The Romans had, up to the end of the Republic, accepted only one official apotheosis; the god Quirinus, whatever his original meaning, having been identified with Romulus.
QUIRITES (literally "spearmen"; see QuIRiNus), the earliest name of the burgesses of Rome.
QUIRINUS, the Sabine name of the god Mars, probably an adjective meaning "wielder of the spear" (Quiris, cf.
Rev. xviii., p. 368) explains Quirinus as the oak-god (quercus), and Quirites as the men of the oaken spear.
In the religious system of Numa, Quirinus and Mars were both recognized as divine beings, distinct but of similar attributes and functions; thus, like Mars, Quirinus was at once a god of war and a nature god, the protector of fields and flocks.
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