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the scapegoat is perhaps a relic of a similar period of universal licence. Amongst the Hos the period of licence follows the expulsion of the devil. Amongst the Iroquois it hardly appears whether it preceded or followed the banishment of evils. In any case, the extraordinary relaxation of all ordinary rules of conduct on such occasions is doubtless to be explained by the general clearance of evils which precedes or follows it. On the one hand, when a general riddance of evil and absolution from all sin is in immediate prospect, men are encouraged to give the rein to their passions, trusting that the coming ceremony will wipe out the score which they are running up so fast. On the other hand, when the ceremony has just taken place, men's minds are freed from the oppressive sense, under which they generally labour, of an atmosphere surcharged with devils; and in the first revulsion of joy they overleap the limits commonly imposed by custom and morality. When the ceremony takes place at harvesttime, the elation of feeling which it excites is further stimulated by the state of physical wellbeing produced by an abundant supply of food.

1 In the Dassera festival, as cele. brated in Nepaul, we seem to have another instance of the annual expul. sion of demons preceded by a time of licence. The festival occurs at the beginning of October and lasts ten days. “During its continuance there is a general holiday among all classes of the people. The city of Kathmandu at this time is required to be purified, but the purification is effected rather by prayer than by water-cleansing. All the courts of law are closed, and all prisoners in jail are removed from the precincts of the city. .. The Kalendar is cleared, or there is a jaildelivery always at the Dassera of all prisoners.” This seems a trace of a period of licence. At this time “it is a general custom for masters to make an annual present, either of money, clothes, buffaloes, goats, etc., to such

as have given satisfaction during the past year. “It is in this respect, as well as in the feasting and drinking which goes on, something like our 'boxing-time at Christmas.” On

the seventh day at sunset there is a parade of all the troops in the capital, including the artillery. At a given signal the regiments begin to fire, the artillery takes it up, and a general firing goes on for about twenty minutes, when it suddenly ceases. This prob. ably represents the expulsion of the demons. “The grand cutting of the rice-crops is always postponed till the Dassera is over, and commences all over the valley the very day afterwards." See the description of the festival in Oldfield's Sketches from Nipal, ii. 342351.

On the Dassera in India, see Dubois, Næurs, Institutions et Céré. monies des Peuples de l'Inde, ii. 329 599. Amongst the Wasuahili of East Africa New Year's Day was formerly a day of general licence, “every man did as he pleased. Old quarrels were settled, men were found dead on the following day, and no inquiry was instituted about the matter (Ch. New, Life, Wanderings, and Labours in Eastern Africa, p. 65). An annual period of anarchy and licence, lasting


Fourthly, the employment of a divine man or animal as a scapegoat is especially to be noted ; indeed, we are here directly concerned with the custom of banishing evils only in so far as these evils are believed to be transferred to a god who is afterwards slain. It may be suspected that the custom of employing a divine man or animal as a public scapegoat is much more widely diffused than appears from the examples cited. For, as has already been pointed out, the custom of killing a god dates from so early a period of human history that in later ages, even when the custom continues to be practised, it is liable to be misinterpreted. The divine character of the animal or man is forgotten, and he comes to be regarded merely as an ordinary victim. This is especially likely to be the case when it is a divine man who is killed. For when a nation becomes civilised, if it does not drop human sacrifices altogether, it at least selects as victims only such wretches as would be put to death at any rate. Thus, as in the Sacaean festival at Babylon, the killing of a god may come to be confounded with the execution of a criminal.

If we ask why a dying god should be chosen to take upon himself and carry away the sins and sorrows of the people, it may be suggested that in the practice of using the divinity as a scapegoat we have a combination of two customs which were at one time distinct and independent. On the one hand we have seen that it has been customary to kill the human or animal god in order to save his divine life from being weakened by the inroads of age. On the other hand we have seen that it has been customary to have a general expulsion of evils and sins once a year. Now, if it occurred to people to combine these two customs, the result would be the employment of the dying god as a scapegoat. He was killed, not originally to take away sin, but to save the divine life from the degeneracy of old age; but, since he had to be killed at any rate, people may have thought that they might as well seize the opportunity to lay three days, is reported by Borelli to be

annual festival of the new yams is a observed by some of the Gallas (Paulit- time of general licence. See Note C, schke, Ethnographie Nordost-Afrikas : “Offerings of First-fruits," vol. ii. p. die geistige Cultur der Danskil, Galla 459. und Somal, p. 158). In Ashantee the

upon him the burden of their sufferings and sins, in order that he might bear it away with him to the unknown world beyond the grave.

The use of the divinity as a scapegoat clears up the ambiguity which, as we saw, appears to hang about the European folk-custom of “carrying out Death.”1 Grounds have been shown for believing that in this ceremony the so-called Death was originally the spirit of vegetation, who was annually slain in spring, in order that he might come to life again with all the vigour of youth. But, as I pointed out, there are certain features in the ceremony which are not explicable on this hypothesis alone. Such are the marks of joy with which the effigy of Death is carried out to be buried or burnt, and the fear and abhorrence of it manifested by the bearers. But these features become at once intelligible if we suppose that the Death was not merely the dying god of vegetation, but also a public scapegoat, upon whom were laid all the evils that had afflicted the people during the past year. Joy on such an occasion is natural and appropriate ; and if the dying god appears to be the object of that fear and abhorrence which are properly due not to himself, but to the sins and misfortunes with which he is laden, this arises merely from the difficulty of distinguishing or at least of marking the distinction between the bearer and the burden. When the burden is of a baleful character, the bearer of it will be feared and shunned just as much as if he were himself instinct with those dangerous properties of which, as it happens, he is only the vehicle. Similarly we have seen that disease-laden and sin-laden boats are dreaded and shunned by East Indian peoples.” Again, the view that in these popular customs the Death is a scapegoat as well as a representative of the divine spirit of vegetation derives some support from the circumstance that its expulsion is always celebrated in spring and chiefly by Slavonic peoples. For the Slavonic year began in spring :3 and thus, in one of its aspects, the ceremony of “carrying out Death" would be an example of the widespread custom of expelling the

1 See above, vol. ii. p. 107 sq.

3 H. Usener, “Italische Mythen," Rheinisches Museum, N.F.(1875), xxx. 194.

Above, pp. 98, 106.

accumulated evils of the past year before entering on a new one.

We are now prepared to notice the use of the scapegoat in classical antiquity. Every year on the fourteenth of March a man clad in skins was led in procession through the streets of Rome, beaten with long white rods, and driven out of the city. He was called Mamurius Veturius, that is, “the old Mars,” 2 and as the ceremony took place on the day preceding the first full moon of the old Roman year (which began on the first of March), the skin-clad man must have represented the Mars of the past year, who was driven out at the beginning of a new one. Now Mars was originally not a god of war but of vegetation. For it was to Mars that the Roman husbandman prayed for the prosperity of his corn and his vines, his fruit-trees and his copses ;: it was to Mars that the priestly college of the Arval Brothers, whose business it was to sacrifice for the growth of the crops,4 addressed their petitions almost exclusively ;6 and it was to Mars, as we saw, that a horse was sacrificed in October to secure an abundant harvest. Moreover, it was to Mars, under his title of “ Mars of the woods” (Mars Silvanus) that farmers offered sacrifice for the welfare of their cattle. We have already seen that cattle are commonly supposed to be under the special patronage of tree-gods. Once more, the consecration


Joannes Lydus, De mensibus, iii. 2 Usener, op. cit. p.

sy.; 29, iv. 36. Lydus places the expul. Roscher, Apollon und Mars, p. 27 ; sion on the Ides of March, that is 15th Preller, Römische Mythologie, 3 i. 360 ; March. But this seems to be a mis. Vaniček, Griechisch-lateinisches etymotake. See Usener, “Italische Mythen,” logisches Wörterbuch, p. 715. The Rheinisches Museum, xxx. 209 99. three latter scholars take Veturius

ain, Lydus does not expressly say as = annuus, because vetus is etymo. that Mamurius Veturius was driven out logically equivalent to {tos. But, as of the city, but he implies it by mention Usener argues, it seems quite unallow. ing the legend that his mythical pro able to take the Greek meaning of the totype was beaten with rods and word instead of the Latin. expelled the city. Lastly, Lydus only 3 Cato, De agri cult. 141. mentions the name Mamurius. But 4 Varro, De lingua latina, v. 85. the full name Mamurius Veturius is 6 See the song of the Arval Brothers preserved by Varro, Ling. Lał, vi. 45;. in Acta Fratrum Artalium, ed. Festus, ed. Müller, p. 131 ; Plutarch, Henzen, p. 26 sq.; Wordsworth, Numa, 13.

Mr. W. Warde Fowler is Fragments and Specimens of Early disposed to be sceptical as

to the

Latin, p. 158. antiquity of the ceremony of expeiling

6 Vol. ii. p. 315 sq. Mamurius. See his Roman Festivals i Cato, De agri cult. S3. of the period of the Republic, pp. 44-50. 8 Above, vol. i. pp. 192 599., 230.

of the vernal month of March to Mars seems to point him out as the deity of the sprouting vegetation. Thus the Roman custom of expelling the old Mars at the beginning of the new year in spring is identical with the Slavonic custom of “carrying out Death,” if the view here taken of the latter custom is correct. The similarity of the Roman and Slavonic customs has been already remarked by scholars, who appear, however, to have taken Mamurius Veturius and the corresponding figures in the Slavonic ceremonies to be representatives of the old year rather than of the old god of vegetation. It is possible that ceremonies of this kind may have come to be thus interpreted in later times even by the people who practised them. But the personification of a period of time is too abstract an idea to be primitive.? However, in the Roman, as in the Slavonic, ceremony, the representative of the god appears to have been treated not only as a deity of vegetation but also as a scapegoat.

His expulsion implies this; for there is no reason why the god of vegetation, as such, should be expelled the city. But it is otherwise if he is also a scapegoat; it then becomes necessary to drive him beyond the boundaries, that he may carry his sorrowful burden away to other lands. And, in fact, Mamurius Veturius appears to have been driven away to the land of the Oscans, the enemies of Rome.3


1 Preller, Römische Alythologie, 3 i. 360 ; Roscher, Apollon und Mars, p. 49; id., Lexikon d. griech. und röm. l/ythologie, ii. 2408 sq.; Usener, op. cit. The ceremony also closely resembles the Highland New Year ceremony described above, vol. ii. p. 447.

? But the Biyars, a mixed tribe of North-Western India, observe an annual ceremony which they call “burning the old year.”

The old year is represented by a stake of the wood of the cotton-tree, which is planted in the ground at an appointed place outside of the village, and then burned on the day of the full moon in the month of Pùs. Fire is first put to it by the village priest, and then all the people follow his example, parch stalks of barley in the fire, and afterwards eat them. Next day they throw the ashes of the burnt wood in the air ; and on the

morrow the festival ends with a regular saturnalia, at which decency and order are forgotten. See W. Crooke, Tribes and Castes of the North-IVestern Provinces and Oudh, ii. 137 sq.

Compare, id., Introduction to the Popular Religion and Folklore of Northern India, p. 392.

Propertius, v. 2. 61 sq.; Usener, op. cit. p. 210. One of the functions of the Salii or dancing priests, who during March went up and down the city dancing, singing, and clashing their swords against their shields (Livy, i. 20 ; Plutarch, Vima, 13; Dionysius Halicarn. Antiq. ii. 70), may have been to rout out the evils or demons from all parts of the city, as a preparation for transferring them to the scape. goat Mamurius Veturius. Similarly,

we have seen (above, p. 108), among the Iroquois, men in fantastic


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