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Genius and Numen

  • Duncan Fishwick (a1)
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1 Ovid, , Fasti V. 145f.; Dio LV. 8, 6–7; Suet, Aug. XXX; Cerfaux, L. and Tondriau, J., Le Culte des Souverains (Tournai, 1956), 318.

2 Taylor, L. R., The Divinity of the Roman Emperor (Middletown, 1931), 182 with notes 2, 3; Fraenkel, E., Horace (Oxford, 1957), 446.

3 Taylor, , Divinity, 190–92.

4 Pippidi, D. M., Le “Numen Augusti,” Rev. Et. tat. IX (1931), 83111; Taylor, L. R., The Worship of Augustus in Italy during his lifetime, T.A.P.A. LI (1920), 132, note 59; cf. A. J. Phil. LVIII (1937), 189; Divinity, 220, 227, 282. Scott, K., The Imperial Cult under the Flavians (Stuttgart/Berlin), 117f. So also Beurlier, Preller, Hild, Warde-Fowler, Beaudoin; for refs. see Étienne, R., Le Culte Imperial dans la peninsule Iberique d'Auguste a Diocletien (Bibl. des ecoles franc. d'Athenes et de Rome CXCI: Paris, 1958), 314. The extent to which the two have been identified may be judged from Yale Cl. St. VII (1940), 176, note 822, where as evidence for the cult of the genius the editors quote an inscription set up by the cohors XX Palmyrenorum with the formula numini ac maiesitati eorum].

5 There seems to be no definitive exposition of the fundamental distinction between genius and numen, though PFISTER pointed the way in a brief paragraph, R.E. XVII, 2 (1937), 1286f. s.v. numen. TOUTAIN and others have marked the opposition between the two notions en passant; cf. Étienne's refs., Culte Impérial, 315, to which add Koch, C., Gottheit und Mensch im Wandel der Romischen Staats-form, in Das neue Bild der Antike, ed. Berve, H. (Leipzig, 1942), II, 153.

6 Taylor, L. R., Tiberius’ Ovatio and the Ara Numinis Augusti, A. J. Phil. LVIII (1937), 185–93.

7n[umini Augusti ad aram q]uam dedicavit Ti. CaesarDegrassi, A., Inscriptiones Italicae XIII, 2, p. 115.

8 Above, note 4, 106-08. I doubt LATTE'S suggestion, Röm. Rel. Gesch., 306, note 3, that Roma may have originally found a place in the cult at Narbo: the goddess is usually associated with the living Augustus himself rather than with the numen Augusti.

9 For references see Cesano, L., Diz. Epig. III, (1922) (1962), 459f. s.v.; cf. Pippidi, , loc. oil., 107, note 3.

10 On the Augustales see Nock, A. D., Melanges Bidez, II (Brussels, 1934), 627–38; Oliver, J. H., Historia VII (1958), 481–96.

11 Cf. above, note 1.

12 Thi s conclusion is imposed by the sheer weight of statistics. Throughout the whole of the second century, which is when the cult of the numen really begins, and into the early part of the third there occurs no certain example of numini Augusto with the single possible exception of A.E. 1965, no. 195 (numinibus Augustis). Instead, the form in all cases where the formula is given in full is numini Augusti or numinibus Augustorum. It is true that the full form of the singular occurs relatively seldom, but Augusti can often be deduced with certainty from some accompanying epithet or from the emperor's actual name. Hence, when some abbreviation is used (as in CIL III, 3487 below), analogy surely acquires that one expand to the personal numini Aug(usti) or Aug(ustorum). Otherwise, there are perhaps four examples of the cult in the first century: the inscription at Forum Clodii attesting the form numini Augusto (A.D. 18), and the earlier altar at Narbo dedicated to the numen Augusti (A.D. 11). So also CIL IV, 3882 ( = ILS, 5146: time of Tiberius?); CIL XIII, 389 (? 1st Century). Given that the adjectival form at Forum Clodii is therefore unique, I suggest that it is simply a variant found at a time before the personal Augusti had become the stereotype. For further discussion see appendix following.

13 Taeger, F., Charisma (Stuttgart, 1960), 145f.

14 Taylor, L. R., Divinity, 219.

15 On the technical uses of Augustorum see further Flamen Augustorum, Harvard St. Cl. Phil. LXXIV (1969), forthcoming.

16 The question was raised but not satisfactorily answered by Miss Taylor, in T. A. P. A. LI (1920), 132, note 59. PIPPIDI'S suggestion that numen was preferred to genius simply for reasons of euphony and richness of content is clearly inadequate: loc. cit., in, note 2.

17 Cf. Otto, W. F. in R.E. VII, 1 (1910), 1162f. s.v.

18 References in CESANO (above, note 9), 459–62. The genius of Augustus was, however, invited to dine on Augustus’ natalis at the altar at Forum Clodii (set up in A.D. 18).

19 Cf. Augustorum, Numina, Cl. Quarterly LXIII (1969), forthcoming.

20 See. Otto's authoritative treatment (above, note 17), 1155–70; CESANO (above, note 9), 449–81.

21 WISSOWA, RuKR2, 175 ff.

22 LATTF, Röm Rel. Gesch., 307, note 2 with refs.; Enciclopedia Dell'Arte Antica, III (i960), 81016 s.v.“genio.”

23 See especially Rose, H. J., Numen inest: Animism in Greek and Roman Religion, Harvard Theol. Rev. 28 (1935), 237–57; Numen, and Mana, , Harvard Theol. Rev. 44 (1951), 109–20(replying to S. Weinstock, in J. Rom. St. XXXIX [1949], 166f.); Pfister, F., R.E. XVII, 2 (1937), cols. 1273–91; also in general Waoenvoort, H., Roman Dynamism: Studies in ancient thought, language and custom (Oxford, 1947). The older idea that the early Romans worshipped a class of spirits called numina was revived by Grenier, A., Lalomus VI (1947), 297308, without reference to the writings of ROSE or PFISTER. For further discussion see Potscher, W., Numen, Gymnasium 66 (1959), 353–74; Latte, , RRG, 57.

24 Harvard Theol. Rev. 44 (1951), 114.

25 Cf. WEINSTOCK (above, note 23).

26 ROSE, ibid., aptly compares the modification of “Providence” from impersonal to personal.

27 PFISTER, loc. cit., 1287.

28 Nock, , Harvard Theol. Rev. 45 (1952), 240f. “…the term genius implied some power which was more than what was seen.” He stresses that, for example, the genius centuriae could receive genuine ex-votos from individual soldiers in gratitude for supposed blessings.

28 For refs. see CESANO (above, note 9), 459.

30 See above, note 12. A poetical example in OVID, Pont. III.1, 163 is clearly equivalent to Augusti numen: cf. Trist. III. 8, 13; for Caesareum numen see Trist. V.3, 46; 11, 20.

31 On the expansion of the epigraphical formulae see The Imperial NUMEN in Roman Britain, J. Rom. St. LIX (1969), forthcoming.

32 Beaudoin, E., Le Culte des empereurs dans les cites de la Gaule Narbonnaise (Annales de I'enseignement superieur de Grenoble), VII (1891), 19f.

33 Loc. tit., 1282.

34 I take it that this is the case. To understand numen in the same sense with both Augustus and portorium would make better sense than PFISTER'S solution, but I find it hard to believe that the public portorium could possess numen.

35 The attendant spirit of a woman is usually termed her Juno, but genius is occasionally attested; cf. OTTO, loc. cit., 1157.

36 Taylor, , Divinity, 192. NOCK, had some doubts, Gnomon VIII (1932), 516.

37 Ibid., 5171. et passim.

38 For PLINY deification is basically a way of expressing gratitude for benefits received; cf. Panegyric XI, 1; XXXV, 4; LII, 1.

39 “Cf. Nock, in Harvard Theol. Rev. 45 (1952), 239; J. Rom. St. XLVII (1957), 115.

40 Cf. Nock, in Mélanges Bidez II (1934), 637.

41 PFISTER, loc. cit., 1285f. Posthumous deification similarly implies gratitude and honour for services rendered in life, rather than enrollment among the gods as a power who might confer blessings; cf. Charlesworth, M. P., Harvard Theol. Rev. 28 (1935), 3642

42 NOCK (above, note 36), 518; CIIARLESWORTII (above, note 41),36–42.

43 For deus see the refs. collected by CERFAUX-TONDRIAU (above, note 1), 334, 348; SCOTT (above, note 4), index s.v. deus; for numen see CERFAITX-TONDRIAU, 334, n.6; cf. Quintilian, , Insl. Or. IV, preface; Statius, , Silvae, I. 1.75; IV. 3.140; Martial, , Epigr. IX. 86, 9.

44 Smallwood, E. M., Documents Illustrating the Principates of Gains, Claudius and Nero (Cambridge, 1967), 99, no. 370.

45 J. Rom. St. XXXVII (1937), 104.

46 Harvard Theol. Rev. 45 (1952), 241.

47 Cf. Mm. FEL., Oct. XXIX, 5: sic eorum numen vocant, ad imagines supplicant, genium, id est daemonium, inplorant…

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