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SIEGES 100.00%
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.)
TESTUDO 100.00%
The general designation for different kinds of sheds for the protection of soldiers engaged in a siege. (See cut 2 under SIEGES.)
PLUTEUS 93.04%
A pent-house or mantlet used by the Romans in sieges. (For more see SIEGE.)
TOLLENO 73.94%
A Roman siege-engine. (See SIEGES.)
VINEA 52.56%
A shed used by besieging armies to protect themselves against the missiles of the enemy. (See SIEGES.)
AGGER 45.85%
In Roman siege-works, the mound or embankment raised against an enemy's walls. (See SIEGES.)
FABRI 28.00%
The mechanics, carpenters, smiths, etc., in the Roman army. After the end of the republican age they formed an independent corps in every army, and were employed especially in the restoration of bridges, siege and defence works, artillery, etc. They were under the command of the proefectus fabrum, or chief engineer, who was chosen by the general in chief, and was immediately responsible to him.
A king of Euboea, husband of Clymene. (See CATREUS.) After the unjust execution of his son Palamedes (q.v.) at the siege of Troy, the Greeks refused to give him the satisfaction he demanded. Thereupon he avenged his son's death by raising deceptive fire-signals, and stranding the returning Greeks among the breakers near the cliffs of Caphareus in Eubcea. He thus caused the shipwreck and destruction of a large number. He is said to have finally thrown himself into the sea.
Grandson of the above, son of Creon. At the siege of Thebes by the Seven, Tiresias prophesied that the Thebans would conquer if the wrath of Ares at the slaying of the dragon by Cadmus were appeased by the voluntary death of a descendant of the warriors that had sprung from the dragon's teeth. Menoeceus, one of the last of this race, slew himself, in spite of his father's prohibition, on the castle wall, and fell down into the chasm which had once been the haunt of the dragon as guardian of the spring Dirce.
PHILO 17.12%
Philo of Larissa, an Academic philosopher, a pupil of Clitomachus. He came to Rome in 88 B.C., being one of a number of eminent Greeks who fled from Athens on the approach of its siege during the Mithridatic war. He was a man of versatile genius and a perfect master of the theory and practice of oratory. Cicero had scarcely heard him before all his inclination for Epicureanism was swept from his mind, and he surrendered himself wholly to the brilliant Academic (Brutus § 306; cp. De Nat. Deor. i §§ 17, 113; Tusc. Disp. ii §§ 9,26). One of his works, twice mentioned, though not by any definite title (Acad. i 13, ii 11), supplied Cicero with his historic account of the New Academy (Cicero's Academica, ed. Reid, pp. 2, 52).]
The greatest of the Latin Christian fathers. He was born 354 A.D. at Tagaste in Numidia. His father was a pagan, his mother, Monica, a zealous Christian. After a wild life as a young man, he became professor of rhetoric in Tagaste, Carthage, Rome, and Milan, where he was converted to Christianity through the influence of Ambrose, and baptized in 387. He returned to Africa, and was ordained presbyter in 391, and bishop of Hippo in Numidia in 396. He died there in 430, after doing much good in the city during its siege by the Vandals. His literary activity was extraordinary. Four years before his death he reckons up the number of his works, exclusive of letters and sermons, as 93, making up 233 books. Among them are six books De Musica, and essays on rhetoric, dialectic, and grammar. These productions, which testify to his interest in learning, were installments of an encyclopaedic work on the seven liberal arts, modelled upon the Disciplinoe of Varro. Among his other writings two attracted especial notice on account of the extra-ordinary effect which they produced in after times. These are The Confessions, a history of his inner life in thirteen books, written in the form of a confession to the Almighty; and the De Civitate Dei, a work in twenty-two books, demonstrating the providential action of God in the development of human history.
Born at Jerusalem, A.D. 37, of a respectable priestly family. He received a scholarly education, and in 63 went to Rome, where he gained the favour of Poppaeea, the wife of Nero. After having returned to his native land, he endeavoured in vain to check the revolt of his own people against the Romans; thereupon he himself joined the rebellion, but, while in command of Galilee, was taken prisoner by the Romans. He was freed from this after two years' captivity, owing to his having prophesied the coming reign of Vespasian, from whom he took the family name of Flavius. After having been present at the siege of Jerusalem, in the suite of Titus, he lived in Rome until his death about 93, devoting himself to learned studies and literary activity. His works, which are written in Greek, are: (1) The History of the Jewish War, in seven books, originally composed in Syro-Chaldee, but translated into Greek at the request of Titus. It is remarkable for its masterly delineation of events in which he himself took part or of which he was an eyewitness. (2) The Jewish Antiquities, in twenty books; a history of the Jews from the creation down to the twelfth year of Nero (A.D. 66), written with the object of making a favourable impression on the Greeks and Romans. (3) An Autobiography, to complete the Jewish History. (4) A treatise in defence of his Jewish Antiquities against the attacks of a scholar named Apion. The Eulogy of the Maccabees is probably spurious. There is a Latin version of the History of the Jews, dating from the end of the 4th century A.D., under the name of Hegesippus, a corruption of Josephus.
One of the Ten Attic Orators, born about B.C. 390, son of the Athenian Glancippas. He was a pupil of Plato and Isocr&t&, and won for himself an important position as a forensic and political orator, although his private life was not unblemished. As a statesman, he decidedly shared the views of Demosthenes, and was his steadfast ally in the struggle against the Macedonian party. It is true that he afterwards [B.C. 324] took part in the prosecution of Demosthenes, when accused of having taken bribes from Alexander's treasurer, Harpalus, and that he contributed to his condemnation on that charge. After the destruction of Thebes by Alexander [335] it was only with difficulty that he and Demosthenes escaped being given up to the Macedonians. After the death of Alexander [323] he was the chief instigator of the Lamian War, at the unfortunate conclusion of which he and Demosthenes (who had been reconciled to one another in the meantime) and other patriots were condemned to death by the Macedonian party. He fled for sanctuary to a temple in Aegina, but was dragged away from it by force, and by order of Antipater put to death at Corinth in 322. Of the seventy-seven speeches which were known to antiquity as the work of Hyperides, only a few fragments were known until recent times; but in 1847, in a tomb at Thebes, in Egypt, extensive fragments were found of his speech Against Demosthenes, together with a speech For Lycophron and the whole of his speech Against Euxenippus. In 1856 there was a further discovery in Egypt of an important part of the Funeral Oration delivered in 322 over those who had fallen in the siege of Lamia. [The conclusion of the speech Against Philippides and the whole of that Against Athenogenes were first published in 1891]. Though the speeches of Hyperides never attain to the force and depth of those of Demosthenes, nevertheless they were valued highly on account of the skill of their construction and the grace and charm of their expression.
of Argos. Son of Amphiaraus (q.v.) and Eriphyle. As his father, in departing on the expedition of the Seven against Thebes, has bound him and his brother Amphilochus, then mere boys, to avenge him on their faithless mother, Alcmaeon refuses to take part in the second expedition, that of the Epigoni (q.v.), till he has first fulfilled that filial duty; nevertheless his mother, bribed by Thersander with the garment of Harmonia, persuades him to go. The real leader at the siege of Thebes, he slays the Theban king, Laodamas, and is the first to enter the conquered city. On returning home, he, at the bidding of the Delphian Apollo, avenges his father by slaying his mother, with, or according to some accounts, without, his brother's help; but immediately, like Orestes; he is set upon by the Erinyes, and wanders distracted, seeking purification and a new home. Phegeus, of the Arcadian Psophis, half purifies him of his guilt, and gives him his daughter Arsinoe or Alphesiboea to wife, to whom he presents the jewels of Harmonia, which he has brought from Argos. But soon the crops fail in the land, and he falls into his distemper again, till, after many wanderings, he arrives at the mouth of the Achelous, and there, in an island that has floated up, he finds the country promised by the god, which had not existed at the time of his dying mother's curse, and so he is completely cured. He marries Achelous' daughter, Callirrhoe, by whom he has two sons, Acarnan and Amphoterus. Unable to withstand his wife's entreaties that she may have Harmonia's necklace and robe, he goes to Phegeus in Arcadia, and begs those treasures of him, pretending that he will dedicate them at Delphi for the perfect healing of his madness. He obtains them; but Phegeus, on learning the truth, sets his sons to waylay him on his road, and rob him of his treasure and his life; and then Alcmaeon's two sons avenge their father's death on these murderers. Alcmaeon, like his father, received divine honours after death; he had a sanctuary at Thebes, and at Psophis a consecrated tomb.
Son of Achilles and Deidamia. He was brought up by his grandfather Lycomedes in Scyros. After Achilles' death, however, he was taken by Odysseus to Troy, since, according to the prophecy of Helenus, that town could be taken only by a descendant of Aeacus. Here, like his father, he distinguished himself above all by a courage which none could withstand. He slew Eurypylus, son of Telephus, and was one of the heroes in the Wooden Horse, where he alone remained undaunted. Later legend depicted him as fierce and cruel: at the, taking of Troy he killed the aged Priam at the altar of Zeus, hurled Hector's son. Astyanax, down from the walls, and offered up Polyxena, upon his father's tomb. In Homer he arrives safely with much booty at Phthia, his father's home, and weds Menelaus' daughter Hermione, who was promised him during the siege of Troy [Od. iv 5]. Later legend represents him as accompanied by Andromache, Hector's wife, who is allotted him as part of his booty, and Helenus, and then, on the strength of a prophecy of Helenus, as going to Epirus and settling there. It was to a son of his by Lanassa, granddaughter of Heracles, that the later kings of Epirus traced back their descent, and accordingly styled themselves Aeacidoe, while from his son by Andromache, Molossus, the district of Molossia was said to derive its name. He afterwards went to Phthia, to reinstate his grandfather Peleus in his kingdom (whence he had been expelled by Acastus), and wedded Hermione. He soon, however, met his death at Delphi, whither, according to one story, he had gone with dedicatory offerings, or, according to another, to plunder the temple of Apollo in revenge for his father's death. The accounts of his death vary, some attributing it to Orestes, the earlier lover of Hermione; others to the Delphians, at the instance of the Pythian priestess; others again to a quarrel about the meat-offerings. The scene of his death was the altar, a coincidence which was regarded as a judgment for his murder of Priam. His tomb was within the precincts of the Delphic temple, and in later times he was worshipped as a hero with annual sacrifices by the Delphians, as he was said to have vouchsafed valuable assistance against the Gauls when they threatened the sacred spot [B.C. 279; Pausanias, x 23].
ENNIUS 8.03%
The founder of the Hellenized type of Latin poetry. He was born 239 B.C. at Rudiae in Calabria, and was by descent a Graecised Messapian. He was probably educated at Tarentum, and served with the Romans in the Second Punic War in Sardinia, whence Cato took him to Rome in 204 B.C. His poetical talent here came to his aid, not in a pecuniary way (for he was in slender circumstances to the end of his life), but as an introduction to the favour of the great men. Among these must be mentioned the Scipios, and Fulvius Nobilior, who took him in his retinue to the Aetolian war in B.C. 189,and whose son procured him the citizenship five years later (184). A gouty affection did not prevent him from continuing his literary work to an advanced age.He was in his sixty-seventh year when he finished his Annales, and he put a tragedy on the stage shortly before his death. He died in 170 B.C., in his seventieth year, It was said that the Scipios placed his image in their family vault. Ennius wrote poetry with success in a great number of styles. But in his own opinion, as well as in that of his fellowcitizens, his greatest work was his Annales in eighteen books. This was a chronological narrative of Roman history in verse. Like Naevius' Bellum Poenicum, it began with the destruction of Troy, and came down to the poet's own times. In this poem Ennius created for the Romans their first national epic, the fame of which was only eclipsed by Vergil. But he did more. By the introduction of the Greek hexameter Ennius did much to further the future development of Latin poetry. His predecessor, Naevius, had continued to write in the native Saturnian metre, which was hardly capable of artistic development. But the practice of writing in the strict dactylic measure enabled the Latin poets to assimilate the other metrical forms presented by Greek literature. Of the Annals we possess, relatively speaking, only a small number of fragments. Some of these can only be distinguished from prose by their metrical form; others are very fine, both in form and ideas. Ennius showed considerable capacity, too, as a writer of tragedies. His dramas, which were very numerous, were composed after Greek models, especially the tragedies of Euripides. More than twenty of these Euripidean plays are known to us by their titles and surviving fragments. He also wrote proetextoe, or tragedies on Roman subjects, as, for instance, the Ambracia, representing the siege and conquest of this city by his patron Fulvius Nobilior. His comedies were neither so numerous nor so important as his tragedies. Besides these he wrote several books of saturoe, or collections of poems of various contents and in various metres. Several of his adaptations or translations of Greek originals were probably included in these: as, for instance, the Hedyphagetica, a gastronomic work after Archestratus of Gela; Epicharmus, a didactic poem on the "Nature of Things"; Euhemerus, a rationalistic interpretation of the popular fables about the gods; Proecepta or Protrepticus, containing moral doctrines; and others of the same kind. There was a poem entitled Scipio, written in honour of the elder Africanus. Whether this was a satura or a drama is uncertain. The memory of Ennius long survived the fall of the Republic. Even after literary taste had taken quite a different direction, he was revered as the father of Latin poetry, and especially as having done much to enrich the Latin language.
CORONA 6.30%
A crown ; among the Romans the highest distinction awarded for service in war. The most coveted were the corona triumphalis (fig. 1) or laurel crown of a general in triumph; and the corona obsidionalis (fig. 2), presented to a general by the army which he had saved from a siege, or from ashameful capitulation. This was woven of grass growing on the spot, and called corona gramineaitalics>. The corona myrtea, or ovalis, was the crown of bay worn by the general who celebrated the lesser triumph (ovatio). The corona civica (fig. 3) was of oak leaves, and was awarded for saving a citizen's life in battle. This secured for its possessor certain privileges, as freedom from taxes for himself, his father and paternal grandfather. The golden corona muralis (fig. 4), with embattled ornaments, was given for the storming of a wall; the corona castrensis or vallaris (fig. 5), also of gold, and ornamented in imitation of palisades, to the soldier who first climbed the wall of an enemy's camp; the corona navalis (fig. 6), with ornaments representing the beak of a ship, to the man who first boarded a ship. Under the Empire the garland of bay was reserved exclusively for the emperor, and thus came to be regarded as a crown. The rayed crown, the insigne of the deified emperors, was not worn by the emperors of the let and 2nd century A.D. Golden crowns were originally the free offerings of provincials and allies to victorious generals for the celebration of their triumphs. But from this custom there arose, even in republican times, the habit of compelling a contribution of money (aurum coronarium) to the governor of the province. During the imperial age this contribution was on exceptional occasions offered as a present to the emperors, but it was often also made compulsory. Among the Greeks a crown (stephanos) was often an emblem of office. At Athens, for instance, a crown of bay was worn by the archons in office, the senators (bouleutai), and the orators while speaking. It was also the emblem of victory at the games, and a token of distinction for citizens of merit (see THEATRE). Such crowns of honour were made originally of olive branches, but later of gold. The honour of a crown could be conferred by the people or the senate, or by corporations and foreign states. The latter would often present a crown to the whole commonwealth. If the people or senate presented the crown, the presentation took place in the great assembly, or in the senate house, but not in the theatre, except by special decree. Since crowns played a considerable part as ornaments at religious rites and as well at festivals and banquets, the trade of crown-making (mostly in women's hands) was naturally extensive. The art of making what were called winter crowns of dry flowers was also understood. Artificial flowers, made of thin strips of painted wood, were also used.
"The maiden's chamber," particularly a temple of Athene Parthenos (the virgin goddess), especially that on the Acropolis of Athens, distinguished by the grandeur of its dimensions, the beauty of its execution, and the splendour of its artistic adornment. [There was an earlier temple of Athene immediately to the south of the Erechtheum (see plan of ACROPOLIS), and the foundations of a new temple were laid after the Persian War, probably in the time of Cimon. This temple was never completed; on the same site there was built a temple of less length, but greater breadth, which is usually called the Parthenon.] It was built at the command of Pericles by the architects Ictinus and Callicrates. It took about five years in building, and was finished in 438 B.C. (fig. 1). Its further adornment with sculptures in the pediments, and with metopes and frieze was completed under the direction of Phidias, who himself took part in the work. The temple, built wholly of Pentelic marble, is 65 feet high. The stylobate, or platform, on which the columns stand (fig. 2, C), is 228 feet in length, and 101 feet in breadth [= 225 x 100 in Attic feet, giving 9 : 4 as the ratio of length to breadth]. Under the stylobate is the crepidoma, or basis proper, formed of three steps (fig. 2, B B B) resting on a massive substructure, 250 feet long and 105 feet broad, and founded on the rock at the highest part of the plateau of the Acropolis (fig. 2, C). The temple is peripteral, its walls being entirely surrounded by a colonnade of forty-six Doric columns, about 35 feet high, eight at each end, and fifteen on each side. The architrave from the first was adorned with 92 metopes sculptured in high relief (see, for the position of the metopes, fig. 2, G). Shields and votive inscriptions were subsequently placed there by Alexander the Great, in 338 B.C. [Plut.,Alex. 16]. The subjects were: on the E. the battle of the gods and giants; on the S., that of the Centaurs and Lapithae (fig. 3); on the W., the victory of the Athenians over the Amazons; and on the N., the destruction of Troy. The sculptures of the eastern pediment (D) represented the birth of the goddess, those of the western the strife of Athene with Poseidon for the possession of Attica. These pediments are 93 feet long, and 11 feet 4 inches high. The cella, or temple proper, is 194 feet long, and 69 1/2 feet wide, with six columns at each end, 33 feet in height. Opposite the outermost columns at each end are antoe, formed by the prolongation of the side walls of the cella (see plan of ACROPOLIS). Along the top of the outer wall of the cella ran a continuous frieze, 524 feet in length, with representations of the Panathenaic procession carved in very low relief (fig. 2, F, and figs. 4 and 5). At the east end of the cella, the pronaos, or portico, leads into the eastern chamber, which was 100 Greek feet in length, and was therefore called the hecatompedos. It was divided longitudinally into three parts by two rows of nine columns each, and above these was a second row of columns forming an upper story. The central space was open to the sky (hypaethral). At its western end, under a protecting canopy, stood the statue of the goddess, wrought in gold and ivory, the masterpiece of Phidias (cp. ATHENE, near the end). The western chamber of the cella was fronted by a portico, and was called by the special name of the Parthenon. [Within this smaller chamber were kept vessels for use in the sacred processions, with various small articles of gold or, silver. Modern writers have hitherto generally identified this small chamber with the opisthodomos (lit. back-chamber), which was used as the treasury, or State bank, of Athens; but it is held by Dorpfeld that this term should be confined to the corresponding chamber of the early temple south of the Erechtheum.] In the Middle Ages the temple was converted into a church, dedicated to the Virgin Mary, and then into a mosque, and remained in good preservation till 1687. In that year, during the siege of Athens by the Venetians, the building was blown up by the explosion of a powder magazine that the Turks had stored in it, and, with the exception of the two pediments, was almost completely destroyed. Most of the sculptures preserved from the pediments and metopes, and from the frieze of the temple chamber, are now among the Elgin Marbles in the British Museum.
GAMES 3.72%
(1) Public. Among the Romans public games were intimately connected with religious worship. (For the public games of the Greeks, see ISTHMIAN, NEMEAN, OLYMPIAN, PYTHIAN GAMES.) The Roman ludi, originally races, appear first in the worship of Mars and Consus, the tutelary deities of horses and mules. But it was also a very ancient custom to celebrate ludi votivi, or games vowed on special occasions, particularly in time of war. Such games were usually vowed to Jupiter, the greatest deity of the Romans. These exceptional celebrations were so often repeated that they at length passed into regular annual festivals (ludi stati). The number of these games gradually increased, and so did their duration. At the end of the republican period there were seven sets of games, which occupied 65 days; in the middle of the 2nd century A.D. 135 days were given up to them, and in 354 A.D. as many as 176. In old times the games only lasted part of the day; but they gradually began to take up the whole day from early morning onwards. At a later period they went on in many cases into the night, requiring artificial illumination. The Roman ritual was very strict, and it happened pretty often that in consequence of some accidental interruption or trivial oversight, an instauratio or repetition of the spoiled day, if not of the whole festival, would be ordered, lest the gods should have any cause for anger. The different collegia of the priests were responsible for superintending the games, prescribed in honour of their respective divinities. But in the case of festivities vowed by the State, this duty fell to the high magistrates; at first to the consuls, afterwards (and almost exclusively) to the aediles, and after Augustus to the praetors. The expenses were provided for by a certain sum of money paid over from the public treasury to the giver of italics>the games. For the Ludi Romani, the greatest of all the festivals, this sum amounted, during the period preceding the Punic wars, to about £1,800. After this period it reached some £3,000, and by 51 A.D. had risen to £8,750. At the same time the givers of the games had to make larger supplementary contributious. The demands of the public were so extravagant that in course of time the amount of this private expenditure increased enormously, especially in the last century B.C. Augustus, indeed, tried to check it; but he was obliged to allow his praetors to spend three times as much on the games as was paid for the public treasury. Under the Empire many enactments were issued to restrict the expenditure on the games by law, but no permanent effect was produced. Even after the 4th century A.D. the expense rose to as large a sum as from £50,000 to £150,000. The oldest games were those of the circus, consisting mainly of horse-races and chariot-races, with gymnastic contests, to which others were added in course of time. (See CIRCUS.) After 364 B.C. dramatic representations were introduced from Etruria. These were in 240 B.C., and onwards, exchanged for regular theatrical performances (See LIVIUS ANDRONIOUS). Contests of gladiators, also from Etruria, were fashionable after 264 B.C. But these were only exhibited, during the republican period, at funeral games, private and other entertainments (see GLADIATORES). The following regular festivities were introduced in the republican period, and continued in existence until the latest times: (1) The Ludi Romani. These were the oldest games of all, and were, in strictness, celebrated in honour of Jupiter by victorious generals at their triumphs; hence it was that they included, as a special feature, a procession (pompa) from the Capitol to the Circus; a part of the performance which seems afterwards to have been embodied in the other games of the circus. Originally they lasted only one day; but in course of time they absorbed more and more time, till in the Ciceronian age they went on for fifteen (September 4-19). After the death of Caesar another day was added in his honour. After the introduction of theatrical performances, several days were taken up with them. The curule aediles were, in the republican period, responsible for the management. (2) Ludi plebei. These originally lasted one day, but afterwards fourteen, November 4-17. They were given in the Circus Flaminius under the direction of the plebeian aediles, and early included dramatic entertainments. (3) Ludi Cereales, given under the direction of the plebeian aediles in honour of Ceres, the tutelary goddess of the plebs. The date was originally April 19, afterwards April 12-19. (4) Ludi Apollinares, or in honour of Apollo. These were introduced during the Second Punic War, and celebrated originally on July 13, continuing afterwards from July 6-13. On the last day only were there any performances in the circus; the rest of the festival was given up to the drama. These were the only games for which, in the republican period, the praetor was responsible. (5) Ludi Megalenses, in honour of the Magna Mater, introduced 204 B.C. and held at first on April 4, afterwards from April 4-10. (See RHEA .) They included performances both in the theatre and in the circus. They were under the management of the curule aediles, and the same remark applies to (6) the Ludi Florales, from April 28 to May 3. (See FLORA.) During the imperial period the number of permanent festivals was largely increased. The birthday of Augustus, for instance (September 23), was regularly celebrated with ludi circenses, and the ludi Augustales (October 3-12) were instituted in honour of his memory. Side by side with the public games, private performances were often given by societies, families, and individuals on special occasions, such as those of births, marriages, or funerals. Sometimes the object would be merely to please the public: sometimes to raise money. The giver of the entertainment had, like the superintendent of the public games, the privilege of lictors and the toga proetexta. Charges for admission were made or not according to the occasion. But the admission to the public games was free, it being always understood that special seats were reserved for the magistrates, priests, senators, equites, and particular families and individuals. (See AMPHITHEATRE, CIRCUS, GLADIATORES, SEA-FIGHTS, THEATRE, WILD BEASTS.) Of social games the ancients, and especially the Greeks, had plenty. The cottabus, so popular at Greek banquets, the games of ball, of which both Greeks and Romans were fond, and the games with dice, are described in separate articles. A game of draughts (petteia) appears as early as Homer, and was said to have been the invention of Palamedes. But we have no knowledge of its nature and rules, and have very scanty information about the similar games played in later times. The "game of cities" seems to have resembled our chess or draughts. The board was divided into spaces, and movements made upon it with stones; the object being to get your opponent into check. The Romans had several games of the sort, among which the ludus latrunculorum, or game at soldiers, is to a certain extent known. This was a game of siege. The men (calculi) were divided into privates (mandroe) and officers (latrones), and the object was to take or to get your adversary's stones in check. In the ludus duodecim scriptorum, or game of 12 lines, dice were used. The dice-board was divided into 24 spaces by 12 parallel lines intersected by a line at right angles. Each side had 15 men, one set being black and the other white. Before each move the dice were thrown, and the move determined by the number which turned up. A very favourite game was Odd and Even (Gk. artiasmos, Lat. ludere par impar). You held out so many fingers, and put so many coins, pebbles, or nuts in your hand, and made your adversary guess whether the number was odd or even. The Roman children, and indeed their elders, were very fond of various games with nuts.
Type: Standard
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