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One of the most celebrated Roman jurists, a pupil of Ateius Capito in the time of Tiberius, and founder of the school of jurists called after him that of the Sabiniani. (See ATEIUS CAPITO and JURISPRUDENCE.)
SACELLUM The Latin name for a small sanctuary, which was a mere altar, or an inclosed uncovered place with an altar, or a little temple with either an altar or an image for purposes of worship. In Rome the greater part of these sanctuaries were among the oldest and holiest places of worship.
SACERDOS A Latin grammarian, perhaps of the end of the 3rd century A.D.; wrote in Rome an ars grammatica in three books. The third treats of metre.
SACRA The Latin term for all transactions relating to the worship of the gods, especially sacrifice and prayer. They are either sacra privata or publica. The former were undertaken on behalf of the individual by himself, on behalf of the family by the pater familias, or on behalf of the gens by the whole body of the gentiles. The centre of the domestic service of the gods is formed by the worship of the Penates and Lares. In particular cases recourse was also had to certain specified deities. Besides this, private sacra were attached to particular families; these passed to the heir with the succession and became a burden on him. Hence an inheritance without sacra (hereditas sine sacris) proverbially signified an unimpaired piece of good fortune [Plautus, Capt. 775, Trin. 483]. As the family had sacra, so also had the gens (q.v.), which had arisen out of the family by expansion. These were performed by a sacrificial priest (flamen) appointed from among the gentiles, the celebration taking place in his own house or in a special sacellum in the presence of the assembled gentiles. The sacra publica were undertaken pro populo collectively, (1) by the curioe, pagi, or vici, into which the community was divided, whence such sacrifices were called sacra popularia; or (2) by the individual gentes and societies (See SODALITAS), to which the superintendence of a particular cult had been committed by the State; or (3) by the magistrates and priests of the Roman State. The sacra of the gentes were with few exceptions performed in public, though the multitude present remained silent spectators; only in a few cases they took part in the procession to the place of worship or in the sacrificial feast.
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The domestic chapel. (See HOUSE, Roman)
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among the ancients, formed the chief part of every religious act. According to the kind of sacrifice offered, they were divided into (a) bloodless offerings and (b) blood offerings. (a) The former consisted in firstfruits, viands, and cakes of various shape and make, which were some of them burned and some of them laid on the altars and sacrificial tables (See figs. 1 and 2) and removed after a time, libations of wine, milk, water with honey or milk, and frankincense, for which in early times native products (wood and the berries of cedars, junipers, and bay trees, etc.) were used. Asiatic spices, such as incense and myrrh, scarcely came into use before the seventh century in Greece or until towards the end of the Republic at Rome. (b) For blood-offerings cattle, goats, sheep, and swine were used by preference. Other animals were only employed in special cults. Thus horses were offered in certain Greek regions to Poseidon and Helios, and at Rome on the occasion of the October feast to Mars; dogs to Hecate and Robigus, asses to Priapus, cocks to Asclepius, and geese to Isis. Sheep and cattle, it appears, could be offered to any gods among the Greeks. As regards swine and goats, the regulations varied according to the different regions. Swine were sacrificed especially to Demeter and Dionysus, goats to the last named divinity and to Apollo and Aromis as well as Aphrodite, while they were excluded from the service of Athene, and it was only at Sparta that they were presented to Hera. At Epidaurus they might not be sacrificed to Asclepius, though elsewhere this was done without scruple. [Part of the spoils of the chase-such as the antlers or fell of the stag, or the head and feet of the boar or the bear--was offered to Artemis Agrotera (See fig. 3).] As regards the sex and colour of the victims, the Romans agreed in general with the Greeks in following the rule of sacrificing male creatures to gods, female to goddesses, and those of dark hue to the infernal powers. At Rome, however, there were special regulations respecting the victims appropriate to the different divinities. Thus the appropriate offering for Jupiter was a young steer of a white colour, or at least with a white spot on its forehead; for Mars, in the case of expiatory sacrifices, two bucks or a steer; the latter also for Neptune and Apollo; for Vulcan, a red calf and a boar; for Liber and Mercury, a he-goat; for Juno, Minerva, and Diana, a heifer; for Juno, as Lucina, an ewe lamb or (as also for Ceres and the Bona Dea) a sow; for Tellus, a pregnant, and for Proserpine a barren, heifer; and so on. The regulations as regards the condition of the victims were not the same everywhere in Greece. Still in general with them, as invariably with the Romans, the rule held good, that only beasts which were without blemish, and had not yet been used for labour, should be employed. Similarly, there were definite rules, which were, however, not the same everywhere, concerning the age of the victims. Thus, by Athenian law, lambs could not be offered at all before their first shearing, and sheep only when they had borne lambs. The Romans distinguished victims by their ages as lactantes, sucklings, and maiores, full grown. The sacrifice of sucklings was subject to certain limitations: young pigs had to be five days old, lambs seven, and calves thirty. Animals were reckoned maiores if they were bidentes; i.e. if their upper and lower rows of teeth were complete. There were exact requirements for all cases as regards their sex and condition, and to transgress these was an offence that demanded expiation. If the victims could not be obtained as the regulations required, the pontifical law allowed their place to be taken by a representation in wax or dough, or by a different animal in substitution for the sort required. In many cults different creatures were combined for sacrifice: e.g. a bull, a sheep, and a pig (Cp. SUOVETAURILIA), or a pig, a buck, and a ram, and the like. In State sacrifices, victims were sometimes sacrificed in great numbers; e.g. at the Athenian festival in commemoration of the victory at Marathon, 500 goats were slain. (Cp. HECATOMBE.) Human sacrifices as a means of expiation were not unknown to the earliest Greek and Roman worship, and continued in certain cases (e.g. at the feast of the Lyman Zeus and of Jupiter Latiaris) until the imperial period; however, where they continued to exist, criminals who were in any case doomed to death were selected, and in many places opportunity was further given them for escape. In general, it was considered that purity in soul and body was an indispensable requirement for a sacrifice that was to be acceptable to a divinity. Accordingly the offerer washed at least his hands and feet, and appeared in clean (for the most part, white) robes. One who had incurred blood-guiltiness could not offer sacrifice at all; he who had polluted himself by touching anything unclean, particularly a corpse, needed special purification by fumigation. Precautions were also taken to insure the withdrawal of all persons who might be otherwise unpleasing to the divinity; from many sacrifices women were excluded, from others men, from many slaves and freedmen. At Rome, in early times, all plebeians were excluded by the patricians. The victims were generally decked out with ribbons and wreaths, and sometimes the cattle had their horns gilded. If the creature voluntarily followed to the altar or even bowed its head, this was considered as a favourable sign; it was an unfavourable sign if it offered resistance or tried to escape. In that case, with the Romans, the object of the sacrifice was deemed to be frustrated. Among the Greeks those who took part in the sacrifice wore wreaths; a firebrand from the altar was dipped in water, and with the water thus consecrated they sprinkled themselves and the altar. They then strewed the head of the victim with baked barley-grains, and cast some hairs cut from its head into the sacrificial fire. After those present had been called upon to observe a devout silence, and avoid everything that might mar the solemnity of the occasion, the gods were invited, amidst the sound of flutes or hymns sung to the lyre and dancing, to accept the sacrifice propitiously. The hands of the worshippers were raised, or extended, or pointed downwards, according as the prayer was made to a god of heaven, of the sea, or of the lower world respectively. The victim was then felled to the ground with a mace or a hatchet, and its throat cut with the sacrificial knife. During this operation the animal's head was held up, if the sacrifice belonged to the upper gods, and bowed down if it belonged to those of the lower world or the dead. The blood caught from it was, in the former case, poured round the altar, in the latter, into a ditch. In the case just mentioned the sacrifice was entirely burned (and this was also the rule with animals which were not edible), and the ashes were poured into the ditch. In sacrifices to the gods of the upper world, only certain portions were burned to the gods, such as thigh-bones or chine-bones out off the victim, some of the entrails, or some pieces of flesh with a layer of fat, rolled round the whole, together with libations of wine and oil, frankincense, and sacrificial cakes. The remainder, after removing the god's portion, as it was called, for the priests engaged in the sacrifice, was either roasted at once for the sacrificial banquet and so consumed, or taken home. Festal sacrifices at the public expense were often combined with a public meal. Sacrifice was made to the gods of the upper air in the morning; to those of the lower world in the evening. Among the Romans, as among the Greeks, reverent silence prevailed during the sacrificial operations; in case a careless word should become an evil omen, and to prevent any disturbance by external surroundings, a flute-player played and the offerer of the sacrifice himself veiled his head during the rite. The prayer, formulated by the pontifices, and unintelligible to the priests themselves from its archaic language, was repeated by the votary after the priest, who read it from a written form, as any deviation from the exact words made the whole sacrifice of no avail. As a rule, the worshipper turned his face to the east, or, if the ceremony took place before the temple, to the image of the divinity, grasping the altar with his hands; and, when the prayer was ended, laid his hands on his lips, and turned himself from left to right (in many cults from right to left), or, again, walked round the altar and then seated himself. Then the victim, selected as being without blemish, was consecrated, the priest sprinkling salted grains of dried and pounded spelt (mola salsa) and pouring wine from a cup upon its head, and also in certain sacrifices cutting some of the hairs off its head, and finally making a stroke with his knife along the back of the creature, from its head to its tail. Cattle were killed with the mace, calves with the hammer, small animals with the knife, by the priest's attendants appointed for the purpose, to whom also the dissection of the victims was assigned. If the inspectors of sacrifice (see HARUSPEX) declared that the entrails (exta), cut out with the knife, were not normal, this was a sign that the offering was not pleasing to the divinity; and if it was a male animal which had been previously slaughtered, a female was now killed. If the entrails again proved unfavourable, the sacrifice was regarded as of no avail. On the other hand, in the case of prodigies, sacrifices were offered until favourable signs appeared. In other sin-offerings there was no inspection of entrails. Sin-offerings were either entirely burned or given to the priests. Otherwise the flesh was eaten by the offerers, and only the entrails, which were roasted on spits, or boiled, were offered up, together with particular portions of the meat, in the proper way, and placed in a dish upon the altar, after being sprinkled with mola salsa and wine. The slaughter of the victim took place in the morning, whilst the extawere offered at evening, the intervening time being taken up by the process of preparation.
SAECULARES LUDI The "Secular Games" arose from some gentile sacrifices of the Valerian family, which were offered to the gods beneath the earth at the Terentum (or Tarentum), a spot in the Campus Martius where a volcanic fire smouldered. The first celebration of the Ludi Terentini of which there is actual evidence took place 249 B.C., by the direction of the Sibylline books, in honour of Dis and Proserpine. Owing to the vow then made, to repeat them at the beginning of every saeculum, or period of one hundred years, they were called the "Secular Games." Like all cults prescribed by the Sibylline books, they are of non-Roman origin, being, in fact, borrowed from the Etruscans, who at the conclusion of a mean period of 100 years, reckoned according to the longest human life in a generation, used to present an expiatory offering on behalf of the new generation to the gods beneath the earth. The games seem to have been next held, not in 149, but in 146; the one following was omitted on account of the Civil Wars, and the games were not held again until the time of Augustus, in 17 B.C. [It was for this occasion that Horace wrote his Carmen Saeculare.] The date was fixed by a reckoning different from that hitherto followed, by taking 110 years as the normal standard of the saeculum. In later times sometimes the new reckoning was adopted, sometimes the old; as early as Claudius we have a return to the old, and in 47 A.D. that emperor celebrated with secular games the 800th year of Rome. Similarly the years 900 and 1000 of the city were celebrated. The ritual order of the games, which Augustus only altered by the introduction of Apollo, Diana, and Latona among the deities worshipped, was as follows: At the beginning of the season of harvest, heralds invited the people to the festival, which none had ever seen, nor would see again; and the commission of fifteen, which was charged with the due celebration of all festivals enjoined by the Sibylline books, distributed the means of expiation, consisting of torches, sulphur, and pitch, to all free persons on the Capitol and in the Palatine temple of Apollo. At the same time in the temple of the Capitoline Jupiter, in that of the Palatine Apollo, and in that of Diana on the Aventine, wheat, barley, and beans were handed to the people for an offering of firstfruits. At the feast proper, which lasted three days and three nights, the emperor upon the first night sacrificed to the Parcae three rams, which were completely burnt up, upon three altars at the Terentum. This was accompanied by the burning of torches and the chanting of a hymn. At the same place, and on the same or the following day, a black hog and a young pig were offered to Tellus, and dark-coloured victims to Dis and Proserpine. On the first day white bulls were sacrificed to Jupiter, and a white cow to Juno on the Capitol, after which scenic games were held in honour of Apollo. On the second day the matrons prayed to Juno on the Capitol; on the third, a sacrifice of white oxen took place in the Palatine temple of Apollo, while twenty-seven boys and the same number of maidens sang the carmen saeculare in Greek and in Latin.
SAGITTARII The bowmen in the Roman armies. These were generally raised by levy or furnished by the allies. The Cretan, Balearic, and Asiatic bowmen were specially celebrated.
SAGUM The military cloak of the Roman soldiers, which consisted of a four-concered piece of cloth worn over the armour and fastened upon the shoulder by a clasp. It was a symbol of war, as the toga was the symbol of peace.
SALACIA A Roman goddess of the salt water. She was identified with the Greek Amphitrite, and regarded as the wife of Neptune.
SALARIUM A Roman term signifying properly the allowance of salt which the governor furnished for the magistrates and officers who formed his retinue; then the gratification in money which took the place of the salt. Under the Empire it was the pay of the imperial magistrates, as well as of the physicians and professors in the service of the State.
SALMONEUS Son of Aeolus, husband of Alcidice, and father of Tyro (see NELEUS). He founded Salmone in Elis, whither he had migrated from Thessaly. He usurped the name and the sacrifices of Zeus. He even imitated thunder and lightning by trailing dried skins and caldrons behind his chariot and flinging torches into the air. For this reason Zeus slow him with the lightning, and destroyed his town together with its inhabitants. His second wife, Sidero, had ill-treated her step-daughter Tyro, and was therefore slain by Tyro's sons , Pelias and Neleus, at the altar of Hera, where she had taken refuge.
SALPINX The Greek name for the long trumpet, like the Roman tuba, with which the signals were given in the army. It was also employed in religious ceremonies. (See out.)
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The personification of health and prosperity among the Romans. As godess of health, she was identified with the Greek Hygieia (q.v.), the daughter of Asclepius, and represented in the same way. As the deity representing the welfare of the Roman people (Salus Publica Populi Romani) she had from the year 302 B.C. a temple on the Quirinal. Under the Empire, she was also worshipped as guardian goddess of the emperors (<illegible>Salus Augusta</illegible>). Prayers were frequently made to her by the priestly colleges and the political bodies, especially at the beginning of the year, in times of sickness, and on the birthdays of the emperors. As her counterpart among the Sabines, we have the goddess Strenia. (See STRENAe.)
SALUTATIO The morning greeting which Romans of rank were in the habit of receiving from clients, friends, and admirers in the atrium during the first two hours of the day; for this purpose the callers gathered in the vestibule even before sunrise. [Martial, iv 8: prima salutantes atque altera continet hora; Pliny, Ep. iii 12,officia antelucana.]
SAMBUCA A triangular, stringed instrument resembling a harp, having a piercing tone. When played, its pointed end stood downwards.
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Usually called Semo Sancus (see SEMONES). A genius worshipped by the Sabines, Umbrians, and Romans, representing holiness and good faith in human life. In Rome, he was principally worshipped under the name Deus Fidius (from fides,"faith") as god of oaths, god of the public laws of hospitality and of nations, also of international intercourse and of the safety of the roads, which were placed under his protection. An oath in his name could be taken only under the open sky; therefore even his temple had a hole in the roof, and, when an oath by him was taken at home, the man swearing went into the uncovered court. On account of many points of resemblance he was identified with Hercules. He had a temple on the Quirinal (the foundation of which was celebrated June 5), and another on the island in the Tiber [Ovid, Fasti, vi 213-218].
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The greatest poetess of antiquity, born at Mytilene or Eresus in Lesbos, lived between 630 and 570 B.C., being a younger contemporary of Alcaeus (see cut). She was married to a rich man of Andros, and had a daughter named Clais. About 596 she was obliged to flee from Lesbos, probably in consequence of political disturbances, and to remain some time in Sicily. In her later years she was again living in Lesbos, in the society of young girls with an inspiration for poetry. (See ERINNA.) Although, according to the principles expressed in her own poems, and according to trustworthy testimonies of antiquity she was a woman of pure and strict life, yet later scandal unwarrantably put an immoral interpretation on this society. Equally unfounded is the legend emanating from the Attic comedians, that she threw herself from the Leucadian rock into the sea out of despair at the rejection of her love by a handsome seaman named Phaon {fragm. of Menander's Leucadia}. Her poems were divided by the Alexander scholars into nine books according to their metres; and besides the purely lyric songs, among which the Epithalamia, or wedding-lays, were particularly celebrated, they included elegies and epigrams. Two of her odes, with a number of short fragments, are still extant. Her odes were for the most part composed in the metre named after her the sapphic strophe (or stanza), which was so much used by Horace. They are among the tenderest and most charming productions in the whole range of extant Greek literature, and afford some perception of the points of excellence ascribed to Sappho by antiquity: sincerity and depth of feeling, delicacy of rhythm, and grace and melodiousness of language.
SARCOPHAGUS Properly lithos sarcophagos, a kind of stone (alum-slate) found near Assos, in the district of Troas in Asia Minor; so called because it had the peculiar property, that all corpses laid in it were completely consumed in forty days, with the exception of the teeth. [Cp. Pliny, N. H. ii 211.] Usually coffins were only inlaid with it in order to hasten decomposition. Then the name is given generally to any stone-coffin, such as those which were customary among Greeks and Romans, among the latter particularly after the 2nd century A.D. (Cp. SCULPTURE, and for a specimen see MUSES.) The cut represents the sarcophagus of L. Cornelius Scipio Barbatus, consul 298 B.C., great-grandfather of the elder Scipio Africanus, of the 3rd century B.C. It is made of common stone, and is the only example remaining from the old Roman time.
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thrusting-lance of the Macedonian hoplites (see PHALANX) and light cavalry, which in the time of Philip and Alexander was 18 feet long, afterwards 14; from this lance the light cavalry were called sarissophori (sarissa-bearers).
SARPEDON According to Homer, son of Zeus and Laodamia and grandson of Belleroplion; like his cousin Glaucus (q.v., 4), a prince of the Lycians and ally of Priam. At the storming of the Greek camp he, in company with Glaucus, was the first upon the enemy's wall; on his falling by the hand of Patroclus, a fearful battle arose over his body, until Apollo, by the command of Zeus, rescued the disfigured corpse from the Greeks, and, after washing it and anointing it with ambrosia, had it carried through the air to Lycia by the twin brothers Sleep and Death [Homer, xvi 419-683]. Later writers describe him as a son of Zeus and Europa, and brother of Minos; driven out by the latter, he won for himself a lordship in Lycia, and lived there by the favour of Zeus for three generations.
SATURNUS ( An ancient Italian god of seedtime anti harvest, with a sickle as symbol; husband of Ops, father of Picus. In later times he was identified with the Greek Kronos, who, thrust out by Zeus, came across the sea to Latium, was received by Janus, settled as king on the Capitoline Hill (as it was called in after times), brought agriculture and its blessings to the people, and subsequently disappeared. His reign was regarded as the golden age of Italy. At the foot of the Capitoline Hill a temple, built by the last Tarquin on the site of a very ancient altar, was dedicated to him and to his wife Ops. Under this temple was the Roman treasury (aerraium Saturni; No. 4 in plan, s.v. FORUM). Except during his festival, his statue was, throughout the year, wound round the feet with woollen fillets. People offered sacrifices to him with uncovered head, according to the Greek rites. His own festival, the Saturnalia, took place on December 17, and consisted of sacrifices in the open air in front of the temple and also of an outdoor banquet, at which the senators and knights appeared, after laying aside the toga for a loosely fitting gown called synthesis. After the feasting, they separated with the cry, "Io Saturnalia!" The festival was also celebrated in private society; schools had holidays, law-courts were closed, all work was stopped, war was deferred, and no punishment of criminals took place for seven days from December 17 to 23. During that time there were all kinds of fantastic amusements. The festival wag symbolical of a return to the golden age. People gave presents to one another, in particular wax tapers (cerei) and dolls (sigillaria). They also entertained one another, and amused themselves with social games; in particular, they gambled for nuts-the symbol of fruitfulness. Every freedom was given to slaves, and they were first entertained at the banquet and served by their masters, in remembrance that under the rule of Saturnus there had been no differences in social rank.
SATYRIC DRAMA One of the three varieties of the Attic drama. Its origin may be traced back to Pratinas of Phlius (about 500 B.C.). It is probable that, after settling in Athens, he adapted the old dithyramb with its chorus of Satyrs, which was customary in his native place, to the form of tragedy which had been recently invented in Athens. This new kind of drama met with so much approval, and was so much developed by Pratinas himself, as well as by his son Aristeas, by Cloerilus, by Aeschylus, and the dramatists who succeeded him, that it became the custom to act a satyric drama after a set of three tragedies. The seriousness of the preceding plays was thus relieved, while the chorus of Satyrs and Sileni, the companions of Dionysus, served to indicate the original connexion between that divinity and the drama. The material for a satyric drama, like that for a tragedy, was taken from an epic or legendary story, and the action, which took place under an open sky, in a lonely wood, the haunt of the Satyrs, had generally an element of tragedy; but the characteristic solemnity and stateliness of tragedy was somewhat diminished, without in any way impairing the splendour of the tragic costume and the dignity of the heroes introduced. The amusing effect of the play did not depend so much on the action itself, as was the case in comedy, but rather on the relation of the chorus to that action. That relation was in keeping with the wanton, saucy, and insolent, and at the same time cowardly, nature of the Satyrs. The number of persons in the chorus is not known, probably there were either twelve or fifteen, as in tragedy. In accordance with the popular notions about the Satyrs, their costume consisted of the skin of a goat, deer, or panther, thrown over the naked body, and besides this a hideous mask and bristling hair. The dance of the chorus in the satyric drama was called sicinnis, and consisted of a fantastic kind of skipping and jumping. The only satyric play now extant is the Cyclops of Euripides. The Romans did not imitate this kind of drama in their literature, although, like the Greeks, they used to have merry after-pieces following their serious plays. (See <smalCaps>EXODIUM.<smallCaps)
SAUROCTONOS A special name of Apollo (q.v.)
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The stage. (See THEATRE.)
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The mythical island of the Pbaeacians (see PHAeACES), identified with the historic Corcyra.
SCIRITAE A body of light infantry in the Spartan army, consisting of the perioeci (q.v.) of the district Sciritis.
SCIRON A robber who lived on the boundary between Megara and Attica, and compelled the travellers, whose goods he had seized, to wash his feet, only in order to kick them into the sea, where an immense tortoise devoured their dead bodies. He was slain by the youthful Theseus (q.v.).
SCIROPHORIA An Athenian festival celebrated on the 12th of the month Scirophorion (June-July), called after it. It was in honour of Athene, who was worshipped under the name of Sciras near Sciron, a spot on the "holy way" leading from Athens to Eleusis. It had its name from the large white sunshade (sciron) beneath which the priestess of Athene (the patron goddess of the city), the priest of Erechtheus, and the priest of Helios went to Sciron to sacrifice. The sunshade was a symbol of heavenly protection against the rays of the sun, which began to burn more intensely during the month of the festival. This protection was invoked with special reason, for the dry limestone rock was thinly covered by a meagre surface of soil in the neighbourhood of Athens, and particularly near Sciron itself. In this, as in other festivals of invocation, there were also expiatory offerings; and hence they carried in he procession the hide of a ram that had been sacrificed to Zeus as the mild and gracious deity (meilichios).
SCOLIA Short lyrical poems, usually consisting of a single strophe, which were intended to be sung after dinner over the wine. The ancients ascribed their invention to Terpander, and they received their first development among the Lesbians, and were written by such masters of song as Alcaeus, Sappho, Praxilla, Timocreon, Simonides, and Pindar. The last mentioned, however, gave them a more artistic form, with several strophes, in accordance with the rules of Dorian lyric verse. This class of poetry found a congenial home in the brilliant and lively city of Athens, where, to the very end of the Peloponnesian War, it was the regular custom at banquets, after all had joined in the paean, to pass round a lyre with a twig of myrtle, and to request all guests who had the requisite skill to sing such a song on the spur of the moment. To judge from the specimens that have been preserved, their contents were extremely varied: invocations of the gods, gnomic sayings, frequently with allusions to common proverbs and fables, and the praises of the blessings and pleasures of life. The most famous scolion was that of a certain Callistratus on Harmodius and Aristogiton, who had killed the tyrant Hipparchus, son of Pisistratus. It consists of four strophes, but the last three are only variations of the first.
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A kind of engine for projectiles, in earlier times identical with the catapult, and in later times with the onager.(See ARTILLERY.)
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The highest class among the inferior paid officials at Rome (see APPARITOR). They did not perform ordinary writers' services, which were usually assigned to slaves, but occupied the position of clerks, registrars, accountants, and secretaries. Of special importance were the scribae quaestorii attached to the tribuni aerarii. They formed three commissions of ten members each, and kept the accounts of the treasury. Two of their number were also attached to each provincial quaestor as accountants. The scribae also of the different aediles and tribunes appear to have formed a commission of ten members, while those taken from among them by the consuls, praetors, and censors seem to have been employed only during their term of office. The pontifices also had their scribae.
SCRIBONIUS LARGUS A Roman physician who accompanied the emperor Claudius to Britain in 43 A.D. Between that year and 48 he compiled a treatise on medicine (Compositiones Medicamentorum), which we possess in a somewhat imperfect form. It contains 271 prescriptions, arranged according to the parts of the body, from the head downwards.
SCRIPTORES HISTORIAE AUGUSTAE The name given to the six authors of biographies of the Roman emperors, united at an uncertain date into a single collection. The biographies extend from Hadrian to Numerian, 117-284 A.D. (with the exception of the years 244-253). Of the six biographers, Aelianus Spartianus, Volcatius Gallicanus, and Trebellius Pollio wrote under Diocletian;Flavius Vopiscus Syracusius, Aelius Lampridius, and Julius Capitolinus under Constantius Chlorus and Constantine the Great. The biographies are merely dry compilations from the lost writings (1) of Marius Maximus (who at the beginning of the 3rd century, under Alexander Severus, continued the work of Suetonius by writing the lives of the emperors from Nerva to Elagatbalus); and (2) of his contemporary Junius Cordus, who wrote biographies of the less famous emperors. In spite of their deficiencies in style and spirit, they are of value as authorities for history.
SCULPONEA The wooden shoe of the Roman peasants and slaves.
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The large wooden shield of the Roman legionaries. (See SHIELD.)
SCYHIANS A corps of archers amongst the Athenians, formed of State slaves, who performed the duties of police and were also employed in war. (See further SLAVES, I, at end.)
SCYLAX Of Caryanda in Caria. He undertook, at the command of the Persian king Darius Hystaspis, about 510 B.C., a voyage to explore the coast of Asia from the Indus to the Red Sea, and composed a report of his voyage, which is now lost. His name is erroneously attached to a description, composed before the middle of the 4th century B.C., and preserved only in a corrupt and incomplete form, of a voyage from the northern Pillar of Hercules along the European coast of the Mediterranean, through the Hellespont and Bosporus, round the shores of the Euxine, then along the Asiatic and African coast of the Mediterranean to the southern Pillar of Hercules, and out beyond it to the island of Cerne.
SCYLLA (1) In Homer, daughter of Crataeis; a terrible monster of the sea, with a loud bark like that of a young dog, twelve shapeless feet, and six long necks, each of them bearing a horrid head with three rows of teeth closely set. Her lower half lies in a dark cavern, which is in the middle of a rock, smooth of surface, not to be climbed, and rising up into the clouds; while with her heads she fishes for dolphins, sea-dogs, and the larger animals of the sea. If a ship come too near to her, with each of her six heads she snatches up a man of the crew, as from the ship of Odysseus. Opposite her, a bow-shot off, is a lower rock with a wild fig tree on it, and under it the whirlpool of Charybdis, which three times in the day sucks in the sea and discharges it again in a terrible whirlpool, against which even the help of Poseidon is unavailing. Whoever tries to avoid one of the two evils falls a prey to the other [Homer, Od. xi 85-110]. In later times Scylla and Charybdis, the position of which is left uncertain by Homer, were supposed to be placed in the Strait of Messina, Scylla being identified with a projecting rock on the Italian side. She was also made a daughter of Phorcys and of Hecate Crataeis. When Heracles, as he is passing by, is robbed by her of one of Geryon's oxen, he slays her in her cavern; but her father burns her corpse, and thus recalls her to life. According to another myth, she was originally a beautiful princess or sea Nymph, loved now by Zeus, now by Poseidon or Glaucus or Triton, until she was changed by the jealousy of her rivals, Hera, Amphitrite, or Circe, into a monster, imagined as a maiden above, but as ending below in the body of a fish, begirt with hideous dogs. (2) Daughter of Nisus (q.v.).
SCYMNUS A Greek geographer, from Chios, author of a lost description of the earth. There has been wrongly attributed to him a fragment of a description of the earth composed in iambic senarii, describing the coast of Europe from the Pillars of Hercules to Apollonia in Pontus. The unknown author lived in Bithynia, and dedicated his work, which is composed from good sources, but in a somewhat pedantic tone, to king Nicomedes, probably Nicomedes III (91-76 B.C.).
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A bowl-shaped cup. (See VESSELS.)
SCYTALE A staff, used especially in Sparta by the ephors for their secret despatches to officials, particularly to commanders, in foreign countries. A narrow strip of white leather was wound about a round staff so that the edges came exactly together; it was then written on crosswise, and sent to its destination after being unrolled again. What had been written could only be read when the strip was again wound round an exactly similar staff, such as was given to every official when going abroad on public service.
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The term used for the removal of the burden of debt effected by Solon. All debts were cancelled, and the securing of debts upon the person of the debtor was made illegal. [Aristotle's Constitution of Athens, 6.] (See SOLONIAN CONSTITUTION.)
SELLA A seat. On its use as a chair and a litter, see those articles.
SELLA CURULIS The Latin term for the chair of office belonging to the curule magistrates (consuls, praetors, curule aeediles, dictator, magister equitum, and flamen Dialis), and also to the emperors. It was of ivory, without a back, and with curved legs, like those of a camp-stool, so arranged that it could be folded up. The seat was of plaited leather straps. The curule magistrates sat on this seat while engaged in all official business, and also took it with them in war.
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Daughter of Cadmus and Harmonia, beloved of Zeus. Hera, jealous of her, took the form of her nurse Beroe, and induced her to obtain of Zeus a solemn promise to fulfil her wish, and then to request him to show himself to her in all his divine splendour. When Zeus appeared amid thunder and lightning, Semele was consumed by the flames, and, dying, gave birth to a six months' child, Dionysus, whom Zeus saved from the fire and hid in his thigh till the due time of birth. Her son, on being made a god, raised her up from the world below, and set her in the heavens under the name of Thyone. See DIONYSUS; and for Dionysus and Semele see MIRRORS.
SEMENTIVAE FERLAAE A festival of seedtime, celebrated in honour of Tellus (q.v.).
SEMNAE A name of the Erinyes (q.v.).
SEMONES The Latin name for certain supernatural beings. They appear to have been, like the Lares, a kind of Geniee demigods, and guardian deities of the State. [The word has often been connected with se-, to sow (cp. se-men); and would thus mean "sowers."] On Semones and Sancus, seeSANCUS.
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A Roman annalist. (See ANNALISTS.)
SENECA Annaeus, the rhetorician; born of an equestrian family, at Cordaba (Cordova) in Spain, towards the end of the Republic. In the time of Augustus he studied at Rome, where he lived in intimacy with the most famous rhetoricians and orators, and died at a very great age, probably not till after the death of Tiberius (37 A.D.). [He was the father of Seneca the philosopher, and (by his son Mela) grandfather of Lucan the poet.] According to the testimony of Seneca the philosopher, he was a man of pristine virtue and severity, much devoted to the maintenance of ancestral customs [Seneca, Ad Helviam Matrem 17, 3: patris mei antiquus rigor; maiorum consuctudini deditus]. As a stylist he was a great admirer of Cicero. In his old age, relying simply on his marvellous memory, he composed at his son's desire a collection of declamations for the use of schools of rhetoric, modelled on the treatment of the subjects by the most famous rhetoricians of his youth. It bears the title, Oratorum et Rhetorum Sentenioe Divisiones Colores, one book containing seven themes called suasorice, and ten books, thirty-five controversioe. Of these we now possess only books i, ii, vii, ix, x, and the greater part of the introductions to books iii and iv, besides an abstract of the whole, belonging to the 4th or 5th century. The contents give a vivid picture of the work of the schools of rhetoric in the time of Augustus and Tiberius, and are an important authority for the history of Roman rhetoric.
SENECA Lucius Anncaeus, the philosopher, son of (1), born at Corduba, about 5 B.C. In early youth he came to Rome, where, besides studying rhetoric, he devoted himself particularly to philosophy. While still young he entered active life as an orator, and in the service of the government. In 1 A.D. he was banished to Corsica by Claudius, at the instigation of Messalina, on the ostensible charge of being a participator and an accomplice in the debaucheries of Julia, the daughter of Germanicus. Not till eight years later did Claudius recall him at the request of Agrippina the younger, the emperor's niece and wife, and appoint him tutor to the youthful Nero, Agrippina's son by a former husband. After the young prince had ascended the throne in 54 A.D., Seneca still remained in the circle of those most closely attached to him, especially during the first five years of the reign, and exercised a beneficial influence over his former pupil, who manifested his thanks by making him valuable presents, and conferring upon him the consulship for 57. In 62 the intrigues of his opponents caused him to withdraw completely from the court and from public life. The conspiracy of Piso in 65 finally afforded Nero the early desired pretext for removing him. As the mode of his death was left to himself, he had his veins opened, and as death did not ensue with sufficient rapidity, he finally had himself put in a vapour-bath. During his lifetime he had often been reproached for finding more pleasure than a philosopher should in the good things of life. How little value he really set upon them was shown by the readiness with which he parted from them and the composure with which he met his end. Next to Cicero, he is the most famous philosophical writer of Rome, and one of the most gifted and original of Roman authors in general. As a philosopher, he was essentially a follower of the Stoics; but he directed his attention less to abstract speculation than to practical wisdom, which undoubtedly, as in his own instance, verges closely on mere prudence in the conduct of life. His writings are in a popular style, but they are characterized by copious knowledge and wide acquaintance with the human heart, and are remarkable for their richness in aphorisms that are at once profound in thought and terse in expression. The moral tone of his writings caused Christian tradition to represent him as a friend of the Apostle Paul, and even to invent a correspondence between them. [Cp. Lightfoot's Philippians, 1868, pp. 260-331] In versatility of genius, ease of production, and elegance of form, Seneca may be compared with Ovid. In style he accommodated himself completely to the taste of the times, which strained after rhetorical effect, though he fully recognised its degeneracy. Among his numerous prose writings are the following: (1) three letters of condolence (De Consolatione)--to his mother Helvia, to Polybius (the favourite of Claudius), and to Marcia (the daughter of Cremutius Cordus. The two first were composed in Corsica. (2) A series of discourses on philosophy and morals, the most important being those on Mercy (De Clementia), in two books, addressed to Nero; on Anger (De Ira), in three books; on Giving and Receiving Favours (De Beneficus), in seven books. (3) A collection in twenty books of 124 letters to his young friend Lucilius, mostly on questions of philosophy. (4) Investigations in Natural Science (Quaestiones Naturales,) in seven books, dedicated to the same Lucilius, the the first and only text-book on physics in Roman literature. In addition to these he wrote a biting satire on the death of the emperor Claudius (Ludus de Morte Claudii) entitled the Pumpkinification (Apocolocyntosis), instead of deification (apotheosis), in which prose and verse are mingled after the manner of Varro's Menippean Satires. We have express testimony that Seneca was also a poet [Tacitus, Ann., xix 52]. Besides certain epigrams, the following tragedies are ascribed to him: Hercules Furens, Thyestes, Phoedra, (Edipus Troades, Medea, Agamemnon, Herecules OEtoeus, three fragments upon the Theban myth united under the title of Thebais or Phoenissoe, and the fabula proetextata (q.v.) entitled Octavia. These are the only tragedies in all Roman literature that have come down to us. It may be taken as proved, that the last of these dramas, which treats of the tragic end of Octavia, the daughter of Claudius and wife of Nero, and in which Seneca himself appears, cannot be attributed to him, but belongs to a later date, though there are no decisive reasons for doubting the genuineness of the remainder. Their matter and form are borrowed from the Greek; [but their general character probably resembles that of the tragedies written in the Augustan age by Pollio and by Varius, rather than that of the ancient dramatists, such as Ennius and Pacuvius]. In their pointed expression they exhibit the same talent for style as his prose works, the same copiousness, philosophical bent, and rhetorical manner (the last frequently carried beyond the limits of taste). They seem to have been designed more as declamatory exercises than for actual performance on the stage.
SEPTERION A festival celebrated every nine years at Delphi, in memory of the slaying of the serpent Python by Apollo. (Plutarch, Quoestiones Gr. 12 (where some texts have Stepterion,), and Def. Orac. 15.]
SEPTIMIUS The translator into Latin of the spurious work of Dictys (q.v., 2) on the Trojan War.
SERAPIS The Egyptian god Osiris (q.v.), in the character of god of the lower world; his corresponding incarnation as god of the upper world was the bull Apis. His worship was first independently developed in the time of the Ptolemies in Alexandria, the most beautiful ornament of which city was the magnificent temple of Serapis, the Serapeion. By the elimination of foreign elements, the conception of the god was so widely extended as to include the Egyptian Osiris, the Greek Pluto, the Greek god of healing, Asclepius, and Zeus-Iupiter (see below). This new worship (together with the cult of Isis) rapidly spread from Egypt over the Asiatic coast, the Greek islands, and Greece itself, and found a firm footing even in Rome and Italy, in spite of repeated interference on the part of the State. Under the Empire [particularly in the time of Hadrian] it extended throughout the Roman world." Serapis was especially worshipped as a god of healing, and with his temples were connected dream-oracles that were much resorted to. He was represented, like Pluto, with an animal by his side, having the head of a dog, lion, or wolf, and a serpent coiled round its body. As Zeus-Serapis he is to be seen in the colossal bust in the Vatican (see cut), with a modius, or corn-measure, the symbol of the lower world, upon his head.
SERENUS SAMMONICUS A Roman physician and author who lived in the time of Severus and Caracalla. The latter caused him to be put to death in 212 A.D. To him, or more probably to his son Quintus Serenus, the instructor of the second Gordianus, must be attributed a didactic poem on medicine (De Medicina Proecepta), in 1,115 well-written hexameters, a collection of domestic prescriptions much used in the Middle Ages. It mostly follows Pliny.
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A cask used by the Romans. (See VESSELS.)
SERVIUS HONORATUS A Roman grammarian, who lived towards the end of the 4th century A.D. He taught grammar and rhetoric at Rome, and composed (besides a commentary on the grammar of Donatus, and some short treatises on grammar) a commentary on Vergil remarkable for its copious historical, mythological, and antiquarian notes [most of which are probably derived from the writings of much earlier scholars]. It has not, however, reached us in its original form.
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An Egyptian god. (See OSIRIS and TYPHON.)
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OEdipus, king of Thebes, had pronounced a curse upon his sons Eteocles and Polynices, that they should die at one another's hand. In order to make the fulfilment of the curse impossible, by separating himself from his brother, Polynices left Thebes while his father was still alive, and at Argos married Argeia, the daughter of Adrastus (q.v.). On the death of his father he was recalled, and offered by Eteocles, who was the elder of the two, 1 the choice between the kingdom and the treasures of OEdipus; but, on account of a quarrel that arose over the division, he departed a second time and induced his father-in-law to undertake a war against his native city. According to another legend, the brothers deprived their father of the kingdom, and agreed to rule alternately, and to quit the city for a year at a time. Polynices, as the younger, first went into voluntary banishment; but when, after the expiration of a year, Eteocles denied him his right, and drove him out by violence, he fled to Argos, where Adrastus made him his son-in-law, and undertook to restore him with an armed force. Adrastus was the leader of the army; besides Polynices and Tydeus of Calydon, the other son-in-law of the king, there also took part in the expedition the king's brothers Hippomedon and Parthenopoeus (q.v.), Capaneus, a descendant of Proetus, and Amphiaraus (q.v.), the latter against his will, and foreseeing his own death. The Atridae were invited to join in the expedition, but were withheld by evil omens from Zeus. When the Seven reached Nemea on their march, a fresh warning befell them. Hypsipyle, the nurse of Opheltes, the son of king Lycurgus, laid her charge down on the grass in order to lead the thirsty warriors to a spring, during her absence the child was killed by a snake. They gave him solemn burial, and instituted the Nemean games in his honour; but Amphiaraus interpreted the occurrence as an omen of his own fate, and accordingly gave the boy the name of Archemoros (i.e. leader to death). When they arrived at the river Asopus in Boeotia, they sent Tydeus (q.v.) to Thebes, in the hope of coming to terms. He was refused a hearing, and the Thebans laid an ambush for him on his return. The Seven now advanced to the walls of the city, and posted themselves with their troops one at each of its seven gates. Against them were posted seven chosen Thebans (among them Melanippus and Periclymenus). Menoeceus (q.v.) devoted himself to death to insure the victory for the Thebans. In the battle at the sanctuary of the Ismenian Apollo they were driven right back to their gates; the giant Capaneus had already climbed the wall by a scaling ladder, and was presumptuously boasting that even the lightning of Zeus should not drive him back, when the flaming bolt of the god smote him down, and dashed him to atoms. The beautiful Parthenopaesus also fell, with his skull shattered by a rock that was hurled at him. Adrastus desisted from the assault, and the armies, which had suffered severely, agreed that the originators of the quarrel, Eteocles and Polynices, should fight out their difference in single combat. Both brothers fell, and a fresh battle arose over their bodies. In this, all of the assailants met their death, except Adrastus, who was saved by the speed of his black-maned charger. According to the older legends, his eloquence persuaded the Thebans to give the fallen due burial. When the bodies of the hostile brothers were placed on the pyre, the flames, which were meant to destroy them together, parted into two portions. According to the version of the story invented by the Attic tragedians, the Thebans refused to bury their foes, but at the prayer of Adrastus were compelled to do so by Theseus; according to another version, he conquered the Thebans and buried the dead bodies at Eleusis in Attica (AeEschylus, Septem contra Thelbas). For the burial of Polynices, see ANTIGONE; further see EPIGONI. 1 This is the common tradition, followed by Euripides (Phoem. 71). Sophocles, however, exceptionally makes Polynices the elder brother (Ed. Col. 375, 1294, 1422).
SEVEN WISE MEN, THE Under this name were included in antiquity seven men of the period from 620-550 B.C., distinguished for practical wisdom, who conducted the affairs of their country as rulers, lawgivers, and councillors. They were reputed to be the authors of certain brief maxims in common use, which were variously assigned among them; the names also of the seven were differently given. Those usually mentioned are: CLOEBULUS, tyrant of Lindus in Rhodes ("Moderation is the chief good"); PERIANDER, tyrant of Corinth, 668-584 ("Forethought in all things") PITTACUS of Mitylene, born about 650, deliverer and oesymnetes of his native city ("Know thine opportunity"); BIAS of Priene in Caria, about 570 B.C. ("Too many workers spoil the work"); THALES of Miletus, 639-536 ("Suretyship brings ruin"); CHILON of Sparta ("Know thyself"); SOLON of Athens ("Nothing too much," i.e. observe moderation).
SEXTIUS NIGER Lived during the last years of the Republic and under Augustus. He was the founder of a philosophical system, which aimed at the improvement of morals on the principles of the Stoics and Pythagoreans. Like his son, who bore the same name, he wrote in Greek. He is the author of a collection of Greek maxims of a monotheistic and ascetic character, a Christianized Latin translation of which, written in the second half of the 4th century by the presbyter Rufinus, is still extant.
SEXTUS EMPIRICUS A Grecian philosopher, a follower of the Sceptical school, who lived at the beginning of the 3rd century A.D. He is the author of three works on philosophy, (1) the Pyrrhonistic Sketches in three books, an abridgment of the Sceptical philosophy of Pyrrho; (2) an attack on the dogmatists (the followers of the other schools of philosophy) in five books; (3) an attack on the mathematicians (the followers of positive seiences-grammar, with all the historical sciences, rhetoric, arithmetict, geometry, astrology, and music) in six books. These works are remarkable for their learning and acuteness, as well as for simplicity and clearness of style. They form a valuable contribution to our knowledge of the general philosophical literature of Greece, and the Sceptical philosophy in particular.
SHIELD The most important weapon of defence among the peoples of antiquity. The Greeks had two principal forms of shield in use, with broad flat rims, and the curved surface of the shield rising above them: (1) the long shield of oval shape that covered the wearer from mouth to ankles, suspended by a belt passing [round the neck and] the left shoulder, with a handle for the left hand. A variation of this form is the Boeotian shield (figs. 3, 4), the two sides of which have in the middle a semicircular or oval indentation. (2) The round shield, covering the wearer from the chin to the knee, also called the Doric shield; this had one loop, through which the left arm was inserted, and one which was held by the left hand (figs. 5 and 6). The shield of the Macedonian phalanx was round, but small enough to be easily handled, and with only one loop for the arm. Both forms were in use from ancient times; at a later date the Argolic shield seems to have predominated, though the long shield that was planted on the ground in a pitched battle remained a peculiarity of Spartan warfare until the 3rd century B.C, In Homer [Il. vii 245, xviii 481, xx 274-281] shields are made of skins placed one over another, with one plate of metal above; in later times the material appears to have been generally bronze, but also wood, leather, and wickerwork. The pelta is of Thracian origin; it was the defensive weapon of the light-armed peltasts, made of leather without a rim, and with a level surface, of small size and weight, and of various forms (square, round, and crescent-shaped, as in fig. 8). Shields sometimes bore devices in painting or metal-work (figs. 1,2); besides those chosen by the fancy of the individual, devices indicating different nations came into general use after the Persian War. Many Grecian races, e.g. the Lacedemonians, displayed the first letters of their name. The Athenian token was an owl, the Theban a club or a sphinx. The shields most in use among the Romans were (1) the large oblong scutum, bent in the form of a segment of a cylinder, covering the whole of the wearer; this was constructed of boards, covered with leather, and bound at the top and bottom with iron; it was always carried by the legionaries. (2) The circular leathern parma, carried by the light infantry. (3) The cetra, borrowed from the Spaniards; it resembled the parma, and was carried by the light auxilliary cohorts. The different divisions of the force were distinquished by devices painted on their shields.
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The difference between the long, narrow ship of war and the short, broad merchant-vessel was much more pronounced in antiquity than in modern times, and existed as early as the time of Homer [Od. v 250, ix 323]. The former type, however, was not yet devoted to fighting by sea, but to the transport of troops, who also served as rowers. The merchant ships were generally worked as sailing vessels, and were only propelled by oars in case of need, so that they required a very small crew. On the other band, the ships of war depended for propulsion on a strong crew of rowers, who sat in a line on both sides of the vessel. A vessel with one bank of oars (moneres) was specially described according to the total number of the rowers; e.g. a pentecontoros was a vessel with fifty rowers (See fig. 1). For a long time the main strength of Greek fleets consisted in such vessels. Afterwards diereis (Lat. biremis), with two and (during the last ten years before the Persian Wars) triereis (triremes), with three banks of oars on either side, came into use. The latter were most generally employed until the end of the Peloponnesian War. Next came the tetrereis (quadriremes), introduced from Carthage. In 399 B.C. the elder Dionysius of Syracuse built pentereis (quinqueremes) and hexereis; Alexander the Great heptereis, octereis, ennereis, and decereis. In the wars of the successors of Alexander, a further advance was made to ships with fifteen and sixteen banks of oars, and (later still) thirty and forty banks. The most practically useful form of war-vessel was the penteres, which was especially used in the Punic wars. The rowers sat close together, with their faces toward the stern of the vessel; those in the highest row were called thranitae, those in the middle zeugitoe, and the lowest thalamitoe; but the question of the exact arrangement of their seats, and of the oars, is not yet made out with sufficient clearness. [Fig. 2, from an ancient monument, shows the thranitoe, and their oars; the rest of the rowers have their oars alone visible.] Figs. 3 and 4 are conjectural sketches, indicating the way in which the crew of a trireme was probably arranged. The number of rowers in an ancient trireme was 170, that of a Roman quinquereme in the Punic wars, 300; it is recorded that an octoreme of Lysimachus carried a crew of 1,600. The oars were very long, and the time was kept by means of the music of the flute, or solely by a stroke set by a boat-swain (Gr. keleustes; Lat. hortator, pausarius) with a hammer or staff or by his voice. The vessels were steered in ancient times by means of one or two large paddles at the side of the stern. The rigging of a ship of war was extremely peculiar. The mast, which was not very high, and carried a square sail attached to a yard, was lowered during an engagement, when a small foremast with a similar sail was used in its stead. Only merchantmen appear to have carried three sails. The war vessels of antiquity were in length seven or eight times their breadth, and drew almost 3 ft. of water. In order to attain the highest possible speed with manual propulsion, and to be easily drawn overland (a process frequently resorted to), they were lightly built, with rather flat bottoms, and very shallow. They were on this account not particularly seaworthy in stormy weather; whereas merchant vessels, owing to their heavier build and greater depth, were much more seaworthy. A stay made of two strong beams or a cable stretched between the two ends of the vessel (hypozoma) was usually employed to strengthen the hull lengthways. The bows and stern which were built alike, were alone covered with half-decks, while the middle of the vessel was at first open, and even in later times completely decked vessels were not so general as with us. Merchant-vessels, however, had a regular full-deck. The deck sometimes carried wooden turrets, usually two, fore and aft. Most ships of war had an eye painted or carved on the bows. At the bows, on a level with the water, was a horizontal beak (Gr. embolos; Lat. rostrum), usually with three spikes one over another, capped with iron; this formed the chief weapon of ancient naval warfare. We learn that it first came into Use in 556 B.C. The captain of a larger ship of war was called a trierarchos (commander of a trireme); the chief officer was the helmsman (Gr. kybernetes; Lat. gubernator); the second officer (Gr. proreus, prorates; Lat. proreta) was stationed on the bows. The total crew of an Athenian trireme, including the rowers, numbered about 200 men, of whom about twenty were sailors, and only ten to eighteen marines. This small number is explained by the fact that among the Greeks a sea-fight consisted chiefly in clever mancoeuvring, with the object of disabling the enemy's vessels by breaking their oars or of forcing them to run aground. When the Romans had established a fleet, during the first Punic War, they introduced the tactics of land-battles into their naval warfare, by carrying on their ships an increased number of land-soldiers (on their quinqueremes 120), who were posted on the bows, and attempted to lay hold of the enemy's vessels with grappling-irons and boarding-bridges, and to overpower their crews in hand to hand encounter. In the battle of Actium (31 B.C.) the lightly built triremes of Octavian, which were named liburnoe, after the Liburnians of Dalmatia, from whom this shape was borrowed, were matched with distinguished Success against the eight, nine, and ten-banked vessels of Antonius. Under the Empire the fleets were, as a general rule, no longer intended for great naval battles, but for the safeguard of the seas and coasts, for the convoy of transports and for purposes of administration. The consequence was that vessels of excessive height were continually becoming rarer, and triremes, and especially liburnoe, were almost exclusively employed. In later times the name liburna came to denote simply a ship of war. Augustus organized a Mediterranean fleet with two headquarters, Misenum. in the Tyrrhenian Sea and Ravenna in the Adriatic. These two fleets were called classes proetorioe, because, like the cohortes proetorioe, they were under the immediate command of the emperor. Other stations for the fleets were afterwards established in all parts of the sea, and the great rivers and inland seas of the empire. Their commanders were called proefecti, and were nominated by the emperor, as a rule, from among the military officers of equestrian rank. On the crews of the navy, See CLASSIARII. Besides regular men of war, the navies also contained various ships of the line to act as spies and carry despatches (Gr. keles and lembos; Lat. celox and lembus), or to convoy transport vessels, light cutters (acatos, acation), privateers (myoparo), etc. Fire-ships were used as early as 414 B.C. by the Syracusans against the Athenians. Of merchantmen there existed in antiquity various kinds and sizes. In the time of the Empire the art of shipbuilding was developed with extraordinary success at the great trading city of Alexandria, where ships were built of great seaworthiness, remarkable sailing powers, and immense tonnage. [See Torr's Ancient Ships, 1894.]
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The wild choral dance of the Greek satyric drama (q.v.>). See also CHORUS.
SIDE The wife of Orion (q.v.); she was thrown into Hades by Hera, for venturing to compare herself with her in point of beauty.
SIDONIUS APOLLINARIS A Roman author, born about 430 A.D. at Lugdunum (Lyons). He belonged to one of the most prominent Christian families in Gaul. He married the daughter of the future emperor Avitus. Under Anthemius, in 467 he was praefectus urbi at Rome, and in 472 he became bishop of Clermont, in Auvergne, and in that capacity headed the resistance against the Western Goths. He died in 483. He was distinguished among his contemporaries for learning and culture, and for a knowledge of ancient literature which was rare in that age. Of his works we possess twenty-four poems, among which are three panegyrics on the emperors Avitus, Majorian, and Anthemius, and two epithalamia, which are somewhat clever in form; they are, however, as bombastic and as destitute of thought and taste as his nine books of Letters, modelled on those of Pliny and Symmachus. His writings are nevertheless not without value, owing to the light they throw on the history and the general circumstances of his time.
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If an immediate attack by filling up the trenches, beating in the gates, and scaling the walls failed or promised to be useless, the siege was carried on partly by blockade, partly by attack in form. In the first case the besiegers were content with surrounding the town with an inner and outer wall. The latter was intended as a protection against attack on the part of a relieving force. The besiegers then waited till the besieged were forced to capitulate. In other cases they attempted to make a breach in the wall with a battering ram (fig. 1); to undermine the wall, and so overthrow it; to make a way under by mines into the city; or to raise a mound level with the wall, and so get to the top. The process of undermining the walls was carried on by soldiers, who tore up the foundations with the aid of various mining tools. This was done under the protection of the testudo, a wooden erection in the form of a slanting desk. This was carried by hand or wheeled close up to the wall with its open front towards it. Like all machines of the kind, it was provided on the top and sides with wet skins or cushions as a protection against fire thrown down upon it. Chelone (Gr.) or testudo (Lat.) was the general name for all kinds of sheds of the sort. The name was, e.g., given to the penthouse of shields formed by the soldiers during the storming of a hostile fortification (fig. 2). The second and following ranks held their shields in a slanting position over their heads; the first rank and the men in the wings held them straight up in front of them. In case of mining, properly so called, the mining-hut (musculus) was employed: a long and narrow structure, pushed up in the same way on wheels close under the walls. A shed or penthouse, 22-26 feet in length and breadth, with a slanting roof extending to the ground, served to give protection to the workmen employed in levelling the ground, and filling up the trenches for the approach of the engines. The mound (Lat. agger; Gr. choma) was directed straight from the surrounding wall to the most suitable part of the besieged fortifications. It rose by a gradual ascent to the top of the latter. It was made of earth and fascines, held together at the side by wooden scaffolding or stone walls. The soldiers who worked at it were protected by plutei, semicircular coverings of wickerwork, moving forward on three wheels, or by vineoe. These were light scaffolding, 10 ft. broad and double as long, with a flat or double roof of boards or wickerwork, and covered with the same on three sides. Partly upon the mound, partly on one side of it, were erected these wooden movable towers (Lat. turres ambulatoriae; Gr. hypotrchoi), which were brought up on wheels or rollers to the walls. Their height depended on that of the wall and on their position on the level or on the mound; the average was 88-196 ft., containing from ten to twenty stories. These towers generally served as batteries, the upper stages being armed with artillery. Besides this, archers and slingers would be posted on the outer galleries of the different stories, which were protected by breastworks. Sappers would be lodged in the lower stories. On the level of the wall bridges (sambucae) were provided. A crane (tolleno) was used to hoist single soldiers to the top of the wall. This was a machine like the bucket of a well, fitted at the end with a basket or box. The besieged, in their turn, had various contrivances against these weapons of attack. Two-pronged forks to turn over the scaling ladders, cranes with large tongs to seize the soldiers in their ascent and drop them into the town. The various kinds of testudo were met by throwing down great masses of stone, pouring down molten lead, piteb, or other combustibles, or by the use of burning arrows or other missiles of the same kind. The mound they endeavoured to neutralise by setting it on fire or undermining it; in the latter case the tower would sink as soon as it came upon the proper place. Against the towers they tried fire, artillery discharged from the walls, or the erection of counter-towers. If a breach was threatened, a second or minor wall was erected to meet it out of the material of the neighbouring houses. The most important siege engines were invented by the Greeks, from whom they came to the Romans. (See ARTILLERY.)
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A primitive deity in the legends of Asia Minor. He is a divinity of the woodland and the fountains, whom people tried to catch in order to make him prophesy and sing to them. Thus king Midas of Phrygia got him into his power by mixing wine with a spring from which be used to drink, and made him instruct him in all kinds of wisdom. Afterwards, as a son of Hermes and a Nymph, or of Pan, and as the oldest of all the Satyrs, he was added to the train of Dionysus, and was regarded as his teacher and trainer and his constant companion. He is said to have prompted the god to invent the cultivation of the vine and the keeping of bees. He is described as a little old man, potbellied, with bald head and snub nose, his whole body very hairy; never without his skin of wine, always drunk, and hence usually riding on an ass, and led and supported by the other Satyrs; or, again, as tending and educating the child Bacchus, as he is represented in the celebrated group in the Louvre at Paris. A similar group in the Vatican at Rome is reproduced in the accompanying out. Figures of him standing or reclining were used, especially at Athens, as caskets for keeping within them precious pieces of carved work [Plato, Symp. 215, A, B]. There were also Sileni which were regarded in Asia as the inventors of the native music on the flute and the syrinae (see MARSYAS); their father was Papposilenus, who was represented as completely covered with hair and bestial in form.
SILIUS ITALICUS A Roman poet, born A.D. 25, probably at Italica [near Seville], in Spain. After having been consul in 68, and proconsul in Asia, he retired from public life, and went to his estates in the south of Italy, to spend the rest of his life in learned studies and in the composition of poetry. He paid almost divine honours to the memory of his favourite poet Vergil, whom he selected as his model [Martial, xi 48, 49; vii 63], but whom he rarely equalled. He died in 102 by starving himself to death [Pliny, Ep. iii 7; vii 63]. We possess a poem of his on the second Punic War in seventeen books (Punica); it is founded on careful historical studies, but is far from brilliant, and, in spite of all its ornamental details, contains little that is truly poetic. He appears to have been soon forgotten. [Quintilian's silence in his enumeration of the epic poets of Rome has been rightly ascribed to the fact that the poet was still alive, and had not yet published his poem. The poet's younger and abler contemporary Statius, in Silvoe iv 7, 14, alludes to Silius' Punica i 233.]
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A peculiar kind of Greek lampoons in an epic form, such as Xenophanes of Colophon was the first to level against poets and philosophers. The principal representative of this class was Timon of Phlius. (See TIMON.)
SILVANUS An old Italian divinity, related to Faunus. Originally he was a god of woods and of plantations of trees in fields and gardens; subsequently he was regarded as protector of the fields and gardens themselves, as well as of the cattle that grazed in the meadows, and especially those in or near the woods. He was at the same time guardian of the boundaries between meadows. The Italian country people therefore honoured him with worship under three different aspects: (1) as domesticus, protector of the house and all that belongs to it; (2) as agrestis, to whose care the shepherd and his flock were recommended; (3) as orientalis, he that watches over the boundaries. In this last capacity he used to have a grove dedicated to him on the boundary of different estates. At the harvest festivals, farmers, vinedressers, and those who had plantations of trees, offered him, on rustic altars, corn, grapes, and fruits, and also pigs and rams. Like Faunus, he was afterwards identified with Pan; and to him, as to Pan, the sudden terror caused by the solitude of a wood was ascribed. It was also believed that there were numerous Silvani.
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A corps of guards in the army of Alexander the Great. (See ARGYRASPIDES.)
SIMONIDES Of Amorgos. A Greek iambic poet. He was born in the island of Samos, from which he led a colony to the island of Amorgos; he lived about the middle of the 7th century B.C., as a younger contemporary of Archilochus, from whom he is distinguished by the fact that his writing is less personal, and contains more general reflexions on the constant characteristics of human nature. He did not direct his attacks against single persons, but against whole classes. Thus, in an extant fragment of 118 lines, a derisive poem on women, he gives a general description of female characters, deriving the various bad qualities in women from the characteristic qualities of the animals from which he makes them out to be descended.
SIMPLICIUS A Peripatetic philosopher of the 6th century after Christ, and a native of Cilicia. When Justinian in 529 closed the school of philosophy in which he taught at Athens, he and six other philosophers emigrated to the court of the Persian king Chosroes. When he made peace with Justinian in 588, and obtained from him leave for the philosophers to return unmolested, Simplicius went to Alexandria, where he died in 549. We still posses some excellent commentaries of his on several writings of Aristotle (Categories, Physics, De Coelo, De Anima), and on the Encheiridion, of Epictetus.
SINIS or Sinnis. Son of Poseidon or (according to another account) son of Polypemon; a robber who haunted the Isthmus of Corinth, and was called the pine-bender (Pityocamptes), because he tore travellers to pieces by bending down pines and then suddenly letting them go. He was killed by the youthful Theseus.
SINON A kinsman of Odysseus, who, on the apparent departure of the Greeks from Troy, volunteered to stay behind, and persuaded the Trojans to place the wooden horse within their citadel. (Cp. TROJAN WAR.)
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The smaller curtain on the Roman stage, about half way between the front and the back. [It was drawn up between the scenes.] (See THEATRE.)
SIRENS The virgin daughters of Phorcys, according to later legend of Achelous and one of the Muses. In Homer there are two, in later writers three, called Ligeia, Leukosia, and Parthenope, or Aglaopheme, Molpe, and Theloeiepeia. Homer describes them as dwelling between Circe'sisle and Scylla, on an island, where they sit in a flowery meadow, surrounded by the mouldering bones of men, and with their sweet song allure and infatuate those that sail by. Whoever listens to their song and draws near them never again beholds wife and child. They know everything that happens on earth. When Odysseus sailed past, lie had stopped up the ears of his companions with wax, while he had made them bind him to the mast, that he might hear their song without danger [Od xii 41-54,153-200]. Orpheus protected the Argonauts from their spell by his own singing [Apollonius Rhodius, iv 903]. As they were only to live till some one had sailed past unmoved by their song, they cast themselves into the sea, on account either of Odysseus or of Orpheus, and were changed to sunken rocks. When the adventures of Odysseus came to be localised on the Italian and Sicilian shore, the seat of the Sirens was transferred to the neighbourhood of Naples and Sorrento, to the three rocky and uninhabited islets called the Sirenusae [the Sirenum scopuli of Vergil, Aen. v 864; cp. Statius, Silvae ii 2, 1], or to Capri, or to the Sicilian promontory of Pelorum. There they were said to have settled, after vainly searching the whole earth for the lost Persephone, their former playmate in the meadows by the Achelous; and later legend also assigned this as the time when they in part assumed a winged shape. They were represented as great birds with the heads of women, or with the upper part of the body like that of a woman, with the legs of birds, and with or without wings (see cut). At a later period they were sometimes regarded as retaining their original character of fair and cruel tempters and deceivers. But they are more generally represented as singers of the dirge for the dead, and they were hence frequently placed as an ornament on tombs; or as symbols of the magic of beauty, eloquence, and song, on which account their sculptured forms were seen on the funeral monuments of fair women and girls, and, of orators and poets: for instance, on those of Isocrates and Sophocles. [Such a Siren may be seen, beating her breast and tearing her hair, above the stele of Aristion in the Street of Tombs at Athens. The National Museum at Athens contains several examples of stone Sirens, not as reliefs, but as separate figures "in the round"; and a funeral monument of this type maybe noticed on a vase in the British Museum (Cat. C. 29), where the Siren is standing on a pillar and playing the lyre. Cp. Euripides, Hel. 169; Anthologia Palatina vii 710 and 481; with Miss Harrison's Myths of the Odyssey, pp. 146-182, and Mythology and Monuments of Athens, pp. 582-5.1
SIRIUS The dog-star, representing among the constellations the dog of Orion (q.v.).
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A Roman historian. (See ANNALISTS.)
SISTRUM A kind of rattle, used in the worship of Isis, and borrowed, at the same time with it, from the Egyptians. It consisted of a thin oval band of metal, fastened to a handle, and crossed by a number of little metal rods, bent at either end, and loosely inserted in the band. (See cut under ISIS.)
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At Athens, a board, originally consisting of ten members, five in the city itself and five in the Peiraeus, which superintended the corn trade, and prevented prices becoming exorbitant. [In the time of Aristotle (Constitution of Athens, 51) there were twenty in the city, and fifteen in the Peiraeus.] (See COMMERCE.)
SLING A weapon for hurling missiles, consisting of a thong, broad in the middle and growing narrower towards the ends. The missile was either a round stone of the size of a hen's egg, a ball of baked clay, or a leaden bolt cast in the shape of an acorn. It was placed in the broad part of the thong, and the slinger (Gr. sphendonetes; Lat. funditor), holding the thong by both ends in in one hand, swung it several times round his head, and discharged the ball at the mark by means of letting go one end of the thong. The most famous slingers of antiquity were the inhabitants of the Balearic Isles; they carried three slings, made of plaited rushes, hair, and the sinews of wild beasts, for long, short, and intermediate shots respectively. Various leaden slingbolts, bearing marks or characteristic inscriptions, have been preserved. Under the Empire there came into use the sling-staff (Lat. justibalus), a staff four feet in length, to the end of which a leathern sling was fastened. One thong of this reached to the other end of the staff, and was together with this held fast by the fustibalator, who swung the staff several times round his head, and suddenly let go the longer thong, thus throwing a larger missile with much greater force than was possible with a simple sling.
SOCCUS A loose slipper, or light, low shoe, fitting either foot, which the Romans adopted from the Greeks. It was the characteristic of comedy, as the cothurnus was of tragedy [Horace, A. P. 80 (of the iambic metre): "Hunc socci cepere pedem, grandesque cothurni"].
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Among the Romans, the socii, as distinguished in constitutional law from Roman subjects, were the allies who, while their independence was recognized, stood in a more or less dependent relation to the Roman State. Under the Republic; up to the time when the right of citizenship was conferred on all the free inhabitants of Italy (89 B.C), the Latins, and the Italian communities on the same footing with them, enjoyed a privileged position amongst the other allies. In the military organization of the Roman Republic the contingents which they furnished were called socii, in contradistinction to the legions and the non-Italian auxiliaries. (See AUXILLA, and cp. LEGION.) Socii navales are the crews, furnished by the allied towns, of the ships of war.
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Of Athens; born 469 B.C., son of the sculptor Sophroniscus and the midwife Phaenarete. He pursued for a time his father's art, but soon gave it up, holding it to be his proper task in life to labour at the moral and intellectual improvement of himself and his friends. His indifference to external necessities enabled him to bear his poverty with the same equanimity which he preserved in dealing with the quarrelsome temper of his wife Xanthippe. He took no part in affairs of State, yet did not withdraw from the performance of his duties as a citizen in war and peace. He did not give formal instruction, but sought by means of dialectical discourse, in which any one might join without payment, to lead on the young people who used to collect around him to think and act in accordance with reason. Different as are the representations of him given by his pupils Xenophon and Plato, yet they agree in this, that he was a character of absolute moral purity, whose clear peace of mind was troubled by no passion, in whom reason at all times asserted its supremacy over sensuality, and whom no considerstions could move from the declaration of his convictions. He preserved this unshaken fidelity to his convictions, not only in earlier passages of his life, but also at the time when a capital charge was brought against him, of being out of accord with the religion of the State, of introducing new gods (an accusation founded upon his belief in the daemon, an inward voice, which used to warn him from evil and urge him towards good), and of corrupting youth. Although it would have been an easy thing for him to have escaped the sentence of death, he did not hesitate for a moment in giving expression to his conviction in the most open manner, and for that conviction was put to death by being compelled to drink a draught of hemlock. (See also PHILOSOPHY and PLATO, with cut.)
SODALITAS [The word properly means an association or club, and was especially applied to the] religious brotherhoods among the Romans. By order of the State, they attended to the cult of some particular object of worship by jointly celebrating certain sacrifices and feasts, especially on the anniversary of the foundation of that cult. The members, called sodales, stood in a legally recognised position of mutual obligation, which did not allow any one of them to appear against another as a prosecutor in a criminal case, or to become patronus of the prosecutor of a sodalis, or to officiate as Judge upon a sodalis. Such a brotherhood were the Sodales Augustales, appointed A.D. 14 by the Senate for the cult of the deified Augustus, a college of 21, and afterwards of 28, members of senatorial rank, which also took upon itself the cult of Claudius after his deification, and bore, after that, the official title Sodales Augustales Claudiales. Besides these there were the Sodales Flaviales Titiales for the cult of Vespasian and Titus, the Hadrianales for that of Hadrian, Antoniniani for that of Antoninus Pius and of the successively deified emperors. (Cp. COLLEGIUM.) [The secular clubs, sodalitastes, or collegia sodalicia, were, in the later Republican age, much turned to account for political objects, and their organization used for purposes of bribery. See Cicero's speech Pro Plancio. It was very common for young Romans to belong to an ordinary sodalitas. Both Horace and Ovid were members of one.]
SOL The Italian sun-god, identified with the Greek Helios (q.v.).
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A sundial (see GNOMON); also the flat roof of the Roman dwelling-house (see HOUSE, 2).
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Greek, see WARFARE. Roman, see LEGION. For the game of "soldiers" (ludus latrunculorum), see GAMES.
SOLEA The shoe usually worn by Romans when at home. Outside the house they wore it only when going out to dinner. During the meal itself it was taken off. It was a strong sole of wood, cork, or leather, which was fastened on the foot by two straps. One of these passed between the great toe and the second toe, and was connected by a buckle or otherwise with a strap running lengthwise over the instep. The second strap went round the ankle. (See cuts to SANDALIUM.)
SOLIDUS A Roman gold coin, introduced by the emperor Constantine about 312 A.D., which remained in use until the downfall of the Byzantine empire; its weight was 1/79 lb., its value 12s. 8 1/2d. (See further Under COINAGE.)
SOLINUS A Roman writer who composed, probably in the second half of the 3rd century A.D., a collection of Memorabiliaa (Collectanea Rerum Memorabilium, better known by its later title Polyhistor). The most important portion (the geographical) is an abstract of a treatise on geography compiled from Pliny's Natural History.
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At the time of Solon the Athenian State was almost falling to pieces in consequence of dissensions between the parties into which the population was divided. Of these the Diacrii, the inhabitants of the northern mountainous region of Attica, the poorest and most oppressed section of the population, demanded that the privileges of the nobility, which had till then obtained, should be utterly set aside. Another party, prepared to be contented by moderate concessions, was composed of the Parali, the inhabitants of the stretch of coast called Paralia. The third was formed by the nobles, called Pedieis or Pediaci, because their property lay for the most part in the pedion, the level and most fruitful part of the country. Solon, who enjoyed the confidence of all parties on account of his tried insight and sound judgment, was chosen archon by a compromise, with full power to put an end to the difficulties, and to restore peace by means of legislation. One of the primary measures of Solon was the Seisachtheia (disburdening ordinance). This gave an immediate relief by cancelling all debts, public and private. At the same time he made it illegal for the future to secure debts upon the person of the debtor (Aristotle, Constitution of Athens, 6]. He also altered the standard of coinage [and of weights and measures, by introducing the Euboic standard in place of the Pheidonian or Aeginetan, ib. 10]. 100 new drachmae were thus made to contain the same amount of silver as 73 old drachmae. He further instituted a timocracy (q.v.), by which the exclusive rights which the nobles had till then possessed were set aside, and those who did not belong to the nobility received a share in the rights of citizens, according to a scale determined by their property and their corresponaing services to the State. For this purpose he divided the population into four classes, founded on the possession of land. (1) Pentacosiomedimni, who had at least 500 medimni (750 bushels) of corn or metretoe of wine or oil as yearly income. (2) Hippeis, or knights, with at least 300 medimni. (3) Zeugitoe (possessors of a yoke of oxen), with at least 150 medimni. (4) Thetes (workers for wages), with less than 150 medimni of yearly income. Solon's legislation only granted to the first three of these four classes a vote in the election of responsible officers, and only to the first class the power of election to the highest offices; as, for instance, that of archon. The fourth class was excluded from all official positions, but possessed the right of voting in the general public assemblies which chose officials and passed laws. They bad also the right of taking part in the trials by jury which Solon had instituted. The first three classes were bound to serve as hoplites; the cavalry was raised out of the first two, while the fourth class was only employed as light-armed troops or on the fleet, and apparently for pay. The others served without pay. The holders of office in the State were also unpaid. Solon established as the chief consultative body the Council of the Four Hundred (see BOULE), in which only the first three classes took part, and as chief administrative body the Areopagus (q.v.) which was to be filled up by those who had been archons. Besides this, he promulgated a code of laws embracing the whole of public and private life, the salutary effects of which lasted long after the end of his constitution. [According to Aristotle's Constitution of Athens, 4, a Council of 401 members was part of Dracon's constitution (about 621 B.C.). The members were selected by lot from the whole body of citizens. Solon (who was archon in 594) reduced the Council to 400, one hundred from each of the four tribes; and extended in some particulars the powers already possessed by the Areopagus, (ib. 8).]
SOMNUS The Roman god of sleep (q.v.).
SOPHISTS Properly a name given by the Greeks to all those who professed knowledge, or a particular knowledge or a particular art. Hence the Seven Wise Men are often thus called; but the name was especially applied to the educated men of ready speech, who, from about the year 450 B.C., used to travel through Greece from place to place, and imparted what they knew for money. They have the merit of having popularized the interest in knowledge which had up to that time been confined within narrow circles, and especially of having contributed to the formation of eloquence. For they were the first to make style an object of study, and to institute serious investigations into the art of rhetorical expression. Their teaching was chiefly intended to give their pupils versatility in the use of speech, and thus to fit them for taking part in public life. As the subject of their discourses, they chose by preference questions of public interest to persons of general education. The expression, however, always remained the important thing, while positive knowledge fell more and more into the background. Some of them even started from the position, that virtue and knowledge were only subjective notions. Protagoras of Abdera, who appeared about 445 B.C., is named as the first Sophist; after him the most important is Gorgias of Leontini; Prodicus of Ceos and Hippias of Elis are contemporaries of the other two. Wherever they appeared, especially in Athens, they were received with the greatest enthusiasm, and many flocked to hear them. Even such men as Pericles, Euripides, and Socrates sought their society; and Socrates owed to them much that was suggestive in his own pursuit of practical philosophy, though, on the other hand, he persistently attacked the principles underlying their public teaching. These principles became further exaggerated under their successors who did not think they needed even knowledge of fact to talk as they pleased about everything. Accordingly the skill of the Sophist degenerated into mere technicalities and complete absence of reason, and became absolutely contemptible. (<italisc>See Grote's History of Greece, chap. lxvii, and Dr. H. Sidgwick's essay in the Journal of Philology, iv 288.) With the revival of Greek eloquence, from about the beginning of the 2nd century A.D., the name of Sophist attained a now distinction. At that time the name was given to the professional orators, who appeared in public with great pomp and delivered declamations either prepared beforehand or improvised on the spot. Like the earlier Sophists, they went generally from place to place, and were overwhelmed with applause and with marks of distinction by their contemporaries, including even the Roman emperors. Dion Chrysostom, Herodes Atticus, Aristides, Lucian, and Philostratus the elder, belong to the flourishing period of this second school of Sophists, a period which extends over the whole of the 2nd century. They appear afresh about the middle of the 4th century devoting their philosophic culture to the zealous but unavailing defence of paganism. Among them was the emperor Julian and his contemporaries Libanius, Himerius, and Themistius. Synesius may be considered as the last Sophist of importance.
SOPHRONISTAE Officers amongst the Greeks who looked after the moral behaviour of the youth in the gymnasia (q.v.). [Aristotle, Constitution of Athens, 42.]
SORANUS A Greek physician from Ephesus, who lived in the first half of the 2nd century A.D., under Trajan and Hadrian. His writings are now represented by a work of considerable extent on the diseases of women, and a surgical treatise on fractures. The writings of Caelius Aurelianus (q.v.) on Acute and Chronic Diseases are translated from him.
SOSIGENES A Greek mathematician from Egypt, who assisted Caesar in the correction of the Roman calendar in 46 B.C. (CP. CALENDAR.)
SOSIPHANES Of Syracuse; a Greek tragedian of the Alexandrine Pleias (<q.v.), who lived about 300 B.C. Of his plays only a few lines have been preserved.
SOSITHEUS Of Alexandria in the Troad; a Greek tragedian, one of the Alexandrine <italis>Pleids (q.v.). He lived in the first half of the 3rd century B.C., in Athens and in Alexandria in Egypt. In an epigram of the Greek Anthology [vii 707] he is celebrated as the restorer of the satyric drama. We still possess an interesting fragment of his satyric plays, the Daphnis [twenty-one lines in Nauck's <italisc>Tragicorum Gr. Fragm., p. 822, ed. 1889].
SOSPITA Epithet of several Roman goddesses (e.g. of Juno).
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A celebrated artist in mosaic, who was working apparently at the time of the Attalidae in Pergamon. It was there that he executed his famous work, "The Unswept House" (asarotos oikos), so called because remnants of food, and all that is usually swept away, were represented strewn about in the most artistic way upon the floor. "Much to be admired in this work [says Pliny, xxxvi 184] is a dove drinking, and darkening the water by the shadow of its head; while other doves are sunning and pluming themselves on the rim of he vessel." This is copied in the mosaic [found in Hadrian's Villa at Tivoli, and now] in the Capitoline Museum at Rome. (See MOSAICS, fig. 1.)
SOTADES A Greek poet from Maroneia in Thrace, who lived at Alexandria under Ptolemy Philadelphus about 276 B.C. He is said to have been drowned in the sea in a leaden chest for some sarcastic remark about the marriage of the king with his own sister Arsinoe. He composed in Ionic dialect and in a peculiar metre named after him (Sotadeus or Sotadicus versus), poems called cinoedi, malicious satires partly on indelicate subjects, which were intended for recitation accompanied by a mimic dance, and also travesties of mythological subjects, such as the Iliad of Homer. He found numerous imitators.
SOTER An epithet of several Greek gods (e.g. of Zeus), [and also of several kings, e.g. Ptolemy I, king of Egypt].
SPARTI The men in full armour who sprang up from the teeth of the dragon of Ares when sown by Cadmus. On their birth they immediately fought with one another, till only five remained. The survivors helped Cadmus to found Thebes, and were the ancestors of the Theban nobility.
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In Sparta the ruling class of those who had the full rights of citizens, as distinguished from the subject Perioeci and Helots (q.v.). They were the descendants of the Dorians, who had formerly conquered the land under the leadership of Aristodemus. As to the manner in which they were divided, see PHYLE. Their number is said never to have exceeded 10,000, and, as they were utterly opposed to the admission of foreign elements, it was constantly decreasing. At the time of the Persian wars it still amounted to 8,000, about 320 B.C. to little more than 1,000. They were called homoioi (men sharing equal rights), with reference to the equality established amongst them by the legislation of Lycurgus, (1) in their education (q.v.), which was exclusively directed towards fitting them for service in war; (2) in their way of living, especially in the meals which they had in common (see SYSSITIA); (3) in their property; (4) and in their political rights. To every family of Spartiatoe an equal portion of land was assigned by Lycurgus, with a number of helots who had settled upon it, who had to cultivate the property and deliver the produce to its possessor. The Spartiatoe themselves were not allowed to engage in a handicraft, or in trade, or in agriculture; their whole life had to be devoted to the service of the State, and therefore they had their abode in Sparta itself. The allotted land and the helots were accounted State property, and the possessors had no kind of right to dispose of them. Families which were dying out were preserved by adopting sons of families related to them, and similarly heiresses were married to men without inheritance of their own. If a family consisted of several male members, then the eldest was considered as head of the family, and had to support his brothers. The original equality of property came to, an end, partly through the extinction of many families and the transference of their lot of ground, partly by the silent abrogation of the old law, which did not allow the Spartiatoe to possess silver or gold, but chiefly after the law of Epitadeus, by which the free disposal of land was allowed , if not by sale, at least by gift during lifetime and by will. But the principle of aristocratic equality long continued inform; and only those who did not fulfil the conditions attached to the equality of rights, or who did not obey the injunctions of Lycurgus as to the education of the young, and as to the life of adult citizens, or who did not contribute to the common meals, suffered a diminution of their political rights. This involved exclusion from the government and administration of the State, as well as from the right of electing or being elected to office; but the punishment affected the individual only, and did not descend to his children, nor did it touch his position in personal law.
SPES The Roman personification of hope, especially of hope for a good harvest, and (in later times) for the blessing of children. There were several temples to Spes in Rome. She was represented as a youthful figure, moving along lightly in a long robe, which was raised a little in her left hand, while her right bore a bud, either closed or just about to open. In the course of time she came to be usually considered as a goddess of the future, invoked at births and marriages, and on similar occasions.
SPHAERISTERIUM A court for the game of ball in the gymnasia and thermoe. Sphoeristice was the name of the art of playing at ball (q.v.).
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A fastening for the hair of the Greek women. (See HAIR.)
SPHINX A monster borrowed from Egyptian religion and symbolism, originally represented with the body of a winged lion and the breast and head of a maiden, and subsequently in still more wonderful forms (as a maiden with the breast, feet, and claws of a lion, the tail of a serpent, and the wings of a bird; or as a lion in front and a human being behind, with vulture's claws and eagle's wings). According to Hesiod, Sphinx was the daughter of the Chimaera and Orthrus; according to others, of Echidna and Typhon. Hera (or, according to others, Ares or Dionysus) in anger at the crimes of Laius, sent her to Thebes from Ethiopia. She took up her abode on a rock near the city and gave every passer by the well-known riddle: "What walks on four legs in the morning, on two at noon, and on three in the evening?" She flung from the rock all who could not answer it. When (Edipus explained the riddle rightly as referring to man in the successive stages of infancy, the prime of life, and old age, she flung herself down from the rock.
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The course for foot-races amongst the Greeks; the usual length of it was 600 Greek feet, a measure which Heracles, according to the myth, had appointed for the course at Olympia. (See OLYMPIAN GAMES, fig. 4.) Subsequently this became the standard unit for measuring distances. On both of the longer sides of the course were Datural or artificial elevations with terraced seats for the spectators. At one end there was generally a semicircular space especially intended for wrestling, and this was the place for the umpires. Near this was the pillar which marked the goal. The starting-point was also [sometimes] indicated by a pillar at the other end, which was originally straight, and in later times curved like the end near the goal. For the different kind of races, see GYMNASTICS.
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A Greek epic poet. (See EPOS.)
STATER The principal gold coin of Greece. The Attic stater of gold, a gold piece of two gold drachmoe=twenty silver drachmoe,= 13s. 4d., in intrinsic value of silver. To the same standard of currency belonged the Macedonian gold stater first struck by Philip II and Alexander the Great.
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The silver stater is a term applied in later times to the Athenian tetradrachm, of four silver drachmoe (= 2s. 8d. in intrinsic value). (See COINAGE.
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STATIUS Publius Papinius Statius. A Roman poet, born at Naples about 45 A.D. His father, who afterwards settled in Rome, and was busy there as a teacher, was himself a poet, and the son owed his training to him. Early in life he gained the approval of his contemporaries by his poetic talent, especially in improvisation, and several times won the victory in poetic competitions. Yet he remained all his life dependent on the favour of Domitian and of the great men of Rome, whose goodwill he sought to propitiate by the most servile flatteries. In later life he went back to Naples, where he died about 96. Two epic poems of his are preserved, both dedicated to Domitian, (1) the Thebais in twelve books, published after twelve years' labour in 92, on the struggle of the sons of (Edipus for Thebes, perhaps in imitation of the poem of the same name by Antimachus; and (2) the two first books of an incomplete Arhilleis. We also have his Silvoe, a collection of occasional poems, mostly in hexameters, but partly in lyrical verse. Statius is distinguished among his contemporaries by skill and imagination, but suffers from the tendency of the time to make great display of learning and rhetorical ornament. His poems were much read both in antiquity and in the Middle Ages.
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An upright tablet or slab of stone. At Athens such tablets were set up in a public place, especially on the Acropolis. Laws, decrees, treaties, etc., as well as sentences of punishment against defaulters were engraved upon them, and thus made publicly known. The use of steloe for funeral monuments was common in all. Greek countries. In earlier times they are narrow and thin slabs of stone, slightly tapering towards the top, which is crowned either with anthemia (decorations of flowers and leaves, see cut), or with a small triangular pediment ornamented with rosettes. The shorter but broader stele, crowned with a pediment, is later than the other kind. Many such steloe resemble small shrines or chapels (Perry's Greek Sculpture, fig. 121]. Besides the inscription referring to the dead, they often bear representations of them in relief, as in the famous monument to Dexileos, B.C. 390, near the Dipylum at Athens. [For a stele, more than a century earlier, with a warrior in low relief, see HOPLITES.]
STENTOR One of the Greeks before Troy, who could shout as loudly as fifty men together (Il. v 785]. He is said to have been a Thracian or Arcadian, and to have found his death in a contest of shouting with Hermes.
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The garland (see CORONA), also a metal hand for the forehead, like a diadem. (See HAIR, MODE OF WEARING.)
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[A sculptor of the archaistic school of Pasiteles (a contemporary of Pompey). His name appears on a wellknown statue of a nude youth in the Villa Albani, which is repeated with very slight alteration in a male statue forming part of a group in the Naples Museum. Among his pupils was the sculptor Menelaus. (See SCULPTURE, fig. 16.)] [J.E.S.]
STEPHANUS Of Byzantium. Author of a comprehensive geographical work, about 500 A.D., originally consisting of more than fifty books in the form of a lexicon, compiled out of more than 100 authors, which also contained notices of myths, history, ete., with constant indication of authorities. Besides fragments of the original, we possess only a meagre epitome by a grammarian named Hermolaus; but even in this mutilated form it is of great value.
STEROPE One of the Pleiads, mother of (Enomus, by Ares.
STEROPES One of the Cyclopes (q.v.).
STHENELUS Son of Perseus and Andromeda, and father of Eurystheus. (Cp. AMPHITRYON.)
STHENELUS Son of Capaneus and Euadne (q.v.) He took part in the expedition of the Epigoni against Thebes and in the Trojan War, where he fought as the brave comrade and charioteer of Diomedes.
STHENO One of the Gorgons (q.v.).
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[wrongly spell stylus]. An iron instrument, pointed at one end and flat at the other, for writing on tablets covered with a thin coating of wax. (See WRITING MATERIALS.)
STOA The Greek term for a colonnade, such as those built outside or inside temples, around dwelling-houses, gymnasia, and market-places. They were also set up separately as ornaments of the streets and open places. The simplest form is that of a roofed colonnade, with a wall on one side, which was often decorated with paintings. Thus in the market-place at Athens the stoa poecile (the Painted Colonnade) was decorated with Polygnotus' representations of the destruction of Troy, the fight of the Athenians with the Amazons, and the battles of Marathon and (Enoe. The stoa basileios, also in the market-place, in which the archon basileus sat as judge, was probably divided longitudinally into three parts by two rows of column, and was the pattern for the Roman basilica (q.v.).-Zeno of Citium taught in the stoa poecile, and his adherents accordingly obtained the name of Stoics. Among the Romans similar colonnades attached to other buildings, or built out in the open, were called porticus. They were named from the neighbouring edifices (e.g. porticus Concordioe, close to the temple of Concord); from their builders (e.g. porticus Pompeia); also from the pictures set up in them (e.g. porticus Argonautarum); and from the business chiefly carried on in them, as porticus Argentaria, the hall of the money-changers. These halls were the chief places for public intercourse among the Greeks and Romans.
STOBAEUS Of Stobi in Macedonia. About 500 A.D. he composed, for the education of his son Septimius, a philosophical anthology in four books, from the extracts which he had made in the course of his extensive reading from more than 500 Greek poets and prose writers. It is of great value, as it includes numerous fragments of works now lost, and is particularly rich in quotations from the works of the Greek dramatists. The collection, which originally seems to have formed one whole work, has been separated into two distinct portions in the course of time: (1) The "physical, dialectical, and ethical eclogues" (or selections) in two books (imperfect at the beginning and end); and (2) the Florilegium, also in two books, on ethical and political subjects, the sections of which are in great part so arranged that each virtue is treated in connexion with its opposite vice.
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The adherents of a school of philosophy (Stoicism), founded by Zeno of Citium. about 310 A.D. They derived their name from the Painted Stoa (see STOA) in Athens, in which Zeno lectured. For further details, see PHILOSOPHY.
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The outer garment worn by Roman matrons above the tunica intima or chemise. It was longer than the body, slit open at the top on either side and fastened together by clasps, while below it was provided with a border (instita) woven on to it, and was gathered up below the breast by a girdle so as to form broad falling folds (rugoe). It had either no sleeves or half-sleeves, according as the under tunic had or had not half-sleeves. For the garb of women unmarried or in disgrace, see TOGA. Under the Empire the stola fell gradually out of use. After the 4th century A.D. there appears in its stead the dalmatica, worn by men and women, a kind of tunic with sleeves.
STRABO The Greek geograpber. He was born of a good family at Amaseia in Pontus about 63 B.C. After the conclusion of his education in philosophy he devoted himself to historical and geographical studies, and undertook long journeys in Asia Minor, also in Egypt up to the boundaries of Ethiopia, and in parts of Greece and Italy, paying several visits to Rome. He composed a great historic work in forty-seven books, which from the fifth book onwards formed a continuation of Poklybius down to his own time; but of this only a few fragments remain. His Geogrdphica, however, we possess complete in seventeen books, with the exception of a few gaps in the seventh book. This was finished about A.D. 23. It is the principal geographical work that has come down to us from ancient times. It consists of descriptions of countries and peoples, and is specially valuable on account of the extent and importance of the historical and topographical matter it contains, partly derived from personal observation, but chiefly drawn from the best authorities, particularly from Eratosthenes. The first two books contain (1) a criticism, not always just, of the more ancient geographers from the time of Homer; and (2) the mathematical part of physical geography, the weakest portion of the work; books iii-x describe Europe (iii Spain, iv Gaul, Britain, Ireland, and the Alps, v and vi Italy, vii the north and east of Europe to the Danube, viii-x Greece); xi-xvi Asia; xvii Africa. Strabo gives detailed accounts of manners and customs, history and constitutions, whereas, in topography, he generally gives only what is of most importance. His style is clear and attractive. Notwithstanding a great extension of geographical knowledge, the work was not superseded by any later one, and indeed even in the Middle Ages was still used in selections as a school-book in Constantinople. [See Tozer's Selections, 1893.]
STRATEGUS A general. Among the Lacedoemonians, it was a special designation of leaders of those armies which were not commanded by the kings. They were appointed by the public assembly, or by the ephors commissioned thereby. At Athens, there was annually elected, by show of hands (cheirotonia) in the public assembly, a board of Ten Generals, who had the superintendence of all military affairs. Only those were elected to this high and influential office who were lawfully married, and who possessed landed property in Attica. In earlier times they superintended operations both by land and sea, and assumed the actual command in turn on successive days, while they held a council of war in common. In later times no more were sent to the seat of war than were deemed sufficient for the purpose; and, from the time when the Athenians carried on their wars mainly by means of mercenaries, soldiers of experience, who did not belong to the board, were not unfrequently entrusted with the command, and were called strategi during the continuance of the war. Those strategi who remained at home, besides seeing that the country was protected against hostile invasion, had the control of the war-taxes and the trierarchia, the selection and equipment of the troops and the jurisdiction affecting all the law-suits connected with the war-taxes and trierarchy, as well as all the military offences which had not been punished by the general at the seat of war. Their chamber of office was called the strategion, and bore they dined together at the expense of the State. [The office of strategos was not created by Clisthenes, but was at least as old as the time of Dracon (Aristotle, Constitution of Athens, 4). In the 4th century we find the strategi no longer elected from each of the ten phyloe, but from the whole body of citizens without distinction of phyle (ib. 61).] The highest officer of the Aetolian and the Achaean league, who was not only a commander of the federal army, but also president of the council and assemblies of the league, also bore the title of strategus.
STRIA DEA A deity of generation and fecundity worshipped in Syrian Hierapolis under the name Atargatis, whom the later Greeks and the Romans simply called the Syrian goddess. From the time of the sovereignty of the Seleucidae, when the ancient paganism was highly honoured in Hierapolis, the worship of this goddess spread among the Greeks, and from them found its way to Rome (where she had a temple in the days of the Empire) and to other parts of Italy, and still farther west. The old idea of her attributes had so widened in the course of time that she shared those of Juno, Venus, Rhea, Cybele, Minerva, Diana, the Parcae, and other goddesses. She is represented on Roman monuments, seated on a throne between two lions. Her priests were generally eunuchs. They were in the habit of making excursions into Greece and Italy to extend the worship of the goddess by means of ecstatic dances and prophecies, and to collect pious alms for her sanctuary.
STYMPHALIDES According to the Greek legend these birds infested the lake Styraphalus in Arcadia. They had brazen claws, beaks, and wings, and were able to discharge their own feathers like arrows. Their destruction formed one of the labours of Heracles (q.v.).
STYX The eldest daughter of Oceanus and Tethys, by Pallas, son of the Titan Crius. She became the mother of Zelus (zeal), Nike (victory), Kratos (power), and Bia (strength). She was the first of all the immortals who hastened with all her offspring to help Zeus against the Titans. In return for this Zeus retained her chilren with him in Olympus, and Styx herelf became the goddess by whom the most solemn oaths were sworn. She is the Nymph of the mighty river of the same name (the tenth part of the water of Oceanus) which flows in the nether world. She dwells in the distant west, on the borders of the night, in a house supported by silver columns and overshadowed by lofty mountains. When one of the gods had to take an oath by Styx, Iris fetched some of her sacred water in a golden cup: whoever swore falsely thereby was punished by having to lie speechless and breathless for a year, and by banishment for nine years from the council of the gods [Hesiod, Theog. 775-806].
SUBLIGACULUM The linen bandage worn by the Roman gymnasts whilst performing their exercises. It was passed round the waist and between the legs.
SUETONIUS TRANQUILLUS The Roman historian, born about 75 A.D. He lived during the time of Trajan as an advocate and teacher of rhetoric in Rome, in close intimacy with the younger Pliny, to whose influence he owed many favours. Under Hadrian he was appointed private secretary to the emperor; but in 121 he fell into disgrace, and appears thenceforth to have devoted his life to learned studies and to varied research. He died about the middle of the 2nd century. Like Varro, he collected notes on all kinds of subjects, history, literature, antiquities, philology, physical sciences, and worked them up in numerous writings (some of them apparently in Greek). Amongst these an encyclopaedic work called Prata, in at least ten books, occupied a prominent position; and just as he himself frequently quoted Varro, so he in his turn was frequently quoted by later writers. Apart from titles and fragments the following works of his are still intact: (1) The lives of the first twelve emperors (De Vita Coesarum) in eight books books i-vi treating of one emperor each, from Caesar to Nero; vii, of Galba, Otho, Vitellius; viii, of Vespasian, Titus, and Domitian. This work contains an abundance of more or less important facts about the public and private life of the emperors, grouped in a systematic manner and expressed in clear and simple language. (2) Of his literary and historical work, De Viris Illustribus, which apparently included the Roman poets, orators, historians, grammarians, and rhetoricians down to the time of Domitian, we possess the lives of Terence and Horace, and a fragment of that of Lucan, besides extracts made by the grammarian Diomedes and by St. Jerome from the book De Poetis. From the book De Historicis, we have a fragment of the biography of the elder Pliny, and the greater part of the chapter De Grammaticis et Rhetoribus. In the beginning of the 3rd century, under the reign of Alexander Severus, his work on the Lives of the Caesars was continued by Marius Maximus, who treated of the emperors from Nerva to Elagabalus.
SUFFECTUS A magistrate elected in place of one who vacated office before the end of the year for which he was elected. The substitute continued in office for the rest of the year. (Cp.CONSULES.)
SUIDAS 1 A Greek lexicographer who lived about 970 A.D., and compiled, from the lexicographical, grammatical, and explanatory works of his predecessors, a lexicon which contains explanations of words, and accounts, mainly biographical, of earlier writers. The work is put together hastily, and without skill or discrimination. It is also marred by numerous mistakes. Nevertheless it is very valuable, owing to the wealth of information on literary history contained in it, much of this not being found elsewhere.
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Several Roman poetesses bear this name. For the first, see TIBULLUS. A second, who is mentioned by Martial about the time of Domitian, wrote amatory poems which are lost. A poem in seventy hexameters and entitled a Satire, being a complaint to the Muse for the expulsion of the philosophers from Rome by Domitian (89 and 93 A.D.), is written in her name; but this puerile performance is of a later date, her name having been wrongly attached to it.
SULPICIUS Gaius Sulpicius Apollinaris, of Carthage. A distinguished grammarian of the 2nd century A.D., and teacher of Aulus Gellius (q.v.). His extant writings consist of metrical summaries of the comedies of Terence and of the Aeneid of Virgil.
SULPICIUS Sulpicius Severus, of Aquitania, gave up a brilliant career as advocate and orator, to devote himself to the Christian priesthood and an ascetic life, and wrote, between 400 and 405 A.D., a short history of the Old Testament and the Christian Church in two volumes, entitled Chronica. It is a work executed on the model of Sallust and Tacitus, and displays great industry and stylistic finish.
SUMMANUS An ancient Etruscan deity of the nocturnal heavens, to whom was ascribed thunder by night; as that by day was ascribed to Jupiter. He had a chapel on the Capitol, and his image in term cotta stood on the pediment of the great temple. Besides this he had a temple near the Circus Maximus, where on the 20th of June an annual sacrifice was offered to him. His true significance became in later times so obscure that his name was falsely explained as meaning the highest of the Manes (summus Manium) and equivalent to Dis, pater, or the Greek Pluto.
SUOVETAURILIA A Roman sacrifice, consisting of a boar (sus), a ram (ovis), and a bullock (taurus), which was offered in nearly all cases of lustration (cp. out under TRIUMPH). For female deities the female animal, and on certain occasions young animals, were selected.
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The Roman fast days, or days of humiliation, celebrated originally in times of great distress, after the Sibylline books had been duly consulted. The whole population, both of the towns and surrounding country, free-born and emancipated men, women, and children, took part in the solemnity. The whole ceremony had a Greek rather than a Roman colour. From the temple of Apollo, priests and laymen, crowned with wreaths of bay, marched in procession to the sound of singing and the notes of the lyre, visiting all the holy places, especially those where lectisternia (q.v.) were held. According to the rite introduced from the oriental Greeks of Asia Minor, the Romans touched with their faces the threshold of the sanctuaries, prostrated themselves before the statues of the gods, clasping their knees and kissing their hands and feet. While the prayers were being said, incense and wine were offered, the prayers being rehearsed by the members of the collegium entrusted with the care of the Sibylline books (see SIBYLLAe), and the performance of the holy rites prescribed by them. On such days the temples ordinarily closed to the public, or only accessible under certain restrictions, were (so far as practicable) thrown open to all. The thanksgivings decreed by the Senate after great victories were celebrated in a similar manner. These originally lasted only one day, but in the course of time were lengthened, until, at the end of the Republic, they sometimes extended over forty or fifty days, and were often united with a public feasting of the people.
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The originator of the Attic comedy. (See COMEDY, 1.)
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The ordinary sword of the Greeks (xiphos, figs. 2 and 5), had a straight two-edged blade 16 to 18 inches long, and 2 to 2 1/2 inches broad; the handle, which was often made in one piece with the blade, was 4 to 6 inches long, and without a bend, but with a cross or shell-shaped guard. The scabbard was of metal or leather mounted with metal, and frequently covered the hilt as well as the blade (see fig. 1). It hung by a belt thrown over the shoulder, usually on the left side, on a level with the hip. At the beginning of the 4th century B.C., a sword of nearly double this length was introduced by Iphicrates for the light infantry called peltasts. A sword slightly curved on one side from the hilt upwards, and only sharpened on this side, was the machaira (figs. 3 and 4). This was the shape of the Spartan sword (xyele), which was peculiarly short. For the Roman sword, see GLADIUS.
SYCOPHANT originally signified, according to the popular derivation, one who brought into notice cases of the prohibited export of figs from Attica. The term was afterwards applied to a professional informer and accuser. There were many such persons, who carried on a lucrative business in Athens at the time of the decay of the democracy, in spite of the fact that the authors of false accusations were punished most severely.
SYMBOLA The Greek term for treaties between two states, determining the procedure in the event of lawsuits taking place between their respective subjects. A common provision of these contracts was that a party who lost his cause, when tried by the laws of the foreign state, could appeal to those of his own; and similarly the party who had been worsted in his own state was allowed to appeal to the law in his opponent's state. Such treaties were made chiefly to facilitate commercial communications between different states.
SYMMACHUS A Roman orator and writer of letters, who lived in the latter part of the 4th century A.D. He was of noble birth, and was prefect of Rome in 384 under Theodosius the Great, and afterwards consul in 391. Although he fearlessly adhered to the decaying paganism, and even moved the restoration of the altar of Victoria in the council-chamber of the Senate in an address to the emperor, he was nevertheless respected by his Christian opponents for the purity of his life, and for his great learning. The fragments of his Orations consist of three not entirely complete panegyrics on Valentinian I and his son Gratian, written in his youth, and larger fragments of six senatorial orations. We possess a collection of his Letters arranged apparently by his own son, who also was a statesman of mark. It is divided into ten books on the same plan as those of Pliny, and containing in the last book the official correspondence (relationes) of father and son with the emperor. This is the most valuable part of a collection which is not unimportant as affording much information about the author's life and times.
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A co-partnership, or company. (1) A term used at Athens to denote a company formed to raise the property tax instituted in the year 428 B.C., to defray war expenses. (SeeEISPHORA.) Each of the ten phyloe appointed 120 of its wealthier citizens, and these were divided into two symmorioe of sixty members each, so that the number of members in the twenty symmorioe amounted to 1,200 (called symmoritoe). Out of each of the twenty symmorioe, fifteen of the wealthier citizens were chosen, making 300 in all, whose duty it was to pay the taxes in advance on behalf of the rest. This sum had to be refunded to them by the rest in conjunction with the poorer taxable citizens, who were likewise apportioned off to various symmorioe, but without becoming actual members of them, and were drawn upon by the real symmoritoe to an extent proportional to their means. (2) After 358, this method was applied to the duty of equipping the war vessels, known as the trierarchia. (See LEITOURGIA.) Each of the twenty symmorioe had a certain number of ships assigned to it, the real symmoritoe (not including the poorer citizens) divided the expense among themselves, and a varying number (at the most sixteen), of the richest had to raise the money advanced for a ship. To manage its affairs, each symmoria had its superintendents, curators, and assessors. The magisterial control was in both cases in the hands of the strategi, being connected with the military supplies. Though, by this arrangement, the raising of taxes and fitting out of the ships were accelerated, yet it was open to abuse if the symmoritoe unduly burdened the poor by an unjust distribution. In the disputes which thus arose, the decision rested with the strategi. If any one thought that another ought to have been taxed instead of himself, he could avail himself of antidosis (q.v.) Even the metoeci, who (like the citizens) had to pay war taxes, were divided into symmorioe. [Aristotle, Constitution of Athens; 61, describes one of the strategi as individually responsible for superintending the symmorioe, for building triremes.]
SYMPLEGADES In Greek mythology two cliffs or floating islands near the entrance of the Black Sea, which crushed all vessels that tried to pass between them. The Argonauts, with the help of Hera (or Athene), were the first to succeed in sailing through; after this the rocks became immovably fixed. (Cp. ARGONAUTS.)
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A Greek drinking-party. Symposiarchus, the master of the revels. (See MEALS.)
SYMPOSIUS A Roman poet who lived at the end of the 4th and beginning of the 5th century A.D.; author of a collection of 100 riddles in verse, each written in three fairly correct hexameters.
SYNCEOCIA The eve of the Athenian festival of the Panathenaea (q.v.).
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The Athenian term for advocates chosen by the people. In the pleadings (see ECCLESIA, 1, a) which took place, when any alteration was made in the laws, they had to defend the hitherto existing laws. In State trials it was their duty to conduct the cause on behalf of the people or to speak in support of the actual prosecutor.
SYNESIUS A Greek philosopher, born 378 A.D. at Cyrene, of distinguished parentage. He studied the Neo-Platonic philosophy in Alexandria under Hypatia, and was her most famous and most devoted pupil. He afterwards became a Christian, and was made bishop of Ptolemais in 410. He died about 430. The zeal and faithfulness with which he discharged his office and the tenacity with which he held to his philosophical convictions, which he endeavoured to reconcile with his Christian faith, are shown by his writings. These consist of several speeches and dissertations, amongst which that entitled Dion is particularly interesting, as showing how he came to be a philosopher, while his Praise of Baldness is distinguished for its wit and genius. They also comprise a collection of 160 letters, which present us with a faithful picture of his character and work; in later times they were regarded as models of epistolary style. Lastly, they include ten hymns in iambic verse, which, although avowedly Christian, are at the same time inspired throughout by Neo-Platonic ideas.
SYNOECIA The Greek name for a lodging house which held several families.
SYNTHESIS A comfortable, brightly coloured garment usually worn by the Romans at meal-times, and only in public during the Saturnalia.
SYRINX An Arcadian Nymph, daughter of the river-god Ladon; she was changed by her sisters into a reed in her flight from the enamoured Pan. Pan cut this reed into seven (or nine) pieces, and joined them together with wax in gradually decreasing lengths, to form the instrument called a syrinx or "Pan's pipe." This was chiefly used by herdsmen and shepherds, and is one of the attributes found in pictorial representations of Pan.
SYSSITIA The common meals taken in public among the Dorians in Sparta and Crete, and confined to men and youths only. In Sparta, all the Spartiatoe, or citizens over twenty years of age, were obliged to attend these meals, which were there called pheiditia. No one was allowed to absent himself except for some satisfactory reason. The table was provided for by fixed monthly contributions of barley, wine, cheese, figs, and money to buy meat; the State only paid for the maintenance of the two kings, each of whom received a double portion. The places where the syssitia were held were called tents, and the guests were divided into messes of about fifteen members, vacancies in which were filled up by ballot, unanimous consent being indispensable for election. The messmates were called tent-companions, as they actually were in time of war. The table-companions of the two kings, who had a common table, were those who formed their escorts in the field. Accordingly, the generals of divisions in the army had the control of the syssitia. The principal dish was the well-known black broth (meat cooked in blood, seasoned with vinegar and salt), of which each person received only a certain amount, together with barley bread and wine, as much as they liked. This was followed by a course of cheese, olives, and figs. Besides this, the table-companions were allowed (and indeed were sometimes required as a penalty for small offences) to give a second course, consisting of wheaten bread, or venison caught by themselves in the chase; no one was allowed to obtain this by purchase. In Crete the people always sat clown while eating, and in Sparta this was originally the custom; but after a short time they were in the habit of reclining on wooden benches. In Crete there was a public fund for the syssitia. This absorbed one-half of the State revenue, and every citizen contributed to it a tithe of the produce of his land, as well as an annual sum of money for each slave. This fund not only bore the expense of the meals of the men and boys above a certain age, but also paid a sum sufficient to defray the expenses incurred by the women, children, and slaves in dining at home. These companies, which dined in common, were here called hetoerioe. The boys, who sat near their fathers on the ground, only received meat to the extent of one-half the portion of an adult. The youths dined together and had to wait upon their elders; they had also to be content with an amount of wine which was measured out to them from a large bowl of mixed wine, whilst the older men could replenish their cups as they pleased. Here, as in Sparta, there were penalties for intemperance. After the repast some time was spent in conversation on politics and other subjects, principally for the instruction of the youths.
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