Talk:Capitoline Triad

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who sez[edit]

This article is heavy on what modern scholars think about these triads, and very light on how they "know" what they think they know. That is, what do ancient sources actually say that makes people think each of these was the "supreme" triad of deities accorded "worship," or what did the Romans actually do in terms of cult that makes us think they regarded the deities as a triad? For instance, what prayers or rituals treat them as a group of three? I don't see a single thing attributed to an ancient source; now, I myself happen to know these exist, but the article as it stands would lead one to think that this is all theoretical. Cynwolfe (talk) 21:26, 21 November 2010 (UTC)

Everything is well attested in sources. Please do read Dumezil carefully! The author of the article utterly misrepresented his thought: Iupiter incarnates the sovereign function, connected to royalty, religion and ius, Mars the warring function and Quirinus that of fertility, wealth, pleasure. This structure is reflected in the 3 flamines maiores, the rites they perform and their religious duties, taboos etc. It is to be found in the Iguvine Tables with the 3 Grabovi Iove, Mars, Vofionos. Dumezil does not contend this division existed really in Roman society, it is just an ideological structure reflected in religion, which he thought was common to IE peoples from India to Ireland. Cf. ordo sacerdotum in the glossary (my original version).Aldrasto11 (talk) 11:09, 23 November 2010 (UTC)

Yes, I'd just like to see a little more in the article about how the triad was referred to in antiquity, the contexts in which it was referenced — wasn't doubting its existence. You've expressed the three functions as manifested in the Archaic Triad quite well, and I hope you'll rewrite the article to reflect your understanding. This is one of those subjects where Dumézil most needs to be present and accounted for. Cynwolfe (talk) 12:46, 23 November 2010 (UTC)

All right I shall try. There are only traces left however clear. Dumezil traced everything back to Vedic India: India is perhaps the only society which preserved the division to recent times: Brahmins, Ksatryas and Vasayas (priests, warriors and artisans, merchants). The rajah is also god on earth. In Rome too the rex was a sort of in the regal period, the dialis was created by Numa to be his representative during his absence from Rome because of wars. The other two flamines maiores too had the religious duty not to leave Rome: see the sentences of P. Licinius Crassus Dives.Aldrasto11 (talk) 13:41, 24 November 2010 (UTC) I would also refrain from using the expression sympathaetic magic in connexion to the rites of the Equus October and Lupercalia.

I don't even know why these two rites are in the article; "sympathetic magic" comes more from the discourse of J.G. Frazer et al. and I agree it that it doesn't belong here. Cut out anything you want, unless it's relevant and well-sourced; in which case, it just needs to be presented as one interpretation. Cynwolfe (talk) 14:59, 24 November 2010 (UTC)
I found a good summary of Dumezil's exposition by Schilling in Bonnefoy-Doniger. However Dumezil summarises his points clearly too in the 1st chapter of part I of ARR: there are 5 passages in the sources that substantiate the archaic triad. I see a problem: if I have to rewrite this topic basing my exposition on Dumezil's views I shall have to discard the theory of an agrarian Mars as it is utterly incompatible with it.Aldrasto11 (talk) 10:50, 25 November 2010 (UTC)
What a mess has this editor done. He (misunderstood and) used something of Dumezil while at the same time trying to keep in other scholars' views. The result is a puzzle for the reader: what is this triad meant to represent? Who are really Mars and Quirinus? Why should they be/stand together in this group? Who is the warrior and who the civilian, Mars or Quirinus? It looks Quirinus is more warlike than Mars here! In what are they different? Is Iupiter a god of heaven and thunder, of augury, does he represent the priests? Or the priests represent Iupiter? Is augury something that interests priests? I think the only choice I have is to write everything from scratch. But to be coherent I shall have to be POV.Aldrasto11 (talk) 13:15, 25 November 2010 (UTC)

I have said what Dumezil says. Of course I do not maintian he is right and maybe I forgot or misrepresented some points. I shall leave it to other editors to make alterations/addditions.Aldrasto11 (talk) 13:45, 26 November 2010 (UTC)

Create a new page for the archaic triad[edit]

I have moved the part about the archaic triad on a new page since two thirds of this article was about it.Larunarig (talk) 16:30, 15 January 2013 (UTC)

I wish you'd proposed a split first. The so-called Archaid triad is also a Capitoline triad, and I wouldn't assume that all the articles that link to Capitoline triad mean this one. Cynwolfe (talk)
Hello, I think this article could be split into Archaic triad and Capitoline triad: both triads are different (and refer to different periods). Furthermore there is much to add on both subjects. For example, the Capitoline Triad is frequently opposed to the Aventine Triad, but this is not the case for the Archaic triad. Finally, most people refers to the Capitoline triad and not to the archaic one. About the articles that link to Capitoline triad, you are right, I didn't think about them. Another option could indeed to wait until the article is expanded and possibly do the split after. Larunarig (talk) 20:22, 15 January 2013 (UTC)
As Cynwolfe points out, both these triads are Capitoline. That - and the centrality of Jupiter in each - is probably their most important common feature. We already have an article on the Aventine Triad, and it covers theories on the sometime Aventine-Capitoline opposition in reasonable detail; but the later Capitoline triad is built on the foundations of the earlier, in some way. Same temple, even, or at least different versions of the same temple, as far as I know. This is an underdeveloped article - made of two separate sections that cry out for integration - and several underlying historical and theological themes seem to swim through the whole, but they're not yet clear. There's virtually nothing here on the transition from one triad to the other - nothing on how this happened (or might have happened), or why. Splitting seems counterproductive to me, not a gain. Haploidavey (talk) 20:35, 15 January 2013 (UTC)
I agree that the transition, and why it occurred (or did it altogether?), is what binds the two together, as well as their shared tutelary function at the same or more-or-less the same site centered on Capitoline Jove. Working on such things as the calendar of Roman festivals, I became aware of how fundamentally incorrect it is to separate a deity from its temple or place; as augury indicates, Roman religion is highly spatial in its concerns, which proved to be useful for an empire. Agree also with how much work needs done. Also, why a tutelary triad? The so-called "Archaic" triad isn't just a function of Dumézil's febrile imagination, but right now, it's certainly overemphasized in relation to the later one. I appreciate that Larunarig was responding to that lopsided balance, and hope (s)he will continue to contribute on the topic. I'm open to persuasion on the split eventually, but upon further reflection at present feel (not strongly, but with a sense of caution) that splitting it now would leave Capitoline Triad in a bit of a headless mess. Cynwolfe (talk) 21:57, 15 January 2013 (UTC)


Sorry I am late here. Frankly I think it is useful to keep the article together. If the archaic triad is detached very few will look at it and have an idea of its existence or the change. I agree though the article is imbalanced. The topic of the later triad is at the same time simple and difficult to breach. It is Greek, but it was attested only in Phokis as such. It came to Rome through Etruria. The two goddesses are two paredrae in my view. Was Minerva the lady of the palace as Athena (as for Domitian)? Possible, but might be a later hellenising development. What was the first face of Juno? The Etrurian? The Lanuvian? The Argive most probably as at Falerii according to Dionysius? I do not think we can answer these questions.Aldrasto11 (talk) 14:58, 25 January 2013 (UTC)