(BEING CONTINUED FROM 21/06/14)
Etymological questions are seldom solved in a wholly satisfactory way. And anyhow I am far from assuming the authority
to attempt such a solution 72). It is evident that in this case – and perhaps in most óther cases also – etymological difficuLties
must be explained by having recourse to historical argument.
There certainly is in this case a fair probability that the hypo thesis of the semitic origin of the camillus is right. Now we must ask: is there any information obtainable from other sources?
The etymological argument has carried us from Rome to Tuscany and Samothrace. It has moreover suggested some connection
between the camillus and the god Herrnes. Macrobius told us camillus was a Tuscan name for Mercurius 7:1), and Servius said the same: “Mercurius Etrusca lingua Camillus dicitur, quasi minister deorum” 74). But the text of Varro already mentioned teUs us a great deal more 75). Ca milia signifies administra.
Thus the camillus is a servant at marriage. For that re as on also the divine Servant of the Great Gods in the mysteries of Samothrace is called Casmillus.
(TO BE CONTINUED)
BY G. VAN DER LEEUW