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SORTES 100.00%
Small tablets used for augury in different parts of Italy especially in the temple of Fortuna at Praeneste [Cicero, De Divin. ii 41 § 86]. They were of oak or bronze, with some saying engraved upon them, and were shuffled and drawn by a boy. Seventeen such sayings (four in the original bronze, and the rest copies) are still preserved. They are known as the sortes Proenestioe, but they appear to have really belonged to tite oracle of Geryon at Patavium (Padua). The same name was given (1) to passages of some book used to foretell events, the method being to open the book at random, for which purpose Christians used the Bible; or (2) to lines of poetry, especially of Vergil, written on leaves, and drawn at haphazard. [Sortes Vergiliance are mentioned in Spartianus, Hadrian 2, and alluded to in Lampridius, Alex. Severus 14.-In the out given under MCERAe, Lachesis is holding three sortes.]
PILENTUM 100.00%
A sort of spring-cart, used chiefly by women. (See CHARIOTS.)
THERMAE 42.98%
The name given by the Romans to the public buildings, founded in and after the time of Agrippa, which combined, with warm baths, the arrangements of a Greek gymnasium. These included open and covered colonnades for conversation, instruction, and different exercises, especially the game of ball. The most extensive and splendid establishments of the sort were to be found in Rome, and are still to be seen, though, for the greater part, in ruins. Of the existing remains the most important are those of the Thermoe of Caracalla. (Cp. ARCHITECTURE, fig. 14, p. 56; and see BATHS.)
The supposed author of an anonymous treatise on rhetoric in four books, dedicated to a certain Herennius (Rhetorica ad Herennium.) This is the oldest Latin treatise of the sort that we possess. It was written in the time of Sulla, about 85 B.C., by a partisan of the Marian faction, who, though not a professed rhetorician, was an educated man, as is shown by his accomplishments and his correct style. Though he followed Greek models, he endeavours to treat his subject from a Roman or national point of view, and therefore gives Latin equivalents for the Greek technical terms. His examples, too, he takes from older Roman writings, or makes them himself. Cicero, who passed for the author in late antiquity, used the same Greek original in his De Inventione.
CELSUS 33.90%
A Roman savant, eminent in several branches of knowledge, who flourished in the age of Tiberius, A.D. 14-37. He was the author of a great encyclopaedic work called (it would seem) Artes designed after the manner of Varro's Disciplinae. The work of Celsus included more than 20 books, treating of agriculture, medicine, philosophy, rhetoric, and the art of war. Of these all that remain are books 7-13, De Medicina. This is the earliest and the most considerable work of the sort in the extant Roman literature. The material which the author has collected, partly from Greek sources, partly from his own experience, is treated in systematic order, and with a purity of style which won for Celsus the name of the Cicero of physicians.
HERAEA 33.08%
A festival held at Argos every five years in honour of Hera, the goddess of the country. The priestess of Hera drove, in a car drawn by white oxen, to the Heraeum, or temple of the goddess, situated between Argos and Mycenae. Meantime the people marched out in procession, the fighting men in their arms. There was a great sacrifice of oxen (hekatombe), followed by a general sacrificial banquet and games of all sorts. A special feature of these was a contest in throwing the javelin, while running at full speed, at a shield set up at the end of the course. The victor received a crown and a shield, which he carried in the final procession.
Agriculture was in Greece a leading industry, at least as early as Homer. The soil was stubborn, fertile plains being comparatively few, and mountains and rocky ground preponderating. But, favoured by a genial climate, agriculture was carried on almost everywhere with a zeal to which the wants of a dense population added their stimulus. That it was regarded as the very groundwork of social life is shown by the fact that its guardian goddess Demeter (Lat. Ceres), presided also over wedlock and law. It was looked upon as the most legitimate way of earning a livelihood. It was carried to the highest pitch in the Peloponnesus, where every scrap of cultivable soil was made to yield its crop, as maybe seen to this day by the artificial terraces that scarp every mountain-slope. Much care was bestowed on irrigation. Scarcity of water was supplemented by artificial means; provision was made against irregular bursts of mountain torrents by embarking and regulating the natural outlets, while moist lands were channelled and stagnant waters drained. Water was distributed everywhere by ditches and canals, under the supervision of State officials; and laws of ancient date guarded against the unfair use of a water-course to a neighbour's damage. The land was mainly cultivated by slaves and serfs, though field-labour was not deemed dishonourable to the freeman, ex- cept where law and custom forbade his engaging in any sort of handicraft, as at Sparta. In some countries, especially Arcadia, the old-world plan of every man tilling his field with his own hand remained in force to the latest times; and even eminent statesmen like Philopoemen would not give it up. Four kinds of grain were chiefly grown: wheat, barley, and two kinds of spelt, to all of which the climate allowed two sowings in the year, beside millet, sesame, various leguminous plants, and several sorts of herbage for fodder. With no less diligence was Greek husbandry applied to gardening, especially to the cultivation of the vine. This, while steadily pursued on the mainland, was developed to an extraordinary extent in the islands, most of which, owing to their mountainous character, did not afford their inhabitants sufficient arable soil. In olive-culture no part of Greece competed with Attica, which also produced the best figs, the fruit most widely cultivated. Kitchen-gardening was practised on the largest scale in Boeotia. Considering the enormous consumption of flowers in wreaths, the rearing of them, especially of the rose, lily, narcissus, and violet, must have been a lucrative business, at least in the neighbourhood of great towns. Meadow-farming was of next to no importance, few districts having a soil adapted for it, and such meadows as there were being used for pasture rather than haymaking.
In general the word is applied to all prophecy or foretelling in the simplest sense of the word. Among the Romans prophecy was based, not on inspiration, as with the Greeks, but on the observation of definite signs, such as the omen (or voice), the prodigies and the auspices taken note of by the augurs (see AUGURES). The science of the haruspices (or the foretelling of events from the inspection of the carcases of sacrificial victims) was a later importation from Etruria. The ancient Romans were not familiar with the divinatio from sortes or lots, which was common in many parts of Italy. The Sibylline books threw no light on future events. (See SIBYLS.) Towards the end of the republican period the sciences of the augurs and haruspices lost their significance, and the Greek oracles, in the various forms of their craft, with the Chaldaean astrology, came into vogue, and carried the fashion in the society of the Empire. (Cp. MANTIC ART.)
(troops without defensive armour). A name for the different sorts of sharpshooters employed in the Greek armies after the Persian Wars, in place of the lightarmed slaves. It was only after the expedition of the Ten Thousand that they came to form an essential part of a Greek army. They were generally recruited from the barbarous nations who were specially distinguished in the use of particular missiles. The archers (toxotoe), for instance, were generally Cretans, the slingers (sphendonetoe) Rhodians and Thessalians, while the javelin men (akontistoe) were taken from the semi-Hellenic populations in the west of Greece, notably the Etolians and Acarnanians. The common characteristic of all these troops was the absence of all defensive weapons. It was among the Lacedemonians that they were introduced latest. Alexander the Great had a corps of 2,000 of them, with which he opened his campaign against the Persians. Half of these were spearmen, taken from the Agriani, in the mountains of northern Macedonia; the other half archers, from the lowest class of the Macedonian population.
This word had two meanings in antiquity. (1) A mixture of gold and silver in the proportion of about 4:1. (2) Amber, the use of which in ornamentation was known to the Greeks as early as the Homeric age through their trade with Phoecenicia. In later times, mainly through the overland trade, amber was brought down from the Baltic to the months of the Po, and from thence farther south. In the classical times it seems to have been only in exceptional cases that amber was applied to the uses of art; and as Greek influence increased, the taste for it disappeared in Italy. It was only towards the end of the republican age that it gradually came into favour again, and then as a material for ladies' ornaments, such as bracelets, pins and rings, and for adorning bedsteads and similar furniture. Under the Empire it was more fashionable than it had ever been. The white, wax-coloured sort was accounted the worst, and was only used for fumigation. The ruddy amber, especially if transparent, found more favour; the bright yellow, of the colour of Falernian wine, was liked best of all. The natural colour was sometimes intensified or altered by artificial means.
TEMPLUM 21.40%
The Roman term for a space marked out by the augurs (see AUGURES) according to a certain fixed procedure. Its ground-plan was a square or rectangle, having its four sides turned to the different points of the compass; its front however, according to strict Roman custom, faced towards the west, so that any one entering the temple had his face turned towards the east. It was not until later that the front was frequently made to face the east. The building erected on this space, and corresponding to it in plan, did not become a fanum, or sanctuary of the gods, until it had been consecrated by the pontifices. (See DEDICATIO.) As, however, there were fana which were not templa, e.g. all circular buildings, so there were templa which were not fana. Of this sort were the places where public affairs were transacted, such as the rostra in the Forum, the places where the comitia met or the Senate assembled, and even the city of Rome itself. The sanctuaries of the gods were designed as templa if they were intended to serve for meetings of the Senate, and if the form of worship prescribed for such sanctuaries were appropriate to the definition of a templum.
One of the greatest mathematicians and natural philosophers of antiquity, born B.C. 287 at Syracuse. He lived at the court of his kinsman, king Hiero, and was killed (B.C. 212) by a Roman soldier at the taking of the city which he had largely aided in defending with his engines. Of his inventions and discoveries we need only say, that he ascertained the ratio of the radius to the circumference, and that of the cylinder to the sphere, and the hydrostatic law that a body dipped in water loses as much weight as that of the water displaced by it; that he invented the pulley, the endless screw, and the kind of pump called the "screw of Archimedes"; and that he constructed the so-called "sphere," a sort of orrery showing the motions of the heavenly bodies. Of his works, written in the Doric dialect, the following are preserved: On the sphere and cylinder, On the measurement of the circle, On conoids and spheroids, On spiral lines, The psammites (or sand-reckoner, for the calculation of the earth's size in grains of sand), On the equilibrium of planes and their centres of gravity, and On floating bodies.
ICARIUS 20.35%
The hero of the Attic deme of Icaria. Under the reign of Pandion he received the vine from Dionysus in return for his hospitable reception of the god. As he went about the land with skins full of wine, in order to spread the cultivation of the vine, and some shepherds became intoxicated on the new drink, their companions, thinking they had been poisoned, slew him and either cast his body into a dry brook or buried him under a tree on Mount Hymettus. His daughter Erigone found it after a long search, being led to the spot by her faithful dog Maera ; and hung herself on the tree. Dionysus punished the land with a plague, and the maidens with madness, so that they hanged themselves after the manner of Erigone. To expiate the guilt of slaying Icarius and to avert the curse, the festival of the Aiora (the "swing") was founded in her honour. During this all sorts of small images were hung on the trees and swung, and fruits were brought as an offering to the father as well as to the daughter. Icarius was placed among the constellations as Bootes or Arcturus, Erigone as Virgo, and Maera as Procyon.
A Roman writer of mimes (See MIME), a younger contemporary and rival of Laberius; he flourished about 43 B.C. Probably born at Antioch in Syria, he came to Rome in early youth as a slave. On account of his wit he was liberated by his master, and received a careful education. As a writer of mimes and as an improviser, he was exceedingly popular, and, after the death of Laberius, held sole sway on the stage. His mimes contained, in addition to the farcical humour of this sort of writing, a great number of short, witty sayings. These were so much admired that they were excerpted at an early date, and used in schools, while the pieces themselves were soon forgotten. In the Middle Ages these sayings were popular under the name of Seneca. We have an alphabetical collection of nearly two hundred of these apophthegms, bearing the title, Publilii Syri Mimi Sententioe [e.g. "Necesse est multos timeat, quem multi timent"; "Beneficium accipere, libertatem est venders"; and (the motto of the Edinburgh Review) "Iudex damnatur cum nocens absolvitur"].
A festival celebrated at Athens on the seventh day of Pyanepsion, the end of October, in honour of the departing god of summer, Apollo. The festival received its name from the cooked beans which were offered to the god as firstfruits of autumn. Another firstfruit offering of this festival was the Eiresione, a branch of olive or bay, bound with purple and white wool, and hung about with all sorts of autumn fruits, pastry, and small vessels full of honey, wine, and oil. This branch was borne by a boy whose parents were both alive; a song, which bore the same name Eiresione, was sung, while he was escorted by a procession to the temple of the god, where the wreath was deposited as a votive offering. Other branches were hung at the doors of the houses. In later times this festival was also kept as a mark of gratitude for the safe return of Theseus from Crete, which was supposed to have taken place on this day; and the cooking of the beans was regarded as commemorating the cooking of the scanty remains of the provisions of his ships. [In the ancient calendar of the Attic festivals built into the wall of the metropolitan church at Athens, the festival of the Pyanepsia is represented by a youth carrying the Eiresione. See cut in Miss Harrison's Mythology, etc., of Athens, p. 168; ib. cxxxv.] Besides Apollo, the Horoe were worshipped at the Pyanepsia with offerings and invocations, as the goddesses of the blessings of the year.
The original custom in Greece and Italy was to grind the corn and bake the necessary supplies at home; a usage which maintained itself in large houses even after grinding and baking (for the two went together) bad become a separate trade. Bakers first appear in Greece as a distinct class in the 6th century B.C.; in Rome there is no sign of them till about B.C. 171. The millers or "pounders" (pistores) at Rome were usually either freedmen or citizens of a low class; but the position of the trade was improved by the care taken by the State to provide good and cheap bread of full weight. As early as the time of Augustus the State was served by a collegium or guild of bakers, which was subsequently organized by Trajan. In his time it consisted of 100 members nominated by the emperor, with special privileges, and subordinate to the proefectus annonoe (seeANNONA). In the 3rd century A.D. the monthly distribution of bread was succeeded by a daily one. This naturally led to a considerable increase in the number of public bakeries. At the beginning of the 4th century A.D. there were 254, distributed through the fourteen regiones of Rome. Side by side with these there existed a number of private bakeries, which made it their business to provide the finer sorts of bread, so numerous in antiquity. Baking was carried on sometimes in furnaces (such as are found in Pompeii), sometimes in the klibanos or kribanos (Latin clibanus). This was a clay vessel with a lid on the top and small holes in the sides, wider at the bottom than at the top. To heat it they surrounded it with hot ashes. The ancients were unacquainted with rye, and made their bread mostly of wheat, with several varieties depending on the quality of the flour and the mode of preparation. The loaves were generally round, and divided into four parts, to facilitate breaking them.
Of these there was a great variety in the ancient world, some with, and some without, supports for the head and back. The latter sort (Gr. diphros, Lat. sella) were mostly low, and were supported sometimes on four upright legs, sometimes on feet arranged and shaped like a sawing stool (see cuts). The seat being made of leather straps, the chair could, in the latter case, be folded up and carried by a servant. A chair of this kind, made of ivory, was one of the insignia of the curule magistrates at Rome (see SELLA CURULIS). The official chair of the Roman magis trates was always without a back. Stools without backs were also used by mechanics, soldiers, and boys at school. The backed chairs ordinarily in use much resembled our modern chairs. They generally had a sloping back, sometimes arched out in the centre (see cuts). Chairs of this form were made for women and invalids; and the cathedra or professor's chair was of the same description. The Greek thronos and the Latin solium were seats of honour. They were lofty, and had footstools accordingly; the back was high and straight, the legs were upright, and there were arms at the sides. The Roman pater familias, when giving his clients their morning audience, sat in a solium. Seats were not always stuffed, but cushions were put on them, and coverings on the backs. Chairs were made of metal and ivory, as well as of wood.
PLOUGH 15.97%
This well-known agricultural implement, according to the story generally current in Greece, was an invention of Demeter, the goddess of agriculture, who taught its use to Triptolemus (q.v.). Originally it was constructed of a strong, hook-shaped piece of timber, whereof the longer end (Gr. histoboeus; Lat. buris) served at once as plough-tail and pole, while the other acted as sharebeam (Gr. elyma; Lat. dentale). This was fitted the the share (Gr. hynis; Lat. vomer), and behind with the upright plough-tail (Gr. echetle; Lat. stiva). At the end of the pole was affixed the yoke, in which the oxen or mules by which it was to be drawn were harnessed (see cuts). Besides the natural hook-shaped plough, we have, as early as Hesiod (8th century B.C.), a notice of the artificially constructed instrument, in which the main parts, the pole, the share-beam, and the plough-stock (gyes) connecting them, were of different sorts of wood [Works and Days, 425-434]. Roman ploughs had also two earth-boards (aures), which served to smooth the furrow [Vergil, Georgic i 172]. The plaustraratrum (wagon-plough) used in Upper Italy was a different kind. In this the plough-stock rested on two low wheels, the pole being let into the axle. [In Pliny, N. H. xviii 172, the MSS have plaumorati d, altered by Hardouin into plaustraratri. Neither word is found elsewhere.]
EPIGRAM 15.18%
Properly = an inscription, such as was often written upon a tomb, a votive offering, a present, a work of art, and the like, to describe its character. Inscriptions of this sort were from early times put into metrical form, and the writer generally tried to put good sense and spirit into them. They were generally, though not always, written in the elegiac metre. The greatest master of epigram was Simonides of Ceos, the author of almost all the sepulchral inscriptions on the warriors who fell in the Persian wars. His lines are remarkable for repose, clearness, and force, both of thought and expression. Fictitious inscriptions were often written, containing brief criticisms on celebrated men, as poets, philosophers, artists and their productions. The form of the epigram was also used to embody in concise and pointed language the clever ideas, or the passing moods of the writer, often with a tinge of wit or satire. The occasional epigram was a very favourite form of composition with the Alexandrian poets, and remained so down to the latest. times. Some writers, indeed, devoted themselves entirely to it. Many of the choicest gems of Greek literature are to be found in the epigrams. The epigrammatists used other metres besides the elegiac, especially the iambic. In later times more complex and almost lyrical measures were employed. The Greek Anthology has preserved 4,500 epigrams, of the greatest variety in contents, and from the hand of more than 300 poets. (See ANTHOLOGY). Among these are found some of the most celebrated names of ancient and of later times. A great number, too, are found in inscriptions. Of all the Greek varieties of lyric poetry, the epigram was earliest welcomed at Rome. It lived on in an uninterrupted existence from Ennius till the latest times, being employed sometimes for inscriptions, sometimes for other and miscellaneous purposes. In the second half of the 1st century A.D. Martial handled it in various forms and with the power of a master. We also have a collection of epigrams by Luxorius (6th century A.D.). Many of such poems are preserved on inscriptions, besides a great quantity in manuscript, which in modern times have been collected into a Latin Anthology.
was born in Bruttium, about 480 A.D. He belonged to an old Roman family which had, particularly in the three preceding generations, distinguished itself in the public service. His father stood in high favour with Theodoric, who had an equal regard for his talented and highly educated son, Cassiodorus Senator. On account of his trustworthiness and ability as a statesman, the younger Cassiodorus was appointed to the highest offices by Theodoric and his successors. He was consul A.D. 514, and four times praefectus. For a period of nearly forty years he enjoyed an active and successful career in the public administration, notably as Theodoric's private secretary. After the fall of Vitiges in 540, Cassiodorus retired to the monastery of Vivarium (Vivarese), which he had founded on his estates in Bruttium. Here he passed the rest of his life in religious exercises and literary labour. He died about 575. Among the works which he composed during his career as a statesman, we have a universal history called Chronica, from Adam down to the year when it was written. This consists mainly of a catalogue of the Roman consuls, and is the longest of all the lists which have come down to us. Another work of his which has survived is the Variae (Epistulae) in twelve books. This is a collection of imperial rescripts, and has considerable historical importance. These recripts he made out, partly in the name of Theodoric and his successors, partly in his own name as praefectus. The book likewise contains a collection of formularies for decrees of nomination. His Gothic history, in twelve books, is only preserved in extracts, and in the paraphrase of Jordanes. The chief aim of his monastic life was a noble one. He hoped to make the monasteries an asylum of knowledge, in which the literature of classical antiquity and of the Christian age might be collected. The number of books was to be increased by copyists, and the clergy were to gain their necessary education by studying them. The libraries and schools of the monasteries in succeeding centuries were ultimately formed upon the model which he set up. Besides a number of theological writings, he composed, in about 544 A.D., a sort of Encyclopaedia, in four books, for the instruction of his monks. This is the "Instructions in Sacred and Profane Literature" (Institutiones Divinarum et Saecularium Litterarum). The first part is an introduction to the study of theology, the second a sketch of the seven liberal arts. Finally, in his ninety-third year, he compiled a treatise De Orthographia or on Orthography.
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