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Re: [tied] ancilae salii and archaic roman religion

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  • CeiSerith@aol.com
    In a message dated 12/31/02 3:43:53 PM Pacific Standard Time, ... The fact that the shield(s) of the Salii fell from heaven is, I think, significant. It is my
    Message 1 of 2 , Dec 31, 2002
      In a message dated 12/31/02 3:43:53 PM Pacific Standard Time, MrCaws@... writes:


      priesthood with associated with both Rhea and
      the infant Zeus.

      The Salii also carried the ancilae,or figure eight-shaped shield, and
      similarly beat their swords or spears against them while dancing,
      playing flutes and singing the hymn "Carmen Saliare". This song was
      in Latin that was considered archaic in Republican times. The Salii
      were especially associated with Mars and the time of his birth on
      March 1, also the date of the old Roman new year. The Salii were
      considered a priesthood, and only patricians could participate.
          There was an obscure myth about the ancilae invoving King Numa
      and a shadowy figure called Mamurius, who is thought to be a form of
      Mars or a blacksmith involved in the production of the shields. The
      myth is unclear, but Mamurius apparently constructed 11 ancilae
      imitating an original shield that fell from heaven, and the real and
      fake shields became confused. There was some ceremony involving the
      flagellation of Mamurius with hide-strips

      Ceremonial/decorative ancilae were discovered on Minoan Crete in
      Final Palatical times, associated with the Mycenaean-style warrior
      graves, as well as being found on mainland Myceneaen Greece. It may
      be worth noting that in Final Palatial Crete there is the first
      definite evidence for trade with Italy.

      Both the Salii and Curetes were thus forms of priesthoods/religious
      functionaries that  carried the ancilae, and beat them with staves or
      spears while singing and dancing. Both were also associated with the
      birth of an important god


         The fact that the shield(s) of the Salii fell from heaven is, I think, significant.  It is my theory the original pairing of a PIE god of the bright sky with a god of the dark (stormy) sky has been broken up in Greece and Rome, so that lightning becomes the weapon of a god who was originally the god of the bright sky.  With this, the previous thunder god dwindles into relative insignifance.  I suspect that this is what is going on here, except that in Rome the original thunder god (Mars) got to keep his shields thrown from heaven, while in Greece Zeus got them.  (Or did he?  Could the Curetes be the mannerbund of the original thunder god protecting the god of the bright sky?)  I think that the equation of Mars with the PIE thunder god clears up the mystery of why he is associated with fertility (cf. Thor, Indra, and Perkunas), and also sheds light on his role in the the October Equus, generally considered to be cognate with the Vedic ashvamedha, originally dedicated to Indra.
         This is a work in progress, but I think it shows some promise.

      David Fickett-Wilbar
    • mrcaws <MrCaws@hotmail.com>
      ... think, ... the bright ... Greece and ... originally the ... dwindles into ... here, except ... shields thrown ... Curetes ... the ... thunder god ... Thor,
      Message 2 of 2 , Jan 4, 2003
        --- In cybalist@yahoogroups.com, CeiSerith@a... wrote:
        >
        > The fact that the shield(s) of the Salii fell from heaven is, I
        think,
        > significant. It is my theory the original pairing of a PIE god of
        the bright
        > sky with a god of the dark (stormy) sky has been broken up in
        Greece and
        > Rome, so that lightning becomes the weapon of a god who was
        originally the
        > god of the bright sky. With this, the previous thunder god
        dwindles into
        > relative insignifance. I suspect that this is what is going on
        here, except
        > that in Rome the original thunder god (Mars) got to keep his
        shields thrown
        > from heaven, while in Greece Zeus got them. (Or did he? Could the
        Curetes
        > be the mannerbund of the original thunder god protecting the god of
        the
        > bright sky?) I think that the equation of Mars with the PIE
        thunder god
        > clears up the mystery of why he is associated with fertility (cf.
        Thor,
        > Indra, and Perkunas), and also sheds light on his role in the the
        October
        > Equus, generally considered to be cognate with the Vedic
        ashvamedha,
        > originally dedicated to Indra.
        > This is a work in progress, but I think it shows some promise.
        >

        Interesting-I am also curious about the identity of Mars in
        relation to other pantheons. To me he seems to be connected with the
        state and kingship(Romulus),warfare, boundaries, agriculture,
        fertility. I think that some of these attributes are similar to Zeus
        and other thunder gods.

        It has been suggested that the birth of the baby god symbolized the
        new year itself-Not unlike the modern practice of finding out which
        baby was born closest to Midnight on New Year's day. It is also
        suggested this was connected with the agriculutral cycle-The "corn
        baby" of Frazer, which could explain the fertility aspect of both
        Mars and Zeus. Also, Dionysus and Mars were both considered sons of
        the thunder god. So was the Anatolian Telepinu, who was directly
        related to agricultural fertility. Thunder gods can be seen as the
        bringer of fertility indirectly through rain, perhaps their children
        were considered as direct manifestations of the fertility.

        An explanation proffered by Jane Ellen Harrison compares the myth of
        the birth of Zeus to a birth or initiation ritual, and also notes
        similarities to the birth of Dionysus. In one version, the Curetes
        are unable to protect baby Zeus from the titans and he is devoured-
        The reason beign that he was distracted by toys offered to him by the
        titans. The baby is then reborn. This could be a symbolic rebirth
        i.e. putting childish things away and being reborn as an adult.
        Harrison argues the clashing of shields on spears could be an effect
        trying to intimidate/impress the child.

        March 1 is sacred to Juno Lucina, goddess of childbirth, as well as
        Mars. This was one of the occasions in which Roman women let their
        hair down. The practice of letting hair down is practiced in some
        places in association with circumcision, another initiation ceremony.
        The myth, then, could be a reflection or adaptation of such a ritual
        in a larger context-Which could be used to re-enforce and explain the
        initiation itself, if it was actually practiced on an individual
        level.

        Cort Williams

        > In a message dated 12/31/02 3:43:53 PM Pacific Standard Time,
        > MrCaws@h... writes:
        >
        >
        > > priesthood with associated with both Rhea and
        > > the infant Zeus.
        > >
        > > The Salii also carried the ancilae,or figure eight-shaped shield,
        and
        > > similarly beat their swords or spears against them while dancing,
        > > playing flutes and singing the hymn "Carmen Saliare". This song
        was
        > > in Latin that was considered archaic in Republican times. The
        Salii
        > > were especially associated with Mars and the time of his birth on
        > > March 1, also the date of the old Roman new year. The Salii were
        > > considered a priesthood, and only patricians could participate.
        > > There was an obscure myth about the ancilae invoving King
        Numa
        > > and a shadowy figure called Mamurius, who is thought to be a form
        of
        > > Mars or a blacksmith involved in the production of the shields.
        The
        > > myth is unclear, but Mamurius apparently constructed 11 ancilae
        > > imitating an original shield that fell from heaven, and the real
        and
        > > fake shields became confused. There was some ceremony involving
        the
        > > flagellation of Mamurius with hide-strips
        > >
        > > Ceremonial/decorative ancilae were discovered on Minoan Crete in
        > > Final Palatical times, associated with the Mycenaean-style
        warrior
        > > graves, as well as being found on mainland Myceneaen Greece. It
        may
        > > be worth noting that in Final Palatial Crete there is the first
        > > definite evidence for trade with Italy.
        > >
        > > Both the Salii and Curetes were thus forms of
        priesthoods/religious
        > > functionaries that carried the ancilae, and beat them with
        staves or
        > > spears while singing and dancing. Both were also associated with
        the
        > > birth of an important god
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