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elder sister of Demeter (Ceres), Hera (Juno), Pluto, Poseidon (Neptunus), and Zeus (Jupiter). This genealogy is adopted by Ovid, Fast. 6. 285

“Ex Ope Iunonem memorant Cereremque creatas

Semine Saturni: tertia Vesta fuit;' although it is completely at variance with the rest of his theory.

Nor does the embarrassment end here; the Italian antiquaries? believed Terra or Ops to be the same with Bona Dea, and with Maia, or Stata Mater, the wife of Vulcan, from whom the month of May was named; and thus Vesta, or the personification of mild, gentle fire, would be the consort of Vulcanus, the personification for fierce, consuming fire, and identical with Maia, and Bona Dea.

Mention is frequently made in the classics of this Bona Dea, or Good-Goddess, but we possess very little information respecting her, except that all male creatures were jealously excluded from her rites; and so sacred was the rule, that Clodius, in the height of his popularity, was well nigh ruined by violating it 2.

The festival of Vesta, the 'Vestalia,' was held VI. Id. Jun. (8th June), on which day solemn sacrifice was offered by the Vestals; the mill-stones were wreathed with garlands, and the mill-asses adorned with flowers and necklaces made of loaves, because Vesta presided over the fire by which the flour was rendered available for the wants of man 3.

On the Kalends of March, the laurels which decorated the shrine were renewed, and the sacred fire renovated,

Vesta quoque ut folio niteat velata recenti,

Cedit ab Iliacis laurea cana focis.
Adde, quod arcana fieri novus ignis in aede

Dicitur; et vires flamma refecta capit,' and on XVII. Kal. Jul. (15th June), the sweepings and other filth which had accumulated in the temple were carried forth and solemnly thrown into the Tiber. Fast. 6. 711

‘Haec est Illa dies, qua tu purgamina Vestae,

Tibri, per Etruscas in mare mittis aquas.'


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1 See Macrob. S. 1. 12.

2 See Plutarch Vit. Caes. 9, which is the locus classicus' with regard to the Bona Dea. See also Macrob. S. 1. 12.

3 Ovid, Fast. 6. 311.

It was thought unlucky to marry in June, until this ceremony was over. Ovid, Fast. 6. 223.

27. Pignora...fatalia. Dionysius and Plutarch express themselves with much caution and reserve on this subject. They tell us that some persons were of opinion that the sanctuary of Vesta contained nothing but the sacred fire; that, according to others, it concealed the gods carried over by Dardanus from Samothrace to Troy, and brought from Troy to Italy by Aeneas—the current belief being that the Palladium was there deposited. Both authors agree in thinking that relics of some kind were preserved by the Vestals, but that that they were hidden with such jealous care from every eye, that no one could pretend to any certain knowledge of their nature.

37. Sub Caesare. The Vestals, as we remarked above, were subject to the control of the Pontifex Maximus. Lepidus succeeded to this office upon the murder of Julius Caesar, and after the death of Lepidus, 12 B.C., it was assumed by Augustus !. The day marked in the Calendars, as hallowed by this auspicious event, was Prid. Non. Mart. (6th March.) Ovid announces the event, Fast. 3. 415.



FAS. III. 713.

THE ‘Liberalia,' the festival of Liber Pater,' whom the Latins identified with the Grecian Dionysus, was celebrated on XVI. Kal. Mai. (17th March.) It would be impossible, in a work like the present, to enter upon an examination of the complicated mythology of Bacchus, its wild legends, and the various extravagant and enthusiastic ceremonies by which the worship of that god was characterised. Some of these have been noticed above (p. 147, et seqq.). We may repeat the observation already made, that the more unseemly and frantic excesses were in all probability derived from the rites of some Eastern divinity, whose worship was incorporated by the Greeks with that of their own native god of wine. An attempt

1 Dion. 54. 15, Sueton. Octav. 31.

was made to introduce the orgiastic nocturnal festivals, which were attended with all sorts of profligacy, into Rome, but they were considered so deleterious to public morals, that they were repressed by a decree of the senate. The following narrative of the history and adventures of the Grecian or Theban Bacchus will enable us to understand all the allusions to foreign legends contained in the Extract before us :

Semele, daughter of Harmonia and the Theban Cadmus, was beloved of Jove, who promised to grant whatever boon she might ask. Beguiled by the treacherous advice of jealous Juno, she requested the god to appear before her in the same guise as when he wooed the queen of heaven. Jupiter, unable to refuse, entered her chamber in a chariot, amidst thunder and lightning, and launched a flaming bolt. Semele having fallen a sacrifice to her terror, he snatched from the flames the babe, not yet mature for the birth, and sewed it up in his thigh. When the appointed season arrived, the threads were unloosed, and Jupiter produced Dionysus, who was delivered over to Hermes, who conveyed him to his aunt Ino, and her husband Athamas, and persuaded them to raise him as a girl. Athamas and Ino were driven mad by the indignant Juno, and Jupiter then changed Dionysus into a kid, and Hermes bore him concealed under this shape to the Nymphs dwelling in Asiatic Nysa, whom Jupiter afterwards transformed into stars, with the name of Hyades. Dionysus having discovered the vine, was driven mad by Juno, and wandered over Egypt and Syria. First of all, Proteus, king of Egypt, received him, but forthwith he passed over to Cybela, in Phrygia, and being there purified by Rhea, and initiated in her mysteries, he received from her an army, and marched with it through Thrace against the Indians. But Lycurgus, son of Dryas, king of the Edoni, who dwelt beside the river Strymon, insulted him and drove him forth. Dionysus fled to the sea to Thetis, daughter of Nereus, but the Bacchae and his attendant crowd of Satyrs were taken prisoners. The Bacchae instantly became free, and Dionysus drove Lycurgus mad, who in his frenzy, smote with a hatchet his son Dryas, fancying that he was cutting a vine branch, slew him, and having hewn off his limbs, then recovered his senses. The land became barren, and the Oracle declared that it would yield fruit if Lycurgus were slain. The Edoni having heard this, bore him away to the mountain Pangaeus, and bound him there, where, according to the will of Dionysus, he perished, being torn to pieces by horses.

Dionysus having passed through Thrace and the whole of India, and set up pillars to commemorate his victories, came to Thebes, and compelled the women to leave their houses, and to hold Bacchanalian revels on Cithaeron. But Pentheus, son of Echion and Agave, who had succeeded Cadmus on the throne, forbade these things to be. He proceeded to Cithaeron to watch the Bacchae, and was torn limb from limb by his mother Agave, who, in her frenzy, took him for a wild beast.

Having thus made his divinity manifest to the Thebans, he came to Argos, and there too, not receiving due honours, he drove the women mad, and in the mountains they fed upon the flesh of the babes who hung at their breasts. Desiring to be conveyed from Icaria to Naxus, he hired a piratical trireme belonging to the Tyrrhenians, who having taken him on board, sailed past Naxus, and hastened towards Asia to sell him for a slave. But the god turned the mast and the oars into serpents, and filled the vessel with ivy and the sound of flutes, while the mariners, becoming frantic, plunged into the sea through terror, and were changed into dolphins. And thus men, having learned that he was a god, paid him honour. He then led up his mother from the realms of Hades, and giving her the title of Thyone, ascended with her to heaven. See Apollod. 3. 4, 2, 3; 3. 5, 1, 2.

The story of the Bacchae is detailed by Ov. Met. 3. 273, the legend of Pentheus, Met. 3. 511, of Lycurgus, Met. 4. 22, and of the Tyrrhenian mariners, Met. 3. 597.

3, 4. Commentators have failed in extracting a sense from the words 'parvus inermis eras,' which will in any degree correspond with the former part of the couplet. Neither the reading erat,' which is found in good MSS., nor 'partus,' the conjecture of Heinsius, make the meaning more intelligible.

7. Sithonas. Sithonia proper, according to Herodotus, is one of the three long narrow peninsulas which form the termination of that portion of Macedonia called Chalcidice, lying between the Strymonicus Sinus (G. of Contessa) and the Thermaicus Sinus (G. of Saloniki). The most northerly of these is formed by Mount Athos, that farthest to the south was called Pallene, while Sithonia lay between them, being separated from the former by the Singiticus Sinus (G. of Monte Santo), and from the latter by the Toronaicus Sinus (G. of Cassandria). In poetic phraseology, however, Sithonia is used to express the whole of Thrace and the north of Macedonia.

Scythicas. Scythia, in its widest acceptation, embraces the whole of southern Russia in Europe, together with the vast steppes of central Asia, the land of the Tartars and the Mongols.

9. Thebanae...matris. Agave, the mother of Pentheus. See introduction to Extract.

10. Inque tuum... genu. According to one form of the legend, Lycurgus in his frenzy cut off his own legs with a hatchet.

13, 14. Ovid having hastily passed over foreign fables, now proceeds to consider one of the usages of the Roman Liberalia, described somewhat more distinctly by Varro, L. L. 5 ' Liberalia dicta, quod per totum oppidum eo die sedent sacerdotes Liberi, hedera coronatae anus, cum libis et foculo pro emptore sacrificantes.'

14. Liba. The ' libum' was a cake much used in sacrifices, the ingredients of which were cheese, wheaten flour, and an egg. Cato, R. R. 85, gives the recipe

Libum hoc modo facito. Casei P. II. bene disterat in mortario : ubi bene distriverit, farinae siligineae libram, aut si voles tenerius esse, selibram similaginis solum eodem indito, permiscetoque cum caseo bene: ovum I. addito, et una permisceto bene. Inde panem facito. Folia subdito: in foco caldo sub testu coquito leniter.' These “liba’ were called itpia by the Greeks.

16. Gelidis. Grass grew upon the altars where no fire was ever kindled for sacrifice.

17. The Ganges, the great river of India, is here put for the country itself.

19. Cinnamon is the peculiar production of the Ceylon and the Malabar coast, and thus appropriately introduced here in reference to the Indian conquests of Bacchus.

21. Ovid foolishly derives from ‘Liber' the words Libamen

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