Zonaras 7.4 Part V: The Appearance of Quirinus

Suspicions surrounding Romulus’ disappearance are dispelled by Julius Proculus:

Many, being captivated by these salutary hopes, believed the account of Romulus’ disappearance. Some, however, felt suspicious of the patricians and were afraid that they were trying to snow the citizens with a stupid story, when in fact they themselves were the murderers of Romulus. They would have offered resisitance to the patricians if it were not for Julius Proculus, a man distinguished for his birth, excellent in character, and a close friend of Romulus. Proculus came to the forum and swore under oath that Romulus appeared to him, big and beautiful as never before, and decked out with shining, even flaming, arms; he claimed that he asked Romulus, ‘Suffering what, o King, have you left us tothese toilsome squabbles, and the whole city in grief?’ Romulus responded, ‘It seemed to the gods, o Proculus, that I had spent enough time among mortals, and that I should dwell again in the heavens, where I now am. But take heart, and tell the Romans that if they stay wise and manly they will achieve the height of human power. I Quirinus will forever be well-disposed to you all.’ All of this seemed believable to the Romans because of the speaker’s oath and general character; no one spoke out against this account, and setting aside all suspicion and plotting they prayed to and worshipped Quirinus. They say that Romulus acquired this name either because they called some of the citizens Quirites or because the ancients called either spear-points or spear-shafts ‘Quirinoi.’ Thus they called Romulus, braver than a warrior god, Quirinus. It was said that he lived fifty-four years, and that he disappeared in the thirty-eighth year of his reign.

Οἱ μὲν οὖν πολλοὶ πεπεισμένοι τοῖς λόγοις ἀπηλλάττοντο ἐλπίσι χρησταῖς αἰωρούμενοι, ἔνιοι δὲ ἐν ὑπονοίαις τοὺς πατρικίους πεποίηντο καὶ ἐτάραττον ὡς τὸν δῆμον ἀβέλτερα πείθοντας, αὐτοὺς τοῦ βασιλέως γεγονότας αὐτόχειρας. καὶ πράγματα ἂν παρέσχον τοῖς δυνατοῖς, εἰ μή τις τῶν ἱππέων ᾿Ιούλιος Πρόκλος, γένει τε δοκιμώτατος καὶ ἤθει χρηστὸς καὶ ῾Ρωμύλῳ πιστός, εἰς ἀγορὰν ἐλθὼν ἐνόρκως εἶπεν ὡς ὀφθείη ῾Ρωμύλος αὐτῷ καλὸς καὶ μέγας ὡς οὔποτε πρόσθεν καὶ ὅπλοις λαμπροῖς κεκοσμημένος καὶ φλέγουσι, καὶ ὡς αὐτὸς μὲν πύθοιτο “τί δὴ παθών, ὦ βασιλεῦ, ἡμᾶς μὲν ἐν αἰτίαις πεποίηκας πονηραῖς, πᾶσαν δὲ τὴν πόλιν ἐν πένθει προλέλοιπας;”ἐκεῖνος δὲ πρὸς ταῦτα ἀμείψαιτο “θεοῖς ἔδοξεν, ὦ Πρόκλε, τοσοῦτον ἡμᾶς μετ’ ἀνθρώπων γενέσθαι χρόνον, αὖθις δ’ οὐρανὸν οἰκεῖν, ἐκεῖθεν ὄντας. ἀλλὰ χαῖρε καὶ φράζε ῾Ρωμαίοις ὅτι σωφροσύνην καὶ ἀνδρείαν ἀσκοῦντες ἐπὶ πλεῖστον δυνάμεως ἀνθρωπίνης ἀφίξονται. ἐγὼ δὲ ὑμῖν εὐμενὴς ἔσομαι Κυρῖνος.” ταῦτα διά τε τὸν ὅρκον τοῦ λέγοντος καὶ τὸν τρόπον πιστὰ ῾Ρωμαίοις ἐδόκει τοσοῦτον ὡς μή τινα ἀντειπεῖν, πάσης δὲ ἀφεμένους ὑποψίας τε καὶ διαβολῆς εὔχεσθαι Κυρίνῳ καὶ θεοκλυτεῖν. ταύτην δὲ τὴν ἐπωνυμίαν φασὶ τῷ ῾Ρωμύλῳ γενέσθαι ἢ ὅτι τοὺς πολίτας Κυρίτας ὠνόμαζον ἢ ὅτι τὴν αἰχμὴν ἢ τὸ δόρυ κυρῖνον ἐκάλουν οἱ παλαιοί· ὡς οὖν ἀρήιόν τινα τὸν ῾Ρωμύλον ἢ αἰχμητὴν θεὸν ὀνομασθῆναι Κυρῖνον. λέγεται δὲ τέσσαρα μὲν ἔτη καὶ πεντήκοντα βιῶναι, ὄγδοον δ’ ἐπὶ τριακοστῷ βασιλεύων ἐνιαυτὸν ἐξ ἀνθρώπων ἀφανισθῆναι.

Leave a Reply