The downwardly-mobile career of Quirinus suggests a utilitarian approach to polytheism in which gods serve the moment. He started out as Sabine god of war. In the early Roman empire, he was worshipped in a triad with Mars and Jupiter. Later he became the deified – possibly assassinated – Romulus. [Another theory is that they were one, but underwent a sort of archetypal split.] Eventually Romans turned elsewhere. Quirinus ended up a god of lawyers. Once he had a festival; now he has a briefcase.
Of her play about Quirinus, Eve Edelson writes: The god of lawyers, Quirinus, is himself a lawyer. While lawyering can have its dramatic moments, he is not a rock star god, and he is bitter about it. He especially resents Orpheus. Quirinus loved Eurydice silently, her death broke his heart, and when Orpheus is hauled in for vagrancy, it’s time for Quirinus to unleash a lifetime of resentment. [In many jurisdictions, the ‘protector of the state’ – the prosecutor – would also be an interrogator. ] Time for Schadenfreude topped up with a trip to Hades. What really happened down there with Eurydice? This noir encounter between childhood rivals sets the record straight. Two actors play all parts.
QUIRINUS by Eve Edelson
Directed by Sophia Mia Dipaola
Staged Reading on October 18, 2018 at the EXIT Theatre
Bruce Reif (Orpheus)
Dillon Siedentopf (Quirinus)
Eve Edelson is a writer and filmmaker in the Bay Area. She is the author of “Scamorama: Turning the Tables on Email Scammers”, published by The Disinformation Company. Her play “Scamoramaland” premiered in San Francisco in 2013. Her short film “Shelter” won the judges award at the East Bay Express Scream Fest and she curates the Weird Film Festival.
The image of Quirinus was created by Cody Rishell.