Notes for Pietas in Ancestor Worship

  1.  This is my translation of his statement: 'Le principle de la parenté n'eacute;tait pas l'acte matériel de la naissance, c'était le culte.'
  2.  Stanley A. Cook's Introduction and Additional Notes to the Third Edition of The Religion of the Semites deal with this at length.
  3.  J.C. Flugel's pioneer book, The Psychoanalytic Study of the Family (1921) deserves grateful acknowledgement for its influence in bringing together psychoanalytic theory and ethnological research in kinship studies.
  4.  The reference is to Aeneid, lines 393 seq.:
    At pius Aeneas, quamquam lenire dolentem

    solando cupit et dictis avertere curas,

    multa gemens magnoque animum labefactus amore

    iussa tamen divum exsequitur classemque revisit.

    The Loeb translation reads:

    But good Aeneas, though longing to soothe and assuage her grief andby his words turn aside her sorrow, with many a sigh, his soul shaken by his mighty love, yet fulfils Heaven's bidding and returns to his fleet.
  5.  This is plain both in Maine's analysis of patriarchal power and Fustel's discussion of authority in the family. I base my comments here on these two authorities but modern studies of Roman Law bear them out (e.g. Westrup 1939).
  6.  Westrup, vol. III, pt. IV, p. 255 points out that sons were unable to 'found their own Sacra or perform the death sacrifices on their own account' while the father was alive.
  7.  E.g. De Officiis, I, xxxv, 129. 'In our custom grown sons do not bathe with their fathers nor sons-in-law with their fathers-in-law' (Loeb translation).
  8.  I am indebted to Mr L.P. Wilkinson, King's College, Cambridge, for the following note: 'For parricide, the old Roman penalty was to be sewn up in a sack with a cock, a monkey and a dog... and dropped into the Tiber. It is noteworthy that in 55 B.C. Pompey brought in a law against parricide which made it punishable in some cases by exile (but 'parricide' could mean killing any relative).' Mr. Wilkinson also reminds me of the story of Brutus who puts his sons to death for plotting to restore the Tarquins whom he had expelled. Virgil recalls the story in the Aeneid VI, lines 815 seq. where he speaks of Brutus as 'infelix, utcumque ferent ea facta minores' - unhappy even though posterity will praise him for the deed because love of country must prevail.
  9.  In the analysis which follows it will be evident that I have derived much stimulus from Mac Weber's famous study of The Religion of China (English translation, 1951, Glencoe, Ill.), where filial piety is discussed passim with characteristic perspicacity and learning. But is has seemed to me to be more appropriate to adduce original observations and sources rather than to cite Weber in detail.
  10.  I venture with diffidence to add that the most cursory reading of such treatises as the I Li and the Li Ki Legge's translations (in the Sacred Books of the East) is enough to make one realize how the idea of pietas pervaded Chinese thought and life from early time. See the discussion of this topic in Waley.
  11.  Granet makes much of this rule.
  12.  E.g. in the admirable article, s.v. 'Piety' in Hasting's Encyclopaedia of Religion and Ethics.
  13.  13 This more general formula would include sister's sons in matrilineal systems in which ancestors remain ancestors only so long as their matrilineal descendants survive. But I am considering these systems in the present analysis.
  14.  Private communication from Dr Stenning. He does not discuss the question in his book.
  15.  A study of Japanese religious practices and values would be particularly rewarding from this angle, since they do not appear to have an ancestor cult but have practices that resemble ancestor worship.

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