p.

Father Abinale, "Astrologie Malgache," Missions


Cmstitutim of Athens, 7 and

Catholiques,

(1879),

482.
^ Aristotle,
viii.

55

Plutarch,

Solon,
^

25

Pollux,

86.
iii.

3 Pausanias,
^

22.

compare

id.

ii.

31. 4.

Ptolemaeus,

Nova
ed.

Histaria, in

Photius, Bihliatheca, p. 153, ed.


p.

Bekker

id.

in

Mfthograpki Graeci,
5

Westermann,

198.

P. J. de Arriaga, Extirfacion de la Idolatria del Piru (Lima,

162 1), pp. 15,

16, 25.

74
a

MAGIC OF STONES
plantation

lect.
field

of taro thrive, they bury in the


resembling
taros,

certain

stones the

praying
stone

to

their

ancestors at

same time.

marked with
palm helps

black lines like the leaves of a cocoa-nut


to

produce a good crop of cocoa-nuts.

To make
fruit

bread-fruit grow, they use

two

stones,

one small and

one

big,

representing

the unripe and the ripe


as the fruit begins to

respectively.

As soon

form, they
;

bury the small stone


on,

at the foot

of the tree

and

later

when

the fruit approaches maturity, they replace

the small stone by the large one.

But the
;

staple food

of the

New

Caledonians

is

the

yam

hence the number


is

of stones used to foster the growth of yams


spondingly
great.

corre-

Different

families

have different

kinds of stones which, according to their diverse shapes

and colours, are supposed to promote the cultivation of


the various species of yams.

Before the stones are


deposited
beside
the

buried

in

the
skulls,

field

they

are

ancestral

wetted with water, and


trees.

wiped with
of yams

the leaves of certain

Sacrifices,

too,

and
are

fish are offered to

the dead, with the words, "

Here

your offerings,
^

in

order that the crop of yams

may

be good."

In these practices of the

New

Caledonians

the magical efficacy of the stones appears to be deemed


insufficient

of

itself to

accomplish the end in view

it

has to be reinforced by the spirits of the dead, whose

help

is

sought by prayer and


is

sacrifice.

Thus

in

New

Caledonia sorcery
^

blent with
supersliiions des

the

worship of the
(Noumea, 1900),

Father Lambert, Mcsurs

et

N^o-Caledortiens

pp. 217, 294, 300-302.

Ill

THE MAGIC STAR


;

75
religion.

dead

in other words,

magic

is

combined with

If the stones ceased to be employed,

and the prayers

and

sacrifices to the ancestors

remained, the transition

from magic

to religion

would be complete.
of the magical influence
ritual

The

last
is

example

I shall cite

of things

drawn from the ancient

books of the

Hindoos, which lay down a rule that


marriage night a

after sunset

on

his
till

man

should

sit silent

with his wife

the stars begin to twinkle in the sky.


star

When
thou
;

the pole-

appears,

he

should

point

it

out to her, and,


I

addressing the
the firm one.

star, say,

"Firm

art

see thee,

Firm be thou with me,


his wife,

thriving

one

"
!

Then, turning to
has

he should say, "


obtaining

To

me

Brihaspati

given

thee
live

offspring

through me, thy husband,


autumns."
to
'^

with

me

hundred
is

The

intention of the ceremony

plainly

guard against the fickleness of fortune and the


of earthly
bliss It is

instability

by the steadfast influence of


the wish expressed in Keats's

the constant star.


last

sonnet

Bright star

Not

in lone splendour

would I were steadfast as thou art hung aloft the night.

is

Sometimes homoeopathic or imitative magic


in to annul
effect

called

an
is

evil

omen by accomplishing
a real

it

in mimicry.

The mock calamity for mode of cheating


1

to circumvent destiny

by substituting a

one.
is

In Madagascar this

the fates

reduced to a system.
i.

The Grihya-Stitras, translated by H. Oldenberg, Part


1^.,

pp. +3,

285

iq..

Part

ii.

pp.

47

193

sqq.

76

FORTUNE OUTWITTED
is

lect.

Here every man's fortune


hour of
one
his birth,
is

determined by the day or

and

if that

happens to be an unlucky

his fate

sealed, unless the mischief can be ex-

tracted, as the phrase goes,

by means of

a substitute.

The ways of
example,
if a

extracting the mischief are various.

For

man

is

born on the

first

of February, his
age.

house will be burnt

down when he comes of


up

To

take time by the forelock and prevent this catastrophe,


the friends of the infant will set
a shed in a field

and burn

it.

To make

the ceremony really effective,

the child and his mother should be placed in the shed,

and only plucked,


before
it is

like brands,

from the burning hut


is

too

late.

Again, dripping November


is

the

month of
sorrow.

tears,

and he who

born in

it

is

born to

But

in order to disperse the clouds that thus

gather over his future, he has nothing to do but to


take the lid off a boiling pot and wave
it

about.

The

drops that

fall

from the
tears

lid will

accomplish his destiny


his eyes.

and so prevent the


Again,
if

from trickling from

fate

has decreed that a

young

girl should

hereafter

become a wife and mother, and should


avert the

see her

children descend before her with sorrow to the grave,

she can

calamity as follows.
it it

She

kills

grasshopper, wraps

in a rag to represent a shroud,


like

and mourns over


children

Rachel weeping

for

her

and refusing to be comforted.

After burying
air

the insect, she retires from the grave with the

of a

person plunged in
fully

grief.

Thenceforth she looks cheer;

forward to seeing her children survive her

for

it

cannot be that she should

mourn and bury them

twice

Ill

CONTAGIOUS MAGIC
Once more,
if

77

over.

fortune has frowned on a

man

at

his birth,

and penury has marked him

for her own, he

can easily erase the

mark

in question

by purchasing

couple

of cheap

pearls,

price

three

half- pence, and

burying them.

For who but the


^
.?

rich of this

world can

thus afford to fling pearls away

Thus
rests,

far

we have been concerned

chiefly with the

homoeopathic or imitative
as
I

branch of

magic,

which

have repeatedly observed, on the law of


It is

similarity.

time to look for a few minutes at the

other branch of the art

namely. Contagious Magic.


should rather say the
is

The
is,

logical, or

perhaps

illogical,
;

basis of contagious

magic

the law of contact

that

the notion that things which have once been con-

joined and are afterwards separated remain nevertheless,

however great the distance between them, so united by


a

bond of sympathy

that whatever

is

done to the one


magic

affects the other in like

manner.
of
contagious
is

A
which

curious

instance

the

belief that

between a wounded person and the weapon

inflicted the
is

wound

there exists so close a relation


will correspondingly
evil.

that whatever
affect the

done to the weapon


for

wounded person
tribes
if

good or

Thus
it

in
is

one of the
thought that
the
flint

of South -Eastern Australia

any one but the medicine-man touches

knife with which a certain surgical operation

has been performed on a lad, the lad will thereby be


'

W.

Ellis, History

of Madagascar,

i.

454.

sjq.

Father Abinal, "Astrologie

Malgache," Missions

Catholiques, xi. (1879), pp.

432-434, 481-483.

78

CONTAGIOUS MAGIC
ill.

lect.

made very
and
die,

So seriously

is

this belief held, that if


fall

after the operation the lad

should chance to

sick

the

man who touched


at

the knife would be

killed.-^

Beliefs

of precisely the same sort are held to


our

this

day almost

own

door,

in

the

eastern

counties of England, where people

still

imagine that

they can

heal

a
it.

wound by

greasing the instrument

which

inflicted

To

take a recent example of this


in

superstition, at

Norwich

June 1902 a

woman named

Matilda Henry accidentally ran a nail into her foot.

When

the nail was extracted, she did not examine the

wound nor even


done, no

take off her stocking, but told her


nail,

daughter to grease the

saying that if that were


the hurt.

harm would come of

Under

this

treatment the nail recovered, but the

woman

died of

lockjaw a few days afterwards.^

Similarly in Bavaria

you

are directed to anoint a linen rag with grease and

tie it

on the edge of the axe that cut you, taking care

to keep the sharp edge upwards.

As

the grease on the

axe dries, your

wound

heals.^

The sympathetic connexion supposed to exist between man and the weapon which has wounded him is proba
ably founded

on the notion that the blood on


feel

the

weapon continues to

with the blood in his body.


island off

For that reason the Papuans of Tumleo, an

German New Guinea,

are careful to throw into the sea

the bloody bandages with


^

which

their

wounds have

A.

W. Howitt, Native Tribes of South- East Australia (London, 1904), p. 667. " Death from Lockjaw at Norwich," Tie People's fVeekly Journal fir Norfolk,
p. 8.
ii.

July 19, 1902,


'

F. Panzer, Beitrag zur deutschen Mythologie,

305, compare 277.

Ill

CONTAGIOUS MAGIC
if these

79
fell

been dressed, for fear that

rags

into the

hands of an enemy he might bewitch them thereby.

Once when

man

with a

wound

in his

mouth, which

bled constantly, came to the missionaries to be treated,


his faithful wife

took great pains to


sea.''

collect all the

blood

and

cast

it

into the
is

But the doctrine of magical


further, so to include a

contagion

stretched

still

man's
this

clothes as well as the severed parts of himself.

On

doctrine, whatever

is

done to the clothes


feels the effect

is

done to the

man himself, and he

even though he

not be wearing the clothes


these same Papuans of

at the time.

That

is

may why
of
in

Tumleo

search most anxiously

for the smallest scrap which they


their

may have

lost

scanty garments,^

and why other Papuans,

travelling through the thick forest, will stop


fully

and care-

scrape from a

bough any
to
it

clot

of red pomade
their

which may have adhered

from

greasy

heads, lest a sorcerer should get possession of the rag

or of the pomade and do them a mischief by means

of

it.8

The man

last

example of Contagious Magic which


supposed to
left

shall notice is the relation

exist

between a
in

and the impressions

by

his

body

sand or

earth.

In virtue of the law of contact the sand or


is

earth which bears the imprint of your body


to remain for
1

supposed

all

practical purposes an integral part of

M.

J.

Erdweg, " Die Bewohner der Insel Tumleo, Berlinhafen, Deutsch-Neudir anthrofologUchm
Geselhchafi
in

Guinea," Mittieilungen
p. 287.
2
'

Wim,

xxxii.

(igoz),

M.

J.

Erdweg, he,

cit,

B. Hagen, XJnter den Papua's (Wiesbaden, 1899),

p.

269.

8o

MAGIC OF FOOTPRINTS
when you
are far away, so that
if it

lect.

yourself even
feel

you

will

any injury done to the imprint as


In particular,
it is

were done to

your person.
stition that

a world-wide superf&et

by injuring footprints you injure the

that

made them.

Thus, the inhabitants of Galela,


if

in

the East Indies, think that

anybody

sticks

something

sharp into your footprints while you are walking, you


will be

wounded

in

your

feet.-'

In Japan, if a house

has been robbed by night and the burglar's footprints


are visible in the morning, the injured householder will

burn mugwort on them, hoping thereby to hurt the


robber's feet so that he cannot run far and the police

may
call

easily overtake him.^

Similarly, the

Wyingurri

tribe in Australia

have a magical instrument which they


it

a sun, because

is

supposed to contain the

solar

heat.

By

placing

it

on

man's tracks they think they

can throw him into a violent fever, which will soon

burn him up.^

Practices of the

same

sort prevail in
in

some
earth

parts

of Europe.
is

For example,
tied
it

Germany,
in

from

a footprint

up

in a cloth

and hung

the chimney

smoke

as

dries up, so the

man

withers

away or

his foot shrivels up.*


is

Bohemian

variation
in a

of the charm

to boil the earth


nails,

from the footprint


glass
:

pot along with


^

needles,

and broken
njati

the

M.

J.

van Baarda, " Fabelen, Verhalen en Overleverlngen der Galelareezen,"


de

Bijdragen
p.

tot

Taal' Land- en Volkenkunde

Nederlandsch IndiF, xlv. (1895),

512.
2 3

L. Hearn, Glimpses of Unfamiliar Japan (London, 1894),

ii,

604.

Spencer and GlUen, Native Tribes of Central -Australia, p. 541. ^ Hahn, In Zeitschrift der Gesellschafi fUr Erdkimde zu Berlin, J.

iv.

(1869),

p.

503; K. Bartsch, Sagen, M'drchen and 1599, i6ii='*iO; compare p. 332, 1607 Vergleiche, Neue Folge, pp. 8, 11.

Gebr'duche aus Meklenburg,


;

ii.

330, 334,

R. Andree, Ethnographische Farallelen und

Ill

MAGIC OF FOOTPRINTS
rest

8i

man whose

footprint has thus been boiled will have a

lame leg for the

of his

life.^ is

The same
Thus
the

superstition

turned

to

account by
the game.

hunters for the purpose of running

down

Thompson
deemed
it

Indians of British Columbia used


;

to lay charms that they

on the tracks of wounded deer

after

superfluous to pursue the animal


for,

any farther that day,


its

being thus charmed through

footprints,

die.^

could not travel far and would soon " Similarly, Ojebway Indians placed " medicine
it

on the track of the


even

first

deer or bear they met with,

supposing that this would soon bring the animal into


sight,
if it

were two or three days' journey off;

for this charm had power to compress a journey of


several days into a few hours.^

These examples may of Contagious Magic.

suffice to illustrate the principles

We

have now concluded our examination of the

general theory of magic, but I wish for a short time


to direct your attention to certain special applications

of the

art.

The examples of

magical

rites

which

have put

before you have been drawn almost wholly from what may be called private magic, that is, from magical
rites

and incantations practised for the benefit or the


v. Grohmann, Aberglauben und GebrSuche aus Bshmcn und Mahren,
Teit, The Thompson Indians of British Columbia, p. 371 [Memoirs
ii.

J.

p.

200,

1402.
2

J.

of

the

Ameri-

can Museum of Natural History, vol.


3

Part

iv.

April 1900).
p.

Peter Jones, History of the Ojebway Indians,

371.

82

PUBLIC MAGICIANS
But
to be found in addition what
is,

lect.

injury of individuals.

in savage society there is

commonly

we may caU
this

public magic, that

sorcery practised for the benefit of

the whole community.


sort are observed for the

Wherever ceremonies of

common

good,

it

is

obvious

that the magician ceases to be merely a private practitioner


ary.
is

and becomes to some extent


for

a public function-

The development of such


religious

a class of functionaries
political

of great importance
evolution
is

the

as

well

as

the

of

society.

For when
the

the

welfare

of the tribe
of

supposed to depend on the


magical
rites,

performance

these

magician

becomes

personage of

much

influence

and repute,

and may readily acquire the rank and authority of a


chief or king.
its

The
it

profession accordingly draws into

ranks some of the ablest and most ambitious

men

of

the tribe, because

holds out to them a prospect of

honour, wealth, and power such as hardly any other


career could offer.

The
their

acuter minds perceive

how

easy

it

is

to

dupe

weaker brother and to play on

his superstition for their

own

advantage.

Not
;

that the
is

sorcerer
sincerely

is

always a knave and impostor

he

often

convinced

that

he

really

possesses

those

wonderful powers which the credulity of his fellows


ascribes to him.

But the more sagacious he


is

is,

the

more

likely

he

to see through the fallacies which

impose on duller
profession
deceivers
their
;

wits.

Thus
to

the ablest

members of the
less

must tend
and
it

be

more or

conscious

is

just these

men who
come

in virtue

of

superior ability will generally

to the top

Ill

THEIR RISE TO

POWER
The

83

and win for themselves positions of the highest dignity and the most commanding authority.
many, and
pitfalls

which beset the path of the professional sorcerer are


as a rule only the

man of

coolest head

and

sharpest wit will be able to steer his


safely.

For

it

way through them must always be remembered that every


and claim put forward by the magician
;

single profession
as such is false

not one of them can be maintained

without deception, conscious or unconscious.


ingly the sorcerer

Accord-

who

sincerely believes in his


is

own
is

extravagant pretensions

in far greater peril

and

much

more likely to be cut short in his career than the

deliberate impostor.

The

honest wizard always expects


will

that his charms

and incantations and when they

produce their

supposed

effect

fail,

not only really, as

they always do, but conspicuously and disastrously, as


they often do, he
is

taken aback
a

he

is

not, like his

knavish colleague, ready with

plausible

excuse

to

account for the failure, and before he can find one he

may

be knocked on the head by his disappointed and

angry employers.

The

general result

is

that at this stage


fall

of

social

evolution the supreme power tends to

into the

hands of

men

of the keenest intelligence and the most


If

unscrupulous character.

we could
it

balance the
benefits

harm
they

they do by their knavery against the


confer by their superior sagacity,
that the

might well be found

good

greatly outweighed the evil.

For more

mischief has probably been wrought in the world by

honest fools in high places than by intelligent

rascals.

84

THE RISE OF MONARCHY

lect.

Once your shrewd rogue has

attained the height of his

ambition, and has no longer any selfish end to further,

he may, and often does, turn his talents, his experience,


his resources, to the service

of the public.

Many men
it,

who have been

least

scrupulous in the acquisition of


in

power have been most beneficent


wealth, political authority, or
politics the

the use of

whether the power they aimed at and won was that of

what

not.

In the

field

of

wily intriguer, the ruthless victor,

may end

by being
lifetime,

a wise

and magnanimous
at his death,

ruler, blessed in his

lamented

admired and applauded

by

posterity.

Such men, to take two of the most conwere Julius Caesar and Augustus.
fool,

spicuous instances,

But once a fool always a

and the greater


is

the

power

in his

hands the more disastrous


it.

likely to be

the use he

makes of

The

heaviest

calamity in

English history, the breach with America, might never

have occurred
honest dullard.

if

George the Third had not been an


of magic

Thus, so

far

as

the

public

profession
it

affected the constitution of savage society,

tended to

place the control of affairs in the hands of the ablest

man

it
:

shifted the balance of


it

power from the many

to

the one

substituted a

monarchy

for a democracy, or for in general the

rather for an oligarchy of old

men

savage community

is

ruled, not

by the whole body of

adult males, but by a council of elders.

The

change,

by whatever causes produced, and whatever the character of the early rulers,
ficial.

was on the whole very bene-

For the

rise

of monarchy appears to be an

Ill

ESSENTIAL TO CIVILISATION
No human being
is
is

85

essential condition

of the emergence of mankind from


so hidebound by custom
;

savagery.

and

tradition as

your democratic savage

in

no

state

of society consequently

progress so slow and


is

difficult.

The
is

old notion that the savage

the freest of
is

mankind

the reverse of the truth.

He

a slave, not indeed

to a visible master, but to the past, to the spirits of his

dead forefathers, who haunt his steps from birth to


death,

and rule him with a rod of

iron.

What
The

they

did

is

the pattern of right, the unwritten law to which


least

he yields a blind unquestioning obedience.


possible scope
is

thus afforded to superior talent to


better.

change old customs for the

The

ablest

man

is

dragged down by the weakest and


sarily sets the standard, since

dullest,

who

neces-

he cannot

rise,

while the

other can

fall.

The

surface of such a society presents


it is

a uniform dead level, so far as

humanly

possible to

reduce the natural inequalities, the immeasurable real


differences of inborn capacity
superficial

and temper, to a

false

appearance of equality.
affairs,

From

this

low and

stagnant condition of

which demagogues and


state,

dreamers in later times have lauded as the ideal

the Golden Age, of humanity, everything that helps to


raise society

by opening

a career to talent

and pro-

portioning the degrees of authority to men's natural


abilities,

deserves to be

welcomed by
at heart.

all

who have

the

real

good of their fellows

Once

these elevating

influences have

begun to operate

for ever suppressed

and they cannot be


man
to supreme

the progress of civilisation becomes

comparatively rapid.

The

rise

of one

86

INFLUENCE OF CONQUEST

lect.

power enables him to carry through changes in a single lifetime which previously many generations might not
have
is

sufficed to effect
intellect

and

if,

as will often happen, he

man of

and energy above the common, he


of the opportunity.

will readily avail himself

Even

the

whims and
savage.

caprices of a tyrant

may be
lies

of service in

breaking the chain of custom which

so heavy

on the
and

And

as

soon

as the tribe ceases to

be swayed
elders,

by the timid and divided counsels of the


yields to the direction of a single strong

and

resolute

mind,
enters

it

becomes formidable to
a career

its

neighbours and

on

of aggrandisement,
is

which

at

an

early
to

stage

of

history

often

highly

favourable

social,

industrial,
its

and

intellectual

progress.

For

extending

sway, partly by force

of arms, partly
tribes,

by the voluntary submission of weaker

the

community soon
struggle
for

acquires wealth and

slaves,

both of

which, by relieving some classes from the perpetual


a

bare

subsistence,

afford
to
is

them
that

an
dis-

opportunity
interested

of

devoting

themselves

pursuit of knowledge which

the noblest
lot

and most powerful instrument to ameliorate the


of man.
Intellectual

progress,

which reveals

itself

in

the

growth of

art

and science and the spread of more

liberal views,

cannot be dissociated from industrial or


in
its

economic progress, and that

turn receives an
It is

immense impulse from conquest and empire.


activity of the

no

mere accident that the most vehement outbursts of

human mind have

followed close on the

Ill

BENEFITS OF DESPOTISM
commonly done most
to advance

87

heels of victory,

and that the great conquering races of


and

the world have

spread civilisation, thus healing in peace the wounds

they inflicted in war.

The

Assyrians, the Greeks, the


:

Romans, the Arabs

are our witnesses in the past

we
is it

may
to

yet live to see a similar outburst in Japan.


its

Nor,

remount the stream of history to


all

sources,

an accident that

the

first

great strides towards civili-

sation have been made under despotic and theocratic

governments, like those of

China,

Egypt, Assyria,

Mexico, and Peru, where the supreme ruler claimed

and received the

servile allegiance

of his subjects
It
Is

in the

double character of a king and a god.

hardly too
is
it

much

to say that at this early epoch despotism

the

best friend of humanity and, paradoxical as

may

sound, of liberty.
in the best sense

For

after all there

is

more

liberty

^liberty

to think our
destinies

own thoughts
the most

and to fashion our

own

under
life,

absolute despotism, the

most grinding tyranny, than


where the

under the apparent freedom of savage


individual's lot
is

cast

from the cradle to the grave in


the public profession of magic

the iron

mould of

hereditary custom.

So
has

far, therefore, as

been one

of the
to

roads

by which
it

the

ablest

men

have
to

passed

supreme power,

has

con-

tributed

emancipate mankind from the thraldom

of tradition and to elevate them into a larger, freer


life,
is

with

broader outlook on the world.


service

This

no small

rendered

to

humanity.

And

when we remember

further that in another direction

88

BENEFITS OF MAGIC
science,
if the

lect. hi

magic has paved the way for


admit that
also

black art has done

we are forced to much evil, it has


that if
it is

been the source of

much good

the

child

of

error,

it

has yet been the mother of freedom

and

truth.

LECTURE
The
research

IV

institution of a public order of magicians a great incentive to

Public magicians expected weather calming wind New Guinea, and MelanesiaThe evolution complete among the Malays Traces of Europe The of
to regulate the or

Making rain Making sunshine Making Tendency of magicians to develop into


Africa
Similar evolution
divinity

kings

in

Australia,

in
in

it

kings.

In the

last lecture

we ended our
I

consideration of the

general theory of magic.

pointed out that in practice

the art

may be employed

for the benefit either of indi-

viduals or of the whole community, and that according


as it is directed to

one or other of these objects


Further,

be called private or public magic.

it may we saw

that the public magician occupies a position of great


influence,

from which,
step

if

he

is

a prudent and able man,

he

may advance

by step to the rank of a chief or


public magic conduces
since in

king.

Thus an examination of

to an understanding of the

early kingship,

savage and barbarous society

many

chiefs

and kings

appear to owe their authority in great measure to their


reputation as magicians.

Among
may

the objects of public utility which magic


is

be employed to secure, the most essential


89

an

90

PUBLIC MAGICIANS

lect,

adequate supply of food.

We

have seen that the


fisher, the

purveyors of food, the hunter, the

farmer,

all

resort to magical practices in the pursuit


callings
;

of their various

but they do so as private individuals for the

benefit

of themselves and their families, rather than as

public functionaries acting in the interest of the whole


people.
It is

otherwise

when

the rites are performed,

not by the hunters, the but

fishers, the

farmers themselves,
their behalf.
is

by professional magicians on

In
the

primitive society, where uniformity of occupation


rule,

and the distribution of the community into


of workers has hardly begun, every

different
is

classes

man

more

or less his

own

magician

he practises charms and


the injury of his

incantations for his

own good and

enemies.

But

a great step in advance has been taken


;

when

a special class of magicians has been instituted

when, in other words, a number of men have been

set

apart for the express purpose of benefiting the whole

community by

their skill,

whether that

skill

be directed

to the healing of disease, the forecasting of the future,

the regulation of the weather, or any other object of


general utility.

The impotence of

the

means adopted

by most of these

practitioners to accomplish their ends

ought not to blind us to the immense importance of the


institution
itself.

Here

is

body of men

relieved, at least

in the higher stages

of savagery, from the need of earntoil,

ing their livelihood by hard manual

and allowed, nay


once their duty

expected and encouraged, to prosecute researches into


the secret ways of nature.
It

was

at

and

their interest to

know more

than their fellows, to

IV

GERMS OF SCIENCE
his

91

acquaint themselves with everything that could aid


in

man
The

arduous struggle with nature, everything that


life.

could mitigate his sufferings and prolong his

properties of drugs and minerals, the causes of rain and

drought, of thunder and lightning, the changes of the


seasons, the phases of the

moon, the

daily

and yearly
stars,
all

journeys of the sun, the motions of the

the

mystery of

life,

and the mystery of death,

these

things must have excited the wonder of these early


philosophers, and stimulated

them

to find solutions of

problems that were doubtless often thrust on their


attention in the

most

practical

form by the importunate

demands of

their clients,

who

expected them not merely

to understand but to regulate the great processes of

nature for the good of man.


truth
fell

That

their first shots at

very far wide of the mark could hardly be


slow, the never-ending approach to truth,
out, consists in perpetually

helped.
as I

The

have pointed

forming
at the

and

testing hypotheses, accepting those


fit

which

time seem best to

the facts, and rejecting the others.


causation embraced by the savage
false

The views of natural


absurd

magician no doubt appear to us manifestly


;

and

yet in their day they were legitimate hypotheses,


test

though they have not stood the

of experience.

Ridicule and blame are the just meed, not of those

who

devised these crude theories, but of those


nately adhered to

who

obsti-

them after better had been propounded.


ever had stronger incentives in the

Certainly no

men

pursuit of truth than these savage sorcerers.


tain at least an appearance

To

main-

of knowledge was absolutely

92

CONTROL OF THE WEATHER


;

lect.

necessary
their life.

a single mistake detected might cost

them
but

This no doubt led

them

to practise impos;

ture for the purpose of concealing their ignorance


it

also supplied

them with the most powerful motive

for substituting a real for a

sham knowledge,

since, if

you would appear to

way is actually to may reject the extravagant pretensions of magicians and condemn the deceptions which they have practised on
mankind, the original institution of
has, take
it

know anything, by far the best know it. Thus, however justly we

this class

of

men

all

in

all,

been productive of incalculable


the direct predecessors,

good

to humanity.

They were
in

not merely of our physicians and surgeons, but of our


investigators
science.

and discoverers
the

every branch of natural


has since been
issues

They began

work which
and beneficent
if

carried to such glorious

by

their

successors in after ages

and

the beginning was poor

and

feeble,

this

is

to

be imputed to the inevitable

difficulties

which beset the pursuit of knowledge rather

than to the natural incapacity or wilful fraud of the

men themselves. Of the things which


to

the public magician sets himself


his tribe,

do
of

for the

good of

one of the chief

is

to

control the weather and especially to ensure an adequate


fall

rain.

Water

is

the

first essential
it

of life, and

in

most countries the supply of

depends upon showers.


animals

Without

rain vegetation

withers,

and men

languish and die.

Hence
is

in savage

communities the
;

rain-maker
special class

is

a very important personage

and often a
of

of magicians

formed

for the purpose

IV

RAIN-MAKING

93

regulating the heavenly water-supply.

The methods

by which they attempt to discharge the duties of their office are commonly, though not always, based on the
principle of homoeopathic or imitative magic.

If they

wish to

make

rain they imitate


:

it

by sprinkling water or
object
is

by mimicking clouds

if their

to stop rain
resort to

and to cause drought, they avoid water and

warmth and
abundant
various

fire

for the sake of drying

up the too
their

moisture.

Examples

will

illustrate

modes of procedure. Thus in' time of drought the Tarahumares of Mexico will sometimes throw water towards the sky in order that God may replenish his supply. And in of May they always burn the grass, so the month
that the whole country
travelling
is

then wrapped in smoke, and

becomes

difficult.

They think

that this

is

necessary to produce rain, clouds of

smoke

being, in

their opinion, equivalent to rain-clouds.-^


tribe

In the

Mara
to

of Northern Australia the rain -maker goes

a pool

and sings over

it

his

magic song.

Then he
it,

takes

some of the water

in his hands, drinks

and

spits it

out in various directions.


all

After that he throws


it

water

over himself, scatters

about, and returns

to the camp.

Rain

is

supposed to follow.^
will scatter water

To make
it

rain a party of

Ainos

by means of
fit

sieves, while others will take a porringer,


sails

up with

and oars
it

as if

it

were a boat, and then push or


probably to

draw

about the village and gardens,

^ C. Lumholtz, Unknown Mexico (London, 1903), i. i8o, 330. Spencer and Gillen, Northern Tribes of Central Auitralia^ pp. 313

sq.

94
signify that

RAIN-MAKING
the

lect.

country will soon be flooded with

water.^

In Laos, a province of Siam, the festival of

the

New

The

Year takes place about the middle of April. people assemble in the pagodas, which are

decorated with flowers and illuminated.

The Buddhist
to

monks perform
pour water into
as a

the ceremonies,

and when they come

the prayers for the fertility of the earth, the worshippers


little

holes in the floor of the pagoda


will

symbol of the rain which they hope Buddha

send

down on

the rice-fields.^

The custom

is

clearly

one of those combinations of magic with religion which

meet us so often
peoples.

in the ritual

of comparatively advanced

The Arab

historian

Makrisi
is

describes

method of stopping
cut a
fire,

rain

which

said to have been

resorted to by a tribe of

nomads

in

Hadramaut.

They
it

bough from

a certain tree in the desert, set

on

and then sprinkled the burning branch with water.

After that the vehemence of the rain abated, just as


the water vanished

Some of

the eastern

when it fell on the glowing bough.' Angamis of Manipur are said to

perform a somewhat similar ceremony for the opposite


purpose, in order, namely, to produce rain.

The head

of the village puts a burning brand on the grave of a

man who
brand
fall.

has died of burns, and then quenches the


water, while

with

he
out
rain,

prays
the
is

that
fire

rain

may

Here
is

the

putting

with water,

which
^

an imitation of

reinforced
p.

by the

J.

Batchelor, The Ainu and their Folk-lore (London, 1901),


p. 80.

333.

2
^

Tournier, Notice surle Laos Francois (Hanoi, 1900),


P. B. Noskowijj, Maqri%ii de valle Hadhramaut
sq.

lihellus

arabice editus et illustratus

(Bonn, 1866), pp. 25

IV

STOPPING RAIN
death,
will

95

influence of the dead

man, who, having been burnt


anxious for the descent
scorched

to

naturally be
his

of rain to cool
pangs.^

body and

relieve

his

Other people besides the Arabs have used


a

fire

as

means of stopping
little

rain.

Thus

the Telugus of India

send a
piece of

girl

out

into

the rain with a

burning

wood

in her hand,

which she has to show to the

falling drops.

This

is

supposed to arrest the downpour.^


medicinefire-sticks

At Port Stevens in New South Wales the men used to drive away rain by throwing
into the
air,

while at the same time they puffed and

shouted.'

Again, any

man

of the Anula tribe in

Northern Australia can stop


green stick
the wind.*
in

rain

by simply warming
it

the

fire,

and then striking

against

Among'

the

Tor adj as of

Central Celebes the rainit


is

doctor, whose special business

to drive away rain,

takes care not to touch water either before or after the

performance of his professional duties,


is

still less

while he

actually engaged in the discharge of them.

He

does

not bathe, he eats with unwashed hands, he

drinks

nothing but palm wine, and

if

he has to cross a stream

he avoids stepping in the water.

Having thus prepared


up a

himself for his task, he has a small hut built outside of


the village in a rice-field, and in this hut he keeps
1

T. C. Hodson,

"The
p.

Native Tribes of Manipur," Journal of

the Anthropological

Institute, xxxi.
2

(1901),

308.
p.

Indian Antiquary, xxiv. (1895),

359.

'
*

A.

Howitt, Native Tribes of South-East Australia, p. 398. Spencer and Gillen, Northern Tribes of Central Australia, p. 315.

W.

96
little
fire,

RAIN-MAKING
In the
fire

lect.

which on no account may be suffered to go he burns various kinds of wood, which

out.

are
rain

supposed to possess the property of driving off


;

and he puffs

in the direction

from which the

rain

threatens to come, holding in his


leaves and bark
virtue, not

hand a packet of
from

which derive a similar cloud-compelling


their physiological properties, but

from

their names,
volatile.
is

which happen to signify something dry or

If clouds should appear in the sky while he


in the

at

work, he takes lime


it

hollow of his hand and


is

blows

towards them.

Lime, being so very dry,

obviously well adapted to disperse the

damp
will

clouds.

Should rain afterwards be wanted, he has only to pour


water on his
in sheets.-'
fire,

and immediately the rain


in Central Celebes,

descend

Again,

when

there has

been a long drought and the rice-stalks begin to shrivel


up,

many of

the villagers, especially the

young

folk,

go

to a neighbouring brook and splash each other with


water, shouting noisily, or squirt water

on one another
the water
it

through bamboo tubes.

Sometimes they imitate the

plump of

rain

by smacking the surface of

with their hands, or by placing an inverted gourd on

and drumming on the gourd with their


which
squirts

fingers.^

The

Karo-bataks of Sumatra have a rain-making ceremony


lasts a

week.

and the

The men go women with bowels

about with bamboo

of water, and they


air,

drench each other or throw the water into the


^

and

Celebes,"

A. C. Kruijt, " Regen lokken en regen verdrijven bij de Toradja's van MiddenTijd:chriji voor Jndische Taal- Land- en Volkenkunde, xliv. (1901), pp.
op. cit. pp. i sj.

S-io.
*

A. C. Kruijt,

IV

RAIN-MAKING
it
^

97

when

drips

down on them

they cry, "

The

rain has

come."

Sometimes, as we have seen, the rain-charm operates


partly or wholly through the dead.

An

Armenian way
fling
it

of making rain

is

to dig

up

a skull

and
is

into

running water.^

In Halmahera there

a practice of

throwing stones on a grave, in order that the ghost


fall

may

into a passion

and avenge the disturbance,

as he

imagines, by sending heavy rain.^

Sometimes, in order

to procure rain, the Toradjas of Central Celebes

make
in

an appeal to the compassion of the dead.

Thus

one

of their villages there

is

the grave of a famous chief, the

grandfather of the present ruler.

When the land

suffers

from unseasonable drought, the people go to


pour water on
it,

this grave,

and

say,

"

grandfather, have pity

on us

if it is

your

will that this year

then give rain."


full

After that
;

we should eat, they hang a bamboo tube


there
is

of water over the grave

a small hole in

the lower end of the bamboo, so that the water drips

from
you

it

continually.

The tube
is

is

always

refilled

with

water until rain drenches the ground.*


will observe that religion

In this ceremony

blent with magic, for


is

the prayer to the dead chief, which


is

purely religious,
rain
at

eked out with a magical imitation of


In order
to

his

grave.

procure

rain

the

Wagogo of

German East
and black
'

Africa sacrifice black fowls, black sheep,

cattle at the

graves of their ancestors, and the

M. M.

Joustra, "

De Zending

onder de Karo-Batak's, Mededeelingen -van ivege het


xli.

Nederlandsche ZendeUnggemotschap,
'^

(1897), p. 158.
p.

Abeghian, Der armenhche folhglaube (Leipsic, 1899),


op. cit. p. 6. *

93.

'

A. C. Kruijt,

A. C. Kruijt,

op. cit. pp. 3 sq.

98

RAIN-MAKING

lect.

rain-maker wears black clothes during the rainy season.^

Here again the


dead
is

religious appeal to the spirits of the

strengthened by the black colour of the victims


clothes,

and of the
clouds.

which

is

an imitation of dark rain-

Sometimes the rain- maker resorts to an


different

entirely

mode of

obtaining the needed showers.


fall

He

neither imitates the


fathers,

of rain nor prays to his fore-

but attempts to extort the waters of heaven


say,

from those supernatural beings who have, so to


cut

him

off at the main.

the art of thus

taking

The Chinese are adepts in the kingdom of heaven by


give rain,

storm.

If

the

god does not

they will

threaten and beat

him

sometimes they publicly depose

him from

the rank of deity.


fall,

On

the other hand, if the


a step of

wished-for showers

the

god may get


It
is

promotion by imperial decree.^


reign

said that in the

of Kia-King,

fifth

emperor of the Manchu

dynasty, a long drought desolated several provinces of

Northern China.
rain a

Processions were of no avail


his

the
let

-dragon hardened
fall.

heart

and would not

drop

At

last

the emperor lost patience and


deity
Illi.

condemned the
process

recalcitrant

to

perpetual exile
decree was in

on the banks of the


of execution
:

river

The

the

divine

criminal,

with a

touching resignation, was already traversing the deserts


'

H.

Cole,

"Notes on the Wagogo of German East Africa," Journal of


350
5

tht

Anthropological Institute^ xxxii. (1902), p. 325. ^ Mgr. Rizzolati, in Annales d& la Propagation de laFoi, xvi. (1844), p.

Mgr.
to

Retord,

ilf.

xxviii. (1856), p. 102,

In Tonquin also a mandarin

lias

been

known

whip an image of Buddha


Propagation de la Foi,
iv.

for

not sending rain.

See Annales de P Association de la

(1830), p. 330,

IV

RAIN-MAKING
his sentence

99
on the borders of
court

of Tartary to work out

Turkestan,

when

the judges

of the high
flung

of

Peking,
at

moved

with

compassion,

themselves
his

the feet of the emperor

and implored

pardon
revoke

for the
his

poor

devil.

The emperor consented

to

doom, and

a messenger set off at full gallop to bear

the tidings of
justice.

mercy to the executors of the imperial


reinstated in his office
little

The dragon was


In

on

condition of performing his duties a


future.-'

better in

April

1888

the

mandarins of Canton

prayed to the god Lung-wong to stop the incessant

downpour of

rain

and when he turned a deaf ear to

their petitions they put

him

in a

lock-up for

five days.

This had a salutary

effect.

god was

restored to

The rain ceased and the liberty. Some years before, in


in the
feel

time of drought, the same deity had been chained and

exposed to the sun for days

courtyard of his
for himself the
in

temple in order that he might


urgent need of
rain.^

So when the Siamese are

want
;

of
if

rain,

they set out their idols in the blazing sun

but

they need dry weather, they unroof the temples and


the rain pour

let

down on

the idols.

They

think that

the inconvenience to which the gods are thus subjected

by the inclemency of the weather

will

induce them to

grant the wishes of their worshippers.'

You may
^

smile perhaps at the meteorology of the

Hue, L'empire chinoh, i. 241 sq. Rev. E. Z. Simmons, "Idols and


p.

Spirits,"

Chinese Recorder

and Missionary

Journal, xix. (1888),


'

502.
I'Association

Mgr. Bruguiire,

in Annales de

de la Propagation de la Foi, v. (1831),

p.

131.

loo

RAIN-MAKING
in

lect.

Far East ; but precisely similar modes of procuring rain


have been resorted to

Europe within our own lifetime.


there

By
six

the end of April 1893

was great

distress

in Sicily for lack

of water.

The drought had

lasted

months.

Every day the sun

rose and set in a sky

of cloudless blue.

The

gardens of the Conca d' Oro,


belt

which surround Palermo with a magnificent


verdure, were withering.

of

Food was becoming


great
alarm.

scarce.

The

people were

in

All

the

most
tried

approved methods of procuring rain had been


without
effect.
fields.

Processions had traversed the streets

and the
their

Men, women, and


lain

children,

telling

beads,

had

whole nights
candles

before the holy

images.
night
in

Consecrated
the churches.

had

burned day and


blessed
trees.

Palm

Sunday,
in

had

Palm branches, been hung on the


with a

on

At

Solaparuta,

accordance

very old custom,

the dust swept

from the churches on Palm Sunday


fields.

had been spread on the


these
year,

In ordinary years
the crops
;

holy sweepings preserve


if

but that

you

will

believe

me,

they

had

no

effect

whatever.

At Nicosia the

inhabitants, bare-headed and

bare-foot, carried the crucifixes through all the wards

of the town and scourged each other with iron whips.


It

was

all

in

vain.

The

great St. Francis of Paola

himself,
is

who

annually performs the miracle of rain and

carried

every spring through the market-gardens,

either could not or

would not

help.

concerts,

illuminations,

fire-works,

nothing
began

Masses, vespers,
could
lose

move

him.

At

last

the

peasants

to

IV
patience.

RAIN-MAKING
Most of
they
the
state

loi
banished.
in

the

saints
St.

were
Joseph

At
they
fell.

Palermo
to
see

dumped
of

garden

things

for

himself,
till

and
rain

swore to leave him there in the sun

Other

saints

were

turned,

like

naughty

children,

with their faces to the wall.

Others again, stripped

of their beautiful robes, were exiled far from their


parishes, threatened, grossly insulted,

ducked

in horseSt.

ponds.

At

Caltanisetta

the

golden

wings of

Michael the Archangel were torn from

his shoulders
:

and replaced with wings of pasteboard

his

purple

mantle was taken away and a clout wrapt about him


instead.

At

Licata the patron saint,

St.

Angelo, fared

even worse, for he


all
:

was

left

without any garments at


irons,

he was reviled, with

he was put in

he was

threatened
the rope
!

drowning or hanging.

" Rain or

" roared the angry people at him, as they

shook

their fists in his face.^

As
stay

the magician thinks he can

make

rain,

so he

fancies he can cause the sun to shine


its

and can hasten or


natives

going down.

Thus

the

of

New
At

Caledonia imagine that they can cause a drought by

means of
the

a disc-shaped stone

with a hole in

it.

moment when

the sun

rises,

the wizard holds this

stone in his hand and passes a burning brand repeatedly


into the hole, while he says,
1

"

kindle the sun,


Tmr du Monde,
died in

in
Ixvii.

G. VuUlier,

"La
As

Sicile,

impressions du present et du passe,"

(1894), pp. 54

sq.

to St. Francis of Paola,

who

1507 and was canonised

by Leo X. in 1519, see P. Ribadeneira, Fhs Sanctorum, cioi Vite de' Santi (Venice, 1763), i. 252 sq. J Th. Trede, Das Heidentum in der riimischen Kirche, iii. 45-47. He was sent for by Louis XI. of France, and his fame as a worker of miracles is stiU
spread
all

over the south of Italy.

I02
order that he
land, so that

MAKING SUNSHINE
may eat up the it may produce
on
rattle the silver

lect.

clouds and dry up our

nothing."^

When

the

mists

lay

thick

the Sierras of Peru, the Indian

women

used to

and copper ornaments and they blew against


it

which they wore on their

breasts,

the fog, hoping thus to disperse


shine through.
result

and make the sun

Another way of producing the same


salt

was to burn

or scatter ashes in the

air.^

The

Guar ay o Indians
the

also

threw ashes

in

the air for the

sake of clearing up the clouded evening sky.


fall

Perhaps

of the ashes to the ground was supposed to

make the clouds disappear from the sky.^ The offering made by the Brahman in the morning is supposed to produce the sun, for we are told that " assuredly * it would not rise, were he not to make that offering." The ancient Mexicans conceived the sun as the source hence they named him " He by of all vital force whom men live." But if he bestowed life on the
;

world, he needed also to receive


the heart
is

life

from

it.

And

as

the seat and symbol of

life,

bleeding hearts

of men and animals were presented to the sun to


maintain

him

in

vigour and enable him to run

his

course across the sky.


to the sun were

Hence
to please
Catlioliques^

the Mexican sacrifices

magical rather than religious, being

designed, not so
^

much

and propitiate him,


;

as

Father Lambert, in Missions


the two passages

xxv, (1893), p. 116


sq.

id.,

Moeurs

et

Superstitions des

Neo-CaUdoniens (Noumea,
:

1900), pp. 296

The magic
p.

formula

<iiffers slightly in

in the text I have followed the second.

^ P.
^

J.

Arriaga, Extirfacim de la Iddatria del Piru (Lima, 1621),


Meridionale,
iii.

37.
Strasburg,

A. d'Orbigny, Voyage dans VAmerique


p.

(Paris and

1844),
^

24.
J.

Satafatha'Brhhmana., translated by

Eggeling, Part

i.

p.

328.

IV physically
to

MAKING SUNSHINE
renew
his

103

energies of heat, light, and

motion.

The

constant

demand

for

human

victims to

feed the solar fires was

met by waging war every year


and bringing back bands of

on the neighbouring

tribes

captives to be sacrificed on the altar.


less

Thus

the cease-

wars of the Mexicans and their cruel system of


sacrifices,

human

the

most

monstrous

on

record,

sprang in great measure from a mistaken theory of


the solar system.

No

more

striking illustration could

be given of the disastrous consequences that


in

may

flow

practice

from a purely speculative


believed
that
;

error.^

The
in

ancient
chariot

Greeks
across

the

sun drove

the

sky
as

hence the Rhodlans,


their

who

worshipped

the

sun

chief deity,

annually

dedicated a chariot and four horses to him, and flung

them

into the sea for his use.^

Doubtless they thought


old horses and chariots
a like motive, probably,
chariots

that after a year's

work

his

would be worn

out.

From

the idolatrous kings of

Judah dedicated

and

horses to the sun,' and the Spartans,* Persians,^ and


^

E. J.

Payne, History of the

New
in

World

called America,

i.

(Oxford, 1892),
antkropologiscken

pp.

520-523

Getelhchaft,

K. Th. Preus8, November 15, 1902,


;

Verhandlungen

der
;

Berliner
id.

pp. (449) sq., (457) J?.

"Die

Feuergotter als

Ausgangspunkt zum Verstandniss der mexikanischen Religion," Mittheilungen der A Mexican legend anthnfolog. Gesellschaft in Wien, xxxiii. (1903), pp. 157 sq., 163.
relates

how

in the beginning the gods sacrificed themselves

by

fire in
clioses

order to set

the sun in motion.

See B. de Sahagun, Histoire genirale des


vii.

de la Nowvelle

Esfagne (Paris, 1880), bk.


' Festus, s.v.
^

ch. 2, pp.
p.

478

sqq.

"October equus,"

181, ed. C. O.

MUUer.
Die Keilimchrijien

2 Kings

xxiii. 11.

Compare H. Zimmern,
pp.

in E. Schrader's

und das Alte Testament^ (Berlin, 1902),


*

369

sq.

Pausanias,

iii.

zo. 4.
viii.
iii.

'

Xenophon, Cyropaed.
i.

3.

24;

Philostratiis, Vit. Afollon.

i.

31.

2; Ovid,
iv. 5,

Fasti,

385 sq. ; Pausanias, Trogus Pompeius, i. 10. 5.

zo. 4.

Compare Xenophon,

Anabasis,

35

I04

REGULATING THE SUN


The
sacrifice

lect.
Spartans

Massagetae^ sacrificed horses to him.

performed the
of Mt.
luminary

on the top of the lofty range

Taygetus, behind which they saw the great


set

every night.

It

was

as natural for the

inhabitants of the valley of Sparta to


for the islanders of

do

this as it

was and

Rhodes to throw the


into

chariot

horses

into

the

sea,

which the sun seemed to

them

to sink at evening.
sea,

For

thus, whether

on the

mountains or in the
for the
at the

the fresh horses stood ready

weary god where they would be most welcome,


people think they can light

end of his day's journey.

As some
sun
is

up

the sun, so

others fancy they can retard or stop him.

When

the

going southward in autumn and sinking lower

and lower in the Arctic sky, some of the Esquimaux


play the

game of

cat's cradle in

order to catch him in

the meshes of the string and so prevent his disappear-

ance below the horizon.

On

the contrary, in spring,

when

the

sun

is

moving

northward

and

mount-

ing higher and higher in the heaven, they play the

game of cup-and-ball to hasten his return and enable him to bound nimbly upwards, like the ball in the air.^ The whole record of savage superstition could hardly
furnish a

more glaring instance of the


by playing
Many

futility

of magic

than this attempt of the Esquimaux to regulate the


sun's course in the sky
at cat's cradle

and

Herodotus,

i.

216

Strabo,

xi. 8. 6.

Asiatics held that the sun rode a

horse, not a chariot.

See Dittenberger, Sylloge Inscriptiottum Graecarum^ No. 754,

with note
^ Fr.

*.

Boas,

"The Eskimo

of Baffin Land and


p.

Hudson Bay,"

Bulletin

of the

American Museum of Natural History^ xv. (1901),

151.

IV

REGULATING THE WIND


As some

105

cup-and-ball.

people imagine they can hasten

the sun, so others fancy they can jog the tardy moon.

The

natives

of German

New

Guinea,

like

many
some

other savages, reckon months by the moon, and

of them have been known to throw stones and spears


at the

moon

in order to accelerate its progress

and so

to hasten the return of their friends,

who were away

from home for twelve months, working on a tobacco


plantation.^

Lastly, the wizard believes that

by

his ceremonies

and incantations he can

direct the course

of the stormy
his pleasure.

wind and can make

it

blow or be and

still at

Thus

if a

Cherokee wizard desires to turn aside an


it

approaching storm, he faces


outstretched
direction
in

recites a spell with

hand.

Then he
he wishes

gently
it

blows

in

the
his

which

to

go,

waving

hand towards that quarter as if he were pushing away the storm.^ The natives of Bibili, an island
ofF

German New Guinea,


their
it

are reputed to raise tempests

by blowing with their mouths.

In stormy weather
say,
^

some of

neighbours will
again, blowing

"The
The
used to

Bibili

folk are at

away."
Straits

natives

of Murray Island in Torres


a great

make

wind blow from the south-east by pointing


and
other plants at

cocoa-nut leaves

two

granitic

boulders on the shore.


'

So long

as the leaves

remained

Mission in Deutsch Neu-Guinea,

K. Vetter, Komm icruier und hilf uns ! oder die Arbeit der Neuen Dettehauer ii. (Barmen, 1898), p. 29 ; id. in B. Hagen's Unter

den Papua's (Wiesbaden, 1899), p. 287. ^ Mooney, " Sacred Formulas of the Cherokees," Seventh Annual Report of tic J. Bureau of Ethnology (Washington, 1891), pp. 387 sj.
' B.

Hagen, Unter den Papua's,

p.

269.

io6
there, the

REGULATING THE WIND


wind
sat in

lect.

that quarter.

But with great

discretion they only

performed the ceremony during

the

prevalence

of the south-east
to

monsoon.

They
wind
the

knew

better than

try to raise a south-east

while the north-west

monsoon was
Togo, a

blowing.'^
district

On

top of a mountain in

of German

West
priest

Africa, there resides a fetish called Bagba,


rain.

who

is

supposed to control the wind and the


is

His

said, like iEolus, to

keep the winds shut up in

great

pots.^

An

ancient

Greek charm to prevent


middle of the

storms from damaging the crops was to bury a toad


in a

new earthen pot

in the

field.'

Even
on a
it

in Christian times,

under the reign of Constantine, a

certain Sopater suffered death at Constantinople

charge of binding

the

winds by magic, because

happened that the corn-ships of Egypt and Syria were


detained afar off by calms or head-winds, to the rage

and disappointment of the hungry Byzantine

rabble.*

The
purpose.

sketch

which

have

thus

given

you

of

the theory and practice of magic

may

suffice for our

We
I

now

revert to our special subject, the

sacred character and magical functions of kings in early


society.

have pointed out that among savages the


is

public magician

a personage of such influence that

under favourable circumstances he


the rank of a chief or king.
'

may easily attain to shall now put before you


p.

A. C. Haddon, Head-hunters (London, 1901),


Lieut.

601
v.

Herold, in Mittheilungai

am

den Deutschen Schutagebieten,


p.

(1892),

pp.
^
*

144

sq.;

H. Klose, Togo

utiter deutscher

Pliny, Nat. Hist, xviii. 294.

Flagge (Berlin, 1899), Compare Geoponka, ii. 18.

189.

Eunapius, Vitae Soplmtarum

Aedesius, p.

463 (Didot

edition).

IV

HEADMEN IN AUSTRALIA
particular cases

107

some

where

this evolution appears either

to be in process of taking place or actually to have been

accomplished.

Let us begin by looking


to

at the lowest race


full

of

men

as

whom we possess
I

comparatively

and accurate in-

formation,

mean

the aborigines of Australia.

These
So
far as

savages are ruled neither by chiefs nor kings.

their tribes can be said to have a political constitution,


it

is

a democracy

or rather an oligarchy of old and


in council

influential

men, who meet

and decide on

all

measures of importance, to the practical exclusion of


the younger men.

Their deliberative assembly answers


:

to the senate of later times


for such a

if

government of

elders

we had to coin a word we might call it a


in

gerontocracy}

The

elders

who

Australia

thus

meet and

direct the affairs of their tribe appear to

be

for the most part the

headmen of

their respective

totem

groups.
gines are

As you probably know, the Australian aboridivided into a great many clans or stocks,
in a

ach of which stands

very intimate relation to a

particular species of natural objects, generally of animals

or plants, which

is

called its totem.

Now

in Central

Australia, where the barren nature of the country and

the almost complete isolation

from foreign
the

influences

have retarded progress and preserved the natives on the


whole in their most primitive
various totem
state,

headmen of the
with the

stocks or

clans

are charged

important task of performing magical ceremonies for the


^

The government
263

of the natives of the western

islands

of Torres

Straits

is

similar.

See A. C. Haddon, in Reports of the Cambridge Anthropological Expedition


sj.

to

Torres Straits, v.

io8

HEJDMEN IN AUSTRALIA
and
it

lect.

multiplication of the totems,

as the great majority

of the totems are edible animals or plants,


that these

follows

men

are

commonly expected

to provide the

people with food by means of magic.

Others have to

make

the rain to

fall

or to render other services to the

community.
Australia the
their

In short,

among
is

the tribes of Central

headmen

are public magicians.

Further,

most important function

to take charge of the

sacred storehouse, usually a cleft in the rocks or a hole


in the

ground, where the holy stones and sticks are


all

kept, with which the souls of

the people, both living


Thus,,

and dead, appear to be


while the

in a

manner bound up.

headmen have

certainly to

perform what we

should

call civil duties,

such as to

inflict

punishment for

breaches of tribal custom, their principal functions are


sacred or magical.'^

Again, in the tribes of South-Eastern Australia the

headman was

often,

sometimes invariably, a magician.

Thus

in the

southern Wiradjuri tribe the headman was

always a wizard or medicine-man.


each local division.

There was one

for

He

called the people together for

the initiation ceremonies or to discuss matters of public

importance.^

In the Yerkla-mining tribe the medicine-

men

are

the

headmen

they are called Mobung-bai,

from mobung, " magic."

They

decide disputes, arrange

marriages, conduct the ceremonies of initiation, and in


certain circumstances settle the formalities to be observed
^

Spencer and Glllen, Native Tribes of Central Australia^ pp. 9-15, 154, 159-205
sq.,

id.,

Northern Tribes of Central Australia, pp. 20-Z7, 285-297, 309 Howitt, Native Tribes of South^East Australia, pp. 320-326.
*

316

A.

W.

A.

W.

Howitt,

op. cit. p.

303.

IV
in ordeals

HEADMEN IN AUSTRALIA
of
battle.

109

" In

fact,

they wield authority in

the

tribe,

and give orders where others only make


Again, in the Yuin tribe there was a head-

requests."^

man

for each local division,

and

in order to be fitted

for his office he had,

among
all,

other qualifications, to be

a medicine-man

above

he must be able to perform

magical feats at the initiation ceremonies.

The

greatest

headman of all was he who on these occasions could bring


up the
fact the

largest

number of things out of


literal

his inside.^

In
all

budding statesman and king must be above

things a conjurer in the most

sense of the word.

Some
tribe

forty years ago the principal

headman of the Dieri

was a

certain Jalina piramurana,

who was known


his
skilful

among

the colonists as the

Frenchman on account of

polished manners.
warrior,

He

was not only a brave and

but also a powerful medicine -man, greatly


tribes,

dreaded by the neighbouring


presents even

who

sent

him

from a distance of

hundred

miles.

He

boasted of being the " tree of life," for he was the head

of a totem consisting of a particular sort of seed which

forms at certain times the chief vegetable food of these


tribes.

His people spoke of him

as

the plant itself

(manyura) which
it is

yields the edible seed.'

On the whole,
especially

highly significant that in the most primitive society


to

now open

our

observation

it

is

the

magicians or medicine-men

who

appear to be

in the act

of developing into
^

chiefs.
313.

A. A.

W.
W. W.

Howitt, Howitt, Howitt,


ib.

op. cit. p. op. cit. p.

^
'^

314.

A.

op. cit. pp.

297-299.
302, 317.

For more examples of headmen

who

are

also magicians, see

pp.

301

sq.,

no
find that,

CHIEFS IN NEtF

GUINEA
New

lect.

When we

pass from Australia to

Guinea we

though the natives occupy a

far higher level

of culture than the Australian aborigines, the constitution of society

among them
would seem

is still

essentially

democratic

or oligarchic, and chieftainship exists only in embryo.

But here

also

it

that the

medicine-men are
Sir

on the road to become

chiefs.

Thus

William

MacGregor
enough
"
to

tells

us that in British

New

Guinea no one

has ever arisen wise enough, bold enough, and strong

become the despot even of a


approach to this," says

single district.
Sir

The

nearest

William

MacGregor, " has been the very distant one of some


person becoming a renowned wizard
resulted in levying a certain
;

but that has only


^

amount of blackmail."

We are
British

told that in the Toaripi or

Motumotu
is

tribe

of

New
Some

Guinea

chiefs

have not necessarily super-

natural powers, but that a sorcerer


chief.

looked upon as a
one

'years ago, for example,

man of

the

tribe
sea,

was a chief because he was supposed to rule the


calming
it

or rousing

it

to fury at his pleasure.


skill in

Another owed his power to his


fall,

making the

rain to

the sun to shine, and the plantations to bear fruit.^

It is believed that

the chief of

Mowat,

in British

New
ill,

Guinea, can affect the growth of crops for good or

and coax the


of
'

turtle

and dugong to come from


allow

all

parts

the
Sir
J.

sea

and

themselves

to

be
p.

caught.*

W.

MacGregor,

Britisi

New

Guinea (London, 1897),

41.

2
P-

Chalmers, "Toaripi," Journal of the Anthropological

Institute, xxvii.

(1898),

334^

E. Beardmore,

"The

Natives of

Mowat
464.

Daudai,

New

Guinea," Journal of the

Anthropological Institute, xix. (1890),

p.

IV

CHIEFS IN
who enjoyed

MELANESIA
in

1 1

Again, we hear of a chief of Kolem,


Guinea,
it

German New
;

a great reputation as a sorcerer

was believed that he could make wind and storm,

rain

and sunshine, and

visit his

enemies with sickness

and death.^

Turning now to the Melanesian

islands,

we

are told
as a

by Dr. Codrington that among these savages "

matter of fact the power of chiefs has hitherto rested

upon the from the


course.

belief in their
spirits

supernatural

power derived
Banks' Islands,

or ghosts with which they had inter-

As

this belief has failed, in the

for example,

some time ago, the position of a chief has


;

tended to become obscure

and

as this belief

is

now
must
^

being generally undermined, a

new kind of
is

chief

needs

arise,

unless a time

of anarchy

to

begin,"

According to

a native Melanesian account, the authority

of chiefs rests entirely on the belief that they hold

communication with mighty ghosts, and possess that


supernatural power whereby they are able to bring the
influence of the ghosts to bear.

If a chief imposed

fine,

it

was paid because

the

people

universally

dreaded his ghostly power, and firmly believed that he


could
him.
inflict

calamity and sickness


as

upon such

as resisted

As soon

any

considerable

number of

his

subjects began to disbelieve in his influence with the


ghosts, his

power to levy
he

fines

was shaken.^

In the

northern

New
'

Hebrides the son does not


inherits, if his father
Neu-Guwea

inherit the

chieftainship, but

can manage
p.

M.

Krieger,

(Berlin, n.d.), p. 334.

R. H. Codrington, The Melanesiam (Oxford, 1891), ^ R. H. Codrington, op, cit, p. 52.

46.

112
it,

CHIEFS

IN AFRICA

lect.

what gives him

chieftainship,

namely, his father's

supernatural power, his charms, magical songs, stones

and apparatus, and

his

knowledge of the way to


of
or rather of

approach spiritual beings.^


Still

rising in the scale

civilisation,

savagery,
ship

we come

to Africa, where both the chieftainare fully developed


;

and the kingship

and here

the evidence for the evolution of the chief out of the

magician, and especially out of the rain-maker,


paratively
plentiful.

is

comof

Thus among

the

Wagogo

German East
are told,
is

Africa the main power of the chiefs,

we
If
it

derived from their art of rain-making.

a chief cannot

make
to

rain himself, he
can.^
Sir

must procure

from some one who


Masai,
according
their

The medicine-men of the Harry Johnston, are not


and the supreme chief
is

uncommonly

chiefs,

almost invariably a powerfiil medicine-man.

These

men
rain.^

are priests as well as doctors, skilled in interpreting


in averting ill-luck,
is

omens and dreams,

and

in

making

The head
his

chief

expected not only to

make

rain, but to destroy the

enemies of the Masai in war by

means of

magic*

With regard

chief of the Masai


his office

I will translate to

to this supreme you the account of

and functions which Captain Merker gives in


last

his

book on the Masai published


is

year.

The

writer
'

German

officer

serving

in

East Africa.

R. H. Codrington, op. cit. p. 56. H. Cole, " Notes on the Wagogo of German East Africa," Journal of

the

Anthropological Instituts, xxxii. (1902), p. 321.


' Sir
*

Harry Jolinston, The Uganda Protectorate fj^oaion, 1902), ii. 830. Baron C. C. von der Declcen, Rehen in Ost-Afrika, ii. (Leipsic and Heidelberg,
p.

1871),

24.

IV

CHIEFS IN AFRICA
says
:

113

He

"

The most prominent


is

clan of the whole


it

Masai people

the

En

gidon, because to

belong

not only the family of the chief (0/ oiboni), but also the
family of the magicians.
strictly

The

designation
since

chief

is,

speaking,

not quite

correct,

the chief

(0/ oiboni) does not govern


real administrative function.

directly

and exercises no

He

rules only indirectly

the firm belief of his subjects in his prophetic gifts and


in his supernatural

power of sorcery gives him an

influ-

ence on the destinies of the people.


cruelty, as such

Despotism and

we

find

to him.
patriarch.

He is not so

among all negro rulers, are alien much a ruler as a national saint or

awe, and no

The people speak of his sacred person with shy man dares to appear before this mighty personage without being summoned. The aim of his policy
to unite

is

and strengthen the Masai.

While he allows
of the warriors in

free play to the predatory instincts

raids

on other

tribes,
civil

he guards his

own

people from

the scourge of

war, to which the ceaseless quarrels

of the various

districts

with each other would otherwise

continually give

occasion.

This influence of his

is

rendered possible by the belief that victory can only be


achieved through the secret power of the war-medicine

which none but he can

compound, and
he were to predict

that defeat
it.

would

infallibly follow if

Neither

he nor his nearest relatives march with the army to war.

He

supplies remedies, generally in the shape of magical

medicines, for plagues and sicknesses, and he appoints


festivals

of prayer in honour of the Masai god 'Ng

ai.

He

delivers his predictions

by means of an oracular

14

CHIEFS IN AFRICA
like the telling

lect.
as

game

of beads."

And just
when

Samson's

miraculous strength went from him


shorn, so
it is

his hair

was

believed that the head chief of the Masai

would
shaved.

lose his

supernatural powers if his chin were


tells

Captain Merker

us further that so firmly

did the Masai believe in the magical gift of healing


possessed by the late chief Mbatyan, that people are said

to have been often cured of their infirmities by faith


alone.^

The same

chief,

according to Captain Merker,

actually discovered a

mode of inoculation which protected


If this

the catde against the ravages of lung disease.

statement

is

correct,

we have here
I

a striking instance of

a most beneficent scientific discovery

made by

a savage

magician, which illustrates what

have said as to the of


social

immense advantages which

at a certain stage

development may flow from the institution of a public

body of magicians or medicine-men.

The Suk and Turkana


and
their

peoples of East Africa,

who
but
his

are akin to the Masai, distinguish between their chiefs

medicine-men,

who

wield great power


is

very often the medicine-man


skill in

a chief

by virtue of

medicine or occult

arts.^

Among

the negroes

of the

the chiefs.*

Upper Nile the medicine-men are generally Thus among the Bongo (to quote from
" good
spirits

Schweinfurth)

are

quite

unrecognised,

and, according to the general negro idea,


^

no

benefit can

M. Merker, Dk Maiai

(Berlin, 1904), pp. 18 sq.

have slightly abridged the

writer's account.
2 M. Merker, of. cit. pp. 20 sq. As to the medicine-men of the Masai, see further A. C. HolUs, The Masai, their Language and Folk-lore (Oxford, 1905), pp. 324-330. ^ Sir H. Johnston, The Uganda Protectorate, ii. 851. * Sir H. Johnston, op. cit. ii. 779.

IV

CHIEFS IN AFRICA
spirit at all.

115
affirm that the

ever come from a

They
spirits

only thing they


mischief,

know about
it is

is

that they

do

and

certain

that they have no conception

either of there being a Creator or

any kind and ruling


is

power above.
for obtaining

They

assert that there

no resource
except

communication with

spirits

by

means of
in

certain roots, which

may be of
evil

service likewise

employing the powers of

to Inflict injury on
this

others.

To

their

knowledge of

magic may be

attributed

much of

the influence which the native chiefs,


rule, exercise

independently of their authorised

over the

mass of the people in


witnessed

their districts.

This may be

among

the Bary on the Bahr-el-Gebel, and a

hundred other

tribes,

who

yield the greatest deference


^

to the controllers or captains of their communities."

In the Dinka or
the Bongo,

Denka
spirits

nation,

to the north-east of

men who

are supposed to be In close

comit

munication with
believed that they
ties,

pass
rain,

for

omnipotent
all

is

make

conjure away

calamiall

foresee the future, exorcise evil spirits,

know

that goes

on even

at a distance,
call

have the wild beasts in

their service,

and can

on

their enemies.

down every kind of disaster One of these men became the richest
tribe

and most esteemed chief of the Ki6


in ventriloquism.

through

his skill

He kept a cage from


;

which the roars

of imaginary

lions

and the howls of imaginary hyenas


and he gave out that these and were ready
at his bidding

were heard to proceed

beasts guarded his house,

to rush forth on his enemies.


'

The dread which he


i.

G. Schweinfurth, The Heart of Africa (London, 1878),

144

sq.

ii6
infused

CHIEFS IN AFRICA
among
sides

lect.

the tribe, and beyond

it,

was incredible

from

all

oxen were sent him

as presents, so that

his herds

were the most numerous of the neighbourhood.


in the

Another of these conjurers


tame
lion

Tuic

tribe

had a

real

and four

real fat snakes,

which

slept in front

of his door, to the great awe of the negroes, only attribute their pacific demeanour to
it

who

could

sorcery.-'

But

does not appear that the real lion inspired nearly so


terror as the imaginary one
;

much
solid

from which we may


is

infer that
basis

among
of

these people ventriloquism

more

political

power even than lion-taming.

The Lendu

tribe, to

the west of

Lake

Albert, in Central

Africa, firmly believe that certain people possess the

power of making
either
is

rain.

Among them

the rain-maker

a chief or almost invariably becomes one.^

Again, the

Wanyoro of

Central Africa have a great

respect for the dispensers of rain,

whom

they load with

a profusion of gifts.

The

great dispenser,

who

has

absolute and uncontrollable

power over the

rain, is the

king

but he can divide his power with other persons,

so that the benefit

of the

may be kingdom.* With


in general

distributed over various parts

regard to the natives of the

Nyanza region

we

are told that " they are

persuaded that rain only

falls as a result
it

of magic, and

the important duty of causing

to descend devolves

on the chief of the


'

tribe.

If rain

does

not come
des

E. D. Pruyssenaere, " Reisen und Forschungen


:

im Gebiete

Weissen and

Blauen Nil," Fetcrmam's Mittheilmgm


pp.

ErgSnzungsheft, No. 50 (Gotha, 1877),

27
*

SI.

^ Sir

H. Johnston,

op.

cit. ii.

555.

G.
i.

Casati, Ten Tear: In Equatoria

(London and

New

York, 1891),

ii.

57,

com-

pare

134.

IV
at the

CHIEFS IN AFRICA
proper time, everybody complains.
his

117

More

than

one petty king has been banished


of drought."
superstition
^

country because

CathoHc missionary writes that " a


to the different peoples of equa-

common

torial Africa attributes to the petty

kings of the country


rain to
fall
;

the exclusive

power of making the


is

in

extreme cases the power

ascribed

to certain kings

more privileged than the

rest,

such as those of Huilla,

Humbe,

Vare, Libebe, and others.


in order to
;

These kings

profit

by the superstition
presents of cattle
sacrifice

draw to themselves many


must
fall

for the rain


if it

after the

of an ox, and

tarries,

the king,

who

is

never at a loss for excuses to extricate himself from the


scrape, will ascribe

the failure to the defects of the

victim,

and

will seize the pretext to claim

more

cattle."

In Western as well as in Eastern and Central Africa

we find the same union of chiefly with magical functions. Thus in the Fan tribe the strict distinction between chief and medicine-man does not exist. The chief is
also a

medicine-man and a smith to boot

for the

Fans

esteem the smith's craft sacred, and none but chiefs

may meddle
of the world,
that
is,

with

it.^

The head

chief of Etatin

in

Southern Nigeria, like other petty kings


is

in that part

never allowed to leave his compound,


in

the

enclosure

which
of
the

his

house

stands.
lately

The

present

incumbent

office

was

questioned by an English Commissioner, to


'

whom
no.
les

he

Mgr. Livinhac,

in Annales de la Propagation de la Foi, Ix. (1888), p. et le

Ch. Wunenberger, " La mission

royaume de Humbe, sur


87.

bords du

Cnnene," Missions
'

Catholiques, xx. (i888), p. 262.


p.

O. Lenz, Skizzm aus Westafrika (Berlin, 1878),

ii8

CHIEFS IN AFRICA
The whole town forced me They hanged our big juju [or
:

lect.

gave the following account of himself and his duties.

He

said

"

to be head
fetish]
I

chief.

(the

buffalo's horns)

round

my

neck.

Had

refused, I

should have had to give them the value of two slaves.


It is

an old custom that the head-chief here shall never

leave his

compound.

have been shut up ten years,


I

but, being an old

man,

don't miss

my

freedom.

am
to

the oldest

man of

the town, and they keep


fetishes],

me

here

look after the jujus [or

and to conduct

the rites celebrated

when women

are about to give birth

to children, and other ceremonies of the

same kind.

By
be
to

the observance and performance of these ceremonies, I

bring

game

to the hunter, cause the


fish to

good, bring
fall.

the fisherman,

yam crop to and make rain


fish,

So they bring
rain, I

me

meat, yams,
it

etc.

To

make
I

drink water, and squirt


If I were to

out,
this

and pray to

our big
should

deities.
fall

go outside

compound,

down dead on
hair

returning to this hut.

My

wives cut
parings."
^

my

and

nails,

and take great care of the


see that this

Thus from
chief
is

his

own account we
all
to'

West African

above

a magician,

though he

also acts as a priest

by offering prayer

the gods.

As

to the relation between the offices of chief and

rain-maker

among

the Caffres of South Africa,

I will

quote a passage from Mr. Dudley Kidd, a recent and


well-informed writer on the subject.

He

says

" In

very old days the chief was the great Rain-maker ot


the tribe.
^

Some

chiefs allowed

no one

else to

compete
sq.

Ch. Partridge, Cross River Natives (London, 1905), pp. 201

IV

CHIEFS IN AFRICA
lest

119

with them,
chosen as

successful

Rain-maker should be
:

chief.

There was

also another reason


if

the

Rain-maker was sure to become a rich man


a great reputation, and
it

he gained
for

would manifestly never do

the chief to allow any one to be too rich.

The Rainthis function

maker
so
it

exerts tremendous control over the people, and


to

would be most important

keep

connected with royalty.

Tradition always places the

power of making

rain as the

fundamental glory of
it

ancient chiefs and heroes, and


it

seems probable that

may have been the origin of chieftainship. The man who made the rain would naturally become the
chief.

In the same way,

Chaka

[the famous

Zulu

despot] used to declare that he was the only diviner in

the country, for if he allowed


insecure."
-^

rivals, his life

would be

A letter,

dated from Buluwayo, the 20th of

ber 1880, records that " the king [of the Matabeles]

NovemLo
of
'

Bengula arrived yesterday evening

at his kraal

the
his

White Rocks.'
people.
it

He

brought with him the rain to

For, according to the ideas of the Matabeles,

is

the king
'

who ought
in
all

to

'

make

the rain and the

good season
was

senses of the

word.

Now Lo
it

Bengula had chosen well the day and the hour, for
in the midst of a
his

tremendous storm that the king


his

made

solemn entrance into

capital."

"

You
is

must know

that the arrival of the king


little festival.

and ot the rain

give rise every year to a

For the

rain

the great benefit conferred by the


^

king, the pledge


p.

Dudley Kidd, The Essential Kafir (London, 1904),

114.

120

CHIEFS IN AFRICA
drought."

lect.

of future harvests and of plenty, after eight months of


desolating

To

bring

down

the

needed

showers the king of the Matabeles boils a magic hellbroth in a huge cauldron, which sends up volumes of

steam to the blue sky.


sure,

But to make assurance doubly he has recourse to religion as well as to magic ;


oxen to the
:

for he sacrifices twelve black


fathers

spirits

of his

and prays to them

"

great spirits of

my

father
last

and grandfather,

thank you for having granted

year to

my

people more wheat than to our enemies

the

Mashonas.

This year
I

also, in

gratitude for the

twelve black oxen which

am

about to dedicate to you,

make

us to be the best-fed and the strongest people in

the world !"^

Thus

the king of the Matabeles acts


;

not only as a magician, but as a priest

for he prays
I

and

sacrifices to the spirits

of his forefathers, as

had

occasion to point out in a former lecture.

The
in
its

foregoing evidence, somewhat tedious perhaps


it

monotony, renders

highly probable that in

Africa the king has often been developed out of the


public magician, and especially out of the rain-maker.

The unbounded
fession

fear

which the magician

inspires

and

the wealth he often amasses in the exercise of his pro-

have both contributed to

effect his

promotion.

The
at

miraculous powers ascribed to kings elsewhere are


consistent with the hypothesis that they too

least

have risen to their present exalted rank from a like


lowly origin.
'

Thus

the Malays firmly believe that the


la Foi,
liii.

Father Ch. Croonenberghs, in Amales de la Fropagatlon de


sj.,

(1881),

pp.

262

267

sj.

IV

MALAY

KINGS

121

king possesses a personal influence over the works of


nature, such as the

growth of the crops and the bearing


prolific virtue
is

of

fruit-trees.

The same

supposed

to reside,

though

in a lesser degree, in his delegates,

and even

in the persons of

Europeans who chance to be

in charge of districts.
states

In Selangor, one of the native

of the Malay Peninsula, the success or failure of


is

the rice crops


officers.-'

often attributed to a change of district


in the

Now

Malay region the

link which

unites the king or rajah with the magician happens to

be unusually plain and conspicuous.


in the regalia.

That link

consists

For

in

some

parts at least of the

Malay
the

region

the

regalia

are

regarded as wonder-working

talismans, the possession of

which

carries with

it

right to the throne

if

the king loses them, he thereby

forfeits the allegiance


this is a fact

of his subjects.

Moreover, and

of great significance, the Malay magician


insignia

owns
bear

certain

which are said to be exactly

analogous to the regalia of the divine king, and even


the

same name.^

inevitable that in the

The inference seems almost Malay region the regalia of the

kings are only the conjuring apparatus of their predecessors the magicians, and that therefore, in this part

of the world

at least, the

magician

is

the

humble grub

or chrysalis which in due time bursts and discloses that

gorgeous

butterfly, the rajah or king.


is

Nowhere apparently
^

this

view of the regalia as the


p. 36.
; J. the Straits of

W. W. W. W.
ii.

Skeat, Skeat,

Malay Magic (London, 1900),


of. cit. p. 59.

As

to the regalia, see further id. pp. 23 sq.


in

T.

Newbold,
Malacca,

Political

and

Statistical

Account of the British Settlements

193.

122

MALAY REGALIA
Here
princes

lect.

true fount of regal dignity carried to such lengths as in

Southern Celebes.

the royal authority

is

sup-

posed to be in some mysterious fashion embodied in the


regalia,

while

the

owe

all

the

power they
to
their

exercise,

and

aU

the

respect

they

enjoy,

possession

of these precious objects.

In short, the

regalia reign,
sentatives.

and the princes are merely their repre-

Hence whoever chances


if a

to

possess

the

regalia

is

regarded by the people as their lawful king.

For example,

deposed monarch contrives to keep

the regalia, his former subjects remain loyal to


their hearts,

him

in

and look upon

his successor as a usurper,

who

is

to be obeyed only in so far as he can exact

obedience by force.
insurrection the
regalia, for if
first

And on

the other hand, in an


is

aim of the rebels

to seize the

they can only

them, the authority of the


regalia are

make themselves masters of sovereign is gone. Thus the


title

here fetishes which confer a


fate

to the

throne,

and control the

of the kingdom.

Houses
lands
are

are built for

them

to dwell in, as if they were living

creatures

furniture,

weapons,

and

even

assigned to them.
carried with the

Like the ark of God, they are


to battle, and

army

on various occa-

sions the people propitiate them, as if they were gods,

by prayer and
blood.
tion, or are

sacrifice

and by smearing them with


serve as instruments of divinain times

Some of them

brought forth

of public disaster
it

for the purpose of staying the evil, whatever

may

be.

For example, when plague


or

is rife

among men

or beasts,

when

there

is

a prospect of dearth, the Bugineese

IV

MALAY REGALIA
For the most part these
is

123

bring out the regalia, smear them with bufFalo's blood,

and carry them about.

fetishes
;

are heirlooms of which the origin

forgotten

some

of them are said to have

fallen

from heaven.

Popular

tradition traces the foundation of the oldest states to

the discovery or acquisition of one of these miraculous


objects

it

may

be a stone, a piece of wood, a

fruit, a

weapon, or what not, of a peculiar shape or colour.

Often the original

regalia
is

have disappeared

in course
articles

of of

time, but their place

taken by the various

property which were bestowed on them, and to which


the people have transferred their pious allegiance.
oldest dynasties have the

The

most

regalia,

and the

holiest

regalia consist of relics of the bodies of former princes,

which are kept

in

golden caskets wrapt

in

silk.

At

Paloppo, the capital of Loowoo, a kingdom on the


coast of Celebes,

two toy cannons, with


:

barrels like
is

thin gas-pipes, are regalia


to render the

their possession

supposed
of
this

town impregnable.

Other

regalia

kingdom

are veiled

from vulgar eyes


forbidden

in bark-cloth.
official

When
replied

a missionary requested to see

them, the
to

that
;

it

was

strictly
so,

open the

bundle

were he to do

the earth would

yawn and

swallow them up.

In Bima the principal part of the

regalia or public talismans consists

of a sacred brown
always stabled in

horse, which

no man may

ride.

It is

the royal palace.

When
guns
:

the animal passes the governholidays,


it it is

ment
the

fort

on high days and


five

saluted with

fire

of

when

is

led to the river to


it,

bathe, the royal spear

is

carried before

and any man

124

KINGS IN EUROPE
does not

lect.

who

make way
it,

for the beast, or crosses the


fine.

road in front of
mortal, and

has to pay a
it

But the horse


all

is

when

goes the

way of

horse

flesh,
its

another steed chosen from the same stud reigns in


place.^

The

belief that kings

and chiefs possess either super-

natural powers or wonder-working talismans has left

not a few traces of

itself in

Europe, and even

in

our

own

country.

The Homeric Greeks thought


barley, the
trees to

that the

reign of a

good king caused the black earth to bring


be loaded with
fish.^

forth wheat and


fruit,

the flocks to multiply, and the sea to yield


belief

It

was a

of the ancient Irish that when their


the

kings observed

customs of their ancestors, the

seasons were mild, the crops plentiful, the cattle fruitful,


^

the waters abounded with


G.
J.

fish,

and the

fruit-trees

Harrebom^e, "Een ornamentenfeest van Gantarang (Zuid-Celebes),"


de Taal-

Mededeelingen 'van ivege het Nederlandsche Zendelinggenootschap^ xix. (1875), pp. 344-

351 ; G. K.. Niemann, " De Boegineezen en Makassaren," Bijdragm Land- en Volkenkunde 'van Nederlandsch Indie\ xxxviii. (1889), pp. 270 sq.

tot
;

D. F. van

Braam Morris,
pp.

in Tijdsckrift 'voor Indhche Taal-

Land- en Volkenkunde, xxxiv. (1891),


'van ivege het
;

215

sq.

A. C. Kruijt,

"Van

Paloppo naar Po^zo,^* Mededeelingen


xlii.

Nederlandsche Zendelinggenootschap,
Berg, "

(1898), pp. 18, 25 5y.

L.

W.

C. van den
tot

De Mohamedaansche Vorsten

in

Nederlandsch IndiS," Bijdragen


liii.

de Taal-

Landwere

en Volkenkunde 'van Nederlandsch Ind'iS,

(1901), pp. 72-80.


all

The

Scythian

kings treasured as sacred a plough, a yoke, a battle-axe, and a cup,


said to

of gold,

which

have fallen from heaven


;

they offered great sacrifices to these sacred

things at an annual festival

and

if

the

man
die

in charge of

them

fell asleep

under the
iv.

open sky,
5-7.

it

was believed that he would

within the year.

See Herodotus,
(Berlin,
itself
sq.
;

Compare K. Neumann, Die Hellenen im Skythenlande, i. 269 sq. The crown of the Egyptian kings was treated as A. Moret, Le rituel du cube di'vin journalier (Paris, 1902), pp. 94
Sgyftische Religion (Berlin, 1905), p. 40.

1855), pp.

divine.

See

A. Erman, Die

Among

the Yorubas of

West

Africa a

miraculous or fetish virtue seems to be attributed to the royal crown, and the king

sometimes
of

sacrifices

sheep to

it.

See Sir William MacGregor, " Lagos, Abeokuta,

and the Alake," Journalofthe African

Agamemnon was
^

Society, No. 12, July 1904, p. 472. worshipped at Chseronea (Pausanias, ix. 40. ii).

The sceptre

Homer,

Odyssey, xix. 109-114.

IV

KINGS IN EUROPE

125
their

had to be propped up on account of the weight of


produce.

A canon attributed
seas,

to St. Patrick enumerates

among

the blessings that attend the reign of a just king crops

" fine weather, calm


laden with fruit."
^

abundant, and trees

Notions of the same sort have

lingered in the Highlands of Scotland


times.
still

down

to

modern
it

When

Dr. Johnson travelled in Skye,

was

held that the return of the chief of the Macleods


after

to

Dunvegan,

any considerable absence, produced

a plentiful catch of herring.^

To

this

day the family

of the same chief owns a banner which is called " Macleod's Fairy Banner " on account of the supernatural powers ascribed to
victory in war attends
it,
it.

When
it

it

is
its it

unfurled,
followers

and

relieves

from imminent danger.


only
thrice,

But these
it

virtues

can exert
unfurled.

and already
potato

has been
the

twice

When

the

crop

failed,

common
of
it

people

desired that the magical banner might be

displayed,^

apparently in the belief that the

sight

would
this

produce a

fine

crop of potatoes.
is

The banner of

highland chief
a

thus a talisman like the regalia

of

Malay

rajah.

Again, in the Middle Ages,


their

German mothers

offered

infants to

Waldemar

First,

king of Denmark,

to

be touched by him, believing that the children


thrive the better for the royal touch
;

would

and for

J.

^ p. W. Joyce, Social History of Ancient Ireland (London, 1903), i. 56 j^. O'Donovan, The Book of Rights (Dublin, 1847), p. 8 note. 2 S. Johnson, Journy to the Western Islands (Baltimore, 1815), p. 115. ^ G. Campbell, Superstitions of the Highlands and Islands of Scotland (Glasgow, J.

1900), p.

5.

126

KINGS IN EUROPE
The English
was known

lect.

a like reason farmers asked

them.^

him to throw the seed for kings claimed the power of


;

curing scrofula by their touch


disease
as the this

for

which reason the


Charles the

King's Evil.

Second often exercised


as

miraculous

gift

of healing,

we know from Pepys, who witnessed the ceremony more than once. Thus on the thirteenth of April "Met my Lord with 1 66 1 he records in his diary:
the

Duke

and

after a little talk with

him,

went to

the Banquet-house, and there saw the king


first

heale, the

time that ever

saw him do
it
^

it

which he did
to be an ugly

with great gravity, and


office

seemed to

me

and a simple one."

In his childhood Dr. Johnson

was touched for scrofula by Queen Anne, and he retained


in later life a faint but

solemn recollection of her as of

lady in diamonds with a long black hood.^

The
from

French kings claimed to possess the same beneficent


power, which they are
said

to

have derived

Clovis or St. Louis, while our English kings inherited


it

from Edward the Confessor.*


both
set

But probably the


the Saxon

barbarous predecessors

of

and the

Merovingian kings had


before the

up

similar pretensions long

dawn of history. Down to last century the West African tribe of the Walos, in Senegal, ascribed
Saxo Grammaticus, Historia Danica^ bk. xiv. p. 779, ed. P. E. MQUer. Memoirs of Samuel Pepys, -^^^'n edited by Lord Braybrook, Second Edition (London, 1828), i. 187 ; compare ib. p. no ; iii. 192.
^

'
^

J.

Boswell, Life of Samuel Johnson^ (London, 1822),


J.

i.

18

sq.

T.

Pettigrew, Superstitions connected ivith the History and Practice of Medicine


pp.

and Surgery (London, 1844),


the Eighteenth

117-154;
1892),
i.

W.

E.

H. Lecky,
;

History

of England

in

Century

(London,
sqq.

84-90

W.

G.

Black,

Folk-medicine

(London, 1883}, pp. 140

IV

KINGS AS PRIESTS

127

to their royal family the

same power of healing by touch.


their sick children to

Mothers have been seen to bring


the queen,

who touched them solemnly with

her foot
legs
;

on the back, the stomach, the head, and the


then the credulous

women went

away, persuaded that

the children had been

made whole.-' On the whole, then, we seem to be justified in concluding that in many parts of the world the king is the
lineal successor

of the old magician or medicine-man.

When

once a special class of sorcerers has been segreit

gated from the community and entrusted by


discharge

with the

of duties on which the public safety and

welfare are believed to depend, these


to wealth and power,
till

men

gradually rise

their leaders

blossom out into

sacred kings.

But the great

social revolution

which
is

thus begins with democracy and ends in despotism

attended by an intellectual revolution which affects both


the conception and the functions of royalty.

For

as

time goes on, the fallacy of magic becomes more and

more apparent

to the acuter
;

minds and

is

slowly dis-

placed by religion

in other

words, the magician gives


the

way

to the priest, who, renouncing

attempt to

control directly the processes of nature for the

good

of man, seeks to attain the same end indirectly by


appealing to the gods to do for him what he no longer
fancies

he can

do

for

himself

Hence

the

king,

starting as a magician, tends gradually to exchange the practice of magic for the priestly functions of prayer
1

Nfegres du pays de
p.

Baron Roger, " Notice sur le gouvernement, les moeurs at lea superstitions des Walo," Bulletin de la Sociite de Gc'ografhie (Paris), viii. (1827)

351.

128

KINGS AS GODS
sacrifice.

lect. iv

and

And

while the distinction between the


is

human and
often

the divine

still

imperfectly drawn,

it

is

imagined that

men may

themselves

attain

to

godhead, not merely after their death, but in their


lifetime,

through the temporary or permanent posses-

sion of their whole nature


spirit.

by a great and powerful

No

class

of the community has benefited so


this belief in the possible incarnation

much

as kings

by

of a god in human form.


nation,

The

doctrine of that incar-

and with

it

the theory of the divinity of kings

in the strict sense of the

word, will form the subject of

the next lecture.

LECTURE V
Development of the magician
carnate
into a

god

as

well

as a

king

In-

human gods in Polynesia, Africa, and and Germany Worship of the Brahmans in

ancient Greece

gods in Tibet and China

and Japan

Worship

Divinity of
He
as

India

Human

the emperors of China

of the kings of Babylon and Egypt

Summary
at

of the evolution of the Kingship


again considered

King of the Wood

Nemi

seems to have been the mate

of Diana, the two being considered

Wood
trees

Trees

King and Queen of the

regarded as male and female

Marriages

of

and plants.
lectures

In the preceding
that in

we saw grounds

for thinking

some parts of the world the public magician has


which
his

often developed into a chief or king, partly through

the

terror

reputed

skill

inspires,

partly

through the wealth which he gains


his profession.
tralians

in

the exercise of

Even among

tribes such as the

Aussome

and Papuans, who are too rude to have evolved

a regular chieftainship or kingship,

we

detected

symptoms of
Indians
the

the gravitation of political

power towards
the

the magicians or medicine-men.

Among

American
was

furthest advance towards civilisation

made under

the monarchical and theocratic governments


;

of Mexico and Peru

but

we know
to

too

little

of the

early history of these

countries
129

say whether the

I30

WORSHIPFUL MAGICIANS

lect.

predecessors of their deified kings were medicine-men

or not.

However, among some of the savage Brazihan


appears
to have been treated with a respect

Indians at the time of the discovery of America, the


sorcerer

which might

in time

have raised him to the rank of a

divine king, if the course of evolution had not been

cut short by the intervention of Europeans.

Thus one
Brazil,

of the

earliest

settlers

on the coast of
that
in

the

Frenchman Thevet, reports


these fages

the

Indians " hold

(or

medicine-men)

such honour and

reverence

that,

they adore, or rather idolatrise them.


the

You may
that
I

see

common

folk

go

to

meet them,
'

prostrate themselves,

and pray to them, saying,

Grant

be not
or

ill,

that I

do not

die, neither I

nor

my
like

children,'
'

some such
die,

request.

And
ill,'

he answers,

You

shall

not

you

shall
if it

not be

and such

replies.

But sometimes
tell

happens that these

-pages

do not

the truth, and things turn out otherwise

than they predicted, the people


killing

make no
title

scruple

of

them

as

unworthy of the

and dignity of

pages.^"'^

Among
plainly
as a king.

these Indians the magician

is,

or rather was,

on the high road to become

a living

god

as well

To

the

mind of

a savage the distinction

between a powerful sorcerer and a god seems not to


be a sharp one.
magicians
sort

His gods

are often merely invisible

who behind

the veil of nature


incantations

work

the

same

of charms and

which

the

human

F.

Amerique (Antwerp, 1558),

A. Thevet, Les shgularitex de la France Aiitarctique, autrsmait nommier p. 65 [wrongly numbered 67].

SAVAGE IDEA OF GOD


among

131
his

magician works in a visible and bodily form


fellows.

And
it is

as the

gods are commonly believed to

exhibit themselves in the likeness of


shippers,

men

to their

wor-

easy for the magician, with his supposed

miraculous powers, to acquire the reputation of being

an incarnate deity.

Thus beginning

as little

more than
in one.

a simple conjurer, the medicine-man or magician tends to blossom out into a full-blown

god and king

Only

in

speaking of him as a god

we must beware we
attach to the
fruit
\

of importing into the savage conception of deity those


very abstract and complex ideas which
term.
1

Our

ideas

on

this

profound subject are the

of a long intellectual and moral evolution, and they are


so far

from being shared by the savage

that he cannot

\
:

even understand them when they are explained to him.

Much
a

of the controversy which has raged as to the

religion

of the lower races has sprung merely from]


misapprehension.

mutual

The
the

savage

does not
[

understand the thoughts of the civilised man,

and

few

civilised

men
the

understand
savage

thoughts

of the
for

savage.

When
his

uses

his

word
:

god,'
,

he has in

when the civilised man uses his word for god, he has in his mind a being of a very different sort ; and if, as commonly
mind
a being of a certain sort

happens, the two

men

are

equally

unable to places

themselves at the other's point of view, nothing but


confusion and mistakes on both sides can result from
their discussions.
,

If

we

civilised

men

insist

on limiting

the

name of God

to that particular conception of the

divine nature which

we

ourselves have formed, then

we

132

HUMAN GODS
at
all.

lect.

must confess that the savage has no god

But

we
if

shall

adhere more closely to the

facts

of history
at least to

we

allow

most of the higher savages

possess a rudimentary notion

of certain supernatural

beings

who may

fittingly

be called gods, though not in

the full sense in

which we use the word.

That

rudi-

mentary notion represents


out
of

in all probability the

germ
and

which

the

civilised

peoples

have gradually
;

evolved their
if

own

high conceptions of divinity

we could trace the whole course of religious development we might find that the chain which links our idea of the Godhead with that of the savage was one
and unbroken.

With

these explanations I shall

now
by

give

you some

instances of gods

who

are believed

their worshippers

to be incarnate in living

human

beings,

whether
is

men

or

women.

The

persons in

whom

a deity

thought to

reveal himself are

by no means always kings or descend-

ants of kings

the supposed incarnation

may

take place
therefore

even in
not draw

men of

the humblest rank.

I shall

my examples exclusively from royal personages,


what we may
call

as I wish to illustrate

the general

principle of the deification of living

men,

in other words,

the incarnation of a deity in

human form.

Thus, for example, a Catholic missionary, writing

some

sixty years ago, tells us that the natives of Futuna,

an island in the South Pacific, " are not content with


deifying the evils that
afflict

them

they place gods

everywhere, and even go so far as to suppose that the


greatest of
all

the spirits resides in the person of their

IN AFRICA
From
mode of regarding
their king,

133
this belief springs

prince as in a living sanctuary.

a strange

and of behaving
is

under

his authority.

In their eyes the sovereign


:

not

responsible for his acts

they

deem him
is
:

inspired

by the
is

divine spirit whose tabernacle he


sacred
it
:

hence his will


;

even his whims and rages are revered

and

if

pleases

him
^

to play the tyrant, his subjects submit


inflicts

from conscientious motives to the vexations he on them."

An

early Portuguese historian informs us that the

king of Sofala, in south-eastern Africa, "is a woollyhaired Kaffir, a heathen

who

adores nothing whatever,


;

and has no knowledge of God


esteems himself the god of
all his

on the contrary, he

upon and reverenced by


suffer

his

and is so looked " When they subjects."


lands,

necessity or scarcity they have recourse to the

king, firmly believing that he can give

them

all

that

they desire or have need

of,

and can obtain anything

from

his

dead predecessors, with

whom

they believe that

he holds converse.
to give

For

this reason they ask the

king

them

rain

when

it is

required, and other favour-

able weather for their harvest,

and

in

coming to ask

him

for

any of these things they bring him valuable

presents,

which the king accepts, bidding them return

to their homes, and he will be careful to grant their


petitions.

They

are such barbarians that

though they

see

how
for,

often the king does not give

them what they

ask
^

they are not undeceived, but

make him

still

Missionary Chevron, in Annales de la Propagation de


id. xiii.

la Foi,

xv. (1843), p. 37.

Compare

(1841),

p.

378.

134

HUMAN GODS
many
until the

lect.

greater offerings, and

days are spent in these

comings and goings,

weather turns to rain,

and the

Kaffirs are satisfied, believing that the

king did

not grant their request until he had been well bribed

and importuned,

as he

himself affirms, in order to


^

maintain them in their error."

Again, the same early

Portuguese historian writes that the Zimbas, or


bas,

Muzim-

another people of south-eastern Africa, " do not

adore idols or recognise any god, but instead they


venerate and honour their king,
divinity,

whom

they regard as a

and they say that he is the greatest and best in the

world.
is

And

the said king says of himself that he alone


earth, for
it

god of the

which reason
or
is

if it rains

when he

does not wish


at the

to

do

so,

too hot, he shoots arrows


^

sky for not obeying him."


least

The Maraves of
some seventy years

South Africa have, or had at


ago, " a spiritual head to

whom

they ascribe supernatural

powers, revering him as a prophet and designating him

by the name of Chissumpe.


territory,

Besides a considerable
rules,

which he owns and


even from the king.

he receives tribute
believe that this
as

from
being

all, is

They

invisible

and immortal, and they consult him

an oracle, in which case he makes himself heard.


is

He

personified
is

by

a substitute,

whose dignity

is

hereditary

and who
with

revered exactly like the supposed Chissumpe,

whom
His

he

is

naturally identical.

As he names
succession

his

own
arise.
'

successor,

disputes

as to the

do not

oracles are as unintelligible


in

and ambiguous
South-

J.
*

Dos Santos, " Eastern Ethiopia,"


vii.

G. M'Call Theal's Recordi of

Eastern Africa,
J.

(1901), pp. 190


op.
cit. p.

sq.,

199.

Dos Santos,

295.

IN AFRICA
He
^

135

as can well be imagined.

derives great profit

from
of

impostors of both sexes,


soothsaying from him."
In the

who

purchase

the

gift

Makalaka

hills,

to the west of Matabeleland,

there lives a
I

human god.

The account of him which


This man-god

shall

quote was published in a Catholic missionary

journal some quarter of a century ago.

" resides in the depth of a cave, in the midst of a


labyrinth.

Nobody has ever seen him, but he has sons and daughters, who are priests and priestesses, and dwell
in the

neighbourhood of the grotto.

It is rather

odd

that not long ago three sons of this

god were put to

death like

from the

common mortals for having stolen wheat king. Lo Bengula [the king of the Matabeles]
than other folk.

probably thought that they should practise justice even

more

strictly

...

In the middle of
is

the (oracular) cavern, they say, there

a shaft, very

deep and very black.

From

this gulf there issue

from

time to time terrible noises like the crash of thunder.

On

the edge of the abyss the worshippers tremblingly

lay flesh and wheat, fowls, cakes, and other presents to

appease the hunger of the dreadful god and secure his


favour.

After making this offering the poor suppliants

declare aloud their wishes


cation.

and the object of

their appli-

They
fur

ask to

the names of those


'

know hidden who have cast

things, future events,


a spell
273

on them, the
sq.

Zeitschrifi

Allgemeitie Erdhinde, vi. (1856), pp.

This

is

from

German

abstract of a

work which embodies the

results of a

Portuguese expedition

conducted by Major Monteiro in 183


described as bounded
possessions.

The territory of the Maraves is 1 and 1832. on the south by the Zambesi and on the east by the Portuguese Probably things have changed greatly in the seventy years which have

elapsed since the expedition.

136
issue

HUMAN GODS
of such and such an enterprise.
silence there are heard,

lect.

After some

moments of profound
crash

amid the
sounds,

of subterranean

thunder,
it
is

inarticulate

broken words, of which


sense,

hard to make out the


in

and which the medicine-men, who are hand

glove with the makers of thunder, explain to these


credulous devotees."
^

The Mashonas of South Africa have also a human god, who does not wrap himself up in such a profound
mystery
as

the one

have just described.

He

was

formerly bound to render an annual tribute to the king

of the Matabeles in the shape of four black oxen and

one dance.

missionary has seen and described the

deity discharging the latter part of his duty in front of

the royal hut.

For

three mortal hours without a break,

to the banging of a tambourine, the click of castanets,

and the drone of a monotonous song, the swarthy god


engaged in a frenzied dance, crouching on
his

hams

like

a tailor, sweating like a pig, and bounding about with

an

agility

which

testified to

the strength and elasticity Sakalavas in the north of

of his divine

legs.^

The

Madagascar revere
antani, "

a sovereign

whom they call


is

Zanahari

God on

earth."

He

treated

by them with

a veneration which resembles idolatry, and the vulgar


are simple

enough to

attribute the creation of the world

to his ancestors.

His person and property


of his body and

are sacred,

and the

different parts

his least actions

are described
^

by nouns and verbs which


lii.

are foreign to

Annahs

ds la Propagation de la Foi,

(1880), pp. 443-445.

Father Croonenberghs, "


sq.

La

mission du Zambize," Missions Catholiques, xiv.

(1882), pp. 452

IN ANCIENT GREECE

137

the ordinary language, forming a separate vocabulary

known as sacred or princely words.^ The deification of living men was not unknown in Thus the philosopher Empedocles ancient Greece.
gave himself out to be not merely a wizard but a god.
Addressing his fellow-citizens in verses which
translate,
I

will

he said

O friends, in this great city that climbs the yellow slope Of Agrigentum's citadel, who make good works your scope.
Who
offer to the stranger

a haven quiet and fair.


lofty air.

All hail!

Among you

honoured I walk with

With garlands, blooming garlands, you crown my noble brow,

A mortal man no longer,


Where'er

a deathless godhead now.

I go,

the people

crowd round and worship pay.

And thousands follow


Some crave

seeking to learn the better way.

prophetic vision, some smit with anguish sore

Would fain

hear words of comfort and suffer pain no more.

He

asserted that he could

teach his disciples


still,

how
fall

to

make

the wind to blow or be

the rain to

and

the sun to shine,

how to

banish sickness and old age, and


Poliorcetes restored

to raise the dead.^

When Demetrius
to

the Athenian democracy in

decreed

divine honours

307 b.c, the Athenians him and to his father


alive.

Antigonus, both of them being then

The two
priest

new

deities received

the
to

title

of the Saviour Gods.

Altars

were

set

up

them,

and

was

appointed to attend to their worship.

The

people went

forth to meet Demetrius, the Saviour, with


^

hymns and

V. Noel, "lie
GeographU

de Madagascar
(Paris),
l^it.

recherches sur les Sakkalava," Bulletin de la


Serie, xx. (1843), p. 56.
viii.

Sociite dc
*

Deuxiime
Philosoph.
i.

Diogenes Laertius,

59-62

Fragmenta Philosophorum GraeDte Fragments der Vorsokra-

corum^ ed. F.

G. A. MuUach,

pp. 12,

14

H.

Diels,

tiker (Berlin, 1903), pp.

214

sq.

138

HUMAN GODS
:

lect.

dances, with garlands and incense and libations

they

lined the streets and sang that he was the only true god,
for the other gods slept, or dwelt far away, or were not.

In the words of a

contemporary poet, which were


:

chanted In public and sung In private

Of all the gods

the greatest

and

the dearest

To the city are come. For Demeter and Demetrius


Together time has brought.

She comes

to

hold the Maiden^ s

awful rites.

And he joyous and fair and laughing.


As
befits

a god.

A glorious sight,
He
They

with all his friends about him.

in their midst.
like to stars,

and he

the sun.
son.

Son of Poseidon the mighty. Aphrodite's All hail!

The other gods dwell far away.

Or Or

have no

ears.

are not, or pay us no heed.


thee

But

we present
to thee

see.

No god

of wood or

stone,

but godhead true.

Therefore

we pray^ that there was some-

The

ancient

Germans believed

women, and accordingly they consulted Their sacred women, we are told, them as oracles. looked on the eddying rivers and listened to the murthing holy in

mur
the

or the roar of the water, and from the sight and


pass.

sound foretold what should come to


veneration

But often
and they

of the

men went
and

further,

worshipped

women

as true

living goddesses.

For

example, in the reign of Vespasian a certain Veleda, of the


'

Plutarch, Demetrius, 10-13

Athenaeus,

vi. pp.

253

sq.

IN THE EAST
was commonly held to be a

139
deity,

tribe of the Bructeri,

and

in that character she reigned over her people, her

sway being acknowledged

far

and wide.

She lived in a

tower on the river Lippe, a tributary of the Rhine.

When

the people of Cologne sent to

make

a treaty

with her, the ambassadors were not admitted to her


presence
minister,
:

the negotiations were conducted through a

who

acted as the mouthpiece of her divinity


utterances.^

and reported her oracular


shows how
easily

This example
forefathers the

among our own rude


and royalty coalesced.

ideas of divinity

At
sect

the present day the head of the great Persian


at

of the Babites, Abbas EfFendi by name, resides


in Syria,

Acre

and

is

held by Frenchmen, Russians, and


ladies, to

Americans, especially by rich American


incarnation of

be an
I.

God
is

himself.

The

late

Professor S.

Curtiss of Chicago had the honour of dining with " the

Master," as he

invariably called

by

his disciples,

and

the deity expressed a kindly hope that he might have

the pleasure of drinking tea with the professor in the

kingdom of

heaven.^
in the

But perhaps no country

world

is

so prolific of

human gods as India. as the Laws of Manu


fire,

The
lays
is it

ancient Indian code

known

down

that a

Brahman, " be

he ignorant or learned,

a great divinity, just as the

whether carried forth (for the performance of a


is

burnt oblation) or not carried forth,

a great divinity."

Further
1

it is

said in the
;

same code that though Brahmans


Compare K. Mullenhoff,

Tacitus, Germania, 8
v.

id.,

Histor. iv. 6i, 65, v. 22.


sqq.

Deutsche Altertumskunde,
2

208

S. I. Curtiss, Primiti-ve Semitic Religion to-day (Chicago, 1902), p. 102.

I40
'
'

HUMAN GODS
in all sorts
;

lect.

employ themselves

of mean occupations,
for each of

they must be honoured in every way


is

them

a very great deity."

And

in

another ancient

Hindoo
and the
lore are

treatise

we
for,

read that " verily, there are two kinds of


indeed, the gods are the gods
;

gods

Brahmans who have studied and teach sacred


the
into

human
and

gods.
:

The

sacrifice

of these

is

divided

two kinds
;

oblations constitute the sacrifice to the

gods

gifts to the priests that to the

human

gods,

the Brahmans

who have

studied and teach sacred lore."*

As
the

to the mantras, or sacred texts

by means of which
is

Brahmans exert

their miraculous powers, there

a saying everywhere

current
;

in

India,

"

The whole
therefore

universe

is

subject to the gods


;

the gods are subject to

the Mantras

the Mantras

to the
^

Brahmans

the Brahmans are our gods."

At Chinchvad,
Poona

a small

town about ten miles from


of

in western India, there lives a family


is

whom

one in each generation

believed by a large proportion

of the Mahrattas to be an incarnation of the elephant-

headed god Gunputty.

That celebrated deity was

first

made flesh about the year 1640 in the person of a Brahman of Poona, by name Mooraba Gosseyn, who
sought to work out his salvation by abstinence, mortification,

and prayer.

His
to

piety

had

its

reward.

The

god himself appeared

him

in a vision of the night


is,

and promised that a portion of his, that


^

of Gunputty 's,

2
id.

The Laws of Manu, ix. 317, 319, pp. 398, 399, translated by G. Buhler. Satapatha-Brahmlina, translated by J. Eggeling, Part i. pp. 309 sq. ; compare Part ii. p. 341.

Monier Williams,

Religious Life

and Thought

in India, pp.

201

sq.

V
holy
after
spirit

IN INDIA
him even
to the seventh generation.

141

should abide with him and with his seed

The

divine

promise was

fulfilled.

Seven successive incarnations,

transmitted from father to son, manifested the light of

Gunputty
year 18 10.

to a dark world.

The

last

of the direct line,


eyes, died in the

a heavy-looking god with very

weak

But the cause of truth was too

sacred,

and

the value of the church property too considerable, to

allow
the

the

Brahmans to contemplate with equanimity


Accordingly they

unspeakable loss that would be sustained by a

world which knew not Gunputty.


sought and found a holy vessel in
spirit

whom
itself

the divine

of the

Master had revealed

anew,

and
unthis.

the revelation has been happily continued in an

broken succession of

vessels

from

that time to

But a mysterious law of


operation

spiritual

economy, whose

in the history of religion


alter,

we may

deplore

though we cannot

has decreed that the miracles


later days cannot
his pre-

performed by the god-man in these

compare with those which were wrought by


decessors in

days gone by

and

it

is

even reported
is

that the only sign

now vouchsafed by him

the miracle

of feeding the multitude,


to dinner at Chinchvad.-^
that I have
later
1

whom he annually entertains To be exact, I should say


as to this particular deity

no information

than the account of him in the eighteenth volume


vii.

Researches,

Moor, "Account of an hereditary living deity," Asiatic 381-395 (8vo edition) ; Viscount Valentia, Voyages and Travels, ii. 151-159; Ca. Q.o\tm3.-a, Mythology of the Hindus (London, 1832), pp. 106-111 ; Gazetteer of the Bombay Presidency, xviii. Part iii. (Bombay, 1885), pp. 125 sq. I
Captain Edward

have to thank Mr.


these works.

W.

Crooke

for calling

my

attention to the second and fourth of

142
of the
ago.

HUMAN GODS
Bombay
But
I

lect.

some twenty years think we may assume that the same


Gazetteer, published

providential

reasons

which prolonged the revelation

down
it

to the publication of the Gazetteer have continued

to the present day.

We

are

all

familiar with the great incarnate

god of

Lhassa, the Dalai Lama,

who

has lately fallen from his

high estate before the carnal weapons of his Majesty's


troops.

In the year 1661 or 1662 Fathers Grueber

and

d'Orville,

on

their return

from Peking to Europe,


and
as a

spent

two months

at Lhassa, waiting for a caravan,

they report that the Grand

Lama was worshipped


title

true and living god, that he received the

of the

Eternal and Heavenly Father, and that he was believed


to have risen

from the dead not once but seven

times.

He

lived

withdrawn from the business of

this passing

world in the recesses of

his palace, where, seated aloft

on a cushion and precious carpets, he received the homage


of his adorers in a chamber screened from the garish eye

of day, but glittering with gold and

silver,

and

lit

up
as a

by the blaze of a multitude of

torches.^

But he

is

by no means the only man who poses

god

in these regions.

register
is

of

all

the incarnate

gods in the Chinese

Empire

kept in the Li fan yuan

or Colonial Office at Peking.

The number of gods


is

who have
sixty.

thus taken out a license


in thirty

one hundred and

Tibet rejoices

of them, and northern

Mongolia in nineteen, while southern


^

Mongolia
"Voyage

is

Thevenot, Relations de diven


des

voyages^ iv. Partie

(Paris, 1672),

h la

Chine

PP.

I.

Grueber

et d'Orville," pp. i sq., 22.

V
blessed with

IN TIBET AND CHINA


no
less

143

than fifty-seven.

The Chinese
register to be

Government, with a paternal


of
its subjects,

solicitude for the welfare

forbids the gods

on the

reborn anywhere but in Tibet.


birth of a

They

fear lest

the

god

in

Mongolia should have

serious political

consequences by stirring the dormant patriotism and


warlike spirit of the Mongols,

who might

rally

round

an ambitious native deity of royal lineage, and might


seek to win for him, at the point

of the sword, a

temporal as well as a spiritual kingdom.

But besides

these public or licensed gods, there are a great


little

many

private gods, or unlicensed practitioners of divinity,

who work
corners
;

miracles and bless their people in holes and


late years the

and of

Chinese Government has


deities out-

winked
side

at the rebirth

of these pettifogging

of Tibet.

However, once they are born the


its

Government keeps

eye on themi as well as on the


if

regular practitioners, and


is

any of them misbehaves, he

promptly degraded, banished to a distant monastery,


strictly

and

forbidden ever to be born again in the

flesh.^

At
sect

the head of Taoism, the most


is

numerous

religious

of China,

a pope
is

who

goes by the name of the

Heavenly Master, and

believed to be an incarnation

and representative on earth of the god of heaven. His When official tide is Chin-yen, or " the True Man."
one of these pontiffs or incarnate
life,
1

deities departs this

his soul passes into a

male member of

his family,

E. Pander (Professor at the University of Peking), "

Zeitschrift Jilr

Ethmhgie,

xxi.

(1889),

p.

76;

id.

Das lamaische Pantheon," " Geschichte des Lamaismus,"

Verhandhngen der Berliner GeselUchaft fiir Anthrofohgie, Ethmlogie und Urgeschichte,


1889,
p.

(202).

144

THE TAOIST POPE


members of the

lect.

the ancient house of Chang.


successor, all the male

In order to determine his


clan assemble at

the palace, their names are engraved on tablets of lead,

the tablets are thrown into a vessel full of water, and


the one which bears the
floats

on the

surface.

name of the new incarnation The reputation and power of the

pope are very


palace

great.

He

lives in princely style at his

on the Dragon and Tiger mountains

in the pro-

vince of Kiang-si, about twenty-five miles to the south-

west of Kuei-ki.

The

road,

which

is

provided at

regular intervals with stone halls for the repose of weary


pilgrims, leads gradually

upward through a bleak and


and
thinly

barren

district,

treeless

peopled,

to

the

summit of
by a
the

pass,

from which a

beautiful

prospect

suddenly opens up of a wide and


little

fertile valley

watered
all

stream.

The

scene charms the traveller

more by

contrast with the desert country which he

has just traversed.

This

is

the beginning of the pope's


fi-ee

patrimony, which he holds from the emperor


taxes.
It is

of

The palace stands in the middle of a small town. new and of no special interest, having been rebuilt
Taiping rebellion.

after the

For

in their

march north-

ward the
fury.

rebels devastated the papal

domains with great


lie

About

a mile to the east of the palace

the

ruins of stately temples, which also perished in the great


rising

and have only

in part
is

been

rebuilt.
It is

However,
dedicated

the principal temple

well preserved.

to the

god of heaven, and contains a

colossal

image of

that deity.

The

papal residence naturally swarms with

monks and

priests

of

all

ranks.

But the courts and

V
gardens of
the

THE TJOIST POPE


monasteries,
littered

145
with heaps of

broken
present

bricks
a

and

stones

and

mouldering
of decay.

wood,
the

melancholy spectacle

And

ruinous state of the religious capital reflects the decline

of the papacy.

The number of pilgrims

has fallen

off,

and with them the revenues of the holy

see.

Formerly

the pope ranked with viceroys and the highest dignitaries

of the empire

now he

is

reduced to the level of a man-

darin of the third class, and wears a blue button instead of


a red.

Formerly he repaired every year to the imperial

court at Peking or elsewhere in order to procure peace and


prosperity for the whole

kingdom by means of
to pay
his

his cere-

monies

and on

his

journey the gods and

spirits

were

bound

to

come from every quarter


"

him homage,
palanquin a
trouble
to

unless he considerately

hung out on

board with the notice,


salute."

You
it

need not

The
if

people, too,

gathered up the dust or

mud

from under

his feet to preserve

as a priceless talisman.
all, it
;

Nowadays,

he goes to court at

seems to be not
his services are

oftener than once in three years

and

seldom wanted except to ban the demons of plague.

But he

still

exercises the right

of elevating deceased

mandarins to the rank of local

deities,

and

as

he gets a

fee for every deification, the ranks of the

celestial hier-

archy naturally receive


a considerable revenue

many

recruits.

He

also

draws
sale

from the manufacture and

of

red and

green papers inscribed with cabalistic characters,


infallible

which are

safeguards against demons, disease,

and calamities of every kind.^


^

Mgr. Danicourt, "Eapport

sur I'origine, les progrJs et la decadence de la secte

146

THE CHINESE EMPEROR


in

lect.

However,
is

China the greatest of

all

human gods

the emperor.

As

to the position which he occupies


I will

in the

minds of the people,


J. J.

quote the words of

Professor

M.

de Groot, of Leyden, the most

eminent living authority, I believe, on Chinese religion. He says " To no son of China would it ever occur to
:

question the supreme power wielded by the emperor

and

his proxies, the

mandarins, not only over mankind,

but also over the gods.

For the gods or

shen are souls

of intrinsically the same nature as those existing in

human beings why then, simply because they have no human bodies, should they be placed above the emperor, who is no less than a son of Heaven, that is to say, a magnitude second to none but Heaven or the Power above whom there is none who governs the universe
;

and

all

that

moves and

exists therein

Such absurdity

could not possibly be entertained by Chinese reason.

So

it is

first article

of China's
is

political creed that the

emperor, as well as Heaven,

lord and master of

all

the gods, and delegates this dignity to his mandarins,

each in his jurisdiction.

With them then

rests the

decision which of the gods are entitled to receive the people's worship,

and which are not.


deifies

It is the imperial

government which
and
also

disembodied souls of men,


their

divests
if

them of

divine rank.
will or

Their
its

worship,

established

against

its

without

consent, can be exterminated at

its

pleasure, without
;

des Tao-sse, en Chine/' Annalei de la Propagation de la Fot, xxx. (1858), pp. 15-20
J.

H. Gray, China (London, 1878),

i.

103

s^.

Dr. Merz, " Bericht

tiber seine erste

Reise von
xxiii.

Amoy

nach Kui-lciang," Zeinchrift der Geselhchafi fur Erdkund: zu

Berlin,

(1888}, pp. 413-416.

THE MIKADO
;

147

revenge having to be feared from the side of the god


for any such radical measure for the
as

power of even the


whose
the

mightiest and strongest

god

is

naught compared with


will

that of the august Celestial Being with

and

under whose protection the Son [that


reigns

is,

Emperor]

supreme over everything existing below the


forfeits
this

empyrean, unless he

omnipotent support
^

through neglect of

his imperial duties."


is

As

the emperor of China

believed to be a Son of
is

Heaven, so the emperor of Japan, the Mikado,


deity

sup-

posed to be an incarnation of the sun goddess, the

who

rules the universe,

gods and men included.

Once a year aU the gods wait upon him and spend a month at his court. During that month, the name of
which means " without gods," no one frequents the
temples, for they are believed to be deserted.^

The
I. till

early Babylonian kings,

from the time of Sargon


or later, claimed to be
the fourth

the fourth dynasty of


their lifetime.

Ur

gods in

The monarchs of
had temples

dynasty of

Ur

in particular

built in their

honour

they set up their statues in various sanctuaries


sacrifice to

and commanded the people to


eighth

them

the

month was
fifteenth

especially

dedicated to the kings,


at the

and

sacrifices

were offered to them

new moon

and on the
'

day of each month.


i.

J. J.

M.

de Groot, Sectarianism and Religious Persecution in China,


sq.

(Amsterdam,

1903), pp. 17
2

visitors

Manners and Customs of the Japanese in the Nineteenth Century : from recent Dutch to Japan and tfie Gerinan of Dr. Ph. Fr. 'von Siebold (London, 1S41), pp.

141 sqq.
'

317.

H. Radau, Early Babylonian History (New York and London, 1900), pp. 307Compare C. Brockelmann, "Wesen und Ursprung des Eponymats in

148

KINGS OF EGTPT
ancient kings of

lect.

The
as
Sir

Egypt

also
this

were worshipped
subject the late

gods in their
Peter
le

lifetime.

On
:

Page Renouf says

"

It

has never been


;

doubted that the king claimed actual divinity


the
'

he was

great god,' the

'

golden Horus,' and son of

Ra

[the

sun-god]. but over


its
'

He
all

claimed authority not only over Egypt,


'

lands and nations,'


its

the whole world in

length and

breadth, the east


circuit

and the

west,'
'

'

the

entire

compass of the great


is

of the sun,'
all

the sky
it,'

and what
'

in

it,

the earth and

that

is

upon

every creature that walks upon two or upon


that fly or flutter, the

four legs,

all

whole world
in fact

offers her pro-

ductions to him.'

Whatever
His

might be asserted

of the sun -god was dogmatically predicable of the

king of Egypt.
those

titles
^

were directly derived from

of the sun-god."

To

quote
a

now
special

a recent
treatise

French writer who has


to

devoted

the

investigation

of

the sacred character of the

Egyptian kings.
says

" In the course of his existence,"

M. Moret,

" the king of

Egypt exhausted

all

the

possible conceptions of divinity which the Egyptians

had framed for themselves.


his birth

superhuman god by
he became the deified

and by

his royal office,

man

after his death.

Thus
in

all thai:

was known of the


"

divine

was summed up

him."

The

divinity of

Assyrien," Zeiuchrift fUr Assyriologie, xvi. (1902), p. 394; H. Zimmern, in E. Schrader's Die Keilinschrijien und das Alte Testament^ (Berlin, 1903), pp. 379,

639
^

iq.

P.

le

P. Renouf, "

The

priestly character of the earliest


xii.

Egyptian civilisation,"
355.

Procesdings of the Society of Biblical Archteology,

(1890),

p.

A. Moret, Du caractire 278 sj.; compare p. 313.


^

religieux de la

Royaute' Pharaimujue (Paris, 1902), pp.

KINGS OF EGTPT
all

149

the king was recognised in public


life

the circumstances of the


It
;

of the sovereign.

was not enough to

worship Pharaoh in the temple


the sanctuary he remained the
'

beyond the
*

limits

of
all

good god to

whom

men owed
by
his

a perpetual adoration.

The
;

very name of
people swore

the sovereign was sacred like his person

name

as

by that of the gods, and he who took


^

the oath in vain was punished."

In particular, the

king of Egypt was identified with the great sun-god " Son of the sun, decked with the solar crowns, Ra.

armed with the

solar weapons,

gods and

men adored
human
'

him

as Ra, in

defended him as

Ra from

the attacks which

menaced
existence,

him the
and

divine being who, in his

knew
'

the glory and the dangers of being


'

an

incarnate sun
father

the living image on earth of his


^

Turn of

Heliopolis.' "

Even
life

the

life

of the

gods depended on the divine

of the king.
his

Gods
^

and men,
"

it

was said, "

live

by the words of

mouth."

gods," said the

king before celebrating divine

worship, "
are safe if

you

are safe if I

am
*

safe.

Your doubles
all

my

double

is

safe at the

head of

living

doubles.

All live

if I live."

We

have

now completed our


attained
in
its

sketch, for

it

is

no

more than
absolute

a sketch, of the evolution

of that sacred
its

kingship which

highest

form,

most

expression,

the monarchies

of Peru and

Egypt, of China and Japan.


^

Historically, the institu" *

A. Moret,

op. cit. p. op. cit. p.

306.

A. Moret,
A. Moret,

op. cit. p.
of. cit. p.

310. 233.

'

A. Moret,

299.

I50

EVOLXfllON OF KINGSHIP
logically,
it

lect.

tion appears to have originated in the order of public

magicians or medicine-men

rests

on

mistaken deduction from the association of ideas.

Men

mistook the order of

their ideas for the order

of nature,

and hence imagined that the control which they have,


or seem to have, over their thoughts, permitted
to exercise a corresponding control over things.

them

The

men who

for one reason or another,

on the ground of
in the

the strength or the weakness of their natural parts,

were supposed to possess these magical powers


highest degree, were gradually
fellows

marked
class,

off

from

their

and became a separate

who were

destined
political,

to exercise a
religious,

most far-reaching influence on the


intellectual evolution

and

of mankind.

Social

progress, as

we know,

consists mainly in a successive


or,

differentiation

of functions,

in

simpler
in

language,
primitive
ill,

a division of labour.
society
is

The work which


alike

done by
is

all

and by

all

equally

or

nearly
classes

so,

gradually

distributed

among

different

of workers and executed more and more per;

fectly

and so

far

as the products,

material or im-

material, of this specialised labour are shared

by

all,

the

whole community benefits by the increasing


tion.

specialisa-

Now

magicians or medicine-men appear to con-

stitute the oldest artificial or professional class in the

evolution of society.^

For

sorcerers are

found

in every

1 In regard to the natives of the western islands of Torres Straits it has been remarked by Dr. A. C. Haddon that the magicians or sorcerers " constituted the

only professional class

among
to

these democratic islanders

''

[Reports of the Cambridge

Anthropological Expedition
applied to

Torres Straits, v. 321).

The same

observation could be

many

other savage tribes.

EVOLUTION OF KINGSHIP
known
to

151

savage tribe

us

and among the lowest

savages, such as the Australian aborigines, they are the

only

artificial

class that exists.

As time

goes on, and

the process of differentiation continues, the order of

medicine-men

is

itself

subdivided into such classes as

the healers of disease, the

makers of

rain,

and so forth

while the most powerful

member of

the order wins for

himself a position as chief and gradually develops into


a sacred king, his old magical functions falling

more

and more into the background and being exchanged for


priestly or

even divine duties, in proportion as magic

is is

slowly ousted

by

religion.

Still

later,

a partition

effected between the civil

and the

religious aspect of the

kingship, the temporal

power being committed to one


to

man and
magicians,

the

spiritual

another.

Meanwhile the
addict themselves

who may be

repressed but are never extirpated


religion,
still

by the predominance of
of

to their old occult arts in preference to the newer ritual


sacrifice

and prayer

and in time the more sagacious

of their number perceive the fallacy of magic and hit

upon a more

effectual

of nature for the

mode of manipulating the forces benefit of man in short, they abandon


;

sorcery for science.

am

far

from affirming that the

course of development has everywhere rigidly followed


these lines
societies
: :

it

has doubtless varied greatly in different

merely mean to indicate in the broadest


I

outline what

conceive to have been

its

general trend.

Regarded from the

industrial point of view, the evolution


:

has been from uniformity to diversity of function

regarded from the

political point

of view,

it

has been

152

THE KING OF THE WOOD


With

lect.

from democracy to despotism.

the later history

of monarchy, especially with the decay of despotism and


its

displacement by forms of government better adapted

to the higher needs of humanity,


in these lectures
:

we

are not concerned

our subject

is

the growth, not the

decline, of a great and, in its time, beneficent institution.

But

if we

have thus traced in outline the early history


still

of the kingship, we have

to

fill

in the details.

To
task

do so

fully

would

far

exceed not only the time at our


abilities.

disposal but
will

my

knowledge and

The

need the co-operation of many workers.


still

The

materials for the history have

in large

measure to

be collected,

sifted,

and arranged.

In what remains of

these lectures I shall

confine myself to putting before

you some

special aspects

of the kingship, particularly of

the kingship in classical antiquity.

You

will

remember

that

we began our

inquiry by

considering an

individual

instance of a sacred king,

namely, the priest of Diana,

known

as the

King of the

Wood,

at

Nemi.

I said

that apart

from the greater

definiteness and precision attained by starting from

concrete facts rather than from general ideas, the priest-

hood of Nemi
raises

offers

some

special advantages, because

it

certain

questions of great interest,


I

which

will

repay investigation.

propose therefore to reconduct


starting

you to Nemi for a few minutes before


another, though
observation.

on

much more narrowly


classical

limited, tour of

review of the

evidence alone, without any

IN RELATION TO DIANA
method
in

153
the wider

application of the comparative


sense, led us to

conclude that the priest of Diana at


in

Nemi

represented

the flesh
Virbius,

a certain

mysterious
to have

mythical being

named

been the

first

King of the

who was said Wood, and to have

been to

Diana what Attis was to Cybele or Adonis to Venus.

From

this it

seems necessarily to follow that the

priest

himself, as the representative of Virbius, stood in the

very same relation to the goddess, and as the relation

was that of a mortal lover to an immortal goddess,

we conclude

that the priest

was regarded

as the

mate

or consort of Diana.

Now

our survey of divine kings and other human

incarnations of deities has probably prepared

you to
well

admit that the King of the

Wood

at

Nemi may
as
;

have been something more than a mere

priest, that

he

may have been supposed

to

embody,

well as to
short, that

represent, the mythical being Virbius

in

may have posed as a god his predecessors may have


he
position

as well as a king,

and that
exalted

attained

to

that

by the

exercise of those magical functions which

have so often paved the way to kingship and godhead.


If that were so, he

would be no unsuitable mate


at

for a

goddess. the

Now

Diana

Nemi was

called the

Lady of
title

Woods

{Nemorensis), while her priest bore the

of Lord or King of the

Wood

(Rex Nemorensis).

When we
we seem

take this into consideration along with the

story of Virbius and his representation by the priest,


justified in inferring that the priest
in

and the
a

goddess passed

popular estimation for

loving

154

PERSONIFICATION OF TREES

lect.

couple, the

King and Queen, or Lord and Lady of the


would remind you that the
title

Woods.

At

this point I

priest

of

Nemi
the

not only bore a

which connected him with


grove

woods

in general or at least with the sacred

in particular,

but that, further, he stood in a peculiar

relation to

one individual tree in the grove, since he


office

might only be attacked by a candidate for


had broken a bough from that
with his sylvan
title

who

tree.

Taken

together

and his intimate association with the


this circumstance

goddess of the grove,

may

perhaps,

without undue straining, be interpreted to mean that


his life

was

in a
it

manner bound up with that of the


another form, that he was a

tree,

or to put

in

human

representative or incarnation of a tree-spirit.

And

in

regard to his divine partner, Diana, so far as she was a

goddess of the woods,


lineal

it

is

probable that she was the


;

descendant of a tree-nymph

for primitive

man
or a

ascribes

an individual

spirit,

whether a

nymph

faun, to each single tree long before he arrives at the

general conception of a

god or goddess of the woods.


inflict

Now

am

not going to

upon you a
is

tedious
side or

dissertation

on tree-worship, but there


I

one

aspect of tree-worship to which


attention, if

must

direct

your

we

are fully to understand the


at

King and

Queen of
is

the

Wood

Nemi.

That
Such a

side or aspect

the personification of the spirits of trees and plants as


personification,

male and female respectively.


as

you

are

no doubt aware,

is

not purely fanciful, for

plants as well as animals have their sexes.

How

far the

V
real

AS
distinction

MALE AND FEMALE


I

155

of male and female plants has been

observed by savages

am

not prepared to say.


it,

It

is

asserted that the Maoris have observed

and that they

have separate names for the different sexes of some


trees.^

ancients

However that may be, it had made the discovery

is
:

certain

that the says

Pliny

that

naturalists distinguished the sexes of all trees

and

plants.

And

they turned the discovery to practical account in

the cultivation of the date-palm by fertilising the tree


artificially.^

Among

the Sabasans of

Harran the month


fertilised

during which the palms were thus

bore the

name of
brated

the Date

Month, and
of you

at this time they celeall

the

marriage festival of

the

gods

and

goddesses.^
British

Many Museum the

may
is

have noticed in the

great sculptured slabs


figure

from Assyria

on which a winged
a pine-cone.

represented standing in

front of a tree and holding in his

hand what looks

like

The

scene has been ingeniously explained


as the artificial fertilisation

by Professor E. B. Tylor
of the palm.*
Different,

however,

from such true and

fruitful

marriages of trees are the false and barren marriages

which have played a part in the popular superstitions of


various lands.

These

latter are certainly to be attri-

Elsdon Best,

*'

Maori Nomenclature," yournal of

the ^Anthropological Institute-,

xxxii. {1902), p. 197.


^

Herodotus,
xiii.

i.

193

Theophrastus, Historia Plantarum,

ii.

8.

Pliny, Nat.

Hist.
^

31, 34

sq.
ii.

D. Chwolsohn, Die Ssabier und der Ssabismus,

26, 251.
xii.

* E.

B. Tylor, in Proceedings of the Society of Biblical Archaology,

(1890), pp.

383-393. On the artiAcial fertilisation of the date-palm, see C. Ritter, Vergleichende Erkunde von Arabien., ii. 8ii, 827 sq.

156

MARRIAGE OF PLANTS
merely to that primitive

lect.

buted not to a perception of the truth that plants have


in fact their sexes, but

mode of
to every

thought which leads ignorant people everywhere to


extend by analogy the relations of

human
purely

life

department

of

nature.

These

superstitious

marriages of plants are


if

common
of the

in India.

For example,
he has formally

Hindoo

has planted a grove of mangos, neither he

nor his wife

may

taste

fruit until

married one of the


a diiFerent sort,

trees, as a

bridegroom, to a tree ot

commonly

to a tamarind-tree, which If there


is

grows near
act
as

it

in the grove.

no tamarind to

a bride, a jasmine will serve the turn.

The

expenses of such a marriage are often considerable, for


the

more Brahmans
to
all

are feasted at

it

the greater the

glory of the owner of the grove.

A family has
trinkets,

been

known
borrow

sell

its

golden and

silver

and to

the

money they

could, in order to

marry

mango-tree to a jasmine with due

pomp and

ceremony.^
rites

Another plant which


is

figures as a bride in
Basil

Hindoo

the tulasi or

Holy

small shrub, not too big to be


pot,

(Ocymum grown
;

Sanctum).

It is a

in a large floweris

and

is

often placed in rooms

indeed, there

hardly

a respectable

Hindoo family

that does not possess one.


is

In spite of

its

humble appearance, the shrub


worshipped daily as a

pervaded
his wife

by the essence of the great god Vishnu and


Lakshmi, and
plant
is

is itself

deity.

The

especially a

woman's

divinity, being regarded as

an embodiment of Vishnu's wife Lakshmi, or of Rama's


'

sir
i.

W. H.
38
sq.

Sleeman, Rambles and Reccllectims of an Indian

Official

(Westminster,

1893),

V
wife
Sita,
it

MARRIAGE OF PLANTS
or

157

of Krishna's wife
it

Rukmini.

Women

worship
flowers

by walking round
rice to
it.

and praying or offering


this sacred plant, as the

and

Now
is

embodiment of

a goddess,

annually married to the


family.

god Krishna
takes place in

in every

Hindoo

The ceremony

November.

In Western India they often

bring an idol of the youthful Krishna in a gorgeous


palanquin, followed by a long train of attendants, to
the house of a rich

man

to be married to the basil

and

the

festivities are celebrated

with great pomp.-'

Again,

as the wife of Vishnu, the holy basil is married to the

Salagrama, a black
horn, which
is

fossil

ammonite resembling

a ram's

regarded as an embodiment of Vishnu.

In North-Western India this marriage of the plant to the


fossil

has to be performed before

it is

lawful to taste of

the fruit of a

new

orchard.

man

holding the

fossil

personates

the

bridegroom, and another holding the


the bride.

basil represents
fire,

After burning a

sacrificial

the officiating

Brahman puts

the usual questions to

the couple about to be united.

Bride and bridegroom


in the

walk

six

times round a small spot marked out

centre of the orchard.^

Further, no well

is

considered

lucky until the holy


^

fossil

has been solemnly

wedded

to

J.
ii.

A. Dubois, Mxurs,
sq.
;

Institutions et Ceremonies des peuples de I'Inde (Paris, 1825),

448
sq.

Monier Williams,

Religious Life
Folk-lore

W.

Croolce, Popular Religion

and

and Thought in India^ pp. 333-335 ; of Northern India (Westminster, 1896), ii.
and Distribution of
the

no

2 Sir

Henry M.

Elliot,

Memoirs on

the History, Folk-lore,

Races of the North-Western Provinces of India, edited by J. Beames (London, 1869), i. 233 sq. As to the Salagrama, see G. Watt, Dictionary of the Economic Products oj
Calcutta, 1893), p. 384; G. Oppert, "Note sur les ii, (London and SSlagramas," Comptes Rendus de VAcadimie des Inscriptions et Belles Lettres (Paris,
India, vi. Part

1900), pp. 472-485.

158
the holy
well
is

MARRIAGE OF PLANTS
basil,

lect.

which stands for the garden that the

intended to water.

The

relations assemble

the
a

owner of the garden represents the bridegroom, while


kinsman of
and
his wife personates

the bride.
is

Gifts are

given to the Brahmans,


after that

a feast

held in the garden,

both the garden and the well


In these customs
I

may

be used

without danger.^

would ask you

to note particularly the personation of the plant by a

human

being.

The

principle of that personation has


if I

been widely applied, and,


explain the priesthood of

am

right, goes far to

Nemi.
fossil to

The same
plant
is

marriage of the sacred

the sacred
at

celebrated annually

by the Rajah of Orchha

Ludhaura.

former Rajah used to spend a

sum

equal

to about thirty thousand pounds, being one-fourth of


his revenue,

on the ceremony.

On

one occasion over a

hundred thousand people are said to have been present


at the rite,

and to have been feasted

at the

expense of

the Rajah.

The

procession consisted of eight elephants,


all

twelve hundred camels, and four thousand horses,

mounted and elegantly caparisoned.


to pay his^bridal visit to the

The most sumptufossil

ously decorated of the elephants carried the


little

god

shrub goddess.

On
pair

such an occasion

all

the rites of a regular marriage are the

performed,

and

afterwards

newly-wedded
till

are left to repose together in the temple


year.^

the next

Here

in

Europe the marriage of the powers of


^ W. Crooke, op. cit. W. H. Sleeman, of. cit.
i.

49.

'^

Sir

i.

147-149, 175.

KING AND QUEEN OF


still

MAT

159
;

vegetation
for the

survives in the ceremonies of

May Day

King and Queen of

May

undoubtedly personify

the reawakening energies of trees and flowers, of

woods
cere-

and meadows.

But the consideration of these


lecture.

monies must be reserved for the next

LECTURE VI Marriage of the powers of vegetation May King and Queen Germany and England Marriage of the gods ancient Babylon, Egypt, and Greece Similar ancient Sweden and Gaul Marriage of water-gods human of Perseus and Andromeda type The Slaying of Dragon Furth Romain and the Dragon of Rouen.
in

in

rites in

to

brides

Stories

the

the

at

St.

In the

last lecture

may

call

the

we concluded our survey of what we King's Progress, I mean the process by

which the divine king has been gradually evolved out


of the old magician or medicine-man.
notion which

The

general

we have

thus gained of the evolution of


applied to the particular
started in the

the sacred kingship

may now be
title

instance of that institution


first

from which we

lecture.

The

of the King of the Wood,


his relation

bestowed on the priest of Nemi, along with

to the woodland goddess Diana, suggest that the two

together personified the powers of vegetation in general

and of the woods

in particular,

and that

their

union may,

on the

principles

of homoeopathic magic, have been

regarded as a means to ensure the reproduction of that


plant
life

on which,

in

the last resort, both

men and

animals depend for their subsistence.

Customs of the
form
in the rites

same

sort survive in an attenuated


still

which are

observed in some parts of Europe at


w5o

LECT. VI

MARRIAGE OF PLANTS
May
In
all

i6i

the popular festivals of

Day, Whitsuntide, and

Midsummer.
rite

these customs the essence of the

appears to be a mimic marriage of the powers of

vegetation,
their

who

after their long winter sleep manifest

renewed

activity in the bursting green

of the trees

and the varied hues of the opening


should
fail

flowers.

And we
if

to understand the
it

meaning of the pageant

we regarded
early

merely as a dramatic representation of

the great change that takes place on earth in spring and

summer.

Our study of sympathetic magic, and


us to
at the
its

especially of its imitative branch, has prepared

believe that in

origin,

though certainly not

present

time,

the

mimic marriage of the powers of


by
trees

vegetation, whether represented

or leaf-clad

mummers, was
words, that
leaves
fruits
I

a magical ceremony, a
it

charm designed
;

to bring about the result which


it

simulated

in other

was intended to quicken the growth of


flowers,

and blossoms, of grass and


of the earth in general.

and of the

shall

not detain you with a long description of

these ceremonies, but shall merely give


a

you

as samples

few instances which have come to

my

knowledge

within the last few years.


features of the rites which

But there
it is

are

some general

important to apprehend
if

because they bear directly on the worship of Nemi,

my

view of that worship

is

correct.

First, then, the

human
to these

representatives of vegetation are often treated


as

and spoken of

kings and queens


is

second, the claim

mock

kingships

often determined by a contest


;

of physical strength or

agility

and

thirdly, the real or

62

MAT-TREES IN GERMANY

lect.

pretended union of the

human King and Queen of May


originally an essential part

would seem to have been


the
rite,

of

being

regarded as a sympathetic charm to

promote, on the principle of imitation or homoeopathy,


the fertility of the woods, the meadows, and the
fields.

Thus

the license

which

is

known

to have attended these


excess, but

customs

in the past

was not an accidental

on

the contrary was probably regarded as an indispensable


feature of the ceremonies, if they were really to produce

the intended result.

With

these explanations

you

will

be able to under-

stand the very serious meaning which these apparently

gay frivolous

festivals

had for our forefathers

life

must
For

have been thought to depend on their performance, and


death, universal death, to follow their omission.

how

could
}

men and
now

beasts live if there should be spring

no more

To

take

a few examples of these customs.

A
says

German
that

writer thus describes the

May and

Whitsuntide

festivals, as

they used to be held in Saxony.

He
into

"people were
symbolically

not content with


(as

bringing

the the

summer
village
;

king or queen)
itself

they brought the fresh green


into the houses
:

from the
or Whit-

woods even

that

is

the

May

suntide trees, which are mentioned in documents from

the thirteenth century onwards. the May-tree was a festival. the woods to seek the

The

fetching in of

The
and

people went out into

May

{majum quaerere), brought


birches, to the village,

young
and
set

trees, especially firs

them up before the doors of the houses or of

VI

MAT-TREES IN GERMANY
Young

163

the cattle-stalls or in the rooms.

fellows erected

May-trees before the chambers of their sweethearts.


Besides
these

household Mays, a great May-tree or


also

May-pole, which had


cession to the village,
village

been brought in solemn proset

was

up

in the

middle of the
It

or in the market-place of the town.

had

been chosen by the whole community, over


of
its
it

who watched

most

carefully.

Generally the tree was stripped

branches and leaves, nothing but the crown being

left,

on which were displayed, in addition to many-

coloured ribbons and cloths, a variety of victuals such


as sausages, cakes,

and eggs.

The young

folk exerted

themselves to obtain these prizes.

In the greasy poles

which

are

still

to be seen at our fairs

these old

May-poles.

we have a relic of Not uncommonly there was a

race on foot or on horseback to the May-tree

Whit-

suntide pastime which in course of time has been divested

of
in

its

goal and survives as a popular custom to this day


parts of

many

Germany.

In the great towns of our

land the custom has developed into sport, for our spring
races are in their origin nothing but the old

German

horse-races, in which the victor received a prize (generally a red cloth)


last

from the hand of


^

a maiden, while the

rider

was greeted with jeers and gibes by the

assembled community."

The custom of the May-tree is observed by the Wends of Saxony, as well as by the Germans. The young men of the village choose the slimmest and
tallest
1

tree
in

of the wood, peel

it

and

set

it

up on the
pp.

E.

Mogk,

R. Wuttke's SHchshche Volkskunde"^ (Dresden, 1901),

309

jy.

64

THE WHITSUNTIDE KING


Its leafy

lect.

village green.

top

is

decked with cloths and

ribbons presented by the


ing high above the roofs,
places
till

girls.
till

Here

it

stands, tower-

Ascension Day, or in
it is
it,

many

Whitsuntide.

When

being taken down,

the young folk dance round


catches and breaks off the leafy
is

and the youth who


falling tree
aloft

crown of the

the hero of the day.


is

Holding the green boughs

he

carried

shoulder-high, with music and joyous


is

shouts, to the ale-house, where the dance

resumed.^

regular feature in the popular celebration of Whit-

suntide in Silesia used to be, and to


the contest for the kingship.

some extent

still is,

This contest took various

forms, but the


or May-pole.

mark or

goal was generally the May-tree


in

Sometimes the youth who succeeded

climbing the smooth pole and bringing

down

the prize

was proclaimed the Whitsuntide King and


heart the Whitsuntide Bride.

his sweet-

Afterwards, the king,

carrying the May-bush, repaired with the rest of the

company

to the ale-house,

where a dance and a

feast

ended the merry-making.

Often the young farmers

and labourers raced on horseback to the May-pole,


which was adorned with flowers, ribbons, and a crown.

He who

first

reached
rest

the pole

was the Whitsuntide

King, and the

had to obey

his orders for that day.

The worst
all

rider

became the clown.

At

the May-tree

dismounted and hoisted the king on their shoulders.


nimbly swarmed up the pole and brought down the

He

the top.

May-bush and the crown, which had been fastened to Meantime the clown hurried to the ale-house
1

M.

Rentsch, in R. Wuttke's

op, cit. p.

359.

VI

IN GERMANT
rolls

165

and proceeded to bolt thirty

of bread and to swig

four quart bottles of brandy with the utmost despatch.

He

was followed by the king, who bore the May-bush


at the

and crown
arrival the

head of the company.

If

on
rolls

their

clown had already disposed of the

and

the brandy, and greeted the king with a speech and a


glass of beer, his score

was paid by the king, otherwise


After church time the pro-

he had to
cession

settle it himself.

wound through

the village.

At

the head of

it

rode the king, decked with flowers and carrying the

May-bush.

Next came the clown with


on
his

his

clothes

turned inside out, a great flaxen beard on his chin, and


the

Whitsuntide crown

head.

Two

riders

disguised as guards followed.

The

procession drew

up

before every farmyard

the

two guards dismounted,

shut the clown into the house, and claimed a contribution

from the housewife


clown's beard.
victuals
all

to

buy soap with which to wash the


to carry
ofi^

Custom allowed them

any

which were not under lock and key.

Last of

they came to the house in which the king's sweet-

heart lived.

She was greeted


suitable presents.

as

Whitsuntide Queen
the right

and received

The king had

of setting up the May-bush or Whitsuntide tree before


his master's yard,

where

it

remained as an honourable
Finally the procession

token

till

the same day next year.

took

its

way

to the tavern, where the king and queen

opened the dance.^


In this
^

last

custom the part played by the clown


Brauch

is

p. Drechsler,

Sitte,

md

VMsglauhe

in

SchUsien,

i.

(Leipsic, 1903), pp.

115-128.

66

THE WHITSUNTIDE KING


clear.

lect.
is

not quite

You

will observe that

it

he,

and

not the king,


in

who wears

the crown.

I conjecture that

may have formed part of the pageant, and that the clown may have been the victim. Such executions have been not uncommon at these ceremonies. The following example will
former times a burlesque execution
illustrate

them.

Sometimes

in Silesia the

Whitsuntide

King and Queen succeeded to


of straw, as large as
life

office as follows.

A man

and crowned with

a red cap,

was conveyed in a

cart,

between two men armed and

disguised as guards, to a place where a

mock

court was

waiting to try him.

great crowd followed the cart.

After a formal

trial

the straw

man was condemned

to

death and fastened to a stake on the execution ground.

The young men


with a spear.

with bandaged eyes tried to stab him

He who
The

succeeded became king, and


straw

his

sweetheart queen.
Goliath.^
is

man was known


if

as the

Such burlesque executions have,


close

my
the

theory

right, a

bearing on the
to

King of

Wood
his

at

Nemi, who succeeded

office

by slaying

predecessor in grim earnest.

The
some

ancient

May Day

ceremonies are

still

observed
learned

in

villages

of South Warwickshire, as

last

autumn during

a visit to that charming country, where

the pretty customs are fittingly framed in scenes of rural

beauty that seem


time.

still

to reflect the

England of the olden


and

Thus

at the adjoining villages of Cherrington

Stourton the Queen of


girl

May

is

represented by a small

dressed in white and wearing a wreath of flowers


'

p. Drechsler,

op. c'u.

i.

129.

VI

THE
An

MAT QUEEN

167

on her head.
child's

older girl wheels the queen in a

perambulator on two wheels.

Four boys bear


structure
rise

the May-pole.

This

is

a conical

framework formed of

a high tripod with a central shaft.


is

The whole

encased in a series of five hoops, which

one

above the other, diminishing in size upward with the


tapering of the cone.

The
be
in

hoops, as well as the tripod

and the central


flowers

shaft,

are all

covered with whatever

happen

to

bloom,

such as marsh

marigolds, primroses, or blue-bells.


central shaft
is

To
The

the top of the

fastened a bunch of the flower called


if it is

crown-imperial,
crossed

in season.

lowest hoop

is

by two bars

at right angles to each other

and

the projecting ends of the bars serve as handles by

which the four boys carry the flower-decked structure.

Each of
round
to

the bearers has a

garland of flowers slung


the children go from house

his shoulder.

Thus

house singing their songs and receiving

money,
after-

which goes to provide a treat for them in the


noon.''

The

so-called

May-pole

in this

custom bears
in

so close a resemblance to the leafy

framework

which

our Jack-in-the-Green and other springtide

mummers

walk encased that perhaps

it

too originally concealed a

mummer, whether

the

King or Queen of May.


king does
another

You
the
not.
village
^

will

have noticed that in this ceremony, though


figures, her consort the

Queen of May
Both,

however,

appear

at

Halford,

of South Warwickshire.
information given

Here
is

the children
Miss A,

From

me

by Mabel Bailey,

in the service of

Wyse

of Halford, South Warwickshire.

My

informant's father
there.

a native of tourton,

and she herself has spent

much

of her

life

68

KING AND QUEEN OF


May
in procession

MAT

lect.

go from house to house on

Day, walking two and


or seven feet

two

and headed by a king and queen.


six

Two
high,

boys carry a May-pole some

which
it

is

covered with

flowers

and greenery.
decked with

Fastened to
angles to
flowers,

near the top are two


other.

cross-bars at right
also

each

These are

and from the ends of the bars hang hoops


adorned.

similarly

At
them

the houses the children sing

May

songs
tea

and receive
for

money,
at

which

is

used

to

provide

the

schoolhouse in the

afternoon.^

Ceremonies of

this sort

have played a great part in


a*s

the popular festivals of Europe, and based

they are
is

on

a very crude conception of natural law,

it

clear

that they must have been handed down from a remote


antiquity.

We

shall

hardly err in assuming that they

date from a time


nations
cattle

when the forefathers of the civilised of Europe were still barbarians, herding their
in the clearings
forests,

and cultivating patches of corn

of the vast

which then covered the greater part


old spells and enchantments for

of the Continent from the Mediterranean to the Arctic


Ocean.

But

if these

the growth of leaves and blossoms, of grass and flowers

and

fruit,

have lingered down to our own time in the


is

shape of pastoral plays and popular merrymakings,


it

not reasonable to suppose that they survived in

less

attenuated forms some two thousand years ago


the civilised peoples of antiquity
wise,
is
it ?

among
other-

Or, to put

it

not likely that in certain festivals of the


information given

'

From

me

by Miss A. Wyse, of Halford.

VI
ancients

THE SJCRED MARRIAGE


we may be
this

169

able to detect the equivalents of

our

May

Day, Whitsuntide, and Midsummer celebradifference,

tions,

with

that

in

those

days

the

ceremonies had not yet dwindled into mere shows and


pageants, but were
still

religious or magical rites, in

which the actors consciously supported the high parts


of gods and goddesses
I
?

conjecture that a sacred marriage of this sort


at

may
the

have been annually celebrated

Nemi between

King of the
vegetation.

Wood

and

his divine

Queen the goddess


is

Diana for the purpose of promoting the growth of


Direct evidence that this was so there
its

none, but analogy pleads in

favour, as

shall

now

endeavour to show.

You

will observe that

on

my

hypothesis the mortal

King of the
dess, Diana.

Wood
To

was married to an immortal god-

us nowadays such a union appears on


;

the face of

it

absurd and impossible

but

it

was not so

with the ancients.

They

sincerely believed that the

marriage of a divine with a


possible but

human

being was not only


:

had often taken place


too familiar to you
I will

many

persons in

antiquity

claimed to be direct descendants of gods.


all

The

facts are

to require that

should dwell upon them.


ing, because
it is

only remark in pass-

germane to our

subject, that in ancient

Greece kings appear especially to have prided themselves

on

their divine origin.

We

have seen that the

Spartan kings were believed to be descended from the

supreme god Zeus


did

and

in this respect apparently they for


in

not

differ

from other kings,

Homer

lyo

THE WIFE OF BEL


is

lect.

standing epithet of a king


I

"Zeus-born."
is

But what

am

here concerned to prove

that beliefs of this


ritual
;

sort

were actually embodied in religious

in

other words, that the marriage of the gods with

human
,

beings was often celebrated with great solemnity.

To

take some instances of these ritual marriages.


the imposing sanctuary of the great

At Babylon

god

Bel rose like a pyramid above the city in a series of


eight towers or stories, planted one on the top of the
other.

On

the highest tower, reached


all

by an ascent

which wound about

the

rest, there

stood a spacious

temple, and in the temple a great couch, magnificently

draped and cushioned, with a golden table beside


In the temple no image was to be seen, and no

it.

human

being passed the night there, save a single woman,

whom, according to the Chaldsean priests, the god They chose from among all the women of Babylon.
said that the deity himself entered the temple

by night

and

slept

on the couch

and the woman, as the consort

of the god, might not be married to a man.^


at

As

Bel

Babylon was identified with Marduk, the chief god


city,^

of the

the

woman who
of
in

acted as his consort was

doubtless
are

one

the
the

" wives
recently

of

Marduk "

who

mentioned

discovered

code of

Hammurabi.^
^

Herodotus,

i.

i8i

sq.

M.

Jastrow, Religion of Babylonia and Assyria (Boston,

1898), pp. 117

sq.

L.

W.
^

King, Babylonian Mythology and Religion (London, 1899), pp. 18, 21. H. Winckler, Die Gesetxe HamtnurabVs^ (Leipsic, 1903), p. 31, 182.

"The
of

votary of
distinct

Marduk

is

the god's wife vowed to perpetual chastity, and


''

is

therefore

from the

votaries of Istar
p.

(S,

A. Cook, The Laivs of Moses and

the Code

Hammurabi., London, 1903,

148).

VI

THE WIFE OF
At
Calah, which

AMMON
by
Nineveh,
to

171
capital

was
was

for

some time the


appears

of
the

Assyria

before

it

displaced

marriage of

the

god Nabu

have been

annually celebrated on the third day of an Assyrian

month, lyyar or Airu, which corresponded to our May.

The ceremonies
text,

are minutely described in a liturgical

and from the description we gather that the


priestess

officiating

was married to the image of the

god.

The image
in

also

went

in procession to a grove,

riding in a chariot beside the charioteer.^

At Thgbes
of

Egypt a woman

slept in the

temple

Ammon
is

as the consort

of the god.^

In Egyptian

texts she

often mentioned as " the divine consort,"


less a

and usually she was no


of Egypt
their
herself.

personage than the Queen

For, according to the Egyptians,


in the

monarchs were
was

most

literal sense

the sons

of the god
pair

Ammon, who

at the marriage

of the royal

supposed to

assume for the time being the

form of the reigning king.

The
is

divine union of the

Queen of Egypt with the god


great detail
in

carved and painted in


oldest temples
;

on the walls of two of the


el

Egypt, those of Luxor and Deir

Bahari

and the
as

inscriptions attached to the paintings leave

no doubt

to the meaning of the scenes.

And

the birth of the


is

divine

child,

the

fruit

of the

miraculous union,

represented
^

in

equal detail.

We

may

fairly

assume,

pp.
p.

C. Johnston, in Journalofthe American Oriental Society,-x.Vm. First Half (1897), 153-155 ; R. F. Harper, Assyrian and Babylonian Literature (New York, 1901), For the equivalence of lyyar or Airu with May, see Encychpadia Biblica, 249.

s.'v.

"Months,"
Herodotus,

iii.
i.

3193
182.

sq.

172
with

THE KING AS
some
eminent
the
that

AMMON
including

lect.
Professor

authorities,

Maspero,

ceremonies of the marriage and

nativity of the Pharaohs, thus

emblazoned on the walls


life
;

of Egyptian temples, were copied from the

in

other words, that the carved and painted scenes represent a real drama, which was acted by

men and

women

disguised as gods and goddesses whenever the

King and Queen of Egypt were married, or the queen


was about to give birth to an
heir.

" Here, as else-

where

in

Egypt," says Professor Maspero, " sculptor


faithfully imitate reality.

and painter did nothing but

Theory required
the royal

that

the

assimilation

of the kings

to the gods should be complete, so that every act of


life

was, as

it

were, a tracing of the correlife.

sponding act of the divine


the king was

From
the

the

moment that

Ammon,
tall

he wore the costume and badges


hat with

of

Ammon the
life,

long plumes, the

cross of

the greyhound-headed sceptre,

and

thus
to

arrayed he
celebrate
his

presented
marriage.

himself

before
assistants

the

queen

The

also

assumed

the

costume and appearance of the


:

divinities

whom
jackals,

they incarnated

the

men

put on

masks of

hawks, and crocodiles, while the

women donned masks


;

of cows or frogs, according as they played the parts of


Anubis, Khnoumou, Sovkou, Hathor, or Hiqit
I

and

am

disposed to believe that the doubles of the newas

born child were represented by were required by the ceremonies.

many puppets as Some of the rites


tired

were complicated, and must


the mother and child

have

excessively
;

who underwent them

but they

VI

THE KING BEES


In general,

173

are nothing to those that have been observed in similar

circumstances in other lands.


to hold that
all

we
is

are

bound

the pictures traced

on the

walls of the

temples, in which the person of the king

concerned,

correspond to a real action in which disguised personages played the part of gods."
'^

To

pass

now from

the East to Greek lands, Apollo


at

was said to spend the winter months

Patara in Lycia

and so long

as he stayed there, his prophetess

was shut
probably

up with him

in

the

temple

every

night,

because she was supposed to be his wife.^


there was a college of sacred

At Ephesus

men

called Essenes or

King

Bees,

who

held office for a year, during which

they were bound to remain celibate and to observe


other rules of ceremonial purity.'

Perhaps they were

deemed the husbands

of Artemis,

more

familiarly

known
of
for

to us as Diana, of Ephesus, the great goddess

fertility,

whose association with the bee


figures of bees which

is

vouched

by the

appear

commonly
If
their bee268
sq,
;

both on her statues and on the coins of Ephesus.


this conjecture
^

is

right, the
z'weites

King Bees and


(Leipsic,

A. Wiedemann, Herodots

Buck

1890),

pp.

G.

Maspero, in ymrnal des Savants, ann^e 1899, pp. 401-406 ; A. Moret, Du caracthe Mr. Moret shares religieux de la royautl Pharaonique (Paris, 1902), pp. 48-73.
Prof.

Maspero's view

tiiat

tlie

pictures,

or

painted

reliefs,

were copied
figured
as

from
gods

masquerades in which the king and

other

men and women

and goddesses.
[Ka), see A.
Soul (London,

As

to the Egyptian doctrine of the spiritual double or external soul

Wiedemann, The Ancient Egyflian


1895), pp.

Doctrine of the Immortality of the


of

10

sqq.

As
i.

to the "divine consorts"

Ammon

at

Thebes
2

in later ages, see Strabo, xvii.


i.

46

Diodorus Siculus,

i.

47.

Herodotus,

182.

As
i,

to the
;

summer and winter


iii.

residences of the god, see

Servius, on Virgil, jien. iv. 143


^ Pausanias, viii.

Horace, Odes,

62

sqq.

13.

with ray note.

The

Essenes or

King Bees

are not to

be confounded with the nominal kings ^Basileis) of Ephesus,


office for
life.

who

probably held

See above,

p.

31,

174

MARRIAGE OF DIONTSUS
at

lect.

goddess Artemis
to the

Ephesus would be

closely parallel

King of the
at

Wood

and

his

woodland-goddess

Diana

Nemi,

as these latter are interpreted

by me.

The

celibacy of the priests during their year of office


easily explicable

would be

on

this hypothesis.

consorts of the goddess they


wife.

As the might have no human

At Athens

the

vine-god Dionysus was annually

married to the queen, but we do not

know whether

the part of the god in the ceremony was played by

man

or an image.

It

would be natural to suppose

that

the
as

king himself personated the divine bridehis

groom,
bride
;

wife
this

the queen personated the divine

but of

we have no

evidence.

The

scene

of the marriage was the old

official

residence of the
Acropolis.-'

king on the north-eastern slope of the


the building bore the

As

name of

the Cattle-stall, Miss

Harrison has ingeniously conjectured that Dionysus,

who was

often conceived by the Greek as a bull,


as a bull at his marriage.^

may
In

have been represented

that case the part of the bridegroom might be played

by a man wearing
similar
rites

a bull's head, just as in

Egypt

at

the

sacred

animals were represented by


the masks of cows, hawks.

men and women wearing


^

tion

Demosthenes, Contra Neaer. 73-78, pp. 1369-1371 j Aristotle, Omtituof Athens, iii. 5 ; Hesychius, n/^. Aioviirov yd/ios and yepaifxii. ; Pollux, viii. 108; K. F. Hermann, GottesdUnstliche Alterthiimer,^ % 32. 15, 58. 11 s^q.; Aug. Mommscn, Feste der Stadt Athen im Altertum (Leipsic, 1898), pp. 391 sqq. ;
P. Foucart, Le culte de Dionysos en Atttque (Paris, 1904.), pp. 128 sqq.
2

Miss
p.

J.

E. Harrison, Prolegomena

to

the Study

1903),

537.

The

conjecture was anticipated by Professor


ii.

of Greek Religion (Cambridge, U. von Wilamowitz42.

MoellendorfF, Aristoteles und Athen (Berlin, 1893),

VI
crocodiles,

TO THE QUEEN OF ATHENS


and so
forth.

175

The

legend of Pasiphae and

the Minotaur suggests that the


a
as

custom of marrying
to a

queen to a bull-god, that


a bull,

is

man

disguised

may

not have been confined to Athens.^

Whether
the

that was so or not, the

ceremony of wedding

Queen of Athens
fruit-trees,

to the vine-god

must

certainly

have been intended to ensure the

fertility

of the vines

and other

of which Dionysus was the god.


in

Thus both

in

form and

meaning the

rite

would

answer to the nuptials of the King and Queen of May.


If at Athens,

and probably elsewhere, the vine-god


in

was annually married to a queen

order that

the

vines might be loaded with clusters of green and purple


grapes, there
is

reason to think that a marriage of a

different kind, intended to

make

the fields wave with

yellow
miles

corn,

was

celebrated

every year not


hills

many

off,

beyond the low bare


Athens on the west.

which bound the

plain of

In the great mysteries

solemnised at Eleusis in the

month of September

the

union of the sky-god Zeus with the

corn-goddess

Demeter

appears

to

have been represented by the


the
priestess

dramatic union of the hierophant with

of Demeter,
respectively.

who

acted the parts of

god and goddess

After a period of anxious suspense, the

hierophant reappeared and in a blaze of light silently


exhibited

to

the assembled worshippers a reaped ear

Mr. A. B. Cook was the

first,

I believe, to suggest that the legend of Pasiphae


a

and the Minotaur contains a reminiscence of

marriage ceremony in which the

King and Queen


pp. 410, 412.

of Cnossus figured in the disguise of a bull and a

cow

respectively.
xvii.

See his article "Zeus, Jupiter, and

the

Oak,"

Classical

Re-view,

(1903),

176

MARRIAGE OF ZEUS
fruit

lect.

of corn, the

of the divine marriage.

Then

in

a loud voice he proclaimed that the queen had been


delivered of a child.

The corn-mother,
crowning

in fact,

had

given birth to the corn.


ear

This revelation of the reaped


act

seems to have been the

of the

mysteries.-'

Thus through

the glamour

shed around

these rites by the poetry and philosophy of later ages


there
still

looms, like a distant landscape through a

sunlight haze, a simple rustic festival designed to cover

the wide Eleusinian plain with a plentiful harvest by

wedding the goddess of the corn to the sky-god, who


fertilised the bare earth

with genial showers.

But Zeus was not always the sky-god, nor was


he always married to the corn-goddess.
If in antiquity a traveller, quitting Eleusis and passing through miles

of olive-groves and cornfields, had climbed the pineclad mountains

of Cithaeron and descended through

the forest on their northern slope to Platasa, he might

have chanced to find the people of that

little

Boeotian

town celebrating a
into a primaeval

different marriage of the great

god

to a different goddess.

On

a certain day they went


set

oak-wood and

meat on the ground

at the foot of the giants of the forest.

When
in

a raven

was observed to swoop on the meat and carry


'

it

off to

TertuUian,
xl. col.

Ad
324
p.
;

Natimes,

ii.

Asterius

Amasenus,

Migne's Patrologia
Schol. on
pp.

Graeca,
ed.
J.

Psellas, Sluaenam sunt Graecorum opiniones de daemonibus^ p. 39,


i

F. Boissonade (compare Arnobius, Ad-vtrsm Natiojies, v. 20-23)

Plato, Gorgias,

497 c

Hippolytus, Refutatio omnium haeresium^

v.

8,

162,
fraget

Duncker and Schneidewin. In combining and interpreting this mentary evidence I have followed Mr. P. Foucart [fiecherches sur Porigine
164, ed.
nature dts mysteres d^EleusiSy Paris,
Paris,

la

1895, pp. 48

sq.

Lei grands mystires d^EIeusis,


to

1900,

p.

69) and
sjq.).

Miss J. E. Harrison {Prolegomena

the Study

of Greet

Religion, pp.

549

VI

MARRIAGE OF ZEUS
it

177
tree.

an oak, the people followed

and cut down the


they
it

With
dressed

the
it

wood of
as a bride,

the

tree

made an image,
on
it

and placed
it.

a bullock-cart

with a bridesmaid beside

Then

seems to have

been drawn to the river and back to the town attended

by

a piping

and dancing crowd.

After the

festival,

which was held every few

years, the

image was put


sort
till

away and kept with others of the same


festival called the

another

Great Daedala came round, which


all

was celebrated by
every sixty years.
that

the

people of Boeotia once in


occasion
lesser
all

On

that
at

the images

had

accumulated

the

festivals

were

dragged on wains to the top of Mount Cithaeron and


there burned in
a huge bonfire, of which the blaze

could be seen for miles over the country.

The legend
show
that

told to account for these festivals seems to

the ceremony represented the marriage of Zeus, the

oak god, to the goddess or nymph of the oak, who


was personated by the oaken image dressed
as a bride.^

Whether the

part of Zeus at the marriage was acted


is

by a man or an image

not

clear.

The

sacred marriage of

Zeus and Hera had,


times

as

was
the

natural, its counterpart in heathen

among

northern

kinsfolk

of the Greeks.

In Sweden every
fertility,

year a life-size image of Frey, the god of

both

animal and vegetable, was drawn about the country in


a

waggon attended by

a beautiful girl

who was

called
his

the god's wife.

She acted also as his priestess in

great temple at Upsala.


'

Wherever

the

waggon came
iii.

Pausanias,

ix. 3

Plutarch, quoted by Eusebius, Praefar. E-aang.

i jy.

78

THE GALLIC CTBELE


people

lect.

with the image of the god and his blooming young


bride, the

crowded to meet them and

ofFer

sacrifices for a fruitful year.^

Similar ceremonies appear to have been observed by

the peasantry of Gaul in

antiquity

for

Gregory of

Tours, writing in the sixth century of our


at

era, says that

Autun

the people used to carry about an image of a

goddess in a waggon drawn by oxen.

The

intention of

the ceremony was to ensure the safety of the crops and


vines,

and the

rustics

danced and sang in front of the

image.^

The

old historian identifies the goddess with

Cybele, the great

Mother Goddess of Phrygia, and


is

the

comparison,
rites

if

not the identification,

just

for the

of Cybele conformed closely to the type of the

sacred marriage here discussed.

On

the day of the

spring equinox (the 22nd of March) a pine-tree was


cut and brought into the sanctuary of the goddess,

where
a

it

was worshipped

as a divinity.

The

effigy

of

young man, doubtless representing

Attis, the consort

of Cybele, was attached to the tree, and the festival

ended with the drawing of the image of the goddess


a bullock-cart to a brook, where
as a bride after her marriage.
^

in

it

was bathed,^ perhaps


the relation of the
der Germanen

And
;

J. (Leipsic, 1903), pp. 198 sqq., 217, 520,

Grimm,

Deutsche Mythohgie,'^

I.

176
;

P.

Hermann, Nordische Mytholo^e


waggon

529

E.

H. Meyer, Mytkologie

fStrasburg, 1903), pp.


is

366

jy.

The

procession of Frey and his wife in the

probably the same with the procession of Nerthus in a waggon which Tacitus

describes

Frey.

See

[Germmia, 40). Nerthus seems to be no other than Freya, the wife of the commentators on Tacitus, I.e., and especially K. MtlllenhofF,
sj.

Deutsche Alterlumsiunde, iv. 468


'

Gregory of Tours, De gloria confessorum, 77 (Migne's Patrohgia Latina,

Ixxi.

col. 884).

'

Compare Sulpicius Severus, P'ita S. Martini, 12. See The Golden Bought ii. 131 sq.; H. iiefim%, Attis, seine Mythenund

scin

Kult

Giessen, 1903), pp. 147 sqq.

VI

MARRIAGE OF WATER-SPIRITS

179

Phrygian to the northern worship of a great goddess of


fertility

was probably one not merely of similarity but

of actual kinship, based on

common
At
and

descent

for the

Phrygians were unquestionably an Aryan tribe


crossed from

Europe

into Asia.

all

who had events we may


was of

make

sure that the goddess

whom

the peasants of Gaul


their vines

carted about to bless their crops native origin


;

and we can hardly

hesitate to see in

her and in Frey's wife the


equivalents of the
It

old French

and Swedish

May
to

Queen.

would be easy

show by

list

of examples that

the custom of marrying a

god or

spirit to a

woman

has

been widespread
shall content
is

in other parts

of the world.

myself with observing that the deity

Here I who

thus provided with a

human

bride

is

often a water-

spirit.

Thus, to take a few

instances, the

god of the
was pro-

great Victoria
pitiated

Nyanza Lake

in Central Africa

by the Baganda every time they undertook a


girls to serve

long voyage, and they furnished him with


as his wives.

The custom
Burma

lasted until

King Mwanga
in

was converted to
states

Christianity.^

Again

one of the

of Upper
is

there

is

a certain lake, the spirit


is

of which

regarded as very powerful and

propitiated

with offerings every year.

A remarkable feature
is

of the

worship of

this spirit

of the lake

the dedication to

him
last
it.

of four maidens in marriage.


observed in 1893:

The custom was

the present chief has omitted

Soon

after being

wedded

to the water-god, the girls are


If nothing
Protectorate

allowed
'

to

return

home.

happens, the
ii.

Sir

Harry Johnston, The Uganda

(London, 1902),

677.

i8o
spirit

MARRIAGE OF WOMEN
of the lake cares
dies,
it is
1

lect.
if

little

for

them

but

one of

them

a sign that he loves her

and has taken


it

her to himself

Sometimes, apparently,

has not been

left to the discretion

of the divine bridegroom to take


bride
:

or leave his

human
all

she has been

made over

to

him once

for

in death.

When

the Arabs conquered

Egypt

they learned that at the rise of the Nile the


girl

Egyptians were wont to deck a young

in

gay

apparel and throw her into the river as a sacrifice, in

order to obtain a plentiful inundation.


general abolished the barbarous custom.^

The Arab The princes


of
crocodiles,

of Koepang, a

state

in

the

East

Indian island

Timor, deemed themselves descended from

and on the coronation of a new prince


sacrifice

solemn
of the

was made to the crocodiles

in presence

people.
bristles

The

offerings

consisted

of a pig with red


dressed, perfumed,

and a young

girl, prettily

and decked with

flowers.

She was taken

down

to the
cave.
girl

bank of the

river

and

set

on a sacred stone in a

Soon one of the

reptiles

appeared and dragged the

down

into the water.

The

people thought that he

married her.^

On

festal

occasions in the same state a


crocodile,

new-born

girl

was sometimes dedicated to a

and then, with certain ceremonies of consecration, was


^

J.

G. Scott and P.
vol.
i.

Part
^

ii.

E.

W.

Hardiman, Gazetteer of Upper Burma and the Slwn States, J. (Rangoon, 1901), p. 439. Lane, Manners and Customs of the Modern Egyptians (Paisley and London,
p.

1895), chap, xxvi.

500.

The

authority for the statement

is

the Arab historian

Makrizi.
^

G. A. Wilken, " Het animiame

bij

de volken van den Indischen Archipel,"

De
A.

Indische Gids,

June 1884,
ii.

p.

994

(referring to Veth,

Het

eiland Timor,

p.

21)

Bastian, Indcnesien,

(Berlin, 1885), p. 8.

VI

TO WATER-SPIRITS
priest.-'

18

brought up to be married to a

In this

last

custom the

priest perhaps represents a crocodile,

and
a

the practice of marrying a girl to

him may well be

humane

mitigation of the older custom of exposing her


It is said

to the monster.

that once

when

the inhabit-

ants of another East Indian island were threatened with

destruction by a

swarm of

crocodiles, they ascribed the

misfortune to a passion which the prince of the crocodiles

had conceived

for a certain girl.

Accordingly they
in bridal

compelled the damsel's father to dress her

array and deliver her over to the clutches of her crocodile lover.''

usage of the same sort

is

said to

have prevailed

in

the Maldive Islands before their conversion to Islam.

The famous Arab


end.

traveller

Ibn Batutah has described


it

the custom and the manner in which

came

to an

He

was assured by several trustworthy natives,


gives, that

whose names he
islands

when

the people of the

were idolaters there appeared to them every


evil spirit

month an
lamps.

among

the jinn,

who came from

across the sea in the likeness of a ship full of burning

The wont of

the inhabitants, as soon as they

perceived him, was to take a young maiden, and having

adorned her, to lead her to a heathen temple that stood

on the shore, with


t'hey left the

window looking out to sea. There damsel for the night, and when they came
a

back

in the

morning they found her dead. Every month


and he upon
'

they drew

lots,

whom

the lot

fell

gave up

A. Bastian,
Itidmesien,

op. cit, p. ii.


i.

A. Bastian,

(Berlin, 1884), p. 134.

82

MARRIAGE OF WOMEN
spirit

lect.
till

his

daughter to the

of the

sea.

This went on

Berber, who knew the Coran by

heart, landed in the


like another
flight

islands

and rescued the doomed maiden,

Andromeda, from the demon,

whom

he put to
till

by reciting passages of the holy book

break of day.

After that the joyful people, freed from this tribute


to

the

cruel

demon, embraced Islam.

When

Ibn

Batutah himself arrived in the islands, he


of these things.
his business,

knew nothing

One
is

night

as

he was going about

he heard of a sudden people saying in a

loud voice, " There


great."

no God but God," and " God

is

He

saw children carrying copies of the Coran

on
he

their heads,

and women beating on basins and was astonished


has happened
}
.?

vessels

of copper.
said,

He
What

at

what they

did,

and

"

"

They
it

answered,

" Doest thou not behold the sea

"

He looked towards
were a great

the sea and beheld in the darkness as

ship full of burning lamps and cressets.

They

said to

him, " That


self

is

the demon.
;

It is his

wont to show himthat which

once a month

but after

we have done
his place

thou hast seen, he returns to

and does us no

manner of harm."
It

myth of the demon may have been based on some phenomenon of


occurred to
that this

me

lover
light

which

is

periodically visible at night in

the Maldive

Islands.

Accordingly

consulted our most eminent

authority on these islands,

Mr.

J.

Stanley Gardiner of

Caius College.
^

His answer confirmed

my

conjecture.
par C. Defr6-

Voyages d'Ibn Batoutah, texts Arabe, accompagni


et B.

d'utte traduction^

mery

R. Sanguinetti

(Paris, 1853-1858), iv. 126-130.

VI

TO WATER-SPIRITS
wrote to

183

He
is

me

"A

peculiar phosphorescence, like

the glow of a lamp hidden by a roughened glass shade,


occasionally visible

on lagoon

shoals in the Maldives.

imagine

it

to have been due to

some

single animal
at

with a greater phosphorescence than

any

present

known to us. A periodical appearance at some phase of the moon due to reproduction is not improbable, and has parallels. The myth still exists in the Maldives, but in a rather different form." He adds that "a
number of
some
these animals might of course appear on

shoal near Male," the principal island of the group.

To

the eyes of the ignorant and superstitious such a

mysterious glow, suddenly lighting up the sea in the

dusk of the evening, might well appear a phantom

ship,

hung with burning lamps, bearing down on


islands, while the roar

the devoted

of the surf on the barrier reef of the

might sound

in their ears like the voice

demon
his

calling for his prey.

Ibn Batutah's narrative of the demon lover and

mortal bride closely resembles a well-known type of


folk-tale,

of which versions have been found from Japan


in

and

Annam

the East to Senegambia, Scandinavia,


in

and Scotland
details
it

the

West.

The
as
is

story

varies

in

from people to people, but

commonly

told

runs thus.

certain country

infested

by a many-

headed serpent, dragon, or other monster, which would


destroy the whole people
if a

human
up
to

victim, generally

a virgin, were not delivered

him

periodically.

Many

victims have perished, and at

last it

has fallen to

the lot of the king's

own daughter

to be

sacrificed.

She

84

SACRIFICES TO WATER-SPIRITS
young man of humble

lect.
tale,

is

exposed to the monster, but the hero of the

generally a

birth, interposes

on

her behalf, slays the beast, and receives the hand of the
princess and a share of the

kingdom
monster,

as his reward.

In

many of

the

tales

the

who

is

sometimes

described as a serpent, inhabits the water of a sea, a


lake, or a fountain.

In other versions he
possession

is

a serpent

or

dragon who

takes

of the springs of

water, and only allows the water to flow or the people


to

make
It

use of

it

on condition of receiving
a mistake to dismiss

human
these

victim.^

would probably be

all

tales as

pure inventions of the story-teller.

Rather we

may suppose that they reflect a real custom of sacrificing girls or women to be the wives of water-spirits, who are
very often conceived as great serpents or dragons.^

Among

civilised peoples these

customs survive for the

most part only


of

in popular tales, of
its

which the legend of

Perseus and Andromeda, with


St.

mediaeval counterpart
is

George and the Dragon,

the most familiar


left

example.
^

But occasionally they appear to have


of these tales, with references to the authorities, see

For a

list

my

note on

Pausanias,

ix.

26. 7.

To

the examples there referred to add

Tirol^ Nos. 8, 21, 35, pp. 35 sqq.^ 178 Jyy. j G. F. Abbott, Macedonian Folk-lore (Cambridge, 1903), pp. 270 sqq. This type of tale has been elaborately investigated by Mr. E. S. Hartland {The Legend of Perseus^ London,

und Hausm'drchen aus

J. 100 sqq.^

V.

Zingerle, Kinder-

learning,

1894-1896) ; but while he illustrates the details of the story with a profusion of he has not, so far as I have observed, dealt with the actual custom of

marrying
of
it

women

to supernatural beings, especially to water-spirits.

More examples
add H. Temauxhistoriques

will be given in the third edition of The Golden Bough,

To

the evidence collected in


sur I'ancien

my
;

note on Pausanias,
sq.
;

ix. 10. 5,

Compans, Essai

Cundinamarca^ pp. 6

R. Salvado, Memoires

sur VAustralie (Paris, 1854), p.

303 sq. ; C. Northern Tribes of Central


pp.

H. Coudreau, Chex nos Indiens (Paris, 1895), Lumholtz, Unknown Mexico^ i. 402 sq., ii. 57 ; Spencer and Gillen,
262
Australia., pp.

226

sqq.

VI

SLATING OF THE DRAGON


and pageants.

185

traces of themselves In ceremonies


at

Thus

Furth

in Bavaria a

drama
Corpus

called the Slaying of the

Dragon used

to be acted every year about


after

Midsummer,
Crowds of

on the Sunday

Christi

Day.

spectators flocked
it.

from the neighbourhood to witness

The

scene of the performance was the public square.

On
her

a platform stood or sat a princess wearing a golden


as

crown on her head, and


body
as

many

silver

ornaments on
the a

could

be

borrowed

for

purpose.
dreadful

Opposite her was stationed the dragon,

monster of painted
skeleton and

canvas

stretched
inside.

on a wooden

moved by two men

A knight
why

in

armour rode forth and asked the


looked so sad.

princess

she

She told him that the dragon was

coming

to eat her up.

He

bade her be of good cheer,


his spear into its

and attacked the dragon, thrusting

maw

and stabbing a bladder of bullock's blood which

was there concealed.

The gush

of blood which followed


;

was an indispensable part of the show


eagerly
earth, in

the

people

mopped

it

up, along with the blood -soaked


laid

white cloths, which they afterwards

on the

flax-fields, in
tall.

order that the flax might thrive and grow For the " dragon's blood " was thought to be a

sure protection against witchcraft.

Having despatched
his

the dragon, the knight announced her deliverance to

the princess.

She in return tied a wreath round

arm and told him that her noble father and mother
would soon come
1
ii.

to give

them

half the kingdom.^

In

F. Panzer, Beitrag zur deutschen Mythologie (Munich, 1848-1855),

i.

107-110,

550.

86

THE DRAGON OF ROUEN


grow proves
that the

lect.

this

custom the use of the dragon's blood to make the

flax

ceremony of the Slaying of


spectacle, but a

the

Dragon was not

mere popular
fertilise

magical rite designed to

the

fields.

As

such

it

probably descended from a very remote antiquity, and

may

well

have

been

invested

with a character of
it

solemnity, if not of tragedy, long before


into a farce.

degenerated

More famous was


to legend, St.

the dragon from which, according


delivered Rouen, and far

Remain

more

impressive was the ceremony with which,

French Revolution, the


ance.

city

down to the commemorated its deliveredifices

The

stately
still

and beautiful

of the Middle
fitting

Ages, which

adorn Rouen, formed a

back-

ground

for a pageant

which carried the mind back to


II.

the days

when Henry

of England and Richard Cceur


still

de Lion,

Dukes of Normandy,

had

their palace in

this ancient capital

of their ancestral domains.

Legend
shape

ran that about the year 520 a.d. a forest or marsh near

Rouen was

infested

by a monstrous beast

in the

of a serpent or dragon, which every day wrought great

harm
and

to the city

and neighbourhood, devouring man


boats

beast, causing

and mariners on the

river

Seine to perish, and inflicting other woes innumerable

on the commonwealth.

At

last

the

archbishop,
in his den.

St.

Romain, resolved to beard the monster

He

could get none to accompany him but a prisoner con-

demned

to death for murder.


as

On

their approach the

dragon appeared

though he would swallow them up;

but the archbishop, relying on the divine help, made the

VI

THE DRAGON OF ROUEN


him with

187

sign of the cross, and at once the monster became so


gentle that he sufFered the saint to bind
stole
his

and the murderer

to lead

him

like a

lamb to the

slaughter.

Thus they went

in procession to a public

place in Rouen, where the dragon was peaceably burnt


in the presence
river.

of the people and

its

ashes cast into the


for
his

The murderer was pardoned


his successor St.

services

and the fame of the deed having gone abroad,


Romain, or
Ouen, whose memory

St.
is

enshrined in a church of dream-like beauty at Rouen,

obtained from King Dagobert in perpetuity a privilege


for the archbishop, dean, and canons of the cathedral, to
wit, that every year

on Ascension Day, the anniversary


release

of the miracle, they should pardon and

from
This

prison a malefactor, whomsoever they chose, and what-

ever the crime of which he had been guilty.


privilege,

unique in France,

is

known from documentary

evidence to have been exercised from nearly the begin-

ning of the thirteenth century down to 1790, when the


chapter intervened to stay the sword of justice for the
last time.

Next

year the face of things had changed

there was neither archbishop nor chapter in Rouen.


register of the prisoners

A
still

who were pardoned,

together

with an account of their crimes, was kept, and


exists.

Most of the

crimes appear to have been murder

or homicide.

The

proceedings on the great day of pardon varied


in different ages.

somewhat
of Henry

The
at

following account

is

based in great part on a description written in the reign


III.

and published

Rouen

in 1587.

On

88

PRIVILEGE OF
Monday
till

ST.

ROMJIN

lect.

the

of Rogations two canons examined the

prisoners and took their confessions, going


to prison

from prison

Ascension Day.
all

On

that day, about seven

o'clock in the morning,

the canons assembled in the

chapter -house, and invoked the grace of the


Spirit

Holy

by the hymn Veni creator

Spiritus

and other

prayers.

Also they made oath to reveal none of the

depositions of the criminals, but to hold

them

sacred

under the

seal

of confession.

The

depositions having

been taken and the commissioners heard, the chapter,


after

due deliberaiton, named him or her among the

prisoners

who was

to receive the benefit of the privilege.

card bearing the prisoner's

name and

sealed with the

seal

of the chapter was then sent to the members of

parliament,

who were

sitting in full assembly, clad in

their red robes, in the great hall

of the palace to receive


it

the nomination of the prisoner, and to give


effect.

legal

The

criminal was then released and pardoned.


bells

Immediately the minster


of the cathedral were

began to

ring, the doors

flung open, the organ pealed,


lit,

hymns were
observed
in

sung,

candles

and every solemnity


gladness.

token of joy and


all

Then

the

archbishop and

the clergy of the cathedral went in

procession to the great square

known

as the

Old Tower

near the river, carrying the shrines and reliquaries of


the minster, and accompanied by the joyous music of

hautboys and clarions.


still

In the square there stood, and

stands, a platform of stone raised high above the


flights

ground and approached by


they brought the shrine

of

steps.

Thither

{Jierte)

of

St.

Romain, and

VI
thither

PRIVILEGE OF
too

ST.

ROMJIN
prisoner.

189

was

led

the

pardoned

He

ascended the platform, and after confessing his sins and


receiving absolution, he thrice lifted the shrine of St.

Romain, while the innumerable multitude assembled


" Noel
"

in

the square cried aloud, each time the shrine was lifted,
!

Noel! Noel! " which was understood to mean


"
!

God

be with us

That done, the procession


cathedral.

re-

formed and returned to the


walked a beadle clad

At

the head

in violet, T!^ho bore

on a pole the

wicker effigy of the winged dragon of Notre

Dame,

holding a large
cries

fish in its

mouth.

The

whispers and

excited

by the appearance of the monster were


loud fanfares of cornets, clarions, and
liveries

drowned
trumpets.

in the

Behind the musicians, who wore the


of the Brotherhood of Notre

of the
his

IVIaster

Dame

with

arms emblazoned on an ensign of

taffeta,

came the
After
it

carved silver- gilt shrine of Notre Dame.

followed the clergy of the cathedral to the number of

two hundred,

clad in robes of violet or crimson silk,

bearing banners, crosses, and shrines, and chanting the

hymn De

resurrecHone Domini.

Then came

the arch-

bishop, giving his blessing to the great multitude

who

thronged the

streets.

The

prisoner

himself walked

behind, bareheaded, crowned with flowers, carrying one

end of the

litter

which supported the shrine of

St.

Romain
the
like

the fetters he had

worn hung from the

litter

and with him

paced, with lighted torches in their hands,


for the last seven years,

men

or

women who,

had

in

manner received

their pardon.

Another
aloft

beadle, in

a violet livery,

marched behind bearing

on a pole

I90

PRIVILEGE OF

ST.

ROMAIN
Rouen

lect.

the wicker effigy of the dragon destroyed by St. Remain.

The

clergy of the thirty-two parishes of


in the procession,

also

took part

which moved from the Old

Tower
bells

to the cathedral

amid the acclamations of the

crowd, while from every church tower in the city the

rang out a joyous peal, the great


thundering above them
all.

bell

Georges

d" Amboise

After mass had

been performed

in the cathedral, the prisoner

was taken
St.

to the house of the

Master of the Brotherhood of

Romain, where he was magnificently

feasted, lodged,

and served, however humble

his rank.

Next morning

he again presented himself to the chapter, where, kneeling in the presence of a great assembly, he was severely

reproved for his

sins,

and admonished to give thanks to


to the canons for the

God,

to St.

Romain, and

pardon

he had received in virtue of the privilege.^

What was
was
^

the origin and meaning of this remark-

able privilege of thefierte, as the shrine


called
F.
?

of

St.

Romain

Its history

has been carefully investigated

N.

Taillepied, Recueil des Ajttlquhez et Singularitez de la mils de Rouen (Rouen,

Floquet, Hhtoire du frimUge de Saint Romain (2 vols. 8vo, ; A. Rouen, 1833). For briefer notices of the custom and legend, see A. Bosquet, La Normandie Romanesque et Merveilleuse (Paris and Rouen, 1845), pp. 405-409 ; A. de

1587), pp. 93-105

Nore, Coutumes,
pp.

My ties
The

et

Traditions des Provinces de France (Paris and Lyons, 1846),

245-250.

giltjfertt or portable shrine

of St.
I

Romain
it

is

preserved in the

1902. It is in the form of a chapel, on the roof of which the saint stands erect, trampling on the winged dragon, while the condemned prisoner kneels in front of him. This, however,
is

Chapter Library of the Cathedral at Rouen, where

saw

in

May

decided to replace

not the original shrine, which was so decayed that in 1776 the chapter it by another. See Floquet, op. cit. ii. 338-346. The custom of

carrying the dragons in procession was stopped in 1753 because of its tendency to impair the solemnity of the ceremony (Floquet, ii. 301). Even more famous than

the dragon of Rouen was the dragon of Tarascon, an effigy of which used to be See A. de Nore, op. cit. pp. 47 sqq. carried in procession on Whitsunday. Neither
of these monsters
is

mentioned by Mr. P. Sebillot


i.

in his account of

French dragons

{Le folk-lore de France,

(Paris, 1904), pp. 468-470).

VI

PRIVILEGE OF

ST.

ROMAIN
all

191

by Mons. A. Floquet, Chief Registrar of the Royal


Court of Rouen, with the aid of
evidence,
Paris.

the documentary

including the archives

both at Rouen and


its

He

supposes the ceremony to have been in

origin a scenic representation of the triumph of Christ

over sin and death, the deliverance of the condemned


prisoner symbolising the deliverance of

yoke of corruption, and bringing


in a visible

man from the home to the people


festival

form the great mystery which the


was
instituted

of

the

Ascension

to

commemorate.
doctrine,

Such dramatic
points out, were
Plausible as

expositions

of Christian

he

common
is

in the

Middle Ages.
of the problem,
it

this solution

can

scarcely be regarded as

satisfactory.

Had

this

been
to

the real origin of the privilege

we should expect
the ceremony

find the Ascension of Christ either plainly enacted, or


at least

distinctly alluded

to in

but

apart from the singing of the

hymn De

resurrectione

Domini
in the

this

seems not to have been the

case.

More-

over, the part played by the dragon in the legend and


spectacle seems too
it

important to allow us to

explain

away, with

M.

Floquet, as a mere symbol of

the suppression of paganism by St. Romain.

The

tale

of the conquest of the dragon

is

older than Christianity

and cannot be explained by


analogy of similar
that in

it.

Judging from the

tales elsewhere,

the
a

Rouen
victim

version the

we may conjecture condemned criminal


to

represents
spirit

annually

sacrificed

water-

or other has

fabulous being,

while

the

Christian
said

saint

displaced a pagan

hero,

who was

to

192

PRIVILEGE OF

ST.

ROMAIN
Thus
it

lect.

have delivered the victim from death and put an end


to the sacrifice

by slaying the monster.

seems

possible that the

custom of annually pardoning a con-

demned
practice

malefactor

may have

superseded

an

older

of treating him as a public scapegoat,

who

died to save the rest of the people.

Such customs
not incredible

have been observed


that at
in

in

many

lands.

It is

Rouen

a usage of this sort should have survived

modified shape from pagan times

down

to the
at last
relic

twelfth century,

and that the Church should

have intervened to save the wretch and turn a

of

heathendom to the glory of God and

St.

Romain.
sacrifice

One more point and I have women to water-spirits appears


Wherever
ficed to

done.

The

of

to have been

commonly
obviously

intended to provide these mythical beings with wives.


that has been so, the water-spirit
is

supposed to be male.
water-spirits
^
;

But men have

also been sacri-

and where that has been the

practice,

we may

conjecture,

though

it

certainly does

not come out clearly, that the spirits are conceived as


female

and the human victims


the dragon of

as

their

husbands.
as

Whether
or
prisoners,

Rouen was considered


say,

male

female,

we

cannot

since

the

condemned
the
either

who

on

my

hypothesis

represented

victims formerly offered to

him or

her,

might be

men

or

women.
In the

So much for the sacred marriage in general.

' W. F. W. Owen, Narrative of Voyages to explore the shores of Africa, Arabia, and Madagascar (London, 1833), ii. 3541;.; Antiales de la Propagation de la Foi, xxxiii. (1861), p. 152 ; id. Ix. (i888), p. 253 ; E. Aymonier, " Les Tchames et leurs

religions,"

Revus de VHislUre

des Religions, xxiv. (1891), p. 213.

VI

THE LATIN KINGS


I shall

193

next lecture

apply the results of our inquiry to

the legendary history of the the


office

Latin kings, especially


consideration

kings of
the

Rome,

to

of whose

remainder of the lectures will be mainly

devoted.

LECTURE
The Sacred
Marriage
personified Jupiter, the

VII

Numa and EgeriaKings of Rome and Alba


god of the oak and the thunder

Sacred marriage of Jupiter and Juno perhaps enacted by the King and Queen of Rome Roman kings regarded as sons of

the

fire

god by

his

wives the Vestal Virgins

Sacred

fires

and

Vestal Virgins in Ireland and Peru.

In the

last lecture

adduced some examples of what


marriage or the marriage
consists in solemnly

may

be called the sacred

of the gods.

The custom

marry-

ing the gods to each other or to


act
as

consorts of the deities.


is

human beings who Amongst the divine


publicly
celebrated,

powers whose wedding


the
deities

thus

of vegetation and of water hold a con-

spicuous place.
the fertility

Such

rites

appear to aim at ensuring

of the earth,

upon which

the

life

of

animals and of

men
a

ultimately depends.

Our survey

of them

may

perhaps be allowed to strengthen


sacred

my
at

conjecture

that

marriage like that of our

King and Queen of


Nemi, the wedded

May

was annually solemnised

pair being the mortal

King and the


In
this

immortal Queen of the


nection
it

Wood,

Diana.

con-

is

to be

remembered that the worship of

the sacred grove at

Nemi

centred round the powers

194

LECT. VII

NUMA AND EGERIA


as well as

195
sanctuary of

of water
the

of vegetation.

The

goddess stood on the shore of a secluded lake


as Diana's

which was known

mirror

and further, one

of the mythical personages of the grove was Egeria,


the

nymph
that,

of a sacred spring.
as
I

Here

would remind
lecture,

you

mentioned

in

my

first

the

nymph Egeria was said to be the wife Roman king Numa. Have we not in
of
the

of the old
this

legend

the reminiscence of a custom of marrying the

King

Rome

to a goddess, like the custom of marrying to a

Queen of Athens

god

Observe that
king
;

Numa

was the very type of a


religious institutions
as their founder.

priestly

most of the

of

Rome

were referred to him


is

Such a king

precisely the sort

of personage most likely to contract a sacred union


with a goddess, whether the goddess
in the rite
is

represented

by an image or by a woman, who would


wife,

most naturally be the king's own

the

queen.
as well

You

will

remember

that the

Queen of Egypt
Further,

as the

Queen of Athens played

the part of the divine


it

consort in the sacred marriage.

should

be borne in mind that according to one tradition the

union of

Numa

with Egeria actually took place in the

hallowed wood at Nemi.

This tradition may well

contain an echo of a similar marriage between the King

of the
least

Wood

and Diana in the same holy grove.


is

At
in

the coincidence

curious

enough to

justify us

in scrutinising

more

closely

both

Numa

and Egeria,

order to see whether

we cannot

detect an affinity, on

the one hand, between

Egeria and Diana, and, on

196

EGERIA
Numa
Let us begin with Egeria.

LECT.

the other hand, between

and the King of the

Wood.

We
birth
;

saw

in the first lecture that Egeria, like Diana, as a divinity

was regarded

who

aided

women

in child-

and further, she was,

like Diana, associated with

water, being the

nymph

of a spring, while Diana was

the goddess of the lake.

Moreover,

like

Diana, she

was

also a tree-spirit

for Plutarch tells us definitely


;

that she

was a dryad or nymph of an oak


is

and

this

statement her name,

strongly confirmed by the etymology of

if

Mr. A. B. Cook
Greek

is

right in deriving
in

it

from the same root aeg which appears


aesculus,
all

the Latin

the

alyiXco-ifr,
^

and the German Eiche,

meaning " an oak."

So many coincidences between

Egeria and Diana can hardly be accidental.

We

may
in

assume with a

fair

degree of probability that Egeria


differ in

and Diana, though they


substance.

name, are identical


restate

Accordingly, we

may

the

Roman
King of

legend in other words by saying

that

the

Rome was

married to the oak-goddess Diana either in

the sacred grove at

Nemi

or,

according to others, in a

grove outside the walls of Rome.

But we have
marriage the

still

to ask whether

in

this
?

sacred
if so,

Roman

king personated a god

and

which god
will

That he should have posed


claimed to be divine.
set

as a deity

not seem

improbable when we remember

how
old

many monarchs have


^

The

Greek kings appear to have


Plutarch,

up

for being not merely


Classical
{i.

De fortuna Romanorum,
is

9.

2
p.

A. B. Cook, " Zeus,

Jupiter, and the

Oak,"

Review,
2. i).

xviii.

(i904)>

366.

The name

spelt

Aegeria by Valerius

Maximus

VII

THE KING AS JUPITER


for the learned Tzetzes, a

197

descendants of Zeus but actual embodiments on earth

of the great god


antiquarian lore,

mine of

tells

us repeatedly that of old every king


;

bore the

title

of Zeus

and the legend of Salmoneus,


as

King of Elis, who posed

Zeus and

in that character

made mock thunder and

lightning,^ probably reflects the

regular practice of early Greek kings.

But

if

Greek

kings claimed to be Zeus,

we should

expect to find the

Latin kings claiming to be Jupiter, the Italian counterpart of Zeus.

That they

actually did so

is

indicated
invite

by

a variety of evidence, to

which

would now

your attention.
In the
first

place, then, they

seem to have dressed

themselves as Jupiter and to have assumed his attributes.

For down

to

imperial times victorious generals cele-

brating a triumph, and magistrates presiding at

the

games

in the Circus,

wore the costume of Jupiter, which


his great

was borrowed for the occasion from


the Capitol
;

temple on

and

it

has been held with a high degree of


in

probability both

by ancients and moderns that

doing

so they merely copied the traditionary attire and insignia

of the
'

Roman
first,

kings.^

They rode
i^.
;

a chariot drawn by
Mr. A. B. Cook
409, and
Folk-lore,

J.

Tzetzes, Antehomerka, io2


so far as I

id.,

Chiliadu, ix. 452.

was the
Tzetzes.

know,

to call attention to this important statement of


p.

See his articles in The Classical Revievj, xvii. (1903),


sq.

XV. (1904), pp. 303


2

ApoUodorus,

'

i. 9. 7 ; Virgil, Am. vi, 585 sqq. ; Servius, on Virgil, l.c, Dionysius Halicarnasensis, Antiquit. Rom. iii. 61 sq., iv. 74, v. 35 ;

Niebuhr, History of Rome, (London, 1S94), i. 83 ; A.

ii.

J.

B. G. Th. Mommsen, History of Rome, New Edition H. Greenidge, Roman Public Life (London, 1901), pp.

36

But Mommsen, while he holds that the costume of a Roman god and of a Roman king was the same, denies that the king personated the god. A truer
44
sq.

historical insight

is

displayed by that great scholar


i.

K. O.

Miiller in his treatment of

the subject (Die Etrusker, Stuttgart, 1877,

348

sq.).

See further Th.

Mommsen,

198
four

2HE

HUMAN
:

JUPITER
city,

lect.

laurel-crowned horses

through the

where

every one else went on foot

they wore purple robes


:

embroidered or spangled with gold

in the right
left

hand

they bore a branch of laurel, and in the


ivory sceptre topped with an eagle
:

hand an

a wreath of laurel

crowned
vermilion

their
;

brows

their

face

was reddened with

and over

their

heads a slave held a heavy

crown of massy gold fashioned in the likeness of oak


leaves.^

In this attire the assimilation of the


all in

man

to

the
the

god comes out above

the eagle-topped sceptre,


face.

oaken crown, and the reddened

For the

eagle was the bird of Jove, the

oak was

his sacred tree,

and the face of


portant was

his

image on the Capitol was


festivals
;

in like

manner regularly dyed red on


it

indeed, so im-

deemed

to

keep the divine features


first

properly rouged, that one of the

duties of the

censors was to contract for having this done.^

The

Greeks sometimes painted red the face or the whole


Romhche: Staatsreckt^
ii.
\. i.
;

372
id.,

5y., ii. 5 sq.

J.

Marquardt, RSmhche Staatsverwaltungj


;

566

sj,, iii.2

507

sq.

PrirjatUben der Romer,^ 542 sq.

K. O.

Miiller, op.

cit.

344-350, ii. 198-200; Aust, J.-:/. "Jupiter," in W. H. Roscher's Lexikon dtr griech. und rom. Mythologie, ii. 633, 725-728. Among the passages of ancient authors on the subject are Appian, Pu. 66 j Zonaras, .^nffiz/. vii. 8 and 21 j Juvenal,
X.

36-43

Servius,
;

on Virgil, Eel.

vi.

22, a.

27

Ael. Lampridius, Alexander


Gellius, v. 6. 5-7.

Se-verus,

40. 8

Jul. Capitolinus, Gordiani Tres, 4.

Aulus

The

fullest descriptions of a
^

Roman

triumph are those of Appian and Zonaras.

TertuUian,
;

De

corona miiitis, 13;

compare Pliny, Nat.

Hist, xxxiil.

ii; Zonaras,

Annal.vii. 21
crov/n was

Juvenal, x. 38 sqq.

Mommsen

says that the triumphal golden


i.^

made

in the shape of laurel leaves {Romischer Staatsrecht,

427)

but

none of the ancient authors


exception of Aulus Gellius
laurel

cited

by

(v. 6. 5-7),

him appears to who may have

affirm this, vpith the doubtful

confused the wreath of real

which the general wore on his head (Pliny, Nat. Hist, xxxiii. 127, 130, 137) with the golden crown which was held over him by a slave. The two crowns are clearly distinguished by Zonaras {l.c.), though he does not describe the shape of the golden crown. Mommsen himself mentions "a chaplet of oaken leaves in gold" as part of the insignia of the Roman kings (Roman History, London, 1894, i. 83). ^ Pliny, Nat. Hist, xxxiii. iii sq.; Servius, on Virgil, Eel. vi. 22, x. 27.

VII

THE OAKEN CROWN

199

body of the wine-god Dionysus.^


the

These customs may

have been a substitute for an older practice of feeding

god by smearing the

face,

and

especially the lips,

of

his idol

with the blood of a

sacrificial victim.

As

the

triumphal procession always ended in the temple of


Jupiter on the Capitol,
it

was peculiarly appropriate

that the head of the victor should be graced

by

crown

of oak leaves

for not only was every

oak consecrated

to Jupiter,^ but {he Capitoline temple of the


said to have been built

god was

by Romulus beside

a holy oak,

venerated by shepherds, to which the king attached the


spoils

won by him from


*

the enemy's general in battle.^

We

are expressly told that the


;

oak crown was sacred to

Capitoline Jupiter

a passage of

Ovid proves

that

it

was regarded
in exile

as the

god's special emblem.

Writing

on the

shores'

of the Black

Sea, the poet sends

the book which he has just composed to

Rome

to be

published there
it

he personifies the volume and imagines

passing along the Sacred

Way
a

and up to the door of


hill.

the emperor's palace on the Palatine


portal

Above
quoth
I,

the

hung shining arms and


:

crown of oak
Is this,

leaves.

At

the sight the poet starts

"

the

house of Jove?

For sure

to

my

prophetic soul the


it

oaken crown was reason good to think

so."*

The
and
in

senate had granted Augustus the right to have the

wreath of oak always suspended over his door


^

Pau3anias,

ii.

2. 6

(with

my
;

note),

vii.

26, 11,

viii.

39. 6.
;

2 Pliny,
iii.

Nat.
10.

Hist. xii. 3
i.

Phaedrus,

iii.

17. i sqq.

Servius,

on

Virgil, Georg.

332, and Eel.


^
"

17.
sqq.
iii.

Livy,

i.

"

Plutarch, S^uaeit. Rom. 92.

Ovid,

Tristia,

31 sqq.

'

Dio Cassius,

liii.

19.

200

THE OAKEN CROWN


among
the

lect.

another passage Ovid counts this

more than

mortal honours bestowed on the emperor.-'

On

the

Capitol at Cirta there stood a silver image of Jupiter

wearing a silver
Similarly at

crown of oak leaves and

acorns.^

Dodona, the most famous sanctuary of the


image of Zeus appears to have worn
;

oak

in Greece, the

a chaplet of oak leaves

for the

god

is

constantly thus

portrayed on coins of Epirus.'

Thus we may
occasions

fairly

assume that on certain solemn

Roman

generals and magistrates personated

the supreme god, and that in doing so they revived the


practice of the early kings.

To

us moderns, for

whom
may

the breech which divides the

human from

the divine

has deepened into an impassable gulf, such mimicry

appear impious.

But

it

was otherwise with the

ancients.

To

their thinking

gods and

men were
from a

akin, for

many
extra-

families traced their descent


deification

divinity,

and the

of a

man

probably seemed as

little

ordinary to them as the canonisation of a saint appears


to a

modern

Catholic.

The Romans

in particular were

quite familiar with the spectacle of mortals

masqueradall

ing as spirits
illustrious

for at the funerals of great houses

the

dead of the family were personated by

men

specially chosen for their resemblance to the departed.

Ovid,

Fasti,

\,
;

607

zqq., iv.

953

sq,

Tiberius refused a similar honour (Suetoit

nius, Tiberius, 26)

but Domitian seems to have accepted

(Martial,

viii.

82. 7).

Two

statues

of Claudius, one in the Vatican, the other in the Lateran

museum,

represent the emperor as Jupiter wrearing the


die offentlichen

oak crown (W. Helbig, Fiihrer durck

Sammlungen

klassischer Altertiimtr in

Rom^

i.

Nos. 312, 673).

2 C.I.L. viii. ' J.

No. 6981.
i.

Overbeck, Griechische Kunstmythohgie, Besonderer Theil,

232

sqq,

L. R.

Farnell, The Cults

of the Greek

States,

i.

107

sq.

VII

THE ALBAN KINGS

201

These representatives wore masks fashioned and painted


in the likeness of the originals
:

they were dressed in

rich robes of office, resplendent with purple

and gold,
:

such as the dead nobles had worn in their lifetime

like

them they rode


by the rods and

in chariots

through the
all

city

preceded

axes,

and attended by
;

the

pomp and

heraldry of high station

and when
its

at last the funeral

procession, after threading


streets, defiled

way through

the crowded

into the

Forum, the maskers solemnly


chairs, placed for

took

their seats

on ivory

them on the

platform of the Rostra, in the sight of the people,


recalling

no doubt to the

old,

by

their silent presence,

the memories of an illustrious past, and firing the young

with the ambition of a glorious future.^

According to a tradition which we have no right to


reject,

Rome

was founded by

settlers

from Alba Longa,


hills,

a city which stood on the slope of the Alban

overlooking

Rome and

the Campagna.^

Hence

if

the

Roman

kings claimed to be representatives or embodi-

ments of Jupiter, the god of the sky, the thunder, and


the oak,
it is

natural to suppose that the kings of Alba,


the founder of

from

whom
set

Rome

traced his descent,

may have
men, and
iEneas

up the same claim before them.


Silvii,

Now the
is

Alban dynasty bore the name of


it

that

Woodin

can hardly be without significance that

the vision of the historic glories of


to
in

Rome
all

revealed

the

underworld,

Virgil,

who was an
the
line

antiquary as well as a poet, represents


^

Polybius,

vi.

53

sq.

As

to the situation see

Dionysius Halicarnasensis, Antiquii. Rom.


ii.

i.

66

H.

Nissen, ItalUche LandeAuiide,

(Berlin, 1902), pp.

582

sj.

202
of the
Silvii

SILVIUS
or

AND JULUS
as

lect.

Woods

crowned with oak.^


Alba Longa,
in

A
as
it

chaplet of oak leaves would thus seem to have been


part of the insignia of the old kings of

of their successors the kings of

Rome

both cases

marked the monarch


oak god.

as the

human

representative of the

With regard to Alban dynasty, we are told

Silvius, the first

king of the

that he got his

name because
and that

he had been born or brought up

in the forest,

when he came to man's estate he contested the kingdom


with his kinsman Julus, whose name, as some of the
ancients themselves perceived,

means the

Little Jupiter.

The

people decided in favour of Silvius, but his rival

Julus was consoled for the loss of the crown by being


invested with religious authority and the office of chief
pontifF, or

perhaps rather of Flamen Dialis, the highest

dignity after the kingship.

From

this

Julus or Little
first

Jupiter the noble house of the Julii, and hence the

emperors of Rome, believed themselves to be sprung.^

The
'

legend of the dispute between Silvius and Julus

Virgil, Aeti. vi. 772. Virgil,

Am.
;

vi.

760

sqq.,
;

with the commentary of Servius

Livy,

i.

3.

6 sqq.

Ovid, Metam, xiv. 609 sqq,


C. O. MCiller

id.. Fasti, iv.

39

sqq.

Festus,

j.i/,

"

Silvi," p. 340, ed.

Aurelius Victor, Origo

getitis

Romanae,

15-17; Dionysius Hali-

carnasensis, Andqult.

112, ed.

70 ; Diodorus Siculus, vii. 3^7 and 3 i, vol. ii. pp. noL. Dindorf (Teubner text) ; Joannes Lydus, De magistrati^us, i. 21. As to
Rom.
i.

the derivation of the

name

Julus, see Aurelius Victor, op.


u.

cit.

W. H.

Roscher's Lexikon d. griech.

rSm. Mythologie,

ii.

574.

15; Steuding, in Compare W. H.

Lindsay, The Latin Language (Oxford, 1894), p. 250. According to Diodorus, the priesthood bestowed on Julus was the pontificate ; but the name Julus or Little
Jupiter suggests that the office was rather that of
living

Flamen Dialis, who was a sort of embodiment of Jupiter (see below, p. 215), and whose name of Dialis is derived from the same root as Julus. On the Julii and their relation to Vejovis, see R. H. Klausen, Aeneas und die Penaten, ii. 1059 sqq. I have to thank Mr. A. B. Cook for directing my attention to the Alban kings and their interesting legends.
See his
article,

" Zeus, Jupiter, and the Oak," Classical Revietv,

xviii.

(1904), pp.

363

sq.

VII

THE JULII
preserve
a

203

may

reminiscence of such a partition of


in

spiritual

and temporal powers


in

Alba Longa

as after-

wards took place

Rome, when

the old regal office

was divided between the Consuls and the King of the


Sacred Rites.

That the

Julian house worshipped Vejovis

or the Little Jupiter, according to the ancient rites of

Alba Longa,

is

proved by the inscription on an

altar

which they dedicated to him

at Bovillae, a colony

of

Alba Longa, situated

at the foot

of the Alban

hills.^

The

Caesars, the

most

illustrious family

of the Julian

house, took their

name from
in

their long hair {caesaries)^

which was probably


royalty, just as
it

those early days a symbol of

was among the Franks many ages

afterwards.

But
it

in ceding the

high-priesthood to their

rivals,

would seem

that the reigning dynasty of the Silvii

or

Woods by no means
Roman
in

renounced their own claim


;

to personate the

god of the oak and the thunder


Silvius

for

the

annals record that one of them, Romulus,

Remulus, or Amulius
a

by name, pretended to be
superior

god

his

own

person, the equal or

of

Jupiter.
subjects,

To

support his pretensions and overawe his

he constructed machines whereby he mimicked


xiv.

'

C.I.L.

No.

2387

Vejovis as the Little Jupiter, see Festus,


Ovid, Fasti,
betvifeen
iii.

L. Preller, RSmiscAe Mythohgie,^ i. 263 sj. On s.-v. " Vesculi," p. 379, ed. C. O. Miiller ;
the sanctuary of Vejovis was on the saddle
i

429-448.
sq.)

At Rome

the two peaks of the Capitoline hill (Aulus Gellius, v. 12.

sq.

Ovid,

Fasti,

iii.

429

thus he appropriately dwelt on the same


slope.

hill
is

as

the Great

Jupiter, but lower

down the
head
i.

On some Roman
with
oalc.

coins he

represented by a

youthful

beardless

crowned
ii.

See

E.

Babelon, Motmaies de la

Republique Romaim,
2 Festus,
s.'v.

552,

266, 529.
p.

" Csesar,"

57, ed. C.

O. MUUer.

Other

but less probable


ii,

explanations of the

name

are suggested by Aelius Spartianus [Helius,

3 sq,).

204

THUNDERING KINGS

lect.

the roll of thunder and the flash of lightning.


relates that in the season

DIodorus
is

of fruitage, when thunder

loud and frequent, the king

commanded

his soldiers to

drown

the roar of heaven's artillery by clashing their


shields.

swords against their


of his impiety
;

But he paid the penalty


and
his house,

for he perished, he

struck storm.

by a thunderbolt
Swollen by the

in the midst of a dreadful

rain, the

Alban lake rose


still,

in flood

and

drowned

his palace.
is

But

says an ancient historian,

when

the water

low and the surface unruffled by a


see

breeze,

you may

the ruins of the palace at the


lake.-'

bottom of the clear


similar

Taken along with

the

story of Salmoneus, king of Elis, this legend

points to a real custom observed by the early kings of

Greece and
to

Italy,

who,

like their fellows in Africa

down

modern

times,

may have been expected

to produce

rain

and thunder for the good of the


king

crops.

The

priestly

Numa

passed for an adept in the art of

drawing down lightning from the sky.^


In this connection
it

deserves

to

be noted that,
his

according to

the legend, Salmoneus, like


;

Alban

counterpart, was killed by a thunderbolt

and that one


reported to

of the
^

Roman
coll.

kings, Tullus Hostilius,

is

Dionysius
i.

Halicarn. ^ntiquit, Rom,

i.

Chronic, bk.
ii.

287, 289, ed. A. Schoene

71 ; Diodorus Siculus, in Eusebius, Diodorus Siculus, vii. 3 a and 4, vol.


;

pp.

112

sq.,

ed. L.

Dindorf (Teubner text)

Zonaras, Annul,
xiv.

vii.

Aurelius

Victor, Origo gentis Romanae, 18; Owid,

Metam.
in

Livy,

i.

3. 9.

tale of a city

submerged

616-618; rV., Fasti, iv. <o ; the Alban lake is still current in the
lands.

neighbourhood.
i.

See the English translators' note to Niebuhr's History of Rome,^


in

200.
24. 6.

similar stories are told

many
sq.

See

my
i.

note on Pausanias,

vii.

^ Pliny,
iii.

Nat. Hist.
;

ii.

140, xxviii. 13

Compare Livy,

20. 7
v.

Ovid, Fasti,

285-348

Plutarch,

Numa, 15

Arnobius, Ad-versus Nationes,

1-4.

vri

THUNDERING KINGS
in an

205

have met with the same end

attempt to draw

down

Jupiter

in

the

form

of

lightning

from the

clouds.^

^neas

himself, the legendary ancestor both

of the Alban and the

Roman

kings, vanished

from the

world in a violent thunderstorm, and was afterwards


worshipped as Jupiter Indiges.
encircled with fine trees,

mound of
little

earth,

on the bank, of the


as his grave.^

river

Numicius, was pointed out


too, the
It
first

Romulus,

king of Rome, disappeared in like manner.

was the seventh of July, and the king was reviewing

his

army

at the Goat's

Marsh, outside the walls of the

city.

Suddenly the sky lowered and a tempest burst,

accompanied by peals of thunder.

Soon the storm had

swept by, leaving the brightness and serenity of the

summer day
again.

behind.

But Romulus was never seen


said they
;

Those who had stood by him


a
certain

saw him

caught up to heaven in a whirlwind


afterwards

and not long

Proculus Julius, a patrician of

Alban

birth

and descent, declared on oath that Romulus


in bright

had appeared to him clad

armour, and had


as a

announced that the Romans were to worship him

name of Quirinus, and to build him a temple on the spot. The temple was built, and the place was thenceforth known as the Quirinal hill.' If,
god under
the
'

Pliny, Nat. Hist.

ii.

140, xxviii. 14
vii. 6.

Livy,

i.

31, 8

Aurelius Victor,

De

viris

illustrious,

Zonaras, Annal.
i.

^ Livy,

i.

Ovid, Metam. xiv. 598-608


i.

Pliny, Nat. Hist.

iii.

56

Dionysius

Halicarn. Ant. Rom.


gentis Romanae, 14.
'

64 ; Servius, on Virgil, Am. i. 259 ; Aurelius Victor, Origo Only the last writer mentions the thunderstorm.
i.

Livy,

i.

16
ii.

Cicero, Delegihus,

1. 3

id.,

De
;

re fublica,

\.

16. 25,

ii.

10.

20
2

Ovid, Fasti,
ii.

475-512; Plutarch, Romulus, 27


;

sq.

Dionysius Halicarn. Ant. Rom.

56 and 63

Zonaras, Annal.
i.

vii.

Aurelius Victor,

De

viris illustribus,

Florus, Epitoma,

i.

16-18.

2o6
as

THUNDERING KINGS
B.

lect.
as

Mr. A.

Cook

has conjectured

and

seems to

be philologically possible, the word Quirinus contains


the same root as quercus, " an oak," the

name of the more than " the oak deified Romulus would mean no Thus the tradition would god," that is, Jupiter.
square perfectly with the other indications which have
led us to conclude that the kings both of

Alba and

Rome
stories

claimed to be embodiments of Jupiter, the god


Certainly the

of the sky, of thunder, and of the oak.

which associated the deaths of so many of them

with thunderstorms point to a close connection with the


deity of thunder and lightning.

king who had been

wont

to fulminate in his lifetime


at

might naturally be

supposed

death to be carried up in a thunderstorm

to heaven, there to discharge above the clouds the

same
tale

duties which he had performed on earth.

Such a

would be
Romulus,

all

the

more

likely to attach itself to the twin

if

the early

Romans shared

the widespread
in

superstition that twins have

power oven the weather


of the dead

general and over thunder and lightning in particular.

That tempests
belief

are caused

by the

spirits

is

of the Araucanians of

Chili.

Not

a storm bursts

upon the Andes or

the ocean which these Indians

do

not ascribe to a battle between the souls of their fellow-

countrymen and those of the Spaniards.


the
in the peal of the thunder the roll of the

In the roar of
horses,

wind they hear the trampling of the ghostly


of the

drums, and in

the flashes of lightning the


'

fire

artillery.^
Review,
xviii.

A. B. Cook, "Zeus,
sq. I.

Jupiter, and the

Oak,"

Classical

(1904), pp.

368
^

J.

Molina, Geographical, Natural, and Civil History of

Chili

(London, 1809),

VII

KINGS AS RAIN-MAKERS
Thus
if

207
imitated

the

kings of Alba and

Rome
a

Jupiter as
leaves,

god of the oak by wearing


have

crown of oak

they seem also to

copied

him

in

his

character of a weather

god by pretending to make

thunder and lightning.

And

if

they did

so,

it

is

probable that, like Jupiter in heaven and

many kings

on

earth, they also acted as public rain-makers, wringing

showers from the darkling sky by their enchantments

whenever the parched earth


moisture.

cried out for the refreshing

At Rome

the sluices of heaven were opened


stone,

by means of a sacred

and the ceremony appears

to have formed part of the ritual of Jupiter Elicius, the

god who

elicits

from the clouds the


rain.^

flashing lightning

and the dripping

And who

so fitted to perform

the ceremony as the king, the living representative of


the sky

god

.''

The

conclusion

we have reached
each of them,

as to the
all

kings of
the kings

Rome

and Alba probably holds good of


:

of ancient Latium

we may

suppose,

represented or embodied the local Jupiter.


ii.

For we
to

92

sq.
is

The

savage Conibos of the Ucayali river in eastern Peru imagine that

thunder

the voice of the dead


p.

(W. Smith and

F.

Lowe, Journey from Lima

240) ; and among them when parents who have lost a child within three months hear thunder, they go and dance on the grave, howling turn about (De St. Cricq, " Voyage du Perou au Bresil," Bulletin de la Socie'te de

Fara, London, 1836,

Geographic,

vi., Paris,

1853,

p. 294.).

Apparently they hear the sighs and groans of

their lost child in the


'

rumble of thunder.

Festus,

i.w. " Aquaelicium " and

"Manalem

lapidem," pp.

2,

128, ed. C. O.
;

Servius, on 175; Fulgentius, "Expos, serm. antiq." s.v. "Manales lapides," Auctores Mythographi Latini, ed. Staveren (Leyden and Amsterdam, 1742), pp. 769 sq.

Miiller; Nonius Marcellus, s.v. "Trullum," p. 637, ed. guicherat


iii.

Virgil, Aen.

For the connection of the


Lexikon d. griech.
u.

rite

with Jupiter
ii.

Elicius, see

O. Gilbert, Geschichte

und Topographic der Stadt Rom im Altcrtum,


rSm. Mythologie,
ii.

154

Jy.

Aust, in

W.

H. Roscher's

657

sq.

As

to the

connection of Jupiter

with the rain-making ceremony [aquaelicium), the combined evidence of Petronius [Sat. 44.) and Tertullian {Apologeticus, 40) seems to me conclusive.

2o8

JUPITER
its

AND THE OAK

lect,

can hardly doubt that of old


settlement had

every Latin town or every town and almost


its

own

Jupiter, as

every church in modern Italy has

own Madonna

and

like the Baal

of the Semites the local Jupiter was

commonly
heights,

worshipped

on

high

places.

Wooded

round which the rain -clouds gather, were


and the oak.

indeed the natural sanctuaries for a god of the sky,


the rain,

At Rome he occupied one


hill,

summit of the Capitoline


was assigned
long
flight

while the other summit

to his wife Juno,


stairs

whose temple, with the


it,

of

leading

up to

has for ages been

appropriately replaced by the church of St.


the altar of the sky " {in Aracelt)}

Mary

" in

That both heights

were originally wooded seems certain, for


imperial times the saddle which joins
as the place

down to them was known


^

" between the two groves."


top,

Virgil tells
glittered in
thickets,

us that the
his day,

hill

where gilded temples

had been covered of old by shaggy

the haunt of

woodland

elves

and savage men, " born of


^

the tree trunks and the heart of oak."

These thickets
was

were probably composed of oaks, for the oak crown was


sacred to Capitoline
to a sacred

Juno

as well as to Jupiter

it

oak on the

Capitol, as I have said, that


;

Romulus
^
i.

fastened the spoils

and there

is

evidence that
hills

in early times
Ovid,
;

oak woods clothed other of the


sq., vi.

on
B.C.,

Faiti,

i.

637
i.

183

sjq.

Livy,

vii.

28. 4

sq.

Cicero,

De dm'maUmt,
See

45. loi

Solinus,

21.

Although the temple was not dedicated until 344


i.

the worship of the goddess of the hill appears to have been very ancient.

H. Jordan, Topographic der Sladt Rom im Ahertum^


Lexikon d. gnech,
^
u.
J

2. pp.

109

sq,

W. H.

Roscher,

rdm. Mylkokgiej

ii.

592
;

sq.
ii.

Livy,

i.

8. 5

Ovid, Fasti,

iii.

430

Dionysius Halicarnas. Ant. Rom.

15.

' Virgil, *

314-318, 347-354Plutarch, Sluaest. Rom. 92.


viii.

Aen.

VII

THE FIRE OF OAK


Rome
I

209
spare

which
details

was afterwards

built.

I will
is

you the

of the evidence, but there

one of them to
old grove ot
hill

which

must

call

your attention.

An

Vesta once skirted the foot of the Palatine


the side of the Forum,^ and
a grove of oaks.
it

on

must surely have been


place, a fine ancient

For, in the

first

relief representing the

temple of Vesta shows an oak


;

tree

growing beside
all,

it

and

in the second place,

most

important of
fire

charred embers of the sacred vestal


at

were discovered by Signor Boni a few years ago

the temple of Vesta, and a microscopic analysis of

them

has proved that they consist of the pith or heart of

trunks or great branches of oak

(^quercus, I

not

ilex).^
its
is

This very remarkable


illustrious discoverer

fact,

which

learned from
in

during a winter spent

Rome,

of high importance for the understanding of the early


religion, not only

of the Romans, but of

all

the Latin

peoples
its

for
fire,

every Latin town would seem to have had

vestal

and the discovery of the charred embers


raises

in the
fire in

Forum

a presumption that every vestal

Latium was fed with the wood of the sacred oak,

the tree of the supreme

god

Jupiter.

Indeed there

is

reason to think that

all

the branches of the


fires

Aryan

family in Europe fed their sacred


^

with oak

wood

Cicero,

De

liivwatione,

i.

45. loi.

May 1900, pp. 161, 172; id., Aedes Vestae^ 14 (extract from the Nucma Antologia, 1st August 1900). Commendatore Boni thinks that the charred remains of the wood prove that the fire was extinguished,
^

G. Boni,

in Notixie degli Scavi,

p.

probably by libations, and that therefore

it

cannot have been the perpetual holy


fiiel
iii.

fire

of Vesta, which would have consumed the

completely.

But

new

fire
i.

was
12.

annually
6),

lit

on the

first

of

March
old

(Ovid, Fastt,
fire

143

sq.

Macrobius, Saturn,

which may imply that the


cases.

was

first

ceremonially extinguished, as often

happens in such

2IO

LATUM
this in

JUPITER
known

lect.
to have

the old Lithuanians, for example, are

done

honour of

their chief

god Perkunas,

the

deity of thunder

and lightning, who corresponded to

According to some philologers the Perkunas means " the oak god," being very name

Zeus and

Jupiter.^

derived from

the

root perq, which reappears in the


*

Latin quercus, " an oak."


If the kings of

Rome

aped Capitoline Jupiter,

their

predecessors the kings of Alba probably laid themselves

out to mimic the great Latian Jupiter,


seat

who had
the

his

above the

city

on the summit
the legendary

of

Alban
of the

Mountain.

Latinus,

ancestor

dynasty, was said to have been changed into Latian

Jupiter after vanishing from the world in the mysterious


fashion characteristic of the old

Latin kings.*

The

sanctuary of the god on the top of the mountain was


the religious centre of the Latin League, as Alba was
its

political
its

capital

till

Rome

wrested the supremacy


in our

from

ancient rival.

Apparently no temple,

sense of the word, was ever erected to Jupiter


his holy

on

this

mountain

as

god of the sky and the thunder


oldest sanctuary M.
Perlbach,
i.

he appropriately received the homage of his worshippers


in
^
(ii.

the open
S.
tract, cap. v. 2)

air.*

His

on

this airy
1876),
p.

Grunau, Preussische Chronik, ed.


j

(Leipsic,

78

M.

Praetorius, Deliciae Prussicae (Berlin. 1871), pp. 19 sq.

H.

Hirt,

(1892), pp. 479 sqq.


" *

" Die Urheimat der Indogermanen," Itidogermaniscicn Forschurgai, i. P. Kretschmer, Ein/eitung in die Geschichte der griechiichen
J

Sprache (GSttingen, 1896), pp. 81


Festus, i.f " Oscillantes,"
.

sq.

p.

194, ed. C. O. MilUer.


still

The

massive wall, of which some remains

enclose the old garden of the

Passionist monastery, seems to have been part of the sacred precinct

the Proud, the

which Tarquin king of Rome, marked out for the solemn annual assembly See Dionysius Halicarn. Ant. Ram. iv. 49 ; A. Schwegler, of the Latin League.
last

Rdmische

Gexkichte,

i.

341

H. Nissen,

Italiscke

Landeskunde,

ii.

580.

The

VII

THE ALB AN OAKS


;

211

spot was a grove

and bearing

in

mind not merely

the special consecration of the oak to Jupiter, but also the traditional oak crown of the Alban kings and the

analogy of the oak of Capitoline Jupiter at Rome, we

may

suppose that the trees in the grove were oaks.^

We

know

that in antiquity

Mount

Algidus, an out-

lying group of the


forests

Alban

hills,

was covered with dark

of oak both of the evergreen and the ordinary

sort

and among the

tribes

who belonged
and were

to

the

Latin League in the

earliest days,

entitled to

share the flesh of the sacrificial white bull, there was

one whose members styled themselves


doubtless on account of the woods
dwelt.

Men of the Oak/

among which they

But we should
forest of oaks.

err if

we

pictured to ourselves the

country as covered in historical times with an unbroken

Theophrastus has

left

us a description
in the fourth

of the woods of Latium as they were


century before Christ.
Latins
is all

He

says

"

The

land of the

moist.

The

plains produce laurels, myrtles,

Passionist monastery, founded in 1777, by Cardinal Yorlc, the last of the Stuarts, has

now
Italy

been converted into a meteorological station and an inn (K. Baedeker, Central

and Rome^'

p.

400).

It is fitting that the

observed by
piety.
^

modern
i.

science on the

atmospheric phenomena should be same spot where they were worshipped by ancient

Livy.

31. 3.

According to tradition, the sow which marked the future


(Virgil,

was found lying under evergreen oaks


has pointed out {Classical Review,

Aen.

viii. 4.3),

xviii. 363).

The

tradition

of Alba Longa Mr. A. B. Cook seems to show that


site

as

the neighbourhood of the city was wooded with oaks.


3

Horace, Odes,

iii.

23. 9
iii.

sq., iv. 4.
;

* Pliny,

Nat. Hist.

69

57 sqq. ; compare id. i. 21. 5 sq. Dionysius Halicarn. Ant. Rom. v. 61.

As

to the

white bulla sacrificed at the great Latin festival and partaken of by the members of the League, see Arnobius, Ad-uersus Natimes, ii. 68 ; Dionysius Halicarn. Ant. Rom.
iv. 49.

Compare

Cicero,

De

Plancio,

vs..

23

Varro,

De

lingua Latina, vi. 25.

212

THE WOODS OF LATIUM


;

lect.

and wonderful beeches


that a single
ship.

for they fell trees of such a size

stem

suffices for the keel

of a Tyrrhenian

Pines and
call

firs

grow on the mountains.


is

What
^

they

the land of Circe

a lofty headland thickly

wooded with

oak,

myrtle,

and
the

luxuriant

laurels."

Thus

the

prospect

from

top

of

the

Alban

Mount

in the early age of

Rome must

have been very


to-day.

different in

some

respects

from what

it is

The

purple Apennines, indeed, in their eternal calm on the

one hand, and the shining Mediterranean


unrest on the other, no doubt looked then

in its eternal

much

as they

look now, whether bathed

in

sunshine or chequered by

the fleeting shadows of clouds.


desolate

But instead of the


Campagna,

brown expanse of the


its

fever-stricken

spanned by

long lines of ruined aqueducts, like the


in the vision

broken arches of the bridge

of Mirza, the

eye must have ranged over woodlands that stretched

away, mile after mile, on


hues of green or autumnal

all

sides,

till

their varied

scarlet

and gold melted

insensibly into the blue of the distant mountains and


sea.

The Alban Mount was


Olympus was
god,

thus to the Latins what

to the Greeks, the lofty

abode of the sky

who hurled his thunderbolts from above the The white steers which were here sacrificed clouds.
to

him

in his sacred grove, as

on the Capitol

at

Rome,^

remind us of the white


sacrificed
'

bulls

which the Druids of Gaul


before

under the holy oak


Hist. Plant, v. 8. 3.
ii.

they

cut

the

Thcophrastm,
Servius,

Arnobiu3, Adversus Nationes^

68
;

31

on

Virgil, Georg.

ii.

146

Livy, xxii. 10. 7; Ovid, Ex ; Horace, Carmen Saeculare, 49.

Portte, iv. 4.

VII

JUPITER
;

AND JUNO
would be
all

213
the closer
if,

mistletoe
as

and the

parallel

we have

reason to think, the

Latins worshipped

Jupiter originally in groves of oak.

When we

re-

member

that the ancient Italian

and

Celtic people

spoke

languages which were nearly akin,^ we shall not be


surprised at discovering traces of
religion, especially in

community

in their

what concerns the worship of the


the thunder.

god of the oak and


in

For that worship

belongs to the oldest stratum of the Aryan civilisation

Europe.

But Jupiter did not reign alone on the top of the

Alban Mount.
goddess Juno,

He
as

had

his

consort with him, the

who was worshipped


on the Capitol

here
at

under the

same

title,

Moneta,

Rome.^

As

the oak crown was sacred to Jupiter and Juno on the


Capitol, so

we may suppose
his

it

was on the Alban Mount,

from which the Capitoline worship was derived.


the oak

Thus
oak

god would have


So
at

oak goddess

in the sacred

Dodona the oak Zeus was coupled with Dione, whose very name is only a dialectically different form of Juno * and so on the top of Mount Cithaeron, as we saw in the last lecture, the god was periodically
grove.
;

wedded to an oaken image of Hera.


1 ^

It is

probable,

Pliny, Nat. Hist. xvi.

250

sq.

"

Italic

and Keltic are 50 closely bound together by important phonetic and


affinities

morphological
speech (J, p. 6 note).

that they are sometimes spoken of as one branch " of

Aryan

H. Moulton, Tioo

Lectures on the Science of Language, Cambridge, X903,


;

See also Isaac Taylor, The Origin of the Aryans, pp. 192, 257
Philology^ (London, 1901), p. 26.
xlv. 16. i.

P. Giles,

Manual of Comfarati-ve
^

Livy,

xlii. 7. i,

Compare Dio
iii.

Cassius, xxxix. 20.


far older.

i.

The

temple

was dedicated
*

in 167 B.C., but the worship

was doubtless
coll.

Strabo,

vii. 7.

12; Hyperides, Or.


p.

35-37, pp. 43

sq., ed.

Blass

G.

Curtius, Griech. Etymologic,^

236

W.

H. Roscher, Juno und Hera

(Leipsic,

1875). PP- 17

'?

214
though
it

THE SACRED MARRIAGE

lect.

cannot be positively proved, that the sacred

marriage of Jupiter and Juno was annually celebrated

by

all

the peoples of the Latin stock in the


after the goddess, the

which they named

month midsummer

month of June.^
pontiffs

Now

on the

first

of June the

Roman
in

performed certain

rites in

the grove of Helernus

beside the Tiber,

and on the same day, and perhaps

the same place, a

nymph of

the grove, by

name Carna,
She was

received off^erings of lard and bean porridge.


said

to be a coy huntress

who gave

the slip to her

suitors in the

depth of the wood, but was caught by


her to be Diana herself.^
If she

Janus.

Some took
is,

was indeed a form of that goddess, her union with


Janus, that

Dianus, would be appropriate


hill,

and

as

she had a chapel on the Cselian

which

is

known

to

have been once covered with oak woods,^ she may, like
Egeria, have been an oak

nymph.
shall

Further, Janus or
see
later

Dianus, and
originally

Diana, as

we

on,

were

mere doubles of Jupiter and Juno, with

whom
^

they coincide in name and to some extent in


Roscher,
op. cit. pp.

W. H.
59 X sqq.

64

sqq,^ id., Lexikon d. grieci.


iii.

u.

ram.

Myth.

ii.

575

sq.,
i.

See particularly Ovid, Amores,

13

Dionysius Halicarn. Ant. "Rom.

21. The month of June was variously known in different parts of Latium as Junmi, Junonius, and yunonalis. See Ovid, Fasti, vi. 59-63 ; Macrobius, Sat. i. 12, 30 ; Festus, p. 103, ed. C. O. Mailer. The two latter forms seem to render the derivation of Junius from Juno quite certain.
2
ii.

Ovid,

fam,

vi.

101-168

Macrobius, &i.

i.

12.

31-33

TataWa'a,
verborum,

Ad Natiimcs,
p.

9 ; Varro, quoted Quicherat.


'

by Nonnus,

De varia

significatione

390, ed.

Tacitus, Annals,

iv.

65.

The
;

Porta Sluerquetulana or S^uerquetularia, "the

Gate of the
hills (Pliny,

Oak Grove,"
Nat.

seems to have been between the Cxlian and the Esquiline


37
Festus, pp. 260, 261, ed. C. O. Muller)
;

Hist. xvi.

and close

by there was a chapel of the


(Festus,
lice.
;

Oak Grove

dedicated to the worship of the oak

nymphs
on

Varro,

De

lingua Latina, v. 49).

These nymphs
i.

are represented

coins (E. Babelon, Monnaies de la Repuhlique Romaine,

99

sq.).

VII

OF JUPITER AND JUNO


Hence
it

215

function.

appears to be not impossible that


first

the rite celebrated by the pontiffs on the


in the sacred grove of

of June

Helernus was the marriage of

Jupiter and Juno under the forms of Janus and Diana.


It

would be some confirmation of

this

view

be sure that, as Ovid seems to imply, the


in the habit of placing branches

we could Romans were


if

of white thorn or buckof June to keep out

thorn in their windows on the


the witches
;

first

for in
is

some

parts of

Europe

precisely the

same custom
earlier,

observed, for the same reason, a

on the marriage day of the

month King and Queen of


too slight and

May.^

However, the evidence


first

as to the rites observed


is

by the Romans on the


Day.

of June

dubious to allow us to press the parallel with

May

If at any time of the year the

Romans

celebrated the

sacred marriage of Jupiter and Juno, as the Greeks

commonly

celebrated

the

corresponding marriage of

Zeus and Hera, we

may

suppose

that

under

the

Republic the ceremony was either

performed

over

images of the divine pair or acted by the Flamen Dialis

and

his wife the Flaminica.

For the Flamen

Dialis

was the

priest

of Jove

indeed ancient and modern

writers have regarded him, with


living

image of Jupiter, a
In earlier times

sky god.*
'

much probability, as a human embodiment of the the Roman king, as repre-

Ovid, Fasti,

vi.

129-168.

The

evidence will be given in the third edition of The Golden Bough.

* Plutarch, ^aiest.

Rom. ill; L. Preller, RSmhche Mytiohgie,"


S^uestms,
p. Uxiii.
j

i.

201;

F. B.

Jevons, Plutarch's

Romam

C. Julian, in Daremberg et Saglio,


ii.

Dictionnaire des Antiquites Grecques et Romaines,

11 56 sqq.

2i6

THE KING AND QUEEN

lect.

sentative of Jupiter,

would naturally play the part of


as the heavenly bride, just as in
in the character

the heavenly bridegroom at the sacred marriage, while


his

queen would figure

Egypt the king and queen masqueraded


of
deities,

and

as at

Athens the queen annually wedded

the vine

god Dionysus.

Even

if the office
it

of Flamen

Dialis existed under the kings, as

appears to have

done, the double representation of Jupiter by the king

and the flamen need not have seemed extraordinary to


the
as

Romans of the we saw, appears

time.

The same

sort of duplication,

to have taken place at Alba,

when
in

the Julii were allowed to represent the

supreme god

the character of Little Jupiters, while the royal dynasty

of the

Silvii

continued to wield the divine thunder and

lightning.
itself,

And

long ages afterwards, history repeating

member of the Julian house, the first Emperor of Rome, was deified in his lifetime under the
another

title

of Jupiter, while a flamen was appointed to do for


Dialis did for the heavenly Jove.^

him what the Flamen


It is said that

Numa,

the typical priestly king, at

first

himself discharged the functions of Flamen Dialis, but


afterwards appointed a separate priest of Jupiter with
that
title, in

order that the kings, untrammelled by the


religious observances attached to the priestbattle.^

burdensome

hood, might be free to lead their armies to


tradition

The

may

be

substantially

correct
priestly

for

analogy

shows that the functions of a


'

king are too


;

Cicero, Philippics,

ii.

43.

lo

Suetonius, Diims Julius, 76

Dio

Cassius,

xliv. 6.
xviii.
'

The
i.

coincidence has been pointed out by

Mr. A.

B.

Cook

(Classical

Review,

371).

Livy,

20.

1 sj.

vii

AS JUPirER
and
too

AND JUNO
to

217
permanently

harassing

incongruous

be

united in the same hands, and that sooner or later the

holder of the

office

seeks to rid himself of part of his


his

burden by deputing to others, according to

temper

and

or his religious duties. Hence we may take it as probable that the fighting kings of Rome, tired of parading as Jupiter and of observing all
tastes, either his civil

the tedious restrictions which the character of godhead


entailed

on them, were glad to

relegate

these pious

mummeries
crosier at

to a substitute, in whose hands they left the

home

while they went forth to wield the sharp


abroad.

Roman sword

This would explain why the

traditions of the later kings,

from Tullus Hostilius

onwards, exhibit so few traces of sacred or priestly


functions adhering to their
office.

Among

the cere-

monies which they henceforward performed by deputy

may have been


Whether

the rite of the sacred marriage.

that

was so or not, the legend of

Numa

and Egeria appears to embody

a reminiscence of a time

when

the priestly king himself played the part of the


;

divine bridegroom

and

as

we have

seen

reason

to

suppose that the


while Egeria
is

Roman

kings personated the oak god,


to have been an

expressly said
their
at

oak

nymph, the story of


raises a

union in the sacred grove

presumption that
periodically

Rome

in the regal period a

ceremony was

performed exactly analogous

to that which was annually celebrated at Athens


to the time of Aristotle.

down
of

The marriage of the king

Rome

to the oak goddess, like the

wedding of the vine

god to the Queen of Athens, must have been intended

21
to quicken the

THE LATIN KINGS


Of

lect.

growth of vegetation by homoeopathic

magic.

the two forms of the sacred marriage

we

can hardly doubt that the

Roman was

the older, and

that long before the northern invaders

met with the


their forein

vine

on the shores of the Mediterranean,

fathers

had married the oak god to the oak goddess


have mostly

the vast forests of central and northern Europe.


the

In
dis-

England of our day the


still

forests

appeared, yet

on many

a village green

and

in

many

a country lane a faded image of the sacred marriage


lingers in the rustic pageantry of

May

Day.

So much for the custom of marrying human beings


to deities, especially to deities of vegetation

and water.

But there

is

another case of that custom which

we must
of some

now briefly consider, namely, women to the god of the fire.

the practice of marrying

This practice

is

importance for the understanding of the early history

of the Latins, since there are grounds for thinking that


the old Latin kings were

sons of the

fire

god by

commonly supposed to be mortal mother. The evidence


is

which has led

me

to this conclusion

as follows.

First, let us take the

legend of the birth of King


that

Servius TuUius.
Ocrisia, a

It is said

one day the virgin

slave-woman of Queen Tanaquil, was offering


and libations on the royal hearth when
fire.

as usual cakes

a flame shot out towards her from the


this

Taking

for a sign

that her

handmaiden was to be the

mother of a more that mortal son, the wise Queen


Tanaquil bade the
girl

array herself as a bride and

lie

VII

BORN OF THE
beside the hearth.

FIRE
orders were
spirit

219
obeyed
fire,
:

down
in

Her
god or

Ocrisia conceived by the

of the

and

due time brought forth Servius Tullius, the future

king of Rome,

who was
birth

thus born a slave, being the

reputed son of a slave mother and a divine father, the


fire

god.

His
noon

from the

fire

was attested

in his

childhood by a flame that played about his head as he


slept
at in

the

king's palace.^

This story, as

others have pointed out before,^ seems clearly to imply


that the

mother of Servius 'Tullius was

a Vestal Virgin
fire in

charged with the care and worship of the sacred


the king's house.

Now in Promathion's

History of Italy,

cited by Plutarch, a similar tale

was told of the birth


It is said

of Romulus himself, the founder of Rome.


that in the house of the king of

Alba a flame of a

mysterious shape hung over the hearth for

many

days.

Learning from an oracle that a virgin should conceive

by

this

phantom and bear

a son of great valour

and

renown, the king ordered one of his daughters to take


the fiery apparition for her husband
to
;

but she disdained

do so and sent her handmaid

instead.

The hand-

maid complied, and became the mother of Romulus


and Remus.
obedience,

The

king, angry at his daughter's dis-

would have put her and her slave-woman


of the goddess Vesta in a dream.*
;

to death, but the lives of the girls were saved by the


interposition
'

In
;

Plutarch,

Dc

Ovid, Fasti,
^

vi.

Romamrum, lo 627-636; Pliny, Nat.


fortuna
ii.

Dionysius Halicarn. Ant. Rom.


ii.

iv. i sq.
i.

Hist.

241, xxxvi. 204; Livy,


vi. 18.

39;
ii.

Servius, on Virgil, Aen.

683

Arnobius, Ad-versus Nationes,


i.

A. Schwegler, RSmischc

Geschichte,

71

L. Preller, RSmiscie Mythohgief

344^ Plutarch, Romulus, a.

220
this

THE LATIN KINGS


legend,
it

lect.

as
is

in

the story of the birth of Servius


that

TuUius,
king of

plain

the

mother of the future


and a Vestal Virgin.

Rome was Orthodox Roman tradition


was a
Vestal,
as the king's

both a slave

always admitted that she

but naturally enough represented her

daughter rather than


this

his slave.^

Howsuspect

ever,

when we compare

legend with the similar

story of the birth of Servius Tullius,

we may

that Plutarch's authority, Promathion, has preserved the

genuine tradition, and a very remarkable one

it

is

he

has, in fact, betrayed the secret that in the old

days

one of the king's parents might be, and sometimes was,


a slave.

At
and

all

events, such tales bear witness to an

old belief that the early


virgins

Roman

kings were born of


Caeculus,

of the

fire.

Similarly,

the
It

founder of Prasneste, passed for a son of Vulcan.

was said that

his

mother conceived him through


fire

spark, which leapt from the


sat

and struck her

as she

by the hearth.

She exposed the child near a temple


fire

of Jupiter, and he was found there beside a

by

some maidens who were going


life

to

draw water.

In after

he proved his divine birth by working an appromiracle.

priate

When

an

infidel

crowd refused

to

believe that he
father,

was the son of

a god, he prayed to his

and immediately the unbelievers were encircled


fire.^

with a flame of

More
'

than

this,

the whole of the

Alban dynasty
;

appear to have traced their descent from a Vestal


Dionysius Halicam. Ant. Rom.
Zonaras, Annul,
i.

for

76

sq.

Livy,

i.

sq.

Plutarch, Romulus,

vii. i

Justin,
vii.

xliii. 2.

1-3.

Servius,

on

Virgil,

Aen.

678.

VII

BORN OF THE

FIRE

221

the wife of King Latinus, their legendary ancestor, was

named Amata
title

or Beloved,^ and this was

the

regular

bestowed on a Vestal
fully

after her election,^ a title

which cannot be

understood except in the light of

the foregoing traditions, which seem to

show

that the

Vestals were supposed to be beloved by the

fire

god.

Moreover,

fire is

said to have played


as
it

round the head of


played round the

Amata's daughter Lavinia,^ just

head of the fire-born Servius TuUius.

As

the same

prodigy was reported of Julus or Ascanius, the son of

^neas,* we may suspect that a similar legend was told


of his miraculous conception at the hearth.
the old Latin

In short,

kings appear to
fire

have been regularly


Virgins,

regarded as sons of the

god by Vestal
their

who
the

were believed to be the god's wives.

That

belief

would explain why during

term of
:

office

Vestals had to remain strictly celibate

the bride

must

be true to her divine bridegroom.

And

the difficulty

of reconciling the theory of celibacy with the practice

of motherhood
allowing a

is

easily

overcome by the custom of

man

to masquerade as a

god

at the sacred

marriage, just as in
as

Egypt the king disguised himself Thus the god when he wedded the queen.

doctrine of the divine birth of kings, which was strictly

held in ancient Egypt, presents no serious difficulty to


'

Virgil, Aen.

vii.
i.

343.
I2.

Aulus Gellius,

14 and 19.

Compare L.

Preller, RSmische Mytkologie^

ii.

161, 344.
after

There was 296

a very ancient worship of Vesta at

Lavinium, the

city

named

Amata's daughter Lavinia, the ancestress of the Alban kings.


ii.
;

See Servius, on

Virgil, Aen.
^

Macrobius, Saturn,

iii.

4.

1 1.

Virgil, Aen.
ii.

* Ibid.

vii. 71-77. 680-686.

222
people
in the

MOTHER VESTA
who
believe that a

lect.
incarnate

god may become

form of a man, and that a virgin


I

may

conceive

and bear him a son.

need hardly say that the theory

of the divine motherhood of the Vestals applies only to


the early regal and therefore prehistoric period.

Under

the Republic the


it

demand

for kings

had ceased and with

therefore the supply.

Yet

a trace of the old view

of the Vestals as virgin mothers lingered


latest

down

to the
their

times

in

the
;

character of Vesta

herself,

patroness and type


title

for Vesta always bore the official

of Mother, never that of virgin.^

We may surmise
in Attica.

that a similar belief

and practice once obtained


is

For Erichthonius, king of Athens,


a son of the
fire

said to

have been

god Hephaestus by the virgin goddess


a later version

Athena
earth

the story of his miraculous birth from the


clearly

is

devised to save

the

virginity of his mother.^

The
it

relation

of the Latin kings to the Vestals and


is full
;

their sacred fire

of interest, and

might dwell on
I

much

longer

but time presses and


I

must hurry
of
the

on.

Before quitting the subject


that

will take notice

some evidence
Vestal Virgins.

among

the Celts, as

among

early Latins, perpetual sacred fires were maintained by

We

know from
fires

Solinus that in our


in

own
'

country perpetual
a

were kept up

the

temple of
Virgil,

goddess
i.

whom
Ovid,

the
iv.

Romans
828

identified with

Henzen, Acta fratrum 498 ; ; Ar'ualium, pp. 124, 147 ; H. Dessau, Inscriptiones Latinae Selectae, Nos. 5047, 5048. Ennius represented Vesta as the mother of Saturn and Titan. See Lactantius,
Georg.
Fasti,

G.

Divin,
^ V.

Inst.

i.

14.
iii.

Apollodorus,
sq.
j

14. 5

Schol. on

Homer,

Iliad,

ii.

547

J. Tzetzes, Chiliades,

669

Augustine,

De

ci-vitate dei, xviii. 12,

VII

BRIGITS FIRE

223

Minerva,^ but whose native Celtic name appears to have

been Brigit.

Like Minerva, Brigit was a goddess of


sisters, also called

poetry and wisdom, and she had two

Brigit, who presided over leechcraft and smithcraft respectively.

This appears to be only another way of saying

that Brigit
smiths.^

was the patroness of bards, physicians, and


at Kildare in Ireland the
is

Now,

nuns of

St.

Brigit, or St. Bridget as she

also called,

tended a

perpetual holy

fire

monasteries under

down Henry

to

the
;

suppression

of the

VIII.

and we can hardly

doubt that

in

doing so they merely kept up, under a

Christian name, an ancient pagan worship of Brigit in

her character of a

fire

goddess or patroness of smiths.

The nuns were


the care of the

nineteen in number.
fire

Each of them had


;

for a single night in turn

and on

the

twentieth evening

the

last

nun,

having heaped
take charge of
to you."

wood on the fire, used to say, " Brigit, for this night belongs your own fire
;

She

then went away, and next morning they always found


the
fire
still

burning and the usual quantity of fuel


vestal fire at

consumed.

Like the

Rome

in the old
circular

days, the fire of St.

Brigit burned

within a

enclosure

made of
foot

stakes and brushwood, and no male

might

set

inside
fire

the

fence.
it

The nuns were


up with
their

allowed to fan the

or to blow
it

bellows,
breath.''

but they might not blow on


1

with

Solinus, xxii. lo.

The

Celtic Minerva, according to

Csaar

(Z)e Bella Gallico,

vi. 17),

was

a goddess of the mechanical arts.


Celtic Heathendom^ pp.
j^.

J. Ireland^
^

Rhys,
i.

y^-yj

P.

W.

Joyce, Social History of Ancient

260

Giraldus Cambrensis, The Topography of Ireland, chaps. 34-36,


P.

translated
It
is

by

Thomas Wright;

W.

Joyce, Social History

of Ireland,

i.

334

sq.

said that

224
Similarly
it is

SACRED FIRES
said that the

lect.

Balkan Slavs will not blow


fire

with their
hearth
his
:

mouths on the holy

of the domestic
fire

a
;

Brahman
^

is

forbidden to blow a

with

mouth

and among
over their

the Parsees the priests have to

wear a
sacred

veil
fire

lips lest

they should defile the


in the island

with their breath.^

At Arkon,

of Riigen, there was a shrine so holy that none but the


priest
it.

might enter

it,

and even he might not breathe

in
it

As

often as he needed to

draw breath or give


lest

out, he used to run out of the

door

he should taint
air.*

the divine presence by inhaling or exhaling the

In Ireland the custom of maintaining a perpetual

fire

was not peculiar to Kildare, but seems to have been

common

for the native records

show

that such fires

were kept up in several monasteries, in each of which a


small church or oratory was set apart for the purpose.

in the island of

Sena (the modern

Sein),

off the coast of Brittany, there was an


for

oracle of a

Gallic deity
raise

whose worship was cared

by nine virgin

priestesses.

They

could

storms by their incantations and turn themselves into any


[Mela, iii. 48) ; but it is not said that they maintained though Ch. Elton affirms that they did (firigim of English

animals

they

pleased
fire,

a perpetual holy
History^ p. 27).

Mr.

S.

Reinach dismisses these virgins

as a fable based

description of the isle of Circe {Odysiey^ x. 135 sqq.\ and

on Homer's he denies that the Gauls

employed
195-203).

virgin

priestesses

To me
fire.

{Cultes, Mythes, et Religions, i. (Paris, 1905), pp. the nuns of St. Brigit seem to be most probably the successors

of a Celtic order of Vestals charged, like the of a holy

Roman
is

Vestals, with the maintenance


it

That
id.,

there were female Druids


virgins.

certain, but

does not appear

whether they were


Aurelianus,
^

See

Lampridius, Alexander
sq.

Se-verus,

60

Vopiscus,

44

Numerianus, 14

Prof.

V. Titelbach, " Das


xiii.

heilige

Feuer
I.

bei

den Ealkanslaven," Internationales

Archiv fur Ethnographie,


^
3

(1900),

p.

Laivs of Manu,

iv.

53, translated by

G. BUhler.

Martin

Haug, Essays
p.

on the Sacred Language, Writings,

and
3.

Religion

Parsees^ (London, 1884),


veil
*

243, note

i.

Strabo describes (xiv.

15) the

of the mouth-

worn by the Magian

priests in Cappadocia.
xiv. p.

Saxo Grammaticus, Historia Danica, bk.

824, ed. P. E. MUller

(p.

393

of Elton's translation).

VII

IN IRELAND
Kilmainham, and Inishmurray.^
fires

225

This was done, for example, at the monasteries of


Seirkieran,

We

may

conjecture that these holy

were merely survivals

of the perpetual
burned
in

fires

which in heathen times had

honour of Brigit.
is

The view

that Brigit

was

a fire goddess

confirmed by the observation that in


falls

the Christian calendar her festival

the day before

Candlemas, and the customs observed


Celtic peasantry

at that season

by

seem to prove
of

that she was a goddess If that

of the crops

as well as

fire.^

was

so, it is

another reason for comparing her to Vesta, whose holy


virgins, as

we know from Ovid, performed ceremonies


fertilise

every year to

both the earth and the

cattle.^

Lastly, there are grounds for connecting

Brigit, like

Vesta,

with the oak


St.

for

at

Kildare

her

Christian

namesake,

Brigit or St. Bridget, built her church


tree,

under an oak
and gave
its

which existed
to the spot
;

till

the tenth century


is

name

for Kildare

Cill-dara,

"the church of the oak."*


lingers in the lines
:

tradition of the

oak

Nor Saxon

That oak of Saint Bride, which nor Devil nor Dane nor Dutchman could rend from her fane!'

" The church of the oak "

may

well have displaced a

temple or sanctuary of the oak, where in Druidical


1 p. W. Joyce, &'/ History of Ancient Ireland, i. 335 sj.; Standish H. O'Grady, Sylva Gadelica, translation (London, 1892), pp. 15, 16, 41. 2 The Golden Bough? i. 223 G. Campbell, Witchcraft and Second Sight in the ; J.

and

Highlands and Islands of Scotland (fiWt%o-vi, 1902), pp. 247 sj.; J. Train, Historical Statistical Account of the Isle of Man (Douglas, 1845), ii. 116.
3 *
5

Ovid, Fasti,

iv.

629-672, 731-782.

Douglas Hyde,

A Literary History of Ireland (London,


Celtique, iv.

1899),

p.

158.
p.

Quoted by Mr. D. Fitzgerald, in Revue

(1879-1880),

193.

226

THE OAKS OF ERIN


fire

lect.

times the hallowed

was

fed, like the vestal fire at

Rome, with

the

wood of the

sacred tree.

We
aries.

may The

suspect that a conversion of this sort was

often eiFected in Ireland by the early Christian mission-

monasteries of Derry and Durrow, founded


after the
at

by
in

St.

Columba, were both named


built
;

oak groves
saint
his

which they were


the
beautiful

and and

Derry the

spared

trees

strictly

enjoined

successors to

do the same.

In his old age, when he

lived as an exile

on the shores of the bleak and storm-

swept
his

isle

of lona, his heart yearned to the

home of

youth among the oak groves of Ireland, and he

gave expression to the yearning in passionate verses which have come down to us
That
For
spot
is
:

the dearest on Erin's ground.

For

the treasures that peace

and purity

lend.

of bright angels that circle it round. Protecting its borders from end to end.
the hosts

The dearest of any on Erin's ground. For its peace and its beauty I gave

it

my

love ;

Each leaf of the oaks around Derry is founa To be crowded with angels from heaven above.

My Derry ! my Derry ! My dwelling, my home,


May God
the

my

little

oak grove.
little cell.

and my own

Eternal in Heaven above


to thy foes,

Send death

and defend

thee well?-

Far from the oaks of Erin and the

saint's last
fire

home
been

among

the stormy Hebrides, a

sacred

has
in

tended by holy virgins, with

statelier rites
line.

and

more
Incas

solemn fanes, under the equinoctial


^

The

Douglas Hyde,

op. cit. pp.

169-171.

VII

BRIDES OF THE SUN


who deemed
our
fire

227

of Peru,

themselves the children of the

Sun, procured a new


solstice in June,

from

their great father at the

Midsummer Day.

They kindled
But

it

by holding towards the Sun a hollow mirror, which


reflected his

beams on a tinder of cotton wool.


by the
as a

if

the sky happened to be overcast at the time, they


the

made

new

fire
it

friction of

two

sticks

and they

looked on

bad omen when they were obliged to

do

this, for

they said the Sun must be angry with them,

since he refused to kindle the flame with his

own hand.
in

The
-

sacred

fire,

however obtained, was deposited


in the

Cuzco, the capital of Peru,

temple of the Sun,

and

also
it

in

great

convent of holy virgins,

who

guarded
evil

carefully throughout the year,


if

and

it

was an

augury

they suffered
as the

it

to

go

out.

These virgins

were regarded

wives of the Sun, and they were


If any of

bound

to perpetual celibacy.
to

them proved

unfaithful

her

husband the Sun, she was buried


Vestal,

Roman was strangled. The


alive, like a

and her guilty paramour

reason for putting her to death in


as at

this

manner was probably,


blood
;

Rome,

a reluctance to

shed royal

for

all

these virgins were of the

royal family, being daughters of the Incas or his kins-

men.

Besides tending the holy


all

fire,

they had to weave

and make

the clothes

worn by

the Inca and his wife,

to bake the bread that was ofi^ered to the

Sun

at his

great festivals, and to brew the wine which the Inca

and

his

family

drank on these occasions.

All

the

furniture of the convent,


jars,

down

to the pots, pans, and

was of gold and

silver, just as in

the temple of

228

BRIDES OF THE SUN


deemed

lect. vii
to

the Sun, because the virgins were


wives.

be

his

And

they had a golden garden, where the very


;

clods were of fine gold


stalks, leaves,

where golden maize reared


all

its

and cobs,

of the same precious metal


slings

and where golden shepherds, with


gold, tended golden sheep

and crooks of

and lambs.^

The

analogy of

these virgin guardians of the sacred flame furnishes an

argument
lecture
;

in favour of the theory maintained in

this

for if the Peruvian Vestals were the brides of

the sun,

may

not the

Roman

Vestals have been the

brides of the
'

fire ?
la

Garcilasso de

Vega, Royal Commentaries of


(vol.
i.

the

Yncas, Part
ii.

i.

bk.

iv.

chaps.

1-3, bk. vi. chaps. translation)


;

20-22

pp.

292-299,

vol.

pp.

155-164, Marlcham's
;

P. de Cieza de Leon, Travels,

Second Part of the Chronicle

Natural and Moral History

id.. p. 1 34 (Markham*8 translation) of Peru, pp. 85 sq. (Markham's translation); Acosta, of the Indies, bk. v. ch. 15 (vol. ii. pp. 331-333,

Hakluyt

Society).

LECTURE
king's daughter
parallels

VIII

Succession to Latin kingship in female line through marriage with

African paternity of wives' Sons of kings go abroad and country Succession kingdom through marriage with widowEvidence of female kinship among European peoples Roman of plebeian indigenous AboliRome revolution Attempt of kingship
-IndifFerence to

kings

reign in their

to

late

king's

kings
at

or

race

tion

patrician

of Tarquin

male

line

Personal of contest King's


elective

Roman

the

Proud

to

alter

succession
partly

from female to
partly

sovereignty

hereditary,

qualities required in candidates for kingship

Possession

princess and of

crown determined by

athletic

Flight at

Rome.

In the

last lecture I

adduced some grounds for think-

ing that the early Latin kings personated the great god
Jupiter and

mimicked him by attempting


;

to

make
went

rain, thunder, and lightning

further, that they

through a form of sacred marriage to ensure the


of the earth
;

fertility

and

lastly, that

they often passed for sons

of the
fire

fire

god by Vestal

Virgins,

who were deemed

the

god's wives.

But we have
succession to the

still

to ask.

What

was the rule of


.''

kingdom among
lists

the old Latin tribes

We

possess

two

of Latin kings, both of them

professedly complete.

One
the
list

is

the

list

of the kings of
If

Alba, and the other

is

of the kings of Rome.

229

230

THE ALBJN KINGS


list

lect.

we

accept as authentic the

of the Alban kings, we

can only conclude that the kingdom was hereditary in


the male
line,

the son regularly succeeding his father on

the throne.''

But

this list, if it

is

not, as

Niebuhr held,

a late and clumsy fabrication, has somewhat the appear-

ance of an

elastic

cord which ancient historians stretched

in order to link ^Eneas to Romulus.^

Yet

it

would be
In early
is

rash to set these names aside as a chronological stop-

gap deliberately

foisted in

by

later annalists.

monarchies, before the invention of writing, tradition

remarkably retentive of the names of kings.

The
unthe

Baganda of Central Africa, for example, remember the

names of more than

thirty of their kings in an

broken chain of twenty-two generations.^


occurrence of foreign names
is

Even

not of
;

itself

sufficient
I

among the Alban kings to condemn the list as a


presently, this feature
is

forgery

for, as

shall

show

explicable

by

a rule of descent

which appears to have

prevailed in

many

early monarchies, including that of

Rome.

Perhaps the most we can say for the history


is

of the Alban kings


'
id.,

that their
see Livy,
i.

names may well be


3. 5-1 1
;

For the

list

of the

Alban kings
;

Ovid, Fasti,
i.
;

iv.

39-56

Metam.

xiv.
i.

609

Chronic, bk.

vol.

Siculus,

vii. 3*, ed.

Eusebius, 70 sj. i. coll. 273, 275, 285, 287, 289, 291, ed. A. Schoene j Diodorus L. Dindorf ; Sextus Aurelius Victor, Origogentis Rmumae, 17-19 j
sqq.
1.

Dionysius Halicarn. Ant. Rom.

Zonaras, Annates,
"

vii.

G. Niebuhr, History of Rome, i. 205-207 ; A. Schwegler, Rimische Geschichte, i. 339, 342-345. Hovcever, Niebuhr admits that some of the names may have been taken from older legends. ' H. M. Stanley, Through the Dark Continent (London, 1878), i. 380 C. T. ; Wilson and R. W. Felkin, Uganda and the Egyptian Sudan (London, 1882), i. 197 ; Fr. Stuhlmann, Mit Emin Pascha ins Herz von AJrika (Berlin, X894), pp. 192 sq, ; Roscoe, " Further Notes on the Manners and Customs of the Baganda," Journal
See B.
J.

of the Anthropological Institute, xxxii. (1902), p. 25, with Johnston, The Uganda Protectorate, ii. 681 jy.

plates

i.

and

ii. ;

Sir

Harry

VIII

THE
and
that

ROMAN KINGS
some
general
features

231
of
the

genuine,

monarchy, together with a few events which happened


to strike the popular imagination,
in the

may have
no

survived

memory of
into

the people until they found their


history.

way
can

written
either

But

dependence
their
is

be placed
or

on the alleged years of


hereditary
principle

reigns,

on

the

which
his

assumed to have connected each king with


decessor.

pre-

When we come
are

to the

list

of the
still

Roman
slippery
in
all

kings

we

on much

firmer,

though

ground.

According to tradition there were


of Rome,^ and with regard to the
all

eight kings

five last

of them,

at
sit

events,

we can

hardly doubt that they did really

on the throne, and


reigns
is,

that the traditional history of their


outlines, correct.^

in its

main

Now
king

it is

very

remarkable

that
said

though
to

the

first

of Rome,

Romulus,

is

have been descended from the


is

royal house of Alba, in which the kingship


I

repre-

sented as hereditary in the male

line,

not one of the

Roman
them.^

kings was immediately succeeded by his son on

the throne.

Yet

several left sons or grandsons behind

On

the other hand, one of

them was descended


through

from a former king through


''-

his mother, not


j

Romulus and Tatius

reigned for a time together

after

were, in order of succession,

Numa

Pompilius,

TuUus

Hostilius,

Romulus the kings Ancus Marcius,

the elder Tarquin, Servius TuUius, and Tarquin the Proud.


'
3

14).
left

See A. Schwegler, RSmische Geschichte, i. 579 sq. According to one account, Romulus had a son and daughter (Plutarch, Romulus, Some held that Numa had four sons (Plutarch, Numa, 2i). Ancus Marcius
i.

two sons (Livy,


iv.

35.

i,

i.

40

Dionysius Halicarn. Ant. Rom.


i.

iii.

72

sq., iv.

34. 3).

Tarquin the Elder


Ant. Rom.
6

left

two

sons or grandsons (Livy,

46

Dionysius Halicarn.

sq., iv.

28).

232
his
father,'

THE LATIN KINGSHIP

lect.

and three of them, namely, Tatius, the

elder Tarquin,

and Servius TuUius, were succeeded by


all

^heir sons-in-law,^ who were


foreign descent.^

either foreigners or of

This suggests that the right to the


line,

kingship was transmitted in the female


actually exercised
princesses.

and was

by foreigners who married the royal


it

To

put

in technical language, the succes-

sion to the kingship of generally,

Rome, and probably


to

in

Latium

would seem

have been determined by

certain rules

which have moulded early society in many

parts of the world, namely,

exogamy, beena marriage,


is

and

female

kinship.
to

Exogamy
is

the

rule which

obliges a

from
'

his

man own
ii.

marry a woman of a

different clan

heena marriage

the rule that he must


Numa,
See Cicero,
ii.

Pompilia, the mother of Ancus Marcius, was a daughter of

De
iii.

re

pMica,
iii.

i8.
;

33

Livy,

i.

32. i

Dionysius Halicarn. Ant. Rom.

76. 5,

35. 3,
^

36. z

Plutarch,

Numa, 21.
j i.

Numa

married Tatia, the daughter of Tatius (Plutarch, Numa, 3 and 21)


39. 4)
i.
;

Servius TuUius married the daughter of the elder Tarquin (Livy,

and
1,

Tarquin the Proud married TuUia, the daughter of Servius TuUius (Livy,
i.

42.

46. 5).
^

Numa

was

a Sabine
ii.

from Cures (Livy,

i.

18

Plutarch,

Numa,
i.

Dionysius
account,

Halicarn. Ant. Rom.

58).

Servius TuUius, according to the

common
39. 5
;

was the son of


Etruscan, by
and,

Ocrisia, a
iv.

slave-woman of Corniculum (Livy,


i)
;

Dionysius

Halicarn, Ant. Rom.

but according to the Etruscan annals


to

he was an
by
a

name Mastarna, who came


his

Rome

with his friend Cables Vibenna,

changing

name, obtained
in a

the

kingdom.

This was

stated

the

Emperor Claudius

speech

of which fragments are engraved

on
p.

bronze

tablet found at Lyons.

See Tacitus, Annals, ed. Orelli and Baiter,^


a

342.

The

Emperor was an authority on Etruscan history, for he composed on the subject in twenty books (Suetonius, Claudius, 42). The
least

Greek work
by a painting

historical, or at

legendary, character of Mastarna and

Cjeles
in

is

vouched

for

inscribed with their names,

which was found

1857

in an Etruscan

tomb

at

Vulci

(G. Dennis,

Cities

and

Cemeteries

Proud was a son of the


i.

elder

of Etruria,' ii. 506 ly.). Lastly, Tarquin the Tarquin, who was an Etruscan from Tarquinii (Livy,
19 sq., 34 sq.). The foreign birth of their kings themselves. See the speech put in the mouth of the

34

Cicero,

De

re fuhlica,

ii.

naturally struck the


elder

Romans
i.

Tarquin by Livy,
[loc. cit.).

35. 3, and the speech actually delivered by the

Emperor

Claudius

VIII

HEREDITART THROUGH WOMEN


home of
his birth

233

leave the

and
is

live

with his wife's

people

and female kinship

the system of tracing

relationship

and transmitting the family name through


If these principles

women
Latins,

instead of through men.

regulated descent of the kingship

among

the ancient

the state of things in this respect would be


as

somewhat

follows.

The

political

and

religious
fire

centre of each

community would be
be a

the perpetual

on the king's hearth, tended by Vestal Virgins of the


royal
clan, clan.

The king would

man of

another

perhaps of another town or even of another race,


a daughter of his predecessor and
her.

who had married


received the

kingdom with

The
at

children

whom

he had by her would inherit their mother's name, not


his
:

the daughters

would remain

home

the sons,

when they grew


marry, and

up, would go away into the world,


country, whether as

settle in their wives'

kings or commoners.

Of

the daughters

who

stayed at

home, some or

all

would be dedicated

as Vestal Virgins

for a longer or shorter time to the service of the fire

on

the hearth, and one of them would in time become the


wife of her father's successor.

This hypothesis has the advantage of explaining


simple and natural
traditional

in a

way some obscure


of the Latin

features in the

history
tell

kings.

Thus

the

legends which
^

how

the kings were born of virgin


coexist, marriage

" In Ceylon, where the higher and lower polyandry

is

of

two

sorts

Deega

or

Beena

according
F.

as

the wife goes to live in the house and village

of her husbands, or as the husband or husbands

come

to live

with her

in or near the

house of her birth"


p.

(J.

M'Lennan,

Studies in Ancient History

(London, 1886),

loi).

234
mothers

FOREIGN KINGS
and
divine
fathers

lect.
at
least

become

more

intelligible.

For stripped of
and

their fabulous

element
is

such tales mean no more than that a child's father

unknown
more

this

uncertainty as to fatherhood

is

easily

compatible with a system of kinship which

ignores paternity than with one which

makes

it

all-

important.
If

among

the

Latins

the

women of

royal blood

always stayed at

home and

received as their consorts

men of another stock, and often of another country, who reigned as kings in virtue of their marriage with a native princess, we can understand not only why foreigners wore the crown at Rome, but also why
foreign names occur in the
list

of the Alban kings.


is

In a state of society where nobility

reckoned only

through women, in other words, where descent through


the

mother
is

is

everything and descent

through

the

father
girls

nothing, no objection will be

felt

to uniting
birth,

of the highest rank to

men of humble

even

to aliens or slaves, provided that in themselves the

men
is

appear to be suitable mates.


that the royal stock,

What
is

really matters

on which the prosperity and even


people

the existence of the

supposed to depend,
efficient

should be perpetuated in a vigorous and

form,

and for

this

purpose

it is

necessary that the

the royal family should bear children to


physically

women of men who are

and mentally

fit,

according to the standard

of early society, to discharge the important duty of


fatherhood.
this

Thus
of
social

the personal qualities of kings at

stage

evolution

are

deemed of

vital

VIII

KINGSHIP IN ASHANTEE
much
the
so.

235

importance.

If they, like their wives, are of royal and


better
;

divine descent, so
essential that

but

it

is

not

they should be

The

hypothesis which

we have been
we can show

led to frame of

the rule of succession to the Latin kingship will be

confirmed by analogy

if

that elsewhere,

under a system of female kinship, the paternity of the


kings
is

a matter of indifference

nay, that

men who
this
is

are born slaves may, like Servius TuUius, marry royal


princesses

and be

raised to the throne.

Now

true of the Tshi-speaking peoples of the Gold Coast in

West

Africa.

Thus

in Ashantee,

where the kingdom

descends in the female line to the king's brothers and


afterwards to the sons of his sisters in preference to his

own

sons, the sisters

of the reigning monarch are free

to marry

whom
whom

they please, provided only that their


in

husband be a strong and handsome man,


the kings

order that

he begets
It

may

than

their

subjects.

men of finer presence matters not how humble


be
If

may

be the rank and position of the king's father.


sisters,

the king's

however, have no sons, the throne

will pass to the king's

own

son,

and

failing a son, to

the chief vassal or the chief slave.

But

in the

Fantee

country the principal slave succeeds to the exclusion of


the son.

So

little

regard

is

paid by these people to the

lineage, especially the paternal lineage,

of

their kings.^

Yet Ashantee has attained a barbaric


perhaps as that of any negro
^

civilisation as

high

state,

and probably not

T. E. Bowdich, Mission Jrom Cape Coast Castle to Ashantee, New Edition (London, 1873), pp. 185, 204 sq. ; A. B. Ellis, The Tshi-speaking Peoples of the Gold
Coast, pp. 287,

297

sq.

id..

The Toruha-speaking Peoples of the Slave

Coast, p. 187.

236

KINGSHIP IN
dawn of history.

UGANDA

lect.
at

at all inferior to that

of the petty Latin kingdoms

the

A trace of a similar state


in

of things appears to survive

Uganda, another great African monarchy.

For

there the queen dowager and the queen sister are, or


rather were, allowed to have as

many husbands

as they

choose, and to dismiss


these

them

at the shortest notice.

Yet

women

are not allowed under pain of death to

bear children.^

Both the licence they enjoy and the

prohibition they are subject to

may

be explained

if

we

suppose that formerly the kingdom descended, as


does in Ashantee,
first

it still

to the king's brothers and next to

the sons of his sisters.


to the throne

For

in that case the next heirs

would be the sons of the king's mother


and these women might accordingly
sisters still

and of his

sisters,

be allowed, as the king's

are

allowed

in

Ashantee, to mate with any handsome


their fancy, in order that their

man who took offspring might be men


of descent was changed
line,

of regal port.

But when the


to

line

from the female

the

male

in

other words,

when
by

the kings were succeeded by their sons instead of

their brothers or their sisters' sons, then the king's


his sisters

mother and

would be forbidden to bear


crown to the king's own

children lest the descent of the

children should be endangered by the existence of rivals

who, according to the old law of the kingdom, had a


better right to the throne.
practice
'

We

may

surmise that the


at the

of putting the king's brothers to death

J.

Roscoe, " Further Notes on the Manners and Customs ot the Baganda,"
Institute^ xxxii.

yownalofthe Anthropological

(1902), pp. 36, 67.

VIII

KINGSHIP IN

LOANGO
till

237

beginning of his reign, which survived

Uganda
on the

passed under English protection,^ was instituted at the

same time
king's

as the prohibition
sisters.

of child-bearing

laid

mother and
;

The one custom


in

got rid of

existing rivals

the other prevented

them from being

born.

That the kingship

Uganda was formerly


is

transmitted in the female line

strongly indicated by

the rule that the kings and the rest of the royal family

take their totems from their mothers, whereas

all

the

other people of the country get their totems from their


fathers.^

In
line,

Loango

the royal blood

is

traced in the female

and here

also the princesses are free to choose

and

divorce their husbands at pleasure.


are nearly always plebeians
;

These husbands
and
princesses,

for princes

who

are very

numerous and form

a ruling caste,

may
is

not marry each other. not a happy one, for he

The
is

lot

of a prince consort

rather the slave and prisoner

than the spouse of his imperious princess.


goes out he
all

When
drive

he

is

preceded by guards
the road where he

who
is
ill

away
If in

women from

to pass.

spite of these precautions

he should by

luck cast his

eyes on a

woman, the princess may have his head chopped off, and commonly exercises, or used to
This sort of libertinism, sustained

exercise, the right.

by power, often

carries

women

of the blood royal to


is

the greatest excesses, and nothing

so

much dreaded

C. T. Wilson and R.
i.

W.

Felkin, Uganda and the Egyptian Sudan (London,


67.

iSSz),
^ J.

200

J.

Roscoe,

op. cit. p.

Roscoe,

op. cit, pp.

27, 62.

238
as their anger.

KINGSHIP IN GREECE

lect.
in general

No

wonder that commoners

avoid the honour of a royal alliance.

Only poor and

embarrassed
creditors

men

seek

it

as

a protection against their

and enemies.

All the children of such a


princesses,

man

by such a wife are princes and


of the princes

and any one


king
;

may
is

in time be chosen

for in

Loango
it
is

the crown

not hereditary but elective.^


father of the

would seem that the

Thus king of Loango


better than a

nearly always a plebeian, and often

little

slave.

At Athens, as at Rome, we find traces of the same mode of succession to the crown by marriage with a
royal princess
;

for

two of the most ancient kings of

Athens, namely, Cecrops and Amphictyon, are said to

have married the daughters of their predecessors.^ This


tradition
is

confirmed by the evidence, which


at

shall

adduce presently, that

Athens male kinship was pre-

ceded by female kinship.


Further,
if I

am

right in supposing that in ancient

Latium the royal

families kept their daughters at

home
male

and sent forth their sons to marry princesses and reign

among

their wives' people,

it

will follow that the

descendants would reign in successive generations over


different

kingdoms.

Now this

seems to have happened


;

both

in ancient

Greece and in ancient Sweden


infer that
it

from

which we may legitimately


'

was a custom

579

sq.

Proyart's " History of Loango," in Pinkerton's Voyages and Tra-neU, xvi. 570, KUste, i. 197 sqq. The ; A. Bastian, Die deutsche Expedition an der Loango

lot of a prince consort in

Loango may have been mitigated

since Proyart wrote in

the eighteenth century,


* Pausanias,
i.

2. 6.

VIII

KINGSHIP IN GREECE

239

practised
in

by more than one branch of the Aryan stock Europe. I have to thank my friend Mr. H. M.
for reminding

Chadwick
Informing

me

of the Greek, and for

me

of the Swedish evidence.

Take,

for

instance, the great house of

^acus, the grandfather of


reigned in vEglna,

Achilles and Ajax.

^acus himself

but his descendants, as Pausanias justly observes, "from


the beginning went forth to other lands."
^

His son
Tela-

Telamon migrated to the Island of Salamis, married the


king's daughter, and reigned over the country.^

mon's son Teucer,

in his turn,

migrated to Cyprus,

wedded

the king's daughter, and succeeded his father-

in-law on the throne.'

Again, Peleus, another son of


land

^acus, quitted

his

native

and went away to

Phthia in Thessaly, where he received the hand of the


king's daughter, and with her a third of the kingdom.*

Of Achilles,

the son of Peleus,

we

are told that in his

youth he was sent to the court of Lycomedes, king of


Scyrus, where he became the father of Neoptolemus by

one of the princesses.*


that

The
the a

tradition seems to

show
son

Achilles

followed
in

custom of
foreign

his

family in

seeking his fortune

land.

His

Neoptolemus

after

him went away

to Epirus,

where

he settled and became the ancestor of the kings of the


country.^
^ *

Pausanias,

ii,

29. 4.
iv.

Diodorus Siculus,

72. 7.

According to ApoUodorus

(iii.

12. 7), Cychreus,

Icing of Salamis, died childless, and bequeathed his


3 *

J.

Tzetzes, Sciol.
iii.

m LyapAna, 450.
13. i.

kingdom to Telamon. Compare Pausanias, ii. 29. 4.


(iv.

ApoUodorus, ApoUodorus,
Pausanias,
i.

According to Diodorus Siculus


Hyginus, Fabulae, 96.
Justin, xvii. 3.

72. 6), the icing

of Phthia was childless, and bequeathed his Icingdom to Peleus.


^
^
iii.

13. 8
sq.
;

1 1. 1

240

KINGSHIP IN GREECE
in iEtolia, but he

lect.

Again, Tydeus was a son of CEneus, the king of

Calydon

went to Argos and married the war with

king's daughter.^
in Italy,

His son Diomede migrated to Daunia


in a
his

where he helped the king

enemies, receiving as his reward the king's daughter in

marriage and part

of

his

kingdom.^

As

another

example we may take the family of the Pelopidae,

whose

tragic fortunes the

Greek poets never wearied of


But
son Pelops passed into

celebrating.

Their ancestor was Tantalus, king of


his

Sipylus in Asia Minor.

Greece,

won Hippodamia,

the daughter of the king of


race,

Pisa, in the

famous chariot

and succeeded

his

father-in law

on the throne.^
and

His son Atreus did not

remain

in Pisa, but
;

migrated to Mycenae, of which he


in the

became king

next generation Menelaus,

son of Atreus, went to Sparta, where he married Helen,


the king's

daughter, and himself reigned


Further,
it is

over that

country.*

very notable that, according to


himself,

the old

lyric

poets,

Agamemnon

the

elder

brother of Menelaus, reigned not at Mycenas but in

Lacedaemon, the native land of his wife Clytasmnestra,

and that he was buried


of the country.*

at

Amyclae, the ancient capital

Various
^

reasons
i.

are

assigned

by ancient Greek
510

ApoUodorus,

8. 5.
;

Antoninus

Liberalis, Transform. 37

Ovid, Metam, xiv. 459

so.,

sq.

Com-

pare Virgil, Aen. xi. 243 sqq.


'
iii.

Diodorus Siculus,
Thucydides,

iv.

73

Hyginus, Fahulae, 82-S4

Servius,

on

Virgil, Gecrg.

7.
* ' '
i.

Strabo,

viii. 6.

19.

ApoUodorus,
Schol.

iii.

lo. 8.
Orestes,

on Euripides,

46

Pindar, Pyth.

xi.

31

sq.

Pausanias,

iii.

19. 6.

viii

FOREIGN KINGS
is

241

writers for these migrations of the princes.

A common
for

one

that the king's son

had been banished

murder.
land,

This would explain very well why he


but
it is

fled his

own

no reason

at all

why he

should become king of

another.

We

may

suspect that such reasons are after-

thoughts devised by writers who, accustomed to the


rule that a son should succeed to his father's property

and kingdom, were hard put to

it

to account for so

many

traditions of kings' sons

who

quitted the land of

their birth to reign over a foreign

kingdom.
being collected by

The

evidence for the existence of a similar practice

in the old royal families of

Sweden

is

Mr. Chadwick
present.

shall

not say more on that head at

Thus

it

would

seem that among

some Aryan
it

peoples, at a certain stage of their social evolution,

has been customary to regard

women and

not

men
a

as

the channels in which royal blood flows, and to bestow the

kingdom

in each successive generation

on

man

of another family, and often of another country, who


marries one of the princesses and reigns over his wife's
people.

common

type of popular tale which relates

how

an adventurer, coming to a strange land, wins the

hand of the king's daughter and the half or the whole


of the kingdom,
custom.

may

well be a reminiscence or a real

Where

practices

and ideas of
is

this sort prevail,

it

is

obvious that the kingship

merely an appanage of

marriage with a

woman

of the blood royal.


this

The

old

Danish historian Saxo Grammaticus puts

view of

242

MARRIAGE WITH

lect.

the kingship very clearly in the

mouth of Hermutrude,
is all

a legendary queen of Scotland, and her statement


the
it

more

significant because, as

we

shall see presently,

reflects

the

actual

practice

of the Pictish kings.

" Indeed she was a queen," says


but that her sex gainsaid
it,

Hermutrude, " and


;

might be deemed a king

nay (and

this

is

yet truer),
at

whomsoever she thought

worthy of her bed was


her

once a king, and she yielded

kingdom with

herself.
^

Thus her
Wherever

sceptre and her

hand went together."


kind has prevailed, a

a custom of this
the

man may
This

clearly acquire

kingdom

just as well by marrying the


is

widow

as the

daughter of his predecessor.

what

-Slgisthus

did at Mycenae, and what Hamlet's uncle Feng and

Hamlet's successor Wiglet.did

in

Denmark

all

three

slew their predecessors, married their widows, and then


sat peacefully

on the throne.^

The tame

submission of

the people to their rule would be intelligible, if they

regarded the
lawful

assassins, in spite

of their crimes,

as the

occupants

of the throne by reason of their


Similarly
his

marriage with the widowed queens.

Gyges
widow,

murdered Candaules, king of Lydia, married


and reigned over the country.^

Nor was

this the only

instance of such a succession in the history of Lydia.

The
her
'

wife of

King Cadys conspired against


Spermus,

his life

with

paramour

and

though

her

husband
(p.

Saxo Grammaticus, Historia Danica, bk.

iv. p.

158, ed. P. E. Mailer

126 of

Elton's translation, quoted in the text).


2

The

story of

Hamlet (Amleth)

in the third

and fourth books of his history.

Hamlet

stands on the border-line

form by Saxo Grammaticus Mr. H. M. Chadwick tells me that between legend and history. Hence the main
is

told in a striking

outlines of his story

may

be correct.

'

Herodotus,

i.

7-13.

VIII

THE KING'S WIDOfF

243

recovered from the dose of poison which she administered to him, he died soon afterwards, and the conspirator married the

widow and succeeded

to the throne,,^

These

cases excite a suspicion that in the royal house of


in the female line,

Lydia descent was traced


suspicion
is

and the

strengthened by the legendary character of

Omphale, the ancestress of the dynasty.

For she

is

represented as a masculine and dissolute queen of the

Semiramis type,
lovers to death
;

who wore male

attire

and put

all

her

while on the other hand her consort

Hercules was her purchased slave,

who was
far

treated

by

her with indignity and went about dressed as a woman.^

This implies that the queen was a

more powerful
as

and important personage than


naturally happen wherever
it is

the

king,

would
confers

the queen

who

royalty on her consort at marriage, instead of receiving


it

from him. Hence we may conjecture


in

that

Herodotus
twenty-two

was wrong
the

saying that from Hercules to Candaules


for

crown of Lydia had descended

generations from father to son.*

When

Canute the Dane had been acknowledged

king of England, he married

Emma,

the

widow of

his

predecessor Ethelred, whose throne he had overturned

and whose children he had driven

into exile.

The

marriage has not unnaturally puzzled the historians;


for
1

Emma
iii.

was much older than her second husband,


vi. frag.

Nicolaus Damascenus,
380.
xii.

49, in Fragmenta Hittoricorum Graecorum, ed. C.

Mailer,
2

Athenaeus,
;

11, pp.

iv. 3 1

Joannes Lydus,
ix.
i.

De
;

maghtratihus,

515 f-516 b; ApoUodorus, ii. 6. 3 ; Diodonis Siculus, iii. 64 ; Lucian, Dialogi deorum, xiii. 2 ;
646-649.

Ovid, Heroides,
'

55
7.

sjj.

Statius, Theb. n.

Herodotus,

244

THE KING'S

WIDOW
it is

lect.

she was then living in


ful

Normandy, and

very doubt-

whether Canute had ever seen her before she came


All,

to be his bride.
cases

however, becomes plain


it

if,

as the

of Feng and Wiglet seem to show,


that marriage with
it

was an old

Danish custom
carried the

king's

widow
In

kingdom with

as a matter of right.

that case the

young but prudent Canute married the


clinch,

mature widow merely out ot policy, in order to

according to Danish notions, by a legal measure his


claim to that crown which he had already

won

for

himself by the sword.''

Among
Varini
it

the

Saxons and their near kinsmen the

appears to have been a regular custom for the


to

new king

marry

his stepmother.

Thus

Hermigisil,

king of the Varini,

on
and

his

deathbed enjoined his son

Radger to wed
ancestral

his

stepmother in accordance with their


his

practice,

injunction

was

obeyed.^

Edbald, king of Kent, married his stepmother after the


death of his father Ethelbert
;

and

as late as the ninth

century Ethelbald, king of the


Judith,

West

Saxons, wedded

the

widow of

his

father

Ethelwulf.*

Such

marriages are intelligible if


as well as old

we suppose that old Saxon Danish law gave the kingdom to him
late king's

who
^

married the

widow.

See E. A. Freeman, History of the


I

733-737.
'

am

indebted to

my

friend

Norman Conquest of England, i.' 410-41Z, Mr. Cliadwick both for the fact and for its
ii.

explanation.

Procopiun,

De

hello Gotkico, iv.

20

(vol.

p.

562, ed. Dindorf).

This and the

following cases of marriage with a stepmother are cited by K. Weinhold, Deutsche


Frauen'^ (Vienna, 1882),
^ *
ii.

359

sq.
ii.

Bede, Hlstoria Ecclesiastica gentis Anglorum,

5.

102

compare

i.

27. 63.

Prudentius Trecensis, "Annales," anno 858,


i.

in

Pertz's

Monumenta Germaniae

Historica,

451

Ingulfus, Historia, quoted ibid.

VIII

FEMALE

KINSHIP
not from men,
is

245

To

the view that the right to the Latin kingship

was derived from

women and

it

objected that the system of female kinship

may be unknown

among the Aryans,^ and that even if faint traces of it may be met with elsewhere, the last place in the world where we should look for it would be Rome, the stronghold of the patriarchal family.
it is

To
facts

meet

this objection

necessary to point to

some

which appear to be

undoubted survivals among Aryan peoples of a custom


of tracing descent through the mother only.
In Attica tradition ran that in old days paternity

was unknown,

until Cecrops, the first

king of Athens,
Little
it

introduced the system of Individual marriage.^

weight could be attached to

this

tradition if

were

not supported to a certain extent by the Attic usage

which always allowed a man to marry his half-sister by the same


mother.*
father, but

not his half-sister by the same


relic

Such a rule seems clearly to be a

of a

time when kinship was counted only through women.

Again, the Epizephyrian Locrians in Italy traced


ancestral distinction in

all

the female, not the male

line.^

The
'

Cantabrians of Spain seem also to have had female


is

This

in subBtance the

view of Dr.

W.

E.

Hcarn [The Aryan


bei

Household, pp.

150-155) and of Prof. B. DelbrOck ("Das Mutterrecht


PreussUelu JahrliUcher, Ixxix. (1895), pp. 14-27).
"

den Indogermanen,"

Clearchus of

Soli,

quoted by Athenaeus,
ed.

xiii. 2, p.

555
;

John

of Antioch, In
ib.

Fragmenta Hiitorieorum Graecorum,


iii.

C. MOUer,

iv.
id.,

547

Charax of Pcrgamus,
6 }o-66^
;

638;
'

J.
;

Tzetzei, Schol. on Lycophron, lit';


Justin,
ii.

C/iiliades, v.

Suidas,

j.i/.

K4Kpo\j/

6. 7.

Philo JudauB,

Di

ipccialibus legiius (vol.


j

ii.

p.

Plutarch, TliemistocUs, 32
Clouds,

Cornelius Nepos, Cimon,

See also 303, cd. Th. Mangey). i ; Schol. on Aristophanes,


i.

1371

L. Beauchet, Histoire du Droit Pri-ui de la Ripuhlique Atliinienne,

(Paris, 1897), pp.


*

165

sqq.

Compare Minucius

Felix, Octavius, 31.

PolybiuB,

xii, 5.

246
kinship,
for

FEMALE KINSHIP

lect.

inherited

among them it was the daughters who property and who portioned out their brothers
Germans
in the time

in marriage.^

Further, the ancient

of Tacitus

deemed the
indeed,

tie

between a man and

his sister's children


;

as close as that

between a father and his own children


as

some regarded the bond


and therefore
in

even closer and

more

sacred,

exacting hostages they

chose the children of a man's sister rather than his


children, believing that this gave

own
the

them a firmer hold on


assigned
infallible

the

family.^

The

superiority thus
is

to

maternal uncle over the father

an

mark of

female kinship, either present or past, as


in

very

many

African tribes to this


political

may be observed day, among whom


from
father

both property and


to son, but

power

pass, not

from the maternal uncle

to his nephews.^
it is

Amongst

the

Germans

in the time of Tacitus,

true,

a man's heirs were his

own

children,* but the mother's

brother could never have attained the position he held

except under a system of maternal descent.


It
is

moot point whether

the Picts of Scotland


;

belonged to the Aryan family or not


1

but

among
ihre

Strabo,

iii.

4. 18.

^ Tacitus,

Germania, 20.

Compare L. Dargun, Muturrecht und Rauhehe and


Coast, pp.

Reste im germaniichen Uecht und Lehen (Breslau, 1883), pp. 21 io,


^

A. B.

Ellis,

The Tshi-speaking Peoples of the Gold


;

297
et

sq.

id..

The

Eive-speaking Peoples of the Sla-ue Coast, pp. 207 sqq.


Central Africa,
p.

Sir

H. H. Johnston,

British

471

A. Giraud-Teulon, Les 206


s^q.
;

origines

du mariage

de la famille
i.

(Geneva and
13 sqq.
* ^

Paris, 1884), pp.

A. H. Post, Afrikanische Jurispruden%,

Tacitus, Germania, 20.

W.

F. Skene held that the Picts were Celts {Celtic Scotland,

i.

194-227).

On

the other hand, of the British

H. Zimmer supposes them to have been the pre-Celtic inhabitants Islands. See his paper " Das Mutterrecht der Pikten," Zeitschrift

VIII

IN EUROPE
the

247
through
time, in

them

kingdom was
Bcde
tells

certainly transmitted

women.

us that

down

to his

own

the early part of the eighth century, whenever a doubt


arose as to the succession, the Picts chose their king

from the female rather than the male ment


is

line.^

The

state-

amply confirmed by
list

historical evidence.

For

we

possess a

of the Pictish kings and their fathers

which was drawn up in the reign of Cens;d, king of


the Scots, towards the end of the tenth century
for the period
register
is
;

and

from the year 583 to the year 840 the

authenticated by the Irish Annals of Tiger-

nach and Ulster.

Now,

it is

significant that in this list


;

the fathers of the kings are never themselves kings

in

other words, no king was succeeded on the throne by


his

son.

Further, if

we may judge by
Cymric, or

their

names,

the fathers of the Pictish


foreigners,

kings were not Picts, but

men

of

Irish,

English

race.

The

inference from these facts seems to be that

among
words,

the Picts the royal family was exogamous, and that the

crown descended

in the female line

in other

that the princesses married

men of

another clan or even

of another race, and that their issue by these strangers


sat

on the throne, whether they succeeded

in a prescribed

order according to birth, or were elected from

among

the sons of princesses, as the words of Bede might be

taken to imply .^
der Samgny-Stiftung fUr Rechtsgeschkkte, xv. (1894),
pp.

Romanistische Abtheilung,

209
^

sqq,
ii.

Bede, Historia Ecclesiastica gentis Anglorum,

i.

7.

W.

F. Skene, Celtic Scotland,

i.

Z32-235

J.

F.

M'Lennan,

Studies in Ancient

History (London, 1886), pp. 68-70

H. Ziinmer,

loc. cit.

248

FEMALE KINSHIP

lect.

Another European, though not Aryan, people among

whom

the system of female kinship appears to have

prevailed were the Etruscans.


scriptions the

For

in sepulchral inis

name of

the mother of the deceased

regularly recorded along with or even without the

name

of the father

and where the names of both father and


is

mother are mentioned, greater prominence


the mother's
father's

given to

name by writing
is,

it

in full, whereas the

name

in

accordance with
initial.'^

Roman

usage,

merely indicated

by an

The

statement of

Theopompus,

that

among

the Etruscans paternity was

unknown,^ may be only an exaggerated way of saying


that they traced their descent

through

their

mothers
in

and not through

their

fathers.

Yet apparently

Etruria, as elsewhere, this system of relationship was

combined with a
with
the

real

indifference to

fatherhood, and
indifference

dissolute

morals

which

that

implies.^

In these customs the Etruscans resembled the

Lydians,

and the

similarity

confirms

the

common
origin.''

opinion, which
aside,

modern

historians

have
of

too lightly set

that

the

Etruscans were

Lydian

However
'

that

may
28Z-Z90,

be, in

considering the vestiges of


ii.

K. O. MUUer, Die Etrusker


von Tanaquil, pp.

(Stuttgart, 1877),

376
d e.

sq.

J. J.

Bachofen, Die

Sage
2 ^ *

Theopompus, quoted by Athenasus,


Plautus, Cistellaria^
ii,

xii.

14, p.

517

3.

20

iq.
5

Herodotus,

i.

94

Strabo, v. 2. 2
5
;

Tacitus, Annals,

iv. p.

Tertullian,

De
4.

spectaculis,

Festus, s.v.

"Turannos,"
i.

55 ; Timseus, cited by 355, ed. C. O. MilUer ;


xx.
i.

Plutarch, Romulus, 2; Velleius

Paterculus,
i.

i.

4j

Justin,

7;

Valerius

Maximus,
all

ii.

Servius, on Virgil, Aen.

67.

On

the other hand, Dionysius of

Halicarnassus held that the Etruscans were an indigenous Italian race, differing from
other Icnown peoples in language and customs {Ant. Rom. i. 26-30). On this much-vexed question, see K. O. MUUer, Die Etrusker, i. 65 sqq. ; G. Dennis, Cities and Cemeteries of Etruria^ i, pp. xxxiii. sqq.

VIII

IN EUROPE
among
that the

249

female kinship
bear in

the Latins,

we

shall

do well to

mind

same archaic mode of tracing

descent appears to have prevailed

among

the neighboura

ing

Etruscans,

who not

only exercised
if

powerful

influence

on Rome, but gave her two,

not three, of

her kings.
It

would be neither unnatural nor

surprising if

among

the ancient Latins female kinship survived in the royal

family after

it

had been exchanged for male kinship

in all others.

For
it

royalty, like religion,

is

essentially

conservative

clings to old

forms and old customs


life.

which have long vanished from ordinary

Thus

in

Uganda,
blood

as I

have already mentioned, persons of royal


their

still

inherit

totems from

their

mothers,

while other people inherit them from their fathers.


in

So
the

Denmark and

Scandinavia,

as

we have

seen,

kingdom would appear

to have been transmitted through

women
people.

long after the family name and property had


in the

become hereditary

male line among the

common

Sometimes the difference

in

custom between kings

and commoners
a dynasty

is

probably based rather on a distinction


social progress
;

of race than on varying degrees of


is

for

often a family of alien origin

who have

imposed
p-

their rule

on

their subjects by force of arms, as

the

Normans did on
Chinese.

the Saxons, and the


rarely,

the

More

perhaps,

Manchus on it may have

happened that from motives of policy or superstition


a conquering tribe has left a nominal kingship to the

members of the

old royal house.

Such a concession

250
would be most

PLEBEIAN KINGS
likely to be

lect.
the functions

made where

of the king were rather religious than

civil,

and where

the prosperity of the country was supposed to depend

on the maintenance of the


new-comers, not knowing
these strange deities,

established relations between

the people and the gods of the land.

In that case the

how to

appease and conciliate


let the priestly
rites

might be glad to

kings of the conquered race perform the quaint

and mumble the old

spells,

which had been found to


In a

answer their purpose time out of mind.

common-

wealth like the Roman, formed by the union of diiFerent


stocks, the royal family

might thus belong either to


;

the conquerors or to the conquered

in other words,

either to the patricians or to the plebeians.

But
are

if

we

leave out of account

Romulus and

Tatius,

who

more

or less legendary figures, and the

two Tarquins, who

came of

a noble Etruscan house, all the other

kings appear from their names to have been


plebeian,

Roman men of
seems
race,

not

patrician,

families.^

Hence

it

probable that they belonged to the

indigenous

who may have


who knew
If this

retained mother -right, at least in the

royal succession, after they had submitted to invaders


father-right only.

was

so, it

confirms the view that the old


office
;

Roman
office

kingship was essentially a religious

for

the conquerors would be

much more ready


we

to leave an

of

this sort in the

hands of the conquered than a


are familiar.

kingship of the type with which

" Let

these puppets," they might think, " render to the gods


'

H. Jordan, Die

KStiige im alien Italien (Berlin, 18S4), pp. 15-25.

VIII

PLEBEIAN KINGS
we
rule the people in peace
in war."

251

their dues, while

and lead was the

them
type.

Of
all

such priestly kings

Numa

But not

of his successors were willing to


his saintly figure, and, rejecting

model themselves on
the
to

pomps and

vanities

of earth, to devote themselves

communion with heaven.

Some were men of

strong

will

and warlike temper, who could not brook the dull

routine of the cloister.


stillness

They longed

to exchange the

and gloom of the temple or the sacred grove and the tumult of the
bounds,
battle-

for the sunshine, the dust,


field.

Such

men

broke

and

when

they

threatened to get completely out of hand and turn the


tables

on the

patricians,

it

was time for them to go.

This,

we may

conjecture, was the real

meaning of the
put an end to
ruled by the

abolition of the kingship at

Rome.

It

the solemn pretence that the state was


ancient owners of the soil
:

still

it

took the shadow of power

from them and gave


the substance.
to

it

to those

who had

long possessed

The

ghost of the monarchy had begun


:

walk and grow troublesome


But though the

the revolution laid

it

for centuries.
effect

of the revolution was to sub-

stitute the real rule

of the patricians for the nominal

rule of the plebeians, the break with the past

was

at the

outset less complete than

it

seems.

For the

first

two

consuls were both

men of

the royal blood.


sister's

One of

them, L, Junius Brutus, was

son of the expelled

King Tarquin the Proud.^

As such he would have


strict
iv.

been the heir to the throne under a


^

system of
i.

Livy,

i.

56. 7

Dionysius Halicarn. Ant. Rom.

68.

252
female
kinship.

THE CONSULSHIP
The
other
consul,

lect.

L.

Tarquinius

CoUatinus, was a son of the late king's cousin Egerius.^

These

facts

suggest

that

the

first

intention of the

revolutionaries was neither to abolish the kingship nor

to wrest

it

from the royal family, but merely, retaining


its

the hereditary monarchy, to restrict

powers.

To

achieve this object they limited the tenure of office to a


year,

and doubled the number of kings, who might

thus be expected to check and balance each other.


it is

But

not impossible that both restrictions were merely

the revival of old rules which the growing power of the kings had contrived for a time to set aside in
practice.

afterwards

The legends of Romulus and Remus, and of Romulus and Tatius, may be real reminis;

cences of a double kingship like that of Sparta


in the yearly

and

ceremony of the Regifugium or Flight of


trace of an annual, not a

the

King we seem to detect a


of
office.

lifelong, tenure

The same

thing

may

perhaps
at

be true of the parallel

change which took place

Athens when the people deprived the Medontids of


regal powers and reduced
magistrates,

their

them from kings to


first

responsible

who

held

office at

for

life,

but after-

wards only for periods of ten

years.*

Here, too, the

limitation of the tenure of the kingship

may have been


the attempt

merely the reinforcement of an old custom which had


fallen into abeyance.

At Rome, however,
i.

Livy,

i.

34. 2

sq.,

i.

38. i,

57. 6

Dionysius Halicarn. Ant. Sum.

iv.

64.

Mr. A. B. Cook the interesting suggestion that the institution of the double consulship was a revival of a double kingship. * Pausanias, iv. 5. 10 G. Gilbert, Bandbuch der griech. StaatsakerthSmer, i.^ ;
^ I

owe

to

122

jy.

viii

TARQUIN THE PROUD


it

253 was made


at

to maintain the hereditary principle, if


all,

was almost immediately abandoned, and the patricians

openly transferred to themselves the double kingship,

which thenceforth was purely


wards known

elective,

and was after-

as the consulship.^

The

history of the last king of

Rome, Tarquin

the

Proud, leads us to surmise that the offence which he

gave by

his ambitious

and domineering character was


shift the succession
line.
;

heightened by an attempt to

of the
himself

kingship from the female to the male


united both claims in his

He

own

person

for he

had

married the daughter of his predecessor, Servius Tullius,

and he was the son or grandson of Tarquin the Elder ,^

who preceded
history

Servius Tullius

on the throne.

But

in

asserting his right to the crown, if

we

can trust

Roman

on

this point,

Tarquin the Proud

entirely ignored

his claim

through

women

as the son-in-law

of his pre-

decessor,
as

and

insisted only

on

his claim in the

male

line

the son or grandson of a former king.*

And

he

evidently intended to bequeath the


his sons
if
;

kingdom

to one of

for he put out of the

way two of the men who,

the succession had been through

women

in the
sit

way

have indicated, would have been entitled to


throne before his
The two supreme
See Livy,
iii.

on the

own

sons,

and even before himself.

magistrates
55. 12
;

who
74

replaced the kings were at


i.

first

called
;

praetors.

B. G. Niebuhr, History of Rome,^


ii.^

520

sqq.

Th.
fully

Mommsen,

RSmiscies Staatsrecht,

sqq.

That the power

of the first consuls


is

was, with the limitations


recognised by Livy
^ It
(ii.

indicated in
sq.).

the text, that of the old kings

i.

Tarquin the Elder.


5

was a disputed point whether Tarquin the Proud was the son or grandson of See Livy, i, 46. 4 ; Dionysius Halicarn. u4nt, Rom. iv, 6 sq. Livy, i. 48. 2 ; Dionysius Halicarn. Aut. Rom. iv. 31 sq. and 46.

2 54

MONARCHIES
these was his sister's husband, the other
son.

lect.

One of
elder

was her
Lucius

Her younger

son,

the

famous

Junius Brutus, only escaped the fate of his father and


elder brother by feigning, like

Hamlet, imbecility, and


This

thus deluding his wicked uncle into the belief that he

had nothing to

fear

from such

simpleton.^

design of Tarquin to alter the line of succession from


the female to the male side of the house

may have

been

the last drop which filled his cup of high-handed tyranny


to overflowing.
it

At

least

it is

a strange coincidence, if

is

nothing more, that he was deposed by the


a

man

who, under
heir,

system of female kinship, was the rightful


in a sense actually sat

and who

on the throne from


chair of the

which he pushed
consul was
little

his uncle.
less

For the curule

than the king's throne under a

limited tenure.
It

has often been asked whether the


elective.

Roman monarchy
an
succession which

was hereditary or

The

question implies

opposition between the two

modes of

by no means

necessarily exists.

As

a matter of fact in

many
the

African tribes at the present day the succession to


or chieftainship
is

kingdom

determined by a com;

bination of the hereditary and the elective principle that


is,

the kings or chiefs are chosen by the people or

a body of electors from


royal family.
^

among

the

members of

the

And
De

as the chiefs

have commonly several


iv.

Livy,
2
j

i.

56

Dionysius Halicarn. Ant. Rom,


viris illustribus, x.
;

67-69, yy

Valerius Maximus,
of Brutus's father

vii. 3.

Aurelius Victor,
is

The murder

and brother
out before.
405-4.10.

recorded by Dionysius

the other writers mention the assassination

of his brother only.

The

resemblance between Brutus and Hamlet has been pointed

See F. Yoric Powell, in Elton's translation of Saxo Grammaticus, pp.

VIII

HEREBITART AND ELECTIVE


candidates

255

wives

and many children by them, the number of

possible

may

be not

inconsiderable.

To

take a single instance out of many,

we

are told that

" the government of the Banyai


a sort of feudal republicanism.

is

rather peculiar, being chief


is

The

elected,

and they choose the son of the deceased


preference
to
his

chief's sister in
dissatisfied

own

offspring.

When

with one candidate, they even go to a distant tribe for


a successor,

who
^

is

usually of the family of the late chief,

a brother, or a sister's son, but never his

own
still

son or

daughter."

Sometimes the

field

of choice

is

extended

further

by a

rule that the chief

may

or must be chosen from

one of several families


the Bangalas
chief
is

in a certain order.

Thus among
in

of the Cassange Valley

Angola the

elected

from three

families in rotation.^
is

And
ruled

Diagara, a country bordering on Senegambia,

by an absolute monarch who

is

chosen alternately from

two

families,

one of

whom

lives in

one place and the

other in another.^

Among
chief
is

the Yorubas in western Africa the principal

always taken from one or more families which

have the hereditary right of furnishing the community


with
rulers.

In

many

cases the succession passes with

established
alternately
^ ;

regularity

from one to

second family

but in one instance, apparently unique, the


sq.

D. Livingstone, Missionary Travels and Researches in South Ajrica^ pp. 617


i.

Many more
^
^

examples are given by A. H. Post, AJrikanische Jurisfrudemas (Oldenburg

and Leipsic, 1887),

134

i^^.

D. Livingstone,

op, cit. p.

434.

H. Hecquard,
p.

Reise an die Kitste und in das Innere -von West-Afrika (Leipsic,

1854),

104.

256

MONARCHIES

lect.

right of succession to the chiefly primacy seems to be

possessed by four princely families, from each of which


the head chief
is is

elected in rotation.

The
fall

principle of

primogeniture

not necessarily followed in the election,

but the choice of the electors must always


is

on one who

related to a former chief in the male line.


is

For paternal

descent alone

recognised in Yorubaland, where even

the greatest chief

may

take to wife a

woman

of the

lowest rank.
is

Sometimes the choice of the ruling chief

made by divine authority, intimated to the people

through the high priest of the principal god of the


district.^

Among
family
is

the Igaras,

on the lower Niger, the royal

divided into four branches, each of which pro-

vides a king in turn.

of which bear the

The capital and its district, both name of Idah, are always occupied by

the reigning branch of the royal family, while the three

other branches, not being allowed to live there, retreat


into the interior.

Hence

at the death

of a king a double

change takes place.


family, with
all

On

the one hand, the late reigning

their dependents,

have to leave the

homes

in

which many of them have been born and


in

brought up, and to migrate to towns

the forest,

which they know only by name.


the

On

the other hand,

new

reigning family comes in to the capital, and

their people settle in the houses occupied

by

their fore-

fathers four reigns ago.

The king

is

generally elected
:

by the leading men of


'

his

branch of the royal family

Sir

African

Society,

William MacGregor, "Lagos, Abeokuta, and the Miks." Journal of No. XII., July 1904, pp. 470 sj.

the

VIII

HEREDITART AND ELECTIVE


man
the

257
of their

they choose the richest and most powerful

number.^

Thus

the

mere circumstance that

all

Roman
itself

kings, with the exception of the

two Tarquins, appear


is

to have belonged to different families,

not of

conclusive against the view that heredity was one of the

elements which determined the succession.

The number

of families from have been


electors

whom the king might be elected may large. And even if, as is possible, the
free to choose a

were

king without any regard


still

to his birth, the hereditary principle would


tained
if,

be mainit

as

we have
the the royal

seen reason to conjecture,

was

essential

that

chosen

candidate

should

marry a

woman of

house,

who would
his

generally be
predecessor.

either the daughter or the

widow of

In this way the apparently disparate principles of unfettered election

and

strict heredity

would be combined

the marriage of the elected king with the hereditary


princess

would

furnish

the
it

link

between

the

two.

Under such
elective

a system, to put

otherwise, the kings are

and the queens hereditary.

This

is

just the

converse of what happens under a system of male kinship,

where the kings are hereditary and the queens


In the later days of

elective.

Rome

it

was held that the

ancient custom had been for the people to elect the

kings and for the senate to ratify the election. ^


'

But
'

C. Partridge,

"The Burial

of theAtta of Igaraland and the 'Coronation


sq.
'

of his

Successor," Blackwood's Magazine, September 1904, pp. 329


so good as to give

Mr. Partridge was

Z4th October 1904.


^

me some details as to the election of the king in a letter dated He is Assistant District Commissioner in Southern Nigeria.
De
re publico,
ii.

Livy,

i.

17

Cicero,

17. 31.

258

QUALIFICATIONS FOR KINGSHIP


suspect, with

lect.

we may

than an inference

Mommsen, that this was no more from the mode of electing the consuls.
were the dictator and the King

The

magistrates who, under the republic, represented

the kings

most

closely

of the Sacred Rites, and neither of these was elected by


the people.
consul,
I

Both were nominated, the dictator by the


seems probable that under the
either

and the King of the Sacred Rites by the chief


Accordingly
it

pontiff.^

monarchy the king was nominated


chosen from the senate.^

by

his

pre-

decessor or, failing that, by an interim king {interrex')

Now

if,

as

we have been

led

to think, an essential claim to the throne was constituted

by marriage with

a princess of the royal house, nothing

would be more natural than that the king should choose


his successor,

who would commonly

be his son-in-law.
to desig-

If he

had several sons-in-law and had omitted

nate the one who was to reign

after him, the election

would be made by

his substitute, the interim king.

The

personal qualities which

recommended

man

for a royal alliance

and succession to the throne would

naturally vary according to the popular ideas of the

time and the personal character of the king or his substitute


;

but

it

is

reasonable to suppose that

among
beauty
in
42

them

in

early
a

society physical

strength and

would hold
^

prominent
of the
v.

place.

We

have seen that


see Livy, xl.

As

to

the nomination

King of the Sacred Rites

Dionysius Halicarn. Ant, Rom.

1. 4.

The

latter writer says that the augurs co-

operated with the pontiff in the nomination.


2

Th, Mommsen, Komisches

Public Life, pp. 45 sqq.

Staatsrecht^ ii.' 6-8 ; A. H. Greenidge, Roman J. Mr. Greenidge thinks that the king was regularly nominated

by his predecessor and only occasionally by an interim king.

Mommsen

holds that

he was always nominated by the

latter.

VIII

QUALIFICATIONS FOR KINGSHIP


fine presence,

259

Ashantee the husbands of the princesses must always be

men of
as

because they are to be the fathers


the Ethiopians in antiquity,

of future kings.

Among

among

the Ashantees and

many

other African tribes

to this day, the

crown passed
sister,

in the female line to the


if there

son of the king's

but

was no such heir

they chose the handsomest and most valiant


reign over them.^

man

to

We
man
to

are told

that

the Gordioi elected the fattest

the

kingship,''

nor

is

this

incredible
is still

when

we remember
as a great
chiefs

that in Africa corpulence

regarded

distinction
their wives

and beauty, and that both the


are sometimes so fat that they

and

can

hardly walk.
rich

Thus among
to an

the

CafFres,

chiefs

and

men

attain

enormous bulk, and the

queens fatten themselves on beef and porridge, of which


they partake freely in the intervals of slumber.
fat
is
:

To

be

with them a mark of wealth and therefore of high

rank

lounge

common folk cannot afford to eat and drink and as much as they would like to do.^ The Syrakoi in antiquity are reported to have bestowed the crown on the tallest man or on the man
with the longest head, in the
sense of the words.*
literal,

not the figurative,

They seem

to have been a Sar-

matian people to the north of the Caucasus,' and are


^

Nicolaus Damascenus, in Stobasus, Florilegium,


iii.

xliv.

41 {Fragmenta Historkorum
tallest,

Graecorum, ed. C. Milller,


strongest, or
Politics, iv.

463).

Other writers say simply that the


See Herodotus,
iii.

handsomest
;

man was
xii.

chosen king.
p.

20

Aristotle,

Athenaeus,

20,

566

c.

^
^

Zenobius, Cent.
J,

v. 25.

shooter. The Kajirs of Natal (London, 1857), pp.


*

sq.

Compare D. Livingxi. 2. i.

stone, Missionary Travels and Researches in South Africa, p. 186.


*

Zenobius, Cent.

v.

25.

Strabo,

26o

CONTESTS FOR KINGSHIP

lect.

probably the same with the long-headed people described

by Hippocrates, who says that among them the men


with the longest heads were esteemed the noblest, and
that they applied bandages

and other instruments

to the

heads of their children in infancy for the sake of moulding them into the shape which they admired.^
reports are probably by no
the
to

Such

means fabulous,

Monbuttu
this
is

or Mang-bettou of central

among Africa down


for

day "

string

when the children of chiefs are young, wound round their heads, which are gradually
will allow

compressed into a shape that


head-dress.

of the longest

The

skull thus treated in childhood takes


"

the appearance of an elongated egg."

Similarly

some

of the Indian tribes on the north-west coast of America


artificially

mould the heads of

their children into the

shape of a wedge or sugar-loaf by compressing them

between boards

some of them regard such heads

as a

personal beauty, others as a

mark of high

birth.*

Sometimes apparently the right to the hand of the


princess and to the throne has been determined
athletic contest.

by an
the

The Alitemnian Libyans awarded


According to

kingdom
tion

to the fleetest runner.*


earliest

tradi-

the

games
set
locis et

at

Olympia were held by

Endymion, who
^

his

sons to run a race for the


i.

Hippocrates,

De

aere

a^uis (vol.

pp.

550

s^., ed.

Kiihn).
1898}, p. 95.

^
^

Captain

Guy

Burrows,

T/ie

hand of the Pigmies (London,


to the Sources

Lewis and Clark, Expedition

(London, 1905) j D. W. of War of the United States on Indian Affairs (Newhaven, 1822), Appendix, p. 346 ; H. H. Schoolcraft, Indian Tribes, ii. 325 sq. R. C. Mayne, Four Tears in British Columbia, p. 277 ; G. M, Sproat, Scenes and Studies of Sa-vage Life, pp. 28-30 j H.
;

of the Missouri^ ch. 23, vol. ii. 327 sq. Harmon, quoted by Rev. J. Morse, Report to the Secretary

H. Bancroft, Native Races of the Pacific ^ Nicolaus Damascenus, ioc, cit.

States,

i.

180.

VIII

RACES FOR A BRIDE


His tomb was

261 of

kingdom.

said to be at the point

the race-course from which the runners started.*

The
races

famous story of Pelops and Hippodamia


only another version of the legend that the
at

is

perhaps

first

Olympia were run

for

no

less

a prize than the


in antiquity

crown.

Other traditions were current

of

princesses

runner and
Icarius
at

who were offered in marriage to the won by the victor in the race.
Sparta
set
:

fleetest

Thus
her.

the

wooers of

his

daughter

Penelope to run a race

Ulysses

won and wedded


to

His father-in-law
take
if

is

said to have tried to induce


;

him to
that

up

his

abode in Sparta

which seems

show

Ulysses had accepted the invitation he would have

inherited the

kingdom through

his wife.^ his

So, too, the

Libyan king Antasus placed

beautiful
:

daughter
noble

Barce at the end of the race-course


suitors,

her

many

both Libyans and foreigners, ran to her as the


first,
is

goal,

and Alcidamus, who touched her


Danaus,
also, at

gained her

in marriage.^

Argos

said to have

stationed his daughters at the goal, and the runner

who

reached them
traditions

first

had

first

choice of a wife.*

These

may

very well reflect a real custom of racing

for a bride, for such a

custom appears to have pre-

vailed
it

has

among various peoples, commonly degenerated

though
into a

in

practice

mere form or

pretence.^
^

Pausanias, v.
iii.

i,

4, vi. zo. 9.
iii,

^ Pausanias,
2

12. i,
ix.

20, 10^^.

Pindar, Pyth.

181-220, with the Scholia.

^ Pindar, Pyt/u ix.


^

195 sqq.

Pausanias,

iii,

12. 2.

J.

r.

M'Lennan,

Studies in Ancient History

(London, 1886),

pp.

15

sq.,

181-

184.

More

evidence will be adduced in the third edition of The Golden Bough,

262

CONTESTS FOR
for a bride

A BRIDE
may

lect.

But the contests


the
skill,

be designed to try

strength, and courage of the suitors as well as

their

horsemanship and speed of foot.


it

In the great

Indian epic of the Mahabharata

is

related that the

hand of the lovely princess Draupadi, daughter of the


king of the Panchalas, was only to be

won by him who


five

could bend a certain mighty bow, and shoot

arrows
target

through
beyond.

a revolving wheel, so as

to

hit the

After

many wooers had


Arjun was

essayed the task in

vain, the disguised

successful,

and carried

off the princess to be his wife.^

This was an instance


in

of the ancient Indian practice of the Svayamvara,

accordance with which a maiden of high rank either


chose her husband from
or was offered

among

her assembled suitors


trial

as the prize to the conqueror in a

of

skill.

the

The custom was Rajputs down to a late

occasionally observed
time."

among

In the Niebelungenlied

the fair Brunhild, queen of Iceland, was only to be


in marriage

won

by him who could beat her


had thus perished, but

in three trials

of strength, and the unsuccessful wooers forfeited their


heads.

Many
said

at last Gunther,
her.'

king of the Burgundians, vanquished and married


It
is

that

Sithon,

king

of the

Odomanti

in

Thrace, had a lovely daughter Pallene, and that


^

many

15 iqq.
^

Mahabharata^ condensed into English by Romesch Dutt (London, 1898), pp. C. Oman, The Great Indian Epia, pp. 109 s^j. ; J. Mayne, Treatise on Hindu haw and Usage^ (Madras and London, J. D.

The Vikraminkadevacharita, edited by G. BUhler (Bombay, 1875), pp. 38-40; A. Holtzmann, Das Mahabharata und seine Theile, i. (Kiel, 1895), pp. 21
1883),
p.

56

'?

J- Jolly)

Reeht und

Sitte, pp.

50

sy. (in

G. BUhler's Grundriss der hdo-Arischen

Philologie),
'

tures

The Lay of the Niebelungs, translated by Alice Horton (London, 1898), AdvenVI. and VII.

VIII

CONTESTS FOR KINGSHIP


courting her from far and near.

263 But her

men came
first fight

father said that he

who would wed


slew

his
life

daughter must
the penalty of

himself and pay with his

defeat.

Thus he

many young men.

But when
he set

he was grown old and his strength had

failed,

two of the wooers

to fight each other for the kingdorn


princess.

and the hand of the

One of them

slew the

other and married the king's daughter.^

Thus
in

it

appears that the right to marry a

girl,

and

especially a princess, has often been conferred as a prize

an athletic contest.
for
surprise

There would be no reason,


if

therefore,

the

Roman

kings,

before

bestowing their daughters in marriage, should have


resorted to this ancient
qualities

mode of
the

testing the personal

of their future sons-in-law and successors.


is

If

my

theory

correct,

Roman

king and queen

personated Jupiter and his divine consort, and in the


character of these divinities went through the annual

ceremony of a sacred marriage


causing the crops to
fruitful

for

the

purpose of
cattle to

grow and men and

be

Thus they did what in more we may suppose the King and Queen Now we of May were believed to do in days of old.
and multiply.
northern lands

have seen in a former lecture


part of the King of

that the right to play the

May
by
vi.

and to mate with the Queen


This contest may have
to

of

May

has sometimes been determined by an athletic


a race.

contest, particularly
1

Parthenius, Narrat. Amat.

This passage was pointed out

me

by Mr. A.

B. Cook, who has himself discussed the contest for the kingship. " The European Sky-god," Folk-lore, xv. (1904), pp. 376 sqq.
2

See his article,

Above,

pp.

164

iq.

264
been a
relic

THE KING'S FLIGHT

lect. viii

of an old marriage custom of the sort we


test the fitness

have examined, a custom designed to


a candidate for matrimony.

of

Such a

test

might reason-

ably be applied with peculiar rigour to the king in

order

to

ensure that no

personal defect should in-

capacitate
rites

him

for the

performance of those sacred

and ceremonies on which, even more than on the


civil

despatch of his

and military

duties, the safety

and

prosperity of the

community were
as the

believed to depend.

A relic

of that test perhaps survived at

Rome

in the

ceremony known

Regifugium or Flight of the

King, which continued to be annually observed


imperial times.

down

to

On

the twenty-fourth day of February

a sacrifice used to

be offered in the Comitium, and


fled

when

it

was over the King of the Sacred Rites


I

from the Forum.^

conjecture that the Flight of the


a

King was
runner.

originally

race

for

an annual kingship,

which may have been awarded

as a prize to the fleetest

At

the end of the year the king might run


;

again for a second term of office

and so on,
slain.

until he

was defeated and deposed or perhaps

In time a

man

of masterful character might succeed in seating

himself permanently on the throne and reducing the

annual race or

flight to the

empty form which

it

seems

always to have been within historical times.


1

Ovid, Fasti,

ii.

685
sqq.

sjj.
sj.

; ;

Plutarch, Sluaest. Rom. 63

Staats-vermaltung,
the Republic, pp.

m?

J. Marquardt,

RUmuche

323

W. Warde

Fowler, Roman Festi'vaU of the Period of

327

LECTURE
The
King's Flight at

IX

Rome
kings

in relation to the Saturnalia

representatives of Saturn

deaths of

Roman

Saturn

killed

at

the

Saturnalia

and Jupiter

conclusions as to the

sented Jupiter or

King of the Wood at Nemi Janus and mated with Diana


equivalents

Dianus and Diana the


Reasons

of Jupiter and Juno

Summary of He Janus
repreor

Violent

Human

for putting the divine

king to death

The
at

Calicut an Indian parallel to the King of the

Wood

King of Nemi.

In the
that at

last lecture

gave some reasons for thinking

Rome

the old kings belonged to the indigenous


race,

and conquered

and that the right to the throne

was transmitted through women, being enjoyed by the

man who

married a princess of the royal house after


fitness

proving his

for office in an athletic contest

of

strength or speed.
the ceremony

Of

that contest

conjectured that

known

as the

Regifugium or Flight of the


If

King may have been

a survival.

my
is

theory

is

correct, the yearly Flight of the

King

a relic of a

time when the kingship was an annual

office

awarded,

along with the hand of a princess, to the victorious


athlete or gladiator,
his bride as a

who

thereafter figured along with


at a sacred marriage

god and goddess


fertility

designed to ensure the


pathic magic.

of the earth by homoeo-

265

266

THE SATURNALIA
still

lect.

Accepting this theory as a provisional hypothesis, we

have

to ask whether or not the Flight of the

King

was immediately connected

in point of time with the

ceremony of the Sacred Marriage.

As

to this,

it

is

to

be observed that the date of the King's Flight, namely,


the twenty-fourth of February, was within four days

of the close of the old February long before


in later times,
festival
it

Roman

year,

which ended with

ended with December.

Now,

when
to

the year began with January, the

of the Saturnalia was held in December, from


the twenty-third of the month.^
similar festivals elsewhere
fell

the

seventeenth

But the analogy of end of the year

makes

it

probable that the Saturnalia always


;

at or near the

so that

when February was

the last

month of
this

the calendar, the Saturnalia


it

might be expected

to be celebrated in

rather than in December.

theory the date of the Saturnalia in the old

On Roman
fell

calendar ought to be the seventeenth to the twentythird of February.

But the Flight of the King


is

on

the twenty-fourth of February, that


after the Saturnalia, if

on the very day

my

hypothesis as to the original

date of that festival

is

correct.

This accords perfectly

with

all

that

we know of
to

similar festivals.
first,

For

their

outstanding features appear to have been,


license

a general

accorded

the
;

whole population, including


second, the temporary reign
;

slaves as well as freemen

of a sacred King or Lord of Misrule


marriage of the
'

third,

the

merry monarch to a woman who


ii.

On

the Saturnalia, see L. Preller, Romhche Mythologies


siecle

1 5

j^y.

Dezobry,

Rome au

d'Auguste^

iii.

143

sqq.

IX

THE SATURNALIA
;

267

personated a goddess

and, fourth, the deposition or


If the

violent death of the king.^


festivals

analogy of these

held

good

for

Rome, we should accordingly


at the

have to suppose that the King's Flight

ehd of

the Saturnalia was a substitute for his deposition or

death

in other words, that instead of being killed out


life,

of hand he was allowed to run for his he showed a clean pair of heels to
petitors he

and that

if

his pursuers

and com-

was permitted to
theory in
all

live
its

and reign another year.


details

Now

this

receives

most

remarkable confirmation from an ancient account of


the Saturnalia which was discovered and published a few
years ago

by Professor F. Cumont of Ghent.

From

that account

we

learn

that

down

to the beginning of
is,

the fourth century of our era, that

down

nearly to

the establishment of Christianity by Constantine, the

Roman
must

soldiers stationed

on the Danube were wont to


in

celebrate the Saturnalia

a barbarous fashion which


antiquity.

certainly have dated

from a very remote

Thirty days before the

festival

they chose by lot from

among themselves
was dressed

young and handsome man, who


resemble the god Saturn.
all

in royal robes to

In that character he

was allowed to indulge


;
;

his

passions to the fullest extent

but when his brief reign


festival

of thirty days was over, and the

of Saturn was

come, he hadi to cut

his

own

throat on the altar of the

god
1

he personated.^
iii.

The Golden Bough^


F.

138

sqq^,

Cumont, "Les Actes

de S. Dasius,"

5-16.

See further Messrs. Parmentier and

AnaUcta Bollandiar.a, xvi. (1897), pp. Cumont, "Le roi des Saturnales,''

Ke-vue de Philologie, xxi. (1897), pp. 143-153.

268

THE SATURNALIA

lect.

we have not merely the personation of the god Saturn by a man and the violent death of the man-god we have also a clear trace of
In this very notable custom
;

the

Sacred Marriage

in

the licence accorded to the

human

representative of the deity, a licence which, on

my theory, is strictly May Day and other

analogous to the old orgies of


similar festivals.

Observe that

Saturn was the god of the seed, and the Saturnalia


the festival of sowing.^

How

an

Italian

festival

of

sowing could
puzzle.
perceive

fall

in

midwinter

has

always been a
as

But the
that
in

difficulty

vanishes

soon
date

as

we
the

the

old

calendar

the

of

celebration

must
for in

have
Italy

been
the

not

December

but

February
is,

month of February

along with March, the great season of the spring

sowing.^

Nothing therefore could be more natural

than that the god of the seed should hold his festival
at

that time

of the year.

And on

the principles of

homcEopathic magic nothing could be more natural


than
that at the

season of sowing

the

marriage of

the powers of vegetation should be simulated

by the
In

marriage of
thetically

human

beings for the purpose of sympathe

quickening

growth of the

seed.'

short,

no time could be more


King's

suitable for the celebra-

tion of the Sacred Marriage. that

At
the

all

events, the view


-

the

Flight

on

twenty

fourth

of

Varro,
;

De

lingua Latina^

v.

64
12

Festus, s.v,
vi.

*'

Opima
vii.

spolia," p. 186, ed. C.

O.

MUUer
19
;
'^

Augustine,

De

ci'vitate
ii.

Dei,
;

chapter 8,

chapters 2, 3, 13, 15, 18,


ii.

TertuUian,
Palladius,

Ad Nationes,
De
re rustica,

L. Preller, RSmiscie Mythologie,^

11.

books
ii.

iii.

and

iv.

passim,

See TAe Golden BougA,^

204

s^q.

IX

VIOLENT ENDS OF KINGS


was a mitigation of an
is

269
custom of

February

older

putting him to death

strongly

confirmed

by the

evidence that in the old calendar the ceremony followed

immediately after the Saturnalia, and that the King of


the Saturnalia, as he was called, had formerly to cut
his

own
If I

throat in public at the end of his brief reign.

am

right in supposing that in very early times

the old Latin kings personated a god and were regularly

put to death in that character, a new light


the mysterious or violent ends to which so

is

thrown on

Roman monarchs
stress should not,
for,

are said to

many of the have come. Too much


like

however, be laid on such legends,

in a turbulent state of society, kings,

com-

moners, are apt to be knocked on the head for

much
it

sounder reasons than a claim to divinity.

Still

is

worth while to note that Romulus

is

said to

have

vanished mysteriously or to have been cut to pieces by


the patricians

whom

he had offended

and further,

that the seventh of July, the day on which he perished,

was a

festival

which bore some resemblance to the


slaves

Saturnalia.

For on that day the female


certain

were

allowed to take
dressed

remarkable
in the attire

liberties.

They

up

as free

women
at all

of matrons and

maids, and in this guise they went forth from the city,
scoffed

and jeered

whom

they met, and engaged

among
wild
'

themselves in a fight, striking and throwing

stones at each other.


fig

Moreover, they feasted under a


use of a rod cut from the tree,
56
Plutarch, Romulus, 27

tree,

made

Livy,
i.

i.

16

Dionysius Halicarn. Ant. Rom.


See above,
p.

ii.

Florus,

1.

16

sq.

205.

270

THE NONAE CAPROTINAE

lect.

perhaps to beat each other with, and offered the milky


juice of the tree in sacrifice to

name appears

to

mean

either

Juno Caprotina, whose the goddess of the goat


;

{caper) or the goddess of the wild fig tree

for the

Romans called a wild fig tree a goat-fig {caprificus). Hence the day was called the JNonae CaproHnae, after The festival was not peculiar the animal or the tree.
Rome, but was held by women throughout Latium.^ It can hardly be dissociated from a custom which was They observed by ancient husbandmen at this season.
to

sought to

fertilise

the fig trees or to ripen the figs by


trees strings

hanging among the boughs of the


taken from a wild
very old.
ancient and
refer to
it.

of

fruit

fig tree.

The

practice appears to be

It

has been employed in Greece both in


times,

modern
Palladius

and Roman writers often


solstice in

recommends the
;

June

as the best time for the operation

Columella prefers

July.^
'

The
De

wild fig tree


Ladna,
vi.

is
;

a male, and the cultivated


;

Varro,

lingua
i.

18

Plutarch, Romulus, 29

id.,

Camillus,

33

Macrobius, Saturn,
^ Aristotle,

11. 36-40.

Histor.

Anim.

v.

32,

p.
ii,

557
9
;

b,

ed.

Bekker

Theophrastus, Hist.
Con-vi-v.
vii.

Plant,

ii.

id.,

De
56

causis Plantaritm,

Plutarch, ^uaest.
;

2. 2

Pliny, Nat. Hist. xv. 79-81, xvi.

114, xvii. 256


iii.

Palladius, iv.

lo. 28, vii. 5. 2

Columella,

xi.

2.

Geoponica,

6,

x.

48.

As

to

the practice in modern

i.

Greece see P. de Tournefort, Relation d'un voyage du Levant (Amsterdam, 1718), As to the process and its relation to the domestication and spread of the 130. Solms - Laubach, " Die Herkunft, Domestication und fig tree, see Graf zu
{_Ficus

Verbreitung des gewohnlichen Feigenbaums "


kSniglichen

Carica, L.), Ahhandlungen der

Geselhdiaft der Wissenschajien

ssu

GSttingen, xxviii. (1882), pp.

1-106.

This

last

writer thinks that the operation was not practised by Italian husbandmen,

because

it is

not mentioned by Cato and Varro.

But

their silence can hardly out-

weigh the express mention and recommendation of it by Palladius and Columella. Theophrastus, it is true, says that the process was not in use in Italy (^Hist. Plantarum, ii. 8. i), but he can scarcely have had exact information on the subject.
Caprificatio, as
it is

called,

is

still

employed by the Neapolitan peasantry, though


It is practised in

it

seems to be unknown
Day, bunches of
figs

In northern Italy.
trees

from the male

Morocco on Midsummer being then hung in straw on the female

IX

FERTILISATION OF THE FIG


and the
fertilisation
is

271

fig tree is a female,

eiFected

by

insects

which are engendered

in the fruit

of the male

tree

and convey the pollen to the blossom of the

female.-'

Thus

the placing of wild

figs,

laden with

pollen and insects,


fig
is,

among

the boughs of the cultivated

like the artificial fertilisation


;

of the date-palm,
it

a real marriage of the trees

and

may

well

have

been regarded

as

such by the peasants of antiquity

long before the true theory of the process was discovered.

Now
countries

the

fig

is

an important

article

of diet in

bordering

on the Mediterranean.

When

Sandanis the

Lydian attempted to dissuade Croesus


against

from marching
to

the

Persians, he

represented

him

that there

was nothing to be gained by conof


a

quering
neither

the

inhabitants

barren

country

who

drank wine nor ate

figs.^

An Arab comGod
swears

mentator on the Coran observes that "

by these two
trees
*'

trees, the fig

and the

olive, because

among
name

(Budgett Meakin, Tie Moors (London,

1902), p. 258).

The

Latin

goat-fig " (cfl/T^/fcwj) applied to the wild

fig tree

may

well be derived from the

notion that the tree

Similarly, the is a male who mates with the female tree. Messenians called the tree simply " he-goat " (Tp&yo^). See Pausanias, iv. 20. 1-3.
^ A. Engler, in V. Hehn's Kulturffianzen und Hausthiere'' (Berlin, 1902), p. 99. Professor H. Marshall Ward has Compare Graf zu Solms-Laubach, of, cit.

furnished

me with an

exact description of the process, which will be printed in the

third edition of The Golden Bough.

The

ancients were well aware of the production


fig tree.

of the insects in the wild fig tree and their transference to the cultivated

Sometimes, instead of
planting wild
fig trees

fertilising

the trees by hand, they contented themselves with


fig trees,

near cultivated

so that the fertilisation

was

effected

See by the wind, which blew the insects from the male to the female trees. Aristotle, I.e. ; Theophrastus, De causis Plantarum, ii. 9 ; Pliny, Nat. Hist. xv. The suggestion that the festival of the seventh of Palladius, iv. 10. 28. 79-81
J

July was connected with this horticultural operation


Mythologies
2
i.

is

due to L. Preller [RSmiscAe

287).
i.

Herodotus,

71.

272
fruit trees

DEATH OF ROMULUS
they surpass
figs
all

lect.
relate that a

the rest.

They
his

basket of

was offered to the prophet

Mohammed,
comrades do

and when he had eaten one he bade


the same, saying,
fruit
'

Truly,

if I

were to say that any


I

had come down from Paradise,


"
^

would say

it

of

the

fig.'

Hence

it

would be natural that

a process

supposed, not without reason, to be essential to the


ripening of a favourite fruit should be the occasion of
a popular festival.

We

may

surmise that the licence

allowed to slave

women on

this

day formed part of an

ancient Saturnalia which was supposed to fertilise the


figs

by homoeopathic magic.
association of the death of

The
festival

Romulus with

the

of the wild

fig tree

can hardly be accidental,

especially as

he and his twin-brother were said to have


fig tree,

been suckled by the she-wolf under a

which

was always shown


city

as

one of the sacred objects of the


late times.^

and received offerings of milk down to


clue to the association
is
is

The

probably furnished by the

old belief that the king the earth.

responsible for the fruits of

We

may

conjecture that in Hke

manner the
fig

Roman

king was

expected to
figs,

make
in

the

trees

blossom and bear

and that

order to do so he

went through
^

form of Sacred Marriage on the July


by Graf zu Solms-Laubach,
op, cit, p. 82. For more V. Hehn, Kulturfjianzen und Haustkiere^

Zamachschar,

cited

evidence as to the fig in antiquity see


pp.

94
^

sqq.

Varro,

De

lingua Latina,
j

v.

54

Livy,

i.

4. 5

Ovid, Fasti,
;

ii.

411

sj.

Pliny,

Nat. Hist. XV. 77


Servius,

Festus, p. 270, ed. C. O.


viii.

on

Virgil, Aen.

90
iii.

Dionysius Halicarn. Ant. Rom.


as a cultivated fig ijicus),

58 ; Plutarch, Romulus, 4 ; id., Stuaest. Rem. 57 ; AH the Roman writers speak of the tree 71. 5.
xiii.
;

MuUer

Tacitus, Annals,

not a wild

fig {caprificus),
it

and Dionysius agrees with them.

Plutarch alone [Romulus, 4) describes

as a

wild

fig tree [ipivebi).

IX

VIOLENT ENDS OF KINGS


result.

273
efficacious

day when the husbandmen resorted to a more

means of producing the same


to a single day in the year.

The ceremony
well have been
fruits.

of the Sacred Marriage need not have been restricted


It

may
and

repeated for

many

different crops

If the

queen of Athens was annually married to the god of


the
vine,

why

should

not the king of


fig
?

Rome

have

wedded the goddess of the

We

have

still

to ask,

Why

should the king's wed}

ding-day be also the day of


cannot be solved
answered.
till
it
.''

his death

The problem
has

the

wider question

been

Why

has

been customary to slay the divine

king or human god


briefly to

That question
later on.

I shall

endeavour

answer a

little

Here

wiU only

say that elsewhere the marriage of the sacred king or


divine

man

has been often followed at a brief interval

by

his violent death.

Another Roman king who perished by violence was


Tatius, the Sabine colleague of Romulus.
that he was at
It is said

Lavinium

offering a public sacrifice to to

the ancestral gods,

when some men

whom

he had
knives
altar.^

given umbrage despatched him with the

sacrificial

and

spits

which they had snatched from the


the

The
that

occasion and

manner of

his

death
sacrifice

suggest
rather

the slaughter

may

have been a

than an assassination.

Tullus Hostilius was commonly

said to have been killed

by lightning, but many held

that he was

murdered
I sq.
;

at the instigation of his successor

'

Livy,

i.

14.

Dionysius Halicam.

Ant. Rom.

ii.

52.

Plutarch,

Romulus, 23.

274

VIOLENT ENDS OF KINGS


Speaking of

lect.

Ancus Marcius.^
that
later kings.
last

Numa,

Plutarch observes

" his fame was enhanced by the fortunes of the

For of the

five

who

reigned after him the


;

was deposed and ended

his life in exile

and of the

remaining four not one died a natural death, for three of them were assassinated and

TuUus

Hostilius was

consumed by thunderbolts."

This implies that King

Ancus Marcius,

as

well

as

Tarquin the Elder and

Servius TuUius, perished

No
this

by the hand of an assassin. other ancient historian, so far as I know, records of Ancus Marcius, though one of them says that
*

the king " was carried off by an untimely death."

Tarquin the Elder was


to do the deed.*

slain

by two murderers

whom

the sons of his predecessor,

Lastly, Servius Tullius

Ancus Marcius, had hired came by his


Mr. A.
combat
B.

end
the

in circumstances which, as
first

Cook was

to point out, recall the


at

for the priest-

hood of Diana
hand.

Nemi.

He

was attacked by his

successor and killed by his orders, though not by his

Moreover, he lived among the oak groves of

the Esquiline Hill at the head of the Slope of Virbius,

and
was

it

was here, beside a sanctuary of Diana, that he


^

slain.

These legends of the violent ends of the Roman


'

Dionysius Halicarn. Ant. Rom.

iii.

35

Zonaras, AnnaUs,
sq.

vii.

6.

As

to his

reported death by lightning, see above, pp.


^ Plutarch,

204

Numa,

22.

have pruned the luxuriant periods in which Plutarch

dwells, with edifying unction,

on the righteous

visitation of

God which overtook

that early agnostic Servius Tullius,


^ * ^

Aurelius Victor,
Livy,
i. i.

De

viris illustribm, v. 5.
iii.

40

Dionysius Halicarn. Ant. Rom,

73.
i.

48 J Dionysius Halicarn, Ant. Rom. iv. 38 sq. ; Solinus, Mr, A. B. Cook, in Classical Review, xvi. (1902), p. 380, note 3.
Livy,

25,

See

IX

ORDEAL OF BATTLE
a

275

kings suggest that the contest by which they gained the

crown may sometimes have been


rather than a
race.
It

mortal

combat
if

would not be surprising


the

among
down
of

the early Latins

claim to

the

kingdom
;

should often have been settled by single combat


to historical times their kinsfolk the

for

Umbrians
throat was
his cause

regularly submitted their private disputes to the ordeal


battle,

and he who cut

his adversary's

thought thereby to have proved the justice of

beyond the reach of

cavil.^

A parallel

to what I conceive to have been the rule


is

of the old Latin kingship


African custom of to-day.

furnished
the

by

West

When

king of the

northern province of Congo has been elected, he has


to take his stand at a large tree near the entrance to
a

sacred

grove.

Here,

encouraged by one of

his

ministers, he
I

must

fight all rivals

who

present them-

selves to dispute his right to the throne.^

In England

down
similar

to the nineteenth century

custom in

tion of a king or

we had a relic of a the champion who at the coronaqueen threw down his glove and
all

challenged to mortal combat

who disputed the


I

king's

or queen's right to the crown,

believe the practice

was discontinued for the


^

first

time at the coronation of

Nicolaus Damascenus, in Stobasus, FlorUegium,


iii.

Graecorum, ed. C. MiiUer,


(Berlin, 1887), pp. 44. zq.
practice,

457.
tliis

In

x. 70 ; Fragmenta Historicorum Compare H. Jordan, Die KiSnige im alten Italkn his last work Jordan argues that the Umbrian

combined with the rule of the Arician priesthood, throws

light,

on the happy

existence and nature of the kingship

among the

ancient Latins,

am

to agree with so learned and judicious a scholar.


^

From

an unpublished manuscript of Mr. R. E. Dennet in the possession of the


I

Folk-lore Society.
out and sending

have to thank Mr. N.

W. Thomas

for his kindness in copying

me

the passage, of which I have given the substance in the text.

276

THE KING'S CHAMPION


So tenacious
a
is

lect.

his present Majesty.

royalty of forms

that

may

be traced back to

barbarous antiquity.

Pepys

in his

Diary describes
"

as

an eyewitness the cere-

mony of
Second.

the challenge at the coronation of Charles the

He
;

says,

And many

fine

ceremonies there

was of the heralds leading bowing


and

up people before him, and


dish that was to go
all,

my Lord

of Albemarle's going to the


first

kitchen and eating a bit of the


to the King's table.

But, above

was these three

Lords, Northumberland and Suffolk, and the

Duke

of

Ormond, coming before the


staying
so
all

courses on horseback and


at
last
all

dinner-time, and

bringing up

(Dymock)
him.

the King's

Champion,

in

armour on

horseback, with his speare and targett carried before

And

Herald proclaims

'

That

if

any dare deny

Charles Stewart to be lawful


a

King of England, here was

Champion

that

would

fight with

him

'

and with these and


all

words, the Champion flings


this

down

his gauntlet,

he do three times in his going up towards the

King's table.

To

which when he

is

come, the King


is

drinks to him, and then sends him the cup, which


gold, and he drinks
it

of

off,
^

and then rides back again

with the cup in his hand."


In

the foregoing inquiry

we have

seen reason to

suppose that the


Jupiter, the

Roman

kings personated not


also Saturn, the

only

god of the oak, but

god

of the seed.

The

question naturally arises.


.?

Did they do

so simultaneously or successively

In other words, Did

1 Memoirs of Samuel Pepys, edited by Richard, Lord Braybrooke, Second Edition (London, 1828), i. 193 sq. (under April 23rd, 1661).

IX

SATURN AND JUPITER


at another
?

277

the same king represent Jupiter at one time of the year

and Saturn

or did the kings of a certain

period or a certain dynasty represent Jupiter only, while


the kings of another period or another dynasty per-

sonated Saturn alone

The documents

at

our disposal
definitely.

do not allow us to answer these questions


But tradition

certainly points to the conclusion that in


in Italy generally Saturn

Latium and perhaps


older

was an

god than

Jupiter, just as in Greece

Cronus appears

to have preceded Zeus.

Saturn and Cronus were per-

haps the gods of an indigenous and agricultural people;


while

Zeus and Jupiter were the

deities

of a ruder

invading race,

who swarmed down


Italy

into the fertile lands

of Greece and

from the

forests

of central Europe,

bringing their sylvan divinities with them, and displacing


the ancient native

god of the seed by

their

god of the oak and the thunder.

If

own imported that was so, we

may

suppose that before the incursion of these northern

barbarians the old kings of Greece and Italy personated

Cronus and Saturn, but that


their successors

after the conquest they or

adopted the gods of the conquerors

and played the parts of Zeus and Jupiter.


as I

However,
to allow

have
a

said,

the evidence
decision
in

is

too scanty

of

positive

matter

of so

much

obscurity.

This must conclude our examination of the sacred


character of the early Latin kings in general.

propose

now

to recapitulate

the

conclusions

to

which the inquiry has thus

far led us,

and drawing

278

PRIMITIVE MAGIC

lect.

together the scattered rays of light to turn


the dark figure of the priest of Nemi.

them on

We

have found that at an early stage of society


secret processes
it

men, ignorant of the

of nature and
in

of the narrow limits within which


to control and direct them, have

is

our power

commonly arrogated
in

to

themselves

functions

which

the

present

state

of knowledge we should deem superhuman or divine.

The

illusion has

been fostered and maintained by the


it,

same causes which begot

namely,

the

marvellous

order and uniformity with which Nature conducts her


operations, the wheels of her great

machine revolving

with

smoothness and precision which enable the

patient observer to anticipate in general the season, if

not the very hour, when they wLll bring round the

fiilfil-

ment of

his

hopes or the accomplishment of his

fears.

The

regularly recurring events of this great cycle, or


series

rather

of cycles,

soon stamp themselves even

on the dull mind of the savage.

He

foresees them,

and foreseeing them mistakes the desired recurrence


for an effect of his

own

will,

and the dreaded recurrence

for an effect of the will

of his enemies.

Thus

the

springs which set the vast machine in motion, though

they

lie

far

beyond our ken, shrouded

in a

mystery

which we can never hope to


ignorant

penetrate,
:

appear to

man

to

lie

within his reach

he fancies he can
all

touch them and so work by magic art

manner of
the

good to himself and


fallacy

evil

to

his

foes.

In time
:

of

this belief

becomes apparent to him

he

discovers that there are things he cannot do, pleasures

IX

EVOLUTION OF KINGS
is
is

279

which he

unable of himself to procure, pains which


powerless to avoid.
ill,

even the most potent magician

The

unattainable

good,

the

inevitable

are

now

ascribed by

him

to the action of invisible powers,


life,

whose

favour

is

joy and

whose anger

is

misery and death.

Thus magic tends


sorcerer

to be displaced by religion, and the

by the

priest.

At

this stage

of thought the

ultimate causes of things are conceived to be personal


beings,
ter,

many in number and often discordant in characwho partake of the nature and even of the frailty of
their

man, though
life

might

is

greater than his, and their

far exceeds

the span of his ephemeral existence.


individualities,

Their sharply marked

their

clear-cut

outlines have not yet begun, under the powerful solvent

of philosophy, to melt and coalesce into that single

unknown substratum of phenomena,


goes

which, according
it,

to the qualities with which our imagination invests

by one or other of the high-sounding names


his ignorance.

which the wit of man has devised to hide


Accordingly, so long as

men look on

their

gods

as

beings akin to themselves and not raised to an un-

approachable height above them, they believe


possible for those of their

it

to be

number who

surpass their

fellows to attain to divine rank after death, or even in


life.

Incarnate

said to halt

human deities of this latter sort may be midway between the age of magic and the
If they bear the

age of religion.

names and display the

pomp
wield

of deities, the powers which they are supposed to


are

commonly

those

of their predecessor the


their

magician.

Like him, they are expected to guard

28o

THE KING OF THE WOOD


them with
offspring,

lect.

people against hostile enchantments, to heal them in


sickness, to bless

and to provide

them with an abundant supply of food by regulating


the weather and performing the other ceremonies which
are

deemed necessary to ensure the

fertility

of the earth

and the multiplication of animals.

Men who are credited


rift

with powers so lofty and far-reaching naturally hold the


highest place in the land, and while the
spiritual

between the

and the temporal spheres has not yet deepened


they are supreme in
:

too

far,

civil

as well as religious
as

matters

in

word, they are kings

well as gods.
its

Thus

the divinity which hedges a king has


in

roots

deep down

human
by
a

history,

and long ages pass before

these are sapped

profounder view of nature and

of man.
In the
classical

period of Greek and Latin antiquity

the reign of kings was for the most part a thing of the
past
;

yet the stories of their lineage,

titles,

and preten-

sions suffice to prove that they too claimed to rule by

divine right and to exercise

superhuman powers.
that the

Hence
King
long

we may without undue temerity assume


of the

Wood
and

at

Nemi, though shorn


on

in later times of

his glory
line

fallen

evil days, represented a

of sacred kings

who had

once received not only the

homage but
dispense.

the adoration of their subjects in return

for the manifold blessings which they were supposed to

What

little

we know of

the functions of

Diana

in the Arician

grove seems to prove that she was


fertility,
is

here conceived as a goddess of


as a divinity of childbirth.
It

and particularly

reasonable therefore to

IX

IN RELATION TO THE OAK

281

suppose that in the discharge of these important duties


she was assisted by her priest, the two figuring as

King

Wood in a solemn marriage which was intended to make the earth gay with the blossoms
and Queen of the
of spring and the fruits of autumn, and to gladden the
hearts of If

men and women the priest of Nemi

with healthful offspring.

posed not merely as a king,

but as a god of the grove,

we have

still
?

to ask,

What

deity in particular did he personate

The answer of

antiquity

is

that he represented Virbius, the consort or

lover of Diana.

But

this

does not help us much, for of


the name.

Virbius

we know
is

little

more than

clue to

the mystery

perhaps supplied by the vestal

fire

which
of

burned

in the grove.

For the perpetual holy

fires

the Aryans appear to have been


fed with oak wood,^ and
itself,

commonly kindled and we have seen that in Rome


Nemi, the
fuel of the vestal

not

many

miles from

fire

consisted of oaken sticks or logs, which in early


in the

days the holy virgins probably gathered or cut


coppices of oak that once covered the Seven Hills.

But

the ritual of the various Latin towns appears to have

been marked by great uniformity


to conclude that wherever in

hence

it is

reasonable

Latium a

vestal fire

was
the

maintained,
sacred oak.

it

was

fed,. as at

Rome, with wood of


Nemi,
it

If this

was so

at

becomes probable

that the hallowed grove there consisted of an oak wood,

and that therefore the


^

tree

which the King of the Wood


as

See The Golden Bought

iii.

347-349, where, however, the statement


is

to

the

universal use of
since

oak wood

in kindling the need-iire

too absolute, exceptions having

come

to

my

knowledge.

These

will be noticed in the third edition of The

Golden Bough,

282

HUMAN JUPITERS
at the peril

lect.
itself

had to guard

of his

life

was

an oak.

Now the oak was


god of the
the

the sacred tree of Jupiter, the supreme

Hence it follows that the King of Wood, whose life was bound up in a fashion with
Latins.
less a deity

an oak, personated no

than Jupiter himself


is,

At

least the evidence, slight as it

seems to point to
Silvii

this conclusion.

The

old Alban dynasty of the

or

Woods, with
Jupiter,
is

their

crown of oak

leaves, appears to

have

aped the style and emulated the powers of Latian

who dwelt on

the top of the

Alban Mount.

It

not impossible that, as Mr. A. B.

Cook

has suggested,
a

the

King of the Wood, who guarded the sacred oak


lower

little

down

the mountain, was the lawful successor


this ancient line

and representative of
Woods.'^

of the

Silvii

or

At

all

events, if I

am

right in supposing that


it

he passed for a
Virbius, with

human

Jupiter,

would appear that

whom

legend identified him, was nothing


in his

but a local form of Jupiter, considered perhaps


original aspect as a

god of the greenwood.

The

conclusion that the priestly kings of


series

Nemi were
represented

regarded as a
the great

of

human

Jupiters,

who

god on

earth,

and came, one


is

after the other, to

a violent end in that capacity,

singularly confirmed

by a passage of
dramatist an old

Plautus.

In

the

Casina

of

that

man

promises to protect a slave against

the anger of the rest of his family.


Jupiter," says he, " and so long as
I

"

I'll

be your

am

propitious,

you

need not care a straw for these


^

lesser

gods."
Review,

" That's

A. B. Cook, "Zeus,
s^.

Jupiter,

and the Oak,"

Classical

xviii.

(1904), pp.

363

IX
all

HUMAN

JUPITERS
if

283

nonsense," retorts the slave, " as

you did not know

how human
are
a

Jupiters die a sudden death.

When
^

you

dead Jupiter and your kingdom has passed to

me ? " Here the alludes, as a matter of common notoriety, to slave certain human Jupiters who died sudden deaths and whose kingdom passed to others. Now, who were
others,

who

will there be to protect

these

mortal Jupiters

.''

If they

were the

priests

of

Nemi
in the

personating the great god, the allusion would be

understood by every one, and would be particularly apt

mouth of

a slave, himself a

member of

the class
If the
I

from which

these

human

Jupiters were drawn.


it

allusion was not to them,


inexplicable.
I

remains, as far as

know,

need hardly point out how exactly a


fit

dynasty of mortal Jupiters would

on to an older
as

dynasty of mortal Saturns,


perhaps in Latium, the
earlies