LIKE a lofty peak rising above the mists which cover the tops of the lower-lying mountains, the figure of Servius Tullius towers above the semi-legendary Tarquins on either side of him. We feel that we have to do with a veritable character in history, and we find ourselves wondering what sort of a man he was personally--a feeling that never occurs to us with Romulus and the older kings, and comes to us only faintly with the elder Tarquin, while the younger Tarquin has all the marks of a wooden man, who was put up only to be thrown down, whose whole raison d'être is to explain the transition from the kingdom to the republic on the theory of a revolution. Eliminate the revolution, suppose the change to have been a gradual and a constitutional one, and you may discard the proud Tarquin without losing anything but a lay-figure with its more or less gaudy trappings of later myths. But it is not so with Servius; his wall and his constitution are very real and defy all attempts to turn their maker into a legend. Yet on the other hand we
must be on our guard, for much of the definiteness which seems to attach to him is rather the definiteness of a certain stage in Rome's development, a certain well-bounded chronological and sociological tract. It is dangerous to try to limit too strictly Servius's personal part in this development; and far safer, though perhaps less fascinating, to use his name as a general term for the changes which Rome underwent from the time when foreign influences began to tell upon her until the beginning of the republic. He forms a convenient title therefore for certain phases of Rome's growth. And yet even this is not strictly correct, for Servius stands not so much for the coming into existence of certain facts, as for the recognition of the existence of these facts. The facts themselves were of slow growth, covering probably centuries, but the actions resulting from them, and the outward changes in society, came thick and fast and may well have taken place, all of them, within the limits of one man's life. The foundation fact upon which all these changes were based is the influence of the outside world on the Roman community. Until this time there had been little to differentiate Rome from any other of the hill-communities of Italy, of which there were scores in her immediate neighbourhood; nor was she the only one to come into contact with the outside world. It was the effect which that influence had upon her as contrasted with her neighbours which
made the difference. When we ask why this influence affected her differently we find no satisfactory answer, and are in the presence of a mystery--the world-old insoluble mystery of the superiority of one tribe or one individual over others apparently of the same class. Political history is wont to tell this chapter of Rome's story under the title of the "Rise of the Plebeians," but the presence of the Plebeians was only the outward symbol of an inward change. This change was the breaking up of the monotonous one-class society of the primitive community with its one--agricultural--interest, and the formation of a variegated many-class society with manifold interests, such as trade, handicraft, and politics. It was the awakening of Rome into a world-life out of her century-long undisturbed bucolic slumber.
There were at this time two peoples in Italy, who by reason of their older culture were able to be Rome's teachers. One lay to the north of her, the mysterious Etruscans, whose culture fortunately for Rome had only a very moderate influence, because the Etruscan culture had already lost much of its virility, possibly also because it was distinctly felt to be foreign, and hence could effect no insidious entry, and probably because Rome was at this time too strong and young and clean to take anything but the best from Etruria. The other lay to the south, the Greek colonies of Magna Graecia, separated from Rome for the present by many miles of forest and
by hostile tribes. Around her in Latium were her own next of kin, the Latins, becoming rapidly inferior to her, but enabled to do her at least this service, that of absorbing the foreign influences which came, and in certain cases latinising them, and thus transmitting them to Rome in a more or less assimilated condition.
The three great facts in the life of Rome during this period are the coming of Greek merchants and Greek trade from the south, the coming of Etruscan artisans and handicraft from the north, and the beginnings of her political rivalry and gradual prominence in the league of Latin cities around her. Each one of these movements is reflected in the religious changes of the period. In regard to the first two this is not surprising, for the ancient traveller, like his mythical prototype Aeneas, carried his gods with him. Thus there were worshipped in private in Rome the gods of all the peoples who settled within her walls, and the presence of these gods was destined to make its influence felt. Your primitive polytheist is very catholic in his religious tastes; for, when one is already in possession of many gods, the addition of a few more is a minor matter, especially when, as was now the case in Rome, these deities are the patrons of occupations and interests hitherto entirely unknown to the Roman, and hence not provided for in his scheme of gods. It was therefore in no spirit of disloyalty to the
already existing gods, and with no desire to introduce rival deities, that the new cults began to spread until they became so important as to call for state recognition.
Possibly the most interesting cases are those of the two gods who came from the south, Hercules and Castor, interesting because they were the forerunners of that great multitude of Greek gods who later came in proudly by special invitation, and even more interesting yet because, though they were Greek as Greek could be, they came into Rome, as it were, incognito, and were so far from being known as Greek, that, when the same gods came in afterwards more directly, these new-comers were felt to be quite a different thing, and their worship was carried on in another part of the city away from the old-established cults.
In the Greek world Herakles and Hermes were the especial patrons of travellers, and as travelling was never done for pleasure but always for business, they became the patrons of the travelling merchant. It was also natural that they should go with the settlers away from the mother-city into the new colony. Thus it was that they came from the mother-land into the colonies of Magna Graecia in Southern Italy, and once being established there made their way slowly but inevitably northwards. The story of Hermes, under the name of Mercury, belongs to a later chapter, but that of Herakles =
[paragraph continues] Hercules must be recounted here. It is only within the last few years that the scholarly world has been persuaded that there was no such thing as an original Italic Hercules; at first sight it was very difficult to believe, because there seemed to be so many apparently very old Italic legends centering in Hercules. But it has been shown, either that these legends never existed and rest solely upon false interpretation of monuments, or that, though they did exist at an early date, they were introduced under Greek influence. It was the trading merchant therefore who brought Herakles northward. And as the god went, his name was softened into Hercules, and with the assimilation of the name to the tongue of the Italic people, there went hand in hand an adaptation of his nature to their needs, so that by degrees he became thoroughly italicised both in form and content. It is probable that the cult came into Rome as well as into the other cities of Latium, but in Rome it was confined to a few individuals, and at first obtained no public recognition. On the contrary, for reasons that we are at a loss to find, this Greek cult seems to have reached very large proportions in the little town of Tibur (Tivoli), fourteen miles north-east of Rome. There it dominated all other worship and lost so much of its foreign atmosphere that it became thoroughly latinised . In the course of time the Roman state acknowledged this Tivoli cult of Hercules and
accepted a branch of it as its own. But the extraordinary thing about this acknowledgment is that the Romans felt it to be a Latin and not a foreign cult. They showed this intimate and friendly feeling by permitting an altar to Hercules to be erected within the city proper, in the Forum Boarium. But in order to understand the significance of this act a word of digression is necessary.
Under the old Roman regime every act of life was performed under the supervision of the gods, and this godly patronage was especially emphasised in acts which affected the life of the community. No act was of greater importance for the community than the choice of a home, the location of a settlement. Thus the founding of an ancient city was accompanied by sacred rites, chief among which was the ploughing of a furrow around the space which was ultimately to be enclosed by the wall. This furrow formed a symbolic wall on very much the same principle as that on which the witch draws her circle. The furrow was called the pomerium and was to the world of the gods what the city wall was to the world of men. It did not however always coincide with the actual city wall, and the space it embraced was sometimes less, sometimes more, than that embraced by the city wall; and just as new walls covering larger territory could be built for the city, so a new pomerium line could be drawn. As was becoming for a spiritual barrier there was nothing to mark it
except the boundary stones through which the imaginary line passed. The wall, which Servius built and which continued to be the outer wall of Rome for a period of eight or nine hundred years until the third Christian century, was at the time of its building coincident in the main with the line of the pomerium, with one very important exception: namely that all the region of the Aventine, which was inside the limits of the political city and embraced by the Servian wall, lay outside the pomerium line and was in other words outside the religious city. It continued thus all through the republic and into the empire until the reign of Claudius. Originally the pomerium line played an important part in the religious world and it continued to do so until the middle of the republic, during the Second Punic War, when its sanctity was destroyed and it lost its real religious significance, though it remained as a formal institution. As a divine barrier it served originally in the world of the gods very much the same purpose as the material wall of stone did in the world of men. Before the problem of foreign gods had begun to exist for the Romans, in the good old days when they knew only the gods of their own religion, the pomerium served to keep within the bounds of Rome all the beneficent kindly gods whose presence was not needed outside in the fields, and it served fully as important a purpose in keeping outside of Rome the gods who
were feared rather than loved, for example the dread war-god Mars. When foreign gods began to be introduced into Rome they might, of course, be worshipped inside the pomerium by private individuals, but when the state acknowledged them it was more prudent that her worship should be outside the sacred wall. Thus it came to pass that the foreign gods, who were taken into the cult of the Roman state, were given temples in the Campus Martius or over on the Aventine, and the two or three cases where they were publicly worshipped inside the pomerium form no real exception to this rule--such an exception would be, in fact, quite unthinkable in the strictly logical system of Roman worship--but these gods were allowed inside because they came to Rome from her kinsfolk, the Latins, and were not felt to be foreign.
Hercules is one of the cases in this last category. Though originally, as we have seen, a Greek god, his long residence in Tibur (Tivoli) had made him, as it were, a naturalised citizen of Latium, and hence Rome felt it no impropriety to take him inside her pomerium. At first his worship seems to have been carried on by two clans, the Potitii and the Pinarii, but later, during the republic, the state assumed control. But though it was really the Greek Herakles who had come in as the latinised Hercules, the god had paid a certain price for his admission, for he came stripped of all the various attributes which he had had
in Greece and retaining merely his function as patron of trade and travel. It was this practical side of his nature alone which appealed to the Romans; it found its expression in the offering of "the tenth" at the great altar in the Forum Boarium. This altar always remained in a certain sense the centre of Hercules-worship in Rome. It was reinforced at an early date by no less than three temples of Hercules in the more or less immediate neighbourhood, all of which were characterised by the same relative simplicity of ritual. Centuries later Herakles became known to the Romans through direct Greek channels, and it was recognised that this new Herakles was akin to the old Hercules, so that he too was called Hercules. There was nothing surprising in this to the Romans, because they considered it a matter of course that there should be found a parallel among their own gods for each Greek deity. They never understood the true state of affairs; it is doubtful whether they could have understood it: namely, that in almost all their other identifications of Roman and Greek deities, they were really doing violence to their own native gods by superimposing upon them the attributes of a deity with whom they had really nothing in common, whereas, in identifying the new Herakles with their old Hercules, they were doing a perfectly legitimate thing. For one who knows the true state of affairs there is something pathetically amusing in the fact
that they really showed more delicacy in making their old (really originally Greek) Hercules into the new Greek Herakles-Hercules, than they did in throwing together Neptune and Poseidon, Mars and Ares, Diana and Artemis. As a matter of fact they always reverenced the old cult of the great altar, and never allowed the more sensational phases of Greek worship to be practised there, and put off into another quarter the temples which were built to Hercules under the various new attributes which the new Greek cult brought with it. These temples were placed, as was proper, outside the pomerium, in the southern part of the Campus Martius.
But to return to the simple Hercules and the Servian regime, the Roman state had now obtained a deity, of which, by the contagion of commerce, they already felt a need, a god of great power from whom came success in the practical undertakings of life. Hence he had a strong hold on the Romans whose practical side was undergoing a rapid development. The idea of trade was now represented in the religious world, it had received its divine sanction.
The other god, who came up from Magna Graecia and whose formal acceptance into the state-cult formed one of the earliest incidents in the breakdown of the old agricultural religion, was Castor, with his twin-brother Pollux, although brother Pollux was always an insignificant partner, so much so that the temple which was subsequently built to them both
was referred to either as the temple of "Castor" alone or as the temple of "the Castors." At various points in the old Greek world we meet with a pair of brothers, at first not designated by individual names but merely named as a pair. Even these pair-names do not agree, but they represent all of them the same idea. Later when individual names are substituted for the general pair-name, these individual names also differ. They are gods of protection, and on the sea-coast--and most of Greece is sea-coast--they are especially helpful as rescuers from the dangers of the sea, and they are also very early and almost everywhere connected with horses. But in spite of their usefulness they are not very prominent, and it is doubtful whether they would ever have become famous, except for one of those little accidents which make the fortunes of gods as well as of men. It so happened that horses began to be used in warfare more than for the mere drawing of chariots; a primitive sort of cavalry came into being, produced by mounting heavy-armed foot-soldiers on horseback. With this cavalry the "Twin-Brothers" (Dios-kouroi = "Sons of Zeus"), especially Castor, became prominent. Just as the Greek merchants had taken Herakles with them when they set out to plant colonies in Southern Italy, so the heavy-mounted horsemen carried their god Castor with them wherever they went. The Italic tribes in their turn were quick to seize upon
this idea of cavalry, and with it as an essential part went its divine patron, Castor. Thus the Castor-cult moved steadily northward, carried, as it were, on horseback. At last it reached Latium, and there the little town of Tusculum, afterwards so famous as the residence of Cicero, became in some unaccountable way an important cult-centre, and did for Castor what Tibur had done for Hercules, i.e. latinised him, so that Rome received him not as an alien but as one of her kin. There can be little doubt that the Roman cult actually did come from Tusculum, and that in its introduction into Rome as in every other step on its march, it was connected with the reorganisation of the cavalry. This would seem to imply that Tusculum was famous for its cavalry and that Rome took the idea of it from her--statements for which we have unfortunately no other confirmation, though we have abundant proof of the cult at Tusculum and of Rome's close association with it.
Castor was thus the patron of the "horsemen" (equites) and his great day was July 15, when the horsemen's parade took place. Possibly this had been the date of the festival at Tusculum, a day especially appropriate because it was the Ides of the month, and the Ides were sacred to Juppiter, whose sons Castor and Pollux (Dios-kouroi) were supposed to be. It is extremely interesting in the light of this knowledge of the true state of affairs to see how
legend later explained the coming of Castor and Pollux. It was an incident in the mythical war which was supposed to have taken place after the last Tarquin had been driven out, and the republic had been started. The adversaries of Rome, allied with Tarquin, notably Octavius Mamilius of Tusculum, fought against the Romans in the battle of Lake Regillus on July 15, B.C. 499. The Romans won, and the first news of victory was brought to Rome by the miraculous appearance of Castor and Pollux who were seen watering their horses in the Forum at the spring of Juturna. A temple on this spot was then vowed and fifteen years later, B.C. 484, it was completed and dedicated. Tusculum, July 15, and the dedication of the temple in B.C. 484 are seemingly the only historical facts in this legend; and long before B.C. 499 Castor was worshipped in Rome, especially on July 15. The site of his original worship was without doubt the same locality in the Forum where his temple was subsequently built, for it is an almost invariable rule that the earliest temples are built on the actual site of, or close to, the old altar or shrine which preceded the formal temple. Like Hercules therefore he was received inside the pomerium, and probably for a similar reason, because it was felt that he was a god of Tusculum, and hence a god of Rome's kinsfolk. We have an additional confirmation of this feeling in the way in which the later direct cult of Castor
was treated. This cult, connecting Castor with healing and the interpretation of dreams, and emphasising his function as a rescuer from the dangers of the sea, would have been without meaning for the old Romans who worshipped him merely as a patron of horsemen and horsemanship. The new ideas seem to have had as their centre a later temple in the Circus Flaminius and thus Hercules and Castor may again be paralleled, since they have, each of them, an old cult-centre inside the pomerium, Hercules in the Forum Boarium, Castor in the Forum, and a later cult-centre, for more advanced ideas, in each case in the Circus Flaminius.
Although it was Greek influence which ultimately caused the destruction of Roman religion, and although the cults of Hercules and of Castor are the first definite effects of this influence, it cannot be said that the destruction had in any sense begun, because in their slow journey northward, and in their long residence at Tibur and Tusculum respectively, the two cults had lost all that was pernicious. The Roman instinct, which felt them to be akin to itself, did not go amiss; they were indeed akin to the new Rome with its new interest in trade and its increased interest in warfare, for the trader and the warrior have gone side by side in all ages of the world's history, whether it be a primitive instinct to grasp territory for commercial purposes or a more civilised endeavour to obtain an open port.
The beginnings of Greek influence have thus been exhibited in the case of Hercules and of Castor, and it remains to inquire what Etruria did. There is no race about which we know so much and yet so little as about the Etruscans. They have always been and still are a riddle, and as our knowledge of them increases we seem further than ever from a solution, and what we gain in positive knowledge is more than counterbalanced by the increased sense of our ignorance. Altogether aside from the problem of the origin of the Etruscans, and the race to which they belonged, is the other problem of their disappearance. In a certain sense Etruria steps out of history quite as mysteriously as she entered into it, nay even more mysteriously, for we are always willing to allow a certain percentage of mystery as the legitimate accompaniment of prehistoric history, but when in the light of more or less historic times a nation steps off the stage of the world's history, and leaves practically no heritage behind her, we have a right to be amazed. Of all the peoples in Italy Rome ought in the order of events to have been her successor, and yet when we contrast the influence of Etruria on Rome with the influence of the Greek colonies of Southern Italy we see an amazing difference. The influence of these Greek colonies on Rome prepared the way for the direct influence of the Greek motherland, so that one passed over into the other by imperceptible
gradations, but the influence of Etruria on Rome not only led to nothing but was in itself of a most superficial sort. Etruria must have had some literature, yet we search the history of Roman literature in vain for any traces of the influence of that literature on Rome, with the one exception of books on divination and the interpretation of lightning. We know too little of her manners and customs to be able to tell exactly how much they may have influenced Rome, and yet it is worth noting that the things which Roman writers actually refer to Etruria, are all of them most superficial: a few of the insignia of political office; a few of the trappings of one or two ritualistic acts; a branch of divination, by the consultation of the entrails (haruspicina), which was of secondary importance compared to augury; and the most depraved form of Roman public sport, the gladiatorial games. The only fundamental institution of Rome which it is the habit to ascribe to Etruria, the idea of the so-called templum or division of the sky into regions as an axiom of augury, seems to have been quite as much a general Italic idea as a specifically Etruscan one. Even in art her influence was relatively slight, and though her architects seem to have built the earliest formal temples for Rome, they were soon succeeded in this work by the Greeks. We seek in vain for a complete and satisfactory explanation of this limitation of her influence, but certain thoughts suggest them
selves, which, as far as they go, are probably correct. All that we know of Etruria impresses us with the fact that hers was an outward civilisation unaccompanied by an inward culture, that it was a formal rather than a spiritual growth, an artificial acquisition from without rather than a development from within outwards. It was strong but with its strength went brutality, it was interested in art but for its sensual rather than its spiritual aspects. Now the idealism of youth is present in nations just as in individuals, though probably a nation is less conscious of it than an individual. It is with the nation one of the effects of the instinct of self-preservation, and for a youthful nation to absorb the vices of an old decadent one would be self-destruction. Thus the youthful Rome rejected most of the Etruscan poison, and thus nature purified herself, and Etruria was buried in the pit of her own nastiness.
There was however one town which acted as an interpreter between Rome and Etruria, and was the original cult-centre for a very great goddess, spreading her cult in both directions, into Rome and into Etruria. The town was Falerii and the goddess was Minerva, who in a certain sense entered Rome three times, once direct from Falerii to Rome, and once from Falerii to Rome by way of Etruria, and finally, when Falerii was captured by the Romans, again direct to Rome. In the earliest period there are scarcely any traces of the worship of Minerva in
[paragraph continues] Latium or Southern Italy, and we are absolutely certain that she was not known in Rome. In the country north of Rome, however, the situation is different. There she is found quite frequently, especially in Etruria under the name of MENERVA or MENRVA. Yet she cannot have been an Etruscan goddess, because the name itself is Italic and not Etruscan. She is therefore neither Roman, nor Etruscan, nor Latin, at least so far as we know Latin in Latium. If we can find a place however where a Latin people is under strong Etruscan influence, we shall be near the solution. Such a place is Falerii, in the country of the Faliscans. To the ancients it appeared so thoroughly Etruscan that they go out of their way to explain that it was not. As a matter of fact it was the only Latin town on the right bank of the Tiber, and because of its locality it was early brought into vital connection with the Etruscans, so vital that while it never lost all of its original Latin character, it lost enough of it to exercise a very considerable direct influence over Etruria, and to be to a very large extent influenced by her in turn. We cannot of course positively prove that Minerva was originally worshipped only at Falerii, and that her cult spread entirely from this one point, but we have at least strong negative evidence, and so far as the general history of ancient religion is concerned there is nothing impossible in such a spread. Religious history
shows many parallels to this; for example the classic case of the god Eros of Thespiae, in Boeotia, who would have lived and died merely a little insignificant local god, if it had not been for the Boeotian poet Hesiod who adopted Eros into his poetry and thus gave him a start in life by which he ultimately succeeded in going all over the Greek world, and then passing into Rome as Cupid; and so into all later times.
We are accustomed to think of Minerva as the Latin name for Athena, the daughter of Zeus, and unconsciously we clothe Minerva with all the glory of Athena and endow her with Athena's many-sidedness. In reality the little peasant goddess of Falerii had originally nothing in common with Athena except the fact that both of them were interested in handicraft and the haridicraftsman, but Athena had a hundred other interests besides, while this one thing seems to have filled the whole of Minerva's horizon. When Minerva went on her travels into Etruria, she came among a people who eventually learned from the representations of Greek art a very considerable amount of Greek mythology, and who, when they heard of Athena, saw her resemblance to Minerva and began thus to associate the two. But even in this association Minerva was still preeminently the goddess of the artisan and the labouring man, she was the patroness of the works of man's hands rather than of the works of his mind,
and as such she was brought into Rome by Etruscan and Faliscan workmen. At first she was worshipped merely by these workmen in their own houses, but by degrees as the number of these workmen increased and as a knowledge of their handicraft spread to native Romans, Minerva became so prominent that the state was compelled to acknowledge her, and to accept her among the gods of the state. But it was a very different acknowledgment from that of Hercules or Castor; these gods had been received inside the pomerium, but Minerva was given a temple outside, over on the Aventine. None the less her cult throve, and her power was soon shown both religiously and socially. Her great festival was on the 19th of March, a day which had been originally sacred to Mars, but the presence of Minerva's celebrations on that day soon caused the associations with Mars to be almost entirely forgotten. Socially her temple became the meeting-place of all the artisans of Rome, it was at once their religious centre and their business headquarters. There they met in their primitive guilds (collegia) and arranged their affairs, and thus it continued to be as long as pagan Rome lasted. The respect shown to these guilds of Minerva is nowhere more clearly exhibited than in an incident which happened in the time of the Second Punic War, several centuries after the introduction of the cult. Terrified by adverse portents the Roman Senate instructed the old poet
[paragraph continues] Livius Andronicus to write a hymn in honour of Juno and to train a chorus of youths and maidens to sing it. The hymn was sung, and was such a great success that the gratitude of the Senate took the form of granting permission to the poets of the city to have a guild of their own, and a meeting-place along with the older guilds in the temple of Minerva on the Aventine. This was the Roman state's first expression of literary appreciation; from her standpoint it was flattery indeed, for were not poets by this decree made equal to butchers, bakers, and cloth-makers, and was not poetry acknowledged to be of some practical use and adjudged a legitimate occupation?
The history of the cult of Minerva is much more complicated than that of Hercules or Castor. Like them she was subjected to strong Greek influence, and, as we shall see later, not very long after her introduction she was taken into the company of Juppiter and Juno, thus forming the famous Capitoline triad. Also temples were built to her individually under various aspects of the worship of Athena with whom she gradually became identified, but in the old Aventine temple the original idea of Minerva, the working man's friend, continued practically unchanged. Doubtless the society of Servius's day, who witnessed the coming of Minerva, did not realise what this introduction meant, and how absolutely necessary it was for Rome's future development
that the artisan class should be among her people, and that this class should be represented in the world of the gods. They little knew that in the temple on the Aventine was being brought to expression the trade-union idea, which was to pass over into the mediaeval guild of both workmen and masters, still under religious auspices, and to find a latter-day parody in the modern labour-union, with its spirit of hostility to employers, and its indifference, at least as an organisation, to things religious.
Trade and handicraft were thus added to the Roman world, of men on earth, and of the gods above the earth, and it remains for us to consider the awakening of the political spirit and its corresponding religious phenomenon; but before we do this, we must clear the way by casting aside one ancient hypothesis connected with Servius's religious reforms, which is not correct, at least in the way in which the ancients meant it.
The writing of the earlier period of Rome's history is sometimes complicated rather than helped by the statements of the generally well-meaning but often misguided historians of later times. Their real knowledge of the facts was in many cases no greater than ours, while they lacked what modern historians possess: a breadth of view and a knowledge of the phenomena of history in many periods and among many nations. The study of the social and religious movements under Servius presents us with
an interesting illustration of this. It was customary namely to ascribe to Servius Tullius the introduction of the cult of Fortuna, and Plutarch takes occasion twice in his Moralia to describe the interest of Servius in this cult and to recount the extraordinary number of temples which he built to the great goddess of chance under her various attributes. The Romans of Plutarch's day thought of Fortuna in very much the way in which their poets, especially Horace, described her, as a great and powerful goddess of chance, the personification of the element of apparent caprice which seems to be present in the running of the universe. It is very much our way of thinking of her, and of course both our own concept and the later Roman concept go back to Greece. But Greece had not always had this idea of the goddess of luck. The older purer age of Greek thought was permeated with the idea of the absolute immutable character of the divine will, a belief which precluded the possibility of chance or caprice. The earliest Greek Tyche (Fortuna) was the daughter of Zeus who fulfilled his will; and that his will through her was often a beneficent will is shown in the tendency to think of her as a goddess of plenty. It was only the growth of scepticism, the failure of faith to bear up under the apparently contradictory lessons of experience, which brought into being in the Alexandrian age Tyche, the goddess of chance, the winged capricious deity
poised on the ball. It was this habit of thought which eventually gave the Romans that idea of Fortuna which has became our idea because it is the prevalent one in Roman literature and life in the periods with which we are most familiar. Now if Fortuna be thought of in this latter way, it is a very easy matter to connect her with Servius Tullius, for the legendary accounts of Servius's career picture him as a very child of "fortune," raised from the lowest estate to the highest power, the little slave boy who became king. What goddess would he delight to honour, if not the goddess of the happy chance which had made him what he was?
All this is very pretty, but it is unfortunately quite impossible, because whatever the time may have been when Fortuna began to be worshipped in Rome, it is certain that the idea of chance did not enter into the concept of her until long after Servius's day. Instead the early Fortuna was a goddess of plenty and fertility, among mankind as a protectress of women and of childbirth, among the crops and the herds as a goddess of fertility and fecundity. Her full name was probably Fors Fortuna, a name which survived in two old temples across the river from Rome proper, in Trastevere, where she was worshipped in the country by the farmers in behalf of the crops. Fortuna is thus merely the cult-name added to the old goddess Fors to intensify her meaning, which finally broke off from her and
became independent, expressing the same idea of a goddess of plenty. Later under Greek influence the concept of luck, especially good-luck, slowly displaced the older idea. The possibility of such a transition from fertility to good-luck is shown us in the phrase "arbor felix," which originally meant a fruitful tree and later a tree of good omen. As regards Fortuna and Servius therefore there is no inherent reason why they should have been connected, and whenever it was that Fortuna began to exist, be it before or after Servius, she came into the world as a goddess of plenty and did not turn into a goddess of luck till centuries after her birth.
It must not be supposed that Rome in this sixth century before Christ could take into herself all these traders and artisans, and become thus interested also among her own citizens in these new employments, without receiving a corresponding impulse toward a larger political life. Thus there began that ever-increasing participation in the affairs of the Latin league, which was her first step toward acquiring a world dominion. It is probable that Rome had always belonged to this league, but at first as a very insignificant member. Those were the days in which Alba Longa stood out as leader, a leadership which she afterwards lost, but of which the recollection was retained because the Alban Mount behind Alba Longa remained the cult-centre, connected with the worship of the god of the league, the Juppiter of the
[paragraph continues] Latins (Juppiter Latiaris), not only until B.C. 338 when the league ceased to exist, but even later when Rome kept up a sentimental celebration of the old festival. In the course of time, for reasons which we do not know, Alba Longa's power declined and the mantle of her supremacy fell upon Aricia, a little town still in existence not far from Albano. The coming of Aricia to the presidency of the league started a religious movement which is one of the most extraordinary in the checkered history of Roman religion. The ultimate result of this movement was the introduction of the goddess Diana into the state-cult of Rome, where she was subsequently identified with, Apollo's sister Artemis. But this is a long story, and to understand it we must go back some distance to make our beginning.
Among the more savage tribes and in the wilder mountain regions of both Greece and Italy there was worshipped a goddess who had a different name in each country, Artemis in Greece, Diana in Italy, but who was in nature very much the same. This does not imply that it was the same goddess orginally or that the early Artemis of Greece had any influence on the Diana of Italy. Their similarity was probably caused merely by the similarity of the conditions from which they sprang, the similar needs of the two peoples. She was a goddess of the woods, and of nature, and especially of wild animals, a patroness of the hunt and the huntsman, but also a goddess of all
small animals, of all helpless little ones, and a helper too of those that bore them, hence a goddess of birth, and in the sphere of mankind a goddess of women and of childbirth. Later in Greece Artemis was absorbed into the sea-cult of Apollo on the island of Delos, where she became Apollo's sister, like him the child of Latona; but naturally Diana experienced no similar change until in Rome, centuries later, she was artificially identified with Artemis. In the earliest times there were two places in Italy where the cult of Diana was especially prominent, both, as we should expect, in wooded mountainous regions: one on Mount Tifata (near Capua), the modern St. Angelo in Formis; the other in Latium, in a grove near Aricia. It is with this latter cult-centre that we have here to do. The grove near Aricia became so famous that the goddess worshipped there was known as "Diana of the Grove" (Diana Nemorensis), and the place where she was worshipped was called the "Grove" (nemus), a name which is still retained in the modern "Nemi." She was a goddess of the woods, of the animal kingdom, of birth, and so of women; and almost all the dedicatory inscriptions which have been found near her shrine were put up by women. She was worshipped above all by the people of Aricia, and she seems to have been the patron deity of the town. When it fell to Aricia's lot to become the head of the league, her goddess Diana promptly assumed an important position in the league, not
because she had by nature any political bearing whatsoever, but merely because she was wedded to Aricia, and experienced all the vicissitudes of her career. Thus there came into the league, alongside of the old Juppiter Latiaris of the Alban Mount, the new Diana Nemorensis of Aricia, and sacrifices to her formed a part of the solemn ritual of the united towns of Latium. It does not take actually a great many years for a religious custom to acquire sanctity, and before many generations had passed, Diana was felt to be quite as original and essential a part of the worship of the league as Juppiter himself. During these same centuries Rome was growing in importance and influence in the league, until, instead of being one of its insignificant towns, she was in a fair way to become its president. Here her diplomacy stepped in to help her. The league was of course essentially a political institution, but in a primitive society political institutions are still in tutelage to religious ones, and the direct road to strong political influence lies through religious zeal. The way to leadership in the Latin league lay through excessive devotion to Juppiter and Diana. It is therefore no accidental coincidence that we find Rome in the period of Servius building a temple to Juppiter Latiaris on the top of the Alban Mount, and introducing the worship of Diana into Rome, building her a temple on the Aventine, hence outside the pomerium. Yet it was not the introduction of her worship as an
ordinary state-cult, for then she would have been taken inside the pomerium with far greater right than Hercules and Castor were. It was, on the contrary, the building of a sanctuary of the league outside the pomerium, yet inside the civil wall; not the adoption of Diana as a Roman goddess, but the close association of the Diana of the Latin league with Rome. It was the attempt to put Rome religiously as well as politically into the position which Aricia held; and it was successful. Diana was still the league-goddess; tradition has it that the league helped to build the temple; and the dedication day of the temple, August 13, was the same as that of the temple at Nemi. The Roman temple was outside the pomerium therefore, not because she was a foreign goddess like Minerva, but because as a league-goddess she must be outside, not inside, the sacred wall of Rome.
Diana had been introduced for a specific purpose as part of a diplomatic game, not because Rome felt any real religious need of her; it is hardly to bc expected therefore that her subsequent career in Rome would be of any great importance. Naturally when once the state had taken the responsibility of the cult upon itself, that cult was assured as long as pagan Rome lasted, for the state was always faithful, at least in the mechanical performance of a ritual act; but popular interest could not be counted on, especially as many of the things which Diana stood
for, for example her relation to women, were ably represented by Juno. It is not likely that Diana would ever have been of importance in the religion of subsequent time, had it not been for another accident which served to keep alive the interest in Diana, just as the accident of Diana's connection with the Latin league had aroused that interest in the beginning. This was the coming of Apollo and his sister Artemis. Apollo came first, probably during the time of Servius, but Artemis seems to have come much later, not before B.C. 431. Her identification with Diana was inevitable, and from that time onward Diana begins a new life with all the attributes and myths of Artemis, but this new Artemis-Diana was quite as different a goddess from the old Aventine Diana as the new Athena-Minerva was from the old Aventine Minerva.
The political interest of the Romans had been aroused, they had found their life-work, their career was opening before them, and it must not be supposed that the reflex action of this new political spirit on the religious world was confined to the building of two league temples, one to Juppiter Latiaris on the Alban Mount, miles away from Rome, and one to Diana outside the pomerium over in the woods of the Aventine. This political interest was no artificial acquisition, but the inevitable expression of an instinct. It must therefore find its representation inside the city, in connexion
with a deity who was already deep in the hearts of the people. This deity could be none other than the sky-father Juppiter, who had stood by them in the old days of their exclusively farming life, sending them sunshine and rain in due season. Up on the Capitoline he was worshipped as Feretrius, "the striker," in his most fearful attribute as the god of the lightning. To him the richest spoils of war (spolia opima) were due, and to him the conqueror gave thanks on his return from battle. It was this Juppiter of the Capitoline who was chosen to be the divine representative of Rome's political ambition; and her confidence in the future, and the omen of her inevitable success lay in the cult-names, the cognomina, with which this Juppiter was henceforth and forever adorned, Juppiter Optimus Maximus. These adjectives are no mere idle ornament, no purely pleasant phraseology; they express not merely the excellence of Rome's Juppiter but his absolute superiority to all other Juppiters, including Juppiter Latiaris. And so while Rome with one hand was building a temple for the league on the Alban Mount, merely as a member of the league, with the other hand she was building a temple in the heart of her city to a god who was to bring into subjection to himself all other gods who dared to challenge his supremacy, just as the city which paid him honour was to overcome all other cities which refused to acknowledge her. From henceforth Juppiter Optimus
[paragraph continues] Maximus represents all that is most truly Roman in Rome. It was under his banner that her battles were fought, it was to him in all time to come that returning generals gave thanks.
Tradition sets the completion of the Capitoline temple in the first year of the republic, but the idea and the actual beginning of the work belong to the later kingdom and hence to our present period, and the contemplation of it forms a fitting close to the development which we have tried to sketch. And now that this part of our work is over it may be well to ask ourselves what we have seen, for there have been so many bypaths which we have of necessity explored, that the main road we have travelled may not be entirely distinct in our mind. In the period which corresponds to the later kingdom, and roughly to the sixth century before Christ, and which we have called "Servian" for convenience, we have watched a primitive pastoral community, isolated from the world's life, turning into a small city-state with political interests, the beginnings of trade and handicraft, and various rival social classes; and we have seen how along with the coming of these outside interests there came various new cults connected with them, most of them implying entirely new deities, and only one or two of them new sides of old deities. The body of old Roman religion had received its first blows; what Tacitus (Hist. i. 4) says of the downfall of the empire--"Then was that
secret of the empire disclosed, that it was possible for a ruler to be appointed elsewhere than at Rome"--is true of Roman religion in this period when it was discovered that the state might take into itself deities from outside Rome. And yet while the principle itself was fatal, the practice of it, so far, had been without much harm. Rome's growth was inevitable, it was quite as inevitable that these new interests should be represented in the world of the gods; her old gods did not suffice, hence new ones were introduced. But the actual gods brought in thus far were harmless; Hercules, Castor, Minerva, Diana never did Rome any injury in themselves, never injured her national morale, never lowered the tone of earnest sobriety which had been characteristic of the old regime.
So far it was good, and well had it been for Rome if she could have shut the gate of her Olympus now. What the old religion had not provided was now present. Politics, trade, and art were now represented. With these she was abundantly supplied for all her future career. But that was not to be, the gate was still open, and the destructive influence of Greece was soon to send in a host of new deities, who were destined not only to overwhelm the old Roman gods--which in itself we might forgive--but to sap away the old Roman virtues, to the maintenance of which the atmosphere of these old gods was essential. The forerunner of
this influence was in himself innocent enough, it was Apollo, and it is to his coming and the subsequent developments which set him in distinct opposition to Juppiter Optimus Maximus that we now turn.