Wednesday, November 23, 2011


In Roman mythology, Quirinus was an early god of the Roman state. In Augustan Rome, Quirinus was also an epithet of Janus, as Janus Quirinus.[1] His name is derived from Quiris meaning "spear."

Quirinus was originally most likely a Sabine god of war. The Sabines had a settlement near the eventual site of Rome, and erected an altar to Quirinus on the Collis Quirinalis, the Quirinal Hill, one of the Seven Hills of Rome. When the Romans settled there, they absorbed the cult of Quirinus into their early belief system — previous to direct Greek influence — and by the end of the first century BC Quirinus was considered to be the deified Romulus.[2][3] He soon became an important god of the Roman state, being included in the earliest precursor of the Capitoline Triad, along with Mars (then an agriculture god) and Jupiter.[4] Varro notes the Capitolium Vetus an earlier cult sited on the Quirinal, devoted to Jupiter, Juno and Minerva,[5] among whom Martial makes a distinction between the "old Jupiter" and the "new".[6]

In later times, however, Quirinus became far less important, losing his place to the later, more widely known Capitoline Triad (Juno and Minerva took his and Mars' place). Later still, Romans began to drift away from the state belief system in favor of more personal and mystical cults (such as those of Bacchus, Cybele, and Isis). In the end, he was worshiped almost exclusively by his flamen, the Flamen Quirinalis, who remained, however, one of the patrician flamines maiores, the "greater flamens" who preceded the Pontifex Maximus in precedence.[7]


In earlier Roman art, he was portrayed as a bearded man with religious and military clothing. However, he was almost never depicted in later Roman belief systems. He was also often associated with the myrtle.


His festival was the Quirinalia, held on February 17.


Even centuries after the fall of the Roman Empire, the Quirinal hill in Rome, originally named from the deified Romulus, was still associated with power - it was chosen as the seat of the royal house after the taking of Rome by the Savoia and later it became the residence of the Presidents of the Italian Republic.

In Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, the Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher is named Quirinus Quirrell. His name is likely a reference to the fact that Quirinus is an epithet of Janus, since both Janus and Quirrell have two faces, one on either side of their heads.

From: Wiki
An old Roman deity whose origin is uncertain, and there is also little known about his cult. He was worshipped by the Sabines, an old Italian people who lived north-east of Rome. They had a fortified settlement near Rome, the Quirinal, which was named after their god. Later, when Rome expanded, this settlement was absorbed by the city, and Quirinus became, together with Jupiter and Mars, the god of the state. The Quirinalis, one of the Roman hills, was named after him. His consort is Hora.

He was usually depicted as a bearded man who wears clothing that is part clerical and part military. His sacred plant is the myrtle. His festival, the Quirinalia, was celebrated on February 17. Romulus was also identified with Quirinus, especially in the late-Roman era (Virgil I, 292).


From: here
Quirinus was the third Roman deity in importance or ranking, behind Jupiter and Mars. The three gods formed into a triad of warrior deities. Quirinus' attributes and origin seemed obscure.

Quirinus was possibly a deification of the first Roman king, Romulus. Or he may have been originally tutelary god of the Sabines, living on Quirinal Hill in Rome, before the Romans adopted him.

According to the poet Ovid, Romulus and his wife, Hersilie, became immortal and lived as the god Quirinus and the goddess Hora.

Quirinus was probably a god of war or defence, since he was seen military clothing as well in clerical clothing. Quirinus was sometimes identified or confused with Mars, as Mars Quirinus.

The myrtle trees were sacred to him. His festival, the Quirinalia, was held on February 17, which was the same day that of Fornax, goddess of bread making.

From: here
A Sabine god with attributes similar to the god Mars, with whom he is associated, Quirinus' cult was established on the Quirinal hill when the Sabines settled it, prior to Rome's founding. While his temple on the Quirinal was continuously staffed by priests and was the center of a festival of cult renewal every February 17, his name was closely identified from the time of the early kings with that of Romulus (see Ovid, Fasti 2.475-512; in Fasti 4. 907-942 he recounts a mid-spring ritual he observed the flamen of Quirinus conducting on April 25).

From: here


Ante diem XIII Kalendas Martius (referred to simply as Quirinalia); marked NP, it was a day on which public sacrifice (feria publica) was offered and on which no assemblies could meet.
Sources: Roman Calendar; Ovid, Fasti II. 474a-532

The Quirinalia was celebrated on February 17. It was the religious holiday of Quirinus, supposedly the warlike, divine incarnation of Romulus, whose name has been connected with the Sabine word for spear curis and to the Sabine town Cures. Its inhabitants were called Quirites, a name that was transfered to the community of Sabines and Romans joined under Romulus; the Romans referred to themselves as Quiritesin their civil entity and as Romani in their political and military capacity.

Ovid recites the legend that Romulus was taken bodily up to heaven in a cloud and appeared afterward to Julius Proculus with the injunction that the Quirites should not mourn him but rather worship the new god Quirinus and cultivate their ancestral art of war. Quirinus was originally part of the archaic Roman triad, along with Jupiter and Mars. He was concerned with promoting the general welfare of the Roman people. The triad retained this focus even after Quirinus was replaced as its third member by the goddess Minerva, circa 200 BCE.

This was also a special day of devotion to those who lived on the Quirinal Hill, one of the seven hills of Rome, where the Sabine settlement was found. Also on this hill is the oldest shrine of Jupiter, the large gardens of Julius Caesar, Constantine's famous baths, a palace and garden for the Roman Catholic popes; it is currently the official residence and offices of the President of the Italian Republic.

Ovid tells us that this day was also known as the Feast of Fools (Stultorum Festa) and the Festival of Fornax (the Fornacalia), a goddess they created from word for oven to whom they prayed to keep the oven heat right for the grain. This feast is thought to mark the transition of the Romans from warriors to farmer, learning through trial and error to properly grow, prepare and cook grain.

From: here
Other Sites:
Long-ish article about the god -- info about cult, festival, etc
Quirinal Hill - Wikipedia

No comments:

Post a Comment