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LARES 100.00%
The Latin name for the good spirits of the departed, who even after death continue to be active in bringing blessing on their posterity. The origin of the worship of the Lares is traced to the fact that the Romans buried their dead in their own houses, until it was forbidden by the laws of the Twelve Tables. Every house had individually a lar familiaris, who was the " lord " tutelary spirit of the family; his chief care was to prevent its dying out. His image, habited in a toga, stood between the two Penates, in the lararium or shrine of the Lares, beside the household hearth, which in early days was in the atrium; the group as a whole was also commonly called either the Lares or the Penates. The ancient Roman and his children saluted it daily with a morning prayer and an offering from the table; for, after the chief meal was over, a portion of it was laid on the fire on the hearth. When the hearth and the Lares were not in the eating-room, the offering was placed on a special table before the shrine. Regular sacrifices were offered on the calends, nones, and ides of every month and at all important family festivities, such as the birthday of the father of the family, the assumption by a son of the toga virilis, the marriage of a child, or at the reception of a bride, or the return of any member of the family after a long absence. On such occasions the Lares were covered with garlands and cakes and honey; wine and incense, and animals, especially swine, were offered up. Out of doors the Lares were also honoured as tutelary divinities, and in the chapels at the cross-ways (compita) there were always two lares compitales or vicorum (one for each of the intersecting roads) which were honoured by a popular festival (Compitalia) held four times a year (cp. cut). Augustus added to the Lares the Genius Augusti, and commanded two regular feasts to be held in honour of these divinities, in the months of May and August. Further, there were Lares belonging to the whole city (lares proestites). They were invoked with the mother of the Lares, also called Lara, Larunda, or Mania (q.v.), and had an ancient altar and temple to themselves in Rome. The Lares were invoked as protectors on a journey, in the country, in war, and, on the sea. In contrast to these good spirits we have the Larvae (q.v.).
LARARIUM 100.00%
The shrine of the Lares. (See LARES.)
VICUS 23.94%
A Latin word originally meaning a house, and afterwards a collection of houses. In a town, vicus was a street or section of the town; in the country, a rural community composed of farms lying close together, with temples and altars of its own, a common chest and annually elected overseers (magistri, or oediles), to whom was assigned the care of the cult, buildings, and local police. The religious centre of the separate townships or vici was the compitum (crossway), with the chapel of the lares compitales erected there, in whose honour was annually held the festival of the Compitalia. Augustus divided Rome into fourteen districts and 265 vici, and ordained that four magistrates should be chosen annually from every vicus, partly to superintend the cult of the lares, partly to perform the official duties of citizens. This arrangement survived with a few changes till the decline of the Empire.
According to the common legend, wife of the herdsman Faustulus, and nurse to Romalus and Remus; according to another, a favourite of Hercules, and wife to a rich Etruscan, Tarutius, whose possessions she bequeathed to Romulus or (according to another account) the Roman people. She is said to have had twelve sons, with whom she sacrificed once a year for the fertilizing of the Roman fields (arva), and who were thence named Arval Brothers (fratres arvales). One of them having died, Romulus took his place, and founded the priesthood so called. (See ARVAL BROTHERS.) She at last disappeared on the spot where, afterwards, at the feast of Larentalia (Dec. 23), the flamen of Quirinus and the pontiffs sacrificed to her while invoking Jupiter. All this, together with her name, meaning "mother of the Lares," shows that she was originally a goddess of the earth, to whose care men entrusted their seed-corn and their dead. (See LARES.) In particular she personified the city lands and their crops. Probably she is the Dea Dia worshipped by the Arval Brothers.
MANIA 20.19%
An old Italian goddess of the Manes, i.e. the dead, also called Lara, Larunda, Muta (the dumb), Mana Genita, who was held by some to be the mother or grandmother of the good Lares, by others of the evil Larvoe. Originally daughter of the river-god Almo, and called Lara, she was deprived of her tongue by Jupiter, because she had betrayed his love for the Nymph Juturna, and was condemned to be the Nymph of the marshy waters in the realm of the speechless. On the way to the nether world Mercury fell in love with her, and the Lares were her offspring in early times boys are said to have been sacrificed to her, to insure the prosperity of a family. At a later period heads of poppies and garlic were offered to her, and woollen dolls, manioe, called after her, were suspended on the doors as a protection. As Mana Genita she received the sacrifice of a dog and was implored not to let any of the family become a " good one," i.e. die. In the course of time Mania became a bogy with which children were threatened.
SEMONES 20.18%
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.
LARVAE 16.30%
In Roman belief the Larvae, in contrast to the Lares (the good spirits of the departed), were the souls of dead people who could find no rest, either owing to their own guilt, or from having met with some indignity, such as a violent death. They were supposed to wander abroad in the form of dreadful spectres, skeletons, etc., and especially to strike the living with madness. Similar sipectres of the night are the Lemures. To expel them from the house, peculiar expiatory rites were held on three days of the year, the 9th, 11th, and 13th of May, the Lemuria, when all the temples were closed, and marriages avoided.
BULLA 14.22%
A round or heart-shaped box containing an amulet, worn round the neck by free-born Roman children. The fashion was borrowed from the Etrurians. To wear a golden bulla was originally a privilege of the patricians, which was in later times extended to the equites, and generally to rich and distinguished families. Leather bulloe were worn by the children of families and of freedmen. Boys ceased to wear the bulla when they assumed the toga virilis. It was then dedicated to the Lares, and hung up over the hearth. Girls most probably left it off on marriage. It was sometimes put on by adults as a protection against the evil eye on special occasions, as, for instance, on that of a triumph.(See FASCINUM).
GENIUS 12.27%
The Italian peoples regarded the Genius as a higher power which creates and maintains life, assists at the begetting and birth of every individual man, determines his character, tries to influence his destiny for good, accompanies him through life as his tutelary spirit, and lives on in the Lares after his death. (See LARES.) As a creative principle, the Genius is attached strictly speaking, to the male sex only. In the case of women his place is taken by Juno, the personification of woman's life. Thus, in house inhabited by a man and his wife a Genius and a Juno are worshipped together. But in common parlance it was usual to speak of the Genius of a house, and to this Genius the marriage bed was sacred. A man's birthday was naturally the holiday of his attendant Genius, to whom he offered incense, wine, garlands, cakes, everything in short but bloody sacrifices, and in whose honour he gave himself up to pleasure and enjoyment. For the Genius wishes a man to have pleasure in the life he has given him. And so the Romans spoke of enjoying oneself as indulging one's Genius, and of renunciation as spiting him. Men swore by their Genius as by their higher self, and by the Genius of persons whom they loved and honoured. The philosophers originated the idea of a man having two Genii, a good and a bad one; but in the popular belief the notion of the Genius was that of a good and beneficent being. Families, societies, cities and peoples had their Genius as well as individuals. The Genius of the Roman people (Genius Publicus, or Populi Romani) stood in the forum, represented in the form of a bearded man crowned with a diadem, a cornucopia in his right hand, and a sceptre in his left. An annual sacrifice was offered to him on the 9th October. Under the Empire the Genius of Augustus, the founder of the Empire, and of the reigning emperor, were publicly worshipped at the same time. Localities also, such as open spaces, streets, baths, and theatres, had their own Genii. These were usually represented under the form of snakes (see cut); and hence the common habit of keeping tame snakes.
The general term in Latin for an association. The word was applied in a different sense to express the mutual relation of such magistrates as were collegoe. Besides the collegia of the great priesthoods, and of the magistrates' attendants (see APPARITORES), there were numerous associations, which, although not united by any specifically religious objects, had a religious centre in the worship of some deity or other. Such were the numerous collegia of artisans (opificum or artificum), and the societies existing among the poor for providing funerals, which first appear under the Empire. The political clubs (collegia sodalicia ) were associated in the worship of the Lares Compitales , and were, indeed, properly speaking, collegia compitalicia , or " societies of the cross-ways." The religious societies were, in some instances, established by the State for the performance of certain public religious services (see SODALITAS), in other cases they were formed by private individuals, who made it their business to keep up the shrines of particular deities (often foreign deities) at their own expense.
The Latin name for a college of priests consisting of twelve life-members, who performed the worship of Dea Dia, a goddess not otherwise mentioned, but probably identical with the old Roman goddess of cornfields, Acca Larentia (q.v.), who also is said to have founded this fraternity. Our more accurate knowledge of it we owe to its annual reports inscribed on the marble tablets, ninety-six in number, which have been dug up (1570-1869) on the site of its meeting-place, a grove at the fifth milestone from Rome, and which extend from A.D. 14-241. About its condition under the Republic we have no information; but under the Empire its members were persons of the highest rank. The emperors themselves belonged to it, either as ordinary members, or, if the numbers were filled up, as extraordinary. The election was by co-optation on the motion of the president (magister), who himself, together with a flamen, was elected for one year; their badge was a white fillet and a wreath of ears of corn. The Arvales held their chief festival on three days in May, on the 1st and 3rd in Rome, on the 2nd in the grove, with a highly complicated ceremonial, including a dance in the temple of the goddess, to which they sang the written text of a hymn so antiquated that its meaning could scarcely be understood. This Arval Hymn, in which the Lares and Mars are invoked, is one of the oldest monuments we possess of the Latin tongue. Amongst other duties of this priesthood should especially be mentioned the expiatory sacrifices in the grove. These had to be offered if any damage had been done to it through the breaking of a bough, the stroke of lightning, or other such causes; or again if any labour had been performed in it, though ever so necessary, especially if iron tools had been used. The Arval brothers had also to offer solemn vows on behalf of the Imperial House, both statedly on January 3rd, and on extraordinary occasions, and were bound to fulfil them.
with Vesta and Lar, the household gods of the Romans; strictly the guardianS of the storeroom (penus), which in old Roman houses stood next the atrium; in later times, near the back of the building (penetralia). They were two in number, and presided over the well-being of the house, their blessing being shown in the fulness of the store-room. This chamber therefore, as being sacred to them, was holy, and not to be entered except by chaste and undefiled persons. The hearth of the house was their altar, and on it were sculptured the figures of the two Penates beside that of the Lar. Often they were represented dancing and raising a drinking-horn, to symbolise a joyful and prosperous life. The offerings to them were made jointly with those to the Lar (see LARES). There were also Penates belonging to the State. These at first had their temple in the quarter Velia, where their statues stood below those of the Dioscuri. Afterwards it was supposed that the original Penates, brought from Samothrace to Troy, and thence conveyed by Aeneas to Lavinium, were identical with certain symbols kept, with the Palladium, in a secret part of the temple of Vesta. The Penates of the Latin League, which were at first regarded as the Trojan Penates, were enshrined in the sanctuary at Lavinium. Annual offerings were brought to them by the Roman priests, and also by consuls, praetors, and dictators on assuming or laying down office, and by generals on their departure for their provinces.
SACRA 7.24%
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.
VESTA 5.09%
The Italian, particularly the Latin, goddess of the hearth and of its fire, corresponding in her name, as well as in her nature, to the Greek HESTIA(q.v.) Like Vesta, besides her special cult on the hearth of every home, she was also worshipped by the State. This worship was introduced by Numa from Lavinium, whither Aeneas had brought the Penates and the sacred fire from Troy. Hence it was that Roman consuls and dictators, on taking up and laying down their office sacrificed in the temple of Vesta at Lavinium. It was customary in Italy as in Greece for the colonies to kindle the fire of their own Vesta at the hearth of the mother city. The ancient round temple of Vesta, which served as the central point of the city, was built by Numa. In its neighbourhood was the so called atrium of Vesta, the abode of the virgin priestesses of the goddess, the Vestals (excavated in 1883-4; Middleton's Remains of Ancient Rome, i 307-329]. Here the goddess was worshipped not in the form of a statue, but under the symbol of the eternal fire, which it was the chief duty of the Vestals to keep alight. On every 1st March it was renewed. If it went out of itself, a great national disaster was held to have occurred, and the guilty Vestal was scourged by the pontifex. The fire could only be rekindled by a burning glass, or by the primitive method of friction by boring a piece of wood from a fruit tree. Corresponding to the lares and penates of the domestic hearth, there were, according to later usage, the penates of the State in the temple of Vesta; and similarly, on the temple-hearth, a sacrifice was offered daily, consisting of the plainest form of food in a simple vessel of clay. The daily purifications could only be made with flowing water, which the Vestals carried in pitchers upon their heads from the fountain of Egeria, or of the Muses. By day every one had the right of admission to all the temple, save only that part in which the palladium and other mystic relics were kept, where the Vestals alone had the right to enter. It was only by night that men were excluded. As goddess of the sacred fire of the hearth in every house, and for the city in general, Vesta was also the goddess of every sacrificial fire. Hence she was worshipped with Janus at every religion service, Janus being invoked at the opening, Vesta at the close. Her own festival, the Vestalia, was kept on July 9th. The matrons of the town walked barefooted in procession to her temple, to implore tba blessing of the goddess for their households, and to offer sacrifice to her in rude dishes, in remembrance of the time when the hearth served generally for the baking of bread. The millers and bakers also kept holiday. The mills were crowned, and the asses employed in them had garlands and loaves suspended about their necks. The worship of Vesta survived to the last days of paganism, and was abolished by Gratian in 382 A.D. Although there was no image of the goddess in the actual temples, her statues were not uncommon at Rome in later times. Like the Greek Hestia, she was represented sometimes as standing, sometimes as sitting, completely clothed and veiled, with chalice torch, sceptre, and palladium. For cut, see HESTIA.
Roman. Among the Romans the father was free, when the new-born child was laid before him, either to expose it, or to take it up, as a sign that he meant to rear it. He bad also the right of selling his children, or putting them to death. It was not till the beginning of the 3rd century A.D. that the exposure of children was legally accounted as murder, nor did the evil practice cease even then. If the child was to be reared, it was named, if a boy on the ninth day after birth, if a girl, on the eighth. The day was called dies lustricus, or day of purification. A sacrifice in the house, accompanied with a feast, gave to the child's life a religious dedication. A box with an amulet was hung round the child's neck as a protection against magic (see BULLAe). Official lists of births were not published until the 2nd century after Christ. In earlier times, in the case of boys, the name was not formally confirmed until the assumption of the toga virilis. The child's physical and moral education was, in old times, regularly given at home under the superintendence of the parents, chiefly of the mother. The training was strict, and aimed at making the children strong and healthy, religious, obedient to the laws, temperate, modest in speech and actions, strictly submissive to their superiors, well behaved, virtuous, intelligent, and self-reliant. The girls were, taught by their mothers to spin and weave, the boys were instructed by their fathers in ploughing, sowing, reaping, riding, swimming, boxing and fencing; in the knowledge necessary for household management; in reading, writing, and counting; and in the laws of their country. The Romans did not, like the Greeks, lay stress on gymnastics, but only carried physical exercises to the point necessary for military service. The contests and exercises took place in the Campus Martius, which, down to the time of the Empire, was the favourite arena of the youths. The state took as little care of mental as of physical education. If a man could not educate his children himself, he sent them to a master. From an early time there were elementary teachers (litteratores) at Rome, corresponding to the Greek grammatistoe. These were sometimes slaves, who taught in their masters' house for his benefit. Sometimes they were freedmen, who gave instruction either in families, or in schools, (schola or ludus) of their own. They received their salary monthly, but only for eight months in the year; no instruction being given between June and November. Boys and girls were taught together. The elementary instruction included reading, writing, and arithmetic; arithmetic being, as among the Greeks, practised by counting on the fingers. In later times grown up boys learned arithmetic with a special master (calculator), who was paid at a higher rate than the, litterator, With the duodecimal system in use, arithmetic was regarded as very difficult. The reading lessons included learning the Twelve Tables by heart. After the Second Punic War it became usual, at first in single families, and afterwards more and more generally, to employ a litterator, or grammaticus, to teach Greek. The chief element in this instruction was the explanation of Greek poets, above all of Homer, whose writings became a school book among the Romans, as among the Greeks, At the same time higher instruction was given in Latin as well, the text-book being the Latin Odyssey of Livius Andronicus, Terence, and in later times Vergil, Horace, and others. The exposition of these authors gave an opportunity of communicating a variety of information. Girls were educated on the same lines. The highest point in Roman education was attained by the schools of the rhetoricians, which came into existence before the end of the republican age. In these schools, as in those of the grammatici, Greek was at first the only language taught. Since the time when Greek literature became the highest educational standard, boys, and sometimes girls, were taught Greek from their earliest years. They were put into the hands of a Greek poedagogus, or a Greek female slave, and learned the first rudiments from Greek schoolmasters. As the range of subjects widened, so as to include, among other things, music and geometry, more importance came to be attached to scholastic education. This tendency was strengthened by the increased demand for Greek culture which manifested itself under the Empire throughout the length and breadth of the Western provinces. Education was carried on on stricter lines as the old system of home training disappeared, mainly owing to the diffusion of an effeminate refinement, and the parents' habit of putting their children into the hands of Greek slaves. After the time of Vespasian the higher public, instruction began to be a matter of imperial concern. Vespasian paid away as much as £850 annually to the Latin and Greek rhetoricians in Rome. Hadrian founded the Athenaeum, the first known public institution for the higher education, with salaried teachers (see ATHENAeUM). After his time philosophers, rhetoricians, and grammarians were publicly appointed to lecture in all the larger cities of the empire. They were maintained partly at the expense of the respective communities, partly by the emperors, and enjoyed in all cases certain immunities conferred by the State. The ordinary educational course generally concluded with a boy's sixteenth or seventeenth year, though rhetorical instruction was sometimes continued far beyond this limit. And towards the end of the republican age, young men of intellectual ambition would often go to Greece to enlarge their sphere of culture. On the 17th March, the festival of the Liberalia, boys who had reached the age of puberty, or their fifteenth year, took off, in the presence of the Lares, their bulla and toga proetexta, or purple-edged toga, and put on the unadorned toga virilis. They were then, after a sacrifice at home, taken by their fathers or guardians, accompanied by friends and relations, to the forum, and enrolled in the lists of citizens. The boys were from this time, in the eyes of the law, capable of marriage, and bound to military service. They now entered upon their tirocinium, which was regarded as the last stage of education. (See TIROCINIUM.)
According to the belief current among the Greeks, the world of the dead, or the spacious abode of Hades, with its wide doors, was in the dark depths of the earth. In the Odyssey, its entrance and outer court are on the western side of the river Oceanus, in the ground sacred to Persephone, with its grove of barren willows and poplars. Here is the abode of the Cimmerians, veiled in darkness and cloud where the sun never shines. The soil of this court, and indeed of the lower world in general, is a meadow of asphodel, an unattractive weed of dreary aspect usually planted on graves. The actual abode of the subterranean powers is Erebos, or the impenetrable darkness. In later times entrances to the lower world were imagined in other places where there were cavernous hollows which looked as if they led into the bowels of the earth. Such places were Hermione and the promontory of Taenarum in the Peloponnese, Heraclea on the Euxine, and Cumae in Italy, where the mythical Cimmerli were also localized. The lower world of Homer is intersected by great rivers, the Styx, the Acheron (river of woe), Cocytus (river of cries), a branch of the Styx, Phlegethon and Pyriphlegethon (rivers of fire). The last two unite and join the waters; of the Acheron. In the post-Homeric legend, these rivers are represented as surrounding the infernal regions, and another river appears with them, that of Lethe, or oblivion. In the waters of Lethe the souls of the dead drink forgetfulness of their earthly existence. The lower world once conceived as separated from the upper by these rivers, the idea of a ferryman arose. This was Charon, the son of Erebos and of Nyx, a gloomy, sullen old man, who takes the souls in his boat across Acheron into the realm of shadows. The souls are brought down from the upper world by Hermes, and pay the ferryman an obolos, which was put for this purpose into the mouths of the dead. Charon has the right to refuse a passage to souls whose bodies have not been duly buried. In Homer it is the spirits themselves who refuse to receive any one to whom funeral honours have not been paid. At the gate lies the dog Cerberus, son of Typhaon and Echidna. He is a terrible monster with three heads, and mane and tail of snakes. He is friendly to the spirits who enter, but if anyone tries to got out he seizes him and holds him fast. The ghosts of the dead were in ancient times conceived as incorporeal images of their former selves, without mind or consciousness. In the Odyssey the seer Tiresias is the only one who has retained his consciousness and judgment, and this as an exceptional gift of Persephone. But they have the power of drinking the blood of animals, and having done so they recover their consciousness and power of speech. The soul therefore is not conceived as entirely annihilated. The ghosts retain the outer form of their body, and follow, but instinctively only, what was their favourite pursuit in life. Orion in Homer is still a hunter, Minos sits in judgment as when alive. Perhaps the punishments inflicted in Homer on Tityus, Tantalus, and Sisyphus (for Ixion, the Danaides, Peirithous, and others belong to a later story) should be regarded in this light. The penalties inflicted on them in the upper world may be merely transferred by Homer to their ghostly existence. For the idea of a sensible punishment is not consistent with that of an unconscious continuance in being. It must be remembered, at the same time, that Homer several times mentions that the Erinyes punish perjurers after death. We are forced then to conclude that the ancient belief is, in this instance, found side by side with the later and generally received idea, that the dead, even without drinking blood, preserved their consciousness and power of speech. Connected with it is the notion that the have the power of influencing men's life on earth in various ways. The most ancient belief knows nothing of future rewards of the righteous, or indeed of any complete separation between the just and the unjust, or of a judgment to make the necessary awards. The judges of the dead are in the later legend Minos, Rhadamanthys, Aecus, and Triptlemus. It was a later age, too, which transferred Elysium and Tartarus to the lower world, Elysium as the abode of the blessed, and Tartarus as that of the damned. In the earlier belief these regions had nothing to do with the realm of Hades (See HADES). The name Tartarus was in later times often applied to the whole of the lower world. The ghosts of those who had lived a life of average merit were imagined as wandering on the asphodel meadow. In general it must be said that the ancient ideas of a future life were always subject to considerable changes, owing to the influence of the doctrines taught in the mysteries, and the representations of poets, philosophers, sculptors, and painters (see POLYGNOTUS). The general tendency was to multiply the terrors of Hades, especially at the gates, and in Tartarus. (For the deities cf the lower world see HADES, PERSEPHONE, and ERINYES.) The Greek beliefs on the subject found their way to Rome through the instrumentality of the poets, especially Vergil. But they did not entirely supplant the national traditions. (See ORCUS, MANIA, MANES, LARES, and LARVAe. )
BURIAL 3.19%
Roman. The worship of the dead among the Romans had, characteristically enough, a legal tinge, and formed a part of the pontifical law, which regulated the place and manner of the interment. The theory of the Romans, like that of the Greeks, was that there was an obligation to bury every dead body, except those of felons, suicides, and persons struck by lightning. Any one finding a corpse was expected at least to throw some earth upon it as a symbol of burial. The first duty of a man's survivors was to bury his body; if he died in a foreign country, the act had to be performed symbolically. If this duty was neglected, the offender incurred a taint of guilt from which he had to purify himself by an annually repeated atonement. After death the eyes and mouth were closed, the body bathed in hot water and then anointed fully dressed, and adorned with the fitting insignia in case of the deceased having held high office. The corpse was then laid out on a state-bed in the atrium, the feet turned towards the door. Near the bed were pans with burning odours, while in the vestibulum, branches of pine and cypress were put up as signs of mourning. The custom of putting a coin in the mouth is not mentioned in literature before the imperial period; but the relics found in tombs show that it is much older. It was, however, only under the Empire that it became general. In ancient times funerals took place after nightfall and by torchlight; and this was always the case with second burials, and if the deceased was a child, or a person of slender means. Hence the use of torches was never discontinued, even when the ceremony took place by day. It was held indispensable at every funeral, and became, in fact, the symbol of burial. The usual time at which funerals took place among the upper classes was the forenoon of the eighth day after death. In the laws of the Twelve Tables an attempt was made to check excess in funeral expenses, but with as little success as attended later enactments. If the funeral was one of unusual ceremony, the citizens were publicly invited by a herald to attend it. The arrangements were entrusted to a special functionary, who was assisted by lictors. The procession was headed by a band of wind instruments, the number of which was limited by the Twelve Tables to ten. In ancient times, and at least down to the Punic wars, these musicians were followed by professional female singers, chanting the praises of the dead (see NENIA). Then came a company of dancers and actors to amuse the spectators with their antics. Supposing the family was honorata, in other words, had it had one or more members who had held curule offices, and the consequent right of setting up masked statues of its forefathers in its house, the central point of the ceremony was the procession of ancestors. This consisted of persons dressed to represent the ancestors in their wax masks, their official robes, and other insignia. The indirect lines of relationship were represented as well as the direct. Each figure was mounted on a high carriage and preceded by lictors. The train included memorials of the deeds done by the deceased, torchbearers, and lictors with lowered fasces. The body followed, uncovered, on an elevated couch; sometimes in a coffin inside the bier. A wooden figure, clothed, and wearing the wax mask representing the dead, sat upright beside it in the attitude of life. The bearers were usually the sons, relations and friends of the deceased; in the case of emperors, they were senators and high officials. Behind the bier came the other mourners, men and women, the freedmen in mourning and without any ornaments. Arrived at the Forum, the bier was set down before the rostrum. The representatives of the ancestors sat down on wooden chairs; the rest arranged themselves in a circle round, while a son or kinsman ascended the rostrum and delivered a panegyric upon the dead. If the funeral was a public one, the orator was appointed by the senate. In the case of deceased ladies such speeches were not usual, until the last century of the Republic. After the speech, the procession moved on in the same order to the place of burial, which, according to the law of the Twelve Tables, must be situated outside the city. No one could be buried within the city but men of illustrious merit, as, for instance, generals who had won a triumph, and Vestal Virgins. By a special resolution of the popular assembly, these persons were allowed the honour of burial in the Forum. The tombs were in some cases situated on family estates, but the greater number formed a line extending from the gates of the city to some distance along the great roads, and especially the Via Appia. (Comp. fig. 4.) Burial was, among the Romans, the oldest form of disposing of the corpse. In certain families (e.g. the gens Cornelia), it long continued the exclusive custom. Infant children, and poor people in general, were always buried. Even when the body was burnt, an old custom prescribed that a limb should be cut off and buried, otherwise the family was not regarded as having discharged its obligations. The body was laid in its tomb in full dress, and placed in a special sarcopbagus. When the body was to be burnt, a pyre was erected on a specified place near the grave. The pyre was sometimes made in the form of an altar, and adorned in the costliest manner. The couch and the body were laid upon it, and with them anything which the deceased person bad used or been fond of, sometimes one of his favourite animals. The followers threw in a variety of gifts as a last remembrance. The pyre was then kindled by the nearest kinsman and friends, who performed the office with averted faces. The ashes were extinguished with water or wine, and the procession, after saying a last farewell, returned home, while the nearest of kin collected the ashes in a cloth and buried the severed limb. After somedays, the dry ashes were put by the nearest relations into an urn, which was deposited in deep silence in the sepulchral chamber, which they entered ungirt and bare-footed. After the burial or burning there was a funeral feast at the tomb. A sacrifice to the Lares purified the family and the house from the taint entailed by death. The mourning was ended on the ninth day after the burial by a sacrifice offered to the Manes of the dead, and a meal of eggs, lentils and salt, at which the mourning attire was laid aside. It was on this day that the games held in honour of the dead generally took place. (See MANES.) Everything necessary for the funeral was provided by contract by the libitinarii or officials of the temple of Libitina, at which a notification was made of all cases of death (see LIBITINA). There were public burial-places, but only for slaves and those who were too poor to buy burial-places for themselves. The bodies were thrown promiscuously into large common graves, called puticuli, or wells, on account of their depth. There was a burial place of this sort on the Esquiline, where the bodies of criminals were thrown to the dogs and birds, until Maecenas laid out his park there. Cheap and promiscuous burial was also provided by the so-called "dove-cots" or columbaria, a place in which could be purchased by persons of scanty means (see COLUMBARIUM). The graves of individuals and families were subterranean chambers, or buildings in the style of houses. Freedmen, and probably also clients and friends, were often buried with the family. The grave was regarded by the Romans and Greeks alike as the dwelling-place of the dead, and was accordingly decked out with every imaginable kind of domestic furniture. It is to this custom that we owe the preservation of so many remains of this sort. The monument often had a piece of land, with field and garden attached to it, surrounded by a wall, and intended to supply flowers, herbs, and other things necessary for the decoration of the tomb and maintenance of the attendants. Other buildings would often be attached, for burning the corpses, for holding the funeral feast, and for housing the freedmen who had the care of the spot. Inscriptions in verse and prose, giving information about the dead, would also be found there.
HOUSE 2.79%
The Greek house (see plan, fig. 1) was divided into two chief parts, one of which was assigned to the men (andronitis) and the other to the women (gynaikonitis or gynaikeion). The women's division was situated at the back of the house, and sometimes in the upper story if there was one. The door of the house opened inwards. It was placed sometimes in a line with the facade, sometimes in a small recess called the prothyron or propylaion. In front of this there often stood an altar belonging to the house and consecrated to Apollo Agyieus, or the god of streets. In the interior, on both sides of the vestibule, were the doorkeeper's room and other chambers for work and business. The vestibule led into an open court (aule) surrounded on three sides with columns. In the middle of this was the altar of Zeus Herkeios, the patron deity of domestic life. At the sides were chambers for eating and sleeping, storerooms, and cells for slaves, which, like the front rooms, opened into the court. But the slaves sometimes lived in an upper story, co-extensive with the whole house. On the side of the court opposite the vestibule there were no columns, but two pilasters at some distance from each other marked the entrance of a hall called prostas or parastas, which measured in breadth two-thirds of the distance between the pilasters. Here the family met at their common meals and common sacrifices; here, too, in all probability stood the hearth or sanctuary of Hestia. On one side of the parastas was the thalamos or sleeping room for the master and mistress of the house. On the other side was the amphithalamos, where the daughters probably slept. In the under wall of the parastas was a door called metaulos or mesaulos, which led into the workroom of the female servants. Large houses bad a second court, peristylon, entirely surrounded by columns. The roof of the Greek house was generally, though not always, flat; the rooms were mostly lighted through the doors which opened into the court. The ancient Roman dwelling house (fig. 2) consisted of a quadrangular court called atrium (from ater, black), because the walls were blackened by the smoke from the hearth. The atrium was entered by the door of the house, and was the common meeting place for the whole family. It was lighted by an opening in the tiled roof, which was four-sided and sloped inwards. This opening was called the compluvium, and served both as a chimney for the hearth and as an inlet for the rain, which fell down into the impluvium, a tank sunk in the floor beneath. There was also, in more ancient times, a subterranean cistern (puteus) into which the rain out of the impluvium was collected. But in later times the water was carried off by pipes underground. At the back of the impluvium was the hearth with the Penates. At the side of the atrium was the room used for cooking, for meals, and for sacrifices. In the wall fronting the entrance was the marriage-bed and the master's money-chest. The mistress of the house sat in the atrium with her maids, spinning, weaving, and generally superintending the household. It was in the atrium that the family received their clients and friends, that the dead were laid out in state, and memorials of the departed were hung on the wall. Gradually it became the fashion to attach small rooms to the two sides as far as the hearth. These rooms had no light except that obtained from the atrium. But the space at the back was left quite free, and extended in its full width in two wings (aloe) behind these side chambers on right and left. In aristocratic houses the busts of the ancestors were set up in these wings. The marriagebed was also removed from the wall against which it stood; the wall was broken through, and the tablinum erected against it originally a wooden shed, which This was open at the back in summer, but closed in winter by a partition. The tablinum was used as the master's office. In later times a garden, surrounded. by side buildings and covered colonnades, was added at the back of the house. This was called peristylium, and was, as the name and the whole plan of it shows, an imitation of the Greek arrangement. The dining rooms, sleeping apartments, and living rooms (triclinium, cubiculum, dioeta) were transferred into the side buildings, as were also the entertaining room (exedra) and the hall (oecus), and above all the storerooms, hearth, and kitchen. The private chapel (sacrarium or lararium, see LARES) was also generally situated in the peristylium. The entrance into this from the atrium was through corridors (fauces) situated near the tablinum. The atrium now served merely as a state reception-room. It was splendidly decorated with pillars and other ornaments, and had a table (curtibulum) in the middle to represent the hearth. If the roof was simply supported on beams, the atrium was called tuscanicum (fig. 3); if the compluvium was supported on four columns, tetrastylum; if the roof-beams were let into the wall on one side, and supported on a column apiece on the other, it was styled corinthium. Great houses, like temples and large tombs, generally had a kind of entrance-hall or vestibalum [ve, stabulum, or an outside standing-place], raised above the street and approached by steps. This space was often adorned with arms taken in war, statues, colonnades, and flower-beds. It was here that visitors assembled for morning calls. In ordinary houses there was either no vestibulum or only an indication of one, effected by throwing the door a few steps back into the house. The door opened outwards, and generally consisted of two wings; but sometimes, if the entrance was a wide one, of several folds. It did not move on hinges, but on pegs let into the threshold above and below. The door led immediately into the ostium, a space opening directly into the atrium. At the side of the ostium was the room of the doorkeeper (ianitor,) with other rooms, which were sometimes let out as shops. The Roman house was originally calculated only for one story, but in course of time a second story became usual. As the dining-room was generally in this part of the house, all the rooms in the upper story were called cenacula. The upper story was approached by steps in the form of a ladder, and was lighted by openings which could be closed by shutters. Some of these windows were pierced in the outer wall, and some in the inner wall, carried round the roofs of the atrium and peristylium. There were three-storied houses in Rome as early as the end of the Republic. The upper stories were let to tenants, and as early as the time of Augustus it was found necessary to limit the height of the street frontage to 70 Roman feet, a maximum which was afterwards lowered to 60 feet. The roof was of tiles, and sometimes pointed and sloping on the four sides, sometimes flat, in which case it was often ornamented with flowering plants and shrubs. A flat roof of this sort was called solarium. The ancients heated their houses by means of portable fireplaces, braziers, and sometimes stoves. The Romans in the north of Italy, Gaul, and Germany used hot air for the purpose. (See BATHS.) Large lodging-houses were found both in Greek and Roman cities, the Greek name for such a house being synoikia and the Latin name insula.
MEALS 2.58%
The GREEKS had three during the day; (1) the first breakfast, acratisma, consisting of bread which was dipped into unmixed wine; (2) the second breakfast, or luncheon, ariston, eaten about noon and consisting of warm dishes; and (3) the principal meal, deipnon, which took place before sunset. In the Homeric times, men sat down when eating, a custom preserved by the Cretans. In later times men reclined at the table, usually only two together on a couch (Gr. kline), in such a way that the left arm was supported on a cushion while the right arm remained free. The women and children, who were, however, excluded from real banquets, sat on stools; the former might also sit on the couch at their husbands' feet. Before the meal, slaves took off the sandals of the guests and washed their feet; water and a towel was then handed to them for washing their hands, and this was repeated after the meal, as no knives and forks were used; there were only spoons, usually of metal. While eating thev cleaned their hands with the crumb of bread or with a kind of dough. The common food of the lower classes was the maza, a pastea of barleymeal dried in a dish, and moistened before it was eaten; properly baked bread of wheatmeal was considere a comparative delicacy. As relish (opson) they had salad, leeks, onions, beans, lentils, and meat variously prepared; and especially fish, mostly from the sea, which in later times formed the chief object of the gourmand's attention. After the meals the tables were cleared away (every pair of guests usually having a table to itself), the remnants that had fallen to the ground were swept up, and the hands were washed with scented soap; then a libation of unmixed wine was drunk in honour of the good genius (see AGATHODAeMON)-none was served during the meal-and the hymn of praise (see PAeAN) was sung. After the tables had been changed and the dessert, consisting of fruit, cheese, cakes sprinkled with salt, etc., had been served, the symposium, or the drinking-bout, began. The wine was diluted with warm or cold water; in the latter case snow was frequently used to cool it. It was deemed barbarous to drink unmixed wine, and a mixture of equal parts of wine and water even was uncommon, the usual proportion of water to wine was 3:1. They were mixed in a large bowl (krater), from which it was poured into the goblets by means of a ladle. First three mixing-bowls were filled, and from each of them a libation was offered, the first to the gods of Olympus, the second to the heroes, the third to Zeus the Saviour. How the drinking was to be carried on (e.g. how many goblets each guest should have) was settled by a president, who was chosen by the others or by casting the dice, and called the king (basileus) or master of the feast (symposiarchus); he also enforced penalties, such as emptying a goblet at a single draught. The guests amused themselves with merry talk and riddles, impromptu songs (see SCOLIA), games, more especially the cottabus (q.v.), mimetic dances, the playing of women on flutes and lyres, etc. The bout was terminated by a libation to Hermes. For the meals of the Spartans, cp. SYSSITIA. The ROMANS also had three meals during the day. Breakfast, ieiunium or iantaculum, at about 9; followed in early times by the principal meal (cena) at 12, and by the vesperna in the evening; but afterwards the multiplied occupations of city life, that extended over the early hours of the afternoon, necessitated a different arrangement; lunch, prandium, was accordingly taken at noon, and the cena after bathing, at about 3. The ieiunium consisted of bread dipped in wine or eaten with honey, salt, or olives, the prandium of a plentiful supply of warm and cold viands, with wine. At the cena originally nothing was eaten but the peculiarly Roman puls, a kind of porridge, and other simple food, especially common vegetables; meat was not usually eaten, and prolonged dinners were only permissible on grand occasions. From the 2nd century B.C. onwards the importation of dainties from every country to Rome made extravagance in eating so universal that it was vainly attempted to check it by law, and at the same time the cena was prolonged over the whole of the latter end of the day; it was looked upon as a remarkable instance of economising time, when it was told of a man like the older Pliny that he only spent three hours reclining at table [Letters of the Younger Pliny, iii 5 § 13]. In the course of time reclining had been substituted for sitting in the case of men, as in Greece; women and children sat at meals, but (unlike the Greek custom) they shared them, even when invited guests were present, the women sitting on the couch (lectus) of the master of the house, the children by their side or at a separate table and on stools. Masters and servants originally had their meals in common in the atrium; as time went on special dining-rooms, triclinia (see TRICLINIUM) were built. At a banquet (convivium) the very lightest dress was worn, in which it was not considered correct to appear in the street, and sandals (soleoe), which were taken off by a slave, brought for this purpose, before one reclined, and what, was called the synthesis (q.v.). Before the meal, and between courses, water was banded round for the hands. Napkins (mappoe) came to be used in the reign of Augustus, but only at fashionable parties. As among the Greeks, no knives and forks, but only spoons, were used; the viands were out up by a special slave, the scissor. The dishes of which the various courses consisted were served on a tray (repositorium) and handed round by slaves. The meal, preceded by an invocation of the gods, was regularly divided into three parts: (1) the gustus or gustatio, also called promulsis, because a drink (mulsum) made of must and honey was handed round with the food (boiled eggs, salads, vegetables prepared in a way to stimulate the appetite, fresh or cooked crabs, etc., and salt fish). (2) The cena proper. Originally (and later also among people of small means) it only consisted of a single course, afterwards of three and more, which were distinguished by the names of prima, altera, tertia cena. During this-contrary to the Greek custom-wine was drunk, though in moderate quantities, and mixed with warm or cold water to suit the taste of each guest. Then came a pause, in which all were asked to be silent while the offering was made to the Lares, and (3) the third part of the meal, the dessert, was served. It consisted of pastry, cakes, fresh and preserved fruits. Roman luxury prescribed the greatest variety in the dishes of the cena, both with regard to their nature and to their mode of preparation. In early times only oil, honey, salt, and vinegar, but afterwards the most varied and piquant spices of other countries, and particularly foreign fishsauces, were employed. Pork had always been a favourite meat; fifty ways of dressing it were known. Under the Empire, when a dish was so prepared that even a gourmand was puzzled to tell what he was eating, it was held to be a chef d'oeuvre of the culinary art. The art was practised by slaves, for whom considerable prices were paid. The later Romans were on the whole much more immoderate in eating and drinking than the Greeks; a not unusual way of making further eating possible was to take an emetic in the morning, or else after bathing, or after the meals. After the cena, either at the dessert or not till later in the evening, the drinking proper, or comissatio began. It was done more Groeco, that is, according to the Greek manner: the guests were anointed and crowned with wreaths, and one was chosen by casting dice to be the master of the drinking (magister or arbiter bibendi), also called rex (or king), who regulated the proportion of water to wine, and the number of goblets each person was to drink. As a rule the wine was mixed with warm water, as this was considered more wholesome. Many, however, preferred the cold mixture, and drank it with ice, or else cooled it in cold water. Conversation, varied with the music of the flute and the lyre, was held by the earlier Romans to constitute the charm of dining; at a later time, intellectual pleasures gradually declined in favour more and more, and there was an ever-increasing craving for the exciting entertainments of mimes, jesters, jugglers, and female singers, dancers and flute players, who were mostly slaves of the family. Even the Campanian custom of witnessing gladiatorial combats during meals was adopted in a few Roman houses. The development of these baneful habits was all the more deplorable in its effects, as the women and children were present at the debauches of the table.
Type: Standard
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