By Author [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Title [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Language
all Classics books content using ISYS

Download this book: [ ASCII ]

Look for this book on Amazon

We have new books nearly every day.
If you would like a news letter once a week or once a month
fill out this form and we will give you a summary of the books for that week or month by email.

Title: Plutarch's Romane Questions - With dissertations on Italian cults, myths, taboos, - man-worship, aryan marriage, sympathetic magic and the - eating of beans
Author: Plutarch
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Plutarch's Romane Questions - With dissertations on Italian cults, myths, taboos, - man-worship, aryan marriage, sympathetic magic and the - eating of beans" ***

This book is indexed by ISYS Web Indexing system to allow the reader find any word or number within the document.

Transcriber's note: Text enclosed by underscores is in italics (_italics_).

       *       *       *       *       *

Plutarch's Romane Questions. Translated
A.D. 1603 by Philemon Holland, M.A., Fellow of
Trinity College, Cambridge. Now again edited
by Frank Byron Jebons, M.A., Classical
Tutor to the University of Durham
With Dissertations on Italian
Cults, Myths, Taboos, Man-
Worship, Aryan Marriage
Sympathetic Magic
and the Eating
of Beans




On the whole, with the proper qualifications, Plutarch's _Romane Questions_
may fairly be said to be the earliest formal treatise written on the
subject of folk-lore. The problems which Plutarch proposes for solution are
mainly such as the modern science of folk-lore undertakes to solve; and
though Plutarch was not the first to propound them, he was the first to
make a collection and selection of them and give them a place of their own
in literature. On the other hand, though Plutarch's questions are in the
spirit of modern scientific inquiry, his answers—or rather the answers
which he sets forth, for they are not always or usually his own—are
conceived in a different strain. They are all built on the assumption that
the customs which they are intended to explain were consciously and
deliberately instituted by men who possessed at least as much culture and
wisdom as Plutarch himself, or the other philosophers who busied themselves
with this branch of antiquities. This assumption, however, that the
primitive Italians or the pro-ethnic Aryans shared the same (erroneous)
scientific and philosophical views as the savants of Plutarch's day, is an
unverified and improbable hypothesis. The Aryans were in the Stone Age, and
had advanced only to such rudimentary agriculture as is possible for a
nomad people. If, therefore, we are to explain their customs, we must keep
within the narrow circle which bounds the thought and imagination of other
peoples in the same stage of development. Plutarch, however, in effect asks
himself, "If I had instituted these customs, what would my motives have
been?" and in reply to his own question he shows what very learned reasons
might have moved him; and also, quite unconsciously, what very amiable
feelings would in reality have governed him; for, if he ascribes to the
authors of these customs the learning of all the many books which he had
read, he also credits them with a kindliness of character which belonged to
himself alone. Thus, to go no further than the first of the _Romane
Questions_, viz., _What is the reason that new-wedded wives are bidden to
touch fire and water?_ Plutarch first gives four high philosophical
reasons, which he may have borrowed, but concludes with one which we may be
sure is his own: "Or last of all [is it] because man and wife ought not to
forsake and abandon one another, but to take part of all fortunes; though
they had no other good in the world common between them, but fire and water

That this, like the rest of Plutarch's reasons, is fanciful, may not be
denied, but would not be worth mentioning, were it not that here we have,
implicit, the reason why no modern translation could ever vie with Philemon
Holland's version of the _Romane Questions_. It is not merely because
Philemon's antiquated English harmonises with Plutarch's antiquated
speculation, and by that harmony disposes the reader's mind favourably
towards it; but in Philemon's day, England, like the other countries of
Western Europe, was discovering that all that is worth knowing is in Greek.
The universal respect felt for Greek in those days, even by schoolmasters
(Holland was himself Head-master of Coventry Free School), is still
apparent to those who read this translation. But things are now so changed
that the English language of to-day cannot provide a seemly garb for
Plutarch's ancient reasonings. To say in modern English that "five is the
odd number most connected with marriage," is to expose the Pythagorean
doctrine of numbers to modern ridicule. But when Philemon says, "Now among
al odde numbers it seemeth that Cinque is most nuptial," even the
irreverent modern cannot fail to feel that Cinque was an eminently
respectable character, whose views were strictly honourable and a bright
example to other odde numbers. Again, Philemon's insertion of the words "it
seemeth" makes for reverence. The insertion is not apologetic; nor does it
intimate that the translator hesitates to subscribe to so strange a
statement. Rather, it summons the reader to give closer attention to the
words which are about to follow—words of wisdom such as is to be found
nowhere else but only in the fountain of all knowledge, Greek. Insertions
and amplifications are indeed characteristic of Philemon as a translator.
But, though his style is florid, it is lucid; his amplifications make the
meaning clearer to the English reader, and, as a rule, only state
explicitly what is really implied in the original. Sometimes (_e.g._,
towards the end of _R. Q._ 6) he does enlarge on the text beyond all
measure; sometimes, again, defective scholarship leads him to ascribe
things to Plutarch which Plutarch never said (_e.g._, in _R. Q._ 5, ταῦτα
τρόπον τινὰ τοῖς Ἑλληνικοις ἔοικεν does not mean "this may seeme in some
sort to have beene derived from the Greeks"); and sometimes he is mistaken
as to the meaning of a word (_e.g._, ἔνοχος in _R. Q._ 5). On the other
hand, where the text is corrupt, he sees and says what the meaning really
is; and Hearne's verdict that Holland had "an admirable knack in
translating books" does not go beyond the mark. Indeed, it does not do
justice to Philemon, for it hardly prepares us to learn that, in the
infancy of the study of Greek in England, Philemon threw off, among other
trifles, translations of all the _Moralia_ of Plutarch, the whole of Livy,
the enormous _Natural History_ of Pliny, Suetonius, Ammianus Marcellinus,
the _Cyropædia_ of Xenophon, and Camden's _Britannia_. Southey is more just
to the assiduous labours of a life of study carried to the age of
eighty-five, when he calls Philemon "the best of the Hollands." But the
most discerning criticism of Holland, as "translator generall in his age"
(Fuller), is contained in Owen's epigram on Holland's translation of the
_Natural History_, that he was both _plenior_ and _planior_ than Plinius.

To judge from the _Romane Questions_, Philemon must have used as his text
the edition of 1560-70, Venet., for he evidently avails himself of
Xylander's emendations of the Aldine _editio princeps_, 1509-19. One
cannot, however, be quite certain on this point, for the title-page of
Holland's translation of the _Moralia_ runs: "The Philosophie, commonly
called the Morals, written by the learned philosopher Plutarch of
Chaeronea, translated out of Greek into English, and conferred with Latin
and French." Now the Latin translation must have been Xylander's; and the
only edition of the text used by Holland may have been that of H. Stephens,
with which Xylander's Latin translation and notes were published. The
French with which Philemon conferred was of course that of Jacques Amyot,
who had already translated Plutarch's _Lives_ in 1559, and followed up that
translation with one of the _Moralia_ in 1574. Philemon's translation of
the _Morals_ appeared in 1603 ("revised and corrected" in 1657).

The _Morals_ in general and the _Romane Questions_ in particular have
received little attention from commentators. The only notes I have
succeeded in getting hold of, besides those of Xylander and Reiske
(complete edition of Plutarch, Lips., 1774-82), are some by Boxhorn (in the
fifth volume of the _Thesaurus_ of Grævius, 1696), which includes one
sensible remark (quoted p. xxxii. below), and those by Wyttenbach (Oxford,
1821), which, if I had looked at them before instead of after writing my
Introduction, would have provided me with a good many classical references
that, as it is, I have had to put together myself.



The "fashions and customes of Rome," which prompted Plutarch's questions,
are directly or indirectly associated with the worship of the gods, while
the solutions which he suggests contain occasionally myths. It is not,
however, all Roman gods, cults, and myths that are discussed by Plutarch:
he limits himself, on the whole, to those which are purely Roman, or rather
purely Italian. This limitation is not accidental, and it is significant.
It does not indeed appear that Plutarch designed to confine himself thus:
the fact seems rather to be that, long before his time, the Romans had
borrowed the myths, the ritual, and the gods of Greece, and that Plutarch,
as a Greek, found nothing strange or unintelligible in the resemblances
which the Roman ritual of his day bore to the religion of his native land.
It was the points of difference which caught his attention.

And here we must note a further limitation of the subject of the _Romane
Questions_ and of this Introduction. Surprise and inquiry are excited not
by the familiar, but by the unusual; so Plutarch's attention was arrested
not by customs which, though purely Italian, were universal in Italy,
_e.g._, the practice of covering the head during worship, but by fashions
for which he could find no analogy or parallel in the stage of religion
with which alone he was acquainted. In such isolated customs, out of
harmony with their surroundings, modern science sees "survivals" from an
earlier stage of culture; and it is as survivals that they will be treated
in this Introduction. Now, the stage of religion with which Plutarch was
familiar, and in which he could find no analogies for those "fashions and
customes," was polytheism; and if those practices are survivals, they must
be survivals from a stage of religion earlier than polytheism.

Here, however, a difficulty meets us. If the teaching of the Solar
Mythologists be true, the Aryans, having a mythology, were already
polytheists: much more, therefore, must the Italians have been polytheists
from the beginning. I am sorry to say that I cannot meet this difficulty: I
can only frankly warn the reader that it exists. But in an Introduction
which professes to confine itself to myths and cults which are purely
Italian, it is impossible to discuss Solar Mythology, for the simple reason
that there is no such thing in existence as an Italian solar myth, or
indeed Nature-myth of any kind. The only story which is seriously claimed
as a Nature-myth is that of Hercules and Cacus. Cacus, a monster or giant,
stole some cows from Hercules, and hid them in his cave. Hercules
discovered them, according to some accounts, by the aid of Caca, the sister
of Cacus, according to other accounts, by the lowing which the cows in the
cave set up when Hercules went by with the rest of his oxen. Hercules
forced his way into the cave, and, in spite of the fire and flames which
Cacus spat at him, killed the monster with his club. Then Hercules, in
commemoration of the discovery of his cattle, erected an altar to Jupiter
the Discoverer (_Jupiter Inventor_). Now a similar story, it would appear,
is to be found in the Vedas. Vritra, a three-headed snake, steals cows from
Indra, who discovers them in a cave by their lowing, and kills Vritra with
a club. And the Vaidic story must be a Nature-myth, because the Vedas
expressly explain that the cows are clouds, the lowing is thunder, the club
is the lightning, and Indra, on this occasion, the blue sky. But why is the
interpretation given by the Vaidic philosophers to be accepted without
examination, when we reject the teaching of the Stoics, who interpreted
Rhea as matter, and Zeus, Posidon, and Hades as fire, water, and air
respectively, in accordance with the Stoic philosophy of the universe? I
submit it as a possibility, worth consideration at least, that we have here
an ordinary folk-tale: the trick of using the bulls to make the cows reveal
their hiding-place is like the trick in the folk-tale about the groom of
Darius who caused his master's horse to neigh and so secured the Persian
empire to Darius. The story may have been told of some clever fellow (not
necessarily or probably of a god) in pro-ethnic Aryan times, or it may have
been hit on by Hindoo and Italian story-tellers independently. Once
invented, however, it was used by each of these two peoples in a
characteristic manner. The learned Roman, whose object was to explain the
origin of the customs, cults, institutions, &c., of Rome, seized on it as
the obvious explanation of two facts which required explanation, viz.,
first, how the altar to Jupiter Inventor came into existence; and second,
why the offering made in gratitude for the recovery of lost property, was
an ox. The learned Hindoo, on the other hand, had the satisfaction of
showing that even the stories with which (alone or chiefly) the common
people were acquainted bore unsuspected witness to the truth of the
religion he taught. But to return to our interpretation of the "fashions
and customes" of Rome as survivals of a stage of religion earlier than

A second difficulty remains. Distinguished writers on the philosophy of
religion hold that polytheism is not developed out of fetichism or animism,
but is primitive and underived from any earlier stage. The survivals, then,
which Plutarch records, could not point to the existence of an earlier
stage. Here, again, it is not for me to handle such high themes as the
philosophy of religion. I am bound down to the humbler task of noting the
simple fact that, until borrowed from Hellas, polytheism was unknown in

This is a very bare statement—so naked as almost to amount to a literary
impropriety. I must, therefore, take three sections to clothe it.


That some of the great gods of Rome were but Greek gods borrowed is
universally admitted (see _e.g._ Mommsen's _History of Rome_, i. 186 _ff._,
or Ihne, i. 119). Even so strong a supporter of the theory of a
Græco-Italian period as Roscher admits unreservedly that the mythology,
worship, and the very name of Apollo were borrowed in early but still
historic times (_Lexikon_, i. 446). When, then, we find Plutarch putting
the question why the temples of Æsculapius and Vulcan were built outside
Rome (_Romane Questions_, 94 and 47), we at once surmise that these were
imported gods, whose worship was indeed sanctioned and ordained by the
Roman State but was not admitted within the sacred circle of the
_pomœrium_, reserved for the temples of indigenous Roman gods. In the case
of Æsculapius we have historical proof that his was an imported worship; in
consequence of a pestilence in Rome in B.C. 293 the god was fetched from
Epidaurus, and the temple in question was erected two years afterwards.[1]
We do not happen to have any similar historical record of the introduction
of Vulcan's worship, but the name of the god, be it Cretan or Etruscan, is

Having eliminated these and other loan-gods, we find that the genuine
Italian deities which remain fall into two classes. The one class consists
of such abstractions as Forculus, the spirit of doors; Cardea, that of
hinges; Limentinus, that of the threshold, &c., which can scarcely be
dignified by the name of gods, but are rather spirits, and amply warrant
Chantepie de la Saussaye's remark that Roman religion was still steeped in
animism.[3] The other class includes such gods as Janus, Jupiter, Mars,
Diana, Venus, Hercules, &c. It is necessary to note, however, that the
worship even of these gods can be proved to have been considerably
Hellenised in historic times:[4] some of their ritual and all their
mythology was borrowed from Greece, as we shall subsequently see. And when
the loan-myths and loan-cults have been removed, the genuine Italian gods
stand forth essentially and fundamentally different from those of
Greece.[5] Here, too, we may note that if comparative mythologists adhere
to their principle of not identifying the gods of different nations, unless
their names can be shown by comparative philology to be identical, they
must admit that Mars and Ares, Venus and Aphrodite, Diana and Artemis, Juno
and Hera, and all the other pairs of deities which the ancients identified,
are, with the sole exception of Jupiter and Zeus and of Vesta and Hestia,
not of cognate but of diverse origin. In fine, the differences between
Greek and Italian gods are fundamental and original: the resemblances can
be shown to be due to borrowing in historic times.

There is, however, one of the great Roman gods who was never identified
with any Hellenic deity, Janus. Now, although Janus ranks with Jupiter and
Mars in the Roman system as an indubitable god, yet in origin and function
he is not to be distinguished from those inferior, animistic powers to whom
the title of spirit is the highest that can be assigned. Janus is the
spirit that resides in or presides over door-openings (_ianus_, _ianua_),
just as Forculus has to do with doors (_fores_), Limentinus with the
threshold (_limen_), and Cardea with the hinges (_cardo_). He is also the
"spirit of opening,"[6] who was to be invoked at the commencement of every
act. Plutarch's questions why he should be represented with two heads, and
why the year should begin with the month named after him, January (_R. Q._,
22 and 19), are thus at once explained: "The double-head looking both ways
was connected with the gate that opened both ways;" and in January, "after
the rest of the middle of winter, the cycle of the labours of the field
began afresh."[7]

That the door or the threshold is the seat of a tutelary spirit or genius
is a belief familiar enough in folk-lore: the door must not be banged,[8]
nor wood chopped on the threshold,[9] for fear of disturbing him. He is apt
to disappear, taking the luck of the house with him, if a cat is
maliciously buried under the door-sill,[10] or if human hair is so
buried.[11] The importance of the door as a possible entrance for evil
spirits, or exit for lucky ones, is manifest in many customs, _e.g._,
nailing a horse-shoe on the door or sticking a knife into the door, and in
such beliefs as that when a door opens (apparently) of itself, a spirit is

Whether the Italian spirit of the doorway, who in origin is
indistinguishable from the similar though nameless spirits to be found
elsewhere, was capable by his own unaided efforts of raising himself to the
rank of a god, is matter for speculation. What is clear is that he had not
the chance: the introduction of Greek polytheism into Italy promoted him
without exertion on his part.

As, thus far, I have assumed a distinction between "gods" and "spirits,"
and have also assumed that a belief in the latter may exist without
polytheism and precede it, it will be well here to state explicitly the
distinction. And that I may not be suspected of drawing the distinction so
as to suit my own ends, I shall here borrow from a standard work, Chantepie
de la Saussaye's _Religionsgeschichte_ (i. 90). De la Saussaye notes five
characteristics involved in the conception of "gods." First, they are
related to one another as members of a family or community, and as subject
to one god, who is either lord of all, or at any rate _primus inter pares_.
Second, with the growth of art, they are represented plastically and are
made in the image of man. Third, as ethics advance, moral benefits are
associated with their worship. Hence, in the fourth place, the gods are
conceived as personal, individual beings, ideally good and beautiful.
Finally, the human intellect demands that the relations of the gods to one
another and to Nature should be co-ordinated into a system, and so
theogonies and cosmogonies are invented.

Now, if these be the marks whereby gods are distinguished from spirits, I
submit that, before the introduction of Greek gods and cults, the Romans
had not advanced as far as polytheism, but were still in the purely
animistic stage. Here again, to avoid the temptation of interpreting the
evidence unduly in favour of the conclusion to which it seems to me to
point, I will confine myself to quotations. Ihne (_Hist. of Rome_, i. 118)
says that to the Romans, before the period of Hellenic influence, "the gods
were only mysterious spiritual beings, without human forms, without human
feelings and impulses, without human virtues or weaknesses.... Though the
divine beings were conceived as male or female, they did not join in
marriage or beget children.... No genuine Roman legend tells of any race of
nobles sprung from gods." Again, "The original Roman worship had no images
of the gods or houses set apart for them" (Mommsen, i. 183). "A simple
spear, even a rough stone, sufficed as a symbol" (Ihne, 119). Roman
religion had nothing to do with morality: "it was designed for use in
practical life" (_Ibid._ 120). "The religion of Rome had nothing of its own
peculiar growth even remotely parallel to the religion of Apollo investing
earthly morality with its halo of glory" (Mommsen, 172). Mommsen's
observation that "the hero-worship of the Greeks was wholly foreign to the
Romans" (174) is explained by the fact that a hero is a being of human
origin raised by good deeds to the rank of a god, and the Romans had no
gods. Myths about the love-adventures of the gods and theogonies were
unknown to early Rome.[12] An Italian cosmogony has not yet been
discovered, and even the wide-spread belief in the union of Father Sky and
Mother Earth had not been evolved in Italy.

In fine "the beings which the Romans worshipped were rather _numina_ than
personal gods."[13] Even the spirits whom we can trace back under definite
names to the purely Italian period, such as Jupiter, Juno, Vesta, Mars, are
not individual, personal beings. Each of these names is the name of a class
of spirits. "Each community of course had its own Mars, and deemed him to
be the strongest and holiest of all" (Mommsen, i. 175). Each household had
its own Vesta. There were many Jupiters, many Junos. In England, in the
same way, the name of Puck, who is a definite individual personality in one
stage of our fairy mythology, was originally a class-name of the spirits
whom, as Burton says in his _Anatomy_, "we commonly call poukes."

I will conclude this section with quotations from two distinguished
authorities on Mythology, who would both dissent from the views which have
been advanced above, but whose words seem to me to bear unintentional
testimony in favour of those views. E. H. Meyer, in his _Indogermanische
Mythen_ (ii. 612), says, "Roman religion seldom displays more than the
_elementary rudiments_, or rather let us say the last remnants of
mythology," and "whereas the cult of the greater gods is known to us in a
form greatly affected by Hellenism, ... the local gods usually scarcely
rise above the rank of spirits (_sich meistens kaum über daemonischen Rang
erheben_)." Preller, in his _Römische Mythologie_ (i. 48), says, "The
Romans' belief in gods would be termed more rightly _pandæmonism_ than
_polytheism_.... One is involuntarily reminded of those Pelasgians of
Dodona who, according to Herodotus, assigned neither names nor epithets to
their gods.... Indeed, most of the names of the oldest Roman gods have such
a shifting, indefinite meaning, that they can scarcely be regarded as
proper names, as the names of persons."


The Italians borrowed cults as well as gods from Greece, but "these
external additions gathered round the kernel of the Roman religion without
affecting or transforming its inmost core" (Ihne, i. 119). The
distinguishing characteristic of the religion of Rome is that "it was
designed for use in practical life" (_Ibid._ 120), "The god of the Italian
was above all things an instrument for helping him to the attainment of
very solid earthly objects" (Mommsen, i. 181). In fact, the Italian god was
a fetich, _i.e._, a magical implement; and in this sense of the word it is
true that "the Romans saw everywhere and in all things the agency and the
direction of the gods" (Ihne, i. 118). Every act of life was entangled in a
complicated network of ritual.[14] Every part of the house, the door,
doorway, threshold, hinges, every process of farming, sowing, manuring,
&c., every act of life from birth to burial, had its own particular spirit;
and the object of the Roman with reference to each particular spirit was
"to manage, and even in case of need to over-reach or to constrain him"
(Mommsen, i. 177). Preller in his _Römische Mythologie_ characterises the
religion of Rome as, above all things, "a cultus-religion." We may add that
in Rome, as in China, Assyria, and Babylonia, the cult was nothing but
organised magic,[15] the superstitious customs, charms, and incantations
familiar to the folk-lorist in all countries were organised by the
practical Roman and were state-established by him. In fine, the Romans "in
their gods worshipped the abstract natural forces, to whose power man is
conscious that he is subject every instant, but which he can win over and
render subservient to his purposes by scrupulously obeying the external
injunctions which the State issues for the worship of the gods."[16]

A fundamental difference between the Greek and Roman religions manifests
itself in the matter of magic. Magic was foreign to the Greeks, and was
disliked by them: when it appears in their mythology, it is practised by
foreigners—_e.g._, Medea, Circe, Hecate—and is "barbarous." In fact, magic
belongs to the animistic stage, and is opposed to the higher tendencies of
polytheism. The forces of Nature, conceived as _numina_ rather than as
moral ideals, may well be influenced by magic to the advantage of the
savage; but to control a deity by means other than prayer and good life is

Finally, it is not accidental or unmeaning that, on the one hand, the
Greeks had oracles while the Italians had none; and on the other hand, that
in China and Babylon (which resemble Rome in other pertinent points)
divination played as large and as official a part as at Rome. An oracle is
the voice of a god; whereas divination is simply sympathetic magic


In sect. 1 it has been said that the Italians had no Nature-myths. The
reason why they had none should now be clear: the Italians had no
Nature-gods. The sky-spirit, Jupiter, was undoubtedly distinguished from
the vault of heaven by the primitive Italians, but he was not generically
different from the spirits of vegetation, of sowing, of manuring, &c., and
he seems to have been even of inferior dignity to the spirit of
doorways.[18] The earth, on the other hand, does not seem to have been
conceived of as a spirit even, much less as a goddess; but, if worshipped
at all, was worshipped as a fetich.[19] Hence, the absence from Italy of
any trace of the myth of the origin of all living creatures from a union
between the earth and the sky.

Indeed, if by a myth we mean a tale told about gods or heroes, there are no
Italian myths.[20] Myths attached to Greek loan-gods were borrowed with the
gods from Greece. Myths in which Italian gods figure were borrowed or
invented when the Italian gods were identified with Greek gods. Thus the
Golden Age myth, for instance, can be referred to the time (A.U.C. 257)
when Saturnus was identified with Kronos.[21] And of course, all the myths
in which Æneas appears, and the whole mythical connection between Rome and
Greece or Troy, are late.[22] Evander,[23] again, who figures in various
passages of the _Romane Questions_, owes his existence wholly and solely to
the attempt to connect Rome with Greece.

If, on the other hand, under the head of myth we include "the popular
explanation of observed facts," then early Roman history, as Ihne says (i.
17), "is really nothing more than a string of tales, in which an attempt is
made to explain old names, religious ceremonies and monuments, political
institutions and antiquities, and to account for their origin." Some
examples of this may be drawn from the _Romane Questions_. Marriage by
capture has left traces behind it in the wedding customs of many countries,
and the meaning of these survivals is usually wholly forgotten. But the
historic consciousness of the Romans was so far alive to the actual facts
of the case that the mock capture was explained as the commemoration of an
actual historical rape—the Rape of the Sabines. Thus were explained the
lifting of the bride over the threshold (_Q. R._ 19), the use of a javelin
point to divide the bride's hair (_Ibid._ 87), the hymeneal cry _Talassio_
(_Ibid._ 31), and the fact that maids might not (though widows might) marry
on festival days (_Ibid._ 105). The first of these customs is probably a
survival from marriage by capture, and the last is indirectly connected
with it. In Rome,[24] as in many other places,[25] the lamentations of the
bride who was actually captured survived in the formal, extravagant
lamentations of the bride who, in quieter times, was more peacefully won;
and these cries would have been of bad omen on a day dedicated to the
worship of the gods. Lamentation seems not to have been required of widows.
The use of an iron javelin point is probably due to the dangers which, in
the opinion of primitive man, attend on those about to marry, and require
to be averted by the use of iron,[26] from the head[27] especially. The
origin of the cry _Talassio_ is beyond recovery.[28]

But though the chief branch of Italian folk-tales consisted of popular
explanations of observed facts, we can detect traces of those other
folk-tales which from the beginning must have been designed simply and
solely to gratify man's inherent desire for tales of adventure and the
marvellous. Here it must suffice to point to two of the _Romane Questions_.
In the fourth question we have a tale told of successful trickery on the
part of Servius Tullius, which may well have formed part of some story of a
Master Thief; and in _Romane Questions_ 36, the nightly visits of Fortuna
through the window to her lover, Servius Tullius, at once remind us of the
"soul-maidens" and "swan-maidens," who visit, and eventually desert, their
human lover through the window or the keyhole[29]—the orthodox means of
entrance and exit for spirits from the time of Homer at least.


The customs and beliefs, the superstitious practices and supernatural
beings, of modern European folk-lore are sometimes explained as the wrecks
and remnants of the Pagan polytheism which preceded Christianity. And if
the Aryan peoples were from the very beginning polytheists; if the Hellenes
and the Hindoos, the Teutons and the Scandinavians, brought their myths and
their cults with them from the original Aryan home, then this explanation
seems more reasonable than that which proceeds on a mere conjecture, a pure
assumption that the Aryan religion was animistic ere it was polytheistic;
for then we are obliged to relegate Aryan animism almost to the æon "of
chaos and eternal night,"—at any rate, to an abysm of time which is such
that neither linguistic palæontology nor any other science has dared

                "to venture down
  The dark descent and up to reascend."

But if the proposition submitted in the previous sections be sound, if in
early but still historic times Italian religion was still in a stage
anterior to polytheism, then Aryan animism is no longer a mere assumption,
and need no longer be thrust back into pro-ethnic times. Early Italian
customs and beliefs will not be the _débris_ of a previous polytheism, and
it will therefore be unreasonable to explain their counterparts in modern
folk-lore as mutilated myths or as the cult of gods degraded but worshipped

Plutarch, in the fifth of his _Romane Questions_ (p. 8 below), propounds an
interesting problem: _Why are they who have beene falsly reported dead in a
strange countrey, although they returne home alive, not received nor
suffred to enter directly at the dores, but forced to climbe up to the
tiles of the house, and so to get down from the roufe into the house?_ This
remarkable custom continued to be practised long after its origin and
object had been forgotten; for Plutarch relates a tale which is obviously a
popular explanation, invented to account for a practice the _rationale_ of
which had become unintelligible.[30] Hard, however, as Plutarch's question
appears at first sight, it may by the aid of modern folk-lore and savage
custom be explained. We have to note, in the first place, that the mode of
entry prescribed for the returned traveller is not spontaneously adopted by
him; and presumably, therefore, is not prescribed in his interest: it is
enforced by his relatives, and probably for their own protection. In the
next place, though the traveller himself knows, of course, that he has not
returned from that bourne from which no traveller returns, his relatives
have no such assurance: it may be, indeed, that he did not die whilst away,
as they were informed or led to believe; but, on the other hand, he may be
"the ghost of their dear friend dead," seeking to obtain an entrance into
his old home. The reasonable course for them to pursue, therefore, is to
treat him as though he were a ghost: if he is no ghost, it will do him no
harm; if he is, they will have protected themselves.

Thus far our explanation is hypothetical: to verify the hypothesis it is
necessary to show that the dead are or were as a matter of fact treated as
the Roman custom prescribes that the _soi disant_ living man shall be
treated. That the spirits of the dead are considered unwelcome visitors
both in modern folk-lore and by savage man, has been insisted on most
recently by Mr. G. L. Gomme.[31] I will, therefore, only add one or two
instances of the precautions taken to prevent the return of the deceased to
his home.[32] The first thing is to get the soul out of the house; this may
be effected by sweeping out the house and by flapping dusters about, care
being taken to shake and turn upside down all vessels, meal-boxes, &c., in
which the soul might take refuge. Then the coffin must be carried foot
foremost through the door; for if the corpse's face be turned to the house,
the ghost can return. In Siam they run the corpse three times round the
house, apparently on the same principle as, in the game of blind-man's
buff, the blind-man is spun round in order to make him lose his bearings.
In Bohemia they turn the coffin about cross-wise, outside the house-door,
to prevent the dead man from coming back.

More pertinent for our present purpose are the precautions taken to prevent
the dead from obtaining access to the house through the door. The safest
course is to carry the corpse out, not through the door, for that gives the
dead man the right of way which it is sought to bar, but through some
opening which is specially made for the purpose and can be permanently
closed. Thus the Hottentots make a breach through the wall for the purpose.
The ancient Norsemen did the same.[33] The Teutons, in pre-Christian times,
dug a hole under the threshold and pulled the corpse through with a rope.
In Christian times they only treated the bodies of criminals and suicides
in this way, though in the thirteenth century Brother Berthhold of
Regensburg recommended it in the case of heretics and usurers.

When circumstances make it difficult or impossible to construct a special
exit of this kind for the corpse, then some other means is found to avoid
carrying the corpse through the door. The Eskimo take the body through a
window; and a window was in 1858 used in Sonneberg in the case of a hanged
man; while even now in East Prussia, if several children have died one
after another, the corpse of the next to die is conveyed through the

Eventually it comes to be considered sufficient if a special means of
egress is provided, not for the corpse, which is not likely to "walk," but
for the spirit, which may want to return. Thus in China, at the moment of
death, a small hole is made through the roof; while the custom of opening
the window, to allow the soul of the dying man to depart, is universal in
Germany and not unknown in England.

Finally, all that is considered necessary to bar the right of way to the
dead man's spirit is to close the house-door immediately after the
departure of the corpse, and keep it closed until the return of the funeral

If the explanation which has now been given of Plutarch's fifth question be
correct, we must ascribe to the early Italians beliefs and customs similar
to or identical with those quoted above from modern folk-lore; and it will
not be illegitimate to seek further parallels to Italian religion from the
same source. Thus, in _Romane Questions_, 51, Plutarch inquires why the
Lares Præstites are represented as clad in dog-skins and as having a dog by
their side.[34] Now, it is universally admitted that the Lar Familiaris of
the Romans is the same as the house-spirit of the Teutons, and that both
are the spirits of a deceased ancestor, the founder of the family and its
spirit guardian. In the absence of any presumption to the contrary, we may
conclude that the Lares Præstites were also spirits of deceased ancestors.
The dog which accompanies the Lares was explained by the ancients as a
symbolic representation of the fidelity and watch-dog functions of the
Lares.[35] So, too, the priests of ancient Egypt said that the animal forms
in which their gods were represented were merely symbolical.[36] But it may
safely be laid down as a law in the evolution of religion that
beast-worship is primitive, and that the theory of symbolism is but a _via
media_ whereby more elevated conceptions of deity are reconciled with the
older and more savage worship. Analogy, then, is all in favour of the
supposition that the Lares Præstites were originally conceived not in human
shape, but in the form of dogs. What we require to confirm the analogy is
evidence that the dead—if possible, evidence that guardian
spirits—sometimes appear in the shape of a dog. As a matter of fact, the
belief that a dead man's spirit may manifest itself in the likeness of a
black dog still survives in Germany.[37] As for the guardian spirit, I
would suggest that the Mauthe dog of Peel Castle is a house-spirit; for as
the hearth was the peculiar seat of the Lar Familiaris and of the Hûsing or
Herdgota, and as the English house-spirit

          "Stretch'd out all the chimney's length
  Basks at the fire;"

so the Mauthe dog, "as soon as candles were lighted, came and lay down
before the fire."[38] From this point of view we may consider that the
black dog, which in modern folk-lore comes and lies down or howls before a
house, in token that one of the inmates is about to die, was originally a
spirit summoning the inmate to join the dead. This belief, it may further
be conjectured, has been incorporated into Hindoo mythology, where a dog
acts as the messenger of the death-god, Yama; and probably the Greek dog,
Cerberus, was taken up into the literary mythology of Hellas from the same

Finally, we may here notice the fifty-second of Plutarch's Questions,
wherein he wonders why a dog was sacrificed to Genita Mana, and a prayer
made to her that none born in the house should become Manes. Genita Mana
was, as her name plainly indicates, a spirit of birth and of death; and the
prayer was such as might properly be offered to her. The sacrifice may be
explained on the principle laid down by Professor Robertson Smith,[39] that
an animal sacrificed to a deity was itself originally the deity. That one
and the same spirit should have to do with "the child from the womb and the
ghost from the tomb," points to the existence of a belief among the Romans
similar to one held by the Algonkins. "Algonkin women who wished to become
mothers flocked to the side of a dying person, in the hope of receiving and
being impregnated by the passing soul."[40]

Let us now turn to another point in which early Italian beliefs and modern
folk-lore mutually illustrate each other. On the origin of fairies various
theories have been held, and without denying that fairies are sometimes the
representatives of earlier gods, sometimes of still earlier satyrs, fauns,
nymphs, and wild men of the wood, we may recognise that they are sometimes
spirits of the departed. In the first place, as the Italians called the
dead "the good," _manes_, so in England and in Ireland fairies are "the
good people."[41] Next, fairies are small; and the savage conceives the
soul of man as a smaller man. It is, according to Hurons, "a complete
little model of the man himself," like the man, but smaller, of course,
because, as the Australian blacks explain, it is within the man's
breast.[42] According to Kaffir ideas, the world of _manes_ is exactly like
that of the living, only much smaller, and the dead are themselves but
mannikins.[43] Again, the Teutonic house-spirit on the one hand is
admittedly a deceased ancestor, and on the other is an indubitable fairy.
Further, fairies are sometimes explicitly stated in folk-tales to be
deceased spirits.[44]

Now, one of most marked differences between the Greek and the Roman modes
of worship was that the Greeks worshipped with their heads uncovered, the
Romans with heads covered, _velato capite_. Roman antiquaries explained the
practice as due to fear lest the worshipper should see anything of evil
omen during his prayer. But I submit that we must connect it with the
folk-belief that fairies resent being seen by mortals. "They are fairies;
he that speaks to them shall die." If fairies were originally departed
souls, the fear and the danger of seeing them is at once explained. On the
other hand, the Roman custom of worshipping _velato capite_ dates from a
time before the introduction of polytheism, and must therefore have been
attached originally to the worship of some beings other than gods. It is at
least plausible, therefore, to conjecture that it was a precaution adopted
in the worship of deceased ancestors and of spirits, which, like Genita
Mana, are best explained as spirits of the departed. The conjecture is
somewhat confirmed by the fact that the Romans veiled their heads at the
funeral of father or mother (_R. Q._ 14).


No form of religion is easily or at once rooted out, even by a new
religion. A _modus vivendi_ has to be found between the old faith and the
new. The animal, which was once itself worshipped, is tolerated merely as
the symbol of some divine attribute. The nixies continue to ply their old
calling under the new name of Old Nick. The sacrifices to the dead,
condemned by the Indiculus Superstitionum, are subsequently licensed by the
Church as the Feast of All Souls.[45] Hence it comes about that what means
one thing to the apostle of the new religion is long understood as
something very different by the reluctant convert. The devil of folk-lore
has attributes quite different from those assigned to him in any scheme of
Christian theology.

If, therefore, polytheism was, as I have suggested, an importation into
Italy, forced by the State on a people not yet prepared for anything higher
than animism and ancestor-worship, we should expect to find the borrowed
worship of a Greek loan-god sometimes concealing a native Italian cult of
very dissimilar nature. Instances of the kind are forthcoming, and this
section will be devoted to some of them.

The spirits which after the death of the body were termed _manes_ by the
Romans, were during its life called _genii_ (or in the case of women
_Junones_). The belief in genii was not borrowed from Greece. How primitive
it is may be seen from two facts. First, it is itself the essence of
animism, for not only had every man a genius, but every place and every
thing had, in the belief of the Romans, a soul, to which the same name,
genius, was given.[46] Next, the genius was, I submit, the "external soul,"
which, as Mr. Frazer has shown, appears in the folk-tales of every Aryan
nation, and in the religions of many savage peoples. The genius of a man
did not reside inside the man. Amongst the Romans, as amongst the Zulus, it
resided in a serpent. As, according to the Banks Islanders, "the life of
the man is bound up with the life of his tamanin,"[47] so with the Romans,
the man's health depended on his genius.[48] When the serpent which was the
genius of the father of the Gracchi was killed, Tiberius died;[49] and, as
all Romans were liable to the same mischance, these snakes were carefully
protected from all harm, were reared in the house and the bed-chamber, and
consequently grew so numerous, that Pliny says, had their numbers not been
kept down by occasional conflagrations, they would have crowded out the
human inhabitants of Rome.[50]

This belief in the genius, however etherealised and spiritualised the form
in which it appears in Horace or was held by highly-educated Romans,
continued even in Imperial times amongst all other classes as primitive as
it was tenacious. Its hold over the ordinary Italian mind was much greater
than the Hellenised gods ever secured; for, in order to make them even
comprehensible, the average Italian had to suppose that these fashionable,
State-ordained gods were really worked by genii—just as it is self-evident
to the savage that, if a locomotive engine moves, it is because it has
horses inside. This, I suggest, is the explanation, in accord with the
principle laid down at the beginning of this section, which must be given
of the remarkable fact that, beginning from B.C. 58,[51] and in
ever-increasing numbers afterwards, inscriptions are found which ascribe a
genius to Apollo, Asclepius, Mars, Juno, Jupiter, &c.

In this case Italian animism has held its own, not unsuccessfully, against
imported polytheism. Our second instance, however, will show it less
successful. When polytheism was spreading from Hellas over Italy, there
would be no difficulty in adding the myths and cult of the Greek god Zeus
bodily on to the worship of the Italian sky-spirit Jupiter. Nor would the
process be much harder even when the Greek god and the Italian spirit were
of totally different origin (as _e.g._ Hermes and Mercury, Kronos and
Saturn), provided that some point of resemblance, in attribute or function,
could be discovered between them. It was only one, and the least important
of Hermes' functions, to protect traders, but it was quite enough to lead
to the identification of the Greek god with the Italian spirit of gain
(_Mercurius_, from _merces_). The case of Heracles, however, presented more
difficulty; he was a hero, and the very conception of a hero was new to the
Italians. Being new, it was, not unnaturally, misunderstood. The nearest
parallel which Italian religion offered to a being who was in a way a man
and yet was also a sort of god was the genius, who also was in a way the
man himself, and yet was worshipped like a god. Heracles, therefore, was
identified with the genius, his name was Latinised into the form _Hercules_
(cf. _Æsculapius_, from _Asclepios_), and the cults of the two were
amalgamated. This amalgamation is the source and the explanation of some of
Plutarch's _Roman Questions_. Plutarch was puzzled by the fact that on the
one hand some elements in the cult of Hercules had counterparts in the
worship of the Greek god, while on the other hand there were elements which
received no explanation from a comparison of the cult of the Greek
Heracles. Thus Plutarch is surprised to find an altar common to Hercules
and to the Muses (_R. Q._ 59); but this is simply a loan from the ritual of
the Greek Heracles, Musagêtês. On the other hand, as Plutarch informs us
(_R. Q._ 60), there was an altar of Hercules from which women were
excluded. This is a non-Greek element in the cult of Hercules, with which
we may safely compare the fact, that whereas a man might swear "by his
Hercules," a woman might not. Here the imported god has taken the place of
the native genius both in the oath and at the altar; for the reason why the
oath "me hercule" was restricted to men is that, until Hercules and the
genius were identified, a man swore by his genius and a woman by her Juno.
Again, in the time before Italy was invaded by the gods of Greece, in the
time when temples were as yet unknown, the genius was worshipped and
invoked, like other spirits, in the open air; and even after the Italians
had learned from the Greeks that the gods were shaped in the likeness of
men, and, like men, must have houses, an oath was felt to be more sacred
and more binding if taken in the open air in the old fashion, than if sworn
in the new way under a roof.[52] Eventually, however, the old custom died
out, and in Plutarch's day it was only children who were told that they
must go out of doors if they wanted to swear "by Hercules" (_R. Q._ 28).
Plutarch's attention was also arrested by the custom of giving tithes to
Hercules (_R. Q._ 18). The practice is undoubtedly purely and
characteristically Italian; but there is no evidence to show whether it was
ever the custom to offer tithes to the genius. Another point, however,
which is noted by Plutarch (_R. Q._ 90) in the cult of Hercules, may be
more satisfactorily explained. When sacrifice was being offered to
Hercules, no dog was suffered _to be seene, within the purprise and
precinct of the place where the sacrifice is celebrated_. Now, if Hercules
represents the genius, and if the dog was the shape in which a departed
spirit appears, then the danger lest the genius should be tempted away by
the Manes is great enough to account for the prohibition.

This identification of Heracles with the genius shows in a striking way how
far the Italians were from having reached the belief in personal individual
gods at the time when Greek religion found its way into Italy, and how
artificially Greek polytheism was superimposed on native beliefs. There
were as many _genii virorum_ as there were living men, and yet they were
identified with Heracles.[53] To the Italian convert, doubtless, it seemed
nothing strange that every man should have his Hercules; while his Greek
teacher probably never fully realised the catechumen's point of view.

The case is parallel to that of Hestia and Vesta. Both before and after the
appearance in Italy of the anthropomorphised Hestia, every Roman household
revered its own "hearth-spirit;" yet this class of spirits came to be
identified with the personal individual goddess from Greece. Doubtless,
also, in course of time Romans who shook off animism and became true
polytheists explained the relation between their "hearth-spirits" and the
State-goddess by regarding the former as so many manifestations of the
latter. But it is, I submit, a mistake on the part of modern mythologists
to accept this piece of late theology as primitive—unless, indeed, we are
also prepared to say that the Lares were regarded as so many manifestations
of one Lar, or all the many Manes as manifestations of one dead man. The
_genii virorum_, at any rate, were not, in the first instance, so many
manifestations of Hercules: on the contrary, they existed (in Italy), to
begin with, and Heracles afforded them a collective name and a Greek cult.

In the same way, I submit, the original Italian Juno was no Nature-deity,
no moon-goddess—the name was that of a class of spirits, like the
correlative term _genii virorum_. There were many Junones, as there were
many fauns in Italy, many satyrs and nymphs in Greece, many Pucks and
fairies in England. When the Italians learnt that Hera was the goddess
under whose protection the Greek women were, they naturally thought of the
Juno who was the guardian-spirit of each Italian woman, and applied to Juno
the cult and myths that belonged to Hera. Hence the answer to Plutarch's
question, why were the months sacred to Juno? (_R. Q._ 77). Because they
were sacred to Hera.

But there were other spirits whom Italian women invoked besides their
Junones, such as Juga, who yoked man and wife, Matrona, Pronuba, Domiduca,
Unxia, Cinxia, Fluonia, Lucina, and other departmental spirits or
_indigetes_, whose names appear in the _Indigitamenta_. These spirits, when
once Juno had become a personal individual deity, came to be explained as
special manifestations of the goddess, who was consequently called Juno
Juga, Juno Matrona, &c.[54]


Before Greek gods and myths were known to them, the Italians worshipped not
only Lares, Manes, Genii, and Junones, but also the spirits known as Di
Indigetes. These spirits were not conceived in human or in animal form.
They had not human parts or passions. They did not form a community. They
had no common abode. There is nothing in Italian religion corresponding to
the Olympus of Greek mythology. They did not marry or give in marriage.
Above all, what distinguishes them both from Greek gods and from the
tree-spirits, which also were worshipped by the Italians, is that they were
rather _numina_ or forces than beings. They were the forces which regulated
and controlled all human actions, psychological and physiological, and
through which all the work of man's hands could alone be brought to a
favourable issue. When, however, we come to examine these _numina_, we find
that the name of the _Indiges_ is simply the name of the action which he
controls: the _Indiges_ of sowing is Saturnus; of remembering, Minerva; of
suckling, Rumina, and so on. It is a canon of savage logic that he who
possesses the name of a person or thing has that person or thing in his
power; hence the Roman's belief that he could control any process,
psychical or physical, if only he could put a name to it. This primitive
form of magic was organised by the Roman State. The pontiffs were intrusted
with the duty of drawing up catalogues (_indigitamenta_) of all the stages
and processes of a man's life, from his begetting and birth to his death
and burial; and as the State was but a community of farmers, similar
catalogues were made of all the agricultural operations by which crops are
raised. To be effectual, it was necessary that these lists should be
complete. As the Roman could avert or remedy any evil by simply naming the
proper spirit, it was essential that his roll of spirits should have no
omissions. Then, if he were in doubt what spirit to name, he could make
assurance doubly sure by naming all.

Let it not be imagined that this State-organised magic, though it appear to
us inconsistent with civilisation, is mere matter of inference, or belongs
purely to pre-historic times. Not only did it survive the introduction of
polytheism, it was a firm article of Roman faith in the most glorious days
of the Republic, and until B.C. 211 or later, the belief was so living as
to give birth continually to fresh spirits, as fresh departments of human
activity were opened up.[55] Nor did it cease then. It changed, but it did
not die. In the worship of such abstractions as Fortuna, Spes, Juventas,
Concordia, Pietas, Libertas, Felicitas, Annona, &c., we have evidence that
abstract names exercised as great a hold over the minds of Romans of the
Empire as they had over the earliest Italians.

On some _indigetes_ Greek cults and myths were grafted, and these _numina_,
which were in truth but _nomina_, henceforth lived as gods. Mercurius was
declared to be Hermes. Minerva, the spirit of memory, was seen to be
Athênê, the goddess of wisdom. Saturnus was identified with Kronos, and was
henceforth worshipped in the Greek fashion with uncovered head (_R. Q._
13). Opis was identified with Dêmêtêr, Venus with Aphroditê, and Libitina,
the _numen_ of funerals, was interpreted, by a pedantic etymological
confusion with Libentina, as a bye-name of the new goddess (_R. Q._ 23).
The _indiges_ Liber[56] was recognised in Dionysius Eleutherios (_R. Q._

In all these cases the identification proceeded on a fancied resemblance in
name or an actual similarity of function. There seems to be only one
instance of identification based on similarity of cult, that of the Roman
Matuta and the Greek Leucothea. According to Plutarch (_R. Q._ 16)
maid-servants were excluded from the temples of both, except when _the
Dames of Rome, bringing in thither one alone and no more with them, fall to
cuffing and boxing her about the eares and cheeks_. Here the servant is the
scapegoat, to whom are transferred the evils which may or might afflict the
free women of the community, and the beating is done for purification. It
is just conceivable that the Greek cult may have been borrowed by the
Romans; but the use of a scapegoat and of beating in this way is so
wide-spread over all the world, and so deeply seated in European folk-lore,
that it is difficult to imagine it was unknown to the Romans. As a matter
of fact, even in the _Roman Questions_, without going further, we have
indications that both practices were known in Italy. In _R. Q._ 20 a myth
is given, the earlier form of which is to be found in Macrobius (_S._ i.
12), who states that the Bona Dea was on a day scourged with myrtles. On
the principle that customs often give rise to myths but cannot be
originated by them, we may infer that the representative, or else the
worshippers of the Bona Dea, were purified by scourging. Still less can it
be doubted after Mannhardt's exhaustive investigation (_Myth. Forsch._, pp.
72 _ff._), that the Luperci, described in _R. Q._ 68, drove out the evil
spirits of disease, sterility, &c., by the blows from their scourges.
Again, the expulsion of evil tends in many places to become periodic; a day
or season is devoted annually to the driving out of all devils and evil
spirits, after which the community is expected to live sober and clean. The
community, not unnaturally, indulges in a kind of carnival immediately
before this season, and allows itself all sorts of license: slaves behave
as though they were masters, men dress up in women's clothes, &c. This,
presumably, is the explanation of the fact related by Plutarch (_R. Q._
55), that _upon the Ides of Januarie, the minstrels at Rome who plaied upon
the hautboies, were permitted to goe up and downe the city disguised in
women's apparell_.[57]

Though the influence of Hellenic religion failed to transform the many
other _indigetes_ into gods, still it affected their cult in other ways.
For one thing, it provided them now for the first time with temples or
chapels. This innovation was doubtless found strange by the folk to whom
the fashionable ideas from Hellas penetrated slow and late. In the case of
Carmenta it must have seemed particularly strange. Carmenta was one of the
several _indigetes_ whose power was manifested in the various processes of
gestation;[58] and she was invoked as Porrima (Prorsa or Antevorta) or
Postverta, according as the child came into the world head or foot
foremost. From the mention of a _saxum Carmentæ_,[59] near which was the
_porta Carmentalis_, and near which the temple in question was erected, we
may venture to infer that this rock was originally the local habitation of
the spirit. Why then needed she to have a temple built? This was a point
which, to the popular mind, required explanation; and a popular explanation
was accordingly forthcoming, which has fortunately been preserved to us by
Plutarch. It starts from a folk-etymology or confusion between the name
Carmenta and the word _carpenta_, meaning "coaches," and may be read at
length in _R. Q._ 56.

There remains one other _indiges_ who is mentioned in the _Romane
Questions_—Rumina (_R. Q._ 57) the _numen_ of suckling. As the temple of
Carmenta was erected near the _saxum Carmentæ_, so the _sacellum_ of Rumina
was built near the _ficus Ruminalis_; and as we may conjecture that the
rock was in the nature of a fetich, so we may infer that Rumina was a
tree-spirit. It is easy to understand why a fig-tree was chosen as the
abode of the spirit of suckling; the sap of this tree resembles milk and
was known to the Romans as _lac_. The fact reported by Plutarch,[60] that
milk, not wine, was offered in the cult of Rumina, is quite in accord with
the principles of sympathetic magic.

The worship of this spirit bears every mark of hoar antiquity, and it was
worked into the legend of the foundation of Rome by the device of making
the wolf suckle the twins under the _ficus Ruminalis_.


Whenever two peoples come into contact with each other for the first time,
a comparison of religions is set up; and one of the first-fruits of this
earliest exercise of the comparative study of religions is that
identification of gods and borrowing of cults and myths to which the term
"syncretism" is applied. The part played by syncretism in the history of
Italian religion is of singular importance: the Italian's misty, vaporous
belief in abstract, impersonal spirits was precipitated into premature
polytheism by the introduction of the anthropomorphic gods of Greece.
Fortunately, the process being premature, was, and to the end remained,
incomplete; and we are therefore able to employ the survivals from the
older form of belief so as to form some idea of the original Italian
religion. To the last, many spirits resisted the individualising process,
which is the essence and condition of polytheism: the Lares and the Manes
not only never became gods, but none of them was dignified by a proper
name, or attained even so much individuality as Puck or Robin Goodfellow.
Not can such general abstract appellations as Bona Dea, Dea Dia, be
regarded as personal names, _i.e._, as the names of definite, individual,
personal beings: they have not the personality of Venus or Vulcan, and yet
they were the beings whom the people at large worshipped in preference to
the State-gods, whose cult and myths were fashionably Hellenised.

She who, under the influence of Greek religion, became the goddess Diana,
was originally a tree-spirit, having no personal name, but known only by an
appellation as general and abstract as that of Bona Dea. The proof that the
qualities and attributes of the Greek goddess Artemis were attached by
syncretism to the Italian tree-spirit is brought to light by two of
Plutarch's penetrating questions (_R. Q._ 3 and 4), why harts' horns are
set up in all the temples of Diana save that on Mount Aventine, in which
are ox-horns? and why men are excluded from one particular temple of the
same goddess? These differences in cult obviously point to the worship of
different goddesses under the same name; and, as a matter of fact, we know
first that harts were sacred to the Greek goddess, Artemis, whereas the
genuine Italian Diana was the goddess of oxen; next, we know that the
identification of Artemis and Diana was effected by Servius Tullius.[61] To
understand the exclusion of men from the temple in the Patrician Street,
however, we must inquire into the nature of the Italian Diana. With this
object, we may either assume that the pro-ethnic Aryans were polytheists,
and that therefore the primitive Italians also worshipped Nature-gods; in
which case, starting from the etymology of the word Diana (from the root
_div_, "shine"), we must either at once make Diana a moon-goddess,[62] and
thus account for the fact that she was a goddess of child-birth, and
therefore men were excluded from her temple. But this seems improbable even
to a writer in Roscher's _Lexikon_ (Birt), who very properly notes (p.
1007) that "it is doubtful whether the belief that the moon influenced
child-birth can be shown to be Italian." Birt, therefore, interprets the
name to mean "the bright goddess," _i.e._, the goddess of bright daylight,
and boldly writes it down as a matter of course that the first attribute of
a daylight or sky goddess is her close relation to vegetable nature,
especially woods and forests. Those who find this mortal leap beyond their
power to follow, and who prefer to argue to the original nature of the
goddess from what we know of her cult as a matter of fact, rather than from
hypotheses as to the Nature-myths of the primitive Aryans, will note first
that her name is as purely general and abstract as that of the Dea Dia or
the Bona Dea, and means simply a bright spirit, or possibly simply a
spirit. Next, wherever Diana was worshipped in Italy, she was originally
worshipped in woods and groves, _e.g._, in the forests on Mount Tifata,
Mount Algidus at Anagnia, Corne, and Aricia. Indeed, in Aricia the place of
her worship was simply called _Nemus_, and the goddess herself plain
_Nemorensis_. In the next place, her worship is frequently associated with
that of Silvanus,[63] who is plainly a wood-spirit, and who is also a
patron-spirit of domestic cattle.[64] From this we may venture to class her
with the "agrestes feminæ quas silvaticas vocant" of Burchard of Worms:[65]
she is a wood-spirit who became a goddess because of her likeness to the
Greek Artemis. Her connection with child-birth does not indicate that she
was a moon-goddess. Roman women in primitive times, like Swedish women,
"twined their arms about a tree to ensure easy delivery in the pangs of
child-birth; and we remember how, in our English ballads, women, in like
time of need, 'set their backs against an oak.'"[66] Finally, the annual
washing and cleansing of the head, which Plutarch mentions in _R. Q._ 100,
was done on a day sacred to Diana, probably because, on the one hand, women
felt that they were under her protection specially, while, on the other, so
great is the sanctity of the head amongst primitive peoples,[67] that
washing it is not to be undertaken lightly: "the guardian spirit of the
head does not like to have the hair washed too often, it might injure or
incommode him."[68]

The _Romane Questions_ afford another instance in which syncretism has
obscured the original nature of an Italian field-spirit, and in which the
cult of the Hellenised deity still betrays the primitive object of worship.
In the pages of Virgil, Mars has so completely assumed the guise of the
Greek Ares, that if we had only the verses and the mythology of the
court-poet to instruct us, we could never even suspect that Mars had other
functions than those of a war-god. When, however, we turn from myth to
cult, and are confronted by the ceremony of the October horse, described in
_R. Q._ 97, we find, that though Mars was sung as "Lenker der Schlachten,"
he was worshipped as the spirit that makes the corn to grow. At Rome the
corn-spirit was represented as a horse, as it still is amongst the peasants
of Europe, not only near Stuttgart, but in our own country, in
Hertfordshire and in Shropshire. The fructifying power of the spirit is
supposed in modern folk-lore and in Africa, as it was at Rome, to reside
specially in the animal's tail, which therefore was preserved over the
hearth of the king's house, in order to secure a good harvest next year.
The antiquity of this custom at Rome, and the fact that it dates from long
before the Romans knew anything of the Greek Ares, are shown by the fight
for the horse's head waged between the inhabitants of the two wards, the
Via Sacra and the Subura, a fight which shows that the ceremonial goes back
to a time when the Subura and Rome were separate and independent villages.

In connection with the killing of the corn-spirit, we may note a passage of
the _Romane Questions_ (63) which has not yet taken its place in modern
works on the subject. Speaking of the _rex sacrorum_, Plutarch says, "Neere
unto _Comitium_, they use to have a solemn sacrifice for the good estate of
the citie; which, so soone as ever this king hath performed, he taketh his
legs and runnes out of the place as fast as ever he can." Necessary as it
was, according to primitive notions, that the vegetation-spirit should be,
as it were, decanted into a new vessel, when the animal in which he was for
the time residing was threatened with infirmity and decay, still the
killing of the sacred animal was a dangerous and semi-sacrilegious act.
Hence in Greece, the man who killed the ox in the sacrifice known as the
_bouphonia_ ran away as soon as he had felled the animal, and was
subsequently tried for murder, but was acquitted on the ground that the axe
was the real murderer; and so the axe was found guilty and cast into the
sea. The Roman _regifugium_ is obviously a fragment of a similar rite. The
folk-explanation treated it as a symbol commemorative of the expulsion of
the Tarquinii.


The rules of life prescribed for the priest of Jupiter, the Flamen Dialis,
are given in part by Plutarch (_Q. R._ 40, 44, 50, 109, 110, 111, 112, and
113),[69] and are a signal instance of the necessity of explaining Roman
cults, not by reference to the artificial mythology of the Vedas or to the
civilised myths of Greece, but to the customs of peoples who are still
steeped in animism. That a spirit may take up its abode as a Dryad in a
tree or in an animal, as in the beasts worshipped by the ancient Egyptians,
or may temporarily take possession of a human being, as Apollo possessed
the Pythian priestess, is easily comprehended. But that a spirit should
permanently dwell in a man, and that the man should exercise all the powers
and receive all the worship that belong to the spirit, would be almost
incredible were it not for the numerous instances of such worship collected
by the erudition of Mr. Frazer.[70] In Japan the sun-goddess dwelt in the
Mikado; in Lower Guinea and among the Zapotecs of South Mexico the
sun-spirit takes human form. In Cambodia the spirit of fire and the spirit
of water manifest themselves in the (human) kings of fire and water.
Rain-kings are found on the Congo, the Upper Nile, and among Abyssinian
tribes. The weather-spirit is worshipped in the kings of Loango, Mombaza,
Quiteva, the Banjars, and the Muyscas. In the South Sea Islands, generally,
"every god can take possession of a man and speak through him."[71]

In the next place, these divine kings or priests are all charged with a
force which enables them to control the course of Nature. Lest, therefore,
this force should be inadvertently and unintentionally discharged, with
results disastrous to the recipient of the shock or to the universe at
large, the divine priest or king must be insulated. And this insulation is
effected by taboos: every action is taboo to him which might bring him into
dangerous contact with others.[72]

When, therefore, we learn that the Flamen Dialis was subject to a very
large number of taboos, all of which find analogies, while some find their
exact counterparts, in the taboos laid on the divine priests and kings
previously mentioned; and when we further discover that Preller,[73] on
totally different grounds, considered the Flamen to have been "the living
counterpart" of Jupiter, it seems not unreasonable to regard the Flamen
Dialis as the human embodiment of the sky-spirit.

The Flamen, according to Plutarch (_R. Q._ 40), was forbidden to anoint his
body in the open air, _i.e._ _sub Jove_; and of the Mikado we are told,
"Much less will they suffer that he should expose his sacred person to the
open air."[74] The Flamen was forbidden to touch meal or raw meat, _i.e._,
meal or meat which might be consumed by others; so, too, the vessels used
by the Mikado were "generally broke, for fear they should come into the
hands of laymen; for they believe religiously that if any layman should
presume to eat his food out of these sacred dishes, it would swell and
inflame his mouth and throat."[75]

For the many other taboos imposed on the Flamen, I must refer to Mr.
Frazer's great work.[76] I will here only mention one, which is not
explicitly explained in the _Golden Bough_. If the Flamen's wife died, he
had to resign (_Q. R._ 50). Now, it is obvious from this that a widowed
Flamen was somehow dangerous or in danger, and that the danger was one
which re-marriage would not avert. I submit, therefore, that a widowed
Flamen was considered in danger of sudden death, and that this danger (a
danger to the community, which might thus lose the sky-spirit) consisted in
the probability that the soul of the departed wife might tempt away the
soul of the living Flamen. In Burmah, proper precautions are taken to
prevent a baby's soul from following that of its dead mother, or the soul
of a bereaved husband or wife from rejoining the lost one, or to prevent
the soul of a dead child "from luring away the soul of its playmate to the
spirit-land."[77] But accidents will happen, and it is so important for an
agricultural community to have the sky-spirit under direct control, that
the Romans were doubtless well advised in running no risks, and in
transferring the spirit into another Flamen.


In fairy tales it is not surprising that the hero should be forbidden to
see his wife on certain days, or whilst she is washing, or at night, and
that he should be required to take precautions lest he should take her
unawares in one of the forbidden moments.[78] But it is surprising to find
that the prosaic Roman punctiliously observed fairy etiquette in these
matters, and habitually behaved like an inhabitant of fairy-land. See _R.
Q._ 9 and 65. It is also surprising to discover that in Italy, where, owing
to "the vigorous development of the marital authority, regardless of the
natural rights of persons as such," the wife's "moral subjection became
transformed into legal slavery,"[79] the wife was "exempted from the tasks
of corn-grinding and cooking," because, according to Mommsen, those tasks
were menial.[80] The exemption is mentioned by Plutarch in _R. Q._ 85; but
we must take leave to question Mommsen's explanation. The exemption is not
an exemption, but a prohibition: it is identical with the taboo laid on the
Flamen Dialis (_R. Q._ 109), and has the same object. Doubtless if a Roman
ate food touched by a woman, "it would swell and inflame his mouth or
throat," or have some disastrous effect. For that even indirect contact
with women at certain periods, _e.g._ child-birth, &c., is highly
dangerous, is a belief found amongst the Australian blacks and the Eskimo,
the Indians of North America, and the Kafirs of South Africa. An Australian
blackfellow, having been brought accidentally into this dangerous contact,
died of terror within a fortnight.[81] It is not strange, therefore, that
the Romans, returning home after absence, _if their wives were at home,
used to send a messenger unto them before, for to give warning and
advertisement of their comming_. And we can understand that the primitive
public for whom the fairy tales in question were composed found the
incident of the violated taboo as thrilling and as full of "actuality" as a
modern reader finds the latest sensational novel.

The belief that a mother and her new-born babe are peculiarly at the mercy
of malevolent spirits is world-wide. In the fairy tales of Christian Europe
the period of danger is terminated by baptism, until which time various
precautions, such as burning a light in the chamber, must be observed.[82]
In ancient Italy the danger ended when the child received its name, which,
as Plutarch (_R. Q._ 103) informs us, was on the ninth day after birth in
the case of boys, on the eighth in the case of girls. Until that day a
candle was to be kept lighted, and the spirit Candelifera was to be
invoked. On that day the child was purified (which indicates an original
taboo), and received the _bulla_, mentioned by Plutarch (_R. Q._ 102), to
preserve him henceforth from evil spirits and the evil eye. Whether the
_bulla_ derived its virtue from the substances which were enclosed in it,
as in a box, or from its moon shape, is uncertain. If the latter be the
true explanation, we may compare the fact recorded by Plutarch (_R. Q._
76), _that those who are descended of the most noble and auncient houses of
Rome carried little moones upon their shoes_. The daughters of Sion also
wore as amulets "round tires like the moon" (Isaiah, iii. 18). The
moon-spirit sends disease or takes possession of the person who is
"lunatick" or "moon-struck." But the spirit may be deluded, and will enter
any moon-shaped object which the person attacked is wearing. The Chaldæans
diverted the spirit of disease from the sick man by providing an image in
the likeness of the spirit to attract the plague.[83]


The traveller who has little or no acquaintance with the language of the
land in which he is, resorts naturally to the language of gesture, and
mimics the thing which he wishes to have done. Primitive man communicates
his wishes to Nature in exactly the same way: if he wishes to have game
caught in the trap which he sets, he first pretends to fall into it
himself. He has not learnt to "interrogate" Nature in her own language by
means of experiment and crucial instances, but he has a presentiment of the
method of Concomitant Variations and of the Substitution of Similars. If a
thing is itself beyond his reach, he substitutes its counterpart, its image
or its name, or something related to it or connected with it, in confidence
that any changes he may work in the one will be accompanied by concomitant
variations in the other. Hence the reluctance shown by many savages to
allow their likenesses to be taken or their names to be known, as with the
name or the likeness the man himself would pass into the power of the
stranger.[84] So the Romans, as Plutarch informs us (_R. Q._ 61), kept the
name of their tutelar god secret, for the same reason, as Plutarch acutely
observes, as other nations kept the images of their gods chained;[85]  and
for the same reason, we may add, as the Romans forbade the living
counterpart of the sky-spirit to leave the city, viz., lest he should pass
out of their control.

In the same spirit, the Romans would not allow a table to be completely
stripped of food (_R. Q._ 64) or a light to be extinguished (75): the
action might produce permanent effects. The same feeling prevailed or
prevails with regard to the table in Chemnitz, though it is regarded as a
sign of death if a light goes out of its own accord.[86]

The practice of allowing the spoils taken from an enemy to rust—a practice
which Plutarch (37) cannot comprehend—was doubtless a piece of sympathetic
magic: as the armour rusted, the enemy's power of armed resistance would

Another interesting instance of sympathetic magic lurks in _R. Q._ 32. The
images which, as Plutarch says, were thrown into the river, represented a
spirit of vegetation or a corn-spirit; and the object of plunging them into
the river was thereby to secure that the crops should be correspondingly
drenched with rain.[87] This rite also illustrates the origin of a
conception which has its roots in sympathetic magic and yet exerts
considerable influence in the civilised world—the conception of "legal
fictions." The images, undoubtedly, were substitutes for human beings who
were (as representing the corn-spirit) drowned in the Tiber. Human
sacrifice, though exceptional, was not unknown at Rome in historic times,
as appears from _R. Q._ 83; and the substitution of animals or of inanimate
objects for human beings is not peculiar to Rome, but is the usual means by
which the transition from the more to the less barbarous custom is
effected. But the Romans, who were practical and logical to the extreme,
who reduced magic to a system whereby they regulated their daily life,
consistently enough also utilised sympathetic magic as a legal instrument.
For it would be a great mistake to infer from the ridicule poured by Cicero
(_Pro Murena_, xii. 62) on the fictions of Roman law, that those symbolisms
were puerile mummeries designed to benefit the legal profession at the
expense of its clients. The clod of earth which was brought into court was
no mere symbol, but gave to those who held it exactly the same control over
the estate from which it came, as the image of a god gives to its
possessor, or as the hair or clothing of a person who is to be bewitched
gives to the worker of the spell.

A form of sympathetic magic which is practised by agricultural peoples all
over the world is a "sacred marriage," whereby two spirits or their images,
or their living representatives, are united, in order that their union may
be sympathetically followed by fertility in flock and field. The ceremony
of the "sacred marriage" frequently survives when its purpose has been
forgotten, and then a popular explanation is invented for and by the folk.
The myth of Acca Larentia, given by Plutarch, _R. Q._ 35, seems to me a
piece of folk-lore of this kind. To begin with, it is not uncommon to find
in Greek and Asiatic cults, for instance,[88] a woman shut up with a god in
his temple. And the result of this union is an increase in the agricultural
wealth or fertility of the community. The same result appears in the
"rationalised" explanation of the "sacred marriage" of Acca Larentia and
Hercules, given by Plutarch. Further, an exactly similar tale is told of
Hercules and Flora,[89] whose name shows that she is a spirit of flowering
and blossoming vegetation, whilst her cult points to a realistic sacred
marriage in which she took part.[90] Again, Acca Larentia and Flora were
evidently felt to be spirits of the same class as the Dea Dia, for
sacrifices were offered to them as part of the worship of the Dea Dia; and
the Dea Dia was a corn-spirit, as is plainly shown by the _Acta Arvalium
Fratrum_.[91] At the same time, though Acca Larentia, Flora, and the Dea
Dia were all spirits of the same class, it is clear that they were
distinguished from each other, for the Arval Brothers sacrificed to each of
them separately and under distinct names. Finally, whether Acca Larentia
had originally anything to do with the Lares seems doubtful,[92] and in
spite of the fact that, in later times at any rate, she was called "the
mother of the Lares," one cannot build much on the etymology which makes
"Acca" mean "mother."[93] Certain it is, however, that the Arval Brothers,
in worshipping the Dea Dia, began their famous and very ancient song with
an invocation of the Lares.[94] It is plain, therefore, that there was from
pre-historic times a tendency to associate the worship of the kindly Lares
with that of spirits of the class to which the Dea Dia and Acca Larentia
belonged. But the feast of the Larentalia (or Larentinalia), to which
Plutarch alludes in _R. Q._ 34, was evidently a piece of ancestor-worship,
and may therefore have been part of the worship of the Lares from the
beginning. If this really be so, Acca Larentia will be a soul promoted to
the rank of a spirit of vegetation.

The theory of sympathetic magic may perhaps afford the solution of
Plutarch's problem (97), why they that would live chaste were forbidden to
eat pulse. Plutarch suggests that as far as beans are concerned the reason
may be that the Pythagoreans abominated them. This "symbol" of the
Pythagoreans is well-known. Milton was inspired by it to put the case—

                    "If all the world
  Should in a fit of temp'rance feed on pulse,"

and, according to Neanthes, quoted by Iamblichus in his life of Pythagoras,
the prohibition extended even to treading down the growing bean; for, he
informs us, Pythagoras inculcated the virtue of chastity so successfully
that when ten of his disciples, being attacked, might have escaped by
crossing a bean-field, they died to a man rather than tread down the beans:
and when another disciple, who was shortly afterwards captured and brought
before Dionysius, was bidden by that tyrant to explain the strange conduct
of his fellows, he replied, "They suffered themselves to be put to death
rather than tread beans under foot; and I will rather tread beans under
foot than reveal the reason."

This is sufficiently mysterious; and the Pythagorean symbol can scarcely be
said to explain the Italian prohibition. But though Plutarch has committed
the error of defining _ignotum per ignotius_, he has nevertheless been led
by a sound instinct, in comparing the two things together. Mr. Frazer (in
_Folk-Lore_, i. 145 _ff._) has abundantly shown that many of the symbols of
Pythagoras are but maxims of folk-lore which have gathered round the name
of that mysterious philosopher. It would be nothing strange, then, if a
piece of Italian folklore should be fathered on Pythagoras, for Magna
Graecia was the home of Pythagoreanism.

Now the folk has at all times been fond of discovering resemblances between
plants and other objects, as the common names of flowers, &c., sufficiently
show. Further, according to popular notions, these resemblances do not
exist for nothing: between the plant and the object it resembles there
exists an occult but potent relation. The "Doctrine of Signatures" was a
quasi-scientific organisation of this branch of folk-lore. "Turmeric has a
brilliant yellow colour, which indicates that it has the power of curing
jaundice; for the same reason, poppies must relieve diseases of the head,"
to take a couple of instances from the _Pharmacologia_ of Dr. Paris (p.
43). The ancient Romans who substituted an offering of poppy-heads for a
sacrifice of human beings were not practising a childish cheat on the gods:
on all sound principles of folk-lore they were offering a perfectly valid

When then we find Porphyry, in his life of Pythagoras (§ 43), saying that
Pythagoras bade his followers "abstain from beans as from human flesh," we
may reasonably infer that beans were regarded, in the folk-lore of the day,
as resembling some part of the human body, and as having a mysterious
affinity with it. This conjecture receives some support from the fact that,
whereas Porphyry explains all the other "symbols" as allegorical statements
of various moral and civic duties, he explains this by a piece of folk-lore
of the same kind as the modern popular belief that a hair kept in water
will turn into an eel. The exact part of the body to which beans were
supposed to bear a resemblance may be difficult at this distance of time to
determine. The passage in Porphyry gives some hints.[95]

A more interesting fact is that, according to Herodotus, ii. 37, the
Egyptians had the same aversion to eating beans, and that Egyptian priests
might not even look at a bean, so unclean was it considered. From this
passage it is usually inferred that Pythagoras obtained this piece of his
doctrine from the Egyptians; and V. D. Link (_Die Urwelt_, 225) sought to
support the inference by the suggestion that the prohibition originally had
reference to the sacred Egyptian bean, and was subsequently extended to the
common bean (_faba vulgaris_). Pursuing this line of thought, we are at
once struck by the fact that the sacred Egyptian bean (_nelumbium
speciosum_) is a lotus; and the lotus, both as a plant and as a symbol,[96]
carries our thoughts to India. We thus seem to see a piece of folk-lore
migrating, along with the plant to which it was attached, from India to
Egypt, from Egypt to Europe.

But when did this interesting migration take place? The prohibition was
known pretty early in Sicily, for it makes its appearance in the fragments
of Empedocles, who was born at Agrigentum, B.C. 490. We can, however, trace
it back much earlier in Italy. There it dates from pre-historic times, for
it was one of the taboos laid upon the flamen Dialis. And the idea that
beans were human flesh is implied in the part which they played in the
funeral ceremonies of the primitive Italians. That part is remarkably
interesting. Plutarch tells us that "the solemne suppers and bankets at
funerals for the dead were usually served with pulse above all other
viands." This is a strange contrast to the aversion shown otherwise for
eating beans, and it cries aloud for explanation.

Mr. E. S. Hartland, in _Folk Lore_, III. ii., has put forward the theory
that the practice of sin-eating is the transformed survival of a savage
custom of eating deceased kinsmen. Even those who dissent from his
conclusion will not be able to deny that the custom does exist among
savages, and that the object of cannibalism is to secure to the eater the
courage, cunning, strength, &c., of the person eaten; nor will it be denied
that on the first movement from savagery a tendency would manifest itself
to substitute for the corpse anything which, according to the canons of
savage logic, might be regarded as an equivalent substitute. The Italians,
regarding beans as human flesh, might, we may conjecture, substitute beans;
as the Bavarian peasant substitutes _Leichen-nudeln_. Before, however, we
can regard this as anything more than a guess, we want proof that the
Italians did really look upon the beans which they ate at funeral feasts as
representative of the deceased. That proof is forthcoming, I submit, in the
belief mentioned by Pliny (_N. H._, xviii. 30. 2) that "the spirit of the
deceased was in the bean" (_mortuorum animæ sint in ea_, _i.e._, in the
_faba_). And inasmuch as the law forbade them that would be chaste to eat
pulse, it seems probable that the object of eating beans at funeral
banquets was to convey the propagating powers of the deceased to his

If then the superstition about the bean was borrowed by the Italians, it
must have been borrowed in primitive times; and we must think that the
belief reached the Italians at the same time as the cultivation of the bean
itself spread from its original (unknown) home. But, if we may trust
comparative philology, the bean was probably known to the European Aryans
before they divided into separate peoples, such as Slavs, Italians, &c. And
thus we can catch glimpses of this piece of folk-lore on its travels in
pro-ethnic times. But this, I confess, I find it rather hard to believe. Of
course, if there were channels of communication by which the plant itself
could travel in that "time long past," then by those same channels the
superstition might be conveyed. But on the other hand, if one people could
see a resemblance between the bean and some part of the human body, so
might another. We do not imagine that because some of the taboos laid on
the Mikado were the same as some laid on the flamen Dialis, they were
therefore borrowed. Why, then, should we resort to the hypothesis of
borrowing to account for the fact the flamen of pre-historic times was
forbidden, exactly in the same way as the priests of ancient Egypt, to see
or name a bean?

Folk-lorists will naturally inquire whether any traces of the conceptions
and customs we have been examining can be found in fairy-tales.

I may therefore conclude by pointing out that in a Lithuanian tale,
published and translated into German in the _Litauische Volkslieder und
Märchen_ of A. Leskien and K. Brugman (p. 202 and p. 471), the bean has the
same "signature" as it had in ancient Italy. Another story in the same
collection (pp. 363-371 and 490-494) should also be noticed here: a maiden
is given the heart of a dead man to eat, and two hours afterwards she bore
a son, who could speak and run the moment he was born.


In the _Romane Questions_[97] Plutarch has preserved for us various
marriage customs, which raise the whole question, not perhaps of human
marriage, but certainly of Aryan marriage. Has monandry always been the
prevailing form among the Aryan-speaking peoples? Among those peoples has
the family, as far as we can see or guess, from the beginning been
patriarchal and agnatic?

As a starting-point for the discussion of this question, two propositions
may be laid down as broadly true. The first is, that at some period or
other, all Aryans have been in the habit of obtaining their wives (or some
of their wives) by capture and by purchase. This fact may ultimately imply
scarcity of native women, female infanticide, polyandry, and kinship
through the female line; or it may prove to be perfectly compatible with a
patriarchal and agnatic system. But it is a fact, and a fact of the first
importance for this discussion. The second proposition that may safely be
made is, that in historical times at least, the patriarchal form of family
has always been the prevailing form amongst Aryan nations. The exceptions
may be real, or they may be due to faulty observation; they may be of the
highest importance, as being the sole indications of a prior and very
different form of family life, or they may be merely local, transient
departures from the normal patriarchal form, and so be insignificant or
deceptive; but in any case, they are relatively so few as to leave it a
practically true statement to say that the patriarchal family has been
normal among the Aryans in historic times.

The evidence of the existence of marriage by capture is furnished by
folk-lore. It is not necessary, nor is this the place to review that
evidence; but the survivals of this form of marriage which are recorded in
the _Romane Questions_ must be mentioned. The Romans, Plutarch says (_R.
Q._, 29), "_would not permit the new wedded bride to passe of herself over
the door-sill or threshold, when she is brought home to her husband's
house, but they that accompanie her must lift her up between them from the
ground, and so convey her in_."[98] That the Romans themselves were dimly
conscious of the real origin of this custom is implied in the first
solution suggested by Plutarch, viz., that the ceremony was "in remembrance
of those first wives whom they ravished perforce from the Sabines;" and
Rossbach, in his great work on Roman marriage,[99] sees in the custom a
survival from times when the bride, captured by force, was conveyed against
her will into the house (or den) of her captor. Parallels to the Roman
custom are to be found elsewhere. Among the modern Greeks the bride is
lifted over the threshold, as it would be most unlucky if she touched it in
crossing.[100] It is the most important wedding-guest among the
Servians,[101] the bride's nearest relation in Lorraine,[102] who carries
her in his arms from the waggon into her new home. Among the North Frisians
the "bride-lifter" (_bridlefstr_) is a regular wedding-official.[103] The
ceremony seems to have been known to the ancient Hindoos also.[104] The
Finnish-Ugrians, whether they borrowed or lent, or independently developed
the custom, uniformly practise it.[105] It is further noteworthy that the
Finnish-Ugrians agree with the Romans, the Hindoos, and the Russians in
this, viz., that the bride is not only carried over the threshold by some
of the bridal party (not by the bridegroom) but is then caused by them "to
sit upon a fliece of wooll."[106] The meaning and object of this strange
proceeding were quite unknown to the Romans, who practised it in Plutarch's
time, as they are to the Finnish-Ugrians and Russians who still observe the
custom. Rossbach rightly compares the ancient Roman custom of making the
_flamen_ and _flaminica_, when married _per farreationem_, sit upon the
fleece of the sheep that was slaughtered during the wedding
ceremonies;[107] he then refers to the Roman practice of sitting for a
short time after prayer in silent meditation, and this he thinks explains
the custom in question. But surely it leaves unexplained just that which
requires explanation. Granted, that the Romans showed more reverence than,
say the Scots whom Dr. Boyd can remember; still, are we to imagine them so
rapt into "the mind's internal heaven" that they could sit down in the
grease and the gore of a freshly-slaughtered sheep's fell, "nor heed nor
see what things these be"? Why did they not sit down somewhere else?

A possible answer to this question may be found in the following
considerations. Many savages consider themselves peculiarly liable on their
wedding-day to the attacks of evil spirits. The Hindoos and the
Finnish-Ugrians unanimously regard the seating of the bride on the fleece
as the right time for exorcising evil spirits and purifying the bride: the
Hindoos recite an incantation, the Esthonians clash daggers over her head,
for iron is generally dreaded by spirits. It is, therefore, an easy
inference that the fleece itself had purificatory powers; and, as a matter
of fact, we find that the Greeks, at any rate, regarded a sheepskin in this
light, for in the preliminary ceremonies of the Eleusinia was a
purificatory rite which was known as the Zeus-fleece.[108] In the
collection of the Hôtel Lambert[109] is a red-figured vase bearing a
representation of this rite, in which the person purified is represented as
crouching on the fleece.

In days when marriage by capture was real, and not merely symbolical, it
was highly important that a strange woman should, immediately on entering
the house, be, so to speak, spiritually disinfected, lest she should
introduce unwelcome spirits into her new home; or, in the intimate
relations which were to subsist between her and her captor,[110] should
bring him into the power of strange and hostile gods. Hence the close
adhesion of the ceremony of the fleece, long after its meaning was
forgotten, to that of lifting the bride over the threshold.

But it was necessary not merely to detach the strange woman from her own
gods, she must also be introduced to the gods of her new home. This
introduction survived in the Roman custom, whereby _new wedded wives are
bidden to touch fire and water_ (_R. Q._ 1).[111] That this custom goes
back to the time when wives were captured is indicated by the words "are
bidden:" the force which was at first necessarily used survives in this
gentle compulsion. Parallels to this custom are forthcoming: the Hindoo
bride, according to the Kâuçikasûtra (77. 16), was led thrice round the
hearth in the bridegroom's house. Exactly the same ceremony not only was
practised by the ancient Teutons, but is still observed in some places in
North Germany and in Westphalia.[112] The Esthonians and Wotjaks still
honour the custom.[113] The first thing a Servian bride has to do on
entering her new home is to mend the fire,[114] and in ancient Greece she
was taken at once to the hearth. It need hardly be said that the hearth is
the abode of the house-spirit and the centre of the family worship. At
Rome, we find from Festus,[115] the bride was also sprinkled with water. In
Sardinia,[116] her mother-in-law empties a glass of water over her. Amongst
the ancient Hindoos[117] this was the bridegroom's duty; with the Servians
it is the function of the _Djewer_.[118] That this sprinkling was
originally an introduction of the strange woman to the local water-spirit
seems indicated by the fact that amongst the Servians the sprinkling is
performed at the well, in the Unterkrain at the burn,[119] in Albania[120]
at the village-spring, while in modern Greece the bride casts offerings
into the spring.[121]

The conventionally extravagant lamentation which was required of the Roman
bride[122] is regarded by Rossbach (p. 329) as a survival of marriage by
capture, and may be paralleled amongst many Aryan nations: with the Hindoos
it was part of the officially prescribed programme;[123] in the Oberpfalz
it is obligatory; in Bohemia and in Russia it is required by public

The evidence of folk-lore (so far as it is called for by the _Romane
Questions_) that the Aryans obtained wives by capturing the women of other
households or family groups than their own, has now been stated. It does
not suffice to show that an Aryan was forbidden to marry a woman of his own
household; but a wider survey of early Aryan wedding-customs would bring
out this important fact, that however other parts of the ceremony vary,
there is one which is always present, and which may be regarded as
essential—that is the _domum deductio_, the bringing-home of the bride; and
from this fact we may fairly draw the conclusion that normally, and—so
strong is custom—probably uniformly, the bride and the bridegroom belonged
to different households, and that the bride came to live in the home of the

Marriage by purchase does not happen to be mentioned in the _Romane
Questions_, nor is it necessary to prove what is universally admitted. All
that need be remarked here is that purchase was not necessarily preceded by
a state of things in which capture prevailed; frequently it may have been a
peaceable remedy for the grievances caused by capture, but quite as often
it may have been practised side by side with capture from the beginning.
Further, the purchase, like the capture, of wives implies that husband and
wife belonged to different households; and purchase indicates that the wife
thus bought was the property of the husband, or at least that she was
subject to him.

Let us now turn to the evidence showing that the family was patriarchal and
agnatic. The evidence is furnished by the comparative study of law,
especially the law regulating the order in which the relatives of a dead
man shall succeed to his property. The order of succession prescribed by
the earliest legal codes is strikingly similar among all the Aryan peoples;
first, the deceased's male descendants to the third generation (his sons,
grandsons, and great-grandsons); next, the male descendants of the
deceased's father to the third generation (_i.e._, the deceased's brothers,
nephews, and grand-nephews); then the male descendants of the deceased's
grandfather to the third generation (_i.e._, his uncles, cousins, and their
children); and finally, the male descendants of his great-grandfather to
the third generation (_i.e._, his great-uncles, his first cousins once
removed, and his second cousins once removed). Beyond these degrees, kin
was not counted; and if no heir were forthcoming within them, the property
went, amongst the Hindoos, to those of the same name as the deceased;
amongst the Romans, to the members of his _gens_; in Crete, to the village
community. What is the origin of this unanimous and well-marked distinction
between the Near and the Remote Kin? Why were the _anchisteis_, "the
nearest relations," as the Greeks technically named them, so sharply
distinguished from the others?

To begin with, it is clear that the distinction, being common to all the
Aryans, was not developed subsequently to their dispersion, but is
pre-historic—indeed, pro-ethnic. Hence it follows that the distinction was
not the work of any legislator or of any individual; it could not have been
a law enacted by a lawgiver and enforced by the State under pains and
penalties, for the simple reason that the Aryans, previous to their
dispersion, were not organised into a State, and had no government to issue
or execute laws. But before Law, Custom was, and "Kin and Custom go
together and imply each other, as do Law and State. Law is the enactment of
the State—Custom is the habit of the Kin. And as Custom precedes Law, so
the State is preceded by kin or sib associations. The earliest form of the
State is modelled on that of the sib associations out of which it is
developed, and the first laws promulgated by the State are but the old
customs committed to writing."[125]

In what pro-ethnic Aryan custom, then, are we to seek the origin of the
clear and deep-cut line between the Near and the Remote Kin? The answer is
furnished by what is known among the Slavonians as the house community, and
to Anglo-Indian lawyers as "the joint undivided family." As it exists now
in India, the joint undivided family consists, or may consist, of the sons,
grandsons, and great-grandsons of a man (deceased), who, on the death of
their common ancestor, do not separate, but continue to live on the
undivided estate and worship their deceased ancestor as their house-spirit.
The family, as defined by the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council,[126]
is "joint in food, worship, and estate."

Now, the relatives whom the earliest Aryan codes, the laws of the Twelve
Tables, the laws of Solon, of Menu, the Gortyn Code, &c., specify as a
man's heirs-at-law are in every case precisely those relatives who
belonged, or might at some time have belonged, to the same joint undivided
family as the deceased. It is worth while to note that at different times a
man might belong to four different joint undivided families: he might be
born into a family which still united in worshipping the spirit of his
great-grandfather: and thus his cousins, his first cousins once removed,
and his second cousins once removed, would dwell in the same household with
him. His grandfather might then die and become a house-spirit: in that
event, his grand-uncle (and descendants) would have to set up a family of
his own, for they only can belong to a joint undivided family who are
descended from a common house-father. Now, my grand-uncle, being the
brother of my grandfather, is not descended from my grandfather, therefore
cannot worship his spirit, therefore cannot belong to the joint undivided
family which worships my grandfather's spirit. On the other hand, the
family, of which my (deceased) grandfather is the house-spirit, includes my
grandfather's descendants to the third generation, _i.e._, includes not
only my cousins, but also their sons. This (cousins' sons) is the limit of
the second joint undivided family to which it is possible for a man to
belong. Thirdly, when my father becomes a house-spirit, and is worshipped
by his children's children, I dwell in the same household as my nephews and
grand-nephews. Finally, when I am gathered to my fathers, I dwell, in the
spirit, with my sons, grandsons, and great-grandsons.

Here we obviously have the key to the order of succession prescribed by the
earliest Aryan codes: my own descendants (if any) are called first, because
they constitute the joint undivided family, with which, at the time of
dying, I am presumably dwelling. My father's descendants come next, because
that was the family I had previously belonged to; and on the same principle
my grandfather's descendants, and then those of my great-grandfather were

So long as the joint undivided family was a living institution, so long
there was no need (as there was no thought) of specifying who a man's heirs
were, and so long a man could be in no doubt as to who his Near Kin
were—they were those who had been brought up in the same family as himself.
It was only when this unwieldy form of family came to be disintegrated by
the advance of civilisation that it became necessary to specify the order
of succession, and to determine who were a man's Near Kin; and, as we have
seen, the earliest laws on this subject are but the old customs reduced to

Two facts of importance in the history of Aryan marriage have now been
shown. The first, inferred from the _domum deductio_ and from the existence
of marriage by capture and by purchase, is that amongst the undispersed
Aryans a man customarily abstained from marrying a woman belonging to his
own family group. The second is that the family groups in which the Aryans
lived, if not originally, certainly for some time before their dispersion,
were joint undivided families. The Aryan was averse to marrying women of
his Near Kin; the difficult question now arises, whether he was equally
averse to marrying into his Remote Kin? The "prohibited degrees" of
historic times do not help us much in answering this question. The
Athenians had lost the Aryan aversion to marriages within the near kin:
they married their cousins, and even half-sisters. There is no evidence to
show that the Romans ever abstained from marrying their Remote Kin.
Rossbach maintains that the prohibition extended only to first cousins;
Klenze, Walter, Burchardy, Göttling, and Gerlach make it go as far as the
extreme limit of the Near Kin, _i.e._, to second cousins once removed—no
writer on Roman law or marriage supports a wider prohibition; and the _jus
osculi_[127] (which, by the way, was accorded by men to men as well as by
women to men) extended only to the near kin. The Hindoos, again, were
averse to marriage between any persons of the same name.

Does the Hindoo system come down from pro-ethnic times, or is it a
development peculiar among Aryan nations to the Hindoos? Many savages have
a much wider circle of prohibited degrees than civilised peoples possess,
and amongst civilised peoples themselves the number of prohibited degrees
has even in historic times diminished. We thus seem to get a sort of law of
diminishing degrees, which would point to the Hindoo system as that which
was known to the pro-ethnic Aryans. But though some savages have more
prohibited degrees than civilised men have, other savages have few or none.
The downward movement, therefore, from the maximum to the minimum number of
prohibited degrees which is observable in historic times must have been
preceded in pre-historic ages by an upward movement from the minimum to the
maximum; and, as far as the evidence at present goes, though the upward
movement may, in pro-ethnic times, have proceeded as far as the Remote Kin,
it may equally well only have reached to the limits of the Near Kin; while,
after the Aryan dispersion, the movement may have continued upwards amongst
the Hindoos, downwards amongst the Athenians, and, for a long time, have
ceased to move in any direction amongst the conservative Romans.

A more important point to notice is that, if we believe the Hindoo system
to date from pro-ethnic times, we must also assume that the Hindoo system
of naming is pro-ethnic, _i.e._, we must assume that each Aryan had two
names, one distinguishing him personally from other people, the other
indicating what kin he belonged to; and in this event, the Near and the
Remote Kin must, in pro-ethnic times, have had a common name. There is,
however, very little evidence to show that this was the case: gentile names
are found among the Hindoos and the Romans alone of Aryan peoples. It is,
of course, possible that, before the dispersion, the Aryans had gentile
names, and that, after the dispersion, all the Aryans, with the exception
of the Romans and the Hindoos, lost them entirely. On the other hand, if
there was a time when gentile names had not yet been invented, if they have
had a history and growth, we must consider it as at least possible that
gentile names had not been evolved at the time of the dispersion, and were
only developed subsequently by the Romans and Hindoos.

Whether the undispersed Aryans had gentile names, and at the same time an
aversion to marriages between persons of the same name, is a question on
which it were vain to pronounce confidently. We may more safely consider
both these equally possible alternatives, together with the consequences
which flow from each. Let us assume that marriage was, amongst the Aryans
as amongst the Hindoos, prohibited between persons of the same gentile
name: is there anything in the social organisation presupposed by this
prohibition incompatible with the patriarchal system? According to Mr. D.
M‘Lennan there is: not only are there "numerous societies of which the
patriarchal theory does not even attempt to give any account," but "in the
societies upon contemplation of which it was formed, a most serious
difficulty for it is presented by the tribes, which consist of several
clans, each clan considered separate in blood from all the others. The
patriarchal theory, of course, involves that the clans are all of the same
blood."[128] Mr. M‘Lennan's difficulty seems to be this: where inheritance
(of family name, property, sacra, &c.) is confined to the male line, the
descendants of a common ancestor must all have the same family or gentile
name; persons having different names cannot be descended from the same
ancestor—that is to say, different _gentes_ or clans cannot have a common
origin. A tribe, therefore, which consists of several clans cannot consist
of descendants of a common ancestor. Yet, these clans believe they have an
ancestor, however remote, in common. If their belief is incorrect (if the
_gentes_ have not a common origin), how did the error arise? If, on the
other hand, the different _gentes_ of the same tribe have a common origin,
how came they to have different names?

The source of this difficulty plainly is the assumption that the original
ancestor of the tribe had a family name, which was inherited by all his
descendants. It is impossible to disprove or to prove this assumption. We
may, however, note that the Teutons (according to Dr. Taylor[129]) rejoiced
in only one name a-piece. An Athenian added to his own name his father's.
And—to set assumption against assumption—we may conjecture that as
patronymics are formed from personal names, so gentile names were developed
out of patronymics. At first, a man's sons bore nothing in their names to
indicate from what father they were sprung. In course of time the sons of
Anchises were known as Anchisiadæ; and as long as the family group
consisted only of parents and children, this system of nomenclature would
suffice. It might even continue into times when the family group included
three generations: Iulus, as well as his father, Æneas, might be an
Anchisiades. And here we may note that if all the members of a joint
undivided family bore the surname Anchisiades, an aversion to marriage in
the near kin would forbid the marriage of any two Anchisiadæ. When,
however, owing to natural growth, the joint undivided family of Anchises
becomes so large that it is necessary for his younger (married) sons to go
out into the world and start joint undivided families of their own, leaving
Æneas and his children in possession of the old home, it is obvious that
persons who once had belonged to the same joint undivided family, and
therefore had possessed the same family name, and had been prohibited to
intermarry, would now belong to different families, and (being named after
the respective house-fathers of the newly formed families) would have
different patronymics, and would be allowed to marry persons whom
previously they were forbidden to wed. In these circumstances an extension
both of prohibited degrees and of the family name might very naturally be
the ultimate result. Iulus, who for years had worshipped Anchises as
house-spirit, and had consequently been an Anchisiades, might, when Æneas
became his house-spirit, come to be known as an Ænæades, but on the other
hand the old patronymic might stick to him and to his children for ever. In
the same way, the aversion to marrying women who belonged to the same joint
undivided family might cease when they ceased to belong to the same family,
but it might continue. Hence a continual tendency to extend the family
name, and to enlarge the number of prohibited degrees.

The transition from the system of naming by patronymics to that of gentile
names would not be made in a day or in a generation, and during the
transition the usage would fluctuate: the descendants of Æneas might choose
to be known as Ænæadæ rather than as the sons of Anchises, while the
children of Æneas' brothers might retain the name of Anchisiadæ, because
their fathers were less distinguished than their grandfather. The period of
this fluctuation in usage may be assumed to have been long enough to allow
of the requisite diversity of gentile names, while the fact that the number
of _gentes_ is always fixed, however far back they can be historically
traced, shows that the fluctuation at last hardened into unyielding custom.

It was pointed out in the last paragraph but one that second cousins once
removed (the great-grandchildren of a common house-father) might at one
time belong to the same joint undivided family, and subsequently to
different families, and that they might wish to continue, after their
separation, to consider each other as relatives. Language afforded them no
means of indicating their relationship, for there was no word in the
original Aryan language for "cousin," much less for "second cousin." And
before patronymics had been stereotyped into gentile names, it might seem
that the Aryan system of naming at that time afforded no means of binding
these relatives together either. But a certain Athenian custom may perhaps
be taken, both as evidence of the existence of the desire in question, and
as an indication of the means taken for gratifying it. At Athens it was the
custom to name a child after its grandfather; and if we assume this
practice to have obtained in Aryan times, we have here a ready means for
indicating the fact that second cousins are related without the aid of a
gentile name; for if I and my first cousin are both named after our common
grandfather, then our children (who are second cousins once removed) will
have the same patronymic, and therefore will be related, and thence again
prohibited to marry. This may be illustrated by an imaginary pedigree,
which will also serve to show how—when once patronymics, such as "John's
son," became stereotyped into true family or gentile names, such as
"Johnson"—all the _gentes_ of a tribe might be descended from a common
ancestor. Thus:—

                                   John's son.
                   |                                     |
                 John,                                  Tom,
              Will's son.                            Will's son.
                   |                                     |
         +————-+————+                  +————-+———-+
         |                  |                  |                 |
        Will,              Harry,             Will,            Jack,
      John's son.        John's son.        Tom's son.       Tom's son.
         |                  |                  |                 |
    +——+——+        +——+——-+        +—-+—-+       +——-+——+
    |         |        |          |        |       |       |          |
   John     Frank     John      Bill      Tom     Dick    Tom     Richard
  Wilson.  Wilson. Harrison. Harrison.  Wilson. Wilson. Jackson.  Jackson.

We may now sum up. The oldest form of family organisation historically
traceable amongst the Aryans is that of the joint undivided family. The
pro-ethnic Aryans were probably averse to marriages between members of the
same joint undivided family. They may also have been averse to marriages
between second cousins once removed, even when those second cousins had
ceased to dwell in the same joint household. If so, then, as language
afforded no term even for "cousins," the memory of the relationship may
have been kept up in one of three ways. As the members of a _genos_ at
Athens had no common family name, and as they were notoriously related, not
by blood, but merely by the possession of a joint-worship, so amongst the
Aryans a joint-worship may have served as the mark of kinship (as it does
among the Hindoos still). Or the remote kin may have been enabled to claim
kindred by means of a patronymic system, which survived at Athens. Or,
third, gentile names may have been developed out of patronymics even in
pro-ethnic times, in which case marriage would be prohibited, as amongst
the Hindoos, between all persons of the same family name.

But there is nothing in this patriarchal organisation of the family and of
the tribe which compels us to assume that it was evolved out of some
earlier non-patriarchal form of family. The warrant for such an assumption,
if to be found, must be sought elsewhere. Let us seek. Analogy will not
help us. The patriarchal system may, elsewhere in the world, have been
evolved out of the matriarchate; but, as the late Mr. M‘Lennan warned us,
we may not assume that marriage has everywhere had the same history. The
widest survey of the various forms of human marriage (Westermarck's) that
has yet been made warrants no presumption in favour of the priority of the
matriarchate. If the matriarchate was a pro-ethnic Aryan institution, it is
on Aryan ground that traces of it must be discovered. Such traces are said
to be discernible.

There are traces amongst some Aryan peoples of the levirate. The levirate
is said to indicate polyandry, and polyandry to presuppose the
matriarchate. This is a perfectly legitimate line of argument, but before
resorting to polyandry for an explanation of the Aryan levirate, it is
worth while to inquire whether there is anything in known Aryan customs
capable of supplying an explanation. According to Aryan custom, the estate
of a man who leaves no son passes to the next of kin, _i.e._, his brother,
or it may be a more distant relative. If the deceased leaves no son, but a
daughter, then according to Athenian law, according to the Gortyn Code, and
probably also according to Aryan custom, the next of kin (whether brother
or not) must not only take the estate, but also marry the heiress, if any
(whether wife or daughter of the deceased). According to the Gortyn Code,
if the next of kin is married, he must put away his wife; if the heiress is
already married, she must leave her husband. Now, if the obligation to
raise up seed to the deceased extended only to his brothers, the Tibetan
form of polyandry would afford an explanation which, whether correct or
not, would, at any rate, account for all the facts. But inasmuch as the
obligation is binding on all the near kin, and extends to the daughter as
well as the wife of the deceased, it cannot be explained by the hypothesis
of the Tibetan form of polyandry or any other form short of incest in every
degree possible, not only amongst the members of the same joint undivided
family, but also with the women who have married out of that family into
some other. In truth, so far from _mutterrecht_ being the source of the
Aryan custom, that custom bears on its face the marks of the rudest and
most savage application of the agnatic theory. The provisions of the Gortyn
Code which require that the next of kin shall marry the heiress, even if
the marriage necessitate divorce on both sides, show that the mother was
held absolutely incapable of transmitting rights—only a kinsman could do
that. A devotion to the principle of agnation so strong as to over-ride the
innate Aryan aversion to endogamous marriages, so strong even in the days
of civilised Athens as to afford the Orestes of Æschylus with the defence
that the mother whom he had killed was not of his blood, cannot be
explained as a survival from times when kinship was counted exclusively
through the female line. The savage practice must have its roots in some
equally crude and savage theory. What the Aryan theory was we can hardly
hope to discover, but we may conjecture that it was at least as barbarous
as that which leads savages to eat their dead kinsmen, and European
peasants to eat corpse-cakes, in the belief that thereby "the virtues and
advantages of the departed ... and the living strength of the deceased
passed over ... into the kinsman who consumed them, and so were retained
within the kindred" (Mr. E. S. Hartland in _Folk Lore_, III. ii. 149). The
_Leichen-nudeln_ of the Bavarian peasant, or the beans of the primitive
Italian funeral feasts, would, when eaten, qualify the next of kin to wed
the heiress and to raise up seed to the dead kinsman.

Before leaving the subject of the levirate we may note that the joint
undivided family survived in historic times at Athens and in Sparta, and
that in both places brothers lived on the joint-estate as well after the
death as during the life of their father. In Sparta, if one only of the
brothers had a son, that son was naturally heir to the joint-estate, and
was considered the son of all. Amongst the Hindoos, too, Vasishtha says
(xvii. 10), "If amongst many brothers who are begotten by one father, one
have a son, they all have offspring through that son" (_cf._ Vishnu, xv.
42).[130] Now, a casual observer, ignorant of the nature and constitution
of the joint undivided family, might thus easily draw the mistaken
inference that the wife of one brother was common to them all; and this may
be the origin of Cæsar's statement with regard to the polyandry of the
ancient Britons, and of Polybius' with regard to the Spartans. Or, again,
it is possible that the joint undivided family may in these instances have
given rise to this form of polyandry. It is thus not safe to infer that
where polyandry is, the matriarchate must previously have been.

There remains the argument from totems. Unfortunately their very existence
in Europe is questioned, and this is not the place to discuss the question.
It is safer not to meddle in European totems at present. Their appearance
in Greek mythology, however, may fittingly here be made the subject of a
brief allusion. The value, to the anthropologist, of ancient Roman customs
and beliefs is that they show us the Italians at a much lower stage of
civilisation than that in which the Vedas show us the Hindoos or the
Homeric poems the Greeks. They show us an Aryan people having no mythology,
and they warrant the inference that myths were unknown to the pro-ethnic
Aryans. The Greek myths about the amours of Zeus in animal form cannot go
back, therefore, to Aryan times. They may be the peculiar invention of the
early Greeks, or it may be that the families which claimed to be descended
from animals were pre-Hellenic, and that, when they joined the immigrating
Greeks, they learnt the worship of Zeus, and were aided in their conversion
by identifying Zeus with their animal ancestor.

Against the instances of polyandry and the survivals of totemism, which may
or may not show that the matriarchate was known to Aryan peoples, we may
fairly set the evidence of comparative philology. The original Aryan
language possessed terms for grandfather, father, son, and grandson; and
these are just the direct ascendants and descendants who could compose a
joint undivided family. There was a word for the paternal uncle, whom the
children brought up in such a family would know; there is none for the
maternal uncle, with whom they would not dwell. There were special
designations for husband's father, husband's mother, husband's brother,
husband's sister, and even for husband's brothers' wives—just the words
which would be required if the wife left her own family to dwell in that of
her husband. There were none for wife's father, mother, &c., which would be
required if the husband became a member of his wife's family. And
this—which is inconsistent with the matriarchal system—is in accord with
the evidence afforded by wedding customs, viz., that the wife left father
and mother, and was brought, by the _domum deductio_, to her husband's

Still, it would be as unjustifiable to say that the matriarchate could
never have established itself on Aryan ground, as it is to say that the
agnatic family must have been developed out of the system of "maternal
rights" and "female descent." The list of prohibited degrees varies among
early Aryan peoples from the minimum possible for a civilised people (as at
Athens) to the maximum possible even for savages (as amongst the Hindoos).
There may have been a similar variation in the organisation of the family.
Nor can we say with confidence that the pro-ethnic Aryans were more uniform
than their descendants. The different languages evolved out of the common
Aryan tongue existed as dialects from the beginning, and in the beginning
there may have been differences in social organisation. But whereas we can
certainly trace the joint undivided family and the principle of agnation as
far back as modern science enables us to trace the Aryans at all, the
evidence for the existence of the matriarchate at any time amongst any
Aryan people is inferior both in amount and in value.


After writing a hundred pages as though one knew something, it is a relief
to confess one's ignorance. So I shall do myself the pleasure of concluding
with a list of Romane Questions which are too hard for me. Why _they kept
the temple of the goddesse Horta open alwaies_ I own to me is a mystery
yet. I cannot even conjecture _what is the reason that Quintus Metellus
forbad to observe auspices after the moneth Sextilis_, nor why _they
thought Aruspices ought to have their lanterns and lampes alwaies open_,
nor why _obsserve they the vultures most of any other fowles in taking of
presages_. White, as a mourning colour, which is prescribed in _R. Q._ 26,
may be paralleled in the customs of Gambreion, in Asia Minor, and in Argos,
but the explanation is beyond me. The origin of the proverb _Sardi
venales_, and of the interesting custom associated with it (_R. Q._ 53),
can scarcely be said to be explained either by Festus (p. 322) or by Cicero
(VII. _Fam._, 24). Nor do I know why boys were named on the ninth, whereas
girls were named on the eighth day of birth. And _why_ did the Romans of
old time invariably, when they went out to supper, take with them _their
young sonnes_, _even when they were but in their very infancie and





_A Treatise fit for them who are conversant
in the reading_
of Romane histories and antiquities, giving
a light
_to many places otherwise obscure and hard_
to be understood.



  _What is the reason that new wedded wives are bidden to touch fire and

Is it because that among the elements and principles, whereof are composed
naturall bodies, the one of these twaine, to wit, fire is the male, and
water the female, of which, that infuseth the beginning of motion, and this
affoordeth the propertie of the subject and matter?

2. Or rather, for that, as the fire purgeth, and water washeth; so a wife
ought to continue pure, chaste and cleane all her life.

3. Or is it in this regard, that as fire without humidity, yeeldeth no
nourishment, but is dry; and moisture without heat is idle, fruitlesse and
barren; even so the male is feeble, and the female likewise, when they be
apart and severed a sunder: but the conjunction of two maried folke
yeeldeth unto both, their cohabitation and perfection of living together.

4. Or last of all, because man and wife ought not to forsake and abandon
one another, but to take part of all fortunes; though they had no other
good in the world common betweene them, but fire and water onely.


  _How is it, that they use to light at weddings five torches, and neither
  more nor lesse, which they call Wax-lights._

1. WHETHER is it as _Varro_ saith, because the Prætours or generals of
armies use three, and the Aediles two: therefore it is not meet that they
should have more than the Prætours and Aediles together: considering that
new maried folke goe unto the Aediles to light their fire?

2. Or, because having use of many numbers, the odde number seemed unto them
as in all other respects better, and more perfect than the even: so it was
fitter and more agreeable for mariage: for the even number implieth a kinde
of discord and division, in respect of the equall parts in it, meet for
siding, quarrell, and contention: whereas the odde number cannot be divided
so just and equally, but there will remaine somewhat still in common for to
be parted. Now among al odde numbers, it seemeth that Cinque is most
nuptial, & best beseeming mariage; for that Trey is the first odde number,
& Deuz the first even; of which twaine, five is compounded, as of the male
and the female.

3. Or is it rather, because light is a signe of being and of life: and a
woman may beare at the most five children at one burden; and so they used
to cary five tapers or waxe candels?

4. Or lastly, for that they thought, that those who were maried had need of
five gods and goddesses: namely, _Jupiter_[131] genial, _Juno_ genial,
_Venus_, _Suade_, and above all _Diana_; whom (last named) women in their
labour and travell of childe-birth, are wont to call upon for helpe.


  _What is the cause that there being many Temples of_ Diana _in_ Rome,
  _into that onely which standeth in the Patrician street, men enter not_.

1. IS it not because of a tale which is told in this maner: In old time a
certeine woman being come thither for to adore and worship this goddesse,
chaunced there to bee abused and suffer violence in her honor: and he who
forced her, was torne in pieces by hounds: upon which accident, ever after,
a certeine superstitious feare possessed mens heads, that they would not
presume to goe into the said temple.


  _Wherefore is it, that in other temples of_ Diana _men are woont
  ordinarily to set up and fasten Harts hornes; onely in that which is upon
  mount_ Aventine; _the hornes of oxen and other beefes are to be seen_.

MAY it not be, that this is respective to the remembrance of an ancient
occurrent that sometime befell? For reported it is that long since in the
Sabines countrey, one _Antion Coratius_ had a cow, which grew to be
exceeding faire and woonderfull bigge withall above any other: and a
certeine wizard or soothsaier came unto him and said: How predestined it
was that the citie which sacrificed that cow unto _Diana_ in the mount
_Aventine_, should become most puissant and rule all _Italy_: This
_Coratius_ therefore came to _Rome_ of a deliberate purpose to sacrifice
the said cow accordingly: but a certaine houshold servant that he had, gave
notice secretly unto king _Servius Tullius_ of this prediction delivered by
the abovesaid soothsaier: whereupon _Servius_ acquainted the priest of
_Diana_, _Cornelius_, with the matter: and therefore when _Antion_
_Coratius_ presented himselfe for to performe his sacrifice, _Cornelius_
advertised him, first to goe downe into the river, there to wash; for that
the custome and maner of those that sacrificed was so to doe: now whiles
_Antion_ was gone to wash himselfe in the river, _Servius_ steps into his
place, prevented his returne, sacrificed the cow unto the goddesse, and
nailed up the hornes when he had so done, within her temple. _Juba_ thus
relateth this historie, and _Varro_ likewise, saving that _Varro_
expressely setteth not downe the name of _Antion_, neither doth he write
that it was _Cornelius_ the priest, but the sexton onely of the church that
thus beguiled the Sabine.


  _Why are they who have beene falsly reported dead in a strange countrey,
  although they returne home alive, not received nor suffred to enter
  directly at the dores, but forced to climbe up to the tiles of the house,
  and so to get downe from the roufe into the house?_

_Varro_ rendreth a reason heereof, which I take to be altogether fabulous:
for hee writeth, that during the Silician warre, there was a great battell
fought upon the sea, and immediately upon it, there ranne a rumour of many
that they were dead in this fight; who notwithstanding, they returned home
safe, died all within a little while after: howbeit, one there was among
the rest, who when he would have entred into his owne house, found the dore
of the owne accord fast shut up against him; and for all the forcible
meanes that was made to open the same, yet it would not prevaile: whereupon
this man taking up his lodging without, just before his dore, as he slept
in the night, had a vision which advertised and taught him how he should
from the roofe of the house let himselfe downe by a rope, and so get in:
now when he had so done, he became fortunate ever after, all the rest of
his life; and hee lived to be a very aged man: and heereof arose the
foresaid custome, which alwaies afterwards was kept and observed.

But haply this fashion may seeme in some sort to have beene derived from
the Greeks: for in _Greece_ they thought not those pure and cleane who had
beene caried foorth for dead to be enterred; or whose sepulchre and
funerals were solemnized or prepared: neither were such allowed to frequent
the company of others, nor suffred to come neere unto their sacrifices. And
there goeth a report of a certaine man named _Aristinus_, one of those who
had beene possessed with this superstition, how he sent unto the oracle of
_Apollo_ at _Delphos_, for to make supplication and praier unto the god,
for to bee delivered out of this perplexed anxietie that troubled him by
occasion of the said custome or law then in force: and that the prophetesse
_Pythia_ returned this answer:

  _Looke whatsoever women doe in childbed newly laid,
  Unto their babes, which they brought foorth, the verie same I say
  See that be done to thee againe: and after that be sure,
  Unto the blessed gods with hands to sacrifice, most pure._

Which oracle thus delivered, _Aristinus_ having well pondered and
considered, committed himselfe as an infant new borne unto women for to be
washed, to be wrapped in swadling clothes, and to be suckled with the
brest-head: after which, all such others, whom we call _Hysteropotmous_,
that is to say, those whose graves were made, as if they had beene dead,
did the semblable. Howbeit, some doe say, that before _Aristinus_ was
borne, these ceremonies were observed about those _Histropotmi_, and that
this was a right auncient custome kept in the semblable case: and therefore
no marvell it is, that the Romans also thought, that such as were supposed
to have beene once buried, and raunged with the dead in another world,
ought not to enter in at the same porch, out of which they goe, when they
purpose to sacrifice unto the gods, or at which they reenter when they
returne from sacrifice: but would have them from above to descend through
the tiles of the roufe into the close house, with the aire open over their
heads: for all their purifications ordinarily they performed without the
house abroad in the aire.


  _Why doe women kisse the lips of their kinsfolks?_

IS it as most men thinke, for that women being forbidden to drinke wine,
the manner was brought up: That whensoever they met their kinsfolke, they
should kisse their lips, to the end they might not be unknowen, but
convicted if they had drunke wine? or rather for another reason, which
_Aristotle_ the philosopher hath alledged? for as touching that occasion,
which is so famous and commonly voiced in every mans mouth, yea, and
reported of divers and sundrie places; it was no doubt the hardy attempt
executed by the dames of _Troie_, and that upon the coasts of _Italy_; for
when the men upon their arrivall were landed; the women in the meanewhile
set fire upon their ships, for very desire that they had to see an end
once, one way or other of their long voiage, & to be delivered frõ their
tedious travel at sea: but fearing the fury of their men, when they should
returne, they went forth to meet their kinsfolke and friends upon the way,
and welcomed them with amiable embracing & sweet kisses of their lips: by
which means having appeased their angrie mood, and recovered their favours,
they continued ever after, the custome of kind greeting and loving
salutation in this manner.

Or was not this a priviledge granted unto women for their greater honour
and credit; namely, to be knowen and seen for to have many of their race
and kinred, and those of good worth and reputation?

Or because it was not lawfull to espouse women of their blood and kinred,
therefore permitted they were to entertaine them kindly and familiarly with
a kisse, so they proceeded no farther; insomuch as this was the onely marke
and token left of their consanguinitie. For before time, they might not
marrie women of their owne blood; no more than in these daies their aunts
by the mothers side, or their sisters: and long it was ere men were
permitted to contract marriage with their cousin germains; and that upon
such an occasion as this. There was a certaine man of poore estate and
small living, howbeit otherwise of good and honest cariage, and of all
others that managed the publike affairs of State most popular and gracious
with the commons: who was supposed to keepe as his espoused wife a
kinswoman of his and cousin germain, an inheritresse; by whom he had great
wealth, and became verie rich: for which he was accused judicially before
the people; but upon a speciall favour that they bare unto him, they would
not enquire into the cause in question; but not onely suppressed his bill
of enditement, and let her go as quit of all crime, but also even they,
enacted a statute; by vertue whereof, lawfull it was for all men from that
time forward to marrie, as far as to their cousin germains, but in any
higher or neerer degree of consanguinitie, they were expresly forbidden.


  _Wherefore is it not lawfull either for the husband to receive a gift of
  his wife, or for the wife of her husband._

MAY it not be, for that, as _Solon_ ordained that the donations and
bequests, made by those that die shall stand good, unlesse they be such as
a man hath granted upon necessitie, or by the inducement and flatterie of
his wife: in which proviso, he excepted necessitie, as forcing and
constraining the will; and likewise pleasure, as deceiving the judgement;
even so have men suspected the mutuall gifts passing between the husband
and the wife, and thought them to be of the same nature.

Or was it not thought, that giving of presents was of all other the least &
worst signe of amity and goodwill (for even strangers and such as beare no
love at all use in that sort to be giving) and in that regard they would
banish out of marriage such kind of pleasing and curring favour; to the end
that the mutuall love and affection between the parties should be free and
without respect of salarie and gaine, even for it selfe and nothing else in
the world.

Or because women commonly admit and entertaine straungers, as corrupted by
receiving of presents and gifts at their hands, it was thought to stand
more with honour and reputation, that wives should love their owne
husbands, though they gave them nothing by way of gift.

Or rather, for that it was meet and requisit, that the goods of the husband
should be common to the wife, and to the wife likewise of the husband: for
the partie who receiveth a thing in gift, doth learne to repute that which
was not given, to be none of his owne, but belonging to another: so that
man and wife in giving never so little one to another, despoil and defraud
themselves of all that is beside.


  _What might be the cause that they were forbidden to receive any gift
  either of [132]Sonne in law, or [133]Father in law?_

OF Sonne in law, for feare lest the gift might be thought by the meanes of
the Father to passe about the returne unto the wife: and of the Father in
law, because it was supposed meet and just, that he who gave not, should
not likewise receive ought.[134]


  _What should be the reason that the Romans when they returned from some
  voyage out of a farre and forraine countrey, or onely from their ferme
  into the citie; if their wives were at home, used to send a messenger
  unto them before, for to give warning and advertisement of their

EITHER it was because this is a token of one that beleeveth and is verily
perswaded that his wife intendeth no lewdnesse, nor is otherwise busied
than well: whereas to come upon her at unwares and on a sodain, is a kind
of forlaying and surprize. Or for that they make haste to send them good
newes of their comming, as being assured that they have a longing desire,
and doe expect such tidings.

Or rather because themselves would be glad to heare from them some good
newes, to wit, whether they shall find them in good health when they come,
and attending affectionately and with great devotion, their returne.

Or else because women ordinarily, when their husbands be away and from
home, have many petie businesses and house affaires: and other whiles there
fall out some little jarres and quarrels within doores with their servants,
men or maidens: to the end therefore all such troubles and inconveniences
might be overblowen, and that they might give unto their husbands a loving
and amiable welcome home, they have intelligence given unto them before
hand of their arrivall and approch.


  _What is the cause that when they adore and worship the gods, they cover
  their heads: but contrariwise when they meet with any honourable or
  worshipfull persons, if their heads haplie were then covered with their
  cover, they discover the same, and are bare headed._

FOR it seemeth that this fashion maketh the former doubt and braunch of the
question more difficult to be assoiled: and if that which is reported of
_Aeneas_ be true; namely, that as _Diomedes_ passed along by him whiles he
sacrificed, he covered his head, and so performed his sacrifice; there is
good reason and consequence, that if men be covered before their enemies,
they should be bare when they encounter either their friends, or men of
woorth and honour: for this maner of being covered before the gods, is not
properly respective unto them, but occasioned by accident, and hath, since
that example of _Aeneas_, beene observed and continued.

But if we must say somewhat else beside, consider whether it be not
sufficient to enquire onely of this point; namely, why they cover their
heads when they worship the gods, seeing the other consequently dependeth
heereupon: for they stand bare before men of dignitie and authoritie, not
to doe them any more honor thereby, but contrariwise to diminish their
envie, for feare they might be thought to require as much reverence and the
same honor as is exhibited to the gods, or suffer themselves, and take
pleasure to bee observed and reverenced equally with them: as for the gods
they adored them after this sort; either by way of lowlinesse and humbling
themselves before their majestie, in covering and hiding their heads; or
rather because they feared lest as they made their praiers, there should
come unto their hearing, from without, any sinister voice or inauspicate
and ominous osse: and to prevent such an object they drew their hood over
their eares: And how true it is that they had a carefull eie and regard to
meet with all such accidents, it may appeere by this, that when they went
to any oracle for to be resolved by answer from thence upon a scrupulous
doubt, they caused a great noise to be made all about them, with ringing of
pannes or brasen basons.

Or it may well be, (as _Castor_ saith, comparing in concordance the Romane
fashions with the rites of the Pythagoreans) for that the Dæmon or good
angell within us, hath need of the gods helpe without, and maketh
supplication with covering the head, giving thus much covertly to
understand thereby, that the soule is likewise covered and hidden by the


  _Why sacrifice they unto_ Saturne _bare-headed_.

IS it because _Aeneas_ first brought up this fashion of covering the head
at sacrifice; and the sacrifice to _Saturnus_ is much more auncient than
his time?

Or, for that they used to be covered unto the celestiall gods: but as for
_Saturne_ he is reputed a Subterranean or terrestriall god?

Or, in this respect, that there is nothing hidden, covered, or shadowed in
Trueth? For among the Romans, _Saturne_ was held to be the father of


  _Why doe they repute_ Saturne _the father of Trueth_.

IS it for that (as some Philosophers deeme) they are of opinion that
[135]_Saturne_ is [136]Time? and Time you know well findeth out and
revealeth the Truth.

Or, because as the Poets fable, men lived under _Saturnes_ reigne in the
golden age: and if the life of man was then most just and righteous, it
followeth consequently that there was much trueth in the world.


  _What is the reason that they sacrificed likewise unto the god whom they
  tearmed_ Honor, _with bare head? now a man may interpret_ Honor _to be as
  much as Glory and Reputation_.

IT is haply because Honor and glory is a thing evident, notorious, and
exposed to the knowledge of the whole world: and by the same reason that
they veile bonet before men of worship, dignitie, and honor, they adore
also the deitie that beareth the name of Honor, with the head bare.


  _What may be the cause, that sonnes cary their Fathers and Mothers foorth
  to be enterred, with their heads hooded and covered: but daughters bare
  headed, with their haires detressed and hanging downe loose._

IS it for that Fathers ought to be honored as gods by their male children,
but lamented and bewailed as dead men by their daughters, and therefore the
law having given and graunted unto either sex that which is proper, hath of
both together made that which is beseeming and convenient.

Or, it is in this regard, that unto sorrow and heaviness, that is best
beseeming which is extraordinarie and unusuall: now more ordinarie it is
with women to go abroad with their heads veiled and covered: and likewise
with men, to be discovered and bare headed. For even among the Greeks when
there is befallen unto them any publike calamitie, the manner and custome
is, that the women should cut of the hayres of their head, and the men
weare them long; for that otherwise it is usuall that men should poll their
heads, and women keepe their haire long. And to prove that sonnes were wont
to be covered; in such a case, and for the said cause, a man may alledge
that which _Varro_ hath written; namely, that in the solemnitie of
funerals, and about the tombs of their fathers, they carry themselves with
as much reverence and devotion as in the temples of the gods: in such sort,
as when they have burnt the corps in the funeral fire, so soone as ever
they meet with a bone, they pronounce, that he who is dead, is now become a
god. On the contrary side, women were no wise permitted to vaile and cover
their heads. And we find upon record, that the first man who put away and
divorced his wife was _Spurius Carbilius_, because she bare him no
children; the second, _Sulpitius Gallus_, for that he saw her to cast a
robe over her head: and the third _Publius Sempronius_, for standing to
behold the solemnitie of the funerall games.


  _How it commeth to passe, that considering the Romans esteemed Terminus a
  god, and therefore in honour of him celebrated a feast called thereupon_
  Terminalia, _yet they never killed any beast in sacrifice unto him_?

IT is because _Romulus_ did appoint no bonds and limits of his countrey, to
the end that he might lawfully set out and take in where pleased him, and
repute all that land his owne so far as, (according to that saying of the
Lacedæmonian) his speare or javelin would reach? But _Numa Pompilius_ a
just man and politick withall, one who knew well how to govern, and that by
the rule of Philosophie, caused his territorie to be confined betweene him
and his neighbour nations, and called those frontier bonds by the name of
_Terminus_ as the superintendent, over-seer and keeper of peace and amitie
between neighbours; and therefore he supposed, that this _Terminus_ ought
to be preserved pure and cleane from all blood, and impollute with any


  _What is the reason that it is not lawfull for any maid servants to enter
  into the temple of the goddesse_ [137]Leucothea? _and the Dames of_ Rome,
  _bringing in thither one alone and no more with them, fall to cuffing and
  boxing her about the eares and cheeks_.

AS for the wench that is thus buffeted, it is a sufficient signe and
argument, that such as she, are not permitted to come thither: now for all
others they keepe them out in regard of a certaine poeticall fable reported
in this wise: that ladie _Ino_ being in times past jealous of her husband,
and suspecting him with a maid servant of hers, fell mad, and was enraged
against her owne sonne: this servant the Greeks say, was an Aetolian borne,
and had to name Antiphera: and therefore it is that heere among us in the
citie of _Chæronea_, before the temple or chappell of _Matuta_, the sexton
taking a whip in his hand crieth with a loud voice: No man servant or maid
servant be so hardie as to come in heere; no Aetolian hee or shee presume
to enter into this place.


  _What is the cause that to this goddesse, folke pray not for any
  blessings to their owne children, but for their nephews onely, to wit,
  their brothers or sisters children?_

MAY it not be that _Ino_ being a ladie that loved her sister wonderous
well, in so much as she suckled at her owne breast a sonne of hers: but was
infortunate in her owne children?

Or rather, because the said custome is otherwise very good and civill,
inducing and moving folks hearts to carie love and affection to their


  _For what cause, were many rich men wont to consecrate and give unto_
  Hercules _the Disme or tenth of all their goods_?

WHY may it not be upon this occasion, that _Hercules_ himselfe being upon a
time at [138]_Rome_, sacrifice the tenth cow of all the drove which he had
taken from _Gerion_?

Or for that he freed and delivered the Romans from the tax and tribute of
the Dismes which they were wont to pay out of their goods unto the Tuskans.

Or in case this may not go current for an authenticall historie, and
worthie of credit; what and if we say that unto _Hercules_ as to some great
bellie god, and one who loved good cheere, they offered and sacrificed
plenteously and in great liberalitie?

Or rather, for that by this meanes they would take downe and diminish a
little, their excessive riches which ordinarily is an eie-sore and odious
unto the citizens of a popular state, as if they meant to abate and bring
low (as it were) that plethoricall plight and corpulency of the bodie,
which being growen to the height is daungerous: supposing by such cutting
off, and abridging of superfluities, to do honour and service most pleasing
unto _Hercules_, as who joied highly in frugalitie: for that in his life
time he stood contented with a little, and regarded no delicacie or excesse


  _Why begin the Romans their yeere at the moneth Januarie?_

FOR in old time the moneth of March was reckoned first, as a man may
collect by many other conjectures, and by this specially, that the fift
moneth in order after March was called _Quintilis_, and the sixt moneth
_Sextilis_, and all the rest consequently one after another until you come
to the last, which they named December, because it was the tenth in number
after March: which giveth occasion unto some for to thinke & say, that the
Romans (in those daies) determined and accomplished their compleat yeere,
not in twelve moneths but in ten: namely, by adding unto everie one of
those ten moneths certain daies over and above thirtie. Others write, that
December indeed was the tenth moneth after March; but Januarie was the
eleventh, and Februarie the twelfth: in which moneth they used certaine
expiatorie and purgatorie sacrifices, yea, and offered oblations unto the
dead (as it were) to make an end of the yere. Howbeit afterwards they
transposed this order, and ranged Januarie in the first place, for that
upon the first day thereof, which they call the Calends of Januarie; the
first Consuls that ever bare rule in _Rome_ were enstalled, immediatly upon
the deposition and expulsion of the kings out of the citie. But there
seemeth to be more probability & likelihood of truth in their speech, who
say, that _Romulus_ being a martiall prince, and one that loved warre and
feats of armes, as being reputed the sonne of _Mars_, set before all other
moneths, that which caried the name of his father: howbeit _Numa_ who
succeeded next after him, being a man of peace, and who endevored to
withdraw the hearts and minds of his subjects and citizens from warre to
agriculture, gave the prerogative of the first place unto Januarie, and
honoured _Janus_ most, as one who had beene more given to politick
government, and to the husbandrie of ground, than to the exercise of warre
and armes.

Consider moreover, whether _Numa_ chose not this moneth for to begin the
yeere withall, as best sorting with nature in regard of us; for otherwise
in generall, there is no one thing of all those that by nature turne about
circularly, that can be said first or last, but according to the severall
institutions and ordinances of men, some begin the time at this point,
others at that. And verely they that make the Winter solstice or hibernall
Tropick the beginning of their yeere, do the best of all others: for that
the Sunne ceasing then to passe farther, beginneth to returne and take his
way againe toward us: for it seemeth, that both according to the course of
nature, and also in regard of us, this season is most befitting to begin
the yeere: for that it increaseth unto us the time of daie light, and
diminisheth the darknesse of night, and causeth that noble starre or planet
to approch neerer and come toward us, the lord governour and ruler of all
substance transitorie and fluxible matter whatsoever.


  _Why do women when they dresse up and adorne the chappell or shrine of
  their feminine goddesse, whom they call_ Bona, _never bring home for that
  purpose any branches of Myrtle tree: and yet otherwise have a delight to
  employ all sorts of leaves and flowers_?

MAY it not be, for that, as some fabulous writers tell the tale, there was
one [139]_Flavius_ a soothsaier had a wife, who used secretely to drinke
wine, and when she was surprised and taken in the manner by her husband,
she was well beaten by him with myrtle rods: and for that cause they bring
thither no boughs of myrtle: marry they offer libations unto this goddesse
of wine, but forsooth they call it Milke.

Or is it not for this cause, that those who are to celebrate the ceremonies
of this divine service, ought to be pure and cleane from all pollutions,
but especially from that of _Venus_ or lechery? For not onely they put out
of the roome where the service is performed unto the said goddesse _Bona_,
all men, but also whatsoever is besides of masculine sex; which is the
reason that they so detest the myrtle tree, as being consecrated unto
_Venus_, insomuch as it should seeme they called in old time that _Venus_,
_Myrtea_, which now goeth under the name, of _Murcia_.


  _What is the reason that the Latines doe so much honour and reverence the
  Woodpecker, and forbeare altogether to do that bird any harme?_

IS it for that _Picus_ was reported in old time by the enchantments and
sorceries of his wife, to have changed his owne nature, and to be
metamorphozed into a Woodpecker; under which forme he gave out oracles, and
delivered answeres unto those who propounded unto him any demaunds?

Or rather, because this seemeth a meere fable, and incredible tale: there
is another storie reported, which carieth more probabilitie with it, and
soundeth neerer unto trueth. That when _Romulus_ and _Remus_ were cast
foorth and exposed to death; not onely a female woolfe gave them her teats
to sucke, but also a certeine Woodpecker flew unto them, and brought them
food in her bill, and so fedde them: and therefore haply it is, that
ordinarily in these daies wee may see, as _Nigidius_ hath well observed;
what places soever at the foot of an hill covered and shadowed with oakes
or other trees a Woodpecker haunteth, thither customably you shall have a
woolfe to repaire.

Or peradventure, seeing their maner is to consecrate unto every god one
kinde of birde or other, they reputed this Woodpecker sacred unto _Mars_,
because it is a couragious and hardy bird, having a bill so strong, that he
is able to overthrow an oke therewith, after he hath jobbed and pecked into
it as farre as to the very marrow and heart thereof.


  _How is it that they imagine_ Janus _to have had two faces, in which
  maner they use both to paint and also to cast him in mold_.

IS it for that he being a Græcian borne, came from _Perrhœbia_, as we finde
written in histories; and passing forward into _Italy_, dwelt in that
countrey among the Barbarous people, who there lived, whose language and
maner of life he changed?

Or rather because he taught and perswaded them to live together after a
civill and honest sort, in husbandry and tilling the ground; whereas before
time their manners were rude, and their fashions savage without law or
justice altogether.


  _What is the cause that they use to sell at_ Rome _all things perteining
  to the furniture of Funerals, within the temple of the goddesse_
  Libitina, _supposing her to be Venus_.

THIS may seeme to be one of the sage and philosophicall inventions of king
_Numa_, to the end that men should learne not to abhorre such things, nor
to flie from them, as if they did pollute and defile them?

Or else this reason may be rendred, that it serveth for a good record and
memoriall, to put us in minde, that whatsoever had a beginning by
generation, shall likewise come to an end by death; as if one and the same
goddesse were superintendent and governesse of nativitie and death: for
even in the city of _Delphos_ there is a pretie image of _Venus_, surnamed
_Epitymbia_; that is to say sepulchrall: before which they use to raise and
call foorth the ghosts of such as are departed, for to receive the
libaments and sacred liquors powred foorth unto them.


  _Why have the Romans in every moneth three beginnings as it were, to wit,
  certeine principall and prefixed or preordeined[140] daies, and regard
  not the same intervall or space of daies betweene?_

IS it because as _Juba_ writeth in his chronicles, that the chiefe
magistrates were wont upon the first day of the moneth to call and summon
the people; whereupon it tooke the name of _Calends_: and then to denounce
unto them that the _Nones_ should be the fift day after; and as for the
_Ides_ they held it to be an holy and sacred day?

Or for that they measuring and determining the time according to the
differences of the moone, they observed in her every moneth three
principall changes and diversities: the first, when she is altogether
hidden, namely during her conjunction with the sunne; the second when she
is somewhat remooved from the beames of the sunne, & beginneth to shew
herselfe croissant in the evening toward the West whereas the sunne
setteth; the third, when she is at the full: now that occultation and
hiding of hers in the first place, they named Calends, for that in their
tongue whatsoever is secret & hidden, they say it is [_Clam_] and to hide
or keepe close, they expresse by this word [_Celare_;] and the first day of
the moones illumination, which wee heere in _Greece_ tearme _Noumenia_,
that is to say, the new-moone, they called by a most just name _Nonæ_, for
that which is new and yoong, they tearme _Novum_, in manner as wee doe
νὲον. As for the _Ides_, they tooke their name of this word εἶδὸς, that
signifieth beautie; for that the moone being then at the full, is in the
very perfection of her beautie: or haply they derived this denomination of
_Dios_, as attributing it to _Jupiter_: but in this we are not to search
out exactly the just number of daies, nor upon a small default to slander
and condemne this maner of reckoning, seeing that even at this day, when
the science of Astrologie is growen to so great an increment, the
inequalitie of the motion, and course of the moone surpasseth all
experience of Mathematicians, and cannot be reduced to any certeine rule of


  _What is the cause that they repute the morrowes after_ Calends, Nones,
  _and_ Ides, _disasterous or dismall daies, either for to set forward upon
  any journey or voiage, or to march with an army into the field_?

IS it because as many thinke, and as _Titus Livius_ hath recorded in his
storie; the Tribunes militarie, at what time as they had consular and
soveraigne authoritie, went into the field with the Romane armie the morrow
after the _Ides_ of the moneth _Quintilis_, which was the same that July
now is, and were discomfited in a battell by the Gaules, neere unto the
river _Allia_: and cõsequently upon that overthrow, lost the very city it
selfe of _Rome_: by which occasion the morrow after the _Ides_, being held
and reputed for a sinister and unluckie day; superstition entring into mens
heads, proceeded farther (as she loveth alwaies so to doe) and brought in
the custome for to hold the morrow after the _Nones_, yea, and the morrow
after the _Calends_, as unfortunate, and to be as religiously observed in
semblable cases.

But against this there may be opposed many objections: for first and
formost, they lost that battell upon another day, and calling it
_Alliensis_, by the name of the river _Allia_, where it was strucken, they
have it in abomination for that cause. Againe, whereas there be many daies
reputed dismal and unfortunate, they doe not observe so precisely and with
so religious feare, other daies of like denomination in every moneth, but
ech day apart onely in that moneth wherein such and such a disaster,
hapned: and that the infortunitie of one day should draw a superstitious
feare simply upon all the morrowes after _Calends_, _Nones_, and _Ides_,
carieth no congruitie at all, nor apparence of reason.

Consider moreover and see, whether, as of moneths they used to consecrate
the first to the gods celestiall; the second to the terrestriall, or
infernall, wherein they performe certeine expiatorie ceremonies and
sacrifices of purification, and presenting  offirings and services to the
dead: so of the daies in the moneth, those which are chiefe and principall,
as hath beene said, they would not have to be kept as sacred and festivall
holidaies; but such as follow after, as being dedicated unto the spirits,
called _Dæmons_, and those that are departed; they also have esteemed
cõsequently as unhappy, & altogether unmeet either for to execute or to
take in hand any businesse: for the Greeks adoring and serving the gods
upon their new moones and first daies of the moneth, have attributed the
second daies unto the demi-gods and _Dæmons_: like as at their feasts also
they drinke the second cup unto their demi-gods, and demi-goddesses. In
summe, Time is a kinde of number, and the beginning of number is (I wot not
what,) some divine thing, for it is Unitie: and that which commeth next
after it is Deuz or two, cleane opposite unto the said beginning, and is
the first of all even numbers: as for the even number it is defective,
unperfect, and indefinit, whereas contrariwise, the uneven or odde number
it selfe is finite, complet, and absolute: and for this cause like as the
_Nones_ succeed the _Calends_ five daies after; so the _Ides_ follow the
_Nones_ nine daies after them; for the uneven and odde numbers doe
determine those beginnings, or principall daies; but those which presently
ensue after the said principall daies being even, are neither ranged in any
order, nor have power and puissance: and therefore men doe not enterprise
any great worke, nor set foorth voiage or journey upon such daies: and
heereto wee may to good purpose annex that pretie speech of _Themistocles_:
For when the morrow (quoth he) upon a time quarrelled with the festivall
day which went next before it, saying, that herselfe was busied and tooke a
great deale of pains, preparing & providing with much travel those goods
which the feast enjoied at her ease, with all repose, rest, and leisure:
the Festivall day made this answer: Thou saidst true indeed; but if I were
not, where wouldst thou be? This tale _Themistocles_ devised, and delivered
unto the Athenian captaines, who came after him; giving them thereby to
understand, that neither they nor any acts of theirs would ever have beene
seene, unlesse hee before them had saved the citie of Athens. Forasmuch
then, as every enterprise and voiage of importance hath need of provision,
and some preparatives; and for that the Romans in old time upon their
festivall daies, dispensed nothing, nor took care for any provision; being
wholy given and devoted at such times to the service & worship of God,
doing that, and nothing else; like as even yet at this day, when the
priests begin to sacrifice, they pronounce with a loud voice before all the
companie there assembled HOC AGE, that is to say, Minde this, and doe no
other thing: verie like it is, and standeth to great reason, that they used
not to put themselves upon the way for any long voiage, nor tooke in hand
any great affaire or businesse presently after a festivall day, but kept
within house all the morrow after, to thinke upon their occasions, and to
provide all things necessarie for journey or exploit: or we may conjecture,
that as at this very day the Romans after they have adored the gods, and
made their praiers unto them within their temples, are woont to stay there
a time, and sit them downe; even so they thought it not reasonable to cast
their great affaires so, as that they should immediately follow upon any of
their festivall daies; but they allowed some respit and time betweene, as
knowing full well, that businesses carie with them alwaies many troubles
and hinderances, beyond the opinion, expectation, and will of those who
take them in hand.


  _What is the cause that women at_ Rome, _when they mourne for the dead,
  put on white robes, and likewise weare white cawles, coifes and kerchiefs
  upon their heads_.

MAY it not be that for to oppose themselves against hell and the darkenesse
thereof, they conforme their raiment and attire to that colour which is
cleere and bright?

Or doe they it not rather for this: that like as they clad and burie the
dead corps in white clothes, they suppose, that those who are next of kin,
and come neerest about them, ought also to weare their liverie? Now the
bodie they doe in this wise decke, because they cannot adorne the soule so;
and it they are willing to accompanie as lightsome, pure and net, as being
now at the last delivered and set free, and which hath performed a great a
variable combat.

Or rather, we may guesse thus much thereby: that in such cases, that which
is most simple and least costly, is best beseeming; whereas clothes of any
other colour died, do commonly bewray either superfluitie or curiositie:
for we may say even aswell of blacke, as of purple: These robes are
deceitfull: these colours also are counterfeit. And as touching that which
is of it selfe blacke, if it have not that tincture by diers art, surely it
is so coloured by nature, as being mixed and compounded with obscuritie:
and therefore there is no colour els but white, which is pure, unmixt, and
not stained and sullied with any tincture, and that which is inimitable; in
which regard, more meet and agreeable unto those who are interred,
considering that the dead is now become simple, pure, excempt from all
mixtion, and in very trueth, nothing els but delivered from the bodie, as a
staine and infection hardly scowred out and rid away. Semblably, in the
citie of _Argos_, whensoever they mourned, the maner was to weare white
garments, washed (as _Socrates_ said) in faire and cleere water.


  _What is the reason that they esteeme all the walles of the citie sacred
  and inviolable, but not the gates._

IS it (as _Varro_ saith) because we ought to thinke the walles holie, to
the end that we may fight valiantly, and die generously in the defence of
them? for it seemeth that this was the cause, why _Romulus_ killed his owne
brother _Remus_, for that he presumed to leape over an holy and inviolable
place: whereas contrariwise, it was not possible to consecrate and hallow
the gates, thorow which there must needs be transported many things
necessary, and namely, the bodies of the dead. And therefore, they who
begin to found a citie, environ and compasse first with a plough all that
pourprise and precinct wherein they meant to build, drawing the said plough
with an oxe and a cow coupled together in one yoke: afterwards, when they
have traced out all the said place where the walles should stand, they
measure out as much ground as will serve for the gates, but take out the
plough-share, and so passe over that space with the bare plough, as if they
meant thereby, that all the furrow which they cast up and eared, should be
sacred and inviolable.


  _What is the reason, that when their children are to sweare by_ Hercules,
  _they will not let them do it within doores, but cause them to go forth
  of the house, and take their oath abroad_?

IS it because (as some would have it) that they thinke _Hercules_ is not
delighted with keeping close within house and fitting idely, but taketh
pleasure to live abroad and lie without?

Or rather, for that of all the gods, _Hercules_ is not (as one would say)
home-bred, but a stranger, come amongst them from afarre? For even so they
would not sweare by _Bacchus_, under the roofe of the house, but went forth
to do it; because he also is but a stranger among the gods.

Or haply, this is no more but a word in game and sport, given unto
children: and besides (to say a trueth) it may be a meanes to withholde and
restraine them from swearing so readily and rashly, as _Phavorinus_ saith:
for this device causeth a certeine premeditate preparation, and giveth them
(whiles they goe out of the house) leasure and time to consider better of
the matter. And a man may conjecture also with _Phavorinus_, and say with
him: That this fashion was not common to other gods, but proper to
_Hercules_: for that we finde it written, that he was so religious, so
respective and precise in his oath, that in all his life time he never
sware but once, and that was onely to _Phileus_ the sonne of _Augias_. And
therefore, the prophetisse at _Delphos_, named _Pythia_, answered thus upon
a time to the Lacedæmonians:

  _When all these oaths you once forfend,
  Your state (be sure) shall dayly mend._


  _What should be the reason, that they would not permit the new wedded
  bride to passe of herselfe over the doore-sill or threshold, when she is
  brought home to her husband's house, but they that accompanie her, must
  lift her up betweene them from the ground, and so convey her in._

IS it in remembrance of those first wives whom they ravished perforce from
the Sabines, who entred not into their houses of themselves with their good
will, but were carried in by them, in this maner?

Or is it perhaps, because they would be thought to goe against their willes
into that place where they were to lose their maidenhead?

Or haply it may be, that a wedded wife ought not to goe foorth of her
doores, and abandon her house, but perforce, like as she went first into it
by force. For in our countrey of _Bæotia_, the maner is, to burne before
the doore where a new married wife is to dwell, the axel tree of that
chariot or coatch in which she rode when she was brought to her husbands
house. By which ceremonie, thus much she is given to understand, that will
she nill she, there she must now tarrie, considering that it which brought
her thither, is now gone quite and consumed.


  _Wherefore do they at_ Rome, _when they bring a new espoused bride home
  to the house of her husband_, _force her to say these words unto her
  spouse_: Where you are _Cajus_, I will be _Caja_?

IS it to testifie by these words, that she entreth immediately to
communicate with him in all goods, and to be a governesse and commaunder in
the house as well as he? for it implieth as much, as if she should say;
where you are lord and master, I will be lady and mistres. Now these names
they used as being common, and such as came first to hand, and for no other
reason else: like as the Civill lawiers use ordinarily these names,
_Cajus_, _Seius_, _Lucius_, and _Titius_: the Philosophers in their
schooles, _Dion_ and _Theon_.

Or peradventure it is in regard of _Caia Cæcilia_ a beautifull and vertuous
lady, who in times past, espoused one of the sonnes of king _Tarquinius_:
of which dame there is yet to be seene even at this day one image of
brasse, within the temple of the god _Sanctus_: and there likewise in old
time, her slippers, her distaffe and spindels laid up for to bee seene: the
one to signifie that she kept the house well, and went not ordinarily
abroad; the other to shew how she busied herselfe at home.


  _How commeth it, that they use to chaunt ordinarily at Weddings_, _this
  word so much divulged_, Talassio?

IS it not of _Talasia_, the Greeke word, which signifieth yarne: for the
basket wherein women use to put in their rolles of carded wooll, they name
_Talosos_ in Greeke, and _Calathus_ in Latine? Certes they that lead the
bride home, cause her to sit upon a fliece of wooll, then bringeth she
foorth a distaffe and a spindle, and with wooll all to hangeth and decketh
the dore of her husbands house.

Or rather, if it be true which historians report: There was sometime a
certeine yoong gentleman, very valiant and active in feats of armes, and
otherwise of excellent parts and singular wel conditioned, whose name was
_Talasius_: and when they ravished and caried away the daughters of the
Sabines who were come to _Rome_, for to behold the solemnitie of their
festivall games and plaies: certaine meane persons, such yet as belonged to
the traine & retinue of _Talasius_ aforesaid, had chosen foorth & were
carying away, one damosel above the rest most beautiful of visage, and for
their safety and securitie as they passed along the streets, cried out
aloud _Talasio_, _Talasio_, that is to say, for _Talasius_, for _Talasius_;
to the end that no man should be so hardy as to approch nere unto them, nor
attempt to have away the maiden from them, giving it out, that they caried
her for to be the wife of _Talasius_; and others meeting them upon the way,
joined with them in company for the honour of _Talasius_, and as they
followed after, highly praised their good choice which they had made,
praying the gods to give both him and her joy of their marriage, and
contentment to their hearts desire. Now for that this marriage prooved
happy and blessed, they were woont ever after in their wedding songs to
rechant and resound this name, _Talasius_, like as the maner is among the
Greeks to sing in such carrols, _Hymenæus_.


  _What is the reason that in the moneth of May, they use at Rome to cast
  over their woodden bridge into the river_, _certaine images of men, which
  they call_ Argeos?

IS it in memoriall of the Barbarians who sometimes inhabited these parts,
and did so by the Greeks, murdering them in that maner as many of them as
they could take? But _Hercules_ who was highly esteemed among them for his
vertue, abolished this cruell fashion of killing of strangers, and taught
them this custome to counterfet their auncient superstitions, and to fling
these images in stead of them: now in old time our ancestors used to name
all Greeks of what countrey soever they were, _Argeos_: unlesse haply a man
would say, that the Arcadians reputing the Argives to be their enemies, for
that they were their neighbour borderers, such as fled with _Evander_ out
of _Arcadia_, and came to inhabit these quarters, reteined still the old
hatred and ranckor, which time out of minde had taken root, and beene
setled in their hearts against the said Argives.


  _What is the cause that the Romans in old time never went foorth out of
  their houses to supper, but they caried with them their yoong sonnes,
  even when they were but in their very infancie and childhood._

WAS not this for the very same reason that _Lycurgus_ instituted and
ordeined, that yoong children should ordinarily be brought into their
halles where they used to eat in publicke, called _Phiditia_, to the end
that they might be inured and acquainted betimes, not to use the pleasures
of eating and drinking immoderately, as brutish and ravenous beasts are
wont to doe; considering that they had their elders to oversee them, yea,
and to controll their demeanour: and in this regard haply also, that their
fathers themselves should in their carriage be more sober, honest, and
frugall, in the presence of their children: for looke where old folke are
shamelesse, there it can not chuse but (as _Plato_ saith) children and
youth will be most gracelesse and impudent.


  _What might the reason be, that whereas all other Romans made their
  offerings, ceremonies, and sacrifices for the dead, in the moneth of
  February_: Decimus Brutus _as_ Cicero _saith, was wont to doe the same in
  the moneth of December: now this_ Brutus _was he who first invaded the
  countrey of_ Portugall, _and with an armie passed over the river of_
  Lethe, _that is to say, oblivion_.

MAY it not be, that as the most part of men used not to performe any such
services for the dead, but toward the end of the moneth, and a little
before the shutting in of the evening; even so it seemeth to carie good
reason, to honour the dead at the end of the yeere; and you wot well that
December was the last moneth of all the yeere.

Or rather, it is because this was an honour exhibited to the deities
terrestriall: and it seemeth that the proper season to reverence and
worship these earthly gods, is when the fruits of the earth be fully
gathered and laid up.

Or haply, for that the husband men began at this time to breake up their
grounds against their seednesse: it was meet and requisite to have in
remembrance those gods which are under the ground.

Or haply, because this moneth is dedicate and consecrated by the Romans to
_Saturne_; for they counted _Saturne_ one of the gods beneath, and none of
them above: and withall, considering the greatest and most solemne feast,
which they call _Saturnalia_, is holden in this moneth, at what time as
they seeme to have their most frequent meeting, and make best cheere, he
thought it meet and reasonable that the dead also should enjoy some little
portion thereof.

Or it may be said, that it is altogether untrue that _Decimus Brutus_ alone
sacrificed for the dead in this moneth: for certeine it is that there was a
certeine divine service performed to _Acca Larentia_, and solemne effusions
and libaments of wine and milke were powred upon her sepulchre in the
moneth of December.


  _Why honoured the Romans this_ Acca Larentia _so highly, considering she
  was no better than a strumpet or courtisan_?

FOR you must thinke, that the histories make mention of another _Acca
Larentia_, the nurse of _Romulus_, unto whom they do honour in the moneth
of Aprill. As for this courtizan _Larentia_, she was (as men say) surnamed
_Fabula_, and came to be so famous and renowmed by such an occasion as
this. A certeine sexton of _Hercules_ his temple, having little els to doe,
and living at ease (as commonly such fellowes doe) used for the most part
to spend all the day in playing at dice and with cokall bones: and one day
above the rest, it fortuned, that meeting with none of his mates and
play-fellowes who were woont to beare him company at such games, and not
knowing what to do nor how to passe the time away, he thought with himselfe
to challenge the god whose servant he was, to play at dice with him, upon
these conditions: That if himselfe woon the game, _Hercules_ should be a
meanes for him of some good lucke and happy fortune; but in case he lost
the game, he should provide for _Hercules_ a good supper, and withall, a
pretie wench and a faire, to be his bedfellow: these conditions being
agreed upon and set downe, he cast the dice, one chance for himselfe, and
another for the god; but his hap was to be the loser: whereupon minding to
stand unto his challenge, and to accomplish that which he had promised, he
prepared a rich supper for _Hercules_ his god, and withall, sent for this
_Acca Larentia_, a professed courtisan and common harlot, whom he feasted
also with him, and after supper bestowed her in a bed within the very
temple, shut the doores fast upon, and so went his way. Now the tale goes
forsooth, that in the night, _Hercules_ companied with her, not after the
maner of men, but charged her, that the next morning betimes she should go
into the market-place, and looke what man she first met withall, him she
should enterteine in all kindnesse, and make her friend especially. Then
_Larentia_ gat up betimes in the morning accordingly, and chanced to
encounter a certeine rich man and a stale bacheler, who was now past his
middle age, and his name was _Taruntius_; with him she became so familiarly
acquainted, that so long as he lived, she had the command of his whole
house; and at his death, was by his last will and testament instituted
inheritresse of all that he had. This _Larentia_ likewise afterward
departed this life, and left all her riches unto the citie of _Rome_:
whereupon this honour abovesaid was done unto her.


  _What is the cause, that they name one gate of the citie_ Fenestra,
  _which is as much to say, as window; neere unto which adjoineth the
  bed-chamber of Fortune_?

IS it for that king _Servius_ a most fortunate prince, was thought & named
to lie with Fortune, who was woont to come unto him by the window? or is
this but a devised tale? But in trueth, after that king _Tarquinius
Priscus_ was deceased, his wife _Tanaquillis_ being a wise ladie, and
endued with a roiall mind, putting forth her head, and bending forward her
bodie out of her chamber window, made a speech unto the people, perswading
them to elect _Servius_ for their king. And this is the reason that
afterwards the place reteined this name, _Fenestra_.


  _What is the reason, that of all those things which be dedicated and
  consecrated to the gods, the custome is at_ Rome, _that onely the spoiles
  of enemies conquered in the warres, are neglected and suffered to run to
  decay in processe of time: neither is there any reverence done unto them,
  nor repaired be they at any time, when they wax olde_?

WHETHER is it, because they (supposing their glory to fade and passe away
together with these first spoiles) seeke evermore new meanes to winne some
fresh marks and monuments of their vertue, and to leave them same behinde

Or rather, for that seeing time doth waste and consume these signs and
tokens of the enmity which they had with their enemies, it were an odious
thing for them, and very invidious, if they should refresh and renew the
remembrance thereof: for even those among the Greeks, who first erected
their trophes or pillars of brasse and stone, were not commended for so


  _What is the reason that_ Quintus Metellus _the high priest, and reputed
  besides a wise man and a politike, forbad to observe auspices, or to take
  presages by flight of birds, after the moneth_ Sextilis, _now called

IS it for that, as we are woont to attend upon such observations about
noone or in the beginning of the day, at the entrance also and toward the
middle of the moneth: but we take heed and beware of the daies declination,
as inauspicate and unmeet for such purposes; even so _Metellus_ supposed,
that the time after eight moneths was (as it were) the evening of the
yeere, and the latter end of it, declining now and wearing toward an end.

Or haply, because we are to make use of these birds, and to observe their
flight for presage, whiles they are entire, perfect and nothing defective,
such as they are before Summer time. But about Autumne some of them moult,
grow to be sickly and weake; others are over young and too small; and some
againe appeare not at all, but like passengers are gone at such a time into
another countrey.


  _What is the cause, that it was not lawfull for them who were not prest
  soldiors by oth and enrolled, although upon some other occasions they
  conversed in the campe, to strike or wound an enemie? And verely_ Cato
  _himselfe the elder of that name signified thus much in a letter missive
  which he wrote unto his sonne: wherein he straitly charged him, that if
  he had accomplished the full time of his service, and that his captain
  had given him his conge and discharge, he should immediately returne: or
  in case he had leifer stay still in the campe, that he should obtaine of
  his captaine permission and licence to hurt and kill his enemie_.

IS it because there is nothing else but necessitie alone, doeth warrantize
the killing of a man: and he who unlawfully and without expresse
commaundement of a superiour (unconstrained) doth it, is a meere homicide
and manslaier. And therefore _Cyrus_ commended _Chrysantas_, for that being
upon the verie point of killing his enemie, as having lifted up his cemiter
for to give him a deadly wound, presently upon the sound of the retreat by
the trumpet, let the man go, and would not smite him, as if he had beene
forbidden so to do.

Or may it not be, for that he who presenteth himselfe to fight with his
enemie, in case he shrink, and make not good his ground, ought not to go
away cleere withal, but to be held faulty and to suffer punishment: for he
doth nothing so good service that hath either killed or wounded an enemie,
as harme and domage, who reculeth backe or flieth away: now he who is
discharged from warfare, and hath leave to depart, is no more obliged and
bound to militarie lawes: but he that hath demaunded permission to do that
service which sworne and enrolled souldiers performe, putteth himselfe
againe under the subjection of the law and his owne captaine.


  _How is it, that the priest of_ Jupiter, _is not permitted to annoint
  himselfe abroad in the open aire_?

IS it for that in old time it was not held honest and lawfull for children
to do off their clothes before their fathers; nor the sonne in law in the
presence of his wives father; neither used they the stouph or bath
together: now is _Jupiter_ reputed the priests or _Flamines_ father: and
that which is done in the open aire, seemeth especially to be in the verie
eie and sight of _Jupiter_?

Or rather, like as it was thought a great sinne and exceeding irreverence,
for a man to turne himselfe out of his apparrell naked, in any church,
chappell, or religious and sacred place; even so they carried a great
respect unto the aire and open skie, as being full of gods, demi-gods, and
saints. And this is the verie cause, why we doe many of our necessarie
businesses within doores, enclosed and covered with the roofe of our
houses, and so remooved from the eies as it were of the deitie. Moreover,
some things there be that by law are commaunded and enjoined unto the
priest onely; and others againe unto all men, by the priest: as for
example, heere with us in _Bœotia_; to be crowned with chaplets of flowers
upon the head; to let the haire grow long; to weare a sword, and not to set
foot within the limits of _Phocis_, pertaine all to the office and dutie of
the captaine generall and chiefe ruler: but to tast of no new fruits before
the Autumnall Aequinox be past; nor to cut and prune a vine but before the
Aequinox of the Spring, be intimated and declared unto all by the said
ruler or captaine generall: for those be the verie seasons to do both the
one & the other. In like case, it should seeme in my judgement that among
the Romans it properly belonged to the priest; not to mount on horseback;
not to be above three nights out of the citie; not to put off his cap,
whereupon he was called in the Roman language, _Flamen_. But there be many
other offices and duties, notified and declared unto all men by the priest,
among which this is one, not to be enhuiled or anointed abroad in the open
aire: For this manner of anointing drie without the bath, the Romans
mightily suspected and were afraid of: and even at this day they are of
opinion, that there was no such cause in the world that brought the Greeks
under the yoke of servitude and bondage, and made them so tender and
effeminate, as their halles and publike places where their yong men
wrestled & exercised their bodies naked: as being the meanes that brought
into their cities, much losse of time, engendred idlenesse, bred lazie
slouth, and ministred occasion & opportunity of lewdnesse and vilany; as
namely, to make love unto faire boies, and to spoile and marre the bodies
of young men with sleeping, with walking at a certeine measure, with
stirring according to motions, keeping artificiall compasse, and with
observing rules of exquisit diet. Through which fashions, they see not, how
(ere they be aware) they be fallen from exercises of armes, and have cleane
forgotten all militarie discipline: loving rather to be held and esteemed
good wrestlers, fine dauncers, conceited pleasants, and faire minions, than
hardie footmen, or valiant men of armes. And verely it is an hard matter to
avoid and decline these inconveniences, for them that use to discover their
bodies naked before all the world in the broad aire: but those who annoint
themselves closely within doores, and looke to their bodies at home are
neither faulty nor offensive.


  _What is the reason that the auncient coine and mony in old time, caried
  the stampe of one side of_ Ianus _with two faces: and on the other side,
  the prow or the poope of a boat engraved therein_.

WAS it not as many men do say, for to honour the memorie of _Saturne_, who
passed into _Italy_ by water in such a vessel? But a man may say thus much
as well of many others: for _Janus_, _Evander_, and _Aeneas_, came thither
likewise by sea; and therefore a man may peradventure gesse with better
reason; that whereas some things serve as goodly ornaments for cities,
others as necessarie implements: among those which are decent and seemely
ornaments, the principall is good government and discipline, and among such
as be necessary, is reckoned, plentie and abundance of victuals: now for
that _Janus_ instituted good government, in ordeining holsome lawes, and
reducing their manner of life to civilitie, which before was rude and
brutish, and for that the river being navigable, furnished them with store
of all necessary commodities, whereby some were brought thither by sea,
others from the land; the coine caried for the marke of a law-giver, the
head with two faces, like as we have already said, because of that change
of life which he brought in; and of the river, a ferrie boate or barge: and
yet there was another kinde of money currant among them, which had the
figure portraied upon it, of a beefe, of a sheepe, and of a swine; for that
their riches they raised especially from such cattle, and all their wealth
and substance consisted in them. And heereupon it commeth, that many of
their auncient names, were _Ovilij_, _Bubulci_ and _Porcij_, that is to
say, Sheepe-reeves, and Neat-herds, and Swineherds according as
_Fenestella_ doth report.


  _What is the cause that they make the temple of_ Saturne, _the chamber of
  the citie, for to keepe therein the publicke treasure of gold and silver:
  as also their arches, for the custodie of all their writings, rolles,
  contracts and evidences whatsoever_.

IS it by occasion of that opinion so commonly received, and the speech so
universally currant in every mans mouth, that during the raigne of
_Saturne_, there was no avarice nor injustice in the world; but loialtie,
truth, faith, and righteousnesse caried the whole sway among men.

Or for that he was the god who found out fruits, brought in agriculture,
and taught husbandry first; for the hooke or sickle in his hand signifieth
so much, and not as _Antimachus_ wrote, following therein and beleeving

  _Rough_ Saturne _with his hairy skinne, against all law and right,
  Of_ Aemons _sonne, sir_ Ouranus, _or_ Cœlus _sometime hight,
  Those privy members which him gat, with hooke a-slant off-cut.
  And then anon in fathers place of reigne, himselfe did put._

Now the abundance of the fruits which the earth yeeldeth, and the vent or
disposition of them, is the very mother that bringeth foorth plentie of
monie: and therefore it is that this same god they make the author and
mainteiner of their felicitie: in testimonie whereof, those assemblies
which are holden every ninth day in the cõmon place of the city, called
_Nundinæ_, that is to say, Faires or markets, they esteeme consecrated to
_Saturne_: for the store & foison of fruits is that which openeth the trade
& comerce of buying and selling. Or, because these reasons seeme to be very
antique; what and if we say that the first man who made (of _Saturns_
temple at _Rome_) the treasurie or chamber of the citie was _Valerius
Poplicola_, after that the kings were driven out of _Rome_, and it seemeth
to stand to good reason that he made choise thereof, because he thought it
a safe and secure place, eminent and conspicuous in all mens eies, and by
consequence hard to be surprised and forced.


  _What is the cause that those who come as embassadours to_ Rome, _from
  any parts whatsoever, go first into the temple of_ Saturne, _and there
  before the Questors or Treasurers of the citie, enter their names in
  their registers_.

IS it for that _Saturne_ himselfe was a stranger in _Italy_, and therefore
all strangers are welcome unto him?

Or may not this question be solved by the reading of histories? for in old
time these Questors or publick Treasurers, were wont to send unto
embassadors certeine presents, which were called _Lautia_: and if it
fortuned that such embassadors were sicke, they tooke the charge of them
for their cure; and if they chanced to die, they enterred them likewise at
the cities charges. But now in respect of the great resort of embassadors
from out of all countries, they have cut off this expense: howbeit the
auncient custome yet remaineth, namely, to present themselves to the said
officers of the treasure, and to be registred in their booke.


  _Why is it not lawfull for_ Jupiters _priest to sweare_?

IS it because an oth ministered unto free borne men, is as it were the
racke and torture tendred unto them? for certeine it is, that the soule as
well as the bodie of the priest, ought to continue free, and not be forced
by any torture whatsoever.

Or, for that it is not meet to distrust or discredit him in small matters,
who is beleeved in great and divine things?

Or rather because every oth ended with the detestation and malediction of
perjurie: and considering that all maledictions be odious and abominable;
therefore it is not thought good that any other priests whatsoever, should
curse or pronounce any malediction: and in this respect was the priestresse
of _Minerva_ in _Athens_ highly commended, for that she would never curse
_Alcibiades_, notwithstanding the people commanded her so to doe: For I am
(quoth she) ordeined a priestresse to pray for men, and not to curse them.

Or last of all, was it because the perill of perjurie would reach in common
to the whole common wealth, if a wicked, godlesse and forsworne person,
should have the charge and superintendance of the praiers, vowes, and
sacrifices made in the behalfe of the citie.


  _What is the reason that upon the festivall day in the honour of_ Venus,
  _which solemnitie they call_ Veneralia, _they use to powre foorth a great
  quantitie of wine out of the temple of_ Venus.

IS it as some say upon this occasion, that _Mezentius_ sometime captaine
generall of the Tuscans, sent certeine embassadors unto _Aeneas_, with
commission to offer peace unto him, upon this condition, that he might
receive all the wine of that [141]yeeres vintage. But when _Aeneas_ refused
so to doe, _Mezentius_ (for to encourage his souldiers the Tuskans to fight
manfully) promised to bestow wine upon them when he had woon the field: but
_Aeneas_ understanding of this promise of his, consecrated and dedicated
all the said wine unto the gods: and in trueth, when he had obteined the
victorie, all the wine of that yeere, when it was gotten and gathered
together, he powred forth before the temple of _Venus_.

Or, what if one should say, that this doth symbolize thus much: That men
ought to be sober upon festivall daies, and not to celebrate such
solemnities with drunkennesse; as if the gods take more pleasure to see
them shed wine upon the ground, than to powre overmuch thereof downe their


  _What is the cause that in ancient time they kept the temple of the
  goddesse_ Horta, _open alwaies_.

WHETHER was it (as _Antistius Labeo_ hath left in writing) for that, seeing
_Hortari_ in the Latine tongue signifieth to incite and exhort, they
thought that the goddesse called _Horta_, which stirreth and provoketh men
unto the enterprise and execution of good exploits, ought to be evermore in
action, not to make delaies, nor to be shut up and locked within dores, ne
yet to sit still and do nothing?

Or rather, because as they name her now a daies _Hora_, with the former
syllable long, who is a certeine industrious, vigilant and busie goddesse,
carefull in many things: therefore being as she is, so circumspect and so
watchfull, they thought she should be never idle, nor rechlesse of mens

Or els, this name _Hora_ (as many others besides) is a meere Greeke word,
and signifieth a deitie or divine power, that hath an eie to overlooke, to
view and controll all things; and therefore since she never sleepeth, nor
laieth her eies together, but is alwaies broad awake, therefore her church
or chapel was alwaies standing open.

But if it be so as _Labeo_ saith, that this word _Hora_ is rightly derived
of the Greeke verbe ὁρμᾶν or παρορμᾶν, which signifieth to incite or
provoke; consider better, whether this word _Orator_ also, that is to say,
one who stirrith up, exhorteth, encourageth, and adviseth the people, as a
prompt and ready counseller, be not derived likewise in the same sort, and
not of ἀρα or εὐχὴ, that is to say, praier and supplication, as some would
have it.


  _Wherefore founded_ Romulus _the temple of_ Vulcane _without the citie
  of_ Rome?

IS it for the jealousie (which as fables do report) _Vulcane_ had of
_Mars_, because of his wife _Venus_: and so _Romulus_ being reputed the
sonne of _Mars_, would not vouchsafe him to inhabit and dwell in the same
citie with him? or is this a meere foolerie and senselesse conceit?

But this temple was built at the first, to be a chamber and parlour of
privie counsell for him and _Tatius_ who reigned with him; to the end that
meeting and sitting there in consultation together with the Senatours, in a
place remote from all troubles and hinderances, they might deliberate as
touching the affaires of State with ease and quietnesse.

Or rather, because _Rome_ from the very first foundation was subject to
fire by casualtie, hee thought good to honour this god of fire in some
sort, but yet to place him without the walles of the citie.


  _What is the reason, that upon their festivall day called_ Consualia,
  _they adorned with garlands of flowers as well their asses as horses, and
  gave them rest and repose for the time_?

IS it for that this solemnitie was holden in the honour of _Neptune_
surnamed _Equestris_, that is to say, the horseman? and the asse hath his
part of this joyfull feast, for the horses sake?

Or, because that after navigation and transporting of commodities by sea
was now found out and shewed to the world, there grew by that meanes (in
some sort) better rest and more ease to poore labouring beasts of draught
and carriage.


  _How commeth it to passe, that those who stood for any office and
  magistracie, were woont by an old custome (as_ Cato _hath written) to
  present themselves unto the people in a single robe or loose gowne,
  without any coat at all under it_?

WAS it for feare lest they should carrie under their robes any money in
their bosomes, for to corrupt, bribe, and buy (as it were) the voices and
suffrages of the people?

Or was it because they deemed men woorthy to beare publicke office and to
governe, not by their birth and parentage, by their wealth and riches, ne
yet by their shew and outward reputation, but by their wounds and scarres
to be seene upon their bodies. To the end therefore, that such scarres
might be better exposed to their fight whom they met or talked withall,
they went in this maner downe to the place of election, without inward
coats in their plaine gownes.

Or haply, because they would seeme by this nuditie and nakednesse of
theirs, in humilitie to debase themselves, the sooner thereby to curry
favor, and win the good grace of the commons, even as well as by taking
them by the right hand, by suppliant craving, and by humble submission on
their very knees.


  _What is the cause that the Flamen or priest of_ Jupiter, _when his wife
  was once dead, used to give up his Priesthood or Sacerdotall dignitie,
  according as_ Ateius _hath recorded in his historie_.

WAS it for that he who once had wedded a wife, and afterwards buried her,
was more infortunate, than he who never had any? for the house of him who
hath maried a wife, is entire and perfect, but his house who once had one,
and now hath none, is not onely unperfect, but also maimed and lame?

Or might it not bee that the priests wife was consecrated also to divine
service together with her husband; for many rites and ceremonies there
were, which he alone could not performe, if his wife were not present: and
to espouse a new wife immediately upon the decease of the other, were not
peradventure possible, nor otherwise would well stand with decent and
civill honesty: wherupon neither in times past was it lawful for him, nor
at this day as it should seem, is he permitted to put away his wife: and
yet in our age _Domitian_ at the request of one, gave licence so to doe: at
this dissolution and breach of wedlocke, other priests were present and
assistant, where there passed among them many strange, hideous, horrible,
and monstrous ceremonies.

But haply a man would lesse wonder at this, if ever he knew and understood
before, that when one of the Censors died, the other of necessity must
likewise quit & resigne up his office. Howbeit, when _Livius Drusus_ was
departed this life, his companion in office _Aemylius Scaurus_, would not
give over and renounce his place, untill such time as certeine Tribunes of
the people, for his contumacie commanded, that he should be had away to


  _What was the reason that the idols_ Lares, _which otherwise properly be
  called_ Præstites, _had the images of a dogge standing hard by them, and
  the_ Lares _themselves were portraied clad in dogges skinnes_?

IS it because this word _Præstites_ signifieth as much as ωροεστῶτες, that
is to say, Presidents, or standing before as keepers: and verily such
Presidents ought to be good house-keepers, and terrible unto all strangers,
like as a dogge is; but gentle and loving to those of the house.

Or rather, that which some of the Romans write is true, like as
_Chrysippus_ also the philosopher is of opinion; namely, that there be
certeine evill spirits which goe about walking up and downe in the world;
and these be the butchers and tormentors that the gods imploy to punish
unjust and wicked men: and even so these _Lares_ are held to be maligne
spirits, & no better than divels, spying into mens lives, and prying into
their families; which is the cause that they now be arraied in such
skinnes, and a dogge they have sitting hard by them, whereby thus much in
effect is given to understand, that quicke sented they are, and of great
power both to hunt out, and also to chastice leud persons.


  _What is the cause that the_ Romans _sacrifice a dogge unto the goddesse
  called_ Genita-Mana, _and withall make one praier unto her, that none
  borne in the house might ever come to good_?

IS it for that this _Genita-Mana_ is counted a _Dæmon_ or goddesse that
hath the procuration and charge both of the generation and also of the
birth of things corruptible? for surely the word implieth as much, as a
certeine fluxion and generation, or rather a generation fluent or fluxible:
and like as the Greeks sacrificed unto _Proserpina_, a dog, so do the
Romans unto that _Genita_, for those who are borne in the house. _Socrates_
also saith, that the Argives sacrificed a dogge unto _Ilithya_, for the
more easie and safe deliverance of child-birth. Furthermore, as touching
that Praier, that nothing borne within the house might ever proove good, it
is not haply meant of any persons, man or woman, but of dogges rather which
were whelped there; which ought to be, not kinde and gentle, but curst and

Or peradventure, for that they [142]that die (after an elegant maner of
speech) be named Good or quiet: under these words they covertly pray, that
none borne in the house might die. And this need not to seeme a strange
kinde of speech; for _Aristotle_ writeth, that in a certeine treatie of
peace betweene the Arcadians & Lacedemonians, this article was comprised in
the capitulations: That they should make none [143]of the Tegeates, Good,
for the aid they sent, or favour that they bare unto the Lacedæmonians; by
which was meant, that they should put none of them to death.


  _What is the reason, that in a solemne procession exhibited at the
  Capitoline plaies, they proclame (even at this day) by the voice of an
  herald, port-sale of the Sardians? and before all this solemnitie and
  pompe, there is by waye of mockerie and to make a laughing stocke, an
  olde man led in a shew, with a jewell or brooch pendant about his necke,
  such as noble mens children are woont to weare, and which they call_

IS it for that the Veientians, who in times past being a puissant State in
Tuscane, made warre a long time with _Romulus_: whose citie being the last
that he woonne by force, he made sale of many prisoners and captives,
together with their king, mocking him for his stupiditie and grosse follie.
Now for that the Tuscans in ancient time were descended from the Lydians,
and the capitall citie of _Lydia_ is _Sardis_, therefore they proclamed the
sale of the Veientian prisoners under the name of the Sardians; and even to
this day in scorne and mockerie, they reteine still the same custome.


  _Whence came it, that they call the shambles or butcherie at_ Rome _where
  flesh is to be solde_, Macellum?

IS it for that this word _Macellum_, by corruption of language is derived
of Μάγειρος, that in the Greek tonge signifieth a cooke? like as many other
words by usage and custome are come to be received; for the letter C. hath
great affinitie with G. in the Romane tongue: and long it was ere they had
the use of G. which letter _Spurius Carbillius_ first invented. Moreover,
they that maffle and stammer in their speech, pronounce ordinarily L.
instead of R.

Or this question may be resolved better by the knowledge of the Romane
historie: for we reade therein, that there was sometime a violent person
and a notorious thiefe at _Rome_, named _Macellus_, who after he had
committed many outrages and robberies, was with much ado in the end taken
and punished: and of his goods which were forfeit to the State, there was
built a publike shambles or market place to sell flesh-meats in, which of
his name was called _Macellum_.


  _Why upon the Ides of Januarie, the minstrels at_ Rome _who plaied upon
  the hautboies, were permitted to goe up and downe the city disguised in
  womens apparell_?

AROSE this fashion upon that occasion which is reported? namely, that king
_Numa_ had granted unto them many immunities and honorable priviledges in
his time, for the great devotion that hee had in the service of the gods?
and for that afterwards, the Tribunes militarie who governed the citie in
Consular authority, tooke the same from them, they went their way
discontented, and departed quite from the citie of _Rome_: but soone after,
the people had a misse of them, and besides, the priests made it a matter
of conscience, for that in all the sacrifices thorowout the citie, there
was no sound of flute or hautboies. Now when they would not returne againe
(being sent for) but made their abode in the citie _Tibur_; there was a
certeine afranchised bondslave who secretly undertooke unto the
magistrates, to finde some meanes for to fetch them home. So he caused a
sumptuous feast to be made, as if he meant to celebrate some solemne
sacrifice, and invited to it the pipers and plaiers of the hautboies
aforesaid: and at this feast he tooke order there should be divers women
also; and all night long there was nothing but piping, playing, singing and
dancing: but all of a sudden this master of the feast caused a rumor to be
raised, that his lord and master was come to take him in the maner;
whereupon making semblant that he was much troubled and affrighted, he
perswaded the minstrels to mount with all speed into close coatches,
covered all over with skinnes, and so to be carried to _Tibur_. But this
was a deceitfull practise of his; for he caused the coatches to be turned
about another way, and unawares to them; who partly for the darkenesse of
the night, and in part because they were drowsie and the wine in their
heads, tooke no heed of the way, he brought all to _Rome_ betimes in the
morning by the breake of day disguised as they were, many of them in light
coloured gownes like women, which (for that they had over-watched and
over-drunke themselves) they had put on, and knew nor therof. Then being
(by the magistrates) overcome with faire words, and reconciled againe to
the citie, they held ever after this custome every yeere upon such a day:
To go up and downe the citie thus foolishly disguised.


  _What is the reason, that it is commonly received, that certein matrons
  of the city at the first founded and built the temple of_ Carmenta, _and
  to this day honour it highly with great reverence_?

FOR it is said, that upon a time the Senat had forbidden the dames and
wives of the city to ride in coatches: whereupon they tooke such a stomacke
and were so despighteous, that to be revenged of their husbands, they
conspired altogether not to conceive or be with child by them, nor to bring
them any more babes: and in this minde they persisted still, untill their
husbands began to bethinke them selves better of the matter, and let them
have their will to ride in their coatches againe as before time: and then
they began to breede and beare children a fresh: and those who soonest
conceived and bare most and with greatest ease, founded then the temple of
_Carmenta_. And as I suppose this _Carmenta_ was the mother of _Evander_,
who came with him into _Italy_; whose right name indeed was _Themis_, or as
some say _Nicostrata_: now for that she rendred propheticall answeres and
oracles in verse, the Latins surnamed her _Carmenta_: for verses in their
tongue they call _Carmina_. Others are of opinion, that _Carmenta_ was one
of the Destinies, which is the cause that such matrons and mothers
sacrifice unto her. And the Etymologie of this name _Carmenta_, is as much
as _Carens mente_, that is to say, beside her right wits or bestraught, by
reason that her senses were so ravished and transported: so that her verses
gave her not the name _Carmenta_, but contrariwise, her verses were called
_Carmina_ of her, because when she was thus ravished and caried beside
herselfe, she chanted certeine oracles and prophesies in verse.


  _What is the cause that the women who sacrifice unto the goddesse_
  Rumina, _doe powre and cast store of milke upon their sacrifice, but no
  wine at all do they bring thither for to be drunke_?

IS it, for that the Latins in their tongue call a pap, _Ruma_? And well it
may so be, for that the wilde figge tree neere unto which the she wolfe
gave sucke with her teats unto _Romulus_, was in that respect called _Ficus
Ruminalis_. Like as therefore we name in our Greeke language those milch
nourses that suckle yoong infants at their brests, _Thelona_, being a word
derived of _Thele_, which signifieth a pap; even so this goddesse _Rumina_,
which is as much to say, as Nurse, and one that taketh the care and charge
of nourishing and rearing up of infants, admitteth not in her sacrifices
any wine; for that it is hurtfull to the nouriture of little babes and


  _What is the reason that of the Romane Senatours, some are called
  simply_, Patres; _others with an addition_, Patres conscripti?

IS it for that they first, who were instituted and ordeined by _Romulus_,
were named _Patres & Patritii_, that is to say, Gentlemen or Nobly borne,
such as we in _Greece_, tearme _Eupatrides_?

Or rather they were so called, because they could avouch and shew their
fathers; but such as were adjoined afterwards by way of supply, and
enrolled out of the Commoners houses, were _Patres conscripti_, thereupon?


  _Wherefore was there one altar common to_ Hercules _and the Muses_?

MAY it not be, that for _Hercules_ taught _Evander_ the letters, according
as _Juba_ writeth? Certes, in those daies it was accounted an honhourable
office for men to teach their kinsefolke and friends to spell letters, and
to reade. For a long time after it, and but of late daies it was, that they
began to teach for hire and for money: and the first that ever was knowen
to keepe a publicke schoole for reading, was one named _Spurius Carbilius_,
the freed servant of that _Carbilius_ who first put away his wife.


  _What is the reason, that there being two altars dedicated unto_
  Hercules, _women are not partakers of the greater, nor tast one whit of
  that which is offered or sacrificed thereupon_?

IS it, because as the report goes _Carmenta_ came not soone enough to be
assistant unto the sacrifice: no more did the family of the _Pinarij_,
whereupon they tooke that name? for in regard that they came tardie,
admitted they were not to the feast with others who made good cheere; and
therefore got the name _Pinarij_, as if one would say, pined or famished?

Or rather it may allude unto the tale that goeth of the shirt empoisoned
with the blood of _Nessus_ the Centaure, which ladie _Deianira_ gave unto


  _How commeth it to passe, that it is expresly forbidden at_ Rome, _either
  to name or to demaund ought as touching the Tutelar god, who hath in
  particular recommendation and patronage, the safetie and preservation of
  the citie of_ Rome: _nor so much as to enquire whether the said deitie be
  male or female? And verely this prohibition proceedeth from a
  superstitious feare that they have; for that they say that_ Valerius
  Soranus _died an ill death, because he presumed to utter and publish so

IS it in regard of a certaine reason that some latin historians do alledge;
namely, that there be certaine evocations and enchantings of the gods by
spels and charmes, through the power whereof they are of opinion, that they
might be able to call forth and draw away the Tutelar gods of their
enemies, and to cause them to come and dwell with them: and therefore the
Romans be afraid lest they may do as much for them? For, like as in times
past the Tyrians, as we find upon record, when their citie was besieged,
enchained the images of their gods to their shrines, for feare they would
abandon their citie and be gone; and as others demanded pledges and
sureties that they should come againe to their place, whensoever they sent
them to any bath to be washed, or let them go to any expiation to be
clensed; even so the Romans thought, that to be altogether unknowen and not
once named, was the best meanes, and surest way to keepe with their Tutelar

Or rather, as _Homer_ verie well wrote:

  _The earth to men all, is common great and small:_

That thereby men should worship all the gods, and honour the earth; seeing
she is common to them all: even so the ancient Romans have concealed and
suppresse the god or angell which hath the particular gard of their citie,
to the end that their citizens should adore, not him alone but all others


  _What is the cause that among those priests whom they name_ Fæciales,
  _signifying as much as in greeke εἰρηνοποῖοι, that is to say, Officers
  going between to make treatie of peace; or σπονδοφόροι, that is to say,
  Agents for truce and leagues, he whom they call_ Pater Patratus _is
  esteemed the chiefest? Now_ Pater Patratus _is he, whose father is yet
  living, who hath children of his owne: and in truth this chiefe Fæcial or
  Herault hath still at this day a certain prerogative, & special credit
  above the rest. For the emperours themselves, and generall captains, if
  they have any persons about them who in regard of the prime of youth, or
  of their beautifull bodies had need of a faithfull, diligent, and trustie
  guard, commit them ordinarily into the hands of such as these, for safe

IS it not, for that these _Patres Patrati_, for reverent feare of their
fathers of one side, and for modest shames to scandalize or offend their
children on the other side, are enforced to be wise and discreet?

Or may it not be, in regard of that cause which their verie denomination
doth minister and declare: for this word PATRATUS signifieth as much as
compleat, entire and accomplished, as if he were one more perfect and
absolute every way than the rest, as being so happie, as to have his owne
father living, and be a father also himselfe.

Or is it not, for that the man who hath the superintendence of treaties of
peace, and of othes, ought to see as _Homer_ saith, ἅμα πρόσω και ἐπίσω,
that is to say, before and behind. And in all reason such an one is he like
to be, who hath a child for whom, and a father with whom he may consult.


  _What is the reason, that the officer at_ Rome _called_ Rex sacrorum,
  _that is to say, the king of sacrifices, is debarred both from exercising
  any magistracie, and also to make a speech unto the people in publike

IS it for that in old time, the kings themselves in person performed the
most part of sacred rites, and those that were greater, yea and together
with the priests offered sacrifices; but by reason that they grew insolent,
proud, and arrogant, so as they became intollerable, most of the Greeke
nations, deprived them of this authoritie, and left unto them the
preheminence onely to offer publike sacrifice unto the gods: but the Romans
having cleane chased and expelled their kings, established in their stead
another under officer whom they called King, unto whom they granted the
oversight and charge of sacrifices onely, but permitted him not to exercise
or execute any office of State, nor to intermedle in publick affaires; to
the end it should be knowen to the whole world, that they would not suffer
any person to raigne at _Rome_, but onely over the ceremonies of
sacrifices, nor endure the verie name of Roialtie, but in respect of the
gods. And to this purpose upon the verie common place neere unto
_Comitium_; they use to have a solemn sacrifice for the good estate of the
citie; which so soone as ever this king hath performed, he taketh his legs
and runnes out of the place, as fast as ever he can.


  _Why suffer not they the table to be taken cleane away, and voided quite,
  but will have somewhat alwaies remaining upon it?_

GIVE they not heereby covertly to understand, that wee ought of that which
is present to reserve evermore something for the time to come, and on this
day to remember the morrow.

Or thought they it not a point of civill honesty and elegance, to represse
and keepe downe their appetite when they have before them enough still to
content and satisfie it to the full; for lesse will they desire that which
they have not, when they accustome themselves to absteine from that which
they have.

Or is not this a custome of courtesie and humanitie to their domesticall
servants, who are not so well pleased to take their victuals simply, as to
partake the same, supposing that by this meanes in some sort they doe
participate with their masters at the table.

Or rather is it not, because we ought to suffer no sacred thing to be
emptie; and the boord you wot well is held sacred.


  _What is the reason that the Bridegrome commeth the first time to lie
  with his new wedded bride, not with any light but in the darke?_

IS it because he is yet abashed, as taking her to be a stranger and not his
owne, before he hath companied carnally with her?

Or for that he would then acquaint himselfe, to come even unto his owne
espoused wife with shamefacednesse and modestie?

Or rather, like as _Solon_ in his Statutes ordeined, that the new married
wife should eat of a quince before she enter into the bride bed-chamber, to
the end that this first encounter and embracing, should not be odious or
unpleasant to her husband? even so the Romane law-giver would hide in the
obscuritie of darkenesse, the deformities and imperfections in the person
of the bride, if there were any.

Or haply this was instituted to shew how sinfull and damnable all unlawfull
companie of man and woman together is, seeing that which is lawfull and
allowed, is not without some blemish and note of shame.


  _Why is one of the races where horses use to runne, called the_ Cirque
  _or_ Flaminius.

IS it for that in old time an ancient Romane named _Flaminius_ gave unto
the citie, a certeine piece of ground, they emploied the rent and revenues
thereof in runnings of horses, and chariots: and for that there was a
surplussage remaining of the said lands, they bestowed the same in paving
that high way or causey, called _Via Flaminia_, that is to say, _Flaminia_


  _Why are the Sergeants or officers who carie the knitches of rods before
  the magistrates of_ Rome, _called_ Lictores.

IS it because these were they who bound malefactors, and who followed after
_Romulus_, as his guard, with cords and leather thongs about them in their
bosomes? And verily the common people of _Rome_ when they would say to
binde or tie fast, use the word _Alligare_, and such as speake more pure
and proper Latin, _Ligare_.

Or is it, for that now the letter _C_ is interjected within this word,
which before time was _Litores_, as one would say Λειτοῦργοι, that is to
say, officers of publike charge; for no man there is in a maner, ignorant,
that even at this day in many cities of _Greece_, the common-wealth or
publicke state is written in their lawes by the name of Λῆτον:


  _Wherefore doe the_ Luperci _at_ Rome _sacrifice a Dogge? Now these_
  Luperci _are certeine persons who upon a festivall day called_
  Lupercalia, _runne through the citie all naked, save that they have
  aprons onely before their privy parts, carying leather whippes in their
  hands, wherewith they flappe and scourge whomsoever they meet in the

IS all this ceremoniall action of theirs a purification of the citie?
whereupon they call the moneth wherein this is done _Februarius_, yea, and
the very day it selfe _Febraten_, like as the maner of squitching with a
leather scourge _Februare_, which verbe signifieth as much as to purge or

And verily the Greeks, in maner all, were wont in times past, and so they
continue even at this day, in all their expiations, to kill a dogge for
sacrifice. Unto _Hecate_ also they bring foorth among other expiatorie
oblations, certeine little dogges or whelpes: such also as have neede of
clensing and purifying, they wipe and scoure all over with whelpes skinnes,
which maner of purification they tearme _Periscylacismos_.

Or rather is it for that _Lupus_ signifieth a woolfe, & _Lupercalia_, or
_Lycæa_, is the feast of wolves: now a dogge naturally, being an enemie to
woolves, therefore at such feasts they sacrificed a dogge.

Or peradventure, because dogges barke and bay at these _Luperci_, troubling
and disquieting them as they runne up and downe the city in maner

Or else last of all, for that this feast and sacrifice is solemnized in the
honor of god _Pan_; who as you wot well is pleased well enough with a
dogge, in regard of his flocks of goates.


  _What is the cause that in auncient time_, _at the feast called_
  Septimontium, _they observed precisely not to use any coaches drawen with
  steeds, no more than those doe at this day, who are observant of old
  institutions and doe not despise them. Now this_ Septimontium _is a
  festivall solemnity, celabrated in memoriall of a seventh mountaine, that
  was adjoined and taken into the pourprise of_ Rome _citie, which by this
  meanes came to have seven hilles enclosed within the precinct thereof_?

WHETHER was it as some Romans doe imagine, for that the city was not as yet
conjunct and composed of all her parts? Or if this may seeme an impertinent
conjecture, and nothing to the purpose: may it not be in this respect, that
they thought they had atchieved, a great piece of worke, when they had thus
amplified and enlarged the compasse of the citie, thinking that now it
needed not to proceed any further in greatnesse and capacitie: in
consideration whereof, they reposed themselves, and caused likewise their
labouring beasts of draught and cariage to rest, whose helpe they had used
in finishing of the said enclosure, willing that they also should enjoy in
common with them, the benefit of that solemne feast.

Or else we may suppose by this, how desirous they were that their citizens
should solemnize and honour with their personall presence all feasts of the
citie, but especially that which was ordeined and instituted for the
peopling and augmenting thereof: for which cause they were not permitted
upon the day of the dedication, and festival memorial of it, to put any
horses in geeres or harnesse for to draw; for that they were not at such a
time to ride forth of the citie.


  _Why call they those who are deprehended or taken in theft, pilferie or
  such like servile trespasses_, Furciferos, _as one would say, Fork

IS not this also an evident argument of the great diligence and carefull
regard that was in their ancients? For when the maister of the family had
surprised one of his servants or slaves, committing a lewd and wicked
pranck, he commaunded him to take up and carrie upon his necke betweene his
shoulders a forked piece of wood, such as they use to put under the spire
of a chariot or waine, and so to go withall in the open view of the world
throughout the street, yea and the parish where he dwelt, to the end that
every man from thence forth should take heed of him. This piece of wood we
in Greeke call στήριγμα, and the Romanes in the Latin tongue _Furca_, that
is to say, a forked prop or supporter: and therefore he that is forced to
carie such an one, is by reproch termed _Furcifer_.


  _Wherefore use the_ Romans _to tie a wisp of hey unto the hornes of kine,
  and other beefes, that are woont to boak and be curst with their heads,
  that by the meanes thereof folke might take heed of them, and looke
  better to themselves when they come in their way_?

IS it not for that beefes, horses, asses, yea and men become fierce,
insolent, and dangerous, if they be highly kept and pampered to the full?
according as _Sophocles_ said:

  _Like as the colt or jade doth winse and kick,
  In case he find his provender to prick:
  Even so do'st thou: for lo, thy paunch is full
  Thy cheeks be puft, like to some greedie gull._

And thereupon the Romans gave out, that _Marcus Crassus_ caried hey on his
horne: for howsoever they would seeme to let flie and carpe at others, who
dealt in the affaires of State, and government, yet beware they would how
they commersed with him as being a daungerous man, and one who caried a
revenging mind to as many as medled with him. Howbeit it was said
afterwards againe on the other side, that _Cæsar_ had plucked the hey from
_Crassus_ his horne: for he was the first man that opposed himselfe, and
made head against him in the management of the State, and in one word set
not a straw by him.


  _What was the cause that they thought those priests who observed
  bird-flight, such as in old time they called_ Aruspices, _and now a
  daies_ Augures, _ought to have their lanterns and lamps alwaies open, and
  not to put any lid or cover over them_?

MAY it not be, that like as the old Pythagorean Philosophers by small
matters signified and implied things of great consequence, as namely, when
they forbad their disciples to sit upon the measure Chænix; and to stirre
fire, or rake the hearth with a sword; euen so the ancient Romans used many
ænigmes, that is to say, outward signes and figures betokening some hidden
and secret mysteries; especially with their priests in holy and sacred
things, like as this is of the lampe or lanterne, which symbolizeth in some
sort the bodie that containeth our soule. For the soule within resembleth
the light, and it behooveth that the intelligent and reasonable part
thereof should be alwaies open, evermore intentive and seeing, and at no
time enclosed and shut up, nor blowen upon by wind. For looke when the
winds be aloft, fowles in their flight keepe no certaintie, neither can
they yeeld assured presages, by reason of their variable and wandering
instabilitie: and therefore by this ceremoniall custome they teach those
who do divine and fortell by the flight of birds, not to go forth for to
take their auspices and observations when the wind is up, but when the aire
is still, and so calme, that a man may carie a lanterne open and uncovered.


  _Why were these Southsaiers or Augures forbidden to go abroad, for to
  observe the flight of birds, in case they had any sore or ulcer upon
  their bodies?_

WAS not this also a significant token to put them in minde, that they ought
not to deale in the divine service of the gods, nor meddle with holy and
sacred things if there were any secret matter that gnawed their minds, or
so long as any private ulcer or passion setled in their hearts: but to be
void of sadnesse and griefe, to be sound and sincere, and not distracted by
any trouble whatsoever?

Or, because it standeth to good reason; that if it be not lawfull nor
allowable for them to offer unto the gods for an oast or sacrifice any
beast that is scabbed, or hath a sore upon it, nor to take presage by the
flight of such birds as are maungie, they ought more strictly and precisely
to looke into their owne persons in this behalfe, and not to presume for to
observe celestiall prognostications and signes from the gods, unlesse they
be themselves pure and holy, undefiled, and not defective in their owne
selves: for surely an ulcer seemeth to be in maner of a mutilation and
pollution of the bodie.


  _Why did king_ Servius Tullus _found and build a temple of little Fortune
  which they called in Latine_ Brevis fortunæ, _that is to say, of Short

WAS it not thinke you in respect of his owne selfe, who being at the first
of a small and base condition, as being borne of a captive woman, by the
favour of Fortune grew to so great an estate that he was king of _Rome_?

Or for that this change in him sheweth rather the might and greatnesse,
than the debilitie and smallnesse of Fortune. We are to say, that this king
_Servius_ deified Fortune, & attributed unto her more divine power than any
other, as having entituled and imposed her name almost upon every action:
for not onely he erected temples unto Fortune, by the name of Puissant, of
Diverting ill lucke, of Sweet, Favourable to the first borne and masculine;
but also there is one temple besides, of private or proper Fortune; another
of Fortune returned; a third of confident Fortune and hoping well; and a
fourth of Fortune the virgine. And what should a man reckon up other
surnames of hers, seeing there is a temple dedicated (forsooth) to glewing
Fortune, whom they called _Viscata_; as if we were given thereby to
understand, that we are caught by her afarre off, and even tied (as it
were) with bird-lime to businesse and affaires.

But consider this moreover, that he having knowen by experience what great
power she hath in humane things, how little soever she seeme to be, and how
often a small matter in hapning or not hapning hath given occasion to some,
either to misse of great exploits, or to atcheive as great enterprises,
whether in this respect, he built not a temple to little Fortune, teaching
men thereby to be alwaies studious, carefull and diligent, and not to
despise any occurrences how small soever they be.


  _What is the cause that they never put foorth the light of a lampe, but
  suffered it to goe out of the owne accord?_

WAS it not (thinke you) uppon a certeine reverent devotion that they bare
unto that fire, as being either cousen germaine, or brother unto that
inextinguible and immortall fire.

Or rather, was it not for some other secret advertisment, to teach us not
to violate or kill any thing whatsoever that hath life, if it hurt not us
first; as if fire were a living creature: for need it hath of nourishment
and moveth of it selfe: and if a man doe squench it, surely it uttereth a
kinde of voice and scricke, as if a man killed it.

Or certeinly this fashion and custome received so usually, sheweth us that
we ought not to marre or spoile, either fire or water or any other thing
necessarie, after we our selves have done with it, and have had sufficient
use thereof, but to suffer it to serve other mens turnes who have need,
after that we ourselves have no imploiment for it.


  _How commeth it to passe that those who are defended of the most noble
  and auncient houses of_ Rome, _caried little moones upon their shoes_.

IS this (as _Castor_ saith) a signe of the habitation which is reported to
be within the bodie of the moone?

Or for that after death, our spirits and ghosts shall have the moone under

Or rather, because this was a marke or badge proper unto those who were
reputed most ancient, as were the Arcadians descended from _Evander_, who
upon this occasion were called _Proseleni_, as one would say, borne before
the moone?

Or, because this custome as many others, admonisheth those who are lifted
up too high, and take so great pride in themselves, of the incertitude and
instabilitie of this life, and of humane affaires, even by the example of
the moone,

  _Who at the first doth new and yoong appeere,
  Where as before she made no shew at all;
  And so her light increaseth faire and cleere,
  Untill her face be round and full withall:
  But then anon she doth begin to fall,
  And backward wane from all this beautie gay,
  Untill againe she vanish cleane away._

Or was not this an holsome lesson and instruction of obedience, to teach
and advise men to obey their superiors, & not to thinke much for to be
under others: but like as the moone is willing to give eare (as it were)
and apply her selfe to her better, content to be ranged in a second place,
and as _Parmenides_ saith,

  _Having aneie and due regard
  Alwaies the bright Sun beames toward;_

even so they ought to rest in a second degree, to follow after, and be
under the conduct and direction of another, who sitteth in the first place,
and of his power, authority and honor, in some measure to enjoy a part.


  _Why think they the yeeres dedicated to_ Jupiter, _and the moneths to_

MAY it not be for that of Gods invisible and who are no other wise seene
but by the eies of our understanding: those that reigne as princes be
_Jupiter_ and _Juno_; but of the visible, the Sun and Moone? Now the Sun is
he who causeth the yeere, and the Moone maketh the moneth. Neither are we
to thinke, that these be onely and simply the figures and images of them:
but beleeve we must, that the materiall Sun which we behold, is _Jupiter_,
and this materiall Moone, _Juno_. And the reason why they call her _Juno_,
(which word is as much to say as yoong or new) is in regarde of the course
of the Moone: and otherwhiles they surname her also _Juno-Lucina_, that is
to say; light or shining: being of opinion that she helpeth women in
travell of child-birth, like as the Moone doth, according to these verses:

  _By starres that turne full round in Azur skie:
  By Moone who helps child-births right speedily._

For it seemeth that women at the full of the moone be most easily delivered
of childbirth.


  _What is the cause that in observing bird-flight, that which is presented
  on the [144]left hand is reputed lucky and prosperous?_

IS not this altogether untrue, and are not many men in an errour by
ignorance of the equivocation of the word _Sinistrum_, & their maner of
Dialect; for that which we in Greeke call ἀριστερον, that is to say, on the
auke or left hand, they say in Latin, _Sinistrum_; and that which
signifieth to permit, or let be, they expresse by the verbe _Sinere_, and
when they will a man to let a thing alone, they say unto him, _Sine_;
whereupon it may seeme that this word _Sinistrum_ is derived. That
presaging bird then, which permitteth and suffreth an action to be done,
being as it were _Sinisterion_; the vulgar sort suppose (though not aright)
to be _Sinistrum_, that is to say, on the left hand, and so they tearme it.

Or may it not be rather as _Dionysius_ saith, for that when _Ascanius_ the
sonne of _Aeneas_ wanne a field against _Mezentius_ as the two armies stood
arranged one affronting the other in battel ray, it thundred on his left
hand; and because thereupon he obteined the victory, they deemed even then,
that this thunder was a token presaging good, and for that cause observed
it, ever after so to fall out. Others thinke that this presage and
foretoken of good lucke hapned unto _Aeneas_: and verily at the battell of
_Leuctres_, the Thebanes began to breake the ranks of their enemies, and to
discomfit them with the left wing of their battel, and thereby in the end
atchieved a brave victorie; whereupon ever after in all their conflicts,
they gave preference and the honour of leading and giving the first charge,
to the left wing.

Or rather, is it not as _Juba_ writeth, because that when we looke toward
the sunne rising, the North side is on our left hand, and some will say,
that the North is the right side and upper part of the whole world.

But consider I pray you, whether the left hand being the weaker of the
twaine, the presages comming on that side, doe not fortifie and support the
defect of puissance which it hath, and so make it as it were even and
equall to the other?

Or rather considering that earthly and mortall things they supposing to be
opposite unto those that be heavenly and immortall, did not imagine
consequently, that whatsoever was on the left in regard of us, the gods
sent from their right side.


  _Wherefore was it lawfull at_ Rome, _when a noble personage who sometime
  had entred triumphant into the city, was dead, and his corps burnt (as
  the maner was) in a funerall fire, to take up the reliques of his bones,
  to carie the same into the city, and there to strew them, according as_
  Pyrrho _the Lyparean hath left in writing_.

WAS not this to honour the memorie of the dead? for the like honourable
priviledge they had graunted unto other valiant warriors and brave
captaines; namely, that not onely themselves, but also their posteritie
descending lineally from them, might be enterred in their common market
place of the city, as for example unto _Valerius_ and _Fabricius_: and it
is said, that for to continue this prerogative in force, when any of their
posteritie afterwards were departed this life, and their bodies brought
into the market place accordingly, the maner was, to put a burning torch
under them, and doe no more but presently to take it away againe; by which
ceremonie, they reteined still the due honour without envie, and confirmed
it onely to be lawfull if they would take the benefit thereof.


  _What is the cause that when they feasted at the common charges, any
  generall captaine who made his entrie into the citie with triumph, they
  never admitted the_ Consuls _to the feast; but that which more is, sent
  unto them before-hand messengers of purpose, requesting them not to come
  unto the supper_?

WAS it for that they thought it meet and convenient to yeeld unto the
triumpher, both the highest place to sit in, and the most costly cup to
drinke out of, as also the honour to be attended upon with a traine home to
his house after supper? which prerogatives no other might enjoy but the
Consuls onely, if they had beene present in the place.


  _Why is it that the_ Tribune _of the commons onely, weareth no embrodered
  purple robe, considering that all other magistrates besides doe weare the

IS it not, for that they (to speak properly) are no magistrates? for in
truth they have no ushers or vergers to carie before them the knitches of
rods, which are the ensignes of magistracie; neither sit they in the chaire
of estate called _Sella curulis_, to determine causes judicially, or give
audience unto the people; nor enter into the administration of their office
at the beginning of the yeere, as all other magistrates doe: neither are
they put downe and deposed after the election of a Dictatour: but whereas
the full power and authoritie of all other magistrates of State, he
transferred from them upon himselfe: the Tribunes onely of the people
continue still, and surcease not to execute their function, as having
another place and degree by themselves in the common-weale: and like as
some oratours and lawiers doe hold, that exception in law is no action,
considering it doth cleane contrary to action; for that action intendeth,
commenseth, and beginneth a processe or sute; but exception or inhibition,
dissolveth, undooeth, and abolisheth the same: semblably, they thinke also,
that the Tribunate was an empeachment, inhibition, and restraint of a
magistracie, rather than a magistracie it selfe: for all the authority and
power of the Tribune, lay in opposing himselfe, and eroding the
jurisdiction of other magistrates, and in diminishing or repressing their
excessive and licentious power.

Or haply all these reasons and such like, are but words, and devised
imaginations to mainteine discourse: but to say a trueth, this Tribuneship
having taken originally the first beginning from the common people, is
great and mighty in regard that it is popular; and that the Tribunes
themselves are not proud nor highly conceited of themselves above others,
but equall in apparell, in port, fare, and maner of life, to any other
citizens of the common sort: for the dignity of pompe and outward shew,
apperteineth to a Consull or a Prætour: as for the Tribune of the people,
he ought to be humble and lowly, and as _M. Curio_ was woont to say; ready
to put his hand under every mans foot; not to carie a loftie, grave, and
stately countenance, nor to bee hard of accesse, nor strange to be spoken
with, or dealt withall by the multitude; but howsoever he behave himselfe
to others, he ought to the simple and common people, above the rest, for to
be affable, gentle, and tractable: and heereupon the maner is, that the
dore of his house should never be kept shut, but stand open both day and
night, as a safe harbour, sure haven, and place of refuge, for all those
who are distressed and in need: and verilie the more submisse that he is in
outward appeerance, the more groweth hee and encreaseth in puissance; for
they repute him as a strong hold for common recourse and retrait, unto al
comers, no lesse than an altar or priviledged sanctuary. Moreover, as
touching the honour that he holdeth by his place, they count him holy,
sacred, and inviolable, insomuch as if he doe but goe foorth of his house
abroad into the citie, and walke in the street,[145] the maner was of all,
to clense and sanctifie the body, as if it were steined and polluted.


  _What is the reason that before the Prætors, generall Captaines and head
  Magisrates, there be caried bundels of roddes, together with hatchets or
  axes fastned unto them?_

IS it to signifie, that the anger of the magistrate ought not to be prompt
to execution, nor loose and at libertie?

Or, because that to undoe and unbinde the said bundels, yeeldeth some time
and space for choler to coole, and ire to asswage, which is the cause
otherwhiles that they change their mindes, and doe not proceed to

Now forasmuch as among the faults that men commit, some are curable, others
remedilesse: the roddes are to reforme those who may be amended; but the
hatchets to cut them off who are incorrigible.


  _What is the cause that the Romanes having intelligence given vnto them,
  that the Bletonesians, a barbarous nation, had sacrificed unto their
  gods, a man; sent for the magistrates peremptorily, as intending to
  punish them: but after they once understood, that they had so done
  according to an ancient law of their countrey, they let them go againe
  without any hurt done unto them; charging them onely, that from thence
  foorth they should not obey such a law; and yet they themselves, not many
  yeeres before, had caused for to be buried quicke in the place, called
  the Beast Market, two men and two women, that is to say, two Greekes, and
  two Gallo-Greekes or Galatians? For this seemeth to be verie absurd, that
  they themselves should do those things, which they reprooved in others as

MAY it not be that they judged it an execrable superstition, to sacrifice a
man or woman unto the gods, marie unto divels they held it necessarie?

Or was it not for that they thought those people, who did it by a law or
custome, offended highly: but they themselves were directed thereto by
expresse commaundement out of the bookes of _Sibylla_. For reported it is,
that one of their votaries or Vestall nunnes named _Helbia_, riding on
horse-backe, was smitten by a thunderbolt or blast of lightning; and that
the horse was found lying along all bare bellied, and her selfe likewise
naked, with her smocke and petticote turned up above her privie parts, as
if she had done it of purpose: her shooes, her rings, her coife and head
attire cast here and there apart from other things, and withall lilling the
toong out of her head. This strange occurrent, the soothsayers out of their
learning interpreted to signifie, that some great shame did betide the
sacred virgins, that should be divulged and notoriously knowen; yea, and
that the same infamie should reach also as far, as unto some of the degree
of gentlemen or knights of _Rome_. Upon this there was a servant belonging
unto a certeine Barbarian horseman, who detected three Vestal virgins to
have at one time forfeited their honor, & been naught of their bodies, to
wit, _Aemilia_, _Licinia_, & _Martia_; and that they had companied too
familiarly with men a long time; and one of their names was _Eutetius_, a
Barbarian knight, and master to the said enformer. So these vestall
Votaries were punished after they had beene convicted by order of law, and
found guiltie: but after that this seemed a fearfull and horrible accident:
ordeined it was by the Senate, that the priests should peruse over the
bookes of _Sibyllaes_ prophesies, wherein were found (by report) those very
oracles which denounced and foretold this strange occurrent, and that it
portended some great losse and calamitie unto the common-wealth: for the
avoiding and diverting whereof, they gave commaundement to abandon unto (I
wot not what) maligne and divelish strange spirits, two Greekes, and two
Galatians likewise; and so by burying them quicke in that verie place, to
procure propitiation at Gods hands.


  _Why began they their day at midnight?_

WAS it not, for that all policie at the first had the beginning of
militarie discipline? and in war, and all expeditions the most part of
woorthy exploits are enterprised ordinarily in the night before the day

Or because the execution of desseignes, howsoever it begin at the sunne
rising; yet the preparation thereto is made before day-light: for there had
need to be some preparatives, before a worke be taken in hand; and not at
the verie time of execution, according as _Myson_ (by report) answered unto
_Chilo_, one of the seven sages, when as in the winter time he was making
of a van.

Or haply, for that like as we see, that many men at noone make an end of
their businesse of great importance, and of State affaires; even so, they
supposed that they were to begin the same at mid-night. For better proofe
whereof a man may frame an argument hereupon, that the Roman chiefe ruler
never made league, nor concluded any capitulations and covenants of peace
after mid-day.

Or rather this may be, because it is not possible to set downe
determinately, the beginning and end of the day, by the rising and setting
of the sunne: for if we do as the vulgar sort, who distinguish day and
night by the sight and view of eie, taking the day then to begin when the
sunne ariseth; and the night likewise to begin when the sunne is gone
downe, and hidden under our horizon, we shall never have the just Aequinox,
that is to say, the day and night equall: for even that verie night which
we shall esteeme most equall to the day, will proove shorter than the day,
by as much as the body or biggenesse of the sunne containeth. Againe, if we
doe as the Mathematicians, who to remedie this absurditie and
inconvenience, set downe the confines and limits of day and night, at the
verie instant point when the sunne seemeth to touch the circle of the
horizon with his center; this were to overthrow all evidence: for fall out
it will, that while there is a great part of the sunnes light yet under the
earth (although the sunne do shine upon us) we will not confesse that it is
day, but say, that it is night still. Seeing then it is so hard a matter to
make the beginning of day and night, at the rising or going downe of the
sunne, for the absurdities abovesaid, it remaineth that of necessitie we
take the beginning of the day to be, when the sunne is in the mids of the
heaven above head, or under our feet, that is to say, either noon-tide or
mid-night. But of twaine, better it is to begin when he is in the middle
point under us, which is just midnight, for that he returneth then toward
us into the East; whereas contrariwise after mid-day he goeth from us


  _What was the cause that in times past they would not suffer their wives,
  either to grinde corne, or to lay their hands to dresse meat in the

WAS it in memoriall of that accord and league which they made with the
Sabines? for after that they had ravished & carried away their daughters,
there arose sharpe warres betweene them: but peace ensued thereupon in the
end; in the capitulations whereof, this one article was expresly set downe,
that the Roman husband might not force his wife, either to turne the querne
for to grinde corne, nor to exercise any point of cookerie.


  _Why did not the Romans marie in the moneth of May?_

IS it for that it commeth betweene Aprill and June? whereof the one is
consecrated unto _Venus_, and the other to _Juno_, who are both of them the
goddesses which have the care and charge of wedding and marriages, and
therefore thinke it good either to go somewhat before, or else to stay a
while after.

Or it may be that in this moneth they celebrate the greatest expiatorie
sacrifice of all others in the yeere? for even at this day they fling from
off the bridge into the river, the images and pourtraitures of men, whereas
in old time they threw downe men themselves alive? And this is the reason
of the custome now a daies, that the priestresse of _Juno_ named _Flamina_,
should be alwaies sad and heavie, as it were a mourner, and never wash nor
dresse and trim her selfe.

Or what and if we say, it is because many of the Latine nations offered
oblations unto the dead in this moneth: and peradventure they do so,
because in this verie moneth they worship _Mercurie_: and in truth it
beareth the name of _Maja_, _Mercuries_ mother.

But may it not be rather, for that as some do say, this moneth taketh that
name of _Majores_, that is to say, ancients: like as June is termed so of
_Juniores_, that is to say yonkers. Now this is certaine that youth is much
meeter for to contract marriage than old age: like as _Euripides_ saith
verie well:

  _As for old age it_ Venus _bids farewell,
  And with old folke_, Venus _is not pleasd well_.

The Romans therefore maried not in May, but staied for June which
immediatly followeth after May.


  _What is the reason that they divide and part the haire of the new brides
  head, with the point of a javelin?_

IS not this a verie signe, that the first wives whom the Romans espoused,
were compelled to mariage, and conquered by force and armes.

Or are not their wives hereby given to understand, that they are espoused
to husbands, martiall men and soldiers; and therefore they should lay away
all delicate, wanton, and costly imbelishment of the bodie, and acquaint
themselves with simple and plaine attire; like as _Lycurgus_ for the same
reason would that the dores, windowes, and roofes of houses should be
framed with the saw and the axe onely, without use of any other toole or
instrument, intending thereby to chase out of the common-weale all
curiositie and wastfull superfluitie.

Or doth not this parting of the haires, give covertly to understand, a
division and separation, as if mariage & the bond of wedlock, were not to
be broken but by the sword and warlike force?

Or may not this signifie thus much, that they referred the most part of
ceremonies concerning mariage unto _Juno_: now it is plaine that the
javelin is consecrated unto _Juno_, insomuch as most part of her images and
statues are portraied resting and leaning upon a launce or or javelin. And
for this cause the goddesse is surnamed _Quiritis_, for they called in old
time a speare _Quiris_, upon which occasion _Mars_ also (as they say) is
named _Quiris_.


  _What is the reason that the monie emploied upon plates and publike
  shewes is called among them, Lucar?_

MAY it not well be that there were many groves about the citie consecrated
unto the gods, which they named _Lucos_: the revenues whereof they bestowed
upon the setting forth of such solemnities?


  _Why call they_ Quirinalia, _the Feast of fooles_?

WHETHER it is because (as _Juba_ writeth) they attribute this day unto
those who knew not their owne linage and tribe? or unto such as have not
sacrificed, as others have done according to their tribes, at the feast
called _Fornacalia_. Were it that they were hindred by other affaires, or
had occasion to be forth of the citie, or were altogether ignorant, and
therefore this day was assigned for them, to performe the said feast.


  _What is the cause, that when they sacrifice unto_ Hercules, _they name
  no other God but him, nor suffer a dog to be seene, within the purprise
  and precinct of the place where the sacrifice is celebrated, according
  as_ Varro _hath left in writing_?

IS not this the reason of naming no god in their sacrifice, for that they
esteeme him but a demigod; and some there be who hold, that whiles he lived
heere upon the earth, _Evander_ erected an altar unto him, and offered
sacrifice thereupon. Now of all other beasts he could worst abide a dog,
and hated him most: for this creature put him to more trouble all his life
time, than any other: witnesse hereof, the three headed dog _Cerberus_, and
above all others, when _Oeonus_ the sonne of _Licymnius_ was slaine [146]by
a dog, he was enforced by the Hippocoontides to give the battell, in which
he lost many of his friends, and among the rest his owne brother


  _Wherefore was it not lawfull for the Patricians or nobles of_ Rome _to
  dwell upon the mount Capitoll_?

MIGHT it not be in regard of _M. Manlius_, who dwelling there attempted and
plotted to be king of _Rome_, and to usurpe tyrannie; in hatred and
detestation of whom, it is said, that ever after those of the house of
_Manlij_, might not have _Marcus_ for their fore-name?

Or rather was not this an old feare that the Romans had (time out of mind)?
For albeit _Valerius Poplicola_ was a personage verie popular and well
affected unto the common people; yet never ceased the great and mightie men
of the citie to suspect and traduce him, nor the meane commoners and
multitude to feare him, untill such time as himselfe caused his owne house
to be demolished and pulled down, because it seemed to overlooke and
commaund the common market place of the citie.


  _What is the reason, that he who saved the life of a citizen in the
  warres, was rewarded with a coronet made of oake braunches?_

WAS it not for that in everie place and readily, they might meet with an
oake, as they marched in their warlike expeditions.

Or rather, because this maner of garland is dedicated unto _Jupiter_ and
_Juno_, who are reputed protectors of cities?

Or might not this be an ancient custome proceeding from the Arcadians, who
have a kind of consanguinitie with oakes, for that they report of
themselves, that they were the first men that issued out of the earth, like
as the oake of all other trees.


  _Why observe they the Vultures or Geirs, most of any other fowles, in
  taking of presages by bird-flight?_

IS it not because at the foundation of _Rome_, there appeared twelve of
them unto _Romulus_? Or because, this is no ordinarie bird nor familiar;
for it is not so easie a matter to meete with an airie of Vultures; but all
on a sudden they come out of some strange countrey, and therefore the fight
of them doth prognosticke and presage much.

Or else haply the Romains learned this of _Hercules_, if that be true which
_Herodotus_ reporteth: namely, that _Hercules_ tooke great contentment,
when in the enterprise of any exploit of his, there appeared Vultures unto
him: for that he was of opinion, that the Vulture of all birds of prey was
the justest: for first and formost never toucheth he ought that hath life,
neither killeth hee any living creature, like as eagles, falcons, hauks,
and other fowles do, that prey by night, but feedeth upon dead carrions:
over and besides, he forbeareth to set upon his owne kind: for never was
there man yet who saw a Vulture eat the flesh of any fowle, like as eagles
and other birds of prey do, which chase, pursue and plucke in pieces those
especially of the same kind, to wit, other fowle. And verily as _Aeschylus_
the poet writeth:

  _How can that bird, which bird doth eat,
  Be counted cleanly, pure and neat._

And as for men, it is the most innocent bird, and doth least hurt unto them
of all other: for it destroieth no fruit nor plant whatsoever, neither doth
it harme to any tame creature. And if the tale be true that the Aegyptians
doe tell, that all the kinde of these birds be females; that they conceive
and be with yoong, by receiving the East-wind blowing upon them, like as
some trees by the Western wind, it is verie profitable that the signes and
prognosticks drawen from them, be more sure and certaine, than from any
others, considering that of all, besides their violence in treading and
breeding time; their eagernesse in flight when they pursue their prey;
their flying away from some, and chasing of others, must needs cause much
trouble and uncertaintie in their prognostications.


  _Why stands the temple of_ Aesculapius _without the citie of_ Rome?

IS it because they thought the abode without the citie more holesome, than
that within? For in this regard the Greekes ordinarily built the temples of
_Aesculapius_ upon high ground, wherein the aire is more pure and cleere.

Or in this respect, that this god _Aesculapius_ was sent for out of the
citie _Epidaurus_. And true it is that the Epidaurians founded his temple;
not within the walles of their city, but a good way from it.

Or lastly, for that the serpent when it was landed out of the galley in the
Isle, and then vanished out of sight, seemed thereby to tell them where he
would that they should build the place of his abode.


  _Why doth the law forbid them that are to live chaste, the eating of

AS touching beanes, is it not in respect of those very reasons for which it
is said: That the Pythagoreans counted them abominable? And as for the
richling and rich pease, whereof the one in Greeke is called λάθυρος and
the other ἐρεβινθος which words seeme to be derived of _Erebus_, that
signifieth the darknesse of hell, and of _Lethe_, which is as much as
oblivion, and one besides of the rivers infernall, it carieth some reason
that they should be abhorred therfore.

Or it may be, for that the solemne suppers and bankets at funerals for the
dead, were usually served with pulse above all other viands.

Or rather, for that those who are desirous to be chaste, and to live an
holy life, ought to keepe their bodies pure and slender; but so it is that
pulse be flateous and windy, breeding superfluous excrements in the body,
which had need of great purging and evacuation.

Or lastly, because they pricke and provoke the fleshly lust, for that they
be full of ventosities.


  _What is the reason that the Romans punish the holy Vestall Virgins (who
  have suffered their bodies to be abused and defiled) by no other meanes,
  than by interring them quicke under the ground?_

IS this the cause, for that the maner is to burne the bodies of them that
be dead: and to burie (by the meanes of fire) their bodies who have not
devoutly and religiously kept or preserved the divine fire, seemed not just
nor reasonable?

Or haply, because they thought it was not lawfull to kill any person who
had bene consecrated with the most holy and religious ceremonies in the
world; nor to lay violent hands upon a woman consecrated: and therefore
they devised this invention of suffering them to die of their owne selves;
namely, to let them downe into a little vaulted chamber under the earth,
where they left with them a lampe burning, and some bread, with a little
water and milke: and having so done, cast earth and covered them aloft. And
yet for all this, can they not be exempt from a superstitious feare of them
thus interred: for even to this day, the priests going over this place,
performe (I wot not what) anniversary services and rites, for to appease
and pacifie their ghosts.


  _What is the cause that upon the thirteenth day of December, which in
  Latine they call the_ Ides _of December, there is exhibited a game of
  chariots running for the prize, and the horse drawing on the right hand
  that winneth the victorie, is sacrificed and consecrated unto_ Mars, _and
  at the time thereof, there comes one behinde, that cutteth off his taile,
  which he carrieth immediatly into the temple called_ Regia, _and
  therewith imbrueth the altar with blood: and for the head of the said
  horse, one troupe there is comming out of the street called_ Via sacra,
  _and another from that which they name_ Suburra, _who encounter and trie
  out by fight who shall have it_?

MAY not the reason be (as some doe alledge) that they have an opinion, how
the citie of _Troy_ was sometime woon by the meanes of a woodden horse; and
therefore in the memoriall thereof, they thus punished a poore horse?

  _As men from blood of noble_ Troy _descended
  And by the way with_ Latins _issue blended_.

Or because an horse is a couragious, martiall and warlike beast; and
ordinarily, men use to present unto the gods those Sacrifices which are
most agreeable unto them, and sort best with them: and in that respect,
they sacrifice that horse which wan the prize, unto _Mars_, because
strength and victorie are well beseeming him.

Or rather because the worke of God is firme and stable: those also be
victorious who keepe their ranke and vanquish them, who make not good their
ground but fly away. This beast therefore is punished for running so swift,
as if celeritie were the maintenance of cowardise: to give us thereby
covertly to understand, that there is no hope of safetie for them who seeke
to escape by flight.


  _What is the reason that the first worke which the Censors go in hand
  with, when they be enstalled in the possession of their magistracie, is
  to take order upon a certaine price for the keeping and feeding of the
  sacred geese, and to cause the painted statues and images of the gods to
  be refreshed?_

WHETHER is it because they would begin at the smallest things, and those
which are of least dispense and difficultie?

Or in commemoration of an ancient benefit received by the meanes of these
creatures, in the time of the Gaules warre: for that the geese were they
who in the night season descried the Barbarians as the skaled and mounted
the wall that environed the Capitol fort (where as the dogs slept) and with
their gagling raised the watch?

Or because, the Censors being guardians of the greatest affaires, and
having that charge and office which enjoyneth to be vigilant and carefull
to preserve religion; to keepe temples and publicke edifices; to looke into
the manners and behaviour of men in their order of life; they set in the
first place the consideration and regard of the most watchfull creature
that is: and in shewing what care they take of these geese, they incite and
provoke by that example their citizens, not to be negligent and retchlesse
of holy things. Moreover, for refreshing the colour of those images and
statues, it is a necessarie piece of worke; for the lively red vermilion,
wherewith they were woont in times past to colour the said images, soone
fadeth and passeth away.


  _What is the cause that among other priests, when one is condemned and
  banished, they degrade and deprive him of his priesthood, and choose
  another in his place: onely an Augur, though he be convicted and
  condemned for the greatest crimes in the world, yet they never deprive in
  that sort so long as he liveth? Now those priests they call Augurs, who
  observe the flights of birds, and foreshewed things thereby._

IS it as some do say, because they would not have one that is no priest, to
know the secret mysteries of their religion and their sacred rites?

Or because the Augur being obliged and bound by great oaths, never to
reveale the secrets pertaining to religion, they would not seeme to free
and absolve him from his oath by degrading him, and making him a private

Or rather, for that this word Augur, is not so much a name of honor and
magistracie, as of arte and knowledge. And all one it were, as if they
should seeme to disable a musician for being any more a musician; or a
physician, that he should bee a physician no longer; or prohibit a prophet
or soothsayer, to be a prophet or soothsayer: for even so they, not able to
deprive him of his sufficiency, nor to take away his skill, although they
bereave him of his name and title, do not subordaine another in his place:
and by good reason, because they would keepe the just number of the ancient


  _What is the reason that upon the thirteenth day of August, which now is
  called the Ides of August, and before time the Ides of_ Sextilis, _all
  servants as well maids, as men make holy-day and women that are wives
  love then especially to wash and cleanse their heads_?

MIGHT not this be a cause, for that king _Servius_ upon such a day was
borne of a captive woman, and therefore slaves and bond-servants on that
day have libertie to play and disport themselves? And as for washing the
head; haply at the first the wenches began so to do in regard of that
festivall day, and so the custome passed also unto their mistresses and
other women free borne?


  _Why do the Romanes adorne their children with jewels pendant at their
  necks, which they call_ Bullæ?

PERADVENTURE to honor the memorie of those first wives of theirs, whom they
ravished: in favour of whom they ordained many other prerogatives for the
children which they had by them, and namely this among the rest?

Or it may be, for to grace the prowesse of _Tarquinius_? For reported it is
that being but a verie child, in a great battell which was fought against
the Latines and Tuskanes together, hee rode into the verie throng of his
enemies, and engaged himselfe so farre, that being dismounted and unhorsed;
yet notwithstanding he manfully withstood those who hotly charged upon him,
and encouraged the Romanes to stand to it, in such sort as the enemies by
them were put to plaine flight, with the losse of 16000. men whom they left
dead in the place: and for a reward of this vertue and valour, received
such a jewell to hang about his necke, which was given unto him by the king
his father.

Or else, because in old time it was not reputed a shamfull and villanous
thing, to love yoong boyes wantonly, for their beauty in the flowre of
their age, if they were slaves borne, as the Comedies even at this day do
testifie: but they forbare most precisely, to touch any of them who were
free-borne or of gentle blood descended. To the end therefore man might not
pretend ignorance in such a case, as if they knew not of what condition any
boyes were, if they mette with them naked, they caused them to weare this
badge and marke of nobilitie about their neckes.

Or peradventure, this might be also as a preservative unto them of their
honor, continence and chastitie, as one would say, a bridle to restraine
wantonnesse and incontinencie, as being put in mind thereby to be abashed
to play mens parts, before they had laid off the marks and signes of
childhood. For there is no apparance or probabilitie, of that which _Varro_
alledgeth, saying: That because the Aeolians in their Dialect do call
Βουλη, that is to say, Counsell, Βολλα, therefore such children for a signe
and presage of wisdome and good counsell, carried this jewell, which they
named _Bulla_.

But see whether it might not be in regard of the moone that they weare this
device? for the figure of the moone when shee is at the full, is not round
as a bal or boule, but rather flat in maner of a lentill or resembling a
dish or plate; not onely on that side which appeareth unto us, but also (as
_Empedocles_ saith) on that part which is under it.


  _Wherefore gave they fore-names to little infants, if they were boies
  upon the ninth day after their birth, but if they were girls, when they
  were eight daies olde?_

MAY there not be a naturall reason rendred hereof, that they should impose
the names sooner upon daughters than sonnes: for that females grow apace,
are quickly ripe, and come betimes unto their perfection in comparison of
males; but as touching those precise daies, they take them that immediatly
follow the seventh: for that the seventh day after children be borne is
very dangerous, as well for other occasions, as in regard of the
navill-string: for that in many it will unknit and be loose againe upon the
seventh day, and so long as it continueth so resolved and open, an infant
resembleth a plant rather than any animall creature?

Or like as the Pythagoreans were of opinion, that of numbers the even was
female and the odde, male; for that it is generative, and is more strong
than the even number, because it is compound: and if a man divide these
numbers into unities, the even number sheweth a void place betweene,
whereas the odde, hath the middle alwaies fulfilled with one part thereof:
even so in this respect they are of opinion, that the even number eight,
resembleth rather the female and the even number nine, the male.

Or rather it is because of all numbers, nine is the first square comming of
three, which is an odde and perfect number: and eight the first cubick, to
wit foure-square on every side like a die proceeding from two, an even
number: now a man ought to be quadrat odde (as we say) and singular, yea
and perfect: and a woman (no lesse than a die) sure and stedfast, a keeper
of home, and not easily removed. Heereunto we must adjoyne thus much more
also, that eight is a number cubick, arising from two as the base and foot:
and nine is a square quadrangle having three for the base: and therefore it
seemeth, that where women have two names, men have three.


  _What is the reason, that those children who have no certeine father,
  they were woont to tearme_ Spurios?

FOR we may not thinke as the Greeks holde, and as oratours give out in
their pleas, that this word _Spurius_, is derived of _Spora_, that is to
say, naturall seed, for that such children are begotten by the seed of many
men mingled and confounded together.

But surely this _Spurius_, is one of the ordinary fore-names that the
Romans take, such as _Sextus_, _Decimus_, and _Caius_. Now these fore-names
they never use to write out at full with all their letters, but marke them
sometime with one letter alone, as for example, _Titus_, _Lucius_, and
_Marcius_, with _T_, _L_, _M_; or with twaine, as _Spurius_ and _Cneus_,
with _Sp._ and _Cn._ or at most with three as _Sextus_ & _Servius_, with
_Sex._ and _Ser._ _Spurius_ then is one of their fore-names which is noted
with two letters _S._ and _P._ which signifieth asmuch, as _Sine Patre_,
that is to say, without a father; for _S._ standeth for _Sine_, that is to
say, without; and _P._ for _patre_, that is to say a father. And heereupon
grew the error, for that _Sine patre_, and _Spurius_ be written both with
the same letters short, _Sp._ And yet I will not sticke to give you another
reason, though it be somewhat fabulous, and carieth a greater absurdity
with it: forsooth they say that the Sabines in olde time named in their
language the nature or privities of a woman, _Sporios_, and thereupon
afterwards as it were by way of reproch, they called him _Spurius_, who had
to his mother a woman unmaried and not lawfully espoused.


  _Why is_ Bacchus _called with them_, Liber Pater?

IS it for that he is the authour and father of all liberty unto them who
have taken their wine well; for most men become audacious and are full of
bolde and franke broad speech, when they be drunke or cup-shotten?

Or because he it is that ministred libations first, that is to say, those
effusions and offrings of wine that are given to the gods?

Or rather (as _Alexander_ said) because the Greeks called _Bacchus,
Dionysos Eleuthereus_, that is to say, _Bacchus_ the Deliverer: and they
might call him so, of a city in _Bœotia_, named _Eleutheræ_.


  _Wherefore was it not the custome among the Romans, that maidens should
  be wedded upon any dates of their publicke feasts; but widdowes might be
  remarried upon those daies?_

WAS it for that (as _Varro_ saith) virgins be [147]ill-apaid and heavie
when they be first wedded; but such as were wives before, [148]be glad and
joyfull when they marrie againe? And upon a festivall holiday there should
be nothing done with an ill will or upon constraint.

Or rather, because it is for the credit and honour of young damosels, to be
maried in the view of the whole world; but for widowes it is a dishonour
and shame unto them, to be seene of many for to be wedded a second time:
for the first marriage is lovely and desireable; the second, odious and
abominable: for women, if they proceed to marrie with other men whiles
their former husbands be living, are ashamed thereof; and if they be dead,
they are in mourning state of widowhood: and therefore they chuse rather to
be married closely and secretly in all silence, than to be accompanied with
a long traine and solemnity, and to have much adoe and great stirring at
their marriage. Now it is well knowen that festivall holidaies divert and
distract the multitude divers waies, some to this game and pastime, others
to that; so as they have no leisure to go and see weddings.

Or last of all, because it was a day of publicke solemnitie, when they
first ravished the Sabines daughters: an attempt that drew upon them,
bloudy warre, and therefore they thought it ominous and presaging evill, to
suffer their virgins to wed upon such holidaies.


  _Why doe the Romans honour and worship Fortune, by the name of_
  Primigenia, _which a man may interpret First begotten or first borne_?

IS it for that (as some say) _Servius_ being by chance borne of a
maid-servant and a captive, had Fortune so favourable unto him, that he
reigned nobly and gloriously, king at _Rome_? For most Romans are of this

Or rather, because Fortune gave unto the city of _Rome_ her first originall
and beginning of so mightie an empire.

Or lieth not herein some deeper cause, which we are to fetch out of the
secrets of Nature and Philosophie; namely, that Fortune is the principle of
all things, insomuch, as Nature consisteth by Fortune; namely, when to some
things concurring casually and by chance, there is some order and dispose


  _What is the reason that the Romans call those who act comedies and other
  theatricall plaies_, Histriones?

IS it for that cause, which as _Claudius Rufus_ hath left in writing? for
he reporteth that many yeeres ago, and namely, in those daies when _Cajus
Sulpitius_ and _Licinius Stolo_ were Consuls, there raigned a great
pestilence at _Rome_, such a mortalitie as comsumed all the stage plaiers
indifferently one with another. Whereupon at their instant praier and
request, there repaired out of _Tuscane_ to _Rome_, many excellent and
singular actours in this kinde: among whom, he who was of greatest
reputation, and had caried the name longest in all theaters, for his rare
gift and dexteritie that way, was called _Hister_; of whose name all other
afterwards were tearmed _Histriones_.


  _Why espoused not the Romans in mariage those women who were neere of kin
  unto them?_

WAS it because they were desirous to amplifie and encrease their alliances,
and acquire more kinsfolke, by giving their daughters in mariage to others,
and by taking to wife others than their owne kinred?

Or for that they feared in such wedlock the jarres and quarrels of those
who be of kin, which are able to extinguish and abolish even the verie
lawes and rights of nature?

Or else, seeing as they did, how women by reason of their weaknesse and
infirmitie stand in need of many helpers, they would not have men to
contract mariage, nor dwell in one house with those who were neere in blood
to them, to the end, that if the husband should offer wrong and injurie to
his wife, her kinsfolke might succour and assist her.


  _Why is it not lawfull for_ Jupiters _priest, whom they name_ Flamen
  Dialis _to handle or once touch meale or leaven_.

FOR meale, is it not because it is an unperfect and raw kind of
nourishment? for neither continueth it the same that it was, to wit, wheat,
&c. nor is that yet which it should be, namely bread: but hath lost that
nature which it had before of seed, and withall hath not gotten the use of
food and nourishment. And hereupon it is, that the poet calleth meale (by a
Metaphor or borrowed speech) _Mylephaton_, which is as much to say, as
killed and marred by the mill in grinding: and as for leaven, both it selfe
is engendered of a certaine corruption of meale, and also corrupteth (in a
maner) the whole lumpe of dough, wherein it is mixed: for the said dough
becommeth lesse firme and fast than it was before, it hangeth not together;
and in one word the leaven of the paste seemeth to be a verie putrifaction
and rottennesse thereof. And verely if there be too much of the leaven put
to the dough, it maketh it so sharpe and soure that it cannot be eaten, and
in verie truth spoileth the meale quite.


  _Wherefore is the said priest likewise forbidden to touch raw flesh?_

IS it by this custome to withdraw him farre from eating of raw things?

Or is it for the same cause that he abhorreth and detesteth meale? for
neither is it any more a living animall, nor come yet to be meat: for by
boiling and rosting it groweth to such an alteration, as changeth the verie
forme thereof: whereas raw flesh and newly killed is neither pure and
impolluted to the eie, but hideous to see to; and besides, it hath (I wot
not what) resemblance to an ougly sore or filthie ulcer.


  _What is the reason that the Romans have expresly commaunded the same
  priest or_ Flamen _of_ Jupiter, _not onely to touch a dogge or a goat,
  but not so much as to name either of them_?

TO speake of the Goat first, is it not for detestation of his excessive
lust and lecherie; and besides for his ranke and filthie savour? or because
they are afraid of him, as of a diseased creature and subject to maladies?
for surely, there seemeth not to be a beast in the world so much given to
the falling sicknesse, as it is; nor infecteth so soone those that either
eat of the flesh or once touch it, when it is surprised with this evill.
The cause whereof some say to be the streightnesse of those conduits and
passages by which the spirits go and come, which oftentimes happen to be
intercepted and stopped. And this they conjecture by the small and slender
voice that this beast hath; & the better to continue the same, we do see
ordinarily, that men likewise who be subject to this malady, grow in the
end to have such a voice as in some sort resembleth the bleating of goats.
Now, for the Dog, true it is haply that he is not so lecherous, nor
smelleth altogether so strong and so ranke as doth the Goat; and yet some
there be who say, that a Dog might not be permitted to come within the
castle of _Athens_, nor to enter into the Isle of _Delos_, because forsooth
he lineth bitches openly in the sight of everie man, as if bulls, boares,
and stalions had their secret chambers, to do their kind with females, and
did not leape and cover them in the broad field and open yard, without
being abashed at the matter.

But ignorant they are of the true cause indeed: which is, for that a Dog is
by nature fell, and quarelsome, given to arre and warre upon a verie small
occasion: in which respect men banish them from sanctuaries, holy churches,
and priviledged places, giving thereby unto poore afflicted suppliants,
free accesse unto them for their safe and sure refuge. And even so verie
probable it is, that this _Flamen_ or priest of _Jupiter_ whom they would
have to be as an holy, sacred, and living image for to flie unto, should be
accessible and easie to be approached unto by humble suters, and such as
stand in need of him, without any thing in the way to empeach, to put
backe, or to affright them: which was the cause that he had a little bed or
pallet made for him, in the verie porch or entrie of his house; and that
servant or slave, who could find meanes to come and fall downe at his feet,
and lay hold on his knees was for that day freed from the whip, and past
danger of all other punishment: say he were a prisoner with irons, and
bolts at his feet that could make shift to approch neere unto this priest,
he was let loose, and his gives and fetters were throwen out of the house,
not at the doore, but flung over the verie roofe thereof.

But to what purpose served all this, and what good would this have done,
that he should shew himselfe so gentle, so affable, and humane, if he had a
curst dog about him to keepe his doore, and to affright, chase and scarre
all those away who had recourse unto him for succour. And yet so it is,
that our ancients reputed not a dog to be altogether a clean creature: for
first and formost we doe not find that he is consecrated or dedicated unto
any of the celestial gods; but being sent unto terrestrial & infernall
_Proserpina_ into the quarrefires and crosse high waies to make her a
supper, he seemeth to serve for an expiatorie sacrifice to divert and turne
away some calamitie, or to cleanse some filthie ordure, rather than
otherwise: to say nothing, that in _Lacedæmon_, they cut and slit dogs down
along the mids, and so sacrifice them to _Mars_ the most bloody god of all
others. And the Romanes themselves upon the feast _Lupercalia_, which they
celebrate in the lustrall moneth of Purification, called February, offer up
a dog for a sacrifice: and therefore it is no absurditie to thinke, that
those who have taken upon them to serve the most soveraigne and purest god
of all others, were not without good cause forbidden to have a dog with
them in the house, nor to be acqainted and familiar with him.


  _For what cause was not the same priest of_ Jupiter _permitted, either to
  touch an ivie tree, or to passe thorow a way covered over head with a
  vine growing to a tree, and spreading her branches from it_?

IS not this like unto these precepts of _Phythagoras_: Eat not your meat
from a chaire: Sit not upon a measure called _Chœnix_: Neither step thou
over a broome or [149]besoome. For surely none of the Pythagoreans feared
any of these things, or made scruple to doe, as these words in outward
shew, and in their litterall sense do pretend: but under such speeches they
did covertly and figuratively forbid somewhat else: even so this precept:
Go not under a vine, is to be referred unto wine, and implieth this much;
that it is not lawfull for the said Priest to be drunke; for such as over
drinke themselves, have the wine above their heads, and under it they are
depressed and weighed downe, whereas men and priests especially ought to be
evermore superiors and commanders of this pleasure, and in no wise to be
subject unto it. And thus much of the vine.

As for the ivie, is it not for that it is a plant that beareth no fruit,
nor any thing good for mans use: and moreover is so weake, as by reason of
that feeblenesse it is not able to sustaine it selfe, but had need of other
trees to support and beare it up: and besides, with the coole shadowe that
it yeelds, and the greene leaves alwaies to be seene, it dazeleth, and as
it were bewitcheth the eies of many that looke upon it: for which causes,
men thought that they ought not to nourish or entertaine it about an house,
because it bringeth no profit; nor suffer it to claspe about any thing,
considering it is so hurtfull unto plants that admit it to creepe upon
them, whiles it sticketh fast in the ground: and therefore banished it is
from the temples and sacrifices of the celestiall gods, and their priests
are debarred from using it: neither shall a man ever see in the sacrifices
or divine worship of _Juno_ at _Athens_, nor of _Venus_ at _Thebes_, any
wilde ivie brought out of the woods. Mary at the sacrifices and services of
_Bacchus_, which are performed in the night and darknesse, it is used.

Or may not this be a covert and figurative prohibition, of such blind
dances and fooleries in the night, as these be, which are practised by the
priests of _Bacchus_? for those women which are transported with these
furious motions of _Bacchus_, runne immediately upon the ivie, and catching
it in their hands, plucke it in pieces, or else chew it betweene their
teeth; in so much as they speake not altogether absurdly, who say, that
this ivie hath in it a certaine spirit that stirreth and mooveth to
madnesse; turneth mens mindes to furie; driveth them to extasies; troubleth
and tormenteth them; and in one word maketh them drunke withoute wine, and
doth great pleasure unto them, who are otherwise disposed and enclined of
themselves to such fanaticall ravishments of their wit and understanding.


  _What is the reason that these Priests and Flamins of_ Jupiter _were not
  allowed, either to take upon them, or to sue for any government of State,
  but in regard that they be not capable of such dignities, for honour sake
  and in some sort to make some recompense for that defect, they have an
  usher or verger before them carrying a knitch of rods, yea and a curall
  chaire of estate to sit upon_?

IS it for the same cause, that as in some cities of _Greece_, the
sacerdotall dignitie was equivalent to the royall majestie of a king, so
they would not chuse for their priests, meane persons and such as came next
to hand.

Or rather, because Priests having their functions determinate and certaine,
and the kings, undeterminate and uncertaine, it was not possible, that when
the occasions and times of both concurred together at one instant, one and
the same person should be sufficient for both: for it could not otherwise
be, but many times when both charges pressed upon him and urged him at
ones, he should pretermit the one or the other, and by that meanes one
while offend and fault in religion toward God, and anotherwhile do hurt
unto citizens and subjects.

Or else, considering, that in governments among men, they saw that there
was otherwhiles no lesse necessitie than authority; and that he who is to
rule a people (as _Hippocrates_ said of a physician, who seeth many evill
things, yea and handleth many also) from the harmes of other men, reapeth
griefe and sorrow of his owne: they thought it not in policy good, that any
one should sacrifice unto the gods, or have the charge and superintendence
of sacred things; who had been either present or president at the
judgements and condemnations to death of his owne citizens; yea and
otherwhiles of his owne kinsfolke and allies, like as it befell sometime to



_Edinburgh and London_


_Crown 8vo Volumes, Printed on Hand-made Paper,
with Wide Margins and Uncut Edges, done
up in Japanese Vellum Wrappers._

Issued under the general Editorship of


  I. _CUPID AND PSYCHE_: The Most Pleasant and Delectable Tale of the
  Marriage of Cupid and Psyche. Done into English by WILLIAM ADLINGTON, of
  University College in Oxford. With a Discourse on the Fable by ANDREW
  LANG, late of Merton College in Oxford. Frontispiece by W. B. RICHMOND,
  and W. H. POLLOCK. (lxxxvi. 66 pp.) 1887. _Out of print._

  II. _EUTERPE_: The Second Book of the Famous History of Herodotus.
  Englished by B. R. 1584. Edited by ANDREW LANG, with Introductory Essays
  on the Religion and the Good Faith of Herodotus. Frontispiece by A. W.
  TOMSON; and Verses by the EDITOR and GRAHAM R. TOMSON. (xlviii. 174 pp.)
  1888. 10_s._ _Out of print._

    "Mr Lang deserves no small thanks from all who love the quaint and
    delightful stories of Kings and their tombs, of gods and their temples,
    told to Herodotus by the priests of Egypt, and by him to the
    world."—_The Spectator._

    "It is not necessary to quote or point out the best of the many good
    things which will be found in 'B. R.'s' translation of 'Euterpe.' To
    begin it is to read it to the end."—_The Saturday Review._

  out of the auncient writers, a work first compiled in the Indian tongue.
  Englished out of Italian by THOMAS NORTH, Brother to the Right Honorable
  Sir ROGER NORTH, Knight, Lord NORTH of Kyrtheling, 1570. Now again edited
  and induced by JOSEPH JACOBS, together with a Chronologico-Biographical
  Chart of the translations and adaptations of the Sanskrit Original, and
  an Analytical Concordance of the Stories. With a full-page Illustration
  by EDWARD BURNE JONES, A.R.A., Frontispiece from a 16th century MS. of
  the Anvari Suhaili, and facsimiles of Woodcuts in the Italian Doni of
  1532. (lxxxii. 264 pp.) 1888. The few remaining copies, 12_s._

    "We have nothing but praise to bestow upon this reprint, which forms
    the latest volume of Mr. Nutt's delightful 'Bibliothèque de
    Carabas.'... With its scholarly disquisition and its lovely paper and
    type, the book makes an appeal which will, in many quarters at least,
    be irresistible."—_Notes and Queries._

  IV-V. _THE FABLES OF ÆSOP_, as first printed by W. CAXTON in 1484. Now
  again edited and induced by J. JACOBS. With Introductory Verse by Mr.
  ANDREW LANG. 2 Vols. 1890. £1, 1_s._

  Verse, with Dissertations on the Myth of Attis, on the Origin of
  Tree-Worship, and on the Galliambic Metre. By GRANT ALLEN, B.A., formerly
  Postmaster of Merton College, Oxford. (xvi. 154 pp.) 1892. 7_s._ 6_d._


  [1] Livy, x. 47, 7, _Ep._ 11; Val. Max., I. viii. 2; Strabo, xii. p. 567;
      Ovid, _F._, i. 291; _M._, xv. 622; Oros, iii. 22; Lactant., _Inst._,
      II. vii. 13; Arnob., vii. 44; Augustin, _C. D._, iii. 17; Aurel.
      Vict., _De V. Ill._, 25; Dion., v. 13; Pliny, _N. H._, 29, 16.

  [2] Schrader, _Prehistoric Antiquities of the Aryan Peoples_, p. 162.

  [3] _Religionsgeschichte_, ii. 203.

  [4] Meyer, _Indogermanische Mythen_, ii. p. 612.

  [5] Marquardt, _Römische Staatsverwaltung_^2, iii. p. 2.

  [6] Mommsen, _History of Rome_, i. 173.

  [7] _Ibid._; _cf._ Roscher, _Lexikon_, s.v. _Ianus_.

  [8] Rochholz, _Deutscher Glaube_, ii. 136.

  [9] Wuttke, _Deutscher Volksaberglaube_^2, § 57.

 [10] _Ibid._, § 177, 388.

 [11] _Ibid._, § 395; _cf._ Pliny, _N. H._, 28, 86.

 [12] Marquardt, iii. 6.

 [13] De la Saussaye, ii. 203.

 [14] Marquardt, p. 7.

 [15] De la Saussaye, i. 53.

 [16] Marquardt, p. 6.

 [17] _Folk-Lore_, vol. ii. p. 235.

 [18] Marquardt, p. 25.

 [19] "Chez les Chinois _Ti_ est bien et uniquement la terre ... qui n'a
      aucun personalité, aucun aspect anthropologique."—De Rialle,
      _Mythologie Comparée_, i. 235. As in Rome, so in China, though the
      sky advanced to the rank of a spirit, the earth remained a fetich.

 [20] Preller, _R. M._, i. 1 and 2, points out that Italian mythology is
      "quite different" from the Greek; that it is only in "a certain
      sense" that there can be said to be a Roman mythology; that it is a
      very different thing from Greek, Hindoo, Persian, Teutonic, and
      Scandinavian mythology; that the Romans had not advanced far in
      personifying and individualising their gods, and consequently could
      not develop much mythology. Finally, Italian religion was "far less
      widely removed" from the primitive Aryan belief than Greek religion
      and mythology were.

 [21] Livy, ii. 21; Dion., vi. i.

 [22] Mommsen, _Hist. of Rome_, i. 482 _ff._

 [23] According to Schwegler, _Röm. Gesch._, i. 354-383, Εὔανδρος is simply
      Greek for _Faunus_ = _Favinus_, "the benevolent" or "good" god. _Cf._
      Fauna = Bona Dea.

 [24] "Rapi ... similatur virgo ex gremio matris ... cum ad virum trahitur,
      quod videlicet ea res feliciter Romulo cessit."—Festus, s.v. _rapi_.

 [25] _E.g._, among the Esthonians, Finns, Wotjaks, Mordwins, Vedic
      Hindoos, and Bohemians.

 [26] For the use of the sword, axe, or dagger to keep off evil spirits
      from a wedding, see Schroeder, _Hochzeitsbräuche der Ester_, 99-102.

 [27] For the sacredness of the head especially, see the _Golden Bough_, i.

 [28] The myth, as given by Plutarch, is to be found also in Livy, i. 9;
      Serv. ad Æn., vi. 55; and in Varro, quoted by Festus, p. 351. The
      word occurs in Martial, i. 35. 6 and 7; iii. 93. 25; xii. 42. 4, 95.
      5 (Friedländer says nothing), and Catullus, lxi. 134 (Robinson Ellis
      has nothing to say).

 [29] Hartley, _Science of Fairy Tales_, pp. 279-281, for examples. The
      tale of Servius is also told by Ovid, _F._, vi. 577.

 [30] It is interesting to note that two hundred years ago Boxhorn, in
      commenting on this passage of Plutarch, laid down a fundamental
      proposition of the science of folk-lore:—"Mortales cum inquirerent in
      caussas rerum, nec invenirent, pro libitu suo verisimiles sunt
      commenti. Sic ut fabulæ proponerentur tanquam caussæ rerum, cum res
      ipsæ essent causeæ fabularum." See his edition of the _Roman
      Questions_, printed in vol. v. of the _Thesaurus_ of Grævius (Lugd.,
      Batavor, 1696).

 [31] _Ethnology in Folk-Lore_, pp. 120 _ff._ Mr. Gomme, however, argues
      that the fear of dead kindred was borrowed by the Aryans from the
      non-Aryan inhabitants of Europe. But why may not the pro-ethnic
      Aryans, as well as other savages, have had, at one stage of their
      development, a fear of dead kindred?

 [32] My authorities for the customs quoted in the next few pages are
      (unless special references are given) Wuttke, _Deutsche
      Volksaberglaube_, §§ 725-756; Rochholz, _Deutscher Glaube und
      Brauch_, ii. pp. 170-173; and De Rialle, _Mythologie Comparée_, i. p.

 [33] Weinhold, _Altnord. Leben_, 476.

 [34] The Lares are thus represented on a coin of the gens Cæsia. See
      Cohen, _Méd. Cons._, pl. viii, _Cæsia_.

 [35] Ovid, _F._, v. 129-147.

 [36] De la Saussaye, _Religionsgeschichte_, i. 281.

 [37] Wuttke, § 755.

 [38] Waldron's _Isle of Man_, p. 103.

 [39] _Encyc. Britan._, art. "Sacrifice."

 [40] Frazer, _G. B._, i. 239.

 [41] _Daoine Shie_ or _Sluagh Maith_.

 [42] Frazer, i. 122.

 [43] De Rialle, i. 190.

 [44] See _The Secret Commonwealth_ by Mr. Robert Kirk, Minister of
      Aberfoyle, 1691.

 [45] See Saupe's edition of the _Indiculus_, p. 9.

 [46] Servius on Georg., i. 302, and Prudent, _c. Symm._, ii. 444.

 [47] Frazer, ii. 332.

 [48] Preller, _R. M._^3, ii. 198.

 [49] Cic. _de Div._, i. 18, 36; Plut. _Ti. Gracch._, i. A similar story is
      related of D. Laelius, _Jul. Op. seq._ 58.

 [50] _H. N._, xxix. 72.

 [51] _C. I. L._, i. 603.

 [52] We have no direct evidence of this, but we may infer it from the
      analogous case of Dius Fidius:—"Qui per Dium Fidium iurare vult,
      prodire solet in compluvium."—Non. Marc., p. 494, quoting Varro. The
      temples of Dius Fidius had a hole specially made in the roof
      ("perforatum tectum," Varro, _L. L._ v. 66), under which one might
      swear. Probably the temples of Hercules were similarly provided;
      certainly those of Terminus were ("exiguum templi tecta foramen
      habent."—Ov. _F._ ii. 672).

 [53] Reifferscheid, in the _Annali dell' Instituto_ for 1867, p. 352
      _ff._, identifies Hercules with the _genius Jovis_. But, in the first
      place, this seems to me the wrong inference from his own facts, which
      all have exclusively to do with the _genii virorum_. Next, the
      _genius Jovis_ is not known before B.C. 58. Schwegler, before
      Reifferscheid, noticed that in Gellius, xi. 6. 1, "der römische
      Hercules erscheint als identisch mit dem genius der Männer."—_R. G._,
      i. 367 _n._

 [54] Roscher's arguments to show that Juno is the moon are not
      satisfactory. He assumes without proof that Juno was always Lucina
      (whereas Lucina was an independent spirit worshipped in woods,
      _Lexikon_, pp. 583 and 602), that Lucina was the moon (whereas she is
      the spirit that brings children to light, and is not = Luna), that
      the Italians connected the moon with child-birth (which, as Birt
      says, lacks proof), that the name _Juno_ indicates a light-giving
      deity (whereas, though from the root *Div, it does not imply the
      giving of light any more than _deus_ does, which is applied to the
      _di manes_, the _di indigetes_, _dea bona_, _dea dia_, &c.). The
      arguments drawn by Roscher from works of art are untrustworthy,
      because borrowing is specially probable in their case. Finally, the
      hypothesis of a Græco-Italian period, on which Roscher relies to
      prove that Juno = Hera = the moon, is now discredited.

 [55] In B.C. 361 an Aius Locutius was produced (Liv. v. 32. 6, 50. 6, 52.
      11); in 211 a Rediculus Tutanus (Festus s.v.); in or after 269 a
      spirit of silver coin, Argentinus (August., _C. D._ iv. 21 and 28);
      but no spirit was forthcoming for gold coin, which was first struck
      in B.C. 217. See further Roscher's _Lexikon_, s.v. _Indigitamenta_.

 [56] So called "quod marem effuso semine liberat."—Augustin, _C. D._ vii.

 [57] Finally, with regard to _Matuta_, the very remarkable fact recorded
      in _Romane Questions_, 17, that people prayed to her not for any
      blessings to their own children, but for their nephews only
      (brothers' or sisters' children), immediately suggests that we have
      here an indication that the Nair type of family was once known in
      Italy. But the indication, being isolated, has perhaps not much

 [58] She occurs in the following series:—Fluvionia, Mena, Vitumnus,
      Sentinus, Alemona, Nova, Decima, Partula, Carmenta, Lucina, for which
      see S. August., _C. D._ vii. 3; Tertull., _De An._ 37, and _Ad Nat._
      ii. 11.

 [59] Liv. v. 47; Dion. Hal. i. 32; Serv. on Æn. viii. 337; W. Becker,
      _Handb. d. röm. Altert._, i. 137.

 [60] Derived probably from Varro, _R. R._ II. xi. 5.

 [61] Livy, i. 45. 3; Dionys., iv. 25; Aur. Vict., _De Vir. Ill._, vii. 9.

 [62] As Preller does, _R. M._^3, i. 313.

 [63] _e.g._, _C. I. L._ vi. 656, 658, &c.

 [64] _C. I. L._, vii. 451.

 [65] Grimm, _D. M._^4, iii. 104; _cf._ Gummere, _Germanic Origins_, 383.
      "Special influence over cattle is ascribed to wood-spirits" (_Golden
      Bough_, i. 105).

 [66] Gummere, p. 387; _cf._ Bugge, _Studien_, p. 393 _ff._

 [67] _Golden Bough_, i. 187 _ff._

 [68] _Ibid._, 188. The date of the rite was 13th August; _cf._ Auson., _De
      Fer. Rom._, 6; Martial, 12, 67, 2. The asylum for runaway slaves
      afforded by the temple finds a folk-lore explanation in a
      folk-etymology. "Ædem Dianæ dedicaverit in Aventino, cuius tutelæ
      sint cervi, a quo celeritate fugitivos vocent cervos" (Festus, p.
      343^a, 7, s.v. _Servorum dies_). Birt (Roscher's _Lexikon_, i. 1008)
      seems to take this explanation seriously; but the temple on the
      Aventine was precisely the temple in which the goddess of _cervi_ was
      not worshipped. Possibly the right of asylum was conferred on the
      temple as part of the political changes brought about by the
      formation of the Latin confederacy, for this temple was the religious
      centre of the Latin alliance, "Commune Latinorum Dianæ templum"
      (Varro, _L. L._ v. 43). Hence, then, the folk-story that Servius
      Tullius, "natus servus" (Festus, _l.c._), built the temple and gave
      it the right of asylum.

 [69] For the full list see Marquardt, 328-331.

 [70] _Golden Bough_, i. 37 _ff._

 [71] _Ibid._, i. 39.

 [72] _Golden Bough_, ch. ii.

 [73] _Röm. Mythol._^3, i. 201.

 [74] Kæmpfer, _History of Japan_, quoted by Mr. Frazer, i. 110.

 [75] Kæmpfer, _History of Japan_, quoted by Mr. Fraser, i. 110.

 [76] With _Q. R._, 111, _cf._ _Golden Bough_, i. 207; with _Q. R._, 112,
      _cf._ _G. B._, i. 183; and generally see i. 117.

 [77] _G. B._, i. 130.

 [78] For instances see Hartland, _Science of Fairy Tales_, pp. 272-274.

 [79] Momms., _R. H._, i. 25.

 [80] _Ibid._, i. 60.

 [81] _G. B._, i. 170. I may point out that in some parts of Europe these
      taboos still survive. For six weeks after delivery, the young mother
      is forbidden to enter a strange house, or go shopping, or draw water
      from a well, or walk over a sowed field (Grimm, _D. M._^4, iii. pp.
      435, 464, Nos. 35, 844, 845). The Esthonians also regard a new-born
      child as tabooed, and indirect contact with it as dangerous (_Ibid._,
      p. 488, No. 28). For the death-dealing qualities of women, _cf._
      Burchard von Worms, _Samlung der Decrete_, Coln, 1548, p. 201_a_
      (quoted by Grimm, iii. 410). Amongst the Eskimo, as amongst the
      Germans, the young mother is forbidden to leave the house for six
      weeks (Reclus, _Primitive Folk_, 36); she is also tabooed by the
      Badagas of the Neilgherrie Hills (_Ibid._, 192).

 [82] Hartland, _S. of F. T._, p. 93 _ff._ for instances.

 [83] "Make of it an image in his likeness (_i.e._, of Namtar, the plague);
      apply (the image) to the living flesh of his body (_i.e._, of the
      sick man). May the malevolent Namtar who possesses him pass into the
      image" (Lenormant, _Chaldæan Magic_, p. 51). The Buddhists of Ceylon
      cure disease in exactly the same way (J. Roberts, _Oriental
      Illustrations of Scripture_, p. 171).

 [84] _Cf._ C. F. Gordon Cumming, _Two Happy Years in Ceylon_, i. p. 278,
      "The astrologer is called in to preside at baby's 'rice feast,' when
      some grains of rice are first placed in its month. He selects for the
      little one a name which is compounded from the name of the ruling
      planet of that moment. This name he tells only to the father, who
      whispers it low in baby's ear—no one else must know it, and, like the
      Chinese 'infantile name,' this  'rice name'  is never used lest
      sorcerers should hear it and be able to work malignant spells."

 [85] For instances see _Folk Lore_, iii. 137. The Romans themselves
      fettered the image of Saturnus (Macrob., i. 8. 5; Stat. Silv., i. 6.
      4; Arnob., iv. 24; Minuc. Fel., c. 22. 5).

 [86] _Chemnitzer Rockenphilosophie_, 16 and 325 (Grimm, _D. M._^4, iii.
      435 and 445).

 [87] The classical references are: Festus, p. 143 and 385; Dionys., i. 38;
      Ov., _F._, i. 56, iii. 791, v. 62 _ff._; Varro, _L. L._, vii. 44;
      Paul. Diac., p. 15; Lact, I. i. 21. 6; Macrob., i. 5. 10, and 11. 47;
      Prudent. _C. Symmach._, ii. 295; Cicero _pro Roscio Am._, 35. 100;
      Catull., xvii. 8. 23; Non. Marc., p. 358b.; Liv. i. 21, iv. 12. The
      modern literature: first and foremost and final, Mannhardt, _Wald-
      und Feldkulte_, p. 265 _ff._, whose explanation is adopted in
      Roscher's _Lexikon_; further, Preller, _Röm. M._^3, ii. 135 _ff._;
      Marquardt, 190 _ff._; Grimm, _D. M._, 733, _n._ 4. The meaning of the
      word _Argei_ has received no satisfactory explanation yet. The number
      of the images is accounted for by the fact that each of the
      twenty-four quarters of ancient Rome required rain for its crops.

 [88] See _Rhein. Museum_, 1867, p. 129.

 [89] Macrob., i. 10, 11 _ff._; Gell., _N. A._, vii. (vi.) 7; Plut.,
      _Rom._, 4. 5; Lactant., i. 20. 5.

 [90] "Exuuntur etiam vestibus populo flagitante meretrices, quæ tunc
      (_i.e._, at the Floralia) mimarum funguntur officio" (Lact. _l.c._).
      _Cf._ Val. Max., 2. 10. 8; Senec., _Ep._, 97. 7; Mart., 1 _præf._;
      Ov., _F._, iv. 946, v. 183; Tertull., _De Spect._, 17; Min. Felix,
      25. 8; Augustin, _C. D._, ii. 27.

 [91] The Arval Brothers wore a harvest-crown, _vittis spiceis coronati_,
      _C. I. L._, vi. 2104^a 16. They preserved a sheaf of corn (corn-baby,
      mother, &c.) from the previous year's harvest; this is the _fruges
      aridas_ of _C. I. L._, _l.c._ 6. They consecrated the old corn, the
      green corn of the new year, and a loaf, _fruges aridas et virides
      contigerunt et panes laureatos_, l.c.; and they sacramentally "ate
      the god," _fruges libatas_.

 [92] Mommsen, _Die echte und die falsche Acca Larentia_, 3 A. 3.

 [93] Jordan, _Krit. Beitr._, 75, compares Italian _atta_, "mother" and
      Greek ἀκκώ?

 [94] "E nos Lases iuvate" = Age nos, Lares, iuvate.

 [95] The classical references on this subject of beans are: Diog. Laert.,
      viii. 24 and 34 (quoting Aristotle, ἤτοι ὅτι αἰδοίοις εἰσὶν ὅμοιοι),
      Gellius, N. A., iv. 11; Cic., _de Div._, i. 30, ii. 58; Pliny _N.
      H._, xviii. 12; Didymus in Geopon., ii. 58; Sext. Emp., _Pyrrh.
      Hyp._, iii. 224; Iambl., _Vit. Pyth._, 109 and _Protrept. extr.
      Symb._, 37; Anon. (e. Photio), _Vit. Pyth._, 7; Pseudo-Orig., Philos.
      ii.; Apollon. Dysc., _Mirab. Hist._, c. 46; Eudocia, p. 368; Suidas,
      _s. v._ Συμβ. Πυθαγ..; Eustath., _N._, p. 948.

 [96] For its meaning as a symbol, see Westropp, _Primitive Symbolism_, p.

 [97] _R. Q._, 1, 2, 6, 7, 8, 29, 30, 31, 65, 86, 87, 105, 108.

 [98] The custom is also testified to by Serv. on Virg., _Ecl._, viii. 29;
      Isid., _Orig._, ix. 8; Plaut., _Cas._, IV. iv. 1; Catull., lxi. 159;
      Lucan, _Phars._, ii. 358.

 [99] _Ueber die römische Ehe_, p. 360.

[100] Reinsberg-Düringsfeld, _Hochzeitsbuch_, p. 57.

[101] _Ibid._, 84.

[102] _Ibid._, 251.

[103] Weinhold, _Die deutschen Frauen_^2, i. 410.

[104] Haas in Weber's _Ind. Stud._, v. 324, 359, 373.

[105] V. Schroeder, _Hochzeitsbräuche der Esten_, pp. 88 _ff._

[106] Plutarch, _R. Q._, 31. _Cf._ Festus, "In pelle lanata nova nupta
      considere solet."

[107] Serv. ad Æn., iv. 374.

[108] Διὸς κῴδιον, Suidas, s.v.

[109] De Witte, _Descr. des Antiq. de l'Hôtel Lambert_, p. 68, pl. 22
      (reproduced in Daremberg et Saglio, _Dict._, s.v., and in Duruy,
      _Hist. des Grecs_, i. 786). The right interpretation of this scene
      was first given by Lenormant, _Contemporary Review_, 1880, p. 137.

[110] The Roman, at this crisis of his personal history, placed himself
      under the protection of a series of Di Indigetes, _e.g._, Subigus,
      Prema, Pertunda (S. August., _C. D._, vi. 9).

[111] The Latin phrase is "Aqua et igni accipi." The custom is testified to
      by _Dion. Hal._, ii. 30; Varro, _L. L._, v. 61; Serv. ad _Æn._, iv.
      167; Ov., _F._, iv. 787; Fest. s.v. Scæv., _Dig._, 24. 1. 66; Stat.,
      _Silv._ I. ii. 3; Val. Fl., _Argon._, viii. 244.

[112] Weinhold, i. 375 and 408.

[113] Schrœder, 128 _ff._

[114] Reinsb.-Düringsfeld, 84.

[115] "Aqua aspergebatur nova nupta," s.v. Facem in nuptiis.

[116] Reinsb.-Düringsfeld, 59.

[117] Haas, 358.

[118] Reinsb.-Düringsfeld, 73.

[119] _Ibid._, 92.

[120] _Ibid._, 63.

[121] _Ibid._, 59.

[122] Cat., lxi, 81-86, 110, 119; Claud., _Fescenn._, 106; _De Rapt.
      Pros._, ii. 335.

[123] Haas, 327.

[124] Schrœder, 87.

[125] F. B. Jevons, _Kin and Custom_, in the "Journal of Philology," xvi.
      pp. 87 _ff._

[126] Moore, _Indian Appeals_, ii. 75.

[127] For which see _R. Q._ 6.

[128] In Chambers's _Encyclopædia_, s.v. "Family."

[129] In Chambers's _Encylopædia_, s.v. "Names."

[130] This custom also crops out in fairy tales. See Mr. J. Jacob's _Indian
      Fairy Tales_, p. 28.

[131] Or, nuptiall.

[132] Daughters husband.

[133] Wives father.

[134] This may seeme to have some reference to the former question.

[135] Κρόνος.

[136] Χρόνος.

[137] Or Matuta.

[138] By _Prolepsis_, meaning the place where afterwards Rome stood.

[139] Or Phaulius.

[140] That is to say, _Kalends_, _Nones_, & _Ides_.

[141] ἔπέτειον οἰνον, or, a certeine quantitie of wine yeerely, as some
      interpret it.

[142] χρηστοὺς.

[143] μηδένα χρηστὸν

[144] ἀριστερὸς, sinistra.

[145] I suspect this place to be corrupt in the originall.

[146] Or about a dog by the Hippocoontides.

[147] Or, feele paine: alluding haply _Ad rupturam Hymenis_.

[148] Or take delight and pleasure.

[149] σάρον.

*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Plutarch's Romane Questions - With dissertations on Italian cults, myths, taboos, - man-worship, aryan marriage, sympathetic magic and the - eating of beans" ***

Doctrine Publishing Corporation provides digitized public domain materials.
Public domain books belong to the public and we are merely their custodians.
This effort is time consuming and expensive, so in order to keep providing
this resource, we have taken steps to prevent abuse by commercial parties,
including placing technical restrictions on automated querying.

We also ask that you:

+ Make non-commercial use of the files We designed Doctrine Publishing
Corporation's ISYS search for use by individuals, and we request that you
use these files for personal, non-commercial purposes.

+ Refrain from automated querying Do not send automated queries of any sort
to Doctrine Publishing's system: If you are conducting research on machine
translation, optical character recognition or other areas where access to a
large amount of text is helpful, please contact us. We encourage the use of
public domain materials for these purposes and may be able to help.

+ Keep it legal -  Whatever your use, remember that you are responsible for
ensuring that what you are doing is legal. Do not assume that just because
we believe a book is in the public domain for users in the United States,
that the work is also in the public domain for users in other countries.
Whether a book is still in copyright varies from country to country, and we
can't offer guidance on whether any specific use of any specific book is
allowed. Please do not assume that a book's appearance in Doctrine Publishing
ISYS search  means it can be used in any manner anywhere in the world.
Copyright infringement liability can be quite severe.

About ISYS® Search Software
Established in 1988, ISYS Search Software is a global supplier of enterprise
search solutions for business and government.  The company's award-winning
software suite offers a broad range of search, navigation and discovery
solutions for desktop search, intranet search, SharePoint search and embedded
search applications.  ISYS has been deployed by thousands of organizations
operating in a variety of industries, including government, legal, law
enforcement, financial services, healthcare and recruitment.